Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
Once when the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, was returning from battle, he told his companions: ‘Now we are returning from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.’ ‘And what is the greater jihad?’ they asked. The Prophet answered: ‘The struggle against the self.’
– Prophetic Hadith
It has been said that ‘Islam is the meeting between God as such and man as such.’ For the nature of God, we have the first part of the shadaha: ‘I testify that there is no god but God.’ For the nature of man – for there can be no conception of Who God is without a corresponding idea of what man is – we have the second half: ‘And I testify that Muhammad is God’s Prophet.’ For Islam, the door to the true nature of man is the character of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. He is the Complete Man, al-Insan al-Kamil. He is the exemplar of our fitrah, of the human form in its original nature as God created it. The love Muslims feel for the person of the Prophet has to do with the fullness of his humanity – not in any sentimental sense, but rather because in him is revealed an unfailing and providential capacity to bring out the full humanity of any and every situation, and act upon it. Whichever way you turn, there is the face of God, says the Qur’an. But it would be almost equally true to say, ‘Whichever way you turn, there is the example of the Prophet.’
- From the Introduction to Virtues of the Prophet: A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Greater Jihad, the War against the Passions, by Charles Upton.
This is a wonderful book, with insightful writing into the Mercy, Spiritual Poverty, Detachment, Humility, Courtesy, Modesty, Discretion, Generosity, Hospitality, Trustworthiness, Veracity, Fear of God, Trust in God, Patience, Contentment, Courage, Justice, and Dignity which are the Synthesis of the blessed Prophet’s Virtues (pbuh).
These virtues are capitalized because they are the general chapter headings, each being a gem of understanding into the nature of the particular virtue as it is exemplified in the totality of the character of the Prophet (pbuh). It is an excellent book for a young Muslim man or woman. Inshallah, they will benefit from it.