Why Honour the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is a transcript of discourse given by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed.

Why do we honour the Prophet (s.a.w.)?  He is a human being.  When we think about honouring a human being like the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), we need to always keep in mind the important fact that he is a creature and not the Creator.  In this connection, Allah (s.w.t.) Made it known to the whole of mankind that the Prophet (s.a.w.) came into this world just like any other human being; and is also entirely dependent on the Lord for his status, position and even survival.  Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us about this in the following verse of the Qur’an:

سُوۡرَةُ الکهف
قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۟ بَشَرٌ۬ مِّثۡلُكُمۡ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـٰهُكُمۡ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬‌ۖ (١١٠)

Say: “I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God ...” (Surah al-Kahf:110)

Unlike other human beings, Allah (s.w.t.) has Made it known to everyone that the Prophet (s.a.w.) is special.  He Says:

سُوۡرَةُ القَلَم
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ۬ (٤)

And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character. (Surah al-Qalam:4)

سُوۡرَةُ الشَّرح
وَرَفَعۡنَا لَكَ ذِكۡرَكَ (٤)

And Raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)? (Surah ash-Sharh:4)

سُوۡرَةُ النّجْم
مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمۡ وَمَا غَوَىٰ (٢) وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ (٣)

Your companion is neither astray nor being misled, nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire. (Surah an-Najm:2-3)

The difference in status, in the Sight of Allah (s.w.t.), between the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the other Messengers and believers, is like the difference in beauty and value between diamond and charcoal.  While both originated from the earth, one is beautiful and priceless; and while the other has its purpose, it does not present itself to the people as beautiful as the diamond.

He is the first believer.  In the Qur’an, Allah (s.w.t.) Made it known that the Prophet (s.a.w.) is the first Muslim.  Some people believe that this is so because he is the one who received the Qur’an, and it was with him that Islam was perfected.  As a result, they interpret the following verses to mean that because he gave, through Divine Guidance, the religion to the people, and he upheld it completely himself, he is the first to believe:

سُوۡرَةُ الاٴنعَام
قُلۡ إِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحۡيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (١٦٢) لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ۥ‌ۖ وَبِذَٲلِكَ أُمِرۡتُ وَأَنَا۟ أَوَّلُ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ (١٦٣)

Say: “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds: No partner hath He: this am I Commanded, and I am the first of those who bow to His Will. (Surah al-An’am:162-163)

If we should look at other verses of the Qur’an regarding the way all the creatures relate to the Lord and Creator of them all, we find the following:

سُوۡرَةُ الرّعد
وَلِلَّهِ يَسۡجُدُ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ طَوۡعً۬ا وَكَرۡهً۬ا وَظِلَـٰلُهُم بِٱلۡغُدُوِّ وَٱلۡأَصَالِ ۩ (١٥)

Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the earth do prostrate themselves to Allah (acknowledging subjection) ― with goodwill, or in spite of themselves: so, do their shadows in the mornings and evenings. (Surah ar-Ra’ad:15)

سُوۡرَةُ النّحل
وَلِلَّهِ يَسۡجُدُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ۬ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ وَهُمۡ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ (٤٩) يَخَافُونَ رَبَّہُم مِّن فَوۡقِهِمۡ وَيَفۡعَلُونَ مَا يُؤۡمَرُونَ ۩ (٥٠)

And to Allah doth obeisance all that is in the heavens and on earth, whether moving (living) creatures or the angels: for none are arrogant (before their Lord).  They all revere their Lord, high above them, and they do all that they are Commanded. (Surah an-Nahl:49-50)

سُوۡرَةُ الرّعد
وَيُسَبِّحُ ٱلرَّعۡدُ بِحَمۡدِهِۦ (١٣)

Nay, thunder repeateth His praises … (Surah ar-Ra’ad:13)

If all the creatures in the skies and the earth submit to Allah (s.w.t.), it means that they are all Muslims.  And because the soul of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is the first thing that Allah (s.w.t.) Created, and he, upon Creation declared, “There is no god but Allah”, then he is the first Muslim.

The Personality of the Prophet (s.a.w.) has two levels or aspects.  They are mundane and cosmic.  The mundane aspect of his personality is easier to comprehend.  Allah (s.w.t.) Wanted to Give to the world a code of life to be followed in order that each person can return to Him successfully.  This code outlines what is the Path to be followed and the rules and regulations required to travel along it.  Messengers were Sent to each tribe and nation to teach the people and to make their pitfalls known to them.  Also, they were told of the consequences for deviating.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ الرّعد
وَلِكُلِّ قَوۡمٍ هَادٍ (٧)

… and to every people, a guide. (Surah ar-Ra’ad:7)

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was the last of the Divinely-Appointed Messengers Sent to mankind.  His role and function were unique as well as universal.  Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us:

سُوۡرَةُ القَلَم
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ۬ (٤)

And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character. (Surah al-Qalam:4)

When we look into the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) life, we find that he established practically all the qualities that will make life meaningful and purposeful.  It will also develop and cement all that is required to make the human race live like one big family.  In short, he established universal Islamic brotherhood.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِحَبۡلِ ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعً۬ا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُواْ‌ۚ وَٱذۡكُرُواْ نِعۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِذۡ كُنتُمۡ أَعۡدَآءً۬ فَأَلَّفَ بَيۡنَ قُلُوبِكُمۡ فَأَصۡبَحۡتُم بِنِعۡمَتِهِۦۤ إِخۡوَٲنً۬ا وَكُنتُمۡ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفۡرَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنۡہَا‌ۗ كَذَٲلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَہۡتَدُونَ (١٠٣)

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (Stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He Joined your hearts in love, so that, by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He Saved you from it.  Thus, doth Allah Make His Signs clear to you: that ye may be Guided. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:103)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) was able to create this type of lifestyle based on love, sacrifice, goodwill towards all and ill towards none, self denial, forgiving, merciful, and all the other qualities for which he was well known.  Another reason why the Prophet (s.a.w.) was accepted by all the tribes and nation all over the world and at all times was because he was a role model for all.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ سَبَإ
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ إِلَّا ڪَآفَّةً۬ لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرً۬ا وَنَذِيرً۬ا وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ (٢٨)

We have not Sent thee but as a (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not. (Surah Saba:28)

Allah (s.w.t.) also Says that his lifestyle is the best that can be found:

سُوۡرَةُ الاٴحزَاب
لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا (٢١)

Ye have, indeed, in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah. (Surah al-Ahzab:21)

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) taught his followers not to give any importance to worldly lusts and desires.  Allah (s.w.t.) Made it known that such qualities and habits will not benefit a person in the Hereafter.  He Says:

سُوۡرَةُ النَّازعَات
وَأَمَّا مَنۡ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِۦ وَنَهَى ٱلنَّفۡسَ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰ (٤٠) فَإِنَّ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ هِىَ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ (٤١)

And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the Garden. (Surah an-Nazi’at:40-41)

On his cosmic status, beside the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) that is known to us, he has other functions; such functions which mankind could at no time able to comprehend.  He clearly indicated this to his followers by telling them, “There is a relation between me and my Lord, which no angels; even the highest of them; nor the prophets can understand.”

When Allah (s.w.t.) Allowed a little of His Light, Tajalliyyat, to Descend on the mountain at Moses’ (a.s.) request, the mountain blew up and Moses (a.s.) was rendered unconscious.  The Qur’an Records:

سُوۡرَةُ الاٴعرَاف
فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ ۥ لِلۡجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ ۥ دَڪًّ۬ا وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقً۬ا‌ۚ (١٤٣)

… When his Lord Manifested Himself to the mountain, He Made it as dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon … (Surah al-A’araf:143)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) was able to ascend beyond all Created things and stood close in the Presence of the Lord, then Allah (s.w.t.) Revealed what He Wanted to Reveal to the Prophet (s.a.w.), and nothing happened to him.  Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us:

سُوۡرَةُ النّجْم
ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ (٨) فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوۡسَيۡنِ أَوۡ أَدۡنَىٰ (٩) فَأَوۡحَىٰٓ إِلَىٰ عَبۡدِهِۦ مَآ أَوۡحَىٰ (١٠) مَا كَذَبَ ٱلۡفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰٓ (١١)

Then, he approached and came closer, and was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; so did (Allah) Convey the inspiration to His servant, (conveyed) what He (Meant) to convey.  The (Prophet’s) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. (Surah an-Najm:8-11)

Because the vibrations contained in the Words of the Qur’an are very powerful, nothing in the universe was able to receive them; not even the mountains.  Perhaps, this was the reason why this Book was locked in the Divine Vault, the Lawh al-Mahfuzh, until it was Released and Impressed on the heart of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us:

سُوۡرَةُ الشُّعَرَاء
وَإِنَّهُ ۥ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (١٩٢) نَزَلَ بِهِ ٱلرُّوحُ ٱلۡأَمِينُ (١٩٣) عَلَىٰ قَلۡبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُنذِرِينَ (١٩٤) بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِىٍّ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬ (١٩٥)

Verily, this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds: With it, came down the Spirit of Faith and Truth ― to thy heart and mind, that thou mayest admonish in the perspicuous Arabic tongue. (Surah ash-Shu’ara:192-195)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) was able to penetrate the electromagnetic barriers in the night of Mi’raj with his total personality, without the aid of any special equipment.  He was able to split the Moon from the Earth, just with a sign from his finger.  Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is so close to Allah (s.w.t.) that he is Called by many loving names in the Qur’an.  Some of them are within our range of comprehension, such as “Nabi”, “Muzammil” and “Muddatsir”.  Others we are unable to really understand.  Some of them are “YaSin” and “ThaHa”.  This shows that his personality is beyond our range of comprehension.

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, “I have been given five things which no other messenger has been given.  They are, that Allah Made me victorious by awe over the enemy, the earth has been Made a place of worship for me and a form of purification, booty has been Made lawful for me, I have been Sent to the whole of mankind and I have been Given the right to intercession.”

The Prophet’s (s.a.w.) name is Mentioned with that of the Lord, in the Declaration of Faith.  When Allah (s.w.t.) Created the soul of the Prophet (s.a.w.), it immediately declared, “Laa ilaha illa Allah,” “There is no god but Allah.”

Allah (s.w.t.) Responded by Saying, “Muhammadur Rasulullah,” “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, “I was a Messenger when Adam was between water and earth.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) is the Mercy to the worlds.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ الاٴنبیَاء
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (١٠٧)

We Sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures. (Surah al-Anbiya’:107)

To take allegiance to the Prophet (s.a.w.) is to take allegiance to Allah (s.w.t.).  This, Allah (s.w.t.) Says to mankind:

سُوۡرَةُ الفَتْح
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ ٱللَّهَ يَدُ ٱللَّهِ فَوۡقَ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ‌ۚ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفۡسِهِۦ‌ۖ وَمَنۡ أَوۡفَىٰ بِمَا عَـٰهَدَ عَلَيۡهُ ٱللَّهَ فَسَيُؤۡتِيهِ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا (١٠)

Verily, those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul and anyone who fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah ― Allah will soon Grant him a great Reward. (Surah al-Fath:10)

If a person should sincerely show love to the Prophet (s.a.w.), Allah (s.w.t.) will Love that person.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
قُلۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحۡبِبۡكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ ذُنُوبَكُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ (٣١)

Say: “If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will Love you and Forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:31)

Allah (s.w.t.) Mentions, in the Qur’an, that the actions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) were done under inspiration from the Lord.  For example, Allah (s.w.t.) Says, concerning the occasion when the Prophet (s.a.w.) took some sand and threw it over the faces of the people in Badr, and it caused them to become blind:

سُوۡرَةُ الاٴنفَال
وَمَا رَمَيۡتَ إِذۡ رَمَيۡتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَمَىٰ‌ۚ (١٧)

… when thou threwest (a handful of dust) it was not thy act, but Allah’s ... (Surah al-Anfal:17)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) had no shadow.  This was because the light of his personality was brighter than the light of the Sun; as a result, he did not cast a shadow while he was in the Sun’s light.  Allah (s.w.t.) Mentions about this in the following verse of the Qur’an:

سُوۡرَةُ المَائدة
قَدۡ جَآءَڪُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ نُورٌ۬ وَڪِتَـٰبٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ (١٥)

… there hath come to you, from Allah, a (new) Light and a perspicuous Book. ― (Surah al-Ma’idah:15)

We need to keep in mind all the time that the light that comes from Allah (s.w.t.) cannot be found anywhere in the universe; as He Says:

سُوۡرَةُ النُّور
لَّا شَرۡقِيَّةٍ۬ وَلَا غَرۡبِيَّةٍ۬ (٣٥)

… neither of the east nor of the west ... (Surah an-Nur:35)

Muslims are required to love him more than anything else.  He told Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.), after Sayyidina ‘Umar (r.a.) declared that he loved the Prophet (s.a.w.) even more than his own self, “You have now become a perfect believer.”

Allah (s.w.t.) Told Adam (a.s.) and Eve, while they were begging for Forgiveness: “Adam, I have Pardoned you and your wife for Muhammad’s sake.”  Muslims are Commanded to send swalawat and salaam on him.  Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is called Imam al-Anbiya’, as he led all of them in swalah on the night when he was to ascend to the Presence of Allah (s.w.t.).  So, important and elevated was the status of the Prophet (s.a.w.), that all the previous Messengers predicted his coming.


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