The Legacy of the Prophet
Despite all the rhetoric against Islam these days, and anti-Islamic attitude of Mr. Donald Trump, the front runner GOP presidential candidate in the United States, we Muslims proudly celebrate the Prophet's birth date this coming Thursday, December 24, 2015, just on Christmas eve.
According to the study of religions, Islam is the third monotheistic religion in the world completing the message of Abraham, Jesus, and Moses (peace be upon them all) for the world. This means Islam is a continuation of the past monotheistic religions and is not a new religion. His message to humanity, not only to Muslims, is to worship the Only One God and not associate with Him any partner. But this Oneness also conveys a scientific message and that not only God is One, but the whole creation is One and all interwoven with each other. God is One, mankind is one, the universe is one, and knowledge is one. Tawhid, (Oneness of God and Creation). that the law of nature and law of God is one and the same is the first legacy of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to humanity.
The second legacy of the Prophet was to establish a civilized society based on moral values. He said he came to this world to fulfill the requirements of morality. He called the city of Yathrib, Medina. Medina means the City. He declared that now people, in today's terminology, are metropolitan and cosmopolitan. Tribalism, fanaticism, radicalism, discrimination, prejudices and biases does not have a place in a cosmopolitan and metropolitan city. For instance, a black man, Bilal, stood on the top of the Kaaba and called the call for prayer. He abolished racism and discrimination, biases and prejudices. He decreed that no Arab has superiority over a non-Arab. God shall recognize people based on piety not wealth, social status, kinship, tribal affiliation, language, gender, and race. He declared based upon the Qur’an that women have rights over men and men have rights over women.
The third legacy of the Prophet was to introduce Deen (religion) as a complete way of life that all aspects of life, science and religion, religion and politics, religion and economics, and religion and social life is interconnected. As a result, Muslims were pioneers and mastered in sciences such as Algebra, the basis of mathematical sciences, invention of Alcohol (An Arabic word) as an antiseptics and so on. Joseph R. Strayer and Hans W. Gatzke, the authors of “The Mainstream of Civilization” writes, “From 900 to 1200 the most important work done anywhere in the world in mathematics, astronomy, physics, medicine, and geography was done in Moslem countries.” (1979, P. 302).
The fourth legacy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was to establish law and order politically for all Muslims and non-Muslims. He declared in the first constitution of Islam drafted in Medina that Jews and Muslims live side by side in peace and cooperate with each other. Later, as an example, Muslims, Jews and Christians established an astonishing civilization based on cooperation, respect and mutual understanding in Cordoba, Spain for eight hundred years.
The fifth legacy of the Prophet was to abolish usury (Interest rate) and consumerism (Extravagance), both economic practices that plague our lives today. He encouraged people to live in modesty and simplicity. Today, we see that charging interest rate made poor nations poorer and rich nations richer and created a miserable life for billions of people around the world. By the same token consumerism, led people to a materialistic lifestyle that they don’t think of anything but money!
The sixth legacy of the Prophet, based on the Qur’an was to declare that all people are creation of God. Killing one person is like killing all humanity and saving one person is saving the whole humanity. According to the Qur'an, he reminded people that there is no compulsion in religion and no one can force religion on others. Later the war of Badr in Islam was launched for freedom of mind and intellect.
The seventh legacy of the Prophet was learning and education. He mentioned that the first thing God created was the “pen”. Consequently, he declared that learning is mandatory for all men and women.
Muhammad (peace be upon him), according to the Qur'an, is a “Rahma” (Blessing) to humanity.
According to the polls the majority of presidential candidates are anti-Muslim and that has a negative impact on the mind of our fellow citizens with regards to Muslims. Our duty in these difficult times is to make sure that we follow the footsteps of the Prophet and live in peace with everyone as the true meaning of Islam is “peace”, respect all religions as the Prophet did, encourage each other for learning, and conduct our lives based upon knowledge, morality and ethical values of the Prophet (peace be upon him). We as American-Muslims are as American as everyone else. We all stand for “liberte, egalite and fraternite” as the French motto goes, and Islam dictates the same principles to humanity
Dr. Farid Younos is Professor of Cultural Anthropology of the Middle East and Islamic Philosophy at California State University East Bay, USA
Your comments on this
|Dr. Dastgeer||28.12.2015 - 06:11|
Thank you doctor sahib, superbly written and concluded.