In the introduction of the book Tamheed E Iman (The Preamble to Faith) AlaHazrat radi Allah ‘anhu humbly appeals to Muslim brethren:
My dear brothers! As-salāmu álaykum wa raĥmatu’llāhi wa barakātuh. May Allāh azza wajal keep you, and for your sakes, this poor sinner, steadfast upon true faith and grant us the true love of His beloved, the last messenger Sayyidunā Muĥammad ﷺ and infuse his reverence and respect in our hearts; and that we be in that state until our last breath. Āmīn, O Lord of the Universe!
Your Lord Almighty azza wajal says:
O Messenger! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a harbinger and a warner. So that, [O people!] you may bear faith in Allāh and His messenger; and that you revere him and respect him, and that you sanctify your Lord in the morning and evening. [Sūrah Al-Fatĥ, 48:8-9]
O Muslims! Notice that the reasons for which the religion was given, and the Qur’ān was revealed are three, as mentioned in the above verse:
First, that people bear faith in Allāh and His Messenger ﷺ
Second, that people revere and respect the Messenger ﷺ and
Third, that they worship Allāh azza wajal.
O Muslims! Notice the elegant order of these three important principles. Faith (1) is mentioned first and worship of the Lord Almighty is mentioned in the last; and in between these two, is the reverence and honor of His beloved Prophet ﷺ.
Because, without faith, reverence of the Prophet ﷺ is of no use. There are Christians who respect and honor the Prophet ﷺ and defend his honor by writing books and answering objections of scoundrels among infidels, and give lectures in this regard – but because they do not have faith, none of this is of any use [to them] as this is mere extraneous respect. If they really honored the Prophet with their hearts, they would surely bear faith in [his message].
Even if one spends his entire life worshipping the Lord, but without the reverence of the Prophet ﷺ in the heart, such worship is of no use and all of this toil will be discarded. There are jogis (2) and monks(3) who have distanced themselves from the world and they worship and remember the Lord in their own ways and spend their entire lives doing this; there are also among them, who even learn and recite the phrase: lā ilāha illā Allāh, (4) but until they respect Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ what is the use? None of this is accepted by Allāh azza wajal.
It is these kind of people that Allāh azza wajal has said:
And they sent forth to us from their deeds, (but) we made them useless, like spent wool. [Sūrah Al-Furqān, 25:23]
And about such people that He azza wajal says:
They toil and do deeds; but yet, they shall go inside a roaring fire. [Sūrah Al-Ghāshiyah, 88:3-4]
We seek Allāh’s refuge!
O Muslims! Say, is it then, the love of Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ the basis of faith, the basis of salvation, the basis for good deeds to be accepted, or not? Say: “Yes it is!” And indeed, it is so.
Your Lord, Almighty Allāh says:
O Prophet! Tell them: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your family, the wealth that you have amassed, and the business that you fear will be ruined, and dwellings that delight you; if any of these are more beloved to you, than Allāh and His Messenger, or more precious than striving in the path of Allāh – then wait, until Allāh sends His wrath; verily, Allāh does not give way to the contumacious. [Sūrah Al-Tawbah, 9:24]
We learn from this verse, that if a person considers anybody, or wealth, or anything dearer than Allāh and His Messenger, then such a person is turned away from the door of Allāh azza wajal . And that Allāh azza wajal will not guide such a person towards Himself, and that such a person should await the wrath of Allāh azza wajal. We seek Allāh’s refuge.
Your beloved Prophet ﷺ has said: (5)
None amongst you is a [true] believer,(6) unless I am most beloved to him; and dearer to him than his own father, his children and all the people in the world. (7)
This ĥadīth has been reported by Bukhārī and Muslim and is narrated by the companion Anas ibn Mālik al-Anşarī radi Allahu anhu. This clearly shows that if a person considers someone more honorable than RasūlAllāh ﷺ then certainly, he is not a Muslim. O Muslims! Is considering Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ more beloved than the entire world, the basis of faith and basis of salvation or not? Say it is; and indeed it is so.
All those who utter the kalimah, (8) will gladly agree to all that has been said so far; and they will say: ‘Yes. The honor of Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ is prominent in our hearts; and yes, we love him more than we love our parents, our children and the entire world.’ Brothers! May Allāh azza wajal make this to be true; but yet, listen to what your Lord says. Your Lord Almighty Allāh azza wajal says:
Do people expect that they will be spared at merely saying ‘We believe’, and that they will not be tested? [Sūrah Al-Ánkabūt, 29:2]
This verse is alerting Muslims that they will not be spared on merely uttering the testimony of faith or by claiming faith. Listen! Verily you shall be tested; and you will be considered a Muslim only if you pass the test. In any test, it is seen whether indeed, the thing (being claimed) is present or not, to justify that claim. We have seen earlier that the Qur’ān and Ĥadīth say that two things are necessary for faith to be real and present:
• Respect and reverence of Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ
• Love of Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ more than anything in this world.
