Exclusive to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Foretold by the Prophets
Maulana Kashif Shahzad Attari Madani
One exclusivity of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is that his virtues, excellences, and news of his advent were described in the previous divine scriptures, including the Torah and the Injeel, (Khasaais-ul-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 18). Although centuries apart, the previous prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام would yearn for and speak about the Beloved صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, sharing what they knew about him with their respective nations. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 135)
The Glorious Qur’an describes this remarkable truth in several places:
1. Recognising him
اَلَّذِیْنَ اٰتَیْنٰهُمُ الْكِتٰبَ یَعْرِفُوْنَهٗ كَمَا یَعْرِفُوْنَ اَبْنَآءَهُمْؕ-
‘Those to whom We gave the Book; they recognise that Prophet (Muhammad) just like a person recognises his sons.’’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 02, Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 146)
The lofty attributes and impeccable qualities of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم were detailed in the previous heavenly books. Although the wider public may have lost access to their scripture, due to several factors, the clergy and religious authorities were well aware of the advent of a final emissary and his hallmarks. When the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did eventually arrive, the People of the Book recognised those foretold hallmarks in the person of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم – they recognised him better than they recognised their own children.
Sayyiduna Abdullah b. Salam رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was among those Jewish rabbis who accepted Islam after recognising those signs manifest Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Sayyiduna Umar al-Farooq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ asked him, ‘What is the meaning of that verse in which recognition has been mentioned?’ He رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ replied, ‘When I saw the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, I recognised him immediately just as I recognise my own son; in fact, I recognised him more so than I recognise my son, for Allah Almighty has mentioned his attributes in our scripture,’ (Tafseer Khaazin, vol. 1, p. 100, Surah Al-Baqarah, under the verse 146)
2. Glad tidings from Sayyiduna Isa عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام
وَ اِذْ قَالَ عِیْسَى ابْنُ مَرْیَمَ یٰبَنِیْۤ اِسْرَآءِیْلَ اِنِّیْ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ اِلَیْكُمْ مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَیْنَ یَدَیَّ مِنَ التَّوْرٰىةِ وَ مُبَشِّرًۢا بِرَسُوْلٍ یَّاْتِیْ مِنْۢ بَعْدِی اسْمُهٗۤ اَحْمَدُؕ-
‘And remember when ‘Eisa; the son of Maryam, said, ‘O Children of Israel! I am Allah’s Messenger towards you, confirming the Book; the Tawraah which was before me, and giving glad tidings of a (great) Messenger who will come after me; his name is Ahmad.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 28, Surah Al-Saff, Verse 6)
Desire to bear his sandals
Facing persecution at the hands of the Makkans in the early period of Islam, a delegation of 80 or so Muslims migrated to Ethiopia upon the command of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Upon arriving, they had an audience with the ruler, Najashi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه who told them: ‘I bear witness that Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the Messenger of Allah Almighty. We find mention of him in the Injeel; this is the very messenger whose advent was foretold by Sayyiduna Isa عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام. Were it not for these governmental responsibilities, I would have attended his court, gaining the honour of holding his sandals and helping him make Wudu,’ (Abu-Dawood, vol. 3, p. 285, Hadith 3205; Musnad Ahmad, vol. 2, p. 187, Hadith 4400).
3. The Signs Remained
اَلَّذِیْنَ یَتَّبِعُوْنَ الرَّسُوْلَ النَّبِیَّ الْاُمِّیَّ الَّذِیْ یَجِدُوْنَهٗ مَكْتُوْبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِی التَّوْرٰىةِ وَ الْاِنْجِیْلِ٘-
‘Those who will be in service to this Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) who is untutored (in any usual system of learning; rather, taught by Allah only); the Conveyor of the unseen news, whom they will find mentioned in the Tawraah and the Injeel (which is) with them.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 09, Surah Al-A’raaf, Verse 157)
Across the centuries, the ecclesiastical elite and the rabbinic leaders attempted to conceal or erase details about Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in their scriptures. Despite their alterations, many glad tidings about the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم remained preserved in their books. For more information, refer to the commentary of the aforementioned verse in Khaza’in-ul-Irfan, or refer to Tafseer Siraat-ul-Jinan, volume 3, page 450.
4. Covenant of the Noble Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام
وَ اِذْ اَخَذَ اللّٰهُ مِیْثَاقَ النَّبِیّٖنَ لَمَاۤ اٰتَیْتُكُمْ مِّنْ كِتٰبٍ وَّ حِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُوْلٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهٖ وَ لَتَنْصُرُنَّهٗؕ-
‘And remember when Allah took a promise from the Prophets, ‘Whatever I give you of the Book and wisdom, then the magnificent Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) comes to you; confirming the Books you have, so you should certainly, definitely believe in him and you should certainly, definitely help him.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 03, Surah Aal-e-Imraan, Verse 81)
One attribute of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم which has been mentioned in this verse is that he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم will confirm the previous heavenly books. ‘Allamah Ali Bin Muhammad Khaazin رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه explains that ‘Allah Almighty had mentioned the qualities and details of His final Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in the scriptures of the previous prophets. As those attributes and details manifested in the person of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, the truthfulness of those books was proven,’ (Tafseer Khaazin, vol. 1, p. 268).
Sayyiduna Ali al-Murtada رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ states:
Allah Almighty took a promise from all of the prophets, from Sayyiduna Adam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام till the last of them, that if Muhammad the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم appears during their lifetime, they must believe in him, aid him, and take this promise from their nations also, (Al-Shifa’, vol. 1, p. 44).
Commenting on this verse, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes:
Driven by this divine covenant, the noble prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام would constantly mention the Beloved Prophet’s virtues and rank; they would adorn their blessed gatherings, in which angels would descend, with the remembrance and praise of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. They took a promise from their nations that they will believe in the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and aid him, (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 135).