He came during a time of darkness and spread, by the will of Allah, light upon the land.
Now, more than 1400 years later, we hardly have any knowledge of him ﷺ. We have lost our chance to be with the Prophet ﷺ physically in this dunya, so let us not lose our chance in the hereafter.
In many ahadith, the Prophet ﷺ mentions ways that we can be near to him by doing certain deeds. How can we achieve nearness to him ﷺ?
1. Sending salawaat on him ﷺ.
Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The people who will be nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who supplicate Allah more often for me.” (Tirmidhi)
“Nearest to me’” signifies “those who are most entitled to my intercession,” according to Imam Nawawi. Thus, this hadith has also an inducement for very frequent recitation of salat on the Prophet ﷺ.
The best day to send salawat is on Friday. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Among the best of your days is Friday; so supplicate Allah more often for me in it, for your supplications will be displayed to me.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! How will our blessings be displayed to you when your decayed body will have mixed with the earth?” He ﷺ replied, “Allah has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets.” (Abu Dawood)
How do you send salawat? The Prophet ﷺ taught us this also: “Say: `Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala `ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala `ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala `ali Muhammadin, kama barakta `ala `ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majid. O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
2. Helping the orphans
Sahl bin Sa`d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I will be like this in Jannah with the person who takes care of an orphan.” Messenger of Allah ﷺ raised his forefinger and middle finger by way of illustration. (Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “He who takes care of an orphan, whether he is his relative or a stranger, will be in Jannah with me like these two.” The narrator, Malik bin Anas raised his forefinger and middle finger for illustration. (Muslim)
3. Supporting two girls until maturity
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever supports two girls till they attain maturity, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like this.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ joined his fingers illustrating this. (Muslim)
4. Increasing your prostrations
Rabi`ah bin Ka`b Al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him, a servant of the Messenger of Allah and also one of the people of As-Suffah) said: I used to spend my night in the company of Messenger of Allah ﷺ and used to put up water for his ablutions. One day he said to me, “Ask something of me.” I said: “I request for your companionship in Jannah.” He inquired, “Is there anything else?” I said, “That is all.” He said, “Then help me in your request by multiplying your prostrations.” (Muslim)
According to Imam Nawawi, this Hadith evidently shows the importance of good actions and faithful following of the Prophet’s ﷺ practices. In the absence of these two things, even those people who used to be with the Prophet ﷺ all the time will not be close to the Prophet ﷺ in Jannah. It is not difficult to visualize the fate of those who neither perform good deeds nor follow in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ.
5. Following his ﷺ sunnah
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: the Messenger of Allah ﷺ went to the cemetery and said, “May you be secured from punishment, O dwellers of abode of the believers! We, if Allah wills, will follow you. I wish we see my brothers.” The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are not we your brothers?” He ﷺ said, “You are my Companions, but my brothers are those who have not come into the world yet.” They said; “O Messenger of Allah! How will you recognize those of your Ummah who are not born yet?” He ﷺ said, “Say, if a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among horses which are pure black, will he not recognize his own horses?” They said; “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah!” He ﷺ said, “They (my followers) will come with bright faces and white limbs because of Wudu’; and I will arrive at the Haud (the Fountain of Al-Kauthar) ahead of them.” (Muslim)
6. Having good character
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Those who are most beloved to me, and the closest to me in the Hereafter, are those who have the best akhlaq (character) amongst you.” These are the people that will have the “closest seats to me.” (Hasan by Albani)
7. Loving him ﷺ
If there is one narration that gives us hope, it should be this one:
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What do you say about a man wh0 loves some people but cannot catch up with their good deeds?” Allah’s Apostle said, “Everyone will be with those whom he loves.” (Bukhari)
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) mentions in relation to this hadith: “There was nothing which made us (the Sahabah) happier in this world than to hear this (because of their love for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ).” (Muslim)
May Allah allow us to be close to His Prophet ﷺ in the hereafter and in his ﷺ company in Paradise. Ameen.