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Special Privileges For Muslims As Outlined By The Prophet
10 July 2009
By Adil Salehi
Jabir ibn Abdullah
quotes the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: “I
have been given five privileges which were not given
to anyone before me: I have been supported by fear
traveling a month ahead of me; the earth has been
assigned to me as a place of worship and a source of
“Anyone from my community may pray wherever he is when
prayer is due. War gains have been made lawful to me
while they were not made lawful to anyone before. I
have been allowed to intercede on behalf of my
followers. Prophets before me used to be sent to their
own local communities while I am sent to all mankind.”
(Related by Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet outlines these five privileges,
acknowledging God’s favors and expressing his
gratitude. He is in no way boasting about them. He is
also highlighting them to his community so that they
will remain grateful to God for them. The first
privilege is that the Prophet was supported with fear
being struck into the hearts of his enemies.
A question arises here: Is this privilege special for
the Prophet only or extended to his community in later
generations? There is no clear indication given by the
Prophet on this point.
Many scholars are of the view that it is special for
the Prophet only, but some of them say that it applies
to the Muslim community in all generations, provided
that it adheres to Islam in all its affairs.
The second privilege concerns prayer, which is an
essential element in all divine religions. The Prophet
says: “There is no goodness in a religion that does
not include prayer.”
The Prophet stresses here the fact that Muslims offer
their prayers anywhere and can use the earth for dry
ablution, if they have no water.
This is an important privilege because earlier
prophets had to offer their prayers in their temples
or special places of worship. We all make use of this
privilege all the time.
We conduct our congregational prayers in mosques, as
well as in our places of work, schools, colleges or at
A Muslim who works all day long in an office or a
factory where there are hundreds of employees who are
non-Muslims can easily take a few minutes to offer his
prayers at his place of work, without disrupting his
If water is not available, we can use the concession
of dry ablution, using plain earth in a symbolic
gesture that makes our prayers valid.
Having said that, we should remember that there are
clearly outlined exceptions. Prayers cannot be offered
in graveyards, on rubbish heaps, in slaughter houses,
camel stables, on the open road, in bathrooms, or in
some other particular places. These are well defined,
even though there are differences among schools of
thought concerning some of them.
We will be discussing the other three privileges next
week, God willing.