The Glories and Reality of Muhammad and His Followership (blessings and peace be upon him)
[His Eminence, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered his keynote speech on “The Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) and his Standard Followership” on the eve of 35th International Mawlid-un-Nabi (blessings and peace be upon him) Conference held at the Greater Iqbal Park on November 20, 2018, the intervening night of the 11th and 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal C.E. 1440. The contents of this treatise have been taken from his unique, most informative and enlightening address, supplemented by references and additions from his various books on the subject.]
Translated by Shaykh Abdul Aziz Dabbagh (Sqn. Ldr. Retd.),
NNA Research, MQI
وَأَحْسَنُ مِنْكَ لَمْ تَرَ
وَأَجْمَلُ مِنْكَ لَمْ تَلِدِ النِّسَاءُ
خُلِقْتَ مُبَرَّأً مِنْ كُلِّ
كَأَنَّكَ قَدْ خُلِقْتَ كَمَا تَشَاءُ
1. The Glories of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)
The divine personage of the final Messenger of Allah, Muhammad the merciful (blessings and peace be upon him) has three stations of glory and reverence. The two of these divine glories are such that those who know strongly believe in them as well. Each of these two stations has a known and an unknown aspect too. Over and above these two glories is the third one, which is beyond human capacity of knowing and understanding.
We start with the third one called “The Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)”. No human being knows the reality of Muhammad. The humans are not born with the capability to know his reality; human potentials and faculties of head and heart are too feeble and limited to encroach on this region of intellectual and spiritual expedition. This is the greatest secret of the realm of divinity, the chief unknown reality and the ultimate mystery maintained by the Creator. We can only put our faith in it but do not possess any means to know it.
2. Compatibility with the Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)
However, all the Prophets and the Messengers Almighty Allah raised benefited from “The Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)”. The benefit each of the foregoing Prophets realized from his divine reality was commensurate with the glory and status of each one of them bestowed upon the one by God. The ratio of the benefit awarded to each Prophet was compatible with the potential reality of Prophethood he possessed in proportion to its congruence or consistency with “The Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)”. When Almighty Allah stopped sending the Prophets and Messengers to humanity after His Final Messenger Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), he opened this route of divine benefit from “The Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)” to the saints, the revivalists, the pious and the exalted servants of Muhammad’s Community. Each of the saints and the divines of the Muslim Umma now receives benefit and favour from the reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) according the formula practised with the Prophets: it is compatible with his spiritual potential, status, disposition, proclivity and penchant for the reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). This award of divine profit to the pious continues unabated.
2.1 Al-Lawh al-Mahfuz
To our surprise, “The Reality of Muhammad” connotes al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Protected Tablet) as well. What is known to us so far, al-Lawh al-Mahfuz is but a station and a grade of the divine knowledge of Allah, All-knowing. Calling it the Reality of Muhammad is a unique phenomenon that we are not acquainted with.
Nevertheless, we can understand it by pondering over the statement of ‘A’isha Siddiqa (may Allah be well pleased with her). When asked about the conduct and morality of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him), she said,
كَانَ خُلُقُهُ الْقُرْآنَ.
“His morality is the Qur’an itself.”
[Set forth by •Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 6, pp. 91, 163, 216.]
Whoever seeks to learn about his manners, proprieties and conduct, he should look into the Qur’an. It means his morality is the Qur’an and the Qur’an is Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him).
The Qur’an is the revealed book of Allah. Gabriel brought it down to him as Allah Most High desired. As quoted above, ‘A’isha Siddiqa (may Allah be well pleased with her) has declared that the Qur’an is Muhammad’s morality and conduct. When we attempt to know about the holy personage of the Messenger of Allah, we need to turn towards the divine source, last revealed book of Almighty Allah—the Qur’an. We can understand the Qur’an by knowing Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him); we can also become aware of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) by learning the Qur’an.
Does this equation of the Qur’an and Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) negate the reality of the Qur’an? Does it belie the truth or the identity of the Qur’an as the revealed book of God? Nay, not at all! The Qur’an is the Qur’an, the Revealed Book of God! However, this equation has uncovered the unique glory of the Qur’an as it has been given the title of the Morality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)! Declaring the Qur’an the Morality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), as ‘A’isha Siddiqa (may Allah be well pleased with her) has pronounced, does not negate the reality of the Qur’an for the Qur’an was revealed to (inscribed on) the heart of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him).
In like manner, the reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) is al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Protected Tablet). This does not negate or modify the reality of al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Protected Tablet). Its existence continues as it is with the manifestation of an additional connotation i.e. the reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him).
The Qur’an is the revealed book of God and a document on the morality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) at the same time. Allah Most Exalted has called the Qur’an, “the Enlightening Book” in the following verse:
﴿قَدْ جَاءَكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ﴾
“There has indeed come to you a light from Allah (i.e., Muhammad [(blessings and peace be upon him)]) and an Enlightening Book (i.e., the Holy Qur’an).” [Q.5:15)
In the verse 59 of Sura al-An‘am, al-Lawh al-Mahfuz has also been called kitab mubin—the Enlightening Book:
﴿وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾
“With Him (under His control and possession) are the keys of the unseen (i.e., the ways and means by which the unseen is disclosed to someone); no one (by one’s own effort) knows them but He. And He knows (directly) whatever is in the land and in the sea. And not a leaf falls but He knows it. There is not a grain in the folds of the earth’s darkness, nor anything green or dry but (has been recorded) in the enlightening Book.”
