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Celebrating e Birth Of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
By Shaykh Hassan Cisse (RA)
am here to welcome you tonight in this place under the shadow of the Prophet (SAW), once again. I am here to speak on the Maulid for the brothers and sisters who do not speak Wolof or Arabic. It is very important to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) because the Prophet (SAW) is a mercy to everybody, whether you know it or don’t know it and it is worthwhile to spend some of your time in every day, if you can, if not, in every year, to celebrate the Master of Mankind. is gathering, the result of which the Su people call Al-Jam ala Allah, is to meet for no other reason except for the Sake of Allah. We are here for that, for the Sake of Allah, not for dunya, the worldly things, and not even for Akhira, the Hereafter. So, I am congratulating you, all of you, on this occasion and also, I am giving you good tidings from the Prophet (SAW). Once, he (SAW) was asked by one of his companions, “When is the Last Day, the Day of Judgement?” e man said, “Really, I did not do many good deeds for the Last Day, but I have the love of the Prophet (SAW). e Prophet (SAW) said, ”Everybody is going to be with whom he loves on the Day of Judgement.” Congratulations, and from that position to all of you, may you love the Prophet (SAW) and salute him. In the Muslim world today, there are di erent opinions about the Maulid itself. Some of the Muslims say it is Bid’a, that it is not correct Islam, while others say it is advisable to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (SAW). Yet, for those who said it is Bid’a there is no argument between us and them, because they have no proof that it is Bid’a. Even if it is Bid’a, it is a good Bid’a. Allah revealed to the Prophet (SAW) in the Holy Qur’an that He will narrate to him the stories of the previous Prophets to fortify his heart. If that is the case with the Prophet (SAW), then what will be the case with us if we hear the stories of the Prophet (SAW)? Second, the Prophet (SAW) himself celebrated his birthday after the age of forty and everybody knows that. His grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, celebrated his birthday and slaughtered animals for him, but why did he do it again after the age of forty? e Prophet (SAW) used to fast on Monday. When asked why he fasted on this day, he used to say, “ at was the day on which I was born.” Based on the Hadith and the Qur’anic verse in which Allah said to the Prophet (SAW); I am narrating to you the stories of the previous Prophets to fortify your heart, I say it would be a very good idea for a Muslim to also listen to the stories of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to fortify his heart and to fortify himself. For this reason, since the third century of the Hijra, the Muslims, may I say good Muslims, are celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (SAW) every year. In the land of Senegal today, as you heard Shaykh Abdullah say the other day, Hajj Abdullah, the father of Shaikh Ibrahim (RA), was the rst who celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (SAW) in Senegal. e way he used to celebrate it is di erent than the way Shaikh Ibrahim (RA) used to celebrate it, because they used to meet on the night of the birth of the Prophet (SAW) reciting Qur’an all night, but when Hajj Abdullah, the father of Shaikh Ibrahim (RA) paid visit to Fez and found them reciting the poems, the prayers, he adopted that style and here they used the poems of Imam Muhammad Buseri. Imam Buseri is one of the most famous poets who wrote about the Prophet (SAW) because of his Burda and his Hamzia. During his early life, the man was not really an excellent Muslim. He was a gifted poet entertaining the government o cials of his day. en, one time, Allah tested him with a severe sickness. He went to see so many doctors and there seemed to be no cure for him. During his sickness, he wrote a poem, the Burda. Burda means “cover” in Arabic. When he wrote the poem, he saw the Prophet (SAW) covering him with covers. en, he regained his health. In the morning, before he showed the poem to anyone, a good person came to visit him. When the door opened, the person said, “Show me the poem which I saw you reciting in front of the Prophet (SAW) last night.” at is why, throughout the Muslim world today, they have this belief, that wherever you read the Burda, the Prophet (SAW) will attend that place. at is why when it is recited, all of the people stand up. e second poem composed by Buseri is called Hamzia. Actually, thousands of people wrote poems about the Prophet (SAW), but the fame which Buseri gained out his praising the prophet (SAW) is unequalled, because his poem was excellent. On the occasion of the rst Maulid in Senegal, all of the poems recited were by Buseri. On the second Maulid, the poems were by Shaikh Ibrahim Niass’ (RA). In addition, there was a narration of the biography or stories from the life of the Prophet (SAW). ere was also a recounting of Shaikh Ibrahim Niass (RA) move from Kaolack to Medina and why this move took place. is narration answered the question of what was the problem, as well as what his own people did to make him move from the area. In response, Shaikh Ibrahim (RA) has declared that essentially he did nothing but love the Prophet (SAW), for which he was driven from his house. To celebrate the Prophet (SAW), you may gain out of it, as said before, the love of the Prophet (SAW); you will be happy in this life and happy in the Hereafter. e love of the Prophet (SAW) may push you to see him in a dream, or you may see him in reality, in a state of being awake, because up to today good Muslims are seeing the Prophet (SAW) in broad daylight, in a state of being awake, not asleep, because in the Hadith of Bukhari the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever has seen me in a dream has seen me in reality, because Shaitan can not take my form.” ere are some of you who remember the poem composed by Shaikh Ibrahim (RA) during the last moments of his life in a Paris hospital. “I saw the Prophet (SAW) in a state of being awake in Paris. Is this a place where one can see the Prophet (SAW)?” Still, there are some Muslims denting seeing the Prophet (SAW). is is not possible, according to them, because they consider him being jut like an ordinary person who, if he died and you bury him, that is the end of him. e Prophet (SAW) is not like that.
