HOW can one develop in their heart love of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) more than anything else in the world?
The strength of love for the Messenger (peace be upon him) is connected to the Muslim’s faith. When his faith increases, his love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) increases. Loving the Prophet (peace be upon him) is an act of obedience to Allah and a means of drawing closer to Him. Loving the Prophet (peace be upon him) is one of the obligatory duties in Islam.
It was narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child and all the people.” (Al-Bukhari, 15; Muslim, 44)
You can increase your love of the Messenger (peace be upon him) by realizing the following:
Firstly: He was sent by his Lord who chose him above all of creation to convey the religion of Allah to mankind. Allah chose him because He loved him and was pleased with him. If Allah were not pleased with him, He would not have chosen him. So we must love the one whom Allah loves and be pleased with the one with whom Allah is pleased. We must realize that he is the close friend of Allah and that close friendship is a higher status and it is the highest degree of love.
Jundub is said to have narrated: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: ‘I declare before Allah that I have no close friend from among you. Allah has taken me as a close friend as he took Ibrahim as a close friend. If I were to have taken a close friend from among my ummah, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a close friend.” (Muslim, 532)
Secondly: We should realize the high status to which Allah has raised him, for he (peace be upon him) is the best of mankind.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “I will be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection, the first whose grave will be opened, the first to intercede and the first to be asked to intercede.” (Muslim, 2278)
Thirdly: We should realize that he suffered trials and difficulties in order to bring Islam to us. We should remember that the Messenger (peace be upon him) was persecuted, hit, slandered and insulted; the closest people to him disowned him and accused him of being a madman, a liar and a sorcerer. He fought the people in order to protect the religion so that it could reach us; they fought him, expelled him from his people and homeland, and gathered armies against him.
Fourthly: We should follow the example of his companions who loved him deeply. They loved him more than wealth and sons, and more than their own selves.
There follow some examples of that: It was narrated that Anas said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when the barber was cutting his hair and his companions were going around him wanting to ensure that his hair would fall only into someone’s hand. (Muslim, 2325)
It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “On the Day of Uhud some of the people fled and left the Prophet (peace be upon him), but Abu Talhah stood before him covering him with a shield. Abu Talhah was a powerful archer who broke two or three bows that day. When a man passed by carrying a quiver containing arrows, he would say: Give them to Abu Talhah.
Whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) raised his head to look at the people, Abu Talhah would say: “O Prophet of Allah, may my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, do not raise your head lest you be struck by an arrow shot by the enemy. My neck is before your neck.” (Bukhari, 3600; Muslim, 1811)
Fifthly: You should follow his Sunnah in word and deed, so that his Sunnah is the path you follow in your whole life, and you put his words before any other words and put his command before everything else; and you should follow the ‘aqeedah (belief) of his noble Companions, and the aqeedah of the Taabieen who followed them, and the aqeedah of those who followed their path until the present day, namely Ahl Al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah, and avoid bid’ah (innovation).
We ask Allah to help us to love His Messenger (peace be upon him) and to make him dearer to us than our children, parents, families and our own selves.