What is fascinating examples of the love for the messenger of allah?
The only source of mercy and love that will take a servant to the sea of love for Allah is the love for our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); because, love for the Messenger of Allah means love for Allah; and obedience to His Messenger means obedience to Him; and rebellion against His Messenger means rebellion against Him.
In the following verse Allah the Almighty states this reality:
“Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Al-i Imran 3; 31)
In the statement of Allah’s unity (Kalimat al-Tawhid) after the sentence of “لا اله الا الله” “There is no god but Allah” comes the sentence of “محمد رسول الله” “Muhammad is His Messenger.” Every statement of tawhid and every ṣalawat takes the servant closer to Allah and increases their love for Allah. Happiness in this world and in the Hereafter can be achieved only by loving Him. This universe is the manifestation of His love. “The light of Muhammad (pbuh)” forms the essence of this manifestation. And the only way to reach the Divine essence is through the love for His Messenger.
Spiritual taste in worship, elegance in daily transactions, decency of morality, grace in the soul, glory and beauty in the face, smoothness in the speech, nicety of the feelings, and all the other beauties in this world are the sparkles of the reflections of our love for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). How nicely Jalal al-Din Rumi says:
“Come O Soul! The real feast is to meet with Muhammad (pbuh); because, the brightness of the universe comes from the light of the beauty of his blessed existence.”
This is why following the exemplary life of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is the essential means of attaining the contentment of Allah the Almighty. In other words, a believer cannot be a perfect human being (Insan-i Kamil) unless he/she makes progress in following the Sunnah of the Prophet in his/her worship and behaviors. He cannot, also, attain the true peace and happiness of Islam; because, Allah the Almighty displayed the model for “the perfect human being” in the personality of His Messenger (pbuh) and made him mercy for the universe and the exemplary personality for the believers.
Therefore, how should this obedience be, which is so important that Allah the Almighty specifies it as a condition for His love to His servants?
Of course this lofty state begins with loving the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) with heart and soul and getting shares from his spiritual world. In respect to following our only “exemplary personality,” Allah the Most High gives us the following measures:
“…So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment.” (Hashr 59; 7)
“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and make not vain your deeds!” (Muhammad 47; 33)
“All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the Company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah, of the Prophets (who teach), the Sincere (lovers of Truth), the Witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): ah! what a beautiful Fellowship!” (Nisa 4; 69)
Samples from the spiritual world of the Messenger of Allah are displayed in the Holy Qur’an, which is the Divine guide and edict for the believers. Of course the secrets of the Qur’an can only be understood in the extent of wrapping our hearts with the spirituality of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). If we become honored with entering into his spiritual world and reach the happiness of watching Divine beauties and manifestations of the commands, knowledge and wisdom like his companions’ did, then our hearts will become like the hearts of the companions and we will begin to accept his every command and even implications saying: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you O messenger of Allah!.” Thus, we will reach the meaning of love, compassion and submission hidden in this sentence.
The honored existence of the Prophet (pbuh) is a source of love and blessings for the humanity. Gnostics know that the reason for existence is the love felt for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). This is why the entire universe is dedicated to the light of the existence Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh). The entire creation is created for his honor; he is such a personality that the Lord of the universe calls him,“My friend.”
In the past, people used to engrave wise sayings and poetry on their grave stone. The great philanthropist Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan has the following lines engraved on her grave stone:
From love, Muhammad came into existence
What would come out of love without Muhammad?
With his appearance, Bezm-i Alem joined (to her beloved)
Because, as it is expressed in the statement of shahadah,٭ Prophet Muhammad was a human being and servant of Allah, but in regards to his character and moral attributes he was also the Shah of the prophets. How elegantly Aziz Mahmud Hudayi expresses this point:
This universe is a mirror; everything exists because of the Truth
Allah is always seen from the mirror of Muhammad
Love for the Messenger of Allah is the most effective means to make a servant happy both in this world and in the Hereafter. In fact, because they were molded with his love, the companions’ of the Prophet achieved such high levels of servitude. Because of their love for him, they loyally united around him and became the exemplary stars for future generations. Some of the companions were so scrupulous in following him that they would walk on the same roads where the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had walked; stopped where he had stopped; and smelled the roses which he had smelled. They did all these actions just to feel the pleasure of following him.
There are endless examples for the manifestation of the companions’ love for the Prophet (pbuh).
Anas b. Malik narrates:
A man came to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and asked:
“When will be the Last Hour?”
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) replied:
“What preparation have you made for that?”
The man replied:
“The love of Allah and of His Messenger (that is my preparation for the Last Hour) (for the Day of Resurrection).” Upon this the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“You would be along with one whom you love.”
Anas (r.a.) narrates the rest of the account as follows:
“Nothing pleased us more after accepting Islam than the words of Allah’s Apostle: “You would be along with one whom you love.” I love Allah and His Messenger and Abu Bakr and Umar, and I hope that I would be along with them even though I have not acted like them.” (Muslim, Birr, 163)
Of course every believer, who would like to have the honor to be with the Messenger of Allah in the Hereafter, must adorn his/her soul with love for the Prophet (pbuh) and his light.
Allah’s apostle (pbuh) points out the ardent love of his followers for him as follows:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying: “The people whom I loved most from amongst my Ummah would be those who would come after me but everyone amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the cost of his family and wealth.” (Muslim, Jannah, 12)
“There would come some people after me and every one of them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the cost of his family and wealth.” (Ḥakim, IV, 95)
As a matter of fact, when the Prophet (pbuh) passed away the companions were like melting candles from their sorrow . Their pain was so strong that they did not know what to do. Umar (r.a.) lost his temper for a moment; and Abu Bakr (r.a.) tried to calm the people down. They were sad because those, who could not stand being away from him even for a short time, were not going to be able to see him anymore. One of them was Abdullah b. Zayd (r.a.). He raised his hands and began to pray saying:
“Dear Lord! Please take my eye sight and make me blind. I do not want to see anything in this world after the Messenger of Allah…” and he became blind at that instant. (Qurṭubi, Al-Jami’, V, 271)
After the death of the Prophet (pbuh), whenever Abu Bakr (r.a.) remembered the Messenger of Allah and every time he wanted to narrate his sayings, he would begin to cry and have difficulty speaking. Abu Hurairah (r.a.) talks about his state as follows:
“One day Abu Bakr (r.a.) stepped up to the pulpit and said:
“As you know last year the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was standing in front of you right where I am standing right now” and began to cry. Then he repeated his words and cried again. He repeated his words a third time and again he could not help and cried.” (See Tirmidhi, Daawat, 105)
Even though Abu Bakr (r.a.) was always with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in his lifetime, he still missed him. After the Prophet’s (pbuh) death his longing got worse. Aisha (r.a.) depicts her father’s longing as follows:
“My father asked on his deathbed:
“What day is today?”
We said that it was Monday. The he told us:
“If I die today do not delay my burial till tomorrow; because the loveliest day for me is the one closest to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) (In other words the day that I will meet him).” (Ahmad b. Hanbal, I, 8)
Some of the companions who loved the Messenger of Allah and wanted to meet Allah and His Messenger as soon as possible envied the sick and dying people. For instance, Muhammad b. Munkadir (r.a.) visited Jabir (r.a.) at his final hours. When he realized that Jabir (r.a.) was very close to death, to appease his pain he told him:
“Tell my greetings to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).” (Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 4)
Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) loved to listen to memories of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Bara’ (r.a.) explains his father’s desire to listen to memories of the Prophet as follows:
Abu Bakr came to my father, who was at home, and purchased a saddle from him. He said to my father: “Tell your son Bara’ to take this saddle to my home.” My father replied:
“No, I won’t tell him until you tell me what happened to you on your night journey with Allah’s Apostle (during Migration).” Thereupon, Abu Bakr (r.a.) told him everything about their migration journey.” (Bukhari, Aṣhab al-Nabi, 2; Ahmad b. Hanbal, I, 2)
The companions’ respect, love, and esteem to the Prophet (pbuh) was so strong that some of them did not get a haircut because his hands touched their hair.
