In Surah Inshirah God said “we have indeed raised your stature and honour” (94: 4). Where and when will this exalted stature of the Messenger (peace be upon him) be revealed? Though the glorious Quran and the books of ahadith contain vast amount of references to his exalted stature, however the events of judgement day provide a grand setting for this revelation. The Messenger (peace be upon him) himself urged his followers to pray for him in these words, “O Lord! Give our master Muhammad Al-wasila and bless him with Maqam-Al-Mahmood (glorious station) that which you have promised him and give us his intercession on judgement day” (the prayer after Azan).
A Sufi scholar Bayazid Bustami (d;263 AH) whilst explaining the status of the beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) said ”the highest point reached by a Muslim is the starting point of the glory of a friend of Allah, the highest point reached by the friend of Allah is the starting point of the martyrs and the highest point reached by them is the starting point of the Siddiqueen and their glory is the starting point of the Prophets of God, the highest point achieved by the Prophets is the beginning point of the Messengers of God and the and the highest point of the Messengers of God is the starting point of the four great prophets … And the highest point of the glory of the four messengers is the starting point of our messenger Muhammad (may peace be upon him), and how high it is only Allah knows the extent, the glory and the grandeur of Muhammad (may peace be upon him)”.
After the universe has been completely annihilated, destroyed and made non-existent, once more God will order Israfeel the angel of the trumpet to blow it. Thereupon the entire humanity will rise from their graves and gather before the Almighty Lord. The glorious Quran lucidly paints the picture as follows: “when the sky is ripped apart, obeying its Lord as it rightly must, when the earth is levelled out, casts out its contents, and becomes empty, are being explored as it rightly must,… Whoever is given his record in his right hand will have an easy reckoning and return to his people well pleased, but whoever is given his record from behind his back will cry out for destruction, he will burn in the blazing fire” (84: 1-12).
People will be in terror and distressed, so they will turn to Adam the father of humanity and ask him to intercede on their behalf and ask the Lord to begin the day of reckoning. Adam will decline this appeal and say I cannot speak to God he is very angry today. And he will tell them to go elsewhere, the entire humanity now moves to prophet Noah, and ask him as they asked Adam, however he too declines and tells them to go to Abraham, the same story is repeated here, as they are told to go somewhere else, they go to several other prophets until finally they come to Jesus who brings them to the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), and when Jesus presents humanity before the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) will say yes I am for you, then he falls into prostration and begins to praise the Lord in such a way that no one else has praised the Lord. He remains in prostration until the Lord says to him raise your head Muhammad, ask for you shall be given, intercede and your intercession will be accepted (Bukhari). This is known as the universal intercession at the time of judgement, for all believers and nonbelievers alike.
This is what is meant in the hadith of Anas, “I shall be the first man to emerge on the day of resurrection and I shall be their leader. When they are called for and I shall be their spokesman and I shall be their intercessor and I shall be the one who gives them glad tidings when they are in despair, nobility and the banner of praise will be in my hand. I am the dearest of the children of Adam to my Lord, and thousands of servants will circle around me as if they will be like scattered pearls” (Tirmazi).
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) will be the first person to rise from his grave. Abu Huraira narrated that the messenger (may peace be upon him) said “I shall be dressed in an exquisite cloak of paradise and then stand on the right side of the throne, a place where no other creature will stand but me” (Tirmazi).
Maqama-Al-Mahmood (the glorious station)
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) will be given the glorious station (Maqam-al-mahmood), also known as the station of intercession. This is the position from where he will intercede on behalf of the entire humanity; the intercession of the Prophet (may peace be upon him) will be of five types according to Imam Nawawi:
- For the relief from terror of judgement day, this will be the universal intercession for all.
- For some people to enter paradise without being reckoned.
- For some to enter paradise even though they deserve to be punished.
- For some sinners to be taken out of hell after they had entered it.
- And for those in paradise to have a higher station than what they deserve
The Wasila (near the divine throne)
The Messenger (peace be upon him) will also be given the highest station in paradise known as the Wasila. This is the place in paradise closer to the divine throne and the blessed messenger (may peace be upon him) told all the Muslims to pray to their Lord that he may be given this unique and special place in paradise.
Anas said “I asked the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), who will intercede for me on the day of resurrection? He replied, I will, if Allah wills. I then said where would I find you? He said the first place you should seek me is on the bridge, I then asked if I don’t meet you on the bridge? Then seek me out from the balance, he said if I don’t see you there. What should I do then? Seek me out at the pool (kawsar) he said, for I shall not miss these three places” (Tirmazi).
Al Kawsar (the pool)
The messenger (may peace be upon him) will also be given the Kawsar, and this is the river or a pool which will be vast in its water, which will be whiter than milk and its scent sweeter than musk and anybody who drinks a cup from this shall never thirst again (Bukhari and Muslim).
May Allah give us the tawfiq to truly appreciate the grand stature of the beloved prophet (may peace be upon him).