Hazir-o-Nazir from Holy Quran and Ahadith

In this article, the issue of ‘Hazir o Nazir’ is reviewed from the Holy Quran only, without citing any Ahadith.  The rationale behind this approach is to take an insight from the Holy Verses which are acceptable to all Muslims and without getting into the ambiguity of the authenticity of the Ahadith.  However, the same topic from both Quran and Ahadith is also discussed in a separate article at the site.  Briefly, some Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad-saww, has left the world after fulfilling his-saww mission and is neither present nor aware of our deeds.  Whereas, others don’t agree with this doctrine and believe that Prophet-saww is present, overlooking our actions and responding to our greetings (Salam and Salawat).  Hence all those rituals where Muhammad-saww and Alay Muhammad-saww are revered and thanked for their services (i.e., Naat/Milad) are not only justified but are recorded as ‘good deeds’ in the accounts of the organisers, the participants and their deceased ones.

Allah-azwj Defines the basic three purpose of Sending His-azwj Prophet-saww to people as:

(1) to be a ‘witness’,

(2) to give the ‘good news’ (to the believers of the Paradise) and

(3) to warn (the non-believers of the punishment in the Hell).

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا {4533:}

O Prophet! Surely, We have Sent you as a witness (watching/overlooking), a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and (as a) Warner [33:45]

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا {848:}

Surely, We Sent you as a witness, and a giver of glad tidings and a warner [48:8]

The concept of ‘witness’ is very important and of paramount importance, as a witness should be able to watch and have the comprehensive knowledge of the event, otherwise ‘one’ cannot qualify to be called in for giving a witness.  As Allah-azwj Says:

وَجَاءَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ {2150:}

And every soul will come, with it would be an usher and a witness [50:21]

And Allah-azwj Says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ {1105:}

(O Prophet!) Did you not see how your Lord Dealt with the owners of the elephant? [105:1]

Also Allah-azwj Says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ {689:}

(O Prophet!) Did you not see how your Lord Dealt with (people of) Aad? [89:6] 

In the above Holy Verses, Allah-azwj Reminds the Holy Prophet-saww, ‘أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ’  ‘Did not you see how’ Allah-azwj dealt with the people of elephants and Aad? – those who had lived centuries ago! It means that when these events took place Holy Prophet-saww was witnessing them. Therefore, a ‘witness’ has to be overlooking at that time to whom Allah-azwj is referring to, among those to whom Allah-azwj is addressing.  There are no ‘otherwise’ as the ‘Kalam’ (Speech) of Allah-azwj is always flawless and perfect.

The following Holy Verse further clarifies the ‘overlooking’ the actions of people:

يَعْتَذِرُونَ إِلَيْكُمْ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ قُلْ لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَكُمْ قَدْ نَبَّأَنَا اللَّهُ مِنْ أَخْبَارِكُمْ ۚ وَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ {949:}

They will be making excuses to you when you return to them. Say: ‘Do not make excuses. We will never believe you. Allah has Informed us of your news,

And Allah and His Rasool would be seeing your deeds, then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, so He will Inform you with what you were doing [9:94]

Also, at another place, Allah-azwj Warns believers that not only Allah-azwj but also Rasool-Allah-saww as well as (some Appointed) ‘الْمُؤْمِنُونَ’ ‘Al-Mominoon’ (special believers) will be overlooking your actions:

وَقُلِ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۖ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ {1059:}

And say: ‘Work, for Allah will See your work and (so will) His Rasool and the Momineen;

And you shall be Returned to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you were doing’ [9:105]

Some Muslims, with regards to this, may argue that the word ‘فَسَيَرَى’ (which literally means ‘then He will see) has been used here in the sense of “Knowing” i.e., Allah-azwj is the only One-azwj who is Seeing our deeds but Rasool-Allah-saww knows our deeds through the revelation as brought to him-saww, if Allah-azwj so Desires, through an angel.  From this aspect as well, one has to acknowledge that Rasool-Allah-saww along with ‘Al-Mominoon’ have the Knowledge and awareness of our deeds.  Who are these ‘Al-Mominoon’? We will leave that subject for the time being.

We stop here and present another Verse:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا {5633:}

Surely, Allah and His Angels are Sending Salawat upon the Prophet. O you those who believe! Send Salawat upon him and submit submissively [33:56]

The word ‘يُصَلُّونَ’ is in present continuous tense meaning ‘sending blessings’ so Allah-azwj and angels join in Sending ‘salutations’ (Blessings) upon the Prophet-saww and Allah-azwj Commands ‘those who believe’ not only send blessings on the Prophet-saww but also submit to him-saww with full submission.  So, how can one act on the half of the Command of Allah-azwj Revealed in this verse by following the ‘Sunnah’ (tradition) of the Prophet-saww but stop short of sending ‘Blessings’ (Salawat) upon him-saww?  Whereas Allah-azwj and angels are still Sending ‘Blessings on the Prophet-saww, since the use of يُصَلُّونَ in the Holy Verse is in the present continuous tense, meaning Allah-azwj and angels are still sending ‘Salawat’ upon the Holy Prophet-saww.  A part of the same Holy Verse cannot be ignored, Regardless of if the Prophet is physically present in front of us or spiritually, as angels present are without being seen by our eyes! As per the above Verses, the Holy Prophet-saww is indeed watching us and knowing our actions all the time and will give evidence in the Hereafter upon being called by Allah-azwj.  As we find further confirmation from the following Holy Verse:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنْقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ ۚ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلَّا عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۗ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ {1432:}

And like that, We have Made you an intermediary أُمَّةً (Nation) in order for you to become witnesses upon the people, and the Rasool to become a witness upon you. And We did not Make the Qiblah which you were upon except for Us to Know who follows the Rasool from the one turns upon his heels; and even though it may be grievous, except upon those Guided by Allah. And Allah will not Waste your Eman, as Allah is Affectionate, Merciful with the people.  [2:143]

As per the above Verse, during the judgement day, ‘certain believers’ from the Nation (Ummah) of Rasool-Allah-saww will be brought as witness against the people from all times, and Rasool-Allah-saww will be a witness upon them – the ‘certain believers’.  This confirms that both Rasool-Allah-saww and the ‘certain believers’ were overlooking the actions of people from all times, otherwise they cannot justifiably act as ‘witnesses’.

Also Allah-azwj Says at another place in the Holy Quran:

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَىٰ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شَهِيدًا {414:}

So how will it be, when We Come with a witness from every community, and We Brought you as a witness upon all these people? [4:41]

This Verse too reaffirms the above point in that if Allah-azwj were to Bring forward Rasool-Allah-saww as a ‘Witness’ for the actions of people then as per the requirements of the ‘witness’, the ‘witness’ must have observed fully while being aware of their all affairs, otherwise the Justice cannot be established, which is ‘disbelief’ if one assumes that Allah-azwj will present the one, as a witness, who did not oversee actions of people.

Similarly, those (among the pious and martyred ones) who have left the world, cannot be considered as ‘dead’ after being buried, as Allah-azwj Says:

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ {813:}

And when Allah Took a Covenant of the Prophets: “When I have Given you from a Book and Wisdom – then a Rasool comes to you verifying to what is with you, you must believe in him, and you must help him”.

He said: “Do you affirm and accept My Pact upon that?” They said: ‘We do accept’. He said: “Then bear witness, and I (too) am of the Bearers of Witness with you [3:81]

This leads to another topic, ‘Raj’a’ (Returning of the Prophets-as), which is beyond the scope of the article, for further details, please visit:

https://hubeali.com/articles/Rajja_Return_to-Life.pdf

Finally, we present a Holy Verse, where Allah-azwj specifically Points out to Rasool-Allah-saww as a ‘witness’ and Says, ‘O Prophet, you are enough for Me-azwj as a ‘witness:

مَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِنْ نَفْسِكَ ۚ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًا ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا {794:}

Whatever befalls you from a good, so it is from Allah, and whatever befalls you from an evil, so it is from yourselves;

And We Sent you to the people as a Rasool, and suffice with Allah as a Witness [4:79]

For the completion of our discussion on the concept of ‘Hazir o Nazir’, we also look at those Holy Verses in which Allah-azwj is mentioned ‘Hazir o Nazir’ without mentioning of anyone else- these Holy Verses are frequently referred to by those who insist that only Allah-azwj is ‘Hazir o Nazir’ while conveniently ignoring the ones which we have read above, these Verses are cited in the Appendix I.

Briefly, of course Allah-azwj is ‘Hazir o Nazir’ but Allah-azwj has also Made some other witnesses, as per His-azwj ‘Mashiya’ (desire), so one has to also acknowledge them or at least not reject them.

The concept of ‘Hazir o Nazir’ of the Prophet-saww, is also denied by rejecting or altering the meanings of the cited Verses through some of those Verses where Allah-azwj Informs His-azwj Prophet-saww about an event or a News, are cited in Appendix II.

This approach creates a situation where it becomes difficult to defend that there is no contradiction in the Holy Quran.  However, if we believe that the Holy Prophet-saww had all the Knowledge from his-saww Lord-azwj and neither knew the unseen nor the unknown through ordinary means, as per other people but only from Allah-azwj.  This helps in protecting the integrity of the Holy Quran.  Hence, we believe its Allah-azwj who Wanted His-azwj Prophet-saww to be a witness over His-azwj creation, as Allah-azwj has Commanded us to bring forward witness in our all important matters of life (i.e., Nikah, tallaq, accusations…).

Appendix I:

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلَّا مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۚ وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنْتَ أَنْتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَأَنْتَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ {1175:}

I did not say to them except what You Commanded me with, ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord’, and I was a witness upon them for as long as I was among them. But when You Caused me to die, You were the Watcher upon them; and You are a Witness upon all things [5:117]

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ {1489:}

Surely, your Lord is Ever-watchful [89:14]

لَا يَحِلُّ لَكَ النِّسَاءُ مِنْ بَعْدُ وَلَا أَنْ تَبَدَّلَ بِهِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ حُسْنُهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُكَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ رَقِيبًا {5233:}

The women are not Permissible for you afterwards, nor for you to replace them with (other) wives even though their beauty may fascinate you, except what your right hands possess, and Allah was always Watchful upon all things [33:52]

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا {1}

O you people! Fear your Lord, Who Created you from a single being and Created its spouse from it and spread from these two, many men and women; and fear Allah, Who you are asking for the relationships by; Allah will always be Watchful over you [4:1]

Appendix II:

All Muslims believe that there is no contradiction in the Holy Quran.  Therefore, Holy Verses should not be interpreted/translated in a way that lead to the contradictions.  The concept of ‘Hazir o Nazir’ for the Holy Prophet-saww is well proven from the Verses presented in the main article, however incorrect interpretations and translation of a few Verses, as presented below, cause difficulties and confusions. Here we present those Verses which are sometimes quoted to negate the concept of ‘Hazir o Nazir’.

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ {1009:}

And the foremost, the first ones from the Emigrants and the Helpers, and those who followed them with goodness, Allah is Pleased from them and they are pleased from Him, and He has Prepared Gardens for them beneath which the rivers flow wherein they shall abide eternally, that is the Mighty achievement [9:100]

وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُمْ مَرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ {1019:}

And from the ones around you from the Bedouins are hypocrites, and from the people of Al-Medina are stubborn upon the hypocrisy. You do not know them, We Know them. We will be Punishing them twice, then they will be Returned to the grievous Punishment [9:101]

When we read the previous Verse (9:100) Allah-azwj is addressing the Momineen and the Verse 9:101 is the continuation of the subject, so Momineen are addressed here and not the Holy Prophet-saww.

وَمَا كُنْتَ بِجَانِبِ الْغَرْبِيِّ إِذْ قَضَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَى الْأَمْرَ وَمَا كُنْتَ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ {4428:}

And what did you (see) next to the western side when We told the (Prophet) Musa the matter and what did you (see) from the witnesses [28:44]

However, in most Quranic translations, the English translation is as:

And you were not on the western side when We Decreed the Commandment to Musa and you were not from the witnesses [28:44]

ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ أَجْمَعُوا أَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ {102}

That is from the News of the unseen (which) We Reveal unto you, and what did you (see) with them when they formed a consensus and they were plotting [12:102]

However, in most Quranic translations, the English translation is as:

That is from the News of the unseen (which) We Reveal unto you, and you were not near them when they formed a consensus and they were plotting [12:102]

يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ {43} ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۚ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُونَ أَقْلَامَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يَكْفُلُ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ {44}

O Maryam! Be obedient to your Lord and perform Sajdahs and Rukus along with the Ruku performers [3:43] That is from the News of the unseen We Reveal unto you; and what did you (see) with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them would have the responsibility of Maryam, and what did you (see) with them when they were contending [3:44]

However, in most Quranic translations, the English translation is as:

O Maryam! Be obedient to your Lord and perform Sajdahs and Rukus along with the Ruku performers [3:43] That is from the News of the unseen We Reveal unto you; and you were not with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them would have the responsibility of Maryam, and you were not with them when they were contending [3:44]