Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) His Characteristics


In spite of his office of Prophethood, Muhammad was a very  amiable and pleasant person With all the severity and seriousness of his function, his company was neither boring nor dull and uninteresting, like that of ordinary religious leaders, but was full of pleasant and delightful humour. He often joked with his companions and laughed with them. Abdullah ibn Al-Harith bin Jaz said that he had seen no one more pleasant and smiling than Muhammad. It is reported by Abu Hurairah that Muhammad used to mix with them on familiar terms, even to the extent of enjoying light jokes with them. Some companions asked him, “God’s Messenger ! Do you make jokes with us?” He replied, “I speak nothing but the Truth.” (Tirmizi) Anas reported that once a man asked Muhammad for an animal to ride. He replied that he would give him the baby of a she-camel to ride on. The man asked what would he do with a she-camel baby. Muhammad replied, “Is there any camel which is not born of a she-camel?” He also reported that once the Prophet addressed him as, “O you with two ears,” (meaning very obedient). (Tirmizi and Abu Daud). Anas also reported that the Prophet often joked and laughed with them. Once he asked his younger brother, who was grieved at the death of his little bird’, “Abu Umair, what has happened to your little sparrow (nughair)” He also said that an old woman came to see the Prophet and asked him to pray for her that she might go to Paradise. He replied, “No old woman will enter Paradise!” She was very grieved end began crying. Muhammad told his companions to tell her that the old woman would go to Paradise but as a young girl. Auf ibn Malik al-Ashjai reported that he went to God’s Messenger at the expedition of Tabuk, when he was sitting in a small tent, and gave a salutation. He resumed it, saying, “Come in.” I replied, “The whole of me, God’s Messenger?” He replied, “The whole of you,” so I went in. 

Anas said that a man from the desert called Zahir ibn Haroun used to bring presents to the Prophet from the desert and God’s Messenger would prepare for him what he needed when he intended to depart. The Prophet used to say that Zahir was his desert man and he was his townsman. The Prophet liked him though he was an ugly man. One day the Prophet went to him when he was selling his goods and embraced him from behind. He could not see who it was, so he said, “Let me go, who is this?” But when he turned round and saw the Prophet, he kept his back close against the Prophet’s chest. Then the Prophet begun to say, “Who will buy a slave?” He said, “O God’s Messenger! By God, you will find me to be worthless goods.” The Prophet replied, “But in God’s Sight, you are not worthless goods.”


Prophet Muhammad’s Mercy

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the best role model for all humankind. Among his outstanding virtues and characteristics, he was an extraordinary husband, a perfect father, and a unique grandfather. He was also a great statesman, judge, and spiritual leader. His most distinctive quality, however, was the fact that he was a blessing to all in both word and deed.

He infused justice, love, and dignity in all those around him. He spread the power of brotherhood to the extent that it became exceptional in human history. Affirming that these grand virtues were bestowed on him by Allah the Almighty and that He prepared His loyal messenger to call for the true religion, is part of one’s belief.

The Qur’an describes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as merciful and kind to the believers. Allah the Almighty says,

{Now hath come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.) (At-Tawbah 9:128)

Mercy to Kids:

Anas always greeted children as he passed them, saying that he did so because he had observed the Prophet doing the same thing. ( Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn `Abbas  said that the Prophet used to hold the first of any seasonal harvest, he used put it on his eyes then on his lips and say “Oh Allah! Like you have made us see its beginning (of the season), allow us to see its end.” Then he would give it to any child sitting around him.” (Tabarani)

When his guests brought children with them, the Prophet called them towards him and placed them on his lap. One day an infant urinated on his clothes. He simply poured water over the area but did not wash the clothes (as the infant was only breast-fed). ( Bukhari )

Prophet Muhammad used to set some kids in a row and saying, “I’ll give such and such (i.e gift or so) to the one who come to me first.” So they used to race and fall on his back and chest. (Ahmad)

Mercy to Women:

