Love is one of the most powerful emotions human beings are blessed with. It draws people together so that they care for each other, show mercy and kindness, and occasionally, even endure hardship for the sake of those they love. The bond of love is present among people to various degrees in the different social relationships they are in.
A person loves another for various reasons. Among the reasons why one person shows love to another is the recognition of the characteristics of goodness and perfection in the person. He also does so as a result of being overcome with the beauty of the other person. A third reason is the admission of the favours of the person on oneself. The Prophet (peace be upon him) Muhammad was the most beautiful being that walked on the face of the earth. He possessed qualities of goodness and justice and had a most complete character.
He was sent as a Mercy to the worlds and he sacrificed a lot for the sake of man. So there is every reason why he should be loved. Finally, a Muslims life is governed by the order of Allah . Allah has instructed man to love Allah and His Messenger above all and everyone else. Muslims are hereford bound to develop a sense of deep respect, appreciation and love for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). For these reasons, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is more deserving of their love and obedience than anyone else including themselves.
“النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ ۖ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ ۗ وَأُولُو الْأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَىٰ بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ إِلَّا أَن تَفْعَلُوا إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِكُم مَّعْرُوفًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُورًا” (سورة الأحزاب:٦)
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are [in the position of] their mothers. And those of [blood] relationship are more entitled [to inheritance] in the decree of Allah than the [other] believers and the emigrants, except that you may do to your close associates a kindness [through bequest]. That was in the Book inscribed.” (Soorat al-Ahzaab: 6)
This means that, because of the Prophet’s kindness and sincerity towards the believers
he has greater authority over them than themselves. Whatever the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructs them to do, should have priority over what they choose for themselves.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said;
“عَنْ أَنَسٍ رَضِيَ اللّه عَنْهُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قال: ” لا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكونَ أحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَالِدِهِ وَوَلَدِه وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعينَ”. (البخاري)
Anas reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said “None of you will have complete faith till he loves me more than his parent, his children and all of mankind.” (al-Bukhaari )
The general understanding gained from this narration is that a person’s faith is deficient if he or she does not love the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than his father, his children and all mankind. It is therefore a matter of belief and, consequently a religious obligation to place love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) above love for everyone else.
عَن عَبْد اللَّهِ بْنَ هِشَامٍ ، قَالَ : كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهْوَ آخِذٌ بِيَدِ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ ، فَقَالَ لَهُ عُمَرُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لأَنْتَ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ إِلاَّ مِنْ نَفْسِى . فَقَالَ النَّبِىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم « لاَ وَالَّذِى نَفْسِى بِيَدِهِ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ نَفْسِكَ » .فَقَالَ لَهُ عُمَرُ : فَإِنَّهُ الآنَ وَاللَّهِ لأَنْتَ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ نَفْسِى . فَقَالَ النَّبِىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم « الآنَ يَا عُمَرُ ». (صحيح البخاري)
‘Abdullaah ibn Hishaam narrated: “We were with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he was holding the hand of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab. ‘Umar said to Him, “O Allah’s Apostle! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then ‘Umar said to him, “However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Now, O ‘Umar, (now you are a believer).” (al-Bukhaari)
This hadeeth indicates that to reach the highest level of faith one has to love Prophet (peace be upon him) more than oneself.
عَنْ أَنَسِ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ ثَلَاثٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ ، وَجَدَ حَلَاوَةَ الْإِيمَانِ ؛ أَنْ يَكُونَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ، أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِمَّا سِوَاهُمَا ، وَأَنْ يُحِبَّ الْمَرْءَ لَا يُحِبُّهُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ، وَأَنْ يَكْرَهَ أَنْ يَعُودَ فِي الْكُفْرِ كَمَا يَكْرَهُ أَنْ يُقْذَفَ فِي النَّار. (البخاري)
Anas narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith: The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake. Who hates to revert to disbelief as he hates to be thrown into the Fire.” (al-Bukhaari )
Having the sweetness of faith means to be contented with Iman, to take pleasure in performing acts of worship, and to patiently endure any difficulties that may arise from practicing Islam.
The concept of love is however not a shallow expression of love through the tongue. It is rather a practical demonstration of true love, care and respect expressed in a manner which illustrates this true love.
Muslims express their love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) by: Obeying him in every thing he has commanded them to do Refraining from what he has prohibited Honoring and respecting him Imitating the Prophet’s way of life Sending blessings and salutation on him abundantly.
The Companions’ Love for the Prophet (peace be upon him)
The Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are set forth as examples for all Muslims.
