Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): A Man of Character

Now that we know we must love the Prophet what true love is, and what the signs of love are, we must begin to actually build this love.

The longest lasting love is a love of someone's perfection in noble inner qualities. So we will now begin to go through snapshots of the life of Prophet Muhammad .

For forty years prior to the revelation, the Prophet Muhammad was indisputably known to be of sound morals. Amongst his tribe he was known as "As-Sadeeq Al-Ameen," meaning the honest and trustworthy one. The fact that he was given this name can mean one of two things: either his honesty and trustworthy nature surpassed all others, or at the time, it was rare to find someone who was honest and trustworthy; therefore his nature was unique and treasured as such.

There are many instances in the seerah (Prophetic biography) that illustrate the moral soundness of the Prophet Muhammad . One of these stories exemplifies the strength of the trust people had in him. It happened near the beginning of his prophethood. He summoned the people of Quraysh to the foot of a mountain and called out to them, saying: "Would you believe me if I told you an enemy host was waiting behind this hill to attack you?" Everyone, including those who would soon become his enemies, agreed that they would believe him.

Although we may have heard this story many times, it may be difficult to grasp the true significance of that moment; an entire tribe agreed that they would prepare for a battle with an enemy they had not seen, using their precious time, and risking their resources - based on the words of one man. Allahu Akbar! (God is great)

It is said that the people had so much faith in Prophet Muhammad that they would advise one another to seek his services when needed. They would say: "If you want to entrust your wealth for safeguarding, entrust it to this trustworthy, honest man, for he will never touch it. If you look for someone who never tells a lie and never breaks his word, go directly to Muhammad, because whatever he says is true."

The best way to feel this point is to take a moment and imagine someone who you trust one hundred percent, someone you know would never hurt you, someone who would never betray your trust. When they speak, you know that their words contained no lies; you find comfort in their presence. Most likely, this imagining will cause you to yearn for someone of this nature.

Now take a moment and change that yearning for a nameless individual, to yearning for the Prophet because this description is exactly what he was like.

May God cause us to be of those who yearn to be in the presence of the Prophet Mohammed and truly make him beloved to our hearts.

A Man of Ultimate Consideration 

Even at a young age, the Prophet Muhammad showed amazing consideration to those around him. Despite the lack of a steady father figure and the many trials he endured in his youth, the Prophet continued to persevere and serve those who were around him.

After the death of his grandfather, he was sent to live with his Uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib had many children but he always treated the Prophet Muhammad as his own and did not deprive him of what he needed. He was known to be a generous man and would always feed the pilgrims when they would come to make pilgrimage.

Because of his intense generosity, Abu Talib was poor and struggled to keep his family fed. At the young age of thirteen, Prophet Muhammad decided that he never wanted to be a burden on the shoulders of his uncle and wanted to fend for himself. In a time where being a shepherd was seen to be lowly and unrewarding, the young Prophet sacrificed his own image and became a shepherd, receiving the lowest pay possible.

He did whatever he could to make sure that his uncle did not have to struggle to keep him fed and carried his own weight around the house. He stayed patient and rose in ranks in the work force until he became a successful business man by the age of twenty-five. It is at this time, in a highly chauvinistic society, that Lady Khadijah hired him to work for her. Just as his ego did not prevent him from a lowly job when he needed it, again his ego did not prevent him from working for a successful woman, whom he would eventually marry.

When Prophet Muhammad did finally marry Khadijah, he did not forget the generosity of his uncle. It was not enough for him that he had carried his own weight when living with his uncle, he also wanted to give back. The Prophet returned to Abu Talib and made a noble and dignified request. He asked for one of the children of Abu Talib so that he could raise him and care for him, just as his uncle had once done for him. Abu Talib agreed and gave him Ali, who would later be a great torch bearer of Islam.

At an age where many young men are only thinking about themselves, the Prophet was already catching every opportunity to make the lives of others easier. Had he not returned to foster one of his cousins, Abu Talib would not have been hurt. Abu Talib did not expect such a gesture; rather, it came from the pure unselfish heart of the Prophet. He was truly a man of consideration, asking for nothing in return.

A Man of Mercy 

Today, often times a "religious" person is seen to be someone who is rough and rigid, spouting do's and don'ts without thinking twice about the emotions of the person being scolded. The Prophet, however, was the farthest from any such description. He was a man who was enveloped in mercy, who cared for the weak, encouraged the women, and stood up for anyone in need.

God describes the character of the Prophet in the Quran when He says:

"So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely (upon Him)." (Al-Imran 3:159)

The Prophet did not only have mercy towards the men of his society at a time when women were treated very harshly, he was also busy working against this to replace it with mercy and compassion.

The men at the time of Prophet Muhammad were privileged with the opportunity to constantly be in his company, learning and growing with him. The women wanted to have such an opportunity, and being the leader that he was, the women did not feel any shyness or fear in requesting this from him. Upon request, the Prophet set aside a special time just for the women so that he could answer their questions and help them with what they needed.

There is a narration in which the Prophet was sitting amongst the women and they were talking loudly to him. Omar came into the room and the women completely changed their demeanor. Seeing this, the Prophet did not get angry, nor offended, nor even jealous-rather, he laughed. Omar asked the Prophet why he laughed at their behavior and he replied that he was amazed at how the women hid the instant they heard Omar's voice! This angered Omar and he questioned the women, asking how they should fear him yet not the Prophet? Their response exemplifies the mercy that Prophet had towards these women; they responded confidently that in comparison, Omar was hot-tempered, while the Prophet was the epitome of mercy.

The Prophet's mercy was vast and inclusive. He spread it far and wide to the point that even animals could find refuge in his kindness. Of the many instances that are breathtakingly vibrant with the clemency of the Prophet is that of the helpless bird. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud was traveling with the Prophet and a few other men. One of the men took an egg from the bird's nest. Out of despair, the bird came and flapped its wings at the Prophet, and he took immediate notice to her sad state. He turned to his companions and asked them who had made this poor bird miserable. Upon finding out that her egg had been taken, he ordered the man to return the egg to her as a sign of mercy and compassion. At a time when many humans were not being shown kindness, the Prophet mastered kindness to mankind and was already encouraging kindness and rights for animals.

Today, we look to the lives of the companions and read their stories. Many times, it is hard to comprehend how they had so much energy and drive to do all the things that they did. Their energy stemmed from pure Divine love which was not built through harsh reprimands or robotic movements-rather, this love was built by being in the presence of the Prophet seeing his amazing mercy and knowing that if he, the creation of God, could exhibit such mercy, then what of his Creator?

Source: Muslim Link - Reehab Ramadan

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