Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I New Age of Islam I February 16, 2015
A scholar very rightly says, “If there is a collection of Hadith in a person’s house, it is as though there were in his house the Prophet, speaking to him.”
This means that if you open, with earnestness, a book of Hadith and read the sayings of the Prophet, you will feel that the Prophet is directly talking to you and giving you guidance.
The same is true about the companionship of the Prophet. If the true spirit is alive in you, and you sincerely desire to follow the Prophet, even today you can experience the Prophet’s companionship.
For example, the Prophet’s practice was never to hate his enemies. Instead, he used to treat them in a very noble way. He would beseech God for their guidance. Now, if you have an enemy and you do not respond to him with enmity, but, instead, think “I should behave with my enemy in the same way as the Prophet of God did with his enemies”, and if you do precisely this, at that moment you will develop a special relation with the Prophet. You will begin to associate with him, in terms of your thoughts and feelings. This sense of association with the Prophet will expand so much that you will feel that the distance of time has been overcome and that you have arrived, as it were, in the company of the Prophet. This is a fact. It is something that anyone can experience anywhere.
The Prophet’s opponents treated him in a very improper way. For instance, they called him mad, “condemned one”, a magician, a liar and so on. Yet, the Prophet never reacted against them negatively. He neither complained nor demonstrated against them. Instead, he prayed to God for such people.
Now, if you face any such negative experiences and you wholeheartedly adopt the method of the Prophet in this regard, you will experience certain special feelings arising in you. You will feel a special relationship with the Prophet. You will begin to experience the companionship of the Prophet.
One can speak of two forms of the companionship of the Prophet. One is physical companionship. The other is spiritual or psychological companionship. The believers who were contemporaries of the Prophet were blessed with the physical companionship of the Prophet. Believers in later times can be blessed with spiritual or psychological companionship, provided they fulfil the necessary condition for this—and that is deep psychological compatibility with the Prophet.
Companionship is not necessarily about being physically present with someone. It depends entirely on psychological compatibility. In the early period of Islam, among those who accepted Islam were some who had psychological compatibility with the Prophet. They drew great benefit from his company. And those who did not have psychological compatibility with him remained deprived of the benefit of his presence despite being physically present near him.
The difference between the true companions of the Prophet and the hypocrites was based precisely on this. The true companions of the Prophet had psychological compatibilitywith the Prophet. That is why they were able to fully benefit from his company. On the other hand, the hypocrites did not have this psychological compatibility with the Prophet. And that is why despite being physically present near the Prophet, they remained deprived of the benefit of his company.