Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Taurat and their description in the Injeel; like as seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward.– Quran, 48:29
The Prophet’s birthday is just around the corner, or known to many Muslims as – mawlid ar rasul. But to what extent do we Muslims appreciate the struggle and mission of the Prophet?
The sad truth today is that the Sirah (history) of the Prophet today is regarded especially among the Muslims as a storybook instead of a piece of history that we ought to learn and synthesize with the Quran.
If one looks carefully at the lives and struggles of the Prophet, he was not just a religious figure but also a very successful political and military genius too.
The victory of Islam was followed after a long series of political and military strategizing
Who doesn’t know about the famous treaty of Aqabah? It was a treaty of allegiance to the Prophet as leader of the 12 heads of peoples in Yathrib that day. But what is hardly known to many is that the treaty was done in deep secrecy in the middle of the night. The meeting was very intricately planned and executed so that it not be known to the Quraisy. The success of this treaty was the turning point of Islam’s success- the treaty that resulted in the success of hijrah and subsequently led to the victory of Islam.
When he entered Medina (previously known as Yathrib) there he set the foundations of the city-state that governs fairly all subjects in it. That is when the Constitution of Medina came into place. This displays the diplomatic skills and political genius of the Prophet.
The Prophet also led wars and after 8 years as the head of state of Medina finally Mecca was liberated from the dirt of polytheism and infidelity.
All of this should give us a very good idea of who the Prophet really is. We need to take his strategy and his struggles as examples to all Muslims of what jihad is.
He was the only successful leader who never compromised principles and values
This relates very closely to me as I am someone who is very interested in moral philosophy. One of the most fascinating features of the Prophet is his ability to bring Islam to victory without compromising principles and values.
I’m sure you’ve heard of many people saying that politics is dirty and the politicians are evil or something of that sort. But that is the total opposite of the prophet’s politics. The prophet’s politics is corruption-free and based on integrity.
Throughout history, there were many leaders that brought tremendous successes. But as far as I know, none of these leaders became successful without compromising their own principles except the Prophet. We take the example of the leadership of the United States in winning the Second World War. Among others, they bombed two cities just to make the Japanese surrender. This was an inhuman act by any means especially for those who claim to be the champion of human rights and freedom.
On the other hand, the Prophet didn’t kill children, women, and old people in wars.
Another successful leader is Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian political genius who masterminded the unification of Germany. That is something big! However, Bismarck employed the diplomacy of Realpolitik, a political philosophy that only focuses on what works without regard to ethical or moral considerations (pragmatism). In Realpolitik, nothing is wrong and nothing is right. It is simply a matter of getting what you want even if it means you have to kill, bribe, fake documents, and so on.
Now compare Bismarck with the leadership of the Muhammad Rasulullah.
The Prophet never killed innocents in war. He never betrayed his treaties even with the enemy state. He is full of integrity and exceptional in his moral behaviors. He was known as the Truthful (al-Amin). He too unified the Arabs, not in the name of nationalism but in the name of the Lord. He was also proactive in fighting evil and not only being self-interested as many modern nation-states do.
Name me a better leader than the Prophet. I’ll wait! There is really no wonder why Michael D Hart, a Western historian, placed Muhammad at the top of the list of the 100 Most Influential Persons in History. This is undoubtedly another proof of the messengership of Muhammad.
Are we following the example and leadership of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings?
Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much– Quran, 33:21
Sadly that’s not what is happening today. We have reduced the Sirah to only the marginal stuffs like the way the prophet dressed, what he ate, the names of his wives and so on. To only see the prophet in this way is actually a great dishonour to him.
Muslim leaders around the world today are divided, nation-minded, exclusive and do not possess the strength. They only follow the structure that was given to them by their colonizers. These colonizers, who drew the map that separates every Muslim countries (it doesn’t even look good), are the ones that we follow now.
All of this is because we do not learn from the Prophet and abandoned the Quran.
As in the verse at the beginning of this article, if there really was a leadership exampled after the Prophet, there would be Muslims caring for each other and helping each other out, and also stern against the disbeliever, which today is the West.
However, Muslims no longer recognize themselves as the people of Allah, rather they recognize themselves as the people of their nations. And who induced in us this idea of nationalism? The West, of course. If only we are strictly against our enemies and caring for each other, we would see success if God willed.