In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
MUHAMMAD (PBUH): THE MESSENGER AND PROPHET OF ALLAH
Praise be to Allah, from Whom we seek help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls. He whom Allah guides cannot be lead astray, and he whom Allah does not guide no one can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and apostle. O Allah! Send Your Mercy on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your Mercy on Abraham and on the family of Abraham, for You are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious. O Allah! Send Your Blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You sent your Blessings on Abraham and on the family of Abraham, for You are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious.
Allah, the Exalted, says: " It is He (Allah) Who has sent His Apostle (Muhammad) with Guidance and the Religion of Truth that he (Muhammad) may proclaim it over all religion even though the Pagans may detest it." Q61:9. "And verily, you (Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character." Q68:4.
“Say (O Muhammad!): "O mankind! I am sent unto you all as the apostle of Allah to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He that gives both life and death. So, believe in Allah and His apostle the unlettered Prophet who believed in Allah and His words: follow him so that you may be guided."” Q7:158.
Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) was born on Rabbil Awwal 12, 571 A.D (there is difference of opinion on the exact date of birth, majority of the scholars favored 12th of Rabbil Awwal). His father was Abdullah and his mother was Aminah. His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was about six years old. He was in the care of Abdul Muttalib, his grandfather, till 580 A.D. He lived with his uncle, Abu Talib, after the death of his grandfather. He had no formal education but used to accompany his uncle to neighboring cities on business trips and in 594 A.D, he became the manager of Khadija's business. Khadija, a widow, was so impressed about his honesty that she offered herself in marriage in the year 595 A.D. Despite the fact that she was richer and older, she trusted, respected and surrendered all her wealth to prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Everybody in Makkah trusted and respected him as well. They used to keep their valuables with him and they used to call him Al-Alim meaning the trustworthy.
He used to retire into a cave at Mt. Hira for seclusion on a yearly basis and he never participated in paganism that was rampant in Makkah at that time. In the month of Ramadan, 610 A.D, Angel Gabriel revealed the first revelation to him while in the cave. "Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created. Created man out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful. He Who taught (the use of) the Pen. Taught man that which he knew not." Q96:1-5. He was scared and ran out of the cave to his house and ordered his wife to cover him with cloth, but the revelation continued and that was the beginning of his problem with his people who resisted change by all their might.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) left Makkah for Medina in the year 622 A.D where he established Islamic state. He died in 632 A.D in Madina, some Muslims, including Umar, the second Caliph, could not believe that the great man and prophet of Allah could die. Aisha (RA) narrated that: Abu Bakr came out and 'Umar was addressing the people, and Abu Bakr told him to sit down but 'Umar refused. Abu Bakr again told him to sit down but 'Umar again refused. Then Abu Bakr recited the Tashah-hud (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle) and the people attended to Abu Bakr and left 'Umar. Abu Bakr said, "Amma ba'du, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die. Allah says:." Muhammad is no more than an Apostle: many were the Apostles that passed away before him. If he died or were slain will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude. " Q3:144. (The narrator added, "By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this verse before till Abu Bakr recited it and then whoever heard it, started reciting it."). (Bukhar 2.333).
That is a short summary of the life of our beloved prophet of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH). He was the last of prophets of Allah, "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men but he is the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things." Q33:40. He was the spiritual leader, head of state, commander of army, chief judge, businessman, husband, father, e.t.c. He demonstrated good examples in all aspects of life, Allah says: "You have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern of (conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day and who engages much in the praise of Allah." Q 33:21. We all have read and witnessed how power intoxicates people.
Sincere non-Muslims could not hide their amazement about the personalities of Prophet Muhammad but commend the good leadership of our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Micheal H. Hart, in his book "The 100: A Ranking of the most Influential Persons in History" ranked our beloved prophet Muhammad as the most influential in history. Jules Masserman, a psychoanalyst wrote: "Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Muhammad, who combined all three functions (provided for the well-being of the lead, provided a social organization in which people feel relatively secure and provided his people with one set of beliefs). To a lesser degree, Moses did the same.
The prophet (PBUH) said: "The best talk (speech) is Allah's Book (Qur'an), and the best way is the way of Muhammad, and the worst matters are the heresies (those new things which are introduced into the religion); and whatever you have been promised will surely come to pass, and you cannot escape it. (Bukhari 9.382). There is no evidence that our beloved prophet or the four rightly guided Caliphs celebrated the birthday of prophet Muhammad (PBUH). What we read is that our beloved prophet used to fast on his birthday. We should read more about the life of the prophet and emulate him in our affairs rather than merriment.
In Islam, there are only two festivals namely Idil-Fitr and Idil-Adha. These are the festival at the end of Ramadan fasting and the festival in the month of Dhul-Hajj that involves slaughtering of ram. These are not mere festivals but have something to do with Islamic faith and whoever participates in them, according to the dictates of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), will be rewarded by Allah. Allah, the Exalted, says: "It is not fitting for a Believer man or woman when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Apostle to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Apostle he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path." Q33:36.
May the peace and blessings of Allah be on our beloved prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), his household, companions and all followers of the right guidance till the Day of Judgment. May Allah have mercy on Nigeria and us, may He let us know good things and give us the strength to do them, may He let us know evil and give us the strength to resist it.