إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ
The Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) used in the above verse (last part of verse 10:17) has been understood by some to signify such things as longevity, worldly prosperity and other worldly attainments. Under this false impression, they tend to believe that if a claimant to prophethood attains material prosperity and longevity or if his message is spread around, then he ought to be considered a genuine Prophet because he has indeed attained 'prosperity'. Had he been an impostor, it is argued, he would soon have been assassinated, or would have starved to death, and, in any case, his message would not have spread around. Such an absurd line of argument can only be pursued by those who are altogether ignorant of the concept of falah (prosperity) as envisaged in the Qur'an, who are unaware of God's law of respite regarding evil-doers, and who are altogether unappreciative of the special meaning in which the term has been employed in the present context.
In order to fully understand what is meant by saying that 'the guilty shall not prosper', a number of things ought to be borne in mind. In the first place, the Qur'anic statement that "the guilty shall not prosper' is not made with a view to providing a yardstick that might be applied by people so as to determine the truth or falsity of the claimants of prophethood. The verse does not seek to stress that all those who 'prosper' after claiming to be a Prophet are truly Prophets, and that those who do not prosper after making such a claim are not so. The point of emphasis here is altogether different. Here the Prophet (peace be on him) is being made to say that since he knows fully that those guilty of inventing lies against Allah could not prosper, he would not dare make any claim to prophethood if such a claim was false.
On the other hand, the Prophet (peace be on him) also knew that the unbelievers were guilty of rejecting the true signs of God and of declaring a true Prophet of God to be an impostor. In view of that monstrous guilt, it was quite apparent to the Prophet (peace be on him) that they would not prosper.
Moreover, the Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) has not been used in the limited sense of worldly success. Rather, it denotes that enduring success which admits of no failure regardless of whether one is able to achieve success in the present phase of one's existence or not. it is quite possible that someone who calls people to falsehood might enjoy life and nourish in a worldly sense, and he might even be able to attain a substantial following for his message. But this is not true prosperity or success; rather it constitutes total loss and failure. Contrarily, it is also possible that someone who calls people to the truth might be exposed to much persecution and be overwhelmed by pain and suffering. It is possible that even before he is able to create any significant following, he is continually subjected to persecution and torture. In the Qur'anic view, such an apparently tragic end constitutes the very zenith of such a person's success rather than his failure.
Moreover, it should be remembered that it has been amply elucidated in the Qur'an that God does not punish evil-doers instantly: that He rather grants them a fair opportunity to mend their ways. Not only that, if the evil-doers misuse the respite granted by God to perpetrate further wrongs, they are sometimes granted an even further respite. In fact, at times a variety of worldly favours are bestowed upon such evil-doers in order that the potential for wickedness inherent in them might be fully exposed by their actions, proving that they do indeed deserve a very severe punishment. Hence, if an impostor continues to enjoy periods of respite and if worldly favours are lavished upon him this should not in any way give rise to the notion that he is on the right path.
In the same way as God grants respite to other evil-doers. He also grants respite to impostors. There are no grounds whatsoever for believing that the respite granted to other evil-doers would not be granted to those impostors who lay false claim to prophethood. We may well call to mind that Satan himself has been granted a respite until Doomsday, It has never been indicated that although Satan is granted a free hand to misguide human beings, as soon as he throws up an impostor claiming prophethood such a venture is instantly nipped in the bud.
In order to refute the view expressed above it is possible that someone may refer to the following verse of the Qur'an: Now if he [i.e. Muhammad] would have made up, ascribed some sayings to Us, We would indeed have seized him by the right hand, and then indeed would have cut his life-vein (al-Haqqah 69: 44-6).
Even a little reflection makes it obvious that the verse in question does not contradict the view we have expressed above. For, what the present verse says relates to a principle which God follows in dealing with true Prophets. Were any such Prophet to falsely claim something to be a revelation from God, he would instantly be seized by God's wrath. To argue to the contrary that all those who are not seized by God's wrath are necessarily genuine Prophets is simply a logical fallacy devoid of any justification. For the threat of instant Divine wrath embodied in this verse is applicable only to true Prophets, and not to impostors who, like other evil-doers, are granted a respite.
This can be well understood if we bear in mind the disciplinary rules laid down by different governments for their officials. It is obvious that those rules are not enforced in respect of ordinary citizens. Were the latter to lay any false claim to being a government official, he would be subjected to the normal rules of the criminal code relating to the conviction of those who are guilty of fraud rather than to the disciplinary rules meant for government officials. Under this analogy, an impostor who claims to be a Prophet, would be dealt with by God along with other evil-doers who commit evil, and who, as we know, are not necessarily punished immediately.
In any case, as we have pointed out earlier, the verses quoted above were not revealed so as to provide the criterion to judge the truth of anyone who lays claim to prophethood. This verse should not be considered to mean that if a celestial hand stretches forth to cut off the life-vein of a claimant to prophethood, such a person is an impostor; and if that does not happen, he is a genuine Prophet. Such a weird criterion would have been needed only if no other means were available to judge the genuineness of a claimant to prophethood. But as things stand, a Prophet is known by his character, by his work, and by the contents of his message. (Tafheemul Quran)
Allah Subhanoho wa-T'ala Says to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) in The Holy Quran:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِين
"And We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind." (The Prophets 21:107)Read more...
1033. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Were people to know the blessing of pronouncing Adhan and the standing in the first row, they would even draw lots to secure these privileges. And were they to realize the reward of performing Salat early, they would race for it; and were they to know the merits of Salat after nightfall (`Isha') and the dawn (Fajr) Salat, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This expression 'to crawl' is used to illustrate the high merit of praying `Isha and Fajr in congregation in the mosque. This Hadith also urges to make best to occupy the first rows, as the `Angels of Mercy' pray for the Imam first, then for those who pray immediately behind him in the first row, then those behind them, and so on. The Hadith also points out the excellence of Adhan and the great reward of the person who pronounces it.
1034. Mu`awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: "The Mu'adhdhinun (callers to prayer) will have the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.''
Commentary: This Hadith highlights the eminence of Mu'adhdhin and Adhan. Adhan means calling people to the worship of Allah. Mu'adhdhin (the caller) gets reward for the Salat of all those who hear his Adhan. The phrase "will have the longest necks'' has been given different interpretations. One of them is that they are those who long for the Mercy of Allah more than anyone else. Another interpretation is that their necks will grow longer on the Day of Requital and so sweat will not reach them, for every one will sweat on that day depending on his deeds: sweat will reach up to one's ankles or knees or waists. In the case of some people, sweat will reach up to their mouths. Another interpretation is that those who call Adhan will have an honourable and great status on the Day of Requital.
1035. `Abdullah bin `Abdur-Rahman reported: Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) said to me: "I see that you like living among your sheep in wilderness. So whenever you are with your sheep or in wilderness and you want to call Adhan, you should raise your voice because whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human or jinn or any other creature, will testify for you on the Day of Resurrection.'' Abu Sa`id added: "I heard this from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).''
Commentary: Shayun is used for everything, or every other thing, and covers animals, vegetables and inanimate matter. On the Day of Requital, Almighty Allah will grant the faculty of speech, and all these things will testify for the Mu'adhdhin, as would be done by mankind and jinn.
1036. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When Adhan for Salat is pronounced, the devil takes to his heels and breaks wind with noise so as not to hear the call. When the Adhan is finished, he returns. When the Iqamah is announced, he turns his back, and after it is finished, he returns again to distract the attention of one and makes him remember things which he does not recall in his mind before the Salat, and says `Remember this, and this,' and thus causes one to forget how many Rak`at he performed.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The words signify that Satan runs with great speed and he breaks wind, or he intentionally does so. In any case, it shows that he has an aversion for Adhan. The second point that we learn from this Hadith is that the concentration of mind is a must for Salat to defeat all attempts of Satan to disrupt it.
1037. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "When you hear the Adhan, repeat what the Mu'adhdhin says. Then ask Allah to exalt my mention because everyone who does so will receive in return ten rewards from Allah. Then beseech Allah to grant me Al-Wasilah, which is a high rank in Jannah, fitting for only one of Allah's slaves; and I hope that I will be that man. If any one asks Al-Wasilah for me, it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him.''
Commentary: To invoke blessings upon the Prophet (PBUH) means to recite "Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima wa `ala ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majid.'' Wasilah literally means that mode or method by which one attains his goal, but here it stands for that high rank in Jannah which will be awarded to the Prophet (PBUH). The word Shafa`ah means to beg someone to pardon somebody's faults and shortcomings or to request someone for doing a virtuous deed. In the context of this Hadith, it refers to the privilege of intercession of the Prophet (PBUH) due to which he will request for the forgiveness of such people for whom he will be given permission by Allah.
1038. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When you hear the Mu'adhdhin (pronouncing the call to Salat), repeat after him what he says.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith also tells us to repeat the words of Adhan when we hear it. But when he says "Hayya `alas-Salah'' or "Hayya `alal-Falah'' we must say "La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.''
1039. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who says upon hearing the Adhan: `Allahumma Rabba hadhihid-da`wati-ttammati, was-salatil-qa'imati, ati Muhammadanil-wasilata wal-fadhilata, wab`athu maqaman mahmuda nilladhi wa `adtahu [O Allah, Rubb of this perfect call (Da`wah) and of the established prayer (As-Salat), grant Muhammad the Wasilah and superiority, and raise him up to a praiseworthy position which You have promised him]', it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection.''
Commentary: This Hadith tells us the merit of (the prayer by maens of which one attains his should be recited in the manner narrated by `Abdullah bin `Amr, which says that one should first repeat the wording of Adhan, then recite the prayer asking to exalt the mention of the Prophet (PBUH) and then pray Allah to grant him the Wasilah.
1040. Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who says after the Adhan: `Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah Wah-dahu la sharika Lahu; wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa Rasuluhu, radhitu Billahi Rabban, wa bi Muhammadin Rasulan, wa bil Islami Dinan [I testify that there is no true god except Allah Alone; He has no partners and that Muhammad (PBUH) is His slave and Messenger; I am content with Allah as my Rubb, with Muhammad as my Messenger and with Islam as my Deen],' his sins will be forgiven.''
Commentary: This Hadith mentions another prayer which should be recited beside the already mentioned Du`a-al-Wasilah.
1041. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The supplication made between the Adhan and the Iqamah is never rejected.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].