Allah’s Messenger Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) is the last and final prophet of Islam. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was born in Macca on Monday 12th Rabi-ul-Awal in 571 A.D. His mother was Bibi Aamena. He was given the name Muhammad (The praised one). His father’s name was Abdullah. Hazrat Abdullah passed away before Muhammad was born. After the death of his mother, his grandfather Abdul Muttalib took care of him but it was not long before his grandfather passed away too. Hazrat Muhammad was then eight years old. Then his uncle Abu Talib looked after him. At a young age Rasulullah used to go into the desert to watch the flocks of his uncle. As a young boy he was truthful, well-mannered and honest.
He is the one who was entrusted with the last book: The Holy Quran. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) was attracted by others due to his sincerity, kindness, appearance and success in his mission (to deliver the message of Islam). Life of the Hazrat Muhammad is a role model for everyone and all the blessings of Allah are attached with it.
His Appointment of the Competent Persons
Allah’s Messenger was unique in discovering promising and competent persons in his community and appointing them to the work they could do best. Whoever he appointed to a post, he did not find any need to change him, and that person proved, through both his honesty and competence, that he was a really good choice. This is another dimension of the Prophet’s leadership which demonstrates that he was a Prophet chosen by Allah.
The Macca period of Islam was inscribed in the memories of the Muslims as a period of unbearable sufferings and tortures. Not only the poor and unprotected but also those Muslims like Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar, who were from the elite and powerful members of the Quraish, were severely victimized. In order to save his followers from this maltreatment the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), permitted the poor and unprotected among them to migrate but chose to keep back the powerful ones such as Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Zubayr, Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Saad ibn Abi Waqqas in Macca, for Islam needed their support to spread and spread itself in Macca. These powerful Muslims were to occupy the highest positions in the administration of the Muslim state in later decades.
Abu Dharr was a poor, blunt and upright man from the desert. When he heard Muhammad declaration of Prophethood, he came to Macca and became a Muslim. Allah’s Messenger used to preach Islam secretly in the earliest stage of his Prophethood. Abu Dharr was very pious and lived a somber life. However, since public administration requires special skills, Allah’s Messenger did not accept Abu Dharr’s request to be appointed to an administrative post, saying: “You are not able to manage the affairs of people. Do not apply for such jobs, for we do not assign such jobs to those who apply for them.”
Allah’s Messenger refused Abu Dharr, but he implied the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. Holding once the hands of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, he said: “I have four viziers, two in the heavens and two in the world. Those in the heavens are Gabriel and Michael; as for those in the world, they are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”Concerning the future caliphate of ‘Uthman, he declared: “It will be a trial for him.”
Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H) recognized his men much more than they knew themselves. Like Abu Dharr, was a man from the desert. He came to Macca and entering the presence of Allah’s Messenger, asked rudely: “What are you?” To this rudeness, the Messenger replied very gently: “I am a Prophet of God.” The gentleness of God’s Messenger was enough for the Abu Dharr who knelt down and declared: “I am to follow you from now on, O Allah’s Messenger.”
The Messenger did not desire Abu Dharr to stay in Macca, because he was not able to tolerate the torments imposed upon the believers. So, he told him, as he had once told Abu Dharr: Now, return to your tribe, and preach Islam among them. When, however, you hear that I am victorious, come and join us.
Years later, Abu Dharr came to Medina, and asked God’s Messenger, who was in the mosque: ‘Do you recognize me, O God’s Messenger?’ The Messenger, who had an extraordinarily strong and keen memory (another dimension of his Prophethood) answered promptly: “Aren’t you the one who came to me in Macca? I sent you back to your tribe and told you to join us when you heard that I was victorious.”
The conquest of Khyber proved to be one of the occasions on which Allah’s Messenger, demonstrated his uniqueness in recognizing the potentials, skills and shortcomings of each of his followers. When the barrier was prolonged, Allah’s Messenger: Tomorrow I will hand the standard to one who loves God and His Messenger and is loved by them. This was indeed a great honour, and all of the Companions desired earnestly to deserve it. The next day came and God’s Messenger asked for Hazrat Ali. ‘He has sore eyes’, he was told. The Messenger then sent for Hazrat Ali and applied his saliva to Hazrat Ali’s eyes, which, as he blessed by Allah, never again troubled him.
