This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
FROM AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
ﻣﻦ وﺟﮭﮫ ﻧﻈﺮ إﺳﻼﻣﯿﺔ
ALI ZOHERY, Ph. D.
1. 2. 3.
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ETHICS IN QURAN – QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS. ETHICS IN SUNNAH (PROPHET’S SAYINGS AND ACTIONS QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS. CONCLUSION
1. Greetings 2. Respect for elders 3. Sincerity 4. Modesty
5. Humility 6. Politeness 7. Gentleness 8. Kindness 9. Trustworthy 10.Truthfulness 11. Virtue 12. Justice and fairness 13. Mercy 14. Forgiveness 15. Generosity 16. Charity 17. Hospitality 18. Love for people in general 19. Welfare of orphans and the poor 20. Peace making 21. Equality of human beings 22. Friendship 23. Affection for children 24. Rights of workers 25. Steadfastness, Patience and Perseverance
26. Contentment 27. Tolerance 28. Attaining knowledge 29. Courage 30. Wisdom 31. Morality 32. Self disciplinary 33. Control of tongue 34. Prohibition of cheating 35. Mercy for prisoners of war 36. Grace 37. Individual and collective responsibility 38. Forbearance 39. Good character 40. Austerity 41. Moderation 42. Righteousness 43. Good manners toward neighbors 44. Good manners toward women 45. Good manners toward animals 46. Practicality
47. Cleanliness 48. Sanctity of treaties 49. Courtesy 50. Universal brotherhood (World Community) 51. Supporting the family 52. Harmony 53. Honesty 54. Selfishness 55. To be good to the parents 56. Beaminess of the face 57. Knowing each others 58. Optimism 59. Simplicity 60. Thankfulness 61. High-Spiritedness / Noble-minded 62. Consultation 63. Visiting the relatives 64.Visiting the sick person 65. Ambition 66. Chastity 67. Work
68. Nobleness 69. Integrity 70. Activeness
Work 1. The prophet said: “Trying to earn a lawful livelihood is an obligatory duty in addition to
other obligatory duty.” Bahaqi in Shu’ab alIman. 2. The prophet was asked what type of earning was best, and he said: “A man’s work with hands and every business transaction which is lawful.” (Ahmad) 3. The prophet said: “No one has ever eaten better food than which one earns as a result of the labour of one’s hands. Allah’s prophet Dawud used to eat from which he had worked for with his hands.” (Bukhari) 4. The prophet said: “A person who earns his living from a lawful occupation and labour is dear to Allah. And what higher station could there be than the station of Allah’s loved one? The prophet worked hard to earn his living with many people as a partner, on commission or for wages, and showed extreme honesty and truthfulness in his business dealings. No one ever complained about his conduct in business, but always had a word of praise for him. He then set a unique example of honest business conduct and
hard work as a successful and honest businessman. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol.VIII p. 12) Good Character The prophet said: 1. “The believers whose faith is most perfect are those who have the best character.” (Abu Dawud and Darimi). 2. “Among the best of you are those who have the best character.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “Among those of you who are dearest to me are those who have the best character,” (Bukhari) 4. A man reported that Allah’s Messenger was asked what was the best thing a human being could be given and he replied: “ A good character.” (Baihaqi in Shuab al iman and in Sharah asSunnah). 5. “By his good character, a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day.” (Abu Dawud).
6. “Shall I inform you who are the best among you?” On receiving the reply “Certainly”, he said: “Those who are best among you are the ones who live longest and have the best character.” (Ahmad) Good Manners toward neighbors 1. The prophet said: “I swear by Allah he does not believe.” The prophet repeated this three times and was asked who he was talking about. He said: “The one from whose injurious conduct his neighbor is not safe.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. He also said: “He from whose injurious conduct his neighbor is not safe will not enter Paradise.” (Muslim). Courtesy Abd Shuraib al-Adawi reported: My eare listened and my eye ,lsaw when Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) spoke and said: He who believes In Allah and the eireafter should show respect to the guest
even with utmost kindness and courtesy. They said: Messenger of Allah, what is this utmost kindness and courtesy? He replied: It is for a day and a night. Hospitality extends for three days, and what is beyond that is a Sadaqa for him; and he who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should say something good or keep quiet. (Muslim, Book 018, Number 4286) Respect for Elders Islam lays great stress on younger people showing respect to elders and taking care of them in their old age. The prophet said: “He is not of us who does not show respect to our elders.” (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol.VIII p. 74) Cleanliness The Prophet Muhammad was the greatest patron and promoter of physical cleanliness. He was himself very conscious of his personal cleanliness and purity and he
also made it an obligatory duty of his followers to maintain physical cleanliness to the highest degree in regard to the body, clothes and places of worship and residence. This was because physical cleanliness is the key to cleanliness and purity of mind and soul. The prophet stressed the importance of cleanliness in these words: “Being purified is half the Faith” (Muslim) (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol.VIII pp. 93-94) Modesty The prophet was extremely modest in his conduct with people and when he was sitting in the company of his Companions in the mosque, no stranger would have been able to say which was the prophet. He sat among them as though he was one of them, and not a messenger of Allah or a ruler of a state. A stranger coming to see the prophet in the mosque had to ask someone which he was. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol.VIII p. 135) About his teachings on Modesty the prophet said:
1. “Shall I tell you about the inhabitants of Paradise? They are all modest persons.” 2. “Shall I tell you about the inhabitants of Hell? They are all ignoble, rude and proud ones.” (Bukhari and Muslim) 3. “He who has in his heart as much pride as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter paradise.” (Muslim) 4. “Modesty is part of Faith and Faith is in Paradise.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi). 5. “Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty.” (Malik, ibn Majah and Baihaqi in Shuab al-Iman) 6. “Modesty and Faith are Companions; when one is taken away, the other is also taken.” In another version: “Where one of them is taken away, the other follows it.” (Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-iman) 7. Abu Saeed Khudri said: The prophet was more modest than a virgin in her apartment, and when he saw anything of which he disapproved, we could recognize the fact in his face.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
8. A’ishah (the prophet’s wife) said that she never saw the prophet laugh so immoderately that you could see inside his mouth; he used only to smile. (Bukhari) 9. She also said that the prophet was not unseemly or lewd in his language, nor was he loud-voice in the streets. (Tirmidhi). All these Ahadith corroborate the opinion that the prophet was the most modest of all people. The prophet always preferred to follow the middle course between two extremes. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol.VIII pp. 136-137) Humility The prophet was very humble in his dealings with people and always showed extreme civility, humility and modesty to all, rich or poor;old or young. He preached humbleness to his Companions and Demonstrated it by his actions. The prophet is reported to have said: 1. “Shall I tell you about the inhabitants of Paradise? They are very meak and humble persons. And shall I tell you about the inmates of Hell? They are
very ignoble, uncivil and proud persons.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. “He who has in his heart as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter Hell, and he who has in his heart as much pride as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter Paradise.” (Muslim). 3. “Allah Most High says: Pride is My cloak and majesty My lowest garment, and I shall cause him who vies with Me regarding one of them to enter Hell.” (Muslim) 4. “Do not praise me (excessively) as the Christans praised excessively the son of Maryam. I am just His servant (‘abd), so say, Allah’s servant and Messenger’.” (Bukhari and Muslim). The humility and gentleness of the Prophet was quite natural and free from all pretensions. People normally show pride and boasting when they gain victories against their enemies in battle or when they achieve something really great and glorious. But the prophet behaved naturally in all circumstances. He was natural and in his usual form when he was humiliated and beaten by the
people of Ta’if and when he suffered a setback in the battle of Uhud. He was the same humble man when he was entering the city of Makkah as its conqueror at the head of ten thousand victorious soldiers of Islam. He did not show any pride in any way. In the words of Sir William Irving: “His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vainglory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power, he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity.”(life of Mohamet). In the words of Stanley Lane-Poole: “Facts are hard things; and it is a fact that the Day of Muhammad’s greatest triumph over his enemies was also the Day of his grandest triumph over himself.” (The Prophet and Islam, p.31, Lahore). Politeness The prophet Muhammad was a most polite, courteous, refined and well-mannered person. He always treated people courteously, irrespective of their social status or religious beliefs, and entertained everyone who came to
his house and all whom he met in the street with the same refined manners. In this respect, he never discriminated between people on the basis of their social status or beliefs, but treated them all alike with courtesy and politeness. The Qur’an mentions this quality of the Prophet in these words: “It is a part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal politely and gently with them. Were you severe, uncivil or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from you: so pass over their faults, and ask for Allah’s Forgiveness for them.” (3:159). It was his gentleness and politeness that endeared him to all who came into contact with him. There are many instances in history which reveal the miraculous effect of his gentle and courteous way of dealing with the unbelievers. Some who were his deadliest enemies, determined to destroy him and his Faith, after having some social contact with him, were completely changed by his conduct to them into beings who now loved him more, than anything else in this world (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, p. 142) Thumamah ibn Athal, one of the leaders of the Banu
Hanifah, was so impressed by the polite and gentle behavior of the Prophet that he embraced Islam forthwith and said: “0 Allah’s Messenger! No man was more detestable and hateful in my eyes than you, but now no man is more loved in my eyes than you. No religion was more bad in my eyes as your religion, but now it is the best of all to me. No town was more disliked by me than yours, but now the same town is liked by me more than any other town.” (Seerah Ibn Ishaque). Hindah, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who, in her anger and hatred against the Prophet and his Faith, mutilated Hamzah’s corpse and chewed his liver, when she embraced Islam and experienced the Prophet’s gentle and graceful treatment, said to him: “Your tent was the most hateful tent in my eyes and you were the most hateful person; now your tent is the most liked tent in my eyes and you are the most liked person.” These revolutionary and amazing changes in peoples’ opinion of the Prophet were due to his most courteous and polite treatment of them. He never used any abusive language to any one in his life, and never uttered even a
harsh word to anyone. He even prevented others from using harsh language. If he ever wanted to warn others, he would do so in a very mild and affectionate tone. The Jews addressed him maliciously with the words, A1sa’mu-’alaikum (i.e., death on you) instead of Assalamu‘A/aikum (i.e., peace on you). Hearing this, his wife, ‘A’ishah, could not restrain herself and burst out spontaneously: “May Allah bring death on you.” The Prophet reprimanded her, saying that Allah did not like harsh words. The Prophet, as a human being, was sometimes greatly hurt by people’s ignorance, but he would not utter a single word of disapproval. The Qur’an refers to this in these words: “0 you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses -until permission is given to you -for a meal, (and then) not so early as to wait for its preparation: but when you are invited, enter; and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without stopping to gossip. Such behavior annoys the Prophet, but he would be ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed to tell you the truth.”(33:53).
When shaking hands with others, he would never be the first to withdraw his hand. He met everybody with a smiling face. One of his Companions, Jarir ibn Abd Allah, said that he never saw the Prophet without a smile on his face. He would talk freely, never putting on an artificial reserve to give himself an air of superiority. Nor would he ever boast. He would take up his friends’ children in his arms like a father. Sometimes they soiled him, but not a shadow of displeasure would pass over his face. He would always take the lead in greeting his friends and shaking hands with them. He would overlook the shortcomings of others and would not even hint at them. In his sermons, however, when he was not addressing anyone directly, he would touch upon how to remove a particular drawback, so that people could learn without loss of face. Of offence to himself, however great, He would take no notice. At the Battle of Uhud, when the archers abandoned the position to which he had posted them, causing the loss of some people near and dear to him and injury to his own person, he neither court-marshalled nor
punished them. He did not even rebuke them. To those who fled from the field, he said no more than that they had gone a bit too far. In his dealings with others, he never placed himself on a pedestal. He would conduct himself as a man like others, Once when he was out in the woods with his friends, the time came to prepare the food. Everyone was allotted a task. He himself offered to go out and collect fuel. He did not at all mind doing his share of the work like an ordinary man. In his treatment of his servants, he observed the same principle of courtesy and civility. His servant Anas reported that during the ten years that he was in the service of the Prophet, he was not once rebuked by him. The Prophet, in fact, never rebuked any of his servants for their mistakes. He would show consideration to both old and young. He would rise at the arrival of his foster-mother and fostersister and spread his own mantle for them to sit on. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, p. 143)
There are many Ahadith of the Prophet which bear witness to his most courteous and polite conduct in social relationships: 1. Anas said that a woman whose mind was affected once came to the Prophet and said: “Allah’s Messenger! I want something from you.” He replied: “Mother of so-and-so, take me where you live so that I may accomplish what you want.” He then went along with her to her home and helped her with some jobs. (Muslim). 2. Anas reported: “I served Allah’s Messenger for ten years from the time I was eight years old and he never blamed me for anything which was destroyed by any hand. If any member of his family blamed me, he said: ‘Leave him alone, for if anything is decreed it will happen’.” (AI-Masabih). 3. ‘Ali said that Allah’s Messenger owed some dinars to a Jewish doctor, and he demanded payment from the Prophet. When he told him that he had nothing to pay him with, the Jew replied: “1 will not leave you, Muhammad, until you pay me.” Allah’s Messenger said:
“1 shall sit with you, then,” and did so. Allah’s Messenger offered the noon, afternoon, sunset and night prayers and the next day’s morning prayers. The Companions were threatening and menacing the Jew. Allah’s Messenger being aware of what they were doing. Then they said: “Messenger of Allah! Is the Jew keeping you in restraint?” to which he replied: “My Lord has prevented me from wronging one with whom a covenant has been made or anyone else.” Then, when the day was advanced, the Jew said:” I testify that there is no God but Allah, and I testify that you are Allah’s Messenger. Then he said that half of his property would he devoted to Allah’s Way, and added: “I swear by Allah that my only purpose in treating you as I have done was that I might know the description of you given in the Torah: ‘Muhammad ibn Abdullah, whose birthplace is in Makkah, whose place of emigration is in Taiba, and whose kingdom is in Syria; he is not harsh or rough or loud-voiced in the streets, and he is not characterized by coarseness of lewd speech’. I testify that
there is no God but Allah, and I testify that you are Allah’s Messenger. Give a decision about this property of mine according to what Allah has shown you.” (Baihaqi). He would never interrupt when others were talking. He would never point out the weaknesses of others by name but would express his dislike in a general way. He always spoke politely and courteously to all people, whether low or high, rich or poor. “All his actions and movements were characterized by simplicity. Anything savoring of artificiality was repugnant to his nature. When mounted, he would not mind seating another, even a slave, behind him. In brief, civility and good and refined manners, courtesy, mildness, pleasant speech and fortitude, were the main features of the dealings of the Prophet Muhammad’s with the people. (Rahman, 1994,
Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, p. 145) Moderation The Prophet was the most moderate person of all. ‘He always avoided the extremes in life and followed the
middle of the road. He was temperate in conduct and expression, following the Golden Mean between the two extremes, neither tending to this way nor to that way but maintaining a moderate course of action under all circumstances. The Prophet taught moderation to his people, both in deeds and words. It is reported that the Prophet said: “A good manner of conduct, deliberation and moderation are a twenty-fourth part of Prophethood.” (Tirmidhi). Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet said: “Moderation in expenditure is half one’s livelihood.” (Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman). 1. The Prophet said: “Those people who went to extremes (in practicing their religion) were destroyed.” (Muslim). 2. “The practicing of their religion is easy and nobody indulges in extremes in matters of faith who is not overpowered by the same. Therefore be moderate and practice in proportion to your capacity.” (Bukhari). 3. Once three persons came to enquire from the household of the Prophet about his prayer. When they
were told about it, they felt that it was insufficient as far as they were concerned. They said that there was no comparison between the Prophet and themselves. He had been forgiven by Allah for all his omissions and shortcomings, past and present. One of them said: “1 shall continuously fast without interruption.” Another said: “I shall, in future, spend the whole night in praying.” And the third one said: “I shall abstain from women and shall never marry.” Later, the Prophet came and asked them about what they had said. He said: “Listen, I fear Allah more than all of you do, and l am more conscious of my duties to Him than all of you are. I observe a fast, but then I break it. I offer prayers at night, but sleep as well, and I marry women. This is my way of living. One who turns away from my practice (Sunnah) does not belong to me.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 4. The Prophet also said: “Be moderate. Practice religion commensurate with your physical strength. Offer prayers in the morning and evening and in some parts of the evening and in some parts of the night. Follow the middle course; you will reach the goal.” (Bukhari).
5. “No doubt you have a duty to your Lord; likewise you owe a duty to yourself, and a duty to your family. You should discharge your duty to everybody.” (Bukhari). It is reported that the Prophet was very moderate in all his actions. Both his prayers and sermons were of moderate duration. (Muslim). In fact, the whole of his life was an example of perfect moderation. The basic principle of the ‘Golden Mean’ was seen in its perfection in the life of the Prophet, in word and deed. The Prophet stressed the great merit and importance of a balanced life on the basis of the ‘Golden Mean’ between the two extreme ways of life in these words: “Do not impose austerities on yourselves so that Allah might impose austerities on you; for people have imposed austerities on themselves and Allah has also imposed austerities on them. Their survivors are to be found in cells and monasteries.” (Abu Dawud). The Qur’an explicitly states: But monasticism, which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them.” (57:27). It is true that Allah certainly desires that people should
not indulge in idle pleasures and the vain glories of this world, and that they should follow a decent life of goodness. piety and justice to win the Pleasure of their Lord. But He does not want them to lead gloomy lives, nor engage in perpetual worship in isolation. He requires them to lead normal lives in a family relationship on a social level, practicing goodness and righteousness in their affairs, private. public, national and international. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, p. 149) Gentleness The Prophet Muhammad was the most gentle of all people in both word and action. He was tender-hearted and treated all with tenderness and gentleness. The Qur’an refers to this quality of the Prophet in these words: “It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them. Were you severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.” (3:159). It was this quality of the Prophet that “endeared him to all, and it is reckoned as one of the mercies of Allah. . .
At no time was this gentleness. . . more valuable than after a disaster like that at Uhud. It is a God-like quality, which then, as always, bound and binds the souls of countless men (and women) to him.” (A. Yusuf ‘Au, The Holy Qur’an, p.164. note 471). There are many sayings of the Prophet regarding gentleness. Following are just few: I. “Allah is gentle and likes gentleness. He gives for gentleness what He does not give for harshness and what He does not give for anything else.”(Muslim). 2. Another version of this relates: “Keep to gentleness and avoid harshness and coarseness. Gentleness is not found in anything without adorning it, and is not withdrawn from anything without diminishing it.’’ (Muslim). 3. “He who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good.” (Muslim). 4. “He who is given his share of gentleness is given his share of good in this world and the next, and whoever is deprived of his share of gentleness is deprived of his share of good in this world and the next.” (Sharh as-
Sunnah). 5. “Shall I tell you who is kept away from Hell and from whom Hell is kept away? From everyone who is gentle and kindly, approachable and of an easy disposition.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi). 6. “The believers are gentle and kindly, like a tractable camel which, when guided, lets itself be guided, and when ordered to sit, even on stones, does so.” (Tirmidhi). 7. It is an undeniable fact of history that the Prophet was extremely gentle and tender-hearted. “Never in his life did abusive language escape his lips. He never uttered even a harsh word. “Anas said that Allah’s Messenger was not unseemly in his language, or given to cursing or reviling. All he said, when reproaching someone, was ‘What is the matter with him? May his forehead cleave to the dust!’” (Bukhari). “It is reported that he would prevent others also from using harsh language. If he wanted to warn others, he would do so in a very mild, gentle and affectionate tone.” (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, p. 150)
Kindness The Prophet Muhammad taught love, kindness and compassion to his people, and was himself seen to be the most loving, kind and compassionate of all of them. The Qur’an mentions his kind and gentle behavior in these words: “O Messenger of Allah! It is a great Mercy of Allah that you are gentle and kind towards them; for, had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would all have broken away from you.” (3:159). There are many instances which show his kindness and gentleness, especially to the weak and the poor. Anas, his famous servant, said: “I served Allah’s Messenger for ten years and he never said to me, ‘Shame’ or ‘Why did you do such-and-such a thing?’ or ‘Why did you not do suchand-such a thing?’” Once he said to his wife: “0 ‘A’ishah! Never turn away any needy man from your door empty-handed. 0 ‘A’ishah! Love the poor; bring them near to you and Allah will bring you near to Him on the Day of Resurrection,” He also said: “Seek me among your weak ones, for you are given provision, or you are given help
only by reason of the presence of your weak ones.” His love and kindness was not confined to Muslims alone, but was shown to all. Once Abu Mas’ud Ansari was beating his slave when he heard a voice behind him saying: “Abu Mas’ud! Allah has more power and control over you than you have over this slave.” Abu Mas’ud turned and saw that it was Allah’s Messenger. He said: “0 Allah’s Messenger! I free this slave for the Pleasure of Allah.” The Prophet replied: “If you had not done so, the fire of Hell would have touched you.” Allah Almighty is Kind, and the Prophet imitated Allah’s Example in its perfection by showing kindness to His servants and all creatures without any regard for their beliefs, color or nationality. The prophet said: “Allah is kind and likes kindness in all things.” (Bukhari and Muslim). He was equally kind to the Muslims and the nonMuslims, and to all animals, birds and insects. He even instructed his Companions not to cut or harm trees or other vegetation, especially fruit trees. He encouraged people to look after trees and also to grow more trees.
He was the Messenger of Allah and, as such, the Attributes of Allah were found in him in their perfection. Allah’s Kindness and Love overflows and covers all things and there is nothing in the universe which does not benefit from the All-Embracing Kindness and Love of Allah. Allah’s Messenger, in emulating His Example, showed kindness to all His creatures, great or small, human, or animal, and even to inanimate objects. He was very affectionate towards his family and loved all children dearly. He even stopped them in the street and patted their heads with great affection and also sometimes joined them in their innocent games. His love and kindness knew no bounds. He had a large heart. overflowing with the sweetness of human kindness and love, especially towards the weak, destitute and the oppressed. According to his servant, Anas: “No one was more kindly towards children than Allah’s Messenger.” (Muslim). He was truly very loving and kind to all. He never struck anyone with his own hand (Muslim), with the exception of one instance, when he was challenged by a Quraishi in
the Battle of Uhud. He was wounded and his enemy came rushing towards him with a spear. He snatched that spear from him and struck him with it, which left a scratch on his face. of which he later died. He never used any harsh words towards anyone. The worst expression he ever used in his conversation was: “What has come over him? May his forehead become darkened with mud.” He was even most kind to his deadly enemies. The Prophet was extremely kind, tenderhearted and affectionate. His heart ached within him at the corrupt state of his fellow-beings. The Holy Qur’an testifies to it in these words: “0 Muhammad, you will, perhaps, consume yourself with grief because the people do not believe.” (26:3). In Surah Kahf, we read: “Well, 0 Muhammad, it may be that you will kill yourself for their sake out of sorrow if they do not believe in this Message.” (18:6). And Surah Fatir says: “So let not your life be consumed in grief for their sake.” (35:8). He took a great interest in the welfare of all people and had great compassion for people in trouble. When the daughter of Hatim Ta’i was taken prisoner, along with
other people of her tribe, the Prophet felt great compassion for her and said that the daughter of such a generous man should not remain a prisoner and therefore all the prisoners were released for her sake. The Prophet Muhammad imitated the Attributes of Allah par excellence and translated them into practice in the highest form possible for man. Kindness is an Attribute of Allah which has no limits. It is extensive and encompasses all things and all beings without
discrimination. Likewise was the kindness of the Prophet. He extended it to all beings, both animate and inanimate and benefited all without measure. The Quranic words for the Prophet’s kindness, ra’ufun rahirn (9:128) are very intensive and comprehensive in meaning and convey the true nature and extent of the Prophet’s kindness to people. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 150-154) The prophet said: 1. “One of the finest acts of kindness is for a man to treat his fathers’ friends in a kindly way after he has departed.” (Muslim).
