Is Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) not enough for us?
By Aysha Abrar,
If we worship Allah and follow our messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in every act we do in our daily lives, if we fear Allah every second of our lives, then do we still need to do extra by celebrating Mawlid (birth date of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم)?
If we really ponder over the acts that we do to please Allah specified by His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), why would we want to do something to satisfy our own desires? Is His revelation, the Qur’an, not sufficient for us for this life and the Hereafter? Is the authentic hadith not clear enough to help live our daily lives in the best way?
It is a pity when we think that we should do something ‘extra’ to suit our desires even before fulfilling the obligatory and sunnah acts of worship. Alas! We don’t even want to perfect our salah, which is the first and the most significant pillar in Islam.
Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an several time about man being weak and hasty. We don’t take time to think whether what we do is pleasing Allah according to His will. We don’t wait to learn and study the divine knowledge gifted to us through the Qur’an and Sunnah. Indeed, we are hasty to make something up and call it the praise of our beloved Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when in fact he has not said or practiced it during his time. Neither did his companions or their followers, who were closest to him, ever want to build their own ways of praise or worship that were not found in the Sunnah of our messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). In fact, there is also a difference of opinion on which day the Prophet was born. How then do so many of us celebrate 12 Rabi Al Awwal with such conviction?
Below are some ayaat of the Qur’an that will give you an idea about how man is ever hasty and weak:
- Weak and infirm in the control of vain desires
وَخُلِقَ الْاِنْسَانُ ضَعِيْفًا
And man has been created weak
(lacking firmness to control his vain desires and passions).
- Impatient and anxious
اِنَّ الْاِنْسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوْعًا
Indeed, man has been created impatient and anxious.
خُلِقَ الْاِنْسَانُ مِنْ عَجَلٍ
Man has been created hasty.
(Qur’an 21: 37]
وَكَانَ الْاِنْسَانُ عَجُوْلًا
And man is very hasty.
اِنَّ الْاِنْسَانَ لَظَلُوْمٌ كَفَّارٌ
Surely, man is very unjust and ungrateful
وَكَانَ الْاِنْسَانُ كَفُوْرًا
And man in ever ungrateful.
اِنَّ الْاِنْسَانَ لَكَفُوْرٌ
Surely, man is ever ungrateful.
اِنَّ الْاِنْسَانَ لَكَفُوْرٌ مُّبِيْنٌ
Surely, man in evidently ever ungrateful.
اِنَّ الْاِنْسَانَ لِرَبِّهٖ لَكَنُوْدٌ
Surely, man is ever thankless to his Sustainer (denying the reality of His Grace).
The Commander of the Faithful, `Umar b. al-Khattâb, relates that he heard Allah’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say:
“Actions are but by intentions and every man will have only what he intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated to attain something of this world or to marry a woman, then his emigration was for whatever reason he emigrated.”(1)
وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ وَنَعۡلَمُ مَا تُوَسۡوِسُ بِهِۦ نَفۡسُهُ ۥۖ وَنَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيدِ
And indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein,
(Qur’an 50: 16)
The concluding part of this verse says: نَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيدِ (We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein). According to a number of scholars, the ‘closeness’ in this verse refers to the angels because of their nearness to the slave when the two receivers (recording angels) receive each human being as well as at the time of death is something decreed by Allah’s Command, Predestination, and Preservation of His slaves. Other interpretations however, viewed that Allah’s nearness is through His Omnipotence, Omniscience, and All-Awareness of His slaves, like His accompaniment of and nearness to His worshippers while remaining Most High and Sublime. (2)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُم لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُون
O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered. [8:24]
Before performing any act of worship we must make sure that it is in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah. Once we start thinking we are doing something good (in the matters of worship) by doing a deed that has not been prescribed we are giving out a message that says, ‘we know better how to achieve the peace and tranquility of our soul’. May Allah protect us! Allah has very clearly mentioned in the Qur’an multiple times how we can please Him.
Islam teaches us the A-Z of our belief system and the way we should conduct ourselves. It teaches us the acts of worship step by step. Salah is one of the most significant pillars of Islam and before achieving it, purity is essential, that is why we perform Wudu’ (ablution) for the validity of our prayer. For every act of worship that is a means to please the Lord of the worlds we must perform it according to the defined process stated in the Qur’an and according to the way of Prophet Muhammed (صلى الله عليه وسلم), which is called the Shari’ah and Allah is the Shari’, the Lawgiver. (A quick note: This is not one of the 99 names of Allah but a term used in works of law and legal theory by scholars).
Mawlid that is celebrated by most Muslims is done by gathering together and claiming to feel at peace and experiencing highs in spirituality during through the remembrance and rituals. But they do not realise that this is just pseudo-spirituality. The real feeling of contentment comes from connecting your heart directly to Allah through prayer, fasting, reciting the Qur’an and by always keeping your intention in check. More importantly, it is only achieved when we truly submit our will to Allah and worship him the way He wants us to worship Him.
The reason for celebrations like the mawlid seems to be the lack of understanding of ‘peace’ in oneself. If we can connect to our Creator through the prescribed means and by doing good deeds in our daily lives Allah will put the peace in our heart! We don’t need these special days of remembrance where we just cry our heart out, sing spiritual songs and then forget everything to go back to our sinful lives where we don’t get a chance to ponder on the authentic principles of Islam. This hype should be lowered and replaced with gaining more knowledge about our own mind, body and soul by perfecting our daily worship and being connected to Allah through fighting our nafs.
Insha’Allah, we will be successful!
- [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]