The Value of Love
Lo! my Lord is Merciful, Loving (HUD: 90)
On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love. (MARYAM: 96)
Soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him. (AL-MA’IDA: 54)
hose who entered the city and the faith before them love those who flee unto them for refuge, and find in their breasts no need for that which hath been given them, but prefer (the fugitives) above themselves though poverty become their lot. And whoso is saved from his own avarice - such are they who are successful. (AL-HASHR: 9)
Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (AL ‘IMRAN: 31)
We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. (AL-HADEED: 27)
Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. (AL-BAQARA: 165)
Encouragement to Love and Make Others Feel Loved:
The reward of those who love is that they get to be with those whom they love in this world and the hereafter. By way of Anis, may God be pleased with him: “A man asked the Prophet about the hour, saying, ‘When is the hour (of judgment)?’ He replied, ‘And what have you prepared for it?’ He said, ‘Nothing, except that I love God and his Messenger s.’ He replied, ‘You will be with those whom you loved.’” Anis said, “We celebrated nothing as we did the Prophet ’swords, ‘You will be with those whom you loved.’” Anis said, “Because I love the Prophet s, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar I hope to be with them due to my love for them, even if the deeds I perform are not comparable to their deeds.”
Here the Prophet uses the question as an instructional aid of a different stripe. The companion asked a question regarding the resurrection, a matter which God has left undisclosed and kept the knowledge of to Himself, and the Prophet redirected his inquiry to a separate issue, knowledge regarding which would be beneficial to him. He asked him how he had prepared himself for the thing about which he was inquiring and what was he expecting to find when it came. The companion responded, “nothing, other than that I love God and His Messenger,” and the Prophet gave him the good news that that love of his was enough to put him with his beloved in the hereafter. Every love requires of he who loves that he should obey the wishes of his beloved and take on his character traits, morals, and manners insofar as possible.
Whoever has a true and sincere love will be blessed -by virtue of that love- to be sheltered by God on the Day of Resurrection. By way of Abu Huraira, from the Prophet s, who said, “Seven will be sheltered beneath the shade provided by God on the Day when no shelter other than His will be found: the just leader, the youth who grows up devoted to God, the man whose heart is tied up with and invested in the mosque, a pair of men who love God and meet with as well as depart from one another due to their love of God, the man who refuses to yield to seduction by a beautiful and high status woman, telling her that his fear of God prevents him from having a relationship with her, the man who is so genuinely anonymous and under the radar about the wealth he expends upon charitable causes that his left hand has no idea what his right hand is doing, and the man who, in solitude, thinks about and ponders upon God such that tears flow from his eyes.”
Love, in Islam, is reserved for God. By “love” we mean the pure form thereof which is for the sake of moral values, not that which is subservient to changing aspirations or worldly goals. If it is rooted strictly in the love of God it will produce the best and most fitting benefits for both humanity and the world in general. In the context of our religion, love must be built upon an exacting intellectual and spiritual foundation in the presence of which it flourishes and in the absence of which it withers. This foundation offers protection from the emotional chaos which prevails when people arbitrarily alternate between love and hate, neither emotion having come about for any particular reason.
A person experiencing sincere and pure love is blessed to feel the sweetness of faith in his heart. By way of Anis Ibn Malik, may God be pleased with him, who said, “The Prophet said, ‘No-one has discovered the sweetness of faith until he loves an individual exclusively for God's sake, and until his faith is so intense that he would prefer to be thrown into a fire rather than to go back to a state of disbelief, after having been rescued from it by God, and until God and His Messenger are more beloved by him than anything else.’”
This amounts to an encouragement towards and endorsement of the value of love, for the Prophet established a causal connection between a believer experiencing the sweetness of faith in his heart and the experience of loving others purely for God's sake, hating injustice and wrongdoing as intensely as one would hate being thrown back into a fire he had been rescued from.
Whoever’s love is sincere and pure has perfected his faith. By way of Mu’ath Ibn Anis Al-Juhani, “The Messenger of God said, ‘The person who gives for God's sake, with-holds for God's sake, loves for God's sake, hates for God's sake, and marries for God's sake, he has achieved perfect faith.”
