Jun 14, 2010

Heart of Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alayhi wa Salam

Enter the Heart of Muhammad Salallahu Alayhi wa Salam
By: A K M Mohiuddin


[Muslims are required to bless the Prophet Muhammad every time his name is mentioned, using a prayer he taught us "sallallahu alayhi wa sallam" which means 'the peace and blessing of God be upon him". This article follows current practice by abbreviating this prayer as (saws) after each mention of the Prophet's name.]

We often wish we could enter the hearts of our loved ones and see them from the inside, so we could truly know them. That wish hardly ever gets fulfilled and when it does, in rare moments, the glimpses are faint and fleeting. Moreover, what we see there does not always please us. But there is one exception, and in this case we are extremely fortunate. It is Muhammad (sallallhu alayhi wa sallam) who Muslims are supposed to love most of all human beings. We can enter the deepest recesses of his heart, and the view does not disappear. It stays still for us, and what we see there never fails to please us.

To enter Muhammad's (saws) heart and see what is there we have to turn to his innumerable du'as, or supplications to Allah. There was hardly a moment in his life when Muhammad (saws) was not making some du'a: standing, sitting, lying down, in private and in public, for everything he did, big or small, in every situation he faced, in joy, in sorrow, in hardship and in ease. Du'as were the very breath of his life. It is with these du'as that every element of his life was consecrated; nothing profane remained. His life became a single unbroken act of worship. Let us look at some of his du'as in their English translation:

* O Allah, I am Your servant, the son of Your servant, the son of Your maid-servant, and entirely at your service. You hold me by my forelock. Your decree is what controls me, and Your commands to me are just. I beseech You by every one of Your names, those which You use to refer to Yourself, or have revealed in Your Book, or have taught to any one of Your creation, or have chosen to keep hidden with You in the Unseen, to make the Qur'an al-Karim the springtime of my heart, the light of my eyes, the departure of my grief, and the vanishing of my affliction and my sorrow.

* Allah! Unto You do I submit, in You do I believe, upon You do I depend, Unto You do I turn, For You do I contend; Unto You do I seek judgment. So forgive me for what I did and will do, for what I concealed and what I declared, and for that of which You are more knowledgeable than I.

* O Allah! You are my Lord, there is no deity but You. You created me and I am Your slave-servant. And I am trying my best to keep my oath of faith to You and to seek to live in the hope of Your promise. I seek refuge in You from my greatest evil deeds. I acknowledge your blessings upon me and I acknowledge my sins. So forgive me for none but You can forgive sins.

* All Praise is due to You, O Allah! You are the Sustainer of the heavens and of the earth and whatever is in them. Praise be to You; and Yours be the domain of the heavens and the earth and whatever is in them. Praise be to You; You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and whatever is in them. Praise be to You.

* Our Lord and Lord of everything! I give witness that You alone are the Lord, and that You have no partner. Our Lord and Lord of everything! I give witness that Muhammad is Your servant and Prophet. Our Lord and Lord of everything! I give witness that all men are brothers. Our Lord and Lord of everything! Make me and my family sincere to You in every hour of this life and the next. O Splendid and Majestic One, hear me and reply! Allah is the Greatest, the Greatest; Light of the Heavens and the Earth! Allah is the Greatest. Allah suffices me and there is no one better than Him to trust in.

* You are the Truth. Your promise is true, meeting with You is true, Your word is true, Paradise is true, Hell is true, Muhammad sallallhu alayhi wa sallam is true, the Hour of Judgment is true.

* Glory be to Allah and grace is His as great as the number of His creatures, the extent of His domain, and the ink needed to write down His countless signs of presence, omnipresence, and grace.

* O Allah! Grant me light in my heart, light in my sight, light in my hearing, light to my right, light to my left, light above me, light underneath me, light before me, light behind me, and grant me light.

* Our Lord, by Your knowledge of the Unseen, and by Your power over Your creation, grant me life so long as You know life to hold good for me, and grant me death when You know death to hold good for me! Our Lord, I ask You for the fear of You in public and in private, and I ask You for the ability to speak the word of truth in tranquility and in anger, and I ask You for frugality in wealth and in poverty, and I ask You for happiness which is never exhausted and I ask You for pleasure which is never ending, and I ask You for contentment with Your decisions, and I ask You for the finer life after death, and I ask You for the pleasure of looking upon Your face, and meeting You without ever having undergone great suffering, and without ever having been subjected to misleading temptation.

* O Allah! I ask You for vitality in this life and the one to come. Allah I ask for Your forgiveness and well-being in my practice of religion, my life, my family and my wealth. Allah! Cover over my faults and set my fears at ease. Allah! Protect me from before me, and from behind me, and on my right, and on my left, and from above, and I seek refuge in You from all attempts to undermine me.

* O Allah, have mercy on me! Do not leave me alone for even a moment, and put my affairs in order, there is no God but You.

* In the name of Allah I go out; I place my trust in Allah! O Allah, I seek refuge in You from bring made to stumble, from straying and from being made to stray, from doing wrong to others and from being wronged by others, and from misunderstanding and from being misunderstood.

* O Allah, nothing is easy except what You make easy; and You make the difficult easy if it be Your will.

* O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the evil of my hearing, the evil of my sight, the evil of my tongue, and the evil of my heart.

* O Allah! I seek refuge in You from knowledge which does not benefit, from a heart which is not humble, from an inner self which is never satisfied, and from a prayer which is not answered.

* Allah! Change our hearts. Change our hearts to be obedient to You.

* Allah! I seek refuge in You from need except of You, and from meekness except before You, and from fear except of You. I seek refuge in You from my ever telling an untruth, or perpetrating indecency, of becoming overweening because of my relationship withYou. I seek refuge in You from the malice of enemies, incurable disease, shattered hope, withdrawal of favour, and the sudden fall of vengeance.


* O Allah. Make me live and die for You, oft-remembering You, humble before You, sighing, repentant. My Lord, accept my repentance, cleanse me of my misdeeds, answer my prayer, substantiate my plea, guide my heart, straighten my tongue and banish all ill-will from my breast.

* To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return. O Allah! You suffice me in disaster. So reward me for it and replace it with something which is good.

* Allah, unto You I complain of my weakness, of my helplessness, and of my lowliness before men. O Most Merciful of the merciful, You are Lord of the weak. And You at my Lord. Into whose hands will You entrust me? Unto some far off stranger who will ill-treat me? Or unto a foe whom You have empowered against me? I care not, so You be not angry with me. But Your favouring help-that were for me the broader way and the wider scope! I take refuge in the Light of Your Countenance whereby all darkness are illuminated and things of this world and the next are rightly ordered, lest You make Your anger descend upon me, or lest Your wrath beset me. Yet it is Yours to reproach until You art well pleased. There is no power and no might except through You. (du'a in the most distressful moment in Ta'if )

In his du'a, we find an entirely humble and ever wakeful heart totally immersed in the remembrance of Allah in all His power and glory. The remembrance is in love and joy, without a moment of forgetfulness. We find a heart that knows that Allah is everything and he himself is nothing. His heart is emptied of everything so that Allah can occupy it. It is in complete faqr, or absolute poverty waiting to be enriched with Allah's forgiveness, mercy, guidance and help. There is not the slightest trace of pride or self-sufficiency. In these du'a we see a heart in unconditional submission to Allah's will. We find a heart entirely humble before Allah and ever thankful to Him under all circumstances. We find a heart pleased with Allah, eager to please Him, loathe to displease Him. We find a heart willing to be patient and persevering. This wise heart understands that all that truly matters is the Akhirah (the Hereafter), not the duniya (this world), and that the duniya must not be purchased by selling the Akhirah. In short, we see the perfect heart of a perfect slave of Allah, a human heart that has attained its highest and noblest state.

Du'a spontaneously welled up in Muhammad's (saws) heart in an ever flowing stream. It is as if they were just there in his heart, waiting silently to make an appearance at the most fitting moment. The words are simple, yet wonderfully precise, unimaginably solemn in tone, and absolutely clear in meaning. And how moving they are! Words pour out in smooth succession, throbbing with an emotional fervour unmatched anywhere else in language. The whole being of the utterer is in the utterance. Language seems to have transcended its usual barriers to become a perfect vehicle for the heart yearning to reach its Master. This is no poet deliberately trying to create effect: nothing short of miracle can account for it, and the miracle is Allah's overflowing grace on the heart of His beloved Messenger.

Oh, what a heart Muhammad (saws) had! His heart was no narrow region, its compass and depth are beyond our comprehension. Let us try to imagine what kind of person he was to have a heart like this! Is there any one else in human history who had a heart like this and whose heart is laid bare so fully for our view? But we can do more than just view it, we can also enter this blessed heart and rest in its cool shade and be blessed until we draw our final breath.

Having once seen Muhammad (saws) through his du'as, what more does one need to know him? It is this humble, obedient and devout heart that Muhammad (saws) carried everywhere, and everything he said or did bears its imprint. The heart was the seed, the heart was the blossoming and flourishing plant, the heart was the fragrant flower, the heart was the sweet and nourishing fruit . The heart was everything. To miss this is to miss our beloved Prophet (saws) altogether.

Yet today we find scholars and thinkers, even Muslims, around us who write and talk about Muhammad (saws) while totally oblivious of his unique heart. The result is a gross misrepresentation of him. In their presentation of Muhammad (saws) minus his heart, nothing remains of him. They, in fact, present someone else who is not Muhammad (saws) at all; they present a fictitious character, born out of their own folly and blindness. In failing to see the kind of heart he had, they mistake the true identity of the perfect Slave and Messenger of Allah. May Allah save them from themselves and us from their harm!

My brothers and sisters, consider how blessed we have been to have such a person as our Messenger of Allah. Let us prostrate ourselves in thankfulness to Allah. Also consider how fortunate we have been to still possess all these treasures from Muhammad (saws). Every weary and thirsty traveler journeying through life can drink from this inexhaustible, pure and nourishing fountain. What better gift can anyone leave for others? What better friend or benefactor can there be for us? We ought to pray for those noble ancestors whose patient and painstaking labour of love has preserved and handed down to us these priceless treasures. Let us know Muhammad (saws) as he should be known. Let us enter his blessed heart and make our dwelling there. Let us have the heart to love and follow him with all our being. For that we have to tune our heart to his.

We love and follow Muhammad's (saws) way to our own benefit beyond measure in this world and the Next. In this world, it will free us from the clutches of the many demons within and outside us who are ever ready to tear us into pieces. It will bring our life a harmony and tranquility that we cannot otherwise find. And the benefit in the Next World is incalculable. Each of us, prosperous or poor, happy or unhappy, will one day wake up to find ourselves destitute and helpless on a Day very unlike any we have experienced here and in a World very unlike the one we know here. That will be the Day of Judgement in the World of Akhirah. At that moment of sore need we will have none except Muhammad (saws) to come to our rescue. He alone will have Allah's permission to plead with Allah to be merciful to us. All of us will need him on that Day of days, and truly our need will be great. By loving and following him now while there is yet time, we can lay the foundation of our hope on that Heart-rending Day.

Let us all rejoice in the limitless blessing we have in Muhammad (saws). Let us all joyfully say Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wassallm.


- A. K. M. Mohiuddin is a retired university professor of English literature living in Bangladesh. He can be reached at this address: akmm45 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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