Love Muhammad (S) - The Prophet of Mercy

Al-hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi 'l-Alameen. Wa as-salat wa as-salam 'ala al-ashraf al-Anbiya'i wa al-mursaleen, wa 'ala ahlih, at-tayyibin, at-taharin, al-masoomeen. Amma ba'ad, faqad qal Allahu Subhana wa Ta'ala fi kitabihi al-Majid, wa Furqani al-Hamid, wa qaulu ul-Haqq. Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. "Huwa alladhi yunnazilu 'ala 'abdihi Ayatin bayyiatin liyukhrijakum min adh-dhulumati ila an-Nur, wa inna Allaha bikum la-ra'ufun rahim" (57:9). Amanna Bi-Llah, Sadaqa Allahu al-'Aliyu al-'Adheem. Wa sadaqa Rasuluh al-Karim Wa al-hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi 'l-Alameen.

My respected teachers, brothers and sisters, salaam alaykum jami'an, wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. First and foremost on this blessed occasion in which we are celebrating the birth anniversary of Rasul Allah, Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], we extend our congratulations and felicitations to one and all and indeed to the entirety of humanity, for the birth of this noble Messenger is and should be a celebration for the entirety of humanity.

I would also like to extend my congratulations and well done and thanks to the organisers for bringing this brilliant programme together. May it be the start of something for all of our communities and in generation to come. This will be something that our youth, our brothers and sisters look back on as a turning point for the communities to come together InshaAllah.

The verse of the Holy Qur'an that I have quoted at the beginning comes to us from Sura al-Hadeed, and Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says in verse number nine: Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim."Huwa alladhi yunnazilu 'ala 'abdihi Ayatin bayyiatin liyukhrijakum min adh-dhulumati ila an-Nur" (57:9). He is the One who has revealed upon His servant, the clearest of signs for the purpose of taking the people, the community, out of darkness and into light.

This is a verse of the Holy Qur'an which substantiates the philosophy of religion in itself, the religion of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and his Noble Messenger is one that takes a community out of its backward practices and forward into the state of spiritual development, rational usage, unity and ultimately the bringing of faith in the way of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.

If you look at the Holy Qur'an, you see there are many Ayat that speak about the type of community that Rasul Allah came to and the type of community he left it as. And in light of those Verses, which we will mention now, very briefly, inshallah, I want to look at the situation today in Europe and what has unfolded in front of our eyes, unfortunately, over these past few days.

If you look, for example, within Surat ul-Hijr, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions a very profound verse. He firstly, this verse speaks about Prophet Lut, alayhi as-salam, and the situation at his time, but it also speaks in reference to Rasul Allah and takes an oath by him. It says: "[Fa] la 'amruka, innahum lafii sakratihim ya'mahun" (15:72), I take an oath by your existence, Ya Rasul Allah. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is taking an oath by the existence, the life of his Great Messenger.

And of course, when you and I take an oath by something, the purpose of that oath is to add an emphasis to it. So I won't say, you know, I swear by this glass that, you know, your house has burned down. I will take an oath by something weighty in order to make the emphasis. So here for Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to make an emphasis and oath by the very existence and life of His messenger, the next statement must be something very heavy, must be something very important that he wants the community to know. "[Fa] la 'amruka, innahum lafii sakratihim ya'mahun" (15:72). Ya Rasul Allah, I take an oath by your existence. Most surely this community, these people are wandering blindly in their intoxication.

Look at the way in which Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala firstly describes the community that Rasul Allah comes to, what were they like? They were a people who would go to war with each other in their tribes over the smallest of incidents and continue to war with each other for generations until they would war for so long that the generations had forgotten what they were originally warring about. This was the backwardness of the community. They used to perform tawaaf of the holy Ka'aba naked, singing, clapping and dancing, na'udhu bi-Llah.

Can you imagine a community more backwards and bereft of moral character than they would go on their pilgrimage and perform tawaf naked? They would be a community that would bury their daughters and their infant daughters alive. They were a community that when they used to have gambling debts in order to settle their debts, they would sell off members from their own family. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala talks about this in the Qur'an: "wa la takulu amwalukum baynakum bil batil" (2:188), "Do not sell off your own family members". They would sell off their own family members in order to pay off their debts. This is the community that Rasul Allah came to.

Yet, after only a few years, after only a few years of his presence, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala reveals another verse, praising those very same people, because of the way in which they have understood the Message, the way in which they have struggled for the sake of their own souls. And He reveals and says: "kuntum khayrun ummatin ukhrija li 'in-naas" (3:110). "You are the best of people that have been heralded for mankind". From down here as a group of people to up here within the space of only a few years. Imagine what this great man was like! Imagine what this man was like.

Now I want to look at very quickly these horrible incidents that have been taking place recently, and it's not just confined to Europe. We have seen in recent weeks Canada has had an attack. We see in recent weeks, Australia has been attacked. The devastating incident in the school in Peshawar, which rocked our souls, which was a horrendous act in the name of Islam, we saw over the last couple of days what happened in Paris. If you have been following the news in the days gone in Germany, there has been a protest or a series of protests against the existence of Islam or the existence of Islam in Europe.

For example, numbers differ, they say in Germany, 50000 people peacefully demonstrated against Islam. How funny. When someone offends a Muslim, a Muslim, guns down people in the streets, whereas atheists and non-Muslims, demonstrate peacefully. How far we have fallen away from the religion of Islam. But think about this very closely. People protest today against the existence of the religion of Islam in Europe, the "Islamification" of Europe. When you ask them why are you protesting? What are your reasons against Islam, they will give you a list and they will include things like the following and InshaAllah, you will know that unfortunately, you probably know these various statements.

They will say, for example, 'Islam is backwards, it cannot compete or it cannot be in line with modernity, or that Islam is not a tolerant religion or Islam oppresses people, Islam oppresses women' and so on and so forth. These are the usual statements that are attributed to the methodology of Rasul Allah . I want to highlight a verse of Qur'an and explore this notion and let us think about what our communities should be, how we should be representing our Holy Prophet of Islam.

In the Holy Qur'an, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala has given to us one verse, which demonstrates the protest of the Qurayshan community at the beginning of Islam. What do they say? They say: "Aj 'ala alihatan ilahan wahida?"(38:5). 'Does this man, make all of our gods -plural- multiple gods into one God? What a strange thing this is'. As you know, the Holy Ka'aba had 365 idols and they were the main idols of Laat and 'Uzza so on and so forth.

Think about it very carefully. Why did Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in his six and a half thousand verses decide to tell us that this was the protest of the Qurayshan community 1400 years ago? "Aj 'ala alihatan ilahan wahida?"(38:5). Does this man make all of our multiple gods into one God? Notice the difference between the protest of the Qurayshan community 1400 years ago and the world today about Islam. When the Qurayshan community protested against Islam, there was no such thing that Islam is bringing us backwards.

There was no such complaint from the women of the community that said Islam is oppressing us. There was no such statement from the coloured community or from the slave community that this religion is not liberating us. Rasul Allah liberated every form of the community, every aspect of every tribe in order to bring them forward as a community to take them "min adh-dhulumati ila an-Nur" (57:9), out of darkness into light.

Yet the world today is seeing a different version of Islam. The protest of Islam, against Islam, is that we have brought the world backwards and that is because we have not, or some of us have not, understood Rasul Allah correctly. And so the way in which we present him is not illuminating the hearts, is not breaking the shackles, intellectually, of the minds. And so people see this man as bringing us backwards as opposed to bringing us forwards.

Imagine if he was here today, imagine for a minute, if you will, that Islam had not come yet. Imagine tonight is the night of Laylat ul-Qadr or Layali al-Qadr, and in this land, Rasul Allah brings his religion and starts his movement. How would he liberate people? How would he do it, would he do it by bringing guns to the streets? Would he speak with people and show them the beauty of his soul? Would he invite them to partake in meals with them and remove hatred between families, sects and tribes?

If we have understood Rasul Allah properly, we will understand the way in which we are supposed to represent him.

I will conclude with one story to make us think about this man and to make us really take something away from him, inshaAllah. One of the great individuals of history, was a person who never met the Holy Prophet of Islam, and his name was Uwais al-Qarani, and historically he came from the area of Yemen, and he was never able to have the honour of seeing Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, with his eyes. The history tells us that when he was in Yemen, he wanted to visit the Holy Prophet of Islam in Medina, and his mother, may Allah bless her, said to him, We give you permission to go to Medina on one condition that you remain for three days and no more. After three days, no matter what is the circumstance, you return back to me.

He went to the city of Medina and history tells us that Rasul Allah was engaged in the battle of Uhud. Three days passed, and Uwais must return back towards the city of or the area of Yemen. Rasul Allah returns from the battle and famously says to the effect of I smell the fragrance of paradise coming from Yemen, for an individual to have come and visited me. Many years passes and Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, passes from this world, and Uwais's mother also passes from this world. Uwais now has the freedom to return back to Medina to visit his Prophet, he goes and visits Medina, but unfortunately finds that his Noble Messenger has passed away before he is coming.

He sits inside the Masjid of Nabi, and as he does, he sits and there are the companions, the Sahaba that are sitting there talking about the Holy Prophet of Islam. Uwais sits and listens to the discussion. What does he hear? He hears that they are beginning to talk to each other about an event. They are talking about an experience with the Noble Messenger. What do they say? They recount an incident which says Rasul Allah was sitting with them and said to them, If I could grant you one wish in this world, what would it be? Uways is listening. Before I continue the hadith, think to yourself, if Rasul Allah came to you and said, I grant you one wish, what would you answer him?

And so each of the companion began to respond to the Noble Messenger, said Ya Rasul Allah, if I had one thing, I wish I could go to heaven. I wish that I could die as a martyr defending you. I wish that I could spread this religion to this particular tribe of mine. And each person gave their own response. The hadith tells us that Rasul Allah begins to weep, and he says, Oh, if only for Uwais al-Qarani, if only for Uwais al-Qarani.

Uwais, listening to this tradition being recounted by these companions, he gets up, he says, I am Uwais, I am that man that Rasul Allah longed for, that he wept. I am the companion that has never met Rasul Allah. Said you're Uwais? Yes. They said, oh Uwais at this moment, Rasul Allah wished for you when we gave him these answers, oh Uwais, what answer would you have given to Rasul Allah if you could have had one wish in this world?

What would it mean that you would have said that we made Rasul Allah long so much for your answer over our answers. Uwais began to cry as well, he said, "woe be upon you! If I had one wish in this world, I never had the honour of meeting Rasul Allah! My heart is hurting and bleeding from missing out. You had that opportunity. If I had one wish, it would be asking Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to ensure that every person in this world had the opportunity of meeting Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, just once. That's what I would wish for."

That is the way these companions understood the greatness of this man. If we want to bring Rasul Allah to 2015, it can only be by knowing and implementing his character!

Wa al-hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi 'l-Alameen, wa salli allahumma 'ala sayyidina wa nabiyyina Muhammadin wa aalih at-tahireen.