Appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the Words of His Relatives

Monday, August 4, 2008

Alireza Tajeriyan

Philosophy of appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)

Why Mohammad (AS) was appointed prophet? Many people have tried to answer this question, but a good answer has been given by Imam Ali (AS) who had been raised by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and has witnessed his prayers and supplications before God. He had seen the angel Gabriel descend on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and he was the closest person to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

In the first sermon of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) has explained about the philosophy of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) appointment, noting, “Until the Almighty God appointed Mohammad (AS) to prophethood in order to keep His word and complete the process of prophethood; a prophet to whom all previous prophets had sworn allegiance and signs of his prophethood were known to all and his birth was a blessing for all. It was a time when people on earth followed different religions and different methods. Some of them likened God to phenomena and others attributed His valuable names to idols while yet others worshipped other deities. Then the Almighty God guided people by appointing Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and delivered them from ignorance. Then He chose to take His prophet to Him and chose whatever was with Him for Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and exalted him by getting him out of this world and relieving him from all problems and hardships.”

In Sermon 147 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) said, “God appointed Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in order to save His servants from worshipping false idols and guide them to His own worship and salvage them from following Satan to His own obedience. He did that through the Quran whose meaning was strengthened by Him in order for His servants to know His grandeur, which they did not know, and admit to existence of their Lord after a long period of denial and after not knowing anything about God.

Then, the Almighty God introduced Himself to His servants through His Book and showed His power to all and warned them of His wrath and how He punished and demolished peoples living before them with the scythe of His revenge.”

Also, in Sermon 198 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) explains about the philosophy of Mohammad’s (AS) appointment to prophethood and talks about difficulties he went through by saying: “Then the Almighty God appointed Mohammad (AS) as prophet when the world had almost reached its end, the signs of end of the world were on the horizon, their prosperity had given way to darkness, the world was on the verge of annihilation, flags of the world were moth-eaten and lives had been shortened. At that time, God appointed Mohammad (AS) to convey His message, as the spring rain for those seeking truth to be a cause of pride for Muslims and a dignity for his own assistants.”

Appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Period of Ignorance

It should be noted that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) rose when ignorance had engulfed the whole Arabian Peninsula; baby girls were buried alive for being girls; Kaaba had turned into a big idol house; and there were no signs of honesty, kindness and sincerity in Arab society….

In the second sermon of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Ali (AS) has described the pre-Islam Period of Ignorance as such: “God sent the Prophet of Islam when people were deep in troubles; the cords of religion had been cut and pillars of faith and certainty were unstable. People were discrepant in principles of religion; the way to salvage was difficult and there was no haven; the light of guidance was flickering and blindness of hearts was prevalent. People acted in defiance of the Beneficent God and Satan was assisted; faith was left alone, its pillars had been destroyed and its signs had been denied; ways toward it had been ravaged and forgotten. Ignorant people obeyed Satan and treaded his paths and were fed by him. At their hand, the signs of Satan were revealed and his flag was hoisted. Sedition had trampled upon people and had crushed them under its feet. People, however, were misguided, uninformed, and bewildered. They lived in proximity of the best house (Kaaba) and the worst neighbors (idolaters). Their sleep was similar to wakefulness and tears never left their eyes; it was a land where scholars were silent and ignorant people were honored.”

In Sermon 26 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) has expounded on the appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and prevalent culture in the Period of Ignorance, saying, “God, appointed prophet of Islam, Mohammad (AS), to warn the world and be depositary of divine revelations. At that time, you Arabs followed the worst religion and lived at the worst abodes; among caves, harsh stones and dangerous poisonous snakes that lacked hearing. You drank unclean waters and ate unpleasant food; you shed each other’s blood without any right and severed blood relations; idols were worshipped among you and you were engulfed by sins and corruptions.”

In Sermon 89 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) describes the time when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was appointed as such, “God appointed Prophet of Islam after a long time had elapsed since previous prophets and nations were in a deep sleep. The world had been engulfed by sedition and corruption and bad habits prevailed everywhere. The flames of war could be seen everywhere and the world was without light and full of deceit and wile. The leaves of tree of life had turned yellow and there was no sign of any fruit. The life water had been depleted and old signs of guidance were abandoned. The signs of annihilation and obliquity hovered over people’s heads and the world looked at people with an ugly and sober face. The fruit of the world at the Period of Ignorance was sedition and death. It was full of fright inside while swords of tyranny ruled outside.”

Outcomes of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) Appointment

After Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was appointed, he gave a divine color to all cosmos and spread knowledge and mercy on earth. He talked of monotheism and called on people to worship the Almighty God. He introduced humans to true meaning of human values and enlightened truth with his sacred being.

In Sermon 33 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) enumerates outcomes of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) rise to prophethood as such: “Verily, God appointed Mohammad (AS) prophet at a time that no Arab followed a divine book and none of them had any claim to prophethood. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) promoted ignorant people to status of true human dignity and guided them toward salvation. Therefore, their spearheads were never blunted and they triumphed in order to strengthen their society.”

In Sermon 104 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, he has said, “After praising Lord, the Almighty God appointed Mohammad (AS) when Arabs had not read any Book and had no claim to prophethood.”

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) fought adversaries with the help of his friends and guided them toward salvation before death called upon them. He was tolerant toward the oppressed and supported the weak until he guided everybody to the right path except those who treaded the path of misguided. He saved all and positioned them at the right position of salvation until their lives became prosperous and their spearheads were sharpened. By God! I was following that army until the Vice was defeated and retreated and all peoples obeyed the leader of Islam. I never stood still, was never scared, never betrayed him, and never felt weakness. By God! I divided Untruth to bring the Truth out of its flank.”

In Sermon 106 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) has pointed to the outcomes of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) appointment saying, “O people! Due to bounty of prophethood and out of God’s favor, you have reached a level that even your servants are respected and your neighbors are treated kindly. People who respect you are those over whom you have no superiority and no right; people who fear you are not scared of your government and you are not governing them.”

In Sermon 192 of Nahj-ul-Balagha, Imam Ali (AS) has noted, “Now look at great divine bounties upon you after the appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that how he connected their obedience to his religion and united them through his message. How divine bounties were bestowed upon them and they lived in comfort and welfare. They were awash with divine gifts and lived in happiness. Their social affairs were organized in the light of Islam and they established a lasting rule. Then they became rulers of the world and ruled those who had governed them before and enforced divine laws on those who previously enforced laws on them and nobody could have beaten them in the past and nobody ever dared to face them.”

Yes, the main outcome of prophethood of Mohammad (PBUH) was that he united followers of all divine religions and relieved them from exploitation. He taught humans to trust in God for salvation and admit to unity of God. He showed the world that members of the Islamic society are like a single body and when one organ is in pain, the whole body will react.

As a result of his prophethood, Paradise is located under the feet of mothers who were already buried alive as girls. Lying and dishonesty were denounced as the most hated things and emphasis was put on telling the truth. Overcoming one’s wrath was considered true power. Orphans were looked after and were provided with respectable lives. The main criteria for superiority of humans were their fight against wanton whims and virtuosity. Skin color, race, ethnicity, or nationality were not considered causes of superiority for one man over another.

As a result of his prophethood, ignorance is considered the worst form of poverty while wisdom is the ultimate wealth and thinking is the noblest form of worship.

Appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the words of Fatemeh Zahra (AS)

Fatemeh Zahra (AS) was daughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). She was born in the house where divine revelations descended and was frequented by Gabriel. So, it would be better if we look at his prophethood through the eyes of Fatemeh Zahra (AS).

After Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) died and people wronged his family, Fatemeh Zahra (AS) went into the mosque and delivered a sermon which has become a hallmark in the history of Arab. She used the most eloquent words to describe prophethood of Mohammad (AS) and situation of Arab people both before and after his appointment.

After praising God, she said, “I bear witness that my father, Mohammad, was the servant and messenger of God who was chosen prophet before he came into being. God gave him a good name, which deserved him. It was when creatures had not come into being and God was knowledgeable about all things and aware of all developments. He appointed Mohammad (PBUH) to finish His job and do what was destined to be done. The Prophet (PBUH) saw that every people had adopted a religion and every group had resorted to a source of light. Every group was worshipping an idol and they had totally forgotten about God.

Then, the Almighty God lit darkness with the light of Mohammad (PBUH) and cleared people’s hearts from darkness of infidelity. He did away with covers and chose Mohammad (PBUH) to be close to him. He relieved him from the sufferings of the world and took him to where angels live.”

In another part of her speech, Fatemeh Zahra (AS) explained about all the difficulties that her father went through in order to promote Islam and monotheism.

Then complaining about the wrongs done to Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) family by people after his demise, she said, “When God decided to take Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) life, people revealed their other face. Nobody was enthusiastic about following religion and every unknown man had a claim. Satan rose from his place of hiding and invited you to himself. How fast you heard him and followed him and how easy you fell into his trap and danced at his music!”


طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم