Does Sayyidina Muhammad (s) Travel to Attend Gatherings of Mawlid?

QUESTION:

Assalamualaykum Sidi,

I hope you and family are well.

There is a hadith:

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu `alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah has angels traveling about the earth to convey to me the salaams of my ummah.” [An-Nasaai]

Can you please explain this hadith to me in relation to a Salafi scholar’s statement that:

“….this hadith informs us that the Prophet (sal Allahu `alaihi wa sallam) himself does not travel the earth to attend the gatherings where he is mentioned. Such un-Islamic beliefs have unfortunately found their way into the Bida`t (innovations) that have been introduced into the religion…..”…..

JazakAllah Khayran…ameen!

ANSWER

Wa Alaykum As-Salam Sidi,

This authentic Hadith is not for the Deniers but actually against them. Some of the things we learn from this Hadith are:

1 – The Angels attend gatherings of Salawat! This is a bisharah (glad-tidings) for those who  regularly hold gatherings of Salawat and Salam! The Deniers do not have such gatherings at all. So the lovers names are presented to him (s) daily, carried by the Angels!

2 – The Prophet (s) is ALIVE and AWARE of the actions of his Ummah. Otherwise, what is the purpose of Angel’s presenting Salawat and Salams of the Ummah to a “dead man who doesn’t even know us” as the Deniers ignorantly claim??!

3 – The Prophet (s) possesses the most powerful SOUL/SPIRIT/RUH in the whole world. Otherwise, how does he (s) have the power to RECEIVE and HEAR the endless Salawat and Salams of his Ummah that goes on 24 hours???!!! This in addition to many other matters his noble Ruh is busy with!!!

4 – That the Angels are his servants. So he obviously has more authority and power in the spiritual world than them.

I ask: If his servants, the Angels, can travel freely around the Universe, how can the Spirit of the Master (s) not have the power to do that???

I already highlighted the power of the Soul of the Prophet (s) above!!!

The great 9th century Egyptian scholar Imam al-Suyuti mentions in his book on the Affairs of the Dead (Shar’h al-Sudur) that the souls of all Pious People are free to move around in this world. He quotes this from the Sahabah, so how can it be a bid`ah or Shirk? He also mentions that the Soul can travel through the Heavens and Earth in a second!

The Salafi ideologue Ibn al-Qayyim also seems to agree with this in his book Kitab al-Ruh.

In fact, Imam al-Suyuti, the mujaddid of the 9th Century, states unequivocally in his work Tanwir al-Halak bi-Imkan Ru’yat al-Nabi wa ‘l-Malak:

فحصل من مجموع هذا النقول والأحاديث أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حي بجسده وروحه

وأنه يتصرف ويسير حيث شاء في أقطار الأرض وفي الملكوت وهو بهيئته التي كان عليها قبل وفاته لم يتبدل منه شيء وأنه مغيب عن الأبصار كما غيبت الملائكة مع كونهم أحياء بأجسادهم فإذا أراد الله رفع الحجاب عمن أراد إكرامه برؤيته رآه على هيئته التي هو عليها لا مانع من ذلك ولا داعي إلى التخصيص برؤية المثال…سئل بعضهم كيف يراه الراؤن المتعددون

في أقطار متباعدة فأنشد :

كالشمس في كبد السماء وضوؤها

يغشى البلاد مشارقاً ومغارباً

So it is learnt from all these narrations and ahadith that the Prophet (s) is alive, with body and soul, and that he (s) acts with authority and travels wherever he wishes to in Earth and Heavens, and he (s) is in the manner he was before he died, nothing has changed of him. He has just been hidden from the (physical) eyes just as Angels are hidden, though they are physically in existence. So if Allah wishes to honor someone by seeing him (s), He just removes the veil between them and him and that person sees him (s) the way he (s) is. There is nothing that makes this inconceivable, and there is no need to claim that the seer sees his (s) image only.

And some of them (i.e. the scholars/saints) was asked: ‘How can multiple people see him (s) in far-off lands (i.e. at the same time)?’

So he replied in poetry:

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