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The Genre of Love and Beauty: al-Shama’il – Tarek Ghanem

What is the Shama’il? Is it a book or a genre? And is it an established Islamic tradition? Tarek Ghanem gives a detailed overview of what the Shama’il is and how it can benefit us.

Allah has revealed in the Qur’an:

And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers is that by which We make firm your heart. (Sura Hud 11:120)

If God, all-Wise, narrated the stories of other prophets to our beloved Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, to strengthen his heart, then what about our hearts? What about our need for spiritual strength? What about our need for spiritual strength, caught up as we are in our spiritually-suffocating worldly lives? And what’s more; without the Prophet  amongst us?

“One doesn’t truly believe until I am more beloved to him than his parents, children, and all of humanity,” we are told by the Prophet (Bukhari, 15). This is the true quintessence and prerequisite of religion and love, correctly conceived. Now, how can this love be actualised and realised, with all due rigour? With regard to the character traits of the Prophet ; they are an evident source of infatuation. But how are we supposed to first know and then love the physical description of the Prophet? This article will discuss these questions through an introduction of the Shama’il genre and the physiognomy and characterisation of the Prophet.

Firstly, we are faced with contradictory principles when approaching Allah, Majestic in His praise, on the one hand, and the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, on the other. According to the profound understanding of many scholars, our perception of Allah and our perception of the Prophet, in spite of some similarities and overlap, are opposing. The most essential and, at the same time, most comprehensive knowledge we can acquire of Allah is our realisation of our inability to know Him; “There is nothing like unto Him” (42:11). Knowledge of Allah is a genuine realisation of His “absoluteness”. This is what the following approved theological maxim stresses; “Whatever comes to one’s mind, Allah is otherwise”.

Other than our love of Allah, our expression of love for the Prophet is entirely based on his relativity, closeness, and even personal relevance. He is the exemplar to be emulated. He is the person whose life is narrated in a more meticulous, detailed, and comprehensive manner than any other historical figure, but also down to the minutest, most personal feature and detail. In fact, emulating his example, in all these details, even in the most personal practices, is not just a praiseworthy religious practice, sunna, or a sign of love; it is a wise and illuminated way of living.  Look how Ibn ‘Abbas, for example, used to stop his camel while performing the minor pilgrimage (‘umra) in the exact same spots where the Prophet did!

Love for and admiration of the Prophet  is most touchingly manifested in its extension to anything he owned or touched. Love and seeking grace has always been the way of dealing with the belongings our beloved Prophet ﷺ; Umm Anas related: “The Prophet came to us in a room with a waterskin filled with water. The Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, drank from it while standing. Umm Salim then cut it off the mouth of the waterskin [i.e. she kept it for herself]” (Bukhari, 5673). In the same vein it is related that after the Prophet passed away, the Companions never stopped the Prophet’s mule from eating and let it graze their land as it pleased. They used to stand up in respect for it.

So who is he whom we love and how can his beauty be conceptualised?

Beauty is ultimately the object of poets. Poets possess a higher authoritative insight and the tools with which to gracefully sculpt the beautiful in verse. The following anecdote illustrates this point: Although the Prophet subtly objected that people should not rise for him the way they used to rise for kings, Hassan ibn Thabit, the celebrated poet, struck by the Messenger’s beauty, rose and recited the following lines:

My rising for the beloved is upon me a mandate,

deserting a mandate is not upright.  

I wonder about the one with insight and wit;

who sets eyes on such beauty and rises not!

Rising for the Beauty

The many physical descriptions of the Prophet that are related and authenticated, mysteriously and without exception, have two fascinating aspects in common. First, the many reporters who recounted the way the Prophet looked—both the ones that have described him closely and extensively like Hind bin Halah or Imam ‘Ali and those who described him only superficially —all suddenly proclaiming in mid-sentence in a baffled manner: “I have never seen anything more beautiful than he is,” as al-Baraa’ bin `Azib says in one account (Bukhari 3591, Muslim 6210). Some of them would suddenly exclaim “…the most beautiful of all people!” or “…like the moon!” (al-Bukhari 3589, Muslim 6212) or “He is for me more beautiful than the moon,” as Jabir ibn Sumra said (Bukhari 3592, Tirmidhi 11), or “pretty, beautifully proportioned!” as Abi al-Tufayl cried when he was the only person left on earth who saw the Prophet alive (Bukhari 3041, Tirmidhi 10); and, finally, the lyrical “beautifully faced, I have never seen anything [like him] before him or after him” as proclaimed by Anas ibn Malik (Muslim 6218).

That the description and infatuation with the physical description of the Prophet is an essential element of Islam is testified by its very scripture.  In his eminent al-Khasā’is al-Nabuwia al-Kubra (The Grand Prophetic Attributes) Imam al-Suyuti mentions that many physical features of the Prophet were mentioned in the Qur’an: face (2:144), ears (61:9), eyes (17:53, 18:28, 20:131), tongue (94:3), heart (94:1, 3:159, 26:192-194, 11:120, 25:32, 53:11, hand (48:29, 69:41-45, and chest (94:1).

The Hadith Master : Opening the Eyes of Insight

The inner and outer depiction of the Prophet naturally came to form a genre, pioneered by the celebrated hafidh and author of one of the six canonical Hadith collections, Abu ‘Isa Muhammed bin Isa al-Tirmidhi (his birth date is not agreed upon, d. 297H.). He was known to be a meticulous Hadith-master, an astute scholar, and an austere mystic who lost his sight from weeping in worship. Al-Hafidh al-Muzii described him as “A superior Hadith-master and imam, through whom Allah benefited all Muslims.” Al-Hakem, another celebrated Hadith master, narrated “…Al-Bukhari died, leaving no one like Abu ‘Isa in knowledge, memorisation, scrupulousness, and asceticism.”

Al-Tirmidhi’s opus Al-Shamai’l al-Muhammadiya (The Muhammadan Attributes), an anthology of 412 traditions, inaugurated this genre and is still considered by many scholars—even the ones who wrote commentaries on it — to be unmatched. “It is the only book in its genre, unique in its arrangement and content, so much so that it is considered divinely gifted and has been disseminated in the East and the West,” asserts Sheikh al-Islam Ibrahim al-Bajuri in his commentary on the work. Other commentators include Sheikh ‘Abdel Ra’uf al-Manawi, Sheikh `Ali al-Qari, and the celebrated Hadith master, commentator on Sahih al-Bukhari, and scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani.

The work, a straightforward compilation of hadith without any commentary, narrates traditions related to the Prophet following a logical order. It starts with “A section on what is narrated concerning the Physical description of the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him”. The most celebrated of these traditions is ‘number five’ which was related by `Ali ibn Abi Talib, and later came to form the substance of the artistic genre of writing the Hilya, or the ‘description of the Prophet’; a standard practice for Arabic calligraphy masters. A beautiful translation of the tradition is the one by the American calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya in his work the Hilye of the Prophet Mohammed.

Transmitted from Ali , may God be pleased with him, who, when asked to describe the Prophet, peace be upon him, would say, “He was not too tall nor too short. He was medium sized. His hair was not short and curly, nor was it lank but in between. His face was not narrow, nor was it fully round, but there was a roundness to it. His skin was white. His eyes were black. He had long eyelashes. He was big-boned and had wide shoulders. He had no body hair except in the middle of his chest. He had thick hands and feet. When he walked, he walked inclined, as if descending a slope. When he looked at someone, he looked at them in full face. Between his shoulders was the seal of prophecy, the sign that he was the last of the prophets. He was the most generous-hearted of men, the most truthful of them in speech, the most mild-tempered of them, and the noblest of them in lineage. Whoever saw him unexpectedly was in awe of him. And whoever associated with him familiarly loved him. Anyone who would describe him would say, ‘I never saw, before him or after him, the like of him.’ Peace be upon him.”

A skim through the subdivisions of the work leads from his physical portrayal, dress, belongings, depiction of his mannerisms, habits, diet and speech, to his acts of worship, virtues, greying and passing away. The concluding section of the work reveals the intention of the work and the emotional and, above all, spiritual influence that Imam al-Tirmidhi brilliantly exercises over the reader; “Abu Hurayra said: The Prophet of Allah, Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him said: ‘Whoever sees me in dream has truly seen me, for the Satan doesn’t embody my shape’. A similar hadith, also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra in al-Bukhari (7079) and Muslim (6057), is “Whoever sees me in his dream will see me when awake and Satan does not embody my shape.” With this Imam al-Tirmidhi introduced a lasting tradition, as all books that were later written about the Prophet end with the topic of dreaming of him.

The last two traditions related by the work are the following two non-prophetic ones;

411- “`Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak said: ‘If one is tested by destiny, then he should seek the traditions [of the Prophet]’.”

412- “Ibn Sirin said: ‘This Hadith [science] is [of] religion; then see who you take your religion from’.”

Insights on Beauty

Having had the honour of studying the Shama’il with two living classical scholars, I came to the realisation that a true understanding of the attributes of the Prophet can only be attained from those who embody them and are his rightful heirs through a perpetual handing down of the sacred sciences.

The first scholar is Sheikh Ibrahim ‘Abdel Ba’ith al-Kitani, who comes from a al-Kitani family which produced generations of Hadith masters. The second is Sheikh Dr. Yusri Gabr, a Hadith scholar, who was a student of the late eminent Hadith master Sheikh ‘Abd Allah Siddiq al-Ghumari, and a teacher of Tasawwuf in the halaqat (classic teaching circles) of al-Azhar Mosque. Dr. Gabr asserts that there is a reason why all the people who describes the features of the Prophet are of one of two categories; either people who grew up in his household, such as Imam `Ali, his two sons al-Hasan and al-Hussayn, the Prophet’s stepson from Sayyida Khadija, Hind ibn Hilala, and his servant Anas ibn Malil, or Companions who saw him during their childhood, such as al-Saib ibn Yazid, Rumaytha,  or non-Muslims such as Umm Ma’bad (the owner of the eatery by which the Prophet stopped on his Emigration, before she became a Muslim.)

The reason for this, explains Sheikh Yusri, is that these people grew up in the house of the Prophet and saw him before the completed incorporation of the metaphysical reality into their beings by virtue of reaching puberty. What happens at that age is that a believer, when he meets the Prophet in person, will not only encounter his beauty—he will also encounter his majesty—which Imam ‘Ali described as follows: “Whoever saw him unexpectedly was in awe of him.”

This is also why no description of the Prophet was ever given by his closest and mature Companions. There is a tradition in Sahih Muslim that relates from ‘Amr ibn al-‘As: “I couldn’t bear to take in his image because I considered him too exalted. If I were to be asked to describe him I couldn’t bear it, for my eyes never fully took him in.” It is reported in Al-Shifa that the Companion al-Bara’ ibn `Azib said: “I used to want to ask the Messenger of Allah about a matter and postpone it for years because of his majesty.”

Another understanding of the physical beauty of the Prophet that is related is that he is the most beautiful of all creation; transcending that of Prophet Joseph (Yusuf), who was known to possess half of the all created beauty. Imam al-Qurtubi in his book al-Salah explicates: “The perfection of the beauty of the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, was not manifested to us fully; for, if it would have appeared in its entirety, our eyes wouldn’t have been able to observe him.” To that end, and in relation to Prophet Joseph, Imam al-Busiri in his renowned eulogy of the Prophet, al-Burda (the Cloak), pertinently versifies:

He has no equal in his beauties

The gem of beauty in him is indivisible.

To the same end, the Prophet’s wife Aisha, is reported to have quoted the following two lines of poetry about the Prophet’s beauty, based on the Qur’anic story of Joseph and the vizier’s wife, Zulaykha, whose friends cut their hands because they were mesmerised by his beauty:

If only the friends of Zulaykha would see his forehead

They would cut their necks rather than their hands

Likewise, taken by the poetic, the Prophet’s closest companion Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, eulogised the Prophetic beauty:

Trustworthy, Elected, for goodness he called

Like moonlight in a cloudless night     

Remedying the Heart

After al-Tirmidhi’s al-Shama’il, many early and later scholars followed the endeavor. The person whose name comes only second after Imam al-Tirmidhi’s in the Shama’il genre is the famous Maliki Jurist (al-Qadi) `Iyad al-Yahsabi (d. 544 AH), who also excelled in other Islamic disciplines, most notably Hadith and Qur’anic exegesis. Moreover, he was known for his linguistic and superior literary gifts. Amongst his works are a brilliant commentary on Sahih Muslim and numerous other books on Hadith and jurisprudence. His articulate and scholarly al-Shifa’ bi-Ta`rif Huquq al-Mustafa (The Remedy in Identifying the Rights of the Chosen One) became an unparalleled classic, accepted by all Islamic scholars.

Since at-Tirmidhi ‘the Wise’ the Sham’ail genre has extended both horizontally and vertically, i.e. both thematically and in terms of depth. Many other additions to the descriptions given in al-Shamai’l al-Muhammadiya have flourished. Not only has the number of hadith narrations increased; the mention of the Prophet in the Qur’an, his miracles, the importance of loving him, visiting his tomb, loving his Family, and rulings on the one who slanders him also became part and parcel of the genre. Also, scholarly examinations related to his rank and exaltation by Allah as well as traditions about the Companions invoking peace and blessings upon him have become part of the Shama’il corpus.

Sheikh Yusri is the first one to commentate on al-Shifa’ in Cairo, home of the respected Jamia al-Azhar, since the past two hundred years.

The book is considered to be so blessed that scholars state, “no house that contains al-Shifa’ can burn down”, due to the grace of its content.

As the jurist ‘Iyad elucidates in his preamble to al-Shifa’, he wrote it because of persistent requests by others to author a book on the rights of the Prophet:

A discourse about that demands the evaluation of principles, the authoring of [lengthy] chapters, the revelation of mysteries and subtleties from the science of [the realisation of higher] realities, regarding that which is due or ascribed to him; or regarding that which is rejected or lawful in relation to him. It also demands knowledge of the Prophet and Messenger; ‘messengership’ and prophethood; [the state(s) of] love, friendship, and the attributes of this sublime rank. Surely the likeness of this [mission] is a vast desert, in which even the sand grouse [bird known for its infallible sense of direction] gets lost and where steps fall short; unexplored territories in which one’s discernment is misguided, unless steered by the banner of knowledge and a penetrating perspective; slippery slopes on which feet slip, unless depending on divine success and support… (p. 5)

In relation to Prophetic features, he brilliantly writes:

Know—may Allah enlighten your heart and multiply your and my love of this noble Prophet—that if you look for the qualities of beauty that are innate, you will find that he [the Prophet]—Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him—acquired them fully, encompassing all aspects of beauty, as has been definitively established in all narrations (p. 58).

A New Generation of Lovers

One of the later contributors to the genre is Imam al-Hasan al-Ansari. Unfortunately, his Muntaha al-Su’ul fi Madh al-Rasul (Ultimate Inquiries into Commending the Messenger) has not survived the vagaries of time. Likewise, the Azhari Imam Ahmed Shehab ad-Din al-Qastalani (d. 932 AH), after teaching and commenting on the al-Shifa‘ in the al-Maqsura area (between the Prophet’s resting place and the pulpit), returned home to Cairo to write a large tome entitled al-Mawahib al-Ladunia bil-Minah al-Muhammadiya (Mystically Inspired Mohamedan Gifts) which became widely circulated. This work includes chapters on the Divine selection of the Messenger’s prophethood and genealogy in pre-existence, the prophetic biography, the Prophet’s names and titles, a description of his physiognomy and character, his miracles, his Nightly Ascendance, the injunction to love and exalt him, and even his medicine. Finally it discusses his departure.

The accomplished jurist, Hadith master, and poet Imam Yusuf al-Nabhani (1265-1350 AH), became the star in the sky of this genre in our modern times. In his opinion al-Mawahib is a highly beneficial and inclusive work. Still, he judged it too lengthy, because it goes into deeply detailed and protracted theological and jurisprudential discussions, which made it “inaccessible” to many. He thus abridged this work under the brilliant title Al-Anwar al-Muhammadia min al-Mawahib al-Ladunia (Muhammadan Lights [Derived] from Mystical Inspirations).

“Know that it is part of perfecting faith in him [the Prophet] —Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him—that Allah, most-Sublime, has created the Prophet’s body in a way unsurpassed before or after in human creation,” Imam al-Nabahani asserts in Al-Nawar with regard to the Prophet’s exquisiteness (p.194).

He contributed to the genre with many other works, varying from poetry to related compilations of prayers by Muslim saints and scholars. His most famous work is Was’il al-Wusul ila Shamai’l al-Rasul (The Means of Attainment to the Characteristics of the Messenger). Nabhani’s work yet again illustrates the close relationship between Hadith scholarship and the Shama’il genre.

The Undying Beauty

One of the most fascinating aspects of this genre is the way its subject matter has expanded while simultaneously fragmenting. Many works came to specialise in a certain aspect of Shama’il. The most famous of these early works is the lengthy Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (Proofs of Prophethood) by Imam al-Bayhaqi (d. 458AH), a title and a theme which was taken up by numerous other scholars and under which they covered all the narrations related to the miracles and attributes of the Prophet.

The prominent and ultra prolific Hadith master, Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (849-911 AH.), produced many books which deal with certain parts of the genre. Among these is al-Riyad al-Aniqa fi Sharh Asma’ Sayyid al-Khaliqa (The Pretty Meadows of Explaining the Names of the Master of Creation). He also authored the previously mentioned al-Khasa’is al-Nabawiyya al-Kubra, which focuses on the miracles and privileges of the Prophet. This is an excellent commentary on the numerous names, designations, and titles which were attributed to the Prophet. One of his greatest works deals with seeing the Prophet in a dream: Tanwir al-Huluk fi Jawaz Ru’ya al-Nabi’ wa al-Malak (Lightening the Darkness with Regard to Seeing the Prophet and Angels).

A truly interesting aspect of the genre which has attracted much attention and is a further illustration of its increasing fragmentation is the Prophet’s slippers.  Works focusing on this theme are Fath al-Mut`al fi Madh al-Ni`al (The Illumination of the Sublime in Praising the Slippers [of the Prophet]) by Shehab al-Din Ahmed al-Muqri and Nayl al-Shifa’ bi Na`l (Attaining to a Cure through the Slippers) by the Deobandi Sheikh Ashraf `Ali al-Tahanawi.

One of the most significant contemporary Shamai’l works is that by the late scholar, Hadith master and jurist, al-Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki’s Muhammad al-Insan al-Kamil (Muhammed, the Perfect Human Being). The work, which is written in very accessible language, is based on the idea that the perfection of Islam necessitates the perfection of its emissary; hence, all aspects of the Prophet are a manifestation of perfection, including his physical shape. Al-Maliki writes, “It has been confirmed that he—Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him—was the epitome of beauty. This beauty is crowned by two matters: First, inspiring majestic awe; second, illuminating radiance. This is why whoever saw him was not stunned by him, unlike those who saw Prophet Joseph—peace be upon him—who, although he possessed only half of created beauty, women exalted him and cut their hands when they saw him, exclaiming: “How perfect is Allah! This is not a human being. This is not other than some gracious angel” (12:31) (p. 17).

One of the most momentous contemporary services to the Shama’il is the compilation and authentication of all sahih Hadith related to the Shama’il by the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation in an annotated volume titled: Shama’il al-Nabi Sala Allah `Alayh was Sallam. It is a compendium of 1373 traditions from the six canonical Hadith books in addition to hadith from al-Muwatta’ of Imam Malik, al-Musnad of Imam Ahmed, Al-Musnad of al-Hamidi, al-Sunan of Al-Darimi and al-Sunan al-Daraqutni. The book’s inner beauty is reflected in its exquisite script, design, illumination, and the classical layout of the sectioning and marginalia. It was submitted to the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ prestigious 50/50 best designed books and dust jackets competition for books published in 2005, and was selected as one of the fifty winners. The exhibition of the winning entries was held at the AIGA’s gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York from September to November 2006.

The last two Hadiths in this work read:

On the authority of al-Tafyal bin Abi Ka`b, who narrated from his father said “When two thirds of the night had elapsed, The Messenger of Allah—Allah’s peace and blessing be upon Him—used to rise [for night vigil prayer] and say: ‘O people! Remember Allah! Remember Allah! The Trumpet blast has come, followed by the second! Death has come with what is in it! Death has come with what is in it!’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah. I pray for many blessings upon you. How much should I reserve for you in my prayer?’ He said: ‘What you wish.’ I said: ‘A quarter’. He said: ‘If you wish. If you add more it is better for you.’ I said: ‘Half.’ He said: ‘If you wish. If you add more it is better for you.’ I said: ‘Two thirds then.’ He said: ‘If you wish. If you add more it is better for you.’ I said: ‘Should I reserve all of my prayer for you?’ He said: ‘Then you will be spared from your worries and your sins will be forgiven.’”(al-Tirmidhi, 2645).

The very last tradition reads: “Allah has wandering angels that convey to me the prayers of peace invoked by my nation.” (al-Nasa’i, 1290).

Another scholar who contributed with tremendous work to this genre is the late sheikh Abd Allah Siraj al-Din, whose books on demonstrating prophetic virtues and analysing different elements of prophetic behaviour stand unparalleled. The authors of the Shama’il genre were moved by several objectives; informing people about the rank and beauty of the Prophet, reporting his exemplary life, and inspiring closeness to him through creating a spiritual as well emotional link to his person.

Imam al-Nabhani mentions another reason in the preface of Was’il al-Wusul ila Shamai’l al-Rasul with which the author of this article identifies: “…I looked at my lack of knowledge, my feebleness of understanding, the greatness of my sins, and the abundance of my deficiencies, so I restrained myself [from writing about the Prophet] as befits someone who knows his rank and thus restricts himself. I then pondered being a member of the nation of this distinguished Prophet and [his] bounteous generosity. Like a little child advances towards a compassionate, benevolent father, I proceeded [to write] after hearing the words of Allah: “Now there has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves; grievous to him is your suffering; anxious is he over you, gentle to the believers, compassionate” (9:128) (p. 28).

Work Cited

Al-Tirmidhi, Muhammed bin `Isa, Al-Shamail Al-Muhammadiya. Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut, Lebanon, 1997.

Al-Yahsabi, Abi al-Fadl `Eyad, al-Shifa’ bi-Ta`rif Huquq al-Mustafa. Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiya, Beirut, Lebanon, undated .

Al-Nabahani, Yusuf bin Ismail, Al-Anwar al-Muhammadia min al-Mawahib al-Ladunia. Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, Cairo, Egypt

Al-Nabahani, Yusuf bin Ismail, Was’il al-Wusul ila Shamai’l al-Rasul. Dar al-Minhaj, Beirut, Lebanon, 2004.

Shama’il al-Nabi Sala Allah `Alayh was Sallam. Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation, Cairo, Egypt, Germany, Stuttgart, 2004


Tarek Ghanem is a student of Islamic sciences and a dedicated father. He works as the Online Services Lead at SeekersHub Global Islamic Seminary.  This article was first published on masud.co.uk, a leading resource of traditional Islam since 1996. Consider making a donation to masud.co.uk to support its important work. 


The Prophet’s Smile – Shaykh Amin Buxton

Every year in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, we should come to know our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, a little better. In this series, the Prophet’s Smile, we try to do this by looking at the things that brought a smile to his blessed face and at times made him laugh.

By studying his characteristics, we gain insight into the things he talked and thought about, and into the beauty of his character. By knowing more about him, we hope to increase in love for him. We also hope to gain his love and pleasure, which cannot be separated from the love and pleasure of Allah Most High.

His Blessed Smile

There are many accounts of companions describing his smile. Sayyiduna al-Husayn asked his father, Sayyiduna Ali,peace be upon them both, to describe how the Messenger of Allah was with his Companions. He said: “He was always cheerful and smiling, gentle in character.”

