From the time of the Creation of this world, Allah has sent prophets to various lands to give premonition to the people and teach them lessons about humanity and moral values. According to a tradition there were 1, 24,000 prophets, and almost a prophet was sent to every nation in every part of the world. The Holy Quran makes mention of only a handful of then, of course the ones that were known to the Arabs. Prophet Muhammed (SAW) is the last of the prophets. With him the process reached its end as Allah perfected the religion.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the Holy Prophet of Islam was born in Makkah in 571 C.E. In the Arab annals the year of the birth of the Prophet (SAW) is known as the ‘Year of Elephant’. He (SAW) had his milieu from the noble tribe of Quraish of Makkah who traced their bond with Hazrat Ismael (A S), the son of Hazrat Ibrahim (A S). During the first five years, Muhammad (SAW) as a child lived in a desert with his wet nurse Halimah and her family of the Bani Sa’ad. During these years in the healthy hearty and blessed air of the desert, the young child Mohammad (SAW) developed a robust formation of personality. He developed the power of endurance, independence of spirit, and the strength of determination. He also acquired the latest purest Arabic dialect. According to the traditions in the later part of his life, the Holy Prophet (SAW) said:
“I am the most fluent among you because I am of the Quraish, and because I was fostered among Bani Sa’ad b Bakr.”
As Mohammad (SAW) grew up, he began to look at men and things around him with a great concern. The society in which he lived was riddled with grave abuses, unethical values that made him itchy. The Quraish were given to idolatry, and over 360 idols were lodged in the Ka’aba and he (SAW) failed to realize how man-made idols could be expected to do any good to mankind. He (SAW) detested idol worship, and when all people around him took pride in praying to the idols, he (SAW) abstained from such sinful practices.
After making a deep analysis of the universal history we easily determine in the Holy Prophet of Islam the greatest man the world has ever produced. After taking in view all standards by which human greatness may be measured, the Messenger of Allah (SAW)) is the greatest man of all times. The standard of his character is so high and humanely glorious that the brilliance of no character of world history can be compared with his glory. Of all men, Holy Prophet of of Islam has exercised greatest influence upon the human race, and he stands to this day, for all times to come, at the apex of humanity. He (SAW) was the quintessence of virtue, the archetype of wisdom and the living example of good demeanor, unquestionably a model of human flawlessness. He was a leader of men, teacher, an administrator, a statesman, a ruler, a military commander and a reformer as well. His character was pure and clean. His house, his dress, his food were all characterized by simplicity. He was unassuming; he would even mend his clothes and shoes himself. He visited the sick and provided relief to those in distress. He was accessible to all and was sympathetic, generous and forbearing. He was prominent for his unbeatable will, unbendable determination, indomitable perseverance, unyielding persistency, infinite and terminable patience, calm endurance, fearlessness and courage.
Thomas Carlyle in his book On Heroes and Hero Worship speaks of the Holy Prophet as ‘a silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world; the world’s Maker had ordered so.’
In his book Islam and its founder, J.W.H Stob remarks:
“Judged by the smallness of the means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence of the work he accomplished his name in world’s history with a more specious luster than that of the Prophet of Makkah. To the impulse which he gave, numberless dynasties have owed their existence, far cities and stately palaces and temple have arisen, wide provinces became obedient to the faith. And beyond all this, his words have governed the belief of generations, been accepted as their rule in life, and their certain guide in the world to come.”
The historic address that the Holy Prophet delivered on the occasion of the farewell pilgrimage recapitulates the message of his mission . He said:
“O people! Listen carefully to my words for I may not be among you next year, nor ever address you again from this spot. O people! Just as you regard this month as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that none may hurt you. Usury is forbidden. Satan has despaired of leading you astray in big things, so beware of obeying him in small things. Women have rights over you, as you have rights over them. Be good to them. You may soon have to appear before God and answer for your deeds. So beware. Do not go astray after I am gone. O people! No prophet will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Worship your God, say your prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and give off your wealth in charity. All Muslims, free or enslaved have the same rights and same responsibilities. None is higher than the other unless he is higher in the virtue. Feed your slaves as you feed yourselves, clothe them as you clothe yourselves. Do not oppress them nor usurp their rights. There is no distinction among the Arabs and the non-Arabs, the black and the white, all Muslims constitute a brotherhood. Remain united and be not divided.”
In the Holy month of Rabi al- Awwal, the Muslim brotherhood celebrates (Meelad-un- Nabi) “Blessing of the Prophets coming to mankind”.