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Principles of Dawah - Understanding The Ahle al-Sunnah - A Conversation with a Kharajite

 


 

Traditional Scholarship & Modern Misunderstandings
Understanding The Ahle al-Sunnah -
By Abu Ammar

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6) Waseela

It is the belief of the Ahl-as-Sunna that it is permissible to supplicate to Allah with the tawassul of good deeds. It is permitted to supplicate with the tawassul of a living pious person and it is also permitted to supplicate with the tawassul of the deceased pious person. It is this belief that we shall prove in this chapter (insha'llah).

The following is evidence that prove the permissibility to seek the wasila of the living and the deceased:

Proof from the Qur'an

Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur'an:

"O you who Believe! Do your duties to Allah and fear Him; seek the means of approach unto him, and strive (with might and main) in His cause so that you may prosper [Sura Ma'ida, verse 35]

In this verse, Allah has informed us to seek ways of obtaining wasila, a means to approach Him. Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is our wasila in this world and the hereafter.

Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur'an:

"Before that, they were asking for victory over the infidels by means of the same Prophet"

[Sura Baqara, verse 89]

Imam Tabari, Hafiz ibn al-Qayyim, Hafiz ibn Kathir and Qadi Shawkani write that before the birth of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the Jews would make the Prophet a wasila in their supplications, when asking Allah to defeat their enemies in battle.

[Tafsir Ibn Jareer, Tafsir Ibn Kathir & Tafsir Fath ul-Qadir Shawkani, Ibn al-Qayyim, Hadaya-tul-Hayara, under Sura Baqara, page 89 and 95]

Some may object to this by saying that this was an act of the Jews, hence it cannot be used as evidence for Muslims. However, Allah has mentioned this event in the Qur'an and did not condemn this, therefore demonstrating its permissibility.

Proof from Hadith

Hafiz ibn Taymiyya writes:

"When Adam (peace be upon him) made a mistake, he made du'a like this: ' O Allah forgive my mistake with the wasila of Muhammad!' Allah asked Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) [rhetorically] how he knew about Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Adam (peace be upon him) replied, 'When you created me, I lifted my head and saw: 'LA ILA HA ILLALLAHU MUHAMMADUR RASUL'LLAH' written on the Throne. Therefore I knew that this person must be of a very high status. Otherwise you would not have written his name with Yours.' Allah Most High then said, 'I have forgiven you. He will be the last Messenger from your children and I have created you because of him.'

The second narration is when Allah Most High created the sky, and the earth. He wrote our Prophet Muhammad's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) name on the pillars of the Throne and on the doors of Paradise, and on the leaves of the trees in Paradise. It was written that Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would be the last prophet. In addition, both of these narrations are proofs which support each other. They have the status as authentic narrations"

[Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, vol. 2, page 150; also Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on 'Story of Adam']

Apart from Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya, other scholars, such as Hafiz Suyuti, al-Bayhaqi and Tabrani, have also written these narrations.

Qadi 'Iyad writes:

"Imam Malik was present at the blessed grave of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) whereupon Caliph Harun approached and asked him 'Which direction shall I face when I supplicate?' Imam Malik replied, 'Why turn your face away from Rasulu'llah when he is a wasila for you as he was for your father, Adam.Turn your face towards the Prophet and make istishfaa [request for du'a]' "

[Qadi Iyad, Kitab ash-Shifa, chapter on 'Ziyara un-Nabi']

Du'a' was even made with the wasila of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) when he was a child. Muhammad ibn ''Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi states:

"When our Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was a child, rain had not fallen upon Makka for a long period of time.His uncle, Abu Talib, prayed for rain through the wasila of our Prophet.

[Ibn ''Abd al-Wahhab, M, Mukhtasar Sirat-ur-Rasul]

Imam Bukhari writes:

"There was a famine during the khilafa of 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who supplicated to Allah by presenting the wasila of the uncle of the Messenger of Allah, 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). He prayed to Allah by saying: 'O Allah! We used to supplicate to you with the wasila of the Prophet and you would bestow us with rain. Now we present you with the wasila of 'Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet. So please grant us rain' "

[Bukhari, chapter on 'Istisqaa']

Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya and Imam Ibn Sa'd have both written that during the khilafa of Amir Mu'awiya (may Allah be pleased with him) there was a famine. The people came out of their houses and Amir Mu'awiyaasked them, 'Where is Yazid ibn Aswad Jurshi?', whereupon Yazid ibn Aswad (may Allah be pleased with him) came to Amir Mu'awiya. The Amir then supplicated in this way: 'Ya Allah! We supplicate to you with the wasila of one of the best of the people from this age.'Then he asked Yazid ibn Aswad to supplicate to Allah for rain and, after he supplicated, it began to rain"

[Tabqa'at Ibn Sa'd, Biography of Yazid ibn Aswad;& Ibn Taymiyya, at-Tawassul page 276]

Both the above narrations prove that to supplicate with the wasila of a pious person is permitted and is from the ijma of the Sahaba.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Himself, Advised Us to Make Du'a Through His wasila.

Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya writes:

"Uthman ibn Hanif (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that a blind person came to Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said: 'Pray to Allah that He bestows upon me sight.' Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied: 'Perform ablution, pray two rak'as salat and then supplicate to Allah in this way:'Ya Allah, I ask You through the wasila of the Prophet.' Allah Most High returned his sight"

[Ibn Taymiyya, at-Tawassul, page 80; he obtained information from: at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Hakim; Bukhari, in 'Ta'rikh'; Ibn Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad, and at-Tabarani]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir and Qadi Shawkani write:

"'Uthman ibn Hanif reported that a blind person came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The blind person asked, 'Do du'a' for me so Allah Most High restores my sight.' Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'If you really want to, I can do du'a' for you or I can leave it [This means that if the blind man leaves his sight as it is, he will be rewarded more on the Day of Judgement]. But the blind man still insisted that the Prophet should make du'a' for him. The Prophet asked him to perform ablution and pray two rakas nawafil and to make the following supplication: 'O Allah! I ask You with the wasila of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Ya Muhammad! I am making du'a' to Allah Most High with your wasila, so that Allah Most High may accept my du'a'. O Allah! Make Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as my interceder"

This hadith is written by Ibn Majah, an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, al-Hakim, Ibn Sunni, at-Tabarani and Ibn Huzayma. At-Tabarani and Ibn Huzayma said this hadith is authentic. This hadith proves that it is permissible to make supplication with the wasila of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on 'Mu'jizat and Tuhfah al-Dhakireen' and chapter on 'Salat al-Hajat').

Imam al-Bayhaqi has also wrote this narration but also included an additional element of the hadith that states 'Uthman ibn Hanif reported that the blind man followed what the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said and when he returned, his sight was restored.

[chapter on 'al-Mu'jizat']

It is proved from the above hadith that it is permissible to say 'Ya Muhammad' and it is also permissible to make supplication to Allah with the wasila of the Prophet.

Imam Bukhari writes that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'Help the poor, because the help and food that Allah has given to you is with their wasila.'

[Bukhari, chapter on 'Jihad']

Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani writes that Allah helps the Umma and provides them with food because of the sincere du'a's of the poor people.

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'Jihad']

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim write:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'A time will come when the non-believers will fight the Muslims. It will be asked, 'Is there anyone in the army who has seen the Prophet?' They will reply 'yes' and then win the war. Another time will come when there will be another war between the non-believers and the Muslims and it will be asked, 'Is there anyone in the army who has seen the Companions of the Prophet?' They will reply 'yes' and then win the war. Another time will come and a question will be asked, 'Is there anyone in the army who has seen the people who have seen the Companions of the Prophet?' They will reply 'yes', and will win the war'"

[Bukhari, chapter on 'Jihad', and Muslim, chapter on 'Fada'il Sahaba']

Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani writes that these three wars will be won by the Muslims with the wasila of the Sahaba, Tabi'un and Tabi'u't-Tabi'in. This hadith is also verified by another hadith, where theProphet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "The best of generations is my generation, and then that of the generation after mine, and then the generation after that"

