Let your diversity manifest the beauty that is within each of you. ~Habib Ali al Jifri, Toronto Grand Mawlid, Jan 1st 2014.
It’s the month of Rabi al Awwal, the month in the Islamic calendar when the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him was born. It’s a wonderful time to learn more about him, and to strive to improve one’s own character. Whether it’s reading a new (or old!) book, listening to audio lectures, sending blessings upon him, journaling, writing poetry, expressing yourself through other creative forms, there are so many ways to make this month one that is personally meaningful to you.
Last year I read two introductory accessible books about the Prophet that I found very beneficial:
Both books taught me about the beauty of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, and showed me ways to become a better person. This year my goal is to follow a podcast by the Qalam Institute about the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda, my teacher in Dallas and to follow a series through the Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto called Embodied Light about the character of the Prophet. Instead of trying to listen to a certain amount of content, and trying to take copious notes, I’m going to strive instead for presence of heart when listening. As I listen, during the month, I’m going to try to recite blessings on the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, as a way to become more peaceful on the inside. I’m in a life stage of much transition and change, and in need of a spiritual tune-up, and I’m hoping a month of love will help strengthen my heart.
What are your goals for the month ahead? Share in the comments below, and if you are sharing your reflections online as you go through the month, please do email or use the hashtag #amonthoflove so others can join in your learning as well.