The Muslim’s Belief (Chapter 5) – Sheikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-‘Uthaimin
By Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-‘Uthaimin & Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani
CHAPTER 5: MESSENGERS
We believe that Allah has sent to His people messengers who were “bringing good tidings and warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the Messengers. Allah is All-mighty, All-wise” (4: 165).
The First and Last Messengers:
We believe that the first among the messengers is Noah and the last is Muhammad, peace be upon them all: “We revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him” (4: 163); and “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets” (33:40).
The Best Messengers:
We believe that the best among the messengers is Muhammad, then Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus, son of Mary. It is they who are meant by the following Qur’anic verse: “And when We took a compact from the prophets, and from you, and from Noah, and Abraham, then Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn compact” (33:7).
We believe that Muhammad’s message, peace be upon him, includes all the merits of the messages of those dignified messengers, because Allah says: “He ordained for you what He enjoined on Noah and what He revealed to you and what He enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus; namely, establish this faith and be united in it” (42:13).
Messengers Are Human Beings:
We believe that all messengers are created human beings who have none of the divine qualities of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, said about Noah, who was the first among them: “I do not say to you, ‘I possess the treasures of Allah.’ I do not know the unseen, and I do not say ‘I am an angel”‘ (11:31) Allah directed Muhammad, who is the last among them, to say: “I do not say to you I possess the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say to you I am an angel” (6:50); and to say that “I have no power to bring profit or hurt for myself, but only as Allah wills” (7:188); and: “I have no power to hurt or benefit you. Say none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge besides Him” (72:91-2).
We believe that the messengers are among Allah’s servants. He blessed them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of praising and honoring them. He says about Noah, the first among them: “You are the descendants of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a truly thankful servant” (17:3).
Allah said about the last among them, Muhammad, peace be upon him: “Blessed be He who sent down the Qur’an to His servant, that he may warn mankind” (25:1). As for some other messengers, he said: “And mention Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might and vision” (38:45); “And remember Our servant David, who was a mighty and penitent man” (38: 17); “And to David, We gave Solomon, he was an excellent and penitent servant” (38:30).
Allah said about Jesus, son of Mary: “He is only a servant whom We blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel” (43: 59).
We believe that Allah concluded all messages with the message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, to all people, because He said: “Say, ‘O mankind, I am Allah’s Messenger to you all. To him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth; there is no god but He. He ordains life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet who believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided”‘ (7:158).
Islam, The Universal and Final Message:
We believe that the Shari’ah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the religion of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants. He does not accept any other religion from anyone, for He, the Exalted, said: “Surely, the true religion in Allah’s sight is Islam” (3:19), “Today I have perfected your religion for you and I have completed My favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam to be your religion” (5:3), and “Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from Him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers” (3:85).
It is our opinion that whoever claims that any religion other than Islam is acceptable, such as Judaism, Christianity and so forth, is a non believer. He should be asked to repent.
It is also our opinion that whoever rejects the universal message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, rejects the message of all messengers, even if he claims that he believes and follows His Messenger. Allah, the Exalted, said: “Noah’s people rejected the Messengers” (26:105). Thus, Allah considered them as rejecting all of the messengers despite the fact that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also clear from the following verses: “Those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers, and wish to make division between Allah and His Messengers, and say: ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in others,’ wishing to take a midway course. Those indeed are the unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a humiliating punishment”(4:150-51).
We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophet hood after him, or believes in anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever and one who rejects Allah, His Messenger, and the Muslims’ consensus.
The Rightly Guided Caliphs:
We believe that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has rightly guided successors who carried out his Sunnah in spreading knowledge calling to Islam, and managing the Muslims’ affairs. We believe that the best among them and the most entitled to the caliphate was Abu Bakr as Siddiq, then ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, then ‘Uthman Ibn Affan and then ‘All Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with them all. Thus their succession to the caliphate was according to their virtues. Allah, the Exalted, who possesses infinite wisdom, would not appoint a ruler over the best of generations unless he was the most superior among them and had the best claim to caliphate.
We believe that the inferior among those rightly guided companions can be superior in a specific virtue to those who were better than him but that he does not deserve absolute superiority, for the elements constituting superiority are varied and numerous.
We believe that the Muslim Ummah is the best among nations, and Allah, the Dignified and Exalted, has blessed it, because He said: “You are the best nation ever brought forth for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah” The Prophet’s Companions:
We believe that the best among the Muslim Ummah are the Prophet’s Companions, then their followers, and then those who followed them.
We also believe that a group of this Ummah will always remain victorious on the right path, unharmed by those who let them down or those who oppose them, until the Day of Judgment.
We believe that the disputes that took place among the Prophet’s Companions were the result of sincere interpretations that they worked hard to reach. Whoever was right among them will be rewarded twice, and whoever was wrong among them will be rewarded once and his mistake will be forgiven.
It is our opinion that we should stop talking about their mistakes and mention what they deserve of beautiful praise. We should purify our hearts from hatred and malice against any of them, because Allah said about them: “They are not equal: those among you who spent and who fought before the conquest of Makkah. Those are higher in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised a great reward” (57:10). And Allah said about us: “And those who came after them say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not put in our hearts any malice against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are the most Kind, Most Merciful”‘ (59:10).
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