The last thing I will share with you about what we learnt at the course is this:
1. Send consistent, daily prayers on the prophet (saw).
Be habitual in mentioning him.
Make it a part of your life.
2. Let the mention of the prophet (saw) show in your actions.
Those who love him most will be closest to him (saw) in Jannah.
Just because we are sinners it doesn’t mean we can’t love him completely.
Your sin doesn’t keep you away from the prophet (saw).
Don’t think that because you have erred we are not worthy of his love.
These were the last two things taught you to us on the course. Alhamdulillah this course helped me to begin to see just how amazing he (saw) was and increase my love for him ten fold.
The biggest calamity for this ummah was the death of the prophet (saw) and after spending these few days learning about him, I can now see why. But the prophet (saw) only left us after he had perfected the religion, as it was never about us or him, he commanded us to worship Allah, alone. He had completed his mission and now it is upto us to continue doing what he has commanded. For how can we gain his love if we do not do what he has told us to do?
One of the topics we discussed during the course was the battle of Badr and Uhud. I had heard these stories many times however this was the first time I had heard the discussion from this perspective. We didn’t focus on the actual events itself as most of us already knew this and it was in our resources but the focus was actually the lessons we can learn from the battles, and in learning these, they can give us the keys to success. We learnt twenty lessons for the keys to success and here they are:
1. Trust your fate and Allahs decision in your fate.
- Solidify your relationship wit h Allah.
- You put your effort in and then trust Allah.
- Salat-Al-Istikharah – this is asking for Allahs divine help: you must first make a decision through proper research and then pray and ask Allah that if this is good make it happen and if it is bad for you then take you away from it.
2. Master the fundamentals – of salah, of ibadah, of the problem you’re in etc.
- You need to know about everything you’re involved in.
3. Learn from the mistakes of others.
4. Practice Islam daily.
5. Do not let people influence your decision.
6. Gain knowledge – this is more important than ability and wealth.
- There is nothing better than an increase in knowledge.
- Knowledge is the criterion of justice and wisdom.
- Allah didn’t command an increase in anything but u knowledge.
- We also need to know how to apply it.
7. Respond to failure.
- Don’t fear anyone but Allah.
- Don’t ever give up hope.
8. Fear is an illusion, danger is real.
- Don’t let your mind trick you into not trying.
9. Do the best you can and leave the rest to Allah.
- Seek ihsan – always put your full effort in.
10. Recognise you need others help.
11. In life excellence speaks for itself.
12. Even when you are strong, make dua.
- Even when Allah meets your needs, ask Allah to bless it.
13. If change is required then make a change.
14. Simple things matter most.
- Don’t think any deed is insignificant.
15. Demand that other people give excellence too.
- Mediocrity is not acceptable as a Muslim.
- There is more than 100 Hadith that start with “the best of you…”
- You display excellence and others will seek to model themselves like this.
16. Learn to use your emotions to push you to success.
17. Love what you do.
- Find something that makes you feel valued.
18. Forget the past.
19. Don’t try to control the future.
20.Invest in the present.
- These last three are seen consistently in the life of the prophet (saw).
- Don’t let your past keep you from success but at the same time don’t so meticulously plan your future and insist everything has to turn out a certain way. All you are required to do is work today, with the hope of obtaining success in the future.
I hope these are of benefit inshaAllah.
How do we know that we love the Prophet (saw)? It is not enough for us to just merely state this. So how can we truly know if we love the Prophet (saw)? There are many ways to show our love for the Prophet (saw).
Your heart inclines to his deeds and decisions.
Your heart accepts what he has told us to do.
The example of the prophet comes before the examples of others in your life.
- Sometimes our culture, family etc are different from the sunnah and we have to learn the difference.
- If culture leads dis too far from the prophetic model, this is a problem.
Your anger and emotions incline to what the prophet (saw) loved or hated.
- We should express our emotions the way that the prophet (saw) would have.
Mention him (saw) abundantly.
- It should be part of our life habit.
We should yearn to meet him.
We should show humility and deference to those who love the prophet (saw) and not rebel against those who love him (saw) more than us.
You love his household.
We seek to protect the prophet (saw) from those who don’t know him.
- We are protective over him.
We use his guidance to guide others and seek to display his teachings.
You are merciful to his ummah.
You restrict yourself from things that may lead you away from his love.
- There are things that the prophet (saw) hasn’t said that it is halal or haram but if we stay away from it then it can lead us closer to his love.
We should strive to do these to help us become closer to the prophet (saw). But we need to remember that we will be tested. Part of our love for him (saw) invites poverty. So we will be tested in different things; wealth, health, family etc. but the reward for our steadfastness and our love for him (saw) will be far greater than any test that is sent our way.
One of the most important things we can learn from the Prophet (saw) is his methodology in inviting to the truth. The way in which he gave dawah. This is so important for us right now with everything going on in the world. I am no expert in giving dawah but I thought I would share what we learnt about his (saw) methodology. Which is obviously the best methodology.
There is two types of dawah, private and open.
- Private dawah is to your family and friends. It’s all about giving sincere naseeha because you love that person. It has to be for their benefit or you won’t achieve anything.
- Open dawah to those people that you don’t know personally. You should find things that you both agree on and begin your dawah from there.
We then went on to discuss the prophetic methodology in inviting to the truth.
- Speak at the intellectual level of the listener.
- Don’t bore the listener.
- Use questions, sound arguments and eloquence in debate.
- Use analogies.
- Use diagrams or drawings.
- Use gestures whilst talking.
- Use tangible examples.
- Anticipate the follow up questions and provide answers for them.
- Answer with more than what is asked.
- Turn the question into something that will be of more benefit.
- Take advantage of “teaching moments”.
- Be playful and fun
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
- Use stories and accounts from the past.
- Use cliff hangers.
When we think about giving dawah it is to non-Muslims but we also need to remember that we need to give dawah to each other too. We need to remind each other and teach each other so that we can also become better Muslims.
One of the best ways to know what our beloved Prophet (saw) was really like is to read the Hadith. These give us an insight into his character and what Islam really is. So this was one of the things we discussed. We were given 85 “gems” which gave us a better understanding of Islam and the prophet (saw) and his sunnah. We went through some in detail and I thought I would share what we learnt about some of the Hadiths.
1. The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are small. (Bukhari)
- The best acts of worship are the simplest.
- If you make your life difficult it will destroy you.
- Your life is meant to be simple, the den is meant to be easy.
- We need to have moderation, especially the youth who lack maturity, wisdom and experience.
- The Shaytan loves it when you are extreme in your ibadah.
2. Beware of envy, for envy devours good (deeds) like fire devours firewood. (Abu Dawud).
- Don’t look at the one above you, look at those below you.
- Be content with what you have.
- Don’t let your heart be corrupted by what others have.
3. Allah is not merciful to him who is not merciful to people. (Bukhari)
- This is the foundation of our faith.
- The mercy that you expect from Allah is tied to your mercy to others.
- Our generosity shouldn’t be selective.
4. The strong man is not the one who is strong in wrestling, but the one who controls himself in anger. (Bukhari).
- Anger is a poison.
- Anger destroys homes and communities.
5. Leave what you have doubt about, for that you have no doubt about; for it is the truth that brings peace of mundane it is falsehood that brings doubt. (Ahmad).
- Endeavour to hold onto the things that are pure.
- Focus on doing what there is no doubt about rather than comtemplating what there is doubt about.
- Hold onto what is certain.
6. Wonderous are the believers affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is enduring (sabr), and that is good for him. (Muslim).
- We should submit to our Qadr, which are of three types: 1) Things that happen to you, that you can’t change. 2) Things that happen within you, that you can’t change. 3) How you react to the first two.
- The first two we are not accountable for but we are accountable for the third.
7. The best of you is he who has learnt the Quran and then taught it. (Bukhari)
- This is where we should start our Islamic study.
- Understand what the Quran says and your Allah will have a whole different meaning.
8. Spend (in charity), o son of Adam and I shall spend on you. Hadith Qudsi.
- To make money you have to spend money.
9. Allah makes the way to paradise easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge. (Muslim).
- The easiest way to get to Jannah is to learn about what gets us there.
- Coming to knowledge means we have more about Islam that we can implement.
10. A believer is never satisfied with acquiring knowledge till he reaches paradise. (Tirmidhi)
- The one who loves to seek knowledge until he dies, will find it easier to meet Allah.
It is so important for us to learn and study the Hadiths and not just pick out random ones out of context so it serves our benefit. The Hadiths are there to teach us the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and how we should be living our lives. When you study the Hadith together only then can you build a coherent structure that is the sunnah of the Prophet (saw).
When the Prophet (saw) received revelation he was taken by surprise, this was obviously not something he (saw) had expected would happen to him. The angel jibreel came to him and told him to read.
The first ayahs revealed were:
Read. In the name of your Lord, who created.
Created man from a clinging substance.
Read. And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who taught by the pen.
Taught man what he did not know.
We can learn some important lessons from Allah choosing these ayahs to be revealed first. It shows that the essential element of our faith is knowledge. Knowledge is the key to salvation. These ayahs mention the pursuit of knowledge. How important must it be for us to always be trying to increase our knowledge?
When this was revealed to him (saw) he was left shocked and confused and the first person he(saw) went to was his wife, Khadijah. It was Khadijah that consoled him and knew that this was the truth. He (saw) didn’t feel as though he is worthy, but Allah knew that he was worthy. He (saw) had spiritual and intellectual humility.
The fact that he went to his wife and not his friends or other family members shows what an amazing relationship they had. He knew that his wife will be the one that will be able to calm him, she truly was the coolness of his eyes. Subhanallah.
Attending a course while easy for the majority of us can be so difficult for others. One group of people who are barely given any opportunity to attend such courses are people with hearing difficulties. So Al Kauthar teamed up with an organisation called Al Isharah to provide an opportunity for those with hearing difficulties to attend. There was an interpreter there for them so that they could also learn and study like we can.
And while I was sitting in the class and watching the interpreter I have never been more thankful for the blessings I have. To be able to hear clearly so I can attend whatever class I want. Not only that but I can attend jumuah wherever I live, watch Islamic classes online without difficulty, listen to the adhaan, things we often take for granted. For them it is completely different, there were students from all over the country who attended because they had the interpreter facilities. I hope these facilities are able to spread and increase as I could see just how much they want and need it.
One of the things that was just amazing was that we also were taught how to sign Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. This was such a unique experience and it’s just so amazing to know as its one way to connect with my brothers and sisters who have difficulty hearing. We are connected through sending blessings upon our prophet, while attending a course about the Prophet (saw) no less! Just how amazing is that! SubhanAllah.