Once Sir William Shakespeare asked in his famous play ‘Hamlet’ this famous question, “To be or not to be, that is the question”.
A very strategic one and will always be there until the end of days before the Day of Judgment; however the answer – from my point of view – can be mentioned in the following sentence:
• “To Be = Having a role as a Muslim to make life better for Mankind, no matter how small, but just do it right.”
Well, I know it is a hard answer; because in order to make it real, one needs to find his way to make a balance between him and others.
I do believe that Man = Human, but many people have forgotten this today, as selfish became the name; everywhere you find people living for themselves only and let everything else go to hell, why? Because we forget the goal, and think only about taking advantage of the existing moment, whatever it may hurt others.
But who said that this answer didn’t happen before? Definitely it had happened in a very successful way in the past; where ‘The Islaamic Civilisation’ was spreading its wings away for 800 years – between the 7th and 15th centuries – providing humanity the light and the guide it was looking for, in the same time Europe was living in its Dark Ages, and it was the foundation for establishing the Renaissance of Europe starting from the 16th century.
The question rises: how did this happen?
Okay let’s take the a machine back into the past. We’ll adjust the machine’s clock so we can go back 1435 years ago. Now we are in Arabia in 570 A.D. We’ll find groups of people settled in city called “Makkah:” and other cities like “Madeenah” (called Yathrib at this time), and “Attaa-f”.
Those people are living under the tribal social system, depending – mainly – on trading with other nations in Yemen and Syria.
In such a system, we can distinguish two main groups of people; masters who are the rich part of the community, who had everything (freedom, money...etc.) and are in charge of everything. The other group are the slaves who had nothing to do within the community except serving their masters, without any rights in anything.
Women are something totally ignored; we do find men didn’t give them any rights or treat them in a right way. The majority of fathers felt so ashamed when they have daughters, for that matter they used to bury them alive, as sons were always the preferable.
About the beliefs, the majority of the community are pagans; which means they don’t believe in any messengers or messages either in Judaism or Christianity; instead they are worshiping many statues which represent god for them.
Every group – or so called family – has its own statue to worship, but the whole community are worshiping the two big ones called “Hubal” and “Allaat” and “Al‘uzza”, who were placed in the “Ka’bah” which was established thousands of years ago by Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham) and his son Ismaa‘eel (Ishmael). In the same time those statues are part of trading, as people sell them to the pilgrims who came to Makkah in order to make pilgrimages to Kaa’bah to worship the two big statues.
Within this atmosphere, the most significant person worldwide was born; Prophet Mu’hammad (P.B.U.H.), on the 12th of Rabii‘ Alawwal 1426 A.H. according to the Hijri calendar which matches one day of August 570 A.D.
Mu’hammad was raised within this community, but in contrary with the reviling manners, he was well known with his great manners; very honest, trustable, truthful, and that’s why they called him “a’ssaadi’q alameen” (Trustworthy). By the age of 25 he married Khadeejah (may Allaah be please with her) and kept an eye on her trade because of his honesty.
Mu’hammad never believed in what his people did, simply because any native and pure nature automatically denies any kind of worshiping except for a true power. For that matter he used to go to Cave ’Hiraa- – close to “Makkah” – to mediate for finding a way to reach for the light of the truth within the darkness of this fake community.
By the age of 40 - in 610 A.D. – Mu’hammad was visited by archangel Jibreel (Gabriel) who started teaching him the Holy ’Qura~n by telling him the verse 96:1 which states:
• “ Read: In the name of thy Lord who createth,” (The Holy ’Qura~n [T.M.Q.], Chapter Al’ala’q, verse 1)
This was the spark of the light; Mu’hammad is chosen from Allaah to be sent as the last Prophet and messenger to Mankind, in order to guide them from the darkness of fear and no hope to the light of true life via Islaam;
• “He it is Who sendeth down clear revelations unto His slave, that He may bring you forth from darkness unto light; and lo! for you, Allaah is Full of Pity, Merciful.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Alhadeed verse 9).
It’s impossible in this humble article to mention everything about Prophet Mu’hammed as this needs an encyclopaedia, but a quick overview can tell us how Mu’hammad succeeded in transforming those people from being barbarians and pagans to be real believers within 23 years, between the years 610-633 A.D.
It was not simple at all, as the community had stood against him at first, but finally they became believers, because Mu’hammad – simply – came to tell people that there’s an unlimited mighty power named Allaah who’d created this universe and mankind, where man is supposed to be his viceroy on Earth for a definite mission: urbanising earth as and this will be the validation for success in life, and to enter aljannah (Heaven) at last after the Day of Judgment.
Allaah is the mighty power, with no father or wife or son. No more need to have mediator to reach Him; when you need Him, just go and ask Him by praying and supplication, and He shall answer.
