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MuhammedAli

Answering Objection: “If Prophet Is Hadhir Nazir Then Why Would He Say I Was Witness Over Them While I Dwelt Amongst Them.”

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Introduction:

This article is being dedicated to one of the most popular arguments against Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) being hearing and seeing type of Shahid/Shaheed (i.e. witness, or Hadhir Nazir). Objective here would be to comprehensively respond to the argument in light of Quran and Ahadith.

0A – Argument Of Opponents Against Hadhir And Nazir:

Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "You will be gathered, bare-footed, naked and not circumcised." He then recited: “As We began the first creation, We, shall repeat it: A Promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.” (21:104) He added, "The first to be dressed on the day of resurrection will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side and I will say: My companions! My companions! It will be said: 'They renegade from Islam after you left them.' Then I will say as the pious slave of Allah said: 'And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." (5:117) [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] This proves just as Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) was not witness over his Ummah Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is also not Shahid/Shaheed (i.e. Hadhir Nazir) over his own Ummah.

0B - Ahadith Connected With Hadith In Discussion:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) giving Khutbah said: “The Prophet said, "You will be gathered bare-footed, naked and not circumcised." He then recited: “As We began the first creation, We, shall repeat it: A Promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.” (21:104) He added, "The first to be dressed on the day of resurrection will be Abraham, …” [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] " The Prophet said, "While I was sleeping[1], a group [of my followers were brought close to me] and when I recognized them, a man (i.e. an angel) came out from amongst me and them, he said (to them): Come along.” [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] I asked: Where? He said: To the fire, by Allah." [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] “… and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side and I will say: My companions! My companions! [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] “I asked: What is wrong with them? He said: They turned apostate as renegades after you left. So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd." [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] It will be said: 'They renegade from Islam after you left them.” [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] “So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd." [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] “Then I will say as the pious slave of Allah [Isa the son of Mary][2] said: And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up, you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things."[3] (5:117) [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] “Narrated Quaggas, "Those were the apostates who renegade from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who fought them.” [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H656] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will disown them and the apostates will be taken to hellfire.

0C - The Connection Between The Hadith And Verse Of Quran:

Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) will be questioned about those people who became apostates by taking him and his mother as gods and worshipping them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will question Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) if he instructed his followers to appoint him and his mother as gods and worship them in the following verse: "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" [Ref: 5:16] Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) will respond the question by saying: "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within me, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." [Ref: 5:116/117] When Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will remember about the apostasy of his own follower’s response he too will say: And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things.[4] If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." [Ref: 5:117] In short Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will disown the apostates of his Ummah like Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

1A - Prophets Will Say Deny Their Knowledge:

Prophets will deny their own knowledge even though they know how their nations received them and how they responded to their call but when questioned they will say - bold: "On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)?" They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the All-Knower of all that is hidden (or unseen)." [Ref: 5:109] This will be out of humility, and respect for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), and confusion/forgetfulness caused out of fear of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).[5] Similarly when Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) will be asked if he instructed his followers to take him and his mother as gods besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and instructed them to worship them. Out of confusion and forgetfulness caused by fear of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will adopt humility and in state of humility and respect for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will deny his being Shaheed (i.e. witness) over his followers: “I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a witness to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." [Ref: 5:117] Note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated he will say [selected phrase] as a pious servant of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said them. In this context, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) denying his status of Shaheed (i.e. witness), would be due to confusion/forgetfulness caused by fear of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and also due to respect and humility. And will praise Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) by affirming the Shaheed (i.e. witness) status of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and with emphasis on Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) being witness to all things.

1B - Prior Knowledge, Confusion And Forgetfulness On Day Of Judgment:

In previous section it was argued, Prophets negated their knowledge (5:109) due to state of fear, confusion, and humility as well as respect for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). And Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) will utter the words of verse 5:117 for similar reasons. It needs to be established that there was confusion, forgetfulness due to fear, or both, as well as prior knowledge about the apostasy of men being taken toward left side toward hell for this to be valid. Confusion and forgetfulness is established from the following facts, Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) recognizes the apostates: " The Prophet said, "While I was sleeping, a group [of my followers were brought close to me] and when I recognized them, a man (i.e. an angel) came out from amongst me and them, he said (to them): Come along.” [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) recognized them and also knew during this life on earth that these people were apostates because he was the one who had informed us: “I asked: What is wrong with them? He said: They turned apostate as renegades after you left. So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd." [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] He will due to forgetfulness/confusion will address the apostates as companions and evidence of it as follows: “… and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side and I will say: My companions! My companions! [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] The angels will retort to bring to his attention what he already knows: “Then some men from among my Ummah will be brought and will be taken toward the left. I will say: 'O Lord, my companions.' It will be said: 'Do you not know what they innovated after you were gone?’[6] And I shall say what the righteous slave said: 'And I was witness over …” [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H2089] And the angel will remind him by telling him: “He said: They turned apostate as renegades after you left. So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd." [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] Once he remembers they are apostates and angels revise his memory he will negate being Shaheed out of humility and respect for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) just like the way Prophets denied knowledge, by saying: And I was a Shaheed (i.e. witness) over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a witness to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." [Ref: 5:117] Alhasil, Prophets knew how their nations received them but when they are put on spot, fear of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will cause temporarily confusion/forgetfulness and they in state of humility, will completely negate their own knowledge. Similarly Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in state of humility and respect for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will completely negate being Shaheed.

2A - Words Change Meaning Depending On Context Example From Verse 5:117:

Words in Quran are not always used in same meaning and example of this is in the verse 5:117 where word توفي has been used. In many places it has been used in meaning of rising of soul after death and it also has been used rising of soul in state of sleep. In this particular verse it has been used to mean rising of living body. In other words Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) raised Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) alive to save him from death. Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) being raised alive is attested in the following verse: “And their saying: "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Ref: 4:157] This establishes Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) used توفي word to imply being raised alive. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will also use exactly the same word. Question begs to be asked, has Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used the word in the same meaning for which Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) used it? Was Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) raised alive like Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam)? You would agree Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) departed this world like many Prophets before him therefore he has not used the word توفي in the same meaning in which Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) used. If it is in context of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) then it should be translated to denote, Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) has been raised alive. If it is Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then the meaning should reflect his reality of death. In short, in Quran words are not always used in same meanings sometimes the context determines what meaning words are used in.[7] We have established that meaning of words can change depending on who uses it and in what context it is used in. Note this point was established because it has connection with how the word Shaheed has been used in chapter five verse hundred-seventeen. We also have established the detail of verse does not fully fit Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

2B - Prophet Isa Will Be Aware What His Ummah Did After Him:

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states that from every nation (i.e. Ummat) a witness will be brought forward who will be asked to bear witness against their nations and the evidence of this is as follows: “So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?” [Ref: 4:41] And We shall take out from every nation a witness, and We shall say: "Bring your proof." Then they shall know that the truth is with Allah (Alone), and the lies (false gods) which they invented will disappear from them.” [Ref: 28:75] “And (remember) the Day when We shall raise up from every nation a witness against them from amongst themselves. And We shall bring you as a witness against these. And We have sent down to you the Book as an exposition of everything, a guidance …” [Ref: 16:89] Note the verse 16:89 states from every Ummah a witness will be called to bear witness against his own Ummah. If Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) was witness over immediate followers and not those who came after him then he is not witness over vast majority of his Ummah. He would be witness over some members of his Ummah and yet the Quran states witness called will be witness upon entire Ummah. In context of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) it means he must be witness upon his entire Ummah: - witness over Ummah before being raised and witness over Ummah after he was raised. Otherwise he is not witness upon his Ummah as the Quran states. This meaning is confirmed in another verse: “And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.” [Ref: 4:159] To be a truthful witness one must hear and see the events to one is going to bear witness about otherwise the testimony is invalid. His Ummah were the Jews and Christians and he will be witness upon all of them. Therefore Shaheed in verse 5:117 is not in its popular meaning of witness. If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wills, the exact meaning of Shaheed in verse 5:117 will be determined in forth coming discourse.

3A - Meaning In Which Prophet Used The Shaheed:

On the day of judgment people who had accepted religion of Islam and then left Islam for another religion will be recognized by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and he will be told they became apostates after him he will then say: ”And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up [after death] you were the Watcher over them and you are a Shaheed to all things." [Ref: 5:117] Note, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will say: “When you took me up [after death], you were the Watcher over them and …”, implying before death Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was raqeeb (i.e. watcher). Hence in the following verse Shaheed has been used in meaning of raqeeb: ”And I was a watcher over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up [after death], you were the Watcher over them and you are a Shaheed to all things." He was watcher over them in two meanings; i) seeing their actions, ii) acted as a guardian to protect their Eman by providing guidance of Islam.  And Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) equated the going astray of apostates to camels without shepherd/guide: “So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd." [Ref: Book 76, Hadith 587] Shepherd does not only herd the sheep to grazing fields but he guides them, protects them, and stands guards over them. Hence comprehensively watcher here means guardian who protects through guidance. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will say to the apostates: And I was a watcher [as a guardian] over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up [after death], you were the Watcher over them and you are a Shaheed to all things." Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has not been sent as guardian of disbelievers and apostates: “He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian.” [Ref: 4:80] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is commanded to say that he is not guardian over the disbelievers and apostates in the following verse: There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord. So whoever will see does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], "I am not a guardian over you." [Ref: 6:104] And due to this instruction in earthly life, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will say to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) regarding those who had become apostates after accepting Islam and after his death; ”And I was a raqeeb over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up [after death], you were the Watcher over them and you are a Shaheed to all things." This establishes Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is not raqeeb over apostates just as Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) was not raqeeb over apostates of his Ummah (i.e. nation).

3B - How The Commentators Explained The Verse 5:118:

Scholars have understood Shaheed in meaning of Hafeez (i.e. protector, guardian). Hafeez, is from the root h-f-z which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to preserve, guard, protect, to keep, retain, take care of, tend, to prevent from perishing or becoming lost, to be watchful, mindful, attentive, vigilant [Ref: Wahiduddin.net]. Imam Qurtubi (rahimullah) explained it as follows: قوله تعالى: { وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً } أي حفيظاً بما أمرتهم، { مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ } «ما» في موضع نصب أي وقت دوامي فيهم. { فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ } قيل: هذا يدل على أن الله عز وجل توفاه قبل أن يرفعه؛ وليس بشيء؛ لأن الأخبار تظاهرت برفعه، وأنه في السماء حي، وأنه ينزل ويقتل الدَّجَّال ـ على ما يأتي بيانه ـ وإنما المعنى فلما رفعتني إلى السماء. قال الحسن: الوفاة في كتاب الله عز وجل على ثلاثة أوجه: وفاة الموت. وذلك قوله تعالى [Ref: Tafsir Qurtubi,5:117] Scholars have understood Shaheed to in mean raqeeb (i.e. watcher/observer). Raqeeb, is from the root r-q-b which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to look, watch, be vigilant; to expect, anticipate, await; to keep an eye on, detect, observe; to be mindful of; to be a spy, scout, observer; to regard, hold in consideration, respect. [Ref: Wahiduddin.net] Tafsir of Imam Jalal Ud-din Suyuti (rahimullah) and Imam Jalal Ud-din Muhalli (rahimullah) has taken the word Shaheed to mean raqeeb in their Tafsir: مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مآ أَمَرْتَنِى بِهِ } وهو { أَنِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً } رقيباً أمنعهم مما يقولون { مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِى } قبضتني بالرفع إلى السماء { كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ } الحفيظ لأعمالهم { وَأَنتَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ } من قولي لهم وقولهم بعدي وغير ذلك { شَهِيدٌ } مطلع عالم به [Ref: Tafsir Al Jalalayn, 5:117] Also Imam Abdullah bin Umar bin Muhammad al-Baydawi (rahimullah) also took Shaheed to mean raqeeb: مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ } تصريح بنفي المستفهم عنه بعد تقديم ما يدل عليه. { أَنِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ رَبّي وَرَبَّكُمْ } عطف بيان للضمير في به، أو بدل منه وليس من شرط البدل جواز طرح المبدل منه مطلقاً ليلزم بقاء الموصول بلا راجع، أو خبر مضمر أو مفعوله مثل هو أو أعني، ولا يجوز إبداله من ما أمرتني به فإن المصدر لا يكون مفعول القول ولا أن تكون أن مفسرة لأن الأمر مسند إلى الله سبحانه وتعالى، وهو لا يقول اعبدوا الله ربي وربكم والقول لا يفسر بل الجملة تحكي بعده إلا أن يؤول القول بالأمر فكأن قيل: ما أمرتهم إلا بما أمرتني به أن { ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ }. { وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ } أي رقيباً عليهم أمنعهم أن يقولوا ذلك ويعتقدوه، أو مشاهداً لأحوالهم من كفر وإيمان [Ref: Tafsir Baydawi, 5:117] Muhammad ash-Shawkani who is a Yemeni Wahhabi scholar, in his Tafsir understood Shaheed to mean raqeeb and Hafeez in his Tafsir: قوله: { مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِى بِهِ } هذه جملة مقرّرة لمضمون ما تقدّم، أي ما أمرتهم إلا بما أمرتني: { أَنِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ رَبّى وَرَبَّكُمْ } هذا تفسير لمعنى { مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ } أي ما أمرتهم، وقيل: عطف بيان للمضمر في { بِهِ } وقيل بدل منه { وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً } أي حفيظاً ورقيباً أرعى أحوالهم وأمنعهم عن مخالفة أمرك { مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ } أي مدّة دوامي فيهم { فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِى } قيل: هذا يدل على أن الله سبحانه توفاه قبل أن يرفعه، وليس بشيء لأن الأخبار قد تضافرت بأنه لم يمت، وأنه باق في السماء على الحياة التي كان عليها في الدنيا، حتى ينزل إلى الأرض آخر الزمان، وإنما المعنى:   فلما رفعتني إلى السماء [Ref: Tafsir Al Qadeer, by Shawqani, 5:117] This is enough to establish the position of Muslims and to refute the literal reading of Shaheed (i.e. witness).

3C - One Who Claims To Be God Will Be Put Into Fire:

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “And whoever of them should say, "indeed, i am a god besides Him" - that one We would recompense with hell. Thus do We recompense the wrongdoers.” [Ref: 21:29] Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) is being asked if he was the one who taught his followers to worship him and his mother, and to take himself and his mother as gods besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala): "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" [Ref: 5:16] This was to demonstrate to all his followers that he is not responsible for the apostasy of his followers. And he would respond to question by saying: "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within me, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a Shaheed (i.e. raqeeb/Hafeez) over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed (i.e. witness) to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." [Ref: 5:116/117] In other words, Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) rejects that he told them to elevate partners with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and will state he was Hafeez/raqeeb over his Ummah until he was amongst them after he had been raised he was not Hafeez/raqeeb over them. Hence he cannot be held responsible for what they invented after he was raised. In this sense Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has refused to take responsibility for the apostasy of those who apostatized from Islam by saying: “Then I will say as the pious slave of Allah [Isa the son of Mary] said: And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up, you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things." (5:117) [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] In other words he states, I was Shaheed [in meaning of Hafeez/raqeeb] over them while I was amongst them and after his death O Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) you was Raqeeb/Hafeez over them.

