Some people believe that Allah Ta’ala is Omnipresent in that He is Present at every time and every place. They believe that only Allah Ta’ala is Haazir and Naazir and to attribute this to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is Shirk. This is incorrect because Allah Ta’ala is not bound by time and space. His Presence encompasses everything but He cannot be bound by any place or time. He is Present and Seeing without time and without space. Allah Ta’ala’s Attributes always existed and will never cease to exist. There is a great difference between Allah Ta’ala being Present and the souls of His creation being present. No one is present like Allah Ta’ala being Present. Therefore referring to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as Haazir and Naazir will never be Shirk, and is in fact in accordance with the Holy Qur’an as we will learn below.
Haazir literally means someone who is present. The meaning of Naazir is one who sees (from near or far). According to the Shariah, the meaning of Haazir and Naazir in the creation is the spiritually strong person who sees the entire world as how he sees the palm of his hand, and can travel through the whole creation assisting those with needs over thousands of miles. [Jaa’al Haqqu Wazahaqal Baathil]
Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an, “And thus We made you an exalted community among all the nations that you may be a witness over the people and the Rasool (Messenger) will be a witness over you.” [Surah 2, Verse 143]
In another Verse He says, “Then how shall it be, when We bring from every Ummah a witness. And (O Beloved Messenger) We will bring you as a witness against all of them.” [Surah 4, Verse 41]
These Qur’anic verses gesture towards the incident of Qiyaamah wherein the Ummahs of other Prophets will say to Allah Ta’ala, Your Messengers did not propagate Your commands to us.” The Prophets will say that they did and will present the Ummah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as proof. Their testimony will then be objected to, due to the final Ummah not having been in the times of the Prophets: “How do you bare witness whilst you have not seen?” The final Ummah will reply, “Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) told us.” Then the testimony of the Noble Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will be taken. He will testify to two things: that the Prophets did indeed propagate Allah Ta’ala’s commands and that his Ummah is worthy of baring witness. This will conclude the case and judgment will be passed in favour of the Prophets. [Jaa’al Haqqu Wazahaqal Baathil].
Notice that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is being called a witness to all the nations that Allah has put upon this earth. Therefore, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) must have been present before his earthly appearance and is still present after this earthly demise, otherwise he cannot be called upon as a witness in the true sense of the word. There are many other verses of the Holy Qur’an that call upon Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as a witness. And a witness can only be someone who is Haazir & Naazir.
To illustrate this point imagine a person sitting in his home and watching the news which shows footage of an accident that occurred earlier in the day. This person is Naazir since he is watching the accident as it occurred but he was not Haazir (present) at the scene when the accident actually took place, therefore he cannot stand witness in the court of law. Furthermore, if this person was at the scene of the accident, but his attention was somewhere else and he did not actually see the accident take place, he would be regarded as Haazir but not Naazir. In this case too, he will not be regarded as a witness in the court of law. Therefore it can be easily understood that when Allah Ta’ala repeatedly refers to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the Holy Qur’an as a witness for the entire Ummah as well as all the previous Ummahs and Prophets, then there is no doubt that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was Haazir and Naazir then, is still Haazir and Naazir, and Insha Allah will be till the Day of Qiyaamah.
However, there will be a difference in the testimony of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and his Ummah. The testimony of the Ummah will be what they had heard from Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) whereas the testimony of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will be an eye witness account, having witnessed the deeds of all the Ummahs himself. [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
If Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not witness the propagation of the previous Prophets and the condition of his Ummah by sight, why wasn’t his testimony disputed the way his Ummah’s witnessing was? This proves that his testimony was by eye and the Ummah’s was by being told, thereby confirming that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is Haazir and Naazir.
In another Verse Allah Ta’ala states, “Surely there has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Heavy upon him is your suffering and he ardently desires your welfare. To the believers he is most kind and merciful.” [Surah 9, Verse 128]
The word ‘Jaa’akum’ in this verse is an address to Muslims that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has come to all of them. So he is with every Muslim and they are spread out over the entire world. Therefore Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is also present at all places.
‘Azeezun Alaihi Maa Anitum’ means that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is distressed when you experience any trouble. This proves that he has information of our difficulties and ease at every moment, which is why his heart is sorrowed by our problems. If he had no information about us, how can he become distressed?
The concept of Haazir and Naazir is further proven from the following Verse, “And We have not sent any Messenger, but that he should be obeyed by the permission of Allah. And if when they do injustice unto their souls, then O Beloved they should come to you, and then beg for forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger should intercede for them. Then surely they would find Allah Most Relenting, Merciful.” [Surah 4, Verse 64]
This proves that the path of forgiveness for sinners is only for them to present themselves in the presence of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asking for intercession, allowing him to intercede for mercy from the Most Merciful Allah. It definitely does not mean that they should present themselves in Madina Shareef. Otherwise, what will be the means of forgiveness for poor sinners like us who are foreigners to the sacred city? Even the wealthy only reach Madina Shareef once or twice in their lives but commit sin day and night. Thus this would become a task beyond ability. So the meaning of this Aayat is that he is present by you. [Jaa’al Haqqu Wazahaqal Baathil]
Allah Ta’ala further mentions, “And We did not send you but as a Mercy for all the worlds.” [Surah 21, Verse 107]
Allah Ta’ala then says, “…And My Mercy encompasses all things.” [Surah 7, Verse 156]
We can ascertain that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the mercy to all the worlds and from the second Aayat that the worlds are enclosed with Allah’s Mercy. Therefore Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) encompasses the worlds because he is Allah’s Mercy.
The Glorious Qur’an further testifies, “The Prophet (Muhammad) is closer to the believers even more than their own selves.” [Surah 33, Verse 6]
The word ‘Awla’ in this verse means dearer, nearer and more deserving and all three meanings are applicable to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This tells us that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is present (Haazir and Naazir) in the heart of every believer and he is nearer than the believer’s own soul. [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
Due to the earthly demise of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), his being visible to everyone has ceased, but his august presence has not ended. He has come for all times. Just as the visibility of the sun ceases at night but not its existence, so too is it with the presence of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to understand the august station that He has granted to His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and to stay away from those who dare to insult the Beloved of Allah.