BIRTHDAY OF THE
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.