Quarterly: Issue No 73
Allah (SWT) says about his messenger (SAW)
There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; (he is) concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful. But if they turn away (O Prophet), say: ‘Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no God except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne.’ (Chapter 9:128-129)
In this verse, the Holy Prophet (SAW) is described in the following ways:
1) From among yourselves. He is not just minkum (from you) but min anfusikum (from among your own selves). He is one of you, from the very society and group that you belong to. He is not from amongst the angels. Thus he knows and understands your hopes, desires, pain and grief. He is connected to you and wishes only well for you. No doubt the Prophet (SAW) was a “Bashar” i.e. human being. However, amongst mankind - as the beloved Prophet of Allah and the best implementer of Islam - he was indeed an “Afdalul Bashar” i.e. a prominent one amongst human beings. Hence we should not say that he was like any normal human being rather we should realize and accept his true status as an elated human being.
2) Grievous to him is your distress. The Prophet (SAW) is not indifferent to that which harms you, and it hurts him greatly. He does not like to see you under the burden of sin and misfortune, being victims of those who plot for your downfall. His teachings and rules are to save you from the distress because cannot bear to see you suffer.
3) Deep concern for you. The Prophet (SAW) is greatly concerned for the progress and guidance of the people. He wishes to see them succeed and wants their happiness both in this world and the Hereafter. The Arabic word ‘Harees’ is used to show excessive attachment to something. The word is used here to signify the extent of the love of the Prophet (SAW) for his people. Abdullah bin Mas’ood (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Verily, every matter that Allah has prohibited, He knows that some among you will breach it; but I am indeed holding you by the waist so that you do not fall in the Fire, just like butterflies and flies.” (Ahmad)
4) Compassionate. He is loving and affectionate, especially to the obedient believers. The last two qualities of this verse are qualities of Allah, and are represented in the person of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and his relationship with the people. In the Quran-e-Kareem, Allah says: ‘Indeed Allah is Full of Pity, Merciful toward mankind.’ (2:143). Also see verses (9:117), (16:7 and 47) and ‘Surely! Allah is, for mankind, Full of Pity, Merciful.’ (22:65) etc.
5) Merciful. He also cares for the sinners from among the believers and is merciful and kind towards them. Such was the Holy Prophet’s love for his people. Blessed are those who have the good fortune of being from amongst his ummah.
And We have not sent you (O Prophet), except as a mercy to the worlds. (Chapter 21:108)
Qadi Iyad (ra) said that part of his excellence is that Allah gave him two of His names, saying: “merciful, compassionate to the believers.” (ash-Shifaa)
It is related from Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “None of you should come to me with anything about any of my Companions for I do not want to go out to you except with a clean heart.” (Abu Dawood; Tirmidhi)
Also, part of his compassion towards his ummah was that he made things easy for them. He disliked doing certain things out of the fear that they would become obligatory for them. He said: “If I had not been compassionate to my community, I would have commanded them to use the siwaak every time they made wudoo’.” (Bukhari; Muslim)
Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (RA) said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was careful when he warned, advised and educated us, fearing he would tire us.” (Bukhari; Muslim)
On many occasions, the Prophet (SAW) made it clear that kindness and mercy are among the main characteristics of Muslims. The Prophet (SAW) said: “He who does not show mercy to people will not be shown mercy by Allah.” (Bukhari).
Verily in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. (Chapter 33:21)
This verse is the foundation for setting the Prophet (SAW) as an example to be followed in words and deeds. Fortunate are those who love their Prophet (SAW) and long to see and praise him. And fortunate and successful are those who follow his guidance - adhere to his advices and work accordingly in words and deeds in their daily life - and consider him a role model and a good example.
Those Muslims who follow the way of the Prophet need to be foremost in their morality and behavior, and to invite others to adopt that same morality: Allah says:
“Whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger shall be among those upon whom Allah has bestowed His favours - the Prophets, the Faithful ones, the Martyrs and the Righteous; and they are excellent companions.” (4:69)
Muhammad is not the father of (any) one of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah and seal of the prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing. (Chapter 33:41)
Guided by irrefutable word of Allah (SWT) in the Quran-e-Kareem and numerous Ahaadith, Muslims around the world do uniformly believe that, after Prophet (SAW), the chain of Prophethood (Nubuwwah) has come to an end. According to this fundamental belief, anyone who now claims to be a Prophet of Allah should be viewed as an impostor, whose claim is contrary to the teachings of Islam. Numerous verses of the Quran indicate that the teachings of Islam have been completed, perfected and preserved, and have been meant to be universal for all the Worlds (of Jinn, Mankind etc.)
The Prophet (SAW) said: “In My Ummah, there shall be born thirty Grand Liars (Dajjals), each of whom will claim to be a prophet, but I am the Last Prophet; there is No Prophet after Me.” (Abu Dawood; Tirmidhi)
O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a WITNESS and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. (Chapter 33:46)
What does it mean for the Prophet (SAW) to be a WITNESS? It means that the Prophet (SAW) gave information about something that he had beheld with his very own eyes and that he knows it with certainty. In this case, the Prophet’s first and foremost role, was to testify to the people that Allah is One, and that he himself is Allah’s Messenger, that the Book of Allah is true, that Heaven and Hell exist, and that all would eventually return to Allah.
Shah Walilullah ad-Dehlawi (ra) explained “WITNESS” (Shaahidan) as “bearer of witness to the Truth”.
