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.

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