is the day on which the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, who had been sent to purify and deliver mankind from manifest error, departed from the mortal world at the age of 63 after molding many human beings into monotheists during his 23-year mission. Let us recite to you ayah number 2 of Surah Jumah, before we present you a special feature on the passing away of the Messenger of Mercy, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny)“It is He Who sent to the unlettered [people] the Messenger from among themselves, to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom, and earlier they had indeed been in manifest error.”
The path of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was not paved with roses. It was strewn with thorns, at times poisonous and fatal, as is evident by his sufferings at the hands of the pagan Arabs, especially of Mecca, who refused to listen to his words of wisdom, mocked at him, derided him as insane, pelted him with stones, clamped a socio-economic boycott upon him, and plotted to murder him. When, by the Grace of God, he safely migrated from his hometown Mecca to Yathreb (Medina), where the people welcomed him and helped him establish the first instance of the ideal state of social justice; these hardcore pagans imposed war after war upon him, but with no success. Then these pagan Arabs ganged up with the equally treacherous Israelites to try to extinguish his mission through armed battles and conspiracies, but were soundly defeated. Finally in 8 AH, on the total failure of all their murderous plots, following the surrender of Mecca to him, two years before his passing away, they resorted to hypocrisy by paying lip service to Islam and claiming to be Muslims in order to save their skins, although at heart, most of them had no faith in his mission. Nonetheless, as the Prophet of peace, he overlooked their faults and strove to guide them towards monotheism and the best of morals, being certain that the universal mission of Islam will stand the test of time and one day in the future, as God has promised, Islam will prevail peacefully over all creeds. Before proceeding further let us focus on some of the wonderful debates that Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) held with scholars of various creeds and schools of thought, such as Jews, Christians, polytheists, dualists and atheists, thereby convincing them of the rationality of Islam.
The Prophet, when confronted by a group of atheists, who mocked at God and divine messengers, asked them: “Now, tell me what reasons you have behind your claims that the objects [or whatever is] in this Universe, have no beginning and they have been there forever and will exist forever.”
The atheists replied: ‘We are simply stating what we observe. We have not seen “hudooth” or contingency, coming into existence in objects [or whatever exists] of the universe, so we say that this Universe has been there forever and when we did not observe destruction and annihilation, we postulated that whatever exists in this Universe is not transient [or will never annihilate].’
The Prophet asked them: “Did you find this Universe “qadeem” or eternally pre-existent, without a beginning, or did you find it eternal? If you say so, then explain whether you yourself are in the same physical and intellectual state as you are now and that you will remain like this forever. If you will answer positively, then undoubtedly, you will deny your own observation and reject the observation of the observers [in other words, you yourself were not in the same physical and intellectual state].”
The atheists replied: ‘No, we do not find this Universe pre-existent or everlasting.’ The Prophet then said: “Then how come you said that the objects in this Universe are eternally pre-existent and eternal? And when you did not observe in the Universe “hudooth” [or contingency, coming into being] or for that matter “inqadha” (which means perishing or being transient), you called it pre-existent and eternal; while it was better for you, when you did not find eternal pre-existence and eternity in this Universe, to claim that this Universe is “haadeth” [that is, came into existence] and has “inqadha” (that is, perishable).
The Prophet continuing his debate with the atheists asked them: “Alright, have you seen how the day and night come one after another?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes.’
The Prophet said: “Do you think of the night and the day to be eternal?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes.’
The Prophet said: “In your opinion, can the night and the day coexist?”
The atheists said: ‘No.’
The Prophet continued: “Doesn’t one of them separate from the other and come forward and the other one follow it?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes, this is how it works.’
The Prophet said: “So, through your affirmation, you have said that the night and the day that have passed display “hudooth” [that is, coming into existence], while you have not observed it directly. Now, tell me you say that the Universe is eternally pre-existent and not “haadeth” [or created]. Do you know what are the things that you will have to admit to and reject, based on your proposition?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes.’
The Prophet said: “You have definitely observed that in this Universe, one thing is dependent over another because existence of anything in this Universe is impossible without its contact [or connection] with another thing. You may have seen how some parts of a building are dependent over others or else, the building would be unstable and not be able to stand as a unit [will fall] and this is true for everything [in this Universe]. The same is true for all other objects. So, when these objects, while being eternally pre-existent, require other objects for their strength and completeness, so now tell me, what would have been their situation and characteristics had they been “haadeth” [having a beginning]?”
The Prophet’s divinely-designated vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who was present at this lively debates has narrated that after hearing this question from the Prophet, all the atheists were baffled and understood that it is impossible to acquire a new characteristic for a “haadeth” object [that is, something with a beginning] which is different from the characteristics of the objects which we call “qadeem” (eternally pre-existent).
The atheists stopped their discussion and said: ‘We wish to think over our matters for some time. Soon many of them were convinced of the truth of Islam and became Muslims.
There was another interesting debate in Medina when a group of Christian bishops, priests and scholars came to the Prophet of Islam, who said:
“You say that God the Eternal and Pre-Existent united with Messiah that is, Jesus, who you claim to be son of God. So, in other words, you are implying that God the Eternal and Pre-Existent became “haadeth” which means something with a beginning, because of a “haadeth” [i.e. Prophet Jesus] and so the created became eternal and pre-existent, just like God is. [In other words, the Eternal Being became contingent and the contingent became eternal. Or maybe what you mean by ‘God united with His (supposed) son’ is that God specially blessed him and did not bless anyone with the same dignity and respect. So, if by this you mean that God the Eternal became “haadeth” or something that comes into existence, then you are completely wrong. This is because it is impossible for the Eternally Pre-Existent to become “haadeth” or created through some evolutionary means. And if you say that the created became eternally pre-existent then this is also incorrect because, just like how the Eternally Pre-Existent cannot become created, a created thing cannot become eternally pre-existent.
And if by ‘unity’ you mean that God specially chose him for Himself and from among all His servants only chose Prophet Jesus for this dignity, then this means that you have admitted on “hudooth” (or coming into existence) of Prophet Jesus for which God united with him. Because when Prophet Jesus came into existence and then God united with him, it means that he acquired ‘characteristics’ by which he became superior to all the creatures, then Prophet Jesus and the new ‘characteristics’ are both haadeth (or a created thing with a beginning). And this goes against all that you have said so far.”
After listening to the Prophet’s arguments, everyone was silent. However, one priest came forward and said: ‘Oh Muhammad! Do you not say that Abraham is the Khalil of God?’
The Prophet replied: “Yes, we say that.”
The Christian priest said: ‘If Abraham can be the ‘Khalil of God’, then why do you stop us from saying that Jesus is the ‘son of God’?’
The Prophet replied: “These two things are not similar, because when we say Abraham is the Khalil of God, we mean something different. In reality, the word Khalil derives from “khillah” which means ‘needlessness’. So, he is called Khalil because he only needed God and he was totally needless of and cutoff from everything of the world, he only trusted God and only asked Him in time of need. And his story is that when his enemies decided to throw him in the fire and placed him on the catapult, God sent Archangel Gabriel towards him saying, “Go and help My servant.” Gabriel went to Abraham and met him in air [while he was being thrown towards fire] and told him, “Tell me what you want. God has sent me to help you.” Abraham answered by saying, “No, I do not need your help. God is enough for me and I trust only Him. I will never ask anyone but Him. If I need anything, I will only ask Him.” So, God called him “Khalil”, which means someone who is only needy of God, only depends on Him and is disconnected from everything other than Him and asking God only in time of his need. And if the meaning of “khillah” is taken as secrets then it means that he knew those secrets of God that no one else did, then Khalil would mean ‘Knowledgeable of God’ and ‘Knowledgeable of His divine affairs’ and on this basis, you cannot compare God to His creatures.”
The Prophet continued with the debate, saying: “Can you not see that when there is no need towards Him, then he cannot be Khalil and similarly, if the knowledge of His secrets does not exist, then he is again not a Khalil? But if a person has a son and he insults him or rejects his son, even then he cannot take him out of his fatherhood because birth is a reality. In addition, if God said ‘Abraham is My Khalil’ and based on this, it is incumbent upon you to call Prophet Jesus His son, then it is also incumbent upon you to call Prophet Moses His son because he performed strange miracles that were different from those of Prophet Jesus. Then, you will also have to say that Moses is God’s son…”
On hearing this, the Christians started saying to each other that it is written in the Bible that Jesus said: ‘Go towards my and your Father.’
The Prophet said: “If you practice what is written in this book [Bible] and if it says, ‘Go towards my and your Father,’ then you will also have to say that all of those people to whom Prophet Jesus was speaking to when he said this [sentence] are also God’s sons and they were all God’s sons on the same basis as Prophet Jesus was God’s son. And this quote from this book [Bible] falsifies your claim because you consider Prophet Jesus as the son of God due to his special position and proximity to Him. Just now, you said that we call Prophet Jesus son of God because of his special status that God has exclusively given him and not anyone else. And you are also aware of the fact that this special attribute was only possessed by Prophet Jesus and not the ones to whom Prophet Jesus said: ‘Go towards my and your Father.’ Thus, this claim of yours that God made Prophet Jesus His son because of his special attribute is falsified because ‘being a son of God’ is also proved for those who did not possess any special status. And is it not possible that you made a wrong interpretation and explanation of Prophet Jesus’ quote and made a mistake in understanding it? Because when he said: ‘Go towards me and your Father’ he might not have meant what you think. However, it is quite possible that he meant go towards your father [that is, Adam or Noah]…and it is possible that there might be another meaning to what Jesus said which you cannot comprehend.”
Upon hearing this, all the Christians were silent and said: ‘We have never seen anyone like Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) who debates like this and we want to think over the matter.’ After pondering deeply, many of the Christian elders embraced the truth of Islam and became Muslim.
This was Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), who came to enlighten mankind, and did not leave the world without showing clear ways of guidance, including whom God has chosen to be his vicegerent and successors or Imams after him. The books of hadith and history of all Muslim denominations unanimously testify that Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) had foretold about his death during his Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage, when on 9th Zil-Hijjah during his sermon from atop Mount Mercy (Jabal ar-Rahma) on the Plain of Arafah, he pronounced the famous words, known as Hadith Thaqalayn:
“I have been informed (by God) about my imminent death, and I am leaving behind among you Two Weighty Things (Thaqalayn), the Book of Allah (holy Qur’an) and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go astray, for the two never separate from each other even when they return to me at the Fountain (of Kowthar on the Day of Judgement.”
Again all books of hadith and history unanimously state that nine days later on the 18th of Zil-Hijjah, the Prophet halted the caravan of Hajj pilgrims at the pond (ghadeer) of Khom in the wilderness near Juhfa, ordering that those who had parted ways earlier for different routes should come to this place for he had an important announcement to make. Then in front of a huge gathering of 120,000 Muslims, after delivering a memorable sermon and repeating the Hadith Thaqalayn, he lifted his dear cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) and proclaimed: “For whomsoever I am Master this Ali is his Master.”
Two months and ten days later on the 28th of Safar, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) passed away in the house of his one and only daughter, the Immaculate Fatema Zahra (SA), with his head placed in the lap of Imam Ali (AS) and his grandsons, the future Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) around him.
He left the world with his mission accomplished. The Seal of Messengers had made it clear that no person has any superiority over any other on the basis of race, language, colour of skin, class, and ethnicity, but on the basis of piety, good deeds and obedience to God. The gist of the message of Islam is that in order to become a good Muslim a person should abstain from polytheism, committing of sins, and indulgence in violence and terrorism. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) abhorred violence and oppression. He has expressed disgust of such habits by saying: “The greatest enemies of Allah are those who profess Islam and do acts of infidelity and who without cause, shed man's blood.”
The Prophet also said: “The mortal crimes are to associate another with Allah, to vex your father and mother, to murder your own species, to commit suicide and to swear to a lie.”
In view of these statements from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), it is clear that the Takfiris and other terrorists, who claim to be Muslims while indulging in torture, killing, mass massacres, abuse of women, cannibalism, and no mercy for even children, have no connection whatsoever to Islam and the ethereal teachings of the Prophet of Islam. The Ummah should knit ranks against these agents of Zionism, US imperialism, and the neo paganism of present day Arab regimes. The Prophet strove to establish peace, justice and equity in the society, but what did those that wrongly styled themselves caliphs or the political heirs of the Prophet do? They mistreated his Ahl al-Bayt.