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Prophet Muhammad — 25: Delivering God’s Message - In Finality

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the bearer of God’s message to mankind. As such, his task was to deliver the message and ensure that those who received it understood it well.

Since Islam is a complete way of life, providing guidance in every aspect of life, including economics and politics, its teachings in these areas must be fully understood by ordinary persons, so that they are able to put them into practice; everyone in their own areas.

Before we go further, we should explain that in areas where circumstances and situations differ from one society to another and develop from one period of time to another, Islam provides broad lines, basic principles and clear values for guidance. For example, in politics Islam accepts only consultative government. As long as the principle of consultation is fully applied, the shape of government and its mechanism can be determined by each society as it prefers. In economics, Islam lays down the principles of prohibition of usury, fair distribution of wealth, prevention of poverty and payment of zakat. When these are taken into account, people and governments can choose how they run their economies, ensuring the implementation of these principles.

The Prophet was fully aware that he must make every aspect of God’s message abundantly clear. He was the most eloquent of people. He never found difficulty in expressing his meaning. This is a quality God had given him so that he would be able to perform his task of delivering the message he was given. He expressed himself in a variety of ways, as the situation required. He did not resort to verbosity on any occasion, realizing that too many words, expressions, similes and images could lead to a loss of meaning, rather than to amplify it. On the contrary, he was always clear and precise. He might use a story, a prayer, an advice, a warning, a simple statement or even a hint. He chose the mode that served his audience best and made his meaning clear. We mentioned recently how he ordered one latecomer to the Friday prayer to stand up and offer the prayer of greeting the mosque, although the sermon was in progress. The Prophet wanted the people to realize that person was very poor and hoped that one or two of them would be forthcoming with their help. This is exactly what happened, although the Prophet did not mention anything about the man’s case, either during the sermon or afterward. However, this would not have happened, had he not instilled into the Muslim community the importance of charity and the need to alleviate the poverty of any poor person in their midst.

It was just a gesture and the people understood. Such is the task of God’s messenger: To make the meaning clear and to let people take the position they wanted after that. No one is compelled to do anything other than what they choose. God told the Prophet very clearly the extent of his task: “Your duty is only to deliver your message.” (42: 48) And he certainly did, by word and by example. His life was a practical implementation of His message. We only need to look at his handling of any situation to learn what God wants us to do in similar circumstances. In his teachings, he was always focused on delivery. His farewell speech, during his pilgrimage, shortly before he passed away, was comprehensive as it outlined the main areas of the divine message. Every time he explained a certain aspect, he would conclude it by asking his audience: “Have I made this clear? Have I delivered my message plain?” When they said: “Yes, indeed,” he looked up and said: “My Lord! Be my witness.”

 

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