2. “He who wishes to have his provision enlarged and his term of life prolonged should treat his relatives well.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “Only kindness prolongs life, and a person is deprived of provisions for the faults he commits.” (Ibn Majah). 4. Bahz b. Hakim, on his father’s authority, said that his grandfather told him that he had asked Allah’s Messenger to whom he should show kindness and that the Prophet had replied: “Your mother.” He asked who came next and he replied: “Your mother.” He asked who came next and he replied for the third time: “Your mother.” He again asked who came next and he replied: “Your father, then your relatives in order of relationship.” (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud). 5. “No dutiful son gives his parents a kind look
without Allah recording to his credit an approved pilgrimage for every look.” (Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman). 6. “The best house among the Muslims is one which contains an orphan who is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is one which contains an orphan who is badly treated.” (Ibn Majah).
7. “The best companion in Allah’s estimation is the one who is best to his companions, and the best neighbor in Allah’s estimation is the one who is best to his neighbors.” (Tirmidhi and Darimi). 8. “All creatures are Allah’s dependants, and those dearest to Allah are the ones who treat His dependants kindly.” (Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-iman). 9. “Treat women kindly, since they are your helpers; . . . you have your rights upon your wives and they have their rights upon you. Your right is that they shall not allow anyone you dislike to enter your bed or your home, and their right is that you should treat them well.” (The Farewell Sermon of the Prophet). 10.“The best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.” (Tirmidhi). 11. Once a number of women complained to the Prophet’s wives about their ill-treatment by their husbands. On hearing of this, the Prophet said: “Such persons among you are not good persons.” (Abu Dawud). 12. “He who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment must speak politely.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
13. “One who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be kind to his neighbors.” (Muslim) 14. A man said to the Prophet: “0 Messenger of Allah! My relatives are such that although I cooperate with them, they cut me off; I am kind to them but they ill treat me.” The Prophet said: “So long as you continue as you are, Allah will always help you and He will protect you against their mischief.” (Muslim). 15. Once Asma bint Abu Bakr’s mother, who was still an unbeliever, came to see her in Madinah. She told this to the Prophet and said: “My mother has come to see me and she is expecting something from me. May I oblige her?” The Prophet said: “Yes, be kind to your mother.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 16. Once Zainab as-Saqafia, the wife of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud and an Ansari woman went to see the Prophet and enquired whether it would be a charity if they spent something on their husbands and on the orphans under their care. The Prophet said: “They will get a two-fold reward, one for kindness towards their relatives and the other for charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
17. “You will shortly conquer Egypt. Treat its people kindly, for there are ties of kinship and we have a responsibility towards them.” (Muslim). 18. Once Zainab’s son was seriously ill. The Prophet went to see him. He took the boy onto his lap and began to shed tears. When asked about this, he said: “Allah is kind to those who are kind to others. 19. “Allah does not wish to show kindness to a family without giving them benefit, and He does not deprive them of it without injuring them.’’ (Baihaqi in .Shuab al—Iman). 20. There are many Ahadith concerning his kindness to animals, birds and insects: “Allah prescribed kindness towards everything; so when you slaughter any animal, slaughter it well; when you sacrifice, make your sacrifice good. And let everyone sharpen his weapon and make it easy for his sacrificed animal.” (Muslim). Once the Prophet was traveling from Madinah to Makkah during the month of Ramadan and, naturally, was observing the fast. It was very hot and his Companions were feeling great strain and hardship. So the Prophet
asked for water and broke his fast to release the strain and pressure on his Companions. (Bukhari). With regard to the prayer of Tarawih during the month of Ramadan, the Prophet offered it with the Companions for two nights but did not go to the Mosque on the third night. Later, he explained that the only thing that prevented him from coming to join them was the idea that it might be made compulsory, which would be a cause of great strain and hardship for them. (Bukhari and Muslim). It is reported that once Anas joined the Prophet in Tahajjud prayer. When the Prophet became aware of his presence, he made the prayer shorter. (Muslim). It is reported in Bukhari that the Prophet refrained from doing many actions which he liked, merely because he thought that they might he taken as an example of what was right and thus become compulsory. These instances clearly indicate that the Prophet was very concerned about the conven- eniences and comforts of the people and did not do anything which was likely to cause great distress and hardship to them, as shown by
the words of the Qur’an, “azizun alaihi ma aniuum (he is grieved and worried about your distress and suffering).” (9:128). He felt just as concerned about his enemies. It is reported that when the Prophet migrated to Madinah, the Makkans experienced an unprecedented drought which caused a famine. Abu Sufyan Umri, a renowned enemy of the Prophet, begged him to be kind enough to pray to Allah to relieve the Makkans of this distress. The Prophet, hearing of the sufferings of the people of Makkah, asked Thumamah ihn Uthal. chief of the Najd. to send grain there immediately. Thumamah had a great stock of grain, but had held it back previously because of the Makkans’ anti-Islamic activities against the Prophet. Now, on the instructions of the Prophet, he sent a huge stock of grain to the Makkans without delay. Likewise, when the Prophet came to know that the people of Ta’if, who had barricaded themselves in the fort at the time of the siege of the town, were in great distress and suffering, he ordered the siege to be lifted. This again is another example of the Prophet’s concern
for the people, irrespective of their attitude to him and Islam. These incidents show the level of his generosity and the degree of his kindness and tender-heartedness to all people. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 154-156) Truthfulness The Prophet was the most truthful and honest among his people. This was fully recognized, even by the Quraish of Makkah, his worst enemies, who called him by the name of as-Sadiq (the truthful) and al-Amin (the trustworthy) long before his Prophethood because of his honest and truthful dealings as a trader. But the titles alAmin and as-Sadiq do not simply imply honesty in money matters alone; they are comprehensive and cover righteousness in every form. Whoever happened to have any dealings with him at this early period never ceased to praise him all his life. The consistency of his honest and truthful conduct is proven by the fact that he began his Mission of Prophethood with the words: La ilaha illa ‘Llah (there is no deity but Allah) and ended his Mission with the same
thought when he said, on his death bed: “Lord! Blessed Companion on High.” Having sincerely and faithfully rendered his obligations towards Allah’s creatures, he then returned to the loving bosom of Allah and His Companionship on High. His integrity, his truthfulness and his righteousness won him universal fame. Even his arch-enemies when they said that they did not regard his Message as true, had to admit that they were not saying that he was a liar. One of his enemies, Nadr ihn Harith, testified to his righteousness in the presence of his own people: “Muhammad was a boy amongst you, the most truthful and the most honest. Now that he has grown up and brought you a Message, you call him a sorcerer. By Allah, he is not a sorcerer.” He loved truth intensely, adhered to truth and preached Truth all his life. He never uttered a single lie all his life, either before or after his Prophethood. In the battle of Hunain. when the fighting became rough and fierce, and the Muslim warriors were in disarray, and running in all directions, and when defeat seemed certain, the Prophet
was not in the least in doubt about his Mission. He declared openly: “I am the Messenger of Allah; there is no untruth in this.” When the Quraish were plotting against his life, one of their chiefs attested to his righteousness in these words: “Muhammad is the most truthful and trustworthy among you, but he abuses our idols.” It is because of his universal reputation for honesty and integrity that the Qur’an says: “0 Muhammad! We know that what they say grieves you, but it is not you whom they charge with falsehood; these wicked people are, in fact, denying the Revelations of Allah.”(6:33). “It is a fact that all the people of his tribe regarded the Prophet truthful and honest up to the time he had not begun to recite the Revelations of Allah before them. They falsified him only when he began to deliver to them the Message of Allah. Even then, there was none who dared charge Muhammad, the Man, with falsehood; nay, even his bitterest enemies never accused him of having ever told a lie concerning any worldly matter. It was Muhammad, the Prophet, whom they charged with
falsehood. So much so that even Ahu Jahl, who was the bitterest of the enemies of the Prophet, never accused him of falsehood. According to a tradition related by Ali, Abu Jahl declared during a conversation with the Prophet, “We do not call you a liar; but regard as false what you are presenting’. On the occasion of the Battle of Badr, Akhnas b. Shariq asked Abu Jahl in private, ‘There is no third person here besides us two. Tell me the truth whether you regard Muhammad to be a truthful man or a liar’. He answered, ‘By God, Muhammad is a truthful person and has never told a lie in his whole life, but if Bani Qusayy, who have already the privilege of being the bearers of the national flag and the providers of water to the pilgrims and the keepers of the keys of the Ka’bah, should also be acknowledged as the recipients of Prophethood, what would then be left for the rest of the Quraish?’ For this very reason Allah is comforting His Prophet, saying: ‘It is not you whom they are rejecting as impostor but it is Our Message which they are rejecting: when We are forbearing everything and giving them respite after respite, why should you show any kind of
anxiety?” (Abu’l-A’la Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, Vol. 1, p.107). The Prophet spoke the truth and always taught his people to be truthful and honest in word and deed, never to lie and never to support falsehood. 1. Abu Sufyan, as part of his statement before the Emperor Heraclius about the person of the Prophet Muhammad, said: “He tells us: ‘Worship Allah alone and do not associate anything with Him, and discard all that your ancestors said’. And he Commands us to observe prayer, to tell the truth, to be chaste and to strengthen the ties of kinship by helping those who are related to them.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. The Prophet said: “A true action leads to the path of virtue, and virtue paves the way of a person to Paradise, and this person continues to speak the truth until, in the Sight of Allah, he is named as-S’iddiq (the Truthful). Lying, on the other hand, leads to vice, and vice leads to indecent acts and a person goes on lying until, in the Sight of Allah, he is called a liar.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “Leave alone that which involves you in doubt and
adhere to that which is free from doubt, for truth is comforting and falsehood is disturbing.’’ (Tirmidhi). This shows that truth brings peace of mind, but falsehood disturbs the mind. 4. “A sale agreement is revocable until the buyer and seller part company. If they tell the truth and disclose everything relevant to the transaction, it becomes full of blessings for both of them; hut if they speak falsely and conceal that which should be disclosed, the blessing of the transaction is wiped out.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 5. Once a man asked the Prophet: “Who is the best type of person?” He said: “The one with a sincere and pure heart and a truthful tongue.” 6. He also said: “Speak the Truth, though it may be hitter.” 7. The Prophet said: ‘‘ Four characteristics belong to a believer: when he speaks, he speaks the truth: when he is trusted, he fulfils his trust; when he makes a promise, he abides by his promise; and when he is in dispute with anyone, he does not use obscene words (but sticks to the truth).” (Bukhari and Muslim).
8. He also said: “Four characteristics constitute a hypocrite: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, be breaks his promise; when he is trusted, he betrays his trust; and when he quarrels, he deviates from the truth.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 9. The Prophet said: “Assure me of six things and I will assure you of Paradise.” (Three of these were): “Speak the truth when you speak; fulfill your promise when you make one; and honor your trust when you are trusted.” (Bukhari and Muslim). These sayings clearly show that according to the Prophet, a truthful and righteous person is one who is truthful in words, in intentions, in motives and in actions. The Prophet was an embodiment of truth, honesty and righteousness. He did not speak anything but truth all his life; did not preach anything but truth and did not practice anything but truth. He presented the Word of Truth from his Lord to mankind and stuck to it under all circumstances — in victory and defeat; in weakness and strength; and in poverty and richness. He never felt doubtful, weak or disappointed, for he had full trust in his
Lord that Truth must prevail over falsehood in the final analysis: “Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood perishes! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things you ascribe (to Us).” (2 1:18). Thomas Carlyle very forcefully comments on the truthful and honest nature of the Prophet Muhammad in these words: “A man of truth and fidelity; true in what he did, in what he spoke and thought... through life, we find him to have been regarded as an altogether solid, brotherly, genuine man... A silent, great soul; he was one of those who cannot but be in earnest; whom Nature Herself has appointed to be sincere. . . such sincerity, as we named it, has in very truth something of the Divine. The word of such a man is a Voice direct from Nature’s own Heart.” (Thomas Carlyle, 1908, On heroes, Hero- Worship and the Heroic in History, London, pp.287—288). It is an undeniable fact that truthfulness is an indispensable quality of a Prophet. And this quality was found in absolute perfection in the person of the Prophet The Prophet loved truth and righteousness and never
spoke a lie throughout his life. And even his opponents recognized this great quality of the Prophet. When the Prophet gathered together all his relatives near Mount Safa to convey his Message to them, he asked them whether they had ever heard him tell a lie. They all replied that they never had. When the Roman Emperor received the letter of the Prophet inviting him to the Faith of Islam, he called for the Arab traders who were then visiting his country. Abu Sufyan was one of them. Emperor Heraclius questioned Abu Sufyan about the Prophet’s conduct and asked him whether he had ever told a lie. Abu Sufyan replied: “Never in his life has he told a lie.” Once a group of the chiefs of the Quraish went to the Prophet and repeated the offer previously made by Utbah. The Prophet replied in these words: “. .. My object is quite different from what you have said. I have not come to you with my call for the purpose of amassing wealth, or to secure leadership of the clan or to become your king. In fact God has sent me to you as His Messenger and has revealed to me the Law and has
ordered me to warn you and to give glad tidings. So I have conveyed to you the injunctions of God and have done my responsibility for your welfare. Now if you accept what I have conveyed to you it will be good for you here and Hereafter. But if you reject it, I will patiently wait for the Divine dispensation when God shall decide between you and me.” (Naeem Siddiqi, Muhammad, The Benefactor of Mankind, p.70, Lahore, 1979). This reply of the Prophet showed his determination to fight for the Truth, which he held to be dearer than life. His prayer after returning from Ta’if, where he was abused, ridiculed, stoned and left bleeding from wounds, showed the depth and height of his love for Truth and his sincerity in being willing to suffer anything for it. Weary and wounded, he prayed to his Lord in these most passionate and honest words: “0 Lord! To You alone I make complaint of my helplessness, the paucity of resources and my insignificance before mankind. You are the most Merciful of the mercifuls. You are the Lord of the helpless and the weak, 0 Lord of Mine! Into whose
hands would You abandon me, into the hands of an unsympathic foe who would sullenly frown at me, or the enemy who has been given control over my affairs? But if Your Wrath does not fall upon me, there is nothing for me to worry about. . . I seek protection in the light of Your Countenance, Which illuminates the heavens and dispels every darkness, and Which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Your Wrath, or that You should be wrathful to me. And there is no power nor resource, but Yours alone.” (Hafiz Ibn Qayyim in Za’d a!-Ma’adfiHadyi Khair-al-Ibad, Vol. 11, p.124). There is no doubt that this prayer confirms his extreme love for the Truth and belief in the Majesty and Grandeur of Allah: “This prayer also affords an insight into the working of the Prophet’s mind and reflects the loftiness of his thinking, the purity of his spirit and the nobility of his feelings. . . It was a spontaneous expression of his deep love for God, his implicit faith in His Mercy and Help, and his cheerful resignation to the Will of the One Who dwells in Majesty over all the creation in invisible,
inseparable Omnipotence, for above the humanly conceivable — the eternal Cause of all effects.” (Points taken from The Life of Muhammad by Abdul Hameed Siddiqui, Lahore, 1969, pp.91-92). Thomas Carlyle, writing about the Prophet, remarks: “That Muhammad’s whole soul set aflame with this Grand truth vouchsafed him, should feel as if it were important and the only important thing, was very natural. That Providence had unspeakably honored him by revealing it, saving him from death and darkness; that he therefore was bound to make known the same to all creatures. . . is the way with Nature. The genuine essence of Truth never dies. That it be genuine, a voice from the great Deep of Nature, there is the point at Nature’s judgement-seat. . . He is in harmony with the Decrees of the Author of this World; cooperating with them, not vainly withstanding them; I know, to this day, no better definition of Duty than that. All that is Right includes itself in this — cooperating with the Real Tendency of the World; you succeed by this, you are good, and in the right course there; it was a Reality, direct from the great
Heart of Nature once more.” (On Heroes, heroWorship and the Heroic in history, pp.292-308). Sir William Muir writes: “There is something lofty and heroic in the journey of Muhammad to Ta’if; a solitary man, despised and rejected by his own people, going boldly forth in the name of God like Jonah to Nineveh, and summoning an idolatrous city to repent and support his mission. It sheds a strong light on the intensity of his belief in the Divine Origin of his calling.” (The Life of Muhammad, p.109). It is reported that the Prophet once defined a truthful and righteous man in these words: “He who is truthful in words, in motives, in intentions, in determination, in obedience, in actions and in religious duties.” (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 156-162) Justice The Prophet was the most fair and just of all people. He was scrupulously fair to all and all people were treated alike by him, Muslims or non-Muslims, friends or foes, relatives or strangers. This quality of fairness and impartiality had always been freely demonstrated by him,
even before he received the Call of Prophethood. His fairness and integrity, even in his youth, was well-known to all the people of Makkah and people would often bring their disputes to him to decide. When he came to Madinah, all the people, including unbelievers and Jews. accepted him as their arbitrator in all their disputes. In spite of the malice and animosity of the Jews against the Prophet and his Faith, they often brought to the Prophet both their own disputes and disputes between themselves and the Muslims. Once a case between a Jew and a Muslim was brought before him. After hearing all the evidence, he decreed in favor of the Jew, without caring about the reaction of his Tribe, for they could have become hostile to Islam. He was the true embodiment of the Commandment of the Qur’an: “0 you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred and enmity of others make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah.” (5:9). He did not even discriminate between a near relative and
a stranger in these matters; if the stranger was in the right, he decreed against his relative and in favor of the stranger. Once a noble woman of the Quraish committed theft and her relatives tried to intercede on her behalf. The Prophet called the people and addressed them in these words: “What destroyed your predecessors was just that when a person of rank among them committed a theft (or any crime), they left him alone, but when a weak one of their number committed a theft (or any crime), they inflicted the prescribed punishment on him. I swear by Allah that if Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, should steal. I would have her hand cut off.” (Bukhari and Muslim). This strict fairness of the Prophet in matters of disputes and crimes was in line with the Commandment of the Qur’an not to distinguish between a relative and a stranger in matters of justice: “Whenever you speak, speak justly and fairly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the Covenant of Allah. Thus does Allah Command you that you may remember and heed.” (6: 152). And again, in Surah Nisa’ we read: “() you who
believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your near relatives, and whether it be against rich or poor. For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve (from doing justice), and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice. surely Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (4:135) Justice and fair conduct attained its perfection at the hand of the Prophet Muhammad, and rightly so, because he was the Last of the Messengers of Allah on earth. If he would not offer fair and just treatment to people and would not decide people’s disputes with absolute justice and fairness, then who could be expected to follow him? He had to establish the rule of justice and fair play in this world so that people could live in peace and tranquility. In fact, it is the maintenance of justice and balance in human affairs and disputes that keeps peace in the heavens and the earth. The Prophet firmly established the rule of justice among his people by his own example and practice. When he
was on his deathbed, just a few moments before he breathed his last breath, he had it publicly announced: “Is there anyone among you whom I have stricken? Here is my back, let him strike me in return. Is there anyone whose character I have defamed or insulted? Let him now cast reproach upon mc. Is there anyone from whom I have taken anything unjustly? Let him now come forward and be indemnified.’’ Upon this, a man among the crowd reminded the Prophet of a debt of three dinars of silver. He was instantly paid that sum. The Prophet then said, “Much easier is it to bear punishment in this world than throughout eternity.” (Washington Irving, 1985, Mahmet And His Successors, London, Vol. 1, pp. 322-323). Such was his consciousness and understanding of the rights of other people, and of the need to dispense them with absolute fairness and justice, that he did not forget it, even at the time of his last breath. This is an everliving reminder to the Muslims of the great importance of fairness and justice. It is an obligation of the Muslims first to Allah, who gave them a perfect Code of Law
concerning the determining of the rights of the people with full justice, and second to the Prophet, who, by his strict adherence to the rule of law, firmly established this principle among them and warned them never to relax its enforcement. Even his enemies and critics testify to his fair and just treatment to all: ~‘In his private dealings, he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, with equity, and he was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them and listened to their complaints.” (Mahomet and His Successors, p.334). In the words of his bitterest critic, Sir William Muir: “In the exercise at home of a power absolutely dictatorial, Mahomet was just and temperate.” (The Life of Mahomet, p.526, London, 1878). Undoubtedly, he was a very fair and just man and succeeded not only in establishing a very high standard of justice but also in setting a code of law which helped to establish and strengthen the rule of law in a country wherein, before, there had been neither any rule of law
nor any respect for law or justice. He so firmly established a system of justice in the country and so firmly and deeply engraved it in the hearts of his people that they truly became the messengers of justice for the oppressed and down-trodden people of the world. Their quality of fairness and goodness is mentioned by the Qur’an in these words: “You are the best of peoples, raised for mankind, enjoining what is right and fair, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah” (3:110). The standard of the Prophet’s concept of justice was so exalted that he could not tolerate any kind of discrimination between man and man on the basis of color, creed, race, nationality, language, birth or status where it came to judging disputes between them. It was a universal code of law which outstripped the barriers of time and space and applied equally to all races and all nations, With the passage of time, this Code of Law was embraced by all the people of the world, though apparently without recognizing its source. However, all the credit must go to the Prophet, who was so fair and
impartial in practice that his standard of justice eventually became acceptable to all mankind. In fact, the concept of the rule of law in its new dimensions, as presented by the Prophet, had never been known to man before him. It was he who actually established the practice of the rule of law in the country by his own example. He taught by his teaching and practice that in the sight of the law all were equal, no matter what their status in society. All were the progeny of Adam, who was created of dust, and, therefore, they were all equal in honor and human rights and no one could claim superiority over others in this respect. The Qur’an laid the fundamental basis of human honor and status in these words: “0 mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Surely the most honored of you in the Sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you.” (49:13). 1. The Prophet once said: “No judge should give judgement between two people when he is angry.”
(Bukhari and Muslim). 2. “If anyone seeks the office of judge among the Muslims and when he gets it and if his justice prevails over his tyranny, he will go to Paradise; but the man whose tyranny prevails over his justice will go to Hell.” (Abu Dawud). 3. “Judges are of three types, one of which will go to Paradise and two to Hell. The type that will go to Paradise is the man who knows what is the right (verdict) and gives judgment accordingly. But a man who knows what is the right (verdict) but acts tyrannically (i.e., unjustly) in his judgments, will go to Hell; and the man who gives judgments when he is Gracious Conduct and Charming Manners ignorant of the facts will go to Hell.” (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah). 4. “Allah is with the judge as long as he is not tyrannical, but when he is tyrannical, Allah departs from him and the devil attaches himself to him.” (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah). The seriousness of the functions of a judge and wrongness of submitting false evidence is shown by the following Iladiih of the Prophet.
5. It is reported that two men brought a dispute before the Prophet about inheritance, but neither of them had any proof beyond their claim. The Prophet, while giving judgment in this case, said: “If 1 give a judgment in favor of one respecting what is rightly his brother’s, I am allotting him only a portion of Hell.” Thereupon, both the persons said: “Messenger of Allah, this right of mine may go to my brother” but he replied: “No, rather go and divide it up, aiming at what is right; then draw lots, and let each of you consider the other to have what is legitimately his.” 6.“1 am only a human being and you bring your disputes to me, sonic perhaps being more eloquent in their arguments than others, so that I may give judgment on their behalf It according to what I hear from them. Therefore. whatever I decide for anyone which by right belongs to his brother, he must not take it, for I am granting him only a portion of Hell.” ( Bukhai and Muslim). the Qur’an refers to bringing false evidence before the judge in these words: “Do not usurp one another’s
property by unjust means, nor offer it to the judges, so that you may devour, knowingly and unjustly, a portion of the goods of others.” (2:188). In Surah Baqarah, we read: “As for those who sell the faith they owe to Allah and their own pledged word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter.” (3:77). It was by means of these severe restrictions and warnings of the Qur’an regarding false evidence and bribery and the very clear, fair and just treatment of the Prophet that the people came to respect the law of Islam. His benevolent, kind and compassionate conduct towards the people helped in their better understanding and acceptance of the basic code of law. Thus, gradually, this law of justice of the Qur’an gained a firm and strong footing in Islamic society and then in the course of time was adopted by other nations and peoples. And now it has become a distinguishing mark of a cultured and civilized society. Instances of the Justice of The Prophet 1. It is reported that one of the Ansari was killed at
Khaibar. His relatives went to the Prophet who asked them to produce witnesses to testify to who the murderers were. As they could not bring witnesses, nor did they accept the offer of the Prophet that the Jews would take an oath, Allah’s Messenger paid his bloodmoney to the relatives of the deceased. (Abu Dawud). 2. Once a man killed an Ansari. The relatives of the killed Ansari demanded from the Prophet that the son of the murderer he given to them in return. The Prophet refused, saying: “A son is not guilty of the crime of his father.” 3. It was customary with the Prophet to judge each case according to the law of the complainant’s religion. Once a Christian was killed by a Christian. He therefore enforced the law of the Bible— a life for a life. 4. The chief of a tribe of Ta’if had unlawfully detained a woman. I-let nephew, Mughirah, an unbeliever, complained to the Prophet about the unlawful detention of his aunt. The Prophet immediately ordered the chief to hand back Mughirah’s aunt to him. The Prophet always decided each case on the basis of the
evidence, or, in the absence of evidence, the parties were asked to take an oath. Then he gave his judgment according to the Commandment of Allah in that respect. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 163-167) Mercy Muhammad’s mercy knew no bounds. He was a symbol of love and mercy. The Qur’an says: “We sent you not hut as a Mercy for all creatures.’’ (21:107). The most important feature of his mercy was that it was universal and not confined to the Muslims or to the Arabs. His mercy covered all members of humanity. Once he was asked to invoke a curse upon the non-believers. But he replied, in anger: “I was not sent on the earth to curse; I was sent only as a Mercy.” He also said: “1 am just a mercy which has been bestowed.’’ (Darimi and Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman). The prophet Muhammad was extremely merciful to all, including his enemies and the unbelievers. Many sayings about incidents of his mercy towards men, women, children and animals are recorded in the pages of history.
I. He said: “Allah will not show mercy to him who does not show mercy to others.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. A nomadic Arab came to the Prophet and asked him: “Do you kiss children? We do not kiss them.” The Prophet replied: “I cannot help you, since Allah has withdrawn mercy from your heart.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3.“Mercy is taken away only from him who is miserable.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi). 4. “He does not belong to us who does not show mercy to our young ones or respect our old ones, and who does not recommend what is right and reputable and prohibit what is wrong and disreputable.” (Tirmidhi). 5. “If anyone strokes an orphan’s head, doing so only for Allah’s Sake, he will have blessings for every hair over which his hand passes; and if onyone treats well an orphan girl or boy under his care, he and I will he like this in paradise.” Putting two of his fingers together. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi). In fact, his unbounded mercy was overflowing and was visible in his kind, loving, compassionate and forgiving
conduct towards all creatures of Allah. The abounding Mercy of the Prophet won him very many friends and supporters of the Faith among the Arabs and brought them very close to him. The Qur’an mentions his kindness and mercy in these words: “He is most kind and merciful to the believers.” (9:128). And Surah Anbiya’ refers to this great and noble quality of the Prophet in these words: “We have not sent you but as a mercy for all creatures.” (21:107). The Arabic word rahmah has a very wide and comprehensive meaning and became well-established in the lifetime of the Prophet. It means mercy, compassion, kindness, sympathy, etc. There are many Ahadith of the Prophet which show the divine aspects of mercy in Islam: “The believers are like a single man; if his eye is affected, he is all affected, and if his head is affected, he is all affected.” (Muslim). “Believers are to one another like a building whose parts support one another.” He (the Prophet) then interlaced his fingers as a demonstration. (Bukhari and Muslim).
“By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, a man does not believe until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim). “He who strives on behalf of a widow and a poor person is like one who strives in Allah’s Way.” (Bukhari and Muslim). “I and the one who takes responsibility for an orphan, whether his Own relation or someone else’s, will be together in Paradise,” and he held up his forefinger and middle finger with a slight space between them. ( Bukhari). (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 167-177) Forgiveness The Prophet was most forgiving and he never took revenge for any personal injury to himself. (Bukhari and Muslim). He did not take revenge even on his deadly enemies and when they were all standing before him defeated and at his mercy after the victory of Makkah, he forgave them all. He was a true reflection of the Quranic verse: “Let them
forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (24:22). Surah Ma’idah has these words: ‘But forgive and overlook, and cover up (their faults), indeed Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (64:14). The Prophet Muhammad was truly the most loving, kind, merciful, compassionate and forgiving person. It is said that the Prophet’s mercy was seen in its most glorious and most magnanimous form in his forgiveness of his staunch enemies at the height of his power and glory, when he had the power to take full revenge on them and would have been fully justified in doing so. But he forgave all his enemies and did not take revenge on any of them. His most admirable and praiseworthy act, and it is without parallel in human history, is that he never took revenge on anyone for personal injuries to himself. It was reported by ‘A’ishah that the Prophet never took revenge on anyone, on his own behalf, for anything. (Bukhari and Muslim).
When he entered Makkah as the victorious commander of ten thousand soldiers, he did not take revenge even on the staunchest of his enemies and the enemies of Islam, who had done everything they could to kill him and to destroy his Faith and had waged wars against him. He demonstrated a spirit of magnanimity in victory such as has had no parallel in history. It is easy to teach high morals and lofty principles of love and mercy but quite another thing to practice them. The most distinctive quality of the Prophet was that he not only taught high principles to his people but also practiced them at a time when, as mentioned above, he was at the height of his power, something no man had ever done before him. He forgave those who had injured him, beaten him, abused him and done everything to destroy him and his Faith. He even forgave the man who had injured his daughter, Zainab when she was leaving Makkah, an injury from which she later died. All his deadly enemies, including Abu Sufyan, lkramah (son of Abu Jahi) and many other chiefs of Makkah, were among those who benefitted from his forgiveness.
According to some, ‘forgiveness was the greatest jewel in the Prophet’s ideal character. So broad was his heart that the spirit of revenge was absolutely absent from it. No wrong could take permanent root in his soft heart. He reached the highest limit in the attribute of forgiveness and thereby gained perfection therein up to the limit which has been destined for mankind. As the Almighty pardons His servants, so His Messenger pardons his enemies, showing very greatly a (level) of magnanimity of heart unparalleled in the history of man. “Man sometimes denies His existence or takes objects of worship other than Him, or disobeys His Injunctions and Revelations, yet He supplies them with food and clothing and pardons their faults if they penitently turn to Him. in following this Attribute of Allah, the Prophet extended his pardon to his bitterest enemies, who tried to expel him and his Companions not only from his native land, but also from his last resort, Madinah. This ability of the Prophet to pardon is vividly illustrated in his precepts and principles. He said: ‘Moses, son of Imran, once asked: “0 my Lord! Who is the most honorable of your
servants to You?” He said: ‘He who pardons when he becomes powerful’.” (Fazlul Karim, The Ideal World Prophet, Lahore, 1935). Prophet Muhammad’s Teachings and Practice on Forgiveness 1. The Prophet practiced in his ordinary daily life what he taught to his people. According to ‘A’ishah, the Prophet never returned evil for evil, but would forgive and pardon. (Tirmidhi). 2. Regarding the words of Allah Most High: “Repel evil with what is better.” (4 1:34), Ibn Abbas said that they meant showing patience when angry and forgiveness when badly treated, for when people acted in this way Allah protected them and their enemy became as submissive to them as though he were a close friend (Bukhari). 3. Ibn Mas’ud said: “I heard the Prophet narrating the account of one of the Prophets of Allah who was assaulted and wounded by his people; while wiping the blood from the face, he prayed: ‘0 Allah! Forgive my people because they do not know what they are doing’.”
(Bukhari and Muslim). 4. The Prophet said: “The strong one is not he who knocks out his adversary; the strong one is he who keeps control of his temper (and forgives his enemy).” (Bukhari and Muslim). 5. “He who, in spite of having the capacity to avenge (a wrong), controls his anger (and forgives), will be singled out and called by Allah, the Holy, the Exalted, over and above the multitude, on the Day of Judgement, and given a beautiful Reward.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi). 6. “No one has done anything more excellent in the Sight of Allah, Who is Great and Glorious, than he who has restrained his anger (and forgive), seeking the Pleasure of Allah Most High.” (Ahmad). 7. “If one guards his tongue, Allah will conceal his secrets; if one restrains his anger (and forgives), Allah will keep his Punishment from him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman).
8. The Prophet’s generosity towards his enemies stands unique in the annals of the world. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy
was a sworn enemy of the Prophet and his Faith; his days and nights were spent in plotting mischief against Islam, even instigating the Quraish and the Jews to crush the Muslims and Islam. Yet at his death, the Prophet prayed for his forgiveness; he even offered his own shirt to enshroud his body. 9. Wahshi, a slave hired by Zubair ibn Mutin, killed Hamzah, uncle of the Prophet, in the Battle of Uhud. He was running for his life from place to place until the Prophet pardoned him. 10. Safwan ibn Umayyah was one of the bitterest enemies of the Prophet and his Faith. After the conquest of Makkah, he ran away and went to Jeddah. The Prophet was informed of his plight by ‘Umar ibn Wahb. The Prophet gave ‘Umar his turban as a proof of identity and ‘Umar went to him and brought him hack to the Prophet. He was forgiven all his previous crimes. 11. Labid ibn Aslam was a Jew who lived in Madinah. He worked some kind of magic upon the Prophet which caused him a severe headache. The Prophet came to know of his foul play but did not say anything to him and
pardoned him. 12. Ferat ibn Hayan, a spy of Abu Sufyan, was once caught in the act of spying. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. But the Prophet pardoned him and cancelled his death sentence when he accepted Islam.
13. Hindah, wife of Abu Sufyan, was one of the severest enemies of the Prophet and his Faith. When Hamzah was killed in the Battle of Uhud, she chewed his liver out of revenge. She was pardoned. 14. Habbar ibn Aswad committed many serious crimes against the Prophet and his Companions. He also dragged the Prophet’s daughter, Zaniab, who was pregnant, from her camel, and she lost her baby as a result of this fall. She later died of this untimely abortion. He came to the Prophet and admitted his guilt on the Day of the Victory of Makkah, and was forgiven by him. 15. The Prophet suffered the worst kind of treatment at the hands of the leaders of Ta’if. He was subject to the severest punishment at the hands of the scoundrels, villains and rogues of Ta’if. They hurled stones at him
from both sides of the road while he was leaving the town. He was bleeding and his ankles were badly hurt. Seeing his suffering, the Angel Gabriel came to him and asked him if he wished the whole town to be destroyed. But he was very forgiving and replied that perhaps their descendants might find guidance. Later, when the leaders of Ta’if came to Madinah, he forgot all his suffering and pain and offered them all the hospitality and generosity that he could afford and did not say a word about their earlier treatment of him. 16. The Makkans left no stone unturned in their ridicule, torture and persecution of the Prophet and Companions at Makkah. Later, at Madinah, they massacred the Companions in particular and the Prophet’s supporters in general. The Prophet and his Companions suffered persistent persecution at the hands of the Quraish to an extent that perhaps few people in human history have suffered. How did the Prophet treat these Makkans? Not only did he declare that “there is no reproach against you today,” but he also announced a general amnesty for all. All their
crimes, murder, persecution and bloodshed were forgiven. He even invoked blessings on them instead of taking revenge on them. 17. In the Battle of Uhud, the Prophet was wounded and his face was covered with blood, but he was saying, “0 Allah! Guide my people, for they are ignorant.” 18. Once an unbelieving Arab Bedouin found the Prophet sleeping alone under a tree. He was holding a sword and saying to the Prophet: “Who will now save you?” The Prophet replied smilingly: “Allah, the All-Powerful.” Suddenly, the sword fell from the Arab’s hand and the Prophet, taking it in his hand, said to him: “Who will save you from my hand?” The Bedouin then pleaded for his life and the Prophet showed his usual magnanimity and forgave him. 19. Once the Makkans sent a spy to kill the Prophet. He was caught and brought to the Prophet. He was very frightened, but the Prophet told him not to fear saying: “Even if you want to kill me, you will not be able to.” Then he was pardoned by the Prophet and set free.
20. Once a group of about eighty people suddenly came out of the bushes on a hill and attacked the Prophet, but they were caught by the Companions. They were all forgiven by the Prophet and set free. Thus it is absolutely clear that the Prophet never showed any grudge or malice against the people who had driven him away from his native land, fought wars against him, committed heinous crimes against his Companions, and butchered and callously murdered some of his preachers. When he took prisoners in battle, he pardoned them all. Even William Muir, one of his severest critics, in view of his benevolent and extraordinay conduct in such circumstances, is forced to say some words in his praise: “But Mohamet, excepting a few criminals, granted general pardon, and, nobly casting into oblivion the memory of the past, all its mockery, its affronts and persecutions, he treated even the foremost of his opponents with a gracious and even friendly consideration. Not less masked was the forbearance shown to Abdullah ibn Ubayy and disaffected citizens of Madinah, who for many years persistently thwarted his
designs and resisted his authority, nor the clemency with which he received the submissive advances of tribes that before had been the most hostile, even in the hour of victory.” (The Life of Mohamet). In the highest kind of magnanimity in the hour of his greatest victory over his life enemies, and in his graceful forgiveness of his staunch opponents at the height of his power is an eternal tribute to the overflowing and unmatched benevolence and kindness of the Prophet Muhammad. In this unparalleled and unique example of forgiveness is also a lesson for the dominant nations of the Western World. It does not reduce their power, nor lower their status in the eyes of the world, nor does it minimize their greatness or undermine their authority; on the contrary, it adds tremendous moral strength to their action and greatly increases their stature among the nations of the world. Learn some lessons from the example and practice of the Prophet, and see for ourselves that it pays in the lung run. Justice must be administered equally and fairly between all, friend or foe. You will see that benevolent and kind
conduct will win over for You many friends who were your enemies before, and you will succeed in your efforts in peace—making in the world but the primary condition is benevolence and forgiveness to enemies and sincere advice to friends to stop their aggressiveness and cruelty. And if a super—power fails to learn lessons from history and continues to back aggressive iniquitous nations, it must know that the law of Nature does not distinguish between colors nor between races, nor between East and West. But falls mercilessly on alike. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 177-181) Generosity The Prophet was extraordinarily generous and benevolent to the people and his generosity was not confined to his own relatives and friends but was bestowed equally even on strangers and enemies. In fact, his generosity towards his enemies stands unique in the annals of the world. Ahdullah ibn Ubayy was his sworn enemy; his days and nights were spent in plotting mischief against him, even instigating the Quraish and the Jews to crush the Muslims and the power of the Prophet Muhammad. Yet
at his death, the Prophet prayed to the Lord for his forgiveness: he even offered his shirt for his shroud. The Quraish had subjected the Prophet and his Companions to the most barbarous tortures while they were at Makkah. Even when he left Makkah and moved to Madinah, they waged wars and instigated attacks against him by other tribes. The treatment which a typical worldly conqueror would have meted out to them can easily he imagined. But the Prophet’s generosity was unbounded. Thirteen long years of persecution at Makkah and eight years of continuous wars and conspiracies at Madinah were all forgotten by the Prophet. The Quraish were generously treated and there was neither revenge nor reproach. Even the persons who had committed serious crimes against the person of the Prophet, his daughter, his uncle Hamza and his Companions were treated in the same generous way. In the Battle of Hunain, 6,000 prisoners-of-war were caught, and the spoils of war consisted of 4,000 goats, 24.000 camels and 4,000 uqia (tola) of silver. The Prophet generously released all the prisoners and
distributed all the spoils among the people. The Prophet was by nature merciful and compassionate and did not want any harm to come to any human being. He would, therefore, generously ignore other people’s faults, and even enmity, and help them in distress and need. His wife, ‘A’ishah, said that the Prophet was never given a choice between two things without taking the lesser of them, provided it involved no sin. (Bukhari and Muslim). When he heard that the Makkans were suffering from extreme famine, he not only sent funds for their help but also asked his followers in Najd. who were holding back supplies of corn from them because of their enmity and wars with the Prophet, to release the corn supplies to them. Who else would have shown such generous goodwill to enemies who had persecuted him and his Companions for thirteen years and then forced them to leave their homes and their city of birth, and even then did not let them live in peace in Madinah, but waged continuous wars against them? They were in a state of war when their famine struck them, but he did not do
what any other enemy would have done-take advantage of the famine- but generously helped the Makkans in their relief measures by sending them money and supplies of food so that they would not suffer. Who else would have shown such generosity to his enemies in the state of war in those days when cruelty reigned among warring tribes everywhere? It was the way and practice of the Prophet Muhammad, alone of all the people of the world, past and present, to be generous to his enemies when they were facing a natural calamity over which they had no control. It was a gesture of goodwill from one member of humanity to another member who was in real trouble. This is what humanity teaches! And this is what the Messengers of Allah came to teach people — to be humane, kindly and generous to other members of the universal Brotherhood of Man, especially when the latter are suffering from a natural calamity. If people do not show this regard for their fellow humans, what is humanity for? What would be the difference between human beings and animals? This was one of the major functions and objects of the
Prophet, as it was with his predecessors: to develop a sense of higher humanity among the people and to help them to forget their minor and narrow differences, such as of race, color and nationality, so that they could rise higher and reap the fruits of human Brotherhood by helping each other in all that is for the common good of humanity. This was what the Prophet taught and preached and this was what he practiced towards all. And this is why the Prophet Muhammad can be called the Crown Jewel in the treasury of humanity as regards its relationship with each other. Charity The Prophet Muhammad was immensely charitable and did not like anyone to go away empty-handed. Whoever came to him asking for food was given it to his full satisfaction. He would give to the need and the destitute whatever lie had in his house, so that occasionally the Prophet was left with nothing for himself and his family to eat. Sometimes, he and his family did not get any food for several successive
days. In such circumstances, the Prophet would consider himself to be fasting.
It is said that his charity reached its climax during the month of Ramadan, when it became like an overflowing stream. The Prophet said that he only maintained and distributed things; it was Allah Who provided everything. History has seen no man more generous or more charitable in practice to other people than the Prophet. It is reported that he never disappointed anyone in need, but always gave something, even though it might be a small thing. Many sayings of the Prophet are recorded asserting the excellence of charity even though it may be insignificant in quantity or value. 1. “If anyone gives as charity the equivalent of a date from something lawfully earned, for Allah accepts only what is lawful, Allah will accept it with His Right Hand, then foster it for the one who gave it as one of you fosters his colt, until it becomes like a mountain.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. “None of you Muslim women must consider even a
sheep’s foot too insignificant a gift to give to her neighbor.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “Any Muslim who gives a garment to a Muslim to wear will be in Allah’s safe-keeping as long as a shred of it remains on him.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi). 4. “Send away the beggar with something, even if it is only a burnt hoof.” (Malik, Nasai, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud). 5. “The most excellent charity consists in your satisfying a hungry stomach.” (Baihaqi in Shuab al—Iman). 6. “When you make soup, remember your neighbor and put a lot of water in it.” (Muslim). Islam has greatly widened the scope and dimensions of charity, in Islam, for every act of kindness and generosity is considered to he charity. And everything or every word that benefits human beings, animals or vegetation, is an act of charity. Once the Prophet said that every Muslim must give charity. He was asked how this applied to one who had nothing. He replied that he should work with his hands, gaining benefit for himself thereby and enough to give charity. He was then asked what would happen if he
were unable to do this or did not do it. He replied that he should help one who was in need and destitute. He was then asked what should he do if he did not do that. He replied that he should enjoin what is good and right. Then he was asked what he should do if he did not do that. He replied that he should refrain from evil, for that would be charity for him. (Bukhari and Muslim). These and other such saying of the Prophet show the real dimensions of charity in Islam. 1. It is related: “Forgiveness was granted to an unchaste woman who, coming upon a dog panting and almost dead with thirst at the mouth of a well, took off her shoe, tied it with her headcovering, and drew some water for it. On that account she was forgiven.” The Prophet was asked whether people received a reward for what they did to animals, and he replied, “A reward is given for doing good to every creature.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2, It is also related that: “A woman was punished on account of a cat which she kept shut up and it died of hunger. She did not feed it or let it out so that it might eat
things creeping on the earth.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “If a Muslim plants something or sows seeds from which man, bird or beast eats, it counts as charity for him.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 4. “A man who came upon a branch of a tree overhanging a road and decided to remove it from the way of Muslims to keep it from annoying them was sent to Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 5. “A man asked the Prophet to teach him something from which he would receive benefit. He told him to remove from the way things which caused discomfort and harm to the Muslim.” (Muslim). 6. “If you people greet all whom you meet, provide food, care for the wellbeing of your kindred.., you will enter Paradise in peace.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Darimi). 7. “If you worship the Compassionate One (i.e., Allah), provide food and greet all whom you meet, you will enter Paradise in peace.” (Tirmidhi and lhn Majah). 8. “Every act of kindness is charity, and kindness includes meeting your brother with a cheerful face and pouring water from your bucket into your brothers’
vessels.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi). 9. “When you smile in your brother’s face, or enjoin what is right and good, or forbid what is wrong and evil, or direct someone who has lost his way, or help a person who has had eyesight, or remove a stone, thorns or bones from the way, or pour water from your bucket into your brother’s bucket, it counts to you as charity.” (Tirmidhi). The prophet said: “Charity does not diminish wealth; Allah enhances the honour of one who forgives, and if one humbles himself for the sake of Allah, Allah exalts him in rank.’ (Muslim) Once, after the afternoon prayer, the prophet stood up and hurriedly went home. People were surprised by his haste. Later, he explained that: “There was left with me a piece of silver (or gold) which was meant for charity. I was disturbed that it should remain with me overnight. I have now arranged for its distribution.” ( Bukhari). (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol.VIII p. 23) Charity Spent On Relatives The Prophet greatly praised the giving of charity to near
relatives and the members of one’s family: 1. The best charity is that which leaves sufficient to live on; and begins with those for whom you are responsible.” (Bukhari). 2. “When someone spends on his family, seeking his Reward for it from Allah, it counts to him as charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “Of the dinars you spend as a contribution in Allah’s Way, or to set free a bondman, or as charity given to a poor man, or in support of your family, the one spent in support of your family produces the greatest reward.” (Muslim).
4. “The most excellent dinars a man spends are those he spends on his companion in Allah’s Way.” (Muslim). 5. A man asked the Prophet what kind of charity was most excellent and he replied: “What a man with little property can afford to give; and he begins with those for whom he is responsible.” (Abu Dawud). 6. “Charity given to a poor man is just charity, but when
given to a relative it serves a double purpose, being both charity and a connecting link (sila rahmi).” (Ahmad Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah and Darimi). 7. “Two people’s food is enough for three and three people’s is enough for four.” (Bukhari and Muslim). These Ahadith clearly point out the great excellence of any charity spent on the needs of the members of one’s family and other relatives. Examples from the Practice of The Prophet The prophet was so generous and charitable that his generosity and benevolence can only be compared, in its vastness, abundance and excessiveness, to an overflowing stream. It left no one wanting; no one thirsty; no one hungry; and no one wishing for more. Gold, silver and wealth in cattle was being received every day in huge quantities. But the Prophet saw that every dirham of gold and silver and every weight of grain and every head of cattle was distributed among the people. Once a needy person came to the Prophet and demanded something. He asked him to sit and wait for Allah’s
Benevolence. Eventually, three persons had come and were waiting. The Prophet had nothing at that time to meet their demands. In the meantime, a person came and presented four uqia (tola) of silver to him. He gave them one uqia each and had one uqia left. That night he went to bed and put the silver piece under his pillow. His wife, ‘A’ishah, noted that the Prophet was very restless that night and was unable to sleep. He rose from his bed and offered a prayer and then tried to sleep again, but in vain. She asked him why he was unable to sleep. Was he indisposed? He took out the piece of silver and, showing it to her, said: “It is this thing that is disturbing my sleep — I fear lest I die while it is still with me.” It was his general declaration that if a Muslim died leaving behind any debt, his debt would be paid by him. And if any Muslim died leaving behind any asset, it would go to his heirs. And it is reported that there had never been any demand put to the Prophet to which he said: “No”. (Bukhari and Muslim). At the time of his death, the Prophet did not leave behind any gold or silver, goats or camels, and did not make a
will. In fact, his coat of armour, which was all he owned at the time, was mortgaged with a Jew for a few coins. This was the way of the Prophet, who was the most charitable of all people. All these narrations relate to his practical life while he was the ruler and head of the state of Madinah. There was no shortage of wealth, but he had voluntarily taken on a life of poverty; a life of privation; a life of hunger, so that millions and millions of poor and destitute members of humanity could take comfort from his example of a peaceful, virtuous and contented life in scarcity and poverty, and forget their pain and suffering and endeavor to seek comfort and tranquility in rising to a life of higher humanity in his footprints. 1. “According to ‘A’ishah Siddiqah: “Sometimes a month would pass in which we did not kindle a fire, and had only dates and water, unless a little meat was brought.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. “The Prophet’s family did not have a full meal of wheaten bread for two successive days, but would have dates on one of
them.”(Bukhari and Muslim). 3. “Up to the death of Allah’s Messenger, they did not have a full cooked meal, only dates and water.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 4. Nu’man ibn liashir said: “I have seen your Prophet unable to get enough dates to fill his stomach.” (Muslim). 5. ‘A’ishah Siddiqah said that the Prophet’s family did not have enough barley bread to satisfy them on two consecutive days up to the time when Allah’s Messenger was taken in death. (Bukhari and Muslim). 6. According to Anas, he took some barley bread and rancid fat to the Prophet, who had given a coat of mail of his in pledge to a Jew in Madinah and received from him some barley for his family. The reporter added that he heard from Anas that the Prophet’s family never had in the evening a sa (a weight) of wheat or a sa of grain, yet he had nine wives. (Bukhari). 7. The Prophet said: “0 Allah, grant me life as a poor man, cause me to die as a poor man, and raise me in the company of the poor.” (lbn Majah).
8. The Prophet said: “Seek me among your weak ones, for you are given provision, or help, only by reason of the presence of your weak ones.” (Abu Dawud). 9. “If anyone is satisfied with a small provision from Allah, Allah will be satisfied with a few good deeds from him.” (Baihaqi in Shuab al-Iman). More Aliadith on The Prophet’s Teaching and Practice 1. The Prophet once said to Abu Dharr: “0 Abu Dharr! If I had gold equivalent to the mountain Uhud, I would not have wanted anything to be left of it with me except a few pieces.” 2. It was the normal practice of the Prophet to give away in charity every evening everything that was left as surplus in the house. Once, in the middle of his prayer, he remembered that he had left some coins in his house. immediately after finishing his prayer and quite against his usual practice, he suddenly went to his house to the surprise of all his Companions, took the dinars and distributed them among the poor, and then came back to the mosque
3. The Prophet arranged that his heirs would not inherit any dinars, for, after the expenses of his wives and the wages of his laborers, anything left would go to charity. 4. Once, when the revenue from Bahrain was received, it was spread on the floor of the mosque and was distributed among his Companions. When the last dirham was distributed, he got up went to his home, without having taken anything from it for himself. 5. The Prophet loved his daughter, Fatimah, very much. Once she asked the Prophet for a maid-servant from the spoils of war. The Prophet told her that until the needs of the Companions of Suffah (who were poor Muslims who lived in the Mosque and devoted their time to learning and worship) had been met, he could not think of other needs or the needs of his family. 6. Once Fatimah and the two daughters of Zubair came to the Prophet and asked for a portion of the spoils of war to meet their needs. The Prophet said that the families of the soldiers who had died in the Battle of Badr would be paid first. 7. Once a woman offered the Prophet a gift of a sheet of
cloth, which he urgently needed for himself and was much pleased to receive. But a man begged it for himself, and the Prophet at once gave it to him. The Companions knew the urgent need of the Prophet and rebuked the man for his ungentlemanly behavior. 8. Once a rich Jew gave some gardens to the Prophet and he used all of them to meet the needs of the poor and the destitute. 9. A Companion of the Prophet had nothing for his marriage feast. He came to the Prophet and was told to take away the basket of wheat from ‘A’ishah’s house. The Companion took the basket of wheat, leaving nothing for the Prophets’ family. So that night, the Prophet and his wife ‘A’ishah, went without food. 10. It is reported that once a man stayed as a guest with the Prophet. At that time, the Prophet had only goat’s milk for his household. The man drank the whole of the goat’s milk and nothing was left for the Prophet and his household. Even on the previous night, he had had
nothing for the evening meal except this goat’s milk.
11. The Prophet had three landed properties. One at Khaibar, one at Fadak and one at Madinah. Two-thirds of the Khaibar revenues were reserved for the Muslims and one-third to meet the annual expenses of his wives. What was left over from this revenue, he distributed among the needy and the poor muhajirun (emigrants) of Madinah. The revenues from Fadak were entirely spent on the needs of the poor and the destitute. He even refused to give any of it to his daughter Fatimah. And the revenue from the property at Madinah was given as a gift to someone. It was the normal practice of the Prophet to give preference to the needs of others over his own and those of his family. He sacrificed his comforts for the sake of other people, especially the needs of the poor and orphans. All his life, he never disappointed any beggar or anyone in need. No beggar was ever turned empty— handed from his door. He always gave him something, no matter how little it was, or how insignificant or
whether anything was left in the house for the Prophet and his family. This was all done in obedience to the Command of Allah: “Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, nor turn away the beggar; but always give something to Allah’s needy servants from the Bounty He has bestowed on you.” (93:9—11). Once the Prophet told ‘A’ishah: “0 ‘A’ishah! Never turn away any poor beggar from your door. Always try to give him something, though it may be only a date. 0 ‘A’ishah! Love the poor and let them come to you for help.” 12. The great importance of helping the poor and the needy in the Islamic context is indicated by the following Hadith. “Allah will say to a man on the Day of Resurrection. ‘0 son of Adam! I was hungry, but you did not give me food’. The man will say: ‘0 my Lord! How could I have given You food when You are the Lord of the Worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that such a servant of Mine asked you for food, but you did not feed him? Did you not know that had you given him food, you would
surely have found Me with him?” “O son of Adam! I was thirsty but you did not give Me a drink? The man will say: ‘0 my Lord! how could I have given You drink when You are the Lord of the Worlds’?’ He will say: ‘Such a servant of Mine was thirsty but you did not give him a drink. Did you not know that if you had given him a drink, you would have found Me with him’!’
‘0 son of Adam! I was naked but you did not clothe Me.’ The man will say: ‘0 my Lord! How could I have clothed You. when You are the Lord of the Worlds?’ He will say: ‘Such a servant of Mine was naked but von did not clothe him. Did you not know that if you had clothed him, you would have found Me with him’?’.
All these verses of the Qur’an and teachings and the practice of the Prophet are a testimony to the fact that the Prophet Muhammad was truly the most charitable of all people: he never used anything for himself or his family
when it was needed for the poor or orphans. (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 183-184) Hospitality The Prophet was the most hospitable of all the people. It was, of course, a natural and distinguishing quality of the Prophet Muhammad that he was more hospitable than other people. He was a Messenger of Allah and, as such, was responsible for calling people to the Way of Allah, and, in this capacity he was bound to welcome and receive people with the overflowing generosity, boundless benevolence, kind sociability and liberal hospitality bestowed on him by his Lord, Who is not only Kind, and Merciful but is also Most Gracious and Bountiful, The Prophet was well—known for his hospitality even before his Prophethood. He entertained poor people and helped them to the best of his ability. But after he received the Call to Prophethood, his hospitality knew no bounds. After the conquest of Makkah, deputations from all the tribes and clans of Arabia and emissaries and ambassadors from different states began to pour into
Madinah. this naturally increased the work of entertaining immensely. The Prophet received all these guests himself. His resources were limited and he had often to borrow funds from other people. Sometimes he had to pawn things, such as his armour, with the local Jewish shop-keepers in order to borrow some money for food. However, in spite of all these difficulties, he tried to entertain his guests in the best possible manner in the best traditions of Arab hospitality. In his role as host, he would never discriminate between a Muslim and a nonMuslim, but would offer to all the best entertainment within his means. It is said that his hospitality had become proverbial in Arabia and that he came to be known among the people as the most hospitable of them all. Sometimes he would pass the night without having had a meal and having spent whatever he had in entertaining his guests. This did not happen just occasionally, but often. It is reported that hospitality reached its highest pitch with the Prophet. He would take pains to entertain his guests as best as he could. In person, he would wait upon
them (even though the Companions would have loved to do this work for him and asked him to let them, but he insisted that they were his own guests and he would entertain them and look after them himself). However, when the number of guests was too great for him to accommodate, he would distribute some among his Companions, who, like the Prophet, would show them every attention. The Prophet’s Teachings on Hospitality The Prophet said: 1. “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his guests. Provisions for the road are whatever will serve for a day and a night; hospitality extends for three days; what goes beyond that is charity; and it is not allowable that a guest should stay until he makes himself a burden.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 2. A Companion told the Prophet: “You send us out and we sometimes come to people who do not give us hospitality. What do you think we should do?” The Prophet said: “If you come to people who order for you what is fitting for a guest, accept it; but if they do not,
take from them what is fitting for them to give to a guest.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. A Companion asked the Prophet, “Messenger of Allah, tell me: if I come to a man who does not entertain me or show hospitality and he afterwards comes to me, should I entertain him or treat him as he treated me?” The Prophet said: “Entertain him.” (Tirmidhi). 4. “Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company.” (lbn Majah). 5. ‘It is a part of the practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet that a man should accompany his guest to the door of’ the house.” (Ibn Majah and Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman). 6. “(Good comes more quickly to the house in which food is provided (to the guests) than the knife comes to the camels; hump.’’ (Ibn Majah). 7. “When one of you is invited to a meal, he must accept it. If he wishes, he may eat, but if he wishes he maY leave the food alone.” (Muslim). 8. “if anyone rejects an invitation, he has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 9. The worst kind of food is that at a wedding feast to
which the rich are invited and from which the poor are left out.” (Bukhari and Muslim). 10. “When two people issue you an invitation for the same time, accept that of the one who lives nearer you, but if one invitation comes before the other, accept the invitation of the one who comes first.” (Ahrnad and Abu Dawud). 11. The Prophet forbade people to accept the food of those who invite people for self—glory and ostentation. (Ahmad and Abu Dawud). 12. “When one of you visits his brother Muslim, he should eat his food without asking questions.’ ( Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman)). Examples from the Prophet’s Practice 1. A man prepared some food specially for the Prophet and also invited four other persons with him. But an extra person who had not been invited also joined them. On arriving at the door of the host’s house, the Prophet said to the host: “ This man has accompanied us. If you like, he will join us, otherwise he will go back.’’ The host replied: “() Messenger of Allah. I invite him.’’ (Bukhari
and Muslim). 2. “He who serves drinks should himself be the last person to drink.’’ (Tirmidhi). 3. Once a deputation from Abyssinia Came to Madinah . The Prophet entertained them in his house and himself served food to them. 4. Once a Bedoun unbeliever came to the Prophet and stayed with him. The Prophet had seven goats. One by one, the Bedouin drank the milk of all the seven goats before he was satisfied. Nothing was left for the Prophet’s family that night, but the Prophet did not say anything to the Bedouin. 5. “ When Allah’s Messenger ate with people, he was the last to finish eating.” (Baihaqi in Shu’ab al- Iman). (Rahman, 1994, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, pp. 190-193)
Values out of Prophet Muhammad's Last Sermon After praising and thanking Allah the Prophet said:
"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today. O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib [the Prophet's uncle] be waived. Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that i waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al Harithibn.
O People, the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the /000000000 in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to forbid that which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban. Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things. O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast
during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belogs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware: do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed Your message to Your people." In international communication and Globalization, Oliver Boyd- Barrett stated that cultural studies has a great deal to offer in the study of how global texts work at a local level…The prophet Muhammad directed his last speech to all mankind. He was addressing his speech to the loving and the sincere Muslims who were with him at that that time, but he was speaking to all mankind. He was speaking to all mankind through those Muslims. For this reason He said to them: O people or O mankind. He used this terminology eight times in the same speech. He never used the terminology of: O Muslim! Or even O Believers! His message was and is still to every person everywhere in the world irrespective of his religious or political affiliation. The universal values of the last sermon of the prophet Muhammad are:
Equality of Mankind The message that the prophet delivered, included a very important concept, i.e., equality of mankind. People are equal in the sight of ALLAH and in front of the law. The prophet stated that “ no Arab has any privilege over a non-Arab, except that based on piety.” Declaration of Human Rights The charter of the UN on Human Rights was written in the 40’s, but the human rights in Islam were recognized, declared and excuted for over 1400 years. Every place one reads in the farewell Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad, will find clearly the declaration of human rights. This declaration is summarized as follows: 1. Freedom to all 2. Sanctity of life, wealth and property 3. Equality of all races 4. Justice in front of the law and in front of ALLAH 5. Women’s rights and obligations. They were to be treated as partners but not as subjects. 6. No exploitation or monopoly. The rich is not to be richer while the poor is to be poorer.
7. Rights of others are to be preserved and to be delivered. 8. People are to take this declaration seriously, they are to preach it and to practice it too, every where they go or move. Sanctity of Life and Property The sanctity of life and property was pronounced clearly by the prophet in his farewell speech. People are to be protected, their lives are to be preserved and their properties are to be saved. Abolition of Usury The concept of economic exploitation is totally prohibited in Islam. Usury is a form of economic exploitation, therefore, Islam prohibited this type of business. Because of such economic monopoly and exploitation in a capitalistic system, the rich will become richer and the poor will become poorer. Rights and Duties of Women In his farewell speech, the prophet Muhammad spelled out the best declaration for women’s rights. He demanded that the husbands should treat the wives with
kindness and gentleness. Men are to know that their women are their partners. The prophet recognized the duties and the responsibilities of both partners and emphasized that the man is the HEAD, while the women is the HEART of the family. The Last Sermon Confirms the Main Points from the Quran Shahid Athar compared the last sermon of the prophet to verses from the Quran. "Oh Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, news bearer and a warner and as someone who invites people to God by His permission and a shining Lamp" (33:45-46). Prophet Muhammad who was sent to mankind as a news bearer and a wamer for he spoke the truth and did not invent something of his own. TRUST AND ACCOUNTABILITY Sermon: "Oh people, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and
property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Remember that you will indeed appear before God and answer for your actions." Quran: "If anyone killed a person unless it is for a murder or spreading mischief on earth it would be as it he killed the whole mankind, and if anyone who saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of whole mankind" (5:32). "Then on that day not a soul will be wronged in the least and you shall but be prepaid in the needs of your past deeds" (36:54). FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS Sermon: "Return the things kept with you as trust (amanah) to their rightful owners." Quran: "If one of you entrusts (something) the one who has been entrusted with it should hand over his security and he should heed God and not hide any testimony. Anyone who hides it-has a sinfull heart" (2:283).
INTEREST (RIBAH) Sermon: "All dues of interest shall stand cancelled and you will have only your capital back. Allah has forbidden interest, and I cancel the dues of interest payable to may uncle Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib." Quran: "You who believe fear God and write off anything that remains outstanding from lending at interest if you are (true) God and His Messenger If you repent you may retail your principal do not wrong and you will not be wronged" (2:278). TREATMENT OF WIFE (SPOUSE) Sermon: "Oh people, your wives have a certain right over you and you have a certain right over them. Treat them well and be kind to them for they are your committed partners and commited helpers. Quran: "Provide for them the rich according to his income and the poor according to his means, a
provision according to the custom. This is an obligation for those who act kindly" (2:236). "Treat them politely even if you dislike them,. Perhaps you dislike something in which God has placed much good" (4:19). BROTHERHOOD Sermon: "Oh you people listen carefully. All the believers are brothers. You are not allowed to the things belonging to another Muslim unless he give it to you willingly." Quran: "Believers are but brothers so set things right between your brothers and fear God so that you may find mercy" (49: 1 0). SUPERIORITY IS ONLY IN PIETY AND SUBMISSION Sermon: "Oh people, no one is higher than the other unless he is higher in obedience to God. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab except in piety."
Quran:"The most honored among you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you and God has full knowledge and is will acquainted (with all things)" (49:134). "Who can be better in religion than he who submits his whose self to God, does good and follows the ways of abraham for God did take Abraham for a friend" (4:125). DUTIES REGARDING THOSE WORKING UNDER US Sermon: "Oh people, be mindful of those who work under you. Feed and clothe them as you feed and clothe yourselves." Quran: "Act kindly just as God treated you kindly" (28:77). "God has favored some of you over their provisions to those whom their right hand controls so that they become equal (partners) in it. Would they thus disclaim God's favor" (16:71).
CONCLUSIONS Prophet Muhammad unique communication and leadership style led to the spread of Islam, not only within Arabia but also outside to the north, south, east, west and southwest of Arabia. His communication with his followers surprised his enemy who came to negotiate a peace treaty with him. As a leader during wartime or as a leader during peacetime, Prophet Muhammad proved to master skillful techniques with which he accomplished his goals in delivering the message of Islam. The Prophet’s message of Islam was intended for the Arabs during the seventh century and to all mankind at all times thereafter. He took advantage of the peace treaty between him and the Quraish tribe, his main enemy, and sent ambassadors to the world leaders of his time. He informed them about the message of Islam. Most of these leaders responded positively except one. The prophet Muhammad was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level. There are sayings from the prophet related to every activity that a person
might encounter during the day or during the night. Islam is a way of life. The farewell speech of the Prophet Muhammad was directed to all mankind at all times and for all generations. He laid down the foundation of morality, justice, equality, brotherhood, and accountability. He abolished economic exploitation and human enslavement. He demanded that the congregating Muslims deliver his message to all mankind. Accordingly, they did deliver the message. For this reason, the message of Islam has spread through the centuries to every corner of the world. The globe population of Muslims is now more than one billion. In his political leadership communication, the Prophet’s demonstration of extreme self-control made his followers to love him and his enemies either to give up and join his religion or to fear him and stay away. There was no human being who had his life more scrutinized and documented than the Prophet Muhammad. His
behavior toward his companions was perfect and toward his foes was fair. Prophet Muhammad’s unique educational communication and leadership style led to the spread of Islam. As a leader in war or in peace, Prophet Muhammad proved to be a master of techniques for accomplishing his goal of delivering the message of Islam.