• “And when My servant question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them bear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Alba’qarah, verse 186)
Mu’hammad came to tell people that Islaam will set them free, no more masters or slaves; but rather all are equal, either man or woman, however “Ta’qwa” (pity) is the indicator if someone is better than the other. No more hate for the woman; rather she’s an integral part with man in order to shape the community – together – for making life better for mankind, as Islaam states.
Mu’hammed came to tell people that Islaam will set there minds free; as minds are very valuable and a gift from Allaah to man in order to use it in fulfilling his mission; thus he must save it and use it to think with.
• “Lo! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allaah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allaah’s sovereignty) for people who have sense.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Alba’qarah, verse 164)
Mu’hammad came with love and peace for all, and told that Islaam is the last message from Allaah, however this doesn’t mean you hate Jewish or Christians, no, simply because Muslims – in order to be so – are called to believe in the past messengers and books from; simply because they all came from one source: Allaah;
• “ The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) the believers. Each one believeth in Allaah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers We make no distinction between any of His messengers and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Alba’qarah, verse 285)
• “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! Thy Lord is best aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Anna’hl, verse 125)
Mu’hammad came to tell us how does Islaam respect women; either mother, or wife or daughter or even companions at work; as Islaam is not only providing women their true freedom and full rights in everything, but also had guaranteed them, which was something totally new in this Era;
• “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made `you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allaah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allaah is Knower, Aware.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Al’hujuraat, verse 13)
Animals, birds, plants and fish; they are all creatures like man, so Mu’hammed tell us how does Islaam respect them; and for that matter we’d see one of the companions and Hadith narrator was called “Aboo Hurayrah” (the man with the kitten) because he used to move with his own cat everywhere.
While the conquest of Makkah in 633 A.D.-8 H.D., Mu’hammad gave humanity the first lesson on how treating the enemies, by giving them the security, and forgive them all, without killing any person; simply because Islaam tell him to do so.
In his life; Mu’hammad was a humble man; he never makes people feel he’s acting proud against them; simply because it’s against Islaamic teaching as we are all equal in front of Allaah.
By tracing his acts, we can see how kind and honourable treatment for everything; his wife’s (as husband), children (as father), neighbours, companions (as teacher), other believers (Jewish and Christians) and even enemies (the pagans); He was an extraordinary Mman; simply by applying what the ’Qura~n told about.
In his last pilgrimage in Makkah – which called “’Hijjat Alwadaa‘” in Arabic – Mu’hammad did mention the manual for good manners which Muslims must follow, especially when treating women.
When his wife ‘aa-ishah (may Allah be pleaed with her) was asked from the companions about his manners she told: “His Manner was the ’Qura~n”, which means he was applying all what Qur’an told about manners, and that what he teaches for the Companions and they applied in their life.
The Companions and followers had applied all of those manners which are considered as a full package in order to be good Muslim, and thus this was the true foundation for spreading Islaam and then establishing the great Islaamic civilisation.
Back to the Future
We are now returning back safely to year the 2005; where we will find that Muslims habe reached 1.8 billion persons according to registered statistics, which means that among every six persons you’ll find one Muslim.
First of all; we must be proud of our Islaam and our beloved Prophet Mu’hammad for all what he had done in order to make it easily for us to born and be Muslim.
But looking seriously to our situation today, I see that Muslims – worldwide – must stop for a while and ask them selves – individually and groups – the previously mentioned question in the beginning of this article.
For that matter, celebrating the birth of Prophet Mu’hammad must not only done by words; it’s basically done via loving him, and this love came by applying the whole package of which contains:
1. Worshiping Allaah in right way
2. Applying the manners and values that Prophet Mu’hammad suffered a lot in order to make it easily reachable for us nowadays.
3. Doing our role in urbanising earth, to make it a better place for mankind, exactly as the companions and the followers did in the past.
Well, all of us will die one day, but until then we must prepare ourselves for this; and the key = reviving the real Islaamic spirit via applying this whole package, as this will make Prophet Mu’hammad be proud of us and thus we can drink from the fountain by his hand in shaa- Allaah after Day of Judgment.
That’s why we say that Islaam is always a call for life; either the current one or the second one after Day of Judgment.
• “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.” (W. Montgomery Watt, Author of the book ‘Mohammad at Mecca’, Oxford, 1953, p. 52.)
Allaah told us in the ’Qura~n about him:
• “We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples.” (The Holy ’Qura~n, [T.M.Q.] Chapter of Alanbiyaa- verse 107)
The Teacher of Mankind
The Mercy upon Mankind
“Assalaat wa assalaam aalik ya rasoul Allaah”
(Peace and Blessing be upon you)
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