Select Page
Intercessions Made in The Hereafter – Part 3

Intercessions Made in The Hereafter – Part 3

By Editorial Staff

Intercession in Islam takes place in this life and afterlife, and what’s more living persons can make intercession with Allah on behalf of the departed.

In the Hereafter, the Greatest Intercession, whose right Allah grants to only Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), is the first and foremost kind of intercessions.

Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection in order that reckoning begins. In addition, He will have the right to admit some people into the Paradise and save others from the Hellfire.

Next, there are some people who will benefit greatly from the intercessions of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). They include perpetrators of major sins. We discussed number 1, namely, the Greatest Intercession in a previous article.

Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection in order that reckoning begins. In addition, He will have the right to admit some people into the Paradise and save others from the Hellfire.

2. Making intercessions on behalf of the perpetrators of major sins

People who commit major sins deserve punishment in the Hereafter except for those whom Allah so wills to forgive. If Allah grants our Prophet Muhammad the right to intercede on behalf of the perpetrators of major sins, they, then, will be saved from the torment of the Hellfire.

This is supported by a lot of proofs from the Sunnah. However, it will be sufficient to quote a few of them.

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: My intercession will be for those of my people who have committed major sins. (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)

This does not mean the intercession of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is exclusive to those who have committed major sins. We have provided evidence to the contrary. However, I think the correct explanation could be that perpetrators of major sins will get the most benefit.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I said: “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Who will be the luckiest person, who will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: O Abu Huraira! “I have thought that none will ask me about it before you as I know your longing for the (learning of) Hadiths. The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.” (Al-Bukhari)

The sin that cannot be forgiven

However, there is one grave and major sin that Allah will never forgive so long as the person who committed it has not repented. It is associating other gods with Allah or disbelief in Allah.

Indeed, there is no intercession in favor of the disbelievers. Allah says,

“So forewarn them of the Impending Day when hearts go up into choking throats – (when) there shall be no intimate friend for the wrongdoers, nor any intercessor to be heeded.” (Quran 40:18)

3. Making intercession to admit some people into the Paradise without reckoning

Allah promised Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to admit into paradise from among his followers 70,000 people who will not be held accountable nor punished. This is supported by the Hadith that talks about the Greatest Intercession and many other Hadiths.

Abu Huraira reported:

“…The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:” I would then raise my head and say:

“O my Lord, my people, my people.”

It would be said: “O Muhammad, bring in by the right gate of Paradise those of your people who would have no account to render. They would share with the people some other door besides this door…” (Muslim)

4. Making intercession on behalf of dwellers of the Hellfire, yet they believe in the Oneness of Allah

There is also an intercession on behalf of the believers who have committed sins for which they will be thrust into the Hellfire. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will intercede so that they can get out of it.

Abu Haraira reported:

The people said to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): Messenger of Allah, shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Do you feel any trouble in seeing the moon on the night when it is full?

They said: Messenger of Allah, no.

He (the Messenger) further said: Do you feel any trouble in seeing the sun, when there is no cloud over it?

They said: Messenger of Allah, no.

He (the Holy Prophet) said: Verily you would see Him like this (as you see the sun and the moon).

God will gather people on the Day of Resurrection and say: Let every people follow what they worshipped. Those who worshipped the sun would follow the sun, and those who worshipped the moon would follow the moon, and those who worshipped the devils would follow the devils.

The Excellence of The Muslim Community

This Ummah (of Islam) alone would be left behind and there would be hypocrites too amongst it. Allah would then come to them in a form other than His own Form, recognizable to them, and would say: I am your Lord.

They would say: We take refuge with Allah from thee. We will stay here till our Lord comes to us. And when our Lord would come we would recognize Him.

Subsequently Allah would come to them in His own Form, recognizable to them, and say: I am your Lord.

They would say: Thou art our Lord. And they would follow Him, and a bridge would be set over the Hell; and I (the Holy Prophet) and my Ummah would be the first to pass over it; and none but the messengers would speak on that day, and the prayer of the messengers on that day would be: O Allah! Grant safety, grant safety.

In Hell, there would be long spits like the thorns of Sa’dan He (the Holy Prophet) said: Have you seen Sa’dan?

They replied: Yes, Messenger of Allah. He said: Verily those (hooks) would be like the thorns of Sa’dan, but no one knows their size except Allah. These would seize people for their misdeeds. Some of them would escape for their (good) deeds, and some would be rewarded for their deeds till they get salvation.

