Miracle of the Expression “Ashaab”
Here is another miracle of Islam for you. I have said this also in some other place, but let me say it again. Just think about it for one moment.
All kinds of people in this world have all kinds of “followers.” However, no one in the entire history of the human race — to the extent we know that history — had more devoted and dedicated followers than Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Is it fair to say that? Yes or no?
You are looking for proof and miracles and I am giving you proof after proof and miracle after miracle. So give me a clear answer, at least in your own head say yes or no. Is what I am saying correct or is it not correct?
Did anyone else have a larger following in his own lifetime? Did anyone else teach and train as many of his followers as personally, directly and one-on-one as did Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
Were anyone else’s followers more devoted and loyal to him than were the followers of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
The eye-witness testimony of the unbelievers of Makkah, at the height of their hate and hostility toward him, was that they had never in their entire life, and throughout their experiences at the royal courts of the East and the West, seen a more devoted, obedient, respectful or loyal following than the companions of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Am I right or wrong in that?
Muslim Obsession with the White Race
The sheer magnitude of the following of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, during his own lifetime, that is not proof enough for you, Muslims? And beyond sheer numbers, the quality of the people who became his followers, is that not big enough of a miracle for you?
If it is not, then no miracle or proof in the world will convince, impress or satisfy you. For, in that case, what you want is not proof or miracle but something else.
In that case, maybe what you are really looking for is for the White people of the West, and in particular the American and the British White people, to leap out of their chairs and cry in unison, “Wow, what a miracle!”
Once that happens, maybe you will then go back to your homes and live happily ever after quoting and repeating to yourself and others “Look what the White folks say about Islam. They say Islam is right. Isn’t that amazing? And if they say Islam is a miracle, then it must be a miracle, right?”
I suspect Muslims that is what many of you are really after. You don’t seem to be in this for proof or miracle for yourself. It is the White people you want to make happy. I have had a lot of people come up to me and ask what to say when non-Muslim Whites and others say this or that about Islam.
Come on, let us face it.
You are not in this out of personal curiosity. You are not looking for personal satisfaction. You are just looking for ways to please, placate or shut up the White folks who may be critical of your Deen, or Qur’an or Prophet.
Once the White Western critics are silenced, you will go your merry way till such time as some other White person jolts you out of your slumber with a new set of attacks or slander against Islam, Muslims, the Qur’an and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
Isn’t that what is going on here?
More on the Miracle of the “Ashaab”
Wait, wait, wait, I am not done. I did not finish analyzing the supernatural phenomenon of the Ashaab of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. So, help me to do that by answering some questions.
Were the men, women and children who responded to the call of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, just plain ordinary people? Yes, there were men among them, which is no big surprise. But there were also women – that is right women – among them, which many people probably never seriously thought about.
And there were also children among them. And there were slaves as well as free people among them. That is how broad the appeal and impact of the message of Islam was.
But you know what the common factor was that united them all? They were all lions, and lionesses and lion cubs, each one of them. That is right. That is who they were before they embraced Islam and that is who they turned out to be after they entered the noble fold of Islam.
They were the kind of people no one could trifle with. Their courage and confidence and their manhood and womanhood were beyond legendary. They were the only example of its kind in human history and no one at any time or in any culture, “religion” or place comes anywhere near them.
If you think that an Umar, or a Khalid or an Abu Bakr or an Ali or an Uthman or a Talhah or a Zubabair would listen to anyone or do their bidding just to make them feel good, then you don’t even begin to know or understand anything. Or if you think a Bilal or a Sumayyah or a Khadijah or an Umm Salmah or a Mus’ab were the kind of people you can push around, then, I really feel sorry for you.
These were men, women – yes, there were plenty of women among them – and children, slave and free, that mountains could not move and tigers could not scare. And yet words of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, moved and melted their hearts so profoundly that they jumped to carry out his slightest wish and command.
And the only reason they did not throw themselves at his feet in devotion and prayer was because he would not let them.
This is not the star-eyed musing of a naïve believer, this is the rock-solid evidence provided by history – the only true and genuinely authentic history of a period or people that exists in this world today.
So, don’t forget that it is people like these that became his “followers” – more loving, loyal, devoted and obedient than the followers of any other leader of any kind before or since.
No Other Leader Had Followers like These
And, as I indicated earlier, these were no ordinary men and women.
Before Islam, they were all proud, self-respecting, fierce and free children of the desert, for most of whom their sword was their final arbiter and point of reference. And yet when they embraced Islam, they became such faithful followers of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that his merest wish became their most sacred and urgent command.
So complete was their personal devotion to him that not even a drop of water did they allow to fall to the ground when he washed his feet or face as he performed Wudu or ablution. They scooped it up and rubbed it on their faces and bodies.
When he read the Qur’an to them, they sat frozen as if birds were perched on their heads.
Just like I said before, some of the best of them seemed heartbroken that he would not permit them to throw themselves at his feet in prostration and prayer. Others readily fell to their knees in front of him — not a popular custom among the wild warriors of the endless deserts of Arabia – saying if a camel can do it, so can we.
Can’t we, they pleaded. No, he said firmly and sweetly as only he could.
Their devotion to him was so complete, so profound and so deep that when the enemy invaded them and they were forced to defend themselves, they defended him with their own bodies and warded off incoming enemy arrows with their bare hands.
And, in addition to all that, every single thing that they did in their lives, they did exactly the way he had either told them or shown them. He called the way he did things his Sunnat — his way — and they followed his way — his Sunnah — to the letter as well as in spirit.
So, who in history had more devoted followers or had more of them purely in terms of numbers during his own lifetime? No human being ever followed another human being so devoutly, so completely and so faithfully, either in form or in spirit or both, as the Companions of Muhammad, Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, followed him.
Is that miracle enough for you? Is that proof enough? Yes or no?
And yet what does he call them? Does he call them his “followers”? No, he simply refers to them as his “Companions.” Even though Almighty Allah in the Qur’an calls them his followers — Alladheenat-Taba-‘oohu — and tells him to tell them to follow him — Qul in Kuntum Tuhibboonallaha Fat-tabi-‘oonee — he himself tends to refer to them as “My Companions” — Ashaabee.
Here, take this proof, if it is really proof you want. If it is something else you want, then, may Allah help you. Those who came after his Companions, history and practice refer to as Taabi’een and Tab’taabi’een: meaning “followers” and “followers of followers.”
But for his own contemporaries, for those who were his most ardent and devoted followers in his own lifetime, history and practice use the most unique expression of its kind in the world, “Companions.” For, that is what he called them when he was among them.
Again, don’t forget that they were not just a few or a fistful of individuals — but a veritable mass of humanity that was the cream of the neighboring Arab populations of the day: tens of thousands of men and women of all ages and social status of a living, tumultuous and virulent Arabia.
Miracle of Human Equality
These were the men, women and children whose lives he had profoundly reshaped and remade throughout the length and breadth of Arabia. He accomplished all this at a time when there were no newspapers, no radio, no television, no film and no Internet!
Nor did he spend millions or billions of money to entice and bribe them. Nor did he hire armies of professionals to do propaganda, public relations or advertising for him.
The way he lived was so simple that his house did not even have a guard. The noble concept of human equality never saw a more glorious day under the sun than when Muhammad moved among his Companions — Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
When he sat down in a group among his so-called “followers” — his Ashaab or companions as he called them — he became such a complete part of them, and he was so indistinguishable from the least prominent among them, that an onlooker could not tell the difference.
Visitors and strangers, who did not know him from before, almost invariably ended up asking: “Which one of you is Muhammad,” Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
What a living miracle and what a practical proof of human equality this was — and continues to be to this day. For, even after the passage of 1400 years, that is how the Muslims of the world — this blessed and beautiful Ummah of Allah’s beloved Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam — refers to them: The Sahaabah!
Sahaabah Kiraam: the noble Companions.
Radiyallahu ‘Anhum! That is how Allah put it in the Qur’an talking about them and that is exactly what the Muslim Ummat says about them to this day. If that is not a validation of the Qur’an in real life, what is?
This is yet another miracle. And this is yet another proof that this Qur’an is from God; that Islam is from God; and that this man Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is indeed the true and final messenger of God.
Not only that, Muslims themselves, to the extent they keep referring to the followers of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as “Sahaabah” or “Companions,” become part of that ongoing miracle.
Muslims themselves become part of the living proof, in their own respective ages and places, of the truth of the mission and message of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam and the Qur’an and the Deen of Islam.
Revised: January 28, 2010
May Allah accept it!
December 7, 2009
© 2009 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.