The Prophet (ﷺ) had immense love for his Ummah.
And Allah SWT says in the Quran:
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
There certainly has come to you a messenger from among yourselves. He is concerned by your suffering, anxious for your well-being, and gracious and merciful to the believers.
It means that a messenger from amongst you has come to you, who finds it difficult to bear your hardships.
He is "حَرِيصٌ" (harees), like how you describe a mother or a parent.
"بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ" - gracious and merciful to the believers.
Allah uses two words, which are the names of Allah SWT when you add alif laam. To the believers, he is رَءُوفٌ, which means full of compassion. It is a type of tenderness in mercy, a special type of mercy that a mother or father has for a child. رَّحِيمٌ is general mercy. So Allah SWT, who is Ar-Rauf and Ar-Rahim, describes the Prophet (ﷺ) as being as Rauf and Rahim to the believers.
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (RA) described the incident when the Prophet (ﷺ) was reciting the verses in the Qur'an mentioning the dua of Ibrahim (AS) and Isa (AS):
'Abdullah b. Amr b. al-'As (RA) reported:
Verily the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) recited the words of Allah, the Great and Glorious, that Ibrahim (AS) uttered. My Lord! Lo! they have led many of mankind astray: " But whoso followeth me, he verily is of me," and Easa (AS) said:" If thou punisheth them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgiveth them-verily Thou art the Mighty, the Wise". Then he (ﷺ) raised his hands and said: O Lord, my Ummah, my Ummah, and wept; so Allah the High and the Exalted said: O Jibreel, go to Muhammad (though your Lord knows it fully well) and ask him: What makes thee weep? So Jibreel (AS) asked him and informed Allah what he had said (though Allah knew it fully well). Upon this, Allah )SWT) said: O Jibreel, go to Muhammad and say: Verily We will please thee with regard to your Ummah and would not displease thee.
(Sahih Muslim 202: Book 1, Hadith 405)
Ibrahim (AS) make a dua for his people:
رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ ۖ فَمَن تَبِعَنِى فَإِنَّهُۥ مِنِّى ۖ وَمَنْ عَصَانِى فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
My Lord! They have caused many people to go astray. So whoever follows me is with me, and whoever disobeys me—then surely You are ˹still˺ All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Ibrahim (AS) is saying those who are following him, they are with him, O Allah protect them, but even those "مَنْ عَصَانِى" forgive them.
Easa (AS) is saying:
إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ ۖ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
"If You punish them, they belong to You after all. But if You forgive them, You are surely the Almighty, All-Wise.”
The Prophet (ﷺ) recites these two verses, which are prophets making dua for their Ummah and starts thinking of his own Ummah. He raises his hands to Allah, and he says, Ya, Allah My Ummah, and he begins to cry, thinking about his Ummah. So Allah (SWT) told Jibreel (AS) to go to Muhammad and ask him why he is crying?, although Allah knew why. Prophet (ﷺ) said that he was crying thinking of his Ummah and thinking of what will be their fate. So Allah ordered Jibril (AS) to go back to Muhammad (ﷺ) and tell him
إِنَّا سَنُرْضِيكَ فِي أُمَّتِكَ وَلاَ نَسُوءُكَ
Verily We will please thee concerning your Ummah and would not displease thee.
Allah (SW) says that Allah please him for his Ummah and bless them. In other words, Allah is saying that because he wants his Ummah to be blessed so much, Allah will please him and not cause him any displeasure.
Abu Huraira (RA) narrates the famous saying by the Prophet (ﷺ) about not using the special dua given to each of the Prophets.
Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah's messenger (ﷺ) as saying, “Every prophet has a supplication which receives an answer, but whereas every prophet made his supplication in this world, I have kept mine till the day of resurrection to be used in the intercession for my people. And if Allah wills, it will reach those of my people who have died without associating anything with God.”
(Mishkat al-Masabih 2223: Book 9, Hadith 1)
Allah gave every single prophet one request that Allah will definitely answer. This is a blessing that Allah has given them. Some of the prophets used it against their people, who disobeyed them.
Nooh (AS), who, after preaching for 950 years, became frustrated,
وَقَالَ نُوحٌ رَّبِّ لَا تَذَرْ عَلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ مِنَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ دَيَّارًا
Noah had prayed, “My Lord! Do not leave a single disbeliever on earth.
So Allah destroyed all of the humanity of the time, which was one town. Nooh (AS) and a few believers were saved. Then, all humankind started again because Nooh (AS) made that Dua.
`Irbad ibn Sariya and Abu Imama said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: " I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, and the good tidings of my brother `Isa. The night I was delivered, my mother saw a light that lit the castles of Damascus so that she could see them."
(It is narrated by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak (2:616-617), Ahmad in his Musnad (4:184), and Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:110, 2:8)).
Ibrahim (AS), made dua "Our Lord! Raise from among them a messenger.."
رَبَّنَا وَٱبْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
Our Lord! Raise from among them a messenger who will recite to them Your revelations, teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. Indeed, You ˹alone˺ are the Almighty, All-Wise.”
So the Prophet (ﷺ) has said, " I am the Dua of my father, Ibrahim."
Moosa (AS) made Dua against Firaun because he was a mass murderer and a genocidal killer. So Moosa (AS) made a dua that Allah does not guide him. That was what happened. Firaun was never guided even when he tried to accept when he was drowning. It was too late.
Sulayman's (AS) special Dua was:
قَالَ رَبِّ ٱغْفِرْ لِى وَهَبْ لِى مُلْكًا لَّا يَنۢبَغِى لِأَحَدٍ مِّنۢ بَعْدِىٓ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْوَهَّابُ
He prayed, “My Lord! Forgive me, and grant me an authority that will never be matched by anyone after me. You are indeed the Giver ˹of all bounties˺.”
He made Dua that he be given not just a kingdom but a dominion, which is not given to any other human after him. So Allah gave him powers that nobody had.
فَسَخَّرْنَا لَهُ ٱلرِّيحَ تَجْرِى بِأَمْرِهِۦ رُخَآءً حَيْثُ أَصَابَ
So We subjected to him the wind, blowing gently at his command to wherever he pleased.
وَٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ كُلَّ بَنَّآءٍ وَغَوَّاصٍ
And ˹We subjected to him˺ every builder and diver of the jinn.
So Allah (SWT) even gave him the power to control the wind. So the legend of the flying carpets comes from Sulayman (AS). He would sit on a carpet, and it would take him in one night, the journey that would typically take a month during those times. So that is where the flying carpet legend comes from.
The trapping of the Jinns (genie) in the bottles is also from the story of Sulayman (AS). The Jinns were diving deep to bring the ocean's treasures and build palaces for Sulayman (AS). So Allah gave control of the Jinns, mighty and powerful creatures. He could also speak to animals. So even animals served him.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said that every single Rasul and every single Nabi was given one Dua that was guaranteed that Allah will respond to. They all used this to Dua in this world, except for Prophet (ﷺ). He has saved it to make dua for his Ummah on the Day of Judgment. The Dua will be to ask for the forgiveness of his entire Ummah who believed in him. Allah will accept that Dua, and that is why every Muslim shall eventually enter Jannah.
He saved the dua and sacrificed it for the Ummah. There can be no greater sacrifice than that. That shows us the love that he has for the Ummah.
What is the purpose of all of this love? Anas (RA) narrates a beautiful Hadith recorded in Bukhari.
Anas Ibn Malik (RA) Narrates.
A man asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about the Hour (i.e., Day of Judgment) saying, مَتَى السَّاعَةُ "When will the Hour be?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "What have you prepared for it?" The man said, "Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Apostle." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "You will be with those whom you love." We had never been so glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet (ﷺ) (i.e., "You will be with those whom you love.") Therefore, I love the Prophet, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them although my deeds are not similar to theirs.
(Sahih al-Bukhari 3688: Book 62, Hadith 38)
The man's question had no benefit, and it was not going to gain you anything. Further, the Prophet (ﷺ) does not know when is the Day of Judgment. But instead of saying, I don't know, he directed him to a more pertinent question. He asked what he had prepared for it when it came? The man was silent for a while. It completely jolted his perspective. This shows when somebody comes and asks you a not very relevant question, you should not make fun of it but direct the person to something more pertinent and more useful. The man said that he did not have much Salah, fasting, but he had a genuine love of Allah (SWT) and his messenger (ﷺ). So the Prophet said, the man shall be with whom he loves.
Anas (RA) says we were never as happy and overjoyed as we were on that day when we heard that a man shall be with whom he loves. We loved the Prophet (ﷺ) and wanted to be with him. But we thought that because our levels would be so different, we would never get to see him. So when he said this, we became overjoyed.
So let us have a genuine love for the Prophet (ﷺ). Let us understand the sacrifices he made for us. Let us know what a great personality he was. Most importantly, let us study his life and times so that we can implement and follow his teachings and come closer to Allah (SWT).
Allah says in the Qur'an:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Allah says if you truly love Allah, then follow the Prophet (ﷺ). Then, Allah (SWT) will love you and forgive your sins.
May Allah SWT make us amongst those who truly follow the Prophet (ﷺ) and may he forgive our sins.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad (ﷺ) and upon the family of Muhammad (ﷺ) as You sent prayers upon the family of Ibraaheem (AS), and send blessings upon Muhammad (ﷺ) and upon the family of Muhammad (ﷺ), as You sent blessings upon the family of Ibraaheem (AS), You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.
The Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), the life and times of the greatest human being who ever lived and walked on the face of this earth, series is based on the lectures by Dr. Sh. Yasir Qadhi.