Commemorating the Death of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)

As we near the death anniversary of the finality of the Prophets, Muhammad ibne Abdullah (may Allah's prayers be upon him and his family), it would be highly fitting to look at one aspect of the life of this great figure, whom even non-Muslim thinkers, such as Michael Hart regard as the most important and influential person in all of history.

Out of all the traits and characteristics which the Prophet is known to possess such as As-Sadiq (the Truthful), Al-Amin (The Trustworthy) and others, the one which Allah (glory and greatness be to Him) attributes to him directly in the Qur'an is that he is a Mercy (Rahmah). Allah (glory and greatness be to Him) has referred to the final Prophet of humanity as a “Mercy to the Universe” in Suratul Anbiya (21), Verse 107 where He says, “And We have not sent you except as a mercy to the entire Universe.”

It is through this mercy and compassion which the Prophet possessed that he went forth with his mission in completing the previous faiths and perfecting the faith of Al-Islam.

His kindness and sympathy are noted in the Qur'an such that Allah (glory and greatness be to Him) tells us that it is due to the mercy of Allah that the Prophet is so compassionate and kind to the other human beings and had he been hard hearted and stern with the people (as many people tend to be with those who do not follow their faith), they would have surely ran away from him and his message.

We should keep in mind that although he was a mercy and was merciful with people and we seek to be just like him, however when the need arises and when Allah commands, we sometimes need to be stern and harsh. In regards to this, we read in Surah 48 (Suratul Fath), Verse 28 that, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those who are with him are hard against the disbelievers, merciful amongst one another...” Thus, the concept of Tawallah and Tabarrah are enlivened in this verse of the Qur'an - two of our Furu`Ad-Din.

The life of the final Prophet of Allah was not only a series of events and occurrences written in history that we simply pay lip service to, rather, we are commanded to follow his example - his sunnah. Allah (glory and greatness be to Him) makes it clear when He tells us in Suratul Ahzab (33), Verse 21 that, “Surely in the Messenger of Allah there is a perfect example for you - for that person who hopes to meet Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah frequently.”

And thus, we need to carefully study and analyse the Seerah or way of life of the Prophet and pick up points which we can import into our daily life - especially since the Prophet not only lived in the Islamic environment of Madinah for 10 years, but more importantly due to the non-Islamic environment in Makkah for 53 years amongst the Polytheists and a hand full of People of the Book. In his life, we can learn how to carry ourselves amongst the people in the societies we are currently living in to be practical examples of the Prophet and the Qur'an.

In closing, we present the words of the late Mahatma K. Ghandi and his thoughts on the Prophet Muhammad (Allah's prayers be upon him and his family): “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.”