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ISLAMIC STUDIES

IGCSE – Sana Ali


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1.7 The Prophet as a
leader
a) The role of the Prophet in the establishment
of the Shariah
Prophet Sallallahu alaihis Salam was able to establish Shariah because of the following qualities:
• Realism: His message and demand did not contradict reality. He understood the prevailing
conditions as he actually was aware of the advantages and disadvantages.
• Absolute belief: He had unwavering faith in Allah and Allah’s message. He was never doubtful
about his message and he never gave up his mission.
• Personal ccourage: Even if left alone he did have enough courage to persevere. When some of
his enemies reached the mouth of the cave in which he was hiding, Abu bakr r.a. was afraid
something would happen to the Messenger but the prophet only said “Don’t worry, Allah is with
us”.
• Strong willpower and resolve: He never experienced even one moment of hopelessness.
• Awareness of personal responsibility: Everything was directed towards fulfilling his
responsibility. He was never distracted by the worldly chars.s f
• Farsighted and goal-centered: He was able to discern and plan for potential
development. He knew how to evaluate the past, present and future to reach a new
synthesis.
• Personal knowledge of each follower: He was fully aware of each follower’s
disposition, characteristics, abilities, shortcomings, ambitions and weak points.
• Strong character and praiseworthy virtues: He was determined yet flexible while
carrying out the sessions and knew went to be unyielding or relenting and compassionate
and when to be dignified or modest and he was always truthful, trustworthy and just.
• No worldly ambitions or abuse of authority: He would live like the poorest members
of the community and he never discriminated among the people. He strove to love them
and preferred them over himself and that is why the people loved him sincerely.
b) The consolidation and expansion of Islam
after the Hijrah
• Hijrah means the Migration of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and his
followers from Mecca to Madina. When the Muslims were being persecuted in Mecca, the
prophet asked them to be patient and forgiving. Later the prophet decided to migrate to
Medina with his companions to ensure the safety of the Muslims. The people of Medina
welcomed the Prophet happily. The Muslims began the process of establishing the new
Islamic state. The kuffar had plans to destroy the Muslims. Allah s.w.t. Describes the Prophet
as Mercy to the the worlds in the verse “We have sent you as a Mercy for all the worlds
(21:107) This quality of Mercy of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was not limited to just the
Muslims but it also extended to the non Muslims some of whom had even tried to harm the
prophet and his mission. While Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) stayed in Mecca for 13 years and
the believers faced a series of persecutions. He spent the next 10 years in
Madina trying to defend his mission but he never took revenge on personal
account.
• The greatest pardon unparalleled in history is his pardon of the entire
population of Mecca when he finally marched into the city with his army and
declared victory over his opponents. When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
conquered Mecca without bloodshed in the 21st year of his prophethood, he
told the Makkan unbelievers who were awaiting his decision about them “You
may go free! No reproach this day shall be on you. May God forgive you!”
• Also the Prisoners of War were treated fairly and those who attacked him and
insulted him where met with calm and wise responses.
c) The Prophet’s treatment of the opponents
and Prisoners
• During the first 13 years of his life in Mecca, Prophet (pbuh) and his followers
faced much persecution. Muslims were not ordered to fight back due to the fact that
they had no strength yet. When the prophet’s opponents greatly increased their
persecution, his companions asked him to curse them. At this, the prophet (pbuh)
replied “I have not been sent to lay curse upon people but to be a blessing to them.”
• His opponents continued to treat him and his companions unjustly and cruelly but
he always prayed for them. When he was tortured in Taif and was given the option
to destroy the city due to their rejection of faith, he refused to curse them and
instead said “I hope that Allah will bring forth from them those who will worship
Allah alone and not associate anything with Him.”
• In the early Makkan period it often happened that when the Prophet would
stand to pray his enemies would come near him and whistle and clap in
order to disturb him but the prophet would not even once show his anger at
such acts. He always opted for the policy of tolerance and avoidance of
confrontation.
