Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.A.), Mercy Unto the Creation
By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
“We have not sent you, but as a Mercy unto the creation.” (Holy Qur’an 21:107)
This is what God Almighty says in His last and final set of revelation to mankind, about the person, whose universal mission was foretold to all nations by all Prophets, beginning with the Father of the human race, Adam.
It means Noah informed his people about him, and so did Abraham, Moses, and Jesus – just to name a few of the 123,999 messengers that God raised all over the globe before him, for the guidance of difference races, such as the Israelites, the Arabs, the Assyrians, the Iranians, the Turks, the Chinese, the Indians, and the various ethnic groups inhabiting Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the Americas, etc.
Those in doubt ought to subject to a scientific scrutiny the scriptures they have in circulation amongst them, or refer to libraries for older versions that may have not been much tampered with, in order to find out what they say about the person to be born in Arabia whose teachings would one day prevail all over the world.
Even his proper name, Muhammad (Most Praiseworthy, Admirable…), was mentioned in the previously revealed heavenly scriptures – of course not in Arabic but in the language spoken by the people for whom these time-bound and geographically-restricted books were intended.
After such elaborate measures lasting several millenniums and spanning the entire planet, the Almighty Creator brought into the mortal world in Mecca on the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal, exactly 1486 lunar years ago, the person whose light was the first-ever thing created and who was already a Prophet when Adam was in the (still not created state) between water and clay.
Thus, in view of these factors, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) did not advocate the cause of any particular race or ethnic group (not even the Arabs among whom he was born), but stood up for all humanity, irrespective of race, colour, class, language or geographical barriers.
The Message he preached was universal, transcending all obstacles whether natural or artificial. A Message so complete and comprehensive that it not only revolutionised the era in which it was proclaimed, but even today its timeless beauty has lost none of the original charm and continues its profound appeal to the human intellect.
No wonder, Islam is the world’s fastest growing creed today, in spite of the intense hate-campaign it is subjected to by the arrogantly ignorant enemies of humanity.
Volumes would be required to speak about the person regarding whom God tells mankind: “Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah, an Excellent Exemplar…" (Holy Qur’an 33-21)
Time and space do not allow me to focus on the multi-dimensional personality of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) who was a paragon of virtue in all fields including manners, etiquette, sincerity, generosity, forbearance, courage, wisdom, worship, magnanimity, simplicity of daily life, state affairs, family life, etc.
A brief glance at his personal life shows the Prophet to be the Perfect Family-Man. He was a faithful husband, who never took any other spouse as long as the loyal wife, Khadija (Omm al-Momineen or the Mother of all True Believers), was alive and shared life with him for over 25 long years.
This is ample proof that the nine other women the middle aged Prophet had to marry in the last ten years of his life, were not for pleasure, but a practical demonstration of the tenets of Islam for humanitarian purposes in order to guide Muslims in every age and generation to cope with social problems and issues.
In the case of Sawda, Umm Salama and Zainab bint Khuzaima, it was to take care of poor and helpless widows well in their middle-ages, while the marriage to Juwairiyah was to grant her freedom from captivity. Other marriages such as those to Umm Habiba, Safiya, A'isha, and Hafsa were meant for uniting some prominent tribes, who were often at loggerheads with each other, and also to safeguard the internal political status of the new-found Islamic State. And the marriage to Zainab bint Jahsh was for enacting a new law, because she was the divorcee of his adopted son Zaid bin Hareth. As the Holy Qur'an testifies, the Prophet married her in order to put an end to the then prevalent belief that adopted sons were like real sons and that wives or widows of adopted sons were like daughter-in-laws. In short, the philosophy behind his marriages was entirely revolutionary and ushered in positive changes in ignorant Arabia.
The Prophet was an affectionate father and a loving grandfather. He was deeply attached to his only surviving child, daughter Fatema az-Zahra (SA), who as the noblest lady of all time was dearer to him than life. His famous saying: "Fatema is a part of me, and whoever annoys her (in fact) annoys me," stands as a firm testimony to this fact. History is a witness that he used to stand up to greet his daughter whenever she entered his presence.
Many prominent and wealthy Arabs had approached him for her hand, but he politely refused them, and according to divine commandment, married her to his faithful ward and cousin, Imam Ali (AS), who a decade later on God’s explicit order was proclaimed by him vicegerent at Ghadir-Khom.
Thus Fatema (AS) and Ali (AS) were the parents of his two grandsons, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS), through whom the continuity of the Prophet's noble progeny has been ensured. The two were the apples of his eyes. They used to play with him and accompany him to the mosque. Once when the two grandsons were seated on his shoulders, a companion remarked: "What an excellent mount." to which the Prophet retorted: “What excellent riders too.”
It was not the doting of a middle-aged grandfather, but Divine Will, since the Prophet does not do or speak anything by himself, as is borne out by several ayahs of the holy Qur’an that make love and affection for the Prophet’s progeny (not his wives and certainly not his companions) an article of faith for the ummah.
Accordingly, the Prophet explained and expounded to his Sahaba, for the benefit of all future generation of Muslims, the God-given virtues, merits and leadership after him of his Infallible Ahl al-Bayt, as the Hadith-Thaqalayn and other sayings bear testimony.
Therefore, it was Divine Providence that on the 136th birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), his 6th Infallible Successor and Reviver of his genuine Sunnah and Seerah, was born in Medina, making the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal a day of double rejoicing.
Now we understand that the immortal legacy of Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), the Fiqh al-Ja’fari , is not some innovation as the pseudo jurists of his time indulged in on the basis of qiyas and guesswork, but the pure and pristine Muhammadan Jurisprudence.