THE PRIDE OF THE UNIVERSE

Greetings to Muhammad Mustafa, mercy to the worlds of humans and jinn!

Greetings to Muhammad Mustafa, messenger to the worlds of humans and jinn!

Greetings to Muhammad Mustafa, Imam of the two holy sanctuaries in Mecca and Medina!

Greetings to Muhammad Mustafa, grandfather of Hasan and Husayn!

Allah, the Most Glorified, has embraced the world with His endless mercy. He granted the highest place in the universe to humans, who are the perfect outcome of His mercy and compassion. Allah also endowed humanity with the attributes that make it qualified to hold such a position.

Even this distinguished position has not been enough for humans to reach truth to the extent that Allah willed. So they were endowed with such divine blessings as reason and intuition. Furthermore, another gift was added to these, in the form of guidance by the messengers of Allah. Thus, the divine support extended to humans has paved the path to Allah in the most perfect way. The absolute height of this divine help was the light of Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was the last prophet to fulfill this mission to the world, and whose physical presence in our world as the Messenger was a gift to all of humanity.

How He Honored the World

The Prophet (peace be upon him), who is the zenith of the chain of creation, came into this world on Monday, the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal, which corresponds to the 20th April of 571. He was born just before sunrise.

With his birth, divine mercy flooded into this world. The colors of morning and night changed. Feelings became deeper. Words, friendships and pleasures were opened up to infinity. Everything gained a new meaning and acquired a new joy. Idols were shaken and shattered. In Madayin, the land of the glorious kings of Iran, palaces and towers were destroyed. The water of lake Sava receded, and the whole lake dried up, as the muddy waters of oppression began to vanish.

Hearts were flooded with this showering of divine mercy and blessings.

The prophet’s father had gone to Damascus for reasons of trade and on his way home he passed away in Medina, only two months before the birth of his child.

Following Arab custom, the blessed child remained in the care of his milk mother, Halima, for four years.

At the age of six, in order to visit the grave of her late husband, his mother Aminah took Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Umm Ayman, the maid of the family, to Medina. A terminal illness was awaiting Aminah on this journey. She passed away in a place called Abwa. A poet described it as follows:

O the deceased, sleeping in Abwa!
Blossomed in your garden
The most beautiful rose in the world…

Muhammad (peace be upon him) thus became an orphan and returned to Mecca with Umm Ayman.

At the age of eight, he lost his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib. Not long after, he also lost his uncle Abu Talib, who had defended him selflessly. Thus, all of his visible supporters had departed. After that, the sole protector and teacher he had was his Lord. In fact, these visible caretakers during the weakest period of his life had been given to him based on the Divine Wisdom that he would eventually become a perfect example for the whole of humanity to follow.

His childhood and youth as an orphan were passed in chastity and the highest morality, which indicated his prospects for a bright future.

When he reached the age of 25, Muhammad (peace be upon him) married Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her. She was a noble woman from the Quraysh, the ruling tribe of Arabia. The noble Khadijah became a source of support for him as she put her life and wealth at his service. Khadijah, fifteen years older than Muhammad (peace be upon him), was a widow with children. The Prophet had a beautiful relationship with her, which became an example for the whole world.

When he was alone in his struggle, she was the first to support him. For instance, when the first revelation came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a cave on Mount Hira, he was shaken by the enormous responsibility he had been given by Allah. Immediately, he returned home, frightened.

“O Khadijah! Who will believe me?”

This blessed wife answered Muhammad (peace be upon him) by saying:

“By Allah! Allah will never forsake you; you care for your relatives, you shoulder the burden of those who cannot carry it themselves, you are charitable to the poor and you help them attain what others cannot. You are generous to guests. You help people in the challenges they face on the right path… O, Messenger of Allah! I will accept you and believe in you. Invite me first to the path of Allah!”[1]

So she was the first to believe and she was his first supporter.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) never forgot her deep love, refined manners and kindness. Even after she died, whenever a sacrifice was made, he always sent some of the meat to her relatives.[2] He treasured blessed memories of her.

The first twenty-four years of the Prophet’s marriage, the duration of which corresponds to his youth and the period of highest energy, were spent only with Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her. Most of his later wives were older than he and were widowed. The only virgin and young woman among these later wives was Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her. Aishah grasped the religious issues of women with intelligence and foresight. After the demise of the Prophet (peace be upon him), she continued to live for an extended period of time, during which she enlightened both men and women with her broad knowledge. This body of knowledge later constituted one of the solidest foundations of Islamic thought.

The following account bears witness to how this goal was achieved: Abu Musa al-Ashari, one of the leading companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “We, as the companions of the Prophet, asked Aishah whenever we faced a question about any hadith and we always found satisfactory knowledge in her answers.”[3]

Another reason behind this marriage was to confirm the intimacy between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), who was “the second of the two” in the cave of Thawr, as reported in the Qur’an.[4]

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was elevated to the level of prophethood at the age of forty after leading a pure life during his youth and a sublime family life. Six months prior to the age of forty, Almighty Allah opened the cave of Hira to him, near Mecca, as a divine school.

