Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam, spoke of the reverence held for the Prophet ﷺ:“Whoever saw him suddenly, was in awe of him; and whoever mixed with him, loved him.” In order to know what it is we are striving for, we should try to understand what is meant by the word love in the first place. When dealing with love, we find that it can be of different types:
1. Pleasure in outward perfection.
a. General: This can manifest in a ‘worldly’ manner as the false love for beauty and appearances. This is the fastest kind of love to attain, but if other reasons are not present, this love can fade quickly.
b. Concerning the Prophet ﷺ: we can work towards attaining this love for him by studying his outward qualities such as his appearance, his style of dressing, his etiquettes of eating, and his general lifestyle.
2. Gaining benefit from the object of love.
a. General: This can manifest in a ‘worldly’ manner as the false love of wealth and fame.
b. Concerning the Prophet ﷺ: we have briefly discussed already some of the benefits and the blessings of loving Rasulullah ﷺ in Part I; there are many other stories and ahadeeth that can be found, read, and pondered upon.
3. Pleasure in the perfection of its noble inner qualities.
a. General: This type of love holds together the first two types of love; it lasts the longest.
b. Concerning the Prophet ﷺ: we can work towards attaining this love for him by studying his inward qualities such as his haya’ (modesty), his humility, and his generosity.
May Allah cause us to be of those who have all three forms of love for His Messenger ﷺ and live our lives according to that love.