Monday, November 30, 2009

Al-Hujwiri on ablution and inward purification


Bismillah.
When a man washes his hand, he must wash his heart clean of wordly things.
When he puts water in his mouth, he must purify his mouth from the mention of other than Allah.
When he washes his face, he must turn from all familiar things and turn towards Allah.
When he wipes his head, he must resign his affairs to Allah.
When he washes his feet, he must not form the intention of taking his stand on anything except according to the command of Allah.
So, he will be purified twice.
- Saint Ali bin Usman al-Hujwiri
_________________________________________
Pic: Ablution area at Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang's oldest mosque.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The quality of one's pilgrimage


Bismillah.

Abu Muhammad Murta'ash Nishapuri (d. 939-40), a companion of Abu Hafs and Junayd, related how he went on pilgrimage "while trusting in God" (i.e. taking no provisions) thirteen times.

However, "when I examined my conduct closely", Murta'ash reflected, "I saw that all my trips were motivated by vain passion and selfishness (bar hawa-yi nafs bud)."

"How did you know that?" he was asked.

"Well," he replied, "once (after my return) my mother asked me to hand her a pitcher of water, and I felt this request to be too burdensome to endure.

I then realized that all those pilgrimages had been motivated by my own greedy selfish passion (sharah-i nafs).
- Attar in Tadhkirat, 515
FROM: The Wisdom of Sufism


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Remember Him with your heart - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani


Bismillah.

O son, today, 12 Zul Hijjah, 885 years ago Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, Ghawth al-Azam spoke on the importance of remembering Him with our hearts. He said:

The Prophet s.a.w is reported as having said:
These hearts are getting very rusty and the polish they need is the recitation of the Qur'an, the remembrance of death, and attendance at sessions of remembrance (dhikr).

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,
and guard us against the torment of the fire! (Quran 2:201)
_____________________________________
FROM:
Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation) by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland

Friday, November 27, 2009

Eidul Adha 1430 Hijriyah

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh
Wishing all Lisan al-Din visitors a blessed and joyous Eidul Adha.
May Allah invite us to Arafah for hajj in the near future.
For those of you who have already fulfilled the obligation,
may Allah keep you free from sin.

Abu Hurayrah r.a. reports that Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
"Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah
and therein utters no word of evil,
nor commits any evil deed,
shall return from it
as free from sin as the day on which
his mother gave birth to him."
(Hadith Credit: ShariahProgram)

May we take the time to reflect on the lessons of sacrifice and submission made by Prophet Ibrahim a.s. and Prophet Ismail a.s.

May we glorify our Creator with utmost sincerity.
Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbarالله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبرLaa ilaaha illAllaahلا إله إلا اللهAllaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbarالله أكبر الله أكبر
wa lillaahil-hamdولله الحمد

Allaahu akbar kabeera
wal hamdu lillahi katheera
wa subhanallahi bukratan wa aseelaالله أكبر كبيرا والحمد لله كثيرا وسبحان الله بكرة وأصيلاLaa ilaaha illAllaah
لا إله إلا الله
Wahdah sadaqa wa'dah
wa nasara abdah
wa a'aza jundahu wa hazama al-ahzaba wahdahوحده صدق وعده ونصر عبده وأعز جنده وهزم الأحزاب وحدهLaa ilaaha illAllaahلا إله إلا الله
wala na'budu illa iyah mukhliseena lahuddeen
wa law karihal kafirun
ولا نعبد إلا إياه مخلصين له الدين ولو كره الكافرون

__________________________________________
Yours sincerely,
Ezza Ismail


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sheikh Omar Basheer al-Khalidi

Famous 19th century Naqshbandi Sufi leader of Penang


Bismillah.

Sheikh Omar Basheer al-Khalidi (d. 1881) had achieved something few religious leaders could achieve. A migrant from the blessed region of Hadhramaut, Yemen, Sheikh Omar had brought to Penang not only his personal religious discipline but leadership charisma that appealed to the British government who was ruling Penang then. He was very well known as a Naqshbandi Sufi Shaykh who introduced the special tariqah practice called suluk. He was also very well known among the ruling elites who were indebted to him for his ability to mediate during the Penang riots of 1867.

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.

The description accompanying Sheikh Omar's potrait above noted that the secretary to Captain Francis Light (British founder of Penang) had in 186o built a house for Sheikh Omar where he lived until his death in 1881. It was also recorded in the annals that Sheikh Omar had lived at No. 69 Lebuh Acheh, at the heart of a Muslim center for hajj, trade and Islamic studies. Upon Sheikh Omar's demise, his son, Sheikh Zakaria took over the role of Penang's most notable religious leader. Sheikh Zakaria was appointed as Penang's first mufti and later, another son of Sheikh Omar (Sheikh Yahya) followed suit and became Penang's first qadi. They both operated from the same address. Eventually, in 1917, No. 69 Lebuh Acheh evolved into a madrasah for Qur'anic studies.

