Home   About Us   Courses   Introduction   Links   Limitations   Product Features   Contact Us
Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH) The Austere Ali Zohery, Ph.D.

Austerity is the tendency to be severe or experienced moments of pain and hard life. Prophet Muhammad knew that the task in his hands to be the Messenger of Allah on earth was such that he had to endure a lot of pain and suffering. We are told that Aisha one of his wives complained about his austerity techniques just to serve his lord in Rahman ( 1992):

He never ate to his fill, but never complained of starvation. He liked poverty more than richness. Sometimes he could not sleep, owing to hunger, but the next morning he would again observe a fast. If he had desired wealth, he could have had it, because he had the key to all worldly treasures. ( p. 145)

The austerity measures that Prophet Muhammad put himself into in order to serve human beings were unusual in these days. We have people who adore riches, who love to have wealth more than any other human being and be counted as the richest in the world. The need for people to crave for worldly things in this world is alarming. Most people aspire to leadership roles not because they love to do the job but because they want to be famous and rich. It is therefore strange to hear that somebody like Prophet Muhammad who had the privilege and the wherewithal to become rich refuses to be rich and instead chooses to adore poverty and hunger. He wanted to be the lowliest of the low and be respected and recognized by his people and Allah. Riches and wealth by themselves bring more pain and psychological suffering than poverty and hunger.

There are a number of instances in the hadith of Prophet Muhammad that show that his austerity measures of endurance was emulated by many of his followers. Bukhari quoted by Rahman ( 1992) narrates this incidence of austerity:

Said al-Maqburi quoted Abu Hurairah to the effect that when he passed some people who had roasted sheep in front of them and invited him to eat, he refused to do so, saying: “ Allah’s Messenger left the world without ever having had a full meal of barley bread ( Bukhari quoted in Rahman, 1992, p. 146)

This is a very good example to show that even after the death of Prophet Muhammad there were followers on earth who were destined to emulate his behavior and stick with some of the painful and strong will power to remain steadfast to the will of Allah. The fact that Abu Hurairah refused to eat the barley bread because his master before leaving the earth had not also eaten such a dish is a sign that he was very obedient and loyal to the words of Allah. There are a number of us who do not live by the words of savior Muhammad or Allah and this does not show humility and respectfulness in the eyes of Allah.

Prophet Muhammad was not only a person who had austere character; he was just in all his endeavors. This idea of being just made him to be looked upon as the role model by  Muslims as well as non-Muslims.


Copyright © 2010 prophetmuhammadleadership, All Right Reserved.