THE LIGHT THEY FOLLOWED
What a teacher he was, and what a man! He was filled with greatness, honesty,and sublimity!Truly, those overwhelmed with his greatness have their excuse,and those who sacrificed their lives for his sake are the most triumphant.
Muhammad lbn Abd Allah was Allah's Messenger to the people in the midsummerof life. What mystery was available to him that made him a man to honor amonghuman beings And what grand hands did he extend towards heaven to let allthe gates of mercy, blessing, and guidance open widely. What faith, whatchastity, and what purity. What modesty, what love and what loyalty. Whatdevotion to truth and what reverence to life and the living?
Allah bestowed upon him the amount of blessing to qualify him to carry Hisstandard and speak for Him, and made him capable of being the last of Hismessengers. Therefore, Allah's bounty towards him was great. But howeverthe brains, inspiration, and pens compete to talk about him or to sing hymnsof praise to reveal his greatness, they all seem insignificant due to hissuperior traits.
If the introductory pages of this book need to start with a talk about theMessenger (PBUH), they cannot hope to give him his due of praise nor claimthat they are really introducing the great Messenger to the readers. It isonly a mere reference to his eminence and some of his superior qualitieswhich make people cherish him and which drew him an unprecedented loyaltyby some of the figures mentioned in the book whether they were Muhaajiruunor Ansaar or from the Quraish.
No sooner had life emerged than Allah made all its breeze hail his coming,and sent messengers to all men everywhere, carrying the principles of thedivine call and the fragrance of the caller, the truth of the teachings,the eminence of the master, the enlightenment of the message and the compassionof the Messenger (PBUH).
That is true. This was the main objective, no more. It is to perceive inthe light of one of his beams some of the traits of his rare eminence thatbrought about the believers' loyalty and made them perceive in him the goaland the way, the teacher and the friend.
What made the nobles of his people hasten to his words and his religion.Abu Bakr, Talhah, Az-Zubair, `Uthmaan Ibn Affaan, Abd Ar-Rahman Ibn `Awf,and Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqaas, all abandoned in haste the wealth and glory oftheir community which surrounded them, receiving at the same time heavy burdensin life, full of cares, troubles, and conflict.
What made the weak of his community seek his protection, hasten to his standardand his call, when they saw him without wealth or weapon, with harm inflictedupon him and evil following him in a terrifying way, without his being ableto avoid it;
What made the pre-Islamic tyrant `Umar lbn Al-thattaab, who went to cutoff his noble head with his sword, return to cut off with the same sword- made sharper through faith - the heads of the Prophet's enemies and hispersecutors.
What made the city's elite and noble men go to him and promise to be hiscompanions, voluntarily embracing a set of trouble and terror, knowing thatthe struggle between them and the Quraish would be more horrifying than terroritself.
What made those who believed in him increase and not decrease, though hedeclared day and night,"I hold no good or harm for you. I do not know whatwill become of me or you"!
What made them believe that the world would open its countries to them andthat their feet would be wading in the gold and crowns of the world. Andthat the Qur'aan they were reciting in secret would reverberate in strongtones and ringing voice, not only in their own generation or in their ownpeninsula but throughout the ages and everywhere.
What made them believe the prophecy told them by the Messenger, though whenthey turned right and left they found nothing except heat, barren land, andstones emitting boiling vapor, their pointed heads looking like devils' heads.
What filled their hearts with certainty and will- power. It was lbn `AbdAllah, who else could have done that they saw themselves with their own eyesall his virtues and all that distinguished him. They saw his chastity, hispurity, his honesty, his straightforwardness, and his courage. They saw hissuperiority and his compassion. They saw his intellect and his eloquence.They saw the sun shining the way his truth and eminence shone.
They heard the growth of life running in his veins when Muhammad startedto bestow upon them his daily revelation and his past contemplation. Theysaw all these and more, not through a mask but face to face and in practice,through their own vision and perception.
