Can it be proved that Islam is a religion of love, peace and tolerance? Can you give examples about it?

The word Islam means peace in Arabic. Islam is a religion which was sent down in order to present man with a life full of tranquility and peace in which endless mercy and compassion of Allah is manifest.  Allah calls all people to Islamic ethics as a model in which mercy, compassion, tolerance and peace can be practiced. The following is stated in verse 208 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

"O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Evil One; for he is to you an avowed enemy."

As it is seen in the verse, Allah states that the security of people can be ensured only through accepting Islam and practicing the ethics of the Quran.

Allah damns mischief

Allah orders people to avoid committing bad deeds and prohibits them from unbelief, sins, rebellion, oppression, tyranny, killing and shedding blood. Those who do not obey this order of Allah are defined as those who follow the footsteps of Satan as the verse puts it; they openly assume an attitude that Allah has rendered haram. There are many verses regarding the issue in the Quran. Two of them are as follows:

"But those who break the Covenant of Allah, after having plighted their word thereto, and cut asunder those things which Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land― on them is the Curse; for them is the terrible Home!."(ar-Rad, 13/25)

"But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief."(al-Qasas, 28/77)

As it is seen, Allah prohibits all kinds of acts related to mischief, including terror and violence and damns those who do those kinds of deeds. A Muslim is a person who beautifies and improves the world.

Islam defends freedom of thought and tolerance

Islam, which is a religion that introduces and openly ensures freedom of thought and life, has introduced commands that prevent and prohibit tension, conflicts among people, talking against one another and even thinking of bad things about others. 

Let alone terror and violence, Islam prohibits putting even the slightest pressure on people's thoughts.

"Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error."(al-Baqara, 2/256)

"Thou art not one to manage (men's) affairs." (al-Ghashiya, 88/22)

It is against the essence and spirit of Islam to force people to believe in a religion or to perform worship. For, Islam lays free will and conscientious acceptance as a condition for belief. Doubtlessly, Muslims can warn and encourage one another so that they can practice the ethical attributes explained in the Quran. However, they cannot force one another regarding the issue. It is not appropriate to offer some worldly privileges in order to make someone perform worship. 

Think of a community model opposite to it. For instance, suppose that people are forced to worship. Such a community model is completely contrary to Islam. For, belief and worship become valuable when they are for Allah. If a system forces people to believe and worship, people will become religious people because they are afraid of that system. What is valuable in terms of religion is practicing the religion for the sake of Allah in a free environment. 

Allah has rendered it haram to kill innocent people

According to the Quran, to kill an innocent person is one of the major sins:

"…if anyone slew a person―unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land― it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our Messengers with clear Signs, yet even after that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land."(al-Maida, 5/32)

"Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, not commit fornication― and any that does this (not only) meets punishment." (al-Furqan, 25/68)

As it can be seen in the verses above, those who kill innocent people are threatened by a great torture. Allah states that to kill one person is a grave crime like killing all people. It is not possible for a person who obeys the limitations imposed by Allah to harm even one person let alone killing thousands of innocent people. Those who think they can escape justice and get away will not be able to escape reckoning in the presence of Allah. Therefore, believers who know that they will be reckoned before Allah after death act very carefully to obey the limitations imposed by Allah.

Allah orders believers to be compassionate and merciful

The ethics of a Muslim is explained as follows in a verse:

"Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. Such are the Companions of the Right Hand."(al-Balad, 90/17-18)

One of the most important characteristics of the ethics sent down by Allah to His slaves so that they will attain salvation on the Day of Judgment, His mercy and Paradise is "enjoining patience to one another".

Islam, which is defined in the Quran, has a very modern, enlightened and progressive structure. A real Muslim has a personality that is peaceful, tolerant, democratic, cultured, intellectual, honest, fond of art and science and civilized.

A Muslim who is raised by the high ethics introduced by the Quran approaches everybody with love envisaged by Islam. He shows respect to all kinds of thoughts, appreciates esthetics and art, and displays compromising, inclusive and moderate attitudes. Communities formed by people like that will have a more developed civilization and higher ethics than those of the modern states accompanied by joy, peace, justice, security, abundance and welfare. 

Allah orders tolerance and pardoning

The concept of "forgiveness and tolerance"  expressed by the phrase "hold to forgiveness" in verse 199 of the chapter of al-Araf in the Quran forms one of the basic rules of the religion of Islam.

When the history of Islam is viewed, it will clearly be seen how this important characteristics of the Quranic ethics are practiced. Muslims eliminated the wrong practices in every place that they reached and formed a free and tolerant medium. They enabled the peoples that were contrary to one another in terms of religion, language and culture to live together under the same roof with peace and tranquility; they also made those who were subject to them gain great knowledge, richness and superiority. As a matter of fact, one of the most important reasons why the Ottoman Empire, which had spread over a large geography, existed for centuries is the practice of the medium of tolerance and understanding introduced by Islam. Muslims have always been the most merciful and just people of their periods. All of the ethnic groups living in this multinational structure practiced freely the religions that they belonged to and they had all of the means of practicing their religions and cultures. 

When tolerance, which belongs to Muslims in its real sense, is practiced in the way that Islam orders, it will bring peace and tranquility to the whole world. As a matter of fact, the following stated in the Quran:

"Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!"(Fussilat, 41/34)

The verse above attracts attention to this characteristic.

They all show that the ethical characteristics that Islam advises people are the virtues that will bring peace, tranquility and justice to the world. The barbarism, so called "Islamic terror", which is on the agenda of the world, is the work of ignorant fanatics who are completely away from the Quranic ethics and the criminals who have no relations with the religion of Islam. The cultural solution to be used against these people and groups that commit barbarism under the disguise of Islam is to teach people about the real Islamic ethics.

In other words, the religion of Islam and the Quranic ethics do not support terrorism and terrorists; on the contrary, they will save the earth from the trouble of terrorism.

The Religion of Peace and the Prophet of Love

Prophets are the people appointed to make the world a land of welfare and peace. They were sent so that they would convey the religion of Islam, which means, "peace and welfare" to humanity. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following in a hadith: 

"We prophets are brothers of the same father; we have the same religion."(Bukhari, Anbiya, 48)

Allah states the following in the Quran:

"The Religion before Allah is Islam."(Aal-i Imran, 3/19)

He informs us that all prophets were sent down so that they would inform people about this religion and that the prophets displayed the first examples to people.

Islam means peace and welfare. A Muslim means a person who has attained peace and welfare and who aims peace and welfare. One of the names of Allah is "Salam" (Peace). Accordingly, He is the source of peace and welfare. A Muslim who surrenders to Him is a person who attains peace and tranquility in his inner world by adhering to the source of peace and welfare and then who wants to convey this peace to the outer world. In fact, a good Muslim tries to keep away from all kinds of stress, crises and feelings that harm inner peace even if he lives in most unfavorable conditions. Therefore, a Muslim who aims 'Daru's-Salam' (land of peace and welfare), Paradise, has been appointed to make the world a land of peace. Probably because of this, the first man was put into Paradise before he came to the world; first, he was made live in Paradise and was equipped with the culture of Paradise; then, he was sent to the world. Being sent to the world, man is in love with Paradise; he tries to build it in the world first and dreams of attaining it at least in the hereafter.

Similarly, another name for a Muslim is mumin (believer), which means having security and trust. Mumin is also a name for Allah. Therefore, a believer means a person who believes in Allah, who is the source of security and trust, who adheres to Him, who is coherent and peaceful in his inner world and who takes this medium of security that he has built in his inner world to the outer world. Therefore, the existence of the believers is good for everyone. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the Quran while mentioning the community of Islam:

"Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah..."(Aal-i Imran, 3/110)

Another name of Allah who is the owner the religion of Islam is Wadud (Hud 11/90). Wadud is a noun meaning the one who loves a lot or who is loved a lot. Yes, Allah is the source of love. He created love and placed it in us when He blew into us from His spirit. As Ibn Arabi puts it,

"We originated from love; we were created out of love; we tended toward love and gave our heart to love."(Ibnu'l-Arabi 1998, 38)

As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a verse:

"My Lord is indeed full of mercy and loving-kindness"(Hud, 11/90)

Allah, who is beautiful in all aspects and loves beauty, placed love into the nature of man, sent prophets, who were full of love, so that love would be manifest on words and attitudes; he also sent books containing principles that enable people to love and to be loved. Finally, He sent Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and transformed people who savagely attacked one another into people who loved one another and preferred others to themselves.  Two of the verses regarding the issue are as follows:

"And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make his signs clear to you: that ye may be guided."( Aal-i Imran, 3/103)

"And those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith― show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity." (al-Hashr, 59/9)

According to Islam, the greatest conquest is peace. As a matter of fact, what is meant by a manifest victory in the first of the chapter of al-Fath "Verily We have granted thee a manifest Victory" is the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyah (Tabari, 26:67-68; Ibn Kathir, 4:183) according to most of the scholars. According to the most important article of this treaty, which was signed by two groups that were on the brink of war, Muslims and Makkan polytheists would not fight each other for ten years. With this treaty, which was signed after the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq in the 6th year of the Migration, the Prophet (pbuh) eliminated the barrier of war which prevented Islam, the religion of trust and peace, from spreading; in a sense, the barrier between people and their preferences and finding the truth was eliminated. 

Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), Statue of Love and Trust

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) worked for the goodness of the community, whose existence is beneficial for humanity, and died after forming such a community. As a matter of fact, when he was alive, the Jews of Khaybar could not help saying, "Paradise was built in the world by Muslims" due to his justice and equity. The Prophet (pbuh) displayed and set the best example through his lifestyle.  

"Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah."(al-Ahzab, 33/21)

As a matter of fact, he was appreciated by everybody during his forty-year life before prophethood in Makkah and he was called 'Muhammadu'l-Amin' (Muhammad the Trustworthy). This trustworthiness and prestige caused Hz. Khadjah (ra) to appoint him as her deputy in international trade; he was chosen as the referee in the incidence of placing the Black Stone in the Kaaba and he became a respectable member of the society called Hilf al-Fudul (Union of the Virtuous), established in Makkah to struggle against injustice in Makkah. His trustworthiness and honesty in trade partnership before his prophethood attracted the attention of everybody. His life before his prophethood is a period of forty years, which is more than half of his life of forty-three years. In that period, before he received revelation from Allah, he lived as a pure and trustworthy man when most people were deprived of virtue. Therefore, his ethical perfection before prophethood is very important for the people of today who would use the negative characteristics as an excuse for not believing in him. The following is stated in the verses of the Quran explaining that he was a person who was known for his high ethics in the community where he lived: "Or do they not recognize their Messenger, that they deny him?" (al-Mu'minun, 23/69)

"Say: "If Allah had so willed, I should not have rehearsed it to you nor should He have made it known to you. A whole lifetime before this have I tarried amongst you: will ye not then understand?""(Yunus, 10/16)

I lived among you for forty years before I became a prophet. You know my righteousness, honesty, trustworthiness and illiteracy. I never rebelled against Allah when I was young. How would you ask me to do something like that now?(Qurtubi, 8:321) Ono of the Quranic verses mentioning his nice characteristics is as follows:

"Nay, verily for thee is a Reward unfailing."(al-Qalam, 68/3)

This verse of the chapter of al-Qalam, which was sent as the third chapter after the chapters of al-Fatiha and al-Alaq, clearly approves the virtues he has because the verses of the Quran that surrounded all of his life had not yet been revealed at that time. He had great and high ethics. Afterwards, Hz. Aisha, his wife, summarized his ethical personality, which became more mature and perfect with the Quran as follows:

"His ethics was the ethics of the Quran."(I. Hanbal, Musnad, 6:188)

During the Prophet's marriage ceremony with Hz. Khadijah, Abu Talib, his uncle defined his nephew, who was twenty-five years old, as follows: "Honestly, Muhammad is a young person who does not resemble and who cannot be regarded as equal to any of the youths of Quraysh. For, he is distinguished from them with his honor, nobility, virtue and intelligence." (I. Hisham, 1/201)

Hz. Khadijah (ra) said to the Prophet (pbuh), her husband, the following when he got very excited when he received the first revelation:

