The Moon

January 5, 2015

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Sometimes I quote hadith or quran and don’t bother looking for the source or putting a citation. Partly out of laziness but also because I feel it comes across more naturally and personally. I posted this picture on Facebook and wanted to give some context: Jaabir Ibn Samurah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated: “I saw the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, on a brightly moonlit night wearing a red garment. Then I started looking at him and at the moon. And for me, he was more beautiful than the moon [At-Tirmithi and Ad-Daarimi].” This Islamic month is now Rabi Al Awwal. All over the world for many years this is the month Muslims try their best to do more than usual to celebrate the prophet, peace to him. The least of which is to do a maulid on the 12th which is the day many believe him to be born (for discussion on the maulid read here). For various reasons many Muslims in the west don’t celebrate the maulid for myself I went to my first maulid in my twenties. I think that’s unfortunate because the maulid is a time for celebration and remembering the life of the man who has given us so much.

I’ve now been to four maulid celebrations and tried once to orchestrate one in my home. So what is a maulid? The common thread I’ve experience is simply remembrance. The most recent maulid I attended (and the best one I’ve attended so far) has been here in Amman, Jordan. We had a grand maulid for women only. A few women took the lead of singing but we all sang together. Songbooks were passed out so everyone could sing along and sweets were handed out after. Joy is another common thread running through each maulid I’ve attended. When people are together remembering Allah and his prophet how can there be anything but joy? I also loved the maulids I went to back home but because they were with men and women (with appropriate separation) the comfort of singing along wasn’t there. But there was also a lecture on loving the prophet given by my fiqh teacher and another sheikh in one maulid I attend which was lovely.

In another, actually the first I ever attended, I honestly didn’t enjoy it. One man sang in the front and we all listened. Was it ok to sing along? Was it ok to clap my hands? Move my head? I didn’t know and it seemed no one else did either so it became more of an experience of watching a performer (never mind that he had a cold so he wasn’t on his A-game, lol).

In my self hosted mini maulid I really enjoyed remembering the prophet, peace to him, with my family and hope we can do it again when I get back home. This month is a chance to do more, our whole life is a chance. Moments like this -the maulid, the month of Rabi Al Awwal, the month of Ramadan, etc. are ways to remember why we are here. Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day life that our only worship becomes only our five prayers a day. Maybe if we’re in a tariqa our worship is our obligatory dhikrs and our five prayers. But we easily forget to strive. The maulid and Rabi Al Awwal isn’t about anything in particular, big gatherings, salawats on the prophet, group dhikr, small gathering, reading hadith, singing, etc. are all just options, the point is to take the opportunity to remember why we’re here, which is to worship God. And we wouldn’t be here to worship God if it wasn’t for An Nabi, peace and blessings to him.

I don’t write these type of posts because I’m right. I’m under no delusion that I’m a good practitioner of Islam or tassawuf but what I know for sure in that Allah has given me an abundance of opportunities to be mindful, to be conscience, and to remember. And so I share them with you.

*In sha Allah I want to start getting back in to writing every Monday or at least two Monday out of the month to share whatever beneficial knowledge I can. And I hope to start “The how of the Prophet (peace to him)” series in my next post. I’m excited to write it because it also gives me a reason to delve in to the prophet’s life, peace to him, and I take up a class on seerah, in sha Allah… to know him is to love him

Was Salaam

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