Jun 17, 2010

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The Exclusive Characteristics of the Prophet (SAW)-2

Read  The Exclusive Characteristics of Prophet (SAW)-1

3.g. The Signs of Prophethood

Upon initial reflection, it seems that provoking the Prophethood of an individual would be very difficult. We fail to realize that it is Allah who is establishing Prophethood and nothing is difficult for Him. Our task is to find the signs of Prophethood in the individual in question- in this case, Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This method was used by Heraclius, the ruler of Byzantine:

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man’s statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I, then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.’ (Bukhari)

This method can further be complemented with other realizations:

  1. The methodology of Allah is that progress in all facets of life is gradual, and not instanteous. This realization directs us to the Pre-Prophethood days of Muhammad, to see if there are any indications of future Prophethood. Upon analysis we find the following indications:
    • The miraculous birth of the Prophet
    • The opening of his chest. Jibreal (AS) opened his chest and purified his chest with zamzam water when he was a child.
    • Staying away from idol worship.
    • Staying away from evil and lewd acts.
    • Establishing a trustworthy and honest relationship with his people so that he would come to be known as “The Trustworthy”.
  2. Every Prophet was given miracles- miracles so great that no one who witnessed them could deny the divine intervention involved therein. These divine miracles can be further divided into two categories:
    • Those that can truly only be appreciated by those who witnessed them. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: 
      • The splitting of the moon.
      • Al Isra wal Mi’raj.
      • Divine aid in the battle.
      • Clouds obeying Allah to aid the Prophet.
      • Curing of the sick.
      • Communication with animals.
      • Miracles with tress and mountains.
      • Miracles with food and drink. 
      • Protection from enemies. 
      • Instant answering of supplications.
    • Those that stand the test of time and are a lasting miracle until the end of time:
      • The Qur’an and that which is related to it.
      • The Sunnah and that which is related to it.
      • The detailed preserved biography of the Prophet.
      • The level of love and emulation of the Prophet.
      • The legal and creedal composition of the religion.

“Certainty is only achieves by having plenty of different sorts of evidence and then putting them all together. A miracle, when taken on its own, does not give some people certainty. The miracles of Musa did not cause Pharaoh and his people to believe, but rather caused them to say that he was a lying magician. In the same way, if you were to understand the true meaning of Prophethood and look deeply in the Qur’an and study the hadith literature, you would inevitably come to know that Muhammad was a man who had reached the highest levels of Prophethood. You can be even more certain of this by putting the things he said to test when it comes to acts of worship, and seeing the effects they have in purifying the hearts.” Al Gazali

Read the next part: Refuting the doubts About the Prophet Doubt #1

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