Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Believe, and then witness


We shall today look at the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi, again, who said we should support our belief with witnessing.

This was his response to a question from his mureed on the meaning of verse 260 of Surah Al Baqarah where Prophet Ibrahim alaihisalam, asked Allah how He gave life to the dead. The student was curious that a prophet, seemingly contradicting his spiritual station, could question the Lord's capabilities on resurrection.

(Remember) when Ibrāhīm said: “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” He said: “Is it that you do not believe?’’ He said: “Of course, I do, but it is just to make my heart at peace.’’ He said: “Then take four birds and tame them to your call, then put on every mountain a part from them, then give them a call, and they shall come to you rushing, and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.’’
(Translation by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani)

Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi's reply:
"Our master Abraham (peace be upon him) intended with his question to link the highest level of his belief with the beginning of his state of witnessing [Shuhud, in Arabic. To witness something is to perceive it with convincing evidence that the eye/heart experiences] and this is indeed part of traveling the path of Allah [Islamic Sufism], and it is incumbent upon us to take this verse as a lesson for us, so that we do not gain satisfaction with only belief [without witnessing the truth], and it is available to us to do so, because the degree of what has been brought to us and that of evidential arguments do not attain the degree of witnessing whatever the degree of argument and authenticated sources might be. It is from this angle that our master Moses (may peace be upon him) had asked: "O my Sustainer, Show [Thyself] unto me." (Qur'an)
And the summary of what we have said above is that reassurance [rest of heart] in creed/belief does not occur unless it is supported with something from the realm of witnessing [the truth with the heart]."

And we echo the du'a made by the remarkable translator of this particular work by Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi: "May Allah shower your heart with the delights of His witnessing and cause you to be foremost among those who are conscious of Him and His Signs. Ameen."
"The Freshest Pool in Questions & Answers"
Translated by Sidi Abdelkarim Belaid
Credit: Sidi Muhammad Issa & Altafsir.com 

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