"Take it easy; do not worry. I swear by Allah that Allah will never embarrass or disgrace you. For, you take care of your relatives. You always tell the truth. You never misappropriate. You put up with troubles and help the weak. You like entertaining guests. You help the people who are in trouble and who are oppressed."(ibid, 1:253)

The virtues he had were also expressed by his enemies. The Byzantine Chosroes asked Abu Sufyan, who was not a believer at that time, who was in the presence of the Chosroes as an envoy, questions about the characteristics of the Prophet (pbuh) and the following conversation took place between them:  

- Have you ever heard him telling lies?
- No, we have never heard any lies from him.
-A person who does not tell lies to people will not lie about Allah.

Jafar b. Abi Talib, who migrated to Ethiopia, stated the following in the presence of the Negus:   

"O Negus! Allah sent to us a prophet among us; we have known him for forty years as an honest, noble and trustworthy person..."(Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 2:411)

The Prophet (pbuh) went to Taif in order to convey the message of Islam to the people living there and to ask them to support him when he was exposed to the excessive pressure of the polytheists and unbelievers in the tenth year of the prophethood. He stayed there for ten days and visited the houses there one by one to tell them about Islam. However, they made fun of him and chased him away. They threw stones at him and his friend, Zayd until their feet bled while they were leaving. He took refuge in a vineyard and prayed there as follows:

"O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and the humiliation I have been subjected to by the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair? So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your favor is of a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descends upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. All power belongs to You."(Köksal, 5/66-71)

Meanwhile, the angel arrived and told the Prophet he could destroy them if he wished. Hz. Prophet (pbuh) replied as follows:

"No. I do not want them to be destroyed. On the contrary, I hope their descendants will worship Allah and will not associate partners with Him."(Köksal, 5/76)

When his tooth was broken during the Battle of Uhud, the people around him asked him to damn the polytheists. He said, 

"I was not sent as a person who damns. O Lord! Give guidance to my tribe because they do not know." (Bukhari, Anbiya, 37)

In short, he was in love with all humanity; he devoted all his life to the salvation of humanity; he was a prophet of love and mercy. According to him, the guidance of one person, that is, becoming a Muslim, was better than the world and what is in it. 

Makkah was conquered in the eighth year of the Migration. Makkans, who had dismissed the Prophet (pbuh) and the believers from their hometown, who had oppressed and tortured them and who attacked Madinah several times after he migrated, had to surrender to the army that entered Makkah under the command of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). While Makkans were waiting worriedly and anxiously, Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), who represented love, mercy and tolerance at the highest level, addressed them as follows:

"This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. You can leave. You are free!"(Köksal, 15/288-289)

It is very important for us to know the names and attributes of the Messenger of Allah mentioned in the verses of the Quran and hadiths so that we will know him truly.  

He is the prophet of mercy (Rasulu'r-Rahma, Nabiyyu'l-Marhama). He was not sent to a certain group but as mercy to all realms.

He is a giver of glad tidings and a warner (al-Mubashshir, al-Bashir; al-Mundhir, an-Nadhir).

He is clear truth (al-Haqqu'l-Mubin).

He is the trustworthy hand-hold (al-Urwatu'l-Wuthqa).

He is the straight way (as-Siratu'l-Mustaqim).

He is the star of piercing brightness (an-Najmu'th-Thaqib).

He is a lamp spreading light (an-Nur, as-Siraju'l-Munir).

He is the one who invites to Allah (Dai ilallah).

He is an intercessor whose intercession is accepted (ash-Shafi', al-Mushaffa').

He is the improver (al-Muslih).

He is the beloved and friend of Allah (Habibullah, Khalilurrahman).

He is the owner of sound evidence and proof (Sahibu'l-Hujja wa'l-Burhan).

He is the distinguished person chosen by Allah (al-Mustafa, al-Mujtaba, al-Mukhtar).

He is praised; he is the one that deserves to be praised (Muhammad, Ahmad, Mahmud, Hamid).

He is Muhammad the trustworthy (Muhammadu'l-Amin).

He is the last prophet (Khatamu'n-Nabiyyin) (Qadi Iyad, 189-195).

It is possible to know this person who is full of love, who is chosen as a statue of trustworthiness and honesty and who is the person to be taken as an example only through knowing him, being like him and loving him. This is what is meant by understanding him. As a matter of fact, he emphasized this fact by saying,

"A person who follows my sunnah is of me; he who ignores it is not of me."(Ma'mar ibn Rashid, 11/291)

To sum up, to understand and to love the Prophet (pbuh) can only be possible through knowing him well regarding all aspects, to follow him, to mention him a lot, to show respect to the universal values he introduced, to love what he loved and to keep away from what he disliked, and to have the ethics of the Quran, which is his ethics.  

Pictures of Love from the Life of the Prophet

Now, we want to display some pictures of love from the life of the Messenger of Allah:

1. Love of Allah: TheMessenger of Allah (pbuh) was aware that he was always under the surveillance of Allah. He tried to fulfill his duties of servitude toward him. His target regarding the issue was "To be a slave who thanks" (Bukhari, "Munafiqun," 79) The Prophet (pbuh) was the person who knew Allah in the best way. He was always in touch with Him. His only aim was to attain His consent. Death meant to attain Him. As a matter of fact, love of Allah and to love for the sake of Allah are the main topic in many of his words. Besides, the fact that he is full of love is connected with his affinity and contact with Allah.   

2. Love of Children: The Prophet (pbuh) took children on his lap, kissed and caressed them. (Bukhari, "Adab", 22) When somebody said that he had ten children but he had not kissed even one of them, the Prophet said, "A person who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. What can I do if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?" (ibid). He took care of both children and young people; he showed them respect and appreciated them. Young people had a different and important place among those who believed in him. He rewarded efficient young people by appointing them as commanders of the armies which included notable Companions. During the expedition of Tabuk, he gave the standard of Sons of Najjar to Zayd b. Thabit, who was only twenty years old; He appointed Hz. Ali, who was twenty-one years old, as the standard-bearer during the Battle of Badr; he appointed Usama b. Zayd, who was eighteen years old as the commander of the army consisting of forty thousand soldiers sent against Sons of Qudaa; he appointed Muadh b. Jabal, who was twenty-one years old, as the governor of Yemen. (Doğuştan Günümüze…, 1:391-392)

3. Love of his Family and Relatives: He was a head of family who loved his family. He never avoided helping them. He would chop meat, cut up zucchini, and sew. He took care of his family regarding their duties toward Allah more than anything else. For, he received the following command from Allah:

"Enjoin prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for Righteousness."(Ta-Ha, 20/132)

He started to invite his relatives first because Allah gave him the following order:

"And admonish thy nearest kinsmen."(ash-Shuara, 26/214)

He always continued his relationships with his relatives and asked them to do so, too. He always emphasized love of parents, encouraged people to love their foster mothers and foster brothers and the friends of their fathers; he took care of them and served as a good example.

4. Love of Friends: The Prophet (pbuh) elevated the people who were living in the darkness of Jahiliyyah to the rank of the best people of the human history by putting up with all kinds of troubles and hardships. He forgave the people who had tortured him in the past and honored them.

"Now hath come unto you an messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful." (at-Tawba, 9/128)

"lower thy wing (in gentleness) to the Believers.!."(al-Hijr, 15/88)

"And lower thy wing to the Believers who follow thee..."(ash-Shuara, 26/215)

5. Love of ummah: He devoted his life to his ummah; he will say,"My ummah! My ummah! O Allah! I want my ummah!"  in the hereafter when the other prophets will be interested in their own problems. (Abu Awana, Musnad, 1:158)

6. Love of humans: He is a prophet sent as mercy to all realms (al-Anbiya 21/107). He invited everybody to Islam no matter how bad some people were. He was a prophet that never avoided any sacrifice in order to save people. He visited houses, fairs, cities and he went on expeditions to many places under very hard circumstances. He treated his neighbors very well regardless of their beliefs. He opposed killing people unjustly, torturing and enslaving them. He prohibited killing people by torture even in war; he ordered his soldiers not to touch those who did not take part in war and those who said they accepted Islam. The number of the people that died in wars during his period was only about four hundred.

The love and compassion of the Prophet (pbuh) was of divine origin:

"It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about thee; so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."(Aal-i Imran, 3/159)

7. His love of other living beings and the environment:We see that he also gives importance to the living beings other than human beings, to animals and plants and that he did his best for a clean environment.

"Show mercy to those on earth so that those in the sky will show mercy to you."(Tirmidhi, Birr, 16)

By uttering the hadith above, Prophet attributed attaining mercy to showing mercy to all beings on earth. He stated that a woman who gave water to a dog was forgiven and that killing a cat by torturing attracted Allah's wrath. When he saw a man milking a goat, he said:

"Leave some milk for the kid of the goat when you milk." (Majmua'z-Zawaid, 8:196)

When he was asked, "is there a reward for the favors done to animals?", he said, "Yes, there is a reward for every favor done to any living being." (Bukhari, Shurb, 9) He ordered people to whet the knife while slaughtering animal and not to maltreat animals while slaughtering them. (Muslim, "Sayd". 57)

Once, he planted five hundred date trees (I. Hanbal, 5:354) and stated the following regarding the issue:

"If a Muslim plants a tree and human beings, domestic animals, wild animals or birds eat its fruits, what they eat will be regarded as sadaqah for the person who has planted it."(Muslim, Musaqat, 10)

"If you have a sapling even when Doomsday is about to strike, plant it."(Bukhari, al-Adabu'l-Mufrad, 168)

When he saw a man beating a tree so that his sheep would eat its leaves, he intervened by saying

"Calm down! If you want the leaves to fall, shake the tree; do not beat it."(Usdu'l-Ghaba, 3:276)

Allah declared Makkah as a protected (haram) area and the Prophet (pbuh) declared Madinah and Taif as protected areas. (Bayraktar, 5:223-227)

"The earth was rendered a mosque for me; its soil is clean and makes things clean."

There are many hadiths expressing the love of the Prophet (pbuh) toward Makkah, Madinah, Mount Uhud and some other places. He was also interested in celestial bodies and evaluated their rising and setting times as an opportunity to pray.

To Love the Prophet

Love is a feeling that settles in the heart and becomes manifest with words and attitudes. To love someone means to give things for the sake of the beloved. Love is an act of giving. To love the Prophet (pbuh) means to set one's heart on him, to make a sacrifice and to give away one's property and life for his sake when it is necessary. This will take place only through knowing him, following him, loving what and whom he loves, showing respect to the Quran and his sunnah, which he entrusted to us,  protect them and not going before him regarding any issue.

There is no love without knowledge. Therefore, we cannot love him properly unless we know him truly. It is not right to limit his love to having his name, mentioning his name with respect, his personal possessions (relics). It means to be aware of the fact that to love him means to mention his name a lot with respect, that we are mentioning him when we utter kalima at-tawhid, salawat, when we recite and listen to adhan, when we utter the supplications of Allahumma salli wa barik "May Allah's greetings, mercy and abundance be on you, o Prophet!"

It is necessary to love in order to be loved.  To deserve love, to love and to be loved can only be possible through being in connection with Allah the source of love.

"On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love...."(Maryam, 19/96)

The source of love is Allah, who is also called al-Wadud (the Loving One).

"Say: "If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger"; but if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith."(Aal-i Imran, 3/31-32)

References:

Asım Köksal, İslâm Tarihi; Bukhari, al-Adabu'l-Mufrad; Doğuştan Günümüze İslâm Tarihi; Abu Awana, Musnad; Ibn Hisham, as-Siratu'n-Nabawiyya; Ibnu'l-Arabi, İlâhî Aşk, (Trnsl by Mahmut Kanık), İstanbul, 1998; Qadi Iyad, Kitabu'sh-Shifa; Ma'mar b. Rashid, al-Jami'; Mehmet Bayraktar, "Asr-ı Saadette Çevre Bilinci", Bütün Yönleriyle Asr-ı Saadet'te İslâm; Muhammed Hamidullah, Hz. Peygamberin Savaşları; Munawi, Faydu'l-Qadir; Tabari, Tafsir; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir; Razi, Tafsir; Qurtubi, Tafsir.

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