Imagine If 1.9 Billion Muslims Act Like Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

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Muslims are in a great number in this world. But they are disunited. The Muslim community is in a miserable condition in Kashmir, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Myanmar including Uyghur community, etc. The Muslim world and its leadership have become irresponsible and self-centered. [1]

Islam is most strongly perceived as a threat in Europe and the USA. [2]

94% killed in the world’s conflicts are Muslim. Currently, one in every three weapons manufacture are sold to the Middle East. Instead of spending their resources on education, health, research, and developments, the Muslim point guns at each other over very simple reasons and it is the Western arm traders who are being made richer and richer. — Turkish President Erdogan in Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019. [3]

The excerpt above is supported by the data discussed by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on Festival of Faiths “Healing Self, Healing Society” [4] that there is a major gap between the budgets spent on education vs. military in the Muslim world.

Credit: Infographic from urbanpeek.com

I strongly believe that the issues being faced by the Muslim ummah can be overcome. The cure to these is found in Islam itself and most Muslims are aware of it. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “I have left behind two things; you will never go astray as long as you hold fast onto them, namely the Qur’an and Sunnah.”

Credit: The Book of Miscellany from Sunnah.com

In practical terms, how is it done? How can our understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah be implemented?

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ already showed how; how to live this life both on individual and communal levels.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was sent to perfect a noble character.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, within whom you can find “an excellent example” (33:21).

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: The Ideal Muslim

As described by his wife, Aisha (RA), Prophet Muhammad is a walking Qu’ran. The teaching and good manners in the Qur’an are embodied and reflected in his actions.

There are a large number of Qur’anic verses that talk about etiquette aimed to have a secure and peaceful life. For example, don’t insult (49:11); don’t waste (17:26); feed the poor (22:36); don’t backbite (49:12); keep your oaths (5:89); don’t take bribes (27:36); honor your treaties (9:4); restrain your anger (3:134); don’t spread gossip (24:15); think good of others (24:12); be good to guests (51:24–27); don’t harm believers (33:58); don’t be rude to parents (17:23); turn away from ill speech (23:3); don’t make fun of others (49:11); walk in a humble manner (25:63); respond to evil with good (41:34); don’t say what you don’t do (62:2); keep your trusts and promises (23:8); don’t insult others’ false gods (6:108); don’t deceive people in trade (6:152); don’t take items without right (3:162); don’t ask unnecessary questions (5:101); don’t lie (22:30); don’t be misery nor extravagant (25:67); don’t call others with bad names (49:11); don’t claim yourselves to be pure (53:32); speak nicely even to the ignorant (25:63); don’t ask for repayment for favors (76:9); make rooms for others at gatherings (58:11); if enemy wants peace, then accept it (8:61); return a greeting in a better manner (4:86); don’t remind others of the favors you have done to them (2:264).

These verses simply teach us how to be kind, reliable, trustworthy, and sincere human being; just like Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself. I have been thinking of this for a long time that how was it possible for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to change Arabs on so many levels including personality, family, community, and social level for 23 years? and why did he become a prophet when he was 40? why not earlier or later?

Then it brought me to the understanding that the previous years before he ﷺ was 40 were essential and important. Before he became a prophet, people at that time acknowledged and recognized him as a person who had noble characters and credibility. His principled honesty was so evident that even people from different eras, backgrounds, and religions recognized it [5] that granted him the reputation as As-Sādiq al-Amīn (the truthful, the trustworthy). These times were used to gain people’s trust and establish credibility and trustworthiness, which are the main pre-requisite of dawah.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and non-Muslim’s Relation

I think one of the major issues we as Muslim face right now is religious extremism. The idea that we are better and purer than others as well as being judgmental is the most common view I witness in the Muslim community, either it is done towards fellow Muslims or non-Muslim.

The Qur’an specifically says, “Do not claim yourselves to be pure” (53:32) and the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Beware of extremism in your religion.” In another hadith, it is also stated that moderation… moderation… and you will go to paradise. Be upright and do the best you can and give glad tiding to people.

Against this backdrop, we have to respect and show our best manners when dealing with non-Muslim. Islam does not teach us to hate non-Muslim. As a matter of fact, “Allah gave respect to the children of Adam” (17:70), not to Muslims only.

Coexistence is the way we can only survive on this planet. The Qur’an says, “Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness…” (5:2). The verse was revealed about Muslims working with other people, not with themselves [6]. Therefore, during the interaction, “Don’t insult others’ gods” (6:108) and “Whomever wills, let them believe in it; and whoever wills, let them disbelieve in it” (18:29). In other words, again, the Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256); “Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good” (5:48).

Imagine if we internalize this. Aren’t we going to be so attractive as a human being?

Imagine if every Muslim, let’s say, contributes $100 or any amount of money to build our own civilization that does not only benefit Muslims but also non-Muslim.

Imagine if all institutions we have right now can reflect and uphold these values.

Imagine if this time is our time to do renaissance in our ummah spiritually, economically, politically, technologically, etc.

Imagine,

Just imagine if we can be the best in both worlds!

Okay. Some may argue that is not possible for people these days to live the life the way Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did due to several reasons, such as irrelevant time, or he was chosen by Allah and therefore, he was taught and guided by Allah, and or many other skeptical opinions. For this reason, I have gathered relevant scientific research and studies done on testing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ motivation techniques implemented at some educational institutions in Muslim majority and minority countries (Malaysia and the USA respectively) to see whether or not it is still applicable in this era as follows:

  1. The first study is conducted by Wan Mazwati Wa Yusoff (2012) on “The Impact of Prophet Muhammad Motivation Techniques on Students’ Performance.” The study aims at extracting techniques used by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in raising his companions’ self-esteem and motivation described in the Quran and Sunnah to see better changes in students’ performance. A qualitative research method is applied in this study starting from selecting and analyzing 45 hadiths and only 10 hadith were found relevant in educational psychology including motivation. The participants involved consist of 28 students with low achievement from a state school located on the outskirt of Perak, Malaysia. The results suggest that the Prophet Muhammad Motivation Techniques applied to his companion 1500 years ago are still applicable in the present time. To better understand, read here.
  2. The second research is carried out by Asyraff Hafdzan Abdullah and Wan Mazwati Wan Yusoff (2015) on “Evaluation of Prophet Muhammad’s Techniques in Managing Misbehaviors: Application in Primary School Classrooms”. This study is aimed to further evaluate the technique done in the first research, but the foci lie on correcting mistakes and misbehaviors. 6 relevant hadith implemented during the teaching and learning process. In collecting the data, teachers’ journals and in-depth interviews were analyzed. It is found that the technique is effective in decreasing disruptive behaviors and easy to implement. For further reading, go here.
  3. The third research is done by Asif I Padela (2015) on “A Grounded Theory Study of the Prophet Muhammad’s Leadership Behaviors: A Model for Islamic School Principals”. The research attempts to discover and identify the leadership behaviors of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH for Islamic educational leadership purposes to aid principals operating Islamic schools in the United States. The study applies a qualitative grounded theory in order to examine selected related Sunnah. The finding reveals that there are two concepts developed namely modeling and directing behaviors that assist principals to lead their followers as per Sunnah and developing a theocentric worldview that refers to providing a remedy to challenges faced by pupils. Read more here.
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Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a servant, father, husband, leader, businessman, and teacher; all were reflected in honor and dignity.

I must argue that this is not an easy task to follow, but I also should say that every one of us is a struggling Muslim. Every day we strive to be a better person with the time and opportunity given to us. Don’t think that this is an easy religion because this religion teaches us to honor ourselves as Allah has made us, humankind, great people — We (Allah) gave you a heart, intellect, and ability to overcome the worst aspect of yourselves, and the means to renew and restore the self through tawba [7]. Nonetheless, remember that “Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful” (5:6) and the Qur’an “was not revealed for you to be miserable” (20:2).

Eventually, I would like to invite myself and yourselves to spend 8 minutes of our time to watch and ponder upon this video.

May Allah grant us the correct understanding and guide us all. Insha Allah. JazakAllah khayr for reading.

References

[1] Baloch, L. (2018, November 18). The holy Prophet PBUH) is a role model for everyone. Retrieved on 11 16, 2020, from International — The News: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/395149-the-holy-prophet-pbuh-is-a-role-model-for-everyone

[2] Pickel, G. (2013). Religion Monitor: Understanding Common Ground. Germany: Bertelsmann Foundation.

[3] TRT World. (2019, December 19). Kuala Lumpur Summit — Erdogan: 94% of people killed in conflicts are Muslim. Retrieved on November 16, 2020, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFodoT9igHA

[4] Festival of Faiths. (2014, May 21). Healing Self, Healing Society — Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Retrieved on November 16, 2020, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0SYEYKm6ec

[5] Elshinawy, M. (2017, April 18). The character of Prophet Muhammad: The proofs of prophethood series. Retrieved on November 16, 2020, from Yaqeen Institute: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/mohammad-elshinawy/the-character-of-prophet-muhammad

[6] Hamza Yusuf. (2018, November 9). Islam’s Universal Values. Retrieved on November 16, 2020, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsa_ss-3UGY; ICNA — Deen 360. (2017, February 6). Story of Prophet Muhammad PBUH — Nouman Ali Khan. Retrieved on November 16, 2020, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLLLXRFaUrs

[7] Islam on Demand. (2011, July 21). In the footsteps of the Prophet: Peace in troubled times — Hamza Yusuf. Retrieved on November 21, 2020, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Seupm5QoZPo

life is short, so am i. dedicated as 3amal jariyaa.

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