Sheikh Saalih Aale Taalib              Part (I)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ [الحشر: 18]

”O you who believe! Fear Allah, and everybody must consider what he (or she) has sent ahead for tomorrow. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is fully aware of what you do.” (Al-Hashr 59:18)

The fear of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is the means of attaining the good things of this life and overcoming its troubles. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا [الطلاق: 2]

“Whoever fears Allah, He brings forth a way out for him…..” (At-Talaaq 65:2)

The topic of the article is a topic that every Muslim likes and enjoys talking about. It is about the best character and personality which is the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s character. We intend by talking about the Prophet (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s character to open our hearts up for the love of Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) and renew our faith and sincerity to him. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s character has so many noble aspects and so we may not be able to include in this article.

When we talk about the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) we seek to increase our faith in him and strengthen our love for him in addition to other things we are required to achieve as true Muslims. All this is intended to make us follow the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s teachings, abide by what he enjoined, and avoid what he had forbidden. Though we believe that the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is a human we also believe that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, created him with the noblest character and the best of appearances. The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) has the noblest lineage and was raised in the best of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s lands. The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is the best person and belonged to the best of tribes which was Quraish. Makkah al Mukarramah, where the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) born, is the most beloved place to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and all people. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’ Last Prophet. He is the most honorable human of whom hearts are filled with love towards.

The Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) who used to have the best of appearances and the noblest character. Indeed Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is free of all imperfections. Umme Ma’bad described him saying: “A great light is shining on his face, he has a lovely countenance, the nobility of his character is clear, he is very smart, and has a good physique. He is black haired and black eyed. He appears to wear kohl on his eyes. He doesn’t have a large waist. His head is not large. He has long eyelashes. He has a soft voice. He has a long neck. He has a heavy beard. He has a long, rounded, and knitted eyebrows. He is clear. He isn’t talkative or over silent. His words flow like beads on a string. He is of a medium height, not very tall, nor very short.”

Hadhrat ‘Ali described the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) saying: “His face was pink and rosy, and black eyed with long eyelashes. He had a flowing gait as if he was walking along a straight path. If he turned around, all his body would turn. Between his shoulders was the seal of Prophethood. He was very generous. He was very courageous. He was the most truthful and honest. He was of the sweetest temper. When you see him for the first time you may fear him, and if you mix with him you would love him. If you are asked to describe him, you would say, I didn’t see anyone like him ever before and I think there is none like him.”

Hadhrat Abu Tufail said: “He had a fair and lovely countenance.”

Hadhrat Anas ibn Maalik said: “He was very generous. His face was pink and rosy. He was black haired, except for a few gray hairs on his cheeks.”

Hadhrat Baraa’ said: “He used to have wide shoulders and long hair. If he wore red clothing no one would see anyone more beautiful than him. His countenance had shining light as that of the moonlight.”

Hadhrat Jaabir said: “The Prophet’s laughter was just smiles. He used to appear as if he is wearing kohl while he is not. In the eve of the Battle of Badr I saw him. He was wearing a red shirt. I kept looking at him and at the moon. Actually in my eyes he was more beautiful than the moon.”

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah said: “I have never seen anything more beautiful than the Prophet. His face was so shining as that of the sunlight. No one was faster than the Prophet in walking. It would seem as though the earth was being paved for him. When walking with him we would get tired while he was okay.”

Hadhrat Ibne ‘Abbas said: “The Prophet had pearly white teeth. Whenever he spoke you would feel like light was emitting from his teeth.”

Hadhrat Anas said: “I didn’t touch silk or cloth softer than the Prophet’s skin. And I didn’t smell a fragrance nicer than that of the Prophet.”

When Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) came to Madinah al Munawwarah, people came out to receive him. Amongst the people was ‘Abdullah ibne Salaam, who came out to see the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). At that time ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam was Jewish scholar. ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam said: “When I saw the Prophet I realized that he would never be a liar.”

These are a few features of our Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) that prove that he had the best appearance. As far as the morals of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) he used to have the noblest character in this regard. It is enough that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, testified to his morality by saying:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ [القلم: 4]

“And you (O Muhammad!) are surely on an excellent standard of character.” (Al-Qalam 68:4)

In the same context the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “My God cared for me, and how good Allah’s care is.”

This is why the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) set the best examples of nobility in all regards.

All the time you find the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) optimistic and easy. He used to be lenient with people. He never uttered a lewd word. He was never harsh, nor did he exaggerate in praising others. Never did he criticize, nor did he make fun of others, nor violate their privacy. He used to be gentle to people and overlook their mistakes. Patience was a distinctive manner of his character. Whenever the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) had to make a choice between two things, he would choose the easiest unless it was a sin. If it was a sin, the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) used to keep himself away from it. Never would the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) retaliate except that when Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s law was violated, a case in which he would be in rage for the sake of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) had a trait of great kindness and generosity. He used to give charity without fearing poverty, so the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s generosity used to be something more flowing than a continuous stream of fresh water. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) used to establish justice all the way. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) used to have the highest degree of modesty. He was the most truthful and honest. Before the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) took his mission he was known as the most truthful and honest person. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was the bravest. He overcame all hardships and difficulties he faced and proved to be steadfast. Hadhrat ‘Ali said: “The Prophet was the most modest.”

Whenever the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was in anger, it would show on his face. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) would not stare at people. He was modest, soft, and humble. He used to visit the poor and sit with them. He used to mix with the people. He would come to his Sahaabah (Companions). He would dislike that anyone stand up for him in respect like the standing for kings.

His beloved wife Hadhrat ‘Ayeshah said: “The Prophet used to clean his footwear, fix his torn clothes, milk his goat, and help in house burdens like anyone.”

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) would fulfill his promise and keep good relation with his relatives. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) would have a lot of mercy and compassion towards people. In this regard, Allah (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), the Almighty, says:

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ [التوبة: 128]

“Surely, there has come to you, from your midst, a Messenger who feels it very hard on him if you face a hardship, who is very anxious for your welfare, and for the believers he is very kind, very merciful.”(At-Tawbah 9:128)

Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was a mercy that made all people’s heart meet on loving him.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ [آل عمران: 159]

“So, (O Prophet!) it is through mercy from Allah that you are gentle to them.” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:159)

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) used to be a sincere friend and would smile at others. Hadhrat Jaabir said: “The Messenger of Allah never prevented me from meeting him since I accepted Islam. Nor did he meet me but that he smiled.”

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) used to renounce the worldly pleasures though they were accessible for him. He wasn’t attached to the pleasures of this world until death. When he died, his armor was being mortgaged with a Jew for a sum of money he borrowed to satisfy his family needs. He used to say: “Oh Allah! Provide the family of Muhammad just with that which satisfies their basic needs.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hadhrat ‘Ayeshah said: “Never did the Messenger of Allah eat his fill for three consecutive days until he died.”

She also said: “The Messenger of Allah did not leave property behind to be inherited.”

She also said: “He used to have a mattress of leather stuffed with straw to sleep on.”

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) set the best example of the fear of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). He used to stand for Salaah (Prayers) at night. He used to shed tears out of fear of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). He used to keep standing in Salaah until his feet were swollen. It would be said to him: “Why do you exert yourself in devotion while you had your sins, past and future, forgiven?”

He used to reply: “Shall I not be a grateful servant of Allah?” (Bukhari and Muslim).