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Qasidah with Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad

Beautiful recording of a number of qasidas, with Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad.

Truly God’s Gift to the World – Should Such a Thing be Celebrated? By Jihad Hashim Brown

Shaykh Jihad Brown

The blessings of Allah are so many. They are humanly innumerable:

 

The Vastness of the Prophet’s Knowledge and Light – from Mulla Ali al-Qari’s Commentary on Busiri’s Burda translated by Shaykh Gibril Haddad

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Translated by Shaykh Gibril Haddad
“The fact that ‘the knowledge of the Tablet and the Pen is but part of his sciences’ consists in that his sciences are multifarious, including universals and particulars, hidden matters and minutiae, subtle wisdoms and arcane sciences pertaining to the Essence and the Attributes, whereas the science of the Tablet and the Pen are a mere few lines (sutur) among the lines of his knowledge and a mere river from the seas of his knowledge.
Then, in addition to this, it is from the blessing of his existence according to the report that was said to be transmitted: ‘The first thing Allah created is my light,’ that is, He looked at it with a gaze of majesty, so it cleaved in two, and from its two halves were created the two worlds.
This [light] is what is meant by the Pen, hence the transmitted report: ‘The first thing Allah created is the Pen,’ so there is no contradiction. The upshot is: this world and the next are after-effects (aathaar) of your existence and generosity, and whatever appeared out of the Pen and onto the Tablet is from the secrets of your wisdoms and the lights of your sciences.”

Source: Manuscript of al-Qari’s commentary on the Burda entitled al-Zubda fi Sharh al-Burda, copied in the hand of the musnid Sayyid Muḥammad Ṣaliḥ al-Khatib al-Dimashqi (also containing al-Qari’s two treatises on the Mawlid), folios 54b-55a.

Some resources on the Burda, and Love of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):
Love Of The Prophet And Following His Example – Shaykh Gibril Haddad
Steps in the Path of Love of the Prophet
Qasida Burda in Praise of the Prophet Muhammad – Sh. Diya video
Qasida Burda from Indonesia
Imam Bajuri’s Commentary on Some Verses from the Burda
Praising the Prophet (Upon him be peace) at Dar al Mustafa

Winter’s Spring – The Miracles of Rabi al-Awwal – by Sidi Yousaf Seyal

 

by Sidi Yousaf Seyal, Zaytuna College Student and Seeker of Knowledge

It is finally that time of the year again – Rabi al-Awwal, the birth month of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (may God’s prayers and peace be upon him). It is in this month that the Muhammadin light was brought forth to this world to restore the original purity of mankind, the worship of One Deity alone.

Upon his birth, the Muhammadin light manifested so powerfully that it enlightened the heavens and extinguished the great fire of Persia, a fire that had not cooled for a thousand years! His birth was a sign in itself, a sign that indicated his uniqueness and greatness. Because his birth was a sign, everything about him was too. His mere presence attracted those around him and his speech was inspired by God Himself. Only the ignorant and arrogant were blinded to the light of God in him; the light of ‘La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah’.

Prophetic Mercy

However, it is important to note that the Muhammadin light did not dull after his passing. It was carried on by his Companions and those who came after them until this day. His light was mercy, a universal mercy shining onto every creature, world, and realm; therefore, his light was preserved for mankind to benefit from until the end of time. Because this light still remains, so do his signs. His light, mercy, and signs are carried by those who have sacrificed the pleasures of this limited world for the limitless pleasures of the next by treading the Muhammadin path, a path seeking both the love of God and His Prophet; these are the awliya – the friends of God.

Heirs of the Beloved Prophet

I have found through my own personal reflection that the special property of the Prophet was mercy. The heirs of the Prophet inherit Prophetic properties; therefore, the heirs of the Prophet are merciful. To confirm this, God says in respect to the Prophet: “And we have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds” (Quran 21:107), and the Prophet said: “…the religious scholars are the heirs of the prophets” (Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and others). It has also been said, “Whoever wishes to see the gatherings of the Prophet, then he should look towards the gathering of the saints”.

Reflections

A few interesting things have struck me this Winter’s Spring:

dew-1-1396984-mRabi’ in Arabic means ‘spring’. This year, Rabi’ al-Awwal came around in the heart of winter, and the Prophet said, “Winter is the spring of the believer…”. We know that crops and fruit come to life in the spring, whereas the winter is deprived of such blossom and plantation. It is as if this month is speaking to us and saying, “The Prophetic mercy is universal for all times and places. Sending prayers upon him is like nourishing a plant that grows throughout every season, and its roots only go weak when it is no longer nourished with his remembrance. Continue to remember him regardless of your circumstance and situation for indeed, his remembrance will only bring you light and life.”

