It is the month of Rabiul Awwal and the 12th is approaching rapidly. What is the significance some say? What is the significance of someone who was sent as “rahmatul lil Aalameen”: A Mercy to Mankind!
Perhaps Gratitude to start with? Gratitude for Allah’s Rahmah in sending him to us: To bring harmony, love, peace and justice to the world in the envelope of Blessed Merciful Love.
We all remember anniversaries, it jogs our memory, a birthday of a baby, a loved one, and if we love them it brings joy to our hearts, and we express it in culturally unique ways and mainly give gifts, mostly material gifts and many times gifts of love unseen but felt and experienced.
What does one give someone who has everything, till eternity? You give him the gift of words, original words of his Beloved… that is what you give him who has everything and needs nothing. and that is what we did on a Monday afternoon.
The month of Rabiul Awwal has begun in Turkey and in the world; it is a blessed month of happiness not only for the Muslims but also for all humanity. It is on the 12th of this month that Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him was born, and in just twenty three years he brought about such a change in the world that people gave up the vendetta of tribalism, cruelty to women, burying of their daughters at birth and worshipping of stone, using luck and chance to make major decisions in life.
In only twenty-three years he brought love, peace, and security, to their hearts and valor, bravery, honor and integrity to their character. He brought the first interfaith constitution in Medina built on multiple faiths and mutual respect and honor among them.
He came into this world and soon was left an orphan to be raised by his father’s family. “Self pity” was not in his vocabulary. He would in the day as a child tend to sheep for a shepherd and then brought the meager payment to his uncle and grandfather, his innocent act in pulling his own weight brought tears to the eyes of his grandfather who continued to be impressed with the work ethic of his beautiful grandson.
I love women and perfume………. He would say and he was loyal to his first wife who was his beloved partner, and supporter till she died in the open-air prison of the Kuffar who in trying to stem the tide of Islam tried to punish the one who brought the word of the Divine to the desert and upset the balance of master and slave.
The biggest threat you can give to a society is to threaten them with a change in their lifestyle, even if it is good for them, any change in lifestyle is usually vehemently opposed.
It is interesting to observe what even a hint of Sharia law, which is considered a major change in lifestyle, does to some men and women living in the west. It scares the beejeesus out of them, not because they disagree with it but because it might bring change to their existing lifestyle.
They don’t disagree with it in essence because on close scrutiny I am told by jurists that several laws in the US constitution are based on sharia law such as “ a person is innocent until proven guilty” and many of the regulatory laws on property come from Islamic Sharia and are widely used in the US and other countries in the west. The fact that you can “take an item back to the store if it is defective “ and “paying for a commodity that is not yet in your hands” such as ordering on Amazon with the understanding that it will arrive in a few days is also an original Shariah law. Thus ignorance is not bliss.
He (peace and blessings be upon him) came to live the Quran (the word of the Divine) for human beings. The Quran addresses not only Muslims but all human kind . Allah subhaanawataala commands: “obey me and obey the rasool pbuh” ……….why? Because he (pbuh) is an epitome of the actions based on the word of the Divine.
It is Dhuhr time in a mosque in Uskudar the Asian peninsula of Istanbul. The sun has passed its zenith on this clear winter afternoon, the clarity of the crisp air is felt with a refreshing caress. The entire mosque is full of men below and women in the balcony or mezzanine, ready for Salah.
The Salah proceeds like a symphony, the Turkish musallis know exactly what to do and when, not only for the fard prayer but also when to pray the Sunnah, the adhkaar, the salawaat, the tasbeeh and all. It is a package deal. When the Salah ends it is finely wrapped and tied with the ribbon of salawaat to be untied at the next Salah. Such is the Turkish Salah in jamaa.
The Imam talks about how Allah Subhanawataala has sent us someone who will teach us how to cleanse our hearts and get us ready to go back to Jannah or Paradise from whence our parents Adam and Hawa (RA) came to this earth.
Soon the men trickle out and quiet descends on to the inner precincts of the mosque. Occasionally you hear the sighing of the breeze against the windows through the bushes in the cemetery behind the mosque.
The sunlight streams through the partially open window spreading a timeless sense of peace and tranquility in the large hall.
What is the best gift we can give our dearly beloved Prophet pbuh who has been given the worlds? How are we are going to prepare and wrap our gift for our dearly beloved Prophet pbuh?
I walk from the right balcony across the width of the Musallah to the left balcony where the women have congregated to sit right above and to the left of the men in our group.
The Sheikh explains the etiquette of reading the Quran. Everyone sits down; a pin drop silence ensues with the occasional low hum of recitation coming from somewhere, sometimes a giggle and subdued laughter emerges from the children on the other side. The mist of blessings wraps them too in its blanket of love, and they are happy in serenity.
The Qurans are open in laps, or held up reverently as they are recited.
Slowly everyone sinks into the world of the Divine, and in the pages I am reading I find He Subhanwataala is talking to me directly, touching all those hurts with healing fingertips, enveloping all the unresolved angst and indecisions in a blanket of reassurance and love. I bow my head. I am on a ship sailing into the words of the Divine.
“Obey Allah and Obey His Rassool” he says as I recite Surah tun Nisaa, I silently send prayers and thanks for my mother and all my teachers who taught me to read the Quran and finessed it for me with tajweed.
I move across the written lines with the ease of a marathoner with deep gratitude to my mother who insisted that I must learn as a seven year old to read the Quran. Today I also want to read the translation as I feel a message of comfort is coming through to me and me alone. I am faraway from home.
The late afternoon sun gently enters the portals of the mosque politely yet assertively through the windows requesting permission to participate in the gift.
As I proceed with Suran tun Nissaa, I feel the soft ethereal presence of the angels who have come to join a group of believers who are gathered to remember Allah…… Their presence brings a peace that is almost palpable. The words take life and I feel I am being addressed…commands, love, merciful love are given to me and the page dims with moisture in my eyes as I realize that this gift that I am giving to our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad on his birthday is really a gift being given to me by my Lord……………
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّـهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا ﴿٦٩
Translated by Asad from The Holy Quran [4:69]
For, all who pay heed unto God and the Apostle shall be among those upon whom God has bestowed His blessings: the prophets, and those who never deviated from the truth, and those who [with their lives] bore witness to the truth, and the righteous ones: and how goodly a company are these!
I look around, my eyes and my heart fills with gratitude……….