Chapter One – The excellences of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) from the Quran and Sunnah 

 

There exists upon this blessed earth nothing, past or present that is more beloved in the eyes of Allah (swt) than the Greatest of his Creation, The Mercy of Creation Sayyidina Muhammad al Mustafa (s). His excellences are beyond comprehension, and one can never truly describe the perfection that is Muhammad (s). Allah (swt) Himself has described him in a manner that reflects the true extent of his divine ranks:

And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) not but as a mercy for the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
al-hilali and khan 21:107

Of course, the Salafi translators have rightly translated ‘Alamin as “all that exists”. In the English translation of Tafsir Ibn Kathir, commentary of Qur’an 1:2, we read this:

THE MEANING OF AL-`ALAMIN

Al-`Alamin is plural for `Alam, which encompasses everything in existence except Allah. The word `Alam is itself a plural word, having no singular form. The `Alamin are different creations that exist in the heavens and the earth, on land and at sea. Every generation of creation is called an `Alam. Al-Farra` and Abu `Ubayd said, “`Alam includes all that has a mind, the Jinns, mankind, the angels and the devils, but not the animals.” Also, Zayd bin Aslam and Abu Muhaysin said, `Alam includes all that Allah has created with a soul.” Further, Qatadah said about,

(The Lord of the `Alamin),

“Every type of creation is an `Alam.” Az-Zajjaj also said, “Alam encompasses everything that Allah created, in this life and in the Hereafter.” Al-Qurtubi commented, “This is the correct meaning, that the `Alam encompasses everything that Allah created in both worlds. Similarly, Allah said,

(Fir`awn (Pharaoh) said: “And what is the Lord of the `Alamin” Musa (Moses) said: “The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced with certainty”) (26:23-24).

The question to ask is: how is Muhammad (s) Allah’s (swt) Mercy to the Arsh, the Paradise, the Hellfire, and all the angels? One thing that we are absolutely certain of is that nothing can survive without Allah’s (swt) mercy. This means that had Muhammad (s) not existed, NOTHING except Allah (swt) would exist. In this reality is proof that Muhammad (s) was the first creation. It is simply impossible for anything to exist before Muhammad (s), since such would be without Allah’s (swt) mercy.

In the hadith literature, we find a hint as to the kind of functions that Muhammad (s) performs, what makes him the Mercy of Creation. We read:

Narrated Muawiya:

Allah’s Apostle said, “If Allah wants to do good for somebody, he makes him comprehend the Religion (i.e. Islam), and Allah is the Giver and I am Al-Qasim (i.e. the distributor) , and this (Muslim) nation will remain victorious over their opponents, till Allah’s Order comes and they will still be victorious “

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Neither do I give you (anything) nor withhold (anything) from you, but I am just a distributor (i.e. Qasim), and I give as I am ordered.”
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 53, Number 346

Abd al-Rahman b. Auf reported: I heard Mu’awiya b. Abu Sufyan saying in an address that he had heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying : He to whom Allah intends to do good, He gives him insight into religion. And I am only the distributor while Allah is the Bestower.
Sahih Muslim Book 5, Number 2260

Every blessing of Allah (swt) that has EVER come to ANY creature has come through Muhammad (s). Just imagine such a rank, and balance it against the claims of Salafi Nawasib that he was an ordinary man like you and us!

To every Muslim who does not have Yazeed (la) living in his blood, Muhammad (s) is the best creation of Allah (swt), far superior to angels, Arsh and everything else that exists. He is also far purer than everything except Allah (swt). Besides, his entire lineage, from Adam (as) to Abdullah (ra), were total mumins. We read in Surah Shura verse 218 – 219:

Who seeth thee standing forth (in prayer),And thy movements among those who prostrate themselves,

In his commentary, Ibn Abbas in his Tafsir, states about this verse:

“…it is also said that this means: in the loins of your forefathers”.

But why? Why did he need to come through only pure souls? The answer is: Muhammad (s) was the first creation of Allah (swt), and His first prophet. He is also Light (Nur). Only pure bodies and souls can carry him. His prophethood did not begin when he became 4o years of age. It started well before the creation of Adam (as).

Let us examine a few relevant verses. We read in Surah Anam verse 124:

When there comes to them a sign (from God), They say: “We shall not believe until we receive one (exactly) like those received by God’s apostles.” God knoweth best where (and how) to carry out His mission. Soon will the wicked be overtaken by humiliation before God, and a severe punishment, for all their plots.

This verse demonstrates that the attributes of Prophethood were vested in Muhammad (s) as he appeared in physical form upon the earth. As a rule of thumb, Allah (swt) equips such excellences upon his Chosen Messenger from the outset, it is not acquired, rather it is part and parcel of his innate characteristics, which is why his faith, honesty, morality, etiquettes, exemption from societal ills are attributes that Allah (swt) showers them with from birth.

Continuing our discussion, we read in Surah Kalam verse 4:

And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.

Many scholars of Tafsir such as Suyuti in Tasir Itqan are of the opinion that this verse descended during the early days of the Prophetic mission. It evidences that he (s) was of an exalted standard of character long before the commencement of his mission, a fact Allah (swt) avers from the outset of his Prophetic mission, one that even his (s) Kuffan enemies conceded to. In the same way that Allah (swt) possesses the most exalted standard, his Beloved Messenger (swt) was likewise of an exalted standard of character, one that prior to the commencement of his mission was evidenced to by the fact that he played the role of arbitrator over disputes. Remember, in this verse Allah (swt) does not use the term character (Khulq) in isolation, rather he accompanies it with the word ‘Azeem’ (exalted), and Allah (swt) again attests to this excellence as follows in Surah Anaam verse 124:

When there comes to them a sign (from Allah), They say: “We shall not believe until we receive one (exactly) like those received by Allah’s messengers.” Allah knoweth best where (and how) to carry out His mission. Soon will the wicked be overtaken by humiliation before Allah, and a severe punishment, for all their plots.

In his commentary of this verse, our beloved sixth Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said:

“Allah (swt) bore personal responsibility for the upbringing of his Prophet (s) by training him with kindness, when this training was completed, he said ‘And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character’
Tafsir Nur al Thaqlain, Volume 5 page 389

We read in Surah Alaq verses 10-11:

A votary when he (turns) to pray?
Seest thou if he is on (the road of) Guidance?-

This verse refers to those that prevent others from praying. This was an early Makkan verse, and hence dates back to the early days of the Prophetic mission. The fact is this form of worship was at variance with the practices of the Makkan Kuffar, and he (s) would pray both publicly and within the confines of his own home. To this effect we read as follows in Bihar al Anwar Volume 5 Chapter 4:

“Zararr heard from Imam Baqir (as) and Imam Sadiq (as) that the Prophet (s) conducted Hajj on twenty occasions, when it was not yet an open directive, he performed salat long before the commencement of his Prophetic mission, for when he accompanied Abu Talib to Basra at the age of four, he was praying Salat”.

Our position also finds support in this famous Hadith from Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, by al-Hakem, v2, p665:

حدثنا أبو النضر الفقيه و أحمد بن محمد بن سلمة العنزي قالا : ثنا عثمان بن سعيد الدارمي و محمد بن سنان العوفي ثنا إبراهيم بن طهمان عن بديل بن ميسرة عن عبد الله بن شقيق عن ميسرة الفخر قال : قلت لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم متى كنت نبيا ؟ قال : و آدم بين الروح و الجسد

Maysra al-Fakhr said: I asked Allah’s Messenger, “Since when have you been a Prophet?” He replied: “Since Adam was between the soul and body”.
Al-Hakim commented: ’The chain is Sahih’ also Al-Dahabi commented: ’Sahih’

The said tradition can also be located in:
1. Musanaf ibn Abi Shayba, v8, p438
2. Al-Mu’ajam al-Kabir, al-Tabarani, v20, p353
3. Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, by ibn Saad, v1, p148

One can deduce from the above tradition that there was a state prior to his physical creation when Hazrat Muhammad (s) had been fashioned in a different state, a state wherein he was already a Prophet (s).

