Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Taazim-e-Rasool (SAW)

I still remember as a school going kid, every morning, it was mandatory for all of us to stand-up and wish our teachers in class. In every school this is a tradition to show respect to the teachers who impart us knowledge and thus help us in making our lives better.

Whenever national anthem is played, it is again compulsory for us to stand-up and show respect for the country where we stay, as it is a constant source of our livelihood and much more. I read a story of a gentleman who forgot to stand up when national anthem was played in the multiplex and thus the newspaper wrote a spicy story on his misbehavior. It means that being disrespectful to the nation, even if by mistake, is such a big crime that it gets reported in a newspaper.

Again when a sportsman achieves something exceptional the audience gives him standing ovation to show respect for his work. Our parents and elders have nurtured our lives and contributed a lot in making our lives better and hence it is mandatory for us to show respect towards them.

 The inference which we can derive is that people are respected across the world, for their achievements, for their contribution, work and the knowledge.

In the history of Islam, there is no individual as great in stature as our beloved prophet (pbuh). It was his divine presence which gave us the Islamic teachings and guided us to the true path to salvation. So let us try to find out what are the Quranic instructions vis-à-vis our code of conduct towards the holy prophet (pbuh).

Let us start with mentioning few ayahs which were revealed to establish the credentials and stature of our holy prophet (pbuh).

•"Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) Hum ne tum ko tamam alamon ke liye rehmat hi karke bheja hai". – (Surah-e-Ambiya, ayah 107)

(“And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.”)

Allah (SWT) is the Most Merciful, while Rasool (SAW) is the mercy to the worlds. It means that without the consent of Rasool (SAW) Allah’s mercy would not be bestowed on anyone. Thus it can be inferred from the ayah that it would be because of intercession of Rasool (SAW) that his Ummah would be blessed by Allah’s mercy and forgiven. He is Rehmat-ulil-aalamin.

•“Aur raat ke khaas hisse main namaz-e-tahajjud padha karo ye sunnat tumhari khaas fazilat hai. Qareeb hai ke Qayamat ke din Khuda tumko maqam-e-Mehmood tak pahonchae”. – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 79)

“(And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam-e-Mahmuda (a station of praise and glory i.e. the highest degree in Paradise!)”.

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) has promised Rasool (SAW) to raise him to the highest glory; a rare distinction and honour which was not given to anybody else before or after him. That is why he is “Habib-e-Khuda”. So if we wish to be loved by Allah (SWT) we need to love and obey the holy prophet (SAW).

•“Aur ye dua maanga karo ke Ae mere Parvardigaar mujhe jahan pahoncha achhi tarah pahoncha aur mujhe jahan se nikaal to achhi tarah se nikaal aur mujhe khaas apni bargaah se ek hukumat ataa farma jisse har qism ki madad pahonche.” – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 80)

“(And pray: "O my Lord, let my entry be with honour, and let my exit be with honour, and grant me power from You which would help (sustain) me.”)”

Allah (SWT) instructs the holy prophet to ask for divine power in his prayers. That is why he is referred as “Sarwar-e-Qaenat.” If we wish to gain access to divine power, we need to accept him as our lord and a leader.

Apart from the honour and above-mentioned rare credentials of our beloved prophet (pbuh), let us see few more ayahs which were revealed in praise of him. Let us listen to Allah (SWT) and see how He praises his prophet.

•‘Aur tumhare waaste yaqinan wo ajr hai jo kabhi khatam hi na hoga. Aur beshak tumhare akhlaaq bade a’ala darje ke hai. – (Surah-e-Qalam, ayah 3-4)

“(And most surely you shall have a reward never to be cut off. And indeed you possess an exemplary character.)”

Allah (SWT) praises the exemplary character of Rasool (SAW) and promised to reward him continuously. It means that if we follow the instructions given to us by the holy prophet (pbuh) we would also be rewarded continuously.

•“Aur Hum ne tum ko saba’ masaani (Surah-e-Hamd) aur Quran azeem ataa kiya hai.” - (Surah-e-Hijr, ayah 87)

“(We have given thee seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the great Qur'an)”

•“Iss main shak nahin ke Khuda aur uske farishte paighambar (aur unki aal) per durood bhejte hai to ae imaandaro tum bhi durood bhejte raho aur baraabar salaam karte raho”. – (Surah-e-Ahzaab, ayah 56)

“(Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.)”

Surah-e-Hamd was revealed in praise of the holy prophet (pbuh) and Allah (SWT) also granted him with the holy Quran. Such is his greatness that Allah (SWT) and all His angels bless Him and instructs the believers to do the same.

There is a specific code of conduct everybody needs to follow while dealing with people who are more than us in stature and status. For example many a time on the road we have seen that if a car owned by a prominent government official is passing by, we are required to step aside and allow it to overtake us and proceed. This is a code of conduct we follow. So let us then try to find out the code of conduct which we need to follow while dealing with the greatest human being ever, the holy prophet (pbuh).

Let us take instructions from Quran and hence refer few ayahs.

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) jo log tumko hujron ke bahaar se awaaz dete hai unmain ke aksar be-aqal hain. Aur ye log itnaa ta’amul karte ki tum khud nikal kar unke paas aajaate (tab baat karte) to ye unke liye behtar tha.” – (Surah-e-Hujuraat, ayah 4-5)

“(Surely most of those who call out to you, (O Prophet), from behind the apartments, are devoid of understanding. If they were patient until you went out to them, that would have been better for them.)”

•“Ae Imaandaro jis tarah tum main se ek doosre ko (naam lekar) bulaya karte hai uss tarah aapas main Rasool (SAW) ka bulana na samjho Khuda unn logon ko khoob jaanta hai jo tum main se aankh bacha kar (Paighambar ke paas se) khisak jaate hai – to jo log uss ke hukm ki mukhalefat karte hai unko iss baat se darte rehna chahiye ki (mubada) un per koi musibat aa pade ya un per koi dardnaak azaab naazil ho.” – (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 63)

“(Do not hold the Apostle's calling (you) among you to be like your calling one to the other; Allah indeed knows those who steal away from among you, concealing themselves; therefore let those beware who go against his order lest a trial afflict them or there befall them a painful chastisement.)”

•“Ae Imaandaro Khuda aur uss ke Rasool (SAW) ke saamne kisi baat main aage na badh jaaya karo aur Khuda se darte raho beshak Khuda bada sunne wala wakifkaar hai.” – (Surah-e-Hujuraat, ayah 1)

“(O People who Believe! Do not advance ahead of Allah and His Noble Messenger, and fear Allah; indeed Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.)”

The stature of Rasool (SAW) is very different from normal believer. As mentioned in the above ayahs Allah detests those who advance ahead of him, who call his name and disobey him by leaving him concealing themselves. So whoever thinks he is like Rasool (SAW) in status is sadly mistaken and trial may afflict him for his misbehaviour.

Uptill now we saw the clear instructions of what we should not do while dealing with our holy prophet (pbuh). Now let us see what instructions Quran gives on what we should do while dealing with the holy prophet (pbuh).

•“Sacche Imaandar to sirf wo log hain jo Khuda aur uss ke Rasool (SAW) per imaan laaye aur jab kisi aise kaam ke liye jisme logon ke jama hone ki zaroorat hai – Rasool (SAW) ke paas hote hain jab tak uss se ijazat na le li na gaye. (Ae Rasool (SAW)) jo log tum se (har baat main) ijazat le lete hai wahi log (dil se) Khuda aur uss ke Rasool (SAW) per imaan laye hain. To jab ye log apne kisi kaam ke liye tum se ijazat maange to tum unn main se jis ko (munasib khayal kar ke) chaho ijazat de diya karo aur Khuda se uss ki bakhshish ki dua bhi karo beshak Khuda bada bakhsh ne wala maherbaan hai.” – (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 62)

“(Only those are believers who believe in Allah and His Apostle, and when they are with him on a momentous affair they go not away until they have asked his permission; surely; so when they ask your permission for some affair of theirs, give permission to whom you please of them and ask forgiveness for them from Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.)”

The above ayah clarifies that Allah likes those people who take permissions from the prophet (pbuh). It was easier for believers to take permission while he was amongst them, in today’s context we need to follow whatever he has given us. Because if we do this it would be as if we have taken his permission and if we take his permission as per the above ayah we all would be forgiven.

Let us see few more ayahs in this context:
•“Jo log Hamare ummi paighambar ke qadam ba qadam chalte hai jis ki bashaarat ko apne haan Taureit aur Injeel main likha hua paate hain wo nabi jo achhe kaam ka hukm deta hai aur bure kaam se rokta hai aur jo paak wa paakizah cheezein to un per halaal aur napaak gundi cheezein un per haraam kar deta hai aur wo sakhat ahkaam ka bojh jo unkee gardan per tha aur wo phande jo un per pade hue the un se hataa deta hai, pas yaad rakho ke jo log uss nabi Mohammed (SAW) per imaan laaye aur us ski izzat ki aur uss ki madad ki aur uss noor ki pairvi ki jo uss ke saath naazil hua hai to yahi log apni dilli muradein paaenge.” – (Surah-e-Airaf, ayah 157)

“(Those who follow the Apostle-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.)”

