Morals and Attributes of Muhammad (PBUH)

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first: his morals

after the death of his paternal uncle abu talib, allah’s prophet lived at the house of his paternal grandfather, abdul muttalib who was the leader of makkah. there, allah’s prophet had the opportunity to acquire wisdom and sound thinking as well as get acquainted with surrounding issues, problems and disputes. he had first hand experience of different people, the status of arab tribes, communities and alliances. besides, he actively participated in all this: he was a member of hilf al fudhool (lit. alliance of virtue) that supported the wronged and resisted any aspect of oppression; he was a just judge in many disputes among tribes and families. allah’s prophet was the best among his community in terms of magnanimity, morals, forbearance, truthfulness, impeachable disposition, chastity, and fulfilment. in short, he was, as described by his wife khadijah (may allah be pleased with her), a person who kept good relations with his kith and kin, helped the poor and the destitute, served his guests generously and assisted the deserving calamity-afflicted ones. (1)

1) excellence in morals

orientlist arthur gilman says: “historians agreed that muhammadpeace and blessings be upon him- was distinguished among his tribe because of his straight morals: truthfulness, honesty, generosity, good merits, and modesty. he never drank alcohols and never attended a festival or celebration dedicated to idols. (2)

2) not even a blemish

karl broklman says: “muhammad’s life did not have even one blemish. during his boyhood and adulthood, he was above suspicions in which his companions immersed. (3)

3) noble-minded thinker

thomas carlyle indicates that: “it was noted that muhammadpeace and blessings be upon him- was a thoughtful youth; his companions used to describe him as “the honest” (al ameen) – the man of truthfulness and fulfilment. he was truthful in his actions, sayings, and thoughts. his companions realized that he was so wise. i know also that he was long in silence and did not speak without cause. once he spoke, his words were full of wisdom. during his life, he was a man of principle, determination, insightful, and of consecutive sorrows. he was known of being generous, pious, compassionate, allah-fearing, virtuous, proud, hard working, and straightforward. at the same time, he was affable, well disposed, ever smiling, and cheerful. there was always a bright smile over his face, a smile that tells about a pure heart. muhammadpeace and blessings be upon him- was intelligent and magnanimous, intuitively great and divinely taught. he thus performed his greatest task in the middle of the barren desert. (4)

4) the most magnanimous

belgian scholar alfred alfanz writes about the morals of allah’s prophet muhammadpeace and blessings be upon him: “muhammadpeace and blessings be upon himgrew up on morals. he was the best in magnanimity, patience and honesty. he was the best to talk and the most truthful. he was far away from obscenity so that he was known among his people by the epithet al ameen. these credentials urged the wealthy khadijah bint khuwaylid to ask him to be among the members of her commercial journey to syria with her servant maisrah. he earned for her a lot of money and maisrah came back and told her about the miracles he saw. she proposed to him through a relative. she was forty years old and twice widowed. allah’s prophet gave her twenty bakrah as her dowry. he was twenty-five. he lived with her until she died. (5)

5) people’s respect for him

russian scholar arlinov talked about the prophet of mercy: “he was famous of being good-tempered, well-disposed, modesty, and affability. muhammad spent forty years among people in peace and tranquillity. all his relatives loved him dearly and all his acquaintances did respect him because of his sound principles, unique morals, honour, and uprightness. (6)

6) sayings of his contemporaries

the above was some of the opinions of fair western scholars regarding the morals of muhammadpeace and blessings be upon him. what about his companions and contemporaries who accompanied him?

ali ibn abi talib said:

“allah’s prophet would guard his tongue from that which did not concern him. he would attract them (the people) and not repel them. he would ennoble the noble of the people and charge them with their affairs. he was wary of the people and guarded himself against them but without depriving them a warm smile or fitting conduct. he would inquire after his companions and would ask the people about their affairs. he would encourage that which was good and strengthen it, and he would discourage that which was evil and undermine it. he was balanced and consistent. he would never be neglectful that they would not learn neglect and grow indifferent. he had a provision for every occasion and he never fell short of justice nor exceeded it. the closest people to him were the most comprehensive in advice. the highest of them in stature with him was the best among them in looking after the people and assisting them. (7)

“he was ever smiling, gentle in manners, soft in nature. he was not severe, harsh-hearted, loud at marketplaces, abusive, or encomiast. he would disregard that which he disliked, and no one ever despaired of him. he never responded to disparagement or evil words. he forbade upon himself three things: argument, arrogance, and that which did not concern him. and he relieved the people of three: he would not degrade any among them or abuse them; he would not search after their honour or private matters, and he would not speak except in matters which he hoped to be rewarded for. when he spoke his attendees would lower their heads as if birds had alighted on them. once he finished they would speak. they would not vie with one another in his presence to speak, but when one would talk in his presence, the rest would listen until he finished. speech in his presence was that of the first among them. he would laugh with them, and wonder with them. he had patience with the strangers when they were gruff in speech and requests. (8)

“allah’s prophet’s silence was because of four reasons: forbearance, caution, discretion, and contemplation. his discretion was related to deep thinking, listening to people and his contemplation was in the eternal and not the ephemeral. he had the utmost level of patience so that he could not get angry easily. caution for him was of four types: following good to be followed, avoiding evil to be avoided, thinking deeply in the best things for his umma and doing the best for them to gather both life and afterlife. (9)

“he was ever smiling, well disposed, not vulgar or harsh. he was not clamorous or obscene. he was not faultfinding or quarrelsome. he would disregard

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