Video: Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 04. The Prophet & Women, and Umar’s Entrance – Faraz Rabbani

YouTube – Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 04. The Prophet & Women, and Umar’s Entrance

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In Episode 4 of ‘Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him),’ Shaykh Faraz explains a hadith in which Umar (Allah be pleased with him) entered upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) while he was sitting with a group of women who were asking him questions, raising their voices, and taking too much of his time. When Umar came, they hid behind the barrier… Many beautiful lessons in the incident…

Previous Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah videos:

Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 03. Tremendousness of Prophetic Character – Faraz Rabbani

Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 02. Gentleness & Wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad

Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 01. The Beauty of the Messenger in Appearance & Character

Subscribe to the SeekersGuidance Video channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/seekersguidancevideo.

Video: Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 02. Gentleness & Wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad – YouTube

YouTube – Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 02. Gentleness & Wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad

Episode 02 of Ramadan with the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the gentleness, restraint, and wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), as highlighted with his dealings with Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him), who served him for ten years… Taken from Imam Baghawi’s work, al-Anwar fi Shama’il al-Nabi al-Mukhtar.

The first video:

Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 01. The Beauty of the Messenger in Appearance & Character

Related SeekersGuidance Blog items:

Why Is the Prophet’s Character Described as Being Tremendous? – Faraz Rabbani

SeekersGuidance IslamCasts related to Prophetic Character:

Prophetic Conduct

Steps in the Path of Love of the Prophet

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Prophetic Guidance on Fasting & the Month of Ramadan – Riyad al-Salihin (Gardens of the Righteous) by Imam Nawawi

riyad6 – Chapters on Fasting (tr. Ayesha Bewley

217. Chapter: On the obligation to fast Ramadan and clarification of the excellence of fasting and what is connected to it

Allah Almighty says, “You who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you..” to His words “The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with Clear Signs containing guidance and discrimination. Any of you who are resident for the month should fast it. But any of you who are ill or on a journey should fast a number of other days.” (W2:182-184; H2:183-185)

1215. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah, the Mighty and Exalted said, ‘Every action of the son of Adam is for himself except for fasting. It is Mine and I repay it.’ Fasting is a shield. When someone is fasting, he should not have sexual relations nor quarrel. If someone fights him or insults him, he should say, ‘I am fasting’. By the One in whose hand the self of Muhammad is, the changed breath in the mouth of the faster is more fragrant to Allah than the scent of musk. The faster experiences two joys: when he breaks his fast he rejoices and when he meets his Lord he rejoices in his fasting.” [Agreed upon]

In one variant of al-Bukhari, “He has left his food and drink and appetites for My sake. Fasting is Mine and I repay it. Any other good deed I repay with ten like it.”

In a variant of Muslim, “Every action of the son of Adam is multiplied. A good action receives from ten to seven hundred times. Allah Almighty said, “Fasting is Mine and I repay it. He leaves his appetites and food for My sake. The faster experiences two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The changed breath in the mouth of the faster is more fragrant to Allah than the scent of musk.”

1216. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The one who spends out two kinds of actions in the way of Allah will be summoned from the gates of the Garden and told, ‘O slave of Allah this is better.’ All the people who did the prayer will be called from the gate of the prayer. All the people who did jihad will be called from the gate of jihad. All the people who fasted will be called from the gate of Rayyan. All the people who gave sadaqa will be called from the gate of sadaqa.” Abu Bakr said, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, Messenger of Allah. No one called from those gates will feel distress. Will anyone be called from all those gates?” He said, “Yes, and I hope that you will be among them.” [Agreed upon]

1217. Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There is a gate in the Garden called ar-Rayyan which those who fast will enter on the Day of Rising, and none but they will enter it.” It will be said, ‘Where are the fasters?’ They will stand up and none but they will enter it. When they have entered it, it will be closed and no one else will enter it.” [Agreed upon]

1218. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No slave fasts one day in the way of Allah without Allah putting his face seventy years’ journey away from the Fire on account of that day.” [Agreed upon]

1219. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who prays in Ramadan motivated by belief and in expectation of the reward will be forgiven his past wrong actions.” [Agreed upon]

1220. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When Ramadan comes, the gates of the Garden are opened, the gates of the Fire are closed and the shaytans are chained up.” [Agreed upon]

1221. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Fast when you see it (the new moon) and break the fast when you see it. If it is cloudy, then make Sha’ban complete with thirty days.” [Agreed upon]

In the variant of Muslim, “If it is cloudy, you must fast thirty days.”

218. Chapter: On generosity, charity and doing much good in the month of Ramadan, and increasing that in the last ten days of the month

1222. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the most generous of people, and he was even more generous during Ramadan when Jibril met him. Jibril used to meet him every night in Ramadan until it was over and the Prophet would go through the Qur’an with him. The Messenger of Allah was more generous with good things than the blowing wind.” [Agreed upon]

1223. ‘A’isha said, “When the last ten days of Ramadan started, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to pray during the night, wake up his family and intensify his efforts.” [Agreed upon]

Read more

Video: Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 01. The Beauty of the Messenger in Appearance & Character

YouTube – Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 01. The Beauty of the Messenger in Appearance & Character

Episode 01 of Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the Beauty of the Messenger in Appearance & Character, as leading Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) described. Taken from Imam Baghawi’s work, al-Anwar fi Shama’il al-Nabi al-Mukhtar.

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The Spiritual Purpose of Fasting – Closeness to Allah

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful. May Allah’s blessings and peace be upon His Beloved Messenger, his folk, and companions

Ramadan isn’t the “Month of Fasting…” It is a month of seeking closeness to Allah. Fasting is a means. Prayer is a means. Zakat is a means. Reciting the Qur’an is a means. Taqwa is a means. Thankfulness is a means. Guidance and actions are means. The purpose is Allah, and Allah alone.

Allah Most High tells us of this powerfully, “All the actions of people are for them, except for fasting. Fasting is for Me and it is I who reward it.” [Bukhari]

Spiritually, the purpose of fasting is closeness to God. After the verses dealing with fasting and the month of Ramadan, Allah Most High makes this purpose clear: “If My servants ask you about Me, then I am indeed near. I answer the call of those who call upon Me when they call. So let them heed My calls and let them truly believe in Me–in order that they become rightly guided.” [Qur’an, 2.186]

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Fasting and Spiritual Realization of Divine Oneness
 
In fasting, one experiences one’s neediness to God, which opens one’s heart to spiritual understanding. Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “O people, you are the ones absolutely in need of God; and God is the One free of all need, worthy of all praise.” [Qur’an, 35.15] This neediness (faqr) that one realizes when fasting opens one’s heart to the absolute richness (ghina) of Allah–His being absolute, and absolutely free of need for any other.
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Ibn Ata’illah said, “Become realized in your neediness, and He will assist you through His richness.”
This is at the very heart of true understanding of Divine Oneness, for the Qur’anic understanding of God–the one alone worthy of worship–is that He is the Rich (ghani)–absolutely free of need of any other and others are absolutely in poverty and indigence before  Him. He is the Independent (samad)–whom all turn to in need, and who is absolutely independent and beyond need. And He is the Sustainer (qayyum)–who sustains all things at every moment, in every way,

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and who needs none to sustain Him.
In short, God is “the One free of any other, whom all are absolutely in need of.” [Sanusi, Umm al-Barahin]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) expressed this beautifully at a time of intense drought, when he addressed them before performing the drought prayer, “All praise is due to Allah; the Merciful, the Compassionate; Lord of the Day of Reckoning; there is no god but Him, He does what He wills. O Allah, You are God, there is no god but You. You are the One free of all need, and we are the ones in absolute need.” Then he asked for rain and prayed two rakats. [Abu Dawud]
The scholars mention that this (or similar supplication, followed by two cycles of prayer, is both a powerful expression of neediness (faqr) and a powerful means of fulfilling one’s worldly or spiritual needs.

الحمد لله رب العالمين ، الرحمن الرحيم ، مالك يوم الدين ، لا إله إلا الله يفعل ما يريد ، اللهم أنت الله ، لا إله أنت الغني ونحن الفقراء

See also:
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani

Why Is the Prophet’s Character Described as Being Tremendous? – Faraz Rabbani

by Faraz Rabbani (originally published in Islamica Magazine)

In the Qur’an, the Prophet is addressed directly, “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” [Qur’an, 68.4] This Qur’anic verse intrigued Muslim scholars, early and late, especially the Qur’anic exegetes and the masters of the spiritual path, especially as the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself emphasized that, “I was only sent to perfect noble character,” [Ahmad] and said, “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character.” [Tirmidhi]

What is good character?

Good character, Ghazali explains in his Ihya’, is an inward disposition that causes one to incline towards praiseworthy inward traits and praiseworthy outward actions.

How is good character manifest?

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali and others relate that the sum of Prophetic teachings is that good character is manifest in five matters:

(1) Fulfilling the rights of others

(2) Avoiding hurting or harming others

(3) Being cheerful and positive in one’s dealing with others

(4) Recognizing the good of others and reciprocating

(5) Responding to the wrong of others with nothing but the good.

These five manifestations of good character don’t only summarize the Prophetic teachings on good character, but they also summarize the Prophet Muhammad’s own character and conduct.

First. As for fulfilling the rights of others, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) emphasized that, “Give everyone who has a right their due right,” [Bukhari] and he warned against non-fulfillment of others’ rights, “Injustice shall become manifold darkness on the Day of Judgment.” [Bukhari]

Second. Avoiding hurting or harming others is a corollary of fulfilling the rights of others. However, sometimes one can fulfill others’ rights in ways that hurt them; or we follow the follow the fulfillment of rights with hurtful reminders; or strive to fulfill rights, without considering how others feel or may consider our efforts.

Third. Being cheerful and positive in one’s dealings with others. The Prophet is described as always having been full of concern, yet he was always cheerful.

Fourth. Recognizing the good of others entails not only thanking and reciprocating those who do obvious acts of good to one, but to reflect, consider, and appreciate the less-obvious (but significant) good that countless people to for one–both directly and indirectly. We owe our very lives to our parents. When did we last thank them? Our teachers, whether at school or university, have taught us so much. When did we last thank them? The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) cautioned that, “Whoever is not thankful to people is not thankful to God.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud]

Fifth. The greatest test of character is responding to the wrong of others with nothing but the good. This tests one’s character because one’s personal urge would customarily be to reciprocate; and one’s negative urge would be to affirm oneself. However, the way of Prophets is to respond with nothing but the good.

Upon Entering Mecca, Victorious

When the Prophet Muhamamad (peace and blessings be upon him) entered Mecca as a victor, people expected that he would seek revenge two decades of opposition, wrong, and injustice from his people. The Meccans were fearful, and some hastened to declare that, “Today is a day of slaughter.” The Prophet responded that, instead, “Today is a day of righteousness and loyalty,” and he forgave them in public address, saying, “I say to you today as Joseph said to his brothers,’There is no blame on you today. May God forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.’ [Qur’an, 12.92] Go! For you are free.” [Salihi, Subul al-Huda wa’l Rashad]

A bedouin once came to the Prophet, seeking some money. Without introduction or greetings, he said, “Muhammad! Give me, for you’re not giving me from your money or your father’s money.”

Despite the man’s rudeness, the Prophet gave him, and asked, “Have I pleased you?” The bedouin replied, “No, and you haven’t done me good.”

The Muslims who were standing around them were angered and surrounded the bedouin. The Prophet signaled for them to restrain, and he entered his house.

He asked for the bedouin to be invited in. When he entered, the Prophet gave him some money, and asked, “Are you pleased?” He replied, “No.” The Prophet gave him more, and asked, “Are you pleased?” The bedouin responded, “Yes, we are pleased.”

The Prophet told him, “You came to us and asked us. We gave you, and then you said what you said. As a result, there is something in the hearts of the Muslims regarding that. If you were to say in front of them what you said to me, that might remove those feelings from their hearts.” The man agreed, and mentioned the Prophet with praise and thanked him in front of the Prophet’s Companions. [Salihi, Subul al-Huda wa’l Rashad]

The Prophet was unaffected by the man’s words. His concern was for the good of the man himself and the feelings of his Companions. Why? This returns to the understanding why the Prophet character was described as being “tremendous” in the Qur’an.

Imam Junayd al-Baghdadi, one of the foremost authorities of Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf) and others have explained that, “The Prophet’s character was termed tremendous because his concern was for God alone.” [Qurtubi, Jami Ahkam al-Qur’an] What moved the Prophet was the pursuit of His Lord’s pleasure, both in acting and in responding.

This was manifest in small matters, too. Once a woman brought a baby for the Prophet to bless him. The Prophet placed him on his chest, and the child urinated. The mother reached out for the child, anxious. The Prophet signalled to let the child finish first. After that, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) calmly rinsed the area lightly. He didn’t want to alarm the child, nor make the mother feel bad.

It is also related that though he was the busiest of people, young girls in Medina would take the Prophet’s hand and would take him wherever they went–and he wouldn’t let go of their hand until they let go of his. [Bukhari, Sahih]

Lessons in Mercy

We see from this that the Prophetic example is nothing but a manifestation of mercy. And any understanding of religion lacking in mercy is lacking in true understanding. After all, the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) having been, “sent only as a mercy to all creation.” [Qur’an, 21.107] The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself emphasized that, “I was only sent as a gift of Mercy.” [Bazzar and Tabarani]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) explained, too, that, “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Be merciful to those on earth and the Lord of the Heavens will be merciful to you.” [Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud, from Abd Allah ibn Amr; rigorously authentic] It is a sign of the way of traditional Islamic scholarship that this is the first Hadith (Prophetic teaching) traditionally conveyed by a scholar to their students.

This mercy, manifest in good character in one’s dealings with people, is the test and barometer of faith. After all, “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character,” as the Prophet affirmed. [Tirmidhi]

It once happened that some non-Muslims greeted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) with an insult. His wife, A’isha, insulted them back. But the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not. Rather, he simply replied, “And upon you,” which is the standard reply to the greeting of, “Peace be upon you.” Then, he said to his dear wife, “A’isha! Allah is gentle and loves gentleness in all matters.” [Bukhari, from Ai’sha] And he also taught that, “Gentleness is not found in anything except that it makes it beautiful; and gentleness is not taken out of anything except that is makes it ugly.” [Muslim and others, also from A’isha]

The Key to All Relations

The Prophet made clear that the key to all relationships is upholding good character and maintaining it, even when tested. He said, “Deal with people on the basis of good character,” [Tirmidhi] and affirmed that, “Forbearance is the very best of character.”

Forbearance is for one not to be moved by anger or negative emotion–but to make one’s response based on reason and (for a believer) Revelation. Forbearance is, ultimately, intelligence, as it is the capacity to respond in the best of ways to each situation.

This restraint and concern for excellence and the greater good that underly excellence of character–and that made the Prophet Muhammad’s character “tremendous”–are virtues each of us would do well to strive for in our own lives and relationships, both as individuals and communities.

Mawlid by Moonlight – Hina Khan-Mukhtar

The flickering flame of a candle casts a light on a child’s face, causing it to glow…and something magical happens.  The six-year-old opens his mouth to sing salawaat on the Prophet…and hearts soften.

b738eb4e4298c4921An older sister takes her brother by the hand as they march off to the beat of a daff, singing nasheeds under a full moon, falling in line behind fifty other young ones…and tears spring to my eyes.

It is known as Mawlid by Moonlight and it took place this month of Rabi ul Awwal in celebration of the birth of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wasallam).  A dream of my friend’s for the past ten years — with the permission of Allah, it has finally become the reality she had envisioned almost a decade earlier.

Back when our children were pre-schoolers, we gathered with them every 12th of Rabi ul Awwal to decorate candles, singing Ta’ala al-Badru ‘Alayna while we worked with our glitter and colored wax and beads.  We taught them songs and explained the significance of the noor of the Prophet, comparing him to a candle who leads people out of the darkness and into the light of knowledge of Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala.  We read stories from the Seerah, highlighting our Messenger’s special relationship with children and animals and his divinely inspired message of mercy to the worlds. My friend’s wish that the children participate in a candlelight parade, marching in the darkness while holding their candles and singing, couldn’t come to fruition due to the fact that the month of Rabi ul Awwal arrived during the summer months in those days.  Most of the children would be asleep long before the sun had set…even longer before the white moon had risen.

Our older children are in middle school now while younger siblings have joined the growing families, masha’Allah, and the tide turned a few years ago when Rabi ul Awwal finally arrived in the spring months.  As we have done for the past few years, we gather on a friend’s ranch where our homeschooling co-operative meets during the week, hiking up and down green hills with the neighing of horses and the calling of a peacock accompanying our children as they sing, “Salallaahu ala MuhammadSalallaahu alaihi wasallam”.  The flames dance in our boys’ and girls’ excited eyes, a father beats the daff, a mother calls out, “Look at the moon, children!  The skies have cleared!  SubhanAllah!”

Earlier in the week, I had shown a poem to our children’s Islamic Studies teacher who is also the father of one of my fifth grade students.  “Do you want to hear what your daughter wrote in class?” I asked him.

“I would like that,” he responded, turning from his computer work in the teachers’ lounge.

I read from the paper I held in my hands…

If the Prophet spent a day with me,

I’d give him my finest chair,

And give him my finest tea.

If the Prophet spent a day with me,

I’d bake the bestest cupcakes,

And serve him with lots of glee.

If the Prophet spent a day with me,

I would be so delighted,

If the Prophet spent a day with me,

I would be so excited.

If the Prophet spent a day with me,

I’d be sure to make it last,

If the Prophet spent a day with me,

It’d be an awesome class.

I looked up, pleased and smiling, to find that he had removed his spectacles and was wiping his eyes with his thumb.  No one said anything for a few moments before he cleared his throat and quietly addressed the parents in the room.

“You know, we worry about our children being too slow in this or not good enough at that, but, at the end of the day…if they love Allah and His Prophet, what else really matters?  What else really matters?”

moon As I watch the children cluster around the tables laden with sweets and treats and scintillating candles, excitedly showing each other their glow-in-the-dark bracelets before heading off to join the congregation which will pray Isha under the inky black sky, I realize that love really does conquer all.  Glancing up to catch the moon emerging from behind the clouds, I imagine the Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) gazing upon that same moon all those years ago.  I hear the children singing the lyrics “O the white moon rose over us from the Valley of (al)Wada, and we owe it to show gratefulness where the Call is to Allah”, and I think I can hear the Ansar of Medina-al-Munawwara singing the same song in joyous welcome to the Prophet’s long-awaited entrance into the blessed city.  I want to reach out and hug the blue-eyed, golden-haired children with kohl in their eyes and kufis on their heads, the cheerful African-American boys in their thawbs, the little girls in sparkling shalwar-kameezes.  Finding myself surrounded by kids of all colors and races who believe “La ilaaha illAllah” in twenty-first century America, I marvel at the success of the Prophet’s mission.  “Truly, you have delivered the message,” I silently tell him.

“You are so fortunate!”  A father turns, letting the night carry his voice out to the children as they gather together at the end of the parade, carefully clutching their votives and plastic cups with candle pillars alight.  “The Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) is your Prophet!  Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala sent him as a mercy to us all!  Who is going to make him proud?  Who is going to follow what he taught?”

“We are!  We are!” the children respond.  “Salallaahu alaihi wasallam!”

I look down at my kindergartener when I feel him tugging on my hand.  “He’s my Prophet too!  Right, Mama?”

The comforting scent of the crackling bonfire soothes me and I inhale deeply.  The stars continue to twinkle in the velvety night sky as I nod my head and squeeze his hand in affirmation.  I can’t seem to find my voice, so I simply smile and try to blink away the wetness on my lashes.

COPYRIGHT HINA KHAN-MUKHTAR 2010.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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

The Aim, Purpose, and Consequence of Consistent Spiritual Routines – Imam al-Haddad, with Commentary from Faraz Rabbani

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful. May Allah’s blessings and peace be upon His Beloved Messenger, his companions and folk.

Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad (Allah have mercy on him) (d.1132 Hijri) said,

‘The aim and spirit of spiritual routines (awrad) is presence with Allah.

Aim for it; you will reach it only if you travel the road that leads to it, which is performing the external activities and striving to be present with Allah during them. When you persevere in this you become immersed in the lights of Proximity, and the sciences of gnosis emanate upon you, at which your heart becomes wholly intent on God and presence becomes its nature and well-established quality.’ [The Book of Assistance]

Commentary on Imam Haddad’s Saying

A wird (plural: awrad) is any regular routine of worship, such as prayer, remembrance (dhikr), supplication (dua), fasting, and so on. One can also consider regular routines of religious study and reading to be a wird.

It is sunna to be consistent in one’s works; to take on only as much as one can sustain with excellence, without feeling overwhelmed; to focus not only on actions, but on excellence in one’s actions; and to strive for gradual, meaningful increase that is sustainable.

Prophetic Guidance on Consistency and its Consequence

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Take from actions that which you can sustain, for verily Allah doesn’t tire until you tire.” [Bukhari & Muslim, from A’isha (Allah be pleased with her)]

This means, as Imam Nawawi explains, that Allah doesn’t tire of rewarding and accepting your works until you tire of performing them; or that it is not Allah who tires (for He is exalted beyond imperfection) but it is you who tires.

And our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily, this religion is ease, and none will make the religion difficult except that it will overwhelm them. So remain steadfastly committed; do your best; and be of glad tidings. And seek assistance in the early mornings; the late afternoons; and something of the depths of the night.” [Bukhari and Nasa’i, from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)]

Making the religion difficult is to take on more than one can manage. Remaining steadfastly committed entails seeking knowledge of who to seek Allah Most High, how to act according to the Prophetic example of excellence, and to strive to act accordingly. Doing one’s best is to take on what one can sustain; to keep consistent; and to do the best one is able to manage if one can’t do everything completely. Being of glad tidings entails celebrating the favour of Allah Most High having gifted one with the urge to seek His pleasure; the knowledge of how His pleasure is sought; and for inspiring one to act accordingly. “Say, in the bounty of Allah and His blessings, in that let them rejoice…” [Qur’an, 10.58]

The three blessed times that are particularly beneficial for spiritual striving are (1) Fajr time and after sunrise, when there are few distractions (the early mornings); (2) Asr time, or during and after one’s return from work (the late afternoons); and a little of the late night, after having slept (tahajjud time)–the time for true lovers of Allah to stand with their beloved.

The Reality of Sincerity, its Manifestation in Consistency, and its Consequence

Sincerity is to seek Allah Most High alone in one’s actions. This meaning is manifest in consistently–as it affirms that one acts for the sake of Allah whether one have the inclination to or not; and it manifests the trueness of one’s yearning for Allah.

Consistency also strengthens one’s resolve to seek Allah; makes one’s efforts add up; changes the heart, polishes it, and directs it towards Allah. And if one’s seeking becomes consistent, then one will surely find Allah–and attain unto His closeness, love, and presence.

Walking to Allah and Allah Rushing to You

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) related that Allah Most High says, “I am as My servant thinks of Me. And I am with them when they remember Me. And, by Allah, Allah rejoices more in the repentance of His servant than when one of you finds their lost property in a vast space. Whoever draws close to Me by a handspan, I draw close to them by an arm’s length; and whoever draws close to Me by an arm’s length, I draw close to them by two arm’s lengths; and whoever directs themselves to Me walking, I direct Myself to them running.” [Muslim, from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him); Bukhari mentions it with similar wording]

This means that anything the one does of the good for the sake of Allah is magnified in its reward and spiritual consequence–and that when one’s directing oneself to Allah becomes consistent and true, then Allah rushes to one by granting His closeness, love, beholding, and concern. [Ayni, Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, and others]
Imam Ahmad relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that Allah Most High says, “O child of Adam! Stand up for Me, and I will walk towards you. Walk towards Me, and I will rush towards you.” [Ahmad, Musnad, with a rigorously authenticated (sahih) chain of narrators according to Imam Mundhiri, in his Targhib ]

May Allah make us of the people of sincerity, consistency, trueness in turning to Allah–and of those whom Allah accepts, turns to, loves, draws close, and grants His spiritual beholding, such that we worship, submit, and live “as though we behold Him,” with every step and breath expended on the footsteps of His Beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his folk).

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

[Quote of Imam Haddad itself from: Ashrafiyya, with thanks.]

The Virtues of the Voluntary Prayer at Home

Understanding Virtue through the Prophetic Teachings (Lesson Twenty-One): In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz discusses the virtues of praying while in ones home. Jabir ibn Abd Allah (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If one of you prays at your mosque, then leave a share of your prayer for your home, for Allah (Mighty and Majestic) has placed good in one’s prayer at home.” [Muslim (778)]

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