Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2nd Syawal 1432H


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for Allah has given us the sensitivity and patience to reflect on our time and circumstances. He is Time, hence, we are grateful for every little thing that happens as we learn from His wisdom why events occur the way they do. Therefore, we are not agreeable to some people who dare conclude that our life (apart from our mother and work) is 'lonely' and 'empty'. Allah...

We will not defend or justify ourself, instead we'll share something of His af'al that we saw today. We wish to share not because we are 'lonely' and 'empty' but simply because we love celebrating life by sharing its lessons InshaAllah.

This year's Eid  is one of the few exceptional occasions as we've decided to observe Eid not in our hometown, Penang. We are in KL. The last time we had spent Eid in KL was in 1995 when our late father was ailing and hospitalized. We happened to be in Barcelona during the last week of Ramadhan that year but decided to drop our work commitment and came home to spend Eid with him. We had feared that it might be his last Eid with us. Sadly, our instincts were correct. He passed away on 12 Syawal. [Al Fatihah].

This year, tonight, 2nd Syawal 1432H, in the still of the night as we look out from our living room, we reflect on today's events.


Today, we witnessed a special reunion. Imagine this. A lady in her early 20s, had not been seeing her mother for a year because she, at such a young age, independently decided to embrace Islam. She broke the news to her family during last year's Eid, her first Eid as a Muslim. Since then she was not allowed to come home. But today we saw how her sweet mum showed us that a mother's love was in fact unconditional. Oh, surely we're honored that we're able to host the young revert as she experiences her second Eid as a Muslim. And we're especially delighted to welcome her mother who flew so far just to meet up with her Muslim daughter after a year of separation. Today, we saw how a mother is always worried about her children's welfare no matter what. "I am alright about her embracing Islam, just that she must follow the religion of her choice properly! Please, do look after her." - that's what she said. A universal lesson there for all of us, that mothers only want the best for their child and they want their child to excel in everything that she/he chooses to do.

Today, we also witnessed from another mother the same kind of unconditional love. This mother decided to look after, not one but two of her daughter's illegitimate child. Obviously and amazingly, she's a mother who has plenty of rahmah toward her daughter, MashaAllah. We heard how she spoke about patience and submission to Allah's test and decree. We saw her extraordinary degree of faith in Allah's mercy and forgiveness, Subhanallah!

So, what have we learned on this second day of Eid-ul Fitri? We learned that we should all stay true to our fitrah of unconditional love because our Creator has created us with His divine unconditional love. And who are we to be judgmental toward our fellow creatures?

Allah Hu Akbar wa lillahil Hamd.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1st Syawal 1432H - Eid Mubarak



Bismillah.

Wishing you and your loved ones, a blessed and joyous Eidul Fitri!

On this auspicious occasion, I'd like to offer my apologies for any unfitting words I might have uttered. May I be forgiven if feelings have been inadvertently twitched thereby. I have always tried my best to write from the heart InshaAllah so I pray Allah will keep me and you sincere in both giving and taking.
 
Know that I appreciate your company albeit virtually and most of all I appreciate your kind words and prayers. I am very inspired and humbled to see many beautiful souls who care to swing by this amateurish space. I wish all of you all the happiness that a beautiful soul deserves. 

I shall end with a greeting that we usually say in the Malay language:
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri
Maaf, zahir dan batin!

Kullu am wa antum bi khair!

Happy Eid to all!

Yours sincerely,
Ezza
1st Syawal 1432 Hijri













Monday, August 29, 2011

29th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

As we bid farewell to Ramadhan Al-Mubarrak, we pray for Allah to forgive us all. May Allah accept our deeds and may Allah draw us nearer to Him. We would like to conclude our Ramadhan postings with a du'a by the most often quoted person in this blog - the esteemed Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh. May Allah make us benefit from his wisdom and barakah.
________________________
"O Allah, bring us back to You!
Keep us stationed at Your door!
Let us be Yours, in You and with You!
Let us rejoice in serving You!
Let our taking and our giving be for Your sake!
Purify our inner beings (bawatin) of everything but You!
May You not see us where You have forbidden us to be,
and may You not fail to find us
where You have commanded us to be.
Do not let our outers (zawahir)
be guilty of attributing partners (shirk) to You.
Take us from our own selves unto You.
Let us belong wholly to You,
rich in You beyond need of any other.
Arouse us from heedlessness of You.
Choose us for Your obedient and confidential service.
Delight our hearts and our innermost beings (asrar)
with Your nearness.
Keep us far from disobedience to You
as You have kept the sky far from the earth,
and let us be as near to obedience to You
as You have put the iris near to the white of the eye.
Keep us apart from what displeases You,
as You kept Yusuf and Zulaikha from disobeying You."
- Du'a of the venerated Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh
________________________

Our heartfelt thanks to Brother Ruslan Moore of Al Baz Publishing for granting us permission to freely quote from 'The Sublime Revelation', an English translation of Al-Fath Ar-Rabbani by Allahyarham Muhtar Holland. May Allah make us all helpers of His deen. May Allah grant us a long life so we are able to embrace Ramadhan again next year InshaAllah.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

28th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

O friends, we have been asked by a certain mu'aleem to pay special attention tonight 28th Ramadhan/eve of 29th Ramadhan. May Allah let us taste the sweetness of being alone with Him in the wee hours on this special night - "Peace it is until the break of dawn!"

Let's ponder the translation of Al Qadr as offered by the late Martin Lings (Abu Bakar Sirajuddin) from 'The Book of Certainty'.

 إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
 Verily We sent it down in the Night of Power.
وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ
 How canst thou tell the Night of Power?
 لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
  تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ
The Angels and the Spirit descend therein.
 سَلاَمٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ
 Peace it is until the break of dawn.



Credit: AlTafsir.com

Saturday, August 27, 2011

27th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

O friends, we are lost for words at His af'al today. We are speechless at witnessing how merciful He is. A true Wali He is. A true Giver. The only Planner. There is no God but Allah.

Let's bask in the sweetness of the last days of Ramadhan.

"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."
- Du'a of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh

Ameen...

Friday, August 26, 2011

26th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

"Whenever someone has come to know Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala by experience, everything apart from Him seems trivial in his sight. Miserliness is from the self, and the self (nafs) of one who knows from real experience ('arif) is dead in comparison with the selves of ordinary people. It is tranquil (mutma'inna), trusting in the promise (wa'd) of the Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, fearful of His threat (wa'id).

O Allah, grant us the blessings you have bestowed upon your people, and
Give us  in this world good, and good in the hereafter, and guard us against the torment of the fire. (Quran 2:201)
- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani
in Fath Ar Rabbani/The Sublime Revelation
Credit: Al Baz Publishing

******
May Allah make us have the experience of those who are 'arif. Make us tranquil. Make us hopeful of His mercy. Make us fearful of His threats. May this become the fruit of our Ramadhan though our worship may not be at par with the 'ariffin. We depend upon Allah's generous bounties for He gives to whoever He wills.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

25th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

Lailaha illAllah Muhammad Rasulullah, we earnestly ask Allah, if for any reasons our siyam (fasting) and qiyam (prayer) are not accepted this year, we ask for His mercy that He would consider whatever little benefit that we share through this blog in this month of Ramadhan. Surely He knows our weaknesses. He knows where our strength lies for He is the One who grants us any strengths that we may have. Surely He knows our weaknesses for He is the One who created us and our actions. Allahu Akbar, Subhanallah hi amma yushrikun.

We have been listening to good advice from as many sources as we could. Tonight, we learned from Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Ninowy on the three different levels of fasting. Listening to him makes us fear that our siyam and qiyam might not be fully accepted and it might be thrown in our face, na'uzubillah.

Shakyh Al-Ninowy said he didn't want to wish us the common wish for Ramadhan - kullu 'ammin wa antum bi khair, that you are ok each time Ramadhan comes. He wished us something more special than that - Kullu 'am wa antum aqrabu illAllah wa qulu bukum aqrabu ila mahabbatihi wa muqarrabatihi. In short, he wished us so that each year with every Ramadhan we become closer to Allah. [Ameen]

Siyam as an ibadah is a means to the objective and the objective of siyam is la'al lakum tattaqun - 'so you may have taqwa.' Many ibadat has patience as one of its objectives because we tend to be impatient in our solat, zakat and hajj. Siyam is half of being patient. It's a school that trains us to be patient. But what is the purpose of the school? The higher goal of siyam is taqwa or being close to Allah. What is the sign of your siyam being accepted? Yes, if you are better today than yesterday and if you are closer to Allah this Ramadhan than the previous Ramadhan.

Ulama' tazkiyah including Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani divided siyam into three levels. First, middle and higher levels. The first level is one who abstain from food, drinks and other desires that could invalidate the siyam. The second/middle level is for the tongue, eyes, hands, feet and other limbs to abstain from what is forbidden. The third level is for the heart to abstain from all other thoughts except Allah. If you eat, you break your fast but metaphorically if your eyes, ears, tongue and hands engage in things they are not supposed to, then the fast is broken. Or if the heart is concerned about things other than Allah then the fasting of the heart is broken. Therefore, we have to iqbal...rush with our body, heart and soul to the observation of Allah and shroud ourself from all things other than Allah. There is a verse in the Qur'an: 'Say Allah and leave them to play.'

The second level is the fasting of the pious - siyamul solehin. May Allah make our siyam in this category. We have to protect the eyes from falling on the haram. If they do then it's like an arrow of shaytan but if we abstain, then the arrow is switched to become sweetness in our heart. As for the tongue, we should abstain from lying, falsehoods, gossiping, uttering bad words or arguing. If one consciously refrain from arguing even if one is on the right side, Allah will grant a house in Jannah. The tongue should be occupied with zikir and reciting the Qur'an.

Our ears should not hear anyhing haram, even if we don't participate in gossip, hearing alone will qualify us as one who gossips. The same goes with the other limbs, the hands, foot and stomach too. We should make peace with our stomach. Just because we cannot eat from sunrise to sunset, that does not mean that we should eat as much as we want from sunset to sunrise. We should not overeat upon breaking fast. We should be lighter in food and spiritually higher. So eat less. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w never had any hot food in his house. He and his family live on simple food such as dates and water. We should practise this because when we are a little weaker, we are closer to Allah. We would feel our neediness even more. If we have been eating less and getting weaker as we approach the last 10 days of Ramadhan, our heart is supposedly capacitate on account of a weaker stomach. When the time comes for Laylatul Qadar, we will not be veiled by our stomach.

As for the heart, upon breaking our fast, it should be hanging between fear (khauf) and hope (raja'). Fear that our siyam and qiyam are rejected and hope that they would be accepted.  Hope that it would be maqbulin (accepted) and not mamputin (rejected). So ask yourself do you think your siyam is accepted. The sign of it being accepted is if you have changed from the last Ramadhan or if you have improved from yesterday.  Otherwise, you should correct and re-establish your niyat. Drop the burdens of backbiting, pride, hatred etc.  

Concluding his tausiyah, Shaykh Al-Ninowy prayed that we listen and pick the best from his talk. "Pray that we are forgiven and that Allah will be extra merciful this month. May Allah bless all Muslims. I genuinely love all of you for the sake of Allah and I am not just saying it for the sake of speech because on the Day of Judgment, Allah will give His shade to two people who love each other genuinely for the sake of Allah."
_____________________
Wallahu a'lam.
The above is not a verbatim transcript.
Please click HERE to listen to Shaykh Al-Ninowy talk on 'The Three Levels of Fasting'.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

24th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

It's the night of 25th Ramadhan. While we prepare ourselves and look out for Laylatul Qadar either tonight or the nights of 27th or 29th Ramadhan, we should remember to offer our worship with all our heart. Oftentimes, we perform mechanically without any concern for what matters most - which is love.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim in an essay called Love is Lovely, said:
"Yes, seek to improve with every new day, for the Holy Prophet said: 'Whoever does not improve with each day is losing ground.' What does this mean? It doesn’t mean that if we pray forty rakaats of prayer today, we should pray forty-one tomorrow and forty-two the next day. No, that is not required, what is intended is that you fill your worship with ever more love of your Lord, so that He will observe: “My servant has sent Me more love today than yesterday. “One of our Grandsheikhs summarised perfectly what I am trying to say: “An atom’s weight of love is worth more than seventy years’ worship without love.”

So imagine if Laylatul Qadar is better than a thousand months of worship, imagine if we were to do it with love. Imagine sending so much more love for so long a time...
_______________________________
Read the entire essay on 'Love is Lovely' here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

23rd Ramadhan 1432H (7th Haul of Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al-Maliki)


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. We shall repeat what we said earlier, that Sunday evening (22nd Ramadhan) was the best Ramadhan evening we've had so far. So grateful that we were able to attend Majlis Haul for Saydatina Khadijah Al-Kubra and As Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki which was graciously hosted by Ba'alawi KL.

Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al-Maliki, a student of As Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki (Abuya) was very close to Abuya and special enough to be given permission to carry the Al-Maliki title. Shaykh Fahmi gave a tausiyah on his dear guru.

He said:
This is the 7th Haul for Abuya. We are gathered here not to mourn over his death. We are here to reminisce about his benevolence, generosity, his akhlak and contributions. This is not majlis maktam where people weep for the demise. We are here to recollect Abuya's kindness and excellence in different branches of knowledge. Ulama' is of the view that Abuya deserves to be recognized as 'the leader for ahlul sunnah wal jamaah of the 21st century'.

As Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki died on 15th Ramadhan 1425H (in 2004). May Allah shower His mercy on him, grant him pardon until he is reunited in heaven with the other ulama' and all of us too InshaAllah.

Abuya's esteemed character was well known by those near and far. He was gifted with bastatan fil 'ilmi wal jisim - a vast knowledge and reputable akhlak. He was not only an ulama' but also blessed with dunya's affluence. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said, 'good properties  only get better if they belong with the solehin.' Abuya's philantrophy had benefited at least 70 pesantren (traditional religious schools) in Indonesia. He made monthly financial contributions to these schools including the one I attended.

We are asked to mention the good deeds of people who have left us. Abuya was also known for his adab in dealing with his opponents. He would be gentle in addressing contentious issues with his opponents and would make du'a for them. This exemplary attitude of his can be clearly seen in his Kitab Al-Mafahin, a kitab which he considered dearest to him, a kitab which received plenty of support from ulama' worldwide. He was accused of being blasphemous and to counter such accusations he wrote a kitab describing his ways and aqidah.

The purpose of this haul is to strengthen our  love for Abuya and all other ulama' like him. When we remenisce his goodness and superiority, we would naturally love him more. We love the solehin and we hope to be gathered with them at qiyamah, the day when, according to a hadith by Imam Muslim, we will be ushered to Mahsyar with the people we love.

This is a deed of the heart. Our capital is our love for the mu'aleem. It was said that wherever we mention the names of the solehin, mercy and barakah will descend upon that place.

Without a doubt, Allah had gifted Abuya with numerous merits. There is a sha'ir (poetry) about him, his father, grandfather up to Al-Mukhtar (Prophet Muhammad s.a.w) which includes 7 generations of mu'aleem. And now with his son Sayyid Ahmad as the 8th generation of this 'aleem family. We can see in Sayyid Ahmad the traces of Abuya, true to the sayings: fil walad sirrul walid or al walad sirrul abi, which means 'a son is his father's secret'.

If we want Allah to protect our children and future generations, we as parents must have good akhlak ourselves. Sayyid Ahmad is Abuya's warith. His piety is evidently a result of his ancestors being pious and honorable. By Abuya's barakah, may this benefit will also flow to his students and the students of his students.

Abuya's father praised his son as being gifted and excellent in several areas such as hadithsanad and fikh. He was also a great speaker. Abuya authored more than 40 kitab which he published and distributed freely. Verily, as concurred by ulama' around the world, Abuya was the leader for ahlul sunnah wal jamaah of the 21st century.
________________________________________________
Wallahu a'lam.
May Shaykh Fahmi forgive me for any errors and omissions I may have made.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, I would like to express my shukur that I have benefited from Abuya's barakah tremendously even though I had only sat in his majlis ONCE and even though I had only eaten ONE piece of starfruit which he had blessed!

AL FATIHAH
The majlis haul was hosted by


Monday, August 22, 2011

22nd Ramadhan 1432H (Haul of Saydatina Khadijah Al-Kubra)



Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. The eve of 22nd Ramadhan (last night) was the best Ramadhan evening we've had this year. Alhamdulillah we made it to the special annual event organized by Ba'alawi KL - Haul of Saydatina Khadijah Al-Kubra and Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki (Abuya). 

Habib Ali
Habib Ali bin Zainal Abidin Al-Hamid gave tausiyah on the life of Ummul Mukminin while Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al-Maliki spoke about his honorable guru whom he affectionately referred to as Abuya.

Habib Ali said:
Praise be to Allah, in this blessed afternoon, in blessed Ramadhan, the best of months, we have come together to remember two persons who hold  key positions in the eyes of Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w.

First and foremost we are here to honor Saydatina Khadijah Al-Kubra and secondly we are here to honor one of her descendants As Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki. They both passed away in the month of Ramadhan. Saydatina Khadijah according to 'Kitab Al Busra' composed by As Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki, passed away on 11th Ramadhan. There were several opinions on the year of her death. Some said it was 5 years before Hijrah, while others thought it might be 3 years before Hijrah.

Allah chose Saydatina Khadijah to be the partner for the man He loves, the chosen prophet whom He protected. Allah has His chosen people and He would guard them from aib or anything disgraceful. Allah was protective of  Prophet Muhammad as reflected in the Qur'an - wataqallubaka fis sajidin - and your movements among those who prostrate (Qur'an: 26:219).

Habib Ali said, the taqallub or movement of the seed of Prophet Muhammad [pardon me, for lack of a better word], came from sulbi of a pious man into the rahim of a pious woman. In a hadith Rasulullah s.a.w said, 'I was born from a marriage and not of zina.'

The light of his prophethood was visible on his father's face Abdullah that a clairvoyant woman once offered herself to Abdullah [for wanting to carry his baby]. She also offered him 100 camels if he would sleep with her but Abdullah declined even though zina was a common occurence then. When Abdullah married Siti Aminah of the Quraish tribe, she was young as it was a custom for woman to marry early.

Prophet Muhammad's love and adulation for Saydatina Khadijah after her demise was a well known fact. Saydatina Khadijah was a woman of excellent akhlak. She was well regarded among men even though women during Jahiliyah days received very little respect. She was a charismatic and intelligent woman who excelled in the business world dominated by men. She was outstanding both economically and spiritually. She was positively influenced by people who were close to her. On business matters, she had her cousin Hakim ibn Hizan as her mentor. Hakim himself was a high achiever being the youngest person to have held a position in the 'parliament'. He acted as her business representative at meetings which were mostly attended by men. Saydatina Khadijah was very much a spiritual person given her close association with her cousin Waraqah bin Naufal. She learned about tawhid and uluhiyat (Lordship) when most other people chose to worship idols. She didn't mingle with women who liked to flirt with men.

According to the author of Kitab Busra, Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki, Saydatina Khadijah was blessed with exceptional firasat. Prior to her marriage with Prophet Muhammad, she was accorded two honorable titles: At-Tohirah and Saydatun Nisa-il Quraish.

She was known as At-Tohirah (pure) because despite being a business woman she refused to expose herself to the male-centric business community. She never attended any meetings but would only send her representatives. She was known as Saydatun Nisa-il Quraish or the leader of Quraishi women mostly for her respectable manners and righteous demeanor.

After having become the wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, Saydatina Khadijah was gifted with four accolades - Ummul Mukminin, Saydatun Nisa-il Mukminin, Saydatun Nisa Ahlil Jannah and Al-Kubra. Saydatina Khadijah was first a sahabi to Prophet Muhammad before becoming his wife. We must love sahabah. The youngest of sahabah are even more honorable than any awliya on this earth. When Saydatina Khadijah became wife of the Prophet, Allah raised her stature even higher.

The title Al-Kubra was conferred upon her for the exclusive position she holds in the eyes of Allah and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. She was the only person to whom Allah had conveyed salam and promises of heavenly rewards.

Rasulullah s.a.w said, 'I was blessed with love for Khadijah and I shall love anyone who loves her.' We are required to love Prophet Muhammad but we cannot be sure if he loves us in return, unless we love the person he loves - Saydatina Khadijah.

Our gathering today is to refresh (tajdid) our intentions and feelings towards Saydatina Khadijah with the hope that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w would love us. Allah will love us for the love that we have for Rasulullah s.a.w and Prophet will love us for the love that we have for Saydatina Khadijah. May our get-together in this Haul for Saydatina Khadijah and Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki, make our hearts inclined towards Saydatina Khadijah and ahlul bayt.

Prophet Muhammad said in a hadith, 'I asked nothing from you except that you love my family.'  For that reason we are asked  to teach our children about nurturing love for ahlul bayt. A mukmin would love ahlul bayt while a munafik would hate them, so we know who we are. May Allah make our love for Rasulullah and ahlul bayt a reality in our hearts and bodies. May Allah make us love Him, Rasulullah, ahlul bayt and sahabah, and give us husnul adab towards them.
___________________________
Wallahu a'lam. The above is not a verbatim but sketchy notes of Habib Ali's tausiyah. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions. Tausiyah given by Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al Maliki will be posted separately, tomorrow InshaAllah.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21st Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, Ba'alawi KL once again is offering us an opportunity to be part of a beautiful and angelical majlis, InshaAllah. This invite comes at an opportune time as we embrace the last ten days of Ramadhan, InshaAllah.

By the way, we heard Imam Masjidil Haram recited this verse in Teraweeh prayers a while ago.
"If I err, I err only to my own loss, and if I am rightly guided it is because of that which my Lord has inspired to me. Surely, He is All-Hearer, Ever-Near." (Qur'an - Saba' 34:50)

___________________

Bismillah
All are welcome to attend:
Majlis Haul Saydatina Khadijah Al-Kubra
&
Shaykh Sayyid Habib Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki (R.A)

Sunday, 21 August 2011 | 21st Ramadhan 1432H

4.30 pm - Asar 
5.00 pm - Qur'an Recital
5.15 pm - Recital of  'Kitab Busra' (Manaqib Saydatina Khadijah Al-Kubra)
6.30 pm - Tausiyah 1 (A wordly angel who surpasses the heavenly houris)
7.00 pm - Zikr & Istighfar recitals
7.25 pm - Iftar
7.30 pm - Maghrib 
7.45 pm - Dinner
8.15 pm - Manaqib Abuya Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al Maliki
8.40 pm - Isha' & Teraweeh
10.30 pm - Tausiyah 2 (Minhaj Dakwah As Sayyid Muhammad Alawi)
11.00 pm - Light refreshment & adjourn

This special occasion is hosted by:

Ba'Alawi KL is located at:

No 9, Jalan UP 2A
Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
53100 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: +603 4108 5888
Mobile: +6012 203 5887


Saturday, August 20, 2011

20th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

While we strive to be alone with The Alone this last 10 days of Ramadhan, we would like to draw from His strengths so that we are able to inwardly isolate ourselves from creatures. Though we may be mingling in public, may with His strengths, our heart is able to prostrate to Him continuously for it is with Him that we stand, we walk, we sit and we lie down. To know that while we may lapse in our remembrance of Him, He is always with us and never apart. May with the blessings of the one He loves, Muhammad Al Mustafa, everything good will come to us from all directions. Ameen.

"The believer who is truly convinced (muqin) and experienced ('arif) is in isolation from creatures with his heart, his innermost being (sirr) and his spiritual content (ma'na). He reaches a state where he is incapable of either shielding his own self from harm or procuring benefit for it. He becomes prostrate before the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), retaining no power or strength of his own. Then when he is genuinely at this stage, good comes to him from all directions."
- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani

Credit: Al Baz Publishing

Friday, August 19, 2011

19th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

"O Allah, rouse us from the slumber of the heedless."
- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani

May the last ten days of Ramadhan be fruitful and blissful to all of us.
Ameen.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

18th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

It's amazing and not surprising at all that we all feel at home at Masjidil Haram. Indeed, the feeling is awesome. Subhanallah. Weary from our travels around the world, mentally tired for having to maneuver our way through tricky cities and meeting all sorts of creatures, then to come home to such a tranquil place where all headaches and heartaches get cured the moment we step inside the magnificent masjid. Subhanallah.

Today we are feeling suffocated from having dealt with certain creatures and feeling overwhelmed by the antics of this world. Wished we were in Makkah! Well... at least it's raining right now in KL so we are a little relieved psychologically as if the rain is washing away our blues.

Rain in KL from my window
And when we are feeling taxed by it all we just want to escape don't we? The honorable Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani said in one of his Ramadhan tausiyah:

"O my people!
Escape to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala!
Flee to Him from creatures and this world,
and from everything whatsoever that is apart from Him.
Go home to Him with your hearts.
Surely you have heard His words:
'Do not all things come home to Allah?' (Quran 42:53)

Later this evening when we break our fast at iftar, may our heart flee to His blessings, for our siyam (fasting) is for Him, it's not even for us. Siyam is sirr, an act of worship that is hidden though its virtue is apparent as it is for Him alone. Subhanallah. May He accept our fasting. May He accept our home coming.

________________________________________________
My heart and thoughts are with Hajjah Azmah (a pillar of support for KL Ba'Alawi) who is spending the entire Ramadhan in Makkah. May Allah let us benefit from her du'a InshaAllah.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

17th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

In conjunction with the blessed night of Nuzul Qur'an, let's make du'a with the words of the venerable Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani (q.s.)
________________________________________________

O Allah, help us to be obedient to You and do not desert us because of disobedience toward You.

O Allah, keep us far removed from hypocrisy in all our circumstances.

O Allah, bring us near to you, do not send us far away from You.

O Allah, install us in Your court, and in Your company.

O Allah, bless us with meeting you in this world  and the hereafter. Delight us with nearness to You and with the sight of You. Let us be among those who are well pleased with You, to the exclusion of everything apart from You.

O Allah, bless us with true fitness in Your company.

O Allah, employ our limbs and organs in Your obedient service and our hearts in Your intimate knowledge. Employ us throughout our lives, by night and by day. Join us with our predecessors among the righteous. Provide us with sustenance as You provided them with sustenance and be for us as You were for them.

O Allah, grant us the blessings You have bestowed upon Your people.

O Allah, help us against our own selves.

O Allah, grant us the blessing of compliance with Your destiny under all circumstances.

O Allah, let us eat of the food of Your nearness, let us quench our thirst with the drink of Your intimate friendship.

O Allah, cause a separation between us and our lower selves (nufus).

O Allah, let us get to know You so that we really know You ('ariifna bika hatta na'rifaka).

O Allah, treat us kindly in Your judgments and Your decrees.

O Allah, we seek refuge with You from reliance on material means (asbab) and attachment to fantasy (hawas), desires (ahwiya) and habits ('adat). With You we seek refuge from evil under all circumstances.

O Allah, make us extinct to everything apart from You! Cause us to exist in You and give us in this world good, and good in the hereafter, and guard us against the torment of the fire.

O Allah, may I benefit from what I have to say and let them benefit from what I am saying and they are hearing.

Ameen.
- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh

Credit: Al Baz Publishing

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

16th Ramadhan 1432H



Bismillah.

Why me? Why this? Why now? We wish to emphasize this point especially to our family - please, if you can, don't ask these questions. There are times to be inquisitive but when it comes to His decree and His actions, we just can't. It's not easy on the self but that's how it is. If He makes your heart constrict, makes you sad, just embrace it, even if you find it hard to smile, just embrace it.

Here's what Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani (q.s) had to say about these forbidden questions. 'What is this?', he asked us in return.

"O my people! What is this? You are in delusion. You are involved in a useless waste of time. Be patient with Allah s.w.t and you will experience good things in this world and the hereafter. If you wish to make Islam a reality, you must practise obedient submission (istislam), and if you wish for nearness to Allah s.w.t, you must fall prostrate before His decree (qadar) and His action (fi'l) - with no "Why?" and no "How?" - for thus you will draw near to Him. You must not will anything, for it can do you no good. As Allah s.w.t has said: 'But you will not, unless Allah wills.' (Qur'an 76:30)

"Since you cannot accomplish what you will, do not will! Do not challenge Him in His workings (af'al). If He takes away your honor, your property, your health and your children, and destroys your reputation, you must smile in the face of His decree (qadar), His will (irada) and His transformative action (tabdil). This is how you must be if you wish for His nearness, if you wish for pure serenity (safa) in His company. If you wish your heart to attain to Him while you are still in this world, you must hide your sorrow and let your cheerfulness show."

Credit: Muhtar Holland & Ruslan Moore of Al Baz Publishing

Monday, August 15, 2011

15th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

Many of us fall prey to misconceptions on wealth. We tend to seek for creations of wealth rather than the Creator of Wealth. In the process we even bow to creatures thinking that in their hands lie portions of our wealth when they themselves are being provided by the true Owner and Distributor of wealth, the One and only Provider, the only One who is Rich and Independent. May Allah grant us true wealth and protect us from hidden shirik.

"Let nothing remain in your hand, apart from Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala then you will become the richest and noblest of creatures, for you will come to be like Adam alaihi salam commanding things to bow down in prostration before him."

"O Allah let our nourishment be Your remembrance
and let our wealth be Your nearness.
Ameen"

- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh

Sunday, August 14, 2011

14th Ramadhan 1432H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani)


Bismillah.

Ghawth Al Azam at many places in 'The Sublime Revelation' reiterated his role. On 17th Ramadhan 545H he said, "My task is to serve those who are seeking the Lord of Truth (Almighty and glorious is He). If your quest is genuinely for the Lord of Truth, then I am employed in your service."

Some people approached us saying they're intrigued about tasawwuf, having read some of the lessons quoted on this space. We are not sure how to respond, so let's hear what Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani had to say about this path. A few points to note, it's not something we can grasp within several years, it's not something we can study intensively over a short period of time, it is a life long process. From our experience, it takes lots of tears and disgrace. If one is willing to be humiliated, dishonored, weep and come out of it all contented, then one may be a good candidate. If one is willing to fall flat on the face and get up quietly without grumbling, then one may be counted. But we are all unique and therefore our paths would be different, so just bear the pain while Allah cut out our garment for us. And surely one must be willing to listen to the righteous (salihun) and the saints (awliya) and to drop one's own opinion. The shaykh said: "Do you not realize that those who are satisfied with their personal opinions are sure to go astray?"

The honorable shaykh defined the path as follows:
"This path is not traveled in company with the lower self (nafs) and the passions (hawa) but rather with the rule of law (hukm) and the practice thereof, the abandonment of one's own power and strength, patient endurance, the acceptance of submissive obedience (istislam) and resignation, the forsaking of haste and the adoption of steady pace. This is not something you can get in a hurry."

The shaykh is always right.

You know they say, you can't hurry love. We agree with that and would like to say that we can't be hasty in wanting to taste. It is an acquired taste.

Lastly, we'd like to include this piece of advice especially for ourself or rather our lower self:
"You must strive to ensure that you are wholly obedience, for if you do this, you will come to belong to your Lord in your entirety. Disobedience is maintaining the existence (wujud) of the lower self (nafs), while obedience is causing its nonexistence (fuqdan). Satisfying the desires of the flesh (shahawat) is maintaining the existence of the lower self, while refraining from them is causing its nonexistence. You must refrain from the desires of the flesh and not satisfy them, except in compliance with the decree of Allah, not of your own volition and craving."

