Conclusion: by His Eminence, the Muftee

At the end of this treatise, I must exhort myself and all my fellow Muslims to have Taqwah in every aspect of life, whether private or open. Let our sought-after goal be seeking the truth and acting upon it. I also advise all my fellow Muslims to acquire a good understanding of their religion, pursue knowledge to worship Allaah with certainty, and attain the virtues of walking its path: Whoever Allaah wills good for, He gives them understanding of the religion.

Brother and sisters in Islaam, seek to know your religion well and study the sciences of Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) from reliable books that are based on the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah, and the understanding of the Salaf (righteous predecessors). Be careful not to do or refrain from doing anything without knowledge. Ask the qualified people of knowledge about any matter that you find unclear, dubious, or difficult to understand.They must be trustworthy scholars, who are known for following the truth and acting upon it, in obedience to the command of our Lord (Glorified and Exalted be He) Who says: So ask the people of the Scripture, if you do not know.

Also, I exhort my fellow scholars and students to fear Allaah regarding the knowledge they have been granted and to carry out their duty of clarifying the matters of faith to people. They must diligently seek the truth supported by evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and according to the understanding of the Salaf; then they must disseminate it to the public. Allaah (Exalted be He) has taken a covenant from the people of knowledge that they should teach the people what they need to know. He (Exalted be He) has warned us against following the path of those who concealed knowledge and traded it for a petty gain… read more here.

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Chapter 13: Celebrating the Prophet’s birthday

Among the Bid`ahs (innovations in religion) that have become widespread in Muslim societies is the celebration of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday); observed during the days of Rabee` Al-Awwal. Since it has become such a widespread practice, I see it necessary to address this issue here in some detail. I say, and Allaah is the Grantor of success:

That none should be worshipped but Allaah, and that He should be worshipped only in the way He ordained in His Book and the Sunnah (acts, sayings, or approvals of the Prophet), is a basic principle of this religion, established by conclusive evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. For this reason, scholars maintain that all acts of worship are Tawqeefee (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion). In other words, a Muslim should only draw closer to Allaah through the means He (Glorified and Exalted be He) legislated and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him) has clarified. Anyone who tries to draw closer to Allaah through acts they think are good or have adopted from some eminent scholar or any other, their action counts as a rejected newly-invented practice in religion. This is so, regardless of how noble the intentions of the person doing it are. Therefore, it is reported that Ibn Mas`ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Many a people intend good but actually do not attain it. He said it to some who were glorifying Allaah (Exalted be He) while counting by using pebbles. When he forbade them from doing so, they said: We only intend good.read more here.

Chapter 12: Categories of those who violate the testimony, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”

Brothers in Islaam, we have previously clarified the true meaning of testifying that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, showing that those who act upon it and adhere to its meanings, both inwardly and outwardly, are true in their Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith), whereas those who contradict it are in serious danger.

Those who violate this Shahaadah fall into the following categories:

The first category is people who do not believe in the Message of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and refuse it altogether, out of denial or obstinacy, as in the case of the Mushriks (those who associate others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) of Makkah.

The second category is people who believe in the Message of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but reject its universality. They claim that it is specific to the Arabs, as held by some People of the Book (Jews and Christians).

To both these kinds of people we say: Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says to His Messenger (peace be upon him)… read more here.

Chapter 11: Pictures of love of Sahaabah for the Prophet of Guidance and Mercy

‘Aboo Bakr Al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) was one of the greatest supporters who had the strongest faith in the Prophet (peace be upon him). Many events in his life testify to the strength of his love and Eemaan (belief).

Among them are those recorded in [Al-Riyaad Al-Naadirah fee Manaaqib Al-`Ashrah] by ‘Aboo Ja`far Ahmad ibn `Abdullaah ibn Muhammad Al-Tabaree.

It is reported on the authority of Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that she said:  ‘Aboo Bakr was a close friend and confidant of the Prophet (peace be upon him). When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was first commissioned by Allaah, some Quraysh tribesmen hurried to ‘Aboo Bakr and said, ‘O ‘Aboo Bakr! This friend of yours has gone mad.’ ‘Aboo Bakr asked, ‘What is the matter with him?’ They said, ‘He is there in the Masjid (mosque) calling people to worship one God and claims to be a prophet.’ ‘Aboo Bakr asked, ‘Did he say so?’ They said, ‘Yes, he is over there in the Masjid.’ So ‘Aboo Bakr hurried to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and knocked on his door, summoning him outside. When he (peace be upon him) came out, ‘Aboo Bakr said to him, ‘O ‘Aboo Al-Qaasim, what is this I heard about you?’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘What have you heard about me?’ ‘Aboo Bakr replied, ‘I have heard that you are calling people to believe in and worship Allaah Alone and you are claiming to be the Messenger of Allaah.’…” read more here.

Chapter 10: Rights owed to the Prophet

There are great rights owed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by those who follow him.

Among these rights is not to speak about him as the rest of the people; but he should always be referred to respectfully and politely, saying: the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) or the Prophet of Allaah (peace be upon him). One should not simply say: Muhammad or Muhammad ibn `Abdullaah, and the like. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) among you as your calling one of another.

Another right is to ask Allaah (Exalted be He) to grant him Al-Wasilah (the most superior degree in Paradise). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Then ask Allaah to grant me Al-Waseelah, for it is a rank in Paradise which will only be attained by one of the servants of Allaah, and I hope that I will be the one. Whoever asks Al-Waseelah for me will deserve intercession. (Related by Muslim) Moreover, one of the owed rights is invoking the Blessings and Peace of Allaah upon the Prophet (peace be upon him), which is Waajib (obligatory) to do when performing Salaah (Prayer). Some scholars even consider it a Rukn (integral pillar), without which the Salaah is invalid… read more here.

Chapter 9: The True meaning of testifying that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”

Our testimony that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allaah carries a number of fundamentals, of which the most important is absolute and certain Eemaan (belief) that he is truly the Messenger of Allaah: Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the Messenger of Allaah whom Allaah (Exalted be He) sent to all humanity – Arabs and non-Arabs: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah.” Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: And We have not sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Every prophet was sent only to his own people, but I am sent to all mankind. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) He (peace be upon him) also said:By Him in Whose Hand the soul of Muhammad is, any Jew or Christian from this nation who hears about me, and then dies without believing in that with which I have been sent, will be among the dwellers of Hellfire. (Related by Muslim)… read more here.

Chapter 8: The Prophet’s physical characteristics

Allaah (Glorified be He) perfected Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and blessed him with the most gracious outward appearance and inward noble nature. Thus, he (peace be upon him) was the highest in all human characteristics, both the physical and the ethical.

Learning about the physical characteristics of our Prophet (peace be upon him) will benefit the believer in many ways:

First, increase of Eemaan (belief); the more a Muslim knows about the Prophet (peace be upon him), his life, his person, and the details of his Message, the more perfect will be their faith in him and the greater will be their love for him… read more here.

Chapter 7: The Prophet’s morals

Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) describes His Prophet (peace be upon him), saying: And Verily, you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) are on an exalted (standard of) character.

Al-`Iz ibn `Abdul-Salaam commented, saying: “When great people declare something to be great, it is a sign of its true greatness. How about the Most Great declaring someone to be great!”

Sa`d ibn Hishaam ibn `Aamir narrated that he went to `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) and said: “O Mother of the Believers, tell me about the manners of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him).” She replied: ” His manners were (those of) the Qur’aan. Do you not read the Qur`aan, the Saying of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He): And Verily, you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) are on an exalted (standard of) character. ” Sa`d said: “I want to practice celibacy.” She said: “Do not do that. Have you not read: Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) you have a good example to follow. The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) married and had children.”

Allaah (Exalted be He) perfected the character of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from his early childhood, and long before he began to receive revelation. He never once in his life worshipped an idol, drank Khamr (intoxicants), or did anything bad. He was known among his people as Al-Saadiq Al-Ameen (The Honest Truth-Speaker)… read more here.

Chapter 6: The Prophet’s special attributes

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the noblest descendent of Adam (peace be upon him). `Abdullaah ibn Salaam narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I am the Sayyid of the descendents of Adam, with no boasting. (Related by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh in this wording) Al-Tirmidee also related it with the addition “on the Day of Resurrection” before his saying “with no boasting.” The original Hadeeth, found in Saheeh Muslim, on the authority of ‘Aboo Hurayrah have the following wording: I am the Sayyid of the descendents of Adam on the Day of Resurrection. I am the first for whom the grave will be opened. I am the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted.

According to Al-`Iz: the Arabic word “Sayyid” means a person who is characterized by the highest moral qualities and ethical standards.This implies that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the best of humanity both in this world and the hereafter. In this world, because of his exceptional moral virtues and excellence of character. In the hereafter, superiority of reward is proportionate to virtues and nobility of manners. Since he (peace be upon him) excelled them all in this world, he will have a higher status and degree of honor than all others in the hereafter… read more here.

Chapter 5: The Prophet’s names

It is a sign of greatness to have many honorable names and epithets. Those which have been bestowed upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) all hold sublime meanings, yet the most superb is his proper name “Muhammad” with which Allaah (Exalted be He) addresses him in the Glorious Qur’aan. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. And: Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And: But those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and believe in that which is sent down to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) – for it is the truth from their Lord – He will expiate from them their sins, and will make good their state. And: Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allaah; and Allaah will give reward to those who are grateful. This is the loftiest name of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Hassaan ibn Thaabit (may Allaah be pleased with him) said in a poetic verse… read more here.

Chapter 4: The Prophet’s death

Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) addresses His Prophet (peace be upon him), saying: Verily you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will die, and verily they (too) will die. He (Exalted be He) also says: Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And: And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): then if you die, would they live forever?

He (peace be upon him) died after having fulfilled the trust and conveyed the Message of his Lord, striving with all his being in the Cause of Allaah. Near the end of his life, the Aayah of Soorah Al-Maa’idah was revealed as a witness for him, saying: This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion. By the revelation of Soorah of Al-Nasr, Allaah (Glorified be He) announced to the people the approach of the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari on the authority of Ibn `Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) that he said: “`Umar used to make me attend the gatherings of the elders who had fought in the Battle of Badr. But it seemed that one of them felt uncomfortable about it and so said to `Umar, ‘Why do you bring this boy to sit with us while we have sons of his age?’ `Umar replied, ‘It is because of his status (knowledge and merit), which you are well aware of.’ Then, one day `Umar invited me to sit with them, and I think that he invited me that day only to show them. `Umar asked them, ‘What is your interpretation of the Statement of Allaah (Exalted be He)… read more here.

Chapter 3: The Prophet’s mission

Divine Revelation first descended upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the age of forty during his solitary retirement for Tahannuth (worship) in Hira’ Cave There, the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel, peace be upon him) was sent down to him during one of these retreats and embraced him powerfully, then released him and said, “Iqra!” This was the beginning of the prophetic mission… read more here.

Chapter 2: The Prophet’s birth

The Year of the Elephant was the year of the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), without any known disagreement among biographers.

Birthday: It was definitely Monday; the evidence is that when asked about Sawm (Fast) on Monday, the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: That is the day on which I was born, and the day on which I received the Message (or on which Revelation was sent down to me). (Related by Muslim on the authority of Qataadah)… read more here.

Chapter 1: The Prophet’s lineage

Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: Indeed Allaah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’aan), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’aan) and Al-Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (i.e. his legal ways, statements, acts of worship)], while before that they had been in manifest error. According to certain Qira’at (recitation styles): the letter “ف” (Faa’) in ” من أنفسهم “ [translated above as ‘from among themselves’] is pronounced with Fat-hah (vowel point that sounds like “a”), thus meaning from the highest lineage among them.

It is reported in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Waathilah ibn Al-Asqa` (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) say: Verily, Allaah has chosen Kinanah from the Children of Ismaa’eel (Ishmael), and has chosen Quraysh from Kinaanah, and has chosen Banoo Haashim from Quraysh, and has chosen me from Banoo Haashim. It is also reported in the Two Saheeh (authentic) Books of Hadeeth (i.e. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) on the authority of ‘Aboo Soofyaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that Heraclius, the Roman Emperor, asked him a number of questions about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) including his lineage, saying, What kind of lineage has he among you? To which ‘Aboo Soofyaan replied, He is of a noble lineage (family) among us To this Heraclius said, I asked you about his lineage among you and you said that he was of a noble lineage. Similarly, all the messengers are sent from the noblest lineage among their people. (According to the wording of Al-Bukhaaree)… read more here.

Preface: by His Eminence, the Muftee

Before beginning I would like to give a preface that I believe will be beneficial.

Having sought help from Allaah (Exalted be He), I say:

Allaah (Exalted be He) created Adam (peace be upon him), breathed the soul He created into him, and then He (Exalted be He) commanded the angels to prostrate themselves to him. Iblees (Satan), though not an angel but one of the Jinn (creatures created from fire), was included and addressed by the command because of his close imitation of angels and their actions, and for his worship and devotion. The angels complied with the command and prostrated themselves, but the accursed Iblees did not prostrate: And (remember) when We said to the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam.. And they prostrated except Iblees (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allaah). Allaah (Glorified be He) says in Soorah (Qur’aanic chapter) Al-Kahf: And (remember) when We said to the angels: Prostrate yourselves unto Adam. So they prostrated themselves except Iblees (Satan). He was one of the jinn; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Pride, envy, and aggression made him refuse to prostrate to Adam. His punishment was expulsion from the Mercy of Allaah, and thus he brought down upon himself the Curse of Allaah. But his wicked soul only grew more hostile and spiteful to Adam and his offspring. He asked Allaah (Exalted be He) to be reprieved until the Day of Resurrection and he was reprieved… read more here.

Introduction: by His Eminence, the Muftee

The True meaning of testifying that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”

By Respected Shaykh

`Abdul-`Azeez ibn `Abdullaah ibn Muhammad Aal Al-Shaykh

Grand Muftee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Introduction:

All praise be to Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family, his Companions, and whoever follows his path and his guidance until the Day of Resurrection.

To proceed:

This is a brief treatise about [The true meaning of testifying that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah – may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] which we feel is important and even necessary to spread because many Muslims, not to mention non-Muslims, are ignorant of the essence of the meanings of the Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith): “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”; and consequently they fall into what contradicts it, militates against its perfection, or detracts from full Eemaan (faith) in it.

This demands that we clarify this matter, out of sincerity to Allaah (Exalted be He), His Messenger (peace be upon him), and all Muslims: rulers and common people, in compliance with the Command of Allaah (Glorified be He):And remind (by preaching the Qur’aan, O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), for verily, the reminding profits the believers. And: Therefore remind (men) in case the reminder profits (them). And: So remind them (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) – you are only one who reminds. You are not a dictator over them – There are many other Aayaahs (Qur’aanic verses) summoning us to do this duty… read more here.