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Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) - 53: Who Were Prophet's Enemies?

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali

As we have seen over the last couple of weeks, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used the night time to maintain his close contact with God, standing up for hours in night worship. While this was required of him alone, he has given us plenty of guidance on how to use the night in order to keep our relation with God at a high and sensitive level. The supplications and glorifications he has taught us should ensure that we look up to God all the time for protection and support.

Aishah reports that when the Prophet went to bed, he would say: "My Lord, let me enjoy my senses of hearing and eyesight, and keep them so as to be the last of me. Support me against my enemies and let me have my revenge against them. I seek your help against being overcome by debt. Protect me from hunger, as it is the worst bed companion."

In this supplication, the Prophet hopes to enjoy all his senses throughout his life, and to maintain his hearing and sight for the rest of his days. He also prays against feeling the heavy burden of debt and hunger. Prophet Muhammad was an ordinary human being who hoped for a life of strength and dignity, free of burdens and afflictions. This is right for every human being with upright nature. Here we discard the lies of those who claim to be religious and welcome pain and hurt as if these were desirable for their own sake. They want others to believe that religion is hostile to human safety and dignity!

This supplication includes a prayer that needs explanation. The Prophet prays for God's support against his enemies. The question that arises here is whether the Prophet had any personal enemy? Most certainly not. He was the kindest of people who was always ready to forego what is owed to him, whether moral or material. No personal concern caused him to be angry, but he soon got angry when God's rights were encroached upon. He would immediately rise to defend them with all his power. In praying for support against his enemies, he is explaining the meaning of the Qur'anic verse: "(Our Lord), pardon us, and forgive us our sins, and bestow Your mercy on us. You are our Lord Supreme; grant us victory against the unbelievers." (2: 286)

The unbelievers inflict much pain on believers, leaving them hurt and bleeding. This is particularly the case when the believers are weak, facing tremendously superior power that shatters their ranks and humiliates them. Thus, the wide, wide world becomes too narrow for them. It is only right that those defeated believers should be able to exact revenge and see the might of unfaith brought down to dust. This is the reason that believers are commanded to fight the power of evil: "Fight them: God will punish them at your hands, and will bring disgrace upon them; and will grant you victory over them and will grant heart-felt satisfaction to those who are believers, removing all angry feelings from their hearts." (9: 14-15)

Human nature has its consistent features that must be preserved and never obliterated, as some people who think themselves religious try to deny them. A certain type of religiousness is crazy, as it negates reason, suppresses human nature and refuses to listen to it. Such religiousness is unacceptable to Islam. Perhaps it was a mark of respecting human nature and responding to it that the Prophet addressed a host of natural feelings in his prayers. Aishah reports: "From the day I married him until the day when he departed this world, the Prophet would never go to sleep before saying a prayer in which "he sought refuge with God against cowardice, laziness, boredom, stinginess, deterioration in old age, unsightly situations in respect to his family and property, the torment in the grave and against Satan and his machinations and disbelief."

Thus, the Prophet's nights were enlightened with purity and glorification and thus they came alive. Yet it was only a short time that he slept, waking up to offer the dawn obligatory prayer and prepare to welcome a new day. As the day began to break, he would say: "We start our morning and all dominion belongs to God. Praise be to God who has no partners. There is no deity other than Him. To Him we shall all return.



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