Allah also says: “Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh (Fir’awn) a messenger.” (73:15)
The Prophet is a witness in this world, bearing testimony to truth, justice and righteousness. This naturally leads him to be a witness in the second sense, mentioned in the following verses:
“And (think of) the Day when We raise in every nation a witness against them of their own folk, and We bring you (O Prophet) as a witness against these (your people).” (16:89)
“But how (will it be with them) when We bring of every people a witness, and We bring thee (O Prophet) a witness against these (your people)? That Day, those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish they could be covered by the earth.” (4:41).
When the Court of Allah (SWT) is established in the Hereafter, the Prophet (SAW) will give evidence that he conveyed the message to humanity, without making any change in it, as a proof to his ummah that they could not claim that it was his fault if they did not believe and act upon the revelation he brought.
The thought of testifying against his Ummah weighed heavily upon the Prophet (SAW). Abdullah bin Mas’ud (RA) relates: Allah’s Apostle said to me, “Recite (of the Qur’an) for me,” I said, “Shall I recite it to you although it had been revealed to you?” He said, “I like to hear (the Qur’an) from others.” So I recited Surat-an-Nisaa till I reached: “How (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness, and We bring you (O Prophet) as a witness against these (your people)?” (4:41) Then he said, “Stop!” And behold, his eyes were overflowing with tears.” (Bukhari; Muslim)
This witnessing of the Prophet (SAW) is the foundation of the rest of his mission. His bringing glad tidings, warning, calling towards Allah, and teaching people, was first based on his witnessing these facts that set up the basics and fundamentals of his propagation of Islam.
And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. (Chapter 33:47)
Allah calls the Prophet (SAW) in the Qur’an “an illuminating lamp.” Allah describes the sun and the moon in the Qur’an in like manner, explaining what He means when He says that He made the Prophet “an illuminating lamp”. Allah (SWT) says:
“Have you not seen how Allah created seven heavens, one upon another, and set the moon therein for a light (noor) and the sun for a lamp? (siraaj)” (71:16). Here he calls the sun a lamp, since its light is self-generating, but He calls the moon a light, since it but reflects the light of the sun. He also says: “and We appointed a blazing lamp (siraaj) …” (78:13) i.e. the sun’s light being extremely hot, and, he then says: “Blessed is He who has set in the sky constellations and has set among them a lamp (siraaj) and an illuminating moon, (qamaran muneeran” (25:61) emphasizing that the moon’s light is light with little heat. When Allah (SWT) says to His Messenger: “O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good tidings and of warning, as a caller to Allah by His Command and as an illuminating lamp,” (33:45-46), we are to understand that He made the Prophet’s light (noor) powerful like the sun’s, yet cool and gentle like the moon’s.
Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace. (Chapter 33:57)
As Allah (SWT) has Himself acted upon this command therefore this divine practice becomes the Sunnah of Allah. This is unlike most of Allah’s other commands. The showering of blessings and salutations upon the Prophet (SAW) is the Divine practice of Allah, His Sunnah. As the Glory of Allah is the highest and the most exalted, so His Sunnah is also the highest and the most exalted. The Prophet (SAW) is the faithful devotee of Allah. Amongst all of creation, his ranking is the highest and the most reverend. Yet regardless of this ranking and reverence, no human being can be equal to the Creator.
The Noble Prophet (SAW) has guaranteed the intercession (shafaa’ah) for those who send blessings and salutations upon him and ask Allah for it. Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas (RA) reported that he heard the Prophet (SAW) saying: When you hear the mu’adhdhin, repeat what he says, then invoke blessings on me for everyone who invokes blessings on me once, will receive ten blessings from Allah. Then beg Allah that the ‘waseelah’ be granted to me. “Waseelah” is a position (place) in Paradise that may not be granted to any but one of Allah’s servants, and I dearly hope that I will be that servant. Whoever asks Allah for that ‘Waseelah’ for me, my intercession is guaranteed for him. (Muslim; Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi and Nisai)
All the groups of angels are equally and unexceptionally engaged in showering blessings and salutations upon the Prophet (SAW) together. Angels convey the greetings and salutations of the believers to the Prophet from dawn to dusk. As the Prophet (SAW) stated: “The mobile (squads) of angels in the earth conveys to me the blessings (durood) invoked upon me by my Ummah”. (Nasai; Tabrani; Bayhaqi)
The Prophet also said: “Let his nose be smeared with dust, in whose presence I am mentioned, and he does not invoke blessings (durood) upon me.” (Tirmidhi)
“Invoke blessings on me, since blessings invoked by you are conveyed to me wherever you may be.” (Abu Dawood)
It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion. And sufficient is Allah as Witness. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. (Chapter 48:29)
The correct understanding of Islam is obtained from the first three generations and all those that follow their path, in truth. There is no disagreement among Muslim scholars that these three are the best generations of Islam to be followed, that the interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah they agreed upon is regarded as the correct one, and that we are to approach the Deen of Islam in the manner they approached it. We are obliged to follow them, and that means, first and foremost, to have the same creed as they did, no deviations, no additions and no deletions.
We also have to approach ibadah (worship in obedience to Allah) in the same way, no innovations, no additions and no deletions. We take all of the Sunnah and refer all disagreements to Allah and His Messenger, as we are commanded by Allah (SWT) in the Qur’an-e-Kareem (Chapter 4: Verse 59).
And indeed, you (O Prophet) are of a great moral character. (Chapter 68:05)
One of the most important aspects of a Muslim's life is to have high moral standards. Since the beginning of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was mainly concerned with teaching and disciplining Muslims to have the best manners and personal characteristics. His personal life and behaviour were reflective of his teachings, which were revealed to him by Allah.
May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad, the WITNESS to all Mankind. Ameen.
O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Requesting your humble duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa