THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH HIMSELF IS A MIRACLE
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Success will be for the pious. Blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, and upon his family and his Companions.
Respected guests. May Allah be well pleased with all of you. You have gathered here for the sake of Allah. InshaAllah Allah Almighty will grant great blessing.
All praise be to Allah, endless praise be to Allah Almighty, He has allowed us to be of the community of Muhammad. This is, for us, an immeasurable fortune, an immeasurable Divine favour.
May Allah Almighty honour and favour us all with becoming closely acquainted with the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings.
I would like to begin with the Qur’anic verses that were recited.
Al-Uswa al-Hasana: the Fine Exemplar.
Allah Almighty sends Prophets to the people from among the righteous. To educate and edify that society. The Prophets are the greatest edifiers of humanity. A Prophet comes to a people and says, “I am a Prophet.” And the people in that community say:
“If you are indeed a Prophet, then show as a supernatural event. Show us a miracle.”
The Prophet sent then demonstrates to them an extraordinary event, with the grace of Allah Almighty, which people cannot normally attain, in accordance with that structure, that social structure. Those with the joy of belief in their hearts say, “You are indeed a Messenger!”
However, among around 124,000 Prophets, only the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, was sent not just to a particular community, but to all humankind. The human being, too, is a miracle. An example for the ages. An example for all time, and space.
Allah Almighty sent the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, with such a miracle that that miracle will continue until the end of time. In the same way that those who wanted to see the miracle of the Messenger of Allah 1400 years ago saw the Qur’an… Literature exhibitions came to naught. 100 poets used to attend. 7 poets would compete every two years. When the revelation of the Qur’an began, literature exhibitions finished, and were thus no more.
The daughter of the famous poet Imru’ al-Qays came and said:
“Now that the Qur’an has been revealed, the verses of my father have no more significance.”
A group from among those poets did not have the courage to say, “Let us come together and compose the like thereof.”
One of the prodigies of the era, Walid ibn al-Mughira, upon hearing the Qur’anic chapter Muddathir, bowed his head, shook it, and said in great distress: (See 74:18-25)
“This should have come to me. I have many offspring, and possess great wealth, this should have come to me.”
In yet another chapter, it is stated:
“They also say: If only this Qur’an had been sent down on a man of leading position of the two (chief) cities!”(43:31)
Abu Jahl came and said (to Walid ibn al-Mughira):
“Guide us. You are a genius of the Arabs. You are our master.”
Walid ibn al-Mughira said to Abu Jahl:
“I am well versed in the most superior of poetry, including even that of the jinn. I know the poetry of the ancients. I speak in verse. This Qur’an is not poetry. I know sorcery. This is not sorcery. I am well informed about magic; this is not magic.”
Abu Jahl was adamant:
“You are our master, say something.”
“Eh, then let us say it is sorcery,” he said, and went on his way. But he later pined:
“If only this Qur’an had been revealed to some man from the two great towns – to me and that man in Ta’if.” (See, 43:31)
That is to say, all the people of Mecca, and all the men of letters, conceded the miracle of the Qur’an in their conscience, but rejected it because it was too much for their ego to bear. Allah Almighty gave such a miracle to the Messenger of Allah that this miracle is a miracle for the ages, until the end of time.
Likewise, Allah Almighty, declares in another Qur’anic verse:
“Then produce just a surah like it and call for help from all your supporters, all those (to whom you apply for help apart from Allah).” In other words, not five, ten, twenty (people). Not ten, fifteen (university) faculties. “All your supporters, all those (to whom you apply for help apart from Allah).”
There is no response.
“If nothing else, produce ten chapters like it.”
There is no response to this either.
“Then produce the like of a single chapter, at the very least.”
Still no response… (See 2:23, 28:49-50)
And the sovereignty of the Qur’an will continue until the Day of Judgement.
It is a miracle in every respect. In other words, it is a miracle not just with its eloquence, its elegant lucidity, its literary quality and its diction, but with its everything, as the Qur’anic expression belongs to Allah Himself.
In the verse recited, Allah Almighty presents the Messenger of Allah as al-Uswa al-Hasana, the fine exemplar… An exemplar for the ages… Everyone can solve their problems by means of the 23 year Prophethood of Allah’s Messenger, in the life that he led. The Companions solved this problem: whilst there were people of the Age of Ignorance, from a time where people were semi-savage, emerged the community of the Era of Happiness.
This is a great blessing for us. However, Allah Almighty reveals that three characteristics are necessary for a believer, for them to be able to become al-uswa al-hasana, an exemplary individual:
First: “…whoever looks forward to Allah…” (33:21)
In other words, they attain togetherness with Allah Almighty while still in this world. How is this to be realised? Similarly, Allah Almighty declares in the Qur’anic chapter Al-‘Imran:
“They remember and mention Allah (with their tongues and hearts), standing and sitting and lying down on their sides (whether during the Prayer or not), and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth. (Having grasped the purpose of their creation and the meaning they contain, they conclude and say): ‘Our Lord, You have not created this (the universe) without meaning and purpose. All-Glorified You are (in that You are absolutely above doing anything meaningless and purposeless), so save us from (having wrong conceptions of Your acts, and acting against Your purpose for creation, and so deserving) the punishment of the Fire!”(3:191)
The first is thus for the heart to be with Allah Almighty.
Second: “…whoever looks forward…the Last Day…” (33:21)
Being in the consciousness of the true life being the life of the Hereafter, in each and every phase of our life.
The Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, constantly reminded the people of this: So that there was no extravagance during times of prosperity, so that they do not ascribe success to their own selves and so they do not forget Allah Almighty. “The true life is the life of the Hereafter,” he would say. (Bukhari, Riqaq, 1)
Similarly, during difficult times, as in the Battle of the Trench, when the misgiving, “When is Allah’s help coming?'” occurred to people’s hearts, the Messenger of Allah again said, “There is no life except the life of the Hereafter.” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 1)
After the great trial, Allah Almighty sent His unseen armies, His angels.
Third, “Assuredly you have in Allah’s Messenger an excellent example to follow for whoever…remembers and mentions Allah much.” (33:21)
And Allah Almighty wills for us, too, to receive a share in the blessings of the mercy of that Prophet of Mercy, and to take on the hue of that hue of mercy. This is an immense blessing for us.
In the Qur’anic verse recited after this, Allah Almighty mentions the Messenger of Allah: He is “a witness.” (33:45, 48:8)
He is the witness of Islam to all humanity. In other words, in a matter that would regulate life as a whole… worship, worldly transactions, morality, penal law, law… a human being’s entire life and every breath.
“A bearer of glad tidings.” (33:45, 48:8)
While on the other hand, “A warner” (33:45, 48:8)
In other words, the greatest educator of humankind. The paragon of the Prophets. Allah Almighty favoured us with him. As long as we can become close to him.
When travelling by plane, when we look at cities, they resemble one another. But when the plane lands and we enter that city, then we begin to see the features of that city. Our friends made mention previously: how he is a “Mercy to the Worlds” and how he exudes mercy. How mercy exudes from his hands, his eyes, his heart.
However close we can get to him, this will be the extent of our familiarity. And the Companions drew near to him, became acquainted with him and were in utter admiration; “May our lives and possessions be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah,” they exclaimed.
The Messenger of Allah asked:
“Who will deliver this letter to the Negus, who will deliver it to Such and such king? To the Caesar, to the Persian king?”
All, from the youngest to the oldest, rose and said:
“O Messenger of Allah, confer this honour upon me!” How would they traverse those deserts, cross those snow-capped mountains, read the letter of Allah’s Messenger in the king’s court, in the presence of all those executioners who waited for a single sign, a single gesture from the king? Death, for them, was nothing.
In the subsequent verse: The Messenger of Allah is beyond our comprehension. Both inside as well as out. Out because it is not possible for us to (truly) know him, to know the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings. In other words, our knowing him outwardly. For the Messenger of Allah states:
“If you knew what I know, you would (not eat or drink, but) go out in the streets, beseeching Allah.” (See Ibn Maja, Zuhd, 19)
That is to say, the Messenger of Allah – if I may say so – is an ocean. However, what we are to take from it, from that ocean, is as much as our cup (will allow).
Likewise, the Messenger of Allah is within us. And however pious and God-conscious we are, as men and women, that is how closely we can become acquainted with the Messenger of Allah.
As state in a verse:
“Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet…” (33:56)
He sent him as a “Mercy to the Worlds.” The greatest rank, the greatest excellence.
He asked during the Ascension:
“My beloved, what shall I favour you with?”
The Messenger of Allah, said,
“O my Lord, favour me with being a servant to You!”
Of course, how the firmaments were opened upon Allah’s Messenger being a servant.
Thus, He declares, Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet…” (33:56) Allah Almighty sends him as a “Mercy to all the Worlds.” (See 21:107)
The angels beseech Allah for him. Our Lord decrees, “…O you who believe, invoke the blessings of Allah on him…” (33:56)
To become closely acquainted with Allah’s Messenger. To be in admiration and enraptured by him. Even the Meccan polytheists were in admiration of him. Abu Jahl came and said one day:
“Look, Muhammad, we grew up together in Mecca. You have never lied. You were always the most truthful of us all. You again speak the truth, but we reject what you ask of us.”
During the Battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan was on the enemy side, on the side of the Meccan polytheists. He called out to ‘Umar, may Allah be well pleased with him, saying:
“O, ‘Umar, I have more confidence in you than in my own associates. Tell me, is Muhammad alive or not?”
In other words, a believer needs to be trustworthy and truthful.
Similarly, the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, first gathered his relatives at Mount Safa, prior to (publicly) conveying the message of Islam, at the foothills of Mount Abu Qubays.
“Would you believe me if I were to tell you that was an enemy approaching from behind this mountains,” he said.
And they replied.
“You are Al-Amin (the Trustworthy) and As-Sadiq (the Truthful). You are the most righteous among us. Every word you speak is truth.” (Bukhari, Tafsir, 26)
He then began to communicate the message of Islam (to the people).
Therefore, a Muslim needs to be “Al-Amin, As-Sadiq“, or as the brother mentioned earlier, be one from whose hand, tongue and heart mercy flows forth in abundance…
Allah Almighty wants in return from all these bounties that He has bestowed upon us.
thumma latus’alunna yawma-idhin ʿani l-naʿīm
“And on that Day, you will most surely be questioned as to all the favours (bestowed on you).” (102:8)
Once again, in the last verses of the Qur’anic chapter Al-Tauba that were recited, Allah Almighty presents His Messenger to us:
“There has come to you (O people) a Messenger from among yourselves (i.e. you know him well, he was raised among you); and for the believers full of pity and compassion.”(9:128)
The names of 25 Prophets according to one narration, and 28 according to another, are mentioned in the Qur’an. For no other Prophet does Allah Almighty bring together the two attributes “raūf (full of pity) and raḥīm (full of compassion)”.
This goes to show that the Messenger of Allah is such a Mercy for all the Worlds that he is the epitome of compassion and mercy.
Thus, it is essential that we too, in the honour and dignity of being from among his community, each become believers who exude mercy.