Characteristics of the Prophet


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"Better than you my eyes have never laid upon
and more beautiful than you no woman has ever given birth to
it is as if you were born free from every deficiency
or is it as if you were created as you yourself has pleased"

Love of the Prophet

True Love

"Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight ... are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause , then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah)." at-Tawbah: 24

"None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to himself than his parents, his children and all mankind." Bukhaari & Muslim

"There are three qualities for which anyone who is characterized by them will relish the sweetness of faith: he to whom Allaah and His Messenger are dearer than anyone else; he who loves a man for Allaah's sake alone; and he who has a great abhorrence of returning to disbelief after Allaah has rescued him from it, as he has of being cast into the Hellfire." Bukhaari & Muslim

Why Love The Messenger?

1. Allaah has commanded us to love him.

2. Allaah Loves him.

3. His beautiful character and impeccable manners.

4. None of us will be able to truly emulate him till we love him.

5. The struggles he went through to make sure Islaam would reach us today.

6. His love and concern for us.

7. A person will be raised with those whom he loves.

Signs of Love for him

1. Imitating and emulating him.

2. Loving what he loves.

3. Loving that with which he was sent (the Qur'aan and Sunnah).

4. Frequently sending Salaah and Salaam upon him.

5. Loving those whom he loved and those who love him.

6. Frequently remembering his life and ways.

7. Encouraging others to study his life and follow his way.

His Rights Upon Us

1. To believe in him and everything he came with.

2. To obey him and make him a reference point in our disputes.

3. To study his life.

4. To follow his way and emulate him.

5. To send Salaah and Salaam upon him.

6. To honour, love and respect him.

7. To defend him.

The Names of the Prophet

The Praised One

The name of Muhammad is the derived object from the verb hamd which means to praise exceedingly. Thus, he is the one who is praised exceedingly. Scholars offer the following reasons as to why:

He is the most praised by Allaah and the angels.

His name is mentioned in the Adhaan and Salaah, which are repeated frequently throughout the day.

His name would go on to be the most used.

The Story Behind His Name

The books of Seerah mention that the Prophet :saw2: was named by his grandfather, 'Abdul Muttalib. When 'Abdul Muttalib was asked why he named his grandchild a name unknown by his relatives and the people, he responded, "I hope that he will be one who is praised in the heavens and earth."

(None of the stories are authentic, but the most authentic is the story above).

His Lineage

Muhammad bin 'Abdullaah bin 'Abdul Muttalib (Shaybah) bin Hashim, ('Amr) bin 'AbdMunaf (AlMughirah) bin Qusayy (Zayd) bin Kilab bin Murrah bin Ka'b bin Lu'ayy bin Ghaalib bin Fahr (Quraysh) bin Maalik bin An-Nadr (Qays) bin Kinaanah bin Khuzaymah bin Mudrikah ('Amir) bin Ilyas bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Ma'ad bin 'Adnan. Reported by Bukhaari

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) mentions that the scholars are in agreement, up until 'Adnan. Thereafter, they differ not only on the names, but also on the number seperating him and Prophet Ibraaheem ('Alayhis Salaam).

His Other Names

A principle in the Arabic language states, "The more names an object has, the more prestigious and magnificent it is." Based on this principle, we realize why Allaah and the Day of Judgement have so many names.

When it comes to the names of the Prophet :saw2: scholars have attempted to enumerate them. Imaam as-Suyuuti came up with roughly 500 different names, whereas the maaliki scholar Ibn al-'Arabi lists close to a thousand different names for the Prophet :saw2: .

