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My friend, ‘The Conscious Muslim’ blogged a series recently on the 10 Companions of the Prophet ﷺ. I benefited  from reading his posts, and wanted to share the links here so others can also benefit, inshaAllah ta’Ala.

Please be aware that these are my notes. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings. I pray these notes are of some benefit to the readers, insha-Allah ta’Ala.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, mercy to the worlds.

  • We often find a disparity between the heart and the tongue. The tongues might be praising the Prophet , but the hearts are suspended and in a state of heedlessness.
  • In a tradition narrated by Imam Tabrani, the Prophet  described one of the most difficult situations/circumstances that the human beings will find themselves in during the next world is when we begin to be commanded by the angels to traverse over the hellfire, the Sirrat (bridge over hellfire). Depending upon how we listened to the Prophet , and the swiftness of our move towards his obedience, is what ultimately determines how swiftly we shall traverse over the siratt. The Prophet spoke about the bridge being the distance of 3000 years!  When we hear a tradition like this, don’t we feel some sort of immediacy to change our life for the better?
  • Salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ  is what will help us get to the other end of the Sirrat, and rescue us to safety.
  • There is nothing better in imitating the Rasul  other than to invoke much blessings upon him. The Prophet said that whomsoever invokes 1 prayer upon me, Allah invokes 10 upon him; whomsoever invokes 10 prayers upon me, Allah will invoke 100 upon him; whomsoever invokes 100 prayers upon me, Allah will invoke 1000 upon him; and whomsoever invokes 1000 prayers upon me, he will rub shoulders with me at the gates of paradise! This is the reality of the gift Allah has given us when we invoke prayers upon the Prophet .
  • This Rabi’a (month) is a sad one for many people as it’s the first one without the great Shaykh Ramadan al-Bouti. 
  • Shaykh Al-Sayyid Muhammad al- Alawi al- Maliki was one of the greatest saints of our times.  Shaykh Ibrahim narrated the experience of what it was like meeting the great Sayyid Muhammad al- Alawi al- Maliki. He described it as if you were in the presence of a king of the duniya and aakhira! He also said that Hababba Noor (Habib Umar’s wife) said she never cried for anyone, other than her own father, the way she cried when the great Sayyid passed onto the next world. The people of Allah knew what it meant for the Sayyid to pass onto the next world. There is a vacuum of void when these great beings leave for the barzakh. 
  • Shaykh Al-Sayyid Muhammad al- Alawi al- Maliki was asked by someone: when you do not have a Shaykh who can guide you to Allah, how do you find a Shaykh? The great Shaykh advised that if someone takes to the Salawat upon the Prophet tﷺ then this is his or her Shaykh. The Salawat will guide him to his Shaykh who will guide him to Allah and will grant him salvation on the day of judgement.

Next up- The Virtues Tour 1435/2014 – Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya (Luton). Watch this space….

Visit my lovely friend Zara’s blog to read her excellent notes from The Virtues Tour 1435/2014. 

Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu

Subhana Rabbika Rabbi l’izzati amma yasifun, wa salamun ala l’mursalin, wal-humdulillahi Rabbi l’alamin.

“The Muhammadan Light, labeled also as the Muhammedan Truth, is an essence that represents the spiritual identity of the Blessed Prophet ﷺ . It is he who is most beloved and the most precious in the sight of the Creator. The reason for the existence of creation is the love of the Almighty towards the Muhammedan Light, the first entity created. The entire universe has therefore been given existence in the honour of the Muhammdan Light, the core which it envelops. Existence is only to expose and explain his reality. Having said that, just as it is impossible to pour an ocean into a cup, it is inconceivable to understand the Muhammadan Light as befits its nature.”  ~ Taken from “The Prophet Muhammad Mustafa the elect”, Book 1 (Meccan period), by Osman Nuri Topbas

“The Light of Mustapha, He first made,
Which He loved, the Generous, the Great.”
~Sulayman Chelebi

“Being the most perfected of all human species,
Prophethood thus began and ended with the
Messenger of Allah.” ~Ibn al-Arabi

The Green Dome of Felicity. Underneath which the beloved rests. Endless peace and blessings be upon you oh beloved of Allah!

The Green Dome of Felicity. Underneath which the beloved rests. Endless peace and blessings be upon you oh beloved of Allah!

The Festivities of Light

By Zeshan Zafar


As we arrive at the end of Rabi al-Awwal, a month where Muslims come together to celebrate the Milad, or the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), we feel refreshed by the gatherings we have attended in honour and veneration of the Messenger of Allah. Many express this love through a variety of ways; through the recitation of the Holy Book, The Quran al-Kareem, listening to sermons wherein his life is recounted, almsgiving to the poor or by reciting poetry in praise of him.

Such gatherings are occasions that encourage us to engage in the divine practice of sending blessings and peace on the Prophet: ‘Indeed Allah and His angels shower blessings upon the Prophet, O you who truly believe, ask blessings upon him and greet him with greetings’ (Q33:56). It is the  Qur’anic imperative  and through traditions of the Prophet  that we find words of remembrance that motivate many of us looking to fill that spiritual vacuum that may exist in our lives. When looking for that divine compass, Muslims during this month take advantage from being spiritually recharged and whose celestial impact lasts longer than the results obtained from many bestselling self-help guides that sit on bookshop shelves. The month of the Mawlid is often seen as a time when families, friends and even strangers gather to remember the Prophet in praising him through various means of remembrance. We know that Allah has named his Messenger “The praiseworthy”, and thus it can only be incumbent upon us to follow such a call.

Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as a mercy to mankind, and it is in this mercy we recognise the importance of his perfection. Historically, even going back to the Fatamid era, gatherings such as the Mawlid have been a vital source and opportunity for individuals to learn more about the salient features of the Prophet’s life, his character, his kindness to those who are needy and  those disadvantaged, his  actions that helped guide individuals with their daily affairs, his ethics and values exemplified in his interaction with various religions and cultures, his honesty in keeping to his word through treaties and promises, his humour to alleviate distress and  his mercy to those that had wronged him, a standard for all of us to aspire to.

One of the great lessons we learn about the character of the Prophet is through listening or reading about his blessed life. Through prophetic traditions, we learn how the Prophet implored us never to judge individuals or form an unfair judgment but to keep a good opinion of others regardless of what we may witness of them. One of these great stories is the story of Julaybib, a companion of the Prophet who was referred to as being ‘damim’ ugly or deformed. Many people shunned him to the point when people learnt he was approaching their homes they would avoid him and close their doors or mock him from afar.

Julaybib was consciously aware of what people thought about him, however once the Messenger of Allah arrived in Madinah,  Julaybib was assiduous in learning from the Messenger of Allah and would sit with humility and in a shy manner at all times in the presence of the Prophet. When the Prophet once asked him about marriage, he assumed he was being teased as this was something he never dreamt was possible because of his physical appearance. However the Prophet did not see it this way and valued him as a person by taking the initiative in asking for the hand of an Ansar girl who was known for her beauty. The girl’s parents initially were ecstatic thinking that the Messenger of Allah himself had come for her hand in marriage. When they heard that Julaybib was in fact the prospective husband they declined the proposal. Upon hearing the proposal from the Messenger of Allah, the daughter was overcome by the verses of the Quran that states the importance of a matter once Allah and His Messenger have decided on it. She had understood this visit to mean much more than what many individuals would go through when getting married and that was the importance of understanding that the man being proposed to her was someone whom the Messenger loved. Henceforth whatever he loved she loved, and in turn the beauty of Julaybib had manifested itself to her in ways that many could not see. After much protestation she was eventually betrothed to Julaybib. They were blessed with the prayers of the Prophet and lived in happiness until the death of Julaybib, which is a fascinating story in itself.

Some important lessons that can be learnt from this is the approach the Prophet had in recognising the worth of every soul on this earth, but also the love that individuals had for the Prophet that they oversaw the blemishes that we all may have physically or internally within our character.

This simple example should encourage us all to reflect on our own deficiencies yet motivate us with aspirations of what we hope to attain from this world, which is being able to praise our Maker through loving the Prophet and what he loved.

