The Holy Prophet’s Remembrance is Exalted
Allah says in Quran while describing the grandeur of His Beloved Prophet:
وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ
Meaning: And We exalted for you your remembrance. (by annexing it to Ours everywhere in the world and in the Hereafter) (94: 4).
Allah did not say in the above verse that He will be exalting Holy Prophet’s remembrance (zikr). Rather He said, “We exalted for you your remembrance”.
Someone may ask;
from when did Allah start exalting Holy Prophet’s remembrance and until when it will remain exalted?
The answer to that is:
ever since Allah has been present, and until Allah will remain! He is immortal and eternal!
Therefore, the Holy Prophet’s remembrance and name is everlasting and will be eternal and immortal. This is because he was Prophet even when Adam was in the process of being created i.e. between clay and water. Once Angel Gabriel (Jibreel) told Prophet Mohammad about himself that he did not know his age. However, he said he knew only that there is a star of Divine light that rises after every seventy thousand years in the fourth layer of veils of Divine light and he had seen it for seventy thousand times. The Holy Prophet replied, “O Jibreel! That star is me.”
Holy Prophet’s Remembrance is Dignified in All the Realms
Allah has dignified Holy Prophet’s name and his remembrance to all the stations, whether they are known or unknown to His creation, in this world and far beyond because He is “Rab-ul-Alameen ” and His beloved is “Rehmat-ul-lil-Alameen ”. Allah is the Lord of all the realms that He has created. And Mohammad is the Prophet and Messenger in all of them. Therefore, Allah has exalted the zikr of Holy Prophet in all of the realms. The count of realms is beyond our knowledge or intuition, but Prophet Mohammad’s name is dignified in all of them.
So, it is above our intellect and wisdom to understand the reality and grandeur of Holy Prophet. In the above verse of Quran, the use of word “Laka” لَكَ meaning “for you”. It explains the fact that Allah says “My beloved! I do not care whether someone is pleased or not. I am the Master, the Indifferent to everything. Everything is dependent upon Me, but when it is about you, I have exalted your zikr only to delight you.”
‘To exalt’ is a comparative action, for example people sitting on stage are at a higher place than those on the ground. And the people on the roof of a building are at a higher place than those on stage. So, the elevation or exaltation requires something in comparison to provide a measure of the difference. However, Allah has not presented anything parallel to the Holy Prophet’s remembrance. It reflects that Allah wants to highlight that there is nothing worthy of comparison to His Beloved. Thus, total absoluteness is meant here, which proves that the ultimate exaltation is only for His beloved. That is because his dignity is immeasurable, unprecedented and incomparable. Nothing from any of the created worlds is worthy comparison to his remembrance.
Holy Prophet’s Remembrance is Beyond Comprehension
If the verse وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ is considered minutely, it transpires that nothing exists in the universe that is more exalted and revered than the Holy Prophet’s remembrance.
Allah says, “My beloved! We have raised your name higher than each and everything.” All our traits and attributes like intellect, knowledge, reading, dialogues, arguments, discussions and dialectics come under the word “thing”.
So, the crux of this verse is that Allah has raised the zikr of His beloved beyond man’s knowledge and wisdom. And is far above his thinking, insight, intuition, readings, arguments and dialogues. If someone flies for whole of his life, the point where he would end, Holy Prophet’s remembrance is even higher than that. Thus, to argue about Holy Prophet’s rank means to try to establish his status and stature which is utterly waywardness, triviality and ignorance (because the centre and pivot of faith is the sacred self of the Holy Prophet). Allah Himself has exalted the zikr of His beloved in such a manner that He has mandated to remember his name along with Allah’s name. Hazrat Abdullah Bin Abbas describes that Allah said to the Holy Prophet:
لَا اُذْکَرُ فِیْ مَکَانٍ اِلَّا ذُکِرْتَ مَعِیْ یَامُحَمَّدُ مِمَّنْ ذَکَرَنِیْ وَلَمْ یَذْکُرَکُ فَلَیْسَ لَہُ فِی الْجَنَّۃِ نَصِیْبٌ۔
Meaning: O’ Mohammad! I have mandated your remembrance with Mine. Whosoever remembered Me but didn’t mention you, has no place in the paradise. (Durr-e-Mansoor Vol.6)
Allah Mandated Holy Prophet’s Remembrance with His
The best example of the elevation of Holy Prophet’s zikr is the call to prayer (Azan). The Azan is called five times a day. When the Muazzin (person who recites the call) announces the Oneness of Allah saying أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله (I witness that Allah is One) along with it, he also proclaims the messenger hood of His beloved by calling أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ ٱلله (I witness that Mohammad is Allah’s Prophet). Thus remembrance of the Prophet is mandated with the remembrance of Allah. The learned people know that Azan is the Islamic ritual that resounds in every nook and corner of the world throughout day and night.
Islamic Call to Prayer
First of all, the sun rises in the islands located east of Seychelles. At 5:30 am, with the rise of dawn in eastern most islands of Indonesia, Muazzins start reciting Fajr Azan. Thousands of Muazzins recite the Tauheed (Unity) of Allah and the Risalat (Messenger hood) of Prophet Mohammad simultaneously. From these islands, the series of Azan extends towards the west. The atmosphere in Jakarta resounds with the echo of Azan for an hour and a half. Then it begins in Sumatra and before it ends in the western towns and villages of Sumatra, Azan starts in the mosques of Malaysia. After Malaysia comes the turn of Burma.
From East to West
This continuation of Azan from Jakarta reaches Dhaka after an hour. Before it ends in Bangladesh, it spreads from Kolkata to Srinagar extending towards Mumbai. And then whole of India resounds with the proclamation of Tauheed and Risalat. The time of Fajr Azan in Srinagar and Sialkot is same. The difference of time from Sialkot to Quetta, Karachi and Gwadar is forty minutes. Before ending in Pakistan this continuation advances towards Afghanistan and Muscat. From Muscat to Baghdad it takes an hour. During this period the sound of Azan constantly resounds in Hijaz, Yemen, Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq.
Again, the difference from Baghdad to Alexandria is one hour. During this hour Azans forward to Syria, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan. The cities of Alexandria and Istanbul are situated in the same region. From eastern Turkey to western Turkey the difference of time is one and a half hour. During this period the echoes of Tauheed and Prophethood are heard throughout this region. From Alexandria to Tripoli, the duration is one hour. And during this period, the Azan continues in Southern Africa, Libya and Tunisia. The Azan which initiated in the Eastern Islands of Indonesia covers a journey of nine and a half hours without any break at any point and reaches the Eastern coast of Atlantic Ocean.
Continuous Recitation of Azan
Before the Fajr Azan reaches the Atlantic Ocean, it’s time for Zohar prayer in the Eastern Indonesia. By the time, Zohar Azans begin in Dhaka, the Asr Azans start echoing in the Eastern Indonesia. This sequence hardly reaches Jakarta in one and a half hour that the time of Maghrib prayer approaches in the Eastern Islands of Indonesia. The sequence of this Azan hardly reaches Sumatra from Seychelles that the time of Isha approaches. When the sequel of Isha Azans initiates in the Eastern Indonesia, the Fajr Azan again start resounding in Africa.
In summary, there is not a single moment on earth during which thousands of Muazzins are not announcing the Greatness of Allah and the glory of Prophet Mohammad. This series will continue until the Doomsday. This fact provides the proof. And is one of the ways by which Allah has elevated Holy Prophet’s remembrance and grandeur.
Salat (prayer) is an important ritual in Islam which is obligatory upon every Muslim to offer five times a day and every Muslim who establishes prayer sends salutations upon the Holy Prophet in Tashahhud (a part of salat), it means salat is incomplete without the zikr of the Holy Prophet. Durood (sending blessings upon Holy Prophet) is a zikr and devotion that makes every supplication acceptable in the court of Allah. It is a known fact that if Durood is read upon the Prophet before and after a prayer, that prayer is guaranteed to be accepted in the court of Allah. Allah says, if you want to ask something from Me, first read Durood upon My beloved, I will grant your wish. This is another way of dignifying His beloved’s zikr.
Only Allah Knows Holy Prophet’s Reality
However, it is impossible to admire the Holy Prophet according to his grandeur and reverence. That is because it is beyond one’s capacity to comprehend his Reality. The Holy Prophet says, “Nobody knows my Reality accept Allah.” To laud and glorify him is a beautiful form of supplication and devotion and Durood is another name of his commendation. Nevertheless, the sacred Durood is a gift of blessings and devotion, proclamation of his majestic grandeur and of the perfect faith in the court of the lord of the Prophets and the beloved of Allah. Durood is another name of his respect, honour. It is admiration of his exquisite attributes, marvels and of our infinite love and adoration for him.
Allah says in Quran:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Meaning: Surely, Allah and (all) His angels send blessings and greetings on the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). O believers! Invoke blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation of peace abundantly (and fervently) (33: 56).
Allah Himself Sends Salutations Upon Holy Prophet
This is the only devotion in which Allah has included Himself. Allah Almighty, His Angels and the believers send salutations upon the Holy Prophet.
Sending Durood by Allah upon the Prophet means:
- Allah is exalting his zikr.
- He is granting domination to his religion every moment.
- Allah superseded Sharia of all previous prophets by the Sharia of Prophet Mohammad. He has proclaimed to maintain the Shariah of His beloved forever for the future generations. Allah proclaims that adoption of the Holy Prophet’s lovely styles and manners (Sunnah) is the actual and basic good deed of the believers and a source of redemption and gaining Divine closeness.
- Allah is elevating his dignity and grandeur with every passing moment as Allah mentions in the Quran:
وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَى
Meaning: Indeed, every following hour is a better (source of eminence and exaltation) for you than the preceding one (93: 4).
- On the Day of Judgment, Allah will grant him the status of intercessor. Allah will make him a source of people’s salvation from the torments of the Day. Allah will say, “My beloved! Ask whatever you want, We will provide it, if you ask for intercession, We will accept it.” (Muslim Sharif)
- Allah blesses the believers with Divine vision through his mediation.
Salutations by Angels and Mankind
For the angels, sending salutations upon the Holy Prophet means they pray to Allah in his favour to confer upon him the best and the greatest levels and prevail his religion in the world.
Durood by the believers also means to beseech Allah to elevate Holy Prophet’s dignity. As Allah and his angels send salutations upon him, Allah inculcates the believers to also commend His beloved.
The word Salah صلوة in the aforementioned verse has three meanings; the first one is to be compassionate and merciful due to love, second is to commend and the third is to supplicate. Therefore, when this word is used for Allah, the first and the second meaning will be taken. However, for angels and humans it would mean to request or pray to Allah.
The meaning of سَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا is to say Salam (salutations and greetings) in the court of the Holy Prophet. Allah has commanded the believers to present their salutations along with Durood in the court of the Holy Prophet. It is worth noting that Salam is presented to someone who is alive and present before someone. Therefore, it is meant to prove the eternal life of the Holy Prophet.
Although Allah has ordered us in the above verse to present Durood and Salam in the court of the Holy Prophet, but we confess humbly that we cannot praise and salute him enough according to his grandeur, so we say اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ means “O Allah! Only You exactly know the true grandeur and grace of Your beloved, therefore You send Durood and Salam upon him on our behalf, according to his exaltedness and majesty.”
Sunnah of the Holy Prophet
Furthermore, Allah has graced his zikr to such an extent that each and every aspect of his life, each and every manner, style, saying and action has been preserved. It is mandatory for the Muslims to follow them. None else other than the Holy Prophet in the history of mankind has the privilege and honour to have so many books written on their life. And more books are being written as the time goes by. These books have been written in every language of the world and continue to be written. When the non-Muslims put their prejudice aside and make the list of hundred most eminent personalities throughout the history of mankind, our beloved Prophet tops the list. This is the exaltation that Allah has bestowed upon His beloved.
In addition, each and every saying and act of Holy Prophet has been saved in the form of Sunnah. Allah has ordered the Muslims to follow the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. Whenever a Muslim follows any of his Sunnah, he is actually elevating his zikr.
Allah not only exalted the zikr of His beloved but also elevated the zikr of those who made Allah’s beloved, their beloved. Who knew Bilal ibn Rabah until he adopted the servitude of the Holy Prophet? If Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman and Ali had been famous, it would have only been limited to their tribes, region or period but it was due to the Holy Prophet’s company that whoever was attracted towards him became eternal just like himself. The more someone got closer to the Holy Prophet, the higher status they attained in the world and hereafter.
Companions of the Holy Prophet
The son of Khitab (Umar ibn al-Khattab) comes with a naked sword to murder (God forbid) the Prophet but the Prophet requests Allah to make Umar his Companion for the propriety of Islam. The Prophet’s wish is granted, the sword goes back into the girdle and instead becomes the sword of Islam, afterwards the same Umar brings over half of the world under the reign of Islam. He becomes Ameer-ul-Momineen (the Caliph of the believers) Umar Farooq and his name is recorded in the books of history as one of the greatest rulers. It is the alchemic effect of the company of the Holy Prophet that turned the ordinary men into great leaders.
Not only that but the mountains and caves where the Holy Prophet stayed were also blessed with reverence and became holy places for the Muslims. These were unknown mountains that had nothing significant like the Himalayas or the hills of Murree or the Alps. So, if they have any worth, it is only due to the Holy Prophet: one of the caves is known as ‘The Hira’ and the other ‘The Thawr’. People forget their ancestors’ names but even after more than fourteen centuries the names of sacred Companions and the caves are not only famous rather have the devotion and affection of billions of people. Sometimes I wonder if this is not a miracle then what is a miracle? Why do we only consider a supernatural event to be a miracle?
After the sacred Companions, in any era, someone who got closer to the Holy Prophet and made him his beloved such that he annihilated himself in his sacred self, he became Saint and the Prophet’s beloved. And his name became elevated according to his closeness and love of the Prophet. If you look around, you will find numerous Mausoleums of the Saints who lived centuries ago, but their names are still revered despite the opposition of their rivals. Rather, their zikr is elevating with the passage of time.
What else can be a better proof of the verse وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ ‘And We exalted for you your remembrance’, that the Holy Prophet’s remembrance was exalted, is exalted today and will remain exalted forever. It will remain so until Allah’s name remains exalted and will exist till the time Allah is present and He is everlasting.
It does not matter whether someone invocates the Holy Prophet loudly or secretly. Whosoever attaches himself/herself with the Prophet with sincere intention will become eternal just like the Prophet himself. This zikr is ever elevating and will always continue to be so as Allah has made it to be exalted. Anyone attached to it will have his name elevated as well. How can someone stop Holy Prophet’s remembrance from elevation when Allah Himself has promised to exalt it?
The original article is published in Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s Urdu book ‘Haqeeqat-e-Mohammadia’.
The English version of the article is taken from the English translation of this book by Yasmin Khurshid Malik with amendments by Waheed Hassan Sarwari Qadri.
 Sustainer of all the worlds
 Compassionate towards all the worlds