The way to test this definitively is thus: Suppose those whom you respect; no matter how much you revere them, or have a close friendship with them, or have affectionate relations with them; like your father, your teacher, your guide,(9) your brother, your relatives, your companions; the scholar, the reader, the Muftī, the preacher – whosoever it may be; if you find them disrespectful towards Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ then you should have no love or respect for them.
Separate from them immediately, and cast them away like you would cast a fly fallen in a glass of milk. Dislike them and do not even look at their faces. Do not bother about their relationship or friendship; or their being scholars or shaykhs; or their piety or elderliness.
All these qualities should be respected for the sake of Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ. When such a person is disrespectful to the master himself, then what is the value of this relationship?
Why should we be impressed by their clothes and turbans(10) – do the Jews not wear turbans? Why should we have a regard for their name, erudition, and outward superiority – do we not see erudite Christian priests and philosophers, who are masters of many sciences?
And if you do not heed this, and try to make excuses for the person who disrespects RasūlAllāh ﷺ and if you do not consider him the vilest and the most sinful; or at the least, you neglect this aspect and do not find dislike for a person disrespecting the person of the Prophet ﷺ– then be fair, and ask yourself, by Allāh! Did you pass the test? And how far did you stray away from the benchmark set by the Qur’ān and Ĥadīth for attaining faith?
O Muslims! Will those who respect and love Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ more than anything in the world, have consideration for such a person who utters disrespectful words about him? Even if such a person were his own teacher or father? Will they not detest such a person, even if he is a close friend or a brother, when he disrespects RasūlAllāh ﷺ who is dearer to him than the whole world? For the sake of Allāh, have pity on your own selves, and heed the saying of your Lord Almighty – and see, how He calls you toward His mercy.
You shall not find those who have faith in Allāh and the Final Day (of Judgement) bearing love for those who oppose Allāh and His Messenger, even if they are their fathers, or sons, or brothers, or relatives; these are a people upon whose hearts, Allāh has inscribed faith and aided them with a Spirit; and will make them enter gardens in which streams flow underneath, and they shall abide in these gardens forever. Allāh is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Allāh. This is the group of Allāh. Hear: verily, it is only the party of Allāh that is successful. [Sūrah Al-Mujādalah , 59:22]
It is clearly explained in this verse, that a Muslim will not befriend someone who disrespects Allāh or His Messenger ﷺ; conversely, one who befriends them is not a Muslim. And apart from the generic and absolute(11) nature of the command, there is a further clarification when ‘fathers, sons, relatives,’ are mentionedspecifically, and that one cannot befriend or love such a blasphemer, even if it is a natural instinct to do so; or else, one does not remain a believer.
This commandment of the Lord Almighty was sufficient for a Muslim; but yet, He calls you towards His mercy and motivates you by stimulating your interest in His supreme and enchanting gifts.(12) That is, if you keep away from those who disrespect the Messenger ﷺ, look at what you gain:
1. Allāh shall inscribe faith upon your hearts; which is – InShāAllāh – a glad tiding of a beautiful end;(13) because that which is inscribed by Allāh cannot be erased.
2. Allāh shall aid you by the Holy Spirit, the Archangel Gibrīl Alaih Salaam.
3. He shall make you enter gardens of paradise, that abide forever and in which streams flow underneath.
4. You shall be called ‘The Party of Allāh’ and those who belong to Allāh.
5. You shall get everything you ask for, and a million times more than you can imagine.
6. That Allāh shall be pleased with you.
7. And He says: “I am pleased with you and you are pleased with Me.”
What other bounty can a slave aspire for, after his Lord is pleased with him? But still, He says out of Compassion and Grace: ‘Allāh is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allāh’.
O Muslim! If a man has a billion lives, and he sacrifices all the lives for such bounties – it is still a bargain. Then, how difficult is it to get rid of Zayd and Ámr(14) and to sever all relations with them for the sake of these precious bounties promised by Allāh táālā?
It is the way of the Qur’ān that whenever bounties are mentioned for those who believe, the warning of punishment is also mentioned. So that people with low aspirations may heed and find their way, by fear of punishment. Now, listen to the warnings:
Your Lord Almighty says:
O believers! Do not take your fathers and brothers as friends, if they prefer disbelief instead of faith; and those amongst you who befriend them are among the transgressors. [Sūrah Tawbah, 9:23]
and He says:
O believers! Do not take as friends, my enemies and your enemies… [Sūrah Al-Mumtaĥinah, 60:1]
You conceal your affection for them, but I know whatever you hide and whatever you do openly. Whosoever amongst you does this has strayed from the right path.
