Ibn Al-Qayyim (a scholar) said, “There is no path to happiness and success in this world or the Hereafter except at the hands of Messengers. And there is no way to determine the good from bad except through their teachings. Allah’s pleasure is never gained except through their example. Good actions, sayings and manners are only attained through the guid- ance they brought.
The Prophets are the scale by which our actions, sayings and manners must be weighed. And their example is the criterion between the people of guidance and those of misguidance.
We are in need of following their examples more than a body needs its soul, and more than an eye needs light to be able to see. In fact, every decreed obligation is surpassed by the obligation of following the example of the Prophets.
If we neglect doing so for the blink of an eye then our hearts will become corrupt, just like a fish becomes when it is taken out of water. Since happiness in this life and the Hereafter is linked with following the example of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a wise person who is seeking his own happiness and salva- tion must gain enough knowledge regarding the Prophet’s guidance and biography.
This way he becomes a true follower and joins the party of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In this regard, there are those who gain a lot of knowledge, those who gain only a little of it and others who are deprived of it. Allah grants goodness to whomever He wishes. Indeed, Allah grants great bounties.”(Zaad Al-Ma’aad (69/1).)
Why do we have to follow the example of the Prophet of Allah, Mu- hammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
We follow his example because his life is the most perfect of lives. Allah chose Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, based on His Knowledge and Wisdom. He selected him over all humans. Thus, we must learn about his blessed life that was guided and decreed by Allah; perhaps his lifestyle would become a beacon for us and a cause of salvation for our nation.
The following are more reasons why we must follow the example of Prophet of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
Out of obedience to Allah’s Orders:
We should follow the example of the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, because we were ordered to do so by Allah.
He, the Exalted, Says (what means): «There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (example) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.» [Quran: 33:21]
And Allah warned us against disobeying the Prophet of Allah, sallal- laahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He Says (what means): «So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet’s order, lest Fitnah (trial) strike them or a pain- ful punishment.» [Quran: 24:63]