Sunday, September 25, 2011

Garment of the heart


Bismillah.

Ibn Atha'illah said in the Hikam: "All speech emerges wearing the garment of the heart from which it emerged."

So we imagine with amazement, the speech that wears the garment of the heart which has traces of the great Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jailani, MashaAllah.

For that reason, we are delighted that after a long break, KL Ba'alawi is organizing majlis ilm again and what a way to start off, a majlis with Sheikh Affefuddin Al Jailani, the 18th descendant of Ghawth Al Azam.

And next week, we shall be basking in the sweet presence of Sheikh Yusuf Bakhour Al-Hassani and Sheikh Dr. Saad Ghawish Al-Husaini InshaAllah.

Credit:




Reference: 'The Darqawi Way' by Moulay al-'Arabi ad-Darqawi

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In absence


Bismillah.

O friends, I am away, again; away from my little resource center. I am missing that private space of mine and missing this space too. 

Let's keep one another in our du'a as we traverse this challenging dunya and juggle our akhira commitment at the same time.

May Allah make us stronger in embracing His af'al.

I miss you and you know I have never been shy about expressing my heart's contents : )

Take care.
-E-

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seeing Him

Bismillah.

O friends, we apologize for being quiet, cos we were travelling. Alhamdulillah, over the last few days we saw His Attributes Al-Wali, Al-Hadi, Al-Wadud, Al-Khaliq, Ar-Razzaq, Al-Kareem, to name a few. We just got home and immediately thought of posting a little something for you.

During our trip to Melaka we also saw a rare species of plant from Indonesia which had flowers that looked like miniature male and female birds! Subhanallah! Sorry the pictures didn't do them justice at all.

Will catch up with you soon, InshaAllah.

'Female-bird' flower
'Male-bird' flower

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Agony of Love | The Wine of love


Bismillah.

Which one would you choose, the agony of love or the wine of love?

No we are not being mushy (excessively sentimental) here. It's just about sweet desserts called "tourments d'amour" or the agony of love. Hahaha that's what brought about this posting. (Gotcha!)

We saw on telly a couple of days ago, some women, wives of the fishermen on Les Saintes island near Guadeloupe, making yummy looking cakes with coconut filling, at little stalls along the beaches of that beautiful French island. The sweet cakes were traditionally made by the women while waiting for their husbands to come home. Yes that's what they are called - the agony of love, tourments d'amour. Only women would understand such a thing, don't you think so?

Now on a more serious note, let's chew these lines of poetry by Imam Khomeini, called 'The Wine of Love'.

I am a hunter of taverns,
don't ask me about the Beloved.
I am dumb, so from the dumb,
and distracted don't ask for an oration.

I'm preoccupied with my own blindness and wretchedness,
So from the blind don't ask for sight and vision.
Your languid eyes have brought on my own languor,
So don't ask from one so smitten for aught
but delirious ravings.

Don't consort with a wandering dervish,
but if ever you do,
Never ask him about wisdom, philosophy, scripture,
or of the sayings of the Prophet.

I am drunk with the wine of Thy love,
so from such a drunkard
Don't ask for the sober counsel
of a man of the world.
_____________________________
Credit: National Geographic & alislam.org

p/s Sorry, no sober counsel from this drunkard today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Believe, and then witness


Bismillah.

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."
 
Reference:
"The Freshest Pool in Questions & Answers"
Translated by Sidi Abdelkarim Belaid
Credit: Sidi Muhammad Issa & Altafsir.com 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remember Him and you shall be remembered


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. We are honored and thankful to be shown partials of the translation of Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi's teachings called 'The Freshest Pools in Question & Answers'.

In one of the sections of the original book in Arabic which contains 231 pages, As-Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi answered a question which in my opinion, was rarely asked. I think it's a query which only a deep inquisitive mind who regularly contemplates God, would ponder.

Yes we often heard the Qur'anic verse where Allah says: "Remember Me and I shall remember you."  It is from Verse 152 of the Surah Al Baqarah. The full ayah as translated by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani is as follows: "So Remember Me, and I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and be not ungrateful to Me."

With reference to this verse, a student of Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi asked his venerated master, "How does Allah remember His servants?"

The master answered: "As for our remembrance of our Lord it is so by saying أﷲ,أﷲ‬ Allah, Allah or with any of Allah’s beautiful names, and it is well understood like this with no complexity. As for Allah’s remembrance of the one doing the act of remembrance, it is here with the ambiguity lies with respect to ‘how’ and by which method, so how would this be? [He asked this question to the audience of his disciples-and when he knew they found some difficulty answering the question, he proceeded to answer it]:-
Allah Has drawn our attention in this verse to that which will make us remembered by people throughout history [future generations]; it is as though Allah is saying: If you would like to be respectfully remembered by future generations, so remember Me, and I will have you remembered by their future generation peoples’ tongues. It is this fact that makes the ‘Dhakeerina’ [folks of Allah] very well remembered by the general masses and the elect among Allah’s folks, and it is this the remembrance of Allah of the ones who remembered Him in past generations, as a meet requital, because reward stems from the act of performing good deeds and Allah knows best."

