Relationship with God
Every aspect of the Holy Prophet’ssa life appears to have been governed and coloured by his love for and devotion to God. In spite of the very heavy responsibilities that had been laid upon his shoulders the greater portion of his time during the day as well as during the night was spent in the worship and praise of God. He would leave his bed at midnight and devote himself to the worship of God till it was time to go to the mosque for the morning prayers. He sometimes stood so long in prayer during the latter part of the night that his feet would get swollen, and those who saw him in that condition were always much affected. On one occasion Aishahra said to him: ‘God has honoured you with His love and nearness. Why then do you subject yourself to so much discomfort and inconvenience?’ He replied: ‘If God has by His Grace and Mercy conferred His love and nearness upon me, is it not my duty in return to be always rendering thanks to Him? Gratitude should increase in proportion to the favours received’ (Bukhari, Kitabul Kusuf ).
He never entered upon any undertaking without divine command or permission. It has already been related in the biographical portion that, in spite of the very severe persecution to which he was subjected by the people of Makkah, he did not leave the town till he received the divine command to do so. When persecution became very severe and he gave permission to his Companions to migrate to Abyssinia, some of them expressed a desire that he should accompany them. He declined to do so on the ground that he had not received divine permission to that effect. Thus, during a period of hardships and persecution when people usually like to keep their friends and relations close to themselves, he directed his Companions to seek refuge in Abyssinia and himself stayed behind in Makkah, for God had not yet directed him to leave it.
Whenever he heard the word of God being recited, he was overcome by emotion and tears would start from his eyes, especially if he was listening to verses which emphasized his own responsibilities. Abdullah bin Mas‘udra relates that he was on one occasion asked by the Holy Prophetsa to recite some verses of the Qur’an to him. He said: ‘O Messenger of Allahsa! The Qur’an has been revealed to you (i.e., you know it best of all). How then shall I recite it to you?’ But the Holy Prophetsa said: ‘I love to hear it recited by other people also.’ Thereupon Abdullah bin Mas‘udra began to recite from Surah Al-Nisa. When he recited the verse: ‘And how will it fare with them when We shall bring a witness from every people, and shall bring thee as a witness against them’ (4: 42), the Holy Prophetsa exclaimed: ‘Enough! Enough!’ Abdullah bin Mas‘udra looked up and saw that tears were streaming from the Holy Prophet’ssa eyes (Bukhari, Kitab Fada’ilul Qur’an).1
1. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmadra, Life of Muḥammad (Tilford, Surrey, U.K.: Islam International Publications Limited, 2013), 204-205.