Saturday, 18 November 2017

Prophet (SWS) Raised Up Among the Akhareen (Sura 62:3)

Now coming to the Qur’an al-Karim, I would like to draw the readers’ attention to Allah’s statement that He has sent a Messenger to two different people:

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

He is the One [Allah] Who sent in the Ummiyyeen [illiterate Arabs] a Messenger [Muhammad] among them, to recite upon them His [Allah’s] Signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and the Wisdom. And they were, before this, manifestly astray.
وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
And [also] among the Aakhareen [others] who have not [yet] met them [Ummiyyin]. And He [Allah] is the Mighty, the Wise.
(Sura 62: 2–3)
The second Verse I have quoted is a continuation of what is being stated in the first, namely, that Allah has sent a Messenger among the Ummiyyeen, and He has sent the same Messenger among the Akhareen.

This is why the second Verse begins with the letter ‘Waw’, and it is an example of al-Waw Aatifa, a prefixed conjunction (a particle which connects two words, phrases, or clauses together).

Hence, the sending of the Messenger is being connected to what is mentioned after the prefixed conjunction, namely, the Akhareen. Allah says that among them this same Messenger [Muhammad] peace be upon him is to be sent.
Furthermore it is stated that the Akhareen are others whom the Ummiyyeen [illiterate Arabs among whom the Prophet was raised] haven’t met. The reason these two groups have not met each other is because they are separated by time.

The exegetes understand ‘Akhareen’ (others) to be a reference to the Ajam (non-Arabs). Now it is obvious that the Prophet (peace be upon him), who passed away some 15 centuries ago, never appeared among such ‘Akhareen’, yet the grammatical structure of this Verse is such that one has to understand that two sendings of the same Messenger are being described, one among the Ummiyyeen and another among the Akhareen.

A clue to solving this apparent paradox of how the same Messenger can be raised up among two different groups of people who have never met each other, due to the separation in time, can be found in the Prophet’s explanation of this Verse in an authentic Hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، رضى الله عنه قَالَ كُنَّا جُلُوسًا عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأُنْزِلَتْ عَلَيْهِ سُورَةُ الْجُمُعَةِ ‏{‏وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ‏}‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ مَنْ هُمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَلَمْ يُرَاجِعْهُ حَتَّى سَأَلَ ثَلاَثًا، وَفِينَا سَلْمَانُ الْفَارِسِيُّ، وَضَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَدَهُ عَلَى سَلْمَانَ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ لَوْ كَانَ الإِيمَانُ عِنْدَ الثُّرَيَّا لَنَالَهُ رِجَالٌ ـ أَوْ رَجُلٌ ـ مِنْ هَؤُلاَءِ

Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were sitting with the Prophet () Surat Al-Jumu'a was revealed to him, and when the Verse, "And He (Allah) has sent him (Muhammad) also to other (Muslims).....' (62.3) was recited by the Prophet, I said, "Who are they, O Allah's Messenger ()?" The Prophet () did not reply till I repeated my question thrice. At that time, Salman Al-Farisi was with us. So Allah's Messenger () put his hand on Salman, saying, "If Faith were at (the place of) Ath-Thuraiya (Pleiades), even then (some men or a man from these people (i.e. Salman's folk) would attain it." (Bukhari Sharif)

Some versions of this Hadith mention that men (plural) will reach it (faith) but others mention a single man. The point is, however, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) by mentioning a single man, was not referring to the Akhareen necessarily, but referring to the sending of Him to be raised among the Akhareen. Although only a single Messenger is mentioned as being raised up among two different groups, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has apparently described his ‘second raising’ among the Akhareen as being fulfilled in the appearance of a man from the people of Salman al-Farisi (R.A), who shall appear at a time when the Earth has empty of Faith and Faith has gone up to be suspended in the Stars.

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