Necessity of Loving Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
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.
In the present time, some people due to their misunderstanding consider 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 on the accuser rather than it being applicable on the accused.
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" in Quran that Allah and his Prophet (Peace be upon him) should be dearer to us than everything in the world i.e. our wealths, children, parents etc... Some people use this ayah 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 even lead to hell fire.
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,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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.
Posted in: Sahih Beliefs (Aqaids) of Ahlus Sunnah