"And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers."
(Al-Quran 51:55)

Friday 8 November 2013

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) as a Child

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Prophet (saw) did not descend from the heavens at the age of forty, ready immediately to begin preaching the message of Islam. On the contrary, he entered this world in the same manner that all other children (of course with the exception of Prophet Adam (as), Hawwa and Prophet Isa (as) entered it. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) was born to a mother and father.

Furthermore, his aging process was not accelerated for him, whereby he transformed from an infant into a forty year old Prophet in a matter of moments, weeks or months. No, time passed by for him in a normal fashion, and, as with all of the other people on earth, he had to go through the various stages of life - infancy, childhood, young adulthood, all the way to old age.

What was he like as a child? To put it simply, he was a child, but was not like other children. He was both innocent and born of excellent lineage, and he was at once intelligent and pure. Perhaps what distinguished him most from other children was the fact that, at every stage of his young life, he was being divinely protected by Allah.

To the keen-sighted observer, Muhammad (saw) the child was being prepared for great things. Everyone who played a part in raising him - his mother; his nursemaid, Haleemah (ra); Abdul Mutallib; and Abu Talib - knew that he was being divinely prepared for a great mission in life, but what that mission was, they probably couldn't guess (except of course for Abu Talib, who had been informed by a monk about the seal of prophethood on Muhammad's (saw) back).

Divine protection didn't just mean that Allah protected Muhammad (saw) from physical harm; actually, it primarily meant protecting him in a spiritual sense. Thus, as a child or even as a young adult, Prophet Muhammad (saw) was never know for frivolity, for having bad manners, or even for the innocent mischief making that is common among children. 

He remained innocent and without a blemish to stain his character because he was being prepared to bring happiness to mankind, to bring them out of darkness and into the light. Thus, he was a man, and yet a Prophet; he was a human being, but at the same time he was a Messenger; he was a slave of Allah, and yet he was divinely protected from doing wrong; he was a human being, and yet revelation descended upon him.

In historical terms, it is false to depict Prophet Muhammad (saw) simply as being a leader. The leaders who have lived on earth and then died are similar in number to the hair on ones head. They had ambitions for power and aspirations for great wealth, and they achieved the trivial things they had set out to gain. Few people remember them, and even less care about them.

But the Prophet (saw) was much, much, much more than a leader. He was a guide and a Prophet; he came with the Book of Allah and with his own Sunnah; he came with light and guidance; he came with beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds.

He focused on people's well-being not just in this life, but in the Hereafter as well; and he was concerned not just with people's physical well-being, but with their spiritual well-being as well.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) was not merely knowledgeable. By the permission of Allah, he taught the knowledge he had been blessed with to others; he trained the most famous and eminent scholars and jurists of the world; he taught orators how to deliver wonderful speeches; he guided the wise and the unlearned; and he guided all people to the truth:

And verily, you O Muhammad, are indeed guiding mankind to the Straight Path.
(Quran 42:52)

Prophet Muhammad (saw) was not a king who used soldiers and guards to keep a firm grip on power. He was a Prophet and Messenger sent by Allah: He was a warner and a bearer of glad tidings to every king and commoner, every free man and slave, every rich man and poor man, every Arab and non-Arab, every white man and black man.

And, We have sent you O Muhammad not but as a mercy for the mankind, jinns and all that exists.
(Quran 21:107)

The Prophet (saw) said: "By the One Who has my soul in His Hand, if any person from this Nation, if any Jew, or if any Christian hears about me and then dies without believing in that which I have been sent with, he will be among the people of the Hellfire".

If we follow him from his childhood to his youth, we will find that he maintained his purity and innocence, adding to those qualities a number of other noble traits, such as eloquence, trustworthiness, good manners and chastity. 

He never spoke a single lie; in fact, he had not even a single defect in his character. Truthful in speech, honourable in terms of his character, pure in both speech and deed, noble in his manners, easy going in his dealings, good natured in terms of his disposition, Muhammad (saw) the young man was, it is no wonder, universally loved and respected by his fellow tribesmen.

So, when he openly announced his prophethood years later, his enemies could not recall a single character flaw, a single slip-up, a single mistake that they could use to attack his character. He had, to their despair and anger, an absolutely clean record. 

They themselves had labelled him "The Trustworthy One"; they themselves would entrust him and no one else with their valuables; they were the ones who would ask him to settle their disputes.

He was, they knew, a paragon of virtues during his youth; imagine, then, how noble and virtuous and good he became once the duties of prophethood fell onto his shoulders.

And, verily, you O Muhammad are on an exalted standard of character.
(Quran 68:4)


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