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Part III: Prophethood

Q.        As nobody knows the number and the names of all the prophets, please give the names of some of the famous ones.
A.        The names of some of the well-known prophets are:

Hazrat Aadam, Hazrat Sheeth, Hazrat Idrees, Hazrat Nuuh, Hazrat Ibraaheem, Hazrat Is-maa’eel, Hazrat Is-haaq, Hazrat Daawud, Hazrat Ya’quub, Hazrat Yuusuf, Hazrat Sulaymaan, Hazrat Muusa, Hazrat Luut and Hazrat Muhammad, the last of all the prophets- peace be upon all their souls.

Q.        From which tribe of Arabia did Hazrat Muhammad () come from?
A.        The Holy Prophet () was from the Quraish tribe. The Quraish commanded the greatest respect of all the Arabian tribes and were held in the highest esteem. They were the chiefs of all the other clans in Arabia.

Then, among the Quraish there was a clan called Bani Haashim which was more respected than the rest of the Quraish clans. The Prophet () belonged to this clan and thus was called Haashimi.

Q.        Who was Haashim, whose clan was called Haashimi?
A.        Haashim was the great-grandfather of our Holy Prophet (). His family lineage runs thus: Muhammad bin (son of) ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib bin Haashim bin ‘Abdu-Manaaf.

Q.        Was there a prophet among the forefathers of Hazrat Muhammad () apart from Hazrat Adam ()?
A.        Yes, there are several: The Holy Prophet () belonged to the family of Hazrat Ismaa’eel (), who was the son of Hazrat Ibraaheem (). Hazrat Nuh (), Hazrat Sheeth () and Hazrat Shu’ayb () also come in the lineage of the Prophet ().

Q.        At what age did the Prophet () get the prophethood?
A.        Prophet Muhammad () was 40 years of age when wahyi (revelation) of Allah came to him.

Q.        What is meant by wahyi?
A.        Wahy means the coming of Allah’s Commands, Orders and Messages to a prophet. The Angel Jibreel brought wahy to all prophets.

Q.        How long did the Prophet () live after the first wahy came to him?
A.        For twenty-three years. He lived for 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Madinah.

Q.        Why did he go to Madinah?
A.        The people of Makkah became his enemies when he started teaching them Tawheed and asked them to give up idol-worship and to believe in one god. They worshipped idols and treated them as their gods. They began giving all sorts of trouble to our Prophet () and were very cruel to him. The Prophet () kept on preaching Tawheed in spite of their enmity and cruelty. When these cruelties became boundless and the enemies of Hazrat Muhammad () made a plan to kill him, Hazrat Muhammad () left Makkah for Madinah at the command of Allah. Many people of Madinah had already embraced Islam and were very eager to have the Holy Prophet () among them in their city. When the Prophet () reached Madinah, these people gave him and his companions all help, assistance and protection. Some Muslims who had already left Makkah to escape the unbearable torture of kaafirs, when they came to know of the Prophet’s () departure to Madinah, left also for Madinah. Some other Muslims were directed by the Prophet () himself to reach Madinah. The departure of Hazrat Muhammad () from Makkah to Madinah is called the Hijrah. The Muslims who came to Madinah, leaving their homes in Makkah, are called Muhaajireen (singular: Muhaajir). The people of Madinah who helped the Holy Prophet () are called Ansaar.

Q.        What did the people of Arabia think of the character of Hazrat Muhammad () before and after his declaration as a prophet?
A.        He was always looked upon as a man of stainless nobility and perfect virtue. The people always believed him to be truthful, pious and a trustworthy person. He was called a-Saadiq, al-Ameen which means “the truthful, trustworthy.” Everyone respected him. Although the kuffaar opposed him, even then they had so much trust in him that they still deposited their money with him.

Q.        What is the proof that the Holy Prophet () is the last of all the prophets and that no prophet will come after him?
A.        First, because the Qur’aan has called him Khaatimun-Nabiyyeen, which means that he is “the last of all the prophets.”

Secondly, the Holy Prophet () has said:

I am the last Prophet, no Prophet is to come after me.

Thirdly, Allah has said in the Holy Qur’aan:

This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islaam.

(5: 3)

It is proved by this that Allah perfected the religion through the Holy Prophet () and there is no need for sending more prophets after him.

Q.        What is the proof that the Holy Prophet () is the highest in the rank of all the prophets?
A.        This is proved by many aayaat of the Holy Qur’aan. The Holy Prophet () has himself said:

I will be the head of the sons of Adam on the day of Qiyaamah.

It is clear that all prophets are also among the sons of Adam (peace be upon him).  Thus, the Holy Prophet () is their head.


Sahaaba Kiraam
 (The Noble Companions)

Q.        What is a Sahaabi (companion)?
A.        A sahaabi is a person who saw the Holy Prophet () or had been in his company as a Believer and died as one.

Q.        How many ashaab (pl: companions) were there?
A.        Thousands of people- all who came to the Holy Prophet () and became Muslims and later died as Muslims.

Q.        Are all the companions of equal rank?
A.        There are some who are of higher rank than the others. But they all rank higher than the rest of the ummah.

Q.        Who stands highest in rank among all the Muslims?
A.        Four companions rank highest after our Prophet (). First is Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). Second is Hazrat ‘Umar Faarooq (Allah be pleased with him), who is second in rank after Hazrat Abu Bakr in the whole ummah. Third and fourth respectively are Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (Allah be pleased with him) and Hazrat ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him), who are superior to the rest of the ummah. These four persons each became khaleefah of the Prophet Muhammad () after his death- one after the other.

Q.        What is meant by khaleefah?
A.        Khaleefah means “successor,” or the one who acts for somebody else in his absence. When the Holy Prophet () had passed away, Hazrat Abu Bakr was elected to succeed the Holy Prophet (). He was the first khaleefah. As a khaleefah, he looked after the well-being of Islam and Muslims and performed all the other duties which were performed by the Holy Prophet (). Hazrat ‘Umar was the second khaleefah, Hazrat ‘Uthmaan the third and Hazrat ‘Ali was the fourth. These four are known as khulafaa-i-arba‘a or khulafaa-i-raashideen, also as the Four Friends.


Walaayat and Wali-ullaah

Q.        Who is a waliy?
A.        A Muslim who obeys Allah and His Prophet (), devotes his time to worship and abstains from sins, loves Allah and the Prophet () more than worldly things, becomes near and dear to Allah: such a person is called a waliy.

Q.        How to recognize a waliy?
A.        A waliy is a very pious man who devotes himself entirely to Allah’s worship, loves Allah and the Prophet (), shuns away from worldly gains and keeps his eyes always on the hereafter or the life after death.

Q.        Can a Sahaabi be called a waliy?
A.        Yes, all the companions of the Holy Prophet () were awliyaa. As they were in the company of the Holy Prophet (), they learned to love Allah and the Holy Prophet () most. They did not like worldly things. They were devoted to worshipping Allah and avoided sins. They obeyed Allah and the Prophet ().

Q.        Could a Sahaabi or Waliy stand equal to a Nabiy?
A.        No, never. A sahaabi or waliy, however great, cannot stand equal to a nabiy.

Q.        Could a waliy who was not a sahaabi stand equal to, or rise above, the rank of a sahaabi?
A.        No, a sahaabi is more superior. A waliy who is not a sahaabi cannot be higher, even equal, to a sahaabi.

Q.        Some people contravene the rules of the Sharee’ah and do not observe salaah and shave their beards but people call them Awliyaa (pl. waliy). Is this correct?
A.        No. It is absolutely wrong to regard such people as Awliyaa. Always remember that one who goes against the Sharee’ah cannot be a waliy.

Q.        Are there Awliyaa who are exempted from saying salaah or keeping fasts?
A.        None is exempted of worship as long as one is in his senses and has the necessary strength to perform religious duties. None is allowed to do even a single sinful thing. If one who has the strength and is in his senses goes against the Sharee’ah or avoids his religious duties and says that he is right in doing this, he is a kaafir. A kaafir cannot be a waliy.


Mu’jiza and Karaamat
(Miracles and Miraculous Deeds)

Q.        What is mu’jiza?
A.        On Allah’s orders, the prophets performed some extraordinary and unusual deeds, which for ordinary persons were and still are impossible to do. This was to inform the people that the one at whose hand the miracle was performed has been sent by Allah. Such a deed is called mu’jiza or miracle.

Q.        What miracles did the prophets show?
A.        Prophets showed numerous miracles under Allah’s orders. Here we describe some:

bulletThe stick of Hazrat Moosa () turned into a python and swallowed all the snakes let loose on the Prophet by magicians. Allah gave Hazrat Moosa’s () hand such a light that it outshone the light of the sun. When Hazrat Moosa () crossed the River Nile, the water split up letting him and his followers cross over. But when the army of Fir’awn (Pharoah) tried to cross by the same pathway and reached the midway, the waters came back and the Fir’awn and his army were drowned.
bulletHazrat ‘Eesa () restored the dead to life on the orders of Allah. He could also restore the sight of those who were born blind, cure a leper and give life to birds made of mud and make them fly.
bulletThe Holy Qur’aan is the great mu’jiza of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (). More than 14 centuries have passed but in this period nobody has been able to write a matching Surah, even an aayah, although many people did try very hard. Nobody will be able to reach that standard up till QiyaamahMi’raaj is another mu’jiza of our Holy Prophet (). Shaqqul-Qamar (the splitting of the moon) is the third important mu’jiza. This is also a mu’jiza that Hazrat Muhammad () predicted many things to come which have happened just as he said. One common mu’jiza was that food prepared for one or two persons sufficed for hundreds of men due to the blessings and the prayers of Hazrat Muhammad (). There are many more mu’jiza of the Prophet () which will be dealt with in other parts of Taleem-ul-Islam.

Q.        What is Mi’raaj?
A.        One night, the Holy Prophet (), by the order of Allah, travelled from Makkah to Baitul-Muqaddas (in Jerusalem) and from there to the seven heavens and beyond, where Allah wanted him. The Holy Prophet () visited the Paradise and the Hell and returned to his place the same night. This is called the Israa and Mi’raaj (Ascension).

Q.        What is Shaqqul-Qamar?
A.        One night the kuffaar of Makkah asked our Holy Prophet () to show them some mu’jiza. The Holy Prophet () pointed his finger to the moon and it split into two. All those present saw that. Then the two pieces came together again, and the moon became as it was before. This is called the miracle of Shaqqul-Qamar.

Q.        What is karaamat?
A.        Sometimes Allah makes unusual things be done by devoted and pious men, to enhance their prestige. Such things cannot be done by ordinary people. These are called karaamat. Only the devoted and pious Awliyaa can perform karaamat.

Q.        What is the difference between karaamat and mu’jiza?
A.        An unusual thing which is shown by a Nabiy or Prophet is called a mu’jiza, and the one who is pious and devoted to the Sharee’ah, if he does something uncommon or impossible it is called karaamat. If an unusual thing is shown by a kaafir or by one who goes against the Sharee’ah it is called Istidraaj.

Q.        Is it necessary that a waliy must perform some karaamat?
A.        No. It is not necessary that some karaamat must appear through a waliy. It is possible that a waliy may never perform karaamat in his whole life.

Q.        Faqeers who go against the Sharee’ah sometimes do an unusual thing which others cannot do- what is that called?
A.        If one is against the Sharee’ah and performs an unusual thing, it is not karaamat but istidraaj or magic. To believe that such a person is a waliy or that what he does is karaamat is wrong and deceptive.



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