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Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Section > Articles on (by Others) > The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad


The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad:
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Review and View about our Contribution to Islam
Reproduced from The World Religions Reader, pp. 164-166, compiled by Prof. Gwilym Beckerlegge, Member of the Department of Religions, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


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(Hadith (a story or report) is a tradition that records the sunnah (custom) of the Prophet Muhammad. The customs of the Prophet provide direction and moral guidance for later generations of Muslims, although a clear distinction is made between guidance derived from the Quran and that taken from hadith. Within the Sunni tradition, six collections of ahadith have achieved canonical status. Shi’ite Muslims recognise sources independent of these.)

The Prophet said:

"The man who knows most the Book of God shall act as Imam of the people. The most virtuous among you shall deliver the azan (call to prayer) and those having most knowledge of the Qur’an shall act as Imams."

"Every child conforms to the true religion (lit. human nature); it is his parents who make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian."

"Surely a day will come over Hell when it will be like a field of corn that has dried up after flourishing for a while - a day when there shall not be a single human being in it."

Asked about the efficacy of prayer, Muhammad counter-questioned: "Tell me, if there is a stream at the door of any one of you, in which he bathes five times daily, what do you say, will it leave anything of his dirt?" On receiving a reply in the negative, he continued: "This is the likeness of the five prayers with which God washes away all faults. When one of you says his prayers, he holds confidential intercourse with his Lord."

"You should worship God as if you see Him; if you do not see Him, He surely sees you."

"Whoever does the needful for his brother, God does the needful for him. Whoever removes the distress of a Muslim, God removes for him a distress out of the distresses of the Day of Resurrection."

"You will recognise the faithful in their having mercy upon each other and in their love for one another and in their kindness towards one another, like the body – when one member of it ails, the entire body ails."

"Your slaves are your brethren: God has placed them under your control. So whoever has his brother under his control, he should feed him from what he eats and give him clothes to wear from what he wears. Do not impose on him a task which would overpower him, and if you do impose on him such a task, help him in the doing of it."

"One who manages the affairs of the widow and the needy is like one who exerts himself hard in the way of God, or like one who stands up for prayer in the night and fasts in the day."

"I, and the man who brings up an orphan, will be in paradise like this." And he pointed with his two fingers, the forefinger and the middle finger.

"God has no mercy on him who is not merciful to men."

"He is not of us who does not show mercy to our little ones and respect to our great ones."

"Be careful of your duty to God regarding these dumb animals. Ride them while they are in fit condition, and eat them while they are in fit condition."

"Charity is incumbent on every Muslim."

"Every good deed is charity, and it is a good deed that you meet your brother with a cheerful countenance and that you pour water from your bucket into the vessel of your brother."

"Surely truth leads to virtue, and virtue leads to paradise, and a man continues to speak the truth until he becomes utterly truthful. Surely falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the fire, and a man who continues to tell lies is written down a great liar with God."

"The most excellent jihad is the uttering of truth in the presence of an unjust ruler."

"Among the best of you are those who are good in payment of debt. Whoever contracts a debt intending to repay it, God will pay it for him; whoever contracts a debt intending to waste it, God will bring him to ruin."

"Delaying the payment of a debt by a well-to-do person is injustice. Deferring payment by one who has the means to pay makes his punishment legitimate."

"If a debtor is in constrained circumstances, then there should be postponement until he is in ease, and if you remit it as alms, it is better for you" (quoting the Holy Quran, 2:280).

"No one eats better food than that which he eats out of the work of his own hand. God did not raise a prophet but that he pastured goats. Yes! I used to pasture them for the people of Makkah."

"There are three persons whose adversary in dispute God will be on the Day of Resurrection: a person who makes a promise in His name, then acts unfaithfully; a person who sells a free person then devours his price; and a person who employs a servant and receives fully the labour due from him and then does not pay him his remuneration."

"The truthful honest merchant is as the prophets and the truthful ones and the martyrs."

"May God have mercy on the man who is generous when he buys and when he sells and when he demands his due."

"If they (traders) both speak the truth and make manifest (the defect, if any, in the transaction), their transaction shall be blessed; if they conceal (the defect) and tell lies, the blessing of their transaction shall be obliterated."

"The taking of oaths makes the commodities sell, but it obliterates the blessing therein."

"Whoever buys cereals, he shall not sell them until he obtains their possession."

"There is no Muslim who plants a tree or cultivates land and then bird or man or animal eat of it, but it is a charitable deed for him. Whoever cultivates land which is not the property of anyone has a better title to it."

"The man who marries perfects half his religion."

"O assembly of young people, whoever of you has the means to support a wife, he should get married. This is the best means of keeping the looks cast down and of guarding chastity. And he who has not the means let him keep fast, for this will act as restraining of desire."

"Every one of you is a ruler and everyone shall be questioned about his subjects. The king is a ruler; and the man is the ruler over the people of his house; and the woman is a ruler over the house of her husband and his children."

"Your body has a right over you, and your soul has a right over you, and your wife has a right over you."

"Never did God allow anything more hateful to Him than divorce. With God, the most detestable of all things allowed is divorce."

"To hear and obey (the authorities) is binding, so long as one is not commanded to disobey God. When one is commanded to disobey God, he should neither hear nor obey." On being appointed Governor of Yemen, Mu‘adh (Muaz) was asked by the Prophet as to the rule by which he would abide. "By the Qur’an," he replied. "But if you do not find any direction therein, what then?" "Then I will act according to the Sunnah of the Prophet," he responded. "But if you do not find any direction in the Sunnah, what then?" "Then I will exercise my judgement and act on that." The Prophet raised his hands and said: "Praise be to God Who guides the messenger of His Messenger as He wills."

"Gather together the righteous from among my community and decide the matter by their counsel and do not decide it by one man’s opinion." (This principle of the corporate mind lies behind the institution of Ijma or consensus, by which the mind of the community, under the priority of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, is held to be indicative of the mind of God.)

"Never do a people take counsel but they are guided to the right course in their affair."

"The authority of the head (of State) should only be disputed if he has committed open acts of unbelief, in which you have a clear argument from God."

Source: Muhammad Ali,
The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Section > Articles on (by Others) > The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad

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