Prophethood Was Given First To Him

Matchless Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

Prophethood was given first to him

Kashif Shahzad Attari Madani

Allah Almighty has endowed His Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم with innumerable special virtues. One of the special virtues of our Beloved Master صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is that he was created before all the Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام and was granted the rank of Prophethood. (Kashf-ul-Ghummah, vol. 2, p. 53; Khasaais-ul-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 7)

Here are some proofs from the Holy Quran, Ahadees and the sayings of the pious predecessors regarding this great virtue of the leader of both worlds صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم:

Two proofs from the Holy Quran

1.   Allah Almighty states:

وَ اِذْ اَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِیّٖنَ مِیْثَاقَهُمْ وَ مِنْكَ وَ مِنْ نُّوْحٍ وَّ اِبْرٰهِیْمَ وَ مُوْسٰى وَ عِیْسَى ابْنِ مَرْیَمَ۪-

And, O Beloved, remember when We took a covenant from the Prophets, and from you, and from Nooh, and Ibrahim, and Moosa, and ‘Eisa; the son of Maryam;

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 21, Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse 7)

Dear Islamic Brothers! In this blessed verse, five Noble Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام are especially mentioned. Four of these five prophets are mentioned in the same order in which they came into this world; however the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was mentioned first, even though he came after all the Prophets. One of its wisdoms mentioned by the honourable scholars is that it indicates towards the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم being the first one to be blessed with prophethood. (Sharh-ul-Shifa’, vol. 1, p. 116; Ruh-ul-Ma’ani, vol. 21, p. 206)

2.   Sayyiduna Isa and Sayyiduna Yahya عَـلَيْـهِما الـسَّـلَام were given Prophethood in their childhood.

The Holy Quran quotes this saying of Sayyiduna ‘Isa عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام:

قَالَ اِنِّیْ عَبْدُ اللّٰهِ ﳴ اٰتٰىنِیَ الْكِتٰبَ وَ جَعَلَنِیْ نَبِیًّاۙ(۳۰)

The child (‘Eisa) said, ‘I am Allah’s bondsman, He has given me the Book and made me a conveyer of the unseen news (a Prophet).’

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 16, Surah Maryam, Verse 30)

The Imam of the Ahl-us-Sunnah, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه says about Sayyiduna ‘Isa عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام: ‘He was given the book in his mother's womb or lap; he was given Prophethood.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 15, p. 616)

Allah Almighty said about Sayyiduna Yahya عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام:

وَ اٰتَیْنٰهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِیًّاۙ(۱۲)

And We gave him Prophethood in his childhood.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 16, Surah Maryam, Verse 12)

Sadr-ul-Afaadil, ‘Allamah Maulana Sayyid Na’eem-ud-Deen Muradabadi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه says in ‘Khazaain-ul-‘Irfan’: ‘In this verse, judgement (hukm) means Prophethood, and this is the authentic opinion.’

O devotees of the Prophet! The Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was the first one to be bestowed with the rank of prophethood, and the rank of prophethood cannot be revoked. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, p. 37, summarised) Therefore, the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم came into this world with the prophethood that was bestowed upon him in Aalam-e-Arwaah[1]. From these two verses, the fact that the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ascended to the rank of Prophethood, even in his blessed childhood, is established because all the virtues bestowed upon the other prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام individually were gathered in our Blessed Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم; rather, our Blessed Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was granted more than all the Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام. For further explanation, see the following three statements:

The Imam of the Ahl-us-Sunnah, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه says:

کُلُّ فَضِیْلَةٍ وَمُعْجِزَۃٍ وَکَرَامَةٍ لِنَبِیٍّ فَھُوَ ثَابِتَةٌ لِنَبِیِّنَا صلَّی الله تعالٰی علیه وسلَّمفَاِذَا رَاَیْنَا ثُبُوْتَھَا لِاَحَدٍ حَکَمْنَا بِثُبُوْتِھَا لَهٗ صلَّی الله تعالٰی علیه وسلَّم وَلَا نَحْتَاجُ اِلٰی دَلِیْلٍ آخَرٍ

