In the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him), there are patterns for every one and as a believer He (pbuh) must be followed in our practical life. Allah (swt) says: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah often.” (Al-Qur’an, Surah al-Ahzab, 33: 21) It, therefore, is very important to learn the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Moreover, there are some other reasons for studying the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). A few of them are as follows:
i. It is an Obligatory (Fard) Task: Studying the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is obligatory for each and every person who claims himself or herself as a believer. We all believers know that our main testimony goes to two issues, such as (i) to believe in one Allah and (ii) Muhammad (pbuh) is His (swt) messenger. Now, the question is that if we do not know about Allah (swt) and Muhmmad (pbuh), how do we believe in them? What do we believe in them? Prophet Muhmmad (pbuh) is not present among us physically and we are not fortunate people like His (pbuh) companions (sahaba) who could observe the life and actions of the Prophet (pbuh), the only way to learn about His (pbuh) life is to study the sirah; biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We must keep in our mind is that the best sirah is the Qur’an. Once the people came to Ummul Mu’minin Ayesha (r.) after the departure of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked about His (pbuh) lifestyle, she replied by asking a question. That was, do you not study the Qur’an? Yes, the best way to learn the biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the Qur’an as He (pbuh) applied and executed all the teachings of the Qur’an in His (pbuh) life. There are some other authentic books on the biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). These are available in most of the world languages, including Bengali language. Among them, Siratu Ibn Hisham, Ar-Rahiq al Makhtum, Muhamamd (pbuh): The Final Messenger (English) et cetera are very popular among us.ii. To Understand the Qur’an: It is not possible, in true sense, to understand the Qur’an unless we know about the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There are many instructions in the Qur’an to perform in our life which have been taught in details through the practice of the Prophet (pbuh). One of the common examples can be the Salat. There are no detail instructions of the way of performing salat in the Qur’an, but in the life of Prophet (pbuh); hadith and sunnah. Moreover, His (pbuh) speech is also considered as wahy (revelation). Allah says, “Nor does he speak from his own inclination. It is not, but a revelation revealed.” (al-Qru’an, Surah an-Nazm, 53: 3) Therefore, we can only understand the Qur’an and follow it in our practical life once we learn the biography and teachings of Prophet (pbuh).
iii. To Strengthen our Iman (belief): If anyone wants to strengthen his/her iman, he must study the biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Through the study of His (pbuh) life, we can only know the way of Islam and how to spend our worldly life for the betterment of our final life; life hereafter (al-Akhirah). It is also a requirement of our iman that we must love Him (pbuh) more than anyone; our parents, our children, anyone. (See: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith no-15) Now, the question is how do we love Him (pbuh) if we do not know him?
iv. To improve our Character and Behavior: Prophet Muhamamd (pbuh) was not only sent as the mercy to the worlds as Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Surah al-Anbiya’, 21: 107) But also to perfect the moral character. The Messenger of Allah says: “I have been sent to perfect good character.” (Mu’atta Malik, Hadith no. 1614) Therefore, if anyone wants to perfect his/her moral character, he/she must study the biography of Prophet (pbuh) not only for getting known the ways, but also for inspiration.
v. To promote Peace and Harmony: It is disheartening to observe the situation of the present world. Conflict between two, fighting each other, religious riots, practicing injustice et cetera become the common phenomena of the present world. The situation is destroying the peace and harmony by any means. The people are eagerly trying to find out the way to overcome the situation and promote peace and harmony in the society. On the other hand, most of the knowledgeable people know that, within only 23 years, the Prophet (pbuh) was able to establish peace and harmony in a society where it was really unbelievable. Therefore, His (pbuh) life and teachings would be a good solution for overcoming the present unstable situation and promote peace and harmony in the society.
To conclude, it can be stated that the life of Prophet (pbuh) is not comparable to anyone in the history of the men. It is really a miracle that includes each and every good and moral attribute and, thus, become the model for others. Imam Ibn Hazam (r.) said: “If the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had not been given any miracle other than his Sirah (Biography), it would have been sufficient to prove that He is the Prophet of Allah.” (Al-milal wan Nihal, Vol-2, p-90).
Allah (swt) help us to study the biography of His Messenger (pbuh) and practice the lessons in our practical life!
The writer is a scholar in Islamic studies and researcher on Islamic views on contemporary issues.