By: Imam Suhaib D. Webb http://www.suhaibwebb.com/
A quick glimpse at our state could easily lead to despair and hopelessness. In fact, many of us are beleaguered at the dark waves of sadness and plight that have sweptthe Muslim nation away from its high goals and lofty morals. The Prophetic era seems light years away, and many of us are only left to imagine how things must have been.DonÕt despair! For indeed, at this very moment there exists between you and Allah's beloved (sa) a relationship that can only be called special."The Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves i" "Whoever sends blessing upon me, Allah will send ten blessing upon him. ii"The birth of the Prophet (sa) is the greatest day in human history. Qatadah Al-Ansari (ra) stated that the Prophet (sa) was asked about fasting on Monday and he replied:"It is the day on which I was born and on which I received the Divine Revelation.iii" Commenting on this Hafidh Ibn Rajab (ra) stated: "This hadith points out thedesirability of fasting on days to remind one of the favors of Allah (swt) that took place on that day. Thus, the greatest blessing of Allah upon His servants was theappearance of Muhammad (sa) and him being sent to them as their Prophet and Messenger.ivAllah (swt) says:
"Indeed, Allah favored the believers when He sent a Messenger from amongst themselves.v"There is no doubt, that for the vast majority of Muslims, this day is a very special day. Ahmed Shawqi (ra), attempting to express his happiness and joy for this day, was so over come by his love for the Prophet (sa) that the following lines rushed from his mouth (ra):"Guidance was born and the universe was illuminated. The mouth of that age vi smiled and magnified (Allah) vii.""Don't be sad nor fear."It is easy, especially during these days, to become depressed and saddened by the condition of Muslims the world over. However, let us take sometime and reflect upon what it means to be a follower of the Prophet (sa). In the Qur'an Allah (swt) calls upon the Prophet (sa) in many different places:"O Prophet.""O Messenger"O you wrapped in your mantle.""O covered one."However, if you look carefully you'll never find:"O Muhammad (sa)."But, if you look at the case of the other Messengers and Prophets of Allah you'll find something remarkable:
"And We said, 'O Adam.
"Oh Dawood."One may ask, why has Allah (swt) addressed the other Prophets and Messengers directly but not the Prophet (sa)? The great Mufasir Muhamad Al-Ameen Shinqiti (ra) stated that Allah (swt) did this to illustrate the status of the Prophet (sa) viii. Now imagine how lucky you are to be from the followers of the Prophet (sa)! What does it mean to be from His (sa) nation? And how lucky you are to say: "And I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger and Slave of Allah."Glad tidings! Glad tidings! Glad tidings!Sometimes we feel far from the Prophetic age and this is a great cause for sadness. It is disheartening to see many Muslims giving up, turning tail and drowning indepression and pessimism. However, our relation with the Prophet (sa) is alive and well. In fact, we, in many ways, are lucky for our relation with the Prophet (sa) canonly be called special .The Prophet (sa) said: "Glad tidings for the one who saw me (sa) and believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me.ix" However, inother narrations of the same hadith we find that our beloved (sa) said: "Glad tidings for the one who saw me (sa) and believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn'tsee me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me.And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me.x" Yet still, in another narration, we find "Glad tidings for the one who saw me (sa) and believed inme. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the onewho didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me.And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn't see me, yet believed in me. And glad tidings to the one who didn'tsee me, yet believed in me.xi" It is well known amongst the scholars that the word, "Tuba" glad tidings means Paradise. In addition, it is well known that the Prophet (sa)would repeat things in order to show their importance.I wish I could see our brothersAbu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah (sa) came to a graveyard and said, 'Peace be upon you, abode of a believing people. Allah willing, we will join you. I wish that we could see our brothers.' They said, 'Are we not your brothers, Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'You are my Companions. My brothers are those who have not yet come.' They said, 'How can you know someone of your community who has not yet come, Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'Do you not think that if a man had horses with white blazes which were among dark black horses, that he would recognize his horses?' They said, 'Yes indeed. Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'They will come with white blazes from wudu' and I will precede them to the Basin.xii'" When you read this hadith you should experience a great sense of happiness and humility. The Prophet (sa) mentioned you to his companions and referred to you as his brothers. Take a few moments, make wudu, and ponder on its implications.You'll be with those you loveSometimes I close my eyes and ask myself: "What it would be like to look at the face of the Prophet (sa), to walk with him (sa), to talk with him (sa) and to face hiseyes, indeed pearls, and witness the intense glow of his countenance as it penetrates the deep dark caverns of my sin infested soul; illuminating it, bringing it warmth andcomfort? Can you imagine the Prophet's radiant face? Can you imagine the pleasure in seeing it? Can you imagine the glow from it?
Jabir bin Samurah (ra) said, "I saw him one night during a full moon. I looked at him. He was dressed in a red garment. I compared him with the moon and found that - for me - he was brighter than the moon."Ar-Rabi' bint Muawwidh (ra) said: "Had you seen him, you would have felt that the sun was shining."Longing to be with the Prophet (sa) is from one of the greatest signs of our faith. Once a companion came to the Prophet (sa) and stated that when he left the lessons of the Prophet (sa) and sat in his home he would began to cry. The Prophet (sa) inquired for what reason? The Companion (ra) said, "I realize that I'm with you now. But when I die and if I enter the Paradise, then I will not be with you because of your lofty status. Thus, I will be away from you and am overtaken by tears at the thought." The Prophet (sa) turned to him and said, "A person will be with those he loved.xiii" Bilal (ra) upon his death bed was overcome by tears. When asked if he was crying out of grief he stated, "Tomorrow! Tomorrow I shall meet Muhammad (sa) and his companions." Our mother Aiesha (ra) states: "When Abu Bakr was informed that he would be migrating with the Prophet (sa) to Medina he began to cry." She adds, "It was the first time I'd ever seen someone cry out of happiness.xiv" Once a man came to the Prophet (sa) and asked him about a person who loves others, but for some reason could never see them. The Prophet (sa) responded, "A person will be with whom he loves.xv"Thus, although we are far away from the Prophet's (sa) time. We are still close to him (sa) by our love. Indeed, our love for him (sa) burns in the depths of our heartscreating a great anxiousness to see Him.Excercising Your Relationship With The Prophet (Sa)1. Loving the Prophet:Know, may Allah bless you, that your sincere love for the Prophet (sa) will be a means of being with him (sa) at his fount and drinking from his (sa) noble hands. "Aperson will be with whom he loves." Anas bin Malik (ra) commented on this hadith by saying: "After Islam there is nothing I hold dearer then this. For I love the Prophet(sa)! I love Abu Bakr and Umar! And a person will be with who he loves! xvi"2. Learn his (sa) deen:We should, from this day forward, try our best to learn and practice a new Sunnah every month. As families we can make competitions between ourselves; seeing whoacted on the Sunnah the most each month. As Imam Ahmed said, "For every Sunnah practiced an innovation is destroyed."3. Sending Salwaat:We should send praises upon the Prophet and ask Allah's prayers for him. This is one of the keys to opening this special relationship. Every time you send salwaat upon theProphet the following happen:-Your salams are presented to Him (sa) and he responds to you -Allah will send ten blessings upon you-Allah will remove ten of your sins-Allah will raise your station ten fold xvi- iThus, by sending salawat upon the Prophet (sa), you enact that special relationship.Send salwat upon him now and ponder its implications.3. Latching on to his (sa) Sirah:Start a sirah circle in one's home, local MSA, or Masjid. It is said that one talks about what the heart covets. Thus, studying the life of the Prophet (sa) is a sign of one's true love for him. One of the best books available is Muhammad Man and Messenger by Adil Salahi.4. Reflect on his (sa) countenance:We should reflect on the face of the Prophet (sa). If he were to see the division amongst us that is tearing us apart, would he smile? Let us practice mercy on issueswhere differences are valid and avoid harsh words and work on what we agree according to our sacred law.5. Tauba:Repent to Allah and renew our commitment to His (swt) faith and our following of the Prophet (sa).6. The Mawlid:Is an important time to rekindle the love we have for the Prophet (sa). However, we should not engage in any actions, which violate our sacred law. For that reason IbnHajar (ra) stated: "The legal status of the mawlid is that it is a bid'a, which has not been transmitted on the authority of one of the pious ancestors from the (first) threecenturies. Despite this, it comprises both good things as well as the reverse. If one strives for good things in the practicing thereof and the opposite is evaded, it is a good innovation. If not, then not." Thus, we should avoid mixing between genders and other acts which violate the nature of our sacred law.7. Reflect:We should use these days to strengthen our will; removing depression and anxiety that we have for the Ummah. We should reflect on our lofty status and look towardsworking at improving our condition on all levels.I ask Allah to bless all of you and join us with the Prophet (sa) at his fount.Suhaib William Webb is an American-born convert to Islam. He currently lives in Cairo where he studies at Al-Azhar University with a primary focus on Islamic Law.
i Surah Al-Ahzab verse 6ii A sound hadithiii Related by Muslim (ra).iv Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali Lataif Al-M'arif pg. 98.v Surah Ali Imran #164.vi Meaning the year that the Prophet (sa) was born smiled and gave thanks that it was chosen to be the time which he (sa) was born.vii Shawqiyat of Ahmed Shaqi under Nahjul Burda.viii See Adwaul Bayan by Sh. Shinquit (ra) under Tafsir Surah Hujrat.ix Related by Al-Suyuti in Jami Al-Saghir hadith # 5293.x Related by Al-Suyuti in Jami Al-Saghir hadith # 2035.xi Related by Al-Suyuti in Jami Al-Saghir hadith # 1035.xii Related by Muslim and Malik in Al-Muwata.xiii Hayat Sahaba under the chapter on faith.xiv The Life of Abu Bakr (ra) by Sh. Muhammed Al-Salabi (ha). Unfortunately it is only in Arabic in two volumes.xv Related by Al-Nawawi in Riyad Al-Salihin.xvi Sharh of Riyade Salhin by Sh. Bin Uthaimen (ra).xvii All of these points are based on sound hadith. For more info see jalaaul afhaam by Ibn Qayyim (ra)