Muhammad the Prophet by Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao

By Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, Head of the Department of Philosophy,

Government College for Women University of Mysore, Mandya-571401 (Karnatika).

Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age", Hydrabad, March 1978.

In the desert of Arabia was Mohammad born, according to Muslim historians, on April 20, 571. The name means highly praised. He is to me the greatest mind among all the sons of Arabia. He means so much more than all the poets and kings that preceded him in that impenetrable desert of red sand.

When he appeared Arabia was a desert -- a nothing. Out of nothing a new world was fashioned by the mighty spirit of Mohammad -- a new life, a new culture, a new civilization, a new kingdom which extended from Morocco to Indies and influenced the thought and life of three continents -- Asia, Africa and Europe.

When I thought of writing on Mohammad the prophet, I was a bit hesitant because it was to write about a religion I do not profess and it is a delicate matter to do so for there are many persons professing various religions and belonging to diverse school of thought and denominations even in same religion. Though it is sometimes, claimed that religion is entirely personal yet it can not be gain-said that it has a tendency to envelop the whole universe seen as well unseen. It somehow permeates something or other our hearts, our souls, our minds their conscious as well as subconscious and unconscious levels too. The problem assumes overwhelming importance when there is a deep conviction that our past, present and future all hang by the soft delicate, tender silked cord. If we further happen to be highly sensitive, the center of gravity is very likely to be always in a state of extreme tension. Looked at from this point of view, the less said about other religion the better. Let our religions be deeply hidden and embedded in the resistance of our innermost hearts fortified by unbroken seals on our lips.

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The Fallacy of Utilitarian Morality

Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:

 إَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءنَا وَرَضُواْ بِالْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّواْ بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ

أُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمُ النُّارُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

 

Surely those who do not expect to meet Us, who are gratified with the life of the world and content with it, and are heedless of Our signs,their abode shall be the Fire in return for their misdeeds. (The Holy Quran, 10:7-8)


The statement that is being made here is that rejection of the doctrine of the Hereafter necessarily entails the punishment of Hell, and the argument that is being proffered in support of it is that those who are oblivious to the Hereafter commit, because of their disbelief in it, evil deeds which can only lead to them suffering the torments of Hell. This argument is corroborated by the entire record of man's past. It is quite clear that the lives of those who do not believe that they will not be held to account by God for their deeds; who work on the assumption that life is merely confined to the span of worldly existence; who measure human success or failure only in terms of the extent of material comfort, fame and power that a person is able to enjoy; who under the influence of such materialistic notions do not even care to pay attention to those signs of God which point to reality, assume an altogether wrong direction with the result that their life is vitiated. Hence they live a totally unbridled life, develop the worst possible character traits, and fill God's earth with injustice and corruption, with sin and transgression, and ultimately end up meriting the punishment of Hell.

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Chapter 145: Supplication for the Sick

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Chapter 145
Supplication for the Sick

[901] عن عائشة رضي الله عنها : أنَّ النبي كَانَ إِذَا اشْتَكى الإنْسَانُ الشَّيْءَ مِنْهُ ، أَوْ كَانَتْ بِهِ قَرْحَةٌ أَوْ جُرْحٌ ، قَالَ النَّبيُّ بِأُصْبُعِهِ هكَذا - وَوَضَعَ سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَة الرَّاوي سَبَّابَتَهُ بِالأَرْضِ ثُمَّ رَفَعَها - وقال : « بِسمِ اللهِ ، تُرْبَةُ أرْضِنَا ، بِرِيقَةِ بَعْضِنَا ، يُشْفَى بِهِ سَقِيمُنَا ، بإذْنِ رَبِّنَا » . متفقٌ عَلَيْهِ . في بعض الروايات : أن النبي كان يبل أصبعه ويضعها أعلى لأرض ليلتزق بها التراب . وفيه : إشارة إلى أن أول خلق الإِنسان من تراب ، ثم من نطفة .

901. 'Aishah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: When a person complained to the Prophet (PBUH) about an ailment or suffered from a sore or a wound, the Prophet (PBUH) would touch the ground with his forefinger and then raise it (Sufyan bin 'Uyainah, the narrator, demonstrated this with his forefinger) and would recite: 'Bismil-lahi, turbatu ardina, biriqati ba'dina, yushfa bihi saqimuni, bi 'idhni Rabbina' (With the Name of Allah, the dust of our ground mixed with the saliva of some of us would cure our patient with the permission of our Rubb."

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The Prophet (PBUH) would put his forefinger on earth and then mix his spittle with the dust sticking to it. Afterwards, he would put it on the patient's pain-spot or wound and utter the said supplication. This simple act would cure the patient. Some believe that it was peculiar only to the Prophet (PBUH) and was indeed his miracle because the particular dust was of Al-Madinah's soil with the Prophet's spittle being of a unique quality. But Ibn Hajar differs from this view. Spittle and dust, according to him, are simply external means and the curative effect in them comes from Allah Alone. Secondly, we may turn to the pious people to seek their blessings and prayers for the removal of our ailments and troubles, provided the spiritual treatment is bereft of amulets and other polytheistic ways.

[902] وعنها أنَّ النَّبيَّ كَانَ يَعُودُ بَعْضَ أهْلِهِ يَمْسَحُ بِيدِهِ اليُمْنَى ، ويقولُ : « اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ النَّاسِ ، أذْهِب البَأسَ ، اشْفِ أنْتَ الشَّافِي لا شِفَاءَ إِلا شِفاؤكَ ، شِفَاءً لا يُغَادِرُ سَقماً » . متفقٌ عَلَيْهِِ . قوله : « لا يغادر سقمًا » ، أي : لا يترك مرضًا . وفائدة التقييد به أنه قد يحول الشفاء من ذلك المرض فيخلفه مرض آخر متولد منه مثلاً ، فكأنه يدعو بالشفاء المطلق ، لا بمطلق الشفاء .

902. 'Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: When the Prophet (PBUH) visited any ailing member of his family, he would touch the sick person with his right hand and would supplicate: "Allahumma Rabban-nasi, adhhibil-ba'sa, washfi, Antash-Shafi, la shifa'a illa shifa'uka, shifaan la yughadiru saqaman [O Allah! the Rubb of mankind! Remove this disease and cure (him or her)! You are the Great Curer. There is no cure but through You, which leaves behind no disease]."

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The word "Ya'udu" (enquired about the patient's health or visited) occurs in the Hadith text quoted by Imam An-Nawawi. But according to Al-Bukhari, this word is "Yuawwidu" which, says Ibn Hajar, is synonymous to the word "Yarqee" (blew over the patient).

[903] وعن أنسٍ أنه قَالَ لِثابِتٍ رحمه اللهُ : ألا أرْقِيكَ بِرُقْيَةِ رسول الله ؟ قَالَ : بَلَى ، قَالَ : « اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ النَّاسِ ، مُذْهِبَ البَأسِ ، اشْفِ أنْتَ الشَّافِي ، لا شَافِيَ إِلا أنْتَ ، شِفَاءً لا يُغَادِرُ سَقماً » . رواه البخاري . فيه : دليل على جواز الرقية من كل الآلم ، وأنه كان أمرًا فاشيًا معلومًا بينهم وأجمع العلماء على جواز الرقية إذا كانت بكلام الله تعالى ، أو بأسمائه ، أو بصفاته ، وباللسان العربي أو بما يعرف معناه من غيره . وسئل ابن عبد السلام عن الحروف المقطعة فمنع منها ما لا يعرف لئلا يكون كفرًا .

903. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I said to Thabit (May Allah had Mercy upon him) Should I not perform Ruqyah (i.e., recite supplication or Quranic Ayat and blow) over you, such supplication as was practised by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)?" He said: "Please do so." Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) supplicated: "Allahumma Rabban-nasi, mudh-hibal-ba'si, ishfi Antash-Shafi, la shafiya illa Anta, shifa'an la yughadiru saqaman [O Allah! the Rubb of mankind! Take away this disease and cure (him or her). You are the Curer. There is no cure except through You. Cure (him or her), a cure that leaves no disease]."

[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: The said Hadith testifies that the Prophet (PBUH) and the Companions had certainly 'blown over' the patients. There is no doubt about that. Yet, the act of blowing over must be based on the Names and Attributes of Allah and the Prophetic prayers or on Qur'anic Surat and Ayat. Besides, one should have the firm belief that the secondary causes cannot yield the desired effect unless Allah wills so.

[904] وعن سعدِ بن أَبي وقاصٍ قال : عَادَنِي رسول الله فَقَالَ : « اللَّهُمَّ اشْفِ سَعْداً ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْفِ سَعْداً ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْفِ سَعْداً » . رواه مسلم . كرر الدعاء لمزيد الاهتمام والاعتناء . وفي الحديث : « إن الله يحب المُلحِّين في الدعاء » .

904. Sa'd bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) visited me during my illness and supplicated, "O Allah! Cure Sa'd. O Allah! Cure Sa'd. O' Allah! Cure Sa'd."

[Muslim].

Commentary: To pray for the health and recovery of the patient, particularly uttering his name, is commendable. Furthermore, one should repeatedly pray to Allah and beseech Him with supplication till He responds.

[905] وعن أَبي عبدِ الله عثمان بنِ أَبي العاصِ : أنّه شَكَا إِلَى رسول الله وَجَعاً ، يَجِدُهُ في جَسَدِهِ ، فَقَالَ لَهُ رسول الله : « ضَعْ يَدَكَ عَلَى الَّذِي تَألَّمَ مِنْ جَسَدِكَ وَقُلْ : بسم اللهِ ثَلاثاً ، وَقُلْ سَبْعَ مَرَّاتٍ : أعُوذُ بِعِزَّةِ الله وَقُدْرَتِهِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا أجِدُ وَأُحَاذِرُ » . رواه مسلم . قال الطيبي : تعوذ من مكروه ووجع ، ومما يتوقع حصوله في المستقبل .

905. Abu 'Abdullah bin Abul-'as (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I complained to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about a pain I had in my body. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Place your hand where you feel pain and say: 'Bismillah (With the Name of Allah)' three times; and then repeat seven times: 'A'udhu bi'izzatillahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa 'uhadhiru (I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that afflicts me and that which I apprehend)."'

[Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith tells us it is not necessary that a patient should exclusively get Ruqyah from others; rather he can also do Ruqyah himself by reciting the Prophet's supplications.

[906] وعن ابن عباسٍ رضي الله عنهما عن النبي قَالَ : « مَنْ عَادَ مَرِيضاً لَمْ يَحْضُرْهُ أجَلُهُ ، فقالَ عِنْدَهُ سَبْعَ مَرَّاتٍ : أسْأَلُ اللهَ العَظيمَ ، رَبَّ العَرْشِ العَظيمِ ، أنْ يَشْفِيَكَ ، إِلا عَافَاهُ اللهُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ المَرَضِ » . رواه أَبُو داود والترمذي ، وقال : ( حديث حسن ) ، وقال الحاكم : « حديث صحيح عَلَى شرط البخاري » . فيه : استحباب الدعاء للمريض بهذا الدعاء وتكريره سبع مرات . وفيه : أن الأجل إذا حضر لم يرده شيء .

906. Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who visits a sick person who is not on the point of death and supplicates seven times: As'alullahal-'Azima Rabbal-'Arshil-'Azimi, an yashfiyaka (I beseech Allah the Great, the Rubb of the Great Throne, to heal you), Allah will certainly heal him from that sickness."

[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: There is always a great certainty that Allah will respond to a supplication which springs from a sincere, veracious heart. One should, therefore, pray for a patient with full conviction and reassurance of heart. Moreover, the Prophet's prayers have special effect and grace and therefore their original wordings should be uttered.

[907] وعنه : أنَّ النبي دَخَلَ عَلَى أعْرَابِيٍّ يَعُودُهُ ، وَكَانَ إِذَا دَخَلَ عَلَى مَنْ يَعُودُهُ ، قَالَ : « لا بَأسَ ؛ طَهُورٌ إنْ شَاءَ اللهُ » . رواه البخاري . تمام الحديث : فقال الأعرابي : بل حمى تفور على شيخ كبير تزيره القبور قال النبي : فنعم إذًا .

907. Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) visited a bedouin who was sick. Whenever he visited an ailing person, he would say, "La ba'sa, tahurun in sha' Allah [No harm, (it will be a) purification (from sins), if Allah wills]."

[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: According to this Hadith, a patient should be told that his disease will purge out his sins. To sit beside the sick, to comfort his heart and to say a few words of sympathy to him was the Prophet's practice.

[908] وعن أَبي سعيد الخدري : أن جِبريلَ أتَى النبي فَقَالَ : يَا مُحَمَّدُ ، اشْتَكَيْتَ ؟ قَالَ : « نَعَمْ » قَالَ : بِسْمِ الله أرْقِيكَ ، مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ ، مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ أَوْ عَيْنِ حَاسِدٍ ، اللهُ يَشْفِيكَ ، بِسمِ اللهِ أُرقِيكَ . رواه مسلم . في الحديث : جواز الإِخبار بالمرض على طريق بيان الواقع من غير تضجر ولا تبرم . وفيه : تنبيه على أن الرقى لا ينبغي أن تكون إلا بأسماء الله وأوصافه وذكره ، فببركة ذلك يرتفع ما يؤذن في رفعه من الضرر .

908. Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said: "O Muhammad (PBUH)! Do you feel sick?" He (PBUH) said, "Yes." Jibril supplicated thus (i.e., he performed Ruqyah): "Bismillahi arqika, min kulli shay'in yu'dhika, min sharri kulli nafsin aw 'ayni hasidi, Allahu yashfika, bismillahi arqika. [With the Name of Allah. I recite over you (to cleanse you) from all that troubles you, and from every harmful mischief and from the evil of the eyes of an envier. Allah will cure you; and with the Name of Allah, I recite over you]."

[Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith clearly tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) was not free from the basic attributes of human nature and occasionally he also fell ill. Angel Jibril (Gabriel) therefore prayed for his health and safety against all those things which could harm him. These prayers should be recited after the Prophet's practice.

[909] وعن أَبي سعيد الخدري وأبي هريرة رضي الله عنهما : أنَّهُمَا شَهِدَا عَلَى رسول الله أنّه قَالَ : « مَنْ قَالَ : لا إلهَ إِلا اللهُ وَاللهُ أكْبَرُ ، صَدَّقَهُ رَبُّهُ ، فَقَالَ : لا إلهَ إِلا أنَا وأنَا أكْبَرُ . وَإِذَا قَالَ : لا إلهَ إِلا اللهُ وَحدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، قَالَ : يقول : لا إلهَ إلا أنَا وَحْدِي لا شَريكَ لِي . وَإِذَا قَالَ : لا إلهَ إِلا اللهُ لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ ، قَالَ : لا إلهَ إِلا أنَا لِيَ المُلْكُ وَلِيَ الحَمْدُ . وَإِذَا قَالَ : لا إله إِلا اللهُ وَلا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا باللهِ ، قَالَ : لا إلهَ إِلا أنَا وَلا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بي » وَكَانَ يقُولُ : « مَنْ قَالَهَا في مَرَضِهِ ثُمَّ مَاتَ لَمْ تَطْعَمْهُ النَّارُ » . رواه الترمذي ، وقال : ( حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ ) . معنى لا إله إلا الله ، أي : لا معبود بحق في الوجود إلا الله وحده منفردًا في ذاته وأوصافه ، لا شريك له في ربوبيته ، وإلاهيته . ومعنى : لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله ، أي : لا حول عن المعاصي إلا بعصمة الله ، ولا قوة على طاعة الله إلا بمعونة الله .

909. Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If a person says: 'La ilaha illallahu wallahu Akbar (There is no true god except Allah and Allah is Greatest)', his Rubb responds to him and affirms: '(Yes!) There is no true god except I, and I am the Greatest.' When he says: 'La ilaha illallahu Wahdahu la sharika Lahu (There is no true god except Allah, the One, He has no partner).' Allah (SWT) affirms: '(Yes!) There is no true god except I. I have no partner.' When he says: 'La ilaha illallahu Lahul mulku wa Lahul-hamdu (the sovereignty belongs to Him and all the praise is due to Him).' He (SWT) affirms: '(Yes!) There is no true god except I, Mine is the praise and to Me belongs the sovereignty.' When he says: 'La ilaha illallahu wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah (There is no true god except Allah, and there is no might and power but with Allah).' He (SWT) affirms: '(Yes!) There is no true god except I, and there is no might and power but with Me."' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) added, "He who recites this during his illness and dies, will not be touched by the Fire (Hell)."

[At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: This Hadith points out the excellence of the words mentioned above. This is so because of great meaning they have, namely the firm belief in Allah, His Oneness and Glorification; that to Him Alone we should return, upon Him Alone we should rely, and to Him Alone we should express gratefulness. If somebody utters them during his illness, his life is sure to come to an end in a good way, that is, he will go to Jannah.

Short Quotes

Some commandments to Israelites

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَ

(2:83) Remember that We made a solemn covenant with the children of Israel to this effect: worship none save Allah: be good to your parents, to your relatives, to the orphans and to the helpless; speak aright with the people: establish the Salat and pay the Zakat. But with the exception of a few, you all slid back from it and are paying no heed to it even now.