Follow the beloved. There is a well-known shaykh and khateeb here who every few sentences in his Khutbah will say, “Follow the Prophet of God.” I’ve found his speeches to be enriching and always relevant. There are constant reminders sprinkled within his speech that cause one to fall in love with the beloved of God.
Cairo is an interesting place when it comes to the Prophet and his family. They love the Prophet and Ahlul Bayt, they break up arguments and fights by telling each other to send Salawat Ala Nabi. Yes, I’ll admit that sometimes there are small segments of people that go a bit too far in their love, but overall, it’s sincere, devoted, admiration for the one that God sent to be a guidance and mercy for humankind.
Coming from a Christian background I had an aversion of glorifying these heavenly sent men. I saw what happened when a people made God’s prophets into more than human, and I avoided it strongly. Yet, after some time I realized something, this aversion was leading to a void in my faith.
I was commanded to love him, and to follow him. I was told that his family was beloved to him and so they should be beloved to me. I was told that sending Salawat on him would result in God’s blessings in my life and the increase in good deeds. But nonetheless, I kept his remembrance at bay, afraid to fall into the abyss that those of other faith groups fell into.
Until I came to understand his rank with the Divine. Until I heard songs of his greatness that caused my own heart to sing. Until I realized what it truly meant for him to stand until his feet became swollen, praying for none other than me. Until I realized that he told his own companions that you and I are his true beloveds. Until I realized that the Day of Judgement will not begin until the Prophet Muhammad calls upon our Lord. When I realized that he has saved a special prayer, to intercede for you and I, on a day when we will beg for our Lord’s mercy.
When I understood, I fell in love. I love him because God loves him, and I pray that maybe because of my love for him, that God will love me as well.
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