In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace of Allah upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), his Family and all his Companions.
Imam Qastalani in his book “Mawahib al-Ladunniyah” has quoted very authentic sources from the biographies of the Holy Prophet and presented some irrefutable evidences in his other book “Al-Murtaja bil Qubul” that whenever the Holy Prophet walked on stones, they turned soft below his feet leaving deep imprints of his blessed foot.
Hazrat Numan bin Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) in his famous eulogy “Rahmatur Rehman” has described this miracle in the following words:
If you walk on soft earth your foot leaves no trace
But on hard stone, your foot leaves deep traces.
One of the wonders of the heels of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is that when Uncle Abu Talib complained of severe thirst at Zul Majaz, the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) struck his heel against the earth. The water came gushing from the earth. Abu Talib says: I never saw such a spring neither before nor after it. When Abu Talib was saturated, the Prophet struck again and the spring disappeared. (Khasaes Kubra).
Tirmidhi has reported that Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) fell seriously ill and lost hope of survival. The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) passed by him. He struck him by his toe and said O My Lord! Cure his disease and give him speedy recovery. Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) says: After that I never complained again of that disease.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah and Hazrat Abu Omamah (may Allah be pleased with them) have reported that when the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) walked on a stone, his feet have engrossed in it (Baihaqi and Ibn Asakir). It means that stones become soft below his blessed feet in order to facilitate his easy walk.
Hazrat Allamah Imam Shehabuddin Khafaji has reported that when the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) walked bare-footed on the stone, it became soft leaving the foot embossed in it. Many people have preserved these holy stones for blessings. A number of such stones are still found in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jerusalemand some other countries. A large number of people visit, offer their respects and take blessings from these stones (Nasim al- Riyadh and other books).
On the night of ascent to heaven, Angel Jibrail had awakened the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalalam) by touching his sole with his cheek. After his arrival to the sanctum empyrean the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallm) remembering that Allah (swt) had told Moosa (a.s.) to take off his shoes near Mount Sinai, intended to take off his shoes, but Allah (swt) told him to proceed with the shoes on.
We have noted above the practice of honouring relics (tabarruk) was common among the Companions of Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). In view of the above, lots of attention has been given to the blessed Sandals of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). It is by no means an innovation. Now, in Arabic, the Holy Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) sandal is known as na’al. The Na’layn are the blessed sandals worn by blessed messenger, Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Regarding the Blessed Na’layn, there is not a civilisation that has loved and celebrated its leader the way that Islamic civilization loves and celebrates its Prophet, the mercy to mankind Muhammad Mustafa (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).
Many other narrations have been transmitted from the Companions giving exact descriptions of the noble sandals of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Bukhari and Tirmidhi narrate from Qatada: “I asked Anas to describe the sandals of Allah’s Messenger and he replied: Each sandal had two straps”; and from `Isa ibn Tahman: “Anas took out a pair of shoes and showed them to us. They did not have hair on them.” (The remark refers to the Arabian practice of not removing the hair from the leather from which shoes were made.) Bukhari, Malik, and Abu Dawud relate that `Ubayd ibn Jarih said to `Abd Allah ibn `Umar: “I saw you wear tanned sandals.” He replied: “I saw the Prophet wearing sandals with no hair on them and perform ablution in them, and so I like to wear them.”
The first generations, from the Companions of Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), were the first to give them attention and importance, such that some of them were known to have distinguished themselves with serving the Noble Sandals.
It has been reported by Ibn Saad that Anas bin Malik was the keeper of the sandals of Messenger. Imam al-Salihi, who was a student of Imam Jalaludin Suyuti, reported in his work, Subul al-Huda wa’l Rashad (8:318) that Abd Allah ibn Masud ® used to get up as soon as Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) sat down, and would take off the Beloved Messenger’s sandals, and place them under his arms. Then, when the Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) would get up, he would put them on his Blessed Feet. Imam Qastalani too mentions this in Mawahib al-Laduniyya. Abd Allah ibn Masud ® was often called ‘the Caretaker of the Sandals, Couch and Water Bag’.
The depiction of the Na’layn has had a special place in the hearts of Muslims since it points to one of the needs of their tremendous Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). The depiction inspires in them the utmost humility towards lofty status of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Because of this, they took care to record this depiction, and to draw it, and they sometimes even placed it under their turbans, to feel their complete subservience to the tremendousness of this Most Noble Messenger. They also hung this depiction in their houses, seeking blessing from it. Writers and poets wrote eloquently in praise of the Noble Sandals, and in describing the feelings of ecstatic love for that King who wore them. Imam Abu al-Abbas gathered a significant amount of these writings in his aforementioned work, as well as in his treatise Azhar al-Riyad.
Al-Munawi and al-Qari mentioned in their commentary on Tirmidhi's Al-Shama'il that Ibn al-`Arabi said that the sandals are part of the attire of Prophets (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), and the people only left them due to the mud in their lands. He also mentioned that one of the names of the Prophet in the ancient books is sahib Al-Na`layn or "The Wearer of the Two Sandals."
Imam Jazuli, the author of the famous Dala’il al-Khayrat, includes the image of the blessed sandal in his Dala’il al-Khayrat out of reverence for it and as a means of seeking Allah’s blessings.
Out of this same love and devotion, Imam al-Zarqani states, “If possible, kiss the dust that has been touched by the sandals, otherwise, kiss an image of the sandals.” [Sharh al-Zarqani ‘ala’l Mawahib, 5:48]
The above reports are all crystal clear demonstrations of love and submission from the Salaf towards the Beloved Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, through honouring the depiction of his blessed Na’layn Paak.
Imam Qastalani narrates a beautiful verse in honour of the blessed sandals, composed by Imam Qurtubi who says: “I concentrated on the waves of light that emanated from the blessed sandals and as long as we bow down before them (in humility), we will be honoured. Hence, keep it above the head as it is in reality a crown, though apparently a sandal.” [al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya, 2:470]
Imam ibn Asakir wrote an entire volume on the image of the blessed sandals entitled Timthalu Naal al-Nabiyy or A Sketch of the Sandal of the Prophet.
Na’layn Mubarak or an impression together with a description of the blessings is utilised to obtain blessings of Na’layn Mubarak. There are many blessings for a person to keep a picture of Na’layn Shareef with him.
Also reported by Imam Qastallani that, Sayyidina Abu Ishaq al-Zuhri who was one of the Tabi’een, reports that Sayyidina Qasim ibn Muhammad (ibn Abu Bakr Siddiq) said, “Of the proven blessing of the likeness of the Prophet's sandal is that, whoever has it in his possession for tabarruk will be safeguarded by it from the sedition of rebels and the mastery of enemies, and it will be a barrier against every devil and the evil eye of the envious. If a pregnant woman holds it in her right hand during labour, her delivery will be easier by Allah's Power.”
Al-Qastallani also said that Abu al-Yaman ibn `Asakir wrote a volume on the image of the Prophet’s sandal, and so did Ibn aHajj al-Andalusi. He relates the account of a pious shaykh by the name of Abu Ja`far Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Majid: I cut the pattern of this sandal for one of my students. He came to me one day and said: “I saw a wonder yesterday from the blessing of this sandal. My wife was suffering from a pain which almost took her life. I placed the sandal on the spot of her pain and said: O Allah, show me the blessing of the owner of this sandal. Allah cured her on the spot.”
As Imam Yusuf Nabhani says:
Verily I serve the image of the Sandal of Mustafa
So that“ I may live in both worlds under its protection.”
Shaikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani informs us:
Shihab al-Din Ahmad al-Muqri wrote a book on this which he named Fath al-muta`al fi madh al-ni`al(The opening of the Most High in the praise of the Prophet’s sandals).
Ashraf `Ali al-Tahanawi the Deobandi shaykh wrote a treatise entitled Nayl al-shifa’ bi na`l al-mustafa(The attainment of cure through the sandals of the Elect One) found in his book Zad al-sa`id(Provision for the fortunate).
The muhaddith of India Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalwi said in his translation of Tirmidhi’sShama’il that Ashraf `Ali Thaanwi Saahib has written in his kitaab Zaadus Sa`eed a detailed treatise on the barakaat and virtues of the shoes of Rasulullah Sallallahu `Alayhi Wasallam.” Those interested in this should read that kitab (which is available in English).
In short, it may be said that it [the Prophet's sandal] has countless qualities. The `ulama have experienced it many a time. One is blessed by seeing Rasulullah Sallallahu `Alayhi Wasallam in one’s dreams; one gains safety from oppressors and every heartfelt desire is attained. Every object is fulfilled by its tawassul (means, petition, request). The method of tawassul is also mentioned therein.
THE BLESSINGS & BENEFITS OF NALAIN SHARIF
The Great Muslim theologians have listed many benefits and blessings in keeping and venerating a copy of the Nalain Shareef. Some of these are listed below.
* The person will be safe from the harms of the cruel, wickedness of the Satan and from the bad sight of the enviers.
* The pain of childbirth will be eased for eased for the woman who keeps it with her at the time of delivery.
* The person who always keeps a copy of it with him will have respect in the sight of creation.
* He will have the opportunity to see the Blessed Green Dome – Ghumbad-e-Khizra in Madeena Shareef.
* He will have the honour in seeing the Holy Prophet in his dream.
* His property or wealth will be safe in a place where the Nalain Shareef is kept.
* A person’s needs will be met when he prays through the waseela of the Nalain Shareef.
* A person who keeps the Nalain Shareef for a particular reason will have his wishes fulfilled.
* The person will be safe from thieves, calamities and dangers such as drowning.
* The disease and ailments go away when the Nalain Shareef is placed over the affected part.
* Success and deliverance were gained through the Nalain Shareef in oppressive times.