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'Jihad']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"The Prophet said that 'Seven people will always remain in my Umma, and with their wasila, Allah will provide rain, help, and food for the Umma.' Another hadith states that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that30 abdal (saints) will always stay in my Umma, and with their wasila, Allah Most High will provide rain, help and food.' Qatadah says Hasan al-Basri was one of them"

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Sura al-Baqara under verse 252]

Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal writes:

"Sayyiduna 'Ali narrated that, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'There will remain 40 abdal (Saints) in Syria.Through their wasila, Allah will provide food, shelter, rain and victory over the kuffar.Whenever one dies, he is replaced by another' "

[Musnad Ahmed Ibn Hanbal; Ibn Athir, Usd al-Gabah]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir, Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr and Ibn Sa'd, Ibn al-Athir writes:'Whenever there was a famine in Rome, then the Romans would supplicate by presenting the wasila of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him)'.

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, Usd al-Gabah, Isti'ab by Ibn Kathir, Ibn Sa'd, Ibn al-Athir and

Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr respectively]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir made no critical comments with regards to this. Whenever supplication was made through Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him), making him the wasila, it did rain.

The Prophet is Our Wasila Even After His Death

Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya writes:

"A person came to 'Uthman Ghani with regards to seeking some assistance, but he was unable to attract the attention of the khalifa on every attempt. The same person met 'Uthman ibn Hanif, (may Allah be pleased with him), and told him his problem. 'Uthman ibn Hanif gave him some advice which was: 'Perform wudu, pray two rak'at nawafil and then supplicate in this way: 'Ya Allah, I ask You through the wasila of Your Messenger Muhammad. The person again went to 'Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) who helped him with his work and also said, 'If you ever need my help in future, I will help you (with regards to work)' "

[Ibn Taymiyya, Qay'da Jaleelah, page 96, at-Tabarani, al-Bayhaqi, al-Hakim]

Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya, after writing this narration, writes:

"Maqdasi states that this narration is sahih and al-Hakim declares that it fulfils the conditions of Bukhari ...The opinion of 'Uthman ibn Hanif is that it is permitted to supplicate in this way even after our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed away.But since this is not evident from any other Companion it does not prove that it is wajib"

[Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Wasila, page 98]

The belief of Ahl as-Sunna is that it is permitted to seek the wasila off the Prophet, and it has never been claimed that it is wajib.Ibn Taymiyya further adds:

"It is evident from a group of the Salaf that they held the practice of supplicating with the wasila of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)' He then includes the following report: 'According to Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal it is permitted to supplicate with the wasila of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).' After writing all this Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya makes the statement: 'If a person makes the obedience of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the wasila, then this is fine. But if he makes the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) himself the wasila then this is something with which we do not agree with' "

[Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Wasila, page 100]

Even in Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya's books, there are dozens of narrations, which show that the Salaf would present the wasila of Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) when supplicating to Allah. So it is a very strange phenomenon to deny the wasila of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) after having full knowledge of these narrations, and the practice of the Salaf.

Muhammad ibn ''Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi writes that scholars have different opinion about making supplication (du'a') with the wasila of the pious people. Some permit it, while the others do not. So it is not right to say some one is Kafir who goes to the grave of a pious person and make wasila.

[Wahhab, Ibn Abdul, Majmu' ul-Mu'allifat, al-Qism-ul-Salith, page 68 ]

Qadi Shawkani writes that to supplicate with the wasila of the Prophet is permissible and evidence for that hadith is narrated by 'Uthman ibn Hanif that states that the Prophet asked a blind man to pray with his wasila. At-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzamah and al-Hakim narrate this hadith.To pray with a pious person's wasila is also permitted and Imam al-Bukhari gives evidence of that hadith as he writes that Companions of the Prophet made du'a' with the wasila of 'Abbas during the time of famine in Madina.

[Qadi Shawkani, Tuhfa ul-Dakireen,chapter on 'Adab ad-Du'a' ]

These are all the proofs that demonstrate that it is permitted to supplicate to Allah by presenting the wasila of the pious, whether they are alive or have passed away.And success is from Allah.

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7) Noor- The blessed light of our Prophet

We, the Ahl as-Sunna wa'l-Jama'a, believe that it is indeed permissable to call the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 'Nur'. The Qur'an has chosen and applied this word itself to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).The Companions would often call him (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 'Nur'.

