Rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are the most important, after the rights of Allah. There is no human who has more rights than the Prophet. Allah said, what translated means:

Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) as a witness, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner. In order that you (O mankind) may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that you assist and honor him (Muhammad)…” (Qur’an, 48:8-9)

Therefore, love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) should be more than one’s love for himself, his children, family, and worldly possessions. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, what translated means: “None of you will reach belief till I become dearer to him than his children, parents and all humans.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) has many rights. Respect and appreciation for him should be observed in the best manner. Respecting the Prophet includes respect for and adherence to his Sunnah after his death. Due rights should be accoded to the Prophet without exaggeration. When one reads how the companions used to love and respect the Prophet, one knows the importance of this matter. When Quraish (the Prophet’s tribe) sent Urwa Bin Mas’ud to negotiate with the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Hudaibiyya, he was greatly impressed by how the companions treated the Prophet. He said, “I have visited the kings of Persia, Rome and Abyssinia, but I have not seen any leader more revered and respected by his people than Muhammad.

If he ordered them to do anything, they do it promptly delay. If he performs Wudhu (washing up for prayer) they all seek the remainder of the water he used. They never look at him in the eye, out of respect.” This is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) was treated by his companions. He was Allah’s Messenger who possessed great qualities and the best of conduct ever.

The rights of the Prophet include compliance with and submission to his orders and believing in what he informed us of the past and future happenings. When a Muslim wants to follow his religion, he must do so believing that he Prophet’s way is the best way. Believing in the Prophet includes the affirmation that his religion is the best religion. Allah said, what translated means:

But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (Qur’an, 4:65), and, “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If you love Allah then you follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 3:31)

To defend the religion of the Prophet is one of his rights upon believers. Defending the religion can be done by using arms, speech and writings. To ignore attacks on the Prophet (peace be upon him) or on his religion is impermissible for Muslims. Muslims must strive to prevent, in the best manner, attacks on the Prophet’s character or on any aspect of his religion, which is the best religion sent to mankind.

– By Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen