In these present times, some people due to their misunderstanding consider the immense love for our beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) equivalent to shirk. In spite of the fact that lovers of Prophet (Peace be upon him) consider him to be an "Abd (Slave) of Allah" and they have no intentions of comparing the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to Allah azza Wajjal (Naudhobillah), the comparison only comes due to ill thinking of opponents who look for ways just to accuse Muslims of Shirk and Kufr but what they forget is that their false takfir would return back upon themselves rather than it being applicable on the accused.
Let us Analyze this in light of Quran and Hadith
قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
Allah says, "Say: 'If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious." (9:24)
This is an Explicit "Nass (definite proof)" in Quran that Allah and his Prophet (Peace be upon him) should be dearer to us than everything in the world i.e. our wealth, children, parents etc... Some people use this verse in regards to Jihad only but they forget that loving Prophet (Peace be upon him) is mentioned before that, hence even Jihad without the love of Allah and his Prophet (Peace be upon him) would "not be" Jihad in cause of Allah, rather it could lead one to hell fire instead.
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقًا
Allah says: "All who obey Allah and the apostle are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship"(4:69)
The Reason Behind Revealing this Honorable Ayah
Hafiz Ibn Kathir: Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "An Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah while feeling sad. The Prophet said to him, `Why do I see you sad' He said, `O Allah's Prophet! I was contemplating about something.' The Prophet said, `What is it' The Ansari said, `We come to you day and night, looking at your face and sitting by you. Tomorrow, you will be raised with the Prophets, and we will not be able to see you.' The Prophet did not say anything, but later Jibril came down to him with this Ayah,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets), and the Prophet sent the good news to the Ansari man.'' This Hadith was narrated in Mursal form from Masruq, `Ikrimah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. This is the version with the best chain of narrators. Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded it with a different chain from `A'ishah, who said; "A man came to the Prophet and said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes, when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait until I come and look at you. When I contemplate about my death and your death, I know that you will be with the Prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise.' The Prophet did not answer him until the Ayah,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the true believers, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) was revealed to him.'' This was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi in his book, Sifat Al-Jannah, he then commented, "I do not see problems with this chain.'' And Allah knows best.
Greater news than this is in the authentic Hadith collected in the Sahih and Musnad compilations, in Mutawatir form, narrated by several Companions that the Messenger of Allah was asked about the person who loves a people, but his status is not close to theirs. The Messenger said,
الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب
(One is with those whom he loves.) Anas commented, "Muslims were never happier than with this Hadith.'' In another narration, Anas said, "I love the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that Allah will resurrect me with them, even though I did not perform actions similar to theirs.'' Allah said,
ذلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ
(Such is the bounty from Allah) meaning, from Allah by His mercy, for it is He who made them suitable for this, not their good deeds.
Narated By Anas : The Prophet said "None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind."
►Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 014.
Narated By Anas : The Prophet said, "Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake.
3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire."
►Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 015.
Narated By 'Abdullah bin Hisham : We were with the Prophet and he was holding the hand of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab. 'Umar said to Him, "O Allah's Apostle! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self." The Prophet said, "No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self." Then 'Umar said to him, "However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self." The Prophet said, "Now, O 'Umar, (now you are a believer)."
►Bukhari Volume 008, Book 078, Hadith Number 628.
Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: During the lifetime of the Prophet there was a man called 'Abdullah whose nickname was Donkey, and he used to make Allah's Apostle laugh. The Prophet lashed him because of drinking (alcohol). And one-day he was brought to the Prophet on the same charge and was lashed. On that, a man among the people said, "O Allah, curse him ! How frequently he has been brought (to the Prophet on such a charge)!" The Prophet said, "Do not curse him, for by Allah, I know for he loves Allah and His Apostle."
► Volume 8, Book 81, Number 771:(Sahih Bukhari)
Hazarath Ali(R.A) teaching the aadabe(Respect) Rasoollah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
Narrated by Hadrat Asma (RA): Revelation was being sent to Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) and his head was on the Lap of Hadrat Ali (ra), and he had not prayed Asr till yet, soon the Sun got set too, The Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) asked: O Ali (ra) have you prayed?, He replied: No, at this the Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) made a plea in the court of Allah: O Lord He (Ali) was busy in Itaat of You and your Messenger (salallaho alaihi wasalam), hence return the Sun back for him , Hadrat Asma (ra) said: I had seen the Sun being set but then I saw it :RISING BACK AGAIN and daylight became visibale on mountains and land, This incident took palce near Khaybar
References: Imam Ibn Kathir in Al Bidayah wan Nihayah, Volume No. 6, Page No. 80, 81 and 85, Also Tafsir ul Qurtubi, Volume No. 5, Page No. 97
Reward for loving Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
Narated By Anas : A man asked the Prophet about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, "When will the Hour be?" The Prophet said, "What have you prepared for it?" The man said, "Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Apostle." The Prophet said, "You will be with those whom you love." We had never been so glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet (i.e., "You will be with those whom you love.") Therefore, I love the Prophet, Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs.
