The Holy Prophet of Islam
Dr. Rasheed S. Azam
The Review of Religions February 1993
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, is reported
to have said that the best among men is the one who is best in his treatment
to his wife. Hadhrat Ayesha, his honoured wife (may Allah be pleased with her),
is reported to have replied to those who desired to know more about the Holy
Prophet's character after his death: His character was the
Quran. He practised what he preached and he preached what he practised.
`Muhammad' literally means the Praised One and the Holy Quran
Allah sends down His blessings on the Prophet and His angels pray for him. O ye who
believe, you too should invoke God's blessings on him and salute him with the salutation
of peace. (33:57)
He was not an innovation as a Prophet (46:10) and there are prophecies about his advent
both in the Torah and the Gospels (7:58). The Holy Prophet had
a promise of divine protection (5:68) and was guarded and helped by the angels
(13:12 & 66:5).
There is no myth or mystery about his life. His
life was an open book. He was known as the Truthful and the Honest one and
lived a pure life before his claim
(10:17). Every detail about his life is well preserved in history. It is
a well known fact that he was not able to read or write as he never had the
to go to any
school to learn from any teacher. God was his teacher. He received his call
from God at
the age of forty to proclaim the message of Islam to mankind:
There is no god
but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.
The Holy Prophet's
life was dedicated to the dual purpose of re-establishing on earth
the Unity of God,
our Creator, Who alone is worthy of our
worship and through establishing that relationship with God people
should become civilized and behave justly towards one another.
His mission was
to recite the Signs of God, teach people the book and wisdom
purify them (2:130 & 62:2-3).
It is a historical fact that when the Meccans
offered to give him anything he wanted, his reply was totally uncompromising
on the question of the Unity of
God. He said:
I will not renounce my message from God even if they put the sun
on my right hand and
the moon on my left.
The Holy Prophet and
his followers suffered all kinds of injuries and persecution at Mecca for
thirteen long years
and when life for them became unbearable,
they migrated to Medina. The Meccans having failed in their plot to kill
the Prophet, now pursued the Muslims to Medina. God then permitted the believers
to fight the
aggressors in order to end persecution and to defend their rights.
The Holy Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet
over a period of twenty-three years which was just completed before he died
(and all Prophets had died before him, 4:154) at the age of sixty-three. The
religion of Islam was firmly established in Arabia.
He was a perfect man (22:2), a perfect leader (36:2) and an excellent exemplar for
mankind (33:22). God says:
O Prophet, We have sent thee as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner,
and as a summoner unto Allah by His command and a light-giving sun. (33:46-47)
Hadhrat Muhammad was Allah's Messenger for
all mankind (4:80, 7:159, 34:29). He was sent as a mercy for all mankind (21:108).
He received revelation from God as did previous Prophets (4:164, 42:4) and he was
enjoined to convey the revelation to the people (5:68). He was commanded to be alert
and ever ready to spread the truth (74:2) and saw his success in the propagation of
Islam during his life time (110:3).
His message was universal (34:29) and he always yearned that mankind should
believe (18:7, 26:4, 93:8). He was the Seal of the Prophets (33:41) and achieved
the highest status in nearness to Allah (53:9). The Holy Quran
Whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger shall be among those upon whom Allah has bestowed
His favours - the Prophets, the Faithful ones, the Martyrs and the Righteous; and
they are excellent companions. (4:70)