Can Prophet Muhammad be taken as a Model for Muslims to follow?
being the final prophet of allah, prophet muhammad pbuh has been endowed with a life that is an epitome of success. he was born an orphan and rose to become a ruler of integrity. each of the different phases of his life provides examples for anyone who wishes to emulate it for righteous living.
the prophet's character alone is a paragon of virtue, a model for all men. allah says to the reader of the quran: "you have indeed in the messenger of allah (muhammad) a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is god and the final day." (33:21)
ali akbar, in his book "god and man", says: "great minds and teachers like buddha and christ could not present their lives as models for mankind to follow. one left the family while the other had none. one severed his connections with the worldly affairs altogether and the other had never entered into them. their teachings are lofty but can be followed only by those who live an ascetic life like them. the human progress in acquiring knowledge of the creator and the universe and mastering elements and scientific research could never be possible if all people lived ascetic lives, and the world would come to an end in one generation as far as human beings are concerned if all practised celibacy. god who is the creator of mankind could not depute persons to advocate principles contrary to the laws laid down by him for the procreation of his creatures.
"but the great model muhammad pbuh presents all phases of life to follow. as an orphan, as a shepherd, as a son, as a nephew, as father, as grandfather, as husband, as a citizen, as a neighbour, as a humanitarian and lover to children and orphans, as supporter and free worker for poor widows and needy persons, as tolerant teacher never offending susceptibilities or beliefs of others, as conqueror, as forgiver of those who persecuted him after they came under his power by his example of forgiving the people of makkah who had ruthlessly persecuted him, as master of those who came to him as slaves by freeing them at once, as a ruler and a teacher of good treatment which should be meted to those who differ from you in religion when they come under your protection by his own example, as the first giver in the world to women a right of full possession of property and inheritance from parents, sons, brothers and sisters and other relations; and in many other respects a model to follow."