Esteemed sisters and brothers. Endless praise be to Allah, the Most High. May our Lord allow us all to be of those who praise Him as He deserves. We have been made the community of Prophet Muhammad. This is a great blessing. A blessing the price of which cannot possibly be paid. Allah Almighty made us the community of His most beloved Prophet, the mercy to all the worlds, among 124,000 Prophets. The Qur’anic verses recited remind us of the Almighty’s favour upon us. Everything has a price; being a community to the Messenger of Allah also has a price. This is a great favour.
We became a community to him gratuitously. We did not pay a price. This is completely a Divine grace. Being Muslim is a great blessing. Being included in the manifestation of His name, the All-Guiding. Being a community to him. It is not possible to pay the price for this. What does the Almighty demand from us? He demands friendship. He wills friendship with Him. He wills friendship with Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. Friendship means possessing common characteristics. This means to say, we too must receive a share in the Prophet’s spiritual disposition in our worldly affairs, morality and interpersonal relations, and balance ourselves accordingly. We must ask ourselves the question, “How close am I to Allah’s Messenger?”
Friendship springs from togetherness. How together am I with Allah’s Messenger in every stage of my life? If he were here with me, would he have been pleased with my state? We must think about his 23-year life of Prophethood. We must think about the Makkan period. How he endured every kind of torment to protect belief in Divine Unity. He went to Ta’if, taking the risk of being stoned, and was indeed stoned there. He suffered constant hardship. However, Allah Almighty bestowed upon him, in return, the Ascension, which no other Prophet had received. That is, the Most High constantly bestows the greatest reward in return.
There was an Emigration to Madina. A Muslim society and state was to be established, where Islam would be practised. The customs of the Age of Ignorance would be abolished one by one. The verses of Divine Ordinances would be revealed. The Companions would say, “We hear and we obey” to every verse that was revealed. With what would this be possible? With love. A person obeys one whom they love. The prerequisite of obedience is love. Love is a line of current between two hearts. When we look at the Madinan period, we again see three snares. There are the Jews who are in opposition. There are the hypocrites – Muslim on the outside, but polytheist on the inside. And then there are the Makkan polytheists. The Companions, with Allah’s Messenger first and foremost, spend ten years between these three snares. And how were the Qur’anic ordinances implemented within these ten years? How was belief in Divine Unity protected? The Messenger of Allah endured so many hardships. And the Companions were in a constant state of wholehearted obedience to him. In the face of every trial, they said, “May my life and wealth be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah.”
Each state of Allah’s Messenger is more magnificent than the other. For instance, let us imagine. A simple example: The Battle of the Trench. The Companions were forced to dig a 5.5 kilometre trench. What bulldozer or roading machinery was available at that time? What was there other than human labour power? They were to dig a trench 5.5 kilometres long in order to avert the Makkan polytheists. Its width was to be 4.5 metres, with a depth of 3.5 metres. And the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, was to be involved with digging this trench. And break to pieces rocks that were too hard to be broken. Hunger, cold, etc. The thought was to even occur to the Companions: “Will Divine aid not come?” That is how overwhelmed they were and how difficult conditions had become. After all that surrender. And the Banu Qurayza on one side. Abu Bakr says that they used to look out from hilltops. Are our houses in place? Have the Jews attacked? Are our children safe? After enduring these trials, Allah Almighty sent a wind, a storm and unseen armies. In short, the Messenger’s every state was constant.
Again, another Companion once brought a handful of dates that he had washed. The Messenger of Allah asked him how he had come to obtain them. And he explained the difficulty with which he obtained them. How he was only able to receive one date in return for a bucket of water. And he said that that was the one he brought for Allah’s Messenger. The Messenger of Allah said, “You must love me much indeed.” “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger,” he said. Allah’s Messenger then told him to, in that case, be prepared for what would befall him.
Again another scene: There was Sa’d ibn Mu’adh. Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings loved him a lot. He was a valiant Companion. He was martyred during the Battle of the Trench. The Prophet said that the heavens shook with his martyrdom. Look at the commendation sent down. Allah’s Messenger did not leave his side. He performed his funeral prayer. He remained by his side until he was buried. At that point, the Prophet said something of great note. He said that the grave squeezed Sa’d ibn Mu’adh. The Companions asked Allah’s Messenger. “O Messenger of Allah, you made a lot of prayers and readings by his grave. Why did you do as such?” There are no details of which verses he recited. There is no information as to which prayers he read. Allah’s Messenger said, “The grave squeezed Sa’d ibn Mu’adh; that is why I read certain prayers and his grave opened and expanded.” This is a mirror before us. “All that is on the earth is perishable.” Every soul will taste death. However, preparation for this death will be in the world. We came to the world by being born of a mother; we were in the arms of a mother and father, but did not realise this. However, we will be buried with our deeds and we will embark on a journey accompanied with these deeds.
The Most High declares, “Surely the noblest, most honorable of you in Allah’s sight is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for God.” Whether you are dark-skinned or fair-skinned, with yellow or black skin, that race will not matter in the least. It is Allah Almighty Who confers race. Only, how are we to be successful in this classroom of the world? With piety and God consciousness. Allah Almighty declares, “Surely the noblest, most honorable of you in Allah’s sight is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for God.” The most esteemed among you in the eyes of Allah are those who are most pious and righteous. What is piety to be like? How did the Messenger of Allah ‘live’ the Qur’anic verses, how did he live the Qur’an? We need to practise those Qur’anic verses in the same way and transfer them to our lives. The Messenger of Allah says, “You are with those whom you love.” Again, it is stated in a Qur’anic verse, “…which of you is better in deeds.” Allah Almighty wants the best of deeds from us. In other words, He does not want ordinary deeds from us. He wants the best. Allah Almighty wants the best of deeds of righteousness from us. Again, it is stated, “Assuredly, Allah has done the believers a great kindness…” “Assuredly, Allah has done the believers a great kindness.” With what has He favoured them? By sending to them the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings. That is to say, a person does not forget that which they love. They keep their treasured things in the best of safes. How much room have we allocated to the Prophet in our hearts? And this becomes apparent through demonstration. How much do we resemble Allah’s Messenger in every stage of our lives? This is the aim of celebrating the ‘noble birth of the prophet (pbuh)’. Not forgetting the Messenger of Allah in any aspect of our lives. What kind of community to him am I? What kind of community were the Companions? How they said, in the face of the smallest and the greatest threats, “May my life and my possessions be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah?” They were Companions in essence and they demonstrated this with their deeds and their lives.
This world was created for the human being. In any case, the world be destroyed along with the last human being on earth, the universe will explode and the mission of the world will be complete. Whatever is in the world, it is for us. The Prophets who were sent are for us. The Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, is our greatest blessing. The Books and scrolls are textbooks for us in this world. The universe is a Divine laboratory, with there being a delicate balance in everything. These are the diverse magnificent manifestations of Allah Almighty’s attributes the Originator and the Shaper. The servant is to deepen in contemplation. “Read in and with the Name of your Lord, who has created.” They are to remember their Lord in everything they see. They are to be preoccupied with gazing upon and contemplating the Divine art. This, of course, depends on the development of the heart. This contemplation is among the keys of belief. If you want to see Allah Almighty, behold His handiwork with an eye to learn lessons and gain wisdom. Observe in whatever is your profession. There is nothing in this universe, from the particle to the heavenly body, which does not show to us His wisdom and majesty. Everything is in the position of witness to Him. All things are witness to a Divine power. Of course, however clear the heart becomes, that is the extent to which blurriness therein is lifted. However, a gloom-stricken heart cannot be freed of blurriness. When the heart becomes clearer, it ponders deeply over a flower that it sees. Why did Allah Almighty create this flower? From where does this scent, this colour, this harmony come? They ponder what they eat. Where do these provisions come from? Where does this aroma, this colour, this symmetry come from? They contemplate the nutrients they consume. Where do they come from? What would have happened if the Almighty had not created these provisions? What a great bestowal. What a great kindness.
In short, Allah Almighty is at our aid. His Messengers are at our aid. And He honoured us with His greatest Prophet. He assists us with His Books and scrolls. He addressed us with His greatest Book. This universe is the manifestation of Divine grandeur. It is the Almighty Who bestows inventions and discoveries. If He had not conferred the human mind with this power, there would not have been such discoveries. And how does He make the Day of Judgement known to us? At the single press of a button, whatever you want appears before your eyes. It will be said on the Day of Judgement, “Read your book! Your own self suffices you this day as a reckoner against you.” When the individual buttons of human beings are pressed, the cassette that they each filled will be revealed.
In short, the human being is the full-length mirror of this world, the focus of the truths from Divine manifestations and, for a believer practising Islam, this life is a season of spring. The Angel of Death, Azrail came to Prophet Ilyas (Elijah), peace be upon him. Prophet Ilyas, peace be upon him, was startled. The angel asked, “Why are you startled. Do you fear death when you are a Prophet?” Prophet Ilyas, peace be upon him, answered: “No. I did not fear death. I was in a state of worship, devotion, of conveying the message and in great tranquillity.” In other words, life was a season of spring. “However, now I am to remain in the grave until the Resurrection.” In brief, every breath of our lives, each and every split second is of a distinct worth. And how are we to determine the value of this? May Allah grant this to us all. This is possible with the heart’s advancement.
Obedience is contingent upon love. A person obeys those whom they love. Allah Almighty wants us to be together with Him. In the Qur’anic verse from chapter Nisa, verse 80, it is declared, “He who obeys the Messenger (thereby) obeys Allah.” This was the constant concern of the Companions. Am I in obedience to Allah’s Messenger, not only in the religiously obligatory acts, but also in the necessary, sunna and the permissible?