Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rabi-Ul Awwal/Rabi-Ul Akhir 1423 H
June 2002
Volume 15-06 No:186

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Rabi-Ul-Awwal


A Guidance for all Mankind
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Man of peace
Enjoining the best status on women
The revelation
Special envoy to the world
The Prophet's Advice to His Daughter
A brave and simple man
Paving the way to democracy & Systematic approach towards reforms
What others say about Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)
Knowledge as Your Friend

A Guidance for all Mankind

Madina Munavara

By Khaled Al-Maeena

The Holy Prophet of Islam and Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was born on Rabi-ul-Awwal 12. His birth took place in Makkah on a Monday in the house known as Dar Al-Mawlid, in the year of the Elephant, which corresponds to 571 C.E. Both his father, Abdullah Ibn Abdul Muttalib, and mother, Amina Bint Wahab, were well-known individuals. The Holy Prophet never knew his father, who had died in the months before his birth. It was left to his grandfather to name him Muhammad. It is incumbent upon Muslims to know the importance of this noble Prophet (pbuh) and to abide by the Quran, which was revealed to him. They should also emulate his behaviour and attach importance to the call of tawhid with which he began his message, as shown in Allah’s direction in the Quran: “Say (Muhammad), I pray unto Allah only, and I ascribe to Him no partner.” (Surat Al-Jinn 72:20).Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the role model for every Muslim. We should follow his guidance in all things large and small. Almighty Allah has blessed this Ummah by preserving the Sunnah and Sirah of His Messenger (pbuh). In spite of the passage of time, both remain as though you were seeing and hearing them today. They provide a living example of the life of the Prophet (pbuh). They also instill love and respect for him in the hearts of Muslims. Allah says in the Quran: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have a good example to follow.” (Surat Al-Ahzab: 33:21). It is important that as Muslims face the many challenges in today’s world, that we search and seek guidance from the Holy Quran and follow the teachings of the Prophet. The world is passing through a very dangerous period. Wars, famine, hunger and disease are ravaging parts of the globe. Even in the so-called advanced societies, life is far from trouble-free. We find violence in schools and on the streets, depression, poverty, dysfunctional families and a host of other problems that appear to be increasing instead of dissipating, no matter what measures are used to try to stem the tide of misery. In the Muslim world there is also a crisis of identity. While social problems are few thanks to our strong family values, there is a growing indifference to other challenges that confront us. Intolerance is a rising menace. There is a breeding of extremism, obscurantism and a growing habit of blaming others for our ills. As a people we are not given to soul-searching or introspection. We have failed to question why are we in this position.

What have we done to alleviate our own suffering? We grovel in mortification and we wallow in self-pity, yet we cannot muster the courage to call a spade a spade and find solutions to our own problems. We don’t have to copy others. The life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is itself a beacon of light - a light of guidance that, if only we avail of it, will lead us to safety. Those of us who are in a lofty position in society should lead by example, for it will be disastrous if we ourselves lack true awareness and piety. If we love the Prophet (pbuh) and believe in his message, then we have to follow him in everything we do. We must leave anything that is abominable - all that is indecent, whether in speech or in action. If an injustice is done to you, respond with a kind act by forgiving the one who wronged you. Do not take revenge. Free yourself by forgiving others and working to strengthen relationships. Avoid blaming or being harsh to your servants, colleagues, children, students and spouse(s) when they do not perform their duties to the required standard. Do not hesitate to help the weak, the needy and women; and walk in their midst without arrogance or superiority. Work hard and participate with other workers, even if it be digging in the ground or removing rubble; and be happy in carrying out the tasks you are performing to show your humility. Do not use abusive or rude language, even in jest. Do not direct evil deeds at any of your brothers or sisters. Let politeness and propriety in speech be your way of life. Be merciful to people and to animals, so that Allah may have mercy upon you. Be unafraid to speak the truth, even if it is against you. We must have role models. Let us seek them from people around us but never forget the one who God has sent as a Messenger (pbuh). Of all the prophets, there is none whose life has been as open to scrutiny as that of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Therefore we owe it to ourselves to research his life and study his character, his dealings with people, his manners and his code of life. That itself would be an ennobling experience - something that would enrich us and make our lives rewarding.

