The Prophet’s Magnificence (SAW) – al-ʿIzz b. ʿAbdu’l-Salam

Bidāyatu’l-Sūl fī Tafdīl al-Rasūl (SAW)

Commencing the Quest Concerning the Nobility of the Messenger (SAW)

Imām al-ʿIzz ibn ʿAbdu’l-Salām (d. 660H)

 

All praise and thanks are due to Allāh who created man and graced him with heart and tongue. I praise Him for the faculty of speech that He has taught us, and I thank Him for the blessings He has conferred on us. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped save Allāh who has no partner, a testification given in such a way that leads me to hope for success and safety. I further testify that Muhammad, from amongst the children of ʿAdnān, is His Chosen Messenger; he was aided with manifest miracles, the Qurʾān and gifted radiant proofs. Peace and blessings be upon him and his family.

 

To proceed,

 

I asked my father, may Allāh ennoble Islām through him, to write something for me concerning the excellence of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and his superiority to the whole of creation. He, without any delay or reservation, answered by saying:

 

With the Name of Allāh, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful

 

O Allāh! Send peace and blessings upon our master,

Muhammad and his family.

Help us, facilitate matters for us and complete [Your favour upon us]

 

All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allāh be upon the master of the whole creation, Muhammad, the Seal of Prophets, and upon all of his family and Companions.

 

Allāh, Most High, says to our Prophet, Muhammad (SAW), highlighting the many favours conferred to him, and showing the status that He holds with Him,

«Allāh sent down the Book and Wisdom to you and taught you what you did not previously know. Allāh’s favour to you was immense» [al-Nisāʾ (4): 113]

Allāh, Most High, has favoured some Messengers over others,

«These Messengers: We favoured some of them over others. Allāh spoke directly to some of them and raised up some of them in rank.» [al-Baqarah (2): 253]

The first part of the verse clearly proves that there is a qualitative difference [between the Messengers]; the second part of the verse discusses a quantitative measure of this difference, i.e. ranking. The word rank has been mentioned in the indefinite form in order to lend a sense of gravity and greatness, i.e. these ranks are truly great. Allāh, Most High, has favoured our Prophet (SAW) in a number of different ways. Amongst these are:

 

1. He is the master of all. He (SAW) said, “I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting.”[1]

‘Master’ is a term referring to one who is described with dignified and illustrious qualities, who possesses excellent and sublime morals and manners. Therefore, this hadīth shows that he (SAW) is better than, and superior to, the children of Adam in both abodes – [the abode of this world and the Hereafter]. He is better than them in this world due to his great and noble morals and manners, and in the Hereafter due to the fact that recompense is based upon ones morals, manners and qualities. Consequently, if he surpasses them in this life due to his virtues and qualities, he will surpass them in the Hereafter with regards his ranking and station.

He (SAW) said, “I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting,” in order to show his nation the status he holds with his Lord, the Mighty and Magnificent. Now because the mention of ones virtues is predominantly done by way of boasting, he (SAW) wanted to sever any possibility of the ignorant thinking that he said this vaingloriously, so he said, ‘without boasting’.

 

2. He (SAW) said, “In my hands will be the Banner of Praise on the Day of Rising, without boasting.”[2]

 

3. He (SAW) said, “There will not be a single Prophet on that day: Adam and all those who came after him; except that they will be under my banner on the Day of Rising, without boasting.”[3]

All of these matters that are specific to him go to show his great ranking, a ranking which surpasses Adam and everyone else. This is because superiority is only ever truly realised through mentioning distinguishing characteristics, virtues and rankings not shared by others.

 

4. Allāh, Most High, has informed him that He has forgiven him his sins, those in the past and those in the future.

It has not been reported that He informed any other Prophet of anything similar, indeed it seems clear that He did not inform them of this. This is because [on the Day of Judgement], when people are standing waiting for the judgement to commence, they will seek intercession from them and each one of them will mention the sin that he committed and then say, ‘Myself, myself!’ [4]

If they had known that their sins had been forgiven, they would not have dreaded them on this occasion. However, when the creation seek intercession from the Prophet (SAW) on that occasion he will reply, ‘I am worthy of it.’[5]

 

5. He (SAW) is the first intercessor and the first to have his intercession accepted.[6] This goes to prove his exalted esteem and superiority.

 

6. His (SAW) choosing this intercession [for others] over himself.

This is because every Prophet has been granted a supplication that is definitely answered, and each of the Prophets employed it in this world, with the exception of the Prophet (SAW) who reserved it so that he may use it to intercede for his nation [in the Hereafter].[7]

 

7. Allāh, Most High, has taken an oath by his life (SAW), saying,

«By your life! They were wondering blindly in their drunkenness!» [al-Hijr (15): 72]

Taking an oath by the life of the object of the oath proves its excellence, nobility and greatness in the eyes of the one taking the oath. It also proves that his (SAW) life is worthy of swearing by due to what it contains of blessings, both general and specific. This aspect is not established for anyone else besides him.

 

8. Allāh, Most High, honoured him when addressing him, for He called him by the names most beloved to him and by the most eminent and sublime of his qualities,

«O Prophet!…» [Al-Anfāl (6): 64 etc.]

«O Messenger!…» [Al-Māʾidah (5): 41, 67]

This aspect is not established for anybody else besides him (SAW), rather it is established that all other Prophets were called by their names,

«O Adam! Reside…» [al-Baqarah (2): 35]

«O ‘Īsā, the son of Mary! Remember my favour upon you…» [al-Māʾidah (5): 110]

«O Nūh! Disembark with peace…» [Hūd (11): 48]

«O Dāwūd! We have indeed made you a successor in the earth…» [Şād (): 26]

«…O Ibrāhīm! You have indeed proven true to the dream…» [al-Şāffāt (): 105]

«O Lūt! We are messengers of your Lord…» [Hūd (11): 81]

«O Zakariyyah! We give you the glad-tidings…» [Maryam (19): 7]

«O Yahyā! Take the book…» [Maryam (19): 12]

It is clear to everyone that when a master addresses one of his servants by referring to the best of his qualities, or the most sublime of his manners, yet calls the rest of his servants by their proper names, that the ranking of the former is nobler and closer than the latter.

