Even today, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is considered to be the finest leader with the highest moral values. He was sent to the world with the huge responsibility of spreading Allah’s word and guide the entire humanity to the right path. It was his upright character and integrated personality which impressed people and helped them see the truth in an era when the world was immersed in the gloom of kufr.
Listed below are a few of his personality traits which all the Muslims must know and try to adopt:
1. Allah comes first: Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) gave utmost priority to Allah’s orders. He would follow His commands with devotion and love. He endured every hardship with patience because, for him, the duty he was assigned by Allah was greater than his personal comforts.
As Allah had ordered him in Qur’an:
“Say, Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims.” [6:162-163]
2. Truthful: Even before the advent of Islam and any revelation, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was known as Sadiq (the one who is truthful) and Ameen (trustworthy). Everyone who knew him could give testimony to his honesty.
3. Did as he preached: He was the perfect Muslim. He taught the ways of Islam by following every one of Allah’s orders and then by asking the ummah to follow them. His exemplary personality would impress people into adhering to Islamic teachings.
Compassionate and merciful: Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H) was compassionate toward everyone. He forgave his enemies and treated them gently. Even when the people of Taif made the children of their neighbourhood to make fun of him and throw stones at him, he prayed for them:
“The Prophet (P.B.U.H) resembled a Prophet who was harmed by His people. He wiped the blood from His face and said: ‘O God! Forgive my people, for they know not!” [Bukhari]
5. Concerned about animals: He was not only good to humans but also animals. Multiple incidents from hadith tell about this quality of his:
During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird’s painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Al-Bukhaari]
6. Simplicity: Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) led a simple life. He would do all his chores himself, eat simple food, and live in small houses. Even after conquering Makkah, he did not change his lifestyle. Umar b. al-Khattab said:
“I entered the Messenger (P.B.U.H)’s house and I 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 side had marks due to the mat that he lay on. Umar wept when he saw this, and the Messenger (P.B.U.H) asked him: ‘Why do you weep?’ Umar said: ‘O Prophet of God! Khosrau 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. Generous: He was a generous person and loved helping others.
Abu Dharr (R.A) said:
“I was walking with the Prophet (P.B.U.H) in the Har’rah (volcanic region) of Madeenah and we faced the mount of Uhud; the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: ‘O Abu Dharr!’ I said: ‘Here I am O Messenger of God!’ He said: ‘It would not please me to have an amount of gold equal to the weight of Mount Uhud, until I spend and give it out (in the sake of God) within a night or within three nights. I would keep a single silver piece of it to help those who are in debt.” [Bukhari]
8. Pleasant persona: He was so gentle in his manners and always friendly towards others that people would talk to him easily and respectfully.
Abdullah bin al-Harith said:
“I have never seen a man who smiled as much as the Messenger of God (P.B.U.H).” [Tirmidhi]
9. Modest: Allah’s Apostle (P.B.U.H) was modest in his manners and clothing. He strongly opposed vulgarity. Hazrat Ibn Mas’ud reports that the Holy Prophet said:
“Verily, amongst the words people have obtained from the sayings of the past prophets is that when you are immodest (unashamed) then do whatever you desire.” [Ibn Maajah]
10. Patient: Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was tested by Allah in various ways but he never complained. He always remained patient when faced with hardships. When he gained power over his enemies, he didn’t take any revenge but forgave them all, presenting the greatest example for the entire humanity.
11. Fair and just: He not only advocated justice but carried it out well.
On one occasion, a woman of noble birth was caught stealing. Her family members sent Usama Bin Zaid (R.A) to ask Muhammad (P.B.U.H) to let go of the punishment. Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H) said:
‘People before you were destroyed because when the noble among them stole, they would let him go; and if the poor and weak stole they would punish him. By God! If Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut her hand off.’ [Bukhari]
12. Spread goodness and forbade evil: Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) practiced good deeds and spread it devotedly, and stopped people from evil ones. In a hadith, he said:
“Whoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart…” [Muslim]
13. Easy on himself, without transgressing the limits of Allah: Islam doesn’t require one to burden himself. We can choose the easy path so long as it is within the limits of Islam. Aisha (R.A) said:
“The Prophet (P.B.U.H) was not given a choice between two matters, except that he chose the easier of the two, as long as it was not a sinful act. If that act was a sinful act, he would be the farthest from it. By God! He never avenged himself. He only became angry when people transgressed the limits and boundaries of God; in that case, he avenged [for the sake of God].” [Bukhari]
14. Ethical and well-mannered: Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) never had any formal schooling. He had been taught by the Lord of the worlds and, indeed, He knows the best. Muhammad (P.B.U.H)’s mannerisms and ethical values were outstanding and Allah was pleased with them. He says in Qur’an:
“And indeed, you are of a great moral character” [68:4]
15. Content at heart: Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) did not lead a life of riches. He lived simply but contentedly. He was happy with whatever the worldly things Allah had blessed him with and never uttered a word of complaint.
Allah’s last Messenger, Muhammad (P.B.U.H), had the most upright character and a personality like none other. We can never be as perfect as him but we must strive to follow in his footsteps
to achieve greater rewards in the hereafter.