Wayfarer's Rest

Some assorted ramblings and occasional thoughts from Talib al-Habib. Updated randomly and irregularly (if at all). Talib takes no responsiblity for anything that he may write, as responsiblity implies capacity, and capacity implies a sound mind...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring and Mawlid

With a whisper of the wind appears the first new leaf

And the trees tremble as life returns anew

Like a gentle breeze that grows to a tempest

A new song enters in my heart,

And lifts me on its wings.

Spring is here again.

The birds have begun to sing again. Looking out, I see tiny buds beginning to poke their way through the soil; branches bare all winter have dared to send forth their first green shoots. The wind blows warmer, the rain feels somehow fresher. It is unmistakeable – spring is here again.

How fitting that, as we approach the month of lights, the blessed month of mawlid, we should find ourselves entering the season of spring. For what more fitting time could there have been for the one whose birth signified the dawning of new hope for mankind, a new spring of tauhid after the dark and cold winter of disbelief; for the one who loved all things green and who revived dead hearts to life, than the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal (lit: the first spring)?

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf mentioned that the Prophet (s) was born in spring and loved green. He continued that green was the first colour that the eye could perceive, and the last that it could make out; the middle of the spectrum of light. Green is also the colour of chlorophyll, which mediates photosynthesis in plants – the conversion of pure light into energy and nourishment that ultimately allows our continued existence. The parallels are manifest but beautiful nonetheless: he (s) is from the light of Allah, the first Prophet and the last, the moderate and median way, neither too harsh nor too lenient; he is the source of all nourishment and the means of continuation for all spiritual life. He (s) is, as the commentaries of the Quran mention, the solitary flowering tree in the midst of a barren desert – from whose fruits all men feast, and beneath whose boughs all find shade and rest.

The advent of spring fills one with gladness – a joy that the believer cannot but feel when he or she contemplates the arrival of the best and most beloved of all creation (s). Allah says in the Holy Quran: ‘In the blessings of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice,’ and, ‘make remembrance of the Days of Allah.’ al-Bayhaqi relates that the Prophet (s) said, ‘the Days of Allah are Allah’s Blessings and Signs, and the Prophet’s birth is a great bliss.’ For almost a millennium, Muslims have joyfully commemorated the arrival of our spiritual Spring with the celebration of mawlid.

Mawlid has three meanings: the time of the Beloved’s (s) birth, the place of his birth and the fact of his birth. However, for hundreds of years, the word mawlid has been used to signify the celebration of the Prophet’s (s) birth. Mawalid have been – and still are – held wherever there are Muslims; from the Islamic heartlands of Arabia, Egypt and Syro-Palestine to the very borders of the traditional Islamic lands such as Indonesia, the Caucasus and Western Africa. In the 20th century, the globalization of the Ummah and mass migration has seen mawlid celebrated in the most unlikely of places – from the rain-swept streets of the UK to the snowy mountains of Canada to the tip of Southern Africa.

It is beloved of the common folk of the community and cherished by the elect. Kings and rulers have used mawlid to connect to their followers; scholars have used it to educate the people. Such has been its popularity among the learned and the unlearned – so deeply has it touched the hearts of Muslims from every walk of life – that one would struggle to find a place that has not been graced by the celebration of the Beloved of Allah (s).

Rabi` al-Awwal Mubarak, dear friends. May Allah enlighten all our hearts with the love of his Beloved (s), ennoble our eyes with his (s) vision in this world and the next, and fill our limbs with the strength to follow his blessed way.

Oh Cherishing Lord! Through the honour of Sayyidina Muhammad in Your eyes, purify our hearts from every evil quality that distances us from Your witnessing, Your love and Your mercy, let us die as members of his (s) community and under his banner of praise, yearning for the encounter with You, Oh Lord of Majesty and Grace! Then peace and blessings upon the elect of creation, the Master of the children of Adam, the Beloved of the Lord of the Worlds, Sayyidina wa Habibina Muhammad, his family, companions, and all who light their hearts from his blessed lamp.

from the editorial to the forthcoming magazine - Illumination

was salam, Talib


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aameen to the du'aas :)

4:51 PM  
Anonymous asma arif said...

Rabi 'al-Awwal Mubarak to you and your family also. And a big AMEEN to your closing dua.

Wasalaam alaikum

10:03 PM  
Anonymous asma arif said...

Rabi 'al-Awwal Mubarak to you and your family also. And a big AMEEN to your closing dua.

Wasalaam alaikum

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May Allah enlighten all our hearts with the love of his Beloved (s), ennoble our eyes with his (s) vision in this world and the next, and fill our limbs with the strength to follow his blessed way.

Aameen :)

8:16 PM  
Blogger saad said...

Well done. I am so proud of you. Would be good to invite intellectual discussion on Aqeeda

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mashallah wonderful blogs

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jazakumallahu khayrun ahsanal jazaa

your posts always make me cry... how incompetent are we at representing our Habib salallahu alayhi wasallam

12:40 PM  
Blogger Aishah said...

enlightening. jazak-Allah

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aameen wa suma Aameen

Brother taalib i have a question.Not knowing where to ask,i'll ask it here hope you read it .

Does your nasheeds contains any musical instruments? They sound really great MashaAllah! Do you use Duff? Please can you inform the public as there is a Huge Issue regarding your Nasheeds.....

Jazkumullah waiting for your reply ............



2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eid Mubarak!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous hibbed said...

wow.. was just checking out ur songs.. listening to one right now:p.. well they are pretty great, you must be one of the greatest halal artists right one!
i am also hoping to get into the piture of islamic spoken word..
heres my site..

11:39 AM  
Blogger Sa'ad said...

Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

I had a similar question as the previous post. Do you have "Songs of Innocence" without any musical (duff) accompaniment? I follow the opinion (perhaps I follow a strict opinion) of not listening to even duff in anasheed. I heard "Songs of Innocence" months ago at my sister's home and found it to be extremely touching and beautiful (my 1 1/2 year old son is also entranced by it). Since that day I have tried to find a version without any duff in it. Also, do you visit South Africa often? My family and I are leaving for South Africa this August, inshaAllah, to continue our studies. JazakAllahu khairan for your time and may Allah (subhanhu wa ta'alaa) increase you in all that is good and reward you.

Wa Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

5:27 AM  
Blogger talib said...

as salam alaykum wa rahmatullah

Jazakum Allah for all your kind comments, and my apologies for not updating this blog (at all!).

Anon: my nasheeds are voice and daff only. The reason they sound so full is because there are sometimes up to 20 voices (my own) underneath the lead vocal, creating a 'choral' effect with harmonies and canons. Sometimes, people unused to hearing this type of sound may mistake it for underlying instruments. However, it is only voice, and (I assure you) instrumental backing sounds totally different... Hope that answers your question.

Saad: May Allah give you and yours all the success in your studies. There is a vocal only version of Songs of Innocence (only), available either from the website or from the al-Ansar Bookstore in Durban, South Africa.

was salam

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sir/blogger,

I just heard some of the songs, namely, Rahma - Articles of Faith, and keep in mind, I am Christian and music, I think, is one of the most beautiful ways to communicate and speak of God. That song itself is so beautiful, the song Articles of Faith.

Although, I will never become a muslim, I must say the songs are simply amazing and are most representative of reaching out to God. Again, beautiful music, may God guide you where ever your path is to be.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:08 PM  

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