The Excellence of the Belief in the Oneness of Allah

When Allah would finish judging His bondsmen and because of His mercy decide to take out of Hell such people as He pleases. He would command the angels to bring out those who had not associated anything with Allah; to whom Allah decided to show mercy. Those who would say: There is no god but Allah.

They (the angels) would recognize them in the Fire by the marks of prostration, for Hell-fire will devour everything (limb) of the sons of Adam except the marks of prostration. Allah has forbidden the fire to consume the marks of prostration.

They will be taken out of the Fire having been burnt, and the water of life would be poured over them, and they will sprout as seed does in the silt carried by flood…” (Muslim)

Soucre Link
Prophet Muhammad: The Perfect Family Man

Prophet Muhammad: The Perfect Family Man

Prophet’s Family Life: It’s Peace and Harmony

While the Prophet carried out his mission of Islam, he never shirked his duties as a household member.

The Qur’an is full of wonderful stories that revolve around fatherhood. It is probably one of the most overlooked thematic messages in the Qur’an. Repeatedly, Allah bears witness to prophets who are recognized as great fathers.

Chapter four of the Qur’an (an-Nisaa) tells us how humanity sprung forth from the first prophet and father, Adam, and the womb of our mother, Hawwa (Eve).

Prophet Nuh (Noah) pleaded with his son to believe in the oneness of God before calamity hit.

Prophet Lut (Lot) valiantly protected his children from the surrounding lewdness and temptation in his community.

Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) dealt with the heartbreaking abduction of his young son, Yusuf (Joseph) by his older brothers.

Then there was the epic du’a of the father of the Abrahamaic faiths, Ibrahim (AS),as he took upon the task of building the Ka’abah with his wonderful son, Ismail. By way that Allah had commanded the dynamic father and son duo to build the Ka’abah is testament to how important the role of the father is in Islam.

After all, Allah (SWT) could have commanded Ibrahim to build the House of Allah on his own, but he had a little helper, an assistant, and the final prophet, Muhammad, came from the direct lineage of Ismail.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Prophet Muhammad himself was the ultimate family man of all times.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sternly advised his followers:”The best of you is he who is best to his family and I am the best among you to my family” (Tirmidhi). By saying this, he reminded the ummah (Muslim community) to emulate his behavior when dealing with their own families.

The cornerstone of a strong Muslim ummah lies within the family unit. Many problems that arise today is really due to the disrupted relationship between spouses, between parent and child, and even between siblings. In addition, this could be very well a function of poor leadership by the father, although there are always other factors involved.

If all, or a majority of family units were held on sturdy grounds, then members of the same would have better outward relations with others, whether they are neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and other families in the community in general. So, it is no wonder that the Prophet (PBUH) took time to remind us of the importance of leadership within a family.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) embodied the importance of a strong family unit in his own family life. He loved his first wife Khadijah so much that even years after her passing he kept good relations with her family. The Prophet’s young wife Aisha felt the devotion he had toward Khadijah even though she passed away years before her own marriage to prophet Muhammad.

The Good Husband

The Prophet was, of course, good with Aisha too. He raced with her and took her on excursions. He taught her the Qur’an and his sunnah (his teachings and practices); especially those matters relating to women and intimacy. His young wife made sure to carefully record those teachings.

The Prophet spent a lot of time with Aisha. He accompanied her when she wanted to spend a laid-back afternoon watching sports.

He was good to his other wives as well. Many of the Prophet’s sayings mention their contributions to society. This could only surface through a husband who recognized them as iconic women of their time.

Umar ibn Khattab was shocked to see how the Prophet’s wives would speak back to their husband. They would rush to hide when Umar entered the Prophet’s household telling him – from behind a veil –that he was stern and harsh while Prophet Muhammad was kind and understanding toward them.

While the Prophet carried out his mission of Islam, he never shirked his duties as a household member – often tidying up and mending torn clothes.

While many men nowadays would struggle with one wife, Prophet Muhammad kept good relations with all of his wives. There was, sometimes, enmity between them (as human as they were). But he would deal with the problems justly and without causing harm. He never once raised a hand towards them even when relationships in his household were strained.

The Kind Father

The Prophet raised four daughters in a culture where baby girls were considered cursed. He educated them and married them to pious Muslim husbands. The Prophet still rushed to his daughter Fatimah’s house when he missed her even after she became a mother to many children herself. He was known for letting her boys ride on his back during congregational prayer.

The companions of the Prophet often commented that his daughter Fatimah was the person who resembled him most in appearance and behavior. When Fatimah entered a room where the Prophet was, he would rise, kiss her and lead her to his seat. She would do the same when he stopped by to see her.

Fatimah was so attached to her father that she was happy to hear from the Prophet that she would be the first of his family to follow him in death.

Arguably, there is no stronger bond between father and daughter than the relationship of these two remarkable people.

Among the many adversities faced by the Prophet, he also lost children; two sons in Makkah and one in Madinah. The Prophet naturally wept at their deaths. His archenemy and uncle, Abu Lahab, on the other hand, celebrated their deaths. Allah sent the Prophet a special gift in Chapter 108 (al-Kawthar) of the Qur’an, promising eternal happiness to calm the heavy heart of the bereaved father.

Spouses’ Mutual Rights

In his farewell sermon to believers, the Prophet reminded men to be gentle with their wives. He also told them that wives and husbands both had rights and responsibilities towards each other.

He said,

“O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.”

The Prophet was sent to perfect a faith that supported (among other things) women’s rights: elevating their status in society, honoring them as mothers, and garnering their values, knowledge and expertise to enrich the development of a thriving ummah.

The Qur’an is full of messages about fatherhood and good leadership within a family. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated through his own behavior –in outstanding leaps and bounds –how to be the perfect family man.


Source: aboutislam.net

Soucre Link
Intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. Who? – Part 4

Intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. Who? – Part 4

By Editorial Staff

In general, when Muslims talk about intercession, the first person who comes to their mind is Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). This is because the right of the Greatest Intercession which is exclusive to him. In addition, he will share other intercessors in the other different kinds of intercessions.

Before writing about the other intercessors, we will cite one more kind of intercession which is also exclusive to Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

To open the gates of the Paradise to those people who are destined for it, Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will be the first to intercede concerning this.

Making intercessions so that the gates of the Paradise will be opened

To open the gates of the Paradise to those people who are destined for it, Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will be the first to intercede concerning this. Anas b. Malik reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “I will be the first among people to intercede concerning (opening the gates of) the Paradise and I will be the Prophet with the greatest number of followers (on the Day of Resurrection).” (Muslim)

The following hadith relates about this in some more detail. Anas b. Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“I will come to the gate of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and would seek its opening and the keeper would say: Who are you? I would say: Muhammad. He would then say: It is for you that I have been ordered, and not to open it for anyone before you.” (Muslim)

The other intercessors who will intercede before Allah on the Day of Resurrection

1. The angels

Allah says: “For how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession is of no avail-to anyone – in anything until God grants permission to whomever He so wills and is pleased with.” (Quran 53:26)

This Aya clearly shows that the disbelievers who worship angels claiming that they will intercede on their behalf are completely wrong. For the Aya states two prerequisites for benefitting from intercession, which the disbelievers failed to achieve.

2. The prophets

Prophets are the best human beings. They called people to worship only one God, Allah, in this life and would intercede on behalf of the believers on the Day of Resurrection.

3. The believers

There are some believers who will enjoy this high status on the Day of Resurrection. Achieving this requires a person to abide by certain acts of worship and avoid the things that deprive a person from being an intercessor. We will discuss this in detail in a forthcoming article.

The following part of the hadith is a proof that the angels, the prophets and the believers will be intercessors. Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:

“…The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You (Muslims) cannot be more pressing in claiming from me a right that has been clearly proved to be yours than the believers in interceding with Almighty for their (Muslim) brothers on that Day, when they see themselves safe.

They will say, ‘O Allah! (Save) our brothers (for they) used to pray with us, fast with us and also do good deeds with us.’ Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one (gold) Dinar.’ Allah will forbid the Fire to burn the faces of those sinners. They will go to them and find some of them in Hell (Fire) up to their feet, and some up to the middle of their legs. So they will take out those whom they will recognize and then they will return, and Allah will say (to them), ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one half Dinar.’ They will take out whomever they will recognize and return, and then Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant), and so they will take out all those whom they will recognize.” Abu Sa’id said: If you do not believe me then read the Holy Verse:–

“Indeed, God wrongs none, (not even) an atom’s weight. Yet if there is a good deed, He multiplies it…” (Quran 4:40)

The Prophet added, “Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede…” (Al-Bukhari)

4. The intercession of Allah

The previous hadith continues: “…and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession. He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life.

They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by the torrent grows. You have noticed how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. Those people will come out (of the River of Life) like pearls, and they will have (golden) necklaces, and then they will enter Paradise whereupon the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Beneficent. He has admitted them into Paradise without them having done any good deeds and without sending forth any good (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘For you is what you have seen and its equivalent as well.’” (Al-Bukhari)

There are still others whom Allah will give the right of intercession. We are going to write about them in a forthcoming article.

 

Soucre Link
Prophet Muhammad: The Embodiment of the Role and Features of Believers

Prophet Muhammad: The Embodiment of the Role and Features of Believers

By Abdur Raheem Kidwai

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) devoted himself heart and soul to the mission of Islam and achieved great success notwithstanding stiff opposition, in transforming the polytheistic Arabs into champions of monotheism. He drew upon every conceivable means for articulating the truth of Islam.

Prophet Muhammad: The Embodiment of the Role and Features of Believers

The Prophet was granted the following charter of social justice, which also spells out the role and features of believers.

His concern was so deep felt that he cried over the prospect of the inevitable divine punishment for those Arab unbelievers who refused to embrace Islam. The Qur’an, however, directed him not to grieve so much about the miserable fate of such unbelievers:

Perhaps you will kill yourself with grief because they do not become believers. (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:3)

The Makkan unbelievers asked him to produce a miracle which they could see with their own eyes. They were told to look around them in that Allah’s distinct signs are scattered everywhere. He was, nonetheless, granted the miracle which we know as the Qur’an. For it embodies the light of Allah’s guidance and mercy.

Prophecies

The Qur’an recounts the prophecies about the Prophet Muhammad’s advent which featured in the earlier Scriptures, especially the Torah and the Gospels. Take this as illustrative:

And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah sent to you, confirming the Torah, which came before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me. His name shall be Ahmad.” (As-Saff 61:6)

Even in the face of such clear pronouncements in their own holy Books about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Jews and Christians of the day rejected and opposed him. They did so for their own selfish ends. For the radical message of Islam was set to destroy their vested interests, their degenerate way of life and their clergy that abused religion for pecuniary gain.

Overwhelming Victory

However, Allah promised and sent His help to the Prophet. For example, when the unbelieving Makkans mocked him for being without a son, Allah consoled and comforted him:

To you We have granted Al-Kawthar. Turn to your Lord in prayer and sacrifice. For he who hates you will be cut off (from future hope). (Al-Kawthar 108:1-4)

Allah blessed him with an overwhelming victory over the unbelievers, the Jews and Christians. Millions accepted Islam and country after country was won over to the Caliphs, who succeeded the Prophet, to lead the community of believers. As for the Prophet himself, he devoted more and more of his time to glorifying Allah and seeking Allah’s forgiveness.

As to the exalted rank which he enjoys in Allah’s sight, the following Qur’anic passage is instructive:

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O Believers! Send your blessings upon him and salute him with all respect. (Al-Ahzab 33:56)

Allah also conferred another distinction on the Prophet – that of his Ascent and Night Journey to the heavens, which is recorded thus in the Qur’an:

Glory be to Allah Who took His servant (Muhammad) for the night journey from the sacred mosque to the farthest mosque, whose surroundings We have blessed in order that We might show him some of Our signs. (Al-Israa’ 17:1)

Our Role Model

More importantly, on that occasion, he was granted the following charter of social justice, which also spells out the role and features of believers:

Those who are constant in their prayer. And in their wealth there is a recognized right for the beggar and the deprived. (Al-Ma`arij 70:23-25)

And those who respect their trusts and covenants. They stand firm in their testimony. (Al-Ma`arij 70:32-33)

The same note of social justice permeates the Prophet’s sermon at `Arafat which he delivered on the occasion of his farewell pilgrimage.

It captures the essence of the mission which he professed and practiced throughout his illustrious life:

“No Arab is superior to a non-Arab and any non-Arab does not have superiority over an Arab. Piety alone confers honour on man. All men are from Adam and Adam was made of clay.

O people! Your lives, blood and property are sacred for one another … All of you will certainly appear before Allah and He will take you to account. Thus do I warn you. Whoever among you is entrusted with someone’s property shall return the trust to the rightful owner.

O people! Allah has laid down rights for everyone. No one should therefore, leave a will in favour of any of his heirs. Debt is to be repaid. Borrowed things are to be returned. It is not lawful to deprive anyone of what is due to him. Your wives have rights. They owe you obligations. Treat them well. For they are dependent upon you. If you follow the Book of Allah and my practice (Sunnah), which I leave behind with you, you will never go astray.”

This sermon stands out as his strong exhortation for cordial human relationships and a tension-free society.

This sermon stands out as his strong exhortation for cordial human relationships and a tension-free society. His assertions about shunning violence and bloodshed, not usurping others’ belongings and refraining from betraying the trust reposed in one re-echo the Qur’an:

No prophet could (ever) be false to his trust. If any person is so false, He shall, on the Day of Judgment, restore what he misappropriated; then shall every soul receive its due,- whatever it earned,- and none shall be dealt with unjustly. (Aal ‘Imran 3:161)

If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (Forever): And the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him. (An-Nisaa’ 4:93)

He is also seen reminding everyone of the need to discharge their obligations, especially those which they owe to fellow human beings in general and to their family members, friends and neighbors in particular. Man is asked to keep the trust placed with him as a responsible member of the society and as a good citizen.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s book “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, published by the Islamic Foundation, 2005/1426 H.

[opic_orginalurl]

Spirituality and Productivity: The Prophet’s Recipe

Spirituality and Productivity: The Prophet’s Recipe

nature-spirituality

Belonging to God, he was nobody’s possession; he simply offered his love to all.

Throughout the twenty-three years of his mission, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sought the way to spiritual freedom and liberation. He received revelation, step by step, in the midst of the circumstances of life, as if the Most High was conversing with him in history, for eternity.

The Prophet listened to Him, spoke to Him, and contemplated His signs day and night, in the warm company of his Companions or in the solitude of the Arabian desert. He prayed while the world of humans was asleep, he invoked God while his brothers and sisters despaired, and he remained patient and steadfast in the face of adversity and insult while so many beings turned away.

His deep spirituality had freed him from the prison of the self, and he kept seeing and recalling the signs of the Most Near, whether in a flying bird, a standing tree, falling darkness, or a shining star.

Love & Unity

Muhammad was able to express love and spread it around him. His wives were gratified by his presence, tenderness, and affection, and his Companions loved him with an intense, profound, and extraordinarily generous love. He gave and offered his presence, his smiles, his being, and if a slave happened to address him or wanted to take him to the other end of the city)’, he went, he listened, he loved.

Belonging to God, he was nobody’s possession; he simply offered his love to all. When he gave someone his hand, he was never the first to draw it back, and he knew what light and peace can surge in the heart of a being who is offered a tender word, an affection ate name, comfort. Freed from his own self, he neglected nobody’s self. His presence was a refuge; he was the Messenger.

He loved, he forgave. Every day he begged God to forgive his own failings and oversights, and when a woman or a man came to him burdened with a mistake, however serious, he received that soul and showed her or him the way to forgiveness, solace, dialogue with God, and the Most Gentle’s protection. He covered other people’s mistakes from the sight of others, while teaching everyone the need for personal rigor and discipline.

Positiveness

When laziness moved anyone to ask him for minimal practice, he always answered positively and invited them to use their intelligence and their qualities to understand, improve, and free themselves from their own contradictions while accepting their own fragility. He taught responsibility without guilt and adherence to ethics as the conditions for freedom.

Justice is a condition for peace, and the Prophet kept insisting that one cannot experience the taste of equity if one is unable to respect the dignity of individuals. He set slaves free and recommended that Muslims pledge to do so constantly: the faith community of believers had to be a community of free beings.

Revelation showed him the way’, and, as we have often seen, he never ceased to give particular attention to slaves, the poor, and the lowly in society. He invited them to assert their dignity, to demand their rights. and to get rid of any feeling of inferiority; the message was a call for religious, social, and political liberation.

At the close of his mission, in the plain lying at the foot of the Mount of Mercy (Jabal Ar-Rahmah), men and women of all races, cultures, and colors, rich and poor, were present and listened to this message, which stressed that the best among people are so through their hearts, which are determined neither by class nor by color or culture.

“The best among you is the best toward people,” he had once said. (At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

In the name of human brotherhood- addressing not just Muslims but all people (an-nas), as he did during me farewell sermon, he taught each conscience to transcend the appearances that might hinder its progress toward the Just (Al-`Adl). In the presence of God, nothing could justify discrimination, social injustice, or racism.

In the Muslim community, a black man called the believers to prayer, and a slave’s son commanded the army; faith had freed the believers from judgments based on deceptive appearances (linked to origin and social status) that stimulate unwise passions and dehumanize them.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press (2007).

[opic_orginalurl]

How Prophet Muhammad Expressed Grief: Lessons of Faith & Humanity

How Prophet Muhammad Expressed Grief: Lessons of Faith & Humanity

 

sadness_nature

Human beings, the Prophet among them, had to learn how to depart, and see their loved ones depart, in silence, with discretion.

During the tenth year of Hijrah (emigration from Makkah), young Ibrahim, who was then about a year and a half old, fell seriously ill. At the very time when the religion of the One was being established all over the Peninsula, with adversity constantly diminishing and the number of conversions continuing to grow, the Prophet saw his only son about to leave life and to leave him. He visited him every day and spent hours by his side.

When the child eventually breathed his last, the Prophet took him in his arms and held him against his breast, tears streaming down his face, so deep was his sorrow.

`Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf, his faithful Companion, was surprised by those sobs, because he thought that the Prophet had previously forbidden such expressions of grief.  At first, Muhammad could not speak; then he explained to him that he had forbidden excessive manifestations of distress, through wailing or hysterical behavior, but not the natural expression of sorrow and suffering.

Then he gave verbal expression to his grief that, in effect , became a spiritual teaching, as he declared that his tears were “signs of tenderness and mercy.” He added a comment springing from his own experience, but which was also true in every Muslim’s daily life: “He who is not merciful will not be shown mercy.” (AL-Bukhari and Muslim)

Trying Times

In the difficult moments of life, kindness, clemency, mercy, and the expressions of empathy that human beings offer one another bring them closer to the One, Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful). Through them, God reaches closer to the believer’s heart, offering the believer what the believer him- or herself has offered to a brother or sister in humanity.

The Prophet was intimately affected, and he did not hesitate to show and express his grief. He added: “The eye sheds tears, 0 Ibrahim, the heart is infinitely sad, and one must only utter what satisfies God.” (AL-Bukhari and Muslim)

God had once more tested him through his humanity and his mission. He had lost so many loved ones-Companions, his wife Khadijah, three of his daughters, and his three sons.”

His life had been crossed with tears, but he remained both gentle with his heart and firm in his mission. It was this chemistry of gentleness and firmness that satisfied the Most Near.

At the time when, in this tenth year of Hijrah, the world seemed to open up to the Prophet’s mission, Muhammad’s human fate seemed reduced to that tiny grave where Ibrahim’s body was laid, and over which he then led the funeral prayer. The Prophet was one of the eject; the Prophet remained a human being.

tears

His life had been crossed with tears, but he remained both gentle with his heart and firm in his mission.

Lessons for Life

A few hours after his return from the graveyard, an eclipse of the sun occurred. The Muslims were quick to associate the eclipse with the death of the Prophet’s child and see it as a miracle, a kind of message from God to His Prophet. But Muhammad put an end to all such interpretations, saying forcefully:

“The sun and the moon are two of God’s signs. Their light does not darken for anyone’s death.” (AL-Bukhari and Muslim)

Muhammad was thus reminding his Companions of the order of things and of the necessity to make no mistake in interpreting signs, in order to avoid lapsing into superstition.

This was, for them as well as for himself, a spiritual teaching in restraint and humility: human beings, the Prophet among them, had to learn how to depart, and see their loved ones depart, in silence, with discretion, and amid the indifference of the order of things.

The trial of faith and of humanity, which made the Prophet shed tears, consisted precisely in learning how to find, at the heart of the eternity of creation and of never-ending cycles, the strength to face the finitude of the human, sudden departures, and death.

The sign of the One’s presence at the time of a person’s death lies not in the occurrence of any miracle but rather in the permanence of the natural order, in the eternity of His creation, crossed here and there by the passage of created beings, who come and depart.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s book “In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press (2007).

[opic_orginalurl]