Do Muslims worship Muhammad? (Peace be upon him)
No. Muslims do not worship Muhammad (Peace be upon him) or any other prophets. Muslims believe in all prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was the last of the prophets. They believe that God alone is to be worshiped, not any human being.
Who is Muhammad (peace be upon him) ?
The last and final prophet that God sent to humanity was the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained, interpreted and lived the teachings of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many reasons, but mainly because the results of his mission have brought more people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet. Even though other religious communities claimed to believe in One God, over time they had corrupted their beliefs by taking their prophets and saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some religions believe their prophets to be manifestations of God, "God Incarnate" or the "Son of God". All of these false ideas lead to the creature being worshipped instead of the Creator, which contributed to the idolatrous practice of believing that Almighty God can be approached through intermediaries. In order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always emphasized that he was only a human-being tasked with the preaching of God's message. He taught Muslims to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His Slave". To Muslims, Muhammad is the supreme example for all people - he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbor, husband, father and friend. Unlike other prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of history. Muslims don't need to have "faith" that he existed and that his teachings are preserved - they know it to be a fact. Even when his followers only numbered a few dozen, Almighty God informed Muhammad that he had be sent as a mercy to all of mankind. Because people had distorted or forgotten God's messages, God took it upon Himself to protect the message revealed to Muhammad. This was because Almighty God promised not to send another messenger after him. Since all of God's messengers have preached the message of Islam - i.e. submission to the will of God and the worship of God alone - Muhammad is actually the last prophet of Islam, not the first. In brief, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael (Peace be upon him), son of Prophet Abraham (Peace be upon him). His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He did not attend a formal school since he was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle. As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At age 40, he was given the prophethood when the angel, Gabriel, appeared in the cave. Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were compiled in the form of a book called the Quran which Muslims consider as the final and the last word of God. The Quran has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah, the psalms and the Gospel.
The Character of The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Alharamain Islamic Foundation
A comprehensive and graceful account of the noble qualities, merciful disposition and distinctive traits of the 'prophet's character has been left by Hind b. Abi Hala. He says:
Whatever he said, it was always explicit and in plain terms. His speech was never long-winded nor unnecessarily concise. He was kindhearted and soft-spoken, never harsh or cool in his behavior. Neither he humiliated anyone nor himself liked to be treated with disrespect. The' Prophet set much by every provision; even if it was small in quantity he never deprecated it. As for the edibles he never disapproved nor praised ; nor he showed anger about anything of the world or what it stands for. However, whenever one failed to meet one's obligation to God, nothing could cool down his indignation until he had paid back 1n full measure. But, for the wrongs done to his own person, he would never become angry.
"When he pointed out something, he did so with his whole hand; and when he was astonished he turned his hand over. In speaking with another man, he would strike the palm of the left on the thumb of his right hand. Angry, he would avert his face; joyful, he would look downwards. His laughter was but a smile, and when he laughed, his teeth used to appear white as hailstones."
"He was predisposed to refrain from unseemly language, curses and reviling and deeds shameful; in no wise he ~ said or did anything improper; he never raised his voice in) a market place, nor returned evil for evil; rather, he was given to forgive and forget. Never in his life he laid his hands on anyone save in a fight for the sake of God, nor did he ever strike anybody with his hand, neither a servant nor' a woman. I never saw him exacting retribution for any offence or excess excepting when the honor of God was ? concerned or the limit set by Him was transgressed, in which: case the Prophet would be more enraged than anybody else. ] If he had the choice between two courses, he would choose the easier one-' When he came to his house, he behaved ~ like a commoner, cleaned his garments, milked the sheep] and performed the household chores.
"The Messenger of God was not given to idle talk; he spoke only when he was concerned and comforted the people instead of giving them a scare through his speech. If a man of rank or nobility called upon him from another tribe, he showed him due honor and appointed him to some respectable post. He was always as cautious in his dealings with the people as he was over careful in forming an estimate about them, although he never denied anyone his courtesy and sweet temper. He kept his companions always posted with the events and happenings and used to ask them about their affairs.
"He commended what was good and deprecated what was bad or vile; strengthened the one and weakened the other; was always moderate and steadfast without going back and forth; never allowed anything to escape his attention lest others should become negligent or get distracted; took care to possess the means for meeting every contingency; and was never found wanting in doing what was right and proper but in no wise he ever exceeded the limits. Those who kept his company were all virtuous and the elect; he was the best in his estimation who was the most benignant and courteous to all; and he was the most esteemed in his eyes who excelled others in benevolence and kindliness and in doing a favor to others.
The Prophet would stand up with the name of God on his lips and so he sat down. Wherever he went, he sat down in the rear and instructed others to do the same. He paid such attention to everyone attending his meetings that everybody thought that none attracted his notice like himself. If anybody asked him to sit down or spoke of his affair, the Apostle listened to him patiently and gave heed to him until he had finished his talk and departed. If anybody asked for something or wanted his help, he never allowed him to leave without disposing of his business or at least comforted him with words kind and sweet. Such was his grace and kindness to one and all that everybody took him as his father. In regard to what was right and proper he regarded all on the same plane. His were the gatherings of knowledge and edification, of seemliness and modesty, of earnestness and probity. Neither anybody talked in a loud voice, nor censured others, nor cast a reflection on anybody, nor found fault with others; all were equal on even ground, and only those enjoyed a privilege who were more pious and God-fearing. In his meetings, the elders were held in reverence, the younger were treated kindly, those in need were given preference by all and the wayfarers and strangers were afforded protection and looked after." Further he says: "Of cheerful disposition, the Apostle of God was always bright and radiant; he was tenderhearted and sweet tempered; not stern by nature, he never spoke harshly; nor was he accustomed to speaking loudly; nor to saying anything unseemly or lewed; nor yet he found fault with others; he was not stingy or miser; if he disliked the request made to him, he simply ignored it and instead of refusing it outright he gave no reply. From the three things he always kept aloof; one was squabble, the other, arrogance, and the third, dabbling in a futile task.
And, the three things he spared others were that he never spoke ill of anyone, nor maligned anybody, nor pried into anyone's failings. He gave tongue only to the things which were decent. When he spoke all those present listened to him attentively lowering their heads as if birds were sitting on their heads. Others spoke only when the Apostle had finished his talk, nobody joined issue with others in his presence and when anybody said something others kept quiet until he had finished his talk. The Prophet of God used to smile on the remarks which made others laugh and expressed surprise over things which astonished others. He always gave heed to the wayfarers and used to put up patiently with the rudeness of strangers until his companions diverted the attention of such persons. He used to say: 'Help those whom you find in need.' He gave ears only to such tributes as were modestly worded and never interrupted nor cut in the talk of others. If anybody exceeded the limits, he either forbade him or got up to cut short such prattle.
"He was the most generous, large-hearted, truthful, clement, lenient and amiable. One who saw him for the first time was overawed, but when one kept his company and came to know him intimately, one became attached to him like an inseparable companion. Those who had seen him say that they never saw a man like him either before or after him May God have peace and blessings on His Apostle. "
God had endowed His Prophet with an impressive personality. His features displayed a harmonious blending of a lovely elegance and grace, sublime splendor and impressiveness. Says Hind b. Abi Hala, "He was self-respecting, graceful and splendid pleasing to the eyes set on him. His face had the brilliance of a full moon."
Bara' b. 'Azib relates, "God's Messenger was of medium height. I had seen him once wearing a red robe and had never seen anyone more beautiful than he." Abu Huraira says: The Prophet was of a moderate size, a bit tall than short, his complexion was very fair, his beard was black, the mouth was of moderate size and pretty, the eye-lashes were long, the shoulders were broad?I have never seen a man like him either before or after hiln.'' Anas reports, "I have not touched any brocade or silk which was softer than the palm of God's Messenger, nor smelt anything sweeter than the Prophet's odour."
Simplicity Of The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)
Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was a very simple person and spent all his life in simplicity. He was very unceremonious and informal in his habits. He ate whatever he was given, wore very thick and coarse cloth, even when he was the ruler of a state and undisputed leader of the people. He sat on the floor, bare ground or a mat without any hesitation, alone or in the company of other people. He ate bread made from coarse flour and even spent days on mere dates. He wore simple clothes and did not like display or show. He was by nature simple and liked simplicity and informality in everything.
Ibn Masud said that God's Messenger slept on a reed mat and got up with the mark of it on his body. He said, "O God's Messenger! I wish you would order us to spread something out for you and make something." The Prophet replied, "What have I to do with the world, I am like a rider who rests for a while under the shade of a tree, then goes off and leaves it." Ubaid-Allah bin Muhsin reported God's Messenger as saying, "If anyone among you is secure in mind in the morning, healthy in body and has food for the day, it is as though the whole world has been brought into his Possession."
Abu Hurairah reported God's Messenger as saying, "Look at those who are inferior to you and do not look at those who are superior to you, for that is more likely to keep you from despising God's Favor on you." Abu Talha said, "When we complained to God's Messenger of hunger and raised our clothes to show we were each carrying a stone over our belly, he raised his clothes and showed that he had two stones on his belly."
He liked simple living and wanted his family to lead a simple life and abstain from ostentatious living. He often wore thick clothes. His bed was sometimes of rough blanket sometimes of skin filled with palm fibres and sometimes of ordinary coarse cloth.. In the ninth year of Al-Hijrah, when the Islamic state had extended from Yemen to Syria, its ruler had only one bed and one dry water-bag of skin. A'isha reported that when he died, there was nothing in the house to eat except some barley.
Once Umar entered Muhammad's house and noticed the state of the furniture in it. Muhammad himself had only one sheet of cloth round him to cover the lower part of his body. There was one simple bed, with one pillow filled with nut fibre; on one side of the room was some barley and in one corner near his feet was an animal skin. There were some water-bag skins hanging beside his bed. Umar said that on seeing this tears came into his eyes. God's Messenger asked the reason for his tears. He replied, "O God's Messenger! Why shouldn't I cry! The strings of the bed have left marks on your body. This is a small room with all your furniture, I can see what there is. The Kaiser of Rome and Kisra of Persia enjoy luxurious living while you, God's Messenger, and the Chosen One, live like this." He said, "Ibn Khattab! Don't you like that they choose this world and we choose the Hereafter?".
In short, Muhammad lived and liked a simple life and enjoyed every minute of it. He taught his companions, through his personal example, to lead a simple life and not to be ostentatious.
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