Humanities ultimate Hope is Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) People should follow them

In the tumultuous landscape of today’s world, where oppression is rampant, and cruelty seems to have become the norm, the essence of humanity appears to be under siege. The globe bears witness to the relentless march of cruelty, and the cries of the oppressed echo throughout. It is a stark reality where mercy is in short supply, and the ideals of compassion and empathy have been eclipsed by the darkness of our times. In the midst of this chaos, one might wonder if the concept of humanity itself has been obliterated.

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The boundaries between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, have become increasingly blurred. What was once considered good is often overshadowed by the encroaching shadow of evil, and human values, once the bedrock of society, have eroded to an alarming extent. The moral compass that once guided us has gone astray, and the very principles that upheld human dignity are now at risk. In this turbulent sea of moral ambiguity, it sometimes feels as though we have regressed even further than the darkest periods of human history.

In reflecting upon the pre-Islamic Arabian society, the time preceding the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stands out as an epoch of moral decay and ethical bankruptcy. War, once a mere pastime, had evolved into a way of life, the primary source of sustenance for many. Poverty and destitution had fueled a culture of envy and covetousness, leading individuals to cast greedy eyes upon the wealth of others. The practice of idolatry had reached grotesque proportions, with intermediaries considered necessary to approach the divine, and direct communion with God seemingly unattainable. The sacred Ka’bah had been defiled with countless idols, and even the gravest sins such as adultery and alcoholism no longer carried the stigma they once did. Commerce had reached its zenith, but the pursuit of wealth had come at the cost of ethical decay, where taking loans was akin to enslaving oneself. Perhaps the most egregious of all was the barbaric practice of burying infant girls alive, an act that was not only condoned but also carried out with an appalling sense of pride. In this era, humanity seemed to have reached its nadir, and man, in comparison to his predecessors, had regressed to a state that was almost animalistic.

Simultaneously, the global landscape presented a dismal picture. Europe languished in the depths of darkness, with ignorance shrouding the continent. In Africa, humans and animals were often seen as two sides of the same coin, with little to distinguish them. China, in its understanding of humanity, focused solely on the attainment of food and sustenance. India, meanwhile, was a land brimming with a multitude of gods, where the powerful often assumed god-like statuses, while the weak were resigned to their fate. The People of the Book found themselves trapped in a quagmire of confusion, and their societies were marked by chaos and discord.
In the face of such darkness and moral decay, Allah sent His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as a beacon of hope for humanity. From his very infancy to his youth, and from the period of his adolescence to his prophethood, the people of Arabia, and particularly the inhabitants of Mecca, held the Prophet in high esteem. They admired his character and honesty, only to become his adversaries upon the proclamation of his prophethood. This pattern of disbelief in the face of divine guidance was not unique to the people of Arabia; it had occurred with previous prophets as well. It is a recurring theme in human history that those who do not recognize their well-wishers often resort to deception or delay, to the extent that the divine respite granted to them ultimately expires.

The qualities bestowed upon the last of Allah’s prophets drew scholars and the unlettered alike towards him. It was through this prophetic training that a unique community emerged, one that had no precedent and would remain unparalleled in the annals of history. The knowledge that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) imparted to humanity enriched it in ways that were hitherto unimaginable. The first revelation to the Holy Prophet came with the word ‘Iqra,’ meaning ‘recite.’ This marked the beginning of a transformation that would astonish the world. Deeply ingrained vices such as alcoholism, adultery, and other societal ills were gradually eradicated, demonstrating that the man who had been perceived as the enemy of humanity was now its guardian.

One of the defining aspects of the Holy Prophet’s mission was his unequivocal stand against discrimination among humankind. It is a matter of great irony that today, the Ummah (community) of the Holy Prophet finds itself divided along lines of ethnicity, sectarianism, and other divisive factors. However, the Holy Prophet’s message was crystal clear: all human beings are equal and must be treated as such. He advocated unity and brotherhood among his followers, and his teachings emphasize the importance of collective action for a harmonious society.

In a poignant episode from the time before the Holy Prophet’s prophethood, Mecca was on the brink of a devastating tribal war over a seemingly trivial issue. Tensions escalated rapidly, with each tribe adamant in its stance. The clouds of war hung ominously over the city, and a solution seemed elusive. The issue at hand was the rebuilding of the Ka’bah, and the question arose as to which tribe and which specific branch within that tribe would have the honor of placing the sacred “Black Stone” in its designated place. Every tribe coveted this privilege, and the discussions were further complicated by debates over which individual within the tribe should have the honor. It was in this atmosphere of tension and discord that a remarkable suggestion emerged.

The solution proposed was both ingenious and inspired. It was decided that the person who entered the precincts of the Ka’bah first would have the privilege of placing the Black Stone in its designated place. By a stroke of fate, the person who entered the precincts of the Ka’bah first was none other than Muhammad, the Arab, later to be known as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The scene that followed was a testament to the Prophet’s wisdom and leadership. He called for a large cloth to be spread out, and he invited the chiefs of each tribe to come forward. They were instructed to lift the Black Stone together and place it on the cloth. The Prophet’s act of involving representatives from each tribe not only defused the situation but also demonstrated his wisdom and capacity for leadership. Each chief held a corner of the cloth, and together, they elevated the Black Stone and carried it to its designated place on the Ka’bah. The atmosphere was filled with jubilation as this display of wisdom and diplomacy diffused the tension that had gripped the city. This incident not only showcased the Prophet’s sagacity but also underscored the idea that peace and harmony could be achieved through the guidance of Muhammad bin Abdullah.

Following the Prophet’s migration to Medina and the initiation of hostilities by the Quraysh in the battles of ‘Badr’ and ‘Uhud,’ it was evident that these wars were imposed upon the Muslims. In both instances, the Muslims were forced to defend themselves. Remarkably, upon the Prophet’s eventual triumph, he forgave even his staunchest adversaries. He extended his forgiveness not only to those who had sought to harm him but also to those for whom death sentences had been issued. This act of clemency underscored the Prophet’s title as “Rahmatul-lil-Alameen,” or the Mercy to All Mankind.

The incident that unfolded in the year four Hijri stands as another testament to the Prophet’s sense of justice. At that time, the number of Muslims was relatively small, and a delegation from a tribe approached the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), representing their people and expressing their desire for someone to teach them about Islam. Seventy Companions were dispatched with the delegation, and these individuals were not ordinary; they were selected from among the most knowledgeable and devoted Companions of the Prophet. They were well-versed in the teachings of Islam and had a deep understanding of the Prophet’s message.

As this group of Companions reached a gorge, they were ambushed by the tribesmen and attacked. Tragically, all seventy Companions were martyred, except for one, Amr bin Umayyah. In a state of distress and confusion, Amr bin Umayyah returned to Medina. However, in his disoriented state, he mistakenly killed two men from the tribe of Kilab. It is important to emphasize that these two individuals were not involved in the martyrdom of the seventy Companions; their deaths were a tragic error.

Upon his return to Medina, Amr bin Umayyah encountered mourning and sorrow throughout the city. The brutal massacre of the seventy Companions, especially in the early days when the Muslim community was small and vulnerable, was a devastating blow. Despite this tragedy, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once again displayed the highest standard of justice and mercy.

The Prophet’s response was remarkable and serves as a testament to his character. He declared to Allah, “O Allah, I am innocent of what Amr has done.” This declaration underscored the Prophet’s unawareness of the incident and his refusal to hold himself responsible for an action he had no knowledge of. It was an act of profound justice and integrity, reflecting his commitment to the truth.

Another poignant incident occurred during the conquest of Mecca, a city that had previously expelled the Prophet and persecuted his followers. Despite the years of conflict and animosity, the Prophet entered the city with a message of peace and forgiveness. He proclaimed a general amnesty for all, forgiving even those who had committed heinous crimes against his followers.

One remarkable episode during the conquest of Mecca involved a woman named Hinda. She was notorious for her gruesome act during the Battle of Uhud, where she had taken out the liver of the Prophet’s uncle, Hazrat Hamza, and chewed it in a barbaric display of enmity. Despite this horrific act, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not seek revenge. He extended his forgiveness even to Hinda, setting an example of magnanimity that is unparalleled in history.

In today’s world, which is marred by oppression and suffering, the rulers of the day have often reduced humanity to the chains of slavery. Both European and Arab intellectuals are deeply concerned about the looming specter of future enslavement. In times when ignorance was widespread, knowledge was scarce, and humanity had regressed, individuals often subjugated their fellow human beings. This cruel irony underscores the fact that what is often touted as knowledge is, in reality, a means to secure lucrative employment.

The poet Shaykh Ibrahim al-Sawz aptly captured these circumstances in his work “al-Baraqah.” His words serve as a stark reminder that true humanity becomes evident through knowledge. Time and again, history has shown that knowledge is a gift bestowed upon humanity through the prophets, with the last prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), presenting this knowledge in its most refined and complete form as the ultimate safeguard for humanity.

It is imperative that we critically examine the current state of our world and ponder why the youth, who hold the destinies of nations in their hands, often lean toward destruction rather than creation. The words of Allama Iqbal resonate with profound relevance:

While it is indisputable that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) offered humanity the opportunity to witness its true essence, it is equally true that contemporary Muslims must validate their claims through actions, not mere slogans. Muslims must demonstrate that they are not only followers of the Prophet of Peace but also the bearers of peace, just as they were fourteen centuries ago.

In a world plagued by discord, conflict, and a loss of ethical values, the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) serve as a timeless beacon of hope and compassion. His unwavering commitment to justice, mercy, and unity continues to inspire generations and offers a path toward a more just and harmonious world. It is incumbent upon us, as individuals and as a collective, to uphold these principles and strive to emulate the noble character of the Prophet in our daily lives. In doing so, we can hope to restore the essence of humanity and bring about a brighter future for all.

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