The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the month of Rabee’ al-Awwaal, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali discussed some of the virtues of the Prophet and his prophet-hood. During this discussion he mentioned some of the proofs foretelling Muhammad’s prophet-hood, and began by writing:

 الدليل الأول : دعوة أبيه إبراهيم عليه السلام ، و أشار بذلك إلى ما قص الله في كتابه عن إبراهيم و إسماعيل لأنهما قالا عند بناء البيت الذي بمكة : { ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم * ربنا و اجعلنا مسلمين لك و من ذريتنا أمة مسلمة لك و أرنا مناسكنا و تب علينا إنك أنت التواب الرحيم * ربنا و ابعث فيهم رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياتك و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و يزكيهم إنك أنت العزيز الحكيم } ـ

The first proof: The supplication of his forefather Ibrahim (‘alaihi al-salaam), and that points to what Allah narrated in His Book about Ibrahim and Ismaa’eel that when they were building the House in Mecca they said,

Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [2:127-129]

فاستجاب الله دعاءهما و بعث في أهل مكة منهم رسولا بهذه الصفة من ولد إسماعيل الذي دعا مع أبيه إبراهيم عليهما السلام بهذا الدعاء و قد امتن الله تعالى على المؤمنين ببعثه لهذا النبي منهم على هذه الصفة التي دعا بها إبراهيم و إسماعيل

So Allah responded to their supplication and sent a messenger to the people of Mecca from among them with these characteristics who was from the descendants of Ismaa’eel who had supplicated along with his father Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaam) with this supplication. And Allah has blessed the believers with His sending this messenger among them with these characteristics which Ibrahim and Ismaa’eel supplicated for.

قال تعالى : { لقد من الله على المؤمنين إذ بعث فيهم رسولا من أنفسهم يتلو عليهم آياته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و إن كانوا من قبل لفي ضلال مبين } و قال سبحانه : { هو الذي بعث في الأميين رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و إن كانوا من قبل لفي ضلال مبين * و آخرين منهم لما يلحقوا بهم و هو العزيز الحكيم * ذلك فضل الله يؤتيه من يشاء و الله ذو الفضل العظيم } ـ

Allah said:

Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error. [3:164]

And He said:

It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error – And [to] others of them who have not yet joined them. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. That is the bounty of Allah, which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty. [62:2-4]

و معلوم أنه لم يبعث من مكة رسول فيهم بهذه الصفة غير محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم و هو ولد إسماعيل كما أن أنبياء بني إسرائيل من ولد اسحاق . و ذكر تعالى أنه من على المؤمنين بهذه الرسالة فليس لله نعمة أعظم من إرسال محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم يهدي إلى الحق و إلى طريق مستقيم

And it is well-known that there was not a messenger among them from Mecca with these characteristics other than Muhammad (ﷺ) and he was a descendant of Ismaa’eel just as the prophets of Banu Israa’eel were from the descendants of Ishaaq. And Allah mentioned that he bestowed a blessing on the believers with this message, and there is no greater blessing from Allah than sending Muhammad (ﷺ), guiding to the truth and to the straight path.

و قوله في الأميين و المراد بهم العرب : تنبيه لهم على قدر هذه النعمة و عظمها حيث كانوا أميين لا كتاب لهم و ليس عندهم شيء من آثار النبوات كما كان عند أهل الكتاب فمن الله عليهم بهذا الرسول و بهذا الكتاب حتى صاروا أفضل الأمم و أعلمهم و عرفوا ضلالة من ضل من الأمم قبلهم

And His statement, “among the unlettered” – and the intended meaning of that is the Arabs – as a warning to them as much as it was a blessing and a great honor, such that they were unlettered with not (divinely-inspired) book with them nor did they have any legacy of prophecies among them as the ahl al-kitaab did. So Allah bestowed a blessing on them with this messenger and with this Book to the extent that they became the best nation and the most knowledgeable, and they recognized the misguidance of those who had gone astray in the previous nations (i.e. the ahl al-kitaab).

