“The Iraqi convoy left for Pilgrimage to the House of Allah in the year 394 H. It was a time of great fear and anxiety due to the presence of Bedouins and thieves that targeted the Pilgrims. After they completed their Hajj, the leader of the convoy decided to return quickly to Baghdad and not to head towards the Prophetic Medina out of fear of being ambushed by these thieves. When the convoy reached the crossroad that would lead to the Prophetic Medina, two young men [from the convoy] stood at that road and recited: "It was not [proper] for the people of Madinah and those surrounding them of the bedouins that they remain behind after the Messenger of Allah or that they prefer themselves over his self" [Al-Tawbah 9:120] [After hearing these verses] the people burst into tears, and the camels turned their necks towards the road [leading to Medina], and the people altogether turned, along with their leader, towards the Prophetic Medina. They visited and returned safely to their countries, and to Allah belongs all praise” 
Know that the love of the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] is from the greatest obligations.
Allah the Exalted said: "Say, [to them O Muhammad that:], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people." [Al-Tawbah 9:24]
Al-Qadi ‘Iyaad [May Allah shower him with mercy] said commenting on this verse:
“Sufficient should that be as a motivation and a warning, a sign and a proof of the obligation of his love, the great danger of [neglecting] it, and how he rightfully deserves this love from us – Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him; since Allah – the Exalted – strongly reprimanded those whose wealth, family, and children were more beloved to him than Allah and His Messenger, and warned them [by saying]: [then wait until Allah executes His command], then He declared them defiantly disobedient at the end of the verse, and informed them that they are from among those who have gone astray and are not guided by Allah” .
The Companions [May Allah be pleased with them] have demonstrated the greatest examples of love for the Messenger of Allah – Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him:
“Umar Al-Farouq [May Allah be pleased with him] used to – say to Al-‘Abbas – the Uncle of the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him]:
Your [embracement of] Islam is more pleasing to me then if Al-Khatab [my own father] had embraced Islam; [that is because your Islam] is more pleasing to the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him].
Ali ibn Abi Talib [May Allah be pleased with him] was asked:
How was your love for the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him]?
So he replied:
He was, by Allah, dearer to us then our wealth, our children, our fathers, our mothers, and from cold water at [the time of] extreme thirst” .
There we have ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas [May Allah be pleased with him] saying at the time of his death:
“And then no one was dearer to me than the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] and none was more sublime in my eyes than he. Never could I, pluck courage to catch a full glimpse of his face due to the reverence I had for him. So if I am asked to describe his features, I cannot do that for I have not eyed him fully” .
Love is the basis of all the actions and movements in this world; all the deeds in this world are a product of love and willpower , and the love of the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] is from the internal matters of the heart that necessitates both actions and words.
So loving the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] would necessitate defending him [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him], adhering to his Sunnah, and guarding him from all those who wish to slander him.
Contemplate on what came in the tradition of Ibn ‘Abbas [May Allah be pleased with them] where he narrates that:
“A blind man had an Umm Walad who used to insult the Prophet [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] and say bad things about him. He told her not to do that but she did not stop, and he rebuked her but she did not heed him. One night, when she started to say bad things about the Prophet [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] and insult him, he took a short sword or dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. The following morning that was mentioned to the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him]. He called the people together and said: “I ask by Allah the man who has done this action and I order him by my right over him that he should stand up” The blind man stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am the one who did it; she used to insult you and say bad things about you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not give up her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was kind to me. Last night she began to insult you and say bad things about you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.” Thereupon the Prophet [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] said: “Bear witness, there is no blood money due for her” .
So notice what that “perceptive” man [May Allah be pleased with him] did in defending the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him]; even though he is a blind man, and that woman, who was the mother of his children, treated him with kindness, and he has from her two sons of extreme beauty. With all that, he favored the love of the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] and his defense over all these others things that he loved so May Allah be pleased with him.
Al-Waqidi narrates in his Maghazi:
That Marawan ibn Al-Hakam who was the ruler of Medina[at the time] said to a Jewish man called ibn Yameen: How was ibn Al-Ashraf killed?
Ibn Yameen replied: Through betrayal.
And Muhammad ibn Maslama [May Allah be pleased with him], who was an old man at the time, was seated, so he said to Marawan: O Marawan, do you consider Prophet Muhammad [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] to be from among those who betray? By Allah, we did not kill him except by the order of the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him]. By Allah, I would not meet with you under a single roof, except that of the Masjid.
As for you ibn Yameen, by Allah, if I ever get power over you and in my hand is a sword, I would use it to strike your head.
After that incident, Ibn Yameen would never leave Banu Quraizah except after sending forth someone to look for Muhammad ibn Maslama. If they inform him that [ibn Maslama] is away in some of his land, he would leave, complete his business and return. Otherwise, he would not leave.
One time when Muhammad ibn Maslama was attending a funeral, he saw ibn Yameen in Al-Baqee’, so he took some palm-tree branches [that he found], and started hitting [ibn Yameen] with it, branch after branch, until he breaks it on his face and head. [Ibn Salama] then let [ibn Yameen], who became so weakened, go and told him: By Allah, if only I had a sword I would have hit you with it” .
The love of the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] necessitates revering, respecting, and honoring him.
When Malik ibn Anas [May Allah shower him with mercy] was asked about Ayub Al-Sekhtiyani, he said: I never spoke to you of anyone better than Ayub.
He also said: He (i.e. Ayub) performed pilgrimage twice, and I used to watch him [from far away], but didn’t listen to him. However, [I noticed that] whenever Prophet Muhammad [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] was mentioned he would begin to weep, until I felt for him. So once I saw what I saw of him, and how much he revered the Prophet [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] I [started] writing from him.
Mus’ab ibn ‘Abdullah said:
[Imam] Malik’s color used to change whenever the Prophet [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] was mentioned, and he used to (lower his head) until his companions felt for that; he was told about this one day, so he said:
Had you seen what I have seen, you would not have questioned what you have seen of me. I used to see Muhammad ibn Al-Munkadir, and he was the master of the Reciters [of the Quran], we never asked him about a tradition except that he would start crying and weeping, until we felt sorry for him” .
Revering the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] is a middle ground between negligence and excessiveness.
Ibn ‘Abd Al-Hadi spoke of this moderation when he said:
"Reverence [of the Messenger of Allah – Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] is by the heart, tongue, and limbs;
Reverence by the heart, which follows the firm belief that he is a Messenger [of Allah], is in favoring his love over [the love of] one’s self, children, parents, and people altogether.
This love is proven by two matters:
One of them is: Purification of the Tawheed
He [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] had the most concern, out of all creation, in purifying it (i.e. Tawheed). He cut all the means to Shirk from all directions. The focal point of this Religion is upon that, and it is the pillar of salvation. This matter was not established and strived after by anyone more than it was by him [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him], through his words, actions, and guidance, as well as through blocking the routes that would negate it. Thus revering him [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] is in following him in that, not in negating it.
The second is:
In imitating and following only him, seeking only his rulings in the minute and major matters of his religion, the fundamentals and the branches, being satisfied with his rulings, following and submitting to it. Turning away from those who oppose him, and not giving them any attention, until he becomes the sole ruler [in all our affairs], whose rulings are followed and his sayings are accepted, just as Allah the Exalted is the one and only God who deserves to be solely worshipped with both love and fear …
As for revering him by the tongue, [this is achieved] through praising him in the manner he deserves, in the same way he praised himself and was praised by his Lord, without any excessiveness or negligence; so just as the one who neglects praising him has abandoned revering him, he who has gone to excessiveness has done also that.
As for revering him with the limbs, this is accomplished through acting upon his obedience, seeking to manifest his religion, raising his words, promoting that which he came with, and struggling against those who oppose it” .
The greatest means through which one can love the Messenger of Allah [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] are two:
One of them is: Looking at his perfect traits and manners.
He was [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him]:
“The most complete of all people from [the time of] his early development and upbringing, he was always known for his honesty, devotion, justice, and perfect manners. He was known to stay away from transgression, injustice, and all blameworthy attributes. All those who knew him attested to all this [even] before his Prophethood, those who believed in him and those who disbelieved in him after Prophethood. Nothing blameworthy is known of him, neither in his words, actions, or manners. He never lied, treated anyone unjustly, or with transgression. His manners and image were from the most perfect, the most complete, and the most comprehensive of all goodness, which are indications to his perfection” .
The second is through: Looking at his favors and kindness towards his Ummah, and his mercy towards them, his guidance to them and his compassion towards them, He is to the believer kind and merciful , he is one who invites to Allah (by His permission) and an illuminating lamp , he recites unto them the Verses of Allah (the Quran) purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom [14-15].
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:
“If one contemplates upon the benefits which one received from the way of the Messenger [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him], who brought him out of the darkness of disbelief to the light of Faith, either directly or by being a reason, he would realize that he [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] is the reason that one would remain in the everlasting pleasure [of the Hereafter]. He would [also] know that [the Messenger] benefiting him in that way is better than any other benefit one could have received. Thus he [Prayers of Allah and Peace upon him] deserves to be loved more than all others, since the benefits that lead to love coming from his way is much more that coming from any other way. However, people differ in this matter depending on fully realizing or overlooking this” .
So we ask Allah to send His Prayers and Blessings on His slave and Messenger Muhammad, and on his Household and Companions.
1. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Aqidah, College of Usul Al-Din, The Islamic University of Imam Muhammad b. Saud in Riyadh.
2. “Tareekh Ibn Katheer” 11/334 – with slight alteration, and refer to the original story in “Al-Muntazam” by Ibn Al-Jawzi 15/44.
3. “Al-Shifaa” 2/563.
4. “Al-Shifaa” by Al-Qadi ‘Iyaad 2/568.
5. Narrated by Imam Muslim in the book of “Iman”, tradition 192
6. Refer to: “Jami’ Al-Rasael” by Ibn Taymiyah: (Qa’idah fee Al-Mahaba) 2/193, 202.
7. Narrated by Abu Dawud (tradition # 4361), and Al-Nasaei 7/99
8. “Maghazi Al-Waqidi” 1/192 – abridged, and refer to: “Al-Sarim Al-Masloul” by Ibn Taymiyah 2/184.
9. “Al-Shifaa” by Al-Qadi ‘Iyaad 2/596, 597. Refer also to: Majmou’ Al-Fatawa by Ibn Taymiyah 1/226.
10. “Al-Sarim Al-Manki” p. 452 – 454: abridged.
11. “Al-Jawab Al-Saheeh, leman Badal Deen Al-Maseeh” by Ibn Taymiyah 4/80.
12. Al-Tawbah 9:128
13. Al-Ahzab 33:46
14. Al-Imran 3:164
15. “Al-Shifaa” by Al-Qadi ‘Iyaad 2/580
16. “Fath Al-Bari” 1/59-60.