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[1]Life as a model of Excellence

Oct/Nov 2012/V11
Q3 (a) Describe three qualities of the Prophet Muhammad that make
him a model for humankind. [10]
Candidates can write about any three qualities of the Prophet that show
how he can be a role model for others.
Examples they can choose are: his forgiveness, for example when he
forgave his enemies after the conquest of Makka and his mercy, for
example when he went to preach at al-Ta’if, he showed mercy to the
inhabitants when the Angel Jibra’il offered to crush them between the
mountains [there has to be a clear distinction between forgiveness and
mercy for them to be two separate qualities, otherwise they should only
be counted as one]; his fairness, for example when he judged in a
favour of a Jew over a Muslim during a disagreement between the two;
his patience, for example when the Quraysh mocked him when there
was a break in revelation.
Candidates can offer other qualities, but they should give examples to
show what the Prophet said/did and how it made him stand out from
other people. Good answers will provide detailed examples with
relevant quotations. (b) How can Muslims put one of these qualities
into practice? [4]
Good answers for this part will take one of the qualities described in
part (a) and show how it can be put into practice in the lives of
Muslims, or how it can be demonstrated in wider society. Better
answers will give more detailed examples and cite specific situations,
rather than saying something general like, Muslims should be forgiving
to others who have wronged them.
Oct/Nov 2015/V12
[2]Qualities

Q3 (a) The Qur’an says the Prophet is of “great moral character”


(68.4). Identify events from his life that show a range of his moral
characteristics. [10]
Candidates can offer a variety of answers, but they should identify an
event in the life of the Prophet and give details as to the character of
the Prophet during that event.
Examples they could write about are:
Kind: at the time of the persecutions in Makka there was an old woman
who threw rubbish on the Prophet every day as he walked to the
mosque; one day she was not there; he asked her neighbour about her
well-being and found out she was ill; he asked permission to visit the
woman; when he entered the house, the woman thought that he had
come there to take his revenge when she was unable to defend herself
because of sickness; but the Prophet assured her that he had come to
her, not to take any revenge, but to see her and to look after her needs,
as it was the command of God that if anyone is sick a Muslim should
visit him/her and should help him/her if help is needed.
Merciful: the Prophet went to preach Islam to the people of Ta’if, who
rejected him and chased him away, throwing stones at him causing him
to bleed. When the angel Jibril came and said God has given
permission to destroy the people of Ta’if upon the Prophet’s
command, the Prophet replied that he would rather have someone
from their community believe in and worship one God.
Trustworthy: the Makkans knew of the Prophet’s trustworthiness and
called him al-Amin; even after prophethood they continued to entrust
their belongings to him knowing that he would keep them safe; on
migration to Madina he returned all their belongings through ‘Ali.
Truthful: He was known to the Quraysh as al-Sadiq; even after
prophethood they rejected his message but still believed he would not
tell a lie;
Humble: despite the Prophet’s status, he never lived an extravagant life;
his wife Aisha related that at home he would sweep the house, stitch his
own clothes, fix his own sandals, help employees in their work and eat
his meals with them. He did not think of himself as better than the
poor, and would accept invitations from slaves and the poor; he also
showed his humility at the Conquest of Makka.
(b) Which of the Prophet’s characteristics you have written about in
part (a) is the most important in your opinion and why? [4]
Candidates here should take one of the examples they have written
about and give reasons as to why they think it is the most important of
the Prophet’s characteristics.
It is not enough to write that e.g. his mercy was the most important
because he forgave people which showed people he was a great
Prophet, but they need to show an understanding of why they think it
was important, whether they relate it to the events at the time of the
Prophet, or whether they relate it to the lives of Muslims now.
May/June 2014/V11
Q3 (a) The Prophet Muhammad is said to have been patient and
trustworthy. Write about events in his life that illustrate these qualities.
[10]
(b) Choose one of these qualities and explain why it was important for
the Prophet to possess it. [4]
(a) Candidates should write about events that show these traits in the
Prophet, and they should give a detailed narration of the event rather
than list a few occurrences. His patience: This was shown through the
persecutions, when he was abused and ridiculed, but he did not give up
preaching; he did not react when rubbish was thrown on him; when he
was offered bribes by the Quraysh he refused and persevered, even
through the boycott; he waited until God guided him to migrate; he was
patient when revelations stopped for periods of time; he showed
patience when the Quraysh ridiculed him after the death of his son.
Trustworthiness: He had always been trusted by the Quraysh even
before prophethood, being called al-amin; the Quraysh kept their
belongings with him even after prophethood; when he migrated to
Madina he returned the belongings to their owners (through ‘Ali); he
kept his promises, e.g. as part of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, the Prophet
sent back Muslims to Makka who had not sought consent to leave.
These are some answers that could be offered but candidates may
have others that they can develop.
(b) Candidates should choose one of the above qualities and give
reasons as to why it was necessary for the Prophet to have that quality.
For example, the Prophet needed to be patient because he was going to
endure years of hardships and becoming angry or giving up would not
have been suited to a Prophet and would not have allowed Islam to
endure. Or, being trustworthy at all times allowed people to have faith
in him and his message when he started to preach as they knew that his
quality of being trustworthy was unshakeable.
Candidates could give any relevant example of why the Prophet
should have had that quality but the development of the answer is what
will give the candidate higher marks.
May/June 2016/V11
Q3 (a) The Prophet was described as humble and just. Giving
examples from his life, write about events that describe these qualities.
[10]
(b) How can Muslims today apply the Prophet’s example of humility
when dealing with either friends or strangers? [4]
(a) Candidates should give examples of the Prophet’s characteristics
and give details of events where these characteristics were shown.
Humble: The Prophet would not think of himself as above the other
companions, like a king, and would take part in all the tasks the rest of
the community would, like digging the Trench in battle despite his
hunger, or taking part in the building of the mosque in Madina. He
would take part in household chores, like cleaning and mending his
garments, milking the goats, etc., and would not expect others to do it
for him. He would sit on the floor and eat, saying, “I am only a servant,
I eat like a servant or a slave eats, and I sit as any servant sits.” When
the Prophet entered Makka after the conquest, he did not enter with a
big display of victory; rather he was riding at the back of the army
remembering and thanking God. He was so hunched over that his
beard was touching the back of his animal.
Just: He did not treat those he knew or was related to differently to
those who were strangers. Once, a noble woman of the Quraysh
committed theft. Her relatives tried to intercede on her behalf. The
Prophet called the people saying: “What destroyed your predecessors
was just that when a person of rank among them committed a theft (or
any crime), they left him alone, but when a weak one of their number
committed a theft (or any crime), they inflicted the prescribed
punishment on him. I swear by Allah that if Fatimah, daughter of
Muhammad, should steal, I would have her hand cut off.” Many Jews
of Madina brought their affairs and problems to him, knowing that he
would always be fair. In administering justice, he made no distinction
between believers and nonbelievers, friends and foes, high and low.
When a Jewish man came to demand back the money the Prophet
owed him, he grabbed the Prophet by the collar. ‘Umar got angry at the
Jew, but the Prophet smiled. He asked for the debt to be repaid and
extra given due to the harsh treatment by ‘Umar.
Candidates can give other examples but should give details of them.
(b) Candidates could say, e.g. that Muslims can be humble by eating
with their servants, or the same food as their servants, or not treating
them any differently to their own family; they can take part in tasks to
help the community such as looking after and cleaning the mosque;
they can help their family by doing chores and not thinking they are too
busy for it; if they are in positions of authority at work, they should not
try to treat their workers badly to show who is boss, but should treat
them fairly and equally.
These are just some examples; candidates can give others but should
elaborate on the points made.
May/June 2017/V11
Q4(a) Write about events from the Prophet’s (pbuh) life that show his
qualities of generosity, honesty and simplicity in action.
Generosity is giving freely without expecting anything in return:
Examples of the Prophet’s generosity are, Abdullah ibn Ubayy, one of
the hypocrites, was an enemy of Islam, yet on his death the Prophet
prayed for him and gave his own shirt to enshroud Abdullah’s body.
He would never refuse the beggar, would feed the poor and hungry,
going hungry himself. He would give away his possessions and money.
He never turned down anyone who asked him for something, and once
a person asked for the clothes he was wearing, the Prophet took off his
garment and handed it to the man. Once, 70 000 dirhams were brought
to him and he laid them on the floor and gave them out until they were
all finished. He was most generous in Ramadan. When he returned a
debt he gave more than what he owed. He was generous with his
prayers, praying for those who hurt him rather than asking for their
destruction, e.g. at Ta’if and Uhud.
Honesty is being truthful in all circumstances even when it is not to
your benefit: examples of the Prophet’s honesty are, that even before
prophethood he was known for being honest and trustworthy. Khadija
married him due to his honesty in trade. The Quryash would keep
their belongings with him, even after they rejected his message. When
Abu Sufyan met the Byzantine Emperor, he spoke highly of the
Prophet saying he never lies or betrays other. Also, after the Treaty of
Hudaibiyyah, Abu Jandal was sent back to Makka.
Simplicity is living with few things and not being extravagant even when
you have the chance: the Prophet would do things with his own hands,
rather than asking others to do it for him, such as milking his goats,
patching his clothes, mending his shoes. He worked on the
construction of the mosque and digging the trench at battle. He did not
like the companions to stand up for him when he entered. He would
eat as others ate, and sit on the floor as others sat. He would take his
meals with slaves and people from any class of society. He would eat
very little. He would sleep on a simple mattress on the floor without
home comforts or decorations.
[10]
Q4(b) Can Muslims adopt a life of simplicity like the Prophet (pbuh) in
current times? Give reasons for your answer.
Candidates could say yes, e.g. because people now have too many
things and can live without a lot of them. They could simplify their lives
and get rid of a lot of the things they have in their homes, as well as
eating less food. They could also spend less and give away more to
charity. They could say no, e.g. because times have changed and it is
difficult to live without certain things, like electronics, cars, etc. and they
have become so much part of society that people feel they have a very
low quality of life without them. Or, because things are available they
should be used.
[4]
Oct/Nov 2006/V12
Q2. (a) Outline four of the Prophet's personal qualities that make him
a model for Muslims to follow. [4 x 3]

