Thursday 5 December 2013

The Virgin birth of Jesus (peace be upon him)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

By Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Transcript of discourse prepared for the Seminar for St. Andrew’s College; Wednesday 4th December 2013.

The appearance of Prophet Jesus on the earth occurred in an unusual way, according to the teachings of Islam.  Jesus (pboh) was the only person who was sent to mankind without the agency of a father. In order to fully comprehend how he came we need to understand the events as they occurred.  It all began with a vow made by the mother of Mary concerning the dedication of her pregnancy to God.

Mary’s mother vow:

Mary’s mother whose name was Hannah (Anne) was the wife of Imran (Aaron) who belonged to one of the tribes of Israel.  He was from the priestly class.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons why her mother decided to dedicate her child who was not yet born to the service of Allah.  So she prayed as follows:

O my Lord, I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb, for Your special service; so accept this from me, for You hear and know all things. (3:35)

At the time of making her prayer Hannah was not aware of the sex of the fetus in her womb; so when the child was born she found out that it was a girl.  On seeing that it was a girl and not a boy as she had expected, she spoke to the Lord in the following words:

O my Lord, I am delivered of a female child; and Allah knew best what she brought forth.  But she continued her prayer as follows: and in no way is the female like the male. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Your protection, from the Evil One, the Rejected. (3:36)

Mary, the mother of Jesus:

Mary was put in the temple under the care of Zakaria and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin of Mary.  Only Zakaria was permitted into her room, to take care of her and provide her requirements.

Zakaria was always puzzled when he used to go to her room, as he found that she always had a supply of fresh fruits and food, things that he never gave to her.  When he questioned her about it, her reply was always that it came from Allah, Who is the Sustainer of all.  The Qur’an mentions about this in the following verses:

Every time Zakaria entered her chamber to see her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He used to say: O Mary, from where did you get this? She would reply; from Allah, for Allah provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure. (3:37)

Mary grew up very pure and pretty.  She was pure because she was always in seclusion, and she never experienced any monthly cycle as other women.  Allah tells us about her as follows:

Her Lord made her grow in purity and beauty in the care of Zakaria in whose care she was assigned. (3:37)

Mother Mary grew up to be a special woman, above all other women in history. Allah tells us about this in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse:

Behold, the angels said: O Mary, Allah has chosen thee and purified thee. He has chosen thee above the women of all nations. (3:42)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) confirmed that Mary was special.  He is reported to have said that there are four great women in history. They are:

  1. The wife of Pharaoh
  2. Mary the mother of Jesus
  3. Lady Khadija (his wife)
  4. Fatima (his daughter)

The birth of Jesus (peace be on him):

When the time came for Prophet Jesus to come into the world, Allah sent Gabriel to Mary.  He appeared to her in the form of a man.  This got Mary disturbed as she wanted to know how he could have invaded her privacy without any permission.  The Qur’an tells us about this incident as follows:

Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the east.  She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them.  Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.  She said, I seek refuge in the Merciful Lord from thee.  He said: nay, I am only a Messenger from your Lord to announce to you the gift of a holy son.  She said: how can I have a son seeing that no man hath touched me, and I am not unchaste?  He said: so it will be. Your Lord says; that is easy for Me, and We wish to appoint him as a Sign unto men, and as a mercy from Us. It is a matter decreed. (19:16-23)

After the discussion with her the angel blew into her and she conceived.  Allah says:

And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, and We breathed into it of Our Spirit. (66:12)

Islamic Scholars interpret “breathing into it” to mean that he blew into her shirt. It does not say that the angel blew into her private part.

There are other occasions when the angel blew into persons and the soul went into the body. For example, about Adam, Allah says:

He Allah fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him something of His Spirit. (32:9)

Even Jesus was able to perform this miraculous gift, when he blew into the bird which was made out of clay, and it got life and flew away.   Allah records about this as follows:

Jesus said: O Children of Israel, I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord, in that I made for you, out of clay, as it were the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave. (3:49)

The conception and birth of Jesus, the son of Mary was unique, and different from the coming into the world of any other human being.  

Except for Father Adam, every single human comes into this world through conception of the sperm with the ovum.  Adam’s body was formed and fashioned and then Allah breathed (through the angel) his spirit or soul into his body.  He tells us so in the Qur’an in the following verse:

He (Allah) fashioned him (Adam), in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His Spirit. (32:9)

In the case of Prophet Jesus, the process was slightly different.  His soul was blown into Mary, and around the soul the body grew. This we know from the Qur’anic verse in which Allah says:

O People of the Book, commit no excess in your religion; nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him. (4:171)

When the soul of Jesus was put into Mary, and she realized that she was pregnant, she left her room quietly and un-noticed and proceeded eastwards.  She rested below a date palm tree and there Jesus was born.  The Qur’an tells us about this as follows:

So she conceived him and she retired with him to a remote place, and the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree.  She cried (in her anguish): Ah; would that I had died before this; would I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight.  But a voice cried to her from beneath; Grieve not, for thy Lord has provided a rivulet beneath you, and shake the trunk of the date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and cool your eyes. And if you should see any man: say; I have vowed a fast to Allah Most Gracious, and today I will not be talking to any human being. (19:22-26)

Mary gave birth to Jesus under the date palm tree. There she got food from dates and water from the stream that was flowing below her.  She stayed there until she felt strong enough to return to her people.  She then took baby Jesus and returned.

