ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Saturday said the holy Prophet (PBUH) never declared himself above the law and his practice was, therefore, not mere private conduct but a detailed interpretation and application of his teachings.

Addressing a conference at the Supreme Court premises arranged by the Supreme Court Bar Association to celebrate the arrival of the last of the great messengers of Almighty Allah he said, “I could recall that in one of our regular interactions with the Supreme Court Bar Association’s cabinet when the idea of holding of such an event was floated for the first time, I was impressed by this foresight and vision of the present bar leadership for celebrating this divine day and for highlighting the various facets of the life of the greatest lawgiver of all times i.e. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

He further said the emergence of Islam was a great leap forward for mankind, a great setback to ignorance, a big bang of enlightenment, a practical realisation of the ideals and a reform movement the fruits of which have benefited every soul. It was a miracle, brought about by one man with the revelation which Allah had revealed to him. “Arabs, who were previously fighting with each other, became the founders of a unique civilization unparalleled in human history, a civilization based upon the belief in “One God, and One Humanity,” he added.

He said in less than 20 years after the demise of the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) the new order founded by him had already enlightened half of the world. As for today, not even a micro second passes on earth when somebody, somewhere, on the globe does not reaffirm his faith by pronouncing, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. A call which keeps the atmosphere vibrating all the time.”

According to Michael H Hart, “No one on earth has influenced mankind more than Muhammad (PBUH). He is the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level. Had he not been there, our world would have been very different, and, if we ignore his teachings, life will not be worth living. The principles of freedom, human dignity and equality, love and brotherhood, respect for each other, quest for knowledge, science and technology, rule of law and justice, human rights and welfare of the people, concern for the cleanliness and upkeep of the environment, and all other great ideas which we cherish so much, originated and practically demonstrated by Muhammad, the last of the Messengers of Allah on earth, (may peace by upon him), fourteen hundred years ago,” he added.

The CJ said his greatest gift to mankind was his personal example, a perfect practical demonstration of the human ideals, free of any type of contradictions, each detail of which is contained in the Holy Quran and books of Ahadith as if he himself is living before our own eyes. “He showed mankind the reality of God in its true perspective and their own lofty place in the annals of time and space. Before him, man was enslaved by home-made gods all around. In every land and country, people worshipped out of fear, all types of odd things. The earth, seas, mountains, trees, beasts, priests, kings and warriors, even parts of the human figure, were articles of worship for them. People sacrificed their innocent children on the altars of those man-made gods. Things were equally bad in other lands. Europeans lived in the dark ages. The Holy Quran has drawn the picture of that era in the following words:

“Corruption has spread on the land and the sea because of what men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste the fruit of some of their doings, so that they may turn back from evil”. (Holy Quran, 30:42)

This was the state of the world when the last of the benefactor arrived. He pronounced with full force:- “There is no God ... but Allah” (i.e. there is no deity except one Deity). This pronouncement became the source of the new light for mankind and the codeword for freedom from all fears. Rejection of false deities was the first step towards knowing the God of universe.

He taught, “The whole earth is your place of worship; its every inch is your mosque. It is sacred everywhere. Do not let it be spoiled”.

He emphasized, “Humanity is like the family of “The Supreme Creator”; so love each other like the members of a family”.

Over the centuries, this true and clear introduction of the Creator of the Universe vis-a-vis man has changed the thinking of mankind. Thus the greatest benefactor of the worlds showed the way towards the universal religion of mankind, “One God and one humanity”.

He asked the oppressed to defend themselves. He told people, “Help the oppressed and the oppressor.”

“How can we help the oppressor?” asked his companions. “Stop him from cruelty. This is the way to help him,” he replied.

He taught mankind; “An Arab is not superior to a non-Arab, and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab; The only standard of superiority of man over man is his “piety” in the sight of Allah”.

