The Companions' love for Prophet Muhammad

The Companions love for Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Not one of you [truly] believes until I am more loved by him than his parents, child and all people» [related by Al-Bukhari].

There is no doubt that the love of the Prophet is one of the basic mainstays of the religion. In fact, the person who loves the Prophet less than others is considered to have no faith. Allah (Glorified is He) says,

{ Say, ‘If your fathers, and your children, and your brothers and sisters, and your spouses, and your kindred and clan, and the wealth you have acquired, and the commerce you fear may decline, and the dwellings that you love to live in are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His [Allah’s] way, then wait until Allah brings about His decree. Allah does not guide the transgressing people’} [Surah At-Tawba: 24].

Moreover, the Companions understood Allah’s order when He says,

{Say, ‘If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you for your wrong actions. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful’} [Surah Al-Imran: 31].

They loved the Prophet (peace be upon him), and consequently their words and actions were a physical indication of this love; they willingly sacrificed their lives and money in Allah’s cause and due to their love of the Prophet. This love was clear in many different situations which have been recorded for us in the books on the Prophet’s biography. These include:

Ransoming themselves for the Prophet (peace be upon him)

We have Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) giving us a clear example of how to love Allah (Glorified is He) and love for Allah’s sake. We find that Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was the first to enter Islam. Moreover, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted his followers to immigrate and Abu Bakr learnt that he would accompany the Prophet when he immigrated, being the second one in a group of only two people, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), Abu Bakr’s daughter, said,

"By Allah, I never thought, before that day, that anyone could cry with joy until I saw Abu Bakr cry that day."

The books on the Prophet’s biography mention that Abu Bakr one time walked in front of the Prophet and another time walked behind him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him about that, so Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) replied, "I remember that a person may want to come up from behind you to kill you, so I would walk behind you. And then I remember that a person may want to come in front of you to kill you, so I would walk in front of you." We can see how his love for the Prophet made him want to demonstrate this love in front of his Companion.

Then the Prophet asked him, <‘Would you prefer to be killed instead of me?’ Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) replied, ‘Yes, by Him Who sent you with the truth.’>

And this was AbuBakr’s stance throughout the whole journey towards the cave. Moreover, before they entered the cave, Abu Bakr said, "Wait her, Oh Prophet, until I check that there is no danger inside." And when he had checked that all the holes had been blocked, he asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to enter.

After entering the cave, Abu Bakr saw one hole he had not blocked, so he blocked it with his foot as the Prophet was sleeping on his lap at the time. Moreover, when something stung Abu Bakr, he withstood the pain in order to not bother the Prophet! He kept crying from the pain until his tears fell on the Prophet’s face, and so the Prophet (peace be upon him) woke-up. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Abu Bakr why he was crying. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) replied, "May I ransom my mother and father for you, Oh Prophet." Consequently, the Prophet spat lightly on the place that hurt Abu Bakr, and Abu Bakr was immediately cured. [The Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Hesham].

The drainpipe of Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him)

The Companions love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) was clear as they were eager to preserve anything the Prophet touched or put his hand on. One such example is the drainpipe of Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him)

Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) left his house to go to the mosque to pray the Friday Prayer. Some water mixed with blood fell on Umar ibn Al-Khattab from the drainpipe, as Abbas used to slaughter chickens on the roof of his house.

Consequently, Umar ibn Al-Khattab ordered that the drainpipe be removed. He returned to his house, changed his clothes, returned to the mosque and led the people in the Friday Prayer. After the Prayer, Abbas went to him and said,

«By Allah, it (the position of the drainpipe) is where the Prophet placed it.» Umar said to Abbas, «Then I order you to put it back in the place the Prophet had placed it.» So Abbas did that. [related by Ahmed].

The Companions followed the Prophet’s sunnah (ways) in all their lives, as they understood the meaning of the Prophet’s saying, «By Him in Whose Hands is my soul, none of you [truly] believe until I am more loved by him than his parent or child» [related by Al-Bukhari].

Consequently, they were, truly, closer to the Prophet (peace be upon him) than they were to themselves

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

«‘Oh Prophet, you are more beloved to me than anything else, except myself.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "No (this is not true faith), by Him in Whose Hands is my soul, not until I am more beloved to you than yourself.’ Umar then said, ‘Now, by Allah, you are more beloved to me than myself.’ Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Now (this is true faith), Oh Umar’»

[related by Al-Bukhari].

Love accompanied by great respect

This was clear when Amar ibn Al-As (may Allah be pleased with him) said, when he was dying,

«No one was more beloved to me than the Prophet, and I did not respect anyone as I respected the Prophet. I could not withstand looking at him for a long time as I respected him so much. If I was asked to describe him, I would not be able to. This is because I needed to see him more» [to describe him properly] [related by Muslim].

Although the Companions loved the Prophet very much, they did not ask him to intercede with Allah (Glorified is He) for them (after he died), or pray to him, or celebrate his birthday. What does this mean? How can you explain their stance?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was more beloved than cold water when one is thirsty

Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked, «To what extent did you love the Prophet?’ Ali replied, "By Allah, we loved him more than our money, wealth, fathers, mothers and cold water when one is thirsty» [Ash-Shifaa by Ayad].

Does following the Prophet (peace be upon him), emulating him and respecting his words indicate we love him (peace be upon him)?

A forbearing woman

There was a woman from the Ansars whose father, brother, husband and son had just died in the battle of Uhud. But she was so forbearing and patient she was able to overcome this experience any woman would find very bitter, and even ask about the Prophet! When she was told he was alright, she said words that are as valuable as gold, «May my father and my mother be ransomed for you, Oh Prophet! As long as you are safe from harm, I do not care about what may happen» [The Beautiful Manners of the Righteous].

Tomorrow you will meet the Prophet (peace be upon him)

Bilal ibn Rabah (may Allah be pleased with him), when he was breathing his last breath and his wife was crying, grieving over him, said his well-known saying. This saying relieves the bitterness experienced due to the soul leaving the body, referring to death as a way to see the Prophet (peace be upon him), «Tomorrow, we will meet our beloved Prophet and his Companions.»

Mention five incidents or sayings that indicate how much the Companions loved the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Obeying his great leader

Abdullah ibn Rawahah (may Allah be pleased with him) demonstrated the true meaning of obeying the Prophet (peace be upon him) as he related that he went to the Prophet when the Prophet was giving a sermon and heard the Prophet tell the people to sit down. Consequently, Abdullah sat down where he was, outside the mosque, and stayed there until the people had left the gathering. The Prophet (peace be upon him) heard what had happened and so said,

«May Allah make you even more eager to obey Allah and His Messenger» [related by Al-Bayhaqi].

How can you learn how much a person loves the Prophet (peace be upon him) from his daily life, dealings, worship and actions?

How can you follow the Prophet’s example?

1. Make your love of the Prophet (peace be upon him) greater than any other love you may have in your heart; the Prophet and his sunnah (ways) lead us to paradise.

2. Love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not limited to just words; it has to be clear in our actions too by following his orders and avoiding his prohibitions.

3. Live like the Prophet (peace be upon him) as much as you can, and follow his sunnah and guidance.

4. Defend the Prophet (peace be upon him) and safeguard his honour, and dislike and cut relations from all those who insult him, his family and his Companions.