Being a prophet necessitates that he had been in contact with angels long before Adam (as) was created, and continued to do so till his earthly appearance. Therefore, seeing an angel should not be a new or disturbing thing to him, as some Sunni hadiths, which we will soon examine, suggest.

He was also Nur, as we stated, meaning that darkness and all acts and thoughts associated with it (i.e. sins and errors) are impossible for Muhammad (s). Modern day Sunni scholar Allamah Saim Chisthi records:

“Hadhrat Jabir bin Abdullah narrates that the Prophet (s) said ‘Allah (swt) created me and Ali from a nur before the Arsh, we used to perform tasbih and taqdees of Allah (swt) two thousand years before the creation of Adam. When Allah (swt) created Adam (as), He (swt) placed our Nur into his loin, which transferred through a pure lineage, till it went into the loins of Hadhrath Ibrahim (as) and then through his pure lineage it went to the loin of Abdul Muttalib from where , two third went to Abdullah while one third to Abu Talib. Mine and Ali’s Nur then rejoined through Fatima, thus Hasan and Hussain are the two Nur of Allah (swt)”. [Majlis, Volume 2 page 230 (printed Egypt) by Allamah Abdul Rahman al Safoori]. 
Mushkil Kusha, Volume 2 pages 36-37

Whilst this Hadith should suffice to affirm the rank and excellence of the Holy Prophet (s), it serves to merely corroborate the following verse:

Indeed, there has come to you from Allâh a light (Prophet Muhammad SAW ) and a plain Book (this Qur’ân).
al-hilali and khan 5:15

The verse calls the Holy Prophet (s) a light, and what we have cited above is a Salafi translation and commentary. Salafis are those that usually deny this fact. So, presenting an instance wherein their authorities have been honest is a move in the right direction. As for the other Muslims, there is consensus that “a Light” in the verse refers to the Holy Prophet (s).

Sayyidina Ibn Abbas (ra), in his commentary of the Qur’an 24:35, also has these comments, as recorded in Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, available here:
http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=24&tAyahNo=35&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

“It is also said that the verse means: the likeness of the light of Muhammad in the loins of his forefathers is like this, up to Allah’s saying (… kindled from a blessed tree). He says: the light of Muhammad in Abraham was an upright religion (olive tree) , and Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian (neither of the East nor of the West), the works of Abraham would almost glow forth in the loins of his forefathers like this (would almost glow forth (of itself)), up until Allah’s saying (kindled from a blessed tree) He says: as if it is the light of Muhammad (pbuh) and if Abraham was not a prophet, he would still have this light (though no fire touched it); it is also said that the latter passage means: Had Allah not honoured Abraham, he would not have had this light; it is also said: if Allah had not honoured His believing servant with this light, he would not have had it”.

In short, Muhammad (s) was that light of Allah (swt) via which He (swt) guided His Prophets (as) and true believers. This supports the theory of his existence in the form of Light before Adam (as). Salafis should not deny this, particularly when we have the opinion of a leading Sahabi, Ibn Abbas (ra) whose superior knowledge of the Quran they attest to.

Allamah al-Tustari, in his Sufi commentary of that verse available here
http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=24&tAyahNo=35&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

also states:

“God is the light of the heavens and the earth…

That is, the One Who has adorned the heavens and earth with lights. The likeness of his light means the likeness of the light of Muhammad (s) . Hasan al-Basrī said, ‘He intended by this the heart of the believer and the luminescence of professing the divine oneness (tawhīd), for the hearts of the prophets are far too brilliant in their light to be described in terms of the likeness of these lights. He said, ‘The similitude of the light of the Qur’ān is a lamp (miṣbāḥ), a lamp whose candle (sirāj) is gnosis (ma’rifa), whose wick (fatīl) is the religious obligations, whose oil (duhn) is sincerity (ikhlāṣ) and whose light (nūr) is the light of spiritual attainment (ittiṣāl). Whenever the sincerity increases in purity, the lamp increases in brightness (ḍiyā’); and whenever the religious obligations increase in [inner] realisation (ḥaqīqa), the lamp increases in light (nūran)”.

We also read this hadith:

حدثنا الحسن قثنا أحمد بن المقدام العجلي قثنا الفضيل بن عياض قثنا ثور بن يزيد عن خالد بن معدان عن زاذان عن سلمان قال سمعت حبيبي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول : كنت انا وعلي نورا بين يدي الله عز و جل قبل ان يخلق آدم بأربعة عشر ألف عام فلما خلق الله آدم قسم ذلك النور جزءين فجزء أنا وجزء علي عليه السلام

“Salman said: I heard Allah’s beloved Messenger state: Ali and I were a light between Allah’s hands fourteen thousand years prior the creation of Adam, and when Allah created Adam he divided that light into two parts, one part is me and the other part is Ali”

This is the verbatim quotation of the tradition as recorded by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Fadail, volume 2, p 663, Tradition #1130, from Abdur-Razzak, from Mu’amar, from al-Zuhri, from Khalid ibn Mu’dan, from Zadan, from Salman al-Farsi (ra).

Shaykh Sibt ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi, commenting about the hadith, writes:

فإن قيل: فقد ضعفوا هذا الحديث، فالجواب [والكلام لابن الجوزي] أنّ الحديث الذي ضعفوه غير هذه الألفاظ وغير الإسناد، أما اللفظ [يعني لفظ الحديث الذي ضعفوه]: خلقتُ أنا وهارون بن عمران ويحيى بن زكريا وعلي بن أبي طالب من طينة واحدة، وفي رواية خلقتُ أنا وعلي من نور وكنا عن يمين العرش قبل أنْ يخلق الله آدم بألفي عام فجعلنا نتقلب في أصلاب الرجال إلى عبدالمطلب، وأما الإسناد [يعني إسناد الحديث الذي ضعفوه] فقالوا في إسناده محمد بن خلف المروزي وكان مغفلاً، وفيه أيضاً جعفر بن أحمد بن بيان وكان شيعياً. والحديث الذي رويناه يخالف هذا اللفظ والإسناد، رجاله ثقات فإن قيل فعبد الرزاق(1) كان يتشيع، قلنا: هو أكبر شيوخ أحمد بن حنبل ومشى إلى صنعاء من بغداد حتى سمع منه وقال: ما رأيت مثل عبد الرزاق ولو كان فيه بدعة لما روى عنه ومازال إلى أن مات يروي عنه ومعظم الأحاديث التي في «المسند» رواها من طريقه، وقد أخرج عنه أيضاً في الصحيح»

If it is said: “This hadith has been declared weak”, the answer is that the hadith that has been weakened is NOT this one. It has a different text, and chain. This is the text of the weak hadith: “I (pbuh), and Harun ibn Imran (as), and Yahya ibn Zakariyyah (as) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) have been created from the same sanad”. The other hadith that is weak is: “I and Ali were created from light, and we were situation at the right side of the Arsh for one thousand years (1,000) before Allah (swt) created Adam (as). Then He placed us in the loins of men until we got to Abdul-Muttalib”. The chain for this weak hadith includes Muhammad ibn Khalaf al-Maruzi, and he is an idiot. Also, there is Ja’far ibn Ahmad ibn Bayan, and he is a Shi’a. But, the above hadith has an entirely different text and chain. All its narrators are thiqah. If it is said: “But, Abdur-Razzak, one of the narrators, is a Shi’a!” We say: He is the greatest of the Shaykhs of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who said: I have not seen the like of Abdur-Razzak, even if there is heresy in him”. A great number of the hadiths in al-Musnad are through his path, and his hadiths have also been recorded in the sahih books”.
Tadhkirat al-Khawwas by Sibt Ibn Al-Jawzi, pages 50-51

The fact of the matter is from his creation as Nur through to his life and death upon the earth Muhammad (s) was the Prophet of Allah (swt), who was merely waiting for the green light that would give him the authority with which to commence his mission. In this connection, when the companions of Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) questioned him over the meaning of Surah Jinn verse 27, he expounded on its meaning as follows:

“Allah (swt) appointed an Angel to accompany every Prophet that supervised his actions and reminded him of his propagation duties. He likewise appointed an Angel for the Prophet (s), prior to him attaining puberty, so at to guide him with pious characteristics and desired etiquette. It was this (same) Angel that prior to the proclamation with the words ‘Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah!’ The Prophet (s) would assume that the voice was coming from a wall, he would stand but could see no one”.
Sharh Najhul Balagha, Volume 13, commentary of Sermon 192

The traditions that we have cited hitherto and the Quranic verses, evidence the fact that the Prophethood of Muhammad (s) was not a sudden thought of our Creator (swt) who chose to place it in an unwitting 40 year old subject, on the contrary Muhammad (s) was a Prophet (s) long before the Creation of Adam (as), even in a state of Nur, he was a Prophet (s). That is why Shaykh Saduq whilst setting out the Shia concept of Prophethood affirmed as follows in Al-Etiqadat, page 70:

Our belief concerning them is that they are infallible and possess the attributes of perfection, completeness and knowledge, from the beginning to the end of their careers. Defects cannot be attributed to them, or disobedience or ignorance in any of their actions.

In this connection we have the beautiful sermon of the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) regarding his tutelage under the Prophet (s):

“The Prophet brought me up in his own arms and fed me with his own morsel. I followed him, wherever he went, like a baby-camel which follows its mother. Each day a new aspect of his character would beam out of his noble person and I would accept it and follow it as commanded”.
Nahjul Balagha

It is on account of this teaching that we learn that just like his Master, Maula Ali (as) likewise prayed Salat prior to the declaration of Prophethood, as evidenced via his own testimony:

‘I am a man of Allah, the brother of the Prophet, and the Great truthful one (Siddiq Akbar), anyone who claims this other than me is a liar, I offered Salat 7 years before anyone else’.
 Sunan Ibn Majah, Volume 1 page 69

Sadly, when we assess the above evidences against the canonical works of Ahl’ul Sunnah we read shameless narrations that belittle our perfect Prophet (s), narrations that are used to belittle him by our enemies. Whilst we touched on such narrations in our article ‘The Devil’s Deception of the Nasibis’ this article will look at a single key episode in the life of the Prophet (s) – his Baithat (appointment).

We wish to make it clear from the outset that we have written this article with a great deal of reluctance. We had in fact for at one point placed a moratorium on any further work on it, fearing that it would be used as an arrow in the quiver of our opponents. Unfortunately since such a fear didn’t hinder the Nawasib in the slightest, and they continued to surreptitiously attack the Shia by insisting that they blaspheme Rasulullah (s) we were forced to proceed and complete this response so as to make it clear if they are passionate about issuing takfeer against those that blaspheme Rasulullah (s), they need look no further than the shameless portrayal of his (s) appointment in their most reputed work. We will cite those Sunni works that depict our perfect Prophet (s) in such a shameless light, to the point that he (s) allegedly doubted the state of his mind, and was ignorant that he had been appointed a Prophet (s). Such narrations are indeed so shameless that they are the perfect cannon fodder for our enemies, and have even led to some people leaving the Deen (asthagfirullah).

Curiously, rather than feel ashamed at such narrations the postmodern Nawasib play a curious game part denying the event, and part expressing pleasure with it! Ibn al Hashimi of www.ahlelbayt.com is the perfect example of such an approach.

 

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