بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
Dearest Sayyidina w habibina w shafii’ina Muhammadﷺ,
2017 was a special year for me. And when I reflect back on it, it really doesn’t take long to pinpoint some of the reasons why. The top reason I come to is that it was the most filled and fulfilling year I’ve had – most filled with youﷺ and our ever-loving Lord, He who gifted humanity with the greatest gift, the greatest rahma that the world has ever known. And it’s not that your presence or Allah’s presence was greater in 2017 than in previous years. It was that I was more present in the relationships than in any other year. And subhanAllah what a difference that presence made. What a connection it developed. A connection that activated my mind and my voice and my heart.
I want to tell you about a day where this connection was manifested and this relationship elevated to another level. Hundreds of voices had come together, celebrating your birthﷺ celebrating the blessing of your presence and your life. And the voices rang out for many songs, but one in particular brought tears down my cheeks even without me understanding the words… it just moved something in me. I remember feeling like I was floating and feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I am Muslim and Allah guided me, when it could have been different. That He allowed me to know you ﷺ and love you ﷺ and yearn to see the qamar we sing about every week and be in your company, then, now and always. This song. When I reflected on how it just took me to another world, I realized one of the things that hit me strongly. The chorus included the words “sallim ‘ala Taha”, and of course, I am used to saying salawat when your blessed name is discussed ﷺ but this simple line was different… this everyday expression that I’ve used hundreds of times to request my salams be passed to someone I knew. Someone I had met. Someone ALIVE. It just smacked me right in face. Or cut right to my heart is more accurate. Because it made you sound ALIVE. It made you real, in the present, more than anything had before. and in that moment, within those first few seconds of the beautiful voices singing, it was like tectonic plates shifted in the foundations of our relationship and the tears just started flowing. How appropriate that I later found out that the title of this beautiful nasheed was Dam’ee Mahtal: “my tears are pouring”, subhanAllah. The nasheed sings about a burning love for you, and an inability to wait – to have sabr – for this hadra, this gathering of beauty, with you. It also advises seekers of Allah that closeness to Him is found through you. “Khudh al sabeel, ya mureed alqurbee”… Ya Allah, what a pleasure it is to achieve this closeness through such a beautiful path, like having our end destination on this journey that is life be reached by walking through the most lush and awe-inspiring gardens and eating the most delicious fruit. What a blessing. To have you. To know you. To truly know you. And I haven’t reached this station of knowledge yet. But now it’s 2018 and alhamdulillah I am on that path. But I am no longer walking. I’m running. Toward you.