Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last Words of The Last Prophet Muhammad

Alhamdu li-Llahi, wa salamun AAala AAibadihi allazeena istafa!
Praise be to Allah, and peace on His adoring-servants whom He has chosen! - The Quran 27:59


1.
The lunar month of Rabiul Awwal (which means, First Month of Spring) is a very special month containing both the birth and departure of the seal of Prophethood, Prophet Muhammad, sallal-lahu 'alaihi wa sallam. During this month especially is remembered the seerah or the life of the Prophet across the globe.

The blessed life of the Holy Prophet is recorded in the most scientific and accurate methods with utmost details as compared to any other central personality of any other faith traditions known to humanity. And for this reason reading his life journey provides a very vivid picture of a personality whom God assures in the Quran (33:21) as one bestowed with "the most beautiful pattern and empowerment for the holy way of life." Thus from the perspective of practical spirituality, imitation is only possible in this cycle of time, with the Last Messenger Muhammad, and will remain as an open gate of possibility for the evolution towards perfect servanthood till the end of time.

La ilaha illa'Llah, Muhammad Rasul Allah

For the muslim mystics, saints or  theologians alike, the divine messenger Muhammad and his messengership is the visible aspect of God's activity. Emulating the Final Prophet's examples, the examples of the most perfected servant of God is the path to reach the greatest approximation. It is the tracing of the Muhammadan Path, the Praised Path. Its impossible to transport the exalted status and both the outward and the inward reality (haqiqa) of the Messenger in mere words. 

O Messenger of God!
with God I speak through veils,
with you openly!
Hu is my batin (hidden one),
you are my zahir (evident one).
- Sir Syed Iqbal

The ones who harmonize their whole being with the Messenger of Allah are harmonizing and unifying with Allah. - The Quran 4:80, translated on the level of tafsir by Shaikh Lex Hixon

In the Final Testament Muhammad is addressed as Rasul and Martin Lings help us understand the significance in his beautiful book, What is Sufism, ".. the Messenger (rasul) is not only the recipient of the Revealed Message but he also, like the Revelation, is 'sent' - that is what rasul means - into this world from the Beyond. The Divinity of the Rasul is veiled by the hierarchy of the spiritual degrees which mark the line of his descent, and the purpose of this veiling is to safeguard the doctrine of the Divine Oneness..."

While reading the life of the Mystic Master, for some reason I am deeply attracted toward the final moments of his illustrious life journey. One reason perhaps because during those moment of climax, immediately before his luminous spirit leaves his ailing body, his brief but precious words offer us a rare glimpse of his deep state of mystical realization. This person of great self-effacement, whose every minute and great public actions were observed, remembered and later described by his close companions, yet his intimate communions and utterly private mystical moments was only between him and his Lord. But when it comes to his final moments, the often veiled mystic personality of the Prophet shines through his final utterances that express his deep longing and certitude for union with the Supreme, which runs central to every mystical embodiment.

2.
Quoting from the book In the Footsteps of the Prophet by contemporary swiss philosopher and muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan, which describe the last moments of holy Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings:

The Prophet closed his eyes. Aishah was holding him against her, and she heard him whisper: "In Paradise, in supreme union ..." Then he recited the end of the verse: "In the company of those on whom is the Grace of God - the Prophets, the sincere, the martyrs, and the righteous; how beautiful is their company!"

He again repeated three times: "In supreme union!" [1]

His forearm suddenly sank down and his head became heavier, and Aishah understood that the Prophet had just breathed his last. He had departed to join his Lord, his Educator, his Friend, Who had called him back to Himself to let him at last find ultimate peace, beyond the world of human beings to whom he bad been sent to bring the final message from the Most Gracious. [2]

3.
Among other description of Prophet's life we find about his final words:

'Fir 'ala Rafiqeel'
Union with the Supreme Friend!
- Bukhari

Many times immediately before his return to his Lord, the Prophet, blessed be his noble soul, said, 'Allahumma fir Rafiqeel 'Ala'
O Allah, the Supreme Friend.
- Seeratun Nabi by Allama Shibli Nomani

'Ya Rafeeq-e-Ala'
"O Supreme Friend, unto You" - was the last words of the Beloved Prophet.
- Bishwa Nabi, Golam Mustafa

In his final hours, the Prophet was heard faintly repeating, "Allah, My Most Intimate Friend, towards You, union with You."
- Moruvashkar, Muhammad Wajad Ali

4.
On this blessed month of the two joyous occasions, the Holy Prophet's birth and his supreme union with his Beloved Lord, may we find the opportunity to learn and know about this rare personality in whom the model of the lost perfection for what it mean to be human in every possible role is remanifested.

We may remember and join with the sweet prayer that was read at the funeral of the holy Prophet by one of his most intimate companion, Hazrat Abu Bakr, may Allah bless him.

Ya Rasul Allah! May Infinite Grace of Allah be bestowed upon your holy soul. We bear witness that you have transmitted to us the Message of Allah in perfection. Until truth has come out victorious, you have performed your holy struggle. 'Allah is One and there is no other divine reality apart from Allah' - you have taught us this and have brought us near to His Presence. You have been ever merciful to humanity. Never have you asked any reward for bringing the religion of Allah upon every doorstep, neither have you compromised that religion to any one. O merciful friend, may your blessed soul be anointed by the boundless mercy of Allah. Ameen. 

 5.
As-Salatu As-Salamu 'Alikum ya Rasul Allah
As-Salatu As-Salamu 'Alikum ya Habib Allah
As-Salatu As-Salamu 'Alikum ya Rahmatalleel 'Alameen.


# Reference:
[1] As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Hisham
[2] In the Footsteps of the Prophet (Oxford University Press) by Tariq Ramadan, pg. 208

# Life of the Prophet: Download as PDF:
. In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad by Tariq Ramadan
. Muhammad: His life based on the earliest sources by Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din)


# Further:
. Reality of Prophet Muhammad (s) by Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee (via youtube)
. Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (Eminent Lives)
. The Life & Significance of Muhammad
. In the Footstep of the Prophet: Review at IHT, at NY Times
. Description of the Holy Prophet Pin It Now!

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