Prophet Muhammad: A Role Model of Humbleness

Prophet Muhammad: A Role Model of Humbleness

By Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Prophet Muhammad A Role Model of Humbleness

No one was more beloved to the Companions than the Prophet.

Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is their role model in all walks of life. His footsteps are to be followed so that they will attain happiness in this life and the Hereafter.

We read in the Quran what gives the meaning of:

There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

 Imam Ibn Kathir (the famous commentator of the Quran) says:

“This verse originates the idea of following the footsteps of the Prophet in his sayings, actions, and manners.”

In the following lines we will cite some examples of the Prophet’s humbleness and how he showed this characteristics in different situations.

About humbleness, the Prophet is reported to have said:

Charity does not decrease property and Allah increases the honor of him who forgives and no one will humble himself for Allah’s sake except that Allah raises his status.” (Muslim)

Umar ibn Al-Khattab (one of the Prophet’s Companions) reported that the Prophet said :

“Do not exceed in praising me as the Christians over-praised Jesus (peace be upon him). (That they made him the son of God.) I am a bondsman of Allah, therefore, call me the bondsman of Allah and His Messenger.”

The Prophet did not accept any words of praise as the Christians did with Jesus to the extent that they made him a god or the son of a god.

Anas ibn Malik said:

A woman came to the Prophet and said: I would like to speak to you in private’. The Prophet  replied: “Sit on any street of Madinah and I will come there and listen to you.

In normal circumstances, people do not pay attention to old people’s requests and usually they ignore them. But in the above report, the Prophet stopped and listened attentively to the old woman and asked her to choose the proper place where she can talk to the Prophet freely and at ease.

Anas ibn Malik said:

The Prophet visited the sick, attended funerals, rode on donkeys, accepted the invitations of slaves. On the day of the battle of Banu Qurayzhah, he rode on a donkey, the reigns of which were made of date palm leaves. On it was also a saddle made of date palm leaves.

Anas ibn Malik said:

The Prophet accepted and attended invitations where bread made of barley, and stale fat a few days old was served (without hesitation he accepted these invitations). The Prophet had pawned his armor to a Jew. Till the end of his life, he did not possess a sufficient amount to release that armor'”.

Anas ibn Malik said:

The Prophet performed hajj on an old pack saddle. On it was a piece of cloth, the value of which was less than four Dirhams. The Prophet was reciting this supplication: ‘Allah make this hajj one that has no show or fame'”.

Anas ibn Malik said:

“No one was more beloved to the Companions than the Prophet. When they saw him, they did not stand up, knowing that he did not approve of it”.

Anas ibn Malik said:

“Even if I am given a foot of a goat as a present, I will accept it, and if I am invited to partake of it, I will surely accept that invitation”.

Jabir ibn Abdullah said:

The Prophet came to visit me (while I was ill). He did not come on the back of a mule, or on a Turkish horse”. (i.e. He did not come on defective or an expensive conveyance, but came on foot).

Lady Aishah was asked: “What was the usual practice of the Prophet? She replied:

“He was a human from among other humans. He himself removed the lice from his clothing, milked his goats, and did all his work himself”.

Anas ibn Malik reported that when Allah’s Messenger happened to pass by young boys, he would great them. (Muslim)

It is reported that Al-Aswad asked Aishah “What did the Prophet use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said:

“Every Prophet has tended sheep”. He was asked: “And did you?” He replied, “Yes, I tended them for a few carats for the Makkans.” (Al-Bukhari)

Tamim ibn Usaid reported:

I came to Messenger of Allah while he was delivering a Khutbah (sermon) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, a stranger (meaning himself) has come to inquire about his religion. He is quite ignorant about his religion.” The Messenger of Allah interrupted his Khutbah and turned to me. Then a chair was brought for him and he sat on it. He started instructing me what Allah had taught him. Then he resumed his Khutbah and completed it. (Muslim)

Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa said the Messenger of Allah used to recite a great deal of remembrance, engage little in idle talk, make the prayer long and keep the khutbah short, and he would not refrain from walking with a widow or poor person and tending to their needs. (An-Nasa’i)

The above reports tell us more about one of the basic characteristics of the Prophet, i.e. humbleness. This behavior did not change through the different phases of his life whether he was in Makkah or Madinah whether before he was called for prophethood or after he was called for prophethood. It is high time for all of us to be humble and modest.

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About the author:

Dr. Mohsen Haredy holds a PhD in Hadith literature from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait. He graduated from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden University.

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