However, it is often at this point that those who oppose this view believe, from some erroneous conviction they hold, that we claim the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was not human! This is indeed strange and a gross accusation. For those who claim that he was not a human, have clearly ventured out of the bounds of Islam, and have entered into kufr.The belief of Ahl as-Sunna wa'l-Jamma is that the Noble Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is nur and human, as we shall now seek to demonstrate.

Proof from Qur'an

Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur'an:

"Undoubtedly, there has come to you from Allah a light and a Book, luminous ".

[Sura al-'Ma'ida', verse 15]

Imam Tabari and Qadi Shawkani write under this verse that the meaning of 'nur' in this verse is used for our Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), as Zujaag said.

[at-Tabari, Tafsir Tabari; Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Fathul Qadeer , under above verse]

From the above evidence we conclude that it is permissible to call Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 'Nur' and it is not kufr or shirk as some people consider ir to be.

Proof from the Hadith

Imam at-Tirmidhi wrote that when Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) smiled, it seemed as if nur was coming from his teeth.

[ash-Shama'il at-Tirmidhi]

Allama Ibn al-Jawzi writes:

"When Adam (peace be upon him) was being created, the nur of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was placed on Adam's (peace be upon him) forehead and Adam saw the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Adam (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked, 'Who is he?' Allah Most High replied, 'He is the last Prophet and will be the chief of your children' "

[Ibn al-Jawzi, Al Wafa, chapter on 'Birth of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that: 'One night Rasulu'llah asked me to take Hasan and Husayn to their mother. When I departed with them I witnessed a light which lit our path and travelled with us until we reached their doorstep' "

[Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir and Sirat an-Nabi, chapter on 'Mu'jizat']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Muhammad ibn Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that 'Once Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) made my fingers glow with light.'

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi,, chapter on 'Mu'jizat']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir states that:

"When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was born, the King of Abyssinia witnessed the nur of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)"

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on 'Milad an-Nabi', vol. 2]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"One Companion (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that upon the occasion of Hajjat al-Wada [the Prophet's last sermon on the day of Hajj] he saw that the blessed face of Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was shining like the moon"

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on 'Mu'jizat', vol. 6]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Whilst 'Abd al-Muttalib was walking with his son ''Abdullah, a woman saw a light on the forehead of 'Abdullah. She approached them and offered one hundred camels so that 'Abdullah may marry her but they refused her offer. Some time after his marriage to Amina, 'Abdullah again confronted this woman but this time she made no offers to marry him and said: 'The nur upon your forehead is no longer present' "

[Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, vol. 2., and Sirat an-Nabi; Ibn Jarir, at-Tabari chapter on 'Milad an-Nabi']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes

'The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:'I am the prayer of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and the prophecy of 'Isa (peace be upon him). When my mother was pregnant she witnessed so much light from her body that she could see the palaces of Syria.'

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi, vol.2; Shaykh Najdi, Muktasar Sirat ar-Rasul]

Ibn al-Jawzi narrates that the nur of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would overcome the light of both the sun and the lamp.

[Ibn Jawzi, Al-Wafa, chapter on 'al-Wilada']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Ka'ab ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) recited a [na'at] poem in the presence of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) [part of which we have translated from Arabic is]:

'We have come to you and you have transformed our darkness into light and have removed the barriers of ignorance.'

[Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh, and Sirat an-Nabi chapter on 'Mu'jizat']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Hasan ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) said: 'Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is that star from which even the moon of the fourteenth night obtains it light' "

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on 'Wilada']

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"From Ibn Hisham who narrates that Hasan ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) said:' When I was eight years old, a Jew was calling to the people; they gathered around him and asked him what was the commotion. He replied:'The star of Ahmad has risen, that which is born tonight' "

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, vol. 2; Ibn Hisham, Sirat an-Nabi, chapter on Milad an-Nabi]

All these references are proof of the light of Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), which was felt by the people and witnessed by those in his presence.

What was the first thing that Allah created?

There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars with regards to what was the first to be created, whether it was water, Arsh (Throne), or the ruh (nur) of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). We say that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the first creation of Allah Almighty.

Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:

"And O beloved! Remember when We took covenant from the Prophets and from you, and from Nuh and Ibrahim and Musa and ''Isa son of Maryam; and We took from them a firm covenant"

[Sura al-Ahzab, verse 7 ]

From the above verse we are shown that Allah took the covenant from His beloved first and then from the other anbiya, even though they came before. The answer to this has been written by the following scholars:

Imam Tabari, Hafiz ibn Kathir and Imam al-Qurtubi write:

"Qatada reported that:

"Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that 'I was created before every one and I came at the end of all the Prophets' "

[at-Tabari, Tafsir Tabari; al-Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir, all under the verse of Sura al-Ahzab]

Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:

"Who sees you when you stand and

...your movements among those who offer prayers".

[Sura ash-Shu'ara', verse 219]

In reference to this verse, Hafiz ibn Kathir and Qadi Shawkani write:

"Abdullah ibn Abbas reported that the verse '...your movements among those who offer prayers' means that the nur moved from one Prophet to the next and this carried on until it reached Amina's house and then the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was born"

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'I always stayed amongst the pure and then at the end I appeared to my mother' "

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi, chapter on 'Wilada']

We shall now present the qasida recited by 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who was the uncle of the Prophet. Scholars such as Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr, Imam Dhabi and Hafiz al-'Asqalani, and many others, have unanimously written this so no one can have the courage to decline this qasida.

Hafiz ibn al-Qayyim, Hafiz ibn Kathir and Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab write:

"'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that on returning from the expedition of Tabuk, I said to Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):'I wish to recite a qasida about you', to which he replied:'May Allah bless your mouth!'I then recited this qasida:[We have translated part of it in English from Arabic]

"Before you came into the world, you were under the leaves of Heaven's trees.Prophet Adam covering his body with the leaves of Heavenly trees [when his heavenly clothes were taken off him]

Before Adam came into the world ,your (nur) was transferred upon his forehead.

Through Adam you came into the world, but at the time you were not human, nor a piece of flesh, not even a drop of blood.

But at the time you were only (nur) in your fore-father's back.

And when others were drowning your fore-father, Nuh, boarded the boat.

After coming off the boat your (nur) was transferred from one clean woman to another

Until you came into the back of Prophet Ibrahim. How can the fire burn him while you were in his back?

Then you travelled into Khindaf, who was also a clean woman.

That is how you kept travelling forward, until the time of your birth came. When you were born, the Earth and the edge of the sky, all shone as they never did from your nur. We are still travelling under the same guidance of that nur'"

[Narrated and certified by Ibn 'Abdu'l-Barr, Qadi 'Iyad in ash-Shifa, Ibn Athir, Tabarani; Ibn Qayyim in Zad-ul-Ma'ad, vol.3, page10; Ibn Kathir in Ta'rikh, at the end of chapter 'Gazwa-e- Tabuk'; and Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi in Mukhtasar Sirat ar-Rasul. Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi; Ibn al-Athir, Us-dul Gabah; al-'Asqalani, al-Asaba; Ibn 'Abd'il-Barr, al-Isti'ab, biography of'Hoorainm Ibn Oas'; Hafiz adh-Dhahabi, Talkees Mustadrak; Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Nashrut Teeb]

Qadi 'Iyad, in his book Ash-Shifa, narrated from 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas that Prophet Muhammad's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) nur was created 2000 years before the creation of the world.

[ash-Shifa, chapter 1, page 48]

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi writes:

"There is a hadith in which Rasulu'llah(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated:'I was a Prophet even when Adam (peace be upon him) was between clay and water[i.e. in the process of being created]

[Hadith transmitted by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, Mukhtasar Sirat ar-Rasul;, al-Bayhaqi, Ahmad, al-Hakim and adh-adh-Dhahabi declare it to be sahih]

Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated:'I have always been amongst the good (group), and my nur was present even before Adam.'

