Friday, 22 June 2018

Prophet ﷺ Seated on Throne with Allah (Maqaman Mahmuda)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأبياء والمرسلين

نبينا محمد وعلى اهل بيته الطيّبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتّقين

It is quite apparent from numerous traditions, some of which I examined in the previous entry, that the Maqam al-Mahmud “praiseworthy station” granted to the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) is his role of intercessor on behalf of the sinful individuals of his Umma on Judgment Day. However, there is another interpretation of the Maqam al-Mahmud which is that the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) shall be seated next to Allah Most High upon His Throne. This interpretation is the well known view of the eminent tabi’ and exegete, Mujahid b. Jabr (d. 104 H):
وقال آخرون بل ذلك الـمقام الـمـحمود الذي وعد الله نبـيه صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يبعثه إياه، هو أن يقاعده معه علـى عرشه. ذكر من قال ذلك حدثنا عبـاد بن يعقوب الأسدي، قال ثنا ابن فضيـل، عن لـيث، عن مـجاهد، فـي قوله { عَسَى أنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقاما مَـحْمُودا } قال يُجْلسه معه علـى عرشه
Layth narrated that Mujahid said concerning Allah’s Saying: “It may be that your Lord will raise you to a Praiseworthy Station” He (Mujahid) said: “He will seat him with Him upon His Throne” (Tafsir Ibn Jarir)
Ibn al-Jawzi has mentioned the same view of the sahabi Abd Allah b. Abbas (radi Allahu anh) as narrated from al-Dhahak (Zad al-Masir p.828):

 
The eminent Sufi saint and mystic, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (rahimahullah) likewise held this view and proclaimed that it is the creed of Ahl us-Sunna (al-Ghunya v.1 pp.150-151):


 
Although the Hadith from the Prophet himself (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) regarding him being seated on the Throne are weak or fabricated for the most part, the strongest marfu report is the narration of Ruwayfi b. Thabit al-Ansari (radi Allahu anh):
أَنّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ ، وَقَالَ : اللَّهُمَّ أَنْزِلْهُ الْمَقْعَدَ الْمُقَرَّبَ عِنْدَكَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَجَبَتْ لَهُ شَفَاعَتِي
That the Apostle of Allah (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever prays upon Muhammad and says: ‘O Allah send down for him the Seat of Closeness with You on the Day of Resurrection’ my intercession has become mandatory for him.”
The contemporary muhaddith, Hamza Ahmad al-Zayn, declared isnaduhu hasan it has a sound chain (Musnad Ahmad; v.13 p.226 #16928):

 
Based on these and other considerations, it appears quite valid to me to believe that the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) shall be seated upon Allah’s Throne with Him on Judgment Day as a means of honoring him, and this is what is meant by Maqaman Mahmuda mentioned in the holy Qur’an. Nor does this interpretation contradict the established interpretation that Maqaman Mahmuda refers to the Prophet’s role of intercessor, for him being seated upon the Throne with Allah is meant to signify his lofty status as intercessor. Finally, none should understand from this that the Prophet is Allah’s partner simply because he has been seated upon His Throne as a means of honoring him. Although I have written here that this belief is valid and certainly not tantamount to kufr or shirk, let not the reader think that this is my own personal belief, as for me, the evidence cited for this belief is simply not at the level of strength and absolute certainty, and Allah knows best.

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