REFLECTIONS BY SHEIKH FAIYAZ JAFFER: RABI al- AWWAL
THE BIRTH OF OUR PROPHET
Rabbi al-Awwal 1440
The Birth of our Prophet
There are often very transcendent moments in life that are so how hard to explain, yet filled with so much emotion. Goosebumps, heart palpating like emotion that we reflect upon to pick ourselves back up during the difficult day-to-day grind.
For me, at least, one of those moments is bearing witness to the beauty, peace and serenity that emanates from being in the company of God’s Messenger (s) in his holy city of Medina. And during the month of Rabi al-Awwal, when we celebrate the life and legacy of the Prophet, it personally gives me all the more reason to take myself back to every time I walked into his sacred courtyard and once again fell in love with the beloved of God, and the beloved of our hearts.
A few months back, when I had the blessed opportunity to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, I once again stood in awe as I gazed upon the green dome of the Messenger and took in the beautiful sight. But for whatever reason, I needed to remind myself, in the same way, that I so often remind others, not to get intoxicated with the beauty of the architecture, but to recollect the beauty of his character. And surely nothing is as beautiful or esteemed as the character of our Prophet. In chapter 68, verse 4 of the Quran, God speaks to the etiquette of the Prophet as he calls it adheem or sublime, a similar characteristic He attributes to Himself, His book, the Day is Judgement…
The Prophet demonstrated that character and etiquette to not only his family and loved ones, but to his community, his enemies, the animals and even the environment. His interpersonal skills and relationships with those around him are legendary. And through his dealings with people, he allowed for thousands of contemporaries to be drawn into the light from darkness and to knowledge from ignorance. Till today, our collective memory of him allows for our souls to do the same.
These days of incredible sacredness, in celebration of the birth of the best of creation, the man who God calls His beloved, are also days of a call to action. Because as purifying for our hearts it is to speak to his merits and recite his praises, it’s also an opportunity to reflect. So some quick advice and reminders to myself as we are at the brink of this most beautiful day:
1- Celebrate: To celebrate is seemingly the easiest, but to be mindful of why we celebrate is difficult. It’s not only about attending a program at your local community or following some online webcast, but recognizing why we do what we do. In other words, are we thankful for the fact that God has bestowed us with the blessing of knowing the Prophet? How many billions of people in the world know his name but are unaware of all that he stands for in our hearts? In terms of being thankful, what am offering to God and His Messenger as a show of my appreciation? Some charity? Fasting? Two rakats of Prayers? Perhaps just one prostration, telling God, “thank you for allowing me to be exposed to the light of the Holy Prophet” would suffice!
2- Learn: To say we have easy access to knowledge and information is surely an understatement. There are immense resources available for us to learn about the prophet or learn his words. Perhaps if we utilize these days to read a bit, or listen to a lecture for the sake of learning, our desire to emulate his life would be that much more.
3- Contemplate: Contemplate on how I can be like the Prophet. Control my anger. Be patient in adversity. Have a desire to serve for the orphans, widows and underprivileged. Be merciful to my family and community. Demonstrate compassion to those around me. Leave behind a legacy because that’s what God wants me to do.
السلام عليك يا مولاي يا رسول الله
Peace be upon you oh Messenger of God. And intercede for me in this life and the next.