As we have already seen, there were people with varying characters and ideas that surrounded the Prophet (saas). Throughout his life, however, he showed an interest in each and every one, warned them about their mistakes and failings, and tried to educate them in all matters, from cleanliness to matters of faith. That compassionate, tolerant, understanding and patient attitude of his was the means by which many peoples' hearts warmed to Islam and developed a genuine love for the Prophet (saas). Allah describes this pleasing attitude adopted by the Prophet (saas) towards those around him in the Qur'an:
It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them… (Surah Al ‘Imran: 159)
In another verse, Allah told the Prophet (saas) how he should behave towards those around him:
We know best what they say. You are not a dictator over them. So remind, with the Qur'an, whoever fears My Threat. (Surah Qaf: 45)
The Prophet (saas) never pressured those around him to accept the religion, nor imposed conditions on them. Instead he always used the pleasantest ways to tell them about it.
He always supported the community of the faithful with his strong conscience, and was a benefactor to them at all times. On account of these traits, the Prophet (saas) is described in many verses as "your companion." (Surah Saba': 46: Surat an-Najm: 2, Surat at-Takwir: 22).
Those believers who were able to comprehend the conscientiousness of the Prophet (saas) regarded him as closer to them than all others, and humbled themselves towards him. In one verse, Allah states:
The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers… (Surat al-Ahzab: 6)
Imam Ghazali, the great Islamic scholar, summed up the Prophet (saas)'s treatment of those around him in light of the information found in the hadiths:
"... Everyone thought that the Prophet honoured him more. Whoever came to him could see his face.
... He used to call his companions by their surnames with honour and he used to give one surname who had no surname.
... He was very affectionate and kind in dealing with the people.
... Nobody could speak loudly in his assembly."9
The Prophet (saas)'s human love, kind thought and compassion, which turned those around him to true religion and warmed their hearts to faith, is that superior morality which all Muslims should seek to reproduce.