This is a long one so sit down and relflect
Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem
I begin with the name of Allah the Most Gracious most Merciful, and send salaams to ourdearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings are upon him.
INSPIRATIONAL LESSONS FROM THE SEERAT UN NABI
AS TAUGHT BY SHEIKH MOKHTAR MAGRAIOU
Respectfully compiled by yours truly
I sat down into to my sunlit spot in the Valide Atik Cami looking forward to the Seerah. As the Sheikh opened the topic it felt like the breeze of Jannah and the Light of the Prophet touched my face. I wanted to put my pen down, close my eyes and allow myself to be transported to the companionship of our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings are upon him.
As the Seerah presentation progressed I experienced the commanding presence of the Angel Gabriel and the response of our dearly beloved Prophet to his command from the word of Allah……..I felt him tremble under his mantle. Felt the comforting hands of Lady Khadija. What a beautiful partner Allah gave him. I shuddered with fear when Allah commanded him to “RISE” in surah Mudathhir.
In this journey through the Seerah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, I felt his pain and compassion for what his followers were undergoing at the hands of the Kuffar. I fell into admiration at his extreme degree of self-control when the Kuffar belittled him, I felt his anguish as his family rejected him and I felt the love and admiration of Syedna Abu-Bakr Siddique and envied his friendship with our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
As the leaves of the book of history opened, and the pain and anguish of the first believers spilt blood and tears on the pages of the saga, I wanted to look for ways to abate their pain and found it in the words of the Quran and in the Istiqamah of the Salah. They in addition found it in the Suhba of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings are upon him.
In the last forty years in the US I had been slowly conditioned to hide my love for our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
Any mention of love of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him was systematically and progressively downgraded by the teachers and Ulema of the USA and countries from where they had learned it.
It came to the point where I had no one to share the wonder of the ascension, and the beauty of the remembrance of the Seerah in mawlid. Thus when my daughter was given an assignment in her Sunday Islamic School to write a paper on the ascension, I pulled out all stops to find her the original hadith and texts for her. She wrote a simplified account of what happened in the ascension ( Al Isra wal Mairaaj) from the hadith I had found for her. Unfortunately She was severely chastised in front of the whole Islamic school class that what she had written was all wrong. (Even though she had given the accurate references from which she took the facts)
The demonization of the Sunnah had begun, the administration of our mosque would go for Hajj and come back laden with yet more methods to denigrate our Prophet and the Quran. It became mind boggling to the point where I started to feel pain every time I entered our local mosque. Yet I kept going to it hoping for a change. The Quran ended on the floor level bookshelves, all hadith books and Seerah books were given away from the library, until nothing remained except one English translation of the Quran by a person who had no degree or background in Islamic studies.
I who had grown up celebrating the mawlid and remembering the Seerah for the whole month of Rabiul Awwal suddenly found myself starved of the loving mention of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Amongst my fellow mosque attending Muslims most did not even remember the day of his birth and death.
Thus this course in Seerah to me was what a drink of cool water is to someone who was parched and stranded in the desert.
The Sheikh introduced the haqiqa of our Nabi as being present before Adam was created, which naturally and completely folded into what we know of Allah being the master planner, He plans everything thus He Subhanawataala had planned for the status of our Nabi, of when he was going to appear and where and what honor He Subhanawaatala was going to endow on him in the worlds.
A FEW INSPIRATIONAL VIGNETTES
What was deeply inspiring was how our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him responded to the Qabt (constriction) and Bast (expansion) in his life knowing all along that it was all from Allah and not knowing how it will end and how long it will go on.
The particular areas that I related to and was particularly inspired by were:
* Lady Khadija and her composite characterof heyaa, practicality, business astuteness, an intellectual and moral choice of a life partner, her high standards of morality, her foresight when she had her business associate check into the morals and business practices of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Before she proposed to him (pbuh), her resourcefulness in taking him (pbuh) to Waraqah after the first revelation, her moral beauty, (notice that her physical beauty is not the first and main item listed in the seerah), her istiqamah by the side of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him through thick and thin, her absolute trust in why he was chosen for the message and her softness of heart and compassionate love for our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. The persona arising of Lady Khadija is such …………that you are mandated to love and admire her and hope to emulate her.
