As was explained this morning by Mufti Yusuf Moosagie, our theme for Rabiul Awwal 1444 is Muhammed ﷺ the Prophet of Love. Under this theme, we hope to explain what was beloved to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, how he ﷺ displayed this love and what was the outcome of this sincere love.
It is without doubt that the most beloved to Nabi ﷺ was none other than his Rabb – Allah.
That which inspired the Holy Prophet ﷺ first and last was his duty to Allah. After receiving the call, he demonstrated his love of Allah through his devotion to duty in the face of persecution and privations that were bitter, cruel and sustained. Nothing and no one could affect his high resolve and no consideration could stand in the way of the performance of his duty. The people of Makkah sought to place all sorts of temptations in his way to persuade him to give up his opposition to idol-worship. When all this had failed, a delegation was sent to his uncle and guardian, Abu Talib, with the message that if he did not persuade his nephew to give up preaching the new doctrine, on the pain of being disowned, they would be compelled to disown Abu Talib. Abu Talib spoke to his nephew, conveying to him what the delegation had said but the Noble Prophet ﷺ replied firmly that while he lamented his uncle’s dilemma, he was under Divine instructions which he could not disobey. “Do not give up your people, uncle,” he said, “I do not ask you to stand by me. You may disown me as they have suggested. As for me, the One and Only Allah is my Witness when I say that if they were to place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left hand, I would not desist from preaching the truth that Allah commands.” Abu Talib was not ready to declare his faith in the Prophet ﷺ’s message but was quite fond of him and must have felt a surge of pride at his firm and noble resolve that he was moved to say: “Go thy way; do thy duty as thou seest it; my people may disown me but I will stand by thee.”
Every aspect of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ life was coloured by his love for, and devotion to, Allah. In spite of the very heavy responsibilities that had been laid upon his shoulders, the greater portion of his time during the day as well as during the night was spent in the worship and praise of Almighty Allah. He would leave bed at midnight and devote himself to the worship of Allah till it was time to go to the Masjid for the morning prayers. He prayed till his prayer mat became wet with tears; he wept till his breast heaved like a boiling pot. He sometimes stood so long in prayer during the latter part of the night that his feet would get swollen, and those who saw him in that condition were always much affected. When his honoured consort, Hadhrat A’ishah RA, was moved to venture a mild protest against such prolonged devotion, the Holy Prophet ﷺ answered: “If Allah has, by His Grace and Mercy, conferred His love and nearness upon me, is it not my duty in return to be always rendering thanks to Him?”
With a few honourable exceptions, through fourteen centuries, Western critics have consistently ignored all that was patently good and beneficent in the life of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and have been anxious to paint his portrait with bright colours of falsehood. But in truth every action of the Holy Prophet ﷺ was governed by his love of Allah. Everything he did was an act of worship.
In fact the Invocations of the Holy Prophet ﷺ illustrates the case in point. It catalogues hundreds of prayers which the Holy Prophet ﷺ recited on all occasions, from the ceremonies of religion to the rituals of daily life. The Holy Prophet ﷺ supplicated Allah when arising in the morning and when retiring to sleep at night; he supplicated when starting a meal and upon its completion; when leaving his home and when re-entering, when entering and when leaving the masjid; he supplicated when donning his attire, when putting on new shoes, when mounting his ride; he supplicated upon the sighting of the moon, upon the falling of rain, upon an eclipse. He constantly supplicated for Divine grace, mercy and communion for such was his desire for nearness to his beloved Lord. One of his oft-recited prayers which not only shows how much he loved Allah but also how much he longed for the love of Allah is:
اللَّهمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ حُبَّكَ، وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ، وَالعمَل الَّذِي يُبَلِّغُني حُبَّكَ، اللَّهُمَّ اجْعل حُبَّكَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِن نَفسي، وأَهْلي، ومِن الماءِ البارِدِ
“O Allah, grant me Thy love and the love of those who love Thee and the love of those deeds which enable me to attain Thy love. O Allah, make Thy love dearer to me than my life, my family and [dearer to me than] cold refreshing water to a man dying of thirst.”