Who was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? And why should we love him?
For starters, our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) loved us and cared for us. Even though he went through so much hardship during his life, he always kept longing and praying for us, his Ummah.
Yes, he prayed for YOU!
In a number of narrations we learn that he spoke about us to his Companions:
“Surely, I wish to be with my brothers.” Whereupon his Companions said: Are we not your brothers? He answered: “You are my companions. After me, there will also come those who believe in me though they did not see me.” 1
Do you see how much love the Prophet (peace be upon him) had for us?
So what can we do to reciprocate his love, and how can we instill his love in our hearts?
The answer is very simple. The Qur’an and the Sunnah have shown us many ways to do just that, and we will explore just a few of them today.
Loving The Prophet is to Obey Him and Follow His Example
Understand that your faith as a Muslim is not complete until you love the Prophet (peace be upon him). And to love him is to obey him and follow his example.
He was a true servant of his Lord and followed everything that was revealed to him wholeheartedly. One of his wives, Aishah (ra), was once asked about his character and she replied, “his character was the Qur’an.”
He embodied what it meant to be a Muslim.
In a hadith narrated by ‘Aishah about the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) character, she said:
When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prayed, he would stand for so long that his feet became swollen. ‘Aishah said: O Messenger of Allah, are you doing this when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins? He said, “O ‘Aisha, should I not be a thankful slave?”2
If you truly love someone, you will be thinking about them on a daily basis. You will follow them and try to be like them. If we truly love the Prophet (peace be upon him), we must think about him and remember him constantly. We must also accept and follow his Sunnah.
Everything he did was a lesson for us to follow and learn from. We should not overlook any command the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave us. He only commanded us to do that which would be beneficial to us.
Realize the Status that Allah has Given Him
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) was given a status that no man before him or after him will ever attain.
And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.Quran, Chapter 21, Verse 107
He was the final Messenger, he was given the final revelation and Allah praised him as ‘a mercy to mankind’.
He is a mercy to the world because mankind would know their Creator through the Prophet and the revelation that was given to him. We cannot give justice to the blessings and miracles given to him by Allah in this short blog post. That is why we encourage you to study the Seerah, the story of the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Learn about the Seerah
Appreciate what the Prophet (peace be upon him) has done to deliver the message of Islam to you and I. One of the best ways to show your appreciation is to learn about the Seerah.
Learn about the many difficulties he faced to deliver the message. When he started to preach his message he faced persecution from everyone, even from his own tribe. That period of time was so bad that it was known as the period of oppression. Yet during this time he received support from his family and Companions, and there were two special people who supported him physically and financially. His uncle Abu Talib was one. Even though he was not a Muslim he supported Muhammad (peace be upon him), his nephew, from the ill-treatment of his tribe. The second person was the most beloved human to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his wife Khadijah.
Learn about the success the Muslims achieved during his years of Prophethood. There were many famous battles such as the battle of Badr and Uhud. There was the expansion of the Muslim Ummah throughout Arabia. The religion began to spread and thousands began to accept the message of Islam. These moments in our proud history among many others deserve to be studied.
Learn about his loss of family. In the year 619 CE, the Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered a great loss as his wife Khadijah passed away, and shortly after his uncle Abu Talib also passed away. This year was such a devastating time for the Prophet (peace be upon him) that it became known as the “Year of Sorrow”. This instance was one of many losses for the Prophet (peace be upon him) throughout his lifetime.
Learn about the evil plots his enemies devised against him. The security and assistance which Muhammad (peace be upon him) enjoyed for so long was no longer there after his uncle passed away. Once his enemies learned that he no longer had the protection that he once had, they increased their plots. They tried to assassinate him. Little did they know that Allah – the Most Powerful, Most Magnificent – was protecting him.
Learn as much as you can about the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) from the day he was born until the day he died.
Send Your Salah upon the Prophet (peace be upon him)
Allah Almighty tells us in the Qur’an:
Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet and also His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salat on (ask Allah to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting (i.e. assalamu alaykum)Quran, Chapter 33, Verse 56
During our daily prayers we must also send our salutation upon him. We say these words in the second part of the tashahud:
Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed. Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama baarakta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed
“O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You sent blessings upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.”
We should take it upon ourselves to send peace and salutations upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) as often as we can. Allah has commanded those that believe to make this prayer and remember the Prophet (peace be upon him). Doing so will give us ajr (reward), and it will also help us remember what kind of struggles and hardships he faced in order to bring the message of Islam to us.
Sending prayers should also give us hope, and assure us that in times of hardship we can always rely on Allah.
We can show our love of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through our actions. In this post we covered just a few ways.
The importance of the status that Allah has given him. He was given a position no other human being will ever occupy. Understand that your faith as a Muslim is not complete until you love the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than any other human being, including yourself. To love him is to obey him and follow his example.
Appreciate what the Prophet has done to deliver the message of Islam to you and I. We can further our appreciation by committing time to learn about the Seerah. Finally, make it a habit to send your prayers upon the Prophet (peace be upon him).
1. Narrated in Musnad of Imam Ahmed
2. Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.