All praise is due to Allah Ta’ala. May the choicest durood (salutations) and salaam (peace) descend upon the noblest of Ambiyaa and Rasuls, our master and leader Hadhrat Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and upon his blessed household and all his illustrious companions.
It is the belief of every believer that those who enjoy the highest rank after Allah Ta’ala are the Ambiyaa (may Allah Ta’ala’s choicest blessings rain upon them), and from among the galaxy of Ambiyaa, the highest in rank and status is Hadhrat Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Not only was Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) sent to this ummah as the final messenger of Allah Ta’ala and the seal of prophethood, but he was also the leader of all the Ambiyaa and Rasuls of the past. The nubuwwat of every Rasul and Nabi of the past was subject to accepting Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as his leader and pledging to support his cause if Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) appeared in his era.
The love that Allah Ta’ala expressed for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), which can be easily gauged from the style of address in the Holy Qur’an , is unique and exclusive to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The honor conferred to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) by Allah Ta’ala on the occasion of Me’raj was an honour not enjoyed by any other Messenger of the past. Furthermore, when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will be ushered into the court of Allah Ta’ala on the day of Qiyaamah to the esteemed pedestal of maqaam mahmood to intercede for the entire humanity, his distinct position will be envied by all the Ambiyaa and Rasuls and their nations.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s blessings and virtues are so immense and incredible that it is impossible for anyone to enumerate. Suffice to say that he will be the leader of the entire creation of Allah Ta’ala on the day of Qiyamah .
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that a group of Sahaabah were once sitting (in Musjid Nabawi) when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) emerged (from his home) and came towards them. As he drew closer, he heard them discussing amongst themselves. One of them said, “Indeed Allah Ta’ala chose Hadhrat Ebrahim (Alaihi Salaam) as his khaleel (special friend).” Another said, “Hadhrat Moosa (Alaihi Salaam) had the honor of conversing directly with Allah Ta’ala. A third said, “Hadhrat Isa (Alaihi Salaam) is the kalima and rooh of Allah Ta’ala (i.e. he was born with the command of Allah Ta’ala and the rooh was directly inserted into the womb without the medium of a father.) A fourth said, “Allah Ta’ala had divinely selected and chosen Hadhrat Aadam (Alaihi Salaam) (to be the father of mankind).
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then entered their gathering and addressed them saying, “I have overheard your discussion and (I have noticed) your surprise with regard to the esteemed status and lofty positions of the past Ambiyaa. Certainly, Hadhrat Ebrahim (Alaihi Salaam) is the khaleel of Allah Ta’ala, and there is no doubt in that. Hadhrat Moosa (Alaihi Salaam) had the honor of conversing directly with Allah Ta’ala- this is an established fact. Hadhrat Isa (Alaihi Salaam) is the kalima and rooh of Allah Ta’ala, and this is certainly true. And Hadhrat Aadam (Alaihi Salaam) has been divinely selected by Allah Ta’ala, and undoubtedly he was such. Behold, I am the habeeb (beloved) of Allah Ta’ala and I proclaim it without pride. I will be the bearer of the banner of praise on the day of Qiyaamah, behind which will be Hadhrat Aadam and all those who came after him. I proclaim this without any pride. I will be the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted on the day of Qiyaamah, and I proclaim this without pride. I will be the first to shake the chain of the door of Jannah. Thereafter Allah Ta’ala will command that the door be opened for me and I be made to enter, while with me will be the poor believers, and I proclaim this without pride. I am the noblest of all the former and latter to Allah Ta’ala, and I say this without pride.
Undoubtedly, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the greatest and pinnacle of Allah Ta’ala’s creation. It is the greatest honour for every ummati of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to be linked to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the Imaam of all the Ambiyaa of Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the source of hidaayat (guidance) for humanity at large, for it was none other than Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who was chosen to show us the path of guidance, through which we can earn eternal bliss and salvation. The ability of worshipping and recognizing Allah Ta’ala correctly, and simultaneously fulfilling the rights of fellow humans, also depend entirely upon emulating the teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Apart from this, when we study the mubaarak life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), we realize the intense love that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) possessed, not only for his family and Sahaabah, but for every ummati till the day of Qiyaamah. The perpetual concern and overwhelming anxiety that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had for every ummati is inconceivable and unimaginable. In short, his deep love, unwaning concern and unabating worry for every ummati propelled him to patiently bear the manifold atrocities and immense difficulties that had befallen him in the path of propagating Deen which even the most caring and loving mother would not undergo for her one and only child. The three years of boycott in the valley of Abu Taalib, his mubaarak shoes being filled with blood at Ta’if, the blood oozing from his mubaarak face at Uhud etc., is only a glimpse of what he sacrificed for the Ummah, to such an extent that Allah Ta’ala pitied him and addressed him in the Holy Quran:
Perhaps, [O Muhammad], you would kill yourself with grief that they will not be believers.
Certainly a Messenger from amongst yourselves has come to you. It grieves him that you should face difficulty and hardship: ardently anxious is he over your hidaayat, to the Believers is he most compassionate and merciful.
Thus, when Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is essentially the source of all good in this world, and the ticket to enter Paradise, one can well imagine that being his followers what rights he has over us and how much we are indebted to him.
Amongst the rights that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) possesses over us, is that we obey him in all that he has commanded, we lead a life in conformity to his mubaarak lifestyle, and we continuously recite durood and salaam upon him as we are instructed by Allah Ta’ala in the Holy Qur’an:
Allah and His angels send blessings upon the Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). O you who believe! Send durood and salaam upon him.
However, on account of our busy schedules and being so preoccupied with commitments and the mundane activities, we have drifted far away from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and lost track of our main objectives and priorities in life. In view of the present situation, the need was felt to once again rekindle the love of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) within our hearts, thereby being able to understand the way to follow his mubaarak sunnah and reach Allah Ta’ala.
We make Duaa to Allah Ta’ala that he accept this humble effort and makes it a means of us being blessed with the intercession of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) on the day of Qiyaamah, and being in his mubaarak company.
Umar was 27 when the Prophet (peace be upon him) began his mission. Young Omar was one of those who did not care to listen to the message of Islam. He was leading the old way of life. As years went by, Islam made slow headway. This made Omar angry. He wondered how people who once went over to Islam never went back to their old faith. One of Omar’s own maid-servants became a Muslim. He beat her as much as he could, but she would not give up the new faith.
At last in the sixth year of the Prophet’s mission, a number of Muslims left for Abyssinia. This made Umar boil with rage. “Here is a man,” he thought to himself “who has split the people. People lived smoothly enough. He appeared on the scene. He has torn son from father and brother from brother. Now his followers are running away to another land. Surely Muhammad is the cause of all trouble. I must slay him and put an end to the trouble.”
With this resolve, Omar drew his sword and set out to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him). On the way, he met a friend who asked him why he looked so upset. Omar told him what he was going to do. “You better take care of your own kin first,” said the friend, “Your sister and her husband have gone over to Islam.”
These words changed the direction of Omar’s anger. He went straight to the house of his sister, Fatima. He knocked at the door. Someone was reciting the Qur’an inside. Fatima was terrified when she heard Omar’s voice. She hid the portion of the Qur’an she was reading and opened the door.
“What was it that you were reciting just now?” Omar demanded.
“Oh nothing,” said the sister.
“Why nothing?” he shouted in rage. “I have heard it. I know you both have accepted Muhammad’s faith.” Saying this, he began to beat his brother-in-law, Saeed. Fatima ran to his help and got a blow to the head. The head began to bleed. This made the couple gather courage. “Yes, we have become Muslims,” they shouted at Omar. “Do what you will.” The sight of the bleeding sister deeply moved Omar. Fatima was such a loving sister! Surely there must be some great truth in the Qur’an which had won her innocent heart. “Would you let me have a look at the Qur’an?” said Omar.
Fatima handed him the few pages of the book she had.
Omar sat down to study the pages. Soon his face changed. His anger cooled down. The fear of Allah gripped his heart. He wept and declared, “Surely this is the word of Allah.”
Omar was again on his way to the place of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But he was a changed man. He was not going to slay him but to embrace his faith.
The Noble Prophet was sitting in the company of some men. He saw Omar coming and asked, “Omar , what brings you here?”
