It was he who brought home to man his true worth and position; those who acknowledged only a God incarnate or a son of God as their moral preceptor or spiritual guide were told that a human being like them, having no pretension to godhead, could become the vicegerent of God on earth. It was he who stressed the point that no person could claim holiness, authority, or kingship as a birth right and that no person could be born with the stigma of untouchability, slavery, or serfdom on his person. It was he and his teachings which inspired the thoughts of the unity of mankind, equality of human beings, true democracy, and real freedom in the world.
Leaving aside this realm of thought and moving a bit further, one will find countless practical results of the leadership of this unlettered person firmly impressed on the laws and ways of the world. So many principles of good behaviour, culture and civilization, purity of thought and deed, which are prevalent in the world today, owe their origin to him. The social laws which he gave have infiltrated deep into the structure of human social life, and this process continues up to this day.
The basic principles of economics which he taught have ushered in many a movement in world history and hold out the same promise for the future. The laws of governance which he formulated brought about many an upheaval in political notions and theories of the world and continue to assert their influence even today. The fundamental principles of law and justice which bear the stamp of his genius have influenced, to a remarkable degree, the administration of justice in the courts of nations, and form a perpetual source of guidance for all legists to come. This unlettered Arab was the first person who set on foot for the first time practically the whole framework of international relations, and regulated the laws of war and peace. For no one had previously even the remotest idea that there could be an ethical code of war or that relations between different nations could be regulated on the grounds of common humanity.
*By Abul A`la Mawdudi
This article is part of the author’s book Towards Understanding Islam, “Chapter 3: The Prophethood.” Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.ymofmd.com/books/tui/chp3.html
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