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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE RIGHTS OF THE PROPHET AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS COMPANIONS




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The Tawheed class will focuss on the relationship of the companions and what our feelings should be to them and also the rights of the prophet sa
 
 

The Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamâ'ah concerning the Sahâbah

by Shaykh 'Abdul-Muhsin Al-'Abbâd
 
 
From Allâh's mercy and kindness to His servants and from His favor upon them is that He sent to them a Messenger from amongst themselves to convey to them the Message from their Lord and to guide them to everything that benefits them and to warn them from everything that harms them. And indeed the Prophet (saws) fulfilled his duty of conveying the Message in the most complete and perfect of manners - so he directed his ummah towards every good and he warned them against every evil. Allâh chose, for accompanying him and taking knowledge from him, a people who are the best of this nation, which is itself the best of all nations. So Allâh honored them by allowing them to accompany His Prophet. And He particularized them in this worldly life with seeing him and hearing his hadîth directly from his noble mouth. This is the bounty of Allâh, which He bestows upon whom He wills. And Allâh possesses the greatest of bounties.

And indeed the Companions conveyed from Allâh's Messenger that which he was sent with from guidance, in the most complete and perfect form. So they will have the greatest of rewards due to their companionship of Allâh's Messenger, their fighting in Jihâd alongside him and their noble actions in spreading Islâm.

And they will also have the same reward as those who come after them, since they serve as the intermediaries between them and Allâh's Messenger. This is because:

  "Whoever calls towards guidance, he will have a reward like that of the reward earned by those who practice that guidance after him. And it will not detract anything away from their reward." [1 ]

This has been established on the Prophet (saws) in a hadîth reported by Muslim in his Sahîh. Allâh has praised them in His Mighty Book and the Messenger of Allâh has praised them in his purified Sunnah. And this is enough for them as a virtue and honor.

Allâh says:

  "And the foremost to embrace Islâm of the Muhâjirîn and the Ansâr and also those who followed them in goodness, Allâh is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Allâh has prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success." [Sûrah At-Tawbah: 100]  

And He says:

  "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh. And those who are with him are severe against the disbelievers, merciful towards one another. You can see them bowing and prostrating (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure. Their marks (of Faith) are on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration. This is their description in the Torah. But their description in the Gospel is like that of a cultivated seed, which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong and becomes thick, and it stands straight on its stem, pleasing the farmers, that he may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allâh has promised those among them who believe and do good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward." [Sûrah Al-Fat'h: 29]  

In Allâh's saying concerning the Sahâbah:"that he may enrage the disbelievers with them", there is found the severest ruling, the harshest threat and the worst of warnings for those who are enraged by the Sahâbah or those who have some hatred for them in their hearts.

Allâh says:

  " Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the Victory (Treaty of Hudaybiyah) [i.e. they are not equal to those who came after the Victory]. They are higher in degree than those who spent and fought (in Allâh's Cause) afterward. But to all, Allâh has promised the best reward. And Allâh is All-Aware of what you do." [Sûrah Al-Hadîd: 10]  

Concerning the distribution of war-booty, Allâh says:

  "(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and properties, seeking bounties from Allâh and looking to please Him, and helping Allâh and His Messenger. These are the truthful ones.

And (it is also) for those who before them, had homes (in Madînah) and then accepted the Faith (Islâm). They are the ones who love those who migrated to them, and they have no jealousy in their hearts for that which they (Muhâjirîn) have been given (of booty from Banu Nâdir). Instead, they give them preference over themselves even though they had more of a need for it than them. And whoever guards himself from his own miserliness, then these will be the successful.

And those who come after them say: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.'" [Sûrah Al-Hashr: 8-10]

 

The first of these three ayât from Surat Al-Hashr is in reference to the Muhâjirîn (the Sahâbah who migrated from Makkah to Madînah). The second ayah refers to the Ansâr (the Sahâbah who resided in Madînah and who helped and took in the Muhâjirîn). The third ayah refers to those who will come after the Muhâjirîn and the Ansâr, and who seek Allâh's forgiveness for them, and ask Allâh not to put hatred in their hearts for them. And there is nothing beyond these three groups except for one who deserts (them) and falls into one of the traps of the Devil. This is why 'آ'ishah (râ) told 'Urwah Ibn Az-Zubair concerning the condition of some of those who deserted and were forsaken:

  "They were commanded to seek forgiveness for the Companions of Allâh's Messenger, but they (instead) reviled them."

Imâm Muslim transmitted this report in the last part of his Sahîh. An-Nawawî said in his explanation of it, after mentioning the ayah in Sûrah Al-Hashr:

  "Imâm Mâlik used this as proof for his ruling that the one who reviles the Sahâbah has no right to the war-booty. This is because Allâh only made it for those who seek forgiveness for them from amongst those who come after them."

Ibn Kathîr said in his tafsîr of this ayah:

  "How great is the ruling that Imâm Mâlik derived from this ayah, in that the Râfidî - the one who reviles the Companions - has no portion of the wealth from the war-booty, due to his lack of characterizing himself with the attributes of those whom Allâh has praised in His saying: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who have preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.'"

