Prophet Muhammad (P): An Ideal Human for all time.
Wama Arsalnaka Illa Rahmatan Lil Alamin
And we have not sent you except as a mercy for the world
Holy Quran (21:33)
“It amazes me how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful
and civilized nation in less than two decades”. Thomas Carlyle
It gives us the greatest of pleasure to welcome everybody to Prophet Muhammad Day, which, after two years in the virtual space, comes back to the face-to-face world. Consider the desert terrain of Arabia in 570 AD, the year of Prophet Muhammad’s birth. The peninsula was characterized by bitter internecine wars, female infanticide, a complete disrespect for the rule of law, and such an absence of governance that the period came to be known as jahiliya, the Dark Age.
Fast forward to 632 AD, the year of Prophet Muhammad’s passing. The peninsula, and indeed large parts of North Africa, had been united into an orderly government withcodified systems of governance that resemble a welfare state. The age of female infanticide was long gone; indeed women now had a right to their parents’ inheritance, and a say in their choice of marital partner. The productive potential of the population was unleashed through a period of peace, and Arabia became the producer, not just of goods and services, but a vast array of literary and cultural products.
All this was accomplished under the guidance of a single man, one so remarkable that he routinely features among the list of most consequential beings in the history of humanity.
To explore his life and teachings is indeed to explore the potential of humanity to transcend its circumstances.
Muslims for Peace welcomes you to our 16th year celebrating the remarkable life of Prophet Muhammad, who referred to by philosophers as the insaan e kaamil, the complete human.
It might also be worthwhile to say a few words about the organization that has put this event together. Muslims for Peace was formed in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, principally to provide an inter-faith platform for likeminded people of diverse faiths to advocate for pluralism, tolerance and a common humanity. Every religion has organizations that subscribe to these tenets, and Muslims for Peace seeks to make common cause with them in its attempt to dispel misconceptions about various minority groups.
One of the mandates adopted by Muslims for Peace is to highlight the tolerant and peaceful elements of Islam and educate mainstream America about Islam and Muslim practices.
This mandate has broadened organically over the years, to incorporate inter-religious solidarity and dialogue, relief and charity, intellectual discourse, and advocacy for peace and social justice. Islam is one of the world’s largest religions, and yet it is also one of the most misunderstood. For various reasons – be they political, economic, biased media or fear of the & quot;other" – mistruths and misconceptions about the religion abound in the current landscape. Highlighting the humanitarian character of the religion, Muslims for Peace draws inspiration from the spirit of inclusiveness that runs through Islam. For instance, Imam Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, in his letter to his subordinate Malik Al-Ashtar, who he had appointed governor of Egypt, had said: “Remember, Malik that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: your brothers in faith, and your equals in humanity.”
The organization’s activities include a diverse set in the social, political, cultural and community spheres. In April 2022, we conducted our annual inter-faith iftar with members Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and secular organizations. We organize a Christmas party for underprivileged children, coordinate relief work for urban communities, host stand-up comedy nights, and participate in academic and intellectual seminars.
One of the flagship events of Muslims for Peace is the Annual Prophet Muhammad Interfaith Conference, which we are participating in today. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a blessing not just for Muslims, but for all of humanity, and in the past 15 years, this event has attracted academics, political and religious leaders, philosophers, poets and community activists, who seek to draw inspiration from his life to inform contemporary citizenry and humanity. The event has been characterized by the active participation of Muslims as well as non-Muslims, who use the forum to educate themselves about Prophet Muhammad and bring the lessons from his life into the contemporary social order.
We hope that this event is as successful and inspirational as conferences past and look forward to future interfaith dialogues in the future.
Prof Raza Mir
Muslims for Peace