Prophets: Perfect Model for Humanity

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Prophets Views: 21613

History has preserved the life-stories of men, thousands in number, who had achieved eminence in one field or the other. All of them have left their imprints on the pages of history. There are amongst them emperors surrounded by the splendor of royal courts, an array of military commanders and generals, philosophers lost in their thoughts, mighty conquerors intoxicated with power, poets singing to cheer their own solitude with sweet songs and the affluent rolling in riches . All of them have attraction of their own for the sons of Adam. Whether it be Hannibal of Carthage, or Alexander of Macedonia, or Caesar of Rome, or Darius of Iran, or yet Napoleon of France, the life of each has a fascination for the posterity. Similarly alluring are the lives of all philosophers from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Diogenes of the ancients to Spencer of England. Even the lives of Nimrod and Pharaoh, Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab  and Korah depict yet another trait of human nature and character; but the question is, who amongst these, can be deemed as a model of goodness and virtue fit to be followed by other human beings? Great generals and conquerors, indeed were they, who swept everything before them by their sword, but did they also succeed in leaving an ennobling example of their lives to be followed by others? They had won brilliant victories, but were they able to cut the shackles of superstition and credulous beliefs? Did they solve any social problem besetting equality and brotherhood of human beings? Did they succeed in restoring our moral and spiritual health and happiness or in eradicating the faults and failings of our desires? Did they present any model of moral rectitude and decorous behavior for the posterity?

World has given birth to great poets. But, these were painters of fantasy, merely starry-eyed utopians unfit to be assigned any place in the Republic of Plato.

There have been sages and philosophers who have plumbed the secrets of nature beyond the limits of perception and changed the concept of things and materials. They have, nevertheless, failed to produce any blueprint for the practical guidance of humanity. For their flight of imagination lacked practical wisdom, they could never provide man with any guidance in the discharge of his obligations. Aristotle was the precursor of ethical philosophy now studied in every university. His brilliant exposition of ethical impulsions is esteemed highly both by the learned and the learners, but how many of them have been able to betake the path of virtue by reading his dissertations? Teachers well-versed in ethical philosophy can be found almost in every institution of higher learning, who know all about its premises and principles, but has their impact been ever felt beyond their class-rooms? On the contrary, we find that very often their conduct and behavior are no better than those of the man on the street. To walk in the right path one has not to hear the sermons but to see the living examples of cardinal virtues.

Powerful kings and emperors have also appeared on the stage of this world. They have extended their dominions, played with the life and property of their fellow beings, extracted wealth through taxes and tithes from some and bestowed their bounties on others. They have demeaned on to exalt the other. The Book of God presents, in the words of the Queen of Sheba, this rare picture of their doings on the earth:

"Lo! kings, when they enter a township, ruin it and make the honor of its people shame." (Quran, 27:34)

The swords of mighty kings have hanged over the heads of criminals in thoroughfares and market places, but they have failed to reach the guilt concealed in the minds and hearts of men. They have enforced law and order in the habitations and townships, but the kingdom of spirit has ever been beyond their reach, or, rather, their own courts and castles have been the breeding dens of moral confusion and spiritual anarchy. What else have the kings like Alexanders and Caesars left for us? How many lawgivers has the world seen from Solon to this day? Their laws were not only short-lived but also failed to cleanse the hearts and purify the morals. Subsequent rulers always placed a new set of laws on the statute book, albeit more often to further their own interests than to enforce the rules of equity. The world has not changed even today. Still, the legislatures in every country make and unmake laws endlessly, but seldom their labors are for the benefit of the people whom they profess to represent. It is more the interest of the powers that be which they seek to promote. 

The prophets adorn and illuminate the soul of man: the zealous preaching's  of Noah, the unshakable principle of God's oneness upheld by  Abraham, the patrimony of resignation to Divine will bequeathed by Isaac, the self-sacrifice of Ishmael, the indefatigable efforts of Moses, the faithfulness of Aaron, the self-resignation of Jacob, the lamentations of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the litanies of Zachariah, the chastity of John, the piety of Jesus, the penitence of Jonah, the strenuous exertion of Lot and the endurance of Job have made the life of man winsome and bright

These are, broadly, the higher sections of society which could be expected to work for the welfare of humanity. If you give further thoughts to the matter you would see that whatever light of goodness and virtue you find in the world today, it owes its existence to the pure-hearted souls whom you know by the name of prophets and messengers of God. Wherever you come across compassion and justice and a sincere desire to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and the downtrodden, no matter whether these are found in the cave of a mountain or a dense forest or a populous city, they are due to the call given by one of these men of God. The Quran tells us:

"There is not a nation but a warner hath passed among them." (Quran, 35:24)

"For every folk a guide." (Quran, 13:7)

The lustre of their teachings is to be found today in every country and nation; savages and the civilized people of the world are both equally indebted to them for edification of their souls. Of all the groups of men we have mentioned afore, the most august are they, for they rule not over the bodies of men like the kings, but their authority is enshrined in the hearts of the people. Their kingdom is not of lands and countries, but of hearts and spirits: they do now wield the sword, yet they obliterate the stains of guilt and iniquity at one stroke; they are not dreamy-eyed songsmiths, yet the sweetness of their speech delights the soul; they are neither senators nor law-makers, yet the laws given by them regulate the conduct of statesmen and judges, kings and subjects from age to age. This is not a question of faith or conviction but a matter of fact and history. One has to see whether it has actually been so or not. The edicts of Patliputra's Ashoka are engraved on the pillars of stones, but those of the Buddha are inscribed in the hearts of people. The decrees of the rulers of Ujjain, Hastinapur, Delhi and Kannauj are no more to be found today, but the Dharma Shastra of Manu still prevails. The statutes of Hamurabbi, the King of Babel, have long been buried under the dust, but Abraham's teachings are still alive! Pharaoh's imprudent demand to pay divine honors to him was a transient as the clouds, but Moses still lives in his teachings. How long did the laws of Solon remain in force, but the laws of Torah are still the measure of justice! The Roman Law which persecuted Jesus Christ became extinct long ago, but the doctrines of love that flowed from the lips of Jesus still redeem the wrongdoers and wash them of their sins. The Abu Jahls of Mecca, the Chosroes of Iran and the Caesars of Rome are all dead and gone, but the Lord of Madina still rules over the hearts of people in every part of the world.

If these facts are correct, one would have to concede, not on grounds of faith, but through reason and logic of stubborn facts, that no other class of people except the prophets has worked for the welfare and happiness of mankind in its truest sense; theirs was the endeavor consisting of virtue and goodness, purity of heart, moderation and temperance. They all came to this world as messengers of God to preach the gospel of Truth and Faith, and they left their footsteps of righteousness to be followed by the coming generations. It is from their teachings alone that the rulers and the ruled, the rich and the poor and the learned and the illiterate can derive equal benefit.

"That is Our argument. We gave it unto Abraham against the folk. We raise unto degrees of wisdom whom We will. Lo! thy Lord is Wise, Aware. And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do we reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisa and Jonah and Lot. Each one (of them) did We prefer above  (Our) creatures, With some of their forefathers and their off-spring and their brethren; and We chose them and guided them unto a straight path. Such is the guidance of Allah wherewith He guideth whom he will of His bondmen. But if they had set up (for worship) aught beside Him, (all) that they did would have been vain. Those are they unto whom We gave the Scripture and command and prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein, then indeed We shall entrust it to a people who will not be disbelievers therein. Those are they whom Allah guideth, so follow their guidance." (Quran 6:84-91)

These luminous verses of the Quran speak of a particular group among men, some of whom have been mentioned by name, who had been sent to cure the spiritual ailments of mankind and restore its moral health. They were men, holy and angelic in spirit, who preached the word of God in different times and climes and in every land. Whatever of moral rectitude and righteousness, purity and chastity man possesses today, it is all their legacy, and in following their footsteps alone lies the salvation and well-being of humanity. The prophets adorn and illuminate the soul of man: the zealous preachings  of Noah, the unshakable principle of God's oneness upheld by  Abraham, the patrimony of resignation to Divine will bequeathed by Isaac, the self-sacrifice of Ishmael, the indefatigable efforts of Moses, the faithfulness of Aaron, the self-resignation of Jacob, the lamentations of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the litanies of Zachariah, the chastity of John, the piety of Jesus, the penitence of Jonah, the strenuous exertion of Lot and the endurance of Job have made the life of man winsome and bright. To these consecrated souls can be traced every virtue and goodness found in the world today.

There is, however, no denying the fact that culture and civilization, progress and improvement, in short, everything that has contributed towards the welfare and material progress of mankind and helped man to raise himself to the level of vicegerent of God on earth, has been brought about by the combined effort of all men. Astronomers have discovered the movements of heavenly bodies, chemists have found out the properties of substances, physicians have searched the medicines for curing diseases, architects have developed the science and designs of structures and artisans have give birth to useful crafts and fine arts, and all of them have thus a share in the making of our world. We ought to be thankful to all of them. Nevertheless, we are even more obliged to offer our thanks to those who have decorated the world within us. They are the physicians who have cured us of our greed and envy, diagnosed the ailments of our souls and refurbished its lost energy and vigor. They elaborated our behavior patterns and aptitudes, ideas and intentions and showed us the way of attaining purity of heart and sublimity of spirit. It was through the efforts of these God moved souls that the cultural attainments were refined and embellished, the link between man and God, the slave and the Lord, was established. How could the world have attained its excellence if we had been denied the knowledge received through prophetic teachings? We are, verily, indebted more to these men of God than to any other class or group of person. This is the compliment due to the prophets of God and it ought to be paid by all of us whenever their name comes on the lips of anyone. And, this is the benediction taught by Islam to be offered for them: "O God! Have mercy and peace on all of them."

 

Excerpted from the book "Muhammed, the Ideal Prophet" by Saiyid Sulaiman Nadwi. He was a student of Allama Shibli Nu'mani whose masterpiece, Sirat-Un-Nabi, he edited and presented to the world after his teacher's death.


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  23 Comments   Comment

  1. Pavel Slivenko from Russia

    How do you do.

    The article is good. It reminds the good thoughts.

    The more time passed from the days of Adam the more prophets came to the world. Unfortunanly not all mankind turned to the right way of life. Will it ever be?

    Those who submit to the will of God (reveiled through the true prophets only) they will be saved from the eternal punishment.

    Those who refuse to listen to God's messengers will listen to fauls prophets and go to the fire.

    The choice is given to everybody but few choose the way

  2. Y.P. from U.S.A.

    Whether preparing to sacrifice their own kid, or raiding caravans and taking slaves, Semitic prophets are far from perfect models for humanity.

  3. Ismail Sulaimon from Nigeria

    Prophet Muhamed is the last Prophet send by ALLAH to all mankind.

  4. Babandi A. Gumel from U.K

    Masha Allahu Laquwata Illah billah.Alhamdu Lillahi Allah has made Rasulullah the best Model for the whole humanity.We have no any excuse to say that you cannot follow the Prophet because of your status wether exalted or poor Miskin or Ghani whoever you are or whatever you may be,King,President Prime Minister,Teacher,student husband father,grand father,nephew father,neighbour,Armygeneral Judge,scholar,Hafiz,educated uneducated, Doctor including of course even an Optician,Scientist,Astraunaut who been to Miraj,believer and all the qualities mentioned in Surah Ahzab