Once many women relatives of Prophet Muhammad were sitting around him and talking loudly to him. When Omar came they all left, at which the Prophet laughed. Omar said, “O Allah’s Messenger, may Allah keep you smiling. Why did you laugh?”, The Prophet remarked that he was amazed at the behavior of those women, who, on hearing Omar’s voice, had all hidden themselves from him. Omar, addressing them, said, “You fear me but do not fear Allah’s Messenger.” They all said, “You are a hot-tempered person in comparison to Allah’s Messenger.”  (Muslim)

Once the Noble Prophet was sleeping with his face covered in the apartment of Aisha. It was the day of Eid (Muslims’ holiday) and young girls were singing. Abu Bakr entered the house and asked the girls to stop. The Prophet said, “Let them sing, it is the day of Eid for them.” ( Bukhari )

He said: The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives. (Tirmidhi)

He said, “Whoever [brings up] two girls till they come of age, will be in the next world along with me, like my two fingers joining each other.” (Abu Dawud)

He said, “A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another. (Muslim)

He said, ” “I start the prayers, intending to lengthen them. I then hear a child crying so I make them shorter, knowing how emotional a child’s mother gets.” ( Bukhari and Muslim)

Caliph Umar (The second leader after prophet Muhammad) wanted to limit the amount of dowry. Most Muslims agreed with him. but an old poor woman declared her disagreement. Umar didn’t mute her. Instead, he heard her opinion which was proofed and then he said, “The lady is right and Umar is wrong.”

Mercy to Orphans, Needers, and Widows:

From his mercy is that he never used to disdain from walking along with a widow or with a poor person and fulfill their needs . He used to visit weak and sick Muslims and attend their funerals . He used to treat orphans well and charitably. He used to commend people to sponsor them and treat them with excellence and he also used to announce the consequent virtues of that saying, “I and a patron of an orphanage are as close in Paradise (while waving with the index and middle finger and parting them .” He also said that the best house in Muslim houses is the one with an orphan being treated well in it. ” ( Bukhari and Ibn Majah)

Ibn Omar reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “A Muslim is a Muslim’s brother; he does not wrong him. If anyone cares for his brother’s need, Allah will take care of his need; if anyone relieves his brother’s anxiety, Allah will remove from him one of his anxieties on the Day of Resurrection; and if anyone conceals a Muslim’s secrets, Allah will conceal his secrets on the Day of Resurrection.”  ( Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, ‘The best house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is badly treated.” (Ibn Majah)

Abu Omamah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “If anyone caresses an orphan by moving his fingers in his hair, doing so only for God’s sake, he will have blessings for every hair over which his hand passes and if anyone treats well ail orphan girl or boy under his care, he and I shall be like these two in Paradise,” putting two of his fingers together.  (Ahmad)

Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, He who strives to serve a widow and a poor person is like the one who strives in Allah’s way.” He also reported that when a man complained to the Messenger of Allah of being hardhearted he said, “Show affection to the orphans and feed the poor.” (Hakim)

Mercy to Domestic Workers:

Once a man came to Prophet Muhammad and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! How many times should I forgive the mistakes of slaves?” The Noble Prophet kept quiet. The man repeated his question three times, and the Prophet replied at the third time, “Forgive them seventy times every day.” A man had two slaves but was not happy with them. He used to beat and abuse them but they did not change their ways. He complained to the Prophet and asked for his advice. Prophet Muhammad said that if his punishment was in proportion to their wrongs, well and good; otherwise Allah would punish him for his excess. On hearing this the man was upset and began crying. Prophet Muhammad recited the verse from the Qur’an, “We shall set up scales of justice on the Day of Resurrection.” (1:47) and observed that the man did not read the Qur’an. After this he said, “O Allah’s Messenger, it is better that I release them from my possession. Be witness that they are now free.”

