The Prophet’s Morals
Allah gifted His Messenger (peace be upon him) with all sublime morals. In this context, Almighty Allah says: And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character (68:4).
On his part, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “I was sent (by Allah) to perfect the sublime morals.”
`A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) described the Prophet (peace be upon him), saying, “His morals were the morals of the Qur’an.”
He (peace be upon him) had the best morals among people. He used to say, “O Lord! As You have beautified my image, so beautify my morals.” Furthermore, he used to supplicate to Allah, saying, “O Lord! I seek refuge in You from miserliness, hypocrisy, and bad morals.”
Following are some of his characteristics:
Almighty Allah guided the Prophet (peace be upon him) to abide by these morals saying: Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish [i.e. don’t punish them. (Al-A`raf 7: 199). Whenever he (peace be upon him) was given the opportunity to choose between two affairs, he always chose the easier as long as it was not sinful.
He (peace be upon him) never avenged himself, but if Allah’s laws were violated he would enforce them. The people of Makkah tortured him but he said, “O Allah! Guide my people since they do not know!” It is well known that the more the ignorant people used to abuse the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), the more the latter met their insults with tolerance and pardon. Once a man said to him, “Load my two she-camels with the property you have, for it is not yours, nor your father’s, but it is Allah’s.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) kept silent, then said: Surely, the property belongs to Allah and I am His servant.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous of people, particularly in Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would never deny anything he was asked for. Furthermore, he (peace be upon him) said, “I do not like to possess (what equals the mount of) Uhud of gold and that three days expire while I still have (even) a dinar (without spending it in the cause of Allah) except something I save for my religion.”
It was related that Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said : “I have never seen a more courageous, helpful, or generous man than the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).” Likewise, `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whenever the fight grew fierce and the eyes of fighters went red, we used to resort to the Prophet (peace be upon him) for protection. He was always the closest to the enemy.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was more bashful than a virgin in her boudoir. When he hated a thing, it showed on his face. He would never name a person about whom he had heard something bad and wanted to discipline. Instead, he would say, “Why did some people do such-and-such?” Almighty Allah says: Verily such (behavior) annoys the Prophet: and he is shy of (asking ) you (to go) but Allah is not shy (of telling you) the truth. (33:53).
He (peace be upon him) used to join his people and not cause dissension among them. He (peace be upon him) used to respect, visit, and pay attention to his Companions. He accepted any invitation and never refused presents. He used to play with his Companions’ children and nickname them. He was always the first to shake hands. He was generous to whoever came to him and he was always cheerful.
Allah the Almighty says: And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not, but as a Mercy for the ‘Alamin (mankind, jin and all that exists. (21:107); For the believers (he is, peace be upon him) full of pity, kind and merciful. (9:128)
It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to admonish his Companions only from time to time so they wouldn’t get bored with his preaching. He, moreover, said, “Nobody of you should inform me anything (bad) about my Companions for I like to meet you with pure heart.” Also, he (peace be upon him) said, “There is reward for you in acts of compassion rendered to every creature with a throbbing heart (or liver).”
Whenever he received a present, he used to give Khadijah’s friends some of it. He used to serve his guests himself. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) consoled the Prophet (peace be upon him) when Revelation came to him, saying: By Allah, He will never humiliate you. You establish good and steady relationships with your relatives, give the poor, be generous with your guests, and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.
Some of his perfect qualities are justice, trustworthiness, and truthfulness. Before his mission, he was called “The Trustworthy.” When Osama ibn Zayd interceded for Al-Makhzumiyah in the prescribed penalty for theft, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “O Osama! Do you intercede in one of Allah’s prescribed penalties? By Allah! If Fatima bint Muhammad committed that, I would chop off her hand.” When a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Be just!” he said to him, “Woe to you! Who will be just if I am not?” About his justice between his wives, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “O Lord! This is my disposal in matters over which I have control, so grant me Your forgiveness over what I have no control.”
He commanded people not to stand up for each other as the non-Arabs used to do to glorify each other. Furthermore, he (peace be upon him) said, “I am a servant (of Allah); I eat as a servant eats and sit as a servant sits.” Also, he (peace be upon him) said, “Do not excessively praise me as Christians excessively praised the son of Mary.” Once a man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and stood in deference to him. Thereupon, the latter said, “Take it easy. I am not a king. I am a son of a woman from the Quraish …” He used to fodder his she-camel, serve himself, eat with his servant and with the sick, and clean his house. He (peace be upon him) used to keep silent most of the time and speak only when it was necessary. His laughing was like smiling. When he spoke, his audience would listen attentively. `A’ishah said , “If a man intended to count the Prophet’s words during a speech, he could easily do so.”
According to `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never ate his fill of bread for three consecutive days until he passed away. Rather, he (peace be upon him) used to say, “I do not long for this world, for I am living in it like a traveler who sat under the shade of a tree and then departed to complete his journey.”
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “I ask Allah for forgiveness hundred times a day.” Once he (peace be upon him) prolonged his period of worshiping, and `A’ishah said to him, “Allah has forgiven your past and future faults.” He said, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful slave?”