Love of the Prophet.

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi

Ihsan Mosque, Norwich 19/8 1981

Surat al-Ahzab: 55
Certainly Allah and His angels pray on the Prophet. Oh you who believe! Pray on him and ask for much peace on him.

We will look at this ayat that has been recited. In it is permission and in it is a command to pray on Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Everything in Islam has two aspects because Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, is the Lord of the outward and the Lord of the inward. This is referred to in Qur’an: “We have shown you the two paths.” The Qur’an is divided into surats from Makka and surats from Madina. The surats of Makka are essentially surats of haqiqat, the Last Day and unseen matters. The surats of Makka speak about the attributes and qualities of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala. The surats of Madina lay down the basic principles of shari’at, the basic outward concerns of an Islamic community. This is in general but each overlaps the other. There is a Madinan element in the Makkan ayats and there is a Makkan element in the Madinan ayats. It says in Qur’an: “Huwadh-Dhahir wal-Batin”—He is the Outwardly Manifest and the Inwardly Hidden.

Shahada is double: Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasulullah. In the Shahada Allah has placed Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, next to Him in this statement. He has exalted the Prophet with this high position and it is an outward exaltation because when Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, raises Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to the Maqam al-Mahmud, to the chosen station in the batin He says, “He took His slave.” He calls him by the word ‘slave’ in the Qur’an—for his batini exaltation he is called by his low name. For his outward presence he is given the exalted name of Rasulullah. It is this that takes him to this position of being part of the Shahada.

You are not in the shari’at of Islam until you say, “Muhammad ar-Rasulullah.” Confirmation of Allah is not enough. You must also confirm Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, because all the knowledge of Allah we get from the Prophet. If you look on him as a military commander, as a great statesman, as a leader of his people—and he is all of these things—you are not understanding the nature and quality of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When we look at the sira—at the story of the Prophet’s life, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, what is this element that is so important? It is quite clear that he engendered in his people a complete and unconditional love of him, and by this love these people fell in love with Allah. If you are drawn to someone you take on their pattern, you take on their form, and Allah says about sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Qur’an, “We have made you in the best form.” This meant that these people around him were aspiring to him and they were taking on a portion of him.

The traditional judgment of our ‘ulama, for example, says that Mu’awiya is higher than the Khalif ‘Abdal’aziz II because he was one of the Companions, because he had this close contact with the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, because he had the honour of writing down these ayats of Qur’an for the first time in history. Also from among the Sahaba we see transformation from how they were before they knew him, once they had become his companion, and even becoming greater after his death. The great example that we all know and that we all like is the example of Sayyiduna ‘Umar, radiyallahu ‘anhu. He was terrible! He was a dreadful man, but look what happened to him by his contact with the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. People pushed their descriptions of him to the limit to praise him, and before everything they praise his zuhud and his self-criticism. They talk about the two lines running down the side of his face which were like the bed of the river where his tears flowed. Then after sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had gone, look how he made Islam burst out on the whole world. Imagine all that energy without the hudud of Islam, it is frightening!

Look at Abu Dharr, he was a mouse. But he was the mouse of Allah. When sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was alive he was so completely enthralled by him—he was the miskin of the masakin. He was intoxicated with the Prophet. If dogs were not unacceptable to us we would say that he went after him like a little dog! On the ghazwa, there was Abu Dharr beside the Prophet. At the Yemeni corner of the Ka’ba there was Abu Dharr beside the Prophet. Going with the caravan, there he was beside the Prophet, and he was so pathetic that he would always lag behind the caravan and almost get lost and everyone would be saying, “Where is Abu Dharr, where is Abu Dharr?” and there he was trailing away behind, he could not catch up with them. Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would stop the caravan and then he came up to him and the Prophet’s love welled up in him and he said, “Oh Abu Dharr! You were born alone, you come on the caravan alone, and you will die alone!” Look at the purity of the man, he did not worry about dying alone he just said, “Oh Rasulullah! Please make du’a to Allah because I do not want to be buried like a kafir I want to be buried a muslim.”

This is the man who, after the death of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, became this lion of Allah. He stood in the streets of Madina calling out the ayats about hoarding gold and silver and denouncing corrupt government. First he was exiled from Madina, then he was exiled a limit of miles outside Madina, then he was exiled to Syria. So the mouse became a lion. He found this courage inside him because his love of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had interiorised, it had gone into his heart, and he had taken on a portion of the courage of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so he was totally transformed. But the highest transformation is in ‘ibada. That is why the Sahaba have this transformed quality, not by any virtue of theirs but by this love that had awakened in them for God that came from their love of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Mistaken people nowadays who want to present what they think is pure Islam say, “Between you and Allah there is nobody.” But it is not true, because there is still Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Prayer is commanded on us. Ibn al-Mashish said, “If it were not for the means, the end would have escaped us.”—We would not have got to the goal without the means. Our relationship with sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is closer than the relationship that the Sahaba had with him because, again from Abu Dharr, we have this hadith which recounts their sitting together at the Ka’ba and something came up from the depths of the Prophet’s being and he sighed and he said, “Oh Abu Dharr, I yearn for them.” Abu Dharr said, “Who do you yearn for?” And the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “I yearn for my brothers.” He said, “Are we not your brothers?” And he said, “No, you are only my companions.” Only. Abu Dharr said, “Who are your brothers?” He said, “They are those people who will love me without ever having seen me.” Look at the maqam that you have. Look at your spiritual condition at the point when in your heart there is love of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

We say that Islam is founded on Kitab wa Sunna. The Book we know and recognise, but the Sunna is not something dead, it is not a collection of hadith. ‘Sunna’ is the word, not hadith, not sira, but Sunna—the living practice, the living form of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Look at how he was with his people, and everything he did was spontaneous. Whatever came up in his heart he would never hide it, so if you took all the hadiths about this behaviour and went around doing it saying, “Look, I am doing it!”—you would not be doing it because the highest moral quality is modesty. Modesty means you do not see your own actions. Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not aware of his own actions, they were natural to him. He was the flowering of the fitra, the completion of fitra, he was fitra illuminated by wahy, so when the moment came he knew what to do from his heart. On the moment of the taking of the oath at Al-Hudaybiya he took the oath of the men by their hand, but he wanted to get everybody close together so he said, “Bring me a jug of water!” The women of the camp were called forward and he put his hand into the water and he took it out, and they put their hand into the water and they took it out. His heart just gave him the right thing to do so that everybody’s heart was sealed in that oath and yet it was halal because he had not touched them, the women.

When he got to Madina everybody wanted him to live in their house. If he picked a house it was already political trouble so he struck his camel and said, “Where he stops, I will live there.” If that was cunning that would be even worse but it was not cunning. He knew in an instant the way that it should happen, how Allah had decreed where he should stay. On the instant he knew what to do. When he was dying he put Abu Bakr forward, he knew by his heart what was the right thing to do. He would not dictate who would follow him because he was a prophet and nobody followed him.

In event after event you see this perfect behaviour. So your having the beard is not some rule of Deen, it is copying and copying is part of love. I have just heard of a great majdhoub in Algeria who knows everything about the beard in Islam! He knows all the hadith about it and he praises the beard and they say that he leaves behind him a trail of beards wherever he goes! He awakens the hearts to that love of the Prophet so that they sprout on the faces! When our brother Ya’qub came to us there was not a hair on his chin, and now I have to say, “Take a little bit off, you look too old!” But it is by love of the Prophet that it came and I have never known anyone who desired the beard of the Prophet but did not get it, even if he is Chinese!

