A South African Muslimah's Blog

Constructing Identity: Loud Whispers, Lasting Echoes

Muhammad (pbuh) July 20, 2015

Connecting with the memory of Muhammad (as) in these blessed last days of Ramadan … a memory which stretches back over a 1000 years to a tiny cave and a beautiful human being who was touched by an angel on the eve of Revelation … our path begins with Love’s embrace – the clasp of Jibra’eel (as) and the arms of Khadija (ra). Our retreat for intense devotion and reflection during these nights of the fast are a celebration and commemoration of that moment – an eternal moment – when Allah reached out to us through His Chosen servant. The Qur’an offers an intimate way of knowing Muhammad (as) for his lovers – the people of hope and dhikr –

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a beautiful example for him whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.”(33:21)

“And most surely, you have an exalted moral character.”(68:4)

“He is concerned over you and to the believers is gentle and merciful.” (9:128)

“And We have not sent you except as a mercy to the worlds.” (21:107)

We must give ourselves over to Muhammad (saw) – in this is our covenant with Allah –

“Surely, those who give their pledge to you, pledge allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands.” (48:10)

In his (saw) way is everlasting Life –

“Oh you who believe! Answer the call of Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life, and know that Allah comes between a person and his own heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered. (8:24)

In gratitude for his life, the best salawaat (salutation) we could ever sing and inscribe on our hearts is Allah’s own –

“Indeed, Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. Oh you who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. (33:56)

As these nights draw to a close, as exhaustion may be weighing us down and as Eid beckons – remember when we wrap ourselves in our spiritual garments, stay awake to worship, when we stand in adoration and recite the Qur’an slowly & melodiously, we are following his (saw) sunnah as inspired by Allah –

“Oh you wrapped in garments
Keep vigil the night long, save a little –
Half of it – or a little less,
Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.”

 

In tribute to the Beloved March 10, 2009

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Maulood in Cairo, Egypt 

Every year, we make mental, mobile, Google and diary notes to mark the birthdays of people close to us; our spouses, children, parents and best friends… we try to make their day special for them in any way, be it with gifts, cooking their favorite meals, or treating them with an outing. We thank Allah for the day which brought them into the world and into our lives.

Let us in the same way, honor the birthday (or birth month, as the exact date of birth is unknown) of the most beloved man to any Muslim. The month in which he, (saw) was born, changed the course of human history forevermore. Let us not trivialize it.

There is much controversy in the Muslim world, about whether or not the Mercy to Mankind’s’ birthday should be celebrated, and if so, how, and if not, why.
Yes, some people tend to go to extremes, and introduce innovations into the celebration, but before we wag a judgmental finger at anyone, try to understand their love for a man who lived 1400 years ago and try to understand their yearning to express that love.

The occasion of the Maulood is a perfect time to educate ourselves and those around us about Muhammad (saw) and his teachings; to be grateful for him and to appreciate all he has done for us. Indeed, the Maulood is a time for celebrating the life, not just the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Let us, in this month, commemorate the magnitude of his achievements, revere the depths of his sorrows and solemnize the value of his sacrifices.

Let us revive his high esteem and respect for women, his kindness to children, his generosity to the poor, his tolerance of his enemies, his rapport with believers of other faiths, his gentleness with his wives, his endurance during trying times, his trust in friends, his astuteness in politics, his bravery in war, his ultimate submission to Allah.

Let us rejoice, during this time, to be of his followers. Let us dare to be his lovers, in a time when his message is so persecuted. Let us reminisce his blessed days.

During this month, get involved in your community, attend the programs held in honor of the Maulood, increase your remembrance of Allah and salutations upon the Chosen one. Read to yourself and your loved ones about the Seerah. Speak out against the abuse of women and children, political oppression, crime and pollution.

Sing and praise the man who loves you, even now from his resting place, Oh believers and weep in humility for the man who shed copious tears for you, Oh faithful…Is this not the best way of celebrating the Prophet’s (saw) life, by emulating him, and treasuring him? 

Whilst we are celebrating the beauty of this one life, let us not neglect or overlook the injustice, oppression and tyranny experienced by millions around the world, regardless of colour, creed or other man-made constructs.