Friday, April 18, 2014

Make your face radiant | A lesson from Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Mustafa Al-Nadwi of Egypt

Shaykh Mustafa Al-Nadwi
(Pic credit: Darul Murtadza)


The honorable Shaykh Mustafa Al Nadwi, was born in 1955 in Egypt. He was raised by a pious and learned father from whom he studied - Shaykh Said Badawi Ahmad Sulaiman, who was a prominent guru and leader of Tariqa al-Qahwajiah al-Syazuliah. Shaykh Mustafa is youngest of four siblings, all of whom are men of knowledge and good akhlak. This special family traced their roots to Saidina Hussin, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam.

Shaykh Mustafa studied medicine and was qualified to become a doctor but chose not to pursue a medical career. He, by the grace of Allah, went on to become a muhaddith, a graduate of the reputable Darul Ulum Nadwatul Ulama University.

Shaykh Mustafa was at the weekly majlis ta'alim organized by Darul Murtadza in Kuala Lumpur on 21st March 2014.

It's Friday, we may not be able to make millions of salawat so that our names could be among the first to reach the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam. But here we are in awe of his descendant, a muhaddith from whom we have heard about a hadith in which the Prophet prayed so that our face would be radiant if we become among those who listen to a hadith, learn it and share it with others.

Shaykh Mustafa Al-Nadwi said:
When I arrived at this majlis, I heard a hadith being read. I had planned to talk about that hadith actually but having seen the radiant face of the audience, I wish to mention a hadith on nadhiroh (radiant face). It's a hadith narrated by Al Tirmidhi from Ibn Mas'ud:
[I loosely translate it here, may I be forgiven for any errors]

Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam said:
"May Allah make radiant the face of the one who listens to my words, memorizes it and conveys it to others. There are many upon whom it [the hadith] is related, could understand it better than the one who conveys."

Nadhiroh means radiant or glowing as in a verse in Surah al Qiyamah in the Quran: wujuhun yau ma izin nadhiroh - "Faces that day will be radiant."

Shaykh Mustafa said, when we listen to someone relating a hadith, we should listen with our ears, eyes and our entire body, out of respect to the owner of the words that is the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam, and not so much the person who is talking. We must respect the owner of the words. Knowledge is in the heart, we must keep it there and not depend so much on technology. So let it enter your heart and then share it with others. The Prophet urged us to convey his words even if it is just one sentence.    

It is possible that the person who is listening has better capabilities to memorize the hadith, has better understanding of its meaning and can do better in spreading the words. There are many cases where a murid has surpassed the guru. Shaykh Mustafa related a story about Shaykh Tahir al Qurdi of Makkah who had a murid from India by the name of Ahmad bin Abdul Rahim al-Dehlawi who later became known as Waliyullah al-Dehlawi. The guru, Shaykh Tahir said in praise of his murid al-Dehlawi: "On many occasions have I related ahadith to him, but it was he who gave the meanings to me!"

There is another story about Hassan al-Basri and his murid Habibun al-Ajami. One day both murid and guru were fasting, so the student al-Ajami brought food for iftar. Just before Maghrib, someone knocked on the door begging for food. Al-Ajami hence gave away all food to the beggar leaving none behind for him and his guru. When it was iftar time Hassan al-Basri asked his murid, 'Where is our food?' Al-Ajami told the guru that he had given all to the beggar. Hassan replied: "Didn't you keep some for us?" Al-Ajami then profusely apologized to his guru, and he said: "May Allah grant you patience while I make istighfar." Afterwards, they heard a knock on the door. When al-Ajami went to the door he found someone appearing with a tray full of food. Al-Ajami was indeed delighted. Hassan said to his murid: "I may have been longer than you [in seeking knowledge] but you have overtaken me." Hassan commended his murid for having tawakkal in Allah. 

Shaykh Mustafa said we must have yakin (confidence) in the hadith that the Prophet prayed so that our face will be radiant in Akhirah if we were to learn hadith and help spread it to others. The Prophet's du'a is surely mustajab. So get on this path of learning and sharing.

Allahu a'lam. 
Credit: Ustaz Ashraf the interpreter and Darul Murtadza the organizer.

Jum'ah Mubarrak!

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