4A – Enacting Sunnahs:

Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) left his wife Hajara (radiallah ta’ala anha) and his Prophet Ismail (alayhis salaam) in the vicinity of present Masjid Al Haram. She ran out of water, and in search of help and water she ran from Safa to Marwa seven times.[8] This is the origin of running between Safa and Marwa. Note, Hadhrat Hajara (radiallah ta’ala anha) ran between the mountains in search of help and water. We Muslims also run between Safa and Marwa to enact her Sunnah, and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) approved this action: “Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwa are among the symbols of Allah, and whoever performs the Hajj to the Kaba or performs Umra it is not harmful for him to perform Tawaf between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa).” [Ref: 2.158] This is despite the obvious fact that we are not in dire need of help nor water. We are performing this action merely due to the fact that it was her Sunnah and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) approved of it. So we have precedent of enacting Sunnah of another even when the historical reality of Sunnah has no bearing upon us. Due to this servant is of opinion that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will be enacting the Sunnah of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) by saying: “Then I will say as the pious slave of Allah [Isa the son of Mary] said: And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up, you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] The reality on which Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) will utter these words will have no real connection with Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). One proof of this is that it was established in -2A- that word توفي could not have been used by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in same meaning which Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) used it. Another proof is in following section.

4B – Prophet Muhammad Witness Like Prophet Musa:

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states in the following verse that He has sent Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as a Messenger to mankind: "Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you is from yourself. And We have sent you as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness." [Ref: 4:79] And this is attested by following Hadith: … I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in meaning; I have been helped by terror (in the hearts of enemies): spoils have been made lawful to me: the earth has been made for me clean and a place of worship; I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me. [Ref: Muslim B4, H1062] His Messenger-ship is for mankind hence his witnessing is over mankind also: “O Prophet! Truly We have sent you [mankind] as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and Warner." [Ref: 33:45] “Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you [mankind] just as We sent to Pharaoh a Messenger.” [Ref: 73:15] Ibn Kathir states Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been sent to witness the deeds/actions:  “Then addresses the disbelievers of the Quraysh, and along with them the rest of mankind: “Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger to be a witness over you …” Meaning, witnessing your deeds.” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 73:15] Note, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been stated to be witness like Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) was sent to Pharaoh. This proves Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is hearing and seeing type of witness upon mankind like Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) was sent as a hearing/seeing type of witness to Pharaoh. This goes on to establish that literalism of words uttered by Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) has no connection with reality of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

4C – Performing Of Sai Between Safa And Marwa:

Hadhrat Hajara (radiallah ta’ala anha) ran between Safa and Marwa for sake of help and water but in Islam this practice has taken a new significance. It is narrated: "The Messenger of Allah only performed the Sa'i of the House and of As-Safa and Al-Marwah to show his strength to the idolaters." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B4, H863] In another Hadith it is narrated that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "Stoning the Jimari and Sa'i between As-Safa and Al-Marwah are only done for the establishment of Allah's remembrance." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B4, H902] So running between Safa Marwa is for sake of showing strength to polytheists and to remember Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). This establishes that a pre-Islamic era Sunnah of a pious woman has taken new significance in Sharia of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Using this as a precedent, servant purposes that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will utter the words of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) to praise and glorify Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) while being humble about his knowledge and his status of Shaheed to fulfill the Sunnah of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam). The literalism of these words is not connected with him just as reality of Sunnah of Hajara (radiallah ta’ala anha) is not relevant to us.

Conclusion:

Words are not always used in same meaning. Word Shaheed used in meaning of witness then negation of being Shaheed is due to temporary forgetfulness and when he is reminded he will adopt humility and negate his own knowledge and being witness because the One asking is knower of all and Shaheed over all things. Shaheed in meaning of Raqeeb (i.e. watcher) or Hafeez (i.e. guardian) means Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was nor protector of apostates but he was Raqeeb and Hafeez of believers.[9] He is not Raqeeb and Hafeez over apostates because they have gone out of Ummah Islamiyah hence they severed their own link from him.[10] Prophets will negate their knowledge when they are questioned about how their nations received them in state of humility and respect. And similarly his negation of his station of Shaheed is due to humility and respect for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). It is stated in Quran that Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) will be witness upon the Jew and Christians on judgment day. Therefore the words of 5:117 cannot negate his witnessing of his Ummah and witnessing to their deeds on judgment day. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is established as a hearing seeing type of witness upon entire mankind and this includes believers, non-believers and apostates.


Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

- [1] There is two versions of this Hadith, in one the word is qa’im (i.e. standing) and in the other na’im (i.e. sleeping). The difference was noted in hand written copies of Sahih Bukhari and this difference has been faithfully been transmitted depending publishers using a particular copy. It can be concluded from reading the Hadith that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is telling of a dream. Hence the na’im wording seems to be most correct. Allah knows better.

- [2] “Narrated Ibn Abbas: Allah's Apostle said, "You will be resurrected (and assembled) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised." The Prophet then recited the Divine Verse:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A promise We have undertaken. Truly we shall do it." (21.104) He added, "The first to be dressed will be Abraham. Then some of my companions will take to the right and to the left. I will say: 'My companions! 'It will be said, 'They had been renegades since you left them.' I will then say what the Pious Slave Jesus the son of Mary said: 'And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them, You, only You are the All-Mighty the All-Wise.' " (5.117-118) Narrated Quaggas, ""Those were the apostates who renegade from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who fought them." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H656]

- [3] “I only said to them that which You commanded me, to [say], and that is: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness, a watcher, over them, preventing them from [saying] what they used to say, whilst I was amongst them; but when You took me [to You], [when] You raised me up to the heaven, You were Yourself the Watcher over them, the Observer of their deeds, and You Yourself are Witness over all things, Aware and knowing them, including what I said to them and what they said after me, and whatever else.” [Ref: Tafsir Al Jalalayn, 5:117] “(I spake unto them) in the life of this world (only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah) declare Allah's divine Oneness and obey Him, (my Lord and your Lord) He is my Lord and yours. (I was a witness of them) by conveying the message (while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me) when you raised me from amongst them (Thou wast the Watcher over them) You were the Protector and Witness of them. (Thou art Witness over all things) of what I said and what they said.” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Abbas, 5:117]

- [4] Note the words of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam), he will say that, O Allah when you took me up you were watcher over them and you are Shaheed to all things, here: “And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." [Ref: 5:117] It should be noted that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was not the alone watcher over the actions of Ummah of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) because angels are on duty to record the deeds. Yet Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) stated o Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) you are raqeeb (i.e. watcher). Why would he only singled out Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and ignore other watchers of deeds? Answer to this question is; Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Shaheed (i.e. witness) and Raqeeb (i.e. observer)  over all things, here: “And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Watcher over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things." [Ref: 5:117] “Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except what your right hand possesses. And ever is Allah , over all things, an Observer. [Ref: 33:52] Hence the One who is witness over all things and watcher over all things does not need to be told what the Christians did after him. He knows all which is in the preserved tablet, and all that happens, and will happen, and has happened. Therefore there is no need to mention himself or anyone else because creation has been given a limited restricted ability of witnessing. This establishes that Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) did not intend to completely deny witnessing of anyone but merely wished to state; O Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) your Raqeeb and Shaheed without limit and restriction and I was only Shaheed over them while I was amongst them hence you know better.

