Kitab al-Shifa bi-Ta‘rif Huquq al-Mustafa
al-Qadi al-‘Iyad (d.476)
Regarding the Necessity in Loving the Prophet (SAW)
(fi luzum mahabbatihi)
كتاب الشفا: القاضي العياض
By: S. Z. Chowdhury
Allah Most High said: (Say, if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your clan and possessions that you have gained, trade you fear may slacken, dwellings you love – if these are dearer to you then Allah and His Messenger as well as striving in His path, then just wait until Allah brings His command. For Allah does not guide the ungodly people).
This is sufficient encouragement, warning, indication and proof in the necessity of loving him, the obligation of its duty, and the greatness in its importance as well as his [SAW] right to it (wa istihqaqiha laha). Then He Most High censures those whose wealth, families and children are dearer than Allah and His Messenger and threatens them with His saying: (then wait until Allah brings His command). Moreover, Allah then, at the end of the verse, declares them to be sinful and informs them that they are of those whom Allah will not guide.
Abu ‘Ali al-Ghassani the hadith Master related to us where he had granted me permission to transmit it and he is someone with whom I read [the narration] more than once, said: Siraj b. ‘Abd Allah al-Qadi related to us that Abu Muhammad al-Asili related to us that al-Marwazi related to us that Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Yusuf related to us that Muhammad b. Isma‘il related to us that Ya‘qub b. Ibrahim related to us that ibn ‘Ulayyah related to us from ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Suhayb from Anas (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him (ahabba ilayhi) than his own children, parents as well as all of the people.” There is something similar from Abu Hurayrah [RA].
And from Anas (RA) from [the Messenger of Allah who said]: “there are three things wherein the sweetness of belief (hilwah al-iman) is found: that Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else (ahabba ilayhi mimma sawahuma); that he loves a man only for the sake of Allah and that he dislike returning back to non-belief (kufr) in the same way as he dislikes to be cast into the Hellfire.”
And from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (RA) that he said to the Prophet (SAW): “Indeed you are more beloved to me than everything except my own self which is between my side (bayna janbi).” The Prophet (SAW) then replied: “None of you will ever believe (la yu’minu) until I am dearer to him than his own self.” ‘Umar said: “And I swear by He who revealed to you The Book that you are dearer to me than my own self between my two sides”. The Prophet (SAW) then said to him: “Now, O ‘Umar”.
Sahl said: “Whoever does not reckon that the authority of the Messenger (wilayah al-rasul) is binding upon him in all states and does not see himself as being under his [SAW] dominion, he does not taste the sweetness of his Sunnah because the Prophet (SAW) said: “None of you truly believes until I am dearer to him than his own self.”
Regarding the Reward in Loving the Prophet (SAW)
(fi thawab mahabbatihi)
Abu Muhammad b. al-‘Attab related to us via my reading to him, Abu ’l-Qasim Hatim b. Muhammad related to us that Abu ’l-Hasan ‘Ali b. Khalaf related to us that Abu Zayd al-Marwazi related to us that Muhammad b. Yusuf related to us that Muhammad b. Isma‘il related to us that ‘Abdan related to us from his father that Shu‘bah related to us from ‘Amru b. Murrah from Salim b. Abu ’l-Ja‘d from Anas (RA) that a man came to the Prophet (SAW) and asked: “When is the Last Hour, O Messenger of Allah?” He [SAW] asked: “what have you prepared for it?” [The man] replied: “For it I have neither prepared a lot of Prayers, nor fasting nor charities (sadaqah) but I do love Allah and his Messenger.” He [SAW] replied: “You will be with the one you love.”
And from Safwan b. Qudamah who said: “I migrated to see the Prophet (SAW), so I went to him and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, give me your hand, I want to give you my pledge.’ So he gave me his hand and I said: ‘O messenger of Allah, I indeed love you.’ He [SAW] replied: ‘A man is with the one he loves (al-mar’ ma‘a man ahabba).’” It was narrated by ‘Abd Allah b. Mas‘ud, Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari and Anas with this wording from the Prophet (SAW) and Abu Dharr with its meaning.
And from ‘Ali that the Prophet (SAW) took Hasan and Husayn by the hand and said: “Whoever loves me and these two (hadhayn) as well as their father and mother, they will have the same degree as me on the Day of Rising.”
And it was related that a man came to the Prophet (SAW) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than my family and my possessions. I remember you and cannot wait until I come and see you (fa-ma asbiru hatta aji’u fa-undhuruk ilayka) and I thought about my death and your death and was aware that when you enter Paradise, you will be raised with the Prophets and if I enter [Paradise], I will not see you (la arak).” Allah Most High then revealed: (Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger they are those whom Allah has blessed from amongst the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous; excellent they are). [The Prophet] called out [to the man] and recited [the surah] to him.”
And in another narration: “A man was with the Prophet (SAW) looking at him not discreetly, so [the Prophet] asked: ‘What’s the matter?’ He replied: ‘My father and mother be your ransom! I enjoy looking at you. When the Day of Rising arrives, Allah will raise your rank because of his high estimation of you.’ The [above] verse was then revealed.
And in the narration of Anas (RA): “Whoever loves me, will be with me in Paradise.”
Regarding what was related from the Salaf and the Imams about their Love for the Prophet (SAW) and their Yearning for Him
(fi-ma ruwiya ‘an al-salaf wa ’l-a’immah min mahabbatihim li ’l-nabi wa shawqihim lahu)
al-Qadi al-Shahid related to us that al-‘Udhriyy related to us that al-Razi related to us that al-Juludi related to us that ibn Sufyan related to us that Muslim related to us that Qutaybah related to us that Ya‘qub b. ‘Abd al-Rahman related to us from Suhayl from his father from Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever from my nation is strongest in terms of love for me (ashadda ummati li hubban), they are the people who will come after me. Some of them would give their families and their wealth if they saw me (yawuddu ahadukum la-rani bi-ahlihi wa malihi).” Something like that was also narrated from Abu Dharr.
And the narration of ‘Umar (RA) and his saying to the Prophet (SAW), “Indeed I love you more than myself” was already mentioned as well as similar things from the Companions.
‘Amru b. al-‘As (RA) said: “There is no one more beloved to me than the Messenger of Allah.”
And from ‘Abdah bint Khalid b. Ma‘dan who said: “Khalid never went to bed without remembering his yearning (yadhkuru min shawqihi ila rasul Allah) for the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and [yearning] of his companions from the Muhajirun and Ansar and he would name them saying: ‘They are my root and my branch (hum asli wa fasli) and my heart longs for them (ilayhim yahinnu qalbi) and it has yearned for them a long time. Lord, hasten my being taken to you until sleep overtakes it.’”
And it was narrated from Abu Bakr (RA) that he said to the Prophet (SAW): “By the One who sent you with the Truth. The Islam of Abu Talib would delight me more than him – i.e. his father, Abu Quhayfah – and that is only because the Islam of Abu Talib would delight you more (kana aqarra li-‘aynik).”
And the like is also from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab who said to al-‘Abbas (RA) that: “Your accepting Islam is dearer to me than al-Khattab accepting Islam because that is dearer to the Messenger of Allah (li-anna dhalika ahabba ila rasul Allahi).
And from ibn Ishaq that the father, brother and husband of a woman of the Ansar were killed in the Battle of Uhud fighting with the Messenger of Allah (SAW). [The woman] asked: “what happened to the Messenger of Allah (SAW)?” They replied: “He is as well as you would like, by the Praise of Allah.” She said: “show him to me so that I can see him (hatta anzura ilayhi).” So when she had seen him, she said: “Every affliction is far removed now (kullu musibah ba‘udaka jalal).”
‘Ali (RA) was asked: “how was your love for the Messenger of Allah?” he replied: “By Allah, he was more beloved to us than our wealth, children, fathers and mothers as well as cold water in time of great thirst.”
And from Zayd b. Aslam that: ‘Umar went out one night to oversee the people when he saw a lamp in a house where an old woman was teasing wool (tanfushu sawfan) saying:
Upon Muhammad be the Prayer of the Devout,
The Best and Genial send blessings upon him.
For at dawn in tears, I was standing.
If only my knowledge and fate were degrees
That The Abode joins my beloved to me.
She meant the Prophet (SAW). ‘Umar (RA) sat down weeping. And in another narration is [the word] “tul”.
It is related from ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar that at one time his foot became numb (khadarat rijluhu) and he was told: “Remember the most beloved of people to you and it will fail to affect you (yazullu ‘anka).” So [ibn ‘Umar] cried out: “O Muhammad!” The sensation returned.
And when Bilal (RA) was near death (uhtudira), a woman called out: “O Sorrow!” whereupon [Bilal] said: “O what joy! For tomorrow I will meet my beloveds, Muhammad and his Party (muhammadan wa hizbahu).” Something Similar was related from Hudhayfah b. al-Yaman (RA).
And it was related that a woman said to ‘A’ishah (RA): “Show me the grave of the Messenger of Allah (ikshifi li qabra rasul Allah).” [‘A’ishah] showed her [the grave] and [the woman] wept until she died.
When the Makkans drove out Zayd b. al-Dathimah from The Haram because they wanted to kill him, Abu Sufyan b. Harb said to him: “Zayd, I ask you by Allah, do you not wish that Muhammad was with us now to take your place so his head is cut off and you be with your family?” Zayd replied: “By Allah, I would not wish Muhammad to be here now in his place where even a thorn should trouble him (alladhi fihi tusibuhu shawkah) while I am sitting with my family.” Abu Sufyan remarked that, “I have not seen anyone from any people love Muhammad more than like the love of Muhammad’s Companions!”
From ibn ‘Abbas (RA) who said: “a woman came to the Prophet (SAW) who made her swear by oath (hallafaha) that: “She did not leave [Makkah and come to Madinah] because of her husband’s wrath, nor because of the desire for another land but that she left only out of love for Allah and His Messenger (ma kharajat illa hubban lillah wa rasulihi).”
ibn ‘Umar stood over the body of ibn al-Zubayr (RA) after he had been slain and sought forgiveness for him and said: “By Allah, I knew you were one who prayed and fasted and loved Allah and His Messenger.”
Regarding the Signs of Love for the Prophet (SAW)
(fi ‘alamah mahabbatihi)
Know that if someone loves a person, he adores them (atharahu) and adores what they adore (athara muwafaqatahu) otherwise he is not truthful to his love (lam yakun sadiqan fi hubbihi), a pretender (mudda‘iyyan). The one who is true in his love for the Prophet (SAW) will show the following signs for it:
The First: Emulating him (iqtida’ bihi); to apply his sunnah (isti‘mal sunnatihi); following his sayings and actions (ittiba‘ aqwalihi wa af‘alihi); to obey all his commands and avoid all his prohibitions (imtithal awamirihi wa ijtinab nawahihi) and adopt his conduct in both ease (fi ‘usrihi wa yusrihi) and hardship, joy and despair (manshatihi wa marahihi). The Most High testifies to this in: (Say: If indeed you do love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you).
The Second: To take that which was legislated by [the Prophet] and what was encouraged by him (ma sharra‘a wa hadda ‘alayhi) over his own whims (‘ala hawa nafsihi) and the delights of his desires (wa muwafaqah shahawatihi). Allah Most High said: (And those who have made their dwellings in the city and their belief before them love those who immigrated to them and there is not in themselves a need for what they have been given and they prefer others to themselves even if they are in difficult straits).
The Third: Anger (iskhat) against people only for the sake (rida) and pleasure of Allah Most High.
The Hadith Master al-Qadi Abu ‘Ali related to us that Abu ’l-Husayn al-Sayrafi related to us as well as Abu ’l-Fadl b. Khayrun that both of them said that: Abu Ya‘la al-Baghdadi related to us that: Abu ‘Ali al-Sinji related to us that: Muhammad b. Mahbub related to us that: Abu ‘Isa related to us that: Muslim b. Hatim said to us that: Muhammad ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari related to us from his father from ‘Ali b. Zayd from Sa‘id b. al-Musayyib who said: Anas b. Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said to me: “My son, if you are able to be without grudge in your heart against anyone in the morning and in the evening, then do such a thing”. He [SAW] then said to me: “My son, this is part of my sunnah so whoever gives life to my sunnah he has loved me and whoever loves me he will be with me in the Garden.”
Anyone who possesses this attribute, he is perfect in his love for Allah and His Messenger (fa-huwa kamil al-mahabbah lillah wa rasulihi) and anyone who is lacking in some of these matters, he is imperfect in his love but not completely devoid of it.
The proof for this is in his saying (SAW) regarding the hadd-punishment for drinking wine. Some of them cursed [a person] and said: “There is no-one who perpetrated such a sin more than he!” The Prophet then said: “Do not curse him, for indeed he loved Allah and His Messenger.”
The Fourth: Another of the signs of love for the Prophet (SAW) is to mention him often (kathrah dhikrihi) because whoever loves a person [or a thing] mentions it often.
The Fifth: Yet another is great yearning to meet him [SAW] as every lover desires to meet his beloved (kullu habibin yuhibbu liqa’a habibihi).
And the narration of the Ash‘ari clan when they came to Madinah and were chanting: “Tomorrow we will meet [our] beloveds, Muhammad and his Companions!”
And the statement of Bilal was already mentioned. ‘Ammar said the same before he was killed as well as what we mentioned of the Story of Khalib b. Ma‘dan.
The Sixth: Another of its sign is along with mentioning him often is his exaltation (ta‘zimuhu) and honour when remembering him (tawqiruhu ‘inda dhikrihi) as well as humility and meekness (al-khusu‘ wa’l-inkisar) upon hearing his name [SAW].
Abu Ishaq al-Tujaybi said: “The Companions of the Prophet (SAW) after his death never mentioned him except with humility. Their skins used to tremble and they used to cry.
And many reports are like that from the Tabi‘un; some of them act like that out of love [SAW] and yearning (mahabbah lahu wa shawqan ilayhi) for him where as others act out of reverence and honour (tahayyuban wa tawqiran).”
The Seventh: Another sign is love for those who love the Prophet as well those from his family (wa man huwa bi-sababihi min ali baytihi) and his companions from both of the Muhajirun and the Ansar. To have hostility to those who are hostile to them (‘adawat man ‘adahum) and to have hatred for those who hate them and curse them (bughd man abghadahum wa sabbahum). For anyone who loves something loves that which he loves.
The Prophet (SAW) said about al-Hasan and al-Husayn: “O Allah I love them both so love them!” And in al-Hasan’s variant: “O Allah indeed I love him so love those who love him!” And he [SAW] also said: “Whoever loves both of them has loved me and whoever loves me has loved Allah and whoever hates them has hated me and whoever has hated me has hated Allah.”
And he [SAW] said: “Allah! Allah! My Companions! Do not make them objects of target after me! For whoever loves them, loves by loving me and whoever hates them, hates them by hating me, whoever hurts them has hurt me and whoever hurts me has hurt Allah and whoever hurts Allah is ready to be seized!”
He [SAW] said regarding Fatimah (RA): “Verily she is part of me. Whoever hates her hates me.”
He [SAW] said to ‘A’ishah about Usamah b. Zayd: “Love him for I love him.”
He [SAW] said: “A sign of belief is love of the Ansar and a sign of hypocrisy is hatred for them.”
