The Messenger of Allah as the Role Model: Fine Examples for the Youth, Part 1

There is for you in the Messenger of Allah an Excellent Role Model

The Qur’an explains the importance of following an example that is exemplary and righteous. Allah, the Exalted, stated:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً – الأحزاب:21

“Certainly, there is for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example to follow for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah often.” This noble verse shows us the best of all examples to follow, and the most important and obligatory model to be emulated. Just as the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) is a guide by way of his speech, he is also a guide by way of action. So, we are obligated to emulate his outward actions of worship as in his (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) saying:

صَلُّوا كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُونِي أُصَلِّي

“Pray just as you have seen me praying.” (Bukharī, 631) Furthermore, we are obligated to follow his manners, behaviour and conduct. Allah, the High and Exalted, stated:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ – القلم:4

“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.” We see pearls of wisdom in the words of Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). For example, he said:

اجْعَلُوا مِنْ صَلَاتِكُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوهَا قُبُورًا

“Offer some of your prayers (nawāfil) at home, and do not turn your houses into graves.” (Bukhāri, 432; Muslim, 777) There are benefits in this hadeeth and intents that becomes apparent when we ponder. The house should never be devoid of prayer, the women are rewarded more for praying in their homes than praying in the masājid. Abu Dawūd reports (no. 567) from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Do not prevent your womenfolk from the Mosques, though their homes are better for them.” (Authenticated by Al-Albāni in Al-Irwā, no. 515) Also, young children who cannot attend the Masjid emulate their fathers and mothers when they pray in their homes; and the fact that women pray in their homes and men establish the optional prayers there gives younger children the opportunity to watch and learn. They notice that there is silence during the prayers (except for the recitation and dhikr), the worshipper does not move around or eat or drink, he is focussed, the woman is covered, and during the prayer, they pay little or no attention to their surroundings. The children pick up on that and learn quickly how to pray and how to behave in prayer. So, by the time they are ready to attend the masjid (after 7 years of age), they already know the manners expected from them in the houses of Allah.

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