Can I get information about the high ethics of Hz. Muhammad (PBUH)?

Details of the Question

Can I get information about the high ethics of Hz. Muhammad (PBUH)?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

PERFECT EXAMPLE IN ETHICS

There are some nice characteristics; everybody wants to have them and practice them in their lives: Patience, contentment, generosity, humbleness, altruism, courage, etc. For, they gain man the quality of being real “man”.

The person who had and practiced these nice characteristics included in "high ethics" perfectly is the "model man" Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). His ethics is so high that Allah Almighty addresses him as follows:

"Nay, verily for thee is a Reward unfailing: And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character." (al-Qalam, 68/3-4)

The following is also stated in the Quran for the Prophet (pbuh):

"Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)." (al-Ahzab, 33/21)

Thus, believers are advised and ordered to accept him as a model in all phases of their lives. For, his ethics is the best example and his living style, attitudes, words and deeds are the best model for us.

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding the issue:

"I was sent to complete high ethics." (see Muwatta, Husnul-Khalq, 8; Musnad, 2/381) 

Thus, he attracts the attention to the fact that this characteristic of his is related to his duty in the world.

His ethics is the clean ethics that Allah praises and the Quran teaches. When Allah sent Islam to help humanity and sent down the Quran, He chose the Prophet (pbuh) to display the practice of divine principles in life.

It is possible to see all of the beauties mentioned in the Quran in the Prophet (pbuh). When the Companions asked Hz. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (pbuh), about the ethics of the Prophet (pbuh), she said,

"Do you not read the Quran? His ethics was the ethics of the Quran."

People from all walks of life can find exemplary aspects in the life and ethics of the Prophet (pbuh). Along with numerous virtues and beauties one can take from his life, one can also take hundreds of lessons that interest him related to his profession and his place in the society. For, the life of the Prophet (pbuh) is an example for us in all aspects.

For example, a rich man can take as a model the Prophet (pbuh), who dominated all Arabia a few years after the Migration and obtained great wealth but who distributed all of it to the needy.   

The helpless, desperate and lonely people can take as a model the Prophet (pbuh), who was exposed to unimaginable torture and pressure throughout his life in Makkah, who was left alone by all of his relatives but who never made any concessions related to his cause and belief.

A student can take as a model the Prophet (pbuh), who sat before Hz. Jibril (Gabriel), who brought him the verses of the Quran from Allah through revelation, and learned the Quran.

A successful commander can be like the Prophet (pbuh), who defeated the enemy at the Battle of Badr and Hunayn, gaining great victories against the big armies of the enemy with a small number of mujahids and who bowed his head down to the saddle of his camel out of modesty and solemnity during the conquest of Mecca when he entered the city with his gorgeous army.

A farm owner can take lessons from the intelligent and just Prophet (pbuh), who captured the land of Khaybar, Sons of Nadr and Fadak land following the conquests, who reclaimed the land, appointed the people who could get the best crops from the land and distributed the land to the Companions who did not have any land.  

A merchant can take as a model the lifestyle and commercial ethics of the Prophet (pbuh), who ran the business of Hz. Khadijah, his wife, who acted honestly in business and who was the best person among the members of the trade caravan going to Syria and Basra.

A child who became an orphan at a young age can take as a model the Prophet (pbuh), who lost his father when he was in his mother's womb and his mother when he was six years old and spent his remaining life without his father and mother but in whom humanity took pride, whom Allah loved the most and who was loved as a "pearly orphan".

A sensible young man can take as a model the young Muhammad (pbuh), who was a symbol of chastity, honesty, modesty and decency throughout his youth and who earned his living by grazing the sheep of his uncle Abu Talib. For, nobody witnessed any bad deeds, lies and tricks from him throughout his life, before and after becoming a prophet.
A preacher who gives advice to people reminds people the Prophet (pbuh), who told his Companions about the guiding truths in the best style in the mosque, who practiced what he preached perfectly and caused tribes to be guided to the true path with one word, and takes him as a model.

In short, anybody can take the beloved Prophet (pbuh) as a model for himself no matter under which circumstances he is, what his job is, where he is, in the morning and evening, during the day or night.

He is such a guide that when you follow him, the darkness of your life disappears and your way is enlightened thanks to his light, things will go right and your life will be regular and organized.

The life of the Prophet (pbuh) is like a luminous chain adorned with all of the rules of high ethics in which people are engaged and which can respond to whatever they need. His high ethics sheds light on those who look for that luminous light. His guidance becomes a guide for those who look for the true path. The curative water presented by him is like elixir of life for the confused people who falter in the desolate and scorching desert. The light rays coming from him are like a sea lantern that will help the poor people who flutter in the quagmire of rebellion and sin to find salvation and reach the shore.

ETHICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROPHET

The most important characteristic of the ethics of the Prophet (pbuh) is that it is Allah’s gift. He did not get those nice characteristics by working and making efforts. His ethics was granted and bestowed upon him by Allah. That is, Almighty Allah created him perfectly and in a distinguished way so that people will take him as a model.  

He lived based on the same characteristics and ethics from birth to death. His good qualities existed in him when he was born. It is the Almighty Lord who trained and educated him, and who embellished him with the best attributes of ethics.

For this reason, the more the person who accepts the Prophet as a model imitates him, the more he will benefit from him and his luminous light. 

One of the most prominent features of the ethics of the Prophet (pbuh) is that the traits that are opposite to each other and that exist in man’s nature are combined in the best way in him and are in the ideal position. It reaches the middle way, without going to extremes.

The Prophet (pbuh) showed to his ummah and to all humanity throughout his life perfectly the values and maturity that everybody desired but could not attain.

There were some moments when he challenged thousands of enemies alone, as the most courageous warrior, ignoring the big number of the enemy. However, even in that state, he maintained his softheartedness and mercy.

For example, after a war, he felt so sorry for the enemy children who had been killed that he said children should not be killed even if they were the children of the enemy and that they were innocent and people of Paradise.

While he was doing his best for the supreme purpose of the salvation of all humanity and the spread of Islam to the world and thinking about the state of his ummah whose number amounted to thousands and spread to every part of Arabia and their affairs, he never forgot the poor and needy Muslims around him; he did not neglect his own children's education and needs either. He did not prefer one to the other.  

Although he had such a heavy task with great responsibility, he devoted himself to his Lord and spent most of his day worshipping and making dhikr. His heart was always in connection with Allah. Although it seemed that he had cut off his connection with the world in this state, he was still in the world. He always observed the consent of Allah in all his affairs.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) protected his friends and showed them compassion and closeness more than their parents; he forgave the bad deeds inflicted upon him and did not think of taking revenge. He released those who were grabbed while setting traps to kill him, but he never forgave the enemies of Allah; he did not leave them unpunished.

He always reminded the hypocrites who seemed to be Muslims of the fear of Hell and their terrible state in the hereafter.  

The Prophet (pbuh) was the sultan of the Arabs and the ruler of Arabia when the Islamic land extended to Yemen in the south and Iran and Syria in the north. Although the goods and booty that the enemy left after the wars filled the mosque and the most precious goods were in the hands of the Muslims, he was humble  enough to sit on a pillow filled with grass and contented enough to suffer from hunger problems.

When Hz. Umar said, "While the emperors of the Byzantine and the Persian empires live in luxury and comfort, the Messenger of Allah lives on a dry mat" and cried, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

"O Umar! Let the emperors of the Byzantine and the Persia live in comfort and pleasure. The boons of the hereafter are enough for us."

The ethics of the Prophet (pbuh) was like an inherent trait of him. The sun shines, flowers transform a place into Paradise with their smells and colors, trees yield various kinds of fruits and reveal what is in their nature; likewise, the ethical life of the Messenger of Allah occurred naturally.

Everybody who saw the Prophet (pbuh) thought that he was created with that virtue. No one believed that something contrary to that virtue would come out of him. He always helped the needy, protected the weak, spoke softly, smiled and showed modesty and tolerance to everybody. The sun shines on both believers and unbelievers, similarly, the compassion of the Prophet (pbuh) that covered the world encompassed everybody whether big or small, young or old Muslim and non-Muslim.

THE ETHICS OF THE PROPHET WITH THE WORDS OF HIS RELATIVES

The Prophet never concealed and hid any of his states from people. For, every state of him formed an example for the Companions. Therefore, the Companions followed every state, deed and word of the Prophet (pbuh), trying to learn and memorize them. They learned by asking the things they did not know or hesitated. Therefore, all the life stages of the Prophet (pbuh) were known by the Companions.

Today's Muslim can find an example and a guiding light from the Prophet (pbuh) related to all issues from the most private issues to the issues that concern the society, the state and the whole world.

We learn the high ethics of the Prophet (pbuh) and his relationships with people from his closest relatives and his Companions who followed him like a shadow.

