MANNERS & ATTRIBUTES OF THE PROPHET ﷺ
In the Qur’an, the Prophet ﷺ is addressed directly, “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” [Qur’an, 68.4]
Also Allaah S.W.T. said, “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 ﷺ, are numerous in number. Allaah gave him praiseworthy and noble characteristics that are not to be found in anyone other than him ﷺ 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 ﷺ 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). There is none that has excelled the Messenger in any virtue, characteristic or quality except that he ﷺ was the first.
The Prophet ﷺ was our role model and the premier example of a man who displayed the finest possible character. He ﷺ said, “The only reason I have been sent is to perfect good manners.” [Al-Bukhaari, Ahmad]
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have Mercy on him) summarized the extent of his noble manners by saying:-
It is imperative that we as Muslims realize the completeness of the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ and know that our true honor and distinction among the nations, as well as our success in the Hereafter, lies in embracing his guidance, in all affairs of belief and action.
Male or female, adult or child, scholar or commoner, businessman or laborer – all Muslims need to study the biography of the Messenger of Allah. In fact, the fulfillment of many of our Islamic duties hinges upon our knowledge of the Prophet’s life. Through the study of the Seerah (the Prophet’s biography), we are able to appreciate how the Prophet ﷺ was an ideal husband, ideal father, ideal leader, ideal ruler, ideal educator, ideal judge, and so on and how He ﷺ maintained balance in everything. So regardless of our situation and who we are, we should learn and benefit from studying the Prophet’s life.
‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said that when describing the Prophet ﷺ. It is mentioned in the lengthy story about Sa’d ibn Hishaam ibn ‘Aamir, when he came to Madeenah and went to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) and asked her about some matters. He said: I said: O Mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allaah (S). She said: Do you not read the Qur’aan? I said: Of course. She said: The character of the Prophet of Allaah ﷺ was the Qur’aan. I wanted to get up and not ask about anything else until I died… (Muslim).
According to another report: I said: O Mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ. She said: O my son, do you not read the Qur’aan? Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) are on an exalted (standard of) character” [al-Qalam 68:4]. The character of Muhammad was the Qur’aan. Narrated by Abu Ya’la (8/275) with a saheeh isnaad.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim (3/268): What this means is that he acted in accordance with it, adhering to its limits, following its etiquette, paying heed to its lessons and parables, pondering its meanings and reciting it properly.
Some of the names of the Prophet ﷺ are clearly proven in the Qur’an and Sunnah. In the Qur’an he is called Muhammad and Ahmad. In the saheeh hadiths it says that he has a number of names, as follows: “I have several names. I am Muhammad, and I am Ahmad, and I am al-Maahi (the eraser) by means of whom Allah erases kufr, and I am al-Haashir (the gatherer) at whose feet the people will be gathered, and I am al-‘Aaqib (the last) after whom there will be no other.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari(4896) and Muslim (2354).
It was narrated that Abu Moosa al-Ash‘ari (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ mentioned several of his names to us. He said: “I am Muhammad, and Ahmad, and al-Muqaffi (the last in succession) and al-Haashir (the gatherer) and the Prophet of Repentance and the Prophet of Mercy.” Narrated by Muslim (2355).
In some hadiths the number of names is apparently defined. In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (3532) it is narrated from Muhammad ibn Jubayr ibn Mut‘im that his father (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “I have five names: I am Muhammad, and Ahmad, and and I am al-Maahi (the eraser) by means of whom Allah erases kufr, and I am al-Haashir (the gatherer) at whose feet the people will be gathered, and I am al-‘Aaqib (the last).”
There were many other names attributed to the Prophet but the scholars differed concerning them and whether they may correctly be attributed to the Prophet ﷺ or not.
There are ahadeeth emphasizing the importance of Manners & Character, we will list some of them below, the Prophet ﷺ said:
Even though such great importance and rewards have been mentioned sadly nowadays something strange is going on.
There’s clearly something wrong. Why is there such a massive difference between what Islam teaches us and what is being reflected in society? The answer is: manners.
Stop a moment and comprehend that your manners can be one of the reasons a person accepts Islam and his/her good deeds from there on will all in your accounts. Ponder on the fact that Manners will weigh so heavily on the Day of Judgment when every small thing can make a big difference, envision being nearest to the Prophet ﷺ on the Day of Judgment, realize that manners could be one of the main reasons for Allah to enter you into His Gardens of Paradise. Or think of the worse thing that your bad manners could be a reason why a person never wants to come near Muslims or learn about Islam, how would that be, when we are meant to spread the message of Islam we infact become an obstacle of it spreading be cause of our Manners and attitude towards others. We should speak the truth, be honest, be brave, be just, not just because society considers it good manners; we should because Allah ‘azza wajal has commanded us to do so! Allah (swt) has told us which manners are good.
So develop your good habits only for the sake of Allah, remembering your relationship with Him and seeking closeness to Him while focusing on your manners, this helps us to do more than we can for any worldly benefits.
One of the core problems with the Muslims specially those who are good at some things is that they become complacent. They do some really good things but then fall way behind in other things like a person is really good in Salah, Dawah, etc but his relation with his parents is appalling. This is not a complete Muslim, the main attribute of the Prophet’s character was perfection. He strove for perfection in everything he did. When someone would speak to him, he would turn around fully to talk. When speaking with him, he was never the first to look away, he was the best of companions and similarly was the best to his wives. He was simply perfect in everything he did Alhamdulilah!
We are not like him but we strive to follow his guidance as much as we can. So we should try to perfect anything we do and be consistent at it, no matter how small the deed!
Abee Zayd al-Qayrawaanee, (also known as, Malik As-Sagheer) (May Allah have mercy on him) says: “The narrations of morals and manners have been combined into four narrations” The Prophet ﷺ said:
All of the narrations related from the Prophet ﷺ pertaining to conduct, returns back to these four narrations. So we should strive to understand and implement them in lives.
And last but not least, seeing the importance of Manners and its rewards we should ask the one who has all power, The One who made us to grant us good manners and constantly ask for it which will be a good deed as well as areminder for ourselves. Even the Prophet ﷺ used to pray for a good attitude, saying, “O Allaah, You have made my outward form beautiful so make my attitude good too.” [Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (3/239) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani].
He also used to pray by saying, “O Allah guide me to the best character, none can guide me to the best character except you. And divert away from the evil character and none divert it away from me except you“.
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 give us the Hidayah to follow the Prophet in the best way possible. And all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds.