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Full moon

By Farhat Khan

I  was asked by my friend and blogger Sidra Mushtaq to write a few lines about Prophet Muhammad sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam that I find inspiring. It has been really difficult and challenging to narrow it down to a few lines as I think that all phases of his life are inspirational in their own ways and we can learn from his life no matter which situation we are in our lives. His relations as husband, father, neighbor, friend, guide, leader and employee among many are all guidelines for us in our different roles in life no matter which culture we belong to.

Much can be written about how he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam conducted social justice and practiced human rights, taking care of different groups in the community including even the disabled and marginalised.  He would take care that the needs of the poor, orphans and widows were fulfilled. With his sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam wisdom he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam created a community centre in his mosque in Medina and established the fundaments of proper education, spiritual inspiration, healthcare, and charity and built the first Muslim community that proved to grow as one of the strongest communities. And most of all he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam was a spiritual inspiration for those around him sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam continues to be so centuries after his sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam death.

Learning about the wise, just, kind and merciful prophet of Allah, the seerah and shamail both are full of insightful examples of how he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam dealt with people around himsallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam no matter which religion they belonged to.  When reading about such a personality one would wonder how it would be if you had met him sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam.  I have always imagined that such a person would have a peaceful and calm radiance around him.  And when reading about his sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam noble features in Shamail I came to know that his companions had described the beauty of prophet Muhammad sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam as the full moon.  It is his inner beauty that attracted so many towards him sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. And there is no doubt that this inner beauty was shown outwardly as well:

It is related from Jaabir (Radiallahu anhu) that he said: ” I once saw Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) on the night of a full moon. On that night he wore red clothing. At times I looked at the full moon and at times at Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) . Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) was more handsome, beautiful and more radiant than the full moon.”

I think about this hadith every time I see the full moon, especially the radiant full moon of Rabi ul Awal that that has a special shine and radiance over it. I imagine our beloved prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam to be even more radiant and I think of the mercy he brought to mankind.  His teachings are guidelines for every one of us in every aspect of life. This describes his wisdom and depth of teachings.

May we all have tawfiq to follow his steps and create strong and including communities for all wherever we are and may we live upon the values and principles he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam brought to us from Allah so that inner beauty is created in our hearts, homes and communities and we become a radiant ummah that reflects our real values to our surroundings and shine like the full moon.

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

Intention when reciting Salawat

By Naadiyah Ali

Imam al-Haddad preferred to make the following intention when reciting salawat:

Allahumma I intend by my invocation of salat and salam upon the Prophet to conform to Your Command, to comply with Your Book, and to follow the Sunnah of Your Prophet Muhammad salallahu alaihi wasallam out of love for him, longing for him, and in exaltation of what is due to him; to honour him because he is deserving of this; so accept this from me; by Your Favour and Kindness, and remove the veil of heedlessness from my heart and make me from amongst Your righteous servants.

Allahumma increase him in honour, in addition to the honour You have already conferred upon him, and increase him in glory, to supplement the glory You have given him. Elevate his rank from among the ranks of the Envoys, and his degree from among the degrees of the Prophets. I ask You for your Pleasure and for Paradise, O Lord of the Worlds, and for contentment in the religion, in this world and in the hereafter; and to die whilst living in accordance with the Book, the Sunna and the Jama’a, and by the testimony of faith, without changing or altering it. And forgive me, by Your Favour and Kindness towards me for what I have committed. Indeed, You are the Forgiver and the Merciful.

And bestow salat and salam upon our master Muhammad and his family and companions and give them peace”. 

Ameen.

How is your love for me?

By Hatice Baltacı Çolakoğlu

“O Messenger of God, whom do you love most in the world?” He did not always give the same answer to this question for he felt great love for many for his daughters and their children, for Abu Bakr, for Ali, for Zayd and his son Usamah. But of his wives the only one he named in this connection was Aishah. She too loved him greatly in return and often would seek reassurance from him that he loved her.

Once she asked him: “How is your love for me?”.Like the rope’s knot,” he replied meaning that it was strong and secure.

Every so often ‘Aisha would playfully ask, “How is the knot?”. The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam would answer, As strong as the first day (you asked).

This is such an inspiring conversation. We know that the knot in a rope can be very strong so it is almost impossible to untie. Maybe this is what our Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam wanted to  show us when he answerd Sayyidah Aisha that his love for her was like a knot. Unfortunately, these days we are not that patient in our relationships and do not pay a lot of attention to it, which is maybe the reason for the unhappiness that we go through.

I hope and pray for a better time for the Ummah, where we are trying to reach the love and mercy of our Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi waalam and his belowed wife Sayyidah Aisha.

© Hatice Baltacı ÇolakoğluRabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

By Asma Gill

Allahumma salli ‘ala Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammadin wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa barik wa sallim.

I wanted to share this poem that I feel inspires a love only a true ‘ashiq-e-Rasul can have:

 Al-Qadi Yusuf An-Nabahani’s poem praising the Prophet salla-Llahu alaihi wa sallam

 I am the slave of the Master of Prophets
And my fealty to him has no beginning.

I am slave to his slave, and to his slave’s slave,
And so forth endlessly,

For I do not cease to approach the door
Of his good pleasure among the novices.

I proclaim among people the teaching of his high attributes,
And sing his praises among the poets.

Perhaps he shall tell me: “You are a noted friend
Of mine, an excellent beautifier of my greatness.”

Yea, I would sacrifice my soul for the dust of his sanctuary.
His favor should be that he accept my sacrifice.

He has triumphed who ascribes himself to him
Not that he needs such following,

For he is not in need of creation at all,
While they all need him without exception.

He belongs to Allah alone, Whose purified servant he is,
As his attributes and names have made manifest;

And every single favor in creation comes from Allah
To him, and from him to everything else.

 ALLAHUMMA BARIK ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA ALI MUHAMMADIN KAMA BARAKTA ALA IBRAHEEMA WA ALA ALI IBRAHEEMA INNAKA HAMEEDUM MAJEED

A du’a from the Dala’il al Khayrat: Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah. Peace be upon you, O beloved of Allah. Peace be upon you, O our master Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah. Peace be upon you and your pure, good family. Peace be upon you and your wives, the Mothers of the Believers. Peace be upon you and all your Companions. Peace be upon us and on the righteous slaves of Allah.

 So, I ask Allah to make my love for His Beloved, a love that is a true love, a sincere love, an everlasting love, an uplifting love, a living love, a love beyond love. Amin!

© Asma GillRabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

Loving the Beloved

By Tun Wildan

The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said that “None of you will believe until I am more beloved to him than his father, his children and all people.” We hear of this hadith repeatedly and strive to achieve this. This is especially pertinent in this month of the birth of our beloved Prophet.  We learn from our teachers that this love needs to shine from within ourselves and spread to its surroundings.  Ibn Ataillah Al-Askandari mentioned that the things which are embedded in the recesses of our heart, are manifested in the testimony of our limbs.

Appropriate to this month of the mawlid, I leave you with this beautiful qasida which are sung as a lamentation of the lovers of the beloved throughout the muslim lands – Talama ashku gharami.

For so long I complained my yearning of you, O light of existence,

And I keep calling O Tihami, source of excellent and sublimity.

 My hope, my utmost goal is to see you,

As i see As-Salam gate, O He whose essence is purity.

O my brothers, I am a lover, I am infatuated,

Guilty of it, and the praise not-befitting.

O Israfil  what a death, the love exhausted me,

I have a strong expectation of the promise, O the loyal of promises.

 O light of the prophets, O summit of purity,

O leader of the people of taqwa, my heart is one with you.

 Allah invoked peace upon you,

My Lord, Master of all majesty.

It’s enough for me O light of Allah, the separation  is too long,

My master, all my life you are my beloved, hasten my meeting with you.

© Tun WildanRabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

The Resplendent Birth

By Idris Kamal

In the Turkish tradition, the best-known early mevlût was written by the venerable Shaikh Süleyman Chelebi (may Allah sanctify his secret) of Bursa around 1400 CE. It is written in rhyming couplets, a literary form adopted from the Persian.

