The Greatness of the Prophet ﷺ

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

O Allah! Send peace and blessings upon our master,
Muhammad, and his family.

Aid us, make matters easy for us and complete [Your favour upon us]

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

Allah, Most High, says to our Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ, highlighting the favours and grace bestowed him, and explaining the status that He holds with Him,

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

  «Allah sent down the Book and Wisdom to you and taught you what you did not previously know. Allah’s favour to you was immense»

[al-Nisa’ (4): 113]

The first part of the verse clearly proves the basic fact that there exists a difference in the levels of excellence; the second part of the verse deals with the distinction between these levels and their greatness. Allah, Most High, has blessed our Prophet ﷺ in a number of different ways. Amongst them are:

  1. He is the master of all. He ﷺ said,

  «These Messengers: We favoured some of them over others. Allah spoke directly to some of them and raised up some of them in rank»

[al-Baqarah (2): 253]
 “ I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting.[1]

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

He ﷺ said,

 “ I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting.

in order to show his nation the status he holds with his Lord, the Mighty and Magnificent. Now because the mention of ones virtues is predominantly done by way of boasting, he ﷺ wanted to preclude any possibility of the ignorant thinking that he said this by way of boasting, so he said, ‘without boasting’.

  • He ﷺ said,

     “ In my hands will be the Banner of Praise on the Day of Judgement, without boasting.[2]

  • He ﷺ said,

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

    All of these matters that are specific to him go to show his great ranking, a ranking which surpasses Adam and everyone else, this is because the only way one possesses distinguished characteristics is by having virtues and ranking not shared by others.

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

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

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

  • He ﷺ is the first intercessor and the first to have his intercession accepted.[6] This goes to prove his exalted esteem and superiority.

  • His ﷺ choosing this intercession [for others] over himself.

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

  • Allah, Most High, has taken an oath by his life ﷺ, saying,

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

  • Allah, Most High, honoured him when addressing him because He called him by the names most beloved to him and by the most eminent and sublime of his qualities,

  •   «By your life! They were wondering blindly in their drunkenness!»

    [al-Hijr (15): 72]

      «O Prophet!…»

    [al-Anfal (6): 64 etc.]

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

      «O Messenger!…»

    [al-Ma’idah (5): 41, 67]

      «O Adam! Reside…»

    [al-Baqarah (2): 35]

      «O ‘Isa, the son of Mary! Remember my favour upon you…»

    [al-Ma’idah (5): 110]

      «O Nuh! Disembark with peace…»

    [Hud (11): 48]

      «O Dawud! We have indeed made you a successor in the earth…»

    [Sad (): 26]

      «…O Ibrahim! You have indeed proven true to the dream…»

    [al-Saffat (): 105]

      «O Lut! We are messengers of your Lord…»

    [Hud (11): 81]

      «O Zakariyyah! We give you the glad-tidings…»

    [Maryam (19): 7]

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

    This fact is known through the nature of people – when someone is addressed, being referred to by the best of his manners and qualities, this is a way honouring him and showing him respect. The poet said,

      «O Yahya! Take the book…»

    [Maryam (19): 12]
      Do not call me except by the name, ‘O servant of hers!’
    For that is the best of my names.[8]

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

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

  • This is not established for any other Prophet.

      «It is We who have sent down the Reminder and We who will preserve it»

    [al-Hijr (15): 9]
      So take to what you see and leave that which you may have heard.[12]


    Footnotes

    [1] This is the hadith of ‘Abdullah bin Sallam (RA) with the wording, “I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting, the first one whom the earth will give up, the first intercessor and in my hands will be the Banner of Praise under which will stand Adam and all those who came after him.”
    It was declared sahih by ibn Hibban [#6478] and al-Albani.
    Similar ahadith were reported on the authority of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (RA) by at-Tirmidhi [#3148]; ibn 'Abbas by Ahmad [#2546, 2692]; Anas by Ahmad [#12569]; Abu Hurayrah by Muslim [#2278]]; Abu Bakr by Ahmad [#15]; and Wathilah bin al-Asqa' by ibn Hibban [#6242, 6475]; 'Ubadah bin as-Samit by al-Hakim [#92];

    [2] This is taken the previous hadith of ‘Abdullah bin Sallam with some slight differences in wording. This actual wording is mentioned in the hadith of Abu Sa‘id being recorded by at-Tirmidhi [#3148] and ibn Majah [no. 4308].

    [3] This wording is found in the hadith of ibn ‘Abbas (RAA) concerning the Intercession (shafa‘a) as reported by Ahmad [#2546, 2692] and at-Tirmidhi [no. 3620]. Its meaning can be found in the ahadith referred to in fn. 1.

    [4] This is a portion of the lengthy hadith concerning the Intercession as reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RA) by Bukhari [#4712] and Muslim [#194] with the wording, “I will be the master of the people on the Day of Judgement, do you know why? Allah will gather the first and last people on one plain…”
    «T» Refer to the appendix for some complete narrations concerning the Intercession.

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

    [6] Mentioned in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (RA) with the words, “I will be the master of the children of Adam on the Day of Judgement, the first one whom the earth will give up, the first intercessor and the first to have his intercession accepted.” Recorded by Muslim [#2278]; see also fn. 1

    [7] Pointing to his ﷺ saying, “every Prophet is given a supplication that is [definitely] answered, he would employ it, have it answered and be granted [what he requested]. I have reserved my supplication so that it may be used to intercede for my nation on the Day of Judgement.”
    Recorded by Bukhari [#6304, 7474] and Muslim [#198] on the authority of Abu Hurayrah. Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of ibn 'Abbas by Ahmad [#2546, 2692]; Anas by Bukhari [#6305] and Muslim [#200]; Abu Sa'id by Ahmad [#11148]; Jabir by Muslim [#201]; and Abu Dharr by Ahmad [#21299]

    [8] The author has redacted this section from the words of Abu Nu‘aym, Dala’il an-Nubuwwah [pp. 9-11]. Then as-Suyuti summarised all of this in al-Khasa’is al-Kubra [3/141] saying, ‘some of the scholars said that from the matters specific to him is that, in the Qur’an, Allah, Exalted is He, did not directly address him by calling his name…’

    [9] Pointing to the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “there is not a single Prophet except that he was given such signs as would cause the people to believe. I have been given the revelation that Allah revealed to me and I hope that I would have the largest following out of the Prophets on the Day of Judgement.”
    Recorded by Bukhari [#4971, 7274] and Muslim [#152]. This mark of distinction was quoted from the author by as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [3/131].

    [10] Pointing to the hadith of Jabir bin Samurah (RA) recorded by Muslim [#2276] that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I know a rock in Mecca that used to greet me with the salam before I was commissioned and I still know of it now.”

    [11] This miracle has been reported via multiple routes (mutawatir) from the Prophet ﷺ. al-Hafidh ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah and as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [2/306-309] collated a large portion of its routes from a group of the Companions; amongst these were ibn ‘Umar and Jabir as recorded by Bukhari [#3583, 3585]; Jabir, Ubay, Sahl bin Sa‘d, Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri and ‘A’ishah as recorded by Abu Nu‘aym [pp. 341-345]; Anas bin Malik and ibn ‘Abbas as recorded by ibn Majah [no. 1415].
    The wording of the latter is, “the Prophet ﷺ used to deliver his sermons while [leaning] on the trunk of a date-palm tree. When the pulpit (minbar) was constructed for him, he went it and the trunk [was heard] making a mournful, yearning sound. He clasped it in his arms and it became silent whereupon he said, ‘if I had not done so, it would have remained yearning until the Day of Judgement.’ ”
    as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [3/131] quoted both these marks of distinction from the author.

    [12] The beginning of the line of poetry reads,
    In the appearance of the full moon lies enough to suffice you from retiring
    The line is from a poem written by al-Mutanabbi praising and excusing the leader of his time.

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

    An example of this lies with water coming out from between his fingers.[1] This is a feat that defies nature in a far greater way than water gushing forth from stone, this is because it is quite normal to see water gushing out of rock [in nature]. Hence his miracle of causing water to gush forth from his fingers is a greater miracle than Musa (AS) causing water to gush forth from rock.

    12. ‘Isa (AS) cured those who were born blind while the eyes were still in their proper place, whereas the Messenger of Allah ﷺ returned an eye to its socket after it had slipped out onto [Qatadah’s] cheek.[2]

    This is a miracle from two perspectives:

    The First: his repairing it after its having slipped out.

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

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

    There is a world of difference between the life that is granted through faith and the mere life of the bodies.[3]

    14. Allah, the Exalted, has written the reward of every Prophet proportionally to the actions, states and statements of his respective nation.

