All praise and thanks are due to Allah for helping me in preparing this book. One of the important factors in the development and behaviors of the societies of the world today is the impact of role models. Now, more than ever, role models are affecting the lives of all races and classes of people around the world. Because of mediums such as television, radio, telephone and the internet, many role models, such as movie stars, athletes, musicians and politicians, have become quite popular around the world. However, such role models do not necessarily represent the ideal style of life, practices and beliefs that are wanted for the Muslim. When Muslims look up to sinful or disbelieving people who have been portrayed in the media to be successful and famous, they began to feel inferior to them. Satan may even deceive them into feeling that the reason for the non-Muslims' worldly success is their following of ways other than Islam. For this reason, Darussalam has brought to life in this work the stories of some of the greatest heroes and role models of Islam. In this way we serve the cause of increasing the Muslims' conviction to their faith. The efforts and sacrifices of these people for the sake of Allah's religion will show us who we are and what we really are capable of when we have strong belief in Allah. This book presents the glimpses of the lives of some of the greatest heroes and role models of Islam. It covers the four righteous caliphs, 47 male and female companions of the Prophet, 8 followers of the companions, 6 religious scholars, 7 reformers, and 7 scientists.
Heroes and Heroism
Every nation has its own heroes. Some are real while others are mythical. These heroes are sources of admiration, and even adoration by certain communities. In enlightened societies real heroes may be models for emulation. But who is a real hero? He is a person usually admired or respected for special qualities he is endowed with or for certain acts of bravery and chivalry.
Heroes of Islam
Muslims have no need to look for fictitious or mythical heroes, because their history is abundant with heroes of real flesh and blood, whose acts were heroic because of their faith, and a consequence of their attitude to life and the world. For all the heroes of Islam share two very special traits: full conviction and dedication to their pristine faith and constant attempt to seek the Pleasure of their Creator, Allah, alone, regardless of the circumstances and times they live in. For a Muslim hero, be he a military genius, a scholar teacher, or a devout common person, knows that the transient life in this world is a means to the eternal life in the Hereafter, and that ephemeral pains and pleasures are nothing compared to the everlasting pains and pleasures of Hell and Heaven. To this hero, the key to the whole thing is Divine Pleasure. Through it alone can a person enjoy peace and tranquility in this world and attain real happiness in the life hereafter. The is reported to have said: "Strange is the case of the believer. Everything turns to his advantage only. If adversity befalls him he patiently accepts it, and is rewarded for it. If prosperity happens to him he shows gratitude to his Lord (in word and action), and is rewarded for it." So a hero of Islam faces both prosperity and adversity with the right attitude and action. His goal is not worldly pleasures and gains, but rather the Pleasure of Allah.
Purpose of this Book
In this book we will try to present glimpses of the lives of a few heroes of Islam. But they all exhibit that special quality and trait of a Muslim hero. It is my hope that the reader will find actual examples of qualities we all need to instill in ourselves and our dear ones so that Muslims may once again take their proper place and play their vital role in human civilization and history.