A Muslim Personality
Which one are we? What are we like? Easily provoked or laid back?
Many a times we are the products of our environment whether it is due to our friends, family, fashion, media or society. Together these factors unconsciously mould our characters, dictating both our thoughts and behavior. Is this the way we want to be? A Muslim is called to continually assess and enhance his or her own personality. This is achieved with reference to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW). Allah says:
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
“There was indeed the best model for you in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:21)
Allah also says:
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
“And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.” (Surah Al-Qalam 68:4)
A comprehensive understanding of Rasulullah (SAW) character cannot be given in one short post. The complexity of Rasulullah (SAW) life is such that many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have been driven to write volumes to try and understand what inspired Rasulullah (SAW) and the subsequent impact of Rasulullah (SAW) life upon human history. To help attain an idea of Rasulullah (SAW) importance one requires a description of Rasulullah (SAW) manners and lifestyle.
Rasulullah (SAW) was a man who spoke very little, his sentences would be short yet full of deep meaning. Rasulullah (SAW) listened more than he spoke, sometimes he would be silent for long periods of time. Rasulullah (SAW) was unusually quiet and reserved, generally pensive and sorrowful – always wrapped up in his thoughts and meditations. Yet when Rasulullah (SAW) spoke, his words carried depth and he did not need to speak for long in order to be understood.
Most of Rasulullah (SAW) laughter was no more than smiling, and if he was pleased he would lower his gaze. Rasulullah (SAW) would get angry only when a matter of principle was mocked or violated and Rasulullah (SAW) would not be pleased until the matter was resolved. Yet Rasulullah (SAW) would never get angry for personal reasons – he was always forgiving, and he would never retaliate against personal insults; here he would be patient and gracious. When Rasulullah (SAW) was talking to his companions he would honour their feelings by never bringing any topics which might hurt them or lower their spirits, and instead of mocking someone he would try to help them with their weaknesses. The companions used to love staying with him so much that they would overstay in his house, to such an extent that some verses were revealed asking the companions to respect the Rasulullah (SAW) wish for privacy.
Though Rasulullah (SAW) was a very busy man, he would quite often attend to his own chores by washing and sewing his own clothes and mending his own shoes, though there were many who would have jumped at the chance to do these chores for him. At home Rasulullah (SAW) would divide his time between three portions: his family, himself and Allah.
Rasulullah (SAW) own individual time used to be taken up by his companions who used to visit him regularly, he would receive them in kindness, waiting upon them, serving and honoring them. Rasulullah (SAW) would enquire about their needs and try to help them as much as he could. Sometimes Rasulullah (SAW) would also ask about those who were not present.
Rasulullah (SAW) would be the last to drink if drinks were served in his home, normally with only one bowl to go round. For those who were very poor, Rasulullah (SAW) was a supporter and guardian, providing food and lodging from whatever little he possessed. Rasulullah (SAW) warmth was such that even little children would run up to him asking him to play with them even though he was over fifty years old, Rasulullah (SAW) would listen and play merry-go-round with them.
Towards his enemies Rasulullah (SAW) was still forgiving, and if they were firm with him, then he was firm with them.
History records that those who set out to kill him would later become his closest friends. Though in the later stages of Rasulullah (SAW) life, he had access to much wealth, he still lived as a humble servant of Allah. Rasulullah (SAW) greatest delight ultimately lay in his prayer, especially those that he offered during the darkness of the night.
Now ask ourselves whose example do you prefer over Rasulullah (SAW) the Greatest Muslim Personality?