Sunday, June 27, 2010

Knowledge is superior to worship


Shaykh Abdul Aziz Shafie expounded on a chapter from Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah (A raindrop of a Sufi ocean) at KL Ba'alawi last friday. He said:

Knowledge is more afdhal, superior to, amal ibadah (acts of worship). Allah created us and all the makhluk  for us to know in our hearts His greatness; that we truly know in our hearts that He is Robbul Alamin, He is in control of the universe. If we understood that, our hearts would be filled with lights of gnosis (nur makrifatullah). Allah gives nur iman (light of faith) to whomever He likes. He is the Essence who creates and protects.

We need to have knowledge of Allah. Our lives have an end to it. Our health, our strengths all have an end. There is death at the end of life, for Allah to know who amongst us is good. Every beginning has an end. I started when I was born on 7th March 1947. When and where will I end?  We have all begun so we will all approach our ending. Who is it that orchestrate our lives in an orderly manner, who created us the way we are? Qul anta ya Muhammad, Qul huwallahu ahad. Allahhu samad. "Say, O Muhammad, He is Allah who is unique and He is eternal."  
We must have knowledge about Him or else our worship would be of no meaning. Therefore, one should not stray away from majlis 'ilm. One must strive to be one of three categories of people: an aleem (a person with knowledge), or one who seeks knowledge (a student) or one who listens. Do not be with the fourth category i.e. one who has no knowledge and neither studies nor listens. By all means, go attend majlis 'ilm!

This earth is safe, thanks to four groups of people:
1. Little children who has not yet baligh (come of age).
2. The elderlies - people who are 70 years old and above. They are called people of inabah. If you have someone like that in your home, be sure to look after them well for much blessings come from them as they are people whom Allah grant continuous mercy and forgiveness.
3. People who istighfar, who seek forgiveness for their wrong doings.
4. AwliyaAllah - the saints with whose barakah, Allah makes the world safe. So try to attend gatherings of solehin because in every 40 people there is one saint and we want to benefit from their du'a.

Worship and do good deeds once you have attained knowledge of Him. Allah sends gifts into our hearts. He gives us hidayah and tawfik so that we could worship Him. When we make two rakaat of prayers, that very act proves our servanthood. At the same time it shows that Allah loves us that He makes us capable of performing such acts. It proves that He has not forsaken us. The acts of worship that we have been doing are like gifts from us to Him and likewise they are gifts from Allah to us. We are guided, InshaAllah, so much so that we are afraid to commit maksiat (evil deeds), we become conscious and are appreciative of our age that we do not waste it.

We must become acquainted with Allah in both good times and bad times - when we are happy, healthy and also when we are sad and in sickness. Servitude only comes about after one has known Allah with knowledge of ma'rifah that comes from Him.

He gives us good in all circumstances. There is wisdom in every circumstances. There is hikmah in all His actions towards us because He is Al-Hakim. The oak tree is old but it is when it has aged do we get the value of its wood. Do not worry about becoming old. Hold on to the kalimah lailaha illAllah

When you do your ibadah, be sure to perform with sincerity. An act of worship that is devoid of sincerity is akin to a body without ruh (spirit). It becomes worthless as Allah will not forgive us nor would He reward us for such an act. Shaykh Ibn Athaillah as-Sakandari said: "Your amal has ruh only when there is ikhlas in it". Make sure you have no other agenda in your amal. Make sure it is solely for Allah. Never ever perform any acts or worship with your lower nafs. Make it 100% sincere and not have even 1% trace of insincerity, or else, the angels would scorn you by asking you to claim your reward from the person whom you tried to impress.

When you do your ibadah sincerely, your ibadah becomes pure. What do you understand by ikhlas? It is when you qasad (form an intention) in your heart to do something for Allah and not to gain pahala (rewards) nor for fear of hell. The Prophet s.a.w said in a hadith qudsi that sincerity is one secret of His secrets. Allah keeps the secret of ikhlas in the hearts of His chosen servants. 

Wallahu a'lam.

Regret to note here that I have missed three other lessons of Baba Aziz this weekend so I cannot share much with you. May Allah carry us to majlis 'ilm with His tawfiq. Ameen.

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