When the people saw her with a baby, they were shocked and amazed. They said:

O Mary, (it is truly) an amazing thing you have brought. O sister of Aaron, your father was not an evil man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman. So she pointed to the babe. They said, how can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? He (Jesus) said: I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet.  And He hath made me blessed where so ever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live.  He hath made me kind to my mother and not overbearing and miserable.  So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day I shall raise up to life again. (19:27-33)

Prophet Jesus lived a private secluded life with his mother. They were both sustained by Allah.  Later in his life he used to preach in the Synagogue in the day and retreat to the mountain during the night.

As he was very critical of the doings of the hierarchy of the Church, they wanted to get rid of him.  They thought of many ways of doing so but finally decided upon crucifying him.  The leaders of the Church violated every form of justice against an innocent person, and although God allowed them to crucify a person, it was not Jesus the son of Mary who was crucified.  The Holy Qur’an says:

They (the people of the Book) say (in boast) We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah; but they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but so it was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no certain knowledge; but only conjecture to follow, for a surety they did not kill him. (4:157)

Friday 15 November 2013

Audio file: Discourse given on the auspicious occasion of Yawm al Ashura

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Click to listen/download Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed's discourse on the auspicious occasion of Yawm al Ashura.

Ashura Discourse.mp3

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Utilizing the blessings of Allah

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Today I wish to reference two thought provoking ayats from Surah Ibrahim that are very comprehensive issues that Allah has raised for our attention.  Firstly Allah says in ayat;

But if ye count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them.  (14:34)

If we were to sit down and think of all the blessings that Allah has been so merciful to bestow on us we would never finish counting them.  A simple example is how many times for the day we breathe in and out.  Is this not a blessing?  There are some with respiratory problems that has difficulty in breathing and it leads to so many medical problems.  Another is how many times for the day we blink our eyes.  These simple things that we take for granted are truly great blessings from our Lord, in addition to the other things Allah has been kind and merciful to give us.  It’s impossible to really compute His blessings and favours on us.

The other ayat I wish to reference is ayat 28;

Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who have changed the favour of Allah into blasphemy and caused their people to descend to the House of Perdition?  (14:28)

Unfortunately, sometimes we see some people who may not have much materially, and they appear to be righteous and obedient; and when they acquire something of the world they begin to indulge and lose their focus and purpose.  Sadly they may even indulge in unlawful things. 

Allah is telling us that some people do not know how to manage the blessings that He Graciously bestows.  Some get intoxicated and go off in tangents.  And after some time they fall flat.  How many times have we seen people work hard to accumulate something of the world and thereafter go off in different un-Islamic things; and finally they fall?  Allah is warning us.  Appreciate the blessings of Allah and manage them properly because the way we utilize and manage these blessings are important.  Even the way we manage our time is important as time is indeed a great blessing from Allah. 

How do you manage your time, assets and health?  Life is not just for one day.  It is a process.  Today you may be like the full moon; bright, radiant and powerful but tomorrow you may be like the last quarter; in decline.  Strength and wealth will eventually go.  These are very important blessings so don’t use it to cause your own ruin and destruction.

Prophet Ibrahim is a perfect example of how to best utilize Allah’s blessings.  He utilised the blessings to elevate himself in both worlds.  On the other hand his relative Lot; his people were so blessed with fertile land etc and look at how they utilized it.  They indulged in reprehensible actions.  On the other hand Ibrahim planted a seed at the then barren land of Bakkah and look at the outcome today. 

Understand that we are here because of Allah’s Grace and Mercy.  He has given us life and something of recourses.  Don’t complain and envy others.  Instead thank Him and manage His blessings in such a way that it will earn for you more and more in both worlds.

One of the key to success is to do things selflessly for the sake of Allah.  If you give to Him do you not think He will return something better to you?  Rest assured that He will never let you down.  This is a practical experience. 

We are seeing examples in His Words and in the life pattern His Beloved Prophet Muhammad (pboh) and also in the message of Prophet Ibrahim.  Look at Ibrahim’s status today.  We acknowledge him every day in salaat whilst reciting our darood.  They are models for us about how to manage the gifts of Allah.

On the other hand look at the people of Moses.  They we so physically blessed; and sadly they used it for their destruction.  They were so disobedient that Allah left them wandering in the deserts for so many years.

We are reminded that our existence is because of Him and we should be conscious of this and never feel or portray any feeling of superiority.  Everything we have belongs to Allah.  He says ‘and to Allah belongs whatever is in the skies and whatever is on the earth’.

