I came across this interesting brief work by Allamah Ibn Allan where he wrote regarding those illustrious companions who narrate the hadith which make up the 40 Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi. He began his biographical entries with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Allamah Ibn Allan said in his ‘Al-Mueen ala Marifat al-Rijal al-Mazkurin fi Kitab al-Arbaeen lil-Nawawi’ p.24 onwards:
“1- Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abd al-Muttalib, our master, Prophet, refuge and intercessor to our Lord. Our Master Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the most noble of His Messengers, the seal of His Prophets and most honoured with Him. He is the greatest of them in terms of rank with Him and most magnificent. He is the possessor of virtues which cannot ennumerated nor encompassed.
‘Indeed the excellence of the Messenger of Allah has no limit
Which can be expressed with the tongue’
He was born in Makka according to the correct opinion [after the event of al-Fil] by 50 days. His father had passed away whilst the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was in his mothers womb. His mother passed away when he was 10 years of age as I detailed in the book ‘Mawrid al-Safa fi Mawlid al-Mustafa, Allah bless him and give him peace’. And the more correct view is that she is from the people of paradise as I detailed in my work ‘Nashr al-Alwiyah…’. His grandfather Abd al-Muttalib died when he was ten years old. He was sent as a Prophet at 40 years, and sent as a Messenger at 43 years.
He continued to ascend from the stations of perfection, from a station to one more perfect than it, and from a rank to one higher than it, until he perfected the religion and completed the path for Islam and the Muslims. He was given the choice between joing the Divine Presence or remaining in the world, so he chose the Divine over the creation.
He passed away content and a martyr from the poisoned meat from Khaybar, on Monday at midday on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal in the tenth year of prophetic migration. He was aged 63 according to the chosen view, and was buried in Madinah al-Nabawiyyah.
His magnificent legacy and qualities cannot be contained in volumes, and cannot be encompassed by all of time. I however intended the honouring of this book as is said:
‘I did not praise Muhammad with my words
However I praised my words with Muhammad’
Allah bless him and give him peace.”