Rights of Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم over the Ummah
Prof. Abdul Majid Attari
Allah Almighty has said:
اِنَّاۤ اَرْسَلْنٰكَ شَاهِدًا وَّ مُبَشِّرًا وَّ نَذِیْرًاۙ(۸) لِّتُؤْمِنُوْا بِاللّٰهِ وَ رَسُوْلِهٖ وَ تُعَزِّرُوْهُ وَ تُوَقِّرُوْهُؕ-وَ تُسَبِّحُوْهُ بُكْرَةً وَّ اَصِیْلًا(۹)
We have indeed sent you (O Beloved) as a Present Eyewitness (i.e. Haazir and Naazir), and a Conveyor of glad tidings, and a Warner. In order that, O people, you may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and honour and revere the Messenger (i.e. the Beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad), and you should glorify Allah, morning and evening.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran) (Part 26, Surah Al-Fath, Verse 8, 9)]
The above-mentioned blessed verse shows the greatness and glory and the status and rank of the Greatest and Noblest Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. It also contains the obligatory rights of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم over the Ummah. Moreover, it also consists of motivation for the glorification and worship of Allah Almighty. Mentioned here is its summary: O Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! We have sent you as a witness to the deeds of the Ummah, a conveyor of glad tidings for believers and obedient ones and a Warner of Divine punishment for disbelievers and disobedient ones. So, O people! Believe in Allah Almighty and His Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and help and support the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and honour and revere him and glorify Allah Almighty in the morning and evening. (Khaazin, vol. 4, p. 103)
If viewed in terms of the rights of the Beloved and Blessed Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم over the Ummah, this blessed verse consists of his three rights described by Allah Almighty:
2. help and support and
3. honour and reverence.
Let me first interpret these three rights in some detail along with some other rights hoping that our knowledge will be increased and the ability to act accordingly will be granted.
It is absolutely obligatory to believe in the Nubuwwah and Risalah of Muhammad Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Similarly, it is also essential and compulsory to accept everything that he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has brought from the Divine Court. The fulfilment of this right is obligatory not only for Muslims but also for all human beings because he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the Prophet of mankind. His mercy is for all the worlds and his favours are for all humans and even for all creation. The one not having this belief is not a Muslim, even if he has belief in all other Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام.
2. Help and support of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
On the day of Meesaaq, Allah Almighty took the covenant of the help and support of His Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم from all Ambiya and Rusul. And now we have also been commanded to help and support him. The blessed companions رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُم sacrificed their lives, wealth, homeland and relatives for the sake of helping and supporting him. During wars, they used to shield him with their bodies, endangering and sacrificing their lives. At the present time, protection of his honour and reverence and efforts to preserve and promote his teachings and religion are also included in helping and supporting him and are obligatory for Muslims.
3. Honour and reverence for Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
One of the immensely important rights includes honouring and revering the Beloved and Blessed Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم with heart and soul, deeply, wholeheartedly, apparently, innerly and in any other way. One must also honour everything related or connected with him. For instance, his attire, blessed slippers, Madinah Tayyibah, Masjid-un-Nabawi, the Green Dome, his family members, his blessed companions and every place touched by his blessed feet must all be respected and revered. Honour and reverence for him also includes showing reverence for him with one’s tongue, body, words and actions. For example, reciting Salat [i.e. Durood] upon him when one hears the blessed name, keeping one’s eyes lowered with one’s heart free from all other thoughts when present in front of the Golden Grilles and presenting the gifts of Salat and Salam with one’s hands folded reverently when one looks at the Green Dome. Likewise, respect and reverence for him also significantly requires that one must dislike those, committing blasphemy and disrespect for him, even more than his own bitter enemies. One must refrain from their company, one must not even touch their books nor must one hear their conversation and speeches. In other words, one must avoid them completely. And, if one notices anyone committing even the slightest blasphemy of the Revered and Renowned Rasool صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, one must push even his (blasphemer’s) thought out of his mind and heart just like a hair is removed from the butter or a fly is thrown away from milk, no matter the blasphemer is one’s own father or teacher or so-called spiritual guide or scholar or any other awe-inspiring person.
In addition to the aforementioned rights, Islamic scholars and Muhaddiseen have also included other rights of Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in their books in great detail. Briefly stated here are six other rights.
1. Following Seerah of Beloved Rasool صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
The religion and faith of every Muslim require that he follow the blessed Seerah and Sunnah of Beloved Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. It is also a Divine commandment. The brightly shining stars of the sky of guidance, i.e. blessed companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم and pious predecessors used to follow in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on each and every occasion in their lives. They would never deviate from following the Greatest and Noblest Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Following him includes the fulfilment of obligatory and compulsory acts as well as that of essential and preferable ones. Our pious predecessors رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـه would perfectly follow him in both of these acts. This is the reason why the books of Ahadees and Seerah contain great information about obligatory and compulsory acts as well as about Sunnahs, preferable acts, manners, matters and social behaviour.
2. Obedience to Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
It is also one of the rights of the Beloved and Blessed Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم that each and every command given by him be accepted and carried out. Whatever he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم commands, be carried out; whatever he decides, be accepted and whatever he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم prevents us from, be avoided.
3. Real affection for Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
It is a right over everyone in the Ummah that he must have affection for his Master - the Prophet of mankind, the Peace of our heart and mind, the most Generous and Kind صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم more than anything else in the world. Affection for him is the heart of faith, the core of faith and the essence of faith.
4. Mentioning Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and reciting his Na’t
It is also a right over us that we like the praise and eulogy of Beloved Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, his Na’t and Manqabat, his Seerah and Sunnah, his greatness and glory, his excellent and exemplary character and manners and his beauty with our heart and soul. We should also embellish our gatherings by mentioning him, making it a routine in our life. The Holy Quran also mentions his virtues and attributes and his glory and status. All Ambiya and Rusul عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام expressed his majesty and dignity. Blessed companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم very much liked and loved to mention and to praise him and this practice has existed since then. Those fortunate individuals who have praised the Revered and Renowned Rasool صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم have written so many Na’ts in prose and poetry that they will be contained in thousands of volumes, without exaggeration, if collected in the form of a book which will also be the thickest book of the world.
5. Reciting Salat [Durood] upon Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Reciting Salat [i.e. Durood] upon the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is also one of the requirements of our faith. By means of it, we pray for him to be blessed with further closeness in the Divine Court and for the elevation of his ranks and status, expressing our thanks to him for his favours, as is contained in the Masnoon Du’a recited after Azan.
6. Visiting blessed tomb of Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Visiting the blessed tomb of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is also a proof that the visiting Ummati has affection for his Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. In particular, it is an important right over Hajj-pilgrims to visit the court of Beloved Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. This visit and presence in the blessed court of Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a Sunnat-ul-Muakkadah and is close to Wajib. Missing it, is misfortune and unfairness.
May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to keep fulfilling all the rights of our Beloved and Blessed Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم!