I walked faster and faster, hundreds of women pushing me forward. Women all around me cried in love and in pain. They pushed forth with a fervor that emanated from their hearts and took hold of their bodies. I continued to move forward. My heart raced; I don’t know why. I might have been nervous. I might have been anxious. All I knew was that my heart felt as if it would beat right out of my body. My tongue fervently repeated, “Allahumma salli ‘alaa sayiddina Muhammad…” It was almost a year ago and this was my first visit: I was going to be in the presence of Muhammad ﷺ (peace and blessings be upon him).
My eyes swelled with tears and I was no longer able to hold it in. I reached my destination, only a few feet from the grave of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. My tears rushed from my eyes as if a waterfall, endlessly. My eyes, unable to see, and my body heavy with a burden I didn’t understand, stood in awe. I prayed earnestly that a future meeting with the Messenger ﷺ would have me drinking from his hands next to his fountain. I continued to send peace and blessings upon the Beloved of Allah. I thanked Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (glorified is He) for bringing me here, for allowing me, in my pathetic state, to stand before the greatest man to ever walk upon this earth.
Every story and every description of the Messenger ﷺ raced through my mind and heart. I imagined his feet, soaking with blood, as he ran from the insults jeered at him by the people of Taif. I remembered the resolve and strength of my Messenger ﷺ in those moments when he prayed to Allah (swt), “O Allah! I complain only to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and my humiliation before the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful…So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your favor is of more abundance to me…” I thought of him praying in the middle of the night whilst crying. His wife, Aisha radi Allahu anha (may Allah be pleased with her) asking him, “Why do you stay up all night and pray when all your sins have been forgiven—past and future?” His simple reply, “Should I not be a thankful servant?” I thought of the first generation and their love for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. I wondered how his heart must have felt when the companions (ra) came to him tortured day after day, after having given up everything because of the Jannah (Paradise) he promised them. And I could hear Jaabir (ra) describing my beloved Prophet ﷺ : “I once saw Rasulullah on the night of a full moon. I looked first at the full moon, and then at the face of Rasulullah. And I swear by God that he was more handsome, beautiful and more radiant than the full moon.”
Allah (swt) had allowed my undeserving being to walk upon the same roads the Prophet ﷺ had walked. Can you imagine? He had walked these streets, with rocks around his stomach, attempting to suppress the pangs of hunger. The best of creation went days and nights without food. A smile always etched upon his noble face and his tongue immersed in the remembrance of His Lord. His companions attentively gathered around him, capturing every word and action of his. This city, Madinah, reminded me of the Prophet ﷺ at every turn.
I was now so close to him inside Masjid al-Nabawi. But what if I was actually in the presence of Muhammad ﷺ? I asked myself this question as I slowly distanced myself from his grave and found a place to sit and gather myself. All I imagined was the Day of Judgment. Often when I think of Rasulallah (the Messenger of God) ﷺ, I think of the Last Day. This is because when I was younger a teacher of mine was the first to tell me that on the Day of Judgment everyone would leave me. My friends, my family, and even my parents would abandon me. I would be left before Allah (swt) with nothing, except my deeds, which would be lacking for a surety. She said that mankind would go to each prophet asking for help and each prophet would reply, “Nafsi, nafsi.” “Myself, Myself.” They too would be filled with fear on that Day. Each prophet: Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and so on will reply, “Nafsi, Nafsi.” And then she finally mentioned the Prophet ﷺ. Our Messenger, Muhammad ﷺ would reply, “Ummati, Ummati.” “My Ummah, My Ummah.” As she said this, my teacher began to cry, as did I. How could I not love someone who loved me so dearly?
Our faith is not complete until we love the Prophet ﷺ more than we love ourselves.
I shamefully admit I thought little over the depth of this statement until I visited the grave of the Prophet ﷺ. In the days that followed—in the moments of self-reflection—I found myself repeatedly asking: Do I love Muhammad ﷺ more than I love myself? And a year later, I still ask myself this question. In an attempt to ease my distress and cultivate a love for the Prophet ﷺ, I have gathered some ways to increase my love for him. I pray that one day my love and your love for him will surpass any and every worldly love we have allowed to take hold of our hearts.
- Love the Qur’an: The Prophet’s ﷺ miracle was the Qur’an. His life changed when the first word of the Qur’an was revealed. It changed his life and it should change our lives as well. He was described as a “walking Qur’an.” His character was the Qur’an. Implement this. The Qur’an is more than a book and we should treat it as such. Read it every day (seriously every day), and ask Allah (swt) daily to put a love for the Qur’an in your heart.
- Read the seerah: Get a reliable book on the life of the Prophet ﷺ and read it. If you know him, then you will love him; for you cannot love someone you do not know.
- Send salawaat upon him every day: Send your peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ every day. Do not go a day without mentioning his name or remembering him. The Prophet ﷺ has said, “Whoever supplicated Allah (swt) to exalt my mention, Allah (swt) will exalt his mention ten times and remove from him ten sins and raise him ten degrees.”
- Follow the sunnah: The way the Prophet ﷺ went about his day was inspired by Allah (swt) and is full of blessing for us. Take the time to learn what he did regularly throughout his day. Take one sunnah (tradition)—just one—and work to implement it in your daily routine. For example, if you do not sit when you eat or drink, begin to sit. If you do not pray 2 rakah sunnah (units of prayer) after Dhuhr salah (afternoon prayer), begin to do so. Begin slowly and do not overwhelm yourself. For the Prophet ﷺ has said that Allah (swt) loves consistency in deeds, not grandeur.
- Humble yourself: Always remember that Allah (swt) is Greater than you. And the Prophet ﷺ was the best of creation. You are merely a servant of God; think of yourself as such. The Prophet’s character was beautiful in that he was the most humble of the people. If we learn humility first, then the rest of the Prophet’s noble character traits will follow close behind.
May Allah (swt) make us among those who follow in the footsteps of His noble messenger and make us among those who love him more than we love all else in this world.
Does anyone have recommendations of reliable books on the prophet and history of islam? Thanks!
Muhammad: Man and Prophet by Adil Salahi
muhammad by martin lings!! superb language. try it
al-Shifa’a by Qadi Iyad, translated into English by Shaykha Aisha Bewley
The Sealed Nectar by Sh. Mubarakpuri
The Sealed Nectar is a remarkable biography of the Prophet (SAW) and is used to teach the seerah in many Islamic institutions.
Amin Allahumma Amin Ya Mujeeb…Let us attain Your Pleasure and help us maintain it! Amin.
@Saffron: the book Muhammad: Man and Prophet by Adil Salahi is really good, it’s a bit long though.
I also have a question: in the article, it’s mentioned that to increase your love for the Prophet, you should “Send salawaat upon him every day.”
So how exactly do we do this?
Please let me know, Jazakhalakhair!
We send our prayers upon the Prophet (saw) to acknowledge our love and gratitude for the mercy and blessing the Messenger is in our lives. Allah (swt) tells us to send our prayers upon him: Verily Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet (saw). O Believer! Send blessings upon him and salute him with a worthy salutation.” (al Ahzab, ayah 56).
There are numerous ways to send our peace and blessings upon the prophet (saw). These are two ahadith mentioning how:
-Abu Muḥammad Ka’b bin Ujrah (rA) reported: The Prophet (saw) came to us and we asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, we already know how to greet you (i.e., say As-salamu alaykum), but how should we supplicate for you?” He said, “Say: `Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala aali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama barakta `ala aali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid [Translation: O Allah, exalt the mention of Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad as you exalted the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious.]”’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
-Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi (rA) reported: The Companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “O Messenger of Allah! How should we supplicate for you?” He (saw) replied, “Say: `Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala azwajihi wa dhurriyyatihi, kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima; wa barik `ala Muhammadin wa `ala azwajihi wa dhurriyyatihi, kama barakta `ala Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum-Majid [Translation: O Allah, exalt the mention of Muḥammad and his wives and offspring as You exalted the mention of the family of Ibrahim, and bless Muḥammad and the wives and the offspring of Muḥammad as you blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are the Praised, the Glorious’].” [Bukhāri and Muslim]
Other ahadith to motivate us:
– Abu Hurayrah (rA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “There is not one of you who sends his greetings upon me except that Allah returns the soul to my body (in the grave) and I return his greeting.” [Abu Dawood]
AbdurRahman ibn Awf (rA) said, I came to the Prophet (saw) while he was in prostration and he elongated his prostration and then said, “Jibreel came to me and he said, ‘whoever sends blessings (ṣalah) upon you, I will send blessings on him, and whoever sends greetings (salaam) upon you, I will send greetings upon him,’ so I prostrated out of thankfulness to Allah.’” [Haakim]
-The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “The people who will be nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who supplicate Allah more often for me.” [At-Tirmidhi]
JazakAllah khair for sharing the beautiful hadeeth.
MUHAMMED -his life based on the ealiest sources by Martin Lings.
I’ve heard that even though the book by Martins Lings is overall a good book on our beloved prophet ( peace and mercy of Allah be upon him), there are some instances in which the writter has gone to unrelible sources for information.
I read an article online about a discussion between Martin Lings and Aboo Bilaal Mustafaa al-Kanadee on the subject of including info from unreliable sources in his book. And I have to say that Mr Lings repsonse was very disconcerting.
I would advice anyone reading this to have a look at the article for yourself, as i am a new muslim and am not sure of the status of these two figures in the world of islamic scholars.
While Martin Lings’s seerah is excellent, as you have said there are certain things in it some people have felt uncomfortable with. I recently found a piece by Shaykh Gibril Haddad who talks about some of the problems with the seerah in a positive type of criticism, you can find it here: http://mac.abc.se/~onesr/d/crml_e.pdf
Perhaps you are not familiar with the fact that according to Islamic scholars, accounts of the Prophetic biography are not held to as stringent a standard of authentication of sources as are the sourcess themselves(ie hadith, athar, akhbar) or as is the science of deriving Islamic jurisprudence.
If you understand this, perhaps you could judge his work in a fairer light.
MashaAllah, TabarakAllah! This is such a beautifully written reminder and it really touched me – subhanAllah!
JazakAllahu khairan Fawzia!
Jazakallah khair for sharing this beautiful experience with us!
@Someone. It’s just like dhikr. I say, “Allahuma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad” 10 times after every salaah. There are more elaborate duas too. Getting to know the hadith and sunnah really helps as we see his (saw) wisdom in our everyday lives.
@ Sam & Saffron Assalam Alaikum,
You will insha Allah find interesting Seerah on YouTube by Yassir Qadhi.With the book he recommended.Please, be careful with the books for many contains fabrications especially on the story of Zaianab R.A
May Allah guide us all to the right path in our endeavors
A good reference. Is the sealed nectar.
Masha allah great post 🙂 may allah reward you for reminding us!
We do not go to Mecca to be in the presence of the Prophet we go to Mecca to be in the presence of Allah, althought Allah is everywhere.
The Prophet is dead and the believe that we could be near to him in Mecca amounts to superstition and Mohammedanism.
I understand that born Muslims especially have been taught to love the Prophet althought the Quranic Verse quoted was revealed in the time when the Prophet was still alive.
Now the Propeht is dead and Allah is still alive and wants to have all our love and not share it with other beings like Prophets.
To encourage love for the Prophet in 2012 the way the dear Sister experieced it, is to make just another “Jesus” out of Mohammed, whilst the very Message which the Prophet Mohammed brought was against this reverance for him.
I did not give up my love for the Jesus-god just to replace it with a Mohammed-god. Reverts revert because they want to worship and revere Allah alone.
Allaah swt is NOT everywhere. He is not in the toilet, He is Not part of His creation. Allaah swt the almighty, the most merciful is Above the heavens, He is closer to us than our jugular vein with regards to His knowledge of us, but physically He is above the heavens. (HE swt is NOT part of His creation, Tawheed.)
As for your comment about Mecca, well, we go there to worship Allaah swt. The prophet Muahmmed sws is not in Mecca. He died in Madinah and is buried there. NO we do not face his grave when making dua to Allaah swt we face the qibla. Even if you go to a grave yard you face the qibla NOT the grave.
We love the prophet sws because Allaah swt told us to take what the messenger (Muhammed sws) tells you to take and stay away from what he tells us to stay away from. we do NOT worship the prophet sws, we worship Allaah swt ALONE, only Allaah swt.
We also love the prophet Muhammed sws, just like we love all of Allaah swt’s prophets, Esa, Ibraheem, Adam etc etc etc
We try to follow the sunnah because in the quran we are told to take what the messenger tells us to take an refrain from what he tells us to refrain from. so we look at the authentic ahadith for more information about how to live according to islam.
the quran and the sunnah together.
the sealed nectar also there is when the moon slit.
Ameen! wonderful article MAsha Allah! @ someone ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA ALI MUHAMMADIN KAMA SALLAITA ALA IBRAHEEMA WA ALA ALI IBRAHEEMA INNAKA HAMEEDUM MAJEED
ALLAHUMMA BARIK ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA ALI MUHAMMADIN KAMA BARAKTA ALA IBRAHEEMA WA ALA ALI IBRAHEEMA INNAKA HAMEEDUM MAJEED
Asalamualiakum beautiful Sister
Jazakullah Kair for writing this article with such sincerity mashAllah I absolutely fell in love with everything you said.
May Allah swt bless us to be in the presence of our Beloved Prophet saw in akirah. Ameen
Ma’sha’allah beautiful article and reminder. Jazak’Allahu Khairan.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection.