Looking Back to Madeenah – Complete book
We thank Allaah who sent the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) with the true guidance and the proper way of living. We thank Him for this opportunity to look back to Madeenah.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) emphatically declared that the purpose of his mission was to bring conduct near to perfection. And Allaah, most Exalted, confirmed the fulfilment of his mission when He said in the Quran, ‘And verily you (Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)) have an exalted standard of character’
The celebrated Imam Maalik (RA) respected the soil of Madeenah. He fondly referred to this beautiful city as Madeenatur-rasool (‘the city of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) or Taibatut Taiyyiba (‘the best among the best’). He left the precincts of Madeenah to answer the call of nature. He stepped onto the soil with great care and humility, and was never seen to ride on the soil with his means of transport. If students raised their voices in his teaching circles he would point to the Qabr of the beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and request that Madeenah be treated with the appropriate dignity and respect on the basis of the presence of the immaculate body/person of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). He would also recite the verse, “Do not raise your voices beyond the voice of the Prophet” as a reminder to his students to respect Madeenah. Before he spoke about the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) he would perform ablution and while he spoke about the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), he would never recline or be in motion. Dear lovers of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)! Pay heed to the conduct of Imaam Maalik (RA)! Pay heed particularly as we open the windows and look into Madeenah.
Today we listen to Aa’isha (Radhiallaahu Anha), the Prophet’s wife, giving us details which she and the other wives could share with us. We listen to Husain (Radhiallaahu Anhu), his beloved grandson, and absorb the words of Baraa and other close Companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) as they describe his physical qualities, character and sense of humour.
Barra ibn ‘Aazib (Radhiallaahu Anhu) described the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) as ‘the most handsome person with the most outstanding character’. He reported, ‘The Prophet is medium in height, with broad shoulders, and his hair sometimes reaches his earlobes. I have never seen a beauty matching the Prophet’s after I saw him once wearing a red cloak’. When Baraa was asked whether the brightness of the face of the Prophet (Radhiallaahu Anhu) resembled a sword, Baraa replied ‘No! His face resembles full moon’.
Anas ibn Maalik (Radhiallaahu Anhu), said, ‘In my entire life, I did not touch anything as tender and soft as the hands of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) not even thick or ordinary silk. I have yet to experience a more clean and fresh fragrance than that which emanates from Allaah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (Radhiallaahu Anhu) stated that the modesty of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was more than that of a veiled young girl. But when the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) witnessed any violation of the sacred teachings of Allaah Ta’ala the aversion and anger was clearly visible on his face. Aa’isha (Radhiallaahu Anhu) stated, ‘The Prophet never uses foul language and never entertains people with obscene jokes. He is well behaved when he enters the market places. His habit is not to repel evil with mutual evil. He is forgiving and can grant pardon’.
Husain (Radhiallaahu Anhu), the grandson of the Prophet asked his father, Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu), about the conduct of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Ali replied, ‘He was always cheerful, gentle and mild. There was no rigidity or coarseness in his conduct. He was neither a faultfinder nor a boisterous person, and he steered away from any kind of futile engagement. He encouraged achievers and never deprived a person of hope. Personally, he refrained from three things: exhibitionism, hoarding wealth and involvement in matters that did not concern him. He also refrained from three things relating to community life: sharp rebuke, faultfinding and exposing people with the intention of disgracing them.
He addressed matters constructively with the objective of arriving at good for all. When he spoke, his audience sat motionless; gave him their undivided attention. During these sessions, they were so preoccupied with his words that they would not even have noticed when birds sat on their heads. None of his listeners would interject while he was talking. They waited until he completed his discussion, then the person who requested to participate first was allowed to address the group, followed by the second, etc. Participants were respectfully allowed to finish their statements without objections or interference; everybody would listen attentively.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) laughed at things that were generally funny and was excited by things that excited his Companions. Sometimes, visitors to Madeenah questioned him harshly on Islam, but he was always polite and tolerant towards them. He objected to being praised excessively and tolerated praise only when it was given as thanks for kindness he showed. When a person talked in a company, he would not interrupt or disagree with him unless the person spoke incorrectly; then he either stopped the person or took leave of the company. He never missed an opportunity to teach and to educate. With regards to the needy, he encouraged the more fortunate to support them. All his recorded Hadeeths are clear testimony to his love to guide people to truth and correct behaviour.’
