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Prophethood and History and Maqaam (Station, Position) of Muĥammad ص

Prophethood (Risâlah) is a channel of communication between Allâh and humankind. Prophets don’t just prophecise , but they receive messages from God, act upon these messages, carry this message to people, become ideal examples for others, strive to set up a way of life, a society in accordance with the instructions provided by Allâh ج. Beginning with the first man and Prophet (nabî) Adam عليه سلم through the finality of prophethood Muĥammad ص; they called humankind of their time to obey and worship Allâh ج alone. They brought guidance by the Mercy of Allâh ج and called to the right/straight path. (ŝirât al-mustaqîm). Prophets of Allâh ج were trustworthy, intelligent, truthful, and fully conveyed their messages. Allâh ج protected them from sin, and from every physical trait unbecoming to them, though as human beings, they ate, drank, slept, and married. They were the best of all created beings; and the highest of them was him whom Allâh ج chose to be the final seal of prophet hood, our prophet Muĥammad ص to be the Messenger till the end.

We have not sent you (O Muĥammad!)
but as an unequalled mercy for all the worlds (universe)

Al-Anbiya’ (21):107

Prophet Muĥammad ص said: “The just will be on platforms of light in the presence of God; those who are just in their decisions, with their families, and with what they are in charge of.”

Prophet Muĥammad ص said: “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.” People asked, “…It is right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Saĥîh Al-Bukhari, 3:624)

Born in Mecca in the year 570, having his father passed away before his birth and his mother when he was 6 years old orphan, was left to the care of his grandfather then his uncle Abu Ťâlib. He worked as a Shepard and apprentice trader for his uncle. As he grew, Muĥammad ص gained a reputation for thoughtfulness and integrity. People nicknamed him Al-Sâdiq (The Truthful), because he never told a lie; and Al-Amîn (The Trustworthy), because he never cheated. He was called upon frequently to mediate disputes between the people of Mecca. He was also known for his disdain of the pagan Gods and his refusal to worship the idols of his tribe Quraysh, instead would retreat to a mountain cave to meditate. He hated vanity and pride. He was always compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans He avoided all vices which were common of the time such as drinking, gambling, vulgarity etc.

Upon 40 year old Khadija’s رض proposal, 25 year old Muĥammad ص got married in 595. This was a happy marriage, and they had children together. During one of his retreats to the Mount Hira, he received the first revelation by the vessel of angel Gabriel, naturally, as any intellectually healthy person would do, he was afraid and in shock, and was comforted by his wife in his return home who later became the first believer.

Mecca, at the time a place of idol and nature worship, trade, no belief in afterlife, exploitation of the public by the usurers, plunder, robbery, aggression, tribal fights, killing and burying alive of female children with the fear of it bringing bad luck or poverty, not only nationalistic but tribal pride, high sexual immortality. The rest of the world wasn’t in great shape either, dogma and superstitious ideas were prevailing, human and women’s rights were virtually nonexistent, females were considered to have no soul and could be readily sold, killed, buried alive. Pure religion of Mûsa (Moses) عليه سلم have been introduced to extreme materialism and hollow, lifeless rules, the religion of ‘Isâ (Jesus) عليه سلم which was presented for moral rectification was changed by clergy and Greco-Roman religions to serve passionate ambitions and false beliefs and lacked complete laws or social systems. It was all soon to change forever.

Up to the age of forty, Muĥammad ص was not known as a statesman, a preacher or an orator. He was never seen discussing the principles of metaphysics, ethics, law, politics, economics or sociology. No doubt he possessed an excellent character, charming manners and was highly cultured. Yet there was nothing so deeply striking and so radically extraordinary in him that would make men expect something great and revolutionary from him in the future.

The poor, the oppressed and women were among the early believers in Islam. Islâm declared equality as a universal value that applied to all. Additionally, the Qur’ân prohibited Mecca’s unacceptable pagan practices, such as female infanticide, and encouraged freeing slaves in a systematical fashion to abolish it. Muĥammad ص taught that there should be no distinction between Arabs and non-Arabs, or between Whites and Blacks. Muĥammad ص said all humans are the same in the sight of Allâh. The followers started memorizing and writing down verses of the revelation, struggling to live by its commands. People were taken by the beatitude of the wonderful words that were like nothing the high poets of Arabia have uttered or heard it was different yet multitudes more sublime and majestic.

