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Sent by: Sister Khaulah binte Abdul Majeed

Michael H. Hart, the American author of “The Hundred: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”, called the Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) as “the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.”

To this, one can add a number of his other unique achievements such as the following: There never was anyone like Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) whose life has been recorded in such meticulous detail, and there never was anyone in history like Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) whose exemplary deeds are so closely emulated in their daily lives by so many people from so many countries and regions of this world, and to this day.

It was Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) alone, among the religious leaders, who could establish a government based on Divine guidance for the first time in human history, and that, too, in a land where anarchy had reigned supreme for centuries. He brought law, order, and social justice to a people notorious for endless retaliatory conflicts. If anyone ever became an unchallenged ruler by Divine right, it was Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), and Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) alone. While he possessed power as absolute as humanly attainable, he remained ever humbler than any of his followers.

It was Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) who for the first time taught people to give up alcohol, drugs and all kinds of unclean food. It was none other than Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) who for the first time in history established women’s rights by allowing them to own property, inherit, question authorities, and seek divorce when they had reasons for doing so.

There never was such an unlettered man who put the wisdom of the scholars of all the later generations to shame. And there never was a religious leader like him who was so “modern” in his attitudes and policies. He condemned racism and nationalism; he established laws to protect animals, trees, and the environment; he established workers’ rights and banned interest.

In a brief span of 23 years of his Prophetic life, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was able to transform the faith, morality, daily life, and the very mindset of all the varied tribes of Arabia. Within a hundred years his message had changed the hearts and lives of millions in different parts of the world.

The details of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam)’s personal life such as how he ate, drank, washed himself, and so on, can be learned from the volumes of Hadeeth (Narrations), which form a treasure for such information on his lifestyle. Indeed, it would be impossible to give on this page a detailed account of the varied aspects of the personality of the man, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam).

Therefore, I would content myself by highlighting here just a few aspects of his personal life. The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was taller than average, of strong physical build; he was fair of complexion, had a prominent forehead, along with long and thick eyelashes. His face was genial and had a very attractive and pleasant smile. When he spoke, he spoke to the purpose or else he kept quiet. He was the first to greet a person; and he was not the first to withdraw his hand from a handshake. He never liked people paying him too much respect and prohibited them from standing up when he arrived. He visited the poor and the ailing and advised the Muslims to do likewise. He invited the poorest of the poor to partake of his scanty meal.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam), however, used to:

كَانَ يَخِيطُ ثَوْبَهُ وَيَخْصِفُ نَعْلَهُ قَالَتْ وَكَانَ يَعْمَلُ مَا يَعْمَلُ الرِّجَالُ فِي بُيُوتِهِمْ.

“… his own clothes, mend his own shoes and do whatever other work men do in their homes.” (Ahmad)

The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was of very clean habits and used to brush his teeth going to bed and rising from sleep and at many other occasions, especially, before each of the daily Salaah (Prayers). After midnight he used to get up for the Tahajjud Salaah (optional late night Prayer) which he never missed in his life as reported by Bukhari. He was not fastidious about his bed; sometimes he slept on his cot, sometimes on an ordinary mat, and sometimes on the ground as reported by Zarqani. He was gentle and kindhearted, always ready to overlook the faults of others. Politeness, generosity, simplicity, and sincerity were the hallmarks of his character. In dispensing justice, he was firm, but his severity was tempered with compassion. His charming manners won him the affection of his followers. Though he was the Messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), and virtually became the ruler of Arabia, he never was proud, and never did he assume any air of superiority. Fear of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and humility were deeply ingrained in his heart. He always received people with courtesy and showed respect to older people.

He was very kind to animals. Once during a journey, somebody picked up some bird’s eggs. The bird’s painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), who asked the man to replace the eggs.

من فجع ھذہ بولدھا؟ ردوا ولدھا الیھا (Abu Daawood)

Also as his army marched towards Makkah al Mukarramah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done.

The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) loved the company of the poor people; and he used to pray:

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْيِنِي مِسْكِينًا وَأَمِتْنِي مِسْكِينًا وَاحْشُرْنِي فِي زُمْرَةِ الْمَسَاكِينِ ‏‏

“O Allah! Keep me poor in my life and at my death, and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor” (Ibne Maajah)

His house was a hut with walls of unbaked clay and a thatched roof of palm leaves covered by camel skin. He used to sleep on a rough mat. Once his disciples noticed its imprint on his back. They wished to give him a soft bed, but he declined the offer, saying:

مالی و للدنیا، ما انا فی الدنیا الا کراکب استظل تحت شجرۃ ثم راح وترکھا.

“What have I to do with the world? I am like a rider who had sat under a tree for its shade, then went away and left it.” (At-Tirmizi)

He advised the people to live simple lives and himself practiced great austerities.

توفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وما في بيتي من شيء يأكله ذو كبد إلا شطر شعير في رف لي، ‏‏‏‏‏‏فأكلت منه حتى طال علي فكلته ففني.

“Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam) died, and there was nothing in my house that a living being could eat, except some barley lying on a shelf. So, I ate of it for a long period and measured it, and (after a short period) it was consumed.” (Bukhari).

The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said about himself:

إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الأَخْلاقِ.

“I was sent to perfect good character.” (Al-Adab ul Mufrad)

When he died, he did not leave a cent of wealth, nor any property except his white mule, his weapons, and a piece of land which he had dedicated for the good of the community. Hadhrat ‘Amir bin Al-Harith reported:

مَا تَرَكَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم دِينَارًا وَلاَ دِرْهَمًا وَلاَ عَبْدًا وَلاَ أَمَةً، إِلاَّ بَغْلَتَهُ الْبَيْضَاءَ الَّتِي كَانَ يَرْكَبُهَا، وَسِلاَحَهُ، وَأَرْضًا جَعَلَهَا لاِبْنِ السَّبِيلِ صَدَقَةً‏.‏

“Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam) did not leave a Dinar or a Dirham or a male or a female slave. He left only his white mule on which he used to ride, and his weapons, and a piece of land which he gave in charity for the needy travelers.” (Bukhari)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in the Quraan what means:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا [الأحزاب: 21]

“There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah — for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah profusely.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:21)