The Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Social Life

The Importance Prophet Muhammad Attached to Human Relations

When the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the advice that he gave to other people are carefully examined, it can be seen that he always acted as a role model, and that he made suggestions that helped to appease both the emotions and desires of a person as well as guiding relationships between people without turning these into conflict and without giving way to injustice.

When the issue of religion is discussed, many people first consider some forms of worship. This approach is correct, but it is deficient. Instead, the concept of honesty should be among the first things that come to mind when we talk about religion. Honesty is an issue that is basic in Islam.

The Priorities of the Religion

A Muslim who believes with a pure and solid faith in the existence and oneness of Allah, without doubt or hesitation, and who confirms that Prophet Muhammad is His servant and messenger must be aware of their responsibilities on two main points and do their best to fulfill them without negligence. The first point is to perform the forms of worship ordered by Allah within the scope of liability, and the second is to be sensitive about respecting people and the environment, as this is also an order from Allah and it is a way by which we can attain His approval. Sensitivity shown by people to both these issues is considered to be a parameter of the sincerity of their faith. In explanations about Islam, basic forms of worship like prayer, fasting, hajj, and zakat(alms) are given priority and importance. However, when the life of Prophet Muhammad and the hadith (sayings of the Prophet) sources are examined, it can be understood that Prophet Muhammad also put great importance on human relations and that he was very sensitive about such issues. The following hadith is just one proof of this:

One day Prophet Muhammad was sitting with his Companions and he said: "Do you know who is considered muflis [broke]?" One of his Companions said: "The one who has neither dirham nor wealth." The Prophet said, "Rather, the muflis is the one who comes on the Day of Judgment with prayers, fasting, and zakat, but finds himself bankrupt on that day as he has exhausted his funds of virtues by hurling abuse upon others, bringing calumny against others, unlawfully consuming the wealth of others, shedding the blood of others and beating others; his virtues will be credited to the account of those who suffered at his hand. And if his good deeds fall short of balancing the account, then the other person's sins will be entered into the Muflis' account, and he will be thrown into the hell-fire." (1)

The Relationship between Allah and Humanity

People who fulfill the duty of worship as ordered by Allah are certainly considered as having fulfilled some of their duties. However, they have not yet gained the position of perfect humans who perform all the orders of Allah. The answer to the question "Where are they deficient and how can they make up the loss?" must be looked for in the following hadith

"None of you truly believes until he wants for their brothet/sister what they want for themselves." (2)

"You cannot go to Heaven without believing. You cannot be considered a believer until you love one another." (3)

"A Muslim is one who is trustworthy in words and deeds." (4)

The Arrangement of Human Relations:

We can understand the sensitivity of Prophet Muhammad towards human relations if we examine the events that occurred in the early years of Islam and statements that were made by the early Muslims about those events. When Jafar ibn Abi Talib, the older brother of Ali, was called before Najashi, he described the previous life of his people and the benefits of Islam in the following words: "We were people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds. We broke the ties of kinship, treated guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet. He called us to worship Allah alone and to renounce the stones and idols which our ancestors and we used to worship in addition to Allah. He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witnessing, not to appropriate an orphan's property, nor to slander chaste women."

Abu Sufyan, although he was not a believer at that time, spoke of similar things. When Heracles asked about Prophet Muhammad, saying: "What did he command you to do?" Abu Sufyan answered, "He commanded us to observe prayers, to pay zakat, to tell the truth, to be pious and chaste, and to strengthen the ties of kinship." This is the approach of Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, towards human beings and the relationship that must be constituted among humans.

Being Aware of Ourselves, Preserving Our Personality and Character

In human relations, it is important that the first step be taken positively. This is an attitude that is expected from a virtuous person.

In the first days of his prophethood, Prophet Muhammad was worried about the burden of this duty and future developments. The words said to him by his wife Khadijah to soothe the Prophet are important and meaningful in demonstrating the personality of the Prophet: "Rejoice and be of good cheer. He in whose hands stands the life of Khadijah is my Witness that you will be the Messenger of His people! Have you not been loving to your kinsfolk, kind to your neighbors, charitable to the poor, hospitable to the stranger, faithful to your word, and helped people in disasters?"

The Prophet consistently advises those who believe in him to be sensitive in their moral behavior and, by stating that: "the most beautiful of the Believers within the aspect of faith are those who have the highest morals" (5), he emphasizes that a person who has strong faith in Allah should also acquire moral perfection in their behavior towards other people. One of the points which Prophet Muhammad elaborated was that a Muslim must be candid and well-intentioned. This candidness involves cordiality within faith and worship and towards others. This is what Jarir ibn Abdullah meant when he said the following: "I complied with the Holy Prophet on the issues of performing the prayer, giving zakat and acting candidly towards every Muslim." (6)

With the following warning, Prophet Muhammad indicates that people should not allow their good will to be abused:

"A believer cannot be stung in the same place twice." With this expression the Prophet states that judicious believers should be careful when making observations about people. They may be mistaken once due to good will, which is something they should have, yet they have the opportunity to examine the personality of others and thus must not be deceived more than once by the same person or people, as the second deception is not considered a mistake made from good will, but rather a fault resulting from unawareness. (7)

Tasks and Responsibilities towards People:

Prophet Muhammad demonstrated that people have the ability not only to keep their worldly desires and needs within legitimate grounds by means of solidifying the balance between this world and the afterlife while distancing themselves from extremes by performing acts of worship and following rules in social life, but are also able to become spiritually healthy without contradicting their beliefs. 

"Three Companions came to the house of the Prophet and asked for information regarding the forms of worship that he performed during the night. When they were provided with the information they said: "Allah has forgiven not only the past sins of the Prophet but also any future sins which he is likely to commit," and decided that they should worship more if the Prophet was worshipping to this extent. One of the Companions said, "I will constantly pray during the night!" The other said, "I will fast my entire life!" The third person said, "I will devote myself to worship and never marry anyone!"

