The heart of every Muslim is filled with love for the last Prophet Muhammad (S) and this love of the messenger of Allah is an asset for him. Love and respect of a person depends on the benefits we get from him, As the Prophet , is the greatest benefactor of humanity, every Muslim has deepest love for him, Every deed of his life is to be followed by every individual of the Muslim Ummah. Highest love for the Prophet (S) is made a test of our Faith. Allah the All-Mighty has described and explained the status of Muhammad (S) in the Qur’an: “Say (O Muhammad (S) to mankind): If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you…” (3:31)
Love of Allah’s Messenger (S) is a part of our Faith. There is a Hadith (narration) of the Prophet (S) who said: “None of you has Faith unless I am dearer to him than his father and his son and all mankind.”
In the early period of Islam, many books were written on the life of the Prophet (S) in the Qur’an itself, the best example of the life of Muhammad (S), has also been mentioned, The Qur’an says: “And verily, you (O Muhammad (S) are on an exalted standard of character.” (68:4)
Someone asked ‘Aishah (R) about the noble character and manners of the Prophet (S). She answered: “Have you not read the Qur’an? His character is a complete explanation of the Qur’an.”
It means that whatever is commanded and prohibited in the Qur’an, its practical example is present in the manners of Muhammad In other words, the ideal and perfect example of good manners and character which the Qur’an demands from mankind, was present in the person of Muhammad in its highest degree.
Scholars of Ahadith (traditions) and writers of the biography of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, have explored his life from every angle and aspect from birth to death. Every event, every incident of his life has been described and narrated, but none had claimed that he has given his life’s recording its full rights. Hundreds of books have been written on the life of Muhammad and this endeavor will continue till the Day of Resurrection.
No doubt The Sealed Nectar (Ar-Raheeq AI-Makhturn) is a book of great value and praiseworthy work on the life of Muhammad. This book has been written by the Eminent Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri of Jamiah Salafiyah, Banaras (India). The first Islamic Conference on Seerah (biography of the Prophet) was held in 1976 in Pakistan sponsored by the Muslim World League. The League announced a world contest for writing a book on the life of the Prophet. One hundred fifty thousand Saudi Riyals (SR 150,000) (forty thousand U.S. Dollars) was the grand prize for the best five books.
One hundred and seventy-one manuscripts were received from all over the world. Out of these, eighty-five were in the Arabic Language, sixty-four in Urdu, twenty-one were in English and one in French and Hausa.
A board of highly qualified scholars judged the manuscripts and announced the results. The manuscript of Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Jamiah Salafiyah Banaras (India), author of the book in hand (The Sealed Nectar) received first the grand prize of SR 50,000 (fifty thousand Saudi Riyals) for its authentic and sound collections of the narrations. Dr. Majid Ali Khan, New Delhi, India, placed second. The third prize went to Dr. Naseer Ahmed, Islamic University, Lahore, Pakistan. The fourth prize was awarded to Mr. Harnid Mahmud of Egypt. The fifth and final prize was awarded to Abdus-Salam Hashim of Madinah Munawwarah. An extravagant prize distribution ceremony was held at Makkah Al-Mukarramah on 12 Rabi’ul-Awwal 1399 A.H. (1979 C.E.). Afterward, the book was published by the Muslim World League and then many other organizations gained the honor of publishing this masterpiece. Darussalam also published this book in the Arabic language. I had wished to publish this book in the English language for the wider benefit of humanity. Shaikh Safiur-Rahman willingly agreed to the idea and consented to publish the English translation. The stage of translation was traversed with the help of brother Mahir Abu Dhahab, owner and general manager of Markaz Noor Ash-Sham in Damascus, Syria.
For the first edition of this book, brother Mahir Abu Dhahab from Syria, Damascus, provided his help and cooperation as regards the translation work for which I offer my special thanks to him. Now in your hands is the new revised edition with many changes and additions. Brother Abu Khaliyl (U.S.A.) amended and improved the translation to make its language simple and easy, besides comparing again from the beginning to the end the English translation with the Arabic revised text to update the changes therein.
So, after a coherent toil of months, this edition was published. (All praise is for Allah). The opinions and views from the readers concerning this edition will be appreciated.
Your brother in Islam,
1st January 2002