Friday, 27 March 2009


PROPHET (pboh)

As Muslims, and as lovers and admirers of Prophet Muhammad (pboh), we are always happy when occasions such as his birth anniversary comes about because it gives us an opportunity to recall something of his most blessed personality and to thank Allah for allowing us to be in his Ummah.

As you go through life you will encounter various problems. For example, sometimes you will experience vehicular problems as a result you will have to consult with a specialist, who in this case, will be a mechanic. Throughout the history of the coming of the Messengers of God, we see that all the Messengers experienced problems with their people and each Messenger prophesised of the coming of someone who would be able to fix those problems.

Allah makes mention of this in His Holy Words. He says:
    ••     ••   
We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) but as a universal (Messenger) to mankind, giving them Glad Tidings and warning them (against sin), but most men do not understand. (34:28)

We see that throughout history, Messengers came one after the other and each one of them left frustrated. Each nation had an arrogant attitude towards the mission of the Messengers. They were not inclined to the idea of humble submission. These Messengers were so frustrated that some of them asked Allah to ‘get rid’ of those nations.

Didn’t Prophet Muhammad (pboh) experience problems with the people? Look at what happened to him in Taif. He was beaten and stoned so much so that it is reported that his shoes were filled with his blood. He was even offered that opportunity by Allah to destroy the people of Taif but what did he do? He prayed for their forgiveness. He came to unite the people and make them realize that we are all from the progeny of Adam and as a result, we are all brothers and sisters in humanity.

Allah says in Qur’an,
          
Allah did confer a great favor on the Believers when He sent among them an apostle from among themselves. (3:164)

This is why we speak and sing of his attributes. No one can say any negative or degrading things about him. It is reported in the books of Ahadith that Prophet (pboh) is reported to have said,

“The people of older times who will never see me alive will love me more than you who are seeing me alive now; so much so that they will sell everything they own just to see me.”

Remember that as long as we are the Ummah of Rasulullah (pboh) we would not have to look for him on that day; he will be looking for you. As a matter of fact he is looking at you all the time.

There is no doubt that Prophet (pboh) is special and unique, and that he is the most blessed of all personalities. It is reported that when Allah wanted to bring creation into existence the first thing He created was the soul of Rasulullah (pboh). Imam Ghazali in his book Nurnamah said that all the souls were created from the blessed soul of Prophet Muhammad (pboh). From this we can say that every human being has a common ideology instilled in their subconscious that there is only One Creator.

Allah sent Messengers to show the people this fact and to teach them to manifest it in their thoughts and actions. Unfortunately the people never took head of the teachings of the Messengers and Allah finally sent the Seal of Prophets and the Universal Messenger, Muhammad (pboh), to rehearse the messages sent before and to perfect the way of life of the true believers.

And we can see the difference in the degree of success he had as compared to the previous Messengers. A good example of this was the acceptance of Islam by Hazrat Bilal. Bilal was an African slave and when he heard the message he began repeating ‘only one, only one’.

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) removed all the class and racial barriers; and everyone became a brother or a sister in faith. It is even reported that Prophet Muhammad (pboh) dreamt that he was walking to paradise and he heard footsteps in front of him and he saw that it was Bilal.

Although the Prophet (pboh) was a special person he came as a human being on the earth. This is recorded in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse:
    
Say! Verily, I am a human like you. (18:110)

Through the Grace of Allah he was able to grow and develop as a human being with all the trials and tribulations. All the trials the past Messengers experienced, Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was also subjected to a lot of them and he even absorbed some of the trials of his Ummah, as he was "the mercy to the worlds". Through all this he was able to grow and ascend; and was like the pure milk in he cow that flows between the dung and the blood, yet remaining pure, white, wholesome and beneficial. He was able to live without being contaminated and through his example he gave the people the recipe for success.

One of the favors that Allah bestowed on the Messenger was by invite him into His Divine Presence. Prophet (pboh) was able to ascend to the height where no other creature had ever reached. It was only him and his Lord and Allah told him to “take a look”; and he remained normal while gazing at what the Lord wanted him to look at. Whatever did he looked at, only he and Allah know but look at the difference in status between Prophet Muhammad (pboh) and Prophet Moses. Moses asked to see Allah and Allah told Moses that if he could bear what was to happen to the mountain then possibly he could see Allah.

Allah caused a bit of His Divine vibration to descend on the mountain and the mountain crumbled and Moses fainted. When he regained consciousness he told Allah that he didn’t wish to see Him anymore. Look at the difference between both Messengers. Moses who is the law bringer to the Israelites couldn’t bear what had happened to the mountain and Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was, in the Divine Presence, communicating with his Lord, without feeling any difference in his personality while in the Divine presence.

The Qur’an records that the distance between Allah and our beloved leader was two bows length or even closer. Whatever that means, Allah knows best.

The point is that Rasulullah (pboh) was able to ascend to that point, were no creature had ever been, with his total personality. Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, gave Prophet (pboh) that experience as a gift to his Ummah. It is reported in Hadith that Prophet (pboh) is reported to have said:

Salaat is the Miraj of a believer.
The institution of Salaat which was the special gift to the Prophet at that meeting is the experience of standing and speaking to Allah, with nothing between the worshipper and his Lord. Prophet (pboh) is also reported to have said:

“Whenever you stand for Salaat facing the Kaba, know that Allah comes between you and the Kaba”.

Allah has also favored us by providing us with a unique connection with our leader. In that sacred setting of Salaat we remember our beloved Prophet (pboh) and we even speak to him when we recite the Tashahud; we say:

“Greetings, prayers and our good deeds are for Allah. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you O Prophet”.

When we send salaams on Rasulullah (pboh); we know that he receives them and even return our greetings to us. Some people may try to project that this is not possible as he is no longer physically alive and, therefore he will not be able to hear us and respond. He, however, is reported to have said that

“The bodies of Prophets never decay”;

And he further said that:

“Whenever anyone sends salaams on me Allah causes my soul to re-enter my body and allows me to respond”.

If the Prophet (pboh) knows that we are sending salaam on him and he is responding to us; will it be difficult for him to recognise the one to whom he is knowingly responding on that day? It is even reported in Ahadith that our noble leader (pboh) visits us in the grave.

One of the highlights of the Prophet's success is the fact that he was able to bring a piece of heaven on earth. Some people argue that heaven does not yet exist, even though the Prophet (pboh) visited the seven heavens and their inmates. He has however said that between his Mimbar and tomb is a piece of Paradise. The righteous who are fortunate to visit Madinah will tell you of the special feeling of peace and tranquillity that overpowered them while they were in that portion of the Prophet's (pboh) Mosque.

In addition to the feeling in that area of the Mosque, the believer has the special blessing of reciting the words of Allah—the Holy Qur'an there. That has been for many a most memorable experience.

Allah sums up the mission of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) in Surah Ahzab. He says:
 •       •      
“O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and Warner, - And as one who invites to Allah’s (Grace) by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light”. (33:45-46)

We see from this that Prophet (pboh) has maintained a living connection with his followers. He is that lamp which lights up the way for us to attain closeness and nearness to Allah.

May Allah through His Grace and Mercy bless us all for associating ourselves with His beloved and may we continue to learn and pattern from his blessed attributes, and may Allah allow us to continue associating with him and may He allow him to visit us in our graves.


Thursday 12th June 2008

Love for the Beloved

وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ
(And raised high the esteem in which you are held)

فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُوا لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

“Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord." (Ch 18, v 110)

The above mentioned verse of Sura Kahf outlines the purpose and mission of a believer, “those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord”. This verse is telling us that in order to prepare ourselves to meet ALLAH (swt) we must simple do good and stay away from evil. A simple formula that epitomizes our mission in this life; which is to return to, and meet our Lord.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said “ALLAH (swt) is the embodiment of beauty and refinement.” The most beautiful and refined personality to have ever traverse the face of the earth is none other than Prophet Muhammad (saw), because his nafs and ruh were working hand in hand. ALLAH (swt) says about Prophet Muhammad (saw) in Sura Sharh, “Wa rafana laka zikrak”; “and raised high the esteem (in which) you are held”. (Ch 94, v 4)

The essence of the personality of Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the embodiment of admiration and honour, (everything that encompasses good traits). This is why people compose quaseedas, naats and poems about Prophet Muhammad (saw). Reason being his honour, personality and refinement will always be elevated and because of the unwavering love they hold for him. People never did this for the other messengers’, no matter how great they are.

With this in mind our Sheikh has composed the following poem entitled “The Noble Messenger”.
(Peace be upon him)

Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Humility, sincerity and a clear understanding,
Were qualities of this simple man;
Whose mission was to keep reminding
Of obedience, to Allah's commands.

Although he had a humble beginning,
In poor Haleema's loving arm;
Her condition changed when she took him;
Then she led the caravan.

As an orphan he was always moving,
From one home to another;
Until he experienced Allah's Blessings,
When he married Khadijah.

He was extremely kind and loving,
Alike to friends and foe;
Generosity from him kept flowing;
He gave but not for show.

As a role model he kept showing
The way of success in life,
By appreciating Allah's blessings
And be willing to sacrifice.

He knew that health was a blessing,
Just like wealth and intellect.
That the material world was very tempting
Morality one should not neglect.

The principles of loving, sharing and caring,
Were always in his mind.
He never stopped what he was preaching
Of the brotherhood of mankind.

One day there'll be the gathering
Of all humanity
And then there'll be the judging
For a place in eternity.

He left with us a Book worth reading,
He was the best of models.
For anyone who may be seeking
A way to cross the hurdles.

O Prophet, on you be Allah's blessings
Up to eternity,
Because of you our hearts are getting
Peace and tranquillity.

Islam and Justice


Dr. Waffie Mohammed
Tuesday 16th September, 2008
Feature Speech at the Opening of the Law Term 2008 / 2009

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Honorable Prime Minister, Ministers, The Honorable Chief Justice, Judges of the High Court, Magistrates, Honorable Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We begin in the Name of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the worlds, and we invoke peace and salutations on His Final Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pboh) the Seal of the Prophets and Mercy to the worlds.

It is my honor and privilege to address you this morning, especially, since we both represent ideologies that commit to the perpetuation, nay, the infusion of justice for the benefit of all.

Before I elaborate, let me share with you the context in which I make this admittedly bold pronouncement. It is almost cliché to say that Islam is not a religion, but rather a way of life. We say this because Islam goes beyond the relationship of man with his Maker, and beyond man’s nurturing of his spiritual self, toward the attainment of peace or any other particular goal. It offers in addition guidelines on man’s interaction with his fellow man, as well as his recognition and value of the physical environment. And of course, for the sake of justice, my reference to man is not gender-biased, but includes our women-folk as well.

Islam is based on submission to the will of Allah through which peace is attained. This can only be achieved when it is done in the universal context. As a result, real justice will only be manifested when everyone submits fully to the source of all that is just and well ordered.

According to Islamic teachings, Allah demands justice, and although He has not prescribed a specific route, has provided general guidelines on how to achieve it. He has neither prescribed a fixed means by which it can be obtained, nor has He declared invalid any particular means or methods that can lead to justice. Therefore, all means, procedures, and methods that facilitate, refine, and advance the cause of justice, and do no violate the Islamic Law are valid.

The Qur'an views itself as a scripture devoted mainly to laying down the principles of faith and justice. It demands that justice be met for all, and that it is an inherent right of all human beings under Islamic Law.

The institution of administering justice began when Allah placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were given instructions to uphold what was permitted and stay away from the prohibited. When they violated the Command they were taken to task and the appropriate penalty was given, i.e. they were sent down to earth.

Being the last of the Revealed religions Islam teaches that to render justice is a trust conferred on human beings. It expects that, like all other trusts, fulfillment of justice must be guided by a sense of responsibility beyond mere conformity to set rules. A follower of Islam is guided by the Command of Allah contained in the following verse of the Holy Qur'an; Allah says:

O you who believe; be maintainers of your pact with Allah as witnesses to fair dealings, and let not hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is nearest to righteousness. (5:8)

Islam also constitutes codes of conduct – rights, and responsibilities, that guide man’s relationship with his fellow man, and adds to this his relationship with the physical environment, ensuring all the time that every one is given due care and attention. Allah says:

O you who believe; Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor. (4:135)

It is in this context that we say Islam is a way of life, and more so, after consideration of those rights and responsibilities imposed on man by Islam, we maintain that is without doubt a way of life that is dedicated to ensuring justice permeates every level of society. This advocacy we find infused throughout the Holy Qur'an; traditions of the Holy Prophet (pboh) as well as is ordained practices and codes of conduct.

Muslims guide themselves with the saying of Prophet Muhammad (pboh). He is reported to have said that Allah said to him:

O my slave; I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you, so avoid being unjust to one another. (Muslim)

As an example, of how important it is for every person to uphold this noble principle, every Friday in almost every Mosque throughout the world, the Imam concludes his Sermon with the reminder to the congregation as follows:

Verily, Allah commands justice, the doing of good to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion. He instructs you, that you may receive admonition. (16:90)

We interpret the term ‘Justice’ to represent that finely tuned balance between individual rights and freedoms on one part, and individual responsibility to the social good – even beyond that – to enforcing the categorical imperative that we each do onto others as we would have them do unto us.

This manifestation of the dedication to justice became refined with the coming of Muhammad (pboh) the Final Messenger, to whom Allah said:

And the Word of your lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. (6:115)

Emphasis of a principle is not enough – the real challenge is to establish its practice with religious fervor, in one’s daily life, both from the moral and ethical point of view, and also as a system with the dos and don't clearly defined. Every individual has a moral duty to himself and others as well as a social responsibility to all with whom he shall come into contact.

Every individual is honorable in the sight of God, and is entitled to be treated equally in the eyes of the Law. However it happens at time that some people, because of their particular circumstances, may behave as if they are special and superior to others. Those persons may even want to use their ‘gifts’ as a means of expressing some form of superiority over others. Allah warns against such practices and says in the Holy Qur'an:

And do not eat up your property among yourselves out of vanity, nor use it as bait for judges, with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of other people's property. (2:188)

The Holy Qur'an views Justice as an absolute, that is, as an imperative which is unconditionally, universally and absolutely binding—binding on everyone, under all circumstances, and in all situations; binding without considerations of socio-economic position, gender or ethnicity; binding without regard to the distinction of religion, or of power within society, or of income; binding even if it is antagonistic to one personal interest.

Islam accepts this position because Allah says that it is nearest to the virtue of Piety. (5:9)

In the process of upholding what is just, there is the dual need for prevention on one part, and correction on the other – both being goals that must be imposed across the ranges of degrees of formality from codified law, through social standards and expectations to individual choice.

But the question arises as to how these are accomplished within such a cultural diversity of Islam:

Firstly there is the fundamental belief in One God – Allah, who is both All Knowing and Ever Present – His Word is law and He alone can judge us, individually. Amongst His Names some stand out that relate specifically to justice, viz. Al Aadil, the All-Just and Muqsitu, the Dispenser of Justice.

He says: When you judge, do so with justice. (4:58)

Secondly, there is the belief in the Last Day – the day of Judgment – a day in which every single individual who ever walked the face of the earth would be held accountable for his actions as he shall be tried by Almighty Allah. So that we can run from justice and maybe even hide in this life but never shall we ultimately escape.

In the widest sense the pursuit of justice relates to two levels, viz. individual and collective.

The individual level has two dimensions, viz. justice to ones self and justice to other individuals. Then there are two aspects of the pursuit in each case, viz. positive and negative. Thus, at the individual level, four basic rules of justice emerge in the Qur'anic ethics. These are:
• Establish positive devotion to the harmonious development of your personality.
• Remain constantly on guard against all negative factors in respect of every aspect of your personality,
• Give without hesitation to others what is due to them, and
• Refrain absolutely from defrauding others in what belongs to them.

At the collective level, justice takes the following four forms, which have been projected by the Holy Qur'an:
• Justice in social relations
• Justice in respect of the process and enforcement of Law
• Economic justice
• Political justice.

The healthy growth of the society, which influences the growth of the individual, demands the enforcement of all these forms of justice. Accordingly, the Qur'anic motto emerges as follows: Always adhere to justice in respect of self as well as in the interest of others with absolute sincerity and in all comprehensiveness. As a point of note, this builds on the categorical imperative – that single common theme that unites all religions the world over.

Sometimes the administering of justice can be very challenging, as there can be attempts at interference or influence over the decisions to be taken. The repercussions can reverberate to impact on one’s social spheres, or even family life.

But when one understands that the rendering of justice is a trust that God has conferred on the human being and that it ranks as the most noble of acts of devotion next to belief in God; when we are convinced that it is one of the greatest duties entrusted to the Prophets and specially appointed individuals; and when we realize that it is one of the strongest justification for man's stewardship on earth, we shoulder our responsibilities with dignity and honor and let the Merciful Lord take care of our personal matters.

With the intention to serve Him as the basis, we would all ensure that our actions, thoughts, behaviors and very existence emulates justice as we continue on our journey to return to Him, and hopefully we would all arrive at our destination inspired and with peace.

Distinguished guests, it is indeed a great honor to be entrusted with the sacred responsibility of administering justice. As we move into this new law term I pray to the Merciful Lord to make the task easy for everyone connected to it.

I beg Him to bless all of us with wisdom and understanding, so that we shall identify truth and uphold it, and that we may recognize evil and abhor it.

May He enable us all to be just in all our dealings and our interaction, and help us to bear in mind that one day we shall be called upon to give account for all that we did in this life.

May Allah bless us all,
Thank you.



We praise Allah the Lord of Grace,
Whose Divine presence is in every place,
He is the Lord of Compassion;
This He extends to the whole creation.

He is Loving, Kind and Merciful,
Even to those who are sinful,
His Generosity is always there
To everyone He gives a share.

O Allah, I humbly bow to You,
Submitting fully I am trying to,
Hoping to have on that Day
Forgiveness for sins I pray.

Please, O Lord, let it be,
I be submissive willingly,
Fill my heart with love for good,
And be a part of the Brotherhood.

Hate and malice I detest,
Restraint from harming my guest;
Love and kindness I promote
Service to all I devote.

I know You love me dearly,
As I love the Prophet sincerely,
He's our model I've realised
To show us the way to Paradise.

My body and mind I keep clean
I wish to see him in my dream;
A blessing You gave to believers
Who think about the Hereafter.

Please O Lord, at my end,
Cause the angels to descend,
To take my life peacefully
I wish to dwell in Eternity.


Zikr Lesson for the week
Importance of Dua

Allah (swt) is Most Compassionate and He can do anything or change anything. This is because He is As Samad. One thing He says is that Allah He never changes His Word; however there is some measure of petition that He has left opened for His servants. He says:

And your Lord says: Beg from Me, and I will respond; those who are too proud to beg from Me, they will end up in Hell (40:60)

I listen to the prayers of the suppliant when he calls on Me. (2:186)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

Dua is the marrow and jewel of worship (Trimizi)

Nothing is dearer to Allah (from man) than dua. (Trimizi)

We must understand that everything is Decreed by Allah (swt). For example, it is decreed that Satan’s final abode will be the Hell fire; however he begged Allah (swt) for respite and was granted it until the Day of Judgement. The decree stood for Satan but he was given respite.

Dua is an avenue where we can beg Almighty Allah and, Insha Allah, He will respond. Zakaria (as) begged Allah (swt) to grant him a pious son. He was granted Yahya (as) who later became a Prophet. Allah has recorded this in the Holy Qur'an to show to us that when we make dua, He can respond immediately or fulfil our request at some later date.

Allah has given us another example with Abraham, how in his old age he begged the Lord for a righteous son to carry on his mission. Allah then gave him Ishmael and later Isaac. This means that you should go to your Lord for any and everything before going to other than Him.

If you go to Allah (swt), Insha Allah He will respond. He says:

(O mankind), Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret; lo: He does not love the aggressors. (7:55)

Dua is an avenue for us to approach Allah (swt) and, through His Divine Decree, He can accommodate us. He says in Surah At-Talaq;

وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا

And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.
(Chapter 65, verse 3)

Allah (swt) wants us to submit humbly and beg Him. He once told Prophet Musa (as), “O Musa! Ask Me for everything, even the mending of your shoelace”. We constantly acknowledge this in our salaat whenever we recite Surah Fatiha;

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
(Chapter 1, verse 5)

Allah (swt) knows when it’s the appropriate time to bestow His favours upon you. Sometimes we may want something and it might not be beneficial to us and vice versa. He says:

It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you; and that you love a thing that is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know. (2:216)

Remember no sincere dua is left unanswered. When will it be answered? Only Allah (swt) alone knows. It is possible that Allah may not answer the dua of that person who does make and effort to avoid the prohibited. In this connection Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, you must enjoin what is reputable and forbid what is disreputable, or Allah will certainly send punishment from Himself to you. Then you will make dua and will not receive an answer. (Tirmizi)

Humble yourself and beg Him and, Insha Allah, He will take care of your affairs. He provides sustenance for all of us, even though we may not be conscious of it. Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

When making dua, feel sure that Allah will accept it and that He will grant your requests. Remember that Allah will not grant a dua of one who is begging from Him but his mind is elsewhere.

Some of the best times to make dua are:

In the plain of Arafat when the sun is about to set.
In the month of Ramadan.
In the last part of the night.
When on Jihad.
When standing in the rows for Salaat just before it begins.
At the time of rainfall
At the end of the obligatory prayer.
Between the Azan and the Iqamat
When is fasting
When one is on a journey.

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

Never pray in the following manner: O Allah, if You feel, have mercy , etc. Instead, you should ask with certainty, so that Allah will accept your prayer, e.g. you should say, O Allah, fulfil my need. Surely, Allah does what He wills.