[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
The below-mentioned story has been mentioned by Moulana Abul Kalam Azad, a noted Indian scholar, and India’s first Education Minister. He has taken it from the Master Piece of Ibn Kathir, ‘al Bidaya wal Nihaya’.
In the times of Ibn Taymiyah, there was a Muslim scholar, Imanudddin Damishki, who wandered into all the sects looking for peace. He tested the Mua’tazilites, the Murjhites and many others but remained depressed. Every sect claimed to be the best and boasted of being in the right way. He said, “One day I entered the Masjid where I saw Ibn Taymiyyah holding a gathering. I was tired of studying all the sects but could not find peace in my heart anywhere. Here, I found a solace in listening to the words of Qur’an and Sunnah. I met him and discussed my issue with him..
Ibn Taymiyyah suggested studying and implementing the Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ (in my life). As I began my learning about the noble Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ , I experienced a revolution taking place in my life. Everything about my dealing with people, rectifying or disciplining them, inviting them to Islam, commanding them to do good and forbidding them to do evil, underwent a drastic transformation.. My words started showing results. It was a real spiritual cure and solace for heart and mind for me”.
Ibn Kathir comments:
After studying and listening about the Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ, one does not require to study the biographies of other people.
Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her), said:
“The Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet is the Qur’an.”
She referred to the impact and implementation of every verse of the Qur’an in the life of the Prophet ﷺ.
“Qur’an is the text and the life of the Prophet ﷺ is its Tafseer (explanation).”
Shibli Nomani, a noted philosopher and Islamic scholar had begun writing on the Akhlaq (character) of Prophet ﷺ but he died before completing the book. The book was later completed by Dr. Suleman Nadvi and thus Seerat un Nabi ﷺbecame a masterpiece on the study of life and Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ. Moulana Abul Qalam Azad notes:
When Shibli Nomani informed me about his project I insisted that while most of the work on the biography of the Prophet ﷺ moves around historical facts and figures, but he should compile a complete chapter on the verses from the Qur’an that speak about the Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ. This will prove that the Qur’an treasures a lot of noble characteristics of the Prophet ﷺ. Since the Qur’an announces:
Indeed you are upon the best of character,
how is it possible that the Qur’an does not speak about the character of the Prophet ﷺ ?
But Shibli Nomani did not follow his advice as he had some doubts on the theme, so Abul Kalam Azad himself took up the task. He had drafted around 700 pages but due to preoccupation and other commitments he could not complete it saying - This is not enough, rather it requires more content. But he died before completing. For those who think that the Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ can be certified by historical events added by quotes of famous personalities, they fail to notice that the quotes of Qur’an on the Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ are actually a certification by Allah Himself.
If an author studies the Akhlaq (character) of the Prophet ﷺ ` from the Qur’an, he will also get a treasure of content about the Akhlaq (character) of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ. This is the astonishing brilliance of the Qur’an. Today, when authors pen biographies of well-known personalities, they consider two things: Who were that person’s teachers and who were his students. A source of knowledge gives a certification of the person’s character. The teacher of the Prophet ﷺ was Allah Himself and Jibrael, the angel.