The Prophetic Title: “the Best of Creation”

Al-Sawi (p. 297-298), al-Bajuri (p. 296): “Its conclusion being that our Prophet (SAWS) is the best of creation in absolute terms, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then `Isa, then Nuh – upon them peace – then the rest of the Messengers, then the non-Messenger Prophets – some of them being superior to others, but Allah alone knows in what detail, then Gibril, then Israfil, then Mika’il, then `Izra’il, then ‘common human beings’ (`awamm al-bashar) such as Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, and `Ali, then the mass of the angels.” 

Proofs of the Prophet’s Superiority to All Creation

A dear Muslim brother sent the following query: “some brothers even question that the Messenger of Allah was the Best of Creation. Do you have something handy that I can allude to as ‘evidence’ in this regard?”

“They swear by Allah to you (Muslims) to please you [all], but Allah, with His messenger, hath more right that they should please H/him if they are believers” (9:62).

Do they know any other Prophet or angel-brought-near with whom Allah Most High shared as many of His own Names in the Qur’an as He did with the Prophet (SAWS)? See the end of this post on this.

With respect to his foremost name – Muhammad – sallallahu `alayhi wa Alihi

wa Sallam, consider the poetic verse of Hassan ibn Thabit (RA):

    wa shaqqa lahu min ismihi liyujillahu    fa dhul-`arshi Mahmûdun wa hâdhâ Muhammadu

 Meaning: 

    And He drew out for him [a name]     from His own Name so as to dignify him greatly:

    The Owner of the Throne is the Glorious [Mahmûd],     and this is the Praiseworthy [Muhammad]! 

Do they know any other Prophet or angel whom Allah addressed directly and by whose life He swore? “By thy life (O Muhammad)!” (15:72);

 “And who is better in his discourse than he who calls unto Allah and does good and says: I am one of the Muslims?” (41:33) i.e. who is better in speech than the Prophet (SAWS)?

“Lo! those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings” (98:7) i.e. the Prophet (SAWS) is the best of created beings;

“Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct” (49:13) i.e. the Prophet (SAWS) is the noblest of those to whom the Qur’an is addressed in the sight of Allah;

“And lo! thou (Muhammad) art [I swear] of a tremendous nature” (68:4). The reality of this compliment – khuluqin `azim – can be fathomed only by the Speaker Himself and whoever He wills;

“Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while _some of them He exalted (above others) in degree_” (2:253) i.e. the Prophet (SAWS).

“And we preferred some of the Prophets above others” (17:55) then He said: “It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate” (17:79), a Station which the Prophet (SAWS) said none but he would receive. and this is the Station of Intercession at the right of the Glorious Throne as we described at length in the posting “The Seating of the Prophet (SAWS) on the Throne.”

“And [have We not] exalted thy fame?” (94:4) Mujahid said: “Meaning, every time I [Allah] am mentioned, you [Muhammad] are mentioned.” Ibn Kathir mentioned it in his Tafsir. Al-Shafi`i narrated the same explanation from Ibn Abi Najih and so did Ibn `Ata’ as cited by al-Nabahani in al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyya min al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya (p. 379). Al-Baydawi said in his Tafsir: “And what higher elevation than to have his name accompany His Name in the two phrases of witnessing, and to have his obedience equal His obedience??”

“And My Mercy embraceth all things, therefore I shall ordain It for those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor due, and those who believe Our revelations” (7:156); and He said “truly the Mercy of Allah is near those who do good”: “Inna rahmat Allahi qaribun min al-muhsinin” (7:56) without putting qaribun in the feminine (qaribatun) although rahma is feminine, because in reality that rahma is the Prophet (SAWS), as explicited in the verse: “wa ma arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil-`alamin”: “And We did not send you (Muhammad) except as a Mercy to the worlds” (21:107);

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