Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad – Allah’s Praise of the Prophet Muhammmad (peace and blessings be upon him), and His Great Esteem for Him

Concerning Allah’s praise of him and his numerous excellent qualities

Allah says: “A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves”(9:128)

Allah informs the believers, or the Arabs, or the people of
Makka, or all people (according to different commentaries on the
meaning of the words) that He has sent to them from among themselves a
Messenger whom they know, whose position they are sure of and whose
truthfulness and trustworthiness they cannot but recognize. Therefore,
since he is one of them, they should not suspect him of lying or of not
giving them good counsel. There is no Arab tribe without descent from,
or kinship with, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant
him peace. This, according to Ibn Abbas and others, is the meaning of
His words, “except love for kin.” (42:23)

He is from the noblest, highest and most excellent of them. How much further in the ayat can praise go?

Then Allah continues the ayat by attributing to him all kinds of
praiseworthy qualities and greatly praises his eagerness to guide
people to Islam, his deep concern for the intensity of what afflicts
and harms them in this world and the Next, and his compassion and mercy
for the believers.

One of the men of knowledge, Al-Husayn ibn
al-Fadl, said, “He honored him with two of His own names: the
compassionate and the merciful (rauf, rahim ).” The same point is made
in another ayat: “Allah was kind to the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves.” (3:164)

Another ayat says: “He is the One who sent a Messenger from you among the unlettered people.” (62:2)

Allah also says: “As We sent among you a Messenger from you.” (2:151)

It is related that Ali said that the words of Allah, “from among yourselves”
mean by lineage, relationship by marriage and descent. There was no
fornicator among his forefathers from the time of Adam. All of them
were properly married.

Ibn al-Kalbi said, “I wrote down five hundred female ancestors
of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I did not
find any fornication among them nor any of the evils which were
prevalent in the Jahiliyya period.” Ibn Abbas said that the words of
Allah, “when you turn about among those who prostrate”, (26:219) mean from Prophet to Prophet until I brought you out as a Prophet.

Jafar
ibn Muhammad [as-Sadiq] said, “Allah knew that His creatures would not
be capable of pure obedience to Him, so He told them this in order that
they would realize that they would never be able to achieve absolute
purity in serving Him. Between Himself and them He placed one of their
own species, clothing him in His own attributes of compassion and
mercy. He brought him out as a truthful ambassador to creation and made
it such that when someone obeys him, they are obeying Allah, and when
someone agrees with him, they are agreeing with Allah.”

Allah says: “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah. (4:80)

Allah says, “We did not send you except as a mercy to all the worlds.” (21:107)

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Tahir said in explanation of this ayat,
“Allah imbued Muhammad with mercy, so that his very being was mercy and
all his qualities and attributes were mercy to all creatures. Whoever
is touched by any aspect of his mercy is saved in both worlds from
every hateful thing and obtains everything he loves. Do you not see
that Allah says, “We did not send you except as a mercy to all the worlds.?”

His life was mercy and his death was mercy. As the Prophet
himself said, “My life is a blessing for you and my death is a blessing
for you.”

The Prophet also said, “When Allah desires mercy for a
community, He takes its Prophet to Him before them and He makes him one
who goes ahead to prepare the way for them.”

As-Samarqandi explains that the words a mercy to all the
worlds mean for both the jinn and mankind. It is also said that it
means for all creation. He is a mercy to the believers by guiding them,
a mercy to the hypocrites by granting them security from being killed,
and a mercy to the unbelievers by deferring their punishment. Ibn Abbas
said, “He is a mercy to the believers and also to the unbelievers since
they are safe from what befell the other communities who cried lies.”
It is related that the Prophet said to Jibril, “Has any of this mercy
touched you? He replied, ‘Yes, I used to have fear about what would
happen to me, but now I feel safe because of the way Allah praised me
when He said, Possessing power, secure with the Lord of the Throne, obeyed, then trusty.” (81:21)

It is related that Jafar as-Sadiq said that the words of Allah, “Peace be upon you, among the Companions of the Right”
(56:91) mean because of you, Muhammad. The cause of their peace is the
high honor bestowed upon Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him
peace.