Translation: ‘Every greatness, miracle and nobility that any of the prophets attained are also proven for our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. When we see its proof for any prophet, we will also consider it as established for the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and we do not need any other proof for this.’ (Inba`-al-Hayy, p. 311)

At one place he says: ‘No prophet attained any sign or miracle except that our noble Prophet, the Prophet of all Prophets, صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was granted a sign or miracle like it and better than it.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 295)

‘Allamah Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Sa’eed Kaazimi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes: ‘It has always been the view of the scholars of the Ummah regarding the manifestation of the excellences of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم that when an excellence is found in the creation for which there is no proof that it is unique for him in a specific way, then this excellence is recognised for the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on the grounds that the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the origin of the existence of the entire world and every excellence of it. An excellence that is not in the origin cannot be in the derivatives; hence, the presence of an excellence in the derivatives is a bright proof that this excellence definitely exists in the origin.’ (Maqalat-e-Kaazimi, vol. 2, p. 262)

Two sayings of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

1.   The Companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم asked the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم: ‘O Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! When was prophethood proven for you?’ The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied: وَآدَمُ بَيْنَ الرُّوحِ وَالْجَسَدِ ‘(i.e., prophethood was proven for me) when Aadam (عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام) was between soul and body.’ (Tirmizi, vol. 5, p. 351, Hadees 3629)

2.   At another occasion, the Prophet of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was asked: مَتٰى اُسْتُنْبِئْتَ i.e. ‘When were you made a prophet?’ He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied: وَآدَمُ بَيْنَ الرُّوْحِ وَالْجَسَدِ حِيْنَاُخِذَ مِنِّی الْمِيْثَاقَ ‘(i.e. I was made a Prophet at the time) when Aadam (عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام) was still between soul and body, when the covenant was taken from me.’ (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 118)

Mufti-e-A’zam-e-Hind, Mustafa Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه says:

Zaat ka apni aainah

Bay misal-o-nazeer-o-bay hamta

Khalaq kaya qabal azashiya

Aur nubuwwat ker di ‘ata

لَآاِلٰهَ اِلَّا الله آمَنَّا بِرَسُوْلِ الله

The mirror of prophet’s personality is unique and incomparable

He was created before everything and was bestowed Prophethood

لَآاِلٰهَ اِلَّا الله آمَنَّا بِرَسُوْلِ الله

(Saaman-e-Bakhshish, p. 42)

The sayings of the pious predecessors

O devotees of the Prophet! The leader of Madinah’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم this special virtue of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم i.e. being the first to receive prophethood, has been mentioned by many pious predecessors. Nine sayings in this regard are presented below:

1.   Imam Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Husayn Aajurri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه (d. 360 A.H):

اِنَّ نَبِيَّنَا مُحَمَّداًصلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم لَمْ يَزَلْ نَبِيّاً مِّنْ قَبْلِ خَلْقِ آدَم

Translation: ‘Indeed, our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a prophet since even before the creation of Sayyiduna Aadam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام.’ (Kitab-ul-Shari’ah, p. 1433).

2.   Imam Taqi-ud-Deen Ali Bin Abdul Kaafi Subki رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه (d. 756 AH): ‘We have learned from a Sahih Hadees that Allah Almighty granted our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم the rank of Prophethood before creating Sayyiduna Aadam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام.’ (Khasaais-e-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 10, summarised)

3.   Allamah Ali Bin Sultan Qaari رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه (d. 1014 AH): The Blessed Hadees کُنْتُ نَبِیّاً وَّآدَمُ بَیْنَ الرُّوْحِ وَالْجَسَد proves that the Beloved of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was a prophet in the ‘Aalam-e-Arwaah even before the creation was created. (Sharh Fiqh-ul-Akbar, p. 106)

4.   Shihaab-ul-Millah-wad-Deen, Allamah Ahmad Bin Muhammad Khafaaji Misri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه (d. 1069 AH): ‘The truth is that we should say: Surely, Allah Almighty created the blessed soul of His Beloved صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم before all the souls and granted that sacred soul prophethood.’ (Naseem-ur-Riyaz, vol. 3, p. 130)

5.   The Imam of the Ahl-us-Sunnah, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه: ‘Our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the Prophet of all the prophets, and all the prophets, messengers and their ummahs are all followers of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. His prophethood is inclusive of the entire creation, from the era of the father of mankind (Aadam) عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام till the day of judgement. And His saying کُنْتُ نَبِیّاً وَّآدَمُ بَیْنَ الرُّوْحِ وَالْجَسَد is in its literal meaning.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 138)

He further says: ‘His prophethood is not specific to the period of his proclamation of prophethood, but rather, it encompasses every time period.’ (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 149)

6.   Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, Mufti Muhammad Amjad Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه: ‘The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was the first one to receive the rank of prophethood’. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, p. 85)

7.   Successor of A’la Hadrat, Mufti Burhan-ul-Haq Jabal Puri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه: ‘The prophethood of the first of creation, the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is from the beginning of the creation and will remain till the Day of Judgement.’ He further says: ‘The Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a prophet since the beginning of the creation.(Ijlal-ul-Yaqeen, p. 27, Imam-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه read this booklet and wrote an endorsement on it as well)

8.   Sadr-ul-Ulama, Imam-un-Nahw, Allamah Sayyid Ghulam Jeelani Meerthi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه: ‘prophethood was made apparent with the revelation of the Cave of Hira, otherwise, prophethood had been given to him in Aalam-e-Arwaah thousands of years before this event. At that time, Sayyiduna Aadam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was not even born, and the attainment of prophethood in Aalam-e-Arwaah before the creation of Aadam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام is from the distinctions of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.’ (Basheer-ul-Qaari, p. 126)

9.   The commentator of Bukhari, Mufti Sharif-ul-Haq Amjadi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه: ‘The Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم held the rank of prophethood not only before the beginning of revelation, but even from the first day (i.e. the day of the beginning of the creation).’(Fatawa Sharih Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 369)

First to be created, last to be sent

Dear Islamic brothers! Allah Almighty created His Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم before all the prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام and bestowed the status of prophethood on him, but his arrival in this world and the proclamation of prophethood took place after all the prophets. Two narrations in this regard are presented below:

1.   The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: كُنْتُ اَوَّلَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ فِی الْخَلْقِ وَآخِرَهُمْ فِی الْبَعْث

Translation: ‘I am the first one among all the prophets from the perspective of being created, and the last one from the perspective of announcing prophethood.’ (Kanz-ul-Ummal, juzz 11, vol. 6, p. 205, Hadees 32123)

2.   Allah Almighty said to His Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on the night of Mi’raaj: جَعَلْتُكَ فَاتِحاً وَّخَاتِماً. Translation: ‘I made you an opener and a seal.’ (Majma’-ul-Zawaaid, vol. 1, p. 241, Hadees 235). Allamah Ahmad Bin Muhammad Khaafaji Misri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes in the commentary of this: اَیْ اَوَّلَ الْاَنْبِیَاء وَ آخِرَھُمْ i.e. ‘made him the first and the last prophet.’ (Naseem-ur-Riyaz, vol. 3, p. 300). Imam Khafaaji Misri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه says at another place: ‘In terms of creation and prophethood, the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the first among all the prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام, but in terms of announcing his prophethood and being sent, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the last.’ (Naseem-ur-Riyaz, vol. 3, p. 86)

Fath-e-Bab-e-Nubuwwat peh bay had Durood

Khatm-e-Dor-e-Risalat peh lakho salaam

Limitless greetings on the opener of the door of Prophethood,

Millions of peace on the seal of the line of prophethood.

(Hadaiq-e-Bakhshish, p. 296)



[1] The world of souls

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