Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who am I? Who are we?


I guess you may wish to continue being here on this space, in my company because I am a jahil who is not pleased with myself. 

Why? Because we have learned just recently that Ibn Atha'illah said: it's better to sit in the company of a jahil who is not content with himself than sit with a scholar who is pleased with himself.

I am nothing. I may even be a hypocrite because I am weak at practising everything that I've written here. There's not a day when I don't feel bad because I cannot practise everything I've learned and shared here. I struggle. I am a struggling Muslim who is trying to do more good deeds to neutralize or top my bad deeds. I am not strong enough to do plenty of nawafil prayers etc. But I think God has given me some strengths in other areas. And all I know is that I have been strongly inspired to do this blog, for the time being. Alhamdulillah. Still we cannot be sure if anything we do is accepted by Allah. I remember the advice my first guide gave to me. He said, don't think too much, just do because we will never know which of our amal will be accepted by Allah. As a servant, we should just start doing something and let Him finish it. Let Him determine the outcome. Our role is to just do and let go.

Needless to say, I am not a sufi. I just like the idea of purifying myself in the way that the Sufis do it. I am inclined towards tariqa because in tariqa the business is about polishing oneself. It's never about checking on others. I have never been so conscious of the Prophet s.a.w until I got involved with tariqa. I was never attached to a tasbih until I joined tariqa. I was never accustomed to doing hundreds or thousands of zikir until I joined tariqa. Still having said that, I quote the advice of one of my guides, "do not be too obsessed with the tariq (path) that you lose sight on the goal/destination i.e. haqiqah and makrifah. And whatever it is shari'a is our garment."

I related this story before but I'll mention it again. One honorable shaykh had phoned me once. I was shivering feverishly when told he wanted to speak with me. Who am I? When I was on the phone with him I admitted being scared if he's going to scold me for having done/said something wrong. Then he said this which I engraved in my mind. He said "I don't judge people. It's Allah who judge." Subhanallah, this was a shaykh who's so high up there! Then I realized Allah is fair and all-knowing because this was the shaykh for whom I had stood under the hot sun for hours to paint the gate and fence of my house because someone said he would arrange for this shaykh to come visit. I went all out, I mean all out, to prepare for his visit but it didn't materialize somehow. But look, Allah repays in His own way. One short conversation with the shaykh was all I needed. Shukran lillah!

When I announced a plan to make this space private, some people wrote in to express their support for this insignificant work. Thank you! You are very kind and compassionate. Anyway, I will reiterate that I am like a typist here. I am merely a secretary who writes whatever the superior says. I am just a reporter so please don't be so hard on me. If you are not happy with anything you see here, talk to the Boss!

And please...please excuse my crazy nonsense, my hadhayan heh...heh. Oh by the way, we can only do a "heh heh", not a "hah hah" and surely not LOL, because Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said the Prophet s.a.w didn't do that. A smiley, yes : )

Thanks again for your tolerance and understanding.

As ever,

p/s No picture of yours truly. Maybe next time : )


  1. as-salam alaikum
    Excuse me my impertinence, and my poor English, but I will try to translate a poem of shayj al-Alawi, that I think it pictures some of your state:

    Dara'at kusu al-garam

    The cups of desire run between mi lords
    and increased my submission more and more

    I told them: Oh noble ones, would you accept my condition?
    they answered: "Oh young one, if you accept to accompany us"

    Yes, I told them, your word is a duty to me
    but, nobles ones, have be merciful with me

    I feel painful and few are my deeds
    I am nothing in front of you, but you call me good news

    your dhikr it is for me a beverage, your love my treasure
    Be with you is my passion.

    What a pity for the one who remains with me
    and spare his time with vane talk
    If he was of the people of pure aspiration, he will spent his time in what I do
    I tell you, and God is my trustee, that I have no complain about your love

    and to the one who criticizes I leave
    Because if I have a place with you, it is for me a reason to fell pride

  2. MashaAllah Sidi Nur,
    It's beautiful and sad at the same time. I didn't know Shaykh Al Alawi had written such a deep and meaningful poem.
    Thank you again for sharing.
    I appreciate your wisdom and caring gesture.
    With love and respect,