يا خير من دفنت في الترب أعظمه *** فطاب من طيبهن القاع والأكم
نفسي الفداء لقبر أنت ساكنه *** فيه العفاف وفيه الجود والكرم
أنت الحبيب الذي ترجى شفاعته *** عند الصراط إذا ما زلت القدم
لولاك ما خلقت شمس ولا قمر *** ولا سماء ولا لوح ولا قلم
صلى عليك إله العرش ما طلعت *** شمس وحن إليك الضال والسلم
O best of whose bones were buried in the earth
Giving from their blessings to landscapes and hills
I give my soul in sacrifice to the grave you occupy
Within it is chastity, generosity, and liberality
You’re the Beloved whose intercession is sought
On the narrow path towards heaven if my foot slips
Had it not been for you, nor the sun nor the moon would’ve been created
Nor the sky, Tablet or Pen
May the Lord of the Throne pray upon you as many times
As the sun rises and as those astray and whole yearn for you
These beautiful lines of poetry come from a poem that Imam Ibn Katheer narrates in his commentary on verse 64 from chapter 4 where Allah says:
ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما
And had they when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked for forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had also asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful
A bedouin came to the grave where the Prophet peace be upon him is buried and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I’ve committed a grave sin. But I’ve heard Allah say in the Quran (and he recited the above mentioned verse), and I’m here to ask Allah for forgiveness and ask you to ask Him as well for me to be forgiven”. He followed this by reciting the poem where the above lines of poetry come from, weeped, and walked away. Al Utbi was watching this happen and after the bedouin left he fell asleep and saw the Prophet peace be upon him in his dream and was told to go catch up with the bedouin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.
The more I reflect on this story the more overwhelming I find it. It’s all about love and connection with the Beloved peace be upon him. The lines of poetry can only come out of love for the Prophet peace be upon him. The concern our Prophet peace be upon him has for us can only be from his love and mercy. The love of Allah for His Messenger peace be upon him that He guarantees forgiveness and mercy for those whom His Messenger peace be upon him is interceding for.
One of the things I really yearn for is to have love for our Messenger peace be upon him as the love his companions may Allah be pleased with them had for him. There is a narration by Anas Ibn Malik may Allah be pleased with him in Sahih Al Bukhari where he says that the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him said:
By the One who my soul is in His hand, none of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his self, his wealth, his children, and all people. Umar Ibn Al Khattab may Allah be pleased with him replied to this by saying:
“O Messenger of Allah! By Allah you are more beloved to me than everything else, except my own self.”
To this the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:
“No O Umar. Not until I’m more beloved to you than your own self”
So Umar may Allah be pleased with him quickly recanted his initial response by saying:
”O Messenger of Allah! By Allah you are more beloved to me than everything else, even my own self”
The Messenger of Allah peace be upon replied:
”Umar, now you have it!”
To have that kind of love is truly magnificent. This type of love that brought people to sacrifice their own lives quite literally in defence of the Messenger peace be upon him during battle. It’s the type of love that brought a companion to pray to become blind after the passing of the Beloved peace be upon him from this world so that the last thing his eyes saw would’ve been the Prophet peace be upon him’s face. It’s a love that brought the toughest of the companions to their knees weeping after the news of his passing peace be upon him from this world.
I want you to picture this scene with me for a few minutes. Close your eyes and take a trip to Medina and watch Umar Ibn Al Khattab may Allah be pleased with him at first getting furious and waving his sword threatening to kill anyone who says “Muhammad is dead”. Then Abu Bakr As’Sideeq may Allah be pleased with him getting up and declaring the passing of the Prophet peace be upon him and reciting the verses from the Qur’an that relate to his human nature peace be upon him. This is when Umar, a man whose size from a far gives the illusion as if he’s riding a horse when in fact he would be walking, collapses on the ground and weeps intensely.
Bilal Ibn Rabah may Allah be pleased with him, the muezzin of the Prophet peace be upon him, left Medina to Syria because he could not stay in a city where everything reminds him of something about his most Beloved. After a couple of years of not visiting, the Prophet peace be upon him appears to Bilal in a dream and says:
ما هذا الجفاء يا بلال؟ أما آن لك أن تزورنا؟
What’s this coldness towards us O Bilal? Isn’t it time for you to visit us?
As soon as Bilal may Allah be pleased with him sees the city of the Prophet peace be upon him, he starts to weep before he enters. He continues to cry until he reaches the mosque of the Prophet peace be upon him and collapses in tears by his grave. The Prophet peace upon him’s grandsons Al-Hasan and Al-Husayin may Allah shower them with peace and mercy came to Bilal may Allah be pleased with him and they all hugged for a long time. They asked him to get up and call the Athan, which he hasn’t called ever since the passing of the Prophet peace upon him. He initially refused the same request from Abu Bakr and Umar may Allah be pleased with them because it was too difficult for him and he couldn’t bring himself to do it. But he couldn’t refuse the request from the grandchildren of the Prophet peace be upon him and finally agrees.
Bilal may Allah be pleased with him makes it to the roof of the mosque and starts calling: Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
At an instant everyone in Medina, young and old, men and women, all begin to cry. It’s been a few years since they heard the same voice call for the prayer that the Prophet peace be upon him would lead. Everyone’s minds are now flooded with all kinds of memories of the times when the Prophet peace be upon him was among them. They even thought that he peace be upon him was brought back to life. As for Bilal may Allah be pleased with him… well, he got to the part where he bare witnessed that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and choked up at the name; he couldn’t finish calling the Athan.
I’ve been reflecting lately on something that I’ve come to realize. Most of us when we raise our hands in prayer, we usually ask for Allah’s blessings, help in our needs, facilitate our affairs, make our difficult circumstances easy, etc. But it seems that very few of us ask Allah to throw love of our Messenger peace be upon him similar to his companions’ love in our hearts. I’ve asked a few people if they’ve ever prayed to Allah to grant them the vision of the Prophet peace be upon him in their sleep. Sadly, the majority said they never even thought of it.
In the collection of Imam Ahmed is a narration by Anas Ibn Malik may Allah be pleased with him where he relates that the Prophet peace be upon him said to Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him:
O Abu Bakr, I wish I could meet my brothers. I wish I could meet my brothers, for I love them!
Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him said:
O Messenger of Allah! We’re your brothers!
He peace be upon him said:
You’re my companions. My brothers are a people that haven’t seen me, believed in me, and loved me so much so that I’m more beloved to them than their parents and their children.
It’s all about love. So close your eyes for a minute. Imagine that you’ve been granted a chance to meet the most Beloved who called you his brother or sister and said he wished he could meet you. You’re so important to him that he was concerned about you even though he came over 1420 years ago. The most caring, loving, merciful gift from the Most Merciful is giving you his undivided attention for as long as you’d like. What you say to him?
May Allah throw love of the Him and His Messenger peace be upon him into our hearts, and may He grant us seeing him peace be upon him in our dreams and having his company in the highest heavens in the Next World.
© Mohamed Ghilan, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012