A nice reflection posted by Imam Khalid Latif’s Facebook page:
Reblogged From: https://www.facebook.com/khalid.latif
More often than not, the stories that get told about the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, these days in popular media are those that malign him. Even in the few instances where opportunities are presented to offer a different perspective, a barrage of negativity follows anything that is positive. There is so much more that can be understood about his life, his character, and his pursuit of compassion for all people.
To me, the Prophet Muhammad is someone to look up to. He embodies a sense of compassion and mercy towards others that is hard to find in much of the world today. Selflessness was the basis of his character as he sought to serve his Creator by serving creation. He sought to act justly with others but did not demand justice for himself. Even when he himself was being ridiculed and mocked by his people, when his companions were being boycotted, beaten and even killed, his prayers would include those who were causing the harm. A regular supplication that he would make was Allahuma-ghfirli qawmi, fa innahum laa ya’alamoon — Oh my lord, forgive my people for indeed they do not understand. Here he is not seeking forgiveness for just Muslims, but for people in general. His compassion wasn’t limited to his ummah, a Muslim nation, but to his qawm, his society-at large.
Even those who were his staunchest opponents bore issue mostly with his message, not he himself. His character was something that one in his time just could not criticize. He was known as being trustworthy, honest, and always kept his promises. He was generous with his time and wealth, giving of both without condition or qualification. He smiled at people when he greeted them, and he greeted everyone from the young to the old, men and women, people who were of all races and ethnic backgrounds. He never would turn his back towards someone when speaking to them, and he spoke in such a way where no one walked away not understanding what he was trying to say.
“I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind…. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.” ~ Sir George Bernard Shaw
For those looking for English resources on the Prophet Muhammad’s biography, what is called the Seerah in Arabic, I would check out this podcast by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda, a Muslim scholar from Dallas, at http://www.qalaminstitute.org/seerah/#.Un2_bCTQHTM