The etiquettes of love for the Prophet (ﷺ)
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
Say (O Prophet): “If you really love Allah, then follow me, and Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” (3:31)
That is, follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (ﷺ). Just as valuable as the step is, equally valuable is the imprint of the step, and in the whole universe, there is no footprint greater than the blessed footsteps of the Prophet (ﷺ). Therefore, Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala has instructed that if you want to love Allah, which means the one whom Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala loves, they are mentioned in the Quran, and they are told to say to their beloved, ‘Follow me,’ meaning that whatever the Prophet (ﷺ) bestows upon you, hold it dearly in your heart, and stay away from what the Prophet (ﷺ) forbids. Whoever distinguishes between the guidance of the Seal of the Prophets (ﷺ) and the guidance of Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala, has underestimated the guidance of Allah, because Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala says:
مَّآ أَفَآءَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ مِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْيَتَـٰمَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَـٰكِينِ وَٱبْنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ كَىْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةًۢ بَيْنَ ٱلْأَغْنِيَآءِ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَمَآ ءَاتَىٰكُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَىٰكُمْ عَنْهُ فَٱنتَهُوا۟ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعِقَابِ ٧
Whatever fai’ Allah has passed on to His Messenger from the people of the towns is for Allah and for the Messenger, and for the kinsmen and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not circulate only between the rich among you. And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you from, abstain (from it). And fear Allah. Indeed Allah is severe in punishment. (59:7)
In this verse of the Holy Quran, Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala has defined the status of the Prophet (ﷺ) that the commandments we have given should be followed, and the commandments given by our Messenger should also be followed. And the things we have forbidden should be avoided, and the things our Messenger (ﷺ) has forbidden should also be avoided. Be aware! In my commands and the commands of my Messenger, do not make a distinction because my Prophet does not speak of his own accord; he is merely a conveyer of my commands and my ambassador. His command is my command, and he does not speak of his own accord. What Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala commands is conveyed through his blessed words.
They do not say anything on their own; what Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala says is what comes from the blessed tongue of the Prophet (ﷺ).
Two Types of Love
It became clear that not every love is accepted by Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala. There are two types of love: one is accepted love, and the other is rejected love, meaning unacceptable. For example, after the Asr prayer, some people read additional prayers. In Sahih Bukhari, it is mentioned that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) advised that after the Asr prayer, no additional prayers should be offered. If someone says, “Well, we want to love Allah sincerely and close the doors with devotion, read additional prayers with such sincerity that neither the wife nor the children see it, and it is purely for Allah’s sake,” but because of disobedience to the Messenger (ﷺ) neither their sincerity is accepted nor are their additional prayers accepted. Therefore, it is established that the love of Allah is attained through following the Sunnah.
The Foundation of Love for the Prophet is Following the Messenger
Among the noble companions, it was a common practice that they sacrificed everything for each Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was delivering the sermon of Jumu’ah, and some people were standing. He advised them to sit down, saying, “Sit down.” Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) as soon as he heard the advice of the Prophet (ﷺ) went and sat down in the row of people wearing shoes. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw him and said, “Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, come inside.” The narrators write that this incident of Abdullah ibn Mas’ood sitting down while wearing shoes is an extreme sign of love and a clear indication of his high status. The Prophet (ﷺ) did not mind that Abdullah ibn Mas’ood sat down while wearing shoes. Still, the obedience and love of Abdullah ibn Mas’ood were evident in the fact that he sat down wearing shoes. If someone does not mind sitting down while wearing shoes, it does not mean that he is not a lover.
Reciting Durood Shareef
Therefore, reciting Durood Shareef abundantly is like an elixir. On reciting one Durood Shareef, ten blessings are bestowed, ten sins are forgiven, and it is also a right of the love for the Prophet (ﷺ).
Why Did the Blessed Blood of the Prophet Flow in Uhud and Taif? Tell me! If your blessed blood did not flow in Taif’s market, and your blessed teeth were not martyred in Uhud, how would Islam have reached us? The Prophet (ﷺ) was personally wiping his blessed blood with his own hands on his clothes in Uhud and saying, “What is the condition of a nation that spills the blood of its own Prophet?” It is through this blood of Prophethood that we have received Islam! How did Islam spread throughout the world? Through the charity of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the charity of the companions, we are Muslims today.
