Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Ramadan 1424 H
November 2003
Volume 16-11 No : 203
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The Prophet's (Pbuh)Easy Manners

The Prophet's (Pbuh)Easy Manners

We need to learn many lessons from the Prophet's gentle attitude towards people

The Prophet was easy in his manners. Muslims never tire of stressing that he was a human being in every sense of the word. His feelings and manners were what is normal with all men, except that he had a greater share of every good thing, and had no faults in his morality or manners. He behaved naturally. He sat the way that was most comfortable for the time and place. Hence, his companions report what they saw of him, giving us a detailed picture of his character.

A Hadith reported by Dhayyal ibn Ubayd mentions: "I went to the Prophet and I found him seated with his legs double crossed." (Related by Al-Bukhari in 

Al-Adab Al-Mufrad). This Hadith simply describes the way the Prophet sat on this particular occasion. Apparently he sat on the floor, because the way he sat could only be done on the floor or on a flat surface with large area. His legs were double crossed, which is a comfortable form of sitting, with each foot placed under the other thigh. If a person is used to this way of sitting, he could sit for hours without need to change his position.

Another Hadith quotes a woman named Qaylah who seems to relate something that took place when she was a young girl. She says: "I saw the Prophet sitting in a squatting position, and when I saw him in deep thought, I felt terrified." (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi). The Hadith reporter does not mention why she felt terrified, but we can deduce from the fact that the Prophet was in deep thought that he looked exceedingly serious. With him sitting in the unusual squatting position, the girl was scared. Al-Tabarani, who also relates this Hadith, provides more details: "The man sitting with the Prophet said to him: 'Messenger of God, the poor girl is scared.' Without looking at me, he said: 'Poor girl, have peace.' All the fear that I felt went away."

Here we see how the Prophet was very kind to young people. When he realized that the girl was scared, he did not try to speak to her or calm her by direct speech, because with children this could easily be counter-productive. He prays for her to have inner peace, and soon enough she sheds her fear. Whenever the Prophet prayed for anyone, his prayer was answered in the most perfect manner.

In fact, the Prophet was very kind to children. He loved them and cared for their welfare. Naturally, he loved his own grandchildren more, but can we get a glimpse of such love?

Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet's companion who was very often with him in the last four years of his life, reports: "Whenever I see Hasan, (the Prophet's grandson), tears spring to my eyes. This is because one day the Prophet came out and found me in the mosque. He took me by the hand and I walked with him. He did not speak to me until we arrived at the Bani Qaynuqaa marketplace. He walked and looked around. He then left and I was with him until we returned to the mosque. He sat down and covered himself. He then said to me: "Where is the little one? Call the little one for me." Hasan came in running and fell in the Prophet's lap. He put his little hand in the Prophet's beard. The Prophet opened his mouth and put his own mouth in his mouth. He then prayed: 'My Lord, I love him; so, do love him and love everyone who loves him.'" (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

This is a very normal picture of a grandfather wanting to play with his little grandson. He allows the child to play with his beard and he lovingly puts his mouth over the child's mouth. But the prayer he says is moving indeed. He prayed to God not only to love the child but to love those who love him as well. And history records that all Muslims loved the Prophet's grandson. He did not only merit this love on account of his relation to the Prophet, but he was a man people liked and wished to associate with.

We also know that the Prophet indulged his grandchildren, without spoiling them. An often quoted Hadith mentions that the Prophet's grandson mounted him as he prostrated himself in prayer in the mosque. As usual, the Prophet was leading the congregational prayer. He waited for the child to dismount before he lifted his head. It took quite a while, and people thought that something might have happened to the Prophet. They asked him after the prayer was over about his long prostration. He said: "There was nothing wrong, except that my grandson mounted on my back and I did not like to rush him."

This attitude of the Prophet was extended to all his grandchildren. Needless to say, with his own daughters, he was the kindest of parents. He was also kind to all children. They loved him and he prayed for any child he saw or was brought to him for any reason.

Another aspect showing the Prophet's easy manners is mentioned in a Hadith reported by Abdullah ibn Zayd ibn Asim who says: "I saw the Prophet lying down having placed one leg over the other." (Related by Al-Bukhari, Malik, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nassaie and Abu Dawood)

This was apparently in the mosque, which makes clear that it is perfectly permissible to lie down in a mosque. Some people suggest that the Prophet warned against lying down with one leg over the other. This Hadith, which is definitely authentic, makes clear that there is nothing wrong with that. The problem arises only if it is feared that by doing so one exposes the part of his body which should remain covered. If this is the case, then it is strongly urged that one should not do so. If, on the other hand, one is certain that there is no chance of this happening, then one may do so, since the Prophet is reported to have done it.

(Arab News)

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