Those who knew the Prophet (pbuh) best were his wives, those who served him and his close friends. For example, we learn from Hz. Khadijah, his loyal and self-sacrificing wife who lived with him for twenty-five years, fifteen years of which were before his prophethood, the personality and character of our Prophet (pbuh).

Hz. Khadijah believed in the Prophet (pbuh) as soon as the first revelation was sent down to him without any hesitation; when she saw the panic of the Prophet, she soothed him, eliminating his worry and anxiety.   

Hz. Khadijah consoled the Prophet (pbuh) as follows:

"Allah will never humiliate you because you keep good relations with your kith and kin, you help those who are in need, you support the weak, you help the oppressed, you feed the guest and you answer the call of those who are hit by misfortunes in the way of Allah."

Hz. Aisha, who lived with the Prophet (pbuh) for nine years, was the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) he loved the most after Hz. Khadijah. We learn most of the familial life of the Prophet (pbuh) and his personality from Hz. Aisha. She narrates the ethics of the Prophet (pbuh) as follows:

"The ethics of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was the ethics of the Quran. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) never nursed a grudge or took revenge for his own sake. When he was angry with something, he became angry for the sake of the Quran. When he liked something, he liked it for the sake of the Quran."

"When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) preferred one of the two things, he would definitely prefer the easier one. If the easy one was a sin, he would be the furthest one away from it among people."

"He did not utter any bad words; he did not want to do any bad deeds to anyone. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) spoke, he would not combine or lengthen words. He uttered words one by one, enabling the listeners to absorb them. The listener could count and memorize his words."

Hz. Ali, who was educated by the Prophet (pbuh) beginning from a very young age, who was with the Prophet (pbuh) also after his prophethood all the time and who continued his descent, narrates his high ethics as follows:

"The Prophet was continually smiling, gentle in manners, soft in nature. He was not severe, harsh-hearted, loud, abusive, or miserly.

He would disregard that which he disliked, and no one ever despaired of him. He never responded to disparagement or evil words.

He forbade upon himself three things: Argument, arrogance, and that which did not concern him. And he relieved the people of three: He would not degrade any among them or abuse them, he would not search after their honor or private matters.

He would not speak except in matters which he hoped to be rewarded for. When he spoke, his attendees would lower their heads as if birds had alighted upon them. Once he finished, they would speak.

The Companions would not vie with one another in his presence to speak, but when one would talk in his presence, the rest would listen until he finished. Speech in his presence was that of the first among them.

He would laugh with the Companions and wonder with them.

He had patience with the strangers when they were gruff in speech and requests. His companions would like them to come and ask him questions.

The Prophet would say, 'If you see someone in need, help him.'

He would not accept praise except from those who were balanced and not excessive. He would not interject into someone's speech unless they transgressed, in which case he would either rebuke them or else leave.

Hind bin Abi Hala, who was Hz. Khadijah’s son from her first husband, and who was the Prophet’s step-son, narrates the characteristics of the Prophet (pbuh) as follows:

"The Messenger of Allah was always considerate. His silence was longer than his speech. He never spoke about anything that was unnecessary. He would mention Allah’s name when he started and finished speaking. His words were true; he would speak concisely. He used neither more nor fewer words than necessary.

He neither offended nor despised anyone. He would show respect to even the smallest boon; he did not regard any boon simple. He never found fault in anything even in a small amount of food. He did not find fault in any boon nor did he excessively praise it.

He did not get angry for worldly affairs. However, when a right was violated, he would get so angry that nothing could stop his fury and wrath until that right was restored. On the other hand, the Messenger of Allah would not get angry for a personal issue and would not think of taking revenge. On the contrary, he would treat a person who committed a bad deed well as a lenient and generous person.

"When he got angry, he would calm down immediately and would not display that he was angry. When he became happy and relieved, he would close his eyes. He did not laugh but smiled, When he smiled, his blessed teeth seemed like bright pearls."

Hz. Anas bin Malik, who served the Prophet (pbuh) for nine years, narrates a nice characteristic of him as follows:

"The Messenger of Allah was the most generous person. He never refused even a slave or a child who brought cold water to him on a freezing morning and would make wudu with it. Whenever anyone came to him with a request, he would listen attentively to him and the Messenger of Allah would not leave him until he himself left."

"When somebody held the hand of the Messenger of Allah to shake hands, he would not leave his hand until he himself left."

A few people went to Zayd bin Thabit, the revelation scribe of the Prophet (pbuh) and asked, "O Zayd! Will you tell us about the states, deeds and words of the Prophet (pbuh)?" Zayd bin Thabit stated the following:

"What shall I tell you about that lofty Messenger? If you ask about all of his states, deeds and words, he is such a sea that has no coast. However, I will mention some of his states:

I was a neighbor of the Messenger of Allah. When he received revelation, he would send for me. I would enter into his presence and write down the revelation that had been sent down. When we mentioned worldly affairs, he would also talk about them. When we mentioned otherworldly affairs, he would also talk about them. When we started to talk about food, he would also talk about food."

Those are the views and observations about the prophet (pbuh) by the people who were closest to him. They are the witnessing of the distinguished people who paid attention to all of his acts and deeds and who tried to regard him as their guide, coming from their hearts.

GREAT REVOLUTION IN THE FIELD OF INTELLECT

The Prophet (pbuh) made the greatest revolution and change in the field of intellect. The Arabs of Jahiliyyah were so adherent and devoted to their faiths and customs that it was impossible for any power to separate them from their faiths and customs, which they had had for centuries.  

They went beyond bounds so much in savagery, terror and oppression that they inflicted upon defenseless people the tortures that could not be inflicted upon even animals. Their feelings of mercy, compassion and pity had weakened so much that they became monsters that buried their daughters alive.

It was an era when prostitution, torture and all kinds of disgrace were committed without hesitation. Powerful and rich people used to oppress the poor; they used to sell women like goods; all kinds of interest and usury were common; people drank alcohol like water. The feelings like justice, conscience, loyalty and chastity had been forgotten. They were adherent to meaningless and superstitious things they themselves had made up so much that only a divine power and the revolution of a prophet could change them by dissuading them from their customs and by teaching them humanity.  

The Prophet (pbuh) saved those stubborn tribes who were adherent to their customs from their bad characteristics and savage habits in a very short time in that vast peninsula; he settled the principles of high ethics. He transformed them into individuals that became guides for the world and pioneers for the civilized nations.  

The Companions and believers who spread to the world even in the first century of the Migration taught humanity the real civilization, virtues and ethics. Material development and civilization based on virtue took place thanks to them.  

Thanks to the ethics taught by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), hundreds of millions of people rose in spirituality, attaining bliss both in the world and hereafter. They helped many people who were in need and became means of guidance and happiness for them.   

THE CONFESSIONS BY THE ENEMIES OF THE PROPHET ABOUT HIS ETHICS

Even the ferocious enemies of the Prophet (pbuh) who attempted to kill him confessed that he was honest, always kept his promise, kept the things entrusted to him and had high virtues; they could not cast a slur on him. 

Once, Abu Jahl said to the Prophet (pbuh), "O Muhammad! We do not deny you; we deny what you have brought."

Ahnas bin Sharik, who was one of the notables of Quraysh, approached Abu Jahl on the way to Badr when there was nobody else around and said to him,  

"O Abul-Hakam! There is nobody else except you and me here to hear us. Will you tell me about your view on Muhammad? Is he honest or is he a liar?"

Abu Jahl swore and said, "By Allah! Muhammad is definitely honest. He has never told a lie." Thus, he could not help praising him.

Once, Nadr bin Harith, who sometimes criticized and insulted the Prophet (pbuh), gathered the notables of the polytheists and addressed them as follows:

"O Quraysh! A situation has arisen which you cannot deal with. Muhammad was a young man most liked among you, most truthful in speech, and most trustworthy, until, when you saw grey hairs on his temple, and he brought you his message, you said he was a sorcerer, poet and that he was possessed but he is not."

Similar confessions were also made by Westerners. Although they did not believe in the Prophet (pbuh) and did not accept Islam, they could not help praising him and mentioning his high virtues. 

For instance, in his book called Mahomed Und Sien Werk, Daumer writes the following:

"Muhammad acted and united in himself great and noble qualities. Illuminated by the divine light, endowed with an inflexible will-power and an ardent spirit, tempered by compassion, charity and tenderness ; he undertook the difficult mission and the stupendous struggles connected with it, and he did not rest until he had attained what he wanted : until Arabia professed his Faith. His behavior became now the standard for his people also after his death."

Lamartine, the famous French historian and poet, states the following in his book called "L'Histoire da la Turquie":

"His life, his meditations, his heroic revilings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for thirteen years at Makkah, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of  being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his migration, his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire, his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death – all these…(served) to affirm conviction which gave him power to restore a creed."

"That is Muhammed (pbuh). Can there be a greater person than him no matter what criterion is used to measure the greatness of man?"

(Mehmet Paksu, PEYGAMBERİMİZİN ÖRNEK AHLÂKI)

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