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The Perfect Role Model

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

ربي اشرح لي صدري و يسر لي أمري واحلل عقدة من لساني يفقه قولي

ربي زدني علما وارزقني فهما

Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ life is filled with numerous examples that speak loudly of his status as a role model. Despite the trials and hardships, his noble, gentle character, and skills as a leader remained consistent throughout his life. Never was he known to show an atoms weight of arrogance or pride. From his life we can derive examples of why he is the exemplary role model for all of us whether rich and poor, ruler and ruled, weak and lonely, the conquered and the commander, teacher and student, merchant and craftsman, the employer and the employee – in simpler terms, every individual can testify that the Prophet’s ﷺ life is an example for them to follow. Aisha (RA) described the Prophet’s ﷺ character as the walking Quran.
Let us examine why the Prophet is the perfect role model:

  1. He was given the title of As-Sadiq and Al-Ameen.
    The Prophet ﷺ was a well admired and well respected person even before prophet hood. Had you stopped a person in Makkah to ask them of Muhammad  they would identify him as ‘The Truthful One’ and ‘The Trustworthy One’. People would blindly entrust their trade and sheep to him knowing his qualities, knowing he wouldn’t cheat or steal or lie. In today’s world lying and manipulation are considered marketing techniques. No one is willing to entrust their goods to their own relatives now.
  2. His time as a shepherd.
    The Prophet ﷺ was a shepherd like all prophets before him. The time he tended to the flock of sheep was often spent in contemplation. He would graze his cattle away from the city of Makkah, leaving behind the chaos of the city to a peaceful grazing patch. This gave him the opportunity to develop skills of self-reflection and while tended to his cattle. He developed immense patience and tolerance, all of which came beneficial to him during his mission. These days, we lack the patience to even listen to our own children. We’re so preoccupied and constantly fidgeting with one gadget or another that we often end up being frustrated, angry, constantly in a low-agitated mood. It’s no wonder that all of us pray for a quick escape from time to time to some form of greenery and nature so that we can finally relax ourselves.
  3. His skills as a merchant.
    The Prophet  accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on his business trips. He learnt trade from his uncle and became successful and well known for it; once again, his qualities were what set him apart from other tradesmen. In fact, this was the decisive factor that led to his marriage with Khadija (RA).
  4. Self-reflection.
    After his marriage to Khadjia (RA) he would often spend time in a far-away cave to meditate and contemplate about the state of the people of Makkah. He couldn’t fathom why people lied so blatantly and how they committed merciless acts without thinking. In today’s fast paced world, we are so caught up with our own worries we barely have time to spare a second thought to our own actions, let alone make time to self-reflect.
  5. His mission of Islam.
    At 40 years, Allah (SWT) decided that the Prophet ﷺ was now ready for the mission of Islam. Imagine, at the age of 40 you are entrusted with the task to call all your friends and family to accept One God knowing that they won’t welcome this fact and will put up a barrage of excuses and turn away from you altogether. How many of us would actually succeed at it? Wouldn’t we have given up right at the start? We all know he wasn’t just pushed away with a “No”. He and his followers were mocked in the open, were threatened by Makkah’s leaders, faced insults from people they knew, had garbage and animal feces thrown upon them, had thorns laid out on their path, were persecuted ruthlessly, and yet, never did they waver from the mission. Never did the Prophet ﷺ lose hope in Allah. Never did he give up. He acknowledged his losses, prayed to Allah to turn the hearts of the disbelievers to righteousness, and carried his mission forward.
  6. His skills as a leader.
    History has witnessed all forms of leaderships from dictatorships to anarchies. Seen all sorts of leaders from the peace-loving Gandhi, to lavish emperors, militarist rules, and ruthless dictators.The Ansars of Madina willingly offered the Prophet  the role of their leader. The Prophet ﷺ would then be responsible for more than just a few believers. The Ansars were more than willing to put their city under his command. If the Prophet ﷺ had so desired, he could have established a dictatorship and lived a life in comfort, have the people bend down to his will.