Hearing these words, the Prophet approached them and said: "You make such decisions; however, be careful. I am the one who is most fearful of Allah and who is most sensitive about complying with His orders and prohibitions. Despite all this, there are times when I fast and there are times when I do not fast; I perform prayers during a certain part of the night, whereas for the rest of the night I sleep; I am married. This is my Sunnah (practice set as an example for Muslims). Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not of me." (8)

In a hadith it is stated that: "If four people give affirmative testimony about any Muslim, then Allah will allow that Muslim into Heaven." (9)The following hadith explains that deeds performed for others are of a greater value than other deeds. 

There are seven types of people to whom Allah will give protection with His Shade on the Day of Judgment when there is no shade but His. These people are: a just state ruler among their people, a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah, a person whose heart is attached to the mosques, two people who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah, a man who is seduced by a beautiful woman of high rank, but rejects this offer by saying:" I fear Allah", a person who gives charity to the poor and conceals it to such an extent that the right hand does not know what the left has given, and a person who remembers Allah in privacy and his eyes shed tears." (10)

The Field of Individual Responsibility within Society:

Prophet Muhammad orders that: "If a person exhibits exemplary good behavior and others take up this behavior, then that person will gain the merits of the behavior; part of the good deeds of the people after them will also be given to them. However, nothing will be detracted from the merits of others. Whoever acts negatively will be given the punishment of their own behavior and a part the sins of those who took them as an example and continued such behavior, yet the sins of those followers will not be reduced." (11)This hadith exhibits the responsibility of performing wrong actions as well as the liability that results from becoming a negative role model for other people.


The following expression of Prophet Muhammad may help us to understand how carefully he acted on this issue. When a person asked him which deed was superior, he replied "feeding the people and saluting everybody, whether you know them or not".

This hadith provides the most essential explanation of the following hadiths: "Unless you have faith, you will not enter heaven. Unless you love each other you will not be deemed to have faith. Shall I tell you what causes you to love each other when it is put it into action? Giving salaams among yourselves." (12)

"There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim: When you meet them, greet them, when they salute you, respond to them, when they sneeze and praise Allah, say to them: 'May Allah have mercy on you, Yarhamuk-Allah', when they invite you, accept, when they are unwell, visit them, and when they die, attend their funeral..." (13)

In another hadith Prophet Muhammad uses a more comprehensive expression: "Do not bear grudges against one another, do not envy one another, do not become angry and turn your backs on one an other; these are the Rules of Allah. Become brothers; if a Muslim refuses to speak to his brother for more than three nights that is not halal for him."

1) Bukhari, Adab, 102; Muslim, Bin, 59; Tirmidhi, Judgment Day, 2; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 303, 334, 372.

2) Bukhari. Faith, 7; Muslim, Faith, 71, 72; Tirmidhi, Judgment Day, 59, Nasai, Faith, 19, 33; Ibn Maja, Mu­kaddima, 9; Darimi, Riqaq, 29; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 111, 176, IV, 233.

3) Bukhari, Faith, 7; Muslim, Faith, 93,94, Abu Davud, Adab. 131, Tirmidhi, Istizan, 1; Ibn Maja, Mukad­dima, 9; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, I, 165; II, 391, 442, 477, 495, 512

4) Bukhari, Faith, 5; Rikak, 26; Muslim, Faith, 64-65, Abu Davud, Jihad, 2, Tirmizi, Judgment Day, 52; Faith, 12; Nasai, Faith, 8, 9, 11; Darimt, Riqaq, 4, 8; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, II, 162, 187, 195.

5) Bukhari, Adab, 38, 39; Abu Davud, Sunnah, 14; Tirmidhi, Rada 11; Faith, 6, Ibn Maja, Zuhd, 31; Da­rimi, Riqaq, 74; Ahmad ibn. Hanbal, II, 250, 472, 527, V, 89; VI,47, 99.

6) Bukhari, faith, 43´ Mawaqitussalat 3- Zakat, 2; Muslim, Faith 97; Nesai, Obedience, 16, 17; Darimi Bi­at, 9.

7) See. Ahmed Davudoglu, Sahihi Muslim.

8) Bukhari, Marriage, 1; Muslim, Marriage, 5; Nesai, Marriage, 4; Darimi, Marriage, 3; Ahmed ibn Hatiba!, M, 241

9) Bukhari, Janaiz, 85; Testimony, 6; Nesaî, Janaiz, 50, Ahmed ibn. Hanbal, 1, 22, 30, 46

10) Bukhari Azan  36  Rikak, 24, Zakat, 16; Limit, 19; Muslim, Zakat, 91; Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 53; Nasai,Kuzat, 2; Ahmad ibn. Hanbal, S, 439; Imam Malik, Poem, 4. 

11) Bukhari, Adab, 33; Muslim, Zakat, 52; Abu Dâvud, Adab, 60; Tirmidhi, Birr, 45; Ahmad ibn. Hanbal, 344; 360; IV, 307

12) Muslim, Iman, 93; Abu Davud, Tirmidhi, ETıme, 45; Judgment Day, 56; Nesui, Ibn Maja, Muqaddima, 9; Adab, 11; Ahmed ibn Hanbal, 1, 165, 167, E, 391, 442, 447, 495, 512

13) Bukhari, Jenâiz, 2; Muslim, Salute, 4-6; Ibn Maja, Cenaze, 1.

For the entire text, please see: Diyanet İlmi Dergi, Peygamberimiz Hz. Muhammed (Our Prophet Muhammad) (Special Edition)


Badr Hashemi
Badr Hashemi28.08.2016

Interesting and informative.
Thank you!