“He is the Goat” – A Statement Becoming Common On The Tongues of Common People
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
An Essential Characteristic of An Upright Role Model or Leader For Humankind
“He is already a role model for our youth in the region, so we hope that he’ll sign for our football team”. These are some of the statements heard – recently – being uttered by some wealthy people in some Muslim countries! “He is the Goat”, meaning “Greatest of all time”. This statement is becoming common on the tongues of the common people, especially when expressing their admiration of sports personalities and their achievements. Therefore, it is important that we remind our youth that our Lord and Creator has already sent perfect role models and leaders for a perfect purpose – to worship Allaah alone and obey His Messengers. None can be a perfect role model or leader – regardless his or her achievements in any field – besides the Prophets and Messengers. A perfect role model or leader for humankind must have the qualities selected by the Creator. Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said: [إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ – Verily, Ibraaheem was an Ummah (leader), Qaanitan (obedient), Haneefan (one who worshipped Allaah alone), and he was not one of the Mushrikeen (polytheists and those who associate partners with Allah in worship)]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 120]
Ibraaheem [peace be upon him] is the leader of the people of Tawheed- those who single out Allaah in worship- and this is why Allaah said to him: [إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا – Verily, I am going to make you a leader (Prophet) of humankind]. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 124].
Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] stated: [وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِلَّا مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ – And who turns away from the religion of Ibraaheem (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 130] (1)
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ كُلًّا هَدَيْنَا ۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلْيَاسَ ۖ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطًا ۚ وَكُلًّا فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ
وَمِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَإِخْوَانِهِمْ ۖ وَاجْتَبَيْنَاهُمْ وَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۚ وَلَوْ أَشْرَكُوا لَحَبِطَ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ۚ فَإِن يَكْفُرْ بِهَا هَٰؤُلَاءِ فَقَدْ وَكَّلْنَا بِهَا قَوْمًا لَّيْسُوا بِهَا بِكَافِرِينَ
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۖ فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ ۗ قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا ۖ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَالَمِينَ
And We bestowed upon him Ishaque (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob), each of them We guided, and before him, We guided Nuh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ayub (Job), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), and Harun (Aaron). Thus do We reward the good-doers. And Zakariya (Zachariya), and Yahya (John) and ‘Iesa (Jesus) and Iliyas (Elias), each one of them was of the righteous. And Isma’il (Ishmael) and Al-Yas’a (Elisha), and Yunus (Jonah) and Lout (Lot), and each one of them We preferred above the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns) (of their times). And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren, We chose them, and We guided them to a Straight Path. This is the Guidance of Allah with which He guides whomsoever He will of His slaves. But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them. They are those whom We gave the Book, Al-Hukm (understanding of the religious laws), and Prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein (the Book, Al-Hukm and Prophethood), then, indeed We have entrusted it to a people (such as the Companions of Prophet Muhammad) who are not disbelievers therein. They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance. Say: “No reward I ask of you for this (the Qur’an). It is only a reminder for the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” [Surah Al-An’aam. Aayaat 84-90]
The Only Robust Determinant of Sound Beliefs and Good Behaviour
Allaah [The Most High] said:
أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَمْ مَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Is it then he, who laid the foundation of his building on piety to Allah and His Good Pleasure, better, or he who laid the foundation of his building on an undetermined brink of a precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbled to pieces with him into the Fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the Zaalimoon [polytheists and wrong doers]. [Soorah At-Tawbah: Ayah: 109]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Whoever wants his building to be elevated, then it is incumbent upon him to strengthen and fortify its foundation, because the elevation of the building is based on the firmness and fortification of its foundation. Deeds are a building and Eemaan is their foundation. If the foundation is strong, it carries and elevates the building, and if a part of the building is damaged, it is easy for it to bear the [damage]; but if the foundation is not firm, then neither will the building be elevated nor will it be firm. And if something from the foundation is damaged, the building will either collapse or close to that. Therefore, the duty of a knowledgeable person is that he makes the foundation sound and fortified. As for the ignorant person, he elevates [the building] whilst building upon other than a [strong] foundation, so his building does not remain. The foundation of deeds is like the physical strength of a person- if the strength is vigorous, the body will be able to withstand burden and repel many harmful things; but if it is weak, the body’s ability to withstand burden is weakened and harm quickly overcomes the person. Therefore, support your building [i.e. your actions and deeds] with the foundation of Eemaan; for if something from the top of your building decays and falls down, then it would be much easier for the [building] to bear [the damage], rather than the destruction of the foundation. This foundation [i.e. Eemaan] is based on two affairs:
Firstly: Sound knowledge and awareness of Allaah, His Commandments, Names and Attributes. Secondly: Complete submission to Allaah alone [i.e. by worshipping Him alone] and [unconditional obedience to] His Messenger alone. This is the firmest foundation upon which the slave establishes his building [i.e. his actions and deeds]. Therefore, one solidifies the foundation, preserves its strength and carries on being enthusiastic, and thus what is desired [i.e. success in this life and the next] will be reached [InShaaAllaah]. (2)
A Traite of The People of Jaahiliyyah and Who They Think Was Worthy of Leadership, Infleunce, Honour etc
Imaam Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhaab [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Masaa’il Al-Jaahiliyyah: The Worldly Life Was Exalted In Their Hearts, as Allaah (The Exalted) stated (that they said): [ لَوۡلَا نُزِّلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡقَرۡيَتَيۡنِ عَظِيمٍ – Why is not this Qur’aan sent down to some great man of the two towns]. [Surah Az-Zukhruf, Aayah 31]
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] stated: One of the traits of the (people) of Al-Jaahiliyyah [i.e. the people who lived during the Pre-Islamic Era of Ignorance] was that the worldly life was exalted in their hearts, so, they regarded the one who possessed (the things of the worldly life) to be honourable and the one who was not in possession of the (things of the worldly life) to be of low (status) and despised. And even in the affair of Risaalah [Messengership], which is Allaah’s [absolute choice to choose the one He decides to send as a Messenger], they saw that it should be given to the rich people and not the poor people. And they said, “Allaah did not find, except an orphan of Abu Taalib to send [as a Messenger”? They were referring to Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]. [ لَوۡلَا نُزِّلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡقَرۡيَتَيۡنِ عَظِيمٍ – And they say: “Why is not this Qur’aan sent down to some great man of the two towns]. [Surah Az-Zukhruf. Aayah 31]. The two towns are Makkah and Madina; and that [great man] in Makkah is Waleed Bin Mugheerah or Habeeb Bin Amr Ath-thaqafee; and it is said that the great man in Taa’if is Urwa Bin Mas’ood.
The people of Al-Jaahiliyyah [i.e. the people who lived during the Pre-Islamic Era of Ignorance] said, “If the message was given to one of those two great men, it would have been befitting to be [regarded] a message, but it does not befit them to think that it is given to a poor orphan [i.e. Muhammad- peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him. Allaah [The Exalted] said (in response to them): [ أَهُمۡ يَقۡسِمُونَ رَحۡمَتَ رَبِّكَۚ – Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord] [Surah Az-Zukhruf. Aayah 32] – Meaning: They interfered in Allaah’s [choice, decrees, decisions etc]. They wanted to portion out Allaah’s Mercy and did not testify to what Allaah portioned out [of His Mercy], even though [ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ حَيۡثُ يَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ – Allaah knows best with whom to place his message] [Surah Al-An’aam. Aayah 24] (3)
The Danger of Turning Away From The Biography of The Prophet
Allaah [The Exalted] stated: [لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا – Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much]. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Aayah 21]
One of the noblest aspects of knowledge – an affair that occupies a mighty station- is to pay close attention to the characteristics of the Prophet, his specific qualities and deeds by way of which Allaah distinguished him from everyone amongst mankind, his manners, etiquettes and biography. That is because he is the greatest Imaam [leader] and the perfect example. Indeed, Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] commanded us to follow his example, made him an Imaam [leader] and example for us. This noble Aayah – as the people of knowledge have stated – is a basis to established the fact that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is to be emulated; [but] emulating him cannot be actualized except by way of acquainting oneself with his characteristics, his qualities in general, his specific qualities and deeds by way of which Allaah distinguished him from everyone amongst humankind, his manners and etiquettes. The one who is unacquainted with the Prophet’s characteristics and manners will not be able to emulate him, and that is why the scholars [of Islaam] have written beneficial books regarding his characteristics and qualities.
The manners and qualities of the Prophet are a means of inviting [mankind] to this mighty religion [of Islaam]. Indeed, many people- during his era and thereafter – have been guided through their acquaintance with his manners and qualities. One used to come to him whilst harbouring the severest hatred towards him, but after meeting him and [observing] his great [unmatched noble] etiquettes, noble manners, lofty dealings and benevolence, the person would depart whilst loving him more than everyone else on the face of the earth. Therefore, his characteristics are a means to calling to this religion- a weapon for the one inviting the people in the path of Allaah.
Speaking about his qualities, emulating him and calling others to emulate him strengthens the religion of Islaam, because he was the one whom Allaah appointed to convey and explain the religion to humankind. Allaah chose him and he is the best of all the slaves of Allaah- the greatest in his servitude to Allaah. Calling the people to emulate his qualities is a means to calling people to believe in the religion ordained by Allaah and a means to strengthening the belief of the one who has already believed in his Messenger-ship. This is why turning away from his Seerah has been the cause of people’s inclination towards the path of losers amongst men and women [i.e. those upon a path other than the path of Allaah]. As for the biographies of the Imaams of Guidance- the greatest of them being the Messenger, they are a means of rectifying the person and a means to safety from corruption and evil. On the other hand, the biography of the losers is a path that will lead to evil, ruin and corruption. Allaah said:
قَدۡ كَانَتۡ ءَايَـٰتِى تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فَكُنتُمۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡقَـٰبِكُمۡ تَنكِصُونَ
مُسۡتَكۡبِرِينَ بِهِۦ سَـٰمِرً۬ا تَهۡجُرُونَ
أَفَلَمْ يَدَّبَّرُوا الْقَوْلَ أَمْ جَاءَهُم مَّا لَمْ يَأْتِ آبَاءَهُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
أَمْ لَمْ يَعْرِفُوا رَسُولَهُمْ فَهُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ
Indeed My Verses used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels [denying them, and with hatred to listen to them]. In pride [they Quraish pagans and polytheists of Makkah used to feel proud that they are the dwellers of Makkah sanctuary Haram], talking evil about it [the Qur’an] by night. Have they not pondered over the Word [of Allaah, i.e. what is sent down to the Prophet], or has there come to them what had not come to their fathers of old? Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger [Muhammad] so they deny him? [i.e. this is a rebuke against them because all of them – young and old – knew his lineage, truthfulness and trustworthiness, yet they turned away from his message]. [Surah Al-Muminoon. Aayaat 66-69]
This shows that contemplating on the Qur’aan and acquainting oneself with the Messenger’s guidance and biography is a path leading to safety, and a safeguard against turning back on one’s heels [i.e. a safeguard against turning away from the guidance he was sent with]. On the contrary, abandoning the Seerah of the Prophet and inclining towards the Seerah of the losers [i.e. those men and women upon other than the guidance of the Messenger] will lead to ruin. The people became corrupted – in this era – after being put to trial through movies and films; but had they turned to the biographies of the Prophets and the noble companions of the Prophet Muhammad, they would have found guidance and a path leading to steadfastness. (4)
Studying the Prophet’s biography and reading strengthens a believer’s certainty, steadfastness and perseverance upon the religion ordained by Allaah. It makes the believer’s heart honourable due to Islam – (ennobled due to adherence to sound) Islamic monotheism and due to what his heart contains of knowledge and awareness of Allah; ennobled due to his belief in Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and that which Allaah revealed to His Messengers. Allaah said: [وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ – But honour, power and glory belong to Allah, His Messenger (Muhammad), and to the believers]. [Surah Al-Munaafiqoon. Verse 8] These are from the many benefits that every believer benefits from by studying the biography of The Chosen One (المصطفى). (5)
Every Strength Given to a Person to Perform a Particular Deed Will Depart Except Devotion to Allaah
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Whoever is given strength and facilitated [with the means] to something, his pleasure will be found in utilising that strength [in that affair]. Whoever is granted the strength to have sexual relations, he will find pleasure in utilising his strength in it. Whoever is given strength to become angry and overcome [others], he will utilise the strength of his anger to [obtain what he desires]. Whoever is given the strength to eat and drink, his pleasure will be found in utilising his strength in [eating and drinking]. Whoever is given the strength to [obtain] knowledge and understanding, his pleasure will be found in utilising his strength and directing it towards [obtaining] knowledge. Whoever is given strength in [having] love for Allaah, turning to Allaah in repentance, submission and obedience, being devoted to Allaah [sincerely with one’s] heart, having an ardent desire [to please, obey and meet Allaah] and [desiring to come close to Allaah, be recognised and loved by Allaah etc], he will find his pleasure and bliss in utilising this strength in that. All these pleasures will dwindle and disappear, except this one [i.e. love of Allaah etc]. (6)
Therefore, beware O youth! Do not be from the blind followers because there is no perfect role model for humankind except the Prophets and Messengers.
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed’. Lesson 1]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Fawaa’id page 154]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Masaa-ilil Jaahiliyyah. pages: 261-262. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Source: An Excerpt from: شرح المختصر في صفات النبي ﷺ وأخلاقه. Lesson 1]
[Ref 5: Silsilatu al-Muhādarāt al-‘ilmiyyah Vol.4 Pgs. 506-507. By Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh]
[Ref 6: Al-Fawaa’id 121-122. Slightly paraphrased]
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