Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Mercy to the Worlds

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

As we have said on numerous occasions before, the personality of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is indeed very special. There will never be anyone or anything like him in this universe. Allah created him unique and special for many reasons. One such quality that makes him absolutely unique is recorded in Surah Anbiyaa;

‘We sent thee not (O Muhammad), but as a mercy to the worlds’. (21:107)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is the only personality about whom Allah mentions in the Qur’an as Rahmatul Lil Alameen – a mercy to the worlds.

We know that our universe contains many worlds and there are multiple galaxies that contain many planets. What then does Allah mean when He says that Muhammad is a mercy to the worlds? In order to understand this we must first look at the very source of mercy. Allah says about Himself;

Say: “To Allah. He hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy”. (6:12)

So it means then that the quality of mercy and compassion is something very special. And if Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was sent to be the recipient and the physical representation of the manifestation of mercy then there must also be something special about him. Of course Allah knows why He sent him, but we can deduce something from events, incidents and matters to demonstrate his greatness.

We know that Allah says that if He was to cause the Qur’an to descend on a mountain top the mountain would be reduced to rubble. So, no creature in this universe was capable of receiving the Qur’an except Prophet (pboh). This was evident when Allah took the Qur’an out of Lawh Mahfuz and caused it to be placed in the heart of Prophet (pboh). His heart was the recipient of this great Book.

Before his physical coming, only Allah knew the Qur’an. Only after it came to Prophet it became known by all; even the angels and jinns. This is possibly why the angels and jinns gather wherever the Qur’an is being recited to listen to it.

So part of Prophet’s (pboh) mission was to receive this great Book. And this is one of the reasons why he is a mercy to the worlds.

Through him all other creatures have access to the Words of Allah; whether they choose to read it or listen. Allah gave previous revelations but not in the context and layout as He has made the Qur’an. It is only when Prophet (pboh) came we gained true knowledge such as the beginning of the universe and the events surrounding the end.

So the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) marked a new era where all the creatures in the universe could become enlighten. And all the while he maintained the perfection and purity of the Qur’an.

Another factor that makes him a mercy to all worlds is the specific area that Allah sent him to; i.e. Makkah. We know that the Kaba is the center of the universe. And directly above the Kaba (in paradise) there situates Baitul-Mamur (The Frequented House); where angles also pray and perform tawaf. Thus the Kaba is like an axis where the universe spins around. And it is from the Holy Kaba that the Divine Mercy spreads throughout the universe. And Prophet (pboh) began his mission from this blessed land.

The beautiful poem entitled Falak Bola highlights the greatness of Prophet Muhammad (pboh). In it the sky and earth argues which of them is greater. After a few exchanges the earth won the argument by saying ‘I am greater because the Greatest creature that has ever been created is on me’.

Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to all the worlds and his personality is such that even today he continuously receives blessing from Allah .

“Verily Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute Him with all respect.” (33:56)

Yusallunaa - is a verb in present / future tense. Therefore the blessings being sent are sent constantly and continuously. And he distributes these blessings to those who connect themselves to him via the institution of darood. If you are able to connect to him you will also be connecting to some measure of Divine Mercy.

May Allah makes us amongst those who would connect ourselves to His Habeeb (pboh) and may he enable us to understand the greatness of his personality and the mission that he still engages in today.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Testifying in the Oneness of God

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

There is no doubt that Allah made Prophet Muhammad (pboh) very special. One allusion to this is uniqueness of the mission that was given to him. And more importantly than that is the personality that Allah gave him.

There are many dimensions in his blessed personality and in his mission and, insha Allah they would all be discussed in a public lecture that will be delivered by Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed on the 4th March 2012 at 10:00am at the Markaz Campus.

When we say Ash-hadu it means ‘I bear witness’. How does one bear witness? It can only be done if you have sure knowledge. That is if you’ve seen or experienced that which is being testified to.

