Given the fact that its Rabi’l Awwal, the Islamic month traditionally considered the month in which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born, I thought this excerpt from Gai Eaton is apt.
Below are also two particularly favourite odes of mine in praise of the Prophet (SAW) written by the great poet, scholar and sufi Shaykh Salih al-Jafa’ri al-Azhari, both in Arabic. Enjoy!
On Praising the Prophet
“…Century after century poems have been composed in praise of the Prophet, poems as fit to be chanted beside the cradle as beside the death-bed or in the assemblies of the faithful, expressing a devotion which often astonishes those who know only one side of Islam. They sometimes betray a profound nostalgia for that golden age in which every pious Muslim would have wished to live, not only for the sweet and noble companionship but also because, in retrospect, it is seen as a time when everything was as it should be and as it has never been since. No detail of the Prophet’s life, however trivial it might seem in worldly terms, is found unworthy of praise, and everything with which he came into contact has been, as it were, sanctified by his touch. There is a little Moroccan poem which conveys something of this quality of wonder. “They sleep in the night of the grave, those women whose luminous hands wove Muhammad’s cloak. Where long whitening are the bones of the sheep which gave their wool for Muhammad’s cloak? Towards what stars have ascended the drops of water which rose as mist when the wool of those sheep lay drying in the sun? It was supple as smoke. When Muhammad (blessings and peace upon him) let it loose on the breeze you would have thought it a cloud billowing in the wind. It was transparent as air. And those who kissed its hem now drink from the streams which sing in Paradise, and Allah smiles upon them through all eternity.” They are long gone, those women and those sheep and that cloak itself, and the world is bereft…”
Islam and the Destiny of Man – Gai Eaton, 1985.
One of my favourites.