Monday, October 3, 2016

Muhammad



For love some people lost their lives. Others went bankrupt. Some became philosophers. Others went mad. Some wrote books. Others versified. Some hated the whole world save the beloved. Others loved the whole world and above all Him Who created it.

From inside the trenches, surrounded by the smell of blood and the fear of an unseen enemy, young soldiers wrote home to say how much they missed the smile of their women (wives and fiancées), how much they longed to go back home and kiss their lips and fondle their breasts.

From the plane taking them far away, some pick up their mobiles and say to that dear person back at home, “Don’t forget, Katy. I love you. See you soon.”

Some stop somewhere to pick and choose a postcard and words to write on the back of the postcard. Others buy flowers or pullovers or whatever they think would make their beloved happy. Others just don’t bother to buy anything. Not because they are mean. But simply because they cannot find anything that would translate what they feel more than a smile from the bottom of the heart or a tear long held back.

For love some get so happy that they start doing what they never did before. Mean people become generous. Proud people become humble.

But not all people love people. Some people love things rather than people, or maybe both. “Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life.” (Al-Imran: 14) This kind of love brought in the past and still brings today hate and war.


To avoid that some people love both people and God. The Prophet Muhammad was one of them. The Prophet Muhammad was not sent to terrorize people, but to save them and love them. If he did fight, it was only against those who wanted to deprive others of the chance to know and love and be loved by their true God.

The Prophet Muhammad was offered the opportunity to be the Bill Gates of his time, but he just refused to “seize” that opportunity, while he was God’s beloved N° 1. The Prophet Muhammad slept on a harsh bed, lived on bread and dates, and once he had to roam the streets at night simply because he felt too hungry to stay at home.

The Prophet Muhammad was anything but un-ambitious, he whose followers managed to build great (ambitious) empires. He could have made for himself a heaven on earth had he so willed, even if it meant waging bloody wars. But he believed that “And whatever you have been given is an enjoyment of the life of (this) world and its adornment, and that (Hereafter) which is with Allah (God) is better and will remain forever.” (al-Qasas: 60) “Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah (God) (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” (an-Nahl: 96) “See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.” (al-Isra: 21) “Blessed is He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than (all) that –Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) and will assign you palaces (i.e. in Paradise).” (al-Furqan: 10)


The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) wanted to be with al-Masakeen “the have-nots”, not with the rich. He wanted to be a man of the masses, not of the elite. He wanted to set an example. Once a governor came before Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab and offered him cakes. Umar said to him: “Do all people in your region eat such good cakes?” How on earth could a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad eat cakes which only the haves could afford?

God said: “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah (God) then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Koran and the Sunnah), Allah (God) will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah (God) is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (al-Imran: 31)

If ordinary followers of the Prophet Muhammad loved God, how much more could the Prophet Muhammad’s love for God be? Well, it was boundless, and it was reciprocated.

Once Aiysha Ummu al Mumineen asked her husband, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), why he tired himself so much with keeping extra unbearable duties to God while all his past and future sins were forgiven. The Prophet replied: “Why shouldn’t I be a grateful slave (vis-à-vis God)?”

The Prophet Muhammad did not love God only. He loved people too. He wanted to save them all. And he suffered so much for that love for people. God said to him: “So destroy not yourself (O Muhammad) in sorrow for them. Truly, Allah (God) is the All-Knower of what they do!” (Fatir: 8) “Perhaps, you would kill yourself (O Muhammad) in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration the Koran).” (al-Kahf: 6) “Verily you (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah (God) guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.” (al-Qasas: 56)


Now we only speak of human rights. We seldom –if ever_ speak about God’s right. What are God’s rights? At least one has to do this for God. “But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah (God) has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and do good as Allah (God) has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah (God) likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters.” (al-Qasas: 77)

Yes, and do good as Allah (God) has been good to you. God said to the Prophet Muhammad: “Did He not find you (O Muhammad) an orphan and gave you a refuge? And He found you unaware (of the Koran, its laws and Prophethood) and guided you? And He found you poor and made you rich (self-sufficient with self-contentment)? Therefore, treat not the orphan with oppression. And repulse not the beggar. And proclaim the Grace of your Lord (i.e. the Prophethood and all other Graces).” (ad-Duha: 6-11)

And that’s just what the Prophet Muhammad did, if not more. He took care of the orphans and the destitute and he proclaimed the bounty of God on him. How could he have done otherwise, he to whom God said: “And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”? (al-Anbiya: 107)

God wants to bestow His Mercy on all mankind. “Why should Allah (God) punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah (God) is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.” (an-Nisa: 147)

Some people -in fact, many people- just don’t care of God. “And when it is said to them: “Prostrate yourselves to the Most Gracious (Allah) (God)! They say: “And what is the Most Gracious? Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you (O Muhammad) command us?” And it increases in them only aversion.” (al-Furqan: 60)


And yet God did not take away His bounty from mankind. For his ingratitude, Man should be -shouldn’t he?- subjected to the worst ordeals. But there are innocent creatures that have no hand in Man’s ingratitude. The Prophet Muhammad said: “Were it not for children and animals God would cut off the rain (i.e. as a punishment to the infidel).” But as the Koran has it, “But verily, your Lord is full of Forgiveness for mankind in spite of their wrong-doing.” (ar-Ra’d: 6) “And He is Oft-Forgiving, full of love (towards the pious who are really true believers of Islamic Monotheism).” (al-Buruj: 14)

God bestows His bounty not only on the faithful but also on the infidel. “On each -these as well as those- We bestow from the Bounties of your Lord. And the Bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.” (al-Isra: 20)

But Man often misinterpret God’s Bounty. Indeed, some are adamant that there is no such thing as God’s Bounty or God (period). They believe that whatever material things they have are the sole result of their own work and the logical pay for the sweat of their brow and God just has nothing to do with that all.

God said: “And were it not that mankind would have become of one community (all disbelievers desiring worldly life only), We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious (Allah) (God), silver roofs for their houses, and elevators whereby they ascend, And for their houses, doors (of silver), and thrones (of silver) on which they could recline, And adornments of gold. Yet all this (i.e. the roofs, doors, stairs, elevators, thrones of their houses) would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world. And the Hereafter with your Lord is (only) for the Muttaqun.” (az-Zukhruf: 33-35)

The material world is most often irresistible. Even good people living in pious environments are sometimes dazzled by the glamour of life in this world. This happened even to some of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives. “O Prophet (Muhammad)! Say to your wives: “If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, then come! I will make a provision for you and set you free in a handsome manner (divorce). But if you desire Allah (God) and His Messenger, and the home of the Hereafter, then verily, Allah (God) has prepared for Al-Muhsinat (good-doers) amongst you an enormous reward.” (al-Ahzab: 28-29)

In that other life God has prepared for the lucky who will go there “what no eye has ever seen nor anyone has ever imagined”, as the Prophet said. “No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” (as’Sajdah: 17) “Is there any reward for good other than good?” (ar-Rahman: 60)

But even there in that other life there is the elite. “And whoso obey Allah (God) and the Messenger (Muhammad), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah (God) has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddîq), the martyrs, the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (an-Nisa: 69)

Members of that elite need not write down their epic autobiographies to boast of their (real and fictitious) heroic deeds. They have an angel each to write that biography for them. And then there’s Illiyyun. “Nay! Verily, the Record (writing of the deeds) of Al-Abrar (the pious and righteous) is (preserved) in Illiyyun. And what will make you know what Illiyyun is? A Register inscribed, To which bear witness those nearest (to Allah (God), i.e. the angels).” (al-Mutaffifin: 18-21)


That is the best -nay the real- glory that should be hankered after. The list is still open and everyday new souls win a seat with the elite. Those are who have an example set already, a role model that can never be excelled: the Prophet Muhammad, to whom God said: “And Verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character.” (al-Qalam: 4)

Those people who are after the sublime glory know that the only way they could get it is by loving God and worshipping Him more than anyone else they know. “If you (really) love Allah (God) then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Koran and the Sunnah), Allah (God) will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah (God) is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (al-Imran: 31)


When you love somebody you keep saying his name and thinking of him all the time, and so do those who love God. “Those who remember Allah (God) (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (al-Imran. 191)

If those people do anything for other people they do it for love, not for money. “And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the Miskin (the poor), the orphan, and the captive, (Saying): “We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you. Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day, hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible (from extreme dislike to it). So Allah (God) saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty) and joy. And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal- Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof (according to their wishes). And they will be given to drink there of a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger), A spring there, called Salsabil. And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. (And it will be said to them): “Verily, this is a reward for you, and your endeavour has been accepted.” (al-Insan: 8-22)

What more could a sane human being aspire to? But not all people agree. Only the wise believe in that. Suffice it to say that they are wise. “He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding.” (al-Baqarah: 269)

That’s the wisdom that made the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) say to his companion Bilal: “Do call for prayer so that we soothe ourselves (by praying)!”

Prayer is a daily meeting between God and His slave, between the willing believer and his Master. It’s a time when a lover can speak to his beloved direct.

Some go to Haj (the Holy places) to join millions of pilgrims from all over the world in a phenomenal choir, all chanting the same words to please the same God.

The door is not closed yet. Even those who, put off by their sophisticated knowledge, cannot yet take the first step may still hope that one day -why not?- God will worm His way into their heart to cleanse it and adorn it with impeccable faith, so that they can one day -why not?- stand before Him, there in the other life, and say: “Praises to You God and thanks to You God for saving me!”

“Shall We then (warn you not and) take away the Reminder (this Koran) from you, because you are a people Musrifun”? (az-Zukhruf: 5)

“Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning?” (al-Insan: 1) “Verily, We have created man from Nutfa (drops) of mixed semen (sexual discharge of man and woman), in order to try him: so We made him hearer and seer.” (al-Insa: 2) “Then let man look at his food: We pour forth water in abundance. And we split the earth in clefts. And We cause therein the grain to grow, And grapes and clover plants (i.e. green fodder for the cattle), And olives and date-palms, And gardens dense with many trees, And fruits and herbage (to be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle.” (Abasa: 24-32) “Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfa. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: “Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust? Say (O Muhammad): “He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!” (Ya-Sin: 77-79) “Does he promise you that when you have died and have become dust and bones, you shall come out alive (resurrected)? Far, very far is that which you are promised! There is nothing but our life of this world! We die and we live! And we are not going to be resurrected!” (al-Mu’minun: 35-37)


The Prophet Muhammad tells us that God divided His Mercy into one hundred parts and He placed one part of it (i.e. 1%) on earth and it’s with this one part that all people and all animals are merciful towards one another, and God kept the other ninety-nine parts of His Mercy for the Last Judgement.

Doesn’t this Most-Merciful, All-Merciful God deserve to be listened to and worshipped and loved?

God said: “Allah (God) wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman).” (an-Nisa: 28) “verily, your Lord is of Vast Forgiveness. He knows you well when He created you from the earth (Adam), and when you were foetuses in your mothers’ wombs. So ascribe not purity to yourselves.” (an-Najm: 32) “(…) keep your duty to Allah (God) and fear Him as much as you can.” (a-Taghabun: 16)


After all, “If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah (God) is not in need of you; He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you.” (az-Zumar: 7) “Whosoever disbelieves will suffer from his disbelief, and whosoever does righteous good deeds (by practising Islamic Monotheism), then such will prepare a good place (in Paradise) for themselves (and will be saved by Allah (God) from His Torment).” (ar-Rum: 44) “On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah (God) warns you against Himself (His punishment) and Allah (God) is full of kindness to (His) slaves.” (al-Imran: 30) “Whoever brings a good deed (Islamic Monotheism and deeds of obedience to Allah (God) and His Messenger) shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed (polytheism, disbelief, hypocrisy, and deeds of disobedience to Allah (God) and His Messenger shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.” (al-An’am: 160)

That’s why when a companion was reading out of the Koran and got to the verse: “How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?” (an-Nisa: 41), the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) burst into tears, and said to his companion: “Stop!
That’s enough!”


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