Hundreds of thousands of books, articles, and literary works have been written about the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Despite the abundance of information available, many Muslims (not to mention non-Muslims) still don’t truly comprehend the character of the Prophet (SAW). For this reason, and the growing, vicious campaigns against the Prophet (SAW) in the form of cartoons, movies, and caricatures, many scholars are now writing about the real life of the Prophet (SAW) in order to dispel the epidemic of misinformation being disseminated about him.
Of these, I have selected 3 major works that need to be read and carefully studied. The first came out in 2013 – and from which I have borrowed the title of this series that, insha Allah, I also intend to reflect on – namely, This is Muhammad: the Messenger of Allah (SAW), by Dr. Abdullah Ibn AbdulAziz Al-Musleh. Written in Arabic, this 637-page book reflects on the evidence of the message of the Prophet (SAW). The first half is about the Prophet himself and the last 200 pages focus on the miracles of his message not only in the sciences but in history, law, sociology, psychiatry, psycho-analysis, and many other fields.
In 2008, 28 world renowned scholars from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Syria, Jordan, Russia, Turkey, Yemen, Kuwait, the United States, Sudan, Morocco, Qatar, Libya, and Iraq endorsed a book that carried a similar title: This is the Messenger of Allah. Written by Salman Al-Oudah (also in Arabic), this 610-page volume looks at a wide range of aspects of the life of the Prophet (SAW), beginning with his character, his mercy towards human beings, and his treatment of women, children, his companions, neighbours, even those who not only insulted or rebuked him, but tried to kill him. It is not only human beings that were covered by his mercy, but also animals and the environment. He especially protected the weaker in the community such as the women, the children, and the poor. In fact, even the rights of his enemies, let alone those of the Muslims, were under his protection as well.
The third is another book written in Arabic, also by Salman Al-Oudah, spanning about 400 pages and is entitled, With the Chosen One. It places the reader face to face with the Messenger of Allah (SAW). As a matter of fact, the first chapter of this book is titled “As If You See Him,” in which the author of this precious book wrote,
“It is a duty upon us that we empower our youth and connect them with our history especially with the seerah (life of the Prophet SAW). If we put his seerah and his character in the right perspective to our young boys and girls, they will not need to look for another alternative for a role model. Whoever reads the seerah of the Prophet will notice the simplicity and the natural flow of his character, where there is no harshness and takaluf (insincerity)…the scholar will find in his seerah how to spread knowledge and how to communicate it properly with wisdom and good approach. The da’e will find how to be patient when he is facing people or trying to give dawah and the wisdom needed for a da’e to pass along the word of Allah to others. The father will find in the seerah the way to deal with his children especially in the developing stages and situations they encounter. A husband will have many examples of how to deal with his wife, how to be patient with her and the wife will also have a great deal of knowledge of how to deal with her husband. Thus, the poor and the rich, the sick and the healthy, the traveler and the resident, the victorious and the defeated, all will find guidance, comfort and solace in the seerah of the Prophet (SAW) and particularly to a servant who wants to be obedient to their Lord.”
As author and commentator Karen Armstrong correctly notes in her book, Muhammad: A Prophet of Our Times, I also intend to share with the readers of Lanterns the Prophet’s gems, which are much needed in these times. I pray that Allah (SWT) allows me to do further justice to these writers and, above all, to contribute to the understanding of the seerah of the Prophet (SAW), the mercy to humanity.
The first of these series will be a reflection of the Prophet in the Qur’an.
Graphic by Fiqri Ramli