- [5] ”The statement of the Messengers here: “We have no knowledge …” is the result of the horror of that Day. According to Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and As-Suddi: Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ath-Thawri said that Al-A`mash said that Mujahid said about the Ayah: “On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received?'' They will become afraid and reply: “We have no knowledge ...” Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this explanation. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah: “On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received (from men to your teaching) They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is hidden.'' "They will say to the Lord, Most Honored; “We have no knowledge beyond what we know, and even that, You have more knowledge of them than us.'' This response is out of respect before the Lord, Most Honored, and it means, we have no knowledge compared to Your encompassing knowledge. Therefore, our knowledge only grasped the visible behavior of these people, not the secrets of their hearts. You are the Knower of everything, Who has encompassing knowledge of all things, and our knowledge compared to Your knowledge is similar to not having any knowledge at all, for only; “You are the Knower of all that is hidden.” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 5:109]

- [6] Part One: ‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ ‏"‏ يُجَاءُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ وَهْبٌ وَوَكِيعٌ ‏"‏ سَيُؤْتَى بِرِجَالٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي فَيُؤْخَذُ بِهِمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ فَأَقُولُ رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي ‏.‏ فَيُقَالُ إِنَّكَ لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ ‏{‏ وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي ‏}‏ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ ‏{‏ وَإِنْ تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ ‏}‏ الآيَةَ فَيُقَالُ إِنَّ هَؤُلاَءِ لَمْ يَزَالُوا مُدْبِرِينَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ ‏"‏ مُرْتَدِّينَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتَهُمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏  [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H2089] Note that under alif of in’naka is hamza istifham which changes the meaning of: ‘You do not know.’ to: ‘Do you not know?’ Implication of first is that one making statement is negating knowledge about whom the statement is made. Implication of second is that, one making statement believes, one about whom the statement is being made does have knowledge but cannot recall … hence being question to revise memory. Part Two: Take note of another fact, the people who will be taken toward the left will be those who created sects of innovation and this is gathered from the following words: “Do you not know what they innovated after you were gone?” [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H2089] And in the following Hadith it is established that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) possessed complete knowledge about apostates: I swear by Allah that the Apostle of Allah did not omit a leader of a wrong belief (fitnah )up to the end of the world--whose followers reach the number of three hundred and upwards but he mentioned to us his name, his father's name and the name of his tribe.” [Ref: Abu Dawood, B35, H4231] This goes on to establish that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was aware of who the people were genealogically and [as the other Hadith indicates] recognized them also from their faces.

- [7] In chapter 33 verse 33 of Quran, the addressed are wives of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but the language is masculine plural such as ankum (i.e. from you), yutahiruqum (i.e. purify you). Based on the masculine plurals the Shia argues: Wives of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are not part of Ahli Bayt (i.e. people of house) of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Shias aim to negate the purity of wives of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by arguing this position. We Muslims argue even though the words are masculine plurals but their usage is not limited/restricted for male only because the context indicates wives are being addressed in the verse and no male has been mentioned. This establishes that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) ignored Haqiqi usage of to convey a particular meaning. Example of ignoring linguistic usage in English would be someone saying: Kaif is football virgin. Here the popular linguistic usage of virgin has been ignored to convey meaning of, Kaif has never played football.

- [8] “The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka`ba under a tree on the spot of Zamzam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother followed him saying, "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?" She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him, "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka`ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers: 'O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Ka`ba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.' (14.37) Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that seven times." The Prophet said, "This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them. When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, 'O (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it." The Prophet added, "May Allah bestows Mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the Zamzam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water to fill her water-skin) Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." The Prophet further added, "Then she drank and suckled her child. The angel said to her, 'Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.' The House at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left.” [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H583]

- [9] One meaning of Hafeez is, to prevent from perishing, and in light of this Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) guards his Ummatis from hell by invoking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to forgive their sins and praises Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) when his Ummatis do good: “My life is a great good for you in whom you talk (to me) and you are responded. And when I will die my demise will be a great good for you. Your deeds will be presented to me, if I see goodness, I will praise Allah, and if I see wrongs, I will ask Allah’s forgiveness for you." [Ref: Ibn Sa‘d, at-Tabaqat-ul-kubra (2: 194); ‘Ali bin Abu Bakr Haythami related in Majma‘-uz-zawa’id - 9:24]

- [10] “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the Mushrikoon, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)” [Ref: 9:113]

Edited by MuhammedAli

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