• One time when the prophet was praying at the Ka’abah, while his enemies
were watching him, one of his enemies put on his back the filth of a
slaughtered camel during his prostration. The prophet did not react and
stayed in that position. His daughter Fatima rushed to take the filth off his
back and cleaned him up.
d) The Prophet’s relationship with other
communities and countries
• Mohammed (pbuh) viewed his mission as a continuation of the previous messages of the prophets. From
the beginning he closely related his message with the Jewish and Christian traditions. In difficult times, he
often gave the example of the patience shown by Moses and his people when they were persecuted in Egypt.
Also, according to Muslim tradition it was the Quranic references to Mary and the birth of Jesus that
convinced the Christian king of Ethiopia to grant asylum to Muslim refugees fleeing Makan persecution.
• Muslim sources cite other individual Christians and Jews who played important role in Muhammad’s life
including his wife’s cousin Waraqa, a Christian ascetic who first observed that Muhammad (pbuh)
experiences of Revelation resembled Moses encounter with the Divine. This parallel reassured Mohammad
(pbuh) at a time when he feared he might be possessed.
• The Quran refers to Christians and Jews as people of the book and calls on Muslims to respect them. In
more than one Quranic passage Christian and Jewish believers are specifically mentioned as having God’s
favour. “Muslims, Jews, Christians or Sabian, those who believe in God and the last day and who do well
have their reward with their Lord and they have nothing to fear and they will not sorrow.” (2:62 and 5:69)
• On the other hand, the Quran also criticizes Christians and Jews mainly with regard
to their views concerning prophets. Christians are criticized for calling Jesus divine.
In the Muslim view, though born of the virgin Mary and respected as a major
Prophet, Jesus was a man of flesh and blood. Jews on the other hand are criticized
for rejecting certain prophets.
• Despite theological differences and political disputes, Muhammad (pbuh) remained
respectful of both faiths. A few years before he died when his leadership of the
Arabs was generally accepted and delegation of 60 Christians with scholars and
judges among them arrived in Madina from the southern capital of Najran in a kind
of interfaith council rare in those days. Muslims and Christians joined by Medina’s
Jewish rabbis sat together discussing and arguing the meaning of their beliefs. This
occurs in a time when not far to the north Christians and Persians have been
engaged for decades in massively destructive religious wars. According to Muslim
Chroniclers, when the council in Madina ended, thr Najran Christians mounted their
camels and rode peacefully back home.
Prophet’s relationship with other countries
• In the 7th year after hijrah, Holy Prophet (Pbuh) decided to send letters to kings and
emperors instead of fighting and capturing the neighbouring countries for the
growth of Islamic empire. He adopted a peaceful method of calling the rulers of
countries to enter the fold of Islam. For every king a special letter was written and a
separate messenger was sent.
• Some of the letters of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) were accepted and some were
rejected with disgrace. The emperor of Byzantium Heraclius and the Egyptian chief
treated the messenger politely and send presents for Holy prophet (pbuh). Egyptian
King sent two maids from noble families and some clothing and animals to ride on
the journey back. The emperor of abyssinia Bahrain and Oman accepted Islam.
One letter was sent to Persian King Khusro Parvez who tore the letter into pieces
and humiliated the messenger. On the contrary, Holy Prophet without any
bloodshed was able to bring the three large Empires to Islam.
Give two examples showing the Prophet as a
leader.
Indicate two ways the Prophet (pbuh) showed
how to treat Prisoners of War.
Describe how the hijrah helped to expand
Islam under the Prophet’s leadership.
Explain how the leadership of the Prophet (s)
helped to expand Islam.
Explain how the Prophet was an example to
Muslims in conducting relationships with other
faith communities.
“A leader is chosen and the Prophet was divinely
chosen. Muslims need to follow his teachings.” Assess
this statement.
Related passage
Passage Questions
• What is the passage discussing?
• What does ‘one to listen to and obey' mean?
• Why does the text discuss “but if an act of disobedience”?
• What are Muslims being reminded about through the concept of
‘disobedience’?
• What is the significance of this passage?