Lovers of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
Introduction to Ishq and Love
Before I begin translating this beautiful article, I deem it necessary to first clarify the meaning of the title ‘’Lovers of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).’’ Lovers here represent blind followers of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), who nurture immense love for him, who are always ready to sacrifice anything or everything to protect his honour. This love also known as Ishq, does not have connotations of lust and sexual intimacy. In contradiction, this love is reminiscent of the bond somewhere in between that of a child and mother and that of a man and his Creator. However, the concept of love in reality, is quite hard to explain because words are not sufficient to justify it.
Mian Mohammad Bakhsh says:
جنہاں عشق خرید نہ کیتا عیویں آ بھگتے
عشقے باہجھ محمد بخشا کیا آدم کیا کتے
Meaning: Those who have not loved, have lived a useless and purposeless life. There is no difference between a man and a dog without love.
Reality or beginning of Ishq/Love
What is the reality or beginning of love or ishq?
Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali (ra) says:
The Divine Essence was secret and hidden, then an intense passion to be recognized aroused in Him and He manifested Himself. Due to the wrath of Allah, everything started burning like a moth on the candle of His blazing beauty. Then the light of Ahad, concealed in the veil of ‘M’ of Ahmad, manifested Himself as Ahmad and everything found tranquility. When Allah behold Himself in Mohammadan light in the mirror of His Divine Nature, He adored His magnificent beauty and became His own lover.
(The Life and Teachings of Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali)
Then Allah granted such grace and importance to love that He kept its continuity till the day of judgment in the form of Quran and perfect faith i.e. Islam. Allah has always emphasized the grandeur of His beloved Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) since eternity. Regarding this, the perspective of the lovers is that the lover is only concerned with the invocation of His beloved. Allah Himself says this in the Quran:
وَرَفَعْنَا لَکَ ذِکْرَکْ
Meaning: And We exalted for you, your remembrance (by annexing it to Ours everywhere in the world and Hereafter). (94:4)
Allah connects His Dhikr with the Dhikr of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
Allah has elevated the invocation (dhikr) of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in such a way that He has made it necessary with His own invocation.
Abdullah ibn Abbas relates that Allah said to the Holy Prophet (pbuh):
“O Mohammad (pbuh)! Whenever someone invokes Me, there is also your invocation. If someone invokes me but does not invoke you, he would get no share in paradise.”
Among the invocations of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), Allah has granted supremacy to Salawat (salutations upon Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Salawat is that particular invocation and worship which makes every supplication acceptable in His court. Every sect and school of thought believes that if Salawat is recited at the beginning and end of any worship or prayer, then it is a must that it would get accepted. Therefore, Allah says that I will accept your prayer after you send Salawat and invoke my beloved Prophet (pbuh). This is another way of elevating the remembrance of the beloved.
(The Mohammadan Reality)
Adam’s recognition of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
Not only did Allah elevate the invocation of the master of both worlds since eternity but also made it beneficent to the extent that first the Prophets and Messengers took beneficence from it.
Umar bin Khattab relates that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said:
When Adam committed the lapse he requested in the Divine Court, “O my Sustainer! I beg your pardon in the name of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).” Allah Almighty inquired him how had he recognized (Prophet) Mohammad (pbuh) even though He had yet not given him birth. Adam replied, “O Allah! when You breathed Your Soul in me and I raised my head above, I beheld
لَآاِلٰہَ اِلاَّ اللّٰہُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰہ
‘la ilaha illAllah Mohammad ar-Rasool Allah’ inscribed on the pedestals of the Empyrean. Hence, I came to know that You have associated Your Holy Name with the name of the most beloved of Your creatures.” Allah approved of Adam’s information with the saying, “O Adam! you are truthful. Actually Mohammad is the most beloved to Me. That is why when you requested Me in his name, I forgave you and if Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was not there I would not have created you.”
At the beginning of this article, it has already been established that Allah was the first to love Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Therefore, it is Sunnah of Allah to love the Holy Prophet (pbuh). There are two types of lovers of Prophet Mohammad ((pbuh). First are those who have been chosen since eternity. Second are those who became lovers by virtue of adopting the heritage or company of the lovers of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Chosen lovers of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) since eternity
Sultan Bahoo states in his book Risala Roohi Sharif:
Know! When the Noor-e-Ahadi (Noor of The One), coming out of His isolated Oneness, intended to manifest Himself in multiplicity, He graced (all the worlds) with the splendid sight of His pure Divine beauty. Both the realms started burning like a moth on the candle of His Blazing Beauty. Then, the Noor of Ahad concealed in the veil of (M) of Ahmad and manifested Himself as Ahmad. He then shook Himself seven times due to the abundance of Divine passionate Will, with that seven purged souls of Fakirs, annihilated in Allah, immortal with Allah, absorbed in the Divine vision, all core without any flesh or body, drowned in the unfathomed ocean of the Divine beauty appeared on the eternal tree of pure transparent belief seventy thousand years before the birth of Adam…
They are the Sultan-ul-Faqr (Sultan of Faqr) and Syed-ul-Kaunain (lord of all the worlds). One of them is the sacred soul of the queen of the doomsday (Fatima Razi Allah Anha). One is the sacred soul of Hasan of Basra. One is the sacred soul of our spiritual guide, the reality of Truth, the absolute light, the exact manifestation of the Divine Truth, the beloved of Allah, Sayyid Shaikh Mohiyuddin Abdul Qadir Jilani. One is the sacred soul of the Sultan of Divine lights and the secret of eternal Divine Self, Shaikh Sayyid Abdul Razzaq, who is the son of Pir Dastgir (Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani). One is the soul of the eye of Hoo, the secret of secrets of the Divine Essence and annihilated in Hoo, Fakir Bahoo. Two among them are the souls of other Saints. (Risala Roohi Sharif)
These sacred words reveal that lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh include the People of Cloak, the Companions, Tabiun, Tiba Tabiun, perfect Fakirs and Sufi Saints (revealed or concealed).
Companions and Their Love for Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
It is stated in Sahih Bukhari that Anas ibn Malik related that the Holy Prophet’s illness of death became so worse that his sacred body became too feeble to go to the mosque to lead prayers. 3 days elapsed in the same condition and Monday came. Due to his illness, the Prophet pbuh appointed Abu Bakr to lead prayer on his behalf and he would fulfil his duty the way Prophet pbuh wanted it to be done. On Monday, Abu Bakr was leading the prayers and the companions stood in prayer behind him. The Holy Prophet pbuh felt a little better and went towards the door of his sacred room. He pushed the curtains aside, to see his devotees praying under the supervision of Abu Bakr. The Companions said:
Prophet Mohammad pbuh removed the curtains of his sacred room and stood watching us. He was smiling and his countenance was like the pages of holy scripture.”
Hence, when he unveiled the door, his face was beaming with a full smile. His happiness reflected upon his face. The companions say that his countenance was similar to an open Quran.
Kaaba of the Kaaba
Many of you would have had the good fortunate of visiting the tomb of Prophet Mohammad pbuh. Envision al-Masjid an-Nabawi and Riyad al-Jannah. If you are praying in this mosque, then the sacred room of Prophet pbuh comes in the direction of your left shoulder and the arch is quite far.
Keeping this in view, imagine the Companions offering Salat with the Prophet’s room on the left side. The door opens, curtains are raised and a smiling countenance appears. However, it is not possible to look at it since the attention and eyes are fixed on the place of prostration during the state of Salat. Then how did the Companions see his sacred face turned towards the Kaaba.
The truth is that, Companions turned their gaze towards the beloved Prophet pbuh to his beautiful smiling countenance. They had turned their eyes from the Kaaba towards the Kaaba of the Kaaba just to see the view of the beaming face of the Holy Prophet pbuh.
Anas ibn Malik further narrates:
When we looked at the sacred countenance of the Holy Prophet pbuh, we felt so happy and relieved and we suspected that we might end up leaving our prayers in between. (Sahih al-Bukhari, book al-Jama’ah-wal-Imamah)
Exegetes have written in the exegesis of this tradition that the Companions were thinking of the likelihood that they might disconnect their prayers and engross in their beloved Prophet’s sacred vision. At that moment, they were in a strange state of rapture as they were getting the pleasure of his vision after three day’s separation. Their intellect was stressing upon the completion of the prayer and seeing him afterwards. However, the love inside them reminded them that the real Kaaba of the Kaaba is the Holy Prophet pbuh. The intellect prohibited them to divert from the Kaaba because the prayer would be broken. On the other hand love exhorted them:
نمازیں جو قضا ہوں پھر ادا ہوں
نگاہوں کی قضائیں کب ادا ہوں
Meaning: If the prayers are missed, they may be offered afterwards in compensation, though the rejoicing vision of the beloved’s face should never be missed as it has no compensation.
The mind thought that if eyes are diverted from the Kaaba then the prayer is not fulfilled. Love understood that if the diversion of eyes is to the beloved Prophet Mohammad pbuh then prayer reaches the point of ascension.
Love overpowers Intellect
In this dilemma, love became victorious. Intelligence was defeated. The Companions beheld the sacred face of the Holy Prophet pbuh in between their prayers. Their state was such that prayer was about to be left in between.
According to Hadiths, Abu Bakr felt the presence of the Holy Prophet pbuh and while everything was changing, he came into the front row. In the words of the tradition:
Abu Bakr moved backwards on his heels to merge into the row. He felt that the Holy Prophet pbuh was coming to pray. (Sahih al-Bukhari, book al-Jama’ah-wal-Imamah)
When the Holy Prophet pbuh witnessed that all the followers had forgotten their prayer and the leading person had also left his place as well as all were attentive to him leaving the direction of Kaaba, he said pointing that, Meaning: “Complete your prayer”. His smile seemed meaningful as if saying, “O’ my dear Companions! Congratulations, you have become successful in the test which I wanted to take from you.” Hence, he dropped the curtain and went inside. (The Mohammadan Reality)
The mentioned Hadiths prove that the Companions loved the Holy Prophet pbuh to the extent that they were drawn towards him to please him. His sacred vision was so dear to them that they would forget everything else.
It is a fact that neither love nor the grandeur of Prophet Mohammad pbuh can be described through words. Only the narratives and spiritual states of the lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh can describe it to a certain extent. We can understand it a bit through the love which companions had for the Prophet pbuh. This is present in many Hadiths of Sahih Bukhari.
Companions the Lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
When Urwah ibn Masud came as an ambassador of Quraish for the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, he described the sacred Companions’s love for the Prophet pbuh which is narrated by the tradition tellers in the following words, “Urwah ibn Masud started gazing at the Companions, he kept watching them that whenever the Prophet pbuh spat, they would catch his sacred saliva one after the other and rubbed it on their faces and bodies. Urwah observed that the Prophet’s order would immediately be obeyed and whenever he did ablution, Companions would rush to receive his used water and tried to excel each other. The people when spoke, kept their voices low in his company and would never fix their gaze at him just for his reverence. Then Urwah returned to his comrades and expressed his feelings to them, “O’ my people! By God, I have been to the courts of various kings with delegations, I have been to courts of Chosroes and Caesar and Negus. By God! I have never met such a king whose people respect him in the manner the Companions of the Prophet Mohammad pbuh do. By God! When he spits, they receive the sacred saliva of their beloved on their hands which they rub on their bodies and faces and obey him as soon as he orders something. To get his used water of the ablution they are ready to fight with each other. They keep their voices low before him and cannot see him with a full gaze out of his respect.” (Bukhari Sharif) (The Mohammadan Reality)
Imam Tibrani relates a tradition from Aisha bint Abu Bakr:
“A man came to the Holy Prophet pbuh and was having a constant gaze on his sacred face in such a manner that neither did he wink nor move his eyes towards anything else. The Prophet pbuh noticed his plight and asked, “Why are you staring at me in such a way?” He replied abruptly, “O’ the Messenger of Allah! I sacrifice my life on you, I am just rejoicing in viewing your sacred Countenance.” (The Mohammadan Reality)
Abu Bakr - The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
Aisha bint Abu Bakr says in the context of Abu Bakr’s love for the Prophet pbuh, “My father used to remain at the Prophet’s pbuh service the whole day and felt sad at night when he would come home. He remained anxious the whole night to see him. The pangs of pain in his separation troubled him and till the time he would not see the beloved’s sacred face, his plight remained the same.”
Umar ibn al-Khattab - The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
It is referred from al-Bukhari by Abdullah Bin Hashaam that the Holy Prophet pbuh was accompanied by us and he had held Umar ibn al-Khattab’s hand. The latter asked, “O’ the Messenger of Allah! You are dearer to me than everything except my life.” The Holy Prophet pbuh replied, “I swear by the Divine Essence who is Owner of my life, you cannot be a true believer until I am dearer to you even than your life.” Umar said, “By God! Now you are dearer to me even than my life.” Hence the Prophet said, “O’ Umar! Now your faith is complete and perfect.” (The Mohammadan Reality)
Uthman ibn Affan - The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
During the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Prophet Mohammad pbuh sent Uthman ibn Affan as the Ambassador to Makkah for negotiations with the infidels in Makkah. They were adamant that they would not left the Holy Prophet pbuh enter Makkah nor would allow him to perform Haj (pilgrimage). When Uthman ibn Affan reached, the Quraish said that before they begin with the negotiations, he can first perform Tawaf (circumambulate around Kaaba) if he wants to. Uthman ibn Affan was a lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh who said:
“By Allah! I will not perform Tawaf until the Holy Prophet pbuh performs Tawaf.” (Al-Shifa)
Ali ibn abi Talib - The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
Someone asked Ali ibn abi Talib that what kind of love did he nurture for the Holy Prophet pbuh. He replied:
“I swear by Allah that the Prophet pbuh is dearer to us than our lives, riches, children and parents. We love the Holy Prophet pbuh more than a thirsty person loves cold water.” (Shifa edition 2)
Bilal ibn Rabah- The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
When the time of death approached to one of the greatest lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh, Bilal ibn Rabah, his wife was quite grieved. However, he exclaimed:
“What joy! Tomorrow I shall meet my beloved Prophet Mohammad pbuh and behold him and his beloveds.” (Zarqani Ali al-Muahib edition 6, Shifa edition 2)
Owais al-Qarani - The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
Whenever one writes about the lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh, it is necessary to mention Owais al-Qarani. He is counted among the Tabiun. He lived during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammad pbuh. He accepted Islam but never got the chance to meet the Holy Prophet pbuh. It was his love and desire to behold Prophet pbuh which kept him anxious. It is narrated that once Owais al-Qarani heard that the Holy Prophet pbuh had lost a tooth during the battle of Uhud. When he was unable to figure out which tooth was lost, he broke all of his teeth in the upsurge of his feelings of love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh. (Khawaja Owais al-Qarani pg 5)
After the companions, whoever got closeness of the Holy Prophet pbuh in any era, he made the Prophet pbuh his beloved by annihilating in him (in Faqr-Sufism- this level is called Fana fi-Rasool). Hence, he became a Saint and beloved of Prophet Mohammad pbuh.
Words would not be adequate nor would they be able to do justice, if we start writing the love of Saints and perfect Fakirs for Prophet Mohammad pbuh.
Wasif Ali Wasif describes this state in an appreciable and comprehensive way:
“Before these people were given physical existence, their souls were under the spiritual training of Prophet Mohammad pbuh.”
The Night of Ascension
The reality of the lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh has been explained in these few words in a comprehensive way who were chosen since eternity. Let us explain this in detail. On the night of ascension when Angel Gabriel reached with Buraq, Buraq appealed, “I wish Prophet Mohammad pbuh touches my neck so that on the Day of Judgment, it is a sign for me.” The Holy Prophet pbuh accepted his request. As soon as the Prophet touched him, Buraq got caught with such delight and pleasure that his soul was unable to stay within his body and he blew up in the air about 40 hands high. This short gap was due to an eternal hidden wisdom. The sacred soul of Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani RA requested to Prophet Mohammad pbuh, “My Master! Bestride me and place your feet on my neck.” The Prophet bestrode him and said:
“My foot is at your neck and your foot is at the neck of all Saints.”
(Qatadi Rizvia edition 28)
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani - The Lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh
This incident proves that Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was a lover of Prophet Mohammad pbuh Since Eternity and all the Saints got the gift of love through his beneficence and would keep getting it. Therefore, he who follows and abides by Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani whole heartedly, becomes successful and hence, receives the treasure of the love of Prophet Mohammad pbuh.
It is written in the book ‘Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’ published by Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications that Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman was granted the title.of Shabeeh-e-Ghaus al-Azam from the Mohammadan Assembly due to his struggle for immortalizing Islam by spreading the light of Faqr. This title of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, concisely highlights his struggle and incredible efforts to spread Mohammadan Faqr (Sufism) for the guidance of the mankind.
