This article delves deeper into the profound teachings of Prophet Mohammad, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to equality, justice, compassion, and forgiveness.
A champion of equality and justice
Hazrat Bilal, a former slave who found freedom and dignity through Islam, is a testament to the Prophet’s unwavering commitment to equality and justice. In a society marred by prejudice and discrimination, the Prophet stood as a beacon of hope. He taught that all individuals, regardless of their social or economic status, are equal in the eyes of Allah. Importantly, in the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad, said“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action.” This message of equality resonates today as a timeless reminder that no one should be judged by their background, but by their character and actions.
Influencing through exemplary actions
One of the most remarkable aspects of Prophet Muhammad’s life was his ability to influence others through his exemplary actions. His character and conduct were so impeccable that even his staunchest critics were moved by his sincerity and kindness. The Prophet’s life serves as a profound lesson that actions speak louder than words. In a world often marked by divisiveness and discord, his example reminds us of the power of leading by example and treating others with respect and kindness. Importantly, Quran 68:4: mentions: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.”This verse is often cited to emphasize the exceptional moral character of Prophet Muhammad, as acknowledged by Allah in the Quran.
In addition, Michael H. Hart, an American astrophysicist, in his book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History (1978, page no. 33), ranked Prophet Muhammad as the most influential person in history. He stated: “My choice of Muhammad 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 on both the religious and secular levels.”Moreover, Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish historian and writer, wrote in his book
On Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History (1840)”The lies which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only.” These testimonies from non-Muslims highlight the universal recognition of Prophet Muhammad’s character and influence.
The art of forgiveness
Perhaps one of the most striking attributes of Prophet Muhammad was his capacity for forgiveness. He forgave those who wronged him, even his worst enemies. This act of forgiveness is a powerful reminder of the transformative potential of forgiveness in our own lives. It teaches us that forgiveness is not a sign of weakness but rather a testament to one’s strength and character. By forgiving others, we free ourselves from the burden of anger and resentment, leading to inner peace and reconciliation.
One of the most well-known examples of Prophet Muhammad’s forgiveness is that there was an elderly woman in Mecca who would throw trash and thorns in the path of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) every day when he passed by her house. Despite facing this continuous harassment, the Prophet never complained or reacted negatively. He would simply pass by her house and continue on his way without uttering a word. One day, as the Prophet passed by the woman’s house, he noticed that there was no trash in his path. Concerned for her well-being, he inquired about her from his companions. He learned that she was sick and bedridden. In an act of incredible compassion and forgiveness, the Prophet visited the woman at her home and inquired about her health. He offered words of comfort and prayed for her recovery. Another important example of Prophet Muhammad’s forgiveness is the Conquest of Mecca. After years of persecution and conflict, when he entered Mecca victorious, he forgave even his staunchest enemies who had wronged him and the Muslim community for years. This act of forgiveness is a testament to his character.
Courage in the face of adversity
The Prophet’s life was marked by countless challenges and hardships, yet he maintained a firm stance in the face of adversity. His unwavering commitment to his beliefs and principles serves as an inspiration for all. In today’s world, where standing up for what is right often requires great courage, Prophet Muhammad’s example encourages us to be steadfast in our convictions, even when the odds seem insurmountable.
Compassion for the oppressed
Prophet Muhammad’s compassion for the oppressed and marginalized is a guiding light for humanity. He consistently showed empathy and support for those who were suffering or facing injustice. One notable example is the story of Bilal ibn Rabah, an Ethiopian slave who became one of the Prophet’s closest companions and the first muezzin (caller to prayer) in Islam. Bilal’s emancipation symbolizes the Prophet’s commitment to the dignity and rights of the oppressed. In addition, the Prophet regularly emphasized the importance of charity and helping the less fortunate. He said, “The best of you are those who feed others and return greetings to others with peace.” Moreover, Prophet Muhammad himself was an orphan, and he showed great concern for orphans. He said, “The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” and he held two of his fingers together to illustrate the closeness. This statement underscores his empathy for marginalized children.
Further, during a time when women’s rights were limited, the Prophet advocated for the rights and dignity of women. He granted women the right to inherit, the right to seek an education, and the right to choose their spouses. His teachings aimed to elevate the status of women in society. Therefore, in a world where many still endure oppression, his teachings remind us of our duty to stand alongside the oppressed and work towards a more just and equitable society.
Patience and tolerance
The teachings of Prophet Muhammad emphasize the importance of patience and tolerance in personal matters. In a fast-paced world filled with stress and conflict, these virtues are invaluable. Patience teaches us to remain steadfast in the face of trials, while tolerance encourages us to embrace diversity and coexist peacefully with others, irrespective of our differences.
The path to leading a dignified life
In conclusion, the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) offer a timeless blueprint for leading a dignified life. His commitment to equality, justice, forgiveness, courage, compassion, and patience provides a roadmap for navigating the complexities of our modern world. By embracing these teachings, we can strive to be better individuals and contribute to a more harmonious and just society.
Eid Milad-un-Nabi SAW is not just a celebration of the Prophet’s birth; it is a reminder of the enduring impact of his life and teachings on the world. Let us strive to embody the values and principles of Prophet Muhammad in our own lives, making the world a better place for future generations.
The writer is a research scholar at the Central University of Gujarat. He can be reached at [email protected]

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