This fact is known through custom. When someone is addressed by using the best of his manners and qualities, this is a way honouring him and showing him respect. The poet said,

Do not call me except by the name, ‘O servant of hers!’

For that is the best of my names.[8]

 

9. The miracle of every Prophet has dwindled and departed. However the miracle of the master of the first and last people (SAW), the Great Qur’ān, will remain until the Day of Recompense.[9]

«It is We who have sent down the Reminder and We who will preserve it.» [al-Hijr (15): 9]

 

10. The rock that would greet him with the salām[10] and the trunk of the date-palm tree would yearn for him.[11]

This is not established for any other Prophet.

So take to what you see and leave that which you may have heard.[12]

 

11. Amongst the miracles he performed are found those whose miraculous nature is greater and more apparent than the miracles performed by others.

An example of this lies with water coming out from between his fingers.[13] This is a feat that defies nature in a far greater way than water gushing forth from stone, this is because it is quite normal to see water gushing out of rock [in nature]. Hence his miracle of causing water to gush forth from his fingers is a greater miracle than Mūsā (AS) causing water to gush forth from rock.

 

12. ʿĪsā (AS) cured those who were born blind while the eyes were still in their proper place, whereas the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) returned an eye to its socket after it had slipped out onto [Qatādah’s] cheek.[14]

This is a miracle from two perspectives:

The First: his repairing it after it slipped out.

The Second: His restoring his sight [in that eye] after his having lost it, [indeed it became the better of his two eyes].

 

13. The [spiritually] dead that he revived such that they were taken from disbelief to belief are greater in number than the [physically] dead that ʿĪsā revived.

There is a world of difference between the life that is granted through faith and the mere life of the bodies.[15]

 

14. Allāh, Most High, has written the reward of every Prophet proportionally to the actions, states and statements of his respective nation.

However, his (SAW) nation would constitute half the inhabitants of Paradise[16] and Allāh, Most High, informed us that his nation was the best nation brought forth for mankind.[17] They were regarded to be the best of nations due to their quality of cognisance, states, statements and actions. So there is no portion of cognisance, no state, act of worship, article of true doctrine, or anything from those matters that are used to draw close to Allāh, the Mighty and Magnificent, which the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) has directed to and called to, except that he too has the reward of the one who acts by it until the Day Rising. This is because he said, “Whoever calls to guidance, he has its reward and the reward of all those who act by it until the Day of Judgment.”[18]

None of the other Prophets attained this level. In a hadīth it is mentioned, “The creation is dependant upon Allāh, and the most beloved of them to Him are those who bring about most benefit to His dependants.”[19]

Now, because he (SAW) brought about benefit to half the inhabitants of Paradise while the other Prophets only benefited a portion of the remaining half, his (SAW) ranking in closeness is proportional to his ranking in bringing benefit.

Hence, there is no Gnostic in his nation except that he (SAW) has the same reward ensuing from his cognisance as he does, in addition to his (SAW) own cognisance. There is no person having a particular spiritual condition from his nation except that he too has the reward for that condition, in addition to his own conditions. There is none who holds to an article of true doctrine through which he seeks to draw closer to Allāh, the Mighty and Magnificent, except that he too has its reward, in addition to his beliefs and conveyance of his message. There is no action from the actions that draw one closer to Allāh, the Mighty and Magnificent, such as prayer (şalāh), charity (zakāh), freeing of slaves (ʿitq), Jihād, piety (birr), good actions (maʿrūf), remembrance (dhikr), patience (şabr), forgiveness (ʿafw), clemency (şafh), except that he too has the reward of the one who performs them, in addition to the reward he gets for his own actions. There is no lofty level or eminent ranking that is attained by any of his nation through his direction and guidance except that he too has its reward, in addition to his own level and ranking.

This reward is further multiplied by the fact that whoever from amongst his nation calls to guidance,[20] or inaugurates a good Sunnah, he has the reward of doing it and all those who follow him in it, then this multiplied reward is also attained by our Prophet (SAW) because he is the one who [originally] directed and guided towards it.

It was for this reason that Mūsā (AS) cried on the night of the Nights Journey, out of permissible envy towards the Prophet (SAW), because more of his nation would enter Paradise than his own.[21] He did not cry out of malicious envy as some ignorant people suggest, instead he cried out of sorrow of what he had missed out on when he saw [the greatness of] his (SAW) rank.

 

15. Allāh sent every [previous] Prophet to his own specific nation whereas he sent our Prophet, Muhammad (SAW), to the entirety of man and jinn.[22]

Every Prophet has the reward of conveying the message to his people and our Prophet (SAW) has the reward of conveying the message to everyone he was sent to. This comes about sometimes through his direct conveyance and other times through the conveyance being attributed to him; this is why Allāh, Most High, pointed out this great blessing with his saying,

«If We had wished, We would have sent a warner to every tribe.» [al-Furqān (25): 51]

The point of inference from this verse is that if Allāh had sent a warner to every tribe, all the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) would have attained was the reward of conveying the message to his particular people.[23]

 

16. Allāh, Most High, spoke to Mūsā at Mount Ţūr and at the Sanctified Valley whereas He spoke to our Prophet (SAW) at the Lote Tree at the Farthest Limit.[24]

 

17. He (SAW) said, “We are the last nation from amongst the inhabitants of this world yet the first to be resurrected on the Day of Judgement, the first to be judged and the first to enter Paradise.”[25]

 

18. When he mentioned [his] mastery in the unrestricted sense, he restricted it by saying, “…on the Day of Judgement, the first one whom the grave will give up, the first intercessor and the first to have his intercession accepted.”[26]

 

19. That the whole of creation would desirously turn to him (SAW) on the Day of Rising, even Ibrāhīm (AS).[27]

 

20. He (SAW) said, “Al-Wasīlah is a station in Paradise reserved for a particular servant from amongst the servants of Allāh, Most High, and I hope to be that servant. So whoever asks for al-Wasīlah for me, [my] intercession becomes lawful for him.”[28]

 

21. Seventy thousand members of his nation would enter Paradise without being judged at all, and this is not established for any other than him (SAW).[29]

 

22. The Fount (al-Kawthar) that he has been granted in Paradise[30] and the Pool (al-Hawd) that he has been granted at the place of standing [on the Day of Resurrection].[31]

 

23. He (SAW) said, “We are the last yet the forerunners.”[32]

meaning the last with respect to time, yet at the fore with respect to virtues and noble qualities.