When an Arab of those days saw something, he would talk as an expert. TheArabs were people of perception and intuition. If one of them saw some footprintson the road, he would tell you, "These are the footprints of such-and-sucha person." He would smell the breath of the one talking to him and realizewhat truth or falsity was inherent.
These men saw Muhammad and were his contemporaries since his coming intoexistence as anew born babe. Nothing was concealed from them in his life.The stage of childhood which is unperceived by other than the child's peopleand close relations was, in the case of Muhammad, seen and perceived by allthe people of Makkah. That was because his childhood was not like any other.It drew attention to itself for its early signs of manliness and initiative,and for rejecting the usual play of children for the seriousness of men.
As an example, the Quraish used to talk about `Abd Al Muttalib's grandsonwho kept away from the children's playgrounds and their celebrations, andused to say whenever he was invited to them, "I was not created for that."
Moreover, when his wet-nurse Haliimah took him back to his people, she toldthem her observations, her experience with the child, and what she saw inhim to convince them he was not an ordinary child. She believed there wasa hidden secret in him, unknown except to Allah, which might be revealedone day.
As to his youth, what chastity! He was clearer and more translucent. Hispeople's preoccupation with him and their talk about him were more constantand praising. As to his manhood, it was fully perceived by every eye, ear,and heart. Above all, it was his community's conscience, measuring throughhis conduct and behavior all their visions of truth, goodness, and beauty.
It was, then, a transparent and comprehended life from cradle to grave.All his visions, his steps, his words, his movements, even his dreams, hishopes, and his remembrances were the right of all the people from the firstday he was born. It was as if Almighty Allah wished it to be like that totell the people,"That is My Messenger to you; his way is through reason andintellect, and that is his whole life since he was a baby."
Therefore, with all you possess of reason and intellect, examine his lifeand judge. Do you perceive any sense of suspicion? Do you see any false matter?Did he ever tell a lie or betray anyone? Did he ever treat anyone unjustly?Did he ever expose a defect? Did he ever abandon his kinship relations? Didhe neglect a duty or leave a noble action? Did he insult anyone or worshipan idol? Peruse well and meticulously and investigate, as there is no stageof his life that is hidden or veiled.
If his life as you see and perceive is nothing but purity, truth, and eminence,does it appeal to reason or logic that a man of such traits would tell liesafter the age of forty? About whom would he lie? About Allah in order toclaim he was His Messenger (PBUH), chosen, selected, and inspired by Him?
No, this is the answer of feeling and intuition. What is your way of thinkingand what right do you have to tell lies?
This, we believe, was the attitude of the early believers towards Allah'sMessenger (PBUH), the Muhaajiruun as well as those who sheltered and supportedhim.
It was a firm and swift attitude that did not leave any place for hesitationor idleness. A man who had such a pure and enlightened life could not playfalse with Allah. With such sharp insight, the believers saw the light ofAllah and the followed.
They would thank their insight when they saw later how Allah's Messenger(PBUH) was supported by Allah and how the whole peninsula was obliged tohim. Many unperceived blessings and spoils were bestowed upon them whilehe became more modest, more austere, and more pious, until he met Allah atthe appointed time, lying down on a mat that left its impressions on hisbody.
And when they saw him, the Messenger whose standards victoriously and proudlyfilled the horizon, descended the pulpit and received the people, sayingwhile he wept, "Whoever's back I whipped, here is my back, let him take hisrevenge; whoever's money I took, here is my money, let him take of it."
The believers saw him while his uncle Al-Abbaas was asking him to offerhim one of the jobs obtained by ordinary Muslims, and he gently apologized,saying, Truly, uncle, we do not offer that job to someone who asks or someonewho cares for it."
They saw him not only sharing the trouble and hunger that befell people,but establishing for himself and his folk an unforsaken principle which was,"To be the first to feel hunger if people go hungry, and the last to satisfyhis hunger when people were starving." Yes, the early believers would bemore thankful for their insight which perceived things well even before theycame, thanking Allah Who had guided them to faith.
They would also see that life which was the best proof of the truth of theMessenger (PBUH) when he said to them: "I am Allah's Messenger unto you."His life was truly eminent. Its eminence and purity are the best evidenceof the truth of the great teacher and noble Messenger (PBUH). Its level ofexcellence and eminence never declined nor fell, but remained steadfast fromcradle to grave. Throughout life and after reaching his prime, it was asclear as day that the man who led that life and conveyed such a message wasnot seeking wealth, money or sovereignty. When these were offered him ona golden platter associated with his triumphant leadership, he rejected themall and lived his life till the last breath devoting himself to Allah, repentantand chaste.
He never deviated from the purposes of his great life the breadth of a hair,and never broke a promise to Allah in worship or in jihaad.
No sooner would the latter part of the night begin than he would get up,make his ablution and remain as he was accustomed to do, invoking Allah,praying, and crying.
Mountains of wealth and money were accumulated in his possession, yet hedid not change and never took of it except as the poorest and lowest of Muslimsdid. Then he died leaving only his armor in mortgage.
All the countries of the world came closer due to his call, and most ofthe kings of the earth stood before his message, in which he called themto Islam, in awe and supplication. Yet, not an atom of boasting or arrogancecrossed his way even at a great distance. When he saw people approachinghim troubled and disturbed out of awe and reverence, he said to them, "Beeasy, my mother used to eat dried meat in Makkah."
When all the enemies of his faith put down their weapons and bowed theirheads waiting for him to pass judgment and while 10,000 swords of the Muslimswere glittering on the Day of Conquest over the hills of Makkah, he merelysaid to his enemies, "Disperse, you are free!"
Even at the height of the victory for which he devoted his life, he deprivedhimself of it. He walked in the victory procession on the Day of the Conquestbowing his head down until people could not see his face and repeated hymnsof thanks to Allah in low tones, wet with tears, humbly raising his wordsto Allah until he reached the Ka'bah. He then confronted the idols and didwhat he did to them and said,"Truth has come and falsehood has vanished,indeed, falsehood is bound to vanish" (17: 81).
Is there any more doubt about his message? He was a man who dedicated hiswhole life to a call in which he had no personal gain of wealth, position,sovereignty, or power. Biographical immortality was not even considered byhim because he believed solely in the immorality of the second life whenone is in the hands of Allah.
He was a man who spent his life from childhood till the age of forty inpurity and contemplation. Then he spent the rest of it in worship, guidance,jihaad and struggle, and when the world was brightened to him he rejectedall its false glory and adhered to his way, his worship, and his message.How could such a man be a liar? Why should be tell lies? Surely, such a manand such a messenger was above that!
We have mentioned that logic and reason were - and still are- the best proofof the truth of Muhammad (PBUH) when he said, "I am Allah's Messenger." Itdoes not appeal to good logic or to sound reason that a man who lived sucha good life lies about Allah. Early believers who hastened to believe inhis message, and whom we are honored to know something about through thepages of this book, had such a relation with him after their guidance fromAllah, which is the best evidence of logic and reason.
We see Muhammad (PBUH) before his message, and we see him after his message.We see him in his cradle, and we see him shrouded by death. But, have weseen any contradiction or inconsistency in all his life? Never!
Let us now approach the first years of his message. Those were years onerarely finds an equal to in the annals of history for the constancy, truth,and eminence. Those were the years which revealed, more than any others,all the facets of the teacher and guide of all humanity. Those were yearsthat opened the living book of his life and heroism and, more than any otheryears, represented the cradle of his miracles.
Throughout those years, the Messenger of Allah was alone. He left all hepossessed of comfort,security, and settled life. He approached the peoplewith what they were not familiar, or rather with what they detested. He approachedthem and directed his words to their reasons, and it is a difficult taskfor a person who directs his speech to the minds of people instead of theirfeelings. The Messenger of Allah,Muhammad (PBUH) did not only do that, sincethe consequence of addressing the mind might be bearable if you are standingwithin the circle of common conventions and common aspirations. But whenyou call them towards a distant future which you perceive but they do not,which you live in and they are not aware of, it is a difficult task. Indeed,when you address their minds and rise to destroy the essence of their livesfrom the base, though you do that in a sincere, honest way and not urgedby a certain purpose or glory, it is a risk which cannot be taken exceptby the leaders of the righteous people and messengers.
The Messenger (PBUH) was the hero and great master of that situation. Theform of worship at that time was worshiping idols, whose rites were observedas a religion. The Messenger (PBUH) did not turn to any maneuvers or intrigues.The unpaved road and the heavy burden would have been good excuses if hehad used his brilliant mind to prepare them for the word "monotheism" insteadof surprising them with it. He was able and it was his right to prepare toisolate the community from its idol-gods which had been handed down fromgeneration to generation for centuries. He could have started by going aroundthe issue to avoid as much as possible a direct confrontation he knew wouldbestir all the envy of his people and draw upon them all their weapons againsthim.
Yet, he did not. This illustrates that he was a Messenger (PBUH). He hearda divine voice within him telling him to rise, and he did, and telling himto deliver the message, and he did so without the force of weapons and withoutfleeing! He confronted them from the first instant with the essence of themessage and the core of the case: "O people, I am the Messenger of Allahunto you, to worship Him and not to set partners with Him. These idols areintellectual falsehood. They are of no harm or benefit to you".
From the very beginning he faced them with such clear and plain words, andfrom the very beginning he faced the severe struggle which he had to undergohis departure from life!
Or were the early believers in need of a prompting power to support theProphet (PBUH)!
What awakened conscience would not be stirred by such a rare and uniquescene! It was the scene of a man known to the people to have full intellectualpower and immaculate behavior, standing alone,facing his people with a callwhich could bring mountains down. Words were issuing forth from his heartand lips, obedient and superb, as if in them lay all the power, will, anddesign of the future, as if it were fate announcing its proclamation! Butperhaps this was the prompting of a good spirit, after which Muhammad (PBUH)would worship his Lord as he liked, leaving the deities of his people intheir place and leaving his community's religion alone.
If such a thought occurred to some minds at that time, Muhammad (PBUH) soondissipated it. Hemmed it quite clear to the people that he was a Messengerand had to convey the message, that he could not be silent nor turn intohimself after being guided by the truth and enlightenment. All the powersof the world and nature could not have silenced him or stopped him becauseit was Allah Who made him speak and move and Who guided his footsteps.
The Quraish's reaction came as swift as flames stirred by a violent wind.Troubles began to be wreaked upon a soul unaccustomed to anything but absolutegrace. The Messenger (PBUH) then began to teach his first lessons with utmostmastery and amazing loyalty. The image of this scene is paramount in allplaces and at all times, as well as in history. Those with an awakened consciencein Makkah were pleased, filled with admiration, and came closer. They behelda lofty and majestic man. They did not know whether his neck had become longeruntil it was able to touch the sky or the sky had come down to crown hishead. They beheld loyalty, steadfastness and eminence.
However, the best scene they beheld was on the day when the noblemen ofthe Quraish went to AbuTaalib saying, "Verily, we cannot tolerate a personwho insults our fathers, mocks our dreams, and finds fault with our deities.You either stop him or we fight both of you until one of the parties is destroyed."Abu Taalib sent a message to his nephew saying, "My nephew, your peoplehave approached me and talked about your affairs. You have to think of meand yourself and not burden me with what I cannot endure."
What then was the attitude of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)?
The only man who had stood with him seemed to be abandoning him, or ratherseemed unable to confront the Quraish who sharpened all their teeth. TheMessenger (PBUH) did not hesitate in his reply,and his determination didnot waver. No! He did not even search for the words to show his tenacity.It was already there, efficiently rising to deliver one of his most significantlessons to the whole of humanity and to dictate its highest principles.
