Is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) omnipresent?

The Details of the Question

- What does hadir and nazir mean?
- A scholar said, ‘The Prophet (pbuh) is hadir and nazir everywhere (omnipresent). Does it mean his spirit is everywhere?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Hadir is a word that is also used in Turkish. It means to be ready somewhere. For example, “he was hadir in our assembly” means “he attended our assembly”. Nazir means the one who looks or acts as a deputy. 

After expressing the lexical meaning of these two words, we can move to the main question.

Question: Is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) omnipresent?

Answer: No, no being other than Allah is omnipresent because “to be omnipresent” means to be everywhere with knowledge and power. It is the manifestation of infinite knowledge and power. However, knowledge and power, which are not eternal, like other attributes, cannot be infinite; they cannot encompass everything and they cannot be found everywhere.

However, prophets and saints know ghayb (unknown/unseen) if Allah informs them; similarly, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) can hear the salawat recited for him; but he hears them by the grace and permission of Allah, not based on his own independent ability. As a matter of fact, our Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:

“Do not turn my grave into a place of feast. Bless and greet me because wherever you are, your blessings and greetings will reach me.” (Abu Dawud, Manasik: 97, h. no: 2042)

An important proof that the Prophet (pbuh) hears all the salawat that are sent to him mentioned in the hadith above only by Allah’s permission and that it was out of the question for him to hear them on his own is the following hadith:

“There are travelling angels of Allah in the world. They convey me the greetings of my ummah.” (Hakim, Mustadrak, 2:456, h. no: 3576.)

It is not appropriate to perceive the following statement of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi as an independent encompassing: “Due to this fact, the Prophet, who is luminous in identity, becomes aware of all blessings called upon himself at the same moment.” (Mesnevi-i Nuriye, p. 124)

His following statement is the clearest evidence for it:

(The plants and other beings on earth answer a person who claims to be a deity as follows:) Moreover, there is on us such a stamp of unity and seal of oneness that one who does not have the whole universe within the grasp of his power, and who cannot see at one time all things with all their functions, and cannot do innumerable things at the same time, who is not all-present and all-seeing everywhere, who is not unconfined by space, and who does not possess infinite wisdom, knowledge, and power, such a one cannot own us, neither could he interfere “ (Sözler, p. 595)

It will be useful to have a look at the following expression showing that those two attributes belong to Allah:

“The manifestation of the universe’s All-Glorious Maker is such, with all His attributes which are light and with all His names which are luminous, that through the mystery of the regard of oneness, although He is not in any place, He is all-present and all-seeing in all places. There is no division in His regarding and acting towards the creation. He performs every task at the same time, in all places, without difficulty, without hindrance.” (Mektubat, p. 248)

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