We are reminded of the importance of this love through the hadith of the Prophet which states, ‘Teach your children three things: Love of the Prophet, love of his family and companions and love for the Quran’.

Many scholars highlight that celebrating the birth of the Messenger of Allah is an occasion that should be observed throughout the year. With the increasing amount of Mosques in the West many individuals now have the chance to celebrate these gatherings close to their homes. Even if this does not take place where you reside, we all as individuals have a beautiful chance to begin such a celebration in our homes. At a recent Mawlid organised by family members, we had the honour of having a guest who left a deep and lasting impression on the audience through his state and presence. Family members asked me about this and I repeated what I had learnt from this man’s son; that he has been dedicated in celebrating the Mawlid in his home for the past thirty years, once a month. Not only this, but he also operated an open door policy for any individual to attend, and these were the Mawlids that I was aware of.

Reading and listening about how Mawlids are celebrated, we soon learn the richness of such gatherings. Annemarie Schimmel in her book ‘And Muhammad is His Messenger’ has some beautiful descriptions of how this month is celebrated, from the country that they are celebrated in; the decorations that individuals place in their homes, to the food and sweets that are served to guests and children, the poetry and songs that they often recited and how the local culture impacts they way they celebrate the Mawlid.

We are fortunate, of late, in the West to read exceptionally translated texts into the English language that aid us in such veneration. Such translations include the Qasidah al-Burda  of Imam al-Busiri by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad which offer many individuals the chance to read the beauty of poetry composed in praise of the Prophet. Other works such as the Dala’il al-Khayrat, the Barzanji Mawlid and ash-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyah by Imam Tirmidhi are a few of the many that can also be read at such gatherings.

As we move on in preparation for our ultimate journey of felicity, I pray that we are able to carry the festivities of light in holding Mawlids all year around, inviting friends and family, establishing a positive environment for children to experience loving the Prophet, his family and the Qur’an al-Kareem, and most importantly, being able to carry this torch of light to next year in greater preparation than the year that has passed. After all, emulating the Prophet in his character is something that we all yearn to increase, and the Mawlid is one avenue that aids us in our expression of loving the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

© Zeshan Zafar, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

This concludes the Light Reflections series on Healing Hearts. Hope you have enjoyed reading all the daily posts. Please recite a special prayer for all the contributors, their families and teachers.

The Beloved

By Taslim Rashid

This work shows how when one begins to deepen their spirituality they are made aware of the great character and status of the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him. Hence an individual begins to work towards an understanding and appreciation of this great man that once walked this earth. Contained within the work are some symbolic references to this high esteem that he is held in:

 The piece presents itself as a ‘cloud’ almost. This is a reference to how the clouds shaded the Prophet Alaisalam.

The centre name ‘Muhammad’ is covered in mesh known to artists as ‘angel hair’. Here, one of the references is to the fact that the name of the Prophet is written on the eyes of angels.

The name of the piece itself ‘The Beloved’ is a reference to how there were titles associated with the Messengers of God; for instance Prophet Ibrahim Alaisalam is known as ‘The Friend of God’. This title shows the unique status of the final Messenger as the Beloved of God Himself.

In line with most Tranquilart work, the theme of change is reflected in the piece through colour. The shades of light and dark paint depict our spiritual transcendances in this world. The darker shades represent the chaotic life of a spirit in search for peace, meaning and depth. The lighter shades represent the goals acheived once the being sets out looking for change. I have always affirmed that Tranquilart is about change. Here, the name of the Prophet indicates that he is the light guiding the spirit towards the harmony it desires.

An Urdu poem surrounds the piece. This poem is about the Prophet of Islam. A translation is given here:

Tere Hoteh By Dr Tahir-al Qadri

Tere hoteh janam liyaa hota

Phir kabi toh tujhe milah hota

Kaash mein sung -e dar tera hota

Tere kadmon ko chuma hota

Lartah pir tah tere adhuon se

Tere hatir mein marr gaya hota

Tu chala karta mere palkhon par

Kaash mein tera rasta hota

Tu kabhi toh mujeh bhi tak leta

Tere takne pe biq gaya hota

Katra hota mein tere aasoon ka

Ghameh-ummat mein behh gaya hota

Tu joh aata mere janazeh par

Tere hoteh mein marr gaya hota

Hota Tahir tere fakiron mein

Tere dehleez par kara hota.

Being born in your presence

Would that, I have ever met you

 Had been the floor of your house

Would that, I had been kissed by your feet

I would have fought any one of your enemies

For your sake, I would have died

You would have walked on my brow

Had I been your path

Would, that sometimes you’d laid an eye on me

Upon your gaze, I would have been sold

A drop of your tear if were I

Would have flown in the nations’ sorrow

Had you come to my funeral

In your presence would I have died

If were Tahir from your sages

On your doorstep, would he have stood .

The reason for using an Urdu poem is reflective of Identity as a Muslim woman born and living in England. Neither myself, nor most of my siblings learnt to read or write Urdu as a child. I never really thought I would need it. As an adult I learnt to speak Urdu in the various environs I found myself in. My use of the Urdu poem in the piece reflects my own search for identity; my mother-tongue is a dialect of Punjabi and thus not a ‘recorded’ language – this makes Urdu the closest written language to my roots.

Fusing the Arabic, English and Pakistani allowed me to demonstrate that the Message of the Prophet was not limited to one nation or time.

Finally, the piece was one of the first pieces which I did mostly without the aid of a paintbrush. The main process has been painting with my fingers directly and this was then aided with the beadwork. Each bead has been taken individually by my fingers and stitched into the canvas. The entire process was extremely peaceful and encouraged me to ponder deeply into the title: The Beloved.

© Taslim Rashid has contributed this beautiful article to the Light Reflections series on Healing Hearts. The article was originally published on her awesome blog  back in 2004.

A Smile

By Umm NoorBilal Petersen

“A Smile”

His laughter was a smile.

His steps hallowed the dust.

His saliva sweetened the world of waters.

His gestures reflected heavenly hierarchy.

His voice a mellifluous melody.

His perspiration; beads of lustrous pearls.

His breath a charismatic breeze.

His glance; impassioned arrows piercing souls.

His hair a shimmering aura rippling the skies.

His silence a captivating rhapsody.

His sanctuary a haven of serenity.

His laugh was but a smile.

Radiating till this day.

I have not seen anything more beautiful than the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. It was as if the sun was shining in his face. When he laughed, it reflected from the wall. His laughter was a smile….his companions smiled rather than laughed in his presence out of respect for him and to imitate him. When he was happy he looked downwards. Generally his laughter consisted of a smile and he showed his teeth which were as white as hailstones. I did not see anyone who smiled more than Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. The laugh of Sayyidina Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was but a smile. A collection from two indispensable books: Muhammad, Messenger of Allah and Shamaa’il Tirmidhi.

Insha’Allah by reading the numerous Ahadith on the occasions when our beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam smiled we too can smile and recall the various feelings that made him SallAllahu alaihi wasallam smile, whether due to happiness, delight, astonishment, wonder or any other reason.

The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was on a journey with his slave Anjashah driving the camels carrying his women RadhiAllahu anhunna, Anjashah began chanting a song to them to go faster, when the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam smiled and said to him: “O Anjashah, wayhak! (may Allah be merciful to you) Be gentle with the glass vessels.” (The women. Some narrations translate glass as crystal)

Once the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was sitting while two sheep were fighting each other with their horns and one of them butted the other and overcame it. Thereupon the Messenger SallAllahu alaihi wasallam smiled and was asked: “What is it that you are smiling for, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “I am astonished at the case of this defeated sheep. By Whom in Whose hand my soul is, the other sheep will be punished for butting it on the Day of Resurrection.”

Abdullah ibn Mas’ood RadhiAllahu anhu said, “I know the person who will come out last from the fire. He will be such a man who will crawl out (due to the severity of the punishment of Jahannam he will not be able to walk). He will then be ordered to enter Jannah. He will go there and find that all the places therein are occupied. He will return and say, ‘O Allah the people have taken all the places.’ It will be said to him. ‘Do you remember the places in the world?’  He will reply, ‘O my creator, I remember well.’ It will be commanded to him. ‘Make your wish in whichever way your heart desires.’ He will put forward his desires. It shall be commanded. All your desires are fulfilled and in addition ten times the size of the world is granted to you. He will reply, ‘Are you jesting with me O my Allah, and You are the King of the Kings? (There is no place in Jannah and You are granting me a place ten times greater than the world).” Ibn Mas’ood RadhiAllahu anhu said, “I saw Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam smile till his mubarak teeth showed, when he related this portion of the man’s reply.”

Abu Dhar RadhiAllahu anhu says, Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said, “I know that person well who will enter Jannah first and also that person who will be the last one to be taken out of Jahannam. On the Day of Qiyaamah a person will be brought forward to the court of Almighty Allah. It shall be commanded that all the minor sins of that person be put forward to him and the major sins be concealed. When the minor sins are disclosed to that person, he will accept that he had committed them, as there will be no room for refuting them. (He will begin to tremble and say in his heart that these are only the minor sins, what will happen when the major sins are exposed.) During this happening it shall be commanded that for every sin of that person he be given the Ajr (thawaab-reward) of a good deed. Upon hearing this person himself will say I still have many sins left to account for, that are not seen here.”
Abu Dhar RadhiAllahu anhu says, Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam while narrating the words of that person began smiling until his mubarak teeth began to show.” (The reason being that the person himself disclosed the very sins he was frightened of.)

Jabir ibn Abdullah RadhiAllahu anhu says, “After I accepted Islam, Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam never prohibited me from attending his assemblies. Whenever he saw me he smiled.”

Narrated Abu Hurairah RadhiAllahu anhu: Once the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was narrating a story, while a Bedouin was sitting with him. “One of the inhabitants of Paradise will ask Allah to allow him to cultivate the land. Allah will ask him, ‘Are you not living in the pleasures you like?’ He will say, ‘Yes, but I like to cultivate the land.’ ” The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam added, “When the man will be permitted he will sow the seeds and the plants will grow up and get ripe, ready for reaping and so on till it will be as huge as mountains within a wink. Allah will then say to him, ‘O son of Adam! Take here you are, gather the yield; nothing satisfies you.’ “On that, the Bedouin said, “The man must be either from Quraysh, a Muhajiroon or an Ansari, for they are farmers, whereas we are not farmers.” The Prophet smiled at this.

Narrated ‘Amr bin ‘Auf Al-Ansari RadhiAllahu anhu: Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam sent Abu ‘Ubaida bin Al-Jarreh RadhiAllahu anhu to Bahrain to collect the Jizya. Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam had established peace with the people of Bahrain and appointed Al-’Ala’ bin Al-Hadrami RadhiAllahu anhu as their governor. When Abu ‘Ubaida RadhiAllahu anhu came from Bahrain with the money, the Ansar heard of his arrival which coincided with the time of the morning prayer. When the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam finished the prayer, the Ansar approached him, and he looked at them and smiled on seeing them and said, “I feel that you have heard that Abu ‘Ubaida RadhiAllahu anhu has brought something?” They said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle’ He said, “Rejoice and hope for what will please you! By Allah, I am not afraid of your poverty but I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.”

Narrated ‘Abdullah RadhiAllahu anhu: A (Jewish) Rabbi came to Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and he said, “O Muhammad! We learn that Allah will put all the heavens on one finger, and the earths on one finger, and the trees on one finger, and the water and the dust on one finger, and all the other created beings on one finger. Then He will say, ‘I am the King.’ Thereupon the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam smiled so that his pre-molar teeth became visible, and that was the confirmation of the Rabbi. Then Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam recited: ‘No just estimate have they made of Allah such as due to Him.’ (39.67)

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri RadhiAllahu anhu: The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said, “The planet earth will be a bread on the Day of Resurrection, and The Resistible, Allah will topple turn it with His Hand like anyone of you topple turns a bread with his hands while preparing the bread for a journey, and that bread will be the entertainment for the people of Paradise.” A man from the Jews came to the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and said, “May The Beneficent, Allah bless you, O Abul Qasim! Shall I tell you of the entertainment of the people of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” The Jew said, “The earth will be a bread,” as the Prophet had said. Thereupon the Prophet looked at us and smiled till his premolar tooth became visible. Then the Jew further said, “Shall I tell you of the udm (additional food taken with bread) they will have with the bread?” He added, “That will be Balam and Nun.” The people asked, “What is that?” He said, “It is an ox and a fish, and seventy thousand people will eat of the caudate lobe (i.e. extra lobe) of their livers.”

Peace and blessings upon you O my master. O Messenger of Allah, O Prophet of Allah, O master of the messengers. O seal of prophets, O favour of Allah upon the believers.
Peace and blessings upon you O protection of the world and its people, O refuge of the nation, the one whom we pin our hopes, O mercy of humanity.
Peace and blessings upon you O kind, merciful, smiling affectionate Prophet, O you with whom needy and troubled people seek a means to Allah the Exalted. Here I am O Messenger of Allah, seeking help and sanctuary in the vastness of your magnanimity, seeking a hint of your smile as I behold your Dome of Felicity.

Every good deed of a Muslim is charity; meeting your brother with a smiling face is one of the good deeds. Such a bounteous Hadith from our beloved SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.

His laugh was but a smile.

Radiating till this day.

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Ameen.

© Umm NoorBilal Petersen has contributed this beautiful article to the Light Reflections series on Healing Hearts. The article was originally published on her awesome blog in 2006.

Sending salawat on our Prophet (peace be upon him)

By Nayyar Ddin

“The affair of love cannot be tallied. You are compelled, you want nothing in return. Whether you get or not, is not in question. Make salawat until your heart shatters like a pomegranate,  until there is nothing. And you will see things that you didn’t even aspire to. Things that you didn’t even think of……”

These were the words of the poet Amir Sulaiman at the recent Virtues tour in London. Reference was being made to sending blessings on our Prophet peace be upon him. Ofcourse it is recommended to have a set daily litany, however brother Amirs words came straight from a lovers  heart where there are no rules. A heart in which there are no boundaries. He spoke of an absolute immersion, no concept of numbers. Just an outpouring of love and remembrance. A desire to give with no return needed. To sit and yearn, and love and remember and long with no idea whether it has been minutes or hours. Whether it has been 100 or a 1000 or 1.

© Nayyar Ddin, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

Muhammad, the Praised One

By Shaykh Walead Mosaad

He is the oft-praised one, Muhammad in the earthly realm
            And Ahmad as he is known by those who command the angelic helm

He is the one sent by his Lord as a mercy to all
            To every creature, rock, sea, sparrow, and mistral

He is the one whose intercession is desired by the pious and all trespassers
            “Myself Myself!” – the refrain of all others, but as creation swelters

He is the one who is the delight of our eyes and the courage of our wit
            Proclaiming when all seemed lost, I am the one for it!

He is the one who took the Quran as his character
             Compassionate, wise, and gentle, knowing no anger

Except in matters where Providence’s boundaries were crossed
              But even then his inner beauty and lustre were never lost

All told, the world would not have been save for God’s favour
             By sending His messenger the most noble of saviours
Praise Him much and implore Him to offer His blessings and salutations
            On the best of all creation by whose virtue
                      Made us the best of all nations

© Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

Prophetic Optimism

By Adil Hussain

The battle was over. On that solemn day, the Ummah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) was decreased by about seventy of some of its greatest members. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) lost not only many of his close companions, but his precious uncle as well. Hamza (Allah’s blessings be on him), who supported the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) during his difficult years in Makkah, aided and protected him on and off the battlefield, and was a close mentor and friend, was martyred. Hamza (Allah’s blessings be on him), one of the dearest people to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him), was killed on the battlefield by Wahshi Ibn Harb, an Ethiopian slave. Years later when Wahshi would become Muslim, the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) accepted him, but asked him to stay away, as the memory of his uncle continued to remain too painful to bear. This illustrates the deep love the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) had for Hamza (Allah’s blessings be on him), and how difficult the loss must have been for him.

When anyone of us is faced with such a dismal condition, it becomes exceedingly difficult to remain optimistic. We all know that optimism is highly encouraged in our deen. We are told to remain hopeful until the very last breath for the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. It is easy to be optimistic during times of blessing and plenty, but during times of hardship and distress, optimism is the last thing on one’s mind. However, it is during times of misfortune that being optimistic really bears its fruit.

