The prophets in the olden days strove hard to purify themselves. They did not go after the comforts of the world or glory which we know are not lasting. The enemies of Allah used their intelligence and energies to satisfy their desires on things which are fleeting. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: "I have been hurt and none of you gets hurt the way I do. I got harrassed and threatened. None of you receive such treatment the way I do." Yet the Prophet s.a.w made du'a each night so that Allah would shower His mercy onto the ummah. We are blessed to have received His bounties. All the blessings we presently enjoy are due to hardwork and sacrifices made by Rasulullah s.a.w. We could sit here peacefully and comfortably, and these are the fruits of his labor.
At one time the Prophet came home from having distributed war booty. He was fasting then and so was his family members. One of his wives remarked, "If you had brought home 2 dirham, we could at least buy food for iftar?" Rasulullah said, "If you had reminded me earlier, I would have taken something for us." By contrast people in our generations fantasize/hope for properties, crops etc. and they don't hesitate throwing away foods when starvation is widespread. O people, think and compare the difference in attitude, cultures and progress.
Without a doubt, the ummah in the present time need guidance from the Prophet. We must continue to be the torchbearer of Prophetic lights. We must understand that his teachings are orders from Allah so that we could fulfill the responsibilities which Allah has assigned to us. That you must do good to yourself and everyone around you and do it based on hidayah which Prophet Muhammad had been propagating.
We should learn the manner in which Rasulullah educated his family members especially his most loved daughter Fatimah Az-Zahra. Fatimah was brought up to be a good woman who worked at home, who was very patient in doing her role, who was a devout servant of Allah and generous in giving away her properties. We should emulate the good behaviors practised in the Prophet's household. Saidina Ali would bring home wheat for Fatimah to cook and she cooked food for the family by herself. It was customary for Fatimah to share homemade bread with her father. She once delivered a piece of bread to Rasulullah saying, "I cannot eat unless I let you have it first." Nabi took the bread from her and said, "O Fatimah, this bread is my first meal. I've been fasting for three days." Fatimah binti Muhammad learned such good examples set by her father. The prophet had on one day had to ask someone to send her daughter some bread because she had not been eating for three days.
Indeed, we could learn a lot from the Prophet's family members who benefited from excellent tarbiyah from Nabi. When A'ishah had her hands on 100 dinar, she gave it all away to the poor and widows in her neighborhood. She and her companion were fasting then. When the latter asked if A'ishah had reserved a couple of dirham for their iftar, her reply was exactly the words of her husband. She said, "If you had reminded me earlier, I would have kept some for us."
The Prophet's families were trustworthy in handling wealth. They were dependable and they managed properties in the fairest of manners. Their possessions did not make them arrogant. Their wealth had neither caused harm to them nor other people. They had always given preference to others over their own interests or needs. Wealth was spent appropriately and fairly. They learned from the Prophet who behaved the same way in managing his properties. Not once was he dictated by his possessions.
His praiseworthy akhlaq became examples for his companions too. The Prophet foretold that Surakah would one day lead the governments of Kisra and Kaisar. When the event took place, Surakah became a leader with integrity who contributed a great deal to the people. His leadership brought much benefits to the people. In contrast, the leaders prior to him were zalim. Women were treated unfairly. But Surakah changed things for the better. He elevated the dignity and status of women at Kisra and Kaisar. He restored their human rights and let them live respectfully.
We understand the universal values of the Prophet's teachings. He brings light from Allah. He brings glad tidings for all. His noble ways are completely opposite from leaders who are governed by their aqal alone. And they term it globalization. Whereas the universal approach of the Prophet's mission is evident in the Qur'an: "We have not sent you O Muhammad except as a messenger to all humanity, giving them glad tidings..."
Allah wants him to uphold universal equality. Allah says in the Qur'an: "You shall govern in accordance to the laws of Allah and befriend not the wicked." The universality of Prophet Muhammad's role towards the society may be traced to a verse in the Qur'an: "O Muhammad. We have sent you as a witness, and a bringer of good news and a warner...." And the universality of his role to save mankind is evident in another verse of the Qur'an: "Glory be to Allah who has sent down the Qur'an as a warner to all..."
The Qur'an describes an unjust system as exemplified by Firaun, a system that is utterly oppressive. Firaun threatened to imprison anyone who did not regard him as god. His rule was characterized by excessive power, revenge and brutality. He also threatened to murder man and children, leaving behind helpless women. Firaun forced his people to accept and acknowledge his ruthless system. As recorded in the Qur'an, he made rulings based on what he deeemed right.
Allah creates this world as a tool for us to serve Him and not for us to manipulate it. One who lives on this earth yet know not about its Creator, do you think he has intelligence? Is he knowledgeable, he who does not know his own Creator? They who solely depend on their intelligence, who is ignorant of the purpose of them being created, they will in the Hereafter belong with those who lament: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we should not (now) be among the Companions of the Blazing Fire." They who do not use their intelligence to get to know their Lord!