Allah (God) sent down the Qur’an as guidance for human being. The guidance consists of rules in how we, people, live on earth. But God knows that the written rules and laws are not enough for human being. An example is needed so that people don’t misunderstand the rules of God and people don’t apply the rules and laws in a wrong way. That’s why, God sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Messenger of God, as an example, a role model for all human being.
God says in the Qur’an chapter 33 verse 21, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often". Chapter 21 verse 107, “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” Chapter 68 verse 4, “And indeed, you (Muhammad) are of a great moral character.”
From the verse above, it is very clear that Prophet Muhammad was sent for ALL people and also jinn. He was sent as a mercy for the world of human being and the world of jinn. In short, Prophet Muhammad was a mercy for the universe.
Since Prophet Muhammad is a role model for all people, it means that ALL people, regardless the gender, the colors, the nationality, the economy and educational status, should be able to follow him. What sort of thing in the self of Prophet Muhammad that can be followed by all people? Is it the way he dressed up? If that’s the case, then women couldn’t follow him. Is it the Prophet’s physical appearance such as having beard and mustache? If that’s the case, then women, children, and some unlucky men whose beards for some health issues can’t grow, couldn’t follow him as well. So, what is it that can be followed by all human being? As God says in the Qur’an chapter 68 verse 4, it is the morals of the Prophet. God sent Prophet Muhammad so that people follow the morals and characters of the Prophet.
During his life as a prophet, the enemies of Prophet Muhammad mocked at him, told lies about him, spitted on him, attacked him and tried to kill him. But there was no record of the Prophet being angry, uttering bad words or got revenge. He even prayed to God so that those people could comprehend the true teaching of Islam. From the biography of Prophet Muhammad we learn that during the Prophet’s life, he never got angry, he was never rude or impolite even to his worst enemies. He was honest until all people, including his enemies called him ‘the trustworthy one’. He was generous, sincere, and humble and had warm personality. He worshipped Allah, The One and Only God, and he didn’t take partners to God.
When Prophet Muhammad was performing shalat (praying) and was in the state of prostrating, the enemies threw him with camel dung! Yet, he continued praying until finish and after that he prayed to God for those people.
When Prophet Muhammad was thirty-five years old, the tribe of Quraysh decided to rebuild the ka`bah, because the flood had shaken its foundations and cracked its walls. When the rebuilding had reached the stage where hajr aswad (the black stone from heaven) had to be put in its place, a dispute arose and they began to argue fiercely ad each clan wanted the honors of carrying out the noble task of placing the stone.
The people were about to fight one another, when one of the elders suggested a solution: “Make the first person to enter the gate your judge,” he said. They all looked, and to their immense delight, Prophet Muhammad entered. “It is Al-Amin, the trustworthy one,” they cried, "We are content to follow his verdict." The Prophet saw what happened and asked for a piece of cloth. He then took the black stone and placed it in the centre of the cloth. Thereafter, he told each Quraisy leader to take a corner of the cloth and lift it together. They did this, bringing it close to its place. After that, Prophet Muhammad then put the black stone in its place with his own hands. Thus, a bloody conflict was prevented and the dispute was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
It’s recorded that once, there was a blind Jew to whom Prophet Muhammad regularly fed him with his own hands, putting the food to the mouth of the blind Jew. The man didn’t know that it was the Prophet who fed him. While eating from the Prophet’s hands, the man always mocked, insulted, and verbally abused Prophet Muhammad, yet, the Prophet didn’t say anything and kept on feeding him gently. When Prophet Muhammad passed away, a close friend of the Prophet took over the ‘job’. The blind Jew immediately sensed that the man who fed him wasn’t the usual man. “Who are you? You don’t feed me like the previous one. He was gentle in feeding me, unlike you!” he said. “Who was the man who used to feed me?” he further asked. The close friend of the Prophet cried and said that it was Prophet Muhammad who had been feeding him. The blind Jew was shocked, remembering all the bad things he said during that time. He cried, regretted what he had done, and converted to Islam…
God sent Prophet Muhammad as moral example for human being, so that we follow his morals and characters. Let’s contemplate.. If something is not used according to the purpose of why it is created, then damage will occur. Iron is used for ironing clothes. If the iron is not used for ironing, the iron will be broken. If we don’t follow Prophet Muhammad in the way he was supposed to be followed, there will be misunderstanding. Some people choose to follow the physical appearance of the Prophet. If there is a man dressed in long traditional Arab clothing and we ask him why he dresses like that and why he grows beard, he would answer, “This is the way of our beloved Prophet dressed up and he also had beard. We want to follow him.” It’s an intolerable answer as all the enemies of the Prophet also dressed like that and all had beard! There’s an idea that if we love someone so much, that it’s alright to imitate the physical appearance as close as possible. Again, such an idea is dangerous because when Prophet Muhammad is followed in the way he is not supposed to be followed, misunderstanding will surely arise. When such an idea is applied, a sense of pride, being exclusive or superior will appear and such characters are not the ones taught by Prophet Muhammad.
Belief determines action. The noble character of Prophet Muhammad is the result of what he had in his heart. Since his heart was full of beliefs according to the Qur’an or Godly beliefs, he simply behaved reflecting the beliefs. Characters such as honesty, kindness, trustworthy, fearless towards the enemy, are all the result or the fruit of Godly beliefs that he had. Thus, in order to follow Prophet Muhammad the way he is supposed to be followed, we must obtain as many Godly beliefs as possible.
Prophet Muhammad is a role model for ALL human being on earth and it is his morals and characters that we must follow. He was definitely a walking Qur’an…
What they said about Prophet Muhammad (http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/quote1.html):
Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823
The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.
Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840
"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
"A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world’s Maker had ordered so."
Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.
I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind…. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.
Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History,' New York, 1978.
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. …It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. …It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan