Only the noble and the ideal life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) can be a universal and eternal example for mankind to follow.
Dear friends! Today, we are here for our second meeting together. If you keep in mind what has been said so far, we might continue our talk in a fruitful manner. The sum of my previous lecture was that the light of the past is essential so that we may see the present and the future clearly. All those good men who have contributed to the betterment of human life deserve our gratitude but the ones who have done mankind the greatest favour are the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, ordained by Him to show His servants the right path (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them all. Each one of them, in his own time and in front of his own people, showed the highest and the noblest examples of human character in a miraculous manner. Some of them showed the ideal example of fortitude; some of self-denial; some of sacrifice; some of love for the Truth; some of their enthusiasm in submission to the Will of Allah; some of piety, and yet some others for austerity. In short, each of them is a lighthouse of guidance showing the right way in the complexities of human life. But we were in need of one who could light the path of human life from end to end; who could provide the light of guidance with the brightness of his own personal and practical examples. In other words, who could provide us with a guide book of practical examples following which all of us could reach the goal of our life in peace and comfort. And the one chosen to perform this task is the last in the chain of the Prophets of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s Blessings and Peace be upon them).
In the words of the holy Quran:
“O prophet, We have sent you as a witness and as a bearer of good news and a warner, and as the one who calls (people) towards Allah with His permission, and as a luminous lamp.”
(Chp, 33: Vrs, 45-46)
He is witness to the Divine Guidance and instruction sent down by Almighty Allah; he brings the good news of an eternally successful life and the permanent joy of the hereafter to the righteous. To those who are still ignorant of the Truth he brings the divine warning to make them aware and alert. Those who are lost in the mad struggle of this temporary world are called back by him to Allah. He is a beacon of light that shows the right way and removes the darkness of doubt and ignorance. And he does so through personal example and the nobility of his own flawless character. As a matter of fact, every messenger of Allah was sent to this world as a witness, a preacher, a bringer of good news and a warner. But all these qualities do not combine predominantly in one personality. For example, many of Allahs Prophets stand out as witnesses, like Jacob, Isaac and Ismael. There were many like Abraham and Jesus who are bearers of good tidings. Some were outstanding warners like Noah, Moses, Hud and Shoaib. Yet others distinguish themselves by calling to the Truth, for example, Joseph and Jonah (May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon them all). But Prophet Muhammad’s mission includes all these qualities combined in one personality. He was a witness, a bringer of good news, a warner, a preacher of the Truth, a beacon of light all at the same time. It was only natural that it should be so because he was chosen to be the last of Allah’s prophets after whom no prophet was ever to be sent by Allah. He was sent with a code of life which was complete and final. No one was ever going to come to modify it or add anything to it.
His instruction was definitive and eternal. It was to remain intact till the Day of Judgment. Therefore his personality was made an ideal personality combining the best of human qualities to the degree of perfection.
Dear friends! Whatever I have just said is not a claim based merely on my personal religious belief but it is a unique event in human history based on undeniably sound evidence and authentic historical sources.
Any life-history that claims to be an ideal model for humanity to follow must live up to certain criteria and meet certain conditions. The first and the most important of these conditions is that such a biography must be historically authentic, based on firm and sound evidence. Let us consider Prophet Muhammad’s life in the light of these principles.
Historical Soundness: What is meant here by historical soundness is that whatever events are recorded in the life history of an ideal person must be authentic and true, and those reporting and recording such events should also be reliable and trustworthy. Otherwise they will be no more than myths or fictional stories. It is a matter of human psychology and a simple everyday experience that myths or imaginary stories do not leave a deep and lasting impression on human behaviour as do the true events in the life of a real personality. Therefore it is essential for an ideal biography to be free from all doubts, and all of its major events must be supported by sound historical proof.
Unlike fiction, the biography of a historic person is not meant to provide entertainment for a few hours only but it has a serious purpose. It is meant to be an ideal, so that we could follow it and shape our lives according to the principles and values highlighted by it. But if that ideal life is merely fictional, or if its events cannot be proved to be historically true beyond a reasonable doubt, it cannot be effectively presented as a practical example to be followed by others. Such a biography can easily be dismissed as a myth or an old wives’ tale which entertain people but can not become the basis on which to model a practical life. For a biography to be effective and a model, it is essential that it should contain real events of a perfect person’s life and that it should have standard historical references. It is not possible for ordinary human beings to shape their practical life on a mythical hero’s achievements.
