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THE ROLE MODEL

Sent by Br. Abdur Rahman Cemil

Part-II (Final)

Within the hierarchal evidence in Islam, Sunnah ranks as the second most significant aspect after the Quraan. The term Sunnah used within the Hadeeth of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) and the words of the Sahaabah and followers of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) indicates collective deeds and involves every part of life, such as faith, worship, morality and ethics.

The fortification that was necessary to the Islamic ideal was provided by the Sunnah. Once the views were solidified and the ideals were achieved, the Sunnah turned the theory into a reality. The values of Islam were formulated and perpetuated in this way. Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s practices for worshipping Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) took on the form of the application of the Sunnah. This form of worship, which continued during the last twenty-two years of his life, guided the believers even after his departure from this mortal world. Contemplating the Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) and applying it supports the connection between the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s ability to perceive, his attitude, thought, life and history.

This is the reason why the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) has become an instructor for millions of people.

Morality and the Status as a Role Model
A person cannot be considered to be a role model sent to guide people and at the same time be a person who commits deeds that are against the will of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa). For this reason, all the prophets have been granted with a particular high-moral quality. They never intentionally or deliberately acted against the consent of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa). The oversight that stemmed from forgetfulness caused Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) to remind or warn them. These slips are only reflected to the people as a lesson for them. Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) committed no mistakes in conveying Islamic teachings to the human kingdom and this is proven in the Holy Quraan and is agreed upon by Muslim community. No Muslim doubts the fact that Prophet Muhammad was free from faults. The Sunnah put forward by Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) resulted from the orders found in the revelations. It is understood from the Aayaat of the Quraan and the qualities granted to the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) that the revelations imparted to him do not only consist of the Holy Quraan but other than Quraan i.e. Wahi Ghair Matloo (Revelation which is not recited as Quraan). Many Aayaat in the Quraan clearly state that each word and behavior of the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is under the command of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa).

It is clear that the revelations were all conveyed accurately, and these Sunnah that are attributed as being free of faults in the Quraan are valid guides and examples that are relevant at all times.

The Practices of Sahaabah
The Aayaat in the Quraan that command belief in, obedience to, conformity with and submission to the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) are unambiguously clear. Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) invited the believers to obey him, to devote themselves to the Sunnah and to abstain from incorrect actions. In such conditions, if we want to witness the practices of the Prophet, we must look at the lives of the Sahaabah. There are many clear accounts that provide us with adequate materials on this issue. As the revelations related to faith, obedience and submission were imparted to the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), the Sahaabah did not consider performing any practice without his permission or confirmation. The Sahaabah adopted and implemented the Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) without asking or knowing the reasons. There were few times when the Sahaabah understood the rulings in the Quraan and the Sunnah in a way that was not intended; in such cases they were corrected by Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). Sometimes the Sahaabah performed actions at their own discretion which were later ruled to be incorrect and subsequently they were corrected by the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). All of these are examples of how strictly Prophet Muhammad trained his Sahaabah, who were deemed as the "exemplary generation"

Another important attitude of the Sahaabah is the way in which they dealt with problems when Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was not available. They would seek the solution to the problem firstly in the Holy Quraan, secondly, if they could not find the solution there, they would turn to the Sunnah, thirdly, if they found no answer there either, they would practice what they thought was the best action. When they once again encountered the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), they would state the matter and seek his opinion; they would correct their faults if there were any. There is no instance that shows that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s Sahaabah displayed an attitude that was opposed to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam).

In conclusion:

  • The importance of the status of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) as a role model is defined in the Holy Quraan and in the Sunnah; this constitutes one of the foremost practices for Muslims.
  • There is no disagreement among Muslims as to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) constitutes the best example with his morality, actions, words and other features.
  • It would not be correct to demote the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s status as role model to a limited number of fields. This status is related to all fields of life.
  • Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s status as role model is important not only from the perspective of the individual, but also from the social perspective. Its binding features and determination of methods must be considered from these two perspectives.
  • Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s status as role model and the validity of the Sunnah are not limited to his life or to a certain time period. The Holy Quraan and the notions of the Sunnah state this issue clearly, and the fact that Muslim community practices his Sunnah is proof of this issue.
  • Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)'s status as role model and the continuity of his Sunnah are the most important components that provide a unifying force in the Muslim world.

It is important to study the lives of the Sahaabah in order to understand and comprehend the status of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) as a role model. 

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