A Meeting of Kindred
To be invited to the holy cities is an immense blessing from Allah, and to tread on the very same soil that our beloved and most noble Master Muhammad (صلي الله عليه و سلم) also trod, we must undoubtedly count ourselves fortunate beyond what one can ever imagine. To have been selected amongst hundreds of brothers and sisters much better than ourselves to be a part of the Rihla to Madinah the Radiant we were blessed in so many ways.
One of the most unique aspects of the Rihla was that we were given the opportunity of connecting to our Most Beloved Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) through the recitation and commentary on the Shama’il of Imaam Tirmidhi (also known as Shama’il E Muhammadiyah) with an unbroken chain. This noble task was supremely conveyed to us by our eminent and erudite scholar Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi Al-Hasani may Allah increase him. So many students on the Rihla made the same assertion, that to be taught the Shama’il in Madinah by Shaykh Muhammad was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Every class was a savoured moment in time, the mental image of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) being built up in our minds, his Sunnah being brought to life by his grandson. We look back now remembering how Shaykh Muhammad showed us how most eloquently the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) would lick his fingers after a meal, how he would sit and how he would walk with vigour and determination. I remember the description of his illuminated face (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and how a companion came to the conclusion that it was indeed more beautiful than the full moon and his hair that he would care for by placing olive oil in it. Some days we would meet friends and comment on how we saw traits of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) in people we knew and saw, not a moment would pass by that our attention wouldn’t be brought back to the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) through a deed or spoken word. In studying the Shama’il we all felt so much more connected to the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and our stay in his city was brought to life.
We were also blessed with Shaykh Muhammad’s presence when we visited the Rawdha, we observed the etiquette with which the Shaykh conducted himself in this, the most holiest of places. I guess it’s difficult for us to understand or even comprehend the manner with which the people who are close to Allah and his Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) make their salutations, after all, they are the true seekers, true heirs. Like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said, these precious moments will either count for us or against us on the Day of Account. Being sat in the Rawdha was surreal, it was calm and serene, brothers and sisters supplicating, taking stock of the occasion and being mindful to pray in the exact points where the forehead of our Blessed Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) touched, we pray that those days count in our favour. As our gaze wondered, we saw Shaykh Muhammad looking into the Holy enclosure, later amongst friends we spoke about the meeting of the grandson with his Grandfather (صلي الله عليه و سلم). That night we were fortunate enough to witness a meeting of kindred, a meeting like no other.
We sat with him, sang with him, laughed with him and shed tears with him, for this and so much more we are indebted to Shaykh Muhammad for blessing us with his presence physically and spiritually during the Rihla to Madinah.
- Z.Z. & A.Q.P.