If you are given a little as a trust from your Lord utilise it properly.  And this is the Message of life and Islam.  Remember this and always remember we have one life to live on the earth; so utilise it properly right now to get eternal bliss, insha Allah.

May Allah enable us to truly understand and acknowledge His countless blessings on us and may He also bless us with the maturity to utilize it in a most befitting manner, insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by

Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed 

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Closeness to the Creator

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Today I wish to make mention of two pertinent ayats from the Holy Qur’an that will make us understand our topic.  Allah says in His Holy Words;

And know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered.  (8:24)

What does this mean?  Only Allah really knows; but what we can take from it is that Allah is with us and He is inside of us in a way that He alone knows; and He is even closer to us than our life veins.

The other I wish to reference is ayat;

It is He who sendeth the winds like heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy: when They have carried the heavy-laden clouds, We drive them to a land that is dead, make rain to descend thereon, and produce every kind of harvest therewith: Thus shall We raise up the dead: Perchance ye may remember.  From the land that is clean and good, by the will of its Cherisher, springs up produce, (rich) after its kind: but from the land that is bad, springs up nothing but that which is niggardly: Thus do We explain the Signs by various (symbols) to those who are grateful.  (7:57-58)

Firstly, these ayats are a parable for us. Sometime we see the earth dry and parched.  Allah sends rain clouds over which and after the rain has fallen we see vegetation emerging sometime thereafter. 

What is Allah  telling us?  It is related to what was mentioned in the first ayat quoted above.  Allah is close to us; closer than we can imagine.  But look at what He says in the other ayat.  When rain falls in some parts vegetation springs forth.  In other places the rainfall has no effect.  For example if it falls on the dry mountains the water simply runs off.  It has no effect and makes no difference.  It even floods in some cases. 

This is the way with the Message and Mercy of Allah.  It comes to all human beings; some can acknowledge it, appreciate it and can benefit from it.  For others it makes no difference to their current state.  They do not heed the call and don’t remember that Allah is close to them and every day their thoughts and actions are being recorded and that one day they will have to stand before Allah with their book of deeds. 

While the Message is there, those who accede to it will benefit from it just like that part of the earth that absorbs the rainfall.  And for those whose mind is warped it makes no difference. 

For example Abu Lahab lived next to the most beautiful personality in all of creation and he could not see nor understand the message.  Instead he did so much wickedness like throwing filth on the Prophet (pboh) etc.  Why was he so unfortunately misguided?  Abu Lahab was like that hard earth that cannot absorb the beneficial rainfall.  The message and blessed personality of the Prophet (pboh) did not penetrate him.  And we find this throughout the history of all the Messengers.  Some of the people accepted and obeyed the message whilst others didn’t.

The important question we need to ask ourselves is has the message penetrated us?  Is good, beautiful vegetation growing from you or are the blessings and mercies from Allah just running off?  Our concern must be our own selves and then our families and others. 

How many of us are trying to adhere to the straight path but some family members are focused on other paths?  The message is for everyone.  Those who accept, those who ponder and take note and make sincere effort will benefit.  Those who don’t will have to answer to Allah. 

The message today is universal; the Qur’an is for everyone.  I’ve asked people of differing faiths about the concept of God.  There is the Creator, whom they all agree on and then everything else are creatures.  The creature cannot be like the Creator.  So then why worship idols? 

What should I think of in front of me whilst praying?  A lot of people say the Kaba.  That is not right.  If I say I face the Kaba, the Hindus say they face Krishna and the Christians say Jesus, then what difference does it make.  Saying we face the Kaba is contrary to what we say before we commence salaat;

Inni -y wajjahtu wajh -e li- 'alladhe fat.ara as- samaawaat wa- al- 'ard. h.anef(an) wa- maa 'anaa min al-mushriken

"For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him (Who is facing me) Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."

Our direction of worship is the Kaba but we are facing our Creator.  Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said “When you stand for salaat facing the Qibla understand that Allah is in front of you, and is between you and the Kaba”.

Understand that the message is Universal.  Understand that Allah is close to us and part of our mission is to realise how close He is to you.  This is what we do in our zikir sessions; culturing our personality to resonate Allahu.  Prophet (pboh) realised how close Allah is to him on the night of the Mir’aj.  And he says that salaat is the Mir’aj of the believer.

Salaat helps us realise how close Allah is with us.  Try to realise how close Allah is with you and make the best use of the blessings that He descends on you.  When you have the health and energy utilize it smartly. 

Make every effort and if you can understand how close Allah is with you in the process you will understand how close Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is to you.  And you would have begun to benefit from your zikir and good intentions. 

Of course Satan won’t want this so he will prevent you concentration on closeness with Allah.  This is a universal experience.  Satan will try to divert your focus away from you Lord.  Thus when you’re faced with trials understand there’s wisdom in it.  Bear it with patience and concentrate more on the relationship with your Lord.

