The Superlative Eloquence of the Prophet
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
he Qur’ān is Holy. It consists of the Inviolable Words of Allāh. It is for all times and all peoples. The Prophet whose title is “The Messenger of God,” was inspired and divinely guided in every word and every action. Allāh said in the Holy Qur’ān:
وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
(I swear) by the star when it sets, your companion is neither astray nor is deceived; Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed (to him). (al-Najm 53:1-4)
Allāh swears by the setting star that His Prophet does not stray in the least from what Allāh commands him. Nor does the Prophet speak from his own whims or desires, whether good or bad. Every utterance, every movement, every breath of the Prophet was, in fact, revelation from Allāh and consequently of utmost value in the quest to understand and follow the Qur’ān and the religion of Islam.
حدثنا سعيد بن عفير حدثنا الليث حدثني عقيل عن ابن شهاب أخبرني سعيد بن المسيب أن أبا هريرة قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول بعثت بجوامع الكلم...
The Prophet said, “I was sent with the pithiest expressions with the vastest meanings…”1
Examining the hadiths of the Prophet today, many of these vast meanings are now being grasped by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Ibn Asakir recorded from Muhammad bin Abd-Rahman al-Zahari:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لقَدْ طُفْتُ في الْعَرَبِ وَسَمِعْتُ فُصَحَاءَهُمْ فَمَا سَمِعْتُ أَفْصَحَ مِنْكَ فَمَنْ أَدَّبَكَ؟ قَالَ: أَدَّبَنِي رَبِّي، وَنَشَأتُ في بَنِي سَعْدٍ" انتهى.
“O Messenger of Allah, I have roamed many of Arab and I have heard the most eloquent among them. But I have not heard someone as more eloquent than you. Who was the one who taught you?" He said, "My Lord has taught me and I was raised among the Bani S‘ad."
When asked about the Prophet’s r character, (his wife and leading jurisconsult of the time), ‘A’isha t said, “His r character was the Qur’ān.”2
The hadiths demonstrate how to implement the principles set out in the Qur’ān, from the most rudimentary acts of worship to the most sublime. For example, Allāh commands multiple times in the Qur’ān:
وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاة
Establish prayers (salat) and pay the poor-due (zakat).
(2:43, 2:83, 2:110, 4:77, 24:56, 73:20)
The Prophet said:
Verily this Qur’ān is difficult and felt as a burden to anyone that hates it, but it is made easy to anyone that follows it. Verily my sayings are difficult and felt as a burden to anyone that hates them, but they are made easy to anyone that follows them. Whoever hears my saying and preserves it, putting it into practice, shall come forth together with the Qur’ān on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever dismisses my sayings dismisses the Qur’ān, and whoever dismisses the Qur’ān has lost this world and the next.3
The Prophet said:
I have left among you two matters by holding fast to which, you shall never be misguided: Allah's Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet."4
Another version adds:
And these two shall never part ways until they show up at the Pond."5
Zayd ibn Arqam narrated:
The Prophet stood among us at a brook named Khumm between Mecca and Madina [three miles from al-Juhfa]. He praised Allah -- Almighty and Exalted -- and glorified Him then said: ‘To proceed: O people! Truly I am now only waiting for a messenger [of death] sent by my Lord so that I may respond. Therefore I am leaving among you the two weighty matters: Allah's Book - in it is the guidance and the light, therefore hold fast to Allah's Book, and conform to it!' - and he encouraged people to do so, and urged them. Then he said: ‘And the people of my House. I remind you of Allah -- Almighty and Exalted -- concerning the people of my House! I remind you of Allah -- Almighty and Exalted -- concerning the people of my House (ahl bayti)! I remind you of Allah -- Almighty and Exalted -- concerning the people of my House!'"6
Lexically, the term ‘itra was defined as "A man's relatives such as his children, grandchildren, and paternal cousins"7 while in the context of the present hadiths it was explained to mean "Those of the Prophet's Family who follow his Religion and cling to his commands."8 What emerges from these meanings together with the two wordings of the hadith "I have left among you two matters" is firm evidence that there is an inseparable connection, until the Last Day, between the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the Family of the Prophet.
Thus we find that in the station of self-sacrifice, was the Prophet’s son-in-law to be, and future father of his grandchildren, Sayyidinā ‘Alī. For during the migration from Makkah, when the unbelievers were conspiring to kill the Prophet , Sayyidinā ‘Alī took the Prophet’s place in his bed. Sayyidinā ‘Alī willingly accepted to lie down in the Prophet’s place—expecting to be killed by the ferocious Quraysh. This spirit of sacrifice was expressed repeatedly by the Family of the Prophet throughout the life of the nation (Ummah), up to the present day; for their love of the Prophet they bore unfathomable burdens by means of which the Community was relieved, protected and preserved.
And Allāh said in regard to the family of the Prophet :
قُل لا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى
Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives;
The light of the Prophet is the source of the light of all believers, for while all things were created from his light, the believers were created in a special way. Al-Qurtubī relates in Jam‘ li-ahkām al-qur’ān from Anas who said that the Prophet said:
Allāh created me from light and He created Abū Bakr from my light, and He created ‘Umar and ‘A'isha from the light of Abū Bakr, and He created the male believers of my community from the light of ‘Umar and He created the female believers of my community from the light of ‘A'isha, Whoever does not love me or love Abū Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘A'isha has no light.
This hadith explains the tremendous love the Prophet bore towards Abū Bakr as-Siddīq, who was his sole companion when he migrated from Makkah to Madīnah and who was his companion in the cave, for which Allāh revealed:
إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا
If ye help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, “Have no fear, for Allah is with us.” (at-Tawbah 9:40)
This magnificent reality applies to those who have no blood relation with the Prophet but indicates how close the believers are to him by virtue of their love for him. Through these hadith, the Prophet demonstrated his love for those with whom he had no blood connection, but whom he loved for their link to him through spirituality, their piety and their sincerity towards God.
In the following ahadith, the reader will find examples from the countless priceless sayings of the Messenger of our Lord, Sayyidina Muhammad . Take example from these magnificent utterances, for each has a value which cannot be measured, in this life or the next.
4 Narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (10:114 #20108) and - as part of a longer hadith - by al-Hakim (1:93=1990 ed. 1:171) who declared it sahih and - without chain - by Malik in his Muwatta'.
5Narrated from Abu Hurayra by al-Hakim (1:93=1990 ed. 1:172) and al-Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal.
6Narrated from Zayd ibn Arqam by Muslim, Ahmad with the addition of the words "I am only a human being," al-Darimi, al-Tahawi in Mushkil al-Athar (9:89 #3464), Ibn Abi ‘Asim in al-Sunna (#1550), al-Tabarani (#5028), and others.
7Mu‘jam Maqayis al-Lugha (4:217).
8 Al-Tahawi, Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (9:88).