39. He never kept anything for tomorrow. Sometimes neither
he nor his family had anything to eat for days. They often
ate barley bread.1
40. When he broke his fast at sunset, he would first eat a date
or two or drink water before he made his sunset prayer.2
41. When he ate, he sat on the floor;3 he never leaned on
anything while he ate.4 He washed his hands well before
and after eating.5
42. He ate what was on his side of the plate; he never reached
for a morsel in the middle of the plate.6
43. He did not start eating a warm dish until it cooled a bit.
He said, “Eat cold food, because it has the blessing of
abundance. If you are heedful you will see how much more
you must eat when you eat warm food…”7
44. He never blew on his food to cool it, nor did he blow into
his cup when he drank.8
45. He preferred the meat of the front part of the sheep.9 He
disliked eating the internal organs of the animal. He refused
1 Set forth by •al-TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 4:580 §2359–2362. •Ibn ±ibb¥n
in al-ßa^Ï^, 14:270 §6356.
2 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 3:164 §12698. •Ab‰
D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 2:306 §2356. •al-TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 3:79 §696.
3 Set forth by •al->abar¥nÏ in Mu¢jam al-KabÏr, 12:67 §12494. •al-
BayhaqÏ in Shu¢ab al-¬m¥n, 6:290 §8192.
4 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2062 §5083.
5 Set forth by •Ibn M¥jah in al-Sunan, 2:1085 §3260.
6 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2056 §§§5061–5063. •Muslim
in al-ßa^Ï^, 3:1599 §2022. •Ab‰ ±ayy¥n al-A|bah¥nÏ in Akhl¥q al-NabÏ
a wa ®d¥bihi, 3:201, 210 §§589, 595.
7 Set forth by •al-±¥kim in al-Mustadrak, 4:132 §7125. •al->abar¥nÏ in
al-Mu¢jam al-KabÏr, 24:66 §172.
8 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2133 §5307. •Muslim in ßa^Ï^,
1:225 §267. •Ab‰ D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 3:338 §3728. •al-TirmidhÏ in al-
Sunan, 4:304 §1888.
9 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 6:8 §23910.
to eat the kidneys, although he did not forbid others to eat
Among vegetables he liked squash and cucumbers.2
46. He accepted all invitations to dinner, even from a slave,
where he may have eaten stale animal fat with old barley
bread.3 He started eating only after others started. After
each meal he said: “Praise is due to God” and prayed for
his host and the ones who had shared the meal.4
47. He went to bed after the night prayer, awoke in the middle
of the night to pray, and slept again until before the
morning prayer.5 His eyes slept but his heart did not sleep.6
48. His bed was piece of felt.7 Sometimes he used a straw mat
thrown on the hard floor, which marked his blessed side
when he lay upon it.8 The mat was not bigger than the size
of a grave.9
He would not go to bed without taking an ablution and
cleaning his teeth.10
1 Set forth by •Ab‰ al-Fa\l al-¢Ir¥qÏ in al-MughnÏ ¢an ±aml al-Asf¥r,
1:655 §2439. •al-K¥s¥nÏ in Bad¥√i¢ al-ßan¥√i¢, 5:61. •al-Ghaz¥lÏ in I^y¥√
¢Ul‰m al-DÏn, 2:372.
2 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 3:1615 §2041. •al-TirmidhÏ in al-
Sunan, 4:284 §1850; & in Sham¥√il al-Mu^ammadiyya, p. 168 §203.
•al->abar¥nÏ in al-Mu¢jam al-KabÏr, 24:274 §697.
3 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 4:2198 §2865. •al-TirmidhÏ in al-
Sunan, 3:337 §1017.
4 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 3:1615 §2042.
5 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:385 §§1095–1096. •Muslim in
al-ßa^Ï^, 1:509–510 §§738–739.
6 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:385 §1096. •Muslim in al-
ßa^Ï^, 1:509 §738.
7 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2371 §6091. •Muslim in al-
ßa^Ï^, 3:1650 §2082.
8 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anab in al-Musnad, 3:139–140 §12440.
•Ab‰ Ya¢l¥ in al-Musnad, 5:167 §2782.
9 Set forth by •Ab‰ D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 4:310 §5044.
10 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:97 §244. •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^,
49. He slept with his head turned in the direction of the
Ka¢ba.1 He slept on his right side and used his right hand
as a pillow, placing his palm under his cheek. Before he fell
asleep, he would pray: “O my Sustainer, I live with Your
name; I die with Your name.”2
Then he would repeat three times: ‘On the day of
Resurrection, save me from Your wrath.’3
50. He liked to give gifts and advised his people to do the same.
He would say that giving gifts bring people together.4
51. He smiled when he spoke and showed care and compassion
to the members of his household.5 He did not touch even
the hand of a woman from outside his family.6
52. He would talk to, amuse and play with his wives. He would
show them affection, love and concern.7
53. He helped with the household chores. He cleaned, washed,
mended and milked the sheep. No work was beneath his
4:2081 §2710. •al->abar¥nÏ in al-Mu¢jam al-Awsa~, 8:67 §7980. •Ab‰
Nu¢aym in Ma¢rifat al-ßa^¥ba, 5:2592 §6247.
1 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:476 §683. •A^mad b. ±anbal in
al-Musnad, 5:309 §22685.
2 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2327 §5955. •Muslim in al-
ßa^Ï^, 4:2083 §2711.
3 Set forth by•A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 6:288 §26508. •Ab‰
D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 4:310 §5045. •al-TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 5:471 §3399.
4 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 2:405 §9239. •Ab‰
D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 2:128 §1672. •Ab‰ Ya¢l¥ in al-Musnad, 11:9 §6148.
5 Set forth by •al-TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 5:601 §3641. •A^mad b. ±anbal
in al-Musnad, 5:91 §20885. •Is^¥q b. R¥hawayh in al-Musnad, 3:1008
6 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 2:967 §2564.
7 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2004 §4930. •A^mad b. ±anbal
in al-Musnad, 3:172 §12784. •Ab‰ D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 3:29 §2578.
8 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:229 §5850. •Ibn ±ibb¥n in al-
ßa^Ï^, 14:351 §6440. •al->abar¥nÏ in al-Mu¢jam al-KabÏr, 12:67 §12494.
54. He took his wives out and brought them and his children
to special holy day prayers. When he travelled, he would
always allow his family to accompany him.1
55. When his wives became ill, he took care of them and
cooked soup for them saying, “Drink! This will cleanse the
pain and sadness in the heart of the sick as water cleanses
the dirt of a person’s body.”2
56. When his wives wanted something, he never said no, but
brought them what they wanted as soon as he could.3
57. When they were upset, he would be very kind and gentle
with them. And asked them to pray so that their grief
58. He was gentle with his children.5 He would stand up, as a
gesture of respect, when his daughter F¥~ima h came to see
him, and he would kiss the top of her head.6
59. His grandchildren would climb on his back while he
prayed, and he did not mind.7 He loved all of his people,
but he loved the very young and the very old most of all.8
1 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:181 §2453. •Muslim in al-
ßa^Ï^, 3:1609 §2037.
2 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 6:32 §24081. •al-
TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 4:383 §2039. •al-Nas¥√Ï in al-Sunan al-Kubr¥,
4:372 §§7573, 7576.
3 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 5:2048 §5042. •al-TirmidhÏ in
al-Sunan, 3:519 §§1214–1215.
4 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 2:632 §918(4). •Ibn ±ibb¥n in al-
ßa^Ï^, 3:145 §864. •al->abar¥nÏ in Kit¥b al-Du¢¥√, p. 313 §1026.
5 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:439 §1241. •Muslim in al-
ßa^Ï^, 4:1808 §2316.
6 Set forth by •Ab‰ D¥w‰d in al-Sunan, 4:355 §5217.
7 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:193 §494. •A^mad b. ±anbal
in al-Musnad, 3:493 §16076.
8 Set forth by •Ab‰ Ya¢l¥ in al-Musnad, 7:205–206 §4195.
60. When he led the prayer, he made it short to make it easy
for others. When he prayed alone, he made it long.1
61. He would say to the preachers and leaders: ‘Speak not
long. Long talk has the effect of a sorcerer’s spell. Make
your preaching short and make things easy for people, not
difficult. Give them good tidings, not threats to push them
62. At the time of the morning prayer, the poor and maids
of the people of Medina would come to the mosque with
water pitchers: he would always bless them.3
63. He would say to his Companions l: ‘If anyone is sick, let
me go and visit him. If anyone has passed, let me assist at
his funeral. If anyone has dreamed, let him come and tell
me his dream.’4
64. His staunchest enemies became his closest followers when
the veil of blind prejudice was removed from their sight,
and when they were able, for the very first time, to see
with clarity the true nature of the Prophet’s character.
Thum¥ma b. Uth¥l g, having been forgiven by the Prophet
a, expressed a sentiment that was shared by many other
former enemies of Islam. He said to the Holy Prophet
a: “By God! Throughout the entire earth, no face was
more despised by me than your face; and yet now your
face has become the most beloved of faces to me. By God!
Throughout the entire earth, no religion was more despised
by me than your religion; and yet now your religion has
become the most beloved of religions to me. By God!
Throughout the entire earth, no land was more despised by
1 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:248 §671. •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^,
2 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:38 §69. •Ab‰ D¥w‰d in al-
Sunan, 1:289 §§1106–1107.
3 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 4:1812 §2324.
4 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 1:175–176 §446, 448, 1:471
§1182. •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 5:14 §20177.
me than your land; and yet now your land has become the
most beloved of lands to me.”1
65. In later period, during the Prophet’s lifetime, the last
holdouts from the Quraysh were deeply moved by the
Prophet’s forgiveness and generosity. These were people
who had shown enmity towards the Prophet a for many
years. In spite of their past evils, and in spite of the fact that
the Muslims did not need their help—for Islam by that time
had many adherents—the Prophet a not only forgave them
but acted generously towards them as well. For example,
the Prophet a gave one-hundred sheep to ßafw¥n b.
Ummayya, one of the bitterest foes of Islam. Then during
the same meeting, the Prophet a gave him one-hundred
more sheep; and then he gave him yet another one-hundred
sheep. At that time, ßafw¥n was a polytheist, but he was so
moved by the Prophet’s generosity that he embraced Islam.
He later said: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for
him; by God! I have never seen a better teacher or better
teachings before or since; he did not rebuke me, hit me or
He further stated: “By God! God’s Messenger gave
me a great deal, and that at a time when he was the most
despised of people to me. He then continued to give me
more and more until he became the most beloved of people
66. Yet on another occasion, almost an entire tribe embraced
Islam as a result of the Prophet’s generosity and forgiveness.
That story began when a man went to the Prophet a,
intending to assassinate him. God not only protected the
Prophet a from the man’s plot, but also, in the end, gave
the Prophet a upper hand over him, so that he could
have killed him had he wished. But instead, the Prophet
a forgave him, an act of mercy that had such a profound
1 Set forth by •al-Bukh¥rÏ in al-ßa^Ï^, 4:1589 §4114.
2 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 4:1806 §2313.
impact on the man’s heart that he embraced Islam. What
is more, he went back to his people and conveyed to them
the Prophet’s message; only a short while passed before a
great many of his fellow tribesmen accepted his invitation
and became Muslims.1
67. The Prophet’s message was universal; the truth he
conveyed and the character he displayed appealed not only
to polytheistic Arab, but to Jews and Christians as well.
When the Prophet a first arrived in Medina, he was visited
by the famous Jewish scholar, ¢Abd All¥h b. Sal¥m. ¢Abd
All¥h later recounted his first encounter with the Prophet
a: “I went to where the people of Medina were gathered,
so that I could see the Messenger of God. When I saw his
face, I immediately knew that his was not the face of a liar.
And the first thing I heard him say was: “O people, spread
greetings of peace, feed others from your food, join ties of
family relations, pray at night when people are sleeping,
and, as a result of doing all of that, you will enter Paradise
According to another narration, the Messenger of Allah
a said: “Worship the Sustainer, al-Ra^m¥n, feed others,
establish the custom of invoking peace, then you will enter
Paradise with security.”2
68. Another Jewish man, Zayd b. Sa¢na, wanted to test the
Prophet’s patience by doing something harmful to him.
The Prophet a not only forgave Zayd, but also ordered
¢Umar to give Zayd a gift on his behalf. Zayd, who was
an eminent Jewish scholar, said: “Just by looking at God’s
Messenger, I could discern in his face all of the signs of
Prophethood, except for two, which could not be discerned
simply through the act of looking. Those two signs were,
1 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 3:364 §14971. •Ibn
±ibb¥n in al-ßa^Ï^, 7:138 §2883.
2 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 5:451 §23835. •al-Tir-
midhÏ in al-Sunan, 4:652 §2485.
first, his mercy precedes when faced with ignorance, and
when the one who wronged him anxiously waits to see
whether he shows forbearance or anger, and second, the
more ignorance he is confronted with, the more forbearing
he becomes. I tested the Prophet a in order to see whether
he possessed these qualities.” Answering his own question,
Zayd said to ¢Umar (to whom he was recounting the above
narrative, “O ¢Umar, I am indeed pleased with God as my
Lord, with Islam as my religion, and with Muhammad
as my Prophet. And I make your bear witness that I am
giving away half of my wealth as charity to the nation of
69. HIS MERCY TOWARDS ALL HUMAN BEINGS: JarÏr b. ¢Abd All¥h
g reported that the Messenger of God a said: “If one is
not merciful towards people, then God—the Possessor of
Might and Majesty—will not be merciful towards him.”2
Ab‰ Hurayra g said, “I heard Ab‰ al-Q¥sim g say:
“The quality of being merciful (towards others) is not
removed except from one who is (truly) miserable.”3
To be merciful is to have a soft heart; having a soft
heart is a sign of faith (Ïm¥n). Therefore, if one does not
have a soft heart, one does not have faith. And if one does
not have faith, one is truly miserable.
¢Abd All¥h b. ¢Amr g related that the Messenger of
Allah a said: “As for the merciful ones, the Most-Merciful
One (God) will have mercy on them. Be merciful towards
those who are on earth, and the One in (i.e. above) the
heavens will be merciful towards you.” (The word) al-
ra^im (relatives by way of the womb) is derived from (the
word) al-Ra^m¥n (the Ever-Merciful). So, if one joins ties
with relatives (by way of the womb), God will join ties
1 Set forth by •al->abar¥nÏ in al-Mu¢jam al-KabÏr in 5:222–223 §5147.
2 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 4:358 §19187.
3 Set forth by •al-TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 4:323 §1923. •Ab‰ D¥w‰d in
al-Sunan, 4:286 §4942.
with him. And if one cuts off those ties, God will cut off
ties from him.1
70. HIS MERCY TOWARDS THE OLD AND CHILDREN: Anas b. M¥lik
g said, “An old man once came, wanting to meet the
Prophet a. The people (in the Prophet’s gathering) were
slow to give the old man space; as a result, the Prophet a
said: “Whoever is not merciful towards the young amongst
us and respectful towards the elderly amongst us, is not
71. HIS MERCY TOWARDS DAUGHTERS AND YOUNG GIRLS IN
GENERAL: Ab‰ Sa¢Ïd al-Khu\rÏ g reported that the
Messenger of God a said: “Whenever a person has three
daughters, three sisters, two daughters, or two sisters; fears
God regarding them (their upkeep and in terms of treating
them with honour and kindness); and does good to them
(by being kind and generous towards them), then that
person enters Paradise.”3
72. HIS MERCY TOWARDS ORPHANS: Ab‰ Hurayra g related
that the Messenger of God a said: “If one provides for,
takes care of, and raises an orphan—regardless of whether
that orphan is a relative of his or not—then I and he will
be like these two in Paradise.”
Explaining what the Prophet a meant by “these two,”
M¥lik, one of the narrators of the hadith, pointed to his
index and middle fingers.4
73. HIS MERCY TOWARDS WIDOWS AND THE POOR: Ab‰ Hurayra
g reported that the Prophet a said: “A person who strives
to take care of the needs of the widow and the poor man
is like one who struggles in the way of God, or like one who stands during the night and fasts during day.
1 Set forth by •al-±umaydÏ in al-Musnad, 2:269–270 §§591–592.
2 Set forth by •al-TirmidhÏ in al-Sunan, 4:321 §1919.
3 Set forth by •A^mad b. ±anbal in al-Musnad, 3:42 §11402. •al-Tir-
midhÏ in al-Sunan, 4:318 §1912.
4 Set forth by •Muslim in al-ßa^Ï^, 4:2287 §2983. •A^mad b. ±anbal in
al-Musnad, 2:375 §8868.