Sheikh Omar's tomb is located in Kampung Melayu, Ayer Hitam, Penang, underneath a 35-foot white tower (picture). Built by Muslim laborers from India, it is regarded as the largest and most handsome Muslim mausoleum in Penang. It is regularly visited by Naqshbandi followers as well as non-tariqah public from near and far places such as Pakistan and Lebanon.
__________________________________________
O son, I felt honored to be able to visit Sheikh Omar's tomb again today. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Know that we belong with those who adore and cherish awliya Allah and we pray to Allah s.w.t so that we too would be istiqamah in our zikr; so that we follow in their footsteps in becoming close to our Creator and useful to the ummah. Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

References:
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

In it, by it, before it and after it


Bismillah.

The created cosmos is all darkness.
It is illumined only by the manifestation of God in it.
He who sees the world and does not contemplate Him
in it
or
by it
or
before it
or
after it
is in need of illumination
and is veiled from the suns of gnosis
beneath the clouds of created things.
- Ibn Ata'illah in Kitab al-Hikam, 91 (25)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Six signs of stupidity

Bismillah.

In my opinion, major stupidity lies in:
1. continuing sinful acts without genuine repentance in the hope that these will be forgiven
2. desiring Allah's intimacy without servitude
3. hoping to eat foods of Paradise while sowing the seeds of Hell
4. desiring to enter Paradise while engaged in His disobedience
5. expecting rewards without doing good deeds and
6. expecting Allah's mercy while transgressing the limits imposed by Him
- Yahya bin Mu'adh al-Razi

Reference: Al-Munabbihat
Translated and edited by Habib Siddiqui

Monday, November 23, 2009

A weekend at Al-Jenderami - a garden from Heaven











Bismillah

Alhamdulillah washukrulillah for each and every opportunity to visit Al-Jenderami.

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.

Apart from Ijtima Ulama, Al-Jenderami annually hosts a grand Mawlid-un Nabi celebration and Majlis Haul Saidatina Khadijah. During such big events, people from many parts of the country and Singapore would come in bus loads. Visitors either stay at Jenderam-Inn (a 2-star hotel), budget-motels or homestay, all managed by the jemaah themselves. Limited free accomodations are available for early birds, courtesy of the 40 orphans who give up their clean and spacious dormitory for guests.

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!

The weekend spent at Al-Jenderami was, as always, spiritually enriching and enjoyable. An ideal weekend for me really would be: attending the weekly Mawlid, qasidah and tausiyah (lectures) at Al-Jenderami on Saturday evening; afterwards, hang-out with the jemaah or blogging on free Wi-Fi while sipping cincau drink; and checking-in at Aunty Zulfah's cozy guest-house.

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.

p/s: I am hoping to post a story about the charming qasidah boys of Al-Jenderami next time. InshaAllah.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Be absent from yourself

Bismillah.

O son, no doubt, it is one of the hardest things to do - for me to be absent from 'myself' and you to be absent from 'yourself'. These I-ness and you-ness diseases strike all and leave none.

Ibn al-Farid says:
My intellect, through being attached to my presence
(with myself),
was separating me from God,
while my deprivation (of individuality),
through the ravishing of my self,
by my absence from myself,
was uniting me with God.

Abu Said says:
There is no worse affectation than your 'youness'
since whenever you are occupied with selfhood,
you are held back from God.

O son, we all want God and at the same time we all want to stay glued to ourselves too. No we cannot do that. You ought to deny your you-ness and I my I-ness. Deny!
La!
La ilaha!
La ilaha illAllah!

That is why, according to Shaykh Abdul Aziz, we do zikr and repeat Allah...Allah...Allah... because we deny ourselves, deny everything else and testify only Allah.



Read Lisan al-Din related post: I still exist? A note on self transformation
References: The Reflections of the Mystics of Islam. The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path Of Transformation

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Would I worship that which I do not see? - Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib


Bismillah.

Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib alayhisalam:
Among the things he has stated
when Dhi'lib al Yamani had asked him:
"Have you seen your Lord, O commander of the faithful?"
So he replied "Would I worship that which I do not see?"
So Dhi'lib asked "How do you see Him?"
So Imam Ali said:
"Woe unto you O Dhi'lib, eyes do not see Him with a direct witnessing but hearts perceive Him through the realities of authentic belief.
He is known through the evidence that points to Him.
He is described by indications.
He cannot be compared to human beings.
And He cannot be perceived by the senses.
O Dhi'lib,
My Lord is near to all things without physically touching them.
He is distant from them without being separated.
He speaks but without the need for reflection.
He is manifest but not physically.
He has made Himself evident but without allowing direct vision.
He is separated but not through distance.
He is close but without sacrificing His exaltedness.
He wills but without aspiration.
He moulds but without the assistance of limbs.
He attains but not through deceit.
He is subtle but cannot be said to be concealed.
He is great but cannot be said to be arrogant.
He is grand in His grandeur.
He cannot be described as having sizeable magnitude.
He is majestical in His splendor.
He cannot be described as massive.
He hears but cannot be said to use the organ of hearing.
He sees but cannot be attributed with the sense of sight.
He is merciful but cannot be said to have weakness of heart.
He was before all things so that nothing can be said to be before Him.
And He is after all things so "after" is not said of anything after Him.
He is within all things without being merged with them.
And also without being separated from them.
He exists but without the need to come into existence.
He acts without compulsion.
He determines but without the need for movement.
Places do not contain Him.
He is not contained within time.
Attributes do not define Him with due respect.
The need for slumber never affects Him.
His existence precedes time itself.
His being precedes non-existence.
His eternalness precedes all beginnings.
He was Lord before there was anything to be Lord of.
And He was God before there was anything to be God of.
He was knowing before there was anything to be known.
He was hearing before there was anything to be heard.
Faces surrender before His grandeur.
Hearts tremble exceedingly out of fear of Him.
Souls strive desperately to attain His full satisfaction.
FROM Nahjul Balagha & al Kafi
Credit: Kawthar313/YouTube & Sister Ainon Abdul Wahab

Friday, November 20, 2009

The spirit of a believer

Bismillah.

The Prophet (s.a.w) said: "When a (faithful) man dies, enters his grave and successfully answers the angels Munkar and Nakeer, his spirit will be given the permission to ascend to Him and to prostrate to Him with a group of angels. So He will receive it, and what has been veiled from it will be revealed to it. It then will be carried to Paradise where the spirits of the righteous persons are. They will receive it and ask it about its state of affairs and about the affairs of this world. It will answer them with what it knows about that. They will then ask it: "What about so-and-so?" It will say: "He died before me." They will reply: "He did not arrive to us. There is no might nor strength but by Allah, the High, the Great. He must have been thrown in the bottomless pit (of Fire). Then the spirit will be put inside the craw of a green bird which feeds on the plants in Paradise and resorts to a lamp suspended beneath the Throne."

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.

___________________________________________
AL-FATIHAH

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

1st Zul Hijjah 1430 Hijriyah


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah we have come to embrace 1st Zul Hijjah again. May Allah grant us tawfik (strength) to fast and multiply our devotions during the first ten days of this auspicious month.

Abu Hurayrah (r.a) related that Rasulullah (s.a.w) said:
"On no days is the worship of Allah desired more than
in the (first) ten days of Zul Hijjah.
The fast of each of these days
is equal to the fast of a whole year,
and the worship of each of these nights
is equal to the worship of Laylatul Qadr."
(Tirmidhi, Ibnu Mãjah)

Wishing all Lisan al-Din visitors a blessed week ahead!



Credit: Islamic Da'awah Academy UK

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

7 dates + 1 cup of milk @ 11 a.m.


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, having experienced a brief spiritual drought, it was nice that I could have 'breakfast' with Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, albeit virtually. But "in the realm of spirit, there is no distance" really - that's quoting Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi (1924-2009).

Shaykh Hisham was giving a sohba from Washington DC, 8.00 p.m. local time, 8.00 a.m. Malaysia - broadcasted live on Sufilive. He spoke about people having all sorts of psychological issues and that it might be good to make a habit of eating 7 dates and drinking a cup of milk at about 11 a.m. each day. Reason being, recent experiments have shown that such a diet, 7 dates, not 6, not 8 and 1 cup, not an extra large cup, as practised by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w would emit a kind of purple light that goes right up to the head and under the skin. Scientists realize that purple is an effective color for those having mental sickness as it makes them normal again.

These days, according to Shaykh Hisham, most people do not have normal brains, people tend to have some sort of psychological problem. Some may get (psychologically) disturbed in a minor way while others may be completely sick. So everyone has a problem and we all have to fix our minds.

Likewise, he said, if you have an allergy which often manifests itself in the skin, the blueish light from the dates and milk combination would be able to absorb allergies there.

That's sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w some 1400 years ago, giving solution to current illness.
Allahuma salli wasallim wabarik ala Sayyidina Muhammad.

Click here to watch Shaykh Hisham's sohba dated 18 Nov 2009 @ Sufilive.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Hajj and the heart


Bismillah.

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."

O son, by all means be present with God. Never let your heart sleep but be in constant shuhud which according to Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Shafie (Baba Aziz), it means constantly witnessing in our hearts that we own nothing.

Furthermore, Baba Aziz said, "witness Him as the Maker of all actions (wahdatul af'al);
witness Him as possessing all attributes (wahdatul sifat) which He generously manifests (tajalli) in you such as your beauty, your intelligence, your skills etc.;
and witness Him as the ultimate Essence (wahdatul zat), that in each and every thing resides His right (haq) and that the essence of each and every thing depends on His Essence. So bow to Him and glorify His Essence whose name is Allah. His Essence consists of sifat hayyat, the 'living' attribute. Therefore, do not look at anything without seeing God."

"Let your heart be void of everything else save Allah, for everything else shall perish. And cleanse your heart by saying Allah, Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar for your heart is in fact Baitillah (His House) and Arshillah (His Throne)."

"Irji'i (come back) to His shari'at, do not wander, come back to loving Allah."
Ya ayyatuhal nafsul mutma'inna, irji'i ila rabbika, raziyatan marziya.
O you, appeased soul, come back to your Lord, satisfying and satisfied.

"You only have one heart so only let the One occupies it and no one else. Let your love be only for the One!"
O son,
True indeed, "Qalbu mukmin baitullah."
The heart of a mukmin is the House of Allah.
References:
1. Baba Aziz's lectures on Qatrul Ghaisiah at KL Ba'Alawi Kemensah, 13-15 Nov 2009
2. H. Mason's essay on 'Hallaj and the Baghdad School of Sufism'

Monday, November 16, 2009

Al Ghazzali on Money



Bismillah.

Al Ghazzali was asked:
"Does money upset the hearts of learned men?"

He answered:
"Men whose hearts are changed by money are not learned."

FROM: Essential Sufism

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The much adored mu'aleem

Bismillah.

O son, words cannot describe the joy that filled my heart to see Baba Aziz (Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Shafie) sitting next to Shaykh Hisham Kabbani. It was at a gathering at Naqshbandi Northern Dergah last month; an event welcoming Shaykh Hisham to Penang. It was like the Malay saying 'bagai bulan di pagar bintang', meaning the beautiful sight of the moon surrounded by stars. MashaAllah I so adore them! But I almost did not recognize Baba Aziz at first because he was wearing an orange beard! Apparently, it was an 'instruction' from Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus that he have it dyed.
Baba Aziz gave a very touching and meaningful opening remark. It was mesmerizing to hear him speak on tawhid. He expounded the meaning of Qul-Hu-Allah-Ahad in relation to the Naqshbandi's mantra Allahu Allahu Allahu Haq. Overwhelmed by his wisdom I could not help but kept muttering
Astaghfirullah...
mimma siwallah
wa kullu syai'in ya qul Allah...
Baba taught this istighfar during our last meeting. Wali Ismail used to recite this constantly so that his heart would always remain in shuhud.
Describing Shaykh Hisham Kabbani as Rijal Allah, Baba Aziz encouraged the audience to take bay'ah from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim through Shaykh Hisham. It was a humbling sight to behold. Baba being aleem, areef, waraq and zuhud that he is, humbled himself before Shaykh Hisham and even drank from his glass! Allahu Allah. Indeed, Shaykh Hisham was right in saying "Above every scholar there is a scholar. Above every knower there is a knower."
This weekend has been equally thrilling; meeting Baba again at KL Ba'Alawi Kemensah and having a brief chat with him. I cherish every word this man utters. Seven years ago, his casual fatherly advice had changed me overnight!
This time, he taught a munajat the Prophet s.a.w taught Saidina Ali (karamallahu wajhah).
Ya qa inan qobla kulla syai in
Ya muqawwinan li kulli syai in
Ya qa inan baqda an la yakuunu syai in
Oh the One who exists before everything else existed
Oh the One who creates every thing
Oh the One who exists after everything else have vanished...
____________________________________________
O son, pick up these pearls and carry them with you!
May Allah grant Baba a long life.
May Allah grant us tawfik to follow in his footsteps.
Ameen.
Click here to watch the sohba given by Shaykh Hisham at Naqshbandi Northern Dergah (Penang) on 23 October 2009. In attendance was Baba Aziz. Shaykh Zul, the head of the Dergah acted as interpreter.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Opened Door


Bismillah.

