The Importance of delineating the dimensions of the Holy Prophet’s (S) personality and lifestyle
No human being is able to fully delineate different dimensions of the Holy Prophet’s (S) personality and to present a picture of his personality that is close to reality. What we have learnt about the select servant of the Creator and the commander of all prophets is only a shadow of his personality. However, even this amount of knowledge is enough for Muslims to guarantee their movement towards perfection and provide them with a picture of the peaks of human virtues and human perfection.
It is also enough to encourage Muslims to come together and create Islamic unity. Therefore, my advice to all Muslims who live in different parts of the world is that it is necessary to work on various dimensions of the Holy Prophet’s (S) personality, lifestyle and conduct as well as the teachings that have been recorded in writing.
After the Middle-Ages, widespread propaganda campaigns were launched by westerners and Christians against the personality of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) and sworn enemies of Islam realized that one way to fight Islam is to launch a smear campaign against the Holy Prophet (S).
Many things were done to achieve this goal. And today the enemy is using different methods to erase the memory of the Holy Prophet’s (S) personality from the minds of liberated people throughout the world. From the Middle Ages to this day, many people in the world would have definitely developed faith in Islam and Islamic spirituality if they had known the Holy Prophet (S) to the same extent as Muslims and even less than that – that is to say, if they had seen only a shadow of his brilliant personality. It is necessary for us to work on this issue.
Maybe the most effective way to promote Islam is to present a picture of the Holy Prophet’s (S) personality to people of the world. It behooves artistic and aware Muslims throughout the world to delineate his personality through scholarly, cultural, artistic and promotional activities before the enemies and opponents of Islam use complex cultural and artistic methods to distort the image of the Holy Prophet (S) in the minds of unaware people throughout the world. These things are necessary.
We need to work on introducing the personality of the Holy Prophet (S). We need to focus on not just his lifestyle but on different dimensions of his existence, such as his conduct, his method of government, the way he treated the people, the way he worshipped God, his policies, his Jihad and his teachings. And we should not just write books, rather we should use new methods as well as the existing techniques and start doing artistic and promotional work. Also, we should not limit ourselves to the borders of the Islamic Republic, rather we should do these things in the entire world of Islam.
As the followers of the Holy Prophet’s (S) path at least, this is what we claim and what we are famous for in the world what is important is that we should try to emulate different aspects of his divine personality and create characteristics in ourselves that resemble the characteristics of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S).
It is not enough for those who struggle in the way of God and fight for Islamic rule to focus all their efforts on building an Islamic society and government although this is a major obligation and perhaps the most fundamental obligation that a Muslim has. Apart from the efforts that we make to establish and develop an Islamic system and to help it achieve success, it is necessary to make efforts to transform our hearts and souls, efforts that may be even more difficult than building an Islamic society and government.
The point that I have in mind regarding the life of the Holy Prophet (S) is that in order to fully establish Islamic values and ethics in society and in the souls, beliefs and lives of the people, the Holy Prophet of Islam used to immerse the atmosphere of his society in Islamic values.
Sometimes people might be asked or ordered to behave well, be forgiving, remain patient and steadfast in the way of God, avoid oppression or try to administer justice, for example. This is a matter of teaching lessons and giving advice or orders, which is necessary. The Holy Prophet (S) used to do the same thing: he would
"Instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom.” 3
He used to teach the people wisdom and how to live. But some other times the issue is beyond the simple act of teaching. That is to say, the teacher acts in a way that ethics and Islamic obligations are firmly established in society. He confronts non-Islamic behaviors. He gives a shock to the people and society. At appropriate points and junctures and through using appropriate methods, he acts in a way that the general atmosphere of his society is fully immersed in particular characteristics and ethical values.Culled from: Lessons from the Holy Prophet of Islam authored by Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei