(Based on talk / presentation delivered in Masjid Darus-Salam, Clementi Singapore.)
- We Muslims acknowledge that that there have been personalities (prophets) chosen by God, sanctified and guided to receive direct knowledge from God Himself termed as “Wahyi” revelations, through the ages.
- All their message revolves around guiding mankind towards fulfilling their role on this earth through obedience to God’s Will as His vicegerents.
- We believe that, to every nation there has been such personalities sent by God, except that such teachings over time may have disappeared or superceded by subsequent prophets – until the coming of the Final or Seal of the Prophethood – whose Message will remain preserved for posterity amongst mankind.
- Being the Last Messenger, he was sent not to a particular nation or tribe as previous prophets were, but meant for all people.
- That Messenger was Prophet Muhammad (may the salutations of Allah, peace and blessings be upon Him) – born in Makkah, migrated to Madina and established a model community, transformed people who were in darkness (ignorance) into light (of Faith and knowledge), which later bloomed to produce a truly cosmopolitan civilization – the “Islamic Civilization” that touched and benefitted many nations.
- The simple message of the Oneness of God (Tawhiid) – which he re-established with God’s guidance, united its adherents towards manifesting the universal brotherhood of man, sharing the common responsibility to become God’s obedient servants and His representative on earth.
“JazaAllahu Sayidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammad ‘an-naa khay-ran
bimaa huwa ah-luh ”
“Allaahumma-solli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘alaa aali
Commandment for Muslims to be grateful:
Some facts about Muhammad (pbuh):
"Allah did confer a great favour on the Believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while before that, they had been in manifest error.”
(Qur’an: Aali Imran: 3: 164)
- His honourable lineage and early upbringing was known to all in Makkah.
- Acknowledged, even by his adversaries of his time as “one who is the truthful and the trustworthy (As-sadiq al-Aamin)”.
- Was an illiterate (“ummiy” - unlettered), who never had any social, political, economical aspirations for 40 years before.
- Yet, consider his initial experience of the first revelation:
“Read! (or proclaim, recite) In the name of Thy Lord and Sustainer Who created – Created man out of a mere clot: Read for thy Lord is Most Bountiful – He Who taught (the use of) the Pen – Taught man that which he knew not.”
(Qur’an: al-’Alaq : 96: 1-5)
What was main Message brought by him?
Tawhiid (True Attestation to the Oneness of God):
“Laa - ilaa –ha -il-lAllaah,
Muham-madur - Ra-suu - lullaah”
(That there is none to be worshipped as god, except Allah [the One Who alone is the Divine]; and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)
What was the Message that he received from God?
- Clarifying to the polytheist of Makkah thge question as to "Who is Allah (God)?" , the following was revealed as the response:
Mankind may speak of God, the Divine Being; yet they ascribe to things in nature (obviously part of creation, not the Creator) and regard it as that god. They even subscribe to the idea of multiplicity of God; and erroneously apply human imagination with its anthropomorphic tendencies, to the extent that absurdities and myth, incarnation and idolatry, etc. concerning God were accepted as truth. The Makkan were such people. So when they confronted Muhammad and ask him to explain who God is, the reply came in perfect Arabic; brief, and yet profoundly latent with the truth that subsequent theologians and philosophers could not fault:
“Say (O Muhammad): He (God) is Allah, the One and and Only;
Allah (God), the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor was He
begotten; and there is none Like unto Him”
(Qur’an : al- Ikhlash: 112: 1-4)
- And as regarding himself vis-à-vis his mission, God commands him to say, inter alia, the following:
"Say (O Muhammad) : “O Men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He that gives both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger - the unlettered Prophet, who believes in Allah and His Words: follow him so that you may be guided.”
(Qur’an : al- A'raf 7: 158)
“Say (O Muhammad) :’I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration (from God) has come to me, that your God is One God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner (to God).”
(Qur’an : al- Kahfi : 18 : 110)
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Show me those you have joined with Him (God) as partners: by no means (can you). Nay, He is Allah the Exalted in Power, the
We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as a universal Messenger for all
mankind, giving glad tidings and warning them against sin, but most men
(Qur’an : Saba’ : 34 : 27-28)
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you do love Allah (God), follow me: Allah (God) will love you and forgive you your sins: for Allah (God) is Oft-Forgiving, Most
(Qur’an : aali ‘Imran : 3 : 31)
- And his message for all, God commands him to say, inter alia, the following:
“Whoever works acts if righteousness and has (true) Faith – his endeavour will not be rejected: We shall record it in his favour.”
(Qur’an : al- Anbiya’ : 21 : 94)
- He brought the Glad tidings regarding the message of the Mercy and forgiveness from God for all :
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His Will, before the penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be help. And follow the Best (of courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you while you – of a sudden, while ye perceive it not! –”
(Qur’an : al- Zumar : 39 : 53-55)
And to the People of the book he was commanded to clarify:
“Say :O People of the Book! Let us come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but the One God (Allah) that we do not ascribe any partners with Him; that we erect not from among ourselves Lords and Patrons other than God (Allah).” If they turn back then say ye (O Muhammad): ‘Bear witness (at least) that we are Muslims (those who bow to Allah’s Will)
(Qur’an : ali-'Imran : 3 : 64)
“Say : We believe in Allah (the One and only God), and in that which has been sent down upon us and upon Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets of their Lord; we make no division between any of them, and to Him (Allah) we surrender (as
(Qur’an : al-Baqarah : 2 : 136)
- And towards these people on whom previous revelations have been sent (People of the Book):
“O People of the Book! There has now come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book and passing over much (that you regard as unnecessary): there has come to you from Allah (God) a (new) light and a perspicuous Book wherewith Allah guides all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leads them out of darkness, by His Will, unto the light – guides them to a Path that is Straight.”
(Qur’an : al- Maa-’idah : 5 : 15-16)
“Say: ‘O People of the Book! Exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the Truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by – who misled many, and strayed (themselves from the even Way.”
(Qur’an : al- Maa-’idah : 5 : 77)
- And regarding the message of Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus), Muhammad was commanded to say:
“They do blaspheme who say ‘God is Christ the son of Mary.’ But said Christ: ‘O Children of Israel! Worship Allah (the One God), my Lord and your Lord.’ Whoever join other as gods with Allah (God) – Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will be, for the wrongdoers, no one to help.”
(Qur’an : al- Maa-’idah : 5 : 72)
Muhammad – the Awaited Prophet.
Many Muslims scholars understand this as reference, a prophecy concerning him as being in the likeness of Moses a.s. - as recorded even in the present day Bible in Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy 18 : 18 :-
“Say (O Muhammad): Do you see? Whether this message (teaching) be from Allah and yet you reject it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel bore witness of one like him………...”
(Qur’an : Ahqaf: 46: 10)
“I will raise up for them a prophet like unto you (O Moses) from amongst their brethren; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not give heed to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him."
(Book of Deutronomy -18:18)
- Who were the brethren to the Children of Isra'il? Do note that the Quraysh Arabs were descended from Prophet Ishmael (Isma'il a.s.) the first-born son to Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim a.s.), thus related to the Jew as he was a brethren to the Prophet Isaac (Ishaq a.s.) although both had different mothers.The use of phrase "their brethren" would imply that of the Ishmalite line, and not descendants of Isaac (the children of Israil) because, if it were to be so, then the appropriate term would be "from among them."
- Also, the phrase "and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not give heed to My words which he shall speak in My name.." is unmistakably referring to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. This can be borne out from the manner the Qur'an was revealed, ad verbetim to him who was illiterate (ummiy), in perfect Arabic unknown to anyone and which they cannot produce a likeness to it; intermittent the revelation proclaim God's name e,g. in the first revelation "Read in the name of thy Lord who creates .." and intermittently the phrase "In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful."
- As regards the many similarities betweem Moses and Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both), let us compare:
------------------------------------------- comparative chart --------------------------------------------
PROPHET MUSA (MOSES) A.S.:
- Separated from his mother and adopted by the leading man in power (Pharaoh).
- Well-loved by all in the court of Pharaoh.
- Gave up life in Pharaoh's court and spent time in the wilderness around the Sinai peninsula.
- Married and had a family before becoming a prophet (he married the daughter of Jethro - in the Qur'an referred to as prophet "Shu'ayb" a.s.)
- Experienced first revelation in the Mountain (Sinai).
- Preached the clear message of the Absolute Oneness of God. “Hear O Israel! Your Lord God is One God.”
- Commanded to preach to the people in power (i.e. Pharaoh), who knew him.
- Has his brother Aaron (Harun a.s.) to assist in his mission throughout, acted as his vizier discharging his responsibilty as well as assume guardianship of his family during Moses' absence when he climbed Mt. Sinai.
- Experience beatific vision of the presence of God in the sacred valley of Tuwa in
Mount Sinai - encountering the burning bush, had interlocution with God, and receiving the ten commandments direct from God.
- He was at first rejected by his people but in the end was accepted as the Messenger of God.
- His life and his people were threatened and oppressed, yet managed to bring his people safely out of the land of oppression through “Exodus”, and established a community, governed over them by the Law of God (Torah or "Taurah").
- Had to face enemies within his community (the hypocrites); they introduced the 'golden calf' to undermine Moses' teaching and authority; but this was smashed and destroyed, the perpetrators exposed and condemned by God.
- Had both spiritual and temporal powers; and like a sovereign he had power of life and death over his people.
- Was assisted by many miracles; God brought down hosts fro heaven to route his enemies who were out to wage war against his people.
- Was successful in his mission; left his community with a legacy and guidance.
- Died at an old age and buried on this earth.
PROPHET MUHAMMAD S.A.W.:
- Separated from his mother and adopted by the leading man in power (Quraysh leader).
- Well-loved by all in the council of the Quraysh.
- Kept away from the Quraysh way and spent time in the mountain outside Makkah.
- Married and had a family before becoming a prophet (he married the Khadijah daughter of Khuwailid).
- Experienced first revelation in the Mountain (Jabal Nur).
- Preached the clear message of the Absolute Oneness of God. “There is no god except Allah (the One and Only God)”
- Commanded to preach to the people in power (i.e. the Quraysh), who knew him.
- Has Ali ibn Abu Talib r.a., his cousin likened as brother, who assisted his mission through out, who remained in Makkah to discharge all the trusts as well as act as guardianship over the prophet' household, when Muhammad s.a.w. left on the Hijrah with Abu Bakr r.a.
- Was miraclously brought on the night journey "Isra' " and then transported up "mi'raj" to witness the beatific presence of God in the highest heaven "Sidratul-muntaha", where he had direct audience with God, and recieved the commandments for the 5 daily devotions "Swolah" directly from God..
- He was at first rejected by his people but in the end was accepted as the Messenger of God.
- His life and his people were threatened and oppressed, yet managed to bring his people safely out of the land of oppression through “Hijrah”, and established a community, governed over them by the Law of God (Qur’an and the Sunnah).
- Had spiritual and temporal powers; and like a sovereign he had power of life and death over his people.
- Had to face enemies within (the hypocrites -"munaafiqun"), they buid a mosque(masjid dirar) to undermine Muhammad's teachings and authority; but this was burned and destroyed, the perpetrators exposed and condemned by God.
- Was assisted with many miracles; God sent down angels from heaven to route his enemies in wars waged against him by the Quraysh, especially in the of Battle of Badr.
- Was successful in his mission; left his community with a legacy and guidance.
- Died at an old age; and was buried on this earth.
And after Moses a.s. there has not been one prophet from the Children of Israil that can fit this description. Even at the time of prophets John the baptist (Yahya a.s.) and Jesus son of Mary ('Isa a.s.). the Jews were waiting for fulfilment of 3 more prophecies and asking the question at that time : "Are you Elijah?, or are you the Messiah?, or are you THAT prophet?"
If we consider John (Yahya a.s.) as the Elijah, the one who herald the coming of the Messiah. And in the presentday Gospel, Jesus a.s. begun his mission only after he was baptised by John. And Jesus son of Mary ('Isa a.s.) is acknowledged not just y Christians, but even in the Qur'an as the "al-Maseeh" (literally the equivalent to the "Messiah" - meaning the "Christ", the "Anointed"). So the last that is left to be fullfilled is " THAT Prophet" - and Biblical scholar would cross-reference this personality to Deutronomy 8:18 . Muhammad s.a.w. who came about 500 years after Jesus a.s. fits the description perfectly.
------------------------------------------- end of comparative chart ------------------------------------
Prophet Muhammad's (s.a.w.) important Legacy.
- The Last Book of Revelation from God – “Al-Qur’an”.
- The Way of Life (As-Sunnah) of God’s Messenger through the corpus called “Ahadith”.
- He re-established the true faith of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim a.s.) - the common ancestor to Monotheistic religion – and restored the Ka’bah (which was built by Abraham) as the Symbol to unite mankind under the Message of the unity of God (Tawhid). For he (Muhammad) was that Awaited Prophet promised to Abraham; and whose coming was prophesized by Moses and Jesus.
- The “faithful community” that adhere to its teachings (termed as Shari’ah), which seeks to perfect human conditions through two approaches:
- Correcting and perfecting the practices and customs of
society in general – “inviting towards what is good,
enjoining what is right and forbidding wrong”;
- At the individual level: Educating and perfecting the noble
character and virtues of people – the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said : “I have not been raised up as a Prophet except (as the educator and
best exemplar) to perfect the nobility of character of
- Commandment for Muslims to build a model community of universal brotherhood, as Witnesses so that others may witness the Way of life of the God-fearing:
Thus have We made you an Ummah (community) that (with your lives) you might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over
(Qur’an Al-Baqarah : 2: 143)
- Commandment to share the message of Truth with all people through peaceful dialogue, but always respecting the basic rights of every people viz.:
a. right to practice their religion (no coercion);
b. right and sanctity of every human life;
c. right to preservation of the intellect (right to Truth, every beneficial knowledge);
d. right to individual ownership of property;
e. right to family and dignity (progeny and preservation of good name);
- To co-operate with every people in common virtues :
“Verily Allah does command towards the upholding of Justice, the doing of good, liberality towards kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, injustice and rebellion.” (Qur’an: an-Nahlu:16: 90)
- An important advice of Prophet Muhammad for Muslims:
“Be conscious of Allah at every place (and moment), if you committed a wrong (desist) and follow it up by doing good works as reparation, and interact with all people by exuding goodly and noble conduct.” (Hadith of the Prophet)
- God’s Message towards mutual coexistence amongst Mankind.
“O Mankind! Verily We have created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most Righteous and God-fearing amongst you. And Allah is well-acquainted (with all things).”
(Qur’an: Al-Hujurat : 49: 13)
“But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do good towards others has Allah has been good to you, and seek not (occasions) for mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief.”
(Qur’an: Al-Qasas: 28: 77)
May Allah, the Most Compassionate and Merciful God, grants us His Guidance and strength, to open our hearts to accept His Mercy – for “You (O Muhammad) has not been sent, except as a Mercy for all (of Allah’s creature)” (Qur’an: al- Anbiya’ : 21: 107).
“Wabillaahi - taufiq wa- al-Hidaa -yah”
“WAS-SALAAM” : May the blessings of Peace be upon everyone who follow the Guidance.