Salih always taught his disciples, "Who knocks at the door of someone constantly, one day the door must be opened to him."
Rabia one day heard it and said, "Salih, how long will you go on preaching thus, using the future tense, saying, 'will be opened?' Was the door ever closed?"
Salih bowed in submission to her.

- Fariduddin Attar

From Essential Sufism

Friday, November 13, 2009

Deeds of the heart - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

Bismillah.

O son, I've been suffering from heartache of late. And I don't know a better person who could wake me up from vain preoccupation than the venerated Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in his Jila' al Khatir (Purification of the Mind).
________________________________________
Woe unto you! All that you are about and all that you are involved in is illusion within illusion which Allah will pay no attention to. This business does not come about through deeds of the body but rather through deeds of the heart. Our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said: "Renunciation is here, fear of Allah is here, sincerity is here," and he pointed at his chest.

This heart would not be sound and would not achieve success until it has given up every beloved, cut off every object of attachment and renounced every creature. Give up and you will be rewarded with much better than what you abandoned. The Prophet s.a.w said: "When a person gives up something (for the sake of Allah) Allah compensates him with a better thing." O Allah, wake up our hearts so that they attend to you, awaken us from our forgetfulness of You and give us in this world good and in the hereafter good and protect us from the torment of the Fire!

When this heart has become sound and planted its feet firm at the door of the True One, it will fall in the wilderness of kun fayakun (Be, and it is), in its valleys and in its sea.
It will exist there sometimes with its words, sometimes with its aspiration and sometimes with its sight. It will become the action of Allah and it will become detached. It will remain only in essence. Only a minority of you believe in this, while the majority disbelieve it. Believing in this is sainthood and putting it into practice is attainment. No one would deny the spiritual states of the righteous ones other than a hypocrite, an impostor, one who is riding on his passion. This business is based on having sound belief and applying the outward of the Law which will cause the person to inherit knowingness of Allah and Knowledge of Him. The Law will come to be between him and creatures, while deeds will be as little as an atom in comparison with the mountain of his inward deeds. His limbs and organs will come to rest but his heart will never sleep. His heart will act and remember Allah while he is asleep. When will you come to know this world so that you give it up and divorce it?



Jila'a al-Khatir as translated by Prof Shetha al-Dargazelli & Dr Louay Fatoohi

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Put your hope in God


Bismillah.

"God's favor comes unexpectedly
but only to an alert heart
Put not your hope in people,
for you will be wounded.
Put your hope in God
that you may be delivered."
- Ansari


FROM: Essential Sufism

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The rich and the poor

Bismillah.

A dervish was praying silently. A wealthy merchant, observing the dervish's devotion and sincerity, was deeply touched by him. The merchant offered the dervish a bag of gold. "I know that you will use the money for God's sake. Please take it."
"Just a moment." the dervish replied. "I'm not sure if it is lawful for me to take your money. Are you a wealthy man? Do you have more money at home?"

"Oh yes, I have at least one thousand gold pieces at home," claimed the merchant proudly.

"Do you want a thousand gold pieces more?" asked the dervish.
"Why yes, of course. Every day I work hard to earn more money."
"And do you wish for yet a thousand gold pieces more beyond that?"
"Certainly. Every day I pray that I may earn more and more money."

The dervish pushed the bag of gold back to the merchant. "I am sorry, but I cannot take your gold," he said. "A wealthy man cannot take money from a beggar."

"How can you call yourself a wealthy man and me a beggar?" the merchant spluttered.

The dervish replied,"I am a wealthy man because I am content with whatever God sends me. You are a beggar, because no matter how much you possess, you are always dissatisfied, and always begging God for more."
- Shaykh Muzaffer


FROM: Essential Sufism

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You are still a bad man if...



Bismillah.

If someone remarks,
"What an excellent man you are!"
and this pleases you more than his saying,
"What a bad man you are!"
know that you are still a bad man.
- Sufyan al-Thawri (716-778 CE)


From: Essential Sufism
Pic Credit: Jamylah Estrada of Haqqani Fellowship

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ibn Arabi's Monday Evening Prayer














Bismillah.

O my Lord, instruct me
with the subtle benevolence of Your Lordliness,
as one who is conscious of being in total need of You
should be instructed,
as one who never claims to be independent of You.

Watch over me with the eye of Your Providence,
protecting me from all the knocks that may befall me,
or anything that may afflict me
or cause me to be troubled at any moment or in any perception.

Provide me with the ease of intimacy with You, and raise me to the station of Closeness to You. Revive my spirit with Your remembrance, and draw me on, now with hopeful longing for You, and now with reverent fear of You.

Restore to me the cloak of satisfaction and bring me to the wellsprings of the welcome. Grant me compassion from You, re-establishing harmony in my disorder, perfecting where I am lacking, rectifying where I am deviating, restraining me when I am astray and guiding me when I am perplexed.

Indeed You are the Lord of every thing and its instructor. You mercify the essences (of all beings) and You elevate the degrees. Your closeness is the joy of the spirits and the perfumed sweetness of rejoicing; the epitome of true prosperity and the repose of all those who are at ease.

May You be blessed, Lord of lords! Liberator of slaves! Lifter of suffering! You embrace everything in compassion and in knowledge. You forgive wrongdoing with loving tenderness and clemency. You are the Forgiving, the Merciful, the Clement, the All-Knowing, the High, the Magnificent.

And may the blessing of God be upon our master Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions And upon all the prophets and messengers. Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin. And praise be to God, Lord of the universes.
_________________________________________

Partial Monday Eve Prayer of Ibn al-Arabi (1165 - 1240 CE)
From Al-Awrad al-yawmiyaa (Daily Prayers)
Translated by Pablo Beneito and Stephen Hirtenstein
Credit: Anqa Publishing Oxford

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taming the lion


Bismillah.

Waman takun bi Rasulillahi nusratuh
In tal qahul usdu fii a-jaa mihaa tajimi
He who obtained the blessings of Rasulullah,
the wildest lion of the jungle will bow to him.
- Stanza 135, Qasidah Burdah
By Imam Muhammad bin Said Al Busiri (1211 -1294 CE)

Pic: Shaykh Hisham Kabbani at Jakarta Zoo, Nov 2009
Pic credit: Rifat Ali of Haqqani Fellowship
Stanza is based upon Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam's Malay translation of Qasidah Burdah

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Muhsin


Bismillah.

"The Muhsin who has the maqam of ihsan,
does good even when people do bad to them.
Verily Allah loves the Muhsinin...
It's about who you are,
your values, background and upbringing...
Your state should overcome their state."
- Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Husayni al-Ninowy

Credit: Sis Nur's FB

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to hurt the enemy?

Bismillah.

O son, the reality of our life is, (and I'm going to quote the words of a Shaykh):
"As long as you are living with people, you'll be subject to harassment, transgressed upon, stabbed in your back, people backbite you. You'll be exposed to all kinds of evil by people..."
So how do we handle such a situation?
Jaafar as-Sadiq says:
"The true way to hurt the enemy
is to be occupied with the love of the Friend.
On the other hand,
if you engage in war with the enemy,
he will have obtained what he wanted from you
and at the same time
you will have lost the opportunity
of loving the Friend."

So be smart!

Related Lisan al-Din post:
'Do not seek vindication' - Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Husayni al-Ninowy
Pic credit: Javno.com

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turn away from what is vain

Bismillah.

O son, woe unto me. I have recently been distracted by a vain preoccupation. My heart lost its focus for something unworthy. This is indeed a slippery path. How else can He know you are a true lover? Anyone could easily claim anything. But surely He sifts and sifts. As my nafs lawammah (the blaming self) tossed and turned searching for an answer, I found it in a chapter from 'The Kernel of the Kernels' (Lubb al-Lubab) by Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tehrani who had originally lectured on this matter circa 1950.

So what have I learned? If you allow another 'love' (be it people, things or habits) into your heart, you will lose focus on what really matters. Before long you will realize how much time has been lost being preoccupied with a vain thing. You would have fallen into a state of ghaflah (neglect). Nothing more. Astaghfirullah.

Ima'm‑e Akbar (The Greater Faith)
When the heart of the wayfarer is illumined with the light of Islam-e akbar, he enters a state wherein he witnesses ‑aside from an intellectual understanding of the matter‑ that whatever exists derives from God, the Exalted, and, in other words, finds God present and watchful in all circumstances. This is the same as the stage of shuhud and Islam-e akbar.
However, as it has not reached the frontier of perfection to permeate through all the organs of the body and take charge of its members and parts. Therefore the corporeal obstacles and his physical preoccupations distract him from that state and he loses that shuhud during his preoccupation with something and is overtaken by neglect (ghaflat).
Accordingly, the wayfarer must remain steadfast, with a firm determination, and raise that state to the plane of perfection, making it into an enduring habit (malikah), so that outward preoccupations do not overtake the wayfarer and divert him from the course of shuhud. Hence he must develop this Islam from the plane of the heart to that of the spirit, so that that which was transient and passing becomes permanent and enduring. Under the command of the spirit, that state spreads to all the outer and inner faculties, changing from being a passing state to an enduring station. This station is the same which is called ihsan by the gnostics, as God, the Munificent, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا
And those who struggle in Us,
We shall guide them in Our ways. (29: 69)
And not confining to stating this, He adds:
وَإِنَّاللَّهَلَمَعَالْمُحْسِنِينَ
…And verily God is with the good-doers (muhsiniin). (29:69)

Therefore, the mujahid of God's way cannot reach the paths of Divine guidance until he attains the station of ihsan. The Apostle of Allah (S) was asked concerning the meaning of ihsan. He replied:
أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ ، وَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاكَ
(It means) that you should worship God as if He sees you, for if you don't see Him, indeed He does see you.
That is, one should worship God as if one were seeing Him, and should one be unable to worship Him in this manner, at a lower plane he should worship God as if God were seeing Him.
Until the Islam-e akbar of the wayfarer does not reach the plane of imam-e akbar, the state of ihsan comes to him only off and on, wherein he performs worship eagerly and with much appeal and interest. But when he reaches imam-e akbar, the state of ihsan reaches the enduring station of the muhsinin. At this point, all the particular of the wayfarer actions, as well as his general conduct, are driven by eagerness and fondness. All his actions are carried out with a tranquil mind, because at this stage faith has spread to the spirit, and since the spirit is the sovereign ruler of all bodily members and organs, it employs them all for its purposes and ends and they, too, perform their tasks easily and without hindrance, submitting and surrendering together to the spirit and without disobeying it even for a moment. God, the Blessed and the Exalted, has said concerning this group:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ، وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
The believers surely have prospered! Those who are humble in their prayers, and those who turn away from what is vain. (23:1‑3)

That is because preoccupation with vain things is a result of their appeal and interest for them, and the wayfarer who possess a faith of the degree of imam-e akbar and has reached the enduring station of ihsan has no inclination for them whatsoever, as he knows, moreover, that two longings and two loves cannot abide in one heart, in accordance with the statement of God, the Exalted:
مَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِّن قَلْبَيْنِ فِى جَوْفِهِ
God has not placed two hearts in a man's breast. (33:4)

And should there be an inclination toward or interest in vain matters in a wayfarer's heart, as causes are inferred from their effects, we conclude that his heart was devoid of a longing for the Divine. Such a heart would be hypocritical due to expressing eagerness in matters relating to God, the Exalted, as well as in matters pertaining to vanities and frivolities. This is `the greater hypocrisy' (nifaq‑e akbar), which is the opposite of imam‑e akbar.
The submission and obedience in the heart of such a wayfarer does not spring from inner eagerness and longing, but derives from his intellect and is the product of fear and caution. It is to this nifaq that this statement of God Almighty refers:
وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَى
And when they stand for prayer they stand lethargically. (4:142)

The wayfarer attains to the station of imam-e akbar only after being freed from all degrees of this nifaq, when there remains no sign of his actions being inspired by a mere intellectual understanding and a prudence and caution deriving from fear; but when they are purely inspired and motivated by longing and love.
Read the entire treatise on Lubb al-Lubab at al-islam.org
O son, it's ok to fall every now and then,
so long as we get up again.
May Allah guide us onto the Straight Path.
Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The best of intentions

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. I was at a majlis ilm organized by KL Ba'alawi in Kemensah last sunday. The guest speaker was a very vocal preacher from Darul Hadis, Malang, Indonesia. Ustaz Abu Bakar Abdul Kadir Mauladawillah spoke not only with eloquence but he spoke from the heart. When someone speaks from the heart, everything they have to say will fall right into your heart and move you to tears. I thought he was special because his speech had evoked much love for Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Sollu 'alan Nabi!

He said, his guru Habib Ahmad Abdul Rahman as-Saggaf had said, "Deeds from the heart are far better than those of the zahir." He thus reminded the audience to make niyyat (intention): 'I shall seek knowledge until I die.' Should you be stricken with stroke (illness), you could say to Allah, 'O Allah, it's not that my heart refuse to go out and seek knowledge but my body is not capable.' Hence, you will still be rewarded for having made the intention to seek knowledge until you die.

"And for those of you who seek knowledge", he said, "make niyyat: I seek knowledge so that my head will bow towards Allah s.w.t"

Allah will not grant knowledge to those who are proud or those who seek fame. He will only give it to the one whose heart is clean and pure.

Ustaz Abu Bakar urged the audience to look for ulama whose countenance remind us of Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w. "It is difficult to find one these days, but look out for them", he said. "Malaysia is blessed to have waliyun min ahlillah like Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus. Whenever you can, pray so that Allah will grant him a long life."

