Ibn Taymiyyah’s Discussion on the Genuine Nature of the Prophet – The Deduction of Khadeejah bint Khuwailid (1/3)

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين،  أما بعد


In his discussion of the true or false nature of the one that claims Prophethood, Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) cites the ways in which a true Prophet is to be identified from that of a false one. He then discusses the method that the wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) Khadeejah bint Khuwailid (radhiyallaahu ‘anhaa)[1] utilized in recognizing that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was not a man for whom Allaah had destined disgrace.

He said (rahimahullaah):

“No one from the liars claimed Prophethood except that ignorance and lies and immorality becomes manifest upon him, and the preoccupation of the devils over him which then becomes apparent to anyone who possesses the slightest discernment. Likewise no one ever claimed Prophethood from the truthful ones except that knowledge and truthfulness and righteousness and an array of goodness become manifest upon him which then becomes apparent to anyone who possesses the slightest discernment.

The people are able to differentiate between one who is truthful and one who is a liar from a range of proofs; even amongst those that claim professions and speeches and writings such as in: cultivation and the weavers/textile trade and penmanship as well as in the knowledge of grammar and medicine and jurisprudence and other than them. Hence no one can claim knowledge of a profession or in speech and writing except that there would be many ways in distinguishing in that between a truthful one and a liar.

Likewise whoever makes apparent an intent and an action; such as the one who manifests religiousness and trustworthiness and sincere advice and love – and the like of that from the mannerisms. So it is a must therefore that his truthfulness or dishonesty should become clear through a number of ways.

So Prophethood is comprised of various aspects of knowledge and action in which the Messenger must be characterized within them, for they are the most noble aspects of knowledge as well as the most noble of actions. How then can someone truthful in it be similar to the liar?! And the honesty of the honest one and the lies of the liar not be made manifest from many varying aspects! Especially since the world has not become vacant from the signs of a Prophet ever since the time of Aadam until our time.

The conformity of that which the Prophets and the Messengers came with is well known, as well as that which they used to call to and command with, and the signs of the Messengers do not cease but to remain upon the earth. The people too do not cease to have things from the signs of the Messengers of that which they are aware of the conformity of that which the Messengers came with – and with which they distinguish between the Messengers and other than the Messengers.”

Then Shaikh ul Islaam went on to discuss the signs through which traits can be identified:

“As He, The Most High said:

وَلَوْ نَشَاءُ لَأَرَيْنَاكَهُمْ فَلَعَرَفْتَهُم بِسِيمَاهُمْ

((And if We willed, We could show them to you, and you would know them by their mark))


Then He said:

وَلَتَعْرِفَنَّهُمْ فِي لَحْنِ الْقَوْلِ

((but you will surely know them by the tone of [their] speech)) (Muhammad: 30).


So He swore that the hypocrites should be identified through the tone of speech. He likewise attached knowing of them through clear markings (signs) along with will, this is because the manifestation of that which is within the person by means of his speech is clearer than its manifestation upon the pages of his face and the slips of his tongue. Therefore if the like of this individual is known as to that which is within a person without (prior) notification; if then that is accompanied with notification of him – then it would be worthier of an insight of understanding.

So if the honesty or the lies of the one who is reporting (Prophethood) is known through a connection of factors; rather through his own tones in speech and by way of the pages of his own face; one attains by that essential knowledge of a nature that a person cannot repel from himself. How then with the claim of the one who claims that he is the Messenger of Allaah, how can his truthfulness or dishonesty be hidden? Or how can the truthful one not be discerned in that from the liar through a number of proofs which cannot be enumerated nor counted!

The liar will come from two aspects:

Either he deliberately intends to lie

Or that affairs have become obscurely ambiguous upon him, such as the one who is approached by satan.

So it is known without a doubt that there are from amongst the people those from whom it is acknowledged from them that they would not deliberately intend to lie.

Rather; many of those that the people have tested thoroughly as well as having had experience of from amongst their shuyookh (scholars) and those with whom they conduct associations – they know from them in conclusive awareness that they would not deliberately lie. Even if it be that they (the people) know that such a thing is possible, for not everything which is known to be possible necessitates its occurrence. For we indeed know that Allaah is fully able to turn the mountains into corundum (precious gems/stones) and the oceans into blood; yet we know also that He does not do that.

Therefore; since Khadeejah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhaa) was aware with regard to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in that he was honest and righteous, he said to her when the revelation came to him:

((I feared for my mind))[2]


so she replied:

‘By no means; by Allaah; He will not disgrace you! For you maintain the ties of kinship, and you are truthful in speech, and you bear the hardship, and you hospitably receive the guest, and you acquire in order to give to the one who is lacking, and you assist in order to represent the truth.’[3]


Hence; he did not fear deliberately lying; since he knew from himself (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that he does not lie. However he feared at the beginning of the affair that he may have been befallen by a disagreeable obstacle – and that is the second position. So Khadeejah stated that which would negate this, and it was those things which were naturally disposed over him – significantly, by way of fine noble manners and good qualities of personal characteristic as well as actions – and that is honesty which necessitates justice as well as showing excellence to the creation. Whoever has honesty and justice gathered within him; then he cannot be from those that Allaah disgraces.

Maintaining the ties of kinship, and hospitably receiving the guest, and bearing the hardships, and giving to the one who is lacking, and assisting in order to represent the truth – then these are from the greatest types of righteousness and forms of excellence. It is known that from the Sunnah of Allaah is that whoever Allaah grants propensity to be upon praiseworthy mannerisms and has steered him clear of dispraiseworthy mannerisms; then indeed He does not disgrace him.

Likewise, Prophethood amongst mankind has come since the time of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam), for he himself was a Prophet and his sons knew of his Prophethood and his circumstances through inevitable necessity. It is also known as to what is conformable of that which the Messengers call to, and well as the conformability of their circumstances. Hence a claimant to Prophethood in a time of potential plausibility; if he comes with that which is manifest of its being in opposition to the Messengers; then it is known that he is not from them. Yet if he comes with that which is exclusive to the Messengers; then it is known that for that particular Messenger there will be numerous attributes that distinguish him from other than him. Hence this will cause its associate to arrive at the necessary knowledge that: this is indeed the Messenger that has been awaited.

Due to this, He, The Most High said:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

((Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know.)) (Al-Baqarah: 146)”[4]


Shaikh ul Islaam mentioned also:

“I say: Likewise the Eemaan of Khadeejah and Aboo Bakr and other than them from the Saabiqeen Al-Awwaleen (the earliest and foremost Muslims) was before the splitting of the moon; and before his informing of the matters of the unseen as well as before his challenging with regards to the Qur’aan (to produce its like). However it was after their hearing the Qur’aan which itself is a sign that further necessitated his truthfulness, as well as his own speech and his informing that I am the Messenger of Allaah along with that which was known of his circumstances which necessitated his truthfulness – and other than that from the signs of truthfulness and its proofs.

Rather; Khadeejah said to him:

‘By no means; by Allaah; He will not disgrace you – ever! For you maintain the ties of kinship, and you are truthful in speech, and you bear the hardship, and you hospitably receive the guest, and you acquire in order to give to the one who is lacking, and you assist in order to represent the truth.’


Hence she was well acquainted with his circumstances that would then necessitate negating his dishonesty and immorality as well as Satan’s being able to trifle with him.”[5]

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

“So observe the difference in the deduction of the honorific of the women of the world – Khadeejah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhaa) with regard to the Attributes of The Lord – Most High and the attributes of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) along with her deduction between these two affairs of the soundness of his Prophethood. Likewise that he is the Messenger of Allaah in truth, and that whoever has such attributes – then The Attributes of his Lord and his Creator refuse to disgrace him, and that it is a must that He aids him and elevates him and so completes His Favours upon him.”[6]



[1] She was: Umm Al-Qaasim the daughter of Khuwaild Al-Qurashiyyah Al-Asadiyyah, the first wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and the mother of his children and the first to believe in him and testify to his truthfulness. She was a noble and prosperous woman from a notable family of Quraish. She married the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) when he was twenty five years of age. She fully supported and aided the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during his early years of Prophethood despite the opposition and hostilities of the people of Makkah. She died in Makkah three years before the hijrah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhaa) (See: Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa vol 2 p.109-117)

[2] Note: this is the wording as is mentioned by Shaikh ul Islaam (rahimahullaah) in his work. However the wording of the hadeeth in this particular phrase as is found in the authentic Sahihayn (i.e. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) is: ((I feared for myself)) with the word: nafsee (myself) as opposed to: ((I feared for my mind)) with the word: ‘aqlee (my mind) – the latter wording cannot be found in the books of hadeeth; and Allaah Knows best. The full account can be found in Al-Bukhaaree (no.4) and Muslim (no.401).

[3] Point of benefit: Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said regarding this: “the intellect of this woman is amazing; rather it is the most amazing thing that could be, in that she deduced from the blessings of Allaah, The Most High upon him – that surely Allaah will not cause him to be without success, and this is taken from His saying, The Most High: ((As for he who gives and fears Allaah and believes in the best [i.e. laa ilaaha illallaah], We will ease him toward ease)) (Al-Layl: 5-8). So if you see a man who Allaah has favoured with these attributes; then know that he is from the pious dutiful ones, and that he is facilitated towards ease for as long as affairs are good, then they will be made easy for him and will be facilitated for him. This is a glad tiding in this life for the believer. We ask Allaah to make us and you from its people. So when she (radhiyallaahu ‘anhaa) saw the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) upon these characteristics, she said: ‘it is not possible that Allaah will ever disgrace you, it is not possible that He would humiliate you, it is not possible that you would be met with dishonor.’” (See: Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree vol 1 p.29)

[4] Abridged from Sharh Al-Asbahaaniyyah p.540-548.

[5] Al-Jawaab As-Saheeh vol 6 p.511-512.

[6] At-Tibyaan fee Aymaan Al-Qur’aan p.344.

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