By: KH Miftachul Akhyar
General Chairman of MUI Centre
As believers, we should understand, Prophet Muhammad is as Khoirul Anbiyaa war-Rusul, the best Prophet and Messenger of the Prophets and Messengers sent by Allah. While his followers are Khoiru Ummah, the best ummah.
In the book of tafsir Ibn Kathir it is mentioned, when Rasulullah Muhammad finished receiving a direct order from Allah to perform the five daily prayers in the course of Isra ‘wal Mi’raj, he then descended from heaven and stopped once again in Jerusalem. The Prophets came down with him. And He prayed as a priest with them when the time came.
From this narration, we can conclude that Allah wants to make our Prophet Muhammad as Sayyidul Anbiyaai wal Mursaliin (Chief of the Prophets and Messengers) and even Imamul Anbiyaai wal Mursaliin. He led the special prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other Prophets stood as a congregation behind him. Indeed, the glorious position of the Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet sent by Allah to the world but was placed in the position of chief and imam of the previous Prophets. Even as the next form of glory, Allah blessed the Prophet Muhammad specifically, with His meaningful Word: “Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (QS. Al-Ahzab, 33:56).
Furthermore, the followers of the Prophet Muhammad. as “Khoiru Ummah”, the best people, and hopefully all of us are included in it. This is stated and confirmed directly by Allah in His Word: “Kuntum Khoiru Ummah…”: “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” (QS. Ali Imron: 110).
Muslims become the best because they follow and reflect the noble morals of the Prophet, have and implement behaviour in accordance with the morals of the Prophet Narrated from Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said with the meaning: “Indeed, I was sent only to perfect morality.” (HR. Al-Baihaqi).
The people of the Prophet saw. to be the best, due to having a high commitment, holding fast to the Rope of the Religion of Allah, doing good deeds confidently and correctly in accordance with Islamic law. And on top of that all is preaching, fighting for it with all one’s might, as exemplified by the noble Prophet with his companions, then followed by the salafush-sholih after him “And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says,” Indeed, I am of the Muslims” (QS. Fushshilat, 41: 33).
Some of the salaf scholars said, “They can be the best people if they meet the requirements, which are also mentioned in the verse. However, if he doesn’t meet the requirements, then he won’t be the best people.”
Just like in the business world. If you want to get a promotional price with special discounts, or special service facilities, for example, you must meet the terms and conditions (T&C) that are applied. In this case, being actively involved in the struggle for da’wah to implement the order of “amar ma’ruf nahi munkar”, which is a requirement for achieving that main title, is a form of commitment, like trading in the Way of Allah. This is confirmed in the meaning of the verse
“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you only knew.” (QS. Ash-Shaff, 61: 10-11).
Therefore, the verse “Kuntum Khoiru Ummah” is absolutely we must state and prove by meeting the requirements that have been mentioned in the continuation of the verse, “command to the good, and prevent from the evil, and believe in God”. Clearly, we must fight and strive for it earnestly to implement the content of the meaning of the verse, so that it can benefit us all, not only in the mortal world now, but also continue to the eternal afterlife: “And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him” (QS. Al-Hajj, 22:78).
The word “al-Ma’ruf” itself is rooted in the word ‘urf (customs) or good things that are commonly known and recognized by the community. There are also those who interpret it as something in accordance with reason. According to al-Isfahani, the term Ma’ruf concerns all forms of action that are considered good by reason and syara ‘(al-Raghib al-Asfahani, al-Mufradat fi al-Gharib al-Qur’an, Egypt: Mushthafa al-Rab al- Ahlabi, 1961).
(Quoted and summarized by Usman Effendi AS, from Taushiyyah / Speech delivered by KH Miftachul Akhyar, General Chairperson of the MUI, to the Director’s Handover and the 32nd Anniversary of the LPPOM MUI).