"Go learn from a sayyid and join tariqatul ali Muhammad, (the tariqah/path of Muhammad) for those who do that, they are 'tanju minal bala wan nar' - saved from calamities and hellfire. This is an assurance given by the Prophet himself."

It was narrated that someone had dreamed of the Prophet whose face looked so pale. When he asked the Prophet 'Why Ya Rasulullah do you look so pale?'
The Prophet said: 'My ummat have abandoned my hadith.'
'What should they do?' asked the man.
'Tell them to read Kitab Sahih Bukhari!' the Prophet replied.
According to Ustaz Abu Bakar, "Those who follow tariqah ahlul bayt, they cling on to 'Sahih Bukhari'. They love Saidina Abu Bakar. They love Saidina Umar. They love Saidina Uthman. They love Saidina Ali."

"It is important that we honor the ahlul bayt, descendants of Prophet Muhammad (the sayyid and sharifah)."

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."

Bilal bin Rabah, upon the demise of Rasulullah s.a.w, moved to Damascus. He dreamed of the Prophet asking him 'Why did you run away from me O Bilal?'

Bilal quickly returned to Madinah. He went to visit the Prophet's maqam, crying. On his way back he met Saidina Abu Bakar who said to him, 'Bilal, I wish you would perform azan as before.' Bilal replied, 'No, I cannot bring myself to do it since the passing of the Prophet.'
Bilal continued walking and met Saidina Umar. He too asked Bilal to perform the azan. Bilal replied, 'I cannot. I'm afraid I will not be able to say the Prophet's name.'
Bilal walked away until he met Hassan ibn Ali, the Prophet's grandson who also made the same request. To whom Bilal said, "I cannot say no to you. I fear I will not get shaffaat from Nabi should I turn you down.'
Without much delay, Bilal finally said the azan. The moment Bilal began, the women of Madinah got startled, 'This is the voice from the time of the Prophet!' they cried. When it was time for Bilal to profess 'Ash hadu an na Muhammad Rasulullah...', the city of Madinah wept and trembled.
'Oh...Muhammad is still alive...', they said!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Join the righteous and die a Muslim


Bismillah.

O son, I have just discovered this simple munajat of Nabi Yusuf a.s. which I'd like to memorize. Let's do it together.

I know some people are more keen to memorize the other 'popular' verse where Yusuf dreamed 11 stars, the sun and the moon prostrating before him. (Quran 12:4)
But I thought what could be better than to acknowledge Allah as our wali (guardian/helper) now and in the hereafter; to die as a Muslim; and to belong with the solehin, the righteous.


أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي ٱلدُّنُيَا وَٱلآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِى مُسْلِماً وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِٱلصَّالِحِينَ

Anta Wali fid dunya wal akhirah.
Tawaffani Musliman
Wa'al hiqni bis solehin
You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter.
Make me die a Muslim
and make me join the righteous.
(Quran 12:101)
The Prophet said, 'Teach your relatives the recitation of Surah Yusuf, for, any Muslim who recites it or teaches it to his family and slaves, Allah shall ease for him the agony of death, and give him the strength that will prevent him from envying a fellow Muslim' - Ibn Asakir

Certainly there is another instance in the Qur'an where a Nabi made du'a so that Allah enjoin him with the righteous. A du'a attributed to Nabi Ibrahim a.s:
Rabbi habli hukman
wa al hiqni bis solehin
O my Lord, bestow wisdom on me
and join me with the righteous
(Quran 26:83)

O son, may we belong with the righteous and die a Muslim.
Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

Pic and hadith credit: Archimz Quran reference: Altafsir.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

Al-Nuri on four levels of the heart

Bismillah.

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

Prophet Muhammad on chivalry (futuwwa)

Bismillah.

O son, let's all strive to be a jawanmard.

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,

"Honesty,
faithfulness to their word,
trustworthiness,
abandoning lying,
being charitable to orphans,
assisting the poor and needy,
giving away one's income,
great benevolence,
hospitality - but foremost of all these is
modesty."
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The character and conduct of the chevaliers is summed up in the statement made by Muhammad to Ali: 'O Ali!, the chevalier (jawanmard) is
truthful,
faithful,
trustworthy,
compassionate,
a patron of the poor,
extremely charitable and hospitable,
a doer of good works and
of modest demeanor."

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).

Reference:
Ibn Mi'mar Hanbali Baghdadi in the 'Book of Chivalry'/Kitab al-futuwwa & Rashid al-Din Maybudi in Kashf al-asrar from The Heritage of Sufism.
Imam Ali tomb pic credit: Jane Sweeney