And in the narration of ibn ‘Umar: “Whoever loves the Arabs, loves them because he loves me and whoever hates them, hates them because they hate me.” In reality, whoever loves someone, loves everything he loves. And this is indeed the example of the Salaf (wa hadhihi sirah al-salaf) even regarding the permitted things and the desires of the self (hatta fi ’l-mubahat wa shahawat al-nafs).
And Anas has said upon seeing the Prophet (SAW) following the pumpkin from around the bowl: “I have not loved pumpkin except from that day.”
Also, al-Hasan b. ‘Ali, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas and ibn Ja‘far once all came to Salmah and asked her to cook them food liked by the Messenger of Allah (SAW).
Moreover, ibn ‘Umar used to wear coloured sandals, dyed yellow when he saw the Prophet (SAW) wear ones like it.
The Eighth: And [another sign] is hatred for anyone who hates Allah and His Messenger [SAW]; has enmity towards all who bear enmity against him; avoidance of all those who oppose (khalafa) his sunnah and introduces innovations into his religion (ibtada‘a fi dinihi) and finds every matter of his Shari‘ah burdensome. Allah Most High says: (You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day who love anyone who opposes Allah and His Messenger).
Those are his Companions (SAW) who had killed their loved ones and fought their fathers and sons to gain the pleasures of [the Prophet]. Thus. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah b. Ubayy said [to the Prophet]: “If you had wanted I would bring his head” – meaning his father’s [head].
The Ninth: And another [sign] is loving the Qur’an which he [SAW] brought with him, by which he guided and was guided and whose character he took on to the point where ‘A’ishah (RA) commented: “His character was the Qur’an.” And part of loving the Qur’an is to reciting it, acting upon it, understanding it, loving his Sunnah and keeping within its limits.
Sahl b. ‘Abd Allah said: “A sign of loving Allah is loving the Qur’an and a sign of loving the Qur’an is loving the Prophet (SAW) and a sign of loving the Prophet (SAW) is loving his Sunnah and a sign of loving the Sunnah is loving the Akhirah and a sign of loving the Akhirah is hatred for this world and a sign of hatred for the world is not storing-up from it except that which is required for arriving to the Next World.
And ibn Mas‘ud said: “No-one needs to ask himself about the Qur’an. If he loves the Qur’an, he loves Allah and His Messenger.
The Tenth: Another of the signs of love for the Prophet (SAW) is having compassion for his Ummah, giving them good counsel, striving for their best interests and removing what is harmful for them just how the Prophet (SAW) was “compassionate” (ra’ufan) and “merciful” (rahiman) towards the believers.
The Eleventh: The last sign of one’s love for the Prophet (SAW) is doing without the pretensions of [the world] and instead inclining towards austerity (al-faqr) and being characterised by it.
And in the narration of ‘Abd Allah b. Mughaffal, a man said to the Prophet (SAW): “O Messenger of Allah, indeed I love you.” He [SAW] replied: “watch what you say!” [‘Abd Allah b. Mughaffal] said: “By Allah! I love you!” – Three times. [The Prophet] warned: “if you do really love me, then prepare for poverty quickly.” Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri reported something like it with its meaning.
Regarding the Meaning and Reality of Loving the Prophet (SAW)
(fi ma‘na ’l-mahabbah li ’l-naby wa haqiqatiha)
People differ in explaining [what constitutes] the love for Allah and love for His Prophet (SAW) and they have much to say about it, but in reality, it does not revert to differences in sayings (maqal) but to differences in states (ahwal):
So Sufyan [al-Thawri] said: “Love is following the Messenger (SAW) – as though he had in mind – His saying Most High: (Say: if you do love Allah, follow me. Allah will love you and forgive your sins for Allah is The Most Forgiving and Merciful).
Some of them said: “Love of the Messenger is to firmly believe in his victory, protect his sunnah, obey it and have fear of opposing it.”
Another has said: “Constant remembrance of the beloved (ithar al-mahbub).”
Some have said: “Love is yearning for the beloved (al-shawq ila ’l-mahbub).”
One of them said: “Love is the heart following the will of its master (muwata’ah al-qalb li-murad al-rabb) loving that which he loves and detesting that which he detests.”
Another has said: “Love is the inclination of the heart (mayl al-qalb) to be in agreement [with the beloved].”
Most of these statements indicate the fruits of love (thamarat al-mahabbah) not its reality. The reality of ‘Love’ is the inclination towards what is in agreement with human beings and this [quality of] agreement it has is either:
1) due to the [aesthetic] pleasures discovered through it (li-istildhadhihi) by comprehending it like love of a beautiful picture, a melodious voice, delicious foods and drinks and there like as well as with every other perfect and inclinable disposition due to its agreeable nature or
2) due to the delight in fathoming the hidden noble qualities which is sensed by the intellect and the heart such as love for the righteous servants of Allah (al-salihin), the venerable scholars (al-‘ulama’) and the people of correctness (ahl al-ma‘ruf) whose beautiful conduct and good actions have been transmitted down. Indeed, human nature can incline towards zealous passion (al-shaghaf) for these sorts of things to the extent that it becomes fanaticism (al-ta‘assub) of one people over another and strong partisanship (al-tashayyu‘) of a nation in the end it leading people to flee their countries, dishonour sacred things as well as the loss of lives and
3) because one’s love has the quality of being agreeable to him from the fact of the goodness it has (ihsanihi lahu) and the blessings it endows (in‘amihi ‘alayhi) because the self is naturally disposed to love that which does good to it.
Thus, that if all these causes are acknowledged by you with respect to him (SAW), then you will know that he (SAW) combines these three causative senses of love.
With respect to [his SAW] beautiful outward appearance and inner perfect character, we have already mentioned it in the book and it is not necessary to add anything further here.
But with respect to his benefit, goodness and blessings for his ummah, we have previously mentioned some of Allah’s characterisations (awsaf Allah) he possessed such as his compassion for them (ra’fatihi), mercy for them (rahmatihi lahum), his guiding them (hidayatihi iyyahum) and his tenderness towards them (shafaqatihi ‘alayhim); his tireless effort to save them from the fire (istnqadhihim bihi min al-nar); and that he is merciful and compassionate towards the believers (ra’uf rahim bi ’l-mu’minin), a mercy to the worlds (rahmah li ’l-‘alamin), a bringer of glad tidings and a Warner, caller to Allah by His permission and a light-giving lamp, one who recites for them His signs and purifies them and teaches them the Book and Wisdom and the one who guides to the Straight Path.
What goodness, then could be worthier or of greater significance than his goodness to all of the believers! What favour could be more universally beneficial and of greater use than his blessing for all of the Muslims (kaffah al-muslimin) since he is their means to guidance; their rescue from blind error (al-‘imayah); their caller to success and honour (al-falah wa ’l-kiramah); their only means to their Lord and their intercessor who will speak on their behalf (al-mutakallim ‘anhum); their witness (shahid lahum) and the one who will be the reason for their attaining eternal everlasting and endless bliss (al-mujib lahum al-baqa’ al-da’im wa ’l-na‘im al-sarmad).
Therefore it should be clear to you (istibana laka) that he (SAW) is someone who must be truly loved (al-mustawjab li ’l-mahabbah al-haqiqiyyah) from the shari‘ah point of view as we have previously related with authentic traditions and [it should be] naturally known because of what we mentioned before regarding his [SAW] elaborate goodness and universal beauty. Thus, if a person loves someone who is munificent to him once or twice in this world as is known to be the case (ma‘rufan) or because someone saves him from destruction or harm even once where that harm is merely short and intermittent (qalil munqata‘), then the one who bestows endless bliss (la yabidu min al-na‘im) and protects from the eternal torment is more worthy of love (awla bi ’l-hubb).
If a king, naturally, can be loved because of his character and beautiful conduct, a ruler because he makes an impression by his upright manner (qawam tariqatihi) or an emperor far away from his home because of his knowledge and noble character (karam shimatihi), then the one who combines all these qualities to the extent of perfection is more entitled to be loved (ahaqq bi ’l-hubb) and more deserving of affection.
And ‘Ali (RA) describing [the Prophet] commented: “Whoever saw him [SAW] stood in awe of him and whoever associated with him fell in love with him.”
And we already mentioned how some of the Companions could not turn their eyes away from him [SAW] because of their utter love for him.”
And Allah Knows Best.
 See surah al-Tawbah:25.
 The title in Arabic is “al-hafiz” which is a position where an individual has attained complete mastery (along with having at least committed to memory 100,000 ahadith) of those matters and instructions related to the field of hadith studies such as amongst others, the chains of transmissions (asanid) and its evaluation, the transmitters (al-rijal) and their appraisal and ratings (al-jarh wa ’l-ta‘dil), the rules, maxims and principles (qawa‘id) pertaining to the science and its technical terminology and classifications (mustalahat). For more, see Imam al-Suyuti’s Tadrib al-Rawi, pp.4-8.
 See Sahih al-Bukhari (#15) under the section ‘Love for the Messenger is Part of Belief’; Muslim in his Sahih with Nawawi’s commentary (#71), p.151; al-Nasa’i in his Sunan (#5013-5014); Sunan of al-Tirimidhi (#2515) and ibn Majah, Sunan (#66-67). All the narrations are rigorously authenticated (sahih).
 Bukhari, Sahih (#21, 6041 & 6941).
 The particle used in the hadith is “la” which is retained for a negation (nafy) so the Prophet (SAW) in strong terms is rendering the belief of an individual from ever being true and complete so long as he does not make the Prophet dearer and more beloved than everything else.
 See the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, 4/337 (#18211, 19169 & 2287) and Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti’s al-Durr al-Manthur, vol.3, p.223.
 Bukhari, Sahih (#6159 & 1695) and Muslim, Sahih (#2639), p.1870.
 See Bukhari, Sahih (#6167 & 3688); Muslim, Sahih (#2639 with all its variant chains), pp.1870-1871; Ahmad, Musnad 3/168, 172-173, 178, 198, 202, 207-208, 228, 255 & 276-278 & 5/166; al-Mundhiri in his al-Targhib wa ’l-Tarhib, vol.4, p.24; Muttaqi al-Hindi in the Kanz al-‘Ummal (#24686 & 25553), al-Haythami, Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol.9, p.363.
 See al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (#3733) where he grades it as ‘fair but peculiar’ (hasan gharib); Ahmad, Musnad, 1/76-77 (#576) for the same narration; al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal (#14161 & 37613) and ibn ‘Asakir in his Tahdhib al-Tarikh Dimashq, vol.4, p.206.
 Surah al-Nisa’:69.
 See ibn ‘Asakir in his Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq, vol.3, p.145 and al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh al-Baghdad, vol.13, p.288
 See Muslim, Sahih (#2832), p.1974.
 Ali ‘Imran:31.
 See al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (#2678) where Imam al-Tirmidhi classifies the narration as fair but peculiar (hasan gharib). However, the hadith is weakened due to the narrator Kathir b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Amru b. ‘Awf al-Muzani who is attributed as being weak by ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib, vol.2, p.140; Ahmad b. Hanbal said he is rejected in narrations (munkar al-hadith) in al-‘Ilal, vol.2, p.211; al-Nasa‘i said he was a discarded narrator (matruk) in his Kitab al-Du‘afa’, p.228 and so did al-Daraqutni in his al-Du‘afa’ wa ’l-Matrukin, p.504; al-Darimi said he was nothing (laysa bi-shay’), Tarikh al-Darimi, p.714 and Abu Hatim al-Razi comments that he is a fanciful indulger when it comes to narrations and neither is he strong (wahy al-hadith laysa bi-qawiyy), al-Jarh wa ’l-Ta‘dil, vol.7, p.154. See also ibn Hibban’s al-Majruhin, vol.2, p.221; ibn Sa‘d’s Tabaqat, vol.5, p.412; al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I‘tidal, vol.3, p.406; al-Bukhari, Tarikh al-Kabir, vol.7, p.217 and ibn ‘Ady’s al-Kamil fi ’l-Du‘afa’, vol.6, p.57 all with similar comments. Imam al-Mundhiri states that the narration does have evidences (shawahid) elsewhere, see al-Targhib wa ’l-Tarhib, vol.1, p.46.
