Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Salawat’us-Sharifah


In the Holy Quran, Allah, glory unto Him, vows by the Prophet’s (pbuh) life. Mentioning his great name next to His Own, the Almighty has required belief in his prophethood, as a precondition of being a worthy servant. Allah took offense in others raising their voices in the presence of His Beloved (pbuh), cautioning against calling out his name like any other. What’s more, the Almighty has stated that He and the angels send their numerous blessings, salawat’us-sharifah, to the Prophet (pbuh), ordering his ummah amply do the same.
In accordance with the ayah:
“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O Believers! Send your blessings on him and salute him with all respect,” (al-Ahzab, 56) sen
ding salawat’us-sharifah to that Great Being is a duty for all Believers, laid down by Allah, glory unto Him.
Narrating the following is Ubayy ibn Kab (r.a):
“A third of the night had passed when the Messenger of Allah awoke from his sleep and said:
Remember Allah, people, remember Allah! Blown will be the first horn that will rattle the ground. Then will follow the second. Death will arrive with all its intensity; death will arrive with all its intensity…’
‘I send lots of salawat’us-sharifah, Messenger of Allah’, said I. ‘How often should I do it?’
As much as you wish’ he replied.
‘Would it be right if I spared a quarter of my prayer for it?’ I again inquired.
Spare as much from it as you wish’, he advised. ‘But it will be better for you if you spared more.’
‘Then I will spare half’, I proposed.
As you wish…But better if you spared more’, said he.
‘How about I spared two-thirds then?’
As you wish… But better if you spared more’.
‘How would it be then if I send salawat’us-sharifah in the entire time I spare for prayer?’ I then asked.
If you do’, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) replied, ‘then Allah will rid you of all your troubles and forgive your sins.’” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamat, 23/2457)
Devotees of the Prophet (pbuh), therefore, embrace the salawat’us-sharifah as a continuous chant, for they are means of increasing the love of the Prophet in a Believer’s heart. Appropriately following the Blessed Messenger (pbuh) and making the most of the quintessential example he has provided doubtless comes through a grasp of the reality of the Quran and Sunnah, which in turn is possible only by virtue of drawing closer to the exemplary morals of the Prophet (pbuh), and delving into the depths of his heart.
No mortal has succeeded in describing his essential attribute; his towering morals and disposition has eluded comprehension. The wise, those spiritual sultans, even the great Jibril, have all accepted being on his path as the greatest honor, begging by his door as the most indefinable bliss.
On another note, according to the manners of prayer advised by Islam, all prayers begin and end with thanking Allah, glory unto Him, and sending blessings to the Blessed Prophet (pbuh). There is an established conviction that Allah, glory unto Him, never turns down a salawat’us-sharifah, which, in essence, is a prayer and plea to the Almighty; the precise reason as to why prayers are adorned with it, both in the start and in the end. That is to say, squeezing in personal prayers amid two, whose acceptances are highly expected, is to ensure their acceptance as well.
“A prayer is left hanging between the earth and the skies,” states Omar (r.a) “and is not raised to Allah until blessings are sent to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).” (Tirmidhi, Witr, 21/486)
Indeed, the Noble Prophet (pbuh) one day happened to see a man who, after salat, was praying without expressing thanks to Allah, glory unto Him, and sending blessings to His Messenger.
The man rushed it”, the Prophet (pbuh) then remarked, before calling him over to give advice:
Upon wishing to make a prayer, one should first thank and praise Allah and send blessings to His Prophet…and then afterward continue in whichever manner desired.” (Tirmidhi, Da’awat, 64/3477)
The importance in prayers of resorting to tawassul, submitting the Prophet’s name (pbuh) as a means, reverberates in the following incident recounted by Ibn Abbas (r.a):
“There was an ongoing war between the Jews of Khaybar and the tribe of Ghatafan, where the Jews were always routed. In the end they prayed:
‘Lord…we ask for victory in the name of the Unlettered Prophet whose appearance in the Final Epoch you have avowed’, after which they defeated Ghatafan. Yet, once Allah, glory unto Him, did make appear the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) whose name they appealed in their prayer, the Jews rejected his prophethood and the book revealed to him; whereupon Allah proclaimed:
‘And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers.’” (al-Baqara, 89)(Qurtubi, II, 27; Wahidi, p. 31)
Evident is thus the fact even non-Believers were able to make use of the mercy and abundance that permeated the universe with the coming of the Prophet of Mercy (pbuh), owing to his splendid honor in Divine Sight.
Addressing the Prophet (pbuh), Allah assures:
“But Allah will not punish them while you are with them, nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness.” (al-Anfal, 33)
This Divine assurance was also revealed with regard to non-Believers. Since even they are given such a privilege, simply owing to their physical proximity to the Blessed Prophet (pbuh), the blessings awaiting Believers is simply inconceivable; especially provided they not only affirm faith in the Exceptional Being, but moreover receive a share of his love as the core of their faith. Words, here, are powerless…Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the extent of happiness in the world and the greatness of ranks in the Hereafter are to the degree of depth a Believer lets his heart immerse in the love of the Prophet (pbuh).
Therefore do not forget sending your blessings and peace to him…for you too stand in need of his intercession in the darkest of hours!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ahl’ul-Bayt and the Love of Ahl’ul-Bayt

Ahl’ul-Bayt denotes the members of a family living under the same roof. In the technical sense, it covers the entire members of the Blessed Prophet’s family, as well as his extended family; hence the families of, first and foremost, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.s), and then of Ali, Jafar, Aqil and Abbas.
Just as praying for and sending greetings (salat’u salam) to the Noble Prophet (s.a.s) is a duty for all Muslims, so is respecting and adhering to the Ahl’ul-Bayt with love. It is impermissible for the Ahl’ul-Bayt to receive alms (zakat). Seeing on one occasion the little Hasan (r.a) take a piece of date from the pile reserved for zakat in the Treasury to his mouth, the Blessed Prophet (s.a.s) quickly made him spit it out and said:
“Don’t you know that Muhammad’s family does not receive zakat?” (Bukhari, Zakat, 57; Ahmad, I, 200)
Recounting the following is Zayd in Arqam (r.a): “One day, by the Hum Creek between Mecca and Medina, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.s) stood and gave us a talk. After praising and glorifying Allah, he gave us some advice, which he followed up by saying:
‘People…! I, too, am but a man. Soon the messenger of my Lord will come and I will accept his invitation and leave. I leave you two important things. One of them is the light and guide that takes one to the truth, which is the Quran. Stick to it and do not let go!’
He then gave some advice regarding holding fast to the Quran and adhering to it. He then continued with the words:
‘And I leave you my Ahl’ul-Bayt. Fear Allah and show them respect! Fear Allah and show them respect!’”
Zayd ibn Arqam (r.a) was then asked as to who exactly Ahl’ul-Bayt was and whether or not the Prophet’s (s.a.s) wives were also included.
“His wives are also included”, replied Zayd.
“But his real Ahl’ulBayt are those for whom alms are impermissible even after the Messenger of Allah (s.a.s).”
“And who are those?”
“They are the families of Ali, Aqil, Jafar and Abbas.” (Muslim, Fadail’us-Sahabah, 36)
The Blessed Prophet (s.a.s) has stated:
“Love Allah for having showered you with His blessings. Love me for the love of Allah. And love my Ahl’ul-Bayt for the sake of my love!” (Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 31/3789)
Again, one day holding his dear grandchildren Hasan and Husayn by the hand, the Blessed Prophet declared:
“Whoever loves me, them and their parents shall be in my company on the Day of Judgment.” (Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 20/3733)
The Companions had great love and respect for the family and relatives of the Blessed Prophet (s.a.s).
Naturally, one nurtures feelings of affection not only for the beloved but, to the extent of the love felt, also for his or her friends and moreover every little thing that helps remind of the beloved, like the clothes worn, foods eaten, and so forth. The deeper the love grows, the deeper it permeates everything that surrounds the beloved. The Companions would let their love bursting forth from the depths of their hearts for the Blessed Prophet (s.a.s) show with various acts, like holding the stirrups of a horse or a camel a relative of the Blessed Prophet (s.a.s) was to mount.
Profoundly conscious that on the Day of Judgment all other ties of blood would be severed except for the bond one had with the Blessed Prophet (s.a.s), they were eager to marry one of his relatives to reinforce their bond of love with a bondship of kin.
The descendants of the Noble Messenger (s.a.s) today survive in various parts throughout the Muslim world. The term Sayyid is used in reference to those to have descended through the line of Husayn (s.a.s), and Sharif for the descendants of Hasan (r.a).
The Ottomans referred to sayyids as amir, and the turban they wrapped around their heads as amir turbans. Women of the Noble Prophet’s (s.a.s) lineage would also carry a green mark on their hijabs. Serving the Ahl’ul-Bayt was considered by the Ottomans a duty, to the point where they even found an official institution for the purpose.
Officials exclusively entrusted with the duty of seeing to this service were called naqib’ul-ashraf, also chosen from among the members of the Ahl’ul-Bayt. Among the various aspects of their needs the naqib’ul-ashraf dealt with included registering their lineage, births and deaths included, preventing them from entering any old profession, distributing among them their share of taxes and spoils and precluding their women from marrying men not their equal.
Being successors of the children of the Blessed Prophet (s.a.s) and owing to the honor of the duty they carried out, the naqib’ul-ashraf were given the one of the highest official ranks, second behind the Caliph in protocol. The naqib’ul-ashraf would be the first to officially pledge allegiance to the sultan upon his ascension to the throne and pray for his wellbeing, only after which the remainder of the protocol would follow.
Priority of congratulation during eids also belonged to the naqib’ul-ashraf, for whom the sultan would rise to greet during the proceedings of both eids. A sayyid or a sharif found guilty of committing a crime or acting in an unacceptable manner would be dealt with by the naqib’ulashraf, if in Istanbul, or by the official head of a district, if elsewhere.
Before the actual punishment, the official would remove the green turban from their heads and kiss it; and eventually restoring it once the punishment came to an end.

Osman Nuri Topbaş

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

HIS EXEMPLARY LIFE AND PLACE AMONG THE PROPHETS


“Light upon Light.” (Qur’an, al-Nur, 24/35)

The lifestyle of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the best example for each and every human being. He is the best example of a religious leader. He is the finest example of a state leader. He is the example to follow for those who ente the garden of divine love. He is the highest example of gratitude and humility for those who are showered with the gifts of God. He is the greatest example of patience and submission, in the most challenging times and places. He is the best example of generosity and of disinterest in collecting bounty. He is the finest example of compassion towards the family. His is the greatest example of mercy towards the weak, the lonely and the enslaved, and he is exemplary in pardoning the guilty.
I yo ar wealthy contemplat th humilit and generosity of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who gained the hearts of the leaders who controlled all of Arabia!
If you are weak, adopt the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during the period he spent in Mecca under the rule of the oppressive and usurping polytheists.
If you are a triumphant conqueror, take your example from the life of the courageous Prophet (peace be upon him) who defeated his enemies in Badr and Hunayn.
If you lose a battle, may Allah protect you; remember
the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who walked with dignity, courage and reliance on Allah among his martyred and wounded companions after the battle of Uhud.
If you are a teacher, contemplate the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who taught God’s orders by conveying his soft and sensitive enlightenment to the people of Suffa (Ashab al-Suffa) in the school at his Mosque.
If you are a student, bring to mind the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who sat on his knees before the Archangel, the Trustworthy Gabriel (Jibril al-Amin).
If you are a preacher or a sincere spiritual guide (murshid) for people, listen to the voice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), who spread wisdom to his companions.
If you aim to defend the truth, to convey it to others and lift it up, yet have no helper in this matter, then look at the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him), who proclaimed the truth in Mecca against the oppressors while inviting them to it.
I yo hav defeate you enemies broke their resistance and triumphed over them, if you have destroyed the superstitions and declared the truth, then bring to your min the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the day he conquered Mecca. He entered this holy city as a triumphant  commander, yet with great humility, sitting on his camel as if he were in the state of sajdah; that is prostration before God, as an expression of gratitude to Allah.
If you are a farmer, take your example from the Prophet
(peace be upon him), who, after conquering the lands of Bani Nadr, Khyabar and Fadak, chose skilled people to develop and manage these lands in the most productive way.

