Before undertaking reformation of the world, the very goal of Jihad, there is a need for self-reformation first. This is based on respect for the Holy Prophet-SW. Any slackness in his-SW obedience is simply unacceptable. The confines of his-SW respect are that the believers must never, under any circumstances, precede him-SW in any matter whatsoever. This amounts to preceding Allah-SWT, because the dictates of the Holy Prophet-SW are in fact Allah-SWT‘s Commandments. The believers must fear Allaah-SWT as He-SWT is all-Knowing.
Holy Prophet-SW’s Respect is the Basis of Self-Reformation
The believers must not raise their voices in his-SW audience and must never speak in a tone louder than his-SW. Nor must they talk casually with him-SW as they do among themselves, lest it invalidates all their deeds without their knowing it. Some scholars assert that if a person unintentionally raises his voice, without even realizing it, it may vitiate his good deeds. As the Prophetic Barakah-the light of the Qalb and the spiritual feelings are transmitted through the righteous scholars and the accomplished saints, they are to be similarly respected. And as for the invalidation of good deeds, Ahl-e-Sunnah agree that it is the outcome of infidelity, very much a voluntary action. Unless and until one does it on purpose, he will not become an infidel. Similarly faith is also voluntary and unless one wilfully embraces Islam he cannot be a Muslim.
Maulana Ashraf 'Ali Thänvi-RAU explains: Taking a lead over the Holy Prophet-SW or indulging in reckless conversation are acts of impudence and discourtesy towards his-SW status, and can cause his-SW annoyance. Even if it is unintentional, the possibility of annoyance and disregard cannot be ruled out. Impudence or discourtesy are offences that divest the capacity to act righteously paving the way to sin and eventually leads to infidelity. Mufti Muhammad Shafi-RAU, in his Mu'arif ul Quran, asserts with reference to some scholars that an act of impudence or disregard towards a spiritual mentor will bear similar results, that is, shall impede acting righteously, ultimately vitiating the faith.
Those who lower their voices in the presence of the Holy Prophet-SW are the believers whose Qulub Allaah-SWT has approved for Taqwa and as such nothing in its violation crosses their minds. Such are the fortunate souls who qualify for His-SWT Forgiveness as well as a mighty reward.
Same Etiquettes Mandatory at the Holy Prophet-SW‘s Tomb
According to the righteous scholars the Holy Prophet-SW commands the same respect as he-SW did in his temporal life. So it is against the etiquettes to raise one's voice while paying traditional homage at his tomb. Also when Ahadith are read out, it is forbidden to make noise, being rude and against the etiquettes. Similarly the audiences of great religious scholars must also be attended with due deference. And those who call out to the Holy Prophet-SW from outside his private chambers are mostly unwise. This refers to some pagans of Bann Taman, who in a hurry to get back to their possessions and livestock, had called out aloud for the Holy Prophet-SW from outside his-SW private chambers.
The Sacred Chambers
The chambers of the noble wives of the Holy Prophet-SW had ceilings improvised from date palm branches, and the doors were draped with heavy woollen curtains. The Holy Prophet-SW‘s tomb was the erstwhile chamber of Hadhrat `Ayeshah Siddiqah-RAU while others were adjoined in the direction of the niche of the masjid. Hadhrat Daud bin Qais-RAU reports that he had seen these apartments. The distance between the outer door and the living room was 6 to 7 arm-lengths (9 – 10 feet), its length was about 10 arm-lengths (15 feet) while the ceiling was 7 to 8 arm lengths (10 – 12 feet) high. These sacred chambers were included in the Holy Prophet-SW‘s Masjid on the orders of Waleed bin Abdul Malik.
Had the villagers calling out to the Holy Prophet-SW been patient until he-SW had himself come out for a hearing, it would have been better for them. The wording of the Quran "till you-SW come out unto them" means that the Holy Prophet-SW had himself noticed them. And if he-SW had come out for any other purpose, it would not have been proper to call out to draw his-SW attention. They were sincere believers seeking religious knowledge, but because of the rural background they were unaware of the etiquettes. They were, therefore, pardoned, as evident from "Allaah-SWT is Forgiving, Merciful". Nevertheless, their simplicity or naivety became a blessing for mankind as it led to the revelation of etiquettes to be observed while in the Holy Prophet-SW‘s audience.