The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) was a master of remaining optimistic during times of difficulty. No matter how troubling the situation was, he would always find a way to encourage his companions to look at the bright side. After the Battle of Uhud,  during this difficult moment in the Prophet’s (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) life, one would expect perhaps an inkling of negativity, or of hopelessness. However, when Abu Sufyan climbed over the mountain after the dust of the battle settled and shouted, “The luck of war alternates. One wins today (referring to the Muslim victory at Badr), one wins tomorrow. Show your superiority, Hubal!,” The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) swiftly responded, “Allah is the most High and Majestic. We are not the same. Our dead are in the Garden of Paradise and your dead are in the Fire!” SubhanAllah, even at this dreary moment in his life, the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) used his optimism to completely turn the tables on the Quraysh. What would have perceived to any onlooker as an obvious loss to the Muslims, the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him), with the right frame of mind, turned into a clear victory.

Optimism is therefore a picture of the state of one’s mind. No matter what happens in the outside world, it cannot harm or hurt you, if you have the right mindset. That is exactly what optimism is all about; to have a positive outlook during any occurrence in life, and the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) was the master of staying optimistic. If he had not remained so, there was no way that his companions could have had the everlasting willpower to continually beat the odds and spread Islam all across Arabia and beyond.

This lesson from the life of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) can be applied to our lives every single day. Whenever Allah tests us with some calamity or hardship, always remember that at the end of the day, alhumdulillah, you are Muslim, and that’s really all that matters. This is what the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) did when faced with those who stated that he and his companions were defeated. He knew that despite their passing, they were believers, and as such, their reward is in the Hereafter, whereas the survivors amongst the Quraysh may live for a while longer, but would then suffer the eternal punishment of the Hellfire. He did not view the outcome of Uhud as having lost seventy of his companions in this life, but as gaining seventy companions to be with him in Paradise.

We should be encouraged to constantly stay positive in the light of any circumstance that may come our way. It reminds me of another beautiful hadith of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him): “Wondrous are the affairs of a believer. For him there is good in all affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is patient, and that is good for him.” (Muslim). Therefore, no matter what happens in your life, whether perceived as good or bad, in the end it is good, if you hold fast to your Islam and remain a firm believer in Allah and His Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him).

You just have to be optimistic.

© Adil Hussain, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

The Prophet’s dua at Ta’if

By Zakiyah Arouj Khan

A gentle reminder to those who think they may have it bad; the best of all creation sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam had it worse. Yet, he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam always was, is and forever will be, the most beloved to Allah and the Dua’a at Ta’if affirms why. 

In the year in which two of the most closest and dearest to the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam had passed away, his wife Khadija radiAllahu anha and uncle Abu Talib, the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam underwent what could be considered the lowest point of his life.  With no longer having the tribe of Quraysh as protection or support in his mission, he struggled as he travelled to Ta’if seeking its leaders, hoping that they would accept Islam and help him. However, they proved to be even more vociferous than the Quraysh. He sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam was set upon by the slaves and children of Ta’if with stones, he ran, his feet cut and bleeding into a garden where he sought refuge within its walls. Taking shelter under a tree he turned to his Lord for ease and guidance with this beautiful dua: 

“O Allah! Unto You do I complain of my weakness, of my helplessness and of my lowliness before men.  O most Merciful of the merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. Into whose hands have you entrusted me?  Unto some far off stranger who receives me with hostility? Or unto a foe whom you have empowered against me? I care not, so long as You are not angry with me.  But Your favouring help, that were for me the broader way and the wider scope.  I take refuge in the light of Your countenance whereby all darknesses are illuminated and all things of this world and the next are rightly ordered, lest You make descend Your anger upon me or lest Your wrath beset me. Yet it is Yours to reproach until You are well pleased. There is no power and no might except through Thee.”

Whilst under immense heartache and pain his only concern was that His Lord was not angry with him. This was the haal (state) of our Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. May we too attain such states in times of tribulation. Ameen

© Zakiyah Arouj Khan, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

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