Thursday, January 31, 2013

31st January | On age, life and death


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah we have come to the last day of January for 2013. It feels like it was only yesterday we welcomed the first day of new year. I am not going to be biased, although I am a September baby, I think January is the nicest sounding month, just like Rabi'ul Awal.

And speaking of Rabi'ul Awal, KLites have something special to look forward to tomorrow 1st February. There will be Mawlid Akbar organized by Darul Murtadza In sha Allah.

So how old will you be this year? My mother will be 74 come September In sha Allah. I will insist that I am 42 until September comes. Praise be to Allah that He has granted time and life, this long and I cannot thank Him enough for not taking my life when I was 24.

Yesterday I visited someone who passed away at the age of 80 something. Inna lillah wa inna ilai hira ji'un. As I stood by the mayit, I remembered several verses of the Qur'an from Surah Al-Waqi'ah: 
"So why (do you) not (intervene) when the soul (of a dying person) reaches the throat, and you are watching? And We are closer to him than you, but you do not perceive."

It's surreal because only three years ago I attended the funeral of this person's daughter and now it's her turn.  We thought we care and are sympathetic towards a dying person but it was the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam who asked to carry the pangs of death for his ummat! 

So I ask myself, which is better, to invest and accumulate wealth to leave behind for people who may not be of benefit to us after we die, or to invest our time and life on doing things that would be pleasing to Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam and to accumulate as much salawat as possible? He, salallah alaihi wasalam who will look out for us at seerat and mizan, concerned about our fate. He who will let us drink at Kawthar and quench our thirst.

May Allah increase our consciousness of the Prophet each month beyond this month of Rabi'ul Awal and each year. May the mawlid which we have attended and will attend, would bring us closer to the reality of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Ameen.

Sallu 'alan Nabi!

31.1.13

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A jihad we all long for (Hajj Travelogue 2)

Bismillah.

Indeed we found comfort in the words of Rasulullah (salallah alaihi wasalam) to A'ishah (radhiallahu anha) when A'ishah sought permission from the Prophet to go for jihad. The Prophet said to A'ishah: "Your jihad is hajj."

The fruit won't taste as sweet if people were to pick the fruit, slice it and hand it to us on a nice plate.  We ought to work it out ourselves to appreciate. Struggling in finding the means for the body to travel from our earthly house to the House of Allah is muqaddimah (the beginning) of the jihad. Complementing the journey of the physical, is journey of the heart towards Allah, and it is even more sweet. When we have a higher purpose for our actions, even simple seemingly mundane tasks would become meaningful.

Yesterday we visited the Hajj Agency again, to appeal. Our job is to put in the effort while Allah watches the contents of our heart, what our niyyat is and if we are sincere. And it is His ultimate decision who gets the calling. We shall knock on the door a thousand times if need be. If we were to knock on people's door ten times, it might provoke them negatively. But Allah longs that we keep knocking on His door. 

Oh dear...I can see the Hajj Agency building from my desk. It is the only building in the city which has "Allah" written atop its structure.

Anything and everything about hajj makes me emotional. Reading about hajj makes me tearful. Such is the power of His calling. Labbaikallah humma labbaik - a phrase we shall recite over and over from the time we make niyyat at miqat until arrival. But we are now merely at the initial stage, from the starting line of making an intention to getting a letter of invitation.

No doubt it will require a big sum of our wealth. But we cannot claim that it is "our wealth". It is He who provides and we keep praying for His generous bounty. We should look forward to parting with our earnings because the value of hajj is way beyond its price tag. Every cent spent will be multiplied 700 times. And by the grace of Allah, He will let me have the honor of paying for my mother In sha Allah. That is His Decree. He has not decreed that I have a wealthy husband to pay for my hajj. Allah decrees that He makes me earn to pay for myself and my mother In sha Allah. That is an opportunity I am deeply grateful for. Allah Kareem, He creates a good deed and attaches it to His servant. Just that we pray Allah will facilitate our effort in purifying ourselves completely before we embark on the physical journey. For now I am just praying Allah will give me and my mother a long life that we could reach the hajj months In sha Allah. We take one step at a time.

Today we learned from observing our surroundings, about people dying and leaving plenty of jewelry and money. But sadly the children have not been taught the importance of keeping a good deen. Clearly the best gift one could leave for one's family is not property or cash. Indeed, what the Prophet (salallah alaihi wasalam) said to Muadz bin Jabal was a salient point, that he Muadz being 'aleem, inclined to spread the deen and being a source of guidance to people, was better for him than any amount of wealth and camels that he could have wished for.

Alhamdulillah Allah shows us the value of things as they really are. We must thank Allah that He invites us and keeps us on His deen.

Allahu 'alam
____________________________________________
One good article on hajj:
http://www.haqislam.org/the-internal-dimensions-of-hajj/

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Learning through 'ijazah' and learning from each other


Shaykh Ahmad Qat'ani al-Maliki (left) and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks (right)
Cape Town - 28 Jan 2013
(pic credit  Shafiq Mortan)
Bismillah.

So we learned from Shaykh Muhammad Allie Khalfe about this special meeting and exchange between Shaykh Ahmad Qat'ani al-Maliki of Libya and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks of Cape Town.

Shaykh Ahmad Qat'ani al-Maliki, we were made to understand, is one who is keen to travel the world in search of ijazah and musalsalat. He is the head of tasawwuf and hadith ulama in Libya. He is also one of the murshid of Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy. 

During this meeting that took place in conjunction with the annual Mawlid event in Cape Town, Shaykh Seraj Hendricks granted Shaykh Ahmad Qat'ani al-Maliki with ijazah which the former had received from Shaykh Habib Mushur al-Haddad and the late Habib as-Saqqaf. Shaykh Seraj Hendricks in return received ijazah belonging to Shaykh Ahmad Qat'ani al-Maliki. Among the ijazah exchanged were Musalsal bi-Subha (chain link for prayer beads), Musalsal bil-Awwaliya (hadith of mercy) and Musalsal bil-Aswadayn (for dates and water).

Shaykh Seraj Hendricks of Cape Town is a graduate of Umm al-Qurra University in Makkah and had spent some ten years under the guidance of the venerable Almarhum Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki al-Hassani. Shaykh Seraj Hendricks is the older brother of Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks. The two brothers had studied together.

May Allah make us follow in the footsteps of the solehin and the ariffin. May by mentioning the names of His special servants, Allah's mercy would descend into our hearts and lives. Ameen.

From left: Shaykh Muhammad Allie Khalfe, Sidi Husain Dramat,
Erfan Abrahams,
Shaykh Seraj Hendricks,  Shaykh Ahmad Qat'ani al-Maliki,
  and Shaykh Binyamin Toefy
(Pic credit: Shafiq Mortan)

Source:
Shaykh Allie Khalfe and 
http://islamictext.wordpress.com/the-ijaza-ceremony-with-shaykh-ahmad-al-qatani-al-maliki-28012013/

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gaining a perspective on life

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

I am presently at my birthplace in Gelugor, Penang. I wish I could write well enough to impart my feelings this moment as I have got tears welled up in my eyes, thinking about life - people's lives.

Having visited some relatives, family friends and new friends - mostly elderly people, I have gained a better perspective on life and have become a little somber but in a positive way. That we should be grateful for this borrowed time and be wary of how fast time flies.

I attended a mawlid this morning Alhamdulillah. I thought there was no mawlid in Penang to attend this weekend and then I chanced upon this poster and Allah Kareem the venue was walking distance from my place. SubhanAllah that meant a lot because I was car-less. So walk I did gay-fully. While walking I thought of my great grandfather whom I never met - Tok Arif who died when he was 110 years old. 

Tok Arif used to walk some 20 km just to visit my grandparents. According to my mother, Tok Arif would often arrive as early as  9 a.m. On occasions he would ride his lepau (flat-bottomed boat) from Permatang to Gelugor. So I learned, walking or traveling for a good cause is no big deal. But the mawlid host upon knowing that I had walked to his majlis, insisted that his driver send me home! MashaAllah. And I appreciated it because it was scorching hot that would take a bottle of body lotion to recover from sunburn.

And his wife was equally thoughtful mashaAllah. She told me they would host another majlis in March for their 50th wedding anniversary. Yes 50. I was like "What? 50 years wedding anniversary! I am not even married yet! Heh...heh.." So she made me write down my name in her notebook and promised to make a special prayer for me. MashaAllah how sweet and motherly!

Later during the day, I visited my aunt. You might remember my posting about her house being partially demolished by the local authority. Alhamdulillah a group of generous people/NGOs had restored her house. And then I visited Mak Na. You may recall the posting on 'The price we pay for love' http://lisanaldin.blogspot.com/2012/06/price-we-pay-for-love.html how she lost her dear son and last month she suffered from another tragic loss - her adopted daughter died in a car accident. Allah Hu Allah! 

The daughter had been married for about 10 years and her two children are now in Mak Na's care. Think about it. We have got a couple who will celebrate their 50 years anniversary. There are people who lost their spouse after 10 years of marriage. There are people who are in their 40s and still not married. There were people who died at the age of 20, 30 and there were people like my Tok Arif who lived for more than a century. MashaAllah all kinds.

So what have I learned today? That His af'al (actions) are beyond myriad and therefore we all live a life of all sorts.  

- 15 Rabi'ul Awal 1434 H

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Facing it at last | 14 Rabi'ul Awal 1434H



Bismillah.

Bismillah...may it be beneficial.

Quite a few people have tried to persuade me about going on FB. And I have always been reluctant mainly because it's time consuming and it could be a little difficult to handle. I was also worried I might end up with redundant contents. Yah yah...the list goes on, but today (Saturday, 26 Jan) I thought why not - bismillah may it be beneficial.

We'll see. Que sera, sera.
Bi-iznillah.

Full moon of a blessed month
14 Rabi'ul Awal 1434 H
from my balcony
Penang, Malaysia

It's sweet to think
we are all sleeping underneath the same beautiful
full moon tonight -
the Prophetic light shining over all of mankind.
Sallu 'alan Nabi

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cerita balik kampung



Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

Will the non-Malay readers excuse me, I wish to write in Malay again and in my local slang because I am home, I mean really home in my family's house in Penang - the house I struggled to design and build for my mother when I was 27 because my late father had asked me to. Alhamdulillah. It's been a long... time since I last slept here. 

*****
Hmm...takdaklah cerita apa sangat pun sebab cek baru sampai. Tapi terasa macam nak bersembang dalam loghat Utara. Sebenaqnya cek ni jarang cakap loghat Penang sebab dari masa sekolah dulu, cek dilatih supaya cakap elok-elok, depa pesan jangan duk cakap "dalam-dalam" sangat, sampai kawan sekolah ingat cek ni orang Kay-el. Hah hah hah. Tapi bila dah besaq dan kerja, memanglah sekali sekala akan terkeluaq cakap Penang tu sebab memang dah nama pun anak mami. Memang cek orang Penang sejati, takdak perangai siru ka, kiasu ka, tu semua, Insha Allah.

Depa tak bagi cek pi Jepun, jadi cek frust dan balik kampunglah minggu ni. Seronok balik kali ni sebab cek tak drive, jadi co-pilot saja dan rasa bangga jugak sebab kawan cek yang drive tu nampak semakin confident dan baguih. Dulu cek yang jadi cikgu memandu tak rasmi dia, Alhamdulillah. Macam tu lah agaknya cikgu-cikgu kita rasa kut no kalau kita ni perangai elok, jadi elok, "jadi orang" lah bak kata orang tua-tua.

Nampak gaya cek takdak chan pi Maulid kat Masjid Shah Alam Sabtu ni, apakan daya. Mula cek dok excited ingatkan ada Mawlid kat Masjid Keling Ahad ni, rupanya Ahad lagi satu. Tapi harini cek rasa tersentuh dan suka sangat sebab kawan cek beli labu Jepun kat Gopeng masa kat highway tadi dan dia jamu kami makan sayuq labu tengahari tadi. Labu kan makanan kegemaran Nabi kita. Jadi seronoklah jugak sambut hari Maulid dengan makan labu jadi teringat kat Nabi kita (s.a.w).

Tapi yang tak berapa syok sikit Penang ni panaih dan cek memanglah cepat sambaq panaih dan jadi tambah gelap bila balik Penang. Tapi hangpa pun taulah part yang paling best bila balik Penang ialah bab makan. Dan bila makan sedap saja mesti nak komen, "tulah kan, KL tak sedap macam ni." Tadi makan goreng pisang pun nak compare dengan KL, tapi nak buat macam mana dah lagu tu, goreng pisang KL pisang muda keraih, hak sini pisang ranum dan manih. Tu baru goreng pisang dan ini hari pertama. Esok cek ingat pagi-pagi lepaih skipping dua tiga round cek nak pi hambat mamak kuih bawah pokok. Lama betui tak tengok dia. Entah-entah keling lain pulak, sebab yang cek kenai kut dia dah balik India. Tengahari pulak cek nak pi Tok Kramat cari nasi tomato yang ada sambai nyiok. Fuhh...memang berpeluh!

Hangpa nak tau dak, dulu cek rajin mandi laut tapi la ni dah segan sikit. Lagipun jenuh letih nak recover sunburn. Nak kena bagi habih dua botoi losyen baru lah boleh cerah sikit balik.

Ok cek nak mintak diri dulu sebab cek ada kerja ofis nak buat. Haih cuti pun kena buat kerja. Tapi takpa lepaih habih selesai kerja cek akan pulun enjoy sakan. Hangpa duk baik-baik no, jangan duk berkelei laki bini, adik abang semua.

Ni lagi satu nak pesan, kalu ada orang sebut pasai blog ni ka, hangpa bagitaulah kata, "Oh diatu orang Penang, orang kampung kita."

: )
(terenyeh)

Selamat bercuti dan hangpa jangan lupa banyak bersalawat ok.

Salam dari Pulau Mutiara,
Eza
12 Rabiul Awal 1424H


p/s
MashaAllah Tuhan Maha Pemurah, tak dan tunggu tengahari esok, mak menakan mai hantaq nasi tomato sebab depa buat "kenduri ma'ulud". Pagi tadi depa berarak selawat keliling kampung Gelugoq ni. Alhamdulillah baguih!

Ish...tapi depa duk sebut ma'ulud jugak. Ustaz dok ceramah berbuih mulut suruh kata maulid, depa duk kata ma'ulud jugak. Takpa pelan-pelan, dulu cek pun tak tau jugak.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Japan, take me!

Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center
Bismillah.

O Lord, You are the King of the world, let me set foot in Tokyo and pray under that beautiful dome please! Ameen Ya Allah Ya Mujib Ya Kareem.

Oh dear...because my travel arrangement is a bit late, my Visa application to Japan is pending. La hawla wala quwwata illah billah. Thanks to some very kind Japanese officials who are trying their level best to assist. If all goes well I should be praying in that pretty Tokyo Camii next Friday, 31st January, bi-iznillah.