Mercy to Animals:

Aisha narrated that she once found difficulty in riding a horse, so she kept reining it in repeatedly. The Prophet then said, “You must have gentleness.” (Muslim)

Once the Prophet passed by a camel that was so emaciated its back was one with its abdomen. Upon that, the Prophet said, “Fear Allah with regard to livestock. Ride them in a fitting way and eat them when they are in good condition.” (Abu Dawud)

He once entered the garden of man from the Ansar (Muslims of Madinah) and there was a camel. When the Prophet  saw the camel it froze and its eyes started watering. Then the Prophet of Allah came to it and rubbed its ears so it calmed down. Then the Prophet said, “Who is the owner of this camel? Whose camel is this?” A young man from the Ansar told him, ”O Messenger of Allah, it belongs to me.” Then he told him (, “Do you not fear Allah with regard to this beast which Allah has let you own? It complained to me that you starve it and tire it by overworking it and using it beyond its capacity.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

He saw some people sitting on animals so he commented, “Keep them safe and sound when riding them and when leaving them, don’t use them as chairs for your side talks in the streets and markets. A ridden animal might be better than its rider and might remember and mention God more than its rider does.” (Ahmad and Abu Yali)

Prophet Muhammad once said, “A woman was doomed to enter the Fire because of a cat. She imprisoned it and neither fed it nor set it free to eat the rodents of the earth.” ( Bukhari )

Prophet Muhammad warned against any human being causing a bird to feel panic about its little offspring. Someone took two chicks of a bird, which came in panic searching for its chicks. Prophet Muhammad  then asked, “Who has distressed it by taking its chicks?” Then he asked them to return the chicks. (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet once passed by a burned out anthill. When the Prophet saw it he asked, “Who has burned it?” When he was informed of who had done it, he said, “Only the Lord of Fire has the right to punish with fire.” (Abu Dawud)

Prophet Muhammad prohibited the killing of a bird for the sake of pleasure and not for a specific beneficial need, the Prophet  said, “Anyone who would kill a bird, this bird would come on Doomsday and say, “God, this person killed me for pleasure and not for benefit.” (An-Nasaai)

He saw a person preparing a lamb, laying it down while he was still sharpening his knife. Prophet Muhammad  then commented, “Do you want to kill it twice? Sharpen your knife before you lay it down.” ( Bukhari and Muslim).

Once Prophet Muhammad saw a donkey on the road with a brand on its face, and said, “Allah’s curse is on him who branded it.” (Muslim)

By: Sheikh. Rajab Deeb


Description of the Prophet

Acquaint ourselves with the prophet of Islam. You cannot, as the popular saying goes, separate the message from the messenger. It is therefore only natural to wish to study the life of Muhammad (pbuh), his manners and his morals, and to see how Islam manifested itself in his person as a living example for all Muslims till the end of time.

Abu Hurairah described him as follows:

“He was of medium build, closer to being tall. His skin was extremely white, his beard was black, his mouth was pleasant, his eyebrows were long, and his shoulders were wide”

Ibne Malik said:

“I never touched silk or any soft fabric equal to the softness of his palm, and I never smelled a scent more pleasing than his.”

Hind ibn Abi Hala (the son of Muhammad’s wife Kadijah) described Muhammad (pbuh) as follows:

“The Messenger of Allah was of consecutive sorrows, continuous thought, never finding rest, long in silence. He did not speak without cause. He spoke with his full mouth (was not arrogant), and spoke concisely. His speech was just, with neither excess nor deficiency. He was not pompous, nor denigrating. He exalted all blessings no matter how small and never belittled a single one. He would never praise his food nor criticize it. He was never angered by matters of this life nor that which was associated with it. However, if justice was transgressed nothing could stand up to his anger until justice was established. He never became angry for his own self nor sought retribution for himself. If he gestured, he did so with his whole palm. If he was amazed, he overturned it. If he spoke, he struck with his right palm the inside of his left thumb. If he became angry he turned away, and when he was happy he lowered his gaze. The majority of his laughter was [restricted to] smiling.”