All the keys of unseen are in the control, authority and possession of the Almighty Allah. Whether in rivers or seas or on land—a grain in the folds of the earth’s darkness or some amazing deep sea alien entity—there is nothing out of the sphere of His knowledge. He is All-knowing. Not a leave drops without His knowledge. There is nothing of the realms of being and nothingness but its knowledge is contained in the Enlightening Book—al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Protected Tablet). This is also revealed in Sura Yunus:
﴿وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَن رَّبِّكَ مِن مِّثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلاَ أَصْغَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ وَلا أَكْبَرَ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾
“And not even the smallest particle in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from (the knowledge of) your Lord. Nor anything smaller or bigger than that (i.e., smallest particle) is there but is (recorded) in the clear Book (the Protected Tablet [al-Lawh al-Mahfuz]).” [Q.10:61]
2.2 The Effulgent Heart of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), the Qur’an and al-Lawh al-Mahfuz
So both the Qur’an and al-Lawh al-Mahfuz are called kitab mubin, the Enlightening Book. Here, the Qur’an declares:
﴿بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ (21) فِي لَوْحٍ مَّحْفُوظٍ (22)﴾
“It is indeed the Glorious Qur’an, (inscribed) in the very Well-guarded Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuz).” [Q.85:21–22]
On another occasion, Allah has revealed:
﴿فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ﴾
“He (Gabriel) is the one who has brought (the Qur’an) down upon your heart only by Allah’s command.” [Q.2:97]
On the one hand, it has been revealed that the Qur’an is very well guarded in al-Lawh al-Mahfuz and on the other it has been declared that it has been inscribed and safeguarded in the illumined heart of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). Therefore, the belief that the Qur’an is well protected in the Well-guarded Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuz) but insecure in the heart of Muhammad is absurd and void of reason. al-Lawh al-Mahfuz is the station where the Qur’an is inscribed whether in the realm of divinity or the divinely illumined heart of the exalted Messenger in Medina. Allah Most exalted declared His Final Messenger al-Lawh al-Mahfuz. So when the mother of believers, ‘A’isha Siddiqa (may Allah be well pleased with her) was asked about his moral being—attributes, eminence and character traits—she categorically declared him the Qur’an incarnate. The entire Qur’an is the divine depiction of Muhammad’s morality and character. Muhammad is the Qur’an and the Qur’an is Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)—the evident, clear, open, illumining and enlightening Book. The Qur’an is inscribed both in al-Lawh al-Mahfuz and the effulgent heart of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). The Qur’an is the title, heading or caption of Muhammad’s morality, life conduct and proprieties. The one station of al-Lawh al-Mahfuz is where Allah’s Knowledge is incised and inscribed and His Effulgence is veiled while the other station of al-Lawh al-Mahfuz is Muhammad’s illumined heart. This is the Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) that the whole of the universe is benefitting and profiting from since its inception and will continue receiving his divine favours even beyond time. Everyone takes the favour and gains of Muhammad’s support, mercy and bequest according to their own capacity, competence and capability. Whoever gained any spiritual status and enhancement received favours of the same Reality of Muhammad—the glory that neither human perception and intellect nor any extra-sensory perception (ESP) or out-of-body experience (OBE) can fathom. It is beyond the capacity of spiritual, psychic, intellectual or physical human apparatus.
3. The Glory of being Allah’s Beloved Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him)
Two of the exalted Messenger’s glories are such as human comprehension can gauge and grasp. One of these two of his grandeurs is his relationship with Allah as His Final Prophet and Messenger. This is the extrinsic and perceptible aspect of this divine relationship. It has its intrinsic aspect which is his relationship with the Essence of Allah as His Beloved. That is the Messenger’s glory of being Allah’s beloved and focal light of His Divine Creation.
Extrinsically, as the Messenger and Prophet of Allah, he would receive His revelation, the Qur’an, knowledge, commands, prudence, divine strategy, awareness of the celestial and terrestrial worlds and the light of guidance for all the worlds.
Intrinsically, as the Messenger and Prophet of Allah, he would receive Allah’s love, esteem, veneration, favours, magnificence, majesty, proximity, and enhancement of his name, remembrance, reverence and stature. Allah would connect his name with His fame and remembrance, raise him to the heights of glory as His Beloved Messenger, and command the realms of light, the angles and the realms of His material Creation to join Him in invoking blessings and greetings on His exalted Beloved.
As Messenger, he would receive from Allah knowledge, prudence, commands, guidance and strategies to spread the Divine Message and put Islam in force. He would receive all that through the door of Prophethood. Through the door of love as Allah’s Beloved, he would attain nearness to the Lord of Love, magnificence and majesty, enhancement and praise as His revered Messenger. Both these stations are blended in him as Allah’s Beloved Messenger.
These two aspects of Allah’s Beloved Messenger pertain to his relationship with Allah. Both Prophethood and status as Allah’s Beloved are rooted in this relationship with the Lord of Divinity. Allah would bestow on him divine guidance, revelations, commands and prudence through the door of Messengership while showering on him proximity, love, esteem, majesty, praise and blessings which would transpire through the door of Divine Love. These two extrinsic and intrinsic aspects of his glory portray his relationship with Allah.
4. The Human Glory of Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him)
The glory of Allah’s Beloved Messenger also lies in his relationship with Creation. That is the human aspect of his effulgent and divinely illumined being. We have seen that the Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) is Light where the Qur’an, which is Light unveiled, has been inscribed and his heart has been elevated as al-Lawh al-Mahfuz, the station of knowledge of Allah’s Divine Being. Allah has Himself described this Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) in the Qur’an:
﴿نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ﴾
“(So it) is Light upon Light (i.e., the Light of Prophethood upon the Light of the Holy Essence, denoting a Self-Embodying double Light). Allah takes to (the gnosis of) His Light whom He wills.” [Q.24:35]
Apart from this glory, he enjoys intimate relationship with Allah as His Messenger as well as Beloved. The divine light floods him through these gates of relationship with his Creator, the Almighty Allah. The light created by the Creator Who is Light—his glory as human being is unfolded in his relationship with humanity.
It is through his human self that human beings of all eras and times can establish a link with him and gain light, which he has been illumined with, in and out. Allah, the angels and all the realms of light can interact with him as light, while the humans cannot approach light like that in order to obtain benefits and favours. Thank God that he is a human being as well. So we can establish our link with him, connect him and seek benefits, blessings and favours from him according to our individual capacities. This door of his human status has been opened for us humans to earn affinity with his exalted and effulgent human self. Had it not been so, we would never have had any chance to know him or be known to him and set up our human connection with him. In the Qur’an, Allah has categorically called raising him as a Messenger His great favour to humanity:
﴿لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾
“Indeed, Allah conferred a great favour on the believers that He raised amongst them (the most eminent) Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) from amongst themselves, who recites to them His Revelations, purifies them, and educates them on the Book and Wisdom though, before that, they were in manifest error.” [Q.3:164]
5. From amongst Human Beings
The phrase ‘from amongst themselves’ bears special significance. This connotes that he has been raised as a human being amongst human beings. The objective of raising him from amongst humans was to enable him to contact human world to spread the light of divine guidance in the world and bring about enlightenment all over the globe. For this purpose, he would recite to them Allah’s Revelations, purify them, and educate them on the Book and Wisdom. Finally, he would rescue them from the manifest error they had been practising for ages. So we enjoy a blissful link with him owing to his exalted and glorious human status. The Qur’an has emphasized this point on a number of occasions. Sura al-Tawba unfolds:
﴿لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾
“Surely, a (Glorious) Messenger from amongst yourselves has come to you. Your suffering and distress (becomes) grievously heavy on him (a). (O mankind,) he is ardently desirous of your (betterment and guidance. And) he is most (deeply) clement and merciful to the believers.” [Q.9:128]
Allah addresses humanity that He has sent His Beloved Messenger to them from amongst themselves. As a compassionate, benevolent and sympathetic human, he is supreme and extremely helpful, clement and merciful in times of distress. He is ill at ease when finds humans derailed from the straight path and undergoes grievous sufferings. He wants to pull them out of all miseries and troubles, purify them, and bring them closer to the Divine reality. This is through the door of his human existence that we are able to approach his presence and develop relationship with him. That is his glory and reverence, which has proved a blessing for all those who love him more than even their lives, follow him, obey his commands and observe his prohibitions to attain his proximity and nearness to Allah.