On the day of judgement, your relatives and your children will not benefit you and will be separated from you; and Allāh táālā Sees all that you do. [Sūrah Al-Mumtaĥinah, 60:2-3]
and He says:
And amongst you, he who befriends them is one of them; verily, Allāh táālā does not give way to people who transgress. [Sūrah Al-Māyidah 5:51]
In the first two verses, such people who have friendship with those who insult the Messenger ﷺ were only termed as transgressors and astray; and this third verse is decisive in its clarification: those who have friendship with such people are also from the same community; and infidels like them. And that he will be tied together with the same rope. And remember that lash: ‘that you meet them secretly, and I know what you do in secret and open.’ And now, hear about those who insult the Messenger ﷺ and the rope with which they will be tied together:
There is a painful punishment for those who hurt the Messenger of Allāh [Sūrah Al-Tawbah 9:61]
And those who hurt Allāh and His Messenger ﷺ; Allāh’s damnation upon them in this world and the hereafter and a humiliating punishment for them is readied. [Sūrah Al-Aĥzāb 33:57]
None can hurt Allāh táālā as He is transcendent from being hurt; but He has described those who disrespect His beloved Messenger ﷺ as those who hurt Allāh.
These verses mention seven whips(15) for a person who has affection towards those who disrespect RasūlAllāh ﷺ.
1. He is a transgressor.
2. He is a deviant.
3. He is a disbeliever, an infidel.
4. A painful torment awaits him.
5. He shall be humiliated in the hereafter.
6. He has hurt Allāh táālā, the Subduer.
7. And the damnation of Allāh táālā is upon him in both worlds.
We seek Allāh’s refuge from such a misfortune.
O Muslims! O the followers of the Prince of men and jinns! Are the former seven on distancing immediately from insolent people better, or these seven latter?(16) The heart being firm on faith, the aid of Allāh táālā, entering paradise, being included in the Party of Allāh, wishes being granted, Allāh táālā being pleased and you being pleased with Allāh táālā. Are these seven better or the seven that betide a person maintaining relations with such people: transgressor, deviant, infidel, destined for hell, humiliated in the hereafter, one who hurts Allāh táālā, the damnation of Allāh táālā upon him in both worlds?
Certainly not! Who can say that the latter seven are desirable? And who will say that the former seven can be abandoned? But dear brother, mere claims(17) will not suffice; you will be examined and you have just read the verse: “alif-lām-mīm; do people expect…” [Sūrah Al-Ánkabūt, 29:2] Are you in a delusion that you will simply say it by your tongues and will be let off without being examined?
Yes, indeed! This is the hour of truth and the trial.
Thus you are tested by Allāh táālā, the Subduer. And look, He is telling you that your relations will not avail you on the day of Judgement; (and says) How can you sever (your relation) with Me and establish with others? And He is warning you: ‘I am not unaware, I am not uninformed; and I am Seeing your deeds. I Hear your speech; I Know of what is in your hearts.’
Do not be heedless and ruin your future (in the hereafter) for the sake of others. Do not be obstinate and oppose Allāh and His Messenger ﷺ. Be mindful, He is warning you of a painful torment – and there is no refuge from His Retribution. And He calls you towards His Mercy and there is no place to run except towards His Mercy.
Remember that other sins are merely sins which deserve punishment, but one does not lose faith because of them; (one can come out of hell) by either being removed from it after being punished, by the Mercy of Allāh táālā; or even completely escape punishment by the intercession of His beloved Messenger ﷺ.
But, the reverence of Muĥammad RasūlAllāh ﷺ and His esteem is the basis of faith. We have seen how the Qur’ān reproaches those who are lax(18) in this issue and that Allāh’s damnation is upon them in both worlds.
Remember that if one loses faith, there is no chance of redemption, there is no avenue for release from eternal punishment. And such people who are disrespectful(19) in this world, about whom you bear concern, will be suffering themselves and they will not come to save you on that day; and even if they come – what can they do?
Is it sensible to allow oneself to be seized by the Wrath of Allāh táālā and the fire of hell for the sake of such people?
2 Jogi: Hindu hermits.
3 Rāhib: Monk.
4 The first part of the testimony of faith: “There is no God but Allāh azza wajal ”.
5 Şaĥīĥ Al-Bukhārī 1:7 and Şaĥīĥ Muslim 1:49.
7 Şaĥīĥ Muslim, 1:49.
8 The testimony of faith: lā ilāha illā Allāh Muĥammadu’r RasūlAllāh ﷺ
9 Pir or Shaykh.
10 In the Subcontinent, turbans used to be worn by prominent people – scholars and shaykhs among them.
11 áām, muţlaq
12 In paradise.
13 ĥusn e khātimah: to die as a Muslim.
14 ‘Zayd and Ámr’ is similar to the English phrase ‘Tom, Dick and Harry.’
15 Lashes of censure.
16 That one is warned upon continuing friendship and maintaining relations with such impudent people.
17 Claim that we love Allāh táālā and His Messenger .
18 And does not keep away from those who insult the Messenger .
19 About respect to the Messenger of Allāh .