If you are lonely, with no relatives, bring to mind the example of the orphan of Abdullah and Aminah, their most beloved and only innocent son.
If you are an adolescent, pay attention to the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who, as a young man and candidate for prophethood, served in Mecca as a shepherd, tending the sheep of his uncle Abu Talib.
If you are a businessman and travel for trade, think about the experiences of the Most Honored Person, Muhammad (peace be upon him) while leading the caravan from Mecca to Busra in Syria.
If you are a judge or a referee, bring to mind his justice and foresight when he solved the conflict among the tribes of Mecca over who should have the prestige of putting back the Black Stone (Hagar al-Aswad), as they were on the verge of killing each other.
Again, turn your eyes to history and consider the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as he, in his masjid in Medina, treated equally the poor in distress and the wealthy, and as he judged between them with utmost fairness.
If you are a husband, look carefully at the pure life style, the compassion and the deep feelings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as an exemplary husband. If you are a parent, learn about the example of the father of Fatimah al-Zahra, and study the manner of the grandfather of Hasan and
Husayn.
Regardless of your qualities and the state in which you
find yourself, day or night, you will find him as the most perfect role model, teacher and guide.
He is so perfect a teacher that by following his example you can correct all your mistakes, eliminate chaos from your life and bring order to your life. Through his light and guidance, you can overcome the difficulties of life and attain real happiness.
As a matter of fact, his life is a bouquet composed of the most rare and elegant flowers and roses with the finest of fragrances.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Human Rights in the Prophetic Sunna

The Sunnah is the second primary source of legislation after the Holy Qur’an. It clarifies the major behavioural features of the individual and the society as well.

This is the first and opening article to a series of articles investigating and highlighting the various issues of human rights in the Prophetic Sunnah: the life of Muhammad (pbuh), the last Prophet and the Messanger of Allah to all humans.
Before explaining the status of Sunnah in Islamic legislation and its impact on the life of Muslims at all times, I want to say that I have chosen this particular aspect of human rights in Islam to discuss for two reasons. The first has to do with some calls today to leave the Sunnah behind and hold to the Qura'n in first place. For those who send such call, their claim is to dismiss the allegation of contradiction between the Qur'an and Sunnah; an allegation that can be easily defeated away from the path they have chosen. My other reason is to contribute to the global campaign to defend Muhammad (pbuh) using the little knowledge I have acquired so far.
 The Prophetic Sunnah is all that the Prophet said, did, or approved which can be used as evidence for a legal rule. Muslims (the followers of the four madhabs (Schools of Law) had consensus among them that the Sunnah has the legal status of wajib (compulsory). In this respect Allah says in the following ayah that translates:
{Say [O Muhammad!]: “Obey Allah and the Messenger [Muhammad] (3:32)
{And whatsoever the Messenger [Muhammad] gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain [from it]}(59:7)
{These are the limits [set by Allah] [or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance], and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow [in Paradise], to abide therein, and that will be the great success. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein, and he shall have a disgraceful torment}(4:13-14)

For those who claim the contradiction between the Qur'an and Sunnah, we say that concerning human rights in the Prophetic sayings, all aspects of human rights in the Sunnah complement and clarify the conceptual framework of human rights in the Qur’an.

The Sunnah is the second primary source of legislation after the Holy Qur’an. It clarifies the major behavioural features of the individual and the society as well.The Sunnah may support and emphasise what was revealed in the Qur’an as is the case of forbidding shirk (associating something else with Allah), and giving false testimony. The Sunnah may also explain what was revealed in the Qur’an as is in the case in specifying the number of rak'at (prostrations) in prayers and the specified shares of zakat. Muslim prominent scholars are unanimous on the fact that the majority of the legal provisions and ethical guidance of the common daily Muslim life behaviours have no source save the Sunnah. Therefore, the Muslim nation has agreed in consensus that the Sunnah is the second source of legislation without which the explanatory part vanishes from both the Islamic Shari'ah and from the behaviour of the individual and the society as well. Therefore, the Prophet’s sayings and doings from be'tha (beginning of the message of Islam) till his death constitute a part of the documentary stage for human rights in Islam.

There is no contradiction in Islam at all. This fact is evident even to the non Muslims. The components of Islam are integrated, comprehensive, and compatible with each other.

For those who claim the contradiction between the Qur'an and Sunnah, we say that concerning human rights in the Prophetic sayings, all aspects of human rights in the Sunnah complement and clarify the conceptual framework of human rights in the Qur’an.Furthermore, the life of the Prophet and his deeds were the best manifestation of these rights. It was narrated that A’ishah, the Prophet’s wife, was once asked about his morals and she briefly answered by saying: “He was a manifestation of the Qur’an” (Cited in two places in Imam Ahmad’s Musnad). Allah described His Messenger before that saying in an ayah that translates:
{You [O Muhammad] are on an exalted [standard of character] character}(68:4)
In a study conducted about human rights in the Prophetic sayings in Sahih Al-Bukhari who died in 256 AH (his book is at the top of the list of the best documented books of records of hadithdue to the strict conditions he established for accepting the hadith,and the rules he employed in criticizing their texts and the methods of narration)on the economic, social, and political rights. The researcher says that although a complete image of human rights in Islam cannot be obtained unless we make a comprehensive review of this topic in all sources of legislation in Islam, human rights in Islam as indicated by the Prophetic sayings cited in Al-Bukhari represent the clear, integrated and convincing image of these rights just like the drop of blood taken from a body to be tested in a medical lab. This drop, although tiny, represents and reflects the whole body from which it was taken. Similarly, the Prophetic sayings cited in Al-Bukhari represent the entire attitude of Islam regarding human rights. They complement what was stated in the other sources about human rights in order to clarify the true image of the Islam. The more we go about this minimised image, the more we emphasise and clarify it. We will never find any defect that may distort or devaluate this image. There is no contradiction in Islam at all. This fact is evident even to the non Muslims. The components of Islam are integrated, comprehensive, and compatible with each other. They are realistic and ideal in the social, religious, economic aspects, and all other walks of life pertaining to this world and the Hereafter (Mahmud, Husni. Beirut 2002).
Each of the following articles will be allocated to a specific "right" to discuss in light if the Prophetic Sunnah. The right to life will be on the top of the list of rights followed by other rights. I do not belittle other rights doing so; I am, nevertheless, emphasizing the importance of the basic right a human should have to be able to enjoy other rights. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Miracles of the Last Prophet

M.Sadık Hamidi - Elif Eryarsoy Aydın


THE HOLY QURAN : Verses of Revelation and High Rhetoric

The Holy Quran is neither poetry, nor a work of prose with rhymes. It is on it's own as an unprecedented and divine text. For this reason, the Arabs were awestruck by the Quran since such a written work was unprecedented; they were left with no other choice but to claim that the Quran was magic.
To date, poets and men of letters have been amazed by the verses and the meanings in the Quran and are left without recourse, unable to utter a single word equivalent to one single verse of the Quran. It is concise and to the point, and its rhetoric does not resemble that of any person. If a single word were to be removed or added, the perfection of the eloquence of the Quran would be destroyed.
There are two elements to the conciseness of the Holy Quran, both of which rely on revelation: its verse and its meaning.
The most apparent evidence of the miraculous status of the Quran is its lofty rhetoric. Allah defies all the masters of rhetoric in His divine book in such a way that this challenge encompasses all times and places and no one is able to utter a word that is equivalent to that of the Holy Quran. Those who have attempted to do so have always failed. As this has not been done until now, it must be impossible to do so at any time. (The verses which prove the statements of this issue are Al-Baqarah 23-24, Al-Isra 88, Al-Hud 13-14, Al-Yunus, 38)
It should be noted that the rhetorical challenge of the Quran was directed towards those who had the utmost eloquence in the Arabic language.

The Prophet Muhammad was illiterate

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) could neither read nor write. The fact that tales of preceding prophets and events in societies and people far from his milieu were depicted accurately in the Quran is thus nothing less than a miracle.
The Quraishis knew that Muhammad was illiterate. How could he possibly have learned the historical accounts and incidents related to previous societies and prophets? This had to be divine revelation itself.
"And thou wast not (able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted." (Al-Ankabut, 48)
Prophet Muhammad not only spoke of incidents related to previous prophets and societies, but he also informed people of incidents that were to happen in the future.
The most important of these incidents occurred when Muhammad informed the people that the fire-worshipping Persians, who had defeated the Byzantines, would be defeated in a short period of time and that the Byzantine State would become triumphant. At that time such a thing was considered a remote possibility; however, incidents turned out as Allah had foretold in the Quran and in less than ten years the Byzantines were triumphant over the Persians:
"Alif Lam Mim. The Roman Empire has been defeated- In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious- Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision, in the past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice- With the help of Allah. He helps whom He will, and He is exalted in might, most merciful. " (Ar-Rum, 1-5)

Allah announced that His Prophet would conquer Mecca

According to an account, before heading to Hudaybiyah, the Prophet (pbuh) had a dream in which he and his Companions shaved their heads and entered Mecca in victory; later he told his Companions about this dream. They were very pleased when they heard this. Finally they set out on the campaign to Hudaybiyah, but after an initial defeat, they returned in disappointment. Some hypocrites also started to spread negative rumor about the incident.  In response to this, Allah informed people on the conquest to come by reference to the conquest of Khaybar a year ago.
"Truly did Allah fulfill the vision for His Messenger. Ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, with minds secure, heads shaved, hair cut short, and without fear. For He knew what ye knew not, and He granted, besides this, a speedy victory."(Al-Fath, 27 )

Many religious beliefs, practices and moral issues that were unknown to the Arabs are described in the Quran.

The Arabs were unaware of the tenets of monotheism, the need to believe in angels, prophesies, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell in return for worldly deeds and provisions related to laws, halal and haram, the codes of conduct for ensuring human happiness, the spirit of brotherhood and helping one another, justice and fear of Allah, or their duties towards their families and society. The Prophet would read the revelations related to these rules, essential to the lives of humans, and would convey them to society. He was illiterate. He knew neither jurisprudence, sociology, psychology nor had he acquired education on subjects related to philosophy, ethics and prophesies. That he counseled on such matters proved that his prophethood was revealed unto him alone from the divine treasure.

Many verses of the Quran encompass intellectual truths.

Even this century scientists have been amazed by the fact that the Quran contains depictions of the universe, sky, earth, stars, planets, the formation of night and day, the physical, mental and spiritual phases of the creation of human beings, explanations and descriptions related to plants, animals and insects, as well as comprehensive and clear explanations of everything that exists within the universe, such as clouds, rain, storms, mountains, trees, rivers and seas. When the Quran was revealed, people did not possess such knowledge and for a long time they were unable to perceive the truth of these descriptions. However, as science developed throughout this and the last century, people have managed to understand the truths stated in the Quran.
Although fourteen centuries have passed since the revelation of the Quran, no discrepancy, error or corruption has been observed in its doctrines, meanings or issues.
The Quran constitutes a unity, not only in terms of diction, but also in terms of meaning and judgments. The words of human beings are not always the same in terms of elegance or accuracy. These words change in accordance with the mood of the writer or the speaker, or according to the conditions in which they occur. However, the diction and style of the Quran has an unprecedented beauty and accuracy from beginning to end. Although the meanings, judgments and messages of these words mention almost everything in the universe, from genesis to eternity, they show an absolute consistency, correctness and harmony. If one just finds these points and contemplates on them this is enough to understand that the Quran is not a manmade book, but that it was sent by Allah.
"Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.(An-Nisaa, 82).

There are many aspects of conciseness in the Quran and they can be summarized in general under these two headings:

  1. The Quran is addressed to all people: the fact that 1, 400 years ago the Quran mentioned events that had not been heard of before, that these events occurred just as depicted in the Quran, that it mentions ancient tribes, and that it presents a general but unique legal system which can be applied to all people in all places at all times is a miracle; remember that Prophet Muhammad was illiterate and could not read or write. It is known that Prophet Muhammad did not take any lessons from scholars or tutors and he did not study law or politics. In view of this, it would be impossible for such an illiterate person to have formed this unique legal system by himself; it is a system that has divine wisdom inherent in it and is presented in the most wonderful Arabian rhetoric and coherence. Thus, the conciseness and miraculousness of the Holy Quran is without a doubt.
  2. The conciseness of the Quran is addressed to the Arabs: The divine language of the Quran is unique. The Quran has a rhetoric and coherence which is attention-grabbing, mesmerizing and superior.
Although the Quran, which has a unique style and a wide and deep treasure of meaning, has been read repeatedly for centuries, the Arab masters of rhetoric and coherence have not been able to write a similar text to date.  

The miracle of splitting the moon into two parts

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This great miracle of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned in the Quran: "The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.(Al-Qamar, 1). In addition to this, Abdullah ibn Mas'ud reported that Prophet Muhammad split the moon.
According to some hadiths (sayings of Prophet), a group of polytheists asked Prophet Muhammad to split the moon into two to prove his prophethood. He turned to Allah and requested that this miracle occur. The moon was immediately split into two by the power and with the permission of Allah. One part was seen on Mount Hira, and the other part was seen right in front of the Prophet.

The Miraj

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The Miraj is another of the great miracles of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In Surat Al-Isra and Al-Najm, the Prophet's miraculous night journey to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and his ascension to Sidrat Al-Muntaha (the last boundary where the knowledge of creations ends and beyond which no one can pass) are mentioned.
In the first verse of Surat Al-Isra, the Prophet's miraculous journey is mentioned in the following words:
"Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).(Al-Isra, 1).
The Messenger of Allah was brought to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem) from Mecca in a matter of seconds. Ibn Kathir states that at least twenty-five people from the Companions told accounts of the incidence of the Miraj, and this number could be as great as forty-five. According to information in 26 hadiths, while Prophet Muhammad was sleeping in the house of his cousin Ummuhani bint Abu Taleb, Gabriel came and took him to the Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa on an animal called Buraq. There are many details in hadiths about what the Prophet saw during the Miraj.
Some of the information in the Quran is about the ascension of Prophet Muhammad to the Sidrat al-Muntaha:
"For indeed he saw him at a second descent, Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass: Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)  (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!  (An-Najm, 13-18).

The protection of the last Prophet

Like all the other prophets, the truths conveyed to people by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) led him to become subject to various torments and slander and he had to face much cynicism. Many different slanders were directed towards him and he lived under oppression and the threats of death from non-believers for many years.
Despite all these difficulties, the fact that Prophet Muhammad continued his struggle without coming to any physical harm is one of his most important miracles. This was promised in the following verse; "And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief." (Al-Maida, 67)
Allah always protected the Prophet and he continued to convey his mission until the very end. This amazing truth exists both in the Quran and in the hadiths related to the words of the Prophet. (His protection from the polytheists inside the cave, the non-believers' failure to kill Him, the illusion that the Islamic armies consisted of much greater numbers during battles...)

The acceptance of the Prophet's prayers

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) revealed many miracles to his companions. One of these miracles is the fact that his prayers were accepted by Allah. There are many accounts in the hadiths related to this issue. Among these are the prayers he said in order to change the qiblah (the direction of prayer), the acceptance of his prayer for rain, and the fact that his prayers were realized when he prayed for a companion.

SOME OF THE MIRACLES MENTIONED IN THE SOURCES

Water flowing from the Prophet's fingers

We are told by the companions that water flowed and gushed through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s fingers. Abdullah ibn Masud said the following: "While we regard these amazing aspects of his as a bounty, you consider him to be frightening. Once we were beside the Prophet and we had only a little water left. He said, ‘Find me some water.' They found a bucket in which there was hardly any water. He put his hands into the water and commanded as follows: ‘Come to the sacred water, fertility comes from Allah.' I saw the water gushing through the fingers of the Prophet." (Fathul-Bari, 3579)

Jabir's meal

Jabir ibn Abdullah said: "When the trench (during the Battle of the Trenches) was dug, I saw that the Prophet was extremely hungry. So I returned to my wife and asked, "Have you got anything to eat?" We had a domestic animal which I then slaughtered, and my wife ground the barley and finished around the time I finished my task.
Then I cut the meat into pieces and put it in an earthenware cooking pot, and returned to the Prophet. I went to him and said to him, "O Allah's Prophet! I have slaughtered an animal of ours, and we had some barley bread. So please come, you and another person along with you." The Prophet announced, "Let us go." The Prophet said to me, "Don't remove your earthenware meat pot from the fireplace or bake your dough until I come." So I went home and the Prophet came too, leading other people. He said: "Keep on taking out scoops from your earthenware pot, and do not remove it from the fireplace." They were one thousand people who ate with us, and by Allah they all ate, and when they left, our earthenware pot was still bubbling full of meat as if it had not decreased any, and our bread was still being baked as if nothing had been taken from it. (Bukhâri, 4/90, 5/138; Muslim: 13/216)

Umm Sulaym's Jar

An account by Anas's mother states: "We had a sheep. I would collect the buttermilk from it and put it into an earthenware jar. Eventually the jar was filled. I gave the jar to Zaynab, my servant, and told her to take it to the Prophet for him to eat."
The girl took the jar to the Prophet and the jar was returned after being emptied into another container. The girl brought the jar back to house. She hung the jar on the wall because Umm Sulaym was not at home. When Umm Sulaym returned home, she realized that the jar was hanging and it was full of buttermilk and it was dripping on the floor. She said to servant girl: "I told you to take this jar to the Prophet!" The girl answered: "I took the jar to the Prophet. If you don't believe me, than let's go to his home together."
Umm Sulaym went to the Prophet's home with the servant girl and said to him: "O Prophet; I sent you a jar full of butter with this girl." The Prophet answered: "Yes, the girl brought the jar."
Umm Sulaym said, puzzled: "I swear by Allah Who sent you as a prophet with His Religion and Mercy that the jar was filled with butter when it was returned. It was even overflowing." In response to this Prophet Muhammad said: "Are you surprisedAllah feeds you as He feeds His prophet." (Bukhâri, 4/251 - 5/62; Muslim, 17/145; Ahmad b. Hanbal's Musned: 5/204)
Throughout history, people have requested miracles from the messengers that had been sent to them to help them to believe. Allah supported some prophets with miracles and enabled them to perform these miracles.
The miracles of the last Prophet were also the results of Allah's assistance and grace. Miracles are proofs that strengthen the faith of the believers and which invite the nonbelievers to faith.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bukhari, Maghazi
Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ishmael ibn Ibrahim al-Bukhari al-Cu'fi, Lebanon
Sahih al-Bukhari, Istanbul, 1413 / 1992
Abu Davud, Sunna
Abu Davud Suleiman ibn al-Ash'ath, Sunenu Abu Davud, Istanbul,  1413 / 1992
Abu Nuaym, Hilye
Abu Nuaym Ahmad ibn Abdullah al-Ishbahani, Hilyat al-Awliya ve Tabaqatu'l-asfiya, Beirut 1405 / 1985,
Ibn Kahtir, Sira
Abu'l-Fida Ishmael b. Kathir, as-Siratu an-Nabaviyya, Beirut, 1411 / 1987
Ibn Mâca, Sunan
Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yazid , Sunenu Ibn Maca, Istanbul, 1413 / 1992
Ibn Hajar, Isaba
Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Hajar al-Askalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyizi's-sahaba, Beirut, 1415/1995
Ibnu al-Athir, al-Kamil
Macduddin ibn Muhammad ibn Abdulkarim ibn Abdulvahid ash-Shaybani Izzuddin Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari, al-Kamil fi't-tarikh, Beirut, 1400 /1980
Ibnu al-Athir, Usdu al-ghaba
Izzuddin Ibnu al-Athir Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jazari, Usdu al-Ghaba fi Ma'rifati's-Sahaba, Beirut, 1409 / 1989
Muslim, Sahih
Sahihu Muslim, Istanbul, 1413 / 1992
Tirmizi, Sunan
Abu Isa Muhammad ibn Isa ibn Thavra, Sunenu at-Tirmizi, Istanbul, 1413 / 1992

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Prophet Muhammad's Relationships with his Family and Relatives

Prophet Muhammad set up principles based on the Quran to create an order in social life. A few of these principles include the brotherhood of all Muslims, helping one another and solidarity amongst people as well as putting up a shared stand against injustice. Along with these, there are other practical examples that the Prophet modelled himself and encouraged all Muslims to emulate. Some of these are equal treatment of all Muslims regardless of whether they are advantaged or disadvantaged, rich or poor, materialization of a Muslim brotherhood between Ansar and Muhajir as an institution of mutual solidarity and continued support, encouragement for helping each other, exchanging gifts and spreading salam (saying ‘peace be upon you'). All of these measures and principles are geared towards the creation of a generally harmonized and peaceful society.

One's family and relatives who make up his/her immediate environment have special importance within this framework. Tribal prejudice in the pre-islamic Arab society gave rise to a spirit of tribal loyalty in the form of strong relations amongst people from the same tribe and branch. This was however the reason for serious tribal wars and rivalry. Within such a context, the exemplary relationships that Prophet Muhammad had with his tribe and family helped put aside the inner rivalry fired by tribal prejudice and created a sound and legitimate framework of relationships among family and relatives.

The relationship of Allah's Apostle with his family and relatives can be formulated as his relationships with his Ahl ul Bayt ('People of the House', connoting the Prophet's family members and their early descendents). For the evidence in the Quran, the ahadith (Traditions and doings) of the Prophet and the literal meaning of the expression of Ahl ul Bayt in the Arab language point out to the fact that Ahl ul Bayt involves both family and relatives. It is accepted that, in the strict sense of the word, the expression refers to the Prophet's wives, children, Hadhrat (the noble) Ali and the Prophet's grandchildren Hadhrat Hasan and Hussain, and in a larger sense, it includes all of his direct descendents who are muslims.

His Relationships with His Wives

Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) married life started with hazrat Khadija and continued with his other marriages. It was said that at the time of his death, he had nine wives.

Six of the Prophet's wives were from Quraish. These are Hadhrat Khadija, Aisha, Hafsah, Om Habibah, Om Salamah and Sawdah. His other wives from non-Quraysh Arabs were Hadhrat Zaynab bint Jahsh, Maymunah bint Kharis, Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, Juwayriyyah bint Kharis. And his non-Arab wives were Safiyyah bint Huyay and Mariyyah al-Qiptiyyah, both from the tribe of Banu Nadir. Two of Prophet's wives who died while he was alive were Hadhrat Khadija and Zaynab bint Huzaymah.

Our Prophet's family life was shaped around islamic principles and he implemented in his own life the principles he preached to his ummah. The following advice of the Prophet for ensuring peace and happiness in the family both in this world and in the hereafter gives us the fundamentals of peace and happiness: "The best among you are those who behave best toward their wives. I am the best among you toward his wives. The best among you is the one  who is the kindest to his wife and the worst among you is the one who treats his wife badly."

All of the Prophet's children, except for Ibrahim, were from Hadhrat Khadija. They were Qasim, Abdallah, Zaynab, Ruqiyyah, Om Kolsoum and Fatimah. Other son of the Prophet, Ibrahim, was from Mariyyah who was sent to him as a gift from Muqavqis. Although his sons died when they were quite young, his daughters grew up and got married.

The marriages of Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wa Salaam, which involved a multitude of situations and aspects, were models for muslims in all respects. While his marriage to Khadija introduces to us an example of monogamous life, his other marriages brings up a rich variety of his attitudes towards his different wives each with a different personality.

The first point to be made about these relationships is the commitment of spouses to each other on the principle of honesty and loyalty. We can find numerous examples of honesty and loyalty between the Prophet and his wives on which they built a happy and peaceful family life. The first example of great loyalty in the family life of the Prophet is the commitment of Khadija, whom he married after their acquaintance through business. Khadija was always there to support him spiritually and financially both before and after his prophethood. When he first received divine revelation, Prophet Muhammad was frightened and worried and the first thing he did was to go to Khadija and tell her about the his situation. Khadija reminded him of his good virtues and told him ‘By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you.' and she relieved him by explaining to him that he was visited by an angel and that he was a prophet.

Another example of loyalty and commitment between Allah's Apostle and his wives was the freedom he gave to his wives on the basis of divine command to choose  between him or worldly benefits when they asked from him for material things, at the end of which, they always chose Allah, His Apostle and the life of the Hereafter.

In return for his wives' loyalty and commitment to him, Prophet Muhammad always observed their rights. The truth of the matter is that observing the rights of one's spouse is a principle set by the Quran itself, which can be seen in the following verse: "...And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) in kindness..."  Examples to the Prophet's careful observation of the rights of his wives are plenty. For instance, he would draw lots among his wives before he would go on an expedition and each time he would take one of them with him by turns. Again, he would allow a day and a night for each of them. Although in many hadith reports he was said to have more affection for Aisha, this never led him to treat his wives unequally or unfairly. As a matter of fact, he signified the importance of this matter, examples of which he practiced in his own life as a model for all the muslims, within the framework of the basic principles he preached in his Last Khutba (sermon): "O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you.  Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under ALLAH's trust and with HIS permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers."

Once asked by one of his companions about the rights of wives over their husbands, he said: "That you should give her food when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, do not revile her or separate yourself from her except in the house."

Likewise, all the wives of Prophet Muhammad observed his rights over them both as a husband and a Prophet and they acted with care and respect when it came to protecting his prophetic attributes. Once Abu Sufyan, who was the chief of the Meccan polytheists, came to Madinah to request an extension of the duration of the Hudaybiyyah Agreement. When he saw that he was not quite welcome by people, he thought he could go to his daughter, Om Habibah and ask for her help. When he entered the house of her daughter, he wanted to sit on the cushion of Allah's Apostle, but her daughter did not allow him. Abu Sufyan asked her, ‘Oh daughter! Am I better than this seat, or is it better than me?' She said: ‘You are a polytheist and you are impure. That's why you can not sit on the bench of Allah's Apostle.' Her answer was an open manifestation of her utmost sensitivity.

"The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives."

What is also integral to happiness and peace in family life is love and respect between spouses, which finds its expressions in many of the Prophet's ahadith and in actual examples from his life. In a hadith, he says: "The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives"Also, other ahadith like,"A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another" and "I advise you to treat your wives well" are all commands to foster love and respect between spouses.

