Muḥammad is not the father of any of your men, but rather the messenger of God and the seal of the prophets. ~ The Qur'an 33:40
This is a reminder bestowing the recognition, and an explanation declaring the eminence, of the paragon of the world and master of the children of Adam, the pearl of felicity and the foundation of mastery, the kiblah of prosperity and the kaabah of hopes, Muḥammad Muṣṭafā, the eminence of whose messengerhood is bound to the Beginningless and the exaltation of whose good fortune is joined with the Endless. The pulpit and mihrab are adorned with his name. The pillars of the religion and the foundations of belief were laid down by his explanation and clarification. That paragon was outwardly all ease and inwardly all comeliness. His expressions were eloquence, his secret core love. His spirit was from the light of exaltedness, his curtain the divine jealousy.His customs were the Shariah, his robe of honor intercession. Although God stripped the name of fatherhood from him, he was more tender and more lovingly kind than any father. He said, “For you I am like a father toward his children.”
It has been said that his tenderness toward his community is greater than that of fathers, but God did not call him the father of the community because of what preceded in the beginningless decree, the lordly judgment, and the divine predetermination. This is the fact that on the Day of Resurrection—in that greatest gathering place and most tremendous exposure, when the pavilion of all-subjugatingness is pitched, the carpet of tremendousness spread, the scales of justice hung, the prison of chastisement brought out from the veil, spirits come to the throat, eloquent tongues become dumb, all excuses nullified, and all relationships cut—it is then that all fathers will flee from their children, as the Exalted Lord said: “On the day a man will flee from his brother, his mother, his father” [80:34].
Adam, who is the father of all, will come forth and say, “Lord God, let Adam go, and as for his children, You know what You will do.” Noah will say the same, Abraham the same; Moses, Jesus, and the other prophets the same. All will tremble from the harshness of the rising and the terror of the resurrection. They will be helpless for themselves and will not attend to their children. They will say, “‘My soul, my soul!’ O Lord, release me, and do what You want with the children.” In that gathering place of the resurrection, Muṣṭafā the Arab will put his face in the dust, his musky locks falling on his hands, and let loose the tongue of mercy and tenderness:
“Lord God, my community is a handful of the weak and hapless. They do not have the capacity for Your chastisement and punishment. Forgive them and have mercy, and do with Muḥammad whatever You want.”
Because of the decree made in the Beginningless that fathers would flee from their children, He did not call him a father, lest on that day he flee from them and not intercede for them. Listen to another subtle point: He was not called father because, if he had been a father, his testimony as a father against his son would not be accepted by the Shariah. Tomorrow at the resurrection he will testify as to the justice of the community. That is in His words, “That you may be witnesses against the people and the Messenger may be a witness against them” [2:143].
O Prophet! Surely We sent thee as a witness, a good-news bringer, and a warner, inviting to God by His leave, and a light-giving lamp. ~ The Qur'an 33:45-46
Surely We sent thee with the truth [2:119]. “We, who are unique in divinity and peerless in unity, separate from creation in Essence and attributes, qualified by magnificence, creator of earth and heaven, shelter of every beggar and comfort of everyone familiar, knower of the secrets of creation and witness of the deeds of all, We sent thee as a witness, a good-news bringer, and a warner. We sent you to the creatures to give news of Our gentleness to the familiar, for they are worthy of caresses, and to warn the strangers, for they are worthy of being melted. Give good news to the friends that the house of felicity has been decorated for them and warn the enemies that the prison of hell has been heated up for them.”
And a light-giving lamp. “O paragon! The sun is the lamp of heaven, and you are the lamp of earth. The sun is the lamp of this world, and you are the lamp of the religion. The sun is the lamp of the spheres, and you are the lamp of the kingdom. The sun is the lamp of water and clay, and you are the lamp of spirit and heart. The sun is the lamp of this world, and you are the lamp of both this world and that world.
“O Adam, though you are the chieftain in the register of the chosen and the title-page of the book of the prophets, how can you be on the same road with Muḥammad? For you were struck by the pain of the address of Fall down from it, all together [2:38], and he is celebrating the joy of who took His servant by night [17:1].
“O Noah, though you are the elder of the prophets and your prayers are answered in the prophetic covenant, how can you have the capacity to be Muḥammad’s companion? You were distracted by the wound of ask Me not for that of which thou hast no knowledge [11:46], and he was taught by the gentle hand of thy Lord shall bestow upon thee so that thou shalt approve [93:5].
“O Abraham, though you are the leader of the creed and the embroidery on the robe of bosom friendship, you cannot be equal to Muḥammad, for you hid yourself with the accusation of no, it was the large one of them that did it [21:63], and he was in the rank of the sinlessness of to make him prevail over every religion [9:33].
“O Moses the speaking companion, though you are the confidant of the All-Merciful and made for the divine gentleness, how can you compete with Muḥammad? You were deprived by the blow of thou shalt not see Me [7:143], and he is intoxicated with the wine of dost thou not see thy Lord? [25:45].”
And give good news to the faithful that they will have a great bounty from God. ~ The Qur'an 33:47
“O Muḥammad! Give good news to the faithful that they will have a beautiful caress from Me, an endless generosity, a complete bounty—response for the supplicator, bestowal for the asker, help for the striver, increase for the grateful, reward for the obedient. Give them the good news that when I chose them, I saw the faults. I did not approve before I had examined the hidden things. With My own unneediness I chose the servants as they are. Give them the good news that what was there at first is today the same—a cloud raining down everlasting kindness for the faithful, bounty without end, favor without bounds. Give them the good news that even if a servant has many offenses, the bounty of the Patron is more than that, for every deed of a doer in every state is worthy of himself.”
All this that you have heard comes from the great bounty, but it is not the great bounty itself, for the great bounty is indeed another state and another caress—a spiritual life of delight with a hundred thousand hidden drums, an everlasting resurrection. The soul is mixed with companionship, the spirit clinging to its desire, the heart drowned in the light of finding. Because of the drowning, the servant does not discern the seeking from the finding. Because of the radiance of finding, it cannot be expressed. He burns in the fire of love and does not turn back from joy. With the tongue of his state he keeps on saying, “I keep on throwing the spirit-incense on the fire of passion.
The spirit is Your servant—it is not that I am generous.
When passion for You has burned away my spirit,
I will contrive to find a hundred spirits more.”
~ The Unveiling of the Mysteries and the Provision of the Pious (Kashf al-Asrār wa ʿUddat al-Abrār)
by Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī, Translated by William C. Chittick