Thursday, January 27, 2011


After enjoying my favourite songs and music for more than 2 years, recently I gifted the iPod to my children. Initially I was skeptical about my decision, as I felt that this technology based device may be difficult for them to handle and not easy to understand, but my doubts and skepticism proved wrong as within no time of having access to it, they uncovered many things in the iPod, which I could not do for 2 years when it was under my ownership.

While it was with me I perceived it as only a music player. When it moved in their hands it was now more than just a music player with Wi-Fi, games, social networking and chats.

Though less than half of my age and little education compared to mine; they could handle the iPod better than me as they have born in an era which is quite ahead in technology. And in that sense they have inherited the technology.

 The holy Quran is guidance, it is a cure and it is thus a complete book of knowledge. But when we recite it we fail to understand it thoroughly. Our worldly knowledge is not enough to understand the hidden meaning of the book as we are mere followers of the book and not the inheritors.

With this article let us then try to find out the true inheritors of Quran who have been bestowed upon with its complete knowledge.

Let me start with the following ayah from the holy Quran which shows us the way to be guided. It says:

•“Aur jo log uusule din main aqal se kaam nahin lete un hi logon per Khuda kufr ki gundgi daal deta hai.” – (Surah-e-Younus, ayah 100)

“(And He puts doubt in (the minds of) those who do not think.)”

The right approach is to think and contemplate on various religious issues to avoid being misguided. That is what Allah wishes and that is how Quran has informed us. And that is what we intend to do here.

If we ponder upon various ayahs, can we claim that we would always be guided? Let us again refer to the following ayah to understand this:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) wohi wo Khuda hai jis ne tum per kitab naazil ki uss main ki ba’az aayatein to mohkam hain wahi amal karne ke liye asal buniyaad kitab hai aur kuch aayatein mutshaabe (gol gol jis ke ma’ani main se pehloo nikal sakte hai) pas jin logon ke dil main kaji hai wo unheen aayaton ke peeche pade rahte hai jo mutshaabe hai taake fasaad barpaa karein aur uss khayal se ke unhain apne matlab per dhal lein halaanke Khuda aur un logon ke siwa jo ilm main bade paye per faaiz hai un ka asli matlab koi nahin jaanta wo log yeh bhi kahte hain ke hum uss per imaan laye ye sab mohkam ho ya mutshaabe hamare Parvardigar ki taraf se hai aur aqal wale wahi samajhte hai.” – (Surah-e-Ale Imran, ayah 7)

“(He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.)”

The above ayah says that Quran has a mix of decisive and allegorical ayahs. The decisive ayahs are easy to understand and if we ponder upon and contemplate we may be able to reach the true meaning; while the allegorical ayahs are difficult to comprehend.

Quran further says in the above ayah that these allegorical ayahs are misused by miscreants to create unrest and propagate violence and thus mislead the Ummah.

Lastly the ayah says that the true meaning of these ayahs is only known by Allah (SWT) and His chosen one who are the true custodians of Allah’s wisdom.

Thus in order to have the better understanding of Quran then, I think we need to do the following things:

•Firstly, we need to contemplate and ponder upon the decisive ayahs and try to reach the true meaning.

•Secondly, since Allah (SWT) is the Most Merciful and Forgiving, His words thus propagate mercy and humanity and hence the interpretations of all allegorical ayahs, if presented to us in a manner that they are against the tenets of mercy and humanity; should be avoided and rejected out rightly. If we do this it would help the cause of Islam and humanity.

•Thirdly, we should strive to identify these custodians of Allah’s wisdom which are being referred in the above ayah.

So who are these custodians of wisdom? Has Quran hinted upon their presence? In this connection, we would see the following ayah:

•“Khuda ne jo apne fazal se tum logon ko Quran ataa farmaya hai uske rashk per jale jaate hai to uska kya ilaaj hai, Hum ne to Ibrahim (A. S) ki aulad ko kitab aur aqal ki baatein ataa farmayee hai aur un ko bahot badi sultanate bhi di.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 54)

“(Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We have given to Ibrahim's children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom)”

As per the above ayah, these custodians of the holy Quran and Allah’s wisdom are from the descendants of Ibrahim (A.S) and they have been given a grand kingdom by the Almighty Allah. They are the inheritors of Quran while rest of the Ummah is the follower of the book.

Let us see one more ayah before we reach any conclusion:

“Balke wo khuli aayatein un logon ke sinon main maujood hain jin ko ilm diya gaya hai aur siwaye zaalim logon ke Hamari aayaton ka inkaar koi bhi nahin karta.” – (Surah-e-Anqaboot, ayah 49)

“(In fact they are clear verses in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge; and none deny Our verses except the unjust.)”

When we relate the above two ayahs, we can understand that these custodians of knowledge are from the lineage of Ibrahim (A.S) having the verses of Quran in their hearts. It is their bosoms which are Allah’s safe to protect and secure the verses of Quran. Thus they are the protectors Quran and provide safety to Allah’s wisdom.

In this connection let us see few more ayahs:

“Ae Rasool (SAW)) kya Hum ne tumhara sina (ilm se) kushada nahin kardiya? Zaroor kiya – Aur Hum ne tum per se wo bojh utaar diya jis ne tumhari kamar tod rakkhi thi – Aur tumhara zikr bhi buland kar diya” – (Surah-e-Ash-Sharh, ayah 1-2-3-4)

“(Did We not widen your bosom? And relieve you of the burden – Which had broken your back? And We have exalted your remembrance for you.)”

The holy Quran was revealed in the form of ‘wahi’ to the holy prophet (SAW). And as per the ayah it first found the bosom of our beloved prophet (SAW) to get itself stored. Again as per our above discussed inference the verses of Quran then moved to other custodians of knowledge from the lineage of Ibrahim (A.S).

The Quran which is owned by the Ummah is the copy of original Quran which was revealed to our holy prophet (pbuh). Everyone one of us gives utmost respect to this copy, we kiss it and keep it at the place which is duly purified so that Quran can be kept there. The cloth which is used to wrap the copy of Quran is also purified. The copy of the Quran which we own is printed in some ordinary press on papers made by people like us. Still because of the ayahs the papers become sacred and we don’t dare to show any kind of disrespect to these papers.

Two things need to be understood here from. First of all if we take so much care to purify the place where the copy of Quran needs to be kept; Allah (SWT) must have ensured that the original Quran must be revealed on the purest of bosoms, which is devoid of any kind of sin and filth. And when did Allah (SWT) purify it? When we look back at the birth of Adam (A.S) we find that he was created as a Khalifa of Allah (SWT), he did not require any prayers to reach to that position and years of prayers of angels were no match for him and they were asked to bow down to him and accept his supremacy.

Thus it means that all the prophets and the people who are chosen by Allah (SWT) are created at a different level from normal human beings. They are purified from their birth and they don’t require worldly matters to attain supremacy. This applies to our prophet (pbuh) as well since he was the leader of all prophets.

The second point is, when the man-made paper on which the ayahs are printed becomes so pious and pure, what happens to belongings of those who had the Quran in their bosoms? Would not the association of these things to their owners make them pure and worthy of respect as the paper on which ayahs are printed?

And Quran does support our claim in the following ayah from Surah-e-Yusuf:

•“Yeh mera kurta le jaao aur usko abbajaan ke chehre per daal dena ke woh phir beena ho jaaenge (dekhne lagenge) aur tum apne sab ladke baalon ko lekar mere paas chale aao.” – (Surah-e-Yusuf, ayah 93)

“(Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see, and come to me with all your families.)”

It is because of the association of the shirt with Yusuf (A.S) that it gained the power of healing. When it was casted on the face of Yaqub (A.S) he regained his lost eye-sight.

During Meraj when the Prophet (pbuh) reached Sidrat-ul-Muntaha, Jibraeel (A.S) who was accompanying him till this point showed his inability to go ahead any further. He told the Prophet (pbuh) that if he took even a step forward he would burn. An angel of the stature of Jibraeel (A.S) could not go beyond a certain point, while Rasool (SAW) then went ahead on his own. It is also a well-known fact that he was wearing his sandals during Meraj. It is because of the association of the sandals with the feet of Rasool (SAW), they went ahead in Meraj to the point where even Jibraeel could not go without getting burnt.

During Jihad-e-Karbala, after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A.S) while his beheaded body lay on the battlefield; the head chanted verses of the Holy Quran even as it was raised over arrows and marched across Damascus. It proves that he was amongst the chosen inheritors of the Quran with clear ayahs in his bosom and death could not separate the Quran from the Imam.

It was on the sands of Karbala that the blood of Imam Hussain (A.S) was shed; it is because of this association that the status of this sand got raised from Khak to Khak-e-Shifa.

For these reasons and many more Rasool (SAW) has said:

•"I am from Hussain and Hussain is from me" (Ref: Sahih Tirmizi, vol 6, P 307, Kanzul Ammal, vol 4, P 221, Masnad Ahmed, vol 4 P 972)

With the above mentioned inferences, It is proved that Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed are the chosen slaves of Allah (SWT) upon whom He bestowed His Knowledge and Grace. Let us now try to find out what are His instructions in understanding “Allegorical” ayahs which are difficult to understand by a common Muslim?

Thus Allah (SWT) instructs us in the following manner:

•“To agar tum log khud nahin jaante ho to ahl-e-zikr se pooch kar dekho.” – (Surah-e-Anbiya, ayah 7)

(Ask the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr), if you do not know)”

The above ayah says that if we don’t understand certain matters we need to ask Ahl-e-Zikr.

And Imam Sa’labi reports from the authority of Jabir Ibn-e-Abdullah Ansari in his Tafseer that when this ayah was revealed, Mawla Ali (A.S) said, “We are the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr)”.

Further Mawla Ali (A.S) in one of his sermons in Nahj-ul-balagha says:

•“They (the opposers) have entered the oceans of disturbance and have taken to innovations instead of the Sunnah (the Prophet's holy deeds, utterances and his unspoken approvals), while the believers have sunk down, and the misguided and the liars are speaking. We are the near ones, companions, treasure holders and doors (to the Sunnah). Houses are not entered save through their doors. Whoever enters them from other than the door is called a thief.

The delicacies of the Qur'an are about them (Ahlu'l-bayt, the descendants of the Prophet) and they are the treasurers of Allah. When they speak they speak the truth, but when they keep quiet no one can speak unless they speak” (Ref: Sermon 153, Nah-jul-balagha)

Our inferences till now stand vindicated by the above ayah and Mawla Ali (A.S)’sermon that Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed (SAW) (Ahl-ul-bait) are the true treasurers of Allah (SWT) and Ahl-e-Zikr upon whom Allah has bestowed His knowledge and grace. They are the doors to the Sunnah. Hence the prophet (pbuh) emphasized on following them to follow his Sunnah with perfection.

Uptill now we have applied our understanding and in the light of various ayahs we have reached the conclusion that the Ahl-ul-bait are the chosen guardian of Allah’s treasures and wisdom and they are purified ones. Let us now see the specific ayah which further confirms our conclusion.

•“Ae Paighambar ki Ahl-ul-bait Khuda to buss yeh chahta hai ke tum ko har tarah ki burai se door rakkhe aur itna paak rakkhe jitna paak rakhne ka haq hai” - (Surah-e-Ahzab, Ayah 33)

(“Verily, Verily Allah intendeth but to keep off from you (every kind of) uncleanliness, O ye people of the House, and purify you with a thorough purification.”)

Most of the commentators have unanimously agreed that this ayah is revealed to showcase the ‘piety’ and purity of Ahl-ul-bait (Ref: Tafseer Dhur Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 5, P 198-199).

We may often feel that why so much to them? Why nobody else and only they who are purified? In order to understand this let us take an example. A physician advices people in matters of health and lawyers would give advice regarding legal matters. Now imagine if a physician is corrupt and his reputation is really bad, people may not like to visit him for health tips and may not consult him. They may fear that his advice may harm them. Similarly in case of a lawyer too.

When we appoint somebody for the accomplishment of an important task we appoint the most trusted of our people to execute. Ahl-ul-bait of Rasool (SAW) were custodians of Allah (SWT)’s knowledge and treasures. It is through them that Allah (SWT) has spread His knowledge. Thus it was mandatory on Allah (SWT) to make them pure and keep away from them any kind of uncleanliness.

Now let us take a slightly different approach in understanding the above-mentioned inference. For this we would see the following ayahs from Surah-e-Kahf. It is a conversation between Musa (A.S) and Khizr (A.S):

•“To jahan machhli chhodi thi dono ne Humare bandon main se ek khaas bande (Khizr) ko paya jisko Humne apni bargaah se Rehmat (Wilayat) ka hissa ataa kiya tha aur Hum ne use Ilm-e-Ladunni apne khaas ilm main se kuch sikhaya tha – Musa (A.S) ne un se (Khizr se) kaha kya aapki ijaazat hai ke main iss gharz se aap ke saath saath rahoon ke jo rahnumai ka ilm aapko Khuda ki taraf se sikhaya gaya hai uss mein se kuch mujhe bhi sikha deejye. Khizr ne kaha main sikha to doon magar aap se mere saath sabr na hoga” – (Surah-e-Kahf, ayah 65-66-67)

“(So they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge (ilm-e-Ladunni) from Our own Presence. Moses said to him: "May I follow thee, on the footing that thou teach me something of the (Higher) Truth which thou hast been taught?" (The other) said: "Verily thou wilt not be able to have patience with me!")”

The above ayah talks about the incident of Musa (A.S)’s meeting with Khizr (A.S). We know that after the meeting he started following Khizr (A.S) and on 3 different occasions he could not hold himself and thus could not keep the promise made to Khizr (A.S) and had to depart ways there from.

When we reflect on the above ayah, we find that Khizr (A. S) was bestowed upon with a little part of ilm-e-Ladunni and some part of Allah’s Mercy. This guided him and gave him the vision to see what was going to happen. He could envisage the future. Musa (A.S) was not part of this knowledge and hence could not foresee what was going to happen and became impatient.

Let us now take one more ayah and reflect on it in the light of above ayahs:

•“Aur ae Rasool (SAW) kafir log kehte hai ke tum paighambar nahin ho to tum un se kehdo ke mere aur tumhare darmiyan meri risalat ki gawahi ke waaste Khuda aur wo shakhs jis ke paas aasmani kitab ka ilm hai kaafi hai.” – (Surah-e-Ra’ad, ayah 43)

(“Yet those who are disbelievers say: "You are not the apostle sent (by God)." Tell them: "God is sufficient as witness between me and you, and he who has knowledge of the Book."”)

Two important results can be derived from the above ayah. There is a witness for Rasool (SAW)’s apostleship who is the most trusted by the Almighty Allah as Allah (SWT) has appointed him as a witness and the other result is that this witness has been bestowed upon with the entire knowledge of the holy book.

The person who has been given “Knowledge” of holy book is definitely Mawla Ali (Ref: Tafseer-e-Suyuti, Vol 4, P 69, Ahteyaj-e-Tabresi, Tafseer-e-Ayashi). Thus Mawla Ali (A.S) is the trusted witness to Rasool (SAW)’s apostleship who is bestowed upon the entire knowledge of the holy book.

From the ayahs of Surah-e-Kahf we found out that Khizr (A.S) was bestowed upon a part of Allah’s mercy and part of ilm-e-Ladunni and this guided him to right decisions. And this knowledge gave him vision to foresee the future.

Our holy prophet (pbuh) is mercy to the worlds and Mawla Ali (A.S) has been given the entire knowledge then imagine what would have been their conduct? What would be the level of their vision? Can’t we say that they could foresee what was going to happen then and act accordingly? Would not each step they took be well guided and on the right path?

Getting back to the example of the physician and the lawyer, let us again try to understand the above mentioned point. A good physician has the knowledge related to health; hence he would not take a step which is unhealthy. His every move would be for the betterment of his health. A lawyer has knowledge related to legal aspects and hence he would not take a step which is illegal.

Mawla Ali (A.S) had the knowledge of Allah’s book. Hence his every step would be as per the book and Allah’s wish. This knowledge gave him the vision and guidance to follow Allah’s Will. This also explains why Allah talks about the piety of Ahl-ul-bait in Surah-e-Ahzab, ayah 33.

So if we wish to know Allah’s Will, we need to look at the lives of Ahl-ul-bait. We by ourselves may fail to understand Quran completely but we can always refer to their lives and teachings to understand it.

Quran further confirms in the below-mentioned ayah:

•“Phir Hum ne apne bandon main se khaas un ko Quran ka waris banaya jinhain (ahl samjhkar) muntakhab kiya kyonke bandon main se kuch to nafarmaani karke apni jaan par sitam dhaate hai aur kuch unmain se neki badi ke darmiyan hai aur un main se kuch log Khuda ke ikhtiyar se nekiyon main auron se goya sabqat legaye hai, yehi intikhaab-o-sabqat to Khuda ka bada fazal hai.” – (Surah-e-Fatir, ayah 32)

“(Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of Our Servants as We have chosen: but there are among them some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds; that is the highest Grace)”

The prophet (pbuh) has said this for Mawla Ali:

•“The Holy Quran has outward and inward meanings and Ali Ibne Abi Talib has the knowledge of both. (Ref: Hilyatul Awaliya, Abu Nu’aym, vol 1 P 65)

And Mawla Ali (A.S) says in his sermon in Nah-jul-balagha that:

•By Allah, I have knowledge of the conveyance of messages, fulfillment of promises and of entire expressions. We the people of the house (of the Prophet - Ahlu'l-bayt) possess the doors of wisdom and light of governance. Beware that the paths of religion are one and its highways are straight. He who follows them achieves (the aim) and secures (the objective). And he who stood away from it went astray and incurred repentance. (Ref: Sermon 119, Nah jul Balagha)

Mawla Ali (A.S) and rest of the 11 Imams are the inheritors of Allah’s book. We are the followers of the book and hence when we read the book we fail to understand certain ayahs which are allegorical, while Quran in their hands is entire knowledge. It reveals itself to them.

Whenever we see the land around us we find that it is being owned by one person or the other. And if it is unclaimed it is eventually owned by the government. It means that there is always somebody to take care of the land. Allah (SWT) created this earth and it has also appointed inheritors of this earth to take care of it. So let us try to find them.

In the following ayah Allah (SWT) says:
•“Aur be-shak Zaboor main Hum ne ba’d nasihat ke yeh likh diya tha ke (aakhir main) Mere naik bande zameen ke waaris ho jaaenge” – (Surah-e-Anbiya, ayah 105)

“(Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth."

In the Holy Scriptures prior to Quran, Allah did inform the world that at the end His righteous servants shall inherit the earth. It means that the earth would be ruled by those obedient and chosen servants of Allah.

There is similar reference even in Bible. As the Bible says:

•“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” (Ref: Genesis 17:20, The Bible, New International Version, NIV)

As per the above mentioned Genesis of Bible, Allah (SWT) promises Ibrahim (A.S) that there would be 12 rulers from the lineage of Ismail (A.S) and He would make them into a great nation.

Thus even in today’s edition of Bible there is a mention of 12 Imams from the lineage of Ismail (A.S) who would be rulers. They are the inheritors of this earth. And that must be the reason that Rasool (SAW) often referred Mawla Ali (A.S) as ‘Abu Turab’.

Again Mawla Ali (A.S) says in Nahjulbalagha that:

•“Where are those who falsely and unjustly claimed that they are deeply versed in knowledge, as against us, although Allah raised us in position and kept them down, bestowed upon us knowledge but deprived them, and entered us (in the fortress of knowledge) but kept them out. With us guidance is to be sought and blindness (of misguidance) is to be changed into brightness. Surely Imams (divine leaders) will be from the Quraysh. They have been planted in this line through Hashim. It would not suit others nor would others be suitable as heads of affairs.” – (Ref: Sermon 143, Nahjul balagha)

The 12 Imams from Bani Hashim are the light of guidance and also the inheritor of this earth. The way Quran would reveal itself, even this earth would reveal its best form during the reign of 12th Imam when he comes out of occultation.

That is why during his lifetime the prophet (pbuh) on various occasions emphasized on the importance of understanding Quran through the guidance of Ahl-ul-bait. He had said in Hadith-e-Saqlain that:

•““I will soon be called away and will have to depart from you, but I leave amongst you two weighty things; the book of the High and Mighty Allah and my progeny. The Book of Allah is like a rope which extends from the heavens to the earth, and my progeny are the people of my house (Ahl-ul-bait). The Subtle and Aware (Allah) tells me that the two shall never part from each other until they come to me at the Pool. So, take care how you treat them after me.” (Ref: Musnad, Ahmed Ibn-e-Hambal, Part 3, P 26, Kanz-ul-Ummal, Part 1, P 47, Tirmizi, 5:328, Nisai 96:79, Ibn Atiyyah 1:34, Ibn-e-Hajar P 89)

The holy prophet (pbuh) has said that Quran and Ahl-ul-bait would never be separated and hence if we wish to be guided by Quran we need to follow Ahl-ul-bait.

So let me conclude with this couplet of Urdu shayri from Bedum Warsi:

“ ‘Bedum’ yahi to Paanch hai Maqsood-e-Kaenat,
Kherunnisa (A.S), Hussain o Hasan (A.S), Mustufa (SAW), Ali (A.S)”

And pray to Allah that “O our Lord! This is our humble effort in Your path to reach You. Accept it and guide us through Quran and Your chosen inheritors of the book and make us steadfast on the right path. Keep us away from things which You dislike the most and give us strength to follow whatever You wish so that we can make this world a better place. Bless us with success in this world and hereafter.” Aamin

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Taazim-e-Rasool (SAW)

I still remember as a school going kid, every morning, it was mandatory for all of us to stand-up and wish our teachers in class. In every school this is a tradition to show respect to the teachers who impart us knowledge and thus help us in making our lives better.

Whenever national anthem is played, it is again compulsory for us to stand-up and show respect for the country where we stay, as it is a constant source of our livelihood and much more. I read a story of a gentleman who forgot to stand up when national anthem was played in the multiplex and thus the newspaper wrote a spicy story on his misbehavior. It means that being disrespectful to the nation, even if by mistake, is such a big crime that it gets reported in a newspaper.

Again when a sportsman achieves something exceptional the audience gives him standing ovation to show respect for his work. Our parents and elders have nurtured our lives and contributed a lot in making our lives better and hence it is mandatory for us to show respect towards them.

 The inference which we can derive is that people are respected across the world, for their achievements, for their contribution, work and the knowledge.

In the history of Islam, there is no individual as great in stature as our beloved prophet (pbuh). It was his divine presence which gave us the Islamic teachings and guided us to the true path to salvation. So let us try to find out what are the Quranic instructions vis-à-vis our code of conduct towards the holy prophet (pbuh).

Let us start with mentioning few ayahs which were revealed to establish the credentials and stature of our holy prophet (pbuh).

•"Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) Hum ne tum ko tamam alamon ke liye rehmat hi karke bheja hai". – (Surah-e-Ambiya, ayah 107)

(“And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.”)

Allah (SWT) is the Most Merciful, while Rasool (SAW) is the mercy to the worlds. It means that without the consent of Rasool (SAW) Allah’s mercy would not be bestowed on anyone. Thus it can be inferred from the ayah that it would be because of intercession of Rasool (SAW) that his Ummah would be blessed by Allah’s mercy and forgiven. He is Rehmat-ulil-aalamin.

•“Aur raat ke khaas hisse main namaz-e-tahajjud padha karo ye sunnat tumhari khaas fazilat hai. Qareeb hai ke Qayamat ke din Khuda tumko maqam-e-Mehmood tak pahonchae”. – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 79)

“(And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam-e-Mahmuda (a station of praise and glory i.e. the highest degree in Paradise!)”.

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) has promised Rasool (SAW) to raise him to the highest glory; a rare distinction and honour which was not given to anybody else before or after him. That is why he is “Habib-e-Khuda”. So if we wish to be loved by Allah (SWT) we need to love and obey the holy prophet (SAW).

•“Aur ye dua maanga karo ke Ae mere Parvardigaar mujhe jahan pahoncha achhi tarah pahoncha aur mujhe jahan se nikaal to achhi tarah se nikaal aur mujhe khaas apni bargaah se ek hukumat ataa farma jisse har qism ki madad pahonche.” – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 80)

“(And pray: "O my Lord, let my entry be with honour, and let my exit be with honour, and grant me power from You which would help (sustain) me.”)”

Allah (SWT) instructs the holy prophet to ask for divine power in his prayers. That is why he is referred as “Sarwar-e-Qaenat.” If we wish to gain access to divine power, we need to accept him as our lord and a leader.

Apart from the honour and above-mentioned rare credentials of our beloved prophet (pbuh), let us see few more ayahs which were revealed in praise of him. Let us listen to Allah (SWT) and see how He praises his prophet.

•‘Aur tumhare waaste yaqinan wo ajr hai jo kabhi khatam hi na hoga. Aur beshak tumhare akhlaaq bade a’ala darje ke hai. – (Surah-e-Qalam, ayah 3-4)

“(And most surely you shall have a reward never to be cut off. And indeed you possess an exemplary character.)”

Allah (SWT) praises the exemplary character of Rasool (SAW) and promised to reward him continuously. It means that if we follow the instructions given to us by the holy prophet (pbuh) we would also be rewarded continuously.

•“Aur Hum ne tum ko saba’ masaani (Surah-e-Hamd) aur Quran azeem ataa kiya hai.” - (Surah-e-Hijr, ayah 87)

“(We have given thee seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the great Qur'an)”

•“Iss main shak nahin ke Khuda aur uske farishte paighambar (aur unki aal) per durood bhejte hai to ae imaandaro tum bhi durood bhejte raho aur baraabar salaam karte raho”. – (Surah-e-Ahzaab, ayah 56)

“(Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.)”

Surah-e-Hamd was revealed in praise of the holy prophet (pbuh) and Allah (SWT) also granted him with the holy Quran. Such is his greatness that Allah (SWT) and all His angels bless Him and instructs the believers to do the same.

There is a specific code of conduct everybody needs to follow while dealing with people who are more than us in stature and status. For example many a time on the road we have seen that if a car owned by a prominent government official is passing by, we are required to step aside and allow it to overtake us and proceed. This is a code of conduct we follow. So let us then try to find out the code of conduct which we need to follow while dealing with the greatest human being ever, the holy prophet (pbuh).

Let us take instructions from Quran and hence refer few ayahs.

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) jo log tumko hujron ke bahaar se awaaz dete hai unmain ke aksar be-aqal hain. Aur ye log itnaa ta’amul karte ki tum khud nikal kar unke paas aajaate (tab baat karte) to ye unke liye behtar tha.” – (Surah-e-Hujuraat, ayah 4-5)

“(Surely most of those who call out to you, (O Prophet), from behind the apartments, are devoid of understanding. If they were patient until you went out to them, that would have been better for them.)”

•“Ae Imaandaro jis tarah tum main se ek doosre ko (naam lekar) bulaya karte hai uss tarah aapas main Rasool (SAW) ka bulana na samjho Khuda unn logon ko khoob jaanta hai jo tum main se aankh bacha kar (Paighambar ke paas se) khisak jaate hai – to jo log uss ke hukm ki mukhalefat karte hai unko iss baat se darte rehna chahiye ki (mubada) un per koi musibat aa pade ya un per koi dardnaak azaab naazil ho.” – (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 63)

“(Do not hold the Apostle's calling (you) among you to be like your calling one to the other; Allah indeed knows those who steal away from among you, concealing themselves; therefore let those beware who go against his order lest a trial afflict them or there befall them a painful chastisement.)”

•“Ae Imaandaro Khuda aur uss ke Rasool (SAW) ke saamne kisi baat main aage na badh jaaya karo aur Khuda se darte raho beshak Khuda bada sunne wala wakifkaar hai.” – (Surah-e-Hujuraat, ayah 1)

“(O People who Believe! Do not advance ahead of Allah and His Noble Messenger, and fear Allah; indeed Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.)”

The stature of Rasool (SAW) is very different from normal believer. As mentioned in the above ayahs Allah detests those who advance ahead of him, who call his name and disobey him by leaving him concealing themselves. So whoever thinks he is like Rasool (SAW) in status is sadly mistaken and trial may afflict him for his misbehaviour.

Uptill now we saw the clear instructions of what we should not do while dealing with our holy prophet (pbuh). Now let us see what instructions Quran gives on what we should do while dealing with the holy prophet (pbuh).

•“Sacche Imaandar to sirf wo log hain jo Khuda aur uss ke Rasool (SAW) per imaan laaye aur jab kisi aise kaam ke liye jisme logon ke jama hone ki zaroorat hai – Rasool (SAW) ke paas hote hain jab tak uss se ijazat na le li na gaye. (Ae Rasool (SAW)) jo log tum se (har baat main) ijazat le lete hai wahi log (dil se) Khuda aur uss ke Rasool (SAW) per imaan laye hain. To jab ye log apne kisi kaam ke liye tum se ijazat maange to tum unn main se jis ko (munasib khayal kar ke) chaho ijazat de diya karo aur Khuda se uss ki bakhshish ki dua bhi karo beshak Khuda bada bakhsh ne wala maherbaan hai.” – (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 62)

“(Only those are believers who believe in Allah and His Apostle, and when they are with him on a momentous affair they go not away until they have asked his permission; surely; so when they ask your permission for some affair of theirs, give permission to whom you please of them and ask forgiveness for them from Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.)”

The above ayah clarifies that Allah likes those people who take permissions from the prophet (pbuh). It was easier for believers to take permission while he was amongst them, in today’s context we need to follow whatever he has given us. Because if we do this it would be as if we have taken his permission and if we take his permission as per the above ayah we all would be forgiven.

Let us see few more ayahs in this context:
•“Jo log Hamare ummi paighambar ke qadam ba qadam chalte hai jis ki bashaarat ko apne haan Taureit aur Injeel main likha hua paate hain wo nabi jo achhe kaam ka hukm deta hai aur bure kaam se rokta hai aur jo paak wa paakizah cheezein to un per halaal aur napaak gundi cheezein un per haraam kar deta hai aur wo sakhat ahkaam ka bojh jo unkee gardan per tha aur wo phande jo un per pade hue the un se hataa deta hai, pas yaad rakho ke jo log uss nabi Mohammed (SAW) per imaan laaye aur us ski izzat ki aur uss ki madad ki aur uss noor ki pairvi ki jo uss ke saath naazil hua hai to yahi log apni dilli muradein paaenge.” – (Surah-e-Airaf, ayah 157)

“(Those who follow the Apostle-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.)”

As per the above ayah successful believers are those who not only believe in Allah, but also believe in the prophet (pbuh). Quran is the instructions and way of life, but only Quran is not sufficient, we are also required to follow the instructions given by the holy prophet (pbuh). That is the doctrine for success.

 From the worldly perspective it is understood that a person with higher authority has been given special privileges and power by the supreme authority of that specific department, which he needs to exercise above his subordinates so as to bring out the best result. Our holy prophet (pbuh) is the maximum authority over the ummah, as we just established vide various ayahs. Let us then try to find out what are the powers and privileges given to our beloved prophet (pbuh) by the Supreme Authority, Allah (SWT).

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum un ke maal ki zakaat lo aur uss ki badaulat un ko gunahon se paak saaf kardo aur unke waaste dua-e-khair karo kyunke tumhari dua un logon ke haq main itminaan ka baaes hai aur Khuda to sab kuch sunta aur jaanta hai.” – (Surah-e-Tauba, ayah 103)

“(Take alms out of their property, you would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them; surely your prayer is a relief to them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing)”

•“Aura e Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo Parvardigaar Tu meri ummat ko bakhsh de aur taras kha aur Tu to sab rahem karnewalon se behtar hai. – (Surah-e-Momineen, ayah 118)

“(And say, (O Muhammad): "My Lord, forgive us and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of those that are merciful.")”

As per the above ayah, it is because of Rasool (SAW) that ummah would be cleaned and purified. And it would be because of his prayers that the ummah would be forgiven. It means he has been given the powers to purify us and forgive us.

Allah (SWT) is the most forgiving but unless the holy prophet (pbuh) prays for us we would not be forgiven. And he would only pray for our forgiveness if we follow him and love him and the people whom he loved the most.

Being respectful and obedient to the holy prophet (pbuh) is the recipe of success; we have logically understood this in the light of various ayahs. It can be inferred then that being disrespectful and disobedient to him is being unsuccessful in all the aspects. But let us prove this inference again in the light of few more ayahs.

Let us first see the ayah related to disobedience of Iblis the Satan vis-à-vis Aadam (A.S).

•“Aur uss waqt ko yaad karo jab Hum ne farishton se kaha ke Aadam (A.S) ko sajda karo to sab ke sab jhuk gaye magar Shaitan ne inkaar kiya aur ghuroor main aagaya aur kafir ho gaya.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 34)

“(Remember, when We asked the angels to bow in homage to Adam, they all bowed but Iblis, who disdained and turned insolent, and so became a disbeliever.)”

Here, in the above ayah Allah (SWT) says that Iblis became Satan as he did not bow down to Aadam (A.S). Allah (SWT) has also referred to Iblis as Kafir, though he always believed in oneness of Allah (SWT) and prayed to Him.

When we try to contemplate on the above ayah we would understand that Allah (SWT) does not like that somebody is being disrespectful to his chosen representative (Khalifa). Satan thought that he was much better than Aadam (A.S) and hence he lost everything.

One more thing, related to this incident, worth pondering upon is that Aadam (A.S) had just come into existence; there was no history of his credentials and prayers that would have convinced the angels about his supremacy. Still they had to follow the orders and bow down to Aadam (A.S) and accept his supremacy. It also means that people who are appointed by the Lord as His khalifa and representatives, they are so by birth and they are not dependent on worldly knowledge and prayers. Iblis failed to understand this and hence became a Kafir.

Now let us relate this with our holy prophet (pbuh). Quran has established his credentials of being mercy to the worlds, being raised to Maqaam-e-Mehmood and all the other ayahs which testified about his exemplary character and unique status. After all this if somebody still feels that he is as good as the holy prophet (pbuh), then in the light of above ayah and the incidence I think like Iblis he is risking his belief and faith. And God is his only saviour.

Let us see one more specific ayah in this respect.
•“Aur jab unn se kaha jaata hai ke aao Rasulallah (SAW) tumhare waaste maghferat ki dua karein to wo log apne sar pher lete hain aur tum un ko dekhoge ke takkabbur karte hue mooh pher lete hain, tum un ke liye maghferat ki dua maango ya na maango un ke haq main baraabar hai.” – (Surah-e-Munafequn, ayah 5-6)

“(And when it is said to them: Come, the Apostle of Allah will ask forgiveness for you, they turn back their heads and you may see them turning away while they are big with pride. It is alike to them whether you beg forgiveness for them or do not beg forgiveness for them; Allah will never forgive them; surely Allah does not guide the transgressing people.)”

Thus being disrespectful to the holy prophet (pbuh) is such a big crime that even the prayers of Rasool (SAW), who has been given all the rights and power vis-à-vis his ummah would not save the culprit let alone his own prayers.

 So if we come across such a person who in the garb of guiding us to the right path is being disrespectful to our beloved prophet (pbuh), he is the one who is the most misguided. Whatever may be his prayers and knowledge and however impressive he seems, we need to guard ourselves lest we may be misguided by him. We should remember that Iblis before becoming Satan was tutor of all the angels and had unique position amongst them.

In English language there is a very prominent idiom “Action speaks louder than words.” It means that whatever people do is more important than what they say. People can promise many things but if they fail to deliver, they have actually not done anything worthwhile. While on the other hand without any tall claims if you continuously deliver, your work would speak about you.

During the formative years of our holy prophet (pbuh) and the initial years of Islam, it was the constant help and support of Abu Talib (A.S) that made things comfortable for him. Abu Talib (A.S) was not an ordinary person in the history of Islam. He rendered great sacrifices during his lifetime to protect the Holy Prophet (SAW) and his mission. Ibn Abil-Hadeed, a prominent Islamic scholar writes “If Abu Talib and his son Ali were not there, the religion of Islam would not have been successful. Abu Talib supported and protected the Holy Prophet (SAW) in Makkah and his son Ali (A.S) dived in the whirlpools of death in Yathrib for him.”

Abu Talib (A.S)’s action spoke a lot about his commitment, love and will to sacrifice for the sake of holy prophet (SAW) and Islam.

Thus the holy Quran says:
•“Jis ne Rasool (SAW) ki ita’at ki to uss ne Khuda ki ita’at ki aur jis ne roogardani ki to tum kuch khayal na karo kyunke Hum ne tumko kuch paasbaan muqarar kar ke to bheja nahin hai.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 80)

“(Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah, and whoever turns back, so We have not sent you as a keeper over them)”

With helping and supporting the holy prophet (pbuh), Abu Talib (A.S) and Mawla Ali (A.S) helped the cause of Allah (SWT) and this was then taken forward by holy Imams like Imam Hussain (A.S) in Karbala and later on other Imams from his lineage.
Now let us consider what we would get in bargain if we obey our prophet (pbuh)?

Holy Quran says in the following ayah:
“Ae Imaandaro Khuda se daro aur uss ke Rasool (Mohammed (SAW)) per imaan laao to Khuda tum ko apni rehmat ke do hisse ajr ataa farmaega aur tum ko aisa noor inayat farmaega jis ki roshni main tum chalo ge aur tumko bakhshish bhi dega aur Khuda to bada Bakhshne wala Maherbaan hai.” – (Surah-e-Hadeed, ayah 28)

“(O ye that believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

There are limitless gains which we might get if we obey our prophet (pbuh). We would be bestowed by double portion of Allah’s mercy and all our sins would be forgiven. But the question is what is the right way of obeying our prophet (pbuh), who would guide us in doing so?

Mawla Ali (A.S) and his household have shown us the way in which we can obey the prophet (pbuh) in the best possible manner. Hence, merely claiming that we love Rasool (SAW) and respect him is not enough, if we really wish to respect our prophet(pbuh) we need to follow the example set by Mawla Ali (A.S) and his household. And if we do this we are successful in true sense.

At this point I feel like mentioning the couplet from famous qawwali ‘Shiwa Jawabe Shikwa’ written by Allama Iqbal:

“Ki Muhammad say wafa tunay, tou hum teray hain, Yeh Jahan cheez hai kya Loho Kalam teray hain”

 And there is a beautiful prayer written by Yousuf lalljee in his book “Stairway to Heaven”, so let me quote that prayer and pray for all of us.

‘O Beloved Prophet! You will always come first in our lives – and it is only through the Mercy of Allah that you were sent to us, and it is through you that we received Islam as our Religion – and it is through you that we have come to know your beloved Successor Hazrat Ali and your Ahl-ul-bait. We can never forget this obligation as long as we live for you left these Stars to guide us through the darkness of this world and thank you once again O our Beloved Prophet, and may Allah shower blessings on you and the Holy members of your Household. Aamin”