Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reflections on Isra Mikraj by Habib Husein Alwy Agiel


Alhamdulillah wa shukru lillah for the opportunity to sit before Habib Husein Alwy Agiel at Ba'alawi KL tonight.

Habib Husein began his tausiyah by acknowledging the tawfiq, hidayah, inayah and rahmah of Allah for enabling us to attend the majlis despite being occupied with all sorts of worldly matters. "Allah has inspired in our hearts and facilitate our steps to the majlis. We have confidence that Allah shall shower His mercy, blessings and forgiveness at this place. We hope none shall leave this majlis without being pardoned for heedlessness, that illnesses will get cured and petitions be answered, be it favors of this world or the hereafter."

"By the blessings of our guru Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Al Maliki the author of Kitab Wa Huwa bi al'-Ufuq Al-a'la, may Allah strengthen our hearts in the days to come so that we are able to be present at such a majlis."

"Fifteen centuries ago we learned from the Prophet about the virtues of this kind of gathering, that he had asked his companions to stop by hilaqul zikri (gathering of remembrance) and hilaqul ilmi (gathering of knowledge), referring to them as heavenly gardens."

"It is highly commendable to gather for the purpose of making zikir and studying the deen. Tonight we have  begun by praying and reciting Ratib Al-Haddad. Imam al-Haddad was not only a Sufi, one who was learned in Tasawwuf, he was also a pharmacist who mastered a concoction for both physical and spiritual illnesses. He had put together Ratib al-Haddad when Yemen was faced with an 'Aqidah Revolution'. People from Tarim went to see him for solution. He told them to come back after 3 days and that was when he first prescribed Ratib al-Haddad. So Hadramaut and Tarim survived the 'revolution' and remained steadfast with aqidah ahlul sunnah wal jamaah to this day. Hold fast to the ratib, may it protect our aqidah and that of our children and descendants."

Then Habib Husein went on to talk about Israk wal mikraj, where Allah narrates the former in Surah al-Isra' and the latter in Surah an-Najm. Making reference to his guru's kitab, he said the practice of 'celebrating' Israk wal mikraj is common, it has got nothing to do with shariat. Meaning to say it is not a sunnah, wajib, makruh or even bidaah. However, if one marks the occasion of Israk wal mikraj in relation to or as a wasilah to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w then it becomes wajib because it is compulsory for us to know the history of Rasulullah s.a.w as it is obligatory for us to know him.

"Anyone who says it is bidaah is foolish because it has got nothing to do with hukum. We celebrate Israk wal mikraj so that it would heighten our appreciation and love towards the Prophet s.a.w. Some people argued about the accurate time to mark the event, whether it is in the evening or in the morning of 27th of Rajab. Ulama too have different opinions on the exact timing of Israk wal mikraj."

"Sayyid Al-Maliki, the author of the kitab we are discussing tonight said this fact (not having an agreement on its timing) does not affect the event itself. On the contrary, anyone who says Mawlidur Rasul is fixed on 12th Rabiul Awal or Israk wal mikraj must be celebrated on 27th Rajab, that is in fact bidaah. It is up to us when to commemorate the events because it has not been defined by the religion. What is more important is that we take advantage of the gathering by instilling good values on people and fill the event with zikir and reciting ratib. Sayyid Al Maliki said (in the kitab) that he has confidence that Allah would accept a gathering that is done for His sake even if the timing is not so accurate."

There are plenty of lessons we could learn from Israk wal mikraj. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w has been granted special privileges and accorded many honors beyond the Israk Mikraj episode. Allah has promised to pardon him should he ever commit a sin. He is the first and only person given the mandate to grant shafaat and he will be the one and only who shall grant us shafaat. When all other prophets will decline our plea for shafaat, it is he Rasulullah who will say: "Ana laha. Ana laha." His love for the ummah is greater than a mother's love for her child. His concern for the ummah is greater than his concern for his own family or  that of himself. We all know what his last words were - ummati ummati.

Another of his special privileges is dakwatan mustajaba. His prayers is mustajab as it is ainiyah hinniyah, it will be granted there and then. He has reserved this one special privilege in the akhirah so that he could use it for his ummah.

Allah s.w.t has never addressed him by his name Muhammad. He is always called upon by his attributes - Ya aiyuhan Nabi and never Ya Muhammad. The mukjizah of the other prophets have all expired, but his mukjizah is ever living.

The Qur'an teaches us through parables of the past so that we can learn from the bygone civilizations in order to reflect on history and not repeat their mistakes. We learned about Ad and Thamud who were after worldly gains and who were not hesitant about displaying their wealth. Do not be like them or we shall perish as they did.

We learned from the Qur'an about tyrant rulers, so we should not be power crazy or we will end up like them. We also learned from the Qur'an about the success stories of anbiya and awliya. Prophet Musa had water gushed forth just by using his stick. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w had water flowed from his hands to feed 10,000 of his armies and their camels.

Half of the inhabitants in heaven will be the ummah of Prophet Muhammad and the other half would be the ummah of all the other prophets.

One lesson we learned from Israk wal mikraj is that of solat. We too could experience mikraj five times a day through our solat - mikraj of the spirit, heart and soul towards Allah, leaving behind our shahwat and nafs to prove that we are a servant of Allah and not a servant of our nafs. Through solat we witness the greatness of Allah. If you wish to be a world leader, walk the path of good and honor by observing solat. But be cognizant, there is a difference between performing the obligatory duties of solat and performing true solat. It is the most important and sacred act of worship. Happy and prosperous is he who performs solat for it will be the first and foremost thing that Allah will question.
Allahu a'lam.May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions.
The majlis was hosted by the ever gracious Kak Ina & Ben of Ba'alawi KL.

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