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THE SUFI TRADITION IN TORONTO

By: Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad

Toronto Houses the Blessed Hair of the Beloved Prophet
Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam

Would you believe it? Toronto houses the blessed hair of the beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam and the one who has the sharaf (honour) of having the cherished possession of this invaluable treasure is Haji Ahmad Valli Nathalia saheb. His Shaykh, Mawlana Sayed Kamruddin Qadiri has in his possession in India some blessed hair of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. To spread baraka (blessings) in the West, he decided, in consultation with other mashayikh, to give one of these blessed hair to Haji Ahmad saheb who brought it from Karanta, India to his home in Toronto in 1992.

Since then, whenever he holds celebrations of Mawlid un Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in Rabi' ul Awwal, he invites all the devotees to catch a glimpse of that blessed hair. On this auspicious occassion, the case containing the hair is carried on his head with befitting love and reverence. And when the case is opened, Haji Saheb removes many veils of cloth, like so many veils in heaven before he reveals the actual case containing the hair. All this while, the muhibbeen (beloved disciples) recite salawaat and salaams on our beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. It is a spiritually enriching ceremony performed to perfection!

Remember that the Ahl ul Bayt (the beloved Prophet's blessed household) and the sahaba (his blessed companions) would keep his hair that had been cut as an invaluable treasure to be passed on from generation to generation as priceless inheritance. We learn of this from the following hadith.

Narrated Ibn Sirin: I said to Abida, "I have some hair of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam which I got from Hadrat Anas, Rady Allahu 'Anhu or from his family". Abida responded, "No doubt, if I had a single hair of that it would have been dearer to me than the whole world and whatever is in it". (Bukhari)

Some of this blessed hair has been preserved in Turkey as well. Of this, one hair has been brought to New York. From there, it is brought to the Turkish Mosque in Toronto for public view, at the end of the month of Ramadan. That night, the mosque is packed to capacity. On such blessed occassions, the recitation of Mawlid un Nabi is a must. This is from the kitab (book) composed by Al-'Allamah Suleman Chelebi Effendi Rahmatullahi 'alaih with hymns and eulogies in Turkish. The gathering is so emotionally filled and spiritually charged that you see tears roll down the eyes of the devout as they fulfil their life-long ambition to catch a glimpse of the blessed hair. As each person gets a chance to kiss the case containing the hair, the whole congregation recites this salaat in chorus.

Allahumma Salli 'alaa Sayyidina Muhammad-i-nin-Nabiyyi'l Ummiyyi
Wa 'alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa Sallim

O Allah! Bestow blessings and peace on Sayyidina Muhammad,
the Prophet not taught by any human
(but directly by You, O Allah),
as well as on his family and companions.

The baraka (blessings) of the hair of the Holy Prophet, Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in terms of the nur (spiritual light) it spreads for the Muslims of Canada in general and for those who get to view it in particular are immense, immediate and visible. May Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala give us the love of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam that will sustain us in this world as well as in the Hereafter, Aameen Yaa Rabbal 'Aalameen.

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