We would like to introduce the reader to the exemplary life of the blessed Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings, and his distinguished, exalted personality. The ‘water of life’ for the salvation of humankind should be made known to everyone.
The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings, is the pride of humankind. For the past fourteen centuries, many thinkers, philosophers, scientists and scholars, each a radiant star in our intellectual world, have stood behind him in respect and admiration and taken pride in membership of his community.
It is enough to appreciate and understand his greatness that even after so many attacks, we still hear the words I bear witness that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the Messenger of God from minarets five times a day. While his name is being proclaimed from minarets we rejoice, as do the dead and other spiritual beings. It is enough to establish his greatness that, in spite of the concerted efforts to corrupt our younger generation and lead them astray, the young in this century, although it is impossible for them to perceive the full reality of Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings, hasten to him as moths hasten to light.
Time has not been able to make us forget the truth about him. He is so fresh in my mind that if I mention his holy name, it is as if I am about to meet him a few steps later. Once, while on pilgrimage to his radiant city, Madina, I felt that he was about to appear and welcome us. As time progresses, some thoughts become obsolete, but Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace, remains as fresh as a rosebud in the hearts of the Muslims. It is for this reason that as soon as his name is mentioned from the minaret, we immediately abandon our work and hasten to mosque in acceptance of his invitation.
If we had been allowed to describe him as others have been described, if we had used the social and educational institutions, then, most probably, all the youth of today would be following his way. Despite our shortcomings, many pick up their ‘glasses’ and run to fill them from this ‘pure spring’. In every part of the world, including the United States, England, France and Germany, an Islamic revival is being observed. The Muslims are sowing these lands with the seeds of a happy future. Islam in every corner of the world is healthy and is flourishing as it had done in the Time of Happiness, i.e. the time of Muhammad (s.a.w.) himself. The same is true of the predominantly Muslim lands. Muslims, who were unconsciously devoted to Islam without deep perception or research, have given way to a new generation who are consciously following Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace, in the light of science and advances in knowledge. Those who were previously exploiting schools and universities on behalf of unbelief are now running to him. World famous men including Maurice Bucaille and Roger Garaudy, have seen the falsehood of their systems and are hastening to the school of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace, which is faultless.
I wonder whether we have fully recognized the most beloved of hearts. Even I, who have been performing five daily prayers since the age of five and striving to be a slave at his door, wonder if I am able to recognize him. Have we been able to enthuse love into the hearts of the men of this century by describing the ultimate source of all love and enthusiasm?
If only mankind had known Muhammad (s.a.w.) , they would have fallen in love with him as Majnun fell in love with Layla. Whenever his name is mentioned, they would tremble with joy in anticipation of entering the ethos which surrounds him and following his way wholeheartedly.
A person can love only one he/she knows and only to the extent of his/her knowledge
Man can love only one he knows and only to the extent of his knowledge. Our enemies have tried their utmost to make us forget and ensure that his holy name should not be mentioned anywhere. Since he is supported by God, all these obstacles have been torn down and the younger generation are submitting themselves to him as joyfully as one dying of thirst in the burning desert does when he finds water. His mighty tenderness and compassion will embrace every ‘thirsty’ person who comes to him.
You must have noticed that when you come to the Friday prayers, the congregation consists mainly of young people. Have you ever asked why, despite the misguidance and rebellion prevalent in most parts of the world, young people come to mosques and sit despite cold and other difficulties? There is only one attraction - Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings. Whether we can grasp it or not, souls and hearts rush to him as moths to a candle. Even those ‘winter flies’ who have not been so fortunate will soon be turning to him. The whole world will soon be following him. Scientists and great thinkers will be studying him. Those who are currently enemies will soon be bosom friends and will take refuge in his warm welcome. In his time, even his enemies admired him.
He once related a dream that he had had. He, upon him be peace, said: They weighed me against ten people of my community and I outweighed them. Then they weighed me against a hundred and then a thousand respectively and I outweighed them all.1 He also related: I was weighed against the whole of my community and I outweighed them.2 He outweighs all the men of intellect, the men of piety and spirituality and the men of faith and knowledge. This is because all other beings were created because of him. It is reported that God said to him: But for you, I would not have created the spheres.3
Muhammad (s.a.w.) provided creation with meaning and gave the answers to vital questions of humanity
The universe is a book. If Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace, had not been created, this book would not have been understood. To create a book that could not be understood would have been an effort in vain. God Almighty is beyond exerting Himself in vain. Therefore, He created Muhammad (s.a.w.) so that he may describe the meaning of creation. God was to be a teacher to him to whom the earth and the firmaments were subjected. The seeker of truth asks himself ‘Who am I and where am I?’ ‘For what purpose have I been created?’ ‘What is the destination of my journey?‘ ‘Who is my guide through this journey?’
Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the one who provided creation with meaning and gave man the answers to such questions. If he had been fully recognized, he would have been truly loved. Although we only know him a little, we still love him.
Let me narrate to you an incident that occurred during a visit to Muhammad (s.a.w.) ‘s holy city. The atmosphere was overpowering. Something occurred to me. Every morning, I pray to God saying seven times, O my God, save me from Hellfire and make me enter Paradise among the company of the godly people. There can be no believer who does not wish to enter Paradise. However, in this environment I asked myself: ‘If they were to invite you to Paradise through any of its seven gates, which would you prefer - entering into the rawdah, the area in the mosque next to the Prophet‘s tomb, or entering Paradise?’ Believe me, I swear by God that I said to myself: ‘This place is more appealing to me. I have had the chance to rub my face against the soil of my master, at whose door I prefer to be a slave chained, than anything else in the world. I do not want to miss this chance.’
I believe this is the desire of every believer. When I was blessed with this great opportunity, I was with a member of the Turkish Parliament, Mr. Arif Hikmet. He told me that he had promised himself that he would roll in the soil like a donkey when he stepped across the border and entered the land of Madina. This great man kept his promise. When I remember this incident, I can’t prevent my eyes watering.
Since the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings, came with a Sacred Law that will never be abrogated and a Message which embraces all men and jinn, and since he has hundreds of miracles excelling those of all other Prophets, he is the head of all the Prophets and therefore has the core of the miracles of all of them, as well as their unanimous confirmation. That is, the agreement of all the other Prophets on the same faith and the testimony of their miracles provide a support for Muhammad (s.a.w.) ’s honesty and truthfulness. He is, at the same time, the master and leader of all saints and men of purity and profound knowledge, who have attained perfection through his teaching and guidance and through the light of his Sacred Law. Thus, he has also the core of their wonders, their unanimous affirmation and the strength of all their verified conclusions. Since the way they have followed to reach the truth was the one opened and left open by him, all the wonders they have worked, all the conclusions they have established through meticulous research and intuition, and their consensus on the same faith, constitute another support for his Prophethood, for his truthfulness. It is because of this that the coming of Muhammad (s.a.w.) , the perfect Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, was promised by all the Prophets before him. God made a covenant with them that they would believe in him and support him.
And when God took a covenant with the Prophets: That I have given you of Book and Wisdom; then there shall come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you - you shall believe in him and you shall help him. He said: ‘Will you affirm this, and take My load on you in this matter?’ They answered: ‘We affirm it.’ He said: ‘Bear witness so, and I shall be with you among the witnesses.’ (Al ‘Imran, 3.81)
All the Prophets led their lives in perfect loyalty to their promise. When the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace, was about to make his mi‘raj, Ascension, he led the prayers before the souls of all the other Prophets.4 All of them, including Abraham, Moses, Noah and Jesus, displayed their desire to become his muezzin, caller to prayer.
Jesus repeatedly gave his disciples the glad tidings of the coming of Muhammad (s.a.w.) . According to the Gospel of John (14. 16, 26, 30; 16.7), he said: ‘It is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the helper will not come. I have much more to tell you, but for now it would be too much for you to bear. When, however, the spirit of the Truth, the lord of the world, who reveals the truth about God comes, he will lead you to the truth‘.
Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the unique, universal man representing the whole of creation
I wonder if we realize how unique he was as the head of family. Do we know how he brought up his children or grandchildren, each of whom would have been a great leader if he had come in succeeding centuries? He dealt with his wives so successfully that there was no disagreement between them. He was beyond all comparison as father, husband or simply as a human being.
He had such sublime virtues in his blessed being, such exalted qualities in his messengership and such precious merits in the religion and Sacred Law that he preached, that even his most fanatical enemies could not help but admit them. Since this being combines in his personality, function and religion the most praiseworthy virtues, he is certainly the embodiment, the master and the representative of all the perfections and the high, laudable virtues found in the whole creation.
He was so perfect a commander that he challenged the whole world with only a handful of men. He repelled all who opposed his teachings. He experienced no defeat at all. He did that without being taught by any mortal or attending any military academy.
He was so informed about science that he told his followers about almost all the major events which would occur until the Last Day. It was as if he were watching a television screen or reading from an unseen tablet.5 Where the realm of science has just reached is where the realm of Muhammad (s.a.w.) begins.
