The Human-ness of Muhammad

by Rebecca Marlene Sebastian

18:110 Say: I am only a BASHAR (mortal) LIKE YOU; it is revealed to me that your god is one Allah, therefore whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not join any one in the service of his Lord.

41:6 Say: I am only a BASHAR LIKE YOU; it is revealed to me that your God is one Allah, therefore follow the right way to Him and ask His forgiveness; and woe to the polytheists;

-Notice when Muhammad was told to say clearly that he was only a bashar like us, he is then commanded to also say YOUR GOD IS ONE. Allah connects the point of Muhammad being only a bashar and Allah being the only 1 whom we serve.

So then, those who have grown up believing that Muhammad was far beyond being a bashar like us, they may be saying “but he didn’t make any mistakes, he was perfect” to which I want to advise them to take heed of the word of their Rabb. I will now relate to you a few ayati of the Qur’an that beg to differ about Muhammad being infallible.

33:37 And when you said to him to whom Allah had shown favor and to whom you had shown a favor: Keep your wife to yourself and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, ***and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him***. But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them;

66:1 O Prophet, why do you prohibit what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

9:43 May Allah pardon you, [O Muhammad]; why did you give them permission [to remain behind]? [You should not have] until it was evident to you who were truthful and you knew [who were] the liars.

From these verses we can see that the Prophet was fallible and was in need of Allah’s forgiveness and assistance. This is not by any means a way to degrade him, he and all the messengers were the best of those who submitted to Allah, the strongest of believers in Allah, and the noblest in good deeds! This is in fact to protect the character of the prophet and even his very nature as is described by Allah and Muhammad himself in the Qur’an. This is only to share the truth about the man, a man who had desires and weaknesses, fears and needs just as any mortal, yet he accomplished what he accomplished and he resisted turning away from the Qur’an as much as the people begged him and fought him to make him give up and he refused ! If one truly loves and respects the messenger, they ought to turn to the Qur’an for the truth about him rather than to the literature of men that was produced no earlier than 100 years after his death.

10:15 And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Bring us a Qur’an other than this or change it.” Say, [O Muhammad], “It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day.”

Love and Heaven in the Quran

by Abdur Rab

Love occupies a pivotal place in the uplift of human beings, which is their spiritual evolution that ultimately enables them to enjoy a state of perpetual bliss or heaven.

Heaven is a state where there is peace and happiness, love, grace, and beauty (Quran, 6:127, 15:46, 56:36-37, 55:70), a state where there is no rancor or bitterness (7:43; 15:47, 19:62; 56:26), no fear, and no grief (46:13, 43:68, 35:34). This is a state earned by the righteous people (who practice taqwa) (46:13). What is most striking is that at the same time God also says that He endows the righteous people with love (19:96). This highlights the role love plays in our spiritual wellbeing.

Just imagine how beautiful and wonderful our life would be in this world, if there were love all around and no rancor. Our existential growth critically depends on how we can extinguish all hate and resentment from the earth and establish an abode of peace, love, grace, and beauty.

To be in a state of love is what makes life worth living. It is associated with purification of our soul (nafs). Our soul in turn gets inspiration to distinguish right from wrong and its purification leads to all round progress and success (91:7-9).

“It is Love that underlies all creative activity. God manifests Himself through His rule of mercy or Love throughout the universe (6:12).” Love begets love. God loves those who love Him (5:54).

“Indeed noble actions are inspired by Love rather than by any selfish motive. With such actions we can do the maximum good for all. Love prevails eventually. The path of human progress is toward Love, and those who love God will ultimately prevail over those who reject Him, i.e., over those who abandon the path of progress toward good or godliness.”

“Those who are endowed with Love, which is an embodiment of Divine Love, are very blessed indeed, for such persons are not very many on earth. They are forerunners of spiritual progress for themselves as well as for others in society. God loves them (3:31), and God and angels bless and support them (33:41-43).”

Development of love and acquisition of knowledge should go together to reap the full benefits of these nobler qualities. Excessive love not matched by commensurate knowledge may land one into trouble. Hence we should seek knowledge together with love. That seeking knowledge is very important is evident from God’s advice to our Prophet to seek to increase knowledge (20:114). Those who are endowed with knowledge are a special category of people who are blessed by God (2:267). Gaining both love and knowledge or wisdom should be a principal goal or prayer in our life. (Quoted parts are from my book “Rediscovering Genuine Islam… , pp. 53-54. Please buy the book here.