Thus he spoke: "O uncle, by Allah, if they put the sun on my right and themoon on my left in order to abandon this matter until it is manifested byAllah or I perish by it, I would never abandon it!" Peace be upon you, OProphet of Islam, you who were colossal among men, and your words were colossal.
Abu Taalib thereupon restored his courage and the courage of his forefathersat once, clasped the right hand of his nephew with his two hands, and said,"Say what you like, for, by Allah, I will never force you to do anythingat all."
Muhammad (PBUH) then did not depend on his uncle for protection and security,though his uncle was capable of that, but he was the one bestowing security,protection and steadfastness on people around him.
Any honest person who beholds a scene like that cannot but hasten to love,be loyal to, and believe in that Messenger (PBUH).
His persistence regarding truth, his perseverance with the message, andhis patience during great troubles were all for the sake of Allah and notfor personal benefit. All these were bound to attract brilliant minds andto awaken the conscientious people to follow the light beckoning to themand hasten to the honest and true Messenger (PBUH) who came to purify oursouls and guide us. People beheld him while harm was reaching him from everycomer. The condolence he had sought in his uncle Abu Taalib and his wifeKhadiijah was denied him because they both died within days of each other.Whoever desires to imagine the extent of persecution and war launched bythe Quraish against the unarmed Messenger, suffice it to know that Abu Lahabhimself, who was his most bitter rival and enemy, was soconscience-strickenone day by what he beheld that he announced he would protect the Messenger,help him, and stand against any aggression against him. But the Messengerrefused his protection and remained lofty, raising his head and remainingloyal to his message. Nobody could avert harm from him because nobody daredto do so! Even the eminent Abu Bakr could do nothing but weep.
One day, the Messenger (PBUH) went to the Ka'bah and, while he was circumambulatingit, the nobles of the Quraish who were waiting for him suddenly ran and surroundedhim, saying, "Is it you that say such-and-such a thing about our deities?"And he calmly answered them, "Yes, I say that." They held him by the endof his clothes while Abu Bakr pleaded for his release, saying with tearspouring, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, Allah is my Lord?"
Whoever saw the Messenger on the day of At-Taa'if was sure to see some exampleof his truth and loyalty worthy of him. He turned his face towards the tribeof Thaqiif, calling them to Allah, the One and the Vanquisher.
Was not what he was encountering from his clan and his folk enough? Didit not warn him of an increasing harm when it comes from people he had noblood relations with? Absolutely not, because these harmful consequenceswere not considered by him. Almighty Allah had commanded him to deliver themessage, and that was enough. He remembered the day when the intransigenceof his community increased and he went home covering himself in bed in sorrow.He heard the voice of heaven reaching his heart, and immediately he heardthe voice of revelation casting the same matter as on the day of the cave:"O you encovered --- Arise and warn" (74:1-2).
Then he had to deliver the message and warn. Therefore, he was a Messengerwho did not care about harm and did not search for comfort. Let him go thento Al-Taa'if to convey the word of Allah to its people.
There, however, the nobles of the community surrounded him and were morecunning than their mates in Makkah. They set children and hooligans againsthim, and they abandoned the most sacred of the customs of the Arabs, whichis hospitality to guests and protection of the one who asks for help.
They set their hooligans and their young boys after the Messenger (PBUH),throwing stones at him.
This was the one for whom the Quraish offered to collect money to make himthe richest among them and to be their leader and king! Yet, he refused saying," l am but the slave of Allah and His Messenger."
Now we behold him in At-Taa'if where he retired to an orchard to be protectedby its walls from the pursuit of the hooligans. His right hand was stretchedtowards heaven praying to Allah while his left hand was protecting his facefrom the stones thrown at him. He was calling to his Creator and Lord,saying,"If You are not angry with me, I do not care for other things, but grantingme Your mercy is too generous of You.!'
Indeed, he was a Messenger who knew how to address his Lord with courtesy!When he declared that he did not care about harm for the sake of Allah, healso declared that he was in dire need for mercy granted by Allah. In a situationlike this, he did not feel proud about his endurance and courage, nor didhe boast. Boasting in such a situation might suggest bestowing favor on Allah,and this fact could not be hidden from Muhammad. Therefore, the best wayto express his courage and endurance in such a situation was his pleadingand his invocation.
So he went on asking Allah's pardon and invoking Him, "O Allah, to You Icomplain of the weakness of my strength, my inability to find a way, andmy humiliation by the people. O the Most Compassionate, You are the Lordof the weak, and You are my Lord. To whom do You entrust me? To a distantrelation who ignores me or to an enemy who has power over me? If You arenot angry with me, I do not care about other things, but granting me Yourmercy is too generous of You. I seek refuge in the light of Your face thatbrightens the darkness and amends the affairs of this world and the next.Do not be angry or dissatisfied with me. I beg Your favor until You are satisfiedwith me. There is no strength or power except through You." What loyaltythe Prophet (PBUH) had to his call! He was an unarmed person faced with plotseverywhere he went. He had nothing in life to strengthen him, yet he carriedall that persistence, all that steadfastness and loyalty!
People beheld him returning from Al-Taa'if to Makkah without any sense ofdespair or defeat, but more hopeful, optimistic, and dedicated. Moreover,he presented himself to the tribes, reaching them in their own localitiesand districts. One day he went to Bani Kindah, another day to Bani Haniifah,then to Bani `Aamir, and thus from one tribe to another. He said to themall, "I am the Messenger of Allah to you. He commands you to worship Allahand not to take partners with Him, and to abandon what you worship of idols."At the houses of the close-by tribes, Abu Lahab used to follow him, sayingto the people, "Do not believe him, for he is calling you to what is false."
People beheld the Messenger of Allah in such a critical situation seekingbelievers and assistants,but he was met with ingratitude and enmity. Theysaw him refusing any bargains and refusing to have a worldly price for faith.
In those scorching days, he presented himself to Bani `Aamir lbn sa`sa`ahand sat with them speaking about Allah and reciting some of His words. Theyinquired, "Do you believe that if we supported you in your affair and thenAllah raised you above those who opposed you, we would take the matter afteryou?" He (PBUH) answered saying, "This matter is in the hands of Allah. Heputs it wherever He wishes." There and then they dispersed, saying, "We neednot your affair." The Messenger(PBUH) left them, looking for believers whodo not buy a little worth with their faith.
People beheld him, but few believed in him. Despite their number, he foundin them comfort and company. But the Quraish decided that each tribe shouldbe in charge of giving lessons to the believers among them. So, suddenly,persecution descended like a mad storm and hit all the Muslims. The polytheistsdid not know a crime but committed it against the Muslims. However, herean unexpected surprise took place. Muhammad (PBUH) gave orders to all theMuslims to emigrate to Abyssinia and decided to remain alone to face theaggression!
Why did he not emigrate to convey the word of Allah in another place, forAllah is the Lord of All the Worlds and not the Lord of the Quraish alone?Or why did he not let them stay with him, since in their staying there wasconfirmed benefit? Surely their stay in Makkah, in spite of their small number,wouldhave induced others to embrace Islam, the religion of Allah.
Furthermore, there were among them a good number of the noblest familiesof the Quraish, the strongest and the most powerful. From the tribe of BaniUmaiyah there were `Uthmaan lbn `Affaan,`Amr lbn Sa'iid lbn al-'Aas and Khaalidlbn Sa'iid Ibn Al-'Aas From Bani Asad there were Az-Zubair lbn Al-' Awaam,Al-Aswad lbn Nawfal, Yaziid lbn Zam'ah , and `Amr lbn Umaiyah. From the tribeof Bani Zahrah there were `Abd Ar-Rahman lbn `Awf, `Aamir lbn Abi WaqqaasMaalik Ibn Ahyab, and Al-Muttalib Ibn Azhar. There were these and otherswhose families would not be patient for long with their persecution and inflictionof harm upon them. Why, then, did the Messenger (PBUH) not let them staywith him to support him and to be a sign of possible power in his hands?
