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The month of Ramadan, the month of blessings has come to you wherein Allah turns towards you and sends down to you this special Mercy, forgives your faults, accepts prayers, appreciates your competition for the greatest good and boasts to the Angels about you. So show to Allah your righteousness; for verily, the most pitiable and unfortunate one is he who is deprived of Allah's Mercy in this month. (Tabraani).

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Light of the Full Moon

 

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  1. The Companion `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf recited the following poetry about the Prophet -- sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam:
  2. nabiyyun ata wa al-nasu fi `unjuhiyyatin
    wa fi sadafin fi zulmati al-kufri mu`timi
    fa aqsha`a bi al-nuri al-mudi'i zalamahu
    wa sa`adahu fi amrihi kullu muslimi

    A Prophet who came while people were wrapped in haughtiness
    and in the pitch-black darkness of the night of disbelief:
    Whereupon he dispelled this darkness with abundant light
    and in this matter he was helped by each of those who submitted.

    Ibn Sayyid al-Nas narrated it in Minah al-madh (p. 176).

     

  3. The Prophet's uncle al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib said to him: "O Messenger of Allah, I wish to praise you." The Prophet replied: "Go ahead -- may Allah adorn your mouth with silver!" He said a poem which ended with these lines:
  4. And then, when you were born, a light rose over the earth until it
    illuminated the horizon with its radiance.
    We are in that illumination and that original light and those paths of
    guidance -- and thanks to them pierce through.

    Ibn Sayyid al-Nas narrated it with his isnad through al-Tabarani and al-Bazzar in Minah al-madh (p. 192-193), also Ibn Kathir in al-Sira al-nabawiyya (ed. Mustafa `Abd al-Wahid 4:51), and `Ali al-Qari in his Sharh al-Shifa' (1:364) says it is narrated by Abu Bakr al-Shafi`i and Tabarani, and cited by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab and Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-ma`ad.

     

  5. The Prophet's poet, Hassan ibn Thabit al-Ansari said:
  6. tarahhala `an qawmin faddalat `uqulahum
    wa halla `ala qawmin bi nurin mujaddadi

    He left a people who preferred their minds over him
    and he dawned on a people with a light made new.

    mata yabdu fi al-daji al-bahimi jabinuhu
    yaluhu mithla misbahi al-duja al-mutawaqqidi

    Whenever his forehead emerged in pitch-black darkness
    it would shine like a blazing luminary in dark night.

    Bayhaqi narrated the two verses in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:280, 302). The latter verse is also narrated Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (1:341) and al-Zarqani in Sharh al-mawahib (1:91).

     

  7. Hassan also said, as quoted by Ibn Hisham on the last page of his Sirat Rasulillah:
  8. He was the light and the brilliance we followed.
    He was sight and hearing second only to Allah....

    By Allah, no woman has conceived and given birth
    To one like the Apostle,
    the Prophet and guide of his people.
    Nor has Allah created among his creatures
    One more faithful to his sojourner or his promise
    Than he who was the source of our light.
    [1]

     

  9. Abu `Ubayda ibn Muhammad ibn `Ammar ibn Yasir said: I said to al-Rubayyi` bint Mu`awwadh: "Describe for me Allah's Messenger." She replied: "If you saw him you would say: The sun is rising."
  10. Bayhaqi narrates it with his isnad in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:200), and Haythami in Majma` al-zawa'id (8:280) says that Tabarani narrates it in al-Mu`jam al-kabir and al-Awsat and that its narrators have been declared trustworthy.

     

  11. Ka`b ibn Malik said: "I greeted the Prophet and there was lightning in his face. Whenever the Prophet was happy, his face would be illuminated as if it were a piece of the moon."
  12. Bukhari and Muslim narrated it, as well as Ahmad in his Musnad. Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:301) relates these descriptions of the Prophet by the Companions and others:

     

  13. When the Prophet left Mecca and emigrated to Madina his aunt, `Atika bint `Abd al-Muttalib, recited the following -- although, Bayhaqi said, she still followed the religion of the Quraysh:
  14. `aynayya juda bi al-dumu`i al-sawajimi
    `ala al-murtada kal-badri min ali Hashimi

    My eyes have overflowed with streaming tears shed for the Uniquely Chosen One, the Full Moon of the House of Hashim.

     

  15. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq described the Prophet thus:
  16. aminun mustafa li al-khayri yad`u
    ka daw'i al-badri zayalahu al-zalamu

    A trustworthy one, chosen, calling to goodness,
    Resembling the light of the full moon set off from darkness.

     

  17. While `Umar would recite the following:
  18. law kunta min shay'in siwa basharin
    kunta al-mudi'a li laylat al-badri

    If you were anything other than a human being
    You would be the light in the night of a full moon.

    Bayhaqi narrated the above in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:301-302) and relates that `Umar added after saying the above: "The Prophet was like this, and no one other than he was like this." See the complete text of `Atika bint `Abd al-Muttalib's praise below (#545-550).

     

  19. Jami` ibn Shaddad said: One of our men was called Tariq. [al-Qari: "This is Ibn Shihab Abu `Abd Allah al-Muharibi, a Companion who narrated from the Prophet.] He related that he had seen the Prophet at Madina and the Prophet had asked: "Do you have anything with you to sell?" We replied: "This camel." The Prophet said: "How much?" We said: "So many wasqs [about 240 double-handed scoops] of date." He took its rein and went to Madina. Tariq and his companion said: "We have sold [on credit] to a man and we do not even know who he is!" One of the women with us said: "I will guarantee the price of the camel. I saw the face of a man like the full moon. He will not cheat you." In the morning, a man brought us the dates and said: "I am the messenger of the Messenger of Allah. He bids you eat of these dates and weigh until you have full weight." We did so.
  20. Qadi `Iyad narrates it in al-Shifa' (English p. 135). Suyuti in Manahil al-safa (p. 114 #515) and al-Qari in Sharh al-shifa' (1:525) refer it to al-Bayhaqi.

     

  21. Ibn `Abbas related that the Prophet said while in prostration: "O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light on my right, light on my left, light in front of me, light behind me, light above me, light below me, and make light for me," or he said: "Make me light." Salama said: I met Kurayb and he reported Ibn Abbas as saying: "I was with my mother's sister Maymuna when the Messenger of Allah came there, and then he narrated the rest of the hadith as was narrated by Ghundar and said the words: "Make me light," beyond any doubt.
  22. Muslim narrates it in his Sahih, book of Salat al-musafirin. Imam Ahmad in his Musnad also narrates it with a strong chain, but with the reverse order of the first narration cited above, resulting in the wording: "... and make me light," or he said: "Make light for me." Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 11:142) mentions a narration in Ibn Abi `Asim's Kitab al-du`a which states: "And grant me light upon light" (wa hab li nuran `ala nur).

    There are many sound narrations of this hadith mentioning other parts of the Prophet's person. Ibn Hajar states that Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi numbered the items for which the Prophet supplicated for light in himself at twenty-five in the totality of the sound narrations of that hadith. Among them are:

    Light in the Prophet's heart
    Light in the Prophet's tongue
    Light in the Prophet's hearing
    Light in the Prophet's eyesight
    Light in the Prophet's six directions: right, left, front, back, above, and below
    Light in the Prophet's soul
    Light in the Prophet's chest
    Light in the Prophet's sinew
    Light in the Prophet's flesh
    Light in the Prophet's blood
    Light in the Prophet's hair
    Light in the Prophet's skin
    Light in the Prophet's bones
    Light in the Prophet's grave
    "Enhance light for me."
    "Give me abundant light."
    "Give me light upon light."
    "Make me light."

     

  23. `Irbad ibn Sariya and Abu Imama said that the Prophet said: " I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, and the good tidings of my brother `Isa. The night I was delivered my mother saw a light that lit the castles of Damascus so that she could see them."
  24. It is narrated by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak (2:616-617), Ahmad in his Musnad (4:184), and Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:110, 2:8). Ibn al-Jawzi cites it in al-Wafa' (p. 91, ch. 21 of Bidayat nabiyyina sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), and Ibn Kathir in Mawlid rasul Allah and his Tafsir (4:360). Haythami cites it in Majma` al-zawa'id (8:221) and said Tabarani and Ahmad narrated it, and Ahmad's chain is fair (hasan). See for Ahmad's complete text Bisharatu `Isa (#454).

     

  25. Ibn Ishaq in his history of the early Muslims narrates something similar in a longer form as related in Ibn Hisham's epitome entitled Sirat Rasul Allah (Dar al-wifaq ed. 1/2:166):
  26. Ibn Ishaq said: Thawr ibn Yazid related to me from one of the scholars, and I do not reckon it is other than Khalid ibn Ma`dan al-Kala`i, that a small group of the Prophet's Companions said to him: "O Messenger of Allah, tell us about yourself." He replied: "Yes. I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, and the good tidings of my brother `Isa, and my mother saw, when she delivered me, that a great light issued from her and lit the castles of Sham for her...

    It is also related by Tabari in his History. Thawr ibn Yazid and Khalid ibn Ma`dan are trustworthy narrators from whom Bukhari and many others took hadith.

     

  27. Qadi `Iyad said in his book al-Shifa', in the chapter on the nobility of the Prophet's lineage:
  28. Ibn `Abbas said that the spirit of the Prophet was a light in front of Allah two thousand years before he created Adam. That light glorified Him and the angels glorified by his glorification. When Allah created Adam, he cast that light into his loins.

    Suyuti said in Manahil al-safa (p. 53 #128): "Ibn Abi `Umar al-`Adani relates it in his Musnad." In Takhrij ahadith sharh al-mawaqif (p. 32 #12) Suyuti cites it with the wording: "The Quraysh were a light in front of Allah." Ibn al-Qattan in his Ahkam (1:12) narrates it in the following form, although `Abd Allah al-Ghimari in Irshad al-talib rejects the latter as a forgery:

     

  29. `Ali ibn al-Husayn from his father from his grandfather said that the Prophet said: "I was a light in front of my Lord for fourteen thousand years before He created Adam."
  30. Something similar is narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Fada'il al-sahaba (2:663 #1130), Dhahabi in Mizan al-i`tidal (1:235), and al-Tabari in al-Riyad al-nadira (2:164, 3:154). Related to the above are the following reports:

     

  31. `Amr ibn `Abasa said that the Prophet said: "Verily, Allah created the spirits of His servants two thousand years before He created His servants. Then whichever among them recognized each other came close, and whichever did not, stayed apart."
  32. Suyuti in Takhrij ahadith sharh al-mawaqif (p. 31 #10) says that Ibn Mandah narrated it, while Haytami in his Fatawa hadithiyya says that it is extremely weak.

     

  33. Ibn `Abbas explained taqallubak -- "your translation" -- in the verses "[Your Lord] Who sees you when you stand, and your translation among those who prostrate themselves" (26:218-219), as "your descent through the loins of your ancestors." It is narrated from Ibn `Abbas by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2:338) and is the explanation retained by Ibn Mardawayh, al-Razi, Suyuti, and others.
  34. al-Shahrastani in his Kitab al-milal wa al-nihal (2:238) said: "The light of Muhammad went from Ibrahim to Isma`il. Then that light passed through all his children, until it arrived at `Abd al-Muttalib... and with the blessing of this light Allah repelled Abraha's harm" (wa bibarakati dhalik al-nur dafa` allahu ta`alaa sharra Abraha).

    Suyuti cites the above in several of his books, such as Masalik al-hunafa' (p. 40-41) which we translated below under the attribute Karim al-tarafayn (#485), also his al-Duruj al-munifa (p. 16) and his al-Ta`zim wa al-minna (p. 55), all three of which were written to show the bases on which the Prophet's two parents are considered to be in Paradise by the majority of the scholars.

     

  35. al-Zuhri narrated: `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib was the most handsome man that had ever been seen among the Quraysh. One day he went out and was seen by a an assembly of the women of Quraysh. One of them said: "O women of the Quraysh, which among you will marry this youth and catch thereby the light that is between his eyes?" For verily there was a light between his eyes. Thereafter Amina bint Wahb ibn `Abd Manaf ibn Zuhra married him, and after he joined her she carried Allah's Messenger.

al-Bayhaqi narrated it in Dala'il al-nubuwwa (1:87). Tabari in his Tarikh (2:243), Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Wafa' (p. 82-83, ch. 16 of Abwab bidayati nabiyyina), and Ibn Hisham narrated something similar but on the authenticity of which they raise doubt (cf. Guillaume trans. p. 68-69):

It is alleged a woman of Banu Asad who was the sister of Waraqa ibn Nawfal proposed to `Abd Allah, but he married Amina bint Wahb instead and consummated his marriage. Then he left her presence and met the woman who had proposed to him. He asked her why she did not make the proposal that she made to him the day before; to which she replied that the light that was in him the day before had left him, and she no longer had need of him... She said: "When you passed me there was a white blaze between your eyes and when I invited you you refused me and went to Amina, and she has taken it away."
 

NOTES

[1] Last lines of Ibn Hisham's Sirat Rasul Allah, trans. A. Guillaume, 9th printing (Karachi: Oxford U. Press, 1990)p. 690. 
 

Blessings and peace on the Prophet Muhammad, the Light of the Full Moon in its beauty, and upon his Family and Companions.

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