“O Prophet of Allah!” replied Omar, “I have come to embrace Islam.” Great was the joy of the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers. Loud shouts of “Allah is the Greatest” rented the air of Makkah.
Soon everyone knew that Omar was no longer an enemy of Islam. It was a great day for Islam because one of its bitterest enemies had become its staunch follower.
Physically speaking, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most handsome of people. He was of medium height, not too tall and not too short, of medium build, of white going slightly red-brown skin color, with a completely full head of shiny black slightly curly hair that would reach to his shoulders at its longest, hair which was sometimes dyed slightly red and/or yellow, a taut neck, an extended black thick beard with a few white hairs, firm un-raised cheeks, a fine slender nose, wide white eyes with a slight reddish tinge with strikingly black pupils, a flat chest and stomach, well-statured, thick heavy hands with slightly long fingers, very soft palms, smooth large feet, no excess fat or flesh on the heels, and a gait of one leaning slightly forward when he walked. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
He had a large back, broad shoulders, in between which slightly to the left one could see the Seal of Prophethood – a slightly raised piece of skin with a small grouping of hair. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
When he met people, he would turn his whole body to meet them. He was the first to greet people, having a wide smile, with a face that was immersed in blessed light that shone and radiated like a bright moon.
He had a firm handshake which he would not let go of until the other person let go yet at the same time was so gentle that if a small girl was to take his hand and lead him around the town, he would follow in tow.
It was difficult for people to compose themselves in his presence due to the sheer awe of his countenance and the shock of how handsome he was. His gravitas and presence was such that despite his medium height, he seemed taller than those surrounding him. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
He would love to wear cotton shirts, some similar to a thawb, short and long but never below the ankles, sometimes short-sleeved so that one could see his white clean arm-pits and sometimes long to his wrists. He disliked woollen garments except for the occasional use of a woolen over-garment, mostly white yet sometimes colorful garments particularly striped, sometimes red-striped, but never wore anything saffron in color. He would wear a turban, sometimes a two-piece outfit with a sarong type lower garment, and would accept and wear the clothes of foreigners given to him as a gift. May Allah bless and bestow peace upon him.
– Based on authentic narrations. Please see the “Commentary to the Shama’il Al-Muhammadiyyah”
Happiness is the word that sums up the first marriage of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Khadijah gave him all that a man needs from a loving, caring and thoughtful wife. When we remember that Khadijah was a woman of sound mind and willing to place duty above comfort, we realize that the Prophet had nothing to worry about at home as he went about delivering his message and discharging the task assigned to him by God. He appreciated all that she gave him and her memory remained alive with him to his last day. As it is well known, the Prophet lived with Khadijah for 25 years without ever entertaining a thought of marrying another woman, although polygamy was accepted as perfectly normal in his community, if not throughout the world. After she passed away, he married several wives but she retained her supreme position in his heart. Ayesha, the one of his later wives he loved most says: “No woman did I envy as much as I envied Khadijah, even though the Prophet married me only after she had died.”
What distinguished Khadijah was the fact that she was the only one of the Prophet’s wives who married him 15 years or longer before the start of his message. She was a mature woman who had married twice before and had children through her earlier marriages. She was the one to propose marriage, because Muhammad (peace be upon him) could not have thought that such a marriage would have been possible, due to his poverty while Khadijah was a rich woman who employed him and others on her business. She recognized his fine qualities and refined character. Their mutual love was of the deeply rooted, profound type that gets stronger every day.
When the Prophet began to receive his message, she gave him all the reassurance he needed. It was the sort of reassurance that a wise woman could give, looking at her husband’s character and standing. When he expressed his worries after his first encounter with the angel, she said to him: “You have nothing to fear; be calm and relax. God will not let you suffer humiliation, because you are kind to your relatives, you speak the truth, you assist anyone in need, you are hospitable to your guest and you help in every good cause.” A man who combined all these characteristics would never be humiliated by God. Hence, once she realized the nature of the message assigned to him, she was the first to believe in him. She continued to give him her unwavering support to the last day of her life. When she passed away, the Prophet called that year ‘the year of sorrow’. A few weeks earlier he had lost his uncle Abu Talib who ensured his protection and supported him against the combined efforts of his people, the overwhelming majority of whom remained strongly opposed to his message.
