Blessed Rabbi ul Awwal…

Posted on January 25, 2012

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A page from the Qasida Burda, photo courtesy of Aida El Ayoubi

It’s been a while, I know. There’s just too much to do and plan before baby #2 arrives in my book, so please forgive my absence…and the absence of notes from the Rihla (inshAllah I’ll start back on that someday…). But if I’m honest here, you probably won’t be hearing much from me unless there are major events to report on…that move me…like this epic month when the best of creation (saws) was born.  So I just had to write to you today…I actually wanted to write to you last night, but my lazy nafs won that battle. Actually, I spent last night in the company of a great seerah book that I’ve never finished and plan to finish this month inshAllah. It’s Martin Lings’ Muhammad. Have you read it? I can tell you that it’s life changing…in only what I remember of the 100 pages that I read last year…

And speaking of last year, I was given the advice to read a book of seerah once a year. This year, I was given the advice to read the seerah because they are universal principles. The seerah is to teach us the ihsan, or excellence, of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). And the seerah is not only his story, but our story as well. And I’m passing that same advice to you, dear sibling. So last year, I read Tariq Ramadan’s In the Footsteps of the Prophet, a beautiful book…if you haven’t read it, please read it. It’s an easy read. And this year, I’m cracking open Martin Lings’ book again, with the intention to finish it by reading a manageable 13 pages a day…so far so good (but we are only on the first day of Rabi ul Awwal)…and if you feel that your time is a bit out of your grasp, just pop in an audio cd of the seerah while you drive or do your housework. Our family is listening to Hamza Yusuf’s The Life of The Prophet Muhammad (vols. 1 & 2) on our car rides, and I feel like I can see the story of rasulAllah (saws) right before my eyes. Really, it’s a beautiful cd set which makes you want to continue driving just to hear more…so get it. Even our two and a half year old Noora listens attentively to it…though I wonder if there is any good (little) children’s book or audio set on the seerah out there? If you know of one or some, please leave your recommendations in the comments! As for the Hamza Yusuf audio set, he references and explains things from Martin Lings’ seerah and other seerah collections that are very deep, mashAllah. I think listening to it is actually what prompted me to try to read the actual book again. And if you are of the persuasion that you will fall asleep listening to a lecture or reading a book, then listen to the story of the Prophet (saws) as sung by many a singer and poet by way of the Qasida Burda. There are so many versions out, with and without the daff, danceable and not–you will not fall asleep. Just remember that by reading, listening, or reciting his (saws) story, you are also learning your story. There is a little bit of you to be found in that ancient yet contemporary tale of ihsan…All in all, there is no excuse! If you haven’t made it a practice to read and remember the seerah once a year, start this month and this year–there’s no time like the present–this beautiful month when the best of creation (saws) was born!

May this first day of the First Spring be the beginning of many continuous springs into the seerah for you. Ameen!

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