Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Clean up your blemishes" - Shaykh Afeefudin Al Jailani


Shaykh Afeefuddin Al Jailani began the majlis ta'lim tonight quoting Imam Al Ghazali: "None shall be prosperous except he who follows the prosperous people before him." You will have to accompany the solehin or read about them, if you wish to be prosperous.

We must also try our best to find out about our virtues - the goodness of our soul, that is to learn how to be a good mukminin (believer) so that we will be blessed dunya and akhirah. We say in our prayers Ihdinas siratal mustaqim...but professing by tongue alone is not enough. To have iman is to say it by lisan, believe in your heart and to work on it (amal).

We must also look for the negative parts of our soul, our blemishes (uyub/aib). For example, when buying a car, we don't only look at the good of it but we would usually search if there is anything wrong with it. Do not ever think that as you grow older, you have less shortcomings (aib). Look for your own aib with the intention to erase or rectify them. Close up any holes so that your house will be better protected. Once you have done that it would be easier to earn virtues later and become ahlul akhlak (people of good characters).

There is a saying - at takhliya qoblal  takhdiyah meaning to purify oneself prior to earning good deeds. For example, when you have just bought a house, you will have to make a thorough checking and repair whatever is necessary before moving in, and  the first thing you do when buying a computer is to  install an antivirus before you load whatever programs you wish.

It is important to purify so that the good and the bad will not get mixed up. A single rotten apple can affect the whole carton of apples if you don't first remove the bad one.

Clean up everything and don't underestimate the small aib. If you leave it, the consequence will be worse as it would be difficult to remove later. The Prophet s.a.w said, ignoring your sickness due to laziness or lack of concern will create a disease of the soul such as hasad or nifaq. If you don't purify yourself immediately your bad behaviors will become your chraracter i.e munafik, hasid or liar.

You know yourself better than anyone. You may give all sorts of excuses but you will not be able to cheat Allah.

Our current biggest sickness is our inability to speak well of others. We should question ourselves before we are being questioned by Allah. So keep your book of sins 'white' and the book of goodness full.

The worshippers (abid/ahlul ibadah) are also afflicted with diseases such as riak and takabbur (pride). They think they are the only one who would be able to cross the sirat. Do not be mistaken. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w had cautioned us about the Khawarij. He said there will be a group of people whom by looking at them will make you feel low about yourself. The Khawarij were hafiz and followed sunnah closely, yet the Prophet said they would leave Islam like an arrow leaving its bow and they will not come back ever again. Speaking to sahabah, the Prophet said, your deeds are nothing compared to the Khawarij and yet they 'are the dogs of jahannam!'

There is a verse in Surah Baqarah about people whose conversation would please you but the moment they turn away from you, they would be causing turmoil and destroying crops and lives. Allah is not pleased with turmoil. And they are also inclined to swear by Allah saying wallahi and so on. This is dangerous.  

Saidina Abdullah ibn Abbas advised us not to question people as though we are God. The prophets were sent to convey message. It is Allah Al Hadi who guides whomever He wills. Still there are people who guides people for his own group only. We don't do that. We guide all people for Islam.

Experience from my travels have shown me some of the major problems facing the ummah today. (We are not united.) Let me ask you this, if Prophet were to appear, in which mosque do you think he is going to pray? Mosques are supposed to be built based on taqwa.

There is a verse in Surah Kahf which is often recited on fridays. The solehin would normally cry upon hearing the verse where Allah said: 'Shall we inform you about those whose efforts proved to be futile and they think they are doing good deeds?' Their work is nothing and it is a major aib especially for those who serve as a guide to  people.

Shaykh Afeefudin also commented on people who are quick to label people as kufur and those who like to 'sentence' people as if they were destined for heaven or hell. He said, the heavens and hell all belong to Allah and only Allah alone has the authority to put people either in heaven or hell. No one can and no one should meddle on the issue of heaven and hell. We should also avoid calling people kufr because if we were wrong in our accusations we would then become kufur ourself.

Those who want to be close to Allah should be very careful with their heart and tongue. Abu Yazid al-Bistami mentioned about those who love Allah so much that they ask Allah to protect them from Jannah if they are not granted the joy of seeing Him, saying: 'what is the meaning of Jannah without meeting You.'

One 'arrifin said the problem with us is that we sujud only with our body but not our hearts. If we were to prostrate with our heart even once, we would be forever doing sujud to Allah.

Shaykh Abdul Kadir Al Jailani in his munajat made a prayer: "O my Lord, enter the house of our heart without the slightest hesitation because there is nothing in it apart from the pain of separation from You." That means that we should always have Allah in our hearts.

Shaykh Afeefudin went on to quote  a few motivating stories including one about Nabi Daud writing a reminder note on his mihrab: 'O you who are praying to God, between whose hands are you standing; to whom are you supplicating and who is watching you at this time?'

Concluding his tausiyah, Shaykh Afeefudin reminded the audience on the importance of having a good akhlak. He said each Muslim is a dai'e not just through his words but also his character/behavior.

Sayyidina Hassan was one whose akhlak was par excellence. He had a neighbor who would throw rubbish through an opening in the wall of his house. One day the neighbor's wife came to visit Sayyidina Hassan's wife. That was when she came to know about the hole and how her family had been bothering Sayyidina Hassan's household with their rubbish. So she asked Sayyidina Hassan's wife how long it had been happening but to her surprise his wife didn't make a fuss about it at all. Impressed by the tolerance and moral characters of Sayyidina Hassan's family, the neighbor came to visit again the next day to take shahadah.

Shaykh Afeefudin said if you do something with utmost sincerity, you would surely touch the heart of people. Another excellent example is the story of Malik bin Dinar who took the trouble to care for a drunkard who fell unconscious on the road. He then cleaned the man's mouth from traces of his drinks and carried him to safety by the roadside. Afterwards when the man woke up, people told him what Malik bin Dinar had done to him. The man then instantaneoulsy repented.

Therefore, we must make sure that our ikhlas and akhlak are connected, that our behavior is sincere.
Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any unintentional errors or omissions.
The majlis was hosted by:


  1. اسلام عليکم
    Thank u so much for sharing the many details of the lecture with us in writing for if I were to write about a lecture after I hear them it will just become a few sentences & the rest will be missing - my weakness

  2. Wa'alaykumsalam warahmatullah,
    Alhamdulillah, thank you.
    I try to write as fast and as much as possible. You should see my handwriting - absolutely atrocious : D

    Still, Alhamdulillah for the opportunity to attend lectures and share. May Allah make it easy for us to put the lessons into practice.