(Edit: Listen, for those who can’t be bothered to read)
Muhammad. Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. “One whose praiseworthy characteristics are numerously abundant.” And who could be more worthy of bearing this name than Rasūlullāh ? Truly, he was the best of all creation, a guide to humanity, an exemplar for all peoples of all times, possessing all of the finest and noblest of qualities. None surpassed him in this, nor will anyone ever do so. His attainments and praiseworthy traits are so numerous that they cannot be enumerated. So I will not even attempt to do so, but rather will focus on only one of his characteristics: his compassion towards humanity at large and towards the believers specifically.
Harīsun ‘alaikum – he, the Messenger of Allah , is concerned for your well-being. ‘Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) relates that the Prophet once stood up for the entire night in Tahajjud salāh, repeating just one āyah. And which āyah of the Qur’ān was this? From other narrations it appears that it was the following: “In tu’adh-dhib hum fa innahum ‘ibāduk. Wa in taghfirlahum fa innaka anta al-‘Azīz al-Hakīm – If You punish them, then indeed, they are Your slaves. And if You forgive them, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.” Why did the Prophet do this? Why did repeat only this one āyah when there are so many other āyāt in the Qur’ān? And why did he persist in this for the whole night? He has questioned about this by one Companion (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) who asked, “By my mother and father, O Messenger of Allah. You have stood up for the whole night with this one āyah, bowing down, prostrating and making du’ā with it. And Allah has certainly taught you the Qur’ān, all of it!?” And his reply ? “Innī da’awtu li ummatī – Indeed, I made du’ā for my Ummah.” Allah! For you and for me – that is what motivated Rasūlullāh to leave the comfort of his bed and stay up in prayer. For you and for me he stood for so long that his feet would swell up. This was the extent of the Prophet’s love for you and I. His love for us is so great, yet how tiny is our love for him!
He ardently desires that you should be guided aright, that you should follow the path of guidance and save yourself from the fearsome punishment of the Hereafter. Have you not heard of what his response will be on the Day of Reckoning, when mankind will rush here and there looking for someone – anyone! – to intercede on their behalf? When all the other Prophets reply, “Nafsī, nafsī,” Mustafā will reply, “Ummatī, ummatī.” Allahu Akbar! His love and compassion for you and I is so great that even on that most terrible of days, his concern will not be only for himself, but for all of his followers. Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. If this is the case, then you should you not adopt his Sunnah and avail yourself of the guidance he brought, so that he will not be grieved and distressed on the Day of Resurrection?
His compassion towards people was not only limited to the believers but extended far beyond that, to all of humanity. It was his concern for the welfare of each and every person which drove him to proclaim the religion of Islam so vociferously, despite all the persecution and hardships he faced because of this. The incident of the battle of Uhud displays this trait of his most beautifully. The day of Uhud was an extremely difficult one for the Muslims. Due to a certain group of them not obeying the commands of Rasūlullāh they were made to suffer heavy losses. The Prophet himself was wounded during the course of this battle. His lower incisor was broken, his head was cleaved and he was dealt such a harsh blow to his face that the iron rings of his helmet penetrated his cheek. This was one of the difficultest moments of his life. Yet look at the words that came from his blessed lips: “Allahummaghfir li qawmī fa innahum lā ya’lamūn – O Allah, forgive my people, for indeed, they do not know.” Can you imagine!? On the battlefield, in the heat of battle, when all his enemies had gathered together with the sole aim of putting an end to his life – he did not pray for their destruction but instead prayed for their forgiveness and guidance! Subhānallah!
By Allah, he was the most gentle of souls. And his gentleness towards humanity, his love for them and compassion, was the secret to the success of the propagation of his message. This is as stated by Allah (‘azza wa jall) in His Revelation: “Fabimā rahmatim min Allahi linta lahum; wa law kunta fazzan ghalīzal qalbi lanfaddū min hawlik – It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you.” Look at how forbearing he was when the Jews said to him, “Death be upon you!” He merely replied in like manner but ‘Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) retaliated by calling them the brothers of apes and pigs and invoked the curse and anger of Allah upon them. He chided her for this and told her, “O ‘Ā’ishah, gentleness does not enter anything except that it beautifies it; and it is not removed from anything except that it disfigures it.” It was through the mercy and gentleness he displayed towards mankind in situations such as these which attracted the hearts of people to Islam. So be gentle and kind and do not be vulgar and harsh.
There are no words adequate enough to do justice to praising the Prophet . Everything that could be said would fall far short of the reality of his nobility and sublimity. But we hope and pray that these few words might be a means for an increase in love for the Prophet in the hearts of his followers. To conclude, I would like to quote a verse of poetry which I feel is the best that has been said concerning praise of Rasūlullāh , and which perfectly sums up my feelings about this article. These are the words of Hassān bin Thābit (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), the poet of the Messenger of Allah :
لَكِنْ مَدَحْتُ مَقَالَتِي بِمُحَمَّدٍ
Rather, I praise my words with (the mentioning of) Muhammad.
 al-Qur’ān: 9: 128.
 Sunan al-Tirmidhī.
 al-Qur’ān: 5: 118.
 Tuhfadh al-Ahwadhī bi Sharh Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhī by al-Mubarākfūrī.
 Musnad Ahmad.
 The Sealed Nectar by Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, p. 122.
 al-Qur’ān: 3: 159.
 Musnad Ahmad.