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The Best of Creation -- "The Walking Qur`an"

by

AbuBakr Karolia

South Africa, October 27, 2003

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“A WALKING QUR`AN”, EMBODYING THE LAWS OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH (S).

The life of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) has been said by his wife, Aisha (May Allah (S) be pleased with her) to be like "a walking Qur`an", embodying the Laws of Almighty Allah (subhaana wa taalah).

This characterization and behaviour of the Prophet (S) embodies the practical message of Islam. The Nobel Qur`an is a guide, covenant, criterion, a balance and a healing (shifa) for humanity and the “Walking Qur`an” represents a noble character, which is a symbol of the Book of Allah. The Prophet (S) represents Islam and is the essence of this message and the value, wisdom, practice and object of the Rasul (S) was totally for the pleasure of Allah (S).

 

Allah (S) clarifies in the Noble Qur`an in Surah 2 Al Baqarah the Cow Verse 2 -5 that:

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who are conscious of Allah (S) (Taqwa).

“Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;”

“And who believe in the Revelation sent to you, and sent before your time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter”.

“They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will succeed”.

A MUTTAQEE CHARACTER

The above verses of the Noble Qur`an tell us that it is a guidance for those that yearn to establish Taqwa (Allah consciousness or cautious awareness of Allah), who believe in the unseen, are steadfast in prayer, spend charity, and believe in all the revelations from Allah and in the Hereafter. Taqwa (Allah consciousness or cautious awareness of Allah) is related to the beginning and the end of wisdom and the establishment of piety, righteousness and the transformation of the self, towards a perfected self.

These verses direct humankind towards a conduct that expands and develops true leadership, prosperity and happiness. This is the perfect character inspired from the guidance of the Glorious Qur`an and in total submission to Allah (S) and develops a disposition, described by Aisha (R) as the “Walking Qur`an”.

Let us consider the Prophet’s (S) noble character who submitted to his Lord, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and the reasons why he was the seal of the Prophets (Khataman Nabi) and who will take up his station as the intercessor for humankind in the Hereafter.

On that faithful day in the Hereafter, humankind will necessitate a person who will appeal to the Almighty Allah (S) for their case in His court. The Prophet (S) will represent the original Islam as his character that personified a “universal man” who acknowledged, recognized, submitted and pleased Almighty Allah, the Lord of the Cosmos.  

The Prophet (S), as the intercessor in the courts of the Hereafter will be honoured and the divine tribute and respect will be upon him and he will be recognized as the finest creation that fulfilled the covenant, testimony and the original promise that was made by the soul (Ruh) to Almighty Allah (S).

A MERCY (RAHMA) FROM ALLAH

The Prophet (S) was described as the perfect man (Insan-al-Kamil).  The Prophet (S) is the ideal model of Muslim virtue and piety for the believer. He is also the archetype and representative of the institution of Prophethood. His message was not for a single nation or community but was for humankind.

In Surah 21 Al Anbiyah, (The Prophets), Verse 107 we read:

“And We have not sent you but as a Mercy to the worlds”.

The above verse portrays the universal nature of the Prophet’s (S) mission and attributes to him a character of compassion, understanding and kindness. His temperament and disposition had to be a universal quality for it to be honoured by humankind.  His was the character that was appreciated and accepted by Muslims as the final and Last Messenger of Allah (S).

The Prophet (S) was recognized in Makkah as the trustworthy (Al Amin) which gave him the credibility to carry the legacy of Prophethood. The Arabic word “Zuhud” describes the character of all the Prophets. A person who is a “Zuhud” is one who lives a simple, humble and an enlightened life, worshipping the Creator. He values his Iman  (belief) and his life is based on a Tauheedi (the unity of the Creator) system, establishing a consciousness of Allah (Taqwa) and assisting humankind.

Surah 68 Al Qalam Verse 4 confirms the Prophets (S) character as beautiful and inspiring:

“And Most Certainly, thou (O Muhammad) are of most sublime and exalted character”. 

