Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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    First
    Cornerstone
    :
    Return of Mankind to Allah

    1-Building Al-Masjid
    An-Nabawi

    The first construction that Prophet
    Muhammad r built when he arrived
    in Al-Madinah was the Masjid, the house of worship, to bring mankind back to their Maker and to reconcile man to
    man,
    where
    hearts
    are cleansed and raised from earthly to heavenly concerns.

    That Masjid, which the
    Messenger
    r first directed his energy into building, is not a piece of
    land allocated for worship, for a Muslim is not limited to a place to offer
    worship: “The earth has been made for me a Masjid and a means of
    purification
    ; therefore, wherever any of my followers is at a time of
    Salah, they can pray
    .”
    2

    Rather, it symbolizes what is most
    important and most adhered to in Islam, that is, the relationship between
    people and their Lord. A relationship that is renewed and strengthened
    throughout every day and night. “I (Allah) am with My
    servant when he remembers Me. If he remembers me to himself, I remember him to
    Myself… if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running
    .”
    3

    A relationship that is renewed and
    strengthened
    through the daily walks to the Masjid, the steps
    taken, and the disengagement from anything else to come submissively to stand
    before the Lord of Existence and pray. “Anyone
    who purifies himself in his house then walks to one of the Houses of Allah to perform one of the obligatory Salahs
    enjoined by Allah, every two steps he takes, one will erase a sin and the other
    will raise him one degree in status.
    4

    Anyone who goes to the
    Masjid, morning or evening, Allah will prepare for him an honorable abode in Paradise every time he comes to it and goes.
    5

    Walking his way to it, the Prophet r supplicated, saying,
    O Allah, place in my heart light, and upon my tongue light, and within
    my ears light, and within my eyes light, and place behind me light, and in
    front of me light, and above me light, and beneath me light
    . O Allah, bestow upon me light.6

    Entering or leaving, he r supplicated, saying,
    When any one of you enters the Masjid, let him say, ‘O Allah, open to
    me the gates of Your Mercy
    , and when he leaves let him say, ‘O Allah, I
    ask You of Your Bounty.
    ’” 7

    No civilization is of any worth or
    value if it forgets its Creator, forgets the Day of return to Him, and confuses
    good with evil.

    The Islamic civilization that Prophet
    Muhammad r built is constantly reminded of the One God and the
    meeting with Him. It ever exhorts to good and fights evil while living within
    the Boundaries of Allah’s Law.
    8

    2-True Foundations

    The
    Messenger of Allah
    r mounted his camel and proceeded onward,
    the people walking along with him, until his camel knelt down at the place to
    become the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah r
    at Al-Madinah. Some Muslim men used to pray there at that time. The place was a
    yard for drying dates and belonged to Suhail and Sahl, two orphan boys who were
    under the guardianship of ‘As‘ad bin Zurarah.

    When his camel knelt down, the Messenger of Allah r
    said, “This, by the Will Allah, is the landing place.” He r then called the two boys and negotiated with them
    over (the price of) the yard so that he might take it as a Masjid. The
    two boys said, “No, we offer it as a gift to you, O Messenger of Allah.
    But the Messenger of Allah r refused to accept it
    as a gift from them; he r bought it from them
    and built a Masjid there.9

    The Masjid was built of adobe, its roof from palm
    leaves, and its pillars from the trunks of date palms.10

    The Prophet r
    himself participated in building the Masjid, carrying the adobe with his
    Companions while chanting with them:

    O Allah! The (true)
    reward is the reward of the hereafter

    So be merciful to
    Al-Ansar and Al-Muhajirah (Emigrants
    ) 11

    The concrete structure was very simple, for it was not the true
    foundation of the Prophet’s Masjid. Its true foundation was piety laid
    down from the first day. (A
    Masjid whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety
    .)12

    Inside, the worshiper truly humbled himself before his Creator.
    Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri t narrated, “A cloud
    came and it rained until the roof (of the Masjid) started leaking. It was made
    of the leaves of date palms. The Iqamah (call to
    commence the prayer)
    was then announced, and I saw the Messenger of
    Allah
    r prostrating in
    water and mud. I even saw the traces of mud on his forehead.
    13

    The Masjid was not only a place for worship, but also an
    academy where the Muslims received the teachings and instructions of Islam. It was
    an assembly place where the different tribes met and merged after they had
    clashed for so long during the wars and conflicts of Jahiliyyah. It was
    a base for administrating all the affairs of the Muslims. It was a parliament
    for holding consultative and executive councils. And, it was a home for many
    poor refugees from the emigrants who had no home, no
    money, no family,
    and nowhere to turn.14

    3-Call to Salah

    When
    the Muslims arrived in Al-Madinah they used to assemble for Salah and estimate
    the time for coming to perform it. There was no summons to it.
    15

    The Prophet r was concerned about
    how to gather the people for Salah.

    The people told him, “Hoist a flag at the time of Salah.
    When the people see it, they will inform one another.
    He r did not like it.

    They mentioned to him r
    the horn, but he r
    did not like it either. He r
    said, “This is a matter of the Jews.

    Then they mentioned to him the bell. He r said, “This is a
    matter of the Christians.

    ‘Abdullah bin Zaid t left, feeling anxious
    for the anxiety of the Messenger of Allah r.
    Then he was shown the Azan (Call to Prayer) in his dream. In the
    morning, he came to the Messenger of Allah r and informed him
    about it.

    He said, “O Messenger of Allah, I was between sleep and
    wakefulness when all of a sudden a comer came (to me) and taught me the Azan.
    16

    He taught him to say:

    Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

    Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

    I testify that there
    is god but Allah.

    I testify that there is god but Allah.

    I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

    I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

    Come to Salah, come
    to Salah.

    Come to success, come to success.

    Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

    There is no god but Allah.

    The Prophet r said, “It is a
    true vision, by the Will of Allah. So get up along with Bilal, recite to him
    what you have seen, and let him call to Salah with it; for his voice is
    stronger than yours.
    17

    This Call to Salah, announced five times a day, summarizes
    the Message of Islam. It contains the Two Testimonies of Faith upon which the
    entire religion of Islam is based. To worship none but Allah U,
    that is, saying: I testify that there is god but Allah; and to worship
    Him in the way He taught His Messenger r – only His Messenger,
    not a god – that is, saying: I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of
    Allah
    .

    It is the powerful reminder, started and
    ended with the words
    الله أكبر الله أكبر
    to awaken the followers of Muhammad
    r
    to duty
    :
    Your God is Greater, far Greater than anything and everything that may
    interfere or distract you from answering His Call, so Come to Salah!
    Come to Success!
    18


    2 Narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah: Sahih Al-Bukhary,
    Book of Tayammum (
    Dry Ablution with Clean Earth),
    Hadith no. 323; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by
    Al-Bukhary
    (419), Muslim (810),
    An-Nasa’y (429, 728), Ahmad (13745), and Ad-Darimy (1353).

    3 Hadith
    Qudsy
    narrated by Abu Hurairah: Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Mukthrin, Hadith no. 7115; similar versions of
    the Hadith are also reported by
    Al-Bukhary
    (6856), Muslim (4832, 4849), and
    At-Tirmidhy
    (3527).

    4 Narrated by Abu Hurairah: Sahih Muslim, Book of Masjids
    wa Mawadi
    As-Salah, Hadith no. 1070.

    5 Narrated by Abu Hurairah:
    Sahih Muslim, Book of Masjids wa Mawadi
    As-Salah,
    Hadith
    no. 1073;
    similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary
    (622) and Ahmad (10200).

    6 Narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas: Sahih Muslim, Book of Salah Al-Musafirin wa Qasriha, Hadith no. 1280;
    similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by Abu
    Dawud (1148)

    and Ahmad (3360).

    7 Narrated by Abu
    Usaid: Sahih Muslim,
    Book of Salah Al-Musafirin wa Qasriha, Hadith
    no. 1165;
    similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by An-Nasa’y (721), Abu Dawud (393), Ibn Majah (764), Ahmad (15477,
    22502), and
    Ad-Darimy (1358,
    2362, 2575).

    8
    Adapted from Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Fiqh As-Sirah, chapter five:
    Foundations of the New Society (Masjid), Dar Ada‘wah.

    9 Narrated by Lady ‘Aishah:
    Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3616.

    10 Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin
    ‘Umar: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Salah, Hadith no. 427; similar versions
    of the Hadith are also reported by Abu Dawud (381) and Ahmad (5865).

    11 Narrated by Lady ‘Aishah: Sahih
    Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3616; similar versions of the
    Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary (410, 3639), Muslim (816), Abu Dawud,
    (383), Ibn Majah (734), and Ahmad (11733, 12385, 12731, 13072).

    12
    Translated
    meanings of At-Tawbah 9: 108.

    13 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Azan
    (Call to Prayer), Hadith no. 629; similar versions of the Hadith are also
    reported by Al-Bukhary (771, 792, 1877, 1878, 1895, 1899), Muslim (1993, 1994,
    1995), Abu Dawud (1174), and Ahmad (10610, 10757, 11151, 11279).

    14 Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq
    Al-Makhtum
    , First Phase: Building a New Society.

    15 Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin
    ‘Umar: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Azan, Hadith no. 569; similar
    versions of the Hadith are also reported by Muslim (568), At-Tirmidhy (175),
    An-Nasa’y (622), and Ahmad (6072).

    16 Transmitted by Abu ‘Umair bin
    Anas: Sunnan Abu Dawud, Book of Salah, Hadith no. 420.

    17 Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin
    Zaid: Sunnan Abu Dawud, Book of Salah, Hadith no. 421; similar versions
    of the Hadith are also reported by Ibn Majah (698), Ahmad (15882), and
    Ad-Darimy (1163).

    18 Adapted from the article Contemplating the Meanings of Azan by Muhammad Izz Ad-Din Tawfiq.

     

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