The love of Muhammad, which is the subject-matter of this essay, is free from all the drawbacks and conflicts of interests that generally disillusion, disappoint and embitter ordinary love relationships. Love of Muhammad (PBUH) and Muslims’ love of him are respectively based on the immaculate and perfect character of Muhammad (PBUH)and his kind concern for humanity. This love relationship is absolutely reciprocal.
Muhammad’s (PBUH) love of humankind was manifested in every step he took during his life span — right from the beginning of his life to the end. Soon after the birth of Muhammad (PBUH)into a noble family of the Quraish tribe in Makkah, according the Arab tradition of that time, he was handed to a wet-nurse, Halima Sadiya, to be breastfed and looked after. Halima Sadiya reported that Muhammad (PBUH) always suckled from one nipple and left the other for his foster-brother. Such considerateness and kind concern for fellow human beings at such an early age! This is just one example of Muhammad’s (PBUH) love of humanity. And this love impelled him to call people to the right path for the sake of their meaningful existence in this world and for their emancipation in life hereafter.
Allah states in the Qur’an: “Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate” (Qur’an: 9:128). Ask a Muslim who has even an iota of imaan (belief in Islam) in their heart about their love of Muhammad, and you will not miss the selflessness, devotion and intensity of that love. In their hearts Muhammad (PBUH) (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!) is next to God and above all else including their parents and other nearest ones. Biographies of Muhammad (PBUH) and of his blessed companions are replete with numerous examples of Muhammad’s (PBUH) love of Muslims and of the human race and Muslims’ love of him. In one of the military engagements during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH) a Muslim woman from Madina was being successively informed about the martyrdoms of her son, father and husband, of which she took no note.
Her main concern was the safety of the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH); hence, she was asking again and again people around her about the condition of Muhammad (PBUH). She remained restless before seeing the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with her own eyes. The moment she saw Muhammad (PBUH) back from the battle unharmed, she stated: “After this (the Prophet’s safety), everything else (her family members’ deaths) is easy for me to bear.”
The very basis of Muslims’ love of Muhammad (PBUH) is their conscious choice of accepting Islam as their way of life. Their love of Islam and their love of Muhammad (PBUH) overlap each other and are intertwined and indistinguishable; equally their love of Allah and that of Muhammad (PBUH) are inseparable. The governing spirit of Muslims’ love of Muhammad (PBUH) is discussed in different verses in the Qur’an. Some are mentioned below: Say (O Muhammad!)(PBUH): If your fathers, and your sons, and your brothers, and your wives, and your kindred, and the wealth you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear, and dwellings which you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. (9:24)
Say (O Muhammad!)(PBUH): If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger. But if they turn away, then Allah does not love those who reject Faith (His guidance). (3:31-32) It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you (O Muhammad!) (PBUH) deal gently with them. Were you severe or harsh hearted, they would have broken away from about you: So pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). (3:159)
But no, by your Lord (O Muhammad!)(PBUH), they will not believe (in truth) until they make you judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which you decide, and submit with full submission. (4:65) Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. (33:21) And you (O Muhammad!) (PBUH) stand on an exalted standard of character. (68:4).
The supreme perfection of the gleaming and spotless character of Muhammad (PBUH) is certified by Allah swt in the Qur’an. We receive the same testimony from his companions: Describing the Prophet Muhammad, Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) said: Anyone who saw the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) suddenly would stand in respect of him, and anyone who got to know him through spending time with him came to love him. Those who described him said that they had never seen anyone like him before or after. (Tirmidhi)