الحمد لله الذي أرسل رسوله بالهدى و دين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله و كفى بالله شهيدا. و أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إقرارا به و توحيدا. و أشهد أن محمدا عبده و رسوله صلى الله عليه و على آله و صحبه و سلم تسليما مزيدا
All Praise be to Allah who sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it victorious over all other religions. And sufficient is Allah as a witness (over this). And I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah alone, and there are no partners to Him (confirming this with certainty and being sincere). And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, may Allah send prayers upon him, his companions, his family and give them increased and abundant greetings.
This beautiful treatise begins with this sermon which contatins the praise of Allaah, the two declarations (of faith) and the sending prayers and peace upon His messenger in agreement with the messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saying: “Every matter of importance which is not begun with the praise of Allaah is cut off” (reported by Abu Daawood and others). It is also reported: “… with Bismillahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem…” and the meaning of ‘cut off’ is: Devoid of blessing. The author joined the two narrations of the hadeeth together (acting in accordance with them) because beginning with ‘Bismillahi’ is essential and beginning with the praise of Allaah is relative and supplementary.
His saying (All Praise be to Allaah…): The Alif and the Laam (the definite article) is for comprehensiveness, meaning that all commendable acts and praises belong to Allaah by right of possession, and entitlement. Al-Hamd in the language means: Commendation, praise (of someone) on account of his beautiful characteristics and good and excellent actions. Its usage: An action which makes known the magnification of the one who bestows bounties and favours for the reason that he is the bestower of favours and bounties. It is also the opposite of Dhamm which is reproach, criticism, disparagement.
(…to Allaah…): The explanation of this lofty and sublim word has already preceded.
(…Who sent His Messenger…): Allaah, Free from all imperfection, is praised for His favours which cannot be counted. The most splendid of these favours is that He sent His Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The word Rasool in the language means someone who is sent with a written communication or message. In the Sharee’ah: It is a man who is inspired with a law and is ordered to convey it.
(…with the Guidance…): This means beneficial knowledge and this is everything the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came with of truthful information (of past and future events), commands, prohibitions and all the other useful laws and commands.
And guidance is of two types:
The First Type: Guidance with the meaning of notification (dalaalah) and explanation (bayaan). Included in this type is the saying of Allaah the Exalted:
وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ فَٱسۡتَحَبُّواْ ٱلۡعَمَىٰ عَلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ
As for Thaamood, we showed and made clear to them (the Path of Truth) but they preferred blindness to guidance.(Surah Fussilat : 17)
And this (first type of guidance) is waht the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stood to establish as occus in His speech:
وَإِنَّكَ لَتَہۡدِىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬
And verily, you guide to a Straight Path (Surah Ash-Shura : 52)
That is you indicate and explain the straight path.
The Second Type: Guidance with the meaning of inspiration and success and this has been denied for the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). None has power over it except Allaah as occurs in His speech, the Exalted:
إِنَّكَ لَا تَہۡدِى مَنۡ أَحۡبَبۡتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَہۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُهۡتَدِينَ
Verily, you (Muhammad) do not guide whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills and He knows best those who are guided. (Surah Al-Qasas : 56)
(…and the Religion of Truth…): This is (what contains and compromises) the righteous action. The word ‘deen’ is used and can mean recompense, reward as occurs in His saying:
مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ
Master of the Day of Judgement (Recompense) (Surah Al-Faatihah : 4)
And it can also be used with the meaning submission (khudoo’) and compliance (inqiyaad). The annexation of religion (deen) to truth (haqq) is like the annexation of that thing which is being described to the characteristic it is being described with. That gives it the meaning: The True Religion.
Haqq is a verbal noun with the meaning of established, proven and necessary, indispensable. Its opposite is Baatil (falsehood).
(…that He may make it victorious over all other religions…): Meaning that He will make it predominate and rise over all other religions with proof (and evidences), by explaining and clarifying it and with jihaad (by its adherents) until it overcomes those who oppose it from the people of the earth, whether arab or non-arab, religious or pagan. This actually occursed since the Muslims strived for the sake of Allaah until the muslim lands extended and this religion spread to the east and the west.
(…and sufficient is Allaah as a witness): Meaning He is a witness that he (Muhammad) is indeed His Messenger, that He is observing all his actions and that He is his helper agaisnt his enemies. There is a conclusive proof in this for the truthfulness of this Messenger because if he was a liar, Allaah would have hastened the punishment for him as is mentioned in His speech:
وَلَوۡ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيۡنَا بَعۡضَ ٱلۡأَقَاوِيلِ لَأَخَذۡنَا مِنۡهُ بِٱلۡيَمِينِ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعۡنَا مِنۡهُ ٱلۡوَتِينَ
And if he (Muhammad) had forged a false saying concerning Us. We surely should have seized him by his right hand. And then certainly should have cut of his life artery (aorta). (Surah Al-Haaqah : 44-46)
(…And I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allaah…): Meaning that I confirm and confess that there is no deity in truth except Allaah.
(…alone, and there are no partners to Him…). In these two phrases there is a confirmation of what the declaration ‘Laa ilaaha illallaha’ contains of negation and affirmation. A negation and denial of Uloohiyyah for what is besides Allaah and its affirmation for Allaah. His saying (…alone…) confirms this affirmation (for Allaah) and (…there are no partners to Him…) confirms the negation and denial for all that is besides Him.
His saying (…confirming it (with certainty) and being sincere…): These are two verbal nouns (mentioned here as adverbs) confirming the meaning of the previous sentence, (…And I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah…). This means: confirming (what has preceded) with the tongue and being totally sincere in every act of worship whethere it is a physical action, a verbal one or a matter of belief.
(…And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger…): Meaning that I confirm with my tongue and believe with my heart that Allaah sent His servant Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to the whole of mankind. This is because testifyin for this Messenger with the messengership is linked to testifying for Allaah as to His Tawheed. One of them is not sufficient without the other.
And in his saying (…His servant and His Messenger…) is a refutation of the people of exaggeration and the people of neglect (and belittlement) with respect to the position and status of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The first group exaggerated his position and raised him above the level of Uboodiyyah. The second group have thrown what he came with behind their backs as if he was not even a messenger. Therefore, the testimony that he is a servant of Allaah negates exaggeration of his status and raising him above his true position. And the testimony that he is the Messenger of Allaah necessistates having eemaan (faith) in him, giving obedience to him in that which he ordered, believin what he informed about, turning away from that which he forbade and followin him in that which he legislated.
(…may Allaah send prayers upon him…). Salaat in the language means supplication (du’a). The most correct of what has been said regarding the meaining of salaat from Allah to His Messenger is what Bukhaaree has mentioned in his Saheeh from Abul Aaliyyah who said: “The salaat of Allaah upon His Messenger is praising and commending him in front of angels who are nearest to Him”.
(…and upon his family…). The Aal of a person are those who are related to him with a strong tie of kinship and its like. The best of what has been said with respect to the meaning of the aal of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is that they are those who follow him in his religion.
(…and his Companions…). Ashaab is the plural of saahib (a companion). A companion is the one who met the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) while believing in him and subsequently died in that state.
(…and give him increased and abundant greeting). Salaam has the meaning of greeting, salutation or being safe and devoid of defects and evil qualities. The author combined both the sending of prayers and greetings acting in accordance with the command of Allaah, the Exalted:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيۡهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمًا
O you who believe, send prayers upon him (the Messenger) and greet him (with the Islamic way of greeting). ( Surah Al-Ahzaab : 56 )