He is the Practical Image of Islam
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) is the practical image of Islam. There is no way that one can get to know Islam without knowing Allah's Messenger (pbuh); his guidance, work, instructions and prohibitions.
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) made peace and war, settled and traveled, sold and bought, took and gave. He never lived alone, neither did he travel alone.
Muslims had weakened only because they failed to follow his pattern and guidance for the almighty Allah said" indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the last day, and remembers Allah much."
Some Muslims went to the extent that they only read his biography (pbuh) during celebrations and forums without following his guidance. Some others read it either for obtaining blessings or for getting familiar with its events; wars, days…..etc.
This happens due to one of two reasons: first: their ignorance of the principal of following his pattern & guidance (pbuh) and not knowing that this is a necessity for achieving his love.
Second: their failure in perceiving the positions of guidance in his biography due to a weakness in their sense of conclusion or due to their lack of knowledge and readings.
Here lies the importance of deriving the lessons and benefits from his biography (pbuh).
The biography of the Prophet (pbuh) is not meant to be taught for the pleasure of reading nor for the knowledge of a certain historic period and not for the love of studying the biographies of the grand and heroes. Such kind of superficial study is performed by non-Muslims. A Muslim should have various aims from studying his biography, among which are:
First: Allah's Messenger (pbuh) is the one to be followed for he is the example for all Muslims. He is the legislator whom we are instructed to follow, for Allah says" indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the last day, and remembers Allah much." (al-Ahzab:21). Allah (the almighty) says" if you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance" (al-Noor:54). Allah also says" he who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah" (al-Nissa:80). And Allah also says" say if you really love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins" (al-Imran:31).
He is the practical image and incarnation of Islam without whom we cannot possibly know how to obey the almighty Allah or worship him.
From his biography the scholars derive the techniques of the call and its phases. They also get to know the tremendous effort exerted by Allah's Messenger (pbuh) for the sake of raising the word of Allah and how he reacted in facing the hardships and obstacles that faced him.
- From his biography, teachers can derive the methods & techniques of education.
- From his biography, rulers can derive systems and methodology of leadership.
- From his biography, the ascetics can derive the meaning and essence beyond being an ascetic.
- From his biography, traders can derive the aims, systems and methods of trading.
- From it, those who are suffering can learn the highest degrees of patience and persistence, thus their determination can grow stronger and their trust in Allah increases knowing that the result will be finally in their favor.
- From it, the scholars derive knowledge which enables them to better understand the book of Allah (al-Quran) and the various sciences of Islam, among which are the abrogating and abrogated verses, the reasons behind the revelation of verses and many other knowledge.
- From it, the whole nation derives the morals, manners and merits.
Ibn Katheer said " a special care and attention must be paid to such type of study (the biography of Allah's Messenger (pbuh)) as it was narrated by Omar al-Wakedi that Abdullah ibn Omar ibn Ali said that his father heard Ali ibn al-Hussain saying: "we used to know the conquests of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as we know the verses of the holy Quran".
Al-Wakedi said, i heard Mohamed ibn Abdullah saying that he heard his uncle al-Zuhri saying "in the science of conquests, lies both the science of life and that of the hereafter."
Ismail ibn Mohammed ibn Saad ibn Abi Wakkas said " my father used to teach us the conquests of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) and repeated them to us saying: "these are the glorious deeds of your fathers so waste them not".
History had witnessed many kings, leaders, poets and philosophers but none of them had left behind such a biography and such pattern to be followed as it is with the Prophet's. History had wiped off all their credit and the only thing left is some of their names.
Biographies of many grand people had turned out to be mere jokes throughout history. Where is Namroud who said to prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) "I give life and cause death?”
Where is pharaoh who said "I am your lord, most high." (al-nazia'at:24), and what was his destiny" he who also said "I know not that you have an Ilâh (a god) other than me." (al-Qassas:38).
Those grand people of their ages are now being mocked by everyone; the young and the old, the knowledgeable and the ignorant, for if they had succeeded in deceiving their people at their time, their deception has been revealed and they became a mockery throughout time.
The biography of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) had provided the means for getting the people out of the darkness of polytheism and the corruption of worship to the light of monotheism and faith in Allah (the almighty) who said "O Prophet ! Verily, we have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner and as one who invites to Allah by his leave, and as a lamp spreading light." (al-Ahzab:45-46).
Second: we study Allah's Messenger (pbuh) biography so that our belief in his honesty may increase. Knowledge of his miracles and the signs of his prophecy are sure means to increase faith and trust in his honesty (pbuh). The study of his glorious biography and his great attitudes only prove his perfection, loftiness and honesty.
Third: we study his biography in order to have his love deeply entrenched in our hearts, for what his biography holds as regards his virtuous manners, his generous treatment, his great concern for guiding people to the right path and their welfare, his sacrifice with self and money for the sake of getting people out of the darkness and into the light and from distress to happiness and his great concern in warding off any hardships that may befall his nation.