 Credit: Muhtar Holland & Ruslan Moore of Al Baz Publishing

Saturday, August 13, 2011

13th Ramadhan 1432H

Bismillah

We'd like to sing this song together with you this blessed Ramadhan weekend, in honor of Taha who was born in Makkah, a region known as Tihama. Hence, a line in this famous qasidah: wa unadi ya tihami, ya ma'di nal jud - 'and I keep calling O noble Makkah, source of excellence and sublimity'. Allahu Allah!

It was Friday yesterday and we learned that on fridays our blessed Prophet s.a.w, the most excellent man, is able to see and hear our deeds of the day. Though we are ashamed of our dismal performance, our heart still yearn for his blessings and prayers. We long to meet him. We need him. Because of him Allah grants us this marvelous gift of Ramadhan. May Allah grant tolerance and forbearance for we are not able to do justice to this holy month.

Tholama ashku ghoromi yaa nural wujud

Waa unaadi yaa tihaami ya ma’dinal juud

Mun yati aqso maromi ahzho bissyuhud

Wa aro Baabas Salami ya zakil judud

Ya thirazal kauni inni 'ashiq mustaham
Mughramun wal mad hu fannii ya Badrat Tamam
O Light of creations, my longing for you has mountained
My longing and poem becomes my art, O Perfect Full Moon

Isrifil 'arodho 'anni adhnaanis saqom

Fiika qod ahsantu zhonni yaa saamil 'uhud

Ya sirojal anbiyaa-i ya 'alil janaab

Ya imaamal atqiyaa-i inna qolbi dzaab

Wa’alaikallahu solla Rabbi Dzuljalal

Yakfi ya nural alhillah inna hajri thol

Sayyidi wal 'umru wala jud bil wasli jud


Credit: alfaqeer.wordpress and Haddad Alwi & Sulis

Friday, August 12, 2011

12th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

O Allah,
grant pardon,
forgiveness,
tolerance,
forbearance
and renewed grace.

Do not expose us to disgrace.
Do not chastise us to our sins.

O Allah,
O Generous One (Kareem)
You have said:
'And He it is who accepts repentance from His servants,
and pardons evil deeds.' (Quran 42:25)

Relent toward us
and pardon us!
Ameen.

- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani
Ramadhan 545H

From Fath Ar Rabbani as translated into English by Allahyarham Muhtar Holland.
Credit: Al Baz Publishing

Thursday, August 11, 2011

11th Ramadhan 1432H (Ramadhan tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani)



Bismillah.

This morning we learned once again from 'The Sublime Revelation', about which door to close and which highway to travel on. We will know if we had useful knowledge when we are able to rise above our passions (hawa) because Ghawth Al Azam said 'when a person's knowledge prevails over his passions (hawa), that is useful knowledge.' 

It is useful knowledge when we are able to shut the door of creatures and open the door of Allah instead. So which is the greatest door of all, he asked. When we open the right door (the door of the Lord) we will be able to experience seclusion because the crowd will have left us alone. And that's when..."Robes of honor come to clothe his heart. The keys come to him. The outer shells fall away from him and the kernel (lubb) remains. The way of passion is blocked, barred and surpressed, while the way of Allah is opened and the highroad becomes plainly visible to him; the highroad of his purpose, which is the highroad of the Prophets (anbiya), Messengers (mursalun) and saints (awliya) who have gone before."

"What is this highroad? The highroad of pure clarity with no murky confusion. The highroad of the affirmation of Unity (tawhid) with no idolatrous association (shirk). The highroad of submissive obedience (istislam) with no contention. The highroad of truthfulness (sidq) with no falsehood. The highroad of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and glorious is He) without creatures. The highroad of  the Originator (musabbib) without secondary cause (sabab)."

"This is the highroad taken by the commanders of the religion (umara' ad-din), the sultans and kings of real knowledge (ma'rifa) who are the men of Allah, His close friends (asfiya) and noblemen (nujaba'), the supporters of His religion, fighters in His cause and lovers in His cause."

No we are not claiming we know all these. We are merely copying what we read from 'The Sublime Revelation' because somehow our heart has become very attracted to it. Alhamdulillah we are doing this with the blessing of the publisher, Brother Ruslan Moore who wished that more and more people would benefit from the words of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani which Al Baz Publishing has translated and published. We are nobody. We are not claiming to know something. We are merely (hopefully by the grace of Allah) supporters of His religion, fighters in His cause and lovers in His cause. That is all we hope to be in this short time left in this dunya, bi-iznillah.

So let's ponder over the above lines from Ghawth Al Azam and ask ourselves which door do we open and which highway are we on?

Wallahu a'lam

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

11th Ramadhan, 1,392 years ago was a day of sorrow for one by the name of Muhammad Al-Mustafa, the Beloved of Allah.

This day, 1,392 years ago was undoubtedly the most sorrowful day of a year that later became known as the Year of Sorrow - Aam-ul Huzn.

Imagine how he felt when the woman he loved so dearly, the honorable woman who chose to marry a somewhat average man like him, the mother of his favorite daughter Fatimah az-Zahra, the first person to have professed syahadah, the woman who gave up her wealth for the faith he was propagating, the woman who gave up her comfortable lifestyle just to be with him, the woman who had it all - beauty, wealth, status, akhlak and the love of the Beloved of Allah, the woman upon whom Allah sent salam...imagine how he felt when Khadijah binti Khuwailid (r.a) left him on this sorrowful day?

Today, so long ago, our Prophet, the last Prophet, the chosen Prophet, the one who taught us to read in the Name of our Lord, the one who taught us about solat, about fasting, about our Creator, about angels, about the hereafter, the one who gave us our deen, because of him we can be hopeful about life after death, because of him Allah has granted His mercy on us, today, his other half left him.

Can you not imagine how heart broken our Prophet must have been?
Al Fatihah to Ummul Mukminin Saydatina Khadijah al-Kubra.
Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa 'ala aali Muhammad.
Allah blessings be upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

9th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

Alhamdulilllah, the first ten days of Ramadhan will soon come to pass. Some of us have recited more chapters of the Quran than others. Some have not missed teraweh yet.  On matters of ibadah we should compare with people who are better than us so that we become encouraged. On matters of dunya's affluence we should compare with those who are less fortunate than us, so that we may be grateful.

Let's just do whatever little bit we can this Ramadhan InshaAllah. And looking yet again at the words of the honorable Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani in his Ramadhan tausiyah, he said:
"Do not forget the One who does not forget you! Do not be heedless of the One who is never heedless of you! Remember death, for the Angel of Death  (malak al-maut) is entrusted with your spirits (arwah). Do not be deluded by your youth, your property and everything you have around you. All that you have around you will soon be taken from you and you will recall how you squandered and wasted these days in futile pursuits. You will feel remorse but remorse will do you no good. Soon you will die. You will recall my words and the wise advice I gave you, and in your grave you will wish you were with me and taking instruction from me. Try hard to accept my words and to put them into practice, so that you may be with me in this world and the hereafter..."

Alhamdulillah, we are able to feel the presence of Ghawth al Azam though we are 887 years apart. May Allah make us benefit from the advice of all the mashaikh whom we love. May Allah let us be in their company in the hereafter, and also the company of everyone else whom we love in this dunya.

Ramadhan Kareem!

Monday, August 8, 2011

8th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, we heard the Ramadhan message given by one distinguished contemporary scholar Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. He said, "this month is the time for asking where is your heart? Is your heart with God, your ego, lust, passion, greed, pride, envy, resentment or revenge? Ramadhan is a time of immense transformation, a time to reassess our lives and reprioritize. The Quran ask us 'where then are you going?' So we have to ask the question, where are we going as an individual, as a family and as a society. It is a time to return to God and to give the heart back to God who is the possessor of the heart. It is a time to get close to God, a time to become aware of the nearness of Allah. That Allah is qarib."

The subject of nearness and getting close to Allah is being constantly reminded by scholars of past and present. And we are also being asked to evaluate ourselves on our direction and progress each time and at each moment.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani in his Ramadhan tausiyah said, "the knower (ariff) is one who at every moment comes closer to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) than he was the moment before. At every moment his humility toward his Lord is renewed, as is his submissiveness toward Him. He humbles himself to One who is present, not absent. His humility increases in proportion to his witnessing (mushahada)."

May with hidayah and tawfik from Allah, and barakah of the shuyukh past and present, we are able to take advantage of this Ramadhan to assess ourselves and do what is needed to become closer and humble toward Allah.

Listen to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's Ramadhan message here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

7th Ramadhan 1432H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani)



Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, yesterday Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi impressed upon us the significance of making salawat to Rasulullah s.a.w. Alhamdulillah he increased our awareness on our relationship with Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Alhamdulillah he made us more conscious of the living presence of the Beloved of Allah s.a.w. May Allah keeps this feeling of wakefulness to the existence of the Prophet every minute of our lives.

Undoubtedly Muhammad is the most prominent of all prophets. We love all the other prophets too. We have faith in them. We have faith in the angels too. We are the believers of the unseen bi-iznillah. The angels and the prophets may be in a different dimension than us, they are supra-sacred beings but the venerable Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani in his Ramadhan tausiyah said something concerning them that we should deeply consider. That our hearts may "come to be like the hearts of the angels and the Prophets (nabiyyun)"!

He, Shaykh Al-Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh said:
"Your outer being and your physical form must go toward creatures, and your inner being, your kernel (lubb) and your spiritual content (ma'na) toward the Creator. Then your heart will come to be like the hearts of the angels and the Prophets (nabiyyun). Your heart will eat and quench its thirst from their food and drink. This is a matter that relates to hearts and innermost beings and spiritual contents, not to physical forms."

Subhanallah!
And he, Shaykh Al-Jilani qaddasallahu sirruh followed this statement with a du'a:
"O Allah,
delight our hearts,
clothe our innermost beings with robes of honor,
and set our minds on what is between us and You,
beyond the understanding of creatures
and our own understanding."
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May Allah bless us with the ability to direct our outer to the creatures and to devote our inner to the Creator. May Allah honor us with ma'rifah by the blessings of Rasulullah s.a.w. Ameen.

Credit:

Allahyarham Muhtar Holland for his outstanding translation of Al-Fath Ar-Rabbani
and Brother Ruslan Moore/Al Baz Publishing, publisher of plenty of gems left by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani

Saturday, August 6, 2011

6th Ramadhan 1432H


Bismillah.

We marvel at one incredible occurence which takes place in the unseen realm. It's something amazing we heard from Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi and surely we believed him. That there is an angel in charge of the daily reporting to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w on names of people who make salawat for him. Imagine that. Imagine your name making it to the list. Perchance your name is on the top of the list for having made 1000 ++ salawat a day. Maybe we are in the middle or on the bottom of the list.

Shaykh al-Yaqoubi said:
He gets this report from the assigned angel who stands at his head. Except on Fridays, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w would hear it with his own ears [people making salawat] and in return, he makes du'a for us.

In a hadith sahih, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: 'Your works are presented to me, if I find it to be good I praise (Alhamdulillah), if I find it to be something else, I seek forgiveness for you.'

Imagine the Beloved of Allah seeking forgiveness for us. All we need to do is say his name, Muhammad and followed by a simple du'a - salallahu alai hi wasalam. Imagine if you were to ask or employ someone to make du'a and ask forgiveness for you everyday?

You have not beseeched him yet he will appear in the hereafter as your savior. While we are busy with our own affairs and sins, Rasulullah s.a.w is concerned about us that he makes du'a for us. He is alive and well in his holy grave. He is hayyan tayyib, and certainly there is a vast difference between our prayer and his prayer.

Remember whenever you visit his grave, it's not the same as visiting the maqam of your father. It is incomparable. You must stand before him, convinced that he is alive, so you'll have to watch your moves and hearts. Be careful.

Because of him, we'll be relieved from hell, those who profess lailaha illAllah. His message is full of mercy. He is not just for Muslims but for all mankind. Anyone who makes an attempt to propagate Islam without presenting the examples of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, his/her efforts will only be futile.

Loving him is the key to get to Allah. You cannot get anything without going through his channel. Allah will love you more if you follow Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. If you want support, then you should support his sunnah. The ummah will be victorious if they turn to him. Turning away from him would result in defeat and corruption.

The mention of his name is cure. Whenever you get angry, say salawat and you will calm down. If you are in need, worried or burden with debts, make plenty of salawat and you'll be relieved from hardships.

We don't deserve anything. Do not ever claim you deserve something, like you deserve a five star hotel. Don't claim that you deserve a better treatment. How can we say we deserve something when we are full of sins. As a result of his mercy, Allah forgives us and keeps giving His mercy to us. Therefore, we will have to take note of the traces of his rahmah and feel his favor every minute, not every month or every week but every minute. We must understand his maqam [station] and his relevance to us.
  
Many of us especially the young ones, the youth who are still very attached to their parents think their parents are concerned about them. The truth is that your parents are only concerned about you for a limited time. Whereas, Rasulullah s.a.w is more concerned about you than your parents.

He is in the grave and he is concerned about our work, making du'a for us and seeking forgiveness for us. Is there anyone who is more concerned than he? He is concerned about us all our life. He is concerned about our actions, our well being.

You may have doubts in your heart, it's hidden and no one seems to know, but Rasulullah s.a.w knows it and he is concerned about it. Tell me if you know anyone, if there is a relative who is more relevant to us than him in our daily life?!

__________________________________________
The above is not a verbatim transcript of Shaykh Yaqoubi's lecture.
Please click HERE to listen to his awakening message.
Sallu 'alan Nabi!

Friday, August 5, 2011

5th Ramadhan 1432H

Bismillah.

Oftentimes we came across the term 'nearness'. It is, to an average believer like us, a lofty station. We read, again from our book of choice 'The Sublime Revelation' that Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani in one of his Ramadhan tausiyah briefly described "one who is in the state of nearness (qurb) has no language, no prayer of supplication (du'a) and no remembrance (dhikr). Prayer, remembrance and speech are in distance (bu'd). In nearness there is only silence, quietness, contentment and enjoyment of the vision." And he went on to conclude with a meaningful du'a especially for  ordinary seeker like us who wish to attain such an extraordinary state: "O Allah let us be among those who see You in this world with the eyes of the heart, and in the hereafter with the eyes of the head, and give us in this world good, and good in the hereafter, and guard us against the torment of the fire."

Ameen...

As we read this, a certain feeling reverberated in our heart and it heightened upon listening to Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Husayni Al-Ninowy spoke about the meanings of Surah Al-Tin and the noble characters of an exemplar ahlul bayt - Sayyidina Ali (karamallahu wajhah).

By Allah, we had shed tears reading about Sayyidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq before. How he had to bear the pain of a snake bite, all for the love of the Prophet s.a.w when they both hid in Jabal Thur. And subhanallah, Shaykh Ninowy, the remarkable speaker that we all know, last night made us shed a tear when he described the noble characters of Sayyidina Ali with intense admiration. MashaAllah!

In reference to Surah Al-Tin, he said, Allah swore "By the fig and the olive, and [by] the Mount Sinai and [by] this secure land, Verily We created man in the best of forms. Then, We reduced him to the lowest of the low, except those who believe and perform righteous deeds, for they shall have an unfailing reward..."

He said, we were way high (ahsani taqwim) when we were born and then as we journeyed through life we become way low (asfalasa filin) because we got tainted by so many factors. One reason is because Allah endowed us with plenty of blessings - financially, physically, good education, religious/spiritual knowledge, honorable family etc. but how do we use those endowments?

Allah has created us in the best of forms and that does not mean our physical forms. We can't do much with our good forms/looks. We can't reform society based on good looks alone. But we can positively contribute to the world, we can help reform society with the capacities that is within us yakni with your soul, your spirit you can.

"So do good just as Allah has done you good!" said Shaykh Al-Ninowy.

A polished self would use the endowments in a good way versus an unpolished self. Some people seek perfection through money. They think money can make people look better, that it can cover up their deficiencies. Use those endowments to seek darul akhirah without forgetting your share of dunya. Know the difference between your essence and endowment. The beauty is in the self. The person whose self is devoid of beauty don't see beautiful things.

And Sayyidina Ali...what is the essence of Ali? He was beyond compare in that he was raised by the Beloved of Allah. Despite his endowment being a caliph, being the person he was, Ali was one who honored the working hand. He would refuse to eat anything unless he had earned it. He refused to depend on people. He preferred labor to asking or taking from people. When someone commented on him doing things they thought he shouldn't be doing, he said, the shame is in taking without putting in the effort.

We know how he managed the Baitul Mal, he worked so hard for the people. And his companion at the Baitul Mal said Ali would come when the night was at its darkest, that's when he would start going around giving out food to his community, and mind you he knew his neighborhood well. He knew which house had orphans. His companion said he noticed how Ali would place butter and honey (a prized food item during those days) on selected doorsteps. He reserved the best for the orphans!

By the time Ali got home just before fajr, what's left for him was only a piece of dry wheat that he had to break it into two with his own weight before he could take a bite from it.

What is the clothing of Ali? He had just one set of garments which he would clean every other day and it was in a bad condition that he was embarrassed he had to go to different taylors to get it fixed. Certainly Allah garbed him with a better garment of taqwa (piety) and garment of hamd (praise). These garments remained while other garments no matter how good would perish.

What is the house of Ali? He lived in a low ceiling hut. Yet the glow of gold and silver didn't fool Ali. But if you noticed after his death gold appeared to be wanting to be close to Ali. At his grave, you will have to step on a golden doormat before you could enter. Gold stayed at the doorstep of Ali, one who didn't let it distract him.

His position as khalifah didn't change him. He was honorable yet so accessible. People sometimes simply addressed him as Abul Hassan. But people nowadays seek kursi (position) and when they are in a high position, they would have a long list of titles and we will not be able to see them as easily as before. Ali has a kursi in the heart of every Muslim.

What is the sleep of Ali? The nights witnessed Ali standing in prayers and crying. He said the more I live, the more I sin. Ali felt ashamed before His Lord.

He was killed while in sujud in the month of Ramadhan. And he was smiling! Ali was going with a smile that you can even see that on his grave. Ali, one who was familiar with the roads of heaven left with a smile, he who seeked perfection through his endowments. Though outwardly he seemed superior, we looked at his house, his clothing...was the reverse, a misery.

Shaykh Al-Ninowy ended his tausiyah saying, "O people, use your endowments for the right purpose. Do not use them to cover the deficiency of the unpolished self!" 
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Watch Shaykh Ninowy's video here
and you might shed a tear as I did,
listening to him speak about Sayyidina Ali so very affectionately.

Ramadhan Kareem!