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Reflections of a Seeker

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August 16, 2003 / Jamad-uth-Thani 1424

Volume 1, Issue 2 (Part 4)

Harmony can be defined as a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts, which in the human paradigm leads to inner peace.  The corollary would be that lack of congruency creates internal turmoil, and in severe cases leads to chronic depression.  Human beings are consciously or unconsciously in constant search of this harmony.  I have realized through my personal experiences that this harmony can be achieved by finding one’s place in the Court of the Creator, submitting to it, cherishing the relationships bestowed by the King and practicing unconditional love.

In the Muslim worldview, we believe in the reality of creation and design – that everything we see around us has One Creator – Allah Almighty and that He, the Most Exalted, has created a systematic world full of meaning and purpose.  Out of His Infinite Mercy, instead of placing His Message of Guidance directly into our hearts, He created the institution of Prophethood, where He chose special people to administer this awesome task.  It is essential and a matter of gratitude that we pay homage to this institution, primarily to its pinnacle and most perfect exemplar – Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him).  He is the greatest Gift of Allah Almighty to us and it is imperative that not only are we grateful, but are also in constant show of this gratitude. Most people respond to this by emphasizing the importance of obeying His Sunnah (Practices), i.e. we must live our lives in accordance to the way He (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) lived it.  This is absolutely true. However, obedience out of love, as opposed to fear or compulsion, is the only true and lasting obedience.  So loving the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) needs to precede trying to imitate Him.  As a matter of fact, loving the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) is what completes our faith, as corroborated by the following Hadeeth:

Allah’s Apostle  said, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children.” (Sahih Bukhari Shareef)

The philosophy of love is a complex one.  To some people like myself, it is missing the Beloved (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), wanting to see Him, yearning to be with Him and seeking His presence, desiring His approval and pleasure, attempting to make the Beloved (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) happy and making every effort not to displease Him.  This motivates me to try to follow everything He commands us to do.  Allah Almighty says in the Noble Quran:

Whoever obeys the Noble Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah              (Holy Quran, 4:80)

Those who fear that the expression of such emotions borders on shirk (i.e. associating partners with Allah Almighty) need to consider the fact that it is Allah Almighty Himself who chose to include His Beloved’s (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) name in the shahaada (the testimony that “There is no God but Allah and that Muhammad  is His Messenger”).  In addition, the Hadeeth (saying of the Prophet Muhammad, prayers and peace of Allah Almighty be upon Him) says that Allah Gives and His Prophet (prayers and peace be upon Him), distributes.  In other words, Allah Almighty is the Absolute Authority and the Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) is His delegated authority in creation.  Therefore, to bypass Allah Almighty’s delegated authority and claim direct connection with Him is in the best-case naiveté and in the worst case impertinent and disrespectful to Allah Almighty, as one is not submitting to His System (Nizam). As the Persian saying expresses beautifully:

Bades Khuda Buzurg Tuhi Qissa Mukhtasar

After Allah, you are the greatest spiritual personality and that is the end of the matter

Unfortunately, today’s Muslim psyche has become plagued with what can be coined as “shirk-phobia”, due to the lack of understanding of the definition of the word shirk. Some think that praising and loving the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) should have a limit, after which somehow it can seep into the realm of shirk.  Nothing can be further from the truth. The more we love and praise Allah Almighty’s Beloved (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him), the closer we get to Allah.  These acts increase our love for the Beloved (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) and are highly recommended, such as sending copious salawaat (prayers) upon him, writing and reciting poetry and prose that praise Him, talking about His birth, life, love, message and personality and remembering and celebrating the most awesome day that He was sent to this earth.

The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) epitomized unconditional love, which can be defined as genuinely wanting the best for others, doing something practical about it and wanting nothing in return except Allah Almighty’s love and rida (contentment and pleasure).  To those who make statements that He  was “just” a Messenger, that He  completed his “job” by conveying the message (may Allah protect us from such thoughts), need to consider that He (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) as the Messenger embodies Allah’s Message as reported in the famous Hadeeth by Sayyidatuna Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that He is the walking Quran.  In addition, He (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) is described as “Shaahid” (Witness) in the Quran [48:8] and therefore He is aware of all that we do on a daily basis and He continues to pray for His Ummah (community).

