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Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) as a friend


{It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them}

[Surah Al-Imran: 159].

Allah (Glorified is He) described the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as being tender and easy with his friends. Allah (Glorified is He) says,

{It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter}

[Surah Al-Imran: 159].

The relationship between the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his Companions was as strong as it could possibly be. This strong relationship that bonded him very tightly with his Companions amazed many of the polytheists. Even Abu Sufyan described this bond when he had not yet entered Islam, saying, "I have never seen any person who loved another to the extent that Muhammed’s Companions love Muhammed!!"

[The Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Hesham].

The Messenger of Allah’s good treatment of his Companions was very clear. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) treated them well in many different ways, which included:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) being gentle and easy with his Companions and joking with them

One of the Companions did not look nice but the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) liked him. One day, the Messenger of Allah went to him from behind when he was selling his goods and hugged him. The man could not see who was hugging him, so he said, ‘Leave me alone. Who are you?’ The man then turned and saw that it was the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). This made the Messenger of Allah say [jokingly],

«‘Who will buy a slave?!’ The man replied, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, you will not get much for me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘But in Allah’s eyes, you are not cheap,’ or he said, ‘But in Allah’s eyes, you are valuable’»

[related by Ahmed].

He was joking with him, but he only spoke the truth. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«‘I do not say anything but the truth.’ Some of his Companions said, ‘But you joke with us?!’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, ‘I do not say anything but the truth’»

[related by Ahmed].

And the Messenger of Allah’s Companions used to joke with him, although the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was humble and very mannerly with them. Auf ibn Malik Al-Ashja’i (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

«I went to the Messenger of Allah during the battle of Tabuk when he was staying in a tent made of leather. I greeted him with peace and he returned my greeting. Then he said, ‘Enter.’ I replied, ‘All of me, Oh Messenger of Allah?’ (due to the small size of the tent) The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) answered, ‘All of you.’ Consequently, I entered » [the tent]

[related by Abu Dawood].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw a person called Suhaib. He had mucus in his eyes eating dried dates. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to him, jokingly,

«‘Are you eating dried dates when you have conjunctivitis (i.e. you should not eat dates when you have this illness)’? Suhaib said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I am chewing on the other side that does not have conjunctivitis.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then smiled » [related by Al-Hakim].

The Messenger of Allah’s treatment of his Companions made the Companions love the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) very much. Explain this fact referring to the Messenger of Allah’s biography.

How can you joke without erring or saying something which is not true?

Uthman ibn Basheer (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«The example of the believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy to each other is like a body; if one limb has a complaint, the whole body suffers from wakefulness and fever» [related by Al-Bukhari].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to solve misunderstandings between his Companions and also fulfill their needs

Sahil ibn Saad Al-Saady (may Allah be pleased with him) told us about this trait, saying,

«The Messenger of Allah went to the tribe of Bani Umar ibn Auf to solve a misunderstanding between them» [related by Al-Bukhari].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told his Companions to be gentle with the weak, saying,

«Seek for me the weak, for you are provided means of sustenance and helped because of the weak among you» [related by Abu Dawood].

There has to be special manners in any friendship, and a person has to give his friend his rights. Explain this idea referring to the Messenger of Allah’s biography.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, «The most merciful of my nation to my nation is Abu Bakr, the most strict of them concerning the orders of Allah is Umar, and the most modest of them is Uthman. The one who is the most knowledgeable of the permissible and prohibited is Mu’adth ibn Jabal, the most knowledgeable of them concerning the laws of inheritance is Zayd ibn Thabit, and the best reciter [of the Quran] is Ubayy. And every nation has a trustworthy one, and the trustworthy one of this nation is Abu Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarrah» [related by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nisa’i].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to praise his Companions and highlight their good traits

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to praise his Companions and highlight their good traits, so others held them in high regard. We can notice that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) dealt with his Companions in a way that indicated he loved all of them; he loved each Companion in a specific way which was different than how he loved all the other Companions.

We find that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) described his Companions with character traits that strengthened the bond between them and made them closer to him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) described Az-Zubair ibn Al-Awwam as being a supporter, saying,

«My cousin Az-Zubbar is the one who supports me [the most] from my nation»

[related by Ahmed].

That is: one who supported the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and was very close to him. Moreover, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) described Abu Bakr and Umar as being his ministers, as the Messenger of Allah said,

«As for my ministers from those on the earth, they are Abu Bakr and Umar» [related by At-Tirmidhi].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stated that Hatheefah was the one who could be trusted to keep secrets and the Messenger of Allah called Obaydah the trustworthy one of his nation. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«And the trustworthy one of this nation is Abu Obaydah ibn Al-Jarrah» [related by Al-Bukhari].

Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

«There was a man, at the time of the Messenger of Allah, who was called Abdullah. He was nicknamed the donkey. This man used to make the Messenger of Allah laugh. The Messenger of Allah had him whipped for drinking alcohol; the man went to the Messenger of Allah one day and the Messenger of Allah ordered that he be whipped. One of the other men said, ‘Oh Allah, curse him. Has anyone committed this sin more than him?’is there anyone who has come more than him [to be whipped for drinking alcohol?’? The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Do not curse him. By Allah, I know that he loves Allah and His Messenger’» [related by Al-Bukhari].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to defend his Companions and he opposed those who mocked them

One event which illustrates this is when Ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him) was cutting a toothstick from an Arak tree. He had skinny legs and the wind pushed him over [uncovering his legs]. Consequently, the people started to laugh at him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«What are you laughing at?’ The people said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, [we are laughing] at his skinny legs!!’ So the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘By Him Who holds my life in His Hands, they (the legs) are heavier in the scales than (the weight of) Mount Uhud’»

[related by Ahmed].

Taking care of his Companions during ease and difficulties

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not use to eat unless his Companions ate with him. And when food was made for him one day during the battle of the ditch, he called his Companions, saying,

«Oh people of the ditch! Jabir has made a special dinner, (that is, a meal to which people are invited) so lets go quickly to it» [related by Al-Bukhari].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) described the believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy to each other as one body. What hadith indicates this and how did this prodice a strong bond between all members of the society?

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to visit his Companions when they were ill and he used to attend their funerals

Sahil ibn Haneef (may Allah be pleased with him) reported this habit of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) from his father (may Allah be pleased with him), who said,

«The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to go to meet and visit the weak Muslims, visit the ill of them and attend their funerals» [related by Al-Bayhaqi].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) feeling the pain of his Companions and consoling them

It was the habit of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), during difficult times and trials, to comfort and console his Companions. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to feel their pain, remind them that their tribulations are a way to receive gains, make them happy when they were sad, and give them hope when there was pain.

Qarah ibn Iyas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

«When the Messenger of Allah sat down, a group of his Companions used to sit with him. One of them had a small son which he used to carry on his back and then in his arms when he entered the gathering. But the son died, which made the man not attend the gathering as it made him remember his son and make him grieve over him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) noticed that the man was not there, so he asked, ‘Why do I not see so-and-so!’ The Companions replied, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, his son who you used to see [with him] died.’ Consequently, the Messenger of Allah went to see him and ask about his son. The man told him that the boy had died, so the Messenger of Allah consoled him, saying, ‘Oh brother, which do you like more: to enjoy his company all your life, or to go to any door of the doors of paradise tomorrow and find that he had arrived there before you to open the door for you?’ The man said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, of course I love for him to have arrived at the door of paradise to open it for me more.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told him, ‘This is what will happen to you.’ The Comapnions said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, is this just for him, or for all of us?’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, ‘No; it is for all of you’» [related by An-Nisa’i].

Abu Said Al-Khudary (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

«During the time of the Messenger of Allah, a man lost all his crops and so accured many debts. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to his Companions, ‘Will you give him charity?’ Therefore, they gave him charity, but it was not enough to pay off all his debts. Consequently, the Messenger of Allah was upset for the man and so said to those people he owed, ‘Take only what you find in front of you.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) meant that they should not censure him or imprison him as it was clear he was bankrupt. In fact, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told them to leave him and give him respite until he gathers some money. Therefore, they would take the debts that he owed them after he had gathered the money. It does not mean that the debts were cancelled» [related by Muslim].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) consulting the Companions about matters and not making a decision without listening to their point of view

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to often consult his Companions. He used to often say to them,

«Oh people, tell me your views about this matter» [related by Muslim].

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, «When the Messenger of Allah left us, he had taught us so much that there has not been even a bird flying in the sky but he taught us some wisdom from it. In fact, the Messenger of Allah told us, ‘There is nothing that makes you close to Allah (Glorified is He) and far from the hell-fire but I have mentioned it to you’» [related by At-Tabarani].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was concerned about teaching his Companions

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was concerned about teaching his Companions. When a man did not pray properly and did not fulfill all its pillars well, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) taught him the features of the prayer and then said, «Pray as you see me pray» [related by Al-Bukhari].

Moreover, on the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said «Take the pilgrimage rites from me [following what I do], as I do not know if I will do another pilgrimage after this one» [related by Muslim].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to supplicate Allah (Glorified is He) for his Companions and their children

One such example of this is referred to in the narration Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, when he said,

«The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went out to the ditch (during the battle of the ditch), where the Muhajiroon (immigrants from Mecca) and the Ansars (Helpers from Madinah) were digging the ditch, when it was cold. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw how tired and hungry they were, he said, ‘Oh Allah, the next life is the real life, so forgive the Ansars and the Muhajireen.’ They replied, ‘We are the ones who took a covenant with the Messenger of Allah to fight with him as long as we live’» [related by Al-Bukhari].

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, «The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to visit the Ansar, greet their boys with peace, and then wipe their heads and supplicate Allah (Glorified is He) for them» [related by An-Nisa’i].

What does the following saying indicate,

«Not one of you [truly] believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself» [related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited his Companions from praising him too much

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) said that he heard Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) say while standing on the pulpit that he had heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say,

«Do not praise me excessively, like the Christians praise the son of Mary excessively. I am just Allah’s slave, so refer to me as Allah’s slave and Messenger» [related by Al-Bukhari].

Is it possible to fulfill the rights of your friends, your wife, your children, your neighbours, the rights upon yourself and other rights that are due from you properly and fully without denying anyone their rights?!

How can you follow the Messenger of Allah’s example?

1.Taking care of your friend during times of ease and difficulties, help him to be patient during difficulties and be loyal to him, thereby following the Messenger of Allah’s example.

2.Give your friend sincere and gentle advice, be concerned about what will be of benefit for him, and advise him, as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«Not one of you [truly] believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself» [related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

3.Choose good friends, as a person is a mirror for his friend.

4.Consult your friends about matters that affect you all, and do not rely only on your own views without taking their views into consideration. This is because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to consult his Companions.

5.Be easy with your friends and do not be arrogant or proud with them, or despise or mock them.

6.Follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) by having Islamic manners, and be a good friend.