The Mawlid in the Light of the Muhammadan Reality
How could the need of such a man be answered by the world,
When without him this world would have never come into being.
– Qasida al-Burda of Imam al-Busayri
You are the one from whom the moon and stars
Receive the brightness of their eyes;
And you are the one for whose sake
The universe was brought into being.
Allah (ﷻ) tells us in the Qur’an: “Nor did I create man and jinn except to worship Me” (Qur’an 51:56), with Mujahid interpreting ‘worship Me’ to mean ‘know Me’. Regardless of which definition we choose to give preference over, all can agree that for one to truly know, or worship Allah (ﷻ) it must come through revelation and the way of the Prophets, each one sent in turn to strengthen and add to the previous one sent, culminating with the Seal of the Prophets, the Leader of the Messengers, Muhammad (ﷺ). The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), embodies the perfected knowledge of man, that is Ma’rifa of Allah (ﷻ), which is made apparent by the miraculous ascension of the Prophet (ﷺ) on the night of Mi’raj, where he (ﷺ) was made “distant by two bows’ length or nearer” (53:9), and “The eye turned not aside nor yet was overbold, verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord.” (53:17-18). Thus is his (ﷺ) knowledge. Now what of the interpretation of this verse to mean ‘worship’, what of his (ﷺ) worship?
Worship is an action whose sincerity is manifest by the purity of character, and Allah (ﷻ) Himself testifies to the character of the Prophet (ﷺ) when He said:
The reason I will not translate this verse is because it is not translatable into the English language. Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi explains this beautifully, he tells us here that the letter ﻭ is not for the conjunctive, but rather for an oath. This is then further compounded by انّ which is an emphatic particle, then further with the ل which is again an oath, three times Allah (ﷻ) in His eternal and perfect speech emphasises and swears to us that the Prophet (ﷺ) is above immense character, and character is in the form what is referred to as nakerah, which in most cases indicates something unknown or unspecified i.e. the Prophet (ﷺ)’s character is greater than any immense human trait possible.
Thus we see that in whichever way we interpret the verse “Nor did I create man and jinn except to worship Me”, the secret of it lies in understanding the magnanimous nature of the Chosen One (ﷺ). He (ﷺ) represents the epitome of our purpose in being created, he (ﷺ) is the key to understanding the meaning of life. For out of all His creation, Allah (ﷻ) chose man above all others, and out of all men he chose Muhammad (ﷺ). Thus do we come to understand the Muhammadan Reality, for Allah (ﷻ) in His infinite and divine wisdom would have never created us without guiding us, and only by sending us the best of guides did He perfect His favour upon us.
Thus the Mawlid, should not just be a simple celebration, it should be a moment to reflect on the essence of our existence, the cause of it, the meaning of it, its goals, and objectives. The birth of the Messenger (ﷺ) represents the completion of divine favours upon man, and if it is left without reflection then it loses the beauty that lies within it.
Allah bless our Master Muhammad (ﷺ) who opened what had been closed, and who is the Seal of what had gone before, he who makes the Truth Victorious by the Truth, the guide to thy straight path, and bless his household as is the due of his immense position and grandeur.