Specialities of Nabi ﷴ ﷺ
Regarding the statement of Allah Almighty:
کُنۡتُمۡ خَیۡرَ اُمَّۃٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ
YOU ARE indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind … [Aal Imran 3: 110]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
اَنْتُمْ تُتِمُّونَ سَبْعِينَ اُمَّةً اَنْتُمْ خَيْرُهَا وَاَكْرَمُهَا عَلَى اللَّه
‘You are the completion of seventy nations, you are the best of them, and the most honorable of them to Allah.” [Tirmidhi – 3001]
This hadith denotes a most precious aspect of being from the Prophet ﷺ’s followers. Certainly, the gift of being from his nation is a favour for which we cannot thank Allah enough, let alone for being the best nation.
The meaning of ‘best Ummah’
Before Allah Almighty, no nation compares to the Ummah of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم being the best. The Preserved Tablet records this nation as the most superior, and previous nations were foretold of the Muhammadan nation.
So who is included in the “Best Ummah”?
· The noble Prophet ﷺ stated:
خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ
“The best of people are those from my time, then those who will follow them, and then those that will follow them.” [Bukhari]
According to this hadith, the Companions عَـلَيْهِمُ الرِّضْوَانْ are the most superior believers, followed by their students, and that the earlier people of this Ummah are superior to the latter ones.
· The entire Ummah of the Prophet ﷺ is included in being the best. This is because the reasons that make it the best Ummah are found in them, such as their pure beliefs, conviction, ever increasing love for the Prophet ﷺ, and steadfastness on Allah’s religion.
· The honour of being the best is for those that encourage good and forbid evil. Enjoining right and forbidding evil is a condition for attaining this distinction of being ‘best’. This honour will cease when people relinquish this. Mujahid R states, “You will be called the best nation from the nations that came forth when the qualities ˹of enjoining right and forbidding evil˺ mentioned in the blessed verse manifest in you.”
The Ummah of Nabi ﷺ is not only the best, but will also be the largest.
The number of the followers [Ummatees] of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is more than the followers of all the blessed Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام.
Nabi ﷺ had himself said:
‘اَنَا اَكْثَرُ الْاَنْبِيَاءِ تَبَعًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ
On the Day of Judgement, my Ummah will be greater [in numbers] than (the Ummahs) of all the blessed Prophets [عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام]. [Muslim]
أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ عِشْرُونَ وَمِائَةُ صَفٍّ ثَمَانُونَ مِنْهَا مِنْ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ وَأَرْبَعُونَ مِنْ سَائِرِ الأُمَمِ
There will be 120 rows of the dwellers of Paradise, out of which 80 rows will be from this Ummah whereas 40 rows will be from all the other Ummahs.’ [Tirmidhi 2546]