The writer is Editor-in-chief, Arab News

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The Messenger of Peace


Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

The 12th of Rabi ul Awwal marks the birth date of the holy messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Muslims everywhere ought to remember this day. This occasion is not for frivolity or pleasure seeking, but an event of inner joy and happiness. Assemblies and conferences are held throughout the Muslim world to narrate the stories of the Prophet’s birth, childhood and his preaching, his character, his sufferings and his forgiveness of even his enemies, and about his leadership, his triumphs through Allah’s mercy over the hearts of men.

Almighty Allah ensures that we should not go astray in our journey through life. He has given us a conscience enabling us to differentiate between what is right and wrong. But whenever man has failed to listen to his conscience or was deaf to the silent message emanating from every object of God’s creation, he sent his prophets to bring the truth and to see that these God-sent messages should not be incomprehensible to the people of many different lands, they were communicated to them in their own language.

Poised between Africa, Asia and Europe, the Arabian peninsula lay at the very heart of the ancient world. There were three major towns, Yathrib, a large oasis now called Madinah, Taif, a cool refuge in the mountains famous for its grapes and Makkah which lay in a barren valley and it was here that Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was born. His father Abdullah ibn Abdul Mutallib died two months before the birth of the Prophet and he was only six years when his mother Aminah also passed away. For two years, he was cared by his grandfather Abdul Mutallib and when he too died, the Prophet’s uncle, Abu Talib became his guardian. A leader of men, the Prophet’s noble character was undisputed, yet when in his 40th year, he announced his prophetic mission which was bestowed on him by Almighty Allah, the people of his own hometown Makkah poured scorn on his claim to prophethood. “Look at this village boy who reckons he is in contact with the heavens,” they would say. But the Prophet remained undeterred and continued with his mission for 23 years, the first 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Madinah. In this short time, he brought about a revolution among the Arab tribes, the like of which the world had never seen before.

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Man of peace

The Prophet’s principle was to avoid any material conflict coming between himself and those to whom he was addressing his teachings. No matter what price had to be paid, he would let no worldy rivalry come in between himself and his congregation. One outstanding example of this policy was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. By constantly waging war against the Muslims, the Quraish tribe had made Muslims and non-Muslims into two separate parties eternally at loggerheads with one another. Both sides were spending all their time preparing for war. In this Treaty, the Prophet accepts all demands of the Quraish in return for a ten-year truce. The terms of the Treaty were so one-sided that many Muslims considered it a humilation, but in reality it paved the way for what the Quran called a “clear victory.”

This Treaty put an end to the animosity between the Muslims and the non-Muslims. Muslims could freely communicate the teachings of their faith to non-Muslims who in turn were free to accept them. No worldy rivalry or prejudice stood in the way of dissemination of faith. The Prophet’s most important task was to bring peace to the world and so he urged people to accept the fact that regardless of skin, colour, language, lifestyle or dwelling place, they were all brothers and sisters. The Prophet himself led the way with his kindness, humility and good humour.

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Enjoining the best status on women

Feminism has become something of a craze in the world today with women agitating for equality of sexes. But it should be remembered that it was the Prophet who bestowed the best status on women with his very first injunction touching the respect due to women especially mothers: “ Paradise lies at the feet of your mother,” says the Prophet.


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The revelation

The Quran was revealed to the holy Prophet as the final and complete Book of God for the benefit of humanity. The world at the advent of Prophet Muhammad was a lost world, a veritable sea of sin. In the words of the Quran, “ On land and sea, moral degradation had settled.” When the evil became universal, it was necessary to adopt a universal cure. The Quran says, “ Today your religion was made complete and perfect,” which means that the religion which was initiated by God at the beginning of the world became complete on his sending the Quran through Prophet Muhammad. In 610 A D, when the Prophet was alone in the cave where he often took refuge to reflect in solitude, the angel of God Gibrael appeared before him and taught him the words that appear as the first verse of the 96th chapter of the Quran-” Read in the Name of your Lord who has created all that exists.”.

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Special envoy to the world

God had entrusted the Prophet with the responsibility of preaching His message to the world as a special envoy. The truth revealed to the Prophet was that this world did not spring up by itself, but was created by Allah who continues to watch over it. All men are His servants and responsible to Him for their actions. Death is not the end of man’s life, rather it is the beginning of another permanent world where the good will enjoy the bliss of paradise and the wicked will be cast into a raging hell. The teaching of the Prophet killed the narrow outlook of nationalism by making all, whether Indian, Arab, Turk, Englishman or African equal and one before God. The Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah where millions of worshippers from all over the world gather every year is the best example of harmonious international relations.

