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Welcome to Rabiʿ al-Awwal & the Virtues of Praising the Prophet ﷺ – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

* Originally published on the 11th of November 2018

Shaykh Faraz provides a welcome and introduction to Rabiʿ al-Awwal, the month of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), who is the means to our having every good. To introduce the series on the Great Praises of the Prophet from around the world, Shaykh Faraz explains why we praise the Prophet. He highlights praise of the Prophet and sending blessings on him as an expression of gratitude for the Prophet’s struggles on our behalf and his concern for us. Shaykh Faraz gives advice on how to renew one’s relationship with Allah’s Messenger in the month he was brought into this world. He closes by shedding light on some of the history behind praise of the Prophet, starting with the poetry composed by his own companions and family—while acknowledging that no poetry can fully capture the amazing reality of the Prophet.

Overcoming Greed, Opening Yourself To Gratitude, by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said reminds us that one of the worst attachments we have is to greed. It blinds us and incapacitates us. How did the men and women before us overcome this?

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in the Qur’an, in Surah Yusuf (3):  “Indeed We have related to you the most beautiful of stories…”
In these stories, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) speaks in the Qur’an about the Anbiya, the Saliheen and sometimes He also mentions the oppressors so that we may take from it a lesson for ourselves.
Also, by relating to us stories, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is telling and teaching us about human nature; and one of the worst attachments to our nature is greed.  Greed for money and more broadly, greed for loving and wanting everything, which can turn into jealousy and envy and can also cause undue stress.
In this regard, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us in the Qur’an the story of Ibrahim (alaih salam): a Nabi, standing in front of the oppressor king Nimrod, and in describing this meeting Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) and us in the Qur’an:  “Have you not considered the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord [merely] because Allah had given him kingship?”  (Surah Al-Baqarah, 258)
In this ayah, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is saying that He is the one that made Nimrod a king and gave him power, and Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gave kingship and power to someone who was a disbeliever.  But Ibrahim (alaih salam) was certain in his knowledge that in reality Nimrod was given nothing, as he was not given the gifts of iman, guidance and piety!
This are the Saliheen! They are lost in counting the blessings of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)!
Also, Nimrod did not only have kingship and power, but that power extended to having control over Ibrahim (alaih salam) as well, but it was Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) who gave Nimrod that power, and if there were to be any khayr in it, than it would have been given to Ibrahim (alaih salam), hence the thought of jealousy never occurred.
In Surah Al-Qasas, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us a story about Syedina Musa (alaih salam), in which Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) describes how Musa (alaih salam) was going through a lot of hardship, while Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gave his cousin, Qarun, power and wealth beyond imagination.  Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gave an example of the extent of Qarun’s wealth in describing the key to the doors of his stores, which was so rich that it could only be lifted by the strongest man of that era.
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) shows us human nature in telling that when Qarun went out with all his wealth, supporters and subjects, it was the human nature in people that made them feel jealous of Qarun, and they all wished to be him. What they saw in Qarun was his wealth, his comfort and his ease; but no one wanted to be like Musa (alaih salam)!  The people did not see a Nabi, or the one who speaks to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), all they saw was an exterior of a man who was going through hard times, and hence no one wanted to be like Musa (alaih salam).
But when Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) destroyed Qarun and the earth swallowed him and his wealth, the same people who were in awe of him said that it was a blessing that they were not like him; these are the very people who wished before to be Qarun, and now they were thanking Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) for not being like him!
In these stories, there is a lesson:  the people that were following the opponent of Ibrahim (alaih salam) saw that he was a powerful king, and as such they did not see the khair of Ibrahim (alaih salam), his Nabuwwah and that he was Khalilullah!
The people that were following the opponent of Musa (alaih salam) saw his opponent’s wealth and resources, which did not allow them to see the khair of Musa (alaih salam), his Nabuwwah and that he was Kaleemullah!
In applying the lesson to us we must know that in every time there will be Nimrods and Qaruns, but there will also be the Saliheen as well!  So in taking lesson, we should strive to align to the Saliheen and not the Nimrods and Qaruns of our time.  The Saliheen are in our time as well, and they are the ones that have been truly blessed, despite their apparent disrespect and neglect by people; people will only miss the Saliheen when they are no longer there!
If it was in the judgment of the previous people to want to be Qarun and Nimrod, we should be wise and learn from that mistake, and instead of wanting to be someone else, we should be grateful for what we have.
WE should be grateful and smile!
If you have the blessing of time, be grateful and smile, because many people wish for this.
If you have the ability to walk, talk and hear, be grateful and smile, because many people wish for this.
If you have food on your table and a roof over your head, be grateful and smile, because many people wish for this.
If you have a family, be grateful and smile, no matter how difficult they might be, because many people wish for this.
If you have a husband or wife, no matter how bad you may think they are, be grateful and smile, because many people

wish for this.
Do not wish to be anyone else, and be happy with the hikmah of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), because the very person you
wish to be, you may not know what they are going through.  There are many things in life to be grateful and happy for, so smile!
At the end, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in the Qur’an:  “If you are grateful to Me, I will increase you!”
And this is our first message of the year.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make this a year of khair, and may He guide us, as He granted us a great beginning, and continue to guide us. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) clear from our heart all that is other than Him, remove any love other than His and that of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam); may Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make our hearts a place for no one other than Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).
We wish for you and for us a year full of ibadah, remembrance and praise of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and a year of salawat upon Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).  May it be a year of reconnecting with the Qur’an through reading, understanding and implementing it.

