By Ashraf Amin
The guiding manual of Islam- Al Qur’an- was revealed in the full light of the history to Muhammad(SAW), the Final Messenger. He acted upon and emulated the teachings of the Qur’an so much so that he is referred to as “The Living Quran” or “The Quran Personified”. Now, the Qur’an addresses man, a being, a very complex amalgam composition of material and psychological entities. And, the Qur’an being the revelation from God must nourish the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual faculties of a human being. In the person of Muhammad(SAW), the Qur’an strived to produce an ideal human being: The one who makes full use of all the faculties afore-mentioned, however within certain limits. Such limits are termed as Hikmah by the Qur’an. The Qur’an talks of well set patterns on which Allah has patterned a man as for example in Surah Ar- Rum and Al-Infitar: “So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know (Ar-Rum, Verse 30). “Allah is He Who created you, and then made you even and straight; then He created you and gave you a balance [in your body organs, faculties and tendencies” (Al-Infitar, verses 7-8). The Prophet(SAW) never led such a pattern lose its’ symmetry. The Prophet(SAW) lived as an ideal friend, father, husband, and statesman. He expressed joy, played humorous, strived for achievement, held lofty ideas, goals and purposes, channelized his emotions and anger for the good, expressed his grief on sad occasions, displayed chivalry, allowed room for love with the spouse and so on
The Prophet(SAW) accepted the reality of the worldly things and never aspired for miracles or building castles in the air. He knew human weakness and strengths. He was open-minded to the novel ideas, accepted shortcomings [in worldly matters] if any, held meetings of consultation, and worked as a team. He always chose the most practical options. Apart from being the Prophet(SAW), his life serves a reference; when anyone looks for a model in him, one witnesses a man who is in full control of emotions and all the faculties acting in coordination without one dominating the other. The personality of the Prophet(SAW) is such that all men may strive to emulate him for he lived an earthly life amidst odds as others do. He was divinely-guided but accepting of the realities of life. The precepts of the Prophet are sufficient enough to make an estimate of how a human being should be like or how one wishes to be like. Amidst a mass of authentic Prophetic pronouncements, I dare to reproduce few to gauge the typical characteristics of a balanced human entity.
“The proof of a Muslim’s sincerity is that he pays no heed to that, which is not his business.” (Tirmidhi)
“Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.” (Muslim & Bukhari)
“Strive always to excel in virtue and truth.” (Bukhari)
“Verily, Allah is mild and is fond of mildness, and He gives to the mild what He does not give to the harsh.” (Muslim)
“The best richness is the richness of the soul.” (Bukhari)
“Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your heart and your deeds.” (Muslim)
“Who is the most favoured of Allah? He, from whom the greatest good comes to His creatures.” (Bukhari)
“What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured.” (Bukhari)
“Whoever would love to be saved from Hellfire and entered into Paradise then let him die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and let him treat people the way he would love to be treated.”(Muslim)
Now, one may question that whether such sayings state an ideal personality as foreseen by Qur’an or these reveal merely an ethical dimension of human life. To such a question, the answer is that all humans agree that the ideal personality of a human being is measured by the ideals, motivations, purposes and goals he/she sets for him/herself. And, in the bosom of the above mentioned Prophetic pronouncements, we see the most sincere and illuminating motivations and purposes of life. In the personality of Prophet, the Qur’an really comes alive.
—The author is Senior Research Fellow at the Shah-i- Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org