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How far, then, can the virtues of the Shari'a be said to be an indication of the greatness of the Messenger? We would answer that they indicate his greatness not in respect of the origin of the Law, but in respect of its realization and application by the Prophet. Not only as the man, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, worthy to receive the Revelation and the Law but to embody it and establish it. There is, by the blessing of Allah, a perfect match between the balance of contrary elements within the Shari'a on the one hand and, on the other, the same balance in the actions, attitudes and precepts of the Messenger. His life, seen in the round, presents a living harmony of all the best human qualities the fact of harmony between these qualities itself being the highest excellence lightness as well as seriousness, flexibility as well as rigour, strictness as well as compassion, humility as well as self-respect, enjoyment as well as self-discipline, amiability as well as implacability, speed of decision as well as deliberateness, anger as well as forbearance, to name only some of the virtues so well illustrated in what has come down to us in the records of his life, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him.
It goes without saying that the Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, used to joke on some occasions though he said nothing except the truth. An example of this is his saying to an old woman: 'An old woman will not enter paradise' whom he then consoled by smiling and adding that all old women should be young in paradise, that Allah would resurrect them as young women on the Last Day.
The Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, is also known to have bantered with children in order to amuse and delight them. Thus, he would bend down so that his grandsons. Al- Hasan and Al-Husain could ride on his hack, and he said: 'How excellent a camel is yours! And how excellent a pair of loads are you!'
On the other hand, while he described his grandsons as his 'basil' (his delight) in this world, the Prophet took a date out from Al-Hasan's or Al-Husain's mouth because it had come from the zakat (alms-tax), which is not allowed to the Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, or to any in his household.
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