بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Zahra Anjum
Khubaib (ra) was deceitfully captured by the pagans, and was going to be executed in front of all the tribesmen who had come to witness the scene. Abu Sufyan asked him: “Don’t you wish Muhammad was in your place today, and you were let off to enjoy life with your family?”
Khubaib (ra) gave an unexpected reply: “I swear by God that I would rather lose my house, life, and family than hear that a thorn prick the foot of the Prophet!”
Such was the love that the companions of Prophet Muhammad (sa) harboured for him. And this is exactly the level of love that every Muslim must strive to achieve, for it is an integral part of a Muslim’s faith. Prophet Muhammad (sa) said:“None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child, and all the people.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The question remains; how can we instill such profound affection in our hearts for a man who passed away 1400 years ago? Here are some tips that can help us in our journey:
1. Get to know him: The first step in loving someone is to know them. One cannot love others without being acquainted with them, and learning about their endearing traits and character. The biographers and scholars of every era have done a remarkable job in compiling the books of Seerah. Choose the most authentic of these, and spend some time every week with the noblest man to walk the earth: Muhammad (sa).
Do not read Seerah as if it is a story from the olden times. Take yourself back in the past, and try to imagine the Prophet (sa); he was a human being just like you and me. Imagine him as he went through all the hardships, faced persecution, was disowned by his own clan, and was called a madman and a sorcerer. He sacrificed his comfortable life for the message of Islam to reach us. Every page that you turn will leave you stirred and strengthen this bond.
2. Aim to follow: The path treaded by the Prophet (sa) is that of success. Being the messenger of Allah, his example is the best example in every sphere of life. Aim to follow his Sunnah, refrain from what he has forbidden, and adopt all that he encouraged. Every month, choose one Sunnah of his, and try to implement it in your life. Soon you will feel the blessings that come therewith.
3. Send peace and blessings on the Prophet (sa): Sending peace and blessings on the Prophet (sa) is one of the most virtuous acts of worship. It is a sign of love and respect for him and a means of fulfilling his rights upon us. Allah (st) has instructed the believers in Surah Ahzab: “Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (Surah Ahzab 33:56)
Sending blessings upon the Prophet (sa) is a connection between us and him, as our duas (supplications) reach him. He once said: “Invoke blessings on me, for your blessings reach me wherever you may be.” (Abu Dawud; sound)
4. Make dua (supplication): Without doubt sincere duas, duas in the middle of the night, and duas made amidst tears and hope are the most essential and powerful weapon of a believer. Ask Allah to put the love of His most beloved in your heart; Allah certainly answers the calls of His slaves.
This is one of the duas taught to us by the Prophet (sa): “O Allah, I ask you for your love, and the love of those who love you, and for the action that will cause me to attain your love. O Allah, make your love more beloved to me than myself, my family, and cold water.” (at-Tirmidhi; reliable)
True love does not remain hidden; it inevitably shows without effort, twinkles in the eye, expresses itself on the tongue, and is manifested in actions. Let us not limit our relationship with the Prophet (sa) to plain lip-service, and instead, strive to develop a strong bond of love for him like that of his companions.
Zahra Anjum is a freelance writer, editor and translator based in Islamabad, Pakistan
© IIPH 2014