For the next decade, Muĥammad ص and early Muslims were subjected to inhumane treatment. Muslims were taunted, killed, tortured and starved; their property was taken by force. In response, Muĥammad ص , who was offered all the earthly things one could ask for by the Meccans declined to stop sharing his message and Muslims wouldn’t fight back and patiently persevere for many years (Al-Muzammil (73)10, At-Târiq(86):17 until Al-Hajj(22):39-40 and Al-‘A’la(87):17 were revealed for times of inevitable conflict to end persecution and disorder) and encouraged his followers to migrate to neighboring cities and states. He told them Christian Abyssinia (today’s Ethiopia) would offer a good refuge because it was ruled by a just king. Then an opportunity was born for the followers to be supported in Yathrib, later to be known as Madîna, under some new converts’ protection. Under the guidance of Muĥammad ص, the Charter of Madîna was developed. Some people argue that the Charter was the first pluralistic constitutional framework known to mankind. Not only did it recognize the several tribes engaging in free trade inside and outside Madîna, it also acknowledged Jewish tribes as a collective entity bonded with Muslims through attachment to a system of rights and obligations. Christians and Jews were allowed in Prophet’s mosques and were treated well.

The Charter of Madîna created an environment where all could lead a moral life and band together to oppose aggression of any sort. Mecca’s leadership attempted to prevent Muĥammad’s ص movement from taking root in Madîna. They organized military expeditions against the city, but were eventually beaten back. In 630 AD Meccan allies breached the treaty when they massacred a group of traveling Muslims. In return, Muslims marched to Mecca in great numbers and conquered the city without any blood-shed, and Prophet of God gave amnesty to all people who didn’t want to fight, even though they’ve been his oppressors for so long. Eventually, Meccans accepted the message, and understood the intentions of the prophet, Prophet moved to Madîna and on his last pilgrimage to Mecca he passed away after a brief illness and is buried in Grand Prophet’s Mosque in Madîna. It is related that “When the Prophet of God died, he left nothing but his white mule, his armor and a piece of land he dedicated to charity.” Prophet Muĥammad ص said: “Being rich does not mean having a great amount of property, but (it) is being content (with what one has).” (Sahîh Al-Bukhari, Vol 4, #453)

Muĥammad isn’t the father of any men among you,
but he is Messenger of Allâh and the seal (last) of the Prophets
Al-Ahzâb (33):40

Soon after the Beloved Messenger’s passing his companion Abu Bakr رض, said “if anyone amongst you used to worship Muĥammad, then (know that) Muĥammad is dead, but if you used to worship Allâh, then Allâh is Alive and shall never die.

The Word “Muĥammad” the most common name for the final messenger of Allâh ج, means “the one who is praised, often praised”, he’s also called by other names such as; Aĥmad (Deserving of Praise, Chosen), al-Aĥsan (Most Beautiful, The Best), al-Imâm (The Leader), al-Mustafa (Chosen One), al-Amîn (The Dependable), al-Sidq (Truthful), al-Nabi (The Prophet), al-Rasûl (The Messenger), al-Ummi (The Unlettered), Ayatullâh (The Sign of Allâh), al-Burĥan (The Proof), al-‘Abd (The Slave), Khatim al-nabiyyin: (The Seal of Prophets), Sabil Allâh (The Path to Allâh), Al-Kuthâm (Generous), Raĥmatun li al-`alamîn (A Mercy for the Worlds) amongst many others.

Prophet Muĥammad ص said: “Whatever I prohibit you from doing, refrain from it, and whatever I command you to do, do of it what you are able. Those who came before you only perished on account of their excessive questioning and their disagreeing with their Prophets.” and “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself.” and “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people.” and “Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind”

Consider the Star, unfolding of God’s message,
as it comes down from on high!
Your companion (Muĥammad) has not gone astray,
nor is he deluded/deceived
neither does he speak out of his own desire
that which he conveys to you is but a divine inspiration
with which he is being inspired

An-Najm (53):1-4

Whoever obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allâh

Al-Nisâ’ (4):80
(since the messenger rules by the Book, Order and Direction of Allâh)

Whatever the Messenger gives you take it,
and whatever he forbids you abstain from it

Al-Hashr (59):7

Say: ‘Come let me recite to you
what your Sustaining-Lord Has forbade for you:
that you should not set-up anything
[for the sake of worship] with Him;
and be kind to your parents;
and do not kill your unborn children for fear of poverty,
We provide for you and for them;
and do not come near evil,
what is openly of it, or secretly;
and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden,
except in (and for) justice;
and do not come near the money of the orphan,
except for what is best, until he reached his maturity;
and give honestly full-measure and weight equitably
we do not burden a soul except by what it can bear;
and if you speak, then be just, even if against a relative;
and with pledges made to God you shall observe

Al-An’âm (6):151-152

Allâh ج also says in the Qur’ân:

And verily, you (O Muĥammad ) are an exalted standard of character

al-Qalam (68):4

Say (O Muĥammad to mankind): if you love Allâh then follow me, Allâh will love you

Al-‘Imrân(3):31

Historically we can summarize his characteristic as, sound in intellect, sincere, morally and ethically excellent, polite, well mannered, reconciliatory, commanded good and forbade evil, pure, mindful of his tongue, excelled in worship, good looking, forbearing, selfless, strongly dependent on God, kind, compassionate, God-conscientious, generous, truthful, cooperative, respecting of others’ rights, pleasant, honest, reliable, modest, humble, patient, just, fair, content, hoped for the wellness of his enemies.

He ص said: “What do I have to do with this world? I am only like a wayfarer upon a mount that topped to take shade and to rest under a tree, and then who leaves it behind and continues on the journey” and “Allâh has sent me to perfect good manners and to do good deeds” Regarding animals he ص said: “Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal.” and If he saw any animal over-loaded or ill-fed he would call the owner and say, “Fear Allah in your treatment of animals.” Regarding priorities, A’îsha رض said that the Prophet of Allâh used to pray during the night until his feet would swell and tears would get his clothes and ground wet. She said,” Why do you do this, Messenger of Allâh, while Allâh has forgiven your past and future sins?” The Prophet ص replied: “Shall I not be a grateful slave?” Allâh ج told His Prophet ص, “O Muhammad, I’ve made you one of the remembrances of Me. Those who remember you, remember Me, and those who love you love Me”

He’d pray for our well-being, guidance and forgiveness, he loved and served us. Thus, the love a Muslims feels toward the Prophets in general and especially Muĥammad ص who represents all them and their message for the sake of their All-Merciful, Sustaining Lord, Allâh ج, is beyond any earthly love and supersedes any other priority or love that a Muslim has towards any creation.

Lo! those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings

Al-Bayyinah (98) :7

Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others,
and of whom there are some unto whom Allâh spoke,
while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree

Al-Baqara (2):253

It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate

Al-‘Isrâ (17):79 (see 94:4)

Truly, Allah and His angels send praise and blessings [forever] upon the Prophet.
O ye who believe! Praise and bless the Prophet with utmost laud and blessing

Al-Ahzâb (33):56

And rise from thy sleep and pray during part of the night,
as a free offering from thee,
and thy Sustainer may well raise thee to a glorious station

Al-‘Isrâ (17):79

And Most Certainly, thou (O Muhammad) are of most sublime and exalted character

Al-Qalam (68):4

And your Lord is best Aware of all beings who are in the Highs and the Lows.
(In this, Our Infinite Knowledge, did We send Our Messengers)
But, indeed, We caused some Prophets to excel the others, however,
you should understand that they were all one in Purpose,
so make no distinction among them on that account (also see 2:62, 136, 253)
(You O Prophet, are given the Perfected Eternal Message)
To David We gave a Book of Wisdom
(also see 21:79, 34:10, 38:19-20)

Al-‘Isrâ (17):55

O Prophet! Truly We have sent you as a Witness and a Bearer of Good News as well as a Warner,
And as one who invites to Allah’s (grace) by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light

Al-Ahzâb (33):45-46

http://www.ProphetOfIslam.com

http://www.TheProphetOfMercy.com

http://www.LastProphet.info

http://www.Mohammad-pbuh.com

http://www.RasoulAllah.net

http://www.TheProphetMuhammad.org

http://www.masud.co.uk/islam/misc/best.htm

http://mohammad.islamway.com/

Next Section Will Be… “Finding Similarities and Working with Differences” InshaAllaah.

Heart to Heart Part 9

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One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Heart to Heart Part 7 « My Wadud on 28 Nov 2008 at 12:28 am

    […] truly-forgivig, all-embracing in His love Al-Buruj(85):14 « Heart to Heart Part 6 Heart to Heart Part 8 […]

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