Salam Maulidul Rasul!

As we mark the birthday of Nabi Muhammad (SAW), it is a good time to reflect on the exemplary life of this remarkable human being.

Understandably, in this age it is very difficult to follow the example of our beloved Rasulullah. We live in a world of more-is-better -- more food, more wealth, more money, etc. Our egos stand in the way of our reaching out to God and to His creation. We allow ourselves to judge others too easily, but cannot accept anyone else's judgment of us. We have become self-centered, not God-centered.

In the life and teachings of the Prophet, there are many examples for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, concerning how to love God Almighty, and about the benefits to be gained by filling our hearts and lives with that love.

These are seven of the Prophet's teachings to which we as Muslims must personally aspire and pledge to follow:

1. "Whoever believes in God and in the Last Day should say what is good or keep silent; and one should also be generous to his/her neighbours and guests." (adapted from Imam Muslim's narration)

2. "Always look to those who are less fortunate than you; do not look up to those who are more fortunate... in order that you not take lightly God's bounties upon you." (adapted from the narrations of Imam Al-Boukhary and Imam Muslim)

3. "Give gifts to one another, as this will enhance your love for one another." (adapted from the narration of Imam Al-Boukhary)

4. "God has no mercy on people who show no mercy to others." (adapted from the narrations of Imam Al-Boukhary and Imam Muslim)

5. God's Messenger used to pray: "O God, I seek your protection from anxiety, sorrow, weakness, laziness, cowardice, stinginess, the burden of debts, and being oppressed by others." (as narrated by Imam Al-Boukhary and Imam Muslim)

6. "The worst thing for a person to fill is the stomach. A few mouthfuls are sufficient for anyone to survive. If a person insists on filling the stomach, then one should fill a third of it with food, another third with water, and leave one third empty for easy breathing." (adapted from the narration by Imam Tirmizi)

7. "Live in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller." (as narrated by Imam Al-Boukhary)