MAQAAM AL MAHMOOD
Our Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) has been praised with many beautiful names. A lot of his names came from Allah (SWT) and many of them came from the people as well. But we will discuss on the names that were given by Allah (SWT) because these are the ones which are the Primary names and have the deepest of meanings. Of the Hadiths that the Prophet (SAWS) mentioned his names, there is a Hadith narrated by Sahih Muslim through Jubair Ibn Mut’im (RA) that says, “INNANI ASMAA’AN” I have a number of names, “ANA MUHAMMAD” I am Mohammed, “WA ANA AHMED” and I am Ahmed, “WA ANA AL MAAHI” I am Al Maahi, (Maahi means the one through Allah erases all Kufr), “WA ANA AL HAASHIR ALLAZI YAHSHURUN NAASU ALA QADAMI” I am Haashir and people will be resurrected after me, “WA ANA AL AAQIB” I am Aaqib (meaning that there is no Prophet after me), “WA ANA NABIYYUR RAHMAH” I am the Prophet of Blessings, “WA ANA NABIYYUT TAUBAH” I am the Prophet of Repentance, “WA ANA AL MUQAFFA” and I am Al Muqaffa (meaning the one who comes after a long chain of Prophets), WA ANA NABIYYUL MALAAHIM I am the Prophet of Malaahim (meaning the most epic).
The 2 most common names of the Holy Prophet (SAWS) and the ones that Qur’aan most explicitly mentions are ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Ahmed’. The Qur’aan mentions many adjectives through which we can derive names. Like for NABIYYUR RAHMAH, the Qur’aan mentions ‘RAHMATUL LIL ALAMEEN’ meaning the one who has been sent as a Mercy to whole mankind. This is a description, but there are only 2 Nouns mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, which are ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Ahmed’. The name ‘Mohammed’ is mentioned 4 times in the Qur’aan. And the name ‘Ahmed’ is mentioned 2-3 times as well. Every time the name ‘Ahmed’ is mentioned, it is through Isa (AS). ‘YATI MIM BA’D ISMUHU AHMED’ … (Qur’an 61:6)
Both these words ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Ahmed’ come from the words ‘Hamida’ or ‘Yahmadu’ or ‘Hamdan’ which means ‘To Praise’. But this is not any type of praise. ‘Al Hamd’ is the first word in the Holy Qur’aan which begins in Surah Fatiha. ‘Hamd’ means to praise … not in return for some favor given to you, because that will be ‘Shukr’. If someone does some good for you, you say ‘Thank You’, in other words, this is called ‘Shukr’. On the other hand, ‘Hamd’ is a praise that is given because of the inherent characteristics in the object that you are praising. Not because he has done anything and you are giving back to him, but he deserves to be praised for who he is. ‘Hamd’ is an object of perfection and an object worthy of being praised.
And so the Prophet (SAWS) has 2 most common names that come from the root which describes praise. Why is this so? Because Allah (SWT) has praised him. The Angels have praised him. The people on earth have praised him. And all the Prophets have praised him. Every single one of mankind praises him directly or indirectly. The ones who praise him directly are the Muslims. As for praising him indirectly, the qualities and characteristics that he has come with are the qualities and characteristics of Perfection. So even though those who reject him by the tongue must admit and praise the qualities that he came with – Mercy, Tenderness, Compassion, etc. Even if their tongues deny the Prophet Hood, they must praise the qualities that are in him. So he is worthy of praise for all of Humanity.
And therefore, the Prophet (SAWS) is praised in the Heavens and in the Earth. He is praised in the previous Ummah and in the present Ummah. He is praised in this World and the Hereafter (AAKHIRAH). This is the ultimate praise. There is no human being who has been praised or is praised at this point of time or who shall continue to be praised more than our Prophet Mohammed (SAWS). No second occurs on this earth except that there are hundreds of millions of people around the globe praising our Prophet Mohammed (SAWS), either by sending Durood and Salaam, or by Khutbah or lecture or by praying the Salaah. Because there is no Salah without sending Durood on the Prophet Mohammed (SAWS).
This is the Ultimate praise given to the Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) by Allah (SWT). But there will be an Ultimate praise given to the Prophet by the Human Beings also. And this praise will be on the Day of Judgment. On that day, all disbelievers will know the truth of Islam. You cannot deny Allah (SWT) when you are seeing the last day (Qiyamah). Of course it is too late to believe in the Truth, but Muslims and Non-Muslims will all know it. So when they recognize the Truth, they will all go to Adam (AS). This Hadith is in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim. And they will say, “O Adam, you are our Father. Allah (SWT) created you with his own hands, and He blew soul into you. You can see the situation that all of us are in. Can you go to Allah (SWT) and beg for our forgiveness? Adam (AS) will refuse and say that I committed a sin that I should not have done and am not worthy to go and ask Allah (SWT) for all your forgiveness. I am worried about myself (NAFSI NAFSI). Go to somebody else. Go to Nuh (AS).
So the entire humanity at large will go to the Prophet Nuh (AS) and he will also say that I made a mistake which I should not have done. Allah (SWT) told me not to ask anybody to be saved and I asked him to save my Son. And I disobeyed him. I am worried about myself (NAFSI NAFSI). Go to somebody else. Go to Ibrahim (AS).
Ibrahim (AS) will say the same thing. That I made three lies and am worried about them. Even though they were not lies, Ibrahim (AS) is still worried about them. What were these 3 lies? The first one was when the people were going out of the town and wanted him to go with them; he said that he was sick, when he really wasn’t. He stayed because he wanted to destroy the Idols that they used to worship. The second lie was when the people came back and found all the Idols destroyed; they asked Ibrahim (AS) who did it? And Ibrahim (AS) said that the biggest of the Idols did it. The third lie was when the King was about to kill him, he said that Sarah was his sister, when she actually was his wife. He meant Sister in Islam, and not literally, so by saying this, he saved both his and his Wife’s life. Hence, Ibrahim (AS) will tell the people to go and ask Musa (AS) for help.
Musa (AS) will also say that he will not be able to ask Allah for everyone’s forgiveness. I killed someone in anger (even though it was unintentional, as he was not aware of his own strength given by Allah (SWT)) so I am worried about my sin. Go to Isa (AS). Everyone will go to Isa (AS) and he will also say that he is also not worthy and ask them to go to someone else.
Notice clearly that all the sins that these Prophets are talking about are not actual sins, but they are so worried about Allah’s anger, that they are not sure of their fate. The Prophets are innocent human beings chosen by Allah (SWT) himself, who have not committed a single deed of sin in their entire lives. But they are still unsure of their outcome on the last Day of Judgment. We as normal Human Beings have no shame and concern as to what our final fate will be.
When none of the Prophets have come forward to help the mankind, they will all come finally to our beloved Prophet (SAWS). They will ask the Prophet (SAWS) to intercede, to be a representative and to be a Messenger from them to Allah (SWT). So they chose just the Prophet (SAWS) to go in front of Allah (SWT) and plead from all of Humanity. What are they pleading? To begin the Day of Judgement (Yaum Al Qayamah). Because the Qayamah is too long, around 50,000 years and the people are getting restless. The Qayamah itself is a kind of punishment and the people who have rejected Allah (SWT) will be so exasperated by Qayamah, they will say whatever comes in the future; let’s get rid of this day and move on to whatever it is. The tension will be too much for everyone. So they will go in front of Rasool Allah (SAWS) and beg him to go in front of Allah (SWT) and request him to start the reckoning.
And finally, the Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) will say, “ANA LAHA, ANA LAHA”. I am for you, I am for you. This is my job and my responsibility. And then he will go in front of Allah (SWT). Because he will be the representative, all of Humanity will praise him and he will be given the highest praiseworthy station. This status is called “MAQAAM AL MAHMOOD”, the highest position of Praise. No Human will be left except that he will thank the Prophet (SAWS) and be thankful to him and praise him for the “MAQAAM AL MAHMOOD”. Allah (SWT) will lift him up to this level. The Humans will praise him; the Angels will praise him. Every single being in existence will praise the Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) at that point in time. And because it is “MAQAAM AL MAHMOOD”, who better is it to be given to, than the one who is “Mohammed” and the one who is “Ahmad”. SubhanAllah!!
What is the difference between “Mohammed” and “Ahmad”? “Mohammed” means the one who is given continuous praise, time after time, praise after praise. So every single moment of time, he is being praised. From the beginning of time, up until our time, till the Day of Judgment, on the Day of Judgment, after the Day of Judgment, all the time he will be praised. So “Mohammed” is for ‘Continuity’ and ‘Quantity’ of praise. As for “Ahmad”, it means that he is given the best type of praise. The highest ‘quality’ of praise. So “Mohammed” is for Quantity and “Ahmed” is for Quality, and both of them are combined in our Rasool (SAWS) as the highest praise given to any Human Being, ultimately given “AL MAQAAM AL MAHMOOD”.
عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا
“Your Lord will certainly raise you to a station of praise and glory (i.e., the glorious station of intercession where all the former and later generations will turn towards you and glorify you on the Day of Judgment)”… (Surah Isra: 17:79)