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The Sealed Nectar

 The Sealed Nectar by Shaykh Safi ur-Rahman

Edited by: Prophet of Mercy staff

To Illuminate Humanity's way

Today our greatest problem is that many do not recognize Prophet Muhammad, and others neglect or refuse to follow his way. God sent Muhammad, as he sent all previous Prophets, to illuminate our way, "God was gracious to the believers when he raised up among them a messenger from themselves who recite to them the verses of his book (Quran) and shows them his signs, purifies them, and instructs them in the book of wisdom. They were evidently in manifest misguidance." {Quran 3:164}

God sent messengers to guide people to the truth and so they could be purified of sin. Those who were enlightened by the Messengers found the way to Divine presence and attained the highest rank of humanity. In the word of Ibrahim Haqqi, "God declared that he could not be contained by the heavens and earth. He can be known and reached only through hearts." This is why messengers led humanity to the knowledge of God."

Those who follow this guidance are touched by him in their innermost selves, whether it is called heart, soul, or conscience, for only that can grasp God in his entirety. Minds cannot comprehend him and philosophy cannot reach him. God left the Quran and the prophet's Sunnah {sayings and doings} to show us how to live in the way that fulfills the purpose for which the prophets were sent. Here it is necessary to emphasize three points. First, prophets were not ordinary men; rather they were chosen men through whom God chose and paid great attention to their upbringing so that they would always seek to gain his approval. Like his predecessors Prophet Muhammad always pursed God's approval and good pleasure. His last words were, "The Highest abode" [God gave the prophet two choices before he died he could stay and live longer or die and go to heaven and his last words were the answer to this choice.] His wife Aisha gives the following account of his last moments, "I was with him during his last moments. When he became ill, he would ask me to pray for him and expecting my prayer to be accepted through his auspicious hand, I held his hand and prayed. During his last illness, I wanted to do the same and pray, when he suddenly withdrew his hand and said, 'The highest abode.'"

Second, the world is never left devoid of successors who devote their lives to preaching and teaching the truth. They should seek what the prophets sought, preached what the prophets preached and strictly follow the prophet in enjoining and spreading good and discouraging and forbidding evil.

To Guide People to the Serves of God

God declared in the Quran, "I have not created jinn and humanity except to worship me." {51:56}

We were not created only to eat drink and reproduce; these are natural fact of our life and natural needs. Our main purpose is to recognize and serve God. All prophets were sent to show us how to do things, "We never sent a messenger before you except that we revealed to him: "There is no God but I, so worship me." {21:25}

"We sent forth among every nation a messenger, saying: "Worship God alone and avoid idols and tyrants Satan and his followers." Then some of them God guided and some where justly disposed of to misguidance." {Quran 16:36}

God sent prophets to guide us to his service. Their missions were the same. However, whereas the earlier prophets were sent to their own people and for a set period, Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to humanity and jinn, and for all time. According to an authentic hadith, narrated by Ibn Masud:

"Once God's messenger and I went some where and he drew a circle around me and told me not to leave it until he returned. He left, and after a while some tumult broke out on the other side. I wondered weather something had happened to him, but as he told me to stay put until he returned, I did so. Some time later he returned and I asked him about the uproar. He replied: "The jinn have believed and taken an oath of allegiance to me. When some of them insisted on unbelief, fighting broke out. The uproar you hear d was the fighting. This applies that my life is about to end."

Muhammad used this last sentence to indicate that he had been sent to open the way to the guidance of humanity and jinn. Once this had been done, there would be no reason for him to live, for he would have nothing more to do. This also implies that believers should never neglect their essence duties here, and should pray, as instructed by God's messenger, "O God, make me die if death is good for me; or else, make me live long as long as living is good for me!" {Bukhari}

To Teach People God's Law

Another purpose for sending prophets is to reveal divine commandments (i.e. the five daily prayers, fasting Ramadan, giving charity, not indulging in any illicit sexual relations, alcohol, and gambling). This function is called messenger-ship according to the Quran, "They deliver the message of God and do not fear anyone except God."{Quran 33:39} In addition God told Muhammad:

"O messenger, deliver that which has been sent down to you from your Lord; for if you do not, you will have not conveyed his message. God protects you against people; verily God will not guide the people of unbelief." {Quran 5:67}

The messenger was sent to enlighten humanity about all dimensions of human life. Any neglect in delivering God's message would amount to leaving humanity in darkness.

To Be Examples

Prophets were sent to serve as examples that must be followed consciously. God told his last messenger, "Those are they whom God had guided, so follow their guidance." {Quran 6:90} In particular, we are told to follow Muhammad's example, "You have a good example in God's messenger (Muhammad) for who ever hopes for the meeting with God and the Last Day, and remembers God much." {Quran 33:21} Muhammad is our leader, just as we pray as he prayed; we must strive to live as he lived.

To Establish Balance

At a time when some people lived in monasteries and others drowned in luxury, Prophet Muhammad came with the Quranic instruction, "But Seek, with that wealth which God had bestowed on you, the home of the hereafter and do not forget your portion of the lawful enjoyment of the present world." {Quran 28:77}

All prophets came to establish balance between material and spiritual life, reason and soul, this world and the next, and indulgence and abstinence. While we should declare all that God has bestowed on us to show our gratitude and due praise for him, "And as for your Lord's blessing and bounty, declare it." {Quran 93:11}, we must not forget that we will have to account for every good we enjoy, "Then on that day you shall be asked about the delights (you indulged in, in this world)!" {Quran 102:8}

The prophet inculcated this principle so deeply in his companion's hearts that it could be seen in every aspect of their lives. For example, once when breaking fast during Ramadan, Abu Bakr, the first caliph, was offered a glass of cold water. He had just taken a sip when he suddenly burst into tears and stopped drinking. When asked why, he replied, "Once I was with God's messenger and he acted as if he were pushing something with his hand and saying to it, 'Keep away from me!' I asked him what he was doing, and he replied, 'The world appeared to me in an ideal form, with all its pomp and luxury. I pushed it away, saying, "Leave me. You can't seduce me." It withdrew and said, "I can't conquer you, but I swear by God I'll captivate those who come after you.'" After narrating this hadith, Abu Bakr concluded, "Just now, I thought that the world tempted me with a glass of cold water, and I wept." {Bukhari and Muslim}

Abu Bakr and most companions lived a balanced life, despite the fact hat they had every chance to live in comfort.

To be God's Witness

Prophets also were sent so that people cannot plead ignorance in the Hereafter. Regarding this, the Quran says, "Messengers as bearers of good news as well as a warning in order that mankind should have no plea against God after the coming of messengers and God is ever all powerful, all wise." {Quran 4:165}

Humanity, who has followed many so-called guides or leaders only to be lead astray, had received true guidance through the prophets. These servants of God were created for a special mission. Already prophets in their mothers' wombs, their births were extraordinary. The extraordinary harmony in the universe displays God's existence and unity. Nothing is created in vain and without purpose, "Does humanity think that he will be left neglected (with out being brought to account for the obligatory duties enjoined by God on him)?" {Quran 75:36}

If prophets had not been sent, we might have had an argument against being punished in the hereafter. But, as the Quran states: "We never punish until we have sent a messenger." {Quran17:15}, God must sent prophets to that people cannot plead ignorance when they must defend their actions in the Day of Judgment.

Reference: Taken from the book: "The Messenger of God Muhammad"


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