Exclusive to The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
The Shadowless Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Maulana Kashif Shahzad Attari Madani
An exclusive aspect of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is that he did not have a shadow. Continuing from the last issue, we will explore this topic further here.
There are four key reasons as to why the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did not have a shadow:
1. Due to being light (nur), He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did not have a shadow, (Unmoozaj Al-Labeeb, p. 213).
2. Several Ulama inferred that being without a shadow was a clear sign of his prophethood, (Al-Shifa, vol. 1, p. 368).
Hakeem al-Tirmidhi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه said: ‘مَعْنَاہُ لِئَلَّا یَطَاَ عَلَیْهِ کَافِرٌ فَیَکُوْن مَذِلَّةً لَهٗ’ ‘The wisdom in him not having a shadow was so that no disbeliever could step on his shadow, as this would be disrespect towards him,’ (Subul-ul-Huda war-Rashad, vol. 2, p. 90).
This is evident from a report about Sayyiduna Abdullah b. Umar رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُما: He encountered a Jew making strange movements with his feet. He asked him what he was doing, to which the Jew replied: ‘We do not control you in any other way, but wherever your shadow appears, I trample over it!’ Allah Almighty protected His Beloved صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم from the evil of such malicious people, (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 701).
3. Sayyiduna Shaykh Ahmad Farooqi Sirhindi, better known as Mujaddid Alf Thani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, stated: ‘Shadows are more subtle than the bodies that cast them. As nothing is more subtle than the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, he does not have a shadow,’ (Maktubaat-e-Imam Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 75, Maktoob 100).
Scholarly works on this topic
Many scholars who wrote about the characteristics of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also discussed his shadowless nature. Others dedicated exclusive works to this subject. They include:
* Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه who penned three monographs on the topic, viz., ‘The Full Moon in Negating a Shadow for the Leader of Mankind’ (Qamr al-Taman fi Nafy al-Zil ‘an Sayyid al-Anam), ‘Negating a Shadow for the One Who Illuminated Everything’ (Nafy al-Fay amman bi Nurihi Istanara Kullu Shay), and ‘Guiding the Confused about Negating a Shadow for the Leader of the Worlds’ (Hady al-Hayran fi Nafy al-Fay an Sayyid al-Akwan). In his foreword to Maulana Habib Ali Alawi’s book, he presented further scriptural and rational proofs about the matter.
* Maulana Muhammad Abdul Haqq Siddiqi Ilahabadi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, the renowned Shaykh of Dala’il al-Khayrat in Makkah, authored a monograph on this topic entitled ‘Coolness of the Heart’s Eye,’ (Qurrat Ayn al-Sudur).
* Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه
* Maulana Arshad Al-Qadiri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه
* Mufti Noorullah Na’eemi Baseerpuri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه
From the fount of the Imam
Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه makes the following points:
1. The hadith confirm that there is not a handspan of space in the heavens except that an angel is prostrating there, (Tirmizi, vol. 4, p. 140, Hadith 2319). If the angels had a shadow, sunlight would not reach us or it would reach us but in fragmented amounts, just as a few rays of sunlight pass through a dense tree, (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 693).
2. If the angels, who were made from the light of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, (Al-Juz Al-Mafqood min Al-Musannaf Abdul-Razzaq, p. 63, Hadith 18), do not have a shadow, how can the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who is the essence of light have a shadow? It is strange to think that the angels who were made from the light of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم do not have a shadow, yet the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who was fashioned from divinely [created] light has a shadow, (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 693).
3. We can categorically claim that even if no hadith described the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم as shadowless and no scholar explicitly stated so, due to the multiple verses and hadith proving that the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was light and subtle, we could still conclude that he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did not cast a shadow, (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 746).
Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه adds that ‘The volume of proofs and [scholarly] sayings about the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم being shadowless is so great that it would not be incorrect to deem this matter unanimously accepted,’ (Rasaail-e-Na’eemiyyah, p. 105).
Stand with the truthful
Allah Almighty has given the following command to the believers:
یٰۤاَیُّهَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَ كُوْنُوْا مَعَ الصّٰدِقِیْنَ(۱۱۹)
‘O believers! Fear Allah, and be with the truthful ones,’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 11, Surah Al-Tawbah, Verse 119)
In the commentary of this verse, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه explains: ‘Pursue the company of the righteous, love them, hold the same beliefs as them, and imitate their behaviour, for they are the proof of truthfulness,’ (Tafseer Na’eemi, vol. 11, p. 129).
The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘اَلْبَرَکَةُ مَعَ اَکابِرِ کُم’ ‘Blessings are with your seniors,’ (Mustadrak, vol. 1, p. 238, Hadith 218).
From the early stages of Islam until the present day, in almost every era, the senior scholars and jurists of this Ummah have written about the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم being shadowless. They are far too many to list but to attain blessings, we share a few names:
1. Zun-Nurayn Sayyiduna Usman al-Ghani, 35 AH
2. Sayyiduna Abdullah b. Abbas, 68 AH
3. Sayyiduna Zakwaan, 101 AH
4. Sayyiduna Abdullah b. al-Mubarak al-Marwazi, 181 AH
5. Imam Muhammad b. Ali Hakeem al-Tirmidhi al-Shafi’i, 285 AH
6. Imam Husayn b. Muhammad al-Raghib al-Asfahani, 450 AH
7. Imam Qadi Iyaad Al-Maliki, 544 AH
8. Nizami Al-Ghaunjwi, 594 AH
9. Imam Abdul Rahman b. al-Jawzi, 597 AH
10. Maulana Jalal al-Deen al-Roomi, 672 AH
11. Abu Al-Barakat Abdullah b. Ahmad al-Nasafi al-Hanafi, 710 AH
12. Imam Abu Al-Hassan Ali b. Abdul Kaafi al-Subki, 756 AH
13. Khawaja Sayyid Nasir al-Deen Mahmood Chiragh Dehlvi Chishti, 757 AH
14. Abu Muhammad Imam Isma’eel al-Muqri al-Yemeni al-Shafi’i, 839 AH
15. Maulana Abdul Rahman Jami, 898 AH
16. Imam Jalal al-Deen Abdul Rahman b. Abu Bakr al-Suyuti, 911 AH
17. Imam Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Qastalani, 923 AH
18. Imam Zakariyya al-Ansari, 928 AH
19. Imam Muhammad b. Yusuf al-Saalihi al-Shaami, 942 AH
20. Imam Husayn b. Muhammad Diyarbakri, 966 AH
21. Imam Abdul Wahab al-Sha’rani, 972 AH
22. Imam Ahmad b. Hajr al-Makki al-Haytami, 974 AH
23. Shaykh Muhammad b. Tahir al-Siddeeqi al-Patni al-Qadiri, 986 AH
24. Ali b. Sultan al-Qadiri al-Hanafi, 1014 AH
25. Imam Muhammad Abdul Rauf al-Munaawi, 1031 AH
26. Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi Farooqi Naqshbandi Mujaddid Alf Thani, 1034 AH
27. Ali b. Burhan al-Deen al-Halabi, 1044 AH
28. Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlvi, 1052 AH
29. Imam Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Khafaji al-Misri, 1069 AH
30. Imam Muhammad b. Abdul Baqi al-Zurqani, 1122 AH
رِضْوَانُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِمْ اَجْمَعِیْن
Our Lord! Establish in our hearts unwavering commitment to the beliefs of those beloved to you, enable us to imitate them, and save us from falling short in honouring the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم