By Zahid Mateen
No man has walked the face of this Earth greater than Muhammad Ibn Abdullah ﷺ. The Leader of the Children of Adam and Imam of the Prophets of Allah. Titles and praise will extinguish but we won’t be able to do justice to the legacy of our beloved Muhammad ﷺ.
Its easy to listen or read about his life, but the real deal is to implement his teachings and actions into our daily lives. What has Allah told us about His Messenger and our Prophet ﷺ:
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah.”
[Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 21]
His ﷺ teachings and lessons were not something restricted to history or something you just do at home. Alas, his teachings are something that will be followed to the end of time by millions of people for he is the last and final Messenger of Allah ﷺ. It was through him that Allah perfected His religion and His favour upon us, the Children of Adam. Be it inside our houses or out on the streets we have an example of him for everything that is good and beneficial.
Even something as basic as going to the toilet has been taught to us by him. Allah blessed this Ummah by raising us from the pits of ignorance and bringing us into the light. The light that began to spread from the moment the words ‘Iqra! (Read!)’ were revealed and continues to illuminate different corners of the globe even today. Allah tells us:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا
“He it is Who has sent His Messenger (ﷺ) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior over all religions. And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.”
[Surah Al-Fath, Ayah 28]
Libraries could be filled if we write about the benefits of the teachings of our beloved ﷺ but today we’d like to keep it simple and have a look at ONLY 3 lessons from the life and teachings of our Prophet ﷺ that we can implement practically in our day to day lives.
1) Concise Speech
One of the special gifts our Prophet ﷺ had was ‘Jawami al-Kalim’ – Speech that was concise, yet carrying the deepest of meanings. Unlike the other miracles our Prophets ﷺ, we can experience this for ourselves even today by examining the many advises and lessons preserved in the books of Hadith. We see in it the succinctness of language that is eloquent yet rich in wisdom.
“The believer is the mirror of his brother.” [Al Adab Al Mufrad]. The original Arabic of this statement consists of a mere three words: المؤمن مرآة أخيه
If we reflect on this statement we will find that it is so deep and rich in wisdom. So many beneficial gems can be derived just from these few words.
Today in the world of Snapchat, vines and other social media people tend to have very short attention spans. So for us to invite people to the message of Islam or even during our presentations, meetings etc in schools and offices this trait is something we should try to adopt.
Ever sat in class or a meeting and dozed off because the person presenting is just rambling on and on? Nobody is going to sit and listen to you for hours at an end or read a one hundred page article that you have written. Keep it short, to the point and see how people will start liking you and your content. It is such content that captivates the heart and mind of the reader/listener as it is easy for the mind to process and follow.
2. Time to Learn
Today we are seeing a boom in our learning industry. A lot of the youth and even the elderly are turning to learning more about Islam and its teachings. In this phase, it is very important that we set a certain time to learn new things. At the start when adrenaline and energy levels are shooting through the roof, it’ll feel good to learn at any time and every time of the day. But from experience, it can be said that such people don’t last long and experience a burnout very soon.
Even the Prophet ﷺ did not always preach and teach the sahaba. There weren’t classes being given 24×7. He ﷺ would joke with the sahaba, work with them and teach them when he felt the time was appropriate. More importantly, our Prophet ﷺ knew how and when to teach people so that they would be more receptive to his teachings and hence be more productive.
A lot of the times we see that people will forward a really long text or audio messages and keep bombarding such messages daily to such an extent that the person receiving this may get exasperated. Though the intention is good and the message is also good but this lacks adab. A very important thing to keep in mind is that not everyone will feel the same excitement as you.
A person is not always in the correct mindset to learn and receive knowledge and we should be careful about this. Many times our messages are copy-pasted and you could feel the void of emotion. It just becomes a monotonous thing that you get every day. Ponder on this hadith and the following ayah. Don’t just read it. Read, pause, and reflect on how these words fit into your daily life.
It was narrated that Hanzalah al-Usaydi said: Abu Bakr met me and said: How are you, O Hanzalah? I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite. He said: SubhanAllah! What are you saying? I said: When we are with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ he reminds us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, we experience something similar. Abu Bakr and I went and entered upon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite, O Messenger of Allah.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Why is that?” I said: O Messenger of Allah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from you, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul if you continued as you are when you are with me, and continued to remember (Paradise and Hell), the angels would shake hands with you in your homes and on the streets. But, O Hanzalah, there is a time for this and a time for that,” (he said it) three times. [Muslim]
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. [Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ayah 159]
Set aside a certain part of the day where you learn something new and a fixed time where you revise what you learn. This helps in retention in the long run and things don’t get too clustered.
Send short and powerful messages instead of long essays. From adab is to ask the person if they would like such messages and what would be the appropriate time to send them if they do agree. We want people to look at our messages and feel happy, not irritated, right?
Remember that everything has a time and place for it. Personal rejuvenation is also very important for a believer to keep going. We are not in a sprint where we just dash and just complete everything without any Ihsan. Rather we are in a marathon. Take it easy and follow the plan.
3. Family Relations
Our Ummah is like a big structure with different blocks holding it together. These blocks are our families. If these small units are strong the Ummah itself will rejuvenate and become strong.
Maintaining family ties could be our key to Jannah. Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari رضي الله عنه narrated: A man said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Inform me of a deed which will make me enter Paradise.”
The Prophet ﷺ said: “In order to enter Paradise you should worship Allah and join none in worship with Him: You should offer prayers perfectly, give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and keep good relations with your relatives.” [Bukhari]
Not just Jannah, even in the Dunya upholding family relations is so beneficial for us. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه narrates, “I heard Allah’s Apostle ﷺ saying, “Whoever is pleased that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life is prolonged, then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” [Bukhari]
Learn to be appreciative of all that your mother, father, wife or husband does for you. Smile and show that you are happy to be with them.
“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
Before you start talking, smile! This is an instant ingredient to start any conversation positively and to remove any past ill feelings that could be present.
Throughout the Seerah we see the Prophet ﷺ engaging with the everyone around him and appreciating whatever they did, even if it was something as small as pouring water for ablution. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.” [Abu Dawud]
Even though people may say, ‘No sorry-No thanks amongst friends and family’ but those are just mere words. People like to feel appreciated for their work. Appreciation motivates a person to do better and also strengthens a bond of love.
Fights and arguments are common in every household. This is not the time for us as an Ummah to let petty issues tear apart our families. Don’t let such break the precious bond that you share. Take a deep breath and engage in dialogue, never just assume something.
Even when the Prophet ﷺ used to be abused, he never lost his calm. If you feel that someone in the family is doing something wrong then advise and guide them calmly.
When he ﷺ taught the sahaba he ﷺ repeated it many times so that the sahaba could learn properly. He ﷺ never got frustrated and lost his cool. If indeed you are in the right then learn to be humble.
When our Prophet ﷺ entered Makkah victorious at the head of a 10,000 man strong army he could have rubbed it in the face of so many of his relatives who had stayed back, disbelieved in him and even tried to harm him. But he didn’t and that is what set him apart from the rest.
Our mother Aisha رضي الله عنها narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The word ‘Ar-Rahm’ (womb) derives its name from ‘Ar-Rahman’ (i.e. Allah). So whosoever keeps good relations with it (womb i.e. relatives), Allah will keep good relations with him, and whosoever will sever it (i.e. severs his bonds from relatives) Allah too will sever His relations with him. [Bukhari]
People change and even if we are wronged, we should learn to give others a second chance. Wouldn’t we like one too for the mistakes we have done?
Always see the bigger picture and never let anger cloud your path to Jannah.
Umar رضي الله عنه left his home to kill the Prophet ﷺ, today he is buried beside him. See how much the Ummah as a family gained when the Prophet ﷺ forgave and accepted people like Khalid Ibn Walid, Abu Sufyan and Ikrimah رضي الله عنهم etc.
He even forgave Hind who was involved in mutilating the body of the Prophet’s ﷺ beloved uncle Hamza. This could be easier said than done for many so if you feel that someone in the family is toxic and bad for you, restrict your interaction to phone calls or greeting on special occasions but never break family bonds completely. Why do you ask? Simply because Allah said so and in it lies great blessings.
Don’t feel shy about saying thank you and sorry. You might lose your ego but you’ll gain something much better – the love and respect of a dear one. Share gifts amongst each other to strengthen those bonds of love. Learn to give people a second chance to change.
We don’t have enough time or energy to harbour toxic feelings in our life. Before sleeping everyday try and forgive any wrong that has been done to you, wash it away completely from your heart and ask Allah to accept this from you and forgive you for your sins in return.
If we claim to love the Prophet ﷺ then it is obvious that we should obey what he has said for no one loves someone and rejects what the loved one has to say. This love must be heartfelt love for him ﷺ and it must be translated into action and not just mere words, by obeying Him and following his ﷺ example:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Say (O Muhammad): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Imran, Ayah 31]
Indeed, Prophet ﷺ was the epitome of good manners. If there is any personality that has lived on the face of this earth who was complete in every regard and the life of whom can serve as a beacon of guidance for people of every walk of life, that personality would undeniably be the personality of Muhammad ﷺ. You might want to check our online course offered, The Muslim DNA and learn how to develop the ideal Muslim character as we will delve into the tafseer and hadith to extract the life lessons from the stories of the greatest man of all time, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and others.