Sunday 27 November 2022 \

 

Prophet Muhammad Lives!

By Asme Fahmi | MuslimVillage | 26 May 2012

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be transported back in time to the blessed era of the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him (pbuh)? For many Seerah junkies, it would be a dream akin to an Alice in Wonderland adventure – falling into a rabbit hole which leads you to the time of desert-dwelling sahabis trading in a Makkan marketplace, where poetry was echoed in the air and caravans would set off across the desert for months on end.

Two organisations from Sydney Australia, Daar Aisha and Daar ibn Abbas College, attempted to do just that with a innovative open day that they jointly held to celebrate the Mawlid of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They did this by recreating pivotal aspects of the Prophet Muhammad’s life as part of an interactive exhibition where guests were invited to taste the food the Prophet ate, sleep the way he slept, and learn about the benefits of Prophetic medicine among many other Prophetic activities.

As I walked into the exhibition, I had no idea what to expect. Truth be told, I expected to see some artwork and some miswaks being sold whilst the soft hum of the latest pin-up nasheed artist plays in the background. As soon as I entered the grounds, I noticed the place was buzzing with market stalls, a petting zoo and camels. Three camels to be precise. Once I got over the excitement of seeing camels, I entered the exhibition with coins in tow; ready to buy another miswak and possibly some calligraphy.

It was not what I had expected. Not even close. The hall draped in black and gold was designed to look like the outside of the Ka’ba and it was buzzing with people who were engaged in various activities that invited people to touch, taste and feel the things that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) loved. Every stall was crowded and the heat generated by the crowd was inadvertently an ode to the scorching heat of the Arabian sands where the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spent his time on earth.

One of the first things I saw was a group of eager young children listening attentively to a woman surrounded by fake goats and sitting next to what looked like a cross between a hut and a tent. I soon realised this was a young Daar Aisha graduate named Yasmine who was retelling the story of Um Ma’bad’s amazing encounter with the Prophet (saw) in character as Um Ma’bad herself.

“People have been overwhelmed, they’re amazed that Umm Ma’bad remembered it all. She met the Rasool (pbuh) for such a short amount of time and she described him so well, not only his description but his personality and the way he interacted with other people,” said Yasmine. “Some of the children thought I was the real Umm Ma’bad and they kind of freaked out!”

Next stop on the Seerah Express was the replicas of letters sent by the Prophet Muhammad to leaders across the world , inviting them to accept Islam. Haipha Ali, a teacher at Daar Aisha, recreated the letters by using old parchment paper. They looked quite impressive and on first glance, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were real. It seems, I wasn’t the only one.

“I’ve had people ask me, how did I get them from Top Kapi (palace) or how did I get the originals or if they’re for sale, many people have thought they were the authentic copies.”

“People are really impressed with the exhibition as a whole and I think for a lot of people, it’s been a really big learning curve in terms of educating themselves on many things they were not familiar with. Just being able to experience this has been impressive for them and we’ve received really positive feedback,” said Haipha.

As I walked down the impressive gallery of Islamically-inspired cultural clothing from around the world, I settled upon a nice Arabian looking centrepiece which consisted of something that would not look out of place on the old TV sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie. I immediately noticed two flat mats on the floor and two young women Mouna – post-graduate student of Daar Aisha Shariah College and Suendos, a current 2nd year student, were using the reed mats to teach visitors how to sleep according to the Sunnah.

Visitors were asked to lay down and Mouna with the help of Suendos instructed them on what supplications to say and how to position their body to get the maximum benefit and reward from something as basic as going to sleep.

Mouna took pains to emphasise the importance of sleeping according to the sunnah and explained why this type of emulation is an opportunity to get closer to Allah.

“I guess it’s a way to make those mundane tasks elevated to a higher level, where it will manifest as a reward for you in the hereafter. Our lives are a vehicle to the hereafter, whether it’s eating, sleeping, entering one’s home, leaving one’s home etc. that’s how we’re constantly aware of the Allah in our life. We are always actively seeking a means to please our Lord and the best way to do that is to adopt the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). “

After the Sunnah slumber session, the next stall was abuzz with so many people, I wondered if I had accidentally chanced upon a post-holiday season shoe sale. I couldn’t help but notice it was the busiest stall of all. On closer inspection, I realized it was the stall exhibiting the many samples of prophetic medicine.

 

 

The stall was primarily set up by two sisters who are also Western-trained doctors. Laila did much of the research and Nazreen was instrumental in making this stall come alive with the many examples of what the Prophet (pbub) used in order to cure ailments.

Nazreen explained the three broad categories the Prophet (pbuh) used for healing, the first being Quranic verses, dhikr and salat. The second category are things the Prophet (pbuh) recommended to us to eat on a regular basis and also for our general well being and the third category involves things he recommended we use for specific ailments.

Nazreen believes the popularity of the Prophetic Medicine stall was due to its broad appeal. “It’s been the most popular part of the exhibition because many people are concerned about their health these days. If they are healthy they are wondering what they can do to maintain our health, if they are sick, obviously they want to know what they can do to improve our health or to fix whatever the ailment is and so on multiple levels this appeals to almost everyone.”

Nazreen recognizes that the popularity of prophetic medicine and other forms of alternative healing is symptomatic of a larger issue.

 

 

“We are seeing a trend, even in mainstream society, people are going back to a holistic aspect of healing and in the Prophetic medicine, we see that it’s holistic. It’s not just treating a particular physical ailment – we’re looking at the emotional, the spiritual, the mental well being of the patient as well.”

As I walked by the stall’s miniature model of the Uhud, a gallery of the Prophet’s swords, his favourite grooming devices and a tutorial on how to use the miswak correctly, my eyes settled upon the most colourful and let’s face it, the tastiest part of the exhibition. The food. Who can resist a Prophet’s menu?

There was a smorgasbord of the Prophet’s favourite dishes identified through ahadith. People were given the opportunity to try out the food as many times as they liked and like me, many of them came back for seconds.

The Prophet’s menu included barley bread, barley gruel, sawik – a sweet dessert which was served on the night of his marriage to Saffiyah – there was also a range of fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, cucumbers, grapes, watermelon, pomegranate, figs, honey, dates and mushrooms.

Amal, a graduate student of Daar Aisha explained why these particular foods were chosen. “Every single one of these food can be attributed back to the Prophet (pbuh) in one way or another because of the various benefits he attributed to them and because of his personal like for them and more importantly the way he combined them for maximum benefit.”

Um Abdur Rahman, the head mistress of Daar Aisha Shariah College was ecstatic at the success of the program.

 

 

“That was the whole idea, to bring the Prophet (pbuh) back to life again, so that he’s not just in lectures, he’s not just in books. He is with us, he is alive in our hearts” she said.

“He has to be alive in our hearts, we wanted everyone to experience him on a personal level, to get to know him peace and blessings be upon him, that was our aim from the beginning ”.

“SubhanAllah there was so much effort that has gone into the Exhibition by so many sisters, 40 volunteer sisters all of whom from Daar Aisha Shariah College worked for 5 weeks solid to prepare for this exhibition.”

“This included extensive research, preparing menus, artifacts, making replicas, sourcing information, grinding barley, designing amazing posters for each station….when the pressure was on, our motto was: “ for the Love of the Prophet (pbuh)” and that just made it all worthwhile alhmadulilAllah – and all success is from Allah Most High” she concluded.

As I was leaving the exhibition I was saddened to be exiting a world that was simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar to me. I definitely felt my heart was connected to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) after being able to see a glimpse of his world. I was also pleased to hear that the organizers only want to increase the event and make it bigger and better for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

“Muslims should connect first to the Beloved; but we also want non-Muslims to connect. [To] know our prophet, they may not accept him but at least afford them the opportunity to know him, and to know him is to love him peace and blessings be upon him. ” said Um Abdur Rahman.

I climbed out of the rabbit hole with something far more valuable than a newly acquired miswak and art work, I came out of the exhibition with something that is priceless – a greater love for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

 

We recommend

Social Networks