Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Preparing for Rabi’ al-Awwal
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Allah (s.w.t.) Sent his final and Beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) to this world in the blessed month of Rabi’ al-Awwal. The arrival of the Beloved Messenger (s.a.w.) to this world is the greatest Gift from the Gifts of Allah (s.w.t.). The Noble Qur’an, in several places, Teaches us to mention the gifts of Allah (s.w.t.) immensely and that we should express joy and happiness due to them and we should thank Allah (s.w.t.) for the Gifts Bestowed upon us. Thus, on the occasion of the blessed month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, ‘Iyd Milad of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is celebrated throughout the Islamic world. Let us also celebrate the birth of the Beloved Master (s.a.w.) and thus express joy and happiness for this Great Bounty that Allah (s.w.t.) has Bestowed upon us. The following is advice regarding preparations for Rabi’ al-Awwal Sharif from Habib ‘Umar bin al-Hafizh (q.s.) of Tarim, Yemen that he delivered while answering to the following questions below.
Is there any special formula of prayer upon the Prophet (s.a.w.) that we should read during Rabi` al-Awwal? He said that there is no doubt that this is the month of bestowing prayers upon the Prophet (s.a.w.). Many of the pious of the ummah are united with the Prophet (s.a.w.) in this month. Any formula that we read is beneficial. We benefit according to the degree to which our heart is filled with the intention of obeying the Command to bestow prayers upon him and the love, longing and veneration for him. We should read whatever formula we know and while doing so ask Allah (s.w.t.) to relieve the suffering of the Muslims.
Habib ‘Ali ibn Salim al-Adaj ibn Abu Bakr ibn Salim (q.s.) saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) at the blessed shubbak, the grille in front of his grave and asked him to teach him a formula to read. He told him to read:
Allahumma swalli ‘alaa Sayyidinaa Muhammad Habiibi ar-Rahman ‘adada maa yakuunu wa maaqad kaana
O Allah, Bestow Your Prayers upon our Master, Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Beloved of the Most Compassionate to the number of things that will be and that were.
What is the most beautiful gift that someone can give to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal? In reality, we are unable to benefit him in any way but what pleases him is for us to understand his speech and his teachings and through that to attain high stations. He is thus content with that which benefits us. One of the greatest of those things, as we understand from the Book and the sunnah, is for us to be a means of guidance for someone. That person may be a non-Muslim who accepts Islam or a disobedient or heedless Muslim who repents and becomes upright. Another thing is giving life to his sunnah and establishing it. If we establish the sunnah in our homes and teach it to our children, this makes him happy because it us that benefit from this. He said in the hadits, “Whoever brings life to my sunnah during the time of corruption of my ummah will have the reward of a martyr,” or in one narration “one hundred martyrs”. Another thing is to do good to Creation in general, to the believers specifically, and the elite of the believers more specifically. A further thing is to strengthen our love for the believers, for the people of the Prophetic Household and for the companions. Finally, we should make big intentions in Rabi’ al-Awwal, such as gathering together with our brothers and sisters and attending or arranging dzikr, sunnah lessons or courses.
How can we inspire people to long for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.)? By mentioning his virtues, qualities and his life. By embodying his character and his dealing. By deepening our love, longing and veneration for him. If such a person speaks he will have such an effect on those listening such that they begin to long for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).