The Rights of Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) upon Us

Thanks be to Allah, Who has sent His Messenger with the right religion (Islam) and the right guidance (Sunnah) to make it superior over all religions, even to the detest of the polytheists. Allah’s prayers, peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.

Allah has imposed a duty upon His believing slaves, as is stated in Surah Al-Anfal (8:20),

In this verse Allah has enjoined upon us a vital way of safeguarding our religion. Allah has given Himself rights that no other is to share with Him, neither a sent prophet nor an intimate angel. He also has given His Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) rights that no other creature has been given.

The Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) rights upon us are to love him, obey him, follow him, honor and respect him, with neither exaggeration nor underestimation. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Do not praise me excessively as the Christians praised the son of Mary (Maryam) (‘Alayhissalaam) excessively. I am only a human slave; therefore call me the slave of Allah and His Messenger.” [Al-Bukhari]

He has forbidden us from originating a heresy in religion and included in these heresies is celebrating his birth, which he himself didn’t practice. He neither ordered it nor acknowledged it. Regarding the person who does it, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “He who introduces in ourDeen (religion), anything which does not belong to it, shall have it rejected.” [Agreed upon]

The Love and Magnification of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)

Allah, the Exalted, has bestowed upon our Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) strong characteristics, elevated attributes and uncompromising morals, which are appealing to every Muslim. Because of this, the Muslim should show respect and honor by referring to him with the noblest titles i.e., The Messenger of Allah or the Prophet of Allah. We need to persevere in learning his Sunnah and understanding the Shari’ah.

Allah, the Most Dignified, the Most Sublime, has chosen the name “Muhammad” for His Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), which embodies praise and commendation. Thus, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is praised by Allah, Allah’s angels and the messengers (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) that preceded him. He is praised by all the inhabitants of the earth. He is praised by whoever has a mind to think, even if some of them may be arrogant or disbelievers (infidels). Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was sincere when he described himself and said, “I am the best of mankind on the Day of Resurrection, and the first whose grave will be cracked open, and I will be the first intercessor and the first whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah).” [Muslim]

One more reason our Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is praised, is for what Allah has bestowed on him of noble manners and generous attributes. Whoever looks at his manners and attributes knows that he had the best manners and unsurpassed qualities of any of Allah’s creatures. He was the most excellent creature, being sincere in all of his actions for the Sake of Allah. He was trustworthy, generous, forgiving and patient. The more ignorant people were, the more patient he was. All of these qualities made for a great leader.

The Categories of his Love

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said that the love of the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) has two levels:

The first level is a religious obligation; this is love that requires the acceptance of the legislation that he has brought from Allah. This legislation (Qur’an and Sunnah) should be accepted with love, agreement, contentment and gratitude, knowing it is sent by Allah as guidance for us, and knowing right guidance is only from Allah (one should not seek right guidance from anyone else). After the acceptance in our hearts of this guidance, we must follow the instructions conveyed in the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) message (Sunnah) by believing in what he has said, acting upon it and then by conveying the obligations to others. Also, we must abstain from what he has forbidden, thereby supporting his religion. We must fight whoever opposes him as much as we can. This element in Iman is most important, and Iman couldn’t be achieved without it.

The second level is grace; it is the love which leads to following his example (Sunnah) and emulating his manners i.e., his politeness, his voluntary service, the way he used to eat, drink and dress, the way he associated with his wives and every other complete, moral and flawless manner. [Istinshaq Naseem al-Uns Min Nufat Riyad Al-Quds]

The Obligation of Loving the Prophet

The love of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is a great precept in our religion. No one is considered a believer if the Prophet isn’t endeared to him more than his parents, sons and all people.

“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah at-Tawbah   9:24]

Al-Qady Ayad said in interpreting this verse: “It’s an adequate urging and motivation, as well as sufficient proof that love of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is obliged, and one is at risk if he ignores it because he, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) deserves it.” Allah threatens those whose family, sons and fortune are endeared to him more than the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) by saying: “Then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment).”

Allah says that they are Fussaq (rebellious), and informs them that they have gone astray (do not follow the right path) or they have not been guided to the right path. [Ash-Shifa bi Ta’reef Huquq al-Mustafa 2/18]

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There is no believer but I am closer to him than other people in this life and the Hereafter.”

Recite, if you wish:

‘The Prophet is closer to the believers than their ownselves.’ [Al-Ahzab 33:6]. [Al-Bukhari]

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) also said: “None of you will have Faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Narrated ‘Abdullah ibn Hisham (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma): “We were with the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and he was holding the hand of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab(Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu). ‘Umar said to him, “O Allah’s Messenger! You are dearer to me than anything except my own self.” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, you will not have complete Iman (faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.Then ‘Umar said to him, “However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “O ‘Umar, now you are a believer.”” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

Ibn Hajar said that ’Umar meant now he knew what Iman (faith) is, thus he uttered what it should be. [Al-Fat-h al-Baari 11/532]

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever possesses the following three (qualities) will have the sweetness (delight) of faith: 1) The one to whom Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)become dearer than anything else.  2) The one who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake. 3) The one who hates to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Means that Bring About Love for the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)

1) The way to truly show our love to Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) or to bring about love for the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is to love Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and enjoy remembering Him by praising and thanking Him for completing and perfecting His Graces upon us, both apparent (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.) and hidden (i.e. one’s Faith in Allah, knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc.).

One of the greatest blessings (favors) Allah has conferred on us is that He sent His Noble Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) to guide us; as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Ahzab (33:45-47):

“O Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) ! Verily, We have sent you as a witness and as a bearer of glad tidings, as a warner. And as one who invites to Allah, [i.e. to worship none but Allah (Alone)] by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light [through your instructions from the Qur’an and the Sunnah,- the legal ways of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)]. And announce to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) the glad tidings, that they will have from Allah a Great Bounty.”

2) Achieving love for the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) should be made a priority in our lives, by obeying his sayings and orders, over anyone else’s.

We can accomplish this by loving him with all our heart and wishing to meet him and see him and we complete this by acting upon his Shari’ah (Laws), willingly and lovingly. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than he loves his father and his children.” [Al-Bukhari]

This love is more apparent when we are tested with one of these beloved ones or things opposing what Allah and His Messenger love or are pleased with.

Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The people who love me most among my Ummah are the ones after me (after his death) who would wish to see me even if they had to offer their family and wealth for that.” [Muslim]

Another action which brings the love of the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is remembering his care and covetousness for his Ummah and his mercy and compassion with his nation, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat at-Tawbah (9:128):

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allah and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins, in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-fire). For the believers he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)is full of pity, kind and merciful.”

He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) received great harm from the disbelievers of Makkah and Ta’if, and from the Jews and hypocrites of Madinah. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was accused of being a magician, a poet, a madman and an apostate. Besides these accusations, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was beaten, his face was injured and he suffered a broken canine tooth (in the battle of Uhud). He was accused of injustice in regards to his family; but when he was accused, instead of complaining, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said “May Allah be merciful with my brother Musa(‘Alayhissalaam); for he was harmed with more than this, yet he was patient.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

3) We should love all the Companions of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) by always mentioning their merits and virtues and by avoiding any mention of disputes between them. Loving them will bring us closer to Allah and His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), and through this we will attain Allah’s love and the love of His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), because we should love whomever the Prophet loved and hate whomever he hated

He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) forbade us from abusing his Companions. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Don’t abuse my Companions. Do not abuse my Companions. By the One in Whose Hand is my life, were one of you to spend an amount of gold equal to Mount Uhud in charity, he will never attain the reward one of them gets for giving a Mudd or a half Mudd spent by one of them. [Muslim]

In regards to the Ansar (the supporters of Madinah) (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum): Once when the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) saw the women and children (of the Ansar) coming back from a wedding party, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) stood up and said thrice, “By Allah! You are from the most beloved people to me. By Allah! You are from the most beloved people to me.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) also said: “The Ansar are my close companions to whom I confide my private secrets. People will go on increasing but the Ansar will decrease, so accept the deeds of the good doers among them, and excuse the wrong doers among them.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn Hajar (Rahimahullaah) said, commenting on Allah’s Messenger’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) statement, “The people will go on increasing and the Ansar will decrease”; “this indicates that many Arab tribes and non Arabs would enter into Islam and they would outnumber the tribe of the Ansar. Regardless of how much they would increase by procreation, they (the Ansar) would still be few compared to other Arab tribes.”  [Al-Fat-h 7/154]

Moreover, Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) indicated that loving them is a sign of true faith and hating them is a sign of hypocrisy when he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Only a believer loves them and only a hypocrite hates them. Whoever loves them (i.e. the Ansar), Allah will love him, and whoever hates them, Allah will hate him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) praised them in Surat at-Tawbah: (9:100):

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (citizens of Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well pleased with them as they are well pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.”

4) We should praise the family of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and his people, admiring them in the way that suits them, by honoring the righteous ones among them. This is required by the Islamic Shari’ah (Law) which comes before it being an act which causes the love of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam).

Muslim  reported in his Sahih that Zaid bin Arqam (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that one day, the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) stood up to deliver a sermon at a watering-place known as Khumm, situated between Makkah and Al-Madinah. He praised Allah, extolled Him, delivered a speech, exhorted (encouraged) us, and said:

“Now as to what follows, O people: I am a human being. Perhaps I am about to receive a messenger of my Rabb (the angel of death), and I will respond. I am leaving behind two weighty things: one is the Book of Allah in which there is guidance and light; adhere to it.”

He exhorted us to hold fast to the Book of Allah, and then said:

“The second is the members of my household.” He repeated it three times: “I remind you of your duties to the members of my family.”

Husain said to Zaid: “Who are the members of his household? Are not his wives his family?” He said: “The members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden.” And he said: “Who are they?” Zaid said: The offspring of Ali (i.e. the cousin of Prophet Muhammad who was also the grandson of Abdul-Muttalib), the offspring of ‘Aqil (brother of Ali), the offspring of J’afar (brother of Ali), and the offspring of ‘Abbas (son of Abdul-Muttalib).” Husain said: “Are these for whom the acceptance of Zakat is forbidden?” Zaid said: “Yes.”

Note:

The family of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) are his wives and all those who are not allowed to receive Zakat from among his believing relatives like ‘Ali, Ja’far, Al-‘Abbas, etc.

Also al-Bukhari (Rahimahullaah), reported that Ibn ‘Umar (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma) narrated that Abu Bakr (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “Watch (guard) strictly (the rights of) Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) in regards to his family members.”

Meaning: Honor (show reverence to) the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) by honoring the members of his family because honoring and loving them amounts to respecting the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) himself.

Commentary:

In this Hadith, the love and respect for the members of the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) family has been riveted with love and respect of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) himself. In other words, a person who loves and respects the descendants of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) will be deemed to be a lover and admirer of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). On the contrary, one whose heart is devoid of the love of the descendants of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) will be devoid of the love and respect of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). But love and respect here does not mean that they are taken for sinless people and their status is exaggerated beyond reason, as is the case with some deviated sects.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon us:-

  • To distinguish them from other people for their nobility. There are some among them who are not righteous, and they are included in the statement of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam): “He whose evil deeds keep or hold back his nobility of lineage will not profit or advance him forward.” [Muslim]
  • To pray for them when we are sending prayers upon the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), by saying:

صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ وسَلَّم

Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi wa ’Alaa Aalihi wa Sallam

(May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family)

  • To show love and respect to the righteous among them by following them, because they are the descendants of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam).
  • To support and defend them and mention their merits.
  • To advise, be merciful to and be kind with the non-righteous among them.

The Sahabah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum) used to magnify and love the family members of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) more than anyone else because of their position with the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), and because they were following the command of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam).

Narrated Anas(Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): “Whenever drought threatened them, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) used to ask al-‘Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib  to invoke Allah for rain. He Umar (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) used to say: ‘O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah! Bless us with rain.’ And so it would rain.”  [Al-Bukhari]

Ibn Hajar (Rahimahullaah) said: “This narration emphasizes the permissibility of asking the righteous people and the household of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) to invoke Allah. Moreover this Hadith indicates the superiority of al-‘Abbas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) and it also indicates the merits of ‘Umar (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) for humbling himself to al-‘Abbas, acknowledging the rights of al-‘Abbas upon him.”  [Al-Fat-h 2/632]

5) We should emphasize and act upon the Sunnah in words, knowledge and deeds.

Some of the matters that will help us to magnify and love the Sunnah are:

a.     The Sunnah calls people to act upon it because acting upon it indicates true love as Allah said in Surat Aal-Imran (3:31):

“Say (O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’”

b.     The Sunnah is an obligatory act in the religion. Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold them fast.” [Abu Dawoud, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and verified to be authentic by al-Albani in Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib no. 34]

c.   The Sunnah honors whoever is attributed to it.

d.        The Sunnah is Truth which will remain till Judgment Day. Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “This nation (true Muslims, real followers of Islamic Monotheism) will remain obedient to Allah’s Orders [i.e. following strictly Allah’s Book (the Qur’an) and the Prophet’s Sunnah] and they will not be harmed by anyone who will oppose them (going on a different path) till Allah’s Order (Day of Judgment) is established.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

6) We should read the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), profusely, to benefit from it. Through reading the biography, we come to know the state of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), his utterances, his deeds, his Jihad, his Da’wa, and how he established the Muslim community. One should also read the biography of the Sahabahs (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum) and how they offered their lives for the religion and for the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam).

It was said to Ibn al-Mubarak: “If you have finished praying, why will you not sit with us?” He said: “I sit with the Sahabahs and their followers; I read their books and quotations. What would I do with you? You backbite people.” [Siyar A’Laam al-Nubalaa’ 8/398]

7) Defend the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and oppose those who degrade him by means of the media. We should defend the believers when harm comes to them, and defend the Religion of Allah and His Awliya’ when they are attacked. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to delegate (commission, mandate) from among his Sahabah to spar (the evil of) the disbelievers although Allah (Azza Wa Jall) sufficed him and protected him. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to say: He who would turn them away from us, will have Paradise.” [Muslim]

Bear in mind that defending the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), his family members and his Companions (which everyone should do) is an honor and exaltation for that person. It is mandatory for knowledgeable people to warn others against those who transgress against the Sunnah and its people. We must uncover them and warn people about them.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will support and protect those who support the religion and the Messenger of Allah, as He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Hajj (22:40):

“Verily, Allah will support those who support Him (His Cause). Truly Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.”

And He said in Surat Ghafir (40:51):

“Indeed We will support our Messengers and those who believe during the life of this world and on the Day when the witnesses will stand.”

In conclusion:

Of the signs of love (for the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) is the requirement of magnifying the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), be he alive or dead. One should magnify the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) traditions, and submit oneself to his commands willingly. One should support him with one’s heart and actions.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Fat-h (48:8-9):

“Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) as a witness, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner. In order that you, (O mankind) may believe in Allah and His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), and that you assist and honor him (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), and (that you) glorify (Allah’s) praises morning and afternoon.”

The Aspects of Shunning the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)

1- Setting apart from the Sunnah

Some acts of shunning the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) that will bring us great distress on the Day of Judgment are that we set ourselves apart from the Sunnah inwardly and/or outwardly by changing the acts of worship into habits. For example, forgetting to ask Allah for the reward of following the Sunnah or abstaining from following the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) Sunnah or forgetting his Sunnah and not learning it. Not seeking knowledge of it, not respecting it or even disregarding it slightly, is equal to disrespecting and not loving it with pure (sincere) love.

Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who does not follow my Sunnah (legal ways) in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).” [Agreed upon]

Another aspect of shunning the Sunnah outwardly is by not following the etiquette of eating, drinking, wearing clothes, offering voluntary prayers (the Rawatib, Witr, the two Rak’ah voluntary prayer of Dhuha, etc.), the Sunnah acts related to fasting, Hajj and Umrah, etc.

2- Rejecting the correct Hadiths

Clear shunning is rejecting the correct Hadiths with any argument or excuse, such as saying that they are not logical or they do not apply to modern life, or they are too difficult to act upon. One must not try to interpret them in one’s own way as to distort them. One should not refrain from following the instructions of the Hadiths if they are not mentioned in the Qur’an, or reject them with the excuse that they are Ahaad Hadiths; although many of the legislations and Islamic laws have been transmitted to us through Ahaad Hadiths.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Let me not find any of you, while resting on his couch, that if an order of mine is mentioned in front of him, either a command of mine or a prohibition, who says: ‘I do not know! Whatever we find in the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) we follow (otherwise we do not!)’.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawoud, at-Tirmidhi and others]

Some misguided people claim that Muslims should follow the instructions in the Qur’an only, yet Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) mentioned in the Qur’an that we are obliged to follow whatever the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) commands or tells us to do.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Hashr (59:7):

“And whatever the Messenger (Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) has given you, take; and whatever he has forbidden you, refrain from.”

Allah, the Exalted, has mentioned obedience to the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) not less than thirty three times in the Qur’an!

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Verily! I was given the Qur’an and its equal with it (i.e. the Sunnah).” [Abu Dawoud and authenticated by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawoud]

A man came to Imam ash-Shafi’e (Rahimahullaah) asking him a question. Ash-Shafi’e (Rahimahullaah) said that the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) has commanded with such and such with regards this matter. The man said: “And what is your opinion?” Ash-Shafi’e (Rahimahullaah) said: “Subhan Allah! Do you see me sitting in a church? Do you see a belt on my waist? I am telling you Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) judged and commanded with such and such and you tell me what is my opinion?” [Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’]

Malik (Rahimahullaah) said: “Are we going to leave what is revealed upon Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) every time an argumentative person comes to us?” [Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’]

Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said: “One way of showing respect and good manner with the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is understanding his statement without ambiguity. One must accuse his mind if he does not understand the statement of the Prophet(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam).” [Madarij as-Salikeen 2/406]

3- Abandoning his biography and Sunnah

Another way of shunning the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is to abandon his biography and his Sunnah. In this day and age of the media, the abandonment of the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) biography (life) and his Sunnah has become clear and the focus is more on the symbols of the so called ‘great people’ in the East and the West; whether they are leaders, politicians, philosophers or just those who are knowledgeable in literature, manners or thoughts. Worse than that is to compare their statements with the statements of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) preceding their statements over his (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). This may lead to raising doubts about his statements and legal actions, which are nothing but an inspiration from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat an-Najm (53:4).

4- Dishonoring him in speech

One more way that people shun the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is to not allot to him the honor and dignity in speech when one is talking about him. It is as if the speech was the biography of a poet or the story of a passer- by. People are showing less respect and courtesy when they are talking about him or listening to the message he brought. People seem to think that what they have to say to one another has precedence over anything they might listen to that could be of value to them. Where is the inspiration of awe of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)? Where is the reverence to the spiritual enlightenment he gave us? There seems to be no respect, care or high regard for him in our modern day meetings.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Hujurat (49:2):

“O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) , nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.”

This is the divine manner. Where are the human manners?

Narrated as-Sa’ib bin Yazid (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): I was standing in the mosque and somebody threw gravel at me. I looked and found that he was ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu). He said to me, “Fetch those two men to me.” When I did, he said to them, “Who are you? (Or) where do you come from?” They replied, “We are from Ta’if.” ‘Umar  (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said, “were you from this city (AL-Madina) I would have punished you for raising your voices in the mosque of Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam).” [Sahih al-Bukhari, chapter 83]

5-Deserting the people of Sunnah

Deserting the people of Sunnah is caused when a person backbites, scorns or mocks them. Among the aspects of shunning the Prophet’s Sunnah is the repulsion (disgust) in the heart for the deeds of those who look after the Sunnah. This is clear in those who shun the people of Sunnah (those who act upon the Sunnah and follow the teachings of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)). In the past and present time; people are backbiting them, trying to find faults with them, mocking them, defaming them and criticizing them for holding fast and acting upon the Sunnah.

6-Innovation in religion

The worst in shunning the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is when people stay away from the Islamic Laws, and practice or introduce innovations in religion. This occurs when people exceed the proper limits in magnifying the (so-called) holy men, praising them in their lives, sanctifying them after their death, invocating them instead of Allah, vowing for them, offering  sacrifices in their names hoping to receive blessings from them, and circumambulating their graves or erecting buildings over them.

This is polytheism (Shirk); Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) has been sent to us to stop and destroy it, and establish the pillars of the Oneness of Allah (monotheism) instead, both in the hearts and on earth. Allah has helped him to establish this, has helped him to gain victory and has assisted the believers and has granted them peace by destroying the signs of Shirk and the statues (idols) of the age of ignorance. White the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was destroying them with his hands, he was reciting:

“And say: ‘Truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) has come and Batil (falsehood, i.e. Satan or polytheism, etc.) has vanished. Surely! Batil is ever bound to vanish.’” [Al-Isra’ 17:81]

“Say O Muhammad(Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam): ‘The truth has come and ‘Al-Batil’ (falsehood) can neither create anything nor resurrect (anything).’” [Saba’ 34:49]

7- Exaggeration in the essence of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam):

One of the aspects of shunning the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) that not only harms the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) but contradicts his teachings and the base of his religion (the Oneness ‘Tawheed’ of Allah) as well, is exaggeration in respecting the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and elevating him above the level of being a Prophet: thinking that he shares the knowledge of the unseen; invoking him instead of Allah and swearing by his name. The Prophet himself (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) feared this would happen and said, when he was sick in his fatal illness before his death, “Do not praise me excessively as the Christians praised the son of Mary (Maryam) (‘Alayhissalaam) excessively. I am only a human slave, therefore call me the slave of Allah and His Messenger.” [Al-Bukhari]

He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) also said: “Do not make my grave a place of festivity and merrymaking (but) invoke blessings upon me (by reciting Salat), for your blessings (Salat) will reach me, wherever you may be. [Abu Dawoud with sound chains and authenticated by al-Albani in Ghayatul-Maram]

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) has forbidden exaggeration in his essence to the extent of cursing those who have taken the tombs of their prophets as mosques and said, “Allah, the Most High, may curse the Jews and the Christians because they have converted the graves of their venerable prophets into places of worship.” [Al-Bukhari]

An aspect of exaggeration of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is swearing by his name, which is an indication of ones belief that someone deserves glorification and magnification other than Allah. Allah Alone is worthy of glorification and magnification. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever has to take an oath should swear by Allah or keep quiet.” [i.e. He should not swear by other than Allah]. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

8- Abandoning the Salat (i.e. the prayer for mercy and exaltation and invoking Allah’s Blessings) on the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)

The meaning of sending Salaam and reciting the Salat on the Prophet is asking Allah to send blessings and mercy on him.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “May that person’s nose be soiled with dust, in whose presence my name is mentioned but he does not invoke Allah’s Blessings upon me.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Also he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A miser is a person who does not invoke Allah’s Blessings upon me (by reciting Salat) when my name is mentioned in his presence.” [At-Tirmidhi]

The person who does not send prayers upon the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), is really a loser. He has lost abundant good from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). He is deprived of the good and the grace of His Lord (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala), because Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever recites Salat (invokes blessings) on me once, Allah will send mercy and blessings on him ten times.” [Muslim]

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Ahzab (33:43):

“It is He (Allah) Who sends Salat (confers blessings) upon you, and His Angels (ask Him to do so) that He may bring you out from darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into the light (of Belief and Islamic Monotheism).”

This Salat from Allah, the Blessed the Exalted, means that He cares for you and covers you with His mercy. An additional meaning is that He praises you in the presence of the Angels. The Angels send Salat too and that is by asking Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) to bless and forgive you, that He may bring you out from darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief and Islamic Monotheism).

Reciting Salat upon the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) is a means of forgiveness of sins and relief from distress and anxieties.

The Attitude of Those Who Love the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)

  1. The Attitude of the Companions (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum)

The Sahabah (Companions) (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum) were honoured by meeting the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). Therefore, they had a great opportunity of loving and magnifying him to an extent that preceded others in their love (for the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)), such as none among those who came after them can ever reach. [Recorded by al-Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman]

Ali bin Abi Talib (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu)  was asked: “How was your love for the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)?” He (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “By Allah, we used to love him more than our wealth, children, fathers and mothers and even more than the love a thirsty person has for a cold drink.” [Huquq an-Nabi Alaa Ummatihi by Dr. Muhammad at-Tamimi]

Aby Sufyan bin Harb (when he was still a Mushrik) asked Zaid bin ad-Dathina (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) when he was a prisoner, taken by the disbelievers of Makkah out of al-Haram (the sacred sanctuary) in order to kill him, “I ask you by Allah, O Zaid, would you love that Muhammad, now, be in your place to be killed and for you to be (safe) among your family?” Zaid said: “By Allah! I do not like that Muhammad, now where he is, to be harmed by a thorn while I am sitting among my family.” Abu Sufyan said: “I have never seen among the people any who love someone as the Companions of Muhammad love Muhammad.” [Al-Bidayah wan-Nihaya by Ibn Kathir]

‘Urwah bin Mas’ud ath-Thaqafi said about the Companions of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), when he returned to the Quraish after negotiating with the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) at the time of al-Hudaibiyah (treaty), “O people! By Allah, I have been to kings and to Caesar, Khosrau and an-Najashi, yet I have never seen any of them respected by their courtiers as much as Muhammad is respected by his Companions. By Allah, if he spits, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. the Prophet’s Companions) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them, they would carry out his order immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect.” [Al-Bukhari no. 2731-2732]

‘Amr bin al-‘Aas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “There was no one dearer to me than the Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), nor was anyone more revered in my eye than him. Never could I pluck up courage to catch a full glimpse of his face due to its splendor. Nor could I afford to look at him for long out of reverence I had for him. If I am asked to describe him, I would never be able to do so, because I did not have enough of him.” [Muslim]

2- The Attitude of the Followers (Tabi’een, may Allah be merciful with them)

Mus’ab bin Abdullah said: “Malik’s color used to change whenever the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was mentioned. Malik used to bow to the extent that his companions pitied him. One day he was asked about his attitude and he replied that if they had witnessed what he witnessed, they wouldn’t have disapproved of it.” [Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’]

Malik mentioned about Muhammad ibn al-Munkader, that he was the master of all reciters, whenever we asked him about any Hadith he would weep until we pitied him. He also mentioned that he used to see Ja’afar ibn Muhammad pale whenever anyone mentioned the name of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), although he used to be known as a man of humor and smile. He didn’t like to speak about the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) unless he was pure (in a state of purity). [Hilyat al-Awliyaa’ 3/147 and Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’ 5/354]

Al-Hasan (Rahimahullaah) used to say, whenever the incident of the yearning of the stem and its weeping[1]* was mentioned: “You, the community of the Muslims, the piece of wood has yearned to meet the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam); and you have more right to do so (i.e. to yearn to meet him).” [Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’ 4/570]

Whenever Abdul-Rahman ibn al-Qasim used to mention the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), his color looked as if he was bleeding, and his tongue used to dry up because he was so inspired with the awe of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). He used to visit ‘Amer bin ‘Abdullah bin az-Zubair and he used to weep until his eyes became dry whenever the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was ever mentioned. [Ash-Shifa Bi-Ta’reef Huquq al-Mustafa, by al-Qadhi ‘Iyadh]

Mus’ab bin ‘Abdullah said, “He used to visit Safwan bin Saleem, who used to be a pious worshipper. He used to weep whenever the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was mentioned until people would have to leave him and go away.” [Ash-Shifa Bi-Ta’reef Huquq al-Mustafa]

