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Remembering the Prophet,
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
The fact is the world should be remembering the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, every day.
All the time.
Muslims should be remembering him every moment of their life, because their success in this world, as well as their salvation in the next world, is tied to it. Says the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam: “No one can claim to be a believer unless they love me more than everything and everyone in this world, including themselves” (paraphrase).
What kind of an IQ does it take to figure out that when you love someone more than anything and anyone else in this world, you would be remembering and thinking and talking about that person all the time?
Non-Muslims should be remembering him as much as they can because they owe him a great many of the blessings, privileges, freedoms, rights and dignities that they enjoy today, including the right to freely choose their own God; to freely choose their entire belief system – sacred or secular; to be able to communicate with God directly through personal as well as ritualized prayer; to be able to worship God any day, anywhere, both formally as well as informally, both privately as well as publicly; and without the intermediacy of a specially designated or ordained or anointed religious or “holy” person.
But if for some reason no one remembered to remember the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, thus far on a daily basis, or on any given days of their life hitherto, maybe, just maybe, they could at least use the excuse of his birth to remember to celebrate his memories and teachings, and all the wonderful gifts with which he filled their lives, on this particular day of his birth, even though neither Islam nor the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, asked us to do it.
And even though, the Islamic calendar is very pointedly silent on it. It neither began with the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam’s birth, as would have been most natural if this Islam were a human concoction. Nor does it officially count it as one of its major landmarks.
In a sense, but only in a sense, the calendar has more serious and ponderous events to celebrate and deal with. Like the advent of the Qur’an, during the month of Ramadan, and the end of that month in Eid al-Fitr, which itself means the Feast of Feasting.
What a name!
And like the culmination of the season of Hajj in the great festivities of the Feast of Sacrifice – Eid al-Adhaa.
And then there is the never-to-be-forgotten Lailatul Qadr in the fasting month of Ramadan – the night of glory and power and supreme radiation that marks the descent of the Qur’an to the plane of human existence.
And even though none of the great Companions of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, or their distinguished followers, made much fuss about the birth date of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
But then look at it like this. Take him out of the picture and what do you have? No God; no Qur’an; no Hell; no Heaven; no Isa; no Musa; nothing. All of these came to us through the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Either directly or through his validation and verification.
Without him, we have nothing. Not one thing.
Iqbal recognized this simple equation: It is all Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, or nothing. That is why Iqbal once said:
Ba Mustafaa be-rasaan kheesh raa, ki deen hama oost;
Agar bah oo na-raseedi, tamaam-e-boolahabeest.
Somehow, get to Muhammad Mustafaa, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. For, he is all the Deen that there is. If you cannot get to him, then remember, all you have left is the way of God’s arch-enemy Abu Lahab.
For, it was he who taught us how to love and serve God; how to love and serve God’s creation; and how to love and be solicitous of one another.
So, if you fail to remember the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, you can remember nothing. You can know nothing. And basically you will yourself be nothing.
And it is not just remembering his name. But it is also remembering his message and his mission. And his great way of life – Sunnat – that he practiced and that he left behind for the whole world to practice ever after.
Remembering him in this time and age also means taking his message of Islam, and taking the Qur’an, the divine book that he brought with him, to every home and heart that needs it in every part of the world.
In the East as well as in the West. In the South as well as in the North.
And that is why Iqbal also said:
Aankay ishq-e-Mustafaa saamaan-e-oost;
Bahr-o-bar dar goosha-e-daamaan-e-oost.
Anyone whose worldly possession is the love of Muhammad Mustafaa, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Such a person in reality has ownership of all the land and seas in the world.
At this juncture, we perhaps cannot do better than to share with you some of the personal reflections of a distinguished member of the Read-the-Qur’an Campaign Committee in Trinidad, West Indies, from half way around the world, Dr. Firdaus Kamalodeen, on the subject of remembering the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Here are some of his deeply touching comments made on the occasion of the day of Meelad Annabi in that cradle of world cricket:
“Today is the birth of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. What a wonderful day it is. I do feel extremely excited, as I have not in recent years, about this day. Actually I have not felt like this since I was younger, growing up in Piparo, Trinidad, in the beautiful West Indies. Not since then have I had similar feelings of anticipation and excitement.
Today, or this period of time as a whole, marks the anniversary of the entry of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, into this world: our Nabi, our Rasul, our prophet, our guide, our role model, our leader … Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
The world celebrates all kinds of events, events that we often make-up just to celebrate. You sure can name any number of them if you gave the matter some thought. But the world does not care about this man Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
It does not want to remember him? Or remember all the wonderful things that he did for us? That does not make any sense.
Therefore, let us remember! Let us all remember: Muslim or non-Muslim. Let us all remember the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Ramaadan is the month of the Qur’an. It is the month that marked the entry of the Qur’an into this world. And Allah made us fast because of it.
Rabi’ul-awwal is the month that marked the entry of the man Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, into this world. It was this man who received the Qur’an from God and brought it to us. And it was he who showed us how to read it. And it was he who taught us how to understand it.
And it was also he who taught and showed us how to practice it in our daily lives: both individually and collectively; both privately and publicly.
And while we are not required to fast on the day or during the month of his birth, surely we all can – Muslim as well as non-Muslim – and must remember and reflect upon this great blessing upon us from God Almighty.
Surely we must all thank Allah for making us the recipients of his grace and mercy in the form of the person, teachings and life and example of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
As Dr. Pasha would point out, this is perhaps one more proof that neither this system of Islam, nor this most amazing al-Qur’an, was the handiwork or brainchild of the man Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Or anyone else. But they were both directly designed by God Almighty himself.
For, surely, if it had all been nothing more than the product of human endeavor or effort, it would have been most natural for a human being – or for his closest friends, allies, helpers and admirers – to want to make this month the month of fasting, celebration and special prayer. What would have kept them from making this month and this day the most important month and day of the Islamic calendar?
But, in spite of all these things, who can say that we should not, both Muslim and non-Muslim, remember, on this day or in this month, as on all other days and months, the life and teachings of this greatest benefactor that humanity ever had?”
So, maybe, that is why it is fair to say that the world, both Muslims and non-Muslims among us, will be saved or perish, both in this world as well as in the next world, based on whether or not we remember the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And how much!
And in what way!
© 2006 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.