2) The first day of Rabi’ al-Awwal fell right after the first day of New Year’s Day. This is a reminder that our new year should begin with the remembrance of the first of creation, the Prophet, as he himself said: “I was created whilst Adam was still between water and dirt.” Let us commit ourselves to sending an abundance of prayers upon him this year.

3) Interestingly, it snowed on the first day of Rabi’ al-Awwal. As we all know, rain is a sign of acceptance and mercy, and prayers are answered during the time of rain. The Prophetic mercy is a type of rain that exceeds beyond the earth and extends into the heavens.

Revisit the Sirah

Many, if not all, of my teachers have advised me to read a book on the Prophetic biography and characteristics in this month. If this is difficult, then at the very least, every one of us should increase prayers upon the Beloved Prophet. Sending prayers upon the Beloved Prophet brings ease to the mind and joy to the heart. Most virtuously, the Beloved Prophet himself replies to the one who prays upon him; this alone should suffice for the true lover.

Closing Supplications

May Allah instill in us love of His Beloved Prophet, may He bestow us with knowledge of him, and may He allow us to embody his character in all of our affairs. May we be close to the Beloved Prophet in this world and in the next! O God, do not deprive us of meeting with him on the Day of Rising, grant us his intercession, allow us to drink from his river, enter us into the Gardens with him, and grant us a place near him in Paradise. Let him be happy with us, allow us to honor him in all of our affairs, and make us his heirs. O God, embody our internal state with ‘La ilaha illa Allah’ and our external state with ‘Muhammad Rasul Allah’.

And God knows best.

Merry Mawlid!

The MicroMolvi,
Yousaf Seyal

Chicago Mawlid – Rabi’ul Awwal 2011 Playlist – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Shaykh Samer al-Nass

Chicago Mawlid – Rabi’ul Awwal 2011 Playlist

Videos: The Honor and Rank of the Prophet Muhammad (S) by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Videos: The Honor and Rank of the Prophet Muhammad (S) by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

The Chicago Mawlid Committee holds a mawlid in remembrance and celebration of the Prophet once a month. In this blessed month, Rabi al-Awwal, we are also hosting a special program with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, who will be reading a work that summarizes forty distinctive virtues and characteristics of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). We pray that, through this session, we are infected with a desire to continue learning about our Beloved Messenger, and that Allah continue to increase us in love for Him and His Prophet.

See Also:

Chicago Mawlid Committee

ADVICE: Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger – Habib Umar

ADVICE: Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger – Habib Umar

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Please benefit from and share the following Rabi’ al-Awwal advice recently delivered by Sayyidi Habib Umar and translated by Ustadh Amin Buxton (Allah preserve and increase him and his teachers).

May Allah Most High bless us with remembrance of Him and His Beloved (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in this noble month, make us amongst those who are mentioned in His Presence, and bless our hearts with noble intentions that raise us to the ranks of those beloved to Him.

Welcoming Rabi` al-Awwal
By Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger

Sayyidi al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) said (Mawlid, Dar al-Mustafa, 3rd Rabi` al-Awwal/ 26th January 2012):

The new moon of Rabi` al-Awwal has appeared, the month in which Allah brought forth His best
and perfect slave, His Chosen One, His Beloved, The Most Noble of the First and the Last in the
sight of the Lord of the Worlds. His uncle `Abbas addressed him at the end of his life, on their
return from Tabuk, his last expedition, with the following verse:

When you were born the earth and the horizons were illuminated by your light
We remain bathed in that glow and it continues to light the path as we travel it

Every mawlid composed later is merely echoing what the Companions said to the Chosen One.
They were the first people to celebrate the mawlid.

Our Master `Isa will descend to the earth and you will see how he will be ennobled by following
Muhammad. Any of you that are with him at that time will see how he mentions the Master of
Creation. His heart and the hearts of those present will be filled with veneration when they
mention his name. He knows our Master Muhammad better than us, for  a Prophet knows a
Prophet. No member of this nation knows him in the way that the Spirit of Allah.

They said this openly: “All that we knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

This is how the Master of the Followers, Uways al-Qarani, addressed the greatest of the
Companions, our Masters `Umar and `Ali, who knew the Beloved better than anyone. He said:
“All that you knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

They said: “True, all that we knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

Direct your hearts to attain His pleasure and a portion of His gifts. In every day and night there
are gifts, and in every month, and in this month in particular. You attain these gifts according to
your connection to the one who taught us, the unique one. Take a portion of his vast, noble,
priceless teachings, with sincere desire, to attain the reality of:

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers.
(Al-Tawbah, 9:62)

Strive in this noble month to please the Chosen One, seeking to please Allah. Please him with
your intentions, your ambitions, your words and deeds. Allah is pleased with those that praise
his Prophet, those that venerate His Prophet, those that support His Prophet. He is pleased with
that which pleases the Prophet.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

You have spent so much of your time and thoughts seeking to please yourself, your family, your
relatives and your friends. This may have caused you to travel from one country to another.
Have you sought the pleasure of the Beloved? How much do you think about this? How much do
you worry about this? How far have you travelled seeking his pleasure? How much hardship
have you borne? How much have you sacrificed? There is nothing on the earth or in this life
whose pleasure is more worthy of seeking than Muhammad.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

According to your faith you strive to please  Allah’s Beloved.  Seek his pleasure! When the
Companions saw that he was pleased, when his face shone with happiness, they said: “It was
more beloved to us than red camels.” Nothing was harder for them to bear than seeing him
angry, seeing the vein between his blessed eyes swell up.

Look for the true meaning of seeking his pleasure in this month. You won’t find it on the satellite
channels. Seek it from its source, connect to the light of his message. This will show you how to
seek his pleasure, in which is the pleasure of the Most High. If  you have in your heart an
attribute which does not please him, then strive to rid your heart of it. He is not pleased with
arrogance, so do not be content to show arrogance, even to inanimate objects, let alone animals
or humans, for the Lord of all things dislikes you doing this.

Seek it by giving life to the sunnah in your house in Rabi` al-Awwal! If your family are heedless of
Allah between Maghrib  and `Isha, joking or watching TV  then bring to life the sunnah of
venerating this time. Teach them at home at this time. If they are young teach them the Arabic
letters so that they are connected to the Qur’an. If they are older, go over with them the Qur’an
they have memorised.

If the sunnah of seeking forgiveness before Fajr is absent, bring it to life in Rabi` al-Awwal. Let
there be at least one person seeking forgiveness before Fajr in the house, one person saying to
the Oft-Forgiving “forgive me!” at the time which Allah loves for people to seek His forgiveness,
at the time when delegations came to the door of the Bestower.

If no-one in the house prays in congregation then teach your wife, your sister, your daughter to
only pray in congregation. Bring life to these sunnahs. Remove anything that displeases your
Lord from your house, anything that displeases your Prophet, audio or visual. Let the house be
filled in Rabi` with the remembrance of the Beloved, with the mention of his attributes, his life,
his birth. You will be enlightened and so will your family.

Allah bless the people of good who are striving in the East and West,  the people who are
remembering and reciting the mawlid, for they are the keys to removing tribulation. People
raising their voices with the remembrance of Allah and His Messenger in their houses, in the
mosques and in the streets causes hardships to be relieved. So many Muslim groups have lost
the way. They do not know how to rectify themselves or those around them. They do not seek it
from the door that Allah has opened:

Allah will not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves. (Al-Ra`d, 13:11)

Let us change what is in our selves. Let us make our children feel that Rabi` al-Awwal has
entered, and that it is connected to the Beloved. Make them feel that their lives are founded
upon loving him, venerating him and following him. This is the foundation of the whole religion.
May Allah grant you strong ambition and high intentions! May the end of the month not come
before some of the rays of the Beloved’s light bring some relief to the suffering of the Muslims.

O Lord, bless us in this month. Bless us in our remembrance of You and Your Messenger. Make
us amongst those who are mentioned in Your presence, and amongst those who are mentioned
in his presence.  Bless our hearts with noble intentions that raise us to the ranks of those
beloved to You, so that we on the Day of Judgement we are with those that you mentioned:

The Day on which Allah will not humiliate the Prophet and those who believe with him.

Make us with him, and our families, our children, our friends, our neighbours, our students.

Their light will run before them and by their right hands, while they say: “O Lord, perfect our
light for us, and forgive us, for You have power over all things.”
(Al-Tahrim,  66:8)

If anyone has anything in their heart that prevents them from seeking Your pleasure and Your
Messenger’s pleasure then remove it  so that they prefer You and Your Messenger over
everyone else.  So that when we sleep tonight nothing is more beloved to us than You and Your
Messenger. Increase us in love tomorrow and in the coming days until we meet You, O Most
Generous!

Mawlid with Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Samir al-Nass and Birmingham Munshids

Mawlid with Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Samir al-Nass and Birmingham Munshids

“This is one of the most beautiful, passionate, and most deeply spiritual renditions of Imam Busiri’s Burda I have ever heard.” -Faraz Rabbani.

In rememberance of the Prophet, peace be upon him, his family and companions, with Shakyh Samir al-Nass, Imam Zaid Shakir, Munaqib Nasheed Group. Thursday 28th August 2011 during the Summer Retreat 2011 for Traditional Halaqa

Shaykh Samir al-Nass was born in Damascus, Syria, where he studied at the College of Medicine of the University of Damascus.  He went on to study in the United States where he qualified in internal medicine.

