Islamic knowledge

 
 

This essay originally appeared in Aathar-e-Iqbal edited by Gulam Dastagir Rasheed based on Iqbal’s speech published in Zamindar newspaper. The present form has been summarized form ‘Allama Iqbal’s Essays’ by Abdus Samad Samadani. English translation by Jaihoon.


Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s Essays

Milad-un-Nabi

Time is always changing. Mankind’s nature, thoughts and outlooks are moving with time. Accordingly the method of channelling them also changes. That is why traditions, customs and festivals are subjected to changes. Then we celebrate out holy days, we must notice the corresponding influence on our thoughts.

Among the honourable days of Muslims is Milad-un-Nabi  (The birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW). In my opinion it is important to have a practical model for the purification of their hearts and thoughts. As far as Muslims are concerned, it is incumbent on them to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad. In order to maintain the flavor of faith in the Prophet’s teachings, one may resort to three methods.

The ‘Durood’ Approach

Firstly sending Salat (reciting durood or sending blessings) on the Prophet, is an indivisible part of a Muslim’s life. A Muslim never loses a chance do recite salat. I have heard that in Arab society, when there is a conflict or quarrel between two persons, a third person comes and declares aloud “Allahumma Salli Ala Sayyidna Muhammedin Wa Sallim” may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon Muhammad, then the quarrel comes to an end at once and the conflicting parties are unable to raise hands at one another. This is due to the influence of the Salat. How can the personality, upon whom the salat is recited, not capture their hearts?

The Social Approach

While the above technique is of a personal nature, the second is of a social nature. A person well aquatinted with the life of the Prophet should speak on the ‘Leader of Two Worlds’ in a large assembly of Muslims. This will help in installing love of the Prophet within the community. We have assembled here to fulfill this objective.

The Spiritual Approach

The third way is not much difficult, yet it has to be explained. It is to enliven one’s heart with the love of Prophet Muhammad in special ways and remember him at all times. As Rumi (RA) said it is a state where one seeks none but his friend. This stage cannot be attained by reading books or listening to speeches. It is necessary to live with the spiritual guides and enlighten oneself. But if that is impossible, then we adopt the present method (i.e. gathering and speaking on the Prophet).

The Holy Prophet  has said “I have been sent to perfect the best of manners”. Therefore, scholars should present the character of the Prophet  so that the Muslim Ummah can follow that example. The believer should be able to integrate Sunnah into his life. When someone presented a watermelon to Hazrat Ba Yazid Bustami RA, he refused to eat it saying, ‘I have no knowledge of how the Prophet has eaten it’. How unfortunate that we are not to have such joyful moments in life! We are unable to lead a virtuous life and deal kindly with each other. Our predecessors followed the Sunnah vehemently. They always enquired about how the Prophet’s  would deal with a matter.

Hazrat Rumi (RA) was very fond of children. One day as he was walking through a street, he happened to see some children playing. They said Salam to him. He took a long time to receive the Salam from each one of them. A child far away called “Hazrat, please don’t go. Accept my Salam too”. Maulana Rumi waited for the child to come and give Salam. Someone asked the great Persian poet, “Were you waiting for a mere child”? The poet replied “If such an event had occurred in front of Prophet Muhammad, he would have also done the same”!