In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
An Ideal Human Being
Knowing the “perfect human” or, as it is said today, the “ideal human being” is a fundamental necessity. The morals of every ideology are based on its view on the perfect or ideal human being. Therefore, if we fail to know Islamic view of the perfect human based on the teachings of the Holy Quran [and traditions of the Prophet (PBUH&HP)], we will not be able to follow the path of Islam properly, and to observe the reality of Islam. Moreover, if we do not recognize the ideal human being defined in the doctrine of Islam, our society, which is an amalgamation of Muslim human beings, will not get close to the ideal Islamic society. Hence, it is necessary to know Islam’s definition of a perfect, ideal human being.
A perfect human being is one in whom all the human values have developed harmoniously, and every one of these values has reached its highest level. Such a human being would be perfect; one whom the Holy Quran refers to as “Imam” (1). The Holy Quran mentions Prophet Abraham (PBUH) as an outstanding example of this status.
After Prophet Abraham (PBUH) passed all the trails and tests successfully and did very well in all of them, he reached at the position of Imamate. One of the great tests of Prophet Abraham (PBUH) was that he had to behead his own son in the way of Allah (SWT). Prophet Abraham (PBUH) was so devoted that as soon as he realized this was the order of Allah (SWT), he got prepared to execute this order without any hesitation. Prophet Abraham (PBUH) was ready to behead Ishmael, and Ishmael was submitted to being sacrificed (2); but when Prophet Abraham (PBUH) put the knife on the neck of Ishmael, a call came from Allah (SWT) that, "What we wanted was up to this point; indeed we did not want you to behead your son, rather we meant to examine your submission to the order of your Lord" (3). Then, he was addressed that:" Now, you have reached a level where you can be a model, an Imam, and a leader; in other words, you are a perfect human; others have to behave in accordance with you and follow your example(4)". This critical position was not offered to him unless when all the human values had developed harmoniously and become perfect in him.
Indeed Prophet Abraham (PBUH) became a model for all human beings after successfully passing all the tests of his Lord. This is why the Holy Quran introduces him as a role model in the life(5), so that the human beings would follow him on the straight path of guidance towards the ultimate destination, which is nearness to Allah (SWT).
(The above is a selection taken from "The Perfect Human", by Martyr Murtada Mutahhari (with some changes and additions))
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1. "And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words (various tests), he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men…" The Holy Quran, (2:124)
2. "So when they both submitted and he threw him down upon his forehead", The Holy Quran, (37:103)
3. "And We called out to him saying: O Abraham! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision (and fulfilled your duty) ", The Holy Quran, (37:104 & 105)
4. "And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words (various tests), he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men…" The Holy Quran, (2:124)
5. "Indeed, there is for you a good example in Abraham and those with him…" The Holy Quran, (60:4)