Examples Of Prophet Ibrahim[a.s] & Prophet Muhammad

In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful
Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu,

Quran says follow the example of Prophet Muhammad pbuh and example of Abraham alai salaam.


The Qur'an declares:

33:21 Ye have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern of (conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day and who engages much in the praise of Allah.

The above verse is the list of verses in the surah Ahzab where :
The beginning and the end of the fateful struggle of the Siege of Madinah in A.H. 5. The composition of the unhallowed Confederacy that came to destroy Islam is referred to in the Introduction. They came with a force of ten to twelve thousand fighting men, an unprecedented army for that time and
country. The battle is known as the Battle of the Trench.
After a close investment of two to four weeks, during which the enemy were disheartened by their ill success, there was a piercing blast of the cold east wind. It was a severe winter, and February can be a very cold month in Madinah, which is about 3,000 ft. above the sea-level. The enemy's tents
were torn up, their fires were extinguished, the sand and rain beat in their faces, and they were terrified by the portents against them. They had already well nigh fallen out amongst themselves, and beating a hasty retreat, they melted away. The Madinah fighting strength was no more than
3,000, and the Jewish tribe of the Banu Quraiza who were in their midst was a source of weakness as they were treacherously intriguing with the enemy. And further there were the Hypocrites: see n. 3666 above. But there were hidden forces that helped the Muslims. Besides the forces of nature there
were angels, though invisible to them, who assisted the Muslims.

In connection with this verse the main question is: Does the example of the Prophet include the conduct of the Prophet in all situations as preserved in the authentic Hadith or only some particular conduct defined by the context of the verse?

The Hadith rejectors is understandably inclined to limit the reference,entirely or primarily to some conduct defined by the context of the verse. Since the verse is put in the middle of comments about the battle of al-Ahzab, also known as battle of khandaq (trench), it is said that the example of the Prophet mentioned is the particular conduct of the Prophet during that battle. But even if this is granted, this verse does not support the Hadith rejectors postition, at least not in its strict form. For the statement that the Prophet provided a good example in the battle begs the question, What was the conduct of the Prophet during the battle? And this question cannot be answered without looking at the Hadith, since the Qur'an does not say anything about it. The first audience of the Qur'an must have known how the Prophet behaved in the battle and they would have immediately understood what the Qur'an was talking about. But the later readers of the Qur'an such as ourselves need to turn to the traditions about the Prophet to determine relevant details of the Prophet's conduct and follow his example in fulfillment of the Qur'anic verse. Without a knowledge of such details this verse can hardly be practiced. One can assume that the conduct of the Prophet was one of courage and faith in God, but in the absence of any concrete detail the allusion to the Prophet's conduct can hardly inspire any one and consequently the mention of the uswah hasanah becomes almost meaningless. Imagine that you opened a book mentioning that Umar r.a provided a goodly example in the battle of Khaybar but said nothing about what exactly `Umar did. Even if you assume that `Umar behaved with courage,
wisdom etc, this statement will remain unexplained unless we are told or we know from another source the details of what `Umar did in the battle. Without some such elaboration the statement would be an interesting curiosity but of no moral or ethical or spiritual value.

Thus even if we restrict uswah hasanah to a very specific example of the Prophet's conduct the verse conflicts with the Qur'an-only position of hadith rejectors. For, it requires knowing from the Hadith the details of that specific example. Here we have an illustration of the fact that although the Qur'an explains everything and it expounds itself, its proper or fuller understanding, like that of any other text in human language, depends to some extent on its external context, which in part is provided by the Hadith.

However, it is more reasonable not to restrict uswah hasanah to any one example. This point is supported by the Qur'anic reference to the uswah hasanah of Abraham and those with him:

A good example or pattern (uswah hasanah) was set for you by Abraham and those with him when they said to their people,
60:4 There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him when they said to their people: "We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides
Allah: we have rejected you and there has arisen between us and you enmity and hatred forever unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone": But not when Abraham said to his father: "I will pray for forgiveness for thee though I have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from Allah." (They prayed): "Our Lord! in Thee do we trust and to Thee do we turn in repentance: to Thee is (our) final Goal.
60:5 "Our Lord! Make us not a (test and) trial for the Unbelievers but forgive us our Lord! For Thou art the Exalted in Might the Wise."
60:6 There was indeed in them an excellent example for you to follow for those whose hope is in Allah and in the Last Day. But if any turn away truly Allah is Free of all Wants Worthy of all Praise.

