Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Practice of Real Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad







1.
Laqad jaakum Rasoolun min anfusikum
Aazeezun 'alayhi ma 'anittum 
hareesun 'alaykum 
bil mu'mineena raoofun raheem.

Indeed there has already come to you a Messenger among yourselves,
Mighty (grievous) to him is your sufferings;
most eager is he for your (welfare),
to the believers (he is) constantly compassionate, constantly merciful.

- The Final Testament, 9:128




Wama arsalnaka 
illa rahmatanlil AAalameen 

And in no way have We sent you 
except as a mercy to all beings.



2.
The real Sunnah of Messenger of God Muhammad, thousand benedictions of peace to his soul, are summarized in the above two Signs of the Qur'an where Allah speaks of the true nature of the Messenger who is sent as an universal mercy to mankind. These innate natures are: to be genuinely concerned for humanity's suffering, to be utterly eager to the welfare of humanity and to be constantly compassionate and constantly merciful. This is the haal of Rasul Allah, inner state of the Messenger. This is the maqam of Ya Ummati which made the Prophet cry out "Ya Ummati, Ya Ummati, O my people, O my people" out of concern for their highest good and salvation! This is the inner state that characterizes all divinely illuminated beings who walked in the path of enlightenment and who showed the Way to mankind.

Buddha's quest for enlightenment was set into motion as soon as he stood face to face to the naked reality of human suffering, its scale and its pervasiveness. There is no exception to this. Prior to the pivotal moment in the life of Prophet Muhammad before he received Divine Revelation at the Mountain Cave, he began to realize more and more the nature of human suffering, the worst of human conflicts, fights among tribes and nations, discrimination of humanity on the basis of color or race and the loss of human dignity in the middle of it all. Thus he was bestowed this characteristics of deep concern for human suffering and to be mercy to all in his establishing justice, elimination of discrimination based on social class, race, clan or color.


Ahmad Muhammad Mustafa (credit)

3.
Practice of Prophetic Sunnah in our time

Teaching a Sunnah is more superior than two hundred years of worship.
- Sacred Tradition of Islam (credit and authority)


The Sunnah or way / custom of our Master, Muhammad Mustafa was his deep concern over how to restore compromised human dignity of individual members of community. This is reflected in many of his actions, throughout his lifetime, before and during his Apostolic Mission. 

One of the sublime example of Prophetic Sunnah of deep concern for people in the community who are less fortunate was his constant search and ingenious solutions to give freedom to the slaves. This is why in a society where slavery was a common place and indispensable part of socio-economic fabric of the society, Prophet Muhammad was very forthright in encouraging the granting freedom of slaves and giving them the same rights as their master. It was in his mosque the slaves and their masters could stand in line for prayer, something which was completely unheard of, and even in our time when we claim to be the much civilized, yet in any social events we see rampant discrimination based on social conditioning and economic privilege of people. But the Sunnah of the Prophet was to provide exactly same space for every member of the community, whether he is black, white, slave, master, any other labels because before the eye of God all have the same position – this is a central truth that the Sunnah of the Prophet not only teach but realize in every walks of social and religious life of Muslims.

As there can be no peace without justice, and no justice without mercy and no mercy without love and freedom - Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, was an example par excellence in establishing justice, peace, mercy, love and freedom in the community that he built. He remains to the example par excellence for the world and his ways, the Sunnah of the Rasul remains an unending inspiration and best pattern for humanity.

In every possible way the Prophet encouraged the freeing of slaves, he made this as part of the religious activism to grant freedom to people and his teaching was so successful that within a generation or two the practice of slavery was almost nullified. He equated the freeing of slave as one of the most prized virtue. In following the footstep and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, in our present time it is freeing people from any kind of slavery, be it slavery of the cycle of extreme poverty or slavery of the famine of spiritual knowledge and understanding - can be and should be seen as its equivalent for those who love the Sunnah of the Master.

The single most important factor that compromises human dignity is extreme poverty. In our time the extreme poverty are such that it completely abolish human dignity and hence equivalent to slavery of the age of ignorance. Thus all able and conscious member of human family should join any opportunity that fight extreme poverty in whatever capacity they can engage with.

In the tradition of the Prophet we come to know an incident from the time of Prophet Muhammad. There was a very poor man who was very hungry and desperate for help who hearing about the generosity of Prophet Muhammad, approached him and asked for his help and charity.

The Holy Prophet instead asked him to bring whatever he has from his home. The man returned with an old copper mug, the only thing he possessed. The Holy Prophet then asked his companions seated with him if any of them would buy the mug. One of the companions offered to pay one Dirham. The Prophet then asked if anyone would offer more and one of them offered two Dirham.

He then gave one dirham to the man to buy food and and asked him to buy an axe with the other dirham. When he came back with the axe, the Holy Prophet personally fixed a wooden handle to the axe and said to him 'go to the jungle and cut wood and don't see me before fifteen days.' After a fortnight, when he came back, the Holy Prophet inquired how he was. He replied that he earned twelve dirhams during that period and purchased some cloth and grain. The Holy Prophet remarked, 'Isn't this better than begging and disgracing yourself on the Day of Judgement?"

This is an example of how Prophet encouraged and helped people to be self-reliant and self-operating organism. It is noteworthy that he employed simple method of giving small amount of capital that may enable people to have a means to earn respectfully rather than rely on others' help and freeing that person from extreme poverty.


