One of the calamities of religions is when the Messenger becomes exalted over the One who sent him. We do not believe the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is divine. We have been given the gift of understanding the Messenger in relation to the One who sent him. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is central to teachings of Islam. You cannot exalt the Creator without exalting His Messenger, and you cannot exalt His Message without exalting His Messenger. We are commanded by God to magnify the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Shaykh Hamza Yusuf eloquently explains why we must celebrate the Prophet every day of our lives. He also adds at the end an elucidating explanation of how Muslims should emulate the behaviour the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had during trying times, reminding us that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) taught. The believer is one from whose evil humanity is safe and that he was sent only as a mercy to everyone.
Love (mahabba) for people arises from three characteristics: 1) their physical outward beauty, 2) their inward beautiful character, and 3) the good or the sacrifice they do for us. To increase and maintain his love for the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), Sayyidina Hassan (the Prophet’s grandson) sought descriptions of all three of these aspects of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) because he wanted something to hold on to. Adding his own commentary to these intimate descriptions, Shaykh Hamza, with his usual eloquence, passionately relates what Sayyidina Hassan gathered about the Beloved of Allah. Shaykh Hamza says if you knew what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) did for you, you would fall in love with him and explains that mahabba grows like a seed. For those who desire to fall in love with the Beloved of Allah, this talk is for them.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Hasan ibn Ali asked his maternal uncle Hind bin Abi Haalah about the description of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). He said about his uncle that he was very capable of describing, he had given an excellent description of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). He said “I desired to hear this description from him because I wanted something to hold onto”.
One of things about the ulema, they say mahaba (love) for most human beings arises out of three things. The first is the physical love. You see something beautiful and your heart inclines towards it. So He put the love of beauty in the hearts of human beings. If you see something beautiful, you incline towards it. Your eye delights in it. If you see a human being that is beautiful, you can fall in love, it can happen just from sight. The ulema have maintained the physical description of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) because that is a level of mahaba – to actually hear how beautiful he was. He was the most beautiful human being. He was more beautiful than Yusuf. One of the gifts of this ummah is that we have an exact description of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), it is as if you are looking at him. There was a desire to keep the description of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) so people could have a physical attraction to him as well as the first stage of love.