We mentioned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was loved by all his companions. Every one of them felt that he could do no better than being close to the Prophet, because he was a most caring friend. When he met someone, he would inquire about his affairs and his family. He would attend to their business and give whatever help was available to him. If someone sat with him for a while, then stood up to leave, the Prophet would stand up with him. The Prophet would not turn away from his visitor in order to attend to anything that needed his attention until his visitor has turned away to leave. In this way, he made his visitor feel that he was welcome until the last minute of his visit.
When he met anyone and shook hands with him, the Prophet would not be the first to withdraw his hand. He would wait until the other person has withdrawn his hand. Likewise, when he bade goodbye to anyone, he would hold his hand. He would keep it until the other person has moved away. It is authentically reported that any young girl would come to him, take him by the hand, taking him wherever she wanted. He would go with her and do for her whatever she needed to be done.
These may be small gestures, but they are indicative of highly refined manners, with the Prophet keen to make everyone feel that he was close to him. He was always ready to do for his friends and companions whatever they needed to be done. At the same time, the Prophet was very shy. His shyness is described as greater than that of a maiden girl who is unused to social occasions.
One aspect of good friendship is respecting other people’s privacy. He would not divulge any private matter even to those who were very close to him. Everyone was certain that if he told the Prophet anything of private nature, no one else would know about it from him. He instilled in his companions the virtue of respecting other people’s privacy. This means that we must not try to know anyone’s private affairs. He says: “Whoever pries into someone else’s private matters without his knowledge actually pries into the fire of hell.”
Coupled with all this was his keen sense of cleanliness. He was always keen that his body and his clothes were clean and having a good smell. He said that one of the two things he loved of worldly comfort was perfume. If he woke up at night, he would give his teeth a quick brush. Every time he performed ablution for his five daily prayers he would brush his teeth. Although he was aware that he had a very pleasant body smell, he always made certain that his mouth and clothes gave no bad smell.
The task assigned to him by God was to give guidance. He fulfilled his duty in the way that no one would feel that following Islamic teachings would be burdensome. He waited for the right moment to give advice. If he saw something unbecoming, he would not embarrass the person concerned by pointing it out on the spot. He would wait until a proper chance offered itself. Then he would give the advice in general terms so that it would not be taken as directed at any particular person. If something wrong was reported to him, and he needed to make a public announcement regarding it, he would not mention anyone concerned by name. He would say: “Some people may think, say, or do this or that.” He would then point out the right thing to do.
All this made him an exemplary friend with whom people were very comfortable. Hence, they loved him and cherished the fact that they were his friends and companions.
Hadith – 1
Abu Huraira (May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (May Peace,blessings and mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be on him) as saying: Verily Allah likes three things for you and He disapproves three things for you. He is pleased with you that you worship Him and associate nor anything with Him, that you hold fast the rope of Allah, and be not scattered; and He disapproves for you irrelevant talk, persistent questioning and the wasting of wealth.
Sahih Muslim : Book 018, Number 4255
Hadith – 2
Abd al-Rahman (May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him) reported on the authority of his mother’s sister Umm Salama (May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with her) who said that Allah’s Messenger (May Peace,blessings and mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be on him) said: He who drank in vessels of gold or silver he in fact drank down in his belly the fire of Hell.
Sahih Muslim:Book 024, Number 5128
Hadith – 3
Abu Huraira (May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (May Peace,blessings and mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be on him) as saying: When one of you makes a supplication (to his Lord) one should not say: O Allah, grant me pardon, if Thou so likest, but one should beg one’s (Lord) with a will and full devotion, for there is nothing so great in the eye of Allah which He cannot grant.
Sahih Muslim:Book 035, Number 6478
Hadith – 4
Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ashari (May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him) The Prophet (May Peace, blessings and mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be on him) said, “None is more patient than Allah against the harmful and annoying words He hears (from the people): They ascribe children to Him, yet He bestows upon them health and provision .
Sahih Bukhari:Volume 9, Book 93, Number 475
Hadith – 5
Narrated Anas bin Malik (May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be pleased with him) The Prophet (May Peace,blessings and mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala be on him) said, “Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).”
Sahih Bukhari:Volume 1, Book 3, Number 69
[Quran 57:20] “Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.”
The prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
[Bukhari, Book #59, Hadith#374] “Narrated Uqba bin Amir: Allah’s Apostle offered the funeral prayers of the martyrs of Uhud eight years after (their death), as if bidding farewell to the living and the dead, then he ascended the pulpit and said, “I am your predecessor before you, and I am a witness on you, and your promised place to meet me will be Al-Haud (i.e. the Tank) (on the Day of Resurrection), and I am (now) looking at it from this place of mine. I am not afraid that you will worship others besides Allah, but I am afraid that worldly life will tempt you and cause you to compete with each other for it.” That was the last look which I cast on Allah’s Apostle.”
A MAN said to Al-Hasan Al-Basri: “People sit around you so they may find fault with you!” So he replied, “Indeed, I encouraged my soul to aspire for Paradise, so it aspired for it. Then I encouraged it to aspire for protection from Hellfire, so it aspired for it. Then I encouraged it to aspire for redemption from the people, but I didn’t find a way to that. Indeed people were not pleased with their Creator though He provides for them, so how can they be pleased with another creation like themselves?” (Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya, 9/318)
Malik Bin Dinar said: “Since I have known (the reality of) people, I have not taken delight in their praise nor have I hated their criticism.” It was said to him, “Why is that?” He said, “The one who praises from amongst them is excessive and the critic from amongst them exaggerates!” (Tarikh Dimishq, 59/307)
Ayesha wrote to Mu’awiya (may Allah be pleased with them): “I have heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, ‘Whoever gains the Pleasure of Allah by the anger of the people (i.e. thereby gains their anger), Allah suffices him against the people’s troubles. And whoever gains the pleasure of the people by the Anger of Allah (i.e. in the process he gains His Anger), then Allah leaves him to the people.” (Al-Tirmidhi, no. 2414, authenticated by Al-Albani)
Imam Al-Shafi’i said: “There is nobody except that he has someone who loves him and someone who hates him. So if that’s the case, let a person be with the people who are obedient to Allah! (as they love and hate for the sake of Allah and they are not unjust)” (Hilyat Al-Awliya, 9/124)
Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Sahl, Huwaisah Ibn Masood, and Muhaisah Ibn Masood – when these three went to the Prophet (saas) in regard to a dispute, Abdur-Rahmaan, the youngest among them, began to speak. The Prophet (saas) said to him words to the effect of,
Let the oldest one speak (first) 1
The Companions (ra) honored their elders and showed mercy to the young among them, which is perhaps why Ibn Umar (ra) refrained from coming to the forefront when he was the youngest in a gathering. This occurred when the Prophet (saas) said to his Companions (ra)
Inform me of a tree, the example of which is the example of the Muslim. It bears its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord, and its leaves do not wear away.
Ibn Umar (ra) knew the answer to this question, for he later said it occurred to me that it is the date-tree, but I disliked to speak when Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) were there without any of them speaking (with the answer). The Prophet (saas) (then) said.
It is the date-tree.
When I left with my father (i.e., Umar (ra)), I said, O my father, it had occurred to me that it is the date-tree. He said, what prevented you from saying it? Had you said it, that (i.e., the honor you would have earned for giving the right answer) would have been more beloved to me than such and such. Ibn Umar (ra) then said, The only thing that prevented me was that I Saw neither you nor Abu Bakr speak, so I disliked (putting myself in a place of prominence – by speaking – before such distinguished company).
1 ) Related by Bukhaare (6142), Muslim (1669), Al-Tirmidhee (1422
Let us try to paint a picture of one day in the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) of Islam. For certain, he wakes up well before dawn, when the dark curtain of the night still covers everything. As he begins to move, he says: “Praise be to God who has returned my spirit to me, given me physical strength and permitted me to glorify Him.” Consider how he welcomes life, full of optimism: “Praise be to God who has returned my spirit to me.”
The life we are given is a blessing for which we thank God and we must use well. It offers a chance of success for whoever aims to succeed. Yet God reminds His servants of the blessing He has given them in the form of sunrise and sunset: “It is God who has made for you the night in which to rest, and the day to make you see. God is limitless in His bounty to man, but most people do not give thanks.” (40: 61) Great is life when it is coupled with good health. It is then that the body organs can function well, without trouble. A Muslim will then move about to willingly fulfill his duties well. It is for this that we praise and thank God for giving us good health.
We need to reflect on the Prophet’s early words as he praises God for “permitting me to glorify Him”. Can we imagine a more polite way in addressing the Lord? Here is an acknowledgement that a new day means permission to resume worship right at the break of dawn.
Muhammad, God’s ever grateful servant, begins his praises using words that impart certitude of faith and pure love in every letter. He says these words morning and evening: “My Lord, I pray You to grant me sound health in this life and in the life to come, to forgive me and to give me purity in faith, life, family and property. My Lord, grant me a cover of my flaws and reassurance in time of fear. Protect me from what lies ahead of me, behind me, to my right, to my left and above me. I appeal to Your greatness to protect me from any danger that lies beneath me.”
The Prophet urged every Muslim to say as he begins or ends his day: “My Lord, You know all that is beyond human perception and all that is witnessed by anyone; You are the Originator of the heavens and the earth; You are the Lord and owner of all. I bear witness that there is no deity other than You. I seek refuge with You from the evil that is within me and from the machinations of Satan.”
As they start their day, the Prophet and his companions say: “We have started this day in the original state of submission to God, with the pure word of faith, following the religion of our Prophet Muhammad and the creed of our father Abraham who followed the pure faith and never associated partners with God.”
That the Prophet’s companions should assert that they follow the religion of Prophet Muhammad is perfectly understandable. Why does the Prophet himself say the same? This occurs in many supplications the Prophet used to say, always asserting his belief in his prophethood or in the truth of his message. I feel that this serves more than one purpose. The first is that it confirms his commitment to implement what he preaches. Many are the religious leaders who appear to consider that their task is to teach others what to do. As for themselves, they consider themselves above accountability. Another purpose is to spite unbelievers by asserting that Islam is the faith of unquestionable truth. Moreover, it is an acknowledgement of the grace God has bestowed on His messenger, and an expression of gratitude and happiness for being chosen for this noble task.
-By SHEIKH MUHAMMAD AL-GHAZALI