(b) Choosing two of these qualities, give one example in each case to
show how Muslims can put them into practice in their own lives. [2 x
2]
(a) [Look for four of the Prophet's qualities that can be a model for
Muslims. Do not give marks for qualities unique to the Prophet, e.g.
that he is a blessing for humankind. In each case award 1 mark for: •
identification of the quality, • examples of how it was shown in the
Prophet's life, • possible supporting quotations from the Hadith,
Qur'an and remarks of his Companions.]
(b) [In each case: Give 1 mark for the basic outline of a Muslim
putting the chosen quality into practice. Give a further 1 mark for an
example fully worked through.]

[3]Behaviour towards others


May/June 2006/V2
Q3 (a) Give three examples from the life of the Prophet that illustrate
his attitude towards nonMuslims. [3 x 2]
[In each of the three examples: Allow 1 mark for the simple
identification of a relevant incident. Allow a further 1 mark for a full
account of the incident. Remember, the incident may show either a
positive or a negative attitude.]
(b) How do these examples help Muslims in their relations with non-
Muslims today? [3 x 2]
[In discussions of each of the three examples: Allow 1 mark for a
basic principle deduced from the incident in the Prophet’s life. Allow
a further 1 mark for a full explanation of how the principle informs
Muslim attitudes and actions.]

...........................................................................................................
Q3 (a) Describe the main teachings of the Qur’an about: (i) taking
interest (riba) in financial dealings, (ii) relations between Muslims and
non-Muslims, (iii) the position of women as wives. [3x4]
(b) What can the example of the Prophet in his relationship with his
wives teach Muslims today? [4]
(a) [In each of the three answers, look for four descriptive points.
These must derive from the Qur’an, rather than the life of the Prophet
or general Islamic teachings. In each answer allow 1 mark for a basic
identification of what the Qur’an teaches; allow 1 or 2 further marks for
a fuller discussion about these teachings; and allow 1 further mark for
quotations from the Qur’an or Hadiths as long as their relevance to the
rest of the answer has been made explicit.]
(b) [Allow 1 mark for basic examples of the Prophet and his wives.
These must be specific (comments such as ‘The Prophet always treated
his wives in the best possible ways’ are too general to be allowed a
mark). Allow 1 further mark for fuller accounts of the examples given.
Allow 1 further mark for a basic attempt to relate these examples to life
today. Allow the final mark for full accounts of how present-day
conduct can be derived from the Prophet’s example.]
Q3 (a) Describe the main teachings of the Qur’an about: (i) taking
interest (riba) in financial dealings, (ii) relations between Muslims and
non-Muslims, (iii) the position of women as wives. [3x4]
(b) What can the example of the Prophet in his relationship with his
wives teach Muslims today? [4]
(a) [In each of the three answers, look for four descriptive points.
These must derive from the Qur’an, rather than the life of the Prophet
or general Islamic teachings. In each answer allow 1 mark for a basic
identification of what the Qur’an teaches; allow 1 or 2 further marks for
a fuller discussion about these teachings; and allow 1 further mark for
quotations from the Qur’an or Hadiths as long as their relevance to the
rest of the answer has been made explicit.]
(b) [Allow 1 mark for basic examples of the Prophet and his wives.
These must be specific (comments such as ‘The Prophet always treated
his wives in the best possible ways’ are too general to be allowed a
mark). Allow 1 further mark for fuller accounts of the examples given.
Allow 1 further mark for a basic attempt to relate these examples to life
today. Allow the final mark for full accounts of how present-day
conduct can be derived from the Prophet’s example.]