[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
“And, Our Lord, send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."Al Baqarah verse 129
Ibrahim refers to the Biblical Abraham who is honoured as the father of the two races, the Jews and the Arabs. The above words of the supplication of Abraham quoted in Qur’an are worth noting. They testify that teaching the Book of Allah is one of the duties of the Prophet. An Islamic invitation, without the display of excellent Akhlaq (character) by the teacher or the Invitee, loses its value and effectiveness.
The scholars (Ulema) receive the inheritance of the Prophetic treasures (of wisdom and knowledge), but this remains meaningless unless the people are also invited to inculcate good Akhlaq (character), observe and follow all religious duties and acts of worship. Every Muslim, whether he is a scholar or not, bears the responsibility of displaying an excellent Akhlaq (character) to the world,because actions speak louder than words. This is a highly effective way of spreading the message of Islam, whether the religious teaching is presented to Muslims or Non Muslims.
It is a part of Islamic character to honour each Prophet sent before Mohammed ﷺ
Qur'an declares, “ For every nation there was a prophet.”
This means that the Prophets sent were for that particular nation and time. There are two exclusive merits about Prophet ﷺ. Firstly, it is only the privilege of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ that he was sent for the entire mankind,
“And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know.”(Surah Saba, verse 28)
Prophet Mohammed ﷺ is a Prophet till the day of judgement and his Prophethood continues even after his death. Qur’an declares his Prophethood to be the seal of all the Prophets, the term is Khatimin-nabiyeen, the last of all the Prophets. The Prophethood of Mohammed ﷺ does not remain confined to human race, but it also extends to the Jinns. Thus, he is also known as ‘The Universal Prophet’.
Understanding the term Ummah - The Nation of the Prophets
Every human of this era is counted as the Ummah of the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ, whether they accept Islam or not. ‘Ummah’ does not have an exact term in English but the closest in meaning is ‘Nation’ and this term is applied to the people of (a particular) Prophet.
There are two types of Ummah; One: Those who accepted the invitation of Mohammed ﷺ and accept Islam. They are called Ummah of Ijabah. Every Muslim is part of Ummah of Ijabah.
Second: These include Hindus, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists etc. They are called as Ummah of Dawah, which means they have been invited, too, but they are yet to accept the invitation. A Muslim should display an excellent Akhlaq (character) towards both groups of Ummah. If a Muslim fails to display good Akhlaq (character) towards anyone, he fails to convey the invitation of Islam properly.
Islamic Theology covers Excellent Character too
The success of every human being lies in accepting Islam; not only in the theological aspect, but also by attaining excellent Akhlaq (character). The manner in which a Muslim has to follow his religious duties and acts of worship meticulousyly, he has to follow the rules of excellence in Akhlaq (character), too. That is why the character of the Prophet ﷺ is considered to be the best.
“Indeed in the Messenger, is an excellent example for you to follow.”(Surah Ahzab verse 21)
Practice before you preach
The most important takeaway lessons in character building
- A person should put the first and foremost effort in attaining excellence in Akhlaq (character) on himself.
- No attribute is better than a person possessing excellent Akhlaq (character).
- The feeling of being perfect is a sign of being lured by Satan who incites people with a feeling of overconfidence with regards to their character.
- Humbleness is opposite to arrogance and humbleness drives away the feeling of being perfect and puts us back on the track of putting efforts towards perfection. Islam does not prefer its followers to puff their chest with pride or arrogance.