[Qadi 'Iyad,,Tabari ash-Shifa, chapter on 'Milad an-Nabi']

The Companions used to call the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 'Nur

When Rasulu'llah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had passed away, the following na'ats were recited:

Imam Ibn Sa'd writes that Hasaan ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) recited:

"Who can compare to the one who was nur, the one from whom light was extracted. There were blessings in his commands and he was our guide and warner. He was such a nur that his light shone upon the whole of the creation.The person who has shown us the path of this blessed (nur) attained success. He was the light, he was the nur.It is his footsteps that we follow, and after Allah, he was our ears and eyes"

Ka'ab ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) stated:'He was Bashir an-Nazir and the rays of his nur kept us enlightened. Allah saved us through his blessings of nur, and through his mercy we obtained salvation from the fire of Hell.'

Arwa bint 'Abd al-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with her) stated:'If I weep, then it is for him who was the nur for all the nations; he was the Messenger of Allah and his name was Ahmad, let me remain in this state of mind.'

Atiqa bint 'Abd al-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with her) stated 'O my eyes!, Weep for the one who was the selected nur, who was from the children of Hashim!'

Safiyya bint 'Abd al-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with her) stated: 'Upon the one with whom Allah is pleased, the one upon guidance and piety, the one who brought the light of guidance after darkness.'

Hind bint 'Usasa bin 'Abd al-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with her) stated: 'He was the moon of the fourteenth night, such a nur from which light was extracted and by the Lord he was bestowed with the Book.'

[Tabqaat Ibn Sa'd , chapter on 'Wafat an-Nabi']

Everything contained in this chapter is evidence in support of the fact that the nur of Rasulu'llah(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was present long before human creation. For this reason the Ahl as-Sunna believe that although Rasulu'llah(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was a human being (bashar), it is also justified to call him nur.

This was the reality of the creed of nur, which is the belief of the Ahl as-Sunna wa'l-Jama'a. The final question we ask is that if it is kufr to have such belief, can all the scholars (whose names and references have been given) also be classified as kuffar?

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8) Ilm ul Ghayb- The Knowledge of the Unseen

We, the Ahl as-Sunna, believe that Allah has given the knowledge of the Ghayb (unseen), to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and that it is also permissable to say that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knows the knowledge of the Ghayb. However, it is not possible, nor permissable to say that the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knowledge of the Ghayb is equal to that of Allah - or even like the knowledge of Allah, since Allah's knowledge is His own and the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knowledge has been given to him by Allah.

There are some people who say that to hold such beliefs will render that person a kafir. We will prove, with the help of Allah, that such a notion is not one of kufr.

Belief of the Ahl as-Sunna about 'ilm of the Ghayb

Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan states:

"Allah has informed His Prophets about certain things from the Unseen. The knowledge of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is more than anyone elses. Nobody can be equal to the knowledge of the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knowledge in the world.

There are five special things of the Unseen and Allah has informed some of these parts to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)"

[Khan, Ahmad, Y., Ja-al-Haq, chapter on 'Masala of Ghayb' ]

Proof from the Qur'an that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been given the knowledge of al-Ghayb

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"These are the tidings of the Unseen that We reveal to you in secret"

[Sura al-Imran, verse 44]

"Nor will He disclose to you the secrets of the Unseen. But He chooses of His Apostles [for the purpose]"

[Sura al-Imran, verse 179]

"The Knower of Unseen reveals not His secret to anyone

Except to His chosen Messengers".

[Sura al-Jinn, verse 26]

"...Allah has sent down to you the Book and Wisdom and has taught to you what you did not know, and great is the grace of Allah upon you"

[Sura an-Nisa, verse 113]

Imam Tabari writes under this verse:

"Allah Most High has told the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to thank Him as He has informed the Prophet of what has already happened and what will happen in the future and this is a bestowal of great grace"

[Tafsir Tabari, Sura an-Nisa, under verse 113]

The above Qur'anic verses prove that Allah Most High has given Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the knowledge of the Ghayb.

Proofs from the Ahadith that Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Possessed Knowledge of the Ghayb

We find in a narration from the collection of Imam al-Bukhari:

"Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood up in one meeting and he started to tell us about events from the beginning of this world to the end and he told us about Heaven and Hell and about the people who were going to Hell and who were going to Heaven and what will be their places in Heaven and Hell. Of course, some people remember what he told us and some people have forgotten"

[Bukhari, chapter on 'Bada al-Khalq]

Imam Muslim writes:

"The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) led the Fajr prayer and then sat on the pulpit, and until Zuhr he told the people of the things about the Unseen. After Zuhr, he sat on the pulpit and continued until 'Asr, then sat on the pulpit and continued until Maghrib prayer. He even informed of the dwellers of Paradise and Hell"

[Muslim, chapter on 'Fada'il']

Hafiz ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani in his famous commentary to Sahih al-Bukhari writes that:

"What Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told in that one meeting is a miracle of the Prophet and this should not be doubted"

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on Bada al-Khalq]

Imam al-Bukhari writes:

"The munafiqs [hypocrites - those who were outwardly Muslims but inwardly unbelievers] made an objection to the knowledge of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood on the pulpit and said,'Ask me what you will'.One person stood up and asked, "What will be my place in the Hereafter?" The Prophet replied, 'Hell'. Another person, whose name was 'Abdullah ibn Huzayfa (people doubted whether he was a legitimate child), stood up and asked, 'Who is my father?' The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, 'Your father is Huzayfa.' [The accusation on 'Abdullah ibn Huzayfa was cleared]. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) repeated, 'Ask me, ask me' "

[al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-I'tisaam; Muslim, chapter on 'Fada''l']

It is evident from this hadith that the only people who objected to the knowledge ('ilm al-Ghayb) of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) were the munafiqs (hypocrites). Further, the belief that Allah informed His Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) of more knowledge than anyone else is the belief of the blessed Companions of the Prophet.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal quotes the following narration which provides more evidence on the Prophet's knowledge:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated, "I have seen my Lord. He put His hands upon my chest, after which everything appeared before me and I recognized everything"

[Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, vol 5, page 243]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"A shepherd was with his goats upon which a wolf came and grabbed one goat and ran. The shepherd then chased after the wolf to get the goat back. The wolf then spoke to him and said, 'Why do you take what food (rizq) which Allah has provided for me?' The shepherd was astonished that the wolf spoke. The wolf again said, 'If you are so surprised that I can talk then go to Madina. You will find the last of the Prophets, and he can inform you of the past and the future'. The shepherd left his goats and went straight to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and mentioned his experience. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, 'The wolf spoke the truth.' Isnad [chain of narrators]. for this hadith is authentic.

[Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on 'Miracles of the Prophet']

We also find the following clear-cut hadith, without any ambigious meanings, from Sahih Muslim:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated, 'Allah put the earth before me and I saw it from the East to the West'

[Muslim, chapter on 'Excellence of the Prophet']

This hadith is a proof that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was bestowed with the knowledge of the whole world.

Hafiz Ibn Kathir and Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi writes:

"Suad ibn Qarib recited a poem in front of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): 'I bearwitness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah has made you the trustee over all the Ghayb' "

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi; and Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, Mukhtasar Sirat ar-Rasul, story of 'Suad ibn Qarib']

Shaykh al-Islam, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, writes:

"One of the qualities bestowed upon a Prophet is the quality that he knows what has already happened in the past and what will happen in the future"

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'The Anbiya']

From all the above ahadith it is proven that the Prophet(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was bestowed with more knowledge than any other creature by Allah Most High. It is also clear that he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been bestowed with the knowledge of the past and future and it is therefore permissible to say that Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the trustee of the knowledge of Ghayb.

It is proven from the above narrations that Allah Most High bestowed our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the knowledge of the Ghayb, so it is permissible to say that he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knows the Ghayb. Hence if someone says that they hold the Prophet to know the Ghayb (Unseen), he is not committing kufr or shirk by holding such a belief.

Sayyiduna al-Khidr (peace be upon him) also knew the Ghayb?

Imam at-Tabari, Imam al-Qurtubi and Qadi Shawkani quote the following narration:

"Ibn 'Abbas reported that al-Khidr was a man who did all his work with the knowledge of the Ghayb because he knew the Ghayb"

[Tafsir Tabari; Tafsir Qurtubi; Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Fath al-Qadir;]

The above statement of a Sahabi is a narration which is accepted by leading and reputable classical authorities. It is thus permissible to say that Khidr knew the Ghayb, and so how can it possibly be wrong to say that Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also knows the Ghayb?

