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God Almighty supported His Prophets with clear signs as proof of their Prophethood. Moses, peace be upon him, lived at a time when magic was widespread and so the miracles that appeared at his hands were of a similar nature. As the practice of medicine was in demand at the time of Jesus, peace be upon him, the miracles he worked were related to healing. Now these miracles are not ones that we can experience for ourselves, because they took place in the ancient past believers have to take them on blind faith.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is different to the others. The Qur’an tells us that he is the seal of the Prophets:

“Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing.” [Chapter 33, verse 40]

If he really is the last of the Prophets, then we would expect this to be reflected in the miracles and gifts that God bestowed upon him. When we examine the prophetic narrations of Muhammad we find this is exactly the case:

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I have been favoured over the other Prophets in six ways: I have been given the gift of concise speech; I have been supported with fear; booty has been made permissible for me; the earth has been made a means of purification and a place of prostration for me; I have been sent to all of mankind; and the (line of) Prophets ends with me.” [1]

As seen above, one of the special gifts the Prophet Muhammad was graced with was ‘jawami al-kalim’ – speech that was concise, yet carrying the widest of meanings. Unlike the gifts of other Prophets, we can experience this for ourselves by examining the speech of Prophet Muhammad. We find this beautiful manner of speaking again and again in the prophetic narrations that show us succinctness of language that is also eloquent and rich in wisdom.

THE GIFT EXAMINED

Entire books have been composed of examples of very concise prophetic narrations [2]; some only two or three words long. Let’s look at some examples of concise yet comprehensive narrations:

1. Muslims resemble the date palm tree.

“Indeed there is a tree from amongst the trees that does not shed its leaves, it resembles a Muslim. It is the date palm tree.” [3]

To fully comprehend and appreciate the breadth of this hadith one must first understand the benefits and characteristics of the date palm tree:

  • Base of the Leaves and Fruit Stalk: Can be used as fuel.
  • Trunk: Provides timber for building homes and other goods.
  • Leaves: Provides shade. Used for making ropes, baskets and furniture.
  • Dates: Provide a source of energy as well as numerous health benefits.
  • Date Seed: Soaked and used for animal feed. Its oil is used for soap and other commodities.

Now, to focus on the characteristics of this tree:

  • The above narration describes the date palm tree by mentioning that its leaves never fall, reflecting the perennial nature of this tree.
  • The tree does not cease giving fruit, reflecting the long lasting benefit it brings.
  • Grows in a climate that most other vegetation do not survive, let alone, thrive.
  • Due to these qualities, it can be considered as a back bone to the society that benefits from it.

How does the Muslim resemble the Date Palm Tree:

  • A Muslim strives to make every part of his existence of benefit to the society at large, whether through his time, wealth and manners.
  • Like a palm tree, a Muslim, should thrive and be a fountain of benefit to society, even in the most difficult of societies and conditions.

2. The believer is a mirror.

“The believer is the mirror of his brother.” [4]

The original Arabic of this statement consists of a mere three words:

المؤمن مرآة أخيه

If we reflect on this statement we will find that it is rich in wisdom. Dozens upon Dozens of lessons can be derived from it, let’s look at some examples [5]:

  • True reflection

If we are to take upon ourselves the characteristics of a mirror we must give a true reflection to our brother or sister. A mirror does not emphasise particular faults or dramatise aspects of beauty. Rather, it offers an accurate, proportional depiction of the person.

  • Confidential

The nature of a mirror is to provide you with an outlook on yourself. It is often done in private and when we walk away our reflection does not remain. So too must a Muslim keep his brother’s confidences, offering him a true reflection, sincere advice and quiet observation in private, and then moving away.

  • Usage

Despite its quiet existence, it is evident that a mirror is a necessary and constant requirement. We do not use it once in our lives and never again. We use it frequently to see if we are presentable, appropriate, decent; if we have flaws or blemishes. In the same way we should seek advice regarding ourselves, our characters, our conduct, constantly, and we should be willing to offer it constantly to our fellow Muslim.

  • Proximity

The closer you are to your mirror, the more details it will reveal. And similarly, the further away you stand from the mirror, the less clear the reflection of yourself will be. It is necessary to be close to a person to both receive and give a true and sincere reflection of a person.

  • Wisdom

It is necessary, then, to choose your mirror wisely. If it is dirty it will not give an accurate reflection. And, as a mirror, to be the best of its kind it is necessary to be clean, well-maintained and unbroken itself. If it is broken it will invert the image of you, showing what is good as bad and what is bad as good. Some mirrors allow you to focus on complicated, specific areas, whereas others offer a general reflection. The more mirrors you have, the better and more unique perspectives you will be given.

3. Being a source of safety.

“The most excellent among the Muslims is one from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are safe.” [6]

This narration shows that a true Muslim is one who does not do any harm to others, whether overtly or covertly. The word Muslim derives from the infinitive ‘silm’, meaning security, peace and salvation. So Muslims should strive to bring peace, security and salvation to others, they dedicate themselves to disseminating their inner peace and happiness.

Prophet Muhammad mentions the tongue before the hand, for slander, gossip and insult often do far more damage than physical violence. If people can refrain from verbal assault, they can more easily refrain from physical assault. Moreover, self defense against physical violence is more often easier than against gossip and slander. Therefore Muslims should always restrain their tongues and hands so that others will be safe from them.

SOME WISDOMS BEHIND THIS GIFT

If we reflect we find that there is great wisdom in God granting Prophet Muhammad this gift:

1. Arabia at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an was a society that highly valued oratory skills. This is why poets were some of the most esteemed people in society. Therefore this gift of speech greatly benefited the Prophetic mission of Muhammad as it made his message appeal to a people who highly valued poetry and skills of rhetoric. Given that Prophet Muhammad had no training in poetry prior to Prophethood and also could not read nor write, this gift would have served as a clear sign to the people that he is a genuine Prophet of God.

2. His speech captivates the heart and mind of the reader. As a consequence countless people have devoted their lives to studying his speech, compiling volumes of books that analyse the wisdom that can be derived from it. This benefits mankind as a whole, as by following the Prophetic example Muslims are source of goodness wherever they are.

3. A universal religion requires that anyone can understand it. The Qur’an states that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was sent as an example to be followed by mankind:

There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. [Chapter 33, verse 21]

The teachings of Prophet Muhammad were conveyed in simple language, thus making it accessible to everyone, from the layman to the scholar.

4. God’s final revelation needs to be preserved so that all of mankind, from the time of the final Prophet, Muhammad, all the way to the Day of Judgement, have access to the teachings of the religion in their pure, uncorrupted form. As we have seen with the Qur’an, it has been perfectly preserved since its revelation to Prophet Muhammad (you can read more about this here). In addition to the Qur’an, Muhammad was also taught how the Qur’an was meant to be understood. His concise speech made it easier for his companions to remember and transmit this understanding, which we still have today.

References

1 – Sahih Muslim, #523.

2 – Al-Arba’in by Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, volume 2.

3 – Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.

4 – Al adab al mufrad.

5 – Taken from Islam21c (accessed 19th April 2015):

http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/reflecting-on-your-mirror/

6 – Sahih Bukhari.

Written by Many Prophets One Message
A CALL TO THE TRUTH

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