 

24. War booty (ghanīmah) was lawful for him (SAW) whereas it had not been lawful for any previous Prophet.[33]

The rows of his nation [in prayer] were made to reflect the rows of the Angels, the earth was made a Mosque for him and its earth was made pure and purifying.[34] These aspects specific to him go to show his exalted ranking and the kindness displayed to his nation.

 

25. Allāh, Most High, has commended his morals and manners, saying,

«You are indeed upon an exalted standard of character.» [al-Qalam (68): 4]

Exaltation coming from the great for particular qualities shows that those qualities are immense and deep-rooted, so what would one think when this exaltation comes from the greatest of the great?!

 

26. Allāh, Most High, spoke to him via a number of different forms of revelation.

They are of three types:

The First:           Through true dreams

The Second:        Speaking [directly] without any intermediary.

The Third:         Through [the medium of] Jibrīl (SAW).[35]

 

27. His (SAW) Book contains [the knowledge] of the Tawrāh, the Injīl and the Zabūr, in addition to this he was honoured with the mufaşşal chapters.[36]

 

28. His nation will have fewer actions than those before them, but greater reward as is proven by the şahīh hadīth.[37]

 

29. Allāh, Most High, presented to him (SAW) the keys to the treasures of the earth and granted him the choice between being a Prophet-King or a Prophet-Servant.

He consulted with Jibrīl (AS) who advised him towards humility and meekness. Thereupon he said, “A Prophet-Servant, I will be hungry one day and full another. When I am hungry I would supplicate to Allāh and when I am full I would thank Allāh.”[38]

His intention behind saying this was that he always be engaged with his Lord in times of hardship and ease, in times of blessings and trials.

 

30. Allāh, Most High, sent him as a mercy to the worlds.

He delayed the punishment of the sinners amongst the nation, not striking them with retribution immediately, so as to grant them [a chance to repent].[39] This was not the case with regards the previous Prophets, for when they were denied, the punishment meted out to the deniers was swift.

 

31. As for his (SAW) character such as his forbearance, forgiveness, clemency, patience, his gratitude, his gentleness for the sake of Allāh, the fact that he did not become angry for any personal motive, that he came to perfect good morals and manners,[40] what is quoted of his khushūʿ, submission and humbleness, his asceticism, his humble manner of eating, drinking, attire, place of residence, his good-nature and beautiful personality, his noble stature and build, his balanced temperament and his sincerity to his nation, his desire that his near of kin believe, his standing firm against those who rejected his message in order to aid the religion of Allāh, his raising His Word high, the harm he met with from his people and others and his strangeness, some of these are discussed in the Book of Allāh and others in the works dealing with his virtues.[41]

 

32. His gentleness is mentioned in the saying of Allāh, Most High,

«It is a mercy from Allāh that you were gentle with them» [Āli ʿImrān (3): 159]

 

33. His severity against the disbelievers and mercy toward the believers is mentioned in the saying of Allāh, Most High,

«Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, those who are with him are fierce against the disbelievers, merciful to one another» [Fath (48): 29]

 

34. His ardent desire that his nation accept faith, his gentleness towards the believers and his compassion towards all is mentioned in the saying of Allāh, Most High,

«A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering is distressing to him; he is deeply concerned for you; he is gentle and merciful to the believers» [al-Tawbah (9): 128]

Meaning he finds hard whatever you find hard and is desirous that you accept faith.

«…he is deeply concerned for you…» [al-Tawbah (9): 128]

i.e. with regards your faith and that you should believe.

«…he is gentle and merciful to the believers» [al-Tawbah (9): 128][42]

 

35. His sincerity in conveying the message is mentioned in the saying of Allāh, Most High,

«So turn away for them, for you are not to blame» [al-Dhāriyāt (51): 54]

If his conveyance of the message had been deficient in any way, blame would have been directed to him.

 

36. Allāh, Most High, has placed his (SAW) nation in the position of judges.

This is because when Allāh will judge between the people and the nations deny the message ever reaching them, the nation of Muhammad (SAW) will be brought forward and they will testify that their preachers did reach them and convey the message to them.[43] This quality is not established for any other Prophet.

 

37. Similarly his nation is preserved from ever uniting upon error, be it in fundamental or subsidiary issues.[44]

 

38. Similarly his Book is preserved and protected.

If all of mankind, the first and last of them, were to gather together and try to insert or remove a single word, they would be unable to. It is apparent to all that the Tawrāh and the Injīl has been altered.

 

39. Allāh has concealed the actions of those people amongst his nation whose actions have not been accepted. Those before him used to offer their sacrifices and fire would consume those sacrifices that were accepted and leave alone those that were not. Therefore, the person whose sacrifice was rejected would be publicly disgraced.[45] It is in this regard that Allāh says,

«We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds.» [al-Anbiyāʾ (21): 107]

The Prophet (SAW) said, “I am only a mercy that has been bestowed.”[46]  “I am the Prophet of Mercy.”[47]

 

40. He (SAW) has been sent with concise and comprehensive words.

His speech was summarised in the best of ways[48] and he surpassed the Arabs with respect to his eloquence and purity of language.

 

41. Just as Allāh favoured him above all human Prophets and Messengers, he favoured him above those amongst His chosen ones from the inhabitants of the heaven and the Angels.

The best of those amongst men are better than the Angels, as Allāh, the Exalted says,

«But those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures.» [al-Bayyinah (98): 7]

The Angels are part and parcel of al-Bariyyah. This is because this word is derived from the statement, ‘Allāh bara’a the creation’ i.e. invented it and brought it into existence. The Angels are not included in His saying,

«But those who believe and do righteous deeds…» [al-Bayyinah (98): 7]

because it is understood that this address is conventionally directed to man, even though the Angels have believed and work righteous deeds. The evidence for this is that this is what always comes to mind [when one reads such statements].