Sultan Bahoo RA says:The perfect spiritual guide is the one, who grants you presence in the Mohammadan Assembly. Only he can grant you Divine union and Oneness.
Murshid (Spiritual Guide) Takes One to the Mohammadan Assenbly
Hence, it is due to the grace and beneficence of the Murshid that one is able to reach the Mohammadan Assembly and Oneness with Allah. This book published by Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications is a proof that Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen spiritually trains his disciples and converts them into lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh by virtue of being Shabeeh-e-Ghaus al-Azam. This is the second level of the lovers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh (they get the blessing of becoming a lover by the spiritual company and loving the chosen lovers of Allah). They become the lovers by pledging allegiance, loving and adopting the company of the perfect spiritual guide of their era.
بشکلِ شیخ دیدم مصطفیؐ را
نہ دیدم مصطفیؐ را بل خدا را
Meaning: In the countenance of my Murshid, I beheld Prophet Mohammad pbuh. While I beheld Prophet Mohammad pbuh, I saw Allah.
Love is similar to the ocean whose depth is impossible to measure and describe. Hence, we will understand this through Wasif Ali Wasif’s words:
“A person of present era cannot send Salawat to a person of the past. The giver and receiver of Salawat should belong to the same era. You can send Salawat (salutations upon Prophet Mohammad (pbuh by going either to the past or by finding the Holy Prophet pbuh in this era. It is impossible for you to send something to the past from present. The era has to be same to address and to converse. You cannot send something to someone if there is no one to receive it.”
This reality has also been explained in the book Fusus al-Hikam of Allama ibn Arabi:
Prophet Mohammad pbuh has been gracing every era, from the beginning to the end, with his presence while changing his physical appearance in the form of perfect human beings.
Love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh is the practice of Allah and it was due to this love that Allah decided to create other human beings so that the entire creation loves Prophet Mohammad pbuh. Therefore, for this purpose Allah specifically chose few purified souls since eternity and sent them in the form of Prophets, Companions, Saints and Fakirs. Moreover, Allah sends Prophet Mohammad pbuh in every era, although in different body each time, so that people can benefit spiritually from his company and teachings to gain love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh. He is called the Universal Divine Man or al-Insan al-Kamil and he is only one in every era. He has been blessed since eterntiy to benefit his people spiritually though his sight with the love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh. He is the perfect spiritual guide.
The Universal Divine Man
The Universal Divine Man and perfect spiritual guide of this era is Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. He is the 31st Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order and adorns the sacred throne of guidance and persuasion as the perfect Shaikh. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has purged the selves of countless disciples to selves at peace due to his spiritual beneficence. As a result, the highest spiritual levels of the Mohammadan Assembly and marifa are granted. Undoubtedly, these exalted levels are impossible to reach without love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh and love for Allah which are both blessed by the grace of the perfect spiritual guide.
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo says:
The Universal Divine Man is actually the perfect spiritual guide. Hence, the love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh is achievable only through love for the perfect spiritual guide. One who achieves love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh gains the greatest victory in the whole world.
- Shams-ul-Fuqara by Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman
- The Mohammadan Reality by Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman
- Risala Roohi Sharif by Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman
- Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen published by Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications
This article is the English translation of the Urdu article ‘Ashiqaan-e-Mustafa sall Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam’ by Mrs Uzma Shakeel.
Neyn Tara Sarwari Qadri has translated it into English with minor changes. To read the original article, click the link below:
Q1) How can I get the love of Prophet Mohammad?
The love of Prophet Mohammad pbuh can only be acquired after one reaches the Mohammadan Assembly which is achievable after one’s innerself in purged by the grace and spiritual traing of the perfect spiritual guide.
Q2) What is required to love the Holy Prophet pbuh?
Love for Prophet pbuh is present in every human in the form of a seed. This seed grows into a plant after one pledges allegiance and adopts company and follows the perfect spiritual guide.
Q3) What is a follower of Prophet Mohammad called?
Companions of the Prophet, Arabic Ṣaḥābah or Aṣḥāb, in Islam, followers of Prophet Mohammad pbuh who had personal contact with him, however slight. Tabiun, Tiba Tabiun, Saints and Fakirs.
Q4) Why should we love our Prophet?
Love for the Holy Prophet pbuh is the key to closeness with Allah and the only way of success in both worlds.