Friday, December 31, 2010

Shedding off the old

Bismillah.

O son, before we could embrace something new, we should first shed off the old rusts that have long been deposited in our hearts. We learn from our guides about takhali which means emptying or ridding oneself of negative traits. There are ten bad traits known as Sifat Mazmumah that we should erase. Let us reflect on each one of them and recall the days and times when we have intentionally or unintentionally displayed the traits.

1. Ghadab (bad tempered)
2. Hasad (envy)
3. Bakhil (stingy)
4. Sharrut Ta'am (eat too much)
5. Sharrul Kalam (talk too much)
6. Hubb al-Jah (love having power)
7. Hubb al-Dunya (love the world)
8. 'Ujub (flatter oneself)
9. Takabbur (proud)
10. Riya' (show off)

May Allah help us purify ourselves.
May Allah make us belong with those who purify themselves.
"...and God loves those who purify themselves."
- Qur'an: At Tawbah 108



Friday, December 24, 2010

Best wishes


Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,
Dear all,
Wishing all of you happy...happy...holidays! May you have countless joyous moments with your loved ones.

This could be my last posting for year 2010 as I wish to spend precious times with those who are dear to my heart, InshaAllah.

It's been wonderful to be able to share lessons, reflections, thoughts and emotions with you. Your comments, kind words, support, feedback, prayers and love are much appreciated. Thank you for making this space soothing to the heart. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for everything!

And please...please forgive my shortcomings. I am in need of good advice more than anyone. May Allah forgive us all. May He guide us to Him. May He increase our knowledge. May He accept our deeds as pure. May He make us among the sincere ones. May He grant us plenty of light and love!

With best wishes,
Ezza












Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Confidence is belief

Bismillah.

To be honest, my positivity got a little dented last night so it may not be a good time to answer a query from a dear friend - why did I sound so confident about this new year being a good year? But we learn to reject rejection and negativity and not let it dampen our spirits. As long as we know we have a good intention in anything we say or do, we are fine. We believe in ourselves and we be ourselves. InshaAllah.

I was inspired by some lovely graphics discovered this morning. They are from Jack Canfield's website. This is one of them.
ORIGINALITY - Boldly being who you are.

Coming back to the question, why am I confident this year will be a good year. If I could copy the picture above I would have this photo below and say: CONFIDENCE IS BELIEF.

CONFIDENCE is belief.
We have confidence in the righteous people, the solehin, the habaib. We believe in what they say. 

I believe when they raise their hands to make du'a, I believe it has a better chance of being granted. I have absolute confidence in them. When they, from the eyes of their heart, their 'ain basirah, say something, we believe what they say. And belief is seen with the eyes and felt in the heart. You look at their countenance, you just feel soothed, comforted and a sense of peacefulness. The tranquility (mutmainnah) they exhibit on their face and in their demeanor, goes straight into your heart.

So I believe from what I've heard, this year will be a special year because we shall receive heavenly support bi-iznillah. And surely we believe in the unseen. How else do you explain heavenly support? How do you explain God? I think I know why one sage says, 'half of the people who have positive thoughts (husnul zan) towards Allah are in fact saints, wali.' Because, not many people have confidence in their Lord.

Confidence in Allah and His help is belief in Allah and His help.

No doubt we all carry a baggage of sins and a rustic heart, but just have confidence and belief in Him. There's a saying by Ibn Athaillah as-Sakandari  in Al Hikam - Don't look at what you could present to Him, look at what He is capable of granting you.

Wishing all of you a happy year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Remembering Shah Bahauddin Naqshband on 14th Muharram

14 Muharram 711 AH (1317 CE) - 3 Rabiul Awal 791 AH (1388 CE)


Bismillah.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshband said:
"What is behind the meaning of the Prophet's narration, 'Part of faith is to remove what is harmful from the Way'? What he meant by 'the harmful' is the ego, and what he meant by 'the Way' is the Way of God, as He said to Bayazid al-Bistami, 'leave your ego and come to Us.'
Source: Naqshbandi.org

"Muharram is also a month of great importance to Naqshbandi. Our Master and Imam of the Tariqah Shah Naqshband q.s. was born on the 14th of this month. It is thus important and most desired that the Ahl of the Tariqah congregate on the eve of this holy day for Khatm and Dhikr, and read the Mawlid al-Nabi s.a.w. in dedication to Mawlana Shah Naqshband, and also reading excerpts from his saintly life."
From: Al-Futuhat al-Haqqaniyyah by Shaykh 'Adnan Kabbani
Credit: Bro. Shamsul N.A

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Colors of life

Bismillah.

Purple simply took my breath away. I was at Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) today. Oh... we were welcomed by beautiful hues of purple. This color between red and blue represents nobility, royalty and spirituality. I don't know how to describe it but purple made my day! Subhanallah, it is He who creates colors. "People cannot create a new color. All colors that we produce are derived from colors in nature. But Allah, Who creates from nothing, created all colors that complete every thing in the world. One of the names of Almighty Allah is the Al-Musawwa (The Shaper)."
- Harun Yahya

O people, do come visit KL. I love this place. Shaykh Hisham Kabbani said we must love our country. Love of country is from faith.

Anyways, it's end of the solar year, everybody seems to be in a happy mood and I was definitely happy to be at Kinokuniya bookstore today. I found a gem - Sufi Sage of Arabia - Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, by one of my fave publishers, Fons Vitae. The other favorite publisher is of course Al-Baz who specializes in Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani's works. Did I tell you the owner of that publishing house wrote to me yesterday! He's happy that we're  sharing plenty of excerpts from 'The Sublime Revelation'. MashaAllah, how kind!