Despite Hazrat Ali’s youth, God’s Messenger preferred him on account of his great skills in combat and in taking command. He took the standard and succeeded in conquering the stronghold of Khyber, which was very formidable.
Whoever Allah’s Messenger gave a job to, that person became successful in doing it. For example, he described Hazrat Khalid-ibne-Walid as ‘a sword among the swords of God’, and Khalid never tasted defeat during his whole lifetime.
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was twenty-five years old when he married Khadija, a widow who was fifteen years senior than him. He did not marry another woman until Khadija’s death in the tenth year of his Prophethood. All his later marriages, after the age of fifty, were directly related to his mission. One of the important reasons for them was that his wives had different characters and temperaments and could therefore convey to other Muslim women the rules of Islam related to women. Each of them proved a guide and teacher for womanhood. The science of Hadith is especially indebted to Hazrat Aisha, who related from Allah’s Messenger more than five thousand Traditions. Hazrat Aisha was also a great jurist.
Subsequent events proved how wise and appropriate were all the choices of Hazrat Muhammad not least in the matter of marriage.
The Wisdom of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)
A leader gains the love and trust of his people and is followed by them due to his capability in solving their problems, whether personal or public, related to individual, private life, or to social, economic, political affairs touching the community as a whole.
Allah’s Messenger solved all problems so skillfully and easily that no one disagreed with the issue of his decisions. Although he was sent to a people by nature and habit quarrelsome, ignorant, wild and rebellious, and sent with a mission so grave as ‘to rend mountains asunder’ – If We had sent down this Qur’an onto a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and rent asunder out of fear of God (al-Hashr, 59.21) – he made them into a harmonious community of peace, happiness, knowledge and good morals. Mankind has not since then witnessed the equal of that society. However, if they desire to live a happy and peaceful life based on good morals and universal values such as love, mutual respect, compassion, and humanity, they have no way other than to follow the example of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
Solution to the Problem of Racism
Racism is one of the severest diseases of human society in this age. Everyone remembers how black Africans were transported across the oceans, packed in specially designed ships, thought of and treated exactly like livestock. They were all made slaves, forced to change their names and religion and language, were never entitled to hope for true freedom, and were refused the least of human rights. Because among Western peoples the attitude to non-Westerners has changed very little in modern times, the political and social condition of the black people remains, even where they live amid the native Westerners – Americans or Europeans – as theoretically equal fellow-citizens, that of despised inferiors.
When Allah’s Messenger, was raised as a Prophet, the same kind of racism, under the name of tribalism, was prevalent in Macca. The Quraish considered themselves in particular, and Arabs in general, superior to all the other peoples of the world. Allah’s Messenger came with the Divine Message and proclaimed that no Arab is superior over a non-Arab, and no white is superior over black, and superiority is by righteousness and God-fearing alone (Sura al-Hujurat, 49.13). He also declared that even if a Black slave Muslim was to rule over Muslims, he should be obeyed.
Allah’s Messenger eliminated the problem of racial or colour discrimination so successfully that, for example, Hazrat Umar once said of Hazrat Bilal: ‘Bilal is our master, and was emancipated by our master Abu Bakr.’ Hazrat Zayd ibn Haritha was a black slave. Allah’s Messenger emancipated him and, before the banning of adoption by the Qur’an, adopted him. He married him to Hazrat Zaynab, one of the noblest women of the Muslim community. After all these honors he conferred on him, he also appointed him as a commander over the Muslim army he sent against the Byzantine Empire and which included the leading figures of the Companions such as Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and others. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) appointed Hazrat Zayd’s son, Hazrat Usama, to command the army he formed just before his passing away.
During his Caliphate, Hazrat Umar paid a higher salary to Usama than to his own son, ‘Abd Allah, who asked why. Hazrat Umar answered: ‘My son, I do so, because I know well that God’s Messenger loved Usama’s father more than yours and Usama himself more than you’.
Hazrat Zayd ibn Haritha commanded an army in which the noblest of the Quraish, like Ja’far ibn Hazrat Abu Talib, the cousin of Allah’s Messenger, and Khalid ibn Walid, the invincible general of the age, were present. The army commanded by Usama, Zayd’s son, included leading figures among the Companions such as Khalid, Abu ‘Ubayda, Talha, Zubayr and others. This established in the hearts and minds that superiority is not by birth or colour or blood, but by Allah-fearing and righteousness.
