Saturday, 23 February 2013

4. intermediation through the Prophet’s relics


It is a fact that the objects and articles associated with the righteous and the virtuous are an overflowing source of bounty and munificence. This is the reason that it was the usual practice of the Companions to preserve his relics and to draw benefits and blessings out of them. This proves that they offered them to Allah as instruments of mediation when they needed His help and assistance. Allah Himself has made reference to the relics of the prophets in the Holy Qur’ān. For example, the following Qur’ānic verse indicates the mode in which Banī Israel drew on the relics of the progeny of Mūsā (عليه السلام) and Hārūn (عليه السلام):
And their prophet told them: ‘a sign of his authority (being from Allah) is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant. In it there shall be an assurance of security (peace of mind) from your Lord and from the relics left by the family of Mūsā and Hārūn carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if you indeed have faith.[1]
At another place in the Holy Qur’ān Allah has related the incident in which Ya‘qūb (عليه السلام) drew blessing from Yūsuf’s shirt:
‘Go with this my shirt and cast it over the face of my father; he will come to see clearly, and (then) come you to me together with all your family.’ And when the caravan left (Egypt), their father (Ya‘qūb) said (while sitting in Kan‘ān): ‘I do indeed scent the presence of Yūsuf if you do not think me a dotard on account of old age.’ They said: ‘By God! Truly you are in the same old drifting state of love.’ Then when the bearer of the good news came, he cast the shirt over Ya‘qūb’s face and instantaneously his eyesight returned. Ya‘qūb said: ‘Did I not say to you, I know from God that which you know not.’[2]
A study of the books on tradition and the Prophet’s life and conduct reveals that, in addition to relying on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for prayer, the Companions received blessings from him in various other ways. For example, they had their bodies touched with his hand; they themselves touched his body as a form of benediction; they blessed themselves with the water left over from his ablution and also with the water he used to wash his hands; and with his leftover food. Similarly, they received blessings from his sweat, from his saliva, from the mucus coming out of his nose, from his hair (which came off during his haircut and they did not let them fall on the ground), from his nails, from his dress, from his staff, from his ring, from his bed and cot and from his praying mat. In short, they drew blessings from any object that was even marginally associated with his body. Even after his death, the Companions and the leading believers derived blessings from his grave and the pulpit. They received blessing even from the houses and places where he had lived, the spots at which he had prayed and the dust of the paths he had walked through. Every successive generation after the period of the Companions and Successors including caliphs, kings and religious leaders, preserved the Prophet’s signs and relics with great reverence. On special days Muslims were allowed to see them, draw blessings from them and pray to Allah through their mediation.
This reverential attitude should be maintained in the context of the Prophet’s traditions and in any reference to his exalted personality. The same attitude should be reflected in our treatment of the Companions and members of the Prophet’s family. If we consistently display this attitude, Allah will not only reinforce our faith but also shower His blessings on us. But if we treat them disrespectfully, Allah will curse us with trouble and affliction, which the common man often fails to understand. The Companions possessed a number of his relics. Not only some of these are given below, but also the way they are used as means is also briefly described:

1. Desire to be buried in the Prophet’s vicinity

‘Umar bin al-Khattāb had a strong desire to be buried in the vicinity of the Prophet’s grave. When he was at his deathbed, he sent his son to seek permission from ‘Ā’ishah as she had reserved the specific spot for herself. But, on ‘Umar’s request, she responded: ‘I liked to keep this spot for myself but now I give preference to ‘Umar’s desire over mine.’ ‘Abdullāh returned and conveyed the glad tidings to his father. At this ‘Umar said: ‘all praise to Allah! This was the most pressing matter for me.’ The tradition runs as follows:
Husayn bin ‘Abd-ur-Rahmān from ‘Amr bin Maymūn al-Awdī has narrated: He said: I saw ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb, he said: ‘O ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar! Go over to the Mother of the Believers, ‘Ā’ishah, and give her my regards and then ask her if I am permitted to be buried beside my companions.’ ‘Ā’ishah replied: ‘I had this spot marked for myself and today I prefer ‘Umar to myself.’ When he came back, ‘Umar asked him: ‘what news have you brought?’ He replied: ‘O leader of the believers! She has given you the permission.’ At this ‘Umar said: ‘today nothing matters to me more than this resting place. When I pass away, take me to (this place), give my regards and request that ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb seeks permission. If I am given the permission, then bury me there, otherwise bury me in an ordinary graveyard for the Muslims.’[3]
The only interpretation of the desire expressed by both ‘Umar and ‘Ā’ishah is that they wanted to receive divine blessings through the mediation of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) by being buried close to him.

2. The small water bag of leather as a source of blessing

1. ‘Abd-ur-Rahmān bin Abū ‘Amrah has attributed it to his grandmother who heard it from Kabshah Ansāriyyah:
Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) went over to see her and there was a small water bag of leather hanging there. He drank water from it while standing. Then she cut off the mouth of water bag on account of its blessing because the Prophet’s mouth had touched it.[4]
2. Umm Sulaym cut off the mouth of the water bag from which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had drunk water. Anas says:
That the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) came over to see Umm Sulaym and there was a small leather bag (of water) hanging in the house. He drank (water) from this leather bag while standing. Anas says that Umm Sulaym cut off the mouth of the leather bag so it is (still) with us.[5]

3. Cure through the mediation of the Prophet’s gown

It is narrated by ‘Abdullāh, a slave freed by Asmā’ bint Abū Bakr:
That she (Asmā’ bint Abū Bakr) took out the gown that belonged to Kasrawanī Tayālisān, its collar and slits were lined with silk cloth. She said: ‘this was in the possession of ‘Ā’ishah, when she died, I took it over and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to wear it. We used to wash it for the sick and along with it we asked for the recovery of the sick.[6]
Nawawī has commented on it:
And this tradition confirms that it is a meritorious act to seek blessing through the relics and robes of the virtuous.[7]

4. The Prophet’s ring

‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar has narrated:
The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had a silver ring made for himself. It was in his hand, then it remained in Abū Bakr’s hand, then it remained in ‘Umar’s hand, then it remained in ‘Uthmān’s hand, then from his hand it fell into a well at Arīs. The following words were engraved on it: Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.[8]

5. Blessing through the Prophet’s blanket

The Mother of Believers, ‘Ā’ishah lovingly guarded a blanket in which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had passed away as is attributed to Abū Hurayrah that ‘Ā’ishah took out a thick blanket and showed it to us. She said:
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had breathed his last in this blanket.[9]

6. Blessing through the Prophet’s sandals

1. Anas kept with him a pair of the Prophet’s shoes and a cup from which he used to drink. Bukhārī comments with reference to the pair of shoes:
‘Īsā bin Tahmān reported that Anas brought out a pair of old sandals and showed them to us. Each one of the pair had two laces. Then Thābit al-Bunānī, reporting it from Anas, told me that the pair of shoes belonged to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).[10]
2. Similarly, according to another tradition, ‘Ubayd bin Jurayh said to ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar: “I see you wearing a pair of shoes shorn of hair.” ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar replied: “I have seen the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) wearing such shoes which are denuded of hair, and he used to put his feet into them after ablution. Therefore, I like to wear such shoes.”[11]
3. Qastallānī writes in his book al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah (2:118-9) that ‘Abdullāh bin Mas‘ūd was one of the Prophet’s attendants and attended him with a pillow, a tooth-brush, a pair of sandals and water for ablution. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) stood up, he helped him put on the sandals, and when he sat down, ‘Abdullāh bin Mas‘ūd picked up the sandals and tucked them under his arms.
Qastallānī adds: One of the virtues, benefits and blessings of the Prophet’s sandals has been particularly stressed by Shaykh Abū Ja‘far bin ‘Abd-ul-Majīd. He says: I gave a sample of the pair of sandals to one of my students. One day he came over to me and said: yesterday, I discovered a strange blessing in the sandals. My wife was on the point of death from severe pain. I placed the sandals on the aching spot and said: O Allah! show me a miracle from the owner of this pair of sandals. Allah showed His mercy and my wife instantly recovered.[12]
Abū Bakr Ahmad bin Abū Muhammad ‘Abdullāh bin Husayn Qurtubī has given a poetic expression to his feelings about the pair of sandals:
Such shoes whose exalted status we acknowledged because only through this acknowledgement, we exalt ourselves. Therefore, they should be kept at a lofty place, because, in reality, these are the crown (on the head) although they appear to be shoes.[13]
When Imam Fakhānī cast his first glance at the sandals, he burst into a poetic expression:
And if the Madman of Laylā had been asked to choose between a meeting with Laylā and the pelf of the world, he would have spontaneously replied: “I hold the dust blowing up from her shoes even dearer than my own soul and it is the best cure for blowing off its problems”.
It is noteworthy that scholars from the Deoband school of thought have written books about the Prophet’s shoes:
1. Mawlānā Shihāb-ud-Dīn Ahmad Muqrī wrote a book called Fath-ul-muta‘āl fi madh-in-ni‘āl.
2. Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānwī wrote a tract Nayl-ush-shifā bi-ni‘āl-il-Mustafā, which is part of his book Zād-us-sa‘īd.
Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā Kandhalwī comments:
“The virtues and blessings of the Prophet’s sandals are found at the end of the tract Zād-us-Sa‘īd by Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānwī. Anyone who is keen on details is advised to refer to it. In short, its blessings are infinite. The scholars have performed repeated experiments. If you keep them in your possession, you may see the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), you may be delivered from the oppressors and may achieve popularity. In brief, to depend on it as a source of intermediation is an unwavering guarantee of success. The method of intermediation is also explained in it.”[14]
This discussion clearly proves that the real capital is the unfathomed love for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the unflagging respect for the things and objects directly or indirectly associated with him, as has been poetically expressed by Imām Ahmad Radā Khān:
“If I have a pair of the Prophet’s sandals to place on my head.
Then I shall consider myself no less than a properly crowned king.”

7. Blessing through the holy goblet

1. Abū Burdah narrates:
‘Abdullāh bin Salām said to me, “Shouldn’t I serve you (water) in the goblet from which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had drunk.[15]
2. Abū Hāzim from Sahl bin Sa‘d narrates:
One day the Companions had the pleasure of the Prophet’s company at Saqīfah banī Sā‘idah. Then he asked Sahl to get him (some water). Then I brought out this goblet for him and served him (water) in it. Abū Hāzim said: Sahl brought out that goblet for us and we also drank from it. Then ‘Umar bin ‘Abd-ul-‘Azīz requested that he should hand over the goblet to him and Sahl handed it over to him. And the tradition by Abū Bakr bin Ishāq says: he said, O Sahl, get me some water to drink.[16]
3. Hajjāj bin Hassān relates:
We were with Anas that he sent for a vessel, which had three female iron lizards and an iron ring in it. He took it out of a black cover, which was less than medium size and more than one-eighth of it, and at Anas’s order, water was brought in it for us. We had the water and poured some of it over our heads and faces and sent salutations on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).[17]
The chain of transmission of this tradition is sahīh (sound).
4. And when the goblet that was in the possession of Anas, and from which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to drink, cracked, he took tremendous pains to repair it. His painstaking efforts are an ample proof of the love and respect the Companions had for the articles directly or indirectly associated with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). The tradition says:
When the Prophet’s goblet cracked, (Anas) repaired it with a silver chain, instead of (repairing it) with something ordinary. ‘Āsim (the narrator) says: ‘I have myself seen that goblet and have also drunk water from it.’[18]

8. Blessing through the holy hair

The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself taught his followers to preserve the relics and practically created in his Companions the awareness and the urgency that they should let no opportunity slip to collect his blessings.
1. Anas narrates that after performing the sacrificial rites at the juncture of hajj:
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) held the right side of his head in front of the barber, he shaved off his hair. Then he called Abū Talhah al-Ansārī and handed him the (shaved) hair. Then he held the other side in front of the barber, he also shaved off the hair on this side and he also handed those hair to Abū Talhah and said to him: ‘distribute these hair among the people.’[19]
2. Ibn Sīrīn has reported it from Anas:
When the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had his head shaved; Abū Talhah was the first person to receive his hair.[20]
3. Similarly another tradition is attributed to Anas:
I saw that a barber was shaving the Prophet’s head and the Companions stood around him in the shape of a circle. They wished that each strand of hair falling off the Prophet’s head should fall into the hand of one of them (they did not wish it to fall on the ground).[21]
4. Ibn Sīrīn relates:
I told ‘Abīdah that we are in possession of the Prophet’s hair which I obtained from Anas or his family. ‘Abīdah said: ‘if I possessed anyone of these hair, I will hold that hair even dearer than the entire world and whatever it contains.’[22]
Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī says: “This tradition furnishes the proof that it is valid to draw divine blessings from the Prophet’s hair and confirms the permissibility of its acquisition.”[23]
5. Thābit al-Bunānī relates that Anas said to him:
This is a hair belonging to the dear Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), so you should place it under my tongue. He says the hair was placed under his tongue and when he was buried, the hair was still under his tongue.[24]
6. ‘Uthmān bin ‘Abdullāh bin Mawhab relates:
My family sent me to Umm Salamah with a goblet of water. Israel clutched his three fingers in a manner that they looked like the goblet, which contained the Prophet’s hair, and when someone was under the influence of an evil eye or suffered from pain, he used to send a utensil (of water) to Umm Salamah. So when I peered into the utensil, I saw a few red hairs.[25]
Badr-ud-Dīn ‘Aynī says: “Umm Salamah kept the Prophet’s hair in a silver bottle. When people fell ill, they received blessings from those hairs and recovered from their illness as a result of this blessing. If someone was under the spell of a malevolent eye or just fell ill, he would send his wife to Umm Salamah with a utensil holding water; she would pass the hair through the water and the patient would recover by drinking that water, and after that the hair was put away in the bottle.”[26]

9. Victory in war through the mediation of the Prophet’s hair

Qādī ‘Iyād narrates in ash-Shifā (2:619):
Khālid bin Walīd’s cap contained some of the Prophet’s hair. When the cap fell away during battle, he rushed to grab it. When a large number of Companions lost their lives as martyrs in this battle, the people blamed him. He replied: ‘I did not put up all that struggle just for the cap, but the cap contained the Prophet’s hair. I feared I would be deprived of their blessings in case they fell into the hands of the infidels.’

10. Making a coffin out of the clothes worn by the Prophet (SAW)

1. When Alī’s mother, Fātimah bint Asad died, her funeral rites were meticulously observed. After the bath, when it was time to dress her up in a shirt, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) handed his own shirt to the women and commanded them to dress her up in that shirt and then wrap the coffin round it.[27]
To drape her dead body in his shirt was most presumably intended to shower divine blessings on her.
2. When the Prophet’s daughter, Zaynab or Umm Kalthūm died, he blessed her with his own trouser-sash to wrap the coffin.[28]
3. Similarly, a woman presented a shawl to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). When he was dressed in it, someone said to him: O Messenger of Allah! What a beautiful shawl! Please give it to me; and he gave the shawl to him. The audience were displeased by it and started cursing the person who had requested for the shawl: when you knew that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) never turns down the request of a petitioner, then why did you ask for this shawl? That person replied: I have taken this sheet of cloth not for wearing but for my coffin to draw blessings from it. The words of the tradition are as follows:
Sahl bin Sa‘d says: A woman brought a burdah, that is, a sheet of cloth for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Sahl asked the people: do you know what burdah is? People replied: it is a large and open sheet of cloth. Sahl said: burdah is a kind of sheet which has stripes in it. The woman said: O Messenger of Allah! I present (this sheet) to you for wearing. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) accepted the shawl because, under the circumstances, he needed it. Then the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) wore it. One of the Companions had his eyes set on the shawl and he said to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم): What a graceful sheet of cloth! Please give it to me. He said: Yes, you take it. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) left, his Companions rebuked him. They said: You haven’t done good (especially) when you saw that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had accepted it and also needed it, and you know that whenever a petition is made to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), he never turns it down. The man replied: when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had worn it, I expected it to bring blessings to me in case I am buried in it.[29]
Sahl bin Sa‘d relates that he was buried in that sheet of cloth.
4. Jābir bin ‘Abdullāh narrates:
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) went over to ‘Abdullāh bin Ubayy after he had been buried. He had his dead body taken out, covered his mouth with his saliva and draped him in his own shirt.[30]
The same tradition has also been reported in a modified form:
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) reached ‘Abdullāh bin Ubayy when he had been placed inside the grave. He commanded him to be taken out (and when he was taken out) he (the Prophet) placed him over his knees, rubbed him with his own saliva, breathed into him and draped him in his own shirt.[31]
5. ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar narrates:
When ‘Abdullāh bin Ubayy died, his son went over to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I implore you to bless him with your shirt to make out of it a coffin for him, and you offer prayer on it and also pray for his forgiveness.’ So he gave him his shirt.[32]
6. When ‘Abdullāh bin Sa‘d bin Sufyān was martyred in the battle of Tabūk, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) coffined him in his own shirt.[33]
7. When ‘Abdullāh bin Hārith bin ‘Abd-ul-Muttalib bin Hashim died, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) buried him in his own shirt-coffin and said: “He is fortunate and he has received blessings from it.”[34]

11. Blessings through the Prophet’s spittle

In 6 Hegira, when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) set out for Makkah with his devoted Companions to offer hajj, the infidels intercepted him. Since the intention was to perform hajj, he did not allow his Companions to be provoked, though they bubbled over with the spirit of self-sacrifice for the divine pleasure. Meanwhile, negotiations between the two parties were held. ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ūd (who had not embraced Islam at that time) represented the infidels. At this juncture, he directly witnessed the passionate attachment of the Companions with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and when he returned to his camp, he mentioned it to the infidels in these words:
O my nation, (the infidels of Makkah)! By God! I have attended the courts of the kings (royal courts). I have also been to (the courts) of Caesar, Khosrau and Najāshī, but I swear by Allah that I have never come across a king who is revered as much by his Companions as Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). By Allah, whenever he throws out his spittle, it lands on the palm of some Companion or the other who rubs it on his face or body. When he commands his Companions, they rush to comply with it, and when he performs ablution, they even quarrel with one another to obtain the leftover water, and when he is speaking, the Companions lower their voices in his presence and, out of reverence, they do not look at him straight. And surely he has made a good offer, so you should accept it.[35]
2. ‘Ā’ishah relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to mention in the context of patients:
In the name of Allah, with the help of the soil of our land and the saliva from the mouth of some of us, our patient shall recover by the will of our God.[36]
Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī’s comments on the tradition are as follows:
“The Prophet’s words “from the saliva of some of us” prove that he used to apply his saliva while using a protective invocation (ruqyah) over something. Nawawī says: ‘the tradition means that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) put his saliva on his forefinger and rubbed it on to the soil, then he froze it and applied it to the patient or the wound and while applying it, he recited the words of the tradition.’ Qurtubī says: ‘this tradition proves that it is valid to treat any disease by using a protective invocation over it, and it also makes it clear that it was a common and popular practice among them.’ He is also of the opinion that the Prophet’s placing of his forefinger on the soil and sprinkling it with earth justifies its relevance while blowing protective invocation through it… And, surely, it describes the mode of receiving blessings through the attributes of the Lord and the relics of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Then blowing breath laden with protective invocation into something and a divinely inspired sense of purpose and determination have amazing implications which simply stun human reason.[37]
There are countless examples found in the authentic books on tradition that when a child was born, the Companions brought him to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to name him and to administer him the first food after his birth. He put his saliva into the mouth of the newborn and thus the first thing the child’s belly received was the Prophet’s saliva.
3. Asmā’ bint Abū Bakr says:
I (while in Makkah) was pregnant with ‘Abdullāh bin Zubayr (that is, he was in my belly). The period of pregnancy was near completion that I set out for Medina. I got down at Qubā’ and gave birth to my son (‘Abdullāh bin Zubayr) at Qubā’. Then I took him over to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and placed him in his lap. He sent for a date and chewed it. Then he put his saliva into the child’s mouth, and the first thing that entered his stomach was the Prophet’s saliva. Then he applied the date to his palate, prayed for him and offered his congratulations.[38]
4. Anas narrates:
When ‘Abdullāh, the son of Abū Talhah al-Ansārī, was born, I brought him to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). At that time, he was wearing a shawl and rubbing oil on to a camel. He said: have you got any dates? I replied, yes. Then I gave him a few dates, he munched them with his teeth and then he put it into the child’s mouth by opening it. The child started sucking it. He said: the Muslims of Medina love the dates and then he named the child as ‘Abdullāh.[39]

12. Blessing through the Holy Prophet’s perspiration

1. It is narrated by Thumāmah through Anas:
That Umm Sulaym used to spread a leather mattress for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) where he enjoyed his midday nap. Anas relates that when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) woke up, I collected his perspiration and his hair, put these into a bottle and blended them with perfume. Thumāmah relates that when Anas was on the brink of dying he willed that the scent be applied to his coffin. He relates that the scent was applied to his coffin.[40]
2. There is another tradition on similar lines:
Anas bin Mālik relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) visited us and had his midday sleep. When he broke into perspiration, my mother came up with a bottle. She wiped his sweat and put it into the bottle. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) woke up, he said to her: Umm Sulaym! What are you doing? She replied: this is your perspiration which we will mix with our perfume and this is the best perfume.[41]

13. Blessing through the Holy Prophet’s handwash

It is narrated by Abū Mūsā:
I was with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) when he visited Ji‘rānah, a place between Makkah and Medina. Bilāl also accompanied him. A bedouin called on him and said to him: O Muhammad! You haven’t kept your promise. He said to him: cheer up! He said: you have repeated “cheer up!” a number of times. He turned in a state of rage to Abū Mūsā and Bilāl and said (to them): this person has rejected my glad tidings, but you should accept it. Both of them said: O Messenger of Allah, we have accepted (the glad tidings). Then he sent for a goblet full of water, washed both of his hands and face in it, rinsed his mouth in it and then said to them: drink it and pour it over your face and chest and cheer up. Both of them took over the goblet from him and did as he had asked them to do. Umm Salamah called them from behind the curtain. Leave some of it in the utensil for your mother. So they left some water for her too.[42]

14. Blessing through the Holy Prophet’s nail

Muhammad bin ‘Abdullāh bin Zayd has reported it from his father:
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had his hair cut in a piece of cloth and gave it to him, out of which he distributed some among the people, then he had his nails clipped and gave them to him.[43]
This tradition has a sound chain of transmission and its narrators are men of credibility.

15. Blessing through the Holy Prophet’s staff

1. ‘Abdullāh bin Anīs has reported it from his father:
When I called on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) , he said to me as he saw me: “The successful face (the successful man).” He says: I said to him: O Messenger of Allah, I have killed him (Khālid bin Sufyān). He said: You have spoken out the truth. Then the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) stood up beside me and went to his house and blessed me with his staff and said: O ‘Abdullāh bin Anīs! Keep it with you. When I came out carrying the staff, the people asked me: what is this (staff)? He replied: this has been given to me by the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and he has commanded me to keep it. The people said: won’t you return it to the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)? Ask the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) about it. ‘Abdullāh bin Anīs says that I called on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and asked him: O Messenger of Allah! why have you given this staff to me? He replied: on the Day of Judgement this will serve as a mark of recognition between us when few people will cooperate with others. ‘Abdullāh bin Anīs tied the staff to his sword and always kept it with himself until he passed away. He had willed about the staff that it should be placed in his coffin, so we buried them together.[44]
2. Anas bin Mālik has reported:
That he had a short stick given to him by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). When he died, it (the stick) was buried with him, between his shirt and the side of his body.[45]
3. Qādī ‘Iyād relates in as-Shifā (2:621):
Jahjāhā al-Ghifārī snatched the Prophet’s staff from ‘Uthmān’s hand, placed it on his knee and made a sacrilegious effort to break it. But people stalled him in his tracks by protesting, but (he was punished by the unknown for this act), a boil broke out on his knee which turned into a running sore. As a result, his leg was amputated and he died the same year.

16. Blessing through the Prophet’s pulpit

Sitting on the pulpit, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) taught religion to his Companions. The lovers of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) were extremely fond of this pulpit and preserved it like his other relics to draw blessings from it. Qādī ‘Iyād relates:
Ibn ‘Umar was often seen touching with his hand the part of the pulpit where the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to sit and then rubbing his hand all over his body.[46]

17. Blessing through the gold given by the Prophet (SAW)

It was the usual practice of the Companions that they held every object associated with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) even dearer than their own life and went to extraordinary lengths not to let it waste and to preserve it in its untarnished splendour. They saved the dinars given to them by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and avoided spending them even in the face of the most pressing temptation.
Jābir bin ‘Abdullāh has related:
Once I was travelling with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Since I was riding a sluggish camel, I lagged behind everyone. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) passed by me, he asked: who are you? I said: Jābir bin ‘Abdullāh. He asked me: what’s the matter? I replied: I am riding a sluggish camel. He asked me for a stick and I brought the stick to him. He applied it to the camel and reprimanded it. Then the same camel ran ahead of all others. He wanted to buy my camel but I said: O Messenger of Allah! This is already yours and you can have it without payment. But the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) insisted on buying it and said: I have bought it from you for four dinars, and permitted me to ride it to Medina. When we reached Medina, he said:
O Bilāl! Pay (Jābir) his price, and add some more to it.
Bilāl paid him four dinars, adding a carat of gold to the price.
Jābir bin ‘Abdullāh relates:
The (carat of) gold given by the beloved Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) never parted us. (The narrator says): and that carat (of gold gifted by the Holy Prophet) always remained in Jābir bin ‘Abdullāh’s purse, and never left it.[47]

18. Blessings through the Prophet’s hands and feet

1. Anas bin Mālik relates:
After morning prayers, the servants of Medina brought their utensils full of water to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). He dipped his finger into every utensil. Often it happened in the mornings and he dipped his hand in it.[48]
2. ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar narrates that he was in one of the regiments of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). People, fighting the non-believers, fled from the battlefield and I was one of them. Later, we repented and we decided to return to Medina and were determined to take part in the next holy war. There, we expressed a desire to meet the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). We would stay in Medina if our repentance were granted, otherwise we would move on to some other place. Then we called on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and said to him: O Messenger of Allah! We are the fugitives. He turned to us and said:
No, you are going to join the fighting again. ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar relates that (on hearing this we were very pleased,) we came closer to him and kissed his hand. He said: I am the place of refuge for the Muslims, (that is, I am their asylum and place of retreat. Where will they go except coming to me, whether they are in error or not)?[49]
3. Umm Abān bint Wazi‘ bin Zāri‘ has reported from her grandfather Zāri‘ who was a member of the ‘Abd-ul-Qays delegation. He said:
When we went to Medina, we hurried out of our vehicles and started kissing the hands and feet of the beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).[50]
4. Bukhārī has added the following words to the tradition narrated by Umm Abān. According to him, her grandfather said:
When we arrived (in Medina), we were told: over there is the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). So we grasped his hands and feet and kissed them.[51]
5. Safwān bin ‘Assāl has narrated:
A Jewish delegation kissed the hands and the feet of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). i [52]

Summary

All the traditions discussed in the preceding pages are sound as they have been taken over from the certified and authentic books of traditions. They furnish ample and irrefutable evidence that the relics of the prophets and the saints are an effective source of divine blessings. The Companions, who preserved them meticulously, did not use them as display counters; on the contrary, they prayed to God through their mediation for averting calamities. Besides, they also prove that the Companions drew blessings from them and achieved higher objectives.





[1]. Qur’ān (al-Baqarah) 2:248.
[2]. Qur’ān (Yūsuf) 12:93-6.
[3]. Bukhārī transmitted it in his as-Sahīh, b. of janā’iz (funerals) ch.94 (1:469#1328), b. of fadā’il-us-sahābah (virtues of the Companions) ch.8 (3:1355#3497).
[4]. Ibn Mājah narrated it with a sound chain of transmission in his Sunan, b. of ashribah (drinks) ch.21 (2:1132#3423); Tirmidhī graded it hasan (fair) sahīh (sound) gharīb (rare or unfamiliar) in his al-Jāmi‘-us-sahīh, b. of ashribah, ch.18 (4:306#1892), and in ash-Shamā’il-ul-Muhammadiyyah (p.178#203), Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (6:434); Humaydī, Musnad (1:172#354); Ibn Hibbān, as-Sahīh (12:138-9#5318); Tabarānī, al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (25:15#8); and Baghawī in Sharh-us-sunnah (11:379#3042).
[5]. Related by Ahmad bin Hambal in his Musnad (3:119; 6:431); Tirmidhī, ash-Shamā’il-ul-Muhammadiyyah (p.179#205); Abū Dāwūd Tayālisī, Musnad (p.229#1650); and by Tabarānī in al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (25:127#307) and in al-Mu‘jam-ul-awsat (1:379#658).
[6]. Related by Muslim in his as-Sahīh, b. of libās waz-zīnah (dress and embellishment) ch.2 (3:1641#2069); Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. of libās (dress) 4:49 (#4054); Ibn Mājah, Sunan, b. of libās, ch.18 (2:1188-9#3594); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (6:347-8); Ibn Sa‘d, at-Tabaqāt-ul-kubrā (1:454).
[7]. Nawawī, Sharh Sahīh Muslim (14:44).
[8]. Related by Bukhārī in his as-Sahīh, b. of libās (dress) ch.48 (5:2204#5535); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of libās waz-zīnah (dress and embellishment) ch.12 (3:1656#2091); and Abū Dāwūd in Sunan, b. of khātim (ring) 4:88 (#4215).
[9]. Related by Bukhārī in his as-Sahīh, b. of khumus (fifth part) ch.5 (3:1131#2941).
[10]. Bukhārī transmitted it in his as-Sahīh, b. of khumus (fifth part) ch.5 (3:1131#2940), b. of libās (dress) ch.40 (5:2200#5519-20); Tirmidhī in ash-Shamā’il-ul-Muhammadiyyah (p.83#73).
[11]. Related by Bukhārī in his as-Sahīh b. of libās (dress) ch.36 (5:2199#5513); and Tirmidhī in ash-Shamā’il-ul-Muhammadiyyah (p.84#74).
[12]. Qastallānī, al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah (2:466-7).
[13]. Qastallānī, al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah (2:470); Nabhānī, al-Anwār-ul-Muhammadiyyah (p.258).
[14]. Kandhalwī, Shamā’il Tirmidhī with Urdu commentary Khasā’il nabawī (p.77).
[15]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of ashribah (drinks) ch.29 (5:2134).
[16]. Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of ashribah (drinks) ch.9 (3:1591#2007); Bukhārī, as-Sahīh, b. of ashribah, ch.29 (5:2134#5314).
[17]. Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (3:187); Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:370).
[18]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of khumus (fifth part) ch.5 (3:1132#2942); and Ibn Kathīr in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:369).
[19]. Muslim transmitted it in his as-Sahīh, b. of hajj, ch.56 (2:948#1305); Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. of manāsik (rituals of hajj) (2:203#1981); Tirmidhī in al-Jāmi‘-us-sahīh, b. of hajj, ch.73 (3:255#912) and graded it hasan (fair) sahīh (sound); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (3:111,208,214); Humaydī, Musnad (2:512#1220); Ibn Khuzaymah, as-Sahīh (4:299#2928); Bayhaqī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (5:134); and Baghawī in Sharh-us-sunnah (7:206#1962).
[20]. Bukhārī transmitted it in his as-Sahīh b. of wudū’ (ablution) ch.32 (1:75#169).
[21]. Muslim narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of fadā’il (virtues) ch.19 (4:1812#2324); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (3:133,137); Ibn Sa‘d, at-Tabaqāt-ul-kubrā (1:431); Bayhaqī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (7:68); and Ibn Kathīr in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:140).
[22]. Related by Bukhārī in his as-Sahīh, b. of wudū’ (ablution) ch.32 (1:75#168).
[23]. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, Fath-ul-bārī (1:274).
[24]. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (1:71).
[25]. Bukhārī, as-Sahīh, b. of libās (dress) ch.64 (5:2210#5557); Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:390).
[26]. Badr-ud-Dīn ‘Aynī, ‘Umdat-ul-qārī (22:49).
[27]. Tabarānī narrated it in al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (24:351-2#871) and al-Mu‘jam-ul-awsat (1:152-3#191); Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr, al-Istī‘āb fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (4:382); Abū Nu‘aym, Hilyat-ul-awliyā’ wa tabaqāt-ul-asfiyā’ (3:121); Ibn-ul-Jawzī, al-‘Ilal-ul-mutanāhiyyah (1:268-9#433), Sifat-us-safwah (2:38); Ibn-ul-Athīr, Asad-ul-ghābah (7:213); Samhūdī, Wafā’-ul-wafā (3:897-8); and Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (4:380).
[28]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of janā’iz (funerals) ch.8, 17 (1:422-3,425#1195,1204); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of janā’iz, ch.12 (2:648#939); Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. of janā’iz, (3:200#3157); Nasā’ī, Sunan, b. of janā’iz (4:28-33); Tirmidhī, al-Jāmi‘-us-sahīh, b. of janā’iz, ch.15 (3:315#990); Ibn Mājah, Sunan, b. of janā’iz, ch.8 (1:468-9#1458); Mālik bin Anas, al-Muwattā, b. of janā’iz, ch.1 (1:222#2); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (5:84, 6:407); Humaydī, Musnad (1:175-6#360); Ibn Hibbān, as-Sahīh (7:302,304#3032-3); Tabarānī, al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (25:45-50#86,88-95,97-99).
[29]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of adab (good manners) ch.39 (5:2245#5689), b. of janā’iz (funeral prayers) ch.28 (1:429#1218), b. of buyū‘ (sales) ch.31 (2:737#1987), b. of libās (dress) ch.17 (5:2189#5473); Ibn Mājah, Sunan, b. of libās, ch.1 (2:1177#3555); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (5:333-4); and Ibn Sa‘d in at-Tabaqāt-ul-kubrā (1:454).
[30]. Bukhārī transmitted in his as-Sahīh, b. of janā’iz (funeral prayers) ch.22,76 (1:427#1211); and Ahmad bin Hambal in his Musnad (3:371).
[31]. Bukhārī related it in as-Sahīh, b. of libās (dress) ch.7 (5:2184#5459), b. of janā’iz (funeral prayers) ch.22 (1:427#1210); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of sifāt-ul-munāfiqīn wa ahkāmuhum (pertaining to the characteristics of the hypocrites and the command concerning them) 4:2140 (#2773); Nasā’ī, Sunan, b. of janā’iz (4:37-8); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (3:381); Bayhaqī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (3:402); and Wāqidī in Kitāb-ul-maghāzī (2:1057).
[32]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of libās (dress) ch.7 (5:2184#5460), b. of janā’iz (funerals) ch.22 (1:427#1210), b. of tafsīr (interpretation of the Qur’ān) ch.160,161 4:1715,1716 (#4393,4395); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of sifāt-ul-munāfiqīn wa ahkāmuhum (the signs of hypocrites and their commands) 4:2141 (#2774); Nasā’ī, Sunan, b. of janā’iz (funerals) 4:36, and Tafsir (1:551-2#244); Tirmidhī, al-Jāmi‘-us-sahīh, b. of tafsīr, ch.10 (5:279-80#3098); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (2:18); Ibn Hibbān, as-Sahīh (7:447#3175); Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr, as-Istī‘āb fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (2:336); Bayhaqī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (3:402; 8:199), and Dalā’il-un-nubuwwah (5:287); Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (3:635); and Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (2:336).
[33]. Ibn-ul-Athīr, Asad-ul-ghābah (3:262); Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (2:318).
[34]. Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr narrated it in al-Istī‘āb fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (2:279); Ibn-ul-Athīr, Asad-ul-ghābah (3:207); and Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (2:292).
[35]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of shurūt (conditions) ch.15 (2:976#2581); and Bayhaqī in Dalā’il-un-nubuwwah (4:104).
[36]. Bukhārī transmitted it in his as-Sahīh, b. of tibb (medicine) ch.37 (5:2168#5413); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of salām (peace) ch.21 (4:1724#2194); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (6:93); Hākim, al-Mustadrak (4:412); and Baghawī in Sharh-us-sunnah (5:224-5#1414).
[37]. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, Fath-ul-bārī (10:208).
[38]. Bukhārī narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of fadā’il-us-sahābah (virtues of the Companions) ch.74 (3:1422-3#3697), b. of ‘aqīqah, ch.1 (5:2081#5152); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of ādāb (good manners) ch.5 (3:1691#2146); and Ahmad bin Hambal in Musnad (6:93,347).
[39]. Muslim narrated it in his as-Sahīh, b. of ādāb (good manners) ch.5 (3:1689#2144); and Ahmad bin Hambal in Musnad (3:175,196,212).
[40]. Related by Bukhārī in his as-Sahīh, b. of isti’dhān (asking permission) ch.41 (5:2316#5925).
[41]. Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of fadā’il (merits) ch.22 (4:1815#2331); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (3:136).
[42]. Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of fadā’il-us-sahābah, (virtues of the Companions) ch.38 (4:1943#2497).
[43]. Related by Ahmad bin Hambal in Musnad (4:42).
[44]. Ahmad bin hambal, Musnad (3:496); Ibn Sa‘d, at-Tabaqāt-ul-kubrā (2:50-1).
[45]. Related by Ibn Kathīr in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:368).
[46]. Qādī ‘Iyād, ash-Shifā (2:620).
[47]. Bukhārī, as-Sahīh, b. of wakālah (representation) ch.8 (2:811#2185); Muslim, as-Sahīh, b. of musāqāt (watering) ch.21 (3;1222-3#715); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (3:299,314).
[48]. Related by Muslim in his as-Sahīh, b. of fadā’il (virtues) ch.19 (4:1812#2324).
[49]. Abū Dāwūd narrated it in his Sunan, b. of jihad (3:46#2647), b. of adab (good manners) (4:356#5223); Tirmidhī, al-Jāmi‘-us-sahīh, b. of jihad, ch.36 (4:215#1716); Ibn Mājah, Sunan, b. of adab, ch.16 (2:1221#3704); Bukhārī, al-Adab-ul-mufrad (p.338#972); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (2:70,100); Ibn Sa‘d, at-Tabaqāt-ul-kubrā (4:145); Ibn Abū Shaybah, al-Musannaf (8:561-2#5256-7); Sa‘īd bin Mansūr, Sunan (2:209-10#2539); Bayhaqī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (9:76-7), Shu‘ab-ul-īmān (4:50-1#4311); and Baghawī in Sharh-us-sunnah (11:68-9#2708).
[50]. Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. of adab (good manners) 4:357 (#5225); Bayhaqī, as-Sunan-ul-kubrā (7:102).
[51]. Related by Bukhārī in his al-Adab-ul-mufrad (p.339#975).
[52]. Ibn Mājah narrated it in his Sunan, b. of adab (good manners) ch.16 (2:1221#3705); Tirmidhī in al-Jāmi‘-us-sahīh, b. of isti’dhān (asking for permission) ch.33 (5:77#2733) and graded it hasan (fair) sahīh (sound); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (4:239); Ibn Abū Shaybah, al-Musannaf (8:562#6258); Abū Dāwūd Tayālisī, Musnad (p.160#1164); Hākim in al-Mustadrak (1:9) labelled it as sahīh while Dhahabī endorsed him. Tabarānī, al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (8:69-70#7396); Abū Nu‘aym, Hilyat-ul-awliyā’ wa tabaqāt-ul-asfiyā’ (5:97-8); Bayhaqī, Dalā’il-un-nubuwwah (6:268).

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