The Great Revolutionary Prophet
WHAT IS REVOLUTION, BUT A CHANGE AND A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. If it is not a change for the better, it is chaotic anarchy and not a revolution. A revolution must root out the evils of the existing scheme of things and usher in an order for the better. It is in this enlightened sense that we speak of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam as the herald of a great revolution for all mankind, a revolutionary who had come to take away mankind out of the moral stagnation into which it had sunk and raised it to the higher plane of peace and progress.
Muhammad sallallahu alayhi
wasallam was a great revolutionary Prophet. His revolution, however, was a revolution of peace, peace not only to
end feuds of families, tribes and nations but of all humanity. Not only was the revolution
of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam in the realms of religion but it also covered all
aspects of life. Nay, he gave a new meaning to religion,
for him religion was not only a set of dogmas and doctrines, leave aside rituals and ceremonies. To him religion was a much more
comprehensive concept. Not only did he give religion a new
definition but new dimensions also.
To this great revolutionary prophet; religion was a code of conduct, a way of life, an ideology and a movement, ever ready to meet the genuine urge of man for all times, transcending space and time for ever.
As the dawn shows the day, so did Muhammad
sallallahu alayhi wasallam, long before the mantle of prophet-hood fell on him,
start showing the man he was to be even as a boy and later as a young man. He had hardly
crossed his teens when he found the first recorded society for social and humanitarian
services -- a nucleus to serve the travellers and the neglected and the deprived ones. And
soon his reputation as a truthful, sincere and trustworthy man
began to spread far and wide; and all without exception, friends and foes alike used to
universally call him 'Al Ameen' -- The Trusted One.
Trusted indeed he was, for even though, later on, when the infidels were not yet ready to
accept his message of Islaam, they were still prepared to leave behind their valuables
with the Trusted One for safe custody.
We see that even after 13 years of his preaching, as a prophet, the very infidels and his erstwhile enemies were still seen showing the same confidence in him as a man even though they were not prepared to accept him as a prophet, that while migrating to Madeenah, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam had numerous trust-items, which he had to arrange for proper return to the owners in his absence. It is indeed one's character which shows the man and which makes the man and in this field also this revolutionary Prophet set new standards for others to follow.
If Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam came as a threat to the monopolies of the few, he came as a blessing to the teeming millions, the dispossessed, the disinherited and the neglected, toiling and exploited masses of mankind. He came to confer the privileges on the under-privileged. He came to grant rights to those to who were denied rights. He came to father the orphans and to provide cover of protection to the weak, the destitute, the distressed and the down trodden, yes, to all those suppressed and oppressed by those in power.
He came to grant the woman her rightful place in human society, rising her above the positions of goods and chattels and granting her a respectful entity and a personality to herself. For the first time she was given the right to education, the right to hold property in her own right, the right of inheritance and, above all, the right to vote and pray. what is the right to vote but to have the legal right for a free expression of opinion or choice. Human history fails to give that pride of place which Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallamgave to women. His words "Paradise lies under the feet of mothers" are eternal, sparkling and glowing.
'Equality, 'fraternity' and liberty' are interesting and exiting terms and the apparent credit of this coinage goes to the French Revolution,
but the real man to whom should go the credit is the great father of
Social Revolution, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam,
who liberated man from the bondage of man and from the enslavement of superstitions, religious or otherwise. It
was he who first declared equality
and brotherhood of man.
He was not content with just preaching it, but practised it. One of his closest companions was a former Negro slave, Bilaal radhiyallahu anhu; one of his trusted lieutenants was an Iranian called Salmaan radhiyallahu anhu; to name a third Suhayb radhiyallahu anhu of Rome. Each coming from different directions, of different languages, and of different heritage. But in their Teacher's company they were all companions, equal to each other without distinction. Colour and country did not stand in the way of Muhammad's sallallahu alayhi wasallam revolutionary and all embracing brotherhood.
In the field of social status this revolutionary Prophet struck at the very root of, and destroyed root and branch of, the very conception of a better or higher status on the basis of birth, position or possession. He was the first to usher in the era of a classless society of equals and brothers. He does not divide humanity on the basis of class or colour, for he does not believe in rivers and mountains dividing man from man. He, for the first time, gave dynamic concept of one undivided humanity -- the family of man, the children of Aadam alayhis salaam. Clear is the call of the Qur'aan in this respect:
O people! we have created you from a male and a female. (49:13 )
Thus, this man of revolution urged the people of the world to raise themselves above parochial, tribal, racial and national limitations: his was the limitless universality of Islaam.
Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam believed in the dignity of man and not in the prestige or power of man or this race or that nationality. In his sweeping revolutionary way, he declared in his farewell sermon:
"There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for the white over the black, nor for the black over the white, except in Allah-consciousness."
was the standard to judge man and not pelf
or place or ancestry.
Indeed, a new yardstick was given to the world to measure right and wrong and good and bad. "It is not a virtue to turn to the East or the West", says Qur'aan Majeed, the Eternal Book of Guidance, but the good deeds and righteous living generate such noble qualities as love and mercy, justice and kindness, respect and covenants, purity and chastity.
