The Best Role Model
Muhammad was very kind to animals. He forbade people to keep animals in their working equipment for a long time and said, "Don't make the backs of animals your chairs." Animal fights were also made unlawful. Another custom was to tie up an animal and practice arrow shooting on it. This was also prohibited.
Once Muhammad saw a donkey on the road with a brand on its face, and said, "God's curse is on him who branded it." As people had to brand their camels and sheep in order to know them, they were told to brand them on parts which were not so tender.
The Messenger of God was the last and the greatest of all the prophets sent to provide guidance to all classes, ranks and grades in every age, time and clime. The comprehensiveness of the Prophet's character summed up graphically by Syed Sulaiman Nadwi in "Muhammad, Thc Ideal Prophet', would be a fitting epilogue to this section dealing with the character of the Prophet. Syed Sulaiman Nadwi writes:
Muhammad as a man had already died, but as a Prophet he left behind him a legacy in the form of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. He stressed the urgent need to hold firmly to these two sources during his Farewell speech in the valley of Arafat. If people hold fast to them, they will never go astray.
The teachings he left for us if put into practice in their true spirit and proper way will bring a happy life in this world and besides the indubitable rewards that will be received by those who believed in them in the life after death.
The first thing in the religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad is the care of cleanliness. The concept of cleanliness in Islam covers physical and spiritual, mundane and religious domains.
Before performing any rituals, prescribed by Islam, one should cleanse his body, and his dress, his place of worship and his environment should be clean.
One of the other teachings of Islam is about orderliness. Discipline, regulation, management, planning and all other terms relating to organisation are mostly understood as alien to Islam. On the contrary, Islam exhorts people to live in orderliness and to put the right thing in the right place. The foundation of Islamic order rests on two main principles, the crucial -faith in one God (Allah) and the oneness of humanity. All the frame works were laid down in the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad applied himself to working out the essential details of that order.
He was a good exemplar to those who subscribe to a harmonious society. Islam exhorts people not to violate the rights of others and injure their interest, but should positively cooperate with each other and establish a mutual relationship and social cohesion.
To safeguard the unity and solidarity of the nation and to achieve the welfare and wellbeing of the community, Muslims have been enjoined to avoid mutual hostility, social dissension, backbiting one another, and hurting others with their hand or tongue.
Mildness is another dimension of the character of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. He was a bright mirror in which God reflected His Mercy.
Mildness is a reflection of compassion. God made His Messenger mild and gentle, not harsh and stern. Due to his mildness, God’s Messenger gained many converts to Islam and surpassed numerous obstacles on his way to ultimate victory.
By Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
Referring to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) Allah, Most High, says, [And you (stand) on an exalted standard of character] (Al-Qalam 68:4); [Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah] (Al-Ahzab 33:21).
A Unique Character
Anas ibn Malik served the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for the entire period he lived in Madinah, which was a little over 10 years. He was so close to the Prophet and his household that people who came to Madinah to meet the Prophet used to think that he belonged to the Prophet's family. As such, he learned and reported much of what we know about the Prophet's life at home. In one of his reports that mention something of this nature, Anas said,