و في كونه منهم فائدتان : ـ

And in this there are two benefits:

إحداهما : أن هذا الرسول كان أيضا أميا كأمته المبعوث إليهم لم يقرأ كتابا قط و لم يخطه بيمينه كما قال تعالى : { و ما كنت تتلو من قبله من كتاب و لا تخطه بيمينك } الآيات و لا خرج عن ديار قومه فأقام عند غيرهم حتى تعلم منهم شيئا بل لم يزل أميا بين أمة أمية لا يكتب و لا يقرأ حتى كمل الأربعين من عمره ثم جاء بعد ذلك بهذا الكتاب المبين و هذه الشريعة الباهرة و هذا الدين القيم الذي اعترف حذاق أهل الأرض و نظارهم أنه لم يقرع العالم ناموس أعظم منه و في هذا برهان ظاهر على صدقه

The first of them: That the Messenger was also illiterate just as the nation to which he was went – he could not read writing at all nor could he write with his hand, just as Allah said, “And you did not recite before it any scripture, nor did you inscribe one with your right hand. Otherwise the falsifiers would have had [cause for] doubt. ” [29:48]. And he did not venture out from the home-land of his people to reside with others such that he would learn something from them – rather he remained illiterate among an illiterate nation; he could neither write nor read even until he completed forty years of age. Then after that, this clear Book came to him as well as this amazing sharee’ah and this upright deen which the adroit people of the world and their leaders recognized that the world has never put together a greater code of law than this. So in this there is a clear proof for its truthfulness.

و الفائدة الثانية : التنبيه على أن المبعوث منهم ـ و هم الأميون خصوصا أهل مكة ـ يعرفون نسبه و شرفه و صدقه و أمانته و عفته و أنه نشأ بينهم معروفا بذلك كله و أنه لم يكذب قط فكيف كان يدع الكذب على الناس ثم يفتري الكذب على الله عز و جل فهذا هو الباطل و لذلك سأل هرقل عن هذه الأوصاف و استدل بها على صدقه فيما ادعاه من النبوة و الرسالة

The second benefit: Fore-warning that he would be sent from among them – and they are the illiterate people, specifically the people of Mecca. They would be familiar with his lineage, his nobility, his truthfulness, his trustworthiness, his virtue and that he grew up among them being known for all those things, and that he never lied – so how then could he claim falsities to the people and then fabricate lies about Allah?! This is false! And for that reason, Heraql asked about these characteristics and used them as evidence for his truthfulness in what he claimed of prophet-hood and messenger-ship.

و قوله تعالى : { يتلو عليهم آياته } يعني يتلو عليهم ما أنزله الله عليه من آياته المتلوة و هو القرآن و هو أعظم الكتب السماوية و قد تضمن من العلوم و الحكم و المواعظ و القصص و الترغيب و الترهيب و ذكر أخبار من سبق و أخبار ما يأتي من البعث و النشور و الجنة و النار ما لم يشتمل عليه كتاب غيره حتى قال بعض العلماء لو أن هذا الكتاب وجد مكتوبا في مصحف في فلاة من الأرض و لم يعلم من وضعه هناك لشهدت العقول السليمة أنه منزل من عند الله و أن البشر لا قدرة لهم على تأليف ذلك فكيف إذا جاء على يدي أصدق الخلق و أبرهم و أتقاهم و قال إنه كلام الله و تحدى الخلق كلهم أن يأتوا بسورة مثله فعجزوا فيه فكيف مع هذا شك و لهذا قال تعالى : { ذلك الكتاب لا ريب فيه } ـ

And His statement, “Reciting to them His verses” – meaning he recites to them what Allah revealed to him of His recited verses – which are the Qur’an and it is the greatest Divinely-revealed book. And it includes knowledge, wisdom, exhortations, stories, incentives and deterrents, dhikr, and information of what has passed, and information of what is to come of the resurrection, the gathering [on Yawm al-Qiyaamah], al-Jannahal-Naar, all of which is not included in any other book such that some of the scholars said that, ‘had this Book been found written down in a book-form in the barren desert land and it was not known who placed it there, then a sound intellect would bear witness that it was sent down from Allah and that no human being has the ability to author it.’ So then what about when it came on the hand of the most truthful created being and the most righteous of them and the most God-fearing of them? And he said, ‘Verily this is the speech of Allah’, and he challenged all of creation to bring a surah like it, but they were unable to do that. So then how is there any doubt? And for this reason Allah said, “This is the Book about which there is no doubt” [2:2].

