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Ever since dawn of the civilization, mankind has witnessed the emergence of a large number of great people who did significant contributions in their respective fields and immortalized their names forever. Their contributions, which they left behind, have been responsible for moulding the intellect of the people into the fashion of their teachings. The Teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, Ashoka, Aristotle, Plato, etc even today have an avid influence upon the lives of masses globally. But among all these great people, only Muhammad (pbuh) possessed the most distinguished and determined personality. Across the centuries millions and billions of people have lived their lives loving Muhammad (pbuh) and following his principles and guidelines in every sphere of life. No one other than Muhammad (pbuh) in the history has been so much adored and followed. Today one in every five persons of the world believes Muhammad (pbuh) as the last messenger of Allah (pbuh) and millions of others are continuing to bear testimony to this fact. He was the one who brought has billions of people from darkness of ignorance to light. He brought peace and set of ideals to countless hearts and lives. He is the inspiration for countless people over the globe. Even today Muhammad (pbuh) motivates and induces whole masses to strive to shape their lives according to his teachings. Indeed never before in the history has anyone influenced humankind up to such extent as Muhammad (pbuh) did even beyond his death. That’s why Qur'an rightly tells Muhammad (pbuh) to proclaim that He is the mercy for all nations which clearly depicts the universality of his mission. The Qur'an mentions: "And We sent you not (O Muhammad), but as a mercy to all the worlds". (Al Qur'an 21:107). Among all the great emerged lives, only Muhammad (pbuh) was most influential and successful and both 'Religious and Secular' levels and this made Michael.H.Hart, an American Mathematician, Historian and an Astronomer to put Him on the No.1 in the list of the top 100 men which he quoted in his world-famous book "The Hundred". And the Argument that he puts forth for it is as follows: "Since there are roughly twice [the latest estimate is that there are more than one thousand million Muslims in the world and
one thousand two hundred million Christians] as many Christians in the world, it may initially seem strange that Muhammad has been ranked higher than Jesus. There are two principal reasons for that decision. First, Muhammad played a far more important role in the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of Christianity (in so far as these differed from Judaism), St. Paul was the main developer of Christian theology, its principal proselytizer, and the author of a large portion of the New Testament. Muhammad, however, was responsible for both the theology of Islam and its main ethical and moral principles. In addition, he played the key role in proselytizing the new faith and in establishing the religious practices of Islam". (Michael H. Hart in his book - "THE 100"- pages 38-39) In the words of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, "Humankind needs a set of moral principles having universal validity as well as a real personality in which these moral principles are exemplified. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the only answer to this question. He proclaimed the ethics that bear the stamp of divine authenticity, and is, moreover, a model of perfect conduct and character for all mankind. In bodily appearance he lived in this world, but, spiritually, he was on a different plane". It was the exemplary life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his empyreal teachings that even made the non-Muslims bear testimony to the greatness of Muhammad (pbuh). Some of the verdicts of Non-Muslims on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that I have compiled from various sources are: "He must be called the Savior of humanity I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness." (The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. X 1936). "Mohammed was the most successful of all religious personalities." (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition). "Muhummad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him." (Diwan Chand Sharma, "The Prophets of the East," Calcutta 1935, p. 122).
"Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Makkah, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race ... Mohammed ..." (John William Draper, "A history of the lntellectual development of Europe",- London 1875). "By a fortune absolutely unique in history, Mohammed is a threefold founder of a nation, of an empire, and of a religion." (R. Bosworth-Smith, "Mohammed and Mohammedanism"- 1946).
So the Qur’an rightly says to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that, "And have We not raised high the esteem in which) thou (O Muhammad are held)" (Al Qur'an 94:4). Muhammad (pbuh)'s character was indeed exemplary for whole of the humankind. Before his death, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula was already under the rule of Islam. He could have easily led a very luxurious life in High palaces and could have enjoyed every pleasure of life and this world. But instead of this, he led a very simple and austere life and created a best example for the generations to come. He used to do his work himself. It is narrated in various Hadith the Muhammad (pbuh) used to milk his goat, mend his clothes, do household work and repair his shoes and visited the sick. All his companions loved him excessively but he forbade them to even getting up for him as a sign of respect. He brought a real revolution to the whole humanity and it was the transformation of the hearts. His companions who loved him more than anything else, were once his most staunch enemies but his sublime character transformed them to such an extent that they even gave up their lives for the sake of Islam. Muhammad (pbuh) brought masses from darkness to light. He was from a rich family that enjoyed highest status in Arabia but because of Islam, he suffered from worst persecutions and painful torture and sufferings. On a certain occasion, his uncle Abu Talib requested him to stop the preaching of Islam and for that he was offered the highest status of a chief and a lot of material wealth. But to this Muhammad (pbuh) gave a very sincere answer. he replied, "I swear by the name of God, O Uncle!, that if they place the sun in my right-hand and the moon in my left-hand in return for giving up this matter (calling people to Islam), I will never desist until either God makes it triumph or I perish defending it" (Ibn Hesham). Such was the determination of Muhammad (pbuh). And the Qur'an again describing the character of Muhammad (pbuh) says that, "And most certainly thou (O Muhammad) are of most
sublime and exalted character" (Al Qur'an 68:4). It was the tolerance and sublime character of Muhammad (pbuh) that brought huge masses into the fold of Islam and the books of Seerah (Life Of Muhammad) are full of such incidents. On the fall of Makkah to the Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) forgave even his most staunch enemies including Wahshi who on the battle on Uhud had killed the beloved uncle and cousin of Muhammad (pbuh) namely Hamza and seeing this extraordinary behaviour of Muhammad (pbuh), Wahshi accepted Islam and became one of the Sahabees (The Companions of Prophet Muhammad). There are so many other cases found in the books of Tafseer (exegesis) and Seerah (Life Of Muhammad) wherein Muhammad (pbuh) by his sublime character won the hearts of many including Abu Bakr (RA) and Abdullah bin Salaam (RA) and many others that are considered to be the most eminent Sahabees (The Companions of Prophet Muhammad). It was the peaceful preaching of Muhammad (pbuh) that invaded the hearts of the millions and is still continuing to do so. It was only by the peaceful preaching of Islam that it spread to all the nooks and corners of the world. And even now Islam is the fastest growing religion of the west particularly in USA and UK where many great personalities and intellectuals like Shaykh Yusuf Estes, Hamza Yusuf, Gary Miller, Dr Bilal Philips and Yusuf Islam have accepted Islam and are spreading its peaceful message globally and yet this is fulfilling an another prophecy of the Qur'an: "It is He (Allah) who has sent his messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that he may make it prevail over all religions, and enough is God for a witness" (Al Qur'an 48:28). Some of the sublime sayings of the Muhammad (pbuh) are as follows: The believers, in their love, mercy, and kindness to one another are like a body: if any part of it is ill, the whole body shares its sleeplessness and fever. (Bukhari & Muslim) The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best among them are those who are best to their wives. (Tirmidhi & Ahmad) None of you believes (completely) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (Bukhari & Muslim) The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and God will show mercy to you. (Tirmidhi & Abu Dawud) Smiling at your brother is charity... (Tirmidhi) A good word is charity. (Bukhari & Muslim)
Whoever believes in God and the Last Day (the Day of Judgment) should do good to his neighbor. (Bukhari & Muslim) God does not judge you according to your appearance and your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and looks into your deeds.(Sahih Muslim) Pay the worker his wage before his sweat dries. (Ibn Majah) A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well, he descended into it, drank his fill, and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man said: “This dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt.” So he went down into the well again, filled his shoe with water, and gave the dog a drink. So, God thanked him and forgave his sins. The Prophet was asked: “Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?” He said: There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human. (Bukhari & Muslim)
So to conclude, Muhammad (pbuh) was bestowed by Allah with the most exemplary character. The nature of Muhammad (pbuh)'s teachings is universal and is directed for all generations and times. Muhammad (pbuh) was not just a leader or statesman, but he was and he still is, the best role model for the one who seeks guidance on the path of the Lord. It is in his teachings that one can find solution to the ongoing spiritual turmoil and find an innovative solution to the problems challenging the mankind. And it is in him that every nation and generation can find its last hope and it’s his teachings that can bring a revival to this world and save it from the disasters of hatred, bloodshed, racism and anarchy. The path that was enlightened by Muhammad (pbuh) will guide us to the eternal path of salvation and finally Jannah. Our deviated youth only by following the teaching of Muhammad (pbuh) can excel in all fields. The west has realized this fact and that’s why they are turning to Islam as it’s the only solution to all the problems confronting the humanity. If only our society would be framed and based upon the ideals and morals taught by Muhammad (pbuh), then it would bring an end to all our problems and then this world will really become a place to live in. The Qur'an mentions: "Most certainly, you have in Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (of behaviour)" (Al Qur'an 33:21). (The Author can be reached at www.yaqeenulhaq.info or can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)