Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Prophet s.a.w is reported as having said:
The heart does get rusty, and unless its owner takes the corrective measures described by the Prophet s.a.w, it will turn completely black. It will turn black because of its remoteness from the light. It will turn black because of his love for this world and involvement in it without pious restraint (wara'), because when a person's heart is controlled by love of this world, he loses his pious restraint and accumulates wordly things both lawful (halal) and unlawful (haram). He loses his ability to discriminate in the process of acquisition. He loses his sense of shame before His Lord.
O my people! Take instruction from your Prophet, and clear the rust from your hearts through the treatment he has prescribed for you. If one of you had a disease, and some physician prescribed a remedy for it. Your life would not be comfortable until you applied it. Be attentive to your Lord in your private moments and when you are in public situations. Set Him before your eyes so that you seem to see Him, for even if you do not see Him, surely He does see you. He who practises remembrance of Allah with his heart is the true practitioner of remembrance (dhakir), while anyone who does not remember Him with his heart is no dhakir. The tongue is the page boy (ghulam) of the heart, and its subordinate.
You must always go to hear sermons, because the heart turns blind when it is absent from sermons.
The real meaning (haqiqa) of repentance (tawba) is respect for the commandment of the Lord of Truth under all circumstances. This is why a certain wise man (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) said: "All goodness can be summed up in two words: respect (ta'zim) for the commandment of Allah, and sympathy (shafaqa) for His creatures." If someone does not respect the commandment of Allah and he is not sympathetic toward Allah's creatures, he is distant from Allah. Allah told Moses a.s. through inspiration:
"Show compassion, then I shall treat you with compassion. I am indeed Compassionate (Rahim). When someone shows compassion, I have compassion for him and I admit him to My Paradise."
What bliss for the compassionate (ar-ruhama), therefore!
You have wasted your life on "they were eating... and we were eating...; they were drinking... and we were drinking...; they were wearing... and we were wearing...; they acquired... and we acquired..."
If someone wishes for salvation (falah), let him exhort his lower self (nafs) to abstain with patience on forbidden things (muharramat), dubious things (shubuhat) and pleasures of the flesh (shahawat), and let him patiently carry out the commandments of Allah, observe His prohibitions, and comply with His decree (qadar). The people (of the Lord) were patient with (sabaru ma'a) Allah and did not patiently abstain from Him (lam yashiru anhu). They were patient for His sake and His cause. They exercised patience that they might be with Him. They sought to obtain nearness to Him. They left the houses of their lower selves (nufus), their passions (ahwiya) and their natural impulses (tiba'), took the sacred law (shar') along with them as their escort, and journeyed toward their Lord. They had to face calamities, terrors, misfortunes, sorrows and cares, hunger and thirst, nakedness, humiliation and contempt, but they were undeterred by them and did not turn back and abandon their journey. They did not waver in pursuit of their purpose. And forward they still march! Their progress does not slacken. Thus they will continue, until eternity becomes real for them, inwardly and outwardly (hatta yatahaqqaqa lahum baqa'ul qalbi wal qalah). (More literally: until the perpetuity of the heart and the mold is realized for them.)
O my people! Prepare for the meeting with the Lord of Truth and feel ashamed before Him prior to that meeting. The believer's sense of shame (haya') belongs first before Allah, then before His creatures, except in matters of religion (din) and violation of the rules of sacred law (hudud as-shar). In such cases he is not permitted to be shy; indeed he should be quite brazen in defence of the religion of Allah, and must uphold His rules and carry out His commandment.
And let not pity for the two of them take hold of you, when it is a matter of Allah's religion. (Quran 24:2)
When someone's allegiance to the Prophet s.a.w is genuine, he gives this follower a suit of armor and a helmet to wear, girds him with a sword, adorns him with some of his own good manners (adab), noble qualities (shama'il) and traits of character (akhlaq), and invests him with some of his robes of honor. He is intensely happy to have such a person as a member of his Community (umma), and he gives thanks for this to his Lord. Then he makes him a deputy (na'ib) within his Community, one who will guide and summon its members to the door of the Lord of Truth. He used to be the summoner (da'i) and guide (dalil), and when the Lord of Truth took him to Himself, He showed him among his Community who would succeed him in these capacities. They were a very few individuals, one out of too many millions to count, who would guide the people and patiently suffer their abuse, while constantly giving them good counsel. They would smile in the faces of the hypocrites (munafiqun) and sinners (fussaq), while scheming against them with every device, in order to deliver them from their situation and carry them to the door of their Lord. This is why a certain wise man (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) has said:
"No one can laugh in the face of the sinner (fasiq), except one who really knows (al-'arif).
