The Prophet’s Smile – Shaykh Amin Buxton

Every year in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, we should come to know our Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, a little better. In this series, the Prophet’s Smile, we try to do this by looking at the things that brought a smile to his blessed face and at times made him laugh.

By studying his characteristics, we gain insight into the things he talked and thought about, and into the beauty of his character. By knowing more about him, we hope to increase in love for him. We also hope to gain his love and pleasure, which cannot be separated from the love and pleasure of Allah Most High.

His Blessed Smile

There are many accounts of companions describing his smile. Sayyiduna al-Husayn asked his father, Sayyiduna Ali,peace be upon them both, to describe how the Messenger of Allah was with his Companions. He said: “He was always cheerful and smiling, gentle in character.”

The commentators say that this does not negate the fact that he is also described as being constantly in a state of sadness, out of concern for the wellbeing of his nation. Outwardly he was cheerful, but his inner state was one of sadness.

Sayyiduna Ali went on to say that the Prophet  would laugh at the same things his Companions would laugh at, and would marvel at the things which they marvelled at. He did this to make them feel comfortable and at ease.

One of the Companions said that he had never seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah.
Another narrates that since he became Muslim, the Prophet  would always smile at him when he met him.

Several narrations tell us that “his laugh was his smile”or that “most of his laughter was smiling”, which is understood to mean that generally he would smile when amused and only rarely would he actually laugh out loud. The same applies to the Prophet Sulayman, peace be upon him who smiles broadly in amusement at the words of the ant, as recounted in the following verse:

So [Sulayman] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.”(Sura Naml, 27:19)

Like A Piece of the Moon

When he was happy, the Prophet’s face would light up as brightly as a piece of the moon. When he opened his mouth to laugh, his teeth would shine as brightly as lightning and were as brilliantly white as hailstones. Imam al-Llahji says that this metaphor is appropriate because lightning strikes very quickly and the Prophet ﷺ would not keep his mouth open for more than an instant. Also lightning is followed by rain, which is a manifestation of Allah’s mercy, and the Prophet’s laughter would invariably be followed by a kind word or a gift or some other manifestation of his mercy.

Imam al-Busiri perfectly sums all this up in the Burdah:

أكرم بخلق نبيّ زانه خلق
بالحسن مشتمل بالبشر متّسم
How noble is the form of a Prophet whose character further adorns him
So full of beauty is he, so full of cheer.

كأنّما اللّؤلؤ المكنون في صدف
من معدني منطق منه ومبتسم
It is as if precious pearls protected in their shells
Poured forth from the treasury of his speech and smile.

Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London and became Muslim in 1999. He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London, and then enrolled at Dar al Mustafa in Tarim, Yemen. There he studied the sacred sciences under the supervision of Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

He has edited and translated a number of books which explain the Prophetic way such as Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and provides content for Muwasala. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in a number of educational initiatives around the UK, including the iSyllabus, and has taught at the SeekersHub Retreat.

Imam Haddad’s Letter to an Indian Prince – Shaykh Amin Buxton

Imam Abdullah al-Haddad was the renewer of the 12th Islamic century.  A scholar of the Islamic sciences, he was active in calling others to Allah. In this lecture, Shaykh Amin Buxton explores a letter written to a disciple of his who held a high position in an Indian royal court.

Leaders and Scholars

Shaykh Amin begins by taking us into the life of Imam Haddad. From a young age, he was drawn to remembrance of Allah, and would spend hours in prayer. He would have happily been a recluse, working on his relationship with the Divine, but he had a deep concern for the people around him. This led him to be a great figure in Islamic history.

The scholars, including Imam Haddad, had a complicated relationship with the leaders of their times. They were extremely concerned about not being corrupt or being influenced by wealth and power. Because of that, they would try their best to distance themselves from people of power. The tribe that Imam Haddad belonged to, the Ba ‘Alawi tribe, could have easily ruled over their part of Yemen, but they knew the dangers of that. In fact, one of the spiritual leaders of the Ba ‘Alawi, Faqih al-Muqaddam, broke his sword, saying “Our way is not the way of vying for power.”

However, when needed, the scholars would reach out to the leaders to advise them and guide them. This letter is such as example.

Imam Haddad’s Letter

Imam Haddad begins the letter by praising Allah for all His blessings, and by sending peace upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. He prays for the prince, whose name is Habash Khan, and praises him for the good things he is doing, encouraging him to continue his projects.

He then advises the prince about two matters:

The first matter is between a person and his Lord. Imam Haddad advises him to stay mindful of Allah, and remember Him with the tongue and the heart. He should also surrender his affairs to Allah, and seek His assistance in everything.

The second matter is between a person and the rest of Creation. Imam Haddad tells the prince to take care of his subjects, by extending both justice and kindness to them. Additionally, he should stop any oppression that may be occurring, while recognising the good actions that they do. He should also be regularly checking up on their well-being, while being patient if they mistreat him.

He finishes by praying that Allah helps the prince in all these affairs.

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The Radiant Intentions of the Pious by Habib Umar bin Hafiz

At gatherings of remembrance; before reading about the Prophet and his life (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the scholars traditionally make a number of intentions, followed by a recitation of Surat al-Fatihah; donating its reward to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the hope that their remembrance and their intentions are accepted.
Here are some of the intentions that Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) makes at these blessed gatherings. The original Arabic is also provided below.
We recite the Fatihah..
with the intention that Allah—by us remembering Him and remembering His Messenger, our Master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) and his birth and awesome attributes—opens the doors to attaining His support and assistance and guidance and to attaining uprightness and the speedy relief of the suffering of the Islamic Ummah..
with the intention that Allah deflects calamities from us and from all of the people of la ilaha ill’Allah in the East and the West..
with the intention that He grants us His guidance in all our movements and our stillness and that He makes us firm upon the truth in what we say, we do and we believe..
with the intention that He enables us to perfect our following of this Prophet, the Chosen One, Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) in our words and deeds and intentions and aims and desires and our movements and our stillness and in every state, inward and outward, and that He allows us to beautify our emulation of him and allows us to walk along his path and drink from the waters he has drunk from..
with the intention that by him (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) He looks upon us, our families, our children, those dear to us and our descendants and upon those who are attached to us..
with the intention that He fills our hearts with the light of faith and certainty and knowledge of Him.. that He makes us among those He has chosen to bring close to Him and among those He has blessed with the realities of sincere and pure slavehood to Him..
with the intention that He protects us from all harm and that He rectifies the inward and the outward, and that He allows us to attain the realities of taqwa..
with the intention that He makes the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) pleased with his Ummah and that He makes us, our families, our children and our friends a joy to his eye..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His remembrance and the remembrance of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His closeness and the closeness of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His love and the love of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His care and the care of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His pleasure and the pleasure of this Prophet, the Chosen One..inwardly and outwardly in every state and in every affair in this life, the Barzakh, the next life and that He gathers us together in the highest level of Firdaws while He is pleased with us.
with the intention that He gives us the greatest portion of being with him in the Barzakh and in the shade of the Throne and at the Pool and when he passes over the Bridge, and when he enters Paradise (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace).
with the intention that He rectifies our hearts and our bodies, our inward and our outward and all our affairs, that He deflects all evil from us..
with the intention that He raises the ranks of the pious people of this Ummah and all the pious people and that we receive the blessings of the Prophets and Messengers and their families and those that follow them with excellence and that He gives them the greatest of rewards on our behalf and that He unites us with them in the Abode of Mercy while He is pleased with us, without any prior punishment or reprimand or trial or account..
with the intention of removing the tribulations that have befallen us and all the Muslims inwardly and outwardly..
with the intention that Allah blesses us with the most noble of attributes and unites us with the best of groups and that He rectifies every affair inwardly and outwardly in this life and the next..
with the intention that he gives us the best of endings in goodness, gentleness and wellbeing..
with the intentions that the pious people have made and will make and all pious intentions that the knowledge of our Lord, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, encompasses for us and the whole Ummah..
We donate the reward of the Fatihah to the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) – al-Fatihah.
Please include the translator, Ustadh Amin Buxton (Allah preserve him and his teachers, and benefit us by them), in your prayers.

الفاتحة أن الله يفتح لنا بذكره وذكر رسوله النبي سيدنا محمد صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم وذكر مولده الكريم وشمائله العظيمة أبواب التأييد والنصرة والتسديد والاستقامة والفرج العاجل لجميع أمة الإسلام وأن يدفع البلاء عنا وعن أهل لا إله إلا الله في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها، وأن يلهمنا رشدنا في حركاتنا وسكناتنا وأن يثبتنا على الحق فيما نقول وفيما نفعل وفيما نعتقد وأن يرزقنا حسن المتابعة لهذا النبي المصطفى محمد صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم في الأقوال والأفعال والنيات والمقاصد والإرادات والحركات والسكنات في جميع الأحوال والشؤون في الظهور والبطون، وأن يرزقنا سبحانه وتعالى حسن الاقتداء به والسير في دربه والشرب من شربه، وأن ينظر به صلى الله عليه وسلم إلينا وإلى أهلينا وإلى أولادنا وإلى ذوينا وإلى ذرارينا وإلى من يوالينا وأن يملأ قلوبنا بأنوار الإيمان واليقين والمعرفة، وأن يجعلنا سبحانه وتعالى ممن ارتضاهم الله لقربه وشرفهم بحقائق العبودية له المحضة الخالصة، وأن يقينا الأسوى، ويصلح لنا السر والنجوى ويحققنا بحقائق التقوى، وأن يسره صلى الله عليه وسلم في أمته وأن يجعلنا سبحانه وتعالى وأهلينا وأولادنا وأصحابنا قرة عين له ويجعلنا من أسعد الناس بذكره وذكر هذا النبي المصطفى ومن أسعد الناس بقربه وقرب هذا النبي المصطفى ومن أسعد الناس بحبه وحب هذا النبي المصطفى ويجعلنا من أسعد الناس بعنايته وعناية هذا الحبيب المصطفى ويجعلنا من أسعد الناس برضاه ورضا هذا الحبيب المصطفى صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم ظاهراً وباطناً في كل شأن وحال في الدنيا والبرزخ والآخرة وأن يجمعنا به في الفردوس الأعلى وهو راضٍ عنا ويجعل لنا سبحانه الحظ الأوفر من الاجتماع به في البرزخ والاجتماع به في ظل العرش والاجتماع به على الحوض المورود والاجتماع به عند المرور على الصراط والاجتماع به عند دخول الجنة صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم، وأن الله يصلح قلوبنا وقوالبنا وظواهرنا وبواطننا وشؤوننا كلها، وأن يدفع عنا الشرور كلها ويعلي درجات الصالحين من أمته وجميع الصالحين ويعيد علينا عوائد النبيين والمرسلين وآل كل منهم وتابعيهم بإحسان ويجزيهم عنا خير الجزاء ويجمعنا بهم في مستقر الرحمة وهو راضٍ عنا من غير سابقة عذاب ولا عتاب ولا فتنة ولا حساب وبنية كشف البلايا عنا وعن جميع المسلمين في الظواهر والخفايا وأن يهبنا الله أعلى المزايا ويلحقنا بخيار السرايا ويصلح لنا كل الشأن ظاهراً وباطناً في الدارين ويختم لنا بأكمل الحسنى في خير ولطف وعافية وعلى ما نواه الصالحون وعلى ما ينويه الصالحون وعلى ما أحاط به علم ربنا الله الرحمن الرحيم من صالح النيات لنا وللأمة أجمعين وإلى حضرة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم . الفاتحة