- The realization that perhaps Bilal (RA) was in a state of “wajd” with his repetition of “Ahad” which transported him out of the pain his body was being subjected to. It is a discovery, which comes only when one is so deeply engrossed in Dhikr that the environment fades and one is lifted into a cloud of comfort and beauty, only experienced by the genuine few attached to Allah.
- The compassion of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him with Ammar ibn Qasim the young son of the earliest converts of Islam who saw, was horrified and terrified as his dear mother Summaya being tortured in the most inhumane manner that only a women can be subjected to, an image that would give horrific nightmares even to the strongest. The prophet said to him and I paraphrase” “ ………………and if it happened again ever you can renege on the Kalima and Allah is Raheem”
- The istiqamah of the Prophet is sentinel in my heart in the face of his family not only being resistant to his message but a force against him personally and the pain and anguish it caused him, not only because they were related but because he could see them end in the FIRE if they persisted in the denial of the Lordship of Allah. The beauty of his (pbuh) relationship to Allah is such that Alllah Jalayjallalahu sent a message of comfort to him in the Quran. There are hidden messages in the Quran and the Seerah of comfort, encouragement and istiqamah in the face of Qabd,(constriction). we just have to look for them in ease so we can find comfort in them in difficulty (surah inshirah)
- I was deeply affected by the honest approach of Syedna Jafar (RA) to the King of Habasha when asked about their faith and their opinion of Jesus (AS) in court in front of the emissaries from Quraish. Jafar (RA) recited the covenant and recited surah Maryam the recitation of which to this day transports me to masjed al Aqsa as well as the sacred place where the angel approached Maryam (AS). I can almost visualize in my minds eye: the angel approaching her………….. I have recited the meaning of Surah Maryam to many of my non Muslim friends who have asked me about the story of Jesus as we believe in it and it never fails to bring tears to their eyes as it does to mine.
- Syedna Abu Bakr Siddiq s (RA) love, respect and unconditional friendship with RasoolAllah pbuh. My deepest admiration for Syedna Abu-Bakr (RA) his grace, his serene personality, his strong istiqamah, his unquestioning obedience and acceptance of the words of our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings are upon him.e. when the Quraish said to him and I paraphrase: “ ………Can you believe it that your friend Muhammad (pbuh) is making the claim that he visited Jerusalem in one night and came back” to which he replied and his reply just makes me wish I had that kind of an absolute obedience, love and trust for our Rasool pbuh; he said: “ ……………if he (pbuh) said that then I believe it”.
- The year of grief: as one by one the people of emaan were physically weakened by the siege, and the departing of two of the most beloved persons in the Prophet’s (pbuh) life. How did he (pbuh) withstand the pain, the continued constriction for three years and I would think each year would be unending in itself in the heat and cold of the barren desert. The year of grief is something I read about again and again after the death of my beloved young son to try and get the strength of our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad pbuh by osmosis.
- My heart fills with gratitude, love and humility as I think of the moment when the angel of the mountains arrives outside of Taif. The Prophets body is bleeding from wounds all over such that the dripping blood is filling his shoes. In this state of pain and humility he is offered the power of vengeance: and how does he (pbuh) reply and I paraphrase: “ No do not destroy Taif for amongst the progeny of these men may arise someone good”and so it was! My own ancestors came on the ship of Muhammad bin Qasim from Taif, to release the subcontinent from the cruelty of the pagan king Raja Daahir. My ancestor traced back to the family of Quraish was an Awliya of Allah and remained back in Multan to spread the word of Allah and Islam. After which Islam gradually spread from Multan to all over the subcontinent of Indo Pakistan. My gratitude has no bounds, and the compassion of our Prophet for those who have hurt him, is fathomless.
- The power of the recited Quran comes to me in the story of the valley of the Jinns, and clarity of the heart of some………….In Surah Jinn we are told that as Prophet Muhammad pbuh recites the Quran as he walks through the valley of the Jinns, they hear and some of them obey and convert to Islam, I sometimes feel they are better than us with more transparent hearts. Even today when the Quran is recited it enters my heart………… transforming it into another dimension, but the next day the feeling fades, woe be it.
