Allaah, Almighty, gave the Prophet perfect moral values. He therefore fulfilled all the requirements of ideal benevolence and successful leadership. People came to him with open hearts. They raced to perform the Hajj with him when they learned of his intention to perform this important pillar of Islam. Everyone wanted to accompany him and be under his banner.
Thus, some one hundred thousand pilgrims performed the Hajj with him. [Muslim] They all were desirous of following his example and of having first hand knowledge from him. The Prophet left a profound impression on their souls. He gave them the best guidance and for them he was an exemplary leader. In fact, he was the greatest leader and inspirer the world had ever seen. Following are just a few examples in this regard:
i) His modesty
Modesty is one of the attributes of good conduct for which Allaah rewards his servants. Abu Hurayrah narrated, “Allaah will elevate those who worship Him in humility.” [Ibn Maajah]
Modesty in fact, was an order from Allaah to the Prophet . Allaah Says (what means): “And lower your wing to the believers who follow you.” [Quran, 26:215] Thus, the Prophet obeyed Allaah, and attained an unsurpassable degree of modesty. This was seen during his Hajj on different occasions: He refused to receive any special treatment as he insisted on drinking from the same basin as everybody else, although people were dipping their hands into the water. “I don’t want it,” he said when they offered to bring him clean water, “Give me some of the water that people are drinking.” [Al-Bukhaari]
He also allowed Usaamah Ibn Zayd to ride behind him in public from ‘Arafah to Muzdalifah. [Muslim] He stopped to listen to a woman from the public to answer her question. [Muslim]
ii) His mercy
During the Hajj, the Prophet’s mercy for the people can be seen on many occasions: The Prophet ordered those who did not offer Hady to end their state of Ihraam completely; this would permit them to have sex with their wives, to be dressed in their normal clothes, and to wear perfume. This was an act of mercy for the nation and alleviation of their burden. [Muslim]
He combined Asr (afternoon) and Thuhr (noon) prayers at ‘Arafah, [Al-Bukhaari], and delayed his prayers when he per-formed Ifaadhah (moved) to Muzdalifah, [Al-Bukhaari], thereby making it easier for the people to perform the rituals. Indeed it would have been difficult for the pilgrims to dismount and unpack several times. In so doing, the pilgrims were able to halt their camels and put their belongings at the same spot where they spent the night.
The Prophet gave permission to the weak to perform Ifaadhah, (to leave) from Muzdalifah ahead of the rest of the pilgrims at night, right after the moon had set. Thus, they were able to perform their rituals easily and comfortably on Day of Sacrifice before the others. [Al-Bukhaari]
At the time when pilgrims went to spend the night in Mina, the Prophet permitted his uncle Al-‘Abbaas to stay in Makkah to continue providing people with drinking water. [At-Tirmithi] Further, he allowed shepherds to cast their Jimaar (pebbles) in one day instead of two after the Day of Sacrifice. [Muslim]
Being merciful to his people, the Prophet would sometimes perform the rituals in a less favorable manner than they should ideally be performed. For example, he performed Tawaaf on his camel back and touched the Black Stone with a stick instead of kissing it or touching it with his hand. He did not perform Tawaaf or Sa’y on foot, which would have been better because he did not want people to be turned away or get hurt in his presence. [Muslim]
iii) His magnanimity
The good deeds of the Prophet as leader of the pilgrims during the Hajj were countless and evident for all around. Here are just few examples:
The Prophet was so generous in giving alms and charities, that he gave away the one hundred badanas (sacrificial camels)—including their meat, hides and coverings. [Muslim]
He also donated in other charities on many occasions. [Al-Bukhaari]
The Prophet was so kind to the weak that he mentioned them in his exhortations. [Ahmad]
Committed to saving his people, the Prophet invoked Allaah at ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah, to accept them and to forgive them their sins. [Ahmad]
When asked by a pilgrim to invoke Allaah on his behalf, he offered a general invocation and said, “may Allaah forgive you all.” [At-Tirmithi]
He spoke clearly and repeatedly to the pilgrims, giving them general information but without going into details. He dealt with the fundamentals of Islam, explained the grave sins and clarified some principles so that people would better understand them. [Al-Bukhaari]
iv) His patience
During his Hajj, the Prophet showed all of the three types of patience simultaneously. He was most enduring in obeying Allaah’s commands and offering sacrifices. He did it in complete relaxation, tranquility and submissiveness to Allaah. [Al-Bukhaari]
The Prophet was the most religious, most knowledgeable and most observant of Allaah’s limits and never transgressed them. The patience and endurance he exhibited when he led the pilgrims without any sign of complaint or resentment is indeed commendable.
v) His responsibilities
The Prophet was keenon perfecting submission and surrender to Allaah, and on performing the Hajjrituals perfectly. He was the leader of thepilgrims and in charge of their general unity and welfare.
Additionally, he was the educator and guide of these massive crowds, teaching them good and warningthem against evil. He was doing his utmost toconvey his message and to explain Islamic rulings in a perfectmanner.
vi) His leniency
The Prophet’s leniency during the Hajj is exemplified on different occasions:
He took shelter in the shade and moved between the sacred sites on camel back. Had he done otherwise, it would have been difficult for the Muslims to follow his example. [Muslim]
He also appeared publicly during the Hajj, so pilgrims had no difficulty in following in his footsteps and asking his opinion about whatever problems they had. [Abu Daawood]
He made matters easier for pilgrims, and never asked them to do anything beyond their capacity, whether in performing the rituals or in leading them and shouldering the responsibility for them. [Al-Bukhaari] Moreover, he did not come near the Ka’bah after the Tawaaf of arrival until he had returned from ‘Arafah, [Abu Daawood], and settled in Mina on the Days of Tashreeq. This leniency is clearly shown when he did not go to Haram until he was ready to leave Makkah. [Al-Bukhaari]
Further, he ordered his companions to be kind to themselves. Upon seeing a man walking and leading his badana (sacrificial camel), the Prophet said to him “Ride on it.” “It is a badana (a camel intended as a ritual sacrifice),” the man replied.” “Ride on it, woe to you,” the Prophet said (woe to you) on the second or third time. [Muslim]