As per the above ayah successful believers are those who not only believe in Allah, but also believe in the prophet (pbuh). Quran is the instructions and way of life, but only Quran is not sufficient, we are also required to follow the instructions given by the holy prophet (pbuh). That is the doctrine for success.

 From the worldly perspective it is understood that a person with higher authority has been given special privileges and power by the supreme authority of that specific department, which he needs to exercise above his subordinates so as to bring out the best result. Our holy prophet (pbuh) is the maximum authority over the ummah, as we just established vide various ayahs. Let us then try to find out what are the powers and privileges given to our beloved prophet (pbuh) by the Supreme Authority, Allah (SWT).

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum un ke maal ki zakaat lo aur uss ki badaulat un ko gunahon se paak saaf kardo aur unke waaste dua-e-khair karo kyunke tumhari dua un logon ke haq main itminaan ka baaes hai aur Khuda to sab kuch sunta aur jaanta hai.” – (Surah-e-Tauba, ayah 103)

“(Take alms out of their property, you would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them; surely your prayer is a relief to them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing)”

•“Aura e Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo Parvardigaar Tu meri ummat ko bakhsh de aur taras kha aur Tu to sab rahem karnewalon se behtar hai. – (Surah-e-Momineen, ayah 118)

“(And say, (O Muhammad): "My Lord, forgive us and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of those that are merciful.")”

As per the above ayah, it is because of Rasool (SAW) that ummah would be cleaned and purified. And it would be because of his prayers that the ummah would be forgiven. It means he has been given the powers to purify us and forgive us.

Allah (SWT) is the most forgiving but unless the holy prophet (pbuh) prays for us we would not be forgiven. And he would only pray for our forgiveness if we follow him and love him and the people whom he loved the most.

Being respectful and obedient to the holy prophet (pbuh) is the recipe of success; we have logically understood this in the light of various ayahs. It can be inferred then that being disrespectful and disobedient to him is being unsuccessful in all the aspects. But let us prove this inference again in the light of few more ayahs.

Let us first see the ayah related to disobedience of Iblis the Satan vis-à-vis Aadam (A.S).

•“Aur uss waqt ko yaad karo jab Hum ne farishton se kaha ke Aadam (A.S) ko sajda karo to sab ke sab jhuk gaye magar Shaitan ne inkaar kiya aur ghuroor main aagaya aur kafir ho gaya.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 34)

“(Remember, when We asked the angels to bow in homage to Adam, they all bowed but Iblis, who disdained and turned insolent, and so became a disbeliever.)”

Here, in the above ayah Allah (SWT) says that Iblis became Satan as he did not bow down to Aadam (A.S). Allah (SWT) has also referred to Iblis as Kafir, though he always believed in oneness of Allah (SWT) and prayed to Him.

When we try to contemplate on the above ayah we would understand that Allah (SWT) does not like that somebody is being disrespectful to his chosen representative (Khalifa). Satan thought that he was much better than Aadam (A.S) and hence he lost everything.

One more thing, related to this incident, worth pondering upon is that Aadam (A.S) had just come into existence; there was no history of his credentials and prayers that would have convinced the angels about his supremacy. Still they had to follow the orders and bow down to Aadam (A.S) and accept his supremacy. It also means that people who are appointed by the Lord as His khalifa and representatives, they are so by birth and they are not dependent on worldly knowledge and prayers. Iblis failed to understand this and hence became a Kafir.

Now let us relate this with our holy prophet (pbuh). Quran has established his credentials of being mercy to the worlds, being raised to Maqaam-e-Mehmood and all the other ayahs which testified about his exemplary character and unique status. After all this if somebody still feels that he is as good as the holy prophet (pbuh), then in the light of above ayah and the incidence I think like Iblis he is risking his belief and faith. And God is his only saviour.

Let us see one more specific ayah in this respect.
•“Aur jab unn se kaha jaata hai ke aao Rasulallah (SAW) tumhare waaste maghferat ki dua karein to wo log apne sar pher lete hain aur tum un ko dekhoge ke takkabbur karte hue mooh pher lete hain, tum un ke liye maghferat ki dua maango ya na maango un ke haq main baraabar hai.” – (Surah-e-Munafequn, ayah 5-6)

“(And when it is said to them: Come, the Apostle of Allah will ask forgiveness for you, they turn back their heads and you may see them turning away while they are big with pride. It is alike to them whether you beg forgiveness for them or do not beg forgiveness for them; Allah will never forgive them; surely Allah does not guide the transgressing people.)”

Thus being disrespectful to the holy prophet (pbuh) is such a big crime that even the prayers of Rasool (SAW), who has been given all the rights and power vis-à-vis his ummah would not save the culprit let alone his own prayers.

 So if we come across such a person who in the garb of guiding us to the right path is being disrespectful to our beloved prophet (pbuh), he is the one who is the most misguided. Whatever may be his prayers and knowledge and however impressive he seems, we need to guard ourselves lest we may be misguided by him. We should remember that Iblis before becoming Satan was tutor of all the angels and had unique position amongst them.

In English language there is a very prominent idiom “Action speaks louder than words.” It means that whatever people do is more important than what they say. People can promise many things but if they fail to deliver, they have actually not done anything worthwhile. While on the other hand without any tall claims if you continuously deliver, your work would speak about you.

During the formative years of our holy prophet (pbuh) and the initial years of Islam, it was the constant help and support of Abu Talib (A.S) that made things comfortable for him. Abu Talib (A.S) was not an ordinary person in the history of Islam. He rendered great sacrifices during his lifetime to protect the Holy Prophet (SAW) and his mission. Ibn Abil-Hadeed, a prominent Islamic scholar writes “If Abu Talib and his son Ali were not there, the religion of Islam would not have been successful. Abu Talib supported and protected the Holy Prophet (SAW) in Makkah and his son Ali (A.S) dived in the whirlpools of death in Yathrib for him.”

Abu Talib (A.S)’s action spoke a lot about his commitment, love and will to sacrifice for the sake of holy prophet (SAW) and Islam.

Thus the holy Quran says:
•“Jis ne Rasool (SAW) ki ita’at ki to uss ne Khuda ki ita’at ki aur jis ne roogardani ki to tum kuch khayal na karo kyunke Hum ne tumko kuch paasbaan muqarar kar ke to bheja nahin hai.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 80)

“(Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah, and whoever turns back, so We have not sent you as a keeper over them)”

With helping and supporting the holy prophet (pbuh), Abu Talib (A.S) and Mawla Ali (A.S) helped the cause of Allah (SWT) and this was then taken forward by holy Imams like Imam Hussain (A.S) in Karbala and later on other Imams from his lineage.
Now let us consider what we would get in bargain if we obey our prophet (pbuh)?

Holy Quran says in the following ayah:
“Ae Imaandaro Khuda se daro aur uss ke Rasool (Mohammed (SAW)) per imaan laao to Khuda tum ko apni rehmat ke do hisse ajr ataa farmaega aur tum ko aisa noor inayat farmaega jis ki roshni main tum chalo ge aur tumko bakhshish bhi dega aur Khuda to bada Bakhshne wala Maherbaan hai.” – (Surah-e-Hadeed, ayah 28)

“(O ye that believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

There are limitless gains which we might get if we obey our prophet (pbuh). We would be bestowed by double portion of Allah’s mercy and all our sins would be forgiven. But the question is what is the right way of obeying our prophet (pbuh), who would guide us in doing so?

Mawla Ali (A.S) and his household have shown us the way in which we can obey the prophet (pbuh) in the best possible manner. Hence, merely claiming that we love Rasool (SAW) and respect him is not enough, if we really wish to respect our prophet(pbuh) we need to follow the example set by Mawla Ali (A.S) and his household. And if we do this we are successful in true sense.

At this point I feel like mentioning the couplet from famous qawwali ‘Shiwa Jawabe Shikwa’ written by Allama Iqbal:

“Ki Muhammad say wafa tunay, tou hum teray hain, Yeh Jahan cheez hai kya Loho Kalam teray hain”

 And there is a beautiful prayer written by Yousuf lalljee in his book “Stairway to Heaven”, so let me quote that prayer and pray for all of us.

‘O Beloved Prophet! You will always come first in our lives – and it is only through the Mercy of Allah that you were sent to us, and it is through you that we received Islam as our Religion – and it is through you that we have come to know your beloved Successor Hazrat Ali and your Ahl-ul-bait. We can never forget this obligation as long as we live for you left these Stars to guide us through the darkness of this world and thank you once again O our Beloved Prophet, and may Allah shower blessings on you and the Holy members of your Household. Aamin”

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