The following is a lecture given by Ustaz Ahmad Ehwaas in Guyana on the birth anniversary (Milad) of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Each year Milad is a public holiday in the Republic of Guyana. Ustaz Ahmed began his speech by reciting surah Fatiha (first chapter of the Holy Qur’an.
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
|Bismi Allahi arrahmani arraheem||
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds,
|Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameen||الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ|
|Most Gracious, Most Merciful,||Arrahmani arraheem||الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ|
|Master of the day of judgment.||Maliki yawmi addeen||مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ|
|Thee do we worship and thy aid we seek,||Iyyaka naAAbudu wa-iyyaka nastaAAeen||إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ|
Show us the straight way
|Ihdina assirata almustaqeem||اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ|
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy grace. those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray – Ameen.
Sirata allatheena anAAamta AAalayhim ghayri almaghdoobi AAalayhim wala addalleen
|صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ|
Brothers and Sisters
اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ Peace be upon you
Thank you so much for your kind invitation to talk to you on this grand occasion of the Anniversary celebration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ(on whom be peace and blessing of Allah) and I would like to express my great pleasure to participate in this glorious occasion.
Brothers and Sisters
God Almighty has sent Prophet Muhammad on whom be peace – as a mercy to mankind to guide them and to lead them towards the light so that his life is a perfect example for all Muslims and others. It has been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that:
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا – 33:21
Laqad kana lakum fee rasooli Allahi oswatun hasanatun liman kana yarjoo Allaha walyawma al-akhira wathakara Allaha katheera
“Ye have indeed in the Apostle of God a beautiful pattern of (conduct) for anyone whose hope in God and the Final Day and who engage much in the praise of God” S-33/21.
Yes, His life is a good example for us because His character was ideal, His dealing was wonderful, His behaviour was excellent and His conduct earned Him surname Al Amin – trustworthy even before He received the message.
“Muhammad was born in Mecca, His father died before His birth. He was protected by His grandfather and after by His uncle. He grew up parentless, He worked, travelled, and so on. He lived as a human but not like everyone, he lived a clean and perfect life before and during the prophethood He said about Himself:
“My Lord has educated me.”
He was adorned with the spirit of understanding, wisdom and was given the energy and the abilities to be the Leader of the world, why not, He is the Messenger of God.
His mission is the last message to mankind, The Creator wants it to be a complete religion, so that Allah did not only give the Prophet Muhammad – on whom be peace -some miracles which finished by his time, but He revealed to Him the Holy Qur’an which in addition to its miraculous method contains the principles which can guarantee the happiness to the — individuals and societies. The first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad – on whom be peace –was READ and the first Ayats [verses] were -S-96/1-5:
|Read in the name of The Lord who createth,||
Iqra bi-ismi rabbika allathee khalaq
|اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ|
|Createth (man) from clot,||Khalaqa al-insana min AAalaq||خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ|
|Read and it is Thy Lord the Most Bountiful||Iqra warabbuka al-akram||اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ|
|Who teacheth by the pen||Allathee AAallama bilqalam||الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ|
|Teacheth (mankind) that which he knew not||AAallama al-insana ma lamyaAAlam||عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ|
Allah Almighty did not give Islam as a theory or as unworkable principles, but the Holy Qur’an was revealed during a period of twenty-three years to enable the Muslim group to experience and to adopt those principles in actual life; that period in reality was a practical education for Muslims to form the Islamic Society under the care of Prophet Muhammad – on whom be peace. The Holy Qur’an started with that word READ. It was the first step to end paganism and to change ignorant society to an educated and civilised nation. This nation has the ability to guide humanity with science and knowledge which is the way for a stable belief.
At the end of the third year the Prophet received the command “ARISE and WARN,” whereupon he began to preach in public Islam: There is no god but ONE GOD, Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Before that he was in contact privately with persons whom he trusted and met with in Dar Al Arqam to worship Allah and to recite what has been revealed of the Holy Qur’an and to study this teaching.
The call transferred to a new stage according to the directions of God, and the Prophet went on warning and pleading while his tribe Quraysh did all that they could to ridicule his call and retract his followers who suffered different sorts of torture. The polytheist called the Prophet “Madman” and they boycotted the Muslims. They tried to bring the Prophet to a compromise offering to accept his religion if he would modify it. They offered him to be their king if he would give up attacking their idolatry, they bargained with him but they failed. They went to his uncle Abu Talib offering him the best of their young men if he allowed them to kill Muhammad – peace be upon him – and to get rid of his religion Al Islam. His uncle refused.
After the Prophet saw the suffering and torture of his followers by Quraysh’s atheists, He told them to travel to Ethiopia and he stayed to face the situation with a few of his followers. He travelled to Ta’if whose people disappointed him. He was meeting the tribes during the pilgrimage and calling them to accept Islam and to protect and spread his message. He did not stay powerless, but with a great deal of energy and patience he did what he could to fulfil his mission. Then he met some people from Madina. They took the oath to protect him and his religion which known as Pact of Al Aqaba. Thereafter Muslims started to travel to Madina, and lastly the Prophet himself and his companion Abu Bakr -may God grace be on him – travelled to Madina. That trip known as Al Hijrah which made a clear division in the story of Our Prophet and his mission is evident in history. Until then he was a preacher only but had now become a ruler of the state which was very small but in ten years grew to prevail over all the Arab Peninsula.
In Madina, he started another stage and faced different problems. He began to establish the fundamentals of the Islamic society and to encounter the enemies. Then he received the command of Allah to resist his persecutors. Many battles took place under the leadership of the Prophet who was educating the Muslims and giving them the best example in conduct and dealing with the problems and to have patience in the hard times with believing and trusting in God. He was explaining to his followers what they should do to please Allah, the Creator, and instructing them in the principles of Islam.
During that time the Holy Qur’an was revealed according to the needs of the new growing society and the circumstances which they were facing. In the meantime, the Prophet taught his followers the goodliness and told them what Allah wants from creation and the human mission in this life and what they shall get in the life hereafter, either good or bad determination.
In the 9th year after Al Hijrah Prophet Muhammad – on whom be peace and blessing of Allah -made the farewell pilgrimage. He reminded all Muslims of the duties of Al-Islam and enjoined upon them that one day they would have to meet their Lord who would judge them, each one according to his work. At the end of the discourse he asked “Have I not conveyed the message?” The people shouted “Yes, indeed.” The Prophet said, “O, Allah, be thy witness.” and by that he undertook his task and accomplished his duty, May Allah recompense him with great good.
All the Surahs (Chapters) of the Holy Qur’an have been recorded in writing before the Prophet’s death and many Muslims had committed the whole Qur’an to memory. No change has been made to a single word of the Holy Qur’an. Actually, the Muslims have done well to keep the Qur’an from changing, and we hope to keep it alive and to continue practicing its teaching to gain the best in both lives -this and the hereafter.
Brothers and Sisters
While we are celebrating the birthday of our Prophet Muhammad – on whom be peace – we may listen to other than Muslims who talked about him justly. Of course, I cannot in my short time say all they have said but I will take two examples -one from the West and the other from the East. In addition to that they represent different religions and ideologies.
The first one is the famous French Socialist, Monsieur Le Bon, who said:
“Muhammad was the greatest revolutionary leader known to us. He had left an imprint on the whole course of human history which no man after him has been able to efface. Indeed he appeared at the cross-road of human history and changed the course of human history.”
The second is the Indian Leader Mahatma Gandhi who said:
“He was a great Prophet, he was brave and feared no man but God alone. He was never found to say one thing and do another. He acted as He felt. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledge, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, His fearlessness, His absolute trust in God and his own mission, those and not the sword, carried everything before him, surmounted every obstacle.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Talking about Prophet Muhammad -on whom and All Prophets of Allah – be peace and blessing of Allah on them all – can’t be finished, but what is the benefit? Indeed the most important and useful is to imitate him and practice his traditional Sunnah (tradition) because Allah said of him in the Holy Qur’an
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ – 68:4
Wa-innaka laAAala khuluqin AAatheem
“And Thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character” -S-68/4
His life was a practical translation of the Holy Qur’an and his obedience is an ordinance to all Muslims. Allah says in the Holy Book
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا – 33:36
Wama kana limu minin walamu minatin itha qada Allahu wa rasooluhu amran an yakoona lahumu alkhiyaratu min amrihim waman yaAAsi Allaha wa rasoolahu faqad dalla dalalan mubeena
“It is not fitting for a believer man or woman when matter has been decided by God and His Apostle to have any option about their decision. If anyone disobeys God and His Apostle he is indeed on a clearly wrong path” S-33/36.
And we know that Muslims belief is not complete unless he obeys the Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon Him – not only this, but to try eagerly to please him. Someone may ask, “How can we obey him while he is not alive?” The answer should be as he said before he died “I leave to you the Holy Qur’an and my Sunnah (tradition). You must not miss the guidance as long as you hold fast and practise them”.
So we should study the Holy Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet very carefully to know whet is our duty in this life. I believe that it is unreasonable that Allah created mankind just to live and pass away. What is the difference then between us and other animals? What is the benefit of the mind which we have? I believe the purpose of our being is greater than eating, drinking, sleeping and so on. Our original duty in this life is to worship Allah to whom everything belongs. Worshipping is not only to say prayers, but also to do righteousness which is detailed in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah and every Muslim should not miss them. This righteousness has been included in Surat Al Asr – Time Through the Ages, which says:
By (the token of) time (through the ages)
|Verily mankind is in loss||Inna al-insana lafee khusr||إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ|
Except such as have faith and do righteous deeds and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth and of patience and constancy.
|Illa allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo assalihati watawasaw bilhaqqi watawasaw bissabr||إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ|
That means, if we speculate that life is a business bargain, there will be possibilities of gain and loss. The gain will not be obtained easily and many efforts should be made and a lot of sacrifices may be offered. So if we like to get the best we should have faith, lead a good life direct and encourage others to step on the path of truth and constancy. A Muslim cannot be alone, cannot live only for himself, if he did so, he could not fulfill his whole duty whatever good he has, especially in moral and spiritual life. He must concern himself with his family, his relatives and his society, so that they may see the truth and stand by it in a patient hope and unshaken constancy amidst all the storms and stresses of outer life, whatever it is, and regardless of any un-islamic considerations. It is the matchless way to attain the object and fulfill the duty because the Muslim individual must be the most useful citizen for his society, his country, his nation and mankind, as well as the Islamic society. As long as they act according to the Islamic teaching, then Allah says in the Holy Qur’an
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم ۚ مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ – 3:110
Kuntum khayra ommatin okhrijat linnasi tamuroona bilmaAAroofi wa tanhawna AAani almunkari watuminoona billahi walaw amana ahlu alkitabi lakana khayran lahum minhumu almuminoona wa aktharuhumu alfasiqoon
“Ye are the best society that hath been raised up to mankind, Ye enjoin the right conduct and forbid the wrong and ye believe in Allah s-3/110.
Unfortunately, the Islamic nation now is backward. They are not taking the right place in the world, because they are abandoning Islam and are not holding fast to its teaching in spite of the fact that Islam is suitable everywhere and forever, and only the people who wish misunderstand or misuse it.
Brothers and Sisters
Your religion is great and you can only appreciate this when you know it very well, and the knowledge is the way to belief and to worship Allah, Who says:
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ – 35:28
innama yakhsha Allaha min AAibadihi alAAulamao inna Allaha AAazeezun ghafoor
“Those truly fear God among his servants, who have knowledge.” S-35/28
And He also says:
أَفَمَن يَعْلَمُ أَنَّمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَىٰ ۚ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ – 13:19
Afaman yaAAlamu annama onzila ilayka min rabbika alhaqqu kaman huwa aAAma innama yatathakkaru oloo al-albab
“Is the one who doth know that that which hath been revealed unto thee from Thy Lord is the truth, like one who is blind? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition; s-13/19 – that means that one who does not seek the truth is like the blind.