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One of the key Muslim beliefs is that ‘there is no god except God and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of God’ This means that there is only one god and Muhammad is the messenger and prophet. Therefore, this statement regarding the role and significance of the prophet shows that Muhammad had an important role in Muslim tradition. The Sura “Muhammad was not a father of one among you, but the messenger of God and the seal of the Prophets” can be understood how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the last Prophet and it became sealed after that. In this essay, I will be exploring the role of the prophet Muhammad in Muslim tradition and the Sura 33:40.
Prophet Muhammad was very influential in Muslim traditions as he used his voice to spreads the message of Islam. He was a great role model for those who joined Islam as they looked to him to practice correctly. This implying that he was the messenger of God by carrying the message of Islam to everyone. Ali, Maulana Muhammad, (Ali, Maulana Muhammad; 1983) talks about in his book that because the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and ‘through whom this religion was revealed’ that people started calling the religion ‘Muhammadanism’ after him which suggests in the verse that people may have seen him as the father among Muslims instead of a prophet of Islam. Suggesting that because the Quran was revealed to him and he was very influential, he might’ve been considered a father figure to some. He also talks about the role of significance of the prophet Muhammad in terms of the Holy Quran being revealed to him, for example, the holy book reveals the religion of Islam and therefore because it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, it became clear that this man was very important and there must be a reason behind God revealing this to him.
The ‘Sunnah’ and ‘Hadith’ of the Prophet are also significant and important in Muslim tradition as people look up to the prophet and his actions, practices, and sayings. (Ali, Maulana Muhammad; 1983) Ali, Maulana Muhammad suggests that people used to practice what the prophet said and did and pass it onto other people, especially in the tribe. ‘Go back to your people and teach them these things’ (Bu. 3:25) These words were said by the prophet to his people, he was instructing them ways to follow the religion of Islam and to follow a ‘Sunnah’. These people would follow sunnah and hadith of the prophet and pass it onto others which suggest that as the prophet, he had a great influence on Muslims. This Sunnah and Hadith are still being portrayed and carried out today as this is what the Prophet did and taught Muslims showing that his role of teaching and guiding people to Islam has been carried on throughout time.
The Prophet Muhammad being the last Prophet shows significance in the fact that he was the ‘seal of the prophets’ where he was the last messenger of GOD to guide and teach people the religion of Islam. The prophet Muhammad had no sons who lived past infancy which suggests that the verse in the Quran of ‘Muhammad was not a father’ suggests that it was his duty from God to lead and guide other people and he was not a father to any man. The seal of Prophethood ending with Muhammad being the last messenger shows his significance in Muslim tradition as one of the pillars of Islam is known as ‘Shahadah’ where ‘there is no god, but Allah and prophet Muhammad is his last messenger’. This is one of the pillars of Islam which Muslims believe in therefore in Muslim tradition they show this.
The history of Makkah and Madinah is an important aspect of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) life. (Haykal, Muhammad ?usayn. The Life of Muhammad. 1976) When the prophet was instructed to teach and guide people to Islam, he had a rough start in Makkah as he spread the Messenger of God, people hated on him and didn’t listen or believe him. There was a lot of war between the prophet Muhammad PBUH and a tribe called the Quraysh. He was then instructed by God to leave Makkah and go to a place call Madinah where he was treated respectfully and kindly by everyone and the first ever mosque was built there. The significance of this history of the prophet in these places was that now in Muslim tradition, people visit Makkah to complete a Pilgrimage around the Ka’bah to Worship God. Madinah is also significant as people visit the Mosque which was the first ever to be built. Suggesting that the prophet lead many Muslims here as instructed by God, being the last prophet.
After the death of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, there was a controversy between different types of Muslims such as ‘Shiah’ and ‘Sunni’ where they had different views on the significance of the prophet Muhammad in Islam and what they considered him to be. For example, in Lesley Hazelton’s book, After the Prophet, she describes that Shia Muslims saw the Prophet Muhammad and his family PBUH as more than just humans but rather like superheroes. Suggesting that different people had different viewpoints on who they saw the Prophet Muhammad as he was the last and sealed prophethood. (Lesley Hazelton; 2009) Therefore it could be suggested that the role of the prophet varied between different people as after his death, Lesley explained how there was a divide between 2 groups of Muslims, the Shiah and Sunni’s which shows that whilst the Prophet was there carrying the message of Islam, he brought people together in unity and taught them about Islam but after his death, some of what he taught such as Muslims being united was gone as there was conflict between what is religiously correct and how should people behave. This shows that as Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet, there was not another person who could take his place in teaching people as the Quran was revealed to him and he had such a high position in Islam of being the last Prophet.
A book by David powers about the verse that Muhammad is not the father of any of your men suggests that because Muhammad was just not another prophet, he was the seal of prophethood where we are well informed of his life including marriage and children where he did not have any sons who lived to puberty. Therefore, David suggests that ‘the father-son motif is conspicuously absent in Islam foundation narrative’ Due to the fact that in Islam, God has no family, including sons whereas in Christianity they see Jesus as the son of God. Therefore, we can see that Muhammad was the last messenger but was not a father to anyone and his significance was to carry the message of Islam. In his book, he explained how the Prophet Muhammad did have an adoptive son, however, a verse in the Quran: 33:4-5: ‘God has not… made your adopted sons your (real) sons… call them after their fathers’ which is explained that adoptive fathers are not the real fathers and should allow the child to know that. This supports the idea that Muhammad is also not the father of his adoptive son which he soon made clear to him.
Prophet Muhammad’s role and significance are important to look at in terms of his character and conduct to see why God chose him to be the last prophet. Adil Salahi (Muhammad PBUH His character and conduct 2003) He was taught by his family and friends to love the Prophet and look up to him as a guide and light of the family. In his book, he talks about, ‘Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was an ordinary human being’ and that he was ‘entrusted with God’s final message’ . To deliver everyone the message of God and guide people to Islam therefore as the Prophet was revealed in the Quran and was told to teach others it and God’s message in the Quran remains the same after all these years just like, ‘Muhammad read out to his community’ We can see that as the Prophethood ended with Muhammad PBUH and this significance shows that his character and conduct after all these years are being read about in the Quran as a way for all of us to look at and influence from.
We can see how the Prophet Muhammad PBUH was not the father of one among us but is the messenger of God and the seal of Prophethood as we are able to draw on facts such as his sons did not live past infancy suggesting he was the father to no man, his significance, and role in Islam is the final Prophet and he was chosen to deliver the message of Islam and guide people shows how important he is in Muslim tradition.
However, we could discuss that the verse of Prophet not being a father of one among you as he was a father to some daughters and he did act as a father towards these children which suggests that he did have a family as well as carrying out his duty to god by being the Prophet. We could also question how reliable these sources are in terms of being accurate in explaining the history of the Prophet Muhammad, especially when explaining what he did and his actions. However, the verses found in this essay are from the Holy Quran which has not been changed since when the Prophet explained to his people.
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