Monday, 15 August 2011

Proper etiquette when describing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

 

Can it be said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was a “Bedouin”?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Our Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the noblest of creation and the leader
of mankind, the most beloved of Allaah’s creation to Allaah. He has a
station of praise and glory, a cistern to which many will come (on the Day
of Resurrection). Allaah chose him from among all the children of Adam, and
selected him from among the best of the Arabs in descent and lineage. He was
born in the greatest of Arab cities of that time, in Makkah al-Mukarramah,
the best spot on earth, the most beloved of land to Allaah, which the Holy
Qur’aan calls Umm al-Qura (Mother of Towns) because of its status in Arabia
and in the whole world. 

Allaah, may He be glorified
and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And this (the Qur’aan)
is a blessed Book which We have sent down, confirming (the Revelations)
which came before it, so that you may warn the Mother of Towns (i.e. Makkah)
and all those around it”

[al-An’aam 6:92]. 

This noble status of the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) generated complete
respect in the hearts of his companions. Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be
pleased with him) stepped back from his position leading the prayer so that
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) could lead the
prayer, and he said: It is not for the son of Abu Quhaafah to pay in front
of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (684) and Muslim (421). 

Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari (may
Allaah be pleased with him) refused to go up on a roof beneath which was the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Narrated by Muslim (2053). 

‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may
Allaah be pleased with him) used to say: I could not look him in the eye
because of awe. If I were to be asked to describe him I would not be able
to, because I could not look him in the eye.  Narrated by Muslim (121). 

When al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib
listed, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did,
the animals that are not permitted as sacrifices, he said: My fingers are
shorter than his, and my fingertips are shorter than his, (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him). Narrated by Abu Dawood (2802); classed as
saheeh by Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid in al-Iqtiraah (p. 121) and by Shaykh
al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

And there are other kinds
of etiquette in which the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) set the
example for all of mankind in respecting and honouring the best of the
Messengers and the leader of mankind, (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him). 

As for describing him
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ways that are not
appropriate, or using inappropriate words, or narrating anything that
implies disrespect towards him, this is an abhorrent lie and blatant kufr,
because it is distorting facts and transgressing against the best of
Allaah’s creation, and no one does that but one who does not know proper
etiquette and who has no manners and no faith. 

Allaah, may He be glorified
and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“If you ask them (about
this), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at
Allaah ( عز و جل ), and His Ayaat
(proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His
Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you
were mocking?’

66. Make no excuse; you
disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish
others amongst you because they were Mujrimoon (disbelievers, polytheists,
sinners, criminals)”

[al-Tawbah 9:65-66] 

al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad (may Allaah
have mercy on him) says in al-Shifa (2/214): 

It should be noted – may
Allaah bless us and you – that everyone who reviles the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or criticizes him, or attributes some
shortcoming to him in his character, lineage or religious commitment, or any
of his attributes, or hints at that, or likens him to something by way of
reviling him, disrespecting him, belittling him, derogating him or finding
fault with him, is reviling him and comes under the same ruling as one who
reviles him, and should be executed. … The same applies to one who
attributes to him anything that does not befit his status by way of
criticism, or who uses foolish words when talking about him, or criticizes
him because of some of the calamities and disasters that befell him, or
tries to undermine his position because of some of his human
characteristics. 

There is consensus on all
of this from the scholars and imams who issue fatwas, from the time of the
Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) until the present day. End
quote. 

Undoubtedly using the word
Bedouin or describing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) as a Bedouin is obviously a kind of belittling him and criticizing
him, because describing someone as a Bedouin is derogatory, as it implies
ignorance, frivolity and roughness, whereas the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) was guided and taught by the Lord of earth
and heaven. He is described in the Tawraat (Torah) as: “He is not coarse or
uncouth, shouting in the marketplace.” And Allaah, may He be glorified and
exalted, described him as (interpretation of the meaning): “And verily,
you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) are
on an exalted (standard of) character” [al-Qalam 68:4]. So how can a
liar dare to describe him in any other terms?  Undoubtedly such audacity
deserves to be punished in this world and in the Hereafter. 

Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“But those who annoy
Allaah’s Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)
will have a painful torment”

[al-Tawbah 9:61].

Al-Nawawi said in Sharh
Muslim (1/169): 

The people of the desert
are the Bedouins, among whom ignorance and harshness are prevalent. Hence it
says in the hadeeth: “Whoever lives in the desert will become harsh.”
Al-baadiyah (the desert) and al-Badu (the Bedouin) refer to that which is
outside of the city as opposed to that which is civilized; the adjective is
badawi. End quote. 

The scholars have ruled
that every description which detracts from the status of the Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is kufr, even if it does not
state it clearly. Ibn Wahb narrated that Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy
on him) said: Whoever says that the cloak of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) was dirty, intending thereby to criticize
him, is to be executed. 

Ahmad ibn Abi Sulaymaan
(one of the Maaliki scholars, who died in 291 AH) said: Whoever says that
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was black, is
to be executed. 

The fuqaha’ of Andalus
ruled that Ibn Haatim al-Mutafaqqih al-Tulaytali was to be executed and
crucified, because of the testimony against him that he disrespected the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and called him
during his debate “the orphan” and so on, and claimed that his asceticism
was not deliberate, and that if he had had the means he would have eaten
good food, and so on. 

All of the above was
mentioned by al-Qaadi Iyaad in al-Shifa (2/217-219), then he said: 

Similarly, I say that the
ruling on the one who belittles him, or criticizes him for tending sheep, or
for making mistakes in prayer, or for forgetting, or for being bewitched, or
for being wounded, or for some of his armies being defeated, or for being
harmed by his enemies, or for going through some hardship, or for loving his
wives, the ruling on all of that, for the one who intends thereby to
belittle him, is that he should be executed. End quote. 

Calling him (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) a Bedouin is an obvious lie, because he
lived in Makkah, then migrated from there to Madeenah, which are the two
best cities in the entire world, so how could he have been a Bedouin? 

He did not live in the
desert except when he was a small child, when he was nursed among the
Bedouin of Banu Sa’d, by his wet nurse Haleemah al-Sa’diyyah. See:
al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah al-Saheehah by Dr. Akram al-‘Umari (1/103).  

Dr. Jawaad ‘Ali said in
al-Mufassal fi Tareekh al-‘Arab qabl al-Islam (4/271): 

Arab society was both
Bedouin and settled, people of tents and people of houses. As for the people
of houses, they were the settled inhabitants of the towns, who lived on
farms with date palms and livestock, and travelled about in the land for
trade. As for the people of tents, they were desert nomads who lived on the
milk and meat of camels, moving about seeking green land and places where
rain fell, where they would set up their tents and stay there so long as the
land was fertile and their animals could graze, then they would move on,
seeking pasture and water, and they were constantly on the move.  

Settlement was known, and
the settled Arabs were known as ahl al-madar (people of bricks). They were
known as such because the buildings of the towns were built of madar, which
were bricks of dried mud. 

And it was narrated that
the people of the desert were called ahl al-wabar because they had tents of
wabar (hair), to distinguish them from the town dwellers who had buildings
made of bricks. 

The name ‘Arab was given to
the city-dwellers only, i.e., to the settled population. The people of the
desert were known as A’raab. End quote. 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Hasan
al-Diddu (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: 

Why does Allaah say that He
only sent a Messenger from the people of the towns? 