It is this that makes the muslims come alive. He was the guide then and he is the guide now. If you do not believe me, go to the Hajj and ask the hajjis how many of them have met with him on the Hajj. You will meet ten people who on that night at that moment all saw him in different places and had a different vision of him, and we know the famous hadith that shaytan cannot take the form of sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The light of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam comes in the hearts of the muslims. There are things we cannot talk about, secret things that we should not talk about in the mosque, which happen between the muslim and his Prophet. Open guidance takes place between the muslim and sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Discourse takes place between him and his people, warnings come from him to the people he loves. Lives have been saved by the vision of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Even one of the excesses of the Wahhabis was stopped because sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered the leader of the Wahhabis not to do the action the night before the battle. We have a living relationship with Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and it is in the heart. There is no worship in it. It is revealed in the Qur’an that he was a man and spoke of his death and he is Banu Adam. The light of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is in the hearts of the muminun. The love of the Prophet is in the hearts of the muminun and it is this love that changes the characters of people.

Summing up we say that all Islam is a little imitation of his great character. He said Shahada and one of the Sahaba came to Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and said, “My iman is weak what should I do?” He said, “Repeat the Shahada.” He received the Salat, made Salat and the nawafil. He paid the Zakat and paid more sadaqa than any living person ever has done. He fasted and he said, “I have been given a fasting that no man has.” He made the complete, perfect, pure Hajj as the final important act of his whole life, and because it was the first, pure, perfect Hajj it is over all the millions of Hajjs that have followed it because they are following him. We are all followers. We all come after him because we are tabi’in, tabi’in, tabi’in and tabi’in, and so on by generation.

All the muslims are followers and he is the first of the muslims. Is that not one of his names in the Qur’an? He is the first of the muslims and the first of the muminun. Therefore with that picture you are aligning yourself with him psychologically and physically in every aspect. You would want to have the most of things like him, outward and inward: as much dhikr as you can perform, as much behaviour as you can take on, truly to the limit of wives and wars, because we are allowed four, and he had ten or eleven at one time. Everything, he had more. He had one fifth of the booty, nobody else had this and why? Because he did not keep it, he gave it away. If he gave it to the prisoners they ended up richer than before the war.

The muslim should desire the wives, desire the war and desire the booty and by the same token he should desire the presence of Lordship—hadrat ar-Rabbani. He should desire knowledge of Allah by His name ‘the Near’. He should yearn for one bit of his saying, “I have a time with my Lord that no man has.” He said, “He gives me to eat and drink”, so you desire a bit of that and this is your portion, it is what is due you. This is the Deen of Islam. This copying of sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the Deen of Islam—to the degree that you can, knowing that you can never reach his level. It is that which transforms people and changes history, and it is what we have lost and what we have to find again. The more you love the Prophet the more you love Allah.

You are in the presence of Allah. Always. But there is a knowledge that you are always in the presence and that comes in the heart. It is what sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had all the time no matter how tremendous the tajalliyat from Allah was. When he had the Ayat al-’Aliyu in Surat an-Najm, Allah says that he did not waver, he did not shake. You should want your portion of that. This is the Deen of Islam. “Allah has bought from the muminun their selves and their wealth in return for the Garden.” This is your contract—signed, sealed and delivered. “Alastu bi-Rabbikum?” They replied, “Yes.” This is your condition. You are not in this world to gather things unless you are stupid. You are in this world to distribute things, that is the Sunna of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He took as a gift even the leg of a rabbit to show that taking was a blessing. He gave to beyond the limits of giving that anybody knew. He used to give to people and wept with shame that they had asked. He himself said, “the hand of the giver is over the hand of the receiver.” He also said, “Allah’s hand is between the giver and the receiver.” So the giver’s hand is in the hand of Allah, without shirk, in the ma’nawiya, because this is the contract, the giving is the contract. He gave us Shahada, Salat, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj from Allah and we received it from Allah. Finally he said, “If you do not thank people you do not thank Allah.” Our thanking of Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is salat an-Nabiy. Allahumma salli ‘ala Sayyiduna Muhammadin ‘abdika wa Rasulika Nabiyyil-’umiyyi wa ‘ala, alihi wa Sahbihi wa salim taslima. Subhana Rabbika Rabbil-’izzati ‘amma yasifun, wa salamun ‘alal-mursalin, wal-hamdulillahiRabbil-’alamin.


~ by The Murabit Blog on 02/03/2010.

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