Extracted chapter from the Ihya ‘Ulum al-Deen of Imam Ghazali, Vol. 1
After the death of the Prophet, Sayyidina Umar began to weep and said:
“O Prophet of God, my parents be sacrificed to you. You used to deliver sermon to the people standing on a wood of grape. When there were large numbers of people, you have taken a pulpit to make them hear but the wood began to tremble at your separation. It became quiet when you placed your hand on it. At the battle of Hunain, your followers were innumerable but they became attached to you.
May my parents be sacrificed to thee, O Prophet, your excellence has reached God, as God will be obeyed if you are obeyed. God says: ‘He who obeys the Messenger of God obeys God.’ O Messenger of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you, your excellence has reached God. He gave you the news of pardon before the news of sin. For that God says: ‘God has forgiven you for what you enjoin them.’
O Prophet of God, my parents be sacrificed to you. Your excellence has reached God. He sent you as the last Prophet but He described you before all. For that, He says: ‘When I took covenant from you and the Prophets’ etc.
O Prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you, your excellence has reached God. The dwellers of Hell will wish how good it would have been if they had obeyed you. When they will receive punishment in different stages of Hell, they will say: ‘Alas, had we obeyed God and His Messenger!’
O Messenger of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you. Moses, son of Imran, made to flow a stream of water from a stone. Is it not more wonderful that water flowed down from your fingers? O Prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you. God made the wind subservient to Sulayman. He went one month's journey at dawn and one month's journey at dusk. Is it not more wonderful than the above that you travelled one night riding on a buraq to the seven heavens, and said prayer at the Ka’bah the same very night? O Prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you. God gave miracle to Jesus Christ, son of Mary, to make a dead man alive. Is it not more wonderful than this that cooked mutton mixed with poison spoke with you, saying; ‘Don't eat me. I have got poison mixed with me.’?
O Prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you. Noah prayed to God about his people: ‘O my Lord, don't leave a single house of the unbelievers in the world.’ If you had prayed against us in a similar manner, we would have been destroyed. Your back was burdened, your front teeth were martyred, yet you did not invoke against them but for good, and said: ‘O God, forgive my people, as they know not what they do.’
O Prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you. Noah was not followed by so many people during his long stray as you have been followed in a short time. Innumerable people believed you. O Prophet of God, may my parents be sacrificed to you, if you had not permitted people lower in rank than you to come to you, we could not have taken seat with you. If you had not married women except those of equal rank with you, we would have no connection with you. If you had not taken meal except with the people of equal rank with you, we could not get the honour of taking food with you. By God, you kept company with us, married in our families, put on sufi dress, rode on donkeys, took companions behind, ate in cups of earth and licked your hands after eating.”
* * *