Monday, 31 March 2014

What is Taswawwuf?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is an anonymous Persian poem translated by Dr. Alan Godlas.

What is taswawwuf?
Good character and awareness of God.
That's all taswawwuf is.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Love and affection.
It is the cure for hatred and vengeance.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
The heart attaining tranquility –
Which is the root of religion.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Concentrating your mind,
Which is the religion of Ahmad (s.a.w.).
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Contemplation that travels to the Divine Throne.
It is a far-seeing gaze.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Taswawwuf is keeping one's distance from imagination and supposition.
Taswawwuf is found in certainty.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Surrendering one's soul to the care of the inviolability of religion;
This is taswawwuf.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Taswawwuf is the path of faith and affirmation of Unity;
This is the incorruptible religion.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Taswawwuf is the smooth and illuminated path.
It is the way to the most exalted Paradise.
And nothing more.

I have heard that the ecstasy,
Of the wearers of wool,
Comes from finding the taste of religion.
And nothing more.

What is taswawwuf?
Taswawwuf is nothing but shari’ah.
It is just this clear road.

And nothing more.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Litany of Jonah (a.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is translated from an article in Malay by Brother Sufian King.  I have made some edits to the article.

This is the du’a of Prophet Jonah (a.s.).

… “There is no god but Thou: Glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong!” (Surah al-Anbiya’:87)

It is said in the Qur’an:

Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah, he would certainly have remained inside the fish until the Day of Resurrection. (Surah asw-Swaffat:143-144)

Salutations, praises and peace upon the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), his family, companions and followers who follow him closely until the end of time.  The Qur’an has mentioned the story of Prophet Jonah (a.s.) which can be used as a lesson and application of the prayer of Prophet Jonah (a.s.) that Allah (s.w.t.) will relieve from His slaves hardships, troubles and calamities in times of urgent need, provided that the individual is a believer.  Let us follow this story in hopes of attaining the pleasure of Allah (s.w.t.) until the Day of Judgement.

The real name of Prophet Jonah (a.s.) is Yunus ibn Mata.  He is also known as Dzu an-Nun.  He is a noble prophet Sent by Allah (s.w.t.) to his people, the Assyrians.  He counselled and guided them to the straight path of the truth, reminded them of the terrible realities of doomsday, forewarned them of the terrifying Hellfire and gave hope in reminding them of Paradise.  He lead his people virtuously and brought them to worship Allah (s.w.t.).  Jonah (a.s.) was always advising and motivating his followers but not even a soul had a hint of faith in their hearts.  Then came a day when Jonah (a.s.) made the decision to leave his followers.  His heart was filled with anger because his people had no faith in God.

And remember Dzu an-Nun, when he departed in wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him!  But he cried through the depths of darkness "There is no god but Thou: Glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong!" (Surah al-Anbiya’:87)

Not a soul knew of the intense emotions running through Jonah (a.s.) except for Allah (s.w.t.), or with Jonah’s (a.s.) displeasure to his people for not putting their faith in Allah (s.w.t.).  And so, he left his people.  Jonah (a.s.) boarded a vessel to take him elsewhere without being mindful of Allah (s.w.t.).  Jonah (a.s.) had given up on them without considering that it is Allah (s.w.t.) Alone Who Moves the hearts and it was unbecoming of a prophet of God to be moved by his passions, even if righteous anger, without Divine Permission.  The prophets were sent solely for da’wah, callers in the path of Allah (s.w.t.).  Guidance, hidayah, is Allah’s (s.w.t) Right on how, who and when He wants to Give.  Da’wah is to be done with submission and humility, for success is only His Determination.

The vessel was caught in a storm.  The people on board, as was the superstition of the time, drew lots to decide who to throw overboard to ‘appease’ the sea.  Initially, they declined to include Jonah (a.s.) since he was viewed as a holy man but Jonah (a.s.) insisted.  Jonah’s name came up in the first draw so they decided to repeat the process, such was their affection and esteem for him.  They drew lots three times and Jonah’s (a.s.) name came up each time.

