PROPHET MUHAMMAD ﷺ –THE BEST EXAMPLE FOR YOUTH TODAY
Young people today see a lot of pomp and ceremony when it comes to politicians and leaders. It seems today as though the more authority you have, the more the red carpet is laid out for you, the more special attire and finery you are expected to wear, and the more freedom you have to express your opinions - whether they are held up by evidence or not, and no matter how much they may offend others.
But let's take a look at the final Prophet ﷺand see the stark difference between what is now and what was before.
"Which one is Muhammad?" So humble was the Messenger of Allah ﷺthat strangers looking for him in the mosque in Madinah had to ask this. Sitting in the row of believers for the daily prayers, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), with his simple and modest bearing, could not be distinguished from anyone else. "Once, while we were sitting with the Messenger of God ﷺin the Masjid, a man on his camel approached. After he tied it with a rope, he asked: ‘Who amongst you is Muhammad?’ The Messenger of God ﷺwas sitting on the ground while he was leaning, with his Companions. We directed the Bedouin, saying: ‘This white man leaning on the ground.’ The Prophet ﷺdid not differ nor distinguish himself from his Companions." Sunan Abi Dawud 486 (Book 2, Hadith 486)
He was so calm, so dignified, and so peaceful that no one could single him out as the leader. Children and youth could approach him to receive a warm greeting or to ask this great, yet humble, man a question or some advice. In quiet prayer he looked like any other simple man. There was no sign here of the great warrior, the skillful negotiator in times of war and peace, the statesman. There was no sign either that this was the man, from among all men, who was chosen to receive the Creator's final message to mankind.
"Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allahﷺ, and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” Quran Surah Al-Ahzab 33:40
A contemporary, Anas ibn Malik(R), said of Muhammadﷺ: The Prophet (Muhammad) did not swear at anyone, nor was he rude, nor did he curse anyone… (Sahih Al Bukhari 5684) Indeed, this is one of the reasons God chose him to be a Prophet. God comments on Muhammad characer in the Qu'ran: And verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) are on an exalted standard of character. Quran surah Qalam 68:4
The Prophet also loved for people to be reconciled rather than for them to fight each other, and whether or not they were Muslims was irrelevant. He once heard that fighting broke out between the people of Qubbah, a small city on the outskirts of Medina, and his immediate response was, "Come, let us go make peace between them." He was a just arbiter and a trusted friend to any who crossed in his path.
Despite his desire to spread peace, he was not one to let men walk over him. When an action was wrong, he called it thus, and when an action was right, he praised it. He encouraged his followers to do the same. For he said, "If any of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand, and if he is unable to do so, then let him speak out against it, and if he is unable to do that, then let him feel bad about it in his heart, but this is the weakest of faith." Sahih Muslim 49 and Sunan an-Nasa'i Vol.6: 5008
Orphaned by the age of six and born in a relatively unimportant region of the world to a simple family, Muhammad could neither read nor write. When commanded by the Angel Jibreel to recite the first glorious ayath of the Qur'an, Muhammad could only respond that he was unable to read or recite them.
This is the role that young Muslims should take on in this world that is so full of turmoil and hate. The youth are the standard-bearers of the message of Muhammad ﷺand it is a message of mercy.
In his person, the Prophet ﷺwas a mercy to all the people on earth. One so kind, so pious, so devout in prayer and obedience to the will of Allah had been chosen as the guide for mankind.
Ibn Omar reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "A Muslim is a Muslim's brother; he does not wrong him. If anyone cares for his brother's need, Allah will take care of his need; if anyone relieves his brother's anxiety, Allah will remove from him one of his anxieties on the Day of Resurrection; and if anyone conceals a Muslim's secrets, Allah will conceal his secrets on the Day of Resurrection." Sahih Al Bukhari , 2442 and Sahih Muslim 2580
Abu Hurairah reported Allah's Messenger as saying, He who strives to serve a widow and a poor person is like the one who strives in Allah's way or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day." Sahih Al Bukhari 5353 (Vol. 7, Book 64, Hadith 265)
We should ask ourselves, how closely are we living our lives according to the message of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). If we are living in his way, no problem will be too great to overcome, our future will appear clear before us, and the challenges of young adulthood will seem small. If young Muslims join in the ranks of the followers of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), they will be joining the ranks of the merciful, pious, and just people through all the ages, from the beginning of time. Indeed, Allah opens the way for those who sincerely obey Him and His Messenger.
Imagine yourself living at the time of the Prophetﷺ; imagine walking in his footsteps. If you follow his Sunnah, you are walking in his footsteps today.
Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) told the Muslim faithful that Prophet Muhammad ﷺwas the greatest man to have lived but he was not the Lord of all creation. He was a man like all men. And this is what makes Islam so extraordinary. There are now at least two billion Muslims in the world, and we are attentive to what our beloved Prophet ﷺsaid or did. Each one of us proclaims at least five times a day that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad ﷺis the Messenger of Allah. It is the core of our faith. In the same breath in which we declare belief in the One true Lord of mankind and all that exists, we declare belief in His Messenger.
How many of us reach out and take what Islam has to offer? How many of us are shining examples of mercy and justice that Islam can develop in us?