(The Blessings are not limited to the list above but are also obtained when in other circumstances as well.)
Writers and poets wrote eloquently in praise of the noble sandals and in describing the feelings of ecstatic love for their wearer (Allah bless him and give him peace). Imam Abu al-`Abbas gathered a significant amount of these writing in his aforementioned work, as well as in his treatise Azhar al-Riyad
Speaking of the respect paid to the printed Holy Qur’an, it is interesting to note that Mushaff Uthman (Codex Uthmani) which was written at the command of Hadrat Uthman ® was kept in the Great Mosque at Damascus. It was this Qur’an that Hadrat Uthman ® had been reading at the time of his assassination (35H/656 c.e.) so that it got stained with his blood. According to one version, it had been moved from Tiberias to Damascus in the year 543 H./1148 c.e. in a special case to preserve it from the onslaught of the Franks. The Baraka of this Qur’an was reconfirmed during the siege of Damascus by the armies of the Second Crusade. The Holy Qur’an was brought out to the Mosque’s courtyard in a procession, and men, women and children gathered round it bareheaded to enhance the efficacy of the prayers and supplications. Also, during the 2nd Mongol attack (1282 c.e.), the Mushaff Uthman and some other copies of the Holy Qur’an were taken out in processession in Damascus and Ba’labakk and were held above the people’s head in the company of Quranic reciters, muezzin and preachers. Even during ordinary times, Mushaff Uthman was taken out of its case daily and the people who were there in the mosque crowded around it to touch it and kiss it. There were two other copies of the Holy Qur’an that were known for their Baraka: One was in the town of Hisn Muthaqqab where a fortress was established by the righteous Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz. This was the Qur’an that had been written in Caliph’s own hand. In Antartus there was another personal Qur’an of Hadrat Uthman ®. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzy mentions the belief in attaining the blessings through the sight of Mushaff Uthman – al-Tabarruk Bi-Nazar al-Mushaff.
Tabarruk with the soil and vegetation of Madina:
• The merits of Madina, of prayer in Madina, of visiting the Masjid al-Nabawi, of living in Madina, of not cutting its trees, etc. are all based on the fact that the Prophet is there. The fact that it is a sanctuary (haram) and a preserve (hima) is well documented in numerous ahadith. It is even strongly recommended not to enter Madina except on foot, and many Companions, Tabi`in, and Tabi` al-Tabi`in never entered it except on foot, in respect for the Holy Presence of the Prophet.
• Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib: The Prophet said: "Madina's fresh grass is not to be cut, its game is not to be driven away, and things dropped in it are to be picked up only by one who publicly announces it, and it is not permissible for any man to carry weapons in it for fighting, and it is not advisable that its trees are cut except what a man cuts for the fodder of his camel. [Abu Dawud, 10: 2030]
• Narrated Abu Hurayra: When the people saw the first fruit (of the season or of plantation) they brought it to Allah's Apostle. When he received it he said: "O Allah, bless us in our fruits; and bless us in our city; and bless us in our sa's and bless us in our mudd (i.e. in every measure). O Allah, Ibrahim was Thy servant, Thy friend, and Thy apostle; and I am Thy servant and Thy apostle. He (Ibrahim) made supplication to Thee for (the showering of blessings upon) Mecca, and I am making supplication to Thee for Madina just as he made supplication to Thee for Mecca, and the like of it in addition." He would then call to him the youngest child and give him these fruits. [Muslim, 7: 3170]
As the Prophet asked Allah's Blessings on the city, its fruits, and in their measures, then it must be full of blessing as his supplication is a du`a' mustajab or answered prayer Therefore, it is common practice for pilgrims to purchase the dates of Madina for the blessings to bring back home with them to share among those who could not make the pilgrimage. And it is said that there yet remain living some of the date palms from those planted by the Holy hand of the Most Noble Messenger himself, blessings and peace be upon him. Wallahu a`lam.
Hazrat Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) lived all his life in Madina Shareef. With the exception of the time of illness, he never answered the call of nature inside the boundaries of Madina. Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith-e-Dehlwi (radi Allahu anhu) states: "Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) used to be very conscious concerning the (respect and honour) of Madina Munawwarah. It is said that in his entire life, he never sat in the boundaries of Madina Munawwarah to answer the call of nature. He used to go outside the boundaries of Madina, except during illness and in great need." (Bustaanul Muhaditheen)
Hazrat Imam Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) used to sit in Madina on his mount and say, "I am ashamed before Allah that I am trodding the hooves of a horse on this ground where the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is resting." (Shifa Shareef)
Allama Qadi Iyad states: "One type of the respect of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is this - that any place or thing that is associated to the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) - that place where the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) kept his blessed feet, Makkah Mu'azzama, Madina Munawwarah, the blessed house of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), that place where the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) used to visit often, and that object which was touched by the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) or that thing which is recognised through the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) - all such things should be respected." (Shifa Shareef)
Continued in Part 8...