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The Divinely Chosen One

فَدَنَا الحُسَينُ ( عليه السَّلام ) نحوَ الكِساءِ وَ قالَ : أَلسَّلامُ عَلَيكَ يا جَدَّاهُ يا مَنِ أختارَهُ اللهُ

Al-Husain then approached towards the cloak and said, "Peace be upon you, O grandfather! Peace be upon you, O he whom Allah has chosen!

The scene repeats itself three more times with Imam Husain (AS), then his father Imam Ali (AS) and then finally with the Master Lady of the Universe, Lady Fatima (AS). Both Imam Husain (AS) and Imam Ali (AS) enter home and convey their Islamic greetings to Lady Fatima (AS). Interestingly, they both remark that they smell a pleasant fragrance that is similar to the scent of the Holy Prophet (SA). Their observation is the same as Imam Hasan (AS) which confirms the veracity of the physical pureness of the Holy Prophet (SA) by which he is known for.

Each of the members of the holy household seeks permission from the Prophet (SA) to enter the Kisaa. It is as if they each know and feel that there is a great significance behind the cloak which the Prophet (SA) has covered himself with. Each one of them rushes to share the honor of attaining proximity to the Seal of Messengers, even if it is simply sharing the same cover.

Imam Husain (AS) specifically greets his grandfather by saying يا مَنِ أختارَهُ اللهُ Oh he whom Allah has chosen! It is not enough that Husain reminds us that the Prophet (SA) is his grandfather, he further tags along that his grandfather is divinely selected. That divine selection to become the Seal of Prophets and Messengers who would deliver the final revelation and message of Islam to mankind is certainly a unique honor that has no similarity.

The wise and knowledgeable recognize that the virtue of a person is derived not by what a person attains from this world by permission of the people, but rather, it is the divine bestowal which earns a person great honor and eternal reverence.

Certainly it was not a coincidence or random selection which Allah (SWT) exercised as He is the absolute Wisdom and the absolute Knowledgeable. The Almighty (SWT) has chosen him because Muhammad (SA) himself has chosen God with every atom of his soul. He came rushing towards his Lord sincerely seeking His proximity and so Allah (SWT) chose Muhammad after he has proved to be the purest person of his time.

The well-known historian Al-Mas'udi in his book Murooj Al Dhahab quotes a lengthy tradition from Imam Ali (AS) to the effect that when Allah (SWT) created, first of all, the Light of Muhammad, He (SWT) said to it: "You are My chosen one and the Trustee of My Light and Guidance. It is because of you that I am going to create the earth and the skies, lay down reward and punishment, and bring into being the Garden and the Fire."

Then the tradition goes on to speak about the family of the Prophet, about creation of the angels, of the souls, of the world, of the covenant taken from the souls which combined the belief in the One God with acceptance of Muhammad's prophethood.

This is why Ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet Muhammad (SA) said: "I was a Prophet when Adam was between soul and body (i.e. when Adam's creation was in its preliminary stages)" (at-Tabarani, Al-Mu'jjam al-Kabir; Al Khasa'is al-Kubra). The Holy Prophet (SA) also said: "Verily Allah chose Isma'il from the progeny of Ibrahim, and chose Banu Kinanah from the progeny of Isma'il, and chose Quraish from the Banu Kinanah, and chose Banu Hashim from Quraish, and chose me from Banu Hashim." (Tirmidhi)

In fact, it is not only Islam and the Muslims who recognize and appreciate the great status of the Prophet (SA), the non-Muslims also testify to the superiority of Muhammad compared to other creatures. Writing at the time of Carlyle in the nineteenth century, European historian Johann Doellinger asserted: "No other mortal has ever, from the beginning of the world, exercised such an immeasurable influence upon the religious, moral, and political relations of mankind, as has the Arab Muhammad."

Also, historian Will Durant concludes his treatment of Muhammad with this tribute: “If we judge greatness by influence, he was one of the giants of history. He undertook to raise the spiritual and moral level of a people harassed into barbarism by heat and foodless wastes, and he succeeded more completely than any other reformer seldom has any man so fully realized his dream.... When he began, Arabia was a desert flotsam of idolatrous tribes; when he died it was a nation.”

It was on the 27th of Rajab at the age of forty that Prophet Muhammad (SA) was officially appointed by Allah (SWT) as the Seal of Messengers to deliver the message of Islam till the end of time. The commencement of his prophethood began with the revelation of the verses of Surat Al A’laq where Angel Jibrael (AS) recited the first few verses of this chapter: "Read: In the Name of your Lord who created, He created man from a clot. Read: And your Lord is the Most Generous Who taught to write by the pen, Taught man what he knew not".

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