Monday, 28 January 2013
Reflecting on Our Relationship with Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is a transcript of discourse delivered by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed. More of his writings may be found at Markaz al-Ihsan Article Archive.
We are in the Blessed month of Rabi’ al-Awwal; a month that represents a truly great Blessing from Allah (s.w.t.) in that He Sent Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to mankind. Allah (s.w.t.) Sent Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) after He sent 124,000 Messengers to every nation and tribe. The previous Messengers delivered the Message in their own language in order for their people to understand. With Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) however, Allah (s.w.t.) Sent the Message in His Own Language. Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) wrote, “Fifty thousand years before Creation, Allah (s.w.t.) Recited Surah ThaHa and Surah YaSin.” So Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was Selected to give the original message in its entirety. And in addition to giving the da’wah, Allah (s.w.t.) Gave Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) a special mission. Allah (s.w.t.) Says:
O Prophet! Truly We have Sent thee as a witness, a bearer of Glad Tidings, and a warner ― And as one who invites to Allah's (Grace) by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading Light. (Surah al-Ahzab:45-46)
The previous Messengers did not have the Permission or the knowledge to give Glad Tidings. They warned the people and invited them to Allah (s.w.t.). But Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was Given the special mission that is Swiraj an-Munirah – the lamp that gives light. What exactly does this mean? Allah (s.w.t.) Says about Himself:
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light!... (Surah an-Nur:35)
There are many implications to this but we will look at just one. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is Described by Allah (s.w.t.) in the Qur’an as the lamp that gives light. For a lamp to give light it must have the capability to stay lit. How is it possible for Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is give light all throughout the ages? Allah (s.w.t.) did not say the Prophet (s.a.w.) gave light only when he was alive. Prophet (s.a.w.) Muhammad (s.a.w.) continues to give light to all human beings all over the world and will continue to do so up until the Day of Judgement. How is it possible? Firstly we need to understand one thing. Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) complete personality was light. There are many traditions where his companions reported that there were times where his body was brighter than a full moon. In the dark of the night, ‘Aishah (r.a.) reported that light emanated from him. We cannot begin to imagine what type of personality he is when we read all these narrations. We understand that if we want a light from a lamp to shine brightly we have to keep the shade clean. And Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was very clean. Allah (s.w.t.) Says:
Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire. (Surah an-Najm:3)
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) never put himself before in any matters. Therefore his nafs never came between him and his Lord. He never clothed his soul with the black spots of selfish desires. And even then when he was going on the blessed Mir’aj, his heart was firstly washed with zamzam water. So supposing that there were any blemishes, it was properly washed and cleaned before he went up to His Lord. Allah (s.w.t.) Describes Himself as Light and further says that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is also light. At the Mir’aj, Allah (s.w.t.) Took Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) above all Creation, the cosmos, the angels. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was Taken in the Divine Presence of Allah (s.w.t.). Allah (s.w.t.) Says:
And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; (Surah an-Najm:9)
This is a highly technical and philosophical ayat. What is, and how close is two bow lengths? And at that sacred moment, Allah (s.w.t.) Revealed what He wanted to. Possibly one of the things Revealed was that special light. Light upon Light! Because of this, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) has the capacity to disperse light to mankind. And it can be accessed via three methods. Through recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, through following his sunnah and through connecting our light, our qalb, with his. And this has been happening throughout the ages. How is it possible? Allah (s.w.t.) and His angels are constantly and continuously Sending light to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
Allah and His angels, Send Blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him and salute him, with all respect. (Surah al-Ahzab:56)
This is being done continuously. And we can benefit from this by connecting to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) through the institution of swalawat. We all have a special mission and that is to brighten our personalities with the light that is coming from Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and share in the legacy. The majalis of Rabi’ al-Awwal make it nice to sit and reflect on our connection with our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). How close am I with him? How can we get closer to him? We try to love him; more and more. Not just through his sunnah but by also reciting swalawat abundantly. And through this practice, insha’Allah, our life would be much better. If we connect ourselves to him here what do you think would happen on the Day of Judgement, when only his intersession would be accepted?
The highest stage of spirituality is realisation. When we understand that we are nothing and how close we are to Allah (s.w.t.) and His Messenger (s.a.w.). We are all striving to achieve this. It is not easy. Adam (a.s.) and Eve (a.s.) were in the Garden and Satan came between them and their Lord. Getting closer to Allah (s.w.t.) and His Messenger (s.a.w.) means climbing and climbing is not easy. And rest assured that Satan would be patiently waiting to divert us. We take caution because we all have one life to live and whatever is done here reflects in the hereafter. We must analyse our own selves; what sort of relationship do we have with the Prophet (s.a.w.)? Would we have to look for him on that inevitable Day or would he look for us? We beg Allah (s.w.t.) to Guide us and to Increase us all in knowledge. May He Make us understand and realise the greatness of His Habib (s.a.w.) and Enable is to attain nearness to him in this world and the next.