What is measures from the stars?
One of the characteristics of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was that he would never amass any worldly possessions and he would spend everything he had for the sake of Allah the Almighty. Abu Dhar (r.a.) reported that:
I walked with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) on the stony ground of Medina in the afternoon and we were looking at Uhud. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
“O Abu Dhar!”
“Yes, O Messenger of Allah, I am right here.”
He (pbuh) said:
“What I desire is that Uhud be gold with me and three nights should pass and there is left with me any dinar but one coin which I would keep to pay debt.” (Muslim, Zakat, 32; Bukhari, Istiqraz, 3)
Even though there is no obligatory fasting for believers other than the fasting in the month of Ramadan, it was very rare that the Prophet (pbuh) passed a month, even a week, without fasting.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) says that:
“Allah’s Apostle used to fast so many days that one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting so many days that one would say that he would never fast.” (Bukhari, Sawm, 53)
He would not neglect to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days of the month, six days from the month of Shawwal, and on the day of Ashurah from the month of Muharram. In addition to these, it was his custom to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
Sometimes he was fasting two or three days without breaking his fast, which is called Sawm al-Wisal. When some of the companions wanted to do the same, he proscribed them from this saying:
“Do not practice Al-Wisal (fasting continuously without breaking one’s fast in the evening or eating before the following dawn).” The people said to the Prophet, “But you practice Al-Wisal?” The Prophet replied,
“I am not like any of you, for I am given food and drink (by Allah) during the night.” (Bukhari, Sawm, 48)
Therefore, we should remember that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is our only guide and exemplary personality; however, it is also very important and obligatory that we know the measure of taking him as an example. His actions and behaviors are divided into two categories:
- His deeds peculiar to himself
- His deeds for everyone
Therefore, we are not responsible to do the deeds peculiar to the Prophet (pbuh). Such deeds and behaviors are also like measures from the stars and we are not able to perform them; however, we are responsible to imitate and perform the second type of deeds and behaviors as much as we can.
Even though no one can reach the level of perfection of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), those who follow his footsteps can be a little Muhammad in the inner world. In fact, it is interesting to note that soldiers in the Turkish army are called Mehmetcik meaning little Muhammad.
Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş, Erkam Publications