By Imam Murtadha Gusau
Friday, January 20, 2023
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.
Dear brothers and sisters! International day of mentoring is celebrated yearly on the 17th of January to raise awareness and promote mentoring ideals.
International Mentoring Day raises awareness for the global contribution of mentoring. Mentoring usually involves a more knowledgeable person sharing wisdom with someone who has less experience. Mentors share their skills in the workplace, schools, places of worship and professional organisations.
On this day, Nations celebrates all the Mentors all over the world as well as encourage individuals and organisations to share stories about the real-life power of mentoring.
Respected brothers and sisters! Many of us have a mentor that has influenced the way we live our life; hopefully in a positive way so we can thank them. My mentor is the most influential man in history, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is listed to be the 1st person in Michael Hart’s book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) teachings form the basis of Islam as he taught us to greet each other with peace, feed the hungry, honour the ties of kinship and pray so we can enter heaven (Jannah/Paradise) in peace.
Alhamdulillah, in my early life, I read the critical lives book, ‘The Life and Work of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), written by Yahiya Emerick to learn about the life of the Prophet. Wallahi, this book has an unbiased detailed biography of all the incidents that happened in the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), which I enjoyed reading. Some parts about the Prophet’s life made me feel happy and other parts made me seriously cry. The language that the author uses is clear and easy to understand. The history and the scenarios are descriptive and well explained, which taught me about Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) daily life as a husband, father, friend, mentor, teacher, Prophet, lawgiver and judge. It is important for all of us to learn and know about Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his message as it influences the geopolitics and spiritual beliefs of millions around the world. This book will also clear misunderstandings and wrong assumptions.
Today, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world which was sent and taught to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) by Allah Almighty. The Prophet’s efforts have built dynasties, empires, legal traditions, laws, politics, economics and civilisation that didn’t exist before.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born in the 7th century in Arabia when it was a place of warring tribes, exotic oases and scurrilous merchants. The peninsula was then known as the island of Arabs where the descendants of Prophet Ibrahim (or Abraham) lived. People were largely ungoverned by the surrounding great powers, some practiced Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Most Arabs at that time were animists and idolators. They lived through trade, herding, raiding and handiwork. Many people were illiterate, they owned slaves and lived in ignorance (Jahiliyyah).
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born to a noble family known as the Quraish in the city of Makkah. Quraish were the direct descendants of Prophet Ibrahim’s son Isma’il (Ishmael). They were the keepers of the House of Allah also known as the Ka’abah. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was orphaned as a baby and was sent to live with the nomadic dessert tribe until he turned five. He didn’t fit into the urban society and was asked to tend sheep in the rocky hills above the city. This helped him to develop mental acuity to face the challenges and opportunities during his young adult life.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) settled into marriage, had a family and became a businessman. He frequently withdrew himself from society because everyday life in Arabia was cruel. He had a religious experience at the age of 40. His humble nature helped him when he received Allah’s message. Islam eventually brought civilisation to the Arabs based on believing in one Allah and brotherhood.
Today, one of our responsibilities as a global citizen is to accommodate diversity in a peaceful manner by learning the truth and making good decisions, which our great mentor Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has taught to the world.
Respected servants of Allah! As you know, teachers are probably the most salient members of human civilisation. Since the alignment of man on earth, teachers have played a vital role in ushering, nurture and guide humans in all stages of life. Veraciously, it can be noted that the pre-eminent among all teachers ever existed or would exist is the great mentor of humanity to the world, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
A teacher always stands as a shining exemplar for his students. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has flourishingly filled this criterion by standing as a role model, firstly for his companions (Sahabah) and the entire world forever. A teacher influences his disciples, implies his principles on his Self, and impacts society. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) not only imparted lessons to the world from Allah’s Revelation, Qur’an, but he implemented its teachings on his personal and social life and made an example in human history. He transformed a race of highly uncultured, boorish, uncouth, and savage people into a group of pious, courteous, erudite, cultivated, and generous men and women, whom we refer to as the great Sahabah and Sahabiyat (Companions) today. It is a fact that this chain of teaching and learning is alive even today, which produced countless sets of individuals from centuries who can influence the lives of millions.
Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) life story, personal traits, and strategies give humankind lessons and guidance. While his humility, impeccable integrity, and softness of character emanated from his very unique background, he undoubtedly, matured at an early age, he fended for himself in a hostile world and contributed financially to his uncle, Abu Talib, after his grandfather’s and mother’s death, in his childhood, tutoring us to be self-independent and become responsible towards our duties. His enduring tolerance and compassion towards the distaste and aversion of his haters in Makkah during his visit to the valley of Ta’if and worries and prayers for his Ummah and all the humans are characteristics that would definitely groom one into a nonpareil if inculcated.
His understanding of the balance of power and diplomatic and military strategies taught the world how to prevail ultimately over hardened enemies. To migrate for the truth from Makkah, then developing a proper city-state of Madinah, negotiations of peace treaties with pagan tribes around it, series of defensive battles, and eventually the unique, proactive, and oppressing Treaty of Hudaibiyah, the turning point that laid the foundation of subsequent bloodless conquest of Makkah are the greatest and most important lessons that humans could ever learn in the aspect of building civilisations.
The reality is that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was a teacher, guide, and mentor who taught humanity lessons to breathe in this temporary and materialistic world, and paved the way to attain humanity’s final destination, Paradise. He was a teacher of academics, strategies, character, and above all, spirituality.
We all need teachers and mentors to prosper in our subjects and face various circumstances of life. Specific-subject or academic teachers play an efficient role in increasing one’s knowledge and skills. Still, a teacher who grooms student’s personality and wisdom and makes them apply traits of generosity, virtue and righteousness in their practical lives is the need of the hour.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
The immediate past Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, …