Therefore, we can deduce from the above that those names - the awliya', who have left us, some left us 78 years ago (i.e. Shaykh Al-Alawi), some over 300 years ago (i.e. Imam Al-Haddad), and others over 800 years ago (i.e. Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani), we can imagine how much these people of Allah had been remembering Allah, that they are so very alive on our tongues and in our hearts to this day. MashaAllah!

With the barakah of the awliya' who are ahlillah, past and present, all of them, known and hidden, we pray with their barakah, we are able to remember Allah with much remembrance, InshaAllah.

We also pray as practised by Prophet Ibrahim a.s.:
Rabbi habli hukman wa alhiqni bis solehin
waj 'alli lisaana sidqin fil akhirin
waj 'alni min warasati jannatin naeem
"O Lord, bestow hikmah on me and join me with the righteous and grant me a reputation of honor amongst later generations, and make me an inheritor of the paradise Jannatun Naeem."
Ameen.

___________________________________
Credit: Sidi Muhammad Issa & Sidi Abdelkarim Belaid

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thank God for men of certainty


Bismillah.

We shall state yet again that the miracles and barakah of Imam Al-Haddad are true because we have seen it a couple of times. Feeling grateful for His recent gifts we picked up from our little book shelf, Imam Al-Haddad's 'Gifts for the Seeker.' And as though, he could read our state, the page we had turned to randomly, in fact the first paragraph we read actually described our state, Subhanallah!

May we continue to benefit from the barakah of Imam Al Haddad who quoted from 'Nourishment for Hearts' or Qut al-Qulub by Abu Talib al-Makki [d. 996 CE]:
"The author of the book, Nourishment for Hearts, may God show him His mercy, and bring benefit to him, said; 'If you find, to receive a favour of yours, a man of certainty who sees nothing but God, seize the opportunity to do him a favour! Even if his state forces him neither to thank you nor to pray for you, since he does not even see you, his certainty will be profitable, and weigh more in your balance, than the prayers and thanks of someone else.'

Indeed, we are grateful and thankful for men of certainty who are men of tawhid. While we may think that we are doing a favour to them, we are actually doing a favour to ourself. And obviously it is Allah who does a favour to us, to let us cross path with them in the first place. 

Praise be to Allah for creating those "stars" in the night skies so that we benefit therewith. Alhamdulillah.


Poster credit: Reza Mahboobi
Publisher credit: Fons Vitae

Saturday, September 10, 2011

12th Syawal - my Father's Day


Bismillah.

Sixteen years ago, on this day, the 12th of Syawal, my Ismail, my beloved father, passed on to the realm of barzakh. I was by his side. Alhamdulillah.

About five hours before his last breath, his weak hands scribbled these words on an Eid greeting card: "I am being called to Rahmatullah." A couple of hours later he wrote again: "Second calling to Rahmatullah" and not long after, he left us.

His last words to me:
"You will be fine!"

Al Fatihah
Allahyarham Ismail
(1935 - 1995)


A grateful daughter

Friday, September 9, 2011

Perplexed at His Beauty


Bismillah.

Aaaalllaaahh....I don't know where to start. I am just perplexed at the manifestation of Al Jamil. You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I wished I could just show you some photos which to me depict the beauty of His deen. It's hard to translate it into words. It's like saying I love you while knowing it's more than those words you feel.

Islam is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Imagine tariqa thriving in cities such as Sao Paulo. Imagine a thirty something handsome man living a harmonious life with his two gorgeous wives and three angelical daughters. Imagine them living in their own self-sustained farm. Imagine them spending a few days of the week in khalwa doing zikr. Imagine them starting to see the fruits of their dakwah as they slowly begin to spread the deen to the Brazilians. Imagine such traditional and genuine Islamic living, in a country known for her endless fiesta, beach babes and sultry female soccer fans.

I don't think any Muslims having a PhD in theology, students of the orientalist gurus, can do something like that. Something as commendable as that is only possible with the barakah of a tariqa guru whose lineage traces back to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. That beautiful slice of the kernel of Islam, to me, is one sweet fruit of the trees planted by the great Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi (1869 - 1934).

May Allah make the Al-Alawi community in Sao Paulo prosper further. May Allah unite the various tariqa and tha'ifah around the world and make us cling strongly onto His rope.
Ameen.

Monday, September 5, 2011

AL FATIHAH on the demise of an Indonesian saintly figure - Tajul Ariffin | Abah Anom



Hj Ahmad Sohibul Wafa Tajul Ariffin
(Abah Anom)
Murshid of Tariqa Qadiriah wa Naqshabandiah
Leader of Pesantren Suryalaya, Indonesia
1 January 1915 - 5 September 2011 





Bismillah.

We are saddened to hear the news from one of his mureed. Although we do not know much of this saintly figure, suffice to see the traces of his syafaat and barakah in his mureed whom we know and respect - a youth with excellent akhlak and adab.

Tajul Ariffin or Abah Anom as he is fondly known among mureed and muhibbin was the murshid for Tariqa Qadiriah wa Naqshabandiah since 1956 when he took over from his father Abah Sepuh.

We are supporters of all tariqa and thus we share the sorrows felt by those who mourn the passing of Abah Anom. We all know what it is like to lose a guru, a guide, a mentor, a father.

Al Fatihah.

Note:
Mas Taj - thanks for sharing and keep your guru's teachings alive within you. I am proud of you!
Reference: www.suryalaya.org

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tasawwuf 103 by Al-Sulami


Bismillah.

Pardon us for that rather cheeky title. We were looking for a bite-size knowledge this morning and we found it in the English translation of Al Sulami's Jawami' Adab Al-Sufiya. It's a 'collection of Sufi rules of conduct.' Lesson number 103 in the said book is something definitely more useful than the Psychology 101 course we learned circa 1989.
[With due respect to our friend 'S' who is a Psychology lecturer, sorry I couldn't resist that : )]

Lesson number 103:
The Sufi must be benevolent and altruistic toward his fellows.

"I heard Nasir ibn Abi Nasir say: I heard Abul Husayn al-Maliki say: A Sufi master was asked about tasawwuf and the adab of it, and said: 'Tasawwuf consists of four stations; whenever they join together in a human being, he deserves to be called a Sufi. They are: benevolence, altruism, patience and cognisance.

As to benevolence, if a rich and powerful man goes to a person and asks for something he does not have, and thinks he is showing favour to him by making this request, that is not conferring a favour.

As to altruism (ithar), it is when a person relinquishes something in order to give it to somebody else, even if he himself needs it...
while patience is the soul's ability to bear adversities.

As to cognisance (al-diraya), it is useful knowledge, or, otherwise, silence."

O friends, Lisan al-Din will, for a short period of time, be in SILENCE because we have got some homework to do, InshaAllah. May it be beneficial for us and you. Until then, we pray:
Rabbi zidni 'ilman, war zuqni fahman.
Fi amanillah.

________________________
Publisher Credit: The Islamic Texts Society
Translator Credit: Elena Biagi

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Eid circumstances


Bismillah.

It's the weekend and Eid is almost over, for now, until the 'corporate' Eid festivities begin. It's Malaysia, so organizations tend to have another round of Eid celebrations right until 30th Syawal. That's how it is. Sigh. But at least for now we are left alone after much association since 1st Syawal. We've been eating some good food yet we are hungry. We are hungry for inspiration.

There's no denying (apart from our family) we feel lonely among an uninspiring crowd. We are envious of our friend who spent the last ten days of Ramadhan and Eid in Madinah, mingling with the shuyukh and enjoying Eid in sohbah. That's spiritual luxury! That's real Eid!

But here we are, hungry because our situation is contrary to the advice of Ibn Ata'illah who said: "Do not associate with anyone whose circumstances do not awaken you and whose words do not guide you to Allah."

"The faithful is advised to associate only with the things, situation and people whose presence and words can inspire him to Allah."

O Allah...
Put us under circumstances that keep us near You.
O Allah...
Let us experience true Eid each and every year.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hands of life


Bismillah.

Eid is a time when we get a little melodramatic. It's for the right reason though - we are simply grateful. We are thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives, our loved ones especially our mother. As we watched her worked her aged hands, cooking, washing and more cooking, we tried to count the amount of good deeds recorded through her hands. Subhanallah!

It made us think, what good deeds (or the lack of it) have our hands performed. Are we doing enough? We know a friend in London, a surgeon who uses his strong hands to operate knees. We know of many friends around the globe who constantly work on their tasbeeh. We know our sisters as mothers and wives, work their hands tirelessly. And we keep telling the children, you can score straight A's in school, act cool whatever, but you are nothing if you have not been cleaning the toilet, it's as simple as that. Our hands were made for working all sorts of work. So let's do a lot more - give, feed, heal, care, soothe, clean, write, pray, help, hug...you name it. All these acts are in fact blessings we could do, thanks to the Hands of the One and only Giver. Let us be more grateful this Eid and do more.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

3rd Syawal 1432H


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah! As we relish this peaceful Eid, our thoughts linger on the yesteryears when the journeys had been thorny. Alhamdulillah His promise is true and forever will be - with every hardship comes ease. For every husnul zan we harbored toward Him, underneath it He reserved a pearl. Alhamdulillah He makes us have husnul zan, for it's a gift in itself. Alhamdulillah we look forward to a brighter day, each day as we look forward to eternal happiness in His nearness.

Alhamdulillah, this Eid brings us much smile and tranquility because we are satisfied that He is our Wakil - Hasbunallahu wanikmal wakil. And suffice to know that we shall  return to Him. And suffice to know that someday bi-iznillah, we'll be meeting His Beloved Prophet salallahu alaihi wasalam.

Eid Mubarak!