    Muttaqi,Muslimun,Muminin,Qanitin,Sadiqin,Sabirin,Khashi'ina,Mutasadiqina,Saimina,Hafizina Furujahum,Zakirinallah Kasirah and all qualities you can think of A-Z of leadership A for the abilility,B for bravery C for Calmness D for dependability,E for Examplary,Fairness,Genuineness,Honesty,Initiative Judgement,Knowledge, Liberalism, Modesty, Nobility,Organisation with good Personality for P with Qualities for Q taking Responsibility with Sacrifice asking his companions to join him in the Teamwork with proper understanding Masha Allah Versitle, with wisdom xraying every bit of what is said like youth with vigour and zeal which sealed the whole argument. Wa Akhiri daawana anil hamdu lillahi Rabbil Alameen.May Allah give us Taufiq to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet S.A.W.

  5. Mustapha Adedokun Lawal from Nigeria

    It is true. I love this opinion.

  6. Ali Miko Bichi from Nigeria

    Assalaam alaikum, I thorougly enjoyed reading this article. It is highly educative and informative and gives the reader a clear understanding of the purity and sanctity of all prophets of Allah (SWT) and the impallable nature of their dispositions.

    As muslims we sanctity all prophets and regards them as perfect models for humanity. Muslims do not and are not supposed to glorify kings and rulers, in monarchy or in democracy. The article has traced the historical antecedents that largely upholds this view, and as I quote from it: "Even the lives of Nimrod and Pharaoh, Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab and Korah depict yet another trait of human nature and character; but the question is, who amongst these, can be deemed as a model of goodness and virtue?"

    The prophets are the best example of goodness, morals and virtue and the best of them all is prophet Muhammad (SAW).

    Indeed, we are indebted more to these men of God than to any other class or group of persons. This is the compliment due to the prophets of God and it ought to be paid by all of us whenever their name comes on the lips of anyone.

    Bissalaam wa salaam alaikum.

    Ali Miko Bichi (Engr)

  7. Muqith Mujtaba Ali from Sharjah, UAE

    Assalamu Alaikum.

    An excellent article, MashaAllah.

    In fact the book by Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi is the best book on Seerah when it comes to historical analysis and comparative studies. I have uploaded this finest of books in my blog:

    http://muqith.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/idealprophet.pdf

    Please download the book from this link, InshaAllah.

    Jazakallah Khair.

    Muqith Mujtaba Ali

  8. George from U.S.A.

    And who is the greatest amoung the prophets ? He is none other than that prophet who Moses said would come and whoever would not obey that prophet would be destroyed from amoung the people or would not be able to go to God's heaven if they did not repent of their sins and believe on him. He also spoke later this prophet that , Whom do men say that I the son of man am ? to his deciples.They said some say thou art Elijah or one of the prophets. Then he said but whom do ye say that I am. One deciple said ,Thou art the Christ the son of the living God. And this was none other than the one who said , I am the way , the truth , and the life ; no man cometh unto the Father but by me. John 14:6. And also I and my Father are one. And except ye believe in me ye shall die in your sins. This was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Who came to become the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. By dying for all of them on the cross of Calvary 2000 years ago, he was buried ,and rose again from the dead the third day, was seen of men,and went back up to heaven. If anyone will repent of their sins against God and trust him as their Saviour and Lord God God will give to those who do his gift of eternal life in heaven. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved , and thy house. Acts 16:31. In the pure word of God , the Authorized King James Holy Bible. Sincerely ;

  9. Saliyu Mutiu from Nigeria

    .....Indeed Muhammed (SAW),is a prophet of Allah,Jazakallahu Khaera to all that had contibuted to this article.

  10. Amatullah Sharif from USA

    Bismillah

    As Salaamu Alaikum

    Very excellent article. The Prophets sent by Allah are perfect models for mankind and all of humanity. They have a pattern and are a type of community. They all were given the same way of life and their mission was one and the same, monotheism. There is no G-d but Allah, no partner, His is the Kingdom, His is the Praise, and He has power over all things. Peace

  11. Babandi A. Gumel from U.K

    Without any shadow of doubt the Prophets were perfect models for the whole humanity.They exactly practiced what they preached to their followers.Unlike us who only say we love and respect those Prophets but do not do what they told us to do due to intellectual dishonesty a disease suffered by most of us.We know the truth but we dont want follow that truth.Instead we chose to deviate and follow our Nafs which some of us have made it as their own Ilah (i.e God) worshipping it day and night and wanting every body to follow that way.Well we say sorry now because if we follow such misguided deviant otherwise unfortunate people who have no Noor of hidayah we will also be misguided.They decided deliberately to skip the ways of the Prophets and invent their own ways in the name of the so called guidance which is sheer misguidance and they cannot see unless Allah favours them with the Noor of Hidayah.Then they can distinguish between right and wrong.It is Allah as the Wali of Believers who brings them out of darkness(es) (plural) Zulumat into (singular) Noor of Islam the way of all Ambiyah (Prophets) the super models.They shunned lewdness, iniquities and other kinds of shameful deeds real models for the entire humanity.They practiced whatever they preached with utmost devotion and sincerity while the enemies were only trying to prevent simple and sincere community from following their ways.If you analyse and compare the lives of the two ie the Prophets and those who opposed them you would find great difference so open beyond immagination.So this is why the Prophets were not greedy duniya wise neither jealous rather they were kind simple tender hearted people who loved for their followers what they loved for themselves.In addition they were patient enduring all kinds of sufferings tribulations which they came accross. At the same time were forgiving to their followers who they knew as ignorant.All they wanted was goodness and recognise their Lord Allah and gain Akhirah.

  12. aferdita from london

    SALAM ALICOM all of u i just wont to say thet QORAN its more wonderfull book in the world in the qoran u can find anything WHAT EVERY U LOOK U CAN FIND w.s.

  13. Mohamed Shah from Malaysia

    A wondeful artcle and I do hope all Muslims all around the world will read this. Please refer to Quaran if you find any difficulties and refer to your ustaz for further explaination.I also wish more writers like this will want to write such articles for us to read.

    Wasalam.

  14. Muslimah from Canada

    Jazakum Allah khair for posting a nice and well rendered reminder about where are the true values of human beings. I believe that the short sighted human memory of today needs badly such a reminder. Human values belong to the heart and the spirit and not to the decorating material that surround the human life created from the infinite Wisdom of Allah s.w.t.

    All our salam go to all of the Prophets of Allah s.w.t. that have been sent by Him s.w.t. to teach us all about our souls and hearts and guide us to perfect our conduct and intellect so we can attain the hapiness here using our own creations but most importantly understand that it is only a passage to the true hapiness of the hereafter. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. came to complete and perfect this one and unique message from Allah s.w.t. to us and set the practical role model for us to follow. May Allah s.w.t. guide us all on the foot steps of His nabiu ar'rahma and help us stay on the right path.

    Wassalam warahma

  15. BABAYO ALIYU from Nigeria

    I'VE RECEIVED & READ THE ARTICLE PROPHETS:PERFECTMODEL FOR HUMANITY AND FOUND IT VERY MOVING AND KNOULEDGEABLE, MAY ALLAH REWARD YOU WIYH JANNATUL FIRDAUS AMIN. MAY I INFORM YOU THAT I'VE GIVEN OUT YOUR MAIL TO MANY OF MY FRIENDS?. ALHAMDU LILLAH MAASSALAM.

  16. Alhajie Alpha Bangura from Sierra Leone

    Thanks for the inspirational and educating article.It filled my heart and emotion after i havegone through it.May Peace and blessing be Upon the Holy and Peaceful Mohammad (saw).

    May Allah continue to guide us all and May He takes our lives in Islam.

  17. Art Yusuf from Australia

    One of the Best Articles I have ever read ... I wish there were more..

  18. Mohammad Shafique from Canada

    I must say it's an wonderful article to read and understand what

    magnificent message all prophets has given to the humanity.

    From Adam down to our Last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

    basically one message the ONENESS OF GOD. Since Prophet

    Muhammad (PBUH) is the last messenger of Allah it is our

    responsibility to continue the Dawa until the end of the world.

    Rejection and opposition continued and will continue but we

    should not give up under any circumstance. May Allah help us to

    spread the truth.

  19. Yusuf from USA

    May the peace,the blessings,and the mercy of Allah be upon all the Prophets.From Adem(a.s) right down to the seal of God's Prophets, Muhammad(pbuh).I pray that Allah,the one and only will help each one of us,the sons of Adem(a.s)to not only learn and comprehend the great examples of these men of God but rather demand it of ourselves to try and live up to these standards in our own personal lives with all our strength and dedication....May Allah make whats seeming a difficult task easy on each and every one of us.....Ameen

  20. Adam from Nigeria

    Thanks for a well rendered article on our Prophets (AS). However one will not resist the urge to finished up the verses (6:83-90) quoted so as to render the complelete meaning. The verses ended thus;

    "...(and) say (O Muhammad); no reward for this do I ask of you (for) this is no less than a message for all NATIONS"

    This will go a long way to expaciate on what Babandi expressed so well in his comment i.e even though we were told of the previous prophets; our (the other weaklings) universal role model now should be the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who came as a seal to all those fantastic prophets sent by Allah to mankind.

  21. Sharron Muhammad from US

    I think of Esther, who saved her people... Maryam, whose chastity and piety Allah (swt) rewarded Hajjar, and the woman of Naml (peace be upon all of them) as models, civilizers, and guides.... Perhaps if their guidance were celebrated in addition to that of male prophets (as well as the guidance of women whose prophetesshood and names I don't know), there would be real civilization and less war in the world.

  22. Babandi A.Gumel from U.K.

    Undoutedly the Prophets were Models for the humanity from Adam to Muhammad all Peace be Upon them.Although some were sent to few people such as their families only some to small towns, some to cities some to Districts and some to countries or Nations but the last Prophet Muhammad Alaihis Salat Wassalam was sent to the entire humanity.He was the best perfect example for the whole humanity from Kings the rich and the paupers.He was example for every one and he was the best example on the surface of the earth.If you are King,President Prime Minister or Head of State Rasulullah was the best example for you as General although we don't call him General Rasulullah but he was the Commander In Chief of the Muslim Army.As Preacher he was the best,Alim the most knowledgeble,as Qari he read Quran with Tarteel and he was the best of Huffaz,Imam,husband,neighbour,father,brother,uncle,nephew,most respectful,fear of Allah he had the most Taqwa,philosopher the most philosopical

    He was the most truthful,trustworthy patient the one who fulfilled promise.Even for the scientist who are proud of astronauts he been to Miraj,he was a Doctor who cured his patients with Dua,he was the man who defended on no body but Allah as seen from the story of the one who woke the Prophet from sleep with a sword asking him sacarstically "Who will save you from me?" and Rasulullah answered "Allah" which made him so scared and the sword fell the Prophet in turn took it and asked the person who became helpless as he had no answer and so the Prophet gave him his sword and forgave him.He was best model for the whole humanity as married man who praticed monogamy until the demise of Khadijah to polygamy and his wives became Ummahatul Mumineen.He was the best politician,enviromentalist believer of animal rights and human rights, leader,conquerer,simple slave of Allah knowledgeable although he could not read and write yet he learnt such knowledge which was unquantifiable. We can go on and on for luck of space

  23. nizam from US

    What a beautiful and thought provoking article brother! Thank you very much for such an insightful article offered through Islamicity. Allah has promised that it is He and his messenger will prevail, and thats what exactly we see. May Allah bless you all and grant us forgiveness, and peace!