In this spiritual classroom, where his sacred education continued in secrecy, he was given lessons about what is transient and eternal. Eventually, at the age of forty, he was endowed with the power to guide people and with the certificate of prophethood came the order: “Read: In the name of thy Lord Who created!” (Qur’an, Alaq, 96/1-2)

The first six months after this blessing, a blessing that can only be perceived by those whose minds are able to comprehend it, were noteworthy for their “trustworthy dreams.” In truth, Hira resembled the adventure of a seed beneath the soil, a place of spiritual formation that will remain veiled to humanity forever. Externally speaking, the factors that led Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the cave were his all-encompassing compassion and sorrow for the people of his time because of their misery and their heresy. In reality, this was the preparatory phase for the transfer of the Qur’an from the Divine presence to human understanding through the pure heart of Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was the time for the development of his latent power to shoulder the heavy burden of revelation, a burden that would be impossible for an ordinary person to carry. This is like the transformation of raw iron into steel; it’s inner potential is released through a process. It is impossible to imagine a mind that could come close to the essence of this secret or a discourse capable of penetrating it that would not shatter into pieces when touched.

Those who could not look at this world through the window of the heart constituted the miserable mob that gathered under the black flag of Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab, the two leading enemies of Islam in Mecca.

The life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is full of divine manifestations of honor, an honor that had not been bestowed on any of the previous prophets. Allah, the Most High, called him alone “my beloved” (Habibi). Likewise, he was the only one who was blessed with the Miraj (i.e., the ascension to the throne of Allah). [5]

His superiority became evident when he led all the previous prophets in prayer in Jerusalem before the Miraj. The secret of “len terani” [6] in the life of Moses (peace be upon  him) showed itself as “qaba qawsayni aw adna”[7] in the life of Prophet Muhammad. In his religion, Islam, salat (prayer), the point of union with Allah, was offered to his Ummah (community) as a blessing.

After thirteen years of striving to guide people, Muhammad was led to another cave. It was the Thawr cave on the Hijrah path. Muhammad was not led to this cave for reasons of education, but to allow him to drown in the secrets of Allah and to perfect his heart. Muhammad stayed in this cave for three days and nights. This time he was not alone. His companion was Abu Bakr, who was the highest and richest spiritually after the Prophet (peace be upon him). Abu Bakr had the honor of being with the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the cave. He thus became the “second of the two.” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to his noble friend:

“Have no fear, for Allah is with us.” (Qur’an, Tawba, 9/40) In this way, he taught him how to be with Allah (mai’yyah). This was the first lesson in secret dhikr and in seeking the satisfaction of the hearts by opening them to Allah.

In other words, the Thawr cave served as the first place in the primary education of the heart; it is the heart that carries a servant to Allah in the boundless sky of secrets. The sojourn in this cave was also the first station on this sacred journey. It was at this time that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) first began to disclose to Abu Bakr the secrets in his heart, a heart that was a spring of light. This formed the first link in the Golden Chain, which will last until eternity. Faith takes its power from love. The fundamental motive behind all sublime journeys is love for the Prophet (peace be upon him). The only path by which one can gain the blessing of Allah is by following his example. This is because the law of love commands to love not only the beloved, but also what the beloved loves. It is not possible to comprehend such a divine love through our weak and inadequate understanding.

We believe that the following story will have an impact on every heart; the impact will change from person to person, depending on the horizons and capabilities of that heart. Abu Bakr Siddiq (the faithful) found a new and different joy and pleasure from all his conversations and from his friendship with the Prophet (peace be upon him) throughout his life. Familiar with the most intimate secrets of prophethood and blessed with many manifestations of it, he used to long for the Prophet (peace be upon him), even while they were together.

When he heard Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) say: “I have not benefited from the property of anyone more than I have benefited from the property of Abu Bakr,” Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) responded in tears: “Aren’t I and my property yours, O Prophet!”[8] In this way, he demonstrated that he had surrendered himself, along with all of his belongings to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and became “lost” (fani) in him. (This state is called fana fi al-Rasul [being lost in the Prophet] in tasawwuf – Sufism). Abu Bakr spent all his wealth on the Prophet’s path. For instance, once Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to him:

“Help the soldiers!”

Abu Bakr brought all his valuables to him. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked him:

“What did you leave for your family and children?” He responded with great ecstasy of faith:

“Allah and His Prophet…!”[9]Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan said about Abu Bakr: “The world did not want Abu Bakr; nor did he want the world…”[10]

It should be noted that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) cared about Abu Bakr’s family and did not want them to live in misery. The donation by Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) of all his wealth constituted an exceptional circumstance among the companions. This may be due to the fact that Abu Bakr and his family had enduring patience and a strong reliance on Allah.

Allah was the helper, supporter, shelter and host of these two travelers. The unbelievers who were searching for them saw nothing but a spider’s web when they came to the entrance of the cave where they were hiding on Mount Thawr. After the Prophet and Abu Bakr entered the cave, a spider wove a web at the entrance of the cave; this misled the unbelievers into thinking that there was no one inside. As the poet Arif Nihat Asya put it:

The spider’s web was not in the air,
Neither was it in the water, nor was it on the ground;
It was before the eyes
Of those who were blind to the truth.[11]

These two precious travelers, under divine protection, reached Quba near Medina. The honorable travelers had been long expected with great anticipation; now they had finally arrived, so an atmosphere of joy and happiness prevailed over the entire city.

The fiery chanting of “Tala’al-badru ‘alayna” (the full moon has risen upon us) from the hills echoed through the sky, bringing joy to the hearts of the people. The date was the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal, and a new calendar was instituted for all posterity. All events from then on were going to be dated from that day.

From that day forward, Medina became the center and the mirror for the development spread of Islam. With the Hijrah, the dark face of disbelief (kufr) paled. The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and the Mosque of Quba acquired a sublime meaning and remained sacred places and reminders of this blessed Hijrah.

The Ansar (the Helpers) declared their wealth to the Muhajirun (the Immigrants): “This is my wealth; half of it is my wealth; half of it is Yours…” The groundwork of Islamic brotherhood, which we establish with difficulty through our limited forms of charitable acts, was thus established. In this way, Medina attained an immortal place in Islamic history. It was in Medina that the Adhan, Ramadan, Eid, and Zakat became part of the Islamic life of the community and it was also in Medina that great historical battles took place. All these practices and events constituted ideal examples for the future of the entire Ummah.

The battle of Badr was a test of resistance of the true faith over disbelief (kufr), resulting in the triumph of the former over the latter. Religious solidarity replaced traditional tribal solidarity. For instance, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) encountered his son in battle, a disbeliever. Abu Ubayda ibn Jarrah (may Allah be pleased with him) similarly encountered his father, who was also a disbeliever. Finally, Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with him) came face to face in battle with his disbelieving brother. They met each other with swords in their hands to fight. Such a fight over faith between people bound by blood ties was unimaginable before Islam; prior battles had been mostly caused by tribal disputes. Also the Highest Truth (Haqq Taala) sent an army of angels. These angels, who joined in the flow of sublime feelings, gained greater honor than other angels. After this great event, Allah the Highest revealed the following verse to protect the believers from over confidence and arrogance: “It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: When thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah’s: In order that He might confer on the Believers a gracious benefit from Himself: for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth (all things).” (Qur’an, Anfal, 8/17)

In the Battle of Uhud, which followed the Battle of Badr, it was witnessed how the blood of Hamzah was shed. The number of martyrs, including Hamzah, reached seventy. Funeral prayers (salat al-janazah) were held for ten martyrs at a time. Each time nine were buried, Hamzah made up the tenth individual; thus he was included in all the funeral services. Prayers were made repeatedly for Hamzah, who in his final state epitomized martyrdom. Let us not forget the Prophet (peace him) loved his uncle with such a depth that he referred to Hamzah as a part of his heart.

The battle of Uhud was filled with frightening and sorrowful scenes such as those just cited. Through these tests, the maturity of the community evolved in terms of the believers’ service to Allah and their submission to Him. The consequences of this growth resulted in the characteristic of contentment with Allah’s chosen destiny that is a mark of Islamic faith at its highest degree.

In addition, during this battle an event that shook the Heavens and the Earth occurred; two rings from the shield of the Prophet (peace be upon him) pierced his cheek and broke one of his teeth. At that moment, all the companions were drowned in deep sorrow.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) wiped away the blood from his face with his hand and did not let it fall on the ground, fearing that it might bring the wrath of Allah down on the Earth. It was also for this reason that he sought refuge in Allah, praying thus:“O Allah! My community is ignorant about you. They know not. Please give them guidance!”[12]

A hadith informs us:

“The wrath of Allah increased against those who had made the face of the Prophet bleed.” [13]

The Battle of Uhud was one that provided such striking scenes.

The Companions of the Prophet (Ashab) followed him unconditionally. They said to him:

“O, Messenger of Allah! We believe in you. We have accepted with utmost sincerity the Qu’ran that you have brought to us from Allah. And we have made a covenant with you that we will obey and follow you. Act as you like, give us orders! We are always with you! By Allah who sent you to us, if you enter the sea we will also enter with you. None of us will refrain from doing so…”[14]When these words were uttered by the Ashab they were at the zenith of their joy in their faith.

Yet, at the Battle of Uhud, a moment of disobedience to an order given by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and a slight inclination toward worldly gains altered the outcome of the war. The divine warning manifested itself and consequently the final triumph was delayed.

 The mountain Uhud is a place distinguished in the heart of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He continued all his life to visit Mount Uhud and the martyrs of Uhud. He used to say repeatedly: “We love Uhud and Uhud loves us!”[15] These words have honored this place, which is known for its martyrs’ graves and for the special place it occupied in the heart of the Prophet, reflected in his practice of periodically visiting it. This site will always remain special to all Muslims.