Allah says,” Allah is the Light of the heavens and the
earth; the likeness of His light is like a niche wherein is a lamp, the
lamp in a glass, the glass as if it were a glittering star kindled from
a blessed tree, an olive that is neither of the east nor the west whose
oil would nearly shine, even if no fire touched it. Light upon light.
Allah guides to His Light whomever He wills. Allah makes examples for
people and Allah has knowledge of everything.”
(24:35)

Kab al-Ahbar and Ibn Jubayr said, “By the second light He means
Muhammad. Allah says,the likeness of his light meaning the light of
Muhammad.”

Sahl ibn Abdullah at-Tustari said that it means that Allah is
the guide of the people of the heavens and the earth. Then Sahl said,
“…like the light of Muhammad when it is lodged in the loins like a
niche. By the lamp He means his heart. The glass is his breast. It is
as if it were a glittering star because of belief and wisdom it
contains, kindled from a blessed tree, i.e. from the light of Ibrahim.
He makes a comparison with the blessed tree and He says,“Its oil would nearly shine,
i.e. Muhammad’s prophecy is almost evident to the people before he
speaks, just like this oil.” A lot more is said about this ayat, and
Allah knows best what it means.

Elsewhere in the Qur’an, Allah calls his Prophet a light and a light-giving lamp. He says, “A light and a Clear Book have come to you from Allah.” (5:15)

Allah also says, “We sent you as a witness, a bringer
of good news and a warner, one who calls to Allah with His permission
and a light-giving lamp.
(33:46)

This is why He says: “Did We not expand your breast for you? (94:1)

To expand, sharaha, is to make wide, vast. By the word
breast, Allah here means the heart. Ibn Abbas said, “He expanded it
with the light of Islam.” Sahl at- Tustari said, “With the light of the
message.” Hasan al-Basri said, “He filled it with judgment and
knowledge.” It is also said that it means, ‘Did We not purify your
heart so that it does not allow in any whispering from Shaytan?’

The sura continues: “And We lifted your burden from you, the burden that weighed down your back.” (94:2-3)

It is said that this means his wrong actions, i.e. from the time
before he was a Prophet. It is said that it means the burden of the
days of the Jahiliyya. It is said that the meaning is the message which
weighed down his back before he conveyed it, and this is the opinion of
al- Mawardi and as-Sulami. It is also said that it means, ‘We protected
you and if it had not been for that, wrong actions would have burdened
your back’, and this is what as-Samarqandi relates.

The sura continues: “Did We not exalt your fame?” (94:4)

Yahya ibn Adam said that this meant by being given prophethood.
It is said that the meaning of these words is explained by the hadith
qudsi, “When I am mentioned, you are mentioned with Me in the
statement, ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of
Allah.'”

It is also said that the same is done by means of the adhan.

What is clear is that by these words Allah confirms the
immensity of the favor He has bestowed on His Prophet, his noble
station with Him and the honor in which He holds him. He expanded his
breast to belief and guidance and made it wide enough to contain
knowledge and bear wisdom. He removed from him the burdens of all the
things of the Jahiliyyah and made their pursuance hateful to him by
giving victory to His deen over all other deens. He lightened for him
the weighty responsibility of the message and prophethood so he could
convey to people what was sent down to him. He re-emphasised the
sublime position, majestic rank, high renown of His Prophet and joined
his name to His own name.

Qatada said, “Allah exalted his fame in this world and the
Next. There is no speaker, witness nor anyone doing the prayer who
fails to say, ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger
of Allah.'”

Abu Said al-Khudri related that the Prophet said, “Jibril,
peace be upon him, came to me and said,’ My Lord and your Lord says,
“Do you know how I have exalted your fame?” I said, ‘Allah and His
Messenger know best.’ He said, “When I am mentioned, you are mentioned
with Me.”

Ibn Ata quoted a hadith qudsi saying, “I completed belief with
your being mentioned with Me.” And another one which says, “I have made
your mention part of My mention so whoever mentions Me, mentions you.”
Jafar ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq said, “No one mentions you as the Messenger but that he mentions Me as the Lord.”

Some of the people of knowledge, such as al-Mawardi, suggested
that the Station of Intercession was being referred to by this.The fact
that mention of the Prophet is directly connected to mention of Allah
also shows that obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to
Allah and his name to Allah’s name. Allah says, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.” (2:32)

and “Believe in Allah and His Messenger.” (4:136)

Allah joins them together using the conjunction wa which
is the conjunction of partnership. It is not permitted to use this
conjunction in connection with Allah in the case of anyone except the
Prophet. Hudhayfa said that the Prophet said, “None of you should say,
‘What Allah wills and (wa) so-and-so wills.’ Rather say, ‘What Allah wills.’ Then stop and say, ‘So-and-so wills.'”

Al-Khattabi said, “The Prophet has guided you to correct
behavior in putting the will of Allah before the will of others. He
chose then (thumma) which implies sequence and deference as opposed to and (wa)
which implies partnership.Something similar is mentioned in another
hadith. Someone was speaking in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah
bless him and grant him peace, and said, “Whoever obeys Allah and His
Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them
both”-(joining them together by using the dual form). The Prophet said
to him, “What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]”
Abu Sulayman said, “He disliked the two names being joined together in
that way because it implies equality.” Someone else thought that what
he disliked was stopping at whoever rebels against them. Abu Sulayman’s
statement is sounder since it is related in another sound recension of
the hadith that he said, “Whoever rebels against them has erred”,
without stopping after …whoever rebels against them.

The commentators and etymologists disagree regarding the words of Allah, “Allah and His angels pray blessings on the Prophet.”
(33:56) about whether the word ‘pray ‘(masc. pl.) refers to both Allah
and the angels or not. Some of them allow it to refer to both while
others forbid this because of the idea of partnership. They make the
pronoun refer to the angels alone and understand the ayat as Allah
prays and His angels pray.

It is related that Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to
the Prophet, “Part of your excellence with Allah is that He has made
obedience to you obedience to Him.” Allah says,“Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah” (4:80) and

“If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you.” (3:31)

It is related that when this ayat was sent down, people said,
“Muhammad wants us to take him as a mercy in the way the Christians did
with Isa”, so Allah revealed, “Say: Obey Allah, and the Messenger.” (3:32)

Allah connected obedience to Muhammad with obedience to Himself in spite of what the people said.

The commentators disagree about the meaning of the words of Allah in the Fatiha, “Guide us on the Straight Path, the path of those You have blessed.”

Abul-Aliyya and Hasan al-Basri said, “The Straight Path is the
Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the best
of the People of his House and his Companions.” Hasan al-Mawardi
related from Abul-Aliyya and Hasan al-Basri, “The Straight Path is the
Messenger of Allah and the best of the people of his House and his
Companions.”

Makki related something similar, “This refers to the Messenger
of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his two
Companions, Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both.
Abul-Layth as-Samarqandi related almost the same from Abul-Aliyya
regarding the words of Allah, “The path of those whom You have blessed.”

Hasan al-Basri heard it and said,” It is true, by Allah, and it
is good counsel.” Al- Mawardi relates this in his commentary on the
words “The path of those whom You have blessed”, from Abdur-Rahman ibn Zayd. Abu Abdur-Rahman as-Sulami related that one of the commentators said that in the words of Allah, “He has taken hold of the firmest handle”,
(2:256) ‘the firmest handle is Muhammad’, may Allah bless him and grant
him peace. It is also said that it means Islam. It is said that it
means the testimony of tawhid (that there is no god but Allah).

Sahl at-Tustari said that the words of Allah, “If you count the blessings of Allah, you will not be able to number them”, (14:34) refer particularly to the blessing of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

Allah says, “The one who has come with the truth and confirmed it, – they are the ones who fear Allah.” (39:33)

Most of the commentators say that the one who brought the truth
is Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. One of them said,
“He is the one who confirmed it.”

Sometimes this word is read as sadaqa (spoke the truth) and sometimes saddaqa
(confirmed it) i.e. referring to the believers. It is said that Abu
Bakr is meant and it is said that it refers to Ali and other things are
said as well. Mujahid said that the words of Allah, “Hearts are made tranquil by the remembrance of Allah”, (13:28) refer to Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his Companions.

{Note: This is only the first chapter of this wonderous and remarkable book.}

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