A new aspect of Prophet’s personality

By Darul Aqsha

THE Encyclopaedia Britannica mentions Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon
him) as “the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities”, while Michael Hart in his book, The 100:A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons in History in (1978), placed the Prophet in the first rank because “he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels”. These are only a couple of testimonies among hundreds of the honest testimonies about the
Prophet.

The writer, Dr Muhammad Syafii Antonio, smartly cited comments of several world leaders who recognised the Prophet’s greatness as an intro in each chapter of his book. The comments confirm a Quranic verse which calls Prophet Muhammad as an Uswatun Hasanah (A Good Model) for humankind.

The main mission of the book is to raise awareness about personal, family, business, social, politics, military, legal, education,leadership discipline and management aspects of Prophet Muhammad’s personality.

The writer sees the territory of the Prophet’s best model not only in the mosque or surau, but also in broader aspect like management of equity market, banking, insurance, legal system, strategic management, export-import finance, educational system and others.

While writing the book, the author has admitted that studying the journey of Prophet Muhammad’s life was like sailing through an unlimited ocean because it’s very vast, rich and bright.

The vastness of the Prophet’s model covers all aspects of life. Considering this the author limited himself to study only eight main points of the Prophet Muhammad’s leadership. They are: self-development or personal leadership, business and entrepreunership, family leadership, da’wah (Islamic propagation), social and politics, legal system, education, and military strategy. The author described the eight
points of the Prophet’s leadership briefly but with complete maps, tables, chart, even line graphics. The book is divided into four main parts which consists of 12 chapters.

The author explained the concepts of modern and management and leadership, survey of literature over various classical writings and studies on Prophet Muhammad to show that there are still many sources to explore.

The author shows the readers the phases of the Prophet’s development of entrepreneurship since his childhood and youth as a shepherd and an intern, and an entrepreneur until he reached financial freedom when he was initiated as the last prophet at the age of 40.

The author completed his description with a map which shows various places in the Arabian Peninsula which the young Muhammad visited for businesses plus graphics show the Prophet’s steps towards entrepreneurial development.

Another interesting part of the book is that the writer described the Prophet’s social leadership as a monogamous husband or polygamous one, father-in-law, son-in-law, husband of: ex-slave, royal descent and others.

There is a table which shows how many women the prophet married, how old they were when they married to the Prophet, their status (widow/girl), and the reasons why Prophet married them. In an appendix, based on his calculation and several hadiths, the authors revealed a new view that Aisha that when she was married to the Prophet she was not nine-year-old as it is believed, but she was 18 years old. Besides, a good head of family, he was also a good model for a trader, business leader, investment manager to business owner.

The readers can learn the wisdom of leadership and management from the best model in self-development and learn how to succeed in business and life from him. There is also a table of wars which were led by the Prophet Muhammad.

The book is interesting because it’s written by an Indonesian Muslim scholar of Chinese descent who is also an expert in Islamic finance both theoretically and practically (He is a member of the Bank Indonesia’s Expert Committee, Shariah Advisory Council of the Malaysia’s Central Bank).

He graduated from Faculty of Shariah of University of Jordan. He had attended Islamic Studies Programme at Al Azhar University and did masters in economics from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, and PhD in economics from the University of Melbourne).

The book gives a new and wider perspective in understanding Prophet Muhammad. The author used leadership and management approaches plus infographics (maps, chart, tables, line graphics, diagram), making it easier for the reader to understand the life and struggle of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Brunei Times
Monday, March 9, 2009

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