Topic: Virtue, Morality, & Ethics
Wabisah ibn Ma’bad said, “I went to see the messenger of God and he said to me, ‘You want to question me on the subject of virtue?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied, and he went on, ‘Question your heart. Virtue is that by which the soul enjoys repose and the heart tranquility. Sin is what introduces trouble into the soul and tumult into man’s bosom – and this despite the religious advice which men may give you.’ “
Muhammad, revered as the Prophet Muhammad by the followers of Islam, was born in 570 CE in the city of Mecca, located in present-day Saudi Arabia. He belonged to the Quraysh tribe, a respected and influential Meccan merchant community. Raised by his uncle after the untimely death of his parents, Muhammad earned a reputation as a trustworthy and dedicated trader, leading him to gain the epithet Al-Amin, or the trustworthy. It was through his mercantile pursuits that he met Khadijah, a wealthy merchant widow, who later became his wife.
At around the age of 40, Muhammad started having spiritual experiences. According to Islamic tradition, during one of his contemplative retreats in the Cave of Hira on the outskirts of Mecca, he received the first of many revelations from God through the Archangel Gabriel. This marked the beginning of his prophethood and his lifelong mission of spreading the word of God. These revelations, orally transmitted and later compiled, became the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad was not the author of the Qur'an, but a recipient and conduit of divine revelation, an experience that would profoundly affect him and the course of world history.
Throughout his life, Muhammad, as guided by the Qur'an, led by example, establishing the religious and ethical foundations of Islam. He taught the oneness of God, social justice, compassion, and the importance of community, forming the basis of Islamic moral and legal frameworks. The Qur'an, as seen by Muslims, is the literal word of God, and Muhammad is its final and perfect messenger, leading a life reflective of its teachings. After 23 years of prophethood, he passed away in 632 CE in Medina, leaving a lasting spiritual and ethical legacy that continues to shape the lives of Muslims around the world.
Hadith of an-Nawawi
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture - a Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Paragon House, 1991, p. 145 [40 Hadith of an-Nawawi 27].
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