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The Prophet of Humanity


Dr. Hasan ud-Din Hashmi

This article was printed in :
the magazine produced for the International Milaad-un-Nabi Conference, Toronto Canada Sept 18th 1993

Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) came to this world as a mercy for humankind. He reminded human beings of their forgotten status and taught them human values which were ignored for a long time. People were victims of infidelity. He warned them against all those things which could damage humanity. He preached and urged them to a sense of human status, human nature, human unity, human equality and human respect.

Status of Humanity

When somebody is actually possessor of a high social status but is not aware of it, his thoughts and  deeds get reflected by that  low and inferior atmosphere which he lives in. His low company can easily drive him to cheap and mean activities. But when he gets awareness about his status, and achieves a sense of his greatness, a wonderful change begins in his thought and action. He turns away from lowness and starts walking on the track of nobility. Same is the situation of human society; its ignorance about its true status indulges it in lowness, while its awareness makes it walk on the track of greatness

The Holy Prophet found people neglectful of their real status. As a result they were drowned in savagery, superstition, infidelity and many activities. He Informed them about their real status, and thus he brought a remarkable change in human society. He preached:

  1. Humankind are vicegerent of the Creator (Quran 2:30)

  2. Allah has granted humankind a unique intellect and vast knowledge even more than the angels (Quran 2:31-33)

  3. He has made humankind great and honorable (Quran 17:70)

  4. He has honored human beings by calling their soul His own soul (Quran 15:29)

  5. He created human beings on a pure nature and  honored them by calling it his own nature (Quran 30:30)

  6. Allah has granted human beings a most beautiful shape (Quran 95:4)

  7. Allah has granted human beings the quality and capability of mastery over the whole universe (Quran 2:29 ; 16:12 ; 45:13)

The status and great qualities of humankind urge them to bow only before Allah., obey His commands and worship him alone. They must not insult themselves by worshiping anyone else. They should consider his pleasure superior to any other other thing. It is incumbent on them to realize their status whose sense will be a source of their love towards humanity, and a means of awareness about their Almighty Lord.

Nature of Humanity

Ideas are like foundation, and actions are like a construction erected on them. As good ideas are a source of good practices, in the same way the bad ideas are a springhead for the evil activities.

When someone believes that he is originally free from sin , his nature is pure and enlightened by the eternal divine light, he is not a bearer of any original sin, instead sin comes after his birth through wrong company and bad ideas, this belief urges him to protect his pure nature, and creates in his heart and mind the feeling of obligation to secure his nature from the filth of sin as much as he can. As a result of this feeling he finds a voice of divine call in the depth of his soul which prevents him from evil, and leads him to a road of a righteous individual and a blissful human society.

Contrary to it, if someone believes that he was born carrying the filth of original sin, his nature was impure, and he was a sinner by birth, this concept will result in negligence about differentiation between sin and virtue, and will dim and weaken hatred against evil deeds in his heart and mind. Whenever he commits any sin he feels unconsciously that he Is not doing any bad thing, instead he is following what his human nature demands. This feeling deprives him of that inner voice which scolds on bad deeds and prevents from evil. As a result his life as well as the life of the society gets poisoned by evil activities.

There are two forces to prevent criminal activities: the voice of conscience and the law of state. When the prohibitive voice of conscience gets diminished, only the state laws remain as the preventing force against evils. But when one law is legislated the people who are deprived of inner hindering voice, open another door for their crimes. The legislator enforces one law after the other but the mischieves continues to spread everywhere, and poisons every field of life.

It should be kept in mind that crimes cannot be stopped by relying on outer sources only. It is necessary for the achievement of this goal to close the springhead of evil. Unrealistic ideas are a fountainhead for bad deeds. When sin is regarded as a part of human nature, and every human being is considered contaminated with original sin, it will almost wipe out hatred against evil, and open the door for a storm of bad deeds.

Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) rejected this illogical, unrealistic and damaging idea of original sin. He informed humankind about the fact that their nature is pure and free from sin, it is so pure that Almighty Allah has honored humanity by calling it His own nature (Quran 30:30).

In one of his sayings, our Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said that every child is born on the pure nature of submission to Allah, but his parents turn him to other ways. (Bukhari and Muslim).

Therefore every human being, regardless of his family or ethnic background, is born sinless bearing a pure nature; evil convictions and sinful activities come later on as a result of bad company and wrong circumstances. This great teaching creates in the depth of hearts of people love for goodness and hatred against sin. Thus it provides for human society a most important source of protection against the storm of evils.

Unity of Humanity

Every person's individual body comprises various parts such as the head, eyes, face, ears, mouth, arms, hands, legs, and feet. The size, shape and color of every part is not the same. The shape and size of the hands and arms are different from that of the feet and legs. Likewise, the color of hair and eyes is different from that of skin and teeth. In spite of these differences there is unity between these parts by being organs of the same body. As a result they all have been loved and taken care of, there is no discrimination between them; every part can get what it deserves and needs. The color of the hair and eyes doesn't cause hatred against color of teeth and skin, the highness of the head does not cause discrimination against lowness of feet, and largeness of arms doesn't create hard feeling against shortness of fingers. They all are so united that each one's comfort is comfort for the whole body, and each one's pain is pain for the whole body.

As each person has an individual body he has a collective body also, and all human beings are parts of that body which is humanity. As the different part of an individual body, inspite of their variety, have unity, likewise all human beings are connected to each other by string of unity through their collective body of humanity. Therefore, it is incumbent on every person to consider the pain and harm of other parts of this collective body as his own harm and pain, and their happiness and benefit as his own happiness and benefit. He should respect and protect other human beings as he respects and protects his own self. And as he considers the disaster or security of any part of his individual body as disaster or security for his whole body, likewise, he should consider the disaster or security of any part of his collective body as a disaster or security for this whole body.

The master of humanity, Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) the Messenger of Allah has reminded humankind this lesson of human unity by the following beautiful words of his divine revelation:

"If anyone kills any person, unless it be to retaliate for murder or for any mischief in the land, (it will be) as if he has killed all humankind, and if anyone saves the life of one person (it will be) as if he has saved the life of all humankind" (Quran 5:32).

Equality of Humanity

Almighty Allah has created human beings in a way that they get affected by their diet climate and origin. Good and fresh diet makes the body sound and healthy while bad food destroys health and ruins strength. Likewise, different types of food have different kind of impact on the body, both outwardly and inwardly. Its outwardly impact appears in the shape, size and color of body, while it affects inwardly the inner qualities such as thinking, patience, lust, anger and pleasure.

Climate has also a great effect on the body. Those people who live in hot climate and work continuously in the blazing sun, the color of the skin gets dark. Likewise, those who live in cool or less hot climate, the color of their skin gets fair. When they live in the same climate for centuries their color becomes so deep rooted that later on even  if they move and get established in a land of different climate, the skin color of their off springs remains the same for several generations.

Family origin has also a profound inward as well as outward impact. When a child is born he comes with a specific shape of body, feature of face, and color of hair, skin and eyes similar to that of his parents. Likewise, he bears their intellectual and professional tendencies and several other qualities and conditions. After his birth, climate, diet and society begin their influence which sometimes bring so many changes that the child becomes both outwardly as well as inwardly much different from his parents.

These varieties which are based on coincidental biological origin, or diet or climate cannot be everlasting phenomena. There is a continuous interchange process among humans in these aspects. Therefore, they cannot be a criterion for superiority or inferiority. It is a great pity that many people have focused on these coincidental and changeable phenomena, and considered some races and colors superior to others. Relying on this false base they commit  crimes of hatred and discrimination between one group and another, and deprive many people of their human rights.

In fact human beings share many everlasting and unchangeable qualities which make them equal. They all are creation of one Almighty God. They are all off springs of the same father, Adam. They all are children of one mother, Eve. They all are born sinless and in a pure nature. They all are endowed with the quality of vicegerency of Allah. And they all are endowed with special human qualities of knowledge, judgment, choice and accountability. But if someone ignores his status of vicegerency, and overlooks his pure nature and acts like devils and animals, he insults and humiliates his own self.

The Prophet of Islam taught the lesson of equality. He preached that all human beings are creations of Allah, all are born on pure nature, all have the responsibility of vicegerency, and all are children of one father and mother. Therefore, there is no place for discrimination on the base of race or color. Superior are those who have

God-consciousness and good character.

"O humankind, We have created you from a male (Adam) and a female (Eve), and have made you tribes and sub tribes so that you may recognize one another. Surely the most honored of you with Allah is the one who is most pious among you" (Quran 49:13).