With this in mind how then can we truly testify to the statement Ash-hadu anla ilaha illallaah (I testify that there is no god but Allah). We cannot bear witness to this in the true sense of the word because we haven’t reached that stage of seeing or experiencing the Divinity of Allah. Rationally, we know that everything comes from a Creator. But bearing witness is more than that. This is where Prophet Muhammad (pboh) stands out. Allah says in the Qur’an;

There is no god but He: that is the witness of Allah, His angels, and those endued with knowledge, (3:18)

It is possible to testify with sure knowledge that there is no God but Allah because He can make Himself comprehensible to any creature that possesses the capacity. And the greatest of all capacities was contained by Prophet (pboh). This was evident on the night of the Mir’aj when he ascended further than any other creature.

So Prophet Muhammad (pboh) had first hand experience of the Divine Personality of Allah. And because he has this unique experience Allah gave him a special mission. What is this mission? Allah 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)

This is really the mission of Prophet (pboh). We cannot comprehend the greatest of his blessed personality. Only a few of his Companions were able to comprehend his greatness.

The first thing Allah makes obvious in the ayat above is that Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is that creature who possessed the capacity to witness the Oneness of Allah . ‘O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a witness’. Allah sent him for that purpose.

We do not possess the capacity to verify the Oneness of Allah but Prophet (pboh) did. This is why for example when a Muadhin was calling the adhaan and he said the statement Ash-hadu anla ilaha illallaah another person told the Muadhin ‘you’re a liar because you have not truly witnessed this’. The Muadhin simple replied ‘while this is true my Messenger has witnessed this Divine Oneness of Allah and he was one who never told a lie, so I know for a fact that there is no God but Allah .

This is why in every sense of the word Prophet (pboh) was called Abdullah – the servant of Allah. His personality was so refined that he possessed the capacity to ascend in body and soul outside the dimensions of space and time and witness that which Allah wanted him to.

Being a witness is just one of special dimensions of his personality and insha Allah we would continue highlighting various aspects in the coming weeks leading up to the public lecture.

We pray to Allah to help us understand the true status of His Beloved (pboh) and may his blessed personality be a means of guidance and motivation for us all, insha Allah.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Utilizing your capacity

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

We have started a new year based on Gregorian calendar and I want to wish everyone a peaceful 2012. However, I invite each and everyone to be aware that another year has passed, and that they are now one year closer to their ends.

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an;

‘By (the token of) time (through the ages). Verily man is in loss’. (103:1-2)

We need to understand that each individual has his/her own capacity. We vary in strength, size, aptitude and lifespan. It is imperative for us to utilize our capacity in the given life-span in order to earn a pleasant life in the hereafter.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said; “on the Day of Judgement, the deeds of man will be divided into two groups; that which was done for the world, and that which was done for the hereafter; it is only what was done for the Hereafter will be beneficial then".

With the passage of time, a lot of people waste their capacity, by utilizing it in things that won’t be of benefit for them in the long run. Allah gives each of us what He has allocated; what we need to do is to utilize these blessings in a smart and beneficial way. For example, if two persons were given a large some of money to utilize in any manner they wish; thhe first invests it in a business and the other uses it for purely entertainment purposes. Who do you think would benefit in the long run?

The wise ones will use their blessings to benefit them in this world and in the next. The lackadaisical will follow the creed eat, sleep and be merry. In relation to this Allah says;

‘What is with you must vanish: what is with Allah will endure’. (16:96)

It is recorded in Surah Muddatstsir that the inhabitants of Paradise will question the inhabitants of hell as to what brought them to the hell fire;

“What led you into Hell Fire?” They will say: "We were not of those who prayed; nor were we of those who fed the indigent; but we used to talk vanities with vain talkers; and we used to deny the Day of Judgment,

Utilize the blessings that Allah gave you in a manner that will bring about benefit in both worlds, just as Prophet (saw) did. He spent his days working and taking care of his responsibilities and spent that night worshipping his Lord.

It’s not that Muslims should not enjoy themselves, but it is important for us to prioritize accordingly. Islam teaches us the middle course; we are not supposed to be extreme and or careless. Allah says in Surah Jumu'ah

and when the prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the bounty of Allah. and celebrate the praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper.

So Allah encourages us to work for this world, however we should not give it priority as our stay here is only for a specified time. Place more emphasis on working for the eternal world that awaits the righteous.

You may not see the results here but on the Day of Judgement you’ll see all your life’s work and the end result that it has brought you.

Work for goodness in both worlds through the Grace and Mercy of Allah . And, as the year begins, seek forgiveness for the mistakes of the past year; and make a resolution not to repeat them in this New Year.

May He continuously guide us so that we may manage whatever He has given us in this world in a way that would give us ‘high return’ in the hereafter. May Allah take care of our affairs, insha Allah.

The importance of the heart

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Insha Allah this will be the first in a series of discourses focusing on the importance of the heart.

Firstly, we know that the body can function without some organs / limbs. For example if a person’s leg is amputated he can still lead a relatively normal life. However the same cannot be said of the heart. If a persons heart stops pumping then that persons will inevitably die. This is possibly why Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said ‘Verily there is in the body a piece of flesh; if it is good the whole body is good and if it corrupted the whole body is corrupted; Lo! It is the heart’.

In order to analyse the importance of the heart let us make reference to the following.

Physically; the heart is the most important organ.
For example if the brain is deprived of oxygen contained in the blood; one will immediately become unconscious. So physical; the heart is the most important organ in the body. Without it the body will decay.

The heart is the abode of faith.
If one has to have faith it must come from the heart. It cannot come from the tongue as it won’t mean anything. In relation to this Allah says in Surah Hujuraat;

‘The desert Arabs say, "We believe." say, "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say, 'We have submitted Our wills to Allah,' for not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not be little aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (49:14)

These Bedouins were not hypocrites rather they declared faith and just left. They didn’t spend the time to learn about Islam. Allah gave them a warning because if you don’t have faith in the heart you can still act on the basis of emotion, temptation, etc.

Again Allah says in Surah Nahl;

“Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in faith - but such as open breast to unbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful”. (6:106)

Allah judges us on the basis of what is in our heart. Sometimes people are forced to do or say something against their natural way for example in the past a lot of indentured workers in Trinidad had to denounce Islam in order to acquire employment. However they still maintained belief in Allah in their hearts. As such Allah will judge on the basis of what is in the heart. So what is projected physically may be different to that which is in the heart.

In relation to this there is the Hadith Qudsi where Allah says ‘Allah doesn’t look at your physical appearance or wealth but looks at your heart and actions’.

The heart is the recipient of advice.
We’re all familiar with the saying “it passes through one ear and out the next”. If any advice is given to you and it doesn’t sink in your heart it will just be nothing more than words. As Allah says in Surah Anbiyaa;

“Never comes (aught) to them of a renewed Message from their Lord, but they listen to it as in jest,- their hearts toying as with trifles. The wrong-doers conceal their private counsels, (saying), "Is this (one) more than a man like yourselves? Will ye go to witchcraft with your eyes open?" (21:2-3)

When you are inclined to get closer to Allah you will ‘tune in’ your heat to goodly advice. You won’t ignore the inclination that your heart is feeling, as is recorded in Surah Nahl;

‘Your Allah is one Allah. As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts refuse to know, and They are arrogant’. (16:22)

The heart is the centre form where our intentions comes form.
We’re all aware of the popular hadith ‘actions are judged by intentions’. Our intentions are derived from the heart. This is why Satan whispers to mans heart; in anticipation that he can cause them to drift off Siratul Mustqeem.

‘(the same) who whispers into the hearts of mankind’. (114:5)

The heart is place where secrets are kept.
The heart is the organ that keeps secret. Allah says;

‘for Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts’. (5:7)

Only Allah knows the condition of the heart. Some may appear to be to have the best of intentions but in reality they have some sort of hidden agenda. For example the hypocritical Jews at the time of Prophet Muhammad (saw); they openly declared their intention of abiding by the laws that were put in place in Madinah however they were secretly trying to undermine the Muslims.

We see therefore just a few reasons that make the heart a very important organ in our personality. Success in this life and the next depends largely on the condition of the heart. We need to continuously work on purifying it so that it will have a domino effect on the rest of our personality and afford us the privilege of being classed with the righteous.

May Allah grant us the understanding of the importance of the heart and the wisdom to purify it. May He save us from the whisperings of Satan and take care of our affairs in this world and the next.