Monday, November 14, 2005
Dear visitors,Al-Mustafa: The Prophet
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, Spiritual Tendencies
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Saturday, November 12, 2005
In praise of the Prophet
Mohammed is the exemplar to both worlds, the guide of the descendants of
He is the sun of creation, the moon of the celestial spheres, the all-seeing eye;
The torch of knowledge, the candle of prophecy, the lamp of the nation and
the way of the people;
The commander-in-chief on the parade-ground of the Law; the general of the
army of mysteries and morals;
The lord of the world and the glory of 'But for thee'; ruler of the earth and
of the celestial spheres;
The most loyal of the Prophets, the proof of the Way, the king without a
seal, the sultan without a crown.
As a king he reared up a lofty palace, but he followed the principle of
'Poverty is my pride'.
His miracle was 'We have won a victory’ and his banner 'help from God’.
'As thou livest' was the crown on his musk-raining head and ‘have we not
opened thy heart’ the adornment of his life.
He is of a surety the crown of all sovereigns, he is in very deed the lord of
He, and only he, is without question the most excellent of mankind;
he, and he only, is the confidant of God.
The seven heavens and the eight gardens of paradise were created for him,
he is both the eye and the light in the light of our eyes.
He was the key of guidance to the two worlds and the lamp that dispelled
the darkness thereof.
His tongue was the interpreter of kingship, his heart the scribe of divine
Heaven and earth come under his sway; the two worlds are co-existent with
The Lord of the Worlds made him His depositary because before divine
inspiration he was the most trustworthy man in the world.
Light rose up to heaven because of his beauty, and divine inspiration
descended to earth because of his perfection.
Because he walked only in the way of God he was settled in 'an unfruitful
With his mind he solved the difficulties of all mankind for his mind had seen
the first design in Eternity Past.
He came in order that restless souls might quench their thirst every moment
in the sea of his Law.
He was the greatest of the Prophets because though he came after he was also before.
When Adam opened his eyes for the first time, he saw from where he lay
Mohammed's name inscribed on the empyrean.
He prostrated himself in the dust before his name, but since the dust became
Mohammed he fell undefiled.
He was still a suckling when the flood broke over the fire-worshippers.
In every fire-temple, because of the Holy Prophet, the fire was at once
If fire was quenched for Abraham, it was quenched for the infant Prophet
all over the world.
Dost thou not see how so hot a thing as fire flees before a single hair of his
So high were his sandals raised by his Faith that they knocked the diadem off
the Chosroes' head.
The ringlets of his hair toppled the crown of the Caesar and over-threw with
the curls the Emperor of China.
When, in the beginning, he pulled his cloak over his head, the angel Gabriel
descended and stood at his door.
He said to him: 'Verily there is a great good hidden beneath that cloak.’
The space of a single brick was absent from the Prophecy—a holy gap,
The Prophet has said: 'That precious gap was closed by me for all eternity.’
He was indeed the culmination of the Prophets; when he came, the Prophecy
Hast thou not seen how first the army comes and then the noble King arrives.
The Prophets are like the army; they came only to announce the king.
When the sultan of the Prophecy was born, the Prophecy came to an end for
he was the culmination thereof.
When his religion illuminated the world, all other rites were abolished. God
What becomes of the countless stars when the bright sun shines forth?
When the Prophet called himself a brick, it was as though every brick had
become a paradise.
And if that brick was moulded from the seed of Adam, it was because one
brick was the foundation of both worlds.
Since the bricks of this world have four sides, so this brick has as its four
sides the Four Friends.
When the Companion of the Cave set out with him, the world was filled with
light from those two peerless ones.
When he came to the house of Umm Ma‘bad, he saw a she-goat that was
unmated and without milk.
The goat gave her soul to him for she saw that the sun had arisen.
When the Master touched her udders milk flowed from them like rain.
His hand was whitened with her milk and thus did Predestination produce
the White Hand.
The Prophet was adult whilst he was still a suckling; Adam was plainly but a
child beside him.
When, during the Flight, he entered the cave with the Friend, and there
appeared the famous spider,
Which built its web across the entrance, weaving the warp and crossing it
with the weft.
When the web was finished an enemy arrived and sought to make his way
through that screen.
He went proudly up to the spider, saying: 'Remove the screen before these
two lovers of the Faith.
Why dost thou make a screen for the lovers? Produce two tricks from behind
this closed screen. Sing this song to the tune of truth.’
The spider, realizing the enemy's thought, thus made denial in dumb show:
'Never will a Jamshid or a Faridun fall into a spider's web.
Thou hast not a whit of sense if thou seek a Simurgh in a fly-trap.
The flesh of a fly is enough for me—how should a falcon fall into my snare?
What effect could a talisman produced from a spider's saliva have upon the
one Immortal Being?'
If this miracle is not as I have related, my head is attached to my waist like a
If his enemy were in the seventh earth, the seventh heaven would lay in wait
for him; ,
To kill his enemy the sun would smite him in the eye with its sword.
Without love for him the heavens cannot revolve; without their longing for
him the angels cannot breathe.
The Faith itself could have nothing without his support; no eye ever saw him
knit his brow.
He was pure contentment with no feeling of anger; no eye ever saw him
In the beginning the curves came from his knitted brow but they had all
departed into his hair.
The curls in his hair were without number; to seek knowledge in them is
the highest task.
When his hair fell in ringlets there sprang from it the seventy-two sects.
When these curls and locks appeared on his shoulders, there appeared out of
those sixty these seventy.
Each group coveted a ringlet and made a handle out of it.
None can ever hold back his hand from such a ringlet, for it is the 'strongest
No one admitted to the Glorious Presence passed beyond self except
Since he passed entirely beyond self all speak for themselves there save only
Mohammed was the eternal sun and Jesus the dawn that announced his
Since Jesus brought the glad tidings of the Chosen One, he was born in a
single moment without a father.
Aye, since he brought the good news to the people, he was the evangelist
and he came in great haste.
As he was the first to bring the good news from God, so he shall return again
at the end of time.
There will be but one purpose in his return, to announce Mohammed. 0 most
As his pure heart was the main body of the army, so was the center of his
soul the king.
Now at the time of a revelation, the six hundred thousand wings of Gabriel
formed the flanks of this main army.
Now, a select throng of angels stood in ranks on either side thereof.
Patience was his buckler and sincerity his sword; his lance cast a shadow
over the sky.
He held in his hand the bow of 'the distance of two bow-shots’; he fought
with the arrows of ‘when thou didst shoot’.
He is the Prophet of the Sword with the crown of 'as thou livest’,
auspiciously mounted upon Buraq.
What though he ruled the realm of the soul? Holy war was his trade, and
hence all this.
Wishing to be slave to the Prophecy he asked God for two weeping eyes.
He called himself ‘the son of the two slain ones’, from which it is clear to
soul and mind.
That he sought glory of God in annihilation and was never attached even for
a moment to any single thing.
Because he placed no hope in existence he was sealed with the seal of ‘his eye
turned not aside’.
And when his soul was seething with the turmoil of yearning, sometimes he
'Would that God the Wise, the Just had never brought Mohammed into
This he said because the Lord of the World had called him his ever-shining
Though the wax produces a bright light, yet it is always in pain and
suffering without the honey.
At first the wax was absorbed in the honey, and because of their oneness it
had no thought of this and that.
Afterwards, when it was taken away and removed from union with the
It whispered these words: 'What have I in common with candles? I have
lived in oneness; what have I in common with the crowd?
If I had not become a candle I should still be together with the honey.
When I became a candle and was parted from my beloved, God called me a
light; but how long shall I burn?
If I had remained with the honey I should have been saved from all this
Because he was naked he sat on the sand; because he was hungry he tied a
stone to his belly.
These are proofs of his perfect poverty: the poverty of God is a very exalted
Had he had the slightest desire, how should he have been the leader of the
He remained poor because it is ill-mannered to pick up the largesse scattered
at one's own wedding.
He had no wish for goods and chattels; one day he ate his fill and the next he
What though this nine-chambered palace was raised up for him out of
nothing, out of smoke?
Often a month would pass without any one's seeing smoke rise from his nine
If those nine chambers were created out of smoke, it was because no smoke
was to rise from these.
When he returned, with a hundred honors, from his ascension, his face
never grew dark.
His stars relate that when he sat like the moon in their company,
He eclipsed that company with a light such as that with which the sun
eclipses a candle.
All his Companions, when they were near him, were lost to self because of
the awe he inspired.
Faced by the sea, how shall a drop of water retain its separate self?
It was because of the awe he inspired that there was disagreement about
those on whom the light shone.
As to whether the eyebrows of that leader of the two worlds were joined or
The people of the two worlds could not see his eyebrows, for it is not easy to
see at a distance of two bows.
The whole world was spread out like a tablecloth before his eyes,
So that the secrets of the universe were revealed to him and he had
knowledge of both worlds.
When the divine mysteries were unveiled to him, because of what he had
seen he said: 'Thou art what thou wilt.'
Seeing with the eye that had looked in the mysteries he could look through
the wall at Paradise and Hell.
Paradise and Hell concealed themselves behind him; thou knowest then who
were the beggars behind his wall.
They preferred their place behind the wall to the Hereafter because thus
they could see the sun of his face.
They both of them strayed from the Hereafter because of their longing to
gaze on such a sight.
Having met those that had lately been with God he hurried forwards to be
received by God Himself.
He went bareheaded before God, for one can approach God (only) when
Blackhearted Satan does not dare to appear in his garb.
His food was barley bread, yet he clove the breast of the loaf-like disc of the
moon as though it were a grain of wheat.
The food of his soul came from the table of poverty, but though poverty was
his so was glory.
When the light of his poverty shone forth Solomon would come to be his
Now he would sweep the dust of the road out of his house; now he would
take his rest in the dust of the road.
Now he would run to and fro with Aisha; now he would fetch bricks and
mud to build a mosque.
Now he would stitch at sandals; now he would tell secrets to children.
Now he would take part in a funeral procession; now he would visit the sick.
Now he would collect fodder for the camels; now he would carry a hand-mill
in his turban.
Now he would act as cupbearer at a banquet, standing in the place of 'the
lord of the people’.
Now in the kindness of his heart he would pretend to be a camel to amuse
those two intelligent children.
When that Holy Prophet came into the world, babe though he was he at once
prostrated himself in worship.
He came forth from the womb with his umbilical cord already severed; his
mother bore him already circumcised.
If he stood among a crowd of men he was taller by a head than the tallest of
No one ever saw his excrement: the earth would swallow it up like
He could see both in front and behind equally well. Never did a fly settle on
Since his shadow fell on the celestial spheres, how then could he cast a
shadow on the ground?
Since his shadow covered the empyrean how then could it fall on the earth?
One night he resolved to ascend into heaven and to rise above the two
Buraq, who was pining for his master, had long been tethered to the tree
Sniffing the scent of Mohammed he brayed loudly, broke his tether and
galloped towards him.
Then Gabriel appeared and said: 'Why art thou still on earth, 0 Pure One?
Ascend into the heavens.
Thou art by right the lord of the empyrean; rise from the earth to its loftiest
Thou art the symbol of mercy in both worlds; thou art the host that
dispenses it to both worlds.
Thou hast regaled the earth for a while, and now it is the turn of the
Make of thy poverty an elixir for the peoples of the earth; make of the dust
of thy feet a collyrium for the angels.'
When the Holy Prophet set out upon Buraq he rose with the speed of
lightning to the seventh heaven.
He rose, thus mounted, up to the throne of God, for he was lord of Buraq and
of the pulpit.
On his right stood the supporters of God’s throne and on his left the
guardians of the earth.
Beneath the hooves of Buraq the heavens were as the earth, while Gabriel
was as the servant at his door.
He unfurled his banner over the empyrean and took his stand on the 'seat of
There came a cry from the denizens of the heavens: 'The Lord of the World
has come to the trysting-place.
The orphan who followed Abu Talib is now a precious pearl sought by all
A hundred thousand lofty souls were brought from the Divine Presence to
Jesus passed in front of him as Zulaikha had passed in front of Joseph, and
he restored him from old age to youth as Joseph had done to Zulaikha.
From the breath of his spirit Jesus the Pure received, as it were, new life in
Solomon came and offered him a crown; beggar-like he set a basket in front
Moses, having paid his respects to him, departed in hopes of being received
amongst his people.
Abraham brought his all to sacrifice before him, his son.
Noah came from his Ark to meet him and was proud to find him on Mount
Adam came and made merry; he questioned Mohammed about the secret of
Ridwan brought in wine and asked him about his long journey.
Because he had grown thirsty of that journey he brought him a draught from
And because he was heated with the ardor of his love he tempered that
draught with camphor;
And because he was affected with the coldness of certainty he tempered it
likewise with ginger.
And when his humors were restored to equilibrium he offered him honey
tempered with milk.
And because in Ta Ha he had been designated as the Pure One he received
'a drink of pure beverage'.
His drink was 'choice sealed wine’, whereof the seal was known to none but
The sky, the master of the sun, had led Buraq that night.
The golden sun was the pommel of the Prophet's saddle; the new moon
kissed his feet like a stirrup.
The halo of the moon provided Buraq with barley from Gemini and straw
from the Milky Way.
As the Prophet galloped along the road that night Buraq cast one of his shoes
upon the sky.
That shoe became the new moon; the sky fixed it in its ear and formed an
archway for him.
Arcturus offered him a lance having cleared Medusa's Head from the way.
The houris stood all along the road from the Fish to the Moon.
In that turquoise garden, despite the darkness of the night, thousands of
eyes were brightened with the splendor of his face.
For gladness the empyrean reared up a pavilion for him and placed a throne
Taking its support from his two tresses Tuba cast its shadow over
When the Dragon's Tail reared up against him, it was docked like
Scorpio's from fear of him.
The heavens made Virgo into a broom, then bent to sweep the way for him.
Cancer, recognizing his glory, flung himself headlong into the water.
When Gemini girded his loins as his bodyguard. Libra came and balanced
Sagittarius unstrung his bow: it had two houses and offered them both to his
Aries and Capricorn were roasted for him and a table laid that stretched from
the Moon to the Ox-Fish.
Leo became like a lion painted on his carpet and Aquarius like a wheel
rolling after him.
When the Two Sisters beheld his face, they threw back their veils in their
longing for him.
The Two Vultures appeared without their attributes in order that there
might be no evil omen.
Although the Seven Thrones were revolving around the Pole like the seven
When they beheld his manliness and life, they became dead women carried
upon a bier.
Each angel came with his censer to burn aloes-wood as a token of sincere
Ridwan opened the eight gates of Paradise and washed the nine
approaches with the water of Kauthar.
The guardian of Paradise rejoiced the world by displaying a great company
Awed with his splendor the empyrean ceased to move; it stood as still as the
When the Preserved Table saw the value of the dust under his feet, he
made of it clay tablets such as the Shiites use when prostrating themselves in
When the world of light had been filled with his beauty, the 'Frequented
Temple’ fell in ruins out of love for him.
The heavens scattered largesse in very deed, for they offered all they
Each sphere brought a hundred purses, lawful gifts, for they came from the
The firmament asked God for a present to offer him, and God adorned it
every night with the stars.
And because such was the present offered him the faithful Companions of
the Prophets were said to be 'like the stars’.
From the splendid sun that shone that night each star received a new light.
He gave Saturn the charge of the crops of the heavens; by decree he
conferred upon Jupiter a cadi’s gown.
He honoured Mars with the office of executioner; with his hair he cast a
shadow over the Sun.
On Venus he bestowed sweetness of language while to Mercury he gave
supremacy in wisdom.
To the Moon he appeared like Joseph and caused her to cut both hand and
The Sun of the Law rose up with such speed that even Gabriel with his six
hundred thousand wings.
Could not catch up with him or discover where he was.
When he had passed through the ranks of the angels he saw another world
like one 'level plain’;
A world in which there were none of the marks of a world, no sign of 'level
plain' or of'cushions’,
A world devoid of nearness and farness, a 'light upon light’ because of his
He found the earth of that world to be patience and all its running water
His glory gave grandeur to the heavens, his beauty illuminated the sun.
So did his soul perspire with longing for God that he rent his robe into a
Aye, since the sky was his robe he rent it all, for that night he could do
The proof of this is the Milky Way, which is made up of small pieces of the
Those nine curtains were rent to pieces during his ascension, because he was the intimate of God for ever.
There came a voice from God, saying: 'Master, at last thou hast come to Our
door. What is thy wish?
Thy heart is with all sinners, for thou art right when thou sayst: "Walk at
the pace of the weakest among you''.'
The Prophet said: 'Lord, Thou knowest how I feel, Thou hast no need to
Thy favors are so continuous that I cannot count them; my tongue is tied.
Nothing is left of my being; all is now sun, the shadow is gone.'
When the Lord of the Two Worlds felt weak. God strengthened his arm with
the 'two bows’.
Mohammed was the mightiest man in the world; therefore it is that he holds
Better bows the black-eyed houris will never see that the 'two bows’.
At that moment when he was immersed in knowledge he had, as it were, two
qualities of the arrow:
One of them to stand straight upright and the other to fly through the air
like an arrow.
And having in his being these two attributes of the arrow, the 'two bows' are
the symbol of his two stations.
When, in the first place, he set out towards God, he sped upwards like an
arrow from the bow.
And when, in the end, he was sent back to mankind, he was discharged like
an arrow from the bow.
These two flights were from two bows, hence the parable of the 'two bows'.
And since Sagittarius is always in two houses, therefore there are always two
parts to that bow.
One thou knowest as that of Ahad, and the other is that of the eternal
The attraction of God shot forth like an arrow and split the mim of Ahmad
in two like a hair.
The mim of Ahmad fell out and it became Ahad; and all duality became
In that night the Peacock of the Angels was utterly effaced by the raven of
See in his two tresses two ravens; see in the almonds of his eyes how they
'turned not aside’.
The 'two bows' are a symbol of his eyebrows; the ends of those bows are his
Since his tresses were all light they gave rise to two rainbows.
I know of no one in the world who could wield the 'two bows'.
When the ravens of his tresses grow restless, the Peacock of the Heavens is a fitting quarry for them.
Hurrah for the bow, the thumb and the bow-end! Hurrah for 'is not'126 and
'what He revealed and 'turned not aside’!
It is because of its envy of the Prophet's 'two bows' that the sky has two arcs
around its axis.
God, Who to glorify Adam revealed to him the names of all things,
Revealed to Mohammed the things themselves and therefore made him
illiterate and poor.
Going beyond names to the nameless state of things he had no need to read
and was therefore illiterate.
Since he went disembodied along the road of God he became from
disembodiment absolutely poor.
Impelled by disembodiment and poverty he received from the Archetype of
the Book the surname of 'the Illiterate’.
God first of all ordered that there should be fifty prayers a day but for his
sake He reduced the number to five.
If that night he passed beyond the whole and the part it was because purging
himself of self he became wholly absorbed in God.
0 heart, see to the eternal good of thy soul; fasten thyself to this saddlebow.
Gird thy lions before him as his servant so that thou mayst become a great
What more can I say, 0 Prophet of God? Impotent wretch that I am, I know
Great is Gabriel and yet he is but thy messenger; he does nothing but run
When Michael saw that thou wert king he became a purveyor to thy army.
With sword in hand and loins girt Izra’il stands ever ready to act as thy
The faithful Israfil stands sentry in thy doorway.
Of the angels that guard thy threshold two are the 'illustrious recorders'.
Father Adam is the scribe at thy court; many names has he written down
describing thy nature.
Idris, recognizing thee in the stars, established thy worship in Paradise.
Since thy sovereignty embraces the whole world Noah has chosen to be thy
Salih gladly became thy camel-driver and entertained thee with camel's
When Abraham became thy mason the whole of the Ka‘ba became thy
When Ishmael heard of thy faith, a son was sacrificed with uncut throat.
Jacob was filled with grief in his longing for thee; it was in search of thee
that he withdrew into solitude.
Joseph escaped from prison and the well and with a hundred kinds of beauty
sought a share of thine.
The noble Khidr waters the end of thy street from his fountain.
Elijah received a renewal of life from thee and so had chosen to guard thy life
till Judgment Day.
Jonah became thy friend upon the way and he entered the sea in order to
find thee again.
David felt a great longing for thy soul and he gave a hundred lives in his
laments for thy love.
Job, seeing thee as the physician of love, dragged his body away from the
worms towards his cell.
Solomon, seeing thee as the lord of the world, girded himself like his ring.
John offered his head to thy crown, and Aaron stood at thy door as a
Moses was but thy guide upon the road and Jesus thy Indian slave
Since thou hast such a companion as 'Say: "He is God"’, draw a line
through all else than God.
Though the wife of Abu Lahab, filled with annoyance, scattered thorns in
Thou art a hidden rose: walk cheerfully on, for no rose will bloom without a
thorn in its foot.
Some good chance befalls thee every instant, and as a protection against the
evil eye it is sufficient for thee to repeat 'Say: "I take refuge in God"'.
The seven celestial spheres have a lamp on every finger, the stars.
They call to thee in pain and anguish, but who would seek the sun with a
Thou art the sultan of earth and heaven, the lamp of this world and the next.
The sky is always rolling like a ball in order to catch sonic glimpse of thy
In that gathering in which there is scope for thy majesty the highest heaven
is but a shoe-rank,
Although thy majesty is beyond computation, being higher than the nine
heavens and hidden behind nine hundred screens,
Yet for envy of it this beautiful vault turns over and over, day and night.
A single beam of thy majesty shone on the heavens and from that one beam
the sun and moon received their light.
What more can I say? For thy attributes are such that they would fill a
hundred worlds beyond the ken of mind or soul.
Supposing the whole world were full of poppy seeds and there were a
panegyrist inside each one of them,
I do not know whether thou wouldst be adequately praised or, if thou wert,
whether thou wouldst accept it.
Thou knowest that none of the poets have sung such praise save only I.
This work is a young bride that seeks the protection of thy generosity and
wishes for no jewels and adornment but thy acceptance.
If thou accept me my task is done, if not there is an end to my grief-stricken
If thou accept these words of mine, I shall with my art rebuild the ancient
Although thy presence is a mighty sea, yet this drop too is a precious pearl.
For though the ocean has a vast mass of water, yet it also cherishes every
Dost thou not see how the boundless sea lovingly assigns its place to every
What more can I say, 0 Prophet of God? I have said what I am capable of
Thou art generosity itself and thou knowest all. If thou wouldst bestow a
hundred favors on me, it is in thy power.
Monday, August 29, 2005
His physical attributes
There is absolutely no way to conceal the fact that the Prophet is the worthiest of all mankind, the greatest of them in position and most perfect of them in good qualities and virtue. I am setting out to detail his qualities of perfection in the best way I can, which has filled me with longing to call attention to some of his attributes, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
Know, may Allah illuminate my heart and yours and increase my love and your love for this noble Prophet! - that if you were to look into all those qualities of perfection which cannot be acquired and which are part of one's constitution, you will find that the Prophet has every one of them - all of the various good qualities without there being any dispute about it among the transmitters of the traditions.
The beauty of his form and the perfect proportion of his limbs are related in numerous sound and famous traditions from 'Ali, Anas ibn Malik, Abu Hurayra, Al-Bara' ibn 'Azib, 'A'isha, Ibn Abi Hala, Abu Juhayfa, Jabir ibn Samura, Umm Ma'bad, Ibn 'Abbas, Mu'arrid ibn Mu'ayqib, Abu't-Tufayl, Al-'Ida' ibn Khalid, Khuraym ibn Fatik, Hakim ibn Hizam and others.
He had the most radiant colouring, deep black eyes which were wide set and had a sort of red tint to them, long eyelashes, a bright complexion, an aquiline nose, and a gap between his fronth teeth. His face was round with a wide brow and he had a thick beard which reached his chest. His chest and abdomen were of equal size. He was broad-chested with broad shoulders. He had large bones, large arms, thick palms and soles, long fingers, fair skin and fine hair from the chest to the navel. He was neither tall nor short, but between the two. In spite of that, no tall person who walked with the Prophet seemed taller than him. His hair was neither curly nor straight. When he laughed and his teeth showed, it was like a flash of lighting or they seemed as white as hailstones. When he spoke, it was like light issuing from between his teeth. He had a well-formed neck, neither broad nor fat. He had a compact body which was not fleshy.
Al-Bara' said, "I did not see anyone with a more beautiful lock of hair resting on a red robe than the Messenger of Allah."
Abu Hurayra said, "I have not seen anything more beautiful than the Messenger of Allah. It was as if the sun was shining in his face. When he laughed, it reflected on the wall."
Jabir ibn Samura was asked, ''Was his face like a sword?" He replied, "No, it was like the sun and the moon. It was round." (In al-Bukhari and Muslim and elsewhere)
In her description, Umm Ma'bad said, "From afar, he was the most beautiful of people, and close up he was the most handsome." (Al-Bayhaqi)
Ibn Abi Hala said, "His face shone like the full moon."
At the end of his description, 'Ali said, "Anyone who saw him suddenly was filled with awe of him. Those who kept his company loved him."
All who described him said they had not see anyone like him either before or since.
There are many famous hadith
which describe him. We will not take the time here to give them all. We have restricted ourselves to some aspects of his description and given a summary of them which is enough to serve our purpose.
You will find, Allah willing, that we have concluded these sections with a hadith
which combines all these things.
- Qadi 'Iyad, Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One (Kitab ash-Shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa)
Thursday, February 03, 2005
On the early upbringing and raising of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and how God cared for him and protected him; how he had been an orphan and God gave him a home and destitude and God enriched him.
Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) became a youth under the care and protection of God who saved him from the evils of the jahiliyya because of the honour and mission He wished for him. When he grew up he was the finest man among his people, the best of them in character and repute, the best of neighbours, the most prudent, the most honest in speech and most trustworthy, and the one most removed from immorality and those characteristics that corrupt men, which he avoided because of his nobility."