We hold all the prophets of God in great esteem, and believe in the truth of their mission and their being ordained only by Allah. But according to this Divine verse of the holy Quran:
“Those are the messengers some of whom We have given excellence over some others…..”
We can say that Prophet Muhammad’s mission is different from others in the sense that it has been made universal by God, whereas the other Prophets were sent to a particular nation at a particular time of history. Their mission was not meant to last forever. Their purpose was to provide guidance for a given period therefore the details of their lives and mission, and of the nations they guided have been lost in history. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has a special status because he was chosen to be the last of God’s prophets. (He has been called, “the Seal of Prophets” in the holy Quran.) His life shows the perfection in applying the divine ethical principles in all walks of life in a way that no other human being has ever achieved. He shows the way to Allah through personal example. Prophethood has ended with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). His life history has been miraculously preserved to its smallest details for any one who chooses to follow the divine guidance and apply it in everyday life.
Can you imagine the number of Allah’s messengers who came into this world to every country, to every nation with its own different language, at different times of history? According to an Islamic tradition their number is approximately a hundred and twenty-four thousand. Yet how many of them do we know by their names today? And the one’s we know by names, how much do we know about them? Of all the nations of the world, the Hindus claim to be the oldest in history. They are not Muslim but their religion contains hundreds of holy characters. None of them can lay a claim to “historicity” (having verifiable historical details). Many of them are just mentioned by name and hardly ever cross the border of mythology into the world of history. The best known amongst them are the heroes of the ancient Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. But the events of their life cannot be considered history. To what period of history do they belong? Nobody can tell. Only recently a few European historians have ventured to determine approximately the era to which they might belong. That is about the only evidence the Hindus can come up with, whereas most European scholars do not even consider them as history and doubt that those events ever took place in the real world.
The founder of the ancient Persian religion, Zoroaster, is still idealized by millions. Yet, historically he is an obscure personality, to the extent that some American and European scholars doubt that such a person ever lived. Amongst the orientalists who concede that he had a historical existence, there is a great difference of opinion regarding his personal life. The picture that emerges through the research of these scholars is mainly based on guesswork. It is full of contradictions and conflicting opinions to such a degree that hardly anyone would like to make it a model on which to base their practical life. The time and place of Zoroaster’s birth, his ancestry, his family, his faith, its propagation, the truthfulness of his scripture, his language, the time and place of his death are some of the facts of his life which raise hundreds of questions and there is hardly a shred of sound evidence that could answer them. The Parsees themselves (Zoroaster’s followers) have to depend on the research done by the American or European scholars rather than their own sources, which is limited to Firdausi’s Shahnama, the classical Persian epic. The excuse that they were eliminated by the Greeks is irrelevant to our argument. The fact is that Zoroaster’s life remains obscure due to lack of historical evidence and that in itself is a proof that his life history was not meant to last for ever. It is this lack of evidence that led the scholars like Kern and Dar Metatar to claim that Zoroaster never existed as a historical person.
Buddhism was once Asia’s greatest religion which dominated countries like India, China, Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries. It still exists in Burma, Thailand, China and Tibet. It may be said that in India, the Brahamans wiped it out, and it was eliminated by Islam in Central Asia. Yet, in the Far East it still retains its powerful influence over the people, their governments and their culture, and remains unconquered up to this day. However, all that power and glory failed to retain the significant details of Buddha’s life and mission. They cannot satisfactorily answer a biographer’s questions. Buddha’s existence in history is determined through the historical account of the Rajas of Magadh. That is the only available historical source. It was possible to determine the time of their reign because these rulers had, by chance, established diplomatic relations with the Greeks.
Confucius, the founder of another great religion of ancient China, is even a lesser known entity despite the fact that his followers run into millions. Hundreds of prophets are known to have come to the Semites but history can tell us no more than their names. Very little do we know about Noah, Hud, Abraham, Saleh, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Zacharia and John (Peace be upon them all). The basic and most important facts are missing from whatever accounts of their lives were recorded in history. Today, the incomplete and incorrect descriptions of their sacred lives cannot become the basis on which to form a full, practical human life. Apart from the Holy Quran which gives some information about these Prophets, the Jewish scriptures cannot stand up to the criticism and doubts of the modern scholars. Even if we ignore their criticism, the pictures of these holy prophets of Allah that come out of the Jewish scriptures remain hopelessly scanty and incomplete.
We get to know Moses (Peace be upon him) from Torah. But the Torah that exists today, according to the writers of Encyclopedia Britannica and some other scholars, came into being several hundred years after the death of Moses (Peace be upon him). Some German scholars have shown that in the present day Torah there are two different accounts of nearly every episode described in it. They exist side by side, sometimes contradicting each other. The details of this theory can be seen in the Encyclopedia Britannica under the heading ‘Bible’. This leaves all the events in Torah about Moses or even before him going back to Adam (Peace be upon him) historically unsound and unreliable.
The gospels in the Bible are the descriptions of the life and teachings of Christ (Peace be upon him). But of the many gospels only four are recognized by a major part of the Christian world. The rest, like that of Barnabas are not considered to be authentic. None of the authors of the four gospels ever met Christ in person. What was their source of information? No one can answer that question. It is even doubtful whether the four were the actual authors of those gospels. It cannot be clearly established in what languages were the gospels written and when they were written. The time of the authorship of these gospels has variously been given, anything between 60 AD and afterwards, by different scholars of the Bible. Considering Christ’s birth, his death and dogma of Trinity, certain American critics and rationalists now maintain that Christ’s existence is merely fiction, the idea of his birth and that of Trinity is simply retold from Greek and Roman mythologies, because similar ideas about their gods and heroes existed among those nations long before the coming of Christ (Peace be upon him). An argument along these lines went on for months in “Roupin Court”, a well-known Chicago journal. This simply proves how weak the Christian sources are with regard to establishing Christ (Peace be upon him) as a historic personality.
Completeness: For a life history to become an ideal for all times, and a model for everyone to follow, it is essential that every aspect of such a person’s life should be in the open. No event should be left to secrecy or the darkness of uncertainty. All the events of his life should be as clearly known as the daylight so that his life could become an ideal for the human race.
If we make this a yardstick and measure the life histories of the great men of the past, including the founders of the great religions of the world, no one comes anywhere near this standard except the last Prophet of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). We have already established that of the thousands of great prophets and reformers, just a few can be regarded ‘historic’ in the sense that the details of their life history can be verified through authentic historical sources. Yet even they cannot lay a claim to ‘comprehensiveness’ because the important details of their life history are simply not available now. It is only Prophet Muhammad’s life which is completely known today, even to the minutest detail. This fact also makes it clear that he was the last Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him).
On the other hand, let us consider the life of Buddha, one of the great men of history, whose followers constitute nearly a fourth of the world’s population. Whatever we know of his life is based on conjecture or fiction. Even if we give those stories the status of history and look for the essential details of Buddha’s life we will be disappointed. All we get to know is that once upon a time there was a Raja who ruled the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. The Raja’s son had the natural inclination towards tradition and deep thinking. When he grew up, got married and became a father, he happened to notice the plight of some miserable people. Their suffering left such a deep mark on his sensitive nature that he gave up his princely life and left his home forever. His wanderlust took him to various cities of India like Banaras, Patliputra and the countryside and mountains. After a time, he is said to have found the truth while meditating under a tree in Gaya. He preached his new found truth from Banaras to Bihar for a period of time and then passed away. That is all we know about Buddha. Similarly, Zoroaster is the founder of a religion. We have established that what little is known about him is based on guesswork [Britannica].
The best known of the prophets prior to Prophet Muhammad is Moses (Peace be upon them). For the sake of argument, we may disregard the point whether the present Torah is authentic and admit that whatever it says is true. What do we get to know about Moses from the five books of Torah put together? All that we know is that he was brought up in the house of the Pharaoh. When he grew up he helped the children of Israel on an occasion or two against the oppression of the Pharaoh’s men. He fled to Madayin, got married and having spent a considerable period of time there, returned to Egypt. On his way to Egypt, he was ordained a prophet. He showed some miracles in front of the Pharaoh and asked him to let the children of Israel go with him. Eventually he left Egypt along with his people, pursued by the Pharaoh’s army. By Allah’s command the sea gave way to him and his people, whereas the Pharaoh and his men were drowned in the same water. He entered Arabia and then Syria and subdued a few non-believers He lived like that for a period of time, grew old and died on a hill top. The concluding sentences of the Torah contain the following:
“So the servant of the Lord died in the valley of Moab, by the command of his Lord. His burial took place at Bethpeor but no one knows his grave to this day He was 120 years of age when he died. And no prophet like Moses was ever born among Bani Israel.’
