Friday, May 30, 2008

Humbleness of Prophet Muhammad

Humbleness of Prophet Muhammad

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;

All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, is His Messenger

As reported in many Hadiths that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)  was a perfect model of modesty and humbleness. Humbleness is seen in every sphere of the Prophet’s life. His way of talking, walking, sitting, eating and every aspect of his life reflected humbleness.

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) would never speak loudly or in an unseemly manner. In the market, he always passed by the people quietly with a smile. Whenever he heard anything undesirable in an assembly, he did not say anything out of respect for the people, but the facial expression showed his feelings and the Companions became cautious. ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) the Prophet’s wife, said that she had never seen Allah's Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), laughing that she could see his molar teeth, for that he always used to smile.

‘Abdullah Ibn Masalamah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as saying: "Modesty is a part of the teachings of the previous prophets and anyone who lacks it is most likely to do whatever he likes." Zaid (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), as saying: "Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty."

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), lived a simple and modest life, both in Makkah as a trader before his prophethood, and in Al-Madinah as the head of the State after being appointed by Allah Almighty as His Messenger. The change in his status from that of a trader in Makkah to the head of the State in Al-Madinah did not bring any change in his modest living. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), as saying: "Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted Jesus, son of Mary. I am just His servant, so call me Allah's Servant and Messenger."

The Prophet SAW did not behave towards others as if he was better than they were not, nor did he spurn manual work. ‘Abdullah bin Abi ‘Awfa (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) never scorned a slave or a widow to accomplish his or her tasks.

Others reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), used to tidy up his house, tie the camels, feed the animals, take food with his servants, and help them in kneading dough and bringing provisions from the market.

Anas reported that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), used to visit the sick, attend funerals, ride on a donkey and accept a slave's invitation for a meal.

Jabir (radiyallāhu’anhu) stated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), used to slow down his pace for the sake of the weak and also prayed for them.

When ‘Adiyy Ibn Hatim (radiyallāhu’anhu) came to see the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), he called him inside his house. A maidservant brought a cushion to rest on, but the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), placed it between him and ‘Adiyy and sat down on the floor. ‘Adiyy later said that he had then immediately realized that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was not a king. A similar incident was reported by ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘As (radiyallāhu’anhu) who said: “Once when the Messenger of Allah, came to my house, I gave him a cushion filled with bark, but he sat down on the floor placing the cushion between me and him.”

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was humble in all things. In a particular case, Anas r.a said that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) would accept an invitation even if he was presented barley bread and soup whose taste had changed [stale]. He also reported the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), as saying: "I am Allah's servant, I eat like a servant and sit like a servant.''

On one of his journeys, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), asked his companions to roast a goat. One said that he would slaughter the animal; another said that he would skin it, while a third said that he would cook it. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) then said that he would collect wood for fuel. Their response was: “O Messenger of Allah! We will do everything.” The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) then said: “I have no doubt that you will. But I do not like distinctions to be made, nor does Allah like any one of His servants to assert his superiority over his companions.”

His self-deprecation was such that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)  once said: “By Allah, I do not know, even although I am Allah’s messenger, what would be my fate in the next world, nor do I know what yours will be.”

Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrates that one day he was sitting with another companion of black complexion whom he addressed as: “O black man.” When the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), heard of this, he was greatly displeased and cautioned Abu Dhar never to make disrespectful remarks to anyone, whoever he might be, and to accord equal treatment to all, adding: “No white man has any superiority over a black man.”

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)  once saw a wealthy Muslim gathering up his loose garments so that a certain distance would be kept between him and a poor Muslim sitting close by. He remarked: “Do you fear that his poverty will cling to you?”

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), lived like any ordinary person, and did not assume any superior rights. He once had to borrow some money from a Jew called Zaid bin Sana’a. The Jew came to demand the immediate return of the loan a few days before the expiry of the stipulated period. Tugging at the mantle around the Prophet’s shoulders, he jibed that the progeny of ‘Abd Al-Muttalib were always defaulters.

‘Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) not being able to tolerate this misbehavior on the part of the Jew, started berating him, and was on the point of beating him when the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), said to the Jew, smiling: “There are still three days to go before the promise has to be fulfilled.” To ‘Umar he said: “We might have had better treatment from you. You could have advised me to be more careful about the return of loans and you could have advised the Jew to be more courteous in demanding repayment.” He, then requested ‘Umar to get some dates so that the loan could be repaid, and to give the Jew an extra forty kilograms for the rebuke he had been given.

Humbleness is the hallmark of every sphere of the Prophet Muhammad’s life, be it his way of talking, walking, sitting, and eating. His life was an amazing model of simplicity and humbleness.

“Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kamā sallaita ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm; Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kama bārakta ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm, fil-‘ālamīn; Innaka Hamīdun Majīd”

(O Allāh! Send Prayers upon Muhammad and the members of his household as You Sent Prayers upon the members of Ibrahim's household; And Send Blessings to Muhammad and the members of his household as You  granted Blessings upon the members of the household of Ibrahim, among all the nations’ Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory)”.[Muslim]

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

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