Just like the Prophet Jesus PBUH was sent in the wake of Prophet Moses PBUH to reform Judaism, reinstate the rule of the Divine, and sweep away all innovations introduced after the Prophet Moses PBUH had passed, Prophet Muhammad PBUH was sent after Prophet Jesus PBUH because people again distorted the message and Scripture of God after the departure of Jesus Christ.
Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not a new religion that came into existence a mere 1,400 years ago, back in the 7th century. Islam has existed since man set foot on Earth. The final Prophet of humanity, Prophet Muhammad PBUH, was not the founder of Islam, nor was he the first to present Islam, as many people mistakenly believe. Instead, he was sent as the last and final Prophet of God, delivered by God, the Almighty, to convey God’s universal and eternal message to our nation – the final nation. When the Prophet Muhamad PBUH appeared, he did not bring with him a new religion; instead, he brought forth a faith that already existed.
Prophet Muhammad PBUH renewed the ancient tradition of the preceding monotheistic religion preached and taught by every previous Messenger and Prophet of God. Prophet Muhammad PBUH was only the last and final Prophet, the very seal of the Prophets. Islam is the continuation, the culmination, and the completion of God’s universal and eternal message to humanity, as revealed to all of God’s previous Messengers and Prophets.
Prophet Muhammad PBUH was born about 570 years after the birth of the Prophet Jesus PBUH. He was born in Mecca, in the Arabian Peninsula. Prophet Muhammad PBUH was an Arab, but many of the past Prophets of God were not Arab. The people of Mecca were devoted idol-worshippers, and the area during that period was full of ignorance, foolishness, and misguidance. At forty, Prophet Muhammad PBUH received his first Revelation in a cave from God via the Angel Gabriel. He then spent the remaining portion of his life explaining the Holy Quran and the Islamic teachings that God had revealed to him.
Although he was known among his community as the truthful, the trustworthy due to his early reputation for having these qualities, most people did not believe him or his message. Soon after, a massive campaign started to persecute those who believed in his message. After thirteen years of preaching in the city of Mecca, Prophet Muhammad PBUH and his small number of followers migrated to the city of Medina, where he gained more devotees. His followers made him the leader of the city.
The idol-worshippers living in Mecca, who disbelieved the Message of God, plotted and attempted to attack the religion. During years of struggle, what was originally a small group of Muslims grew in number. Soon afterward, the Muslims could withstand the attack of these disbelieving idol-worshippers of Mecca. Eventually, Prophet Muhammad PBUH led an army back to Mecca and conquered it in a bloodless victory. Islam then spread throughout the world. Prophet Muhammad PBUH died in 632. God states in the Quran that He sent Prophet Muhammad PBUH as a mercy for humanity.
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”
Prophet Muhammad PBUH was sent to guide humanity back to God. He understood and loved the Holy Quran, living a life based on the principles of the Holy Quran and its standards. He is the world’s best role model for all of humankind. He is a man with outstanding virtues and characteristics. He was an astonishing husband, father, grandfather, leader, teacher, judge, and statesman. He preached justice, fairness, peace, and love.
Muslims attempt to emulate the Prophet Muhammad’s faith, behavior, attitude, patience, charity, compassion, righteousness, and piety. The act of emulating the Prophet PBUH is called Sunnah. The term is a concept that means the way or practice of. The meaning of Sunnah is generally understood as the act of doing whatever the Prophet PBUH said, did, or approved. Muslims emulate the way the Prophet PBUH ate, drank, the position he slept in, how he behaved and interacted with others, etc.
Following the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet) would make one’s life in this world and the next easier while earning rewards from God that lead one to Paradise. Islam is a natural way of life, and its rules, regulations, and recommendations are easy to adopt. Islam is not merely a religion; it is a way of life and a holistic approach designed by the Almighty to benefit its followers. The comprehensiveness of Islam allows every intention, word, or action in life to be an act of worship, whereby one gains reward from the Almighty. One gains awards from the Almighty that could lead to Paradise from praying to God, giving to charity, helping others, eating, drinking, even sleeping, or any other intention or action pleasing to God.
“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often” (Quran 33:21)
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in history, whose life, actions, and thoughts have changed the world. Muslims love and respect him; they obey and follow him to their best ability. They hold him in such high regard that it is emotionally painful for them to see or hear their beloved Prophet and teacher ridiculed, disrespected, demeaned, scorned, or mocked. When Muslims declare their faith in One God, they also maintain their belief in the last and final Messenger, Muhammad PBUH.
Some people mistakenly assume Muslims worship Prophet Muhammad PBUH by formulating a false analogy. Since Christians worship Jesus Christ, they presume Muslims worship the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. While Muslims look up to Prophet Muhammad PBUH, they do not worship or attribute any divine characteristics to him. Muslims acknowledge that Prophet Muhammad PBUH is only a human Prophet sent from God to deliver His message and be a role model for humanity. Nonetheless, Prophet Muhammad PBUH is a man worthy of our utmost attention, respect, and love.
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