In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


INTRODUCTION: When my grandson Asim was only six years old, one day I asked him a question while returning from mosque after Maghrib prayers: “How you would know that you are a good boy?” His response was quick. He said: “when others will say – how nice I am”. It surprised me a lot at that time but later on I realized the importance of his spontaneous response.


In fact, man on earth has two obligations to fulfill: 1.Cementing his/her relations with his/her Creator and Sustainer with total obedience to His will and live as He ordains; 2. Cementing his/her relations with  His best creature, the humans living on earth. All the “Ebadah” lead to fulfill the first obligation whereas the rendering selfless services to humanity, irrespective of cast, creed, color, race geographical and language differences and worldly position, accomplish the second obligation. One who can fulfill these paramount obligations, he gets the “Falah” [success] and who ignores or side tracks, he encounters “Khusran” [failure] in both the worlds. The magnitude of scope in both directions is limitless. Man can attain the “Nafse Mutmayinnah” [the contented soul], the peak of human zenith in getting closer to Allah by becoming His Abd [The most obedient servant for twenty four hours, round the clock and round the year for the whole of his life] through total obedience to Allah and rendering selfless services to humanity.


MUHAMMAD (S) IN HIS PEOPLE: The life pattern of Rasulullah (S) confirms it in its totality. He (S) was the living embodiment on earth on both the counts. He (S) was the most beloved Messenger of Allah but equally he (S) was loved and extremely respected by all the fellow citizens of his (S) time at least till he reached the age of 40 when Allah appointed him to be His Messenger and a Warner to his (S) people. He was universally recognized as Sa’diq [Truthful] and Ameen [Trustworthy] amongst his (S) native people. History stands to this testimony.


* At the age of 35, the tribe of Quraish decided to build in Makkah, the “Baitullah” [Haram – the House of Allah] which was in a very dilapidated condition and was likely to fell down soon. They started building it with honest means of earnings on the foundations build by Abraham and Ishmael (AS) about two thousand years ago. When they reached to the point where the “Black Stone” [Hajr-e-Aswad] was to be put at its place, the dispute arose: “Who will get the honor of putting the stone at its place?” Every tribe was eager to do this job by itself and there was no solution in sight as none was prepared to forgo this honor.  Five days passed in this suspense and there was every possibility that the tribes would come to clash in the Haram. At that moment, the tribal chief Walid bin Mughirah Makhzoomi suggested that one who enters first in Haram tomorrow will be our arbitrator in this dispute. All accepted his proposal. In the morning they saw the first person entering into Haram was Muhammad Bin Abdullah. They all cried jointly with joy: “Haza Al-Ameen. Razainahu. Haza Muhammad (S)” [He is Al-Ameen. We agreed upon him. He is Muhammad (S)]


It was the most vociferous recognition of his (S) position by his people, his own society: acknowledging the integrity of his character, the humanitarian services that he (S) was rendering to that tribal society day in and day out, and the trustworthy character he (S) was demonstrating all around. He was taking care of the poor, the needy, the deprived, the way farers, the orphans, the widows, the old and the oppressed through whatever means was possible on his (S) part in terms of physical, moral and material help.


* One day Rasulullah (S) returned to home too much downcast and depressed. His beloved wife Khadijah (RA) asked him (S), “What’s the matter?” He (S) said, “A caravan had come in the vicinity of Makkah and I could not help the people as I had nothing”. Hearing this, she asked him (S) to call for all the tribal chiefs of Quraish at home. Rasulullah (S) went out. Meanwhile, she collected all her cash wealth at a place in the house. When the tribal chiefs gathered, she told them that, “Today I am giving all my wealth to Muhammad (S) to spend the way he (S) likes and you all are the witness”.


* A little while afterwards, Arch Angel Gabriel (AS) came to Rasulullah (S) and informed that Khadijah (RA) is coming to you with a glass of milk, tell her: “Allah has sent His Salaam to her and tell her that He had built a house of pearls for her in the heaven”. What a marvelous tribute was paid to her by Allah in recognition of the services of both the husband and the wife in the way of Allah for His deprived humanity. [May Allah bless both of them] Later on, this aspect of his (S) public life was eloquently confirmed by Khadijah (RA) when the first Wahi came to him (S) in the Cave of Hera and he (S) expressed apprehension that he (S), might be destroyed. Khadijah (RA) recounted his (S) humanitarian services one by one and said: “Allah will never destroy you as you are doing this and this for the oppressed and the deprived selflessly.”


* Quraish were traders and Makkah was the “clearing house”. Rasulullah (S) himself was recognized as a trader with honest dealings. He traveled to Syria, Basra and Yemen for his trade mission.  He went to Jarash in Yemen two times as agent of Khadija’s  (RA) business and she gave every time a camel in reward as narrated by Hakim in Istadrak and confirmed by Imam “Zahbi”. This brought him (S) nearer to Khadijah (RA) leading to their marriage. His (S) trade partners during Jahiliyah confirmed that he (S) used to deal with people with extraordinary honesty and integrity in fulfilling his commitment.


* Abdullah Ibne Abi Al-Hamsah narrates that before his becoming Prophet of Allah, I had a business deal with him partially resolved and some partly undecided and promised to him to return later on, Just by chance I forgot my promise to see him (S). Third day when I recollected my promise, I went to the promised spot, Muhammad (S) was still in waiting for me but he said nothing for this breach except this so much, “You just gave me some trouble, I am waiting for you at this place for the last three days” [Abu Da’wood] 


* When a person named Sa’yeb (RA) became Muslim and came to meet Rasulullah (S), people tried to introduced Rasulullah (S) to him, Sa’yeb told them, “I know him (S) better than you. He (S) was my trade partner and what a marvelous honest partner he (S) was, no quarreling and no unfair deal at all” [Abu Da’wood] Qais bin Sa’yeb Makhzoomi (RA) was also his (S) trade partner. He eloquently confirmed his (S) honest trade dealings. 


* Bukhari in “Kitabul Ada’b” narrates under the heading “Fulfillment   of commitment”: An old woman visited Rasulullah (S). He (S) entertained her very nicely, enquired about her health and whereabouts - how you have been and how you feel now?  After her departure, A’yeshah (RA) inquisitively asked Rasulullah (S), “You paid so much attention to this old lady”. Rasulullah said, “She used to visit us during the time of Khadijah (RA). Courtesy and politeness are the integral part of Iman. Treating your acquaintances always with good behavior is the proof of Iman”.    


* Fulfillment of commitment: Anas (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (S) used to emphasize in almost all of his (S) Khutbah (lectures):  “He has no Iman who does not keep his promise” When after the Treaty of Hudaibiah in the sixth year of Hijrah, the Roman Emperor got the letter of Dawah Ilallah from Rasulullah (S), he wanted to ascertain the character of Rasulullah (S). Among so many questions, the Emperor asked Abu Sufyan, the Chief of Quraish who by chance was present in the capital leading his trade caravan, “Had Muhammad (S) ever breached his (S) commitment”. Abu Sufyan had no choice but to say: “Never”. Hearing the responses of Abu Sufyan, the Emperor said, “If what you have all said about him (S) is correct, he (S) will reach to the land, pointing to his feet where he was sitting at that time”. That was the open confession of the greatness of the Character of Rasulullah (S) in the sight of others. [Bukhari]


* When Abu Ra’fey, a slave came to Madinah representing Quraish in some matter, he saw the enlightened face of Rasulullah (S) , he acknowledged the truth of Islam and immediately became Muslim and refused to return to Makkah to live with idolaters. Rasulullah said, “I cannot commit the breach of the established norms of emissaries. You go back and if you find the state of your heart the same as it is now, then come back”, Later on he returned to Madinah in the sate of Islam.  


* Abu Jahal, the arch enemy of Rasulullah (S) used to say,” O Muhammad, I cannot say you are lying but what you say I don’t buy it”


* When the three years period of Secret Dawah terminated with the revelation of Verse # 94 of Surah # 15 Al-Hijr, Rasulullah (S) called all the tribal chiefs of Quraish through the tradition of Jahiliyah from the top of Faran hill. All came and he (S) addressed them by saying, “If I tell you that there is an army behind this mountain, will you all believe me”, they all said unanimously, “Yes, we have never seen you speaking lies”.


This was the clear public acknowledgment of the unblemished character of Rasulullah (S). It was confirmed and acknowledged even by his (S) enemies inside and outside Arabian Peninsula. This was Rasulullah (S) in the sight of others. I have given only its few glimpses. The Seerah books of Rasulullah (S) are full of such glaring stories. In modern age Mahatma Gandhi, Montgomery Watt and many others have acknowledged publicly the beauty of his (S) character. I want to conclude this paper with a quote from the “The 100” by Michael Hart that why he ranked Rasulullah (S) as the Greatest man of history:


“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.


Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive”.


May Allah bless his (S) soul and make us his (S) worthy followers in each and every walk of life!. Amen!



Shamim Siddiqi

September 18, 2007