Motifs used by the Prophet Muhammad in Teaching & Guiding Individuals and Communities


The essential rules and regulations contained in the divine books were demonstrated to society by the Prophets, the men to whom these rules had been revealed; with explanations, both verbal and demonstrative, the Prophets tried to establish a new human prototype and new societies. The first prototype was the prophets themselves, who not only carried out all these activities, but also received the revelation; this enabled the most ideal education to be demonstrated through the revelation. Here we will try to identify how Prophet Muhammad educated people for such a prototype.Image

1. According to Islamic belief, in the words of Prophet Muhammad: “If a person intends to do something good, and if they find the opportunity and perform that action, Allah will record from 10 to 700, or even more, blessings; if they intend to do a good action, but they do not find an opportunity, Allah Almighty will write a blessing for them for the intention. If someone intends to do an evil action, but then forgoes this action, Allah Almighty will record on blessing for them; if they intend to do an evil action and they do it, one sin will be recorded for them.1

When the words of the Prophet are studied carefully, it can be seen that the intention, regardless of whether an individual is inclined towards good or evil actions, is to remove evil thoughts and emotions from the heart. According to this, the Muslim prototype that is desired is one in which there are no subconscious evil intents, emotions or thoughts.

2. According to another statement by Prophet Muhammad every action “will be judged according to its intent”.2 If the aim and intent are good, the inclination will be to the good and blessed. This is one of the lofty qualities that should be found in the prototype formed by Islam; the actions of a person who acts and programs their lives by taking into account Allah cannot be evil.

3. Prophet Muhammad said that a Muslim should be a person “who causes no harm to others with their hands (actions) or tongue (words).3 Thus, he puts forward the idea that an Islamic personality is one that causes no other person any harm either physically or verbally; that is, they are someone who uses their material power and authority with justice.

4. A believer is defined as one who “is relied upon, trusted”.4 A person who is not trusted by those around them or who may cause harm at any given moment is like gangrene in society. They make life intolerable.

5. In a statement by Prophet Muhammad, “if you love someone you should love them for the sake of Allah; if you do not love them you should not love them for the sake of Allah.5 Here we see that, as required by faith, love is connected to lofty and transcendental intentions.

6. One of the most important characteristics for an Islamic personality is to always intend to speak truthfully. In the Qur’an this is persistently emphasized: “O ye who believe! Fear God, and (always) say a word directed to the Right.”6 In another verse it is said: “O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor…”7 This makes it clear that a Muslim is expected to defend what is right and just and to speak the truth, even if it is to the detriment of themselves or their relatives.

7. Honesty creates a desire to do good and doing good actions is a means by which we can enter heaven. If the world of ideas and thought is built on honesty, then a person is among the group of honest people in Allah’s presence. Lies always mislead people, and support wrong actions, or even evil; evil leads a person to hell.8 If the world of ideas and the subconscious are built on lies then a person is among the liars in Allah’s presence. The result of this is obvious. In the formation of the Muslim personality being honest and avoiding lies is indispensable; it is a basic principle.

8. One of the basic characteristics of the Muslim personality, in all behavior, be it in worship or in human relations, is to follow the middle way. Prophet Muhammad said: “Walk at an average tempo, walk at an average tempo so that you can achieve your goal,”9 thus revealing the secret to all success. According to this, no extremes should exist in the Muslim world of ideas; not even love or hate. Prophet Muhammad said “Do not love the beloved too much, because one day that beloved might become one you hate and you will be full of shame and remorse; do not hate too much, because one day that hated person might become your friend and you will be full of shame and remorse,10 thus educating the individual even in how to love and hate.

9. Prophet Muhammad always acted with empathy in personal relationships, and he made such behavior a rule, saying: “Until you want for another what you want for yourself you have not truly believed.”11

10. In another quote from Prophet Muhammad he stated that: “a person who others avoid because they may cause harm”12 is the worst kind of person. This is the greatest evil that one can do to oneself.

11. In a saying of Prophet Muhammad, “When people are not merciful, Allah will not be merciful,”13 the Prophet advises mercy, and states that in order to achieve Allah’s mercy people must act with mercy and tenderness.

12. Another important point Prophet Muhammad focuses on in the formation of the Muslim personality is that a Muslim should be a facilitator, not a hinderer. This quality is an important component that affects the behavior of other people. In addition, aspects like being a deliverer of good news and not someone who causes hate14 are important characteristics of the Muslim personality.

13. One of the important principles that all Prophets inspired in their societies was modesty or shame; that is, feeling ashamed of an evil action. Shame, which plays an important role in the behavior of the individual, is a spiritual emotion that shows the degree of maturity of the Muslim personality. All the prophets expressed the importance and function of shame in a similar way: “If you are not ashamed, do as you wish.”15

14. One of the characteristics that Prophet Muhammad gave importance to in the formation of the Muslim personality is directing people to good and ensuring that good and blessed thoughts always exist in the world of ideas. He expressed this as follows: “Being the means for good is the same as doing good.”16

15. Prophet Muhammad also stated that a Muslim should be careful and not be harmed by the same thing twice. “A Muslim should not make the same mistake twice (should not be bitten by the same snake twice).”17

16. In the Islamic value system a great deal of importance has been given to a person being of benefit; it is even accepted that removing an obstacle from the path when walking, be it as little as a thorn, is part of belief and faith.18 Such an action must be intended as an act of faith, and the return should only be expected from Allah, with no other calculations or expectations.

17. In the words of Prophet Muhammad, in the Islamic value system, “no harm should be caused to another nor shall any harm be caused in return for harm.”19 To repay harm with harm would lead to a rule of chaos and injustice in society, creating an environment of anarchy.

18. Prophet Muhammad stated that all members of society should be aware of living in brotherhood. “ A Muslim cannot oppress their Muslim brother, they cannot hand them over to the enemy; if they fulfill a need (of another) Allah will fulfill their need, if they save another from difficulty Allah will save them from difficulty, if they cover up the fault (of another), Allah will cover up a fault for them.”20 He thus stated the conscious dimensions of Muslim brotherhood.

19. In addition, the overall concept should be reduced down to the smallest unit of society, and those who are orphaned or alone should be cared for. The Prophet stated that one who sees an orphan, either from their own kin or from another family, and takes them under their protection will go to heaven with the orphan.21

As a result, we can say the following: the intention of the revelation was to take human nature, which had been corrupted over time, and to return it to its original identity. For this purpose, the Prophets who communicated the revelation gave equal importance to the education of the people. In every instance they educated the world with their thoughts and they tried to eliminate evil thoughts and emotions, rather evaluating everything in the scope of what were blessings for human good. In the period of Prophet Muhammad, a time when no sound moral values were left, the revelation supported and commended these sublime values while the Prophet interpreted them, adopting them and applying them to life; this is the ideal for Muslim society all relationships should be built on this fundamental perception.