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The Prophet's Advice to His Daughter

Ali, the son of Abu Talib, related how Fatimah, his wife and also daughter of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), had to do all the housework herself. Her hands used to become blistered from working a millstone, her clothes became dirty from sweeping the floor and she had a mark on the neck from having to bring water from outside in a large leather bag. On one occasion, when the Prophet had many servants come to him, Ali suggested to Fatimah that she go and request her father to give her one of them. But there were many people gathered at his house, so she returned home without meeting him. The next day the Prophet came to the house of Ali and Fatimah and asked what she wanted to discuss, but Fatimah remained silent. Then Ali told the Prophet the whole story. The Prophet did not however say yes to their request. “ Fear God,” he said, and fulfill your duty to the Lord. Continue to do your housework and when you go to bed at night, glorify Allah 33 times, praise Him the same number of times and exalt Him 34 times. That makes 100 times altogether. That will do you more good than a servant will.”

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A brave and simple man

In his article entitled “Bravery’, the renowned Hindi writer Sardar Pooran Singh called Prophet Muhammad the “bravest man in history”. In his own words, “ to strive every moment, every hour towards making oneself greater and greater is bravery. Cowards say ‘raise the sword’, while the brave say,’ bring you head forward.’ With God’s choice of Prophet Muhammad, the Prophethood was given historical credibility. This meant that no more prophets had to come to the world in the future. But it was not merely a matter of divine proclamation. Certain conditions had to be fulfilled before this could happen. Firstly God’s commandments relating to every walk of human life had to be revealed. This was duly accomplished as the Quran states, “ It is He who has revealed the Quran for you fully explained.” Secondly a perfect pattern had to be presented before mankind. Prophet Muhammad provided mankind with such a good example and this condition was fulfilled. Thirdly there had to be arrangement for the permanent preservation of the Quran. This task Almighty Allah took upon Himself: “ It was We who revealed the Quran and We will certainly preserve it.” Prophet Muhammad’s life went through various stages of well-being and extreme hardship, yet never once did he stray from the path of moderation. At all times, he remained humble bringing his message of peace and tolerance to mankind.

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Paving the way to democracy

In pre-Islamic times, religious institutions had become debased by the veneration of mere mortals, whereas the Prophet approved of no other form of religion, but that based on the worship of the immortal God. Religious beliefs had been founded on superstition, but by the Prophet, they were established on the foundation of reality. It was he who taught people to conquer nature instead of worshipping it, thus paving the way for the scientific era. And where political power had been in the hands of one hereditary monarch, he showed the way to governance by the people.

Systematic approach towards reforms

The Prophet’s exemplary conduct is a perfect example for mankind. He never sought revenge for any wrong done to him. Only if the divine commandments had been broken, would he mete out retribution for the sake of God. It was this conduct on the part of the Prophet which made him respected in the eyes of his enemies too. An important aspect of the Prophet’s public mission was a realistic step-by-step approach to everything he did. He was always careful to introduce social reforms gradually


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What others say about
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

“ When I closed the second volume of Prophet Muhammad’s biography, I was sorry that there was not more for me to read of the great life. Prophet Muhammad is the best of one, who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“My choice of Muhammad (Pbuh) to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful in both the religiousand secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad (Pbuh), founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religion and became an immensely effective political leader. Today 13 centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.”
Micheal Hart (The 100: A Ranking of the most influential persons in history, New York, 1978).

‘Muhammad (Pbuh) is the most successful of all prophets and religious personalities.” The Encylopaedia Britannica

After much study of the man, I am convinced that if a man like Muhammad (Pbuh) would undertake leadership of the new world, he would succeed in solving its problems and secure that peace and prosperity which all men want.” Bernard Shaw

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Knowledge as Your Friend

“ Acquire knowledge,” the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) used to tell his followers. “Seeking knowledge is the duty of every Muslim. It will enable you to be your own friend in the desert, it will be your mainstay in solitude, your companion in loneliness, your guide to happiness, your sustainer in misery, your adornment when you are amongst people and your arrow against your enemies. Whoever goes out in search of knowledge is on the path of Allah until returning.” Another of the Prophet’s sayings was that if anyone went on his way in search of knowledge, God would make it easy for him to find the way to Paradise.

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