Misunderstood Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)

How has the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) been distorted?

What is it that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) left behind? In the Muslim world today the legacy of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) may be looked at as hairs. You’ll find some parts of the Muslim world, where people claim to have a hair from the head or the beard of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). In Kashmir, they even have a mosque, the biggest mosque in Kashmir. A shrine, to one of the hairs from the head of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), it is called the Hazrat Baal mosque. Of course, the fact of the matter whether it is actually a hair from his (ﷺ) head or his (ﷺ) beard or not, is another issue altogether. You will also find in different parts of the Muslim world, the tooth, which was knocked out of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) mouth in the battle of Uhud. One of his (ﷺ) teeth was knocked out and in Pakistan they claim to have the tooth, in Morocco they claim to have the tooth, in Turkey they claim to have the tooth and a number of other countries. He (ﷺ) only lost one tooth but this is the legacy and you will also find his (ﷺ) sandals in the Topkapi museum in Istanbul. You will also find the cloak that he (ﷺ) wore and the sword, and a variety of other artifacts which are attached to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and people go there and they will rub the cases in which these artifacts are and rub it on themselves believing that the barakah of these artifacts will be transferred to themselves. So the legacy in the minds of many ignorant Muslims is the artifacts and the bits and pieces that were left behind which people claim were from Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). However none of these artifacts, not a single one of them, can be authentically attributed to Rasul Allah (ﷺ). None of them, because we have a principle for verification of the authenticity of any Islamic principle, law, artifact etc., that principle is the principle known as sanad, meaning, if somebody says ‘I have the hair of Rasul Allah (ﷺ),’ we say, ‘Okay, where did you get the hair from? I got it from so and so, okay where did he get it from, he got it from, so and so.’ Then you have to be able to trace all the way back to that person who got the comb of the Prophet (ﷺ) and took the hair out, the Sahabi, what was his name, who did he give it to and who he gave it too?’ and that has to be an authentic chain of reliable narrators. If you don’t have that, then you don’t have anything. It’s just a hair.

So Islam was never concerned with this. You don’t hear the leading scholars of Islam concerned with these artifacts, which are now found in the Muslim world. Reality is that the legacy, which Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) left behind was the legacy of da'wah, of conveying the message of Islam to the world. This was his legacy and that legacy is embodied in the struggle that he (ﷺ) went through. He (ﷺ) left in his struggle a blue print, which we can see mirrored in our day-to-day lives today.

So the challenge of the Qur'an is not like that when we look at the struggle of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), what he (ﷺ) went through, what the Quraish did to try to stop him (ﷺ). All of that, what they offered him (ﷺ), their loss of their lives and their wealth, all of this to stop him (ﷺ) and all they had to do was to produce three lines of poetry like Kawthar, Surah Al-Kawthar, that’s all they had to do. Do you think practically, logically, if they were able to do it, they would do this, go through all that struggle instead of doing this so much simpler thing? So, in the struggle of Rasul Allah (ﷺ) is the sign that the Qur'an is a miracle, a literary miracle that though we cannot grasp it due to our weakness of our language etc., we cant grasp it at that level where we can read it and say 'wow', we can understand it in the struggle of Rasul Allah (ﷺ), a struggle which overcame all odds, a struggle which would not have taken place if there was a way out. The call of Rasul Allah (ﷺ) to tawheed, that shook the whole of Meccan society, the socio-economic order was being challenged, the religious center of Arabs was being demolished, they had every reason to meet that challenge, so in that struggle, Insha’Allah we can see, we can learn, we can appreciate the Qur'an which is the true legacy which Prophet (ﷺ) has left for us, tangible in our hands and the message of the Qur'an is to worship Allah alone and that is the total legacy that we have to carry to the people of British Columbia, to the people of Canada, to the people of the world. This was the legacy from the struggle of Rasul Allah (ﷺ).

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