The Last Word on the Leadership of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)
The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, had all the qualities a leader is supposed to have. He was a leader not only in one aspect of life but he led his community to success in every field. There is none in human history comparable to him as commander, statesman, religious leader, spiritual guide, etc. In order to know him as a leader more closely, we had better summarize the qualities a leader should have in general terms:
- A leader should be realistic; his messages and demands should not be in contradiction with the realities of life. He should consider the conditions surrounding him and his community as they actually are. He should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages he has.
- A leader should be convinced of the truth of the message he conveys to people. He should never falter in his convictions and be resolute in conveying his message without renunciation.
- A leader should be courageous in nature. Even left alone to himself, he should find in himself as much courage as to resist all the difficulties he might encounter.
Hazrat Muhammad was the most courageous of people. When some of his pursuers reached the mouth of the cave where he was in hiding, Hazrat Abu Bakr was afraid that something would happen to the Messenger. However, Hazrat Muhammad comforted him, saying: “Grieve not, for God is with us.”
- A leader should have a strong will-power and resolve and never fall into hopelessness.
- A leader should be aware of his responsibility and nothing should be able to prevent him from fulfilling it. Especially the charms of the world and attractions of life should not be able to intervene between him and his responsibility.
- A leader should be far-sighted and have determined his goal well. He should have the mental capacity to discern the developments he might encounter in the future. He should also be able to evaluate the past, the present and the future together and reach new syntheses. A leader who frequently changes opinions causes rifts and disagreements among his community.
- A leader should know the members of his community individually. He should have discovered each of them with their dispositions, character, abilities, shortcomings, ambitions and weak points. This will enable him particularly to make the best choice in his appointments to important offices.
- A leader should have a strong character and be equipped with praiseworthy virtues. He should be determined in carrying out his decisions but capable of flexibility; he should know when to be unyielding and implacable; when to be relenting and compassionate. He should be earnest and dignified but also modest. He should be upright, truthful, trustworthy, and just.
- A leader should not cherish worldly ambitions and abuse his authority.
- He should live like one who is the poorest of his community and never discriminate among his subjects.
- He should love all of them, prefer them over himself and be able to make himself loved by them sincerely. He should be faithful to his community and be able to secure their loyalty and devotion.
Considered from the viewpoint of all these and many other qualities a leader should have, Allah’s Messenger will be seen to be the greatest leader history has ever known. To quote only a few examples, even when the conditions were most unfavorable, he never conceived of giving up conveying his Message nor yielded to the desires of his opponents to make concessions. Instead, he used to say to them: “Say, ‘There is no god but God’, and prosper in both worlds.” When his Companions complained to him about the harsh conditions afflicting them in Macca and the persecutions they suffered, he answered: “You show haste. One day will come and a woman will travel from Hira [a town in southern Iraq] to Macca alone on her camel (in security) and turn round Ka’ba as an act of worship, and the treasuries of the Sassanid Emperor will be captured by my community.”
Once the polytheist leaders of Macca came to him and said: ‘If you assign us a day when others, especially those poor ones, will not be present, we may talk to you about accepting your religion.’ They despised the poor Muslims like Hazrat Bilal, Hazrat Ammar and Hazrat Habbab and desired special treatment. Allah‘s Messenger never accepted such proposals, nor did he ever think of accepting them. The verses revealed addressed him as follows:
Send not away those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His ‘Face’. (al-An‘am, 6.52) Persevere together with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His ‘Face’. (al-Kahf, 18.28)
The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) possessed not only transformational leadership values but that he also possessed extraordinary values which made him a unique leader in the history of humankind. The transformational leadership values Prophet Muhammad exemplified are liberty, justice, equality, and collective well-being. His public communication also demonstrated the values he approved. He preached of family values that include affection and kindness for children, children honoring their parents, the importance of educating the children, financial security for wives after the husband’s death, husbands treating their wives with kindness and gentleness, respecting even foster parents, brothers, and sisters, and the importance of loving and honoring relatives. The Prophet Muhammad’s speeches focused also on character values that include gentleness, humility, kindness, moderation, modesty, politeness, and truthfulness. His public communication included the admonition of community values that included charity, forgiveness, hospitality, and mercy.
His life from cradle to grave was recorded, documented stored and practically put into practice for all those who come after him as example for the whole mankind making him the Universal Prophet for mankind. His ways of life was fully documented for our guidance.