Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale
hi wasallam) came to this world with many roles and duties to fulfil. He has been described as a mercy, a blessing and a warner
for the whole of mankind. The truth of this can be seen in the fact that centuries after he departed, the message and legacy
of the final Prophet remains unchanged.
The previous blessed Prophets - Ambiya (as) such
as Noah (as), Salih (as), Hud (as), Moses (as), Jesus (as) came for their own nations bringing warnings for the wrongdoers
and news of reward for the faithful followers. They faced great trials while delivering their message from Allah (swt) but
the truth of their revelations would not be accepted. Allah (swt) then sent his most precious messenger with the scripture,
teachings and everlasting legacy for all to follow. The Message of Islam came not just for the Arab world but for the whole
of Mankind. The law of the Qur’an and Sunnah took the world out of darkness into the light of true belief. This light
will illuminate the right path for the believers unto the final hour, which is the Day of Judgement. Inshallah.
Scholars say that the life of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi
wa'ale hi wasallam) is so remarkable that even if his miracles were not included, his life would stand as evidence of
his Prophethood and elevated status.
This assessment can be fully understood when reading
and carefully understanding the Seerah of the Final Prophet (saw). Allah (swt) had chosen an orphan child to become the most
revered Messenger of all, someone who even before the revelations came had spent his forty years in purity and honesty. He
had been protected for the noblest command and this magnificent duty to fulfil had to be awarded to the most beloved and cherished
of all creation. The legacy of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) is one of mercy and compassion,
loved by his companions and family as well as being admired by his enemies. Allah (swt) gave him a life free from all faults
and bestowed on him the miracle of Miraaj.
The evidence of Prophet Muhammad
(salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) being the Prophet of Mankind is that the love and honour awarded to him remains as strong as ever. The previous legacies of Prophets (as) have
faded with time but the devotion to Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) is resolute. All praise is to Allah (swt).
The Muslim population around the world collectively
send blessings on the beloved Prophet (saw) in daily five times Salaat – prayer and throughout other times
in the day. Even the Muslims who are weak in practice hold the Prophet (saw) in great regard and this is displayed if there
is any provocation caused by inappropriate actions directed to the chosen Prophet (saw). This has caused outrage from all
Muslims living throughout the globe . This element of faith can and never will be compromised by any person who has ever read
and believed in the Kalima. It would be correct to say that billions of Muslims would lay their lives down in defending
the honour and status of Prophet Muhammad (saw - salla lahu alayi wasallam). This reality is not just limited to
our faith in Islam but is actually part of the unique destiny that Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam)
has been given by Allah (swt). However this love and dedication to our beloved Prophet (saw) in itself stops us from committing
the mistakes of associating any deity in worship with Allah (swt). The religion of Allah (swt) is so perfect that we cannot
in any one article of faith overstep and transgress into another. This is why the devotion for the beloved Prophet (saw) can
never as long as we are true believers lead to harm our pure belief in the Oneness of Allah (swt). This is what makes Islam
the perfect religion and the one chosen as the right path – sirat-ul-mustaqeem.
This is where the Christian faith is different to ours, they first took their messenger
Prophet Isa - Jesus (as) as the son of God, and then even as God through the concept of trinity.
Unique amongst Mankind
In the Glorious
Qur’an, only the coming of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) has been mentioned as a
favour done on Mankind.
‘Allah did confer a great favour
on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the signs of Allah, purifying
Allah (swt) Has bestowed many blessings on
Mankind range from the world, the sun, moon, stars to our family, friends, wealth and all our physical capabilities.
However, Allah (swt) ONLY mentions the coming of the Final Messenger; Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale
hi wasallam) as His favour onto His creation. We pray that all of Mankind recognise the blessings and follow the way
of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam).
