The Greatest Prophet of God Who Changed the Human Destiny
By: Dr. Hyder Reza Zabeth
Islamic Research Foundation
Astan Quds Razavi, Mashhad, Iran
The Holy Prophet, Muhammad bin Abdullah (Peace be on him and his sacred progeny), with whom Prophethood came to an end, was born in 570 AD at Makkah Mukarramah. He was raised as a Prophet when he was 40 years of age. For 13 years he preached Islam in Makkah, where he underwent great many difficulties and hardships. During this period he trained a few selected persons. Thereafter he migrated to Madinah Munawwarah where he established his centre. For ten years he openly propagated Islam there.
He defended Islam in a number of successful battles against the arrogant Arabs whom he finally subdued. By the end of this period the entire Arabian Peninsula had embraced Islam. The Holy Qur'an was revealed on him piecemeal over a period of 23 years. The Muslims showed a wonderful devotedness and reverential attachment to the Holy Qur'an and the person of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), who passed away in 11 A.H. in the 23rd year of his Prophetic mission when he was 63 years of age. He left behind a nascent society full of spiritual zeal, believing in a constructive ideology and conscious of its world responsibility.
There were two things which gave this new-born society a spirit of enthusiasm and unity. One was the Holy Qur'an which inspired the Muslims. It was always recited by them. The other was the lofty and penetrating personality of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) of which they were greatly enamoured.
The Greatest Prophet and Messenger of God, Hadrat Muhammad al-Mustafa (the Chosen of God) was foretold by Abraham. He was prophesied by Moses. He was promised by Jesus. He was predicted by all divine messengers that had appeared in different eras and in different parts of the earth to keep humanity on the right track.
The Model of Leadership
One of the distinct features of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is that he was the teacher, founder, and leader of his nation (Ummah). His behavior towards people is worth consideration as an example for both people and governments to follow. The base of our discussion is from the Holy Qur’an, which states:
“Certainly an apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) Compassionate, Merciful.” (9:128)
The Dynamism of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
“And Remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O children of Israel! I am the Prophet of God (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Prophet to come after me whose name shall be Ahmed.” (61:6)
Belief in Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) as the last and final Prophet is the cardinal tenet of Islam.
The special features which marked the previous Prophets (AS) and the proofs which establish prophethood, were all present in the person of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). He had the mercy and compassion of Prophet Jesus (AS), power and authority of Prophet Moses (AS), patience of Prophet Noah (AS) and the majesty of Prophet Abraham (AS). The Prophecies of the previous prophets (AS) concerning Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and the life he led under divine inspiration, the miracles bestowed upon him and his exemplary conduct, established his status as the Prophet of Allah beyond any doubt.
The inner dynamism, perfection, flexibility and comprehensiveness of Islam explain its unique position as the eternal religion capable of satisfying spiritual and other needs of mankind till the end of the world. A major difference in the message of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) is that what was revealed to Muhammad (S.A.W.) was not just a program, but a universal law; programs change but universal laws never change.
The Holy Qur’an as revealed to the last messenger, Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) is a Book of laws for human life valid for all times, places and peoples and is an example of perfection.
Imam Ali (AS) in regard to the mission of the Prophets (AS) says:
“From his (Adam) progeny Allah chose Prophets and took their pledge for His revelation and for carrying His message at their trust. In course of time many people perverted Allah’s trust with them and ignored His position and took compeers along with Him.” (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1)
Then considering the appointment of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) as the Seal of the Prophets, Imam Ali (A.S.) says:
“In this way ages passed by and times rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places till Allah deputed Muhammad (S.A.W.) as His Prophet, in fulfillment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken from the Prophets (AS), his traits of character were well reputed and his birth was honorable. The people of the earth at this time were divided in different parties, their aims were separate and ways were diverse. They either likened Allah with His creation or twisted His Names or turned to other than Him. Through Muhammad (S.A.W.) Allah guided them out of falsehood and with his efforts took them out of ignorance.” (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1)
The firmness of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
The Holy Prophet’s (S.A.W.) mission was to establish a just and peaceful society. And the tribal chiefs of Makkah were a powerful obstacle in his project. Without justice it was not possible to have peace. When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) talked of justice, the powerful merchants of Makkah began to inflict violence on him and his followers. All weaker sections of society had rallied round the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), the poor, the slaves, the women and the youth. The Holy Prophet’s (S.A.W.) clearest choice was justice and peace.
“Then Allah chose for Muhammad (S.A.W.) to meet Him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove his from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honor. May Allah shower His blessing on him and his progeny.” (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1)
The Greatest and Paramount Leader
"It was by the mercy of Allah that you were gentle with them (O, Muhammad) for if you had been harsh and hard of heart they would of dispersed from around you. So pardon them and pray forgiveness for them and consult with them in the affair" (Quran 3:159).
This verse from the Holy Quran indicates that Holy Prophet Muhammad's (S.A.W.) attitude was a factor in attracting people to Islam. The importance of this verse is that one should be lenient as an individual, but not in principles.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was very firm when it came to principles and showed no flexibility or softness. If some one insulted him, he would forgive them kindly, because that was something related to himself. But if anyone violated Islamic laws and rulings, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) would treat them with severity and justice.
His great role as a Prophet, Messenger, guide, leader and all the great characteristics of different personalities combined into one man excelled him over all other men in history, and also because of the Holy Quran, which was a miracle given to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) from Allah. The unique beauty, depth, elegance and attraction of the Holy Quran left a great impact in the spread of Islam.
This is why Allah mentions in the Holy Quran in regards to the greatness of the Holy Prophet. (Quran 68:4) "And surely you are of an exalted character".
Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) transformed the world from it's ignorance and idol worship to that of monotheism and salvation. He carried out the most remarkable tasks under unbelievable hardships but always maintained his kindness, generosity and forgiveness, which truly characterizes the messenger of God. In him, the highest perfections were assembled. He was in reality that perfect infallible man before whom the angels were ordered to prostrate. That is why Allah and his angels praise and bless him and those who are faithful are commanded to also praise and bless him and are required to learn, follow and benefit from the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).