►Bukhari Volume 005, Book 057, Hadith Number 037.
Safwan ibn Qudama said, "I emigrated to the Prophet and went to him and said, 'Messenger of Allah, give me your hand.' So he gave me his hand. I said, 'Messenger of Allah, I love you.' He said, 'A man is with the one he loves.'"
►Sunan Tirmidhi Volume 004, Page 23
Ali said that the Prophet took Hasan and Husayn by the hand and said, "Whoever loves me and loves these two and their father and mother will have the same degree as me on the Day of Rising."
►Sunan Tirmidhi Volume 005, Page 305
It is related that a man came to the Prophet and said, "Messenger of Allah, I love you more than my family and my possessions. I remember you and I cannot wait until I can come and look at you. I remember that I will die and you will die and I know that when you enter the Garden, you will be raised up with the Prophets. When I enter it, I will not see you." Allah then revealed,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقًا
"Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, will be with those whom Allah has blessed: the Prophets, the men of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And such people are the best of company!" (Quran 4:69) The Prophet called the man and recited the verses to him.
►Tafsir Dar Mansur Volume 002, Page 588
In another hadith we find, "A man was with the Prophet, looking at him without turning away. The Prophet asked, "What is wrong with you?" He replied, "My father and mother be your ransom! I enjoy looking at you. On the Day of Rising, Allah will raise you up because of His high estimation of you!" Allah then sent down the verse mentioned above.
In the hadith of Anas, the Prophet said, "Whoever loves me will be with me in the Garden." al-Isfahani fi al-targeeb kama fi manahil al-safa al-Suyuti Page 182
Sahaba's(R.A) Extreme love for Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)during the Prayer
Narrated Anas: The Prophet did not come out for three days. The people stood for the prayer and Abu Bakr went ahead to lead the prayer.(In the meantime) the Prophet caught hold of the curtain and lifted it.When the face of the Prophet appeared we had never seen a scene more pleasing than the face of the Prophet as it appeared then. The Prophet beckoned to Abu Bakr to lead the people in the prayer and then let the curtain fall. We did not see him (again) till he died.
►Volume 1, Book 11, Number 649: (Sahih Bukhari)
Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd As-Sa'idi: Allah's Apostle went to establish peace among Bani 'Amr bin 'Auf. In the meantime the time of prayer was due and the Mu'adh-dhin went to Abu Bakr and said, "Will you lead the prayer, so that I may pronounce the Iqama?" Abu Bakr replied in the affirmative and led the prayer. Allah's Apostle came while the people were still praying and he entered the rows of the praying people till he stood in the (first row). The people clapped their hands. Abu Bakr never glanced sideways in his prayer but when the people continued clapping, Abu Bakr looked and saw Allah's Apostle. Allah's Apostle beckoned him to stay at his place. Abu Bakr raised his hands and thanked Allah for that order of Allah's Apostle and then he retreated till he reached the first rowAllah's Apostle went forward and led the prayer. When Allah's Apostle finished the prayer, he said, "O Abu Bakr! What prevented you from staying when I ordered you to do so?" Abu Bakr replied, "How can Ibn Abi Quhafa (Abu Bakr) dare to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah's Apostle?" Then Allah's Apostle said, "Why did you clap so much? If something happens to anyone during his prayer he should say Subhan Allah. If he says so he will be attended to, for clapping is for women."
►Volume 1, Book 11, Number 652: (Sahih Bukhari)
Love for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and yearning for him (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
Abu Huraira reported so many 'ahadith from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and one among them was that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) is reported to have said: By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, a day would come to you when you would not be able to see me, and the glimpse of my face would be dearer to one than one's own family, one's property and in fact everything. This hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Ishaq with a slight variation of wording.
►Book 030, Number 5833: Sahih Muslim
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The people most loved by me from amongst my Ummah would be those who would come after me but everyone amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the cost of his family and wealth.
►Muslim Book 040, Hadith Number 6791.
The hadith of 'Umar, "I love you more than myself," has already been cited. There are similar things from other Companions.
Amr ibn al-As said, "There is no one I love better than the Messenger of Allah."
Abda bint Khalid ibn Ma'dan said, "Khalid never went to bed without remembering how he yearned for the Messenger of Allah and his Companions among the Muhajirun and Ansar, and he would name them. He said, 'They are my root and branch, and my heart longs for them. I have yearned for them a long time. My Lord, hasten my being taken to You!'"
It is related that Abu Bakr said to the Prophet, "By the One who sent you with the truth, I would be happier if Abu Talib (the Prophet's uncle) were to become Muslim than if Abu Quhayfa (his own father) were to. That is because the Islam of Abu Talib would delight you more."
Umar ibn al-Khattab told al-Abbas, "Your becoming a Muslim is dearer to me than al-Khattab becoming a Muslim because it is dearer to the Messenger of Allah."
►Majm-uz-zawaid 009, Page 268.
Ibn Ishaq said that the father, brother and husband of one of the women of the Ansar were killed in the Battle of Uhud fighting for the Messenger of Allah. She asked, "What has happened to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?" They said, "He is as well as you would like, praise be to Allah!" She said, "Show him to me so I can look at him." When she saw him, she said, "Every affliction is as nothing now that you are safe."
►Bayhaqi Volume 003, Page 302.
Ali ibn Abi Talib was asked, "How was your love for the Messenger of Allah?" He replied, "By Allah, we loved him more than our wealth, our sons, our fathers and our mothers, and more than cold water in a time of great thirst."[Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad]
Zayd ibn Aslam said, 'Umar went out at night to observe the people and saw a lamp in a house where an old woman was teasing some wool, saying:
"The prayer of the good be upon Muhammad, may the blessed bless him!
I was standing in tears before dawn. If only I knew,when death gives us different forms,
Whether the Abode will join me to my beloved!"
She meant the Prophet. 'Umar sat down in tears.
►al-zuhad Page 362-363.
It is related that once 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar's foot went numb. He was told, "Remember the most beloved of people to you and it will go away!" He shouted, "O Muhammad!" and the feeling returned.
►Imam al-Bukhari in Adab al-Mufrad Hadith No. 964.
When Bilal was near death, his wife called out, "O sorrow!" Bilal said, "What joy! I will meet those I love, Muhammad and his party!"
It is related that a woman said to A'isha, "Show me the grave of the Messenger of Allah." She showed it to her and the woman wept until she died.
When the Makkans drove Zayd ibn ad-Dathima out of the Haram to kill him, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb said to him, "I ask you by Allah, Zayd, don't you wish that Muhammad were with us now to take your place so that we could cut off his head, and you were with your family?" Zayd said, "By Allah, I would not wish Muhammad to be now in a place where even a thorn could hurt him if that was the condition for my being with my family!" Abu Sufyan remarked, "I have not seen any people who love anyone the way the Companions of Muhammad love Muhammad."
►Bayhaqi Volume 003, Page 362.
Ibn Abbas said, "When a woman came to the Prophet (i.e. from Makka to Madina), he made her take an oath that she had not left because of her husband's wrath or desire for a new land and that she had only left out of love for Allah and His Messenger."
►Tafsir ibne Jarir Volume 028, Page 044.
Trees Extreme Love for Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَطَبَ إِلَى لِزْقِ جِذْعٍ وَاتَّخَذُوا لَهُ مِنْبَرًا فَخَطَبَ عَلَيْهِ فَحَنَّ الْجِذْعُ حَنِينَ النَّاقَةِ فَنَزَلَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَمَسَّهُ فَسَكَنَ
Sayyidina Anas ibn Maalik reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) used to deliver sermon reclining on the trunk of a palm tree. The sahabah (RA) chose a pulpit for him and he delivered a sermon from it, but the trunk wept like the weeping of a she-camel. So, he descended and stroked it and it ceased to weep.
►Chapter 9, Weeping of a trunk of a tree Jami Tirmidhi Hadith 3647, Albani graded it Sahih
Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet used to deliver his sermons while standing beside a trunk of a date palm. When he had the pulpit made, he used it instead. The trunk started crying and the Prophet went to it, rubbing his hand over it (to stop its crying). (Book #56, Hadith #783, Sahih Bukhari)
جَاءَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ بِمَ أَعْرِفُ أَنَّكَ نَبِيٌّ قَالَ إِنْ دَعَوْتُ هَذَا الْعِذْقَ مِنْ هَذِهِ النَّخْلَةِ أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ فَدَعَاهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَجَعَلَ يَنْزِلُ مِنْ النَّخْلَةِ حَتَّى سَقَطَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثُمَّ قَالَ ارْجِعْ فَعَادَ فَأَسْلَمَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ
Sayyidina Ibn Abbas reported that a villager came to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) and asked, “How do I know that you are a Prophet?” He said, “If I summon this bunch from this date tree, asking if it testifies that I am Allah’s Messenger?” So, he summoned it. It come down from the tree, dropped before the Prophet (SAW). Then he commanded it, “Return.” So it returned and the villager submitted in Islam.
Reference: Chapter 9, Weeping of a trunk of a tree Jami Tirmidhi Hadith 3648, Albani graded it Sahih
2) Ahmed 1954
Rocks and Trees Welcome Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
كُنْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِمَكَّةَ فَخَرَجْنَا فِي بَعْضِ نَوَاحِيهَا فَمَا اسْتَقْبَلَهُ جَبَلٌ وَلَا شَجَرٌ إِلَّا وَهُوَ يَقُولُ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ
Translation: Sayyidina Ali ibn Abu Talib narrated: I came forth with the Prophet through the surroundings of Makkah. Every rock and tree welcomed him, saying, “Peace be on you, 0 Messenger of Allah.”
Chapter 8: Rocks or trees welcomed the Prophet (SAW) in Makkah, Sunan Tirmidhi (3646)
Order of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَرَجَ عَلَى أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَا أُبَيُّ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي فَالْتَفَتَ أُبَيٌّ وَلَمْ يُجِبْهُ
وَصَلَّى أُبَيٌّ فَخَفَّفَ ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعَلَيْكَ السَّلَامُ
مَا مَنَعَكَ يَا أُبَيُّ أَنْ تُجِيبَنِي إِذْ دَعَوْتُكَ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي كُنْتُ فِي الصَّلَاةِ قَالَ أَفَلَمْ تَجِدْ فِيمَا أَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيَّ أَنْ
Translation: Sayyidina Abu Huraira (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) went to Ubayy ibn Ka’b. He called out. “O Ubbay!” He was engaged in salah and turned but did not answer. He shortened his salah and then went to Allahs Messenger (SAW) and said, “As-salammu alikum, O Messenger of Allah (SAW)”! He said, “Wa alika salaam! What prevented you, O Ubayy, from answering me when I called you”? He said, “O Messenger of Allah (SAW) , I was engaged in salah.” He said, “Have you not observed that which Allah has revealed to me: “Respond to Allah and to His Messenger (SAW) when he (the Messenger) calls you.” (Al-Quran 8:24). He said, “Yes indeed. I will not do it again, Insha Allah.” He asked, “Would you love that I teach you a surah that has not been revealed in the Torah, not in the Injil, not in the Zabur and not in the Qur’an, the like of it.” He answered, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (SAW). So, he asked, “How do you recite in salah”? He said, “We recite the ummul Qar’an.” So, Allah’s Messeneger said, “By Him in Whose hand is my soul, nothing has been revealed like it in the Turah, the Injil, the Zabur and the Qur’an. It is the sab’am minal mathani and the mighty Qur’an that is given to me.”
Reference: 2884 Tirmidhi, BOOK ON VIRTUES OF THE QUR’AN Chapter 1: Virtues al-Fatihah
Aadab of Nabi Kareem(صلى الله عليه وسلم) from Quran
يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَرْفَعُوۤاْ أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ ٱلنَّبِيِّ وَلاَ تَجْهَرُواْ لَهُ بِٱلْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ
The following was revealed regarding those who raised their voices in the presence of the Prophet (s): O you who believe, do not raise your voices — when you [want to] speak — above the voice of the Prophet, when he is speaking, and do not shout words at him, when you [wish to] confide in him, as you shout to one another, but [speak] lower than that, out of reverence for him, lest your works should be invalidated without your being aware, that is to say, for fear of this [happening] as a result of the raising of voices and the shouting mentioned.[49-Al Hujurat:2] http://www.ahlus-sunna.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=113