By virtue of his human glory, we get from him his pious practices called Sunna, and his beautiful and perfect model of life-conduct called Sira. The Qur’an says:
﴿لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا﴾
“In truth, in (the sacred person of) Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) there is for you a most perfect and beautiful model (of life).” [Q.33:21]
We learn from his noble manners how to move about in society, meet people, talk to them, sit and stand among them, hold meetings and discuss matters of social interests, the refined manners of taking food and serving food to the needy, the style of his family life, and how to face odds with patience, tolerance and steadfastness. This and the entire human life and its vicissitudes are the subjects we learn from his Sunna and Sira, which we benefit from his human existence amongst the human society. Raising him as the final Messenger of Allah from amongst us humans is a boon for us. Had it not been so, we could never see him, listen to him, sit with him, seek guidance from him, and follow in his lustrous footsteps. If we are connected or linked with him, it is through his human self. His beautiful and perfect model of life is a human and this-worldly model and not a superhuman, otherworldly, supernatural or celestial model, nor of a being from the realms of light and divinity.
This is Allah’s supreme favour bestowed upon humanity that He raised his Beloved Messenger from amongst us humans. This favour has opened for us the door of nearness to His Final Messenger so that we may establish link with him. The angels or any other creation of the realm of light can connect with him through the door of Prophethood or divine light. However, we cannot link up with him through the connecting door of light. Our contact with him is possible through his human existence alone. Whatever the Prophet receives from the Realm of Light through the doors of Messengership and the status of Allah’s Beloved, he communicates to us through the connecting door of human contact. He receives from the Divine through his divine self to impart to humans through his human self.
6. The Communication Phenomena
Some scientist, philosopher or PhD scholars cannot impart instructions to an elementary school student. The compatible level of knowledge and understanding matters. That level has yet to gain maturity. The teacher would certainly go down to the level of the beginner’s intelligence quotient. A mother is a better instructor of her child as compared to the father. The motherly warmth, affection and lowering herself connects both. She communicates to the child, negating her own level making it compatible with that of the child. Both the giver and the receiver have to strike an equation for an effective give and take. Missing the equation means missing the communication. Had it not been so inevitable, Allah would not have raised Prophets. Rather He would have conveyed His guidance directly to humans and revealed to them His commands and prohibitions, eliminating the mediating link and directly disseminating His knowledge, orders and wisdom to His servants. The Prophet’s mediation would not have been essential then—Gabriel coming down to the Messenger with the revelation for its onward communication to humanity.
However, the Qur’an has declared communication phenomena:
﴿وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ﴾
“And every man does not have the faculty that Allah should speak to him (directly) except by Revelation (He bestows upon some the holy status of Prophethood), or (should speak) from behind a veil (as He spoke to Musa [Moses] on Mount Tur of Sinai), or by sending some angel as a messenger to reveal with His permission what Allah may will. (In any case, the medium and mediation of the communication of Allah’s Word for mankind is none but the Prophet and the Messenger.) Surely, He is Most High, Most Wise.” [Q.42:51]
A human has no power, capability or apparatus to speak to Allah or receive His speech. Moses wanted to see Allah but Allah denied. Then a theophany unveiled His effulgence and the Mount Tur of Sinai turned to ashes and Moses void of senses. This serves as an example to drive it home to humans that seeing the Divine Light or Allah’s theophany is beyond human capability. One can neither see nor hear Him to receive any communication from Him. A common ground, some compatibility, equation or frequency between the giver and the receiver is necessary for communication to transpire. The equation or compatibility connects. Whatever Allah wanted to give to His Final Messenger, He gave him by means of Prophethood—the connecting door—through the status of His Beloved Messenger and by the Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him)—the Light upon His Light:
﴿نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ﴾
“(So it) is Light upon Light (i.e., the Light of Prophethood upon the Light of the Holy Essence, denoting a Self-Embodying double Light).” [Q.24:35]
Almighty Allah now required His message to reach the whole of humanity so that the human world could follow the Messenger to practice the Prophetic Sunna and obey the commands of Almighty Allah. From Allah, he would receive revelations and theophany of His Love and Guidance. On human side, he is connected to humanity and effectively transfers the love, light and guidance that humans are capable to receive through their contact with his human self. Here the compatible ground is humanity.
When he connected Allah, The Creator attired him in His Divine Hue, turning him into His deputy and delegate.
﴿صِبْغَةَ اللّهِ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللّهِ صِبْغَةً وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ﴾
“(Say that we have taken on the colour from) Allah’s own colour, and whose colour is better than Allah’s? And we worship Him alone.” [Q.2:138]
Through this hue, He cloaked him in His light, divinity, attributes and morality and integrated all these celestial contents into his personage. Through human experience, then, he blessed people with his companionship. He inculcated in them the divine colour and morphed them into humans who would spread the love and light of divine guidance all over the globe. He breathed into their souls the divinely character of Allah’s love, pathos, clemency, mercy, benevolence, tolerance, steadfastness and the supreme sentiment for upholding human values and the observance of human rights to create a blessed society.
7. “Follow Me”
Allah bestowed this exhaustive inclusiveness upon His Beloved Messenger. He ordained His Beloved Messenger to tell the people:
﴿قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾
“(O Beloved!) Say: ‘If you love Allah, follow me. Allah will then take you as (His) beloved, and forgive you your sins for you, and Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.’” [Q.3:31]
This is the Prophet’s command for humans to follow him. In return, Allah shall award them His love and nearness, forgive them their follies, secure them against damage and loss and honour them with a life of peace and dignity in this world and the Next. The word ‘follow’ has vast connotations, ranging from going after someone and accepting and acting upon instructions and advice to adopt the lifestyle of the leader, commander, guide, mentor or saviour. The followership of Allah’s Beloved Messenger, besides being a divine command, is the only way to please Allah and His Messenger, attain their proximity, bring about peace, justice and harmony in human society and earn Paradise in the Hereafter.
Allah made that possible for us by raising His Beloved Messenger from amongst us human beings. He provided us the chance to connect the blessed relationship with the Prophet to know him, his instruction, and lifestyle and ‘follow’ him in the real sense of the word. We follow him how he would sit or stand, go to sleep and wake up, eat and drink, wish others peace and pleasure, offer condolences, help the needy, do justice among parties, pass through various phases of war and peace. Following his sublime model, we travel and migrate to safe havens, endure agonies, cure bleeding wounds, experience ailment and enquire after the sick, and perform the activities that encompass the entire human life. Things become easy once we succeed connecting him. Then we find perfect guidance in all the departments of life. His model life-conduct is in front of us. That has been the Divine intent in raising His Final Messenger from amongst humans. He wanted to provide us law and legal framework to conduct ourselves with Him and with His servants and all other creatures. That was possible only through His Messenger’s Sunna and Sira. When we connect to this Sunna and Sira, we implement the ‘Follow Me’ command.
8. The Intrinsic aspect of the Prophet’s Human Self—the Glory of Servitude
The Prophet’s human status has its own glory. He appears before the Umma as a perfect and incomparable model to follow. We follow in his illumined footsteps and climb up the ladder to deliverance and salvation. Yet the other aspect of his human self is such as we do not and cannot discern. It relates to his intrinsic glory of servitude to Allah Most High. He appears to us as a matchless human model and appears before the Lord of Creation as His most exalted servant. That is his Glory of Servitude. Serving Allah to His utmost pleasure is an honour that He only conferred on His Beloved Messenger Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). Allah assigned him the mission to bring about the Islamic revolution and eliminate injustice, ignorance and violation of human rights from human society. He educated people to observe patience, tolerance, and human dignity and create integration amongst multiple faiths, groups, tribes and nationalities and live honourably, cordially and harmoniously. He received revelations and divine guidance and imparted it to his people. He held tete-e-tetes with Gabriel as Allah Almighty desired. His worship has been described in the Qur’an and hadiths elaborately. However, his Servitude to Allah remained an intrinsic glory of his contact with the Lord of Creation.
We have seen the Glories of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), the Reality of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), and the inscription of the Qur’an in al-Lawh al-Mahfuz and in his illumined heart. That is the glory of absolute furtherance of Divinity, the Light of Truth through him. This is the unseen of the unseen, the greatest of the unseen, the supreme secret, but at the same time, the fountainhead of the whole of Allah’s favour and benefit for His Creation. Then, Prophethood is another Glory of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) while the Glory of being Allah’s Beloved Messenger is blended with that. The Glory of Allah’s Servitude along with these three converges on Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) and his effulgent human self. Allah’s Light floods him through al-Lawh al-Mahfuz, the Reality of Muhammad. The Divine Light illumines him through the gateway of Prophethood. His relationship with Allah Most Benevolent as His Beloved doubly redoubles his light. The Light of Allah rains on him through the door of his Servitude. He is the Beloved Messenger raised amongst humans fully lit with the divine light, in and out.
8.1 The Perfumed Light
This flood of Light on Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) morphed his physical human organism too into Light—Allah’s Light. The Divine Light from all four vistas converged on Muhammad’s physical organism—human self, which was already subtle, pure, wholesome and unalloyed, far from any form of matter and its material properties, unlike other humans. The earthly element had affected him but little. When the Divine Light bathed him through four channels—the Reality channel, the Prophethood channel, the Beloved’s Status channel, the Servitude channel—his human organism grew into absolute Light. A human, but the food he took would never have foul smelling metabolic wastes and the feces were pleasantly fragrant, which the earth would swallow. The sweat he would perspire would smell fragrant.
8.2 The Fragrant Sweat
According to Anas b. Malik (may Allah be well pleased with him):
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يَدْخُلُ بَيْتَ أُمِّ سُلَيْمٍ رضي الله عنها فَيَنَامُ عَلَى فِرَاشِهَا وَلَيْسَتْ فِيْهِ. قَالَ: فَجَاءَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَنَامَ عَلَى فِرَاشِهَا. فَأُتِيَتْ فَقِيْلَ لَهَا: هَذَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم نَامَ فِي بَيْتِكِ، عَلَى فِرَاشِكِ. قَالَ: فَجَاءَتَ وَقَدْ عَرِقَ وَاسْتَنْقَعَ عَرَقُهُ عَلَى قِطْعَةِ أَدِيْمٍ عَلَى الْفِرَاشِ. فَفَتَحَتْ عَتِيْدَتَهَا فَجَعَلَتْ تُنَشِّفُ ذَلِكَ الْعَرَقَ فَتَعْصِرُهُ فِي قَوَارِيرِهَا. فَفَزِعَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، فَقَالَ: مَا تَصْنَعِيْنَ، يَا أُمَّ سُلَيْمٍ؟ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُوْلَ اللهِ، نَرْجُو بَرَكَتَهُ لِصِبْيَانِنَا. قَالَ: أَصَبْتِ.
“The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) used to enter the home of Umm Sulaym (may Allah be well pleased with her), and he used to sleep on her bed when she would not be home. He came one day and slept on her bed. Then she came home, so she was told: ‘This is the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him)! He is taking a nap in your house, on your bed!’ When she arrived, he had perspired, and his sweat had accumulated on a patch of leather on the bed. She therefore opened her toolbox and started wiping up that sweat, squeezing it into her long-necked bottles. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was alarmed, so he exclaimed: ‘What are you doing, O Umm Sulaym?’ She said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we will acquire blessing for our children (and will use it as perfume)!’ He said: ‘You have done the right thing!’”
[Set forth by •Muslim in al-Sahih: Bk.: al-Fada’il [Excellent Merits], Ch.: The perfume of the Prophet’s sweat (blessings and peace be upon him), and enjoying its blessing, vol. 4, p. 1815 §2331. •Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 3, p. 221 §§1334, 1339.]
Beads of sweat on the face of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) would seem like pearls. Sayyiduna Anas (may Allah be well pleased with him) says:
كَانَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أَزْهَرَ اللَّوْنِ، كَأَنَّ عَرَقَهُ اللُّؤْلُؤُ … وَلَا شَمِمْتُ مِسْكَةً وَلَا عَنْبَرَةً أَطْيَبَ مِنْ رَائِحَةِ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم.
“Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) had a very fair complexion and (the drops) of his perspiration shone like pearls, … and I never smelt musk or ambergris and found its fragrance as sweet as the fragrance of Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him).”