Now if it is said that the word bariyyah is actually derived from the word barā which means earth [and hence specifically refers] to man because he is created from earth, and therefore, the verse means, “but those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of men.” The answer to this is from two angles:

The First: The scholars of Arabic language have counted the word al-Bariyyah amongst those words whose hamzah has been dropped.

The Second: This is the clearer of the two, Nāfi‘ recited the word with a hamzah [in his recitation]. Both recitations of this word constitute the Speech of Allāh. So [even if we were to assume] that one recitation just serves to distinguish man from other men, the other recitation serves to distinguish man from the remainder of creation.

Thus, when it is established that the best people amongst men are better than the Angels, then the Prophets (SAW) are the best of those who have believed and worked righteous deeds as proven by the saying of Allāh, Most High, after having mentioned a group of the Prophets,

«…all of them We favoured over all beings.» [al-An‘ām (6): 86]

This verse then proves that they are the best amongst man and better than the Angels, this is because the Angels fall within the meaning of ‘all beings’. This is regardless of whether al-‘ālamīn is derived from ‘ālam (world) or ‘allāmah (sign).[49]

Consequently, when it is proven that the Prophets are better than the Angels, it is known that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) is the best of the Prophets; he surpassed the leaders of the Angels and hence became two ranks above the Angels and two levels above them. None knows the extent of these two ranks or the nobility of those two levels except for the One who favoured the Seal of the Prophets, the Master of the Messengers over the whole of creation.

 

The glimpses and perusals mentioned above should suffice for the intelligent and perspicuous person [in proving the excellence of the Messenger (SAW)], indeed just some of them should be enough.

 

We ask Allāh through His beneficence and generosity to grant us the divine accord allowing us to follow His Messenger in his life example and path, in all of his morals and manners – both the inner and outer, and that He make us amongst his party and helpers. He is the One who has power over all things and the One who swiftly responds. There is no might or power except with Allāh, Most High, the Great.

 

O Allāh! Send peace and blessings upon our master, Muhammad,

his family and Companions, abundantly and perpetually.

 


ENDNOTES

[1] This is the hadīth of ʿAbdullāh b. Sallām (RA) with the wording, “I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting, the first one whom the earth will give up, the first intercessor and in my hands will be the Banner of Praise under which will stand Adam and all those who came after him.”

It was declared sahīh by ibn Hibbān [#6478] and Albānī.

 

[2] This is taken the previous hadīth of ʿAbdullāh b. Sallām with some slight differences in wording. This actual wording is mentioned in the hadīth of Abū Saʿīd being recorded by Tirmidhī [#3148] and ibn Mājah [no. 4308].

 

[3] This wording is found in the hadīth of ibn ʿAbbās (RAA) concerning the Intercession (shafāʿā) as reported by Ahmad [#2546, 2692] and Tirmidhī [no. 3620].

 

[4] This is a portion of the lengthy hadīth concerning the Intercession as reported on the authority of Abū Hurayrah (RA) by Bukhārī [#4712] and Muslim [#194] with the wording, “I will be the master of the people on the Day of Judgement, do you know why? Allāh will gather the first and last people on one plain…”

 

[5] This is found in a variant report of the hadīth concerning the Intercession mentioned in the previous note, this wording however has been reported on the authority of Anas bin Mālik (RA) by Bukhārī [#7510] and Muslim [#286]

 

[6] Mentioned in the hadīth of Abū Hurayrah (RA) with the words, “I will be the master of the children of Adam on the Day of Judgement, the first one whom the earth will give up, the first intercessor and the first to have his intercession accepted.” Recorded by Muslim [#2278]

 

[7] Pointing to his (SAW) saying, “Every Prophet is given a supplication that is [definitely] answered, he would employ it, have it answered and be granted [what he requested]. I have reserved my supplication so that it may be used to intercede for my nation on the Day of Judgement.”

Recorded by Bukhārī [#6304, 7474] and Muslim [#198] on the authority of Abū Hurayrah.

 

[8] The author has redacted this section from the words of Abū Nuʿaym, Dalāʾil an-Nubuwwah [pp. 9-11]. Then Suyūtī summarised all of this in al-Khasāʾis al-Kubrā [3/141] saying, ‘Some of the scholars said that from the matters specific to him is that, in the Qurʾān, Allāh, Most High, did not directly address him by calling his name…’

 

[9] Pointing to the hadīth of Abū Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “There is not a single Prophet except that he was given such signs as would cause the people to believe. I have been given the revelation that Allāh revealed to me and I hope that I would have the largest following out of the Prophets on the Day of Judgement.”

Recorded by Bukhārī [#4971, 7274] and Muslim [#152]. This mark of distinction was quoted from the author by Suyūtī, al-Khasāʾis [3/131].

 

[10] Pointing to the hadīth of Jābir b. Samurah (RA) recorded by Muslim [#2276] that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “I know a rock in Mecca that used to greet me with the salām before I was commissioned and I still know of it now.”

 

[11] This miracle has been reported via multiple routes (mutawātir) from the Prophet (SAW). Hāfidh ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāyah and Suyūtī, al-Khasāʾis [2/306-309] collated a large portion of its routes from a group of the Companions; amongst these were ibn ʿUmar and Jābir as recorded by Bukhārī [#3583, 3585]; Jābir, Ubay, Sahl b. Saʿd, Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī and ʿAʾishah as recorded by Abū Nuʿaym [pp. 341-345]; Anas b. Mālik and ibn ‘Abbās as recorded by ibn Mājah [#1415].

The wording of the latter is, “The Prophet (SAW) used to deliver his sermons while [leaning] on the trunk of a date-palm tree. When the pulpit (minbar) was constructed for him, he went it and the trunk [was heard] making a mournful, yearning sound. He clasped it in his arms and it became silent whereupon he said, ‘if I had not done so, it would have remained yearning until the Day of Judgement.’ ”

Suyūtī, al-Khasāʾis [3/131] quoted both these marks of distinction from the author.

