Birthday of the most peerless person
Heartiest congratulations to all our listeners on a very blessed day. As a matter of fact we can call the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal the grandest day in the history of mankind. It is the day the Almighty Creator of the universe decided to bring into the world His Last and Greatest Messenger – Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Here we present you an exclusive feature on the person whom God Almighty has hailed in the holy Qur’an in ayah 107 of Surah Anbiya as:
“We have not sent you but as a mercy unto the whole creation.”
On the eve of Prophet’s birth, the idols that the infidel Arabs had placed in Prophet Abraham’s edifice of monotheism, the holy Ka’ba, fell headlong. The forces of Jahiliyyah, whether in the Arab Peninsula or elsewhere in the supposedly civilized world, witnessed events that heralded the end of the days of ignorance.
History bears witness that the sacred fire of the Zoroastrians that had been kept burning in Persian proper for over a thousand years, suddenly died down to the horror of the Mobads.
In Ctesiphon (Mada’en near Baghdad in Iraq), a crack suddenly appeared in the huge arch of the magnificent hall of audience of the Sassanid king of kings (Shahenshah). At the same time, 14 parapets came crashing down from atop Khosrow’s palace.
They were others portents in other parts of the world that are outside the scope of this brief column, in which we intend to point out that none of the ancestors and ancestresses of the person sent by God as “Seal of Messengers”, were other than staunchly virtuous monotheists.
This is confirmed by all respected scholars of Islam, whether Sunni or Shi’ite Muslims. Thu, it would be repetitive to say that he was born in the monotheistic Bani Hashem Clan that was descended from Prophet Ishmael, the firstborn of that great iconoclast, Prophet Abraham (peace upon him).
A detailed account of the noble ancestors of the Seal of Messengers is outside the scope of this brief radio programme. We, however, we cite a famous hadith, narrated by our Sunni brethren as well, and which quotes the Prophet himself as saying:
“(The Archangel) Gabriel told me: I turned over the easts and the wests of the Earth but did not find anyone superior to Mohammad, then [again] I turned over the easts and the wests of the Earth but did not find any clan superior to the Bani Hashem.”
It is clear from the wordings of this hadith that the Messenger of Mercy was neither born among the polytheists of Arabia nor in any uncouth, ill-mannered, and unprincipled Arab household.
In other words, terrorism and violence were alien to the nature of the posthumous son of Abdullah; the orphan of the pious lady, Amena bint Wahb; the grandson of the Leader of the Quraish, Abdul-Muttaleb; and the nephew of the Shaikh al-Bat’ha (or the Senior Citizen of Mecca) Abu Taleb.
The reason we have cited these few names is to emphasize the pure and pristine nature of the Best of God’s creation, who himself has said: “I was always being transferred from the loins of the pure ones to the wombs of the pure ones.”
Now we understand the phrase in the Ziyarah or standard form of salutation to the Prophet of Islam that reads:
“I bear witness that you were (descended) through pure loins and chaste wombs.”
Another point worth stressing is the fact that the person prophesied by such all-time greats as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others in different ages and various lands, was not just the greatest of them all, but was the offspring of a long line of “Awsiya” or Legatees, of Ishmael.
To be more precise, since Prophets are infallible and immune from sins and faults, so shall be their legatees – untainted by vices and idolatry. As the Prophet’s cousin, ward, son-in-law, and divinely-designated vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), has said in this regard:
“By Allah, neither my father ever worshipped idols, nor my grandfather Abdul-Muttalib, nor his father Hashem, nor his father Abd Munaf. They prayed facing towards the Ka’ba and followed the religion of Abraham.”
No wonder, it is highly recommended to visit the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) in Najaf or to salute him from afar, on the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
In ayah 21 of Surah Ahzaab, God Almighty says:
“In the Prophet of Allah, certainly there is for you a good exemplar, for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remember Allah greatly.”
Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was thus the finest example of a perfect man in every sense of the term. He was a paragon of virtue and the most Excellent Exemplar for the human race. The Almighty distinguished him from all others by instilling in his sublime personality such fine qualities as modesty, truthfulness, kindness, patience, loyalty, honesty, courage, bravery, generosity, magnanimity, wisdom and the like. By studying his lofty characteristics and the amazingly simple life that he led with his household, companions, wives and others, we are able to learn valuable lessons from his conduct and accordingly mould our own lifestyle.
Our society could never be an Islamic one unless we sincerely tread the footsteps of Allah's final Messenger to mankind, heed his sayings, and emulate his practice and behaviour (Sunnah & Seerah), as the faithful among his companions did.
This means to desist from whatever he has forbidden, and obey whatever he has bequeathed to us, especially his last and final public proclamation, by the command of God, at the memorable gathering of Ghadeer-Khom, of the prime position after him amongst the Muslims, of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS).
Entrusted by God with the universal message of Islam, the Prophet of Islam’s mission was to bring hearts closers by removing differences and doubts, and to help build the morally sound and peaceful society, where everybody including those that were not yet Muslim and still adhered to what they believed as the ways of the other prophets, should live in peaceful co-existence.
His invitation to the People of the Book, and his debates and accords, for instance, with the Christians of Najran, indicate this.
His coming was foretold in the Evangel, the Torah, and the previously revealed heavenly scriptures, as well as in the religious texts of the Zoroastrians, the Hindus, and others – parts of this prophecy is still preserved in spite of the tampering by interlopers that these books have gone through.
For instance, in Deuteronomy (18:15) we read the prophecy to Moses:
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren (Ishmaelite Arabs), like unto thee, and will put My Words into his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My Words which he shall speak in My Name.”
In the Gospel of St. John (18:7-14) we find the following prophecy of Jesus:
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the Spirit of truth (the Comforter), is come, he will guide into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”