The Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) in conjunction with Muslims from all over the world join in the commemoration of the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him.
CIOG takes this opportunity to encourage the Muslims of Guyana to use the time afforded to us during the lunar month of Rabi’ul-Awwal to strengthen their relationship with the last of God’s Messengers who was sent as a “Mercy to all of mankind.”
Loving the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of God be upon him, more than ourselves is a requirement to attain success in the world to come. It is also a requirement to complete our faith in God. This can be achieved if believers make a sincere effort to walk in the noble footsteps of the Holy Prophet.
The diseases of our age are many and the distractions are indeed powerful. The forces of economic exploitation, wanton greed, vengeance, and unjustified wars are wreaking havoc on our civilization and making headlines every day. It is rare to find examples when the virtues of love, generosity, and forgiveness are reflected in the lives of people. We should remember that despair is not in the vocabulary of the Quran or the Prophetic tradition.
There is a handful of western intellectuals who judge the Messenger of God harshly because of the reprehensible conduct of some Muslims. This is unfortunate. The world’s media are watching the actions of Muslims with a critical eye and we need to be cognizant of this fact least our wrong actions bring disrepute to the noble Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him.
We should take comfort in the fact that many prominent non-Muslims have testified to Prophet Muhammad ‘s greatness and his positive impact and influence on humanity. In his book “History of the Intellectual Development of Europe”, (VOL.I, pg-2391) John William Draper writes regarding the life of Prophet Muhammad:
” The man [MUHAMMAD] who, of all men, exercised the greatest influence upon the human race.•
In his “The Prophet’s of the East, D.C. Sharma wrote that “Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him” (1935, pg. 11)
And Mahatma Gandhi, the modern day father of the non-violent movement, refused to believe that Islam was ever spread by the sword, a pervasive misconception even to this day. Gandhi believed instead that Islam was spread by the passion, courage, and faith of Prophet Muhammad.
“When I read the second chapter of the story of Prophet Muhammad, I regretted that there wasn’t more to read. It was impossible for the Prophet to spread Islam by the sword since his early followers were only his wife and nephew, Ali. Later, many people converted to Islam because of his great personality and the Islamic truth.” (“Young India”)
The historical record shows that the spread of Islam to the lands beyond the Arabian Peninsula had more to do with the beauty and simplicity that the followers of Prophet Muhammad reflected in their lives than with the use of military force.
A MERCY TO ALL MANKIND
The Prophet’s companion Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him, was once cursed by his enemies. The companions with him asked that he respond by cursing them. The Prophet refused saying: “I have not been sent to curse people but as a mercy to all mankind.” (Muslim)
Our mother Aisha. may Allah be pleased with her, said that she once asked the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him: ‘Did you face a day more severe than the last day of the battle of Uhud?’ (The Muslims had suffered a temporary defeat during this battle). The Prophet answered: ‘Yes I have experienced such trials at the hands of your people and such a day was the day of ‘Aqabah. On this day I presented myself to Abdi-Lail bin Abd Kulal and offered him Islam, but he rejected my offer. I became sad and heart-broken. I felt some degree of relief when I reached Qam Sa’alib. At this point I looked up and saw a cloud sheltering me from the severe heat. Above I saw Angel Gabriel, peace be upon him. He called out to me: Allah, the Most High, has heard what your people have said to you in response to your offer. Allah sends the Angel of the Mountains to carry out your orders and to do whatever you would like to have done to them. Then the Angel of the Mountains addressed me with greetings of peace and said: ‘Muhammad! Allah has heard what your people have said to you. I am the Angel of the Mountains and my Lord has sent me to you to carry out your orders. If you would command me I will crush them between the two mountains circling the city of Makka. The Holy Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, replied: I do not desire their destruction. Perhaps God Almighty will make their offspring believers who would worship Allah, the One, without associating anyone with Him. (Bukari and Muslim).
HE PRAYED FOR THE LEADER OF THE HYPOCRITES
The companion of God’s Messenger, Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that after the death of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubayy – the leader of the hypocrites – his son came to Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, and requested the shirt of God’s Messenger in order to shroud his father in preparation for his burial. Knowing that ‘Abdullah was a hypocrite who had stirred the tide of dissension in the city of God’s Messenger, he nevertheless consented to the request.
‘Abdullah’s son then asked the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, to offer the funeral prayer for his father. Allah’s Messenger got up to offer the funeral prayer when Sayyidina ‘Umar grabbed a hold of the garment of Allah’s Messenger and said: “Oh Allah’s Messenger! Will you offer the funeral prayer for him though your Lord has forbidden you to do so?” Allah’s Messenger responded: “But Allah has given me the choice by revealing to me (and he recited the verse):-
‘Whether you ask forgiveness for them, or do not ask forgiveness for them; even if you ask forgiveness for them seventy times….’ (9:80)
Then he said: “I will ask for his forgiveness more than seventy times.” Sayyidina ‘Umar insisted: “Abdullah bin ‘Ubayy is a hypocrite!” Even so, Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and Peace be upon him, went ahead and offered the funeral prayer for ‘Abdullah. Then Allah revealed in the Quran: ‘And never (0 Muhammad) pray for anyone of the hypocrites that dies, nor stand at his grave.’ (Lo! they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger and they died while they were evil-doers.” (9:84). (Bukhari)
Hadrat Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: While we were in the mosque with Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, a Bedouin entered and began to urinate. The companions of Allah’s Messenger became alarmed and screamed at him: “Stop! Stop!” Allah’s Messenger said, “Don’t interrupt him; leave him alone.” When the man had finished, Allah’s Messenger called him and said: “Mosques are not places for urination or defecation, but rather they are built for the remembrance of Allah, prayer and recitation of the Qur’an.” Hadrat Anas, said that the Prophet asked one of the companions to bring a container of water and pour it on the spot. (Bukhari and Muslim)
HIS CONCERN FOR THE WELL FARE OF HIS FOLLOWERS
Hadrat Abu Qatadah Hans Ibn Ribti, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: I stand up for Prayer [Salaat] intending to prolong it, but then I hear the wailing of a baby and I shorten my prayer lest the length of my recitation weigh heavily upon the child’s mother. (Bukhari)
Hadrat Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, was the most charitable of all people, but he was extremely generous in the month of Ramadan. It is narrated that the Angel Gabriel, peace be upon him, would sit with the Prophet every year during the month of Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger would recite the Qur’an to the Angel and in this month he was the most generous in giving charity like the blowing of the wind. (Muslim)
Hadrat Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that a person requested that Allah’s Messenger give him a flock of sheep. He was given what he asked for. The man returned to his people and announced: “0 people, embrace Islam. By Allah, Muhammad gives so much as if he does not fear want.” Hadrat Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the person had embraced Islam for the sake of the world, but later when belief entered his heart Islam became dearer to him than the world and all that it contains. (Muslim)
WHEN HE SPOKE IT WAS ALWAYS THE TRUTH
Hadrat ‘Amr ibn al-Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, reports that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, used to pay attention even to the worst person in the community with a view to bring his heart into submission to God Almighty. “Towards me also,” stated Hadrat ‘Amr, “he used to pay much attention, addressing me more than he did others, wherefore I began to think that I was the best person in the community. With this impression I once asked him: “Am I superior or Hadrat Umar?” He said, ‘Umar’. Again I asked him and he repeated his answer without fear or favour. I later realized that I should not have asked him such a question.” (Tirmidhi)
There are countless reasons why the noble Messenger of God is deserving of our love and adoration. First, we should love the Messenger of God because he truly loves us. This fact is attested to in the revelation of Allah as mentioned in the Quran.
Second, the Messenger of God directed us to the path of success in this life and the hereafter. Without him we would all perish. He did not leave a good single thing unaccounted for, but that he demonstrated how to could put it into practice, and he did not leave out a single bad action, but that he showed us how to avoid it.
Third, the Prophet recited the verses that Prophet Abraham recited and then he began to cry “Oh my Lord, my Ummah , my Ummah”… Allah sent the Angel Gabriel to ask him why he was crying (even though Allah knows the reasons). Allah commanded the Angel Gabriel to tell His Prophet that We will give him until he is pleased (Surah Ad-Duha). “Ask and you will be granted, intercede and you will be granted…” In other words, the Prophet Muhammad was full of concern for his community and this is attested to in the Glorious Quran.
Fourth, love him because he told his companions that he would have loved to be with you and meet you long before you came into this world. He said “I loved to meet my brothers who will believe in me even though they would have not seen me”… Allah says in the Quran that he cares about you more than you do about yourself. The Messenger of God used to say, “If any of the believers who die owed people, tell them to come to me and I will pay them back on their behalf.”
Fifth, loving him in this world gives comfort to the heart of the believers. In an authentic Hadith a companion asked God’s Messenger how much time he should spend making Salah and Salam on him. He said: All your time because “you will be sufficed from all your hardships in this world.”
Sixth, the Prophet will be a source of benefit for you on the Day of Judgment and your love for him will help you to get through the trials of the hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said “those of you who will be given seats closest to me on the Day of Judgment will be the ones who send the most Salaah and Salaam upon me in this life.” Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said all the companions present said we have never been so happy about something the Prophet had said, In other words, if you perform your compulsory acts and you love the Prophet, he promises us that we will be in his company on the Day of Judgment.
Finally, A Bedouin once asked the Prophet Muhammad, when will be the Day of Judgment be? The Prophet replied “What have you prepared for it?” The Bedouin said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and his Messenger”. The Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him, said: “You will be with those whom you love.”
This should be reassuring and comforting to our troubled hearts in times of distress and worry over our collective condition. We pray that the celebration of Youm-an-Nabi will bring our hearts closer to love of Allah’s Messenger, and that we take this opportunity to rekindle our affection for his Sunnah, his family and his companions.