Here is a small glimpse into those names:

It is related that Jubayr bin Mut'im said that the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: said, "I have five names: I am Muhammad and Ahmad. I am al-Mahi, the Effacer by whom Allaah will efface disbelief. I am al-Hashr, the Gatherer, after whom people will be gathered, and I am al-'Aqib, there will be no Prophet after me." Bukhaari

His mention in the Scriptures

The Qur'aan

"Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful." Ali-'Imraan: 144

"Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything." al-Ahzaab: 40

"But those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and believe in that which is sent down to Muhammad, for it is the truth from their Lord, He will expiate from them their sins, and will make good their state." Muhammad: 2

"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of (their) prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Taurat (Torah). But their description in the Injeel (Gospel) is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allah has promised those among them who believe (i.e. all those who follow Islamic Monotheism, the religion of Prophet Muhammad till the Day of Resurrection) and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e. Paradise)." al-Fath: 29

"And (remember) when 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed . But when he (Ahmed i.e. Muhammad) came to them with clear proofs, they said: "This is plain magic."" as-Saff: 6

The Torah and Gospels

And the Lord said unto me, "They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth; and He will speak unto them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him."

(In the above quote, Muusa ('Alayhis Salaam) was being addressed and "He shall speak in My name", means Bismillaahir Rahmaaneer Raheem). Deuteronomy 18: 17-19 (Old Testement).

And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, "Read this," he says, "I cannot read." Isaiah 29:12

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if you depart, I will send Him unto you. John 16:7

The disciples answered, "O Master, who shall that man be of whom you speak, who shall come into the world?" Jesus answered with joy of heart, "He is Muhammad, Messenger of God, and when he comes into the world, even as the rain makes the earth to bear fruit when for a long time it has not rained, even so shall be the occasion of good works among men, through the abudant mercy of God, which mercy God shall sprinkle upon the faithful like rain." Barnabas 163

Jesus answered, "Believe me, Baranabas, that every sin, however small it be, God punishes with great punishment, seeing that God is offended at sin. Whereas, since my mother and faithful disciples that were with me loved me a little with earthly love, the righteous God has willed to punish this love with the present grief, in order that it may not be punished in the flames of hell. And though I have been innocent in the world, since men have called me 'God', God, in order that I be not mocked of the demons on the day of judgement, has willed that I be mocked of men in this world by the death of Judas; making all men to believe that I died upon the cross. And this mocking shall continue until the advent of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, who, when he shall come, shall reveal this deception to those who believe in God's Law." Having thus spoken, Jesus said, "You are Just, O Lord our God, because to you only belongs honour and glory without end." Barnabas 220

The Characteristics of The Prophet :saw2:

The Muhammadan Characteristics

Al Shamaa'il Al Muhammadiya is a study of the characteristics, traits, and attributes of the Prophet :saw2: . These characteristics include, and are not restricted to, his physical demeanour, his character/manners, and those things which were exclusive to him.

How Does Shamaa'il Differ from Seerah?

The Seerah is a detailed study of the life of the Prophet :saw2: , usually from the angle of the chronological events. Whereas the Shamaa'il are void of chronology and focus more on who the Prophet :saw2: was as an individual. It is quite common for a book of Seerah to have a section on the Shamaa'il of the Prophet.

The Physical Description of the Prophet

When I saw his light shining forth,
In fear I covered my eyes with my palms,
Afraid for my sight because of the beauty of his form.
So I was scarcely able to look at him at all.
The light from his light are drowned in his light
and his faces shines out like the sun and moon in one.
A spirit of light lodged in a body like the moon,
a mantle made up of brilliant shining stars.
I bore it until I could bear it no longer.
I found the taste of patience to be like bitter aloes.
I could find no remedy to bring me relief
other than delighting in the sight of the one I love.
Even if he had not brought any clear signs with him,
the sight of him would dispense with the need for them.
Muhammad is a human being but not like other human beings.
Rather he is a flawless diamond and the rest of mankind is just stones.
Blessings be on him so that perhaps Allaah may have mercy on us
on that burning Day when the Fire is roaring forth its sparks.

