A few mornings ago, I woke up feeling excited and full of energy. I could feel my body moving and swaying to the beat of my heart. I got ready for the day and tried to look my best, dressing in green and white. I left the house quickly to get to class early, walking with a skip in my step while humming “Tala’al badru ‘alayna.” That morning we were going to begin the Haqeeqah Muhammadiyyah, the Seerah, and it felt like I was going to go see my beloved, my Nabi, Sayyiduna Rasool ul Allah ﷺ.
اللَّـهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚ نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ ۗ يَهْدِي اللَّـهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّـهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿24:35﴾
Allah ﷻ is the light of all the heavens and the earth. The example of His light in this universe is like that of Sayyiduna Rasool ul Allah ﷻ. Within our beloved Nabi is his heart, a source of light, as though it was a glowing star lit from the oil of a blessed olive tree, whose oil would continue to glow even if never touched. It is light upon light.
This is the Noor of Allah ﷻ, the light that is in the heart of each and every single mu’min, and above all, in the heart of the best and most perfect of all creation, Sayyiduna Rasool ul Allah ﷻ.
Light is the means by which we see. Just as we need physical light to see physical objects, spiritual light allows us to understand the meanings and realities around us. When we see things and experience them, it is because of the light we see. We see each other because of the light reflected in one other and within our hearts – and this is because of the Noor of Allah ﷻ. Everything perceivable we experience is by His Noor. If the light of Allah ﷻ wasn’t there, we wouldn’t be able to see. He is the source of light, and from Him comes the light of Sayyiduna Rasool ul Allah, who feeds our light. It’s like a little chain of light – from Allah ﷻ, to the Prophet ﷺ, to us.
And the light of our beloved Nabi ﷺ existed far before anyone. He was the first of the messengers in creation and the last of them in being sent. His light that gives and spreads was created before even Sayyiduna Adam was created. Allah ﷻ chose him and honored him, before any other being. His name was inscribed on the leg of the throne of Allah ﷻ, on the doors and leaves of the other world. His name is forever joined with the name of Allah ﷻ for eternity, and we are reminded of that incredible honor every single time we say “La ilaaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasool ul Allah.” We are reminded of this honor that we hold in our hearts and souls, for being among those who testify this fact. His blessed name was carved into the ‘Arsh of Allah ﷻ, and his name is carved into our hearts and souls as well.
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ was a man, yes, but not just any man. He was the best of human beings. The Noor and meaning of the Prophet ﷺ is unique because it existed before anyone. Although he was indeed made of clay like the rest of human-kind, his reality is nawraani, a light-reality. Him being a bashar, a human, doesn’t mean that he isn’t Noor. He was chosen, lovingly selected and preferred by Allah ﷻ from the best of humankind. Before he fully came into this reality, Noor came with him when his mother, Sayyidatuna Aminah gave birth to him. She saw light coming from her, radiating and glowing for miles.
We know that all of our souls were created before our bodies in Allah ﷻ’s realm of knowledge. There, we took an oath with our Rabb, testifying that he is our Lord. And just as Sayyiduna Adam is the father of all humans in body, our beloved Sayyiduna Rasool ul Allah is the father of all humans in soul. He is Abu al-Arwaah because his rooh is the source. And because he is who he is, the first creature the earth will split open for on the Day of Resurrection is Sayyiduna Rasool ul Allah. And those who will be the first to be raised with him are those who lived their lives believing in Allah ﷻ and his messengers. They are his followers and part of his ummah, those who strived their best to follow in his footsteps in every way possible, despite the forces that drive against them.
On that day, when I will be crying, “nafsi, nafsi!” My beloved Nabi will be lovingly pleading, “ummati, ummati” – praying for you and me. His care and love for us extends beyond the bounds of time and space – so I ask myself this:
Am I truly part of the ummah of my beloved?
Do I live up to my claim of loving him?
Will I be amongst the first to be raised with him on that day?