The Shaykh has studied under some of the great ‘ulama of the Levant (Shaam) and the Arabian peninsula.  He has a traditional license to teach (ijazah) in the ten styles of recitation of the narration of the Shatibiyyah and the Durra from Shaykh Muhammad Sukkar.  He received an ijazah in the ten styles of recitation of the narration of Tayyibah from the Egyptian Shaykh Ahmad Mustafa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, himself a student of Shaykh Abd al-Aziz al-Zayyat of Egypt.  Shaykh Samir has a traditional license to teach (ijazah) in Islamic law (fiqh) and theology and creed (‘aqida) from the previous Mufti of Syria, Shaykh Abu Yusr Ibn `Abidin, Shaykh Lutfi al-Fayumi, and the late Hanafi Mufti, Shaykh Adib al-Kallas.

Shaykh Samir was honoured to study hadith in Mecca with the great Indonesian-Meccan Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani, and with Shaykh Nur ud-din `Itr of Syria.  He also has an ijazah in Prophetic traditions (hadith) from the late Shaykh `Abd Allah Siraj al-Din of Aleppo,  Syria.

Shaykh Samir is presently a teacher in the al-Fatih al-Islami University in Damascus, teaching the Hanafi fiqh manual Al-Hidayah in the department of Islamic Law (Shariah), and lecturer on the ten recitations of the Qur’an in the MA programme. The Shaykh teaches Qur’anic recitation (tajwid) after fajr prayers daily in the blessed mosque of Shaykh Ibn `Arabi, a post given to him by his Shaykh and father-in-law, one of the illustrious Shaykhs of Quran in the Levant (Sham), the late Shaykh Muhammad Sukkar. Shaykh Samir has been teaching at various Islamic studies intensive courses in England and North America since 2000.

See Also:

Upcoming Traditional Halaqa Winter Retreat 2011

The Mantle Adorned – Translation of Imam Busiri’s Burda by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

The Burda of al Busiri: The Fez Singers & translations 3CD SET + Book

Remembering the Prophet: Brief Explanation of a line from Habib Umar’s Mawlid

Remembering the Prophet: Brief Explanation of a line from Habib Umar’s Mawlid

Special thanks to Ebrahim and Nausheen Omar for their transcription of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s talk.

Remembering the Prophet: Brief Explanation of a line from Habib Umar’s Mawlid from Faraz Rabbani on Vimeo.

Remembering the Prophet: A Brief Explanation of a Line from Habib Umar’s Mawlid

Bismillahir Rahmaan Ar-Raheem

In the Mawlid that we read, there is one line that I wanted to remind myself of, and all of us:

By Allah! Repeat the mention of the attributes, the traits, the description, the characteristics, of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), so that you can remove from your heart the rust that affects it by one’s worldly distractions.

This is particularly important for us, living as we do in an age of heedlessness in which few are those who are thinking of God in society. Even our day-to-day activities have become bereft of the mention of God. The Rope of Allah (Most High) in that is the remembrance of Allah and the connection with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). One of the things that we should do, as Sayyidna Habib ‘Umar mentioned, is to repeat regularly the mention of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in your life in many ways.

Send Frequent Blessings upon the Messenger

The first way is to send frequent blessings upon him (peace and blessings be upon him). We should each ask ourselves, how often do we mention the Prophet by day and by night? If you had a friend named Jack, and he was in love with Jill. You ask Jack when the last time he mentioned or thought about Jill. If he said he didn’t remember her today, you would doubt he really loved her. How often do we think about the Prophet? To keep doing that is to make a commitment to regularly remember the Prophet and send blessings upon him (peace and blessings be upon him).

One of the practical things that the ‘Ulama mention in that is to have a regular form by which one sends blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). A form that many of the ‘Ulama have encouraged is one that is very short and light on the tongue:

Allahumma Salli ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa Aalihi Wasallim

(O Allah! Send Your Blessings upon our Master Muhammad and his folk and grant peace).

When we say wa Aalihi we intend specifically his own family, but we also intend with it the family of faith, because the Aal of someone is both their family but also everyone who has turned to him. So we intend to send blessings on the family of the Prophet, but it also includes within it the mention of the Companions, and all the followers until the end of time.

As mentioned earlier, this is light on the tongue so it can be repeatedly mentioned during the day and night – for example whilst waiting for the computer to boot up.

Learn about the Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

If we claim love for the Prophet, we should ask, what do we know about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)? Do we know how he looked? Do we know about his habits, how he lived his life (peace and blessings be upon him)?

So what Habib ‘Umar is telling us here is to repeat regularly the mention of the characteristics of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The practical thing in that is that everyday, just as we should be reading the Qur’an, there should be something of the Prophetic person, example, or teachings that one should be reading everyday. Even if it’s just one page from a book about the Prophet, by the end of the year you will probably have finished it. Ten years will have passed and you would have read ten books on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

A Recommended Book

One of the greatest ever books written about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has recently been translated into English, which is a book by Shaykh ‘Abdallah Sirajuddin called Sayyidna Muhammad Rasulullah translated as ‘Our Master Muhammad.’ It is very well translated, and it is one of the most beautiful books in praise of the Prophet, describing how he was, his person, character, conduct, and his teachings (peace and blessings be upon him). It is dripping with love of the beloved Prophet.

