By Rahat Siddique
It’s my favourite time of year again! As per tradition, I will be posting a daily reflection related to the Prophet Muhamamad ﷺ to honour Rabi al-Awwal, the month of his blessed birth. The intention behind this is two-fold; firstly it allows me to learn more about the Beloved ﷺ with respect to his mannerisms, his life and his legacy. Secondly it creates a collective sense of learning and love.
Mawlid Musing #1
It’s a festive time a year for all the Abrahamic faiths, with Hanukah having recently passed and Christmas taking place in a couple of days. It reminds me of the beautiful attachment the Rasool ﷺ had to the prophets of the past; everything that he loved concurred with that which the previous prophets loved. Thus, he ﷺ took to a staff just as Moses had a staff; to a shirt as Joseph had a shirt; to the Abrahamic prayer to remember Abraham and to a ring because of the ring of Solomon.
Mawlid Musing #2
Abu Talib delivered the marriage sermon between the Prophet and Khadijah. His speech was documented in the seerah Ibn Hisham, one of the earliest biographies on the life of the prophet ﷺ. This is a very rough translation by Talha – please do not take it as reliable and correct any mistakes!:
“It was was that it was Abu Talib who went with the prophet ﷺ and it was he who gave the sermon for the marriage. His speech was:
“To proceed: Indeed Muhammad (ﷺ) cannot be compared with any other man in Quraysh except that he is better than him in honour, nobility, virtue and intellect. “If he has only a little wealth, then [know that] wealth is a vanishing shadow and a fickle thing. He seeks to marry Khadija the daughter of Khuwaylid, and she seeks to marry him…”
Mawlid Musing #3
When the Quran swears by something (i.e. the sun, the star or the olive) it does so to indicate its esteemed position. In essence, everything sworn by relates back to the Prophet ﷺ, so ‘by the star when it plunges’ (53:1) refers to Prophet Muhammad; his heart is the star and when ‘it plunges’ indicates that his heart is expanded with lights. The verse, ‘by the dawn’ (89:1) refers to the Prophet ﷺ again, since belief dawns from him.
Mawlid Musing #4
Flashback blog post | And yet more illumined
Today is a day of immense blessing and love. Last year I wrote a poem about the Beloved ﷺ and could not think of a better time of year to share it, than a month of such great light and beauty. It is a modest attempt at trying to express a love that is within despite the veils and the acquisition of very little knowledge.
‘Possessor of light, and yet more illumined
The radiant moon on the fourteenth,
Round in its splendour; yet more awe-inspiring,
And bright like the sun for those that couldn’t meet his gaze
Or absorb the majesty in his kohl-rimmed eyes.
18 silver hairs resided.
Four cubits; elevating, a leader,
A great height.
Yet he walked from an incline. Descending.
Broad-shouldered and strong, yet soft in nature.
Silken hands, broad palms, a fullness in his being.
Chest even, filled with wisdom clearly,
Slender neck, to which the gazelle could not compare,
And yet more illumined.’
Mawlid Musing #5
“And the moment after is better than the moment before” (93:4) Often translated as ‘the Hereafter is better for you than the present’. The former interpretation relates to the Kindness of God in relation to the Messenger ﷺ, in which the Prophet ﷺ is in constant ascension to Him because his actions were only in the realm of the good or the better.
Mawlid Musing #6
Inna lilahi wa inna ilahi rajioon.
The Prophet ﷺ ‘my Nation is a nation covered with mercy. Its members enter their graves with sins like unto the mountains, and leave their graves having been forgiven because the living have asked forgiveness for the dead’. Thus we are known to be a proactive nation that show care and concern for our loved ones.
Two of my dear friends have recently experienced a bereavement in their family, and given we’re in a month where we can bring the Tradition to life, I hope we can, as a collective, do a complete Quran khatam for Kifah‘s uncle and Racha‘s Nani.
Please sign up using the Google Doc and complete your reading by 20th January 2015, or read a prayer for them if that date has passed.
Mawlid Musing #7
He ﷺ used to love beginning with the right in acts of ritual puriﬁcation, grooming and upon wearing his sandals. He would enter places of nobility with his right foot and ate with his right hand. There is an honour associated with starting anything significant with the right. We’re beginning a new year, so in accordance with the tradition we begin with the right to entwine blessings into this fresh start and renewal of intentions.
And may we be raised as the People of the Right.
Mawlid Musing #8
In the 40th year, Gabriel visited the Prophet ﷺ in the Cave of Hira’ bringing revelation from his Lord. He came with the Chapter ‘Recite’. The Prophet ﷺ, immediately returned back to Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, saying “Cover me! Cover me!” and so she covered him, he thereby said, “Indeed I was overcome with fear of myself!” Khadijah replied, “No, by God, God would never humiliate you! Indeed, you maintain bonds of kinship, carry the burden of the weak, reap unimaginable gain, treat guests well and assist in times of truth”.
Mawlid Musing #9
‘His assembly was one of forbearance, modesty, patience and trust. Voices were not raised in it nor were shortcomings made public nor lapses exposed.’
Today I remember the prophetic etiquette of interacting with people; that his blessed gatherings were not filled with humiliation or of vilifying others. No one came into his company and felt uncomfortable nor were they made to feel uncomfortable no matter what their outward or inward state. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him mentions the Prophet ﷺ abandoned three things with respect to people: he did no censure anyone, he did not scold them nor try to find out their secrets.
Mawlid Musing #10
This is the supplication that the Prophet ﷺ made after being chased out of Ta’if by the children and slaves of the city. It comes as low point, by which the Prophet ﷺ went to invite the people of Ta’if to the religion and they responded with harshness and cruelty. It took place in the Year of Sorrow, the year that Khadijah and Abu Talib passed away. It tells us about his etiquette with his Lord in asking even when he’s experiencing one of the lowest points as a Messenger ﷺ.
‘O Allah, to You I complain of my lack of strength, my lack of resources and how insignificant I am before men. O most Merciful of those who show mercy! You are the Lord of the weak and You are my Lord. To whom will You relinquish my fate! To one who will misuse me? Or to an enemy to whom You have given power over me? If You have no anger with me then I have no objections. Your favour is all that counts for me. I take refuge in the light of Your countenance, by which all darkness is illuminated. And the things of this world and next are rightly ordered. I wish to please You until You are pleased. There is no power and no might save in You.’
Mawlid Musing #11
The Prophet ﷺ reached Medina in the Year of the Migration, on Monday the 12th of Rabi al Awwal, upon his arrival all of Medina’s pure quarters were illuminated.
You have brought to this city nobleness
Welcome best caller to The Way!
Mawlid Musing #12
‘I think of you, an orphaned child, with wide pure eyes rejoicing at life.
I see you in your youth, quiet and bashful, in your solitude, feeling the longing for God.
I feel your tranquillity in the arms of your wife, and your trembling body with the advent of truth.
I see you sitting bewildered and sad in Ta’if, persevering through the trials of life.
I think of you comforting your Companion in the Cave of Hira’ with your trust in God.
I think of you instructing your soldiers away from the ants’ nest and mending the broken wing of the injured bird.
I feel your beautiful smile tenderizing my world and hear your laughter in the midst of children.
I watch you mending your cloth, and then playfully racing your wife.
I ponder your poverty, and the agony of your grief over your dying children.
I think of your kindness and forgiveness with every hypocrite and fool, and of the way you honoured and dignified your followers.
I think of the hypocrite ‘Abdullah Ibn Salul yelling at you, “You and your donkey stink,” and you refusing to hate, punish, or take vengeance.
I think of all of this and I feel you in my heart, and I believe I know you.’
– Sh. Khaled Abou El Fadl | The Search for Beauty in Islam