retread| Love the Prophet -p 13 May 2006Posted by EDITOR in MOZAFFAR, Spirituality.
Retreads are quality posts from yesterweeks that are given a second run on Saturdays. This piece was originally posted by MOZAFFAR on 20 February 2006.
One of my close family members died a few years ago.
And, since that time, I’ve felt this need to honor all of his friends. So many of his friends are themselves aging, and I have this need to serve them water, to bring them a pillow, or to sit on my knees and hear their stories.
And, since that time, I’ve eagerly listened to stories about his life. Anecdotes. Lessons. Words of wisdom. Dreams. Hopes. Sadnesses.
And, of course, there are some stories I’ve heard many times. And, it’s easy to forget that he is himself more than just a character in the story; it’s easy to overlook him and start looking at this story as thought it’s some form of ritual that we need to get through by going through the motions of telling the story. It’s like when I’m listening to the National Anthem; rather than listen to it, I just appreciate it, and like Pavlov’s dog, I enter this artificial formalistic mindset.
And, when I drive or walk through the neighborhood, I’ll see someone that — for that split second — looks just like him. And, for that split second, I so want that stranger to be him. I was driving, and saw in the car next to me a man who looked like he was wearing the same pair of eyeglasses, and had a similar hairstyle. And, that driver turned to my direction (perhaps to change lanes), and in that moment, I thought I was looking at my family member.
And, sometimes, when I’m strolling through his own neighborhoods, I’ll think of him walking through those neighborhoods. I’ll think of him looking at the buildings I’m looking at. I plan to visit the small town he grew up in, and I’m already picturing him as a young man in that town.
And, I so long to meet him again …on the other side. Too often, we misread the Prophet -peace be upon him.
Usually, we limit him to the simple role of a delivery person. Meaning, his job was to deliver the Qur’an, and for many of us, he has no other function.
For many of us, we have reduced the Prophet -p- to a mechanical, idealized human being. We picture him as this sterilized non-human human.
On the flipside, there are those individuals who claim to love the Prophet -p, and there are those groups which claim to work in his model, and they claim to show their love by celebrating him. But, when they interact with others (especially those who seem to disagree with them), they are the most self-righteous, vicious, arrogant and obnoxious of individuals.
Thus, when we treat him -p- as such, we deprive ourselves of him. And if we deprive ourselves of him, we deprive ourselves of so much in our relationship with his Creator, because the Prophet -p- is, at the very, very least, the model slave of God.
Make the Prophet -p, someone you love intensely.