Prohibition of Playing Music
Our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) has also forbidden playing music. It is mentioned in authentic Hadith that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was on a journey, and the sound of music was coming from somewhere. He placed his blessed fingers in his ears and kept asking the companions if the sound was still there. When the companions informed him that the sound had stopped, he removed his blessed fingers from his ears. Oh, the thing that the Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited, saying, “I have been sent to eliminate the playing of musical instruments,” today, the entire Muslim Ummah is drowning in it. As Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, the companion, says:
إِنَّ الْعِنَاءَ رُقْيَةُ الزِّنَا
Listening to music leads to the emergence of immoral behavior. And your statement, as quoted by Allama Alusi in his Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, is that by God’s oath, this verse…
وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِى لَهْوَ ٱلْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍۢ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌۭ مُّهِينٌۭ ٦
There is a man among the people who buys discourses of distracting amusements, so that he may mislead (people) from the Way of Allah, and make a mockery of it. For such people there is a disgraceful punishment. (31:6)
The use of musical instruments is forbidden. Some people used to buy women who played music and made them play music, and they would steal people’s property through this. Allah Almighty revealed the verse ‘Mَn yashtrī’ regarding this. The Prophet of the worlds (ﷺ) has said:
إِنَّ الْغِنَاء يُنْبِتُ النِّفَاقَ كَمَا يُنْبِتُ الْمَاءُ الزَّرْعَ
Playing music creates disbelief just as water nurtures crops. Now it is considered as worship and a means to attain a higher rank with Allah,
which is indeed a matter of regret, isn’t it?
Following the Sunnah is the desire of the people of Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala.
During a meal at the court of Khusrau, when a fork fell from the hands of Hazrat Hudhaifah ibn Yaman (رضي الله عنه), they picked it up to clean it for the meal. One of the companions gestured to refrain from doing so, saying that if they did it, it might be said that the Muslims are obsessed with cleanliness and resemble the seven-times washed clothes, which would be an insult to Islam. So, Hazrat Hudhaifah gave a beautiful reply:
أ اتْرُكُ سُنَّةَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ لِهَؤُلَاءِ الْحُمَقَاء
Should I abandon the Sunnah of our Prophet (ﷺ) because of these ignorant and foolish people?
Similarly, nowadays, people feel embarrassed to follow the Sunnah of drinking from a cup. Allama Shami has narrated a Hadith that when a cup is drunk from, the cup itself makes a supplication.
اعْتَقَكَ اللهُ مِنَ النَّارِ كَمَا أَعْتَقَنِي مِنَ الشَّيْطَنِ
May God save you from Hell as He saved me from Satan.
ecause if the cup is not licked clean after eating, the leftover food in it is cleaned by Satan. SubhanAllah! The love of the Prophet (ﷺ) is truly a great blessing.
The Gift of Love for the Messenger
Once, a companion was watching the Prophet (ﷺ) without blinking his eyes, and the Prophet asked, “What’s the matter? Today, you are looking at me with so much love that you’re not even blinking.” The companion replied, “I do so because when I’m here, I can look at you anytime I want, but I’m worried about the Hereafter. In Jannah (Paradise), how will I have the privilege of seeing you?” The Prophet (ﷺ) then said:
الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَبَّ
Whoever loves someone will be with them. You see,
That’s why Allah Almighty has given guidance in this blessed verse that if you claim to love Allah, O Prophet (ﷺ) then announce it.
فَاتَّبِعُونِی میری اتباع کرويُحْبِبْكُمُ اللهُ
Allah Almighty will make you beloved.
The reality of celebrating and observing specific days
In this era, there are many practices such as having an abundance of lights and decorations in some mosques, where Qawwali (spiritual music) is performed, and processions are taken out on certain days. It makes one wonder if there is a deficiency within us. In this context, I present a Hadith.
The Seal of Prophets, peace be upon him, once stated that near the Day of Judgment, my Ummah (community) will divide into 73 sects, out of which only one sect will attain salvation. The companions inquired, ‘Which sect will that be?’ The Prophet (ﷺ) responded, ‘That which follows the path I and my companions are on, today’s way of mine, and my companions.’
It is known that the way of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the way of his noble companions (رضي الله عنه) is the path to salvation. Nowadays, in the news, we often hear about gatherings for someone’s death anniversary or birth celebration, and some people argue, ‘What harm is there in celebrating the day of the Prophet’s birth?’ The question is, during the time of the Seal of Prophets, peace be upon him, when he spent 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Madinah, did he ever celebrate the death of any prophet or the birth of any prophet? Did he observe the anniversary of any of his wives’ passing and celebrate it the next year with feasts and acts of charity to keep their memory fresh?
Did he, peace be upon him, observe any such practices? The companions’ love for the Prophet (ﷺ) was profound. Our love for you is expressed through words, but the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, sacrificed their lives, shed blood, and faced martyrdom. On the day of Uhud, within a single day, 70 companions were martyred, and the Prophet (ﷺ) led their funeral prayers. Was that not a successful life? Moreover, when the Prophet (ﷺ) departed from this world, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) took up the caliphate. Can anyone provide historical evidence that he lit oil lamps in the Masjid-e-Nabawi with olive oil during the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal?
Such lamps didn’t exist at that time, but Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) was extremely wealthy. Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (رضي الله عنه) was also a very wealthy merchant. These wealthy companions didn’t light any lamps, nor did Hazrat Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, in his caliphate. They had vast wealth, but no historical evidence suggests that they celebrated the Prophet’s birth in this way.
Deviation from the Sunnah is against the love for the Messenger (ﷺ). Nowadays, some people are shaving their beards, keeping large mustaches, playing musical instruments, and attending gatherings where the dholak (a traditional drum) is played. They are distancing themselves from congregational prayers. Is this love for the Prophet, peace be upon him?
Poetry by Hazrat Rabi’ah Basri:
تَعْصِيُّ الإله وَأَنْتَ تُظْهِرُ حُبَّهُ
هذا لَعَمُرِي فِي الْقِيَاسِ بَدِيعُ
لَوْ كَانَ حُبُّكَ صَادِقاً لَّا طَعْتَهُ
فَإِنَّ الْمُحِبَّ لِمَنْ يُحِبُّ مُطِيْعُ
You disobey Allah while claiming His love. It is impossible to measure this wonder. If your love were true, you would obey, just as the lover obeys the beloved.
You claim the love of the Prophet, but if your love were true, you would follow his obedience. A lover obeys their beloved. What kind of love is it that people abandon congregational prayers, mosques are empty, and people march in processions? Did the Companions not understand that they should organize processions? Today, the newspapers say, ‘Celebrate,’ but your celebration is accepted only if it follows the ways of the Companions. Your happiness cannot be accepted if it goes against their ways.
See how the esteemed Companions celebrated? Allah was pleased with them, and Allah being pleased with them was not just due to their actions. Just as the Companions followed every Sunnah, let us also learn to follow the Sunnah.
In the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, light a lamp and organize a procession, and you will become great lovers of the Prophet. If your love for the Prophet were genuine, you would trim your mustaches, grow your beards, and perform prayers in congregation five times a day. Let us prove that we are followers of the esteemed Companions. Rabi’ al-Awwal is with us all year round. Our Milad Sharif is the breath of our life. Our every breath is immersed in the love of the Prophet. It’s not just reading once a year and being disobedient all year.
Whoever follows the Sunnah and obeys it, their entire year is Rabi’ al-Awwal because the purpose of the Prophet’s coming into this world was for people to follow Allah’s pleasure, to avoid His anger and wrath. This is the real noble birth.
Paying the right of the Prophet’s love means leaving sins and dedicating one’s life to Allah. Learn each Sunnah and practice it. This is Rabi’ al-Awwal. The reason the Prophet came was for this. The greatest Rabi’ al-Awwal is that we abandon sins. The greatest Rabi’ al-Awwal is that we adopt each Sunnah of the Prophet in practical life and send blessings upon the Prophet day and night.