و قال : { أولم يكفهم أنا أنزلنا عليك الكتاب يتلى عليهم } فلو لم يكن لمحمد صلى الله عليه و سلم من المعجزات الدالة على صدقه غير هذا الكتاب لكفاه فكيف و له من المعجزات الأرضية و السماوية مالا يحصى

And He said, “And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them?” [29:51]. So if there has been no other miracles for Muhammad (ﷺ) to prove his truthfulness other than this Book, then it would have been sufficient. So then what about all the miracles of the earth and heavens which one cannot enumerate?

و قوله : { و يزكيهم } : يعني إنه يزكي قلوبهم و يطهرها من أدناس الشرك و الفجور و الضلال فإن النفوس تزكوا إذا طهرت من ذلك كله و من زكت نفسه فقد أفلح كما قال تعالى : { قد أفلح من زكاها } و قال : { قد أفلح من تزكى } ـ

And His statement, “and purifying them” – meaning he purifies their hearts and cleanses them of defilement of al-shirk, transgressions, and misguidance, for verily the inner-selves are purified when they are cleansed of all of that. And whoever purifies his self, then he has succeeded just as Allah said, “He has succeeded who purifies it” [91:9], and He said, “He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself ” [87:14].

و قوله : { و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة } : يعني بالكتاب : القرآن و المراد و يعلمهم تلاوة ألفاظه و يعني بالحكمة : فهم معاني القرآن و العمل بما فيه فالحكمة هي : فهم القرآن و العمل به فلا يكفي بتلاوة ألفاظ الكتاب حتى يعلم معناه و يعمل بمقتضاه فمن جمع له ذلك كله فقد أوتي الحكمة قال تعالى : { يؤتي الحكمة من يشاء و من يؤت الحكمة فقد أوتي خيرا كثيرا } ـ

And Allah’s statement, “And he taught them the Book and the Wisdom” – with the Book, meaning the Qur’an, and the intended meaning of is that he taught them the recitation and the wording of it. And with the Wisdom, meaning  the understanding the the meanings of the Qur’an and action according to what is in it. So al-hikmah (wisdom) is: understanding of the Qur’an and acting according to it, for recitation of the wordings of the Book is not sufficient unless and until one learns its meanings and acts in accordance with it. So whoever combines all of that, then he has been given al-hikmah. Allah says, “He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good” [2:269].

قال الفضيل : العلماء كثير و الحكماء قليل و قال : الحكماء ورثة الأنبياء . فالحكمة هي العلم النافع الذي يتبعه العمل الصالح . وهو نور يقذف في القلب يفهم بها معنى العلم المنزل من السماء و يحض على اتباعه و العمل به . ومن قال الحكمة : السنة فقوله الحق لأن السنة تفسر القرآن و تبين معانيه و تحض على اتباعه و العمل به فالحكيم هو العالم المستنبط لدقائق العلم المنتفع بعلمه بالعمل به و لأبي العتاهية : ـ

( و كيف تحب أن تدعى حكيما … و أنت لكل ما تهوى ركوب )
( و تضحك دائبا ظهرا لبطن … و تذكر ما عملت فلا تتوب )

Fudhail said, “The ‘ulamaa’ (learned scholars) are abundant while the hukamaa’ (wise sages) are few”. And he said, “The hukamaa’ are the inheritors of the prophets.” So al-hikmah is beneficial knowledge which is followed with righteous deeds. And it is a noor which is placed in the heart so that it understands the meaning of the divinely-revealed ‘ilm which urges towards following it and acting according to it. And whoever says that al-hikmah is the sunnah, then this statement is true because the sunnah explains the Qur’an and clarifies its meanings and exhorts towards following it and acting according to it. So the hakeem is the knowledgeable person who can extract the fine points of beneficial ‘ilm with his knowledge in order to act according to it.

 قوله تعال : { و إن كانوا من قبل لفي ضلال مبين } إشارة إلى ما كان الناس عليه قبل إنزال هذا الكتاب من الضلال فإن الله نظر حينئذ إلى أهل الأرض فمقتهم عربهم و عجمهم إلا بقايا من أهل الكتاب تمسكوا بدينهم الذي لم يبدل و لم يغير و كانوا قليلا جدا

His statement, “although they had been before in manifest error” – this points to the fact that before the sending of this Book, mankind was upon misguidance. For verily at that time Allah looked at the people of the earth and He disapproved of them – the Arabs and the non-Arabs of them – except for a remnant from the ahl al-kitaab who were clinging to their religions which had not been changed or altered – and they were very few.

فأما عامة أهل الكتاب فكانوا قد بدلوا كتبهم و غيروها و حرفوها و أدخلوا في دينهم ما ليس منه فضلوا و أضلوا و أما غير أهل الكاتب فكانوا على ضلال بين فالأميون أهل شرك يعبدون الأوثان و المجوس يعبدون النيران و يقولون بإلهين اثنين و كذلك غيرهم من أهل الأرض منهم من كان يعبد النجوم و منهم من كان يعبد الشمس أو القمر فهدى الله المؤمنين بإرسال محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى ما جاء به من الهدى و الدين الحق و أظهر الله دينه حتى بلغ مشارق الأرض و مغاربها فظهرت فيها كلمة التوحيد و العمل بالعدل بعد أن كانت الأرض كلها ممتلئة من الشرك و الظلم فالأميون هم العرب و الآخرون الذي لم يلحقوا بهم هم أهل فارس و الروم فكانت أهل فارس مجوسا و الروم نصارى فهدى الله جميع هؤلاء برسالة محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى التوحيد

Then as for the general people of the ahl al-kitaab, then then had changed their books and altered them and distorted them, and introduced things into their religions which were not a part of them – so they went astray and led others astray. And as for other than the ahl al-kitaab, then they were upon clear misguidance. So the unlettered ones were the people of al-shirk who worshiped idols, and the Majoos (Zoroastrians) worshiped the two fires and said that they were two deities, and similarly with other than them of the people of the earth. Among them were those who worshiped the stars, and among them were those who worshiped the sun or the moon. So Allah guided the believers by sending Muhammad (ﷺ) with what He sent with him of guidance and the true religion. And Allah made His religion successful until it reached the east of the earth and its west, so along with it the statement of al-Tawheed also became successful, as well as acting with justice after the entire earth had previously been filled with al-shirk and al-thulm. So the unlettered ones were the Arabs, and others which were not included in them were the people of Persia and Rome. So the people of Persia were the Majoos and the Romans (Byzantines) were the Christians. So Allah guided all of them through the messenger-ship of Muhammad (ﷺ) unto al-Tawheed.

وقد رؤي الإمام أحمد بعد موته في المنام فسئل عن حاله فقال : لولا النبي لكنا مجوسا قال : فإن أهل العراق لولا رسالة محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم لكانوا مجوسا و أهل الشام و مصر و الروم لولا رسالة محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم لكانوا نصارى و أهل جزيرة العرب لولا رسالة محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم لكانوا مشركين عباد أوثان و لكن رحم الله عباده بإرسال محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم فأنقذهم من الضلال كما قال تعالى : { و ما أرسلناك إلا رحمة للعالمين } و لهذا قال تعالى : { ذلك فضل الله يؤتيه من يشاء و الله ذو الفضل العظيم } فمن حصل له نصيب من دين الإسلام فقد حصل له الفضل العظيم و قد عظمت عليه نعمة الله فما أحوجه إلى القيام بشكر هذه النعمة و سؤاله دوامها و الثبات عليها إلى الممات و الموت عليها فبذلك تتم النعمة

