Dr. Aashiq ul Islam
Once Muslims were masters of the whole world and people have assigned different reasons to this. If you ask me what was the cardinal reason for this triumph, I will say the observance of the Muslims of the relation they had with Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Everything will be determined by the precepts of the relation with Muhammad (S.A.W), so far as success in this world and hereafter is concerned. Let us have glimpses of that glorious relationship with the sublime personage of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
The universal degeneration in the rank and file of Muslims also suggests that these bases are absent or have been weakened, hence the degeneration; thus the debate is closely related to the renaissance of Muslims and Islam in modern times.
The basis of our relationship with Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is manifold. But the primal cause and basis is the command of Almighty Allah who alone deserves to be followed, and the one upon whom He confers Prophethood. After this basic cause, to further proceed on this topic, it is better to quote a verse from the Qur’an, which is the infallible word of Allah revealed upon the last Prophet and the Messenger of Allah. Allah says in Holy Qur’an:
…… those who believe in him, and honor him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him; they are the successful” (7:157).
This verse states that there are four criteria for a successful life in this world and here-after. And these four are also one of the important bases of our relationship with Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
The first thing is to believe in the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) as not only the Messenger but as the final and last Prophet and Messenger of Allah. This belief should be embodied in our hearts. It should be a realization of Prophet’s personality and his mission as divinely inspired. It is evident that his mission and his success bears witness to this fact. Even non-Muslims, and many western scholars, like Thomas Carlyle, Michael Hart, Karen Armstrong have showed Prophet as an all-inclusive, truthful social reformer who saved Arabia and all humanity from the clutches of evil.
The second criterion in this verse is to honor the Prophet. This is not the honor in the common usage but an intense feeling of reverence, love and attachment towards him. Prophet of Allah said – Hadrat Abu Huraira (R.A) and Hadrat Anas (R.A) both have narrated this Hadith that Muhammad (S.A.W) said; “No one among you will become a believer until he or she will love me more than his parents, children and all other people”
The third criteria for success and one of our bases of relationship with Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is to help him. Before his departure his companions helped him to evolve and increase the intensity of his mission, but how can we help Muhammad (S.A.W) now.
By preaching and propagating his message of salvation to all humanity. We should be fully trained with the modern methods of argument to prove the truthfulness of the message of Islam. Islam must be shown as it is – the highest social order and the moderate spiritualism. Many predictions have been made about Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in the major world religious scriptures which must be brought forward. It has to be shown that Islam has all the answers to the chaos prevalent in this world.
The system of Zakat, the spiritualism in Salah, the brotherhood in Hajj, and the dignity for women, etc., these and all other socio-religious things must be preached.
The last criterion in this verse is to follow the light which is sent down on him from Allah. In most of the exegesis – Tafasir – of the Qur’an, the Nur or light mentioned in this verse is synonymous with Qur’an. But I think that Nur or light mentioned here is the overall and holistic guidance of Islam whose primary text, of course, is the Qur’an. Islam taken as a whole with the teachings stated in Qur’an and the teachings in the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is collectively a single light of Islam.
All the Muslims in this world claim that they have intense love for Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in their hearts. Our claim can only be true if we fulfil certain conditions after which our claim of love for the beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) can be true. I will sum up those conditions. The first and foremost condition for the true love is to follow the beloved Prophet (S.A.W). Following, and adopting to our utmost, the commands and Sunnah of Prophet. Second is to remember him all the time with intense affection. The third is to yearn for being close to him and the intense desire to see him. Fourth is to respect and revere him above all. Fifth is to love all those whom Prophet loved, and who was the beloved of Prophet. And those are his companions or Sahaba, his family or Ahli Bayat – his nation and language which is Arab and Arabic etc. The sixth condition is to hate the enemies of the beloved Prophet. Seventh is to make the mission of our lives the very mission of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and to care intensely for the Ummah or Community of the Prophet without the barriers of caste, color, race etc., and the most important condition for the truthfulness of our love with our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is to consider him completely infallible or Mas’um, with the permission of Allah.
To conclude I will quote a couplet from the poetry of an intense lover of the Prophet – Allama Iqbal. He says in Jawab-i- Shikwah, on behalf of Allah that:
Ki Muhammad Se Wafa Tu Na To Hum Tere Hain
Ye Jaha Chese Hai Kya Loh Wa Kalam Tere Hain
The writer is a Research Fellow in Centre of Central Asian Studies (Islamic Studies), University of Kashmir. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This Article first appeared in Greater Kashmir Newspaper.