Divine Selection to Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
By: Dr. Hatem Abu Shahba
As history narrates and as the Holy Qur’an depicts, the performance of Muhammad (SA) as a prophet stands as the greatest witness and proof which indicate the love and sincerity of Muhammad to the Message and its Sender. The fact of the matter is that Allah (SWT) has chosen the best, most loved, and most sincere person to Him to convey His Message. And He the Almighty knows best what's in the hearts. As He (SWT) says in the Qur’an, “Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him) [42:13].”
He (SWT) also says, “Allah best knows where He places His message [6:124].”
After all, if Allah (SWT) knew of any person more sincere, loving, devoted and fearful of Him than Muhammad, He (SWT) would've surely chosen him. But, Muhammad deserved the divine selection due to his extreme love to his Lord and his attachment and sincerity to Him.
As for those people who envied Muhammad and felt it was too much for him to be chosen by Allah (SWT), they said, “Why was not this Qur’an revealed to a man of importance in the two towns [43:31]?”
Who from them loved Allah (SWT) and came to Him like Muhammad did?
Who from them knew Allah (SWT) and was sincere to Him like Muhammad was?
Who from them abandoned life and its ambitions and ornaments, and instead made his God and Creator be the center of his life, like Muhammad did?
Who from them abandoned idol worshipping voluntarily and willingly went to worship Allah (SWT) alone, treading the path of Abraham (AS), like Muhammad did?
Who from them left his home, family, friends, servants, and comfort to go out in the dark nights alone to the rocky ways of Mecca and climb a scary mountain to stay in a small cave inside it, to pray to His Lord, seek His Help and speak softly to Him, as Muhammad did?
Who from them did all that in order to deserve the divine selection?
They thought that the divine choice would be determined based on worldly power, wealth, fame, or tribal seniority, while they forgot that Allah (SWT) has other standards and measures in making His selection which is different from the human standards.
Allah (SWT) chooses good hearts which truly and sincerely loves Him. He (SWT) chooses the purified and enlightened selves and He chooses the good, noble manners and righteous souls that voluntarily obey Him, and which are preoccupied in His worship over others. So Allah (SWT) honors them by His divine selection. In brief, Allah (SWT) chooses those who choose Allah (SWT) and He loves those who love Him, and He guides those who seek His guidance.
It was a SECRET between two! The fact of the matter is that there was a special secret between Muhammad and His God! A secret which no one knows except both of them before the Divine Revelation! A very special and unique relationship! Muhammad was very careful to keep it a hidden secret throughout the years until he turned forty years old and received the divine revelation.
This secret and this unique relationship is what made Allah (SWT) choose him to convey His Final Message. It was not a temporary or limited relationship; rather it started a long while ago when Muhammad was still a very young lad opening his eyes to life. This pure, sincere, and unique divine relationship between Muhammad and His Lord is what poured rivers of light upon him and veneration from Allah (SWT). It is what made the clouds shadow him wherever he went. It is what made the priests from the Jews and Christians recognize him when they saw him accompany his uncle (Abu Talib) and they warned him to protect Muhammad from the conspiracies and envy of his enemies.
It is what made love and respect surround him such that no one saw him without falling in love with him and respecting him. This special and unique relationship which was kept a secret and will continue to be a secret which no one knows or understands, or truly appreciate except very few people!
And if history narrates to us more about the life of Prophet Muhammad before the revelation of the Message, we will find thousands of proofs that would indicate the presence of this special and unique relationship between Muhammad and his Lord. Here, we see Muhammad in his commercial travels trips to the north and south as he enjoys meeting the priests and worshippers and those who dedicate their lives for God (like himself). He is happy to meet them out of his love to his Creator, as if he is happy to remember his loved one with them.
These honorable meetings in the love and worship of Allah (SWT) which Muhammad was later accused unjustly that he came to know the stories of past religions from them, while these meetings were short, transitory, and were for those who tread the path of Allah (SWT) and yearn for His worship.
Is there any wonder after that if we see Muhammad (after the Revelation of the Message) prolonging his prayer and supplication to his Lord at night, such that his feet swell and he sleeps very little? Shall we then wonder if we see him turning his face on the ground from long prostration out of love and humility to Allah (SWT), such that his wife Ayesha thought that he died due to his long prostration? Shall we then wonder when we see him crying out of fear of Allah (SWT) and laughing and speaking very little? Shall we then wonder when we listen to him saying that the comfort of his eyes is in prayer?
Shall we then wonder if his last words when he departed this life was "to the highest companion" while his eyes are fixed to the heavens and his heart gives its last heartbeat, a heart that beats in the love of his Creator which it never beat except by Him and for Him. He didn't know or love anyone other than Allah (SWT), such that life became worthless to Him. Or let us say that the whole life itself and those in it was nothing to Him but a heartbeat of love and a tune of adoration to Allah (SWT)!
So who from us is more loving to Allah (SWT) than Muhammad? Who from all the hearts of humanity loved Allah (SWT) and was more devoted to Him as Muhammad?
Muhammad's divine selection to become the Seal of Prophets and Messengers and the best of His creation and the Master of His living beings did not come from nothing. The sincere love from Muhammad towards his Lord was present before the Divine Revelation and continued to exist and grow even more after the Revelation.
It was one connected chain and rope between him and his creator which will never be severed! It is a relationship between him and his God and Creator that has no limit. For that reason, Allah (SWT) willed that the divine inspiration begin while Muhammad was at the peak and climax of this worshipping state inside the cave within a mountain at midnight to cherish that moment for Muhammad and to let the people understand that Allah (SWT) did not choose him from nothing. Rather, He (SWT) chose him because Muhammad (SA) chose Allah (SWT) at a time when no one did! He sold himself to Allah (SWT) at a time when it was not heard of. Now, did the people realize that from this divine hint?
After all, if the divine revelation descended for the first time on Muhammad while he was in his home among his family, or while he was in one of his commercial trips, maybe we wouldn't have come to know that Muhammad used to go out to Cave Hiraa’ in the darkness of night to worship his Lord!
This fact would've definitely been kept a hidden secret between Muhammad and his Lord without anyone knowing about it. History would've intentionally or unintentionally, or out of ingratitude ignored this unique worship by Muhammad before the Revelation and it wouldn't have reached us today.
Praise be to Allah (SWT) that He (SWT) commenced the divine revelation on the master of worshippers Muhammad (SA), on this fateful night in Cave Hiraa’ in Mecca while Muhammad was at the climax of this worshipping state to his Lord…to cherish this unique condition and honor that sacred secret which brought Muhammad and his Lord together…between the worshipper and the one who is being worshipped…between the lover and the beloved…and between the heart and whom it loves and desires!!!