In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
Accept our heartfelt condolences on the anniversary of a very sad day. Today the 28th of Safar is the day of departure from the mortal world of the Almighty's Last and Greatest Messenger to mankind, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
We have prepared a special article for you in this regard as follows:
He left the mortal world on the 28th of Safar, exactly a millennium, four centuries and twenty lunar years ago, after a brief bout of illness. He was 63 years of age. Irrespective of the report that suspects foul play and speaks of poisoning by an Israelite, the fact cannot be denied that the Almighty’s Last Messenger to mankind departed with his 23-year mission fully accomplished. As the most Excellent Exemplar, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) had conveyed the universal message of Islam in the most beautiful manner, not just to his contemporaries in Arabia and the world – through his famous epistles to the ruling heads of other lands – but to all posterity till the end of time.
He did not leave anything incomplete or ambiguous. Not even the denial of pen and paper to him in the closing days of his life by a group of rebellious companions who feared he might write a political will in favour of the person they did not like, that is, the Prophet's dearest cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali (PBUH), could not mar the clear and manifest comprehensiveness of Islam. It is really sad that the rebellious group of companions had claimed fever had made him delirious despite the fact that God says in verses 2-to-5 of Surah Najm of the holy Qur'an that the Prophet does not err, nor goes astray, and neither does he speak out of desire.
As a matter of fact, the Prophet was fully prepared for his eventual journey to the ethereal heavens and had made necessary arrangements for the continuation of divine guidance after him. For this reason he had announced months earlier, of his farewell Hajj pilgrimage to God’s symbolic House on earth, the Holy Ka’ba in Mecca. During this epic assembly when as many 140,000 Muslims joined him from all parts of Arabia, he told the congregation in explicit and unambiguous words at Jabal ar-Rahma or Mount Mercy on the plain of Arafat on the 9th of Zilhijja:
“I am leaving behind among you the Thaqalayn (that is the two weighty things); the Book of God (that is, the Holy Qur’an) and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go astray, for the two will never separate from each other even when they return to me at the Fountain (of Kowsar on the Day of Judgement).”
Nine days later on the 18th of Zilhijja that year, exactly two months and ten days before his passing away, the Prophet was even more explicit in spelling the formula of faith and the protection against going astray. On the express commandment of God Almighty, as is evident by verse 67 of Surah Ma'edah, he halted the Hajj caravan in the wilderness at a pond or Ghadeer at the place called Khom near Juhfa. Here, in front of the huge gathering, after holding the Muslims witness to his conveying of the tenets of Islam, and his own excellence over them, he lifted his cousin and son-in-law to proclaim those immortal words:
“For whomsoever I am Master this Ali is his Master.”
Thus in view of these undeniable facts, the poignant event of Safar 28 that dealt a grievous blow to the heart of the apple of his eyes, that his only surviving daughter Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (peace upon her), his departure from the world was not unexpected. The Prophet breathed his last with his immediate family, including his two little grandsons, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace upon them), gathered around him. In the words of Imam Ali (PBUH):
“When the Prophet (SAWA) passed away his head was on my chest, and his (last) breath blew over my palms and I passed it over my face. I performed his (funeral) ablution, may Allah bless him and his progeny, and the angels helped me. The house and the courtyard were full of them (angels). One party of them was descending and the other was ascending. My ears continually caught their humming voice as they invoked Allah’s blessings on him, till we laid him to rest in his grave. Thus, who can have greater rights with him than I during his life or after his departure?”
It is thus not only an insult to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) but rejection of the clear commandments of God when certain vested interests accuse him of leaving the world without naming the vicegerent, and praise what they call the ‘democratic’ spirit of the hitherto idolatrous and ignorant Arabs in choosing a caliph or political successor after him. It is an irony of Islamic history that these caliphs or political successors left no stone unturned in tormenting, persecuting and martyring the Prophet's progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, for whom love and affection is an article of faith enshrined in the Holy Qur’an as verse 23 of Sura Shura says.
"Say (O Mohammad to mankind): I do not ask any reward for it (that is enlightening you with the message of Islam), but love for the nearest and dearest of (my) kin."
A brief radio programme cannot detail the painful events that followed the passing away of the Prophet, such as the scandalous election of Saqifa Bani Sa’dah and the storming of the house of his immaculate daughter Hazrat Fatema (peace upon her) by a group of ruffians demanding allegiance to the new regime from her husband Imam Ali (AS).
Time also does not allow us to do justice the universal message of Islam that was entrusted by God to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) for the salvation of mankind. The fact that despite the passing of 14 centuries the teachings of Islam remain as fresh as they were at the time of revelation is ample proof of the immortal mission of the Last and Greatest Prophet, who was predicted by all previous messengers of God. For instance in verse 18 of chapter 18 of the Book of Deuteronomy of the Torah, God tells Prophet Moses:
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren and will put My words into his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
In the Gospel of St. John, verse 16 of chapter 14 we read the prediction of Prophet Jesus to his disciples regarding the Last Prophet:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you.”
No wonder, Islam is the world's fastest growing religion today. This is all because of the fact that the Prophet was not just the most exemplar to mankind in manners, behaviour, etiquette, patience, piety, bravery, worship, wisdom, and practical behaviour in society, but he also gave to the world his immaculate progeny, who in every age and era offered sacrifices for the sake of truth in order to defeat falsehood. Condolences again and goodbye.