NOW TURNING TO THE FIELD OF ECONOMICS,
We see this Messenger of Revolution coming with his heavenly concept of a New Economic Order for the whole world, an
order which allows no monopolies, which
tolerates no hoarding, which does not allow the concentration
of wealth in the hands of a few only, which throws open all
resources of income to one and all, without let or hindrance, which
ushers a banking system where the rate of interest is zero, where
balanced sharing in the natural form, and not exploitation is
the guiding principle.
In Muhammad's sallallahu alayhi wasallam Economic Order, private enterprise is not disallowed, but, and it is a big but, the interest of the community, nay, the welfare and the sanctity of the society, are given the top-most priority. With wealth are compulsorily inter-linked, numerous social obligations which have to be discharged. These "must" serve as an antidote to the parasitical tendencies of accumulations of wealth in the hands of a few individuals, or families to the utter disregard of the needs of the majority.
Muhammad's sallallahu alayhi wasallam ideals of social justice, which include economic justice, heralded the great broad-based Social Order of justice and equity, such that no later attempts of individualistic, socialistic or communistic leadership could come even near it.
Muhammad's sallallahu alayhi wasallam Order avoids the evils of the individualistic tendency of monopolies and concentration of wealth of the Capitalistic Order and those of making "god" of a state of the Communist Order where the poor individual absolutely loses his entity and is reduced to the state of a robot and an automation under the grinding wheels of regimentation and totalitarianism.
Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam steers clear of these two dangerous extremes. His Order takes mankind to the shores of Peace, Progress, and Prosperity.
Muhammad's sallallahu alayhi wasallam whole emphasis is on leading a "balanced life" whereby every member of the society would become "a keeper unto every other".
And in Muhammad's sallallahu alayhi wasallam society the non-Muslim minorities are called "Zimmi" or the "Protected of Allah and of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam".
The Zimmi's security has to be guaranteed by the State and the Society, and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam repeatedly warned people against doing any wrong to a Zimmi. Thus, in an Islaamic Society not only do the minorities get a just treatment but also a generous one.
In the field of politics again, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam brought a world shaking Revolution. He declared that Sovereignty belongs to Allah; and the people are His Vicegerents, were to hold the State as a Bequeathed Trust and they were to execute the functions of the State with full responsibilities of Trustees.
Why the interested parties today are trying to confuse an Islaamic State with Theocracy is beyond comprehension. Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam never pretended to assume at any time any sacramentalism in any shape or form.
Priestcraft as an institution is foreign to Islaam and hence the idea of a priest controlled Rule is poles asunder from the very concept of an Islaamic State, which has no room for clerical class.
Another bold feature which Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam brought into play in the Realm of Politics was to abolish hereditary succession; it sounded the death knell of the degenerated system of kingship where the son or the daughter steps into the father's shoes whether he/she is capable or not. Instead, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam introduced the novelty of a chosen head of State -- a person who can win the confidence of the people to lead the affairs of the State and this Head of State was to regulate the affairs of the State for the welfare of the people, by "counsel among themselves". Imagine the great innovations of the Revolutionary Prophet more than 1400 years back.
The great Revolutionary Reformer could not ignore the important field of Education. In the annals of human history, we hardly get another man who laid that emphasis on Education as did Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam. As the Supreme Head of the first Islaamic State, he decreed Education as incumbent on all people, male or female. Talk of compulsory education is not innovation of our modernists. Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam had declared it compulsory almost immediately after the establishment of the City State of Madeenah.
It was in the very second year of the establishment of the Madeenistic Regime that his Law regarding Compulsory Education began to be implemented with all his vigour and force possible for a nascent state. And like a practical realist he also warns his people to save themselves from knowledge which is of no use.
In other words, he asked you to separate the kernel from the husk and to distinguish the substance from the shadow. And pray, also look at the breath of the vision of this great Revolutionary. He orders to take the good from everywhere one gets it and further counsels that knowledge is the lost of wealth of a believer and commands to acquire it whatever its source. So long as the Muslims kept up this breadth of vision they were the torchbearers of light and learning and were considered the norm to judge the various grades of cultures and civilizations of the world.
Another great contribution, which the Revolutionary Prophet made, was not to keep himself on a high pedestal of ivory tower beyond the reach of men. He is no mystic figure. He is no demigod; he does not overawe you by his shadow of supernatural power.
This Messenger of Allah repeatedly claims to be a man, yes in his own words, "like unto other". This man-Prophet came for the good of men, men of all ages, all claims, all countries. He was a man yes, a Man among men, a Leader of men, Benefactor of men, a Model for all men and an Exemplar for all and forever.
May his name be ever praised. But, pray, how do you 'praise' him? There is but one way and that is to follow on the footsteps in our everyday dealings, by trying to shape our lives on his pattern and by trying to so chisel and so refine ourselves, after that model, that we ourselves would become "like him". Yes, his name be ever praised.--- Aameen.