Prophet Muhammad (SAW)In: Ahlul-Bayt
The Holy Prophet departed from this world on 28th of Safar, 11 AH. Thus ended the life of the Final Prophet sent:
“as a witness and a bringer of glad tidings, a warner and a summoner unto Allah by His permission, and a lamp that gives light (Qur’an, 33:45-46)
the one who was sent as a mercy and blessing to mankind” (Qur’an, 21:10)
He left the temporal world, but the message he brought to mankind is eternal.
“Now has come unto you light from Allah and a clear book whereby Allah guides him who seeks His pleasure unto the paths of peace. He brings them out of the darkness into the light by His decree and guides them unto a straight path. (Qur’an, 5:16)
A Book which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad!) so that you may thereby bring forth mankind from darkness unto the light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of Him, the Exalted in power, the One worthy of all praise. (Qur’an, 14:2)
When Allah intended to create the creatures, He first created the “Noor” (Light) of Muhammad. Al-Qastalani (in Al Mawahibu’l-Ladunniyah, vol. 1, pp. 5, 9, 10)
has quoted the Prophet’s traditions to this effect as transmitted through Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al-Ansari and Imam Ali (A).
The well-known historian al-Mas’udi (in his Maruju’dh – dhahab) quotes a lengthy tradition from Imam Ali (A) to the effect that when Allah created, first of all, the Light of Muhammad, He said to it: “You are My chosen one and the Trustee of My Light and Guidance. It is because of you that I am going to create the earth and the skies, lay down reward and punishment, and bring into being the Garden and the Fire.”
Then the tradition goes on to speak about the Family of the Prophet, about creation of the angels, of the souls, of the world, of the covenant taken from the souls which combined the belief in the One God with acceptance of Muhammad’s Prophethood.
This is why Ibn ‘Abbas narrates saying that the Prophet said: “I was Prophet when Adam was between soul and body (i.e. when Adam’s creation was in its preliminary stages)” (at-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jjam al-Kabir; Al Khasa’is al-Kubra, vol.1, p.4).
Prophet Muhammad’s Light adorned the ‘Arsh (Throne) of God. When eons later, Adam was created, that Light was put in his forehead. It continued its journey, generation after generation, through numerous prophets and their successors till it came to Prophet Ibrahim (A). From Ibrahim (A), it came to his eldest son, Prophet Isma’il (A).
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Verily Allah chose Isma’il from the progeny of Ibrahim, and chose Banu Kinanah from the progeny of Isma’il, and chose Quraish from the Banu Kinanah, and chose Banu Hashim from Quraish, and chose me from Banu Hashim.” At-Tirmidhi has narrated this tradition from Wathilah ibn al-Asqa’ and has said that this tradition is sahih (correct).
Abul-Fida quotes in his Tarikh (History) a tradition wherein the Prophet (SAW) says: “Gabriel said to me: “I looked at the earth from the east to the west, but I did not find anyone superior to Muhammad, and I looked at the Earth from the east to the west but did not find any progeny superior to the progeny of Hashim.”
All Muslims of the world, no matter what their sects are, hold in common that the Holy Prophet of Islam was the last prophet, and in fact, Muslims believe in divine prophecy having ended with him, just as they believe in the Unity of God.
It is crystal clear that when the Holy Prophet of Islam illuminated the dark atmosphere of Makkah with the call of monotheism, he did not mean to lead just the people of the Hijaz or the Arabs, but his divine mission was to communicate God’s message to the whole world and to start this momentous task from Arabia.
One proof of this true belief is that at the beginning of his mission, he said to his own relatives, “Truly, I am God’s Messenger to you, in particular, and to all people, in general…” (Kamil, Vol. 2, p.61)
There are also some verses in the Qur’an that confirm this claim. Consider the following three verses: “Say, O people, “Surely I am God’s Messenger to you all” (7:158). “And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds” (21:107). “And this Qur’an has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches” (6:19).
Such verses reveal the fact that the divine mission of the Prophet was not revised to become universal after his migration to Medina and the prevalence of Islam. From the very beginning, his holy mission was meant for all people, for all parts of the world, and for all times.
The following is quoted in Khasa’is of Nasa’i from Umme Salamah the wife of the Holy Prophet:
“By Allah, the closest person [to the Prophet] at the time of the Prophet’s death was Ali. Early on the morning of the day when he was going to die, the Prophet called Ali who had been sent out on some errand. He asked for Ali three times before his return. However, Ali came before sunrise. So, thinking that the Prophet needed some privacy with Ali, we came out. I was the last to be out; therefore, I sat closer to the door than the other women. I saw that Ali lowered his head towards the Prophet and the Prophet kept whispering into his ears (for sometime). Therefore, Ali is the only person who was near the Prophet till the last.”
Al-Hakim, moreover, remarks in his Mustadrak that:
“the Prophet kept confiding in Ali till the time of his death. Then he breathed his last.”
Ibn Sa’d narrates the following in his Tabaqat:
“Ali narrated that the Prophet had so enjoined that if anyone except himself (Ali) had given him the funeral bath, he would have gone blind.”
Abdul-Barr, in his book Al-Isti’ab, quotes Abdullah ibn Abbas as saying: “Ali had four such exceptional honours to his credit as none of us had:
Of all the Arabs and non-Arabs, he was the first to have the distinction of saying prayers with the Prophet.
In all the battles in which he participated, he alone held the Prophet’s banner in his hand.
When people fled from the battle-fields leaving the Prophet alone, Ali ibn Abi Talib stood firmly by the Prophet’s side.
Ali is the only person who gave the Prophet his funeral bath and lowered him in his grave.”
Both Abul-Fida and Ibn al-Wardi indicate that the Prophet died on Monday and was buried the next day, i.e. Tuesday. And in one tradition, it is said that he was buried in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. This appears to be more factual. But according to some others, he was not buried for three days after his death.
In Tarikh-al-Khamis, however, it is mentioned that Muhammad ibn Ishaq stated the following:
“The Prophet died on Monday and was buried on the night of Wednesday.”
Estimating his age, Abul-Fida writes:
“Although there is a difference of opinion about the Prophet’s age, yet calculated from famous traditions, he appears to have lived for 63 years.”
The Life of Muhammad: The Prophet by Syed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
A Glance at the Life of the Holy Prophet of Islam by Dar Rah Haqq’s Board of Writers Translated by N. Tawheedi
www.al-islam.org (Ahlul Bayt DILP)