Question: How is the love of the Messenger ﷺ attained and fulfilled?
Answer: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen رحمه الله answered:
The love of the Messenger ﷺ and the love of Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) is fulfilled by following the messenger of Allaah ﷺ, so anyone who strives more in following the messenger of Allaah will be more worthy of loving Allaah (The Most High) and loving His messenger; Allaah (The Most High) says: ” say (O Muhammad), if you truly love Allaah then follow me, so Allaah will love you.. ” [3:31]
And the sign of loving the messenger is that a person eagerly seeks to follow his sunnah, without adding to it nor leaving anything out.
And based on this, those who introduce innovations concerning the prophet ﷺ, claiming that it is done out of loving and revering him, in reality they neither loved him nor revered him, and that is because the reality of love and reverence (for the messenger) is to follow his prophetic traditions, and not add anything to his legislation or take out anything.
As for the one who wants to introduce into Allaah’s religion that which is not from it, then no doubt his love of Allaah and His messenger is deficient, because having good manners and true reverence requires that you do not put yourself before Allaah and His messenger. Allaah (The Most High) said: ” O you who believe, do not put (yourselves) before Allaah and His messenger (rather, wait for instruction and follow the way of the prophet ﷺ), but fear Allaah. Indeed Allaah is Hearing and Knowing… ” [49:1]
[Noor ala Darb 1/220]