All praise is due and belongs to Allâh . We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ)
(O You who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]
(يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا)
(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh , by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you.) [An-Nisa: 1].
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا)
(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].
Assemblies of believers! Allâh created the creation to worship Him, sent them messengers to guide them to know the purpose of their existence, and made their way the only way to achieve the wish of Allâh and gain success and happiness in this world and the hereafter. As the soul is naturally disposed to follow whims and desires, it needed its master to deter it from its whims and fancies and guide it to the obedience of its lord so that it will surrender to the orders of the Islamic legislation and submit to that which was brought by Prophet Muhammad, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him).
Owing to the importance of guiding and persuading people to follow the right and warning them against falsehood and deterring them from it, Allâh favoured His slaves by sending the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), as He says:
﴿لَقَدۡ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ إِذۡ بَعَثَ فِيہِمۡ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَڪِّيہِمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ﴾
Indeed Allâh conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’ân), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’ân) and Al¬Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), while before that they had been in manifest error [Al-Imran: 164].
As the assignment of Prophet Muhammad had such great importance and high status, Allâh commanded His slaves to follow him in everything that he has ordered, to follow his teachings and adhere strictly to his obedience. Allâh the Almighty said,
(وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَٱحۡذَرُواْۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّيۡتُمۡ فَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَا عَلَىٰ رَسُولِنَا ٱلۡبَلَـٰغُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ)
Obey Allâh and obey the messenger, and beware! But if you turn away, then know that the duty of Our messenger is only plain conveyance (of the message) [Al-Maedah: 92]
Allâh ‘s commandment to obey His Messenger requires accepting everything he came with and persuaded people to do.
Among the things that underline the necessity of compliance with the commandment of the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) is that obedience to him comes in compliance with what Allâh has revealed to him, which is the (Qur’an); where Allâh the Almighty said,
(ٱتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَۗ قَلِيلاً۬ مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ)
Follow that which is sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow no protecting friends beside Him. Little do you recollect! [Al-A’raf: 3].
Slaves of Allâh ! Our Lord has commanded us to follow His Prophet and adhere to his way because we need the light he has guided us to and upon which he has left us. It is the straight path, which saves from evident delusion. The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him said, “I am leaving you upon a (path of) brightness whose night is like its day. No one will deviate from it after I am gone but one who is doomed” (Al-Albani graded it Sahih).
The messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) also said, ” Keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it stubbornly [literally: with your molar teeth]” (At-Tirmidhi).
O believers! Following the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) cannot be sound without achieving its necessitations and requirements, which include the following:
To believe in his Prophethood and mission, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). Allâh the Almighty says,
(إِنَّمَا ٱلمُؤمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ثُمَّ لَم يَرتَابُواْ وَجَـٰهَدُواْ بِأَموَٲلِهِم وَأَنفُسِهِم فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أُوْلَـٰٮكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّـٰدِقُونَ)
Only those are the believers who have believed in Allâh and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allâh . Those! They are the truthful [Al-Hujuraat: 15].
- To accept what he has informed wholeheartedly without nursing any doubts because it does not make sense to believe except by accepting as true what he has brought. Allâh , the Most High, informs us about the best person that accepted and believed him:
(وَٱلَّذِى جَاءَ بِٱلصِّدقِ وَصَدَّقَ بِهِۤ)
And he (Muhammad (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him)) who has brought the truth and (those who) believed therein [Az-Zumar: 33].
There is no doubt that everything he has informed, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) is undoubtedly true. He does not lie. He is the truthful and the trustworthy one. He is Allâh ‘s trustee over His revelation. The Almighty said:
(وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلهَوَىٰ (٣) إِن هُوَ إِلَّا وَحىٌ يُوحَىٰ)
Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. (3) It is only a Revelation revealed [An-Najm: 3,4] .
- The requirements of following him include obeying his commands, as Allâh said,
﴿وَمَآ ءَاتَٮٰكُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَہَٮٰكُمۡ عَنۡهُ فَٱنتَهُواْ﴾
And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) [Al-Hashr: 7]
i.e.: Whatever he commands you to do, do it, and whatever he forbids, you should avoid it because he orders not but what is good, and forbids not but that which is evil . In a hadith on the authority of Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas, may Allâh be pleased with them, he said, “The Messenger of Allâh (May the peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said, “None of you [truly] believes until his desires are subservient to that which I have brought.”
When the slave puts forward the command of his Prophet before his whims and desires, the aspects of faith become integrated in his conscience.
- Moreover, among the necessitations of following him (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) is to abstain from what he has forbidden and warned against, as Almighty Allâh said,
﴿وَمَا نَہَٮٰكُمۡ عَنۡهُ فَٱنتَهُوا وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلعِقَابِ﴾
And whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), And fear Allâh . Verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment [Al-Hashr: 7]
It was also reported that the messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said: “whatever I forbid you, abstain from it.”
- Following him (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) also necessitates that Allâh should not be worshipped except through what he has legislated whereby any deed he has not prescribed will be rejected against its doer according to the hadith of the mother of the believers, Aisha, may Allâh be pleased with her, who said, “The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “He who did any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected
Brothers in Faith! Those who follow him (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) should look at the great fruits and grave gifts Allâh has prepared for them, as a reward for their obedience and emulation, which includes the following:
- The love Allâh has and the forgiveness He will forgive one that follows His messenger. Allâh the most High said,
(فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحبِبكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغفِر لَكُم ذُنُوبَكُم)
Follow me, Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins [Al-Imran: 31].
- A follower of Prophet Muhammad attains, amongst other things, the Paradise. Imam Al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih from Abu Hurairah – may Allâh be pleased with him, that the messenger of Allâh said, “Every one of my Ummah will enter Al-Jannah except those who refuse”. He was asked: “Who will refuse?” He (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “Whoever obeys me, shall enter Al-Jannah, and whosoever disobeys me, refuses to (enter Al-Jannah).
O Muslims! Just as Allâh promised well to the followers of His bosom friend, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), He has also threatened those that oppose him with trials, afflictions and painful torment.
The Almighty Allâh said,
﴿فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾
And let those beware who oppose the Messenger’s order, lest (Fitnah) some trial befall them, or a grievous Penalty be inflicted on them [Al-Nur: 63].
What He means by the word “Fitnah” is that Allâh may seal his heart, and as such, he might not be safe from pronouncing the word of disbelief that will lead him to be slain.
I seek refuge with Allâh from the accursed Satan:
(وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهتَدُواْ)
If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance [An-Nur: 54].
May Allâh bless you and me in the Noble Qur’an and benefit you and me by the verses it contains. This is what I say, and I ask forgiveness from Allâh Almighty for you, me, and other Muslims from all sins. So ask for His forgiveness; for He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.
All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone. May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the last Prophet.
Slaves of Allâh ! Having learnt the importance of following the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), its requirements, the reward of one who follows him and the punishment for those that disobey him, it is worthy of us to tread his path, where our Lord has admonished us to follow him and emulate his perfect qualities when He said,
(لَّقَد كَانَ لَكُم فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسوَةٌ حَسَنَة)
Indeed, in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him [Al-Ahzaab: 21].
O believers! The companions of the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and their successors, have given the finest examples of good emulation of the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). This is Umar bin al-Khattab, May Allâh be pleased with him, who, while circumambulating the Sacred House, the Ka’bah and about to kiss the black stone says to it, “I know you are a stone, which neither harm nor benefit and had I not seen the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) kiss you, I will not kiss you” (Abu Dawud). Umar wanted to teach people that kissing the stone was just to follow the act of the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), not because the stone benefits or harms by itself as the people of the era of ignorance used to believe of the idols.
Among those situations, which emphasize the great fellowship of the companions to the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) is that the messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) having entered Makkah triumphantly, went into the Ka’bah in the company of Bilal, may Allâh be pleased with him. Then he went out leaving Bilal inside the Ka’bah. Thereupon, Ibn Umar entered and asked Bilal: Where did the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) pray? So, whenever Ibn Umar entered the Ka’bah, he used to walk forward until he placed the door behind him allowing a distance of about three cubits between him and the wall envisaging to spot the place Bilal had informed him.
O believers! There is no enough room to mention more fascinating examples that reflect the keenness of the companions to follow and emulate the prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). Nevertheless, we would conclude with the report narrated by Ibn Abbas, may Allâh be pleased with them, that the Messenger of Allâh , (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) saw a man wearing a gold ring. So, he (the Messenger of Allâh ) pulled it off and threw it away, saying, “Would one of you take a live coal, and hold it in his hand.” It was said to the man after the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) had left: “Take your ring (of gold) and utilize it,” whereupon he said: “No, by Allâh , I would never take it when the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) has thrown it away”
It is not surprising that we find them to be the strictest people in following the guidance of the prophet, tracing his path and taking to his Sunnah.
So fear Allâh , O Muslims, cling to the Sunnah of your Prophet and follow his guidance that you may prosper. Realize that you are commanded to follow him, and adhere strictly to his way until you meet with your Lord. Do what he has enjoined and persuaded you to do, and avoid what he has forbidden to you. How happy is he that tread the path and guidance of his prophet! How sad is he that violates his orders and follows his whims and desires.
Invoke peace and blessings of Allâh the Almighty upon whom He has commanded you when He said,
(إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا)
Allâh sends His Salah (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salah on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].