Friday, July 31, 2009

Your citizenship is Ahlillah (People of the Lord)


O son, in my posting yesterday on the importance of bay'ah (making a pledge) I mentioned three citizenships: ahlil dunya, ahlil akhira and ahlillah.

Now, here is an advice given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani for ahlillah (people of the Lord) who need neither this world (dunya) nor the hereafter (akhira).

"O young man! Your interest should not be what you are going to eat and drink, what you will wear, whom you will marry, where you will live and what you will accumulate. All of this is self-interest and ambition. So where is the interest of the heart and the innermost being, which is the quest for the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He)? Your interest is what is important to you, so let your interest be Your Lord and that which is His. This world has a recompense, namely the Creator. Whenever you give up something belonging to this transitory life, He creates its equivalent and better in the life to come.

Reckon that all you have left of your life is today and no more. Make ready for the hereafter. Go to meet the arrival of the angel of death. This world is mere froth to the people of the Lord (ahlillah), while the hereafter is to them a pleasant abode. Then when jealousy comes from Allah, it separates them therefrom, and creation is made equivalent to the hereafter, for they need neither this world nor the hereafter."

O son, I will reiterate that the people of Allah (Ahlillah) while they are here in this dunya or when they move on to akhira, all they need is Allah and all they witness is Allah. Shaykh ad-Darqawi had also insisted that all we need is Allah. Now if you do not believe him and if you do not heed Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani's advice for ahlillah, I shall assume that you have, out of ignorance, chosen the second class citizenships. May Allah saves us from ignorance and delivers us to the sacred gatherings of ahlillah under the banner of Rasulullah s.a.w. Ameen Allahumma ameen.
Reference: 'The Sublime Revelation'

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Habib Neon - The Habib who glowed in the dark!


MashaAllah Tabarakallah! I have never heard of anyone whose body glows in the dark - literally glows, emits light, until a lady of Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus family pointed at a photo in their living room and said to me, "That Habib is known as 'Habib Neon'!" It was a picture of Habib Muhammad bin Husin al-Idrus (1898 -1969). A very good looking man! Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take any photos but fortunately, I found some on the internet. So here he is.

Once upon a time, at a masjid in Surabaya, Indonesia, people gathered as usual after Isha for a Majlis Ta'lim. The masjid was fully occupied with thousands of jemaah (assembly) waiting eagerly to listen to a tausiyah (lecture). All of a sudden the lights went off. Most of the crowd quickly rushed out of the masjid. It was full moon then so it was not too dark outside the masjid. As they were loitering, they saw a figure approaching them. Judging from the man's dressing (Yaman gamis) and his green turban, they recognized him as Habib Muhammad bin Husin Al-Idrus.

Habib Muhammad then entered the masjid. The moment he stepped in, the crowd saw beams of light coming out from his body like a neon lamp! His entire physical had lit up! The crowds were flabbergasted because they had not seen Habib Muhammad carrying any torchlights or lamps. The masjid which was earlier in complete darkness became bright again with the lights shining from him. Ever since that miraculous event, Habib Muhammad was known as Habib Neon.

Born in Tarim, Yaman in 1898, Habib Neon was a respectable and sought after scholar not only in Surabaya but also in the neighboring districts. Since he was a child he had enjoyed close attention and training from his father Habib Husin bin Zainal Abidin Al-Idrus who was a renowned ulama and arifbillah (gnostic). Their family name "Al-Idrus" means the leader of the people of tassawuf (Sufis). Many Al-Idrus ulama were, in fact, Sufis such as Al-Imam Habib Abdullah bin Abu Bakar Al-Idrus, Habib Husein bin Abi Bakar Al-Idrus and Habib Muhammad bin Husin Al-Idrus himself.

Habib Muhammad or Habib Neon was known for his exceptional strength in fasting. He considered keeping a full stomach and the habit of over-eating as the root cause for nafs. For that reason, he developed a habit to fast for an extended period of time. He fasted for seven years and throughout the seven years, he only had seven dates for iftar (breaking of fast) and another seven for sahur meal in the break of dawn. At one time during a year of fasting, he had only consumed about 3.4kg of wheat or 5 'mud'. One 'mud' of wheat equals 675 grams. This was a practice attributed to Imam al-Ghazali.

Habib Muhammad once said, "At the beginning of my journey, I had read a lot of sufi books. I also liked to test my nafs by following the methods of training employed by the salafus soleh as recorded in their kitabs."

He is remembered as one who is tawadhuk (humble), always honoring his guests and never turned down an invitation especially from the less fortunate. He was always very warm and hospitable towards his guests. People enjoyed meeting him as his face was always cheerful and bright with nur (light). Everyday between 10.00 a.m. and Zuhur (noon prayer) he would receive guests who came from all over Indonesia and abroad to seek his advice. He welcomed them with open arms and his karamah (gifted ability) was that he already knew what people's intentions and problems were even before they had a chance to speak.

He would spend the time between Maghrib and Isha (Evening and Night Prayers) revising salafi kitabs and on Friday nights he would customarily read the burdah with his jemaah. He had a deep respect for the ulama and would spend months traveling great distances to visit them in places like Palembang, Pekalongan, and Tuban. The inherent ma'rifa (gnosis) attributed to the Al-Idrus clan was evident in Habib Neon. He spoke very little. He only uttered words of wisdom and zikr, and always refrained himself from speaking unnecessarily. He was also known for his generosity, ever ready to contribute his wealth to the needy. Most of his life was spent on propagating Islam. He passed away on 22 June 1969 at the age of 71. His maqam in Pergirikan, Surabaya is regularly visited by throngs of people especially during his haul (event commemorating his death), on the last Thursday of Jamadil Awal. AL-FATIHAH.

Translated and adapted from: Ahbabul Musthofa Solo Blog and Sachrony Wordpress.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The importance of bay'ah


O son, making bay'ah or pledge is one important act you must carry out at least once in your life. It is not common except among those in the circles of tariqah. But most people shy away from tariqah for reasons only known to them. From my observation, some friends avoid tariqahs because they do not have sufficient knowledge and understanding of tariqahs in general or a particular group that they may be exposed to. Some have fears that they might end up with a wrong group.

O son, Innamal aqmalu binniyat. It all depends on your intention. If you intend to be close to Allah, He will show you the way and He is on the Straight Path. 'And fear Allah. Allah teaches you and Allah knows all things'. (Al-Baqarah: 282)
Those who submit themselves to a tariqah murshid/guru, they are convinced that they cannot rely upon themselves. They need assistance and guidance from someone who is more qualified and knowledgeable than them. They understood the importance of having a guru. Yet some thought that tariqah is not good enough for them because they want more than tariqah, they want to attain haqiqah (reality) and ma'rifa (gnosis). The truth is that one can only achieve haqiqah and ma'rifa properly through training and curriculum of a tariqah. Most importantly one cannot reach Allah without going through the holy gate of Rasulullah s.a.w, through tariqah. None could bypass him.

Today, if someone were to ask you "would you like to be with Rasulullah?" You would surely say yes. And if that someone were to say "get in queue, at the head of this queue is the Prophet, he is waiting for you."; I'm sure you would not hesitate at hearing that. But if that person were to announce "this queue is called Qadiriah, that one is called Shadhiliah and that one is Naqshbandi", some people might think twice now. It's easy for them to forget their goal of wanting to be with Rasulullah because suddenly now in their minds they are thinking "Oh what kind of queue is this?" "Why do I have to go through an ordinary man?" "I will just do as many salawat as I can and I will see Nabi in the hereafter anyway."

O son, do not be like them. Your love for Rasulullah must be strong enough that you would do anything to get near him. You should do more salawat than those outside a tariqah. You must have an intention to dream of him. Better still you must dream to see him in person (yaqazah). So by all means make bay'ah with anyone who could take you to Rasulullah and ultimately to Allah.

Whether one realizes it or not we muslims make bay'ah five times a day with Allah. We say "Inna solati wa nusuki wamahyaya wamamati lillahi robil alamin" When you make bay'ah with a guru you are not making a pledge to him, you are in fact making a pledge to Allah. "Those who pledge allegiance with you (by placing their hands in your hand) they, in fact, pledge allegiance with Allah. Allah’s hand is over their hands..." (Qur'an Al-Fath: 10) "Hand", according to a mu'aleem means pledge, agreement, mercy, bounty or help. To make a pledge with someone essentially means letting oneself become receptive of mercy, bounty and help from Allah. So understand!

Rasulullah gave bay'ah to many people and he in his hikmah as a Rasul did it differently to different people depending on the circumstances. There is a hadith by Al Bukhary in Bahjatun Nufus (The Beauty of the Soul) about the Prophet giving bay'ah to Ubadah bin as-Samit al-Ansari. He was one of the most renowned sahabi from the Ansar. He made a pledge to Rasulullah not to do six things: not to commit shirik, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to kill children, not to lie and not to deny what is good.

Likewise, when you make bay'ah with a particular tariqah, you enter into an agreement to do say 5000 zikir Allah a day. You must do a specified wirid depending on the tariqah. You must not go against certain adab. All the things that you are required to do in tariqah are meant to purify your heart and prepare you inwardly and outwardly before you could go into the presence of Muhammad s.a.w and eventually Allah s.w.t.

Some people may think "Oh, so ambitious!" O son, if people can be ambitious in wordly affairs, if they are ambitious in wanting to be a billionaire and go to the moon, why shouldn't you be ambitious in matters of akhira? Do not ever be apologetic about your inclinations towards akhira! At the end of the day, you will know who is the smarter one. In fact be smarter than those who wish for akhira. Wish for the Creator!

One of my gurus taught me about three citizenships. One is citizen of the world (ahlil dunya), the second one is ahlil akhira (citizens of akhira) and the last one is ahlillah (people of Allah). You may be alhlil dunya, well at least initially most people are but over time you should realize that it can only take you so far. Afterwards you would start turning towards akhira, usually when age catches up or when something really bad happened unexpectedly that make you fall on your knees. Then you start thinking about the lures of heavens and fears of hell and try to do as much as you can to gain good rewards. But those who are truly smart and well guided, they think beyond the heavens and all the amazing creations in the hereafter. They want Allah. Their goal is Allah the Creator. Hence their motto "Ilahi anta maqsudi wa redhoka matlubi". Lord you are my goal and your mercy is what I aim for. Needless to say, to be ahlillah is not an easy task. You must toe the line of ahlillah, the awliya Allah, the friends of Allah. They are those whose lineage trace back to Rasulullah s.a.w. They have traversed the path and reached their destination. Their path is the path of tariqah and their destination is Allah through the blessings of Rasulullah s.a.w.

According to Ustaz Syed Ibrahim bin Yahya, Nabi himself made bay'ah with Allah during Isra' wal Mikraj or the Night of Ascension. He had said "attahiyatu mubarakatus salawa tutoyyiba tulillah" and Allah responded "Assalamu'alaika aiyuhan nabiyu warahmatullah..." and so on as the recitation during solat.

In the end, said Syed Ibrahim, "when we make bay'ah all we want to do is strengthen our iman in regards our religion and Allah. We also want to be under the umbrella of the ulama". Certainly we intend to keep our pledge. For those who go against their pledge, it is Allah's prerogative whether to grant them pardon or punish them. As far as reward for bay'ah is concerned, the Prophet did not elaborate. The rewards for those attending majlis zikr or those who perform subuh and wait until ishrak, for instance, is made known. The former will be granted rahmah and tranquility while the latter gets the same benefit as those who perform hajj and umrah. However, the rewards for those who make bay'ah are reserved with Allah - fa ajruhu alAllah. Only Allah knows. He will grant it during Mahsyar (the Day of Resurrection) and Allah grants His mercy according to the capacity (qadar) of the recipient. Allahu aleem. And you O son, you listen to me - find a tariqah murshid and make bay'ah to Allah through him. Toe the line to Rasulullah s.a.w. This is our way. This is the way of your forefathers. So you cannot say 'no one told me!'
Tausiyah by Syed Ibrahim bin Yahya at KL Ba'lawi, July 2009.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Upcoming Majlis 'Ilm at Ba'alawi KL


31 July (Friday) & 1 August 2009 (Saturday)
Al Fadhil as-Shaykh Baba Aziz
Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah

2 August 2009 (Sunday)
Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam
Kitab Bekal Akhirat

5 August 2009 (Wednesday)
6.00 p.m.
Habib Dr. Ahmad al-Kaf
Nisfu Shaaban Celebration

15 August 2009 (Saturday)
Ustaz Syed Ibrahim bin Yahya
Kitab Bahjatun Nufus & Kitab Syamail Rasulullah s.a.w

16 August 2009 (Sunday)
Dhuha/9.00 a.m.
Ustaz Syed Ibrahim bin Yahya
Kitab Bahjatun Nufus & Kitab Syamail Rasulullah s.a.w
16 August 2009 (Sunday)
Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam
Kitab Bekal Akhirat

Ba'alawi KL
No. 9, Jalan UP2A,
Taman Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
(Behind National Zoo)

Host/person to contact: Ben Alawi +6019 669 3887
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah.
Photos from top: Baba Aziz, Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam and Ustaz Syed Ibrahim

Habib Ali bin Jaafar Al Idrus - Batu Pahat's Jewel in the Crown


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah with the grace of Allah I finally made it to the abode of Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus in Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. About three weeks before the journey, a mu'aleem whose audience I sought for a private counsel, mentioned Habib Ali. That was the first time I heard of the blessed name. He said he once brought someone to see Habib Ali with an intention to get some 'healing' from the man many believe to be a saint of great stature. Although that mu'aleem had only mentioned Habib Ali in passing, he sure sparked an interest in me.

