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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby Fall Flower » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:43 pm

47.19 is not saying that the prophet (sawa) had a specific thanb or fault, rather it's teaching that no matter how great of a person one is, no one is perfect but Allah (swt) and so forgiveness must always be sought from Allah (swt).

Thanb, though translated as sin, is not necessarily a sin (bad deed). It's a small fault or error that can come from the limitations of being human and having limited knowledge that unless Allah (swt) reveals something, it is not possible to always know the absolute best course of action. Perfection belongs to Allah (swt) alone. The prophet (sawa) is sinless in that he never disobeyed Allah (swt) and always chose the right course of action with the knowledge he was given. Jesus (sawa) is stated to be pure in these verses, but so is Muhammad (sawa) as the opening lines of S. 53:

"By the star when it descends,
Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred,
Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.
It is not but a revelation revealed,"

What is translated as "erred" is ghawa, which means to deviate from truth and follow one's own inclination, i.e. to be in misguidance and to insist and go deep into misguidance. This the prophet (sawa) has never done.

One of the main jobs of the prophet (sawa) is to purify his people. How can a prophet who is not pure himself purify anyone? "It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom - although they were before in clear error" - 62:2
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:50 pm

Wow, thank you so much. This is interesting. Do you mind if I probe a little, because there is so little I understanding about the Qur'an, Islam, and Mohammad.

So you are saying:

Muhammad never did a "bad deed"
Muhammad never disobeyed Allah, and everything he did in his life was the right and perfect course of action (with the knowledge he was given)?

Am I understanding you? Obviously, through the years we have all heard stories of Muhammad's violent military conquests and his multiple wives, including a young girl. Are these all untrue rumors? Or were they right and perfect in Allah's eyes?

Please. These are honest questions. I want to understand, and am not trying to be a problem. Can you explain these things to me to bring me to understanding?

I know that Isa is called "holy" in S. 19.19. Where in the Qur'an does it tell us Muhammad is holy? I can't seem to find it.
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby Coolness » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:53 pm

Prophets never sin, prophets have a higher level of faith that just doing something "good" but not the "absolute best" is considered a sin in their eye, like the story of Prophet Mohammed and the blind man, he didn't commit a sin, but he could've done something better.

Prophet Mohammed was praying so much at night and was asking forgiveness all the time even though he didn't commit any sin, he was asked by his companions why he would pray so much and as forgiveness if he is is sinless and forgiven, he replied by saying that he just wants to be a thankful servant to Allah..

And sorry if it came out rude or straight forward..
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:57 pm

Thanks. You didn't come out rude. No problem. I'm appreciating all I'm learning. I thought Allah told Muhammad to ask forgiveness for his sins in S. 47.19, implying, of course, that Muhammad needed to ask forgiveness. It seems, if I'm reading it right, that it wasn't Muhammad asking humbly for forgiveness even though he didn't need it, but Allah telling him he needed it. Can you help me understand?
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby Thaf » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:02 pm

Even if you are sinless, God is still beyond and above that.

If we turn away from humans and look at the Angels. We Muslims believe Angels have no free will and obey the command of Allah. Yet, when the balance (mizan) is being set up, they will ask Allah "for whom have you set up the balance?" and He will reply "for whomever of my creation I choose" and they will reply "forgive us as we did not worship You as You deserved."

Does that make more sense? None of God's creation can do God justice. Regardless of whether you are sinful or not.

Anyway, here are a few hadiths from the Prophet (saw):

“O Allah! Forgive me my sins that I did in the past or will do in the future, and also the sins I did in secret or in public.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 5919)

Narrated Al-Mughira (RA): The Prophet used to offer night prayers till his feet became swollen. Somebody said, to him," "Allah has forgiven you, your faults of the past and those to follow." On that, he said, "Shouldn't I be a thankful slave of Allah)?" (Bukhari, Hadith 4459)
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:02 pm

Thanks for your patience with me. So Muhammad had faults (Bukhara, Hadith 4459) and sins (hadith 5919), but, uh, they don't count because God is still beyond and above that? Sorry, I'm having a hard time grasping all this.

The angels were sinless (with no freewill, but only obedience), but they ask for forgiveness. And you're saying Muhammad was also sinless, though he had faults; his sins were not counted against him?
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:09 pm

Trying to understand. Thanks for your patience. So the Qur'an says Allah says Muhammad was a sinner (47.19), and you don't refute that. But Ibn Hibbaan says that Muhammad said Isa was also a sinner, even though the Qur'an calls Isa holy in 19.19 and the New Testament says he never sinned. Am I getting it?
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby The king » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:14 pm

This is from a Hadith (Saying of the Prophet).
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby Moe Rain » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:17 pm

"The Seal of the Prophets" means that he is the final prophet.
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Re: Who was the greatest prophet?

Postby Memory Man » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:22 pm

Quran 2:253
تِلْكَ الرُّ‌سُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ

"Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others"

Quran 17:55
وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ

"And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways]"

These two verses clearly show us that there's some kind of hierarchy between the prophets. In another verse of the Quran, there's a mention to "Ulu Al 'Azm" (فَاصْبِرْ‌ كَمَا صَبَرَ‌ أُولُو الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّ‌سُلِ Quran 46:35), which refers (for most views) to the five greatest messengers: Muhammad, Ibrahim, Musa, Issa and Nuh عليهم الصلاة والسلام.

These two verses are informative, there's no command here. Allah is informing us that He has given to some prophets a special rank or superiority (and indeed, we consider Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to be at the highest rank).

But Allah also commands us to not discriminate between them:

Quran 2:136
قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّ‌قُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

"Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."

Quran 2:285
آمَنَ الرَّ‌سُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُ‌سُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّ‌قُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّ‌سُلِهِ

"The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers."

Even though there's no doubt about the position of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, we muslims don't like to engage in this kind of popularity contest between messengers. He himself didn't like it:

Once while a Jew was selling something, he was offered a price that he was not pleased with. So, he said:
"No, by Him Who gave Moses superiority over all human beings!"
Hearing him, an Ansari man got up and slapped him on the face and said:
"You say: By Him Who Gave Moses superiority over all human beings although the Prophet (Muhammad) is present amongst us!"
The Jew went to the Prophet and said:
"O Abu al Qasim! I am under the assurance and contract of security, so what right does so-and-so have to slap me?"
The Prophet asked the other:
"Why have you slapped?".
He told him the whole story. The Prophet became angry, till anger appeared on his face, and said:
"Don't give superiority to any prophet amongst Allah's Prophets, for when the trumpet will be blown, everyone on the earth and in the heavens will become unconscious except those whom Allah will exempt. The trumpet will be blown for the second time and I will be the first to be resurrected to see Moses holding Allah's Throne. I will not know whether the unconsciousness which Moses received on the Day of Tur has been sufficient for him, or has he got up before me. And I do not say that there is anybody who is better than Yunus bin Matta." (Sahih Bukhari)
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