Another story will show us that the Prophet (SAW) still exists. One of the Meccan people was very rich at one time and he used to receive people from Malaysia, Asia, being the host for them and helping them with his own money. It just so happened that one year he had no money and the people arrived. He said to himself, “I must hide, because it is a shame for me to meet my people without treating them nice.” He nally decided to take them to Rowda, the Masjid of the Prophet (SAW) and leave them there. ey were the guests of the Prophet (SAW). When he came to the Masjid and greeted the Prophet (SAW), he said, “ ese people used to come to me when I was able to handle their a airs. Today, they come when I am in a very bad nancial condition.” He fell asleep in the Masjid before he left the group. “Go to this address and call this name. Tell him to give you what you need of money as far as your people are concerned.” When he found the building number, he called the man’s name in a loud voice from the street. e man answered, saying, “I answer your call. I am the messenger of the Messenger of Allah. Tell me how much you need. If I have it, I will give it to you, if I don’t have it, I will borrow it and give it to you.” On another occasion, the Shaikh Ahmad al-Rifai, when he paid a visit to the Rowda, spoke to the Prophet (SAW) saying, “Away from you I used to send my soul to kiss your hand on my behalf and today I come in person. Bring your hand so I can kiss it.” e hand of the Prophet (SAW) came out. e Prophet (SAW) is not an ordinary person. He is in the second position after Allah. We love him and we are not worshipping him. We believe in his Message. We believe that he is the Messenger of Allah, the Servant of Allah, and we will try our best to follow all of his teachings, step by step. All that he prohibited us from doing, we will try our best not to do it. at is our belief in the Prophet (SAW). Now, the Prophet (SAW) came to this world when his own people and the majority of the world community believed in worshipping idols instead of worshipping Allah, the Creator. Allah sent him down to correct the mistakes of human Beings. e Prophet (SAW) is in the position to teach us how to follow the right path, but he can not create the righteousness in the heart of a mu’min, or believer. Only Allah can create the righteousness in your heart, and the Prophet’s (SAW) purpose is to show you the right path. In the teachings of the Prophet (SAW), all good deeds are advisable. Islam, all of it, is nice. All bad deeds are prevented in Islam and it is an obligation upon every Muslim, wherever the Prophet (SAW) gives an order, you should follow; whenever he said you should stop, you should stop. Happiness in this life and in the Hereafter is in the following of the Prophet (SAW). All of the celebrations you see these days, the poems, the recitations of Qur’an, all of it, is just to show the good character of the Prophet (SAW). When Sayida Ayisha (RA) was asked what is the character of the Prophet (SAW), she said, “His character is the Qur’an. Qur’an is the character of the Prophet (SAW)”. When you read the Holy Qur’an, his character is present, and outside the circle of Qur’an, you will never see his character. He is in that circle. If you want to be close to the Prophet (SAW), follow his teachings. What he said is good, try your best to do it. What he said is bad, try your best not to do it, because that is the key to happiness. It is the key to what you want in this life and in the Hereafter. We can summarize all of that in one word; Taqwa. Taqwa is everything. Whenever it is mentioned, to what you are ordered by the Prophet (SAW) and to stop where he ordered you to stop, if you do it you will be a good Muslim and you will be a wali of Allah. You will be close to Allah. Your problems in this life will be solved and all of this I am not saying from myself. Every word of it is in Qur’an. If you fear Allah, Allah will teach you. If you want Paradise, fear Allah. If you want to be a wali, believe and fear Allah. If you want to be victorious over your enemies, also Taqwa. If you want wealth, Taqwa. If you want to be a good Muslim, do your best to follow the instructions and the rules and regulations of Islam and do your best to stop where it wants you to stop. You can not claim that you love the Prophet (SAW) and disobey all of his orders, that us hypocrisy. e Prophet (SAW) descried what Iman is. Iman is what you have in your heart and your actions prove it. If the actions are di erent than what you claim you believe, then it is false. We should try our best to be Muslims. “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger.” It is good to say the words, but it is not enough. You have to follow a certain way, certain rules and characteristics. e Prophet (SAW) said: “A Muslim is one from whom the other Muslims are safe.” Muslim is just like a wall; if any part of it is su ering, the entire wall is su ering. ey will not harm each other with their tongue or their hands. A Muslim to another
To be a good Muslim, you must be very serious. You should follow the rules as if the Prophet (SAW) was there. A Muslim should not oppress another Muslim. He should not look down upon another Muslim. He should not leave any Muslim helpless. You should help your brother. In another Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said, Allah is in the help of a servant as long as the servant is helping his brother.” If you want Allah to be helpful to you, be nice to your brothers in the religion and help them. In Suratul Asr, a very short chapter in the Qur’an, Allah swears that all of mankind are losers, except these four kinds of people; those who believe, those who do righteous deeds, those who advise each other to follow the truth, and those who advise each other to be patient. If you want to be safe from being a loser, adopt these characteristics. Was Salaamu Alaikum,
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