Journeying to Allah is impossible without taking His beloved ﷺ as a guide on this journey. Loving him is the key to loving Allah.
Ramaḍān is a month in which we increase our love for him ﷺ. Every act of worship we perform in this month is an attempt to follow in his footsteps. Everything that we know about Ramaḍān is through him. He ﷺ nurtured the Companions on how to optimise this blessed month, encouraging them, giving them good news and demonstrating to them with his own actions.
Sometimes we may claim to love the Prophet ﷺ, but our actions speak otherwise. Loving him ﷺ entails obeying him, honouring him, and embodying his Sunnah in every aspect of our lives. Loving him ﷺ means he is always in your thoughts, always in your conscience: his words mould your actions and his life shapes your life. There is no better time than this sacred month in which we can attempt to emulate the impeccable character and lifestyle of the greatest human to have walked on this earth.
His Iman & Love for Allah
He ﷺ was the most God-fearing, obedient and humble servant of Allah. None knew Allah like he ﷺ did. His īmān and yaqīn in Allah was unshakeable. His sincerity, his hope and trust in Allah never wavered. His worship, dhikr, and duʿā’ were legendary. In the Night Journey, he ascended where no other – not even Jibrīl – had the privilege to ascend, witnessing some of the marvels of his Lord.
In this journey, he was gifted with ṣalāh: his source of deep joy. Nothing pleased him more than intimate conversation with Allah, his Beloved. His recitation was beautiful. He would stand throughout the night, reciting, bowing and prostrating for so long that his companion, who once joined him, thought of leaving the prayer. And yet, from his compassion, when he ﷺ would hear the crying of the infant in congregational prayer, he would shorten the prayer.
He revolutionised society. He lifted the people out of darkness and showed them the truth, the light of īmān. He personified servitude. He breathed gratitude. He was shy, not just of creation, but from his Lord. He loved Allah, and Allah loved him.
His Sublime Character
“And you are truly (a man) of outstanding character” (68:4).
His character was exemplary. He epitomised kindness, compassion and love. He was genuine and selfless. He was honest and trustworthy, a man of principle and integrity. He was gentle yet strong. He was modest yet confident and dignified. He was wise in his words and actions, and he epitomised balance.
There was an aura around him. If you saw him from afar, you would be in awe of him. Once you got to know him, you would fall in love with him.
He ﷺ would never degrade or abuse people. He wasn’t foul-mouthed. He would not engage in useless chatter, let alone backbite or gossip. He didn’t shout, nor scream. He spoke little, and when he would speak, he captured hearts. He was a magnificent orator. He would turn fully to the person he was addressing, and he would give them his full attention.
He forgave easily, and when he got angry it was only for Allah. His anger was composed and harnessed to achieve a higher objective. He would not hold grudges, and did not like to hear negative things about others. “Let no one convey to me anything (negative) regarding one of my companions, for I love to meet you with a pure heart,” he ﷺ said.
His emotional intelligence was complete. Everyone loved to be in his company. He valued every individual, to the extent that he made every single person feel like they were the most beloved to him. He removed people’s insecurities and replaced it with confidence.
He was selfless and always helped those in need. He was a pillar for the oppressed and the downtrodden. He championed the rights of women, children, orphans, the poor and slaves. He was sensitive to the pain and hunger of others. He was the torchbearer of justice. He laid down piety as the criterion of superiority, not colour, lineage, or wealth.
His humility was unsurpassed. He was the best of men, and yet there was no one humbler than him. He would not allow his companions to stand for him, or to walk behind him. He would milk the goat, patch his clothes and help with the housework. He would accept gifts, but then always give something back in return. He did not criticise food. If he didn’t like it, he would leave it.
He lived a simple life. He owned very little of the world, and yet he was the most generous. He would never hoard, and he would give everything away. His heart was attached to his Lord, not to this world. Once, ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) went to see him ﷺ and saw marks on his blessed back due to the bed he was sleeping on, which was made from leather and stuffed with palm fibre. He began to cry and compared the basic furnishings of the Prophet ﷺ with the worldly riches the Emperors of Rome and Persia were enjoying. The Prophet ﷺ told him, “For them is this world and for us is the Hereafter!”
He was the bravest of men. He fought and led many battles. When the battles would get fierce, his companions would seek shelter with him; and he ﷺ would be the closest one to the enemy lines.
The Grateful Servant
He suffered immense difficulties throughout his life, yet he always smiled. As a young child, he never met his father. At the tender age of six, he lost his mother, and soon after, his grandfather. When he was chosen to be Allah’s Messenger, his own people turned against him. He was defamed, mocked, strangled, and stoned. He witnessed his own companions being tortured. He lost his beloved Khadījah and staunch supporter, Abū Tālib, within the space of a year. Eventually, he was forced to leave his beloved birthplace.
His beloved companions were slain in battle. In Uḥud, his beloved uncle Ḥamzah was killed and then mutilated. He ﷺ himself was wounded. Till the end of his life, enemies lurked outside and within. Plots were hatched to kill him. He was poisoned. Heinous accusations were made against his beloved wife, ʿĀ’ishah.
He buried six of his seven children in his lifetime.
Yet, none of this made him bitter. Instead, he was the most empathetic, sensitive, and humble of all men. He remained steadfast and didn’t waver from the mission entrusted to him by the Lord of the worlds. Instead of complaining “Why me?” he would worship his Beloved throughout the night. When reminded of being already forgiven by Allah, he remarked: “Should I not be a grateful servant?”
The Loving Prophet
He ﷺ was a loving father, an easy-going husband, and a doting grandfather. He would kiss and hug his grandchildren. He would let them ride on his shoulders and sit on his back whilst he prostrated. He once prolonged a sajdah – unusually – and when asked why he did this, he said, “My son (i.e. one of his grandsons) climbed on my back, and I disliked hurrying him, so he could fulfil his wish.”
There was no one more loving and kinder to children than him. This testimony was from none other than Anas b. Mālik (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) who served him for ten years from when he was a young boy. Throughout this time, he would recall, the Prophet never cursed him, nor spoke to him harshly, nor asked him “Why did you do so and so?” nor “Why didn’t you do so-and-so?” Many years later, he would say, “Not a single night passes except that I see my beloved ﷺ in my dream.” Anas would say this and then cry. He would say, “I hope I will get to meet him on the Day of Judgement — I will say to him: “O Messenger of Allah, your little servant!”
He was the best teacher. He was sent as a raḥmah (mercy) for the world, an ocean of love and compassion. He won the hearts of his Companions, young and old. He raised a whole generation of young ṣaḥābah. He developed their confidence, entrusting them with tasks usually reserved for the elderly, paving their way to raise the banner of lā ilāha illā-Allāh in lands far beyond Madinah.
His Love for Us
He would always smile, and yet, he was constantly worrying and sad for his Ummah. His Ummah was everything. Me and you. He loved us and cried for us.
On one occasion he ﷺ lifted his hands and while weeping, invoked, “O Allah! My Ummah, my Ummah!” Allah sent Jibrīl (ʿalayhis-salām) down with the glad tidings: “Muḥammad, surely we will please you in regards to your Ummah and we will not cause you grief.” In every ṣalāh, he ﷺ would make duʿā’ for us, and ask Allah to forgive us.
He made immense sacrifices so that lā ilāha illā-Allāh would reach us today. He ﷺ missed us and yearned to see us. He ﷺ once said, “I wish to see my brothers!” The companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, are we not your brothers?” He ﷺ replied, “You are my companions, but my brothers are those who have not yet come in the world. I will welcome them at the ḥawḍ (blessed fountain).” Unlike the other messengers who had their exclusive duʿā’ accepted in this world, he ﷺ reserved his duʿā’ for us on the Day of Judgement where he will intercede on our behalf.
He ﷺ has left the world, but he left us the Qur’ān – which he embodied – and his Sunnah. Let us cling on to them and carry forward his legacy. Let us remember him and invoke abundant ṣalawāt upon him, for each time we invoke ṣalawāt upon him, he responds to us. Even though we were not blessed to meet him in this world, we still have an opportunity to attain his duʿā’.
O Allah, make our love for Your beloved ﷺ genuine. Let our love for him translate to obeying him. Let his sunnah illuminate our hearts, lives, homes and the entire world. Grant us his intercession, make us drink from his blessed hands at the ḥawḍ, and unite us with him in al-Firdaws.