Bashariyyah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)
By Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi
Translated by Shaykh Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
[Heading] It is disbelief (kufr) to say that the Holy Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) was a human being in his outward appearance but not in his reality (haqiqah).
Question: That [certain] preacher also said that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)was human being (bashar) in his outward appearance, but in reality he was not a human being. He also said that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is hadhir nadhir at all times and sees everything. You are requested to render solution of these matterswith your guiding attention that the heart can be contented and satisfied.
Answer: Those who claim [these issues] to be right are responsible to answer the two matters, as the claimant issought to establish evidence; otherwise the first claim is disbelief (kufr) and the second is polytheism (shirk). 20 Shawwal 1346.
(Imdad al-Fatawa, 5:225)
 Ahmad Rida Khan, the founder of the Barelwi sect, writes in the translation of the verse ‘qul in-nama ana basharun mithlukum’, “Say, in my outer (dhahiri) human appearance, I am just like you.” (Kanz al-Iman, p.486)
The famous Barelwi scholar and debater, Muhammad ‘Umar Icharwi, wrote a book, Miqyas Nur, to prove that the reality (haqiqah) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was light (nur) while his outward appearance was human (bashari). He writes on p.24, “This verse establishes that the reality (haqiqah) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was not human (bashari), rather his haqiqah was nuri …” He further writes on p.73, “It becomes evident from these hadiths that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was a superior nur and the moon was a nur of a lesser degree. The superior nur split the lesser nur into pieces. This power of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is contradictory [at odds] with haqiqah bashariyyah and thus proves that the haqiqah of the Messenger was not bashari but it was pure nur.” And he writes on p.90, “Allah Most High described in this verse the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as pure nur, which proves that he is in reality a nur and only has human attributes.”
Contrary to the Barelwi belief, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi Mujaddid Alf al-Thani (d. 1034H) states: “O brother, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), in spite of his lofty status, was a bashr characterized with mortality and transience.” (Maktubat, Letter 73, First Vol., p.177)
I.e. neither he was qadim and wajib (immortal and infinite) nor eternal and perpetual, rather he was a mortal human being.
Mujaddid says at another place: “Do not you see that the prophets (may peace be upon them) are equal to other people in being bashr and all are equivalent as per their haqiqah and person (dhat). Yes, they are superior in status as per their perfect attributes. (Maktubat, First Vol, part 4, p.128)
At another place, he writes: “However, there is a status of prophethood which cannot be accessed by an angel. The status was obtained due to the element of soil, so this is characteristic to human being.” (Maktubat, First Vol. Part 4, p.123)