The Last Prophet of Islam: Dearer to Us Than Our Own Souls
I remind you and myself that it was during this time that the human who deserves our utmost loyalty, devotion, and love was born. Though we do not celebrate his birth, as he ﷺ taught us not to, we are reminded of the history of the heavy burden he carried upon his shoulders. We ask Allah ﷻ to fill our hearts with love for Him and His Messenger ﷺ.
During these days, we recall the torment and ridicule that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ received at the hands of his own family and tribe for the message of Tawheed to reach us today. We lament over the time he stood alone in the darkness of Cave Thawr with his loyal friend, Abu Bakr, at his side. Tears are brought to our eyes as we picture Allah’s Messenger ﷺ returning from at-Taif with blood trickling down his legs as he turned toward the heavens asking only that his Lord be pleased with him.
We remember the farewell pilgrimage during which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ turned to the masses of people before him, asking them if they will witness that he had conveyed the message. And because he feared the people could not hear him, he discharged his companions to race between the crowds repeating his question. And the masses of Muslims began to shout, “Yes! We bear witness that you have conveyed the message, oh Messenger of Allah ﷺ!” Upon which, he turned his hands up to the sky and said, “Oh, Allah, witness that I have conveyed the message!”
Over 1400 years later, we also bear witness that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ conveyed the message. We are indebted to this man who will stand before His Lord beseeching, “My Ummah, My Ummah,” until Allah ﷻ will grant him his request and this Ummah will be saved from the blazing fire.
Of the rights Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has upon us is that we believe in him and believe in the message he was chosen to convey. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not decide to carry the burden; he was chosen to carry it. Allah selected him because of his noble character, humility, sincerity, selflessness, and devotion to what he commanded. Allah has made it, so that belief in him and belief in his final Messenger are inseparable. And so we appreciate him by believing in his message, and we attest to his dedication.
In Islam, belief is often coupled with action. Belief in the Prophet ﷺ is no different in this regard. As an expression of faith, we act according to his guidance as a fulfillment of Allah’s ﷻ command, “Oh you who believe obey Allah and His Messenger” (Quran 8:20). The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was reported to have said, “All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except those who refuse to.” The Companions, astonished that someone could refuse Paradise asked, “Oh Messenger of Allah, who would refuse Paradise?” He ﷺ replied, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me has refused” (Bukhari). Let us not be among those who refuse Paradise. Let us be of those who emulate him and follow his ﷺ Sunnah. Let us be of those who hear a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and listen attentively and carefully for direction.
None of us will truly believe until he ﷺ is dearer to us than our souls, so we praise and honor him, his household and companions. He ﷺ says, “Do not curse my companions. If any of you were to spend the weight of Uhud in gold, it still would not reach the measure of one of them or even one-half of it.” For this reason and many more, we ensure that we are serious in our humility and respect when speaking about the Prophet ﷺ and his companions. It is reported that a man once said, “I have not seen anyone with more of an appetite and more cowardly in battle than those who memorize the book of Allah,” referring to the companions of the Messenger ﷺ. In response to this jest, Allah revealed the verse, “If you ask them, they declare, ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say, ‘Was it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” (Quran 9:65) Upon hearing the verse, the man ran toward Prophet Muhammad ﷺ imploring him to forgive him, saying he was only joking. And the Prophet ﷺ would not turn his face toward him repeating the verse, “Was it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?”
Also, from among his rights ﷺ is that we judge according to his judgments. We refer to the Quran and Sunnah before making any decision. Our desires, our logic, our whims are irrelevant compared to the Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ. Muslims must beware of innovations, for every innovation is a deviation, and every deviation leads to Hellfire. Beware of making additions or deletions to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Beware of attributing words or actions to which he is innocent.
Finally, the Messenger of Allah’s rights upon us is to send Salah and Salam upon him. Allah commands the believers to send their Salah and Tasleem upon him. And he ﷺ said, “The nearest people to me on the Day of Rising will be those who have said the most prayers on me.”
Oh, Allah send Your prayers and peace upon Muhammad, the merciful, the guider, the beseecher, and upon his family and companions, by the number of leaves that grow on every tree, by the number of people who have lived and died, and by the number of rivers and seas until the last day. Ameen.