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Videos: The Honor and Rank of the Prophet Muhammad (S) by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Videos: The Honor and Rank of the Prophet Muhammad (S) by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

The Chicago Mawlid Committee holds a mawlid in remembrance and celebration of the Prophet once a month. In this blessed month, Rabi al-Awwal, we are also hosting a special program with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, who will be reading a work that summarizes forty distinctive virtues and characteristics of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). We pray that, through this session, we are infected with a desire to continue learning about our Beloved Messenger, and that Allah continue to increase us in love for Him and His Prophet.

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Chicago Mawlid Committee

The Truth of Islam, the Qur’an, & the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Khan

Question: I was born in a Muslim but currently I’m a ethical monotheist. I believe in the the necessity of revelation and see Muhammad (PBUH) as an exemplary man but I want to know if there is any rational or logical reason to believe he is a prophet and the Qur’an is God’s word. I heard from a lot of Muslims that the Qur’an contains a lot of scientific truths and prophecies that have been fulfilled but other religions say the same thing about there holy books what makes the Qur’an any different

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. May God guide us all to the truth and grant us pristine clarity.

There is much rationale behind accepting the Qur’an as God’s word and the Prophet Muhammad as a true prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This has been discussed in great detail by Muslim theologians, and it would take an entire course or more to provide an adequate response. Nevertheless, please read the following excerpt from a text on Maturidi theology by Imam Nur al-Din Sabuni (d. 580AH), in which he addresses your question as follows:

The Significance of Miracles

The prophetic miracle (muʿjiza) is that which manifests the incapacity (ʿajz) of creation to bring its like… Its formal definition according to theologians is “the appearance of a matter that breaks the customary norm, at the hand of one claiming prophecy, upon being challenged by those in denial, in a manner that incapacitates them to bring its like.”

The way a miracle indicates the truthfulness of a prophet is that we realize it is purely an act of God Most High, the servant having no share in it at all, such as turning a staff into a snake or bringing the dead to life. When God Most High produces it immediately after the prophet’s statement, “If I am truthful in my claim to being Your messenger, then do such and such,” it serves as a confirmation for him by action. It is akin to God’s saying, “You are truthful.”…

Proofs That Muhammad was a True Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

Having understood the above, we will now establish proofs of the truthfulness of our Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and greetings), as that is the basis of this whole discussion. According to us, then, that of the rest of the prophets (upon whom be peace) is affirmed by his informing us.

This evidence has two main components:

I. The Qur’an

The first is the Qur’an, which challenged all the eloquent speakers of the Arabs and non-Arabs to bring the like of it. They proved incapable of doing so, as God Most High states:

–“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then bring the like of one of its chapters,” (2:23) and He Most High also says,

–“Say: verily if all humans and jinn gathered to bring the like of this Qur’an, they would not bring the like of it, even if some of them supported others,” (17:88) and other Qur’anic verses.

So all proved incapable of bringing the like of it, since if they were able to do so they certainly would have, due to their zeal for disproving his claim and overcoming his proof. Had they done so, it would surely have been well-known and transmitted to us, just as the false claims and senseless jabber of Musaylima the Liar were transmitted.

Challenges and Responses

(a) If it is said: Perhaps being preoccupied with combat and careers prevented them from that.

We respond: The Qur’anic challenge was before any warfare, and supporting the religion and defending its sanctuary was more important to them than careers. The premise, therefore, is clearly incorrect.

(b) If it is said: Perhaps they did oppose it and bring the like of it, yet the believers ignored it and spread fame of the Qur’an alone.

We respond: The challengers in that time were of greater number than the believers. So had they found any successful opposition of the Qur’an, their obstinacy, denial, and animosity toward the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have incited them to relate it and make it famous, just as the believers’ affirmation and love of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) inspired them to relate the Qur’an and spread its message.

Despite that, however, no such opposition has been transmitted to us. Hence, it is clear that they proved incapable of doing so. And if the most eloquent Arabs and their rhetoricians proved incapable of opposing the Qur’an, then those who came after them, who were non-Arab, would be even more incapable.

II. His Numerous Miracles

The second component of this evidence is what has been related from him (peace and blessings be upon him) of prophetic miracles, both of the physical realm and of the unseen realm, some with himself and others not pertaining to his own self.

II-a) What Pertains to Himself (peace and blessings be upon him)

As for what pertains to himself (peace and blessings be upon him), they include: the light that appeared upon the forehead of his forefathers and foremothers, whose loins and wombs he was in; that which is mentioned in ancient books of his characteristics and traits, the time of his coming, and the description of his followers and supporters; and what has been narrated after him of his personal description, the beauty of his form, the nobility of his virtues, and his kind acts, like the hadiths of ʿAli ibn Abu Talib, Hind ibn Abi Hala and Umm Maʿbad (may God be pleased with them).

All of this serves as evidence, for those who possess keen discernment (firasa), that the likes of such qualities have never been collectively present in any one person before him or after him, thereby indicating the nobility of his essence and the loftiness of his person, such that no one matches him therein.

It is related that every time Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (may God be pleased with him) looked at him (peace and blessings be upon him) in his youth and reflected on his traits, he would say, “This one has surely been created for a great affair.” So when he (peace and blessings be upon him) called Abu Bakr to Islam, the latter said, “This is what I used to hope for regarding you.”

And when ʿAbdullah ibn Salam (may God be pleased with him)  met him (peace and blessings be upon him) for the first time, he said, “This is not the face of a liar.”

And ʿAbdullah ibn Rawaha (may God be pleased with him) said:

Had there not been clear signs with him,
His very nature would have proven his message.

He (peace and blessings be upon him) then remained with these traits for his entire life, not changing whatsoever in private or public, neither when angry nor when content, to the extent that his enemies, despite their extreme animosity and zeal to slander his character, found no fault in him at all.

This, then, is the strongest proof of the truthfulness of his message, for it is inconceivable that God, the All-Wise (may His remembrance be exalted), gather all of these virtues for one whom He knows will invent lies against Him, give him respite for 23 years, give victory to his religion over all other faiths and aid him in conquering his enemies, and finally give life to his teachings after his demise until the Day of Resurrection.

II-b) What Pertains to Other than Himself (peace and blessings be upon him)

As for miracles not dealing with his own self, they include splitting the moon; drawing the tree near; the speaking of stones; the yearning of the palm-trunk; the complaining of the she-camel; the testimony of the roasted sheep of its being poisoned; and the shading of the clouds over him (peace and blessings be upon him).

They also include his informing of past and future events.

Past events include the stories of prophets (upon whom be peace), and the conditions of bygone nations in various lands, in different statements, related in the presence of scholars of the People of the Book, none of whom proved capable of denying or slandering him. This occurred despite his having never read ancient books nor interacted with People of the Book, indicating that he (peace and blessings be upon him) related news by revelation from God Most High, as a messenger.

Future events include his informing on the Day of Badr of what person would be killed, and in what place, which occurred as he said. He also told of fighting Banu Hanifa and Persia; the downfall of Chosroes’ kingdom; the victory of his religion [Islam] over all other faiths and its reaching the farthest limits of the East and West; and other events as mentioned in narrations, which occurred as he foretold.

Moreover, his demeanor (peace and blessings be upon him) did not resemble that of fortunetellers, magicians or astrologers, all of whom, according to what is related, engaged in poetry and rhyming; concealing vile traits; seeking the aid of devils; looking into astrolabes; or numerology. Rather, his personality (peace and blessings be upon him) was one of uprightness, tranquility, honor, shunning worldly aims, and constant immersion in the remembrance of God Most High.

These miracles, even if most of them are related through single-chain reports (ahad), together indicate one common phenomenon, namely, manifestation of the extraordinary by his hands. This phenomenon, then, is effectively related through multiple-chain transmission (tawatur), resulting in unequivocal, definitive knowledge (ʿilm qatʿi).

This is similar to narratives that individually are related through single-chain reports regarding [for example] the generosity of Hatim, the justice of Abu Shirwan, the courage of ʿAli (may God ennoble his face), and the knowledge of Abu Hanifa (may God have mercy on him). Since each category in its totality indicates one particular theme— namely, generosity, justice, courage, and knowledge—then the result is unequivocal, definitive knowledge of these themes. Indeed, the same applies here.

[Sabuni, Al-Bidaya fi Usul al-Din, trans. Faraz A. Khan]

Please also see this related answer, by the esteemed scholar Shaykh Akram Abdul Wahhab: How Do We Know That the Qur’an is Inimitable and Thus From Allah

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

True Charity – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains Hadith 25 of 40 Nawawi from Ribat Films on Vimeo

True Charity – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains Hadith 25 of 40 Nawawi from Ribat Films on Vimeo.

Hadith 25 of Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith
Explained by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

On the authority of Abu Dharr :

Some of the companions of the messenger of Allah said :” O Messenger of Allah, the affluent have made of with the rewards, they pray as we pray they fast as we fast, and they give away in charity the superfluity of their wealth.” He said:” Has not Allah made things for you to give away in charity ? every tasbihah is a charity, every takbirah is a charity, every tahmidah is a charity, and every tahlilah is a charity, to enjoin a good action is a charity, to forbid an evil action is a charity, and in the sexual act of each of you there is a charity.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his sexual desire will he have some reward for that?” He said: “Do you not think that were he to act upon it unlawfully he would be sinning ? Likewise, if he has acted upon it lawfully he will have a reward.”

related by Muslim. 

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How Can the Prophet Be the Best of Creation If He Was Unlettered? (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: How can the Prophet the Best of Creation if he was unlettered? (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

The short answer is that while for others the term “unlettered” is considered a deficiency, it is a term of immense praise and a perfection for our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him and his folk).

This is because by his being ‘unlettered’, it becomes undoubtedly clear and absolutely evident that he is indeed a true messenger, sent by Allah Most High to humanity, as a mercy to creation.

The knowledge that he brought could only have come from the Divine, as he could neither read nor write, nor did he spend time with a scholar of other religions to have known what he knew. He spoke with the most concise yet comprehensive speech (jawam` al-kalim), and he brought for us:

(a) The Noble Sharia: a Sacred Law whose rulings are full of wisdom and benefit;

(b) Teachings that elucidate the utmost refinement of ethics, behavior, character and comportment (adab);

(c) Precise knowledge of the unseen realm and of future events; and

(d) Stories of past nations and bygone peoples, including very subtle details such as the plotting of Yusuf’s brothers or the dog companion of the people of the cave.

[Alusi,  Ruh al-Ma`ani ; Biqa’i; Nazm al-Durar]

The Title Used in the Qur’an

Allah Most High states in the Qur’an, “Those who wholeheartedly follow the Emissary, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find inscribed in their own [scriptures], the Torah and Gospels: he commands to the good, forbids evil, permits for them things good and pure, and prohibits them from things low and vile. He releases them from their heavy burdens and [from] the yokes that were upon them. So those who believe in him, and honor him, and give him support and aid, and completely follow the light that was revealed with him: those are the ones who are successful and prosperous” (7:157).

Commentary

Imam Qushayri comments in his tafsir:

“That is, He Most High manifests the immense honor of the Chosen Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), by His statement, ‘the unlettered prophet’: nothing whatsoever of his virtues, of his complete and perfected knowledge, of his readiness and ability to explain the details of the Sacred Law were from his own self, nor from learning or fabricating, nor from effort or his own doing. Rather, all that appeared from him was from none other than Allah Most High. So truly he was the unlettered, having neither read any book nor sought out stories and events.” [Lata’if al-Isharat]

Imam Munawi adds:

This is the very highest degree of merit for him (peace and blessings be upon him): he was unlettered  yet nevertheless brought us vast knowledge, enormous wisdom, and news of forgone generations, all without learning how to write nor studying from a book.” [Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami al-Saghir]

The fact that it is an immense virtue and perfection of his (peace and blessings be upon him) is also reflected in the use of this title in certain formulae of salawat [i.e, sending blessings and peace upon him], as taught by the Prophet himself, who when asked once about the method of sending blessings upon him, said, “Say all of you: O Allah, send mercy upon Muhammad, the unlettered Prophet, and upon the folk of Muhammad, just as You sent mercy upon Ibrahim and the folk of Ibrahim; and send blessings upon Muhammad, the unlettered Prophet, and upon the folk of Muhammad, just as You sent blessings upon Ibrahim and the folk of Ibrahim. Verily You are Praiseworthy, Glorious.” [Ibn Khuzayma, Ibn Hibban, Daraqutni, Mustadrak Hakim]

A Glimpse of His Exalted Character

Imam Busiri states in the Burda:

“Sufficient for you as a miracle is [such vast] knowledge in an unlettered person,
In the period of ignorance, as well as such refined character in an orphan.”

A mere glimpse of his noble character confirms his prophethood, especially when coupled with his having been unlettered. This is evident in the statement of al-Jalandi, ruler of Oman who became Muslim after being called to Islam by the Prophet’s emissary. Al-Jalandi said:

“By Allah, what indicated to me that this unlettered Prophet [is a true prophet] is that he does not command to good without being the first to practice it; he does not forbid evil without being the first to abstain from it; he conquers without pride, and when defeated, is not annoyed; and he fulfills his covenant and promise. Verily, I testify that he is a prophet.” [Qadi Iyad, Shifa]

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani