Posts

Exaggerated Praise of the Prophet of Allah (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : Exaggerated Praise of the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)

Answer : The Hadith towards which you have referred is recorded by Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih, on the authority of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) say: “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Messenger.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 3261)

The meaning of this Hadith is quite clear and simple, in that one must avoid exaggeration in praising the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & grant him eternal peace) in a manner the Christians praised Sayyiduna Esa (peace be upon him). Anything besides this has been implicitly permitted in this Hadith.

Now, we need to see how the Christians exaggerated in their reverence for Sayyiduna Esa (peace be upon him). The Christians exaggerated in praising Sayyiduna Esa (peace be upon him) to the level that they considered him to be either a God, son of God or a partner of God. Hence, it will be completely unlawful and disbelief to elevate the status of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in a manner that one considers him to be a God, son of God or a partner of Allah.

Allah Most High is one and unique in his essence and attributes, as Imam al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) states: “We say about Allah’s unity (tawhid) – with Allah’s help- that Allah is One, without any partners.” (al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya, p: 5)

The renowned commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Imam Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states in the explanation of this Hadith, quoting from Ibn al-Jawzi:

“The reason behind this prohibition (m: of exaggerating in the praise of the Prophet) was due to what was mentioned in the Hadith of Mu’adh, where he (Sayyiduna Mu’adh, Allah be pleased with him) sought the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) permission in order to prostrate before him. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade him from doing so. Hence, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) feared that someone else may exaggerate even more, thus he was quick to prohibit such exaggeration with great emphasis. Ibn al-Tin said: The meaning of “Do not exaggerate in praising me” is that do not praise me as the praise of Christians. So much so that some exaggerated and regarded him (Sayyiduna Esa) to be a partner of God. Some claimed that he was God himself, whilst others said that he was the son of God.” (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, 12/183-184)

The above passage from one of the greatest commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari quite clearly indicates that the prohibition is of giving the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) the rank and status of Allah in any way or form. He is not God, neither a partner of God, nor His son. He is the Servant of Allah and his beloved Messenger (eternal peace and blessings be on him).

This Hadith does not in any way forbid one from praising the beloved of Allah greatly and excessively. Our presence is because of the Messenger of Allah. He is our master, beloved, intercessor and leader. We love him greatly, more than anything and everything in this world. Hence, we should send blessings on him and praise him as much as we can. If we don’t praise the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and show reverence to him, then who will we praise.

As long as one avoids considering the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) being equal to Allah Most High and avoids attributing divinity to him, there is absolutely nothing wrong in exaggerating in his love and praise, as the author of Qasida al-Burda, Imam al-Busayri (Allah have mercy on him) so beautifully said:

“Leave what the Christians claim about their Prophet. Then decide and say what you wish in praise of him (Allah bless him & give him eternal peace).”

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Love for the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, by Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad

Love

Love for the Beloved Prophet Muhammad — “And know that the loftiest of exemplars, the most noble and the greatest and the most binding to all Muslims is the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace: verily he is by unanimous agreement the Greatest Exemplar.

And the obligation due to him is the greatest after that of Allah; and the adab with him the most emphasised of the adab and obediences. For whosoever loves him and immensely esteems him, he has indeed loved Allah and whosoever obeys him has indeed obeyed Allah.

Says Allah, the Exalted: ‘Say, if ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. For Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’ (âl-‘Imran: 31).

And says the Exalted: ‘He who obeys the Apostle, obeys Allah’ (an-Nisaa: 80).

And says the Exalted: ‘So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in punishment’ (al-Hashr: 7).

And says the Exalted: ‘Then let those beware who withstand the Apostle’s order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous Penalty be inflicted on them’ (an-Nur: 63).

And says the Exalted: ‘Verily, those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah, Allah will soon grant him a great reward’ (al-Fat’h: 10).

And says the Exalted: ‘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’araf: 157).

And says the Exalted: ‘O who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not. Those who lower their voice in the presence of Allah’s Apostle – their hearts has Allah tested for piety: for them is Forgiveness and a great reward’ (al-Hujurat: 2-3).

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘One of you does not believe until I become dearer to him than the soul that lies between the two sides’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘One of you does not believe until his desire follows what I have come with’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace of Allah: ‘Were Musa and Isa alive, they cannot but follow me’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘Whosoever obeys me, has indeed obeyed Allah and whosoever disobeys me has indeed disobeyed Allah’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘All of you will enter paradise except those who refuse’. And they said: ‘And who refuses?’ And said he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘Whoever obeys me enters Paradise, and whosoever disobeys me has indeed refused’. And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘Who annoys me, annoys Allah and whosoever annoys Allah, He puts him into Hell’.

And what goes to perfect love to him and high esteem and beneficient adab towards him, blessings and peace be upon him, is love for the people of his house and his companions, esteem for them and respect.

Says Allah, the Exalted: ‘Say (O Prophet): no reward do I ask of you except the love of those near of kin’ (ash-Shura: 23).

And says the Exalted: ‘The vanguard (of Islam), the first of those who foresook (their home) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) who followed them in (all) good deeds – well-pleased is Allah with them, as they are with Him’ (at-Tawbah: 100).

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace of Allah: ‘Love Allah for such of His bounties as He nourishes you with, and love me because you love Allah and love the people of my House because you love me’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace to ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: ‘Iman does not enter the heart of one until they love you for the sake of Allah and for your nearness to me’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace, to Fatima and ‘Ali and al-Hassan and al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with them: ‘I am at war with those you are at war with and at peace with those you are at peace with’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace, in the hadith of Zayd bin Arqam, may Allah be pleased with them: ‘And my issues are the people of my house. I remind you, in the Name of Allah, about people of my house’.

And says Abubakr, may Allah be pleased with him: ‘Have a conscientious regard to Muhammad in the people of his house’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘Uphold me in my companions; do not take them as targets after me; whosoever loves them loves them because of my love; and whosoever is disaffected against them is disaffected against them because of disaffection against me; and whosoever molests them has indeed molested me; and whosoever molests me has indeed invoked the wrath of Allah and whoever invokes the wrath of Allah risks penalty from Him’.

And says he, upon whom be blessings and peace: ‘Do not abuse my companions. Verily, in the Name of Him in Whose Hands my soul is: were one of you to spend the like of the mountain of Uhud in gold he would not attain the rank of one of them, not even half of it’.

Let a Muslim, who is solicitous about his religion therefore, beware of hating a member of the house of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or one of his companions because that harms his religion and his Hereafter. And because of it, he gets counted among those who offend His Prophet and annoy him, Allah bless him and grant him peace. Let him love them and praise them on account of good (in them) in the same manner as Allah has praised them as well as His Apostle.”

Extracted from Ad-da ‘wa-tut-taammah of Imam ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (ra). Translated by Shaykh Mohamed Mlamali Adam.