Upon seeing some women and children returning from a wedding ceremony, the Prophet (pbuh), hastily and happily, got up and said,
“O Allah (bear witness), you are among the most beloved of all people to me.”1
He (Pbuh) used to line up children, stretch out his welcoming arms, and say, “Whoever comes to me first shall have such-and-such (a reward).” Children used to race one another to him, fall on his back and chest, and he (Pbuh) would kiss them and keep company with them.
“I have never seen anyone more merciful towards children than the Messenger of Allah ,” recollected Anas, the Prophet’s servant. “His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet nurse in the hills around Al-Madinah. He (Pbuh) used to go there, and we accompanied him. Then he (Pbuh) would enter the house filled with smoke – for the wet nurse’s husband was a blacksmith. He (Pbuh) would pick up his son, kiss him, and then return.”
Upon coming back from journeys, he (Pbuh) was welcomed back by children. He (Pbuh) used to give them lifts on his mount and kindly amuse them.
‘Abdullah bin Ja‘far said, “Once he (Pbuh) came back from a journey, and I was taken to him first. He (Pbuh) made me mount in front of him. Then one of the two sons of Fatimah (the Prophet’s daughter) was brought. He (Pbuh) made him mount behind him, and thus we entered Al-Madinah, three on one riding animal.”
Ibn ‘Abbas t said, “When the Prophet (Pbuh) arrived at Makkah, the children of Banu ‘Abdul-Muttalib would receive him. He (Pbuh)would then take up one of them in front of him and another behind him.”
Jabir bin Samurah t narrated, “I offered Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer led by the Messenger of Allah. He (Pbuh) then went out to his family, and I went along with him when some children met him (on the way). He (Pbuh) started to wipe both cheeks of each one of them, one by one. He (Pbuh) wiped mine too. I felt a coolness or fragrance in his hand, as if he (Pbuh) had just brought it out of the scent casket of a perfumer.”
Usamah bin Zaid, the beloved adopted son of the Messenger of Allah r, narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) used to take me and place me on his thigh and place Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali (his grandson) on his other thigh, and then embrace us and say,
‘O Allah, please be merciful to them, for I am merciful to them.’”3 According to another narration, the Prophet (Pbuh)said, “O Allah, please love them, for I love them.”7
Those children lived to remember the Prophet’s kindness towards them in their childhood; memories they narrate which reveal a unique relationship between people and the Prophet of Allah, in a way unprecedented in the history of mankind.
- Anas bin Malik, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of An-Nikah (Marriage), Hadith no. 4782.
- ‘Abdullah bin Al-Harith, Musnad Ahmad, Book of Banu Hashim, Hadith no. 1739.
- Sahih Muslim, Book of Al-Fada’il (Virtues), Hadith no. 4280.
- Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Hajj (Pilgrimage), Hadith no. 1671.
- Sahih Muslim, Book of Al-Fada’il, Hadith no. 4297.
- Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Adab (Good Manners), Hadith no. 5544.
- Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib (Merits), Hadith no. 3455.