Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
4 January 2013 / 21 Safar 1434
Drawing Inspiration from the Personality of Rasullah s.a.w
Dear Friday jemaah,
We have just stepped into the new year, and this means that we are older and we are moving closer to the time when we will return to Allah. Let us reflect upon the deeds that we have done. Let us strive to increase our taqwa toward Allah by heeding His commands and leaving behind His prohibitions.
In our efforts to improve ourselves, we need a role model to emulate. There is no better source of inspiration other than our beloved and admirable Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. The chosen one, honoured by Allah. He is not only loved by his ummah (his people), but his contribution has been acknowledged and has impacted non-Muslims as well. This is evident and it has led Michael H. Hart in 1978, and again in 1992 after revising his consideration, to name Rasulullah s.a.w. as the most influential person in the history of mankind.
The choice of Rasulullah as the most influential person is not only because of his contribution to religious thought, but also because of his strong advocacy forgood character and noble attributes that are beneficial to all mankind, and also due to his teachings that had influenced the development of human civilisation. This, my brothers, is proof that the teachings spread by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is divine revelation that the nature and instincts of humankind can relate to.
My brothers, the contributions of Rasulullah s.a.w. and his admirable personality have made an impact on early communities as well as today’s society. The question is, how deeply are we moved and inspired by Rasulullah’s contributions? How has he inspired us in conductingour lives, and in our relationship with Allah s.w.t. as well as other human beings and creatures?
Dear beloved brothers,
There may be some among us who are still wondering, why do we need to reap the benefits of Rasulullah’s teachings and why is it that Rasulullah’s character and personalitycontinue to leave a deep impact even though the Prophet has left us for more than 1400 years?
Firstly, Rasulullah s.a.w. is the greatest example of good character
The beauty of Rasullah’s personality cannot be compared. That has been said by Allah s.w.t., the Almighty who rules the universe, in the Quran surah Al-Qalam verse 4:
Which means: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.”
My brothers, every move and every step taken by the Prophet is filled with meaningful lessons for us. Everything is arranged beautifully, and when it is put together, it becomes a compilation of ethics which serves as a guideline for our mannerisms and how we conduct our daily lives.
Let us take the example of Rasulullah’s manners and etiquette in eating and drinking, for there is nothing that has not been taught to us by the Prophet. Starting from eating etiquettes, we were taught to eat with our right hand and to sit down and not lean back, and also to practise basic hygienic practices in order to prevent illnesses, such as washing our hands andcovering our food and drinks to prevent contamination. Not only that, Rasulullah also taught us tips to watch our diet by eating only when we are hungry and to stop before we are full. The same goes with starting our meals with reciting ‘bismillah’ and reminding us to be grateful to Allah for the bounty that He has bestowed upon us. We are also taught to eat together,in order to help strengthen our ties with our families.
Thus, isn’t it a loss for us, as his ummah who have inherited the living guidance left behind by Rasulullah in the form of the Quran and his Sunnah, to not reap their benefits?
Let us take steps to better appreciate the Sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. Read and learn the books of hadith and sirah compiled by scholars on the personality and akhlak of Rasulullah s.a.w. There are many books ofhadith compilation on the character and conduct taught by Rasulullah s.a.w. that we can apply in our daily lives. Such books include ‘Riyadhus Shalihin’ by Imam Nawawi, ‘As-Syama’il’ by Imam Tirmidzi, ‘Al-Adabul Mufrad’ by Imam Bukhari and many more that we can get in hard copyor even through reliable websites from the Internet.However, in order to appreciate it is not sufficent to simply read these hadith, but also for us to apply in our actions and conduct.
Second, by learning the adab or conduct of Rasulullah s.a.w. we can understand how Rasullah applied the teachings of the Quran to his daily life.
As Allah said in the Quran in surah An-Najm verse 3-4:
Which means: “Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.”
This means that everything that is said or taught by Rasulullah, is guided by his understanding of the Quran.
This fact was acknowledged by Sayyidatina ‘Aisyah when asked by the companions about the akhlak of Rasulullah s.a.w. Sayyidatina ‘Aisyah r.a. said:
Which means: “His character was the Quran.” Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim.
The words of Sayyidatina Aisyah r.a. are indeed true and accurate. When we reflect upon the character and noble personality of Rasulullah s.a.w. indirectly we are studying the teachings of the Quran.
It is true that the conduct of the Prophet is a direct reflection of the teachings found in the Quran. It is translated by the actions and character of Rasulullah s.a.w. This helps us to understand and apply the noble attributes taught in the Quran.
For example, Allah explains the love and concern of Rasulullah s.a.w. toward his ummah (his people), in surah Al-Taubah verse 128:
Which means: “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”
Such care and concern was clearly shown by Rasulullah s.a.w. who always placed his followers before him in every affair, including giving them food to ensure that they are not hungry even when he himself needed the food.
This was clearly shown in a narration by Imam Baihaqi, which was also mentioned in the book of ‘At-Targhib Wat-Tarhib’, Aisyah r.a. said: “Rasulullah s.a.w. never ate to the fill for three days in a row, although we could afford it, but he always prioritised those who were hungry and in need, before himself.”
My dear brothers,
I hope that the sermon that I have shared today can motivate and inspire us to learn more about Rasullah s.a.w. to enable us to follow in his footsteps. Hopefully, through our understanding of his personality and by emulating his character, we are able to become people of good moral conduct and touch the hearts of others with the beauty of our personality. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.