MAULANA’S LOVE AND DEVOTION FOR PROPHET MUHAMMAD – İbrahim Emiroğlu
MAULANA’S LOVE AND DEVOTION FOR PROPHET MUHAMMAD
İbrahim Emiroglu, PhD
Hz. Maulana Jelalu’d-din Rûmi was profoundly devoted to the Prophet. Hz. Maulana’s deep love, respect and devotion to Muhammad (pbuh) were based on these reasons:
- The greatness of his name and worth.
- His superior, worthy, respectable and influential personality.
- His beautiful virtue, his being subject to divine grace and favor, and the universality of the great mission and message he brought.
Hz. Maulana Jelalu’d-din Rûmi (1207-1273) is a soldier and volunteer (on the path of Truth) who dedicated his life to knowledge, wisdom, and virtue, in short, to Allah and the people. Taking the beautiful morality of the Prophet as his example, he attempts to teach man the roads to virtue and excellence in all of his works.
Hz. Maulana frequently touches on the prophets, their struggles and the beauty of their virtue in his works. He mentions by one means or another almost every prophet who is named in the Quran. He bases his description of the Prophet mainly on the Quran, hadiths, historical events and narrations. By adding poetical expressions of his profound love to this material, Rûmi presents a rich discourse. We see that he refers to and describes our prophet in this order: Ahmed, Muhammad, Mustafa, Prophet, Messenger, Ahmed-i Muhtar, Nebi, Ambassador of Allah, Highest of the Prophets, Sultan, Padishah and Yasin.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
Understanding the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a major task. There is aid and bountiful grace for someone who truly understands the Prophet and follows in his path. In spite of this, Maulana complains that no one fully understands him and says that in order to truly understand the Prophet, it is necessary to abandon ignorance, prejudice, false pride, ambition and mistaken judgment.
Only someone with an evil heart who compares the Prophet’s work with his own ignorance and ambition can have such suspicion (conquest of land) about him.
If you look from a yellow window, you will see the sun’s light as yellow.
Break the blue and yellow glass and see the soldier and his dust!
MAULANA’S LOVE, RESPECT AND PRAISE FOR MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
It is understood that these lines which Maulana repeats in several places are first of all spoken for his beloved, Muhammad (pbuh). In these verses he expresses his longing and yearning for his beloved and his helplessness in this matter.
If the wind had taken me to you,
I would have held tight to the skirts of the wind.
I miss you so much that I would fly to you faster than a bird;
But how can a bird with a clipped wing fly?
It is understood that the yearning felt for the Prophet by Hz. Maulana, who was accustomed to longing, was much greater than what he felt towards Hz. Shamsuddin Tabrizi and the others he loved. He expresses his longing for the Prophet in this brief anecdote:
The Wailing pole was crying and moaning like people with intelligence because of separation from the Prophet.
The Prophet asked, “Hey pole, what do you want?” The pole replied, “My blood has frozen from separation. You were leaning on me, but now you left me and have mounted the pulpit…”
If Mustafa does not make a path in our hearts, does not exist in our hearts and does not lean on our hearts, it is natural that we moanl and turn into a Wailing pole.
While giving a sermon, the Prophet would lean on a branch from a date tree. When those listening to him in the masjid increased, they made a pulpit because everyone could not see his saintly face. When the Prophet mounted the pulpit, the date branch, which was one of the poles supporting the masjid, began to moan because of separation from Muhammad. Finally, when the Prophet descended from the pulpit and put his hand on the “wailing” pole, it became quiet. Maulana refers to this event in the anecdote above.
Hz. Maulana eagerly waited to escape from the prison of this world where he felt longing and return as soon as possible to the side of and reunite with Allah’s beloved friend, Muhammad.
In places where Muhammad is mentioned, we see that Hz. Maulana’s style becomes more respectful and refined. Just as with his life, his language was always full of respect and love for the Prophet. In almost every place where the Prophet’s name appears, he shows his love and respect by greeting the Prophet with “May Allah’s mercy and peace be upon him,” as is custom in the Islamic tradition.
He was such a person that on examination day (Miraj) he closed his eyes and heart to the treasury of the seven heavens.
The sky was full from one end to another with houris and angels who wanted to see him.
They all adorned themselves for him, but where was any desire in him except for love, inclination and affection to the beloved?
He was so full of divine exaltation and divine beauty that experts on divinity could not find the path to this station.
He said, “No prophet possessing law can attain my station nor can an angel or even a spirit;” think about that and understand.
“We are honored with the secret, ‘His eyes were not directed to or amazed by anything but God’ (Najm 53/17). We are not crows; we are drunk with Allah, who paints the world in different colors. ‘We are not intoxicated with orchards and gardens,’ he said!”
Wherever there was a tree or rock, it openly greeted Mustafa…
The moon split asunder when it saw his moon face.
He is the imam of good works; he arranges miracles for the beneficent ones.
In short, the Prophet is the unequaled soldier of his age; a prince that astounds his time; one who calls the people to noble tasks; a mercy to all from Allah; the imam of piety and the right way who was privy to the most amazing secrets; the secret of Allah; His pure subject; the glory of God, the law and religion.
He attained exaltedness with his evolvedness.
He illuminated darkness with the beauty of his face.
All his temperaments were beautiful.
Mercy to him and his descendants!
MAULANA’S DEVOTION TO MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
Hz. Maulana Jelalu’d-din Rûmi was profoundly attached to Allah and the Prophet, the last envoy He sent. In this famous quatrain he exclaimed his devotion to Allah and Muhammad as follows:
My soul in my skin is such a slave to the Quran; I am dirt on the road of God’s distinguished Prophet Muhammad.
Whoever attributes other words besides these to me, I will complain before the words and the carrier of them.
He Must Be Affirmed
Hz. Maulana Jelalu’d-din explains at length in the Mesnevi that no hesitancy should be shown in affirming Muhammad because when he was just a child he carried some extraordinary qualities, that even the big idols at the Kaaba knew his apostleship was in the making, and that even a baby miraculously recognized the Prophet.
The idolaters failing to approve of Muhammad in spite of his simplicity and trustworthiness and the truth of what he said, plus his miracles that no one could match, is based on emotional reasons, not rational ones. They displayed an example of dogmatic disbelief. Maulana gives many examples related to this. According to him, in spite of their knowing the last prophet Muhammad very well, they did not affirm him because of their jealousy.
The Necessity of Following His Path
It is necessary to follow the Prophet Muhammad, because, saving man from idolatry, ignorance and oppression, he established tawhid (belief in unity), knowledge, rights and justice. For this reason, Hz. Maulana was pleased to follow Muhammad.
New, fortunate friends, it is our duty to put our lives on the line; the head of the caravan is Mustafa, who is praised by the world.
We learned the art of soldiery from God; we are wrestlers of love and friends of Ahmed.
O my soul, the unaccepted one becomes weary and fed up; but I am from the line of the Prophet (I do not shrink from my duty). O my soul, I am the skirts of the sultan’s garment, running behind him.
Let countless Arabian horses be yours; let Ahmed-i Muhtar’s Buraq be ours.
Even if the whole world is a holiday and full of joy, let the world be yours; let the beloved be ours; that is enough for us.
But in order to follow on the path of Muhammad Mustafa and scale the heights like him, love is necessary. Maulana insistently indicates that only words or form are not sufficient to prove we love the Prophet; in addition to these, it is important to follow his path. “He is constantly giving greetings to the Prophet, but where is Mustafa’s purity in him?” asks Maulana. Once he scolded Amir Pervane who wanted some advice from him, “You read the words of Allah and his envoy, spoke of them as you should and you know them as you should, but you didn’t take advice from them or act on any verse or hadith as you should; then why would you listen to my advice and act upon it?”
