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Understanding The Prophet's Life

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From Issue: 946 [Read full issue]

Simple Life

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a generous nature. When, within the space of a few years, his fortunes changed - from being driven out of his hometown, with a great prize on his head, to being the undisputed master of the whole of Arabia - the Prophet could have led a most luxurious life. However, he preferred to lead a simple life, free of all pretences of power, grandeur or material luxury. At times, he could have plenty in his hand, but he would give it all away within a very short period of time. Jabir reports: "God's Messenger never said, 'No', to anything he was asked." Even when he and his family were in need, he would give away whatever he had. He did not mind eating the simplest of food. Anas reports:

I took to the Prophet some barley bread and a little fat that had already started to go bad. He even pawned his body armour with a Jewish pawnbroker to buy some barley for his family. I heard him saying: "Muhammad's family do not have even a small amount of wheat or grains." (Bukhari)

It appears that the Prophet wanted to lead a very simple life, so that he would not be distinguished from the poor in his community. This fits with the Islamic view of this present life as transitory: it is the life to come that is more important, because it is everlasting and people's lots in it are determined by what they do during their present life on earth. Another report that illustrates his interaction with his community is given by Uthman, who says: "We accompanied God's Messenger in travel and in town. He would visit the sick, attend our funerals and fight with us. He would lend us support with whatever he had." (Ahmad)

Compiled From:
"Muhammad: His Character and Conduct" - Adil Salahi

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