Allah chose Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over all creation. The following confirms this. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Truly, Allah took me as a close friend just as He took Ibrahim as a close friend related by Muslim.
And Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Truly, your companion is a close friend of Allah
related by Muslim
Without doubt, being chosen as a close friend is the highest degree a man can achieve with Allah.
And if this was how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen in this world, in the Hereafter Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will be given an even greater and higher level. And how can this not be the case when he said:
I will be the master of the children of Adam on the Resurrection Day, the first one whose grave will be opened, the first one to intercede, and the first one who will be allowed to interceded related by Muslim
Imam Nawawi (may Allah show him mercy) said, “The scholars said about Prophet Muhammad’s words,
I will be the master of the children of Adam related by Muslim
that Prophet Muhammad was not boasting when he said this. In fact, Prophet Muhammad clearly denied that he was boasting in another well-known hadith related by other than Muslim:
related by Ibn Majah
However, Prophet Muhammad said this for two reasons:
Firstly: Fulfilling the order in Allah’s saying:
And as for the blessings of your Lord, speak out
Surah Ad-Duha: 11
Secondly: It is due to him making all details clear, a matter which is obligatory upon him as Prophet Muhammad had to spread the Message to his followers in order for them to know this information, believe it, act according to it, and revere him as he should be revered, as Allah ordered us to do. This hadith is proof that Prophet Muhammad is better than all other creation. This is because the followers of the Sunnah (Ahli Sunnah) believe that mankind is better than the angels, and that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the best one from mankind.
[Imam Nawawi’s explanation of Muslim]
How should we reply to those who are confused about his saying:
I will be the master of the children of Adam, and this is no boast
related by Ibn Majah
and think it indicates a vain attitude?
Allah (Glorified is He) says:
Those are the Messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others; to some of them Allah spoke, others He raised to degrees [of honour] Surah Baqarah: 253.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Imam for all the Prophets
Allah chose Messengers from the Prophets, and chose those of strong courage from the Messengers. These are five: Muhammed, Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and ‘Issa (peace be upon them), and He called them by this name because of them exerting great effort in calling others to Allah, their patience in enduring the harm they experienced in telling others about Allah’s cause, their steadfastness in the face of falsehood, and their strength in adhering to the truth. And Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen from among those of strong courage, as he was the seal of the Prophets and the imam for them all…
The hadith of Isra and Miraj (the Night Journey and the Ascension) indicates this as in this hadith it states that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) travelled during this night from the mosque in Mecca to Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, riding with Gibrael (peace be upon him) on the steed Buraq. He alighted in Jerusalem and leaded the prayer for the Prophets [Zad Al-Ma’ad, Provisions for the Afterlife].
The fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lead the prayer for the Prophets indicates that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen and was given a higher position than the other Prophets. And how can Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) not be chosen and preferred and he is the final Prophet, and the Message Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was given is the final heavenly Message to mankind?!
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated an allegory of this when he said,
My example and the example of the earlier Prophets is like a man who built a building in a good and beautiful way, but did not place one single brick in one of its corners. The people used to circumambulate around it, and they admired it, but said, ‘Oh, if only that one brick had been put in its place.’ I am that brick and I am the seal of the Prophets related in Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
The covenant Allah took from the Prophets that they would believe Prophet Muhammed and support and defend him.
Truly, Allah took a covenant from all the Prophets and Messengers that if Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent during their time they would believe in him and support and defend him, as Allah (Glorified is He) says:
And Allah took a covenant from the Prophets, saying, ‘If, after I have bestowed the Scripture and wisdom upon you, a Messenger comes confirming what you have been given, you must believe in him and support him. Do you affirm this and accept My covenant as binding on you?’ They said, ‘We do.’ He said, ‘Then bear witness, and I too will bear witness’ Surah Al-Imran: 81.
Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah never sent any Prophet, from Adam and those after him except that He took a covenant from them concerning Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) that if Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent and any one of them were still alive, he would believe in him and support him, and he would take a covenant about this from his followers” (chapter of cures).
Another way Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was given preference over the other Prophets was related by Abu Hurayrah from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He (peace be upon him) said,
I was given preference over the other Prophets in six matters: I have been sent with Jawami Al-Kalim (i.e., the shortest expression carrying the widest meanings), I was made victorious with awe (caste into the hearts of the enemy), booty was made lawful for me, all the earth was made pure and a place of prayer for me, I was sent to all creation, and I am the seal of all the Prophets related by Muslim.
Remembering how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was preferred in such a great way, what would you think of his saying,
Do not exaggerate in praising me like the Christians exaggerated in praising the son of Mary; truly, I am only a slave (of Allah), so call me the slave of Allah and His Messenger related by Al-Bukhari.
What is the exaggeration in praise that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prohibited?
Exaggeration in praise means to praise someone too much, lying about the person when praising him. The Christians exaggerated in praising and over-praised ‘Issa (Jesus), relying on falsehood to praise him. Some of them claimed he was Allah, others claimed he was another god with Allah, and another group claimed he was the son of Allah. So Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prohibited his followers from exaggerating in praising him, relying on falsehood in their praise as the Christians did with ‘Issa.
Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) is the seal of the Prophets
I am one of those who are amazed by Prophet Muhammed who is the one Allah Himself chose to receive the last Message and to be the last of the Prophets.
World-renowned author, Leo Tolstoy