In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Narrated Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu that Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children.”
[Volume 1, Book 2, Number 14]
In another narration it is recorded that Anas radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”
[Volume 1, Book 2, Number 15]
Both of the above ahadeeth tell us about the obligation of loving the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Why is it an obligation? It is because without this love, a believer’s faith is incomplete.
Understand it from another perspective. A person’s emaan [faith] increases and decreases and it is the love of Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that not only perfects a person’s faith but rather takes it to a whole new level.
The Type of Love Required
It should be such love that is more than the love for anyone else. Who is the most beloved to a person? First, it is one’s own self. People, generally, prefer themselves over everybody else. Then they love their parents, spouses, children, and so on. But after having read this hadeeth it teaches us that to a believer the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is dearer than the entire mankind including himself. Why is it so important to love the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an:
“The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves.” [Al-Ahzab 33:6]
What does that mean? The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam conveyed the message of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to us. Had he not done so would we know what emaan is? What Qur’an is? The difference between right and wrong? No. And so his favor upon us is immense.
Our parents or family take care of us in the material sense providing us with food, financial support, etc. whereas the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took care of our spiritual well-being. Spiritual nourishment not only helps one in overcoming the challenges of this world, but it also results in higher scales in the Hereafter.
Practicing Sunnah is Honoring the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
Every time you forgive someone, you let go off your anger, you help the poor, stop your tongue from backbiting, aiming to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, think for a second where did all these morals, ethics and manners come from? What is the source that teaches you all this? None other than our beloved Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
He endured great hardships (both physical and spiritual) to convey the Message of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to us. Being a Prophet was not an easy task, as many of us would like to assume. He was persecuted by his people and had he not performed his job, he would have been accountable to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He took physical and emotional pain to protect us from the Hellfire. Have we ever thanked him for teaching us everything that we should know? He did not only bring the Qur’an to us but also showed us our rites. He taught us how to perform Salah, how to fast, how to perform Hajj, give Zakat, etc. How would we have learned if there was no teacher? All of us would have been praying in their own way.
He taught us the ways in which we can draw closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. On the Day of Judgment when everyone will be worrying about his own self, he would be saying: My Ummah! My Ummah!
He would be waiting for us at the Fountain of Kawthar, and intercede to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on our behalf. He would be the only one not concerned just about his own salvation. Just as he cared for other people in this world, he would care for others in the Hereafter.
His list of favors goes on and on. There is no way to meet him in this life and thank him for his favors, but we can still honor him by preserving his Sunnah and sending him as many salutations as we can.
You cannot Love or Follow Someone without Studying their Life
We started the Seerah series with this very intention! That in order to love and follow him we need to know his way of life. We need to know how he was with his family, his Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum, how he dealt with the locals and the strangers, how he conducted business, etc. How can we ever know him without studying his life? Sharing his quotes or sayings is not enough. We need to learn his manners and the routine that he followed.
Our predecessors have done a great favor on us by preserving his Seerah and ahadeeth, now it is upon us to prove our love by gaining knowledge about it.
Some Soul Searching
Ask yourself: Do I really love him more than my parents, my family and most importantly myself? Or is it just a mere expression I use in my everyday life? Am I protective about his image and honor just like I am concerned about the respect of my child/parents? Many parents get infuriated if something negative is said about their children. But how is it that the beloved salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is dishonored and we feel no pain? We only believe in burning down our own properties when his caricature is made but what about Muslims dishonoring the Sunnah?
Ask yourself: Do I feel motivated and inspired to follow his Sunnah even in the most tedious of matters? It is really important and a part of loving the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that we love his Sunnah and give it its due respect. If following it requires pain and sacrifice, remember that true love demands sacrifice. You cannot claim to love a person then not make any sacrifice in your life. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam do not need our verbal declarations they require our actions.
It should also be borne in a believer’s mind that his love for Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam should be expressed only in an Islamic way meaning as he taught us. We can neither invent our own ways of worships nor celebrate events which he himself never celebrated or approved of. In order to get our deeds to be accepted they should be done sincerely for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and in the way the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught us.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala fill our hearts with His love, and the love of His Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the love of His friends and allow us to honor this love, aameen.