Resources for seekers

Shaykh Faid SaidShaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom. Read his articles on the SeekersHub blog.

Prayers on the Prophet for the Night Journey

Poet Novid Shaid reflects on one of the most significant events in Muslim history.

On the 27th night of Rajab, the Prophet ﷺ was taken on the Isra wa Mi’raj – The Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens. This was a glorious night, as is known to most Muslims, in which the Prophet ﷺ met his Lord and was given the commandment to perform the five daily prayers.

Oh Allah send Your prayers and peace upon him

And upon his companions and kin

By the number of pearls of sweat on al buraq

Which cascaded as the sage ascended him

By the number of prayers the rider invoked

And the flutters of wings of his companions

By the number of sand stones at Al Aqsa

Which intoned his praise as he dismounted

By the number of Prophets that humbly stood

As the chosen one led with equilibrium

And the number of contours in the rock

And the streams of wind as the travellers took off

By the number of times the wise one was hailed

By each Prophet as the levels he scaled

And the number of shimmering branches on Al Muntaha

Ad infinitum they communed Lover and Beloved

From the day You made this life

To the end when we arise

Every day a thousand times!

Resources on the Isra wa Mi’raj, The Night Journey

Why Were The Sahaba Dazzled By The Prophet ﷺ?

The companions of the Prophet ﷺ were in absolute awe of him, as documented exhaustively in accounts of their time with him ﷺ. How did a man, known as the unlettered or illiterate Prophet ﷺ capture the hearts of friends and enemies alike?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives us some idea in this brief podcast.

Art by Tom Gowanlock.

Emulating The Prophet’s ﷺ Gratitude and Ethical Concern

Why did the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ have a prayer for almost every situation in life, whether big or small? Why did he remember Allah every time he performed an action or used something in his possession? It’s because he had a profound sense of gratitude for all the blessings Allah had bestowed upon him.

Be thankful – it’s a sunnah

What can be said then for us, surrounded by material possessions and modern conveniences? In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani sheds light on how gratitude is a part of the Prophetic ﷺ sunnah and how we can emulate him ﷺ in this regard.

Ever Been Told Not To "Over-Praise" the Prophet ﷺ Because It’s Bidah?

muhammad-calligraphySaying that Muhammad ﷺ was “merely” a messenger as if there is nothing more special about him is a gross innovation. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani shares a number of short stories from the sahabahs, and the Islamic tradition, that highlight how they celebrated the qualities and tremendousness of the Prophet ﷺ. We need to nurture regular gatherings that foster the tradition of celebrating the Prophet ﷺ but without making these too complicated or burdensome.
Shaykh Faraz elaborates further in this video, recording as part of the weekly gathering at SeekersHub Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration.
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Resources for seekers:

Prophet Muhammed’s ﷺ Blessed Names – Online Webinar – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani & Shaykh Idris Watts

On June 6th, 2014, the Abu Zahra Foundation and SeekersHub Global joined hands and hearts in remembrance of the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ.
Heavenly Guide To The Beacon Of Pure Light was a free, live webinar discussing the importance of good names, and the role of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) in our lives.
It was so called because of Shaykh Idris Watts newly published book: a commentary on the names of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) mentioned in the classical text Dala’il al Khayrat (link to purchase: http://www.abuzahra.org/product/heavenly-guide-to-the-beacon-of-pure-light/)

Shaykh Idris Watts and The Keighley Munshids opened the webinar from Keighley, UK by reciting the names of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace).
We then transitioned to Shaykh Faraz Rabbani at SeekersHub Toronto for a reminder of the gratitude, love, and praise that is due to the Messenger of Allah (God bless him and give him peace).
Moving back and forth between Keighley and Toronto, the webinar was really a reflection of Allah’s words:
“And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind” (34:28).
and
“And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds” (21:107).
The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) has united us under the banner of faith in God; a banner of truth, love, and mercy. From across the globe, our teachers and viewers joined in celebration of these virtues, and the one who so perfectly embodied them.
May Allah make us true inheritors of the Prophetic way and grant us his intercession on the Day of Reckoning, ameen.
You can purchase the book online via their website here.

You can view the webinar here:

Related resources:

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