    Instead, he built a mosque so that everyone could pray together. This greatly enhanced their sense of belonging and they could finally practice their religion in peace. He established Allah’s laws and put an end to all crimes. He did not choose luxury but a small house adjoining the Masjid.
    When it came to decision making, he did not sit on a throne and command his will. Rather they would sit down together; he would take their advice, consult them on important matters, and finally arrive at a conclusion.
    There are a mere few who have been selfless in their rule, but even they don’t come close to the Prophet’s ﷺ selflessness.
  7. His forgiveness.
    Despite all the hardships the Quraish put him through, he forgave them. Despite the people of Taif driving him out of their city by throwing stones and making him bleed to the extent that blood collected in his shoes, he forgave them and instead prayed for them. Would we have done that had it been us? Not at all, in fact, we’d have retorted with an equally hurtful way. You cannot even begin to imagine what the Prophet ﷺ has been through when the woman, who killed his uncle, after she converted to Islam, he forgave her. The Prophet’s  forgiveness knew no bounds. When people confessed to having done such and such a deed, he would look for reasons to avoid punishing them and would implore them to ask forgiveness from Allah.
  8. His concern for the Ummah.
    No one in the world can compare to this quality. Even until his dying breath, the prophet was worried about his Ummah. He sacrificed everything in his power so we could live with the luxuries we have now. He constantly worried for our well-being and left behind Hadith and Sunnah as examples for us to follow. Comparing his compassion and concern for the society with our modern day leaders is a fruitless waste of time.
  9. The Prophet ﷺ as a teacher.
    As a teacher, he made each of his pupils feel special and attended to. He would maintain permissible eye-contact, present good body language, and would capture the listeners’ attention. He would speak clearly, in understandable terms, he would often repeat important points, and often quiz his companions. Every member in the audience felt as if the Prophet  was talking to him alone.Modern day teachers feed students with the same dull material every day. There is lack of passion for teaching and a passion in the students to learn, as a result, we have a frustrated adult dealing with an unruly crowd of children or adolescents.
  10. His treatment towards children and women.
    The Prophet  was known to display his affection for his grandkids and kids in general, in public. He would often put them on his lap or peck them on their cheeks. He treated children differently than we do today. Often times children’s feelings are brushed aside as childishness. The Prophet ﷺ acknowledged children’s feelings. He didn’t ridicule them or humiliate them. Instead, he would explain to them in words they could understand, and would often empathize with them.Women in Makkah were nothing but the source of entertainment and pleasure back in pre-Islamic Arabia. In fact, if a girl child was born in a family she would be buried alive. The Prophet  put an end to this. Allah raised the status of women in the eyes of men and had them realize that respect women deserve comes unparalleled to that of men.
    It is a fact that the Prophet ﷺ had many wives, but he treated them all equally. He did not favor one wife. Nor did he enforce the social and gender roles we have today that they do all the house work whereas the men are the sole breadwinners and needn’t help around the house. The Prophet  helped his wives in their household chores and was known to have a fun time with his youngest wife Aisha (RA). Men of today expect to be treated as kings by their wives.
    Michael Hart in his book “the 100” ranked the most influential persons in history (1978). And in his view, Muhammad has been ranked No. 1 as the most influential personality in the entire human history. The above listed points are a few and even they fall short in describing the characteristics of this great persona. So dear readers choose your role model and emulate him to the best of your capability.

References

  1. https://islamqa.info/en/71184
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRVt3rJQO_0
  3. http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/lessons-in-leadership-from-the-life-of-the-prophet-muhammad/
  4. http://www.lastprophet.info/the-importance-of-prophet-muhammad-and-his-status-as-a-role-model

بارك الله فيكم

وجزاكم الله خيرا

سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت استغفرك و أتوب إليك

والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Written by: Shafia Jameel

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