“Now has come to you a Messenger from amongst yourselves – it grieves him that you should perish: ardently anxious is he over you – to the believers he is most kind and merciful.”
“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.”
“I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”
(Sir George Bernard Shaw in ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)
Every person is born with an inherent sense of morality—knowing what is decent, what is right and wrong, what is kind, fair, and what is cruel. Yet, it’s easy to get caught up in societal norms and habits, sometimes straying from this natural compass until the heart’s true calling is forgotten. In such moments, one can feel lost in darkness.
Deep within us, there’s a yearning to connect with something greater than ourselves, a longing to reach out to the Most High, the Ultimate Source of power. But the question arises: How can we truly know Him? How do we make that connection?
Imagine a door to the Creator before us, but we’re blindfolded, fumbling on our hands and knees, inching toward what our hearts perceive as the right path.
Then, imagine God sending us a Messenger who removes our blindfolds, shines a light towards the door, and guides us to our feet, showing us the way to open the door to divine mercy.
Shouldn’t we, then, hold immense love and gratitude for this Messenger?
1. The companions’ love for the Prophet (S)
His companions, who knew him well, were filled with an intense love, devotion, and admiration for him. To them, he was more precious than their own selves, their possessions, and their families.
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves.”
How much did the companions love the Prophet?
Anas bin Malik (RA) reported:
“A bedouin came to Messenger of Allah (S) and said to him, ‘When will be the Hour (i.e., the Day of Resurrection)?’
He (the Prophet (S)) said, ‘What preparation have you made for it?’
The man replied: ‘I have made no significant preparation with regard to Salah (prayer), fasting and charity but I love Allah and His Messenger.’
Then the Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘You will be with those whom you love.’
(Bukhari and Muslim)
A man came to the Prophet and said to him,
“‘O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes, when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait until I come and look at you. When sometimes I contemplate my death and your death, I know that you will be with the Prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise.’ The Prophet did not answer him until the Ayah, (i.e. An-Nisa 4:69) was revealed to him:
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah: the Prophets, the sincere lovers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. Ah, what a beautiful fellowship!” (Qur’an S. An-Nisa 4:69)
Ibn Shamasa Mahri (RA) narrates that they went to meet Amr bin al-As (RA) when he was about to die. He (Amr bin al-As (RA)) wept for a long time and turned his face towards the wall (and said):
“…And then no one was dearer to me than the Messenger of Allah [S] and none was more sublime in my eyes than he. I never plucked up the courage to catch a full glimpse of his face due to the reverence I had for him. So if I am asked to describe his features, I wouldn’t be able to, for I have not eyed him fully.”
(Sahih Muslim, Book 1, No. 220)
Al-Miswar (RA) and Marwan (RA) narrate the account of the treaty of Al-Hudaibiya in which ‘Urwa came to the Prophet (SAW) to negotiate its terms, and when returned to his people said,
“O people! By Allah, I have been to the kings and to Caesar, Khosrau and An-Najashi, yet I have never seen any of them respected by his courtiers as much as Muhammad is respected by his companions. By Allah, if he spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. Sahaba) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them, they would carry out his order immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect.”
(Bukhari Vol. 3, Book 50, No. 891, Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Habban, Bayhaqi)
After Hunayn, a stupendous booty was won and the Prophet handed out vast quantities of cattle to various leaders, particularly the recent enemies of Islam from the Quraysh, e.g. Abu Sufyan. The Ansar of Medina were feeling left behind and on hearing of this the Prophet (S) addressed them:
“What is it that I hear from you, O Ansar, about the apportionment of booty? Are you roiled up because I gave a larger share of the booty to the Makkans than I gave you? But tell me this: is it not true that you worshipped idols and God gave you guidance through me? Is it not true that you were riven by civil discord and God united you through me? Is it not true that you were poor and God made you rich through me?”
In answer to each question, the Ansar said: “Yes, that is so, and it is the grace of God and His Apostle.”
But these questions were merely rhetorical, and the Apostle of God himself answered them.
“…but you might have answered (and answered truly, for I would have verified it myself):
‘You came to Medina rejected as an impostor, and we bore witness to your veracity; you came as a helpless fugitive and we assisted you; an outcast, and we gave you an asylum; destitute, and we solaced you.’
