Celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s Birth – CelebrateMercy.com and an Interview with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance

Today, February 25th, will be a worldwide celebration of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings. Millions of Muslims worldwide commemorate the Prophet Muhammad, by remembering his life, teachings and character. And for the first time ever, with the growing popularity of social media – this year, CelebrateMercy.com will host an online celebration to facilitate people everywhere—both those who are Muslim and those who are not—to celebrate his life with prominent world figures, scholars, and performers.

Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens; Dalia Mogahed, a member of the Advisory Council to President Obama; the President of the Muhammad Ali Center; and several other notable Muslim scholars and artists will be presenting.

The event has received registrants from 40 countries. Viewing centers are being set up in many communities, including cities in New Zealand, India, UK, Canada, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca (in modern day Saudi Arabia) in 670 AD. Muslims believe that he was the last in a series of prophets chosen by God, and the teachings revealed to the Prophet Muhammad form the basis of the religion of Islam. Over one billion people worldwide commit to his teachings, and he is thought by many—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—to be one of the most influential people in history.

One rarely imagines a figure more talked about, revered by over 1.5 billion Muslims, yet remains virtually unknown in reality to the rest of the world.

[Interview with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance]

sh-faraz1I have contacted CelebrateMercy.com to request an interview by one of the scholars who will speak at the event. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a notable researcher and scholar in Islamic Studies. He is the educational director and Instructor at SeekersGuidance – an online academy on Islamic Studies.

In this interview, Shaykh Faraz discusses his personal love and admiration for Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, and the journey in knowing him.

Wazwaz: Why do you personally love Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings?

Shaykh Faraz: Personally, we know every good that one has in life is through the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings. All beauty that you can imagine is in its human manifestation it is personified in the example, person and conduct of the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings. And then, when one earns for Allah, one realizes that the means, the key and the door to Allah is the Messenger, upon him peace and blessings.

Wazwaz: How did you come to know Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings?

Shaykh Rabbani: Growing up as a teen in Spain, going to private British High School, we were taught at home about the Prophet, religion and so on. But religion seemed very distant from the social reality I was surrounded by. From the beginning – one thing that truly attracted me to the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings, was stories that would be read to me by my paternal grandmother who used to live with us and by my own mother and that I would hear from my maternal grandfather.

And these stories gave a connection to the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings, at a time when otherwise religion did not have a very central part in my life. As I was finishing high school and entering University and there is a lot of questions on who am I and what does it mean to be a Muslim, identity and so on. One thing that made me earn to strive to be a better Muslim, and to change my ways of life was the beautiful example of the Prophet. If you think of the Prophet, you can’t help yourself but to stop and say wow, that’s amazing.

Wazwaz: Tell me the first personal memory where you felt a connection to Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, and why?

Shaykh Faraz: When I took a personal reading of the Prophetic biography. You can relate to the Prophet at every level. I felt a disconnect in many ways, because I grew up in so many different countries and the fact that the Prophet was orphaned, I could relate to that in a social way. The fact that the Prophet had such concern for others is good.

The way the Prophet wanted to convey guidance to his people. One of the first books I read about the Prophet was Martin Lings’ biography, “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.”

Masid-Nabawi-at-Sunset-Green-DomeWazwaz: When you share his life story – what major event or saying do you find important to share with students or your children?

Shaykh Faraz: With his life story, every aspect is light. A few things that really hit me – one is that when – in the early years of Islam, when the message of Islam started spreading, and the Meccans had reached their limit, in trying to figure out how they could stand fast against the Prophet. They sent one of their notables, Abu Sufian who later becomes a Muslim and a noble companion. But he was one of the elders of the tribe of Quraish. They sent him to the emperor of Rome, basically to complain about the Prophet. He went to complain that he is calling our people to worship of other than the gods of our ancestors. The emperor told Abu Sufian, well tell me about him. Abu Sufian is trying to complain about the Prophet, but all he could do was to praise the Prophet’s character and the way he treats the orphan and the stranger and his generosity and his nobility and his truthfulness.

And the Arabs say “Virtue is that which one’s enemy bears witness to.”

That really struck me that even the Prophet’s enemies could not help themselves but to admire the Prophet. It really struck me as well how he conducted himself in victory. Because in victory, growing up I read a lot about history and you see in history how victors treat the vanquished. But then you saw the Prophet when he entered Mecca after almost two decades of opposition. He entered victorious. Yet, he entered bent over on his camel in worship with his head, in thankfulness to Allah, with his head almost touching the back of the camel.

And the Prophet – When he entered, the Meccans were terrified that they thought there would be a bloodbath. That was the way of the worldly. If you won you want to show whose boss and who’s in charge and who won. But the Prophet simply called out, told them not to worry and to come out and they were safe. Today I say to you as Prophet Yusuf said to his brethren. There is no blame on you today. We are but brethren. May Allah forgive us and you. There is no blame on you today. May Allah forgive us and you. The words of Prophet Yusuf are mentioned toward the end of Surah Yusuf. This is the noble victor. His character was tremendous because he had no concern other than Allah.

Similarly, his clemency in battle of Uhud. Initially, the Muslims were winning. The Prophet, upon him peace and blessings, told the Muslims who were standing on Mount Uhud not to come down from the mountain even if the Muslims seemed to be victorious, unless and until the Prophet gave them the explicit permission to do so. Yet, some did not heed his call and came down the Mountain, and so the Quraish launched a counterattack. In that counterattack, since they were few in number, their primary concern was to strike fast, kill the Prophet and leave. And in that retreat, the

Prophet’s noble face was bleeding, and as he wiped the blood off his noble face, he called upon Allah – how can a people succeed who make blood flow down the face of their prophet while he is but calling them to paradise. Think of the power of these words. His concern even when they are trying to kill him is for their success. He was sent a mercy to All creation, not only friend but also foe. He had no enmity to them as people whatsoever. He wanted the good for them.

And the thing that saddens me as someone who teaches the religion, is how badly people misunderstand the prophetic guidance both non Muslims and Muslims themselves who don’t really appreciate the tremendous mercy that is the Messenger. His teachings and example are nothing but a manifestation of mercy. And any understanding of religion that is lacking in mercy is lacking in understanding and it is lacking in being true to the teachings of the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings.

Wazwaz: How do you share his life story with your kids?

Shaykh Faraz: By encouraging them to read about the life of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, and reading to them about his life, and bringing that life story to life. One has to instill love for the Prophet in the hearts of children. There is a prophetic tradition that raise your children on three matters. The love of the Quran, and the love of the Messenger, and the love of the family and companions of the Prophet. As one of great scholars says, Love is the access around which all good revolves. And the prophet said, whoever loves God and his messenger above all else has truly tasted the sweetness of faith. We want our children to turn to religion and to be virtuous, upright human beings.

Wazwaz: What resources or recommendations do you have for people to learn more on his life.

Shaykh Faraz: We would invite everyone to read about his life. A few of the books that come to mind immediately:

Martin Lings’ biography, “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.”

Shaykh Ramadan Al Bouti “Understanding the Prophetic Biography.”

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf from Zaytuna has a good CD set on the life of Prophet Muhammad.

Wazwaz: What is your favorite hadith or one of his sayings and why?

Shaykh Faraz: His hadith are so beautiful. A favorite one is a prayer, “Oh Allah, I ask you for your love, and the love of those whom your love and the love of those actions that will make me attain unto your love.” The prayer continues “Oh Allah, make your love more beloved to me than my love of my parents, children and all people and make your love more intense than one’s love for cool water on a intensely hot day.”

Another of my favorite sayings is: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, though there is benefit in both. Be avid for all that benefits you. Place your trust in Allah and do not deem yourself incapable. And if you did something then never say after it, had I done such and such – it would have been such and such. For saying had I, opens the doors to the workings of the devil.”

The hadith means, one should not second guess. The strong believer is always avid for what benefits them and who seeks what benefits them, what is most pleasing to Allah while relying on Allah, and who do not deem themselves incapable. Rather, one seeks their benefit while trusting upon their lord. While acting one does not second guess. One learns and takes heeds from one’s mistakes but one keeps one’s focus on what’s coming.

Wazwaz: Thank you very much Shaykh Faraz for the Interview. If anyone wishes to attend the event visit CelebrateMercy.com

Celebrate Mercy – Thurday, Feb 25 at 9 pm EST – Official Trailer – www.CelebrateMercy.com

YouTube – Celebrate Mercy – Official Trailer

A Global Celebration of The Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and grant him peace) | Webcast Live to Your Living Room

http://www.celebratemercy.com

Dr. Yusuf Islam (aka, Cat Stevens)
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Imam Zaid Shakir
Habib ‘Umar
Shaykh Nuh Keller
Imam Sayed Qazwini
Dalia Mogahed
Shaykh Muhammad Ninowy
Shaykh Abdallah Adhami
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus
Ustadh Usama Canon
Nader Khan
Baraka Blue

and many others!

God’s Messenger and Children – Fethullah Gulen

Fethullah Gülen’s Web Site – God’s Messenger and Children

He was an extraordinary husband, a perfect father, and a unique grandfather. He was unique in every way. He treated his children and grandchildren with great compassion, and never neglected to direct them to the Hereafter and good deeds. He smiled at them, caressed and loved them, but did not allow them to neglect matters related to the afterlife. In worldly matters he was extremely open; but when it came to maintaining their relationship with God, he was very serious and dignified. He showed them how to lead a humane life, and never allowed them to neglect their religious duties and become spoiled. His ultimate goal was to prepare them for the Hereafter. His perfect balance in such matters is another dimension of his Divinely inspired intellect.

In a hadith narrated by Muslim, Anas bin Malik, honored as the Messenger’s servant for 10 continuous years, says: “I’ve never seen a man who was more compassionate to his family members than Muhammad.” [1] If this admission were made just by us, it could be dismissed as unimportant. However, millions of people, so benign and compassionate that they would not even offend an ant, declare that he embraced everything with compassion. He was a human like us, but God inspired in him such an intimate affection for every living thing that he could establish a connection with all of them. As a result, he was full of extraordinary affection toward his family members and others.http://tmdtube.com/islam_slides/Prophet%20Muhammad%20(PBUH)%20house.jpg

All of the Prophet’s sons had died. Ibrahim, his last son born to his Coptic wife Mary, also died in infancy. The Messenger often visited his son before the latter’s death, although he was very busy. Ibrahim was looked after by a nurse. The Prophet would embrace, kiss, and caress him before returning home. [2] When Ibrahim died, the Prophet took him on his lap again, embraced him, and described his sorrow while on the brink of tears. Some were surprised. He gave them this answer: “Eyes may water and hearts may be broken, but we do not say anything except what God will be pleased with.” He pointed to his tongue and said: “God will ask us about this.” [3]

He carried his grandsons Hasan and Husayn on his back. Despite his unique status, he did this without hesitation to herald the honor that they would attain later. One time when they were on his back, ‘Umar came into the Prophet’s house and, seeing them, exclaimed: “What a beautiful mount you have!” The Messenger added immediately: “What beautiful riders they are!” [4] They may not have been aware that the Messenger had honored them. This special compliment was due to their future status as leaders and family heads of the Prophet’s household. Among their descendants would be the greatest and most respected saints. His compliment was not only for his grandsons, but for all his offspring. For this reason, ‘Abd al-Qadir Jilani, a well-known descendant of the Prophet’s household, said: “The Messenger’s blessed feet are on my shoulders, and mine are on the shoulders of all saints.” This statement will probably stand for all saints to come.

The Messenger was completely balanced in the way he brought up his children. He loved his children and grandchildren very much, and instilled love in them. However, he never let his love for them be abused. None of them deliberately dared to do anything wrong. If they made an unintentional mistake, the Messenger’s protection prevented them from going even slightly astray. He did this by wrapping them in love and an aura of dignity. For example, once Hasan or Husayn wanted to eat a date that had been given to distribute among the poor as alms. The Messenger immediately took it from his hand, and said: “Anything given as alms is forbidden to us.” [5] In teaching them while they were young to be sensitive to forbidden acts, he established an important principle of education.

Read more

The Excellence of Rising at Night to Pray – from Imam Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (Riyad al-Salihin)

riyad6 – translated by Ayesha Bewley

212. Chapter: On the excellence of rising in the night to pray

Allah Almighty says, “And stay awake for prayer during part of the night as a supererogatory action for yourself. It may well be that your Lord will raise you to a Praiseworthy Station,” (17:79) and the Almighty says, “Their sides eschew their beds,” (32:16) and the Almighty says, “The part of the night they spent asleep was small.” (51:17)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_6Skpsjee2Xc/R_PPop0KZZI/AAAAAAAAAR0/kfllRc_gK4Y/s400/dosa.jpg
1160. ‘A’isha said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to get up to pray at night to the extent that his feet became swollen. I said to him, ‘Why do you do this, Messenger of Allah, when you have been forgiven your past and future wrong actions?’ He said, ‘Should I not be a thankful slave?'” [Agreed upon]

1161. ‘Ali reported that one night the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to him and Fatima daughter of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and knocked at their door. “He said, ‘Do you not pray?'” [Agreed upon]

1162. Salim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab reported from his father that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “‘Abdullah is an excellent man. If only he would pray during the night.” Salim said, “After that ‘Abdullah spent very little of the night asleep.” [Agreed upon]

1163. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, “‘Abdullah, do not be like so-and-so who used to pray at night and then stopped doing it.'” [Agreed upon] Read more

Qasida Burda – In Praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) – Mawlid in Jakarta, Indonesia – YouTube

YouTube – Qasida Burda – Mawlid in Jakarta, Indonesia

Extract of a rendition of the Qasida Burda from a Mawlid in Jakarta, Indonesia. Part of the Arus Damai tour, January 2010

Qasida Burda in Praise of the Prophet Muhammad – Sh. Diya – Video – and: Resources on the Burda and Praise Poetry

YouTube – Qasida Burda in Praise of the Prophet Muhammad – Sh. Diya

A powerful & moving rendition of the Qasida Burda of Imam Busiri by Shaykh Diya’ of Amman, Jordan. Chapters 1 & 2.

The Qasida Burda is one of the greatest poems ever written in praise of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk), and is recited with love and yearning by lovers of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) across the world. Numerous scholars have written commentaries on it.Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad has a beautiful translation of it, called The Mantle Adorned. See: http://www.mantleadorned.com/Shaykh Hamza Yusuf translated and supervised a moving rendition in Maghribi style: The Burda of al-Busiri – The Fez Singers.See also:First Poems of Praise for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)Themes in Religious Poetry at the Time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Blessings on the Beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) – A Gift for Rabi` al-Awwal from Habib Umar bin Hafiz – Interpreter’s Path (Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya)

A Rabi’ul Awwal Gift « Interpreter’s Path

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

وبعد فهذه صيغة صلاة على النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم للحبيب عمر بن حفيظ
وأوصى بالإكثار منها في شهر مولده صلى الله عليه وسلم

http://deoband.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/prophet-green-dome.jpg

As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

This is a formula of prayers (salat) on the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him, his folk and companions and grant them peace) by Habib Umar bin Hafiz. He advised us to read it a lot in the month of the Beloved’s birth (Allah bless him and grant him peace):

اَللَّهُمُّ صَلِِّ وَسَلِِّمْ وَبارِِكْ عَلى النُّورِِ المُبين، عَبْدِِكَ وَحَبيبِِكَ سَيِّدِِنا محمدٍ الأمين، وَعَلى آلِهِِ ِوَصَحْبِهِ

وَحَقِِّقْنا بِِحُبِِّهِ، وَأكْرِِْمنا بُِِقُرْبِِهِ، وَاجْعََْلنا مِِنْ رُفَقائِهِ يا رَبََّ العالَمي

Allahumma Salli wa Sallim wa Barik ‘ala al-Nur al-Mubin ‘abdika wa Habibika Sayyidina Muhammad al-Amin wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa haqiqna bihubbihi wa akrimna biqurbihi wa-j’alna min rufaqa’ihi ya Rabbal-‘alamin.

“O Allah send prayers, peace and blessings upon the Manifest Light, Your Slave and Your Beloved, our Liegelord Muhammad the Trustworthy, as well as his folk and companions, and make us true in his love, honor us with nearness to him, and include us among his entourage. O Lord of the Worlds.”

From Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya’s excellent blog and site: A Rabi’ul Awwal Gift « Interpreter’s Path

Habib Umar’s Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim Featured on Al Jazeera English – Students in Yemen Fight Stereotypes

Al Jazeera English – Middle East – Students in Yemen fight stereotypes

Yemen is renowned for its religious schools, which attract hundreds of international students every year. Those schools are now under increasing scrutiny, with the United States, among the nations, concerned about a possible growing al-Qaeda presence there. But there is another side to education in Yemen, as Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports from the Hadramaut Valley.

 

http://www.daralmustafa.org/pic08.jpg

Some Prophetic Supplications for Difficulty and Distress

Dua 50 – The Prophet (saw)’s Prayers/Duas/Supplications – Musnoon Duas

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When in any difficulty recite:

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

“O Allah, I hope for Your mercy, do not leave me for even the duration of an eye blink and correct my total condition. Besides You there is none worthy of worship”. (Hisnul Hasin)

Alternate dua

حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

“Allah is sufficient for us and He is the Best Guardian”. (Quran, Surah Al-Imraan)

Alternatively recite

اللَّهُ اللَّهُ رَبِّي لَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئَاً

“Allah is my Lord, I do not ascribe anything unto Him”. (Hisnul Hasin from Abu Dawood)

or recite

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ

“O Alive and everlasting One, I beseech You by Your mercy.” (Mustadrak Hakim)

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“O Allah, there is none worthy of worship besides You. You are Pure, definitely I have oppressed my soul by sinning”.

The Qur’an states that these words were recited when Yunus (peace and blessings be upon him) called upon Allah from the belly of the fish. Prophet Mohammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) stated in a hadith that when any Muslim makes this dua via these words to Allah, then Allah surely accepts his duas.

(Tirmidhi etc)

It is stated in a hadith that

لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ

is the medicine for 99 ailments, the least of which is depression.
(Baihaqi in Dawatul Kubra)

It means that these words are so beneficial and useful that big/great grievances, depression and sorrow are easily removed in its stride.

Abdullah bin Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated that if a person constantly makes “Istaghfar”, then Allah removes every difficulty, frees him from every sorrow and makes a means for him to receive sustenance from places that he never thought of.  (Mishkat from Ahmad)

Source: Dua 50 – The Prophet (saw)’s Prayers/Duas/Supplications – Musnoon Duas (edited)

Who is Muhammad (God bless him and grant him peace)? – Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

Who is Muhammad (God bless him and grant him peace)?

Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

The following excerpt is from “Prolegemona to the Metaphysics of Islam: An Exposition of the Fundamental Elements of the Worldview of Islam” by Sayyid Naquib al-Attas. In it, he challenges the modern portrayal of man as a rational agent with independent creative capabilities and powers. al-Attas explains precisely who the noble Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is and why he is relevant to our times.

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“The Holy Prophet, upon whom be God’s blessing and Peace!, is the Seal of the Prophets, the universal and final Messenger of God to mankind, whom he leads from darkness to light; who is himself the Lamp spreading light; he is God’s Mercy to all creatures, and His favour to those who believe in him and in what he brought and he is God’s favour even to the People of the Book, who may yet come to believe in him.

He is man whom God has created with a character exalted as the standard for mankind; he is the Perfect Man and Exemplar par excellence. He it is who even God and His Angels honour and bless as the greatest of men, and all true believers, in compliance with God’s command, and in emulation of His Angels, do likewise, and have done and will do so in the Hereafter to him will God vouchsafe the Lauded Station.

Muhammad, the Messenger of God, is he whose very is a miracle of fulfillment, for he alone among all mankind is constantly praised in every age and generation after him without end, so that even taking into account the ages and generation before him he still would be the only man to whom such praise is due.

We praise him out of sincere love and respect and gratitude for having led us out of darkness into light, and he is loved above all other human beings including our selves. Our love and respect for him is such that neither time nor memory could dull, for he is in our selves in every age and generations – nay, he is closer than ourselves, and we emulate his words (qawl) and model actions (fi’l) and silent confirmation (taqrir) of usages known to him, so that next to the Holy Qur’an he is our most excellent and perfect guide and exemplar in life.

He is the perfect model for every Muslim male and female; adolescent, middle-aged and old, in such ways that Muslims do not suffer from the crises of identity. Because of him the external structure or pattern of Muslim society is not divided by the gap of generations such as we find prevalent in Western society.”

(p 79 to 81 of “Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam” by Sayyid Naquib al-Attas)

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Sayyid Muhammad al-Naquib bin Ali al-Attas (born September 5, 1931) is a prominent contemporary Muslim philosopher and thinker from Malaysia. He is the author of twenty-seven authoritative works on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization, particularly on Sufism, cosmology, metaphysics, philosophy and Malay language and literature. (Source)

Previous Posts:

Man’s Indebtedness to Allah (exalted be He) – Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

Justice and Its Relationship to Knowledge  – Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

Al-Attas’ Concept of Ta‘dib as True and Comprehensive Education in Islam – Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud

Applying the Prophetic Sunna to the Modern World – Interview with Sayyid Naquib Al-Attas – Lastprophet.info

The Concept of Religion by Sayyid Naquib al-Attas