Allah says in the Holy Quran: You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day, and who remembers Allah much. (33:21). In this verse Allah instructs Muslims to follow Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) who was an embodiment of the great values and manners of the Holy Quran. He gave the best example for mankind in the human history. Many Muslim and non-Muslim writers bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is the greatest man in the human history.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was a good son who never forgot his parents. He lost his father before his birth. Shortly after his birth he was brought up by a foster mother in accordance with an Arabic tradition at that time. He rejoined his mother at the age of five. She passed away after one year. After so many years, he passed by her grave in his way to Makkah and stayed there for a while. Remembering the death of his mother in her way to visit the grave of his father in Madinah, when he was accompanying her, he wept and the companions wept for his weeping. He also remembered his foster mother and treated her with the utmost kindness and respect. She came to Madinah asking for help as her tribe faced difficult time. He stood up for her calling her my mother, putting his cloak on the ground and ask her to sit down on it. He gave her and her tribe whatever they need and saw them off.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was a good and sincere husband. His greatest responsibilities did not take him away from his house and keeping good company to his wives. It was related that Aeshah (R.A.A.) said that he was always kind, smiling. He never criticized a food provided to him. If he liked it, he ate it; if he disliked it, he left it. After the death of His wife Khadeejah, he always remembered her and praised her. He was also so generous to her relatives. In many of his sayings, he instructed Muslims to deal kindly with their wives. For example, he said:The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has an excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.(Tirmithi)
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was a kind father. He used to pay attention to his children and listen to them. He used to play with his grand children AL-Hasan and Al-Husein. Abu Hurairah relates that once the Prophet (P.B.U.H) kissed his grandson Al-Hasan ibn Ali (R.A.A) when Al-Aqra ibn Habis (R.A.A), one of his companions, was sitting with him. He remarked: I have ten sons and never kissed any of them. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) looked at him and said: One who has no compassion for others is not entitled for compassion (from Allah).(Bukhari & Muslim). He was so kind to all children that he greeted them whenever he met them. Sometimes, He shortened his prayer when he heared a child crying knowing that his mother was among the congregation.
As a father, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) had the experience of loosing his infant child. His son Ibrahim was born while he was at the end of his fifties. He was quite happy when his son Ibrahim was born. But his happiness did not last too long as Ibrahim died before reaching two years. Anas (R.A.A) related that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) visited his son Ibrahim when he was dying, seeing this, his eyes began to flow. Abdur Rahman ibn Auf (R.A.A) remarked: Even you Prophet of Allah.The Prophet P.B.U.H) said: Ibn Auf this is mercy.He started weeping again and said: The tears trickle from the eyes and the heart is full of sorrow but we say only that which pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim, we are indeed grieved for your passing away. (Bukhari). The Prophet (P.B.U.H) was extremely sad as much as any father might be when his son passed away, yet he did not oppose the decree of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was a good master. The mere histoeical fact that Zaid ibn Haritha preferred staying with him as a slave than going with his father and uncle as a free man is a clear proof of his kindness towards his slaves. He was also so kind and close to his servants. He lived with them their sorrow and joy. He never asked them to do something beyond their capacity. Anas (R.A.A) said: I had served the Prophet of Allah (P.B.U.H) for ten years. He never said a word of contempt to me. Whatever I had done, he never asked me as to why I did that; and of anything I had not done, He never asked me as to why I failed to do that. (Bukhari & Muslim).
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was an honest businessman. He was a merchant for so many years before prophethood. He was known among his people as the honest and the truthful. Khadeejah (R.A.A) chose him to go to Syria and take care of her trade because of his honesty. After his return from Syria, Maisara, a servant of Khadeejah, who accompanied him in that trip, praised him for his goodness, honesty and sincerity. The best evidence of his honesty is that even his enemies in Makkah entrusted him with their valuable items, that is why before his migration to Madinah, he asked Ali ibn Abi Talib (R.A.A) to stay in Makkah to give back these things to their owners.
Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was a great leader. He was able to gain the love of all the people around him. He was never arrogant or haughty. He sat among his companions as one of them. One day he passed by them, seeing him, they stood up as a matter of respect. He asked them not to treat him as the people were treating their kings. Whenever his companions were engaged in a certain work he worked with them. For example, he participated with them in digging the ditch around Madinah, when a big number of the enemies of Islam prepared to launch a final attack against Madinah to put an end to Islam and Muslims. He held the dust on his shoulder in spite of the insistence of his companions to leave that hard work for them. However, he never rested while they worked.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was the most righteous servant of Allah. He spent most of his night praying to Allah. When he was performing his prayer alone he made it too long but when he was leading Muslims in prayer he made it short knowing that some of them were old, weak or had something to attend to. He used to fast on every Monday and Thursday and also every 13, 14 and 15th of every month of the Islamic Calendar. In addition to that, he fasted on many other days in the month of Rajab and Sha¡¦ban. He was so generous to the poor and the needy. He never turned down somebody whenever he was asked for something even if he was in need of it..
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) lived the life of a poor man although he was able to live as a king. Once He slept on a mat made of date palm leaves and when he awoke the impressions of the mat were visible on his body. When his companions said that they would like to prepare a soft bedding for him, He said: I am in this world like a rider who halts in the shade of a tree for a short time and after taking some rest, resumes his journey leaving the tree behind.(Tirmithi). When one of his companions asked him to tell him about something if he would do, Allah will love him as well as the people. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said to him: Do not love the world and Allah will love you; and do not have a longing for that which people have and they will love you. (Ibn Majah). In another occasion, he advised one of his companions saying: Live in this world as if you are a stranger or a traveller. (Bukhari)
The greatness of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) lies in being successful in both the worldly and spiritual leadership. A successful leader may not have time for his house and a righteous man may not be successful in the worldly affairs. The case of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is unique because he was successful as a worldly leader and a spiritual one. He was a husband, a father, a businessman, a leader and the final Messenger of Allah to mankind. However, one role never influenced negatively the other.
Islamic Union of Hong Kong