Wasn’t Muhammad Assured Of his Own Salvation?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Many Non-Muslims Claim that Muhammad wasn’t sure of his own Salavation , So how can Muslims be sure to have salavation by following. Let us have a look.
1. Misconceptions/ Misinterpretation Of Quran and Hadith by Non-Muslims
2. Confirming Muhammad’s salvation
Misconceptions/ Misinterpretation Of Quran and Hadith by Non-Muslims
Christian missionaries argue that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not certain about his own salvation according to Islamic sources. They put forth one Qur’anic verse and one hadith as proof for this. They are:
Say: “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the messengers, nor do i know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear.”
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266:
Narrated ‘Um al-‘Ala:
An Ansari woman who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet that the Ansar drew lots concerning the dwelling of the Emigrants. ‘Uthman bin Maz’un was decided to dwell with them (i.e. Um al-‘Ala’s family), ‘Uthman fell ill and I nursed him till he died, and we covered him with his clothes.
Then the Prophet came to us and I (addressing the dead body) said, “O Abu As-Sa’ib, may Allah’s Mercy be on you! I bear witness that Allah has honored you.” On that the Prophet said, “How do you know that Allah has honored him?”
I replied, “I do not know. May my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, O Allah’s Apostle! But who else is worthy of it (if not ‘Uthman)?” He said, “As to him, by Allah, death has overtaken him, and I hope the best for him. By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me,”
By Allah, I will never assert the piety of anyone after him. That made me sad, and when I slept I saw in a dream a flowing stream for ‘Uthman bin Maz’un. I went to Allah’s Apostle and told him of it. He remarked, “That symbolizes his (good) deeds.”
The first possible solution is that the Qur’anic verse and statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) knew that he was going to paradise.
As for his expression “By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me”, the Prophet (peace be upon him) uttered this in accordance with Allah’s statement in Surah Al Ahqaaf “Say: “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the messengers, nor do i know what will be done with me or with you”. This was before the revealing of the verse by Allah All Mighty “
That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future” (Surah 48:2) because Al Ahqaaf is a Makkan Surah, while Surah Al Fatah is a Madinan Surah and there is no contradiction between the two of them. And it has been established that he (peace be upon him)
said “I am the first who will enter paradise” and there other reports which convey this meaning as well. So it is possible to sustain this (i.e. the fact that the Prophet doesn’t know) on knowledge in a general sense, but negating the inclusiveness of the particulars.
Kitab: Al Janaaiz, Bab: Al Dukhool ‘Ala Al Mayyit Ba’d Al Mawt izhaa Adraja fi Akfaanihi,commentary on Hadith no. 1166,
Imam Tabari in his commentary quotes Qatadah saying:
“Nor do I know what will be done with me or with you”, then he (peace be upon him) knew from Allah after that what he would do with him, for Allah said “Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad SAW) a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future” (Surah 48:1-2)
(Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami’ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 46:9,)
So we see that the first possible solution is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) expressed his ignorance of what will happen to him in the next life before he received revelation from Allah that stated that he would be going to paradise. The second soultion for this is that Muhammad talks about the the wordly life.
Tafsir Al Jalalayn states:
Say: ‘I am not a novelty, unprecedented, among the messengers, that is to say, [I am not] the first to be sent [by God as His Messenger]. Already many of them have come before me, so how can you deny me? Nor do I know what will be done with me or with you, in this world: will I be made to leave my [native] land, or will I be slain as was done with [some] prophets before me, or will you stone me to death, or will the earth be made to swallow you as [it did] deniers before you? I only follow what is revealed to me, that is, the Qur’ān, and I do not invent anything myself. And I am only a plain warner’, one whose warning is plain.
Source : (Tafsir Al Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 46:9)
Confirming Muhammad’s salvation
Al-Bukhari narrated that Prophet Muhammad, said:
“I and the custodian of an orphan are like this (together) in Paradise“, and he joined his forefinger and middle finger together.”
” After the passing of the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — from this world Abu Bakr said to the Companions: “I asked Allah’s Messenger what basic thing was necessary for salvation and he replied that whoever accepts the Word which I brought and which I offered to my uncle Abu Talib and which he rejected: this Word constitutes salvation for him.”
Related by Ahmad (1:6), Tabarani in al-Awsat, Tayalisi in his Musnad, Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat (2/2:84-85), Abu Ya`la, Ibn Abi Shayba, Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman
Ibn Kathîr quotes a number of Hadîth [an-Nihayah, 2/213] that state this such as the report of Muslim from Anas (ra) according to which the Messenger of Allâh (saw) said,
“I will be the first one to knock at the gates of Paradise“.
Muslim also reported from Anas that the Messenger of Allâh (saw) said:
“I will come to the gates of paradise and ask for it to be opened. The gatekeeper will ask, “Who are you?” I will say, “Muhammad”. The gatekeeper will say, “I was ordered not to open the gate for anyone else before you”.
Allah knows Best