Mu’awiyah was informed about Kabes ibn Rabi’ah, that he used to look like the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). When he (Kabes ibn Rabi’ah) came to his house, he stepped out of his bed and welcomed him and kissed him between his eyes because he looked so much like the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). [Ash-Shifa Bi-Ta’reef Huquq al-Mustafa]

Muhammad ibn Sireen was used to smiling while talking, yet whenever the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was mentioned, he used to be humble. [Al-Jamie’ by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi 2/57]

Abu Salama al-Khuza’ey said: “Malik ibn Anas used to make ablution, wear his best clothes and his cowl (hood) whenever he intended to go out to narrate a Hadith.”  Abu Salama interpreted his doing this by saying that he was honoring and respecting the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) Hadiths. [Al-Jamie’ by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi 2/34]

May Allah exalt the mention of our Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), his household and Companions and render them safe from evil. Ameen!

Is it Permissible to Celebrate the Prophet’s Birthday?

Is it permissible for Muslims to celebrate the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) birthday (Mawlid) in the mosque to recall the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) honorable biography on the 12th Rabie’a al-Awwal, without making it a feast day? There is an argument as to whether it could be a good innovation or not.

Shaikh bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah) (may Allah have mercy on him) answered by the following:

“It is not permissible for Muslims to celebrate the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) birthday whether on the 12th Rabie’a al-Awwal or any other day. It is not allowed for them to celebrate the birthday of anybody, because celebrating birthdays is an innovated matter in religion. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) never celebrated his birthday and he is the Messenger of Allah and the one who conveyed our religion to us. Allah has sent the law of legislations through the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)

and he never mentioned any celebration of his birthday. Neither the rightly guided Caliphs nor the Prophet’s Companions nor his pious followers ever did so in the early centuries of Islam; thus the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “If anyone tries to introduce into this faith of ours (Islam) something which is not a part of it, is to be rejected (and that person is condemned).” [Agreed upon]

The mawlid is not something that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) ordered, rather it was introduced into the religion by people of the later generations; thus, it is rejected. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to say in his Friday sermon: “The best word is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance shown by Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). The worst practice is the introduction of new elements in the Islamic faith and every innovation amounts to heresy, and every heresy is a misguidance.” [Muslim]. An-Nasa’i added: “And every misguidance leads to Hell-Fire.”

The celebration of the mawlid should be replaced with frequent and regular education in mosques and schools about the events associated with his birth from his Seerah (biography) during the ignorance era and in Islam. There is no need to celebrate his birthday which is not legislated by Allah, or by His Prophet, and has no legal proof.

Allah is the One Whose Help we seek. We pray to Him to guide all Muslims. May He make us firm upon the Truth. We ask Him to grant us success in adhering to the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) Sunnah and to be cautious about any innovation in religion.


* Narrated Ibn ’Umar  (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma) that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)  used to deliver his Khutba (religious talk) while leaning against a trunk of a date-Palm tree. When he had the pulpit made and used it instead, the trunk started crying and the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) went to it, rubbing his hand over it (to stop its crying ).” [Al-Bukhari vol. 4, Hadith no. 779]

Sources:

  • The Series of the Allamatain (the two knowledgeable), Ibn Baaz and Al-Albani.
  • Fatawa and essays by Bin Baaz (may Allah be merciful with him).
  • The Book of Da’wa, vol.1 pp.240.
  • Mahabbat An-Nabie (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) wa Ta’dheemih, by ‘Abdullah bin Salih Al-Khudairi and  ‘Abdullateef bin   Muhammad Al-Hasan.

 Related Article:

Mercy to the Worlds – The Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)

About Enlightenment into Islam Center

The Enlightenment into Islam Center is a community of sisters who aim to please Allah by seeking knowledge and calling the people (Muslims as well as non-Muslims) to Tawheed and obedience to Allah by spreading the true knowledge of Islam based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

Posted on September 23, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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