This article is based on the talks delivered during this year’s first four-part Rabi Al Awwal program, Uniting for the Prophet, organized by SeekersGuidance. Every year, for the first twelve honorable nights of the blessed month, scholars, speakers and lecturers come together in the memory of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to celebrate and reflect on his significance and influence in our lives.
The first event covered discussions on the various means of returning to God through His beloved. The talks covered some of the key ways that we, as an Umma, and as individuals, can grow closer to our Creator simply by emulating the perfect example of our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Speakers in this event included Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan, Shaykh Ahmed El-Azhary, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, and Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf.
The Prophet’s Love For the Umma
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) serves as a critical example for us when it comes to growing closer to Allah and gaining His Love, as he was beloved to Him of all the sons of Adam. An understanding and knowledge of his words, actions and attitudes are key to connecting deeply with our Creator, the way he did throughout his life.
On the topic of love, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also expressed his ardent concern for the Ummah repeatedly. As Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan discusses in his talk, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) spent his nights in prayer, begging for our forgiveness, without even having met us. Our actions will be presented to him, the good and the bad, and even then, he will ask Allah for our forgiveness, “My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be exhibited to me, and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see evil I will ask forgiveness of Him for you.”
How can we reciprocate this love?
Shaykh Abdurragmaan reminds us that the best way is to avoid sin and seek awareness of the Prophet and in turn, of Allah, wherever we are. He reminds us of a few steps we can take in order to abstain from sin and as such, gain the favor of our Prophet and seek Allah’s pleasure, such as maintaining frequent repentance and remembrance and believing in our personal willpower to overcome sin.
The Importance of Good Character
Shaykh Ahmed El-Azhary then follows up with the importance of good character and sheds light on the significance it has on the community around us. By suppressing our sense of anger, hatred, and envy towards one another on a personal level, and being in line with the character of our Prophet, we will first and foremost increase our sense of taqwa, as well as build a loving and strong community.
The Value of Community
Speaking of community, why were the Companions of the Prophet (Allah be pleased with them) considered to be the most valuable and best of people after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani offers a simple response to that: because of the company they kept. The virtue of a Muslim is maintained and upheld in the company they keep, and the better the company, the better the impact is on their body, mind and soul, the closer they grow to their Creator.
Being Good to One’s Family
Community ties in with the importance of family as well. Ustadha Shireen Ahmed touches upon the Prophet’s prioritization (peace and blessings be upon him) of his family in his everyday life. She provides multiple examples of times when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made his wives, daughters and kin feel precious, loved and important, from trusting in Khadija with the first revelation, to sending food to Fatima before taking a bite himself.
Making our family members feel cherished, heard and valued is in the practice of our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and is another beautiful way to seek proximity to Allah.
The Uniqueness of Allah’s Love
Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf drives the previous points home with a special emphasis on the unique love Allah has for us, His creation. This love encompasses everything that we do and everything that we are, and is incomparable to the love we feel for one another as human beings. We are consequently rewarded for all our actions, from the small murmurs of gratitude at our dinner table to our five daily prayers, even though we are truly the ones in debt to our Lord and not He to us.
Once again, the primary means of returning this love is through following His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), a true sign of His love for mankind, ‘Say O Prophet: If you really love Allah, then follow me, and Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.’ [Qur’an, 3:31]
Watch the full program from Day One
Returning to God through His Beloved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-IUR-Q3X7c&t=764s
May Allah make us among those He loves and resurrect us alongside our beloved Prophet and Messenger.