The love of God is due to those who love His creation and interact with those whom He created, visiting with and having empathy for them out of their love for God, sincerely for His sake. Abu Idrees Al-Khawlaani said, “I went into the mosque at Damascus and caught sight of a young man in the bloom of his youth whose countenance exuded light. I saw that, when differences arose among the people who were with him, they consulted with him followed his instructions, so, I asked about him and was told, ‘That is Mu’ath Ibn Jabal.” On the following day I departed and found that he had left before me. I caught up to him as he was praying and waited until he was done praying, then approached him face to face and bid him a greeting of peace, telling him, ‘By God, I certainly do love you for the sake of God. ’He said, ‘For the sake of God ?’ and I said, ‘For the sake of God. ’He repeated, ‘For the sake of God ?’ and I said, ‘For the sake of God. ’He said once more, ‘For the sake of God ?’ and I said, ‘For the sake of God. ’ Then, he grabbed hold of the edges of my mantle and pulled me towards him, saying, ‘Then, be happy, for I without a doubt heard the Messenger of God say, “Allah, Blessed and Exalted may He be, says, ‘My love is obligatory towards those who love one another for My sake; those who sit with one another and exchange visits with each other, each one striving to exert himself for My sake.”’”
Regarding this issue, Abu ‘Abasa said, “I heard the Messenger of God remark, ‘Truly, God, the Almighty and Exalted, says, “My love is the right of those who love one another for My sake; My love is the right of those who purify themselves for My sake; My love is the right of those who mutually strive for My sake; those who exchange visits with one another for My sake; My love is the right of those who mutually strive and expend effort for My sake; My love is the right of those who come to the aid of one another for My sake.’”
By way of Anis Ibn Malik, “A man was with the Prophet and a man passed him by, so he said, ‘You know, that one, I really love him.’ The Prophet said, ‘Tell him.’ He caught up to him and said, ‘I really love you for the sake of God. ’ He replied, ‘I, too, love you as you love me, for His sake.’”
This shows that we ought to give expression to our love, not hide it, for it is by letting others know how we feel that love is spread through society.
The Love of God, Almighty and Exalted be He:
By way of Abu Huraira, who reported that the Messenger of God, said, “God, Almighty and Exalted be He, says, ‘I am as my servant suspects me to be, and I am with him whenever and however he remembers me. I swear by God, God is more overjoyed by the repentance of his servant than any of you would be if he were lost in a barren wilderness, having been separated from the beast of burden carrying all of the supplies upon which he depended for survival itself, and suddenly found it. Whoever approaches me a hand’s-span, I approach him an arm’s-length, and whoever approaches me an arm’s-length, I approach him a league, and if he comes towards me walking, I walk towards him at a quickened pace.”
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Truly, God says, “Whoever makes an enemy of one who depends upon me for protection, I declare war upon him. My servant can come near me by nothing that is more precious to me than that which I have prescribed upon him as mandatory. My servant ceases not to grow closer and closer to me by means of supererogatory acts of worship until I love him, and, when I love him, I become the hearing by which he hears, the sight by which he sees, the hand by which he strikes out, and the feet by which he walks. If he asks me for something I grant it to him and if he seeks my protection from anything I protect him. I experience no ambivalence regarding any of My actions comparable to the ambivalence I experience when taking the soul of the believer who does not want to die, for I hate to do anything which he dislikes.”’”
By way of Aisha, may God be pleased with her, who said, “One night, the Prophet said, ‘Aisha, Allow me to spend this night worshipping my lord.’ I said, ‘By God, I do love to have you close by, as do I love whatever gives you pleasure.’ She said, ‘He got up to purify himself, then, he got up to pray, and he did not stop crying until his lap was wet.’ She said, ‘Then, he cried and did not stop crying until his beard was wet.’ She said, ‘Then, he cried and did not stop crying until the ground was wet. Then, Bilal came to announce to him that prayer time had come, and, when he saw him crying, he said, “Oh Messenger of God, why do you cry when God had forgiven you what sins you have already committed as well as those you have yet to commit?” He said, “Shall I not be a grateful servant and worshipper?
Indeed, a verse has been revealed to me this night, woe be unto he who does not ponder it ” Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.”
