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The signs of love of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) By Qadi Iyad

Ash-Shifa of Qadi 'Iyad: Muhammad Messanger of Allah Translated By Aisha Bewley

Section 4: The signs of love of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

Know that someone who loves a person prefers them and prefers what they like. Otherwise, he is a pretender, insincere in his love.

Someone who has true love of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, will manifest the following signs.

1) The first sign is that he will emulate him, apply his Sunna, follow his words and deeds, obey his commands and avoid his prohibitions and take on his adab in ease and hardship, joy and despair. Allah testifies to that, 'Say: if you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you.' (3:31)

2) He will prefer what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has laid down as law and encouraged, over his own passions and appetites. Allah said, 'Those who were already settled in the abode, and in belief, before they came, love those who have emigrated to them and do not find in their breasts any need for what they have been given and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are in want.' (59:9)

3) His anger against people will only be for the sake of the pleasure of Allah. Anas ibn Malik said, 'The Messenger of Allah said to me, 'My son, if you can be without any grudge in your heart against anyone in the morning and evening, be like that.' Then he added, 'My son, that is part of my Sunna. Whoever gives life to my sunna has loved me and whoever loves me is with me in the Garden.'' (at-Tirmidhi)

Anyone who possesses this particular quality has perfect love for Allah and His Messenger. Anyone slightly lacking in it is imperfect in his love, while not entirely devoid of it. The proof of this is in what the Prophet said about the man who was given the punishment for drinking. A man there cursed him and the Prophet said, 'Do not curse him. He loves Allah and His Messenger.' (al-Bayhaqi)

4) Another of the signs of love for the Prophet is to mention him often. Whoever loves something mentions it a lot.

5) Another is great yearning to meet him. Every lover yearns for their beloved.

When the Ash'arite clan came to Madina, they chanted, 'Tomorrow we will meet those we love, Muhammad and his Companions!'

6) One of its signs is that as well as mentioning him often, someone who loves him will exalt and respect him when he mentions him and display humility and abasement when he hears his name. Ishaq at-Tujibi said, 'Whenever the Companions of the Prophet heard his name after he died, they were humble, their skins trembled and they wept. It was the same with many of the Followers. Some of them act like that out of love and yearning for him, others out of respect and esteem.'

7) Another sign is love for those who love the Prophet and the people of his house and his Companions, both of the Muhajirun and Ansar, for his sake. Such a person will also be hostile to those who hate them and curse them. Whoever loves anyone, loves those he loves.

The Prophet said about al-Hasan and al-Husayn, 'O Allah, I love them, so love them.' In al-Hasan's variant, 'O Allah, I love him, so love the one who loves him.' He also said, 'Whoever loves them loves me. Whoever loves me loves Allah. Whoever hates them hates me. Whoever hates me hates Allah.' (al-Bukhari)

He said, 'Allah! Allah! My Companions! Do not make them targets after me! Whoever loves them loves them by loving me. Whoever hates them hates them by hating me. Whoever does something hurtful to them does something hurtful to me. Whoever does something hurtful to me does something hurtful to Allah. Whoever does something hurtful to Allah is about to be seized.' (at-Tirmidhi)

He said about Fatima, 'She is a part of me. Whoever hates her hates me.' (al-Bukhari)

He said to 'A'isha about Usama ibn Zayd, 'Love him for I love him.' (at-Tirmidhi)

He said, 'The sign of true faith is love for the Ansar and the sign of hypocrisy is hatred for them.' (al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In a hadith related by Ibn 'Umar we find, 'Whoever loves the Arabs, loves them because he loves me. Whoever hates them hates them because he hates me.' In reality, whoever loves someone loves everything he loves. This was certainly the case with the Salaf, even regarding permitted things and the appetites of the self.

Anas once saw the Prophet reaching for the pumpkin in the plate. He said, 'I have loved pumpkin from that day.'

Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas and Ibn Ja'far came to Salma [a servant of the Prophet] and asked her to prepare some food for them which the Messenger of Allah liked. Ibn 'Umar began to wear tanned sandals dyed yellow when he saw the Prophet wearing ones like that.

8) Another sign is hatred for anyone who hates Allah and His Messenger, having enmity towards all who have enmity towards him, avoidance of all those who oppose his Sunna and introduce innovations into his Deen, and finding every matter contrary to his Shari'a burdensome. Allah says, 'You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day who having love for anyone who opposes Allah and His Messenger.' (58:22)

His Companions killed their loved ones and fought their fathers and sons to gain the pleasure of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy said to him, 'If you had wanted, I would have brought you his head (his father's).'

9) Another sign of it is love for the Qur'an which the Prophet brought, by which he guided and was guided, and whose character he took on so that 'A'isha said, 'His character was the Qur'an.' Part of love for the Qur'an is its recitation and acting by it and understanding it, and loving his sunna and keeping within its limits.

Sahl ibn 'Abdullah said, 'The sign of the love of Allah is love of the Qur'an. The sign of love of the Qur'an is love of the Prophet. The sign of love of the Prophet is love of the Sunna. The sign of love of the Sunna is love of the Next World. The sign of love of the Next World is hatred for this world. The sign of hatred for this world is that you do not store up any of it except for provision and what you need to arrive safely in the Next World.'

Ibn Mas'ud said, 'No one needs to ask himself about anything except the Qur'an. If he loves the Qur'an, he loves Allah and His Messenger.'

10) One of the signs of love for the Prophet is having compassion for his community, giving them good counsel, striving for their best interests and removing what is harmful from them just as the Prophet was 'compassionate, merciful to the believers.' (9:128)

11) One of the signs of perfect love is that the one who aspires to it does without in this world and prefers poverty.

The Prophet said to Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, 'Poverty for those among you who love me comes quicker than a flood from the top of the mountain to the bottom.' (at-Tirmidhi)

In a hadith from 'Abdullah b. Mughaffal, a man said to the Prophet, 'O Messenger of Allah, I love you.' He said, 'Take care what you say!' He said, 'By Allah, I love you' three times. He said, 'If you love me, then prepare for poverty quickly.' There is a similar hadith from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri.

Section 5: On the meaning and reality of love for the Prophet

People disagree about what constitutes love of Allah and the Prophet. They have many things to say about it, but in reality, they are referring to different states.

Sufyan said, 'Love consists of following the Messenger of Allah.'It was as if he were thinking of the words of Allah, 'Say: if you love Allah, then follow me.' (3:31)

One of the scholars said, 'Love of the Messenger is to believe in his victory, protect his Sunna, obey it and to fear being in opposition to him.'

One of the scholars said, 'Love is constant remembrance of the beloved.'

Another said, 'It is preferring the beloved.'

Another said, 'Love is yearning for the beloved.'

One of the scholars said, 'Love is the heart following the will of its master, loving what he loves and hating what he hates.'

Another said, 'Love is the heart's inclination to be in harmony with the beloved.'

Most of these statements indicate the fruits of love rather than its reality. The reality of love is to incline to what one finds agreeable and harmonious, either:

(1) by the pleasure in its perfection – like love of beautiful forms, melodious sounds, delicious foods and drink to which one naturally inclines because they are agreeable;

(2) or by pleasure in the perfection of its noble inner qualities which is sensed by the intellect and heart–- like love for the righteous, scholars and people of correct behaviour whose marvellous lives and good actions have been related. Man's nature inclines to intense love for these sorts of things to the point of fanaticism. Such partisanship of one group against another and sectarianism within a nation can result in homelands being abandoned, inviolable things being dishonoured, and lives lost;

(3) or someone can love something because he finds it agreeable by reason of gaining benefit and blessing from it. The self is naturally disposed to love that which is good to it.

When you have understood this well, then examine these three causes of love in respect of the Prophet and you will find that all three things which inspire love apply to him.

The beauty of his form and outward appearance and the perfection of his character have already been mentioned, so there is no need to say any more about them.

As regards the benefit and blessing his community gain from him, we have already mentioned the qualities of Allah he possessed – his compassion for them, his mercy for them, his guiding them, his tenderness for them and his striving to save them from the Fire. He is, 'merciful, compassionate to the believers,' (9:128) and 'a mercy to the worlds,' (21:107) and, 'a bringer of good news, a warner and a caller to Allah by His permission.' (33:45-46) 'He recites its signs to them and purifies them and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom,' (62:2) and 'guides them to a straight path.' (5:16)

What goodness could be worthier or of greater importance than his goodness to all the believers! What favour could be more universally beneficial and of greater use than his blessing to all the Muslims since he is their means to guidance, the one who rescues them from blind error, and the one who summons them to success and honour? He is their means to their Lord and their intercessor. He speaks up on their behalf and bears witness for them and brings them to eternal life and everlasting bliss.

So it should be clear to you that love of the Prophet must be an obligation in the Shari'a because of the sound traditions we have related and the nature of his overflowing goodness and universal beauty we have just mentioned.

If a man can love someone who is generous to him just once or twice in this world, as is well known to be the case, or someone who saves him from destruction or harm even once, when that damage and harm are only of a temporary nature, then the one who gives him undying bliss and protects him from the eternal punishment of Hellfire should be loved more. A king is loved when his behaviour is good and a ruler is loved for his upright conduct. Someone who lives far away is loved for their knowledge or noble character. Whoever possesses all these qualities in total perfection is more entitled to be loved and more deserving of attachment.

Hadhrat Ali (R.A.), describing the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), said, 'Whoever saw him suddenly was in awe of him. Whoever mixed with him loved him.' We mentioned that one of the Companions could not turn his eyes away because of his love for him.

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