By Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam
24 Jan 2013
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was one of the greatest humanitarians that ever walked on the earth. In fact he must be called the saviour of humanity. George Bernard Shaw insists that “if a man like Muhammad were to assume dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.”[The Genuine Islam] Similarly, a great historian, Lamartine argues that “as regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”[Histoire de la Turquie] According to Michael H Hart, he leads the list of the Most Influential Persons in History’ (The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’)
Thus, not only Muslims but also non-Muslims look up to Holy Prophet Muhammad’s life as a continuous source of inspiration. The best part of his personality was that in spite of leading a very difficult life since his inception, he would always smile and say ‘All praise be to Allah’
Perhaps, no one’s life has been scrutinised as much as the Holy Prophet’s biography. But not a single flaw in his character has been recorded. This is precisely why even the pagans of Mecca would call him “Al-Sadiq” (the Truthful) and “Al-Amin” (the Faithful).
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) was extremely generous, benevolent and sociable, and he made all possible efforts to inculcate the very noble attributes in his followers. A man asked the Prophet (pbuh), “Which act in Islam is the best?” He replied,
“To feed (the poor and needy) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not.”[ Sahih Al Bukhari] Similarly, he forbade evil deeds and bad manners like jealousy and mutual estrangement. He said, “Do not hate one another, and do not be jealous of one another; and do not desert (cut your relation with) each other, and O God’s worshippers! Be brothers. Lo! It is not permissible for any Muslim to desert (not talk to) his brother (Muslim) for more than three days.”[Sahih Al Bukhari]
Here is a reflection of how steadily and effectively the Prophet tried to nurture and polish the manners of his companions.
The worst thing in human nature that the prophet disliked the most is anger. He never committed any act driven by anger. Warning his companions against the dangers of anger, he said: “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”[Sahih Al Bukhari]
Furthermore, the Prophet (S.A.W.) once said, “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure. One who returns love for hatred.” The Prophet made it clear that one who would only return love for love was on a lower ethical plane.
Once when the Prophet’s opponents persecuted him harshly, his Companions asked him to curse them. At this point, the Prophet (pbuh) replied, “I have not been sent to lay a curse upon men but to be a blessing to them.” His opponents continued to treat him and his Companions unjustly and cruelly, but he always prayed for them. He moulded his life in a way that he never caused any trouble or inconvenience to anyone.
One of the remarkable lessons he taught was that we should live among others like flowers, and not like thorns. The Jews and the Muslims lived side by side in peace in Madinah. The Prophet (pbuh) allowed them to practice their religion freely. In addition to this, he warned his followers that if anyone murdered or mistreated a non-Muslim in any way, he would not even be able to smell the aroma of Paradise, and the Prophet himself would speak in the non Muslim’s defence in the hereafter. He always desired peace with the Christians, Jews and idolaters, and only unsheathed his sword when he was forced to do so to defend Islam and to repel aggression.
The Prophet (pbuh) was born to establish peace and unity in the world. In his Last Sermon, the Holy Prophet removed all forms of inequalities creating a bond of universal brotherhood. He said, “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non – Arab, and for a non – Arab over an Arab, or for white over the black, or for the black over the white, except in piety. Verily the noblest among you is he who is the most pious.”
In his noble character, forbearance and mildness, he left behind a perpetual example of perfect human behaviour for the whole mankind. Neither he adopted an ascetic life, nor inclined towards luxuries of the material world. Rather, he maintained a wonderful balance in his entire lifestyle.
If you take a cursory glance at the various historical personalities of history, you will find them to be distinguished in a specific walk of life. However the Prophet’s success encompasses all aspects of life including social, ethical, cultural, educational, political, administrative, and other human areas. Every part of his life is well balanced and on the whole is the model of perfection.
 George Bernard Shaw, The Genuine Islam. Singapore, Vol.1, No 8, 1936.
 Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, p.276-277.
 Michael H. Hart, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,
New York: Hart publishing Company Inc, 1978, p.33.
 Qur’an 68:4
 Sahih Al Bukhari (Translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan) Vol.8. P.143
Hadith no. 6236.
 Ibid. P.60. Hadith no. 6065.
 Ibid. P.83. Hadith no. 6114.
 Qur’an 21:107
 Ibid. Vol.4. P.475. Hadith no. 3584
 Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3. P.170 Hadith no.3052. Also Bukhari. Vol.3. Hadith
 A.J. Toynbee, Civilisation On Trial, New York, 1948 P.205.
 bd volume 8 Hadith number 628.
 Qur’an 21:107
 Sahih Al Bukhari Vol. 9: Hadith No. 7439.