Our Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم: A Bastion of Care
Mawlana Asif Iqbal Attari Madani
Peace and security are foundational rights, enshrined in Islam and advocated by every prophet. The final Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also promoted peace and taught it to the world. His concern to preserve health and uphold peace can be found in every facet of his life. In essence, every prophet prioritised well-being and peace, but the example of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in this regard has no equal. Be it Makkah or Madina, private or social life, during a journey or at home, or in a period of peace or war, the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was always concerned about the well-being of others. Even when battling against the enemies became necessary, his level of care did not change. In his letters to the kings of the time, he wrote: “Accept Islam; you will be safe.”
The migrations to Madina and Abyssinia teach us a profound lesson: avoid conflict and walk the path of peace. During war, women, children, the elderly, non-combatants, fields and livestock must remain unharmed. Likewise, the treaty of Hudaybiyah and the forgiveness of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم after the conquest of Makkah are excellent examples of the importance of maintaining peace. We will explore this topic of prioritising well-being and peace in light of events and sayings of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Through the blessings of this, we will act upon the teachings of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and bring serenity into our lives.
Supplication for Well-Being
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم gave great importance to supplicating for security. He would recite prayers for this himself and he encouraged the ummah too. These duas enable you to gain protection from physical and spiritual problems, as well as safety from difficulties in this world and the Hereafter. It is mentioned in several narrations:
1. The Companion ꜤAbdullah b. ꜤUmar رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمَا reports that the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would recite the following supplication every morning and evening:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي، اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْعَوْرَتِي
Dear Allah! I ask You for well-being in this world and in the Hereafter. Dear Allah! I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religious affairs, worldly dealings, family, and wealth. Dear Allah! Conceal my shortcomings.
2. Whenever the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم heard thunder, he would recite this supplication:
اَللّٰهُمَّ لَاتَقْتُلْنَا بِغَضَبِکَ وَلَاتُہْلِکْنَا بِعَذَابِکَ وَعَافِنَا قَبْلَ ذَلِکَ
Dear Allah! Do not kill us through Your wrath. Do not destroy us with Your punishment and grant us well-being before that.
3. Standing by the Prophet’s pulpit, the first Caliph of Islam Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ began to weep, overwhelmed by the remembrance of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. “During the first year after migration,” he remarked, “the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم stood here and said three times, ‘People! Ask Allah for well-being, because it is the best thing one can receive after faith.’”
4. A man asked the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, “Dear Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! What is the best supplication?” The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم answered, “Ask Allah for well-being and goodness in this world and the Hereafter.” The next day, the man asked the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, “Dear Messenger of Allah! What is the most superior supplication?” The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم responded as he did the previous day. On the third day, the man asked the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم the same question, to which the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied, “If you receive well-being in this world and the Hereafter, you will be successful.”
5. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “There is no better supplication a person can say than:
‘اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنِّیْ اَسْئَلُکَ الْمُعَافَاۃَ فِی الدُّنْیَا وَالْآخِرَۃِ’
Dear Allah! I ask you for well-being in this world and the Hereafter.”
6. Similarly, the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “It is more beloved to Allah that you ask Him for well-being.”
Well-being in Worship and Behaviour
As moderation is crucial to well-being, he advocated moderation in all matters. This is because the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did not want his ummah to face difficulties, even during worship. Here are two blessed narrations:
1. Do not impose austerities upon yourself, as Allah will impose austerities on you. A nation (i.e., the Christians) were harsh upon themselves and Allah imposed austerities on them.
2. A group of Companions رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْھُم visited the house of a wife of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم to ask about his manner of worship. When they were informed about it, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “What is our rank in comparison to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم? The past and future sins of his ummah are forgiven because of him.” One of the Companions said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night from now on.” Another said, “I will fast throughout the year and not break my fast.” A third said, “I will stay away from women and never marry.” Then the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم arrived and said to them, “Are you the people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more mindful of Allah than all of you, yet I fast but break my fast; I pray in the night but sleep too; and I marry women. So, whoever does not follow my way is not from me.”
Well-being in general Life
ꜤAllāmah Ibn Athīr al-Jazari رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states:
Well-being is to be protected from illnesses and difficulties.
ꜤAllāmah ꜤAbd al-Raˈūf al-Munāwi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states:
From an Islamic point of view, it is to be protected from tribulations and the deception of the Devil. From a worldly perspective, it is to be safe from sorrows and illnesses.
Throughout his life, the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم sought nothing more than care for his ummah, emphasizing the importance of personal growth and well-being. His guidance, when heeded, ensured the well-being of people and their wealth. Here are some narrations that highlight the Prophet’s compassion towards the ummah:
1. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Allah does not accept the supplications of three people. The one who enters a derelict home, the traveller who rests on the road (i.e. does not stop on the side of the road), and the one who abandons his animal and prays for it to stop.
The Imām of Ahl al-Sunnah, Imām Aḥmad Razā Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states:
One who enters a derelict house is fully aware of the potential dangers it poses. If he becomes a victim of theft or harm from a jinn, what is the use of supplicating now ˹as an afterthought˺, as he willingly exposed himself to such hazards? Similarly, when a traveller decides to rest on the road, he must be prepared for all kinds of encounters with different people. If he ends up being harmed by animals or targeted by thieves, it is a consequence of his own actions and choices. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Do not cross the road at night (i.e., do not camp on the road at night) as Allah permits His creation to tread on the road.”
2. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “When the wings of the night spread or when evening comes, keep your children in, for the devils come out at that time. Then when part of the night has passed, let them go. Close the doors and recite the basmala as the devils will be unable to open them. Recite the basmala and tie your waterskins and cover vessels, even if it be you place something across them, and extinguish your lamps.”
It is prohibited to leave the doors open at night or to close the doors without reciting the basmala as the Devil can open them. When someone arrives at his home the Devil comes with him, but if he enters with his right foot and recites بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ, the Devil is left outside. When he recites بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ and closes the door, the Devil is unable to open it. If food vessels are not covered whilst reciting بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ, evil descends and the food and water will cause illnesses.
3. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Cover your utensils, tie your waterskins, close your doors, and keep your children close by at night, as the jinns come out at this time and snatch things. Put out the lights before going to sleep, because a mouse may drag away the wick of a candle and burn the house.”
4. One night, a house in Madina was burnt along with its occupants. When the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was told about this, he said, “This fire is your enemy, so whenever you go to bed, put it out to protect yourselves.”
5. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “When one of you is in the sun and the shadow withdraws from him so that he is partly in the sun and partly in the shade, he should get up from there.”
6. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “If anyone spends the night on the roof of a house that does not have a protective barrier, he is responsible for whatever happens to him.”
The erudite Hanafi jurist, Mufti Amjad ꜤAlī al-AꜤẓami رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states regarding this Hadith:
If he falls from the roof at night, he is the only one responsible for it.
After reading the aforementioned narrations, you have understood the importance the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم gave to well-being. He was determined to keep everyone safe from difficulties and calamities.
Well-being during Military Campaigns
Despite possessing remarkable bravery and courage, the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would take extensive measures to minimise loss of life. This is evident from his teachings, some of which are mentioned below:
1. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Do not wish to fight your enemies and seek well-being from Allah. When you fight the enemies, remain steadfast and remember Allah.”
We deduce that Muslims should not have a desire to war but if there is no other option, they must be brave.
2. During a war, an enemy combatant recited the testimony of faith, but a Companion killed him on the basis that he only accepted Islam due to fear of the sword. When the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم became aware of this, he said, “Did you cut open his heart and see?”
3. The Companion ꜤAbdullāh b. ꜤUmar رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمَا states that the beloved Prophet forbade the killing of women and children during war.
This is the warfare of the Muslims. When the first Caliph of Islam Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ dispatched the Companion Yazīd b. Abū Sufyān رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمَا to Syria for an expedition, he reminded him,” Do not kill women, children, the old, and monks of the disbelievers. Only neutralise combatants.”
4. During a war, the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم sent a man to the Companion Khālid b. Walīd رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ telling him not to kill any woman or worker.
“Woman” and “worker” refer to anyone who is not taking part in the war or assisting the army. They can be identified by the lack of military gear and lack of tools to aid the army. This is the beauty of Islam that it teaches us to be just and fair even on the battlefield.
The compassion and justice of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, even during battle are truly unparalleled, even in the midst of battle. Unlike the conquerors of the past, who were known for their tyranny and atrocities, the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم exemplified the true essence of peace and gracious leadership. While others may have impaled their enemies for all to see or built towers from their skulls to strike terror in the hearts of people, the Prophet’s approach after the conquest of Makkah was profoundly different. In that historic moment, despite facing those who once sought to take his life, the greatest Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم chose the path of forgiveness. He pardoned all who had once wished to harm him, declaring “Go! You are free.”
This remarkable act of mercy and magnanimity showcased his unwavering commitment to justice and his care for human life, leaving an indelible and timeless example for humanity to follow.
 Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 5074
 JāmiꜤ al-Tirmidhi: 3461
 Sunan al-Nasāˈi: 10720
 JāmiꜤ al-Tirmidhi: 3523
 Sunan Ibn Mājah: 3851
 JāmiꜤ al-Tirmidhi: 3526
 Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 4904
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri: 5063
 Al-Nihāyah fi Gharīb al-Asr, vol. 3, p. 240
 Fayḍ al-Qadīr,vol. 2, p. 195
 Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id: 5297
 Fazāil-e-Duʿā, p. 161
 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: 5250
 Fazāʾil-e-Dua, p. 165
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri: 3316
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri: 6294
 Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 4821
 Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 5041
 Bahār-i-SharīꜤat, vol. 3, p. 435
 Muṣannaf ꜤAbd al-Razzāq: 9581
 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: 277; Sunan al-Nasāˈi: 8594
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri: 3015
 Mirˈāt al-Manājīḥ, vol. 5, p. 518
 Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 2669
 Mirˈāt al-Manājīḥ, vol. 5, p. 525
 Sunan Kubrā li al-Bayhaqi: 18739