These sentences belong to the fifth book of Torah which is ascribed to Moses. They make it clear that this book, or at least the last portion of it, cannot have been written by Moses. Who wrote them? The world does not know anything about this biographer of Moses.
The words that “no one knows his grave to this day” and “no prophet like Moses was ever born among Bani Israel” indicate that they were written long after the death of Moses (Peace be upon him), long enough for people to have forgotten a personality like Moses, and when the advent of a new prophet could have been expected.
Moses (Peace be upon him) lived to be 120. However; it will not be out of place to ask at this point an appropriate question. What events of his life do we actually know to fill a long span of a hundred and twenty years? Apart from his birth, his migration, marriage and his being ordained a prophet, what essential details of his biography are known to us? What we do know are merely the personal details of one’s life which with slight variations are repetitious and insignificant. What we need in a great biography is a way of life full of essential details to be followed as a role model of a great moral conduct. These are the very ingredients missing from the biography of Moses (Peace be upon him). Otherwise, in Torah, there is no lack of insignificant details, such as names of persons, their ancestry, names of places, official counting of the population and some legal jargon. These details might be interesting for a research scholar interested in ancient geography, chronology, ancestry and law but have no value at all as the biography of a great leader of men who could guide them through his practical example.
In point of time the nearest to Islam is the Prophet of God, Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him). His followers are known to be greater in number than those of any other religion in the world. You will be shocked to learn that biographically he is the least known of all the Prophets and founders of well-known religions. It is interesting to note that Christian scholars of modern Europe have made astounding discoveries in their chosen fields of
antiquity and archaeology. They have unearthed and made known the ancient secrets of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, of Arabia and Syria, of Egypt and Africa, of India and Turkistan of the old. They have excavated the ancient ruins and studied old books and parchments to rewrite the lost pages of human history. However, the miracle of modern research has failed to resurrect the actual events of the life of Jesus Christ, lost to the passage of time for ever. Professor Renan did all he could, but failed to produce any authentic account of Christs life.
It might be worthwhile to quote here from an article on Jesus Christ written for the Encyclopedia Britannica by Rev Dr. Charles Anderson Scot. He says that the attempt to write a “life of Jesus” should frankly be abandoned. The material for it certainly does not exist. He has calculated that the total number of days of the life regarding which we have any record does not exceed fifty.
According to the Bible, Jesus had a life of 33 years. Firstly, the present day Bible is historically unreliable. However, whatever we get to know from it concerns only the events of the last three years of his life. All we can learn, from the Bible is that he was born and after his birth was brought to Egypt. He showed a few miracles in his early youth and then disappeared. When we meet him next, he is 30 years of age, baptizing and giving sermons to people in the mountains and to fishermen by the riverside. He produces a few disciples, gets into discussions with the Jews. Eventually the Jews capture him and produce him in the court of the Roman governor where his case is heard and the sentence of crucifixion is passed on him. On the third day after the crucifixion his grave is found to be empty. The world will never know what happened during a period of 25 to 30 years of his life. Even the last years of the Bible’s account do not contain more than his few miracles, a few sermons and finally his crucifixion.
The comprehensiveness of a biography: For a biography to be a perfect whole and a complete model for others, it is essential that it should touch all aspects of human life. What is meant by wholeness here is that different classes or different groups of human society need an ideal example to follow. An individual too, in his various undertakings, his obligations and relations to others needs practical examples to follow. An ideal biography ought to provide that. From this perspective also, we can easily see that no other historical personality comes up to this standard except the last prophet of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
What is religion? It is simply the recognition of one’s obligations towards Allah and towards fellow human beings. In other words, carrying out one’s duties as ordained by Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all beings. It is only logical and practical then, for the followers of every religion to find out the details of their duties and obligations in the life of their respective founders or Prophets and apply them in their daily life. If you look for man’s obligations to Allah and to his fellow beings, you will find them nowhere in such great and complete detail except in the life of the Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him).
In our world, religions are of two kinds: the ones that do not recognize the existence of God, such as Buddhism and Jainism. Therefore there is no mention of God’s attributes and what the human beings owe Him. It would be futile to look for such attributes as sincerity, love of God and faith in His Oneness in the life of the founders of these religions. The other kind is those religions that believe in God in one form or the other. However, the available records of the lives of their founders or prophets do not contain the details of their quest for God. In what attributes of God did they believe in? How devoted were they in their belief? Such details are simply not available in their biographies to show us what our belief should be about God. Apart from the Oneness of God, His Commandments, and conditions for offering sacrifice, there is not a single sentence in the whole of Torah to show how devoted Moses was to Allah. There is no mention of the intensity of his love for God, his faith and trust in Him, the deep impression that Allah’s glorious attributes left on his heart and his devotion and worship of Allah. Whereas it may be asked if Moses’ religion was to be the final religion and for all time, it was the sacred duty of his followers to record all these details for the benefit of the coming generations. But they failed to do so simply because it was not Allah’s intention.
The life of Jesus Christ is mirrored in the Bible. We learn from the gospels that God was the father of Jesus. But we learn nothing about the nature of the relations between the son and the father. Although we get to know that the Father had great love for the son, but it is not clear to what extent was the son’s love and devotion for the Father. How did he offer his prayers to Him? Did he ever ask Him for anything other than the daily bread? Was there any night other than the night of his arrest where he is shown to be supplicating and praying to his Lord. If the life history of such a great prophet of Allah like Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) is so sketchy and devoid of all necessary details, what spiritual benefit can be derived from such a biography? Had the relations between God and His servant been defined and described clearly in Christ’s life history, there would have been no need for the first Christian king to hold a Council, of 300 Christian scholars at Nice, some three hundred and fifty years after the death of Christ to decide the matter. Then those relations would not have remained such a riddle up to the present times.
Consider human rights and obligations towards one another. With the only exception of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) the biographies of all other prophets and founders of other religions are devoid of this basic value of human life. For instance, Buddha left his wife and immediate family alone and took to the Jungle. He never saw his loving wife and his only son ever again. Cut off from his friends and the burden of ruling his people, he thought he could find peace of mind or nirvana in solitude and that was to be the basic purpose of human life. If Buddha’s life was the ideal life, what attraction is there in it for the people of this world which includes kings and their subjects, the rich and the poor, masters and servants, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, friends and foes? Can his life become a model for the worldly traders and Buddhist monks at the same time? That is the reason his own followers never actually followed him, otherwise the flourishing industries and thriving businesses of China, Japan, Thailand, Tibet and Burma would have come to a standstill and their bustling cities would have turned into ruins.
The only outstanding feature of the life of Moses is his leadership in war. Apart from that, his followers cannot find a model for their guidance in their worldly affairs regarding their rights and obligations towards one another. What was his attitude with respect to the family relations, like that of a husband and wife, a father and son, and with respect to brothers and friends? In what useful projects did he spend his money? How did he treat the sick, the orphans, the wayfarers, the poor and the needy? Are there any details available of his personal example touching these important aspects of human life which his followers could follow? Moses was married; he had children and had a brother and other relatives. It is our faith that being a prophet of Allah his treatment of them must have been perfect and beyond any blemish. Yet, this very important chapter is missing from any available history of his life which could become an example for us to follow.
Jesus Christ had a mother and according to the present version of the Bible he had brothers and sisters and even a physical father. But the available records of his life are silent about his treatment and dealings with them. These very relations have always been the backbone of this worldly life and so will they remain. A major part of religion is concerned with these relationships and obligations towards them. Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) was never a ruler. Rather, he led the life of the ruled. Therefore, his life does not show any examples of a ruler’s duties towards his sub jects. He was never married; His life cannot become a practical example for those couples who are tied into a stronger bond than the one between parents and their children (according to the first chapter of Torah). Since most of this world’s people lead a married life, they cannot find a practical example in Christ’s life. The worldly aspect of this life is concerned with family relations, monetary deals, affairs of war and peace, dealing with friends and foes. One who remained aloof from all of these affairs cannot become a model for others. If the whole world followed that kind of life today it would soon turn as silent as a graveyard. All kind of progress would stop, and particularly the Christian Europe of today would cease to exist.
Practicability: The last criterion for an ideal model is that his life example should be practical and practicable. What is meant here is that the founder of a religion or the divine law-giver should set a personal example for the discipline he has proposed for others and his personal life should explain and prove to the world that the rules he has set forth are practicable.
It is not too difficult for anyone to present a charming philosophy, an attractive theory, or a fascinating saying. But what is difficult for everyone at all times is to practise what they preach. A person’s lofty and pure thoughts his innocent and noble sayings, his moral and ethical philosophies alone cannot make him an ideal and perfect model. This has to be the criterion, otherwise who would be able to tell the good from the bad, and this world would remain a place for only those who have a persuasive tongue and use beautiful words to their advantage. Will you allow me to ask a question at this point? Of the numerous law-givers and founders of different religions which one can come forward and have the practical aspect of his biography be judged by this standard?
Let us consider some very attractive and charming sayings attributed to Jesus Christ in the present day Bible:
‘Love your Lord God with all your heart. Love your enemy. Offer your left cheek to the one who has hit you on the right cheek. One who takes you for forced labour for a mile without wages, go with him for two miles. One who asks you for your coat, give him your shirt too. Give all that you own in charity. Forgive your brother seventy times over. The rich will hardly enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
These and many such sayings are quite attractive. But if they are not accompanied by action, they remain only a combination of persuasive and charming words. How can a person set forth a practical example of forgiveness who has not actually overcome an enemy? How can one look after the poor, the needy and the orphans if he is himself penniless? How could one become a model for a husband a father or other human relations if he himself did not have a wife and children or other relatives? How can one preach the virtue of visiting the sick and the destitute if he has not done so himself? If he has never got an opportunity to overcome his anger and forgive others, his life cannot become a model for those of us who have a quick temper.
There are two sides to an act of virtue, a negative side and a positive side or we may say a passive virtue or an aggressive virtue. For instance, if you were to live like a hermit in the cave of a mountain, all that can be said about your achievement is that you managed to escape from the evil deeds. You did not do anything objectionable. But this is only a passive virtue. You did not stay back in this world to fight evil. Did you fight for the rights of the oppressed against the oppressor? Did you help the poor or feed the needy? Did you try to show the right path to those who had gone astray? Forgiveness, charity, hospitality, pity, supporting a right and a just cause, fulfilling one’s obligations and duties as a human being are some of the virtues which make the human conduct truly noble. These virtues are not passive, they are practical. They cannot be achieved by remaining passive and complacent. Noble values came into being through positive action rather than inaction. What we are trying to make clear is the fact that a great human life whose practical aspect is not well known cannot become an ideal life for other human beings to follow. In order to follow a noble principle we need practical examples. We need to have actual deeds in front of us in order to learn and make the right choice in different situations of life such as war and peace; poverty and prosperity; marriage and celibacy; our relations with our Creator and His creation; with the rulers and the ruled; our conduct in anger and tranquillity, in public and in private etc. The greater part of our life, in fact our whole life, is concerned with these problems and these relationships. In order to deal with them properly we need practical examples, not just words.
I would like you to carefully consider what I have said today. It is not a piece of oratory or poetic exaggeration but a proven and verifiable fact of history that the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the only life which fulfills all the conditions and standards we have set forth so far.
Please consider my point once more very carefully. What I am trying to say and prove today is that whatever model is chosen from the lives of great men of human history, it must have the following four qualities in order to be the ideal life or the ideal example to be followed by others. It must have authentic historical sources, and it must be comprehensive, perfect and practical. I do not mean to say that the lives of the other prophets of Allah lacked these qualities in their own times. What I am trying to maintain is that whatever remnants of their life histories reached the common people after their period, or the ones existing today, lack the qualities of authenticity, comprehensiveness, perfection and practicality. And that was precisely the demand of the Divine wisdom, so that it should become evident that those prophets were sent at particular periods of time to particular nations. The Divine message given through them was not meant to be universal. Therefore there was no need to preserve it for the other nations and the times to come. Only Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was chosen to be the Prophet for all nations, till the Day of Judgment. He was to be the perfect model, to be followed by every one. That is why his life was preserved to its smallest detail, in its eternal glory and perfection for all times to come. And this fact remains the strongest practical proof of his being “the Seal of Prophets” and of his mission for all mankind. In the words of the holy Quran:
“Muhammad is not a father of any of your men, but he is a messenger of Allah and the last of the prophets…..”