Japan should let me in because I am her big fan. If they require that I demonstrate my love for the country for them to grant entry, I will gladly do a 5 minute presentation. I have probably eaten enough California rolls, unagi and Salmon sashimi that span the distance between KL and Tokyo. My adoration for Japan is pure and even clearer than their Miso soup...heh...heh.

And you dear readers, if you wish to see some nice photos and stories from the land of sunrise, kindly make du'a for me so that all goes well.

I so look forward to shivering in the cold winter there. Yes, some of you may laugh, but I actually missed winter!

O Tokyo, take me, bismillah.
____________________________________

Three days later:
My excitement about Tokyo trip has been abruptly cut short by some people. It's a shame that people abroad are more supportive than people on home ground. And with a lame excuse at that. One thing for sure, when I am in a higher position in the corporate world, I would not do two things which most of them do i.e. be double standard in my decision and say the f word. Wonder why male bosses like to say the f word! As though, it is a mark of their accomplishment and ranking in the organization. Like they can say it because they are at the top rung of the corporate ladder. Maybe I should write to the relevant Ministry asking them to write a bill to prohibit people from saying the f word at work place and in meetings and consider it as a sexual harassment. Male bosses should know that saying the f word does not in any way add value to their leadership qualities nor does it make them more manly. When will they become mature enough to understand that? For now I just want to say this: Oh what the fish! I'll go to Japan with my own money!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Get real | Apply oneself to the real business


Bismillah.

O man, [or should I say boy], please get your perspective right. We don't need to learn or be given a so called powerful awrad that could make us become the so called "lower awliya". 

Hah hah hah...

First thing first, get your akhlak right. Go back to basics. Don't lie. Speak the truth. Honor your words. Think twice about lying especially during Ramadhan and especially when one is standing on holy Madinah land! Astaghfirullah! Think about becoming a servant of Allah before talking about becoming awliya! No in fact, one should be ashamed to even mention it. It's about being a servant of Allah, period. 

If you still insist on bluffing your way, then consider removing your jubbah and throw that stick away. Don't be an impostor. Get real. Perhaps your long list of "powerful murshid" did not teach you well. So let me say it to you now - go back to basics and be a servant of Allah.

You know what Rabiatul Adawiyah, the bigger awliya, said to some guys like Hassan al-Basri? When Hassan al-Basri threw his prayer rug on the water and invited Rabia to pray, Rabia responded by throwing her rug in the air and invited Hassan up there. She said to immature Hassan: "What you and I can do, the fish and flies can do too. But the real business is outside these tricks. One must apply oneself to the real business."

So my advice is to drop your lofty and unrealistic spiritual ambitions. And go make yourself useful to people and the deen - that's the real business. 

p/s 
Someone commented, "Oh it must feel sucks..." (to be misled by a "shaykh" about marriage). I think sucks is not the right word. No way. In fact, I am deeply grateful for Allah has shown me my true worth. Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal. Besides, who needs a bogus shaykh? No thanks! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Upcoming Mawlidur Rasul 1434H / 2013 - in and around KL

Bismillah.

26 Jan 2013 (Saturday)
4 - 9 PM
Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
Shah Alam
For info: Hj Azman 019 2590420

1st Feb 2013 (Friday)
6.30 PM
Masjid Muadz bin Jabal
Setiawangsa KL
For info: darulmurtadza@gmail.com

14 - 16 Feb 2013
(Grand Mawlid on 16 Feb/Saturday)
Al-Jenderami Foundation
Dengkil
For info: +603 8768 0200


Allahumma sallli ala Sayyidina  Muhammad
Habibir Rahman
'adadama yakun 
wama qodkan

O Allah, bestow Your prayers upon our Master Muhammad
the Beloved of the Most Compassionate,
to the number of things that will be
and that were.

***


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein at Masjid Muadz Bin Jabal KL - 18 Jan 2013


Shaykh Muhammad Ismail Az-Zein of Makkah

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, knowledge seekers at the majlis ta'lim organized by Darul Murtadza were blessed to have a guest from Makkatul Mukaramah last Friday (18 Jan 2013). 

Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein is a lecturer at the Umm al-Qura University in Makkah. His father Shaykh Ismail az-Zein is a renowned scholar of the haramain.

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid urged the audience to open their hearts and listen attentively to the honorable guest speaker and likened Shaykh Muhammad's presence as a gift from Makkah.

Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein said [as interpreted by Habib Ali]:

Praise be to Allah for having blessed me with His bounties. I was in Makkah last night and here I am in Malaysia this evening. Allah has facilitated this, that we are able to foster relationships with people from the East and the West, that we are able to visit one another, all this is due to His generous bounty and tawfik.

In a hadith Qudsi, we learned about the obligation to love one another for Allah's sake, to visit each other and to give to another for His sake. The Prophet sallallah alaihi wasalam told us that those who pay one another a visit and who love one another for the sake of Allah will receive a great bounty from Allah. Also as stated in a hadith, when two Muslims meet and exchange handshakes, Allah will pardon their sins. That indeed is a great blessing. 

Allah says: "A person's good deeds may replace his bad deeds." So we learned, someone who meets and greets another person with a smile for the sake of Allah, is considered an act of charity (sadaqah). The Prophet s.a.w reminded us not to take a small act of kindness lightly. Showing a happy face when meeting people, is one small act that we should not take for granted. Rasulullah s.a.w said we should not think that Allah will disregard a simple/insignificant act such as that. Every good word uttered and every kind gesture offered to people, will be rewarded.

A'ishah was once approached by a poor person when she didn't have anything much to offer except a date. So she gave the date away but the poor person seemed disappointed about it. A'ishah then said: 'Do you know how much atom contains in a date?' As stated in the Qur'an, anyone who does a good deed even if it be as small as an atom, would be counted and rewarded. So do not belittle a small act as it might in fact be something significant for Allah.

Shaykh Muhammad then mentioned about Muadz bin Jabal being chosen by the Prophet to go to Yemen for dakwah. The Prophet praised him as one who is 'aleem on matters of halal and haram. He salallah alaihi wasalam said to Muadz: "O Muadz, the fact that Allah makes you a source of guidance for people, that is  worth so much more than any amount of wealth and camels."

If Allah makes us a conduit of hidayah for people, be it through our words, actions, wealth, smile, knowledge etc. - through which people could benefit from us, that is better in the sight of Allah than any wealth which we may wish for.

A wise man says: "If this dunya were gold which is fleeting and akhirah is like khazaf (something permanent) I would choose akhirah." Those who are intelligent would prefer something which is lasting than that which is fleeting.

We learned a similar analogy from Rasulullah s.a.w, the leader of ahlul hikmah. The Prophet brought home a lamb and asked A'shah to cut and distribute it. A'ishah did as told and kept the front leg for the Prophet as it was his favorite piece of meat being farthest from the rear/tail. When the Prophet came home asking about the lamb, A'ishah told him that all of the meat had been taken except for the front leg. Rasulullah then said: "Everything will last, except this piece that we are eating."

Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein then talked about ikhlas. He said, Imam al-Ghazali defined ikhlas as the state of a person who is in motion and who remains motionless, all for the sake of Allah. Sleeping is an example of being motionless/at a standstill. If we sleep with an intention to rest so that we could perform ibadah afterwards, our sleep will be rewarded.

The Prophet was asked about ikhlas. He asked Jibril, who in turn asked Allah. The reply from the Almighty as related by Jibril was this: "Ikhlas is a secret between me and the person on whom I wish to grant hidayah."