THE PROPHETS (S) INTELLECTUAL ENDEAVOUR

Qadi Ayad (1118 C.E. /496 AH- 1166 C.E. /544 AH) an Imam in Tafsir and Hadith, a faqih in usul (a Jurist), a scholar in the Arabic language was from Ceuta under Spain, then an enclave of Morocco. In his magnum opus Ash Shifa, describes a biographical account of the life of Prophet Muhammad’s (S) character by his acuteness, eloquence, his nobility, his intellect, forbearance, decency, excellent conduct, his compassion and his justice amongst other qualities. We read about the immense value placed on him by His Lord and his nobility in this world and the Hereafter.

Qadi Ayad says when the Prophet (S) died he knew everything about the Shariah (Divine Laws) and its sciences without any room for doubt about its authenticity. His knowledge of the hidden realms of the heaven, earth and Allah’s (S) creation and his elaboration of Allah’s (S) Names and Attributes, the preconditions of the Last Day, the matters of the next world, the states of the happy or the wretched and other things had an absolute certainty regarding them.

A WITNESSER AND A WARNER

Allah (S) acknowledges the responsibility of the Prophet (S) and describes this tribute beautifully in the Noble Qur’an as follows:

Surah 33 Al Ahzab, (the Clans) Verse 45/46:

O Prophet! Truly We have sent you as a Witness and a Bearer of Good News as well as a Warner, -“

“And as one who invites to Allah’s (grace) by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light”.

These verses endowed the Prophet (S) with all the ranks of nobility and every praiseworthy quality. He is a witness to his community by the fact that he has conveyed the message to them. He is a bringer of good news as a lamp that spreads light to those that accept his judgement, love him, obey him and is a Warner to those that rebel against the Creator.

THE PROPHET (S) WAS THE ACTUALIZED QUR`AN

When one studies, the Glorious Qur`an one immediately realizes that one cannot separate the Character of the Qur’an from the Character of the Rasul (S). The Noble Qur`an teaches a person how to organize, discover, and transform him/herself.

Humankind has been chosen to bear responsibility and to realize their real position in the world within the cosmology of creation. The range of a person’s freedom is within the guiding principles of the Qur`an al Kareem and the example of the Prophet who was called the “Walking Qur`an”. He was the epitome of the Glorious Qur`an and a potential man who had all the good qualities actualized by himself as the “walking Qur`an”.

Allah (S) in Surah 51 Al Dahriyat Verse 56 tells us that:

“And I (Allah) created not the jinn’s and humans except they should worship Me (Alone”.

We learn from the above verse that Allah (S) created all creation to worship Him. Therefore, the purpose of human existence is to worship Allah (S). The one who perfected the worship of Allah was the Messenger of Allah. He was created to know Allah better then anyone. He was not created to be the master of Allah’s (S) creation but to be a servant and messenger of Allah (S). Therefore, it is the Prophet (S), as a bondsman to Allah (S) (ubudiyah), who carried the final message of the Creator, was judged as the best of creation.

A BELOVED FRIEND OF ALLAH

A renowned teacher Shaykh Hamza Hanson Malik of the Zaytuna Institute, in California tells us that the name of the Prophet (S) is a passive tone and a noun that means the most oft praised. This is the station of the Prophet (S) that Allah (S) praises him, and he is praised in every tongue in the world.

The messenger of Allah was given the title “Habibullah” or the beloved of Allah (S). This is a very superior station as it reflects the Muhabbah (love and friendship) of Allah (S) on the Prophet (S).

The Qur`an al Kareem attributes to the Prophet (S) honour and is a testimony of his character, which is appreciated by Muslims worldwide. Surah’s in the Great Qur`an as Yâ-Sîn (Surah 36), Al-Muzzammil (the enshrouded one, Surah 73) and Al Muddaththir (the cloaked one, Surah 74) are named after him, demonstrating his position and station that was documented in posterity for mankind to witness and to uphold him as the last messenger from Allah (S).

Surah Yâ-Sîn in particular is known as the “heart of the Noble Qur`an” and there are many words of wisdom and a healing within it.  The Wise Qur`an calls the Rasul, “Yâ-Sîn” and confirms him as a Messenger on a straight path seeking and submitting to the Mighty and Merciful Lord and Creator.

Surah 36 Yâ-Sîn, Verse 1-5 authenticates and confirms the Prophets (S) station: 

 “Yâ-Sîn”

             “By the Qur`an, full of Wisdom,-“

Thou art indeed one of the Prophet’s’

On a Straight Way”.

It is a Revelation sent down by (Him), the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful”.

The Prophet (S) was called by other names as Ahmed, Al Hassir (the gatherer). Al Aaaqib (one who comes last), Al Mutawakkil (One who puts his trust in Allah (S)) etc, but the most venerable name is Muhammad (S) that carries such affection, reverence and nobility by Allah (S) in the Glorious Qur’an and it is incomparable to any name or human being ever created.

Surah 47 in the Noble Qur`an is named after the Noble Prophet (S) and called Muhammad (may the Almighty sent peace and salutations upon him). This Surah acknowledges a direct recognition by Allah (S) Who appreciates His Prophet (S) and confirms his status and state of certainty.

 In Surah 33 Al Ahzab (The Clans) Verse 56 Allah (S) declares:

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send your blessings on him too, and salute him with all respect”.

The above verse illustrates a personification and an example of love and friendship (muhabbah). It is Allah’s (S) Sunnah to sent salutations to the Prophet (S) and commands believers to do the same with respect. Therefore, it is essential knowledge to love the Prophet (S), to emulate him and to replicate his love of Allah (S) and Allah (S) love of the Prophet (S). 

Love of the Prophet (S) is what differentiates the believers in the perfection of their Iman (belief). Love for the Prophet (S) means to acknowledge, cherish and elevate all the potential goodness and greatness that Allah (S) has created within man.

Allah (S) beautified the outward character of the Rasul (S) and gave him the quality of respect to balance it. The Prophet (S) disposition was gentle and soft and was a mercy (Rahma) from Allah upon him. He was an essence of sweetness and the people who spent time with him adored and fell in love with him. He smile was a charity (sadqah) and was most welcomed by those that met him.

THE PRACTICAL MAN

In the Encyclopaedia of the Seerah a scholar Afzalur Rahman states that the Prophet (S) of Islam led a comprehensive and a perfect life. He was a married man, had children and in this sphere of life he left unique principles of human relations between husbands and wives and between parents and children. He further states that the Prophet (S) was a trader and in business transactions and the economic field he gave unparalled ideas for the establishment of a balanced and exemplary economic system for the benefit of humankind.

The Prophet (S) as an ideal man and in the light of his speech (Hadith) and action (Sunnah) provided a perfect example for humankind in every area of human endeavour.  His teachings have been documented in detail and serves as a moral quality which has been adopted as a way of life which must be put into practice as a salvation for humankind.  The next few paragraphs tell us about his practical wisdom and action that are appreciated by all who study and emulate the Prophet’s (S) life and example.   

When we study the Seerah of the Prophet (S) and in particular when the Prophet (S) signed a treaty or truce and made a pledge, despite the fact that it was difficult on Muslims, such as the Truce of Hudaibiya (628 C.E./6AH), he honoured every word of it. The extraordinary patience and insight he showed in negotiating the truce with the envoys from Makkah, notwithstanding their procrastination and being pedantic, showed how very dear peace was to his heart.

The Truce showed the Prophets (S) foresight and diplomatic insight as it seemed to have been a defeatist and a demoralising exercise. It was due to this Truce that the  Prophet (S) captured the hearts of the Meccan people during the relative period of peace that enable communications and discussions to take place with those who appreciated the Islamic message and became Muslims.

HIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS WOMEN   

The Rasul (S) was very kind towards women and they were treated very badly in those days. As a young man, the Prophet (S) was greatly distressed when he heard about the burial of newly born daughters. He objected and pleaded to the clans and chieftains of the Arabs to outlaw this evil practice. When a person entered Islam, he made it an exposition of an assurance for his followers to never practice any form of infanticide. The Prophet (S) said that, “If a man has daughters and he takes good care of their upbringing, the fire of hell will not touch him”.

 He did not distinguish between men and women and treated them both alike in all matters of life. He paid as much attention to the education of women as to that of men and even developed a close relationship with many women. He gave them dignity, equal to men in the community. In his sight, women and men were equal members of the society, each contributing to its growth, prosperity and development in their own sphere and in their own way, being neither superior nor inferior to the other. The Prophet (S) established a standard for women’s rights that was unequaled anywhere.

LOVE OF CHILDREN

In the Madina Mosque, the Prophet enjoyed meeting children - boys and girls - in groups. He told them about the Lord of the Universe and His angels, how Allah (S) responds to one's prayers and His command that the children should respect and obey their parents. His followers some times brought him fruits from their orchards and the Prophet (S) shared them with the children in the Mosque. He loved his grandsons, Hassan (R) and Hussein (R), and his granddaughter, Imamah (R). He taught them Qur’anic verses and was pleased with their recitation. If he heard a child weeping, he made it a point to find out from its parents the reason for this and gave it affection and sympathy. He always loved children and treated them with immense gentleness and kindness.

TOWARDS ALLAH’S (S) CREATION

The Prophet (S) was also against cruelty to animals and birds. "They are Allah’s (S) creation", he told his followers. He saw a camel, weak, bent and hungry. He urged its owner to take proper care of it. He praised the man who drew water from a well and gave it to a thirsty dog. During a journey, the Prophet saw one of his Companions pick up a little bird from its nest in a tree. When its mother started moaning and crying, he ordered the bird's return to its nest. The Prophets (S) concern for animals goes beyond the prevention of physical cruelty, but enjoins on the human species to take over the responsibility of all creatures to be their active protectors.

A noble example of chivalry was displayed when the Prophet (S) entered Makkah after the conquest of the city. In his hour of triumph, he did not claim credit for the victory and attributed it to Allah (S) completely.  During the 23 years of his Prophethood, he experienced inexplicable behaviour and violence from the leaders of the city towards him and his followers. The Prophet (S) showed tremendous leadership, wisdom and courage by granting a general amnesty and forgave all the outrages against him and Islam. This action stands out in the annals of history and it is a wonderful example of respect for people and property during adverse conditions and war. His orders to his commanders and companions (R) to respect the sanctity of the city and its people thus laid a foundation for the establishment peace and the rise of Islam.         

THE LIVING QUR`AN

One of the finest lessons for present day Muslims is to emulate the idea of the “walking Qur`an” by not only reading, reciting or studying the Qur`an but to live it, which is what will provide solutions for our problems and heighten our relationship with our Creator. The Noble Qur`an is a pristine book that has withered the storms and tribulations of history and remains a shining light of guidance for humankind.

The Prophet (S) was a man, but no ordinary man, he was a gift from Allah (S) and we must accept this wonderment with thankfulness (Sukr). He was a perfect, righteous character because his Iman (belief) was sound and rooted in Taqwa (Allah consciousness or transcendental awareness of Allah). The Prophet (S) represented Allah (S) and spoke on behalf of Him.

Allah (S) revealed the Noble Qur`an to the Prophet of Islam (S) over a period of 23 years, attributed to the Prophet (S) as his miracle and is the True Words of Allah, a primary source of Guidance and the Final Message for humankind. This miracle was one, which was to last for all time, therefore assigned to the Prophet (S) as his everlasting miracle.

Modern scientific minds require a scope of knowledge and confirmation that must be conclusively established and verifiable for suitable study and research. The Prophet’s (S) life  have been documented in detail which has provided an interesting challenge for historians and sociologist to examine and benefit humankind from his teachings.

The guiding principles of the Wise Qur`an that the Prophet (S) practicalised provided a secure standard for humankind. His success must be analysed to find solutions for contemporary societies and to appreciate the rich heritage that provided an ethos that was Divinely Guided and established hearts that were joyous and contented.

The Prophet (S) provided and set unparalleled standards for the well being and safety of his community. He provided a social environment and structure where people felt secure and happy. He provided them with a belief system that developed individuals and societies that were successful in this world and the Hereafter. 

The study of the life and history (Seerah) of the Prophet of Islam (S) has shown staggering clarity of the mysteries of the Universe and the power of his intellect encompasses the reality of the seen and the Unseen. The Nobel example and character of the Prophet (S) filled the vacuum in humankind’s spiritual make-up which only divine guidance or Prophethood could fill.

The Prophet (S) display of positive virtues brought a profound feeling of spiritual discovery, which changed and influenced the world forever. The impact that the Prophet (S) had on the social, economic and political milieu, shaped a better world and confirmed him as one of the greatest leaders and human beings ever to grace the earth.  His legacy continues to be studied, respected and vibrantly influences humankind for its progression and survival.   

THE NOBLE QUR`AN, A GUIDE TO SELF KNOWLEDGE AND TRANSFORMATION

At the “sermon of the mount” (632 C.E./10AH), the Rasul (S) conveyed words of caution and advised Muslims to follow the path of the Qur`an ul Kareem and his way (Sunnah) so that they will never be led astray. This is the Shariah (Divine Laws), which represents the character of the “walking Qur`an”.

He was a monotheistic character, which exemplified this unity and oneness of Allah (S) (Tauheed) and established a testament of belief on behalf of the Creator. A testament that confirms a person as a Muslim (one who submits to Allah (S)) is to accept unconditionally, to acknowledge, recognise and to testify that:

There is no God accept Allah (S) and to further testify that Muhammad (S) is the Prophet (S) (Final Rasul) of Allah (S). 

This testament from an Islamic point of view verifies a most important statement of belief (Iman) in the unity of Allah (S) and the Unity of Prophethood, (Adam (AS) to Muhammad (S)) the Unity of humankind, the Unity of Religions, and the Unity of the Final message of the Lord of the heavens and earth for all time.

It is essential to appreciate that the Prophet (S) groomed and reflected a correct behaviour from the guidance of the Qur’an-ul-Kareem, which was his transformation. This self-transformation was a mirror to his companions who through self-knowledge, self-discipline and a pleasing behaviour based on the teachings of Islam established a foundation and the best society in Madinah-ul-Munawwarah, the City of Light that reflected its light to the far corners of the world.     

Muslims worldwide must acknowledge, recognise and appreciate this profound unity, which is to hold fast on to the rope of Allah (S), to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (S) and not be divided. This unity was the behaviour of the Prophet (S) and it was his worship (Ibadah) as it must be ours. He complied with the message and the injunctions of the Qur’an al Kareem and that was how he lived. He is an example for all Muslims, and must be comprehensively followed and appreciated.

The Prophet (S) of Islam taught, practised and was the Living example of the Qur`an al Kareem, the final book of Allah (S). He was the final messenger of Allah (S) who represented humankind and all the worlds and he perfected his character, embodying Allah’s (S) laws and described as the “walking Qur`an”. The values have not changed and it is the perfect way and the conduct of the Prophet (S). This is our heritage and we must live it. We should be “Walking Qur`ans”.

May Allah (S) Bless the Prophet (S) and sent salutation upon him, his family, his companions (R) and his followers (Ummah).

Innal llaha wa Malaa'ikatahu Yu salluna allan nabiyi. Ya Ayyuhal ladheena aamanu sallu alaihi wasallimu tasleema.

Allah-humma sallie alaa Muhammadeen wa aala aali sayeedana Muhammadeen wa bariek wa sallam

ADDITIONAL FACTS ON THE PROPHET (S) OF ISLAM.

Name - Muhammad

Title - Al-Mustafa, Al-Amin, Ar-Rasool

Kunyat - Abul Qasim

Born - Friday, the 17th of Rabi-ul Awwal around 570 C.E. in Makkah

Father's Name - Abdullah Ibn Abdul Muttalib

Mother's Name - Amina bint-e-Wahab

Died - at the age of 63 years on Monday, 28th Safar 11 AH/632 C.E.

Buried- in his house adjoining the mosque at Medina

Prophethood - period of 23 years, 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Medina.

There are only four places where we can find the name Muhammad (S) inside the Holy Qur'an.

1. Ali Imran 3, 144

“Muhammad is no more than a messenger: Many were the messenger that passed away before him”.

 2. Al-Ahzab 33 (The Clans), 40

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things”.

3. Muhammad 47, 2

“Those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad - for it is the Truth from their Lord, - He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition”.

4. Al-Fath 48 (Victory), 29

Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration.

 

Bibliography:

The Noble Qur`an

Hadith: Sahih Buhkari

Hadith: Sahih Muslim

Muhammad by Martin Lings

At tanvir fi Iskat at tadbir by Ibn Ata’illah Iskandri

Ash–Shifa by Qadi Ayad

Shaykh Hamza Hanson Malik

Qutubuddin Aziz BA (Hons) M.A

Dr Mansoor Alam

Islam the Natural Way by Abdul Wahid Khan

Heart of the Qur’an -Yâ-Sîn by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Muhammad by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

[Added February 15, 2004]

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