He announced that all human beings are born free; and said, “Your servants are your less privileged brethren; serve them with the food you eat yourself, give them the clothes as you wear yourself, make them sit where you like to sit, treat them gently, with kindness”.

He gave protection to every man’s honour, property and life by pronouncing: “Your life, property, and your honour is dearer than the holy Kaaba...”

He promoted social harmony by advising his followers: “Your religion is Islam which means peace...... so whenever you meet each other, say peace be on you”.

He came to the rescue of women and raised their status in society. He said, “Remember, paradise lies at the feet of your mother...”. “Fear Allah about the rights of women....”. In the light of the Divine revelation, the holy Prophet (PBUH) gave due share of inheritance to women in the property of their parents and husbands; gave them the right to decide their marriage partners; and made for them laws to annul the marriage if they were not happy.

Today we speak of human rights and human dignity. Women and children days are celebrated. We speak against slavery, and talk of equal rights. If we reflect for a while on the history of mankind, all these noble sentiments were duly introduced and implemented by the society which the prophet of Allah established in Madina in the year 610 A.D and from there onward this great legacy has slowly spread over the globe.

He is also the founder of the present civilization in terms of its quest for knowledge and zest for science and technology. The first commandment he received from the Creator of the Universes was, “Read”! His miracle was the book “Al-Quran”, which also means the recitation something to be read again and again. Numerous verses of the holy Quran invite man to think, and reflect upon the vast expanse of Allah’s creations in order to know something about the “Grand Design”. Probing the depths of nature is the highest act of worship in Islam. In the holy Quran, the Creator of the worlds asks those who do not use their brains:-

“Think you not......?”

“Are you like cattles who pass by!......?”

Are those who know, and those who know not, equal?

His own prayer used to be,

“O! Allah show me the things, as they are...”

“O! Allah increase me in knowledge”.

Thus he infused the spirit of learning, love of knowledge; zest for research and made the teaching and learning of sciences inseparable from acts of worship. In pursuance of his commands, his followers, hungry for knowledge, set themselves building upon the ancient science developed by the Greeks and Persians, Hindus and Chinese. Books were valued as treasures and the Muslim nobles tried to surpass each other in having bigger and better libraries. Muslim scientists and scholars did high quality fundamental work in Physics, Mathematics, Algebra, Chemistry, Medicine, Astronomy, Agriculture, Oceanology, Biology, Botany, History, Geography, Sociology, Philosophy, and Psychology etc. and thus they laid strong foundations for the present culture of science and technology. However their science had a purpose; that is, to know their Creator and serve His course through the knowledge of His creations. He is indeed the noblest example for mankind in every sphere of life. His each deed and sayings are the living record of history like an open book. He never asked his followers to do something, which he did not practice himself. He started his life as an orphan and served as a shepherd and as a labourer in his adolescence. As a businessman he left the noble legacy of honesty and dedication. To demonstrate the ideals of family life, he was married at the age of 25 years to a much older lady; had children, and lived a most satisfying family life. As a citizen, through his exemplary dealings, he earned the title of the most trustworthy (“Al-Ameen”) and the most truthful (“As-Sadiq”) from his fellow beings, who respected him and brought their disputes to him for settlement.

Even non-Muslims have paid glowing tributes to his greatness and to his achievements. Here I will like to quote some of the Western writers: “If” says French historian Lamartine, “greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criterian of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad (PBUH)? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded if any thing at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties but millions of men in one-third of the inhabited world, and more than that he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls. On the basis of a book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race”.

“By the force of extraordinary personality,” says James A Michener, “Muhammad (PBUH) revolutionized life in Arabia and throughout the East. With his own hands he smashed ancient idols and established a religion dedicated to one God. He lifted women from the bondage in which desert custom held them and preached general social justice”.

As a religious man he set the lofty example of piety and worship to Allah, so much that Makkans used to say, “Mohammad is in love with his God”. So the best possible guidance from God comes to the people through the messengers in the form of revelations. And the relation of the holy Prophet (PBUH) with God was the best relation ever established by any human being with Him. The love of God was oozing every moment from every word of his speech. And his every action was a witness that he had reached the highest point in the love of God. The love of the holy Prophet (PBUH) that he had for his Creator is described in the holy Quran in the following words:

“And He found thee wandering in search for Him and guided thee unto Himself”. (Holy Quran, 93:8)

The holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) loved so much Almighty God that God commanded him to make it known to the believers, to follow his footsteps in this regard, if they needed the remission of their sins and wanted to be the beloved of God. As it is mentioned in the Holy Quran:

“Say, If you love Allah, follow me; then will Allah love you and forgive you your sins, And Allah is Most Forgiving and Merciful”. (Holy Quran, 3:32)

He was the Prophet of God; during his lifetime he was a businessman, a preacher, a philosopher, a statesman, an orator, a reformer, a lawgiver, a migrant, a king. In every position he was close to God and God was close to him.

After he was adorned with the mantle of prophethood by Allah, in the face of all types of adversity, he set the perfect example of restraint, patience, steadfastness, self-sacrifice, courage, humbleness, and passive resistance against the deviants. His lofty moral standards, love for humanity, commitment to the noble cause, wisdom, dedication and the highest degree of faith in Allah is unparalleled. His personality is Islam, which is winning more and more followers, year by year; and in the next few centuries as Bernard Shaw also said, “It will be the religion on which the whole of humanity will unite”.

Another important fact is that he did not declare himself above the law. His practice was, therefore not mere private conduct, but a detailed interpretation and application of his teachings. What the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) achieved in his lifetime against heavy odds, and the change which he brought in the lives of the Arabs, is not short of a miracle. But the impact of his reforms and teachings did not remain confined to the borders of Arabia. It spread far and wide in all directions after him. The holy Prophet had not only brought a political and social change, he had also brought a revolution in thoughts. His teachings were universal and all embracing. His vision penetrated every aspect of life and there is nothing which he touches and does not adorn. His orders and commandments covered a vast field from regulation of international relations down to the habits of every day life. On the foundations of his injunctions, his followers, after him, established a civilization and a culture which is unique, and which has greatly affected the world down to our own times. The credit of all this goes to no other man than Muhammad (PBUH), the messenger of Allah.

Let me conclude my comments with the following assessment of the greatness of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by Maulana Maududi who wrote: “In the cavalcade of world history the sublime figure of this wonderful person towers so high above all the great men of all times who are famous as heroes of nations, that they appear to be dwarfs when contrasted with him. None of them possesses a genius capable of making any deep impression on more than one or two aspects of human life. Some are the exponents of theories and ideas but are deficient in practical action. Some others are men of action but suffer from paucity of knowledge. Some are renowned as statesmen only; others are masters of strategy and manoeuvring. Some have concentrated on one aspect of social life in a manner that other aspects have been overlooked. Some others have devoted their energies to ethical and spiritual verities but have ignored economics and politics. Some others have taken to economics and politics, but neglected morals and the spiritual side of life. In short, one comes across heroes who are adepts and experts in one walk of life only. He (Muhammad PBUH) is the only example where all the excellences have been blended into one personality. He is a philosopher and a seer and also a living embodiment of his own teachings. He is a great statesman as well as a military genius. He is a legislator and also a teacher of morals. He is a spiritual luminary as well as a religious guide. Those whom people style as makers of history are only creatures of history. In fact, in the whole history of mankind, he is the unique example of a maker of history. (Syed Abul A’la Maudoodi; Towards Understanding Islam, pp. 72, 73 and 75.)

In the end, I would like to appreciate the decision by the Supreme Court Bar Association cabinet of holding such a graceful and timely function to celebrate occasion of Eid Miladun Nabi in a befitting manner. I wish and I hope that everyone of us get the ability and the inclination to follow and replicate the life and the example set by the Prophet (PBUH) in all respects.