Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Masjid Muadz bin Jabal was filled to the brim tonight 1st Feb 2013. The Maulid Akbar organized by Darul Murtadza and led by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin bin Abu Bakar al-Hamid was graced by many esteemed guests including Ustaz Hafiz bin Selamat, Ustaz Don Daniyal, Habib Zeid bin Abdurrahman bin Yahya of Hadramaut, Habib Ali as-Saggaf, Kiai Haji Abdullah Jalil from Central Java and Habib Abdullah al-Mahshur from Madinah.
Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin as the host, had asked Ustaz Hafiz to be the first speaker because as we learned from the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam, when two of his companions approached him with a situation at hand, the Prophet had asked the elder of the two, to speak first.
Ustaz Hafiz bin Selamat, the mudir (principal) at the Al-Jenderami Foundation spoke very briefly as he was scheduled to travel to another mawlid in Pattani. He said, the moon is one, so is the sun but there are many stars. Unlike people of the past who had many prophets among them, we have only one Prophet, our sun and moon, but we have many ulama. Our Prophet was one whose dakwah was full of wisdom. He once had two wives, Mariatul a Christian and Sofiah of Bani Israel. When the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam held a reception for the latter, he chose to do it on Saturday and did not serve meat out of respect for the Jews. Tariqah of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam was characterized by gentleness. "I have a guest, Shaykh Elias of UK visiting al-Jenderami. It's amazing how people are converting to Islam in UK and in US on a daily basis, hundreds of people, but in Malaysia we have some 300 people leaving Islam to embrace Christianity. Perhaps we are not showing good akhlak here. We must be sensitive about the non-Muslims around us. Because majority of the people here are Muslims, we tend to take for granted the presence of non-Muslims around us. While I was in Singapore, I noticed Habib Hassan made his students go around the island to give away oranges to the Chinese." Concluding his speech, he reminded the audience to seek to have noble characters as a fruit of one's effort in seeking knowledge.
Commenting on Ustaz Hafiz's tausiyah, Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin quoted a hadith of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam where he said the best of speech is one which is short, concise and meet its target. Habib Ali also gave an analogy of knowledge like salt and adab/akhlak as flour. We need just a little bit of salt in our cooking and plenty of flour. Not that knowledge is not important, just that we need a lot more akhlak to complement our knowledge. One other key message of Ustaz Hafiz's tausiyah was that dakwah should not just be in the form of words but also with al-hal or actions.
Next to speak was Ustaz Don Daniyal, followed by Habib Zeid bin Abdurrahman, a lecturer at Darul Mustofa, Yemen. Habib Zeid from whom Habib Ali had studied during his time at Darul Mustofa, addressed the crowd in Arabic. He said, as interpreted by Ustaz Ashraf bin Osman:
Alhamdulillah, congratulations to all present at this majlis. Everyone looked happy. In fact I could sense the joy and love for Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam when I was on the road approaching this majlis. Know that no matter how much we love Rasulullah we cannot surpass his love towards us. The Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam said while in the company of his companions, "I missed my relatives." The as-sahabah then responded, "Are we not your relatives?" The Prophet replied: "You are my companions (sahabah). My relatives are those who come later and who would do anything to see me." Pray we belong with those whom the Prophet longs to meet.
What Ustaz Don said earlier was true, it's not adequate to just recite words of praises for the Prophet, we must take our love for the Prophet further by increasing our knowledge about him, his akhlak, his sahabah and so on.
In reference to the initiatives and efforts undertaken by Darul Murtadza headed by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin, Habib Zeid related a saying of the Prophet where he said: "I am like a city of knowledge and Ali is the one who holds the key." And Darul Murtadza is like a place in a corner of Madinah.
Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam is at a very high position which none could reach. That is why, out or mercy he didn't say 'pray like I do'. Instead he said, 'pray as you see me pray'. Each blessing and goodness in this world originates from Prophet Muhammad. Though we cannot fathom the Prophet's high stature, he gives us a chance to connect with him as we do in our daily prayers when we say "Assalamualaika aiyuhan nabiyu warahmatullah wabarakatuh..."
Verily the Prophet is the point/means to reach Allah. We may give salam from wherever we may be and our salam will reach him. In a hadith, the Prophet said: "There is not one person who sends salam to me except that I will reply his/her salam."
Anything you do of your servitude, your prayers, zakat and hajj with an objective to get closer to Allah, all originate from the Prophet. For example the hajj. Rasulullah said: "Perform the hajj as I did." And Allah Himself proclaimed and acknowledged the Prophet as uswatun hasanah - the best of example. Unfortunately today, people have the tendency to emulate and idolize some sportsmen, artistes, non-believers and people who are heedless. They follow the way their idol comb the hair and smoke the same kind of cigarettes and so forth yet they ignore the best qudwah, they ignore the good examples set by the Prophet.
We are present at this majlis to delight the Prophet. Everything that this ummat do, will be presented to the Prophet. If it is good, he will offer praise, otherwise he will seek forgiveness.
Pray this majlis is filled with good intentions of delighting the Prophet. Pray those who may have neglected their parents to make amends. Pray those who have broken silaturahim (relations) to reconnect. Pray those who are heedless about solat and the Qur'an to change and make the Prophet happy. This is a majlis which the Prophet gives glad tidings to those present. It is a majlis attended by angels filling up to the skies.
Habib Zeid then mentioned the exchanges between Allah and the angels who attended a majlis such as this. The angels reported about people attending with the hopes of attaining heaven and seeking protection from hell. And that Allah promises pardon and a heavenly reward to all present.
Those who attend, do so out of tawfiq granted by Allah. If people's hijab were to be lifted and if they could see the tremendous rewards given to those who attend this kind of gathering, this place would be even more packed and crowded. Allah chooses who gets to come and who doesn't. Pray that those who are in attendance will share/extend the barakah of this majlis to those who are absent.
Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin then made some additional remarks on Habib Zeid's tausiyah. He quoted a hadith about a companion who complained about his state upon leaving a majlis. It was narrated that angels would shake a person's hands when he leaves a majlis until he reaches home.
There was another incident where the Prophet had asked all his companions to leave and not guard him because he is in the care of Allah. But one sahabi refused to leave and loitered around the Prophet's tent. When the Prophet asked him what he was doing, why he didn't leave as told, the sahabi said: "I am not here to guard you. I am here as a khadim to serve you." The Prophet was delighted with the sahabi's reply so he asked him to make a wish. The sahabi didn't reply immediately though. He needed some time to think about what favor to ask from the Prophet who seemed happy with him. After a while, the sahabi came to see the Prophet saying: 'If I were to ask for this dunya, I will someday part with it. I thus wish to accompany you in heaven.' Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam then replied: "If that's the case, make plenty of sujud."
Concluding his closing remarks, Habib Ali said, to make the Prophet happy means to make Allah happy. To earn the Prophet's redha means to win Allah's redha.
Allahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions in my note taking. May you and I benefit from the lessons. May our knowledge results in good akhlak on our part. May Allah keep giving us the tawfiq in multiplying our good deeds and hasten to perform more good deeds. Ameen.