I had a Saudi friend who told me that a friend of his was wondering for a while about how to learn more about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). One night in his dream he saw the Prophet, and so he asked the blessed Prophet, “Ya Rasulullah, how do I learn more about you?’

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to him, “If you want to know about me, then read the book Sayyidna Muhammad Rasulullah by Shaykh ‘Abdallah Sirajuddin.”

This book was banned in Saudi, so he asked the beloved Prophet where to find it as he has never heard of it. In the dream he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say, “Go to Halab, and you will find it.”

This man never knew who Shaykh ‘Abdallah Sirajuddin was, or what this book was. He went to Halab and he found out about the book; he read it and it transformed his life.

Similarly, one of my teachers, a Halabi himself Shaykh Muhammad Qaylish, mentioned, ‘I used to be a common person. I was 15 or 16 and I read this book and it transformed me. I used to take this book after ‘Isha, lock my door and sit under the light, and I used to read and cry in yearning for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). I used to cry in love for the Prophet. I used to cry out of my sense of distance from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). I would cry at the beauty of this man (peace and blessing be upon him). I would cry at how far I was from his radiant example. Those tears melted how I was, and it transformed me.”

Shaykh Muhammad Qaylish, when I met him, was in his early twenties, and he was truly a remarkable man. It is as Imam Busiri said, ‘By the mention of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), do hearts come to life and sins and errors are forgiven and cast off. And I long that I live through him, content and successful, and that I meet him and have no burdens upon me. A Prophet, perfected in his qualities, until he was called the Beloved.”

We should really reflect on that, because Allah Most High has told us:

Verily you have in the Messenger of Allah the most beautiful of examples, for whoever seeks Allah and the Last Day.

Appreciate and emulate the Prophetic Example

We should really strive to appreciate that beauty of the Prophetic example, and reflect on it so that we can make our lives, worship, conduct and character beautiful, so that we can be of those who truly seek Allah and the Last Day. The key to that is to make much remembrance of Allah. When we send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), it is of the greatest of Remembrance of Allah because Allah has Commanded us to send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). But the Believer realises that we can’t do anything to repay the debt we owe to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Sidi Abdul Nawulsi said, “I am just like a flash of light from the Chosen One.” Anything of good that you have in your life, anything of guidance, anything of blessing, it is just like one flash of light from the light of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). So we don’t send blessings upon the Prophet, although we have been Commanded to. Rather, we consign the matter to Allah – “O Allah send Your Blessings on our master Muhammad”

May Allah Most High make us of those who remember Him much, through sending blessings on His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), who can reflect so deeply on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that we can say, as many of the greatest Imams of Islam, early and late said, “Were the Prophet veiled from me for more than a moment, I would not count myself as one of the Believers.” Many of the great Awliya said that, because they were in constant Seeking of Allah Most High. If you are true with Seeking Allah, then you take the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as your constant exemplar and the one you are looking up to at every moment, and whose light reflects in your person, conduct and character.

AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER: The Obligation to Love the Prophet (PBUH) and the Significance of Sending Prayers Upon Him | Nur Sacred Sciences

AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER: The Obligation to Love the Prophet (PBUH) and the Signifance of Sending Prayers Upon Him | Nur Sacred Sciences

It is reported that the Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “None of you truly believe until I have become more beloved to him than his father, his children and all of humankind.”  The Messenger of God (PBUH) also said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities has tasted the sweetness of faith: the one for whom God and His Messenger are dearer than anything else,  [one] who loves a person and he loves him solely for God’s sake, and [one] who hates to revert to a state of disbelief as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”

In another hadith it is narrated, “We were with the Prophet and he took the hand of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab. ‘Umar said to Him, “O Messenger of God, you are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) until I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then ‘Umar said to him, “By God, it is now that you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet said, “Now, O ‘Umar.”

As demonstrated in these hadiths and many others similar to it, loving the Messenger of God (PBUH) is a condition of faith (imān) and an indication of its genuineness.  This love engenders sincerity in our efforts to follow his (PBUH) example, facilitates the application of his (PBUH) teachings in our daily lives, and enables us to remain steadfast in walking on his (PBUH) straight path (al-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm), under the Prophetic banner.

Ḥasan al-Baṣrī relates that a group of individuals claimed to love God and so God tested their love by revealing the verses: “Say if you love God, then follow me and God will love you and forgive your sins [al-ʿImrān: 31].”  Al-Junayd said, “No one has reached God except through God.  And the path to reaching God is following the Chosen One (PBUH) (al-Muṣtafa).”  “Reaching God” (al-wuṣūl ilā Allāh) means, attaining a state in which God is pleased (marḍātillāh) with one.  It is based on this perspective that the Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “All of my community will enter Paradise except those who refuse.”  It was asked, “O Messenger of God, who refuses?”  He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter Heaven.  Whoever disobeys me has refused.”[1]

It is not possible for an individual to bring about a profound transformation of on an entire community as long as the members of that community do not feel a sense of love and respect for the one leading this change, as well as a willingness to accept his instructions and carry out his orders.  No amount of wealth or power can persuade a community to posses this sort of love, respect, and loyalty.  It is only a superior level of good character and refinement of the soul, as that possessed by our Prophet (PBUH), which can engender these emotions.

Indeed, the Prophet (PBUH) was not a wealthy or powerful figure who exercised his authority through force.  In fact, he lacked the material means that would have enabled him to have such power over men.  He used to tell his people in the words of the Qur’an, “Say, ‘I do not tell you I have the treasures of God, and I do not know the unseen.  And I do not tell you that I am an angel.  I only follow what has been revealed to me [al-Anʿām: 50].’”  Despite this fact, his Companions followed his commands and emulated his model to an extent that was unprecedented in the history of humanity.  The reason for this is clear and simple.  It is that the Messenger of God g was the object of their intense love for the sake of God.  History has not known a man who has overwhelmed hearts through his majesty and the nobility of his spirit as did the Messenger of God (PBUH).  His Companions used to say to him, “We do not say to you what the people of Mūsā said to Mūsā: ‘Go, you and your Lord and fight.  We are here leading [the way].  We fight on your right, on your left, in front of you, and behind you.”  As later proven by events, these were not mere empty words.  The Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) underwent the most excruciating difficulties and tests in which they demonstrated the sincerity of their commitment.  They sacrificed their lives, wealth, and family bonds for the sake of their faith to an extent that was never seen again after their era.

Examples of the Love of the Companions for Messenger of God (PBUH) in the Sīra

It is reported that in the battle of Uḥud, when attacking the Prophet (PBUH) the enemy forced him to fall into a ditch and his life was then endangered.  There was no way to save him from this situation except that a wall of human bodies was formed around the ditch.  The Companions competed with each other to do this.  They stood around the ditch and exposed themselves to the arrows of the enemy who sought to destroy this human fortress while another group extracted the Prophet (PBUH).  As a result, they were unable to cause any further harm to the Prophet (PBUH).  As the bodies of this human fortress would fall one after another, new men would rush to replace them.  May God’s mercy be upon all of them who taught us the true essence of loyalty and love for the Messenger (PBUH) through their actions.

Similarly, it is reported that a woman from the Anṣār came out after hearing that her father, brother, and husband had been slain on the Day of Uḥud.  She said, “What has happened to the Messenger of God?”  They said, “[He is] well.  Thanks be to God, he is as you would like him [to be].”  She said, “Show him to me so that I may look at him.”  After seeing him she said, “Every calamity after your [safety] is insignificant.”

When the pagans took Zayd b. Dathna (RA) out to execute him after he had been one of their prisoners, Abū Sufyān b. Ḥarb (he was still a pagan at this time) said, “I summon you by God O Zayd.  Would you prefer that Muḥammad was in your place today so that we execute him [instead] while you are with your family, safe from getting killed?”  Zayd h said to him, “By God, I would not wish for the Prophet to get pricked with a thorn in the place that he currently is [in exchange] for me to be sitting with my family.”  Abū Sufyān said, “By God, I did not see anybody who loves another person the way the Companions of Muḥammad love Muḥammad.”  Some reports state that this question was posed to Khubayb b. ʿAdī who replied, “I would not wish that a thorn prick his foot so that I may be saved.”[2]

The intense devotion of the Companions to the commands of the Messenger of God (PBUH) is also depicted in the incident of the “three who remained behind” from the battle of Tabūk.  When the Muslims were ordered not to speak to these three individuals, there was not a single person in the community who disobeyed, neither openly nor discretely.  As they would later recollect in their own words, the city became a ghost town for them in which there was not a single soul who would acknowledge their presence or return their greetings.

The Companions for the Prophet (PBUH) represented a model example of individuals for whom the God and His Messenger had become dearer to them than anything in their world and they became the ultimate manifestation of the reality of this love.  When ʿAlī (RA) was asked what their love for the Messenger (PBUH) was like he answered, “The Messenger of God (PBUH) was more beloved to us than our wealth, our children, our fathers and our mothers.  He was more beloved to us than cold water during intense thirst.”

ʿUrwa b. Masʿūd al-Thaqafī said to the pagans after negotiating with Prophet (PBUH) during Ḥudaybiya, “O people, by God I have served as a representative to kings.  I have been a representative to the Caesar, Kisra, and Najāshī.  By God, I have absolutely never seen a king whose people venerate him the way the Companions of Muḥammad venerate Muḥammad.  He does not spit except that it lands in the hand of one of them who rubs it on his face and his skin.  If he commands them, they race to fulfill his command.  If he makes ablutions, they fight with each other for the remains of its water.  If they speak, they lower their voices in his presence.  And they do not gaze at him intently out of reverence for him.”[3]

The Companions also realized that the objective in loving the Messenger of God (PBUH) was not simply to experience delight in his presence or to possess an emotional bond with him, but rather this love had to be manifested in their actions through the practice of self-discipline, submission, and following his teachings.  This is best illustrated in the words of Saʿd b. Muʿādh h in which he spoke on behalf of himself and the Anṣār to the Prophet (PBUH) before the Battle of Badr saying, “I speak on behalf of the Anṣār and answer on their behalf.  Traverse wherever you please. Attach the ropes of whom you please and break the ropes of whom you please.  Take from our properties whatever you please and give us whatever you please.  It is dearer to us that you take from us than you give to us.  You will not command us except that we will fulfill your command.  By God, even if you set forth until you reached the far off corners of Yemen ( al-bark min al-ghimd) we will go with you.  Even if you set off to the ocean to cross it, we will cross it with you.[4] On the Day of Khandaq they were working while chanting:

نَحنُ الذِينَ بَايَعُوا مُحَمَّداً         على الإسلاَمِ َمابقِينَا أَبَداً

We are those who pledged allegiance to the Muḥammad

We will forever remain on [the path of] Islam

Indeed, the Companions’ love for the Messenger of God (PBUH) expanded their horizons, enlivened their hearts, and enriched their souls.  They were utterly transformed from mediocrity into men and women of distinction and nobility, the likes of which history had never witnessed before.  They would be remembered as “lions in the daytime and monks at night,” in allusion to the firmness of their commitment to carrying the Prophetic message during their days coupled with their intense worship in the late hours of the night.  They preferred God over themselves and were prepared to give up all of the delights of the world for His sake.  One of them would leave the side of his bride to meet his death while fighting injustice for the sake of God, and do so without any discontent.  Another would break ties with his family and tribe in a society deeply rooted in familial and tribal affiliations, for the sake upholding his religious beliefs.  The transformation of heart these men and women underwent would empower them to exchange physical blood ties for the spiritual ties of faith.

The reality of the love of the Messenger of God (PBUH) is that it mobilizes its possessor to do what is pleasing to God.  The greater the intensity of this love in its possessor’s heart, the greater is his ability to do good works and become close to God.  This is why Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq (RA) as a result of the intensity of his love for the Prophet (PBUH) and his rigor in fulfilling his commands, became the most distinguished and highest ranking Companion of the Prophet (PBUH).  The Messenger of God (PBUH) once said about him, “The most distinguished person in his companionship to me and his material [assistance] is Abū Bakr.  If I were to take an intimate friend [khalīl] from my community it would be Abū Bakr.”[5] Even ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb (RA) could not attain his rank.  He used to strive in competing with him until he said one day, “By God, I cannot ever surpass him in anything.”

The Significance of Prayers Upon the Messenger [Peace and Blessings be Upon Him]

One of the indications of love for the Prophet (PBUH) is being abundant in sending prayers and blessings upon him, since this is a form of remembrance and the one who loves a person will remember him frequently.  In fact, the Prophet (PBUH) reminded us of this and encouraged us to send prayers upon him (PBUH).  Anas b. Mālik (RA) reports that the Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “Who sends prayers upon me once, God sends ten prayers upon him, erases from him ten sins, and increases him by ten degrees.”[6] It has also been reported on the authority of Abū Ṭalḥā al-Anṣārī (RA) that “The Messenger of God (PBUH) came one day with a smile on his noble face.  So we said, ‘O Messenger of God we see a smile on your face!’  He (PBUH) said, ‘An Angel approached me and told me, ‘O Muḥammad, will it please you [to know] that God says that nobody sends prayers upon you from your community except that I send ten prayers upon him?  Neither does anybody from your community send blessings upon you except that I send ten blessing upon him.’”[7] It is reported on the authority of Aws b. Aws (RA) saying that the Messenger of God (PBUH) said, “The most superior of your days are Fridays…so be abundant in sending prayers upon me for your prayers are presented to me.”[8] It is also reported on the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās (RA), “Who forgets to send prayers upon me, will err in his path to Heaven.”[9]

But what is the true meaning of prayers upon the Messenger (PBUH)?  It is a renewal of our connection to him combined with praise and gratitude.  In other words, through sending prayers upon him, the believers supplicate to God that He grant their Prophet the best state of affairs and the utmost of goodness, in return for all that he has made possible for us from the fruits of faith and has struggled for our well being.

God has commanded us in the Qur’an to send prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH) and has informed us that God the most Exalted, Himself and His angels send prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH).  He has similarly informed us that He and His angels also send prayers upon the believers.  So, what is meant by all of this?

Among the results of God sending prayers on the believers is that they receive divinely granted success (tawfīq) and blessings in their endeavors.  It is also a source of support from God and removes one out of states of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety into a state of steadfastness, serenity, and light, all stemming from God’s mercy and his bounty.  This is indicated in the elements of the following verses:

33:43

33:44

“God is the One who sends prayers upon you, as do the angels, to bring you out of darkness into the light for God is merciful to the believers.  Their greeting on the day they meet God will be peace and God has arranged a generous reward for them, [al-Aḥzāb: 43-4].”

These bounties are multiplied for the people of steadfast belief (ahl al-īmān) when they are confronted with hardships and tests related to themselves and their wealth.  Their certainty (yaqīn) is not shaken nor is their spiritual bond with God weakened.  They turn in submission to God as mentioned in the verse:

2:157

“They are the ones upon whom are prayers from their Lord and mercy and they are the ones who are guided, [al-Baqara: 157].”

If the patient believer is granted all of this provision from God in times of difficulty, then how much more would a believer who is striving to instill the Prophetic teachings and has dedicated his life to this aspiration receive?  How much greater would the divine support and protection be for the one whose greatest concern is to guide himself and others to the service of God and his greatest pleasure is derived through worshipping Him?  This is the true meaning of the verse:

33:56

“God and His Angels send prayers upon the Prophet.  O you who believe, invoke prayers upon him and greet him with a salutation of peace (al-Aḥzāb: 56).”

Thus prayers upon him are an affirmation of his message and the struggle to pass it on.  In addition, these greetings of love and reverence both strengthen and reinforce our loyalty to the Prophet who brought this important message.  One’s prayers upon the Messenger are in essence, the adhesive that bonds the shepherd to his flock thus guiding men and women to follow the path of God through the model of His Prophet (PBUH) and to remain steadfast on this road until one’s last days.

Finally, the repetition of ornate phrases or eloquent wording is not conditional for sending prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH).  What has been transmitted to us from the clear and easy wordings of prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH) will suffice.  What is important is the internal realization of the perfection of the Prophet (PBUH) and the recognition of the immensity of his struggle through which he obliterated the darkness of disbelief and established the belief in the One God on the earth.

Hence, this is the true meaning of sending prayers upon the Prophet and the wisdom behind the many Qur’anic injunctions and Prophetic traditions that urge us to do so; of which we have only mentioned a few.

Let us finish by recalling the following hadith on the authority of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Samura (RA) saying that the Messenger of God (PBUH) came out one day and said, “Yesterday I saw [something] astonishing …I saw a man from my community who was dragging himself on the ṣirāṭ [bridge over hellfire in the hereafter] one time and crawling another time, then the prayers he sent upon me took him by the hand and made him firm on the ṣirāṭ until he crossed it.”  Also, Abū Hurayra (RA) reported saying, “The Messenge of God (PBUH) said: ‘Do not make your houses like graves and do not make my grave a place of celebration.  And send prayers upon me for your prayers reach me wherever you are.”[10]

Finally, it is reported that Abū Sulaymān al-Darānī said: “Whoever wishes to ask God for a need should be abundant in sending prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH).  Then he should ask for his need and close with sending prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH).  This is because God accepts the two prayers [upon the Prophet] and He is far too generous to ignore what is between them.”

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[1] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī : vol. vi/Kitāb Iʿtiṣām bi al-kitābi wa al-sunna 99, Bāb 2/h.6851

[2] Majmaʿ al-zawāʾid: vol. vi, p. 200.

[3] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: vol. ii, Kitāb al-shurūṭ 58-Bāb 15/h.2581.

[4] Sīrat Ibn Hishām: vol. ii/253, Dalāʾil al-nubuwwa li al-Bayhaqī: vol. iii/106.

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: vol.i, Abwāb al-masājid 11-Bāb 46/h.454.

[6] Sunan al-Nasāʾī: vol. ii, p. 50—Kitāb al-sahū-bāb al-faḍl fī al-ṣalāti ʿalā al-nabī.

[7] Sunan al-Nasāʾī: vol.iii, p. 44-Kitāb al-sahū faḍl al-taslīm ʿalā al-nabī

[8][8] Sunan al-Nasāʾi: vol.iii, p. 91—Kitāb al-sahū-ikthār al-ṣalātī ʿala al-nabī yawm al-jumuʿa.

[9] Sunan Ibn Māja: vol.i/Kitāb iqāmat al-ṣalāh 5—bāb 25/h. 908.

[10] Sunan Abū Dāwūd: vol.ii/Kitāb al-manāsik 5, bāb 100/h.2042.