Allah’s Honoring the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) by Addressing Him
By Imam Izz ibn Abd al-Salam
“8. Another favour is that Allah, exalted is he, showed respect for him when addressing him and called him by the most beloved of his names and most radiant of his qualities, saying, “O Prophet” (8:64, 65, 70 and other places), “O Messenger” (5:41, 67), “You who are enwrapped in your clothing!” (73:1) and “You who are enveloped in your cloak!” (74:1).
This quality is not established about anyone else, but rather it is established that each prophet was called by his name. He, exalted is He, says, “And We said, ‘Adam, live, you and your wife in the Garden'” (2:35), “Isa son of Maryam, remember My blessing to you” (5:110), “Musa, I am Allah” (28:30), “O Nuh, descend with peace from Us” (11:48), “Dawud, We have made you a caliph in the land” (38:26), “Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the vision” (37:105), “Lut, we are messengers from your Lord” (11:81), “Zakariyya, We give you the good news” (19:7), and “Yahya, take the Book strongly” (19:12).
It is obvious to everyone that when a master addresses one of his slaves by his most sublime attributes and radiant characteristics, while addressing others by their proper names that do not signify a quality or a characteristic, the position of the one addressed with the most sublime names and qualities is dearer and closer to him than the one he calls by his proper name. This is known from custom. If someone is called using the best of his qualities and characteristics, all of that emphasises his esteem and respect for him, so much so that one person said: Do not call me other than ‘O her slave!’ for it is the best of my names.”
(p 25-26 of “Bidayat as-Sul fi Tafdil ar-Rasul [The Beginning of the Quest for the High Esteem of the Messenger]” by Imam ‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, translated by Aisha Bewley)
About Imam ‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam
Imam ‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, known by many as the Sultan of Scholars, produced a number of brilliant works in Shafi’i jurisprudence. Qur’anic exegesis, methodological fundamentals of Sacred Law, formal legal opinion, government, and Sufism, and a masterpiece on Islamic legal principles, Qawa’id al-Ahkam fi Masalih al-Anam [The Bases of Legal Rulings in the Interests of Mankind].