USWA HUSNA (GOOD EXAMPLE) OF ABRAHAM, MUHAMMAD AND COMPANIONS

MISCONCEPTION

USWA HUSNA (GOOD EXAMPLE) OF ABRAHAM, MUHAMMAD AND COMPANIONS MEANS WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIR HADITH BOOKS ?

CLARIFICATION

Where is the example of the Prophet? Over the centuries, every aspect of Prophet Muhammad has been turned into an ideal model for every person to follow. But are these aspects taught as perfect model really meant to be followed?

Prophet Muhammad was a man as well as a prophet. As a human being he has personal preferences in style, food or leisure activities. He may like to eat fish, his favorite color may be green, or blue, or red. All these elements are his humanly choices and personal preferences. But what has been done after his dismissal is encapsulation of every element of the human personality of the prophet into a divine model recommended for all human beings to follow.

For example, they teach that when eating food, you should sit on your knees, or with one knee up, because the prophet had sat in that manner. Or when eating you must eat with your right hand because the prophet used his right hand. Even left-handed Muslim children who struggle to eat or perform tasks with right hand are discouraged from accepting how Allah created them (using left hand). There is no understanding in such people that the prophet did so because he simply felt comfortable to eat in that position or may be because he was right-handed and he would use his left hand if he was left-handed.

Just because the prophet’s favorite color was green, does not mean we must all have our favorite color green. Just because the prophet liked to eat dates, does not mean anyone who does not like eating dates is less of a Muslim – merely because of his personal food preferences. Just because the prophet wore an Arab dress (as he was born into an Arab family) does not make the Arab dress recommended for all people.

Rather Allah celebrates our variations in culture and tradition:

30:22 “Among His signs are the creations of the heavens and the Earth, and the differences in your languages and colors. In that are signs for all people”. 

It is a form of idolizing an individual and this happens when love for that being exceeds the love of Allah. In some books, Muslims are even taught to take the prophet’s posture while walking – said to be slightly leaned forward manner, and even an order in which to clip finger-nails and toe nails! Did the prophet ever intend on him being followed in this manner?

If circumstantial and personal attributes of the prophet becomes virtuous to be followed, then it would mean all people should stop driving cars, and replace them with camels!

Now, is the message of the prophet in these personal habits and preferences of his, or something greater?

3:79 “It is not fitting for any person to whom Allah gives the Book, the wisdom and prophethood, that he should say to people: ‘Be servants to me rather than Allah!’, rather he would say: ‘Be devotees (of Allah) for what you have learnt and studied from the Book’.” 

Notice how in the verse, the understanding of true faith is shown to come from the Book of Allah, and the prophet would say, ‘be devoted to Allah because of what you studied in His Book (Qur’an)’. So, we must comprehend what faith really means from the Qur’an.

USWA HUSNA (GOOD EXAMPLE) OF MUHAMMAD AND HIS COMPANIONS

Hadith followers need fake hadiths to find out good examples of Prophet Muhammad! Real good examples of Prophet Muhammad are mentioned in the Quran. Obviously we don’t need to ride on the desert’s camel in this modern era or to follow how Prophet Muhammad went into toilet! We must seek Allah, the Last Day, and constantly think about Allah. These are some of the good examples of Prophet Muhammad, we must follow.

33:21 Indeed, in the messenger of Allah a good example has been set for you for he who seeks Allah and the Last Day and thinks constantly about Allah.

48:29 Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against the rejecters, but merciful between themselves. You see them taking heed and surrendering, they seek the blessings and approval of Allah. Their distinction is in their faces, as a result of surrendering. Such is their example in the Torah. And their example in the Gospel is like a plant which shoots out and becomes strong and thick and it stands straight on its trunk, pleasing to the farmers. That He may enrage the rejecters with them. Allah promises those among them who believe and do good works a forgiveness and a great reward.

As can be seen from the above verses, the conduct of Muhammad and his companions has been mentioned in the Quran.

It is sometimes argued that in order to follow the example of Muhammad, we shall have to refer to sources outside the Quran, such as the biographies of Muhammad, the record of his sayings and deeds in hadith or history books.

uswatun hasana (Good Example) does not mean biographies of Muhammad, the record of his sayings and deeds in hadith or history books rather his faith in Allah. So We must seek Allah, the Last Day, and constantly think about Allah.

Now we refer the Arabic phrase (uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة), meaning ‘good example’ to another place in the Qur’an. We discover that the understanding we stated above is the correct one. The identical phrase has been used in the following verse to describe Prophet Abraham:

Since Prophet Abraham was the same “uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة”, and it does not mean his habits and personal attributes – rather his faith, we thus see that indeed we have the correct understanding of “uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة” as applicable to Prophet Muhammad, since the same words are used to describe both of them.

USWA HUSNA (GOOD EXAMPLE) OF ABRAHAM AND HIS COMPANIONS

60:4 There has been a good example set for you by Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: “We are innocent from you and what you serve besides Allah. We have rejected you, and it appears that there shall be animosity and hatred between us and you until you believe in Allah alone.” Except for the saying of Abraham to his father: “I will ask forgiveness for you, but I do not possess any power to protect you from Allah.” “Our Lord, we have put our trust in You, and we turn to You, and to You is the final destiny.”

60:5 “Our Lord, do not let us become a test for those who rejected, and forgive us. Our Lord, You are the Noble, the Wise.” 

60:6 Certainly, a good example has been set by them (Abraham & His Companions) for those who seek Allah and the Last Day. And whoever turns away, then Allah is the Rich, the Praiseworthy.

As can be seen from the above, in two of the verses, the conduct of Abraham and his companions has been referred as a Good example

All the salient features of the conduct of Abraham, his companions as well as Muhammad are within the Quran. Otherwise Allah would not tell us that we have in them a Good example, if He had not preserved their example in His book. Anything that is against the Quran cannot be true, since Muhammad would not do anything against the Quran.

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