4.
Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah
a beautiful exemplar for any person who hopes in (the Rendezvous with) Allah
and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.
- The Final Testament, 33:21

He who loves my Sunnah, has loved me.
- Prophet Muhammad


On the same principal of Prophetic Tradition / Sunnah, in our time we try to engage in Sacred Activism by providing small capitals as well as interest free loan to people of extreme poverty. Just as it was the companions of the Prophet who came forward with their generosity, may God be pleased with them, to buy the old copper mug from the poor man, it is you, the companions of Technology of the Heart, its readers, well wishers and friends who support and make happen the various projects of small kindness. All praise be to Allah, al-Muqaddim, the Initiator.

Through Sacred Activism of Technology of the Heart, we time to time try to raise this awareness and engage in our limited capacity. During the last three months we have provided small amount of interest free loan and in some cases no obligation 'capital' to people to help create their own business. Through your donations at Technology of the Heart site, we have provided capital to many individuals to:
- setup small store for grocery
- to buy sheep, goat and cow
- to buy pigeons
- to buy chickens / ducks 
- to buy products to resell
- to setup shop to sell bakery
- to buy supply for handicrafts
- to sell vegetables etc. mostly to people of challenged background, some of them are orphans and widows.

Picture of some of the beneficiaries of Porshee / @ Saidpur, Nilphamari, Bangladesh

Trusting on God's guidance, our method is to identify the most needy, then interview them for their need and match their skills and then provide the amount which is suitable for their project of interest. We take very unorthodox approach and each beneficiary's need is tailored individually.


At the moment we are looking for small donations to attend some of the needs such as:
- To buy sewing machine to young women and widows (each sewing machine costs about 75 USD / 50 GBP) that give them opportunity to earn and support them and their family
- To provide study loans to students who can't afford their education without (75 USD to cover 6 months)
- To help to those who are most needy and their needs reach us through may doors  


We are also initializing a new project called, "Project ZamZam" where we will be setting up tube-well in rural areas of Northern Bangladesh. The access to clean water which most of us take for granted is something for which the poorest of the poor struggle on a daily basis. Since all our projects are funded by small donations, we brain-stormed to figure out that installing tube-well is one of the best gift which will yield benefit to the most in the most optimized budget. Each tube-well (these are hand operated, low cost but durable and effective) can serve more than 8 to 10 families in its proximity counting close to 100 or more people everyday. This is also a great source of sadqa jariya, source of perpetual merit or continuous charity that goes on with every single person who benefit from its water.

According to our staff at the ground, each of such tube-well costs about 85 USD or less with all its parts and labor cost. We would like to dedicate each tube-well will to the donor and will map them on Google Map with exact location and photo (those who wish to anonymous, we respect their privacy, but reward is with them from God for their gift). Kindly contact me at this email, sadiq.alam@gmail.com for ways you can help or more suggestion to implement any other deep Sunnah of our Prophet translated in our time and its many challenges.

You may donate securely through Google Checkout / Paypal:



£


Please contact at sadiq.alam@gmail.com if you have trouble donating via Google Checkout / Paypal, or if you want to know about other means such as Bank Transfer / Western Union Money Transfer for donation purpose. May Allah reward you for your intention and effort.


Whosoever digs a well, when anyone amongst jinn, men and birds drink from it, will receive reward for that from Allah on the Day of Judgement. - Sacred Tradition from Bukhari and Muslim


5.
The ones who serve the helpless, they pick flowers from the Paradise. - Saying of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be divine blessings and peace

And whatever good you [believers] spend is for yourselves, and you do not spend except seeking the Countenance of Allah. And whatever you spend of good - it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged. (This is the Promise of Allah) - The Last Testament 2:272

God declares: O Children of Adam! Give and you shall be given.
- Sacred Tradition of Islam

And Allah loves the doers of good.
- The Last Testament 3:148

To help the widow who has no means to support and the poor is equivalent to fight in the way of God
or to fast all day and stand at prayer all night.
- Sunnah of the Prophet

According to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Verily, every action is by intention”: one of the meanings of this, according to Abdal Hakim Murad Efendi, is that the outward outcome of a certain action is the same as the inner state of the person. Thus, the actions of those with pure hearts will be blessed, while those without will find their actions frustrated. What does it mean to have a pure heart? It is to have our hearts directed to God alone, and for us to desire His pleasure alone. When we truly love, we love what our beloved loves as well. According to the famous story, Majnun loved Leyla so much, he fell in love with the dog that frequented her neighbourhood and began serving it so much that people thought he was crazy. As God's Mercy extends to all of His creation, the entry point of our service begins with our fellow human beings. - The Blessing of Serving Others by Muhammad Hüdayi

The person who helps his Muslim brother, Allah will help him both in this world and in the hereafter.
- Mishkat

On the Day of Judgment it shall be declared, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink ... WHATEVER YOU DID UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST, YOU DID UNTO ME." - Sacred Tradition of Christianity


Sadiq M. Alam / On the full moon night of the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal / May Allah send abundant blessings and peace to His Habib and may Allah help us recognize and internalize the true Sunnah of His Messenger, may his Ways become ours, both within and without. May Allah forgive any showiness in our work, purify our intentions and encompass all our shortcomings with his immense mercy. In the beginning and in the end all credit and praise are due to Allah.
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