LESSON 3: “The Good Character of the Messenger”
1) “It is nothing but Revelation that is revealed.” (53:4):
53:2-4 states that the companion (the Messenger) is not deceived, makes no mistake nor speaks of his own desire.
To say this refers to everything that Prophet Muhammad as a person says would contradict the fallibility of the human he was.
Prophet Muhammad was fallibly human, like us (, 17:93, 18:110, 33:37, 66:1, 80:1-10).
Messengers were repeatedly warned to stay upright (e.g. 6:150). If they were infallible, this would never be necessary.
Prophet Muhammad was capable of sinning (4:79).
Messengers did not know what would become of themselves (46:9), thus Muslims have no right to consider them infallible.
53:4 is comparable to 97:1. The “it” in 53:4 is the same as the “it” in 97:1 (referring to the Qur’an).
Therefore 53:2-4 refers to the attributes of the Revelation being recited (i.e. it is true, it guides correctly and it comes from Allah).
2) The “good example” of the Messenger:
33:18-20 describes the poor behaviour of hypocrites in a situation of conflict.
33:21 says a good example was set by the Messenger for those who hope in Allah and remember Him much.
33:22 describes the behaviour of true believers in the same situation.
33:23 contrasts Muslim behaviour to that of the hypocrites.
Therefore 33:21 refers to the good example of the Messenger in displaying courage and trust in Allah.
Demonstrating a good example for those who do a particular thing means setting a good example in doing that thing.
Precisely the same expression is used for Prophet Ibrahim (60:6) in another contextual situation (60:4-6).
60:6 does not mean we need ahadith of Prophet Ibrahim, thus 33:21 does not mean we need ahadith of Prophet Muhammad.
The “good example” comes from conduct conforming to the ideals detailed by the Qur’an.
For instance: Prophet Ibrahim’s behaviour (9:114, 11:69, 11:75, -48).
3) The “sublime morality” of the Messenger:
68:4 declares that the Messenger conforms himself to sublime morality. 68:2 and 68:7 clarify that this means following the Qur’an.
If a person adheres to the Qur’an sincerely, Allah will guide him or her with it so that they too become upright (17:9, 34:6).
Only Allah can guide people from darkness to light (33:43, 39:23, 72:21).