Hudhur gave a discourse on God’s love for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and His retribution towards his enemies in the Friday Sermon today. Hudhur quoted a Hadith e Qudsi in which God states regarding the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him): ‘If I had not created you I would not have created the world.’ Many Muslims object over the authenticity of this Hadith. However, the true and ardent devotee of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has explained to us that this Hadith is genuine and it illustrates the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) lofty and matchless station. He was the most excellent among all the Prophets and his advent took place for all time and God’s love can be found by following him. He was given that seal of prophethood which attests all the previous Prophets. He was indeed that Seal of all the Prophets in that one of his followers has been granted status of prophethood, i.e. in accordance with his own prophecy; the Mahdi was given the status of prophethood. His closeness to God is thus described in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Then he drew nearer to God; then he came down to mankind,’ (53:9).
Explaining the above Quranic verse, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) lofty status had two stations; one went upwards and the other came downwards. His rise was towards God, taking him closer, to the extent of a union. When he partook of God’s blessings, he acquired grace and benevolence which he dispensed to mankind, as the Qur’an states: ‘And We have sent thee not but as a mercy for all peoples.’ (21:108). By attaining extreme closeness to God, he was given the station for the salvation of people and intercession on their behalf and given the title of ‘Mercy for all the worlds’ and God declared love for him is love for God. All this proves that the heavens were created out of God’s love for him. It is our good fortune that by coming in the bai’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) we have recognised the rightful status of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Regarding the aforementioned Hadith, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote what is the difficulty in accepting it? The Qur’an states that whatever is in the earth is for man. Could it not be possible then that from among His special people there is someone for whom the heavens were created? The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the incident of ‘spilt moon’ that took place during the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was a miracle, he said it may have been an eclipse of some kind. Indeed, in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) eclipses took place during the time of his Mahdi as well which are recorded events.
Hudhur said his objective in citing all this is to explain the lofty status of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). His life was full of miracles which tell us about his lofty status and God’s love for him, yet once when the pagans demanded that he ascended the heavens in front of them and brought down a Book, God stated: ‘…Say, ‘Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as a Messenger’ (17:94). Although he was the perfect man and most excellent among others but he was a mortal man. Just as people bore enmity with earlier Prophets, they did with him. He had come for all the peoples of the world, enmity towards him existed then and it exists today and will continue to exist. Other Prophets were derided and so was he, indeed continues to be derided. Islam had spread outside Arabia in his lifetime, later it spread all over the world and continues to spread today. A time will come when the majority of world will be under the banner of Islam and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). God gave him the following responsibility: ‘O Messenger! convey to the people what has been revealed to thee from thy Lord; and if thou do it not, thou hast not conveyed His Message at all. And Allah will protect thee from men. Surely, Allah guides not the disbelieving people. (5:68)
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) took this message to everyone with love, compassion, patience and prayers. The outsiders say Islam was spread by force, even a few self-styled Muslim scholars maintain this. After the migration to Medina and the battle of Badr, various battles took place until the treaty of Hudaibia. Among these battles, in the battle of Ahzab 3000 Muslims participated whereas at the time of treaty of Hudaibia a procession of 1500 people had gone with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). However, from the time of treaty of Hudaibia to the victory of Makkah, which took place after two and three quarters years of the treaty, the procession that entered Makkah with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was of 10,000 people. This proves that in the peaceful time of over two years the spread of Islam was greater. There are many incidents of the Prophet’s benevolence and forgiveness which Hudhur has cited. His stance was such because God had commanded him. God told him that he would be treated in the same manner as the earlier Prophets had been treated by their people but he was to be forgiving, steadfast and determined unless someone imposed war on him. The Qur’an thus explained: ‘So bear with patience what they say, and glorify thy Lord with His praise, before the rising of the sun and before its setting; (50:40). God assured the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to face the inevitable derision and mocking with steadfastness for the Qur’an is replete with prophecies that God and His Messenger will triumph ultimately and whosoever fears God will take heed and make his or her life in this world and the Hereafter better.
God enjoined the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him): ‘Have patience, then, as had the Messengers of strong determination; and be in no haste about them. On the day when they see that with which they are threatened, it will appear to them as though they had not tarried save for an hour of a day. This warning has been conveyed; and none but the disobedient people shall be destroyed.’ (46:36). Hudhur explained that patience and steadfastness during adversity and difficult times is what brings triumph and that success has its appointed time. As the era of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is till the end of time, then according to Divine promise, chastisement of his enemies in every age will become a sign. Indeed, his detractors committed all manner of enmity during his life time, as the Qur’an states: ‘And they said, ‘O thou to whom this Exhortation has been sent down, thou art surely a madman.’(15:7). Hudhur said this is blatant abuse. The entire population of Makkah extended terrible treatment to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) but after he was victorious and entered Makkah, he treated everyone with love. Just as Hudhur explained in last Friday Sermon, these were not just people who gave verbal abuse, indeed they exceeded limits of cruelty. The Qur’an states: ‘And those who disbelieve say, ‘It is naught but a lie which he has forged, and other people have helped him with it.’ Indeed, they have brought forth an injustice and an untruth.’ (25:5). Hudhur said this verse carries profound subject, but Hudhur would only mention here that the people who called the Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) a liar after his claim to prophethood were the same who were convinced of his honesty beforehand. Regarding their enmity, the Qur’an also states: ‘…And the wrongdoers say, ‘You follow none but a man bewitched.’ (25:9) and ‘And they wonder that a Warner has come to them from among themselves; and the disbelievers say, ‘This is a magician, a great liar.’ (38:5). Although they called him all manner of names and derided him, God commanded him to be steadfast: ‘…you shall surely hear many hurtful things from those who were given the Book before you and from those who set up equals to God. But if you show fortitude and act righteously, that indeed is a matter of strong determination.’ (3:187). Hudhur said what could be more hurtful for a believer who loves his or her master more than life to hear such discourtesy towards him, but God has enjoined patience and steadfastness. Hudhur said in last Friday Sermon Hudhur had given the example of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in this instance. For this, taqwa is conditional. If we abide by taqwa and turn to God, the Lord of retribution, we will witness the bad ending of enemies. However, our own taqwa is a condition for this.
God states in Surah Al Haqqah:
‘That it is surely the word brought by a noble Messenger;
And it is not the word of a poet; little is it that you believe!
Nor is it the word of a soothsayer; little is it that you heed!
It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.’ (69:41-44) and thus responds to the detractors of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Although God enjoins steadfastness to believers, He states: ‘We will, surely, suffice thee against those who mock:’ (15:96), He Himself is retributive towards the wrongdoers. He also states: ‘And as for those who are disobedient, their abode will be the Fire. Every time they desire to come forth therefrom, they will be turned back into it, and it will be said to them, ‘Taste the punishment of the Fire which you used to deny, And most surely, we will make them taste of the lesser punishment before the greater punishment, so that they may return to Us with repentance. And who does greater wrong than he who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them? We will surely punish the guilty.’ (32:21-23). If the enemy does not fear God’s warnings, as He manifests His Power at times to reform people, then God definitely punishes, but He also states that He alone has control over this matter.
God stated to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him):
‘And bear patiently all that they say; and part with them in a decent manner.
And leave Me alone with those who reject the truth, possessors of ease and plenty; and give them a little respite.
Surely, with Us are heavy fetters and raging fire
And food that chokes, and a painful punishment —‘(73:11-14).
God has kept the matter to display cautionary signs to Himself and has enjoined Prophets and their followers to be patient and keep themselves detached from such people. Regarding His chastisement, God states:
‘Hast thou seen him who forbids
A servant of Ours when he prays
Beware if he were to be on the right
Or had admonished righteousness?
Again have considered if he falsified the truth instead and turned away?
Does he not realize that Allah sees?
Nay if he desist not, We will certainly drag him by the forelock,
A forelock false, sinful
Then let him call his companions
We too will call Our angels of punishment who will thrust him into Hell.’
God also states in the Qur’an: ‘There are some among the Jews who pervert words from their proper places. And they say, ‘We hear and we disobey,’ and ‘hear thou without being heard,’ and ‘Ra‘ina,’ screening with their tongues what is in their minds and seeking to injure the Faith. And if they had said, ‘We hear and we obey,’ and ‘hear thou,’ and ‘Unzurna,’ it would have been better for them and more upright. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief; so they believe but little.’ (4:47). Hudhur explained this is the treatment for those who insult God’s Prophets. The Jews of the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) would say if the God of Islam was a True God why did He not punish their hostile scheming. In reply, God stated: ‘Hast thou not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels and again return to what they were forbidden, and confer secretly for sin and transgression and disobedience to the Messenger? And when they come to thee, they greet thee with a greeting with which Allah has not greeted thee; but among themselves they say, ‘Why does not Allah punish us for what we say?’ Sufficient for them is Hell, wherein they will burn; and a most evil destination it is!’ (58:9). As Hudhur explained two Fridays ago, the Jews of the time would say ‘Assamalaik’ (may you be destroyed) rather than Assalamoalaik and when the Companions wanted to take revenge, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) always told them God had taken the matter from their hands.
As mentioned by Hudhur, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the most beloved of God and his prophethood is to last till the Day of Judgement, yet enemies opposed him as they did all other Prophets. At every juncture God enjoined him to be steadfast and prayerful like the earlier resolute Prophets and enjoined the same to his followers, assuring that He Himself would take retribution. However, permission was given to contend with the enemy if he attacked and destroyed peace. If this permission is not given, the detractors would destroy peace for adherents of all religions. One example of God’s retribution of affront to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is stated in the Qur’an as: ‘Perished be the two hands of Abu Lahab, and so perish he’ (111:2). Abu Lahab’s stance towards the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was most reprehensible and he met a terrible ending when wolves tore his body apart [*see note below]. The Divine promises made to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), who is the most beloved of God, will continue to be fulfilled till the Day of Judgement. In every era, enemies of Islam have been meeting their bad ending and will continue to meet them. May God always show us manifestations of the Prophet’s lofty station and God’s love for him. May we put teachings of the Qur’an in practice and be those believers who the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) expected his Ummah to be.
*Note: In the Friday Sermon of Feb 4th 2011 Hadrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) made some corrections with regards to Hazur's mention of Abu Lahab in this sermon. Please read the sermon of Feb 4th 2011.