Our Beloved (pbuh) and Contemplation

November 22, 2008 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

In the name of God, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate

All praise be to God, and may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of God

I was slightly stuck with topics this week, since there are innumerable things we can learn from our Beloved (pbuh). So I thought to start with a reminder of his description, simply because it serves as a heart-softener, and then hopefully talk about reflection in order to better ourselves before Ramadan, and finally an outwardly action that should be easy, inshAllah. I think the last of these emails will be at the end of Ramadan, if Allah permits, describing the Prophet’s (pbuh) actions during the month.

As for the description, I think I had previously forwarded the one that Hind ibn abi Hala gave (the half brother of Fatima (ra) bint Mohammed (pbuh), from Khadija (ra) from a previous marriage). When Ali ibn abi Taleb (ra) described Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), he said:

“Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) was neither assertively tall, nor reticently short, and he was an average-sized member of the population. His hair was neither crisply curled nor lank; it was wavy. He was neither plump nor chubby-cheeked, and in his face there was a rounded quality.

He was white with a reddish tinge, dark black-eyed, with long eyelashes. He had splendid kneecaps, elbow joints and shoulder blades, free from hair. He had a strip of hair from the top of the chest to the navel. The palms of his hands and the soles of his feet were thickset.

When he walked, he moved as if he were descending a declivity, and when he looked around, he looked around altogether. Between his shoulders was the Seal of Prophethood, for he is the Seal of the Prophets. He was the best of the people in generosity, the most truthful of the people in speech, the gentlest of them in temperament, and the noblest of them in social intercourse.

If someone saw him unexpectedly, he was awestruck by him, and if someone associated with him knowingly, he loved him. His describer says: “I have never seen the like of him (pbuh), neither before him nor after him.”

(At-tirmidhi)

This week’s topic is contemplation- of our blessings, of the world around us, of our deeds and of death. Our Prophet (pbuh) was always in deep contemplation and remembrance of God, and thus there is the greatest wisdom in it. The first revelation came when he was in Ghaar Hira’, meditating. He left the city so that he could ponder in solitude. So, we need to stop. Take a deep breath. Sit. And finally, reflect; especially when the world around is moving so fast and at times, causing us to forget.

If we reflect on our blessings, we will find that when we thank, we are not merely saying the words; we actually know what we are thanking for. God teaches us the in the Qur’an, “…and if you count Allah’s favors, you will not be able to number them…” (14.34). If we perhaps take 10 minutes at the end of our day to think about the blessings of that day, we would not be able to count them all- so what of our whole lives? A man once recommended an exercise which was to write down all the bounties that Allah has bestowed upon us. We would not stop writing. If we find that we cannot see so many blessings (not because they are not there, but because we are blinded), then take the advice of the Prophet (pbuh), when he said Look upon one who is below you in status and do not look upon one who is above you in status. In this way you will not look down upon the grace that Allah has bestowed upon you” (Bukhari, Muslim). After a brief look at all the good in our lives, the bad will indeed be miniscule.

Another thing that gives a great sense of inner peace is reflecting on the world around us. Allah (swt) says “And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the stars are made subservient by His commandment; most surely there are signs in this for a people who ponder”(16.12). I personally feel that this is vital, especially when we are surrounded by concrete buildings, which makes people feel as though they are the creators (astaghfrAllah). Just looking at the things around us, from the night sky, stars and moon to (feeling) the wind to the color of the sky at sunset, should induce in us a feeling of how great the world is that the Originator created (How then, is Paradise?). When we say Subhan Allah, it is indeed because we are marveling at all that God has made. In this reflection we can, perhaps, find the precious moments to talk to Allah (swt).

Next is to reflect on our deeds. What have we done in thanks for all that has been given? It shouldn’t be depressing, but purifying. The fact that you are able to reflect on your deeds is a blessing in itself. And then improvement comes, with the aid of Allah. And it can be in whatever form- you may start praying qiyaam-al-layl, you may do excellently in your studies, or you may do something for the needy in the world. But the first step is thinking.

Arguably, the most important thing we can reflect on is death. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“When the dead man is laid in his grave it speaks to him, saying, “Woe betide you, O son of Adam! What distracted you from contemplating me? Did you not know that I am the house of trial, the house of darkness, the house of solitude and the house of worms? What distracted you from me? You used to pass me by, strutting on!”

Now if he had worked well, then someone will reply to the grave on his behalf, saying, “Do you not see that it was his practice to enjoin the good and forbid the evil?” And the grave replies, “Then for him shall I turn to verdure [a condition of freshness or healthy growth.], and his body shall become radiance, and his spirit shall soar up to God (Exhalted is He!)”.’ (According to the narrator, ‘strutting’ [faddad] is to take large strides.)”

(at-Tirmidhi)

I am not bringing this up to be morbid, but I was listening to a lecture by a medical doctor called Khalid Al-Jubair as he described people’s states when they died, as he saw them. It was extraordinary. But the one story that remained with me was of a 19-year-old boy who was scheduled to have an operation. But the boy ran away before the operation. A few days later, he returned to the doctor, who asked him why he ran away. The boy said “I heard you say that there was a 2% chance that the operation would fail, and I though ‘I am not ready for death!’- so I ran away”. The doctor paused for a moment and then asked “So when would you like to die?” Reflecting on death does not have to be disheartening, but just to serve as a reminder that it is indeed coming- so we should inshAllah aim from this moment to better ourselves. If the Angel of Death comes whilst we are doing a good deed, this is “husn al-khaatima” (Felicitous end), which the Prophet (pbuh) advised we pray for.

For the easy bit:

“Whosoever reads one letter of the Book of Allah is credited with one ‘hasanah’ (blessing) and one blessing is equal to tenfold the like thereof in its reward.”

(at-Tirmidhi)

In order to prepare what we can for Ramadan, we can attempt to read more Qur’an beforehand so that it does feel difficult during the month. The Prophet (pbuh) recommended that we complete the Qur’an in one month (although it has also been narrated in 7 or 3 days for those who are able to), and what better month to read the Holy Book than in the Blessed Month.

As always, if anyone has any suggestions, or criticisms, please email me.

To end with a du’a of the salaf:

“O Allah, keep me safe until Ramadan, and make Ramadan faultless for me, and secure it for me as an accepted (month of virtue).”

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

The Beloved (pbuh) and consoling others Our Beloved (pbuh) and giving importance to others

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed



%d bloggers like this: