Gems from Embodied Light, Class 1 with Sidi Amjad Tarsin (Part 2)

Below is a continuation of my notes from the first session of a series about the character of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him called Embodied Light. The series is taught by Sidi Amjad Tarsin of the Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto  (for more information on how to get involved please see here) and it’s a wonderful, heart softening listen so far. I’m so excited about the rest of the series!  The first part of my notes can be found here.  As always, the notes aren’t complete, but you can find the audio of the class here.

  • Even the mountains know the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. How do the mountains know the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him? What is the proof? Allah says, We sent you as a mercy to the Worlds.” Not just human beings. Not just a mercy to those who speak languages. A mercy to everything. And there is an interconnectedness between everything in creation. Everything in creation glorifies Allah. And the creation knows the beloved of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.To the mountains, he is Abdul Khaliq. The slave of the Creator.
  • To the lands, the valleys and the deserts, he is Abdul Qadir. The slave of the most Able. The most Powerful.
  • In the sea, he is Abdul Muhaymin. The servant of the One who controls all things.
  • For the fish, he is Abdul Quddus. The servant of the most Holy.
  • One of the things that people don’t appreciate in the modern world is Islam is not just do this, don’t do that. Islam is not just halal and haram. Don’t listen to music, grow a beard, cover your hair, and that’s it. That that is as deep as Islam gets. No. This is deep. This is the truth sent from the One above the lofty thrones. This is the transformative reality sent from Allah for all humankind to become greater than angels. When ALlah tells Jibril, and Mikail and Israfil to bow down to Adam, what is that all about?  Is it just about don’t do this and don’t do that, and khalas, that’s it?  I’m not saying the rules don’t matter, the rules matter.
  • This is about Allah sending a truth and a light to your hearts to transform the world and to connect people with the One most high. It’s not child’s play.  It’s not a game and it’s not something that can be controlled by the egos of human beings.  You have to do this for Allah. When you study the greatness of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, what you really should understand is the greatness of Allah who ennobled him. And gave him all of that for us. For us to understand. So when Allah has a name for every single creature regarding the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, it is a sign of the magnificence and power of Allah. We should realize that this isn’t just something small, this is the greatest message. The Prophets, who used to commune with Allah wished they could be from the ummah of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. They wished they could be in your shoes and my shoes because of the  greatness of what Allah has in store for his ummah. So we have to reflect upon this. We have to think about what is really going on. What do we have? When we look at people who don’t have what we have, and the thought crosses our mind that I wish I could have that, subhanAllah do we know what we have already?

  • The problem is we don’t even know what we have and we’re not presenting what we have to people. But when we learn about the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and we start to appreciate the one sent as a guidance for all of creation, when we start to appreciate that and embody who he is in our lives, the light will shine.
  • The Companions went all over the world. They went to China, North Africa, they went as far as you could go. They didn’t speak those languages, but people became Muslim in droves. Why? Because the light was emanating from their faces. The head rabbi in Madina at the time of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him,  he thought he would test the Prophet. He has all these questions to ask the Prophet on his mind,  but then he sees the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, and he knows that that was not the face of a liar. He doesn’t  need to ask him any questions.
  • People saw the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and knew he wasn’t a liar. What are we doing in our own lives? And the thing is, that that is not limited. The highest expression of that is for the Prophet, but it’s not limited to him. We can have that in our lives. We have to be, not we can be, we have to be sources of light in the world. The world is dark and getting darker. And when we gets dark, people need beacons.
  •  You can go online get a list of dos and don’ts,  and print it out and paste it on your wall. If that is all Islam is, then one 8 by 11 piece of paper could be the Prophet. But that is not the majesty of Allah, that is not the greatness of this deen.
  • The Prophets were waiting. They all took an oath with Allah that if the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him comes in my time, I defer to him and I will follow him. Even the Prophets wanted to learn from Sayyiduna Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him
  • This is not surface level stuff, it’s deep, deep, deep. And the further you get, the deeper you get, the deeper you realize it is. There is no end to Allah’s treasure troves. There’s no end to His gifts. We just have to make an effort. And learning these kinds of things, it’s the keys that unlock those doors. This is the one that Allah sent for us! Alhamidullah.
  • For the insects – He is the servant of the One who sends down the rains.
  • For the beasts, he is Abdul Razzaq. The servant of the One who gives us our provision.
  • For predatory animals, (like lions etc) he is Abdul Salaam. The servant of the One who gives peace. One of the reasons he is Abdul Salaam to these predatory animals, is because if the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him wanted to turn on the jalal, turn on his own majesty that Allah gave him, lions would run the other way. If the companions were ever scared, they would run to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him
  • There are narrations that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him only killed one person. And that person was an extremely bad person and it was in battle. The Prophet was in a lot of battles. Why was it only one person? It was because when people saw him theydidn’t even want to come close to him on the battlefield. The Prophet was the strongest of all men.
  • With cattle his name is Abdul Mu’min. The One who gives safety.
  • With birds his name is Abdul Ghaffar. The servant of the most Forgiving.
  • Different scriptures have different names for Prophet
  • With Allah his name is Taha and Yaseen. And with the believers his name is Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
  • He is known by his contemporaries as Abu Qasim. Jibril would call him Abu Ibrahim. The best of his names is Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.
  • These names show us the multiplicity of his nobility and his virtues.This is just the door. We are just starting. This is just to give us an idea about how much Allah gave the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. He gave him the best lineage. He came from the best families. He is a descendant of Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismael, peace be upon them both. He gave him the best tribe. Best household. All of that is for you and I to appreciate who he is. Allah didn’t necessarily need to do that. But he gave us this so that we can say alhamidullah.
  • Previous communities also commanded good and forbade evil. With the most noble of Messengers, we became the most noble of nations.
  • This is a blessing from Allah that none of us will fully be able to appreciate. But we should try. And when Allah gives us these qualities in the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, they are keys. They open doors to thankfulness, to love, they open doors to understanding so that its not just a very surface level understanding of the deen. So we don’t say ‘why do I have to do that. Why am I not supposed to drink.  Why am I supposed to get up before the sun rises and pray. This is hard!” When Allah puts in your heart that love, if you had a command to jump, you would ask, how high Rabbi?”
  • When you have that love for the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, then you say, “Whatever he says, I’m going to do it with a smile on my face and it will be sweet.”
  • When the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him asked the Companions to do things, they said “Rasulullah, you say the words and it’s done.
  • The Battle of Badr was the first major battle. The army of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him was 313 people. They had seven swords. They had bows and arrows. They were against an army of 1000 well equipped, well fed people. It’s 3 to 1 and they don’t even have everything they need for the battle. It’s the day of the battle and the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him is straightening the rows of the army. And he has a blunt arrow. And just imagine being in those rows and thinking I’m hungry, I  haven’t eaten in like a week, I have a stick, I’m weak in body. And then there is an army three times as big, with cavalry and horses and swords and bows and arrows and everything.
  • The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him poked a sahaba out of line and pokes him into line. The Sahaba said “you hurt me! And by the One who sent you with the truth, an eye for an eye.” The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him doesn’t say I’m the commander of the army, we have bigger things to worry about, I’m a Prophet.. The Prophet gives him the arrow.  The sahaba then said “you poked me on bare skin”. So the  Prophet peace and blessings be upon him lifts his shirt for the sahaba. And the sahaba kisses the Prophet’s peace and blessings be upon him stomach. And the Prophet asked, what did you do that for? And the sahaba says, look at what I see out there. I see certain death. I wanted the last thing I do in the world for my skin to touch your skin so I can die happy. That was the level of love they had for the Prophet peace and blessings be upon himIt was well earned and well deserved. THat is what we’re trying to have, and that is what we need to have.
  • That sahaba died on the battlefield.
  • The Prophet’s character, his qualities, it’s an ocean. And it’s full of pearls. We will immerse ourselves in that ocean and insha’Allah we’ll all come out with pearls. They may be different pearls.  Pearls of love, pearls of emulation, pearls of understanding, pearls of wisdom, pearls of certainty.
  • This is Allah’s feast so take what you please.
  • The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said that when Allah, the Lord of Majesty loves a servant He calls out to Jibril, his most honoured angel and says “O Jibril, I love so and so, son or daughter of so and so so love them” (fill in your name)
  • So Jibril loves them. Then Jibril goes down into the heavens, and there are millions, quadrillons of malaika. So many malaika. When it rains there are more malaika then every single raindrops in existence in the world. Calls out to malaika and says “O People of the heavens, Allah loves so and so, son or daughter of so and so, so love him or her. So the creatures of the heavens love that person. Then they are given acceptance on the earth.
  • Love of Allah is amazing. We should all aspire for that. We ask Allah for that and for His Love.
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