Suratul Ahzab (verse 56 continued {part 2} and verse 57)

The reason for this is that in the above mentioned verse, Allah has also commanded the believers to send ‘Salaam’ (peace and greetings) upon the Prophet (S.A), hence, this should not be left out. Like the ‘salah’, reciting salaam upon the Prophet of Allah is also rewarding. In this regard, it is narrated from Abdullah bin Talha that his father said, ‘One day the Prophet (S.A) came to us, and joy/happiness was visible on his face. We said, ‘(O Messenger of Allah) we see joy on your face! He said, ‘An angel came to me and said, ‘O Muhammad! Verily your Lord says, ‘Would it not make you happy that whoever sends ‘Salah’ (Darood) upon you, I will send ten blessings upon him, and whoever sends ‘Salaam’ (peace and greetings) upon you, I will send ten greetings upon him’. (Nasai, Ahmad, Darimi – Ibn Hibban – considered sound and a good hadith; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 211- Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

It is also narrated in a Mursal tradition from Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘There is no one from among you who sends ‘Salaam’ upon me when I die, except that his Salaam reaches me with Jibraeel (A.S). He (Jibraeel) says, ‘O Muhammad! This is so- and- so, the son of so- and- so, who recites Salaam to you’. (The Prophet said), I then say, ‘And upon him be peace, and may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 211 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

The above hadith mentions that even after the death of the Prophet (S.A), ‘Salaams’ should continue to be recited upon him. As stated in the tradition, the ‘Salaam’ (peace/greetings) is conveyed to the Prophet (S.A) through the media of an angel, and not that he personally hears it directly from the reciter (of the salaam), by being present in front of the person when it is being recited. Another hadith makes this point very clear and it states that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Certainly for Allah, there are angels who travel on the earth. They convey to me the Salaam from my Ummah’. (Ahmad, Nasai; from the hadith of Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) – graded as sound/authentic – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 211- Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

This hadith further clarifies the fact that Allah has appointed angels who travel and move about on the earth, for the purpose of carrying (and conveying) the Salaams that are recited by the believers to the Prophet (S.A). This is a well established teaching in Islam and is the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah (Sunni Muslims) on this matter. The statement that the Prophet (S.A) roams the earth and presents himself in gatherings where ‘Salaams’ are recited to him, is a fabrication and an evil innovation which has been concocted by deviated innovators. This is not from the teachings of Islam and it is against the creed of the Sunni Muslims. Believers must therefore guard themselves against this concocted belief and refrain from all such practices that are associated with it.

With respect to the above mentioned verse, many commentators have also written about the wisdom of making it binding upon the believers to send ‘Salah and Salaam’ upon the Prophet (S.A). Regarding this, the great scholar Allama Shaikh Ahmad As Saawi Al Maliki writes, ‘The wisdom of the ‘Salah’ of the angels and believers upon the Prophet (S.A) is that they may show honor, eminence and dignity (to the Prophet S.A). In this way, they have followed the way of Allah in sending ‘Salah’ upon him and elevating his rank and greatness. It is (also) a way of remuneration/compensation for some ‘rights’ that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has over the creation. It is so because he is the most significant means through which every favor has reached them. It is therefore a right upon those to whom a favor has reached, to compensate him (for that). Since the creation is totally unable to remunerate him (for the good he has done for them), they are required to request (and beseech) the All Powerful Lord (and King) to compensate him (on their behalf). This is the hidden message of the statement ‘Allahumma Salli ala Muhammad’ (O Allah send blessings upon Muhammad). (Hashiya Allama As Saawi – ala Tafseer Al Jalaalain vol.3 pg. 287 Dar Al Fikr Beirut)

Sura Al Ahzab continues in verse 57 and states:

57. Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger (S.A), Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment.

Mention is made about those who ‘cause harm’, ‘annoy’ or ‘hurt’ Allah and His Messenger and it states that Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter. The verse refers to everything that causes harm and annoyance to the Prophet (S.A) which then causes harm to Allah. In truth, no one can cause harm to Allah, however, when one causes harm to the Prophet (S.A) or any of Allah’s creation, it will be interpreted as causing harm to Allah. In this regard, it is narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A) that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Allah says, ‘The son of Adam causes harm to Me. He curses time and I am time (i.e. the Creator and Owner of time). I alternate his day and his night’. (Bukhari, Muslim – Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3 pg. 517 Amjad Academy Lahore 1982)

The background of this narration was that people in the days of ignorance used to curse time, and blame it for their misfortunes and sufferings. They believed that time was the reason for their hardships and difficulties in life. Their notion about time was wrong, for certainly it was Allah who was the doer of all actions and the Creator of their destiny. Blaming time was in reality blaming Allah since He was the Creator and the Owner of time. This is why in the hadith Qudsi, Allah said, ‘The son of Adam hurts me’. In this manner, many other people cause harm to Allah by disbelieving in Him, by inventing partners for Him, by saying that He has a wife and a son and by uttering statements against Allah.

In the similar way, many people cause harm to the Prophet (S.A) by denying him, by mocking him and the religion which he came with and by fighting against his message. All of these people, as well as others, are from among those who cause harm to Allah and His Messenger and will thus, face the curse of Allah in this world and the next.

While commenting on this verse, Hafiz Ibn Katheer has stated that the great exegete, Ikrama (A.R) has said that this verse was revealed regarding those who draw pictures of animate objects. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3 pg. 517 Amjad Academy Lahore 1982)

It is also narrated from Ibn Abbas (R.A) that the above verse was revealed regarding those who annoyed and taunted the Prophet (S.A) when he married Safiyah bint Huyai. (Tafseer Ibn Jareer At Tabari vol.22 pg. 54 Dar Ihya Turath Beirut Lebanon 2001)

Some commentators have also mentioned that the verse was revealed regarding the harm some people caused to the Prophet (S.A) when he appointed Usama bin Zaid (R.A) as the commander of the army on a certain expedition. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 212 Maktaba Rasheediya Pakistan)

Some scholars have mentioned that the purpose of the verse was to warn against causing harm to the Prophet (S.A) and annoying him in any manner. In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Katheer has stated, ‘It is apparent that the verse is general with respect to every such person who causes harm to the Prophet (S.A) in any manner. For indeed, whoever harms the Prophet (S.A) has harmed Allah, just as it occurs that when one obeys the Prophet (S.A) then he has obeyed Allah.

It is narrated from Abdur Rahman bin Al Mughafal Al Muzani that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Fear Allah, fear Allah with respect to my companions. Do not make them targets for your abuse after me (that is, do not make them targets for your criticisms/objections). Whoever loves them, loves them because of his love for me, and whoever hates them, hates them because of his hatred for me. Whoever harms them, has harmed me, and whoever harms me, has harmed Allah, and whoever harms Allah, then it is likely that he will be seized by Allah’. (Tirmizi – Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3 pg. 517 Amjad Academy Lahore 1982)

The above tradition shows the great status of the Sahabahs (R.A) and the prohibition of criticizing them. It also shows that whoever causes harm to them will be deemed as having caused harm to the Prophet (S.A). The hadith further shows that whoever causes harm to the Prophet (S.A), has indeed caused harm to Allah. In general, the verse gives a clear warning to everyone about causing harm to the Prophet (S.A) in any manner. Taunting the Prophet (S.A), speaking ill of his practices (Sunnah), dress, manners and teachings, as well as making fun of his wear and actions that are known to be ‘Sunnah’, will all be considered as causing harm to the Prophet (S.A), and will thus bring about the curse of Allah upon such people in this world and the hereafter.