All praise is due to Allah and may peace and blessing be upon his servant and Messenger Muhammad and on his household and all of his Companions.
In an article published earlier on the meaning of the testimony of faith “Ash-hadu al-Laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadar Rasoolullah” [I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah] we focused on the first part of the testimony. Now we would like to further elaborate on the second half with hopes of providing a fuller explanation. The statement or declaration that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah has many implications, some of which are as follows:
Muhammad was sent to all of mankind
The first implication of the testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah is the belief that Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) to all mankind and the jinn until the Day of Judgment. Allah states in the Qur’an in Surah 7 Al-’Araaf 151 Say (to them O Muhammad): O Mankind! I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, (the Messenger) of Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and of the earth. There is no god but He. He gives life, and makes to die. Believe then in Allah, and in His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who could neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and in His Words (the Qur’an), and follows him so that perhaps you will be guided.
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said: And the prophets were formerly sent to their people only, whereas I have been sent to all mankind. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The finality of Prophethood
The second implication of the testimony is to believe that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the final prophet to be sent to mankind. Allah states in the Qur’an in Surah 33 Al-Ahzaab 40: Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets.
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said: And the line of the prophets is closed with me [Muslim] And: Before the Last Hour there will be great liars, so beware of them [Muslim]
The above proofs are sufficient to refute any of the heretical groups who claim any prophet or messenger after the Prophet Muhammad such as some contemporary groups do namely: the Nation of Islam who believe that Elijah Muhammad (deceased) was the Messenger of Allah the Qadianis and Ahmadiyyahs who state that Ghulam Ahmed (deceased) was the prophet the so called Submitters or followers of Rashad Khalifah (murdered) who claim that he was a prophet
The third implication of the testimony “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” is to believe that Allah sent two revelations with the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Allah said: Allah was verily gracious to the believers by sending them a messenger from themselves, to recite them His signs, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture (the Qur’an) and the wisdom (the Sunnah) though before that they were in manifest error. [Surah 3 Al-An’aam, 164]
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said: I have been indeed been given the Qur’an and something like it along with it. [Abu Dawood]
The Messenger has rights
The fourth implication of the testimony is that there are rights due to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that must be observed. Among these are:
To believe in all that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said. To obey the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in what he has commanded and forsake what he has forbidden or discouraged. To worship according to the shari’ah (law) of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and not by whims and innovations. To judge by the shari’ah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and not by any other law. To love the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) more than our parents, children, mankind, indeed our very selves.
Allah Most High states: Say (to them O Muhammad): If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you, and forgive your sins. Allah is All-Forgiving, Alla-Merciful. Say : Obey Allah and the Messenger. But if they turn away Allah loves not the disbelievers (kaafireen). [Surah Aali ‘Imraan 31-32]
And let those who oppose his (Muhammad’s) command beware, lest a trial befall them (that would lead them to disbelief) or a painful punishment be inflicted on them. [Surah An-Noor 63]
You have indeed a good example in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) for whosoever hopes for Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. [Surah Al-Ahzaab, 21]
It is not fitting for any believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have a choice in their affair. And whosoever disobeys Allah and his Messenger, he has gone astray into manifest error. [Surah Al-Ahzaab, 36]
But no, by your Lord (Rabb), they can have no faith until they make you the judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept (them) fully with submission. [Surah An-Nisaa 65]
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said: All my people will enter Al-Jannah (The Garden) except those who refused. (On being asked about those who refused, he replied:) He who obeys me will enter Al-Jannah, he who disobeys me has refused. [Al-Bukhari]
If anyone introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
None of you believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his child, and all of mankind [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
There are three qualities for which anyone who is characterized by them will experience the sweetness of faith: He whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer than all else; He who loves a human being for Allah’s sake alone; and who has as great an abhorrence of returning to unbelief after Allah has rescued him from it as he has of being cast in Hell. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Muhammad was a man, not divine
The fifth implication of the testimony “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” is to believe that Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was only a man sent to us by Allah to be obeyed and that we do not worship him. Allah has said: Say to them (O Muhammad) ‘I am only a man like you; it is revealed to me that your God (ilaah) is only One God; so let him who hopes for the meeting with his Rabb do righteousness and not associate anything in the worship of his Rabb’. [Surah Al-Kahf 111]
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said: Do not over praise me as the Christians over-praised the son of Mary. I am His slave so say: ‘Allah’s slave and messenger’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Let each an every claimant to the religion of Islam be aware of the proofs of his faith and the essential aspects of his testimony. This is especially important in these times when anyone can make any claim and get support for it no matter how outlandish or unfounded by making unauthentic historical or textual claims. We thank Allah for preserving His religion for those who would seek to know the truth and we ask Him to put us and keep us upon the Straight Path, Ameen.
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