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Allah has revealed many verses in the Qur'an that stipulate it is an obligation to respect the Prophet ﷺ. For example,
إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا. لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ
"O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good news and a warner, so believe in Allah and His Messenger and help and respect him" (48: 8-9)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ "O you who believe, do not advance before Allah and His Messenger, and be conscious of Allah. Allah is Hearing and Knowing. O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet" (49:1-2)
The respect and veneration due to him ﷺ
The companions showed utmost respect to the Prophet ﷺ. An example of this is at Hudaybiyyah. The Quraysh sent Urwa ibn Mas'ud to the Prophet ﷺ. Urwa reported back to the Quraysh: "I have been to Chosroes in his kingdom, and Caesar in his kingdom and the Negus in his kingdom, and by Allah, I have not seen any king among his people treated anything like the way Muhammad is treated by his companions."
He mentioned that whenever the Prophet ﷺ did wudu the companions ran to get his leftover water and nearly fought over it. If he spat they took it with their hands and wiped it on their faces and bodies. If a hair of his fell they ran to get it. If he commanded them to do something, they ran to do his command. If he spoke, they lowered their voices in his presence. They did not stare at him due to their respect for him ﷺ. According to Ibn Abbas and others, it was considered extremely bad behaviour to speak before him ﷺ (in accordance with the second ayah above).
The respect and esteem for the Prophet ﷺ after his death
It is necessary to have just as much respect for the Prophet ﷺ after his passing. Abu Ibrahim Al Tijibi said, "It is necessary for every believer to be humble, fearful, show respect and be still when they mention the Prophet ﷺ or when the Prophet ﷺ is mentioned in their presence. They should be as respectful as they would have been if they had actually been in his presence, taking on the adab that Allah has taught us." One must also perform salawat when the Prophet ﷺ is mentioned (i.e. say sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam).
Sources: Al Shifa of Qadi Iyad