Saturday, 22 July 2017

Continuation of Divine Inspiration (Part 2)


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والعاقبة للمتقين

وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله واهل بيته اجمعين

In the previous entry of this series, I conveyed to the respected reader the essential proofs from the Qur’ān al-Karīm that Allāh Jalla Jalālahu is One Who speaks and communicates with His worshipers when and how He desires, unlike the dead false gods and idols. Likewise, I presented the examples where Allāh sent revelation and inspiration to the non-Prophets of the previous nations, such as Moses’s Mother, Virgin Mary, and the Disciples of Jesus (peace be upon them). In this entry I will now present the proofs and arguments from the Kitāb and Sunna for the continuation of divine inspiration to the pious and saintly individuals of this Umma despite the Khatam-an-Nubuwwa ‘Finality of Prophethood’:

 وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ

And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a Messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.

(Sūra 42: 51)

This Ayat is general in detailing how Allāh speaks to human beings. It obliterates the false notion that Allāh only speaks, through inspiration, to Prophets, or that He does not speak and reveal to anyone from this Umma after the Prophet Muhammad . In his tafsīr of this Ayat, Shaykh-ul-Islām Ibn Taymiyya explains that the Wahi spoken of here is vouchsafed to Prophets and non-Prophets, such as the Muhaddathīn and Mulhamīn:

 يتناول وحى الأنبياء وغيرهم كالمحدثين الملهمين

(Tafsīrāt Ibn Taymiyya; p. 367)


These three form of divine communication from Allāh to the human being are: 1. Wahi (divine inspiration to the heart) 2. Speaking from behind a Veil (the Voice of Allāh is literally heard as in the case of Moses who heard Allāh’s Voice in the Valley of Tuwa (Sūra 20: 12; 79: 16), and 3. Sending of a Messenger (Angel) to reveal something by Allāh’s permission. All three forms of divine communication have not ceased and neither are they exclusive to Prophets. 

Concerning Wahi, it has two forms: الوحي الجلي Wahi al-Jali, the type of Wahi that is exclusive to Prophets. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaih wasallam) has described this type of Wahi:


أَنَّ الْحَارِثَ بْنَ هِشَامٍ، سَأَلَ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَيْفَ يَأْتِيكَ الْوَحْىُ قَالَ ‏ "‏ كُلُّ ذَاكَ يَأْتِي الْمَلَكُ أَحْيَانًا فِي مِثْلِ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ، فَيَفْصِمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ مَا قَالَ، وَهْوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَىَّ

Al Harith bin Hisham asked the Prophet, “How does the divine inspiration come to you?" He replied, “In all these ways: The Angel sometimes comes to me with a voice which resembles the sound of a ringing bell, and when this state abandons me, I remember what the Angel has said, and this type of Divine Inspiration is the hardest on me.”

قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ رضى الله عنها وَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ الْوَحْىُ فِي الْيَوْمِ الشَّدِيدِ الْبَرْدِ، فَيَفْصِمُ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّ جَبِينَهُ لَيَتَفَصَّدُ عَرَقًا‏

Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet () being inspired divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead. (Sahīh al-Bukhāri)

So this form of Wahi that is exclusive to Prophets is very strong and has an apparent physiological effect on the recipient, causing him to sweat.

عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ ، يَقُولُ : كَانَ إِذَا نَزَلَ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْوَحْيُ نَسْمَعُ عِنْدَ وَجْهِهِ كَدَوِيِّ النَّحْلِ

Umar b. al-Khattab narrates that when the revelation descended upon Rasul Allah we could hear a sound near his face like the buzzing of honeybees. (Musnad Ahmad)


Then there is الوحي الخفي the ‘lighter Wahi’ which may also be called الهام Ilhām, it is the inspiration to the heart, and this form of Wahi has not ceased. It descends upon the hearts of the Awliyā (Islamic saints) and pious Believers.  The Qur’ān says about Ilhām:

وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا ﴿٧﴾ فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا

And the soul and He Who proportioned it. And inspired it its wickedness and its righteousness (Sūra 91: 7 – 8)

A person who frequently experiences Ilhām is called a Muhaddath and Mulham. The Prophet said:
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِيمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ رِجَالٌ يُكَلَّمُونَ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَكُونُوا أَنْبِيَاءَ، فَإِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْ أُمَّتِي مِنْهُمْ أَحَدٌ فَعُمَرُ
“Among the nation of Bani Israel who lived before you, there were men who used to be inspired with guidance though they were not prophets, and if there is any of such persons amongst my followers, it is Umar.” (Bukhāri)
The phrase Rijālun Yukallamūn means they are men with whom Allāh speaks.
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِيمَا قَبْلَكُمْ مِنَ الأُمَمِ مُحَدَّثُونَ، فَإِنْ يَكُ فِي أُمَّتِي أَحَدٌ فَإِنَّهُ عُمَرُ
“Among the nations before you there used to be people who were inspired. And if there is any of such a persons among my followers, it is Umar.” (Ibid)

The Muhaddath is the one upon whose tongue the Angels speak:
وَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَبْعَثْ نَبِيًّا إِلا كَانَ فِي أَمَّتِهِ مُحَدَّثٌ ، وَإِنْ يَكُنْ فِي أُمَّتِي مِنْهُمْ أَحَدٌ فَهُوَ عُمَرُ " . قَالُوا : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، كَيْفَ مُحَدَّثٌ ؟ قَالَ : " تَتَكَلَّمُ الْمَلائِكَةُ عَلَى لِسَانِهِ

“And no Prophet was sent except that there was a Muhaddath from his Ummah, and if there is anyone from my Ummah from among them it is Umar." It was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, how is the Muhaddath?" He said: “The Angels speak upon his tongue." (Mu’jam al-Awsat of Tabarāni)

In another Hadīth, the Prophet confirmed that ‘Umar b. al-Khattāb (Radi Allāhu ‘anhu) was a Muhaddath when he said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَعَلَ الْحَقَّ عَلَى لِسَانِ عُمَرَ وَقَلْبِهِ

“Verily, Allah has placed the truth upon the tongue of Umar and (in) his heart” (Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud)


لَوْ كَانَ بَعْدِي نَبِيٌّ لَكَانَ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ

“If there was to be a Prophet after me, it would be Umar b. al-Khattab” (Tirmidhi)
 Sayyidinā ‘Umar was indeed a Muhaddath who received inspirations and premonitions from Allāh, even of things which were to be eventually revealed in the Holy Qur’ān!
It is said that Shaykh ‘Abd-al-Qādir al-Jīlāni (d. 1166 CE), Shāh Wali Ullāh (d. 1762 CE) and ‘Allāma ‘Abd Allāh Ghaznawi (d. 1881 CE) were also Muhaddathīn, whose revelations have been recorded in various books. Likewise, Hadrat Ghulām Ahmad Qādiyāni (d. 1908 CE) claimed to be a Muhaddath and promised Messiah and having received countless revelations and visions from Allāh.
To be continued ان شاء الله

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