The legacy of
Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) has been studied by many scholars around the world. They have
been from different faiths and different backgrounds. They have discovered a great leader who transformed a nation and then
the entire world through nobility, strength and a dignified presence that has long outlived his physical existence. As Muslims
we have this shining example of the beloved Prophet (saw) for all to see. This example is brought into all aspects of our
life even our physical appearance. We all see our physical looks as being something personal and will link this with the latest
fashion and culture. However the legacy of the Prophet (saw) and his unique impact is that we aim to be like the Prophet (saw)
in all elements of life. The keeping of beards as part of our physical appearance is from the sunnah - way of the
Prophet (saw). We may also go further by growing our hair, keeping our clothes above the ankles, covering our head despite
this not being obligatory for men. The Prophet (saw) represents the face of Islam, he is the face of piety and truth. However
we are not allowed to make any pictorial representation of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Muslims are forbidden to do this and will
not allow anyone else to make any kind of attempt to sketch a picture of the Prophet (saw). The traditions of the Prophet
(saw) contain detailed description of the physical beauty of the Prophet (saw) and as stated in these traditions - Ahadith
there are instructions on dress and appearance. The sunnah of the Prophet (saw) includes specific commands as well as
details on his life. There are discussions on exactly what is obligatory but many scholars rightly believe that as the Prophet
(saw) has been described as the walking and talking Qur’an, we should follow every example. This devotion to the final
Prophet (saw) who lived centuries ago has amazed many non-Muslim scholars. The concept of brotherhood is also seen through
the way of the Prophet (saw). Sending peace on each other by saying ‘salaam’ is the compulsory practice amongst the followers of Islam. This is practiced around the world and even when we are
passing a complete stranger this etiquette is observed.
The brilliant work of Professor
KS Ramakrishna Rao includes references to the observations made by different scholars and historians on the lasting effects
of the Prophet’s (saw) legacy. The Indian poetess Saroj Naidu commented on the brotherhood in Islam saying
Islam was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy’. Ofcourse democracy in this context is
different from the understanding today as modern democracy means that the laws of a state are voted for, however in Islam
the way and laws are divine as revealed by Allah (swt) through the Qur’an and Sunnah. Saroj Naidu continues with her
observation by explaining her statement ‘when the azaan is sounded and worshippers gather, the democracy of Islam
is embodied when the peasant and King kneel side by side declaring ‘Allah ho Akbar’ - Allah is Great’. The
noble Mahatma Gandhi also commented on those who dread Islam ’They may dread it, if brotherhood is a sin, if it
is the equality of the coloured races that they dread, then their dread is well founded’. Lets remember that Islam
was the first religion that eliminated any hostilities towards people of different colour or status. The blessed companion
Hasrat Bilal (ra) was a black slave who was instructed by the Prophet (saw) to climb on the Kaaba and
gave the azaan - call to prayer.
The study by Professor Rao continues with
further quotes and tributes to a personality who brought humanity and true faith into the world through a life so blessed.
The Reverend Bosworth Smith states ‘He was the head of state as well as the church, he was Caesar and the
Pope in one but without the pretensions of the Pope and without the legions of Caesar. He was without a standing army. bodyguard,
police force or any fixed revenue. If ever a man had the right to say that he ruled by a divine right, it was Muhammad. He
had all the powers without their supports, he cared not for the dressing of powers. The simplicity of his private life was
in keeping with his public life.
The legacy of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale
hi wasallam) is the most everlasting and important chapter in human history. We encourage all Muslims and Non-Muslims to read
and research the life of the Prophet (saw) who even today has the greatest following of any apostle or leader.
‘ If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human
genius, who could compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad. (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam)
The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if
anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled before their eyes. This man Muhammad moved not only armies,
legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties but millions of men, and more than that he moved the alters, the gods, the religions,
the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.
On the basis of a Book, every
letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every
The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of fabulous
theologises, was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient superstitions.
His endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and
his triumph after death, all these attest to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was
twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God. The former telling what God is, the latter of what God is not.
Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Warrior, Conqueror of ideas,
restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire.
That is Muhammad.
As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is
there any man greater than he?
(Lamartine, Histrie de la Turquie. Paris 1854)