The Mandatory Traits of the Apostle, the Impossible Nature of the Apostle, and the Story Behind It – The messengers sent by Allah SWT were assigned to provide guidance, bring good news, and give warnings to mankind. Therefore, the chosen messengers sent by Allah SWT have mandatory and impossible characteristics that can be seen in their personalities when carrying out this special task.
MANDATORY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTLE
An obligatory characteristic for the Apostles is a characteristic that must be possessed by the Apostles and can be shown in their daily stories. Following are the mandatory characteristics possessed by the apostles.
Siddiq means true. The point is that every word spoken or conveyed by the apostle is always true. Both true in conveying revelations that originate from Allah SWT and true in words that have a relationship with world problems.
Siddiq being one of the characteristics that is mandatory for the apostles has also been justified in the Qur’an. One of them is Surah Maryam verse 41,
Meaning: “And tell (Muhammad) the story of Abraham in the Book (Al-Qur’an), in fact he is a person who really justifies, a Prophet,”
The word Siddiq in the context of the special characteristics possessed by the apostles was alluded to in surah Maryam verse 50,
Meaning: “And We bestowed on them some of Our mercy and We made them the fruit of good and noble speech.”
Therefore, it is impossible for the apostles to have the trait of a liar.
The characteristic that is mandatory for the next apostles is amanah which means that they can be trusted. The apostles always guarded themselves from all acts of sin to maintain the people’s trust in him.
Evidence that the apostles have trustworthy characteristics is shown in surah An Nisa verse 58,
۞ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَنْ تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا
Meaning: “Indeed, Allah orders you to convey the mandate to those who are entitled to receive it, and (orders you) when stipulating laws between people so that you determine fairly. Verily Allah gives you the best teaching. Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.”
Thus, it was impossible for the apostles to do treacherous things.
Tabligh is a mandatory characteristic for the apostles which has the meaning of conveying revelation. In carrying out his apostolic duties, an apostle is obliged to convey revelations that must be believed by mankind.
The revelations conveyed by the apostles could be in the form of knowledge, shari’a, or guidelines, or other prophetic treatises. Even though the revelation he conveyed was neither easy nor pleasant, the apostles would always deliver it without reducing a single letter in accordance with Surah Al Maidah verse 67,
۞ يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۖ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
Meaning: O Messenger! Convey what your Lord has revealed to you. If you don’t do (what was ordered) it means you are not conveying His message. And Allah keeps you from (disturbing) humans. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelievers.
Therefore, the impossible characteristic for the apostle is kitman or hiding. No teachings are hidden for personal reasons or other interests.
The last obligatory characteristic for the apostles is fatanah which means clever, intelligent, and wise. As messengers of Allah SWT for mankind, the apostles were able to understand various problems of the people as well as provide solutions.
Allah SWT gave the ability to the apostles in conveying teachings among their people. Including when arguing against people who oppose his teachings as alluded to in surah Al An’am verse 83,
وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَا آت release
Meaning: “And that is Our statement that We gave to Abraham against his people. We raise the degree of whom We will. Verily, your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.”
IMPOSSIBLE NATURE OF THE APOSTLE
Impossible nature for the Apostle means the nature that is impossible in the apostle. Because, the Messenger is a human being chosen by Allah and given the task of conveying all of His messages to invite mankind to believe in Allah SWT. There are four impossible characteristics for the apostles, namely kidzib, khianah, Kitman, and also baladah. Here are four impossible traits for apostles that need to be known:
Al-Kidzib means lying. It is impossible for the apostle to commit a lie or lie. All the words and deeds of the apostle are never fake and far-fetched. This has been confirmed through surah an-Najm: 2-4, as follows:
مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ . وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ . إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ
Meaning: “Your friend (Muhammad) is not misguided and not (also) mistaken, and what is said (al-Qur’ān) according to his will is nothing but revelation (al-Qur’an) which was revealed (to him).” (QS. an-Najm: 2-4)
Khianah, meaning that it is impossible for the apostle to betray. Everything that is mandated to him will certainly be carried out. This has been explained in the letter al-An’am verse 106:
اتَّبِعْ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْيرَِن
Meaning: “Follow what has been revealed to you (Muhammad), there is no god but Him, and turn away from the polytheists.” (QS. al-An’am: 106).
Kitman, means it is impossible for the apostle to hide the truth. Every word that the apostle received from Allah SWT will surely be conveyed to his people. This has also been mentioned in the letter al-An’am verse 50:
قُلْ لَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِنْدِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ ۚ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Meaning: “Say (Muhammad), I did not tell you that Allah’s treasury is in me, and I do not know the unseen and I did not (also) tell you that I am an angel. I just followed what was revealed to me. Say, Are the blind and the seeing alike? Haven’t you thought about (it)?” (QS. al-An’am: 50)
Baladah means impossible if the apostle is stupid. The Messenger of Allah was indeed an ummi person (could not read and write) but he was given the gift of extraordinary intelligence from Allah SWT.
THE APOSTLE STORY
Imam Tirmizi narrated from Abdullah bin Hamsa that he said:
“I once entered into a sale and purchase transaction with the Prophet before he was sent as an Apostle. Then I still brought his receivables and I promised to pay them at the same place, but I forgot. After three days I remembered, then I came to the place I had promised and it turned out he was there,” he said.
The Prophet SAW said, “O young man, you have troubled me, I was here since three days ago to wait for you,” he said.
Honesty in every word has even been exemplified long before the Prophet Muhammad was born, namely during the time of Prophet Ismail AS. This story is also enshrined in the Koran letter Maryam verse 54.
