Rabiul Awwal 1441 AH
By Shaykh Abdur Rahman
All praises are for Allah SWT, The Creator, Lord and Controller of all that exists and may His peace and blessings be on His true servant and final Messenger Muhammad. Verily, the best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAS).
We are in the Month of Rabiul Awwal 1441 AH and while we do not celebrate or commemorate with any rituals, it would be a good time to understand who is Muhammad SAS; the greatest of all human beings.
But before going into any details of this topic The Status of Prophet Muhammad SAS in the Life of a Muslim I would like to stress the need for us to understand why we are discussing it in the first place. Notably there are several factors, both internal and external that are affecting our understanding of what his status ought to be.
Externally, we see a constant crusade to discredit and distort the image and character of Rasoolullah (SAS). We see the efforts made by Islamophobes to create doubt in the minds of Muslims and to the world so as to shake the foundation of the noblest, greatest and the epitome of human character; Muhammad SAS whom Allah SWT described in 64/4 as: And indeed, you are of a great moral character.
Thus, it is not by accident that repeatedly we are confronted with distorted images, devilish cartoons, misleading statements, and lies hurled upon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). It is our duty therefore, to present the true noble character of the best of human beings at all times, at all places and every possible opportunity.
Internally, there are many unacceptable expressions of what the true status of Rasoolullah SAS ought to be. On one hand the allegiance, obedience and adherence to Peers, Shaykhs, Maulanas, Imams, leaders, etc. take precedence over Rasoolullah (SAS). On the other hand, we see how culture, customs, traditions, innovations overtake a great portion of this Muslim Ummah and turn the love of Rasoolullah (SAS) into empty slogans and songs and the crowning of all this takes place in this very month of Rabiul Awwal. They are even those who go that far to deify him. May Allah SWT protect us from such unacceptable behavior.
But in order to truly benefit from the greatest benefactor of humanity Muhammad Mustafa SAS we have to understand his status, his life through the eyes of the best generations; The Sahaabah and those who followed them on their upright path.
First of all, the true Believer develops a strong love for Rasoolullah (SAS) as loving him is an integral part of faith or Imaan. Rasoolullah SAS said:
“None of you becomes a believer until I am more loved than his children, his parents and all of mankind.”
In order to protect and uphold faith we do not make mockery of him for doing so is tantamount to blasphemy and obliterates faith. While other faiths make mockery of The Creator and the Messengers and they get a kick out of it, Muslims are very careful not to come near to that lest he loses his faith.
For this reason, when others make mockery of Muhammad SAS Muslims worldwide are very heavily offended and often times these provocative moves are done under the pretext of “Free Speech”.
LOVE for Rasoolullah SAS must be understood both as a verb and as a noun. Love as a verb requires action:
Love as a noun shows continuity
Love for Rasoolullah (SAS) is the essence of faith:
The Prophet said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith: The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else. Who loves a person and he love him only for Allah’s sake and who hates to revert to disbelief as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”
The first step in the process of developing this love is to acknowledge that the Prophet (SAAW) has a claim over the believers.
Allah SWT says:
The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers (as regards respect and marriage)..” (Al-Qur’an 33:6)
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (RA), relates that this Ayah means the Prophet (SAAW) has a “higher claim” on the believers than they have on themselves.
This higher claim involves two important matters:
1. He is more important than their own selves
2. He is more important in authority than anyone else
We consider Allah’s messenger (SAS) to be dearer than one’s own self. The following incident explains what that means:
Story of Umar when he was walking with the Prophet and he said “By, Allah, I love you O Prophet of Allah”. The Prophet then asked him, “More than your children, O Umar?” Umar replied “Yes, O Prophet of Allah.” The Prophet then asked him “More than your money, O Umar?” Umar replied, “Yes, O Prophet of Allah” The Prophet then asked him, “More than yourself, O Umar?” Umar replied, “No, O Prophet of Allah” The Prophet told him “O Umar, your faith will never be complete until you love me more than yourself.” So, Umar went out and stayed alone for a while, then he came back and stood in the middle of the Masjid saying loudly “O Prophet of Allah, now I love you more than myself.” and the Prophet replied “Now O Umar, now, O Umar” meaning that now his faith has been completed. Umar (RA) was later asked how he could make himself love the Prophet more than himself in such a short time, He replied “I went out and asked my self whom I needed more, myself or the Prophet of Allah? I found that I needed the Prophet more. I will not intercede for myself on the Day of Judgment, but the Prophet of Allah will. My deeds will not place me in the highest of levels but my love for the Prophet will. I did not take myself from the darkness to light (meaning the Irshaad- guidance by showing), but the Prophet of Allah did. Hence, the love of the Prophet fell in my heart more than my love for myself”
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Rabiul Awwal 1441 AH