Episode 62: Al-Isra Wal-Miraj Part 2: The Journey Continues
Episode 62: Al-Isra Wal-Miraj Part 2: The Journey Continues
Episode 61: Al-Isra Wal-Miraj Part 1: The Journey to Jerusalem
Time is flying by! It’s easy to get wrapped up by the routine of everyday life- between work, class, homework, and the introduction of new challenges, you have to consciously take time out to reflect. We have a whole week off for Eid Break and the opportunity to go back home to visit our families: the type of break that forces us to pause and think about some of the blessings in our lives.
We are a small group of students in this Qalam program. Why were we blessed with this opportunity? How did we get here?
Sheikh ANJ discussed something in class that stuck with me- he mentioned something along the lines of ‘it’s not just about the blessing, it’s also about the whole process of that blessing coming to you’. The process before the blessing is a blessing itself. Think of all those countless, known and unknown blessings that lead to just that one you are reflecting on. Out of the innumerable blessings that allowed us to be a part of this program, the most obvious are the people that facilitated it. Sheikh ANJ reminded us to appreciate them. Many years of parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends, and strangers sacrificing and being supportive. It is humbling when you realize that your small steps are nothing compared to theirs. May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to appreciate others and to benefit those around us. May those who sacrificed for us, supported us, and made dua for us be rewarded by Allah, as we are unable to appreciate them as they deserve. Ameen.
Episode 60: An Unlikely Ally
Episode 59: The Return From Ta’if & the Story of Addas
Episode 58: The Prophet Goes to Ta’if
Episode 57: The Year of Sorrow
As our first month of the Qalam program concludes and the second begins, I cannot help but feel that taking out an entire year to do this program has been one of the best if not the best decision of my life. However, these paragraphs are to highlight some of the things that really hit home for me this past week.
Firstly, was our seerah study. We are currently reading through a fantastic book titled عيون الأثر. I cannot emphasize on how much my love for our Habib Rasool Allah (SAW) has grown in this past week! Especially, when we spoke/read about all the hardships that Rasul (SAW) had to go through at such a young age. Solely for us, his umma. Allah (SWT) put him through so many trials, from never being able to see his father to seeing his mother die in front of his eyes, only to prepare him (SAW) for prophethood and to be the perfect guide and example for us. After reading these parts of his life (SAW) and seeing all the hardships he (SAW) went through, there truly is no other feeling but extreme love and appreciation for our Habib Rasool Allah (SAW). And to think the way we repay him (SAW) and show our gratitude is by leaving his practices, forgetting his mention, and moreover not reading a single book about him and what he has done for us Sala Allahu Alaihi wa Sallama Tasleeman Kateeran. As our beloved teacher says, “it’s food for thought”.
Another very humbling part of our studies this week was the tafseer we read through, which was the first five ayahs of Suratul Baqarah. In these five ayahs alone I am completely convinced that these are the words of Allah (SWT), while fully being aware of the fact that we mainly studied it from a linguistic perspective. How magnificent and extraordinary Allah (SWT) perfected His speech that no matter who you are, there is a lesson specifically for you — always relatable to your life/situations. The only way to put it is that these are the words of Allah (SWT) and no human is capable of writing anything in any way, shape, or form close to the eloquence and perfection of the Quran.
Lastly, I conclude by asking Allah (SWT) for the sincerity and steadfastness to finish this wonderful program and I ask Him Jalla Jalaaluhu to accept our efforts as students and more importantly the efforts of our teacher for taking out time from his very hectic life to teach us. May Allah (SWT) reward us all.
Episode 56: The Death of Abu Talib
Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The 11th year of Prophethood marks the Year of Sorrow, in which the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) lost his beloved wife Khadijah (RA) and dear Uncle Abu Talib. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was eight when he came to the care of Abu Talib, who became a father-figure in his life. The Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) father died before he was born, his mother when he was aged 6, and his grandfather when he was aged 8. Abu Talib and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) became very attached to each other, with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) consulting him about major decisions e.g. with regards to his career and marriage. On proclaiming Prophethood, Abu Talib did not accept, but he defended the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) against the Quraysh.
Abu Talib falls ill
Abu Talib was in his late 70s and very ill. Quraysh realised he was approaching death and they sent a delegation of the leading Qurayshi figures, like Umayyah bin Khalaf and Abu Jahl. The delegation expressed their respect of Abu Talib, but also recognised that he was terminally ill. They wanted to address the political situation without any ambiguity. They did not agree with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), so they asked for him to be called to negotiate something between them: that he should leave them and they would leave him. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came and Abu Talib explained that the dignitaries of his people had gathered for negotiations. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) agreed, but never compromised in Tawhid. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made one request- if they gave this to him, they would rule over all the Arabs and the non-Arabs would come and follow them. Abu Jahl said, ‘Sure, by your father, I am ready, I will agree to 10 things!’ The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Say there is no God but Allah and you leave everything else’. The delegation clapped their hands as a sign of displeasure of this proposition. The delegation started saying to each other that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was not here to compromise, so they would continue the same and see who would come out on top.
Everyone walked away, leaving the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sitting with Abu Talib, who commented, ‘I swear to God, beloved nephew, I do not think you asked them for a lot’. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) thought this was the opportunity to address his uncle. He encouraged him to accept Islam, so that he could vouch for Abu Talib on the Day of Judgement. Abu Talib said, ‘Beloved Nephew, if I was not afraid what these people would do to you and your family and I did not think the Quraysh would assume that I did it to escape death, I would have done it. I will not say it just to please you.’
Abu Talib’s final moments
A few days later, Abu Talib became extremely ill and was breathing his last. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ran to his bedside, as did the Quraysh leaders. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) kneeled in close and said, ‘Dear Uncle, say there is no God but Allah, just once. Just one word and I will fight on your behalf in front of Allah.’ Abu Jahl started screaming, ‘Oh Abu Talib, will you leave the religion of your father, Abu Muttalib?’ They kept saying this, almost heckling the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), to the point where Abu Talib could not hear the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Finally, he looked at the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and said, ‘Upon the religion of Abdul Muttalib’, and passed away. Allah knows best whether Abu Talib accepted Islam or not, but this is something we do not need to ruminate over.
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said he would continue to ask for forgiveness on behalf of Abu Talib until he was forbidden to do so. Allah revealed:
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was devastated, questioning if he could have done any more. Allah revealed:
After the death of Abu Talib
The days after the passing of Abu Talib, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not leave his home much. Even Abu Lahab was so overwhelmed by the Prophet’s sadness, that he extended his protection to him. However, this protection was withdrawn when the leaders commented on what impact this would have on Abu Lahab’s reputation. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had lost his protection. Whilst walking home, a young man walked upto the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and threw dirt on his head. The doorstep of his home was covered in garbage and filth, which he had to clean with his own blessed hands. The neighbours were all laughing, and he asked, ‘What kind of neighbourly treatment is this?’ Entering his house, with dirty hands and torn, stained clothes, Fatima (RA) gasped and asked what happened. She started to cry as she helped him clean up, to which the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Oh dear little girl, do not cry. Allah will not forsake your father. This religion will reach far and wide. Allah will protect your father.’
Even a decade after the passing of Abu Talib, the concern of Abu Bakr for the events at that time is highlighted in this story. When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) returned to Makkah at the conquest of Makkah, he was sitting in the Haram. Abu Bakr (RA) walked in with his elderly father. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked why he did not leave him at home, and he would have gone to him instead. Abu Bakr declined, saying that his father needed to come to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to accept Islam. Abu Bakr was crying, and said ‘Oh Messenger, I cannot help but think how quickly I would trade places between my father for Abu Talib’.
By Shuaib Yousuf
Alhamdulillah, although it seems like the Qalam Program began yesterday, four weeks have already passed. In other words, a tenth of the program is already over. I guess time flies when you’re enjoying yourself. However, it seems like the hard work is just beginning. We came into the program knowing that community service would be a huge part of the curriculum, but I never expected to give a khutbah after only one month into the program. Alhamdulillah, I already had some experience giving khutbahs, but giving one in a new community was an entirely new challenge.
Although delivering the khutbah was a challenge, preparing for it was even more difficult. My first challenge was picking a topic. Choosing a topic is always tricky because the khutbah should be relevant to the community and at the same time a beneficial reminder to everyone, including the khateeb. After sitting in some of Sh. Abdul Nasir’s tafseer sessions, I decided that my khutbah would be about the importance of The Quran. My second challenge was finding time to prepare. Between time spent in class and on homework, I hardly had time to sit down and do research. But with some help from Sh. Abdul Nasir, I was able to get it done.
Before I knew it, the week was over, and it was time to give the khutbah. SubhanAllah, I never realized how accustomed I had grown to my community back home until the khutbah began. Everything was different: the faces in the masjid, the placement of the clock, the microphone, the podium, and so much more. But to top it all off, literally as I’m walking to the front of the masjid to begin my khutbah, I’m requested to do an impromptu fundraiser at the end of my khutbah for the masjid’s new building. Alhamdulillah, I was able to squeeze in a few words of encouragement on donation at the end, but at that moment I realized why Sh Abdul Nasir is pushing us to work with the community.
Giving khutbah in a new community was an unforgettable learning experience. However as a student of knowledge I learned that just as the Quran was revealed over a span of 23 years, gaining knowledge of Islam and The Quran will also take time, effort, and consistency.