I had also picked up a couple of magazines - InStyle, Conde Nast Traveller and O - The Oprah Mag.

Oprah asks 'What's your next chapter?' I think the next chapter will be all fine, bi-iznillah. This year will be a happy year bi-iznilah, I could feel the positive vibes already.

Oh... I absolutely love the holiday ads in the mags. One jeweler says 'Remember you only get married for the first time once.' Of course!

Gap asks 'What do you want this holiday?' One lady says, 'a little shine and a lot of faith'. One lad says, 'less naughty, more nice'. 

So what do you want this holiday?
What do I want this holiday?
I want something and someone inspiring.
That is an iPad and a gentleman : D

Wish you a colorful and a happy holiday : )
E

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the day of my death - Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi


Bismillah.

Today, 17 December, is a memorable day for many who are familiar with Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi (30 September 1207 - 17 December 1273).

It's the day of his death, Jalaluddin Rumi, a remarkable 13th century Persian Sufi, poet, and author of  the much quoted Masnawi and Fihi ma Fihi.

In Turkey, the night of 17 December is known as Shebi Arus or Wedding Night where Mawlana's followers and admirers observe his urs (Arabic word for wedding). Wedding - "because the saint is believed to have attained 'union' (or utmost nearness together with other saints and the prophets) with God, the Only Beloved."

Rumi had in fact written a poem to remind people that death is indeed a celebration!

On the day of my death
On the day of my death
when my coffin is going by,
don't imagine that I have any pain
about leaving this world.
Don't weep for me,
and don't say,
"How terrible! What a pity!"
For you will fall into the error
of being deceived by the Devil,
and that would really be a pity!

When you see my funeral,
don't say, "Parting and separation!"
Since for me, that is the time
for union and meeting God.
And when you entrust me to the grave,
don't say,
"Good-bye! Farewell!"
For the grave is only a curtain
for hiding the gathering
of souls in Paradise.

When you see the going down,
notice the coming up.
Why should there be any loss
because of the setting of the sun and moon?
It seems like setting to you,
but it is rising.
The tomb seems like a prison,
but it is the liberation of the soul...
__________________________________________
# All quotes are from Dar-al Masnavi and are re-published with the permission of Dr. Ibrahim Gamard. Read his article on 'Rumi's Wedding Night' here

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Guide people to my way of love' - Jalaluddin Rumi

Bismillah.

During this time of the year I am reminded of one special soul named Dr. Ibrahim Gamard, the co-translator of 'The Quatrains of Rumi'. I had written to him a year ago asking about his amazing experiences being so immersed with the teachings of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi. I asked him what could we tell the younger generation about Rumi's teachings.

He quoted a story about a close disciple of Rumi who wanted to change his school of law (mahzab) to Hanafi. Rumi disapproved this intention and asked the student to keep to his mahzab 'but follow my sufi path and guide people to my way of love.' 

Interpreting this story and applying it to the younger generation, Dr. Gamard said, Rumi teaches people to follow the religion of Islam, while at the same time following the sufi path of practising selfless virtues and love of God and love towards all of God's creation.

Dr. Ibrahim Gamard has been frequenting Mawlana Rumi's tomb for 33 years and each time he visits he would be engulfed by an extraordinary experience. He would become drunk with a spiritual potion he called 'the perfume of love'.  

He who frequents the perfumery of love
a thousand times maybe
visiting the Saint of Scent
Jalaluddin Rumi
father of the top notes
of love aroma
the essence of fragrance
enchanted many. 


# Read Lisan al-Din post on Dr. Ibrahim Gamard here

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On Tashu'a & 'Ashura

Bismillah.

Don't you like that? They rhyme Tashu'a & 'Ashura. Thank God for auspicious days like today (Tashu'a) and tomorrow ('Ashura) - 9 & 10 Muharram. They are like a much awaited bonus for a poor earning servant like me. One who sins and regrets and sin some more and therefore is in need of special offers like today and tomorrow. So typical of nafs lawammah - the forever regretting soul. Am really glad we could fast on these two days and hope for something good. InshaAllah.

I knew about 'Ashura but Tashu'a is a new word I learned yesterday. Told you, I am not a graduate from Al-Azhar or pesantren or pondok or any of the prestigious religious schools. I studied Economics and Publishing in the US and UK so you may want to quit following this blog now! But am just as happy to be a Muslim. Alhamdulillah!

Another thing I learned earlier today was that tomorrow we should be reciting this phrase (which I am quite familiar with, thank goodness):
Hasbunallahu wa nikmal wakil
nikmal mawla wa nikman nasir
(70 times)

This was mentioned in a credible Islamic blog Bahrusshofa who quoted from a kitab called Jawaahirul Khamis by Sayyidi Muhammad al-Ghawths. And you are supposed to follow this recitation with a du'a which I am not going to mention here cos I'm not sure of the readings. Please visit the said blog, if you are keen.

We talked about religious bonus. Yes if we were to fast tomorrow on the Day of 'Ashura all the sins committed in the previous year would be pardoned! It's a hadith by Imam Muslim. The Prophet said and I quote from Bahrusshofa again, the Prophet said yukaffirus sanatal maadhiyah. It means just that, big bonus, is it not?

And surely you all know that we are encouraged to fast today on Tashu'a day (9 Muharram) because we follow the Prophet s.a.w and Prophet did so in order to be different from the Jews who would only fast on 'Ashura. We are Muslims. We do things our way.

Apart from enjoying the popular 'Ashura porridge, it's also a good idea to treat your families on 'Ashura so you would enjoy a good provision the rest of the year. Bi-iznillah.

Catch you on 11 Muharram, need to internalize and reflect on these two holy days.
Hasbunallahu wa nikmal wakil
nikmal mawla wa nikman nasir


______________________________
Credit: Sis Ainun for the link and reminder. Allah bless you sister!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Her 'shebi arus' on turning 95

Al Fatihah

Tok Teh
1915 - 14 December 2010


Inna lillahi wa inna ilai hi ra ji'un
The night she has been waiting for, has finally arrived,
her 'wedding night', her shebi arus,
on turning 95.
May Allah gathers her blessed soul
with the muqarabeen and the solehin.

Always warm and jovial,
with a tasbeeh in her hand everytime we visited her,
she breathed her last on Yaasin
recited by her buddy - my mother.

O Allah,
forgive her and forgive us all
for we shall follow in her footsteps.
To You we belong, and to You is our return.

*******
Note:
Jalaluddin Rumi's departure was referred to as Shebi Arus

(the wedding night) because Rumi described his death
as a reunion with his lover - God.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The gist of the lessons

Bismillah.

Shukran lillah, Alhamdulillah that we were able to be in the company of one we respect and love Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, on the eve of the new Hijri year 1432 until today.

Shukran lillah, Alhamdulillah that the guide has impressed upon our hearts the importance of saying la ilaha illAllah.

Shukran lillah, Alhamdulillah, that we have been told of a very good news, that black turban is 'in' as we await the appearance of Imam Mahdi, that this year will be Hajj Akbar and that this year is a happy year.

Shukran lillah, Alhamdulillah, we have been taught to be grateful and say shukran lillah, alhamdulillah.

Shukran lillah Alhamdulillah for the opportunity, for the invite, for the precious times.

Madad sayyidi, may we not repeat our mistakes.
May we follow your advice always.
May we keep the bay'at intact.
InshaAllah

Until we meet again...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Say La ilaha illAllah" - Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

Bismillah.

Nawaitul arbain, nawaitul iktikaf, nawaitul khalwah, nawaitul uzlah, nawaitul riyadah, nawaitul suluk, fi hazal jameq lillahi ta'ala
[a practice of Naqshbandi tariqah so that your deed is counted as suluk]

Dear brothers and sisters, ladies and gentleman, children and adult,
Happy Hijrah New Year!
Kullu 'ammin wa antum bil khair!
It's the beginning of a new year. It will be a happy year for all of us, a year of heavenly peace. Know that we have begun the new year with zikrullah since Tuesday.

Zikir is like this group doing mawlid, remembering Allah, saying la ilaha illAllah. And forgiving each other for the sake of Allah and the Prophet s.a.w.

Allah reminds us always, Ala bizikrillah tatmainna al-qulub. By remembering Allah, tranquility comes to the heart. If we have a problem or sickness or debts, say Ya Allah! To have love with each other, say Ya Allah. To have peace with each other say Ya Allah. Qul Allah. Say Allah. How much Allah loves this word because you are remembering Him.

We are not here for any project or business except for the love of Allah. Love of Allah means love of the Prophet s.a.w. Love of the prophet means love of mashaikh, the sincere and pious people. Love the shuyukh. We love our parents, family, children, our group and the country. The love of country or nation is from faith. Everything is based on love in this dunya and akhirah. Allah loves us, that's why He creates us.

There is a story of a Bedouin coming to see Prophet asking him about the Day of Judgement. The Prophet asked him back, 'what have you prepared?' He said, 'mahabbatul Ya Rasulullah. I only have love for you Ya Rasulullah'. The prophet answered, 'that is enough' and as narrated in a hadith, people will be resurrected with those whom they love. Souls are like a battalion, like army grouped together. You are coming here together for the love of Allah. Say Allah and leave the rest to play. To save ourselves, say Allah.

Nabi Musa asked to be taught something useful. He was asked to say lailaha illAllah but Musa was not satisfied, he wanted a unique lesson. He said, 'O Allah, but all your servants say la ilaha illAllah. Give me something special'. Know that in Islam there is nothing private. What you have is for everyone. As for shariat it is for all but in matters of spiritual, you will be taught according to your capacity. Qul lailaha illAllah. Don't think that you are above everyone. Prophet Muhammd was asked to say. 'I am a human being like you.' Allah is teaching you to be humble.

There is a famous story of Saidina Ali refusing to kill an enemy for fear of doing it for his ego and anger instead of Allah. Anger is not Islam. Everything you do in life is for Allah.

O Muslim, this is good tiding. You come here to meet and remember Allah. This is important because we can see all Sufi shuyukh and tariqah from beginning to the end are all teaching zikrullah. Our association here is to remember Allah, nothing else.

We refer to a book Kashful Ummah, any servants who say la ilaha illAllah even once, all his sins will be erased completely and hasanatul (goodness) will be given. There is nothing heavier than Allah's beautiful Name. Saying la ilaha illAllah brings benefit to all, no deed can surpass it.

O Muslim, it is important to learn about that and know what we are doing is zikrullah and to have a pure heart, not to be arrogant.

There was a story about a Naqshbandi student complaining to his shaykh that his heart is not improving. Tariqah is a delicate matter, either you accept it (practise/become mureed) or just be a follower. So the student asked his guide, O master, whatever I'll get from you, whatever you open for me of spiritual hikmah, I will share it with others. The guru said: This is the real corruption (fasad) in you. That is a wrong niyyah (intention). That is egoism, corruption. Your real intention from the beginning is not love of zikir or love of shaykh but to be a leader in the community. You cannot have an intention for leadership. Be a sheep, don't be a shepherd. Don't ask to be respected. Respect come from Allah, not from human. O son, take away that bad idea of wanting to become a teacher, remember what Allah has given you of knowledge and favors. Sit in a corner and say Ya Rabbi, shukran lillah, alhamdulillah. Allah says, 'if you thank Me, I will give you more'. Do that until permission comes. Not everyone has the power (to be teacher). Those who think they are doing zikir or sohba or dakwah, must correct their intention. It is from Allah. Thank Allah for what He has given. Don't throw jewels in the street, give them candy instead.

O Muslim, zikrullah will save us and take us to Paradise.

______________________________________
Disclaimer:
The above is not a complete/verbatim transcript of the sohba.
It's just based on my sketchy notes.
Please always refer to
for all lectures by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani on the importance of zikir

Bismillah.

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani spoke on the importance of zikrullah during a majlis zikir at the Naqshbandi KL Zawiyah last Thursday.

At the outset of the discourse, he said we should learn from Prophet Musa a.s. on his humility in submitting to Nabi Khidr a.s. He wanted to follow Khidr but was denied. As an Ulul Azmi, Nabi Musa was bestowed with extraordinary knowledge yet he covered himself and asked to learn from Nabi Khidr. Musa in his greatness humbled himself saying I know nothing, I am a student. But some people among us claim to know everything. Nabi Musa taught us humility. So be a student, be someone who asks for knowledge. You know nothing. Those who don't know, say we don't know. Admit the reality of you not knowing. The Qur'an says, above every knower, there is a knower. Above every level, there is another level.

On the subject of zikrullah, Shaykh Hisham quoted a hadith where Allah said, if my servant mention my name among a group of people, I will mention his name among the angels; and another hadith about a group of people sitting together to make zikir, Allah will send angels to them saying, you may disperse now, go home for Allah has forgiven your sins.

So you decide, do you want to sit in front of the tv or do you want to attend majlis zikir and be forgiven. The reward for one who makes zikir is Al-Jannah.

It was narrated that someone asked for a simple thing to do since he found shari'at to be difficult. He was told to keep his tongue wet with zikrullah.

May Allah save us. This is the way of safety. It's good tiding. You can do it anywhere. Reading the Qur'an is zikir. Reading hadith is zikir. Saying la ilaha illAllah is zikir.

We are a weak servant. We are forgetful. O Lord, assign us angels who would do zikir on our behalf. Know that if you say la ilaha illAllah, Allah will get an angel to make zikir for you until the Day of Judgement. Likewise, if you say Allah...Allah. Zikir of an angel is different from ours. We are sinners. The angels are maksum, they are pure.

May Allah forgive us.
May Allah bless us.
May Allah support us.
____________________________________________
For a complete recording of Shaykh Hisham's sohba please visit

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sohba Friends

Bismillah.

The Imam of the Naqshbandi Order said:
طريقتنا الصحبة والخير في الجمعية 
Tariqatuna as-suhbah wa'l-khayru fi 'l jam`iyyah
“Our way is fellowship, and the goodness is in the gathering.”

Definition of Fellowship:
1. The companionship of individuals in a pleasant atmosphere.
2. A close association of friends sharing similar interests.

Alhamdulillah, I have been privileged to attend Shaykh Hisham's sohbet since day 1 he's in KL. It's been absolutely wonderful. I am happy to share some of my treasured moments captured in the past few nights.


Will be missing you S.
No more whirling dervish to entertain us.

All sweaty after hadrah. By far the most fun evening.
M is a visitor of Lisan al-Din,
we got in touch and met for the first time at the gathering,
MashaAllah, I was delighted to say the least.


The coolest person I hang out with tonight was Tok Jah.
My late grandmother was also Tok Jah!
She traveled all the way from Kedah
to follow Shaykh Hisham's sohbet for the first time
She's in her 80s and is very excited about the events.
'Where are we going tomorrow night', she asked.

Tonight, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani made us say:
Shukran lillah
Alhamdulillah
for all the wonderful blessings of the tariqah.

Shukran lillah. Alhamdulillah!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Different zikir for different level of nafs - Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

Bismillah.

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani during a sohba in Kuala Lumpur last night, explained the different types of zikir. He said, there are five types of zikir for the five levels of nafs.

1. Nafs amarah - the level of darkness and impurities. In order to get rid of the problem of bad ego and desires, the zikir is La ilaha illAllah.

2. Nafs lawamah - for the soul that keeps blaming itself for its transgression, the zikir is Allah...Allah...

3. Nafs mulhimmah - for the inspired self, and no one knows when inspiration comes to the soul, the zikir is Hu.

4. Nafs mutmainnah - for the content self, one who is happy and who has reached perfection, the zikir is Haq.

5. Nafs radhiah - for the soul who is pleased in submission, the zikir is Hayy.

Shaykh Hisham also spoke on the importance of making reference to a book/kitab when giving sohba or when speaking on matters of religion or spirituality. He said reference is important, we all refer to the Al-Qur'an, that is a book, it's just like when writing, we need to make footnotes and quote our sources.

Concluding the sohba last night, he read out a chapter from a kitab by Imam Sha'arani on three types of unsuccesful people namely the son, the wife and the servants of a shaykh. He explained why these people tend to be unsuccessful unless they see their father, their husband or their murshid in the right light. A common pitfall for them is they fail to value the shaykh as he rightfully deserves due to familiarity and constant association. However, if they could overcome the challenge, they could potentially be the one who benefits the most from their relationship with the shaykh.

Shaykh Hisham took the opportunity to commend his wife Hajah Naziha Adil who had served Grand Shaykh since she was 5 years old, and later served her father Mawlana Shaykh Nazim for decades and now serving him (Shaykh Hisham). MashaAllah!
___________________________________________
Wallahu a'lam.
Please refer to:
http://islamicsupremecouncil.org/multimedia.html 
for full recording of the sohba.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"None is knowledgable except Al-Aleem" - Shaykh Hisham Kabbani


Bismillah.

Nawaitul ar'bain, nawaitul iktikaf, nawaitul suluk. Alhamdulillah Allah has guided us to be Muslims. O Muslims, O believers, Alhamdulillah Allah has created us from ummah Muhammad s.a.w.

No matter how much we worship, we pray, we fast, day and night, from the time of Adam a.s. until the last moment of the world, we cannot give back His right on us. Do not think that I am doing this, I am doing that. You are not doing anything except that you are thanking Him, that He has created you, and made you ummah of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. Whatever it is that we do to worship him, we should in fact be thanking Him.

No one in this dunya is 'aleem (knowledgable). Even if you are knowledgable on all kinds of sciences and all matters of shari'at still does not encompass the knowledge of the name Al-Aleem. It is not even an atom from that knowledge. Aleem is His sifat (attribute). Allah is the name of Essence. No one knows the Essence, none can reach that level. All the Beautiful Names and Attributes describe Allah. Qul huwallahu Ahad. The unknown is Allah. Al-Aleem is the Name that describes one aspect of Allah.

Allah is directing us when He says: Allahu nurus samawati wal ardh Allah is the light of heaven and earth. But nur is not the same as the light you see outside. Nur is the power behind everything alive and not-alive. He creates every species and give the thing its secret. 

The Prophet s.a.w may have said, Innama ana basharun mithlukum, I am only a mortal like you, but it's not that he is the same as us for none is comparable to him. If anyone dares think that he is the same as Muhammad, try do the mi'raj. We are nothing in front of the Prophet s.a.w. In fact, we are existing within Rasul in front of Allah. Through the Prophet you exist. Outside of him you are simply non-existent.

Earlier, we have heard the Qu'ran recital Ya aiyuhal mudatsir, O you who are covered. Why did you think the Prophet was shaking after having seen Jibril? Jibril came with a revelation Iqra'. The Prophet was experiencing haibatul Malik. He was shocked by the experience. Know that he was shivering underneath the blanket on account of the knowledge that he had just received. He was in fact wrapped by the knowledge. Like Allah was saying, I made you ghani, I give you ghina of knowledge that you wrap yourself with it. And he was asked to stand up and warn people. But the warning is not meant in a hard way. He was asked to get people to be in love with Allah and not to be distant from His love, not to be afraid of Him. You should say Allahu Akbar not out of fear but feel happy that He has given you something. So you glorify Him for all that He has given you. 

So knowledge is from Al-Aleem. Where is knowledge? It is in the heart of awliya. Therefore, you have got to extract it out to get it. If you try to get honey, you take the risk of being stung. Get the sting and be happy with it. Not everything is free or simple. You will get stung.

Fill your heart with what Allah likes from you, with La ilaha illAllah. Do zikrullah.  Take note that Allah encourages us to say La ilaha illAllah, yet He orders us to make salawat. Notice the difference. To encourage is not the same as to order. People will be resurrected with the ones they love. If you truly love the Prophet, you should keep remembering him. He will open the door to Allah s.w.t for you.

There is a narration attributed to Shaykh Ahmad Zaini bin Ali Tirmizi. On the day of judgement, you will be called for accounting. All the amal will be accounted on the mizan/scales but la ilaha illallah was missing. What happened? Then a voice came: 'O my servant, the balance cannot contain la ilaha illAllah. It is beyond creation. And neither the heaven nor the earth can contain it. This is maqam tauhid, la ilaha illAllah is above everything that Allah has created. The proofs are in the words of Prophet Muhammad. If you say subhanallah wabihamdih it would fill between heaven and earth. If you said Alhamdulillah, He will give you more. So what about la ilaha illAllah? Whoever says the kalimah before going to sleep, his soul will be under the throne. When you say it, you will make Allah happy. Whoever says la ilaha illAllah at high noon/zohor time, the power of syaitan within him will diminish. So say la ilaha illAllah from the time you go to sleep until daytime. It will take you to Paradise. If you busy yourself with video games etc. it would take you to syaitan. Whoever says la ilaha illAllah at the time of hilal/new moon, he will not be sick during the entire month. When you enter a city and say la ilaha illAllah, you will be protected from all evils that exist in the city. If someone say it with the intention of seeking higher knowledge, Allah will give it to him.

______________________________
Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors in my notes.
for complete recording of the sohba.

Naqshbandi Followers (Kedah Qasidah Group)
have started wearing black turbans
this new year 1432 Hijri
as directed by Mawlana Shaykh Nazim


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salam Maal Hijrah 1432


Bismillah.

Wishing all of you Lisan al-Din visitors and friends a very happy new year. We believe in the words of awliya that this new year is going to be a good year for us and our deen. InshaAllah.

May Allah shower us with abundant love, happiness, peace, progress and meaningful success. May we attain all that we have been wanting to achieve. With the barakah of awliya may we live as a better person this year compared to the previous year, better in all aspects zahir and batin. Bi-iznillah.

Yours sincerely,
Ezza

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Happy new hijrah year" - Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

Bismillah.

"Happy new hijrah year. Kullu 'amin wa antum bi khair. May Allah give you happiness and honor for you are ummat of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w."

Alhamdulillah, we have visited Australia, Singapore and now Malaysia. I...but I don't really like to say 'I'. The awliya, they don't like to say I. They use 'we' instead. 'I'  is egotistical. By saying 'we', it means all of us together. It also mean you are not by yourself. You are not claiming that you are something without those who are with you. If you say 'I', it means you are on your own, as though you can decide yourself and do something without getting help from other people. 'I' by right, is only meant for Allah. It's better that we say 'we' as it is more afdhal, it shows that you have discipline, that you are nothing without those who are supporting you.

We are all supported differently by different people. Some of us are supported by our parents, our mother, our friends. Some are supported by awliya Allah, be they awliya of the lower level or the highest level. Some are supported by Sultan Awliya directly, those who are ghawth, there are five qutubs, they refer their matters to him. The ghawth are being consulted by 124,000 wali and ultimately all maters are being referred to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

I am speaking what Mawlana Shaykh Nazim is saying. We have been coming to Malaysia for 23 years already. People come and go, some disappear, some new ones come. Still those who stay, those who left or those who are new, are all supported by awliya Allah through a chain. But you cannot jump the stairs in the way of sainthood or worshipping. We need to go one level at a time, step by step.

The 124,000 wali are responsible for the whole of humanity. Each one of them is assigned to look after a certain number of people. They are in turn managed by five qutub. The leader of qutub is the ghawth or sultan awliya. Some of them were known as the ghawth after their demise, while others such as Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani and Shaykh Bahauddin Naqshabandi were known as ghawth during their lifetime.

May Allah give long life to Sultan Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Nazim who not only represents the two major tariqah Qadiriah and Naqshbandi but 41 tariqah. He is close to the Prophet s.a.w in sincerity and worship.

The awliya know each other. They know their limits. They don't trangress their limits unlike the pseudo-sufis (the mutamashikin). I want to tell you a story that has been narrated in different ways by Imam Ghazali, Ibn al-Arabi, Imam ar-Razi and others. There is no tariqah without shari'ah. Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said, if you see someone, a shaykh flying in the air, know that it is shaytan. That's because real awliya don't go against shari'a, they don't transgress their limits.

If a servant of Allah comes with a mountain of sins but his tongue is occupied with zikrullah from time to time, know that he will be forgiven due to his zikir and remembering Allah. Whether he says Allah...Allah or whether he repeats the Asma'ul Husna, he will find the mountain of sins collapsing, demolished. This shows that shari'at is important. Zikrullah is shari'at. You must know O son, that the customs of shaykh of naqshbandi and other tariqa is to teach you istighfar in order to make your sins vanish and to say salawat, sollu alan nabi.

I am speaking in the capacity of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim. I have received ijazah from many tariqah in addition to the Naqshbandi. We are taught to be enthusiastic in managing and administering the affairs of Naqshbandi Tariqah. Notice the two key words - manage and administer. When you have a secret and are given a title -  my title comes from the Prophet, Grand Shaykh and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim; you must manage and administer according to the Preserved Tablet. You must know each and everyone who is sitting in front of you. You must look at them day and night and inspire them to do right. Tariqah is not like playing golf, basketball etc. We must be fully aware in every moment, aware of ourselves and those we are responsible for. We must be enthusiastic to manage and administer the affairs of tariqah correctly. Especially when there is no one among us who has ijazah tammah (complete authority). When Shaykh Bahauddin Naqshbandi said: Tariqatuna as-suhbah wa'l-khayru fi'l jam`iyyah, 'Our way is fellowship, and the goodness is in the gathering'. What he meant to say is that: 'Our way is to accompany you from the Day of Promise until you enter the Paradise.'

They are those who have full authority to put tariqah on your tongue, to give talqin. Talqin means to instill the teaching until your tongue become zakir. This is very rare in our tariqah, the rare of the rare. If one is not given the right ijazah to do this he is mutamashikin (a pseudo shaykh).  Be careful and know the difference.

By the way, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim sends his salam to you. He said, I want you to continue doing what you are doing. You are my ambassador. You are qutubul mutasharif. Qutubul mutasharif is one who is given authority and power. He works with the authority of the one who gave him the power. It's like a shared power with Sultan Awliya in order to fullfill his duties. Nothing moves without the knowledge of qutubul mutasharif, be it living or non-living objects. None receives water or food without his permission. Ijazah is through the heart of the giver to the intended recipient.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said, tell them, this year is a 'heavy' year. Change your turban to black turbans. The era of Imam Mahdi begins tomorrow. So make niyyat to be ready for it. When the black flags appear, that is good news!

O muslim, O mukmin, we are not claiming anything. Mawlana Shakh Nazim always say I am nothing. But I have a button, if I push, I am something. This is a new era of full authority from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim. There will be plenty of conversions to Islam this year. We shall receive support spiritually and from the angelic power. Islam is the religion Allah wants for His servants. There is nothing to feel sad about because we are getting heavenly support. We do not have any weapons but we have got angelic power giving inspirations to the heart. Whoever says the shahadah even once will enter Paradise.

O people, step on your ego, open your heart...
_____________________________________
Wallahu a'lam.
May I be forgiven for errors in my choppy note taking.
Please listen to the entire sohba recording at
on 'The Age of Mahdi Has Begun'

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani speaking to daughter Sajedah
at tonight's majlis in Kuala Lumpur,
in conjunction with Maal Hijrah and Sajedah's birthday

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Be human for God's sake

Bismillah.

Thanks to a much respected scholar friend from Iran for having left a valuable comment on my post - 'The joy of being'. He was commenting on three kinds of souls. It's my pleasure to quote him here one more time:

"According to the insightful scholars the human being fundamentally encapsulates three kinds of souls:
- the vegetative soul (consumption, growth and production)
- the animal soul (faculty of estimation (al-waahima) and its sub-faculties, faculty of desire (al-shahwa) and faculty of anger (al-ghadhab) and,
- the human soul (the theoretical and practical intellect).

What is so important for us, is to live the life of human soul. Otherwise so many do have this "life" but they do not attain the level of human beings. They are mostly busy in their plant and animal lives, observing what they eat, how they grow, what they produce, how they can satisfy their desires etc. May the Almighty enable all of us attain the human life. Aameen" - Shaykh Muhammad Khalfan

If I may reflect on this valuable point in my own simple language of faith, what am I? Am I a vege, an animal or a real human being? If I were a plant, I would just wait for my master to water me or wait for the rain. If I were an animal, ooh I imagine I would be very sensuous, always hungry and hunting for food and getting angry when feeling famish. If I were truly a human soul I should, as quoted above, I should be using both the theoretical and practical intellect. I think that makes a lot of sense. Obviously, we are smarter than plants or animals. Apart from keeping our physiques nourished with food and energy, and spending time to multiply [not me but many of you] we ought to be using our brain a lot more to justify our existence as a human being - our raison d'etre, a French phrase meaning 'reason for existence'.

And I think if we truly are optimizing our intellectual capabilities, we would not be so selfish, we would genuinely care for other people, we would contribute towards the progress of  mankind, we would give ourselves away, our time, our strength, our youth, our wealth, our ideas, our love. If we have the luxury of time, we could go visit the sick. If we happen to own a luxurious car, why not take some lonely orphans on a joyride. Surely we all have a loving heart, so let's act like we have one. Know what it takes to be human and behave like one, for god's sake!
____________________________

p/s People, I'm sorry if I'm beginning to sound blunt and candid, I think it's got something to do with turning 40. Forty is the new 20, they say! I think they are right cos I found myself spending my sunday reading InStyle magazine, Conde Nast Traveller and 'How to get from where you are to where you want to be.' Life begins at 40 perhaps, life as a human, not a plant and definitely not an animal. Na'uzubillah. God forbid cos I don't think a donkey knows that Allah gives us seven parts of the limbs so we could prostrate to Him, that we are here to make sajadah to the Creator, to worship.

“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” - Quran Al-Dhaariyaat 51:56

Friday, December 3, 2010

The joy of being

Bismillah.

O people, it's been a wonderful Friday, to be in the company of good friends and share a good laugh together. It's Allah who makes us laugh and cry. - Qur'an Surah An-Najm:43.  It's even more meaningful to have a good laugh with friends who have cried with you before.

Surely, it's one of the joys of being. The Arabic term for it is nikmat ijad, says one of my guides. So be grateful that we are here today, alive, that we are able to laugh when we laugh and cry when it's time to cry.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

I wish you a great weekend with your loved ones or even if you are by yourself, let's contemplate on the joy of being (nikmat ijad).
I look forward to attending majlis 'ilm with the honorable Shaykh Hisham Kabbani next week. Will share as much as I could, InshaAllah.

Until then,
you are in my heart : )








Thursday, December 2, 2010

Way to go

Bismillah.

Jauh berjalan, luas pandangan - that's a Malay saying whose meaning is quite obvious. It means: travelling widens one's perspective.


Pic credit: Haqqani Fellowship
As I reflect on my travels, the paths trodden, I realized an obvious fact, that there were many ways, many route options which could have been taken. But for one who is back stationed at home, which way is left for he who has arrived at his destination? In other words, which 'way' to take now? Despite being stationary, there still remains a path for one to contemplate upon. What's next? Where next? Which way to go?

I think that's the very fabric of our nature, the yearning for travelling towards a destination. So long as we are here in this world, we feel restless unless we keep walking. The Prophet s.a.w had prophesized that intrinsic trait of our life, that we are on a journey. He said: "I am in this world like a rider who stops in the shade of a tree for a short time and after taking some rest, resumes his journey leaving the tree behind."

This world therefore, is a temporary stop, akhirah is the way to go. Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi said, we need Him as our refuge and support on the way. "The Friend is your refuge and support on the Way. If you look, you'll see the Friend is the Way."

Subhanallah, if we read between the lines, He is not waiting at the end of the journey, He is with us along the way. He is the Way.
Billah.
Hu Allah.
La mawjud illAllah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blogging on the run

Bismillah.

Salam dear all. Alhamdulillah I am back home in KL. Thanks for all your good wishes. It was fun trying to squeeze in blogging time while traveling.

That's me this morning at Holiday Inn Pattaya, catching up with you in between delicious bites of veggie quiche and tuna salad at breakfast. Lovely, lovely moments with dear ones both physically and virtually. Alhamdulillah. May Allah keep this love warm always.

One of my favorite du'a is one made by Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi: "O Allah, nourish me not with love but with the desire for love."



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lessons on romance and responsibility

Bismillah.

The most profound lessons I learned during my recent trip abroad were about romance and responsibility. It was a sweet discovery at the Hall of Inspiration, Doi Tung, north of Thailand. Absolutely beautiful place! Absolutely beautiful love story!

It was all about one ordinary woman with an extraordinary heart who later won the heart of Prince Mahidol of Songkhla. Subsequently, she became known as Princess Srinagarindra and later Princess Mother. She was also lovingly known as Mae Fah Luang or Royal Mother from the Sky, especially by the northern Thai hill tribes whom she would visit on a helicopter and drop medical supplies, food and toys.

She was born a commoner named Sangwan. Orphaned at the age of 9, she received her education in the US where she studied nursing and met her prince. She loved reading so much that her neighborhood bookstore let her borrow books for free; and most importantly she was an  inspiration to many around her. She was instrumental in changing the lives of people in the northern region of Thailand who had been dependent on opium production. She said: "No one wants to be a bad person, but not everyone has the opportunity to be good."

When her husband discovered his true love, he had to write to his mother justifying his heart's contents. It was worthwhile not just for him as a man but for the kingdom of Thailand. After the early demise of Prince Mahidol, their two sons became kings - King Ananda Mahidol and the present King Rama IX.  


Sangwan/Princess Srinagarindra/Princess Mother/Mae Fah Luang
1900 - 1995
Prince Mahidol wrote a letter to his mother saying: "Sangwan is all alone in the world. When we marry she will use my surname. I did not choose a wife according to her surname or whether she was born into this or that family. We can't choose our births, but I looked for a good wife. For better or worse, I am responsible for my own decision."

Visit Doi Tung and you will be inspired by this great love story told at the Hall of Inspiration. You will also get to visit the Princess' Royal Villa where Mae Fah Luang once lived amidst her gorgeous flower garden.

Love makes one does wondrous things for all the good reasons, leaving beautiful traces for all to see and cherish, as in the story of Princess Srinagarindra.

Didn't Ibn Arabi say: "I follow the religion of Love; wherever Love's camels turn, there Love is my religion and faith."


# Read more about the late Princess Mother/Princess Srinagarindra/Mae Fah Luang at Mae Fah Luang.org

Monday, November 29, 2010

Comfort seekers

Bismillah.

Salam...salam... I have been busy exploring the multiplicity of life and inwardly thinking about the unity of beings. Each soul seek for different things and do so differently yet we are united in our neediness for generous gifts from the Provider. 

I was in Chiang Rai, and then Bangkok and now in Pattaya, Alhamdulillah He has carried me this far this time around.

Pattaya means comfortable, I read somewhere. As I wander amongst the 'comfort seekers' and take what I need while avoiding the madness, I thought of you. We are everywhere across the globe yet we can convene at this quiet place where I get to be myself and speak my heart. While I travel in the company of a good friend, some new friends and family, I realized the best place to be is where you can be yourself and the people around you actually let you be yourself.

Dear visitors/readers/friends,
Thanks for listening!
Thanks for being you!
Thanks for letting me be me.
I wish you a comfortable life no matter where you are.

Love,
Ezza
Pattaya

Saturday, November 27, 2010

City break

Bismillah.

O people, I am taking my annual leave, a couple of days break in Bangkok. Thanks to Allah for wonderful companions and generous friends.

See you next week InshaAllah.
-E-



Friday, November 26, 2010

A woman's vision

Bismillah.

Mae Fah Luang University, the venue where I am attending a training organized by the International Telecommunication Union, is a young and thriving university in Chiang Rai. It is poised to transform the present agriculture centric city into a hi-tech city. It was established in 1998 to commemorate the gracious contributions of the King of Thailand's mother - Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra, who is lovingly known to the hill tribes in northern Thailand as Mae Fah Luang (Royal Mother from the Sky). 

The uni and I share the same birth date,
25th September although I am not as young as it is
Coming to this part of the world has broadened my vision. One of the many things I learned is that we should try to see the universe from a bigger perspective and that our perspective should include that which is 'seen' by our friends who are not blessed with a good vision. In other words, we should try to see things from the eyes of a blind person and all person with disabilities. They want us to include them in embracing all that the world has to offer. They too want to experience life to the fullest. If we enjoy reading, they too want to be able to enjoy reading freely. But how? It's the duty of the sighted person or 'person without disabilities'  to explore new technologies and come up with creative solutions so that this world stays bright and colorful for all - all inclusive and none is left behind. And DAISY is one technology enabler that allows a blind person to navigate a book, go to a chapter, bookmark, browse etc. So a blind person can actually read not just from Braille books but also digitally. And the possibility is endless, if we care.

Best wishes from:
Mae Fah Luang Uni
Chiang Rai
Thailand
- A musafir's travelogue, Day 5