The natural result of a true love felt for the Prophet of Grace (pbuh) is an unconditional devotion to his path and a sincere compliance with and submission to him.
Such a personality the Blessed Prophet (pbuh) is that, in all aspects, he is pure mercy for mankind. Wonderfully exhibiting the profound degree of the mercy and compassion embedded in his heart, for Believers, is the following verse:
“Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate.” (at-Tawba, 128)
A hadith illustrating the immense compassion he had for his ummah runs as follows:
“Believers…! May Allah keep you safe! May He watch over you…protect you from harm and help You! May He exalt you…and guide you through! May He take you into His protection! May He keep you removed from all kinds of adversities and protect your religion for you!”
A guiding light, the Blessed Prophet (pbuh) was an epitome of mercy that through the words, behavior and a life of integrity manifesting therefrom, encompassed the entire humankind. On the way to guiding others, he was burdened under the greatest of hardships. So great was his passion and zeal for the guidance of his ummah and for ensuring they were all granted Divine amnesty, the Prophet would sometimes receive a Divine caution not to devastate himself:
“Then maybe you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this call!” (al-Kahf, 6)
“Perhaps you will kill yourself with griefbecausethey do not believe!” (as-Shuara, 3)
The verses are proof that springing from his extreme compassion, the Noble Prophet (pbuh) genuinely wished for all people on Earth to believe in the Almighty and thereby save themselves from the torment of Hell.
Now it is on us to ponder our own adequacy in responding to the immense benevolence and love nurtured by the Prophet of Mercy (pbuh) for his ummah.
Depending on how we espouse the Prophet’s (pbuh)hal (spiritual states) under the guidance of the Quran and, again, in accordance with the behavior of the Prophet (pbuh), the degree of our love for him will undeniably surface. How did the Companions, who loved him and sacrificed their all in his way, really feel the Prophet (pbuh)? How did they become one with his conduct and reflect his morals onto their lives? And where exactly do we stand in all this? Our love for the Prophet (pbuh) must stand the test of this scale, a gateway to embellish our hearts with his morals. All our sins and shortcomings, and above all our inner revolts must be rinsed in the pure stream of his morals, an ocean of meaning and wisdom, wherefrom we must seek the sprinkle of life for a spiritual revival.
The secret of wasl ila’Allah, reaching Allah, glory unto Him, lies in getting closer, with an untainted heart, to the Quran, the word of the Almighty, and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), as well as loving what is loved by Allah and His Prophet and despising what is duly despised by them.
Attuning affections towards what is loved by the Divine keeps the heart alive and spirited, steering it to goodness. Love and its opposite hate never come together in a single heart; though most certainly, as the heart cannot bare a void, the absence of one is the reason of existence for the other. The difference between the opposites is as infinite as the distance between the ala’ul-illiyyin, the highest of the high, and asfal’us-safilin, the lowest of the low.
Poet Kemâl Edib Kürkçüoğlu, evocatively instructs and at once warns Believers neglectful of the love and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh):
To be thrown distant from his attention,
In both lives suffices for the neglectful as ruin…
May our Lord render us an ummah devoted to him with love…
Whilst being savagely pelted with stones by the very people whose guidance the Prophet (pbuh) was striving towards, and still benevolently praying for their wellbeing, with the astonished Zayd ibn Harithah remarking in the background:
“You still pray for them, Messenger of Allah, while they put you through the heaviest of ordeals?”, he was still able to say:
“What else can I do…I was sent as mercy not as cruelty!” Does not that alone testify to the unreachable level of his kindness and compassion?
With the long awaited prophethood of the Noble Messenger (pbuh) humankind was united with the most perfect of its guiding lights. Therefore, those crammed in their egotistic lives in the present day, in effect stand under a greater responsibility than those who were indulging in lives of ignorance before the arrival of such an exemplary guide.
In our times, marked by an enchantment with power, by which mankind, already under the spell of the ego, is charmed, we remain in an even more desperate need to construct our characters in alignment with that of the Light of Being (pbuh). Doubtless, the greatest influence during the glory days of our history was the existence of Believers, people of virtuous deeds who were the true inheritors of that Great Prophet (pbuh), and their presenting to society, in the flesh, their exemplary characters. In contrast, we are lamentably made to witness one of the most unfortunate realities of today as being a decadence of spirituality, due to an insufficient number of such exemplary figures.
In order, to once again, get in touch with the exhilarating inner levels of the Blessed Prophet (pbuh) and those who have striven in his path, and above all, the heroes of the heart so abundant throughout our history, it is imperative we have access to monumental and exemplary figures of the kind mentioned.
For that, it is required we hear them, understand their ways and thus obtain a share of their rich inner worlds; that is to say, how they conceived this passing life and opened up the way of happiness, for both themselves and the entire humankind, by the manner in which they used their intellect, their lives and the means granted to them by Allah, glory unto Him.
. Tabaranî, Awsat, IV, 208; Abû Nuaym, Hilyatu’l-Awliyâ, Beirut 1967, IV, 168.