What does the Holy hadith But for thee, the dearest, I would not have created the skies (universe) mean?

Details of the Question
If Allah the Almighty had not chosen to create Muhammad (S.A.W), the universe and the humankind would not have been created, either. Would you like to explain this holy hadith?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Doubtlessly, the most significant event in Universe is the birth of the Pride of the Universe, our Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), which is so honorable for the earth.

In fact, he is the seed of creation on the earth. If Allah the Almighty had not chosen to create him, the universe and the humankind would not have been created, either. Therefore, the door to the world of testing and trials would not have been opened, either. “If you look at this universe in front of you as if it were a book, the light of the Muhammad (pbuh) is the ink of this book’s author’s pen. If this great universe is considered a family tree, the light of Muhammad will be both the seed and the fruit of it. If this earth is considered a living object, that light will be its soul; if it is considered a huge human being, it will be its wit.
Here is the secret, to which the holy hadith “But for thee, the dearest, I would not have created the skies (universe)” indicates.

That should be understood from the hadith “But for thee, I would not have created the universe” and what is “the Reality of Muhammad”?

According to Sufi view, the reality of Muhammad was created when there was nothing else but Allah, and all other realities were created for and from that reality. The reason, essence and aim of the creation of the universe are this reality.

That information about the first creation in Sufism has significant similarities with the information in Risale-i Nur. Universe was created from Muhammad’s light. The reason and the result of the existence is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). “That person, who is the leader of angels, the jinn and human beings, is the brightest and the most perfect fruit of this tree of universe; and he is the symbol of Divine Mercy and an example of Divine Affection. He is the clearest proof of Allah and the brightest light of the reality. He is the key to the secret of universe and the decipherer of the mystery of creation. He is scholiast of the wisdom behind universe and inviter to the sultanate of God. He is the one who owns all the favorable qualities of Divine Art and the most perfect example of the perfections created as he contains all the qualities in himself. For this reason, these qualities of his and his spiritual personality indicate that he is the main reason of the universe. That is to say; “The creator of the universe first looked at him and then created the universe. If He had not created him, He would not have created the universe”. Yes, the realities of the Quran and lights of Belief that he brought to the jinn and humankind; and the high moral qualities and perfections he owns are the certain proofs to this reality.”

Lawlaka (but for thee)

The reason why Prophet Muhammad was created is explained with the expression of “But for thee, I would not have created the universe (Lawlaka …), which is often used is Sufism and reported to be a holy hadith. (Ajluni, II: 164; Hakim el Mustadrak, II: 615)

Seed and Fruit

In Sufism, as the Messenger’s soul and light were created before all human beings, prophets and even before angels, he is the spiritual father of the humankind. It is said that Prophet Adam is the physical father of humankind and Prophet Muhammad is the spiritual father of the humankind.

Prophet Mohammad is described as the seed and the most perfect fruit of the creation in Risale-i Nur. That reality can be explained with the quotation below:

It is supposed to be a conscious being amongst living beings, because, the most perfect of the living beings are the conscious ones. And this conscious being is supposed to be from humankind; because, it is a human being that has the ability of infinite development amongst conscious beings. And amongst human beings, that person will be, of course, Muhammad (pnuh), because, no history has been able to show a person like him since the time of Adam and will not be able to show. In fact, that person has gathered the half of the earth and the one fifth of the humankind under his spiritual sultanate and pursued his spiritual sultanate for one hundred three thousand fifty years with perfect might; and he has been the master of all mature people in terms of all kinds of truths. Of course, this person who reached the highest level of good morals - as agreed upon by his friends and foes – who challenged the whole world on his own with his first order, and who showed the Miraculous Quran which is the praying language of more than a hundred million people is this eminent person in question, no one else could be. He is both the seed and fruit of this universe”.

Just as this life is an abstract of the universe, so too are consciousness and sense. Wit is also an abstract of consciousness and sense. And soul is also a real and pure precious part of life and it is also a stable and free member of life. Similarly, both the physical and spiritual lives of Muhammad (pbuh) are abstracts of life, extracted from life and soul of the universe. And the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) is the purest abstract of sense, conscious and wit of the universe. Maybe, the physical and spiritual lives of Muhammad are the life of the living universe because of the witness of his works. And the prophethood of Mohammad (pbuh) is the consciousness of the conscious universe and its light. And the revelation of the Quran is the soul of the living universe and the wit of the conscious universe, because of the witness of living truths.

Yes, yes, yes! If the light of Muhammad’s prophethood was excluded from the universe, the universe would die. If the Quran was excluded, the universe would be witless and the sphere of the earth would lose its mind and maybe it would unconsciously crash into a planet.

If you look at this great universe in front of you as if it were a book, the light of Muhammad (pbuh) is the ink of the universe’s author’s pen. If that great universe is considered to be a family tree, the light of Muhammad will be both the seed and the fruit of it. If the universe is considered to be a huge human being, that light will be its wit. If it is considered to be a beautiful adorable garden of heaven, the light of Muhammad will be its nightingale. If it is considered to be an enormous palace, the light of Muhammad will be the capital and majesty of this Everlasting Sultanate, and also the minister, inviter and herald of this supreme palace which includes all masterpieces with its beautiful images. He invites all human beings. He describes all antiquities, wonders and miracles of the palace. He invites people to believe in the owner of the palace in an attractive and bewildering way. In fact, he is the sun of the two worlds (i.e. the earth and hereafter), who is named “Ahmad” in the Bible, “Ahyad” in the Torah and “Muhammad” in the Quran.

There is a seed amongst human beings, from which Allah created all of the creatures. That seed is the Prophet Muhammad is only the lord of all humankind and the best of human beings, agreed upon by all mature people and maybe by most of the humankind.
Muhammad (pbuh), who worships and obeys the owner of the universe’s obvious Godhood, eternal glory and infinite endowments, and who endeavors to introduce Him, is essential like the sun in this universe. The supreme master of the humankind, the supreme prophet, the honor of the universe and the reality of Muhammad (pbuh) is both the reason of the creation of the universe, and the result and the fruit of this creation. This universe’s real perfection, Allah’s eternal and immortal reflections, phenomenon of His attributions and His wise acts are reasoned works and meaningful letters which bear an eternal sign and lead to a place of happiness and hereafter which all conscious beings long for. All of them are recognized through the reality of Muhammad and his prophethood; therefore, this universe is a strong and certain witness to his prophethood.

A. Qadir, the scholar, attracts attention to the following points regarding the issue:

This speech is directly addressed to the Prophet as he is the life of the living beings, the life of the universe, honorable receiver of the manifestation of Allah’s names, the light of all beings with souls, the main seed of the universe, the reason of the creation of the universe and the faultless fruit of this creation. Then, it is addressed to living beings, conscious beings and servants of Allah on behalf of him. There is a reality of Muhammad and a reality of Ahmad represented by Muhammad (pbuh). He existed with his reality of Ahmad before he came to the world and is the twin of the reality of the Kaaba. For this reason, he was named Ahmad in the Bible; as is mentioned in the Quran, Prophet Jesus heralded about him as Ahmad. He represented the reality of Muhammad after honoring the world with his birth and prophethood. After his death, the manifestation of the reality of Ahmad is valid.

Another aspect of the issue is as follows: The Prophet’s (pbuh) prophethood was before all prophets indeed. As a matter of fact, he says in a hadith: “The first creation of Allah is my light”. In another hadith, he announces that “While the Prophet Adam was still weltering in mud and clay, I was a prophet”. That is to say, the plan of his prophethood was made before everything. This issue was dealt as “the reality of Ahmad” and pondered upon by Sufis. In their discussions, the reality of Ahmad was also considered to be the reality of universe, and with this, the Prophet (pbuh)’s glory and his ownership of the greatest prophecy was meant.

Necip Fazıl used to say, “because of whom we exist” to describe him. This approach is inspired by the holy hadith “But for thee, I would have not created the universe”, the meaning of which is true, though is criticized in terms of hadith criteria. Yes, Allah created the universe for him. If the universe is a book describing Allah, and it is so, the interpreter of this book is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If it were not for him, the book of the universe would remain as a book which could not be read and comprehended. In this sense, we would live in it, but we would not be able to recognize Him and reach Him. However, Allah created the beings so that they would obey Him, as He declared in the Quran; and according to the interpretation of Ibn Abbas, He created them so that they would recognize Him. In this sense, it can be said that if it were not for prophet Mohammad, the existence would be unknown and thus Allah would not be recognized. Then, he can be called the main reason of the creation.

Every prophet who came before him mentioned him as much as their duty required and heralded about him. For instance, as is told in the book Shifa-i Sharif by the great scholar Qadi Iyad of Andalucía, after having eaten the forbidden fruit, Prophet Adam asked for forgiveness from Allah, making Muhammad the redeemer and said “Forgive me for the sake of Muhammad!”. When Allah asked “How do you know about Muhammad?”, he answered “I saw it written on the door of Heaven ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’. Someone whose name is juxtaposed with Your name must be the most precious one for You.” For the last time, Prophet Jesus mentioned him: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” (John, 16:12-14).

Prophet Jesus introduced him as Ahmad. It is a divine coincidence that his grandfather Abdulmuttalib named him Muhammad, saying,May all that is on earth and in the skies extol him”. Significant people such as Imam Rabbani dealt with the reality of Ahmad and the reality of Muhammad attentively. He was the owner of the reality of Ahmad before he came to the world, so Prophet Jesus heralded about him as Ahmad. He represented the reality of Muhammad in terms of his mission on the earth. The leader of Prophets turned to the state of being the soul of existence with the title of “Ahmad” after having accomplished that mission, and reaching the reality of Ahmad and actually realizing the reality of Ahmad.

He was honored with ascension in a time when he was exposed to lots of torment and torture. He left Gabriel behind, who guided him through the journey from inside of the universe to the outside of the universe, after a point and continued the journey. As Nizami, who is the writer of “Mahzan-i Asrar” (Treasure of Secrets), describes with his wide and colorful words: “Stars lined up like cobblestoned on his way, angels became his guides, the half moon was like a horseshoe under his horse’s feet and the sun sought refuge in his light”. He came to a point between possibility and necessity, which is expressed as “the height of two arches and the lowest level”. It means: he was a human and would eat, drink, sleep and walk the streets like other people. However, with the expression of Busayri: “He was a human being, yet not like other human beings; he was like a ruby amongst stones”. We can explain it as follows, with a simple simile:

For instance, each person who passes by the Selimiye Mosque feels something personally. An architect with a good taste feels a great pleasure in front of its artiness. A shepherd feels something in front of it, too. Another instance, gourmets recognize different dishes very well and they are different from other people. Similarly, he sensed everything in a different way than all people. He was an ordinary person like us physically, but he lived in all different dimensions. When he started to pray, sometimes Heaven would seem in front of him and he would step towards it. And sometimes he would step back when something else seemed. He reached the last limit of humanity with ascension, from whence started the eternity. As nothing and no one else can be Allah, he was doubtlessly not Allah and cannot be. For this reason, the level he reached has been called somewhere between “the height of two arches and the lowest level” which means “possibility and necessity”. Though some Islamic theologians and hadith interpreters evaluate it in a different way because of his situation in that position, Sufis say that he saw Allah, freed from time and place. Even when he was in that position, he wanted to return among us and he did. Abd’ul-Quddus, one of the eminent dervishes, says: “If I were to reach that position and was between deciding whether to return or to stay there, I would choose to stay and would never return”. However, he came back to the people who made him suffer and carried them and us to Heaven, which we had lost. At least, he evoked in us that feeling. With the expression of Mawlana, “he led his life amongst people and with Allah, his one foot on reality and other amongst 72 nations.”

Şadi Eren (Assist. Prof)

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