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Loving the Prophet

1. The reality of loving the Prophet and its true meaning:

The scholars have given different statements regarding the reality of loving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and have explained it as follows:
· Following him.
· Supporting him, protecting his Sunnah, imitating him and being fearful of contradicting his Sunnah.
· Continuously mentioning and remembering him.
· Favouring him over one's self.
· Missing him and longing to meet him.


Al-Qaadhi ‘Iyaadh, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said:
"Most of these statements refer to the fruit of loving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam but do not address its reality. The reality of loving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam lies in making all that which one loves and favours correspond to everything that he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam loved and favoured." 

These actions usually emanate from one who has intense love for his beloved, either for the joy one finds in looking at him, the spiritual satisfaction or the kindness of the beloved.

Our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam perfectly combined his beautiful appearance, perfect manners, kindness and good treatment of others. Such perfection was unprecedented and will never be equalled. This is the reason why he deserved our full and undivided love.


2. The virtues and rewards of this love:

1 - Allaah says that which translates as: 
“And whoever obeys Allaah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allaah has bestowed favour of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of the truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” (An-Nisaa’: 69)
‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, reported that:
A man came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and said:"O messenger of Allaah! You are dearer to me than my family, my children and even myself. Sometimes I am sitting in my home and I remember you, and then I am overwhelmed with the desire to come and see you. When I think about your death and mine; I realise that when you die you will at the rank of the Prophets in paradise, but I fear that if I enter paradise, I will not be able to see you." 
‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, continued: 
"The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam did not answer this man until Allaah revealed this verse (given above)." (At-Tabari and others).

2 - Anas bin Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that:
A man asked the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: "When will the (last) hour come?"  
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “What have you done to prepare for it?”  
The man replied: "Nothing, except the love I have for Allaah and His Messenger."  
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “You will be (on the Day of Judgment) with those whom you love.” 
Anas bin Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, said:  
"We (his companions) never rejoiced at anything more than his words, when he said “You will be (on the Day of Judgment) with those whom you love.”’  
Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, continued:  
"I love the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them both, and I hope to be with them (in the Hereafter) due to my love for them, even if I cannot do (the same amount of righteous deeds) as they do." (Bukhaari, Muslim and others).

In another narration the man said (in response to the Prophets question of what he had done to prepare for the last hour): "I did not prepare for it with many prayers, fasting or charity."

Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said commenting upon this Hadeeth:
"The man’s words mean that he did not perform many optional acts of worship."
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said:
"The saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “You will be with those whom you love” means 'You will be joined with them and be in their company'. If someone were to ask: 'How can they occupy different ranks yet be together?' We would answer that being in paradise fulfils the pledge that they are together, but not necessary at the same rank."
Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: 
"This Hadeeth points out the virtues of loving Allaah, His Messenger and the righteous, whether dead or alive. It clarifies that it is not a condition to perform the same acts in order to benefit from loving them. Another virtue of loving Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is that it will lead a person to adhere to their commands and refrain from what they prohibited."

3 - Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, and others narrated that a man came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and said: 
"O Messenger of Allaah! What do you say about a man who loved some people yet did not do what it takes in order for him to be with them (in the hereafter)?" 
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “One will be with whom he loves” (Bukhaari, Muslim and others).

Al-Mubaarakfoori, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said commenting on this Hadeeth: 
"This means that if he is sincere in his love for them, then he will join them (in the Hereafter) even if he did not perform the same righteous deeds as they did, due to the closeness of their hearts. Also, perhaps this love could lead to him being like them in the performance of righteous deeds".

4 - Abu Dharr, may Allaah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam:
"O Messenger of Allaah! What is the status of a man, who loves a group of people, yet cannot perform the same (righteous) actions as they do?"  
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “O Abu Dharr! You will be with those whom you love.” 
Abu Dharr added: "I love Allaah and His Messenger."  
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam he said: “You will be with those whom you love.”  
Then Abu Dharr, may Allaah be pleased with him, repeated his statement and so the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam repeated his. (Ahmad, Abu Daawood and Daarami).

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said commenting upon this Hadeeth: 
"The meaning of this Hadeeth is obvious, because it is natural for someone who loves another to be with him. The closeness to the beloved will be proportional to the intensity of love that exists. If this love is perfected then it entails that one must do all that the beloved requests and commands, provided that one is able to do so. The more one willingly differs from ones beloved, the weaker the love is that exists. Loving someone necessitates hating all that they hate all and whom they hate, provided they are aware of this hatred.  
This is why Allaah says (that which translates as): “You will not find a people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger…” (Al-Mujaadilah: 22) loving and befriending are from the deeds of the heart. Believing in Allaah necessitates loving Him and His Messenger, which is of course in stark contradiction to loving those who hate and oppose Allaah and His Messenger."

5 - Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: 
“One who attains the following three things will taste the sweetness of faith:
- To make Allaah and His Messenger more beloved to himself than anything else;
- To love a person for no other reason except for the sake of Allaah;
- And to hate to return to disbelief just as much as he would hate to be thrown into fire.”
 (Bukhaari, Muslim and others).
Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said commenting upon this Hadeeth: 
"This is a great Hadeeth and one of the tenets of Islaam. The scholars said regarding“Would taste the sweetness of faith” that it means enjoining obedience, persevering in order to please Allaah and His Messenger and favouring these over what this worldly life has to offer. The slave will achieve the love of his Lord and His Messenger when he obeys him and refrains from anything which He prohibits."

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: 
"Loving Allaah and His Messenger more than anything else is one of the tenets of Islaam, without which a slave is not considered a believer."

Al-Baydhaawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: 
"The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam stated that these three factors must exist in order for one's belief to be perfect.  
- If one were to ponder upon the fact that Allaah is the One who created the soul and bequeathed it to man, and that there is nobody or nothing else besides Him that can permit or prevent good from taking place,
- and that all others beside Him are nothing but mediators (in terms of conveying Allaah's message),
- and that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was the one who was entrusted with the task of clarifying all that Allaah requires from mankind; 
Then this would lead His slaves to direct themselves toward their Lord completely. This entails that they 
- love only that which Allaah loves,
- to love only for His sake,
- to be certain that what he has promised in terms of reward or punishment is true
- and to imagine the Last day as if it has already arrived.  
If these matters are achieved, then the slave will feel as if he is in Paradise when he sits in the gatherings of remembrance (i.e., the circles in which the names of Allaah are mentioned and praised). It is only then that the slave will feel that returning to disbelief is just as hateful to him as being thrown into fire."

 Source: "Loving the Prophet" from www.alminbar.com
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