Jonah (a.s.) threw himself overboard and was swallowed by a gigantic fish.  This fish settled on the seabed.  Jonah (a.s.) experienced three levels of darkness: the darkness in the belly of the fish, the darkness in the depths of the sea, and the darkness of the moonless night.  In this state of seclusion, Jonah’s (a.s.) heart was moved to repeat this litany:

… “There is no god but Thou: Glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong!” (Surah al-Anbiya’:87)

Jonah (a.s.) fasted continuously, as penance, for forty days.  He repeated this supplication over and over.  The fishes and the other animals in the surrounding ocean heard his litany and they joined in, congregating around the great fish.  The plants joined in and even the surrounding rocks and water echoed with the dzikr.  Every creature supplicated in their own language.  Even the great fish which had swallowed Jonah (a.s.) recited along with him.  After forty days, Jonah (a.s.) was regurgitated from the belly of the creature onto a beach.  Allah (s.w.t.) had Accepted his repentance.

On the shore, Jonah (a.s.) was seared by the heat of the sun.  That short time in the creature had stripped off the topmost layer his skin and removed his ability to stand the sun.  Allah (s.w.t.) in His Mercy had a type of pumpkin plant grow nearby with leaves wide enough to shade Jonah (a.s.) from the light of the sun.  Allah (s.w.t.) Restored his health.  Allah (s.w.t.) Said that were it not for the tasbih he had recited, Jonah (a.s.) would have remained in the belly of the fish until the end of his time.

So also was Jonah among those Sent (by us).  When he ran away (like slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden.  He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned: Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame.  Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah, he would certainly have remained inside the fish until the Day of Resurrection.  But We Cast him forth, on the naked shore in a state of sickness.  And We Caused to grow, over him a spreading plant of the gourd kind.  And We Sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more.  And they believed; so We Permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while. (Surah asw-Swaffat:139-148)

Again, Allah (s.w.t.) also Says, as mentioned above:

And remember Dzu an-Nun, when he departed in wrath: he imagined that We had no Power over him!  But he cried through the depths of darkness, "There is no god but Thou: Glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong!"  So We Listened to him: and Delivered him from distress: and thus do We Deliver those who have faith. (Surah al-Anbiya’:87-88)

This short story is one to be reflected many times upon; mainly the benefits and magnitude of such a blessed supplication, what the different layers of darkness represent in our lives and inner selves, what level of concentration and suppressed depression it takes to reach a level of sincerity fit for a prophet.  This teaches us to engage in da’wah with wisdom.  It is not for us to dictate anything.  We are mere facilitators and pillars for support.  Guidance is Allah’s (s.w.t.) Right on what, how, who and when He wants to Give.

The benefits of the litany of Jonah (a.s.) are many as supported by ahadits.  One of them being, “Anyone with intended wishes to attain something, with ablution followed by prostration to Allah (s.w.t.) and reciting the supplication of Jonah forty times, will have his prayers and deep intentions Answered.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) also said, “I know of a supplication, once recited by those who are in distress and urgent need will get relief from his calamity.  That supplication is the supplication of Prophet Jonah.”

Saturday, 29 March 2014

About Life

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“Please stop worrying about the world,
Instead, engage in polishing the soul.
Know that life will quickly end,
This message try and comprehend.

Today, we may have robust health,
And some are blessed with much wealth,
Tomorrow, my not be the same,
As much of both may not remain.

Every moment of life is precious.
Be thankful as God is Gracious.
We can live here peacefully,
With hopeful bliss of eternity.

Thank Allah for His Blessings
Let your nafs, your soul keep polishing.
Your body will get clean and bright,
Like the full moon on a dark, dark night.

Like crushed ice life keep on melting,
And death to us is always steering.
Hopefully one day we’ll all be,
Living in blissful Eternity.”

Mawlana Waffie Mohammed

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

About the Annunciation

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel (a.s.) to the Virgin Mary (a.s.) that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus (a.s.).  The word ‘Annunciation’ anglicised from the Latin Vulgate verses from the Gospel according to Luke, Annuntiatio Nativitatis Christi.  The word ‘Annunciation’ is derived from the same root as the word ‘announce’.  Gabriel (a.s.) was announcing the birth of Christ (a.s.) in advance.  ‘Annunciation’ is simply an older form of saying ‘announcement’.  This term has also been applied in other ways such as the annunciation of the birth of John (a.s.) and the annunciation to Mary (a.s.)

John the Baptist’s (a.s.) birth was also announced in advance.  Both stories have multiple parallels.  In both cases, the angel Gabriel (a.s.) makes the announcement to a single individual.  It was Zechariah (a.s.) in John the Baptist’s case and Mary (a.s.) in Jesus’ case.  He announces the miraculous birth of an individual who has a prominent place in God’s Plan and is met with a question in both cases.  Both Zechariah (a.s.) and Mary (a.s.) asks how it will happen.  A miraculous sign is offered as evidence for both.  Zechariah (a.s.) was struck dumb.  Mary (a.s.) was told of Elizabeth’s (r.a.) miraculous pregnancy, which was in its sixth month.  The account of the annunciation of John the Baptist (a.s.) is also in the Qur’an.

The Christians believe, like the Muslims, that Gabriel (a.s.) told Mary (a.s.) to name her son ‘Jesus’, meaning ‘Saviour’.  Western Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25th March, nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday, mawlid, of Jesus (a.s.).

Luke 1:26
26When the sixth month came, God Sent the angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee called Nazareth.

According to the Gospels, the Annunciation occurred in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s (r.a.) pregnancy with John the Baptist (a.s.).  Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus (a.s.) as 25th March, coinciding with the Passion of Christ, that final period of Jesus’ (a.s.) ministry leading to his alleged crucifixion.

Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches believe that the Annunciation took place at Nazareth as per the Gospels, but differ on the precise location.  The Catholics believe it was at the site which is now the Basilica of the Annunciation. The Eastern Orthodox Churches believe it is the site now marked by the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.

In the Bible, the Annunciation is narrated in the Gospel according to Luke:

Luke 1:26-38
26When the sixth month came, God Sent the angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, 27where a virgin dwelt, betrothed to a man of David’s lineage; his name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name was Mary.  28Into her presence, the angel came, and said, “Hail, thou who art full of grace; the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women.”  29She was much perplexed at hearing him speak so, and cast about in her mind, what she was to make of such a greeting.  30Then the angel said to her, “Mary, do not be afraid; thou hast found Favour in the Sight of God.  31And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call him Jesus.  32He shall be great, and men will know him for the Son of the most High; the Lord God will Give him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob eternally; 33his kingdom shall never have an end.”  34But Mary said to the angel, “How can that be, since I have no knowledge of man?”  35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the most High will overshadow thee.  Thus this holy offspring of thine shall be known for the Son of God.  36See, moreover, how it fares with thy cousin Elizabeth; she is old, yet she too has conceived a son; she who was reproached with barrenness is now in her sixth month, 37to prove that nothing can be impossible with God.”  38And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.”  And with that the angel left her.

The Gospel according to Matthew has a separate, briefer annunciation given to Joseph:

Matthew 1:18-21
18And this was the manner of Christ’s birth.  His mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, but they had not yet come together, when she was found to be with child, by the Power of the Holy Ghost.  19Whereupon her husband Joseph (for he was a right-minded man, and would not have her put to open shame) was for sending her away in secret.  20But hardly had this thought come to his mind, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take thy wife Mary to thyself, for it is by the Power of the Holy Ghost that she has conceived this child; 21and she will bear a son, whom thou shalt call Jesus, for he is to save his people from their sins.”

In Eastern Christianity, both Catholic and Orthodox, Mary (a.s.) is referred to as ‘Theotokos’, ‘the God-bearer’.  The traditional troparion, hymn, for the Annunciation is traced back to the Pauline Bishop, Athanasius of Alexandria, the same one by which the Athanasian Creed is named for.

“Today is the beginning of our Salvation,
And the Revelation of the eternal mystery.
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin,
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
‘Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!’”

The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the church year, and is among the eight Feasts of the Lord.  The Annunciation is of such importance in Orthodox theology that the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is always celebrated on the feast, even if it falls on Great and Holy Friday, the day of Jesus’ (a.s.) alleged crucifixion.  If the Annunciation falls on Pascha, Easter Sunday, itself, a joint celebration known as Kyriopascha, it is celebrated jointly with the Resurrection, the focus of Easter.  The Annunciation is also called Euangelismos, Evangelism.  In Greek, this literally means ‘spreading the Good News’.

Ephraim the Syrian taught that the date of the conception of Jesus (a.s.) was 10th Nisan in the Hebrew Calendar, the day in which the Passover lamb was selected according to Exodus 12.  In some years, the 10th Nisan falls on the 25th March, the traditional date for the Feast of the Annunciation and is an official holiday in Lebanon.

The Annunciation is also Mentioned in the Qur’an:

Behold!  The angels said, “O Mary!  Allah Giveth thee Glad Tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.  He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity and he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”  She said, “O my Lord!  How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?”  He said, “Even so, Allah Createth what He Willeth; when He hath Decreed a plan, He but Saith to it ‘Be’, and it is!’  And Allah will Teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel.  And (Appoint him) a Messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): ‘I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay as it were the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal those born blind, and the lepers and I quicken the dead by Allah’s Leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses.  Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe.’  ‘(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord.  So fear Allah and obey me.’  It is Allah who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him.  This is a way that is straight.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:45-51)

The Annunciation is also mentioned in Surah Maryam.  Muslim tradition holds that it took place during Ramadhan.

Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.  She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We Sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.  She said, “I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah.”  He said, “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the Gift of a holy son.”  She said, “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”  He said, “So (it will be): thy Lord Saith ‘That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to Appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: it is a matter (so) Decreed.”  So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.  And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried (in her anguish): “Ah!  Would that I had died before this!  Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”  But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree), “Grieve not!  For thy Lord hath Provided a rivulet beneath thee; and shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.  So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye.  And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’” (Surah Maryam:16-26)

The Protestant churches, except for the Anglicans who hold the Catholic rites, do not hold the Annunciation in the same esteem as the older Christian churches.  Since 1889, many Protestant writers have tried to show that the following verses, containing the message of conception through the Holy Ghost are interpolated.

Luke 1:34-35
34But Mary said to the angel, “How can that be, since I have no knowledge of man?”  35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the most High will overshadow thee.  Thus this holy offspring of thine shall be known for the Son of God.

Hermann Karl Usener derived the origin of the ‘myth’ from pagan hero worship.  But Carl Gustav Adolf von Harnack tried to prove that it was of Judaic origin, spefically from the Book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14
14Sign you ask none, but Sign the Lord will Give you.  Maid shall be with child, and shall bear a son, that shall be called Emmanuel.

However, this is prophecy and does not, in any way, contradict but rather affirms the passages in the Gospels and the Qur’an.  Bertram Otto Bardenhewer, the German Catholic patrologist, however, fully established the authenticity of the text of the Gospels from a Christian point of view.  In any case, I was never a fan of so-called higher criticism.  It was a post-modernist affection and another manifestation of rationalist arrogance, limited and limiting.

The author of the Gospel according to Luke likely took his account of the event from an older account written in Aramaic or Hebrew.  The Catholics believe that the opinion that Joseph at the time of the Annunciation was an aged widower and Mary (a.s.) being twelve or fifteen years of age, is founded only upon apocryphal documents.  The local tradition of Nazareth says that the angel, who is never actually named, met Mary (a.s.) and greeted her at the fountain, and when she fled from him in fear, he followed her into the house and there continued his message.  The year and day of the Annunciation cannot be determined as long as new material does not throw more light on the subject.  The present date of the feast, 25th March, is dependent upon the date of the older feast of Christmas.

Muslims believe, based on our own sirah accounts, Mary (a.s.) was around 12 years of age or so at the youngest.  But this cannot be verified.  We believe that there was no Joseph.  This is further explained in The Islamic Understanding of Mary (a.s.) Being Married. As mentioned above, we believe the Annunciation occurred in Ramadhan.  We also believe that she was in her mihrab in the Temple.

The following is strictly from a Catholic and Orthodox understanding since I personally find Protestant scholarship on Scripture to be of a lower standard.  The Catholic and Orthodox  Churches believe the Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus (a.s.) in His ‘human’ nature.  Through his mother, he is human.  If the virginity of Mary (a.s.) before, during, and after the conception of her ‘Divine’ son were to be always considered part of the deposit of faith, this could be done only on account of the ‘historical’ facts and testimonials.  The ‘Incarnation’ of the ‘Son of God’ did not in itself necessitate this exception from natural laws.  Jesus (a.s.) as the ‘Redeemer’ does not arrive in the way of earthly generations.  Conception is by the power of the Holy Spirit entering the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary (a.s.), forming the ‘humanity’ of Christ (a.s.).  Early Church Fathers such as Jerome of Stridon, Cyri of Jerusaleml, Ephrem ans Augustine of Hippo,  say that the consent of Mary (a.s.) was essential to the redemption.  It was the Will of God.

Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, wrote that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary (a.s.).  This does not mean that God in His Plans was limited by the will of something in Creation, and that man would not have been ‘Redeemed’, if Mary (a.s.) had not consented.  It only means that the consent of Mary (a.s.) was Foreseen, and was, therefore, received as essential in the Divine Design.

To us, as Muslims, we should honour the Annunciation as what it is, a commemoration of the miraculous conception of one of our greatest prophets, Jesus (a.s.).  The significance of this event is something Mentioned and Affirmed in the Qur’an.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Our Wasilah

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is a transcript of discourse delivered by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed

If we have to meet any important dignitary, it is necessary that we get all the knowledge of the protocol.  That is just for ordinary human beings; what about the meeting with the Lord?  Allah (s.w.t.) Wants us to approach Him in a particular way.  In order to get this done properly, He Gives us a Command found in Surah al-Ma’idah:

O ye who believe!  Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive (with might and main) in His cause: that ye may prosper. (Surah al-Ma’idah:35)

Scholars discuss this particular principle in many ways but one thing they all agree on is that if we want to get to Allah (s.w.t.), we have to follow Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  Why?  Because he already met Allah (s.w.t.) and he is already aware of the etiquettes of getting to Allah (s.w.t.).  So in essence, what Allah (s.w.t.) is really Telling us is that the believers must follow the Prophet (s.a.w.).  We must make him our wasila.  A wasila is like a middle person; therefore, we make the Prophet (s.a.w.) our means of getting closer to Allah (s.w.t.).

We worship only Allah (s.w.t.) and do not ascribe any partners with Him.  This is something that is very clear to all Muslims.  We can go directly to Allah (s.w.t.) because He Says, “If you call on Me, I will Respond.”  But there are many things which require some bit of information or example in order that we may maximise our capacity and capability in the short period of time.  That is why we need to tread that path that will not waste our time and resources.  That is called Swirath al-Mustaqim.

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the best model and vehicle to take us to Allah.  Because Allah Says:

And as one who invites to Allah's (Grace) by His leave, and as a Lamp spreading Light. (Surah al-Ahzab:46)

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) invites us to go to Allah (s.w.t.) with him.  He takes us along and shows us the path.  The path to Allah (s.w.t.) is Swirath al-Mustaqim; that is the straight path; for which we always pray.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says about the Prophet (s.a.w.):

So hold thou fast to the Revelation Sent down to thee: verily thou art on Straight Way. (Surah az-Zukhruf:43)

If the Prophet (s.a.w.) is on the straight path and we want to get on the straight path; what, then, do we have to do?  We have to follow him.  As a result, Allah (s.w.t.) Says to us:

Say: “If ye do love Allah, follow me...” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:31)

That is why Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is our wasila.  He is that one who connects us with our Lord.  Why do we need to follow him if Allah (s.w.t.) Gave us a Book of which is Guidance?  We will see, for example, even in the time of the companions, they always looked towards the Prophet (s.a.w.) for help and guidance; even though they were taught the Qur’an directly from him.  One simple example is that he taught us the times for swalah.  Allah (s.w.t.) Commands us to establish our swalah.  However, nowhere in the Qur’an is the specific period of timings mentioned.  He taught us how to follow the straight path to get to Allah (s.w.t.).  So when Allah (s.w.t.) Says seek the means of approach unto him, we can take it to possibly mean: follow the Prophet (s.a.w.) and make him our model and guide.  He is Swirath al-Mustaqim.

The next important point is that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is very concerned for the believers.  Can we imagine how he will feel if we are deliberately going on the wrong path?  And he is connected to us, as Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

And know that among you is Allah’s Messenger… (Surah al-Hujraat:7)

And the Qur’an is a message for all times.  Allah (s.w.t.) did not say it was only relevant when he was alive.  Has his mission come to an end or does it still continue?  There are those who keep in constant contact with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).  In other places in the Qur’an, Allah (s.w.t.) Says he and the angels pray for us:

… and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them... (Surah an-Nisa’:64)

If we want to get close to Allah (s.w.t.), then we must get as close to His Beloved (s.a.w.) as much as possible.  Any form of disrespect to him will render our deeds null and void.  We must get closer to Allah (s.w.t.) by showing love and honour for Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and following his way.  We must connect to Allah (s.w.t.) through him, and, insha’Allah, we will have no regrets.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Increase our love and attachment to His Beloved (s.a.w.) and through him as our wasila, may we attain closeness to Him, insha’Allah.