The latter may laugh in his face, and give him the impression that he does not really know him, while he is actually well aware of the ruined state of the house of his religion (din), of the dirtiness of the face of his heart, and of his many sore and confused feelings. The sinner and the hypocrite imagine that they are concealed from him and that he does not really know them. No, and they deserve no respect. They are not concealed from him. He can recognize them by a glance, a look, a word or a gesture. He knows them outwardly and inwardly, without a doubt.
Woe unto you! You imagine that you are concealed from the wise and knowing champions of truth (as-sadiqun al-'arifun al-'alimun). How long will you go on wasting your lives for nothing? Look for someone who can guide you to the path of the hereafter, O you who have gone astray from that path! Allahu Akbar (Allah is Supremely Great) to you, O dead of heart, O idolatrous worshippers of material means (ya mushrikina bil asbab)! Alas for those who worship the idols (asnam) of their own power and strength, their livelihoods, their capital assets, the rulers (salatin) of their countries, and objectives they are pursuing! They are screened off from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). If any person sees the source of injury and benefit in any other than Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), that person is no servant of His, but is the servant of whomever he views that way. So today he is in the fire of abomination and separation and tomorrow in the Fire of Hell (nar jahannam). None shall be saved from the Fire of Allah (Almighty and glorious is He), except those who are truly devout (muttaqun), the monotheists (muwahhidun) and, who are sincere (mukhlisun) and repentant (ta'ibun).
Repent with your hearts, then with your tongues. Repentance is a coup d'etat, overthrowing the regime of your lower self (nafs), your passions (hawa), your devils (shayatin) and your wicked companions. When you repent, you transform your hearing and your sight, your tongue, your heart, and all your limbs and organs. You purify your food and drink from contamination by the unlawful (haram) and the dubious (shubha). You become piously restrained in your livelihood and your buying and selling. You devote all your attention to your Master (Almighty and Glorious is He). You give up your usual habits ('ada) and let worship ('ibada) take their place. You give up sinful disobedience and let obedience take its place. Then you become confirmed in reality (haqiqa), together with correct observance of the religious law (shari'a) and its supporting testimony (shahada) because any 'reality' not certified by that law is atheistic heresy (zandaqa).
When this become real for you, you will experience becoming extinct (fana) to blameworthy characteristics and to noticing other creatures. Your outer (zahir) will now be protected, while your inner (batin) is preoccupied with your Lord. Then when you have attained this completely, even if this world should come along and give you control of all it has to offer, lock, stock and barrel, and if people of every age should all become your followers, none of this would do you any harm. It would not take you away from the door of your Master because you are resident with Him, dedicated to Him, preoccupied with Him, beholding His Majesty (jalal) and His Beauty (jamal). When you behold His Majesty, you disintegrate, and when you behold His Beauty you become integrated. You feel fear at the sight of His Majesty, and hope at the sight of His Beauty. You are obliterated at the sight of His Majesty, and established at the sight of His Beauty. What bliss for those who taste this food!
O Allah, let us eat of the food of Your nearness,
let us quench our thirst with the drink of Your intimate friendship,
and: Give us in this world good, and good in the hereafter,
Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation) by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland
Friday, November 27, 2009
لا إله إلا الله
Wahdah sadaqa wa'dah
wala na'budu illa iyah mukhliseena lahuddeen
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The house depicted in the painting below was used for suluk where Naqshbandi tariqah followers would live in for an extended period of time and dedicate their time doing zikr under the guidance of Sheikh Omar. According to his grandson, Haji Fathil bin Sheikh Zakaria Basheer, members of Kedah royal family were among those who used to frequent the 'Suluk House'. Sheikh Omar was from the Khalidiah branch of Naqshbandi which until today emphasizes on seclusion. He thus carried the title al-Khalidi.
I thought Sheikh Omar was special because he did not seem to be apologetic nor was he secretive about his involvement in tariqah. In fact, he did not allow his personal religious inclinations to hinder him from taking part in public affairs.
Housing, Building and Planning USM
Signboard at Mausoleum
Picture taken at Haji Fathil's Resident
Harian Metro dated 27 March 2009
p/s O son, did I tell you that I grew up in Kampung Melayu, Ayer Hitam, Penang - a humble neighborhood blessed by such a holy presence. I recalled the nights when I stayed up to study, I would take a break on the balcony of my family's flat on the 9th floor. Everytime, I mean everytime I stood there, my eyes somehow always landed on the dome of the mausoleum. In the stillness of the night, the dome looked mysteriously majestic yet intensely serene. I know in my heart that I would not be the person I am today without the barakah from Sheikh Omar Basheer al-Khalidi. Al-Fatihah.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I was there last weekend for Khatam Qasidah Burdah and Majlis Tahlil for Ustaz Hafiz's parents. Ustaz Hafiz (picture), also known as Pak Sheikh among the jemaah, is the mudir or leader of 'Madrasah Islamiah Jenderam', a subset of 'Yayasan al-Jenderami'.
Al-Jenderami is about an hour drive from KL. It is located in Dengkil, Selangor, Malaysia. It is a familiar name to countless ulama (Islamic scholars) around the world who would on a yearly basis gather for Al-Jenderami biggest event known as 'Ijtima Ulama'. The upcoming event scheduled in March 2010 is expected to be a major one as it will coincide with Al-Jenderami's 25th year anniversary, InshaAllah.
In addition to the orphans, Al-Jenderami is also home to about 70 female senior citizens and its jemaah who built their homes within the complex. I must say that the jemaah at Al-Jenderami is a very close-knit one and they exemplify a true Muslim community in every sense of the word. On special occassions Ustaz Hafiz himself would cook for the large crowds and believe me his mutton biryani is the best biryani I've ever eaten!
Sunday: Rise early for Fajar & Subuh at the masjid, which usually ends with soothing recitations of al-Istighasah. At Ishraq: have homemade nasi lemak and kuih for breakfast at their 'bistro' while catching up with the warga-mas (senior citizens). At 9 a.m.: re-convene at the masjid for lectures on 'Tafsir Nur Ehsan' by Ustaz Hafiz. A typical weekend at Al-Jenderami concludes at about 11 a.m. Before leaving, do some shopping at Al-Jenderami's mini bazaar and co-op. Must buy items (for me) are books, ulama posters, frozen sardine rolls (a product of Al-Jenderami) and Fitrah herbal cincau.
The picture below shows a typical large crowd during special events at Al-Jenderami. Certainly, a weekend which coincides with big events would be even more spiritually enriching and enjoyable.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib alayhisalam:
Friday, November 20, 2009
This is the description of the encounter of the majority of believers ('Alayhim salam Allah ta'ala wa tahiyyatih). O Allah, include us among them and make us live as they live and die as they die! Ameen. - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Jila' al-Khatir.
ALLAHYARHAMAH HAJJAH JAMILAH EUNOS
21 OCTOBER 2009
I had arrived at the majlis zikr rather late. Sister Jamilah greeted me with her usual wide grin. As I was settling down she took out the above photo from her purse, placed it in my palm and whispered "This is how I should look like when I am healthy. I am now 80 years old plus, I'm afraid you might not recognize me in case I regain my health!'
Allahu Allah. I was taken by surprise. She could have waited until after Habib Ali's class was over but she didn't. Unsure how to react, I whispered back, "Let's take a photo together afterwards." Later after Isha prayers she hurriedly asked me to write down my contact details in her note book and save her mobile number (yet again). We then took our first picture together.
At KL Ba'Alawi - April 2009
I had only known this charming lady early this year. The second time we met was at Ustaz Shamsul's class in Kg. Baru. That's when she gifted me with a book on Asmaul Husna. And then, we met again at a Mawlid in Jenderam. Sister Jamilah was a regular at Al-Jenderami events. Despite her weak health condition she busied herself by attending majlis zikr in and around KL. She was a follower of Ahmadiah Tariqah and needless to say she had a high himmah in seeking knowledge. The last time we were together was on 15 Ramadhan at KL Ba'alawi. We prayed Taraweeh in the same saf...
Alas... she's now resting in a different saf altogether while I wait for my turn to come. If you asked me what I'd say to her if I saw her in heaven, the first thing I would say is "Sister, I'm sorry I had missed your call!" I absolutely regret my carelessness and I deeply regret not being there in Seremban to kiss her goodbye.
May I humbly repeat the du'a made by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani above: O Allah, include us among the believers and make us live as they live and die as they die! Ameen.
Al-Fatihah to Allahyarhamah Jamilah!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Hujwiri cites two kinds of Hajj: in absence from God and in the presence of God;
remarking that in his view, which followed that of Junayd,
"anyone who is present with God in his own house is on the same position as if he were present with God in Mecca," and that "Hajj is self-mortification for the sake of contemplation as a means to knowledge of God."
Furthermore, Baba Aziz said, "witness Him as the Maker of all actions (wahdatul af'al);
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Jila'a al-Khatir as translated by Prof Shetha al-Dargazelli & Dr Louay Fatoohi
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
O my Lord, instruct me
Watch over me with the eye of Your Providence,
or cause me to be troubled at any moment or in any perception.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ، وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
It was narrated that Abdullah Ibn Mubarak once saw a sharifah who did not have food to eat. She was seen trying to eat some rotten chicken. Ibn Mubarak immediately offered his food to that sharifah. It was hajj season then, so Ibn Mubarak would greet people on the streets, wishing them hajj mabrur. Surprisingly they all wished him the same although he did not intend to go for hajj. One night Ibn Mubarak saw the Prophet in his dream, the Prophet said to Ibn Mubarak "I am pleased with you because you cared for my grandchildren. So much so that Allah had ordered an angel to grant you hajj because you had done a favor to one sharifah."
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
O son, may we belong with the righteous and die a Muslim.
Ameen Allahumma Ameen.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Abul Husayn al-Nuri (circa 840 - 907 CE) was one of the earliest Sufis who wrote on the subject of qalb (heart) in Maqamat al-Qulub (Stations of the Hearts). This great sufi of Baghdad was known as Amir al-qulub (Prince of Hearts) whose language Attar described as latif zarif (fine and elegant).
So know, O son, that your heart has four levels:
1. Breast/chest 2. Heart 3. Inner heart 4. Innermost kernel of the heart.
In Arabic, they are known as sadr, qalb, fu'ad and lubb.
According to al-Nuri, sadr corresponds to Islam; qalb to iman; fu'ad to ma'rifa and lubb to tawhid. All of these are based on the Quranic verses:
SADR: Is he whose breast God has opened to Islam. Quran 39:22
QALB: But God has endeared faith to you, adorning your hearts with it. Quran 49:7
FU'AD: The heart lied not (in seeing) what it saw. Quran 53:11
LUBB: There are signs for people of pith/wisdom/understanding. Quran 3:190
In this last verse referred, it is understood that the root word for albab (people of pith/wisdom/understanding) is in fact lubb which al-Nuri relates to tawhid. Lubb being the innermost kernel of the heart is where tawhid resides.
O son, take heed, this insights to the layers of our hearts came from an extraordinary man who acquired his surname (al-Nuri) because he radiated light (nur) when talking! Allahu A'lam bissawab!
Source: Essay by Annemarie Schimmel in The Heritage of Sufism
Sunday, November 1, 2009
In the sunna of the Prophet there are certain traditions concerning futuwwa (chivalry) to be found. The most select definition of the subject is that given by Imam Ja'far Sadiq (d. 765) which he related on the authority of his father, and the latter from his ancestor. (According to this Tradition, it is said that) the Prophet declared that, "The chevaliers (jawanmardan) of my community have ten characteristics." "O Prophet of God," they asked, "what are these characteristics?" He pronounced,
It is also said that the chief of all followers of chivalry was Yusuf the Sincere (peace be upon him) who upon encountering his jealous brothers, forgave them for the torments which formerly they had inflicted upon him, by saying, "There is no blame upon you this day."
It is also related that once the Prophet s.a.w was seated (in a gathering) and a beggar entered, and petitioned for assistance. Turning to the assembly, the Prophet addressed his companions, saying, "Be chivalrous towards him." At this point Ali left the room. Shortly thereafter he returned with his alms in hand consisting of one dinar, five dirhams, and a loaf of bread. "What is all this Ali? asked the Prophet.
"O Prophet of God! he replied, "When the beggar first petitioned us, the thought entered my heart that I should give him a loaf of bread. Then another thought passed through my heart to give him five dirhams in alms; lastly it occured to me to give him one dinar. It seemed entirely inappropriate not to follow the promptings of my heart and the stirrings of my conscience.'
Thence it was that the Prophet commented. "La Fata illa Ali" (There is no man of chivalry like unto Ali).