The Noble Quran has praised Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to high heaven on occasion. Accordingly, he has been addressed as being sent as a mercy to the worlds. Allah told humankind that the Messenger of Allah is on an exalted standard of character. Indeed, he is the bringer of glad tidings and a warner.
Every human heart is gladdened by the praise of another fellow human. Thus, imagine the status of one who the Creator of the heavens and the earth praises. And for a good reason too, since the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) exemplified the loftiest of character traits that were unique to him.
The people sang his praises right from his childhood up to his adulthood and prophet-hood. Conversely, his loving mercy touched the lives of friends and foes alike. Also, his companions drew a parallel between his physical appearance and the full moon with respect to his handsomeness. His people glorified his person by awarding him the titles of Sadiq (Truthful) and Amin (Trustworthy).
He was indeed a man for all seasons in terms of depth of character, and he wasn’t found lacking in any dimension of his perfected attributes. The last and final Prophet Muhammad, whose life was an authentic interpretation of the Book of Allah. And who was the epitome of tolerance, humility, patience, forbearance towards men. The following are some instances of his luminous morals and manners.
Muhammad’s (PBUH) attributes that make him a role model
A prime example of the Prophet’s (PBUH) benevolence was apparent on his way back from Taif. The three stubborn chiefs of Taif had harshly rejected his invitation to Islam and had assigned hooligans to pelt him with stones upon his return. He bore the physical pain of their wretchedness until his shoes were bloodstained.
Bleeding and in utter despair, the Prophet (PBUH) took shelter in a garden and passionately supplicated to Allah, seeking His Mercy and refuge from earning His Displeasure.
When suddenly, Jibrail (A.S) appeared with the angel of the mountains. Together they offered to bring Allah’s punishment upon the rebellious ones should he sanction that they crush them between two mountains. How would you have expected the Prophet of mercy to respond to their bidding?
He responded to Angel Jibrail by saying that he would prefer to wish for Allah to guide their offspring to Islam so that they worship Allah alone and shun polytheism.
His mildness in expressing displeasure
The Prophet (PBUH) wouldn’t swear at others, or display rudeness. He did not curse others and did not show harshness while admonishing people, as per Sahih al-Bukhari.
Every Muslim must follow suit. Swearing, cursing, rudeness are not traits that any believer adopts.
His humor and light-heartedness
On one occasion, Muhammad (PBUH) made a light-hearted joke about a baby of a she-camel. He thus set an example of the virtues of humor that isn’t sinful and doesn’t harm or insult in any way.
Contrary to what people usually perceive men of God to be. The Prophet (PBUH) showed us that harmless jokes are not taboo for anyone. What is meant by harmless is that they should not be vulgar or personally disparaging. A joke should not be a reason to debase or mock. The Messenger of God will a universal perfect role model up to the Last Day; thus, his example is both practical and down to earth.
Muhammad (PBUH) and his peace-making instincts
There was an instance of the people of Quba fighting with each other, to the extent than they started pelting stones. The Prophet (PBUH), upon learning of this conflict, sought to reconcile the matter between those who clashed. (Sahih Bukhari)
The Prophet (PBUH) stood on an exalted standard of character. He was a man of peace who united warring tribes and won hearts. We all know that the Ansar (Helpers of Medina) were originally at odds with each other. Previously known as the Aus and Khazraj tribes, they would fight over the most trivial of things. Their conflicts were passed from generation to generation to be kept alive. Until along came the Prophet (PBUH) and united them into a single Ummah. His peace-making instincts would always kick in when required.
His kindness towards children
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) always treated children with kindness and compassion. He would openly display his affection for kids. He enjoyed their company and played with them. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, it was mentioned that he said he would reward the child who reached him first with a gift, upon which kids would race to him and fall on him.
His grandsons Hassan and Hussain, would take great liberties with him during their infancy. They would often climb on his back when he prostrated. In another hadith, he reportedly said he is not one of us who is not kind to the youngsters and respectful towards the elderly.
The self-sacrifice and generosity of Muhammad (PBUH)
It was narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that the Prophet (PBUH) did not reject anyone who asked him for something in his possession.
No man on the face of the earth could outdo the Prophet (PBUH) in his generosity. It was the very hallmark of his personality. He was one to prefer the needs of others before his own and never denied those who asked of him.
His deep regard for womenfolk
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that one who raises two girls till they come of age will be with him in the Hereafter, in a way similar to the closeness of two fingers to each other.
He (PBUH) was the man through whom Allah SWT gave Muslim women their rights in the capacity of mother, daughter, sister, and wife almost 1500 years ago.
Heaven lay beneath a mother’s feet, raising a daughter was the means for a father’s entry into Paradise, sisters had to be looked after and given their due rights, and wives were to be sheltered, clothed, fed and treated kindly by their husbands. Each one of them had been assigned a share in the inheritance.
His pleasant countenance
According to a Hadith from Jami at-Tirmidhi, no man smiled as much as the Prophet (PBUH). He was the most pleasant of men who’d smile and greet everyone with a radiant smile. Above all, a gentle soul and the bearer of a friendly attitude.
Anyone who met the Prophet (PBUH) would think that he was the most beloved to him. That speaks volumes about how pleasantly he came across to them. He never had a harsh word to say unless it was to protect Allah’s religion.
His concern for the welfare of orphans
In a Hadith recorded in Sunan Ibn Majah, Muhammad (PBUH) stated that the best Muslim house is the one where people are good to an orphan, whereas the worst Muslim house is the one where an orphan is mistreated.
No one ever found our evergreen role model to lack love and compassion for one and all. This included people from every stratum of life. The Prophet (PBUH) had reserved a special place in his heart for orphans after he became an orphan at an early age.
He once put his index and middle fingers together and then said he who looks after an orphan would be like this with me in the Afterlife.
His love for cooperation and collaboration
Regarding the battle of the Trench, a companion narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that he saw Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on that day, carrying dirt that had resulted from the Muslims’ digging until it covered his chest.
Before that, he (PBUH) had also participated like any other laborer in building Masjid e Nabwi. He was not accustomed to leading a life of luxury or grandeur. Once when questioned by Jibrail (A.S), if he wanted a mountain of gold to follow him wherever he went, he had replied that he would rather that Allah provides him with just enough for a day so that he may thank Him. Then the next day, he would like that Allah keeps him hungry so that he may supplicate to Him for sustenance.
His concern for animal rights
Muhammad (PBUH) once urged Ayesha (RA) to be gentle with a horse when she was struggling to ride it. (Sahih Muslim)
He was known to have reported that a prostitute who quenched the thirst of a dog by drawing water out of a well in her leather sock was given the glad tidings of Paradise. Allah appreciated her action and forgave her discrepancies.
In another report, he mentioned how a cruel woman had kept a cat caged in her home without feeding it until it had grown weak and died. He said she would find her place in Hellfire.
The list of the Prophet’s (PBUH) unparalleled qualities is endless, but for a dearth of space, we leave you with this:
In Mustadrak Al-Hakim, the Prophet (PBUH) said that Allah’s most loved believers are the ones who possess the best manners.