    However his ﷺ nation would constitute half the inhabitants of Paradise[4] and Allah, the Exalted, informed us that his nation was the best nation brought forth for mankind.[5] They were regarded to be the best of nations due to their quality of cognisance, states, statements and actions. So there is no portion of cognisance, no state, action of worship, article of true doctrine, or anything from those matters that are used to draw close to Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has directed to and called to, except that he too has the reward of the one who acts by it until the Day of Judgement due to his saying,

     “ Whoever calls to guidance, he has its reward and the reward of all those who act by it until the Day of Judgment.[6]

    None of the other Prophets attained this level. In a hadith it is mentioned,

     “ The creation is dependant upon Allah, and the most beloved of them to Him are those who bring about most benefit for His dependants.[7]

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

    Hence there is no Gnostic in his nation, except that he ﷺ has the same reward ensuing from his cognisance as he does, in addition to his ﷺ own cognisance. There is no person having a particular spiritual condition from his nation except that he too has the reward for that condition, in addition to his conditions ﷺ. There is none who holds to an article of true doctrine through which he seeks to draw closer to Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, except that he too has its reward, in addition to his beliefs and conveyance of his message. There is no action from the actions that draw one closer to Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, such as prayer (salah), charity (zakah), freeing of slaves (‘itq), Jihad, piety (birr), good actions (ma‘ruf), remembrance (dhikr), patience (sabr), forgiveness (‘afw), clemency (safh), except that he too has the reward of the one who performs them, in addition to the reward he gets for his own actions. There is no lofty level or eminent ranking that is attained by any of his nation through his direction and guidance except that he too has its reward, in addition to his own level and ranking.

    This reward is further multiplied by the fact that whoever from amongst his nation calls to guidance,[8] or practices a good Sunnah [that had been neglected], he has the reward of doing it and all those who follow him in it, then this multiplied reward is also attained by our Prophet ﷺ because he is the one who [originally] directed and guided towards it.

    It was for this reason that Musa (AS) cried on the night of the Nights Journey, out of permissible envy towards the Prophet ﷺ, because more of his nation would enter Paradise than his own.[9] He did not cry out of malicious envy as some ignorant people suggest, instead he cried out of sorrow of what he had missed out on when he saw [the greatness of] his ﷺ rank.

    15. Allah sent every [previous] Prophet to his own specific nation whereas he sent our Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ, to the entirety of man and jinn.[10]

    Every Prophet has the reward of his conveyance of the Message to his people and our Prophet ﷺ has the reward of his conveyance of the Message to everyone he was sent to. This comes about sometimes through his direct conveyance and other times through the conveyance being attributed to him, this is why Allah, the Exalted, pointed out this great blessing with his saying,

    This was because if Allah had sent a warner to every tribe, all the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would have attained was the reward of conveying the message to his particular people.[11]

    16. Allah, the Exalted, spoke to Musa at Mount Tur and at the Sanctified Valley whereas He spoke to our Prophet ﷺ at the Lote Tree at the Farthest Limit.[12]

    17. He ﷺ said,

      «If We had wished, We would have sent a warner to every tribe»

    [al-Furqan (25): 51]
     “ We are the last nation from amongst the inhabitants of this world yet the first to be resurrected on the Day of Judgement, the first to be judged and the first to enter Paradise.[13]

    18. When he mentioned [his] mastery in the unrestricted sense, he restricted it by saying,

     “ on the Day of Judgement, the first one whom the grave will give up, the first intercessor and the first to have his intercession accepted.[14]

    19. That the whole of creation would desirously ask of him ﷺ on the Day of Judgement, even Ibrahim (AS).[15]

    20. He ﷺ said,

     “ Al-Wasilah is a station in Paradise reserved for a particular servant from amongst the servants of Allah, Exalted is He, and I hope to be that servant. So whoever asks for al-Wasilah for me, [my] intercession becomes lawful for him.[16]


    Footnotes

    [1] This miracle has been reported via multiple routes from him ﷺ on the authority of a group of the Companions and occurred on numerous occasions. Amongst these was Jabir, Anas, Ziyad bin al-Harith, Talq bin 'Ali, ibn 'Abbas, ibn Mas'ud, Abu Layla, Abu Hurayrah, 'Imran bin Husayn and Abu Qatadah as recorded by Abu Nu‘aym [pp. 345-350] and as-Suyuti [2/214-219].

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

    [2] Pointing to the hadith recorded by Abu Ya‘la [#1549, 1550] and Abu Nu’aym via the route of ‘Asim bin ‘Umar bin Qatadah; from his father; from his grandfather, Qatadah that, ‘his eye was damaged on the day of Uhud and it slipped out onto his cheek. The people decided to cut it off and they went to ask the Prophet ﷺ about this. He replied, ‘no’ and called for him, placed his eye in his palm [and put it back in its place] and after this Qatadah could not tell which of his eyes had been damaged.’

    The wording is that of Abu Nu‘aym and this wording was quoted by al-Haythami, al-Majma‘ [8/296-297] after which he said, ‘its isnad contains Yahya bin ‘Abdu-l-Hamid al-Himmani and he is da‘if.’ However it is reported via two other routed by Abu Nu‘aym [p. 418] which serve to strengthen it.

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

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

    Recorded by Bukhari [#3348, 4741, 6530, 7483] and Muslim [#222, 379, 380]. Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of ibn Mas'ud by Bukhari [#6642] and Muslim [# 221]; 'Imran bin Husayn by Ahmad [#19884]; Jabir by Ahmad [#14724, 15114]; Abu Hurayrah by Ahmad [#9080]; and Abu ad-DardaÁ by Ahmad [6/441]

    [5] Allah, Exalted is He says, «You are the best nation brought forth for mankind, you enjoin the good and prohibit the evil and you believe in Allah» [Āli ‘Imran(3): 110]

    [6] Muslim [#2674] on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, and he also records [#1017] the hadith of Jarir bin ‘Abdullah al-Bajli, ‘whoever introduces a good practice in Islam, he has its reward and the reward of all those who act upon it after him without their reward decreasing in the slightest…’. A similar hadith is also recorded by Ahmad [#23289] on the authority of Hudhayfah.

    [7] Recorded by Abu Ya'la [#3315, 3370, 3478] and al-Bazzar [#1949] on the authority of Anas. It was ruled da‘if jiddan by ibn Hajr, Matalib al-'åliyah [#1000] and al-Albani, and da'if by as-Suyuti and az-Zarkashi as per al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir [3/674 #4135].

    The hadith is also recorded on the authority of ibn Mas'ud by al-Bayhaqi, Shu'ab al-ëman [#7448] and at-Tabarani, al-Kabir [#10033]. Ibn al-Jawzi said this hadith was not authentic and al-Haythami [8/191] pointed out that it has a matruk narrator. See al-Manawi [3/674 #4135].

    However this hadith is more than adequately replaced by the hadith reported by Jabir (RA) from the Prophet ﷺ, “the best of people are those who bring about most benefit to the people.” Recorded by al-Quda'i [1/101], and others, and declared hasan by al-Albani.

    [8] Pointing to his ﷺ saying, “whoever calls to guidance, his reward will be the same as the reward of all those who follow him in it without their rewards decreasing in the slightest…”

    Reported by Muslim and others and it is analysed in as-Sahihah [no. 863].

    [9] Bukhari and Muslim record the hadith of Anas concerning the Ascent (mi‘raj) in which the following words are mentioned, “…then I was raised to the sixth heaven… and when I arrived, I saw Musa. [Jibril] said, ‘this is Musa, so greet him with the salam’ so I greeted him and he replied and then said, ‘welcome to the righteous brother and the righteous Prophet.’ When I had passed him he cried and it was asked of him, ‘what makes you cry?’ He replied, ‘I cried because a servant has been sent after me and more of his nation shall enter Paradise than mine.’ ”

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

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

    [11] These words of the author, may Allah have mercy upon him, point out that there is no contradiction between the above mentioned verse and His, the Exalted’s saying, «There is no community to which a warner has not come» [al-Fatir (35): 24]

    This is because the first verse is talking about his time and the second, before his time.

    [12] as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [3/151] quoted this point from the author.

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

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

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

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

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

    [14] Refer to fn. 6.

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

    [16] Muslim [#384] on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying, “when you hear the Mu’adhdhin, say as he says, then invoke salah upon me, for whoever invokes salah upon me once, Allah sends salah upon him ten times. Then ask Allah for al-Wasilah on my behalf for it is a station in Paradise…”

    A similar hadith is also recorded on the authority of Jabir by Bukhari [#614, 4719]; Abu Sa'id by Ahmad [#11783]; and Abu Hurayrah by Ahmad [#7598, 8770]

    21. Seventy thousand members of his nation would enter Paradise without being judged at all, and this is not established for any other than him ﷺ.[1]

    22. The Fount (al-Kawthar) that he has been granted in Paradise[2] and the Pool (al-Hawd) that he has been granted at the place of standing [on the Day of Resurrection].[3]

    23. He ﷺ said,

     “ We are the last yet the forerunners.[4]

    Meaning the last with respect to time and forerunners with respect to virtues and noble qualities.

    24. War booty (ghanimah) was lawful for him ﷺ whereas it had not been lawful for any previous Prophet.[5]

    The rows of his nation [in prayer] were made to reflect the rows of the Angels, the earth was made as a Mosque for him and its earth was made pure and purifying.[6] These aspects specific to him go to show his exalted ranking and the kindness displayed to his nation.

    25. Allah, the Exalted, has commended his morals and manners, saying,

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

    26. Allah, the Exalted, spoke to him through a number of different forms of revelation.

    They are of three types:

    The First: Through true dreams

    The Second: Speaking [directly] without any
    intermediary.

    The Third: Through [the medium of] Jibril ﷺ.[7]

    27. His ﷺ Book contains [the knowledge] of the Tawrah, the Injil and the Zabur, in addition to this he was honoured with the mufassal chapters.[8]

    28. His nation will have fewer actions than those before them, but greater reward as is proven by the sahih hadith.[9]

    29. Allah, the Exalted, presented to him ﷺ the keys to the treasures of the earth and granted him the choice between being a king or a Prophet-Servant.

    He consulted with Jibril (AS) who advised him towards humility and meekness. Thereupon he said,

      «You are indeed upon an exalted standard of character»

    [al-Qalam (68): 4]
     “ A Prophet-Servant, I will be hungry one day and full another. When I am hungry I would supplicate to Allah and when I am full I would thank Allah.[10]

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

    30. Allah, the Exalted, sent him as a mercy to the worlds.

    He delayed the punishment of the sinners amongst the nation, not striking them with retribution immediately, so as to grant them [a chance to repent].[11] This was not the case with regards the previous Prophets, for when they were denied, the punishment meted out to the deniers was swift.

    31. As for his ﷺ character such as his forbearance, forgiveness, clemency, patience, his gratitude, his gentleness for the sake of Allah, the fact that he did not become angry for any personal motive, that he came to perfect good morals and manners,[12] what is quoted of his khushu‘, submission and humbleness, his asceticism, his humble manner of eating, drinking, attire, place of residence, his good-nature and beautiful personality, his noble stature and build, his balanced temperement and his sincerity to his nation, his desire that his near of kin believe, his standing firm against those who rejected his message in order to aid the religion of Allah, his raising His Word high, the harm he met with from his people and others and his strangeness, some of these are discussed in the Book of Allah and others in the works dealing with his virtues.[13]

    32. His gentleness is mentioned in the saying of Allah, the Exalted,

    33. His severity against the disbelievers and mercy toward the believers is mentioned in the saying of Allah, the Exalted,

      «It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them»

    [Āli ‘Imran (3): 159]

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

      «Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, those who are with him are fierce against the disbelievers, merciful to one another»

    [Fath (48): 29]

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

      «A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering is distressing to him; he is deeply concerned for you; he is gentle and merciful to the believers»

    [at-Tawbah (9): 128]

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

      «…he is deeply concerned for you…»

    [at-Tawbah (9): 128]

    35. His sincerity in conveying the message is mentioned in the saying of Allah, the Exalted,

      «…he is gentle and merciful to the believers»

    [at-Tawbah (9): 128][14]

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

    36. Allah, the Exalted, has placed his ﷺ nation in the position of judges.

    This is because when Allah will judge between the people and the nations deny the message ever reaching them, the nation of Muhammad ﷺ will be brought forward and they will testify that their preachers did reach them and convey the message to them.[15] This quality is not established for any other Prophet.

    37. Similarly his nation is preserved from ever uniting upon error, be it in fundamental or subsidiary issues.[16]

    38. Similarly his Book is preserved and protected.

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

    39. Allah has concealed the actions of those people amongst his nation whose actions have not been accepted. Those before him used to offer their sacrifices and fire would consume those sacrifices that were accepted and leave alone those that were not. Therefore the person whose sacrifice was rejected would be publicly disgraced.[17] It is in this regard that Allah says,

      «So turn away for them, for you are not to blame»

    [adh-Dhariyat (51): 54]

    The Prophet ﷺ said,

      «We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds.»

    [Al-Anbiya’ (21): 107]
     “ I am only a mercy that has been bestowed.[18]

     “ I am the Prophet of Mercy.[19]

    40. He ﷺ has been sent with concise and comprehensive words.

    His speech was summarised in the best of ways[20] and he surpassed the Arabs with respect to his eloquence and purity of language.


    Footnotes

    [1] Bukhari [#5752] and Muslim [#220] on the authority of ibn 'Abbas.

    Similar ahadith are also recorded on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, ‘Imran and Sahl bin Sa‘d by Muslim [#218]; ibn Mas'ud by Ahmad [#3806]; Thawban by Ahmad [#22418]; Jabir by al-Bazzar [#3541]; and Abu Sa'id by al-Bazzar [#35]

    at-Tirmidhi [#2439] records on the authority of Abu Umamah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “my Lord promised me that seventy thousand of my nation would enter Paradise without reckoning or punishment, with every thousand of them, seventy thousand [more], and [an additional] three handfuls of the handfuls of my Lord.” at-Tirmidhi ruled this hadith to be hasan gharib, ibn Hibban [#7246] ruled it sahih as did al-Albani.

    This statement was quoted from the author by as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [3/449], may Allah have mercy on them both.

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

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

    ibn ‘Abbas explained al-Kawthar to mean the abundant good which Allah granted him and ‘Aishah said, ‘it is a river which was given to your Prophet ﷺ, on its shores are hollow pearls and the number of its vessels are like that of the stars.’ Both of these narrations are recorded by Bukhari [#4965, 4966], and there is no contradiction between the two because the river is from amongst the abundant good that Allah granted our Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ as stated by Sa'id bin Jubair and recorded by Bukhari [#4966]

    [3] Bukhari [#7050] and Muslim [#2290] record on the authority of Sahl bin Sa'd that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I will precede you at arriving at the Hawd, whoever will come to it, will drink from it; and whoever drinks from it will never again experience thirst.”

    The ahadith concerning it reach the level of mutawatir and hence one derives definitive knowledge from them. al-Hafidh ibn Hajr said, ‘this is because thirty-odd Companions reported ahadith concerning it, more than twenty of them being mentioned in the Two Sahihs and the remainder being mentioned in others, [this number refers to those narrations] that are authentic and famous.’ Ibn Abi ‘Asim, as-Sunnah [no.’s 697-776] examined its various routes from more that thirty-five Companions: ‘Umar bin al-Khattab; Anas bin Malik; Zayd bin Arqam; Abu Barzah al-Aslami; al-Bara’a bin ‘Āzib; ‘Aidh bin ‘Amr; Khawlah bint Hakam; Thawban; ‘Utbah bin ‘Abd as-Sulami; Ubayy bin Ka‘b; ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr; Abu Dharr; Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri; Hudhayfah bin al-Yaman; ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar; Abu Umamah; a man from Khuza‘ah; Abu Hurayrah; Samurah bin Jundub; ‘Uqbah bin ‘Āmir; ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud; Abu ad-Darda’; Jabir bin Samurah; as-Sanabihi; Jubair bin Mut‘im; Sahl bin Sa‘d; ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas; Abu Bakr as-Siddiq; Usayd bin Hudayr; ‘Abdullah bin Zayd; Zayd bin Thabit; Ka‘b bin ‘Ujrah; Khubbab; Hudhayfah bin Usayd; Abu Bakr; ‘Aishah; Jabir bin ‘Abdullah.

    Ibn Abi ‘Asim then said, ‘the narrations that we have mentioned from the Prophet ﷺ necessitate knowledge and we believe in them. We also ardently desire that the One who granted us the divine accord to have belief in it, gather us together at it and allow us to drink from it such that we would never become thirsty again. We ask this of Him by His beneficence.’

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

    [4] See fn. 25.

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

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of 'Abdullah bin 'Amr by Ahmad [#7068]; Jabir by Bukhari and Muslim as in fn. 22; ibn 'Abbas by Ahmad [#2256, 2742]; Abu Musa by ; and 'Awf bin Malik by ibn Hibban [#6399]; Abu Umamah by Ahmad [#22137, 22209]; Abu Hurayrah by Ahmad [#9337]

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

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of Abu Hurayrah by Muslim [#523]

    [7] al-Baghawi, Sharh as-Sunnah [#4111-4113] and al-Quda'i [#1151] record on the authority of ibn Mas'ud that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “indeed the Holy Spirit has whispered in my soul that a person will never die until his [pre-ordained] time comes and it gets its whole provision. So fear Allah, be moderate in making requests and do not let the notion that your provision has been delayed induce you to disobey Allah, for what is with Allah can only be attained through obeying Him.”

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of al-Muttalib by al-Baghawi [#4110]; Jabir by ibn Hibban [#1084]; Abu Umamah by Abu Nu'aym, al-Hilyah [10/26 #14382]; and Hudhayfah by al-Bazzar [#1253]

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

    [8] Ahmad [#16982] records on the authority of Wathilah bin al-Asqa‘ that the Prophet ﷺ said, “in the place of the Tawrah I was given the seven long surahs (tiwal), in the place of the Zabur I was given the surahs having a hundred verses (mi’in), in the place of the Injil I was given the oft-repeated surahs (al-mathani) and I was honoured with the mufassal surahs.”

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of Abu Umamah by at-Tabarani, al-Kabir [#8003]; Abu Qilabah by at-Tabari [#127]; and Sa'id bin Hilal by Abu 'Ubayd, FadaÁil al-QurÁan [p. 120]

    It was ruled hasan by as-Suyuti as per al-Manawi [1/722 #1171] and sahih by al-Albani. The mufassal surahs commence with Surah Qaf and end with an-Nas.

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

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

    as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [3/217] quoted the above statement.

    [10] Recorded by at-Tirmidhi [no. 2347] and Ahmad [#22190] on the authority of Abu Umamah that the Prophet ﷺ said, “my Lord gave me the option of having [the likes of] the plain of Mecca as gold and I said, ‘no my Lord! Rather I would be full one day and go hungry another, thus when I am hungry I would humble myself before You and remember You, when I am full I would praise You and thank You.’ ”

    al-Albani ruled the first part of the hadith to be authentic due to supporting witnesses and the second part commencing with ‘I would be full…’ to be munkar.

    Ahmad [#7160] and ibn Hibban [#6365] record the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that, ‘Jibril sat with the Prophet ﷺ and looked to the sky to see and Angel descending, he said, “this Angel has not descended since the day it was created.” When he had descended he said, “O Muhammad! Your Lord has sent me to you – should He make you a Prophet-King or a Servant-Messenger?” Jibril said, “O Muhammad! Be humble before your Lord.” He said, “rather a Servant-Messenger” ’

    al-Haythami [9/19] and al-Albani said that its isnad was ahih meeting the criteria of Bukhari and Muslim.

    [11] Pointing to the saying of Allah, the Exalted, «Allah would not punish them while you were among them.» [Al-Anfal (8): 33].

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

    [12] Ahmad [#8952] and Malik [#1494] record on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I have only been sent to complete noble morals and manners.”

    Similar ahadith are reported on the authority of Mu'adh by al-Bazzar [#1973]; Jabir by at-Tabarani [#6891]; and Zayd bin Aslam by ibn Abi Shaybah [11/500]

    It was ruled sahih by ibn 'Abdu-l-Barr, at-Tamhid [10/527], al-'Ijluni, Kashf al-KhafaÁ [#638] and al-Albani.

    [13] One of the most famous works dealing with this is at-Tirmidhi, ash-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah.

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

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

    [15] Ibn Majah [#4284] records the hadith of Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri (RA) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “a Prophet will be brought and with him will be two people, another will be brought with three people, [others will be brought] with more or less. It will be asked of him, ‘did you convey the message to your people?’ He will reply, ‘yes.’ His people will be summoned and it will be asked of them, ‘did he convey the message to you?’ They will reply, ‘no.’ It will then be asked, ‘who can give witness on your behalf?’ He will reply, ‘Muhammad and his nation.’ Thereupon the nation of Muhammad will be summoned and it will be asked of them, ‘did he convey the message?’ They will reply, ‘yes.’ He will ask, ‘how did you come to know this?’ They will reply, ‘our Prophet informed us of this – that the Messengers conveyed their message – and we believed him.’

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

    It was declared sahih by al-Albani and Bukhari [#3339, 4487, 7349] records a summarised version of this hadith.

    as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is [3/251] quoted this point from the author.

    [16] at-Tirmidhi [#2167] records on the authority of ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “my nation will never unite upon misguidance and the Hand of Allah is upon the Jama‘ah.”

    at-Tirmidhi said it was gharib, it was ruled hasan by as-Suyuti [2/343 #1818] and sahih by al-Albani.