REASONS FOR HIS LOVE, RESPECT AND DEVOTION TO MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
We can list the reasons for Maulana’s love, respect and devotion to Muhammad (pbuh) based on material from him as follows:
- The Greatness of Muhammad’s Name and His Worth
According to Hz. Maulana, Muhammad’s name is sacred. Those who make fun of his name or take it lightly will become wretched and sorry. Again according to Maulana, the world takes pride in Mustafa. No one like him has come or will come. Due to this, he is the last prophet. His name passes as Ahmed in the Bible. Because of this, reasonable Christians, in whose book his name and attributes are written, do not have difficulty in recognizing the last prophet Muhammad. Muhammad’s name is a sound fortress; for this reason, those who take refuge in him are protected and saved.
In his works, especially his Letters, Maulana, using the prophet’s name, asks for some demands to be met for his sake.
- His Being an Important and Worthy Person
According to Maulana, just as Muhammad is important for all of mankind, he has a special importance and value for his ummah. According to Hz.Maulana, Muhammad is time’s unequaled soldier and server. He is a mercy sent to man by Allah. Again, being the imam of piety and finding the true path, he is the last and the favorite of prophets. Due to this, he has a special value both for Allah and mankind.
Again according to Hz.Maulana, Muhammad is the mercy of the worlds and he gave nobility to the poor. He taught many fine secrets to friends of God and soldiers of the heart. Because he showed loyalty and a smiling face, he has a special importance and worth when compared to other people and prophets.
- Having Beautiful Virtues
In his works, Hz.Maulana mentions Muhammad with these names and characteristics. Even though some are names of praise, the beautiful virtues of the Prophet underlie them.
Hadrat Ahmed…; Embodiment of the Law, Ahmed…; Mustafa;
…O Prophet of Goodness, o refined person; moon-faced; sweet-tempered Mustafa…
Mine of love, O sea of goodness…
Imam of good works; giving order to miracles and the beneficent, Mustafa…
O “Vennajmi” padishah, “Abese” sultan…
…Interceding friend, a noble light…one who has tied the belt of intercession to his waist, o sun of the next world, mercy to the sons of Adam…
In addition to the beautiful names and attributes we have listed so far, Hz.Maulana also mentioned the beauty and beautiful morality Muhammad possessed. As he indicated, people learned beautiful morality and purity from Mustafa.
Muhammad was a person who did not give value to worldly goods. He tried to conquer hearts, not the world. Muhammad’s desire to conquer Mecca and other places was because of Allah’s command, not because he wanted worldly goods.
- His Receiving Divine Grace and Favor
Of course, Allah will protect His beloved prophet of mercy whom he chose for a specific mission and will make his religion victorious. As Hz.Maulana indicated, Allah’s light is helping Muhammad. If the protector of someone is Allah, then a bird will be his sentinel and guard, even a fish! According to Hz.Maulana, Allah’s greatest gift to Muhammad was the teaching of the Quran, revelation and esoteric knowledge.
Allah’s raising Muhammad on the Miraj can be considered as one of His greatest blessings and favors. Hz.Maulana frequently dwells on the Miraj event. The reasons for the miraj are based on Allah’s giving His beloved servant and envoy blessings, favors, good news and spiritual gifts; showing that Muhammad’s worth and rank in Allah’s eyes was above that of other prophets; giving him strength and courage; and showing him some scenes regarding the conditions of the afterlife in order to inform his ummah of them.
- His Having A Great Mission
At a time when the ignorant appeared and idolaters and deviation were dominant, Allah sent Muhammad with light shining in his heart. He revealed a book that would heal hearts. “O mankind, advice and remedy for the troubles in your hearts have come from your Lord” (Al-Yunus 10/57). While the people had conformed to things with no essence, he was sent to guide them with truth on the straight path. He gave advice to his ummah with his words and actions; he explained to them the roads that are haram and halal. Thus, he completed his mission of apostleship. With Maulana’s words, the law Muhammad brought superseded previous laws.
As an example of truthfulness, the Prophet carried the mission of conveying the truth: “…Whatever Ahmed says is truth from the sea of truth. His words are pearls from that sea.”
As Maulana indicated, a prophet needs to awaken the people through his call. However, the prophet who is given this duty does not have the power to lead people to the straight path. He can only struggle in this direction. In the final analysis, saving people is Allah’s job. God Almighty has two main attributes: wrath and grace. Prophets have been subjected to both. Believers are subject to Allah’s grace and non-believers to His wrath.
In short, Muhammad came with the mission of saving people from the fire of ignorance and guiding and enabling them to live what is right, true, beautiful, and good. While fulfilling his mission, he behaved in a very kind, protective and watchful way.
He said to the sea of kindness, “I am kinder to you than you.
I resemble a man sitting on the edge of a fire that has become terribly inflamed and stark…”
His saving efforts were not just for this world, but for the next world as well.
The resistance of the ignorant and their obstacles to his religion would not be effective against Muhammad’s influence and power, and the religion he conveyed will endure until Doomsday. What remains for man to do is to affirm the apostleship of the Prophet who shouldered this important mission. Hz. Muhammad was truthful (al-Amin), loyal and did not talk off the top of his head; he conveyed to man what Allah revealed to him. The person shouldering this mission should be approved of.
- Due To His Superiority and the Universality of His Message
According to Hz. Maulana, many people have been created from clay, but the most superior among them is Muhammad. The last of the prophets spread abundance to the world in honor of religion. Unopened doors open with his breath; his prayer was answered in both worlds. He is an intercessor in this world and the next. In this world he guides people to religion and in the next world, to heaven. The earth has given forth many children, but Ahmed is superior to them all!
On account of the Prophet’s superiority, Hz.Maulana mentions him with many beautiful names and virtues. A few of them are: Mustafa was formidable and a giver of glad tidings. He was the prophet who spoke the most beautifully, the most clearly and the most appropriately. Muhammad has no equal. He is the best of the nation of prophets; the light on the earth and in the heavens. An envoy of both worlds, he was a guide to man and jinns. As Muhammad himself said, no prophet would follow him and no ummah would be superior to his.
Coming to the universality of Muhammad’s message to mankind, we find alot of material of Hz.Maulana on this subject. With Hz.Maulana’s words, the coinage of sultans constantly changes, but Ahmed’s coinage will endure until Doomsday! What can those who do not see this as a miracle say to the radiant Quran with a hundred tongues called the “Mother of Books”? No one has the power to steal a letter from it or add a word to it. “How many commentaries have been written for the Quran because God wanted Muhammad to exalt religion, wanted it to be brought forth and wanted it to endure?… The whole world has written volumes of commentary since the Prophet’s time until now and they are still writing, but they are ever helpless to grasp and understand it. As stated in the Quran, even if Muhammad dies, the religion he conveyed will remain (Al-i Imran 3/144), and the Quran will be under divine protection (Al-Hijr 15/9).”
In his works, Hz.Maulana Jelalu’d-din Rûmi frequently mentions the prophets, their struggles, and their virtues. It can be seen that the love Hz.Maulana feels for Muhammad (pbuh) and the value and importance he gives to him among the prophets is superior to any other.
According to Hz.Maulana, Muhammad is a prophet whose name and worth is great in Allah’s presence. The Prophet came with a mission to guide and have people apply what is right, true, beautiful and good. In short, he was given the duty of saving people from the fire of ignorance.
As expressed in the Quran, even if Muhammad dies, the religion he conveyed will endure. Of course, providing many favors and blessings, Allah will protect His beloved prophet of mercy whom He chose and sent with a specific mission, and He will make his religion victorious.
Hz. Maulana saw it as necessary to love Muhammad and follow his path. He himself was a person profoundly devoted to Muhammad. He demonstrated this with his thought and lifestyle. His main base was the Quran and the Prophet’s life, and his main goal, as clearly expressed in his poetry and other works, was to live a life in harmony with these two sources. It is not possible to truly know Hz.Maulana without knowing his main resource and basic supports, the Quran and Muhammad.