I once heard a speaker at a conference say “It is better to be at the tail of Truth than the head of falsehood”.  At the time, the statement resonated with my heart but its full meaning did not descend upon me until I had the great honor of affiliating myself with the Qadri Tareeqat (Sufi Path) of  Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him).  Allah Almighty says about His awliya (Friends / Saints) that they have no fear of the future and no grief over the past.  I believe this is so because they have surrendered themselves absolutely, not in negative resignation but a conscious willing submission to their Infinitely Merciful, Beneficent, Wise and Loving Lord with the understanding that He Almighty does everything for the good of His creation whether that is immediately obvious to us or not.

In my limited understanding, the Path of Tasawwuf (Sufism) is about self-effacement, taming and eventual annihilation of the ego, considering everyone else as better than oneself, removing all prejudices and biases, breaking stereotypes, becoming completely non-judgmental, recognizing that we don’t know where any human being stands with Allah Most Exalted, that we mustn’t judge by the external as we don’t know what is in someone’s heart. This Path is a path of no claims, just pure and total surrender, longing and love.

The Path is a tough one for anyone who wishes to tread it, but it is the only way for those who yearn for their Lord and seek His and His Beloved’s (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) contentment and pleasure.

Syeda Shagufta Ahmad Qadri

PRESS REPORT – Interfaith Communication: A Bridge Among Nations

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The Islamic Educational and Cultural Research Center (IECRC) and the Canadian Women Counseling Center (CWCC) jointly organized a grand gathering of an Interfaith Celebration of the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) titled “Interfaith Communication: A Bridge Among Nations” on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at York Conference Center in Surrey, British Columbia. The beautiful gathering was attended by over 450 men, women, and children of many diverse organizations, groups, faiths, and cultures from all walks of life.

Group Conference Speakers and Organizers

This was the 5th year in a row that the CWCC and IECRC have conducted this annual spiritual gathering commemorating the life and birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the final Prophet to humanity according to the Islamic tradition.  The conference was attended by interfaith representatives from several different religious groups including Pandit Acharya, Dr. Raminder Pal Singh, Mr. Allen Welding, along with representatives from the B.C. legislative assembly and the World Peace Federation, and heads of various social and political organizations.  The speeches delivered represented a wide variety of backgrounds and topics.

Audience

Mr. Allen Welding, President of the World Peace Federation and Christian Leader said that our heart is not bound by geography, and that “We are one family under God.” He added, “Cooperation is a way towards peace, and humanity is one body.  Humanity is not connected to God hence we harm one another. ”

Dr. Allen Welding

Dr. Raminder Pal Singh Kang, the well-known radio host of Sher-e-Punjab gave a direct message to the audience in which he mentioned the relationships between Muslims and Sikhs in history. Dr. Kang mentioned that the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest place in Sikhism, had its first stone layed by a Muslim, and that Hazrat Baba Farid’s (may God have mercy on him) writings are a part of the Guru Granth Sahib.  Dr. Kang reminded the audience that people have less time to read and study, and thus misinformation is spreading.  He shared his experience describing how he had became a student of Islamic Philosophy after he had hosted several shows with Dr. Qadri about Islam on Sher-e-Punjab where “you can always talk about other mazhabs (faiths). ”

Dr. Raminder Pal Singh

Pandit Acharya Shrinath Prasad Dwivedi, a Hindu scholar, said that peace on Earth starts with the individual, not with an organization. With the modern world, distances are reduced, but barriers within the heart need to be broken.  Pandit Acharya recited a self-composed piece of poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) that delighted the audience.

Pandit Acharya Shrinath Prasad Dwivedi

Senior government representatives were also present during the occasion.  Bruce Ralston, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Surrey-Whalley, briefly wished all conference attendees well and congratulated the organizers on the conference. He also mentioned that what impressed most about Islam was its prohibition of Usury and the establishment of Zakat (the poor due).

Sukh Dhaliwal, MP of Surrey, mentioned that all religions emphasize social justice, that the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was about social justice, human rights, and equality , and similarly that of Guru Nanak. Mr. Dhaliwal said that we can believe in different values, come from different cultures, and be different, yet at the same time love each other, respect each other, and thus “we have taken ourselves beyond tolerance, we have accepted each other.” He said that religious organizations are instrumental in providing social services, and congratulated Dr. Qadri and the attendees for promoting justice, accepting all communities, and conveyed greetings on behalf of the assembly.

Vice Consul General Tipu Usman of the Pakistan Consulate in Vancouver emphasized the need for dialogue as a way and basis to promote trust, and not as a platform for argumentation.

MLA Bruce Ralston

MP Sukh Dhaliwal

Vice Consul General Tipu Usman

Shakyh Ismael Khaleeq, Imam of the Kautharriyah Hussayniyyah Islamic Center, said that different cultures are like different colors in a garden; a garden is more beautiful with a variety of colors. He exhorted the audience to understand that ends do not justify the means, and to live a compassionate and loving life with each other.

Sheikh Ismael Khaleeq

Maulana Tayyib Qasmi, Principal of the Chilliwack Islamic College gave a brief but effective speech on the importance of remembering and honoring the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), especially in the spirit of coming together as one community. He humbly prayed that his presence in this blessed gathering would become a means for his forgiveness on t he Day of Judgment.

Maulana Tayyib Qasmi

Mr. Tanveer Choudhary of the Pakistani Cultural Association spoke about the impact Allamah Iqbal, Pakistan’s famous national poet also known as the Poet of the East, had in a unified view of man and his place in the world. Maulana Abdul Lateef Nomani, Imam of the Fiji Islamic Center, highlighted the compassionate and self-sacrificing nature of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Mr. Tanveer Choudhary
Maulana Abdul Lateef Nomani

Syeda Zille Humma and Fatima Sharaaz, both IECRC representatives from the United States, spoke about the meaning of love for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and how the Prophet (peace be upon him) elevated the status and esteem of women by introducing essential women’s rights that have now been taken for granted, respectively.  Dr. Syeda Saiqa Zubeda, Founding Director of the CWCC, spoke about the importance of love in Islam, saying that Sufism, the spiritual dimension of Islam, was Islam with love, and the real representation of Islam.

Syeda Saiqa Zille Humma
Fatima Sharaaz Qadri
Dr. Syeda Saiqa Zubeda

Youth from both the surrounding Surrey area, as well as those who had traveled from the USA to attend this event waved flags and recited the Naat poetry that describes the attributes of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Among the youth and children were Abdullah Ayyaz Qadri, Abdurrahman Ayyaz Qadri (both studying to commit the entire Holy Quran to memory), Zaynab Ayyaz Qadri, Roha Imran, and Khizr Abbasi.

Both adult and youth groups from Surrey and the United States recited beautiful and heartfelt poems honoring the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on this sublime occasion including Adeeba Iqbal, Amber Imran, Shakeel Rehman Qadri, Sohail Rana Qadri, Imran Qadri, Shaanawaz Khan Qadri, and Ismael Rajput.

Abdullah Ayyaz Qadri
Abdurrahman Ayyaz Qadri

Zaynab Ayyaz Qadri

Roha Imran

Khizr Abbasi

Amber Imran

IECRC Naat Group from Surrey

Recitation of Burdah Shareef

Ismael Rajput

Mr. Charan Gill, Executive Directory of PICs, a progressive social welfare organization in Surrey, presented IECRC with an award for outstanding community service. Various other awards were rewarded to groups and individuals working to promote peace and social justice.

Mr. Charan Gill

To conclude the conference, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Qadri, a world renowned scholar from the family of the Bani Hashim (the family of the Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him), and Founding Director of the Islamic Educational and Cultural Center delivered the concluding remarks about the universal message of brotherhood that Islam conveys with references from the Holy Quran and the Life of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Dr. Qadri said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) conveyed the message of Islam to make our ethics the ethics of God. He said that if we pay respect to others, we and our community will be respected by others. Dr. Qadri stated, if you love humanity, God will love you. He reminded the audience to follow the Prophetic example and to be forgiving and merciful.

Dr. Qadri reminded the audience of a very important communal requirement that is aimed at supporting those in need under the most trying circumstances.  He called to pass a resolution in favor of an endowment fund for funeral costs, which was passed by the community with no opposition.

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Qadri

Sharaaz Qadri, Director of IECRC in the USA, was emcee for the evening. Throughout the evening, Mr. Sharaaz Qadri gave references from the life of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) that reminded the audience of the tradition of compassion, mercy, respect, tolerance, in Islam. As is tradition in Milad Shareef gatherings, the program began with a recitation from the Holy Quran, the Muslim holy book, and poetry in Praise of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Sharaaz Khan Qadri

The vote of thanks was given by Mr. Ayyaz Yousaf Qadri, Managing Director of IECRC-USA. He thanked all the guests for their participation, and thanked all the volunteers of IECRC and CWCC for their immense dedication and hard work for making this spiritual, educational, cultural, and social event a great success.

Ayyaz Yousaf Qadri

Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Qadri finally led everyone in a standing salutation (Salam) to send greetings and blessings to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Salaam and Dua

Salaam and Dua

For feedback on this conference you may write to info@iecrcna.org or cwcc04@yahoo.ca.

One thing is common about quality social justice, sk brought diversity, Canada Aa a nation fortunate charter of rights india mother Teresa social justice equal presence participation of women teachings of saw keep serving humanity… Good wishes.

Written by Sharaaz Khan

March 17, 2010 at 5:56 am

Celebrating the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him): The Eternal Light of Truth and Guidance

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Issue #11

July 8, 2006 / Jamaduth Thani 12, 1427

Truth is life’s essential. It is truth that keeps us alive and creates within us a desire to recognize who we are as individuals and as societies. And it is through this Truth that we realize the Existence of God Almighty with love. All religions and creeds in this world are at some level related to truth. Hence there exists the usage of the term “universal truth”. To understand this concept of universal truth and to apply it is the purpose and theme of this year’s Conference.

Every individual is in search of themselves. Humanity is lost in this day and age to the extreme that neither do we recognize other humans nor humanity itself. We say that truth is lost, and we need to find it. No matter which religion we belong to, which creed we believe in, or which school of thought we subscribe to, we cannot deny that we are all oriented to the truth.

It is a common belief however, that truth leads to many difficulties and always being truthful can lead to problems. This is not the case. There is no doubt that the path of truth is difficult, and is laden with temporary anxieties. However the direction in which the truth gears us is a path of success, and happiness. We cannot deny that the Prophets and the Saints (may Allah be pleased with them) practiced Truth and taught the message of Truth. And they were indeed successful. If we analyze Plato’s philosophy or the teachings of Aristotle, even though these are not religiously based, the philosophy of truth can be found there as well. The “Truth of Socrates” is very famous. How did Socrates gain such victory through this value of Truth? This is because he made this universal message a part of his being. He said that his life and his death are for Truth. When his students came to him and advised him to flee from the government’s punishment, he replied, “All my life I have lived for truth; should I leave it now for fear of death? This cannot be.” Socrates was ready to give up his life but stayed steadfast on the Truth. This is the reason why today the name of Socrates is associated with the concept of Truth.

Which power of the world is not familiar with the Blessed Personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (b. 570 CE, Peace Be Upon Him) and which religion is not familiar with His (Peace Be Upon Him) teachings. Every language of the world has received the teachings of the religion of Islam. This message is now widespread. The question arises as to how this message became widespread. This is a very important point. The Arab society of the 7th century CE worshiped itself. The people of those days of ignorance fought through generations upon the theft, murder or injury of a single camel. The ethnocentric Arabs of those days went to such extremes in their self made actions of idol worship that they forgot about their own true existence. But they held on to one identity: Being Arab. The Holy Messenger of Allah Almighty (Peace Be Upon Him) transformed that ignorant and negative attitude and behavior reminding them that it was not being Arab which defined their existence, but being  the noble creation of Allah Almighty which was the heart and soul of their being. He (Peace Be Upon Him) further warned them that they had forgotten Allah Almighty, the Truth, and the teachings which they were given; and instead had begun to consider themselves as the source of beneficial knowledge, considering that as their way of life, religion, creed, and truth. He y reminded them that they needed to return towards Allah Almighty. When the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) asked the disbelievers what they believed in relation to the Message that He (Peace Be Upon Him) had brought, and about Him (Peace Be Upon Him), the disbelievers and those who opposed Him (Peace Be Upon Him) said that they considered Him (Peace Be Upon Him) “Sadiq” (truthful) and “Amin” (trustworthy).  They did not doubt the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) truthfulness, trustworthiness, veracity and nobility.  But they were shackled to their old ways which in their minds obstructed them from accepting the Divine Message, i.e. the religion of Islam.  The point to be noted here is that despite their opposition to the message, the disbelievers did not doubt the Blessed Character of the Holy Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him).  So what we observe is that the Truth gets itself uttered from the tongues of the enemies. Countless Peace and Blessings be upon the Messenger of Truth!

Truth is the name of character, behavior, attitude, and ethics. Truth begins with Prophethood and ends at martyrdom which is when it becomes victorious as is the case with the beloved grandson of the Holy Prophet  Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Hazrat Imam Husayn (b. 626 CE, may Allah be well pleased with him) who is a symbol of truth. Similarly, Hazrat Abubakr Siddeeq (b. 573 CE, may Allah be well pleased with him), the closest Companion and first of the Rightly Guided Caliphs is a symbol of truth.  All of the Noble Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) are symbols of truth.

In Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and all the heavenly religions, truth is the real essence of life. It purifies the heart. It reveals reality. The entire systematic approach of Islam deals with truth. Our social, political, ethical, and professional institutions are based on truth.  Islamic society is formed on the genuine principle of truth. We cannot deny that all the governmental laws must be made on the foundation of truth.  If falsehood creeps into law, then it is called diplomatic law.  In this type of law, truth is not revered as an inherent quality.  If falsehood comes into law then its goodness is destroyed.  This is why it is said that if we want to progress our societies, we must progress towards truth.  If one observes all the religions of the world, they all have a common thread.  They all advise to speak the truth in order to find success. They warn against lying as it leads to harm.  This is why the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

“Truth liberates and falsehood destroys”

[Tahawi]

This concise statement embodies universal principles. This is the wisdom of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that in concise statements He (Peace Be Upon Him) used to convey universal teachings and deep philosophies with great clarity and beauty.  He (Peace Be Upon Him) always relayed the Divine Intention and Will as testified by Allah Almighty in the Holy Quran [53:3-4].  The above Prophetic statement includes specific individual and social analysis. The person who lies is always ashamed and anxious.  In order to cover up his lies he tries to avoid people and may in some instances even  become suicidal.  Therefore, lying is such a negative behavior that it eventually destroys us. What then is the source of relief and freedom? The greatest Truth is the Divine Message and the Greatest Personality who practiced the final Divine Message is the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and His Blessed Family, the Ahle Bayt. They are the symbols of truth, followed by the Noble Companions.  When we find the reflection of these blessed personalities in our society then we say that it is a successful society.  This is why in the Holy Quran, Allah, the Most Exalted clearly established the topic of truth. Over and over again attention is drawn towards truth. If there is no truth, there is no society, no individualism, no humanity, no ethics, nothing in the world. Everything is in truth. And its reflection is in the human. As a famous poet has said:

“Don’t consider me merely of clay,
I reflect Divine Beauty.”

We are a body with a soul.  What is the purpose of our creation? Is it simply to satisfy the flesh in this life and then enter the door of death? No. The truth lies in that primordial covenant we took with Allah Almighty which is called the First Covenant or First Social Contract – the one that all the souls took with Allah Almighty where He Almighty asked us: “Am I not your Lord (Rabb)?” To this, all the souls replied in the positive. Why did Allah ask this question? Rabb means Kingship. When does one accept a King – when there is truth in ones mind, heart, and feelings. And where there is truth, there is purity, and success. What is God consciousness – it is truth. What is religion – it is truth. Unity of God is truth, Prophethood is truth, God’s Essence is truth and the Essence of the Chosen One (Peace Be Upon Him) is truth. We cannot escape truth. As the poet has written:

“Jhulas jaen akhlaq ki khetian,
na barse agar Unka abre karam”

The above couplet refers to the generous waters of truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) without which any field of moral behavior would wilt. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is a complete role model for those who are in search of the truth, and for those who are really anxious to have the complete picture of truth so that they could follow and obey.  Who is He (Peace Be Upon Him)? According to the Holy Quran the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is a “Complete Role Model” for all of humanity. [Al-Quran, 33:21] He (Peace Be Upon Him) is the legitimate authority, lawyer, socio-political leader, Messenger, Complete Interpreter of Islamic Law.  He (Peace Be Upon Him) is a true and last Messenger of Allah Almighty.  As the Holy Quran says:

“…Be with the honest people”

[Al-Quran, 9:119]

The honest people are the followers of truth.  What is the reason for this order?  Indeed, because the Holy Quran supports logic, philosophy and reasoning.  The reason is so that we can be amongst the successful. The successful are the ones who are believers in the Oneness of God and the finality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). These are the two realities that belong to truth. The Holy Quran which is a complete code of ethics, code of life, and comprehensive cosmic law, teaches all about truth.  The real meaning of truth from other religions like Judaism, and Christianity, offer the same principle. There is no clash between Islam and Christianity or Judaism regarding truth because the essence of the message of truth is the same in all these religions.  We must not differentiate ourselves on the basis of religion – Muslim, Christian, Jew, or another school of thought.  The basic school of thought is truth. Truth is a religion and religion comes through a proper channel. And this is the channel of Prophecy.  Whether it is Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus or Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon them all), they are all beacons of truth.  They are the authorities and the real sources of spreading truth in society because of their delegation of power. Because Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the real channels of truth for those who seek the real meaning of life through truth, therefore truth is the authority, the power, the strength and a way to find God. There is nothing wrong with the ideology of truth in any religion. There are similar definitions of truth in all these religions because these were revealed through Prophets to human beings for guidance and patronage.  And these are character makers.

Truth is the soul of religion, society, an individual, and of the entire system. Whether someone follows Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Liberalism, Modern Democracy, and Individualism – these schools of thought cannot exist in society without truth.  Every school of thought, every individual or political party calls for truth.  As human beings we believe that truth is an authority and a power. The meaning of life is to keep oneself with genuine people who are the successful ones.  We pray that this Conference will help all of us in the search of truth, for the real knowledge, and for the real authority so that we could be satisfied in our lives not only in this world but also after our death. Ameen.

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Qadri

Founding Director, IECRC

The above is a translated and edited transcription of Vol. 1 of “The Truth,” a 5 Volume VCD set where Dr. Qadri, Professor of Political Science at Karachi University and recipient of the National Education and Research Award in 2005, expounds in both Urdu and English on some very pertinent Islamic topics related to the Soul, Tolerance, Sufism, Patience, Code of Ethics, Relation with Other Faiths, Gratitude, and the Rights of Women in Islam.

Written by iecrc

March 16, 2010 at 5:37 am

Celebrating the Birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) – Mawlid in the Light of Quran & Sunnah

with 2 comments

One of the strengths of Islam is its diversity. There is room in our communion for Muslims and non-Muslims coming from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Apart from diversity, we can also find unity in our effort to bring the message of peace from our Beloved Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him)  to humanity at large on this beautiful occasion of Milad-un-Nabi sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. Muslims all over the world commemorate every year at this time, with respect, love, and abounding joy the birthday of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him).

The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said: “Whosoever sends blessings on me one time, Allah sends blessings on him ten times”. In fact, rejoicing at the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) is valid according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah. The Holy Quran says:

Of the favor and the mercy of Allah let them rejoice.” [10: 58] This order was revealed because happiness makes the heart grateful for Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala’s mercy. What greater mercy did Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala grant to mankind than the Holy Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) himself, about which He says, “We did not send you except as a mercy to the worlds.” [21: 107]? Imam Jalal al Din al Suyuti, in Al hawi lil fatawi (193) says: “The Prophet’s (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) birth is the greatest bounty, and his death is the greatest calamity. Religious law urges us to express thankfulness for bounties, and be patient and remain calm during calamities. Also, it prohibited wailing and showing grief. Therefore, the rules of Divine Law indicate that it is recommended to show joy during the month of the Prophet’s (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) birth and not to show sorrow for his death.”

In Al hawi lil fatawi, Imam Al Suyuti wrote a special chapter entitled, The Good Intention in Commemorating the Mawlid, at the beginning of which he said, “Someone asked Ibn Hajar about commemorating the Mawlid. Ibn Hajar answered, it occurred to me (Suyuti) to trace it to its established origin, which has been confirmed in the two authentic books: al Sahihain. When the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) arrived in Medina, he found that the Jews fast the day of `Ashura; when he inquired about it they said, ‘This is the day when Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala drowned the Pharaoh and saved Moses; therefore, we fast it to show our gratitude to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.’ The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) ordered his community to fast that day, saying, ‘We have more right on Musa than they do.’ Thus, the day of independence for Bani Israil (Jews) became a day of worship for the Muslims.  From this we can conclude that thanks are being given to Allah on a specific day for sending bounty or preventing indignity or harm. What bounty is greater than the bounty of the coming of this Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), the Prophet of Mercy, on that day?”

This is regarding the basis for Mawlid. As for the activities, these should consist only of things that express thankfulness to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala, such as reciting Qur’an, eating food, giving charity, reciting Naat (poetry, praising the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), or on piety which induces love in the hearts and stimulates them to follow the footsteps of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him). Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya relates that the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala support Hassan ibn Thabit with Ruh Al-Qudus (the Divine spirit) as long as he would support the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) with his poetry. Similarly, the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) rewarded Ka`b ibn Zuhayr’s (may Allah be pleased with him) poem of praise with a robe (burda).

To commemorate the Mawlid, which is basically gathering people together, reciting parts of the Qur’an, narrating stories about the Prophet’s (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) birth and the signs that accompanied it, then serving food, and afterwards departing is one of the good traditions. The one who practices it gets rewarded because it involves venerating the status of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) and expressing joy for his honorable birth. Al Qastalani (al Bukhari’s commentator) in his book Al mawahib al ladunniya (1-148) said, “May Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala have mercy on the one who turns the nights of the month of the Prophet’s (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) birth into festivities in order to decrease the suffering of those whose hearts are filled with disease and sickness.”

The famous 8th-century historian Ibn Battuta relates in his Rihla: “On every Friday, after the Jum`uah prayers and on the birthday of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), the door of the Ka`ba is opened by the head of the Banu Shayba, the doorkeepers of the Ka`ba, and that on the Mawlid, the Shafi`i qadi (head judge) of Makkah, Najmuddin Muhammad Ibn al-Imam Muhyiddin al-Tabari, distributes food to the shurafa’ (descendants) of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) and to all the other people of Makkah.” Similar events are recorded as having taken place in Makkah and Madinah up to the year 1917. Only then did these traditions and practices cease in these two holiest cities, though they are still held in the homes of many Hijazi families, attended by many Muslims who come from around the world. There are others who wrote and spoke about Mawlid, such as Imam al Sakhawi, Imam Wajihu Din bin `Ali bin al Dayba’ al Shaybani al Zubaidi, and many more, which we will not mention due to the limited space available. From these many evidences, it should be clear by now that celebrating the Mawlid is highly commendable and allowed according to Islamic traditional and societal dynamics. In short we could conclude  that Mawlid is a source of unity among Muslim ummah and a sign of grace for Islam. Mawlid itself is a unique factor of Islamic orientation of generations. It is an ongoing  scientific process which trains a Muslim’s nature. As a matter of  fact, Mawlid is a source of satisfaction for the soul and purification of the heart. Someone may ask a basic question about it’s composition and justification. We must look into the elements of Mawlid. It consists of the following components:

(1) Recitation of the Quran (2) Naat (praise about the Holy Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) (3) Sermon or speech about his Life (Seerah) (4) Durood and Salutation (5)Dua (6) Distribution of food

All the stated factors are the component of Mawlid which are sources of satisfaction to the hearts of the faithful (Momineen). None of them is against Shariah or the orders of the Beloved Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him). Today it is a necessity of the time for  us to celebrate the Mawlid to achieve  Barakah (Blessings of Allah) and Unity for our integrity and identification.

All praise be to Allah who chose the religion of Islam for us. May the blessings and peace be upon His servant and Apostle, who is the source of mercy for all the worlds; and may Allah bless his posterity, his companions and those who follow his footsteps till the Day of Judgement. (Aamin)

Dr. Syeda Saiqa Zubeda

Dr. Syeda has been working as the Principal of the Canadian Institute of Islamic Sciences, Toronto Canada for the past three years. She has designed and taught the Islamic curriculum for the Institute. She obtained her Ph.D. in Islamic Political Sociology and was awarded two gold medals from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. These days Dr. Syeda is fully dedicated towards research work for the IECRC.

Written by Sharaaz Khan

February 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm