Author: Ms. Seen Noon
Narrated by Anas (R.A): ‘The Prophet ﷺ said “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”’(Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 014)
Just imagine, our beloved Prophet ﷺ, the last of all the Prophets sent down to us by the Almighty, narrating it to all Muslims, that our faith is not concrete enough if we don’t love him more than anything of this mortal world. The state we are in at the moment says otherwise, we are indulged in a kind of life which revolves around status quo, milestone accomplishments, and high-end living. The purpose of our life is more tilted towards gaining the fruits of our endeavors in this world rather than sowing for a fruitful yield in the hereafter.
Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” (9:24)
Also, note how Allah sequenced the order of preference: ‘… than Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and jihad in His cause ….’
It seems like we have made it a point to twist and present even the simplest of things, depicting with our actions that we don’t know ourselves what Islam, the Religion of Peace, actually looks like in its true form. The moment we hear about some activity maligning the Prophet ﷺ, or disrespecting Allah or the Holy Quran, we get all fired up, ready to break the culprit’s neck, even if it means showing to the world a ferocious side of a Muslim, harming the image of Islam. I know, I know, we all need to safeguard the sanctity of Allah, the Holy Prophet ﷺ, the Holy Book, to make it crystal clear to the world that we will not be a mute bystander if somebody takes these matters in their hands. Of course, BUT…;
Where is that fire in us when we are waking up in the morning to the tune of our favorite song, instead of to the call of fajr prayer?
Where does all that aggression go when we neglect the fair dealings of trade mentioned in the Quran and rather feel OK to engage in usury-drenched businesses?
Where is that devotion when we live our lives in ways that are a total opposite of the Sunnah of our beloved Muhammad ﷺ?!
We are in a dire need of shifting our lifestyles towards loving Allah and His Prophet ﷺ, first and foremost, and ONLY after that we should bring aggression in these sensitive and fragile matters of religion. Bring balance in your life, be an example of calmness and humility, and weigh the scenarios of emotional attacks on Islam in a manner that revolves around ‘how would our beloved Prophet ﷺhave reacted to such a situation?’ kind of approach. This is only possible if we know more about his life, that is if we increase our understanding of the deep ocean of Ahaadith available about how our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ spent his life. Just picking up a gun and heading off to kill the next person who slanders the name of Allah’s messenger ﷺis NOT true Islam. Forgiveness, love, compassion, emotional stability, balance, these are all important attributes of a believer’s personality trait.
Allah mentions in the Quran, in Surah An-Nisa, Verse 69
‘And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.’ (4:69)
The age we are living in demands from us that we raise our future generation on principles of loving our creator and His messenger ﷺ, teaching them to mold their activities around the qualities of a humble, loving, caring, human being will help them in re-surfacing the brighter picture of Islam, which is so needed at the moment. This will indeed be an everlasting fountain of blessings for us, for them, and for the next races of generations to come.
Let’s look at another Hadith:
‘Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The people most loved by me from amongst my Ummah would be those who would come after me but everyone amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the cost of his family and wealth.’ (Muslim Book 040, Hadith Number 6791)
What is the real meaning of loving someone? Does it mean that we only refer to the ahaadith of the Prophet ﷺ to praise him and forget that we are in need of implementing the teachings of those real-life examples in our routine activities? Realizing, sooner than later, that adapting the ways our beloved Prophet ﷺtold us to live, in order to attain the level of a believer can bless us with infinite bounties in this world and the next. May Almighty include us among the fortunate ones to call others to Islam, and conveying the message of love, peace, compassion, and brotherhood in the whole world.
A Role Model for All Mankind
Allah says in the Quran in Surah Al-Ahzab, Verse 21
‘There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.’ (33:21)
Undoubtedly, the last Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ, a great example of humility, forgiveness, mercy, trustworthiness, kindness, generosity, and patience. His behavior in times of harsh circumstances show us that holding on to the rope of faith with patience and dedication can make us successful in this world and the next.
A Beacon of Generosity & Thoughtfulness
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ was a very caring and considerate human being, a blessing for all those around him, strangers and companions alike. He used to inquire about those whom he didn’t meet for a few days, getting worried for their well being, praying for them and making sure to check on them to ensure their safety. He would visit their homes to provide assistance if needed, and offering comfort and solace to the sick.
Once a man came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ but on entering his presence, started shivering with fear. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ seeing the visitor terribly shaken and nervous, smiled and comforted him with the utmost tenderness, saying: “Be at ease. I am no king but the son of a Quraishite woman who used to eat dried meat.”
A Man of Mercy & Forgiveness
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ believed in mercy and forgiveness, even ignoring the negative tactics of those who didn’t approve of him as being the last Prophet, rather behaving calmly and patiently with them, ultimately winning their hearts with his kindness. The circle of his mercy and generosity reached even the animals, let alone the mankind surrounding him.
Hazrat Abu Huraira said: The Prophet (PBUH) was asked to curse the infidels. He said, “I have not been sent to curse people but as a mercy to all mankind.” (Muslim)
An emotional response that lacks in our daily dealings, where we don’t let go of negative feelings and remorse, always thinking of ways to take revenge from those who have wronged us. Forgiving people and purifying our hearts from revenge and remorse can make it easier for us to add on to our good deeds, ultimately gaining Allah’s pleasure.
The Most Patient & Tolerant
Our dear Muhammad ﷺ was a very patient man, he would not show any sign of hate or anger towards those who attacked him, verbally or physically. Carrying on as if nothing had happened. Allah has sent him down as a mercy to all of us, to set a clear example of someone who lived all his life as a dedicated preacher who guided all those around him. Even those folks who had not yet embraced Islam spoke about Muhammad’s ﷺ truthfulness and kindness.
In Makkah there occurred one such incident with an old woman where Muhammad ﷺ showed to the generations to come, to exhibit forgiveness and tolerance, even with those who literally throw garbage at you, continuously, while he passed by her house. Just think about it, couldn’t the Prophet ﷺ have done something about it, knowing his grade in the eyes of Allah, maybe by requesting Allah to harm that old lady, or by at least saying something to her, or in the very least changing his daily route. But he did neither, rather, kept this routine going, without retaliation, until one day she didn’t throw any trash at him. Muhammad ﷺ got concerned, as to why she couldn’t be seen, and got worried about her well being. He went to the front door of the woman’s house and knocked. “Come in” said a weak and feeble voice. When Muhammad ﷺ entered, he found the old woman in bed looking scared. Was Muhammad ﷺ going to shout at her or punish her for throwing rubbish on his head every day? “Don’t be scared” said Muhammad ﷺ, “I’m not here to shout at you”. Muhammad ﷺ didn’t say anything about that old woman’s past behavior, realized that the lady was very sick and bed ridden with ill health. He started to tidy things up in her house, to the point that he made sure that the old lady was comfortable and all her needs met. She was ashamed of her past actions, was extremely impressed by the Prophet’s high character, and decided never to throw trash at him ever again. She accepted the fact that Islam truly must be the religion of peace that Muhammad ﷺ was preaching.
Humility While Spreading Allah’s Message
Muhammad ﷺ wanted to spread the message of Islam, far and wide, so the mankind could turn to Allah. For that goal he set off to Ta’if, thinking that maybe the people dwelling there would be different from those in Mecca and listen to his advice. But sadly, the people rather mocked him, organized a campaign to ridicule him, threw stones at him, pestered him. Muhammad ﷺ was wounded, exhausted, sad, and took refuge in a nearby garden. Sigh, what a sight would this have been, Angel Jibrael came and asked the beloved Prophet ﷺ that if it was Muhammad’s ﷺ wish he would bury the city between two mountains, removing the sign of the people of Ta’if from the face of the earth. But our great Muhammad ﷺ expressed no such wish, rather stayed composed and told Jibrael that maybe people from their offsprings would turn to Islam, and didn’t let him harm the people of Ta’if.
Subhan Allah, what a true picture of patience, composure, generosity and kindness, even to those who harmed him, attacked him, and mocked him whilst he preached. This is a man who indeed was sent as a mercy to all mankind, a man who showed it to all of us to never engage in battle without a just cause, to forgive even when you find it hard to let go of your revengeful feelings, to be a beacon of care and compassion to all those around him, be it man or animals.
We need to seek guidance from the Sunnah of Allah’s messenger ﷺ, adapting his ways to improve our character and moral compass, for the betterment of this world and the next. For Allah, the Almighty, has expressed His pleasure and liking for those who take Allah’s name and His Prophet’s ﷺ name with respect and sheer love.
Many Muslims cross the boundaries in their love for Muhammad ﷺ. For the man who would forgive the worst of his enemies. If he himself was so forgiving, then how can we murder and kill anyone in his name. Not in his name. Not in the name of the one who never took any revenge on anyone who wronged him. Muhammad’s ﷺ stature grows when we ignore and forgive those who malign his name.
You can find more information on the Prophet’s ﷺ Sunnah here