Thursday, April 18, 2013

Knowing and loving Prophet Muhammad pbuh | Studying Kitab As-Syamail with Shaykh Dr. Usama Al-Azahari

Learning As-Syamail Al-Muhammadiyah
with Shaykh Dr. Usama Al-Azahari
Masjid Al Falah, Malaysia
17 April 2013


Alhamdulilllah wa shukrulillah we are indeed grateful for the opportunity to sit in a majlis with Shaykh Dr. Usama Al-Azahari of Egypt last night. It was the first of a five series lecture with an intention to khatam (complete) Kitab As-Syamail Al-Muhammadiyah the preeminent kitab authored by Imam Tirmizi on the attributes of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam. 

We would like to urge our friends in and around KL to come join the halaqah tonight until Sunday 21st April InshaAllah. Indeed this is a golden opportunity. Shaykh Usama was born on 16 July 1976. He learned and memorized the Quran from his father. He obtained syahadah (degree), masters and doctorate at the prestigious Al-Azahar University. Among his prominent gurus were Dr. Ali Jum'ah and Shaykh Muhammad Ibrahim al-Kattani. He has obtained ijazah from some 300 ulama. It was said that even cats would come sit in his majlis.

It was an interesting first experience of mine, when I was going to purchase the kitab inside the masjid, I was shown a card and asked to read a list of intentions as follows:

That I am buying the kitab with an intention to reap benefits from it zahir and batin.
That I will use my time for good deeds.
That I will learn about useful things.
That I will memorize my knowledge.
That with the book, I will help people and lend it to those in need.
That I will spread knowledge.
That I will busy myself with the kitab so I am distant from unpleasant words.

Shaykh Dr. Usama began his tausiyah with salutations to the Prophet. He said (as interpreted by Ustaz Ashraf): We are gathered here to discuss about the Prophet's ahadith and to reap benefit from knowing his syamail (attributes). One of the greatest blessings is when Allah makes us convene for the purpose of learning about His beloved. Your faith is not considered complete unless you love him and follow in his footsteps. Allah collates all the great attributes of all the other Prophets in Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam

Allah makes the Prophet a vessel for hidayah and rahmat in general (for all). Each creation relies on his blessings. There is a hadith where the Prophet said; "Verily Mount Uhud loves me, and I love it." So the message that the Prophet was trying to tell us is that not only people have love and respect for him but the entire creations including inanimate objects.

Allah gives us an example of His love granted to Prophet Musa. He says: "I grant Musa my love." So Musa in turn was loved by all including his enemies, including Firaun who did not have the heart to murder him. Now what about the love Allah has for Prophet Muhammad? Every single creation, the angels from up above and down under and everything in between all love Muhammad. We must love him more than we love our parents, children and everything else.

O Allah, be our witness, that we love Your Beloved, that it is He whom we love more than we love our parents and all men and that we love him more than we love ourselves. Make our proclamation a reality and gather us with him, for You are powerful over all things. Make this majlis a stepping stone for us to fully realize the love of Prophet in our hearts and for us to understand his syamail, attributes and akhlak so that we could introduce him to this ummat and everyone.

After the congregational Isha' prayers, Shaykh Dr. Usama resumed his tausiyah saying:
The purpose of this majlis is for us to achieve the reality of love and the objectives for us learning the syamail are several:
  • To increase our knowledge on the persona, akhlak and attributes of the prophet.
  • To appreciate the creation of Prophet Muhammad and his noble characters.
  • To acquire a speck of the Prophet's ma'rifah (gnosis).
So we will learn about his physique from those who had met him before; about his hair; his transport, his food and drinks; his household; how he sits and interacts with his companions. Anyone and everyone who met him the first time felt a sense of awe and admiration towards him. Anyone who mingled with him would  love him. 

We learn from the ulama that love comes forth from three things: beauty, perfection and goodness. There is not a love that exists in this world except that it has one or more of the three things. The Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam reaches the peak of each of the three criterion. 

We learn about his beauty from As-Syamail by Imam Termizi. We can learn about his perfections from the kitab by Imam Suyuti and we learn about his goodness from seerah.

It's natural for people to like/love those who treat them good. People become servants to kindness. Do you think the kindness your parents have shown you and that of all the other people are better than the kindness of the Prophet? 

There is one kitab called Dalailul Nubuwah that's worth mentioning. It is a book by Imam Baihaqi that compiles all the proofs concerning the Prophet's honesty. Those who study this kitab will learn one important point - there are three things that point us to the Prophet's honesty, his syamail, his uniqueness and his mukjiza (miracles). 

Clearly the Prophet is unique and special. Solat witir is optional for us but obligatory for him. Similarly, qiyamulail and siyyam. The Prophet would fast continuously but he discouraged us to do the same. His food and drinks are not the same as ours. When he is fasting Allah feeds him with heavenly food in the forms of light and secrets; His gifts and knowledge. When these "foods" descend on the Prophet, his body would not need any kind of worldly food. That is why we cannot fast like him as it is beyond us. We are not worthy of the kind of lights and secrets he was privileged to receive.

The Prophet has more than 1000 miraculous powers. Some ulama accounted for 3000 mukjizat. Some of the often quoted miracles are the Isra' wal mikraj; the moon splitting; water gushing forth from his fingers. There is one kitab by Ahmad Shibli which is the best of all kitab that pertains to mukjizat. A student must heed the relationships between all these kitab. You must make reference to as many kitab as possible.

One other thing we could reap from studying the Syamail is that it will endear us towards anwar nubuwah (the prophetic lights). It will influence us in the way we deal with people i.e. muamalat. And our akhlak too.  

I met a friend in Jordan. He is an eminent ulama in fiqh and tasawwuf. He accepted Islam at a late age. So I asked him, what was the one thing that evoked his love for this deen. He said something even we Muslims may not be aware of. He said, it's the mukjizat of the Prophet's akhlak. Indeed the Prophet's akhlak is his mukjizat

Those wishing to emulate the akhlak of Rasulullah must practise for many years and still we might not be able to attain anywhere near the akhlak of Rasulullah. Allah created his supreme characters and honor him with it. And Allah confirms as such in the Qur'an.

Pray we leave not this majlis unless we attain the Prophet's love and imitate his characters, salallah alaihi wasalam.

Before Shaykh Dr. Usama began the first chapter of Kitab As-Syamail, he mentioned briefly his credentials and sanad (chain of transmission) which he had obtained. He assured the audience that at the end of the lecture series he will bring along and distribute his sanad. He also assured the audience that they too will obtain the sanad so they could in turn teach the kitab to others in order for the knowledge to spread far and wide.

Shaykh Dr. Usama then started reading all the 15 hadith in the first chapter of Kitab As-Syamail Al-Muhammadiyah by Imam Termizi.
Chapter Two - to be continued the following day at Masjid Ittifaqiyah.

18 April @ 8 pm - Masjid Al-Ittifaqiyah, SG 1/26 Sri Gombak
19 April @ 8 pm - Yayasan Al Wariseen, Setiawangsa
20 April @ 7.45 pm - Masjid Wilayah Jalan Duta
21 April @ 7.45 pm - Masjid Wilayah Jalan Duta

Allahu a'lam. May the shaykh forgive me for any errors and omissions.


  1. MashaAllah Sister such a wonderful rendering of the talk by Shaykh Dr. Usama Al-Azahari, Those of us that who were not there will benefit greatly from this.

    I pray that you will be able to attend the whole series so that you can get the Ijazah and pass it on to other people. InshaAllah.

  2. Alhamdulillah. But my notes were sketchy.
    Ameen to your du'a.
    Thanks akhi!