The following article was transcribed by a SeekersGuidance scholarship student, based on a lecture series: “Friday Circle of Remembrance & Reminders” This is episode 57 of the series, delivered by Ustadh Amr Hashim, that explores the divine significance of gatherings of remembrance, and the indisputable effects it has on the striving believers who attend them.
Many of us who gather here today have once grasped the essentiality of the gatherings of remembrance, when we are too distant from them. Because the reality behind the tremendous good gained through gatherings is incomparable, palpable, and undeniable. They grant us a unique opportunity to delve into the inward state of our beings and reflect on the impurities we often neglect.
The Sacred Secret of Gatherings
A righteous man once said to someone who often makes remembrance alone and does not attend many gatherings, “What is it you want, what do you expect? Do you expect a procession of angels to descend to you alone rather than attend the gathering as they were ordered?”
Because these gatherings of remembrance offer a holy environment in which hearts and souls nourish one another. Particularly when they center on the remembrance of our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and in the presence the scholars and righteous servants of the All-Mighty, an opportunity arises for the striving believers to become spiritually enlightened and rectify their affairs.
A Key to Redemption & Purification of the Soul
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has supernumerary angels who rove about seeking out gatherings in which Allah’s name is being invoked: they sit with them and fold their wings round each other, filling that which is between them and between the lowest heaven. When the people in the gathering depart, the angels ascend and rise up to heaven.” [Muslim]
After Allah has blessed those who gathered to honor Him and granted them the redemption they sought, the hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah goes on to relay the Prophet’s description of the angels response: “They say: O Lord, among them is So-and-so, a much sinning servant, who was merely passing by and sat down with them, Allah responds: And to him too I have given forgiveness: he who sits with such people shall not suffer.” [Muslim] Therefore, it is irrefutable that sacred gatherings of remembrance signify the key to redemption, cleansing and purification of the soul.
The Tremendous Strength of Congregational Prayer
Congregational prayer garners great strength, purifying our faulty souls and egos; This is the wisdom behind Allah’s command for men to gather every Jumma (Friday) for prayer, because there is invaluable reward for that. Affirmed by our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as he says: “Prayer in congregation is twenty-five times more virtuous than the prayer of any one of you offered on his own.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 486)
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also described that Allah Most High gazes upon the heart of the Imam leading a congregational prayer, eases his affairs, and strengthens the connection with Him. Afterwards, the All-Mericful speaks to His angels, accumulating the rewards of each ra’ka and sajda made, He asserts His acceptance of each prayer made in the congregation.
The Beauty of Al-Mawlid Al Nabawi
The Mawlid is a celebrated day that enables such gatherings to take place with pure intentions; a day in which we gather to commemorate the blessed life of our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace.) A sacred occasion such as this enables individuals of all cultures and backgrounds to welcome one another and join their good will to honor the Messenger’s legacy and grow closer to their Lord.
The powerful duas recited during the Mawlid amid the presence of those who are close to Allah Most High are a facilitation to seek the acceptance of our prayers. Ascertained by the hadith, “For the people who gather for His sake, their sins are forgiven.” [Muslim]
To conclude, we ask Allah Most High to accept our prayers through these gatherings and grant us the ability to attend those gatherings as frequently as possible. May He reward our ever-growing devotion to Him and His Messenger, and purify our souls from past sins and leeching evil. May the Prophetic light exude through us inwardly and outwardly, during the blessed month of our Messenger’s birth.