Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) asked people to shun notions of racial, family or any other form of superiority based on mundane things and said that righteousness alone was the criterion of one's superiority over another. It has already been shown how he mixed with everyone on equal terms, how he ate with slaves, servants and the poorest on the same sheet (a practice that is still followed in Arabia), how he refused all privileges and worked like any ordinary labourer. Two instances may, however, be quoted here:
Once the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) visited Saad Bin Abadah. While returning Saad sent his son Quais with him. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) asked Quais to mount his camel with him. Quais hesitated out of respect but the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted: "Either mount the camel or go back." Quais decided to go back. [Abu Dawood]
On another occasion he was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a disciple, Uqba Bin Aamir. After going some distance, he asked Uqba to ride the camel, but Uqba thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). But the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [Nasai]
The prisoners of war of Badr included Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). Some people were prepared to forgo their shares and remit the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) ransom but he declined saying that he could make no distinctions. [Sahih Bukhari]
During a halt on a journey, the companions apportioned work among themselves for preparing food. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) took upon himself the task of collecting firewood. His companions pleaded that they would do it and that he need not take the trouble, but he replied,
"It is true, but I do not like to attribute any distinction to myself. Allah does not like the man who considers himself superior to his companions." [Zarqani, Vol. 4 pg. 306)]
by Athar Husain
An excerpt from the book entitled "The Message of Mohammad," by Athar Husain.
"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you" [Qur'an 3:159]
About himself the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Allah has sent me as an apostle so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment." [Muwatta; Musnad; Mishkat]
When there was nothing, Allah T'ala was, and when there will be nothing, He will be. He is the most Manifest of all the manifest, for whatever manifests itself in the world, does only by His attributes and His works and His light. And He is the Most Hidden of all the hidden, for not only do the senses fail to percieve Him but the intellect and thought and imagination also cannot attain to His essence and reality.
The best commentary in this regard are the words of a supplication of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings). which Imam Ahmad, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Baihaqi have related on the authority of Hadrat Abu Hurairah, and Hafiz Abu Ya'la Mosuli in his Musnad on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah:
"Antal Awwal, fa-laisa qablaka shai'in; wa Antal Akhir fa-laisa ba 'daka shai 'in; wa Antal Zahir, fa-laisa fauqaka shai in; wa Antal Batin, fa laisa dunaka shai'in. " "You alone are the First; none is before You; You alone are the Last: none is after You; You alone are the Exalted none is above You; You alone are the Hidden: none is more hidden than You. "
Here, the question arises: How does this accord with the immortality and eternal life of the dwellers of Paradise and Hell mentioned in the Qur'an when Allah alone is the Last and Eternal? Its answer has been provided by the Qur'an itself: "Everything is perishable except Allah Himself." (AI-Qasas: 88). In other words no creature is immortal in its personal capacity; if a thing exists or continues to exist, it does so because Allah keeps it so, and can exist only by His letting it exist; otherwise in its own capacity everything is perishable except Allah. Immortality in Heaven and Hell will not be bestowed upon somebody because he is immortal by himself, but because AIIah will grant him eternal life. The same is true of the angels: they are not immortal by themselves. When Allah willed they came into existence, and will continue to exist only as long as He wills.