 See Bukhari, Sahih (#6780) where the wording is slightly different: “Do not curse him, for by Allah I did not know that [this man] loved Allah and Messenger.”
 The hadith is mentioned by al-Murtada al-Zabidi in his Ithaf al-Sadah al-Muttaqin, vol.5, p.20 and vol.9, p.261; al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal (#1829) and al-‘Ajluni in Kashf al-Khafa’, vol.2, p.307.
 See Section 3 above for these statements.
 See Bukhari, Sahih (#3747, 3735 & 6003); Ahmad in the Musnad, 2/446 (#9758, 8362 & 7392); al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, vol.10, p.233; al-Suyuti’s Jam‘ al-Jawami‘ (#761); al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal (#34255, 4279, 3438 & 37697); al-Tabarani in his Mu‘jam al-Kabir, vol.3, p.39 and ibn ‘Asakir in his Tahdhib Tarikh Dimasq, vol.2, p.335, vol.4, pp.205-207.
 See Bukhari, Sahih (#4749); Muslim, Sahih (#2422), p.1766; ibn Majah, Sunan (#142); al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (#3783) and al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, vol.3, pp.169 & 177.
 al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (#3862) where he grades it as fair but peculiar (hasan gharib); ibn Hibban in his Sahih (#7256) where he authenticates the narration and Ahmad in the Musnad, 4/87 (#16926, 20823-20824 & 20854).
 See Bukhari, Sahih (#3727); al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan al-Kubra, vol.7, p.24 and vol.10, p.201, al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, vol.3, p.158; al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal (#3422 & 34223) and al-Zabidi, Ithaf al-Sadah al-Muttaqin, vol.6, p.244 and vol.7, p.281.
 See al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (#3818) where the narration is rigorously authenticated (sahih).
 Bukhari, Sahih (#17 & 3784); Muslim, Sahih (#128); pp.174-175; al-Tabarani in his Mu‘jam al-Kabir, vol.12, p.455; Abu Nu‘aym in Dala’il al-Nabuwwah, vol.1, p.12; al-Baghdadi, Mawdih Awham al-Jum‘ wa ’l-Tafriq, vol.1, p.316 & ibn ‘Ady in al-Kamil fi ’l-Du‘afa’, vol.2, p.803.
 See Bukhari, Sahih (#5433) and Muslim, Sahih (#2041), p.1547.
 Bukhari, Sahih (#5851) and Muslim, Sahih (#1187), p.895.
 Surah al-Mujadalah:22.
 Muslim, Sahih (#746).
 For example, see surah 9:128.
 Alternatively, ‘arrives faster.’
 See Ahmad, Musnad, 3/42 (#11399) where the narration is fair by way of other narrations (hasan li-ghayrihi); al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘b al-Iman (#1473 & 10442) in mursal form but cites evidences (shawahid) for it.
 See al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (#2350) where one of the chains is fair but peculiar (hasan gharib) and al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, vol.4, p.367.
 Ali ‘Imran:31.
 See al-Tawbah:128.
 Literally, ‘more superior and exalted in terms of love’ i.e. the Prophet (SAW) is the one most worthy of love and devotion, he (SAW) should be loved more than anything and anyone because of the magnitude of what he offers e.g. salvation, mercy, pardon for his ummah, etc.