it was solely by his wisdom and dexterity, that the prophet [pbuh] erected the pillars of the new society. this phenomenon no doubt left its mark on the virtuous muslims. he used to bring them up in the light of the islamic education, he sanctified their selves, enjoined them to observe righteousness and praiseworthy manners and was keen on infusing into them the ethics of amity, glory, honour, worship and first and foremost obedience to allâh and his messenger.
the following is a cluster of the virtues he used to inculcate in the minds of his followers:
a man asked the messenger of allâh [pbuh] which of the merits is superior in islam. he (the prophet [pbuh]) remarked:
"that you provide food and extend greetings to one whom you know or do not know."[bukhari 1/6,9]
‘abdullah bin salâm said: when the prophet [pbuh] arrived in madinah, i went to see him and i immediately recognized through his features that he would never be a liar. the first things he (the prophet [pbuh]) said was:
"extend peace greetings amongst yourselves, provide food to the needy, maintain uterine relations, observe prayer at night while people are asleep, then you will peacefully enter the garden (paradise)."[narrated by at-tirmidhi; mishkat al-masabih 1/168]
and he said:
"the muslim is that one from whose tongue and hand the muslims are safe.[bukhari 1/6]"
"none amongst you believes (truly) till one likes for his brother that which he loves for himself.[ibid 1/6]"
"he will not enter paradise, he whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct.[narrated by muslim; mishkat al-masabih 2/422]"
"a muslim is the brother of a muslim; he neither oppresses him nor does he fail him. whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, allâh will remove from him one of the griefs of the day of judgement. whosoever shields a muslim, allâh will shield him on the day of resurrection.[mishkat al-masabih 2/422; sahih al-bukhari; sahih muslim]"
"abusing a muslim is an outrage and fighting against him is disbelief.[bukhari 2/893]"
"to remove something harmful from the road, is charity.[mishkat al-masabih 1/12]"
"charity erases sins just as water extinguishes fire.[ibid 1/14]"
"he is not a perfect believer, who goes to bed full and knows that his neighbour is hungry.[ibid 2/424]"
"show mercy to people on earth so that allâh will have mercy on you in heaven.[sunan abu da'ud 2/235]"
"try to avert fire even by half a date (in charity) if not by tendering a good word. [bukhari 2/190]"
"clothing an under-clad muslim, entitles you to a garment from the paradise; feeding a hungry muslim will make you eligible (by allâh’s will) for the fruit of the paradise, and if you provide water to a thirsty muslim, allâh will provide you with a drink from ‘the sealed nectar’.[mishkat al-masabih 1/169]"
he used as well to exhort the believers to spend in charity reminding them of relevant virtues for which the hearts yearn.
"the believers in their mutual love, are like the human body where when the eye is in agony, the entire body feels the pain; when the head aches, all the body will suffer. [narrated by muslim]"
"the bonds of brotherhood between two muslims are like parts of a house, one part strengthens and holds the other.[bukhari 2/890]"
"do not have malice against a muslim; do not be envious of other muslims; do not go against a muslim and forsake him. o the slaves of allâh! be like brothers with each other. it is not violable for a muslim to desert his brother for over three days.[bukhari 2/896]"
the prophet [pbuh] used as well to promote that habit of abstention from asking the others for help unless one is totally helpless. he used to talk to his companions a lot about the merits, virtues and divine reward implied in observing the prescribed worships and rituals. he would always bring forth corroborated proofs in order to link them physically and spiritually to the revelation sent to him, hence he would apprise them of their duties and responsibilities in terms of the consequences of the call of islam, and at the same time emphasize the exigencies of comprehension and contemplation.
that was his practice of maximizing their morale and imbuing them with the noble values and ideals so that they could become models of virtue to be copied by subsequent generations.
‘abdullah bin mas‘ud [r] once said: if you are willing to follow a good example, then you can have a recourse in the tradition of the deceased, because the living are likely to fall an easy victim to oppression (so they might waver in faith). follow the steps of muhammad’s companions. they were the best in this nation, the most pious, the most learned and the least pretentious. allâh chose them to accompany the prophet [pbuh] and establish his religion. therefore, it is imperative to get to know their grace, follow their righteous way and adhere as much as you can to their manners and assimilate their biography. they were always on the orthodox path. there is then the great messenger of allâh [pbuh] whose moral visible attributes, aspects of perfection, talents, virtues, noble manners and praiseworthy deeds, entitle him to occupy the innermost cells of our hearts, and become the dearest target that the self yearns for. hardly did he utter a word when his companions would race to assimilate it and work in its light.[mishkat al-masabih 1/32]
those were the attributes and qualities on whose basis the prophet [pbuh] wanted to build a new society, the most wonderful and the most honourable society ever known in history. on these grounds, he strove to resolve the longstanding problems, and later gave mankind the chance to breathe a sigh of relief after a long wearying journey in dark and gloomy avenues. such lofty morale lay at the very basis of creating a new society with integrated components immune to all fluctuations of time, and powerful enough to change the whole course of humanity.