The Prophet lived 13 years after Khadijah had passed away during which he married several women. Yet he continued to cherish her memory to his last day. Her position in his heart and mind is summed up in the following Hadith reported by Ayesha: “Halah bint Khuwaylid (Khadijah’s sister) announced herself as she came visiting the Prophet. The Prophet was startled as she sounded very similar to Khadijah. He said: ‘My Lord, let that be Halah.’ I felt jealous and said: ‘Why do you keep remembering an elderly woman from the Quraysh, with reddened mouth edges, who had died long ago, when God has given you a wife better than she was?’ He said: ‘By God, He has not given me better than her. She believed in me when others denied me, gave me full support when others let me down, and helped me with her money when others left me deprived. ” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
The skills of communication have recently become one of the skills that people seek to learn. Big institutions, especially those that have a direct contact with people, organize training courses on communication skills. However, it is very important to point out that all the rules and principles of this field of knowledge are not ‘new’: they can easily be found in the Prophetic Sunnah. That is to say Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the perfect example of how to communicate with people. In this article, I shall seek to shed light on some of the aspects of the exceptional communication skills of the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him):
Eye contact: One of the rules of good communication is that you have to divide your eye contact, that is, do not look at one person or in his eyes all the time. One of the Prophet’s companions said that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was talking to us as if he was talking to each one of us individually. This feeling was due to the fact that he (peace be upon him) was distributing his eye contact to give everyday a feeling of importance and intimacy.
Keeping a smile: One of the skills of communication is to have a smiling face to win other people’s approval. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was never seen frowning except when someone committed a sin or violated the rules of religion.
Having self-control: To be a good communicator, you have to have self-control, that helps you to bear with the silly acts done by others. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) showed that on a lot of occasions, even with those who did not show enough decorum or courtesy in dealing with him. The result was always that those who were rude to him felt ashamed because of his noble manners and refined conduct.
Linguistic competence: According to the rules of communication, a good communicator should have linguistic abilities that enable him to answer questions, talk to people and convince them to use the least number of words, but the most effective ones at the same time. This is so apparent when a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) asking for advice, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) only said, “Do not get angry.” The man repeated his question thrice and the Prophet (peace be upon him) repeated his answer thrice emphasizing the importance of what he said in spite of the small number of words. In other words, if the man does not get angry, he will avoid a lot of mistakes and blunders caused by wrath and anger. At the end, I would like to stress that all the skills of communication taught to people nowadays are found in the Prophetic Sunnah as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the ideal example of how to deal with people in a very unruffled and respectable manner regardless of their religious, cultural or racial background. Allah describes the noble manners of the Prophet in the Holy Qur’an in different places such as, “And you (stand) on an exalted standard of character.” (Qur’an, 68:4)
By: Dr. Khaled Tawfik
No human being was ever required to fulfill a harder task than Muhammad (peace be upon him).
When God chose him to deliver His last message to mankind, He also charged him with its full implementation in a human society, so that his message would never be merely a theoretical outline of a code of living.
Future generations will always have the first Islamic society, established by the Prophet in Madinah and later in the entire Arabian Peninsula, as a model which they should emulate.
Thus, Muhammad’s task was to reform a human community, give it a new faith that outlines its constitution, establish a faith, and thus change the course of history.
What would have happened to humanity without Islam does not bear contemplation.
Prophet Muhammad addressed himself to his task, realizing from the very early days that it was a mammoth task that would occupy all his time.
Very early in his message he said to his wife: ‘Sleeping time is over, Khadijah’. He meant that he could never afford to sleep long on any night for the rest of his life.
With such an awareness of the task he was assigned, what it involved and what it required of him, we are surprised to see him laughing with his companions when the occasion arises.
When there was something really funny, he would laugh heartily.
Every aspect of Muhammad’s character was balanced to the most appropriate measure. Thus, he enjoyed fun but he tamed this with maintaining the truth.
He would start a joke, or say something in jest to a person but even in jesting he only said what was true.
A leading contemporary scholar, Abbas Al-Aqqad, says: “This means that his jesting was a sign of his prophethood, because it was a mark of his humanity. It was not in any way contrary to his status as God’s noble prophet and messenger.”
To take a couple of examples: his aunt, Safiyyah, requested him to pray for her to be in heaven. He said to her: “No elderly woman will enter heaven”.
As she was elderly, Safiyyah started to weep. He smiled and reminded her of a couple of verses in the Qur’an that make clear that all women in heaven will be returned to their youthful prime:
“We will have brought forth [their mates] in perfect creation, making them virgins, full of love, of matching age.” (56: 35-37)
She realized that the Prophet was only joking with her and she remained in hope that she would attain the happy status of the dwellers of heaven.
One of his companions asked the Prophet to give him a camel to ride as he was setting on a long journey.
The Prophet said to him: “Yes, I will give you one of the offspring of a she-camel.”
Thinking that the Prophet meant to give him a newborn camel, the man was disappointed, and said: “How will that help when I have a long journey ahead of me?”
The Prophet said: “Is a camel born to any creature other than a she-camel?” The man laughed.
However, only few such occasions are reported, because the Prophet was always attending to his great task with diligence.
He only jested to make a serious situation more relaxed, or to please a dear person. In this also he demonstrated his perfect human status.
– by Adil Salahi
GLORIFIED (and Exalted) is He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad, peace be upon him) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram [at Makkah] to Masjid Al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem], the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad, peace be upon him) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidence, lessons, signs, etc). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (17:1)
Surah Al-Israa’ begins with glorifying Allah, the most fitting action to confirm the bond between Allah and His servants in the atmosphere of compassion and friendliness imparted by the mention of the night journey. The Surah emphasizes the position of man as Allah’s servant. The emphasis here is needed in the context of the Prophet’s ascension to heaven where no human being had gone before.
It is important in this context that the status of man’s servitude to Allah should always be remembered.
There must be no confusion of status similar to that which happened in the case of Jesus on account of his birth, his being raised to heaven at the end of his life on earth, and the powers that were given to him during life. All these caused some people to confuse his status and to claim that he had a divine nature. In its simplicity and purity, Islam insists that no similarity could ever exist between Allah and any creature.
The Arabic text of this opening verse uses the verb Asra, which denotes “traveling during the night.” It is sufficient then to use this verb to denote the time of the action. Yet the verse adds the word laylan or “by night” to give an added sense of the still night and the ease of travel.
The journey from the Grand Mosque to Al-Aqsa Mosque was one chosen by Allah, the Compassionate Who knows everything. It provided a link between all monotheistic faiths from the time of Abraham and Ishmael to the time of the last Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon them all). It also established a link between the holy places in all these religions. It seems that this unusual journey served as an announcement that the Last Messenger was the heir to the heritage of all former Messengers. His message staked a claim to all these holy places. Thus it becomes a journey that goes beyond the scope of time and place.
The opening verse describes Al-Aqsa Mosque as one with blessed environs. This description shows the blessings surrounding the mosque and flowing in abundance. This impression could not have been given with a direct description such as “the mosque which We have blessed.”
This is another example of the refined use of language characteristic of the Qur’an.
The Prophet’s night journey was a telling sign, and it was accompanied by others, as the opening verse says in stating its purpose : “…. in order that We might show him of Our Ayat…”. Covering the distance between the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in a very short period that did not allow the Prophet’s bed to become cold is a sign of Allah’s power, whatever the means used to accomplish it. It opens our minds to new horizons in the universe and reveals latent potentials within mankind.
It shows that those human beings chosen by Allah to be the bearers of His message have the latent ability to receive whatever greater powers He wishes to give them. It is Allah Who has honored man, giving him a favored position among His creation, and endowed him with such potentials.
“Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” He indeed hears and sees all that is beyond the reach of our hearing and seeing faculties.
It is especially impressive that the opening verse of this Surah starts with glorifying Allah: “Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allah) Who took His slave for a journey by night.”
After defining the purpose of this journey, the Surah finishes with highlighting two of Allah’s attributes, perfect hearing and seeing that encompass all things.
This quick movement across purposes reflects the finest points of the expression used. The glorification is addressed to Allah Himself, and the statement about the purpose of the night journey comes from Him, while the description of Allah’s powers is made in the form of an indisputable statement. All these forms are combined in one verse so as to give their different imports.