By Muneeb Nasir
The companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) transformed themselves and their societies in a short period of time.
We cannot be but amazed at what they achieved.
These women and men were from among the most deprived lot in their society - many came from among the poorest segments of society, some were enslaved and many were destitute.
Yet their names have reverberated throughout history, so much so, that Muslims feel honoured to name their children after companions such as Bilaal, Salman, Aisha, Muadh ibn Jabal, Sumayyah, Abu Huraryah, Talha, Ubayy ibn Kaab …
Even if we don’t know the finer details of their lives, their legacy is honoured by Muslims throughout the world.
So, what is it that made these men and women of such excellent character, conduct and achievement.
Undoubtedly, these were blessed peoples, chosen by God to accompany the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and they had certainty of faith.
But there is one factor that stands out when we read the historical accounts of their lives – and this is their sense of mission.
They understood and firmly believed that God had placed them on this earth as companions of the final Messenger to witness and communicate God’s final revelation to humanity.
They followed the Messenger who was entrusted by God with this mission statement:
“Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and warning, as one who calls people to God by His leave, as a light-giving lamp.” (Qur’an, 33:45-46).
This sense of mission – of being witnesses to humanity of the good news and inviters to God’s Grace was engraved in their consciousness.
For them, their new way of life (Deen) was not an afterthought or at the periphery of their lives.
The sense of mission of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) - their ‘why’ is what we are to model in our life as believers in One God.
God has brought us here and placed us in this land and at this moment in history.
We are not here by chance - it is the plan of God. We should feel that God has brought us here, at this moment, so that we can witness the good news of the message of mercy, peace and justice to others.
Our ‘why’, our mission statement, has been given to us:
“Say, ‘My prayers and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds.” (Qur’an, 6:162).