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The Prophet (saw) did not overload his companions with information;

he did not force them to listen to lectures a few times a day or even once a day – although such a schedule of lectures would certainly have pleased them. The Prophet (saw) was afraid that his companions would become bored with daily, lengthy lectures, and so he would leave a sufficient gap between one lecture or sermon and the next; such a gap allowed the companions to regain a sense of enthusiasm, so that they would yearn for another sermon, one that would give them the spiritual fuel they needed until the sermon that came after it.

And even when the Prophet (saw) did deliver a sermon that was at once meaningful and brief. And he exhorted others to follow the same standard; he said: “verily, the prolongation of a man’s prayer and the brevity of his sermon are signs of his understanding.” (Muslim)

When Umar (ra) reproached a group of Abyssinians for playing with spears in the Masjid, the Prophet (saw) said: “O Umar, leave them, so that the Jews can know that there is spaciousness (a large degree of leeway to enjoy the lawful things of life) in our religion.” (Ahmad)

One year, on the Muslim holiday of Eid, Abu Bakr (ra) visited the Prophet (saw), who at the time, was in Aishah’s apartment. When Abu Bakr entered, two girls were inside, and they were both singing. Abu Bakr exclaimed: “The singing (or flute noises) of shaytan in the presence of the Prophet!” The Messenger of Allah (saw) then said: Let them be, O Abu Bakr; for indeed, every group of people has a holiday, and this is our holiday.” (Bukhari)

The Prophet (saw) once asked Aishah (ra) about a marriage banquet she had attended; that particular marriage took place between members of the Ansar. The Prophet (saw) asked:” Was there among you some form of entertainment, for indeed, the people of the Ansar like entertainment.”(Bukhari).

The entertainment the Prophet (saw) referred to was, of course, lawful entertainment – a kind of innocent diversion that rejuvenates the soul and provides a healthy break from serious affairs and hard work. As for what is forbidden in Islam, no one stayed further away from the unlawful than the Prophet (saw).

The Prophet (saw) used many effective methods of teaching – such as repeating what he said three times, giving commands that were at once brief and easy to memorize, and changing the pitch of his tone depending on the importance of what he was saying. But the best method of teaching that the Prophet (saw) employed – and that every good teacher employs – is that of being a good role model.

The Prophet (saw) taught his companions to fear Allah, and he taught them not just with words, but also with his character, for he feared Allah more than anyone from among them. When he would forbid his companions from a certain actions, he would be more careful to avoid that action than any other person.

When he reminded them to fear Allah and to think about the Hereafter, tear could be seen flowing down his noble cheeks. He advised them to adopt noble manners, and he himself had the best manners.

He encouraged them to remember Allah frequently, and no one remembered Allah more than he did. He exhorted them to give generously, and no one was more generous than he was. He advised them to be good to their families, and no one was better to his family than the Prophet (saw) was to his family. In Short, every religious teaching that the Prophet (saw) commanded others to follow, he followed himself.

Consequently, what the Prophet (saw) taught his companions had a long-lasting effect on them. They continued to remember everything he said for as long as they lived, not only applying his teachings, but also passing them on to the next generation of Muslims.

As a teacher, the Prophet (saw) had such a profound impact on others that if a person met him, believed in him, and spent even a single hours with him, the effect of that meeting would remain with that person for the rest of his life; in fact, for that person, it was as if the only day that was truly worth remembering was the day he had spent with the Prophet (saw). And that is because of the Prophet’s truthfulness, sincerity, blessedness, and noble manners.   (Ends)


(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)