Teachings will be ceased when their proclaimers become sculptures. Humans are lazy. It is easier to erect a monument for someone than to read and analyze the thoughts what made the person famous. So, the thoughts of person that way will not remain with us. However, the way how he wore his beard, cap or his firm stand as he has become a sculpture will remain forever.
Anyone who belongs to my generation remembers the costumes of our youth. Lenin cap, Lenin goatee and eyes looking towards the future. This is all what has remained from Lenin but nobody read his books. There was a dispute in a statue inauguration whether to what extent expresses comrade Lenin the objectives of the town. Well, destiny has reached all who has become an idol. In this aspect even Jesus has become victim, too. His portrayal absolutely follows a particular trend and is idealized. Sure, he couldn’t be white skinned with blue eyes however we understand what is the motivation behind this communication.
Dear Muslim Brother, even you can be blamed a bit. Even if prohibition of representation or illustration exists, you do it. Even if you are not aware about it, but you do it. No matter there is no sculpture or picture about Mohammed (PBUH) you come out to the scene as if you were him! You want to become his sculpture. You hide yourself behind the Sunnah arguing as this is the tradition of Mohammed (PBUH). Yes, tradition is important but if it fossilizes thinking as stone, it will become retracting force. Islam cannot be locked to the age and place of Mohammed (PBUH)! Even Mohammed didn’t want like that. Don’t imitate Mohammed but do according to his teachings. If you trim your beard the way he did or wear trousers with shortened legs it doesn’t give you excuse for ignoring thinking. And there is another issue, too. Mohammed (PBUH) didn’t ask you to follow him but he asked to follow his teachings. Don’t make from him another Lenin! Because thought survive the time but idols never do! The essence of Islam is the thought and thinking.
Do you remember what Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said after Mohammed (PBUH) died?
“Whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die.”
Muhammad is no more than an apostle: many Were the apostle that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then Turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah. but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude. (Quran 3:144)
This verse primarily applies to the battle of Uhud, in the course of which a cry was raised that the Messenger was slain. He had indeed been severely wounded, but Talha, Abu Bakr, and Ali were at his side, and his own unexampled bravery saved the Muslim army from a rout. This verse was recalled again by Abu Bakr when the Messenger actually died a natural death eight years later, to remind people that Allah, Whose Message he brought, lives forever.
This all represent a deep message for us in order to concentrate our attention when we want to follow our belief sincerely. Whether we focus on a person, external signs or teachings?