In order to achieve guidance, man relies on his wisdom and limited information or asks a knowledgeable person whom he trusts. So who is more worthy of showing the path to salvation in this world and the Hereafter than man’s creator Who is aware of his needs and necessities, and how to fulfill them?

By examining the holy Quran, we realize that Allah (SWT) has sent messengers at all times to guide the people, and has made following His messengers mandatory on people. In more precise words, Allah (SWT) has made mankind’s guidance dependent upon following His messengers (as role models). Now at our time, is it correct to say that we have been guided by testifying to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and claiming to be Muslims? The Holy Quran depicts a special perspective of this issue. The merciful Lord (SWT) has mentioned in the Holy Quran:

Certainly you have in the [sayings and behavior of the] Messenger of Allah an excellent example; (but not everyone can follow the Messenger of Allah) except him who [is his true follower and] has hope in Allah and the Final Day, and remembers Allah much (1)”.

The verse draws the attention of the Islamic nation to their duty to follow the Prophets. Allah (SWT) says: “Your responsibility towards the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) is to follow and obey him. If you accept him as your role model, you have become like him and follow him in action because just loving him and claiming to be a Muslim is not considered following a role model. What is considered obedience is to obey him in all aspects of beliefs, morals, and action”.

So who can claim to be the followers of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP)? According to the previous mentioned verse:” Those who follow him and have hope in Allah and the Final Day, remembers Allah a lot”.

Therefore, those who truly follow the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) have three characteristics:

1-    Hope in Allah (SWT): They truly have hope in Allah (SWT), so they have the opportunity to be subject of the mercy of Allah (SWT); it is not only a wish or desire. Allah (SWT) has explained the correct meaning of hope in Him in the Holy Quran,” Surely those who believed and those who fled (their home) and strove hard in the way of Allah, these hope for the mercy of Allah … (2)”.

2-    Belief in the Hereafter: These people expect the Day of Judgment and consider it to be imperative. They believe it to be the place of reckoning, reward, and punishment. If a person believes in the Hell, then why would he move towards it? Why would he live in a way that directs him towards the Hell? Is it possible that a sane person fears the fire of Hell but still moves towards it? If a person does so, is it not an indication of not understanding the reality of reward and punishment in the Hereafter?

3- Remembering Allah (SWT): Remembering Allah (SWT) results in the continuation of belief in Him and the Hereafter. If a person believes in Allah (SWT) and the Hereafter, he always remembers Allah (SWT) in order to protect himself against the deceits of the Satan. Such a person remembers Allah (SWT) in every moment and says with himself: Allah (SWT) watches me; He watches my looks; He hears what I say… Such a person does not allow the Satan to take over him, and therefore, the remembrance of Allah (SWT) nourishes his belief.

As such, according to the Holy Quran, following the vast ocean of mercy of Allah (SWT), i.e. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is our obligation, and the sign of this following is to remember belief in Allah (SWT) and the Hereafter in all aspects of life. This would make the theme of our lives to be belief in Allah (SWT) and following His Messenger (PBUH&HP), rather than performing sins and following the Satan.

(The above is a selection taken from “The Last Prophet, the Boundless Mercy”, by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Zia’Abaadi (with some changes and additions))

 

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Footnotes:

3-Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.(Surat Ahzab, verse 21)

2-Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s Religion) and have striven hard in the Way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s Mercy. And Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most-Merciful.(Surat Al-Baqarah, verse 218)

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