^ Tributed to Hassan Ibn Thaabit.​

The Physical Description and Beauty of the Prophet :saw2:

1) 'Alee (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) described the noble features of the Prophet :saw2: : "The Messenger of Allaah :saw2: was neither very tall or short, but of medium stature amongst his people. His hair was neither curly nor very straight, but had a slight wave in it. He did not have a big body or a round face, but his blessed face was slightly round. His complexion was white with redness in it. His blessed eyes were extremely black. His eyelashes were long. The joints of the body were large, as was the portion between the two shoulders broad and fully fleshed. He had no excessive hair on his body. He had a thin line of hair running from the chest to the navel. His hands and feet were fully fleshed. When he walked, he lifeted his leg with vigour, as if he were descending to a low-lying place. When he addressed a person he turned his whole body towards that person. The Seal of the Prophethood was situated between his shoulders. He was the last of all prophets. He was the most generous and the most truthful. He was the most kind-hearted and came from a most noble family. A person who saw him suddenly would become awe-inspired. Anyone who describes his noble features can only say, "I have never seen anyone like the Messenger of Allaah, not before him, not after him." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

2) Jaabir (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) said, "I once saw the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: on the night of a full moon. On that night, he wore red clothing. At times I looked at the full moon and at times at the Messenger of Allaah. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that the Messenger of Allaah was more handsome, beautiful and more radiant than the full moon." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

The Seal of the Prophethood

3) 'Abdullaah bin Sarjas (7-8 years old) said, "I came to the Messenger of Allaah while people were sitting in his company. I went around his back and the Messenger of Allaah understood what I was trying to do. He removed the shawl from his back. I saw the Seal of the Prophethood between his two shoulders. It was like a cluster surrounded by moles which appeared to be like a tag. I came infront of the Messenger of Allaah and said to him, 'May Allaah forgive you' and he replied, 'May Allaah forgive you too'. The people then began to question if the Messenger of Allaah had supplicated for my forgiveness, and I replied, 'Yes, and for yout too, because Allaah has said, "O Muhammad, seek forgiveness for yourself and the believers, male and female."'" Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee (The reason why he said, "May Allaah forgive you" is because 'Abdullaah wanted the Prophet to make du'aa for him).

The Blessed Hair of the Prophet :saw2:

4) Qataadah bin Di'amah as-Sadusi (Tab'iee, second generation) relates, "I asked Anas (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) 'How was the hair of the Messenger of Allaah?' He replied, 'It was not very curly, nor very straight. It had a slight twist and was a bit curled, and reached till his ear-lobes.'" Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

5) Anas bin Maalik (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) reports, "I did not count more than fourteen white hairs on the head and beard of Allaah's Messenger." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

The Prophet's Garments

6) Umm Salaamah (Radhi Allaahu 'Anha) relates, "Of all the clothing, the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: preferred wearing qamees the most."

(It used to have buttons and the vast majority of time, the top button was open). Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

7) Bin 'Abbas (Radhi Allaahi 'Anhu) says that the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: used to say, "Choose white clothing, as it is the best clothing. And bury your dead in it." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

(Imaam at Tabaraani, the favourite colour of the Prophet was green).

The Prophet's Sandals

8) Qataadah reports, "I asked Anas (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) to describe the sandals of Allaah's Messenger :saw2: and he replied, 'Each sandal had two straps.'" Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

9) Abu Hurayrah (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) relates that the Prophet :saw2: said, "Whenever one of you puts on his shoes, he should begin with the right, and when he removes his shoes he should begin with his left. The right foot should be first when putting on, and last when removing." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

The Prophet's Ring

10) Bin 'Umar (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) narrates that "Allaah's Messenger :saw2: had a ring made of silver. He used it as a stamp on letters, but did not always wear it." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

The Prophet's Sword

11) Anas (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) reports that: "The handle of the sword of the Prophet of Allaah :saw2: was made of silver." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

The Prophet's Turban

12) Bin 'Umar (Radhi Allaahu 'Anhu) reports, "When the Messenger of Allaah fastened an 'amaanah (worn on actual head) he used to put the shamlah (at the back, hangs down) between his shoulders." Shamaa'il at-Tirmidhee

The Etiquettes of The Prophet

The walk of the Prophet

13) Abu Hurayrah (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) said, “I did not see anyone walk faster than the Messenger of Allaah. It was as if the earth folded for him. A few moments ago he would be here, and then there. We found it difficult to keep pace when we walked with him, and he walked at his normal pace.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee (The Prophet was between 60-63 years old in the above hadeeth. Abu Hurayrah accepted Islaam eight years after hijrah at the battle of Khaybar).

