The word “Naath” is very commonly used term nowadays, especially at the occasion of Mawlid Al-Nabi – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – all his lovers praise him throughout the globe. The word or the term “Naat” simply, means “Praise”.
The extent of love is so immense that once, when a true lover Maulana Kifaayatullah Ali Kaafi – may Allah be pleased with him – was brought for execution, he was singing the praises of his beloved at that moments as well:
کوئی گل باقی رہے گا نے چمن رہ جائے گا
پر رسول اللہ کا دین حسن رہ جائے گا
There will be no flower left nor will there be any gardens
But the beautiful religion of the beloved Messenger of Allah will prevail
سب فنا ہو جائیں گے فانی و لیکن حشر تک
نعت حضرت کا زبانوں پر سخن رہ جائیگا
Everything will be perished but till the time of Resurrection
The words of Naath will always remain on the lips
It is narrated from Hazrat Ali in Shamaail Al-Tirmidhi, he said:
وَیَقُوْلُ نَاعِتُہٗ لَمْ اَرَ قَبْلَہٗ وَلَا بَعْدَہٗ مِثْلَہٗ
One who says his Naath (One who praises him) speaks up, “I have not seen anyone like him neither before him nor after.”
The first group of people that disapproved the Naath were the jews and Christians. In the commentary of the verse:
لَیَکْتُمُوۡنَ الْحَقَّ وَہُمْ یَعْلَمُوۡنَ﴿۱۴۶﴾ؔ
And no doubt, a group of them conceal the truth knowingly.
(Al-Baqarah 2, Verse 146)
Imam Jalaaluddeen Suyooti – may Allah be pleased with him – writes in the Tafseer of this verse:
بِکِتْمَانِ نَعْتِ رَسُوْلِ اللہِ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ
By hiding the praises (Naath) of Allah’s Messenger – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him.
Today, the people that are doing the exact same thing are the ones who actually claim to have all the knowledge of Quran and Hadeeth.
The son of a jew who used to frequent the Messenger of Allah, when he fell ill the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – went to pay him a visit. His father was reciting Torah by his head. The Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – asked his father:
یَا یَھُوْدِیْ! ھَلْ تَجِدُ فِیْ التَّوْرَاتِ نَعْتِیْ وَصِفَتِیْ وَ مَخْرَجِیْ؟
O jew! Do you find my praises and attributes and mentioning of my migration in Torah?
He was the first jew in the world who disapproved the Naath, saying, “How can your praises be found in Torah?” His ill son spoke up when he heard this:
بَلٰی یَا رَسُوْلَ اللہِ اِنَّا نَجِدُ فِیْ التَّوْرَاۃِ نَعْتَکَ وَصِفَتَکَ وَ مَخْرَجَکَ۔ اِنِّیْ اَشْھَدُ اَنْ لَّا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللہُ وَاَنَّکَ رَسُوْلُ اللہِ
Of course, O the Messenger of Allah! We do find your praises and attributes and mentioning of your migration in Torah. I bear testimony that indeed there is none worthy of worship but Allah and definitely, you are the Messenger of Allah.
The status of a Naath-reciter is very high in Allah’s court if he is sincere in doing it.
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ الْمِصِّيصِىُّ لُوَيْنٌ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِى الزِّنَادِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ عُرْوَةَ وَهِشَامٍ عَنْ عُرْوَةَ
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يَضَعُ لِحَسَّانَ مِنْبَرًا فِى الْمَسْجِدِ فَيَقُومُ عَلَيْهِ يَهْجُو مَنْ قَالَ فِى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « إِنَّااللّٰہَ تَعَالٰی یُؤَیِّدُ حَسَّانَ بِرُوحَ الْقُدُسِ مَا نَافَحَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- ».
It is narrated from Sayyidah Ayesha – may Allah be pleased with her, she said, the Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – used to appoint a pulpit in the Masjid for Hazrat Hassaan Ibn Thaabit and then he would stand and defend the dignity of the Holy Prophet against the ones who spoke ill about him. The Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – would then say, “Allah Almighty assists Hassaan through Hazrat Jibreel for as long as he engages in defense of Allah’s Messenger – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him.”
(Bukhari, Abu Dawood)
Hazrat Abbaas – may Allah be pleased with him – recited a very beautiful Naat and the celebration of his Mawlid:
مِنْ قَبْلِهَا طِبْت فِي الظِّلَالِ وَفِي
مُسْتَوْدَعٍ حَيْثُ يُخْصَفُ الْوَرَقُ
O Allah’s Messenger, you were under the shade in paradise before your appearance in the world
While the bodies were still being covered by leaves (hinting at the clothings of Hazrat Adam and Hawwa – peace be upon them in paradise)
ثُمَّ هَبَطْت الْبِلَادَ لَا بَشَرٌ
أَنْتَ وَلَا مُضْغَةٌ وَلَا عَلَقُ
Then you were sent to the world and at that time neither were you a human
Nor a blood-clot nor a piece of flesh
بَلْ نُطْفَةٌ تَرْكَبُ السَّفِينَ وَقَدْ
أَلْجَمَ نَسْرًا وَأَهْلَهُ الْغَرَقُ
But you were rather boarding the Ark of Hazrat Noah – peace be upon him – in the form of sperm
While that Ark was leaving the idol “Nasr” and its worshippers to drown
تُنْقَلُ مِنْ صَالِبٍ إلَى رَحِمٍ
إذَا مَضَى عَالَمٌ بَدَا طَبَقُ
You had been transferred from a spine to a womb
And it happened over the course of centuries after centuries
حَتَّى اسْتَوَى بَيْنَك الْمُهَيْمِنُ
مِنْ خِنْدِفٍ عَلْيَاءَ تَحْتَهَا النُّطْقُ
Till your honoured house surrounded the trench in its premises
To which even the sky-kissing mountains bow down their heads
وَأَنْتَ لَمَّا بُعِثْت أَشْرَقَتْ الْأَرْضُ
وَضَاءَتْ بِنُورِك الْأُفُقُ
فَنَحْنُ فِي ذَلِكَ الضِّيَاءِ وَفِي
النُّورِ وَسُبُلِ الرَّشَادِ نَخْتَرِقُ
When you were born, the earth was enlightened and due to your light, the horizon was shining, and we are discovering the paths of guidance in that light and Noor.
(Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer of Tabrani Vol. 4, p. 213)