Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
How can I increase my love for the Prophet-may Allah bless him and give him peace?
Being realized in the love of the Prophet – may Allah bless him and give him peace – is a great station that every Muslim should aspire to. You can increase your love by doing the following:
First: You should be steadfast in doing what he ordered and refraining from what he forbade. If you do not obey him, you can not dream of increasing your love for him – may Allah bless him and give peace.
Second: You should carefully observe his sunnahs (states) in acts of worship such as prayer and fasting, as well as his way of performing everyday activities such as dressing, eating, sleeping and dealing with people.
Third: You should constantly recite the blessings and prayer upon him – may Allah bless him and give him peace – while making earnest and sincere Du‘a to Allah to deepen your love for him-may Allah bless him and give him peace- and ask Him to let you see the Prophet- may Allah bless him and give him peace- in your sleep. It is also recommended to read a book on the meanings, the forms, the benefits as well as the rewards of saying the blessings and prayer upon the Prophet – may Allah bless him and give peace. For example: “Addurr il-Mndood fi s-Salati ‘ala Sahib il-Maqam il-Mahmood,” by Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami.
Fourth: you should read the books which illustrate his physical description, character traits and spiritual states. Examples of such books are:
1- “Ash-Shama‘il al-Muhammadiyah” (The Mohammedan goodly traits) by Imam at-Tirmithi,
2- “Ash-Shifa of Qadi ‘Iyad” (m. This book has been translated into English by Aisha Bewley).
3- “Al-Qasida il-Hamziyyah” (The Hamza rhyming poem) by Imam al-Busayri, and the commentary on it by Imam ibn Hajar al-Haytami.
4- “Mohammad Rasool ul-laah” by the Hadith scholar, sheikh Abdullah Siraj id-Deen.
These are just examples of the great number of books on the Prophet – may Allah bless him and give him peace. Some calculated these books to reach 30 thousands.
Fifth: You should read and listen to the recitation of the Prophetic eulogies (m. poems praising the Prophet) composed by his lovers – may Allah bless him and give peace. Among the best of these numerous poems which increase one’s longing for the Prophet- may Allah bless him and give him peace- is the “Burda” by Imam al-Busayri. It is also recommended to read a commentary on the “Burda” like that of the scholar Ibraheem al-Bajoori.
Sixth: You should visit him – may Allah bless him and give him peace-in his mosque. For visiting his grave has a tremendous impact on deepening one’s love and attachment to him – may Allah bless him and give him peace. Only he who is deprived of the good would deny this.
Seventh: You should sit with the lovers of the Prophet- may Allah bless him and give peace- in sessions in which the predominant subject is the Prophetic noble characters, his good qualities, and the stories of his lovers – may Allah bless him and give peace. This will increase the longing and please the heart.
(Translated by Abu Muhammad Rahil)