Unity: The Message of Islam My Beloved Prophet (saas) Brought
At the time of our beloved Prophet (saas), the last prophet sent to humanity, the world was disunited, much like it is right now. Not only the polytheistic society inhabiting the deserts of Arabia, but also the followers of the Prophet Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) had diverged from the universality and the monotheistic teachings of the pure faith of Abraham. The whole of society was divided into many separate sects and tribes. What our beloved Prophet (saas) brought to humanity was oneness and unity, not only in belief in the Oneness of God, but also in the most fundamental criteria people use to define themselves.
Back in those dark days of the age of ignorance, people defined themselves by their families. Their devotion to and ties with that family, that tribe, was the only thing that defined and protected them in the harsh environment of the desert where the worth of a person was judged merely by which family or tribe they were from. Even in that environment, our Prophet (pbuh) was distinguished and respected by all because of the strength of his personality and his trustworthiness acknowledged by each and every tribe.
On the contrary to what many might believe, Arabia, even in the age of ignorance, knew God and was already informed of His Oneness. However, they were caught up in the course of life, remained aloof to the pure faith Abraham brought and they ascribed partners to God, believing that their ancestors knew the best.
In the Qur'an God says;
" Say: ´Who provides for you out of heaven and earth? Who controls hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who directs the whole affair?´ They will say, ´God.´ Say, ´So will you not have taqwa?´" (Surah Yunus; 31)
Although they knew about God and the fact that He created everything and provides everything for them, they ascribed partners to Him and thus lived apart from the true faith God revealed.
With the revelations our Prophet (saas) had been given, the true message of Islam came; unity. Unity in our being the servants of God as equals no matter from which family, which tribe, which race we come from;
"Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God´s Sight is the one with the most taqwa. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (Surat Al-Hujurat, 13)
Unity in our efforts on the Path of Islam, no matter what our gender is;
"Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a Muslim, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did." (Surat an-Nahl, 97)
Unity with the People of the Book in our belief in the Oneness of God, no matter which religion they follow;
" Say, ´People of the Book! come to a proposition which is the same for us and you — that we should worship none but God and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides God.´ If they turn away, say, ´Bear witness that we are Muslims.´ (Surah Al'Imran, 64)
Our Prophet was known with for humility, his trustworthiness and decency. Through his impeccable personality he gained the trust of everyone around him and was named "Al-Amin, The Trustworthy". Despite the trust he'd gained with his truthfulness, his message to worship none but God was received with great unrest in his tribe and they insisted on their fathers' religion.
When they are told: ´Follow what God has sent down,´ they say, ´No, we will follow what we found our fathers doing.´ What! Even if satan is calling them to the punishment of the Blazing Fire?
Starting to preach the message of Islam as God revealed to him, our Prophet (saas) never yielded and never retreated in his devotion to God. With his beautiful patience and determination he conveyed the message of Islam and Islam became one of the greatest religions.
As we would agree, today we also are asked not to follow the religion of our fathers but the religion our Prophet (saas) brought with the Qur'an.
The success of the ways of our Prophet has been acknowledged and admired by many over the 1,400 years after him. One example of this admiration is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Indian thinker, statesman and nationalist leader. In an issue of the periodical Young India , published in 1928, Gandhi said:
"I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These, and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every trouble."
Another more recent example is from Karen Armstrong, a British author and commentator known for her books on religion. In her book Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, she says :
"Far from being the father of jihad, [Prophet] Mohammad was a peacemaker, who risked his life and nearly lost the loyalty of his closest companions because he was determined to effect a reconciliation with Mecca”
In one of the many lectures she has given she praised our Prophet (saas) and his ways by saying,
"If we could view Mohammad as we do any other important historical figure, we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known."
Michael Hart, who has ranked the great men in history in his book The 100, has ranked our Prophet (saas) as the most influential man in the history of humanity. In his book he says ;
"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels."
French historian Alphonse de Lamartine, in his book History of Turkey, also mentions our Prophet (saas) and says ;
"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, and empires only. They founded, if any at all, no more than material power which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man merged not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties but millions of men in one third of the inhabited world, and more than that, moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls on the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law. He created a spiritual nationality of every tongue and of every race.” (Historie de la Turque, Vol. 2, page 76-77)
Scottish Orientalist Sir William Muir, in his book The Life of Muhammad, says;
"A remarkable feature was the urbanity and consideration with which Muhammad treated even the most insignificant of his followers. Modesty and kindliness, patience, self denial, and generosity, pervaded his conduct, and riveted the affections of all around him. He disliked to say No. If unable to answer a petitioner in the affirmative, he preferred silence. He was not known ever to refuse an invitation to the house even of the meanest, nor to decline a proffered present however small. He possessed the rare faculty of making each individual in a company think that he was the favoured guest. If he met anyone rejoicing at success he would seize him eagerly and cordially by the hand. With the bereaved and afflicted he sympathised tenderly. Gentle and unbending towards little children, he would not disdain to accost a group of them at play with the salutation of peace. He shared his food, even in times of scarcity, with others, and was sedulously solicitous for the personal comfort of everyone about him. A kindly and benevolent disposition pervaded all those illustrations of his character. Muhammad was a faithful friend. He loved Abu Bakr with the close affection of a brother; Ali, with the fond partiality of a father. Zaid, the freedman, was so strongly attached by the kindness of the Prophet, that he preferred to remain at Makkah rather than return home with his own father. 'I will not leave thee,' he said, clinging to his patron, 'for thou hast been a father and mother to me.' The friendship of Muhammad survived the death of Zaid, and his son Usama was treated by him with distinguished favour for the father's sake. Uthman and Umar were also the objects of a special attachment; and the enthusiasm with which, at Hudaibiyya, the Prophet entered into the Pledge of the Tree and swore that he would defend his beleaguered son in law even to the death, was a signal proof of faithful friendship. Numerous other instances of Muhammad's ardent and unwavering regard might be adduced. His affections were in no instance misplaced; they were ever reciprocated by a warm and self sacrificing love."
The well -known Orientalist, W. Montgomery Watt, in his book Mohammad at Madinah, says
"The more one reflects on the history of Muhammad and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement…Had it not been for his gifts as a seer, statesman, and administrator and, behind these, his trust in God and firm belief that God had sent him, a notable chapter in the history of mankind would have remained unwritten. It is my hope that this study of his life may contribute to a fresh appraisal and appreciation of one of the greatest of the sons of Adam."
The way of our Prophet (saas) was the way of the Qur'an, which brought him the success in the Age of Bliss. In this day and age, seeing the state of the world and the condition the Muslim world finds itself in and the hardships Muslims are faced with, makes one wonder how the path of our Prophet (saas) was forsaken. The answer to that question is also in the Qur'an:
"The prophet will say: "O my Lord, my people had fettered the Qur'an." (Surat Al-Furqan, 30)
With all this before us, it is not at all difficult to see what the solution is to the problems Muslims are faced with. Not the annual meetings of international associations nor fancy institutions, or the endless discussions on the deplorable state of Syrian refugees, nor mere conferences on the Rohingya Muslims being denied their most basic human rights in Myanmar, or security summits about the terrorist attacks of radical groups, etc. The answer lies in adherence to the Qur'an and the message of our Prophet (saas); this will bring salvation to the world and solve all those problems mentioned above and a good many more.
As Muslims, it is our duty before all else to be united and to follow the path of our Prophet (saas) as defined in the Qur'an. If we Muslims do not unite and love one another as friends and brothers, even worse dissension and corruption are inevitable. That is what is happening before our eyes right now, as ordained by God, in the Qur'an :
Those who are unbelievers are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption. (Surat Al-Anfal, 73)
So it is time for us, the Muslims of the world, to be friends and protectors of one another and unite following the message of our beloved Prophet (saas) as defined in the Qur'an.