REFUTING THE BELIEF THAT THE PARENTS…

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REFUTING THE BELIEF THAT THE PARENTS OF THE PROPHET (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM) POSSESSED DISBELIEF

All Praise belongs to Allah Ta Aala, Peace and choicest salutations upon the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). It has become the custom and tradition for certain minorities to instigate some sort of annual controversy against the esteemed personality of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the latest of which has come via the social media of Facebook by unqualified internet researchers who have been striving to prove that the parents of Rsoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) were disbelievers. This brief article presented by the Islamic Lifestyle Solutions is a refutation against those who insist on a one-sided view of proving the disbelief of the Beloved parents of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) as the only view.

Tracing the roots of this misconception…

The simplest method, by which many Muslims of the modern era fall prey to this crooked thinking, is by the solitary application of the aql (intellect). People who have not studied the Seerah (Prophetic Biography) begin to evaluate scenarios solely on rationale! One such scenario is as follows:

“The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) announced his prophethood at the age of 40. His father passed away before his birth. His mother passed away when he was 6 years of age. Hence, his parents were disbelievers.” This is based solely on the rational faculty.

Then there are those whose belief is based on certain narratives which ostensibly imply the very belief they align themselves to. We will present the narrations or viewpoints which the people who possess such a wayward and isolated ideology utilize to prove the disbelief of the Beloved parents of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), followed by a refutation of such wayward thinking.

The overwhelming majority of the classical scholars of Islam have strived to maintain the Imaan of the parents of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) such as:

~ Imaam Jalaaluddin As-Suyuti (rahimahollah) wrote seven treatises on this subject alone proving in each one that the parents of the Prophet  were believers. “Massalikul Hunafa” being the most renowned.

~ Imaam Fakhruddin Raazi (rahimahollah) in Asraarut Tanzeel

~ Allaamah Aaloosi (rahimahollah) in Tafseer Roohul Ma’aani

~ Allaamah Ismail Haqqi (rahimahollah) in Tafseer Roohul Bayaan

All of the above erudite scholars have favored the opinion that the parents of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) were indeed believers.

However, the basis of the minority objection is located in the following hadith:

Hadhrath Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) reported: “Verily a person said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, where is my father? He replied, ‘He (Your father) is in the fire’. When he (the man turned away), he (the prophet) called him and said, “Verily my father and your father are in the fire”.[1]

The Arabic word used here to describe a father is ‘Ab’. The Ulama of Hadith have mentioned that the usage of the word ‘Ab’ in the Qur’an has not always been in utilized in the context of a father, but sometimes to describe an uncle. On that basis, the word ‘Ab’ here was an indication to the prophet’s uncle Abu Lahab.

Some of the giants of Islam have written treatises on this subject in favor of the validity of the Imaan of the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) parents. Herein lays the view of the Scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

Proof 1: The Hadith in Sahih Muslim which cites the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) saying that his father is in the fire does not give us the right to say such things. The Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) of Allah Ta Aala himself taught this to us:

“Hadhrath Amr (radhiyallahu anhu) mentions that when Ikramah bin Abu Jahl (radhiyallahu anhu) arrived in Madinah, the people congregated and were saying, “Look! He is Abu Jahl’s son! The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘Do not speak ill of the dead and (in the process of doing so) cause harm to the living.”[2]

By mentioning Abu Jahl in the presence of his son who was now a Muslim, they were hurting Hadhrath Ikramah (radhiyallahu anhu) who was now a Muslim. Taking this into consideration (that the mention of a parent in a negative light in the presence of a son would cause harm to the son) we should be absolutely cautious when addressing these issues, lest we become amongst those who have caused harm to the Prophet(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and ipso facto earn the warth of Allah Ta Aala.

Proof 2: Hadhrath Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whenever people were divided into two groups, Allah placed me in the superior one until I was born from my parents. No action of the period of ignorance was ever joined to me. I have been born from the nikaah of my parents. I have also been transferred from the most purified, from Hadhrath Aadam u until my parents. Thus I am the most excellent amongst you and the most superior to any of you with regards to genealogy.”[3]

Proof 3: Sayyidah Ayeshah (radhiyallahu anha) mentions that the Messenger e of Allah Ta Aala was at a place known as Hajoon and he was very sad. He remained here for as long as His Lord wished him to remain. The Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) returned from there very happily. I inquired as to why he was so sad initially and so jolly now. He responded: “I requested my Lord, and He brought my mother back to life. She brought imaan in me and Allah caused her to die once more.” [4]

Upon presentation of the aforementioned narration, those who believe that the parents of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) were indeed disbelievers immediately respond by saying that his narration has been mentioned by some scholars as being weak and fabricated. This is because the scholars quote another hadith which is in direct conflict with the above narration. That supposed contradictory narrative is as follows:

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) stated: “I asked permission from my Lord that I may ask forgiveness for my mother. Allah did not grant permission.” [5]

Solution: Imaam Qurtubi (rahimahollah) explains however that the two narrations are not conflicting. He elucidates that the incident whereby the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was not granted permission to seek forgiveness for his mother occurred first, whilst the incident of his parents being brought back to life occurred at a later stage. The incident of the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) parents being brought back to life occurred around the farewell hajj. Others have said that the narration concerning the parents of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) being brought back to life are Maudhoo’ (fabrication) on the basis that those who die without Imaan will not be forgiven and even those who see the angel of death and bring Imaan will not be forgiven. This however is not the basis to deem the narration as fabrication since the Qur’an mentions in Surah Baqarah the story of the man who was killed. Allah ta aala brought him back to life. He identified his killer and was then returned to his state of death. The Qur’an also teaches that Nabi Isa u was given the power to bring the dead back to life. Since the superiority of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is prevalent throughout his blessed life in the form of many miracles, this miracle of the Prophet e is both logically as well as being in accordance to shariah, highly possible.[6]

Proof 4: Imaam Fakhruddin Raazi (rahimahollah) states with absolute clarity his viewpoint, that the parents of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) were not disbelievers:

Commentating on the verses 218-219 of Surah Shu’ara, he commenced by explaining the different interpretations of the verse. Imaam Fakhruddin Raazi (rahimahollah) then went on to explain the Imaan of the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) parents. The essence of his analysis is as follows:

This verse tells us that all the ancestors of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) were Muslims. It also tells us that the father of Nabi Ebrahim u was not an idolater. Nabi Muhammad’s (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) ancestors were not polytheists as he himself said that he was passed on from pure spine to pure womb since Allah Ta Aala has stated in the Qur’an, “Indeed, the Polytheists are altogether impure”[7]. In other words, they are not pure. This leads to the conclusion that the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) ancestors were not polytheists. [8]

Proof 5: Sayyidona Ali bin Abi Taalib (radhiyallahu anhu) mentioned that there has always been a minimum of seven or more believers on the face of the earth. [9]

Proof 6: Hadhrath Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) has narrated that when there is no person on the face of the earth to remember Allah, then qiyaamah will occur.[10]

It is well known by the scholars of seerah that Zayd bin Amr bin Nufayl who lived during the life of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), but passed away before the proclamation of prophethood, was a follower of the true deen of Nabi Ebrahim (alahis salaam) . Similarly, is it so far-fetched to believe that the parents of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) were not on the religion of Abraham u whilst there were others in Makkah at the time who were following that religion? If Zayd bin Amr Bin Nufayl was on that true religion prior to the proclamation of Prophethood, then it is indeed highly plausible from an Aqli (intellectual) standpoint for the parents of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to be on that true religion too!

Proof 7: It has been narrated that the during the illness of Sayyidah Aaminah (radhiyallahu anha) which led to her demise, she directed some poetry at Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) . This couplet is undoubtedly indicative of her acknowledgement of true Abrahamic faith as cited in proof 6.

فَانت مبعوث الي الانام ، من عند ذي الجلال والاِكرام ، دين ابيك ابراهام ، فالله انهاك عن الاصنام ،

“To creation have you been sent, from the Honorable Lord. Upon the religion of your father Abraham, your Lord has forbade you from the worship of idols.”[11]

This may just as well be – by my insignificant calculation- the earliest record of the Naath (praise) of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). I stand corrected if not.

Proof 8: Qadhi Abu Bakr bin Al-Arabi (rahimahollah) was once asked regarding such a person who says that the parents of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) are in the fire of hell. He responded by saying that such a person is accursed in this world and the next as Allah Ta Aala has mentioned in the Qur’an:

“Indeed those who malign Allah and his Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter and has prepared for them a humiliating torment.”[12]

Such is the wrath of Allah Ta Aala in this verse that He curses those who cause harm to the Beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in this world and the next. Allah Ta Aala further goes on to state that he will prepare a severe punishment for them as well.

Conclusion: No true Muslim in his correct senses would utter such insults against the Messenger e of Allah by addressing his parents as disbelievers. We also learn that it is very dangerous to take a hadith in isolation and base an opinion on that narration without checking the archives of Ahaadeeth in htat particular subject for alternate viewpoints. We have proven that some of the most honored scholars who are regarded as authorities in Hadith have clarified this issue in favor of the Imaan of the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) parents. We pray to Allah Ta Aala that we may never be accursed for spreading slander in the direction of the Beloved Prophet

[1] Sahih Muslim
[2] Taareekh e Dimashq Allaamah ibn Asaakir
[3] Imaam Bayhaqi in Dalaailon Nobowwah
[4] An-Naasikh Wal-Mansookh, Hadith 630, Imaam Qurtubi mentioned a similar narration with more detail.
[5] Sahih Muslim
[6] At-Tazhkirah by Imaam Qurtubi
[7] Surah Taubah, 9:28
[8] Asraarut Tanzeel, by Imaam Fakhruddi Raazi
[9] Musannaf Imaam Abdur Razzaaq. A similar view has been mentioned by Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal on the authority of Hadhrath Abullah ibn Abbas t
[10] Sahih Muslim, Tirmizhi
[11] Haafizh Abu Nuaim in Dalaa’ilon Nobowwah narrated from the mother of Umme Salamah bin Rahm
[12] Surah Ahzaab, 33:57

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