Hafiz ibn Kathir and Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi both narrate:

"Malik ibn 'Awf an-Nazri has written a poem about our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and has written:

'I have not seen any one like you in this world that I can compare with,

Who always fulfill all that he promises.

There is no one more generous than him,

When you ask him something he will inform you of what is going to happen tomorrow' "

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi; and Ibn Kathir & Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab., Muktasar Sirat ar-Rasul, chapter on 'Gazwa Hawazan']

We will now examine some doubts that are raised by the opponents of the above Qur'anic ayats and ahadith based beliefs and then, by the grace of Allah, will answer their doubts so that the truth may become clear, insha'llah.

Q) How can you say that Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been given the knowledge of the Ghayb when Allah Most High says in the Qur'an that there are five things of which no one has any knowledge about?

A) The relevant verse of the Qur'an is as follows:-

"Undoubtedly, Allah has the knowledge of the Hour, and He sends rain and knows what is in the wombs of the mothers and no soul knows in what land it will die. Undoubtedly, Allah is the Knower, All-Aware"[Sura al-Luqman, verse 34]

There are two answers to this:

Firstly, the word used in this verse in Arabic is adri, which refers to that knowledge which someone can attain by guessing. Of course the knowledge of the Unseen of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was not by guessing. Allah informed this to him.

Hafiz Ibn Kathir (who met and briefly studied with Ibn Taymiyya) has written in his famous commentary to the Qur'an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, the meaning of this ayat, namely, that no-one can find the knowledge of these things on there own endeavor. Only Allah can give this knowledge. For example, Allah gives knowledge to the angels, whose duties are to control rain, and therefore on the command of Allah it rains. Also Allah commands an angel who goes into the mother's womb and hangs a record around the child's neck which tells what he/she will do in his/ her lifetime. This knowledge is not attained by the angel but rather it is given by Allah Himself.

Secondly, if the literal and direct meaning is taken from the above quoted ayat, then it will mean that only Allah knows what is in the mothers womb but today, we can discover quite easily if the child is a male or female by modern scanning techniques. If the angels have some knowledge of the five things from the Unseen - given to them by Allah, why is it strange if the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also has some of this knowledge - again bestowed by Allah?

During the Battle of Badr, the Prophet mentioned the names of the kuffar that were to die and also described the manner in which the Companions would achieve martyrdom.

These are clear and authentic examples of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace),informing his Umma about future events, hidden from all else (ie Ghayb).

[Taken from Sahih al-Bukhari, chapter on 'The Battle of Badr'; and also Tafsir Ibn Kathir, on 'Sura al-Luqman, verse 34]

(Q) Did Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) not stop people from saying that he had the knowledge of tomorrow? On one occasion our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) went to a wedding.There, the girls were singing about the Battle of Badr. When they saw the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) coming they stopped singing about the Battle of Badr and started to sing that:'There is a Prophet amongst us that knows about tomorrow'. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told them to carry on singing what they were singing before[Miskat, chapter on 'Nikah']

If he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knew about tomorrow, then why did he stop them from singing it?

(A) These poems were written by a Companion (Sahabi) before the wedding and had it been incorrect he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would have instructed them to stop immediately and not allowed them to repeat. This means the poem was right.The reason he told them to stop singing was because a wedding celebration was taking place and he wanted them to sing the poem that they were singing before, and secondly he did not want them to praise him in the presence of himself.This hadith demonstrates one of the beauties of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), that he did not like to be praised in front of others.

Everyone knows that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knew about the future events up to the Day of Judgment and even after; how else could he have told us about the Mahdi, the Dajjal, the second coming of Jesus, the questions to be asked in the grave, the bridge over Hell which everyone will have to cross to get to Heaven, the mizan (scales) in which everyones' actions shall be weighed etc.

There are countless more proofs which show without a shadow of a doubt that the beloved Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had been given the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) and Allah is the knower of all things!

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