Thursday, November 29, 2012

love of the Prophet part 2

Asalam wa alikum

THE MEANING OF THIS LOVE FOR THE PROPHET
 
At one level it seems clear why the faithful should love the Prophet: he is their teacher, guide and leader and it is impossible for him to teach, guide and lead them if they don't love him. But there is a deeper meaning in the principle that love for the Prophet is essential for iman.
Love of the Prophet is love of all the beauty and nobility of character, truthfulness, justness, humility and inner strength of which man is capable and which the Prophet as al-insan al-kamil (the Perfect man) possessed in the utmost degree. Love for the Prophet means to acknowledge, cherish and glorify all the potential of goodness and greatness that God has created within Man.
It also means love of humanity, not just in regard to its potential for perfection but also despite its general inability to realize that potential and despite all kind of imperfections and weaknesses from which it suffers. For the Prophet is not only the Perfect Man but also the Representative Man who on the day of judgment will represent mankind and plead on their behalf for their imperfections and weaknesses before the throne of God.
Thus love of the Prophet, on the one hand puts us on the road to perfection by making us cherish it dearly and on the other hand it helps us accept our imperfect humanity and in this way to live in peace with ourselves as repentant servants of God hopeful of His mercy. This is why love for the Prophet is a condition of iman, for what is iman if it is not to acknowledge and repent for one's imperfections and weaknesses and to cherish and strive for - even as an unachievable ideal - the perfection of which man is potentially capable?
There are two closely interconnected sides of iman. One is divine and consists of recognizing God and being at peace with Him. The other is recognizing one's own self and being at peace with oneself. The two sides are like two sides of a coin, none of which can exist without the other. This is shown by numerous verses in the Qur'an and ahadith of the Prophet. For example, the Prophet is reported to have said that he who recognized his own self recognized his Lord. Approaching the same principle from the other direction, the Qur'an says:
"that those who forget God are made to forget their own selves" (59:19).
The word Islam means being at peace with God and this is linked in the Qur'an with being a self at peace with itself.
The love of the Prophet represents the human side of faith. as man the Prophet represents a believers own true self. His love for the Prophet means that he has recognized his own true self and is at peace with himself which in turn means that he has recognized his Lord and made peace with Him by surrendering to Him.
 

No comments:

Post a Comment