Consequently the name by which he was known among Quraysh was none other than al-Amin
, "the trustworthy", because of the fine qualities God had joined in him.
The Messenger of God (SAAS), as I was told, used to relate about those (pre-Islamic) practices, matters from which God had protected him in his youth and time of ignorance. He said, "Once I happened to be amongst some Quraysh boys carrying some stones for those games boys play. Each of us was exposed, having taken up his shirt and fastened it around his neck to carry stones in. I was running along with them in this way and having fallen behind I suddenly received a very painful slap from someone who spoke the words, 'Put your shirt on properly!' So I took it and put it back on properly and began carrying the stones around my neck with my shirt on, alone among my friends."
This anecdote is similar to the one is the sahih
collection relating to the building of the ka'ba
, when he and his uncle al-'Abbas were hauling (stones). If not the same, it certainly precedes that and is seemingly preparing for it. But God knows best.
'Abd al-Razzaq said that Ibn Jurayi informed him, quoting 'Amr b. Dinar, that he heard Jabir b. 'Abd Allah say, "When the ka'ba was being built, the Messenger of God (SAAS) went off to transport stones. Al-'Abbas said to the Messenger of God (SAAS), 'Put your shoulder over your shoulder for the stones.' He did so, but fell to the ground and his eyes were drawn up to heaven. Then he got up and said, 'It was my shirt.' So it was put back on him properly."
The two traditionalists brought this hadith
out in the two sahih
collections, from an account of 'Abd al-Razzaq. They also extrapolated it from an account of Rawh b. 'Ubada from Zakariyya' b. Abu Ishaq, from 'Amr b. Dinar from Jabir to the same effect.
Al-Bayhaqi said that the hafiz
Abu 'Abd Allah and Abu Sa'id b. Abu 'Amr informed him that Abu al-'Abbas Muhammad b. Ya'qub told them that Muhammad b. Ishaq al-Saghani related to him, quoting Muhammad b. Bukayr al-Hadrami, quoting 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Abd Allah al-Dashtaki, quoting 'Amr b. Abu Qays, form Simak, from 'Ikrima, who said that Ibn 'Abbas related to him from his father that he would carry stones to the ka'ba
when Quraysh was building it. Quraysh divided up into two groups, with the men transporting the stones and the women the mortar mix.
He went on: "I was with my nephew, carrying the rocks, wearing our shirts around our necks; when we came up to other people we covered up. While I was walking alone with Muhammad in front of me, he fell down and stretched out flat on his face. I hurried along, threw down my rocks; meanwhile he was looking up to heaven. 'What's wrong?' I asked. He got up and took his shirt, saying, 'I was forbidden from walking around uncovered.'" Ibn 'Abbas went on, "I hid this from the others for fear they would say (he) was mad."
Al-Bayhaqi related from a tradition of Yunus b. Bukayr, from Muhammad b. Ishaq, that Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah b. Qays b. Makhrama related to him, from al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Abu Talib, from his father and from his grandfather, 'Ali b. Abu Talib, who said that he head the Messenger of God (SAAS) say, "I wasn't interested in performing those things with women that people during the jahiliyya used to do; except, that is, on two nights on which God, Almighty and Glorious is He, restrained me.
"One evening I and a young man of Mecca were watching some sheep belonging to some people there. I said to him, 'Would you keep an eye on my sheep so I can go into Mecca and spend an evening there like other lads?' 'Sure,' he replied. So I went into town and stopped at the first house where I heard the music of tambourines and flutes. I asked what was going on and was told that a man and woman had married. So I sat down to watch. But God struck my ears and, I swear, next thing I knew I was being awakened by the sun's touch. I went back to my friend, who asked what I had done. I replied, 'I didn't do a thing.' Then I told him what I had seen.
"Then one other night I asked him to watch my sheep so I could go to a party. He agreed, so I went off to Mecca and heard the same as I had the previous occasion. Again I was told that there was a marriage and so sat down to watch. But God again struck my ears and, I swear, I was later awakened by the sun's touch.
"When I returned to my friend he asked what I had done. 'Not a thing,' I replied, and then I told him what had happened. And, by God, I never tried or returned to anything like that thereafter right up to when Almighty and Glorious God honoured me with His prophethood."
This is a very strange tradition. It could be about 'Ali himself, with the final words "up to when Almighty and Glorious God honoured me with his prophethood"
having been added. But God knows best.
This scholar Ibn Ishaq is mentioned by Ibn Hibban as being a very reliable source. Some authorities claim him to be an author of a sahih
collection of traditions. In his supplementary notes, this sheikh of ours commented on this, "I don't fully stand behind this."
But God knows best.
al-Bayhaqi said that the hafiz
'Abd Allah related to him, quoting Abu al-'Abbas Muhammad b. Ya'qub, quoting al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. 'Affan al-'Amiri, quoting Abu Usama, quoting Muhammad b. 'Amr, from Abu Salama and Yahya b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Hatib, from Usama b. Zayd, from Zayd b. Haritha, who said, "There was a brass idol called 'Isaf and Na'ila which the polytheists would touch as they performed their circumbulation. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said 'Don't touch it.'"
Zayd continued, "Well, as we went round (again) I told myself I would touch it to see what would happen. When I did so, the Messenger of God (SAAS) asked me, 'Were you not forbidden to do that?'"
Al-Bayhaqi said that others added, from Muhammad b. 'Amr, giving a chain of authorities, that Zayd said, "By Him who honoured him and revealed to him the Holy Book, he (the Prophet) never saluted an idol right up to when God Almighty honoured him as He did and gave revelation to him."
We earlier made reference to the comment of the Messenger of God (SAAS) when Bahira put a question to him invoking al-Lat and al-'Uzza: "By God, do not question me by invoking them! I have nothing so much as them!"
As for the tradition given by the hafiz
Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi, Abu Sa'd al-Malini informed us, Abu Ahmad b. 'Adi, the hafiz
told us, Ibrahim b. Asbat related to us, as did 'Uthman b. Abu Shayba, as did Jarir, form Sufyan al-Thawri, from Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. 'Uqayl, from Jabir b. 'Abd Allah, God bless him, as follows: "The Prophet (SAAS) used to attend the ceremonies of the polytheists along with them. But once he heard two angels behind him, one saying to the other, 'Let's move up and stand right behind the Messenger of God (SAAS).' But the other objected, 'How can we stand right behind him when he is in the habit of saluting idols?'"
He went on, "And thereafter he never again attended such ceremonies with the polytheists."
This is a tradition several authorities deny being attributed to 'Uthman b. Abu Shayba. Regarding it Imam Ahmad commented: "His brother would never speak any such words."
Al-Bayhaqi related from various sources that his meaning was that he witnessed those who saluted idols, and that that was before God made revelation to him. But God knows best.
We previously repported a tradition from Zayd b. Haritha to the effect that he abstained from witnessing the ceremonies of the polytheists until God honoured him with His mission.
It is established in the tradition that he did not participate in the assembly at al-Muzdalifa during the night on Mt. 'Arafat. Indeed he did not assemble with the people at 'Arafat.
Similarly Yunus b. Bukayr said, from Muhammad b. Ishaq, that 'Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to him, from 'Uthman b. Abu Sulayman, from Nafi' b. Jubayr b. Mut'im, form his father Jubayr who said, "I saw the Messenger of God (SAAS) while he was a member of his people's religion. He would station himself there on a camel of his at 'Arafat, among his people until he raced away with them, God the Almighty and Glorious giving him blessing thereby."
Al-Bayhaqi stated, "The meaning of the words 'a member of his people's religion' refers to the remnants of the heritage of Abraham and Ishmael, on both of whom be peace. The Prophet (SAAS) never at any time associated with Allah any other god."
I also comment, that from these words of (al-Bayhaqi) it is to be understood that he did attend the assembly at 'Arafat before he received revelation. And it was this that was a "blessing" to him from God the Almighty and Glorious.
The Imam Ahmad related this tradition from Ya'qub, from Muhammad b. Ishaq. The words he used were: "I saw the Messenger of God (SAAS) before he received revelation while he was positioned on a camel of his with his people on 'Arafat so that he would move forward with them, this being a blessing from God."
The Imam Ahmad said that Sufyan related to him, from 'Amr, from Muhammad b. Jubayr b. Mut'im, from his father, saying, "I lost track of a camel of mine in the 'Urana valley (close to 'Arafat) and went off to look for it. I found the Prophet (SAAS) in the assembly there. I said, 'He's one of the hums (a word used for Quraysh). What's he doing here?'"
They both derived this from a tradition of Sufyan b. 'Uyayna to that effect.
- Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya) Volume I
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
There has now come to you a Messenger from among yourselves; grievous to him is your suffering; anxious is he over you; toward the believers kind and compassionate. (9:128)
Miraculous Events Attending the Blessed Prophet's Birth
Not only the idols in the Ka'ba but all the idols in the world fell on their faces and were broken on the eve of our Master's birth. On that night the fires of the Magians were totally extinguished for the first time in a thousand years, leaving not a trace of heat. Lake Sava disappeared into the earth leaving not a trace of water behind. It seemed as though a sudden heatware had made it all evaporate. Nothing but dust arose when people walked across it. Fourteen of the twenty-two battlements of Chosroes' palace collapsed. The throne of Anushirwan, the Persian emperor, also collapsed that night. A terrible fear possessed him and when morning came, he assembled all his astrologers, diviners and soothsayers. "I had a terrible dream last night.” he said. "Interpret it for me." When the soothsayers asked him about what he had seen, Anushirwan replied, "I shall not tell you what I saw. You must tell me, otherwise I shall not believe your interpretation." They told him that this was beyond their power and said: "There is a diviner in Bahrayn, by the name of Rabir ibn Rabi'a; ask him." Anushirwan then sent one of his men, called 'Abd al-Masih, to this diviner, who had not a single bone in his body. They called him "Flat Man" because he always lay on a board. He could not sit up, having no bones at all apart from his skull. He was very old. That Flat Man was a scholar who had studied all the heavenly scriptures. He was also an expert in the science of divination.
Once each year they would put him upon a sheet of gold and take him out to hear him give his predictions for the coming year. They would write down his prophecies and commit them to memory.
The "Flat Man" Interprets the Emperor's Dream
Anushirwan's servant, 'Abd al-Masih, happened to reach Bahrayn on the very day when the Flat Man was due to come out of his cell. His very first utterance was an interpretation of King Chosroes' dream. Although 'Abd al-Masih had not even spoken to him, he related Chosroes' dream and interpreted it.
He described the fourteen battlements of Chosroes' palace and the drying up of Lake Sava, as well as the extinguishing of the pyrolaters' fire. He announced that Anushirwan, emperor of the Medes and Persians, had dreamt a terrible dream in which Arab horses and dromedaries had come and filled the city of Meda'in, driving out his own camels. He interpreted this dream as follows: "A Prophet has been born in the city of Mecca. His name is Muhammad [Allah bless him and give him peace]. He is the most noble descendant of the venerable Abraham, and the last of the Prophets. That most holy being is a Messenger whose pure character and noble qualities and attributes are praised and extolled in the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms and all the other heavenly scriptures. From this day on, all the divination of the diviners on the world has been rendered void, for Satan has been denied access to heaven. The king of esoteric knowledge has arrived. As for the interpretation of Anushirwan's dream, the Arab horse and the Arabs mounted on dromedaries are the companions of this newborn Messenger. These men are destined to conquer that city and country, driving out the people of Anushirwan. Such is the meaning of the dream.
"As for the collapse of fourteen of the battlements of Chosroes' palace, leaving eight intact, this is a sign that eight emperors will follow Anushirwan before that country is conquered by the Arabs. What is indicated by the extinguishing of the pyrolaters' fires and the drying up of Lake Sava is that many of the Magians, Jews and Christians will attain right guidance through the final Prophet, while those who do not will be scattered in disarray. It is indicated that when that glorious Messenger comes, he will illumine the whole world with the Light of Faith."
Having uttered these words, the Flat Man spent a long time weeping. "Little remains of my life,” he said. "Flat Man will not survive to announce the mission of that glorious Prophet. That is the reason for my tears."
Anushirwan's servant, 'Abd al-Masih, noted down and memorized everything he heard Flat Man say, then came and reported to his Master. Anushirwan was pleased with the news; eight rulers would succeed him; eight reigns he reckoned, would cover a hundred and fifty or two hundred years. However, it did not turn out that way. The eight rulers came and went in a short space of time, the venerable Caliph 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, wiped the Persian Kingdom from the map of the world and the Sasanid dynasty became extinct.
The companions of Allah's Messenger occupied Meda'in, driving out the fire-worshippers. Iran was ennobled with Islam.
Many signs and portents marked the noble birth of Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. Hundreds of books would be needed to record all the marvels associated with our Master from his origin as Primal Light until the time when his venerable mother, Amina, brought him physically to birth.
