Seven external and internal qualities of the Prophet ﷺ
Ode to the Prophet ﷺ
وكلُّ الناسِ تُوْلَدُ ثم تفنى
ووحدَكَ أنتَ ميلادُ الحياةِ
وكلُّ الناسِ تُذكَرُ ثم تُنْسَى
وذِكْرُكَ أنتَ باقٍ في الصلاةِ
تردِّدهُ المآذنُ كلَّ وقتٍ
وينبضُ بالقلوب إلى المماتِ
يفوحُ المسكُ أنّى كنتَ تمشي
ووجهكَ نورُه عمَّ الجهاتِ
وقد تُعلي المكارمُ قدرَ قومٍ
ويعلو فيكَ قدرُ المَكرُماتِ
On the anniversary of your birth, our master O Messenger of God, peace be upon him
All people are born and then perish
You alone are the birth of life
All people are remembered and then forgotten
And your name is always remembered in Salah
The minarets repeat it all the time
And it beats in the hearts till death
Musk fills the air wherever you walked
And the light of your face fills all directions
The noble characteristics may exalt the rank of a people
But noble characteristics will be honoured by you. [Mustafa Qasim Abbas]
In his seclusion in the Cave of Hira, the Prophet ﷺ received the first revelation and he was terrified. He rushed back to Khadija, saying, “Cover me! Cover me!” She covered him until his fear passed and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.” There are multiple opinions about what it was that he feared. Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. She explained her reasons:
- You keep good relations with your family
- You speak the truth
- You fulfil the trust
- You bear people’s burden
- You help the destitute
- You serve your guests generously and
- Assist those who are deserving and afflicted by calamity. [Bukhari]
In this scene we see the role of Khadija in consoling the Prophet ﷺ and that we should learn from her how to be an anchor for our spouse in time of sadness or anxiety
These qualities related to how the Prophet ﷺ dealt with others. Khadija had observed these qualities, which are integral to Islam, in him before the revelation had come. She was inspired with the knowledge that these qualities were what made him stand apart from others and protected by Allah. If anyone has these qualities, and holds fast to them, Allah will never let them down.
The Prophet ﷺ was also ready to help others. To carry the burden of others is something we are experiencing now, as we are carrying the burden of others due to the crisis of living. Don’t wait for people to beg, find those in need and help them. There are plenty of them especially with the rising number of food banks. Give to those who have nothing – the destitute are not just poor, they have nothing.
The Prophet ﷺ was generous with his guests. He said, ‘Whomsoever believes in Allah and the Last Day let him be generous to his guest.’ We barely receive anyone these days, since the pandemic.
There is no other way to demonstrate love for the Prophet ﷺ than to follow his footsteps. If we truly love him, then we should focus on these 7 traits. Khadija mentioned 7 traits related to dealing with others. When we look at the du’a of the Prophet ﷺ for himself, we see that he asked for 7 internal qualities.
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ : كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَدْعُو يَقُولُ : ” رَبِّ أَعِنِّي وَلَا تُعِنْ عَلَيَّ، وَانْصُرْنِي وَلَا تَنْصُرْ عَلَيَّ، وَامْكُرْ لِي وَلَا تَمْكُرْ عَلَيَّ، وَاهْدِنِي وَيَسِّرِ الْهُدَى لِي، وَانْصُرْنِي عَلَى مَنْ بَغَى عَلَيَّ، رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي لَكَ:
٥-لَكَ مُخْبِتًا ،
رَبِّ تَقَبَّلْ تَوْبَتِي، وَاغْسِلْ حَوْبَتِي ، وَأَجِبْ دَعْوَتِي، وَثَبِّتْ حُجَّتِي، وَسَدِّدْ لِسَانِي، وَاهْدِ قَلْبِي، وَاسْلُلْ سَخِيمَةَ صَدْرِي “.
هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ. الترمذي.
Ibn `Abbas said:
“The Prophet ﷺ used to supplicate, saying: “My Lord, aid me and do not aid against me, and grant me victory and do not grant victory over me, plot for me and do not plot against me, guide me and facilitate guidance for me, grant me victory over those who transgress against me. My Lord, make me:
- Ever-grateful to You
- Ever-remembering of You
- Ever-fearful of You
- Ever-obedient to You
- Ever-humble to You
- Oft-supplicating to You
- Ever-returning to You in repentance.
My Lord, accept my repentance, wash my sin, answer my call, make firm my proof*, make my tongue speak the truth, guide my heart, and remove the (spiritual) diseases from my chest. [Tirmidhi]
Get the basics right – Don’t neglect salah
Let’s focus on the pillars – if you love the Prophet ﷺ but you do not pray on time, what kind of love is this? As reported by Abu Dawoud, before his death, his last words of advice to his Ummah were ‘Keep your salah on time’. If we follow his character, it is the true application of his love.
“Abdullah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” [Bukhari]
To read more about the unique and special characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ you will find a lovely selection in the short and easy read, Bidayat al-Sul fi Tafdhil al-Rasul, ‘The Beginning of The Quest of the High Esteem of the Messenger’ the beautiful little booklet by Abu Muḥammad ʿIzz al-Dīn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz bin ʿAbd al-Salam (577 AH – 660 AH / 1262 CE). You can read it with your family and you feel the barakah descend on you. Also Imam Suyuti mentioned his unique qualities in his work, Al Khasais al Kubra (الخصائص الكبرى) and Ibn Al-Mulaqqin’s Ghayat as-Sul fi Khasais ar-Rasoul and many others.
Let’s apply the external and the internal qualities of Rasulullah (peace be upon him) in order to follow his example and be better people inshallah.
We ask Allah to be pleased with us. Ameen
Delivered by Shaykh Haytham Tamim on 23rd October 2022
*Firm my proof means to make the evidence clear when you are arguing with disbelievers.
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