 

[12] The beginning of the line of poetry reads,

In the appearance of the full moon lies enough to suffice you from retiring

The line is from a poem written by al-Mutanabbi praising and excusing the leader of his time.

 

[13] This miracle has been reported via multiple routes from him (SAW) on the authority of a group of the Companions and occurred on numerous occasions. Amongst these was Jābir, Anas, Ziyād b. al-Hārith, Talq b. ʿAlī, ibn ʿAbbās, ibn Masʿūd, Abū Laylā, Abū Hurayrah, ʿImrān b. Husayn and Abū Qatādah as recorded by Abū Nuʿaym [pp. 345-350] and Suyūtī [2/214-219].

Bukhārī and Muslim record the hadīth of Anas b. Mālik (RA) who said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) when the time of ‘Asr had drawn close, the people went looking for water but were unable to find any. The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) was brought his water to employ for purification and he placed his hand in the vessel and ordered the people to perform their ritual ablution (wudūʾ) from it. I saw water gushing out from under his fingers and every single person performed ablution from it.’

 

[14] Pointing to the hadīth recorded by Abū Yaʿlā [#1549, 1550] and Abū Nuʿaym via the route of ʿAsim b. ʿUmar b. Qatādah; from his father; from his grandfather, Qatādah that, ‘His eye was damaged on the day of Uhud and it slipped out onto his cheek. The people decided to cut it off and they went to ask the Prophet (SAW) about this. He replied, ‘no’ and called for him, placed his eye in his palm [and put it back in its place] and after this Qatādah could not tell which of his eyes had been damaged.’

The wording is that of Abū Nuʿaym and this wording was quoted by Haythamī, al-Majmaʿ [8/296-297] after which he said, ‘Its isnād contains Yahyā b. ʿAbdu’l-Hamīd al-Himmānī and he is daʿīf.’ However it is reported via two other routed by Abū Nuʿaym [p. 418] which serve to strengthen it.

 

[15] In some manuscripts this sentence reads, ‘The explanation to giving life through faith and giving life to the bodies follows.’

 

[16] As is mentioned in the hadīth of Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “Allāh, the Mighty and Magnificent, will say on the Day of Judgement, ‘O Adam!’ He will reply, ‘O our Lord! Hearing and totally obedient.’ Thereupon a voice will call, ‘Allāh orders you to take out of your progeny the portion [destined] for the Fire.’ He will ask, ‘O Lord! What is the portion [destined] for the Fire?’ He will reply, ‘from every thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine.’ At that point every pregnant female will drop her load, the hair of children will go white and you will see men [wandering about] as if drunk when they are not, however the punishment of Allāh is severe. This bore down heavily upon the people [who were listening] and the Prophet (SAW) went on to say, ‘from the Ya’jūj will be the nine hundred and ninety-nine and from you one, furthermore you are like the black hair on the back of a white ox – or the white hair on the back of a black ox – and I would hope that you constitute one quarter of the inhabitants of Paradise.’ Thereupon we proclaimed the takbīr and he said, ‘one third of the inhabitants of Paradise’ and we proclaimed the takbīr, then he said, ‘one half of the inhabitants of Paradise’ and we proclaimed the takbīr.”

Recorded by Bukhārī [#3348, 4741, 6530, 7483] and Muslim [#222, 379, 380].

 

[17] Allāh, Most High says, «You are the best nation brought forth for mankind, you enjoin the good and prohibit the evil and you believe in Allāh» [Āli ʿImrān(3): 110]

 

[18] Muslim [#2674] on the authority of Abū Hurayrah, and he also records [#1017] the hadīth of Jarīr bin ʿAbdullāh al-Bajlī, ‘Whoever introduces a good practice in Islām, he has its reward and the reward of all those who act upon it after him without their reward decreasing in the slightest…’. A similar hadīth is also recorded by Ahmad [#23289] on the authority of Hudhayfah.

 

[19] Recorded by Abū Yaʿlā [#3315, 3370, 3478] and Bazzār [#1949] on the authority of Anas. It was ruled daʿīf jiddan by ibn Hajr, Matālib al-ʿAliyah [#1000] and Albānī, and daʿīf by as-Suyūti and Zarkashī as per Manāwī, Fayd al-Qadīr [3/674 #4135].

The hadīth is also recorded on the authority of ibn Masʿūd by al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab al-Imān [#7448] and Tabarānī, al-Kabīr [#10033]. Ibn al-Jawzī said this hadīth was not authentic and Haythamī [8/191] pointed out that it has a matrūk narrator. See Manāwī [3/674 #4135].

However this hadīth is more than adequately replaced by the hadīth reported by Jābir (RA) from the Prophet (SAW), “The best of people are those who bring about most benefit to the people.” Recorded by Qudāʿī [1/101], and others, and declared hasan by al-Albānī.

 

[20] Pointing to his (SAW) saying, “Whoever calls to guidance, his reward will be the same as the reward of all those who follow him in it without their rewards decreasing in the slightest…” Reported by Muslim.

 

[21] Bukhārī and Muslim record the hadīth of Anas concerning the Ascent (miʿrāj) in which the following words are mentioned, “…then I was raised to the sixth heaven… and when I arrived, I saw Mūsā. [Jibrīl] said, ‘This is Mūsā, so greet him with the salām’ so I greeted him and he replied and then said, ‘Welcome to the righteous brother and the righteous Prophet.’ When I had passed him he cried and it was asked of him, ‘what makes you cry?’ He replied, ‘I cried because a servant has been sent after me and more of his nation shall enter Paradise than mine.’ ”

 

[22] As mentioned in His, the Exalted’s saying, «We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds» [al-Anbiyāʾ (21): 107], «Blessed be He Who sent down the Criterion upon His servant so that he may be a warner to all the worlds» [al-Furqān (25): 1]

He (SAW) said, “I have been given five [things] that were not given to any Prophet before me: I was aided by having fear [implanted into the hearts of the enemy] for the distance of one months journey; the earth was made a Mosque for me, and pure and purifying, therefore wherever a person from my nation may be and comes upon the time of prayer, let him pray; war booty has been made permissible for me; the [previous] Prophets were sent to their specific people whereas I have been sent to the whole of mankind; and I have been granted the Intercession.” Recorded by Bukhārī [#335, 438, 3122] and Muslim [#521] on the authority of Jābir (RA).

 

[23] These words of the author, may Allāh have mercy upon him, point out that there is no contradiction between the above mentioned verse and His, the Exalted’s saying, «There is no community to which a warner has not come» [al-Fātir (35): 24] This is because the first verse is talking about his time and the second, before his time.

 

[24] Suyūtī, al-Khasāʾis [3/151] quoted this point from the author.

The author is pointing to His saying, «then He revealed to His servant what He revealed. The heart did not lie about what he saw. What! Do you dispute with him about what he saw? He saw him again another time, by the Lote Tree at the Farthest Limit, besides which is the Garden of Refuge, when that which covered the Lote Tree covered it» [al-Najm (53): 10-16]

Bukhārī and Muslim record hadīth concerning the Night’s Journey (al-Isrāʾ) on the authority of Anas (RA) that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW), ‘…then I was taken to the Lote Tree at the Farthest Limit, its leaves were [as large as] elephant ears and its fruits were like huge earthenware vessels, then when it was covered with what covered it by the command of Allāh, it changed and not a single person of the creation would have been able to describe its beauty. Then Allāh revealed to me what He revealed and obligated upon me fifty prayers to be performed every day and night…. until He said, ‘O Muhammad! Then make them five prayers in every day and night, each prayer will be the equivalent of ten and that makes fifty prayers.’ ”

Muslim also records the hadīth of ʿAbdullāh bin Masʿūd (RA) who said, “when the Messenger of Allāh (SAW was taken upon the Ascent, it concluded at the Lote Tree at the Farthest Limit which is in the sixth heaven, it is at this point that everything that ascends from the earth terminates and is held there, and it is at this point that everything that descends from above it terminates and is held there… The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) was granted three things: the five daily prayers, the end verses of Sūrah al-Baqarah, and [the tidings that] whoever did not associate anything with Allāh would have his major sins forgiven.”

 

[25] Recorded by Muslim [#856] on the authority of Hudhayfah that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “Allāh led those before us astray with regards the Jumu‘ah. Saturday was for the Jews and Sunday was for the Christians. Then Allāh came with us, He guided us to Jumu‘ah [and the order of days was] Jumu‘ah, Saturday and Sunday. This is why they will lag behind us on the Day of Judgement, we are the last…” to the end of the hadīth, but without the additional wording, “…and the first to enter Paradise.”

Bukhārī [#238, 867, 2956, 6887, 7495] and Muslim [#855] records on the authority of Abū Hurayrah (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “we are the last yet the first on the Day of Judgement. We are the first to enter Paradise even though they were given the Book before us and we were given it afterwards. They differed and Allāh guided us to…”

 

[26] Refer to fn. 6.

 

[27] As mentioned in the long hadīth concerning the Intercession which has been mentioned in fn.’s 4+5

 

[28] Muslim [#384] on the authority of ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAmr that he heard the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) saying, “When you hear the Muʾadhdhin, say as he says, then invoke salāh upon me, for whoever invokes salāh upon me once, Allāh sends salāh upon him ten times. Then ask Allāh for al-Wasīlah on my behalf for it is a station in Paradise…”

A similar hadīth is also recorded on the authority of Jābir by Bukhārī [#614, 4719]; Abū Saʿīd by Ahmad [#11783]; and Abū Hurayrah by Ahmad [#7598, 8770]

 

[29] Bukhārī [#5752] and Muslim [#220] on the authority of ibn ʿAbbās.

Tirmidhī [#2439] records on the authority of Abū Umāmah (RA) that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW)  said, “My Lord promised me that seventy thousand of my nation would enter Paradise without reckoning or punishment, with every thousand of them, seventy thousand [more], and [an additional] three handfuls of the handfuls of my Lord.” Tirmidhī ruled this hadīth to be hasan gharīb, ibn Hibbān [#7246] ruled it sahih as did Albānī.

This statement was quoted from the author by Suyūtī, al-Khasāʾis [3/449], may Allāh have mercy on them both.

 

[30] al-Kawthar is mentioned in His saying, «Indeed We have granted you al-Kawthar» [al-Kawthar (108): 1]

Bukhārī [#4964] records the hadīth of Anas who said, ‘when the Prophet (SAW) was taken to the heaven he said, “I came to a river, the banks of which were domes of hollowed pearls. I asked, ‘what is this Jibrīl?’ He replied, ‘this is al-Kawthar.’ ” ’

Ibn ʿAbbās explained al-Kawthar to mean the abundant good which Allāh granted him and ʿĀʾishah said, ‘it is a river which was given to your Prophet (SAW), on its shores are hollow pearls and the number of its vessels are like that of the stars.’ Both of these narrations are recorded by Bukhārī [#4965, 4966], and there is no contradiction between the two because the river is from amongst the abundant good that Allāh granted our Prophet, Muhammad (SAW) as stated by Saʿīd b. Jubair and recorded by Bukhārī [#4966]

 

[31] Bukhārī [#7050] and Muslim [#2290] record on the authority of Sahl b. Saʿd that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “I will precede you at arriving at the Hawd, whoever will come to it, will drink from it; and whoever drinks from it will never again experience thirst.”

The ahādīth concerning it reach the level of mutawātir and hence one derives definitive knowledge from them. Hāfidh ibn Hajr said, ‘This is because thirty-odd Companions reported ahādīth concerning it, more than twenty of them being mentioned in the Two Sahīhs and the remainder being mentioned in others, [this number refers to those narrations] that are authentic and famous.’ Ibn Abī ʿAsim, as-Sunnah [no.’s 697-776] said, ‘The narrations that we have mentioned from the Prophet (SAW) necessitate knowledge and we believe in them. We also ardently desire that the One who granted us the divine accord to have belief in it, gather us together at it and allow us to drink from it such that we would never become thirsty again. We ask this of Him by His beneficence.’

Moreover, the statement of the author, ‘at the place of standing’ shows that he is of the opinion that the Hawd comes before the Bridge and this can be clearly seen from some ahādīth and was the opinion that ibn Hajr determined to be the strongest.

 

[32] See fn. 25.

 

[33] Ahmad [#21299, 21314, 21435] records on the authority of Abū Dharr that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “I have been granted five things that no Prophet before me was granted: I was sent to the red and black people; the earth was made a Mosque for me and pure and purifying; war booty was made permissible for me whereas it had not been permissible for any before me; I was aided by fear for a month – the enemy would be in fear of me to the distance of one months [journey]; It was said to me, ‘ask and you will be given’ but I reserved my supplication so that it may serve as intercession for my nation. Those of you to attain it, if Allāh Wills, will be those who did not associate anything with Allāh.”

 

[34] Muslim [#522] records on the authority of Hudhayfah that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “We were honoured above other people through three things: our rows are like the rows of Angels; the whole earth was made into a Mosque for us and its earth was made pure and purifying in the case that we cannot find water.”

 

[35] Baghawī, Sharh as-Sunnah [#4111-4113] and al-Qudā`ī [#1151] record on the authority of ibn Mas`ūd that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “Indeed the Holy Spirit has whispered in my soul that a person will never die until his [pre-ordained] time comes and it gets its whole provision. So fear Allāh, be moderate in making requests and do not let the notion that your provision has been delayed induce you to disobey Allāh, for what is with Allāh can only be attained through obeying Him.”

This proves that there is a fourth type of revelation which is to whisper in the soul. This mark of distinction was quoted from the author by Suyūtī, al-Khasā’is [3/153].

 

[36] Ahmad [#16982] records on the authority of Wāthilah bin al-Asqa‘ that the Prophet (SAW) said, “In the place of the Tawrah I was given the seven long sūrahs (tiwāl), in the place of the Zabūr I was given the sūrahs having a hundred verses (mi’īn), in the place of the Injīl I was given the oft-repeated sūrahs (al-mathānī) and I was honoured with the mufaşşal sūrahs.”

It was ruled hasan by Suyūtī as per al-Manāwī [1/722 #1171] and sahīh by Albānī. The mufaşşal sūrahs commence with Sūrah Qāf and end with al-Nās.

 

[37] Bukhārī [#558] records the hadīth of Abū Mūsā al-Ash‘arī (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The similitude of the Muslims and the Jews and Christians is that of a man who hires some people to work for him till nightfall for a set wage. They work till mid-day and then say, ‘we have no need for your money that you promised to pay us, our work is annulled.’ He says to them, ‘do not take this course, complete the remainder of your work and take your complete pay,’ but they refuse and abandon the work. He then hires two other workers and says to them, ‘complete the remainder of this day and you will get the whole pay I promised the previous workers.’ They work until the time of ‘Asr prayer and then say, ‘you can have what we have done so far, the rest is annulled and you can keep the money that you set aside for us.’ He says to them, ‘complete the remainder of your work for their only remains a small portion of the day,’ but they refuse. Then he hires another people to work for the remainder of the day and they do so until the sun disappears and they attain the wage of both the earlier parties. This is the similitude of them and those who accepted this light [of Islām].”

He also has another, more complete wording on the authority of ibn ‘Umar and at its conclusion are the words, “So the Jews and Christians become angry and say, ‘How is it that we have more actions yet less reward?’ Allāh says, ‘Have I oppressed you in any way with regards your reward?’ They will reply, ‘No.’ He will then say, ‘That is my grace which I bestow on whomever I will.’ ”

Suyūtī, al-Khasā’is [3/217] quoted the above statement.

 

[38] Recorded by Tirmidhī [#2347] and Ahmad [#22190] on the authority of Abū Umāmah that the Prophet (SAW) said, “My Lord gave me the option of having [the likes of] the plain of Mecca as gold and I said, ‘No my Lord! Rather I would be full one day and go hungry another, thus when I am hungry I would humble myself before You and remember You, when I am full I would praise You and thank You.’ ”

Albānī ruled the first part of the hadīth to be authentic due to supporting witnesses and the second part commencing with ‘I would be full…’ to be munkar.

Ahmad [#7160] and ibn Hibbān [#6365] record the hadīth of Abū Hurayrah that, ‘Jibrīl sat with the Prophet (SAW) and looked to the sky to see and Angel descending, he said, “This Angel has not descended since the day it was created.” When he had descended he said, “O Muhammad! Your Lord has sent me to you – should He make you a Prophet-King or a Servant-Messenger?” Jibrīl said, “O Muhammad! Be humble before your Lord.” He said, “Rather a Servant-Messenger” ’

Haythamī [9/19] and Albānī said that its isnād was şahīh meeting the criteria of Bukhārī and Muslim.

 

[39] Pointing to the saying of Allāh, Most High, «Allāh would not punish them while you were among them.» [al-Anfāl (8): 33].

Abū Nu‘aym [p. 9] said, ‘So his enemies were safe from punishment being meted to them during his (SAW) life. He did not punish them despite their asking for the punishment to be hastened on in order to actualise his attribute [of mercy] that He had described him with. When he moved on to his Lord, Most High, He sent upon them the punishment of war and slavery as mentioned in His saying, «either We will extricate you and take revenge upon them…» [al-Zukhruf (43): 41]’

 

[40] Ahmad [#8952] and Mālik [#1494] record on the authority of Abū Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “I have only been sent to complete noble morals and manners.”

It was ruled sahīh by ibn `Abdu-l-Barr, al-Tamhīd [10/527], `Ijlūnī, Kashf al-Khafā’ [#638] and Albānī.

 

[41] One of the most famous works dealing with this is Tirmidhī, ash-Shamā’il al-Muhammadiyyah.

 

[42] From the proofs of this is the hadīth of ‘Ā’ishah (RAH) that she asked the Messenger of Allāh (SAW), ‘Have you faced a day that was harder upon you than the Day of Uhud?’ He replied, “I faced [more] from your people, the worst I ever met from them was on the Day of ‘Aqabah when I presented myself to ibn ‘Abd YāLayl bin ‘Abd Kulāl and he did not grant me what I wished. I left being overwhelmed with sorrow, I could not relax until I found myself by Qarn al-Tha‘ālib. I lifted my head to the sky and suddenly a cloud shaded me, I looked and saw Jibrīl who called to me saying, ‘Allāh has heard the words of your people to you and their rejection of you. Allāh has sent the Angel of the mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the mountains called me, extending to me the greeting of salām and then said, ‘O Muhammad! Order whatever you desire, if you wish I will let fall upon them the two mountains at al-Akhshab.’ The Prophet (SAW) replied, ‘rather I hope that Allāh will bring out of their loins those who would worship Allāh alone without associating any partners with him.’ ” ’

Recorded by Bukhārī [#3231, 7389] and Muslim [#1795].

 

[43] Ibn Mājah [#4284] records the hadīth of Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī (RA) that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “A Prophet will be brought and with him will be two people, another will be brought with three people, [others will be brought] with more or less. It will be asked of him, ‘Did you convey the message to your people?’ He will reply, ‘Yes.’ His people will be summoned and it will be asked of them, ‘did he convey the message to you?’ They will reply, ‘no.’ It will then be asked, ‘Who can give witness on your behalf?’ He will reply, ‘Muhammad and his nation.’ Thereupon the nation of Muhammad will be summoned and it will be asked of them, ‘Did he convey the message?’ They will reply, ‘Yes.’ He will ask, ‘How did you come to know this?’ They will reply, ‘Our Prophet informed us of this – that the Messengers conveyed their message – and we believed him.’

That is the saying of Allāh, «in this way we have made you a balanced community, so that you may act as witnesses against mankind» [al-Baqarah (2): 143]”

It was declared sahīh by Albānī and Bukhārī [#3339, 4487, 7349] records a summarised version of this hadīth.

Suyūtī, al-Khasā’is [3/251] quoted this point from the author.

 

[44] Tirmidhī [#2167] records on the authority of ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “My nation will never unite upon misguidance and the Hand of Allāh is upon the Jamā‘ah.”

Tirmidhī said it was gharīb, it was ruled hasan by Suyūtī [2/343 #1818] and sahīh by Albānī.

Tirmidhī said, ‘The explanation of the word Jamā`ah in the view of the People of Knowledge is that it refers to the People of fiqh, knowledge and hadīth.’

 

[45] Bukhārī [#3124] and Muslim [#1747] record on the authority of Abū Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “A Prophet from amongst the prophets of Allāh carried out a military expedition…. Allāh caused him to be victorious and he gathered the war booty and the fire came to burn it but it was not burnt. He said, ‘Some of you have stolen something from the booty so one man from every tribe should give me a pledge of allegiance by shaking hands with me.’ The hand of a man got stuck over the hand of their Prophet and he said, ‘The theft has been committed by your people so all the members of your tribe should give me the pledge of allegiance.’ The hands of two or three got stuck over the hand of their Prophet and he said, ‘You have committed the theft.’ Then they brought a head of gold resembling the head of a cow and put it amongst the booty and the fire consumed the booty.”

Allāh, Most High says, «Recite to them the true report of Adam’s two sons when they offered a sacrifice and it was accepted from one of them but not the other. The one said, ‘I shall kill you.’ The other said, ‘Allāh only accepts from people who have taqwā…’» [al-Mā’idah (5): 27]

Ibn Jarīr, Tafsīr [no. 11715] and Tārīkh [1/68-69] reports from ibn ‘Abbās, ibn Mas‘ūd and a number of the Companions that ‘Whenever a child would be born to Adam, he would have twins – a boy and a girl. The male from one birth would marry the female of another birth and the female of one birth would marry the male of another birth. This continued until he had two sons born to him, Hābīl and Qābīl. Qābīl was a farmer and Hābīl was a stock farmer. … Hābil offered a goodly portion of produce and Qabīl offered a bundle of grain. … Fire descended and consumed Hābīl’s offering and left Qābīl’s offering. He became angry and said, “I will kill you.” Hābīl replied, “Allāh only accepts from those who have taqwā.” ’

The following saying of Allāh shows that this case of the fire was known to the Jews, «Those who say, ‘Allāh has made a contract with us that we should not have faith in any Messenger until he brings a sacrifice consumed by fire.’ Say, ‘Messengers came to you before me with Clear Signs and with what you say. So why did you kill them if you are telling the truth.’» [Āli ‘Imrān (3): 183]

 

[46] Recorded by Bayhaqī [#1446] and al-çākim [#100] on the authority of Abū Hurayrah. Hākim said it was şahīh, meeting the criteria of Bukhārī and Muslim and Dhahabī agreed, Albānī said it was şahīh as did Suyūtī [2/725 #2583].

 

[47] This is a portion of the hadīth recorded by Muslim [#2355] on the authority of Abū Mūsā al-Ash‘arī (RA) who said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) himself told us his names saying, “I am Muhammad, Ahmad al-Muqaffī (the Tracker), al-Hāshir (the Gatherer), Nabī al-Tawbah (the Prophet of Repentance), and Nabī al-Rahmah (the Prophet of Mercy).” ’

 

[48] Bukhārī [#6998] and Muslim [#523] record on the authority of Abū Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “I have been sent with concise and comprehensive speech, I have been aided by fear [being implanted in the hearts of my enemies], and while I was sleeping I was given the keys to the treasures of the earth – they were put in my hands.”

Abū Ya`lā [4/1737] records on the authority of Abū Mūsā that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “I have been granted the incipience of words, their conciseness and comprehensiveness and the most eloquent manner of speech.”

 

[49] Shanqītī, Adwā’ al-Bayān [1/31] said, ‘Some of the scholars stated that al-‘ālam (world, pl. ‘ālamīn) is derived from al-‘allāmah (sign) because the existence of the world is a sign, without doubt, of the existence of its Creator who is described with perfect and magnificent Attributes. The Exalted said, «Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the change of the night and day are signs (āyāt) for the people of understanding.»

In the language ayah means ‘allāmah.’

 

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