Do We Love Others Like Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?by Ustadzah Eka Budhi Setiani
If we asked about a person whose character and morality are exemplary for all of us, perhaps Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would be the first name to come to mind.
Apart from being known as an honest and trustworthy person from a young age, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was also known as a gentle and loving person. It’s no wonder we see him as a good example. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ didn’t only teach us how to love Allah as our Creator, he also taught us to love our fellow beings, His creations. Sometimes we need to relive the story of love and compassion that he taught us and do self-reflection. Are we able to love others like the Prophet ﷺ?
Being a loving person like Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is undoubtedly not an easy task. Regarding his loving nature, some noble qualities of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are described in this verse:
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بالمؤمنين رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Now hath come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.” [At-Taubah 9:128]
The five qualities are min anfusikum (from your own people), azizun (burden borne by him), harishun (desire for faith), fourth and fifth are raufun rahimun (forgiving and merciful).
Min Anfusikum (From Your Own People)
Mutawalli Asy-Sya’rawi, in his tafsir, said that this verse is proof that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a messenger of Allah who is also an ordinary human being; a human in the general sense of the word. This needs to be emphasized to dispel the assumption of some people who think that the prophet is an angel, diminishing his exemplary behavior.
In addition, to reiterate, although he was born from the Quraysh tribe with Arab nationality, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ does not necessarily become a particular prophet for the Arabs because the Prophet was sent for all mankind.¹
This verse also seems to remind the Arabs, as it reads, “O Arabs, an Prophet has been sent from your own people whose origins and personality you fully know, and you know better than other people.”
Some mufassir interpret رسول من أنفسكم with the hadith:
إنّ الله اصطفى كنانة من ولد إسماعيل واصطفى قريشا من كنانة واصطفى بني هاشم من قريش واصطفاني من بني هاشم
Indeed Allah has chosen Isma’il from the children of Ibrahim, and He chose Banu Kinanah from the children of Isma’il, and He chose the Quraish from Banu Kinanah, and He chose Banu Hashim from Quraish, and He chose me from Banu Hashim.
[Reported by Muslim and at-Tirmidhi from Wasilah bin Asqa]
Azizun (Burden Borne by Him)
The Prophet was displeased if something undesirable happened to his people, such as being humiliated because they were colonized and enslaved by the enemies of the Muslims. He was also not happy to see his people afflicted with a painful punishment in the hereafter.
This verse is a testament to how much Prophet Muhammad ﷺ loved his people. All the misery, distress, hardship and other calamities felt by his people, were also felt by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. In fact, before all the calamities and sufferings were felt by them, he had felt it first.
Sheikh Syihabuddin Mahmud bin Abdullah al-Husaini al-Alusi in his tafsir said that all the burdens and misery felt by his people, also became a burden to the Prophet ﷺ.
According to Sheikh Sahal, as quoted by Imam Al-Alusi, what is meant by the word above, is that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ could not forget his people even for the blink of an eye. All he had in mind was his people. He was always thoughtful about their fate and destiny. With that thought, he felt great suffering and lived an uneasy life.²
According to Sheikh Mutawali Asy-Sya’rawi, when the prophets are busy taking care of the fate of their people on the Day of Resurrection, the scorching heat of the sun, the blazing hellfire, and the unfinished reckoning of good and bad deeds, made the other prophets forget and tend to be indifferent to their people, each trying to take care of their own fate.
At the same time, all humans are full of fear and experience tremendous suffering; cries are heard everywhere, regrets in begging for forgiveness are useless. At that time, no one will think about others; each will be busy with their own fate; all humans will seek help from the prophets. But the prophets at that time will not be able to help their people, all will be busy with themselves and the fear of Allah’s punishment.
However, not Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. In the midst of the heat of the sun and the blazing fire of hell, he will prostrate himself to Allah by saying “Allahumma ummati, ummati, ummati” (O Allah, my ummah, my ummah, my ummah) while crying.
Seeing the Messenger of Allah ﷺ weeping while prostrating, Allah will say to the angel Jibril, “Go to Muhammad ﷺ and ask him what caused him to weep.” Immediately the angel Jibril goes and asks the Prophet ﷺ. He will reply, “Allah knows best the cause of all this.”
Hearing the Prophet’s ﷺ answer, Jibril goes directly to Allah to convey the answer. After it is conveyed, Allah says to Jibril,
فَقَلَ: إِنَّا سَنُرْضِيْكَ فِي أُمَّتِكَ وَلَا نَسُوْؤُكَ
“Verily We (Allah) will please thee with regard to your Ummah and would not displease thee.”³
Harishun (Desire for faith)
Imam Abu Abdillah Muhammad bin Umar bin Hasan bin Husain at-Taimi, also known by the nickname Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi, in his book of tafsir says, the verse above means that in the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, there is a very strong desire to do good deeds for all mankind and to cleanse all the shirk in them.
His unbreakable spirit in inviting people to embrace the teachings of Islam can be seen from the various actions he has demonstrated. For example, when obstacles, hostility, slander, attacks and threats come, they do not affect his spirit in preaching and he continue his efforts to show the right path to all humans.⁴
His desire is described by Allah in His words:
إِن تَحۡرِصۡ عَلَىٰ هُدَىٰهُمۡ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهۡدِي مَن يُضِلُّۖ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّٰصِرِينَ ٣٧ النّحل
If you are keen for their guidance, then, (remember that) Allah does not lead those to the right path whom He lets go astray, and for them there are no helpers.
Raufun Rahimun (Forgiving and Merciful)
The Prophet ﷺ was always forgiving and very merciful to Muslims. This desire is seen in the purpose of the treatise he conveyed, namely that humans should live happily in this world and the hereafter.
In this verse Allah gave two kinds of attributes to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The giving of these two attributes shows that Allah made Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the Messenger that he venerates.
At the close of the last verse, Allah affirms that the Prophet ﷺ is a very polite, merciful and forgiving prophet. This is nothing but the most appropriate embodiment as a representation of his personality as a human being who spreads love and peace.
Imam Abu Muhammad al-Husain bin Mas’ud al-Baghawi, in his tafsir, quoted one of the scholars’ opinions that the compassion and politeness of the Prophet ﷺ was not only for obedient Muslims because it had become a rule in the teachings of Islam that he brought. More than that, he also has a very compassionate and considerate attitude even to people who are immoral.
Imam al-Baghawi said,
قِيْلَ رَؤُوْفٌ بِالْمُطِيْعِيْنَ رَحِيْمٌ بِالْمُذْنِبِيْنَ
“It was said (that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ) is forgiving to those who obey, and merciful to those who sin.”⁵
Now, reflecting on some of the noble qualities of the loving and compassionate Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, have we loved others as the Prophet ﷺ did? Although we may not be as perfect as Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, we can try to do our best by starting to love and cherish those closest to us. Starting from family and friends, to less fortunate people who need our helping hand. InsyaAllah we will all be given His blessings. Ameen.
- Shaykh Mutawalli, Tafsirul Khawathir lisy Sya’rawi, juz I, page 593.
- Shaykh Al-Alusi, Ruhil Ma’ani fi Tafsiril Quranil Azim was Sab’il Matsani, [Bairut, Darul Kutub, first printing: 2005, tahqiq: Sheikh Ali Abdul Bari], juz VII, page 417.
- Shaykh Mutawalli, Tafsirul Khawathir lisy Sya’rawi, juz I, page 593.
- Imam ar-Razi, Tafsir Mafatihul Ghaib, [Bairut, Darul Ihya’, third printing: 2000], juz XVI, page 178
- Imam al-Baghawi, Tafsir Ma’alimut Tanzil, [Bairut, Daruth Thayyibah, fourth printing: 1997, tahqiq: Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah], juz IV, page 115.
Eka Budhi Setiani
Ustadzah Eka Budhi Setiani, Lc is one of the sharia advisors at Muslim Pro. A servant of Allah who studies the science of Usuluddin at Al-Azhar University – Cairo, Egypt. Currently she is devoting her knowledge by teaching at an Islamic school managed by the Education Department in a province. In addition, together with her husband, now she also manages her own Islamic boarding school in a small town in Banten Province called Ponpes Balonk Faidhul Barokaat.