When Rabi al-Awwal Comes..

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Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) tells us how to receive the month of Rabi al-Awwal.

When Rabi al-Awwal comes open your heart to receive the divine outpouring and to attain closeness to Allah and His Beloved. Do not place anything above him. We have not been permitted to love anyone or anything, however great, as much as him. May Allah not deprive any of us of the goodness that You have because of the evil which we have.

This is the month of ennoblement – the month in which the Beloved ﷺ emerged into the world – the blessing was completed, the earth was illuminated. Make us amongst those who receive this month in the best way.

Seek spiritual gifts through purifying your heart. Establish gatherings in every room in your house in which Allah is remembered, in which the Mawlid and Sirah are read. Do you not long for this light, for this purity, for this beauty? Are you content to turn away from it? Why exchange jewels for filth? Who tricked us into removing the speech of Allah and the Messenger and the righteous and remembrance of Allah from our houses? He informed us that the house in which the Qur’an is recited appears to those in the heavens just as the stars appear to those on the earth. This is the speech of a tongue to whose truthfulness Allah Himself testified: He does not speak from caprice; it is no less than revelation sent down to him.[1] Allah said of him: If you obey him you will find guidance.[2] If you want guidance in all its meanings in this life and the next then follow My Beloved, My Chosen One.

The greatest fear is being turned away to a different direction on the day when his followers will be under his banner. On that day it will be clear to all that the Sovereign is One, the judge is One. Those who had been deluded in this life will be asked: “To whom belongs the Dominion today?”[3] If you do not know Muhammad now, on that day everyone will know him. Everyone will lower their heads to him because he is the one that Allah has chosen.

Give us sincere intentions, purify our hearts and increase our certainty. Save the people of la ilaha illallah.

Turn to Him – present your state to Him:

No created thing has any portion of this affair neither here,

Nor there, so rely on the statement of the Truthful

He is the Lord, none other, and all

Are slaves under His governance without exception.

 

So ask your Lord for enabling grace, forgiveness and His pleasure

And to be with the people of guidance, on the path

People that travelled to the All-Compassionate with high ambition

With truthfulness, sincerity, unobstructed

They obtained that which is beyond all other requests

By Allah what a noble and perfect life! [4]

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[1] Al-Najm, 53:3-4

[2] Al-Nur, 24:54

[3] Ghafir, 40:16

[4] Imam al-Haddad

Prayer Upon the Prophet ﷺ for Rabi al-Awwal 1438

 

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Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends reciting the following prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ  10,000 times in Rabi al-Awwal:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ وبَارِكْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ الفَاتِحِ لِما أُغْلِقَ الخَاتِمِ لِما سَبَقَ نَاصِرِ الحَقِّ بِالحَقِّ و الهادِي إلى صِراطِكَ المُسْتَقِيمِ صلى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ و مِقْدَارِهِ العَظِيم

Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik `ala sayyidina Muhammad al-fatih lima ughliq al-khatim lima sabaq nasiri’l-haqqi bi’l-haqq wa’l-hadi ila siratika’l-mustaqim sall’Allahu `alayhi wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi haqqa qadrihi wa miqdarihi’l-`azim

O Allah, bestow Your prayers, peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad, the one who opens that which is closed, the seal of those that came before, the defender of truth with truth and the guide to Your straight path (and upon his Family and Companions), in accordance with the greatness of his rank.

This prayer is known as Salat al-Fatih, which is narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna `Ali bin Abi Talib. It was then taken on by Shaykh Abu Hasan al-Bakri and later Shaykh Ahmad al-Tijani, who both taught it to their students.

Habib Umar said that those calling to Allah have received many openings after repeating this prayer.

Click here to download an audio recording of Habib Umar reciting the prayer.

Welcoming Rabi al-Awwal by Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger

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Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafīz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) teaches us how to welcome the month Rabi al-Awwal by. Extracts from a talk in the mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa, 3rd Rabi` al-Awwal 1333/ 26th January 2012.

The new moon of Rabi al-Awwal has appeared, the month in which Allah brought forth His best and most perfect slave, His Chosen One, His Beloved, the Most Noble of the First and the Last in the sight of the Lord of the Worlds. His uncle al-`Abbas addressed him at the end of his life, on their return from Tabuk, his last expedition, with the following verse:

ُوأَنْتَ لَمَّا وُلِدْتَ أشْرَقَتْ الأَرْضُ وضَاءَتْ بِنُورِكَ الأُفُق
ُفَنَحْنُ في ذلك الضِّياءِ وفي النُّورِ وسُبْلِ الرَّشَادِ نَخْتَرِق

When you were born the earth and the horizons were illuminated by your light

We remain bathed in that glow and it continues to light the path as we travel it

Every mawlid composed later is merely echoing what the Companions said to the Chosen One. They were the first people to celebrate the mawlid.

Our Master `Isa will descend to the earth and you will see how he will be ennobled by following Muhammad. Any of you that are with him at that time will see how he mentions the Master of Creation. His heart and the hearts of those present will be filled with veneration when they mention his name. He knows our Master Muhammad better than us, for a Prophet knows a Prophet. No member of this nation knows him in the way that the Spirit of Allah knows him.

The Master of the Followers, Uways al-Qarani, said to the greatest of the Companions, our Masters `Umar and `Ali, who knew the Beloved better than anyone: “All that you knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

They said: “True, all that we knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

Direct your hearts to attain His pleasure and a portion of His gifts. In every day and night there are gifts, and in every month, and in this month in particular. You attain these gifts according to your connection to the one who taught us, the unique one. Take a portion of his vast, noble, priceless teachings, with sincere desire, to attain the reality of:

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers.[1]

Strive in this noble month to please the Chosen One, seeking to please Allah. Please him with your intentions, your ambitions, your words and deeds. Allah is pleased with those that praise his Prophet, those that venerate His Prophet, those that support His Prophet. He is pleased with that which pleases the Prophet.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

You have spent so much of your time and thoughts seeking to please yourself, your family, your relatives and your friends. This may have caused you to travel from one country to another. Have you sought the pleasure of the Beloved? How much do you think about this? How much do you worry about this? How far have you travelled seeking his pleasure? How much hardship have you borne? How much have you sacrificed? There is nothing on the earth or in this life whose pleasure is more worthy of seeking than Muhammad.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

According to your faith you strive to please Allah’s Beloved. Seek his pleasure! When the Companions saw that he was pleased, when his face shone with happiness, they said: “It was more beloved to us than red camels.” Nothing was harder for them to bear than seeing him angry, seeing the vein between his blessed eyes swell up.

Look for the true meaning of seeking his pleasure in this month. You will not find it on the satellite channels. Seek it from its source, connect to the light of his message. This will show you how to seek his pleasure, in which is the pleasure of the Most High. If you have in your heart an attribute which does not please him, then strive to rid your heart of it. He is not pleased with arrogance, so do not be content to show arrogance, even to inanimate objects, let alone animals or humans, for the Lord of all things dislikes you doing this.

Seek it by giving life to the sunnah in your house in Rabi al-Awwal! If your family are heedless of Allah between Maghrib and `Isha, joking or watching TV then bring to life the sunnah of venerating this time. Teach them at home at this time. If they are young, teach them the Arabic letters so that they are connected to the Qur’an. If they are older, go over with them the parts of the Qur’an that they have memorised.

If the sunnah of seeking forgiveness before Fajr is absent, bring it to life in Rabi al-Awwal. Let there be at least one person seeking forgiveness before Fajr in the house, one person saying to the Oft-Forgiving “forgive me!” at the time which Allah loves for people to seek His forgiveness, at the time when delegations came to the door of the Bestower.

If no-one in the house prays in congregation then teach your wife, your sister, your daughter to only pray in congregation. Bring life to these sunnahs. Remove anything that displeases your Lord from your house, anything that displeases your Prophet, audio or visual. Let the house be filled in Rabi with the remembrance of the Beloved, with the mention of his attributes, his life, his birth. You will be enlightened and so will your family.

Allah bless the people of good who are striving in the East and West, the people who are remembering and reciting the mawlid, for they are the keys to removing tribulation. People raising their voices with the remembrance of Allah and His Messenger in their houses, in the mosques and in the streets are a cause for hardships to be relieved. So many Muslim groups have lost the way. They do not know how to rectify themselves or those around them. They do not seek it from the door that Allah has opened:

Allah will not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves.[2]

Let us change what is in ourselves. Let us make our children feel that Rabi al-Awwal has entered, and that it is connected to the Beloved. Make them feel that their lives are founded upon loving him, venerating him and following him. This is the foundation of the whole religion. May Allah grant you strong ambition and high intentions! May the end of the month not come before some of the rays of the Beloved’s light bring some relief to the suffering of the Muslims.

O Lord, bless us in this month. Bless us in our remembrance of You and Your Messenger. Make us among those who are mentioned in Your presence, and among those who are mentioned in his presence. Bless our hearts with noble intentions that raise us to the ranks of those beloved to You, so that on the Day of Judgement we are with those that you mentioned:

The Day on which Allah will not humiliate the Prophet and those who believe with him.

Make us with him, and our families, our children, our friends, our neighbours, our students.

Their light will run before them and by their right hands, while they say: “O Lord, perfect our light for us, and forgive us, for You have power over all things.”[3]

If anyone has anything in their heart that prevents them from seeking Your pleasure and Your Messenger’s pleasure then remove it so that they prefer You and Your Messenger over everyone else.  So that when we sleep tonight nothing is more beloved to us than You and Your Messenger. Increase us in love tomorrow and in the coming days until we meet You, O Most Generous!

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[1] Al-Tawbah, 9:62

[2] Al-Ra`d, 13:11

[3] Al-Tahrim,  66:8

Being with Allah and His Messenger ﷺ

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Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reflects upon the meaning of being with Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.  Extracts from a lesson in Ihya `Ulum al-Din in Dar al-Mustafa, Tarim, on 9th Rabi` al-Awwal 1436 /31st  December 2014.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“A person is with the one they love.”

Thus you can gauge your love for Allah and His Messenger by gauging how much you are with them.

The Prophet was in the highest state of being with his Lord. For that reason he said:

“I am nothing but a slave. I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits.”

Sayyiduna Ibrahim says in the Qur’an that it is his Lord:

“Who created me and it is He who guides me; Who gives me food and drink.”[1]

He was constantly with Allah, even when he ate and drank. One of the knowers of Allah said:

“For twenty years people think I have been speaking to them, when in reality I have been speaking to Allah.” If you speak for His sake, in accordance with His Sacred Law and your heart is present with Him, then in reality you are speaking to Him.

The Companions and the pious people of this Ummah were constantly with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in all their states.

One of the Companions repeated three times, addressing the Prophet  ﷺ:

“I love Allah and His Messenger!”

He replied ﷺ on each occasion:

“You are with the one you love.”

Sayyiduna Abu’l-`Abbas al-Mursi said:

“If the Prophet ﷺ was absent from me for an instant I would not consider myself a Muslim.”

Habib `Umar bin `Abd al-Rahman al-`Attas asked:

“How can he be absent from us when he is the source of our existence?”

In other words, without him, we do not exist.

Imam al-Haddad said:

و لي من رسولِ اللهِ جَدِّي عِنَايَةٌ    و وَجْهٌ و إِمْدَادٌ و إِرْثٌ و إِيثَارُ

 

‘I receive from my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, care, status, assistance, inheritance and preferential treatment.’

These people reached the highest stations of being with the Beloved ﷺ .

So do not claim to love him and then depart from him. Are you with him in emulating his character? If you truly loved him you would be with him. Do you think being with him is only in the next life? That which will be manifest in the next life is only that which is stored up in this life. If you want to be with him there, be certain that you have to be with him here.

How long have you been with your lower self (nafs)? It calls you to base things while Allah and His Messenger call you to lofty things. Your lower self calls you to the Fire, while they call you to Paradise. Being with Allah and His Messenger is better than being with your lower self. Your lower self is the thing which cuts you off most from being with Allah and His Messenger and it is the biggest veil between you and your Lord.

Some people reach high stations in closeness to the Beloved ﷺ before the month of Rabi is over. If you are not going to attain it in this month, then when?

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[1] Al-Shu`ara’, 26:78-9

 

Welcoming the Month of the Greatest Beloved ﷺ

 

In the following video, Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) talks about the state we should be in and the ways to prepare ourselves and our loved ones in welcoming the month of the Noble Birth of the Beloved ﷺ. English subtitles are available by clicking on the CC button.

“Receive the month of his birthﷺ with actions that will draw your Lord’s felicity and assistance such that you enter into the circles of those whom He loves and are gathered under his bannerﷺ […] Receive this month well with truthful turning to Allah and with increase in faith, love, and certainty. Let mention of the Prophet, his birth, his life, his news fill your homes. Raise your voices in invocations of blessings upon him. Illuminate your hearts and your homes by them…”

 

On Emulating the Beloved ﷺ in Our Homes

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) encourages us to emulate the Beloved  in our homes. Extracts from a talk delivered in Dar al-Mustafa 22nd Safar 1434 / 3rd January 2013.

As the month of Rabi` al-Awwal comes, may you gain an attachment with the one born in Rabi` al-Awwal . Connect to him through loving him and following him. Raise the banner of following him in every room in your house. Remove anything that goes against his teachings. Do not raise the banner of someone abased in your house.

When your children enter the house teach them to enter on their right foot and say:

بِسْمِ اللهِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْألُكَ خَيرَ الْمَوْلَجِ وَخَيْرَ المَخْرَجِ

(In the name of Allah. O Allah, I ask You the best entrance and the best exit).

Beautify your house with the banner of following the Best of Creation. Anything that takes place in the house should be based on the teachings of the Qur’ān or the Noble Sunnah or Prophetic Character. We should interact with our children and with our women folk on the basis of the Prophetic model. He said:

“The best of you is the one who treats his family best and I am the best of you to my family.”

Act upon every sunnah in the household: sweep the house, help with the cooking, serve your family. Your example (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to serve his family, he used to milk goats, carve the meat, patch up his clothes, mend his sandals and sweep the house. If something needed to be cleaned he did not say: “Why have you not cleaned this?” Rather, he went and took the broom and swept up the dirt with this noble hand, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

They said to Sayyidah `A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers:

“He has such an awe-inspiring presence. If someone meets him in the street it is as if there is an army approaching. How were you able to speak to him normally in the house? Was it not difficult being in his presence?”

She replied:

“No, by Allah. He would mix with us, he would laugh and joke with us. We would sit with each other and speak to each other. His character was so beautiful that we would not notice him. The exception was a lamb that used to live in the house. It used to come and go, but if the Messenger of Allah entered, it would sit in the corner and remain motionless. He would be with us until the time for prayer came and then he would go out to the prayer as if he did not know us and we did not know him.”

If people’s human faults became exposed, he would conceal them with his forbearance and his generosity. He once had guests when he was in Sayyidah `A’ishah’s house. Sayyidah Umm Salamah sent a plate of food to the Prophet. `A’ishah was furious that Umm Salamah had sent food to the Prophet on her day with him. “How dare she send food try to impress the Prophet? I am the one who will honour the Prophet and his guests!” Her nature got the better of her and she threw the plate on the ground, causing it to break. The Prophet saw what had happened. He got up, brought another plate and picked up the food and put it on the plate and then served it to his guests, saying: “Your mother has become jealous.” His face did not change and he did not make a commotion. When they had finished eating he told `A’ishah to keep the broken plate and give another plate to Umm Salamah, even though both plates belonged to him. He told `A’ishah to take the broken plate as a reward for her behaviour. This was how just and fair he was in his dealings, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. This was how he lived.

Allah says to you:

“If you want to gain My love, I have shown you how to do so by following My Beloved.”

So whether you are speaking or eating or sleeping or using the toilet or getting dressed or speaking to your family, just follow his example. Look how easy Allah made it for us! Had Allah wished, He could have brought forth the reality of Muhammad in another form – not in the form of a human or a jinn or an angel – but He decided to bring him forth in human form. Allah brought him forth in human form and placed in him unique attributes, so he came into this world as a human, but unlike any other human, a light which dazzled people’s intellects. He then passed through the different stages – from infancy to childhood to youth. He bought and sold and herded sheep. He set the example so that his Ummah could follow in his footsteps.

Allah says to us,

“Be aware of Me and follow My Beloved. Do not allow the things which I have created to cause you to forget Me. If you do this I will love you: So follow me and Allah will love you.”

May Allah attach you to His Beloved and make you firm on his way. Make us among those who perfect our following of him inwardly and outwardly. Make us people that embody his noble character. Beautify us with taqwa, with love and with following of Your Beloved.