The right of the Messenger (peace be upon him)

Praise be to Allah who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness. I praise Allah, thank Him for His Graces, and I ask Him for more bounties and blessings. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad —who is the best of Allah's Messengers and the chosen of His Creation— upon his family, Companions, the Followers and those who succeeded them, and upon those who follow his path until the Day of Recompense. We have spoken in the previous lessons about the right of Allah (may He be Exalted) on His Creation, which is the most important right and the origin from which all rights are derived.

In this lesson, we shall discuss another right, which we should understand, know, and act accordingly. That is the right of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) whom Allah (may He be Exalted) sent to all people as a bearer of good news, a warner, a caller to Allah by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur'an and the Sunnah — the legal ways of the Prophet peace be upon him). So, he conveyed the message, rendered the trust, advised the nation, and fought truly in the way of Allah until he left us on the Straight and Right Path which only losers can miss. The Prophet (peace be upon him) fulfilled the mission for which he was sent, he exerted efforts, dedicated his time to deliver the message of his Lord, and conveyed it as should until Allah (Glory be to Him) revealed: "This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."  Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has a great right on his nation which Muslims should maintain and embody in their lives because he is their guide and rescuer —by the will of Allah— from error to guidance and from darkness to light. Souls were created to love those who treat them well and there is no benevolence, after the favor of Allah, more than the benevolence of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who guided the nation to the way of mercy and paradise, and warned them against the ways of temptations, error, and hell.

 

We can sum up the rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as follows:

                   

The first right: Believing in him and that he (peace be upon him) is a Messenger from Allah whom Allah (may He be Exalted) sent for all people as a bearer of good news, a warner, a caller to Allah by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light. Allah sent him to bring the people out form darkness to light, from polytheism to monotheism, from the injustice of religions and doctrines to the justice of Islam, from misery to happiness, and from error to guidance. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Muhammad (peace be upon him) is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allâh and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allâh is Ever All-Knower of everything."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "O Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him)! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allâh will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allâh guides not the people who disbelieve."  Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) Rûh (a Revelation, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith؟ But We have made it (this Qur'ân) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) are indeed guiding (mankind) to a Straight Path (i.e. Allâh's religion of Islâmic Monotheism)."  Allah (Exalted be He) says: "We relate to you (Muhammad peace be upon him) the best of stories through Our Revelations to you, of this Qur'ân. And before this (i.e. before the coming of Divine Revelation to you), you were among those who knew nothing about it (the Qur'ân)."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: ""Or you have a house of Zukhruf (like silver and pure gold), or you ascend up into the sky, and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read." Say (O Muhammad peace be upon him): "Glorified (and Exalted) is my Lord [(Allâh) above all that evil they (polytheists) associate with Him]! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger?""

Hence, these Ayahs and the like indicate that our Prophet Muhammad ibn `Abdullah is a Messenger from Allah and we should believe in him and that is the meaning of "and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

 

Believing that he is a Messenger from Allah is a due right, but rather a pillar of faith without which faith is incomplete. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "The Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allâh, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say), "We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers" — and they say, "We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).""

 

The second right: Loving the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than ourselves, fathers, mothers, and children. A love that a Muslim should not feel in his heart only but love that is represented in his behavior and actions. Al Bukhari and others reported on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "None of you will have complete faith till he loves me more than his father, his children, and all the people."  Al Bukhari also reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn Hisham (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "We were in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he was holding the hand of `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) So `Umar said to him: O Messenger Allah, You are dearer to me than everything except my own self. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self." So `Umar said to him (the Messenger of Allah): "However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Now, O `Umar, (now you are a true believer)." 

No one can reach this status of love but those whose faith is strong; how would not be so and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is the cause of rescuing this nation from destruction in the world and in the Hereafter! Souls are created to love those who treat them good, so how will it be if that benevolence was taking them out of hell to bliss?! There is no doubt that loving is the greatest, biggest, and the most dignified status.

 

The third right: from the rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him), which is the output of practical rights, is to believe him in all that he said, obeying his commands, and abstaining from what he prohibited because he is the Messenger of his Lord and he was sent with the message to the world. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "O you who believe! Answer Allâh (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (peace be upon him) calls you to that which will give you life."  Allah (Exalted be He) says: "O you who believe! Obey Allâh and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and turn not away from him (i.e. Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him) while you are hearing."  Allah (Exalted be He) says: "O you who believe! Obey Allâh, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) and render not vain your deeds."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) that you may obtain mercy."  Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: "If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way).""  Allah (Glory be to Him) explained that the fruit of this obedience is great in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (peace be upon him), he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise)."  Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: "These are the limits (set by) Allâh (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success."

 

These Ayahs and the similar Ayahs explain that great right which is:

Obeying and following the Prophet (peace be upon him) in all that he conveyed from his Lord (Glorified and Exalted be He) because the Prophet's obedience is obedience to Allah (Glory be to Him) as Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), has indeed obeyed Allâh."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Say (O Muhammad peace be upon him to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.""  Al Bukhari reported in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)  said: "Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, disobeys me."

 

The fourth right: from the rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him) Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Allâh sends His Salât (Graces, Honors, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet (Muhammad peace be upon him), and also His angels (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salât on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad peace be upon him), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islâmic way of greeting (salutation i.e. As-Salâmu 'Alaikum)."   Sending peace and blessings upon the Messenger (peace be upon him) is obligatory in its proper position in Salah and upon mentioning his name. However, it is advisable in many times in the morning and in the evening, in every session, and after Adhan (call to Prayer); it is desirable to increase sending peace and blessings upon him on Friday. From the Hadiths reported in its virtue, what has been reported by Imam Muslim (may All bestow mercy upon his soul) that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "If anyone invokes blessings on me once, Allah will bless him ten times."  At-Tirmidhy reported a Hadith that Al Hafizh ibn Hajar (may Allah be bestow mercy on him) graded it as good that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "A (real) miser is the one who hears my name but does not send peace and blessings upon me."

 

The fifth right: Feeling content with the Prophet's judgment and legislation, and abiding by the limits of his Shari`ah, resorting to his Sunnah in arbitration, and making it the balance with which sayings, actions, judgments are weighed. So, what is approved by the Sunnah shall be accepted and what is disapproved shall be rejected. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission."  Allah (Exalted be He) says: "O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. And if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (peace be upon him) if you believe in Allâh and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination." 

 

The sixth right: Spreading his Sunnah among people, defending it, and calling to its application in all aspects of life. There are numerous Ayahs and Hadiths in this regard; Allah (may He be Exalted) says, explaining His Love to those who follow his Sunnah: "Say (O Muhammad peace be upon him to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.""

It was authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that he invoked Allah for those who act according to his Sunnah and spread it among people by saying: "May Allah brighten a man who hears a tradition from us, gets it by heart and passes it on to others. May a bearer of knowledge conveys it to one who is more versed than he is."

The Sunnah of prophet (peace be upon him) received fierce attacks from the enemies of Islam, anciently and recently, or from Muslims who are affected by the ideas of non-Muslims. Therefore, spreading the Sunnah and defending it is a defense for the Prophet (peace be upon him) and for his purified Shari`ah which is one of the most confirmed and greatest rights, especially in these conditions which all things became mixed: the right with wrong and true with falsehood.

 

The seventh right which is of his entailed rights: loving his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and revering them because they are the ones who conveyed the religion to us and they are the best people after the prophets and messengers. Therefore, their love is a must, respecting and appreciating them is obligatory, defending them is also obligatory, and it is not permissible for anyone to mention them with an insult, attack, dispraise, defect, or a imperfectness. Al Bukhari and others reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "None should revile my Companions for if one amongst you were to spend as much gold as Uhud, it would not amount to as much as one mudd of one of them or half of it."  The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The best people are those living in my generation, then those coming after them, and then those coming after (the second generation)."

 

Dear Muslim brother, verily, explaining the rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a mean to feel the great benefits he has offered to his nation, may Allah reward him the best for what he has offered for his nation. I ask Allah to gather us with those upon whom He has bestowed grace among the prophets, the truthful, martyrs, and pious people; indeed those has the best companionship. We ask Him to make us from those who love the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than loving ourselves, our parents, and our children. We ask Him to grant us the companionship of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Paradise and drinking from his basin (peace be upon him), for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding. and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.

 

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