All praises and thanks are due to Allah; the source of all goodness and blessings. May Allah’s choicest salutations and benedictions be upon the one who was sent with all goodness; the prophet of Mercy and the Messenger of glad tidings;Prophet Muhammad, his family and all followers.
History bore ample testimony to the fact that, one man can be the means of all goodness to an entire group of people be it a nation, a society, a community or family.
What is qualified to be described as goodness is that goodness that is capable of delivering people from the wretchedness of this world to happiness in it and success in the next life. Any goodness that is restricted only to this material short-lived world is deficient. Allah says about the types of goodness people seek after and which one is the real goodness:
فَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَٰقٍ
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
“Among the people is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world," yet he has no share in the Hereafter. And among them is he who says, "Our Lord, give us goodness in this world, and goodness in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire."(Al-Baqara:200-201)
The later one is the real goodness as its effect transcends beyond this temporal world; thus Allah commends them saying:
أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا۟ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ
“These will have a share of what they have earned. God is swift in reckoning.”(Al-Baqara:202)
One man can be the source of goodness to his people in the multi-dimensions of goodness mentioned above-materially and spiritually. That is, such a man himself is worth a nation due to his tremendous merit and pure ethics. Such men always wish good for their people and always invite them to it whilst bearing the effects of that with perseverance. These qualities made Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to be described as an upright nation. Allah says:
إِنَّ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Abraham was a nation (an exemplary leader), devoted to God, a monotheist, and was not of the polytheists.” (An-Nahl:120)
Prophet Ibrahim stood firm on the truth of monotheism when the world at then was sunk in the whirlpool of polytheism (ascribing others to Allah in worship) with only his wife Sarah and cousin Lut (Lot) as his followers on this path. He stood firm against his father and his disbelieving folk who were bowing for idols they created with their own hands. He was a nation characterize with purity of conscience and heart devoid of suspicion and doubts. He build this nation with the bricks of tawheed (monotheism), adherence to the commandment of his Lord, preference of the love of his Lord over everything else, generosity towards the guest to such an extent that when Angels came to him in human form and he was not aware, he quickly slaughtered a healthy calf and cooked it for them to eat.. The goodness of the nation of people that came after him can all be traced back to him as he was the father of all Prophets and Messengers that came after him. He was neither a Jew nor Christian but an upright Muslim. He was the first to initiate circumcision, Hajj ceremony, sacrifice of animals, and the practices of the Islamic Fitra: clipping nails, shaving the under arms, and shaving the pubic area, thus all the goodness of people of the Monotheistic nation right during his era till date is gathered in him. Worst indeed are those outside his nation, the holy Qur’an declared:
وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ إِلَّا مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُۥ ۚ وَلَقَدِ ٱصْطَفَيْنَٰهُ فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَإِنَّهُۥ فِى ٱلْآخِرَةِ لَمِنَ ٱلصَّٰلِحِينَ
إِذْ قَالَ لَهُۥ رَبُّهُۥٓ أَسْلِمْ ۖ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
“Who would forsake the religion of Abraham, except he who fools himself? We chose him in this world, and in the Hereafter, he will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, "Submit (be a Muslim)!" He said, "I have submitted to the Lord of the Worlds."(Al-baqara: 130-131)