Sunday, 5 February 2012

Honouring Prophet Muhammad

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

We are in the blessed month of Rabi-ul-Awwal and we pray that Allah’s blessings be upon all the believers and upon those who are aspiring to get close to Prophet Muhammad (pboh).

We are required as Muslims to honour and praise Prophet (pboh). Some people say we should only praise Allah. However whenever we praise Prophet Muhammad (pboh)we don’t do it in the same manner that we praise Allah . We praise Prophet (pboh) for the good that he has done and for the status that Allah has given him.

We have to show the greatest amount of love and respect for Prophet (pboh). The only being that we are to love and respect more is Allah, but Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is that material personality that we are to love. Love him, honour him and try to attach yourself to him. The closer you get to him the better it will be for you.

We can express love through our words, deeds and our attitude (i.e. following his Sunnah). A lot of people emphasise on the latter. But honouring him is more than just following his Sunnah. Even Allah expresses fondness of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) by calling him beautiful names in the Qur’an. For example a lot of scholars and even in some English translations of the Qur’an you will see that the words Ya-seen and Ta-Ha are pet names that Allah uses to address Prophet Muhammad (pboh).

Allah also warns us about our attitude towards His Habeed .

‘O ye who believe! raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not’. (49:2)

One little form of disrespect towards him can cause all your deeds to become null and void. So our attitude towards him is unique.

We even remember him in our salaat. Whenever we are worshipping Allah we do not ‘sidestep’ Prophet Muhammad (pboh). For example in salaat after we praise and glorify Allah we send salutations upon Prophet (pboh). Why do we do this? We are keeping in mind that if it wasn’t for him we would not be in this honourable position.

Nowadays we hear a lot talk of ‘haram, bid’ah, shirk’; criticizing and condemning those who chose to honour Prophet by holding gatherings and singing his praises. Firstly, those who hold gatherings misrepresent it by calling it Prophet’s (pboh) birthday celebrations. We remember and honour him throughout the year and not specifically in Rabi-ul-Awwal, so calling it his birthday celebration may not be a true representation.

Some people ‘celebrate’ his birthday ritually. This is wrong as their intention may not be to learn about him and get closer to him; but rather, to show others who hold a different theological view that ‘this is what we were taught and are accustomed to doing’.

Singing poems or qaseedas, as it is known in these parts, is something that is also condemned. This isn’t wrong as we see from his Seerah there were Companions who composed beautiful poems about him. From the very beginning of his mission in Madinah, the young girls of the Ansars stood up and sang for him. Kab recited a beautiful poem when he accepted Islam. No one objected, and there are numerous other examples too lengthy to mention here.

The principle of reciting poems isn’t a bid’ah. But to gather only for events like these and no other time is what those who disagree with it have some reservations.

Tazeem is another controversial issue. Those against it argue that standing and praising the Prophet (pboh) is equivalent to worshipping him. When Allah says that He and His angels are sending salaams on Prophet(pboh) are they standing or sitting? No one knows, so why make it an issue and divide the Muslim community. Tazeem is a form of darood and Hazrat Umar (ra) narrated ‘Verily, the Dua remains suspended between the skies and the earth, and does not help in any way until Darood is sent to the Prophet (pboh). (Tirmizi)

The reason for mentioning and clarifying all these age old issues is that in this particular month you will find a lot of Masjids holding their Melad un Nabi functions. If you choose to attend there is no problem because you will in no way bring any sin on yourselves. And you will be hearing sermons expounding on the greatness of Prophet Muhammad (pboh). These functions are means by which you can attain closeness to Prophet and also interact with your fellow Muslims.

It is indeed unfortunate that those who criticize and condemn our functions has never come up with an alternative. So where do they expect Muslims, especially the youths, to interact in a halal environment? This is why we see unfortunately, so many youths getting mixed up in un-Islamic environments.

Develop love for Prophet (pboh) and show your love for him by following his teachings. Do not get involve in of the arguments that are out there. These arguments have been going on for decades and sadly it appears that it would continue.

The past scholars demonstrated great love and admiration for Prophet (pboh). And they were scholars of the highest order. Do you think that they would have misled the people of their time?

If you want to attain success in this world and the next, cultivate love for Prophet Muhammad (pboh). Learn to love him and insha Allah you will better off.

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