What is prophet character? What is exemplary character of prophet?
Servitude is the highest point of modesty and submission to Allah. To yield to Allah the Most High with utmost submission means to follow His commands and prohibitions fastidiously and to abstain from disobedience to Him. Servitude is the reason for the creation of human beings. Servitude can only be done to Allah the Almighty, who is the Real Owner of the blessings and who gives people their lives to enjoy His blessings.
Being a servant to Allah means to declare one’s freedom from everything other than Him. From this point of view, servitude is not something that makes someone a slave or limits their abilities; on the contrary, it makes humans superior to the rest of the other creations. As it was stated by Shah Naqshiband (q.s.) “being a believer means adhering to Divine rules, living piously, observing the strict rules and staying away from concessions as much as possible, complete enlightenment, purity, and mercy.”
There is an internal and an external side of being a servant. The external side is ‘abdiyyah, which means to refrain from heedlessness when praying, refrain from backbiting when fasting, refrain from ungratefulness when giving in charity and to refrain from hypocrisy when performing the pilgrimage. In addition, it means to strive for the sake of Allah, remember Him constantly, and perform other pious acts free from spiritual diseases.
On the other hand, its inner aspect is ‘ubudiyyah, which means to be content and free from enmity, to be patient and not complain, be certain and free of doubts, to exist without becoming lost in the material world, and to seek incessant unity.
Allah the Almighty states the object of creation of human beings as the servitude to Him in the following verse:
“And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.” (al-Zariyat 51; 56); because, a servant may attain the contentment of Allah and the bliss of seeing Him in the Hereafter. Jalal al-Din Rumi (q.s.) says that:
The essence of human is insight (basirah) and the rest is skin
And insight is the Face of the Friend.
Prophets are the best examples in this respect. Allah the Most High, from time to time, uses the expression “…Ni’ma al-’abd – How excellent a slave!…” (Sad 38; 30) for them. And Muhammad (pbuh) was the most perfect one among them. He lived such a life of servitude that Allah the Almighty praised his life in the following verse: “La ‘amruka – Verily, by thy life (O Prophet) …” In the declaration of faith (Kalimah al-Shahadah), the Prophet’s servitude is mentioned before his prophethood, which shows how lofty and honorable being a servant is. For this reason, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II used to pray saying: “May my Lord not deprive me of His servitude…”
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is an excellent exemplar (uswatun hasanah) for us in every aspect of servitude, especially in prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, charity, remembrance of Allah and supplication. Since the essence of all worship is revering and loving Allah the Almighty, first we need to see Prophet’s exemplariness in this regard.
Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş, Erkam Publications