The following incident is a wonderful example that shows how the wives’ of the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) inculcated the love for Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) to their children.
Female companions reproached their children when they had not visited the Prophet (pbuh) for a while. Huzaifa’s (r.a.) mother scolded him for not visiting the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for a few days. Huzaifa (r.a.) narrates this incident as follows:
“My mother asked me
“When did you visit the Prophet (pbuh) last?” I told her:
“I have not seen him for a few days.” She got very upset and reproached me very much. Then I told her:
“Please stop. I am going to see and pray the evening prayer with him right away. Then I will ask him to pray for our forgiveness…” (Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 378; Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 391-92)
Another exemplary incident, which illustrates how the companion’s love for the Messenger of Allah surpassed all other mortal pains, is as follows:
Abdullah b. Mubarak narrates:
“I was with Imam Malik and he was narrating the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) to us. A scorpion came and stung him several times. His color was changing and he was not stopping in the middle of his narration. At the end of his class, after the people dispersed, I told him:
“O Abu Abdullah! There was something weird about you today.”
And he said:
“Yes, I was stung by a scorpion several times and I endured all of them only because of my respect and esteem to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).” (Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, III, 333; Suyuti, Miftah al-Jannah, p. 52)
Prophet’s chief muadhdhin, Bilal al-Habashi (r.a.) had a very different state. After the Messenger of Allah had left this mortal world, Bilal (r.a.) went silent and he did not announce the prayer times anymore. Abu Bakr (r.a.) pleaded him several times to announce the prayer times just like he had done during the Prophet’s lifetime. He told Abu Bakr and asked to be excused:
“O Abu Bakr! If you ask my opinion, I do not have the strength to call people to prayer after the death of the Prophet (pbuh). Please do not force me and leave me alone.” However, Abu Bakr was longing for the adhans of the Prophet’s time. And he insisted saying:
“After the loss of Messenger of Allah, should the Muslim ummah lose his muadhdhin, too?” Finally, one day Bilal (r.a.) could no longer stand his insistence and he went up to mosque’s minaret in order to call people for the dawn prayer. He began, but he could not finish it because of his memories of the time of the Prophet (pbuh). He went down the minaret. Abu Bakr (r.a.) did not insist anymore.
Bilal (r.a.) could no longer stay in Medina and migrated to Damascus the very same morning. He attended many battles with the hope of receiving the honor of martyrdom and meeting with the beloved Prophet (pbuh). However, each time he returned from the battles as a veteran. Years passed. Bilal (r.a.) even survived through a plague which took twenty five thousand lives,. He burned with the desire of joining the Prophet (pbuh) until the end of his life.
After the generation of the companions, the love and desire to meet with the Prophet, the Mercy of the worlds, continued for generations . Out of his love and respect to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) one of the leading Sufis, Sayyid Ahmad Yasawi, refused to live on earth after the age of 63, which was the age of the Prophet’s death. Until the end of his life Yasawi continued his life in a grave which he dug.
The great hadith scholar and mujtahid Imam Nawawi never ate a watermelon in his life, because he did not know how the Prophet (pbuh) had eaten watermelon. He stayed away from doing such a simple act as eating a watermelon because of the possibility of doing it differently than the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was such a personality that those who followed his steps became exceptional figures of human history like the stars in the sky and attained the eternal salvation and happiness. The companions, the friends’ of Allah, and righteous believers have gained their merits in the extent of their closeness to that Eternal Pride of the universe.
How much do we carry the same feelings and sensitivity of Abdullah b. Zayd, Imam Nawawi, Sayyid Ahmad Yasawi, and others like them? We should measure our love for the Prophet (pbuh) with the level of their love for him; and we should evaluate our servitude to Allah and how well we follow His Messenger (pbuh). Only then we can revive our souls according to their examples.
The states of the prominent figures from Islamic history are of course measures from those star-like personalities; however the real source of their exemplary characteristics comes from their love, respect, and loyalty to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
As we know, love is like an electric line between two hearts. In order to be a good Muslim, it is necessary to achieve this ability in the heart. The crises of contemporary societies are the result of losing this ability. This is why among the wheels of selfish modern culture many values are being lost. Since in modern society all orientations are based on worldly and selfish concerns, people are not able to find solutions for their spiritual hunger. Ascending the hearts from a metaphorical love to a true love, for instance Majnun’s journey from Laila’s love to the Divine love, can be achieved by maturing the heart with proper practices. Today humanity needs this kind of love. All types of crimes, evil, and immaturities are the result of lacking the Divine love.
The greatness of true love is measured by taking risks and doing sacrifices for the sake of the beloved. Those who are in love may give their lives and may not even feel that they are making self-sacrifices. They feel like that they are paying their debt; however, those who do not know the true love and those who do not have their share from love are the ones who can not find the path to maturity and waste their lives and spirituality under the control of their inner self.
Accepting the burden of the trust, which was not accepted by the mountains, is actually a Divine privilege given to humanity. And the requirement for attaining this privilege is to reach the true love; because, this fight and conflict in the human soul can only be solved with the help of the true love. A perfect human being emancipates himself/herself from animal inclinations and makes his/her soul a garden from the gardens of Paradise, from where he/she can watch Divine manifestations.
Our Lord says in the Holy Qur’an “…breathed into him of my spirit,…” (Hijr 15; 29) and reminds human beings the Divine essence He gave them. If this lofty essence takes the believer to perfection as a result of love and compassion, then heart begins to make progress towards the secrets of the divine world. Then the secrets of the divine world, the reality of the objects, and the secrets called human and universe reveal themselves. The servant becomes honored with the manifestations of a pure heart.
When the servant reaches this level of maturity, the veils between the servant and Allah begin to be lifted. He/she also begins to understand the secret of “death before the time of death.” The love for the world and its mortal pleasures and the value of its temporary and polished beauties move out of his/her heart. Thus the soul attains the inexpressible pleasure of getting close to its Creator.
Those who have not tasted the true love cannot break the chains of their animal inclinations, which exist naturally in their souls, and step into the world of angels. The heart of those who do not know how to love is like an uncultivated earth. Being able to love is the merit; because love is the reason for the creation.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is the essence and reason for the existence of the universe. He is an eminent blessing of Allah the Almighty. He is the guide between the servant and Allah the Almighty. With his indescribable acts and behaviors until he departed from this world, he displayed for us the most supreme example of being a servant to Allah the Almighty. In short he is the mercy and love which embraces the worlds. The loving souls, which submit themselves to him, will always be burning with his love and longing for the day they will meet him.
It is this kind of love which makes the great men be the great men, such as the famous Sufis Yunus Emre and Jalal al-Din Rumi. Rumi stepped into the eternal and true happiness by means of such love; however very few people know when, where, and with whom his happiness began. Only those who have become like him through love know its secrets. Rumi’s happiness was to meet with the Lord of the universe. The following lines of Rumi explain the source of his happiness:
“As long as I have my soul, I will be a servant of the Qur’an. I am the earth under the feet of Muhammad (pbuh). If someone narrates anything other than this as my words, I get hurt from him/her and his/her words.”
 See Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 1; Haythami, Majma Al-Zawaid, Ix, 29.
٭ To Pronounce The Formula “I Testify That There Is No God But Allah, Muhammad Is The Servant Of Allah And His Messenger”
Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş, Erkam Publications