In one of his sayings, the Holy Prophet said that there is no superiority for any Arab over a non-Arab, nor for any non-Arab over an Arab; neither for any white over a black, nor for any black over a white. All human beings are children of Adam, and Adam was created from dust (Ahmad).

Respect of Humanity

The status and qualities which Allah has granted human beings have made them noble and honored. Therefore, every person regardless of his race, color, ethnicity, creed and gender, deserves respect. This respect has three categories: By words, by actions and by heart. These are equally important and essential.

1. Respect by words:

Humankind, the most beloved and superior creation of Allah, should be addressed by appropriate words and nice language. This mode of address, along with pleasing Almighty Allah, will create harmony, peace and love among human society. It is essential to avoid insulting words; these ruin unity and cause hatred and animosity. Abusive language about other people is not just their insult, it is also an insult of the abusers themselves. Because they are causing damage to their own collective body. It should not be neglected that the wound of words are deeper than the wounds of knives. Therefore to every possible extent they should be avoided, and only nice words should be uttered. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) conveyed the following message:

"And say to humankind good words" (Quran 2:83).

The Holy Prophet said:" Allah has commanded me to treat humankind with gentle courtesy as He has commanded me to perform the obligatory prayers" (Ibn Kathir).

2. Respect by Actions 

Respect for humanity is also to be performed by actions which can be moral as well as physical and financial. This duty should be fulfilled according to the situations and circumstances of people. If there is someone who needs some kind of help he should be supported. This help has to be done in a way as if a part of the individual body is being taken care of. It should be regarded as a duty not just a favor. Because whenever someone serves any part of his body he does not consider it a favor, instead he regards it as a right of that part, and a duty on his side. Likewise, when any help is given to any other person it should be considered his rights not just a favor. Our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has taught us: "And In their wealth was a right for one who asked for help, and (for) the destitute (who could not ask)" (Quran 5 1: 19).

"So give the relative his right, and the poor and the wayfarer" (Quran 30:38)

Yes sometimes, some parts of the body might be afflicted with some minor or fatal disease both ideological as well as physical. But these ill parts should not be targeted with hatred. If doctors should start hatred against their patients it will be a calamity for humanity. The target of hatred should be the disease and not the patients. They deserve sympathy and support. If circumstances necessitates a hard and tough attitude towards them, it should be utilized as the knife of a doctor and not as a sword of a destroyer.

3. Respect By Heart

Respect by heart means to have nice, kind, sympathetic and affectionate feelings about other human beings. In fact, the human heart is the foundation for human conduct. If it is adorned by the feelings of love, sympathy and kindness, the body will work according to it. And if it is poisoned by hatred, animosity and cruelty then the deeds will go that way. As its good feelings promote righteous actions, similarly its evil feelings cause sinful actions. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said: "Indeed there is a piece in the body when it is right the whole body is right, and when it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt. Beware, that piece is the heart." (Bukhari and Muslim)

It is necessary to purify the heart by the light of divine instructions, and to make it the place of love, sympathy and kindness for humanity. It will establish the way to peace and love in society, and will promote the sense of universal brotherhood that all human beings are brothers to each other. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) used to repeat these words: "O Allah! O our Lord, and Lord of every thing, I am witness that all human beings are brothers to each other" (Ahmad)

In short, according to the teachings of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (P. B. U. H) humankind have the following characteristics:

  1. Every human being is born on the pure nature of submission to Allah. Therefore, everyone came to this world as innocent and sinless; no one is a sinner by birth

  2. Allah has granted human beings honor and greatness.

  3. Allah has granted human beings the best shape among all his creations. And he honored humanity by calling the human shape His own image.

  4. Allah has honored humanity by calling the human soul His own soul, and the human nature His own nature

  5. Allah has endowed human beings with unique qualities so that they may master the universe.

  6. Allah has granted the human beings the quality of His vicegerency, and made them His vicegerents.

  7. All human beings are endowed with the gift of equality. There is no place for discrimination on the basis of race or color.

  8. The criterion for superiority is not race, color or ethnicity; the criterion is God consciousness and good character.

  9. Human beings are so close to each other that they are like the parts of one body.

  10. All human beings are brothers of each other.