 Prophet Muhammad never forgot the sacrifices Hadhrat Khadija made and the respect she had for him and he always cherished her memory with love and respect. Once when he talked about her, Aisha told him, ‘Why do you keep talking about that old woman? Allah gave you better ones than her.' Allah's Apostle got upset at her remark and replied: ‘"Allah has not given me a better one. She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was noone else to lend me a helping hand. She used her property for me when noone gave me anything and she gave me children when noone gave me children. "On the other hand, when asked about who was dearest to him, Allah's Apostle said ‘Aisha' from among women and ‘her father' from among men, which is a clear expression of his love and respect for his wives.

We can see that, along with tolerance and sacrifice, solidarity and support in good and bad times play an important part in Prophet Muhammad's relationships with members of his family. He always welcomed their appropriate wishes and actions and helped them.  Once Hadhrat Aisha wanted to watch the sword show of a team from Habesh in the yard of the mosque, the Prophet accepted her request and waited till the end of the show.

When Safiyyah, whom the Prophet wed after the conquest of Khaybar came to Madinah, Aisha went to visit her. On her return from the visit, the Prophet asked her how she found Safiyyah and Aisha said, ‘Just like a Jewish girl.' The Prophet did not get angry with this answer given for some personal reasons and also as a reaction to the beauty of Safiyyah, he only said, 'O Aisha, don't say that, she accepted Islam and how beautiful her Islam is.' to correct her.

Members of Prophet Muhammad's family were his greatest helpers in the face of hardships. We could find in their lives the peaks of solidarity. The year the Hudaybiyyah Agreement was made, muslims intended to make umra (a visit to the Kaba'a), wore their ihram (to be clothed in two seamless sheets to perform Hajj or Umra) and prepared to sacrifice animals. In spite of all these preparations, the polytheists did not allow Muslims in Mecca and made an agreement with the Prophet. The agreement not only involved some articles that were not in favor of the muslims but it also stopped them from making umra that year. When this agreement was signed, the Muslims got very upset and had difficulty accepting its conditions.

Although the Prophet told them three times: "Get on your feet, sacrifice your animals, shave and take off your ihram." noone was willing to do anything. He became very upset and  went to his wife, Om Salamah, who was with him at that time, and told her about the situation. Safiyyah answeed: "O Allah's Apostle! Go out, sacrifice your animal without talking to anyone, then call someone, let him shave you and take off your ihram." The Prophet did as she told and took off his ihram.  Then his companions did the same when they saw what he did although they were a bit half-hearted. This incident shows us how Om Salamah saw how the companions of the Prophet did not want to obey him because of their unhappiness with the situation and also their hatred of the polytheists and how this left the Prophet upset and in despair. The advice she gave at such a critical moment both helped the companions to obey the word of the Prophet and to relieve the Prophet's burden.

Another distinctive attribute of the family of the Prophet was their patience and contentment in the face of material depravity. While some of the Prophet's wives were poor, some of them were from rich families. All of them, however, by wedding with the Prophet renounced any prospect of material prosperity and exemplified a greater patience. Aisha narrates, "A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat." Again, in another report of hadith, she says: "The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Medina till the death of the Prophet. ". These are all exemplary expressions of altruism and patience.

We can find innumerous reports which show that the Prophet wished for a life of modesty and thankfulness to Allah for whatever He provides instead of leading a rich, prosperous life.  The prophet used to make the following dua (invocation): "O Allah, keep me in the company of the poor. Let me die in poverty, raise me with the poor on the Day of Judgement." Aisha once asked the Prophet, "Why do you ask to be kept in the company of the poor, let you die in poverty and raise you with the poor?
Rasulullah replied, "The poor will enter the Paradise before the rich." After a pause he added, "O Aisha, never turn a needy person away from your door. Give him something, though it be only a piece of a date. Respect the poor and love them in spite of their poverty. If you bring the poor and needy closer to you, Allah will bring you closer to himself."

Rasulullah replied, "The poor will enter the Paradise before the rich. O Aisha, never turn a needy person away from your door."

The following hadith of Allah's Apostle gives us the broadest perspective on the issue of education of propriety, good morals, virtues and knowledge within the family: " All of you are shepherds and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of a people is a shepherd and responsible for them. A man is a shepherd over his family and is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherd over her husband's house and his children and she is responsible for them..."

His Relationship with Children

We can see a great deal of this dimension of education in the Prophet's relationships with his children.He raised them on Islamic principles and continued to look out for them after their marriages too. He not only took care of some of their material needs, he was also there for their spiritual needs. When it came to this, he did not make any difference between his own children and his stepchildren. He treated them with the same love and compassion and drew their attention to whatever was necessary for their education. Once he saw Umar, the son of Om Salamah from her prior marriage to Abu Salamah, eat from all sides of the dish and said to him: "O boy! Mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you". When in Madinah, Allah's Apostle used to go to the house of her daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali every morning after he woke up for the morning prayer to wake them up, which is only a small portion of his affection and care for them even after they became adults and got married.

The Prophet shared all the worries and happinesses of his children not only as Allah's Apostle, but also as a human being, as their father. Once his son-in-law, Abu'l As, the husband of his eldest daughter Zaynab, was taken by the muslims as a prisoner of war from the side of polytheists at the Battle of Badr.

 While the prisoners of war were being released in return for a ransom, Abu'l As wanted to offer his wife's necklace to be released too. When the Prophet saw this necklace which was a wedding gift to Zaynab from Khadija, he became very sad and told his companions: ‘You can either take it or leave it.' When they saw how upset he was, the companions of the Prophet gave the necklace back to him. In what progressed later, the Prophet asked Abu'l As to bring his daughter to Madinah. Abu'l As kept his promise and brought Zaynab to Madinah. The Prophet was very glad that Zaynab could come and appreciated his son-in-law on this one. Again, similar to this, the Prophet could not see or hear from his other daughter Ruqiyyah, who married to Othman and migrated to Habeshestan with him, for a very long time. He was rejoiced when a woman came to him and told him that she saw them and that they were fine. His shedding tears by the side of the grave of his other daughter, Om Kholsom, is another one of his sad and happy moments that we can find in sources. There are many other similar instances with his daughter Fatimah, his son-in-law Ali and his grandchildren Hasan and Hussain in sources of hadith and others.

To sum up, the family life of Allah's Apostle is an exemplary one in all respects. The principles he followed in his family life are timeless and have lost nothing of their significance over centuries. What we see in the family life of the Prophet is the best model for peace and happiness in this smallest unit of society, which is also what ensures the peace of the whole of society.

His Relationship with His Relatives

Relationships with relatives make up an important part of the relations within social texture which spin from one's immediate family into a much larger group. It is a well-known fact that Prophet Muhammad always had a respected place in his society both before and after his prophethood. The respect others had for him was the fruit of his good relationships with the tribe of Quraysh to which he belonged and in which he lived. He also had a close, loving relationship with his aunts and uncles. We can read between the lines of various reports of his life to find out information that supports these facts. Such a report from his life is the one about the first time the Prophet received divine revelation. It tells how Khadija calmed him down when he went to her scared and worried. She told him: "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You unite your relatives and you bear the burden of the weak (of our society). You help the poor and the needy, you are honorable to all guests and you bear harm in the path of truthfulness."

Allah's Apostle set an example of solidarity among relatives and of helping one another when he took his cousin, Hadhrat Ali, under his protection and raised him. According to the historical reports, the Prophet's uncle, Abu Talib, had many children and he could not afford to support all of them. The Prophet took Ali under his responsibility and raised him to alleviate his uncle's burden.  Abbas, too, took another son of Abu Talib to raise so he could help his brother.

The Prophet continued his good relationship with his relatives after his prophethood by inviting them to Islam. In fact, he first started his call to Islam from his relatives before he appealed to all people. When the ayah of "And warn your nearest relations" was revealed, Allah's Apostle climbed on top of the hill of Safa in Mecca, called out for the chiefs of the branches of the tribe of Quraysh and invited them to Islam. According to a report narrated by Ibn Abbas, Allah's Apostle was in the middle of the lineage of the tribe of Quraysh and therefore had relations with all the branches of the tribe. This was the reason why he first started his invitation to Islam with them. He requested nothing in return for his invitation. He only asked them to keep their good relations and not be unfair.

After his prophethood, the Prophet started to call people to Islam and he always had the support of those of his relatives who believed in Allah and him. During the first few very difficult years of his call to Islam, the Prophet's uncle, Abu Talib, protected him from the oppression and cruelty of the polytheists. Again, his uncle Hamza's support of him went as far as his being martyred at the Battle of Uhud. Abbas, another uncle of the Prophet, believed in him at a later time and remained by his side for all of his life.

"Worship Allah without joining him none in your worship, pray, give zakat (obligatory charity tax) and maintain good relations and ties with your kin."

Along with examples of solidarity of all kinds that the Prophet had with his relatives, we also see in his life that he emphasized the importance of not breaking relations with one's relatives, in fact he preached this to all muslims as a principle. He gave the following advice to someone who asked to tell him of a good deed that could take him to Heaven: "Worship Allah without joining him none in your worship, pray, give zakat (obligatory charity tax) and maintain good relations and ties with your kin."

He warned people that those who break their relations with their relatives would end up in Hell while he gave the good news for those who maintain these relations that they would have ample blessings from Allah. The following report provides us with a clear framework in terms of the desired relationships with one's relatives. Prophet Muhammad said: "Treating your kin with the same kindness they treat you with does not count as protecting and looking out for them.  The person who truly protects and looks out for his kin is the one who keeps benefiting them even when they break their relations with him.". The Prophet's warning on not breaking one's relations even with relatives that do not believe, is also worth mentioning here.

In some other reports, we see that the Prophet used the expression of ‘my Ahl ul Bayt' for his close relatives and he protected them from some unpleasant actions. The Prophet's uncle, Abbas b. Abdalmuttalib narrated: "A group of people from Quraysh used to stop talking amongst themselves when they saw us. We told about this situation to Allah's Apostle upon which he said: What is the matter with those who stop talking when they see someone from my Ahl ul Bayt? I swear by Allah,  that a servant(of Allah) shall not be a faithful believer unless he loves my Ahl ul Bayt on account of his love for Allah and my Ahl ul Bayt's closeness to me."

The Prophet said... I am leaving behind among you, two most precious things: Allah's scripture which contains guidance and light

In another report quoted in Muslim, the Prophet called the attention of muslims to his Ahl ul Bayt and commanded them to observe their rights. The infamous ‘thaqalain' hadith narrated by Zayd b. Arkam not only involves the Prophet's advice to muslims on his relatives but it also explains that all of the close relatives of the Prophet are among his Ahl ul Bayt. The related part of this fairly long report is as follows: "O people, know that I am only a human being. The time draws near when I will be called (to the next world), and for me to accept Allah's invitation. I am leaving behind among you, two most precious things: Allah's scripture which contains guidance and light, don't let it go and hold it tight." After this, he added "and my Ahl ul Bayt who are my family members. Beware how you behave towards these.", which he repeated three times. In the following part of the report, Zayd is asked about who are Ahl ul Bayt and he informs that they are the household of Hadhrat Ali and the households of Aqil, Jafar and Abbas, who are all close relatives of the Prophet.

Allah's Apostle reminded muslims, in many other reports, of the importance of his Ahl ul Bayt and muslims embraced the Prophet's relatives with a similar love and respect they had for him. The Prophet's relatives were prohibited from accepting zakat and a share of booty was allocated for them on a command of the Quran. The Prophet gave away 1/5 of 1/5 of the booty to his relatives. When he did this, he included Banu Hashem and Banu Muttalib while he excluded Banu Umayyah. His practice shows us that the Prophet did not forget the unbelievable oppression and cruelty of Banu Umayyah towards himself and other muslims and for this reason he did not make them a part of this allocation.

 The happinesses of his relatives made the Prophet happy and their worries upset him. Once when he was with his companions in the mosque, Hadhrat Ali came in and looked for a while for a place to sit. Allah's Apostle looked around at the faces of his companions in a way to imply that he wanted them to make room for Ali. Hadhrat Abu Bakr who was sitting to the right of the Prophet noticed what was going on, moved over to the side and called Ali: "Come here Aba Hasan". This made the Prophet very glad and he thus complimented Abu Bakr: "Only the ones with virtues can know the virtues of people with virtues."

To sum up, the Prophet was very sensitive about relationships with one's immediate family and relatives. After a phase of education and illumination of his own family and relatives, he continued to treat them with love and respect. The life of the Prophet is seen as a model by muslims in this sense like every other aspect of his life and those who follow in his footsteps always work towards the creation of a peaceful society based on good relationships within family and among relatives.


M. Bahauddin Varol, PhD