What is the decree on loving sayyids and sharifs?

Details of the Question

What should be the criterion of loving them?
How should we treat them?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We must love sayyids and sharifs due to their relation to the Messenger of Allah because it is ordered in a verse.  

- However, we must know that the right of Allah is superior to the right of the Messenger of Allah if a person is close to the Prophet (pbuh) in terms of lineage but is away from Allah due to not worshipping Allah. That is, a sayyid might lead a life that is away from the religion of Islam though it is rare. We cannot love a person who disobeys Allah and keeps away from Allah just because he is a sayyid. This criterion is in compliance to the spirit of the shari’ah.

- Accordingly, we can treat two people who have the same virtues and taqwa a bit differently. We love the one who is not a sayyid due to his taqwa. We love the one who is a sayyid due to his taqwa and due to being a sayyid.

It will be useful to quote the following determination of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regarding the issue:

According to one interpretation, the verse اِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِى الْقُرْبَى (Say: I ask of you no recompense save love of close kin) has the meaning: “God’s Noble Messenger (UWBP) wants no reward for fulfilling the duties of messengership; he wants only love for his family.”

If it is asked: According to this, it seems there is an advantage to be gained from a family relationship. Whereas, according to the meaning of اِنَّ اَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ اَتْقَيكُمْ (The most honoured of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you), prophethood functions in respect of closeness to God, not of family relationships?

The Answer: With his vision that penetrated the Unseen, God’s Most Noble Messenger (UWBP) saw that his family would become a light-giving tree in the world of Islam. It would be from his family that the overwhelming majority of those persons who would act as guides and preceptors instructing every level of the world of Islam in human attainment and perfection would emerge. He divined that his community’s prayer for his family in the final section of the prescribed prayers:

اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى اِبْرَاهِيمَ وَ عَلَى آلِ اِبْرَاهِيمَ اِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ

 (O God, grant blessings to our master Muhammad and to the family of our master Muhammad, as You granted blessings to Abraham and to the family of Abraham; indeed, You are Worthy of Praise, Most Exalted) would be accepted.

That is to say, just as the vast majority of the luminous guides among the people of Abraham were prophets of Abraham’s family and line, so he saw in his community the spiritual poles of his family performing the momentous duties of Islam, and in most of the paths and Sufi orders, like the prophets of Israel. Therefore, being commanded to say: لاَ اَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ اَجْرًا اِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِى الْقُرْبَى (Say: I ask of you no recompense save love of close kin,) he wanted his community to love his family.

There are numerous narrations corroborating this fact. He repeatedly decreed: “I leave you two things. If you adhere to them, you will find salvation: one is God’s Book, the other is my Family.” For, members of his family were the source and guardians of his practices (Sunna) and were charged with complying with them in every respect.

This is why what was intended by this Hadith was adherence to the Book and the Prophet’s practices. That is to say, in respect of the office of messengership it was the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices that were sought from his family. So no one who abandoned his practices could truly be a member of his family, nor could such a person not be a true friend to them.” (The Flashes, The Fourth Flash)

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