In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 81-82
Before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent the humans to the earth, He took an oath from us that we will not worship anyone besides Him. This oath is called the Oath of Alasth. Likewise, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala took a covenant from His prophets and messengers (AS) before they were sent to their respective nations. In the following ayaat, we will read about that oath.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states that He took a pledge from every prophet (AS) whom He sent from Adam until ‘Eesa, that when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives them the Book and the Hikmah, thus acquiring whatever high grades they deserve, then a Messenger came afterwards, they would believe in and support him. Even though Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given the prophets the knowledge and the prophethood, this fact should not make them refrain from following and supporting the Prophet who comes after them.
This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “And [recall], when Allah took the covenant of the prophets [saying], ‘Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him.”
They were commanded to do two things: believe in him and support him. Support him in what? In establishing the religion of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because he was the Last Messenger, after him no new messenger will come and if the Message is not understood and implemented then the humanity will be lost. SubhanAllah, this was for our guidance! Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had planned everything. This is why the description of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was so clear that when the true believers saw him, they believed in him and followed him.
After commanding them to do this, He asks for confirmation, “Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?”
Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi’, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that the word isri [إِصْرِي] means “My covenant.” Muhammad ibn Ishaq said that it means “the responsibility of My covenant that you took,” meaning the ratified pledge that you gave Me.
The prophets (AS) responded by saying we have acknowledged it.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.” And whoever turns away from fulfilling the pledge and covenant will be from among the rebellious.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and his cousin ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhum said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala never sent a prophet but after taking his pledge that if Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were sent in his lifetime, he would believe in and support him.”
Tawus, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala took the pledge from the prophets that they would believe in each other.” Ibn Katheer comments this statement does not contradict what ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhum stated.
Therefore, Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the Final Prophet until the Day of Resurrection. He is the greatest Imam, who if he existed in any time, deserves obedience. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala honored Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by allowing him to lead all the other prophets (AS) in prayer during the night of Isra’ when they gathered in Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem]. He is the intercessor on the Day of Gathering, when the Lord comes to judge between His servants. This is Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud (the praised station) (refer to 17:79) that only Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deserves, a responsibility which the mighty prophets and messengers (AS) will decline to assume. However, Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will carry the task of intercession, may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala include us among those who will be selected for his intercession and accept his intercession on our behalf, ameen.
– If the messengers are being commanded to believe in and support the Last Messenger, then their followers are also obligated to follow the footsteps of their messengers and believe in and support Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
-Should we read the Scriptures of other religions? The first answer is that they have been altered and for second answer read this Saheeh Hadith:
Imams Ahmad and Ad-Darimi narrated that Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) brought to Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam a copy of the Torah and said, “Allah’s Messenger, this is a copy of the Torah. He (Allah’s Messenger) kept quiet and he (‘Umar) began reading it. The (color) of the face of Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam changed, whereupon Abu Bakr (RA) said: Would that your mother mourn you, don’t you see the face of Allah’s Messenger? ‘Umar (RA) saw the face of Allah’s Messenger and said: I seek refuge with Allah from the wrath of Allah and the wrath of His Messenger. We are well pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as religion, and with Muhammad as Prophet. Whereupon Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, even if Musa [Moses] were to appear before you and you were to follow him, leaving me aside, you would certainly stray into error; for if (Moses) were alive (now), and he found my prophetical ministry, he would have definitely followed me.”
Imam Ibn Taymiyah said: It is not permissible to rely on what the People of the Book narrate or to trust those who narrate from them. This is a consensus of all Muslims. Because the Prophet said: “When the People of the Book tell you something neither accept what they say as a fact nor deny completely as they might tell you something true and you deny it and they might tell you something wrong and you accept it.”
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala show us the truth as truth and enable us to follow and show us the falsehood as falsehood and enable us to stay away from it, ameen.
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