The Final Messenger, The Final Message!
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
The first verse of the first Surah of the Holy Qur’an, i.e. Al-Fatiha begins with Alhamdulillahi Rabil Aaalameen, which means “All praise belongs to Allah alone, the Rub of the worlds.” The word “Rub” has no substitute in any language. Usually it is translated as Lord and it combines in itself the attributes of Allah (SWT) as the Most Exalted Master, Absolute Owner, the Most Perfect Provider, Sustainer, Guardian, and the Most Supreme Sovereign, Ruler, Administrator and Organizer. That is to say the least! The entire universe and all things in it are provided with means of sustenance only by Allah (SWT) from its conception, birth, growth and through all stages of its development till it runs it destined course. Sustenance is not limited to the provisions of shelter, clothing, air, food and water but according to the well known interpreter of the Holy Qur’an Qazi Baidhawi (RehmA), all things in the universe have been made subservient to man’s needs of physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth. Allah (SWT) has commissioned everything in the universe to serve mankind. Aayahs 32-34 of Surah Ibrahim say:
“It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth, Who has sent down water from the sky and with it brought forth produce to nourish you; He has made ships useful to you, sailing the sea by His command, and the rivers too; He has made the sun and the moon useful to you, steady on their paths; He has made the night and the day useful to you and given you some of everything you asked Him for. If you tried to count Allah’s favors, you could never calculate them…”
The Creator of the universe has provided resources for sustenance for every single thing He has created. Sustenance requires a physical form or shape and a mechanism within to make it function flawlessly and smoothly. It also requires a system of security and safety to protect it from possible damage either from within and without or both. Lastly it needs a formula to support its continuity and secure itself from extinction. Things with man are very special, because he is the very purpose behind the creation of this universe. He is the masterpiece of the Creator’s craft. He walks on earth, but aspires to reach higher to the stars and beyond. Within his physical form, he has a sprit, a soul which also needs nourishment. He seeks love and wants to acquire knowledge about his Creator. He has combination of good and evil. The animal within him surpasses even the wild beasts, excels the meanness of hyena to kill its own kind, and puts the devil to shame for his clever, cunning, devious, and evil self-centered, self-serving schemes of greed and lust for wealth and power. He is made up of water and fire. He carries the attributes of an angle too within him. He can put his life on line to serve and save others. He is self-less, compassionate, kind, and can sacrifice all that is dear to him for a noble cause. He can go to extremes. But the Creator wants him to maintain a balance between the extremes. Moderation in views and actions is what Allah (SWT) has prescribed for a healthy life and a balanced personality. Deviation from the path of moderation and swinging to either extreme is against the teachings of all the Prophets. Allah (SWT) will question the deviators from the prescribed purpose on the Day of Judgment as mentioned in Aayah 115 of Surah Al-Mu’minun:
“Did you think We had created you in vain, and that you would not be brought back to Us.”
For building human personality on sound principles, Allah (SWT) sent Messengers as guides, reformers, leaders, and Prophets. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) sealed the chain of Prophets by being last and final culminating in his person the teachings of all earlier Prophets. He brought good news for mankind and warned them for not following the prescribed path as mentioned in Aayah 28 of Surah Saba:
“We have sent you [Rasul Allah] only to bring good news and warning to all people,….”
and Aayah 107 of Surah Al-Anbia says:
“It was only a mercy that We sent you [Rasul Allah] to all people.”
Allah (SWT) has raised Messengers and Prophets from time to time to the people from among themselves with a distinct Message for their benefit and guidance. Prophet (SAW) was very well known to the people in and around Makkah from his early childhood to the time he was commissioned for Prophet Hood as mentioned in Aayah 128 of Surah Al-Tawba:
“A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering distresses him: he is deeply concerned for you and full of kindness and mercy towards the believers.”
The Book which was sent to Prophet (SAW) is the last and final edition of the Books which were sent to earlier Prophets. The era Allah (SWT) selected to raise the last of all Prophets is one that is the harbinger of man’s wisdom and maturity, unfurling his conquest over frontiers of knowledge, heralding his progress in human and civil rights. Prophet (SAW)’s Prophet Hood is not limited to a certain people, to a geographical region, or to a limited time period, but as repeatedly said, it is for the entire mankind and for all times to come. His coming was to refresh the teachings of earlier Prophets.
Aayah 45 of Surah Al-Ahzaab specifically addresses Prophet (SAW) and says: “Rasul Allah, We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and warning,..”
It is one of the responsibilities of Prophets to convey the good news of reward for good deeds and warn people of punishment for bad deeds as mentioned in Aayah 48-49 of Surah Al-An’am:
“We send Messengers only to give good news and to warn, so for those who believe and do good deeds there will be neither fear [for them], nor will they grieve. As for those who rejected Our signs, torment will afflict them as a result of their defiance. ”
Abu Musa Ash’ari (RA) relates that Prophet (SAW) said: “My example and that of the Message I have been sent with is like a person who seeing with his own eyes an army warns his people about its imminent attack. People who believed the warning,
escaped during the night, and those who did not, were killed by the invading army. I am warning you openly so save your self. People who obey me and the Shari’ahare like
those who were saved, and those who do not believe in the True Message I have brought are like the ones who will suffer as a consequence.”
Since Prophet (SAW) is the final Messenger, his Ummah is also the last and final Ummah. That is why both in the Traditions of Prophet (SAW) and the Holy Qur’an, Muslims have been addressed as the last Ummah.
According to Sahi Bukhari, the example of Ummahs of Prophets is like those of laborers and workers. When Allah (SWT) gave an assignment to Jews, they worked until Dhuhr (midday) and left, Allah (SWT) reminded them of time, but they did not care. The assignment was then given to Christians, who worked until Asr (late afternoon) and refused to complete the work till the end of the day. Finally the job was given to Muslims who worked until Maghrib (sunset), completed the assignment and thus earned their due wages.” This tradition has been mentioned in Mu’ta of Imam Malik, Tirmidhi and other books with some variation in text. The “day” in this tradition means the time span. It means that the Prophet (SAW)’s Ummah is the last to come but will be placed first in rank with regards to rewards on the Day of Judgment.
The essence of my discourse today is that salvation of mankind lies only in the guidance provided by the Creator through His Prophet (SAW). There is no other path, and there is no alternative to resolve present day problems. Man has not learned any thing from history and turned his back to his own experience. Lethal weapons have replaced the sword, and destroyer ships and fighter planes have replaced the horse and camel. Man is capable to killing millions and raising habitations to dust in just seconds. It is still not too late to pause, think and read what Islam has to offer to the suffering humanity. Let us work earnestly and sincerely with love and care to connect the created with the Creator for the ultimate good of all. We have a tremendous responsibility to shoulder. May Allah enable us to read the biography of all Prophets and that of the last Messenger (SAW) and tailor our lives according to the final Message which was sent through him for the humanity!
The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam. The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text. The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation. The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt. Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.