Many people did not believe that he had passed away. They thought that the Messenger of Allah would live forever. It was Abu Bakr RA, who had the feeling, since the Farewell Pilgrimage that the death of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam was coming near, who convinced the congregation that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam had actually passed away. Abu Bakr RA said to the congregation that if they worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad had died, and if they worship Allah, He lives forever. Then he recited a verse from the Quran: "Muhammad Is nought but an apostle and the apostle had surely passed away before him: Will ye, then, If he dieth or be slain, turn round on your heels?”
Guidance to follow
Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam as a man had already died, but as a Prophet he left behind him a legacy in the form of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. He stressed the urgent need to hold firmly to these two sources during his Farewell speech in the valley of Arafat. If people hold fast to them, they will never go astray.
The teachings he left for us if put into practice in their true spirit and proper way will bring a happy life in this world and besides the definite rewards that will be received by those who believed in them in the life after death. In this sense, Islam is a worldly religion which cares first for the worldly affairs of humanity. The hereafter is merely a continuation of the worldly life. It is difficult to indicate that man can be saved in the hereafter without being saved in this world. The safe way is to follow the way shown to us by the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. When his wife, Aishah RA, was asked by a companion about the Prophet’s daily conduct, 'Aishah RA replied that the conduct of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is the Qur'an which is the guidance from Allah and Muhammad was given authority by Allah to interpret it. That is why his conduct is exemplary of human conduct.
Islam, as brought by the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is very much misunderstood as a religion of rituals only like prayers, fasting, almsgiving and pilgrimage. Thanks to the new developments in the world, Islam is now looked upon in a wider perspective than the narrow-minded view. The increased interest in Islamic studies by Muslims and non-Muslims supported by the advanced printing technology, has begun to open the eyes of the world about the true teaching and intrinsic values of Islam.