Transcribed Lecture (summarised and abridged) – original audio here:
All Praise is due to Allāh, we praise Him, seek His aid and His Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allāh from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allāh guides there is none to misguide and whomsoever Allāh misguides there is none to guide. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, alone, without any partners and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
“O you who believe, fear Allāh as He should be feared, and die not except as Muslims.” (3:102)
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (4:1)
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allāh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).”(33:70-71)
The truest speech is the Book of Allāh, and the best way is the way of Muhammad (sallaAllaahu alayhi wa sallam). The worst of affairs are the newly invented matters, every newly invented matter is an innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire. To proceed,
Allaah (subhana wa ta’ala) has stated
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (33:21)
The characteristics, attributes and descriptions of the Messenger of Allaah, are numerous in number. Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) mentions that the Ulamah have written lengthy works, entitled ‘Shama’il al Muhammadiyyah’ and it refers to the descriptions, qualities and attributes of our Messenger, Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). Allaah gave him praiseworthy and noble characteristics that are not to be found in anyone other than him (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) amongst all of creation. This is because he is the most virtuous of the Messengers and the leader of all of those who fear Allaah (subhana wa ta’ala) and it was narrated from Abu Sa’eed that the Messenger of Allaah said: “I am the leader of the sons of Adam, and it is no boast. I will be the first one for whom the earth will be split open on the Day of Resurrection, and it is no boast. I will be the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted, and it is no boast…” (Sunan ibn Majah | Arabic reference : Book 37, Hadith 4450 ). There is none that has excelled the Messenger in any virtue, characteristic or quality except that he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was the first.
How the Messenger of Allaah(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was with regards the night prayer:
There occurs in a narration, Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “When any one of you leads the people in prayer, he should be brief for among them are the young and the aged, the weak and the sick. But when one of you prays by himself, he may (prolong) as he likes.” (Sahih Muslim | Book of Prayers )
‘Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) kept standing (in prayer) so long that the skin of his feet would crack. I asked him: “Why do you do this, while you have been forgiven of your former and latter sins?” He said, “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?“ (Bukhari, Muslim | Arabic/English book reference : Book 9, Hadith 1160 )
This is the reason why the Prophet(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) carries such favour with Allaah – His sins are forgiven, he is noble and he is given the highest station amongst the creation yet he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) did such deeds.
Hudhaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I performed Salat with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) one night, and he started reciting Surat Al-Baqarah. I thought that he would go in Ruku` (bowing posture in Salat) at the end of one hundred Ayat, but he continued (reciting); and I thought that he would perhaps recite (this Surah) in the whole Rak`ah (prayer), but he continued the recitation; I thought he would perhaps bow on completing (this Surah). He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) then started reciting Surat An-Nisa’ which he followed with Surat Al-Imran. He recited leisurely. When he recited an Ayah which mentioned the tasbeeh, he would say Subhan Allah – and when he recited the Ayah which tells how the Lord is to be asked, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) would then ask from Him; and when he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) recited an Ayah asking one to seek Protection Allah, he would seek Protection of Allah.
Then he bowed and said, “Subhana Rabbiyal-Adheem (My Lord the Perfect is free from imperfection)”. His bowing lasted about the same length of time as his standing, (and then on returning to the standing posture after Ruku`) he would say, “Sami’ Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana lakal-hamd (Allah listens to him who praises Him. Praise be to You, Our Lord!),” – and he would then stand about the same length of time as he had spent in bowing. He would then prostrate himself and say, “Subhana Rabbiyal-A`la (My Rubb the Supreme is free from imperfection),” and his prostration lasted nearly the same length of time as his standing (Qiyam). [Muslim].
Narrated ‘Aisha: “Allah’s Apostle used to fast till one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting till one would say that he would never fast.” (Bukhari | Volume 3, Book 31, Number 190)
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was the bravest from the bravest men in the battlefield and there was not a single person that would proceed him in battle. The sahabah would fear for him that he would be captured or harmed by the enemy because of how close he was to them (the enemy). Ali ibn Abi’ Taalib said: “We would fear for the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) because he would enter the battle and you could see him energised, his eyes would become red and he would be the closest of the people to the enemy.”
The Prophet was from the most generous of the people and he would not store his wealth. He would receive wealth, like from the spoils of war, gifts and presents but he would never gather it and keep it stored. Rather, he would spend it for the cause of Allaah or give it to the needy. It is known that up until the Messenger of Allaah died, upon him was debt. He had pawned a coat of armour that was held at security with a Jew in exchange for some food that the Messenger of Allaah was to buy. ‘Aisha said: “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) bought some foodstuff (barley) from a Jew on credit and mortgaged his iron armour to him (the armour stands for a guarantor)” and in another narration “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) died while his (iron) armour was mortgaged to a Jew for thirty Sa’ of barley.” (Sahih Bukhari)
This tells us the Messeneger of Allaah did not leave any wealth behind rather he left a legacy of knowledge for the whole of mankind to follow up until Yawmul Qiyamah.
Narrated Abu Hazim: I heard Sahl bin Sa`d saying, “A woman brought a Burda (i.e. a square piece of cloth having edging). I asked, ‘Do you know what a Burda is?’ They replied in the affirmative and said, “It is a cloth sheet with woven margins.” Sahl went on, “She addressed the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, ‘I have woven it with my hands for you to wear.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) took it as he was in need of it, and came to us wearing it as a waist sheet. One of us said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Give it to me to wear.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) agreed to give it to him. The Prophet (ﷺ) sat with the people for a while and then returned (home), wrapped that waist sheet and sent it to him. The people said to that man, ‘You haven’t done well by asking him for it when you know that he never turns down anybody’s request.’ The man replied, ‘By Allah, I have not asked him for it except to use it as my shroud when I die.” Sahl added; “Later it (i.e. that sheet) was his shroud.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The Prophet would give and not fear poverty and would give without pride, rather he would give as if he was one of them. He would have more joy in giving to others than receiving something from them. However, in Ramadhaan his generosity would increase even more.
Best example to be followed
We are not like him but we strive to follow his guidance as much as we can. The prophet would enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and he would sacrifice himself by exposing himself to danger (i.e. giving da’wah to the non-Muslims who attempted to kill him). He went to Ta’if to call them to Islaam and was stoned until he was bleeding into his sandals. He is the most sincere advisor, completed that which was upon him and he fulfilled that which Allaah wanted him to fulfil. So take heed and emulate these attributes/characteristics in your lives.
BaarakAllaahu Feekum, We ask Allaah to grant us success to worship Him, and obey Him as He deserves – we ask Him to forgive us and show us His mercy and enter us in to the eternal Gardens of Paradise and protect us from His punishment. And all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds.
Umm Sufyaan al Albaaniyah, (may Allaah reward her).