Qualities Reflected in the Prophet's Conducts
Imam Ali said in describing the Prophet: 'He was the most open handed of people, and the most lenient of them, and the most noble. Whoever met him and knew him loved him ...' 111
Imam Ali relates: 'He was the most concerned of the people for the people, and the kindest of the people to the people.' 112 He also said: 'The Apostle of God whenever he shook hands with anyone he would never withdraw his hand until the other person withdrew his hand first. Whenever he spoke with anyone about a need or a matter he would never leave until the other person left first. If anyone vied with him to speak he would always remain silent. He was never seen pointing his feet at anyone who sat with him. He would never send away someone who asked him something without giving him it or saying some kind words to him . . . when he looked at something it would be with a glance from his eye. He would never speak to someone in a way they disliked . . . he would never criticise or praise food ...' 113
The Apostle of God never criticised food. If he liked it he would eat it and if he disliked it he would leave it.' 114 Im"m Ja!far Sadiq said: 'The Apostle of God used to divide up his glances between his companions and would look towards one and then towards another equally.' 115
It is related that AbY al-Dard"' said: 'Whenever the Apostle of God spoke he would smile while speaking.' 116 Anas ibn M"lik relates: 'Whenever anyone sat with the Apostle of God and later stood up [to leave] he would also stand up [to see him off out of respect].' 117
Anas also relates: 'If the Apostle of God missed one of his [Muslim] brethrens for three days he would ask about him. If he was absent [from town] he would pray for him and if he was present he would visit him and if he was ill he would also visit him.' 118
It is also related of him that 'he did not treat anyone harshly and would accept the apology of one who offered it. He was always smiling except at the times when the Qur'an descended upon him or he was giving a sermon. He would often laugh but without guffawing . . . if ever anyone; freeman, bondsman or woman came to him he would always aid him or her in their needs. He was not uncouth or hard- hearted nor one to bellow in the marketplaces. He would never requite a bad action with a bad action but would forgive and pardon. He would offer a greeting whenever he met anyone and whoever spoke to him regarding a matter he would listen with patience until the person was satisfied and left. If he met a Muslim he would offer his hand to him ...' 119
Once, he was in debt to a Jewish man. The man came to retrieve what he was owed but the Apostle of God said to him: 'I have nothing to give you.' The man said: 'Then I will not leave your side, O Muhammad, until you fulfil the debt. He said: 'Then I will sit with you.' So he sat with him until he had prayed the noon and afternoon prayers, then the sunset and evening prayers and the dawn prayer. The companions of the Apostle of God were threatening and intimidating him and when the prophet saw this he said: 'What are you doing to him?' They said: 'O Apostle of God, do you let a Jew detain you?' He said: 'My Lord did not send me to wrong a covenanter or anyone else.' When day rose the Jewish man said: 'I testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and Apostle. Divide my wealth in the way of God. I swear that I have only done what I have done so that I may see the description of you in the Torah, for I have read it there. 'Muhammad son of Abdull"h, whose birthplace is Mecca and who will emigrate to ?ayyibah, (Medina) he is not uncouth or hard hearted nor stentorian nor does he adorn himself with indecencies or obscene language.' I testify that there is no deity but God and that you are the Apostle of God. Here is my wealth, so do with it as God orders.' This man was a very rich man too.' 120
Once, Jurayr ibn Abdull"h al-Bajal: came to the Apostle of God's gathering but the place was full and he could not find a place. 'So he sat outside the house. When the Apostle of God saw him he took his robe and folded it up and threw it to him and said: 'Sit on this.' Jurayr took it and put it to his face and kissed it.' 121
It is also related that he would accept the invitation [to food] of the freeman and the bondsman alike even if it was for trotter meals. He would always accept a gift even if it was a sip of milk. He would not stare in the face of anyone. He angered for the sake of his Lord and not for his own sake. He would attend funerals and visit the sick. He would sit with the poor people and eat with the paupers and give them food with his own hand. He would accept the apologies of anyone who apologised to him. He would not be superior to his servants in his food or clothing.' 122 It is related that Anas ibn M"lik said: 'I served the Prophet for nine years and he never said to me 'you should have done this' and he never criticised me ever.' 123
Anas relates: 'I was a companion of the Apostle of God for ten years. I have smelled all types of perfume, but nothing was finer than his perfume. If one of his companions met him he would stay with him until the other man was the one to leave. If one of his companions met him and they shook hands he would not withdraw his hand until the other person did so. He never exposed his knees in front of anyone sat with him' 124
It is related that AbY Sa!:d al-Khudar: said: 'The Apostle of God was extremely modest and if ever he was asked for a thing he would give it.' 125 AbY Sa!:d al-Khudar: also said: 'The Apostle of God was more modest than a virgin girl in her chamber. If he disliked something we could tell by his face.' 126
One of his characteristics was that he never frowned. If he heard someone saying something which he disliked, he would not confront him about it but would say, "What is the matter with some people who do or say such things?" He would thus prohibit something without mentioning the name of the perpetrator.
It is related that Im"m Sadiq said: 'The Apostle of God, may Allah bless him and his family, said: 'My Lord has ordered me to cultivate seven characteristics: to love the paupers and approach them, and to say often the words: 'there is no power or strength except through God', and to maintain the bonds of kinship even if they should cut their ties with me, and to look to those who are lower than me and not to look to those who are above me, and not to be affected in the way of God by the aspersions of the blamers, and to speak the truth however bitter it may be, and not to ask anything of anyone.' 127
In conclusion, some western scholars have noted that among the reasons that the people have gathered round the Apostle of God from the very first day until this day are three characteristics:
a. His faithfulness, for his companions at the time of his death are those who were with him from the very first day of his mission in Mecca.
b. His simple and abstinent way of life from his early days until death despite the fact that he became a great ruler with wealth coming to him in abundance.
c. His down-to-earth manners to the utmost degree. He was like any one of the people and did not consider himself superior to them.
111. bihar al-anwar; vol.16, p.190, chap.8, 9ad:th 27.
112. ibid; vol.10, chap.1, p.5, 9ad:th 1.
113. ibid; vol.16, chap.9, p.236.
114. mak"rim al-akhl"q; p.30.
115. al-k"f:; vol.2, p.671, 9ad:th 1, chap. al-naw"dir.
116. mak"rim al-akhl"q; p.21
117. ibid; p.17
118. ibid; p.19
119. man"qibu "li ab: U"lib; vol.1, p.146-147.
120. bihar al-anwar; vol.16, p.216, 9ad:th 5.
121. ibid. p.235
122. man"qibu "li ab: U"lib; vol.1, p.146.
123. mak"rim al-akhl"q; p.16
124. ibid. p 17
Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"
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