- The love of RasoolAllah pbuh forhis dearest daughter lady Fatima reminds me of the natural love of a father for his obedient daughter. It also reminds me that she was special to him sort of like Yusuf AS was special to Yaqoob (AS).
- The love of RasoolAllah for Syedna Ali (RA)as one of his youngest companions and relative to embrace Islam. The most poignant story is when RasoolAllah pbuh offers the message of Islam to his family and no one gives him support and young Ali (RA) pledges support and the older relatives laugh at him. It is much later when everyone picks a partner for jannah and Ali RA is left, and he asks and I paraphrase
“ ………….who is my partner Ya RasoolAllah?” and our beloved Prophet pbuh replies and I paraphrase “…………. I am”
- I am deeply grateful that my parents named me “Asma” after one of the strongest women in the world, with the deepest emaan and istiqamah ever known to man/womankind. Her unconditional support for our dearly beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him specially during hijra. When her father left for hijra, she bravely faced the Quraish and they got so angry with her stoic stand that they struck her face, her walking up to Cave Thawr with their food, and her resourcefulness in tearing her belt in two to provide security in tying their food to the camel………and much more. One wants to cry and sob at her end with blindness and prosecution of her beloved son and yet her honor, her indomitable strength in the face of the patriarchal society of pre-islamic Arabia is a source of strength and inspiration for every woman.
- The absolute trust in Allah and the promise of Allah that “no grief” will come to those who have taqwa of Allah is a lesson that I draw upon again and again as I read about the moments in the cave of Thawr when the legs of the horses of the Quraish who are hunting our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad pbuh are visible to the companions of the cave in Hijra to Medina. I can never forget the words in the cave of Thawr when the Quraish were upon them and Syedna AbuBakr (RA) whispered, “Messenger of Allah, if they look down towards their feet they will see us!” Prophet Muhammad pbuh replied, “Abu Bakr, what do you think of two people with whom Allah is the third?” Allah revealed the following verse of Quran in response to this poignant moment.
“If you help him (Muhammad) not (it does not matter), for God did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of two, when they were in the cave, and he (Prophet Muhammad pbuh) said to his companion (Abu Bakr),”Be not sad (or afraid), surely God is with us.” Then God sent down His Sakînah (calmness, tranquillity, peace, etc.) upon him, and strengthened him with forces that you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowermost, while it was the Word of God that became the uppermost, and God is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Quran 9:40)
- The poignant story of Umm e Salaymah, how she and her child were forcible separated from her husband and prevented from migrating to Medina. When despite all odds she tried to migrate to Medina for the love of our Prophet how her clan forcibly took her child from her ……..This has so many echoes in the modern day Middle Eastern Muslim society which is going back to the pre Islamic days and removing children from their mothers by force during a divorce. So much ignorance has infiltrated into our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
- The idols of the heart and the idols of the Kaaba are very similar; they steal into the recesses of the heart secretly and become permanent fixtures at one point. RasoolAllah pbuh recited an ayah and touched the idols and they dropped to the ground smashing to smithereens. I need to cleanse my heart regularly with the Quran with this ayah:
- “And say, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.” Quran al Kareem 17:81
- In summary journeying the Seerah and the Light of the Quran with the Sheikhtaught me to illuminatethe factual aspects of the Seerah with the light of spiritually.
- It taught me to recognize and practice each aspect of tazkiyah tun nafsthat is embedded in every page of the Seerah.
- It inspiredme to learn to be compassionate, brave, and Saabir,
- It introduced me to the secret of silencefor it is then that the angels sit with you and Allah orders them to resolve the issue without you moving an eyelash.
- It taught me that I as a woman can follow Prophet Muhammad pbuh directlyand not necessarily through the Sahabiaat only as models
- And finally it taught me to rise above the words on the pages of The Seerah and journey into the spirit of it and to seek salvation from Allah by seeking the proximity and love of His Rasool peace and blessings be upon him.
- All goodness is from Allah and all mistakes are a result of my weakness and from Shaytaan, May Allah forgive me!