The commentators say that this does not negate the fact that he is also described as being constantly in a state of sadness, out of concern for the wellbeing of his nation. Outwardly he was cheerful, but his inner state was one of sadness.

Sayyiduna Ali went on to say that the Prophet  would laugh at the same things his Companions would laugh at, and would marvel at the things which they marvelled at. He did this to make them feel comfortable and at ease.

One of the Companions said that he had never seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah.
Another narrates that since he became Muslim, the Prophet  would always smile at him when he met him.

Several narrations tell us that “his laugh was his smile”or that “most of his laughter was smiling”, which is understood to mean that generally he would smile when amused and only rarely would he actually laugh out loud. The same applies to the Prophet Sulayman, peace be upon him who smiles broadly in amusement at the words of the ant, as recounted in the following verse:

So [Sulayman] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.”(Sura Naml, 27:19)

Like A Piece of the Moon

When he was happy, the Prophet’s face would light up as brightly as a piece of the moon. When he opened his mouth to laugh, his teeth would shine as brightly as lightning and were as brilliantly white as hailstones. Imam al-Llahji says that this metaphor is appropriate because lightning strikes very quickly and the Prophet ﷺ would not keep his mouth open for more than an instant. Also lightning is followed by rain, which is a manifestation of Allah’s mercy, and the Prophet’s laughter would invariably be followed by a kind word or a gift or some other manifestation of his mercy.

Imam al-Busiri perfectly sums all this up in the Burdah:

أكرم بخلق نبيّ زانه خلق
بالحسن مشتمل بالبشر متّسم
How noble is the form of a Prophet whose character further adorns him
So full of beauty is he, so full of cheer.

كأنّما اللّؤلؤ المكنون في صدف
من معدني منطق منه ومبتسم
It is as if precious pearls protected in their shells
Poured forth from the treasury of his speech and smile.


Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London and became Muslim in 1999. He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London, and then enrolled at Dar al Mustafa in Tarim, Yemen. There he studied the sacred sciences under the supervision of Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

He has edited and translated a number of books which explain the Prophetic way such as Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and provides content for Muwasala. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in a number of educational initiatives around the UK, including the iSyllabus, and has taught at the SeekersHub Retreat.


Take a Closer Look at The Prophet’s Heart

The Prophet’s Heart: The Beauty of His Relationship with Allah and Creation

shama'il prophetic heart Starting on March 14 in Toronto, and available globally from March 16, Study Circle students have the unique opportunity to learn key qualities of the Prophet’s heart. Attendees will learn from his relationship with Allah Most High, and from his relationship with Allah Most High’s creation—through stories from authentic—but less common—narrations from the works of Prophetic description (shama’il).
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will be sharing descriptions of the Prophet’s heart, through vivid stories. Insha’Allah this Study Circle will encourage us to acquire the virtues of the heart beloved to Allah—both in our turning to Him and in our relationship with His creation.

What is a Study Circle?

Study Circles are free online community-focused study groups. A course is taught simultaneously as a live class at a community center–like SeekersHub Toronto–and then broadcast to centers across the world.
The Prophet ﷺ described circles of knowledge and remembrance as gardens of Paradise.
Why not a start one in your community?

Ready to Start or Join a Study Circle

Emulating The Prophet’s ﷺ Gratitude and Ethical Concern

Why did the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ have a prayer for almost every situation in life, whether big or small? Why did he remember Allah every time he performed an action or used something in his possession? It’s because he had a profound sense of gratitude for all the blessings Allah had bestowed upon him.

Be thankful – it’s a sunnah

What can be said then for us, surrounded by material possessions and modern conveniences? In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani sheds light on how gratitude is a part of the Prophetic ﷺ sunnah and how we can emulate him ﷺ in this regard.

How to be real men, by Habib Ali Al-Jifri

“He was like one of us, until the time for prayer came – then it was like he did not know us, nor did we know him.”

Men who feel it is beneath them to lift a finger to help their wives and families at home, should look to the life and habits of the best of creation, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, counsels Habib Ali al-Jifri. This is a short excerpt from a course delivered in London, United Kingdom, organised by the Radical Middle Way.

Translated by Shaykh Walead Mossad.

The Description of the Prophet Muhammad by Athar Husain

The Description of the Prophet Muhammad by Athar Husain

Appearance

Muhammad (pbuh) was of a height a little above the average. He was of sturdy build with long muscular limbs and tapering fingers. The hair of his head was long and thick with some waves in them. His forehead was large and prominent, his eyelashes were long and thick, his nose was sloping, his mouth was somewhat large and his teeth were well set. His cheeks were spare and he had a pleasant smile. His eyes were large and black with a touch of brown. His beard was thick and at the time of his death, he had seventeen grey hairs in it. He had a thin line of fine hair over his neck and chest. He was fair of complexion and altogether was so handsome that Abu Bakr composed this couplet about him:

“As there is no darkness in the moonlit night so is Mustafa, the well-wisher, bright.”

His gait was firm and he walked so fast that others found it difficult to keep pace with him. His face was genial but at times, when he was deep in thought, there there were long periods of silence, yet he always kept himself busy with something. He did not speak unnecessarily and what he said was always to the point and without any padding. At times he would make his meaning clear by slowly repeating what he had said. His laugh was mostly a smile. He kept his feelings under firm control – when annoyed, he would turn aside or keep silent, when pleased he would lower his eyes [Tirmidhi].

Dress

His dress generally consisted of a shirt, tamad (trousers), a sheet thrown round the shoulders and a turban. On rare occasions, he would put on costly robes presented to him by foreign emissaries in the later part of his life. [Ahmed, Musnad, Hafiz Bin Qayyim]

His blanket had several patches. [Tirmidhi] He had very few spare clothes, but he kept them spotlessly clean. [Bukhari] He wanted others also to put on simple but clean clothes. Once he saw a person putting on dirty clothes and remarked,

Why can’t this man wash them. [Abu Dawood]

On another occasion he enquired of a person in dirty clothes whether he had any income. Upon getting a reply in the affirmative, he observed,

When Allah has blessed you with His bounty, your appearance should reflect it.” [Abu Dawood]

He used to observe:

“Cleanliness is piety.”

Mode of Living

His house was but a hut with walls of unbaked clay and a thatched roof of palm leaves covered by camel skin. He had separate apartments for his wives, a small room for each made of similar materials. His own apartment contained a rope cot, a pillow stuffed with palm leaves , the skin of some animal spread on the floor and a water bag of leather and some weapons. These were all his earthly belongings, besides a camel, a horse, and an ass and some land which he had acquired in the later part of his life. [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood] Once a few of his disciples, noticing the imprint of his mattress on his body, wished to give him a softer bed but he politely declined the offer saying,

“What have I to do with worldly things. My connection with the world is like that of a traveller resting for a while underneath the shade of a tree and then moving on.”

Amr Ibn Al-Harith, a brother-in-law of the Prophet (pbuh), says that when the Prophet died, he did not leave a cent, a slave man or woman, or any property except his white mule, his weapons and a piece of land which he had dedicated for the good of the community. [Sahih Bukhari]

He advised the people to live simple lives and himself practised great austerities. Even when he had become the virtual king of Arabia, he lived an austere life bordering on privation. His wife A’isha (ra) says that there was hardly a day in his life when he had two square meals. [Sahih Muslim] When he died there was nothing in his house except a few seeds of barley left from a mound of the grain obtained from a Jew by pawning his armour. [Sahih Bukhari]

He had declared unlawful for himself and his family anything given by the people by way of Zakat or sadaqa (types of charity). He was so particular about this that he would not appoint any member of his family as a Zakat collector. [Sahah-Kitab Sadqat]

His Manners and Disposition

By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you” [Qur’an 3:159]

About himself the Prophet (pbuh) said

Allah has sent me as an apostle so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment.” [Muwatta; Musnad; Mishkat]

By nature he was gentle and kind-hearted, always inclined to be gracious and to overlook the faults of others. Politeness and courtesy, compassion and tenderness, simplicity and humility, sympathy and sincerity were some of the keynotes of his character. In the cause of right and justice he could be resolute and severe but more often than not, his severity was tempered with generosity. He had charming manners which won him the affection of his followers and secured their devotion. Though virtual king of Arabia and an apostle of Allah, he never assumed an air of superiority. Not that he had to conceal any such vein by practice and artifice — with fear of Allah, sincere humility was ingrained in his heart. He used to say,

I am a Prophet of Allah but I do not know what will be my end. [Sahih Bukhari]

In one of his sermons calculated to instil the fear of Allah and the day of reckoning in the hearts of men, he said,

“O people of Quraish be prepared for the hereafter, I cannot save you from the punishment of Allah; O Bani Abd Manaf, I cannot save you from Allah; O Abbas, son of Abdul Mutalib, I cannot protect you either; O Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, even you I cannot save.” [Sahahin]

He used to pray, O Allah! I am but a man. If I hurt any one in any manner, then forgive me and do not punish me.” [Ahmed, Musnad]

He always received people with courtesy and showed respect to older people and stated: To honour an old man is to show respect to Allah.”

He would not deny courtesy even to wicked persons. It is stated that a person came to his house and asked permission for admission. The Prophet (pbuh) remarked that he was not a good person but might be admitted. When he came in and while he remained in the house, he was shown full courtesy. When he left A’isha (ra) said, “You did not think well of this man, but you treated him so well.” The Prophet (pbuh) replied, He is a bad person in the sight of Allah who does not behave courteously and people shun his company because of his bad manners.” [Sahih Bukhari]

He was always the first to greet another and would not withdraw his hand from a handshake till the other man withdrew his. If one wanted to say something in his ears, he would not turn away till one had finished. [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi] He did not like people to get up for him and used to say, Let him who likes people to stand up in his honour, he should seek a place in hell.” [Abu Dawud]

He would himself, however, stand up when any dignitary came to him. He had stood up to receive the wet nurse who had reared him in infancy and had spread his own sheet for her. His foster brother was given similar treatment. He avoided sitting at a prominent place in a gathering, so much so that people coming in had difficulty in spotting him and had to ask which was the Prophet (pbuh). Quite frequently uncouth, Bedouins accosted him in their own gruff and impolite manner but he never took offence. [Abu Dawud]

He used to visit the poorest of ailing persons and exhorted all Muslims to do likewise. [Sahih Bukhari] He would sit with the humblest of persons saying that righteousness alone was the criterion of one’s superiority over another. He invariably invited people be they slaves, servants or the poorest believers, to partake with him of his scanty meals. [Tirmidhi]

Whenever he visited a person he would first greet him and then take his permission to enter the house. He advised the people to follow this etiquette and not to get annoyed if anyone declined to give permission, for it was quite likely the person concerned was busy otherwise and did not mean any disrespect. [Ibid.]

There was no type of household work too low or too undignified for him. A’isha (ra) has stated,

“He always joined in household work and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether, and feed his animals and do the household shopping.” [Qazi Iyaz: Shifa; Sahih Bukhari]

He would not hesitate to do the menial work of others, particularly of orphans and widows. [Nasi, Darmi] Once when there was no male member in the house of the companion Kabab Bin Arat who had gone to the battlefield, he used to go to his house daily and milk his cattle for the inhabitants [Ibn Saad ]

Children

He was especially fond of children and used to get into the spirit of childish games in their company. He would have fun with the children who had come back from Abyssinia and tried to speak in Abyssinian with them. It was his practice to give lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journeys. [Sahih Bukhari] He would pick up children in his arms, play with them, and kiss them. A companion, recalling his childhood, said,

“In my childhood I used to fell dates by throwing stones at palm trees. Somebody took me to the Prophet (pbuh) who advised me to pick up the dates lying on the ground but not to fell them with stones. He then patted me and blessed me.” [Abu Dawud]

Daily Routine

On the authority of Ali, Tirmidhi has recorded that the Prophet (pbuh) had carefully apportioned his time according to the demands on him for:

  1. offering worship to Allah
  2. public affairs, and
  3. personal matters.