He replied: 

With regard to the Prophets
being chosen from among the people of the towns, as Allaah mentions in His
Book, that is more appropriate to their high status, because the
desert-dwellers are always more arrogant and more ill-manners, and less
clean than others. Therefore Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The bedouins are the
worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to be in ignorance of the
limits (Allaah’s Commandments and His Legal Laws) which Allaah has revealed
to His Messenger”

[al-Tawbah 9:97] 

Being a city-dweller is not
the matter of lineage, so when a person is said to be a Bedouin, it does not
mean that his father was also a Bedouin, rather it means that he himself is
a Bedouin. So if a person from the desert settles in a town, then he is no
longer a Bedouin. So this description has to do with an individual person
and has nothing to do with his father, grandfather or lineage. 

The Messengers (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon them) were sent to guide and lead mankind. So
they had to know how to run affairs and this is something of which the
people of the deserts have no knowledge and to which they pay no attention.
Rather the people of the deserts live by hunting or following their flocks,
and they have many false notions and illusions. Ahmad narrated in
al-Musnad that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “Whoever seeks game will lose some of his reasoning and whoever
lives in the desert will become hard-natured.” Hence the Messengers were
chosen from among the population of towns and cities. End quote. Silsilat
Duroos Manshoorah (lesson no. 3/p. 9) 

The great scholar
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) said: 

The same applies to anyone
who mocks any of the signs of Allaah, or the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was narrated that a writer once wrote
something attacking the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) and saying that he was a Bedouin and that he tended sheep, and he lived
at a time when there was no progress, and there was no such and such.
Undoubtedly this is an attack on Islam, because this religion came to us
through this noble Prophet, so the one who attacks him by saying that he was
ignorant or that he was a Bedouin who did not know anything, or that what he
brought was just his own ideas, or that it was something that he imagined,
or that he intended thereby to become famous and acquire followers and so
on, is to be regarded as telling lies against Allaah and as disbelieving the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who brought this
religion, and as rejecting the Qur’aan and the entire sharee’ah. Undoubtedly
this is also a slander against Islam and against ‘aqeedah. This is what is
mentioned in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: Was it at
Allaah ( عز و جل ), and His Ayaat
(proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His
Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you
were mocking?” [al-Tawbah 9:65]; what is meant by mocking Allaah is
mocking His names and attributes, or mocking His words and criticizing them.
That also includes mocking the Qur’aan, as Allaah describes the kuffaar as
saying (interpretation of the meaning): “Those who disbelieve say: ‘This
(the Qur’aan) is nothing but a lie that he (Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم) has invented, and
others have helped him at it.’ In fact, they have produced an unjust wrong
(thing) and a lie” [al-Furqaan 25:4]. 

Undoubtedly they have
committed something that shows their lack of faith and religious commitment,
and because of that Allaah describes what they say as being kufr. The same
applies to those who slander the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) and say that he was ignorant or that he was a Bedouin, and so
on. End quote from the shaykh’s website under the following URL:

 

http://www.ibn-jebreen.com/print.php?page=6377 

Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd (may
Allaah preserve him) said in Mu’jam al-Manaahi al-Lafziyyah (496): 

Describing the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as a Bedouin is contrary to the
Holy Qur’aan, because he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
was one of the Arabs who dwelt in towns, not a desert-dweller. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “And We sent not before you (as
Messengers) any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of
townships” [Yoosuf 12:109].  

Those who have doubts in
their hearts always say things that prove their misguidance. In the 1390s
AH, a Bedouin writer wrote an article in which he stated clearly that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was a Bedouin, but
he was refuted by Shaykh Hammoud ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Tuwaijri al-Najdi in an
essay entitled Manshoor al-Sawaab fi’l-Radd man za’ama anna al-Nabi
sall-Allaah ‘alyhi wa salaam kaana min al-A’raab. And Allaah knows best.
End quote. 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar
al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Silsilat Duroos Sharh
Zaad al-Mustaqni’ (lesson no. 395, p. 7): 

If a person reviles the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) directly by cursing
– Allaah forbid – or belittling him such as describing the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a way that belittles him,
such as saying that he was a Bedouin who tended sheep, intending thereby to
denigrate him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and other
such phrases, then he is judged to be a kaafir. End quote. 

And Allaah knows best.

 

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