Loving the Prophet, Sall-Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam
On the twelfth of Rabi-ul-Awwal, Muslims all over the world hold special gatherings to
commemorate and celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
The special programs attract huge numbers of Muslims. There can be no two opinions among
the believers that remembering the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and learning
about his life example are highly meritorious acts. The milad celebrations show the
deep love and devotion that all the believers have for the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad
ibn Abdullah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. This love and devotion remains a distinct
characteristic of Muslims throughout the centuries.
However, while the fact of this love has not changed, its nature has. It has taken
different forms than what we find in the early generations. The Companions were the
special people who came in direct contact with Allah's Messenger, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa
sallam, learned from him, joined his struggle, gave the most sacrifices for it, devoted
their lives for his mission, and earned the credentials for being the model disciples,
followers, and devotees.
Among them was Sayyidna Mus'ab ibn Umayr, Radi-Allahu anhu. As a young pagan in Makkah,
he was the best dressed, the best cared for youth. Clad in the most expensive silk and
wearing the best perfumes, he would leave a trail of fragrance wherever he passed by. Then
something happened. He met the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and his message
penetrated the depth of his heart. Life changed drastically. His pagan mother, who used to
love him before, now despised him and began to punish him severely. His was a
transformation from riches to rags. Once the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, saw
him covering his body with a patched up old hide and showing the signs of rough life that
he had embraced. He said, "I saw this young man some years ago in Makkah. There was
none at that time who was more handsome, was living a more luxurious life, or was better
dressed than him. But today he has sacrificed all the comforts of this life for the love
of Allah and his Prophet." He was the first teacher of the Ansar in Madinah and the
standard bearer of the Muhajireen in Badr. When he was martyred in Uhud, there was not
enough cloth to cover his body completely; grass was used to supplement the small burial
cloth. According to some reports, the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, stood by his
body and recited the verse: "From among the believers there are some men who
fulfilled their pledge with Allah."
Among them was Sayyidna Sa'd ibn Mu'az, Radi-Allahu anhu, the leader of the Ansar. The
Ansar had provided hospitality and protection to the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam
and the Makkan Muslims, but soon they faced a bigger challenge. Would they be ready to
fight against the much larger and better equipped Makkan army? His powerful words in the
meeting before Badr captured the spirit of their commitment. "O Rasulullah, we have
believed in you, affirmed your Prophethood, and pledged obedience. By Allah, who has sent
you as a Messenger, if you were to command us to jump into the ocean we will do that. Not
one soul among us will remain behind. Insha-Allah you will find us steadfast in the
Among them was Sayyidna Jareer ibn Abdullah, Radi-Allahu anhu. Once he sent his servant
for buying a horse. The servant made a deal for three hundred dirhams and brought the
seller with him so he could be paid. Sayyidna Jareer ibn Abdullah, Radi-Allahu anhu,
looked at the horse and realized that the seller had undervalued it. "Would you sell
it for four hundred?" he asked. The seller agreed. "How about five
hundred?" he continued his unusual "bargaining" and finally bought the
horse for eight hundred dirhams. He was later asked why he did so. "The seller was
not aware of the true value of this horse, " he explained. "I have simply given
him a fair price because I had promised to Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam,
to always be sincere and well-wisher for every Muslim."
Among them was the unnamed person who was wearing a gold ring. It is prohibited for
Muslim men to wear gold. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu Alayhi wa sallam, took his ring and
threw it on the ground, saying it was like wearing burning charcoal from Hell. Later on
people suggested to him to pickup the ring as it could be used for other legitimate
purposes. But he refused saying: "No, by Allah, I will never take it, when it has
been thrown away by the Messenger of Allah."
These are just some random glimpses into the lives and minds of the great Companions.
Their life accounts are full of such examples. They accepted his Prophethood from the
bottom of their hearts, knowing fully what that means. From that point on, their lives
revolved entirely around this belief. They loved the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam
more than anybody else in the world. They intently observed his actions and listened to
his words. They remembered him all the time. They obeyed each and every one of his
commands. They never said, "This is only a Sunnah," meaning it can be ignored.
They never asked why a command was given. They never sought excuses. Within the home and
outside it, in business or on the battlefield, in their private gatherings or in the
courts of kings and emperors, everywhere they were the most obedient servants of Allah and
the most obedient followers of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
None of them ever celebrated Prophet's birthday. They did not need to have a day or a
month devoted to the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, because they had devoted their
entire lives to him.
Today our lives and our outlooks bear little resemblance to theirs. We praise but do
not listen to him; we claim to love, but refuse to follow; we claim to believe but lead
lives like those who don't. We emphasize what the Companions ignored and ignore what they
They loved the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and had their lives to show for
it. And we? Can we honestly say that we love the Prophet as he should be loved?