The Entitlements of the Chosen One
Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin bin Mohammed Al-Qasim
The masjid of the Prophet peace and blessing be upon him
Fear Allah, O Muslims! “O mankind! Do your duty to your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a Day when neither a father can avail aught for his son nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true: then let not the present life deceive you, and let not the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah”. [Luqman: 33].
O Muslims! Allah Almighty has singled out His Messenger with high statutes and dignifying marvels, and caused him to attain the highest levels of human perfection. He was of very perfect appearance, beauty of image, strength of mind, completeness of the senses, balance of comportment and honour of descent and ancestry, as well as perfection in morals and ethics of religion, knowledge, wisdom, forbearance, patience, gratitude, prowess, asceticism and humility, generosity, courage, modesty, compassion, solemnity, prestige and good association; sufficient in that what the statement of his Lord Almighty and Majestic: “And you (stand) on an exalted standard of character” [Al Qalam: 4].
Add to that, what Almighty Allah singled him out with, from prophethood, message, close friendship, love, selection and other marvels and virtues for which platform sermons are not enough, and pens and record books cannot cover. All of which is for the high status and the formidable task, for which Allah Almighty had created him; namely the message and proclamation about the Lord of the Worlds. He was calling to Allah and not to himself, as the Glorified Truth said: O Prophet! Truly We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings and warnings. And as one who invites to Allah's (grace) by His leave and as a lamp spreading light” [Al Ahzab: 45.46].
From this perspective, Allah made to His Prophet entitlements upon this nation, which they must carry out. The purpose of all of these entitlements is the achievement of worship to Allah alone with no partner or associate.
O Muslims! In the midst of the discourse about the aspect of the Prophet, his life, his marvels and his defence, the priorities that should be raised are the practical issues and the productive dissertations, such as a to bring to the attention of people to observe his entitlements.
Among these entitlements, that which existed beforehand, such as the covenant which Allah took from the Prophets; to believe in him and follow him if they find him out. Allah Almighty said: (Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you an apostle, confirming what is with you; do believe in him and render him help." Allah said: "Do you agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you?" They said: "We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.") [Al-Imran: 81].
Servants of Allah! The greatest of entitlements of the Prophet is belief in him and his credence. One cannot be a Muslim who did not acknowledge that assertively without hesitance or doubt. Allah the Almighty and Majestic said: “Believe, therefore, in Allah and His Apostle, and in the Light which we have sent down. And Allah is well acquainted with all that you do.” [At Taghabun: 8], and He said, Exalted He be: “So believe in Allah and His Apostle, the Unlettered Prophet” [Al A’raf: 158], and He said, Majestic is His name: “And if any believe not in Allah and His Apostle, We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!” [Al-Fat’h: 13]. In the authentic compilation of Muslim; that the Prophet said: (I was ordered to fight the people until they testify that there is no God but Allah, believe in me and what I came up with)), and in the authentic compilation that the Prophet said: ((By the one in Whose hand is my soul, no man from this nation nor a Jew nor a Christian hears of me then does not believe in me, but will be one of the people of Hell)).
Faith and credence falls under them every requirement for complete obedience, following and credence appropriate to the work, otherwise the claims of the tongue must need a proof, which is the deed of the pillars. And from him is made known that among the entitlements of the Prophet is to obey him, which is one of the distinctive entitlements he is singled out with, namely: absolute obedience is not for any human apart from the Prophet, as Allah Almighty said: “It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Apostle to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Apostle, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” [Al Ahzab: 36]. Allah couples His Messenger’s obedience to His, Exalted He be, in many verses, such as His saying: "O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Apostle” [Al Anfal: 20], and His saying: “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah” [An-Nisa’: 80]. “Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger” [Al-Imran: 32].
And from him proceeds another entitlement, which is the complete following. It is rather the purpose of the testimony that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah, ie: his obedience in what he commands, believing him in what he tell, avoiding what he forbade and prohibited and that Allah is not worshiped except as prescribed. Unless prescribed by the Messenger of Allah, reporting from his Lord, we do not then worship Allah according to it, but is to be rejected as in the two authentic compilations, that the Prophet said: ((whoever introduces, in this matter of ours, something which does not belong to it, is rejected.)), i.e: rejected and not accepted, but rather the Prophet called every newly-introduced matter in the religion a heresy, and made it a misguidance in the Fire , as he used to say in his sermon: ((verily, the best of narratives is the Book of Allah, and the best of guidance is that of Mohammed, and the evil of all religious matters their own innovations, and every innovation is a misguidance)) [Narrated by Muslim].
Allah, the Almighty, said: “So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you” [Al-Hashr: 7], and said: “You have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah”. [Al Ahzab: 21]. In the Statement of Al-‘Arbadh bin Sariyah, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet said: ((You must follow my Tradition and that of the rightly-guided, upright successors after me. Hold on to it firmly, bite upon it with your back teeth. Beware of newfangled matters, for every newfangled matter is an innovation and every innovation a misguidance)) Narrated by Abu Dawood with an authentic attribution. Some predecessors said: "Whoever ordained the Tradition on himself, in words and deeds, has spoken with wisdom; and whoever ordained his own desire on himself, has spoken with heresy."
It is the followers of the Prophet who are the ones who will come to him at the Cistern, and others will be driven away. In the authentic compilation of Muslim, the Prophet, when he described his nation, said: ((Some people would be driven away from my Cistern as the stray camel is driven away. I would call them out: Come! Come! Then it would be said (to me): These people have changed themselves after you, and I would say: Be off! Be off!)), and in the Authentic Compilation that the Prophet said: ((whoever introduces, in this matter of ours, something which does not belong to it, is rejected)).
Servants of Allah! Following the Prophet requires the duty to be commitment to his legislation, his guidance and Tradition, and to be satisfied with his guidance and legislation, and that success is not sought but from his way. Allah Almighty said: “And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to you the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is a Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe”. [Al ‘Ankabut: 51], and the Almighty said: “To thee We have sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah had revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that had come to you.” [Al Ma’idah: 48], and the Almighty said: “And follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile you from any of that (teaching) which Allah had sent down to you.” [Al Ma’idah: 49].
And from him is known the misguidance of those who confuse their own desires with the views of philosophers, engage themselves in the religion of Allah with desire and reason, adapt the religion and the law according to imagined interests, and get along with the predominant, even though he may be delusory.
The true following of the Prophet can only be by banishing the desires, educating oneself on the need for the Tradition and its following, reverting back to the truth and sincerity of purpose, validity of intention, honesty of sincerity and to come clean to Allah; and the adherent to the Tradition is a guided and felicitous one.
From the entitlements of the Prophet is his love. Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, said:" Chapter: The love of the Prophet compliments faith, "and quoted the Statement of Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: ((By the one in Whose hand is my soul, none of you truly believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his child and all people)); also narrated by Muslim. And in the two authentic compilations, that the Prophet said: ((Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have found the sweetness of faith: The one to whom Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else)) [the Statement]. The Prophet had said to whom informed him of his love for him: ((you are with whom you loved)). [Statement agreed upon].
The companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were the most loving of people for him; they venerated and revered him, and was the fill of their hearings and sights. His love connected with the innermost of their hearts, so they favoured him over themselves and their families, redeemed him with their lives, provided their chests as a protecting shield for him; in one instance of incursion, one of them bent over the Prophet thus protecting him, so that his back resembled a hedgehog from the impact of arrows, and another averting arrows and sword blows with his hand until it got paralyzed. Their love for the Prophet was not out of lewdness and burning desire as the ill-minded might think, but it is a love of affection, loyalty, following and obedience. It was a pure heavenly love, which yielded following of the Tradition, obedience, perfection of faith and favouring the command of Allah and His Messenger over self desires and fortunes. It is an application of Allah Almighty’s saying: “ Say: "If you do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and His Apostle. But if they turn back, Allah loves not those who reject Faith”. [Al-Imran: 31.32].
You do indeed feel sorry for those who trade this love to invent matters in the religion of Allah in the name of love for the Messenger of Allah. So, he causes rifts in the prophetic Traditions, propagates innovations and covers up for common folk on behalf of love. Such as those trading the love of the family of the Prophet, as if religion was confined to this love. So, false worship happens, decencies are violated and laws are lost. Nothing remains from the faith but this alleged love; if it was true and sincere, it would have yielded obedience and following. We seek refuge in Allah from disappointment.
O you Muslims! From the entitlements of the Prophet are to revere him, revere his command and reverence him. Such as not to put oneself forward before him and not to raise ones voice louder than his. Allah Almighty said: “We have truly sent you as a witness, as a bringer of glad tidings and warnings: In order that you (O men) may believe in Allah and His Apostle; that you may assist and honour Him”. [Al-Fat’h: 8.9], namely: you revere him, ennoble him, support him, obey him and dignify him. This is what the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, applied; they used to dignify him exceedingly. They even used to distract their sights from his, in his presence, out of respect, and not look at him directly for any length of time, until some of them said: I never filled my eyes from the Messenger of Allah out of consideration for him, honour, respect and modesty.
With all this tribute which, none equalled in perfection in the nation, apart from the companions may Allah be pleased with them. It was unbeknown to any of them that he gave him any of the divine properties; they never supplicated to him, implored him either alive or dead, attributed to him the knowledge of the unseen, or any thing of the characteristics of the Lord Almighty.
In chapter Al Hujurat, Allah Almighty says: “O you who believe! Put not yourselves forward before Allah and His Apostle” [Al Hujurat: 1], and that is of his entitlements. It is not permitted to put oneself forward of him in any way, such as bad discipline in speaking before he does, or favour views and opinions over his. After that, Almighty Allah said: “O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not”. [Al Hujurat: 2]. There is in this prohibition of raising the voice above his, and prohibition of calling him by his own name, as Allah Almighty said: “Deem not the summons of the Apostle among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another” [An-Nur: 63], namely: Do not say: O Mohammed! But rather say: "O Messenger of Allah! O Prophet of Allah! If just raising one's voice may make the work fruitless, what do you think then of making a mockery of his Tradition, trifling with his legislation and favouring opinions over his views?!
We ask Allah Almighty to bless us with the love of His Messenger, his following and his obedience. May Allah bestow His grace over me and you in the book and the Tradition, and benefit us from what is therein of signs and wisdom. I say that which came to pass, and ask forgiveness from Allah for me and you.
The Second Sermon
Praise is due to Allah alone.
In what is to follow: Among the entitlements of the Prophet: to come to his support and defence. This is widely accepted, and which Muslims have unanimously agreed upon, and is the purpose of Almighty Allah’s saying: “that you may assist and honour him” [Al-Fat’h: 9], and ‘to assist’ was read: ‘to promote’. Almighty Allah says: "So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him, it is they who will prosper." [Al A’raf: 157]. Allah rather threatened, with painful punishment and with replacement, those who do not support His Apostle, then said afterwards: “If you support him not, Allah did indeed support him” [At Taubah: 40]. And, in the battle of Uhud, the Prophet made Paradise a reward for those who defended him and said: ((who averts them from us and be granted Paradise?)).
Supporting the Prophet is a duty during his and after his death, including supporting his religion and Tradition, and defending him and his Tradition. The nation is unanimously agreed that, whoever insults the prophet or reproaches him, undermines him, belittles his notability, or vilify him in any way, is killed. Allah Almighty has said: “Say: Was it at Allah, His Signs and His Apostle that you were mocking? Make no excuses: you have rejected faith after you had accepted it”. [At Taubah: 65.66].
And among the entitlements of the Prophet: protecting him in his relatives, wives and household, whom Allah Almighty honoured, removed abomination from them and cleansed them spotless. The Prophet said: ((I adjure you by Allah concerning my family)), and in the authentic compilation of Muslim: ((I remind you of Allah concerning my family)), and in the authentic compilation of Bukhari that Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him said: (keep watch over Mohammed [by watching over] his family). There is no doubt that the love for the People of the House [the family of the Prophet] pertains to faith, affection for them is an act of worship and obedience, and their following is a Tradition.
And among the entitlements of the Prophet: reverencing his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, their love and praise, to refrain from going into the disputes that happened between them. Allah Almighty has shown their virtue in many verses in His book; in Chapters Al-Imran, At Taubah, Al Ahzab, Al Fat’h, Al Hashr and others. In the authentic compilation of Muslim that the Prophet said: ((Do not revile my companions. If any of you were to spend the weight of Uhud in gold, it still would not reach the measure (mudd) of one of them nor even one-half of it)), and in At-Tirmidhi, with a good chain of narration: ((Allah, Allah! Fear Him with regard to my Companions! Do not make them targets after me! Whoever loves them loves them with his love for me; and whoever hates them hates them with his hatred for me. Whoever bears enmity for them bears enmity for me)) [the Statement].
It is enough to know, by reason and by sight, that those who transferred to us the religion, the Law, the Quran and the Tradition are the companions, may Allah be pleased with them. If their justice was overthrown and they were slandered, then this means abolition of the religion and scepticism in the book and the Tradition, and their certainty. Therefore, the scholars counted the one who intentionally overthrows the justice of the companions, as a hypocrite, a heretic who wants to overthrow the religion originally.
O you Muslims! Among the entitlements of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as Allah Almighty said: “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send blessings on him, and salute him with all respect”. [Al Ahzab: 56]. Sending blessings, here, means supplication, mercy, praise and honour, and is overall necessary, and strongly recommended at all times. This is made sure in prayer, supplication, when entering the mosque, after the call to prayer, on Friday and when he is mentioned. In Sunan At-Tirmidhi, with a sound chain of narration, the Prophet reportedly said: ((Whoever sends one blessing upon me, Allah sends in its instance ten blessings upon him)).
The Muslim has to send blessings and salutations according to every legitimate modality, as his saying: peace and blessings be upon him. But the most complete and best of versions, those narrated by Muslim in his authentic compilation; that the Prophet said: ((Say, O Allah send Your prayers upon Mohammed, and upon the family of Mohammed, as you have sent Your prayers upon the family of Ibrahim, and bless Mohammed and the family of Mohammed as you have blessed the family of Ibrahim; in the worlds, You are indeed Praiseworthy and Glorious)). And in a narration, according to Muslim, also: ((O Allah, send your prayers upon Mohammed, upon his wives and his descendants)) [the Statement].
Since prayer is supplication, then of his entitlements is the supplication for him, as elucidated in the authentic compilation of Muslim; that the Prophet said: ((When you hear the muezzin, repeat what he says, then invoke blessings upon me, for everyone who invokes a blessing upon me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah the Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah's servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone who asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession)).
May Allah grant us his intercession, grant us his following, grant us his company in Paradise and help us to do observe his entitlements.
O Allah! Cherish Islam and the Muslims, and humiliate polytheism and the polytheists.