As Muslims, we are extremely blessed to have an example to help guide us in our daily lives, and that is the example of our beloved Prophet Mu’hammad (P.B.U.H.). Prophet Mu’hammad (P.B.U.H.) was a man of utmost character. He was kind, gentle, understanding, yet at the same time, people did not take advantage of him because he was respectful, considerate, and tolerant.
It is important to understand before this article proceeds that I am not suggesting that we abandon our everyday duties as Muslims such as prayer and fasting in order to focus on reaching the level of morality that our Prophet (P.B.U.H.) displayed. We need to find the balance between actions and character, and only then will we be able to fully comprehend the elite character status of what a true believer must possess.
Some people came to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) once and asked him, “Amongst the servants of God, who is the dearest to Him?” The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) replied, “The one who has the best moral character.” (Ibn ’Hibban) Another ’hadeeth stated that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was asked, “Which Muslim has the perfect faith?” to which he replied, “One who has the best moral character.”
Reading these ’hadeeths brings about a much-needed question nowadays, when the Muslims in this world have used the name of Islaam to avenge and justify their anger. Looking back at the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), ask yourselves, would he have reacted in the way many are reacting today? Burning down embassies, burning flags, and attacking people? No, he wouldn’t have. Would he have started a contest for the best cartoon poking fun at the Holocaust to avenge the publishing of cartoons depicting him in a negative light? No, he wouldn’t have. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) always believed in approaching someone with love and kindness, and felt that it was more effective than retaliating with hate.
It is so easy to get angry and wreak havoc on the world, but it takes a real Muslim to hold that anger inside, and channel it towards something greater. “Kill them with kindness” is a saying, and it couldn’t be more right. The world was watching all Muslims to see their reaction to the cartoons, and what did we do? We gave them what they wanted. We fell into the trap, and allowed them to justify the wrongs they did. I am in no way saying that these cartoons were justified by any means; that newspaper was wrong for publishing it. However, in order for the rest of the world to take us seriously, and believe that we truly are a peaceful religion, we have to maintain our dignity and work together to create effective, alternate solutions. Hurting people and having people die in protests do not make us look peaceful, no matter what excuse we have.
We need to remember our beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H.) at all times. It seems that we have lost interest in what is right, and work for our own selfish everyday life needs. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) is the best example for all Muslims. Working on perfecting our character will help eliminate all the negative images of us. We won’t even have to try. As we better ourselves, we better those around us, and the world will see that. As a favourite quote of mine states, “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” Once we change the way we think, the rest will just fall into place.
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