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Muhammad (Sm) : The reformer

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Ameer Hamzah :
Hazrat Muhammad (Sm), son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttalib, was born in a noble family in Makka in 570 AD. At that time, the world was in the Dark Age according to the historians.
In this background, the Holy Quran, Scripture of Divine guidance for mankind was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad (Sm). He was the Seal of Prophets. Islam, as a religion, is a complete code of life covering all  aspects of life in this world and salvation in the Hereafter.
Islam is not the sum-total of few-worships. It has got its own philosophy, socio-economic and political structure. It works for economic emancipation of the people and spiritual salvation in the Hereafter.
It aims at establishing such a society, as no man shall exploit another, and opposes concentration of wealth into the hands of the few at the cost of the many.  Islam does not approve the killing of an innocent, or persecution. It does not recommend for aggression, but right to self-defence and independent of will.
Upon his arrival in Yathrib (Madina) in June 622 A.D., the Prophet's first concern, as a ruler, was to lay down a Constitution for the newly established Republic of Madina. Accordingly, he in consultation with the representatives of the Jews and the Christians drafted a Constitution, history calling it 'The Charter of Madina'. It contains 47 articles and is recognised as the first 'written Constitution in the world'.
The leaders of all the religious communities, including the Christians and the Jews, living in Madina accepted the Prophet as the Chief Executive and highest court of appeal  of the newly established republic. It was agreed that all the communities, who put signatures in the Constitution and others who did not sign till that time would live in peace and harmony and would resist the aggressors united and shall not enter secret deal with the common enemy.
The Prophet had to fight the enemies either leading the war by himself or sending the troops under the trusted commanders. In 625 A.D., Abu Sufian led a huge army of 10,000 men to destroy Islam. Hearing it, the Prophet decided to resist the enemy outside the city. One of his trusted companions, Salman (Ra), a Persian by birth, advised him to dig a trench on three sides of Madina, posting strong guards in the rear against infiltration. History recognises it as the 'Battle of Trench'. From that time, 'Trench' in the battlefield has become a significant strategy. The Prophet accepted the counsel of Salman (Ra) by which he made it clear that good decision is always welcome.
Islam values good quality and merit, and not superiority of race, blood and kinship, in the field of the appointment as the State officials. The Prophet Muhammad (Sm) sent a small contingent of 3,000 troops to defend the Syrian border against a large Roman Army of about one hundred thousand. He delegated power to his troops to select their own commander in the event of death of his panel commanders headed by Zaid-bin-Harith, a freedman. The other two were Jafar-bin-Abu Talib and Abdullah Rahi.
Prophet Muhammad (Sm), thus, practised democracy, even in the war field. The troops chose Khalid-bin-Walid as their Commander after the deaths of the panel commanders.
The Prophet divided the Republic of Madina into ten regions namely Madinah, Makka, Khayber, Taif, Sana, Yemen, Hadramaut, Oman, Bahrain and a Sub-tribe area. The Prophet effected administrative and socio-economic reforms in order to improve the economic condition of the people, to alleviate poverty adopting rehabilitation scheme with fund collected from the rich, and to ameliorate their ethics and morality. The chief executives of the regions were called 'Walie' (governors) whose prime responsibility was to collect taxes and to administer justice in all spheres of life. Among the governors, Hazrat Ali (Ra) bin Abu Talib and Hazrat Muaz bin Jabal (Ra) were the most prominent.
The heads of revenues were Zakat (poor-tax @2.50 percent annually), Kharaj (crop-tax), Zizia (security-tax payable by the rich non-Muslims), war booties and AI-Fe (land-tax payable by the feudal lords of the conquered countries).
The Prophet had no regular Army but dedicated warriors to defend the territory. He also formed State Intelligence Branch. He stressed on learning. At the end of the Battle of Badr, he set the conditions for the prisoners that they would be released subject to imparting knowledge to the Muslim women. At the time of departure for Yemen, Hazrat Muhammad (Sm) asked his newly appointed Governor Muaz bin Jabal (Ra) as to how would he govern the province?
Muaz replied: In case of any problem arising, I shall first seek solution in the Quran.
"If thou do not find clarification therein," the Prophet asked.
Muaz said: I shall search your Sunnah. "If that too has no answer," the Prophet inquired.
Muaz said, "I shall exercise my wisdom within the framework of AI-Quran and Sunnah." The Prophet patted on his back and said, "Let it be the model of administration for the rulers of the world."
The Prophet predicted about Ammar-bin-Yasir (Ra), his trusted lieutenant. Towards the closing stage of the construction of the Masjid-i-Nababi, the Prophet began brushing his garments to free from dust and said: Sadly the rebels will kill thee. Thou wilt call them to the paradise, but they will invite you to the hell.  The prediction proved true. The troops of Muawiyah, rebel governor of Syria, killed Ammar in the Battle of Siffin in 657 AD. He fought for Hazrat Ali (Ra) against rebellious Muawiyah.
One day the Prophet was sitting with a group of his Sahabies (companions) publicly in the mosque. Just then there sauntered a man. He walked straight to the Prophet and sat very close to him, touching his knees.
The stranger asked the Prophet: What is Faith?
The Prophet said: To believe in Allah, His angels, his Prophets, his Books, the Judgment Day to receive rewards or punishment according to what he did, and that Allah has decided everything from before.
The stranger asked the second question: What is Islam?
The Prophet said: To believe and to pronounce publicly what he cherishes in heart that there is no god but Allah and that Hazrat Muhammad is His Prophet, to abide by the Commandment of Allah, and not to join anyone in the service of Him, to say prayers five times a day, to pay Zakat (poor-tax), to fast for one month a year and to perform Hajj.
The stranger put the third question to the Prophet: What is Ihsan?
He said: To worship Allah with such devotion as if you were seeing Him. Although you see Him not, He sees you.
The stranger asked his last question: When will the Resurrection Day arrive? To this question, the Prophet said: Thou know better than I know.
Thereafter, the stranger went away. Instantly, Hazrat Muhammad (Sm) asked his Sahabies to look for him and to bring him back. But the stranger vanished. Then the Prophet said: "He was none but Jibreel. He came here to teach you about Faith, Islam and Ihsan."
One day a man came to the Prophet and said: Shall I be lodged in the Paradise? The Prophet questioned: What do you do? The man said: I offer my prayer five times a day, pay Zakat @ 2.50 percent per annum, fast for one month a year, performed Hajj, help others in distress and guard against evils. The Prophet said: Continue doing those.
 Many non-Muslim historians praised the administrative and the economic reforms of Hazrat Muhammad (Sm), paid him rich tributes. Historian Josephine Hale said, "Muhammad was such a personality in absence of whom the world would have remained incomplete. He is comparable only with himself."
Historian Leonardo said, "If anyone in this world has seen God and known Him, if anyone in this world has done good to mankind, he is Muhammad." The economic and the political reforms affected by him were so brilliant that George Barnard Shaw, an English poet, said in his book 'The Genuine Islam,' "I have studied him (Muhammad)--the wonderful man-and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity."
In the Quran, Allah attributed to Hazrat Muhammad as "Of tremendous morality" (V: 68/4), "Prophet unto mankind" (V: 4/79), "Seal of the Prophets" (V: 33/40), "Mercy unto mankind" (V : 21/107) and "The light giving lamp" (V : 33/46).

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