Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Was Prophet Muhammad light or human? Can du’a change Qadar (Destiny)? People around keep debating these issues and I don’t know what to say. Is it obligatory for me to know about every religious matter?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
Most debates on these matters relate to peripheral aspects of prophetology and theology. An individual is not required to understand or know the details of these debates. Rather, in the context of the issues you raise, all that one needs to affirm is:
(a) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was a human as affirmed in the Qur’an, “I am but man” (18:110) but unlike any other human since he was someone “who is divinely inspired” as the verse continues to affirm. As Shaykh Nuh Keller states:
The important qualificatory phrase in this verse shows us that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was a completely different sort of human being from anyone else, then or now. For none of us can say he is divinely inspired as the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was. [Keller, Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyya]
At the same time, we also affirm generally that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was a “light from God” (5:15). However, apart from generally affirming this, it is not obligatory for an individual to know the details surrounding the matter in terms of the modality of this light, its relation to the prophetic humanness, and so forth.
(b) Qadar is affirmed due to the myriad number of texts that have come regarding it. The most famous is the hadith of Gibril where the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) defines faith as, “believing in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and that you believe in pre-destination.” [Bukhari, Sahih] As for the particular nature and details of this qadar and how it relates to questions of freewill and accountability, this is not necessary to know.
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.