Nouman Ali Khan:
One extreme loves the personality too much, and the other says to go to books, not the Sunnah. At the end of the day, taqlid is done with wisdom. Allah does say to ask those of knowledge if you know not. Especially because the ones against taqlid and listening to the rulings of scholars are doing taqlid themselves. Books are by people( scholarly works, Hadith books, Qur’aan tafseers). Yes, no one is free of flaws, but we tend to look at the flaws more than the good that the people are doing (There can be a mountain of good someone does, but we’ll ingore it for the one bad thing they did). We can disagree with these people, but we must do so with respect. Only the Qur’aan (and no not the translations of it) is protected from error, but we have to rely on scholars as well. We’ve lowered the bar because we’re not the Sahabah (we can’t do all the things they did), but this should strengthen us. They should be our examples because the Prophet* was their example. Nothing is as devastating and will hurt more than death, we need to be prepared and be consistent in our works.
Before talking about Hadith, Imam Malik would shower, burn incense, wear nice clothes, etc. etc. He revered the Prophet* to that extent (He also walked barefoot in Medina because he didn’t want to put his shoes where at one time the Prophet* might have walked). The Prophet’s* example should heal us and our heart’s diseases. Can we love the Prophet* without knowing him? Of course not. We can summarize his life like an encyclopedia article, but that does not mean we know him. It doesn’t mean we have learned ANYTHING meaningful. We should read the Seerah of the Prophet*. Did Allah only love the Prophet* because he ate with his right hand (or some other small Sunnah)? No, it was because of the Prophet’s* character. Everything else came later. If someone cursed the Prophet*, he* would turn it into a prayer for him. Do we do that? Of course not. Isa* (Jesus) once said that a man can only spend from what he owns. If goodness is all you have, that’s all you can give. Just because we do the small Sunnahs doesn’t mean we’ve reached our goal. The Prophet* was protected from sin, yet EVERYDAY he would say istigfaar (repentance) SEVENTY times a day! He* is a mirror for us.
We should love the Prophet*, but not as much as to raise him to the status of God. That would be committing shirk. The Prophet* is not the one who guides, God guides.
We take for granted everyday that we will be here, but we have no guarantee. We don’t have a contract with God telling us when we will die. We should try and save ourselves and our families from hellfire. Once the Prophet* said “If you knew what I know, you would laugh less and cry more.” Look at the situation we’re in! Allah does not raise a people unless they change themselves. Open any newspaper and you’ll see headlines of Muslims doing x, y and z. Things that would have been inconceivable at the time of the Prophet*. This is the man that united the whole Arabian peninsula without the means we have. And we’ve tarnished the name of Islam. We’ve let extremists show the world who the Muslims are when they are not representative of us. The port deal wasn’t pushed because of the fear of Muslims. But SIXTY PERCENT of ports are ALREADY owned by foreigners and there was no objection. The company that was actually an originally British company was turned down even though it meant immense financial gain for the U.S. We need to work to preserve the name of Islam.
We should not go home unchanged because we are accountable for what we learn. Why are we so concerned if the imam goes on a bit too long for the khutbah?? We should learn from the khutbah and not be impatient.
We should show concern for humanity. The Prophet* was not a guide for Muslims, he was sent as a mercy to mankind. How many lives have we touched or reached out to? Things like this will count of the Day of Judgment, not our material desires. We should be charitable to society, not just Muslims because this is our duty and the reward comes back to us. Aisha* used to perfume the charity she gave so that when it reached Allah, it would smell sweet. We are the Ummah of the Prophet* and we need to start acting like it in our actions.