Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 951 [Read full issue]
The Prophet's modesty was apparent in the way he treated his followers. He realized that his Companions would be emulated by later generations of Muslims. Hence, he made sure to explain how he should be treated by them and by all Muslims. Umar ibn al-Khattab quotes him as saying: "Do not overpraise me like the Christians overpraise Jesus, son of Mary. I am only a servant of God. [In reference to me] say: God's servant and Messenger." (Bukhari, Ibn Habban.) How did they react to this? Anas ibn Malik says: "No one was dearer to them than God's Messenger. Yet when they saw him coming, they did not stand up because they knew he disliked that." (Ahmad, Tirmidhi.) He wanted to be seen as one of them.
The Prophet also impressed on his Companions that people distinguish themselves only by their manners and behaviour. In his address during his farewell pilgrimage, he said: "People, your Lord is one and your father is one. No Arab has an advantage over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor does a red skinned man over a black one, nor a black one over a red skinned one, except through God-fearing." (Ahmad)
"Muhammad: His Character and Conduct " -Adil Salahi