The Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) not only brought to us the Holy Quran, but also numerous hadith and lessons to help us become the best possible servants of Allah.
In remembrance of Mawlid An-Nabi, the birthday of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, here are a few of the most important lessons from the Prophet.
1) Remembrance of Tawhid (the Oneness of God)
“There is no group that remembers Allah, except that the angels encompass them, mercy covers them, and tranquility descends upon them: and Allah remembers (mentions) them before those who are with Him.”
Jami` at-Tirmidhi: Vol. 6, Book 45, Hadith 3378
The remembrance of God, or Tawhid (the Oneness of God), is arguably one of the most central aspects of being Muslim. By understanding the true Oneness of God, one will find that every aspect of living a fulfilling and engaging Islamic life will come naturally and easily. The Prophet Mohammad taught us that to remember Allah is both rewarding and necessary, and is one of the most beautiful acts of being Muslim.
2) Actively engaging with the Holy Quran
“When matters become obscure for you like the darkness of the night, then turn to the Quran, for it is the mediating intercessor and the trustworthy deviser. Whoever puts it in front of them, it will lead them to Heaven, and whoever puts it behind them, it may take him to Hell.”
Kenzul Ummal: Hadith 4027
The Holy Quran remains our main and undisputable source of truth and knowledge in Islam. The Prophet Mohammad reminds us that the Quran will always be the light of truth in our many disputes and that by remembering and actively engaging with the Quran we will ultimately be rightly guided.
3) Remaining humble
“Blessed be he who humbles himself before Allah without having any deficiency, and who humiliates himself without poverty.”
Tanbih al-Khawatir: Vol. 2, pg. 66
The Holy Prophet was the pinnacle of humbleness and humility, and the number of stories about his conduct with not only his family and companions but his enemies as well remains an important lesson to us all. Teaching us the beauty of humbleness and the importance of humility, the Prophet Mohammad’s lessons on humbleness help guide us back to the true essence of Islam.
4) Giving charity
“Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.”
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 589
The giving of charity, whether it be through the giving of food and material goods or through by being kind to others, is one of the most important lessons from the Holy Prophet. The act of selflessness, and the act of giving to others in whatever capacity available to you, is a key aspect of being a practicing Muslim, something we can all learn from the personal actions of the Holy Prophet himself.
5) Being kind to your neighbors
“Anyone who believes in God and the day of judgment should not harm his neighbor. Anyone who believes in God and the day of judgment should entertain his guest generously and should say what is good, or keep quiet.”
Sahih Bukhari: Vol. 8, book 73, no. 47
The Holy Prophet taught us that by being kind to your neighbors you are also helping build a better Islamic community as well, and that kindness to those around you, whether they be neighbors or strangers, will help build a better relationship between you and Allah.
6) The importance of being just
“There is a Sadaqa to be given for every joint of the human body, and for every day on which the sun rises there is a reward of a Sadaqa (charitable gift) for the one who establishes justice among people.”
Sahih Bukhari: Vol. 3, Book 49, Hadith 870
Not only should we be kind and thoughtful to those around us, but we need to also be just and fair to everyone we come across in life. The Holy Prophet taught us that no matter who you come across, whether they be friend or foe, you must treat them as you would want them to treat you. This, according to the Prophet, is a powerful act of charity.
7) Not having anger in your heart
“When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.”
Sunan Abi Dawud: Book 42, Hadith 4765
The Holy Prophet remains the pinnacle of the best of human traits and qualities, and of those traits was his control over his temper. Removing anger from oneself is one of the most important aspects of being a practicing Muslim. By learning how to deal with any problem through Islamic values, one can help remove unhealthy anger and the consequences that stem from angry reactions.
8) Remaining healthy both physically and mentally
“Don’t indulge in over-eating because it would quench the light of faith within your hearts.”
Al-Mustadrak, volume 3, p81
If we indulge ourselves too much in the physical and mental distractions of this world, we create less time to connect to Allah. The Holy Prophet reminded his followers to cut back on over-eating and over-indulging oneself simply for pleasure and to instead focus on bettering our physical and mental health to help give our full potential to Allah.
9) Learning to think carefully before you speak
“Whenever he wishes to speak, he contemplates: if what he wants to say is good, he says it and benefits as a result, and if it is bad, then he keeps quiet and remains safe as a result. When a temptation arises before him, he holds fast to Allah and guards his hand and his tongue: if he sees virtue in it, he seizes it, neither losing his modesty thereat nor displaying any greed.”
Tuhaf Al-Uqool: pg. 28
Following in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet, by learning how to think before speaking one can control their emotions better, and become more aware of how to properly react and deal with day to day situations. The Holy Prophet teaches us that while there is an importance to speaking out against injustices, in many cases there can also be a time for remaining silent in order to make a point.
10) Actively learning and engaging with knowledge
“One hour of contemplation is superior to an entire year’s worship.”
Tadhkerah al-Haqaiq, Page 29
The Holy Prophet emphasized the importance of thinking and believing, and not only blinding following the mechanics or physical aspects of the religion. To simply think and believe is an act of worship, and through contemplation, we may bring ourselves closer to Allah as well.
May his timeless and poignant lessons remain alive in our practice and belief in Islam, and help guide us through this turbulent world.