“And tell (O Muhammad) the story of Ishmael (the one) in the Quran. Truly he is a true promise, and he is an apostle and prophet.”
According to Tafsir Al-Wajiz from the writings of Shaykh Prof. Dr. Wahbah az-Zuhaili, an expert on jurisprudence and commentary from Syria, this verse tells about the Prophet Ismail bin Ibrahim who was honest in every word he said.
This includes the promise he made with Allah SAW to Prophet Ibrahim AS when he promised himself to be patient with his father’s plan to slaughter himself, as in Ash-Shaffat: 102
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يٰبُنَيَّ اِنِّيْٓ اَرٰى فِى الْمَنَامِ اَنِّيْٓ اَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرٰىۗ قَالَ يٰٓاَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُۖ سَتَجِدُنِيْٓ اِنْ شَاۤءَ اللّٰهُ مِنَ الصّٰبِرِيْنَ
- So when the child reached (the age of) being able to try with him, (Ibrahim) said, “O my son! Verily I dreamed that I slaughtered you. Then think about what you think!” He (Ismail) replied, “O my father! Do what (Allah) commands you; God willing, you will find me among those who are patient.”
Prophet Ismail AS fulfilled his promise, and made it easy for his father to slaughter.
A severe calamity that befalls a person. Then Allah gives the nature of nubuwwah (prophecy) and treatise (apostolate), which is the most favor that Allah gives to His servant and makes him a human being who is at the highest level of the creatures.
During the Khaibar War, Rasulullah SAW and the Muslim troops were in a very difficult situation. It was so difficult, that they were forced to eat meat from animals that were considered makruh to survive. Such was the state of the Muslim army at that time.
At that time, a man came and faced Rasulullah SAW. He said, “O Messenger of Allah! I am a Jew and pastoralism is my job. I’m bringing Jewish sheep that I want to return to their owners. Now, I want you to explain to me about the essence of Islam. So that I can be proud to be a Muslim.”
Rasulullah SAW then looked at him with compassion. Then, he taught about Islam up to two sentences creed to him.
After embracing Islam, the man left and soon returned to the Prophet’s side with lots of sheep.
“O Messenger of Allah! These are the sheep of the Jewish people who are now at war with you. Now you and the Muslim army are in trouble. In my opinion, take these sheep as spoils of war, so that this difficulty can be overcome.” he explained.
Rasulullah SAW then looked at him and said, “O So and so! Betrayal in trust is a major sin in Islam. Now that you are a Muslim, you must carry out Islamic teachings and maintaining trust is something that is mandatory. Then you go to Khaibar Fortress and return these sheep to their owners!”
In a hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim it is stated that Aisyah RA once said: “The initial event of revelation to Rasulullah SAW was started with Ar-ru’yah ash-sadiqah (true dream) in sleep. He does not dream, except that what He sees is something that resembles a part of the dawn light. And inside of him is the feeling of always wanting to be alone.”
After getting that dream, Rasulullah SAW decided to go to Hira Cave to be silent. He performed worship there every night for up to several days. Until the 17th of Ramadan, the angel Gabriel came to meet him.
As said by Aisha RA, the angel Gabriel came to the Prophet while saying “Iqra”. Then Rasulullah SAW replied “I can not read”. Then, the angels pulled and covered Rasulullah SAW until he found it difficult.
Then the angel came back to Rasulullah SAW and said “Iqra”. And he returned to answer “I can not read”. Then the angel pulled again and hugged Rasulullah SAW until the third time until he found it difficult.
Then the angel Gabriel told him to read Surah Al-Alaq verses 1-5:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ. خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ. اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ. الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ. عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ
Meaning: “Read by (mentioning) the name of your Lord who created. He has created man from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the Most Gracious. Who teaches (human) by means of qalam (pen). He taught man what he did not know.”
After Rasulullah SAW managed to read the letter smoothly, the angel Gabriel left him. Then Rasulullah SAW came home in a state of anxiety and shivering like a fever.
After arriving home, Rasulullah SAW asked Khadijah to cover him. Then, Rasulullah SAW told what had happened to Khadijah while saying, “O Khadijah, what happened to me? I’m really worried about myself.”
Then, Khadijah replied, “No, you are happy. By Allah, Allah will never humiliate you. In fact, you always maintain a kinship, always bear people who are in trouble, always do what is needed, always respect guests and help the suffering of people who defend the truth.
From this event the Prophet Muhammad SAW was confirmed as an Apostle. With this, he received an order to convey and preach the religion of Islam to all mankind.
It was narrated from Ali bin Abu Talib that when the Islamic troops and the Quraysh tribe troops were preparing to battle in the Badr area, Rasulullah SAW sought information from two young men who provided drinking water for the Quraysh tribe troops regarding the condition of their troops. He asked about the location of the Quraysh tribe’s army camp. They replied, “They are behind this dune, at the very edge of the valley.”
Then Rasulullah SAW asked about the number of troops of the Quraysh tribe. The two youths looked confused. The friends were made impatient by the attitude of the two people. Even so, in the end they answered, “Our troops are numerous.” The Prophet asked again, “Yes, how many?” Their answer is still the same as the first answer.
Finally, Rasulullah SAW changed his question to the two young men, “How many camels and goats do they slaughter each day?” They only replied that every day the Quraysh troops slaughtered approximately 10 goats. Knowing this, Rasulullah SAW predicts the number of enemy troops is around a thousand people. Each goat is given for a hundred troops. He also finally knows the true strength of the enemy.
That is one proof of the intelligence of Rasulullah SAW. There is much more evidence of the intelligence of Rasulullah SAW in other fields which became a factor of his success in carrying out his apostolic mission.
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