Love for Allah's Messenger - Obligation & Signs

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Loving the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) more than everything in the world is obligatory on every Muslim. It's benefits and rewards are tremendous but today Muslims are in error with respect to this issue. In fact, a large number of Muslims are unaware of the reality and signs of the love for the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). With the intent of spreading the true understanding and explanation of love (for Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), we present this article to the Ummah. May Allah accept it and make it fruitful. Ameen!


One of the blessings, which Allah bestows upon His slaves, is the love of His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) because loving the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is a condition of faith.

Once, Umar Ibn Khattab (radhi allahu anhu), made a statement to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): "O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than anything except my own self." Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) remarked saying: "No, by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, not until I am more beloved to you than your own soul." Umar (radhi allahu anhu) then declared his love for the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: "By Allah, now you are more beloved to me than my own soul." Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) then affirmed for him true and complete faith. [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

Thus, Eemaan is incomplete without the love of Allah's Messenger. Not only loving him is important, but the love of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) should be victorious above the love of everything else. Allah says:

"Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwelling in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are disobedient." [Soorah at-Tawbah (9): 24]

Loving the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is also one of the reasons of achieving 'the sweetness of Eemaan. Scholars explain 'sweetness of Eemaan' to mean the pleasure in obeying Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), enduring hardship in the religion and preferring it to the world. It is reported in Bukharee (1/60) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Whoever possesses the following three qualities will taste the sweetness of Eemaan. One of whom Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) become dearer than anything else; Whoever loves his brother solely for Allah's sake; and whoever hates to revert to disbelief just as he hates to be thrown into the Fire."

To comprehend and achieve the love of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), it becomes necessary to answer two important questions,
what is love? Or what is the criterion of love? and how to love Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) above everything else? To answer these questions, carefully read the following few paragraphs:

What is Love?

Imaam at-Tabaranee (rahimahullah) relates the story of a Sahabee (radhi allahu anhu) in Majma az-Zawaid (7/7), who came to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than myself, more beloved to me than my children. When I am in my house, I think of you, and then I cannot wait until I see you. When I think of my death and your death. I know that when you enter Paradise, you will be raised with the Prophets u. I fear that if I enter Paradise, I will not be able to see you.' The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) did not answer until Jibreel (alaihi as-salaam) descended with this verse: "And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah bestowed His grace (among them are), the Prophets (alaihimus as-salaam), those who believed in them first, the martyrs and the righteous. How excellent these companions are." [(4): 69]

Revelation of this verse provides a comprehensive answers to our first question, "what is love?" Upon the declaration of the man's love towards the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), Allah revealed a verse encouraging obedience to Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), thus explaining the meaning of love to be 'Obedience.'

This calls for complete submission to the commands and orders of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Allah says: "The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words: the Qur'aan) and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to judge between them, is that they say: 'We hear and we obey'. It is such as these who will attain success." [Soorah an-Noor (24): 51] And: "By your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) the judge in all disputes between them and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission." [(4): 65]

In other words, Eemaan and obedience to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) are inseparable, and simultaneous efforts to establish them will lead to everlasting bliss. This is the basis of success; any fault in its foundation will end up in eternal chastisement (punishment) of Hell-Fire. Because the Qur'aan describes hypocrites as disobedient to Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): "They (hypocrites) say: "We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger and we obey', then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers...Let those who oppose the Messenger's commandments beware, lest some fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them." [(24): 47 and 63]

Every one of us claims to love the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) more than our fathers, sons and all the people. But how truthful are we in this claim? Does this claim carry any value in the Sight of Allah?

Scholars have pointed out some criterion and signs to judge one's claim of love, those signs which were observed in the character of the best generation, the Sahabah, those who loved the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to the highest degree. Some of these signs, their explanation and justification are mentioned below.

? If you find these signs in yourself, then praise and thank Allah that you posses in your heart the true love of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).

? If you lack some or all these signs, then hold yourself to account, before you are accounted on the Day of Judgment!! On the Day, when nothing will be hidden from Allah, and no servant of His can even attempt to deceive Him, because as Allah said: "They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 9]

FIRST SIGN: Concern for seeing and keeping company with him

It is well known that every person wishes to see and acquire the company of his beloved. Thus, anybody who loves the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) will want to be with him. He will confer and devote everything to grasp any opportunity of being in his (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) company in this world and the Hereafter. It will please him to gaze upon the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), and the fear of being forbidden from seeing the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) will sadden him. Such were the state of affairs with the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhum), when the Ansaar heard about the Hijrah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to Medina, they were overjoyed and eager to see him, it occurs in the narration of Urwah Ibn az-Zubayr, when the Muslims of Medina heard the news of the departure of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), from Makkah, they would go to al-Harrah every morning. They would wait for him until the heat of the noon forced them to return.' [Saheeh al-Bukharee (7/239)] Another narration says: "…. And when the sun burned them, they would return to their homes." [at-Tabaqaat al-Kubra (1/233)]

How intense was their eagerness to meet Allah's Messenger r!! They left every morning and waited his arrival in the burning sun of desert! Al-Barra bin Aazib (radhi allahu anhu) describes the joy of the people of Medina, upon the arrival of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), he said: "I never saw the people of al-Madina so pleased with anything as they were with his arrival." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (7/260)] Anas Ibn Maalik said: "I never saw a day brighter or more excellent than the day Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and Abu Bakr entered Medina." [Fath ur-Rabbanee li Tarteeb Musnad il-imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (20/290)]

This was one part of their love, i.e. their extreme longing and craving to see and be in the company of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). In the similar way, they also feared of being deprived from this great blessing and honor, and not being able to accompany the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Imaam at-Tabaranee relates the story of a Sahabee (radhi allahu anhu) in Majma az-Zawaid (7/7), who came to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: 'O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, more beloved to me than my children. When I am in my house, I think of you, and then I cannot wait until I see you. When I think of my death and your death. I know that when you enter Paradise, you will be raised with the Prophets. I fear that if I enter Paradise, I will not be able to see you." On this occasion, Allah revealed the verse: "And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah bestowed His grace (among them are), the Prophets, those who believed in them first, the martyrs and the righteous. How excellent these companions are." [ Soorah an-Nisa (4): 69]

Such was their great love and affection for Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), they preferred the company of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) above everything. Once an opportunity to make a request was given to Rabee'ah ibn al-Ka'ab al-Aslamee (radhi allahu anhu) for anything he desired. So, what was his request? He relates about himself: 'I used to spend the night with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and I used to attend to his needs. He said to me: "Make any request." So I said: 'I ask that I accompany you in Paradise.' He said: "Do you wish for anything other than that?" I replied: 'Just that.' He said: "Then help me for your own sake with frequent prostrations (meaning perform much Salaat (prayer)." [Saheeh Muslim]

This was the true love of the Sahabah (radhi allahu anahum) for Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). How about us? Despite our claim of loving the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), we greatly love the world and its pleasures and spend wealth and time to look and hear them. Have we forgotten that some of these things, which we love, might be a reason for our disgrace in this world and the Hereafter? The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Some people from my nation will drink alcohol, calling it by another name, and drums… will be placed over their heads. Allah will cause them to sink into the Earth, and will transform some of them into monkeys and pigs." [Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah (2/371)]

SECOND SIGN: Total Willingness to sacrifice one's person and wealth for the sake of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
Anyone who truly loves someone eagerly looks forward for any opportunity to sacrifice his person and possessions for his loved one. Tremendous examples are found in the biographies of the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu), which speak aloud about their sacrifices for the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). On the day of (the battle of) Uhud, when the people had fled, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was in an area with twelve men from the Ansaar, among them was Talha bin Ubaydullah.

The polytheist came upon them, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) turned and said: "Who will fight them?" Talha said: 'I will.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "(Stay) as you are." A man from the Ansaar said: 'I (will go). O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)." So he said: "You (go and fight)." So he fought until he died. Then he turned and again the polytheist were there, he said: "Who will fight them?" Talha said: 'I will.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "(Stay) as you are." A man from the Ansaar said: 'I (will go). O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)." So he said: "You (go and fight)." So he fought until he died. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) did not cease to say this; sending one of the men of the Ansaar to fight the same fight as the man before him till he was killed. Until there remained only the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and Talha Ibn Ubaydullah t. So the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Who will fight them?" Talha replied: 'I will.' So Talha fought the fight of the eleven (who were before him) until his hand was struck and his fingers were cut off and he said (to himself): 'Feel it'.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "If you had said Bismillah (in the Name of Allah), then angels would have lifted you while the people were staring." Then Allah drove back the polytheist. [Saheeh Sunan an-Nasa'ee (1/27)]

May Allah be pleased with all those who truly loved the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and sacrificed their lives for him. Their defense was not an easy task but they ransomed their lives to protect the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).

THIRD SIGN: To Follow the Prophet's (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) orders and to leave that which he has prohibited

Everybody would agree that a person likes to do what his beloved wants, and leave what makes his loved one angry. Instances of true obedience are abundant from the Sahabah. The Sahabah were prohibited from things which they loved and desired, but they rushed to leave it at the first command of Allah's Messenger. Imaam Bukharee (rahimahullah) reports in his Saheeh that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) ordered a caller to announce to the people: "Allah and His Messenger forbid you to eat the meat of domestic donkeys." So, the pots were overturned while meat was still boiling in them. [Saheeh al-Bukharee (7/467-468)] Similar was the case when alcohol was made prohibited, Anas (radhi allahu anhu) narrates, 'I was serving alcohol in the house of Abu Talha. We heard a caller and I went out to hear him, he was the caller of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: 'O people! Alcohol is made Haraam (prohibited).' I returned and informed the people about the prohibition. It was my saying and the Sahabah (radiyallahu anhum) turned down their glasses of alcohol, and those who had even a sip of alcohol in their mouths, vomited it out, and pots of alcohol were broken, such that streams of alcohol were seen flowing in the streets of al-Madina."
None of them even thought to dispute, or try to find an exception or escape this ruling, and how could they possibly do so, when they completely understood that the fundamental aspects of true love is obedience to the Messenger of Allah

FOURTH SIGN: To make the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) victorious and to perfect the Sharee'ah

It is well known fact that the devotee will sacrifice his time, energy, possessions, and his person for the same purpose, which his beloved sacrifices his wealth and person for.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was sent to establish the Oneness of Allah and eliminate disbelief. Thus, those who love the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) follow his guidance and imitate his lifestyle in all aspects.

In the battle of Uhud, a great confusion took place and a rumor spread among the people that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) had been killed. Some of the companions sat down, adversely effected by this terrible news. They had given up. Anas bin an-Nadr (radhi allahu anhu), came to them and said, what has made you sit down? They replied: 'The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has been killed.' He said: 'Then what are you doing with your lives after him? Rise, fight and die for what the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) died for." [Seerah Ibn Hishaam (3/30)] Anas (radhi allahu anhu) reported, 'We found more than eighty wounds from swords and arrows on his body. We found him dead and his body was mutilated so badly that no one except his sister could recognize him by his fingers. Anas (radhi allahu anhu) said: 'We used to think that the following verse was revealed concerning him and others of his group: "Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Some of them have fulfilled their obligations, and some are still waiting but they have never changed in the least." [Soorah al-Ahzab (23)] [Saheeh al-Bukharee (6/21)]

This sincere devotion and determination is also seen in the character of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (radhi allahu anhu), when some Muslims refused to pay Zakaat, Abu Bakr announced a battle against them, saying: 'By Allah, if they refuse to pay me (even) a bridle, which they used to pay the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) then I will fight them because of their refusal. [Saheeh Muslim (1/52)]

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