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How should we talk about the Prophet Today?

We know that Islamic world has experienced a regression period in the last 200-300 years and it has not yet scored much progress. Many reasons can be counted for this significant problem and in my opinion the most important one that fostered others is the fact that the Islamic world has torn apart the bonds between the messages of its religion and prophet and the realities that people experienced, and they continuously repeated an rationalization approach for centuries which focused on what these messages mean for the realities of the previous generation rather than for the current life. While the life continues in its own path with transforming and differentiating by its own realities, Islamic scholars repeated the religion’s comments belong to the centuries ago and information on understanding patterns.

However, people are generally interested in the things that are related with them and the things that somehow have a connection with their own realities. For that reason, the first condition for accurately and efficiently telling the Holy Prophet to today’s people is possibly to blend His message with the problems of modern people and humanity most of which are spiritual and moral. It is also necessary to explain the meanings behind His message for the problems faced by today’s humanity, what kind of solutions they offer, to what extent the experienced realities and solutions offered by our Holy Prophet correspond.

This method will form a dynamic relation between the religion and the life just like the first periods and golden ages of Islam. As a matter of fact, we can see this relation which can be dealt with from many perspectives in the connection between the verses sent in the prophethood period of 23 years and events experienced. Moreover, an information field has been formed which is called “asbab-i nuzul” on this issue. We must also examine the terms used for the Holy Prophet and the Qur’an in verses and hadith and which are complementary to them. These terms emphasize the aspects of the Qur’an and the Holy Prophet that improve, enrich, and moralize the existence and life of the individual and the society. In this respect we see their functions and features which are sources that give life to people (Al-Anfal 8/24).For instance, the Qur’an is a book which is full of wisdom. The Qur’an is a cure and a compassion for those who believe and practice it. It leads them to the most proper and most reliable way. It gives good messages and also warns (see Al-Baqarah 2/185; An-Najm 6/157; Al-Isra 17/9; Ya-Sin 36/2).

The Qur’an is a book which is full of wisdom. The Qur’an is a cure and a compassion for those who believe and practice it. It leads them to the most proper and most reliable way. It gives good messages and also warns (see Al-Baqarah 2/185; An-Najm 6/157; Al-Isra 17/9; Ya-Sin 36/2).

Similarly, the prophet is a supervisor to the people (he is responsible for notifying them about the right way, supervising their deeds and trying to correct them). He is both a messenger and a warner by conveying the verses of Qur’an and expressing them. Prophet shows faith, worshipping, halals, harams, the highest virtues and the most reliable ways of the ultimate deliverance where human knowledge is not enough to understand. He explains every alluring, evil, and self temptations and the ways to prevent them. He is a lamp that gives light and He shows the right way to people with His knowledge of divine source (Al-Ahzab 33/45). In this respect, the information which includes the words of Allah and the Holy Prophet are significant and useful for the humans and mankind. They are virtues that have application areas in life, that have solutions to the problems, and that lead the man to the well-being and happiness in times of loneliness and desperation.

Looking from this perspective, the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet are not abstract religious sources, rather, they are guides to life and indispensable instruments of mercy and deliverance for humanity. In fact, the divine blessing is dynamic. There are many verses revealing what kind of a share the Holy Prophet acquired from these blessings. These expressions within the Surah Al-Dhuha which possibly imparted unto Him during the early days of His prophethood are good examples of this:

“Did He not find You an orphan and protect you? Did He not find you wandering and direct you? Did He not find you destitute and enrich you? Therefore do not oppress the orphan, Therefore do not drive away the beggar, Therefore remember the bounty of you Lord with gratitude and grace.”

It is clearly understood from the terms of “orphan” and “beggar” that the manifestation of the divine grace and blessing on Holy Muhammad shall spread to other people, homeless and hopeless people as a model of grace, compassion, guidance and virtue.

It is clearly understood from the terms of “orphan” and “beggar” that the manifestation of the divine grace and blessing on Holy Muhammad shall spread to other people, homeless and hopeless people as a model of grace, compassion, guidance and virtue.

During the time when the Holy Prophet went through a fear and shock of the first revelation imparted unto him in Hira, Khadijah His beloved wife consoled Him with the emotional words below. As it is expressed in Holy Qur’an (Al-Qalam, 68/4) anyone exposed to His high level of morality experienced His source of grace and compassion.

“Do not fear O! Muhammad, Allah will not harm you, for you are an honest person. You speak righteously.  You would not perfidy their trust. You take care of your kins. You are of good character… Do not fear!  Allah will never afflict you. For you help your relatives. You carry the burden of the hopeless and weak. You give the poor what no one gives; you do kindness more than others. You host the guests and aid the disaster stricken.”

These words are the examples of basic virtues existent in Holy Muhammad which is necessary in every age for people to continue living without losing the very nature of humanity, responsibility and honor and is closely affiliated with the entire humanity.  These are the extents of the virtuous personality of Holy Muhammad depicted in Holy Qur’an as having a “high morality”, being a “grace to universe” and a “perfect epitome” which are all expedient for all ages. Most probably, the following awful truth underlies the many problems encountered by the present day Muslims: Since the present day Muslims remain distant from the knowledge, morality and life style of Holy Prophet, they are unable to conceive of, tell and represent Him.

Although different in form and occurrence, in essence moral deviations closely related to denial and shirk have been observed in all ages. Today, these deviations continue more or less with new forms, leading to global humanity problems due to the requirements of our age.It is apparently and unfortunately seen that the deterioration of the religious and moral limits bridling and regulating the material, biological, sexual and political passions of humanity, today led to severe problems such as extreme consumption and wastefulness, perversion and sexual exploitation, war and violence. As you might agree, each one of these are problems containing so great a risk as to distort the natural balance; destroy the cultural richness which is the result of thousands of years of accumulations of mankind. Through this phase, the only source to aid mankind and reveal remedies with such extent might be “universal grace” (this is the exact meaning of “rahmatan li’l-alamiin”). Also Holy Muhammad was sent as a “grace to universe”. The historical experiences reveal that mankind had opened their hearts, minds, wills and lives to that grace and candidly displayed the effort to understand, live and sustain it. He succeeded in conceiving of the meaning and the purpose of humanity, collective existence and life. Instead of spending His limited life with illusions, He led a life of “good deeds”, the goodness and divine gift of which reached the eternity (Al-Kahf 18/46; Maryam 19/76) thus managing to transform His life into an “existence of goodness” (An-Nahl 16/97).

However the global ethic quest needed to solve the global problems of our present day, will not have a chance to be successful as long as the prophet of grace is precluded. In this respect, the following anecdote constitutes a very interesting document value reflecting the savior and merciful personality of Holy Prophet for the current world that is experiencing severe problems related to humanity and morality.

We might make real again the great transformation fulfilled by the Holy Prophet; produce and provide the humanity with a new formation project by means of individual, collective and the global effort.

When the oppression of Muslims by mushriks reached unbearable proportions in Mecca, some Muslims took shelter in Ethiopia with the permission of Holy Prophet. Yet the delegation sent by the Mecca mushriks demanded the restitution of those who took shelter. Firstly, the ruler wished to listen to both parties. The following were the striking expressions used in the speech made by Ja’far b. Abu Talib:

“Before we as the people of ignorance used to worship idols and eat carcass. We performed many evil deeds. We were disinterested in our kin and evildoers to our neighbors. Those of us who were strong would oppress the weak. This was how we were before Allah sent us our prophet… Our Prophet taught us the righteousness. He ordered us to remain true to the trust of others, to show interest in our relatives, to treat our neighbors well and to respect the rights and lives of people. He had forbidden the acts of bad behaviors, crimen false, haram, slandering the chaste women.”

As a result, If we Muslims understand and convey in a righteous manner the global problems experienced by our own people and the entire humanity, and if we conceive of and introduce Holy prophet in such manner, there is no doubt that Allah with his eternal compassion and grace will open unexpected doors for us. Thus, we might make real again the great transformation fulfilled by the Holy Prophet; produce and provide the humanity with a new formation project by means of individual, collective and the global effort.

 

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