Ali ibn abi Talib described Muhammad (pbuh) as follows:

“He was not vulgar nor did he condone vulgarity, and he was not one to shout in the market place. He did not reward evil with evil, rather, he would forgive and overlook. He never in his life struck anything with his hand except when he was fighting in the name of Allah. He never struck a servant nor a woman, and I never saw him taking revenge for an injustice dealt him, except if the prohibitions of Allah were transgressed. For if the prohibitions of Allah were transgressed he was among the strongest of them in anger. He was never given a choice between two matters but he chose the simplest of the two. If he entered into his home he was a man like any other; cleaning his own garment, milking his own goat, and serving himself.

He would guard his tongue from that which did not concern him. He would attract them (the people) and not repel them. He would ennoble the noble of the people and charge them with their affairs. He was wary of the people and guarded himself against them but without depriving them a warm smile or fitting conduct. He would inquire after his companions and would ask the people about their affairs. He would encourage that which was good and strengthen it, and he would discourage that which was evil and undermine it. He was balanced and consistent. He would never be neglectful that they would not learn neglect and grow indifferent. He had a provision for every occasion and he never fell short of justice nor exceeded it. The closest people to him were the best among them, and the best among them in his eyes were the most comprehensive in advice. The highest of them in stature with him was the best among them in looking after the people and assisting them. He would not rise nor sit down without praise [to God]. If he visited a gathering he would sit wherever the group ended (and not at their head) and he encouraged the same. He would give all those sitting with him their just due [to the extent that] they would each feel that none was more important to him than them. If someone were to sit with him or come in search of a favor he would be patient with them until they (the guest) would be the one to leave. Whoever came to him with a request was never turned away except with that which they had asked for or with a kind word. His cheerfulness and good manners encompassed them all such that he became a father to them and they all became equal in rights. His gatherings were those of knowledge, humbleness, patience, and integrity. In them there would be no raising of voices nor transgressions of prohibitions. They would not expose one-another’s errors, but would be equal, encouraging each-other in the fear of God. In them, they would respect their elders, be merciful to their children, give preference to those in need, and protect the stranger.”

He continues: “He was continually smiling, gentle in manners, soft in nature. He was not severe, harsh-hearted, loud, abusive, or miserly. He would disregard that which he disliked, and no one ever despaired of him. He never responded to disparagement or evil words. He forbade upon himself three things: Argument, arrogance, and that which did not concern him. And he relieved the people of three: He would not degrade any among them or abuse them, he would not search after their honor or private matters, and he would not speak except in matters which he hoped to be rewarded for. When he spoke his attendees would lower their heads as if birds had alighted upon them. Once he finished they would speak. They would not vie with one-another in his presence to speak, but when one would talk in his presence the rest would listen until he finished. Speech in his presence was that of the first among them. He would laugh with them, and wonder with them. He had patience with the strangers when they were gruff in speech and requests, to a degree that his companions would fetch them to him. He would say: ‘If you see someone in need, fetch him to me.’ He would not accept praise except from those who were balanced and not excessive. He would not interject into someone’s speech unless they transgressed, in which case he would either rebuke them or else leave.

He was the most generous of heart, truthful of tongue, softest in disposition, and noble in relationship. He who first set eyes upon him feared him, but he who associated with him loved him. Those who described him would say: ‘I have never seen before or after him anyone similar to him, peace be upon him’ “


Muhammad was a perfect model of modesty and humbleness. He never spoke loudly or in an unseemly manner. In the market, he always passed by the people quietly with a smile. Whenever he heard anything undesirable in an assembly, he did not say anything out of respect for the people, but the color of his face showed his feelings and the Companions became cautious. `A’ishah said that she never saw Allah’s Messenger laughing so immoderately that she could see his molar teeth, for he only used to smile.

Ibn `Umar reported that a man from the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah) was giving his brother a warning against modesty when the Prophet came along and said, “Leave him alone, modesty is a part of faith.”

`Abdullah ibn Maslamah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Modesty is a part of the teachings of the previous prophets and anyone who lacks it is most likely to do whatever he likes.”

Zayd ibn Talya reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty.”

The Prophet lived a simple and modest life, both in Makkah as a trader and the Messenger of Allah, and in Madinah as the head of the state and Messenger of Allah. The change in his social status from that of a trader in Makkah to the head of the state in Madinah did not bring any change in his modest living. `Umar reported the Prophet as saying, “Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted Jesus son of Mary. I am just His servant, so call me Allah’s Servant and Messenger.”

The Prophet did not behave towards others as if he was better than them, nor did he spurn manual work. `Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa reported that the Prophet of Allah never disdained to go with a slave or a widow to accomplish her tasks. Others reported that the Prophet used to tidy up his house, tether the camels, feed the animals, take food with his servants, and help them in kneading dough and bringing provisions from the market. Anas reported that the Prophet of Allah used to visit the sick, attend funerals, ride on a donkey and accept a slave’s invitation for a meal. Jabir stated that the Prophet used to slow down his pace for the sake of the weak and also prayed for them. 

When `Adiyy ibn Hatim came to see the Prophet, he called him inside his house. A maidservant brought a cushion to rest on, but the Prophet placed it between him and `Adiyy and sat down on the floor. `Adiyy later said that he had then immediately realized that the Prophet was not a king. A similar incident was reported by `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As, who said: Once when the Messenger of Allah came to my house, I gave him a cushion filled with bark, but he sat down on the floor placing the cushion between me and him.’

In all things Muhammad was humble. Anas said that the Prophet would accept an invitation even if he was presented barley bread and soup whose taste had changed. He also reported the Prophet as saying, “I am Allah’s servant, I eat like a servant and sit like a servant.”


A Human Being Before a Prophet

prophet muhammad
Muslim Reflections on Muhammad’s Character
Apart from seeing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the Messenger of God gifted with divine revelation, one can remarkably see him as an ideal example of a perfect human character.

Prophet Muhammad is a person who strove hard for the well-being of his community and of humanity at large. His farsightedness and  ability to correctly read events of his time and to anticipate results helped him, along with divine wisdom from God, to address people’s emotions and to win their hearts before their minds. His human touch was inescapable, and his personal appeal and gentle approach won the hearts of enemies before those of friends.

In short, he always found his way to his target audience. His cousin and Companion Ali is reported to have asserted this distinctive aspect of the Prophet’s character:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to win the hearts of his Companions with his kind approach. He was never harsh or hardhearted. In his meetings, he used to treat all equally; listening to them all and giving all equal chance to participate in the ongoing discussions. He was a very patient negotiator, and he never withdrew himself from the discussion unless the negotiators themselves leave first. Whenever someone asked him for something, he was keen to fulfil his wish. If not, then he will please his heart with kind words. Among people, he was known by good manners and to them all he was like an affectionate father.

Missed by Friends When Absent

A man like Muhammad was the solace to his friends’ souls. They would miss him very much if he went to mind personal matters, even if for a short while. This is the feeling you might have when your soul mate is absent; you always wait in anticipation for him or her to come back. That was the case with the Companions and Prophet Muhammad.

Abu Mohammad Al-Hussein Al-Baghawi in his Ma`alim At-Tanzeel (Landmarks of Revelation) mentions that Thawban, one of the Companions who showed this real love, once came to the Prophet with sadness portrayed on his face. Upon seeing him, Muhammad inquired about this noticeable sadness and very pale face.

This reflects how close the Prophet was to his friends and Companions. He would even ask about these things that we may consider trivial or unnecessary. Thawban replied,

O Messenger of God, I do not suffer from any disease. When our daily meetings come to an end, I miss you a lot until we meet the next day. Now, I remember the Last Day where you will be granted a very special status along with the other prophets and messengers. If God destined me to enter Paradise, then we will not meet due to different degrees, as surely my degree in Paradise will be lower than yours. If God destined me to enter the Hellfire, then we will not meet.

Hearing this, the Prophet remained silent for a while to receive the following revelation shortly afterwards:

[And whoever obeys God and the Messenger, these are with those upon whom God has bestowed favors from among the Prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company they are.] (An-Nisaa’ 4:69)

“Isn’t he [the dead Jew] a soul created by God?”

Prophet Muhammad

Situations like the above should not pass unnoticed. The human touch of the Prophet and the way he approached his Companions and people in general did wonders. It ended up with people declaring that Muhammad is dearer to them than their wives, sons, daughters, parents, and selves.

Once the Prophet was once with his Companions. He then stretched his hand to `Umar ibn Al-Khattab. To that kind act, `Umar responded saying, “O Messenger of God, you are the most beloved to me after myself.” The Prophet replied, “No, by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, you can’t be a real believer until you love me more than yourself.” To this, `Umar replied, ” Now you are more beloved to me than myself.” Then, the Prophet said, “Now, `Umar, your faith is complete” (Al-Bukhari).

These and many other countless events from the Prophet’s biography demonstrate that Muhammad was a highly respectable, reputable, beloved, and kind character. Even before being divinely ordered by God to carry the divine message, he was called by his own tribesmen “As-Sadiq Al-Amin” (Arabic for “the truthful and the trustworthy”).

People of Other Faiths

This day is the day of mercy. This is a day when honor cannot be transgressed. This is an honorable day for Quraish.”
-Prophet Muhammad

Muhammad’s good manners were not confined to his close friends and Companions. His manners exceeded them to encompass different nationalities and creeds. He taught his Companions how to respect others regardless of their faith, race, color, or creed.
One day, he was sitting among his Companions. A funeral of a Jew from the people of Madinah was passing by, and upon seeing it, the Prophet stood up. His astonished Companions said, “O Prophet of God! He is a Jew.” The Prophet taught them how to be respectful Muslims considerate to others’ feelings by saying, “Isn’t he the dead Jew a soul created by God?”

How far do we go in our hasty judgments on others? How many quick decisions do we make unknowingly and unwisely about our fellow humans? Don’t we learn from the above example the respect Muhammad extended to a dead soul? He never derided or cursed a human being or even an animal. He was a caring and lovable character. Violence and harshness are never found in his dictionary.

Dealing With His Enemies

Many are the false, horrible stories one can hear and read about  Prophet  Muhammad being bloodthirsty and war-loving. Had those who study his character attempted to be objective in their studies, they would have realized that he was really a war-hating and merciful commander. He addressed his Companions on the night of the Battle of Badr saying, “Don’t ever wish to meet the enemy, but if you are forced to , then be patient” (Al-Bukhari). “If you are forced to do that” means that confrontation was an option he did not prefer.

Muhammad was someone who declared general amnesty before Amnesty International came to existence in today’s world.

He was never offensive in his wars and military campaigns. His enemies ask for confrontation, and he enters wars for solely defending his beliefs and his community. He won the hearts of his enemies on the day he victoriously entered Makkah, without wasting a single soul.

One of the Companions, Sa`d ibn `Ubadah, once felt conceited on that day and raised his voice saying, “Today is the day of fierce war, a day in which inviolable rules will become violable, and a day to let Quraish taste humiliation.” Upon hearing him, the victorious leader declared, “No, Sa`d! This day is the day of mercy. This is a day when honor cannot be transgressed. This is an honorable day for Quraish.”

He never denied his enemies their dignity or honor. He never stripped them of their human characteristics.

He was someone who declared general amnesty before Amnesty International came to existence in today’s world. He declared it before all and in broad daylight saying, “Go, you are free ” These very people are those who drove the Prophet and all followers of Islam in Makkah out of their homeland (Makkah). They are the ones who relentlessly and fiercely oppressed him and his followers for more than 21 years.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been and will always be a human being from whom Muslims learn how to love and deal with one another, and form healthy relationships in today’s global village. He left his personal impact on people as a human being before God entrusted him with His message.

By:  El-Sayed M. Amin

3 thoughts on “Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) His Characteristics

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