Family man


In his book ‘100 most influential persons in history’, Michael Hart ranked Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as number one:

“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.

Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.

The majority of the persons in this book had the advantage of being born and raised in centers of civilization, highly cultured or politically pivotal nations. Muhammad, however, was born in the year 570, in the city of Mecca, in southern Arabia, at that time a backward area of the world, far from the centers of trade, art, and learning. Orphaned at age six, he was reared in modest surroundings. Islamic tradition tells us that he was illiterate. His economic position improved when, at age twenty-five, he married a wealthy widow. Nevertheless, as he approached forty, there was little outward indication that he was a remarkable person…” A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY by Michael H. Hart.

This may be a surprise to the non-Muslims of today but even during the pre-Islamic period and before prophethood, Muhammad peace be upon him was known for his exemplary behavior and outstanding dealings with other human beings. He was nicknamed ‘Assadiqul ameen’ to mean ‘Honest and Trustworthy’ and he was distinguished among his people for his modesty, gentleness, virtuous and graceful manners and his extreme kindness.

“He was an exemplary man of weighty mind and faultless insight. He was favoured with intelligence, originality of thought and accurate choice of the means leading to accurate choice of the means leading to accurate goals. His long silence helped favourably in his habit of meditation and deep investigation into the truth. His vivid mind and pure nature were helpfully instrumental in assimilating and comprehending ways of life and people, individual and community wise. He shunned superstitious practices but took an active part in constructive and useful dealings; otherwise, he would have taken a route to his self-adopted seclusion. He kept himself aloof from drinking wine, eating meat slaughtered on stone altars, or attending idolatrous festivals. He held the idols in extreme aversion and disgust. He could never tolerate someone swearing by Al-Lat and Al-Uzza.” (The Sealed Nectar by Safi-ur-Rahman, page 81)

It is said that during a conversation with Muhammad aleyhi ssalam, Bahirah, the monk in Syria swore, ‘Bi Llata wal Uzza’ since this was the common swearing of the people in Makkah and Muhammad peace be upon him immediately expressed his detest by such swearing.

It is clear that Allah (S.W) protected him and detached his heart from evil practices even before his prophethood.

Al Bukhari reported on the authority of Jabir bin Abdullah peace be upon him that he said: ‘While the people were re-building Al-kaabah, the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) went with ‘Abbas to carry some stones. ‘Abbas said: ‘Put your loincloth round your neck to protect you from the stones.’ (As he did that) the prophet fell to the ground and his eyes turned skyward. Later on, he woke up and shouted: ‘My loincloth…my loincloth.’ He wrapped himself in his loincloth.” (Sahih Al Bukhari. Chapter: The building of Al-Ka’bah, 1/540.)

In another instance where Allah (S.W) protected Muhammad (S.A.W) is a hadith reported by Ibn Al-Athir who reported Muhammad as saying: “I have never tried to do anything the people of ignorance did except for two times. Every time Allah intervened and checked me from doing so and I never did that again. Once I told my fellow shepherd to take care of my sheep when we were in the upper part of Makkah. I wanted to go down to Makkah and entertain myself as the young men did. I went down to the first to the first house in Makkah where I heard music. I entered and asked: ‘what is this?’ Someone answered: ‘It is a wedding party.’ I sat down and listened but soon went into a deep sleep. I was awakened by the heat of sun. I went back to my fellow-shepherd and told him what happened to me. I never tried it again.” (There is a disagreement over the authenticity of this hadith. Al-Hakim said that it was authentic but Adh-dhahabi graded it weak, as did Ibn Kathir in Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah.)

Even after his first revelation at the cave and fear had engulfed him, his wife Khadijah peace be upon her tried to soothe and reassure him by saying: ‘Allah will never disgrace you. You unite uterine relations; you bear the burden of the weak; you help the poor and the needy, you entertain the guests and endure hardships in the path of truthfulness.’

Muhammad, peace be upon him was known for his love and mercy for children, for his relatives, neighbours…you name it! Michael Hart, the author of 100 most influential persons in history, as mentioned earlier stated how the prophet p.b.u.h was very well successful in both the secular and religious life. We as human beings struggle to bring a balance to anything in our lives. When we work, we miss out on spending valuable time with our family. When we spend valuable amount of time with our family, we reduce the amount of worship we do. When we focus on worshipping and family, our work is affected. How great then is the prophet p.b.u.h to have established such a strong and powerful religion while he still had the time to help his wives in cooking and other house chores? To have been able to win in all sectors from leadership to being a role model of the youth, to being a teacher, to being a strategic warrior at the war zone, to being a great father and husband? Isn’t this reason enough for the non-Muslims to believe in his prophethood, of how much we should follow his footsteps and emulate and love him?

  • Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was asked, “What did the Prophet () use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family (كَانَ يَكُونُ فِي مِهْنَةِ أَهْلِهِ) and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Bukhari)

In another report Aisha is reported to have said, “He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.” (Adab Al-Mufrad graded sahih by Al-Albani)

In yet another report it is said that she said, “He milked his goat.” (Ahmad)

He also said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah)

The prophet peace be upon him would always enter upon his wives smiling and happy, looking neat and a siwak in his mouth. He never bet any of his wives or even the slaves. Every morning after fajr prayers, he would sit at the same place worshipping until sunrise. He would then go to each of his nine wives to greet them and would make a dua for them. In another narration by Aisha, the prophet would make the visits during evening hours. During every dinner, he would bring all his wives together and eat with them. He was kind, merciful and loving to his wives and even loyal to his deceased first wife Khadijah bint Khuweylid.

The prophet peace be upon him married Khadijah bint Khuweylid, who was a successful business woman, when she was 40 years while he was just 25 years old. Yet she supported the prophet and believed in him when no one did. The prophet thus never forgot her ihsan (beneficence) to him and forever held her in very high esteem.

  • It had been related by Abu Huraira that on one occasion, when Khadijah was still alive, Jibreel AS came to the Prophet SAW and said, “O Messenger of Allah, Khadijah is just coming with a bowl of soup (or food or drink) for you. When she comes to you, give her greetings of peace from her Lord and from me, and give her the good news of a palace of jewels in the Garden, where there will be neither any noise nor any tiredness.” It was also narrated by Ali (RA) that he heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying “Mary, the daughter of Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadijah is the best amongst the women (of this nation).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 58:164)That was how special Khadijah peace be upon her was and the prophet never stopped appreciating her.


  • Aisha reported: “I never felt so jealous about any woman as I did for Khadija, although she had died three years before I married the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. That was because I heard him mentioning her so often and because his Lord has ordered him to give her glad tidings that she would have a palace in Paradise made of reeds; and also because the Prophet would slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat among her friends.” [Source: Sahih Bukhari 5658]


  • Muhammad said about her “She believed in me when the whole world refuted me and she attested to my veracity when the whole world accused me of falsehood. She offered me compassion and loyalty with her wealth when everyone else had forsaken me.”

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him showed great understanding to his wives and not just them but with everyone else. One important matter he understood was of the jealousy that would naturally occur between any co-wives. As such, he was always merciful and compassionate to each one of them and treated them in a special way.

  • Al-Bukhaari (5225) narrated that Anas said: “The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was with one of his wives, when one of the Mothers of the Believers sent a bowl in which there was some food. The one in whose house the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was struck the hand of the servant, and the bowl fell and broke. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) picked up the pieces of the bowl, then he began to collect the food that was in it, and said, “Your mother got jealous.” Then he made the servant wait until the bowl belonging to the one in whose house he was, was brought. He gave the intact bowl to the one whose bowl had been broken, and he kept the broken bowl in the house of the one who had broken it.” It is believed the wife mentioned for getting jealous was Aishah peace be upon her.

Even in times of conflict and misunderstandings, his wives felt safest with him, with surety that he would never harm them.

  • Nu’man ibn Bashirradiallahu ‘anhusaid: That Abu Bakr sought permission to enter the Prophet’s apartment. In the meantime he heard ‘A’ishah speaking in a louder voice that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When Abu Bakr entered the apartment, he caught ‘A’ishah and said, “Beware! From now on I should never see you speaking thus.” He wanted to slap her. The Prophet held Abu Bakr by the waist and thus saved ‘A’ishah. Abu Bakr went out angrily. When Abu Bakr had gone, the Prophet said to ‘A’ishah, “Well, how did I save you from the man.” After a few days absence Abu Bakr again sought permission, and saw that both the Prophet and ‘A’ishah were at peace. Then he said, “Let me enter in your peace as I had entered in your dispute.” The Prophet said, “We do so, we do so.” [Al-Bidayah, vol. VI, p. 46]

In another instance, the prophet peace be upon kneeled down and asked his wife Safiyyah to step on his lap to climb on the camel.

The prophet peace be upon him would also have casual conversations with his wives and he would listen without interrupting or saying he had better things to do. A good example of this is a narration by Aisha (Radi Allahu anha):

  • “Eleven women sat (at a place) and promised and contracted that they would not conceal anything of the news of their husbands.

The first one said, “My husband is like the meat of a lean weak camel which is kept on the top of a mountain which is neither easy to climb, nor is the meat fat, so that one might put up with the trouble of fetching it.”

The second one said, “I shall not relate my husband’s news, for I fear that I may not be able to finish his story, for if I describe him, I will mention all his defects and bad traits.”

The third one said, “My husband is a tall man; if I describe him (and he hears of that) he will divorce me, and if I keep quiet, he will neither divorce me nor treat me as a wife.”

The fourth one said, “My husband is a moderate person like the night of Tihama which is neither hot nor cold. I am neither afraid of him, nor am I discontented with him.”

The fifth one said, “My husband, when entering (the house) is a leopard, and when going out, is a lion. He does not ask about whatever is in the house.”

The sixth one said, “If my husband eats. he eats too much (leaving the dishes empty), and if he drinks he leaves nothing, and if he sleeps he sleeps alone (away from me) covered in garments and does not stretch his hands here and there so as to know how I fare (get along).”

The seventh one said, “My husband is a wrong-doer or weak and foolish. All the defects are present in him. He may injure your head or your body or may do both.”

The eighth one said, “My husband is soft to touch like a rabbit and smells like a Zarnab (a kind of good smelling grass).”

The ninth one said, “My husband is a tall generous man wearing a long strap for carrying his sword. His ashes are abundant and his house is near to the people who would easily consult him.”

The tenth one said, “My husband is Malik, and what is Malik? Malik is greater than whatever I say about him. (He is beyond and above all praises which can come to my mind). Most of his camels are kept at home (ready to be slaughtered for the guests) and only a few are taken to the pastures. When the camels hear the sound of the lute (or the tambourine) they realize that they are going to be slaughtered for the guests.”

The eleventh one said, “My husband is Abu Zar and what is Abu Zara (i.e., what should I say about him)? He has given me many ornaments and my ears are heavily loaded with them and my arms have become fat (i.e., I have become fat). And he has pleased me, and I have become so happy that I feel proud of myself. He found me with my family who were mere owners of sheep and living in poverty, and brought me to a respected family having horses and camels and threshing and purifying grain . Whatever I say, he does not rebuke or insult me. When I sleep, I sleep till late in the morning, and when I drink water (or milk), I drink my fill. The mother of Abu Zara and what may one say in praise of the mother of Abu Zara’? Her saddle bags were always full of provision and her house was spacious. As for the son of Abu Zar, what may one say of the son of Abu Zar? His bed is as narrow as an unsheathed sword and an arm of a kid (of four months) satisfies his hunger. As for the daughter of Abu Zar, she is obedient to her father and to her mother. She has a fat well-built body and that arouses the jealousy of her husband’s other wife. As for the (maid) slave girl of Abu Zar, what may one say of the (maid) slavegirl of Abu Zar? She does not uncover our secrets but keeps them, and does not waste our provisions and does not leave the rubbish scattered everywhere in our house.”

The eleventh lady added, “One day it so happened that Abu Zar went out at the time when the milk was being milked from the animals, and he saw a woman who had two sons like two leopards playing with her two breasts. (On seeing her) he divorced me and married her. Thereafter I married a noble man who used to ride a fast tireless horse and keep a spear in his hand. He gave me many things, and also a pair of every kind of livestock and said, ‘Eat (of this), O Um Zar, and give provision to your relatives.” She added, “Yet, all those things which my second husband gave me could not fill the smallest utensil of Abu Zar’s.” ‘Aisha then said: Allah’s Apostle said to me, “I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife Um Zara.” [Al-Bukhari (5189), Muslim(244)]

To be continued….please stay tuned 🙂

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P.S I am not a scholar and this is my little effort in spreading the knowledge therefore in case of any mistake/correction/addition needed in this article about the prophet (p.b.u.h) and his life, kindly email me at: info@lubnah.me.ke.


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