the messenger of allah
Born among the most barbaric people on earth. He could not read or write. He was thrown out of his own land. Persecuted to the bitterest. And yet such is the wonder of his life, that within the 23 years of his prophetic period, he changed not only the fate of his people, but the destiny of the whole world; he founded a faith that has penetrated the hearts and souls of people in every far flung corner of the world and occupies the hearts of over one fourth of mankind. He is revered by 1.6 billion people on earth as a Prophet of God, and followed with love, loyalty and sincerity the like of which exists nowhere else, even 1400 years after his passing. How he did it, is beyond any of us - but not beyond the Maker who sent him; who commissioned him to bring spiritual life to a spiritually dead people, and become the conduit through whom a universal religion was revealed; a religion in fulfillment of the promises of all past prophets; a religion for all people and for all times.
For a man so great, who shaped the course of history perhaps more than any man, it is a great mystery that in the west, so little is known of his life.
It’s time to uncover the man behind the name.
The man who inspired so many throughout the ages and throughout the world. We bring you his true story and the legacy he left behind. A story about character. A story about perseverance. A story about victory against all odds. And above all else, a story of a man who found God while living among the ungodly and who left a spiritual legacy for others to follow and find God themselves.
The great Lamartine describes the surreal and transcendent life of the Prophet in this way:
"Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert."
But the Prophet (sa) had God, and that was all the means he needed to make the impossible happen, and bring about such a revolution that established the Unity of God on earth.
To begin the story of the Prophet (sa), you must take a journey back to his time, sixth century Arabia – an age of moral and spiritual darkness, an age known as ‘Jahiliyya’, the Age of Ignorance, particularly of the ways of the Divine, an age in which not only the Arabs but other nations and people were lost in error and misguidance and were seeking to rediscover, revive and re-establish the traditions and teachings of the messengers who had come and gone centuries before.
Before that day was to come, he had to be forged in the Divine crucible and pressured in the mill of life. Right from birth, he experienced hardships, privations and tragic losses which developed his character and nurtured his mind and soul. He lost both parents during his formative years, his father before birth and his mother at age six. Two years later, his loving grandfather, who had assumed his care, also passed away, leaving him to the guardianship of his uncle, Abu Talib. These successive misfortunes made him deeply conscious of human suffering, and profoundly concerned for the well-being of others. He was quick to smile, slow to anger, and always first to lend a helping hand. He labored with others, at times tending sheep, and lived a simple and mostly solitary lifestyle, avoiding the typical indulgences of other youth around him: intoxicants, gambling and illicit relations with women. While his people were steeped in superstition, idolatry, sin and barbarity, he stood alone as a shining light of piety and uprightness.
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As has been related the Holy Prophet (sa) was himself so rigid in his standards of truthfulness that he was known among his people as "The Trustworthy" and "The Truthful".
He was equally anxious that Muslims should adopt the same standards of truth as were observed by himself. He regarded truth as the basis of all virtue, goodness and right conduct. He taught that a truthful person is one who is so confirmed in truth that he is counted truthful by God.
On one occasion a prisoner was brought to the Holy Prophet (sa) who had been guilty of the murder of many Muslims. ‘Umar (ra) - his ardent companion - who was also present, believed that the man richly deserved the imposition of the death penalty and he looked repeatedly at the Holy Prophet (sa) expecting that the Holy Prophet (sa) would at any moment indicate that the man should be put to death. After the Holy Prophet (sa) had dismissed the man, ‘Umar (ra) submitted that he should have been put to death as that was the only appropriate penalty.
The Holy Prophet (sa) replied: "If that is so, why did you not kill him?" ‘Umar (ra) replied: "O Messenger of Allah (sa)! if you had but given me an indication even by a flicker of your eyelids, I would have done so." To this the Holy Prophet (sa) rejoined: "A Prophet does not act equivocally. How could I have employed my eye to indicate the imposition of a death penalty upon the man while my tongue was employed in talking amicably to him?" (Hisham, Vol. 2, p. 217).
A man once came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said: "O Messenger (sa) of Allah! I suffer from three evils: falsehood, indulgence in strong drinks and fornication. I have tried my utmost to get rid of them but have not succeeded. Will you tell me what to do?"
The Prophet sa replied: "If you make a firm promise to me to give up one of them I guarantee that you will be rid of the other two." The man promised and asked the Prophet (sa) to tell him which of the three he should give up. The Prophet (sa) said: "Give up falsehood."
Some time later the man came back and told the Holy Prophet (sa) that, having followed his advice, he was now free from all three vices. The Prophet (sa) asked him for the details of his struggle.
The man said: "One day I wanted to indulge in liquor and was about to do so when I bethought myself of my promise to you and realized that if any of my friends asked me whether I had taken liquor, I would have to admit it as I could no longer utter a falsehood. This would mean that I would acquire an evil reputation among my friends and they would in future avoid me. Thinking thus, I persuaded myself to postpone drinking to some later occasion and was able to withstand the temptation at the time. In the same way when I found myself inclined towards fornication I argued with myself that indulgence in the vice would expose me to the loss of the esteem of my friends as I would either have to tell a falsehood if questioned by them, thus breaking my promise to you, or I would have to admit my sin. In this way I continued to struggle between my resolve to fulfill my promise to you and my desire to indulge in liquor and in adultery. When some time had passed I began to lose the inclination to indulge in these vices and the resolve to keep away from falsehood has now saved me from the other two also." (Life of Muhammad sa)
(Life of Muhammad(sa))
an open book
The life of Muhammad (sa), the Founder and Prophet of Islam is like an open book, to any part of which one may turn and meet with interesting details. The life of no other teacher or Prophet is as well-recorded and as accessible to study as is the life of the Holy Prophet (sa).
True, this abundance of recorded fact has given malicious critics their opportunity. But, it is also true that when the criticisms have been examined and disposed of, the faith and devotion which result cannot be inspired by any other life. Obscure lives escape criticism, but they fail to produce conviction and confidence in their devotees.
Some disappointments and difficulties are bound to remain. But a life as rich in recorded detail as the Prophet's (sa) inspires reflection and, then, conviction. When criticism and false constructions have been liquidated, such a life is bound to endear itself to us completely and forever. It should be evident, however, that the story of a life so open and so rich cannot even briefly be told.
Only a glimpse of it can be attempted. But even a glimpse is worthwhile. A religious book, as we say, can have little appeal unless a study of it can be supplemented by a knowledge of its Teacher. The point has been missed by many religions. The Hindu religion, for instance, upholds the Vedas, but of the Rishis who received the Vedas from God it is able to tell us nothing. The need to supplement a message by an account of the messenger does not seem to have impressed itself upon Hindu exponents
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