Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance (16)
In the view of Holy Quran, several prominent traits have been pointed out in the unique character of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), which can be researched and studied.
The thinkers of the World of Islam and the Western and Eastern researchers have carried out innumerable studies on the personal, social, cultural, and political aspects of the Prophet of Islam’s live.
Meanwhile, the most important characteristic trait of the Prophet of Islam in the view of Holy Quran is his prominent ethics and ethical virtues.
The 4th ayah of Surat al-Qalam notes: “And indeed you possess a great character.”
According to exegetes of Holy Quran, the Prophet of Islam was characterized by his patience, generosity, prudence, perseverance in his invitation to the righteous path, forgiveness, and avoidance of jealousy and greed. Meanwhile, the ethical virtues of the Prophet of Islam, which are praised by God, are not limited to these virtues. Thus, countless accounts on the unique characteristic traits of the Prophet of Islam have been cited in historical books.
The Third Infallible Imam of the Prophet of Islam’s Household, Imam Hussein (Peace be upon him), has been cited in a Hadith as saying that according to his infallible father, Imam Ali, the Prophet of Islam always behaved pleasantly. The Prophet was never angry, callous, aggressive, or foul-mouthed and never intended to find faults in others. The Prophet never disappointed others. He also avoided a number of conducts. He never argued; was not talkative; and never meddled in matters which were irrelevant to him. He never blamed others and was never curious to find the hidden faults of people. He was such an eloquent speaker that throughout his remarks, everyone remained silent. He maintained patience toward the blatancies of deceived and unaware individuals and always advised his disciples to assist the needy. The Prophet also never interrupted other people’s remarks.
Undoubtedly, if it wasn’t because of the ethical virtues of the Prophet of Islam, the violent and inflexible people of the Age of Ignorance would have never embraced Islam and converted to this divine religion. Prophet Mohammad, in order to manifest the importance of ethical values, noted that he was divinely appointed to prophet hood in order to promote and develop ethical virtues.
In this regard, Holy Quran introduces the Prophet as a role model and expects true Muslims to follow his lead. This is because ethical values highly contribute to reinforcement of personal and social relations, solidification of bonds; establishment of kindness and amity; and maintenance of the status of Islamic Ummah in the world. Furthermore, ethical values play a fateful role in the destiny of mankind in Hereafter.
Another important point is that ethical virtues become valuable when they turn into habits as the result of continued practice, and when they are not limited to a particular phase in time or location.
Meanwhile, the highly important question that springs into mind is why God Almighty attaches significant importance to ethical virtues of the Prophet of Islam, and puts emphasis on maintenance of ethical virtues by the Islamic Ummah? To respond to this question, it should be pinpointed that humans have a physical appearance and an innate nature. For instance, one is tall and the other person is short. One is white and the other is black. One is good-looking and the other is not. Meanwhile, none of these features are the criteria for evaluation of human character in the Islamic culture and they are not considered as any kind of concession. However, mankind’s innate nature and characteristic traits form the basis for understanding him, and is a criterion for his true evaluation. There have been many individuals who are not good-looking, but maintain ethical virtues. Such an individual maintains an elevated status, and the Prophet of Islam was divinely appointed to prophet hood to shape and develop the innate nature of mankind, alike other divine prophets. Prophet Mohammad started his prophet hood to shape an inner development and to stage and promote an ethical revolution, without paying the slightest attention to the appearance of human beings.
God Almighty points out and elaborates on this major viewpoint.
In the 13th ayah of Surat al-Hujurat, God notes: “O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most Godwary among you.”
In accordance to this ayah of Holy Quran; races, colors, languages, and other apparent features of human beings are not criteria for superiority, and only piety and ethical virtues are criteria for superiority of mankind in God’s view.
This is the secret behind God’s focus on the ethical virtues of Prophet Mohammad. Furthermore, ethical and human virtues are the signs of honor, culture, and civilization of any community; to which the lives of mankind depend on.
The divine prophets aimed to shape a community, which revived the spirit of kindness, amity, selflessness, devotion, patience, and other ethical virtues; and to grant a true meaning to life.
The Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny) saved the community of the Age of Ignorance from immorality and depravities and provided them with elevated human values. Thus, the Prophet formed peace and reconciliation instead of wars and bloodshed; unity and solidarity instead of discord; and selflessness and devotion instead of pillage; granting a new life to the Islamic Ummah.
These are the values which should be revived today with God’s assistance through following the ethical virtues of Prophet of Islam.