Monday, November 10, 2008

Prophets [PBUT] were from us [Human Being] - 1

aijaz alamdar wrote:

Aamir wrote

Differentiate between Sin and Human Err!

He does not understand such an err for us is ok but for Prophet its a sin & its a blasphemy to accuse Prophet of such err because same Quran has declared Prophet as Rehmatul Lil Alameen(mercy for Universe). This is again the case of not taking Quranic convictions seriously. This is a conduct of low quality human being--to accuse Prophet of such conduct who has highest status in all respect is nothing but Wahabi Shaitaniat.

Dear Alamdar Sahab,

Since you have already formed your opinion therefore I cannot force you except my views which are as:

Many Muslims today believe that Holy Prophets (PBUT) were more than human beings. And if somebody calls or even considers them as human beings, then that person is seen as being on the wrong path and in deep ignorance.

The meaning of contexts of some of the hadiths and Qur’anic verses can be misunderstood when they are not considered carefully. But careful consideration should spare the reader any confusion. As Allah (SWT) said in Qur’an:

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابَّ عِندَ اللّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

Lo! the worst of beasts in Allah's sight are the deaf, the dumb, who have no sense. [AL-ANFAL (SPOILS OF WAR, BOOTY) Chapter 8 - Verse 22]

The people referred to here were some persons from the tribe of Bani 'Abd-Addar. [This verse is also mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Whey applied to human beings, this verse means that the ignorant persons are those who read and hear the Qur’an but do not understand it. And Allah doesn’t like the people who don’t understand His sayings and the words of the Holy Prophets (PBUH)

Commonly Quoted Verses and Hadiths

The believers who believe that Prophets were not Human beings often misunderstand the following Qur’anic verses and hadiths:

Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah knoweth those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them. [AL-NOOR (THE LIGHT) Chapter 24 - Verse 63]

قَالَ لَمْ أَكُن لِّأَسْجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقْتَهُ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ

He [Satan] said: I am not one to prostrate myself unto a mortal whom Thou hast created out of potter's clay of black mud altered! [AL-HIJR (AL-HIJR, STONELAND, ROCK CITY) Chapter 15 - Verse 33]

فَقَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قِوْمِهِ مَا نَرَاكَ إِلاَّ بَشَرًا مِّثْلَنَا وَمَا نَرَاكَ اتَّبَعَكَ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِيَ الرَّأْيِ وَمَا نَرَى لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ بَلْ نَظُنُّكُمْ كَاذِبِينَ

The chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved, said: We see thee but a mortal like us, and we see not that any follow thee save the most abject among us, without reflection. We behold in you no merit above us - nay, we deem you liars. [HUD (HUD) Chapter 11 - Verse 27]

وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِلِقَاء الْآخِرَةِ وَأَتْرَفْنَاهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مَا هَذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يَأْكُلُ مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَشْرَبُ مِمَّا تَشْرَبُونَ

And the chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved and denied the meeting of the Hereafter, and whom We had made soft in the life of the world, said: This is only a mortal like you, who eateth of that whereof ye eat and drinketh of that ye drink. [AL-MUMENOON (THE BELIEVERS) Chapter 23 - Verse 33]

Abdullah ibn Umar said: It was narrated to me that the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) had said: “The prayer observed by a person sitting is half of the prayer.” I came to him (peace be upon him) and found him praying in a sitting position. I placed my hand on his head. He said: “O Abdullah ibn Amr, what is the matter with you?” I said: “Messenger of Allah, it has been narrated to me that you said: ‘The prayer of a man in a sitting position is half of the prayer, whereas you are observing prayer sitting.” He (the Prophet) said: “Yes, it is so, but I am not like anyone amongst you.” (Sahih Muslim)

There are many other verses and hadiths which are similarly misunderstood.

Counter Arguemnts

In order to counter this misunderstanding there are many Qur’anic verses and hadiths that can be quoted to show that the conclusion drawn from the verses and hadiths mentioned above is a misunderstanding. The Qur'an clearly states that no human being lives forever and everyone has to taste death:

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ الْخُلْدَ أَفَإِن مِّتَّ فَهُمُ الْخَالِدُونَ

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ

We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. [AL-ANBIYA (THE PROPHETS) Chapter 21 - Verse 34 and 35]

فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانُ قَالَ يَا آدَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لَّا يَبْلَى

But the devil whispered to him, saying: O Adam! Shall I show thee the tree of immortality and power that wasteth not away? [TA-HA (TA-HA) Chapter 20 -Verse 120]

These verses show that no one in this world will live forever and there is no immortality in this world, because immortality is in the life of hereafter. Also, in the Qur'an, Allah said to the prophet:

اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ

If Allah willed, He could have sealed thy heart (against them). [ASH-SHURA (COUNCIL, CONSULTATION) Chapter 42 - Verse 24]

which means that Allah could even seal the heart of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). So how could He (PBUH) be more than a human being when he is warned by Allah of the punishment that is applied to normal human beings?

In hadiths, the suggestion of some Muslim brothers and sisters that the Prophets (PBUT) were more than humans is directly rejected by Holy Prophet (PBUH) Himself:

It was narrated by Umm Salama (R.A) (Wife of Prophet SAW) that Allah's Apostle heard some people quarreling at the door of his dwelling. He came out and said, "I am only a human being, and opponents come to me [to settle their problems]. Maybe someone amongst you can present his case more eloquently than the other, whereby I may consider him true and give a verdict in his favor. So, if I give the right of a Muslim to another by mistake, then it is really a portion of the Fire [of Hell], and he has the option to take it or give it up [before the Day of Resurrection]". (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Two things to observed from this hadith:

1) The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was a human being.

2) He (PBUH) only knew what Allah had told him, (i.e.) He (PBUH) had no knowledge about the future or what is hidden.

وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

And with Him are the keys of the Invisible. None but He knoweth them. And He knoweth what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 - Verse 59]

قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنبِئْهُم بِأَسْمَآئِهِمْ فَلَمَّا أَنبَأَهُمْ بِأَسْمَآئِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ

He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 33]

وَيَقُولُونَ لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا الْغَيْبُ لِلّهِ فَانْتَظِرُواْ إِنِّي مَعَكُم مِّنَ الْمُنتَظِرِينَ

And they will say: If only a portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Then say, (O Muhammad): The Unseen belongeth to Allah. So wait! Lo! I am waiting with you. [YUNUS (JONAH) Chapter 10 - Verse 20]

D. “The Holy Prophet Mohammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is asked to declare:

وَلاَ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَآئِنُ اللّهِ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلاَ أَقُولُ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ وَلاَ أَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ تَزْدَرِي أَعْيُنُكُمْ لَن يُؤْتِيَهُمُ اللّهُ خَيْرًا اللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ إِنِّي إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

I say not unto you: "I have the treasures of Allah" nor "I have knowledge of the Unseen," nor say I: "Lo! I am an angel!" Nor say I unto those whom your eyes scorn that Allah will not give them good - Allah knoweth best what is in their hearts - Lo! then indeed I should be of the wrong-doers. [HUD (HUD) Chapter 11 - Verse 31]

This point is stressed again and again in the Holy Quran:

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا

(He is) the Knower of the Unseen, and He revealeth unto none His secret, [AL-JINN (THE JINN) Chapter 72 - Verse 26]

مَّا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيَذَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى مَآ أَنتُمْ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّىَ يَمِيزَ الْخَبِيثَ مِنَ الطَّيِّبِ وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُطْلِعَكُمْ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ وَلَكِنَّ اللّهَ يَجْتَبِي مِن رُّسُلِهِ مَن يَشَاء فَآمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَإِن تُؤْمِنُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَلَكُمْ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

It is not (the purpose) of Allah to leave you in your present state till He shall separate the wicked from the good. And it is not (the purpose of) Allah to let you know the Unseen. But Allah chooseth of His messengers whom He will, (to receive knowledge thereof). So believe in Allah and His messengers. If ye believe and ward off (evil), yours will be a vast reward. [AL-E-IMRAN (THE FAMILY OF 'IMRAN, THE HOUSE OF 'IMRAN) Chapter 3 -Verse 179]

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَّاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

Lo! Allah! With Him is knowledge of the Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn to-morrow, and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. [LUQMAN (LUQMAN) Chapter 31 - Verse 34]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Keys to the knowledge of the unseen are five, which nobody knows but Allah. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain" (Reported by Al-Bukhari).

This is another hadith that stresses that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was a human being:

It was narrated by 'Abdullah that the Prophet prayed (and the sub narrator Ibrahim said, "I do not know whether he prayed more or less than usual"), and when he had finished the prayers he was asked: "O Allah's Apostle! Has there been any change in the prayers?" He said, "what is it?' The people said, "You have prayed so much and so much." So the Prophet bent his legs, faced the Qibla and performed two prostrations (of Sahu [forgetfulness]) and finished his prayers with Taslim (by turning his face to right and left saying: 'As-Salamu'Alaikum-Warahmat-ullah'). When he turned his face to us he said, "If there had been anything changed in the prayer, surely I would have informed you, but I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me and if anyone of you is doubtful about his prayer, he should follow what he thinks to be correct and complete his prayer accordingly and finish it and do two prostrations (of Sahu)." (Sahih Al–Bukhari)

This is another piece of evidence that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was a normal human being. He was the last messenger of Allah and will remain till the Day of Judgment.

As for whether Prophets (PBUT) were more than human beings or not, I would like to say that surely they are the most pious and the most favorite people of Allah, but that does not mean that they were more than Human beings. Many people argue that the Prophets were not like us and that they were greater than us, and they prove that by quoting Sahih Muslim’s above. I agree with those people that the Prophets (PBUT) were greater than us, but I disagree with them on what they were greater than us in.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself has given the answer to this confusion in the following hadith:

It is narrated by Ayesha (R.A) that a person came to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) asking for a fatwa (religious verdict). She (Ayesha) had been overhearing it from behind the curtain. Ayesha added that he (the person) had said: “Messenger of Allah, (the time) of prayer overtakes me as I am in a state of Junub; should I observe fast [in this state]?” Upon this the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “At times the time of prayer overtakes me while I am in a state of Junub, and I observe fast [in that very state],” whereupon he (the man) said: “Messenger of Allah, you are not like us, as Allah has pardoned all your sins, the previous ones and the later ones.” (The Prophet) said: “By Allah, I hope I am the most God-fearing of you, and possess the best knowledge among you of those (things) against which I should guard.” (Sahih Muslim)

This clarifies why the Holy Prophets (PBUT) were not like any of us, but it doesn’t mean that they were more than human beings. I agree that they were greater of us all, but on the basis of what our Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said.

A Muslim brother argued that “Satan was the first one to call the Prophet (Adam - PBUH) a human being.” And he quoted this verse: "(Iblees) said:

قَالَ لَمْ أَكُن لِّأَسْجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقْتَهُ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ

He said: I am not one to prostrate myself unto a mortal whom Thou hast created out of potter's clay of black mud altered! [AL-HIJR (AL-HIJR, STONELAND, ROCK CITY) Chapter 15 - Verse 33]

And he also said that “all the people who call Prophets human beings are following the footsteps of Satan.” This might sound like a convincing argument for some, but I have a different point of view. Satan refused to bow in front of Prophet Adam (PBUH) and gave the reason that the latter was made of clay and a mere human being. It means that degrading and rejecting someone because he is a human being is the position of Satan, and thus cannot be the faith of believers. That’s why Muslims believe that all the Holy Prophets (PBUT) were human beings. The Noble Qur’an itself discusses this in detail. Being mere human beings does not make any change or difference to their dignity.

So the first being to reject and degrade the human being was Satan. Because he was proud of himself, having been made of fire, he refused to bow and rejected the existence of Human beings. So it is Satan’s stand and belief to degrade Human Beings, whereas Allah SWT described the human beings as Ashraf-ul-Makhlooqaat (Superior of All the Creations).

Human beings are also the deputies of Allah on this earth. Thus the Qur’an clearly states that only Allah is above Human beings and no one else is between them. So if a person says that the Prophets were not human beings then I don’t know what he is trying to say or prove! The Prophets were human beings, but they were favoured by Allah with the gift of Prophecy.

I have also come across this argument: “It was the way and style of the non–believers (Mushrikeen) to consider the Prophets mere human beings. The Qur'an mentions in several places those who called their Prophets human beings. Because of their calling the Prophets human beings Allah destroyed them.” The verses that are cited in support of this view are these:

But the chiefs of the Unbelievers among his people said: "We see (in) you nothing but a man like ourselves: Nor do we see that any follow you but the meanest among us, in judgment immature: Nor do we see in you (all) any merit above us: in fact we thing ye are liars!" (11.27) And the chiefs of his people, who disbelieved and denied the meeting in the Hereafter, and on whom We had bestowed the good things of this life, said: "He is no more than a man like yourselves: he eats of that of which you eat, and drinks of what you drink.” (23.33)

It is another misconception that people take by reading the outer meaning of Qur’anic verses. As explained earlier, the first one to reject, refuse, and degrade human beings was Satan. So the people who refused that the holy Prophets were sent by Allah were the followers of Satan, as they gave the reason that Satan gave to Allah. Verse 11.27 talks about how tribe leaders diverged from the truth and argued with Noah (PBUH). It shows the thinking of the people of the past and confirms their ignorance. They wanted something extraordinary to happen so that they could accept the Prophecy. The tribe leaders could not accept the superiority of any other person who looks like them and acts like them. So it was very hard for those Leaders to accept that someone was superior to them, because they were proud of themselves being leaders, as Satan was proud for being created from fire and for being the dearest Angel to Allah.

The same thinking of the disbelievers can be seen in verse 23.33. It was very hard for them to accept the superiority of a person who was just like them. They didn’t realize that it was a test of their truthfulness and sincerity to Allah. Allah wanted to see that who will agree with His Prophet and who will accept the man who looked like them as being superior to them, for the sake of Allah.

This is similar to what happened between Moses (PBUH) and Pharaoh. When Moses (PBUH) told him that there is only One God, who had no peer and no substitute, Pharaoh became angry and did not accept Allah as the only lord because he considered himself as God. It was difficult for him to accept that there was someone more powerful than him. Similarly, people leaders were jealous of the Holy Prophets, because they were not ready to accept men like them as the Holy Prophets of Allah. These leaders said:

وَلَئِنْ أَطَعْتُم بَشَرًا مِثْلَكُمْ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا لَّخَاسِرُونَ

If ye were to obey a mortal like yourselves, then, lo! ye surely would be losers. [AL-MUMENOON (THE BELIEVERS) Chapter 23 Verse 34]

It is a test from Allah to see who will accept to be led to the right way by those whom He chose.

Let’s look at this incident in the story of Moses:

It is narrated by Said bin Jubair that …………….Ubai bin Ka'b told us that the Prophet said, “Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked, who was the most learned man amongst the people. He said, 'I.' Allah admonished him as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him, 'Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a slave of Mine who is more learned than you.' Moses said, 'O my Lord! How can I meet him? …” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Clearly, Prophets are only human beings. Prophet Moses (PBUH) claimed to be the most learned among the people, but Allah rejected his claim and revealed to him that there is a friend of Allah who is more learned and intelligent. This proves that in the sight of Allah superiority among the creation is measured by faith and piety (i.e. Taqwa), and that applies to the Prophets also.

In further proof that all Prophets being were human beings, I would like to cite this verse:

وَلاَ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَآئِنُ اللّهِ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلاَ أَقُولُ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ وَلاَ أَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ تَزْدَرِي أَعْيُنُكُمْ لَن يُؤْتِيَهُمُ اللّهُ خَيْرًا اللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ إِنِّي إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

I say not unto you: "I have the treasures of Allah" nor "I have knowledge of the Unseen," nor say I: "Lo! I am an angel!" Nor say I unto those whom your eyes scorn that Allah will not give them good - Allah knoweth best what is in their hearts - Lo! then indeed I should be of the wrong-doers. [HUD (HUD) Chapter 11 - Verse 31]

This verse tells us what Prophet Noah (PBUH) said to the chiefs of the disbelievers.

The Prophets are normal human beings, and human beings are the dearest creation to Allah. That’s why he called us Ashraf-ul-Makhluqaat (Superior of All the Creations). There is no other creation that superior than the human being. As for the Prophets, Allah honors anyone whom he likes and takes it away from anyone he likes and there is no one to ask him. Verily Allah always does what is right.

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