Saidina Ali Abi Talib said: "The kalimat (phrase) which ascends from the earth to the heavens is ikhlas. The kalimat which descends from the heavens to the earth is tawfiq." Allah says in the Qur'an: 'Tawfiq is from Allah.'

One who performs a deed sincerely will receive Allah's blessing. We learned from a hadith that Allah will give a good reward to a person's sadaqah and make it grow like a young horse which grows very fast. Likewise, a sadaqah which is made with ikhlas, though small, will earn plenty of barakah from Allah.

Shaykh Muhammad then talked about the virtues of attending majlis 'ilm. He commended the majlis led by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin where he teaches tafsir al-Quran and hadith from Riyadus Solihin. The shaykh said those present will receive much bounties in both dunya and akhirah. In dunya, the angels will write their names and their prayers will be answered; Allah will shower them with His blessings. Furthermore,  majlis 'ilm will uphold and spread Islam. 

A person can only be honorable through knowledge. There is a hadith where the sahabah asked the Prophet about the strength and weakness of Islam. Rasulullah answered: "In a place/state where majority of its people is a faqih (learned) Islam is strong. Islam is weak at a place where a majority of its people lacks knowledge." 

Shaykh Muhammad said knowledge is an important symbol of Islam. There are many benefits of attending majlis 'ilm. People sit together out of love and bonding for the sake of Allah. That will be something for them to cherish in akhirah. In the Qur'an, we are told about people being enemies in akhirah except those who befriend one another out of taqwa towards Allah. 

A learned person will be allowed to grant syafaat to 70 people whom he/she likes. A person who is 'aleem can take people to the heavens. That is a bounty of Allah for them. Those who visit one another happily in this world will miss their friends and visit them in heavens just like what they do here in this world. 

Shaykh Muhammad advised the audience to hold on to the salafus soleh and to choose our friends wisely - friends who will ensure our safety in dunya and akhirah. If we become a friend to someone who sells perfume, we too will smell good. If we befriend a blacksmith, we might someday get burned.

Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein ended his tausiyah with a heartfelt du'a and gave ijazah for Hadith Musalsal al-Awwaliyah [Hadith of Mercy].

The shaykh read out the sanad as follows:  
"I heard it from my teacher Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani and I heard it from my own father Shaykh Ismail az-Zein. I heard it from my teacher Shaykh Soleh al-Arkani and I heard it from muhaddith Shaykh Abdullah Sirajjudin. And the sanad reached Suffian Ibn Uyainah and so on until Prophet Muhammad s.a.w who said:

"Those who are merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Be merciful to those on earth and all those in the heavens will be merciful on you."

Shaykh Muhammad Ismail az-Zein prayed so that Allah would accept our ibadah and that we will be gathered under the banner of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam.


______________________________________
May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions in my notes.
Credit: Darul Murtadza.com


Monday, January 21, 2013

Where do broken hearts go?

Bismillah.

I can't believe it. There are so many brokenhearted people out there looking for some healing. A little stats trivia for you: the second highest most-read posting on Lisan al-Din is 'How to heal a broken heart'! Three thousand plus people have read it. Oh well, maybe 1500 people looked twice. Or maybe 1000 peeps looked thrice heh...heh... [Oops, am I rubbing salt into someone's wound?] 

Excuse me.

Now, let me sing to all the brokenhearted men out there. Yes men. "Where do broken hearts go? Can they find their way home. Back to the open arms of a love that's waiting there. And if somebody loves you, won't they always love you..."

Heh...heh...that's a song by the late Whitney Houston, for those of you who are on the pious side, who may not know. And I will admit that I went to her concert in California, a long...time ago.

Anyway...I think it's a good experience to have. To have our heart broken a couple of times and hopefully that would make us turn to God. So over time hopefully we'll realize that we cannot give our heart to someone completely. That it belongs to our Creator. 

One shaykh's often repeated phrase was this [in Malay]: "Harga mahal hati ialah kasih pada Allah." Basically what it means is that your heart is precious and priceless so you should know that it belongs to the one who is worthy of it - Allah. He resides there. The heart is His dwelling place.

Fine, we may be crazily attracted to someone, in love, crushed, infatuated, whatever it may be, but we should be spiritually matured enough to know, whose rightful place the heart is. And I think that's why, out of adab we say and hold the position of "loving someone for the sake of Allah."

But before we become a mature person, He would make us suffer in order to teach us some useful lessons, just so we know who He is. He breaks our heart because that's how He calls us back to Himself.

I quote a tweet by Women of History, yet again:
"You always have a place to run to, always.
The place is God." 


Link to: How to heal a broken heart

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Al-Hamid praising the much praised Prophet


Bismillah.

Masha Allah tabarakallah. We were not there physically but still we could not escape from hearing words of praises for Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Indeed praises for him salallah alaihi wasalam shall spread far and wide.

Habib Ali Zeinal Abidin bin Abu Bakar al-Hamid was speaking at a grand mawlid event in Kuala Lumpur recently where Habib Syech Asseqqaf was the guest of honor alongside a couple of Malaysian ministers.

Habib Ali al-Hamid said, the Prophet [peace be upon him] is indeed honored with many special names. Muhammad means one who is much praised. Mahmud means one who is praised and Hamid is one who praises.

Habib Ali said, anyone who is praised will surely feel flattered but Prophet Muhammad is being praised by the One who is praised, the One worthy of praise and none can praise Allah as much or as great as the praises of Prophet Muhammad for Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

Why is the Prophet's name and ranking uplifted to such a high stature? It's because of his loving attribute (rahmat). A person who is close to Allah is the one who brings benefit to others. And as we all know Prophet Muhammad is one who brings the greatest benefits to all. He salallah alaihi wasalam is adorned with two of Allah's names - Ar Rauf and Ar Rahim.

If you wish to know about him and his attributes, read the ayah from Surah At-Taubah:

Laqad ja akum rasulun min anfusikum 'azizun 'alaihima
'anit tum harissun 'alaikum bil mukminin rau'fun rahim

"Surely there has come to you, from your midst, a Messenger who feels it very hard on him if you face a hardship, who is very anxious for your welfare, and for the believers he is very kind, very merciful."

Take note of the word harissun. That describes his attribute of being very loving - very. It's related in a hadith about Ai'shah being delighted upon hearing the Prophet making a special du'a for her. That Allah would forgive her past and future sins, and that which is visible and not. The Prophet told A'ishah that was in fact his prayers for the ummat every night.

In a hadith related by Anas Ibn Malik, the Prophet narrated to Anas and Ai'shah about the Day of Resurrection and how things will become so chaotic, that people will all be naked yet are oblivious of their nakedness. 

Anas then asked the Prophet: "so where do I look for you then?" The Prophet [salallah alaihi wasalam] said: "Look out for me at three places - the sirat, the mizan and the Kauthar well. That's where I'll be waiting to offer my syafaat."

***
Ya Rabbi salli 'alan Nabi Ya Mustafa!

__________________________________
Watch a recording of Habib Ali's speech at the Muhibbains:
  
p/s I have listened and watched the recording a few times over and each time the part that put a smile on my face and soothed my heart, was when Habib Ali addressed the muslimin and muslimat as those whom he loves. It sounded even better in Malay: "yang saya kasihi lagi sayangi." When habaib speak, they mean what they say. And in this rough world we live in, with all sorts of men and women making us upset every now and then, those who try to make a hole in our wall of faith - it means a lot to have the habaib around, to know that they love us, for they are the inheritors of the Prophet, the Prophet who is, as Habib Ali said, so full of love and rahmat. Likewise, it's a joy to love those who love Allah and Rasulullah [s.a.w].

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin at Masjid Al-Bukhary | 1st Rabi'ul Awal 1434 Hijri


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa skhurulillah that we were able to attend the first mawlid celebration for this year's Rabi'ul Awal

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid addressed the audience at Masjid Al-Bukhary KL on the 1st Rabi'ul Awal 1434 Hijri saying: 

When Allah loves a servant, He will make it easy for him/her to do good. We would not be here at the House of Allah if the owner of the house had not invited us. It is He who moved our hearts and gave us tawfiq to be here. Also because He wanted to reward us and that is a sign that He is pleased with us. This is a majlis which is pleasing to Him. It's easy for Him to place us somewhere He dislikes but He has brought me and you here. Thus, we are grateful. We pray so that Allah remains to love us. He/she whom He loves, He would make it easy for the person to do zikir. Prophet Musa once asked Allah; "Show me the person whom You love". Allah said: "I love one who makes zikir - one whom I grant the permission to say my name." Why does Allah like people who make zikir? Because the servant knows that it is a bounty of Allah which he/she is grateful for. We make zikir as a sign of our gratitude.

We are present here to honor the person from whom we have received hidayah, he who is the most exemplary of all. That too is a blessing from Allah. The Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam said, I have been chosen to be your prophet and Allah has chosen you to be my ummat

This majlis is for us to be joyous. Know that actions may fall into one of three categories i.e. mubah (something permissible), ibadah (something that is considered as worship) or transgression when we do the munkar (forbidden). When we are happy to do an action which qualifies as ibadah, our joy may then be considered as ibadah. So happiness depends on who and what it is for.

We learned from a hadith about a woman who makes an intention (nazar) to play drum if the Prophet comes back victorious. The Prophet in his reply to the woman, encouraged her to fulfill her vow. Habib Ali said, the Prophet would not have asked her to fulfill her vow if it's not an ibadah. A vow can only be made for ibadah purposes. If the Prophet had considered playing drums as something mubah, he would not have asked the woman to carry out her vow. That goes to show that playing drum for the purpose of celebrating the Prophet's homecoming is considered as ibadah. Similarly, the Prophet had shown his endorsement towards the children of An Najar who sang for him. The Prophet waited for the children to finish with their performance as a sign of him endorsing their actions. Rasulullah [s.a.w] asked them: 'Do you like me?' The children said: 'We love you!' to which the Prophet replied: "Me too!"

The sahabah expressed their happiness towards the Prophet in their own way. They would sit in the masjid to make zikr. When the Prophet asked them what they were doing, they said: "we are making zikir out of gratitude, that Allah gives us Islam and Rasul." Verily, angels would descend upon people who make zikir so how can we not allow people to gather to make zikir?

Tonight, we express our happiness through zikir, salawat, shamail and listening to tazkirah. All these are ibadah. Allah grant us one bounty after another, hence we must show our gratitude. We should be grateful that we have been chosen to be the ummat of Prophet Muhammad. It's not just about being happy in Rabi'ul Awal but also beyond this special month.

The Prophet had been mentioned before him becoming a prophet and even before Allah created human beings. Rasulullah [s.a.w] became a prophet before the creation of Adam. Rasulullah [s.a.w] was also named as khatam and khatim. Khatam is a ring. Khatim means the ending/conclusion. Why khatam? Because it was Prophet Muhammad who began and ended the prophethood just like a ring where the starting point meets its end.  

Prophet Muhammad was way above the rest of the prophets. His name is inscribed on the throne (arash). All 25 rasul and an even greater number of prophets had made a pledge [bay'at] with him.

It would be a great loss if we do not make an effort to know him well. As his ummat, we should not stray far from him when Rabi'ul Awal is over. Calamities might befall us if we do not keep a good relation/connection with the Prophet [s.a.w]. In the Qur'an, in Surah Al Hadid, Allah warns us on the implications of being distant from Rasulullah, that the heart will become hard and one might even end up being fasiq.

As related by Sayidina Abdullah ibn Abbas, the sahabah during one incident were caught laughing away. The Prophet [s.a.w] upon seeing them sitting together and laughing idly, asked them: "have you been guaranteed a heavenly reward, that you are all laughing like that?" The sahabah instantly realized their mistake and asked Prophet Muhammad: "What is the kafarah? [as in the thing they must do to redeem themselves]. Rasulullah then said: "You must cry just as much as you have laughed."

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin advised us to get closer to the Prophet here in this world, if we intend to be close to him in akhira. He then explained why we have to make salawat. The word salawat comes from the root word silatun which means relation. The analogy of our relationship or connection with the Prophet is like a telephone. His connection with us is very strong but our connection with him may not be as strong. Every time we make a salawat for him, Allah gives his ruh back so he could answer our salawat. Our connection with Prophet Muhammad is still alive. It is not confined to time and space.

We must endeavor to nurture our love and longing for the Prophet. The sahabah were all known to have a deep desire to be close to the Prophet especially after his demise. When Bilal was on the brink of death, his wife lamented over the impending loss but Bilal stopped her. Bilal said, "Don't be sad. I am happy because tomorrow I'll get to be with the Prophet."

"Those were the words of a true lover," said Habib Ali. It's amazing how a person who is about to meet his death, and we know how painful it could be, yet Bilal seemed oblivious to the pain. He was in fact eager to die so he could be with the Prophet. That was the state of one lover.

Sayyidina Abu Bakar too was like that. When he reached the age of 63, he wished he could also die at that age, as did the Prophet. However, Sayyidina Abu Bakar was reluctant to die on a Monday lest he will die on the same day as the Prophet. Instead, he said: "I will meet the Prophet tomorrow. I want to die on Tuesday." It was evident that he was one of the sahabah who had very good adab towards the Prophet [s.a.w]. When giving khutbah, he refused to stand on the same spot where the Prophet had stood, out of respect for Rasulullah.

Imam Malik too was known to have exceptional adab towards the Prophet.  He refused to ride donkey in Madinah for fear that the animal might step on the traces of the Prophet's footsteps. [MashaAllah!]

Habib Ali ended his lengthy and rousing tazkirah by making du'a so that Allah would enliven our hearts with true longing for Rasulullah; that we get to taste the sweetness of love for him and that we have takzim (glorification) for Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam. And that, all our claims about loving him, will in fact become a reality!

[Ameen]

*******
Allahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions in my note-taking.
Pic credit: Darul Murtadza.com


Friday, January 18, 2013

Habib Salem Ba'abad on the value of akhlak, 1 and 0



Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. It's only January but I feel Habib Salem Ba'abad is like the best gift granted this year.

Last week at Ba'alawi KL, we witnessed how moving it was to hear him encourage us to do dakwah.  That there should not be a day that passes by without us doing some kind of dakwah, to enjoin people to do good. Tonight [11 Jan 2013] at the weekly majlis ta'lim organized by Darul Murtadza, it was very inspiring to hear him speak again. He spoke very briefly towards the end of the majlis. But he insisted that he must share something so that he would be counted as one who gives dakwah. MashaAllah tabarakallah

He said [as interpreted by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid]:
I am pleased to see so many people who came here [Masjid Muadz bin Jabal] looking for knowledge. I will quote some words of wisdom. May it be beneficial for you and with that may I be counted as one who gives dakwah.

Imam al-Khawarizmi, the maths genius was asked what's the value of man. He said, a man is like numbers. When he has akhlak (good characters) his value is 1. If he has some property then we add a zero next to the 1 i.e. 10. If the person is good looking he/she can add another zero thus making his/her value equals 100. If he/she comes from a good family, then he/she can add another zero thus increasing the value to 1,000. Whatever advantages or privileges the person has, a zero may be added so that his/her value becomes 10,000, 100,000 and so on.

The first digit is 1 representing the akhlak that he/she has. The basis of a person is his/her akhlak. Anything else he/she has is a 0 added to the 1. So if he/she doesn't have akhlak, that means the number 1 is missing and therefore the string of zeros, no matter how many 0 the person has - is of NO value! 

Habib Salem ended his short but weighty tausiyah with a prayer so that Allah enjoins us with those who have akhlak - the kind of akhlak inherited from Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam.

 [Ameen]

***
May Allah grant Habib Salem Ba-abad of Aden, Yemen, a long life and 'afiah and grant him many more opportunities to come to Malaysia, so we could all benefit from his wisdom. Ameen.
And of course, may Allah bless and shower our dear Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin with plenty of bounties too.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A plain day | A mother's boundless love | God's gifts

Bismillah.

Monday - apart from getting an iPhone 5, was a plain day. Tuesday - a plain day. A plain day is defined as a day when you dive in an ocean called work. The Work Ocean is the 8th ocean, neighboring the Pacific Ocean. Ah, excuse my rambling. When the mental faculty gets exhausted, one may go linguistically berserk. For God's sake, it's only the 3rd week of January.

Still, Alhamdulillah that He gives us a sound mind and body and makes us clever enough to do our work and then He grants us provision thereby SubhanAllah! He is forever giving. 

So never mind the intermittent migraine/headaches that many of us suffer from. Oh, maybe it's time to see the best neurologist in KL - my all time favorite doctor - Dr. Abu Salim of Tawakkal Hospital. It's only fair that I reciprocate his kind words for me. [Yes Doc, the feeling is mutual.]

"Encouragement is a bright spot in an otherwise plain day." says my fave tweet-er Steve Gutzler.

Yes, we all need some kind of encouragement to brighten up a plain day. So this week, apart from Monday, I did encounter "encouragement" on Wednesday (yesterday) - at a bakery. The cashier had a stack of his son's resume with her so that each and everyone who buys bread will be asked about a job opportunity for his son. MashaAllah! "My eldest son has just graduated from college. He is kind of timid so I must do this to help him find a job," she told me matter-of-fact-ly. 

Ahah! Coincidentally as I type these words, my mother just made me some ginger ale. That's it. That's the universal fact we all know and appreciate more than words can say - a mother's love is boundless. And they are our eternal source of encouragement. Alhamdulillah.

Hmm...will I ever become a mother? That is for Him to decide for I have sold/traded myself to Him. Anything You Wish, my Lord!

At the moment, let's just rejoice in what looks like more bounties on the way. Allah Kareem! And because I am happy about some more good bounties around the corner, I think I'll bake 'Beef Wellington' one of these days.

Excuse me for this first nonsensical rambling for 2013. But here's a serious parting message: Allah says in Surah Ad-Duha: "And proclaim the bounty of your Lord."

The iPhone 5 gift from my outstanding employer to each one of us.
By the way, we are the only company in the world
to have achieved growth
in 26 consecutive quarters!
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mawlidur Rasul at Multimedia Uni Cyberjaya - 16 Jan 2013


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, it's wonderful to know about heavenly gardens sprouting here and there, in and around KL, in this blessed month of Rabi'ul Awal 1434 Hijri.

We've got some tourists and foreigners asking about mawlid and majlis zikir happening in KL. So here's one upcoming event not to be missed. And for English-speaking knowledge seekers and lovers of mawlid,  there is one English-speaking shaykh you should consider following - the venerable Shaykh Afeefuddin al-Jailani. You may get more information from http://www.daruljailani.net/ InshaAllah.

On Friday, 1st Feb 2013, Darul Murtadza will be hosting a grand mawlid celebration at Masjid Mu'adz bin Jabal in Setiawangsa KL.
For more info, visit: http://www.darulmurtadza.com/

May Allah increase us in knowledge. May Allah make us know Rasulullah better, strengthen our connection with him and heighten our love for him sallallah alaihi wasallam. Ameen.

The key message as delivered by Ustaz Muhammad Hatta bin Abdul Rahim of Rubat Diaulami' during his tausiyah at Masjid Al-Bukhary recently was this:
"The purpose of life is only two:
makrifatullah (to know Allah)
and
makrifaturrasul (to know Rasulullah)."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Art of grieving











Bismillah.

Today I received a phone call which helped put things into perspective again. Alhamdulillah. I owe it to Auntie M.

It's very easy to get distracted from the realities of life. As we become absorbed in the day-to-day life episodes thinking we are so into reality, the truth is that we are moving away from it. The reality of life is not in living, but in death. And in remembering death.

It's been quite a while since Auntie M lost her only doting son. But grieving for a loved one is not time bound. She said she called because she missed my voice, but in truth that's one of the ways for her to articulate her grief. 

Not many of us are as talented as Joan Didion who could articulate her grieving in a book, so good that just reading an excerpt of it could make you cry. Joan Didion started writing 'The Year of Magical Thinking' soon after the death of her beloved husband and got it published almost exactly a year after. She commemorated her mourning with a book but for many people like Auntie M, quiet mourning is an uncelebrated form of art.

Her "quiet mourning" was by making a phone call and telling someone how she's been missing her son around whom her life used to revolve. Now the axis is missing. Gone too soon. 

"A" left me with plenty of money Za...but I don't need it - she said sobbing. So I cried with her. Glad I didn't skip her phone call because I was busy at work. It would have hurt her deeply. 

"A" busied himself with work. I know now that's why he could leave me with plenty of wealth. But I am all alone now Za - she said, still sobbing. Auntie M is the wife of one of my late ustaz. The ustaz who said to me: "Yes, you can be a Sufi, if you want to." That was 12 years ago. He passed away in the same year.

Allah....her phone call has knocked some sense into my head. Never mind those people who make us feel bad, as long as we are loved and missed by people who matter to us. It's very touching that Auntie M chose to cry on my shoulder. Little did she realize, that in sharing her grief, she's in fact sharing her love.

Eza
9.1.2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Siapa di hati ku? | Who is in my heart?













Bismillah.

Sayangku, 
jangan kau persoalkan 
siapa di hati ku
terukir di bintang
tak mungkin hilang 
cintaku padamu...

That's taken from one award winning Malay song.

"My love,
question you not,
who is in my heart
carved in the stars
never will it fade
my love for you..."

Hmm...let's ask ourselves this simple question:
who is in my heart?
And answer truthfully.
But before we do that, here's a true story.

A close friend of mine, a brother I respect and admire, a married man [no his sweet wife is not suspicious of me], a pious gentleman he is, he conducts weekly zikir for a small group in his neighborhood - he shared with me one of his dreams. He is one blessed with many special dreams involving awliya. You know a dream is 1/46th part of prophethood. One of his many dreams which he has been sharing with me was this.

Once he was fishing in a river. Next to him was a renowned tariqa shaykh who died a long time ago. So they both were angling. The shaykh caught a very big fish but my friend caught none. This went on for a while. The shaykh then asked him, "who is it that occupies your heart, young man?" 

My friend replied: "Allah and Rasul." "Fine," said the shaykh so they continued what they were doing and the shaykh kept getting really handsome fish but my friend's effort was futile, so he got very nervous. The shaykh asked again, "who is it that occupies your heart?" Then my friend suddenly burst out, "I love my wife. She has given me my children and she has done a lot for me." The shaykh said, "No wonder! Try again." My friend realized his true state hence purified his intention, until he finally caught one nice fish!

Allahu a'lam.

Sayangku, 
jangan kau persoalkan 
siapa di hati ku
la...la...la...la...la...

_____________________
Pic credit: avivadirectory.com

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Welcoming Rabi'ul Awal 1434 Hijri at Masjid Al Bukhary KL - Sunday, 13 Jan 2013



Bismillah.

All are welcomed to attend a majlis at Masjid Al-Bukhary KL to mark the arrival of a blessed month - the Rabi'ul Awal.

1st Rabi'ul Awal 1434 Hijri
13.1.2013 (Sunday)

Agenda:
1. Wirdul Latif recital
2. Maghrib prayers
3. Mawlid Ad-Diba'e recital
4. Tazkirah Mawlidur Rasul by:
Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid
Ustaz Muhammad Hatta bin Abdul Rahim
5. Qasidah
6. Isha' prayers
7. Dinner

Masjid Al Bukhary is located in KL Central Business District near Bukit Bintang/Star Hill tourist spot on Jalan Hang Tuah. GPS: 3.139439, 101.704859

See you there, Insha Allah.

Credit: Darul Murtadza.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

'Leave not this majlis, unless you become a dai'e.' - Habib Salem Ba'Abad at Ba'alawi KL on 6 Jan 2013




Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. That's the most precious du'a that touched the heart tonight [6 Jan 2013]. That Habib Salem Ba'Abad prayed - we shall not leave the majlis unless we do khidmah, serve the deen, and spread dakwah. Ameen

Habib Salem's countenance was so calm as was his tone. He said (as translated by one akhi):
Praise be to God who is well aware of everything. Salutations be upon our master Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Praise be to Allah that we are seated here in this place upon which much goodness and His love, too, descend.

We are gathered to listen to the narrations on one as special as the Prophet. Gathered we are on account of our mahabbah for him. The strongest of association/following is one which is for the Prophet and his asbab. He is the door to Allah and Allah would be pleased with anyone who comes through His beloved's door. In a seerah (history) written by Imam Ali al-Habshi, we learned to make salutations for the Nabi whose very being is a key/door to all goodness. Allah honored the Prophet [s.a.w] with much special attributes, of beauty, of perfection, and Allah gave not to other people and not even other prophets. 

He made his companions understood the risalah which he was bringing. That he would be the first to be resurrected in akhirah. That he would be speaking to people when they approach him. That he would grant syafaat. That he would gladden the hearts of people when they are sorrowful. In his hand is the banner of Al-Hamd. That he is the most honorable of the first and the last person yet he is not arrogant.

Prophet Muhammad [s.a.w] is light among the anbiya (the other prophets), he is like a gem among them. His unique position will be first witnessed by his enemies before his sahabah. He lived in a perfect manner that even the Quraysh could not fault him. He was regarded as soleh al amin. The infidels in those times (the Quraysh) acknowledged him and ascribe good names to him. But the unbelievers of this day think he is a terrorist. In the syair of Imam Busiri, we know how the Prophet is described as one who is always merciful and forgiving. When he was among people who knew him not, even the trees, rocks all loved him. But people became his enemy instead. The Prophet's heart is pure, devoid of hatred and remorse. He lived with a clean pure heart. He did not have any ill feelings towards his people (ummah) then and not now. When he was assigned prophethood, it was as though he would take his own life just so that he could preach to people.

It is amazing and it still amazes the unbelievers to this day, how someone who did not have any wealth and who was poor could establish a government. At that time, the ministry of defense and the ministry of finance were all centered at the masjid. That's where his headquarters was. The masjid was the focal place. 

When it was a time of abundance, he would give out whatever wealth that was available and brought home none. The Quraysh couldn't do anything to him. He was leading in worldly affairs though he didn't have much of dunya. He had no money, no watches.

The Prophet didn't have anyone. His nasab (family lineage) was broken from the top, middle and bottom. His father died. He was an orphan. When his mother died, people found him crying by his mother grave, lamenting: "O mother, I only have you but now you have left me." His grandfather who first took care of him died, then his uncle died. Then his wife too died. His sons did not survive. He didn't have anyone by his side except Allah.

He lived a life of good deeds and occupied himself with ibadah and sincerity towards Allah. He was the best of man in maqam ubudiyah. He was mostly a musafir and was always independent and spent his life in jihad for the sake of Allah He was often mocked and attacked. His teeth got broken. He suffered a great deal until the end of his prophecy when God indicated it was time for him to leave.

People of the West who studied his story were often puzzled how a man who had nothing to support him nor any kind of aid, could form a government. Prior to him becoming a Messenger of Allah, the Arabs were always fighting. They did not say salam to one another. They were always thinking of how to become a leader among themselves. But no one could lead them until the Prophet came.

The Prophet had exemplary akhlak and that became the spiritual foundation of a religion. Without a good akhlak, religion would just be a form without function. The Prophet taught them tawaduk (humility). Taught them how to get rid of takabbur (ostentatious) and riak (pride). He taught them generosity and not be stingy and selfish. He taught them to respect one another. The Arabs at that time had the habit of burying their daughters whom they regarded as useless and worse than animals. The Prophet taught them about good values of Islam - to be a person with hidayah (a guided person) and one who guides others and to spread Islam to the East and West. 

According to one historian, there was a century where people were living like barbarians, naked and smelly. The coming of the Prophet changed things for the better. He taught the people good manners and so much more that people were touched, so they loved him more than they loved themselves and their children. They loved him more than they would love cold water when they were thirsty. Their sincerity for the Prophet earned them a good mention in history. Saidina Umar al-Khattab was taught to be as heroic like a prophet because he could conquer Baitul Maqdis, even the Prophet could not do that. So too was his other sahabah like Uthman and Abu Bakar. They all had their own great achievements.

Day by day, we lose a little bit of sunnah. It diminishes, becoming little and little until we lose it all. That is why we have the unbelievers as our leaders. We become a follower of the kuffar because we didn't follow sunnah. We should go back to practicing sunnah and remembering seerah until we could lead the ummah. We want to lead not for the sake of dunya, position or wealth. We want to lead so we could bring the unbelievers out of darkness and into the heavens.

We should study the Prophet's seerah and live according to his example. He never beat a child, woman or even animals unless it was for the sake of Allah. He was full of mercy. The Prophet never said a lie, never make any mistakes. He was truthful in his words. He never cheat. He was an honorable person.

There is not a civilization that did not commit war crimes. The Prophet would constantly remind his companions about the adab of going to war. One is not allowed to cheat, steal, kill children and woman. Cannot uproot or burn trees. If people were found worshiping even if they were worshiping idols, leave them alone. Cannot kill one who is injured. Do not hunt down an enemy who tries to flee from battlefield.

Unfortunately, today, Islam is portrayed as a religion that supports terrorism. If we studied the history of the battle of Badar and Uhud, the Muslims had only gone to war to defend themselves.

There is so much to learn about this religion. We try our best to learn some if not all. Learn about the akhlak of the Prophet. May you leave this majlis with a light to guide others. Let's make the Prophet as our living example. The kuffar look at us as a weak group. We are divided. In some countries there are so many sects - the sufis, wahabis and so on. But still many more people are embracing Islam. In America, it's said that on average 500 people convert to Islam daily. People in Europe have become more interested to study other religions than their own. Praise be to Allah who give us the blessing of this deen. What is the secret to this religion? The secret is with Allah. No matter how hard people try to challenge/attack this religion, they can't win because Allah is mightier.