Some time ago, a friend brought me a video cassette in which a Canadian pediatrician, Keith Moore, who had realized how the Quran describes the development of the human embryo in the mother‘s womb, declared his conversion to Islam pronouncing, I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and I also bear witness that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is His Messenger. On the same tape a Japanese psychologist, who had discovered that Islam clears many of the problems that have baffled modern scientists, was trying to get his tongue around the Arabic words to make the same declaration.
Who taught all these scientific facts to Muhammad (s.a.w.) ? Certainly, he did not speak on his own, but whatever he spoke was a Revelation revealed to him. He was taught by the One who knows everything, the One who is All-Knowing and All-Aware, so that, as science advances, humankind will come to discover a new aspect of his personality and will be filled with regret at not knowing him before that.
His Companions knew him and accordingly loved him very much. Their love for him was greater than their love for themselves. They were prepared to sacrifice their lives to protect him.
He dispatched a group of teachers to the tribe of Hudayl at their request. The Hudayli unbelievers betrayed their teachers and killed most of them. Zayd ibn Dasina and Hubayb were handed to the Quraysh, then enemies of the Muslims. They were about to be executed when, while on the gallows, Hubayb was asked: ‘Do you wish that Muhammad (s.a.w.) were in your place so that you could be with your family in Madina?‘ Hubayb was startled. ‘I would rather be cut into pieces than wish Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings, were in my place. I do not wish for even a thorn to hurt his blessed foot in exchange for my being returned to my family.‘ Then Hubayb prayed that God would convey his wish of peace and greetings to His Messenger, and inform him that he had remained loyal to him until he died. Meanwhile, the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, informed his Companions of Hubayb‘s martyrdom and returned his greetings.6
Sumayra, from the tribe of Dinar, hurried to the battlefield when the news reached her that the Muslims experienced a reverse in Uhud. They showed her the dead body of her father, but she ignored it. They showed the dead bodies of her husband and sons but she did not look at them. She just kept asking what had happened to the Prophet. Eventually somebody guided her to the Prophet. She threw herself to the ground a few metres away from his feet and said: ‘All misfortunes mean next to nothing to me, provided that you are alive, O Messenger of God!’7
He was so loved that his Companions would have given their lives if it meant that he could live forever. But, of course, he was mortal like other created beings. The appointed hour drew near and he had to say farewell to his friends with whom he had been for twenty-three years. Mu‘adh ibn Jabal had been shuttling between Madina and the Yemen carrying the Prophet‘s Message. On the day he was about to leave, the Messenger of God said to him: O Muadh, leave now for the Yemen, but when you come back, you will probably visit my mosque and my tomb. These words were enough to bring Mu‘adh to the point of emotional collapse.8
The problems of the twentieth century will be solved by following the way of Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace. This has been acknowledged by unbiased Western and Eastern intellectuals. As Bernard Shaw admitted earlier this century, mankind, in order to solve their accumulated problems, need nothing more than the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , who solved the most complicated problems as easily as one drinks coffee.
Humankind is waiting for the return of the Muhammad (s.a.w.) an spirit. They are waiting for the Message of Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings. When they turn to him to solve their problems, they will be saved from being exploited, freed from all kinds of miseries, and they will attain true peace and happiness. This second revival has already begun despite the aversion of unbelievers.
They desire to extinguish the light of God with their mouths; but God will perfect His light, even though unbelievers are averse. It is He Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may uplift it above every religion, even though the polytheists are averse. (al-Saff, 61:8-9)
God will uplift His religion, and people will run to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) , upon him be peace and blessings, and in him will find peace and happiness. Humankind will learn to live in security through him and it will be as if they had entered Paradise while still in this world. This will take place despite the unbelievers and wrongdoers of Europe, the hypocrites of Asia and those living heedless of him. The lord of the Prophets, whose name we proclaim from our minarets five times a day to the whole world, will sooner or later be entrusted in the hearts of humankind. And, since the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was a man of peace, mankind will attain happiness through the Message that he brought.
1. Qadi Iyad, Shifa’ al-Sharif, 1.173.
2. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 2.76.
3. al-Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, 2.232.
4. I. Jarir al-Tabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan an Ta’wil Ay al-Qur’an; I. Kathir, al-Bidaya wa l- Nihaya, 3.139.
5. Muslim, Fitan, 22-5; I. Hanbal, 1.4.
6. I. Kathir, al-Bidaya, 4.76.
7. I. Kathir, ibid., 4.54; Nur al-Din Ali ibn A. Bakr al-Haythami, Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, 6.115.
8. I. Hanbal, 5.235.