The holy Prophet had an excessive zeal for devotions to God, his uninterrupted communion with the Lord took the shape of extensive orisons and vigils, supplications and lamentations and his indifference to the world surpassed the abstinence of hermits and ascetics but he was never wanting in sympathy and compassion, courteous and mannerly behaviour to one and all; nor was he ever lacking in restoring justice to one whon1 it was denied or in bidding welcome to everyone according to his status and position. According to the wont of human nature, these were perhaps the strongest unidentical traits blended together in the character of the Prophet. Once he said to Anas, "If you had known what I know, you would have laughed ever so little and wept a great deal. "
The Apostle came of the noblest stock, yet he was very modest, exceedingly large hearted and most sweet tempered; he never kept aloof from his companions; cherished a kind and tender disposition towards the children and often took them in his lap; accepted the invitation to take meals with the slaves and maidservants, the poor and the indigent; visited the sick even if he had to go to the farthest corner of the city and always accepted the excuses offered for misdeeds. He was never seen stretching his legs whilest sitting with his companions lest anyone of them should feel inconvenience. 'Abdullah b. al-Harith reports that he had not seen anyone smiling so ofter1 and with a more cheerful disposition than the Apostle of God. Jabir b. Samurah says that he had joined the sittings of the Apostle and his companions more than a hundred times. He saw the companions listening and reciting poems, describing some incident of the pagan past while the Apostle of God either sat silently or smiled with them at some amusing remark. Sharid states that the Prophet asked him to recite the verses of Umayya b. Abi as-Salt and he recited them.
The Apostwas extremely kindhearted and affectionatethe finest human sentiments and virtues were discernible in-his character. Anas b. Malik heard God's Apostle saying to Fatima, "Bring my two sons." In a moment they came running and the Prophet kissed and embraced them. Another time the Prophet summoned his grandson, Hasan b. 'A1i. He came running and falling in the Prophet's lap, passed his fingers through his beard. The Prophet opened his mouth while Hasan's saliva fell in his mouth. Fatima tells that when the Prophet's freedman Zayd b. Haritha came to Medina, the Prophet was in his house. Zayd knocked at the door. The Prophet immediately got up to greet him although he was not properly dressed. His mantle hanging loosely on his shoulders, he went out to receive Zayd, shook hands with him and kissed him.
Usama b. Zayd reports that one of the Prophet's daughters sent him a message telling him that a son of hers was at the ebb of life, asking him to come to her. The Prophet sent her greetings, saying at the same time, "What God has taken away belongs to Him and what He has given belongs to Him, and He has appointed a time for everyone; so she ought to show endurance and seek her reward from God." She then sent for him adjuring to come to her, and he got up to go accompanied by us. The boy who was at the last gasp was brought to the Prophet who took him in his lap, his eyes overflowing with tears. S'ad asked, "What is this, O Messenger of God ?" He replied, "This is compassion which God deposits in the hearts of His servants whom He will. Verily, God shows compassion to those who are compassionate."
When the prisoners taken in the battle of Badr including 'Abbas were tied, the Apostle could not sleep because of the groaning of 'Abbas. The Ansar, on coming to know the Prophet's uneasiness, untied him. The Prophet was pleased with the Ansar but when it was suggested to him that 'Abbas should be set free on payment of an indemnity, he refused the request since he did not like to discriminate between 'Abbas and other prisoners.
A Bedouin came to the Apostle and said, "You kiss your children but we do not." The Apostle replied, "What can I do if God has withdrawn compassion from your hearts." The Prophet was extremely kind to the children and was always considerate and benevolent to them. Anas says that God's Messenger passed by some children who were playing. The Prophet greeted them. He also reports that the Prophet used to mingle with us and ask my younger brother, "Abu 'Umayr, What has happened to your bird ?"
Being too solicitous and well disposed to the Muslims, the Messenger of God was very tolerant and overlooked their occasional weariness and boredom. 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud says that the Prophet used to interpace his exhortations and counsels to the people lest they should not get tired with them. Although prayer was most pleasing to him, he always used to cut it short if the cry of any child reached his ears. He said once, "When I stand up for prayers I intend to make it long, but when I hear any child crying I shorten it for fear that his mother might he distressed.''
Abu Mas'ud narrates that someone said to the Prophet, "O Messenger of God, I swear by Allah that I keep away from the morning prayer on account of so and so who makes it too long." Ibn Mas'ud further says that he never saw the Apostle more angry than he saw him while giving an exhortion after that incident. He said, "There are some among you who scare the people away; so whoever of you leads a prayer, he ought to be brief, for there are the weak and the aged and those who have a business to attend."
It is also related that Anjasha was a singer of camel-songs who had a beautiful voice and used to lead the dromedaries of women. Anjasha's melodious singing made the camels go quickly which disturbed the women. Hence the Prophet said to him, "Gently, Anjasha, do not break the glass vassels."
God had made the Apostle's heart as clear as a crystal, bearing no ill-will against anybody. Once he said to his companions, "None of you should denounce another before me, for I like to come out to you without any ill feeling."
God's Messenger was benign and gracious to all the Muslims like their father. He treated everyone of them like his family members as if they were his own charge. Or, the affection he had for them was like that of a mother for her child, for he had never had an eye to their wealth and property or their prosperity but he always deemed it his duty to lighten their burdens and to clear their debts. He used to say, "Whoever leaves some property as a legacy, it belongs to his heirs, but his unpaid debts are my responsibility."
There is yet another report citing the Apostle: "No Muslim has a patron closer unto him than I; or, if you wish, recite the verse : 'The Prophet is closer. to the believers than their selves ;' for the property left by anyone goes to his nearest kins whoever they may be; but if one dies leaving a debt, he (the creditor) should come to me since I am the patron of the deceased and responsible to discharge his debts."