Spurred by the tragic terror attacks in Paris, Muslims took to social media in January to positively reclaim the image of the Prophet Muhammad. Using the hashtag #WhoIsMuhammad, people from around the world recast what they knew of him: a loving husband who took care of his family; a kind leader who guided his people towards good; a bashful, understanding friend touched modesty upon those around him; an orphan, as human as anyone could be, who became an beacon for us to be inspired by.
He is loved by his followers more than they love themselves and all that they have. Will you join us to learn about who he is?
An Epitome of Modesty, by Abd Al-Baasit Khan
Narrated to be “more bashful than a veiled virgin girl” and “neither uncouth, nor one who shouted in the streets,” the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was well known by all for his modesty (Bukhari). Even before Prophethood, when he helped with rebuilding the Ka’bah, he would fall to the ground unconscious whenever he attempted to copy those around him and lifted his garment to carry stones. When asked what’s wrong, he replied, “I was stopped from being naked.”
He had much in common with Moses, who was similarly described to be “a modest person whose skin was never seen due to his shyness” (Bukhari). He was so shy that he wouldn’t even ask guests who overstayed their welcome to leave, prompting revelation on the matter. When a slave girl once rudely demanded he give her some of his food, he calmly complied. It’s said that when the food settled in her stomach, some modesty was put into her so that afterwards there was no woman in Medina more modest than she!” (Tabarani). May we all learn from the Prophet’s modesty too. Ameen.
A Romantic Husband, by Aamir Shamsi
Muhammad ﷺ was a romantic, loyal and caring husband. He would listen to his wives’ sentiments and be conscious of their feelings. He knew the importance of small gestures like lying in their laps, drinking from the same cup, and playing with them. He would approach his wives with gentleness and loving words. He displayed compassion and empathy, comforting them in their times of need.
The Prophet saw to his needs himself and never added difficulties on his wives. He understood the differences between men and women and dealt with disputes accordingly. He treated his wives with dignity and respect at all times, never rebuking them in front of others. Even if he was displeased, he would never express his emotions with words or violence, but with silence.
This and so much more is why Muhammad ﷺ was the ideal husband and an example for all married men. As he taught us, “The best of men are those who are best to their wives” (al-Tirmidhi).
A Family Man, by Shahin Indorewala
In addition to being a romantic husband, Muhammad ﷺ was also a family-oriented man. Unlike many who find it difficult to contribute time or energy towards their families, the Prophet always took time to serve his household. His wife, Aishah, was once asked what he did inside their home. She replied, “He used to keep himself busy helping members of his family, and when it was the time for prayer, he would get up for prayer” (Bukhari).
Her reply showed that he did not sit around ordering people to do things for him even though he had that privilege. He taught the world that there’s immense reward in helping and contributing to one’s family. He constantly struck a balance between this world and the next, and he demonstrated this ideal to his family through his actions.
A Respectful Emissary, by Sumaiyah Khan
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a man who treated everyone with respect and did not judge them. It’s reported that he once joined a group of his companions around a fire when they asked him, “So and so person is a hypocrite. Why do you sit with him?” He replied, “I have not been sent to tear open the breasts of men and see what is in their hearts.”
He was a man who, despite being a prophet and the most amazing example for all, believed that making judgements was only befitting of God, the Most High. He reminded us that we don’t know what’s in the hearts of people, and that only God knows whom He will pardon and bestow His mercy on. He lived his life like a humble slave and a respectful emissary whose footsteps could be followed by the rest of mankind until the end of time.
A Guiding Light, by Adnan Samma
From the blackest of the black
A darkness spread so stark
That no colour can see
Laid a world nurtured by ignorance
Where hearts could not peacefully be
From a truth that became a hindrance
And to truly believe came for a fee
I know of a man who knew
The way of the free
He taught us
But could not read
The one and absolute creed
That the Creator is One
His partners are none
And the man, Muhammad
is who we must heed
It is the Divine Word
Which is decreed
Thus, he fought for it
In order to succeed
A few men did concede
Became his companions
Helped him secede
I know of all
The slaves he freed
And the daughters
That he made fathers breed
All the orphans
He would feed
All the hidden wealth
That he would not let exceed
And the significance
Of every deed
I know not of his tears
When he had no one
But Him to share his fears
Because he knows
The Lord is near
I know not of
How he would bleed
But only to his Lord
This man would plead
So he taught
From a Word so clear
He did not read
But he would lead
I know of a man
We would mislead
So, hold on to the Word
and certainly his creed
This is Muhammad
A Caring Orphan, by Muhtasham Sifaat
He was just a boy back then. In the mountains of Abwa, after visiting the grave of his late father, away from any aid or support, his mother was dying right before him and her maidservant. Oh mother, oh mother, Muhammad ﷺ sobbed, holding his mother tightly in his little arms.
She said to him, my son, every young must turn old and every living must taste death. His tears fell but she could not wipe them. He rested his head on her chest but she could not comfort him. He cried out, while hugging her grave and being pulled away, my mother where have you gone? He was six years old and now without a mother and father.
He grew up, finding comfort from his loving caretakers. He became the best in character, an inspiration for the grieving hearts to persevere. He cared, and he cried for you and me.
A Relatable Prophet, by Arif Kabir
Approaching sixty, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ visited his mother’s grave once again. The grief of losing her still pulsed in his soul after all these years, and he “wept until everyone around him was in tears” (Muslim). He had much to grieve about, for since his mother’s death, he had also lost his grandfather, his uncles, his wife, many close friends, and six of his kids. Each loss was very painful. Each pain was as acute as the other.
Every suffering person is able to relate to him because he went through so much. I remembered him as I heard of my aunt passing away from cancer last week. I was heartbroken, but I recalled how my Prophet endured more severe trials. I took solace knowing he always persevered and emerged every day with a smile. I pray I’m able to be patient like him, and that my family and I join him in the meadows of Paradise.
A Passionate Leader, by Aziza Pauff
Not an angel, nor a poet
But a man with a mission from God
Through whom was delivered a message divine
To stir souls, intrigue intellects
And lead the way for all lost, lonely hearts
For Allah’s truth did he ever strive
Despite perils and persecution
For his nation’s future did he ever worry
And yet we spin around so carelessly
Upon a night’s journey by ascension he was
When came the blessed command
Of daily prayers enjoined first as fifty, then five
That would bring peace to his followers
And hope to the distressed
How we long to wash the limbs as he washed
Then to pray with sincere devotion as he prayed
To love him more than ourselves
Our parents, our children
And the families that we hold dear
May peace and blessings be upon him
Muhammad, last prophet of God
And of his intercession
And of his companionship
May we be recipients.