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of ibn 'Umar by al-Hakim [#391-397]; ibn 'Abbas by al-Hakim [#398-399]; Usamah bin Sharik, Ka'b bin 'åsim, Anas bin Malik, ibn Mas'ud, Sa'd and 'Umar bin al-Khattab by ibn Abi 'åsim [#81-92].

    at-Tirmidhi said, ‘the explanation of the word Jama'ah in the view of the People of Knowledge is that it refers to the People of fiqh, knowledge and hadith.’

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

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

    Ibn Jarir, at-Tafsir [no. 11715] and at-Tarikh [1/68-69] reports from ibn ‘Abbas, ibn Mas‘ud and a number of the Companions that ‘whenever a child would be born to Adam, he would have twins – a boy and a girl. The male from one birth would marry the female of another birth and the female of one birth would marry the male of another birth. This continued until he had two sons born to him, Habil and Qabil. Qabil was a farmer and Habil was a stock farmer. … Habil offered a goodly portion of produce and Qabil offered a bundle of grain. … Fire descended and consumed Habil’s offering and left Qabil’s offering. He became angry and said, “I will kill you.” Habil replied, “Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa.” ’
    The following saying of Allah shows that this case of the fire was known to the Jews, «those who say, ‘Allah has made a contract with us that we should not have faith in any Messenger until he brings a sacrifice consumed by fire.’ Say, ‘Messengers came to you before me with Clear Signs and with what you say. So why did you kill them if you are telling the truth.’» [Āli ‘Imran (3): 183]

    [18] Recorded by al-Bayhaqi [#1446] and al-çakim [#100] on the authority of Abu Hurayrah. al-çakim said it was ahih, meeting the criteria of Bukhari and Muslim and adh-Dhahabi agreed, al-Albani said it was ahih as did as-Suyuti [2/725 #2583].

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of Abu ôalih by ad-Darimi [#15].

    [19] This is a portion of the hadith recorded by Muslim [#2355] on the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari (RA) who said, ‘the Messenger of Allah ﷺ himself told us his names saying, “I am Muhammad, Ahmad al-Muqaffi (the Tracker), al-Hashir (the Gatherer), Nabi at-Tawbah (the Prophet of Repentance), and Nabi ar-Rahmah (the Prophet of Mercy).” ’

    Similar ahadith are recorded on the authority of Jubayr bin Mut'im by Muslim [#2354]; and Hudhayfah by Ahmad [#23443, 23445]

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

    Abu Ya'la [4/1737] records on the authority of Abu Musa that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I have been granted the incipience of words, their conciseness and comprehensiveness and the most eloquent manner of speech.”

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

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

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

      «But those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures.»

    [al-Bayyinah (98): 7]

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

    Now if it is said that the word bariyyah is actually derived from the word bara which means earth [and hence specifically refers] to man because he is created from earth, whereupon the meaning of the verse would become, «but those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of men.»

    The answer to this is from two angles:

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

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

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

      «But those who believe and do righteous deeds…»

    [al-Bayyinah (98): 7]

    This verse then proves that they are the best amongst man and better than the Angels, this is because the Angels fall within the meaning of ‘all beings’. This is regardless of whether al-‘alamin is derived from ‘alam (world) or al-‘allamah (sign).[1]

    Consequently, when it is proven that the Prophets are better than the Angels, it is known that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is the best of the Prophets, he surpassed the leaders of the Angels and hence became two levels better than the Angels and two ranks above them. None knows the extent of these two ranks or the nobility of those two levels except for the One Who honoured the Seal of the Prophets and made him to be the master of the Messengers.

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

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

    O Allah! Send peace and blessings upon our master, Muhammad, and upon his family and Companions, abundantly and perpetually.


    Footnotes

    [1] «T» ash-Shanqiti, Adwa’ al-Bayan [1/31] said, ‘some of the scholars stated that al-‘alam (world, pl. ‘alamin) is derived from al-‘allamah (sign) because the existence of the world is a sign, without doubt, of the existence of its Creator who is described with perfect and magnificent Attributes. The Exalted said, «Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the change of the night and day are signs (ayat) for the people of understanding.»

    In the language ayah means ‘allamah.’

    (NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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      «…all of them We favoured over all beings.»

    [al-An‘am (6): 86]