Muhammad as a man had
already died, but as a Prophet he left behind him a legacy in the form of the
Qur’an and the Sunnah. He stressed the urgent need to hold firmly to these two
sources during his Farewell speech in the valley of Arafat. If people hold fast
to them, they will never go astray.
The teachings he left for us if put into practice in their true spirit and
proper way will bring a happy life in this world and besides the indubitable
rewards that will be received by those who believed in them in the life after
In this sense, Islam is a worldly religion which cares first for the worldly
affairs of humanity. The hereafter is merely a continuation of the worldly life.
It is difficult to portend that man can be saved in the hereafter without being
saved in this world. The safe way is to follow the way shown to us by the
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When his wife, ‘Aishah, was asked by a
companion about the Prophet’s daily conduct, ‘Aishah replied that the conduct of
the Prophet is the Qur’an which is the guidance from Allah and Muhammad was
given authority by Allah to interpret it. That is why his conduct is exemplary
of human conduct. Islam as brought by the Prophet Muhammad is very much
misunderstood as a religion of rituals only like prayers, fasting, almsgiving
and pilgrimage. Thanks to the new developments in the world, Islam is now looked
upon In a wider perspective than the narrow-minded view.
The increased interest in Islamic studies by Muslims and non-Muslims supported
by the advanced printing technology, has begun to open the eyes of the world
about the true teaching and intrinsic values of Islam.
In the field of economic development, the goal is not material gain, but human
welfare in general. Islam exhorts that the balance between the material and
physical aspects, between the individual and societal needs, be maintained in
order to narrow the gap between two opposite sides of human world. It is stated
in the Qur’an:“Say, who is there to forbid the beauty which Allah has brought
forth for His creatures, and the good things from among the means of sustenance.
Say, they are for those who believe (in Allah) In this worldly life, to be
theirs alone in the Hereafter on the Day of Resurrection …… Say, the only things
my Lord forbids are the shameful deeds, be they open or secret, the sin,
unjustified envy, the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Allah, and the
attributing unto Allah of aught of which you have no knowledge”
So everyone is free to conduct any business he likes outside the harmful circle
he has been warned not to indulge in. If he does not listen to this warning, he
will be in trouble. Every good quality as precondition to a successful business
is encouraged by Islam.
The Prophet himself was a businessman before he was appointed as a Prophet. His
ability to run business prudently, by his fairness and truthful conduct in
dealing with people had won him the heart of his employer, Khadijah who later
offered him m&riage. He advocated Muslims to follow the spirit of Prophet Daud
(David) of hard work, earned his living from his own labour. He also said that
faith of a Muslim is not complete If he is not good in his profession. He said:
“If you leave matters to those who are not professional, you are waiting for the
If he works in the production line, his products must be compatible with
products of other companies or factories. In order to be marketable, it must
suit the taste of buyers and their standards of living. In this regard, Islam
teaches not to cheat in offering the product to the market. It must be shown as
it is without any publicity it does not deserve. In the life time of the
Prophet, he found many cases in market places where the merchants tried to cheat
the customers. The Prophet said to them: “Whoever cheated are not from amongst
Islam laid many regulations in the field of economy such as trade, leasing,
business transaction, contract and others to prevent unfair dealing within the
community and in the world of business at large. What is also prevented by Islam
is a monopoly and exploitation -by one man or one group at the expense of the
The first thing in the religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad is the care of
cleanliness. The concept of cleanliness in Islam covers physical and spiritual,
mundane and religious domains.
Before performing any rituals, prescribed by Islam, one should cleanse his body,
and his dress, his place of worship and his environment should be clean.
Before performing his prayers or starting for pilgrimage, one has to make his
ablution (wudu’). If he or she is in a state of unclean after having had a
lawful Intimate intercourse or post-natal period or other reasons, he or she has
to take a complete bath by pouring clean water over the whole body.
In the case of daily prayer, every Muslim has to clean his/her private parts,
face, hand, feet, mouth, nose and ears at least five times every day for the
five daily prayers. This also reminds him/her to keep his/ her soul clean from
Cleanliness is not in the physical sense only. The body should be purified as
well from evil doings that might harm his relationship with others and with God.
