10. Universality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad
- 10.1. NECESSITY OF MORE THAN ONE PROPHET BEFORE HAZRAT MUHAMMAD
- 10.2- SUPERIORITY OF PROPHETS OVER ONE ANOTHER
- 10.3- UNIVERSALITY OF THE PROPHETHOOD OF HAZRAT MUHAMMAD
- 10.4. SPIRITUAL PERSONALITY AND UNIVERSALITY OF THE PROPHETHOOD OF HAZRAT MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
10.1. NECESSITY OF MORE THAN ONE PROPHET BEFORE HAZRAT MUHAMMAD
The first man and the first prophet is Hazrat Adam. According to some narrations there were three hundred thousand prophets between Hazrat Adam and the last prophet, Hazrat Muhammad.
The issues like the existence and oneness of Allah, the existence of the hereafter and the angels, which are among the fundamentals of belief, were present in all religions from Hazrat Adam to Hazrat Muhammad and they did not change. Since man did not change in terms of his nature, all of the decrees about man as an individual are generally the same in all religions. Therefore, the fundamentals of ethics are the same in all religions and they do not change.
The need for prophets and books from Allah continued in order to convey men the orders and prohibitions of Allah.
As for social life, it is a necessity, here, that decrees will vary from religion to religion. Since the characters of men who lived in the ancient times were somewhat rude, their experience was less, and their way of living was closer to bedouins, Allah sent religions that contained decrees in accordance with their social lives.
Moreover, since men lived in places very far away from other men and since transport and communication were limited and due to many more reasons, it was impossible for only one prophet to lead them. Therefore, God Almighty sent different prophets to the people living in the same continent in ancient times and the laws of those prophets were different in accordance with their social lives. Sometimes there were even two prophets in one tribe at the same time: for instance, Hazrat Musa and his brother Hazrat Haroon.
10.2- SUPERIORITY OF PROPHETS OVER ONE ANOTHER
Prophets need to be evaluated among themselves in terms of first having the title of prophethood and then their own characteristics and qualities.
In a country, the governor of the biggest city and the governor of the smallest city are equal in terms of having the title of governorship; similarly, prophets are equal in terms of being the messengers of Allah and being worthy of obedience. That issue is explained as follows in some verses:
We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His Messengers." And they say: "We hear and we obey; (We seek) Your forgiveness, Our Lord, and to you is the end of all journeys.". (al-Baqara, 2/285).
They say: "Become Jews or Christians if you would be guided (to salvation)." Say you: "Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham is True, and he joined not gods with Allah.
.. Say you: "We believe, in Allah and the revelation given to us and to Abraham Ismaeel, Isaac Jacob and the Tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord we make no difference between one and another of them and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." (al-Baqara, 2/135-136).
There are differences of grade among prophets in terms of having different characteristic and qualities. God Almighty expresses that reality clearly in these verses:
And it is your Lord that knows best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some Prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms.(al-Isrâ, 17/55).
Again, Allah Almighty states the following after mentioning the stories of the prophets like Musa, Haroon, and Dawood: Those messengers We endowed with gifts some above others: to one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.(al-Baqara, 2/253).
Allah Almighty mentioned some prophets as great prophets due to the extraordinary patience they showed during their duty of tabligh:
Therefore patiently persevere, as did (all) messengers of inflexible purpose; and be in no haste about the (Unbelievers). On the Day that they see the (Punishment) promised them, (it will be ) as if they had not tarried more than an hour in a single day(al-Ahqaf, 46/35).
The names of great prophets are listed as follows in a verse:
And remember We took from the Prophets their Covenant: and from you: from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn Covenant (al-Ahzab, 33/7).
10.3- UNIVERSALITY OF THE PROPHETHOOD OF HAZRAT MUHAMMAD
Since Allah Almighty wanted all human beings to learn from a single prophet, He did not send any prophets after Hazrat Eesa (Jesus) for more than five hundred years. Thus, during that period all of the books and messages of the prophets that had previously been sent including the religion brought by Hazrat Eesa were to a large extent forgotten and falsified. Humanity entered the period of interregnum, that is, after Hazrat Eesa until the advent of Hazrat Muhammad human beings were deprived of the truth and reality. There was a great need for a prophet. Meanwhile Allah Almighty sent Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) as the Prophet for all human beings, his message being valid until the Day of Judgment.
The following evidence indicates that the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad is universal:
1. Being sent as a mercy to the worlds: Allah Almighty expresses the universality of the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) as follows:
And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds (al-Anbiyâ, 21/107).
2. Being the last prophet: The fact that Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet means that his prophethood is universal. Since there will be no prophets after him, he will be the prophet of all of the human beings that will come to the world until the Day of Judgment. Allah Almighty explains that issue as follows:
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all.(al-Ahzab, 33/40).
Since Islam is the last religion, it needs to be the most perfect and universal religion.
3. Hazrat Prophets defining himself as sayyid of men: Hazrat Prophet will have two kinds of shafaa (intercession) in the Day of Judgment: Firstly, when all people gather in the gathering place, people who are bored and suffocated will apply to their prophets for shafaa so that reckoning will start at once; however, no prophet will dare to do it and they will direct people to Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). Reckoning will start with the shafaa of Hazrat Prophet. Secondly, Allah Almighty will give Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) the authority to do shafaa first for his ummah who believed in him and then for everybody who said La-ilaha illallah = There is no god but Allah. It is understood from the hadith that Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) will do shafaa for the ummahs of previous prophets that recognized Allah as one.(1),(2)
Hazrat Prophet explained his situation before Allah Almighty and other people in the gathering place as "I am the master of sons of Adam in the Day of Judgment! Do you know the reason why?
4. The Quran is the greatest miracle of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).(3) The Quran is a universal book. The following is stated in a verse regarding the issue:
It is guidance to those who fear Allah (al-Baqara, 2/2).
In another verse, God Almighty says: Say this Qur'an has been revealed to me by inspiration That I may warn you and all whom it reaches... (al-Anaam, 6/19)
The following is stated in another verse: Verily this Qur'an dos guide to that which is most right (or stable), and give the glad tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward (al-Isra, 17/9).
The fact that the Quran is a universal book indicates that the prophethood of Hazrat Prophet is universal.
5. Hazrat Muhammads (PBUH) acting like a universal prophet: Hazrat Prophet sent envoys to the rulers of Byzantium, Egypt, Abyssinia, Iran, Yamamah and Ghassan and called them to Islam in the seventh year of hijrah. That act of his shows that his prophethood is not local but universal.
6. Abundance and variety of miracles: The fact that Hazrat Muhammads (PBUH) miracles contain all kinds of miracles of the previous prophets and that his greatest miracle, the Quran, contains the fundamentals of the previous heavenly books shows the universality of his prophethood and religion.(4)
7. Miraj (the Ascension) shows that the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is universal. In that sacred journey, he met prophets in the layers of the heaven and the chief angels that were responsible for those layers, and saw many spiritual worlds, primarily Paradise and Hell. Seen in that aspect, Miraj is the inspection of Hazrat Prophet, with the title of the chief of the universe, and taking reports from the angels about their duties and meeting God Almighty on behalf of the world.
Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is the master and sayyid of this world. His helpers are the prophets. His students are the saints and the selected people.(5)
10.4. SPIRITUAL PERSONALITY AND UNIVERSALITY OF THE PROPHETHOOD OF HAZRAT MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
Different prophets were sent to people in different times and places so that they would be aware of the divine message. Prophets who were selected by God Almighty from among the people with the most distinguished qualities served as examples for people around them in all aspects with their superior qualities. The chain of prophethood that started with Hazrat Adam was completed with the most perfect link, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).
By answering astonishing and hard questions like Where are you coming from and where are you going? What are you going to do in this world? Who is your leader? in a concise, beautiful and perfect manner thanks to the miraculous book in his hand, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) proved that man really deserves to be the caliph (vicegerent) and the most honorable creature on the earth and that he was the chief of this world.
Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is no longer an individual; he has become a spiritual personality that represents the whole past and future together with those that embraced Islam and approved that religion. All prophets that form the roots of that spiritual personality indicated and gave good tidings of the cause of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) with their miracles, books and pages. Millions of saints, selected people and truthful people that came after him approved his cause and represented it. Thus, that luminous person became the head of the chain of zikr (remembrance of Allah) that includes the previous prophets and chiefs and the saints and selected people that came after him.
That luminous person (PBUH) conveyed the religion he brought to all jinn and people in Madinah, he became the imam of all of the believers in the pulpit of Makkah, and the earth became like a mosque for him.
Thus, his light embraced all parts from east to the west and from the past eternity to future eternity; he was an individual but thanks to the religion of Islam he brought, he became a collective personality.
In conclusion, the fact that Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is the imam of all of the believers, the preacher for all jinn and people, the chief of all of the previous prophets, the head of the chain of all saints and selected people that the religion he brought is general that he shows a spiritual personality is the greatest proof of his universality.
(1)For hadiths that give more detailed information about the issue, see: Bukhari, Anbiyâ 3, 8, Tafseer, Bani İsrail 5: Muslim, Eeman 327, (194); Tirmizi, Qiyamah, 11, (2436).
(2)For hadiths that give more detailed information about the issue, see: Bukhari, Tawheed 36, 37, Tafsir, Baqara 1, Riqâq 51; Muslim, Eeman 322, (193).
(3)Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler (Words) (25th Word, Conclusion) (20th Word, An Important Point).
(4)Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektubat (Letters) (19th Letter, Âyetül-Kübrânın 16. Meselesi, 4.).
(5)Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler (Words) (11th word.)
- 8. High Ethics and Good Manners of Hazrat Muhammad
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- 3. Prophets Mentioned in the Glorious Quran and Their Stories
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- Why are the religions other than Islam not regarded as valid?
- Will Prophet Muhammads mother and father enter Paradise? What do Islamic scholars think about their belief?
- What are the distinctive features of Islam from other religions?