Some Aspects of the Prophet’s Life and High Moral Standards

 

The Prophet  was the epitome of good character and personal integrity. When ‛Aa’ishah ~, one of the Prophet’s wives, was asked about the character of the Prophet , she replied, “His character was the Qur’an.” (Musnad Ahmad: 24601; Saheeh Muslim: 746) This means he translated the noble teachings of the Qur’an into reality.

 

Humility

  • The Prophet  was so humble that he did not like people to rise to their feet upon his arrival and he even forbade them from doing so. Although no one was dearer to his noble companions than the Messenger of Allah ,they would not stand up for him when they saw him coming, for they knew that he disliked that. (Musnad Ahmad: 12345; Musnad Al-Bazzaar: 6637)
  • Before ‛Adiyy ibn Haatim , an Arab notable, embraced Islam, he came to Madeenah to find out about the new faith. “As we were making for [the Prophet’s] house,” he later recalled, “there met him an old feeble lady with some children who asked him to stop and he stopped for a long time while she was telling him of her needs. I said to myself, ‘This is certainly no king; he does not behave like Chosroes or Caesar.’” (Musnad Ahmad: 19381)
  • His actions and movements while in the company of his companions were characterised by homely simplicity and utter humility, so much so that a stranger would not be able to tell who he was. Once, a man came and said, “who amongst you is Muhammed?” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 63)
  • Anas ibn Maalik  said, “Any of the female slaves of Madeenah could take hold of the hand of Allah’s Messenger and take him wherever she wished.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5724) The expression “take hold of the hand of Allah’s Messenger” is an indication of his extreme kindness and prompt response to the young and the weak. This report reveals the Prophet’s utter humility, in that it mentions his readiness to attend to the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of society, women and female slaves.
  • Once he declared, “A person who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will not enter Paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim: 91)

Mercy

  • he Prophet  said, “Those who are merciful will be given mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy on you.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 1924; Sunan Abu Daawood: 4941)

His mercy embraced countless aspects, including the following:

Mercy towards children

  • A Bedouin once came to the Prophet  and said, “Do you kiss your children? We do not kiss them.” The Prophet  said, “Can I put mercy in your heart after Allah has removed it?” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5652; Saheeh Muslim: 2317)

On another occasion, a man saw the Prophet  kissing his grandson, Al-Hasan ibn ‛Ali, and said to him, “I have ten children, but I have never kissed any of them.” The Prophet  looked disapprovingly at him and said, “He who does not show mercy to others will not be shown mercy.” (Saheeh Muslim: 2318)

  • Once he carried his granddaughter Zaynab while standing in prayer, and he put her down gently when he prostrated. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 494, Saheeh Muslim: 543)
  • If he heard a baby crying while the mother was praying behind him, he would shorten the prayer so that the mother could attend to the baby’s needs. Abu Qataadah  narrated that the Prophet  said, “When I begin the prayer, I always intend to make it long; however, if I hear a baby crying, I shorten it, as I do not wish to cause his mother any distress.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 675; Saheeh Muslim: 470)

Mercy towards Women

The Prophet  urged his companions to look after girls and show kindness to them; he used to say, “Whoever is in charge of any of these girls and treats them well, they will be a shield for him against the Fire.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5649; Saheeh Muslim: 2629)
He even stressed that women must be given their rights and be well cared for and commanded Muslims to make this issue their concern and to advise one another to do so: “Take good care of women.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4890)
He was a shining example of kindness to family members. He once sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiyyah ~, one of his wives, to put her foot on, in order to get onto it. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 2120)
Whenever his daughter Faatimah ~ came to visit him, he would get up to welcome her, take her by the hand, kiss her and make her sit where he was sitting. (Sunan Abu Daawood: 5217)

Mercy to the weak members of society

  • The Prophet  commanded people to sponsor orphans and look after them. “A person who takes care of an orphan and I will be like this in Paradise,” he once said, joining his forefinger and middle finger together by way of illustration. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4998)
  • He considered a person who looks after a widow or a poor person just like a warrior who fights for Allah’s cause, or like one who performs prayers all night without slackness and fasts continuously and never breaks his fast. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5661; Saheeh Muslim: 2982)
  • He regarded showing kindness to the weak members of society and giving them their rights a strong reason to gain Allah’s victory over the enemy as well as gaining more means of subsistence: “Seek help among your weak ones, for you are given provision and help only because of the weak amongst you.”(Sunan Abu Daawood: 2594)

 

Mercy towards animals

  • The Prophet’s comprehensive sense of mercy extends even to animals and insects. He urged people to show kindness to animals and warned them against harming them or laying loads on them which are more than they can bear. He said, “Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1955)
  • Once he noticed a mound of ants which had been burned up. “Who has set fire to this?” he asked. One of his companions replied, “We have.” “No one should punish with fire except the Lord of the fire,” he disapprovingly said. (Sunan Abu Daawood: 2675)

Justice

  • The Prophet  upheld justice under all circumstances and judged by Allah’s rule even if that was against one of his closest family members, in compliance with Allah’s command, “O you who believe, be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives.” (Soorat An-Nisaa’, 4:135)
  • When some of his companions came to intercede with him on behalf of a noblewoman who had committed a theft so that she would be spared the punishment, he said, “By Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, even if Faatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, committed a theft, I would cut off her hand.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4053; Saheeh Muslim: 1688)
  • When he declared all forms of usury (ribaa) forbidden, he stated that the first usury he declared entirely remitted was that of Al-‛Abbaas ibn ‛Abd Al-Muttalib, his own uncle: “The person whose usury I claim authority over is Al-‛Abbaas ibn ‛Abd Al-Muttalib; it will be abolished, all of it.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1218)
  • A civilized and cultivated society in his estimation is one in which the weak can claim their rights without fear or hesitation: “Woe to the nation whose individuals do not give the weak his due in full.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah: 2426)

Benevolence and Generosity

  • The Prophet  was the most generous of all people, and he was most generous of all in the month of Ramadaan when Jibreel met him;Jibreel used to meet him every night in Ramadaan until the end of the month and teach him the Qur’an. When Jibreel met him, he would be more generous in doing good than a blowing wind [which comes with rain and prosperity].(Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 1803; Saheeh Muslim: 2308)
  • He never denied the request of anyone who asked him anything. Once a man came to him and asked him for something. The Prophet  gave him a flock of sheep filling the area between two mountains. The man was so happy that he returned to his people and called them to Islam, saying, “Embrace Islam, for Muhammad is so generous that he gives in charity without fearing poverty.” (Saheeh Muslim: 5423)
  • Once he received eighty thousand dirhams, so he placed the amount on a matand gave it in charity, not turning away anyone who asked him for something until the full amount was distributed. (Mustadrak Al-Haakim: 5423)
  • On another occasion, a man approached him and made a request for something, and the Prophet  said to him, “I do not have anything right now, but you can buy something in my name, and I will certainly pay for it when I get the money.” ‛Umar  turned to him and said, “Allah has not made it compulsory for you to do something beyond your capacity.” This comment offended the Prophet  a great deal. The man then said to him, “Spend in charity without fearing poverty, for the Lord of the Mighty Throne will not decrease your wealth.” The Prophet  smiled and his face was radiant with happiness. (Al-Ahaadeeth Al-Mukhtaarah: 88)
  • When the Prophet  returned from the Battle of Hunayn, some new converts from the Bedouin tribes who were eager to get their shares of the spoils of war followed him. They drove him to a tree where one of the uncouth Bedouins snatched his mantle off his shoulders, thinking it was part of the spoils of war. “Give me back my mantle,” he said, “for if I had as many camels as the trees [around here], I would divide them all among you. You know very well that I am neither miserly, nor deceitful, nor cowardly.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 2847)

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad , for he is indeed the epitome of excellent moral character in all aspects of life.