The Humble I

Knowing, Doing, Becoming

Yearning for the Prophet ﷺ

Madina596x1024The Prophet said, peace be upon him: ‘Among those of my nation (ummah) that most fervently love me will be a people who shall come after me, and who would give up their family and property in exchange for being able to see me.’1

The lady ‘A’ishah related: A man came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, saying: “O God’s Messenger, I love you more than myself, my wife and children. When I am at home and remember you, I cannot wait to come and gaze at you. Though when I remember my death and your death, I know that when you enter Paradise, you will be raised-up with the Prophets. But even if I enter Paradise, I am afraid I will never see you.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, did not answer him until the following was sent down to him: Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, they are with those whom Allah has favoured, of the Prophets, the highest saints, the martyrs and the righteous. They are the best of company. [4:69]’2

Less than half a century later, the successor (tabi‘i), ‘Abidah al-Salmani, was once told that: We have in our possession a strand of hair of the Prophet, peace be upon him, by way of Anas b. Malik. To this he said: ‘That I possess a lock of his hair is more beloved to me than all the gold and silver on the face of the earth.’3

To this lover’s sigh, Imam al-Dhahabi went on to passionately say: ‘This utterance of ‘Abidah is a benchmark for perfect love, which is his preferring a strand of prophetic hair to all the gold and silver that people may possess. This statement from this Imam was said fifty years after the Prophet, upon whom be peace. So what should we say in our time if we were to ever find a lock of his hair reliably confirmed, or a thong from his sandal, or some of his nail clippings, or shards of a cup from whence he drank? If a wealthy person were to spend the greater part of his wealth in acquiring any of these things, would you think him a spendthrift or foolish? Never! So spend what you have in visiting his Mosque which he built with his own hands; and send salutations on him at his Chamber in his City; and cherish the sight of Uhud, and love it as your Prophet, peace be upon him, loved it; and revive yourself by spending time in his Garden where he sat. For you shall not be a true believer until this master becomes more beloved to you than even yourself, your children, your wealth, and the whole of humanity.’4

In his extensive biographical notice on Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Dhahabi feels the need to take-up the subject matter again; but this time with a degree of what may be described as “a lover’s ire”. He writes:

‘‘Abd Allah b. Ahmad said: “I saw my father take a strand of hair of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and put it to his lips and kiss it. I believe I saw him place it over his eyes too. He also dipped it into some water and drank the water, seeking a cure thereby. I saw him take the Prophet’s bowl, peace be upon him, rinse it in water and then drink from it. I saw him drinking Zamzam water seeking a cure thereby, wiping his hands and his face with it.” I say: Where is the extremist critic of Imam Ahmad now? For it is authentically confirmed from ‘Abd Allah that he once asked his father about those that touch the pommel of the Prophet’s pulpit, peace be upon him, and touch the Prophet’s chamber. He said: “I see no problem in it.” So may God protect us and you from the views of the Khawarij and from innovations.’5

Nor is it just human souls that yearn for the Prophet, upon whom be peace. In a well-known and mass-transmitted (mutawatir) hadith, we are told that the Prophet, peace be upon him, initially delivered his Friday sermons while leaning against the stump of a date-palm tree. When a pulpit was made for him, however, he addressed the people from that. It was during the first sermon from the pulpit that the tree stump wept at being seperated from the Prophet, peace be upon. ‘So the Prophet, peace be upon him, came to it and put his hand on it, whereupon it calmed down.’6 In other version, the Prophet, peace be upon him, remarked: ‘It weeps at the rememberance of what it has lost.’7 Another wording states: ‘Had he not put his arms around it and embraced it, it would have continued to grieve until the Day of Resurrection.’8

Let us end with a remark made by a peerless scholar and leading pietist of early Islam: al-Hasan al-Basri. Whenever he related the hadith about the tree stump, he too would weep and would say: ‘O servants of God! The stump of the date-palm tree wept for the Messenger of God, out of a longing to be with him. You should have a greater yearning to meet him.’9

So for this, let lovers pine and yearners weep!

1. Muslim, no.2832.

2. Abu Nu‘aym, Hilyat al-Awliya’, 8:125;. Shaykh Ahmad Shakir declared it to be sahih in ‘Umdat al-Tafsir ‘ani’l-Hafiz Ibn Kathir (Mansurah: Dar al-Wafa, 2005), 1:537.

3. Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-Risalah, 1998), 4:42.

4. ibid., 4:42.

5. ibid., 11:212. Touching or kissing the Prophet’s blessed grave is not the authoritative (mu‘tamad) view in the Hanbali madhhab. The relied upon view is that it is preferred not to do so. Al-Mardawi, whose significance will not be lost on those familiar with the Hanbali school and its authoritative references, quotes Imam Ahmad as saying: ‘The people of knowledge never used to touch it.’ He then states: ‘It is preferred not to touch the grave according to the soundest view of the school.’ Al-Insaf fi Ma‘rifat al-Rajihi min al-Khilaf (Beirut: Dar al-Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 1957), 4:53. Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughni (Riyadh: Dar ‘Alam al-Kutub, 1998), 5:468, stipulated: ‘It is preferred not to touch the walls of the Prophet’s grave, peace be upon him, nor to kiss it. Ahmad said: I do not know this.’ As for the view that permits touching the grave, it is recorded in Ibn Muflih, al-Mubdi‘ (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1980), 2:281; and Mar‘i b. Yusuf, Ghayat al-Muntaha (Riyadh: al-Mu’assasah al-Sa‘idiyyah, n.d.), 1:259.

6. Ibn Majah, no.1414; al-Tirmidhi, no.3627, who said it is hasan sahih.

7. Al-Bukhari, no.917.

8. Ibn Majah, no.1415, and it is sahih. Consult: al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma‘arif, 1991), no.2174.

9. Cited in Qadi ‘Iyad, al-Shifa’ (Damascus: Maktabah al-Ghazali, 2000), 371; Dhahabi, Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala, 4:570.

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19 thoughts on “Yearning for the Prophet ﷺ

  1. Ali Shah on said:

    SubhanAllah! Thank you for a beautiful article.

  2. what a beautiful blog to wake up and read, jazakallah for filling me with warmth and love for our Syed Rasoolallah on this chilly Tuesday morning far better than a hot cup of tea.

    oh how i long to embrace you in the hereafter oh messenger

  3. Ummaadam on said:

    JazakAllah khayr sheikh

  4. As Shyaan said, truly heart warming and beautiful mashaAllah. May Allah grant us true love of His beloved thus becoming more beloved to us than anyone or anything.
    Jazakum Allahu khairan

    • Ali Shah, shyaan, Ummaadam & JG: May Allah bless you all for your comments and may He unite us in His company and the company of His beloved, sallahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.

  5. Jazak’Allah for this Shaykh, it’s a shame many brothers and sisters misunderstand the yearning and affection people should have for the Prophet (SAWS). Today many would look at the raptures of love the Salaf experienced for just a strand of hair as being over excessive and beyond the bounds of religion when it is much the opposite.

    Are you aware of any resources that list authenticated relics of the Prophet (SAWS)? Unfortunately there are many forgeries out in the Muslim world. I remember visiting the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore where they have on display a number of purported relics, one of which is claimed to be a treaty written by either Imam Hassan or Hussain, when it was plainly obvious that it was not legitimate as the style of Arabic that was written was in a Persian form that had not even been invented at the time.

    • I am not aware of any specific book on the subject; though I saw a book just recently (published by Dar al-Minhaj) which seems to have done precisely that. Unfortunately, the name escapes me at the moment. I believer there is a large book on the prophetic athar also published in English some years back. And Allah knows best.

  6. Assalamualaikum Dear Brother

    Thankyou for this beautiful post – have just come back from My first hajj mashallah and am missing the two sacred cities so very much. I yearn to go back to Makkah and Madina, yearn to be close to Rasulullah in his blessed city and to pray in his blessed masjid once again. I felt incredibly happy and peaceful there and was able to pray in the Rawdah- tul- Jannah which was a wonderful and emotional experience for me.
    So this post was a lovely reminder of an amazing journey that I am hopeful will make again inshallah.

  7. abdur-rahman on said:

    May Allah swt give us the tawfeeq to obey Him and His Messenger (pbuh) and
    may this obedience be in our last breath.

  8. qandeel on said:


  9. Barakallahu fikum qandeel.

  10. Maryam on said:

    Jazaakallah for this article brother, I was wondering will only men be allowed to see the prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam in jannah or women too? I haven’t found any answers for this question but is it the same for us that we will be with whom we love in jannah- the prophet peace be upon him??

    • The privalege, honour and grace of seeing the Prophet, peace be upon him; or the even greater gift of seeing Allah, is granted to both men and women. May Allah make us among the fortunate to whom such graces are bestowed.

  11. Greetings,

    Thank you for this post.

    I find this deeply inspiring.

    All good wishes,


  12. Suleman Pirbhai on said:

    Assalamualaykum warrahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

    I hope this finds you in the best of imaan and health.

    I would like to extend my warm gratitude to you for sharing some amazing gems in the Prophetology section of your blog for it has rekindled my love for the Best of creation sAllalaahu alayhi wa aalihee wa sallam.

    The entire section is a must read, and, I really hope you post some more on the topic of loving the most Noble one sAllalaahu alayhi wa aalihee wa sallam.

    • Wa alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

      To read that this faqir’s writings have been a means for Allah to strengthen a deeper love in your heart for His beloved ﷺ, both humbles me and inspires me. Like you, the more I discover about the Prophet ﷺ, the more love and veneration of him stirs in the soul.

      May Allah raise us up in the Afterlife with those whom we love.

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