Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Lamp

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Brothers and sisters, we are in the blessed month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal; a month that represents a truly great blessing from Allah in that He sent Prophet Muhammad (pboh) to mankind.  Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (pboh) after He sent 124,000 Messengers to every nation and tribe.  The previous Messengers delivered the message in their own language in order for their people to understand.  With Prophet Muhammad (pboh) however, Allah sent the message in His own language.  Imam Ghazali (ra) writes ‘Fifty thousand years before creation, Allah use to recite Surah Thaahaa and Surah Yaasiin’.

So Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was selected to give the original message in its entirety.  And in addition to giving the da’wah, Allah gave Prophet Muhammad (pboh) a special 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)

The previous Messengers did not have the permission or the knowledge to give glad tidings.  They warned the people and invited them to Allah.  But Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was given the special mission that is Sirajum Munirah – the lamp that gives light.  What exactly does this mean?

Allah says about Himself that He is the light of the heavens of the earth.  And He has given Prophet Muhammad (pboh) the mission of spreading light to others.  He says; 

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. the parable of His light is As if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed In Glass: the glass As it were a brilliant star: Lit from a Blessed tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though Fire scarce touched it: light upon Light!  (24:35)

There are many implications to this but today we will look at just one.  Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is described by Allah in the Qur’an as the lamp that gives light.  For a lamp to give light it must have the capability to stay lit.  How is it possible for Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is give light all throughout the ages? 

Allah didn’t say Prophet (pboh) gave light only when he was alive.  Prophet Muhammad (pboh) continues to give light to all human beings all over the world and will continue to do so up until the Day of Judgement.  How is it possible? 

Firstly we need to understand one thing.  Prophet Muhammad’s (pboh) complete personality was light.  There are many traditions where his Companions reported that there were times where his body was brighter than a full moon.  In the dark of the night Hazrat Aisha (ra) reported that light emanated from him.  You can’t begin to imagine what type of personality he is when you read all these narrations. 

Understand that if you want a light from a lamp to shine brightly you have to keep the shade clean.  And Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was very clean.  Allah says;

nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire.  (53:3)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) never put himself before in any matters.  Therefore his nafs never came between him and his Lord.  He never clothed his soul with the black spots of selfish desires etc.  And even then when he was going on the blessed Mir’aj his heart was firstly washed with zam zam water.  So supposing that there were any blemishes, it was properly washed and cleaned before he went up to His Lord.

What I’m going to say now is probably the first time you would hear this.   Allah describes Himself as light and further says that Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is also light.  Look at what happened in the Mir’aj.  Allah took Prophet Muhammad (pboh) above all created things, the cosmos, the angels.  Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was taken in the Divine presence of Allah.  Allah says;

and (he) was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer.  (53:9)

Now this is a highly technical and philosophical ayat. What is, and how close is two bows-length?  And at that sacred moment Allah revealed what He wanted to.  Possibly one of the things revealed was that special light.  Light upon Light!  (24:35). 

Because of this Prophet Muhammad (pboh) has the capacity to disperse light to mankind.  And it can be accessed via 3 methods.  Through recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, through following his sunnah and through connecting your light (qalb) with his.

And this has been happening throughout the ages.  How is it possible?  Allah and His angels are constantly and continuously sending light to Prophet Muhammad (pboh). 

Verily Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet:  (33:56)

This is being done continuously.  And we can benefit from this by connecting to Prophet Muhammad (pboh) through the institution of darood.  We all have a special mission and that is to brighten our personalities with the light that is coming from Prophet Muhammad  (pboh) and share in the legacy. 

So when the month of Rabbi ul Awwal comes it’s nice to sit and reflect on our connection with our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pboh).   How close am I with him?  How can we get closer to him?  Try to love him; more and more.  Not just through his sunnah but by also reciting darood abundantly.  And through this practice, insha Allah, your life would be much different.

If you connect yourself to him here what do you think would happen on the Day of Judgement, when only his intersession would be accepted?  Allah says in Qur’an ‘take note that amongst you is the Messenger of Allah’. 

