How do we instil and cultivate love in our hearts? Love, that bridge between us and our Prophet peace be upon him, that bridge between us and our fellow human.
Our Pious Predecessors and ancestors have taught us the way. For centuries, they have held gatherings for this very purpose — the cultivation of love — through an incredible and marvelous tradition called the 'Mawlid' — or as we call it: the Celebration of Guidance. This is a celebration of the life of the Apostle of God ﷺ. We do it in community, and it is a service to every heart that wishes to feel love but finds it hard to do so alone.
Join us as, together, we recite from Habib Umar ben Hafidh’s great poetic celebration of the life and character of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, 'The Shimmering Light (al-Diya’ al-Lami),' and sing hymns that inspire greater love in our hearts. This is the way our ancestors built and maintained the bridge of love and light between people and the Prophet ﷺ…
We are honoured to be upholding this tradition of our ancestors, here in Ottawa. Knowing that the Prophet ﷺ himself had designated poets who sang songs in praise of him and of God, right in the Prophet’s Rhoda, we pray our gathering is a reflection and connection to those first gatherings of love — in which song was truly an expression of the deepeset longings of the heart.
That is our aim. And may God make us reach it.
This gathering consists of three main portions:
1) a community (potluck) dinner.
2) the recitation of major events in the life story of the Prophet ﷺ
3) a lesson on how to be better seekers of God
This weekly gathering is ideal–for individuals and families–for both spiritual upliftment and for gathering with other believers who love Allah and His Beloved Messenger ﷺ. This is an important way that generations of Muslims have passed down the faith to their children. This is one of the intentions of this gathering at the Rhoda Institute here in Ottawa. Ameen!
A note on children: Children who are able to sit still and quietly are most welcome to attend this gathering, and should be prepared prior to attending: giving them a bath and dressing them in formal clothing helps them get into the right mindset for coming to a place of worship where reverence and ceremony are key. Formal preparation supports our children's ability to determine what behavior they will have in any context. It is also a way to instil in our children the Sunnah habits!
It is a good idea to teach your children to recite parts of the poem – at least the Salawat (the words “Sal Allahu alayh”) – that are the chorus of the poem. Everyone should be encouraged to say this Salawat. It’s also a good idea to teach your children some of the songs that are sung, so that they can sing along. Children who have prepared a song are welcome to sing it up at the front.
The potluck provides an opportunity for your children to practice the art of eating in community: serving others first, helping to set out food and clean it up, sharing, and so on.