Why we should Love the ProphetMevlüt Güngör, PhD
The matter of loving the Prophet holds a special importance for the practice of Islam. God, to Whom we owe everything we have, has presented the Prophet as the most ideal example and invites those who love Him to obey His Messenger as a proof of their love. Moreover, God wants us to obey the Prophet sincerely, not just as a duty. This kind of obedience can only be possible if the Prophet is loved with a sincere heart. Naturally, there are reasons why we love someone; so, then, what are the reasons why we love our Prophet?
Verses which refer to the reasons why we should love the Prophet:
1. The role model status of the Prophet for all people:
Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was sent to all humankind as the last prophet, and was an ideal person in all aspects. This is because he was chosen and molded by God Himself (1). In the expression of the Holy Quran, he is of a tremendous nature. (2)
He is a holy lamp that gives light. (3)
He always guides his followers to the right path. (4)
He was sent as a mercy for all people. (5)
Prophet Muhammad is a perfect example for all people, especially for those who believe in God and the Day of Judgment. As a matter of fact, this matter is clearly stated in the following verse: "Verily in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much." (6)
When the exemplary life of Prophet Muhammad is observed, it can be seen that he presented the most beautiful examples of being sincerely committed to God, obeying God's orders with love, sharing the pain of the people, helping people merely for the pleasure of Allah, turning this deed into a pleasure of the heart, loving and respecting people merely because they are human, and showing mercy when in a position of power.
The liveliest examples of combating cruelty and evil and never abandoning righteousness or justice can be found in the Prophet's life. The most unique examples of patience, compassion, modesty and understanding by the head of the family, displaying responsibility in management, farsightedness in military matters, caring for children, orphans and the needy can all be found in the Prophet's life. (7)
2. The devotion of the Prophet to believers and other people:
As is well known, love is mutual. It is nearly impossible for unrequited love to continue. The love between the Messenger of Allah and his Companions was a mutual love. As a matter of fact, his Companions loved him greatly and he them. As Allah states, the Prophet lowered his wings over them. (8) He treated them kindly, and he tried to correct their mistakes without offending them. He consulted them in all his tasks. This condition is stated in the Quran as follows: "It was by the mercy of Allah that you were lenient with them (O Muhammad), for if you had been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from round about you. So pardon them, and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs." (9)
"There has come to you (O people) a Messenger from among yourselves; extremely grievous to him is your suffering; full of concern for you is he, and for the believers, full of pity and compassion." (10)
3. The proof of love for God is obedience to the Messenger of Allah:
It is obvious that we must thank and love the Mighty Creator to whom we owe our lives, intellect, belongings, indeed, everything we have. However, God clearly states in the following verse that we must obey the Prophet in order to prove our love for Allah:
"Say (to them, O Messenger): "If you indeed love God, then follow me, so that God will love you and forgive you your sins.” God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. Say (again): "Obey God, and the Messenger.” If they still turn away, God does not love the unbelievers." (11)
4. The necessity for Believers to hold the life of the Prophet above their own lives:
God ordered that believers hold the life of the Prophet superior even to their own lives.
"The Prophet is more important to the believers than their selves, and his wives are their mothers." (12)
Our valuing the life of the Prophet more than our own life is, of course, dependent on our great love for him. This is why the Prophet himself explained that he must be loved more than anyone or anything. In parallel with this, in one of the hadiths found in Bukhari (13) the Prophet orders: "A person cannot be deemed to have faith unless they love me more than their mother, father, children and all people." (14) In addition to this, Allah revealed some matters in detail which showed that He attached a different place and value to the Prophet. Now we would like to present some of these matters:
1. The Blessings of God, the Angels and the Believers upon the Prophet:
God Almighty states that He and the angels send blessings to the Prophet; this means that the Prophet is saluted with their praise. God then orders the believers to salute the Prophet wholeheartedly: "Surely God and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who believe, invoke the blessings of God on him, and pray to God to bestow His peace on him, greeting him with the best greeting." (15)
2. Consequences of persecuting the Prophet:
Following the verse above, God Almighty warns those who persecute the Prophet, informing that that they will end up doomed: "Those who affront God and His Messenger, God certainly curses them (excludes them from His mercy) in this world and the Hereafter, and He has prepared for them a shameful, humiliating punishment." (16)
3. Warning the Companions to act decently when having a meal in the house of the Prophet:
According to an account by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet often gave meals to his Companions, yet some would come before the meal and not leave the house after they had finished their meals. Naturally, the Prophet would become uncomfortable, but he would not say anything to his guests. (17) Even in such a circumstance, which might be considered to be a mere detail, God Almighty commands the following:
"O you who believe! Do not enter the Prophet's rooms unless you have been given leave, to a meal, without waiting for the proper time. Rather, when you are invited, enter at the proper time; and when you have had your meal, disperse. Do not linger for mere talk. That causes trouble for the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to leave). But God does not shy away from (teaching you) the truth. When you ask something of them, ask them from behind a screen. Your doing so is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. It is not for you to cause hurt to God's Messenger, as it is unlawful for you ever to marry his widows after him. That would be an enormity in God's sight." (18)
4. Warning not to raise one's voice above the voice of the Prophet when speaking to him:
Allah then orders in detail: "O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak loudly when addressing him, as you would speak loudly to one another, lest your good deeds go in vain without your perceiving it. Those who lower their voices in the presence of God's Messenger, those are they whose hearts God has tested and proven for piety and reverence for Him. For them there is forgiveness and a tremendous reward. Those who call out to you from behind the private apartments, most of them do not reason and understand. If they had been patient until you came out to them, it would certainly have been better for them. However, God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate." (19)
1) See Zuhruf, 43/29-32; Hac, 22/75.
2) Al-Qalam, 68/4
3) Al-Ahzab, 33/46
4) And lo! you verily guide unto a right path” Ash-Shura, 42/52
5) (O Muhammad) We sent you not save as a mercy for the people” Al -Anbiyaa, 21/107.
6) Al-Ahzab, 33/21
7) See Abu Shahba, Muhammad b. Muhammad, as-Sîratu´n-Nabawiyye fî Dav´i´l-Qur´âni wa as-Sunna, Dimask, 1988, II, 602-672.
8) And lower your wing unto those believers who follow you. (In other words, be modest and kind to them)” Ash-Shuàráa, 26/215; also see Al-Hijr, 15/88
9) Al-Imran, 3/158.
10) Al-Tauba, 9/128.
11) Al-Imran, 3/3-32
12) Al-Ahzab, 33/6
13) Bukhari, Faith (I,9).
14) See. Bukhari, Faith 8; Muslim, Faith 70; Nesai, Faith 19; Ibn Maje, Muqaddima, 9; Musnad, III, 77, 207, 275.
15) Al Ahzab, 33/56.
16) Al Ahzab, 33/57.
17) Qurtubi, al-Jâmiu li-Ahqami´l-Quran, XIV,224.
18) Al Ahzab, 33/53.
19) Al Hujurat, 49/2-5.