And it is narrated that Imam Ahmad was seen in a dream after his death, so he was asked about his condition, so he replied, “Were it not for the sending of Muhammad (ﷺ) as a messenger, then the people of Iraq would have been Zoroastrians. And were it not for the sending of Muhammad (ﷺ) as a messenger, then the people of al-Shaam, Egypt and Byzantium would have been Christians. And were it not for the sending of Muhammad (ﷺ) as a messenger, then the people of the Arabian Peninsula would have been polytheists, worshipers of idols. But Allah had mercy on His slaves by sending Muhammad (ﷺ) as a messenger, so he rescued them from misguidance, just as Allah said, ‘And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to mankind‘ [21:107].” And for this reason He said, “That is the bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is the Owner of great  bounty” [62:4]. So whoever got a share of the religion of Islam, then that person obtained a great bounty, and is is a great blessing of Allah upon him. So one is in great need of establishing gratefulness for this blessings, and asking Him for consistency and steadfastness upon it until death, and asking Him to make him die upon it – for that is the completion of this blessing.

فإبراهيم عليه الصلاة و السلام هو إمام الحنفاء المأمور محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم و من قبله من الأنبياء و الاقتداء به و هو الذي جعله للناس إماما و قد دعا هو و ابنه إسماعيل بأن يبعث الله في أهل مكة رسولا منهم موصوفا بهذه الأوصاف فاستجاب الله لهما و جعل هذا النبي مبعوثا فيهم من ولد إسماعيل بن إبراهيم كما دعيا بذلك و هو النبي الذي أظهر دين إبراهيم الحنيف بعد اضمحلاله و خفائه على أهل الأرض فلهذا كان أولى الناس بإبراهيم كما قال تعالى : { إن أولى الناس بإبراهيم للذين اتبعوه و هذا النبي و الذين آمنوا }  ـ

So Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaatu w’al-salaam) was the leader of the monotheists, and Muhammad (ﷺ) and those of the prophets who came before him were his deputies commanding people to emulate him – and he is the one whom Allah made as an imam for mankind. And he and his son Ismaa’eel supplicated that Allah would send a messenger from among the people of Mecca unto them who be characterized with these attributes. So Allah responded to them and He made this prophet sent among them from the descendents of Ismaa’eel the son of Ibrahim just as they had supplicated. And he was the prophet who made the monotheistic religion of Ibrahim ascendant after its disappearance and its being hidden from the people of the earth. So for this reason, he was nearest of mankind to Ibrahim, just as Allah said, “Indeed, the most worthy of Ibrahim among the people are those who followed him, and this prophet, and those who believe” [3:68].

و قال صلى الله عليه و سلم : [ إن لكل نبي وليا من النبيين و أنا ولي إبراهيم ] ثم تلا هذه الآية و كان صلى الله عليه و سلم أشبه ولد إبراهيم به صورة و معنى حتى إنه أشبهه في خلة الله تعالى فقال : [ إن الله اتخذني خليلا كما اتخذ إبراهيم خليلا ] ـ

And he (ﷺ) said, “Verily every prophet has a close ally among the prophets, and I am the close ally of Ibrahim”, and then he recited this ayah. And he (ﷺ) was the closest in resemblance to Ibrahim out of his descendents in both appearance and meaning, to the extent that he bore resemblance to him in being a close friend of Allah, so he said, “Verily Allah has taken me as a khaleel just as He took Ibrahim as a khaleel.”

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 165-170]

See also: Five Descriptions of the Prophet in Surah al-Ahzaab

See also: We have sent him in order that you may believe: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Universal Messenger: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The great blessing of being a guiding leader: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The command to extol the Prophet, and the punishment for harming him or the believers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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11 thoughts on “The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

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  10. Pingback: Purifying the Ka’bah: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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