Muslims see Muḥammad ﷺ not as the founder of Islam. He was simply the the last of a series of Prophets, the one to consolidate the important message re-iterated by Allāh through the ages.
was only a human being, but was the best (documented) model of worship
highest level of religiosity
If Allāh is Perfection, then Muḥammad ﷺ is the most perfect worshipper of Allāh .
mentioned 6 times in the Qurʾān as Muḥammad and 1 time as Aḥmad (61:6)
noble = morally good or generous in a way that is admired
multidisciplinary genius despite himself
. The one who best understood Allāh Nabi means prophet in Arabic,that is, someone who receives messages from God and prophecies. Rasul means messenger. This is a prophet who also is given a book, an organized body of teachings that can be written down and passed on for genera-tions. Both offices can be com-bined in one individual.
Peace be upon him
صل الله عليه وسلم
صَلَّىٰ اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمْ
صلى الله عليه وسلم
"May Allah honour him and grant him peace.": (Arabic: صلى الله عليه وسلم ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam - S.A.W., SAAW, or SAAS) - this expression follows specifically after saying the name of the last prophet of Islam, Muhammad.
When Muslims say the name of Muḥammad, they add phrase ‘ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam’ to show respect. This means ‘peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him’ and is often written in Arabic as ﷺ. In English, the shortened form ‘peace be upon him‘ (PBUH) is also used.
Allāh bless him and grant him peace
Uswah Ḥasanah أسوة حسنة — a good example, a role model
Just like the Prophet Abraham and his companions in their time (60:4, 60:5), Muḥammad ﷺ is considered to be a good example (33:21), the final role model for Muslims to emulate in their worship of Allāh.
A human being
Pagans asked him to produce all kinds of miracles to prove himself. He reminded them he's just a human being, a vessel through which the Divine message flows.
- Tell them, ‘How perfect is my Master and Provider! However, I am but a human being sent as a messenger.’ 17:93
- Say, ‘I am only a human being, like you, to whom it has been revealed that your God is One. Anyone who fears to meet his Lord should do good deeds and give no one a share in the worship due to his Lord. (Qurʾān 18:110)
Muḥammad ﷺ himself warned us: “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians did with the son of Mary, for I am only a worshipper. Rather, say I am a dependant of Allāh and a Messenger of Allāh.” (narrated by ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb in Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī)
- O members of the Quraysh tribe, I cannot save you from Allāh. I can give you money, daughter fatima, but i cannot control heaven and hell.
Best human. Sinless.
So, what Muslims do as regard Prophet Muhammad is not a form of exaggeration or discrimination against other Prophets, for, as we’ve said, this runs counter to Islamic teachings.
What Muslims do rather is showing respect and honor to a great person whom Almighty Allah Himself accorded honor and prestige, as He said in the Qur’an: (Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.) (Al-Ahzab 33: 56)