The Prophet (saws) said: "The best of mankind is my generation, then those that come after them, then those that come after them." [2]Reported by Al-Bukhârî, Muslim and others from the report of 'Imrân Ibn Husayn and 'Abdullâh Ibn Mas'ûd, may Allâh be pleased with both of them. Muslim reported it on the authority of Abu Hurairah with the wording: "The best among my nation (ummah) is the generation I was sent to - then those that come after them, then those that come after them." Allâh knows best if he mentioned the third or not. Muslim also reported it from 'آ'ishah that she said: "A man once asked the Prophet: 'Which people are the best?' So he responded: 'The generation of people that I am in (now, then the second (generation), then the third'.'" It is reported in the two Sahîhs (of Al-Bukhârî and Muslim) from the narration of Abu Sa'îd Al-Khudrî (râ) that the Messenger of Allâh (saws) said:

  "There will come upon the people a time in which a group of people will fight (in Jihâd), and it will be said: 'Is there anyone amongst you who accompanied Allâh's Messenger?' (I.e. the Sahâbah) They will reply 'Yes' and so they will be given victory. Then there will come upon the people a time in which a group of people will fight (in Jihâd), and it will be said: 'Is there anyone amongst you who accompanied the Companions of Allâh's Messenger?' (I.e. The Tâbi'în) They will reply 'Yes' and so they will be given victory. Then there will come upon the people a time in which a group of people will fight (in Jihâd), and it will be said: 'Is there anyone amongst you who accompanied those who accompanied the Companions of Allâh's Messenger?' (I.e. The Atbâ' At-Tâbi'în) They will reply 'Yes' and so they will be given victory." [3]

Ibn Battah reported with an authentic chain of narration - according to Minhâj As-Sunnah of Ibn Taimiyyah - from Ibn 'Abbâs (râ), that he said:

  "Do not revile the Companions of Allâh's Messenger, for one hour spent with Allâh's Messenger by one of them is better than a good deed of one of you (done) for forty years."

In the wording reported by Wakî', he says: "...better than a good deed of one of you (done) for his entire life."

And when Sa'îd Ibn Zayd (râ) mentioned the ten Companions who were given the good tidings of (entering) Paradise, he said:

  "I swear by Allâh, the meeting of one man amongst them with the Messenger of Allâh is better than the deed of one of you, even if he does it for the length of Nûh's life." Reported by Abu Dawûd and At-Tirmidhî. [4]

Jâbir reported that: "It was once said to 'آ'ishah: 'There are some people that seek to lower the Companions of Allâh's Messenger, even Abu Bakr and 'Umar.' So she said: 'And you are not pleased with this? Their deeds came to an end, but Allâh loved that their reward not come to an end.'"

Ibn Al-Athîr mentioned this in his book Jâmi'-ul-Usûl. What provides evidence for what she said is the saying of the Prophet in the authentic hadîth:

  "The bankrupt person from my ummah will come on the Day of Judgement with prayer, fasting and Zakât. But he also abused this person, slandered that person, took money wrongfully from this person, spilled the blood of that one, and beat this one. So some of his good deeds will be given to this person and some of them to that person. So if his good deeds run out before he makes up for what is against him, he will take from their sins and they will be charged against him. And then he will be flung into the Hellfire." [5]

Al-Bukhârî reported in his Sahîh on the authority of Abu Sa'îd Al-Khudrî (râ) that the Prophet (saws) said:

  "Do not revile my Companions! For if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd (handful using two hands cupped together) of one of them nor even half of it."

Muslim reported it in his Sahîh on the authority of Abu Hurairah (râ) that the Prophet (saws) said:

  "Do not revile my Companions! Do not revile my Companions! For by the One whose Hand my soul is in, if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it."

He also reported it from Abu Sa'îd (râ) with the wording:

  "There was a dispute between Khâlid Ibn Al-Walîd and 'Abdur-Rahmân Ibn 'Awf, so Khâlid reviled him. So Allâh's Messenger (saws) said: "Do not revile anyone from my Companions. For if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it."

So if the Sword of Allâh, Khâlid Ibn Al-Walîd and others who accepted Islâm after the treaty of Hudaybiyah cannot have their large amount of good deeds compare to the small amount performed by 'Abdur-Rahmân Ibn 'Awf and others who accepted Islâm previously - even though all of them are honored by accompanying the Prophet - then how is it for those who did not attain the honor of (being from) the Companions as compared to those superior individuals? Truly the distance is great and indeed the difference is far! So how far is the ground from the sky, rather how far is the seventh (lowest) level of earth from the seventh (highest) level of heaven! This is the bounty of Allâh, which He bestows upon whom He wills. And Allâh possesses the greatest of bounties!

These are some of the Qur'ânic ayât and prophetic ahâdîth that provide evidence for the virtue of these best of people, the like of which did not exist before and will not exist afterward. May Allâh be pleased with them.

All of the Companions of Allâh's Messenger are trustworthy based on Allâh's testifying that for them and because of His praise for them and the praise of His Messenger for them. An-Nawawî said in At-Taqrîb, which As-Suyûtî explained in his Tadrîb Ar-Râwî:

  "All of the Companions are trustworthy - those who were involved in the afflictions (fitan) and those other than them - according to the consensus of the scholars."

Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajr said in Al-Isâbah:

  "Ahl-us-Sunnah have unanimously agreed that all of them (the Sahâbah) are trustworthy and no one opposed this except some deviants amongst the innovators."

This is why there is no harm in not knowing a Companion in a chain of narration. So if a Tâbi'î says: "On the authority of a man who accompanied the Prophet..." this does not affect the report. This is because not knowing the Companions (in the chain) causes no harm since they are all trustworthy. Al-Khatîb Al-Baghdâdî said in his book Al-Kifâyah:

  "Every hadîth that has a chain of narration that is connected between the one who reported it and the Prophet is not to be acted upon until first having affirmed the trustworthiness and reliability of its men (in the chain). And it is an obligation to investigate into their conditions, except the Sahâbî (Companion) who raises it (or attributes the hadîth) to the Prophet. This is because the trustworthiness of the Companions is established and well known based on Allâh's asserting that for them and His informing us of their pure state and His preference of them in the texts of the Qur'ân..."

Then he goes on to list some ayât and ahâdîth concerning their virtue and then says:

  "And even if Allâh or His Messenger (saws) had not mentioned anything about them from what we just stated now (of their virtues), the condition they were upon of having made Hijrah, fought in Jihâd, of having offered their support, sacrificed their lives and wealth, experienced the killings of their parents and children, of mutually advising for the Religion and having strong Faith and unshakeable Certainty, (all of this) would necessitate their trustworthiness and one having a firm belief in their honesty and integrity. And it would necessitate that they are the best of those that receive testimony and approval as to their trustworthiness and reliability from all of the people that will come after them forever and ever."

Then he reports a narration with the chain connected to Abu Zur'ah, who said:

  "If you see a man seeking to belittle anyone amongst the Companions of Allâh's Messenger (saws), then know that he is a heretic (zindîq). This is because according to us the Messenger of Allâh is true and the Qur'ân is true. And the only ones who brought this Qur'ân and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allâh's Messenger. They only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanâdiqah)."

The madh-hab of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamâ'ah concerning the Companions is that of moderateness between the two ends of extremism and heedlessness. It is moderateness between the extremist fanatics who elevate the esteemed ones amongst them to a level that is only befitting for Allâh or for His messengers and between the heedless and harsh ones who belittle and revile them. So they are in the middle between those who are excessive and those who fall short - they love all of them and put each one of them in his due place, which they deserve, with fairness and justice. So they do not elevate them to that which they are not deserving of, nor do they belittle them, taking away what they are deserving of. Therefore, their tongues are moist with mentioning them only in good, according to what is befitting for them. And their hearts are filled with love for them.

And whatever is authentic from the disputes and differences that occurred between (some of) them, then with regard to that they were Mujtahidîn. Either they were correct and so they will receive a reward for their Ijtihâd and a reward for being correct or they were wrong and so they will receive just a reward for their Ijtihâd while their error will be forgiven. They were not infallible, for they were human beings, at times they were correct and at times they were in error. But how much more were they correct as compared to others being correct, and how fewer were their errors as compared to the errors of others? And they will have Allâh's forgiveness and contentment.

The books of Ahl-us-Sunnah are filled with the elucidation of this pure and clear Creed concerning these elite people, the chosen ones amongst mankind to accompany the best of mankind (saws). May Allâh be pleased with them all.

An example of this is the statement of At-Tahâwî in his (book on the) Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah:

  "We love the Companions of Allâh's Messenger and we do not go to extremes in the love for anyone amongst them, nor do we absolve ourselves from any of them. And we hate anyone that hates them or anyone that talks about them in a bad way. And we do not mention them except with good. Loving them is Dîn, خmân and Ihsân and hating them is Kufr, Nifâq (hypocrisy) and Tughyân (transgression)."

Ibn Abî Zayd Al-Qayrawânî said in the introduction to his famous Ar-Risâlah, where he explains the Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah:

  "And the best of generations is the one that saw the Messenger of Allâh. And the best of the Companions are the (four) rightly guided Khalîfahs - Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthmân, then 'Alî, may Allâh be pleased with them all. And none of the Companions should be mentioned except in the best of manners. We believe in refraining from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between them. And that they are the most deserving of people of having excuses made for them and (that) they are to be thought of in the best way."

Imâm Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said in his book As-Sunnah:

  "And from the Sunnah is mentioning the good qualities of the Companions of Allâh's Messenger - all of them - and to refrain from (speaking about) what disputes occurred between them. So whoever reviles the Companions of Allâh's Messenger or (just) one of them, then he is an innovator, a Râfidî. Loving them is a Sunnah and making du'â (supplication) for them is a means of getting close to Allâh (taqarrub). Following them is a means and taking from their examples is a virtue..."

And he said:

  "It is not permissible for anyone to mention any of their faults. Nor can anyone disparage any of them. So whoever does that, then the authority (sultan) is obligated to reprimand him and punish him. And he is not to pardon him, but rather must punish him and then request him to repent. So if he repents, he should accept it from him. And if he doesn't repent, he should reinitiate the punishment upon him and lock him in prison for good until he repents and recants (from his false belief)."

Imâm Abu 'Uthmân As-Sâbûnî said in his book 'Aqîdat-us-Salaf wa Ashâb-il-Hadîth:

  "And they held it an obligation to refrain from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between the Companions of Allâh's Messenger and to purify the tongues from mentioning anything that consists of a blemish on them or a degradation of them. And they held it an obligation to ask Allâh for mercy for all of them and to show friendship to all of them."

Shaikh-ul-Islâm Ibn Taimiyyah said in his book Al-'Aqîdat-ul-Wâsitiyyah:

  "Among the Principles of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamâ'ah is maintaining pure hearts and tongues towards the Companions of Allâh's Messenger (saws), as Allâh has described them in His saying: 'And those who come after them say: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.' [Sûrah Al-Hashr: 8-10]

And (from their principles is) obedience to the Prophet with regard to his saying: 'Do not revile my Companions! For by the One whose Hand my soul is in, if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it.'

And they accept what is stated in the Qur'ân, the Sunnah and the Consensus concerning their (the Companion's) virtues and high statuses. And they give preference to those who spent their wealth and fought (in the Way of Allâh) before the Victory - which refers to the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyah - over those who gave their wealth and fought after it. And they give precedence to the Muhâjirîn over the Ansâr. And they believe that Allâh said to the people who fought in (the Battle of) Badr - who numbered over three hundred people: 'Do whatever you wish, for I have already forgiven you.'

And they believe that no one who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (saws) under the tree will enter the Hellfire, as the Prophet (saws) informed us. In fact, Allâh was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him. And they were more than one thousand four hundred people.

They designate to Paradise whoever the Messenger of Allâh testified will be in Paradise, such as the Ten (Companions), Thâbit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas and others.

And they confirm what has been reported in tawâtur form on the Amîr-ul-Mu'minîn, 'Alî Ibn Abî Tâlib (râ) and others that: The best of this ummah after its Prophet are Abu Bakr; then 'Umar. Then they place 'Uthmân third and 'Alî fourth, may Allâh be pleased with all of them. This is as is indicated in the athâr (reports from the Sahâbah) and as was unanimously agreed upon that 'Uthmân had precedence (over 'Alî) for being pledged allegiance to (for the Khilâfah). In spite of this, after unanimously agreeing to the precedence of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, some of the Ahl-us-Sunnah have disagreed with regard to 'Uthmân and 'Alî as to which of them is better. So a group of them gave precedence to 'Uthmân and then remained silent and placed 'Alî as the fourth. And another group gave precedence to 'Alî. And yet another group remained neutral. But the affair of Al-us-Sunnah settled upon giving precedence to 'Uthmân and then 'Alî. But regardless, this issue of 'Uthmân and 'Alî is not from the principles by which the one who disagrees concerning it becomes misguided (and deviant), according to the majority of the (scholars of) Ahl-us-Sunnah. Rather, the issue in which the one who opposes becomes misguided is the issue of the Khilâfah - and it is that they (must) believe that the Khalîfah after Allâh's Messenger was Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthmân and then 'Alî. And whoever attacks the Khilâfah of any one of them, then he is more astray than the donkey of his people."

Then he mentioned that they have love and affection for the Members of the Household of Allâh's Messenger and that they preserve the Will (final requests) of Allâh's Messenger concerning them. And that they have affection for the Wives of Allâh's Messenger, the Mothers of the Believers and believe that they will be his wives in the Hereafter. Then he said:

  "And they absolve themselves from the way of the Rawâfid - those who hate the Companions and revile them - and from the way of the Nawâsib - those who abuse the Members of the (Prophet's) Household - by speech or action. And they refrain from (delving into) the disputes that occurred between the Companions. And they say: These narrations, which have been reported concerning their faults, there are amongst them, that which is false, that which things have been added to, that which parts have been omitted and that which has been changed from its original state. As for what is authentic from them, then with regard to that they (the Companions) are excused (and forgiven) - either they made Ijtihâd and were correct or they made Ijtihâd and were wrong. And on top of that, they do not believe that every one of the Companions is infallible and free of committing major or minor sins. Rather, they are capable of committing sins in general, but they have from precedence and virtues what necessitates that they be forgiven for whatever (sins) they commit - if they did commit any. This is even to the point that they will be forgiven for evil deeds the likes of which those who come after them will not be forgiven for. This is because they possess good deeds that wipe out the evil deeds, the likes of which will not be for those after them.

It is established from the saying of Allâh's Messenger (saws) that they are the best of generations and that if one of them were to give a mudd (of gold) in charity it would be better than the whole of Mount Uhud in gold of those who came after them. Furthermore, if it was the case that one of them committed a sin, then either he repented from it or he performed some good deed that wiped it out. Or he was forgiven for it due to the virtue of his precedence or by intercession of Muhammad (saws), of which the Companions have the most right among people of receiving his intercession. Or perhaps he was tested by some affliction in this world, by which it was expiated from him. So if this is with respect to the sins that were actualized (by them), then what about the matters in which they did Ijtihâd? If they were correct they will have two rewards and if they were incorrect they will have one reward and their error will be forgiven.

Furthermore, the amount that is forsaken yet forgiven from the (bad) deeds committed by some of them is tiny in comparison to their virtues and good qualities, such as their belief in Allâh and His Messenger, Jihâd in His Way, Hijrah, support (of the Religion), beneficial knowledge and good deeds. And whoever studies the history of the "people" (i.e. the Sahâbah) with knowledge and insight, and studies what Allâh bestowed them with of merits, he will come to know with full certainty that they are the best of creation after the prophets. There was not nor will there be anyone like them. And (he will come to know that) they are the safwah (chosen elite) from all the generations of this nation (of Muslims), which is itself the best and most honorable of all nations with Allâh."

These are five examples from the sayings of the Salaf As-Sâlih (righteous predecessors) concerning what we are obligated to believe in with respect to the best of creation after the Prophets and Messengers. One thing we must understand is that defaming these chosen and special people is in fact a defamation of the Religion. This is since the Religion was not passed onto those who came after them except by them. And it has already been stated in the words of Abu Zur'ah that: "The only ones who brought this Qur'ân and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allâh's Messenger. (So) they only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanâdiqah)." This refers to those who seek to belittle any of the Companions. And it implies that the one who defames them does not harm them in the least but rather only benefits them, according to the previously stated hadîth of the " bankrupt person." And it implies that the one who defames them only causes harm to himself. So whoever finds in his heart love for them and a lack of hatred for them, and he keeps his tongue from mentioning anything but good about them, then he should praise Allâh for this blessing. And He should ask Allâh to keep him firm upon this guidance. And whoever holds any hatred for them in his heart and his tongue is loose in mentioning them with that which does not befit them, then he must fear Allâh and desist from these crimes. And he must repent to Allâh so long as the door of repentance is open in front of him, before he regrets when the regret is of no benefit.

Our Lord do not cause our hearts to go astray after having guided us and grant us mercy from Yourself, indeed You are the One who grants all requests. "Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful."


[1] Sahîh Hadîth: Reported by Muslim (2674), Abu Dawûd (4609), At-Tirmidhî (2676), Ibn Mâjah (206) and others.

[2] Sahîh Hadîth: Reported by Al-Bukhârî and Muslim from the hadîth of Ibn Mas'ûd. Many Companions narrated this hadîth, amongst them 'Imrân Ibn Husayn and An-Nu'mân Ibn Bashîr. See As-Sahîhah of Imâm Al-Albânî: (699-700)

[3] Sahîh Hadîth: Reported by Al-Bukhârî (6/88 and 610 of al-fat'h), Muslim (3532), Ahmad (3/7), Al-Humaidî (743), Al-Baghawî in Sharh-us-Sunnah (14/73-74) from the path of Jâbir Ibn 'Abdillâh from Abu Sa'îd Al-Khudrî.

[4] Hasan Hadîth: Reported by Abu Dawûd (4650), An-Nasâ'î in Al-Kubrâ, Ibn Mâjah (134) and Ahmad (1629).

[5] Sahîh Hadîth: Reported by Muslim (2581), At-Tirmidhî (2418), Ahmad (2/303), Al-Bayhaqî (6/93) from the path of Al-'Alâ Ibn 'Abdir-Rahmân from his father from Abu Hurairah in marfû' form. At-Tirmidhî said it was hasan sahîh.


 

The Rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

by Shaykh `Abd al-`Azîz bin Muhammad Al `Abd al-Latîf
 
 
Praise be to Allâh. And may His peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Speaking about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) strengthens people of faith and sets the righteous more firmly on the Straight Path. How could it be any other way? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the most noble of Adam's descendants and the final Prophet sent to humanity. He is closer to the believers than they are to themselves. Allâh blessed him with the most noble of qualities, many of which were not shared by any other Prophet. He will be the first to cross the Bridge on the day of Resurrection. He will be the first to knock upon the gates of Paradise and the first to enter therein. He will have the place of honor and the banner of praise. He will be the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be granted.

In these pages, I wish to present a few of the duties that we have towards our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) There should be no doubt that he has many rights over us. We must make sure that these rights are respected and our duties towards the Prophet (peace be upon him) are carried out. A general statement about these rights is given by Sheikh Muhammad b. `Abd al-Wahhâb when he says:

"Our testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh means obeying him in what he commands us, believing him in what he tells us, shunning what he has prohibited, and worshipping Allâh only in accordance with the way he has instructed us."

The most important of these rights are as follows:

1. It is the Right of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that We Love him

One of the greatest rights the Prophet (peace be upon him) has over us is that we should love him. This love must be part of what we believe and it must be expressed in our words and our deeds. He should be dearer to us than ourselves and our families. Allâh says:

"Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline: or the dwellings in which you delight - are dearer to you than Allâh, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause, then wait until Allâh brings about His decision; and Allâh guides not the rebellious sinners." [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 24]

Al-Qâdî `Iyâd makes the following observations about this verse:

This is sufficient proof that having love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is both obligatory and compulsory. It is a very serious matter, especially since Allâh rebukes those who love their wealth and family more than Allâh and his Messenger and threatens them by saying "then wait until Allâh brings about His decision". Then He declares them rebellious sinners and says that they will not be guided.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, none of you believes until I become more beloved to him than his parents and children and all humanity."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:

"There are three qualities that if someone possesses one of them, he will experience the sweetness of faith. The first of these is that Allâh and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else."

The Companions gave us the best example of how this love is to be expressed. `Umar b. al-Khattâb once said to al`Abbâs, the uncle of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

"It is dearer to me that you accept Islam than that my own father al-Khattâb accepts it, because your acceptance of Islam is dearer to Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him)."

When `Ali b. Abî Tâlib was asked to describe the love he and his fellow Companions had for Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him), he said:

"Allâh's Messenger was more beloved to us than our wealth, our children, our fathers, and our mothers. He was dearer to us than cool water is to a man dying of thirst."

The Companion `Amr b. al-`آs said:

"There was no one dearer to me than Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him). No one in my eyes was nobler than he. I could not look upon him directly because of the extreme respect that I had for him. If I were asked to describe his appearance, I would not be able to do so because I had been unable to look at him directly."

There are certain signs that show just how much a person loves the Prophet (peace be upon him). One of these is that he makes mention of him often, since a person always likes to mention someone he loves. Another is that he has a longing to meet him. Another sign is for a person to have love for those who loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) - namely the Companions - and to harbor enmity and hatred for his enemies and for those who hate him and slander him. It is natural for a person who loves something to love those who share those feelings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about his grandchildren al-Hasan and al-Husayn: "O Allâh! I love them, so please love them."

It follows that we must love the Qur'ân that he brought and the guidance found within it. We must emulate the teachings of the Qur'ân in our behavior. `آ'ishah said about her husband the Prophet (peace be upon him): "He was the living expression of the Qur'ân." Our love of the Qur'ân is expressed through our reading it, understanding it, and acting upon it.

2. It is His Right that We Follow His Example

It is our duty to follow his example and emulate his manner of conduct. This is, in fact, another sign of our love for him. Al-Qâdî `Iyâd says:

Know that whoever loves something prefers it and prefers to bring himself into harmony with it. Otherwise, his love is not genuine, only pretended. Someone who truly loves the Prophet (peace be upon him) will show some visible signs of that love. At the forefront of the signs that a person will show is that he will emulate the Prophet (peace be upon him) and to follow his Sunnah. He will follow him in his words and deeds. He will exhibit the same manners as the Prophet (peace be upon him) in both ease and hardship and in matters that please him and those that displease him. The proof for this is that Allâh says: "Say (O Muhammad): If you love Allâh, then follow me. Allâh will love you." [Sûrah آl `Imran: 31]

Ibn Rajab has the following to say in this regard:

Genuine love requires emulation. It requires loving what the beloved loves and detesting what the beloved hates. So, whoever harbors genuine love for Allâh and His Messenger in his heart must necessarily love what Allâh and His Messenger love and hate what they hate. He must be pleased with what pleases Allâh and His Messenger and be displeased with what angers them. He must then put these feelings of love and hate into actual practice.

An important aspect of following the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to hold his Sunnah in high regard and to give preference to it over all other opinions and aspirations. Ibn `Abbâs made the following statement to some people who mentioned the opinions of others after hearing what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had said on a given matter:

"I fear that stones from the heavens might descend upon you. I tell you what Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, and you respond with what Abû Bakr and `Umar said!"

Ahmad b. Hanbal had the following to say:

I am startled by those people who after knowing the authenticity of a statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) take instead the opinion of Sufyân. They do this, even though Allâh says: "Let those beware who go against the Messenger's command lest a trial afflict them or there befall them a painful chastisement." Do they have any idea what that "trial" is? That trial is polytheism. It is possible that if someone rejects the command of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his heart will become deviated and he will meet with destruction.

It is necessary to adhere firmly to the Sunnah and avoid innovating matters in Allâh's religion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever introduces into this matter of ours something that is not a part of it will have it rejected."

Ibn Rajab makes the following comments on this hadîth:

"This hadîth directly states that every action that is not explicitly sanctioned by the Lawgiver is rejected. It also implies that every action that is in accordance with His Law is not rejected. The "matter" being referred to in the hadîth is the religion of Allâh. Therefore, the meaning of the hadîth is as follows: Whoever does an act outside of the parameters of Islamic Law and not in strict conformity with it will have it rejected."

3. It is His Right that We Support Him and Honor Him

Ibn Taymiyah mentions that supporting the Prophet (peace be upon him) means that we come to his assistance and his defense. Honoring him means that we feel conviction in our deference to him and that we conduct ourselves with respect to him in a manner that is reverent and never dishonorable.

Ibn Taymiyah also says:

Defamation of the character of Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) is a complete denial of Allâh's religion. Such defamation of character negates every semblance of respect and reverence. Therefore, the Message that he came with is equally compromised and the religion is negated. Praising, revering, and honoring the Prophet (peace be upon him) establishes the faith just as the opposite tears it down. Therefore, it is our duty to support the Prophet (peace be upon him) against those who defame his character.

Allâh makes clear the consequence of hating and insulting the Prophet (peace be upon him). He says: "Truly, he who insults you is cut off from future hope." [Sûrah al-Kawthar: 3] Ibn Taymiyah says the following about this verse of the Qur'ân:

Allâh deprives of all good the one who insults the Messenger. He will be deprived of his reputation and cut off from his wealth and family. He will be at loss in the Hereafter and he will not benefit from his life anything that could help him in the Eternal Abode. His heart will be cut off from all good. It will not be able to contain any goodness, neither recognizing it nor inclining towards it. It will not have any faith for the Messengers who bring the message of goodness. His works will be devoid of obedience. He will find no helpers. He will be unable to perform righteous deeds and find no pleasure in doing them. Even if he engages in such deeds superficially, he heart will not be in it.

Abû Bakr b. `Ayyâsh says:

When the followers of the Sunnah die, their memory lives on. When the followers of innovations die, their memory dies with them. This is because the followers of the Sunnah kept alive what the Messenger came with. For this, they share in Allâh's promise: "And we exalted your fame." [Sûrah al-Inshirâh: 4]

The followers of innovations insult what the Messenger (peace be upon him) brought, so they share in Allâh's threat: "Truly, he who insults you is cut off from future hope." [Sûrah al-Kawthar: 3]

People have been punished by Allâh for their hatred of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and for the lies, calumnies, and snide remarks that they have brought forth.

The Companion Anas b. Mâlik narrates the following:

A Christian man accepted Islam. He read the chapters of the Qur'ân entitled "al-Baqarah" and "آl `Imrân" and became a scribe of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He subsequently returned to Christianity and began to say: "Muhammad knew nothing save what I told him." Allâh caused this man to die and his people buried him. The next morning, they saw that the Earth had thrown him out. They said: "This is the doing of Muhammad and his followers." So they dug as deeply as they could and buried him again. The next morning, they found that the Earth had thrown him out again and realized that no people were involved in the matter. Therefore, they cast his body onto the ground.

Ibn Taymiyah mentions the following:

We have what a good number of trustworthy and knowledgeable Muslims have mentioned about their experiences while laying siege to cities and fortifications along the Syrian coast. When the Muslims besieged the area known today as Banû al-Asfar, they had the following to say: "We would besiege a fort or a city for a month or more to no avail. We would almost be at the point of despair. Then, when their inhabitants would slander Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) and defame his character, we would know that victory was close. The situation would become very easy for us. It would only be another day or two before we would subdue the area amidst great bloodshed." They said: 'We would feel happy that victory for us was near when we heard them speaking ill of him, though we would be angry in our hearts about what they said about him."

We also have an incident mentioned by al-Nawawî:

We have many reports authenticated by the judicial authorities about a man who lived in the year 66 AH who had an evil opinion of righteous people. He even took a tooth stick and stuck it in his anus to show his disrespect for it and for the Sunnah as a whole. After a period of time, a fish-like organism came out of his anus. He killed it. Soon thereafter the man died. May Allâh save us from his affliction and grant us success in keeping the Sunnah pure and in giving it our full respect.

In our present time, we have the following incident mentioned by Sheikh Ahmad al-Shâkir about a sermon-giver in Egypt:

"He was a very eloquent and able speaker. This sermon-giver wanted to praise one of Egypt's governors for honoring the Taha Hussein (who was blind and also quite deviant), so he said: "The blind man came unto him, but he did not frown and turn away." Sheikh Muhammad Shâkir stood up after prayer and declared to the congregation that their prayers were invalid and had to be repeated because they had been led in prayer by a man who, by insulting Allâh's Messenger, had become an unbeliever. Yet, Allâh did not postpone this man's punishment for the Hereafter and leave his crime unpunished in this world. I saw him with my own eyes a few years later. Now, I remembered him as having been high-handed, proud, and smug in the company of prominent and powerful people. But when I saw him, he was a pitiful wretch, a servant at the door of a mosque in Cairo who would take the shoes of the worshippers from them for safekeeping. He was so pitiful and humiliated that I felt embarrassed to have him see me, since we knew each other from before. I did not feel sorry for him, since he did not deserve my pity, nor was I happy with his plight, for a respectable person never feels joy on the occasion of another's misfortune. However, I took it as an example and a lesson to be learned. I wish to conclude this article by mentioning that we can increase our love for Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah by taking account of ourselves and recognizing our mistakes and shortcomings. When we face our own faults, we will then find the cure for them in the guidance that the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought. For instance, one of us might be lax in performing voluntary acts of worship. It would behoove this person to reflect upon the fact that Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to stand in prayer so long his feet would become swollen. He worshipped Allâh in this manner despite the fact that all of his past and future sins were already forgiven.

A person who might sometimes be afflicted with cowardice should recall that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was the bravest of men. `Alî said: "When our courage failed us, we would take our resolve from Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him)."

If one of us becomes overly enamored of worldly gain, he should consider that Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) was among the most ascetic of people. `آ'ishah relates to us: "Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) never satiated his hunger for three days in a row - even on bread - up to the time of his death."

If one of us is prone to ill-treating others, he should recall the words of Anas: I was the servant of Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) for ten years. He never once said to me a harsh word. No matter what I did, he never said: "Now why did you do that?" No matter what I failed to do, he never said: "Now, why didn't you do that?"

Allâh says: "It is from Allâh's mercy that you are gentle with them. Had you been severe or harsh-hearted, they would have dispersed from about you." [Sûrah آl `Imrân: 159]

If one of us becomes too self-centered and worries only about himself, he should remember the following words of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."

Jarîr relates an incident that shows us just how loyal, merciful, and compassionate the Prophet (peace be upon him) was to the believers. He says:

"We were with Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) at the early hours of the morning when a group of people came to him. They were barefoot and destitute and carrying their swords. Most of them - nay, all of them - were from Mudar. The expression of Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) changed when he saw the extent of their poverty. He went inside and came out again and ordered Bilâl to make the call to prayer. Then he stood and led us in prayer. Then he addressed us, saying: "O humanity! Reverence your Lord, who created you from a single person, then created from it its mate, and from them both spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Reverence Allâh, through whom - and through your ties of kinship - you demand your mutual rights. For Allâh ever watches over you." [Sûrah al-Nisâ': 1]

Then he recited: "O you who believe! Observe your duty to Allâh. And let every soul look to that which it sends forth for tomorrow." [Sûrah al-Hashr: 18]

The people began to vie with one another in giving charity. Some gave from their gold and silver coins, others from their clothing, others a quantity of grain or dates. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Give… even if only a half of a date."

Then a person from among the Ansâr came with a money bag which his hands could scarcely lift. Nay, he could not lift it at all. Then the people followed continuously, until I saw two great heaps form, one of food and the other of clothing. I saw the face of the Messenger (peace be upon him) shine like gold.

Then Allâh's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "He who sets a good precedent in Islam will receive his reward and the reward of that also who acted according to his example without their reward being reduced in the least."

I ask Allâh to bless us to follow most perfectly the example of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and to gather us in his company on the Day of Resurrection. Allâh is the giver of success.

Praise be to Allâh. And may His peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.


Following the Messenger of Allah is a Must

Dr. Mustafa as-Siba'i

The Sunnah and its Position in the Islamic Sharee`ah

As-Sunnah wa Makaanatuhaa fit-Tashree` al-Islaamee

Translated by: Ahmed M. Hashim
 

The Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to take the ruling on different matters in their lives from the Qur'aan, which they use to learn from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). In many instances, the aayaat (verses) of the Qur'aan treat a subject in a general manner without a specific condition. Sometimes the aayaat will come as an absolute ruling without any precondition or limitation required by time, place, etc. As an example of what came in a general way in the Qur'aan is the Salaat. The Qur'aan does not mention how many Rak`ahs (units of prayer) we should make, or how to physically move during prayer, or the time for prayer. Similarly, the Qur'aan does not mention the minimum amount of money to have before giving Zakaat (charity) or the conditions by which to pay it. Many of our `Ibaadaat cannot be performed without stopping at the explanations related to the regulations, pillars, and conditions of nullification. It is thus a must to return to Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) to know the rules in a comprehensive and clear manner.

Many times, the Companions faced incidents in which the Qur'aan which had no ruling, and there was a need to return to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) to know the ruling of such matters. It was the Prophet who was ordered by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) teach humanity, and it is the Prophet who is the most knowledgeable of mankind about that which Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa expects from us.

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) has told us about the duty of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) with respect to the Qur'aan, where Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) said:

"And We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought." [Qur'aan 16:44]

Allah also made it clear to us that the duty of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) is to clarify the truth to people when there is a dispute:

"And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe." [Qur'aan 16:64]

We are obligated to follow any ruling by Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in any dispute:

"But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." [Qur'aan 4:65]

Allah also mentioned that Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) was given the Qur'aan and Wisdom to teach people the regulations of their religion:

"Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them an apostle from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error." [Qur'aan 3:164]

Regarding the last aayah, most scholars and those of great knowledge said that the wisdom mentioned in the aayah means another thing besides the Qur'aan. It is what Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa has given Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) from the knowledge of matters and regulations that the rest of humanity can not attain. Imaam Ash-Shaafi`ee rahimahullaahhas said that "Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa has mentioned the scripture which is the Qur'aan, and he mentioned wisdom and I have learned from the people of knowledge that the wisdom here is the Sunnah of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). It is from the mercy of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) that He has sent to us a way to practice what is in the Qur'aan."

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) did not stop by saying scripture only, but the inclusion of the Sunnah with the Qur'aan is an indication of its important and the obligation on us to follow it as we have to follow the Qur'aan. Imaam Ash-Shaafi`ee goes on saying that the letter 'wa' ('and' between Scripture and Wisdom in the aayah) is a letter of conjunctions in Arabic which requires that the two parts it joins must be different otherwise the sentence will be redundant, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) is far away from that; na`oodhu billaah. And so when Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) said that he has conferred a great favor on the believers, He does not confer anything that is not correct and truthful. Therefore, this wisdom must be followed as the Qur'aan, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) has never ordered us to follow anything but Him and His messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). Which must mean that this wisdom is what came from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in the form of rules and sayings regarding legislation.

To clarify the concept of Sunnah and our obligation to follow it, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) said:

"Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper." [Qur'aan 7:157]

Because this teaching is mentioned in general in this aayah, then it must include the rules in the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

A very strong indicator of the obligation upon us to follow the Sunnah can be found in this aayah:

"...And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) , and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment." [Qur'aan 59:7] Allah has also made the obedience of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) in conjunction with the obedience to Him:

"And obey Allah and the Messenger, that ye may obtain mercy." [Qur'aan 3:132]

We are asked by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) to answer any order by Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam):

"O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life." [Qur'aan 8:24]

Allah made the obedience of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) an obedience to Him, and following Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) an indication of the love of Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa:

"He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah." [Qur'aan 4:80]

"Say: If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you sins." [Qur'aan 3:31]

And Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa warrned us from not following the instructions of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam):

"Then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them." [Qur'aan 24:63]

Not only that, but Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) told us that disobeying Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) is Kufr (disbelief):

"Say: Obey Allah and His Messenger.: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith." [Qur'aan 3:32]

It was never allowed by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) that a believer disobey Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) order:

"It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path." [Qur'aan 33:36]

To show that not following the ruling of Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) when a dispute occurs is a sign of hypocrisy, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) says:

"They say, We believe in Allah and in the apostle, and we obey; but even after that, some of them turn away; they are not (really) Believers. When they are summoned to Allah and His apostle, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come)....The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey"; it is such as these that will attain felicity." [Qur'aan 24:47-51]



 
 


 


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