He has to clean his mind from bad intentions or committing unlawful acts. He has
to clean his heart from jealousy, hypocrisy and other evil desires. He has to
embody hope, truthfulness, forgiveness, compassion, holiness, the sense of
brotherliness, neighbourliness and other noble qualities.
He has to pay special attention to his diet against all unhealthy food medically
and religiously. He has to keep his eyes, ears, tongue from evils. These are
among the noble characteristics as exemplified by Prophet Muhammad.
To clean the wealth, Islam instituted the zakat system (way of purifying
wealth). A person whose wealth has reached a certain point is obligated to pay
zakat (alms) which is a duty enjoined by God and undertaken by Muslims in the
interest of society as a whole.
For those able persons whose wealth does not reach the minimum rate point, he
can also give voluntary contribution to the needy. This does not mean that the
needy should always be receiving help from the able.
Prophet Muhammad said: "The upper hand (giver) is better than the lower one
(receiver of help).”
If the receiver of zakat can grasp the spirit of the Prophet’s saying, he will
try his best to be the giver instead of the receiver by endeavouring to better
his life as encouraged by the teachings of Islam.
In Islam the possession of more wealth does not raise a man’s dignity, nor does
poverty degrade him. It is true that wealth is necessary for man to live on this
earth, but It is only a means, not the end. The end is happiness in life by
attaining the higher values and not losing sight of in the pursuit of wealth.
Among the great virtues of Islam is the command to do good and the prohibition
to do evil. The good should be preserved and the evil should be discarded. In
short, Islam is actually composed of a series of commands and prohibitions. All
the commands and prohibitions are for the good of humanity. Allah the Most
Knowing, the Most Merciful, did not decree any law and regulations but for the
good and benefit of his creatures.
The prohibition was decreed because of its evil implications to humanity. The
evils were created to test the human conscience and challenge their freewill in
choosing between right and wrong.
All the commands and prohibitions from Allah as transmitted through His Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was intended to purify the human soul in order to
live a pure and clean life adored by Allah and human genesis.
One of the other teachings of Islam is about orderliness. Discipline,
regulation, management, planning and all other terms relating to organisation
are mostly. understood as alien to Islam. On the contrary, Islam exhorts people
to live in orderliness and to put the right thing in the right place. The
foundation of Islamic order rests on two main principles, the crucial -faith in
one God (Allah) and the oneness of humanity. All the frame works were laid down
in the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad applied himself to working out the
essential details of that order.
One of the great values taught by Islam in this regard is to make use of the
time left to humanity. The Qur'an and the Sunnah (Traditions) mentioned about
time, day, week, month, year and century. People are lost if they did not spend
the time available to them during this life for good things. It is a great loss
if people have to waste the valuable time they have at their disposal for
useless activities. It is true that life should be enjoyable but not at the
expense of human resources and values which are essential for the continuation
of their wellbeing.
Allah the Most Knowing had created time and space suitable for human activities
for they can attain achievements in life. There are times for work, study,
recreation, resting and even celebration. All are parts of activities in
worshipping Allah and serving His cause. The Qur'an says that Allah had created
day for earning and night for resting and enjoyment. He created the sun, the
moon and all outer-space objects co that man on the earth can fix the time and
arraflge the calendar. By having a standard time and standard calendar and the
movements of astronomical objects, people are able to regulate their time table
in choosing the right moment for them in doing business and carrying out their
Islam prescribes certain times for the daily prayers, certain month for the
obligatory fasting and certain time during life time for performing the haj
pilgrimage which indicates that the religion brought by Prophet Muhammad places
the life of Muslims in systematic order. For every move and occasion made by
Muslims there is a rule governing it, be it in the form of advice, spiritual
guidance or practical directive. If all these directives are followed and
understood properly, people will have high discipline and a well-managed life.
Islam encourages people to think correctly before taking any action. This means
planning. There are many verses in the Qur'an admonishing against doing things
unthinkingly and jumping to conclusions.
The Prophet also showed good example in fulfilling promise and staying true to
treaty, agreement or contract made between parties.
As a man of honour he always remained true to the principles agreed in the
treaty, depicting his high discipline and inclination of doing everything in
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a warmhearted and faithful friend. He
loved his companions. He extended greetings to those he knew and to those he did
not know. He treated all people around him with kindness and affection.
He was very courteous to all those who met him. He never contradicted anybody
who is not opposed to the teachings of Islam. He treated equally the humble and
the lofty. He claimed no distinction and lived amongst his companions as if he
was not their leader.
He regarded the neighbours as brothers and sisters because of their closeness
and living in the same vicinity. He once smelt the aroma of the soup cooked by
his wife. He told her to give some of it to the neighbours who also smelt it. He
said it was not right for a Muslim to sleep with a full stomach after having had
a good meal but let his neighbour starve. He laid the foundation for a friendly
relation and cooperation among neighbours exemplifying that living as a
neighbour one has one’s right and responsibility.
In regard to the rights of a neighbour, the Prophet said: “Help him if he asks
your help; give him relief if he seeks your relief; show him concern if he is
distressed and when he is ill; attend his funeral if he dies; congratulate him
If he meets any good; sympathize with him if any calamity befalls him; do not
block his air by raising your building without his permission and do not harass
He was a good exemplar to those who subscribe to a harmonious society. Islam
exhorts people not to violate the rights of others and injure their interest,
but should positively cooperate with each other and establish a mutual
relationship and social cohesion.
To safeguard the unity and solidarity of the nation and to achieve the welfare
and wellbeing of the community, Muslims have been enjoined to avoid mutual
hostility, social dissension, backbiting one another, and hurting others with
their hand or tongue.
Islam as brought by the Prophet Muhammad exhorts Muslims to visit the sick, to
help the needy and assist the weak. Islam makes no discrimination on the basis
of race, colour or language. Its appeal Is to the entire humanity.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought changes for the betterment of
Woman is recognised by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the
procreation of humankind. He is the father, she is the mother, and both are
essential for life. Her role is no less vital than his. By this partnership she
has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she
undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are many qualities and so
much humanity as there are In her partner.
She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsibilities and in
receiving rewards for her deeds.
She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge.
Islam enjoined the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction
between man and woman.
She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions
are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she is a
Islam grants woman equal fights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and posses
independently. Her life, her property, her honour are as sacred as those of man.
Islam has also given woman a share of inheritance. Before Islam, she was not
only deprived of that share, but was herself considered as property to be
inherited by man.
When Prophet Muhammad arrived at Madinah, he initiated the formation of an
Islamic state. After establishing political brotherhood and the authority of the
state of Madinah, he began negotiations with various tribes around the dy and
made treaties with them.
When the Makkan unbelievers launched a series of attacks on Madinah, Prophet
Muhammad was able to confront them, and when the Makkans were finally defeated
in the battle of the Trenches (Al-Khandaq), he was able to make truce with them
at Hudaibiyah for ten years. This treaty was a masterpiece of practical
statesmanship on the part of Prophet Muhammad.
His diplomacy in sending and receiving envoys to and from the various chiefs of
tribes and foreign rulers, his fairness In conducting judiciary, and his general
pardon at the liberation of Makkah, was another proof of his lofty
The State he established in Madinah was not a matter of chance. It was the very
nature of his mission that he would establish a state to enforce the way of
Allah. People might accept a new faith but it would take time to change their
habits, custom and way of life. And even If a small group of people succeeded In
changing their way of life, there would be many others who would not let these
people practise their belief and try to stop them by force. So the Islamic State
became an urgent necessity to protect the Islamic way of life.
The State founded by Prophet Muhammad was invested with physical force, as every
State must necessarily be, to fulfil its function of stopping aggression and
A democratic system In Islam is expressed through the term shura (council). The
Qur'an says: “And those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer and their
affairs (of government) is by council among themselves and who spend out of what
we have given them.”.