Part 2 – Series on the Shamaa’il (the noble character and sublime conduct) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) Dealing with Each Person in a Special Way

عن عمرو بن العاص قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقبل بوجهه وحديثه على أشر القوم يتألفهم بذلك فكان يقبل بوجهه وحديثه علي حتى ظننت أني خير القوم فقلت: يا رسول الله أنا خير أو أبو بكر فقال: أبو بكر فقلت: يا رسول الله أنا خير أم عمر فقال: عمر فقلت: يا رسول الله أنا خير أم عثمان فقال: عثمان فلما سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فصدقني فلوددت أني لم أكن سألته (الشمائل المحمدية للترمذي رقم: 327)

Translation

Hazrat Amr bin Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would show special attention towards even the worst of people through turning his mubaarak countenance towards them and speaking to them in a special way, thereby showing love to them (and drawing them towards himself). Hence, (I noticed that) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would show me special attention and speak to me in a special way, until I began to think that I was the best of people (and most beloved to him). I therefore once asked, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Am I greater, or is Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) greater (in position)?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is greater than you.” I then enquired, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Am I greater, or is Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) greater?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) answered, “Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is greater than you.” Thereafter, I asked, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Am I greater, or is Hazrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) greater?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) responded, “Hazrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is greater than you.” Upon asking Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) these questions, I found that he was honest to me (i.e. in explaining to me that I was lower in position than these great Sahaabah), then I (felt sad for asking such questions and) wished that I had not asked him these questions.”

 

Commentary

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would deal with each and every person in a special way, showing him love and attention. However, it was the general habit of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to give preference to those Sahaabah who held a higher position in deen without making others feel inferior. Nevertheless, at times, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) showed deeper love and attention those who were lower in status in order to please their hearts and draw them closer to deen. He even showed special attention to the non-believers and the munaafiqeen (hypocrites) with the aim of showing them the beauty of Islam and drawing them towards Islam.

In the beginning, due to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) showing special attention to this Sahaabi, he began to feel that he was the best among the Sahaabah. However, to confirm his impression, he once came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and enquired regarding his position in comparison to Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Hazrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was honest to him and explained to him that his position was lower than the position of these Sahaabah.

From this, we learn that just as Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was a personification of love and kindness, he was also an embodiment of honesty and truthfulness, and hence he did not falsely flatter this Sahaabi, but was honest to him and explained his true position to him.

After Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained to the Sahaabi that he was lower than these great Sahaabah in position, he regretted asking the question, as he realized that it was not correct for him to compare himself to these great Sahaabah.

The reason for the Sahaabi posing the question in this sequence was that in the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) regarded Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) as the best amongst them, followed by Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and then Hazrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

In essence, from this Hadith, we understand that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made every person feel comfortable and happy in his mubaarak presence. It was on account of this sublime conduct and extraordinary love which he displayed to one and all that every person loved him the most and felt that he was special in his sight.

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