Muhammad, Prophet For all Humanity
In Quran, Prophet Muhammad is described as being of “sublime character.”
Here are two sayings of the Prophet, which shed light on what this “sublime character” consists of:
- Never debase your character by saying that if people treat you well, you will treat them well, and if they harm you, then you will do worse to them. Rather, become accustomed to being good to those who are good to you, and not wronging those who harm you.
- Join hands with those who break away from you, forgive those who wrong you, and be good to those who harm you.
The sublime character described here was displayed in its noblest form by the Prophet himself Such character is required of ordinary Muslims as an accessory, but with the Prophet it was a basic requisite.
There are two levels of character, an ordinary and a superior level. An ordinary character is based on the principle: do as you have been done by. Such a character might be termed a “knee-jerk character,” for those possessed of such a character offer only
reflex responses to treatment by others, breaking with those who break with them, wronging those who wrong them, and harming those who harm them.
But the higher level of character is based on the principle: do as you would be done by. Those possessed of such a character deal with both friend and foe in the same principled manner, irrespective of how they have been treated. They are re-conciliatory, even joining with those who break with them. They are compassionate, even to those who seek to harm them. They are forbearing, even towards those who wrong them.