Notice that in the above passage a specific example is mentioned in case of the Prophet Abraham. But in 33:21 the statement about the uswah hasanah of the Prophet Muhammad is left quite general. If in 33:21 the reference was meant only to some specific example, then, as in 60:4-6, we should expect at
least some allusion to that specific example. That the reference is left general suggests strongly that it is meant to be general.

It should also be noted that the Qur'anic verses often rise above their context and give ideas that are of more general application than the context may suggest. It is thus quite possible that from the particular example of the Prophet in the battle of the trench the Qur'an has formulated the
general principle that the Prophet provides a good example in all spiritual, moral or religious matters. This is supported by the verses:
68:1Nun. By the Pen and by the (Record) which (men) write
2 Thou art not by the grace of thy Lord mad or possessed.
3 Nay verily for thee is a Reward unfailing:
4 And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character. In view of this statement, it seems inconceivable that the Prophet provided the believers with only one example to be followed.

Thus the most natural and probable interpretation of the verse is that it is pointing to the example of the Prophet generally and encouraging believers to follow it. This clearly requires making some use of the authentic Hadith in our religious practice.

The Example of Abraham alai salaam specifically mentioned:His way[millat]

6:161 Say: "Verily my Lord hath guided me to a way that is straight a religion of right the path (trod) by Abraham the true in faith and he (certainly) joined not gods with Allah."

3: 95 Say: "Allah speaketh the truth: follow the religion of Abraham the sane in faith; he was not of the pagans."
Transliteration Qul sadaqalla_h(u), fattabi'u_ millata ibra_hima hanifa_(n),
wa ma_ ka_na minal musyrikin(a).

4:125Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah does good and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.

Transliteration Wa man ahsanu dinam mimman aslama wajhahu_ lilla_hi wa huwa
muhsinuw wattaba'a millata ibra_hima hanifa_(n), wattakhazalla_hu ibra_hima

22: 78 And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive (with sincerity and under discipline): He has chosen you and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (Revelation); that the Apostle may be a
witness for you and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer give regular Charity and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector the Best to protect and the Best to help!

*Abraham alai salaam followed way of Noah[nuh] alai salaam.

37:79 "Peace and salutation to Noah among the nations!"
80 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
81 For he was one of Our believing Servants.
82 Then the rest We overwhelmed in the Flood.
83 Verily among those who followed his Way was Abraham.

21: 51We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct and well were We acquainted with him.

Transliteration Wa laqad a_taina_ ibra_hima rusdahu_ min qablu wa kun na_bihi a_limin

*Noah alai salaam and Abraham alai salaam were prophets and in their line Allah established prophethood and Revelation:

57:26 And We sent Noah and Abraham and established in their line Prophethood and Revelation: and some of them were on right guidance but many of them became rebellious transgressors.

12: 38 "And I follow the ways of my fathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob; and never could we attribute any partners whatever to Allah: that (comes) of the grace of Allah to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful.

2:130 And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: and he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the righteous.

2:132 And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons and so did Jacob; "O my sons! Allah hath chosen the faith for you; then die not except in the faith of Islam."

3:84 Say: "We believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham Isma`il Isaac Jacob and the Tribes and in (Books) given to Moses Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them and to Allah do we bow our
will (in Islam)."
85 If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah) never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).

42:13 The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah--the which We have sent by inspiration to thee--and that which We enjoined on Abraham Moses and Jesus: Namely that ye should remain steadfast in Religion and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).

6:161 Say: "Verily my Lord hath guided me to a way that is straight a religion of right the path (trod) by Abraham the true in faith and he (certainly) joined not gods with Allah."

4:163 We have sent thee inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham Ismail Isaac Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus Job Jonah Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms.
164 Of some Apostles We have already told thee the story; of others We have
not; and to Moses Allah spoke direct.

*So He who obeys the Apostle Muhammad [pbuh]obeys Allah.

4:80 He who obeys the Apostle obeys Allah: but if any turn away We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds).

Allah knows best.