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On Dark Days: The Illuminating Lamp

I struggled to select the traits in you I loved the most and so I complained to God of my weaknesses. I wonder for the one who has just heard your names, is it Al-Amin (the trustworthy one) or Ahmad (the praiseworthy one), that will sow the seed of love in their heart?

The eyes that fell upon you described you as more handsome, beautiful and radiant than the full moon. For the one who knows you, was it your desire to be raised with the destitute that watered that seed? Your sight was described as light in its manner and more focused on the ground than the sky. For the one who follows you, was it your care for neighbours or your treatment of animals that reaped fruit from the seed? In naming your garments, you taught us love. Your companion said, “I have not seen anyone smile more often than the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3641]

The more I journeyed to God, the greater my love for you became and the more I found comfort in your statement “I wish I could meet my brothers.” To which your companions asked, “Are we not your brothers?” To which you said, “You are my companions, but my brothers are those who have faith in me although they never saw me.” [Musnad Aḥmad 12169]

When walking with your companions you asked them to walk in front, while you walked behind. You were the first to greet whomsoever you met. I wonder as we did not walk with you in this life, will you welcome us to stand behind you on the Day of Meeting?

Today I missed you dearly because the thorns pricked us a thousand times. At the breaking of dawn, we receive news of the passing of loved ones. You were the orphan child, the widowed and the father who lost all but one of his children in life. On the death of your son you said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! Indeed, we are grieved by your separation”. [Sahih al-Bukhari 1303]

At sunlight, we search for our livelihoods remembering that “Allah loves the doers of good”. You patched your garments and mended your shoes. Your hands laid the bricks of an-Nabawi. The sincerity of your trade made you the trustee of the people’s belongings. And when you addressed a person, you turned your whole body towards them. At noon, we received news that we had lost our livelihoods. This made us richer as we joined you in becoming recipients of the Chapters Ad-Duhaa and Ash-Sharh.

In the evening, I sought to eat and remembered that your outward was as balanced as your inward – both of equal beauty. When your companion was making ablution you said, “What is this excess?” Your companion said “Is there excess with water in ablution?” You said, “Yes, even if you were on the banks of a flowing river” [Sunan Ibn Mājah 425]. At the fall of dusk, we grow weary and anxious of what tomorrow brings. As I water the seed of love for you, I find comfort in your speech on entry to Madinah; “O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salam” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2485].

In the night, the prayer becomes an easing for wandering minds. I trace the sky seeking the moon that is but a droplet of your radiance. I wonder, how would you be today except as a “a mercy to the worlds” ? The heart that seeks to mirror you, receives Light from Allah for you are “sirajan muneeran” (an illuminating lamp/bright shining lamp/light from the sun and moon combined).

You were Al-Ummiyyi (the unlettered one) whose speech and its manner was as pure as his heart. Some of the lettered of people were so bewildered by the revelation you received, they called the verses magic and you, a sorcerer. And though they opposed you, they could not fault your noble character and continued to entrust you with their wealth.

Of the example of those whose eyes and hearts were opened to “‎La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah” were; Zaid who after living under your blessed shade, was given a choice between returning to his family or staying with you. He stayed with you desiring your countenance. Rufaydah who compassionately nursed the sick and injured of your people. Your companion in the Cave, who was stung whilst you slept on his lap but did not wish to wake you and so, endured a pain so intense that tears began to run down his cheeks and onto your face. Towards the end of your life, on learning that you had chosen returning to Allah over the beauties of this world, your companion wept and said “Let our fathers and our mothers be taken as ransom for you.” [Sahih Muslim 2382]

In loving and mirroring you, we are brought closer to Allah. “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often.” [Quran-33:21]

Today I missed you because I felt sadness at the thought of my deeds. But I became hopeful on hearing this narration; A man asked the Prophet (pbuh) about the Hour saying, “When will the Hour be?” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Apostle.” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “You will be with those whom you love.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 6171]

O Allah! Bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad 

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