The highest stage of spirituality is called realization.  When you understand that we are nothing and how close we are to Allah and His Messenger  (pboh).   We are all striving to achieve this.  It’s not easy.  Adam and Eve were in the Garden and Satan came between them and their Lord.  Getting closer to Allah and His Messenger (pboh) means climbing and climbing is not easy.  And rest assured that Satan would be patiently waiting to divert you.

Take caution because we all have one life to live and whatever is done here reflects in the hereafter.  Analyse your own self; what sort of relationship do I have with Prophet  (pboh)?  Would I have to look for him on that inevitable Day or would he look for me? 

We beg Allah to guide us and to increase us all in knowledge.  May He make us understand and realize the greatness of His Habeeb (pboh) and enable is to attain nearness to him in this world and the next.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hablullah: Issue #11

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

The latest issue of Hablullah is out. Click on the image to enlarge and save.

Hablullah Issue #11_page 1 of 2


Hablullah Issue #11_page 2 of 2

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Impact of the Qur’an

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Allah begins the message of the Holy Qur’an, after Surah Fatiha;
This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.  Who believe in the unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them; and who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.  They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.  (2:1-5)
The Qur’an will only impact on those people who are Al Mutaqeen; i.e. those who believe in the existence of Almighty God and the Unseen Verities.  Amongst us there are so many things that can’t be seen.  For example you cannot see someone’s strength but you know it exists.  There are so many things that are in existence but their nature is intangible.
If you really want to benefit from the Qur’an you have to believe that it came from a Personality Who we cannot see.  If you don’t believe that you will have a problem.  And in addition you can beautify it by establishing your salaat, paying the zakaat etc.  Only then will the Qur’an have an impact on you; otherwise it’ll be just another book for you.
I’m now realising that whenever people say disrespectful things about the Qur’an it comes back to the ayat as to those who reject faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them,  they will not believe: hence they will have no reverence for the Qur’an.  To them it’s just another Book.
If it was just another Book why did Allah say if He were to reveal it on the mountain the mountain would crumble to dust?
So try your best to appreciate this great Book because, at the beginning Allah says it is guidance for those who believe.  The more you try to get closer to Allah and appreciate the Qur’an, the softer your heart will become.
We have lots of work to do as compared to the non-believers; because to them it doesn’t matter.  We know that Allah is with us when we remember Him.  And we are reciting His words; won’t it benefit you? 
When you hear disrespectful things being said about Islam; be careful and don’t get dangerously emotional, because Satan will use your emotions to divert you.  We have to be guarded when these things come up and react in an appropriate manner that will bring about a positive result of our personality and the general outlook of Islam.
Be careful as Muslims are generally under the microscope.  Beg Allah for guidance especially in times of emotional unrest.
Sympathise with those individuals who say unfortunate things because they are blind to the facts.  They won’t appreciate and understand.  Our resolve should be not to be like them; educate yourself and increase your faith in Allah.
May Allah guide us and protect us and help us to deal with those who are misguided in a manner that would be pleasing with Allah.

Friday, 11 January 2013

THE HOLY QUR’AN: A Written Text

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Question: Can anyone produce a Book like the Holy Qur’an?


Answer: No one can produce a Book like the Holy Qur’an. The Merciful Lord gave to mankind a challenge; and that is: Produce a Chapter like unto it; and take help from anyone you can besides Allah; if it be that you speak the truth. (10:38)

The Holy Qur’an is special, and cannot be produced by any creature, including man for the following reasons:

1.     It is the last of the Revealed Sacred Scriptures from the Lord of the Worlds. It was revealed in the Arabic Language. Allah says:  We have sent it down (revealed it), as an Arabic Qur’an; in order that you may learn wisdom. (12:2). It is only the Book in the Arabic Language that is considered to be the Qur’an. Translations are not the Qur’an, for many reasons. Some of these are as follows:
(a) The Arabic words have many meanings; and in the translations, only one meaning is put, e.g. the word sabr when used in the Qur’an is normally translated as patience; but this word has the following meanings: thoroughness (i.e. not hasty), perseverance; constancy; steadfastness; firmness of purpose; systematic; resignation and understanding in sorrow, defeat or suffering (as opposed to murmuring and rebellion) but saved from mere passivity, …. (A.Y.Ali: Translation of the Holy Qur’an; Fn. 61). So when Allah says: Do you think that you would enter Paradise without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (in His Cause) and those who manifested sabr? (normally translated as patience) (3:142) It could mean many more things than mere patience.
(b) The Arabic sentences (verses of the Chapters) are so constructed that many meanings can be deduced from each one of them; and one meaning will not contradict the other. The experts of Commentaries of this Great Book can narrate endless examples of the numerous meanings in the verses.
2.    The Qur’an accurately records events and history of the past; and what will happen in the future; e.g. when the Prophet (pboh) was questioned about Joseph, the son of Jacob, Allah revealed the whole Chapter about him, i.e. Chapter 12; and to the surprise of the Questioners, what is contained in that Chapter about Joseph is more than what they ever knew about him.
3.    The Holy Qur’an has drawn the attention of man to the process of knowing more about himself and the universe, through scientific and philosophical methodologies; but all the time keeping in mind the fact that these processes are based on conjectures, and conjectures cannot arrive at the whole truth, i.e. to know much about Allah or to define Who He is. Some of the verses are:
Soon We will show them Our Signs in the cosmos and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. (41:53)
They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth. Therefore shun those who turn away from Our Message, and desire nothing but the life of this world. This is as far as (their) knowledge will reach them. (53:28-30)  In other words, the finite will not be able to grasp perfect knowledge of the Infinite through investigative means.
4.    Besides the literal and spiritual meanings contained in the Words of the Holy Qur’an, there are also vibrations which can be used in many ways. For example, Allah says:
Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would have seen it cleave asunder (in other words it would have become dust) (59:21)
We sent down in the Qur’an, that which is a healing and a mercy. (17:82)
5.    Unlike the other “Sacred Texts” which were originally revealed but cannot be found today, i.e. the original revealed texts, the Holy Qur’an does not contain a single defect, in expression, grammar, punctuation, intonation, etc. Allah says: Praises are for Allah Who has revealed to His Slave the Book in which you cannot find any defects. (18:1)  This is so different from the Holy Bible, for example, in which you will find: Unfulfilled Promises, Broken Promises, Atrocities, Contradictions, Illogical Statements, etc. (See Christianity According to Islamic Beliefs, by Dr. Waffie Mohammed).
6.    Because the Qur’an is the “unadulterated word of Allah”,  there is the universal challenge for all times to come, i.e. If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of the Qur’an, they could not have produced something like it, even if they were to back up each other with help and support. (17:88)
7.    The Qur’an does not have any variations, any versions, or any editions. All Muslims all over the world, since the time of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) until this day and up to the end of the world read the same text and will continue to read and recite the Original Text that was revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad (pboh). This is because Allah gives mankind the undertaking that it is He Who revealed it, and He will protect it from any form of adulteration. He says: Verily, We have revealed the Message (i.e. the Qur’an); and verily, We will guard it (from all types of corruptions). (15:9)
8.    Even the intonation and pronunciation of the words were taught to Prophet Muhammad (pboh) by Allah through the angel Gabriel. In this connection Allah orders all Believers to recite the Qur’an as was revealed. He says:
Recite the Qur’an in slow, measured, rhythmic tones. (73:4)
It is He (Allah) Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a Messenger from amongst themselves, to recite to them His Verses (i.e. the Qur’an); to sanctify them and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom. (62:2)
9.   There are verses of the Holy Qur’an that contain laws and principles for correct guidance. These are called Ayaati Muhkamaat). And there are verses of the Holy Book in which the meanings will always be understood with the discovery of new knowledge. These are called Ayaati Mutashaabihaat. (i.e. the meanings are not clear to the reader, scientists, philosophers, etc. at any particular time). Take for example, the word zarra, was translated as mustard seed, and later on it was translated as atom. Ch. 99:7-8)
10. There are words called Huruufi muqata-at, (sometimes known as signs and symbols) with powerful meanings, and vibrations which the ordinary people will not know. Only those endued with special knowledge know something about the meanings and messages contained in these words which are written only as letters of the Arabic alphabet. In reference to such people Allah calls them Raasikhuna fil ilm, and uulul albaab.
11. The Original Text of the Holy Qur’an is always preserved in the Divine Tablet.  In this connection Allah says: Nay, this is a Glorious Qur’an, (which is) in a Tablet preserved. (85:21-22)
12.One of the attributes of the Holy Qur’an is Al Furqaan which is normally translated as the Criterion. It points the mistakes now found in the present texts of previous Scriptures that were revealed to some of the Messengers before Prophet Muhammad (pboh).
From what we have discussed you will know that Dr. Christian Henkel and others like him do not really know much about this Holy Book; and they base their opinions from translations they may have read. We need to keep in mind one important thing and that is the Qur’an explains itself, and so, there may be a particular text found in one Chapter, and the explanation of it will be found in another Chapter.  No one is permitted to give a personal opinion or meaning of any verse of the Qur’an.
All are invited to study and understand this Great Revelation, as it truly is, with sincerity of purpose and intention; and the Merciful Lord will bestow on them wisdom.
May Allah bless and guide us all.

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Year Resolutions

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

As we mark the start of the new Gregorian year, I have made certain resolutions.  Some of you would have already received them via email but I would like to remind firstly myself and you about them.

Firstly; I have realized that another year has come to an end.  This means that I have one year less to live as the day of departure is fixed by the Lord.  Therefore I must make proper and constructive usage of the time I have left.

1.       I will try to increase my love for my Lord.

Allah says but those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah (2:165).  Everyday try to love your Lord more and more.  As Muslims we must always aspire to please Allah as much as possible.

2.       I will try to meet and greet Him more regularly.

How can we meet and greet Allah?  Through the institution of salaat.  In salaat we meet Him, greet Him and talk to Him.  So the greater your desire to get closer to Him the more optional prayer you should offer.  You won’t look only at the compulsory but those optional ones that are mentioned in the Qur’an and found in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pboh). 

3.       I will try not to displease Him in any way.

If you are in the presence of someone honorable and respectable, would you want to misbehave?  Of course not!  And at all the times we are in the presence of the Merciful Lord.  In other worlds; try to become more God conscious.  Always keep in mind that Allah is looking at you; and if something displeases you don’t react negatively or in a manner that Allah won’t like.

4.       I will practice loving who He loves dearly - the Prophet (pboh) and the pious ones.

If I want to be close to Allah then it would be prudent to love that which He loves.  And Allah loves Prophet Muhammad (pboh) and His sincerely pious servants.

5.       I will avoid what He does not like.

If I wish to gain closeness to Allah then I should abstain from those things that would take me further away from Him.

6.       I will help my brethren as much as possible.

Allah says; except such As have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy (103:3).  Help others, regardless of race or religion, all for the pleasure of Allah.

7.       I will try to maximize the use of my time through proper time management.

I understand that my time here is fixed; therefore I must make best usage of it if I want to return to and have a pleasant meeting with my Lord.

8.       I shall try to increase my dependency on Him, and less on human beings.

Allah sent us here and provided for us; therefore we must to turn to Him.  If we rely on Him, He will never let us down.  We must then work hard to develop a stronger bond with Him.

9.       I shall promote the philosophy of Ihsaan in all matters.

What is the philosophy of Ihsaan?  Not to curse, nor degrade, nor backbite.  To love for another what you’d love for yourself.  To conduct yourself in a refined, exemplary manner.

We will all try our best to manage our time, to do righteousness, to please Him, to get close to Him, to demonstrate supreme love for Him. 

Don’t love this world more than Him.  One day we will have to separate from it.  We know that our Lord is All Wise, so whatever He is allowing to happen to us there is wisdom and reason behind it.  Always remember the story if Joseph (as).  All the trials and difficulties he underwent were stepping stones for the achievement of his purpose and mission.

The real basis for successful living is to have total faith in Allah.  The manifestation of success is to put Allah first in all matters.

So as we begin this New Year let us try to increase our faith and dependency on Allah.  Communicate, with Him more, thank Him more and praise Him abundantly.  May Allah bless us and guide us all, insha Allah.