May Allah bless us, guide us and protect us; and may He help us to ascend close to Him to benefit from what He has provided for the righteous, insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Monday 28 October 2013

A polished shade

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

One way Allah has selected to give us knowledge is by telling us things in parables.  For example He talks about a goodly tree; He says;

‘Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? - a goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens,- of its Lord.  So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition’.  (14:24)

Here Allah is alluding that all good persons are like goodly trees that bring numerous benefits.  Today I want to bring another parable to our attention.  This one is a bit technical and is found in Surah Nur.

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! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.  (24:35)

What exactly is Allah talking about?  We know that the light of the soul cannot be compared to anything in the universe.  It is a special creation from Allah.  So when Allah talks about His Light, only He alone knows what He is talking about. 

What we can understand it to possible mean is the light with which He created the soul.  That light is pit in something like a niche and over the niche there is a glass.  The light shinning forth is bright as a result of the brightness of the light contained in the lamp. 

What I understand; and please note that I can be wrong because this is very technical and because Allah didn’t specified; I believe that Allah is referring to the human heart.  The soul is placed inside the heart and around the soul is the flesh.  This flesh is like a glass around the soul.  Now heart specialists have said that when the heart is alive and active it is like two waves of electricity that constantly passes through it.  My understanding is Allah has encased that special light of the soul in that organ which is the heart, and as a result it too can become bright and shinning just as a lamp shade. 

Understand that Allah is telling mankind that He has given human beings something that you cannot find anywhere else in the universe.  And this special light is encased in a special organ which has the capacity to become bright and shinning if properly cultured. 

This special light or the soul cannot be contaminated.  It will remain pure and clean.  Nothing can interfere with the soul.  What happens is that the shade around the soul can either diminish or increase the brightness of the permeation.  This was evident in the life of Prophet Muhammad (pboh).  Allah made Jibreel wash the heart of Prophet (pboh) on two separate occasions.  And he is perfect and completely sinless.  When he was going on that blessed night to meet his Lord his blessed heart was washed so that possibly nothing could have diminished the brightness of his shade.

Allah has created a physical body and the soul in two very special ways.  The body was created and soul was a command.  He put the two together forming the complete human personality.  And if both can work together, you can ascend to the highest.  If you can keep your shade polished and shinning; you will be able to experience God in whatever way He bestows. 

On the other hand the nafs is the working of the physical self.  It is energy, like the energy produced by starting a car when the petrol is ignited etc.  The nafs is the energy created by the body.  Because it is energy and because the ruh is refined energy; the nafs can impact upon it.  How?  It can dirty the shade around that special light or keep it bright and shinning.  The nafs works on the shade which as we have identified is the human heart. 

When Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was going on Mir’aj his heart was washed clean.  Remember if you want to meet your Lord the best experience you can have is if you have a bright and clean heart that will allow for the vibration from Allah to be amplified.

Allah says;

No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.  (6:103)

You cannot look at an atom with your naked eyes.  It is not possible except with the aid of instruments.  So too the light of Allah cannot be experienced with the eyes.  Prophet Muhammad (pboh) could not see Jibreel in his true form on the night of the first revelation.  It was only when he was outside the dimension of space and time he could have seen his true form. 

So too you will only be able to experience something of your Lord if you keep your soul bright and shinning.  That is the purpose of zikir and doing good and staying away from evil.  When engaging in evil the energy produced by the nafs causes spots to appear on the shade.  As Allah says ‘they have put stains on their heart’

The more stain on the heart the more difficult it is for the light to penetrate.  As Allah says in Surah An'am; ‘It is those who believe and do not clothe up their beliefs with wrong - that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance.’

Do not focus on and judge others.  Think about the relationship you have with your Lord.  Is my light bright and shinning or is it clothed with darkness.  And that is the mission of life.  Trying to culture and cultivate your personality to allow you special light to grow and permeate your entire body.  How do we achieve this?  People will not help you; it is an individual matter.  Yes if you are with good and righteous people they can be of some benefit in terms of giving you some sort of zeal.  But no one can help you remove and prevent the spots from appearing on your heart.

Satan will not want you to achieve this because his light is already out.   So he will want to cover up and extinguish your light.  Thus he will decorate the evil and get you to divert from your mission.  Allah will also test you moments of trials and tribulations; all in an effort to see if you really want to keep your light bright and shinning.  He says He will try you with loss of wealth, with family etc.

This is why Prophet Muhammad (pboh) taught us that the internal struggle is greater than any external battle.  He (pboh) is reported to have said “I have returned from the small Jihad (Jihad Asghar) to the big Jihad (Jihad Akbar)”.  The Sahabas enquired “what is the big Jihad?”  Prophet (pboh) said “the Jihad al nafs (inner desires)”.

Passion and desires don’t care about morals, humility and submitting to Allah.  It wants comfort and pleasure.  If you indulge your shade may develop spots on it.  Make every effort to keep your shade bright and clean so that when it reflects is will be attractive that it will give you the capacity to see on that Day when people will be struggling to see the path in complete darkness.  This is possibly why Allah says ‘they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not.  They are like cattle, - nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning)’.

Keep your shade clean.  The Islamic year is coming to an end; reflect on your past and make a resolution to build and improve upon.  And thank Allah for taking you and guiding you this far.  May Allah guide us, protect us and enable us to always keep of shade polished and clean, insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

The video presentation of this discourse can be accessed at

Monday 14 October 2013

The true meaning of 'An Nabi Ul Ummi'

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

One of the descriptions or attribute of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is that he is An Nabi Ul Ummi.  Normally, the layman may translate it to mean ‘the illiterate Messenger’.  However this is very far from the truth.  Although he did not attend any formal institution of learning, he gave to the Universe a Book which cannot be surpassed.  Concerning the Holy Qur’an Allah says;

Say: “If the whole of Mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of This Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.  (17:88)

Do you then think that he was really “illiterate” as we interpret this word to mean?  Therefore we have to understand what Allah means when He says;

 “Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures):” (7:157)

“So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His Words: follow Him that (so) ye may be guided”.  (7:158)

My understanding and explanation of the unlettered Prophet’ is the one who ‘was not taught by anyone’ except Allah.  He never attended any institution; nor sat at the feet of any scholar.  He was never exposed to any academic teaching from any creature.  This is one reason why he is referred to as An Nabi Ul Ummi

For example, when Prophet Moses (as) was commanded by Allah to go to Pharaoh to give him the dawah, Pharaoh rebuked him by listing all the things he did for Moses as an infant.  On the other hand no one can accuse Prophet Muhammad (pboh) of him being indebted to them.  When he was a baby Halima took care of him and it was only out of his blessed personality that she began receiving so many blessings.  Then he went to his mother who died shortly after and the same with his grandfather.  No one could say that he owed them or anything of such.

A few other reasons why Allah refers to him as Nabi Ul Ummi are as follows;

1.        He was not taught by any creature yet he gave the Universal Message.  The very first revelation, Iqra, could be translated as read or recite.  So when Jibreel requested of him the first five verses of Surah Alaq; what he was possible asking him to do was to recite that which Allah impressed in his blessed heart.  To read would imply a script of which there was not any.

2.        He was never influenced by anyone.  And as a matter of emphasis Jibreel washed his heart on two separate occasions.  Before him the Arabs were quite barbaric.  They believed heavy in tribalism.  And with his coming he refined them and cultured them.  They didn’t give anything or taught him anything.  It was he who totally refined their personalities.

3.        He was never sustained by anyone.  Allah took care of him just as He did with Prophet Jesus (as) and his mother Mary.  As He says in Surah Dhuhaa:
Did We not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)?  And We found thee wandering, and We gave thee guidance.  And We found thee in need, and made thee independent.  (93:6-8)

4.       He had no biases for any tribe or nation.  He was fair, clean and clear.  Jesus, for example, came to the Israelites as he said “I came to uphold the Law of Moses.”  Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was sent to the whole of mankind.  And he harboured no doubt.  Abraham was questioned Allah as to how He can bring life to the dead.  Prophet (pboh) never displayed anything like that.

In the real sense of the word an nabi ul ummi, is like a mother.  When a baby is brought into the world he is not influenced by anyone and doesn’t know anything.  It has inherent or intuitive knowledge that Allah allows such as to cry or make signs.  Prophet Muhammad (pboh), in this world, was like a young infant.  He was not influenced by anyone except Allah.  Allah guided and took care of him.

Because he was like this and because Allah says of him that he never said any thing of his own desire; coming from him we have Ummul Qura – The Mother of all Cities and Ummaul Kitab – The Mother of all Books.  Would you then say he was illiterate as how we understand the word to be?

Even today we hear Imams attributing this term to him.  And really you cannot connect this degrading character to him.  He got his knowledge from Allah and no man could accuse him like how the Christian’s fabricate that he borrowed from the Bible.  All he gave was clean, pure and comprehensive.  Even though he was not formally taught he is the one who can take you back to your Lord because he went back to Him in this world.

The point we’re making is that we need to understand what Allah means when he says An Nabi Ul Ummi.  Contrary to the literal meaning and what we understand it to mean it does not truly reflect the meaning contained in the ayats quoted above. 

An Nabi Ul Ummi means he is unique, special and we really cannot comprehend the greatness of his personality.  He is not comparable to any other human being with regard to the contributions made intellectually, spiritually, socially and all the other disciplines. 

One of the spiritual formulas which I give to anyone undergoing difficulties and trying times is to recite as many times the following darood;

Allahumma Salay Ala Muhammad An Nabi Ul Ummi.

And I guarantee that once done you will see the benefits.  This is part of my spiritual formula that I do every day.  It is a real blessing to connect to him.  When we engage in darood we are establishing a special connection with him.  And Allah will bless us accordingly for this special darood which is unique in a lot of ways.  As a result it is very beneficial for us to understand what An Nabi Ul Ummi really means and to connect ourselves to that one who is Nabi Ul Ummi.  And insha Allah, Allah will bless us.

Two questions that arose during the discourse:

1.    What was the role of Angel Jibreel in the life of Prophet Muhammad (pboh)?
His role was to just bring that which Allah commanded him to bring.  He was not a teacher of Prophet (pboh).  Even when he impressed the Quran in the heart of Prophet (pboh) he did not know it.  As Allah says in Surah Rahmaan; It is He (Allah) who has taught the Qur'an (55:2).  Angels don’t question, they simply carry out command of Allah.

2.    Was Khadija influential on him?
She did not really influence him.  She, in fact learnt from him as she first hired him.  She even doubled her profit as a result.  So much came from him and eventually when they got married and she gave him her wealth, he didn’t keep it for himself.  He gave her what was sufficient for her to live and shared out the rest to poor.  In this context he helped her and she in turned acted as a true wife when he discussed things with her.  She fulfilled her role as a special companion as wives are special companions to their husbands.  To say she sustained him is incorrect.

We are talking about our leader and our model who has a special connection with Allah.  He is quite unique and incomparable.  And it’s very sad to see the term illiterate being used to describe a Messenger who is the highest of the high, after Allah Almighty.  May Allah enable us all to have a true understanding of His Beloved (pboh) and may He guide us to strengthen our relationship with him, insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

The video presentation of this discourse can be accessed at

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Lessons from the Hajj

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

As we enter the month of Dhul Hajah many people would be journeying to the sacred land in order to perform a fundamental principle of Islam that entails leaving everything and going to do what has been prescribed by Allah.  As such we wish all those who would be making the blessed journey Allah’s blessing, guidance and protection.
Allah says in His Holy Words;
Such (is the Pilgrimage): Whoever honours the sacred rites of Allah, for him it is good in the sight of his Lord.  (22:30)
Allah has prescribed the Hajj as something sacred.  There is no doubt about this fact.  And Allah has prescribed what is call the manasic or the rituals of hajj or all that is obligatory to be done while on that sacred journey.  Those who look at these rituals on the basis of reason and logic will not be able to understand.  Even we ourselves cannot fully comprehend some of the rituals that are done on the basis of reason and logic.
However Allah is telling us that we are not all knowing; only He is All Knowing as He says in Surah Joseph; and above everything is the One Who is the Possessor of Complete Knowledge. 
Thus whether we understand the Islamic command or not; we do it because only Allah is All Knowing and He knows why He prescribed it.  Allah has for example ordered that anyone who enters Makkah from outside its boundaries must perform the Umrah.  And one of the rituals of the Umrah is to get into a state of ihram; and the ihram is something really different.  Imagine some people possess all the luxuries of life, all the power and status in the respective field and when they are going to Allah’s House; they are commanded to tone down, put on two pieces of unstitched cloth and circumambulate the Kaba barefoot.  What is the rationale behind this?  It is a discipline that Allah inculcated in the believers. 
The hajj teaches us some very pertinent things.  A few of these are mentioned hereunder;
1)  Firstly, hajj teaches us that we are not great.  Only Allah is Great so do not let your material belongings fool you as it fooled Pharaoh.  Learn to understand that we have to return to our Lord one day and we have to leave all our acquisitions behind.  And it is Allah Who is responsible for our existence. 
2)  Allah alone is All Knowing.  Why do I run around the Kaba and run from Mount Safa to Marwah?  We don’t know.  Yes we have a little bit of understanding concerning the rituals but it is Allah Who truly knows.  He knows why He prescribed it.  And we understand that we have limited knowledge.  He says in the ayat quoted above that if we honour the sacred things it is better for us.  Whatever that means; He wants us to show to ourselves that we are really nothing.  One poet composed a poem in Persian about his life experiences and at the end of his journey he concluded by saying “I realise that I am nothing”.
And you will realise that when you go to perform Hajj you are really nothing, because if you are not careful at times you can get run over and trampled by those over exuberant.  
3)  Reason and logic cannot give us knowledge of everything, no matter how much you rationalise.  How can you rationalise standing up and worshipping Allah five times for the day?  How can you rationalise leaving all your luxury, comfort, family and business and go and run around the Kaba and say ‘Here I come O Allah’.
Pharaoh tried to rationalise everything Moses (as) was doing so when Moses (as) threw down his staff and Allah caused it to be transformed into a snake Pharaoh said he was a magician.
We are showing to ourselves that we are nothing, unlike Satan.  This is the attitude and spirit we develop because of the Hajj.  We leave everything to go there so it’s not a question of reason and logic but rather faith.  Allah wants us to strengthen our faith and reliance in Him and the hajj directly impacts on this.
We do not entertain the thought that if we cannot understand the commandments of Allah that we will refrain from doing it.  We do what is prescribed and with the understanding that the command came from the Lord of the Worlds.  And if He commands us to do it we have no choice.
4)  One of the greatest experience of Hajj; it makes us feel and know that we are nothing.  We are insignificant.  We are just another person counted amongst the millions.  Your power and status has no weight.  You move in the same direction as everyone else.  Allah takes you there to show something of His Greatness.  And if you are observant and dedicated you will see the working of your Lord.
We cannot rationalise Hajj.  Only Allah knows why He commanded us to do it.  But one thing we understand is that one day, willingly or not, we have to submit to our Lord; first through death and then the onward journey.  And Hajj is a real rehearsal and eye-opener because you leave everything and go there in submission. 
Hajj shows us that today we can be up materially and tomorrow you can be down.  Don’t place all importance on the material.  Yes it’s nice to have in order to live comfortable but all that is from Allah’s blessings.  That is why most of the Hajjis return so humble
Don’t emphasise the material.  Your Lord is the goal and purpose of your life and you can experience some of it through the spiritual blessing here etc.
Understand that we must cultivate humility.  It’s a sin to say ‘I am better’!  And this attitude destroys your spirituality more than you can imagine.  Be careful especially when you’re emotionally agitated as one of the most effective ways of expressing arrogance is through anger and malice to others.
One way of honouring the sacred rights is by refraining from the major sins, all for the sake of Allah. 
These include shirk, murder, disrespecting ones parents and giving false statements or witnesses (Bukhari).  One way of honouring Allah and upholding the sacredness of the duties of a believer is to avoid these major sins and giving less importance to the things that Allah has not prescribed.  And the rights of hajj inculcate this.  At the time of Tawaf, Arafat or Sai; you are giving importance to that and nothing of the material.
If you honour Allah’s rights as He ordains it, it will be spiritual beneficial above everything else.  It is truly a great blessing and possible this is one of the reasons why the narrations state that after a person performs Hajj it is like they are a newborn babe.  They sins are wiped out. 
And after all this we should build upon our spirituality.  Blessings can increase or decrease.  Don’t let your blessings decrease.  Build on it by doing good and staying away from the prohibited and insha Allah, Allah will bless us all. 
May Allah make the hajj for those who are going easy and may He accept their effort and sacrifice.  May He also accept the Qurbani from those who will be doing it and may He continue to bless us, guide us and protect us insha Allah. 
Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

The video presentation of this discourse can be accessed at

Sunday 6 October 2013

Transcript of address given at the Graduation Ceremony

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Dear readers, the following is the transcript of the feature address given by Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed at the Graduation Ceremony of the Markaz Al Ihsaan held on Sunday 29th September 2013.

Congratulations to all those who have received Certificates today. May Allah continue to bless you with love for acquisition of Knowledge that will enable you to earn the best of both the worlds.
The acquisition of Knowledge is one of the most sacred of all good deeds and pursuit of it is the best way to become elevated in the sight of Allah and man. Allah says:
Say (O Muhammad); Are those who have knowledge, equal to those who do not have knowledge? It is only those who are endued with wisdom and understanding that will really be God conscious. (39:9)

The Merciful Lord wants mankind to be special; to know and appreciate something of His Divine Wisdom; to live with a purpose in life; and to cultivate the correct focus along the journey back to Him.  It was because He created man to know more about Him than any other creature in the universe that His first Revelation to the illiterate Arabs at that time was the Command to learn to read and write, while believing that He Alone is the Creator of the universe. He says:

Read in the name of your Lord Who has created; has created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is the Most Generous; Who has taught by the pen; has taught man that which he knew not. (96:1-5)

When Pharaoh wanted to dominate the Israelites, the first thing he did was to prohibit them from reading their book. After that he was able to get them to forget the Messages from the Lord, and ultimately commanded them to prostrate to him, as he was their god.

Jalaludding Rumi tells us about a conversation between a mule and a camel.  It runs like this: the mule said to the camel; "how it is that when I am walking I find myself stumbling and falling down; and when you walk you never make any false step, nor do you stumble"?  The camel replied that when he walks he looks up and in front of him, not like the mule that looks below its feet and is unable to see the danger that lies ahead. 

Students of the Markaz Al Ihsaan are taught to look ahead with a fixed aim, purpose and focus in life; to know where the pitfalls on the journey of life are and how these can be avoided.  The wise person has to learn how to move along cautiously when confronted with the challenges of life, all the time maintaining refinement of personality and speech; and avoiding inflicting stress and strain on others.  He has to familiarize himself with the Islamic position in every situation; and strive hard to maintain a good connection with the Lord and a good relationship with fellow human beings.

Allah wants believers to develop beautiful personalities based on knowledge and refinement. He says:

Recite what is sent to you of the Book by Wahy, and establish regular prayer, for prayer prevents one from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest; without doubt; and Allah is aware of all that you do. And do not dispute with the People of the Book; except with means that are better and more refined. (29:45-46)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

Wisdom increases the honor of the noble and exalts a servant as high as to raise him to the land of the kings.

He is also reported to have said:

The best of people is a believing learned man, who does good when sought for, and when the people keep away from him he also stays away from them.

My dear students, as you move along the journey of life, you will realize that graduation marks the end of one part of the journey and the beginning of another.  Make every effort to put into practice what you have learnt; and also teach it to others.  A good way of reminding yourself about part of the mission of life is:

1. Teach what you know;
2. Learn a little more than what you know;
3. Practice what you teach.
If you can abide by these simple reminders, Allah will cause your status to be elevated in this world and also in the next. He says:

Allah will rise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe; and who have been granted) knowledge; and Allah is well- acquainted with all ye do.(58:11)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever alleviates the lot of a needy person, Allah will alleviate his lot in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next. Allah will aid a servant of His so long as the servant aids his brother. Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book  of Allah and studying it among themselves, without tranquility descending upon them, mercy enveloping them, the angels surrounding them, and Allah making mention of them amongst those who are with Him.

May Allah bless us all with guidance and protection; may He enable us to do His Work for His sake; may He cause us to leave this world believing in His Oneness and to rise with the righteous on the Day of Reckoning.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Abraham's Faith

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Today we will reflect on one important lesson that Allah has preserved in the Holy Qur’an which demonstrates true reliance and submission to Him. 

Pharaoh had everything you could think about regarding material assets.  However none of those things saved him from the wrath of Allah.  On the contrary when Prophet Abraham (as) left Egypt and he was migrating with Prophet Lot (as); he gave Lot the option to chose firstly where he’d like to reside.  Lot selected the area that was very fertile and Abraham went on another route and look at the outcome. 

The people of Lot, because of their material blessings and acquisitions became so diverted and wayward that Allah destroyed most of them, (Sodom and Gomorrah).  On the other hand look at what Abraham did; he planted a small insignificant seed; that being Ishmael and his mother in Makkah.  And they came to rest there with no wealth, no property and no assets, but look at how Allah took care of them and caused them to grow.

This is important for us to keep in mind.  Some people believe that in order for you to be a righteous person you must have plenty of wealth in order to give charity, etc.  Whilst charity is important and beneficial, it does not only equate to material wealth.  You must have a good heart, you must be compassionate, and you must not harbour hate and malice and things of that nature.  These are things that are more valuable.  The lesson that we can take from Prophet Abraham is that of true submission.

Abraham had such faith in Allah that when he was young and the people decided to throw him into the fire; while he was being flung into the fire, Angle Jibril flew to him and asked ‘do you need any help’?  Abraham replied, ‘from you?  No, HasbiyAllahu wa nimal wakeel’ - Allah is my availed and protector and the best of aids.

And the fire had the opposite effect.  All those who gathered to look at Abraham’s fate were burnt to death because of the extreme heat from the fire, and inside the fire Abraham was so comfortable that he actually slept.  This is a real eye opener for the people at that time and even for us.  It demonstrates the work of Allah on one hand and the faith and trust in Him on the other. 

Prophet Lot selected the area he wanted to go to and Abraham gave no objections.  And look at who prospered and whose legacy lives on. 

Understand one thing; if you put your faith and trust firmly in your Lord, He will take care of you.  A lot of people can’t understand this.  They say you must have faith in Allah but you have to act.  This is true to an extent.  Allah says ‘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’.(62:10).  But we must understand that everything is dependent on Allah, even our ability to act.

Keep one thing in mind at all times; your Lord will never let you down if you have your faith and trust in Him.  Yes He will try you; Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said ‘Verily if Allah loves a people He tries them (with trials”).  He will try us but we must beg Him to make the trials easy for us.

Abraham went through so many trials but he knew one thing that is Allah will never let Him down.  And he knew that creatures could not have helped him. 

We say this ever so often to remind ourselves that we must have true unwavering faith and trust in Allah. 

Look back at some of the trying issues you would have been faced with and look at how Allah resolved it; sometimes in manners that we may not have seen coming.  We don’t know; only Allah is All Knowing. 

Our spiritual exercises that we engage in every week will help us to strengthen our faith and reliance on our Lord.  Always remember whatever Allah has decreed for you will come to pass But as Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said “Dua adverts decree”.  For example if a difficulty was decreed to you and you sincerely made dua Allah to alleviate and lessen the burden of trials the decree will comes to pass but in another dimension.  It can come to pass as a bad dream etc.

Dear friends, always remember that we have no say in our lives; it is only Allah that can help.  We can do such things that will help us as we go along, for example sending darood will bring barakat for you; if you give charity it can help you.Keep this in mind and remember if you live like this, with real faith in your Lord, He says

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Day (behold), ye prefer the life of this world; but the Hereafter is better and more enduring.  (87:16-17)

Some people interpret it to mean only the hereafter but here it means in this verse later in your life as well.  If you are trying to get close to your Lord; He will take care and never let you down. 

Getting close to Him also means getting peace of mind.  To understand that even though you are faced with tests and trials, Allah will open a way out of them for you and He knows what is best for us.

Abraham’s lesson is a lesson of faith, reliance and submission in Allah; no matter what the condition; and we sincerely beg Allah to grant us reliance and trust in Him just like His Khalilullah, insha Allah.
May Allah enable us to develop and culture true faith, trust and submission in Him, especially when we are faced with trying times and difficulties?  May Allah bless us all, guide us and always take care of our affairs, insha Allah. 

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed