In Praise of Muhammad: Urdu Poems – Article on tradition of Na’at recitation, by Professor Ali Asani

In Praise of Muhammad: Urdu Poems

Ali S. Asani

In Praise of Muhammad: Urdu Poems - Article on Na'at by Professor Ali AsaniEvery day, millions of Muslim, following the injunctions of the Qu’ran, recite the şalawāt, a formula invoking blessing on the Prophet Muhammad whom they affectionately call ĥabĭb Allăh, God’s beloved. They also recite, in virtually every language of the Islamic world, touching devotional verses praising the virtues of their beloved Prophet. Out of love for him, every year, since at least the thirteenth century, they have celebrated the maulid, the Prophet’s birthday, with great pomp and rejoicing.

Although Islam is a monotheistic faith, professing total submission and obedience to the One Almighty God, yet veneration of Muhammad, God’s last messenger to humanity, has become an important aspect of Islamic religious life. Muslims see in him the model or paradigm for all human conduct, the perfect man whose lifestyle is most worthy of imitation. In the words of the Qu’ran, he is “a beautiful model” (uswa hasana) whose example is to be followed by the faithful. Throughout Islamic history, members of the Muslim religious intelligentsia have collected and commented on accounts of Muhammad’s actions and sayings (the hadïth), establishing legal codes for Islamic societies and pietistic norms for individual believers. Many of them have written elaborate theological and historical treatises on the nature and character of the Prophet’s mission. Those with more mystical dispositions have indulged in high-flown esoteric and abstract speculation concerning his spiritual and mystical status. A a more popular level, veneration of the Prophet has become so widespread that in many regions of the Islamic world it is one of the cornerstones of Islamic religious practice and, indeed, the mark of its uniqueness.

Click here to read/download the article in full: http://sites.la.utexas.edu/mhc/files/2009/10/asani_poems_urdu.pdf


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