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Welcoming the Month of Rabi al-Awwal – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 our means to every good.

Rabi al-Awwal, the eternal spring, is a month of renewal. It is the month of the birth of the blessed Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and it is a chance for us to review our connection to him and his message. He is Allah’s gift to us, and so we praise him out of faith. We praise him out of gratitude to Allah for this gift, and out of gratitude to him for what he did for us, and what he represents.

The Prophet Muhammad did not come merely as an ambassador who came, spoke a message to deliver, and then left. Rather, Allah sent him to us as an example, who went through trial and tribulation, and the hardships and upheaval of this wordly life. He navigated the trials of this life in the most beautiful of ways, and he bore hardship and pain so that we could have this gift of Islam.

This is a month for us to reflect and ask ourselves:  How is my relationship to him? How is my relationship to the message, and to the Lord of the message? How much do I know about him? How much do I know about his life? his character? his teachings? How much do I seek to embody him in my life?rabi al-awwal

In this month, we should renew out commitment to sending blessings upon him. When we do this, it is a covenant to Allah, asking him to put his heart at rest in regards to us.


 

 

On The Permissibility of Mawlid, With Conditions, by Shaykh Salek Bin Siddina

Shaykh Salek Bin Siddina recites a poem of Muhammad bin Hasan al Khadim on why celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is permissible but with conditions.

The video is in two parts, with live English translation. Our thanks to the Blessed Tree for these recordings.

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Resources for seekers:

Uniting the Ummah in Love – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Allah has told us in the Holy Qur’an that love is a condition of faith, so why, asks Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said, do human beings find it so difficult to agree on what Allah and His Messenger love and why do we struggle so much to love one another?

“Allah Guides to His Light Whom He Wills.”  (Surah An-Nur)
Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem
Allah Most High is not worshipped more than by loving Him. Allah Most High warned us in the Qur’an in Sura al-Tawba (24):

If your parents, your children, your brothers or sisters, your wives or husbands, your tribe, the money that you have earned, the business that you are worried that you might lose, and the most beautiful home you are comfortably living in are dearer or more beloved to you than Allah Most High, His Messenger and in striving in His path, then wait until Allah’s command comes. Allah does not guide the corrupt and misguided ones.

In this verse, Allah Most High is speaking about the love for Him and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be the loftiest and greatest of things that we can achieve.  Not only this, but the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in a Hadith:  “You will never enter the Garden until you believe, and you will never believe until you love each other.  Shall I tell you something that if you were to do it it would make you love each other?  Spread peace (greet one another)”
So if loving each other is a condition of faith, so what about loving Allah Most High and the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)!  And loving Allah Most High and the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) is loving what they love!
In a Hadith narrated by our master Abdullah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:  “Love Allah Most High for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon you. Love me out of love of Allah Most High, and love my family out of love of me”  (Tirmidhi 3789, Bukhari  “Tarikh al-Kabir”, Hakim).

Don’t be Divided in Your Love

It is very unfortunate that we as Muslims are divided in our love of what Allah Most High and the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) love.  In saying this we mean we are divided upon our love of the family of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the Companions (Allah be well pleased with them). We love the family of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) because Allah Most High wanted us to love them, as Allah Most High said in Sura al-Shura‘a (23):  “Say [Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)], I wanted nothing from you in return for me guiding and teaching you other than for you to love my family.”
The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not say to obey his family, look after his family or respect his family, but he said to love his family!  This is a sign of faith.
Allah Most High said in Sura al-Tawba (100), speaking about the companions of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace):  “And the first forerunners [in the faith] are the Emigrants (al-Muhajirin) and the Helpers (al-Ansar) and those who followed them in good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.”

Love of the Companions

We love our master Abu Bakr (Allah be please with him), our master Omar (Allah be pleased with him), our master Aisha (Allah be please with her) and all the Companions because our master Ali (peace be upon him) loved them, our master Husayn ibn Ali (peace be upon him) loved them, our master Hasan ibn Ali (peace be upon him) loved them, our master Mohammed al Baqir (peace be upon him) loved them, and our master Jafar al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) loved them; but most of all, Allah Most High and the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) loved them!
So the love of Ahl al-Bayt and the Companions should unite the Ummah, and we know that this issue is not new as even Imam Shafi‘i (Allah have mercy upon him) struggled with it in his time; when he expressed his love for Ahl al-Bayt or the Companions, people would accuse and associate him with the one group or the other:
If we were to speak about Ali (peace be upon him) and his virtues and our preference, people would accuse us of being the enemy of the Companions of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and they would be wrong in accusing us of such; and if we were to speak about Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) and his virtues, people would accuse us of being the enemy of Ahl al-Bayt.  I live between these two accusations, and even so, I will love them both until I am buried in this world!

The Balance

The balance we need to establish is based in our trust in the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), as Allah Most High said in Sura al-Najm:  He does not speak out of his own desire..”, as the words of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) are wahy and the actions of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) are wahy.
We love whom Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) has loved, and we beg Allah Most High to unite the Ummah of Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), to forgive our sins, to guide us and to fill our hearts with His love, the love of Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), love for the Qur’an, love of the Ahl al-Bayt, love of the Emigrants, love of the Helpers, love of the people of Bayt al-Ridwan, and the love of the Righteous.
Allahumma salli alaa Sayyidina Muhammad wa alaa Ahli Sayyidina Muhammad, fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin ‘adada maa wa see-a-hu ‘il-muLlah.
O Allah send blessings, equal to the extent of Your Knowledge, upon our master Muhammad and upon the family of our master Muhammad, in their every moment and every breath.

 

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.

Resources for Seekers

Cover Photo by Motoshi Ohmori

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‘Tis The Season…For Mawlid Wars? – Ustadh Salman Younas

The month of Rabi` al-Awwal is here, which can only mean that some of us will witness renewed debates on the practice of celebrating the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), writes Ustadh Salman Younas.

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To make things easier for everyone, I’ve mentioned a handful of leading classical scholars who permitted the mawlid in its institutionalized form and those who deemed it impermissible. What is this meant to teach us? That this is a *valid* difference of opinion. While we can cordially discuss the merits of each view, no one should be condemned, mocked, or looked down upon for engaging or not engaging in such a practice, since leading scholars throughout the past few centuries have differed on this issue.

Don’t Let Your Nafs Distract You

Instead of using this time to debate and argue, let’s use it to draw closer to the greatest of creation in a manner that we individually deem sound and acceptable. If that means gathering to sing poems in his praise and celebrating his birth, then wonderful. If it means you sit alone in your house to send some salawat upon him, then wonderful. The point is not to let your nafs and the devil distract us from doing good and puff us up with arrogance/anger by occupying us with argumentation on an issue scholars have differed upon for centuries.

Some of Those who Permitted the Mawlid

  • Imam Abu’l Khattab ibn Dahiya [al-Hawi li’l fatawa (ed. Ilmiyya, pp. 189)]
  • Ibn al-Jazari [al-Arf al-ta`rif [ed. al-Kattaniya, pp. 13-43)]
  • Imam Abu Shama [al-Ba’ith fi inkar al-bid`a wa’l hawadith (ed. Dar al-Raya, pp. 95-96)]
  • Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani [al-Ajwiba al-murdiya (ed. Dar al-Raya, pp. 1117-1118)]
  • Imam al-Sakhawi [Ibid., pp. 1116-1120)]
  • Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti [al-Hawi, (pp. 189-193)]

Some of Those Who Did Not Permit the Mawlid

  • Imam Taj al-Din al-Fakihani [al-Mawrid fi amal al-mawlid (ed. Maktaba al-Ma`arif, pp, 19-27)]
  • Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya [Majmu` al-Fatawa (ed. al-Najdi, 25:298)]
  • Imam al-Haffar [al-Mi`yar (ed. al-Awqaf, 7:99-100)]
  • Imam Abu Amr ibn al-Ala’ [al-Hawi, (pp. 192)]
  • Imam Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi [al-I`tisam (ed. Maktaba al-Tawhid, 1:46)]

Methodological Differences Underlying These Positions

When it comes to the issue of innovation, we can identify two broad approaches:
(a) The dominant approach adopted by many jurists of the Shafi`i school that allowed for a general principle or text to be applied in practice in a particularized manner despite there being no specific precedent for said practice. An early example of this is the position of Imam al-Shafi`i that it is recommended to recite blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) after uttering the tasmiya while slaughtering an animal. This is deduced from the general command in Surat al-Ahzab (33:43) of sending blessings on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). In other words, Imam al-Shafi`i used a general command to legislate a particular practice despite there being no explicit precedent for this practice. Since such a practice could be validly subsumed under a general principle, it would not be an innovation to put into practice in an unprecedented form.
(b) Another view, which was held by a number of Maliki scholars, argued that there must be specific evidence in order to permit persistence (iltizam) on a particularized form of a general command. This is termed by al-Shatibi as takhsis al-umum bi-la dalil (specifying a general text without evidence). Those scholars agreeing with al-Shatibi would not allow reciting blessings on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) after saying the tasmiya while slaughtering because no specific evidence exists to establish such a practice. As for the general command to send such blessings, it is alone insufficient to evidence permissibility in this case.
Therefore, the first view lends itself to being utilized to institutionalize or invent specific forms of devotional practice so long as they do not oppose the broad principles of the law.
The second view is not “open-looking” in this manner as it restricts itself to the existence of past precedent without which a devotional act cannot be invented or institutionalized. The only exception is when a devotional act is is done spontaneously or due to free-time without it being institutionalized.

Both views have support in the actions of the early Muslims:

(i) The first view is supported by the narration of Abu Hurarya who stated that Khubayb ibn Adi initiated the practice of performing two cycles of prayer before being executed. Here, Khubayb had no specific precedent but took a general recommendation of performing prayer and applied it in a particular manner to a specific time and situation. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
(ii) The second view is supported by the actions of some Companions who opposed practices that could reasonably be subsumed under general principles/text. One example is Ibn Mas’ud’s opposition to those who were engaging in group dhikr in the mosque despite the general command in the Qur’an to, “remember God.” (3:191)
Both these approaches return to ijtihadi differences and preferences. Consequently, the choice scholars make to argue for or against certain practices should be respected as an exercise of valid ijtihad based on sound methodological divergences.
And God knows best.

Resources on sending blessings on Prophet Muhammad for seekers:

The Prophetic Message of Mercy, by Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a mercy and blessing to us in this life and in the hereafter, in ways that are seen and ways that are unseen. Reconnect your heart to this beautiful, Divine constant, with this reminder from Shaykh Faid Muhammad Said.

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!

A Spring’s Gift – Rabi’ Salawat – Habib Umar

A Spring’s Gift – Rabi’ Salawat – Shaykh Abdul Karim Yahya

In the Name of Allah; Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This special salawat was given to us by Sayyidi al-Habib Umar for the blessed month of Rabi’ul-Awwal with a beautiful translation provided by Sh. Yahya Rhodus (Allah preserve him).

It is recommended for us to each do 10,000 during this blessed month, or during both this month and the next.  We are encouraged to do all that we can in partaking from the blessings of this month and this special Salawat.