Can you confirm if Aeisha (radhiallahu 'anha) said this about the Prophet: "His character is the Qur’aan". I have spent hours searching for the daleel but to no avail. Your help will be much appreciated.
Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, it is proven that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with
her) said that when describing the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him). It is mentioned in the lengthy story about Sa’d ibn
Hishaam ibn ‘Aamir, when he came to Madeenah and went to ‘Aa’ishah (may
Allaah be pleased with her) and asked her about some matters. He said: I
said: O Mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the
Messenger of Allaah (S). She said: Do you not read the Qur’aan? I said: Of
course. She said: The character of the Prophet of Allaah (S) was the
Qur’aan. I wanted to get up and not ask about anything else until I died…
Narrated by Muslim (746).
According to another report:
I said: O Mother of the believers, tell me about the
character of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him). She said: O my son, do you not read the Qur’aan? Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, you (O Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم) are on an exalted
(standard of) character” [al-Qalam 68:4]. The character of Muhammad was
Narrated by Abu Ya’la (8/275) with a saheeh isnaad.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh
What this means is that he acted in accordance with it,
adhering to its limits, following its etiquette, paying heed to its lessons
and parables, pondering its meanings and reciting it properly. End quote.
Ibn Rajab said in Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam
What this means is that he followed its etiquette and adopted
its attitude. Whatever was praised in the Qur'aan, he was pleased with, and
whatever was condemned in the Qur'aan he hated. It says in one report that
she said: His attitude was the Qur’aan, whatever it was pleased with he was
pleased with and whatever it hated he hated. End quote.
Al-Munaawi said in Fayd al-Qadeer (5/170):
i.e., whatever the Qur’aan contained of commands,
prohibitions, promises, warnings, and so on.
Al-Qaadi said: i.e., his attitude embodied everything that
was contained in the Qur’aan. Whatever it regarded as good, praised or
promoted was his attitude, and whatever it regarded as bad and prohibited,
he would avoid. So the Qur’aan described his character. End quote.
One of the rights that the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) has over us – especially in these days when his noble
character is subjected to lies and distortions – is that we should mention
some of his noble characteristics and praiseworthy qualities, so that the
world might know that his is one of the greatest and purest of characters.
Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
Ihya’ ‘Uloom al-Deen (2/430-442):
A number of the good qualities of his character which have
been compiled by some of the scholars from the reports. Then he said:
He was the most forbearing of people, the most courageous of
people, the most just of people, the most chaste of people. His hand never
touched the hand of any woman unless he owned her as a slave or was married
to her or was closely related to her by blood (mahram). He was the most
generous of people, who never kept a dinar or a dirham with him overnight.
If he had anything left over and he could not find someone to give it to
before night came, he would not go home until he had donated it to someone
who needed it. He did not take anything from that which Allaah had bestowed
upon him except one year’s supply of the simplest provisions, dates and
barley, giving all of that for the sake of Allaah. He was never asked for
anything but he gave it, then he would go back to his annual supplies and
donate from them to those who needed it more, then he might run out before
the year ended. He used to repair his own sandals and mend his own clothes,
and he would help his family in the home and cut meat for them. He was the
most modest of people and would not look anyone straight in the eye. He
would respond to the invitations of slave and free alike, and accept a gift
even if it was a cup of milk, and he would reward a person for it. He did
not eat food that had been given in charity, and he would respond to slave
women and the poor when they asked him for something. He got angry for the
sake of his Lord but he did not get angry for his own sake. He would adhere
to the truth even if that resulted in harm for himself or his companions. He
found one of the best of his companions slain in an area where Jews lived,
but he did not treat them harshly or do more than hat which is prescribed by
sharee’ah. Rather he paid a diyah for him of one hundred camels even though
some of his companions were in desperate need of just one camel. He would
tie a rock to his stomach to ward off hunger pangs, and he did not refuse
halaal food or and he would not eat reclining or at a table. He never ate
his fill of bread for three days in a row until he met Allaah, may He be
exalted, as he would prefer to give away what he had rather than eat his
fill, not because of poverty or miserliness. He would accept invitations to
meals, visit the sick, and attend funerals. He walked alone among his
enemies without a guard. He was the most humble and quiet of people without
being arrogant, the most eloquent without being long-winded, the most
cheerful of countenance. He did not worry about worldly matters. He wore
whatever he found, and let his slave or others ride behind him on his mount.
He rode whatever was available, sometimes a horse, sometimes a camel,
sometimes a mule and sometimes a donkey. Sometimes he walked barefoot, with
no cloak, turban or cap, visiting the sick in the furthest parts of
Madeenah. He loved perfume and hated foul smells. He would sit with the poor
and offer food to and eat with the needy, honouring the virtuous and
softening the hearts of people of status by treating them kindly. He upheld
ties of kinship without favouring his relatives over those who were better
than them, and he did not treat anyone harshly. He accepted the excuses of
those who apologized to him; he would joke but he only spoke the truth, and
he would smile without laughing out loud. If he saw permissible play he did
not denounce it, and he raced with his wife. When voices were raised against
him, he bore that with patience. He had slaves, male and female, but he did
not eat or dress any better than they did. He did not waste time without
striving for the sake of Allaah or doing that which was essential to better
himself. He did not look down on any poor person because of his poverty or
chronic sickness, and he did not fear any king because of his power. He
called both of them to Allaah on equal terms.
Al-Bakhtari said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not revile any of the believers but he
prayed that it might become an expiation and a mercy for them. He said: “I
have been sent as a blessing, not a curse.” If he was asked to pray against
anyone, whether Muslim or kaafir, he would refrain from praying against him
and pray for him instead. His hand never struck anyone. If he was given the
choice between two things he would choose the easier option, unless it
involved sin or the severing of family ties. Allaah described him in the
Torah before He sent him, and said: Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah, My
chosen slave; he is not harsh or rough, and does not make noise in the
marketplace. He did not repay evil in kind; rather he would pardon and
forgive. Part of his attitude was that he would be the first to greet
whomever he met, and if someone came to him with a need, he would be patient
until the person was the first one to leave. If someone took him by the
hand, he would not let go until the other person let go first. In a
gathering he could not be distinguished from his companions. Allaah, may He
be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): “And by the Mercy of
Allaah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and
harsh‑hearted, they would have broken away from about you” [Aal ‘Imraan
3:159]. Allaah bestowed upon him the best attitude and conduct, and the
best way of dealing with people and situations, even though he was
illiterate and could neither read nor write. He grew up poor in an ignorant
desert land, tending sheep, an orphan with neither father nor mother. But
Allaah taught him all good characteristics and good ways, and taught him the
stories of earlier and later generations, and that which brings success and
salvation in the Hereafter and happiness in this world, and showed him the
way to focus on one’s duties and keep away from inessentials. May Allaah
help us to obey his commands and follow his example. Ameen O Lord of the
Worlds. End quote.
No one should think that what we have mentioned above is no
more than a nice story or an exaggeration that is not real, rather every
single point mentioned is to be found in saheeh ahaadeeth that are narrated
in the Musnads, Saheehs and Sunans … Whoever wants to know more may read
al-Shamaa’il al-Muhammadiyyah by Imam al-Tirmidhi (available in English
translation under the title “Shamaa-il Tirmidhi”).
Finally, I urge you to seek help in your research by using
modern computer programs, of which there are many, praise be to Allaah. They
will save you time and effort, helping you to find the hadeeth you want and
learn its rulings. I also advise you to buy some comprehensive books which
include the ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) and organize them by subject matter. Among the most important and
accessible of them is Riyadh al-Saaliheen
by Imam al-Nawawi and al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb by Imam al-Mundhiri.
The ahaadeeth are organized by subject, and compiled from all the books of
hadeeth, and the scholars have commented on them and pointed out which
reports are saheeh and which are da’eef (weak), such as Shaykh al-Albaani
(may Allaah have mercy on him).
I ask Allaah to reward you for your efforts and research, and
I ask Him to help us and you to do that which is good.
And Allaah knows best.