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April 22, 2005

In Praise and Remembrance of the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam)

(edit: Friday, 5:22 pm – quite sad that 13 hrs after posting this article, I’ve had over 100 unique visitors, no stories shared, and a pointless Wahhabi-Salafi debate started in an attempt to discredit the Burdah. If I had written about wife demotion or something, I’d have gotten 30 comments by now–positive and negative. And yet, when I asked people to share their favorite stories… nothing. Either we don’t have any favorite stories or we’ve become a truly pathetic people. kr is extremely disappointed.)

I wanted to actually post this on Thursday as that was the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal, but I became busy with Spelling Bee stuff. It’s early Friday morning right now, but let’s just pretend it’s still Thursday.

Considering that the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal marks the 1480th “birthday” of the Prophet, it’s a time for Muslims of conscience to reflect on the status and importance of the Prophet in their lives. Certainly, familiarizing ourselves with his life, sending him praise (salah `ala al-Nabi or darud), and implementing the manifest and inner Sunnahs ought to be paramount and perpetual goals for everyone. Yet, I think there is some benefit in using such an occasion to collectively remember and remind one another in an attempt for each of us to better appreciate–knowing full well that we never can–the Messenger of God.

The incomparable Imam al-Busiri writes in the Burdah (the Poem of the Cloak):


His birth clearly showed his pure origin;
Ah the excellence, of his beginning and of his end!

For me to attempt to even begin to praise the Prophet in the way that he deserves to be praised would be an exercise of the gravest futility. Even Imam al-Busiri writes:


So what hopes does the one who praise have towards
He who is of noble character and exemplary habits?

And once again, he writes:



Leave aside what the Christians may say about their Prophet
And award to him whatever you wish in terms of praise, and stand by it,
And ascribe to his person whatever you wish in terms of nobility
And ascribe to his power whatever greatness you wish
For the excellence of the Messenger of God has no limit
Such that anyone who speaks with his tongue could express it (completely).

Therefore, I humbly suggest that this post be a forum that we can all share our single-most favorite event, story, or description of the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam). I’ll start by mentioning mine, and I encourage everyone to add theirs using the rubric: “My favorite incident from the life of the Prophet is…”

You don’t have to have an “intelligent” or even “logical” reason for why you think that event “x” is your most favorite.  I know this is extremely difficult, since the entire Sirah is simply indescribable and amazing. However, please stick to one thing that is your personal favorite, and if you wish, mention why it means so much to you. Hopefully we can all be reminded about the amazingness of the Messenger of Allah and resolve to better educate ourselves about him and implement his Traditions.

My favorite incident from the life of the Prophet has to be when the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) once took his two grandsons, Hasan and Husayn (radi`allahu anhuma), to the Eid prayer. The boys were walking merrily with the Prophet until they saw several other children who were dressed in finer clothes and were enjoying a ride on camels and horses to the prayer grounds. The young boys complained to their grandfather and asked him why they too did not have a camel to ride. The Prophet, dressed in his Eid clothes, smiled and immediately got down on all fours in the middle of the street and pretended to be a camel and jovially told his grandchildren to mount him. The boys happily jumped on his shoulders. Husayn, the younger of the two brothers, innocently asked the Prophet, “Where is the rein of my camel?”. The Prophet replied, “Take hold of my hair.” Hasan and Husayn playfully gripped the blessed hair of the Prophet and the trio headed towards the Eid grounds. A companion saw them and remarked, “What an excellent riding beast! (Ni`m al-markab!), as he was praising the Prophet. The Prophet turned to him and said, “No, what an excellent rider! (La, ni`m al-raakib!). I am carrying the future of mankind on my shoulders.”

This has to be my favorite incident from the Sirah since it shows how human the Prophet was, enjoying the company of his grandchildren and going out of his way to entertain and amuse them. He clearly saw the young boys were feeling embarassed–as is natural for boys that age–that everyone around them seemed to have a riding beast and they did not. Their complaint to their grandfather did not earn them a rebuke or even an ignored request; rather, the Messenger of God, dressed in his “finery” (if we can even call it that) immediately got down on his knees to satisfy their wishes and to make them not feel as if they were left out. The boys asked for a riding beast; their request was answered with by the best of creation who became the best mount they could have had. And then… even more amazing is how when the Companion who sees them praises the Prophet, but the Prophet immediately turns to him and praises his grandsons. To me, that just blows my mind because what young child will even care about such a gesture of being respected and dignified–they were more interested in the fun “ride” they were having. Yet, the Prophet’s nature was such that he would elevate and ennoble every one around him; being the greatest manifestation of God’s mercy, he was so willing and eager to impart that mercy to anyone and everyone, whether they needed it or not–and whether they were even aware of it:


Indeed there has come to you a Messenger from amongst yourselves, grievous to him is your falling into distress; full of concern for you, for the believers he is full of compassion and mercy.

Allâhumma salli wa bârik `alâ Sayyidinâ Muhammadin wa `alâ âlihi wa sahbihi wa sallim taslîman kathîran dâ’iman abadan.

 

Final Notes:

1. I promise, Part II of Springtime Reflections will get up there… eventually

2. Make du’a for the Spelling and Vocab Bee that’ll be held on Saturday that Allah blesses the event and allows every volunteer and participant to benefit from it in both worlds.

3. Please share your favorite Sirah incidents.

 

 

 

Currently Playing:
Burdah – Al-kawakib ad-durriya fi madh khayr al-barriya
Artist:
Khalid Belrhouzi, Yusuf Islam
Track: They’re all great, but track 6 (corresponding to Chapter 5) is my favorite.
Note: If you don’t have this CD, why?

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24 Comments
  1. Wow. That story just blew my mind. I’m going to have to think of a story and post it later. There’s too many that I loved.

  2. Beautiful story. May Allah bless our nabi (sallahu ‘alaihi wassallam).

  3. That Burdah poem has shirk in it, therefore we should not come close to it.
    Salaam Alaikum
    Yes, there is much in the poem that is praiseworhty and beautiful. In fact, certain sections will even move you to tears.
    However, that doesn’t change the fact that there is blatant shirk in all three categories of tahweed in that poem: shrik in ruboobiyyah, uloohiyyah and asma wa sifaat. Therefore, the poem should not and cannot be read except to correct these exceses.As for the alleged story of how the poem was written, the Prophet (saw) would not appear to anyone and praise him had he written soemthing of shirk. It is only the mystics who base their religion on dreams and fairy-tales; as for the true Muslm, he has the Quran and authentic Sunnah as his only true guides.
    BTW, just so no one things I haven’t read the poem or am passing judgments w/o any knoweldge:An example of shirk in ruboobiyyah is the stanza:”And of your generosity is the (creation) of the Wolrd and its co-wife (meaning the Hereafter)…” Here it is as if the World and the Hereafter was created from the generosity of the Prophet (SAW).
    An example of Shirk in Asma wa sifaat:”And part of your knowledge is the knowlege of the Tablet and the Pen…” So PART of the knowledge of the Prophet (SAW) is the knoewledge that is encompassed in the LAwh al-Mahufdh – the tablet that has EVERYTHING written on it!! and that is only ‘part’ of his knowledge!! Compare this mystic poem with the authentic hadeeth in Bukhari where a young girl said “And we have a prophet who knows what will happen tommorrow.’ to which the Prophet (SAW) said, “Leave this (bit), and say the rest of it.
    Example of shirk in uloohiyyah:” And who else there, besides you, who I can call out, at times of distress and problems?” Umm… how about our Creator, the only one the Prophet (SAW) HIMSELF would turn to at times of distress??
    The poem is a prime example of over-praising the Prophet (SAW) and putting him ina place where even he himself would not like. We will discuss it more in Aqeedah 101 insha Allah.
    Yasir
    That’s a quote from Shaykh Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi, who has a Masters in Aqeedah from Islamic University where he had studied this very poem. For more info, go to http://forums.almaghrib.org/showthread.php?t=6501&highlight=burdah and you’ll see the evidences.
    Insha’Allah this will clear up any confusion; may Allah guide us all. Ameen.

  4. that’s a pretty big statement for someone to make about perhaps the greatest poem ever written in islamic literature.
    i dont know who Shaykh Yasir Qadhi is (though he seems to be a patron scholar for the Maghrib Institute that you’ve been brandishing as the greatest thing since sliced bread… which it might be, I’m not agreeing/disagreeing)… but there’s just as many (if not more) scholars who would say the exact opposite about the Burdah as compared to what this scholar said.
    anyway, the point of this post was to share your favorite sirah story… not to engage in a debate about the validity of the Burdah.
    that’s why i underlined “please share…” in the final comments.

  5. I agree with you KR. This discussion is futile.
    My Favorite Story:
    At the Battle of Badr, the Prophet (salAllahualayhiwasallam) is arranging the Muslims in ranks so he walks up and dwon the ranks to make sure everyone is in line correctly. So he’s using a stick to do this and he’s adjusting the Sahabah. Then one Sahabah complains that the Prophet pushed him too hard in the belly with his stick. So the Prophet gives him the stick and raises his own garment and tells the man to take his due justice. The Sahabah smiles and instead kisses the stomach of the Prophet.
    I love it because even in such a serious time of battle, the Prophet was so conscious of making sure that no one felt hurt from his actions. And I love how the Sahabah used this situation to kiss his stomach and become closer to the Prophet (salAllahualayhiwasallam)

  6. I don’t know why there is a huge following that reads this and then bashes on it– ppl need better things to do w/ their lives than read websites that piss them off.
    I have 2 favorites– they’re so …… i don’t have the words – amazing? that i always remember them– almost everyday:
    (1) Prophet (S) is approached by mother and son; mom complains that kid eats too many sweets; The Prophet (S) tell them to come back in 2 weeks.  The two return after 2 weeks and then the Prophet (S) takes the kid to the side and and tells him to not eat that many sweets and how too much is bad, etc.  The mother is confused and asks why didn’t the Prophet (S) say this earlier. The Prophet (S) says that the reason as for the 2 week delay in just saying “stop eating too many sweets”is that the Prophet (S) himself was eating sweets and couldn’t tell someone else not to do what he was doing– how beautiful is that? the human-ness of it– it puts a huge smile (ear to ear grin) on my face just thinking about it
    #2 Prophet (S) is meeting w/ the ruler of some land and trying to convert him; an old Muslim man comes walking in and interrupts or attempts to do so; Prophet (S) gets irritated by him and i don’t remember if he ignores him or tells him to go away.  In either case the Prophet (S) doesn’t give the old man answers to questions he had.  The Prophet (S) does this so he can return to talking to the ruler guy; just then Allah reprimands the Prophet (S) for turning away a fellow Muslim who seeked knowledge and instead dealing w/ another who isn’t Muslim yet.  Prophet (S) realizes his mistake and proceeds to correct it.
    May Allah and the Prophet (S) forgive me if I screwed up the retelling– but you’ve probably have heard the actual retelling from someone before and you get the picture.  The “human-ness” of Prophet (S) is what makes me feel closer to him.  We’re all told of the special light, the Nur that is used to make the spirit of all the prophets.  Prophet Muhammad (S)’s light is that grand thing which only has place at the highest level of heaven.  We all try to attain that kind of piousness and righteousness, but we all sin and never could be that worthy– sometimes leveling us to think what’s the point. These 2 stories inspire me to be a better Muslim and person because it shows that as great as the Prophet (S) was, he was human indeed and showed it.  The human-ness of it all is what makes him seem more of a person to me and makes me love him more for it.

  7. there was relative ‘peace’ on this xanga… what happened?  my sincere advice to everyone: if you got beef w/ someone, go confront them, don’t do it publicly b/c even if you had a prayer of convincing the person, its gone.
    i have too many stories that are my favorite, mostly the classic stories.
    the story of taif; how the people abused him to the point where he bled, where the angels even offered to crush the city, but Rasulullah (saw) said to let them be, that inshaAllah their children will be muslim.  such mercy, subhanAllah
    the story of Rasulullah (saw) helping an old woman and she thanking him, but the whole time telling him not to talk to her about ‘the Prophet’ and at the end she asked who he was because he was so kind, and he told her and she was shocked and (i think) became Muslim.
    and who could not forget that Rasulullah (saw) called those who would follow him without seeing him his brothers.  and when the as-haab asked what about them, he replied that they were his friends, but his real brothers are yet to come.
    i could go on for a while, but i’ll give other people a chance.

  8. My favorite…
    Ali (R) said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was always cheerful, easy tempered, mild. He was neither rough nor course. He did not ahout nor utter obscenities. He did not find fault with nor over praise people.”
    “Anyone who saw him suddenly was filled with awe of him. Those who kept his company loved him.”
    It is related from Jaabir radiAllahu ‘anhu that he said:  “I once saw Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi waSallam on the night of a full moon.  On that night he wore red clothing.  At times I looked at the full moon, and at times at Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi waSallam.  Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi waSallam was more handsome, beautiful and radiant than the full moon”
    Allahuma salli wa sallim wa baarik a’laa sayyidina Muhammad wa a’laa aalihi wa sahbihi wa salim

  9. man Ashab you took my favorite description of an-nabi allahumma salli ‘alai wa ‘ala aalihi.
    funny how our sunday school classes, and lectures on tapes qualifies us to be so scholarly.
    anyways, I always loved how an-nabi allahumma salli ‘alai was the hardest worker, physically, during the construction of the masjid upon arrival to madina… first one out there, last one to leave.
    To me, my favorite, by far– the tree that wailed for the Prophet allahumma salli ‘alai– and how he allahumma salli ‘alai hugged it.
    WHAT a man… but not like other men.  allahumma salli ‘alai

  10. I Love Allah.
    I Love Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
    With all my heart.
    -Mohd

  11. A man is with whom he loves, Mohd =)

  12. wow, the story of the Prophet allahumma salli ‘alai (in the original post) made me cry.  barakAllahu feek.

  13. Anonymous permalink
  14. I originally wanted to talk about the story of Tai’f as my favorite, but sannashine already mentioned it.  I wanted to add the dua that Prophet (SAW) made while blood was running down his blessed legs and filling his sandals…blood that was caused by stones thrown at him by the townsfolk of Taif only because he was telling them about Allah in peace:
    Oh, Allah, I appeal to you for the weakness in my strength,and my limited power,and the treatment of contempt and humiliation from people.To you, the most Merciful of all the Merciful ones,you are the Lord of the oppressed, and you are my Lord
    Under whose care are you leaving me to?To an enemy oppressing me? Or to a friend you have given control of my affair?If there is no anger from you on me I will forever be content. However, your blessing is vastly important for me
    I seek refuge with the glory of your light,which the heavens and earth are lit form,your anger will not befall on me,nor your displeasure descends on me
    To you is the supplication until you are pleased,and there is no control or power except by you.
    SubhanAllah…what great words for the lowest point of Prophet (SAW)’s life.  Remember that he went to Tai’f after his “year of sorrow” when he lost his wife Khadijah (RA) and his uncle, two of his strongest supporters.  And after this, he, as mentioned above, sought mercy for those that tried to kill him.  There is no person on this earth worse than one who tried to kill a messenger of Allah, yet our noble Messenger (SAW) prayed for their guidance instead of condemning them to hellfire through a humiliating punishment.  Alas, these days we are quick to condemn our own fellow Muslims to hellfire by calling them Kafir or Mushrik or Bid’ati when we have no real knowledge of what is in their hearts….why not pray for their guidance instead of backbiting and earning yourself nothing but regret for the Hereafter??
    This dua’ reminds me of another great story in the life of our Beloved (SAW).  You can picture in this dua’ the relationship between Allah and His dearest creation, one of love and friendship that no one on earth can duplicate.  This love reached such a great height that Allah invited His Beloved (SAW) to His Grand Presence…another event that occured soon after the “year of sorrow.”  One can find many examples in the Qur’an in which Allah comforts the Prophet (SAW), reassuring him that Allah will always be there for him and that his mission will not fail, such as in Surah Duha, “Your Lord has neither forsaken you nor hated you….Indeed your Lord will give you (good) so that you will be pleased”.  But the Mi’raaj, what a great honor and comfort for our oppressed Prophet (SAW), like a friend embracing His Beloved in a time of great distress, an event that cannot be put in words, one that even the greatest poets fell short of describing.  And  through this Blessed meeting, we Muslims received the greatest gift…salah…an opportunity to spiritually make our own Mi’raj five times a day (which would have been 50 were it not for the mercy of Allah and the wisdom He gave His Prophet (SAW) to request the decrease).  May Allah accept all our prayers and instill in us that same feeling His Beloved (SAW) felt when he met Him.
    These are just two of my many favorite stories…I just hope we can derive lessons from as many of them as possible.
    May Allah continue to bless Prophet (SAW) through us as he deserves.

  15. salaam,
    This isn’t my “favorite” because tomorrow I’ll probably think of one I like better. But one of my favorite incidents with the Prophet (saw), is the one recently quoted on my xanga:
    “…so ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood recited for the Prophet: “What will happen on that Day, when we have brought a witness from every Ummah, and we will bring you (Muhammad) as witness against your Ummah.”
    -Upon this, the Prophet ordered ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood to stop reciting saying: “Enough, enough!” When ibn Mas’ood looked up, he saw the Prophet’s eyes dripping with tears.
    I just can’t get the picture of the Prophet crying for his ummah out of my head. Crying for me! Crying for you! Crying that he will have to testify before Allah on the Day of Judgement – and for many of us – his testimony will be detrimental to our status in the Herafter. So he cries…..the most blessed creation, the most gentle human being, the most beloved of Allah – crying for wretches like us…..
    Subhanallah.

  16. Anonymous permalink

    as someone else already mentioned…the moaning tree. I’ve only heard it from one person who was able to relay it the best…by which the beauty and sadness was shown…Sheikh Hamza Yusuf…ISNA.

  17. Salam KamKam,
    My favorite story is the one where the Prophet is in the cave and approached by the Angel Jibril and he is scared like a little baby squirrel.  He then has to go back to Khatija with his little tail between his legs, ears wilted and asks for her comfort.  She gives it to him and then takes him to her christian cousin dude who then gives him some light on the issue.  Why is this my favorite tale?  Because we all know the grandness of his mission and how wonderfully he fulfilled it, but we forget how human he was, and that he was scared like a little baby squirrel once and didn’t know if he was the man for the job.  The Prophet was humble and scared instead of acting confident and cocky.  It reminds us that fear need not cripple us and that we all need God’s help in doing what we’re supposed to do…
    Happy trails…
    Queen Rooji

  18. My favorite moment from the Sirah of Sayyidina Muhammad [saw] has to be Fatah-e-Makkah. Never has anyone in the history of mankind ever been able to demonstrate such a great level of humility and forgiveness.
    As for the Burdah, before the Wahhabis took over Medina, the whole of it was inscribed over the walls of Masjid-e-Nabawi. Could it possibly be that our predecessors were endorsing Shirk?
    Aaqa kaa gadha hoon, ay Jahannum, tu bhi sun lay,
    Woh kaysay jalay, jo kay, Ghulam-e-Madani ho?

  19. Anonymous permalink

    I can’t imagine what I would do if I were given the chance to meet the Prophet(s).  If I were to hug him, I think it would be damn near impossible to let him go. 
    I can’t imagine what I would do if I were to meet the lord in good standing.  I just can’t comprehend that.

  20. My Favorite Story:
    It has to be how the Rasul handled himself at Hudaibiyah (you did an awesome job of narrating some of those events in your khutbah at DIC on Friday, KR). When everyone around him was going mad and insane, he maintained his cool and composure, and the Quraish were so shocked that he was so calm cause they knew the treaty they were suggesting was so in favor of themselves, but the Prophet knew from Allah that this was actually a great victory for them. And more people came into Islam after the treaty than before. SubhanALLAH, just the way he was so cool that day, despite all the insults and evil things that he saw and happened that day… that was just so awesome.

  21. Assalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu, I recently put up a post about a question someone asked me on the subject of takabbur. I wanted to know how you, in particular, would answer the question that I was asked. By the way, very nice post, Mashallah.Assalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa BarakatuhuShukrun wa Jazakallahu Khayrun

  22. This is summarized and not an exact quote:One of my favorite stories is when Aisha(R) sees the Prophet(S)’s feet bleeding and swollen from standing and praying all night. She tells him(S), “Ya Rasulullah, your past sins and your future sins have already been forgiven. Why do you subject yourself to such torture?” He(S) turns to her and simply says: “Shall I not be a thankful servant?”Thus shaming the rest of us who think that praying our 5 daily prayers is more than enough thankfulness for what we have been given as well as more than enough praise for which we should receive all that our hearts desire.

  23. I agree with Saqib… but great post…

  24. KR is a eprop monger. May God forgive your blasphemy. hehe

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