Some Rights of the Prophet
Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has honoured us by sending Prophet Muhammad Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and has favoured us by making known his message.
Certainly did Allah confer [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book [i.e., the Qur’an] and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error. (3:164)
Indeed, the Messenger of Allah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam has many rights over us which we should observe, uphold and beware of neglecting. Among them are:
- Belief in himThe first right of the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is belief in him and in his message, for whoever does not believe in the Messenger of Allah and that he is the last of the prophets and messengers is a disbeliever, even if he should believe in all of the prophets who came before him.
The Qur’an contains many verses commanding belief in the Messenger of Allah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and in the message he brought. Therein Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has said:
So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the light [i.e., Qur’an] which We have sent down. (64:8)
And He said:
The believers are only those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then do not doubt. (49:15)
And He stated that disbelief in Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala and His Messenger is a cause of destruction and painful punishment, saying:
That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger – indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (8:13)
And the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam himself said,
“By Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, no one from this nation or a Jew or a Christian will hear about me and then die without believing in that with which I was sent but that he will be of the inhabitants of the Hellfire.” (Narrated by Muslim)
- Following himFollowing the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is the real evidence of belief in him. Anyone who claims faith in the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam but then does not obey his order, cease what he prohibited and follow his Sunnah has lied about his faith. For faith is what has settled in the heart and is proven by deeds.
Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala shows that His mercy is for the believers who follow the Prophet’s example. He said:
My mercy encompasses all things. So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses – Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet… (7:156-157)
In addition, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has promised a bad consequence for those who ignore the guidance of His Messenger and oppose his instruction:
So let those beware who dissent from his order, lest trial strikes them or a painful punishment. (24:63)
And Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded wholehearted compliance with the Messenger’s judgement, saying:
But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. (4:65)
- Loving himAmong the rights of the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam upon his nation is complete and perfect love for him.
He said, “None of you [truly] believes until I am more beloved to him than his child, his parent and all people.” (Al-Bukhari)
So any person who does not love the Messenger of Allah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam cannot be a believer, even if he should have a Muslim name and live among Muslims.
The greatest degree of love for the Messenger of Allah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is to love him more than oneself. `Umar ibn al-Khattab once said to him, “O Messenger of Allah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam , you are more beloved to me than everything except myself.
“ The Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied, “No, by the one in whose hand is my soul – not until I am more beloved to you than yourself.”
Then `Umar said, “Now, by Allah, you are more beloved to me than myself.” So the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said,
“Now [you have believed], `Umar.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Supporting himThis is among the most clearly confirmed of his rights both in life and after death. During his lifetime his companions fulfilled this duty in the best way. After his death, however, supporting him entails defence of his Sunnah whenever it is exposed to attack by enemies, distortion by the ignorant or criticism by those who seek to annul it. It also includes the defence of his noble person whenever he might be abused, ridiculed or described in an unsuitable manner.
In recent times, there has been an increase in campaigns to dishonour and discredit the Prophet of Islam Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam . The entire Ummah (community of believers) must arise to the defence of its Prophet by every means possible to force opponents to end their lies, insults and slander.
By Dr. Adel ibn ‘Ali al-Shiddy