Thursday, November 29, 2012

Love for the Prophet

Asalam wa  alikum

Love for the Prophet is a Condition of Faith
by Dr. Ahmad Shafaat (written in 1986)
Love for the Prophet Muhammad is a measure of one's iman (faith and inner conviction) and our iman is completed and perfected only when our love for the Prophet exceeds our love for everything else in this world, including our own lives. The Holy Qur'an says: "The Prophet is preferable for the believers even to their own selves..." (33:6)
This is a definitional sentence which tells us what it takes to be a believer: preferring the Prophet even to one's own life. In confirmation of this the Prophet is reported in Hadith to have said:
"None of you becomes a believer until I am dearer to him than his children, his parents and all mankind." (as reported by Bukhari and Muslim) Some versions add: "his life, his wealth and his family".
The best of believers, the suhaba (companions of the Prophet), did show such love for the Prophet, especially the noblest of them. Hadhrat Ali, speaking on behalf of all the community of suhaba in Medina, is reported to have said:
"The Holy Prophet is dearer to us than our wealth, our children, our fathers, our forefathers, our mothers and cool water at the time of severe thirst."
The firmly established principle in Islam that our iman is as good as our love for the Prophet is fairly and accurately expressed by an Urdu poet when he says:
"Without love for the Prophet it is difficult to find God; He who is not of the Prophet's cannot be of God.
Without love for Muhammad faith cannot be complete;
To be a Muslim it is not enough to believe in God.
Daily prayers, charity, fasting and hajj are fine;
But despite these I cannot be among the faithful.
Unless I am ready to be sacrificed for the honour of Muhammad;
God is witness - my faith cannot attain perfection."
Love of the Prophet breathes life into our practice of religion. Without it our religion reduces to an empty adherence to a set of dead rules and rituals. ("Soul of iman, essence of the Qur'an and life of religion - all these are love of Muhammad, the Mercy to All Creation.")

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