The Prophet s, despite his love for Lady Aisha and how dear she was to him, responded to his yearning for his Beloved Creator by asking her permission to leave off spending time with her in order to engage in prayer and worship. Then, when Bilal asked him why he was crying in the presence of God and was so demanding with himself as regards worship, remaining in prayer until his feet were swollen, seeing as God had forgiven him his past as well as his future sins, he clarified that whoever seeks love must exert himself so as, by his great efforts, to demonstrate his love. He must work harder even than those who seek forgiveness, for forgiveness requires one to be grateful, not to exert effort. The thanks due to God is tremendous, for it can never be sufficient to the blessings already bestowed by the Creator, nor can it ever be deserving of increased benevolence on His part.
This also demonstrates for us the love of Lady Aisha for the Prophet and her comprehension of his relationship with God and his accompanying responsibility towards God to convey the trust which was upon him. She described the intensity of her desire to be close to him with delicacy and tenderness, making it clear to him that that, even so, her wish to see him have what he desired and loved was even greater.
We see here, also, the respect shown by the Prophet towards his wife. He asked her permission to allow him to leave off visiting with her on that particular night. Never did the mothers-of-the-believers receive any treatment at the hand of the Prophet other than kindness, love, and respect.
Love for Parents:
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “A man came to the Messenger of God and said, ‘Who, among mankind, is most entitled to my good companionship?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He said, ‘Then who?’ He replied, ‘Then, your mother.’ He continued, ‘Then who?’ and he repeated, ‘Then, your mother.’ He asked once again, ‘Then who?’ to which he replied, ‘Then, your father.’”
The Prophet commanded his companions to honor their parents and maintain good relationships with them by fulfilling God's requirements as stated in the”Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."”
By way of Ibn ‘Umar, “A man came to the Messenger of God saying, ‘I have committed a grave sin. Is there any penance for me?’ He said, ‘Do you have a mother?’ He replied, ‘I do not.’ He asked, ‘Do you have a maternal aunt?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He instructed him, ‘Then, treat her well and take care of her.’”
In Islam, the category “mother” is understood to encompass the mother, maternal aunt, paternal aunt, grandmother, and the wife of one’s father. The Muslim is required to treat well and be generous and kind towards all of them. God Almighty made taking care of and being good to a mother or a maternal aunt among the expiations for sins and blots upon the character.
By way of Abu Al-Tufayl, who said, “I saw the Prophet s, at Al-Ji’arana, apportioning meat. ، In those days I was but a lad, carrying a camel’s bone. Suddenly, a woman approached who kept coming closer until, when she was quite near the Messenger of God, he spread out his mantle for her and she sat upon it. I said, ‘Who is she?’ and they told me, ‘That is his mother, the wet nurse who fed him.’”
The circle of persons encompassed by the command to love, honor, and treat with sincerity and kindness as well as love extends to relatives through breast-feeding, and one of the distinctions of Islam’s Shari'ah is that it declares breast feeding to be a means of creating legitimate familial relationships which demand love and affection.
By way of Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, “A Bedouin man caught up with him in the streets of Mecca, and Abdullah greeted him with peace and seated him upon a donkey which he had been riding. He took the turban off of his head and gave it to him, and Ibn Dinar remarked, ‘We said to him, “May God correct and fix you, those people are nothing but Bedouins and they are pleased and satisfied with simple things.” Abdullah replied, “I tell you, his father was a dear friend of ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab’s, and I heard the Prophet declare, ‘Indeed, the most comprehensive of the ways in which a person can express his fealty is for the son to maintain good relationships with the persons who were most dear to and beloved of his father.’”’”
This points out a practice specific to Islam as regards fealty to parents, that being the act of remaining true and good to them after their deaths by means of showing affection to, endearing oneself to, and giving to such persons as had relationships with them during their life-time’s, like their friends, neighbors, and blood relatives.
Acts Springing out of Love and their Appearance:
By way of Anis Ibn Malik, may God be pleased with him, who said, “A woman came to Aisha, may God be pleased with her, begging. She had with her two young boys, and Aisha gave her three dates. The woman gave each of the boys one date, holding on to the third date for herself. Each boy ate his date, then, she reconsidered the remaining date and broke it into two halves, giving each of her young sons one of them. Later, the Prophet came and she told him what had transpired, and he said, ‘Why does her action surprise you? Indeed, it was by the mercy of God upon her which enabled her to be merciful towards her sons.’”
This shows the Prophet taking advantage of a learning opportunity in order to reveal the value of love and mercy on that occasion. Any trainer must make use of such issues as come up when he is with his trainee in order to forge links between real life experience and moral values.
By means of Abu Tharr, who said, “The Prophet said to me, ‘I emphatically order you to dismiss as useless nothing whatsoever of good behavior, even if it be no more than meeting your brother with an open and happy face, or no more than that you fill the vessel of your brother from your bucket.’”
By way of Jabir Ibn Abdullah, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Every good and kind deed is charity, and among the habitual good deeds are meeting your brother with a pleasant expression on your face and filling his vessel from the bucket you use to retrieve water.’”
By way of Anis, may God be pleased with him, “The Prophet said, ‘None of you has faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.’”
By way of Anis Ibn Malik, “The Messenger of God said, ‘No two persons love each other for the sake of God except that the better of the two is he whose love for his companion is more intense.’”
By way of Abu Al-Dardaa’, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘No Muslim worshipper supplicates on behalf of his brother, secretly, except that an angel says, “And for you something similar.”’”
Uthman Ibn Talha said, “I heard the Messenger of God say, ‘Three things guarantee your brother’s affectionate care for you; greeting him with peace when you meet him, making room for him at gatherings, and calling him by the name which is most beloved to him.’”
By way of Hanthala Ibn Jidhyim, who said, “The Messenger of God liked to call men by the names which they loved the most, whether using a proper name or a descriptive nick-name.’”
By way of ‘Ata Ibn Abu Muslim Al-Khurasaani, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Shake hands and rancor will depart from you; exchange gifts and love one another and hatred will disappear.’”
Therefore love, even though it is an action of the heart, nonetheless can be strengthened by and shown to be present by means of manners and moral behavior. Hand-shaking and gift-giving are two means of expressing love for others and purifying the heart such that aversions disappear, as, indeed, the two actions strengthen social ties.
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Truly, the most beloved among you, to me, is the most beautiful among you as regards morals and manners; the easy-going, who reach out and are reached out to. Also, the most reprehensible of you to me are those who run around taking tales from here to there, who cause divisiveness among persons beloved of one another, who seek to weight the righteous down with difficulties and corruption.’”
By way of Abu Tharr, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘The smile which you engage in while your brother is looking at your face is considered a charity on your part. The command to engage in what is right and good as well as the forbidding of engaging in that which is wrong and bad, both are acts of charity. The guidance which you offer to a man when he has lost his way in a strange land is charity. The sight which you employ on behalf of a man whose vision is poor is charity. Your removal of a stone, a thistle or thorn, or a bone from the way is charity. The pouring you undertake from your bucket into your brother’s pail is a charity you have undertaken.’”
Love and Affection towards Orphans:
By way of Abu Huraira, may God be pleased with him, who said, “A man complained to the Prophet regarding the hardness of his heart, and he said, ‘If you desire your heart to become tender, feed the poor and comfort the orphans.’”
By way of Sahl Ibn Sa’d, who said, “The Prophet said, ‘I and the orphan’s guardian are like this in Paradise.’ And he put his middle and index fingers together.”
This is an example of the Prophet using perceptible signals as educational aids to clarification. He used his fingers to demonstrate the negligible distance separating the Prophet from the orphan’s guardian in Paradise, it being naught but the distance between two fingers held up beside one another.
Altruism and Monetary as well as Abstract Contributions are the Most Observable Manifestations of Love:
By way of Anis, may God be pleased with him, who said, “When the Prophet arrived at Medina the emigrants approached him, saying, ‘Oh Messenger of God, never have we come across a people who so earnestly seek to give what they have much of, nor who stretch out what is dear and rare to them, sharing it, than the people who have received us here, as their own. They have undoubtedly relieved us of our privations and made us partners in their blessings. Indeed, we fear that they will take all of the rewards.’ He said, ‘No; not so long as you are petitioning God on their behalves, singing their praises.’”
This spirit of altruism and love which the Prophet gave currency to among the Meccan emigrants and the natives of Medina is what shaped the character of the culture they belonged to, which was able, in a very short span of time, to build up the glory and power of Islam and its adherents.
By way of Anis, may God be pleased with him, who said “When Abdullah Ibn ‘Awf arrived the Prophet established brotherhood between him and S’ad Ibn Al-Rabi’i. Being a very wealthy man, S’ad said to him, ‘The Ansar know that I am among the wealthiest indigenous residents of Medina. I shall split my possessions and money with you, each of us getting half.
I have two wives. See which one pleases you the most and I will divorce her so that, when she is eligible for re-marriage, you may marry her.’ Abdulrahman said, ‘May God bless you in your family.’ He did not depart on that day until he had been given something of the finest milk and yoghurt/ghee and cheese, nor had very much time elapsed before the Prophet came to him and found him adorned with the yellowish tinge of the bride-groom’s perfume, whereupon the Messenger of God inquired of him, ‘How are you, and, what is going on?’ He said, “I married an Ansari woman today,’ to which Heresponded, ‘What did you give her as a dowry?’ and he replied, ‘The worth of a piece of gold,’ or, ‘A chunk of gold.’ He then said, ‘Throw a wedding feast, even if it be with but a single ewe.’”
By way of Abdulrahman Ibn Abu Bakr, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Is there any among you who has fed a poor person today?’ Abu Bakr said, “I was at the mosque today when suddenly a begger was before me, beseeching. I saw that Abdulrahman had a crust of bread in his hand, so I took it and gave it to him.’”
‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab remarked, “The Prophet ordered us to give charity and I was in a position to give money, so I said, ‘Today I will out-strip Abu Bakr.’ Then I went, half of my wealth with me, to the Messenger of God, who asked me, ‘What have you retained for your family?’ I responded, ‘As much as I have brought.’ Then, Abu Bakr arrived with everything that he owned and Heasked, ‘Oh Abu Bakr, what have you retained for your family?’ to which he responded, ‘I have retained for them God and His Messenger s.’ I then said, ‘Good Lord! I will never be able to do more than he does, no matter what.’”
Their moral consciences were highly evolved, such that they felt they were responsible and answerable for their actions in front of God, His Messenger s, and the believers. God said, ”And say: "Work (righteousness): Soon will Allah observe your work, and His Messenger, and the Believers: Soon will ye be brought back to the knower of what is hidden and what is open: then will He show you the truth of all that ye did."”
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Truly, God does not take notice of your appearances and possessions; rather, He looks into your hearts and deeds.’”
Love of the Prophet and his Companions:
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘My relationship to you is just as the relationship between a father and his children.’”
By way of Hudhayfa Ibn Al-Yaman said ، regarding the Battle of Ahzab, “After I got to him and had delivered the news about the people I felt the frigidness, so he covered me with the excess material of a cloak he was wearing that he offered prayers in. I slept soundly until morning, and, when I awakened, he said, ‘Wake up, Sleepy Head.’”
We see here that Hudhaifa did not notice the cold, despite its sharpness, until he had already executed the command of the Prophet and informed him regarding what the people were up to. Then, the Prophet placed his cloak upon him, and he slept, unaware of the cold, peacefully. The Prophet allowed him to sleep, returning to make sure he was okay the following morning when he did not awaken, playfully addressing him as ‘Sleepy-Head.’ Hislove of his companions was marvelous, and he treated them with kindness, concern, and gentleness.
Jurair Ibn Abdullah, may God be pleased with him, said, “The Prophet since the day I became a Muslim, never turned away from me, nor did he ever see me except that he smiled.”
It would appear, from this tradition, that the Prophet was in the habit of interacting with all of his companions, being friendly towards and attempting to draw them close to him, in such a manner that each of them felt he had been singled out for special attention and was delighted by the status he enjoyed with the Messenger of God s. Friendliness and accessibility are among the most efficacious methods which may be utilized in imparting character discipline. They ease comprehension and contribute to the development of an internal locus of control and the motivation to act in accordance with the teachings, all out of a desire for the approval of the one who issues the commands.
In His description of the Prophet God says, ”Now hath come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.”
By means of Sahl, may God be pleased with him, we hear a story about a woman coming to the Prophet with an as-yet untailored woven garment. “He asked those around him, ‘Do you know what a mantle is?’ They said, ‘It is a covering.” He said, “Yes.” …..She said, ‘I wove it with my own two hands and have come to fit you with it. The Prophet s, having need of it, accepted it and went out among us clothed therein. A particular person remarked that it was beautiful, saying, ‘Drape me in it; it is beautiful.’ The people said, ‘You have not behaved well; the Prophet wore it because he is in need of it, then, you requested it, knowing that he will not refuse.’ He went on, ‘By God, I did not ask for it intending to use it as clothing but because I would like to be buried in it.’ Sahl said, ‘And, indeed, it became his burial shroud.’”
By way of Abdullah Ibn Masood, “The Prophet taught me the testimony of faith with my palms encompassed within his, the same posture he adopted when teaching me surahs from the Qur’an.”
The Love of the Prophet towards his Family Members:
By way of Ibn Abbas from the Prophet s, who said, “The best among you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best among you to my family.”
By way of Aisha, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘Truly, among the believers whose faith is most refined are those whose manners and morals are most finely developed and who treat their families with the greatest kindness.”
By way of Aisha, who said, “I used to drink, during my period, then pass the cup to the Messenger of God and he would place his mouth at the location my mouth had occupied and drink. I used to gnaw the meat off of bones when I was on my period, and the Prophet would place his mouth upon the portion my mouth had departed.”
By way of Um Salama, the wife of the Prophet s, who related that, when she arrived at Medina, she told them that she was the daughter of Abu Umaya Ibn Al-Mughira, and they disbelieved her, saying, “This is a specious lie.” This continued until some of them set out to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and said to her, “What will you write to your family?” So, she sent a letter with them and they returned to Medina saying she had spoken truthfully. Thereafter she was held in higher regard among them. She said, “After I gave birth to Zaynab, the Messenger of God approached me, asking my hand in marriage. I replied, ‘Such as myself are not taken in marriage. I have no sons within me, I am jealous by nature, and I have dependents.” He said, “I am older than you. As far as jealousy goes, God will remove it from you. As far as dependents go, God and His Messenger will suffice them.’ Then, he married her. He took to coming to visit her, asking, “Where is little Zaynab?” Until, one day, as she was nursing her, ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir came and took her away in order that she be weaned, saying, ‘This hinders the Messenger of God s. Then, the Messenger of God came and asked, ‘Where is little Zaynab?’ and I answered, ‘She is in the village of the daughter of Abu Umayya.’ He said, ‘I shall come to you tonight.’ She then said, ‘So, I got up and took out some grains of barley I had in a container and prepared a meal by mixing them with some fat. The Messenger of God spent the night with me then, upon arising in the morning, said, to me, ‘You have a special place in your family right now and, if you so wish, I will stay with you for seven days. If I stay with you for seven days, I will stay for seven days with each of my other wives.’”
By way of Aisha, who said, “I was never jealous of any of the Messenger of God's wives with the jealousy I felt for Khadija, and I never even met her. It was due to the constant remembrance of Khadija by the Messenger of God. He would go so far as to sacrifice a goat and then seek out Khadija’s friends, in order that he might make a gift of the meat to them.”
Aisha was asked regarding the Messenger of God's behavior in his own household, and she said, “He was ever at the service of his household and, when the time for prayer came, he would go out and say his prayers.”
By way of Aisha, who said, “The Messenger of God told me, ‘You know, I can tell when you are pleased with me and when you are angry with me.’ I asked him, ‘How can you tell?’ and he said, ‘When you are pleased with me, you say, “No! By the God of Mohammed!” and, when you are angry with me, you say, “No! By the God of Abraham!’ I said, ‘Right! By God, it is naught but your name which I boycott.’”
By way of Abu Huraira, who said, “The Messenger of God was sitting with Al-Aqra’ Ibn Habis Al-Tameemi when Hekissed Ali Ibn Abu Talib. Al-Aqra’ said, ‘I have ten children and never have I kissed a one of them.’ The Prophet gazed at Al-Aqra’ and said, ‘Whoever shows no mercy will be shown no mercy.’”
Educators are virtually in consensus that love, affection, and gentleness are among the most important underpinnings of moral discipline. Love of children is expressed by dealing gently with them, kissing and hugging them. A young child may be limited in what he can comprehend, but he does understand a kind smile just as he understands an angry scowl. It is impossible for a child to learn how to express mercy and be gentle if his father shows him no mercy and deals harshly with him.
By way of Aisha, who said, “A Bedouin came to the Prophet and said, ‘You kiss children?’ Then he said, ‘By God, we do not kiss them.’ The Messenger of God replied, ‘It is not in my hands if God Almighty has stripped you of mercy.’”
By way of Aisha, the Mother of the Believers, we hear, “I never saw anyone who resembled the Messenger of God in temperament and mannerisms as much as did his daughter, Fatima. She stood like him and sat like him. When she would come to the Prophet he would arise, kiss her, and then have her sit with him. When he went to her, she would arise, kiss him, and then have him sit with her. When he became ill, Fatima came and gave him her undivided attention, bending over him and kissing him. Then, she raised her head and cried. Then, once again she drew near to and focused exclusively on him, and raised her head, laughing. I remarked, ‘I had thought her to be one of the wisest of our women-folk but, alas, she is an ordinary woman.’ When the Prophet had passed away I inquired of her, ‘Remember when you bent down next to the Prophet and cried, then, bent down again and laughed? Why did you do that?’ She said, ‘Had I discussed it with you at that time I would have been betraying a secret. He told me that he would die of the pains he was in, and I cried. Then, he told me that I would be the first among his family to meet up with him, and I laughed.’”
The Prophet s, by the strongest oath I can muster, was full of tenderness and affection, even during his last moments upon this earth. His tenderness towards his daughter and the way he treated her were both the way and means of gentility. In his final moments he was not strong enough to welcome her as he usually did nor to show her affection in the manner to which he was accustomed, so, he spoke gently to her and made her cry. He only told her about his impending death in order to prepare her for the coming calamity. Then, he caused her to laugh such that Lady Aisha thought she was simple-minded, for it was a situation not befitting of laughter. Nonetheless, he joked in order to give her comfort and because he loved her.
Love of Nature:
Jabir Ibn Abdullah said, “The Messenger of God used to stand upon the roots of a tree. Later, he got a podium, and the tree trunk complained until the people in the mosque heard it, until the Messenger of God went to it and rubbed it, which caused it to settle down. Some people said, ‘Had he had not gone to it, it would have continued to weep until the Day of Resurrection.’”
By way of Jabir, we hear, : ا “The mosque’s ceiling was lain over the trunks of palm trees, and the Prophet s, when he gave a sermon, would stand upon one of them. When a podium was constructed for him, and he stood upon it, we heard a sound emanating from the trunk which sounded like the moans of a she-camel as she prepares to give birth, until the Prophet laid his hand upon it, and it calmed down.”
Here we see an inanimate object longing for the Messenger of God s. The tree trunk ached for the Messenger of God as a reaction to the mercy, love, and tremendous stature of the Messenger of God s. It hungered as a starving man does at the mere turning away of the Messenger of God from it in order to ascend atop a podium.
The Messenger of God then came down from the podium and went to the tree trunk and stroked it. This act on his part is a training for his companions in how to respect nature and interact with it, which gives even further emphasis to the importance of loving human beings and respecting their feelings.
By way of Anas Ibn Malik, who said, “The Messenger of God said, ‘If the Resurrection should break upon any of you and he is in the middle of sowing a seed, let him plant it.”
Love of Leaders and Trailblazers:
By means of Auf Ibn Malik, from the Messenger of God, who said, “The best of your leaders are those whom you love and who love you; who pray for you and for whom you pray. The worst of your leaders are those whom you hate and who hate you; whom you curse and who curse you.” It was said, “Oh Messenger of God s,ought not we to overthrow them with the sword?” He replied, “No, not as long as they establish the canonical prayer among you. Should you see something you dislike in someone who has been put in authority over you, dislike the action, but do not disengage yourselves from obeying him.”
Islam teaches the art of exercising manners and morals in leadership positions. It strongly encourages the leader to be just and warns him of the dangers of oppression and injustice, thus fighting against the powers of corruption and over-reaching authority.
By way of Abu Said Al-Khudary, who said, “The Messenger of God said, “Truly, the most beloved among mankind to God and His Messenger on the Day of Resurrection, and those whose stations will be closest to him, is the just ruler, and the most hated of mankind as well as among those farthest flung from Him will be the unjust ruler.”
The Distinction between Love, which is enjoined upon us, and Nepotism, which is Prohibited:
By means of Wa’ila Bin Al-Asqa’, who said, “I questioned the Prophet s, saying, ‘Oh Messenger of God, is it nepotism that a man should love his people?’ He responded, ‘No, but it is nepotism if a man unjustly appoints to a position one of his people.’”
This can be seen as a clarification on the Prophet ’spart of the effects of nepotism in inciting conflicts among nations and individuals, for nepotism pushes people into battles and fights in order to try to help their relatives come out on top, with little regard for the merits of their cause or whether or not they are deserving of assistance.