As depicted from the Life of Prophet Muhammad SWS
Prophet Muhammad SWS was commissioned by Allah / God to be the FINAL Messenger and Prophet to mankind in the whole universe –
و ما أرسلناك الا رحمة للعالمين”
Contrary to many of the current practices of many Muslims in the world, he DID NOT come to dispute Jesus, Moses or any of the family of Prophets. He came – as one of my dearest reverted-Muslims – my son-in-law Rick told me– to intensify the messages of all Prophets and to establish, deepen and broaden those of Moses and Jesus in particular. So, we do not have a quarrel with the people of the Jewish faith or the Christian faith. We also have no quarrels with any body. If there is a wrong inflicting us, then we need to look in the mirror. The Qur’aan teaches: And whatever a misfortune or failure afflicts you it is usually made and earned by you كسبته أيديكم by you not by Allah as many think and believe.
I am reminding myself and you of this because of a highly publicized case in Afghanistan that was really started because of a domestic dispute but faith was used as a justification for it as, unfortunately is the case in many instances. The man’s name is Abdul Rahman and he converted to Christianity 16 years ago in Europe.
First of all, if many of us do not know it yet, there is a very active wave of Muslim conversion to Christianity these days in many of the areas in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and here in America. Here in LA there is a contingent of 100’s of new Christians who were Muslims from Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and other Muslim countries.
Of course an immediate reaction would be to ban any missionary activity in the Muslim country in question as was done recently in Algeria. Another is to put on trial the person who converts as in the case in Afghanistan. But the big question is: WOULD THIS STOP THE TIDE? I humbly say: Definitely NOT. We need to look in the mirror and see who is to blame. It is the parents, the teachers and the leaders. I am reminded by an event that happened during the consummation of the “Treaty of Hudaybi’ya”. One of the conditions of the treaty was to return to the pagan camps any Muslim who reverts away from Islam. Indeed, it happened. The Prophet SWS ordered that person back against the many emotional outbursts of the Prophet’s camp. Why? Because it is better to know who is in your team and who wants to opt out. This way we have a fully committed community of believers.
A few years ago, I had a personal experience – A sister I met was talking about her son Abdullah – so I asked – which Masjid she goes to – she said: I was a Muslim but I stopped enjoying being a Muslim – going to the Masjid was not fun!
And the big question here is: How did the Prophet (SWS) capture the imagination of all these people and touched their hearts to become Muslims? I am sure that people then are same as people today! Unfortunately, what is different has been the messages and religious education used. It stressed solely on hardships but not on how the Prophet SWS became the Advisor of all people, the trusted Banker of all people, the trusted leader of the defense forces and the trusted manager of the Treasury and of peoples trading caravans.
The Islamic transformation brought by Prophet Muhammad SWS, which was started in the age of the press, ensuring the preservation of the Qur’aan at all times, opened up new unexplored opportunities for the human race:
- It brought the age of democracy and freedom of speech to the world,
- It helped make new discoveries possible in the world of science enabling man to use his most valuable gift, the mind and intellect, to seek religious truth and explore scientific phenomena to raise the standard and quality of life for all
These outstanding and amazing achievements were the result of an extraordinarily simple training program, which the Qur’aan explains in Chap. 74 verses 1 to 7:
ياأيها المدثر – قم فأنذر – و ربك فكبر – و ثيابك فطهر – و الرجز فاهجر – و لا تمنن تستكثر – و لربك فاصبر””
سورة المدثر – Chapter 74 Verses 1 to 7
“You who are wrapped up in your vestments, arise and give warning. Magnify your Lord, cleanse your garments and keep away from all pollution sources – both physically and spiritually. Bestow no favors expecting gain. Be patient for your Lord’s sake.”
Before one calls others to Islam, one should make sure that he/she is FIRST a good Muslim:
قل انى أمرت أن أكون أول من أسلم””
“Say: I was commanded to be the first to submit to Him.” (6:15)
The act of being the first to submit to God is entirely individual but it has far-reaching implications for the whole society. A volcanic eruption starts within a mountain, invisible from the eyes of man. But when the eruption takes place, it illuminates the whole surrounding area with its glow and the lava it produced made the most fertile soil to cultivate new life, bring up new communities and establish new lands. This is exactly what happens with the one who submits to God. This same consequence is found in the Qur’aan. The first verses to be revealed dealt with personal reform. Later on came the chapters dealing with improving society at large. Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, in the introduction of his translation of the Qur’aan, writes: “The inspiration of the Prophet progressed from inward things to outward things.”
In most cases people consider assault on the outside world to be the most worthwhile task in life. The Prophet’s method was exactly the opposite. He worked on strengthening the inside first. An individual who has consolidated himself from within becomes an irrisistible force when he erupts and breaks out in the open.
A person develops inner strength when he:
- Becomes free of all selfish ties and inclinations, and
- Attains a level of thinking in which all superficial considerations are cast aside, and as the Prophet put it, and sees things as they are.
His thoughts and actions are not guided by prejudice, anger, greed, hate, and the lust for power, vanity, self-interest or any such urges. This is what makes a strong character. A real brave believer makes all allowances for all eventualities, both probable and possible, in his decision making. The more people oppose him, the more he adheres to his position of truth and righteousness.
Divine truth should be embodied in one’s heart and mind
Rather than laying the blame of these difficulties on others, one should bear the responsibility for them in humbleness and humility.
When the Prophet erupted to the outside world, almost all the world capitulated to him. He captured their imagination and spirit. People just simply succumbed before his sublime character. The strength of his personality came from within.
It was this conduct of the Prophet that made him respected in the eyes of his enemies and made his followers stand by him through all kinds of hardship and misfortune. He provided mankind with an exemplary model of conduct.
* Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman is from Whittier, CA 90603, USA and may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 626-818-0855. He regularly contributes to these websites as well: www.lariba.com, www.whittierbank.com, www.lariba.com.eg, www.islam-in-usa.com