I ask the men, what is your contribution for the religion? I ask the women, what is your service for the religion? Have you tried to make someone who didn't like solat to want to perform solat? Do you show people to goodness? I advise those who intend to honor this religion of Allah, go make dakwah. Tell people about the beauty of Islam. Spread information about the deen. Do not let a day pass without you trying to enjoin people to do good. Habib Umar's father - Habib Hafiz said he's often asked by students for a special salawat so they could see the face of Rasulullah [s.a.w]. The habib said, if you want that, go out and make dakwah on the path of Allah! That's the salawat.

The Prophet [s.a.w] said, one who teaches others to do good will be prayed upon even by the ants and fish in the ocean. Do not leave this majlis without making an intention to serve the religion, to be one who does khidmat for the religion of Allah.

*****
Habib Salim ended his tausiyah with a lengthy and heartfelt du'a that brought much tears to my eyes.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
________________________________   
Allahu a'lam. The above is just my rough notes.
The majlis ta'lim was hosted by:



  




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reading Martin Lings' Biography of Prophet Muhammad (Part 10)


Dr. Martin Lings (Shaykh Abu Bakar Sirajuddin)
Author of 'Muhammad - His life based on the earliest sources'
(1909 - 2005)

Bismillah.

28. 'Umar

The two envoys returned from Abysinnia
news of failure angered the Qurayshis further
Umar - nephew of Abu Jahl triggered to rebel
charged on Muhammad for a murder

Nu'aym stopped this 26 year old man
a man of resolute and piety
made him confront Fatimah & Said instead
for they had already embraced Islam
while Nuaym sent words of caution to the Prophet

Stormed to his sister's house with fury
he heard words of Koran named Ta-Ha
Khabbab was the one reciting
quickly went into hiding
Fatimah ditched the manuscript under her gown
as Umar grabbed Said his brother-in-law

Ferocious Umar swung his sword
Fatimah ran to defend Said
gave her a wound and bleed
Umar eventually calmed down

He asked Fatimah for the manuscripts
reluctant she was at first
then Umar took to recite it by himself
words he found so beautiful and noble

Khabbab came out of his hiding and confessed
that the Prophet had prayed for his conversion
Umar instantaneously acknowledged
"O Khabbab, where will Muhammad now be,
that I may go to him and enter Islam?"

To the house of Arqam he went
where Prophet and companions had been waiting
fear abound that Umar was coming to kill
yet Umar testified his faith in God and His Messenger
to which the Prophet exclaimed
"Allahu Akbar!"

Umar made known of his conversion
immediately to all and any
the first and foremost was Abu Jahl
the uncle who now became enemy

29. The Ban and its Annulment

Umar began to pray openly
unlike many others who did so in secret
Hamzah, Umar and a small party went to Ka'abah
so the Quraysh leaders would leave in dismay

Angry Quraysh had to retaliate
Drafted an evil plan against the Hashim clan
Boycott their woman, marry them not
and halted all kinds of trade

Forty Quraysh leaders signed the deal
Though some were reluctant
Unlike Abu Lahab, the Muttalibs declined,
so they too were banned
In the Ka'bah the Quraysh kept their wicked pact

Bani Hashim gathered around Abu Talib's quarters
They had to stick together and stay close
But it wasn't all too solid a ban
Though Abu Jahal was eager to impose

One day he caught Hakim red handed
Poor boy was to bring flour for his aunt Khadijah
Abu Jahal and Hakim argued
Abul Bakhtari came to side the Hashim
and knocked some sense on Abu Jahal
literally he did with a camel's jawbone!

There were many others who sympathized
Hisham ibn Amr had no blood ties
but for the Hashim, food and clothes he secretly delivered
on a camel's back headed for Abu Talib's quarter

Two years have passed
Abu Bakar and Umar became helpless about the ban
All the former's wealth spent
Food became scarce
the blessed clan was on the brink of famine

During sacred months, Muhammad frequented the Sanctuary
Qurayshis took the opportunity
throwing insults and jeers
Nadr of Abd ad-Dar a champion-sneer:
"By God, Muhammad is no better a speaker than I am.
His talk is but tales of the men of old..."

Muhammad defended not, save with Qur'anic verses
"When Our Revelations are recited unto him,
he saith: Tales of the men of old.
Nay, but their earnings are even
as rust over their hearts."

Little did they know
the Prophet's state was like no other
though his eyes asleep, his heart awake
the heart of the faithful could see wonder

Then a Revelation came
a direct attack on Abu Lahab and wife - stern!
the pair bound for Hell said God
this made Umm Jamil jumped, rabid
armed with a stone pestle, she hunt for the Prophet
but her eyes, God miraculously covered
she saw not the Prophet except Abu Bakar, stunned, quiet

Umm Jamil recited her poem of hatred
"We disobey the mudhammam..."
- the blamed one, a reprobate
But Muhammad took it lightly
saying, they blame Mudhammam, not me
Muhammad I am, not he!

Two years since the ban started
more and more Qurayshis doubted
Hisham the secret food delivery man
led the change of mind
he engaged Zuhayr, son of the Prophet's aunt
Mut'im ibn 'Adi became third supporter
Abul Bakhtari became the fourth
Zam'ah ibn al-Aswad joined this new band of five

Zuhayr volunteered to lead
in front of the Ka'bah, addressed the Meccan he did
"By God, I will not be seated
until this iniquitous ban be torn up."
A heated debate took place
before Mut'im rushed to fetch the ban paper
Ah! Worms had eaten all evils that were written
save the opening: "In thy Name, O God"
The ban revoked at last, none could deny the omen

Bani Hashim and Bani al-Muttalib saved
glad tidings unto them came
But the Quraysh wanted to negotiate
so Muhammad would agree to accommodate
but to the Prophet, God revealed
Surah al-Kafirun was the Prophet's reply
"...For you your religion and for me mine."

30. Paradise and Eternity

The turn of event made the emigrants return in fear
Umar's brother in law needed protection
Walid offered Uthman ibn Maz'un a helping hand
but Uthman turned it down afterwards
out of consideration for his brethren

One day Uthman heard of Labid's poem recital
one of the better Qurayshi poets he was
Labid said: "Lo, everything save God is naught."
Uthman responded: "Thou hast spoken true!"
Then Labid said: "And all delights away shall vanish."
Uthman replied, not true, the delight of Paradise will not

Labid taken aback
that someone would interrupt his public recital
Brave Uthman, exchanged more remarks
inciting anger among the Qurayshis
so punched him, Labid did
But Uthman's faith waver not
"...I am under His protection who is mightier
and more determining than thou."
Uthman declined Walid's second offer for safety

The Prophet was not around to witness
he later endorsed what Labid said
"Lo, everything save God is naught."
"The most truthful words Labid ever spoke", said he

Then Qur'an came to clarify
on matters which would vanish
and that which are eternal and not evanesce
Of the Resurrection, the Judgment
Hell and Paradise

Of the Paradise, the Prophet did elaborate
About God giving a bigger reward
He will say to the inhabitants of the heaven
"Shall I not give you better than that?"
"I will let down upon you my Ridwan"
So the believers could expect a double surprise
as did admit the Prophet
- "the meeting with my Lord and Paradise."

*****

To be continued Insha Allah, Bi-iznillah. 
Each part will have a summary for three chapters of the book by Dr. Martin Lings. There are in total 85 chapters, so it's a long way to go! After not doing this for a long time, it was heart warming to read the kind words written by three generous English gentlemen who gave me the precious book more than 10 years ago - Anwar, Ilyas and A.H. God bless you all!

Click on image to enlarge and read.
Beautiful people they are!

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.