After the early morning prayers he would remain sitting in the mosque reciting praises of Allah till the sun rose and more people collected. He would then preach to them. After the sermons were over, he would talk genially with the people, enquire about their welfare and even exchange jokes with them. Taxes and revenues were also distributed at this time [Sahih Muslim Tirmidh] He would then offer chaste prayers and go home and busy himself with. household work. [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi] He would again return to the mosque for the midday and afternoon prayers, listen to the problems of the people and give solace and guidance to them. After the afternoon prayers, he would visit each of his wives and, after the evening prayers, his wives would collect at one place and he would have his dinner (Muslim, Sahih Muslim). After the night prayers, he would recite some Suras of the Qur’an and before going to bed would pray:

O Allah, I die and live with thy name on my lips.

On getting up he would say,

All praise to Allah Who has given me life after death and towards Whom is the return.”

He used to brush his teeth five times a day, before each of the daily prayers. After midnight, he used to get up for the tahajjudprayers which he never missed even once in his life. [Sahih Bukhari] He was not fastidious about his bed — sometimes he slept on his cot, sometimes on a skin or ordinary mattress, and sometimes on the ground (Zarqani).

On Friday he used to give sermons after the weekly “Jummah” prayers. He was not annoyed if anyone interrupted him during the sermons for anything. It is stated that once, while he was delivering his sermon, a Bedouin approached him and said, “O messenger of Allah, I am a traveller and am ignorant of my religion.” The Prophet (pbuh) got down from the pulpit, explained the salient features of Islam to him and then resumed the sermon. [Tirmidhi]

On another occasion his grandson Hussein, still a child, came tumbling to him while he was delivering a sermon. He descended and took him in his lap and then continued the sermon. [Ibid.]

Trust in Allah

Muhammad (pbuh) preached to the people to trust in Allah (swt). His whole life was a sublime example of the precept. In the loneliness of Makkah, in the midst of persecution and danger, in adversity and tribulations, and in the thick of enemies in the battles of Uhud and Hunain, complete faith and trust in Allah (swt) appears as the dominant feature in his life. However great the danger that confronted him, he never lost hope and never allowed himself to be unduly agitated. Abu Talib knew the feelings of the Quraish when the Prophet (pbuh) started his mission. He also knew the lengths to which the Quraish could go, and requested the Prophet (pbuh) to abandon his mission, but the latter calmly replied,

Dear uncle, do not go by my loneliness. Truth will not go unsupported for long. The whole of Arabia and beyond will one day espouse its cause.” [Ibn Hisham, Sirat-ur-Rasul]

When the attitude of the Quraish became more threatening, Abu Talib again begged his nephew to renounce his mission but the Prophet’s (pbuh) reply was:

O my uncle, if they placed the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, to force me to renounce my work, verily I would not desist therefrom until Allah made manifest His cause, or I perished in the attempt.” [Ibid.]

To another well-wisher, he said,

Allah will not leave me forlorn.”

A dejected and oppressed disciple was comforted with the words:

By Allah, the day is near when this faith will reach its pinnacle and none will have to fear anyone except Allah.” [Sahih Bukhari]

It was the same trust in Allah (swt) which emboldened the Prophet (pbuh) to say his prayers openly in the haram in the teeth of opposition. The Quraish were once collected there and were conspiring to put an end to his life when he next entered the haram.His young daughter Fatima, who happened to overhear their talk rushed weeping to her father and told him of the designs of the Quraish . He consoled her, did his ablutions and went to the Ka’bah to say prayers. There was only consternation among the Quraish when they saw him. [Ahmed, Musnad]

Then leaving his house for Madinah he asked Ali (ra) to sleep on his bed and told him,

Do not worry, no one will be able to do you any harm.(Tabari, Ibn Hisham)

Even though the enemies had surrounded the house, he left the house reciting the Quranic verse:

“We have set a barricade before them and a barricade behind them and (thus) have covered them so that they see not.[Qur’an 36:9]

Abu Bakr was frightened when pursuers came close to the cavern in which he and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were hiding during their flight, but the Prophet (pbuh) heartened him,

Grieve not. Allah is with us.

A guard was kept at the Prophet’s house in Madinah because of the danger that surrounded him but he had it withdrawn when the Quranic verse was revealed:

Allah will protect you from the people.”  [Qur’an 5:67]

A man was caught waiting in ambush to assault the Prophet (pbuh) but he was directed to be released with the words,

Even if this man wanted to kill me, he could not.” [Ahmed, Musnad]

A Jewess from Khaibar had put poison in the Prophet’s (pbuh) food. He spat it out after taking a morsel but a disciple who had his fill died the next day. The Jewess was brought before the prophet (pbuh) who questioned her:

Why did you do this?” “To kill you,” was her defiant reply. She was told, “Allah would not have allowed you to do it.” [Sahih Muslim]

In the battle of Uhud when the rear guard action of the Makkan army had disorganized the Muslim army and had turned the tables, the Prophet (pbuh) stood as firm as a rock even though he had suffered personal injuries. When Abu Sufyan taunted the Muslims and shouted “Victory to hubal!” (hubal was one of their idols), the Prophet (pbuh) asked Umar (ra) to shout back, “Allah is our protector and friend. You have no protector and friend. Allah is Great, Magnificent.” [Ibn Hisham]

Again in the battle of Hunain, when the unexpected assault of the army had swept the Muslim force off its feet and a defeat seemed imminent, the Prophet (pbuh) did not yield ground. With trust in Allah (swt) he showed such courage that the Muslim army rallied behind him to win a signal victory.

Justice

The Prophet (pbuh) asked people to be just and kind. As the supreme judge and arbiter, as the leader of men, as generalissimo [head commaner and chief] of a rising power, as a reformer and apostle, he had always to deal with men and their affairs. He had often to deal with mutually inimical and warring tribes when showing justice to one carried the danger of antagonizing the other, and yet he never deviated from the path of justice. In administering justice, he made no distinction between believers and nonbelievers, friends and foes, high and low. From numerous instances reported in the traditions, a few are given below.

Sakhar, a chief of a tribe, had helped Muhammad (pbuh) greatly in the siege of Taif, for which he was naturally obliged to him. Soon after, two charges were brought against Sakhar: one by Mughira of illegal confinement of his (Mughira’s) aunt and the other by Banu Salim of forcible occupation of his spring by Sakhar. In both cases, he decided against Sakhar and made him undo the wrong. [Abu Dawud]

Abdullah Bin Sahal, a companion, was deputized to collect rent from Jews of Khaibar. His cousin Mahisa accompanied him but, on reaching Khaibar, they had separated. Abdullah was waylaid and done to death. Mahisa reported this tragedy to the Prophet (pbuh) but as there were no eye-witnesses to identify the guilty, he did not say anything to the Jews and paid the blood-money out of the state revenues. [Sahih Bukhari]

A woman of the Makhzoom family with good connections was found guilty of theft. For the prestige of the Quraish, some prominent people including Asmaa Bin Zaid interceded to save her from punishment. The Prophet (pbuh) refused to condone the crime and expressed displeasure saying,

Many a community ruined itself in the past as they only punished the poor and ignored the offences of the exalted. By Allah, if Muhammad’s (My) daughter Fatima would have committed theft, her hand would have been severed.”[Sahih Bukhari]

The Jews, in spite of their hostility to the Prophet (pbuh), were so impressed by his impartiality and sense of justice that they used to bring their cases to him, and he decided them according to Jewish law. [Abu Dawud]

Once, while he was distributing the spoils of war, people flocked around him and one man almost fell upon him. He pushed the men with a stick causing a slight abrasion. He was so sorry about this that he told the man that he could have his revenge, but the man said, “O messenger of Allah, I forgive you.” [Abu Dawud]

In his fatal illness, the Prophet (pbuh) proclaimed in a concourse assembled at his house that if he owed anything to anyone the person concerned could claim it; if he had ever hurt anyone’s person, honour or property, he could have his price while he was yet in this world. A hush fell on the crowd. One man came forward to claim a few dirhams which were paid at once. [Ibn Hisham]

Equality

Muhammad (pbuh) asked people to shun notions of racial, family or any other form of superiority based on mundane things and said that righteousness alone was the criterion of one’s superiority over another. It has already been shown how he mixed with everyone on equal terms, how he ate with slaves, servants and the poorest on the same sheet (a practice that is still followed in Arabia), how he refused all privileges and worked like any ordinary labourer. Two instances may, however, be quoted here:

Once the Prophet (pbuh) visited Saad Bin Abadah. While returning Saad sent his son Quais with him. The Prophet (pbuh) asked Quais to mount his camel with him. Quais hesitated out of respect but the Prophet (pbuh) insisted: “Either mount the camel or go back.” Quais decided to go back. [Abu Dawood]

On another occasion he was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a disciple, Uqba Bin Aamir. After going some distance, he asked Uqba to ride the camel, but Uqba thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet (pbuh). But the Prophet (pbuh) insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet (pbuh) himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [Nasai]

The prisoners of war of Badr included Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (pbuh). Some people were prepared to forgo their shares and remit the Prophet’s (pbuh) ransom but he declined saying that he could make no distinctions. [Sahih Bukhari]

During a halt on a journey, the companions apportioned work among themselves for preparing food. The Prophet (pbuh) took upon himself the task of collecting firewood. His companions pleaded that they would do it and that he need not take the trouble, but he replied,

It is true, but I do not like to attribute any distinction to myself. Allah does not like the man who considers himself superior to his companions.” [Zarqani, Vol. 4 pg. 306)]

Kindness to Animals

The Prophet (pbuh) not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily. [Sahih Muslim] If he saw any animal over-loaded or Milad he would pull up the owner and say,

Fear Allah in your treatment of animals. [Abu Dawood]

A companion came to him with the young ones of a bird in his sheet and said that the mother bird had hovered over them all along. He was directed to replace her offspring in the same bush (Mishkat, Abu Dawood)

During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird’s painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (pbuh), who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Sahih Bukhari]

As his army marched towards Makkah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (pbuh) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done.

He stated,  Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal.”

Love for the poor

The Prophet (pbuh) enjoined upon Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with alms, Zakat, and in other ways. He said:He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbour go hungry.”

He asked, Do you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first.”

Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and he preached that “It is difficult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss.”

He did not prohibit or discourage the acquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully acquired by honest means and that a portion of it would go to the poor. He advised his followers

To give the labourer his wages before his perspiration dried up.”

He did not encourage beggary either and stated that

Allah is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labour, and that if a man begs to increase his property, Allah will diminish it and whoever has food for the day, it is prohibited for him to beg.”

To his wife he said, O A’isha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah will draw you near to Himself.” [SahihBukhari]

One or two instances of the Prophet’s (pbuh) concern for the poor may be given here. A Madinan, Ibad Bin Sharjil, was once starving. He entered an orchard and picked some fruit. The owner of the orchard gave him a sound beating and stripped off his clothes. The poor man appealed to the Prophet (pbuh) who remonstrated the owner thus:

This man was ignorant, you should have dispelled his ignorance; he was hungry, you should have fed him.”

His clothes were restored to the Madinan and, in addition, some grain was given to him [Abu Dawood]

A debtor, Jabir Bin Abdullah, was being harassed by his creditor as he could not clear his debt owing to the failure of his date crop. The Prophet (pbuh) went with Jabir to the house of the creditor and pleaded with him to give Jabir some more time but the creditor was not prepared to oblige. The Prophet (pbuh) then went to the oasis and having seen for himself that the crop was really poor, he again approached the creditor with no better result. He then rested for some time and approached the creditor for a third time but the latter was adamant. The Prophet (pbuh) went again to the orchard and asked Jabir to pluck the dates. As Allah would have it, the collection not only sufficed to clear the dues but left something to spare. [Sahih Bukhari]

His love for the poor was so deep that he used to pray: “O Allah, keep me poor in my life and at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor.” [Nasai]