The Shadowless Prophet of Allah

Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi

We are living in a world of uncertainty and misconceptions. Some people are posing questions that attack the very roots of our beliefs about Allah Almighty and the Prophet , attempting to create doubt in the minds of the unsuspecting Muslims.  Today misguided intellectuals tried to heap insults on the luminous personality of the Prophet  by questioning the extent of his knowledge whereas the commentators of the Holy Qur’an maintain that in terms of knowledge, the Messenger of Allah  is the sun and all the other prophets are planets orbitting about him. The majority of scholars of Islam maintain that the Prophet’s knowledge constitutes of what was, what is and what will be. Others deny that Allah created him as light and a source of light.

Now another group has sprung up, seeking recognition by using scientific knowledge as the basis for Iman (faith). Anything contrary to their understanding of science is discarded from their principles of faith. In this world there are two types of blind folk–those who are born without sight; and those who have vision, but refuse to see the light. It is to educate this group that the Prophet  had said: “Where science ends, my Religion begins”.

Miracles of Earlier Prophets

The Holy Qur’an speaks of many miracles which are beyond the imagination of those who are tied to the cudgels of science, as they cannot be explained through scientific exposition. Some examples of these are:-

1. According to science, the quality of fire is to burn. Yet, when Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) was hurled into it at the command of Nimrud, not a single hair of this great Prophet of Allah was destroyed.

2. Scientific data explains that iron can only melt under great heat, yet this same iron melted in the hands of Sayyidina Dawud (as).

3. Leprosy, blindness, etc. according to science are virtually incurable illnesses, yet a mere touch of the blessed hand of Sayyidina `Isa (as) cured the victims of these. Even more incredible is the restoration of the eyesight of Sayyidina Ya`qub (as) by touching the shirt of Sayyidina Yusuf (as).

Can these people who are influenced by the new innovators in religion, the Wahabi/Salafi movement, deny the veracity of these miracles? If these are possible, then why is it difficult to accept the miracle that the Prophet  did not possess a shadow? Do they have any conclusive proof from a single hadith to prove the contrary ?

On the contrary, there is authenticated proof from the ahadith of the Prophet  and from the writings of great and authentic scholars of Islam which show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Messenger of Allah  did not possess a shadow.

From Hadith

  • Hadith 1: Sayyidina Hakeem Tirmidhi in his book Nawaadirul-Usool narrates from Sayyidina Zakwaan , a close Companion of the Prophet , the following Hadith: “The shadow of the Prophet  could not be seen in the brightness of the sun, nor in moonlight”.

  • Hadith 2: Allamah Ibn al-Jawzi in his Kitabul-Wafa narrates a hadith from Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Abbas  the cousin of the Prophet  in which he said: “The Messenger of Allah had no shadow, not while standing in the sun, but the brilliance of his light (nur) surpassed the rays of the sun; nor while sitting before a burning light, but his luminous light excelled the lustre of the light”.

  • Hadith 3: Imam Nasafi in his Tafseer Madaarik narrates from Sayyidina Uthman ibn Affan , the son-in-law of the Prophet  that he said to the Prophet : “Allah Almighty does not let your shadow fall on the ground, so that no foot of man can fall on it”.

  • Hadith 4: Imam Jalaludeen Suyuti in his Khasaa’is al-Kubra narrates from Ibn Saba : “This is also a unique feature of the Prophet  that his shadow did not touch the ground, because he was light (nur), and when he used to walk in the sunshine his shadow could not be seen.”

From Scholars

Having read the words of those who had lived with the Prophet  and had closely watched his every action, we shall now turn to some great scholars of Islam, whose writings are considered most authentic in Islamic affairs. Pay heed to these to dispel any doubts that you may have regarding the subject. All these great scholars firmly believed that the Prophet  did not possess a shadow.

Qadi Iyad:

1. Imam Qadi Iyad  in his Ash-Shifa states:”The Prophet  did not possess a shadow in the brightness of the sun or in the moonlight, because he was light (nur)”.

Imam Ahmad Qastalani

2. Imam Ahmad Qastalani states in Al-Mawahibul-laduniyya: “That the Prophet  did not possess a shadow in the brightness of the sun or moonlight is proven from the ahadith of Tirmidhi of Ibn Zakwaan and Ibn Saba .”

Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlvi

3. Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlvi states in Madaarij an-nubuwwah: “The Prophet’s  shadow did not appear in sunshine nor in moonlight”.

Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi

4. Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi in his Mathnawi states: “Let alone the Prophet , even if an ordinary servant of the Prophet  reaches the stage of inner mortality (baqa), then like the Prophet , his shadow too disappears”.