I then shared with a few people my niyyat of visiting Habib Ali. Surprisingly they all had some valuable information to offer. Signs were everywhere telling me that I must pay him a visit despite knowing that he almost always would refrain from seeing women unless they are deemed to be 'special' or if there is an absolutely urgent need.

Regardless of the tips on the do's and don'ts when visiting Habib Ali, I had set out the journey with tawakkal and a couple of reasonable expectations. I thought if I could locate his house given the limited clues I got; if I could see Habib Ali's face and just be there for barakah-sake, I would be delighted.

But I must say barakah were already coming our way even before my friend, my mother and I headed south. N is originally from Semerah which is about 20 minutes drive from Habib Ali's house, but she has not heard of Habib Ali until two years ago when one ustaz suggested that she visit him. Apparently, Habib Ali is more well-known among the outsiders. Regular visitors include admirers from Indonesia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Yemen and not to mention renowned scholars like Allahyarham Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki, Habib Zain, Habib Umar, Habib Yusuf Bakhour al-Hasani and Yusuf Islam.

We arrived fifteen minutes after Asar. Thanks to a Singapore car parked in front of the house, we knew that it was our destination. As we got onto the compound we discovered that the pulasan tree clue was actually a rambutan tree. It was not too difficult to find the place actually. At the traffic light (from Batu Pahat town) we turned left alongside Batu Pahat Mall and then made a right turn and then left onto a narrow street parallel to the mall.

Inside a humble-looking house (picture above) lives an extraordinary 95-year-old man. To many, he is one of the venerable saints of this region. Allah knows best of his maqam. And certainly, he is not only a jewel in the crown of Batu Pahat but a much bigger area of which a saint is usually assigned as the caretaker.

We can only speculate on his role in the unseen realm but to the mortals, we know he now spends a week for himself and a week to receive guests albeit for limited hours. When he was done speaking to the male guests in the front part of the house, he retired to his room which was adjacent to the room where the female guests were seated. As we sat there talking to his eldest child and only daughter Umi Khadijah and the wives of his grandsons, we tried to catch a glimpse of him through the curtains separating the rooms.

Habib Ali despises people peeking at him. Despite having a poor vision he could tell if anyone was secretly watching him. However, he did not seem to mind when we pierced through the curtains to look inside his chamber, after getting permission from a family member of course. I saw him sitting cross-legged on the floor, his eyes were fiercely looking at a great distance towards the qibla as his hand was busy counting a tasbeeh. His room did not look comfortable at all but he did not seem to care about comfort anyway. Unlike before, he was not bothered when we pulled the curtains slightly.

We had earlier written a note introducing ourselves. His great-grandson was supposed to read it out to him and asked him to make du'a for us. I sure hope he did!

I wanted to take photos of Umi Khadijah and pictures of habaib adorning the room reserved for ladies but she politely declined. Being the only girl in the family, it's understandable that her father allowed all her siblings to have their photos taken except her. Habib Ali is a strict father and very particular about adab (manners). Up until four years ago, Habib would attend to people's requests for healing. They would be asked to write down their situations on a piece of paper which was to be pasted face down on water bottles. There were times when Habib Ali would call Umi to help him figure out some of the illegible handwriting but he covered up the paper with his hands and only revealed the few words that he could not read. Habib Ali would remind Umi that 'people trusted me with their personal problems, not you. This is amanah (trust) for me to keep.'

According to Umi Khadijah, Habib Ali used to recite Yaseen and al-Mulk after Subuh and Maghrib, and al-Waqi'ah after Asar. Nowadays he does not recite the Qur'an as much due to poor vision and memory but he is continually doing zikir day and night. He sleeps very little and when he does he could even hear if a lizard had fallen from the ceiling.

Umi recalled the year when her mother Sharifah Allawiyah passed away. Sharifah was 35 and Habib Ali was 36. When people asked him to remarry, he said, 'even before my wife died I had already made a pledge that I would not marry again, so I wish to keep to my words.'

Umi was indeed kind to want to share stories about her father. We were grateful to be given such a warm welcome. She had made du'a for us not once but three times while we were there. When I candidly asked if Habib had any old tasbeeh, she went searching around the house and came back with two tasbeeh for us. Alhamdulillah!

From Sister Nora, the wife of one of Habib Ali's grandson, we learned about Habib Ali's diet. He neither eats beef nor chicken, she said. Habib would only eat fresh mutton. He would not eat anything that has been frozen. The same applies to eggs, so the family gets their eggs supply from the local village. Habib Ali is also particular about the person who cooks for him and she's glad that she's among the preferred ones.
According to Sister Nora, Habib Ali chose the names of all of his grandsons. As for baby girls, the parents are allowed to propose names for his consideration and approval. She's happy to be part of the al-Idrus family and enjoyed entertaining the stream of guests who came to visit Habib Ali.

I must say that we were well entertained and very happy to get to know the wonderful women of Habib Ali's family. At one time Umi Khadijah had squeezed my hands and with so much warmth and love in her eyes she said, 'we will meet again InshaAllah!'

Bi-iznillah, by the permission of Allah, we shall visit you and your family again O Habib Ali, O jewel in the crown. It did not matter that we ladies did not get to speak to you in person for we believe you could hear all our whispers and all the Fatihah and al-Ikhlas presented to you from the bottom of our hearts. May Allah s.w.t grant you good health and long life for you are mercy to all who know you and all who may not be aware of your presence. In any case, we do not know what your real worth is in the eyes of Allah. All we could do is pray so that we derive much benefit from your barakah and emulate the qualities of zuhud, waraq, aleem, abid and areef in you, bi-iznillah.
Thanks to Mohamed, Mas Taj, Kak Ina and Aunty Amnah for all the pointers. A special thanks to Nisa for driving us there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani on The Real Knower


"The real knower (ariff of Allah s.w.t) who loves Him and beholds Him with the eyes of the heart, is he who recognizes Him as the source of all benefit and harm. He no longer pays any attention to creatures who treat him well or badly. If beneficial action (ihsan) is seen to emanate from one of them, he ascribes it to the power of the Lord of Truth to exact forced labor (tashkir), and if harmful action is seen to emanate from one of them, he ascribes it to His power to inflict painful experiences (taslit). Thus his focus is shifted from creatures to the Creator."

