With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times
Why do Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad (saw)?
Because he was part of social movements that promoted justice for all people, even as a youth.
The prevailing belief in our society is that we will live a long life and thus will have time to do “good things” when we “grow up.” The media tells us to enjoy our lives, “party till its 3012” and do whatever we want because we’re “young.” As a result, many of us young people don’t feel a responsibility to the greater good of society and instead are so sucked into our school, job, friends, sports, music, movies, and thrill seeking that we rarely take a step back and ponder about what positive contributions we can make to society.
Before the mission of Islam, it is said that a man arrived in Makkah with some merchandise which he sold to one of the noblemen of Quraysh; however, that nobleman withheld the payment for the goods. The seller asked for help from the other nobles but they refused to intervene, so he took his appeal to the people of Makkah as a whole.
As a result of this injustice and other injustices rampant across Arabia at the time, the various tribes of Makkah met in the house of Abdullah ibn Jad’an to enter into an agreement called “Hilf al Fudool” – “The Alliance of Excellence”- to make a covenant to protect the rights of the innocent and weak against any injustices incurred on them as a result of their social status. Soon after, the members of this agreement went to the nobleman who withheld his payment and did not leave him until he paid back the seller what he owed.
And amongst this “Alliance of Excellence” was a youth: Muhammad (saw).
Islamic history is rich with examples of youth activists. From the work of Maryam (as) to the Prophets Ibrahim (as), to Yusuf (as), to Yahya (as), to the young companions around the Messenger (saw) – our history tells us that no matter how old you are, you have something positive to contribute. The Messenger (saw) was no different. He could have watched from afar and made excuses like: “I’m too young to be a part of this pledge”, or, “Why should I help someone who has no influence in the society?”, or “What do I get out of it?” or “Someone else will do it.”
But he didn’t.
He was part of this pledge because it was the right thing to do, a movement he could be a part of, and a chance to be involved in something he was passionate about; and as a result bring a positive benefit to the society at large.
But this feeling of social justice- not just for Muslims but for all people– lingered into the time of Islam. The Prophet (saw) is reported to have later said:
“I witnessed a confederacy in the house of ‘Abdullah bin Jada‘an. It was more appealing to me than herds of cattle. Even now in the period of Islam I would respond positively to attending such a meeting if I were invited.” [Ibn Hisham 1/113,135]
Thus, the Prophet (saw) encouraged us to work with people of differing beliefs in promoting a common good.
Muslims love the Prophet (saw) because he worked towards the betterment of all people, not just as a Prophet, but also as a youth activist. So no matter how old or young, weak or strong, or busy or relaxed we are, we should try our best to emulate his example and be a part of movements that encourage social justice for all people, even if they are with organizations that are headed by people of differing beliefs. The duty of the Muslim is to not only to be a positive benefit to his own people, but to the society at large. We should not wait because we are young or expect someone else to stand up for justice; rather, we should be the voice for the voiceless, and try our best to be youth activists like the Prophet (saw).