The character of the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) - Part 2
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
No one can summarize in a few sermons the attributes of our beloved Prophet (SAW) which centuries have failed to do in millions of volumes. Like last week, I quote from the writings of only a few eminent men and women:
K.S. Ramakrishna Ra’o, Head of the Department of Philosophy, Government College of Women, Mysore (India) in her book entitled: “Muhammad: The Prophet of Islam” writes:
“The personality of Muhammad (SAW) is most difficult to get the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of him I can catch. What dramatic succession of picturesque scenes? There is Muhammad the Prophet; there is Muhammad the General; Muhammad the King; Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Preachers; Muhammad the Philosopher; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint… In all these magnificent roles and in all these departments of human activities he is equally a hero.”
M. K. Gandhi, founder of the Indian National Congress and Father of the Indian Nation, in his book ‘Young India” glorifies Prophet (SAW) in these words:
“I wanted to know the best of one who holds today’s undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind…..I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry that there was not more for me to read of the great life.”
John Davenport in his book: “An Apology for Muhammad and the Koran” pays tribute to Prophet (SAW) in these words:
“With all that simplicity which is so natural to a great mind, he performed the humblest offices whose homeliness it would be idle to conceal with pompous diction; even while Lord of Arabia, he mended his own shoes and coarse woolen garments; milked the ewes, swept the hearth, and kindled the fire. Dates and water were his usual fare and milk and honey his luxuries. When he traveled he divided his morsel with the servant. The sincerity of his exhortations to benevolence was justified at his death by the exhausted state of his coffers.”
All of Prophet (SAW)’s companions were unanimous about his exalted and spell binding grace. Though extremely polite, humble, simple, courteous and soft spoken, he (SAW) inspired awe and respect. His (SAW)’s manners endeared everyone who came into contact with him, and everyone who met him once cherished a longing to remain close to him for ever. Companions preferred Prophet (SAW) over their parents, kith and kin. His conversation arrested attention. There was a unique glow to his blessed face. His personality was supremely engaging and his physical attraction had unexplainable charisma; a magnetic force to win esteem, love and admiration. A Persian poet rightly said:
“Husn-e-Yusuf, da’may Eesa, Ya’day Bai’zaa daaree
AaN chey khoobaaN ha’ma daa’rund too tan’ha daaree.”
(You have the grace of Yusuf (AS), the Spirit of Eesa (AS) and the miraculous white hand of Moosa (AS). What those people of grace had individually, you (SAW) have all those charms combined in your blessed person.)
Sayyidina Ali (RA) admiring the blessed eyes of Prophet (SAW) said that his eyes were wide, big with red threads in the white and long curved eye lashes. Our vocabulary falls short to express the beauty, which Sayyidina Ali witnessed. The book entitled “Mu’waahib” records that Prophet (SAW) has sent Sayyidina Ali to Yemen to invite her people to Islam. Once when he was giving a sermon to a Yemenite gathering, he saw a Jewish scholar with a book in hand searching for something in it while listening. He asked Sayyidina Ali (RA) addressing Prophet (SAW) by his family name: “Mention to me how does Abul Qaasim look? Sayyidina Ali (RA) mentioned some of Prophet (SAW)’s physical attributes and said that he was neither tall, nor short. The scholar requested for more information and asked if Prophet (SAW) had red threads in the white of his eyes and if his beard was uniquely graceful. Sayyidina Ali replied in the affirmative. The Jewish scholar said: “These signs are mentioned in the book passed on
to me by my ancestors. I bear witness that Abul Qaasim (SAW) has been sent as a Messenger towards mankind.
Hazrat Fazal bin Abbas (RA) said that he saw the blessed countenance of Prophet (SAW) when he was being laid in his eternal resting place. He noticed that Prophet (SAW)’s lips were in a subtle motion. He (RA) drew his ears close to Prophet (SAW)’s blessed lips and listened that he (SAW) was making supplication: “Yaa Allah forgive my Ummah.” He told what he had heard to other companions. They realized that it was not possible for them to fathom the concern, kindness, and love of Prophet (SAW) for his Ummah. [Kanzul Aamaal.]
Prophet (SAW)’s mouth not only emitted fragrance, but any thing associated or touched his saliva became fragrant. Imaam Baihaqi (RehmA) narrates that once someone having drawn a bucketful of water presented it to Prophet (SAW), who having drank a bit from it returned it back to the person, who dropped the water back into the well. The water from then on always had the sweet smell of musk.
Imaam Tabrani (RehmA) quotes that Samirah bint-e-Masood as a child along with her sisters visited Prophet (SAW), who was eating some sun-dried meat at that time. He (SAW) offered some of the chewed meat to them, which they ate. None of them ever suffered with a bad breath.
Prophet (SAW) mouth was beautifully proportioned to his blessed countenance and his bright teeth were evenly spaced and were not tight to each other. Whenever he used to speak, it seemed that the teeth were luminous and radiating light.
Sayyidina Ali (RA) has mentioned many of Prophet (SAW)’s habits, routines and attributes and some of them are:
Prophet (SAW) always looked cheerful and happy. He had a very kind disposition and was always soft spoken. He never spoke loudly or harshly and never blamed others. He was open hearted, benevolent and magnanimous. He was courteous, polite, simple, humble and straightforward. He (SAW) overlooked whatever he (SAW) disliked. He kept away from quarrels, pride and unnecessary time wasting engagements. Never talked ill of others, never indulged in finding faults, and always shunned curiosity about weaknesses in others and interest in their personal life. His conversation was always motivated by the intention of earning reward. His companions used to listen to him with utmost attention and respect and were as motionless as though they had birds sitting on their heads. They only talked in a low voice when he (SAW) was not talking. His companions were perfect in manners and etiquette. They all listened when one of them talked and no one interrupted. They had patience and each and every one of them was listened to carefully and attentively. Every opinion was valued and every one enjoyed his due right. If there was something to be enjoyed, he (SAW) smiled when others smiled and shared surprises and wonders with his companions. Travelers and strangers, who were rustic and rough in manners were not looked down upon and were treated with kindness and compassion. He (SAW) used to accept appreciation in moderation, however he used to correct inappropriate behavior and used to leave the gathering to put a check on indecent conversation and bad behavior.
Whoever saw or met Prophet (SAW) used to get impressed by his nobility, and who ever had the fortune to spend some time with him fell in love with him, admired him and adored him. People who were blessed with (SAW)’s company used to involuntarily claimed that they had never seen a man like him before, nor will ever find a man equal in grace of personality and character after him (SAW). [Shamaa’il-e-Tirmizi]
We submit to Allah (SWT) in utter humility: Yaa Allah! Send Your blessings upon our beloved leader Muhammad (SAW), his followers and progeny as many times, the count and the number the You know.
May Allah enable us to realize the importance of the gift of life and the countless blessings we have been bestowed with and utilize our time prudently and wisely and the way it pleases Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW). Aameen!
SWT = Subhanahu Wa Ta'Ala
SAW = Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam
AS = AlehisSalam
RA = Radhiyallaho anhu
RAnha= Radhiyallaho anha
The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam. The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text. The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation. The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt. Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.