The Humble "I"

Muslims, Musings, Modernity

Celebrating the Prophet

Prophet Muhammad PBUHThere have been times throughout history whereby the heavens have opened and the celestial light cleansed certain human souls who, as a result, were divinely invested with prophethood (nubuwwah) – the highest condition possible for any human being. For a prophet is a bridge, as it were, between heaven and earth; Creator and creation, helping us to recall our purpose of being and our ultimate return.

One hadith has it that Allah sent a hundred and twenty-four thousand such prophets to the peoples of the earth:1 And every people had a guide. [13:7] When the revelatory wisdoms of one prophet faded or were forgotten, the link was reforged by the sending of another prophet. The last person to be invested with prophethood was the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, after whom the prophetic age came to a completion and close. The Qur’an says:  Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. [33:40] As to the remaining ages of this world, the heavenly link would be reforged and renewed by scholars and saints; but never again by prophets.

Rejoicing in the sending of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the Qur’an says: Allah has surely shown favour to the believers by sending them a Messenger from their midst to recite to them His signs, and to purify them, and to instruct them in the Book and in wisdom; whereas before this they were in clear error. [3:164] Not only did the Prophet bequeath to mankind knowledge that could quench their inborn thirst for matters spiritual and sacred, he came with perfect guidance for their temporal affairs too. So for Muslims, the Prophet is by far the greatest of the heavenly gifts to have ever descended upon the human realm; so much so that the shari’ah has actually marked the day on which he was born and when he first received revelation as a commendable day to fast. This, as a heart-felt thanks to our Creator for this precious of gifts and most wondrous of blessings.

The Prophet, upon whom be peace, was once asked about the significance of fasting on Mondays; so he replied: ‘This is the day on which I was born and which revelation first came to me.’2 Elaborating upon this hadith, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali says:

‘[In it] there is an indication that it is desirable to fast on those days where the favours of Allah upon His servants renew themselves. The greatest of the divine gifts to this nation is the manifestation of Muhammad, peace be upon him, to them and of him being sent to them as a Messenger. Allah, exalted is He, reveals: Allah has surely shown favour to the believers by sending them a Messenger from their midst. For the blessing of him being sent to this nation is far greater than of causing the heavens, the earth, or the sun, moon, winds, night, day, rainfall, food, vegetation or other things to actually exist. For these gifts are for the creation in general – even those of humanity who are disbelievers in Allah and His Messenger and the final meeting with Him; those whose response to the favours and graces of Allah is sheer ingratitude. As for the favour of sending Muhammad, peace be upon him, then by it the blessings of this world and the Afterlife were completed, and the religion Allah chose for His servants perfected. So his acceptance is the actual cause for their felicity in this world and the Afterlife. Thus, fasting on the day that Allah’s favour to His servants is renewed is not only good and excellent, but it is also a way to reciprocate Allah’s favours that are renewed at such times, with an abiding sense of gratitude.

‘Similar to this is fasting the day of ‘Ashura wherein Allah saved Noah from the Flood, and Moses and his people from Pharaoh and his army; drowning the latter in the sea. Both Noah and Moses, peace be upon them both, showed their gratitude to Allah by fasting [that day]. Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, [also] fasted this day out of emulating those Prophets of Allah. He said to the Jews: “We have more right to Moses than you.”3 He thus fasted that day and instructed others to do so too.’4

Rejoicing in the sending of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is undoubtedly a central aspect of every believer’s faith – for it is his light and life that warms and illuminates believing hearts: O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, and as a bringer of good news and a warner, and a caller to Allah by His permission, and as a lamp giving light. [33:45-6] As for celebrating the Prophet’s mawlid or birthday, annually, peace be upon him, this is an area of legitimate differing among the scholars and should not be made into a source of division or discord. Those who hold there is a shari‘ah basis to do so, will do so; those who don’t won’t. But none would disagree that celebrating the Prophet’s life on a daily basis – by adhering to his teachings, emulating his character, deepening our love and veneration of him, and habituating ourselves to abundantly invoke salawat or blessing of peace upon him – is where we all need to be heading. And unto that the believer holds!

1. As per Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 5:265. The hadith with its collective chains yields a final grading of hasan; as demonstrated in al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadiih al-Sahihah (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma‘arif, 2005), no.2668.

2. Muslim, no.1162.

3. Al-Bukhari, no.2004; Muslim, no.1132.

4. Lata’if al-Ma‘arif (Riyadh: Dar Ibn Khuzaymah, 2007), 236-7.

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16 thoughts on “Celebrating the Prophet

  1. Ali Shah on said:

    Masha Allah! Thank you for another enlightened article. Can I reproduce this on the Oxford Masjid app?

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    • Barakallahu fikum. Yes you may my brother.

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      • Salam Brother-mashallah love your posts – are you a qualified scholar who is able to give ocasional talks to a mosque based near Stanstead airport ? Jazakallah khair

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    • Wa ‘alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullah. Thank you for your common, N. Jazakallahu khayran.

      When you get a chance, please take the opportunity to read the “About” blurb (at the top of the page). That will give you some idea about my background and learning. If you do wish to contact me thereafter, please send an email to uajung@gmail.com

      May Allah bless you and keep our hearts attached to Him and His Beloved, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

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  2. Ajed LATA on said:

    Selam Alejkum first I am sorry for ma riten in English for dhis ma KOMENT will be shorte ALLAH BLES you sheji Abu Aaliyah I like listen you on hytbe for xhuma your talking make mi thinkin and fine mor ways to show wot really ISLAM is May ALLAH grad ju wif XHENET firdusit IN SHAE-LLAH

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  3. gordon2 on said:

    WOW…suddenly you are aware that people have diff names and that in actual fact when you believed there were many, it is one person, who is hiding, invisible and silent. Y?? Is it to see what sort of response will be forthcoming, from the respondent? The answer could be that, even when friends have merged themselves into two three or four different heads, within one photo, or changed names several times, although just being one and the same person…what is lost?? IMO it would have to be Trust…because why would they go to such lengths? It could be called A Sacrifice for a Kingdom.. perhaps..something that has to be done in order to make a sacrificial offering…to do a check…a test….yet as the blessed prophet Muhammed (pbuh), who could not write either, said..’Allah has surely shown favour to the believers by sending them a Messenger from their midst to recite to them His signs, and to purify them, and to instruct them in the Book and in wisdom; whereas before this they were in clear error.’ [3:164]..it leaves non other those that believe their academic status superior to those that may not write according the usual academic rules. Yet what gives that right to anyone, who believes in their superiority to intrude into someone else’s complete innocence,by hiding under pseudonyms….judging simplicity with ignorance…simplistic writing is the greater gift……just as that gift given to the prophet Muhammed, to utter words that some of the scribes had never heard….in their superiority changed some of what he said…as it might have been too simplistic for them…..and the passage quoted highlights pride, which the Beloved Prophet Muhammed did not have…..it was through his dream, the bridge between heaven and earth was formed….as he flew on his imaginative white horse to find his abode of eternal love….. yet encompassed within light and water……love and life, while needing to find that other to pass that real dream onto within words that were given in a simple loving book..IMO a continuation of his brother Jesus’ words…..the blessed prophet Muhammed (pbuh) never intended to be invoked in the same manner as his brother Jesus Christ…..but then neither did Jesus Christ.They were both messengers,which is very clear within the qur’an when comparisons are done …yet the similarities are too great to be ignored……..Charlotte x

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  4. Jazakallah Khairan Ustaadh

    Beautifully written..
    Inshallah hope to see you soon.

    Ws
    Fiaz

    Like

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