Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
18 January 2013 / 6 Rabi’ Al-Awwal 1434
Lessons from the Noble Character of Rasulullah s.a.w.
Dear Friday Jemaah,
There is nothing more honourable than emulating the noble character of Rasulullah s.a.w. in our lives. Nothing is more beautiful than to follow the akhlak of our Prophet in worshipping Allah s.w.t. And there is nothing more difficult than to observe the nature of how Rasulullah s.a.w. interacted and maintained relations with humankind.
There should be no feelings of spitefulness or malicious jealousy, no disgracing of others, nor should we be judgemental of them. In fact, we should not have any any vengeful thoughts, for we are taught to forgive those who have been hostile toward us. All these cannot be achieved without taqwa, and hence, let us all strive to increase our taqwa toward Allah, obey His commands, and leave behind what He has made forbidden to us.
My dear brothers,
Allow me to take this opportunity to share a meaningful story in the hope that it will teach us some valuable lessons on this blessed Friday.
It is reported in the book ‘Hayaatus Sahabah’ written by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Kandahlawi, that Anas Bin Malik r.a. once narrated an incident that took place at a gathering, in which he was present together with Rasulullah s.a.w.
Anas r.a said: “Once we were sitting with Rasulullah s.a.w. He said: ‘There will appear before you a man of the rightful dwellers of Paradise.’ Anas said: ‘A man of Al-Ansar appeared before us. His beard was wet with water from his ablution”
The following day, Rasulullah s.a.w. said the same, and that man appeared once again. On the third day, Rasulullah s.a.w. said the same and that man appeared once again.’
When the Prophet s.a.w left, Abdullah Bin Amr Bin ‘Al-As followed the man. He managed to come up with a reason to seek the man’s approval to remain at his house for three nights. Abdullah spent three nights with the man. He observed that the man did not perform anything special.
Abdullah said: ‘After the three nights had passed and I was about to contempt what he had used to do (of the minimal acts of worship), I said to him: ‘O servant of Allah! I have heard Rasulullah s.a.w. saying this about you thrice; there will appear before you a man of the rightful dwellers of paradise. So, I wanted to see what you do and emulate it. I hope that by doing so, I can rise up to your ranks as well’ The man said: ‘It was only what you have seen.’
As I was about to leave, the man called me and said: ‘By Allah, It was only what you have seen. But I have never held a single malicious thought against other Muslims nor have I envied a Muslim for what Allah has given him.’ Abdullah then said to him; ‘And that is how pure your heart is from feelings of contempt that some Muslims hold, and that is how pure your heart is from vengeful thoughts. It seems to me like this is the trait that has allowed you to reach this rank. And this is what we are not able to do.’ ”
Subhanallah, look at how noble the heart of the servant of Allah that was mentioned by Rasulullah s.a.w as a rightful dweller of Paradise. My dear brothers, having a good heart, free of being judgemental toward others may seem easy but indeed, it is a very difficult trait to achieve. One may be able to get up in the middle of the night, to prostrate and bow to Allah s.w.t., but it is extremely tough to remove even a small amount of envy, talking bad of others and having negative thoughts of others.
Let us ponder upon the challenges faced by Rasulullah s.a.w. and his companions, who were treated with hostility by the people of Musyrikin of Quraisy. Muslims were killed, tortured and oppressed. Their supply of food was withheld, causing many among the elderly and young children to starve and tears were shed. Even Rasulullah s.a.w. himself was humiliated, insulted, even spat on and hurled by stones. In fact, the Prophet had to migrate to Madinah, along with his companions in order to be able to practise the Deen of Islam.
However, when Islam spread and the Prophet returned to Mecca as a ruler and leader, what was the response taken by Rasulullah toward those who had hurt him?
Rasulullah s.a.w. had the right to punish them for what they had done to him and fellow Muslims. However, the Prophet did not do so. Listen to what he said to those who made enemies with the Prophet: “Indeed I will say to you as what Yusuf a.s. said to his brothers:
“There is no blame upon you today. You are all free to leave.”
This is the noble character of Rasulullah s.a.w. And it is an attribute that was observed by his companions. This is the character of a follower whose role model is the Prophet s.a.w.
Therefore, it is of no surprise that those who had previously opposed Rasulullah, eventually embraced Islam, one after another. In fact, many became his firm supporters and followers who helped Rasulullah in the cause of spreading the teachings of Islam. As explained by Allah s.w.t. in the Quran in surah Ali ‘Imran verse 159:
Which means: “So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”
From the stories that I have shared, there are two main learning points for us to reflect upon:
Firstly, to be forgiving and not retaliate bad actions with bad actions
A Muslim who is forgiving is actually someone who has removed mazmumah or disgraceful traits in himself, such as envy, jealousy, revengeful and so on. When such negative traits are removed from a person, he will feel that he is free of the burden of such negative feelings, and thus his sprituality and love of doing good deeds will increase. Eventually one will become a better servant of Allah, who will love and be loved by those who know him.
Secondly, those who proclaim that they love the Prophet are those who emulate the model character of Rasulullah s.a.w.
My dear brothers, let us follow the noble akhlak of the Prophet in totality, from his forgiving attitude, to not retaliating evil acts done to him. Let us solve whatever conflicts we have had, especially misunderstandings with our family members, and even more so those with our parents. No matter how hurt we are, they are still our family and family ties are extremely valuable and must be cherished.
Hopefully, by emulating the noble character of Rasulullah s.a.w we can become Muslims who easily forgive others and are able to spread blessings to all, and be placed among those who are filled with taqwa and are blessed with Allah’s love in the hereafter. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.