Muhammad was a perfect model of modesty and humbleness. He never spoke loudly or in an unseemly manner. In the market, he always passed by the people quietly with a smile. Whenever he heard anything undesirable in an assembly, he did not say anything out of respect for the people, but the colour of his face showed his feelings and the Companions became cautious. `A’ishah said that she never saw Allah’s Messenger laughing so immoderately that she could see his molar teeth, for he only used to smile.Ibn `Umar reported that a man from the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah) was giving his brother a warning against modesty when the Prophet came along and said, “Leave him alone, modesty is a part of faith.”
`Abdullah ibn Maslamah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Modesty is a part of the teachings of the previous prophets and anyone who lacks it is most likely to do whatever he likes.”
Zayd ibn Talya reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty.”
The Prophet lived a simple and modest life, both in Makkah as a trader and the Messenger of Allah, and in Madinah as the head of the state and Messenger of Allah. The change in his social status from that of a trader in Makkah to the head of the state in Madinah did not bring any change in his modest living. `Umar reported the Prophet as saying, “Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted Jesus son of Mary. I am just His servant, so call me Allah’s Servant and Messenger.”
The Prophet did not behave towards others as if he was better than them, nor did he spurn manual work. `Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa reported that the Prophet of Allah never disdained to go with a slave or a widow to accomplish her tasks. Others reported that the Prophet used to tidy up his house, tether the camels, feed the animals, take food with his servants, and help them in kneading dough and bringing provisions from the market. Anas reported that the Prophet of Allah used to visit the sick, attend funerals, ride on a donkey and accept a slave’s invitation for a meal. Jabir stated that the Prophet used to slow down his pace for the sake of the weak and also prayed for them.
When `Adiyy ibn Hatim came to see the Prophet, he called him inside his house. A maidservant brought a cushion to rest on, but the Prophet placed it between him and `Adiyy and sat down on the floor. `Adiyy later said that he had then immediately realized that the Prophet was not a king. A similar incident was reported by `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As, who said: Once when the Messenger of Allah came to my house, I gave him a cushion filled with bark, but he sat down on the floor placing the cushion between me and him.’
In all things Muhammad was humble. Anas said that the Prophet would accept an invitation even if he was presented barley bread and soup whose taste had changed. He also reported the Prophet as saying, “I am Allah’s servant, I eat like a servant and sit like a servant.”