The monthly word Rabi’ al-Awwal 1430
Welcoming the Month of Rabi’ al-Awwal
By: Al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Director, Dar al-Mustafa for the Islamic Sciences (Tarim, Yemen)
Translated by: Khalil Abu Asmaa (of www.ReflectOnThis.com)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
TO OUR BRETHREN and beloved friends in God Almighty, those whom this word will reach via the means of this website, those who are from amongst the believing men and believing women: May peace, the mercy of God, and His blessings be upon you all!
Here we are, renewing the conveyance of a monthly word. It coincides with the renewal of the outward raiment of this website and it arrives at the beginning of the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, that blessed month which carries to us the commemoration of the birth of our Prophet, the Chosen One, Muhammad (may God bless and grant him and his family and companions peace); a birth that God has decreed to be for this world—the world of appearance and sensation—as a foundation and a principle for all the good that has reached the ummah (global community) and all that has been attained by it. It is this same reality that the uncle of the Messenger of God, al-‘Abbas, referred to when he addressed him by saying:
And when you were born the earth shined and the horizons were illuminated by your light
So it is we who in this luminance and this light, do tread the paths of right guidance
With the welcoming of the month of the birth (shahr al-milad), and with the renewal of the outward appearance of this website, we continue on with the monthly word. With the permission of God, it will appear at the beginning of every lunar month, in hopes for it to be a connecting correspondence of mutual reminding, a director of vision, and a consideration of what is most necessary and most important with regards to our performance of the right of servanthood to God Almighty in these lives that we live and in the circumstances that we are grappling with. O beloved and noble friends: It is necessary for there to be an internal renewal in us by strengthening what it means to take the Messenger of God as a lofty example. He should hold a firm place of leadership in our hearts and in our minds, the very one that God has placed him in and is pleased with for him. This should become the reference point for all the conflicts and affairs that transpire between people. For indeed, God sent down upon him the Book in order that he may judge between them with what God Almighty had shown to him. God says: “We have sent down the Scripture to you [Prophet] with the truth so that you can judge between people”(Quran 4:105).
We see in this verse (ayah/sign) how this “judging” has encompassed all people and how it was not specifically relegated to only the believers from amongst them. Hence, it did not say, “so that you can judge between the believers,” nor did it say, “between your followers,” but rather, it says, “so that you can judge between people in accordance with what God has shown you. And do not be an advocate for those who betray trust.”
In reality, this is the mission of the prophets, to judge between the people who are living at their times or between those whom their message reaches. With the Chosen One (al-Mustafa) the matter is special: he was sent to all mankind, carrying a message to all mankind, and coming from the Lord of all mankind. [This matter is unique to him,] in exclusion to the other prophets.
God Almighty has made it a part of the missions of the prophets [that walked] on the face of this earth, that what was sent down to them should contain all that is good and suitable for mankind. They were also entrusted to establish justice and equity and to avert retaliation and evil being afflicted by one upon another. Such is what the verses have indicated: “We sent Our messengers with clear signs, the Scripture and the Balance, so that people could uphold justice” (Quran 57:25).
This reminds us of the [unfortunate] fact that we have neglected the binding ties of guidance with the Messenger of God (blessings and peace be upon him and his family and companions) and we have neglected to place him in the proper station of leadership that will take our minds, emotions, feelings, intellects, and hearts unto a beautiful obedience to him.
Due to these shortcomings, we have become completely confused and heedless, which has also lead us to neglect and abandon our obligation to save other peoples by means of the sacred tradition that the Chosen One (al-Mustafa) has come with and by means of the revelation that was sent down upon him: “So that you can judge between people in accordance with what God has shown you. And do not be an advocate for those who betray trust” (Quran 4:105).
It should be known, therefore, that his followers have in their possession that which can relieve humanity of the fatal circumstances and evils that have befallen them in their social interactions, their economies, and their communities, and in all of their affairs. [What his followers have] will cause all those who listen and give heed, to avoid the deleterious effects of the numerous calamities that strike and rip at humankind from time to time. Such manifestations are only a necessary result of turning away from the remembrance of God (dhikr- Allah) and departing from His way.
We have the responsibility to remind others that we have the solution to their problems and that which will prevent calamities from befalling them. We have neglected this because we have neglected to institute and perfect the binding ties of guidance with the Messenger of God (blessings and peace be upon him and his family and companions). We have neglected to place him in that leadership position that God has granted him. He, Almighty, has said concerning this position: “Whoever obeys the Messenger obeys God” (Quran 4:80). And He said: “If you obey him, you will be rightly guided” (Quran 24:54). And: “So accept whatever the Messenger gives you, and abstain from whatever he forbids you” (Quran 59:7). And: “Say, ‘If you love God, follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins; God is most forgiving, most merciful’” (Quran 3:31). And: “Those who pledge loyalty to you [Prophet] are actually pledging loyalty to God Himself—God’s hand is placed on theirs” (Quran 48:10).
Much of what transpires around us has stripped us of a proper emotional attachment to this reality. So it is incumbent upon us to protect the sanctuary of our hearts and minds, and the sanctuary of our Deen, so that we are not made to forget these realities concerning the binding ties of guidance that we have with the best of creation [our beloved Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him and his family]. We must perfect the subtlety (sirr) of our connection with this leadership by beautifully seeking guidance in him (blessings and peace be upon him and his family and companions). We should make him the criterion for what we chose of devices [electronic or otherwise], tapes and media, programs, and interactions in our houses and our companies, and in our organizations and governments (whether Muslim or non-Muslim), and in all other things that go along with this life.
It is imperative that we understand completely the immense role that is connected with the subtleties (asraar) of the vicegerency of God in His earth. There is no room for vicegerency without the way and guidance of the one whom He entrusted, chose, and elected to speak on His behalf and guide to His path.
So let us understand this reality and let us thereby set forth, holding tightly to the firm handhold [la ilaha illa Allah], in order to lend benefit to everyone that we are capable of benefitting from amongst the creation. For indeed, mercy is a universal. And hence, we find contained in the societal norms of this religion of Islam, within its ecosystems and the refined culture of its sacred law (shari’ah), we see all throughout its history many who were able to live in its precincts and find equity and protection from injustice in diverse societies from the time of the rightly-guided caliphs (alkhulafa al-rashideen) up through the time of those who came after them.
We have in front of us an opportunity for mastership and a chance to dispatch in the path of rendering service to the world—we attained to it, but now we have neglected it. Therefore, it is essential that we first check ourselves and return to a deep emotional attachment to our primary mission. Secondly, we have to work on preparing to live up to it. Thirdly, we have to actively implement [what is required of us] through all of the beneficial, useful, and goodly means [at our disposal], in order for us to do our part in the vicegerency of God on His earth: “God has made a promise to those among you who believe and do good deeds: He will make them successors to the land, as He did those who came before them; He will empower the religion He has chosen for them; He will grant them security to replace their fear. ‘They will worship Me and not join anything with Me.’” (Quran 24:55).
With God is true success. May blessings and peace be upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.