By Dr. B S Foad
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived 15 centuries ago in a culture and environment that differs from ours today. How he reacted to events at his time, and how he solved problems constitutes his life story or Seerah. It is important to understand the Seerah in historical context, as well as in the context of the Qur’an; this way, the lessons that we learn from his life story and his sayings can guide us today and in the future.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is an example to follow in his morals and noble character. He was kind, caring, forgiving, merciful, just, humble and wise. He was known for being truthful and trustworthy. However, his own people resisted his message of social justice, because of political and economic reasons. The Prophet patiently persevered as well as his companions.
The concept of immigration essentially is to avoid what God made forbidden and unlawful. When we are unable to practice our faith in one place then it is time to move to another place that is safe and provides freedom of worship.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) faced many problems in Madinah. He established the mosque as the focal point of activity and made a bond of brotherhood between the immigrants and the Ansars. He established a covenant of peaceful cooperation between the Muslims and the Jews in Madinah, in which the life, property of all, and their religious freedom was safeguarded. The Qur’an provides clear guidelines regarding the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, based on kindness and justice, talking to each other and working together, respecting their right to their faith and tradition, and not forcing anyone to Islam against his will. Fighting in Islam is to defend our country against aggression and not for personal reasons. Transgression is forbidden in the Qur’an.
Muslims are encouraged to learn and understand and teach others and invite to God by example, not by force. Hypocrites caused division within the Muslim community. The Qur’an illustrates the duty of Muslims to stand up against wrong-doing and malicious rumors, but to safeguard freedom of speech. The behavior of the Prophet during the slander incident illustrates this concept.
When Macca was opened, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered as a humble servant of God, not as a victorious worrier. He forgave those who abused the Muslims because he wanted to reconcile the hearts of all people. When delegations came to Madinah, the Prophet answered their questions and explained the teachings of Islam, but did not compromise his convictions, or yield to their demands to please them, if it entailed disobeying an order from God. The Prophet’s pilgrimage is explored and how he taught Muslims their rites, and his advice to serve God and treat women well.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) died like any other human being, but his teachings and example are alive and inspire Muslims
all over the world every day.