Thursday, 26 April 2012

From Twlight to Fajr (Light of the Moon)

I want to talk about vampires. Not just any vampires- because they vary a lot from book to book and film to film- I want to talk about Twilight vampires. Now if you don’t know anything about them, congratulations, you’ve saved yourself several hours you can never get back. If you do know a thing or two about them, don’t worry– you may actually be the ones who gain more from this. There’s a special section at the end just for you.

In the Twilight saga, vampires are ‘designed’ to be outwardly perfect. Their features are elegant and refined. They look so beautiful they glow. When people get closer, they hear their melodic voices which are just as attractive to the ears. When they get closer still, the vampires even smell good!

Why all these characteristics? To allure people, to charm them and draw them closer. Why? So the vampire can then bite into them and suck their blood, of course! They’re predators and they’ve got to eat, you know?

Now let’s talk about the Messenger (SAW). (There’s a link, bear with me!) As someone who has studied Psychology, there’s something that always fascinated me about the prophets, and in particular our last and final messenger, Muḥammed (SAW). We often learn about his good character, his piety, his skill as a leader– for good reason, as these are the things we can benefit from by emulating- but the Messenger (SAW), was also ‘designed’ to be outwardly perfect, or at least as perfect as a human can be. Let’s look at two features in particular.

The Prophet (SAW) was very handsome and this is mentioned in many narrations. Abu Hurayrah (RA) said, "The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) was so clean, clear, beautiful and handsome, as though his body was covered and moulded in silver." Jābir (RA) tells of one night when he looked at the Prophet (SAW) and then at the full moon shining, trying to decide which was more beautiful and radiant. He decided it must be the Prophet (SAW). 'Ali (RA) also described him by saying, "Any person who saw him suddenly would become awe-inspired." He (SAW) was so good looking and handsome, he literally glowed with light, subḥanallāh!

The Messenger (SAW) even smelled good! His sweat is narrated to have smelled like musk. One time, Umm Sulaym (RA) saw the Messenger (SAW) sleeping and sweat came from his body. She began to collect it in a small bottle and the Messenger (SAW) woke up and asked her what she was doing. She replied: “We use this in our perfume, it has the most fragrance”. In another narration, Anas (RA) said: ‘I did not smell anything more fragrant than the fragrant smell of the Messenger of Allāh (SAW). Its fragrance was better than amber and musk.” His breath was just as beautifully fragrant. It’s been narrated that the Messenger (SAW) blew into his hands and then wiped them over Uqbah (RA) which gave him a wonderful smell. Even the fragrance of all four of Uqbah’s (RA) wives’ perfume couldn’t compete with it.

These things were gifts from Allāh, out of his mercy to us. How? It shows Allāh gave people every opportunity to believe. The Messenger (SAW) was given the miracle of the Qur’ān and then he was also blessed with other miracles like the splitting of the moon. By making him outwardly attractive on top of that, He also made the convincing message of Islam even more compelling to those around him.

Allāh could have chosen anyone as a messenger. He could have chosen your average looking Joe. Surely it only matters that he’s pious and can communicate the message, right? But no; Allāh knows how we work as He’s the one who created us. Allāh knows that we like people who are good looking. There are studies that show that physical attractiveness has a kind of ‘halo effect’. Good looking people are more likely to be perceived as kind, honest and intelligent. Allāh didn’t just send us an extremely God-conscious man who spoke very eloquently, he sent us a ridiculously handsome, extremely God-conscious man who spoke very eloquently. Go on; admit it, even just reading that description makes you like him and more eager to listen to what he had to say.

Allāh could have chosen anyone as a messenger. Let’s go back to Arabia in pre-anti-perspirant days. Your average Joe needs to wear some kind of perfume to smell ok, particularly in the heat of summer. But Allāh, out of His mercy, took it one step further, Allāh made the actual sweat of the Messenger’s (SAW) smell good. This is a miracle all by itself. How does that make him more convincing? When speaking to him people would naturally associate his smell with what he was saying. This positive association would make his words more persuasive. Several studies have shown that people are more co-operative and have less negative emotions when around pleasant smells. The fragrance of the person you’re speaking to, then, should be more directly linked to how you perceive the situation. Imagine someone very trustworthy is trying to advise you but they smell. They smell really really bad. Will it effect how open you are to what they’re saying; will it effect how well you’re listening? Yes! You’d want to run away as soon as possible. This person doesn’t even clean themselves properly! Now imagine it the opposite way around; that this person smells really nice. You’d be much more likely to stick around and wait for them to finish.

These characteristics of the Messenger (SAW) made people subconsciously more open to the message being given. Allāh created the Messenger (SAW) in such a way to guide people towards the truth of the message he came with. Subḥanallāh. After all this, how can you ever think Allāh doesn’t want good for mankind? How can you ever think Allāh doesn’t want good for you? Allāh wants you to be guided. Look how far He went to ensure people followed the message so it could reach you today. We can never claim our state is because Allāh didn’t mean for us to come closer to Him.

So the next time it’s time for Salāh, the next time you’re watching a TV show or film you know in your heart you shouldn’t be, the next time you’re listening to a song which is about something ḥarām, the next time you’re reading a magazine that’s all about backbiting and gossip, the next time you chose to hang out with a group of friends you know are not good for you, remember... you’ve been warned. Not by some monster who wants to suck your blood, but by a beautiful man who smelt of musk and actually glowed, a man who wept out of love for you, wanted to protect you from harm and couldn’t wait to see your face in Jannah.

The Prophet (SAW) was witnessed raising his hands and crying out “O Allāh! My Ummah, my Ummah!” He cried out for us until Allāh sent Jibreel (AS) to ask why he was weeping so much. When Jibreel (AS) returned, Allāh then said, “O Jibreel, go to Muḥammed and tell him, ‘Indeed, We will please you regarding your Ummah, and We will not cause you to grieve.’” [Muslim]
Source: Gothrix

To my Twilight readers...

If you want a real love story, read about the Messenger (SAW) and his relationship with Khadijah (RA). Learn what true love after death really means.

If you want to read about immortality, read what was revealed to the Messenger (SAW) in the Qur’ān and Sunnah about a burning fire that will last forever and a garden of bliss that will never end.

If you want to read about a battle between good and evil, read about the battles fought by the companions against those who denied a message backed up by miracles; a message delivered by a sincere, truthful, trustworthy, pious, eloquent, intelligent, merciful, loving, generous, handsome and sweet smelling man, our Beloved Messenger, Muḥammed (SAW).

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  1. MashaAllaah, what a good reminder. Your article reminded me of the story behind the verse:

    يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ ءَاذَوْاْ مُوسَى فَبرَّأَهُ اللَّهُ مِمَّا قَالُواْ وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهاً

    "O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Musa, but Allah cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honorable before Allah." (33:69)

    The story is mentioned in the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, based on a narration found in Al-Bukhaari.

    1. Jazaak Allahu khaira for your comment and for sharing the hadith. I've never seen it before. I'll paste it below for anyone else who hasn't come across it.

      "Musa, peace be upon him, was a shy and modest man who would never show anything of his skin because of his shyness. Some of the Children of Israel annoyed him by saying: "He only keeps himself covered because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia or some other defect.'' Allah, may He be glorified, wanted to clear Musa, peace be upon him, of what they were saying. One day Musa was alone, so he took off his garment and put it on a rock, then he took a bath. When he had finished, he turned back to pick up his garment, but the rock moved away, taking his garment with it. Musa picked up his stick and chased the rock, saying, "My garment, O rock! My garment, O rock!'' Until he reached a group of the Children of Israel, who saw him naked and found that he was the best of those whom Allah had created. Thus he was cleared of what they had said about him. Then the rock stood still, so he took his garment and put it on. He started hitting the rock with his stick, and by Allah, the marks of that beating were left on the rock, three or four or five."

  2. yay it worked sam - sorry to increase your comments with lots of useless ones from me, but I'm rather pleased with my improved technological abilities! (now I just have to start writing something eek :p)

    (ps - should the words they keep making you write to make sure you're a human bean actually mean anything - if so, I'm rather concerned about my english lang skills!)

    1. Your username just blew my mind, Doc! Jazaaki Allahu khaira for your comment. May we shrink into Wonderland many a time to bring enlightenment to our fellow human beans. Ameen.

  3. i think it is really good that you can see twilight from an islamic point of view.when you read twilight you think it's just another trashy vampire love story.but you look at it from a different point you will see that the moral of the story is very good reminder of what the Allah did to make sure we listened to Allah's message.

    1. Jazaaki Allahu khaira for your comment. I'm happy you liked it :)

      "Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it." - The Duchess from Alice in Wonderland

  4. Aslkm I love your review! Btw it's Hawwa:) This is my blog! Check ot out?