Unless we don't learn to be tolerant of different viewpoints or the ways of argument to differ with and give some space to others, we would continue to reel under modern form of pre-Islamic dark age
The sacred life account of the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad (SAW) is indeed a collective account of a progressive and qualitative society which he had constructed in Medina and Makkah. Instead of sitting in solitude and remaining busy in refining and making his own self, he spent his life actively among people, purified their souls and bodies and prepared them to be the best moral beings to establish spiritual links with Allah (SWT) by ensuring piety, justice, peace and security.
It was in the midst of uncounted moral, cultural, economic and political problems and scuffles in Arab society that the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad (SAW), was divinely commanded to invite the people towards Islam. The evils of racial and class discriminations were en-rooted in the whole society. The oppression against the weak seemed to be order at all socio-economic fronts. The immorality with its worst kind was on full spread to the extent of nudity and immodesty.
Politically, the Roman and Iranian civilizations with extreme imperialistic obsession were at frontiers because of the weak socio-political structure of the society. The Arab society was indeed in search of a wise and dynamic spiritual leadership with concrete and rational strategies to design and rebuild the civilization having far reaching impressions. Albeit, the people of Arab-living in one country, communicating in same language, having mutual racial relations, were still disintegrated and divided into a number of tribes and sub tribes. The concept of nationalism was absolutely absent among them.
In the backdrop of a socially ill, morally bankrupt, economically exploitative and politically polarized society, the Prophet (SAW) was chosen among them with a divine mission to ensure socio-spiritual elevation and to build a new world with piety replacing its all evil marks. His personality was embedded with the highest degree of God consciousness, movements, changes and reforms pathetically required at the moment. This has gradually been achieved at various stages from cave 'hira' to cave 'sour', from Kaaba to markets of Taayif, from his home affairs to the battlefields or putting it broadly, from the era of Makkah to the period of Medina.
His companions were so impressed, influenced and imprinted by his divinity, positivity and spirituality that they, by virtue of their remarkably good deeds, became the role models for generations to come. Hazrat Abubakar (RA), Hazrat Ummar (RA), Hazrat Usmaan (RA) and Hazrat Ali (RA) became the brightest stars on the prophetic sky. The unknown Bilal (RA) of pre-Islamic period achieved the special status of being the 'Mouzin' of Masjid-e-Nabawi after entering the fold of Islam. Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA), professionally barber, was always offered the place near the Prophet (SAW) when he adorned himself with the faith of Islam. Thousands other hither to unlettered and ordinary became the part of Islamic history being read and taught in the contemporary world educational and research Institutions. This couldn't be the outcome of any aggressive behavior but of a reformative personality and the social activism which the Prophet of Islam (SAW) possessed in its fullest sense.
The present Muslim community as a whole has certain tough challenges before it; ranging from illiteracy to ignorance, poverty to job crisis, individualism to extremism and from waywardness to malpractices. To address all these vital issues, there is a need of rational, scientific and reformative approach which unfortunately doesn't prevail at all levels to ensure the societal transformation in accordance with the spirit of Islam. Because the priorities have been wrongly set and determined. We have been diverted by divisive interpretations and emotional sermons from vibrant Islamic faith to some non-issues, with confidently calling these an absolute Islam. Following this trend, Muslims at popular level are now showing the visible and free gestures of polarization and factionalism. The difference of opinion is natural and at times beneficial too till it is confined to the scholars and institutions. Once it lands among masses, it assumes the character of divisibility which in turn drops the Muslims in the court of irrational arguments and counter arguments. This is commonly seen in Masjids, markets and streets as well. The trend kills the values of patience, tolerance and accommodation.
Now the situation seems out of hand in the free atmosphere and culture of uploading footages and counter footages of various irresponsible and so called mufties and molvies on social media. Today we observe intolerance, confrontation and aggression even among the "learned Molvies and Mufties" irrespective of their affiliations to different sects, communities and Maslaks. In this backdrop, we are confused how to react the inflictions given by some non Muslim biased authors and artists through their words and caricatures to the honour and regard of the Prophet (SAW). We couldn't set our own home right, how to bring others on line? Here, we need to be more rational than emotional and to present different beautiful dimensions of the Prophet's (SAW) life before such venomous people across the globe with more clarity and accuracy. That shall be a rational protest with broader purpose.
Unless we don't learn to be tolerant of different viewpoints or the ways of argument to differ with and give some space to others, we would continue to reel under modern form of pre-Islamic dark Age. If reformation, not reconstruction, becomes the hall mark of preachers, writers and religious leaders, we would surely establish the Islamic society with all dimensions, if not the Islamic state. All needs to be taken abode and act as reformers if we want the practical translation of Islam, ordained in the Holy Quran by Allah (SWT) and demonstrated by the Prophet (SAW). Even a little movement towards realization of the concept of ummah in broader perspective will be the highest form of commemoration of Meelad of the Prophet (SAW) in Rabi ul Awwal.
It is indeed an emotional attachment with beloved Prophet(SAW) being reflected through celebrations and processions but it must also serve the passionate reminders of our responsibilities both at individual and collective levels to display the character as desired by the Prophet of Islam. Let's hope the adoration and lighting of Masjids, Madrasas, shrines and streets would illuminate our hearts and minds too.