As a verse of the Qur'an reveals, "… Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets." (Surat al-Ahzab: 40), the Prophet Muhammad (saas) was sent to mankind as the last prophet. He was a living example of the sublime morality of Allah's last revelation. He was a friend of Allah and inspired humanity by his nearness to Him. He was His representative, noble in His eyes, and a friend to all believers.
As Allah has revealed in another verse, "We will impose a weighty Word upon you..." (Surat al-Muzammil: 5), He charged His last prophet, Muhammad (saas) with a heavy responsibility. Due to the Prophet’s (saas) strong faith in Allah, he fulfilled that responsibility in the best possible way, called mankind to the path of Allah and Islam, and illuminated the way for all believers.
Although we have never seen the Prophet (saas), we can still do our very best to come to know his exemplary behavior, his sayings and the pleasing morality he displayed, by means of the verses of the Qur'an and the hadiths (the sayings and teachings of the Prophet [saas]). We can try to be like him, in order to be close to him in the Hereafter.
People today, and the young in particular, take many individuals as role models, imitate the way they behave, speak and dress, and try to be like them. Yet, since the great majority of these people are not on the right road themselves, they lack proper morality and attitudes. It is therefore a serious responsibility to lead people to the truth and the best morality and behavior. A Muslim needs to try to emulate the behavior and the morality of the Prophet Muhammad (saas). Allah confirms that in a verse:
You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab: 21)
Like the Prophet Muhammad (saas), the other prophets were also role models for believers, and enjoyed Allah's good pleasure. Allah says in one verse:
There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This [the Qur'an] is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Surah Yusuf: 111)
As the Prophet (saas) has revealed in the hadith, "Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Apostle which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray," a Muslim's two truest guides are the Qur'an and Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (saas)). The Prophet Muhammad (saas) was an example to all humanity with his morality, to which he called on mankind to live by. It was the Prophet (saas) who said "I was sent to perfect good character" and "By One in whose hand there is my life: None shall enter Paradise except one who has got good conduct."
In the Qur'an Allah has revealed that the Prophet (saas) possessed the finest morality, and says:
Nun. By the Pen and what they write down! By the blessing of your Lord, you are not mad. You will have a wage which never-fails. Indeed you are truly vast in character. So you will see and they will see which of you is mad. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His Way and He knows best those who are guided. (Surat al-Qalam: 1-7)
Allah also revealed in that verse that the Prophet (saas) was a tireless toiler on His path. That demonstrates that he always displayed a pleasing morality, never departing from the way of Allah.
As the Prophet’s (saas) words "The most perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners" make clear, morality is one the most important components of true faith. It is therefore an important religious duty to learn about and practice the very best examples of it. Those Muslims who follow the way of the Prophet (saas) need to be foremost in their morality and behavior, and to invite others to adopt that same morality.