Stories of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Character

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran, “Indeed you (O Muhammad) are of a great moral character” (68:4) and “For you in the Messenger of Allah is the finest example to follow…” (33:21)

Below are a few stories that illustrate our beloved Prophet’s beautiful character.

1. Concerned for Us:

“There has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; full of concern for you, to the believers kind and compassionate.” (9:128)

A’ishah narrates “Once, when I saw the Prophet in a good mood, I said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah for me!” So, he said: “O Allah! Forgive ‘A’ishah her past sins and her future sins, the sins which she has hidden and the sins which have been made apparent.”
So I began smiling, to the point that my head fell into the lap of the Messenger of Allah out of joy.
The Messenger of Allah said to me: “Does my supplication make you happy?” I replied: “And how can your supplication not make me happy?”
He then said: “By Allah, it is the supplication that I make for my Ummah in every prayer.” (Al Bazzaar, Hasan)

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I wish I could meet my brothers.” The Prophet’s companions said, “Are we not your brothers?” The Prophet said, “You are my companions, but my brothers are those who have faith in me although they never saw me.” (Musnad Aḥmad)

2. Merciful:

“We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to all the worlds.” (21:107)

“Pray to God against the idolators,” it was said to the Prophet, “and curse them.”
“I have only been sent as a mercy, and have not been sent to curse,” was the Prophet’s reply. (Muslim)

When the Prophet went to the city of Taif to tell them about Islam and the oneness of God, the people stoned him to the point that he was bleeding. The Angel Gabriel came to him and asked, “Shall I bring together these two mountains and destroy the people of Taif who are living in between?” The Prophet did not agree to this and made a prayer for the people of Taif, saying, “O my Lord! Please give right guidance to these people! I ask for a Muslim progeny from their lineage.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

3. Compassionate:

One day, when the Prophet was sitting in Medina, members of a miserable tribe came. They had no shoes. Their skin was stuck to their bones because of hunger. The Prophet became very sad upon seeing their condition and his color changed. He had Bilal give the call to prayer and gathered his companions. From his companions, he took up a collection for the tribe, generously helping them. (Muslim and Ahmad)

Once the Prophet saw a camel which was just skin and bones. He said to the owner of that camel, “Fear Allah for these speechless animals! Do not let them stay hungry!” (Abu Dawud)

After the Battle of Badr, prisoners of war were brought. Among them was al-Abbas. He did not have a shirt on, so the Prophet looked for a shirt for him. It turned out that a shirt of Abd Allah b. Ubayy was the right size, so the Prophet gave it to al-Abbas to wear and compensated Abdullah with his own shirt. (Bukhari)

4. Patient:

“Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you…” (3:159)

Anas bin Malik narrates: Once I was walking with God’s Apostle and he was wearing a cloak with a thick border. A Bedouin followed him and pulled his cloak so violently that I noticed the side of the shoulder of God’s Apostle affected by the border of the cloak because of that violent pull. The Bedouin said, “O Muhammad! Give me some of God’s wealth which is with you.” God’s Apostle turned and looked at him, and smiling, he ordered that he be given something. (Bukhari)

Anas ibn Malik reports: “God’s messenger was sitting in the mosque with some of his companions when a Bedouin urinated inside the mosque. The Prophet’s companions said: ‘What is going on?’ ‘What are you doing?’ The Prophet said to them: ‘Do not interrupt him.’ He subsequently called the man and said to him: ‘These mosques are not the place where one can throw any dirt, urine or stools. They are meant for reciting the Qur’an, glorifying God and prayer.’ He then called for a bucket of water and he poured it over the urine.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

5. Honest:

The Prophet had promised Jabir bin Abdullah that he would give him some gifts from the stock of articles coming from Bahrain, but before fulfilling his promise he died. When the stock from Bahrain arrived, it was announced in public that anyone the Prophet might have promised from this stock and anyone who had lent something to the Prophet should come and take away his due. (Bukhari)

(Even on his deathbed, the Prophet was concerned about his responsibilities to others and took precautions to make sure that his responsibilities were fulfilled.)

6. Simple and Spiritual:

Umar b. Al-Khattab narrated, “I entered the Messenger’s house and found him sitting on a mat. He had a leather pillow stuffed with fibers. He had a pot of water by his feet, and there were some clothes hung on the wall. His sides had marks due to the mat he lay on. I wept when I saw this and the Messenger asked, ‘Why do you weep?’ I said, ‘O Messenger of God, Khosrou and Caesar enjoy the best of this world, and you are suffering in poverty! He said, ‘Aren’t you pleased that they enjoy this world, and we will enjoy the Hereafter?’ (Bukhari)

7. Polite:

Anas (r) remembered: “I served the holy Prophet for ten years. He never said “Uf” (an expression of dissatisfaction), nor did he ever ask me why I did this or did not do that.” (Muslim)
“My mother used to hold the Prophet’s hand and used to take him wherever she wanted. If any person used to come before him and shook his hand, the Prophet never used to draw away his hand from the other person’s hands till the latter drew away his hands, and he never used to turn away his face from that person till the latter himself turned away his face. In meetings he was never seen squatting in such a way that his knees were protruding further than his fellow squatters.” (Tirmidthi)

8. Cheerful:

A man once requested from the Prophet the use of a camel. The Prophet replied, “I can loan you a camel’s baby.” “What use to me is a camel’s baby?” queried the man. Laughing, the Prophet quipped, “Isn’t every camel the baby of another?” (Tirmidthi, Abu Dawud)

The Prophet would play with his grandchildren and carry them on his shoulders. Once when he was carrying Hasan on his shoulders, someone remarked, “O Hasan, what a great ride you have.” The Prophet smiled and replied, “And don’t you see what a great rider I have!” (Shamayal an-Nabi)

Jareer b. Abdullah said, “The Prophet did not prevent me from sitting with him since I accepted Islam. He always smiled when he looked at me. I once complained to him that I could not ride a horse and he hit me (gently) in my chest and prayed, ‘O God! Steady him, and make him a person who guides others and a source of guidance.” (Bukhari)

9. Kind:

Once some women were in the Prophet’s home to meet with him and talk about family problems. Then Umar came to visit the Prophet. The women hurriedly left the room and hid themselves. The Prophet smiled. Looking at the Prophet’s smiling face, Umar said, “May you always remain happy and smiling. Please tell me why you smiled as I entered.” The Prophet replied, “I was surprised to see that the women were afraid of you and how hurriedly they left as you entered.” Umar, hearing these remarks, spoke loudly, addressing the women, “O enemies of your souls! Why are you afraid of me? You are not afraid of the Messenger of God but you are afraid of me.” The women replied, ‘You are harsh tempered, O Umar, but the Messenger is very patient and kind.” (Bukhari)

10. Loving:

Whenever the Prophet saw Fatimah (his daughter) he would welcome her, and rising from his seat would kiss her, and then taking her by the hand would seat her in his own seat. (Bukhari)

Narrates Aisha , “I was never more jealous of any one of the Prophet’s wives than I was of Khadijah although I never saw her (because she had passed away). The Prophet remembered her much, and many a time he would slay a sheep, and cut it into pieces, and send the same to the friends of Khadijah; and many a time would I tell him, ‘It is as though there never was a woman in the world except Khadijah!’ whereupon the Prophet would say (commenting on her virtues), ‘Verily, she is such-and-such an I had children from her.’” (Bukhari, Muslim)

The Prophet Muhammad said, “O God, grant me life as a poor man, cause me to die as a poor man and resurrect me in the company of the poor.” His wife asked him why he said that, and he replied: “Because (the poor) will enter Paradise (before) the rich. Do not turn away a poor man…even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you, God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidthi)

11. Loyal:

Once an old woman came to visit the Prophet. They had a warm conversation. After the old woman left, Aisha (the narrator) asked, “O Messenger of God! You showed so much interest in that old woman. I am curious about who she was?” He said, “She is someone who used to visit us when Khadija was alive. Know that loyalty comes from faith.” (Al-Hakim, Bayhaqi)

A group came to the Prophet after the incident of Hunain. They wanted freedom for the captives of war. One of them said, “O Muhammad! Our tribe has your milk-mothers and your milk-sisters! The Prophet responded with great loyalty, “I free all the captives that belong to me and the sons of Abdulmuttalib.” The other Muslims who saw this followed his action and said, “We also free our captives for the sake of the Prophet!” As a result, on that day, thousands of captives were freed without any ransom. This was a gesture of gratitude and loyalty to the milk the Prophet had been given as a child. (Bukhari)

When the Prophet conquered his homeland and birthplace, some of the Helpers (Ansar) began to voice their concern: “Allah the Most High has opened Mecca to His Prophet. From now on he will stay in Mecca and not return to Medina.” The Prophet learned of this worry and told the Helpers of Medina: “I seek refuge in Allah from doing that! My life and my death will be with you.” And the Prophet returned to Medina. (Muslim)

12. Humble:

Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did at home. She replied, “He helped and assisted family members with their chores; and when the time of prayer came, he used to perform ablution and go out for prayer.” (Muslim)

Al-Baraa bin ‘Azib narrates, “I saw the Messenger of God on the Day of the Trench carrying dirt (that was dug from the trench) until his chest was covered with dirt.” (Bukhari)

On the day the Prophet conquered Mecca, where he was regarded by people as the most powerful man, one of his countrymen approached him. He asked trembling, “O Messenger of Allah, teach me Islam!” The Prophet said, “Relax my brother! I am not a king, nor an emperor! I am the orphan of your old neighbor (meaning his mother) who used to eat sun-dried meat!” (Ibn Majah)

13. Brave:

One night the people of Medina were terribly frightened by a strange sound. Some people proceeded toward the sound. They saw the Prophet was coming from that direction. He had rushed before all others to find out what was the trouble. He was riding the horse of Abu Talha without a saddle and a sword was hanging from his neck. He was comforting people, telling them not to be afraid, and saying there was nothing to worry about. (Bukhari)

Ali (ra) reported that in battles whenever the fighting started “We used to worry much about the Prophet because nobody was nearer to the enemy in the fighting than the Prophet.” (Ahmad)

14. Championed Human Dignity:

Once Abu Dharr al-Ghifari called Bilal “the son of a black woman”. When the Prophet heard that, he said to him, “O Abu Dharr! You are indeed someone who is still carrying traces of the time of Ignorance (Jahiliyya).” (Bukhari, Muslim)

A funeral procession once passed in front of the Prophet Muhammad and he stood up out of respect. When he was told the person in the coffin was Jewish and not Muslim, he said: “Was it not a living soul?” (Bukhari, Muslim)
An owner slapped his female slave in the face, and the Prophet ordered him to free her as compensation. (Muslim)

15. Generous:

Narrated ‘Uqba bin Al-Harith: I offered the ‘Asr prayer with the Prophet and after finishing the prayer he got up quickly and went to some of his wives and then came out. He noticed the signs of astonishment on the faces of the people caused by his speed. He then said, “I remembered while I was in my prayer that a piece of gold was lying in my house and I disliked that it should remain with us throughout the night, and so I have ordered it to be distributed.” (Bukhari)

16. Grateful:

Ayesha (ra) said that the Prophet used to pray at night until his feet would swell. She asked, “Why do you do this, O Messenger of God, when God has forgiven your past and future sins?” The Prophet replied, “Should I not be a grateful servant (Of God)?” (Bukhari)

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