“That’s not him.”
“That can’t be him.”
“Nur, who are you googling?” asked Grandpa as he sat down at the table to look at Nur’s laptop with her.
Nur held up the book her Grandfather had given her for Eid. “There aren’t any pictures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in my book. I want to fix it by finding one and gluing it inside.”
“I’m sorry Nur, but you won’t find images of our prophet on the internet.”
“Why not?” wondered Nur.
“Well, the Prophet Muhammad asked his companions to not make images of him.”
“Everybody has pictures, why didn’t the Prophet (PBUH) want images of himself?” asked Nur.
“The Prophet (PBUH) worried his people would replace Allah with his image and love it more than they loved Allah. He didn’t want Muslims to forget that he was just a man and not a god.” explained Grandpa
“But Grandpa, if there are no pictures of him, how will I know who the Prophet (PBUH) is when I get to Jannah?
“Alhamdulillah, don’t worry you won’t miss him. The Prophet’s companions left us with something better than a picture to know him by.”
“What could be better than a picture?” Nur asked
Grandpa smiled down at her “The companions of the Prophet (PBUH) left us with hadiths.”
“Those are words, sayings, and descriptions of the prophet (PBUH).” Nur was happy to show Grandpa she knew what they were.
“That’s exactly right Nur. When we read hadith a picture of the Prophet (PBUH) is sketched with words and painted directly onto our hearts. We can then see him as if we were his companions and saw him ourselves.”
“What did they say he looked like? Was he old with a white beard?” asked Nur.
Grandpa rose from his chair and held out his large hand to Nur. “Come outside with me.”
Nur hopped up and took Grandpa’s hand. He led her outside into the warm evening where lightening bugs were glowing and the moon and stars were sprinkled across the sky.
When they were far enough away from the light of the house Grandpa stopped and raised his hand. He pointed up at the moon.
“Do you see this moon?” he asked
“It’s glowing brightly tonight.” Observed Nur.
“The companions said prophet Muhammad was like the moon. The light in his heart was so bright and pure it caused his body to beam with a radiance like that of a softly lit moon.”
“He must have been beautiful, grandpa.”
“Oh, he was Nur.”
“His hair was black and was neither too curly nor too straight, it was wavy.
His face was neither too round nor too square, it was oval.
His nose was neither wide, nor bulbous, or hooked, it was thin.
His lips were full, his teeth were white, he smiled often.
His eyes were the darkest black and the whites the brightest white.
His beard was neither long and scraggly nor thin and patchy, it was full and trimmed.
His height was neither too tall nor too short, but average.
His belly was neither too round or too skinny, it was flat.
His limbs were strong, his hands soft, and his feet sturdy.
He naturally smelled like pleasant perfume.
His smiles were contagious. Kindness and honesty softened his face.
All his companions agreed there was no one as handsome as him.”
“He must have been more handsome than a fairytale prince.” Nur decided.
Grandpa chuckled at that comparison. “But, a prince wants to be honored with riches and comforts. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) preferred a simple life of serving others.” explained grandpa.
“What did the companions say he was like, Grandpa?”
“The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was generous and charitable. He was the best of mankind but he refused to be treated like royalty while others went hungry”. “The Prophet (PBUH) once said, ‘He is not a believer, who eats fully while his neighbor is hungry.’“
“Did the Prophet (PBUH) have enough food to eat?” worried Nur.
“He often went hungry so that others could eat.” Aishah, the mother of the believers (RA), said, “The prophet never had two full meals a day.” (Sahih Bukhari) “He never refused to give anything he had to someone if they asked for it.” (Sahih Bukhari)
“Maybe he should have kept more?” said Nur.
“Ah, but, the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘The best kind of charity is the kind given when you fear your own poverty.’ (Bukari) “You give it for no other reason than your love for Allah.”
“I thought he was the leader of Arabia, Grandpa. Shouldn’t king’s live in palaces?” asked Nur
“Kings love this world where they have power and riches. When the Prophet Muhammad left this world, he lived in a home that was no more than a hut. His small house was made of mud bricks and a thatched roof of palm tree leaves covered with camel skin. His bed, in Aisha’s (RA) home, was a leather mat stuffed with leaves and spread on the floor. Stored in his home were a few weapons, a handful of barley for a meal, and a few pots. He owned a white mule for riding and a garden that supported his family. (Sahih Bukhari)
“The prophet once had a bed made of palm leaf rope. When a companion saw the marks, the rope left on the Prophet’s body, he wanted to give him a better bed but it was politely refused.
The prophet explained to the companion, “What have I to do with worldly things?” “My time in this world is short like that of a traveler resting for a while beneath the shade of a tree and then moving on.” (Sahih Bukhari)
“On to where?” asked Nur.
“On to Jannah, our forever home.” explained Grandpa
Nur smiled as she looked at the moon. “It’s just like you said.”
“What is?” asked Grandpa
“When we read hadith a picture of the Prophet (PBUH) is sketched with words and painted directly onto our hearts.” said Nur.
Looking up at her Grandpa she asked, “I can see him now, can you?”
“With all my heart, Nur.”
Cover image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Jg4wNQYHo