[Set forth by •al-Bukhari in al-Sahih, vol. 3, p. 1306 §3368. •Muslim in al-Sahih, vol. 4, pp. 1814–1815 §2330. •Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 3, pp. 228, 270 §§13405, 13887. •al-Tirmidhi in al-Sunan, vol. 4, p. 368 §2015.]
Jabir (may Allah be well pleased with him) has said:
إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم لَمْ يَسْلُكْ طَرِيْقًا أَوْ لَا يَسْلُكُ طَرِيْقًا فَيَتْبَعُهُ أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ عَرَفَ أَنَّهُ قَدْ سَلَكَهُ مِنْ طِيْبِ عَرَقِهِ أَوْ قَالَ: مِنْ رِيْحِ عَرَقِهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم.
“The path he would tread, would be so scented as everyone who would follow him could feel and know that he (the Messenger of Allah) had passed by that track. Or the narrator has said: “He would make out with the fragrance of his blessed sweat.”
[Set forth by •al-Darimi in al-Sunan, vol. 1, p. 45 §66. •al-Bukhari in al-Tarikh al-Kabir, vol. 1, p. 399 §1273.]
Anas (may Allah be well pleased with him) says:
كَانَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم إِذَا مَرَّ فِي طَرِيْقٍ مِنْ طُرُقِ الْـمَدِيْنَةِ وَجَدُوْا مِنْهُ رَائِحَةَ الطِّيْبِ، وَقَالُوْا: مَرَّ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم مِنْ هَذَا الطَّرِيْقِ.
“The track he would tread in Medina, people would find that path perfumed and would say: ‘The Messenger of Allah has trodden that path.’”
[Set forth by •al-Maqdisi in al-Ahadith al-Mukhtara, vol. 7, p. 129 §2560. •al-Suyuti in al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 67, and the wording is his.]
8.3 The Prophet’s Blessed Saliva Sweetened the Wells
Allah’s Beloved Messenger would add his saliva to the wells whose water was either bitter or poisonous. It sweetened the water, which cures numerous diseases. The Well of Rawha has some historical significance. It dates back to the times of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), more than 1400 years back. This well was initially dug as a means to provide water to the villagers there. The Muslims who used to travel through the village on their way to Mecca would drink from the well. But the water in the well was bitter. All those who drank from that well, men or animals, fell ill. Therefore, they stopped using this water. Going to Badr, the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) and his Companions stopped by this village. However, the villagers told them not to drink the well’s water, as it was poisonous. So the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) spat into the well, and the water instantly turned sweet. Some even say that it has healing properties, hence the name, Well of Cure or Water of Cure. Many farmers have reported that they made their sick livestock drink this water and they became healthy once again.
According to a Saudi Gazette report:
There are a number of historical wells in Medina, part of the city’s Islamic heritage. The most famous among them are the wells of ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan, Khatim, Ehen and Gharas and then comes Bosa, Bidhaa and Hae wells. “Historians have mentioned these wells and their significance in texts of Islamic history. Although thousands of Muslims from all over the world visit them every year, the authorities have not taken any concrete steps to protect these valuable antiquities,” said one resident. Al-Medina Arabic daily said in a report: The Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) had drunk water from some of these wells while the Islamic army had camped near them during campaigns against enemy forces.
9. The Human Muhammad’s Reality Divine—al-Najm
No fly would fly around and touch his body. A fly only sits on physical body but cannot sit on a lighted body. The Prophet’s organism was absolutely Light incarnate and was especially exalted in the Ascension Night when His physical organism was flown to the Realms of Light and Divinity, where only Light and Spirit can enter with the sanction of Almighty Allah. The Messenger’s physical organism had purified into quintessence of the essence of Light. He reached the station, which even the angels and all creatures of Light were not permitted to cross, not even Gabriel. Muhammad’s Reality, however, which is the Supreme secret of Divinity, entered the Realm of Divinity. The Qur’an has vividly described it:
﴿وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى (7) ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى (8) فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (9) فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى (10) مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى (11) أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَى مَا يَرَى (12) وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى (13) عِندَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى (14) عِندَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى (15) إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى (16) مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى (17) لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى (18)﴾
“And he (Muhammad [blessings and peace be upon him]) was on the uppermost horizon (of the realm of creation during the Ascension Night i.e., on the apex of the created cosmos). Then He (the Lord of Honour) drew closer (to His Beloved Muhammad [blessings and peace be upon him]) and then drew even closer. Then a distance measuring only two bow-lengths was left (between Allah Unveiled and His Esteemed Beloved), or even less than that (in extreme nearness). So (on that station of nearness) He (Allah) revealed to His (Beloved) servant whatever He revealed. (His) heart did not take it contrary to what (his) eyes beheld. Do you argue with him about what he saw? And assuredly, he saw Him (Allah Unveiled) the second time (again and you argue only about seeing Him once). At the farthest Lote-Tree—Sidra al-Muntaha, adjacent to that is the Eternal Paradise—Janna al-Ma’wa, when theophanies (i.e., effulgent disclosures) of the divine light wrapped up al-Sidra (the Lote-Tree at the Far End), covering it expansively. His eye neither inclined aside nor overstepped the limit; (it gazed in ecstasy at Whom it was to gaze). Surely, he saw the greatest signs of His Lord (during the Ascension Night).” [Q. 53:7–18]
The Qur’an is the absolute Truth incised in the most purified and theophanic heart of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) lit by Allah’s light. The description of Muhammad’s ascension to the Realm of Light nearing Allah to the bow-length or even less than that in a state of ecstatic gaze has unveiled the greatest secret of Muhammad’s Reality. This station is beyond the angles’ reach; even Gabriel is disallowed to step an inch ahead of the Lote-Tree limit. Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), the Messenger and Beloved of Allah entered that Realm physically—the supreme secret of the Unseen Realm. The Qur’an has also illustrated the proximity of Muhammad with the Almighty Allah on that station of nearness—“a distance measuring only two bow-lengths was left (between Allah Unveiled and His Esteemed Beloved), or even less than that (in extreme nearness)”—then Allah “revealed to His (Beloved) servant whatever He revealed”.
10. The Human Followership of Muhammad’s Light (may Allah be well pleased with him)
We, the servants of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), are connected to our exalted Messenger through the same human self that is lit by Allah’s Light. Our connection with him is the connection with Allah. As it is stated in the Holy Qur’an:
﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ﴾
“(O Beloved!) Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you in fact pledge allegiance to Allah alone. Allah’s hand is over their hands (in the form of your hand).” [Q.48:10]
We pledge allegiance to him through implementing his Sunna and Sira. Allah then loves the obedient servant and becomes his eyes, ears, hands and feet. According to Abu Hurayra (may Allah be well pleased with him), Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَالَ: مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا، فَقَدْ آذَنْتُهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ، كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنِ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ، وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ عَنْ شَيْءٍ أَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي عَنْ نَفْسِ عَبْدِي الْمُؤْمِنِ، يَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ وَأَنَا أَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ.
“Allah said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.”
[Set forth by •al-Bukkhari in al-Sahih, vol. 4, p. 2384 §6137.]
11. The Believers’ Light
Love Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) the most and do whatever he has shown us to do and earn the proximity of Allah. The Almighty Allah has unfolded the reality of a believer who takes guidance from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) and fills his heart and soul with the light that enlightens his path to Allah’s pleasure and salvation. Allah creates in him light in which he walks and goes around spreading it for other humans saving them from darkness.
﴿أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا﴾
“Can he who was dead (i.e., devoid of faith), then We gave him life (by guidance) and created for him the light (of faith and gnosis), and (now) by means of that, he walks amongst (the rest of) the people (also to spread that light) be like the one who is steeped in the darkness of (ignorance and error in such a way) that he can by no means come out of it?” [Q.6:122]
When without light, Allah calls him dead. The light given to him enlivens him. He is now with a lamp that illumines for him all the paths. He has no similitude with the one who is without light, errs and stumbles. In the Next world too, this light will lead the believers, heading fast in front of them. The light of followership will provide them with eternal vision. The Qur’an has revealed how the believers will benefit the light of faith and the followership of Muhammad. Disbelievers and hypocrites will be in heart-rending pain, seeking the same light:
﴿يَوْمَ تَرَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَسْعَى نُورُهُم بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِم بُشْرَاكُمُ الْيَوْمَ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (12) يَوْمَ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتُ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا انظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ مِن نُّورِكُمْ قِيلَ ارْجِعُوا وَرَاءَكُمْ فَالْتَمِسُوا نُورًا فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَاهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ (13)﴾
“(O Beloved!) The Day when you will see the believing men and the believing women (of your Umma [Community]) with their light heading fast in front of them and on their right (it will be said to them:) ‘Good news to you. Today there are Gardens for you with streams flowing under them. (You) will live in them forever. That is but a great success.’ The Day when the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women will say to the believers: ‘Look towards us (also a little considerately) so that we may take some of your light,’ it will be said to them: ‘Go back and look for light (there where you used to deny the light).’ So a wall will be raised between them (just then) with a door in it. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment from that direction.” [Q.57:12-13]
That is the light Allah will bestow upon the followers of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) on the Day of Resurrection. In this world too, this light illumines their hearts and inner selves and enables them to distinguish right from wrong and tread the path to please Allah and His Beloved Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him). So Allah ordains His Beloved Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) to tell the believers:
﴿قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾
“(O Beloved!) Say: ‘If you love Allah, follow me. Allah will then take you as (His) beloved, and forgive you your sins for you, and Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.’” [Q.3:31]
Love intends to please, see and meet the beloved. It ends in the eternal and unshakable connection with the love. Allah wants His servants to follow His Beloved Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) and earn His pleasure. Allah’s servitude in fact means Muhammad’s servitude. The secret of this servitude and followership is the transmission of light that has lit Muhammad, the followers and lovers of Allah’s Beloved Messenger. The one who follows him gets that light.
12. The Prophet’s Exemplary Followership by his Companions (may Allah be well pleased with them)
For this reason, the Companions had immersed themselves in Muhammad’s followership. They learnt the secret that winning the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger is only possible by following Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), loving him more than their own selves and spreading the light of his love all around.
Love connects Allah and generates faith. Humility and humbleness strengthens and stabilizes it. Obedience and followership takes it to apex. Those rapt in love take the beloved’s hue and lose their own identity. They do things following their love’s style, sitting, standing, walking, talking, eating, drinking, wearing clothes, observing times to do various activities and all chores of life. Their priorities and preferences, likes and dislikes, friends and foes revolve around the beloved’s penchant. When all shades of one’s individuality fade into the love’s model, followership transpires.
The Companions (may Allah be well pleased with them) had attained that level. We find it abundantly reflected in hadith literature and the statements of the Companions, Successors, Followers and the pious predecessors. It is related from Umayya b. ‘Abd Allah b. Khalid that he said to ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar: “We find in the Qur’an details pertaining to prayer while resident and the prayer of fear [during battle], but we do not find anything about prayer during a journey.” Ibn ‘Umar replied to him:
يَا ابْنَ أَخِي، إِنَّ اﷲَ بَعَثَ إِلَيْنَا مُحَمَّدًا صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وَلَا نَعْلَمُ شَيْئًا وَإِنَّمَا نَفْعَلُ كمَا رَأَيْنَا مُحَمَّدًا صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يَفْعَلُ.
“O cousin! Allah sent Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) to us and we knew nothing, and we only do as we see him do!”
[Set forth by •al-Nasa’i in al-Sunan: Kitab Taqsir al-Salat fi al-Safar [Shortening the Ritual Error! Bookmark not defined.Prayer on a Journey], chapter: “Shortening the Ritual Prayer on a Journey,” vol. 3, p. 117 §1434. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Ibn Majah in al-Sunan: Kitab Iqamat al-Salat wa al-Error! Bookmark not defined.Sunna fiha [Establishment of the Ritual Error! Bookmark not defined.Prayer and the Error! Bookmark not defined.Sunna therein], chapter: “Shortening of the Ritual Error! Bookmark not defined.Prayer on a Journey,” vol. 1, p. 339 §1066.]
All the Companions modelled their acts and forms of worship on the pattern set by the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). They regarded it as the only way to obey Almighty Allah. ‘Abis b. Rabi‘a (may Allah be well pleased with him) related:
عَنْ عُمَرَ رضي الله عنه أَنَّهُ جَاءَ إِلَى الْـحَجَرِ الْأَسْوَدِ فَقَبَّلَهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ حَجَرٌ. لاَ تَضُرُّ وَلاَ تَنْفَعُ. وَلَوْلاَ أَنِّي رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يُقَبِّلُكَ، مَا قَبَّلْتُكَ.
وفي رواية: قَالَ عُمَرُ: شَيءٌ صَنَعَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فَلاَ نُحِبُّ أَنْ نَتْرُكَهُ.
“‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) approached the Black Stone and kissed it, and then said: ‘I am well aware that you are a stone; you cause no harm and you provide no benefit. If I had not seen the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) kiss you, I would not have kissed you.’”
According to another report “‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) said: ‘[It is] something the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) did, so we do not like to leave it out.’”
[Set forth by •Error! Bookmark not defined.al-Bukhari in al-Sahih: Kitab al-Hajj [The Book of Error! Bookmark not defined.Pilgrimage], chapter: “What has been Said about the Black Stone [al-Hajar Error! Bookmark not defined.al-Aswad],” vol. 2, p. 579 §§1520, 1528. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Muslim in al-Sahih: Kitab al-Hajj [The Book of Error! Bookmark not defined.Pilgrimage], chapter: “The Recommendation to Kiss the Black Stone During Circumambulation,” vol. 2, p. 925 §1270. Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 1, p. 16 §99. •Abu Dawud in al-Sunan: Kitab al-Manasik [The Book of Hajj Rites], chapter: “Kissing the Stone,” vol. 2, p. 175 §1873. •Error! Bookmark not defined.al-Nasa’i in al-Sunan: Kitab Manasik al-Hajj [The Book of Hajj Rites], chapter: “How to Kiss the Stone,” vol. 5, p. 227 §2938. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Ibn Majah in al-Sunan: Kitab Istilam al-Hajar [The Book on Touching the Stone], vol. 2, p. 981 §2943. Error! Bookmark not defined.Malik in al-Muwatta, vol. 1, p. 367 §818. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.al-Bazzar in al-Musnad, vol. 1, p. 949 §139. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Ibn Hibban in al-Sahih, vol. 4, p. 212 §2711.]
al-Miswar b. Makhrama and Marwan related:
إِنَّ عُرْوَةَ جَعَلَ يَرْمُقُ أَصْحَابَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم بِعَيْنَيْهِ. قَالَ: فَوَاللهِ، مَا تَنَخَّمَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم نُخَامَةً إِلاَّ وَقَعَتْ فِي كَفِّ رَجُلٍ مِنْهُمْ فَدَلَكَ بِهَا وَجْهَهُ وَجِلْدَهُ. وَإِذَا أَمَرَهُمُ ابْتَدَرُوْا أَمْرَهُ. وَإِذَا تَوَضَّأَ كَادُوْا يَقْتَتِلُوْنَ عَلَى وَضُوئِهِ. وَإِذَا تَكَلَّمَ خَفَضُوْا أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِنْدَهُ وَمَا يُحِدُّوْنَ إِلَيْهِ النَّظَرَ تَعْظِيْمًا لَهُ. فَرَجَعَ عُرْوَةُ إِلَى أَصْحَابِهِ فَقَالَ: أَي قَوْمِ، وَاللهِ، لَقَدْ وَفَدْتُ عَلَى الْـمُلُوْكِ، وَفَدْتُ عَلَى قَيْصَرَ وَكِسْرَى وَالنَّجَاشِيِّ، وَاللهِ، إِنْ رَأَيْتُ مَلِكًا قَطُّ يُعَظِّمُهُ أَصْحَابُهُ مَا يُعَظِّمُ أَصْحَابُ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم مُحَمَّدًا. وَاللهِ، إِنْ تَنَخَّمَ نُخَامَةً إِلاَّ وَقَعَتْ فِي كَفِّ رَجُلٍ مِنْهُمْ فَدَلَكَ بِهَا وَجْهَهُ وَجِلْدَهُ. وَإِذَا أَمَرَهُمُ ابْتَدَرُوْا أَمْرَهُ. وَإِذَا تَوَضَّأَ كَادُوْا يَقْتَتِلُوْنَ عَلَى وَضُوئِهِ. وَإِذَا تَكَلَّمَ خَفَضُوْا أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِنْدَهُ وَمَا يُحِدُّوْنَ إِلَيْهِ النَّظَرَ تَعْظِيْمًا لَهُ.
‘‘Urwa glanced at the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). He said: “By Allah, never did the Messenger of Allah (may Allah be well pleased with him) spit except that it would land in the hand of a man among them, who would then rub his face and body with it. When he would command them, they would hasten to carry out his command. When he would perform ablutions, they would almost fight each other to get his excess ablution water. When in his presence, they would speak with lowered voices. Out of awe of him, they would never stare directly at him.” When ‘Urwa returned to his people he said: “What kind of people are these? By Allah, I have been in delegations sent to kings, delegations sent to Caesar, Chosroes and Negus, but I have never seen a king who is extolled by his companions the Companions of Muhammad (may Allah be well pleased with them) extol him. By Allah, he does not spit except that it falls into the hands of one of them, who then rubs his face and body with it. If he commands them, they hasten to carry out his order. When he performs ablutions, they almost fight to get his excess ablution’s water. When they speak in his presence, they lower their voices. Out of awe of him, they never stare directly at him.’”
[Set forth by •by al-Bukhari in al-Sahih, Kitab al-Shurut [The Book of Stipulations], chapter: ‘The Stipulations Applied to Martial Jihad, Reconciliation with the Fighters and Ransom’, vol. 2, p. 974 §2581. •Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 4, p. 329. •al-Tabarani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, vol. 20, p. 9 §13. •al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 9, p. 220.]
Observing these manifestations of the Companions’ love, devotion and veneration for the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), ‘Urwa said: ‘I have seen a people who will never surrender him!’”
[Set forth by •Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 4, p. 324.]
‘Abd Allah b. Hisham (may Allah be well pleased with him) related:
كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، وَهُوَ آخِذٌ بِيَدِ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْـخَطَّابِ. فَقَالَ لَهُ عُمَرُ: يَا رَسُوْلَ الله، لَأَنْتَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيءٍ إِلاَّ مِنْ نَفْسِي، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: لاَ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، حَتَّى أَكُوْنَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ نَفْسِكَ. فَقَالَ لَهُ عُمَرُ: فَإِنَّهُ الآنَ، وَاللهِ، لَأَنْتَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ نَفْسِي. فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: اَلْآنَ، يَا عُمَرُ.
“We were together with the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and he was holding ‘Umar al-Khattab (may Allah be well pleased with him) by the hand. ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! You are surely dearer to me than everything except myself.’ So the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said: ‘No, by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, unless I am dearer to you than yourself (you cannot be a true believer)!’ ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) then said to him: ‘Now, by Allah, the Lord of Honour, you are surely dearer to me than myself!’ The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said: ‘Now, O ‘Umar! (You are a perfect believer).’”
[Set forth by •Error! Bookmark not defined.al-Bukhari in al-Sahih: Kitab al-Ayman wa al-Nudhur [The Book of Oaths and Vows], chapter: “The Nature of the Prophet’s Oath,” vol. 6, p. 2445 §6257.]
‘A’isha (may Allah be well pleased with her) related:
جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى رَسُوْلِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُوْلَ الله، إِنَّكَ لَأَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ نَفْسِي وَإِنَّكَ لَأَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ أَهْلِي وَأَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ وَلَدِي! وَإِنِّي لَأَكُوْنُ فِي الْبَيْتِ، فَأَذْكُرُكَ فَمَا أَصْبِرُ حَتَّى آتِيَكَ فَأَنْظُرُ إِلَيْكَ. وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتُ مَوْتِي وَمَوْتَكَ عَرَفْتُ أَنَّكَ إِذَا دَخَلْتَ الْـجَنَّةَ رُفِعْتَ مَعَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ، وَأَنِّي إِذَا دَخَلْتُ الْـجَنَّةَ حَسِبْتُ أَنْ لاَ أَرَاكَ. فَلَمْ يَرُدَّ إِلَيْهِ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم شَيْئًا حَتَّى نَزَلَ جِبْرِيْلُ بِهَذِهِ الْآيَةِ: ﴿وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِم...﴾. [النساء، 4/69]. فَدَعَا بِهِ فَقَرَأَهَا عَلَيْهِ.
“A man came to Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you are indeed dearer to me than myself, and you are indeed dearer to me than my family, and dearer to me than my offspring! When I am home, I keep remembering you and I cannot bear it until I come to you and behold you! When I think of your passing away and my own death, I think of how you will attain the highest station amongst the Prophets. But I am afraid that when I enter the Garden of Paradise I will be deprived of beholding your countenance.’ Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) did not give him any response, until Jibril descended with the Qur’anic verse: ‘And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him)—they are the people who shall be in the company of those (spiritual dignitaries on the Last Day) whom Allah has blessed with His (special) favour…’ [Q.4:69]. Then he summoned him and recited the verse to him.”
[Set forth by •alError! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.-Tabarani in al-Mu‘jam al-Awsat, vol. 1, p. 152 §477, and in al-Mu‘jam al-Saghir, vol. 1, p. 53 §52. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Abu Nu‘aym in Hilya al-Awliya’, vol. 4, p. 240 & in vol. 8, p. 125. •al-Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Haythami in Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 7, p. 7. •Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Ibn Kathir in Tafsir al-Error! Bookmark not defined.Qur’an al-‘Azim, vol. 1, p. 524. •al-Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2, p.182.]
‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with them) has narrated:
لَبِسَ عُمَرُ رضي الله عنه قَمِيْصًا جَدِيْدًا ثُمَّ دَعَانِي بِشَفْرَةٍ، فَقَالَ: مُدَّ يَا بُنَيَّ كُمَّ قَمِيْصِي، وَالْزَقْ يَدَيْكَ بِأَطْرَافِ أَصَابِعِي، ثُمَّ اقْطَعْ مَا فَضَلَ عَنْهَا، فَقَطَعْتُ مِنَ الْكُمَّيْنِ مِنْ جَانِبَيْهِ جَمِيْعًا، فَصَارَ فَمُ الْكُمِّ بَعْضَهُ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ. فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: يَا أَبَتَهُ، لَوْ سَوَّيْتُهُ بِالْمِقَصِّ؟ فَقَالَ: دَعْهُ، يَا بُنَيَّ، هَكَذَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يَفْعَلُ، فَمَا زَالَ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى تَقَطَّعَ، وَكَانَ رُبَّمَا رَأَيْتُ الْخُيُوْطَ تَسَاقَطُ عَلَى قَدَمِهِ.
“‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) once wore a shirt and directed me to bring a knife. He then advised me: ‘My son! Pull the sleeve of my shirt towards you, catch it at my fingertips and cut away the portion protruding beyond my fingers.’ I cut the excessive section of cloth on both the sleeves. Owing to cutting by knife, the openings of the sleeves became unequal and asymmetrical. I requested: Father! If you allow me, I cut it on both the sides with scissors to make them equal. He said: ‘My son! Leave them as they are. I saw the Messenger of Allah like that.’ Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) says: I always saw him clad in the same shirt until it tore off; I saw its threads hanging down under his feet.”
[Set forth by •Abu Nu‘aym in Hilya al-Awliya’, vol. 1, p. 45. •al-Hindi in Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 15, p. 203 §41892.]
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ رضي الله عنهما أَنَّ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أَنَاخَ بِالْبَطْحَاءِ بِذِي الْحُلَيْفَةِ فَصَلَّى بِهَا وَكَانَ عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ رضي الله عنهما يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ.
“‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) lowered aground his she-camel and offered two cycles of voluntary prayer at Dhu al-Hulayfa site (a rocky and gravelly terrain). ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) would always follow suit.”
[Set forth by •Narrated by al-Bukhari in al-Sahih, vol. 2, p. 556 §1459. •Muslim in al-Sahih, vol. 2, p. 981 §1257.]
According to another narration, Jubayr b. Nufayr has said:
خَرَجْتُ مَعَ شُرَحْبِيْلَ بْنِ السِّمْطِ إِلَى قَرْيَةٍ عَلَى رَأْسِ سَبْعَةَ عَشَرَ أَوْ ثَمَانِيَةَ عَشَرَ مِيْلًا فَصَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ. فَقَالَ: رَأَيْتُ عُمَرَ صَلَّى بِذِي الْحُلَيْفَةِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ فَقَالَ: إِنَّمَا أَفْعَلُ كَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يَفْعَلُ.
“I, along with Shurahbil b. al-Simt, went seventeen or eighteen miles out of Medina and offered two cycles of supererogatory prayer and said: I also saw ‘Umar (may Allah be well pleased with him) offering two cycles of voluntary prayer at Dhu al-Hulayfa site. On inquiry, he said: I do what I saw Allah’s Messenger doing.”
[Set forth by •Narrated by •Muslim in al-Sahih, vol. 1, p. 481 §692. •Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, vol. 1, p. 29 §198. •al-Nasa‘i in al-Sunan, vol. 3, p. 118 §1437.]
A deep study of the lives of the Companions reveals the standard followership of Allah’s Exalted Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him). Thousands of speeches, addresses and talks and over a thousand books authored by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri are a huge reservoir of valuable record and information on this subject. Those who regularly watch and listen to his addresses and read his books are certainly knowledgeable about the subject and persuade the members of their family, friends, colleagues, contacts and acquaintances to read and listen to him more and more for their own benefit and for the benefit of their kith and kin.
[Part Two of this dissertation will comprise a detailed study of the sublime, magnificent and noble moral character of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) and his high virtues—Shaykh Dabbagh]