The Months of the Venerable Amina Pregnancy
The venerable Amina tells us: "It was the month of Rajab when I realized that I was pregnant with Muhammad. One night, a being suddenly entered the room where I happened to be. I had never seen this before. He had a lovely face and a graceful body. I trembled with fright. Peering into my heart, he pointed to the innocent in my womb and gave the salutation: "Peace be upon you, O Muhammad! Peace be upon you O Ahmad!" I asked: "Who are you, sire?" and that noble being disappeared, saying: "I am Adam the Pure, Father of Mankind. I came to congratulate you. Good news and glad tidings to you, O Amina. You are carrying Allah's beloved, the prince of humankind!"
"In the second month, i.e. the month of Sha'ban, a being suddenly appeared to me again one day. This most holy being was bathed in light. Pointing at me and the infant in my womb, he said: "Peace be upon you, utterly beloved! Peace be upon you, ultimately sought!" In fear, I asked him: "Who are you?" and he replied: "Fear not, O Amina. I am Prophet Seth. I came to congratulate you. O Amina, you are carrying the beautiful Prophet and glorious Messenger." Having said these words he vanished.
"In the third month of my pregnancy, an imposing and radiant being again came in one day. Peering into my heart, he gave the salutation: "Peace be upon you, O Enwrapped One (ya muzzammilu). Peace be upon you, O Cloaked One (ya muddaththiru)." When I asked him: "Who are you, sire?" he disappeared saying: "I am the Prophet Idris. Congratulations to you, O Amina! You are carrying the leader of all the Messenger, the venerable and glorious Prophet, on him be blessings of the All Merciful One."
"In the fourth month, there suddenly appeared to me one day a most holy individual, dark-skinned, handsome and radiant of countenance. Looking into my heart, he pointed to the infant in my womb and gave the salutation: "Peace be upon you, O Purest of Creatures!" "Who are you, sire?" I asked. "Be not afraid of me,” he said. "I am the venerable Noah. I came to offer my congratulations to you, O Amina! My felicitations on your being pregnant with the praiseworthy Prophet, the glorious Prophet who is the master of victory and triumphs."
"In the fifth month, again one day there appeared to me a being of perfect beauty, his face all bright with light. Looking into my heart, he indicated the child in my womb and gave the greeting: "Peace be upon you, O Adornment of the Messengers! Peace be upon you, O Seal of the Prophets!" When I asked who he was, that illuminated being replied: "I am the Prophet Hud. I have been sent to greet you with good tidings. Congratulations to you, O Amina! You are carrying the praiseworthy Prophet, Allah's beloved who is the master of munificence and generosity." Then he disappeared.
"In the sixth month, a radiant being again appeared to me. He looked at my breast, pointed to the infant in my womb and gave the greeting: "Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! Peace be upon you, O beloved of Allah!" When I asked him who he was, he vanished, saying: "I am Allah's special friend, the Prophet Abraham. I was sent to bring you glad tidings. Good news, O Amina! You are carrying the glorious Prophet, the ultimate Messenger, beautiful of countenance."
"In the seventh month, it again happened that I saw a charming being with comely countenance. He peered into my heart, pointed to the child in my womb and gave the salutation: "Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah! Peace be upon you, O Choice of Allah!" I asked who he was and he said, as he disappeared: "I am the Prophet Ishmael, sent to greet you with good news. Congratulations to you, O Amina! You are carrying the gentle Prophet, a Messenger whose lineage is sound, in speech most eloquent, in worth pre-eminent."
"In the eighth month, a radiant being again appeared. He was tall of stature and his face was shining bright. He looked into my heart, pointed to the infant in my womb and gave the greeting: "Peace be upon you, O beloved of Allah, the All-Forgiving! Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah, the Irresistible!" When I asked him who he was, that being said: "I am the venerable Moses. Good tidings and congratulations to you, O Amina! You are carrying that ultimate Messenger who is chief of the descendants of 'Adnan, the Prophet to whom was revealed the Qur'an, he who is perfected by al-Rahman [the All-Merciful]." Then he disappeared.
"In the ninth month, another being appeared to me. His clothing was of wool. His face was radiant. Looking into my heart, he pointed out to the innocent in my womb and gave the salutation: "Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah. Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah!" When I asked who he was, that most holy being replied: "I am Jesus, son of Mary. I am the Messiah, sent to bring you good tidings and felicitations. Congratulations to you, O Amina! You are carrying the Lord's beloved, who is a mercy to the universe. Make ready, for the time to give birth is very near at hand!" With these words he disappeared.
This did the venerable Amina learn the good tidings of the noble coming of the Lord's beloved. Up until the year in which the venerable Amina became pregnant with the Most Noble Messenger, it had been a time of unprecedented scarcity on Mecca. A violent wind swept the land. But when the Lord's beloved was conceived in his mother's womb, God, Exalted is He, granted the people a blessed respite in his honor. The wind dropped and the rains came. People recovered their peace of mind and were happy again. The Arabs even called that year the "Year of Plenty" (sanatu-lfitahl). Through the fortunate and blessed influence of our Master, the women who became pregnant that year all bore male children and were very happy. For male children were prized by the Arabs in the Age of Ignorance, while they would sometimes kill baby girls.
- Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi, Irshad (Wisdom of a Sufi Master)
Saturday, April 03, 2004
Love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad
And know that the loftiest of exemplars, the most noble and the greatest and the most binding to all Muslims is the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace: verily he is by unanimous agreement the Greatest Exemplar. And the obligation due to him is the greatest after that of Allah; and the adab
with him the most emphasised of the adab
and obediences. For whosoever loves him and immensely esteems him, he has indeed loved Allah and whosoever obeys him has indeed obeyed Allah. Says Allah, the Exalted: "Say, if ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. For Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful"
(al-'Imran: 31). And says the Exalted: "He who obeys the Apostle, obeys Allah"
(an-Nisaa: 80). And says the Exalted: "So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in punishment"
(al-Hashr: 7). And says the Exalted: "Then let those beware who withstand the Apostle's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous Penalty be inflicted on them"
And says the Exalted: "Verily, those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah, Allah will soon grant him a great reward"
(al-Fat'h: 10). And says the Exalted: "So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him and follow the light which is sent down with him - it is they who will prosper"
(al-A'araf: 157). And says the Exalted: "O who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not. Those who lower their voice in the presence of Allah's Apostle - their hearts has Allah tested for piety: for them is Forgiveness and a great reward"
And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "One of you does not believe until I become dearer to him than the soul that lies between the two sides"
And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "One of you does not believe until his desire follows what I have come with"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace of Allah: "Were Musa and Isa alive, they cannot but follow me"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "Whosoever obeys me, has indeed obeyed Allah and whosoever disobeys me has indeed disobeyed Allah"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "All of you will enter paradise except those who refuse"
. And they said: "And who refuses?"
And said he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "Whoever obeys me enters Paradise, and whosoever disobeys me has indeed refused"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "Who annoys me, annoys Allah and whosoever annoys Allah, He puts him into Hell"
And what goes to perfect love to him and high esteem and beneficient adab towards him, blessings and peace be upon him, is love for the people of his house and his companions, esteem for them and respect. Says Allah, the Exalted: "Say (O Prophet): no reward do I ask of you except the love of those near of kin"
And says the Exalted: "The vanguard (of Islam), the first of those who foresook (their home) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) who followed them in (all) good deeds - well-pleased is Allah with them, as they are with Him"
And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace of Allah: "Love Allah for such of His bounties as He nourishes you with, and love me because you love Allah and love the people of my House because you love me"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace to 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: "Iman does not enter the heart of one until they love you for the sake of Allah and for your nearness to me"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace, to Fatima and 'Ali and al-Hassan and al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with them: "I am at war with those you are at war with and at peace with those you are at peace with"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace, in the hadith of Zayd bin Arqam, may Allah be pleased with them: "And my issues are the people of my house. I remind you, in the Name of Allah, about people of my house"
. And says Abubakr, may Allah be pleased with him: "Have a conscientious regard to Muhammad in the people of his house"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "Uphold me in my companions; do not take them as targets after me; whosoever loves them loves them because of my love; and whosoever is disaffected against them is disaffected against them because of disaffection against me; and whosoever molests them has indeed molested me; and whosoever molests me has indeed invoked the wrath of Allah and whoever invokes the wrath of Allah risks penalty from Him"
. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: "Do not abuse my companions. Verily, in the Name of Him in Whose Hands my soul is: were one of you to spend the like of the mountain of Uhud in gold he would not attain the rank of one of them, not even half of it"
Let a Muslim who is solicitous about his religion therefore beware of hating a member of the house of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or one of his companions because that harms his religion and his Hereafter. And because of it, he gets counted among those who offend His Prophet and annoy him, Allah bless him and grant him peace. Let him love them and praise them on account of good (in them) in the same manner as Allah has praised them as well as His Apostle.
-Imam 'Abdallah Ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad, An All Out Call to Islam and a General Admonition (ad-Da'wah at-Taammah wat-Tadhkirah al-'Aammah)
Thursday, May 22, 2003
The Sunna is the Second Source of the Shari'a
You have learnt that the Sunna
consists of the sayings, acts and acknowledgement of the Messenger of God (may God bless him and his Family, and grant them peace). You should be aware that the Sunna
is an unrecited revelation [wahy ghayr matlu
]. God has said (Exalted is He!), He does not speak from his own desire; it is only an inspired revelation.
[53:3] And He has said, He has sent down upon you the Book and the Wisdom, and taught you that which you did not know. The favour of God upon you has ever been great.
[4:113] The "Book" is the Qur'an, and the "Wisdom" [hikma
] is the Sunna
. They were sent down through revelation [wahy
] and inspiration [ilham
]. The Qur'an stands distinguished [from the hikma
] in that its words were revealed by God in their Arabic form. It is a miracle which humans cannot emulate, for no one can imitate it or compose anything which resembles even the shortest of its Suras
: a miracle spanning the ages, protected from changes and interpolations. The Qur'an is possessed of other properties which do not hold good for the Sunna
, such as the fact that its mere recitation brings a reward from God, and that it is forbidden to paraphrase it, and that touching or carrying it when in a state of impurity is forbidden. Hadiths, whether Qudsi
or not, are not possessed of such properties.
is a clarification and explanation of the Qur'an. God has said (Exalted is He!), We have sent the Remembrance down upon you, that you may make clear to mankind that which was sent down to them, in order that they may reflect.
[16:44] The Prophet (may God bless him and his Family, and grant them peace) elucidated and explained in detail, in his words, actions, and approval - or otherwise - of other people's acts, what had been set forth in more general terms in the Book. For example, the number of rak'as
in each Salat
, their times, conditions, and the sunnas
; the threshholds of zakat
, and on what kind of assets it is payable; similarly the fast, the rites of the Hajj
, their foundations, conditions, what invalidates them, and many other things. The Sunna
furnishes us with rules which are not mentioned in detail in the Book, concerning transactions, courtesies, moral traits, and virtues which regulate people's lives. These have been handed down from the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), whom God has commanded us to imitate. God has said (Exalted is He!), In the Messenger of God you have a good example, for those who set their hope in God and the Last Day
[33:21] and Say: if you love God, follow me and God will love you.
[3:31] The obedient bondsman who follows the example of the Greatest Beloved, (may God bless him and his Family, and grant them peace), becomes beloved by God, by virtue of his love of His beloved.
He saw Layla and shunned all others.
A lover who sees beauty only in her
Has won, and gained a great kingdom
if she sees him in the way he sees her.
God the Exalted has said, Obey God and the Messenger. If you turn away, Our Messenger's task is only to convey clearly,
[64:12] and Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed God,
[4:80] and Take whatever the Messenger gives you, and refrain from what he has forbidden you.
[59:7] What matters in each of these verses is the generality of the instructions, not the particular occasion on which each of them was revealed; therefore every instruction and prohibition which he gave constitutes a general principle. There are many other verses and many Hadiths in which this is made clear. For instance the Prophet said (may God bless him and his Family, and grant them peace), "The whole of my Umma shall enter the Garden except those who refuse."
Upon being asked, "And who are those who refuse, O Messenger of God?"
he said, "Those who obey me shall enter the Garden, and those who disobey me shall have refused."
And God the Exalted has said, No, by your Lord! They shall not be believers until they make you the judge in their disputes, and then find no annoyance within themselves at what you decide, and submit entirely,
[4:65] and Let those who conspire to disobey his orders beware lest a trial afflict them, or a painful torment.
In His Book, God the Exalted has commanded that the Sunna
of His Prophet be followed. This was made a duty and an obligation, and therefore no faith can be sound without it. To deny that the Sunna
is to be followed is kufr
, because it is a denial of what has been stated in the Qur'an. This is the reason why the Muslims have taken such great care with Hadith, from the days of the Companions until the present. As already mentioned, these were recorded, and transmitted verbally and in writing, and researched in the most profound manner as regards their memorisation, accuracy, recording, and freedom from flaws. Only those whose faith in the one who brought the Sunna
was defective would detract from its value or snub it; by so doing they would set themselves outside the consensus, method and doctrine of the Muslims, and would show themselves to be ignorant of Islam, or its blatant enemies.
-Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad, Key to the Garden (Miftah al-Jannah)