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was fond of playing with Abu Umair (Radhiallaahu Anhu), a young boy. One day he saw that the young boy was depressed. The Companions told him that it was because the boy’s bird (nughayr) had died. The Prophet (Radhiallaahu Anhu) tried to make him laugh and said, ‘Abu Umair! What happened to Nughair?’
Anas ibn Malik (Radhiallaahu Anhu) related the story of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Bedouin, Zaahir Ibn Haraam (Radhiallaahu Anhu). The Bedouin was selling his commodities in the market. The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) approached from behind and clasped his arms around Zaahir challenging him to release himself from the grip. Then the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) called to those who passed by, ‘Who wants to buy this slave?’ Still in the clasp of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), Zaahir laughed and responded, ‘There is no market for me; nobody would want to buy me.’ (He was ugly because his body was old and deformed.) The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, ‘But, by Allaah, you are priceless.’
He set clear limitations when telling jokes. Aa’isha (Radhiallaahu Anhu) said, ‘When he laughed, you could never see his fleshy part of the palate.’ The Prophet told Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that in his jokes was always the element of truth.
His call to Allaah was uncompromising. He reprimanded Abu Dharr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) for calling Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) ‘a child of a black servant’ and told him that revolt against the way of Allaah (jaahiliyyah) is still alive in him. Abu Dharr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) felt such remorse that he placed his head on the ground and ordered Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) to cut it off.
- the main purpose of being Muslim is to live according to the highest moral standards.
- poor qualities and behaviour are like rust on a pure heart.
- poor behaviour intensifies evil and obscures all good.
- pure life is not found on a tightrope of stress and perpetual consciousness. In worship, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was intense and devoted, in matters of truth and justice he was uncompromising, but in his personal character and habits he was human. He enjoyed good things. He participated in small talk. He smiled and joked, yet never departed from the truth.
- the habits of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) in eating, physical exercise, resting and sleeping, fasting and personal hygiene all emerged from a sophisticated, balanced programme of life. His emphasis was on prevention, whereas today we search for curative medicines for major ailments and infectious diseases.
- cultivate good and desirable qualities, such as being sociable, companionable and friendly as opposed to being unfair, oppressive, brutal, savage or exploitative.
- strive against undesirable and evil qualities and habits.
- repent and halt the vicious cycle of sin.
- be steady in our efforts to promote
- the good, even if our acts of good seem small.
- be cheerful and remember that a smile is the normal expression worn by Believers. Believers are positive, resolute and filled with certainty in the promise of Allaah. They are neither fainthearted nor weak, especially when they are confronted with difficulties and ordeals.
- remember that ‘there is time for this and for that’ as the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised Handhala (Radhiallaahu Anhu) thrice, when he felt guilty for not maintaining a high level of seriousness in the presence of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) when he played with his children and his wife.
- habitually practise personal hygiene and cleanliness. The Prophet stressed and practised regular baths, ablution and the brushing of teeth. This is remarkable when we remember that he lived in an environment that lacked water.
- pursue the higher goals of life and not waste our time with trivia, such as spying on Muslims, spreading rumours and defamation about them, or indulging in matters that do not concern us.
We thank you for looking back into Madeenah with us, to have witnessed the perfection in the physical appearance of the beloved Prophet and the augustness of his character. His perfect appearance was the gift from Allaah but he acquired his sublime character from his understanding of and his intimacy with Allaah.
Remember, Remember, dear lovers of the Prophet that no Muslim army entered Indonesia, which is today the largest Muslim country in the world. The people who took Islam there could not speak Malayu, the language of the Indonesians: The language they spoke was the universal language of outstanding character.
We can take from that experience to communicate Islam to our neighbours, our friends, our colleagues and, last but not least, our domestic workers and helpers.
In conclusion, we should compare our character to that of the Prophet. How far from or how close are we to Madeenah?