In the battle of Khandaq (the trenches) the Prophet was able to break a huge rock that the companions had been unable to remove. With the first blow he said he saw the Palace of Caesar. With the second blow, he said he saw the Palace of Kisra, the Persian king. With the third blow, he said he saw the collapse of the palaces in San’ah, Yemen. In this way he gave the glad tidings for the coming spread of Islam to these lands, thus  injecting the hope of a prospective triumph into the hearts of the believers. He was giving the glad tidings that truth would prevail over falsehood and was drawing a map of the universe in which that which had been impossible would now become possible, one after another.

The battle of Khandaq was one of great pain, fatigue, hunger, cold, and darkness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prayed:

O my Lord! The real life is the life of the Hereafter, please help the Helpers (Ansar) and the Immigrants (Muhajirun).”[16]

In these prayers he was explaining that the all pain and fatigue of this world are insignificant compared to the infinity of the Hereafter, and was thus orienting his Companions to adopt the Hereafter as their goal.

As was foretold by the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the time of the Hudaybiya Treaty, Muslims would triumph in subsequent battles and the people of Mecca would open their arms to its real owners. Mecca had been conquered spiritually by those who loved it with forgiveness, peace, security and guidance. The desire for Mecca, which was full of pain, oppression and hardship, came to an end. The many years of sorrow turned into joy. Next, as a thanksgiving to Allah, the greatest scene of forgiveness in history was demonstrated. Through this act of forgiveness, many people who had previously murdered Muslims and many people who had committed crimes were able to gain the honor of Islam.

Eventually, the final verse was revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage (Hajjat’ul-Wada’). It was announced that the religion had been perfected. This, at the same was an implicit notice that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who had been sent as a mercy to the universe, had completed his task and that the time was approaching for him to return to his Lord. As evidence that he had taught the religion, he asked his companions to witness three times:

“O my companions! Did I convey the religion to you? Did I convey the religion to you? Did I convey the religion to you?”

Upon receiving an answer in the affirmative, again three times, he raised his hands, open towards the Heavens and asked Allah to witness this event. He said:

“Be the Witness, O Allah! Be the Witness, O Allah! Be the Witness, O Allah!”[17]

It was on this occasion that the sacred trust, which had been invested in the Prophet (peace be upon him) by Allah during his twenty-three years of Prophethood in Mecca and Medina, was transferred to the responsibility of the Ummah until the Day of Judgment.

Some of the helpers were concerned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had finally conquered his homeland and birthplace; some of the Helpers (Ansar) began to voice their concern:

“Allah the Most High opened Mecca to his Prophet, from now on, he will stay in Mecca and will not return to Medina.”

Although this was an intimate conversation among themselves, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) later discussed this concern with them. They became embarrassed and confessed that they had thus spoken. Rasulullah (peace be upon m) said to the Ansar:

“I seek refuge in Allah from doing that! My life and death will be with you…”[18]

He displayed an example of unparalleled loyalty and returned to Medina.

Muhammad was the final prophet, but there were many who preceded him. Below is a list of some of the most important prophets that were sent to humanity by Allah in order to guide and advise.

Adam (peace be upon him), to whom the angels were ordered to prostrate;

Elijah (peace be upon him), who beheld the secrets of the Heavens;

Noah (peace be upon him), who cleansed the Earth with the flood;

Heber (Hud) (peace be upon him), who turned the lands of disbelief upside down with storms;

Shelah (Salih) (peace be upon him), who shook the foundations the houses of disobedience and rebellion;

Abraham (peace be upon him), who turned the fire of Nimrod into a rose garden by his submission and reliance on Allah;

Ishmael (peace be upon him), who is the  symbol of sincerity, loyalty, reliance and submission to Allah; the stories about Ishmael will be remembered by believers during the Pilgrimage until the Day of Judgment;

Isaac (peace be upon him), from whose progeny came from the prophets of Israel;

Lot (peace be upon him), the burdened prophet of the people of Sodom and Gomorra, a people that took its place in history’s wasteland, being erased from the face of the Earth due to their excessive immorality and rebellion.

Zulkarnayn (peace be upon him), who carried the torch of Tawhid (faith in the unity of God) from the East to the West;

Jacob (peace be upon him), who was a statue of patience, love, and longing;

Joseph (peace be upon him), whose beauty made the beauty of the moon pale and who became the sultan of Egypt after living through a period of slavery and loneliness in prison, who lived as a stranger in this land, who underwent trial, pain, hardship, and struggle against the passions;

Jethro (Shuayb) (peace be upon him), who is called the orator of the prophets and who filled hearts with ecstasy by virtue of his sermons;

Khidir (peace be upon him), who taught the divine secrets to Moses;

Moses (peace be upon him), who destroyed the hegemony of the Pharaoh and who opened a path in the Red Sea a with his staff;

Aaron (peace be upon him), who helped his brother Moses (peace be upon him) at all times and in all places;

David (peace be upon him), who with his prayers (dhikr), sent the mountains, stones and wild animals into ecstasy;

Solomon (peace be upon him), whose heart refused to assign any value to his glorious kingdom;

Uzayr (peace be upon him), who became symbolic of resurrection on the Day of Judgment, being resurrected after lying dead for a hundred years;

Job (Ayyub) (peace be upon him), who became the grindstone of patience;

Jonah (Yunus) (peace be upon him), who overcame darkness by going deeper into dhikr, supplication and penitence while in a state of great ecstasy;

Elias  (Ilyas) (peace be upon him), who attained the divine blessings when he was greeted by Allah: “Peace and salutation to such as Elias.” (Qur’an, Saffat, 37/130);

Elijah (peace be upon him), who was elevated over the worlds;

The pure hearted prophet Ezekiel (Zulkifl) (peace be upon him), who was showered by divine blessings;

Lukman (peace be upon him), the leader of doctors,  both of the internal and external body, who became a legendary figure with his insightful advice;

The oppressed prophet Zechariah (peace be upon him), who maintained his submission to and reliance on Allah -even when his body was divided into two pieces- without uttering a complaint;

John (peace be upon him), who, like his father, faced death as a martyr;

And the heavenly exalted Jesus (peace be upon him), whose distinct qualities included purity of soul, healing the ill and giving life to the dead all by seeking the help of Allah through sincere supplication. These are all examples of the approximately one hundred and twenty thousand prophets who were sent to humanity with an abundance of divine manifestations and occurrences that descended on the spiritual soil of humanity like rain from saturated clouds. Those prophets who had acted as blessed sparks of Divine Guidance, who by examples and messages functioned as a chain of prophecy, served as glad tidings that foretold the emergence of Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was to be sent as a mercy to the worlds.

Our sources tell us that the lucky woman Suwayba was one of the milk mothers of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). She was the slave girl of Abu Lahab.

The lady Suwayba was also the first to give the glad tidings of the birth of his nephew to Abu Lahab. As a consequence of delivering this good news, he set her free out of his tribal spirit and happiness. This event took place on a Monday. The happiness of Abu Lahab for the birth of Muhammad (peace be upon him), even though it was mixed in a mundane way with feelings of tribal solidarity, will cause the punishment of this disbeliever in the Hellfire to decrease on Mondays.

After his death, some saw Abu Lahab in a dream where they were able to ask him about his life in the Hereafter:

“Abu Lahab! How are you?”

“I am being punished in the Hellfire! Yet my punishment lessens on Monday nights. I suck water between my fingers on that night. I feel cooler by drinking it. This is because on that day I set Suwayba free as she ran to me and gave me the glad tidings about the birth of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). In return, Allah rewarded me by decreasing my punishment on Monday nights.”

Ibn al-Jazari said:

“A disbeliever like Abu Lahab benefited from his display of happiness on the occasion of the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) even though it was mixed with tribal feelings. Comparatively, imagine the kind of divine gifts and blessings a true believer acquires if they, out of respect for that night, open their heart to the Eternal Pride of the World (peace be upon him) and their table to guests…”

The appropriate way of celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to organize conferences and talks that rekindle the light of his heart during the month in which he was born. The purpose of these acts is so that we can benefit from the spirituality of this blessed month while giving feasts to the Ummah, so that we can make content the depressed hearts of the poor, the stranger, the orphan, and the helpless by aiding them in various ways and by providing them with charity, and to organize recitations of the Qur’an in public.[19]

This orphan was unlettered because he had never taken lessons, yet he came as the savior of all humanity, the interpreter of the unseen world and the teacher of the school of Truth.

Moses (peace be upon him) brought rules and regulations. David (peace be upon him) was distinguished by his ability to chant supplications and invocations. The sublime Jesus was sent to teach humanity the most beautiful manners, and to exemplify the practice of asceticism in the material world. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, (peace be upon him), nevertheless, brought all of these: he instituted the rules and taught how to purify the soul and to worship Allah with a clean heart. He instructed humanity in the best morality and represented it in every aspect of his life. He identified the ways in which one should not be misled by the false attractions of this world. In brief, he gathered in his personality and efforts the capacity and obligations of all the prophets. In his personality were found both the dignity that arose from his family genealogy and high morality, blissfulness that arose from his perfect character and physical beauty.

When he reached the age of forty, this was undoubtedly the turning point for humanity.

He had lived for forty years among his people. Most of the splendid things he was to bring were as yet unknown to them. He was not known as a statesman, or as a preacher, not even as a public speaker. Apart from not only not having the reputation at this time of being a triumphant commander, he was not even known as a regular soldier.

He had never given a speech about the history of past nations, the prophets, the Day of Judgment, or Paradise or the Hellfire. He was alone, living an exclusively sublime life in a lofty moral state. Yet, he changed completely after he came down from the cave on the Mountain of Hira, having been entrusted with a divine commandment.

All of Arabia was shocked and frightened as he began his mission. His extraordinary speech and discourse enchanted all. Public poetry competitions, literature, rhetoric and discourse suddenly came to an end. Poets no longer dared to post their poems on the wall of the Holy Ka’bah. This tradition, centuries long, thus ended, to theextent that even the daughter of the most famous Arab poet, Imru’ul-Qays, was so thrilled  after listening to a passage from the Qur’an, that she said in great surprise:

“This cannot be the word of a human being! If there is such a word in the world, my father’s poems must be taken from the walls of the Ka’bah. Go and pull them down; and in their place post these verses…!”

The Prophet, and the Qur’an itself, challenged the entire world to produce chapters similar to the chapters of the Qur’an. This challenge, however, to produce an equivalent chapter to those found in the Qur’an, has found no response, even today.

Allah says:

“And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to our servant, then produce a chapter like thereunto; And call your witnesses or helpers (if there is any) besides Allah, if you are truthful.” (Qur’an, Baqara, 2/23)

This unlettered man, who came out of an uncivilized society, left the people of his time feeling powerless as a result of the mass of knowledge and wisdom that was revealed through him, as a result of the sea of miracles that will not be surpassed until the Last Day. This fact is proven in different ways. The Holy Qur’an touches upon many academic and scientific issues, as well as predictions about future events; none of what was revealed has been contradicted by any new scientific discoveries. In contrast, respected encyclopedias feel obliged to publish a new volume to rectify their mistakes every year, updating the information of their previous edition.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told all of humanity that he was the vicegerent of the Truth (al-Haqq) on the Earth.

He laid down the basic principles of social, cultural, and economic organization, the basic principles of government and international relations, and did this in ways that can only be understood through life-long research on the material and immaterial worlds by the most distinguished scholars of our time. Indeed, humanity will better comprehend the reality of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as it develops in the areas of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – even though he had never carried a sword, had never undergone military training, and had never participated in a campaign, except once as a witness – proved to be a great soldier, who never gave up, even in the bloodiest battles during the struggle to spread faith in the oneness of God. The Prophet had to fight in these battles, despite his dislike of violence, to ensure peace in society; this was part of his endless mercy that encompassed the whole of humanity. In nine years, he conquered all of Arabia with a comparatively weak military force. He achieved miraculous success in providing spiritual power and military training to the undisciplined and unorganized people of his time. His achievements were of such greatness that his followers were able to defeat the two most powerful empires of that time, namely the Byzantine and the Persian Empires. Thus was realized the good tidings which he had given years ago in Mecca:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) had said to the people of Mecca;

“Accept the religion and follow me!” Abu Jahl had objected:

“Even if we follow you, the tribes of Mudar and Rabi’a will not obey you!”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) had responded to him:

“Willingly or unwillingly, not only they, but also the Persians and the Byzantine people will follow me!”[20]This promise was soon realized.

Despite all the negative conditions, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) brought about the greatest world revolution in human history, silenced the oppressors, and put an end to the tears of the oppressed. He would comb the hair of orphans with his fingers. With the comfort he offered, hearts were relieved of anxiety.

Mehmed Akif, the famous Turkish poet, illustrated this scene in an excellent way:

Suddenly the orphan grew up and reached forty.
The bloody feet stepping on the heads reached the water!
With one breath, this innocent saved humanity,
With one movement, he defeated the Caesars and Kisras,
The weak, who used to deserve only oppression, stood up,
The oppressors, who never expected defeat, vanished,
A mercy to the worlds was indeed his enlightening religion,
With his wings, he covered the country of those who asked for justice,
What the world owns are only gifts from him,
Society is indebted to him; individuals are indebted to him,
Indebted to this innocent one is the whole of humanity,
O Lord! With this confession, resurrect us on the Last Day,

If Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who gathered in his personality all virtues, had not come to the world, humanity would have remained under oppression and in the wilderness, and the weak would have been enslaved by the powerful until the end of time. The balance of the world would have changed in favor of evil. In the event of such a circumstance, the world would have been dominated by oppressors, and it would have belonged only to the powerful few. How nicely the poet describes this situation:

O the Messenger of Allah! If you had not come to the world,
Roses would not have bloomed, the nightingale would not have chanted,
The names of God would have remained unknown to humanity,
Existence would have lost its meaning and would have been drawn into grief!

Prophet Muhammad conducted twenty-seven battles and approximately fifty raids, known as sariyya. Islam was firmly established with the conquest of Mecca. Allah declared in the following verse of the Qur’an that Islam is the highest level of human perfection:

“This day, have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an, Maida, 5/3)

It was time for the greatest separation and the greatest union.

The day before the start of his fatal illness, the Prophet went to the graveyard in Medina, called Jannat’ul-Baqi’, where he prayed for the deceased as follows:

O Allah, the Greatest! Please do not refrain from pardoning the people who lie here.”[21]

With this act, it was as if he was bidding farewell to them.

After returning from the graveyard, it was time to bid farewell to his companions. He gave them the following advice:

“Allah, the Most High, gave a choice to one of his servants between this world and its attractions and the blessings in Paradise. The servant chose what is in Paradise…”

Hearing these words, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), who had a sensitive heart, realized that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was saying good-bye to them. A great grief overcame him, his heart saddened, and tears gushed from his heart and eyes. He sobbed:

“May my father and mother be sacrificed for your sake, O Messenger of Allah! Let us sacrifice for you our souls, the souls of our fathers, mothers and children, and our property…”

No one else in the congregation had been able to understand the deeply hidden message of the Prophet nor did they sense the feelings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and greetings be upon him. Abu Bakr was “the second of the two” in the cave of Thawr, a position that made him more aware than the others.[22]

The Messenger of Allah said about him that:

“I put in the heart of Abu Bakr all what I have in my heart…”

The Companions, as they saw the valuable friend of Rasulullah (peace be upon him) crying, asked each other:

– “Are not you surprised by this old man who cried when the Prophet (peace be upon him)  mentioned  a person who chose to meet his Lord?!…”

The sensitive and refined heart of Abu Bakr, however, intuitively understood the holy and great farewell and began to cry like a reed flute that laments separation.

The daughter of the Prophet, our blessed Mother Fatimah, the leader of the women in Paradise, became so sad from the temporary separation from her father, the Prophet of Mercy to the worlds (peace be upon him), that she said:

“As Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) went to the Hereafter, a great grief fell upon me. It was so great that if it had fallen on daylight it would have turned it into night.”[23]

He left two great guides to us, the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah.

The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah are two eternal souvenirs of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him); they are also prescriptions for happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

 He returned to Medina and thereon followed a bitter illness that lasted for thirteen days; then the horizons of beauty were opened to his soul. The date was the 8th of June, 632, or the 12th of Rabi’ul-awwal in the llth year of the Hijra calendar.

Between the two shoulder blades of the Prophet there had been a divine mark that indicated that he was the final Prophet. Most of the companions desired to kiss it. Imam Bayhaqi stated that:

“The Blessed companions doubted whether the Prophet (peace be upon him) had really traveled to the Hereafter as they saw no changes in his face after he emigrated to the eternal world. Asma (may Allah be pleased with her) searched for the sign of prophethood on his body. When they saw that it had disappeared, it was determined with certainty that he had passed onto the next world.”[24]

The religion had been perfected; the approval of the companions of the transfer of the divine message to humanity was demonstrated and was presented as witness to the Most High Truth (al-Haqq). Following this, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was invited to the world of eternity.

Presently, he is waiting for his Ummah by the Mahshar, that is the square of resurrection, on the Sirat and the river of Kawthar.

Grant us your intercession, O Rasulullah!
Help us, O Rasulullah!
Welcome us, O Rasulullah!

The world was blessed by his birth on Monday the 12th of Rabi al-awwal.

It was on Monday the 12th of Rabi al-awwal that Allah gave the Prophet the task of serving as a prophet. Abu Qatada narrated as follows:

“Prophet Muhammad was asked about fasting on Mondays. In response he said:

“This is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was sent as a Prophet.”[25]

Likewise, it was on Monday the 12th of Rabi al-awwal, that he entered Medina and laid the ground stone for the new Islamic State, which will last forever.

And finally, again on Monday the 12th of Rabi al-awwal, he immigrated to the Hereafter.

As an exemplification of a divine manifestation, his birth, his Hijra from Mecca to Medina, and his transit from this world to the Next World, through the majesty of Allah, all took place on Monday the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal. This is a confirmation of the holiness of this month. The manifestations of Divine Beauty (Jamal) and Divine Glory (Jalal) are richly experienced at this time. In the inner worlds, the joys of a festival along with the pains of a separation are intertwined in the union of these two opposites. He is, yet again with mercy and compassion, waiting for his Ummah in the Hereafter.

With the journey of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) to the World of Happiness, this world became deprived of his physical presence. Indeed, this is a disloyal world, as expressed in the poetry of the Ottoman Sufi Poet, Aziz Mahmud Hudayi:

Who expects loyalty from you?
Are not you the false world?
Are not you the same Earth,
That took away Muhammad Mustafa?[26]

[1]        Bukhârî, Zakât 1; Muslim, Îmân 12; Nasâî, Salât 10; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad,V, 417, 418.

[2]        Muslim, Fadâil al-Sahâbah75; Ibn Hibbân, al-Sahîh, XV, 467.

[3]        Tirmidhî, Manâqib 62.

[4]        See Holy Qur’an, Tawba, 9/ 40.

[5]        Bukhârî, Salât I; Muslim, Îmân 259; Abû Dâwûd, Sunnah 23; Tirmidhî, Tıb 12; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, III, 224.

[6]        The secret of “len terani” (You will never see me!) was as follows; Moses (peace be upon him) was put through a stage of preparation with the purpose of becoming ready to talk to Allah. He was ordered to fast first for thirty days, a period that was later extended to forty. This period was a phase of preparation for talking to Allah, allowing Moses to be cleansed of carnal desires. Moses (peace be upon him) talked to Allah not through material means, such as language, but through the eternal divine attribute of Kalam, speech. No one heard or felt this dialogue, not even the angel Gabriel or the seventy witnesses who came with Moses (peace be upon him). Yet, Moses (peace be upon him) fainted under the influence of this divine manifestation. He became unaware as to whether he was in this world or in the Hereafter, and felt out of both space and time. Drowned in love and ecstasy, a strong passion was aroused in him to see the Ultimate Truth, al-Haqq. In response, the Divine Answer came: “len terani” (you will never see me!). Yet, as Moses (peace be upon him), in this semi-conscious state, continued to insist, Allah told him to look at the mountain. He told Moses that if the mountain could endure the divine manifestation, then so too could Moses. The narrative continues that a small Divine Light from behind endless veils was allowed to shine on the mountain. The mountain shattered into pieces. Moses (peace be upon him) fainted as a result of this terrifying event. When he awoke, he praised Allah and repented for trying to cross the limits.

[7]        “Qaba qawsayni aw adna” [Then he approached and came closer, and was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) closer. Najm 8-9]: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was taken behind the Sidra al-Muntaha. Even Gabriel is not allowed to approach this close to Allah. The verse describes this distance as “two bow-lengths or (even) closer”. A private and sacred union between the Prophet and Allah took place at this distance, a distance that it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend. This serves as a comparison between Moses and Muhammad (peace be upon them) presented to our humble and powerless minds.

[8]        Ibn Mâjah, Fadâil Ashâb al-Nabî  11; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, II, 253; Ibn Hibbân, al-Sahîh, XV, 273; Ibn Abî ‘Âsim, al-Sunnah, II, 577.

[9]        Tirmidhî, Manâqib16; Abû Dâwûd, Zakat 40; Dârimî, Zakât 26; al-Hâkim, al-Mustadrak, I, 574; al-Bayhaqî, al-Sunan, TV, 180; al-Bazzâr, al-Musnad, I, 263, 394.

[10]      Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Kitâb al-Zuhd, p. 18.

[11]      Asya, Arif Nihat, Dualar ve Aminler, (Istanbul, 1973), p.122.

[12]      Bukhârî, Anbiyâ 54; Muslim, Jihâd 104; Ibn Mâjah, Fitan 23; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, I, 380.

[13]      Ibn Ishâq, Sîrah, p. 311; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, II, 317; Ibn Abî
Shaybah, al-Mosesnnaf, VII, 373.

[14]      Bukhârî, Magâzi, 4; Muslim, Jihâd 83; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, I, 389, 428, 457; Ibn Abî Shaybah, al-Mosesnnaf, VII, 6

[15]      Bukhârî, I’tisâm 16; Muslim Fadâil 10; Ibn Mâjah, Manâsik 104; Muwatta, Madînah 10; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, III,140.

[16]      Bukhârî, Jihâd 34; Abû Dâwûd, Salât 12; Nasâî, Masâjid 12; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, VI, 289.

[17]      Bukhârî, Fitan 8; Muslim, Îmân 378; Abû Dâwûd, Manâsık 56 Nasâî, Ihdâs 4; Ibn Mâjah, Fitan 2; Dârimî, Manâsik 34; Ahmad ibn  Hanbal, al-Musnad, I, 447.

[18]      Muslim, Jihâd 86; Ahmad ibn Habal,, al-Musnad, II,538; Ibn Hibbân, alSahîh, XI, 75; Nasâî, al-Sunan al-Kubrâ, VI, 382,al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al Kubrâ, IX, 117.

[19]      Joseph ibn Ismâil al-Nabhânî, al-Anwâr al-Muhammadiyyah min al-mawâhib al-ladunniyah, p. 28-29. (Some part of this riwayah was narrated by al-San’ân, al-Mosesnnaf, VII, 478; al-Bayhaqî, Shu’ab al-Îmân, I, 261; al-Marwazî, al-Sunnah, I, 82; İbn Hagar al-’Asqalânî, Fath al-Bârî, IX, 145).

[20]      Ibn Ishâq, Sirah, p.190 (Similar narratives are found in, Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, IV, 128; al-Hâkim, al-Mustadrak, III, 728; al-Bayhaqî, al-Sunan al-Kubrâ, IX, 31; Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Mosesnnaf, VI, 311; Ma’mar ibn Rashid, al-Jâmi’, XI, 48).

[21]      Muslim, Janâiz 102; Nasâî, Janâiz 103; Ibn Hibbân, al-Sahîh, VII, 444.

[22]      Bukhârî, Salât 80; Muslim, Fadâil al-Sahâbah 2; Tirmidhî, Manâqıb 15; Dârimâ, Muqaddimah 14; Nasâî, Janâiz 69; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, III, 18.

[23]      al-Nabhânî, al-Anwâr al-Muhammadiyyah min al-mawâhib al-ladunniyah,p. 593.

[24]      Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabakât, II, 271; al-Bayhaqi, Dalâil al-nubuwwah, VII, 219.

[25]      Muslim, Siyâm 196; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, V, 299; Ibn Hibbân, al-Sahîh, VIII, 403; al-Bayhaqî, al-Sunan al-Kubrâ, IV, 286.

[26]      Hudâî Mahmud, Kulliyyât-ı Hudâî, (Istanbul, 1338), p. 109