Is It Possible To Attain The Level And Status Of The Prophets?

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Question
What is the meaning of the hadith, “The people of Paradise will see the people of the chambers above them as they see a brilliant star far away on the horizon in the east or in the west, because of the difference in status between them.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, will those be the chambers of the Prophets that will be attained by no one else? He said: “No, by the One in Whose hand is my soul; they will be men who believed in Allah and believed in the Messengers.”? Does that mean that it is possible to attain

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

Paradise has various levels, and its people’s levels will vary according to their status and deeds. The Prophets will occupy the highest level of the people of Paradise, and no one will ever attain that level.

This has been explained previously in the answer to question no. 260581.

Secondly:

With regard to your question about attaining the level of the Prophets as mentioned in the hadith quoted, there are two scholarly views concerning that, which were mentioned by the commentators on the hadith.

Badr ad-Deen ad-Damaameeni (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Masaabeeh al-Jaami‘ (7/69): “No [Balaa], by the One in Whose hand is my soul; they will be men who believed in Allah and believed in the Messengers .” It was said that what is meant is that they will attain the level of the Prophets, and it was said that they will attain the dwellings (chambers) described here, but the dwellings of the Prophets will be above that. End quote.

Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari (6/328):

The word Balaa may mean “yes”, these are the dwellings of the Prophets as Allah, may He be exalted, has affirmed that for them, but Allah, may He be exalted, may bless others by causing them to reach those dwellings. End quote.

Reaching the dwellings of the Prophets does not mean that one will be equal to them in terms of status and virtue.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions”

[an-Nisaa’ 4:69].

Imam al-Baghawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets” that is, they will not miss out on seeing the Prophets and sitting with them; it does not mean that they will be raised to the same level as the Prophets.

End quote from Tafseer al-Baghawi (2/247).

Imam Ibn ‘Atiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

What is meant by their being with them is that they will be in the same abode, and will share the same sense of joy and bliss, in which everyone who is there will be granted contentment with his lot, and he will not believe that he is less favoured than others, even though we know from the teachings of Islam that the people of Paradise will vary in status, commensurate with their good deeds, and commensurate with the grace that Allah bestows upon whomever He wills.

End quote from al-Muharrar al-Wajeez (2/76).

Az-Raazi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Mafaateeh al-Ghayb (10/133):

The idea that the one who obeys Allah and obeys the Messenger will be with the Prophets and siddeeqeen does not mean that they will all be on the same level, because that would imply that they are all equal in status, and that is not possible.

Rather what is meant is that they will all be in Paradise in such a way that each of them will be able to see the other, despite the distance between them, because when the screen is removed, they will see one another, and if they want to visit and meet one another, they will be able to do that. That is what is meant by being with them in this case. End quote.

Imam Abu’l-‘Abbaas al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mufhim:

This being with them means that they will be like them in being saved from the Fire and in attaining Paradise; otherwise, the people of Paradise will be in different levels and statuses according to their deeds and condition. This is indicated by the religious texts, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A man will be with those whom he loves and will have what he has earned.” End quote.

The hadith mentioned, “… and he will have what he has earned” was narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2386) from Anas ibn Maalik, and was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.

Part of the perfect blessings that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will bestow upon the people of Paradise is that He will not deprive them of meeting their loved ones there, even if they vary in levels.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

When Allah, may He be exalted, wills to bring together [two people in Paradise], He will bring the one from the higher level down to the lower level.

A man said to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): I love you and cannot bear to be away from you, but you will be in the highest part of Paradise, so I will not see you. So Allah, may He be exalted, revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions”

[an-Nisaa’ 4:69].

End quote from Mukhtasar al-Fataawa al-Masriyyah (270).

See also the answer to question no. 126349.

And Allah knows best.

Source: IslamQA

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