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Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) - 35 : Finest Instinctive Social Habits

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

A leading Arab writer of the twentieth century, Abbas Al-Aqqad, gave a short definition of the signs that indicate that someone is a messenger of God. He said: “A messenger of God is someone who has by nature a factor that controls his behavior in all matters pertaining to social interactions and transactions, big or small. The mission of a messenger of God is to establish a power of restraint that encourages people to do what is good and to refrain from what is bad or evil, setting for them clear lines that they must not transgress. Whoever has such a mission must, as a matter of absolutely top priority, be able to dispense with such a power of restraint. He must have no need for it. He must be able to behave in a way that makes it unnecessary for anyone to question him or to claim their rights from him. Muhammad (peace be upon him) attained this quality in a superior and comprehensive way. It ran through his nature and colored all his actions and verbal statements. No one ever questioned him as he held himself answerable for giving everyone, young and old, their rights and for protecting the human sanctity of both the weak and the strong.

“This sign of his status as God’s messenger is the most accurate and most acceptable. It is a sign that comes from within his nature. It is not an external sign that could be removed from a person who acquires it. Whatever accurate measure the human race has to apply to Muhammad will certainly show that he deserves total love and maximum respect. Such a status will be granted to Muhammad by everyone, whether a believer in Islam, a believer in another religion and by those who have no religion whatsoever. The human race has no fundamental virtue that aims higher than to enshrine those qualities in which Muhammad gave the best example in human history.”

This was certainly the case with Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his dealing with all people and in all situations. A poor woman used to clean the mosque and remove any dirt from it. The Prophet missed her for a few days. On enquiring about the reason for her absence, he was informed that she had died. He said: “Why have you not told me. I would have attended her funeral and prayed for her”. He then went to the graveyard and offered the janasah prayer [i.e. the prayer for a deceased person].

Needless to say, this was a poor woman with few relatives. Had she had any relative of a reasonably good position in society, she would not have needed to work as a cleaner. We do not even know her name. She must have been someone who would not be missed when absent. Yet the Prophet missed her when a couple of days passed and he did not see her in the mosque. Her poverty and lack of status did not prevent the Prophet from enquiring after her. He was unhappy to learn of her death so late that he could not attend her funeral and lead the janasah prayer. He then took the trouble of visiting her grave and praying for her. He could have prayed for her soul where he was at the time, i.e. in the mosque, and his prayer was certainly answered by God. He, however, wanted to show us a higher level of social responsibility. This is the type of holding himself to account in social matters which Al-Aqqad has admirably spoken of.

 

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