Its rhythm is simple; the meter is the same as that used primarily in Persian mystical and didactic epics such as Imam Faridu-d Din ‘Attar’s Mantiqu-t Tair and Mevlana Jalalu-d Din Rumi’s Mathnawi. The language is plain, almost childlike, and therefore the poem has not lost anything of its charm even today.

Shaikh Süleyman’s mevlût was often imitated, so that there are about a hundred different versions of mevlût poetry in Turkish; but no other Turkish religious poem can compete with it for the favour of all classes of society. Its first part tells the momentous story of the Prophet’s birth (Allah bless him and give him peace) as Lady Amina (may Allah be pleased with her) experienced it. Full of amazement, she recounts (using traditional imagery) what happened to her at the end of her pregnancy:

Amina Khatun, Muhammad’s mother dear:
From this oyster came that lustrous pearl.

After she conceived from ‘Abdallah
Came the time of birth with days and weeks.

As Muhammad’s birth was drawing near
Many signs appeared before he came!

In the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal then
On the twelfth, the night of Monday, look,

When the best of humankind was born-
O what marvels did his mother see!

Spoke the mother of that friend: “I saw
A strange light; the sun was like its moth.

Suddenly it flashed up from my house,
Filled the world with light up to the sky.

Heavens opened, vanquished was the dark,
And I saw three angels with three flags.

One was in the East, one in the West,
One stood upright on the Ka’ba’s roof.

Rows of angels came from heaven, and
Circumambulated all my house;

Came the houris group on group; the light
From their faces made my house so bright

And a cover was spread in mid-air,
Called ‘brocade’ – an angel laid it out.

When I saw clearly these events
I became bewildered and confused.

Suddenly the walls were split apart
And three houris entered in my room.

Some have said that of these charming three
One was Asiya of moonlike face,

One was Lady Mary without doubt,
And the third a houri beautiful.

Then these moonfaced three drew gently near
And they greeted me with kindness here;

Then they sat around me, and they gave
The good tidings of Muhammad’s birth;

Said to me: ‘A son like this your son
Has not come since God made this world,

And the mighty one did never grant
Such a lovely son as will be yours.

You have found great happiness, O dear,
For from you that virtuous one is born!

He that comes is King of Knowledge high,
Is the mine of gnosis and tawhid [monotheism].

For the love of him the sky revolves,
Men and djinn are longing for his face.

This night is the night that he, so pure
Will suffuse the worlds with radiant light!

This night, earth becomes a Paradise,
This night, God shows mercy to the world.

This night, those with heart are filled with joy,
This night, gives the lovers a new life.

Mercy for the worlds is Mustafa,
Sinner’s intercessor: Mustafa!’

They described him in this style to me,
Stirred my longing for that blessed night.”

Amina said: “When the time was ripe
That the best of mankind should appear,

I became so thirsty from that heat
That they gave me a sherbet in a glass.

Drinking it, I was immersed in light
And could not discern myself from light.

Then a white swan came with soft great wings
And he touched my back with gentle strength.

[As this verse is recited, every participant ever so gently touches his or her neighbour’s back.]

And the King of Faith was born that night:
Earth and heaven were submerged in light!”

Then begins the great Welcome, which all creation extended to the newborn Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), whose coming they had expected with such longing, a welcome to the Friend of God in whose intercession at Doomsday all can trust:

Welcome, O high prince, we welcome you!
Welcome, O mine of wisdom, we welcome you!

Welcome, O secret of the Book, we welcome you!
Welcome, O medicine for pain, we welcome you!

Welcome, O sunlight and moonlight of God, we welcome you!
Welcome, O you not separated from God!

Welcome, O nightingale of the Garden of Beauty!
Welcome, O friend of the Lord of Power!

Welcome, O refuge of your community!
Welcome, O helper of the poor and destitute!

Welcome, O eternal soul, we welcome you!
Welcome, O cupbearer of the lovers, we welcome you!

Welcome, O darling of the Beloved!
Welcome, O much beloved of the Lord!

Welcome, O mercy for the worlds!
Welcome, O intercessor for the sinner!

Only for you were Time and Space created…

Adapted from: Schimmel, A. And Muhammad is His Messenger. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 2008.

© Idris Kamal, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/February 2012

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