Peace Islands Institute

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Blessed Birth

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We celebrated the birth of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with two programs. The first one was prepared and presented by children on April 16th at 14.00 at our center. The second was a panel on April 24th at 14.00 at Fairleigh Dickinson University Library Auditorium.

Why we celebrate His birthday
We love Him. We celebrate every occasion about Him in religious manner. Love for the Prophet Muhammad is a measure of one's iman (faith and inner conviction) and our iman is completed and perfected only when our love for the Prophet exceeds our love for everything else in this world, including our own lives. The Holy Qur'an says:

"The Prophet is preferable for the believers even to their own selves..." (33:6)

The best of Muslims, companions of the Prophet, did show such love for the Prophet. Hadhrat Ali, speaking on behalf of all the companions community in Medina, is reported to have said:

"The Holy Prophet is dearer to us than our wealth, our children, our fathers, our forefathers, our mothers and cool water at the time of severe thirst."

Love of the Prophet breathes life into our practice of religion. Without it our religion reduces to an empty adherence to a set of dead rules and rituals.

He loved us first
We have to love Him because He also loved us. In fact, he loved us first and still loves us. The Qur'an testifies to this when it says:

"(The Prophet) is greatly grieved at your loss and extremely anxious for your good. To the Believers is he most kind and merciful.." (9:128)

Prophet’s love and tolerance for humanity
The Prophet's love was not limited just to the believers. In a way he loved all of God's creation. God says in the Qur'an:

"We have not sent you (O Prophet) but as mercy to all the worlds." 21:107)

According to a hadith recorded in the Sahih of Imam Muslim, when the Prophet’s opponents greatly increased their persecution, His companions asked him to curse them. At this the Prophet replied, “I have not been sent to lay a curse upon men but to be a blessing to them.” His opponents continued to treat Him and His companions unjustly and cruelly, but he always prayed for them.

This shows that His distinctive quality was that He was a blessing incarnate in word and deed.

His heart was filled with intense love for all human kind irrespective of caste, creed, or color. Once he advised his Companions to regard all people as their brothers and sisters. He added, “You are all Adam’s offspring and Adam was born of clay.”

PROGRAMS
The first program was prepared by little volunteers of IDC and presented on April 16th. All speeches made by little lovers of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Children’s choir sang hymns that praise God and His beloved Prophet and some children sang hymns individually.

blessed birth



Some other children recited the most beautiful poems about the Prophet (pbuh).

blessed birth


Second program, namely Ebedi Risalet (Eternal Prophethood), was held at the Fairleigh Dickinson University. It was started with recitation of the Qur'an by Mr. Gurbuz Karca.

blessed birth

First panelist Mr. Mehmet Seker, Editor in chief of The Fountain Journal, made a speech about Love for Prophet. He said, “His birth is resurgence of humanity”. He explained how his companions loved him, providing examples from his life. He said, “While they were burying their daughters alive before Islam, they were so careful not to kill even an ant”. His sentimental speech made the audience cry.

Dr. Ismail Acar, theologian-writer, spoke about Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) relations with Christians. As he explained, the Prophet’s first contact with a Christian was when he was going to Syria in a trade Caravan owned by his uncle Abdul-Muttalib. When the caravan reached Busra in Syria they, as usual, stayed near the monastery of a monk, Buhayra. Suffice it to say that the monk, seeing some of the signs, which he knew from the old books, was convinced that the orphan child was the last Prophet-to-be.
To make sure, he started a conversation with him, and at one point said: "I give you oath of Lat and Uzza (two idols that pagans worshipped) to tell me..." The child cried out: "Don't take the names of Lat and Uzza before me! I hate them!" Buhayra was now convinced. He advised Abu Talib not to proceed to Damascus "because some may find out what I have seen, I am afraid they will try to harm him. For sure, this child is to have a great eminence."

blessed birthWhen first revelation came, His wife Khadijah ran to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal who was a believer, and had already become a Christian and had translated part of the Evangel into Arabic. When she finished telling him what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had seen and heard and of her compassionate and hopeful response to her husband, Waraqah broke into these words: "Holy, Holy! By Him who dominates Waraqah's soul, if your report is true, O Khadijah, this must be the Great Spirit that spoke to Moses. Muhammad must be the Prophet of this nation. Tell him that he must be firm. I wish I were young enough to help him”.

When endurance was reaching its limits and persecution became unbearable, the Prophet advised a group of his followers to migrate to Abyssinia where a benign Christian king, Negus, reigned. However, the Quraish sent a deputation with 'Amr ibn al-'As and 'Ammara ibn Rabi'ah to Negus (Nijashi, in Arabic), the king of Abyssinia, to demand the deportation of the emigrants back to Mecca to be punished by death. Having won the favor of the clergy, the deputation tried to prejudice the king against the fugitives. Asked to explain the position, Jafar, a friend of the Prophet, delivered a speech, which is a brilliant summary of the fundamentals of Islam and all that it stands for:

blessed birth"O king! We were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism; we adored idols; we lived in unchastity; we ate dead animals, and we spoke abomination. We disregarded every feeling of humanity, and the duties of hospitality and neighborhood. We knew no law but that of the strong. At that time, God raised from among us a man of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty and purity we were aware, and he called us to the Unity of God and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us to worship idols and enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful, and to regard the rights of neighbors. He forbade us to speak ill of women and to eat the substance of orphans. He ordered us to flee from vices, to abstain from evil, to offer prayers, to render alms, and to observe the fast. We have believed in him; we have accepted his teachings and injunctions to worship God, and not to associate anything with Him. For this reason, our people have risen against us and persecuted us in order to make us forego the worship of God and return to the worship of idols of wood and stone and other abominations. They have tortured us and injured us. Having found no safety among them, we have come to your country and hope that you will protect us from their oppression."

The king refused to oblige the deputation, and the latter had to return disappointed. This was the first helping hand for the young but frail Muslim community from a Christian ruler.

As time got more and more difficult, Prophet Muhammad went to Taif with the hope of converting the Banu Thaqif tribe to Islam and winning their support for his followers in Makkah. On this visit, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was welcomed. However, seeing him in distress, a slave named Addas kindly offered the Prophet a plate of grapes. The Prophet recited “Bismillah” (In the name of God) before eating. This surprised the slave. After a brief conversation, the Prophet found out that Addas was a native of Nineveh. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “O you are from my brother Jonah’s country. Learning Muhammad (pbuh) is also a Prophet, Addas adopted Islam. Addas was a Christian and this was another contact with Christians.

blessed birthHis last example from the life of Prophet was His talks with a delegation of Christians from Najran. They stayed with the Prophet for three days. They asked all the questions they want. They wanted to go back home for prayer on Sunday and come back again to continue talk. Prophet Muhammad said, “You can pray in our mosque”, and Muslims left the mosque to the Christians. It was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque and this provides an inspiring example for today’s Muslims.

In the middle of the panel, a choir of American Muslims sang hymns. Their singing hymns in Turkish surprised the audience.

 

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