Why are you disturbed in mind because of the things of this life, wherewith I have sought to incline the hearts of these men (the Quraysh of Makkah) unto Islam, whereas you are already steadfast in your faith? Are you not satisfied that others should obtain the flocks and the camels, while you carry back the Prophet of the Lord unto your homes?
No, I will not leave you for ever. If all mankind went one way, and the men of Medina another way, verily, I would go the way of the men of Medina. The Lord be favourable unto them, and bless them, and their sons and their sons’ sons for ever.”
None of those assembled had the strength even to breathe when he had finished his speech. The young people who had been complaining shed tears of remorse, whereas those who burned with love for the Prophet ﷺ wept for having caused pain to their beloved Prophet ﷺ. When at last they spoke, their voices trembled, “Oh Messenger of Allah ﷺ! Forgive us, for it is only yesterday that you saved us from the Days of Ignorance we were caught up in; forgive us, do not tax us for our failings. It is you we want, and all we desire.”
The Holy Prophet ﷺ then said, “Oh Ansar! Know that if I were given the choice among the people, I would always choose the Ansar. For the Ansar are as the inner layer of my clothing, whereas all other folk are as my outer clothing…”
2. Loving his Character
The Prophet (S) is revered for numerous reasons, primarily due to the profound gratitude felt for his role in delivering salvation to humanity. Those fortunate enough to have enjoyed his company were also deeply moved by his noble character, his compassion, and gentleness.
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) (uswatun hasanah).”
“We have not sent thee except as a mercy to the worlds.”
“And verily thou art of a high and noble disposition.”
Hadith recounting his character:
“Once when I was walking with the Prophet who was wearing a Najrani cloak with a coarse fringe, a nomadic Arab met him and gave his cloak a violent tug. I saw that the man’s tug left a mark on the neck of God’s apostle. The nomad said, “Command them to give me some of God’s property that you have, Muhammad!” The Messenger laughed and then ordered that he should be given something.”
“Abdullah ibn Ubayy, chief of the hypocrites, who had called the Muslims lowly outcasts, who had said to the grudging Ansar about the Muslims, ‘You feed your dog and then it devours you,’ died in 9 AH. When he had just been placed in his grave, the Apostle of God arrived and asked him to be taken out. He then placed him on his knees, blew some of his saliva over him, and clothed him with his shirt.”
Mu’awiya ibn Al Hakam reports:
“I sneezed while praying with the Messenger of Allah and said: ‘God have Mercy on you!’ The people around stared down at me so I said: ‘Woe is me! What do you mean by looking askance at me?’ They began to clap their hands on their thighs. Now I understood they wanted me to be silent and so I kept quiet.
When the Apostle of God finished the prayer – for whom I would give my father and mother as ransom as no teacher better than him have I seen before or after; for by God, he neither rebuked me, nor beat me, nor reviled me – he simply said to me: ‘No talk is fitting during the prayer, for it consists only of the glorification of God, declaration of His greatness and recitation of the Qur’an.’”
Anas said, “I served the Messenger of God for ten years but he never (once) blamed me for doing or not doing anything.”
Ibn Mas’ud reports:
“While we were on a journey with Allah’s Messenger, he went a short distance from where we had encamped. There we saw a small bird with two of its birdlings. The bird was fluttering when the Prophet returned and so he asked, ‘Who has distressed it by taking its chicks?’ Then he asked us to return the chicks. There we also saw an anthill and burned it out. When the Prophet saw it he asked, ‘Who has burnt it?’ When we informed him we had done it, he said, ‘Only the Lord of fire has the right to punish with fire.’”
Imam Hasan (RA) says, “(my younger brother) Husayn said: ‘I asked my father (Sayyidina ‘Ali RA) about the conduct of Rasulullah (S) in his assemblies.’ He replied:
‘The Messenger of God (S) was always happy and easy mannered. There was always a smile and a sign of happiness on his blessed face. He was soft-natured and when the people needed his approval, he easily gave consent. He did not speak in a harsh tone nor was he stone-hearted. He did not scream while speaking, nor was he rude or spoke indecently. He did not seek other’s faults. He never over-praised anything nor exceeded in joking, nor was he a miser.
He kept away from undesirable language and did not make as if he did not hear anything. If he did not agree with the next person’s wish he did not make that person feel disheartened, nor did he promise anything to that person. He completely kept himself away from three things: from arguments, pride and senseless utterances.
He prohibited people from three things. He did not disgrace or insult anyone, nor look for the faults of others, he only spoke that from which thawaab and reward was attained. When he spoke, those present bowed their heads in such a manner, as if birds were sitting on their heads. (They did not shift about, as birds will fly away on the slightest move).
When he completed his utterances, the others would begin speaking. (No one would speak while God’s Messenger spoke. Whatever one wanted to say, it would be said after he had completed speaking). They did not argue before him regarding anything. Whenever one spoke to him the other would keep quiet and listen till he finished. The speech of every person was as if the first person was speaking. (They gave attention to what every person said. It was not as is generally found that in the beginning people pay full attention, and if the talk is lengthened they became bored, and begin to pay less attention).
When all laughed for something, he would laugh too. The things that surprised the people, he would also show his surprise regarding that. (He would not sit quietly and keep himself aloof from everyone, but made himself part of the gathering).
He exercised patience at the harshness and indecent questions of a traveller. (Villagers usually ask irrelevant questions. They do not show courtesy and ask all types of questions. He did not reprimand them but exercised patience).
The companions would bring travellers to his assemblies (so that they themselves could benefit from the various types of questions asked by these people, and also hear some questions regarding which they themselves, due to etiquette, would not ask).
Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’ would say: ‘When you see a person in need, then always ‘help that person’. (If someone praised him, he would detest it). If someone, by way of thanks praised him, he would remain silent, (because it is necessary that one ‘thank a person for a good favour or good deed. It is like one fulfilling one’s duty. Some of the ‘ulama have translated this as: ‘If one did not exceed in praising him, he would keep silent’. That means if he exceeded he would prohibit him).
He did not interrupt someone talking and did not begin speaking when someone else was busy speaking. If one exceeded the limits he would stop him or would get up and leave (so that that person would stop).’”
3. The Prophet’s love for us (S)
As a messenger sent for our benefit, our hearts are moved by his anxiety and concern for our well-being:
“Now has come to you a Messenger from amongst yourselves – it grieves him that you should perish: ardently anxious is he over you – to the believers he is most kind and merciful.”
“Those who follow the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their (own) scriptures – in the Law and the Gospel – for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them what is bad (and impure).
He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, and follow the light which is sent down with him – it is they who will prosper.”
“The Mission and guidance I have been vouchsafed to deliver to this world is like this: A man made a bonfire and when it illuminated the surroundings, insects began to jump into it. You also want to take a leap into the fire in a like manner but I am holding you by your waists to save you from falling into the eternal fire.”
Narrated ‘Amr ibn al Aas:
“The Messenger once recited the saying of Abraham: ‘O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind; he then who follows my (ways) is of me, and he that disobeys me – but Thou art indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful,’ (14-36) and the saying of Jesus, ‘If Thou dost punish them, they are Thy servants: if Thou dost forgive them, Thou art the Exalted in power, the Wise,’ (5-118). Then he lifted up his head and said, ‘My nation! O my nation!’ and wept.”
4. His Sacrifices for us
Recall how well things were going for the Prophet before he committed to the mission of conveying Islam. He had a successful business, he was a promising young man from the elite class of Arabia’s most preeminent tribe, he had a loving and devoted wife and was well respected and admired by all…
And then came the revelation and his unceasing sacrifices to ensure Islam reached humanity.
- Recall the Shi’b (Boycott) when not just him, but his entire family, tribe and followers were banished to a barren valley and boycotted from food and trade.
- Recall the year of sadness – losing his two greatest supporters, his wife and uncle, because of the boycott.
- Recall Taa’if, how he was mocked and stoned and chased out of town by urchins, to the extend that blood ran down his legs and his rejection of the offer by angels, to have the town destroyed.
- Recall Uhud, where he lost so many of his dear companions, such as his uncle Hamza and Mus’ab bin Umayr.
- Recall the example that he strove to set, e.g., his extreme self-denial, his night-long prayers. He (S) prayed:
“O Allah! Make the provision of Muhammad’s family only enough to sustain life!”
“We, the members of the Prophet’s household, would sight one moon and then the next, but no fire would be lit in our hearth. We had to live only on dates and water.”
Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) said:
“I entered upon the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) when he was (sitting) on a reed mat. I sat down and (saw that) he was wearing a waist wrap, and there was no other barrier between him and the mat but his waist wrap, and the reed mat had made marks on his side. I saw a handful of barley, nearly a Sa’, some acacia leaves in the corner of the room, and a skin hanging up.
My eyes flowed with tears, and he said: ‘Why are you weeping, O son of Khattab?’
I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, why should I not weep? This mat has made marks on your side, and this is all you have accumulated. I cannot see anything other than what I see (here), while Chosroes and Caesar live among fruits and rivers. You are the Prophet of Allah and His Chosen One, and this is what you have accumulated.’
He said: ‘O son of Khattab, does it not please you (to know) that (these things) are for us in the Hereafter and for them in this world?’
He said: ‘Yes.'”
(Sunan Ibn Majah 4153 : Book 37, Hadith 54)
- Recall his terminal illness: when he came out from his apartment at Fajr time once and fixed his gaze on the worshippers for some time to see how they devoted themselves to their Lord. Others would be moaning about their pains – but he was more concerned that the Message had been successfully conveyed.
- Recall his last moments: when he repeatedly muttered, “Lo! be careful of prayer and of those whom you possess or have under your charge.” Even at such a critical stage, he was reminding the believers not to falter in their behaviour, lest they are deprived of Paradise.
- Recall, that he died in Medina hundreds of miles from his beloved home Mecca, just because of his dedication to conveying the Message:
Abdullah Az-Zuhri reported:
“I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, while he was standing near Mecca and saying, ‘By Allah, verily, you are the best and most beloved land to Allah and had I not been driven away from you I would not have left you.’”
(Tirmidhi 3925, Sahih (authentic) according to At-Tirmidhi)
5. Don’t we want to meet him?
“O Gabriel,” he said, “the Angel of Death asked for permission to enter!” And he (the Prophet) told him (Gabriel) of what had transpired. And Gabriel said, “O Muhammad! Your Lord longs for you! Has He not given you to know His purpose for you? Nay, by God, never has the Angel of Death sought permission of anyone, no more than is his permission to be sought at any time. It is only that your Lord is making perfect your honour while He longs for you.”
(Tabarani, narrated by A’isha)
If Allah Almighty, Lord of the Worlds, longed to meet him, should we be less eager? The Prophet (S) is reported to have said,
“I am preceding you but you shall join me. Our meeting is at the Pool, my Pool, whose breadth exceeds the distance between Bostra of Syria and San’a of Yemen. Into it from the spout of al Kauthar pours a water which is whiter than milk, softer than foam and sweeter than honey. Whosoever drinks of it shall never thirst again. Pearls are its pebbles, musk is its bed. Whomsoever is deprived of it tomorrow is deprived of all good. Therefore let him who is desirous of meeting me there tomorrow, restrain his tongue and hand from all except what is proper.”
6. He wants to meet us!
Narrated ibn ‘Abbas from the Prophet(s):
“Pulpits of gold shall be erected for the Prophets, who shall sit upon them. But my pulpit shall remain empty, for I shall be standing before my Lord, fearful that He might send me to heaven while my nation remains behind. I shall say, “O my Lord! My nation! My nation!” And God shall say, “O Muhammad! What would you have Me do with your nation?” “O my Lord!” I reply, “Make brief their reckoning!” And thus shall I continue to intercede until I am given to release men who have already been sent to Hell so that Maalik, guardian of Hell, shall say, “O Muhammad! I have not left any remnant of your nation to the wrath of God!”
7. How we should show our love for him (S)
Love of Prophet Muhammad (S), is intertwined with the love of Allah and ready acceptance of Allah’s sovereignty, and the Prophet’s guidance:
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’”
“He has tasted the sweetness of faith who is pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as his religion and Muhammad as Apostle.”
(From ‘Abbas in Muslim)
“None of you truly believes until his inclination is in accordance with what I have brought.”
(Hadith 42 – Nawawi)
As we reflect upon the life and character of the Prophet Muhammad (S), it becomes clear that his example is not just a chapter from history, but a living guide for all who seek a path of virtue. His sacrifices and patience, his good character and merciful nature, his humility in success are not merely virtues to be lauded but to be lived. By embodying these qualities, we honour his legacy and navigate life’s challenges with grace and integrity.
Our love for the Prophet (S) ends with a promised reunion at the Pool of Al-Kauthar, a symbol of the ultimate triumph of faith in the Prophet (S) and the sweet reward that awaits those who persevere. This love is an invitation to carry forward his legacy of compassion, sacrifice, and unwavering faith.
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes.
This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls. . . his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
“Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
(Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276-277)