Here the eminence of Muhammad (PBUH), the Messenger of Allah shines. Hedid not want commotion or civil war, even if the probability of his successwas there, or even if he was sure of his success! Here the Messenger's humanityand compassion are illustrated, for he could not bear to see people persecutedbecause of him, although he was well aware that sacrifice was the price paidin every noble struggle and in every great mission. Sacrifice should be madewhenever it was inevitable. But now,when it is possible to avoid suffering,let the Muslims turn that way. Why, then, did he not join them?
He was not commanded to depart. His place was there where idols were. Hewould keep uttering the name of Allah, the One. He would keep receiving painand harm without anxiety or disquietude since it was he who was harmed andnot those weak people who believed in him and followed him and not even thosenoble men who also believed in him and followed him! Whoever knows examplesof such cases of steadfastness and nobility of sacrifice, let him come upwith them. It is a lofty matter capable only of leading messengers and chosenones.
The man and the Messenger came together in Muhammad (PBUH) in such a magnificentand well knitencounter. Those who had doubts in his message did not haveany doubt in his eminence, the purity of his quintessence, or the purityof his humanity. Allah, Who knew where to place His Message, had chosen sucha man who was the best humanity could achieve in elevation, loftiness, andhonesty. People heard him reprimanding them for any exaggeration in glorifyinghim or even when they merely stated his eminence without any exaggeration.He prohibited them even from standing up in his presence when he came uponthem when they were seated. He said, "Do not stand as non-Arabs do when theyglorify one another."
When the sun eclipsed on the day of the death of his beloved son Ibraahiim,the Muslims mentioned that it was an eclipse out of sadness for the lossof Ibraahiim. But the great and honest Messenger(PBUH) hastened to refuteand negate this assumption before it turned into a legend. He stood amongthe Muslims, addressing them as follows: "The sun and the moon are two ofthe signs of Allah. They never eclipse for the death or life of anybody."He was the one trusted with the minds of people and their thinking, and soaccomplishing what was entrusted to him was more worthy than the glory ofall the world. He was certain that he came to humanity to change their wayof life and that he was not a Messenger to the Quraish alone, or to the Arabsonly, but was Allah's Messenger to all the people on earth!
Almighty Allah directed his vision to how far his mission would reach andhis banner flutter. He perceived the truth of the faith he announced, theliving immortality it would have until Allah inherits the earth and thoseupon it. Nevertheless, he did not see in himself, or his religion or hisunprecedented success more than a brick in the construction! This great manstood to proclaim this idea in one of his best statements, saying, "The relationbetween prophets who came before me and myself is like a man who built ahouse and constructed it well and decorated it, except for a brick in oneof its corners. This made people go round it and express their astonishment,saying, Won't this brick be placed? I am such a brick, and I am the lastof the Prophets."
All that long life he lived, all his struggles and heroism, all his gloryand purity, all the victory achieved in his life for his religion and thevictory he knew would be achieved after his death were nothing but a brick,a mere brick in a lofty and deeply founded building. He was the one who proclaimedthis and reiterated it. In addition, he did not make up such a speech outof assumed modesty, to nourish a hunger for glory. He emphasized the situationas a fact. Its delivery and transmission he considered part of the quintessenceof his message. Though modesty was one of the essential characteristics ofMuhammad (PBUH), it was not the only sign of his greatness, which reachedan unrivaled level of excellence and superiority to be a sign and a symbolitself.
That was the teacher of mankind and the last of the prophets. He was thelight seen by the people,and he lived among them as a human being, and thenafter his departure from this world, he was seen by the whole world as atruth and a memory. Now, while we meet a number of his noble Companions onthe following pages of this book where we will be astonished by their faith,their sacrifices, and the good cause they set for their lives, which wasunprecedented - the reason for their marvelous lives will be clear beforeus. This reason was nothing but the light they followed who was Muhammad,the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Almighty Allah had combined in him the visionof truth and self-dignity, which honored life and illuminated the destinyof mankind.