How is it possible to love the religion of Islam if you do not know about the one who delivered the divine revelation from Allah SWT to humankind? The Prophet ﷺ declared that no believer’s faith would ever be complete until he reaches the stage of loving the Prophet ﷺ more than his parents, his children, and his self [Bukhari & Muslim]. How then, can we call ourselves believers yet not study and learn about the seerah and admirable traits of Prophet Muhammed ﷺ, the seal of the prophets?
Allah SWT describes him in the Qu’ran as:
‘Verily, you are of a tremendous nature’ [68:4]
By studying the seerah and character of the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ, it increases our love for this man who is the helper of truth by truth, the one who shows mercy and the guide towards the straight path. He is the one who gathered people towards tawhid, to worship Allah SWT correctly as well as to establish the laws of justice, freedom, and equality. He had sent envoys to kings and empires delivering the message of Islam while being a Prophet, a leader, a husband, a father, a friend, and so much more. Through the study of the Prophet’s ﷺ life, we can reap many benefits, such as:
1. To build an emotional connection with the Prophet ﷺ
Quite simply, we cannot truly love a man without knowing anything about his character. Imagine if someone gave you a name and said to you that you must love and follow this person’s actions. It is unlikely that you would, and if you did, you would do so robotically with no emotion. The same way we spend time in understanding Allah SWT’s attributes, we must get to know the Prophet ﷺ, who was chosen by our Lord amongst others to deliver the message of Islam.
2. To become better versions of ourselves
Prophet Muhammed ﷺ is the most perfect man to have ever walked on this earth. The recorded accounts of his life show us his admirable and magnificent traits and how he had behaved in different roles. He is the role model we must follow.
3. To follow the sunnah
‘Sunnah’ is the practice and tradition of Prophet Muhammed ﷺ. By following the sunnah, we can be better believers and servants of Allah SWT. Aishah (ra) – the wife of the Prophet ﷺ – said, when asked about the character of the Prophet ﷺ,
‘Verily, the character of the Prophet of Allah was the Qu’ran”- [Sahih Muslim]
4. To encourage us to send blessings and salutations upon him
To pray on the Prophet ﷺ is an excellent method to help purify the heart. To praise the Messenger ﷺ once, Allah SWT praises that person ten times. The Ulema (scholars) have said that Allah SWT praising the person ten times is Him sending down his mercy on that individual ten times. So if you were to say ‘sallahu alayhi wa sallam’ once, ten mercies of Allah SWT comes down and cleanses your heart of all the darkness. Take a break here and say ‘sallahu alayhi wa sallam’ ten times.
You have now received 100 mercies of Allah SWT.
5. To represent Islam in a better light.
In these times when Islam is being represented as a violent religion in the west, studying and embodying the Prophet’s ﷺ manners will allow us to show the beauty and perfection of Islam and to develop the correct Islamic identity and character.
How can I study about the Prophet ﷺ?
There are different methods of studying about Prophet Muhammed ﷺ. Some will enjoy reading about his biography through learning about his ancestry, upbringing, life events pre and post revelation, battles, the conquest of Makkah, his marriage and family life, and much more. This is referred to as studying the ‘seerah’ of the Prophet ﷺ and is beneficial as it allows us not just to learn about Islamic history, but to appreciate the incidents and situations the Prophet ﷺ faced that provide real-life lessons. Furthermore, studying the character of the Prophet ﷺ teaches us his pure nature and traits such as his honesty, his generosity to the poor, and more.
Remember, that there is not much benefit in reading a book page by page if you do not reflect. As you explore Prophet Muhammed’s ﷺ biography, ask yourself reflective questions:
- What have I learned from this particular event?
- How can I apply this lesson that I learned into my life?
- How do I practice this trait of the Prophet ﷺ?
- How do I embody this sunnah into my daily routine?