To You, my Lord, I complain of my weakness...
Photo: The mosque built next to the grave of Adaas, a Christian slave who became Muslim after he served the Prophet (saw) grapes in Taif. © Fareena Alam. Please do not re-use without permission and proper credit.
Where to begin? To encapsulate a beautiful dream in a few words would be to squeeze a camel through the eye of a needle…
‘To You, my Lord,
I complain of my weakness,
lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.
Most Compassionate and Merciful!
You are the Lord of the weak,
and you are my Lord.
To whom do You leave me?
To a distant person who receives me with hostility?
Or to an enemy You have given power over me?
As long as you are not displeased with me,
I do not care what I face.
I would, however,
be much happier with Your mercy.
I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in their right course against incurring your wrath or being the subject of your anger.
To You I submit,
until I earn Your pleasure.
Everything is powerless without your support.’
Bleeding and shaken, our Holy Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) invokes his Lord; how? He first identifies himself with ‘the weak,’ a humble being who is all too aware that he is subject to his Lord’s mercy, He it is who has the power to leave his own chosen one wherever He wills; even in the hands of his enemies.
He (صلي الله عليه و سلم) complains to his Lord; why? He has been stoned out of Taif, where he went with a peaceful message, seeking refuge from persecution, all to be pushed back from whence he came; to be returned to where he received insults and foul language, where his path was laid with thorns, his holy body was smeared with intestines…
Exiled and humiliated, our Holy Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) craves for his Lord’s pleasure. ‘As long as [He] is not displeased’ nothing matters. Our Holy Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) is agitated and perplexed, he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) is disturbed…why? Although his Lord has forgiven his sins, chosen him above mankind, revealed to him the Holy Book, brought him near to Him like none other, placed his name alongside His own, our Holy Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) is concerned that perchance his Lord is angry with him (صلي الله عليه و سلم).
Humiliated and powerless, our Holy Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) seeks refuge in The Light of the heavens and earth, he submits his entire being to Him. Eleven years later, in the eighth year of Hijrah the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) returns to Makkah as the most modest of conquerors, having achieved the greatest victory for Islam.
The link between Taif and the Fath cannot be overstated. His complete turning to, and trust in Allah was eventually rewarded. If in the twenty-first century we share the Prophet's (صلي الله عليه و سلم) feelings at this time in his life, then we must turn to Him as he did, with the same level of conviction, and in the same desperate manner. The power of this dua cannot be overstated; the fruits which it bore are clear for the eye to behold. Our beloved Shaykh Hamza could not hold back his tears when relating this event.
You may ask why I have blogged about the darker side of a trip that was Alhamdulillah full of smiles and joy; why have I touched upon the low point of the Prophet’s (صلي الله عليه و سلم) life? I sincerely believe that the solution we are yearning for lies in this dua. Don’t you think that our Ummah is in no better a state than he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) was when making this Dua? Where is our guaranteed forgiveness for past and future sins? Where is our promised seat in Jannah? Our status is miles below his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) yet despite our sorry condition we fail collectively to turn to Him as he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) did. Insha-Allah this dua will inspire all and insha-Allah through following his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) example we will reach out from the depths of darkness into Light.
May Allah reward our beloved Shuyookh who guided us through the Rihla as well as the wonderful organisers, who through their hard work and dedication made the Rihla a magnificent experience. Ameen. I am still failing to push the camel through the needle’s eye…this beautiful dream can never be described in its entirety, it is impossible to render into words the enrapture of mind, body, heart and soul when standing before the greatest of creation (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and before the house of The Greatest.