THE SLITTING OF THE CHEST AND WASHING OF NABI ﷺ PURE HEART

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

The splitting of the blessed chest took place four times; Mawlānā Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi (may Allāh shower him with mercy) mentions in the commentary of Sūrah al-Inshirāh and ‘Allāmah ‘Abdul Mustafā A’azamī (may Allāh shower him with mercy) mentions in his book ‘Seerat-e-Mustafā’ that the noble chest of the Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was split four times and filled with light [Nūr] and wisdom.

The first time was when he (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was at the home of Sayyidatunā Haleemah (may Allāh be pleased with her) – the wisdom behind this was to protect the Noble Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) from the whispers and thoughts that affect children and which incline them towards playing and mischief.

The second time took place at the age of ten so that he (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) may not be affected at all by the mischievous desires of adolescence.

The third occasion of the splitting of the blessed chest of the Noble Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) which took place was in the cave of Hirā and it was filled with the light of tranquillity so that he (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) may bear the mighty and immense weight of the revelation of Allāh.

The fourth time the blessed chest of the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was split and filled with the treasures of light [Nūr] and wisdom was on the Night of Mi’rāj [Ascension], so that his blessed heart may become so vast and capacious that it could bear the Divine vision of Allāh (Most High) and the Majestic Grandeur of the Divine Speech.

[Seerat-e-Mustafā, pg 79]

The first time that the splitting of the chest took place was in the area where Sayyidah Haleemah (may Allāh be pleased with her) lived; upon this is a Hadīth from Sahīh Muslim,

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَتَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ يَلْعَبُ مَعَ الْغِلْمَانِ فَأَخَذَهُ فَصَرَعَهُ فَشَقَّ عَنْ قَلْبِهِ فَاسْتَخْرَجَ الْقَلْبَ فَاسْتَخْرَجَ مِنْهُ عَلَقَةً فَقَالَ هَذَا حَظُّ الشَّيْطَانِ مِنْكَ. ثُمَّ غَسَلَهُ فِى طَسْتٍ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ بِمَاءِ زَمْزَمَ ثُمَّ لأَمَهُ ثُمَّ أَعَادَهُ فِى مَكَانِهِ وَجَاءَ الْغِلْمَانُ يَسْعَوْنَ إِلَى أُمِّهِ يَعْنِى ظِئْرَهُ فَقَالُوا إِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ قُتِلَ. فَاسْتَقْبَلُوهُ وَهُوَ مُنْتَقَعُ اللَّوْنِ. قَالَ أَنَسٌ وَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَرَى أَثَرَ ذَلِكَ الْمِخْيَطِ فِى صَدْرِهِ.”

“On the authority of Sayyidunā Anas bin Mālik (may Allāh be pleased with him), that Sayyiduna Jibrīl [upon him be peace] came to the blessed court of the Messenger of Allāh (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) whilst he was busy with the children, he [Sayyiduna Jibrīl] took the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), laid him down, split his blessed chest and took out the blessed heart and removed a piece of flesh from it, then he said, ‘This is the ‘share’ of the devil in you.’ Then he washed it in a gold bowl with Zam Zam water, sewed it and then he placed it back into its place. Some children ran to the mother [wet nurse] of the Noble Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said, ‘ The Holy Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has been killed’, thus, the people ran to him and his complexion had changed. Sayyidunā Anas (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, ‘I used to see the affects of that needle upon his blessed chest.’”

[Sahīh Muslim, vol 1, Hadīth no 163]

Muftī Ahmad Yār Khān Na’īmī (may Allāh shower him with mercy) comments on the words “share of the devil”, which are present in the Blessed Hadīth, stating that if this share were to remain in your heart, then Satan would affect you, thus, We will not leave that thing in your heart which Satan effects. From this, it becomes apparent that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) could not sin, because sin is either due to one possessing Nafs Ammārah or due to Satan; the nafs of the Noble Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is not Nafs Ammārah, rather it is Nafs Mutma’innah, and Satan does not even come near to his blessed heart, then who can cause the Noble Messenger to even sin.

It should be noted that this piece of flesh being present in the heart and then being removed is like hair or nails being present on the Blessed Body and then being clipped; this is not against the majesty of Prophethood. It should also be noted that this event is known as the ‘expanding of the chest [Sharh al-Sadr]’ as well as being called the ‘splitting of the chest [Shaq al-Sadr].’ This event occurred many times throughout the honourable life, this was the first time, the Lord (Most High) states, {اَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَکَ صَدْرَکَ} – {Did We not expand your chest for you (O Beloved)?} This verse is an indication to these events. The second time took place at the age of ten, then in the cave of Hirā during days of retreat, then on the Night of Ascension [Shab-e-Mi’rāj]; these three took place for the increasing of Noor for the increasing of expansion.

[Mirāt ul-Manājīh, vol 1, pg 110]