Saturday, December 10, 2011

Comparing the Regular Muslim to the Prophet (S)

Too often we see the comparison of the Prophet's (S) actions compared to that of the regular everyday joe of a Muslim today. Yes the Prophet is the example that we should all try to follow, but the regular Muslim cannot be expected to follow his actions in everyday affairs and emotions.

We can all agree that although the Prophets (may Allah be pleased with all of them) were regular human beings, they were truly extraordinary people. They were the best of the best at their time. They possessed some qualities that are not in all of us or if they are, they are not to the level of the Prophets. They had the ability to control themselves to the level that we cannot. Yet, our scholars ALWAYS seem to focus on the way the Prophet Muhammad (S) did things or how other Prophets did things. We forget, that even if we try, many [if not all] Muslims CANNOT be anything like the Prophets. We just cannot.

One example is about controlling anger (I just heard a khutba about this so it is fresh in my mind). The Khateeb stated that we need to control our anger and he cited 2 examples. One about how Allah controls his anger and the other about how the Prophet controlled his anger in a situation that he cited. The Prophet Muhammad, as well as other Prophets, did mericals too. That doesn't mean we can do mericals. Yes we get the point that we need to strive to be similar in His (S) character as much as we can and we need to have Him (S) as our role model, but the fact is, many of us cannot do that. The best we can relate to is the companions of the Prophet (S), who, though some of the best people to ever live in the world, were nontheless "normal" people. They had their flaws and their mistakes were corrected over time. These are the people we can relate to.

The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) had their issues. They burst out on certain issues. They argued amongst them selves sometimes (ex: During the first chaliphate and at the chaliphate there after). The same companions even went as far as to kill each other in battle because they thought they were right. And this is written in history, MUSLIM HISTORY, and it is thought everywhere. Yet, when our scholars go and start comparing US, regular, everyday Muslims like that of the Prophet (S), they forget that we are not anywhere near the person the Prophet was or his companions. WE ARE FLAWED HUMAN BEINGS.

Even if we follow the Quran and Sunnah to the best of our abilities, it doesn't compare to that of the Prophet (S) or his companions in their self control. We all get angry. Allah knows we all try to stay calm. But every person has his breaking point. It could be a few years, it could be a few months, or it could be a few minutes or seconds.

We have examples from the Quran and Hadith, but it doesn't mean we all have the ability to follow it even after knowing it. And even some "scholars" provoke the anger inside people unfortunately. Some "leaders" do the same. They also vent when they get angry. Besides anger, some of our "scholars" and "leaders" do far worse like backbiting and slander. And these are people in a position of authority. They also KNOW they are lying, cheating, backbiting, etc. just like any regular Muslim or human would, but they never do anything about it so how do we expect a regular Muslim, who has seen "scholars" and "leaders" do this kind of behavior and not get angry?

It is just who we are, we are humans. Yes the Hadith of the Prophet (S) is important, but the stories of the companions are also there to tell the regular Muslim that we what we can with our limited capabilities. We make mistakes, some keep making the same ones over and over again, but at the end of the day, we are nothing like the Prophet (S), no matter how hard we try. [specially with the leadership that rules our mosques and Islamic organizations]

There are other examples too, that of wives, money, battle, etc that we seem to compare the regular Muslim to to that of the Prophet (S). Yes it is important, but the lives of the Companions or other pious people are better fit for comparison to a regular Muslim today. And yes, there are things that are completely forbidden or ordered in the Quran and those are separate issues that don't need comparison, they need to be told straight forward, without watering down the topic *cough* hijab or prayer issue.

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