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Holy Prophet's life must be a source of inspiration to all Muslims.


TODAY Monday 4th of June 2001, the 12th of Rabi-Al-Awwal, Muslims all over the world will celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The love and devotion towards the holy Prophet have been the distinct character of Muslims throughout the centuries. However, while the spirit and essence of this love has not changed, its nature has.

It has taken different forms from what we find in early generations. Now the celebrations are prone to more wordly and exhibitory than reflection of the true covenant with Allah. Let us look at the changes that took place in Sahaba (The Companions of Prophet) who took the holy Prophet as their role model truly and in all earnestness.

Among them was Mus'ab bin Umayr (RA). As a young pagan in Makkah he was the best dressed man, always clad in expensive clothes and smelling of perfume, who would leave a trail of fragrance wherever he passed by. Then something happened and he met the holy Prophet and his message of simplicity and commonhood penetrated the depth of his heart. His life changed completely.

People then noticed in him the transformation from riches to rags. He gave up all his comforts of life for the love of Allah and the holy Prophet, and people saw him in a garment patched together from hide and showing all the signs of a rough existence. He was the standard-bearer in the Battle of Badr. When he was martyred in the Battle of Uhud, there was not enough cloth to cover his body completely, grass was put to supplement his small burial cloth.

According to some reports, the holy Prophet stood by his dead body and recited the verse (Al-Ahzab 33:23) meaning: "Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah."

Among the Sahaba was Sa'ad bin Mu'az (RA), a leader of Ansar who not only stood by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but also readied all other fellow Ansars to fight against the better equipped and much larger Makkan army in the Battle of Badr. He showed his allegiance to the holy Prophet by making a powerful speech which captured the spirit of commitment of all Ansars. He said "O, Prophet, we have believed in you, affirmed your Prophethood and pledged obedience, if you were to command us to jump into the ocean, we will.

None of us will remain behind and you will find steadfast in the battle". This spirit is needed to be revived and inculcated among us even today rather than feasting and merry making on the occasion of birthday of the holy Prophet.

Another companion, Jareer bin Abdullah (RA), who is another trendsetter for us even today. Once he sent his servant to buy a horse. The servant made a deal for 300 dirhams and brought the seller with him for collecting the price. Jareer bin Abdullah (RA) looked at the horse and realised that the seller had "undervalued" it. He started renegotiating with him and asked him if he would agree for 400 dirhams. He agreed. Then he enquired how about five hundred, to which the seller happily nodded his head. He continued bargaining till he enhanced the price and finally bought the horse for 800 dirhams.

The people who were witnessing the unusual bargain later asked him the reason for pushing up the price from 300 to 800 dirhams. Sahabi Jareer (RA) explained: "I have given him (seller) a fair price because I had promised to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always to be sincere, honest and well wisher for every fellow being". Since the seller was not aware of the true price of the horse, so being a Muslim it was his duty to pay him the right price. This is a eye opener for all of us in the modern era of exploitation.

Then there was one, who was not identified by name who was wearing a gold ring. The holy Prophet took his ring and threw it on the ground, saying it was like wearing burning charcoal from Hell (Muslim men are prohibited from wearing gold). Later on people suggested to him to pick up since it can be used for other legitimate purpose. But he refused and took the plea: "I will never take it when it has been thrown away by the messenger of Allah".

The above are just some random glimpses into the lives and minds of the great Sahaba. Their accounts of lives are full of such examples.

They accepted his Prophethood from the bottom of their hearts, knowing fully what it meant, their lives revolved entirely around the teachings of the holy Prophet. They remembered him all the time. They obeyed each and every of his commands.

The real and true method of celebrating the birth of the holy Prophet is by intensely concentrating on his action and trying to benefit as much as possible from his words. We should also try to emulate and imitate the Sahaba - the model disciples and followers, in our homes and outside, in businesses and private and social gatherings.

We should celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the same glow and serene devotion of the Companions of the holy Prophet and the early Muslims. We profess love for the holy Prophet and express it by making an occasion of his birthday.

However, our lives and outlook should bear remembrance in the true sense of the word. Now that we have the tremendous advantage of acquiring and spreading knowledge, there is no excuse on our part for not following the life and teachings of the holy Prophet to reinforce and fasten our covenant with Allah.

With the Compliments of

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