They lived a life of total submission to the Will of Allah and complete devotion and adherence to the way and teachings of the Prophet Muhamamd (peace be upon him). They personally witnessed the life, care, kindness and sacrifice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They were inspired by his beauty, greatness and humility and were thus overcome with an extreme love for him.
Their love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) knew no bounds to the extent that they loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than their own mothers, more than their own fathers and more than their own children. In fact, they loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than they loved themselves.
The Companions had no doubts about the truthfulness of the Prophet . Their faith in the Prophet (peace be upon him) was all-encompassing. They sacrificed their lives, money and families for the sake of helping the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his mission. The Companions obeyed every order and did not hesitate in the slightest way.
The way that the Companions showed their love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) was that they carefully followed his sunnah. Because of the love they had for Prophet (peace be upon him) , they only worshipped Allah in the way that they were taught. The Companions followed what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did without introducing any new practices. This is because they knew the dangers and consequences of it.
The Companions fully understood the importance of following the Sunnah. They knew that only those who truly love the Prophet (peace be upon him) will follow the Sunnah. Adhering to the Sunnah is so important that Allah told the Companions and all other Muslims to follow the Prophet (peace be upon him):
“لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا” (سورة الأحزاب:٢١)
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. (Soorat al-Ahzaab:21)
The love that the Companions had for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is evident in the manner that the sahabah unreservedly acted upon the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). There adherence to the Sunnah was with regard to was both the verbal and practical ahaadeeth. If they knew or heard that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did something and told others to do it, then they would immediately act upon it.
There are many examples of the Companions doing exactly what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did and not adding things. The following two ahaadeeth show how the Companions loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) and how they followed him :
أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه قال للركن “أما والله إني لأعلم أنك حجر لا تضر ولا تنفع ولولا أني رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم استلمك ما استلمتك فاستلمه ثم قال فما لنا وللرمل إنما كنا راءينا به المشركين وقد أهلكهم الله ثم قال شيء صنعه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلا نحب أن نتركه” (البخاري)
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab addressed the Black Stone (Hajr al-Aswad), “By Allah! I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.” Then he kissed it and said, “There is no reason for us to do ramal (walking fast in tawaaf) except that we wanted to show (our strength) off in front of the disbelievers, and now Allah has destroyed them.” ‘Umar added, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) did that and we do not want to leave it.”
“عن علي بن ربيعة شهدت عليا بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه أتى بدابة ليركبها فلما وضع رجله في الركاب قال بسم الله فلما استوى على ظهرها قال الحمد لله ثم قال سبحان الذي سخر لنا هذا وما كنا له مقرنين وإنا إلى ربنا لمنقلبون ثم قال الحمد لله ثلاث مرات ثم قال الله اكبر ثلاث مرات ثم قال سبحانك اني ظلمت نفسي فاغفر لي انه لا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت ثم ضحك فقيل يا أمير المؤمنين من أي شئ ضحكت قال رأيت النبي فعل كما فعلت ثم ضحك” (أبو داوود والترميذي)
‘Ali ibn Rabee‘ah said, “I was with ‘Ali ibn Abee Taalib when a riding animal was brought to him. When he put his foot in the stirrup, he said: ‘In the name of Allah.’ Then when he sat on its back, he said: ‘And all Praise be to Allah.’ He then said: ‘How perfect is He, the One Who placed this (transport) at our service and we would not have been capable of that, and we will return to our Rabb.’ He then said: ‘All Praise be to Allah, All Praise be to Allah, All Praise be to Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. How perfect You are, O Allah, indeed I have wronged myself so forgive me. For surely none can forgive sins except You.” He then laughed. He was asked, ‘What did you laugh at?’ ‘Ali ibn Abee Taalib then said, ‘I saw Allah’s Messenger do as I have done and laugh after that.’ ” (Aboo Dawood & at-Tirmidhi).
The first hadeeth shows that even though ramal was originally done only to show the disbelievers that the Muslims were not weak, and the reason did not exist in the time of ‘Umar , he still continued with the practice. ‘Umar explained that the disbelievers no longer posed a threat, yet they still did the ramal simply because the Prophet (peace be upon him) did it. The second hadeeth explains how ‘Ali laughed after making a du‘aa for no other reason than the fact that he saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) do it.
The Companions had the utmost respect and love for the Prophet (peace be upon him). They showed that they loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) by following everything that he did. They believed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) came with the truth and that he was walking the path to Paradise. Because of this, the Companions worshipped Allah in exactly the same way as the Prophet (peace be upon him). Muslims today should follow the example of the Companions.
ICO’s Publications – Islamic Studies curriculum – Grade 8/ Part1 https://goo.gl/VsR42p