Mar
5
2012

The human aspect in the life of the Prophet

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Dear brothers, let us discuss today the human aspect of the Prophet’s character, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

What we observe in prophet Muhammad:

1. His mercy:

His merciful heart was always aware of the pain felt by others; he used to know other people’s aims and would try to help in their efforts to achieve them; he was always ready to take care of and support them.

2. His strife to eliminate social discrimination:

He sent messages to many kings of his time asking them to cast away their false arrogance; he listened kindly and patiently to a barefoot Bedouin who said (he was busy dividing the spoils equally among people): “O Muhammad! Be fair to me! This wealth is neither yours nor your father’s.”

3. His gracious worship:

He was a worshipper constantly turning to Allah. On one occasion, while leading a prayer as imam, he was reciting in a state of exultation a long surah from the Noble Qur’an which was more precious to him than all the gold of the earth, when he heard an infant whose mother was praying behind him in the mosque crying, so he sacrificed his feeling of profound delight and happiness and ended the salah hastily out of mercy for the infant weeping for his mother.

4. His forgiving disposition:

Those who waged war against him brimming over with bitter hatred, to such an extent that they horribly mutilated the corpse of his uncle Hamzah, the martyr, and chewed his liver in a fit of fierce and brutal rancor, and who were eventually brought before the Prophet in total submission, were told in spite of the fact that they were at his mercy:

Go! For you are all free!

[The Prophet's Biography]

5. His modesty:

In their travels, he used to collect firewood for his companions in order to cook their food; he made sure that no distinctions should be drawn between him and them; he used to milk his sheep, to sew his clothes, and to mend his shoes.

6. His all-encompassing mercy:

He used to be upset on seeing an overburdened draught-animal.

7. His justice:

In spite of his holding the position of the highest authority, he stood forth before the people and said:

He whose back I have ever whipped has here my back to whip in retaliation

Some outstanding examples of the Prophet’s mercy:

Dear brothers, one of the remarkable examples of the Prophet’s mercy is that he said about himself:

I am but a mercy granted by Allah the Almighty

[Al-Hakim, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

1. Allah’s Mercy is related to our mercy toward each other:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has transmitted to us from Allah the Almighty in a hadith qudsi:

If you want My Mercy, then be merciful to each other

[Ad-Daylami, on the authority of Abu Bakr]

He has also made clear that Allah the Almighty will have mercy on those who are compassionate, and has instructed the believers to show mercy at all times. He said:

Have mercy on those that are on the earth, and He Who is in Heavens, will have mercy on you

[At-Tirmidhi, on the authority of Abd-Allah bin Umar]

2. Mercy is better than excess in worship:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, clarified that being merciful is better than going too far in worship. Once in Ramadan, on his way to Mekka in the year of the Conquest he fasted on having reached the place called Kuraa Al-Gamim, so people fasted as he did. He felt, however, that fasting was too hard for some on account of the difficulties of travelling, so he ordered a cup of water, raised it for everybody to see, and then drank it (he broke his fast in front of all the people for them to imitate him). Hearing that some were still fasting, he said:

Those are the disobedient

[Muslim, on the authority of Jabeer]

3. Mercy to parents:

Once a man came hastily to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, looking delighted at the prospect of pledging his allegiance to him and to the fight for the Sake of Allah the Almighty. He said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have come to you to pledge myself to emigrate with you and to jihad, and I left my parents crying (for me). The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to him:

Go back to them, and make them laugh as you have made them cry

[Al-Nasai, on the authority of Abd-Allah bin Umar]

The trace of a smile on the lips of a compassionate father or of that spreading over the face of an anxious mother was invaluable in the sight of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. That’s why, when jihad for the Sake of Allah and to spread Islam to distant places would have been at the expense of being merciless to one’s parents, it would have implied being disobedient to them. Hence, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, emphasized so much the necessity of being kindhearted.

4. Mercy to the debtor in difficulty:

As for those poor people who were forced by the circumstances to run into debt, and then found themselves unable to pay it off due to their limited income and suffered because of their situation –the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would give ease to their plight by asking the creditor to be lenient with the debtor. Although he used to safeguard people’s rights, (in such case) he granted the creditor his intercession (on the Day of Resurrection), as well as his heart and love on account of his being lenient and patient with the debtor until the debt could be liquidated.
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

He who gives a respite to a debtor in hardship or releases him (of his debts) will be overshadowed by Allah’s Throne on the Day when there will be no shade but His

[Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

He also said:

Let him who wants Allah to answer his call and relieve his distress give respite to a debtor

[Ahmad, on the authority of Ibn Umar]

5. Any merciful deed is an act of worship:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, considered mercy the best of human virtues and deemed any merciful deed to be one of the purest acts of worship. Thus, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told us that Allah the Almighty considers being merciful to others an act of worship done for His Sake; so if you visit the sick or feed the hungry, it is as if you were doing a favor to Allah the Almighty.
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has transmitted from Allah Most High in a hadith qudsi:

O son of Adam! I was ill, but you did not visit Me! He responds: O Lord! How could I have visited You, the Lord of all the Worlds?! Allah says: Did you not know that My slave so-and-so was ill, but you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam! I asked you to feed Me, but you didn’t. He responds: O Lord! How could I have fed You, the Lord of all the Worlds? Allah says: Did you not know that My slave so-and-so asked you to feed him but you did not feed him?! Did you not know that if you had fed him, you would have found that (which you gave) with Me?

[Muslim, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

6. The Prophet’s illustration of Allah’s Mercy:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, illustrated Allah’s Mercy in a wonderful way: He saw a mother taking her baby into her arms with profound tenderness and mercy, so he turned to his companions and asked them:

Do you think that that woman could ever cast her baby in the fire? They answered: Never, O Messenger of Allah! He added: Verily, Allah is far more merciful to His servant than this woman to her baby

[Al-Bazzar, on the authority of Umar bin al-Khatab]

He firmly refused to be distinguished among people:

Dear brothers, once a Bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asking him in a harsh and rude manner to increase his portion of the spoils. He said: “O Muhammad! Be fair to me!” The Prophet just smiled and said:

Woe unto you, O Bedouin! If I weren’t just, who else would be?

[Muslim, on the authority of Abu Said Al-Khadri]

Dear brothers, that Bedouin’s bold behavior reflects the reassurance he felt, and at the same time the Prophet’s justice because had the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, been a deadly feared tyrant, that Bedouin would not have had the nerve to say such words. Thus, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made sure no marks of honours distinguished him from his people. Once, a stranger entered the gathering where the Prophet was present and on seeing him felt his tremendous dignity so deeply that he trembled all over. So the Prophet patted is shoulder tenderly and pronounced the well-known words pointing clearly to his extraordinary modesty:

Relax! I am not a king! I am only the son of a Quraish woman from Mekka, who used to eat al-qadeed (dried meat)

[Ibn Majah, on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud]

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was in a position to exact distinction for himself on account of his excellence, but he preferred to live among people as an ordinary man.
When a Bedouin said to him rudely “O Muhammad! This wealth is neither yours not your father’s” and Umar wanted to punish him, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

O Umar! Leave him! A rightful claimant has the right to speak.

Some impressive examples of the Prophet’s love:

Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was loving and friendly; he exceedingly obeyed Allah out of his great love for Him; he was good to people because he loved them; he loved the great things and he hated the silly and bad ones. Dear brothers, here are some outstanding examples of the Prophet’s love.

1. His love for his Lord:

He used to perform prayers out of his great love for Allah Most High, not only as a duty; he would prolong his prostration, his heart beat rapidly and the people around him could hear him sobbing softly on account of his being overwhelmed by the deep longing and profound love for his Lord.
He used to wait for the prayer with deep yearning, and when its time came, he used to say to Bilal (the muezzin, the one who calls to prayer):

O Bilal! Comfort us with it (prayer)!

[Abu Dawood, on the authority of Salama bin Abu Ja'id]

Thus, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to find comfort while performing salah; he was not waiting for it to end, and that shows the big difference between performing salah out of love and performing it as a duty.

2. His love for all people:

On the occasion of his stay in the city of Taif in order to call to Allah its inhabitants, who reacted by disbelieving him, ridiculed him, hurt him, and eventually encouraged the foolish ones to cause harm to him (by throwing stones at him), he protected himself behind a wall, raised his head to the heavens and invoked Allah saying:

O my Lord! If I have not incurred Your wrath, I don’t mind what is happening; and reproach me until You are satisfied with me, and Your (providing me with) health and well-being seems better to me

[At-Tabarani, on the authority of Abd-Allah bin Jaffar]

He did not fear suffering or pain, what he feared was that Allah might have abandoned him.
He then realized that the true believer should be able to find sacrifice sweet and forget all desire for well-being, so he made up his supplication saying:

And Your (providing me with) health and well-being seems better to me

Dear brothers, once, a particularly rude and harsh man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He had not met the Prophet before but he had heard that Prophet Muhammad was cursing the idols of the tribe of the Quraish and those of other tribes. He held up his sword and swore to kill him. When he was shown into the Prophet’s presence, he started to shout quite loudly. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kept smiling gently, and it took just a few moments for that hardhearted man to melt with love for him and with tender modesty, he bent over his hands and kissed them while tears were streaming down his cheek. When he calmed down, he said: “O Muhammad! By Allah, when I came to you, there was no one on the surface of the earth whom I hated more than you; but now, when I leave you, no one on the surface of this earth is more beloved to me than you.”
What happened to him? He loved the personality of Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with all his heart, so he abandoned his arrogance. The Prophet had a heart of gold and was kind to everyone, friend or foe, and whoever approached him was always deeply moved by the Prophet’s heart, so big and merciful. Actually, the Quraish did not understand the reason behind his influence over people’s hearts so they claimed that he was a sorcerer!

3. His recommendations with regard to love and affection:

Dear brothers, let us mention some of the recommendations of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as regards love and affection:
He said:

By Him in Whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul! You shall not enter Paradise unless you are true believers; and you shall not be true believers unless you love one another

[Muslim, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

He also said:

If one of you loves his brother in faith, he should tell him that he loves him

[Ahmad and al-Bukhari]

He also said:

If a man befriends another one as a brother in faith, he should ask him about his name, his father’s name, and where he is from, for this makes compassion stronger

[At-Tirmidhi]

He also said:

If there are three of you, let not two whisper secretly (to each other) in the presence of the third, for that will displease him

[Muslim, on the authority of Abu Rab'ia]

He also said:

He who forsakes his brother for a year, it is as if he has shed his blood

[Ahmad]

And:

is sinful enough for you to keep quarreling

[Al-Bayhaqi, on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

And:

Let the one (who has been) offered an excuse by a friend accept it, be it sincere or not

[Al-Hakim]

And:

Shall I tell you who the worst people among you are? They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah! He said: Those who never accept an excuse or forgive a mistake

[At-Tabarani, on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

He also said:

Try to amend the relationship between people when it gets broken, and to bring them close to each other when they are in disagreement

[Al-Bazzar, on the authority of Anas]

The Prophet’s concerns about his companions:

Dear brothers, here are some remarkable examples of the Prophet’s concern about his companions: Uthman bin Madhun, one of his honourable companions, wanted to devote his life to Allah and was excessively hard on himself. He went actually so far as avoiding sexual relations with his wife. One day, his wife visited Sayyidah Aisha, may Allah be pleased with him, who noticed her careless dress and depression. When asked about the reason, the woman answered: “My husband fasts every day and prays the whole night.” Aisha told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about her, so when the Prophet met her husband, he said to him:

O Uthman! Aren’t I a good model for you to follow?

Uthman answered:

Let my parents be scarified for you! What have I done?

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

Do you fast every day and pray the whole night?

Uthman answered:

in the affirmative

and then the Noble Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

Do not do that! Verily, your body has a right on you; and surely, your wife has a right on you, so give them all their due rights

The following morning, Uthman’s wife was seen adorned as if she were a bride; women gathered around her and asked her about the reason. She answered joyfully: “What happens to everybody has happened to us.”
On account of his profound humanity, the Prophet could not endure the feelings of a neglected wife, so he reminded her husband of her right on him.
Indeed, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, cared a lot about his companions, and what follows is one of his sayings that confirms this fact:

Helping a brother of mine in faith to satisfy his need is more beloved to me than doing i’tikaaf in my mosque for a month

He was once asked:

O Messenger of Allah! Who are the most beloved ones to Allah? He answered: The most beloved to Allah of all people are those who do most good to mankind

[Tabarani, on the authority of Ibn Umar]

He also said:

Allah has created some people who dedicate their lives to serving others; those people are secured from His Punishment

[At-Tabarani, on the authority of Ibn Umar]

And:

Allah will raise the rank in Paradise of whoever acts as a mediator between his brother in faith and a powerful man in a righteous matter or a matter that brings comfort

[At-Tabarani, on the authority of Abu Darda]

And:

Some people are singled out by Allah for His Favors for the benefit of His servants. He is pleased with them so long as they give them (such Favors to His servants). But if they withhold them, Allah will deprive them thereof and grant them (such Favors) to other people

[Shu'ub Al-Imaan, on the authority of Ibn Umar]

And:

Whoever appoints someone to a position while there are people who are worthier than him in the Sight of Allah of that position has breached the trust of Allah, of His Messengers and of the believers

[Al-Hakim, on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

Allah will ask every custodian about his charge as to whether he guarded (it) or lost (it)

[An-Nasai, on the authority of Anas]

Dear brothers, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was considered in the sight of the unbiased non-believers the first of the one hundred most relevant men in the history of mankind, in terms of the strength of his influence, its type, its duration, and its expansion.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

Translation : Rana Saraqbi
Auditing : Najat Roszko

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