The Eating and Drinking of The Prophet

14) Anas (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) said, “The Messenger of Allaah used to lick his fingers after having eaten.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

15) ‘Umar bin Abi Salaamah (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) came to the Messenger of Allaah while food was being served to him. The Messenger of Allaah said, “O my son come near, recite Bismillaah, and eat with your right hand from that portion which is in front of you.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

16) ‘Amr bin Shu’ayb’s grandfather (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhum) relates, “I have seen the Messenger of Allaah drinking water whilst standing and also whilst sitting.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

17) A’isha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) said, “The drink most liked by the Messenger of Allaah was that which was sweet and cold.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The Fragrance of the Prophet

18) Abu Hurayrah (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) narrates, “The Messenger of Allaah said, ‘The fragrance of a male is the fragrance which spreads and is transparent, and the fragrance of a female is that which is coloured and less fragrant.’” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The speech of the Prophet

19) A’isha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) relates, “The speech of Allaah’s Messenger was not quick and continuous as that of yours. He spoke clearly, word for word. A person sitting in his company remembered what he said.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The smiling, laughing, and jesting of the Prophet

20) ‘Abdullaah bin Haarith (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) reports, “I did not see anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allaah.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

21) ‘Abdullaah bin Haarith (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) relates, “The laugh of Allaah’s Messenger was but a smile.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

22) Abu Hurayrah (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) reports, “The sahaabah asked, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, you joke with us?’ The Messenger of Allaah replied, ‘Yes, but only in truth.’” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

23) Hasan al-Basree (Rahimahullaah) said, “An old woman came to the Messenger of Allaah and made a request, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, make du’aa that Allaah grants me entrance into Jannah.’ The Messenger of Allaah replied, ‘O mother, an old woman cannot enter Jannah.’ The woman began crying and started to leave. The Messenger of Allaah said, ‘Say to the woman that one will not enter in a state of old age, but Allaah will make all the women of Jannah young and playful.’” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The devout worship of the Prophet

24) Al-Mughirah bin Shu’bah (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) reports, “The Messenger of Allaah performed such lengthy night prayers, that his blessed legs would become swollen. The companions said, ‘You undergo such strife, when Allaah has forgiven your past and future sins?’ He responded, ‘Should I not be a grateful servant?’” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

25) Hudhayfah bin al-Yaman (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) narrates, “I prayed the night prayer with the Prophet one night, and he read al-Baqarah, an-Nisaa, and Aali-’Imraan.” (In another wording, he added al-Maaidah and al-Anaam, but was unsure of the order.) Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The weeping of the Prophet

26) ‘Abdullaah bin Mas’ood (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) said, “Allaah’s Messenger once asked me to recite the Qur’aan to him. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, should I recite to you when it has been revealed to you?’ Allaah’s Messenger responded, ‘I love to hear it from another person.’ Thereupon, I began reciting Surat an-Nisaa. When I reached the aayah ‘How when we bring of every people a witness, and we bring you (O Muhammad) a witness against them?’ (an-Nisaa: 41), I saw tears flowing from both of his eyes.'" Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

27) A’isha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) narrates, “One night, Allaah’s Messenger kept repeating one aayah the whole night, and continued to weep. ‘If You should punish them - indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them - indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.’ (al-Maa’idah: 118)” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The sleeping of the Prophet

28) Abu Qataadah narrates, “If Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: slept during the night, he slept on his right side. If he was only able to sleep a short while, he would raise his right arm and then sleep on it.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

The Character of The Prophet

“And verily, you are on an exalted standard of character.” Al-Qalam:4

Mercy and Compassion

“And We have sent you (O Muhammad ) not but as a mercy for the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” Al-Anbiyaa: 107

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah's) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” Aali-’Imraan: 159

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allah, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins, in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-fire), for the believers (he is) full of pity, kind, and merciful.” At-Tawbah: 128

The Prophet :saw2: without a shadow of doubt, was the epitome of mercy. This is not only due to Allaah describing him as such, but due to the manifestation of mercy in his character. There are two particular scenarios that stick out above the rest:

‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘As (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) reported, “Verily the Prophet of Allaah recited the words of Allaah, the Great and Glorious, that Ibraaheem uttered, ‘My Lord! Indeed they have led astray many among the people. So whoever follows me, then he is of me,’ (Ibraaheem: 36) and Jesus said, ‘If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them; verily you are the Mighty, the Wise.’ (al-Maa’idah: 118) Then he raised his hands and said, ‘O Lord, my Ummah, my Ummah,’ and wept. So Allaah the High and Exalted said, ‘O Jib reel (Gabriel), go to Muhammad :saw2: (though your Lord Knows it fully well) and ask him, “What makes you weep?” So Jibreel came to him and asked him, and the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: informed him of what he had said (though Allaah Knew it fully well). Upon this, Allaah said, ‘O Jibreel, go to Muhammad and say, “Verily We will please you with regard to your Ummah and would not displease you.”’” Muslim

“Being a Prophet of absolute mercy, one who came to secure the happiness of mankind both in this world and the next, Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: entered Makkah, bowing on the back of his mule, as a victorious conqueror. He displayed no hint of self-pride nor thought of either vengeance or retaliation. He proceeded toward the Ka’bah in utmost modesty and absolute gratitude to God, Who made him victorious in his sacred mission. He stopped at the Ka’bah and asked those who assembled there, ‘How do you expect me to treat you?’ ‘You are a noble man, the son of a noble man,’ they answered. Allaah’s Messenger concluded, ‘“No blame will there be upon you today. Allaah will forgive you; and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.” (Yuusuf: 92) You can disperse.’

This marked the end of the polytheism in Makkah. While he was toppling down the idols at the Ka’bah one after the other, he recited, ‘Say, “Truth has come and falsehood has disappeared. Indeed falsehood is subject to disappearance.” (al-Israa: 81)’ And, almost all of the Makkans, who had been the ememies of Islaam until one day before, acquired the honour of becoming Comapnions to Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: .” At-Tabaree

Kindness to children

Anas bin Maalik (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) reported, “Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: had the noblest character among mankind. I had a brother who was called Abu ‘Umayr. I think he was weaned. When Allaah’s Messenger came to our house he saw him, and said, ‘Abu ‘Umayr, what has the sparrow done?’” Muslim


Anas bin Maalik (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) reported, “It never happened that Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: was asked anything for the sake of Islaam and he did not give. There came to him a person and he gave him a large flock (of sheep and goats) and he went back to his people and said, ‘My people, embrace Islaam, for Muhammad gives so much charity it is as if he has no fear of poverty.’” Muslim

Ibn Shihaab reported that Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: went out along with the Muslims and fought at Hunayn, and Allaah granted victory to His religion and to the Muslims. Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: gave one hundred camels to Safwaan bin Umayyah. He gave him one hundred camels, and then again gave him one hundred camels. Sa’eed bin al-Musayyeeb said that Safwaan told him, ‘By Allaah! Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: gave me what he gave me, and he was the most detested person in my eyes. But he continued to give until he became the dearest to me.’” Muslim


A’isha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) narrated, "The people of Quraysh became very worried about the Makhzumiya lady who had committed theft. They said, ‘Nobody can speak to Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: , except Usaama bin Zaid who is the favourite of Allaah’s Messenger.’ When Usaama spoke to Allaah’s Messenger about the matter, Allaah’s Apostle said, ‘Do you intercede with me to violate one of the legal punishments of Allaah?’ He then got up and addressed the people, saying, ‘O people! Nations before you went astray because if a noble person committed theft, they used to leave him, but if a weak person amongst them committed theft, they used to inflict the legal rulings on him. By Allaah, if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad committed theft, I would of cut off her hand.’” Bukhaari


Khabbaab bin al-’Arat (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) narrated, “We complained to Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: of the persecution inflicted on us by the Quraysh while he was sitting in the shade of the Ka’bah. We said to him, ‘Would you not seek help? Would you not pray to Allaah for us?’ He said, ‘Among the nations before you a (believing) man would be put in a ditch that was dug for him, and a saw would be put over his head and he would be cut into pieces; yet that (torture) would not make him give up his religion. By Allaah, this religion will prevail till a traveller from Sana to Hadramawt will fear none but Allaah, or a wolf, as regards to its sheep, but you people are hasty.’” Bukhaari

Bravery and courage

Baraa’ bin ‘Aazib (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anhu) narrates, “In the battle of Hunayn, as Muslims were being taken out by archers, the people turned to the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: . Abu Sufyaan bin Haarith was leading the Messenger of Allah’s :saw2: mule. He got down, prayed, and invoked Allaah’s help. He said, ‘I am the Prophet. This is the truth. I am the son of ‘Abdul-Muttalib. O Allaah, descend Your help.’” Baraa’ continued, “When the battle grew fierce, by Allaah, we would seek protection by the Prophet’s side, and the bravest amongst us was he who confronted the onslaught in the front, by the Prophet’s side.” Muslim


A’isha (Radhi Allaahu ‘Anha) narrates, “He used to remain busy serving and helping his household, and when the time for prayer came he would perform ablution and go for prayer. He would patch his own sandals and sew his own garments. He was an ordinary human being, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores.” Shamaa’il at-Tirmidhee

Being the Messenger of Allaah :saw2: , a living example for all of eternity, the discussion of his noble great character would never come to an end. It is as the scholars have said, “Describing the greatness of Allaah’s Messenger :saw2: is that ocean that knows no chore.” Ibn Hajr Fath al-Baaree

The Exclusive Characteristics

The Prophet being the best of mankind and the seal of the Prophethood was given exclusive and particular characteristics that were not given to anyone before or after him. This topic is known as Al-Khasa As Al-Nabu Yat and is divided into two main categories:

1. That which is exclusive in legislation.
2. That which is exclusive in virtue and preference. (None of the other creation had).

Not all of the exclusive attributes are agreed upon, and thus their number tends to fluctuate between 37, as stated by al-Qurtubee, and 65, as statedd by As-Suuytee. This subject is usually discussed in most books fiqhs (particularly Maaliki and Shaafiee books) in the chapter of Nikaah.

That which distinguishes him from the rest of the Prophets, with regards to this World

1. The greatest revelation: the Qur’aan.
2. The Seal of the Prophets.
3. The earth was made pure for him and a place of prayer.
4. The taking of the spoils of war.
5. Sent to both mankind and jinn.
6. Lead all of the Prophets in prayer in Jerusalem.
7. That which is between his house and his grave is a garden from the gardens of paradise.
8. His city would never be affected by plague.
9. Prayer in his masjid is multiplied one thousand fold.
10. The book revealed to him will be preserved from error and distortion.
11. The day of Jummu’ah.
12. The last two verses of Surah al-Baqarah.
13. Allaah swore by his life.
14. His followers are obligated to send Salaah and Salaam upon him.
15. The splitting of the moon.
16. The description of ad-Dajjaal.

That which distinguishes him from the rest of the Prophets, with regards to the Afterlife

1. He will be the first to be resurrected.
2. He will be the first to enter Paradise.
3. He will be granted al-Maqaam al-Mahmuud. (Make du’aa to Allaah)
4. He will be the first to intercede.
5. He will be granted al-Kawthar.
6. He will be granted al-Waseelah.
7. He will have the largest congregation.
8. He will be able to partially intercede for a non-Muslim.

That which distinguishes him from his Ummah

1. He was granted the permission to continually fast.
2. He was allowed to marry more than four wives.
3. When he sleeps, it is only his body and not his mind and heart that sleeps.
4. Lying about him is far more severe than lying about others.
5. It is an obligation to love him.
6. His qareen accepted Islaam.
7. Our Salaam reaches him wherever we may be.
8. Shaytaan cannot imitate his form.
9. He was able to hear that which others were not.
10. The earth will not devour his body.
11. His perspiration was fragrant.
12. He is buried where he died.
13. He is exalted; belittling him is disbelief.
14. His wealth is not inherited.
15. He is obliged to pray the night prayer.
16. His wives could not marry after his death.
17. During his life, it was permissible to seek blessing through him.

The Signs of Prophethood

Upon initial reflection, it seems that proving the Prophethood of an individual would be very difficult. We fail to realize that it is Allaah who is establishing Prophethood, and nothing is difficult for Him. Our task is to find the signs of the Prophethood in the individual in question - in this case, Prophet Muhammad Salla Allaahu ‘Alayhi Was-Sallaam. This method was used by Heraclius, the ruler of Byzantine:

"Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following: 'I asked you about his family, and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact, all of the Prophets come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would of thought that this man was following the previous man's statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would of thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allaah. I then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact, all of the apostles have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. Your replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith - when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise, the Prophets never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allaah and Allaah alone, and not to worship any thing along with Him, and forbade you to worship idols, and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth, and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath his feet, and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear, but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him, and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet." Bukhaari

This method can further be complemented with other realizations:

1- The methodology of Allaah is that progress in all facets of life is gradual, and not instantaneous. This realization directs us to the pre-prophethood days of Muhammad, to see if there are any indications of future prophethood. Upon analysis, we find the following indications:

1. The miraculous birth of the Prophet.
2. The opening of the chest.
3. Staying away from idol worship.
4. Staying away from evil and lewd acts.
5. Establishing a trustworthy and honest relationship with his people so that he would be come to be known as "The Trustworthy." (Al-Aameen).

2- Every Prophet was given mu’jizaat (miracles) so great that no one who witnessed them could deny the divine intervention involved therein. These divine miracles can further be categorized into two:

a) Those that can truly only be appreciated by those who witnessed them. Examples of these include, but are not limited to:

1) The splitting of the moon
2) Al-Israa’ wal-Mi’raaj
3) Clouds obeying Allaah to aid the Prophet
4) Divine aid in battle
5) Curing for the sick
6) Communication with animals
7) Miracles with trees and mountains
8) Miracles with food and drink
9) Protection from enemies
10) Instant answering of supplications

b) Those that stand the test of time and are lasting miracles until the end of time:

1) The Qur’aan and that which is related to it
2) The Sunnah and that which is related to it
3) The detailed preserved biography of the Prophet
4) The level of love and emulation of the Prophet
5) The legal and creedal composition of the religion

“Certainty is only achieved by having plenty of different sorts of evidence and putting them altogether. A miracle, when taken on its own, does not give some people certainty. The miracles of Muusa did not cause Pharaoh and his people to believe, but rather caused them to say that he was a lying magician. In the same way, if you were to understand the true meaning of Prophethood and look deeply in the Qur’aan and study the hadeeth literature, you would inevitably come to know that Muhammad was a man who had reached the highest levels of Prophethood. You can be even more certain of this by putting the things he said to the test when it comes to acts of worship, and seeing the effects they have in purifying the hearts.” al-Ghazaalee

Allaahumma salli wa sallim 'alaa Nabiyyina Muhammadin
(O Allaah, we ask for Your peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad).