Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam
BISMILLAH AR-RAH MAN AR-RAHIM
Allah, for as long as day turns to night and night recedes into day, for as long as the ages succeed one another, as day and night unceasingly follow upon each other and as the glowing stars remain suspended in the firmament, we beg that You bestow Your grace and favours upon our Master Muhammad and that You transmit unto his blessed soul and unto the souls of the people of his house our greetings and our respect, and that You bestow upon him Your peace and blessings in great abundance.
So may Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon all the prophets and messengers; upon the saints and the righteous servants; upon the angels and upon those who reside by the Throne of Grace; and upon the obedient and vigilant servants among the people of the earth and those of the skies. And may Allah Most High be pleased with His Prophet and with all His companions and people. Amin.
He is the one who is "sent as a mercy upon the universe" (Surah Anbiya', 107). The light of his soul was the first creation from the light of Allah, and all else is created from his light. He said, "0 Jabir, the first creation that Allah created is the soul of your prophet." When he was asked when he became a prophet, he answered, "I was a prophet when Adam was between water and clay." He said, "Whoever sees me sees the truth."
And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will cause him to enter gardens wherein rivers flow.(Surah Fath, 17)
And he has said, "As long as you do not love me more than anything else you have, your faith is not complete." For Allah says:
Certainly a Messenger has come to you from amongst yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress; most solicitous for you; to the believers he is merciful.(Surah Bara'at, 128)
He upon whom "Allah has bestowed the noblest of characters and most excellent of actions," is sent to teach us to be noble in behaviour, morals, and character. "Whoever prays to Allah to bestow upon His Messenger His peace and blessings, receives Allah's blessings tenfold, and may hope for the intercession of His Prophet on the Day of Last Judgement, and to enter Paradise."…………
O Allah, bless and salute the Prophet of Mercy, the intercessor of the community, Muhammad, and all his family and all the prophets and messengers.
His being was of light; he had no shadow. His beautiful face shone like the sun and radiated light around him. At night people saw by this light. It is written in the Holy Qur'an that in the darkness of the Day of Last Judgment the light of faith of the believers is going to illuminate the space around them, and the hypocrites, envious, will come close to them to profit from this light.
Allah, addressing His Beloved, whose name is written with His upon the firmament as La ilaha illallah, Muhammadun rasulullah "There is no god worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger" -says, "If it were not for you, I would not have created the creation." Therefore the greatest gift bestowed by Allah upon the universe is His Beloved. He says in the Holy Qur'an:
And if you count Allah's favours, you will not be able to number them.
(Surah Ibrahim, 34)
Thus if we try to count the beautiful attributes of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) the best of Allah's favours, we will be unable to number them.
1.Muhammad (peace be upon him)The most praised one
He is praised upon earth and in the heavens, from the beginning to the end, by men and jinn and angels, rocks and trees and animals, by prophets before him since Adam, by saints until Doomsday. As all of this cannot give him due praise, we beg Allah to praise him. He is the only One who truly knows the value and the mystery of His Muhammad (peace be upon him) and He is the only One who can truly praise him.
2. Ahmad The most praiseworthy of those who praise Allah
This is the celestial name of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah, the Ever-Existing, the All-Powerful, 360,000 years before He created the creation, created from His divine light a sacred light. That light upon light praised Allah before and during the creation of heaven and the heavenly and earth and the earthly. The inhabitants of the heavens named that light Ahmad. As his praise of Allah is greater than the praise of all that is created, he is called ahmad al-hamidin- the greatest of givers of praise.
Reference book:-The Most Beautiful Names, Section – The Divine Names of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) page 139
By Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti
Evidence from the hadith;
Hadhrat Jabbar bin Abduallal Ansari (R.A) narrated:
I requested to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) what did Allah Ta’alaa create First (before anything, the first creation) Answer: Oh Jabbar, at the beginning, Allah created the Nur of your Prophet – (i.e. Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) out of His Nur (i.e. Allah Ta’alaa). There was no Slate, no Pen, no Hell, no Heaven, no
Angels, no Sky, no Earth, no Sun, no Moon, no Jinns or Humans
Reference Book : Hajthula-Alal-Alameen page 28
The spirit is luminous and comes from the world of light and Allah knows best. There is no doubt that Allah-ta'ala "Took a handful of His light and said to it, 'Be Muhammad!"' It was. Everything took on form from his light, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so understand! The spirit is the self. It only became turbid because of its reliance on the world of turbidity. Had it left this world and alienated itself from it, it would have returned to its homeland from which Abu Zayd Sayyidi 'Abdu-r-Rahman al Majdhoub, may Allah be pleased with him, said: From where do you come, Spirit, beside yourself with love, ruhani,
Perfectly still on the carpet of might, with states of lordship?
Reference book:- page 80 letter 44,
The Darqawi Way- The letters of Shaykh Mawlay Al-‘Arabi ad-Darqawi
The great veil over all existence is the ultimate form, the form of Sayyidina Muhammad, salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He is the great veil because he is the first of the Lights.
Allah says in a hadith qudsi, O Muhammad we would not have made creation If it was not for you. Allah took a portion of His light and He said, Be Muhammad! The Messenger said, "I was prophet before Adam was between water and clay."
lbn al-Mashish, radhi Allahu 'anhu, said, "If it was not for the means the end would have escaped us." If it was not for Muhammad, salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, we would not have known the secret of tawhid.
Reference book:- page 22
Qur’anic Tawid by Shaykh AbdulQadir Al-Murabit
It was, Sahl at-Tustari (d. 283 A.H./896 C.E.), who first expressed the entire Heilsgeschichte in the terminology of the Light of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and he too derived his ideas from the Light verse. As his modern interpreter, Gerhard Bowering, writes in his fundamental study of the Prophet's role in Tustari's theology:
God, in His absolute oneness and transcendent reality, is affirmed by Tustari as the inaccessible mystery of divine light which yet articulates itself in the pre-eternal manifestation of the "likeness of His light," mathalu nurihi, that is, "the likeness of the light of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) " Nur Muhammad. The origin of the Nur Muhammad in pre-eternity is depicted as a luminous mass of primordial adoration in the presence of God which takes the shape of a transparent column, 'amud, of divine light and constitutes Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as the primal creation of God. Thus, explaining the terminology of the Light-verse, Tustari says: "When God willed to create Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), He made appear a light from His light. When it reached the veil of the Majesty, hijab al-'azamah, it bowed in prostration before God. God created from its prostration a mighty column like crystal glass of light that is outwardly and inwardly translucent."1
Interestingly, Tustari also connects Sura 53 with the Light of Muhammad(may Allah bless him and grant him peace), He does not interpret this Sura either as pertaining to the Prophet's initial vision or to his heavenly journey but claims instead that the words "And he saw Him still another time" (53:13) mean "at the beginning of time," when the column of the Light of Muhammad was standing before God,
before the beginning of creation by a million years. He stood before Him in worship, 'ubudiyya, with the disposition of faith, and [to him] was unveiled the mystery by Mystery Itself "at the Lote Tree of the Boundary" (Sura 53:14), that is the tree at which the knowledge of everyone comes to an end. 2
Then, when creation began, God "created Adam from the light of Muhammad(may Allah bless him and grant him peace)." The light of the prophets is from his, Muhammad's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) light and the light of the heavenly kingdom, ma1akut, is from his light, and the light of this world and of the world to come is from his light.
Bowering continues with his interpretation of Tustari's doctrine:
Finally when the emanation of the prophets and spiritual universe in pre-eternity was completed, Muhammad
That means, as Ibn Arabi was to state three centuries after Tustari, that the Prophet is "like the seed, bidhr, of the human race," 4 and the poets have never tired of alluding to the paradox that Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is prior to Adam in essence though outwardly his descendant.
Tustari's disciple Hallaj, who says in "Tasin as-siraj" (Tasin of the Lamp), the first chapter of his Kitab at-tawasin:
[He was] a lamp from the light of the Invisible . . . a moon radiating among the moons, whose mansion is in the sphere of mysteries; the Divine Truth [God] called him ummi because of the collectedness of his noble aspiration (himma)……
The lights of prophethood - from his light did they spring forth, and their lights appeared from his light, and there is no light among the lights more luminous and more visible and previous to pre-existence, than the light of this noble one. 5
Reference book:- And Muhammad is His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Chapter 7:- The Light of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
By Annemarie Schimmel ISBN:-0-8078-4128-5
Notes and references used fromChapter 7:- The Light of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
1 G. Bowering, "The Prophet of Islam," pp.49-50.
2 G. Bowering, "The Prophet of Islam," pp.51-52.
3 G. Bowering, "The Prophet of Islam," pp.55.
4 Deladri˘ ère, La Proession de foid’Ibn ‘Arabi. P.130.
5 Hallaj,"Tasin as-siraj," in Kitab at-tawasin, pp .9. II
Chapter 2:- The Interpretation of Fitrah
1.3.2 Sahl at-Tustari (d. 283 A.H./896 C.E.)
a Sufi Perspective
Fitrah, which is integral to man's soul, was created by Allah so that man may acknowledge Him as the Lord Who has power over all things. Tawhid is integral to man's fitrah because Allah, in His infinite wisdom, intended man to know Him as the One God.
This is why man was able to acknowledge his Lord before his existence on earth. This period before man was born into this world is called the pre-existential state of involuntary submission to Allah and of acknowledging Him. Allah, exalted is He, confirms this in the Noble Qur'an:
'When your Lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their loins their descendants, and made them witness concerning themselves (saying), "Am I not your Lord?" - they said, "Yes! We witness!"'
Thus, in the above ayah, man, in his pre-existential state, acknowledges Allah as his Lord. He has sealed a covenant with Allah which he is expected to fulfil in his terrestrial career by worshipping Him. Sahl at-Tustari viewed pre-existential man as 'particles or specks endowed with intellects' and as 'embryonically enshrined in their prophetical prototypes'.1 He proceeded to examine the significance of pre-existential man's covenant with Allah:
'Summoned with their prophetical prototypes to acknowledge Allah's oneness and Lordship in the presence of the manifestation of His omnipotence, they enter into a covenant with Allah by their affirmative answer to the question, "Am I not your Lord?' Their answer, "Yes! We witness' to Allah's address is engraved upon the intellect of man as a proof which reminds man of Allah's Lordship. Although this primordial decision of man to affirm Allah's Lordship in the face of this manifestation implicitly entails the original and ultimate destiny of man, it is to be verified and tested in the period of Divine trial which is man's phenomenal existence in the world of creation." 2
At-Tustari further added that the 'self-consciousness of man derives from the moment of affirmation of Divine Lordship (rububiyyah) with their first profession of faith'. 3 Thus, there is a difference between pre-existential submission and earthly submission; the latter condition is a conscious and willing practice whereas in the former case the submission is involuntary. The earthly submission involves the acceptance of Islam which complements man's inner nature:
'If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (al-Islam), it will not be accepted from him' (Qur'an 3: 85)'
Truly, the din in the sight of Allah is Islam (al-Islam).'
The Divine purpose and functional value of fitrah in man's pre-existential state also lies in its value as testimony against the polytheist and disbeliever who may plead ignorance or may claim, on the Day of Judgement, to have followed their forefathers. Allah responds to this kind of argument as follows:
'(Of this We remind you) lest you say on the Day of Resurrection, "Truly, we were unaware of this", or lest you say, "Truly, it was our forefathers in times gone by who began to ascribe divinity to other beings besides Allah, and we were only their offspring. Will You then destroy us for the doings of those inventors of falsehoods?"'
The role of the prophets, then, is to remind people of tawhid so that they might come to know their inner nature, their fitrah. 'So remind (O Prophet) you are only a reminder' (Qur'an 76: 29). At-Tustari affirms the role of prophets as prototypes 'like the seed of progeny in the loins of man' whose mission is to effect within man the recollection of his primordial perfection'.
Man must be faithful to his fitrah to qualify him for the khilafah, the vicegerency of Allah on earth. Fitrah can also be described as man's original state in pre-existence which he still possesses in his earthly career. Man in this original state is a microcosm of the Universal Man (al-Insan al-Kamil) who is a manifestation of the Logos, the Divine light in pre-existence. Earthly man is potentially a perfect khilafah, a microcosm of the Universal Man. For man to be perfect and to have knowledge of Allah he has to be faithful to his fitrah, and realise the Universal Man within him by emulating the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as spiritual prototype.
The Universal Man is in fact synonymous with the Nur Muhamnad (the light of Muhammad) which is the primal manifestation of the Divine names and attributes in pre-existence. The whole of creation is derived from this light which illuminates it. The heart of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which absorbed the Divine realities becomes the source of pre-existential man's knowledge and his love of Allah. The light from the heart of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, illuminates the hearts of men and the inaccessible light of Allah becomes accessible through the light of the heart of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Allah, the Absolute Good, caused the light of the primordial good (Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) from which issued the light of the goodness of pre-existential man. Existential man, In turn, retains the essential goodness of this light and it continues to illuminate his heart in the phenomenal world.
Fitrah: the Islamic Concept of Human Nature, Chapter 2:- The Interpretation of Fitrah, page 44.ISBN 1-897940-26-2
by Yasien Mohamed
Notes and references used from Chapter 2:- The Interpretation of Fitrah
2. Ibid., p.156.
3. Ibid., p.157.