Taqwiyat al-Īmān: Rasūlullāh is Master of the World and the Best of Creation


Explaining the meaning of sayyid (master), Shāh Ismā‘īl Shaḥid (1779 – 1831) writes in Taqwiyat al-Īmān:

Now, it should be heard that the term “master” (sayyid) has two meanings. One is that he is himself owner and free-acting and is not subject to anyone; he can do whatever he wants of himself, just like a king apparently [does]. Such a thing is the character of Allāh alone. There is no “master” in this meaning besides Him.

The second is that while being a subject, having a distinction above other subjects, in that the original command of the Commander comes first to him and from conversing with him, it reaches others, like the Choudhry of every work and the zamindar of every village.

In this sense, every prophet is master of his Ummah, and every Imām of the people of his time, and every Mujtahid of his followers, and every saint of his Murīds, and every ‘Ālim of his students, in that these seniors first establish Allāh’s command themselves and then teach it to their juniors thereafter.

Thus, in this manner, our Messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is the master of all the world since in Allāh’s view his position is the highest of all, and he is the most practising of Allāh’s commands, and everyone is dependent on him in learning Allāh’s path. In this meaning, referring to him as the master of all the world is no problem. In fact, he must be regarded as such.

In terms of the first meaning, they are not to be regarded as master of even an ant, because of their own, they cannot exercise control over even an ant. (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p. 92-3)

According to Barelwī mythology, Taqwiyat al-Īmān brings down the status of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and reflects Wahhābī teaching. This is one passage that clearly contradicts this belief.

2 Responses to Taqwiyat al-Īmān: Rasūlullāh is Master of the World and the Best of Creation

  1. […] Note that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī held the absurd belief that Taqwiyat al-Īmān is a translation of Kitāb al-Tawḥīd. Are any of the above passages (or the passage translated below) found in Kitāb al-Tawḥīd? Does Kitāb al-Tawḥīd say one should take a person as their Ustādh and Pīr, as Taqwiyat al-Īmān does (see below)? Does Kitāb al-Tawḥīd say it is permitted to make Tawassul via a personality, as Taqwiyat al-Īmān (p82) does? Does Kitāb al-Tawḥīd refer to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as master of all the world and the greatest of creation, as Taqwiyat al-Īmān does? […]

  2. […] On refuting the allegation that Shah Isma’il denied the preservation of the Prophet’s body, see here. The following couplet written by Shah Isma’il Shahid in his Mathnawi Silk e Nur (on praise of the Prophet – sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)  should clear all doubts about his views regarding the preservation of the body of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) ان آنکھوں سے ہڑ چند وہ جسم پاک        بظاہر ہوا مختفی زیر خاک ولے نور ان کا ہے قائم مقام          کہ ہر پاک دل میں ہے ان کا مقام “Although seemingly that pure body is hidden from these eyes beneath the earth, Nonetheless, its light stands in its place, as there is a place for it in every sound heart.” (Mathnawi Silk e Nur, quoted in Shah Isma’il Muhaddith Dehlawi by ‘Allamah Khalid Mahmud, p. 132) The verses are clear that the pure body remains beneath the earth even today. See also: According to Taqwiyat al-Iman, Rasulullah is Master of the World and the Best of Creation. […]

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