The believers must never trust the information received through any mischief monger. Any complaints of disobedience to the Holy Prophet-SW or impudence towards him-SW must be investigated before initiating action against the alleged offenders, lest the believers harm anyone wrongly and regret later. The background leading to this revelation was that the chieftain of Bani Mustaliq, Harith bin Abi Dharrar, (whose daughter Hadhrat Jawairia-RAU was married to the Holy Prophet-SW) had visited him-SW and embraced Islam. He sought the Holy Prophet-SW‘s permission to convert his tribe to Islam and to convey them the injunction of Zakat and also requested for a courier to his tribe to collect it. The Companion-RAU deputed for the purpose happened to be a former rival of Bani Mustaliq. As he arrived, the entire tribe turned out to greet him. Assuming it to be an assault he fled and complained to the Holy Prophet-SW, who ho ordered an expedition against them under the command of Hadhrat Khalid bin Waleed-RAU. They met Bani Mustaliq already on their way to Madinah to clarify the situation. Together they returned and explained to the Holy Prophet-SW and the misunderstanding was removed.
The Testimony of a Wicked Person
The scholars conclude that it is forbidden to act upon information provided by a wicked person unless continued by other sources. In Islamic jurisprudence, it is acceptable only in petty temporal affairs but not in important issues like war.
The Contemporary Vote
The present day vote is also a testimony whereby Governments are fanned to decide the fates of nations. If only this rule was applied to vote in our country, which in any case is a necessity according to Shar’iah!
Impartiality of the Companions-RAU
The information in the above incident was provided by a Companion-RAU void of am' chance of wickedness. Ahl-e-Sunnah believe that all Companions-RAU were just and impartial, though not innocent. And anyone who committed a sin was duly punished in accordance with Shariah and purified and in the light of Quran and the Sunnah none remained without purification through penitence. The very few who erred indeed repented in an exemplary manner. Besides, the Divine declaration: Radhi Allah 'Anhum wa Radhu Anhu (Allaah-SWT is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him-SWT ) is an irrefutable evidence to their truthfulness, as Divine Pleasure can only be attained through remission of sins arid dying as a believer. Moreover, the honour of Companionship is enjoyed by all whether they availed the company of the Holy Prophet-SW, for a long time or for a moment.
All of them are being reminded of the singular honour of enjoying the presence of Allah-SWT‘s Messenger amidst them. This great favour can be rightfully acknowledged only by total adherence to him-SW and not by imposing their opinion on him-SW. A compliance with his-SW directions is indeed a source of mercy for them, so personal opinions must be surrendered in right earnest.
The Status of Companions-RAU
It was due to the honour of his-SW company that Allaah-SWT blessed the noble Companions with devotion by embedding faith deep into their hearts. They are certainly the perfect examples of love and devotion. And He-SWT instilled in them an abhorrence for infidelity, sin and disobedience. As a result they always sought the pleasure of the Holy Prophet-SW. They are the exemplary people who, by His-SWT Munificence, treaded the straight path, indeed a reward and a great Divine favour. Even today the Shari'ah of the Holy Prophet-SW, his-SW sayings and his-SW directions are preserved in pristine form and the same level of obedience is expected from the Ummah, a level expounded by Allah-SWT, the Omniscient and the Wise as a living testimony to their greatness.
The believers are commanded to work for reconciliation between two warring groups of believers. And if despite these efforts one of them continues to oppress the other, the believers must fight until it reverts to Allah-SWT‘s obedience and agrees to a truce. The cause of conflict must be removed with equity and justice in accordance with Shari`ah, to ensure that no conflicts take place in future, for Allaah-SWT approves the equitable. He-SWT has enjoined equity and truce because all Muslims belong to the same fraternity. This bond is stronger than the biological bond; it is only friendliness that befits brothers. Therefore, it is best to live peacefully and be conscious of Allaah-SWT in all matters of war and peace to invoke His-SWT Mercy and to give believers the capacity to take the right decisions.
Mutual Conflicts of the Companions-RAU
According to the righteous scholars, this Ayah takes care of all mutual conflicts of the believers especially the disputes amongst the Companions-RAU. Whenever they had to cross swords, they had sincerely deliberated through Ijtehad. All aimed at the attainment of Allaah-SWT ’s Pleasure, so no one has the right to criticise. They should rather be spoken of highly and respectfully. Their righteousness is supported by many Ahadith and the Commentators have dwelt on this topic at length.