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation) translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ibn Arabi on 'Knowing yourself and knowing your God'


O son, the most frequently quoted phrases on the sufi path have got to be the Prophet s.a.w sayings: 'I know my Lord by my Lord' and 'He who knows himself, knows his Lord.' I have come across many interpretations of those sayings but I have not known anyone who could elucidate on them as bravely, as profoundly and with unequaled authority as Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi. His Kitab al-Ahadiyyah (The One Alone) is one book we must study over and over again until we truly know our Lord by our Lord with great certainty. Allah says in the last verse of Surah al-Hijr: "And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty." So what did the Prophet s.a.w mean when he said 'He who knows himself, knows His Lord'?
Ibn al-Arabi said: "By this it is meant that surely you are not you, and you – without being you – are He. He is not within you; nor are you in Him. He does not exclude you; nor are you excluded from Him. When you are addressed as you, do not think that you exist, with an essence and qualities and attributes – for you never existed, nor do exist, nor will ever exist. You have not entered into Him, nor He into you. Without being, your essence is with Him and in Him. You were not; nor are you temporal. Without having any identity, you are Him and He is you. If you know yourself as nothing, then you truly know your Lord. Otherwise, you know Him not. You cannot know your Lord by making yourself nothing. Many a wise man claims that in order to know one’s Lord one must denude oneself of the signs of one’s existence, efface one’s identity, finally rid oneself of one’s self. This is a mistake. How could a thing that does not exist try to get rid of its existence?"
Perplexed? Read the entire book here on Lisan al-Din. May Allah increase us in knowledge and gnosis! Ameen Allahumma ameen.
'The One Alone' (Kitab al-Ahadiyyah)
Sheikhul al-Akbar Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi (1165 - 1240 CE)
Interpreted by: Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al Jerrahi al-Halveti
Publisher: Fons Vitae
Photo credit: Radiyya of Haqqani Fellowship

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You are still depending on your intelligence? Bad news!


O son, one of my guides met our senior guide not too long ago. The senior guide said to the junior guide: "Stop befriending those two kids!" Puzzled, the junor guide asked the senior guide who he was referring to. To which, he answered, 'Your intelligence and your nafs.'

If you, O son, are like the majority of the people, you would not be pleased with such an advice. But we know, as those who heard and followed the Sufi masters before us knew, that, 'something that is acceptable by the general public could be a sin for the solehins and certain things that are forgivable for the solehins are in fact a sin to the muqarrabins.'

As such, we follow the path of Jalaluddin Rumi and all the other Sufi saints we adore. We sell our intelligence!
Rumi says in his Mathnawi:
Love is a ship for the elect:
it is deliverance from disaster.
Sell intelligence
and buy bewilderment;
your intelligence may be opinion,
while bewilderment may be naked vision.
Sacrifice your understanding in the presence of Muhammad:
say, 'God suffices me.'

O son, for one who says 'God suffices me', what do you reckon the value of intelligence is to him? Nothing! So don't you dare depend on any other than Him. Never depend on your intelligence. Depend on Him alone!

May Allah increase us in knowledge and gnosis.
Ameen Allahumma ameen.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Conscious breathing - what the sufis say


Abdul Khaliq al-Ghudjawani was the 11th Shakyh in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain who established eight out of the eleven principles of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order:
1. Conscious breathing
2. Watch your step
3. Journey homeward
4. Solitude in the crowd
5. Essential remembrance
6. Returning
7. Attentiveness
8. Recollection

CONSCIOUS BREATHING (hosh dar dam) according to Shaykh Abdul Khaliq al-Ghudjawani:
The wise seeker must safeguard his breath from heedlessness, coming in and going out, thereby keeping his heart always in the Divine Presence. He must revive his breath with worship and servitude and dispatch the worship to His Lord full of life, for every breath, which is inhaled and exhaled with Presence, is alive and connected with the Divine Presence. Every breath inhaled and exhaled with heedlessness is dead, disconnected from the Divine Presence.

Ubayd Allah al-Ahrar said:
The most important mission for the seeker in this Order is to safeguard his breath, and he who cannot safeguard his breath, it would be said of him, "he lost himself".

Shah Bahauddin Naqshband said:
The order is built on breath. So it is a must for everyone to safeguard his breath in the time of his inhalation and exhalation, and further, to safeguard his breath in the interval between the inhalation and exhalation.

Shaykh Abul Janab Najmuddin al-Kubra said in his book Fawatih al-Jamal:
Dhikir is flowing in the body of every single living creature by the neccessity of their breath - even without will - as a sign of obedience, which is part of their creation. Through their breathing, the sound of "Huwa" of the Divine Name of God is made with every exhalation and inhalation and it is a sign of the Unseen Essence serving to emphasize the Uniqueness of God. Therefore, it is neccessary to be present with that breathing, in order to realize the Essence of the Creator. The name "Allah" which encompasses the Ninety Nine Names and Attributes, consists of four letters: alif, lam, lam, and ha (Allah). The people of Sufism say that the Absolute Unseen Essence of God, Exhalted and Almighty, is expressed by the last letter as vowelized by the alif, "Huwa". The first lam is for the sake of emphasis. Safeguarding your breath from heedlessness will lead you to complete Presence.

Complete Presence will lead you to complete vision. Complete vision will lead you to complete manifestation of God's Ninety Nine Names and Attributes and all His other Attributes, because it is said, "God's Attributes are as numerous as the breaths of human beings." It must be known by everyone that securing the breath from heedlessness is difficult for seekers. Therefore, they must safeguard it by seeking forgiveness, because seeking forgiveness will purify it and sanctify it and prepare the seeker for the real manifestation of God everywhere.
Quoted from:
'Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition'
by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Syed Ibrahim Bin Yahya on Bahjatun Nufus (Majlis 'Ilm)


Ba'Alawi KL will be hosting this week's Majlis 'Ilm on:
Friday (24th July 2009) at 8.45 pm
Saturday (25th July 2009) at 9.00 am

Syed Ibrahim bin Yahya
will lead a series of lectures on ahadith from
KITAB BAHJATUN NUFUS by Imam Abu Mohammad Abdullah bin Abi Hamzah al-Andalusy.

Bahjatun Nufus literally means 'Beauty of the Soul'. It is a summary of ahadith narrated by Imam al-Bukhary. Syed Ibrahim will InshaAllah enlighten us on two pertinent aspects of our existence, namely the soul and life itself. May Allah s.w.t grants us the time and ability to attend the said Majlis. And may Rasulullah s.a.w be pleased with our efforts in learning as-Sunnah. Ameen.

Ba'alawi KL
No. 9, Jalan UP2A,
Taman Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
(Behind National Zoo)Host/person to contact: Ben Alawi +6019 669 3887
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah.

Loving al-Jazuli


At long last, I got to see you
O al-Jazuli
Surely, BEAUTY is your destiny
My eyes smiled joyfully
when they landed on your abode
how colorful
how beautiful
the home of one honorable poet

You orchestrate a million lips
Singing praises to Muhammad
Dala'il al-Khayrat
'Waymarks of Benefits'

O adorable saint of Marrakech
we would be lost for words
if not for your pen
dancing in Fez

The inkwells dried
so the mouth of a pious could rehearse
It didn't matter you're poisoned
for you remain alive years and years

None could honor you as best as Allah
inviting you to Himself while in solah
Seventy years in the grave
yet your body uncorrupted
Telling the world
Al-Jazuli is a Beloved

O wali, be my guide
I do not dream to memorize
only wish to read flawlessly
else it would be a shame
if Nabi heard me pronounce wrongly
Have mercy on ajami

O Al-Jazuli
I bow to you sincerely
as a mureed would
to his Sayyidi
O 'splendor of the awliya'
we know you are now happy
in the company of Taha

In loving memory of
Al-Imam Abi Abdillah Muhammad bin Sulaiman al-Jazuli as-Shadhilli rahimallahu ta'ala (d. 1465)

Poem written upon seeing pictures of Al-Jazuli's maqam for the first time. Read 'The Story of Dala'il al-Khayrat' by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller here. Photo credit: Ali Diallo of Haqqani Fellowship

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look inside your bag - Rumi


If you're lugging a heavy bag,
don't fail to look inside it
to see whether what is inside is
bitter or sweet.
If it's really worth bringing along,
bring it;
otherwise, empty your sack
and redeem yourself from
fruitless effort and disgrace.
Only put into your sack
that which is worth bringing
to a righteous sovereign.

- Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Mathnawi IV, 1574-1577
Photo credit: Khurram Hussain Shah of Haqqani Fellowship

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Night of Ascension


O son, it was indeed a privilege to sit before Habib Ali Zainal Abiden listening to him expound the surahs related to Isra' wal Mikraj. May Allah grant us plenty of understanding on this unique experience of the Beloved of Allah, Muhammad s.a.w.
Habib Ali prayed so for the attendees; he also said 'one who goes out seeking 'ilm (knowledge) will definitely get more than if 'ilm were to come to one. If knowledge had to travel to get to you, it would not give you as much as it would give you when you take the trouble to come to it.' Yet I can only afford to share partial of what Habib Ali had eloquently spoken about the wonderful Night of Ascension.

Almost all of Surat al-Isra' was revealed in Makkah save a few in Madinah. Isra' is a word from Ibrani language 'Abdun' meaning servant. 'Abdihi' also meaning servant is the word used in the first verse of Surat al-Isra' describing the journey Muhammad underwent from Masjidil Haram to Masjidil Aqsa. Muhammad as we know, is Habibullah, is a Nabi. Allah s.w.t could have employed other names when referring to His Beloved. He, exalted and glorified is He, did not in this verse address Muhammad as Rasulihi, Nabiyihi or Habibihi but abdihi. As a matter of fact, as related by Habib Ali Zainal Abiden, God once asked Muhammad how best He could honor him. Muhammad, whose humility is beyond anything, said, suffice that he is regarded as God's servant. Hence the term 'abdihi' in this surah is meant to honor Muhammad's position in the highest maqam as a servant of Allah.
"Subhanallazi isra bi 'abdihi lailan minal masjidil harami ilal masjidil aqsa..."
لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَآ إِنَّهُ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلبَصِيرُ

"Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque; the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs. Indeed He is the Hearing, the Seeing."

The episode of Isra wal Mikraj is mentioned in two surahs, one in Surat al-Isra as quoted above, depicting the first part of the journey, the earthly portion from one sacred mosque to another one situated at a considerable distant. While, the heavenly aspect of Muhammad's journey is stated in the earlier verses of Sura an-Najm.

"By the Star when it sets, your companion has neither gone astray, nor has he erred; nor does he speak out of [his own] desire. It is but a revelation that is revealed, taught to him by one of awesome power, possessed of vigour; and he stood upright, when he was on the highest horizon. Then he drew near and drew closer still, until he was within the length of two bows away or [even] nearer, whereat He revealed to His servant what he revealed. The heart did not deny what he saw. Will you then dispute with him concerning what he saw? And verily he saw him another time by the Lote-tree of the Ultimate Boundary, near which is the Garden of the Retreat, when there shrouded the Lote-tree that which shrouded [it], The eye did not swerve, nor did it go beyond [the bounds].Verily he saw some of the greatest signs of his Lord."

Habib Ali Zainal Abiden highlighted the significance of the verses preceeding those verses which described the Mikraj. The ayat before the opening of Sura an Najm is Sura at Tur 48-49 where Allah had asked Muhammad to be patient and not be sad: "So wait patiently (O Muhammad) for the Decision of your Lord, for verily, you are under Our Eyes; and glorify the Praises of your Lord when you get up from sleep. And in the night time also glorify His Praises - and at the setting of the stars." Likewise, prior to the first verse of Sura al-Isra, are two ayats from Sura an-Nahl 127-128: "And endure you patiently (O Muhammad), your patience is not but from Allah. And grieve not over them and be not distressed because of what they plot. Truly Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are Muhsinun (good doers)."

Muhammad before being granted the honorable invitation of Isra' wal Mikraj had gone through tough times. He and Bani Hashim was boycotted for three years, no one was allowed to sell food to his family, no one was allowed to marry his clan unless Bani Hashim surrendered Muhammad's life; Abu Talib, his dear uncle had died; his most beloved wife Khatijah died too and his hijrah to Tha'if was not welcomed. But in most part Muhammad was despondent because he could not continue spreading Islam in Makkah. Not giving up hope, he supplicated to Allah of his weaknesses. He said, 'O Allah, as long as you are not angry with me, I do not mind.' God certainly was not angry at His Beloved. In fact, He wished to raise the Prophet to a high maqam after he had gone through much difficulties. Muhammad was abdun makmur, a servant who is subject to order from the Lord. And Muhammad is under His eyes - "So wait patiently (O Muhammad) for the Decision of your Lord, for verily, you are under Our Eyes..."(At-Tur, 48) Habib Ali Zainal Abiden said, when someone says 'Aina ya...' it means the person is not going to focus on anything else but the matter in front of his eyes. In this case, Allah said, 'bi aq yunina' - 'under Our Eyes'. Indeed, to Allah, Muhammad was everything and the Night of Ascension proved that Muhammad is much loved by Allah the Almighty.

A heap of thanks to KL Ba'lawi (host Ben & Ina) for organizing the Majlis 'Ilm AND thanks to Sis Irena for sharing the Qasidah Burdah video.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In loving memory of Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi


Inna lillahi wa inna ilai hi raji'un.
Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi 'Abu Dhikri (1924 - 2009) had on 14 Rajab 1430 Hijri/8 July 2009 passed on to the realm of barzakh. May Allah honor his holy soul as He would a muqarabbin.

I have not met Allahyarham Shaykh Ibrahim before. I have neither heard his lectures nor read his writings. I have only discovered him when I learned about his death. Our great elders have taught us to love the aleem ulamas especially sufi ulamas so we love them the moment we know them regardless of their being near or far, regardless of circumstances, regardless of they being dead or alive. They are in fact, living in our hearts.

Following are excepts from eulogies given by a select few who knew Shaykh Ibrahim well; taken from the website of The Shadhdhuli School - Green Mountain Branch - belonging to his tariqa khalifa in North America, Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee.

"Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi was a Shaykh of Shadhdhuli Battawi tariqa in Egypt. Upon the advice of his Shaykh, he started teaching Islam to foreigners. He fulfilled this duty in the course of his twenty-five-year tenure at Al-Azhar University, where his main focus was on teaching Islamic philosophy, specifically the Ihya 'Ulumu-d-Din of Imam al-Ghazali. His students came from all over the world. After attending Azhar classes they would go to the nearby zawiyah of the Shaykh, where he instructed them in the shari'ah-based tasawwuf, the Qur'an, sunnah and all other Islamic sciences. Shaykh Ibrahim was in his eighties, retired but continued teaching from the zawiyah on Azhar Street as well as from a new masjid and zawiyah he had constructed in the Heliopolis area of Misr Gadeed, on the desert outskirts of Cairo."

Ibrahim Hakim Al Shaghouri:
"Indeed - the Friends (awliya) of Allah, no fear is upon them, nor do they grieve" (Quran 10:62). It is with great heaviness that I am sharing this recent news that a few hours ago, this 14th day of the holy month of Rajab, our grand shaykh passed away into the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah Most High and His Loving Care, due to liver complications in the hospital...Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un! If a number of you have not heard of him, it is because he chose to live a life based on the principle of hiding and erasing himself to instead show a reflection of Allah's Attributes, and indeed anyone who came into contact with the gentle tranquility and effacing humility of his being knew that he was one of those that Allah chose to guard under His veils of jealousy. His entire life - from when he was conscious of his surroundings until his passing away at an age exceeding 80 years - was truly spent entirely for Allah. He was a man of gentle compassion, of piercing knowledge, of impeccable character, of deep contemplation, of generous hands to the point of being brave with his generosity, of genuine care and concern for those under his training and for the Muslims in general, fierce against falsehood and unbridled lust for the dunya, preferring the simple and elegant over the extravagant and vulgar, and one who was fully pleased and content with being with Allah.

His last words of teaching and advice to me was, "Realize that there is NO distance when it comes to the ruh (soul)"; when I told him I felt I had to physically be next to the graves of the righteous to feel their presence. He was a hafiz of the Qur'an, as well as numerous ahadith; he was a master in the fiqh of the Maliki and Shafi'i madhhabs; he was a master in the Arabic language, and admired universally for his unique ability to always choose the right exact word, and for his subtle supplications (du'a) to his Lord; as well as being a gifted trainer and uplifter of souls, shortening the way for them to be with Allah in a pure state. He loved orphans and said many times that no one can build a sound connection with Allah while ignoring the orphans; like the Prophet alayhi salat wa salam, he was always looking out for new opportunities to make du'a for someone; he preferred that people know Allah more than knowing him, because "Allah is greater and more everlasting" as the Qur'an says, and because of this, his whole being and demeanor was subtle and limpid. When he one time saw my large Moroccan style tasbih, he showed me his tiny unnoticeable tasbih. He never extended his feet, even when he sat alone because he never felt absent from Allah's vision. He slept very little during the night and regularly spent his nights reciting Qur'an and having an intimate conversation with Allah, even into his old age. He will be missed for all of the above, as well as for many other deeper spiritual aspects of his being, spiritual aspects which even many Muslims would find confusing and distant, being unfortunately so tied up with the material world while being unfamiliar with the matters of the soul. I ask Allah to rest his graceful soul firmly on the carpet of His Presence and Nearness, and I also ask each of you to recite a Fatiha on his behalf and feed an orphan in his name. Al-Fatiha!

Al-faqir as-Shadhuli: We are taught that no one truly knew the Prophet (‘alayhi salat wa salam) as he could be known, because they had not reached his rank - and that only one of his rank could truly know him. Yet, we are taught that those who knew him best were the Companions, Allah be well pleased with them. We are likewise reminded that no one knew the Companions as they truly were, for the same reason, but that the next generation knew them best.

How incredible it is, therefore, to speak of the teacher, the shaykh, the 'alim, the lover of Allah and His Prophet - for truly, we were not of his rank, in order to really know him. He was Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi Abu-Dhikri. His ancestors, from the sadah of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, came to Egypt from the Maghreb in the time of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi. The intention behind their hijrah to Egypt was to restore ‘ilm according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamma' in that land which had lost much of it, due to the rule of the Fatimids. He was a contemporary of Shaykh Abdal-Halim Mahmud, the great mujaddid of the 20th century in Egypt, and Shaykh al-Azhar. Shaykh Ibrahim was himself an Azhari, in a time when Azhar was not being assaulted by so many quarters. Like his Moroccan ancestors, he was a Maliki ‘alim, but he taught the works of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali for some 25 years in the Azhar, as Professor in the Department of Speculative Theology and Philosophy in the Azhar, and became fully acquainted with the madhhab of Imam al-Shafi'i. Like any scholar of worth in the Azhar, he also had familiarity with other madhhabs, particularly the Hanafi school. As an Azhari of the time, he was, of course, an adherent to the Ash'ari approach in speculative theology. These markers set him apart as a true adherent to the turath of Sunni Islam - and he never failed to be an example of that tradition.

But the way in which we knew him was not in this academic of fashions - but in his role as a shaykh in the tariqah of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli. Verily, he may have taught the works of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the Imam of the Sufis on the path of muraqabah, or ‘those who worship Allah even if they did not see Him, for they know He Sees them'. But that was for the external practice of Islam - for Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi, Allah be well pleased with him, was a man of jadhb, of ‘attraction', and followed inwardly the way of the Imam of the Sufis on the path of jadhb, of those who ‘worshipped Allah as though they saw Him'.

It was to this path Shaykh Ibrahim dedicated himself for most of his long life, in the service of his Lord. Shaykh Ibrahim was first a disciple of the great mujaddid of the Sufi ways in Egypt, Sidi Salama al-Radi - the shaykh of the Hamdiyyah-Shadhuliyyah tariqah. That noble shaykh was an inheritor of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli. Most recognize the line as going through Sidi Abu-l-Abbas al-Mursi, who was Imam al-Shadhuli's sole successor and then through Ibn Ata'illah al-Iskandari, the author of the famous ‘Hikam'.

Sidi Salama, may Allah be well pleased with him, named Shaykh Ibrahim as ‘Shaykh al-Effendi' and instructed him to take care of the non-Egyptian Muslims who came through Egypt. Shaykh Ibrahim was in his 20s at the time. So it came to pass that Shaykh Ibrahim became the shaykh of many Muslims from all corners of the earth, who had come to Egypt to study at the Azhar. He inherited the tariqah not only through Sidi Salama, but also from the noble Darqawi master, Shaykh Ahmad al-‘Alawi, who in some way or another is the shaykh of so many Sufi masters of the 20th century; the great inheritor of the Badawi way, Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Habib; and the great Sidi Ali Nur al-Din al-Yashruti, may Allah be well pleased with them all.

One should also keep in mind - Shaykh Ibrahim was a professor in what is well known to be the most difficult department at the Azhar. Shaykh Abdal Halim Mahmud, the great Shaykh al-Azhar and a contemporary of Shaykh Ibrahim, had graduated himself from that department. Every year, he would identify a few students who appeared to be attracted to certain principles and would teach them privately at the small zawiyah that was housed a few minutes down from the Azhar mosque in Old Cairo. Here, he would focus on transmitting the knowledge of classical books of the Islamic canon in the traditional manner, where the student would recite, and he would clarify the meanings of the words as time went on. In that zawiyah, the hadrah might be held - although, in recent years, that zawiyah became less common as a meeting place, as he focused on the second zawiyah in Heliopolis, which was also a mosque in one of the new suburbs of Cairo. There, he had also built a hostel for students, as well as a clinic for taking care of the sick; such was the model he followed when building mosques all around Cairo and further. His students were literally from all around the world. They did not come to him out of a note of his fame, for he stuck very strictly to the doctrine of transparency of the Shadhuliyyah - what a great Shaykh of that way described as ‘More glow... and less show.' And certainly, Shaykh Ibrahim was glowing. It was out of respect for this teaching in particular, that I shy away from personally identifying myself when speaking of this way - for truly the way is far more important than this incredibly imperfect example of an aspirant.

When one drank tea after attending his hadrah, which was always sublime, peaceful and somber, yet powerful and elegant, one could chat to Indonesians, Turks, Russians, Britons, Pakistanis, Americans, and those of other nations. It was in this way that his teachings reached Korea and Singapore, England and America. Not all of those who attended the hadrah would be his murids - they could be from other tariqahs, and his murids were also able to attend other tariqah's gatherings. Not that he had that many all at once - in fact, he usually had only a small number at any one time, whom he would focus upon. Once he was satisfied they had the tools to live as true conscious Muslims inwardly and outwardly in this world of temptation, he would permit himself to take on more students to focus upon, leaving the rest to work on their nafs with the tools he had provided them with.

He lived incredibly simple, but he was wealthy inside - and indeed, much of his external lack of wealth was due to the amount of money he constantly gave to his poorer students and others. He often gave the khutbah in the mosque of Sidi Ibn Ata'illah, his ancestral teacher in one of the lines that he inherited the Shadhuli tariqah from. He often visited the cities of Makkah and Madinah, for a long time doing it on a yearly basis.

He was always easy to access. I myself took many people to see him - men and women, young and old, and he was always generous with his time to meet people. He was stern when it came to infringements against the religion, but he was sweet with any person who came to see him. It was my pleasure and my honor to be able to hold his tea, or to help him in any way - for one could not help but see him as someone latif and sweet.

His way was simple. He called for attachment to the shari'ah, and abhorred any suggestion that success in tasawuf could be reached outside the realm of the shari'ah and the tradition of this religion of Islam. He reminded his students to pay attention to their dreams, which the Prophet himself, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, described as a part of the prophecy. He turned their attention to the orisons of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli, certain in the value of these collections of du'as and ayat from the Qur'an. He insisted they spend a portion of their day studying the disciplines of the shari'ah, and reading from the book of Allah.

And finally, clearly and without any doubt, he said that one of the conditions of his way was to guide people to the truth of Islam through love, and he emphasized ‘love' very strongly. He specifically warned against taking any price or profit in dunya for this work; this work is for Allah, and for Allah alone, with absolute sincerity.

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi was taken from us in this world on the 14th of Rajab, 1430 Hijri, surrounded by his family in Cairo. We may never see the likes of him again, but as he reminded one of his students: ‘in the realm of the spirit (ruh), distance means nothing.'

Sidi Zayn al-Abdin: The Muslim ummah has lost an ocean of knowledge and spirituality. In him, the streams of shar'iah, tariqa, ma' arifah, and haqiqah had merged together to form an ocean of immense vastness. He was a great proponent of tasawwuf based on Sunni Islam which he believed was the heritage of the Prophet for the ummah. He was the embodiment of the Prophetic sunnah and akhlaq (comportment). He was a great scholar and teacher specializing in the teaching of Imam Ghazali's Ihya Uloom Id - Deen. He was a prolific author of many books and articles and an inspiring speaker.

For the scholars, he was the ocean of knowledge for the people of ihsaan he was the pole of our time and for the ummah he was the replica of the Prophetic Seerah, full of love and mercy. On a personal level, he was a fatherly figure who gave his love and blessings to me and my family and inspired me to work relentlessly for the promotion of a refreshing vision of Islam based on Islam, Iman, and Ihsan. Today our hearts and souls are praying for him asking Allah (swt) to grant him the closest place to Himself in His abode of mercy and compassion and heal the hearts and souls of loved ones he left behind. Aameen! Allahumma Salli 'Ala Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa 'Ala Aali Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa Barik wa Sallim.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Laylatul Israq wal Mikraj


O son, the Naqshbandi Aa'liyyah followers under the directive of their esteemed murshid, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil Haqqani are taught to pray 20 rakaat sunnah in between Maghrib and Isha on the evening of 27th Rajab - the auspicious event of Israq wal Mikraj which Allah had granted to His Beloved Muhammad Rasul Allah. In each rakaat of the solat, recite al-Ikhlas 20 times. Upon completing the prayers, recite istighfar aloud for 100 times and Salawat Nabi 100 times.
Israk wal Mikraj was the night when Allah had granted the Prophet s.a.w many splendid things which no other prophets enjoyed. The night when He ordained the five daily prayers, an act of worship which differentiate us from the non-believers. But more importantly, it is an invitation to the Divine Presence, a mikraj.

We listen and we follow by hidayah and tawfik from Allah s.w.t. May, with the barakah from our murshid and all the mashaikhs, we are able to experience mikraj in each of our daily prayer, Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Angel's handshake


O son, during the time of Rasulullah s.a.w there was a sahabi by the name of Abdullah who attended the Prophet's khutbah regularly. He would listen to Rasulullah's words very attentively and cry. But each time he went home after the khutbah he would laugh happily at seeing his wife and the rest of his family. This went on for quite some time. Abdullah began to realize this sudden change of attitude in him. He thought that this was a character of a munafiq. Feeling upset with himself he walked around the neighborhood shouting "Abdullah is a munafiq, Abdullah is a munafiq." When Saidina Abu Bakar crossed path with Abdullah, he inquired him of this strange behavior. He then took Abdullah to see the Prophet who upon learning the unique condition of Abdullah, said:

"If you are like Abdullah, if you pay attention and shed tears at a majlis ilm, the angels would be very delighted with you that they will want to give you a handshake!"
O son, indeed what the Prophet had said is true. I know one abdullah whose heart is so attached to majlis ilm and whose eyes are so generous with tears. It's not a surprise that through ayn basirah (inner vision) he once saw and felt two angelic wings hugging him during seclusion. May Allah sanctify his secrets and make us love the righteous and the pious. Ameen.

Source: Habib Abdul Aziz Shihab tausiyah in KL, July 2009
Photo credit: Brother Ishaq of Haqqani Fellowship

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gather, listen, follow and derive benefits


Habib Abdul Aziz Shihab of Palembang, Indonesia related this in his tausiyah at Kuala Lumpur Ba'alawi Center recently.

One of the Prophet's name is Mubbashir which means the bringer of good news. It was narrated that Allah had asked the Prophet s.a.w to bring a good news to His servants who are willing to listen and follow; that they are in fact those who will receive guidance.
There are four requisites for one to gain any good:
1. Ijtimak - first and foremost, people need to gather together
2. Ijtimad -then each one must listen
3. Iktibaq - one must also be willing to follow
4. And then derive benefit.
It is common for people to gather at an event but not everyone wants to listen and even fewer care to follow what they hear or what is taught. If they get together with an intention to listen and follow, only then will they reap the benefits.

Shaykh Nazim Adil Haqqani addressing jemaah at Durbans Grey Street Mosque, South Africa. Photo credit: Meziane Haqqani Fellowship

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tafsir al-Qur'an with Habib Ali Zainal Abiden in KL


"The most honorable among my followers are the Hamalatul Qur'an and those who are regular in the night prayers (tahajud)" - Hadith Rasulullah s.a.w as narrated by at-Thabrani and Baihaqi. The Hamalatul Qur'an are those who read, memorize, understand, practise its contents and teach them.

In conjunction with the Israk Mikraj, the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Ba'alawi Center will be hosting a Majlis Tafsir to be led by Habib Ali Zainal Abiden (picture) and a Mawlid celebration in the presence of yet another honorable guest Shaykh Abdul Razak al-Misri.

Date: Sunday, 19 July 2009
Time: From Maghrib until after Isha'
Ba'alawi KL
No. 9, Jalan UP2A,
Taman Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
(Behind KL National Zoo)
Host/person to contact: Ben Alawi +6019 669 3887

May Allah s.w.t grants us the time and ability to attend the said majlis, bi-iznillah.

Love of the Prophet - Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad


O son, these are some amazing stories about the love the scholars of Deoband had for Rasulullah s.a.w. as narrated by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad. May we emulate them in whatever little way we can. And certainly we love all who love Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w, who, as mentioned in Salawat Ibn Mashish 'him from whom burst open the secrets and stream forth the lights...blessings upon him before whom all understanding is diminished and none of us totally comprehend him whether in the past or in the future..."
Allahumma salli ala Saidina Muhammad wa ala ali Muhammad

Hujjatul Islam Maulana Shaykh Qasim NanotviWhen proceeding for the pilgrimage (Hajj), Maulana Nanotvi refused to wear shoes in the land of the Messenger of Allah for fear of disrespecting the place where he may have walked.
Maulana Nanotvi's traveling companion Hakim Mansur Ali Khan said when we neared Madinah Shaykh Nanotvi took off his shoes from where we could see the dome of Masjid-e Nabawi and walked barefoot. Walking thus he entered the Masjid in the darkness of the night.
Hadrat Madni said this regarding the journey: "Hadrat Nanotvi would not ride despite having a camel available to him. The rough road and stones injured and bloodied his feet. He used to say that he could not imagine stepping with shoes where the Messenger of Allah might have walked."
Hadrat Madni wrote in "Shahabe Thakib" that green shoes were popular in the Maulana's town of Nanota. Someone once presented a pair of such shoes to him as a gift, which he accepted but never wore in his life. When asked about this later, he said that he could not wear something on his feet that had the same color as the dome of Masjid-e Nabawi.
Hadrat Maulana Rashid Ahmed GangohiHadrat Maulana Gangohi had in his possession a piece of the green cloth that had been used for the grave of the Prophet. Whenever anyone wished to see it, Hadrat would first apply it to his own eyes and then place it on the person's head.
Hadrat Maulana would often receive dates from Madinah, which he would keep in a safe place, and only eat them on special occassions. He would aslo keep the seeds in a safe place and regarded anything from Madinah with great value.
On one occasion he was presented with the dust from a corner of the Prophet's tomb. He added this to his kohl and applied it daily. Another time he was presented with clothes from Madinah. One of his students said, "What use are these clothes when they have been stitched in a foreign land?" Hadrat Gangohi replied, "It is enough for us that this cloth felt the breeze of Madinah."
Hadrat Gangohi used to teach in the courtyard of the Darul-Uloom. One day there was a heavy downpour and all the students ran for shelter. Hadrat Gangohi spread his shawl, wrapped the students' shoes in it and carried it on his head. The students felt deeply ashamed and protested that a man of his status should not be doing such work. Hadrat Gangohi replied, "What should Rashid Ahmed do except carry the shoes of those who study the word of Allah and His Prophet?"
Read the entire article 'The Love of the Scholars of Deoband for the Messenger s.a.w By Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad at
Photo credit: Abdul Nafeh at Haqqani Fellowship

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Madinah, Madinah, Madinah...


O what joy
Smelling the bakhour
from far away a land
O Nabi, Sayyidul Mursalin
Your holy scent permeates every corner
Rahmatan lil 'alamin

My salam to you O Yaseen
Through a dear friend
Syed the sincere middle-man
the envelope of hope
reached you al-Ameen

Hiding in a corner of his heart
Peeking through his eyes
What can I afford
this miserable one
but stranded in her homeland

The bond with Syed Mustafa
out of love for you O Toha
keep us together under your banner
while he is there, I am here

A ring
to one standing on holy ground
enough to make my heart sing
O Madinah
such magic you bring!

In an instant I saw myself
praying in Masjid Nabawi
but my legs trembled
my soul crumbled
the soils under
are better than me

What an honor O earth O dust
to be hugging such a prophet
Muhammad, Ahmad
How dare I walk on
when you embrace the one
who makes tears fall
though they see him not
yet spellbound

Madinah Madinah Madinah
sweet name a city
like honey on the lips
pronouncing it alone
make one happy

O Nabi
all I can do is repeat after al-Jazuli
O Nabi
appease this anguish
for I cannot praise you like Ibn-Mashish

O Madinah
take pity on me
take me to you
I want to be with dear Nabi
I want to be with dear Nabi too!
Friday, July 10th 2009
On calling Syed Mustafa in Madinah