He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness.
– George Bernard Shaw
In Islam, the medium is the messenger. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) not only brought a Book that would transform and sway large populations of men, but through the efforts of his later followers who scrupulously recorded every detail of his life, Muslims are able to look back to the “perfect example” (Qur’an 33:21) of the Prophet as the standard par excellence of human greatness and excellence. His life was the embodiment of the Quran, and his wife Aisha said of him his character was the Quran (Sahih Muslim).”Verily”, the Qur’an declares to him, “you are of a magnificent character” (Quran 68:4). The Sunnah (example) of the Prophet is derived mostly from the hadiths (oral/written traditions), but also from the acquired habits of the inheritors of his example through unbroken transmission, generation through generation (‘amal).
The following is a description of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by an eleventh century theologian Ghazali, which is representative of how Muslims reflect about and know the Prophet:The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) was the mildest of men, but also the bravest and most just of men. He was the most restrained of people; never touching the hand of a woman over whom he did not have rights, or who was not his close relative. He was the most generous of men, so that never did a gold or silver coin spend the night in his house. If something remained at the end of the day, because he had not found someone to give it to, and night descended, he would go out, and not return home until he had given it to someone in need. From what God gave ” he would take only the simplest and easiest foods: dates and barley, giving anything else away in the path of God. Never did he refuse a gift for which he was asked. He used to mend his own sandals, and patch his own clothes, and serve his family, and help them to cut meat.”