Monday, August 31, 2009

10th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


O son, we have come to the 10th day of Ramadhan, Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. We have been listening to excellent counsel from the highly venerated Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani. We have in fact been listening to the tausiyah (lectures) he had given in the month of Ramadhan, 885 years ago (in 545 A.H). Coincidentally the extract below was given on the 10th day of Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah.

"O young man! Two steps and you have arrived: One step away from this world and one step away from your lower self (nafs) and one step away from creatures. Leave this outer (zahir) and you will reach the inner (batin), initially then finally. You must be ready to make a start, while the completion of the process depends on Allah. From you the beginning and from Allah is the conclusion. Take the shovel and the palm-leaf basket and sit at the entrance to the place of work, so that when you are called you will be close to the Employer. Do not sit on your mattress, under your blanket and behind locked doors, then expect to find work and employment. Keep your heart close to remembrance (dhikir) and remind it of the Day of Resurrection. Reflect on those crumbling tombs. Reflect on how the Lord of Truth will assemble all creatures and resurrect them in His presence. If you persist in this reflection, your heart will lose its hardness and be purified of its murky confusion. If the building rests on a good foundation it will be firm and stable, but if it has no foundation its collapse will come quickly. If you construct your state (hal) on the rules (ahkam) of the outer law (hukm zahir), no creature will be able to demolish it, but if you do not construct it on this basis, no state will be firmly established for you, you will not attain to any station (maqam), and the hearts of the champions of truth (siddiqun) will always despise you and prefer not to see you."

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

5th Haul Event of Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki


With a sense of deep respect and loss for the venerated Allahyarham Habib Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki, I wish to announce a special haul event commemorating the passing of Al-Maliki to be hosted by a family who was considerably close to Allahyarham.
This would be the 5th haul event for Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki (1944 - 2004) who had in Ramadhan 1425H passed on to Rahmatullah in his homeland Makkah al-Mukarramah.

Majlis HaulDate: 16 Ramadhan 1430H (Sunday, 6 September 2009)
Time: From Asar until after Taraweeh
Ba'alawi KL
No. 9, Jalan UP2A
Taman Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
Kemensah, Kuala Lumpur
(Behind National Zoo)
Host/person to contact: Ben Alawi +6019 669 3887

Solat Asar
Iftar (buka puasa/breaking of fast)
Solat Maghrib
Solat Isha' & Taraweeh

Special guests:
Habib Hamed al-Habshi
Habib Umar bin Shihab
Habib Naqib bin Shaykh Abu Bakar
"Al-Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki was one of the foremost traditional Islamic scholars of contemporary times and without doubt, the most highly respected and loved scholar of the holy city of Makkah. He was a grandson of the Prophet s.a.w, leader of the Ahlul-Bayt, the Imam of Hadith in our age, an authority of the four Madhabs, a spiritual leader of the highest caliber, caller to Allah and unparalleled in his standing in the world of traditional Islamic scholarship. A visit to him was one of the musts for the Ulama who visit Makkah. The Sayyid descends from a noble family that is directly connected to the blessed Prophet s.a.w himself. He is a scion of the famous Al-Maliki Al-Hasani family of Makkah, who are descendants of the Prophet s.a.w through his grandson, Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. The Maliki family is one of the most respected families in Makkah and has produced great scholars, who have taught in the Haram of Makkah for centuries..." - Fakhruddin Owaisi al-Madani.

9th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


O my people! All that cuts you off from real knowledge (makrifa) of Allah and of His saints (awliya) is your love of this world, your greed for it and your desire to have plenty of what it has to offer. You must remember the hereafter and leave this world alone.

O Allah, perfect generosity
and perfect liberality are among Your attributes (sifat),
and we are Your slaves,
so grant us a tiny speck of them!

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

8th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


The believer who is truly convinced (muqin) and experienced ('arif) is in isolation from creatures with his heart, his innermost being (sirr) and his spiritual content (ma'na). He reaches a state where he is incapable of either shielding his own self from harm or procuring benefit for it. He becomes prostrate before the Lord of Truth, retaining no power or strength of his own. Then when he is genuinely at this stage, good comes to him from all directions.

Do not try to match the people of the Lord with mere claims and pretensions and wishful thinking. Nothing will come of this. There is nothing to be said until you are blind to material means (asbab). There is nothing to be said until your legs are crippled and desist from running to people's doors. There is nothing to be said until your heart and your mind and your face turn away from creatures and toward the Creator, so that your back is toward creatures and your face toward the Lord of Truth. Your outer being and your physical form must go toward creatures, and your inner being, your kernel (lubb) and your spiritual content (ma'na) toward the Creator. Then your heart will come to be like the hearts of the angels and the Prophets (nabiyyun). Your heart will eat and quench its thirst from their food and drink. This is a matter that relates to hearts and innermost beings and spiritual contents, not to physical forms.

O Allah, delight our hearts, clothe our innermost beings with robes of honor, and set our minds on what is between us and You, beyond the understanding of creatures and our own understanding. O Allah enable me to dispense with everything! Make me satisfied with You to the exclusion of all apart from You!

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Friday, August 28, 2009

7th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


O you who lay claim to knowledge, do not take from the hand of your lower self (nafs), your natural impulses (tab') and your devil (syaitan). Do not take from the hand of your present existence (wujud). Do not take from the hand of your pretense (riya') and your hypocrisy (nifaq). Your pious abstinence (zuhud) is on the outside (zahir), while your appetite is on the inside (batin). This is a futile abstinence, for which you will be punished. You are trying to cheat the Lord of Truth, but He knows what is in your private and public lives, and what is in your heart. In His presence there is no distinction between private and public, and there is no concealment. Say: "Woe, alas and shame! The Lord of Truth is surely aware of all my actions by night and by day. He is watching yet I am not embarrassed by His gaze!"

You must repent your insolence toward Him and draw near to Him by performing the obligatory religious duties (fara'id) and observing the prohibitions. You must give up sins both outwardly and inwardly, and do tangible works of charity. Through this you will reach His door and draw near to Him, and He will love you and make His creatures love you. He will love you directly, without His creatures, then He will transmit this to His creatures. When Allah and His angels love you, all creatures will love you, apart from the unbelievers and the hypocrites, for they will not go along with Allah in loving you. Everyone who has faith (iman) in his heart will love the believer (mukmin) and everyone who has hypocrisy (nifaq) in his heart will hate him, so do not feel the kind of hatred felt by the unbelievers (kafirun), the hypocrites (munafiqun), devils (shayatin) and evil spirits (abalisa). The hypocrites and unbelievers are the devils of mankind.

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

6th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


The worship of the ignorant person does not amount to anything; indeed, he is in total corruption and total darkness. Knowledge is also useless without practice, and practice is useless without sincerity (ikhlas). All practice without sincerity is useless, and is not accepted of the practitioner. If you have knowledge and do not put it into practice, that knowledge will be evidence against you. The Prophet s.a.w is reported as having said: "The ignorant person will be punished once, and the learned person seven times."

Why does the ignorant man not learn? Why does the learned man not put his knowledge into practice? You must learn and practise and teach, for this will give you all good things combined. When you hear a word of knowledge, put it into practice and teach it to someone else, you have two rewards: the reward for knowledge and the reward for the sharing of knowledge. The world is darkness and knowledge is a light within it, so he who has no knowledge is blundering about in this darkness and doing more harm than good.

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


When the human being is sound, there is none so sound as he. When he is pure, there is none so pure as he. When he is near to his Lord, there is none so near as he. The ignorant person sees with the eye of his head, the intelligent person sees with the eyes of his mind and the knower ('arif) sees with the eyes of his heart, possessed of the essence of knowledge (mujawharan 'aliman). All creatures are given to him to swallow, so they are swallowed up in him. He has nothing left apart from the Lord of Truth, so at this point he says, "He is the First and the Last, the Outer and the Inner" (Qur'an 57:3). The Lord of Truth becomes his outer and his inner, his first and his last, his form and his content. He has nothing but Him, so now he establishes his love permanently with Him in this world and the hereafter, complying with His wishes under all circumstances. He prefers His good pleasure and the displeasure of others. No blame attaches to him. As one of the wise has said, "Agree with Allah concerning creatures, and do not agree with creatures concerning Allah. Broken is he who gets broken and mended is he who gets mended."

Your devil, your passions (hawa), your natural inclinations (tab') and your bad companions are your enemies, so beware of them in case they make you fall into perdition. Acquire knowledge so that you will know how to combat them and be on your own guard against them, then you will know how to worship your Lord. From the ignorant person no worship is accepted. The Prophet s.a.w is reported as having said: "If someone worships Allah in ignorance, what he does wrong is more than what he does right."

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


O my people! If my speech is not getting through to you, then hear it with faith (iman) and belief (tasdiq). My speech is addressed to the heart, so you must listen to it with your hearts and your innermost beings (asrar), then you will be inwardly and outwardly refreshed and the power of your lower selves (nufus) and your passions (ahwiya) will be broken, and the fires of your carnal desires (shahawat) will be extinguished. Your worst problem is your carnal desires, which make you love this world and dislike poverty and which lead you into dangerous situations.

One of the wise is reported as having said: "The real meaning of pious devotion (taqwa) is that if you were to gather up everything that is in your heart, set it on an uncovered tray, and then walk all around the market with it, there would be nothing there to make you feel in any way embarrassed." O ignorant one, as if it were not enough that you are not pious, when someone tells you to observe your duty to Allah, you get angry, when someone tells you the truth, you treat what you hear as insignificant, and then if someone criticizes you, you feel enraged and take your rage out on him. The Commander of the Believers, Umar ibn al-Khattab is reported as having said, "If a person is piously devoted to Allah, he does not vent his rage. As Allah has said in one of His sayings: "I used to love you when you obeyed Me, then when you disobeyed Me, I hated you."

The Lord of Truth loves you not because He has any need of you, but as a mercy to you, so He loves you for your sake, not for His own. He loves your obedience to Him because the benefit from it accrues to you. You must give your attention and interest to anyone who loves you for your sake, and avoid anyone who loves you for his own.

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Monday, August 24, 2009

3rd Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


There is no escape from trial and tribulation, especially for those who make pretentious claims. Were it not for tribulation and trial, many people would lay claim to saintship (wilaya). This is why a certain wise man said: "Tribulation has been put in charge of saintship, so that it cannot be pretended" One of the marks of the saint (wali) is his patience with the insults of creatures and his tolerant attitude toward them. The saints (awliya) turn a blind eye to what they see people doing, and they turn a deaf ear to what they hear from them. They make them a present of their honor and dignity. "Your love of the thing that makes you blind and deaf."

They love the Lord of Truth so they are blind and deaf to any but Him. They relate to creatures with pleasant speech, friendliness and courtesy, although they are sometimes angry with them out of zeal for Allah and in accord with His anger. They are physicians, who are aware that for every sickness there is a remedy. The physician does not treat all sick people with the same medicine. As far as their hearts and inner contents (ma'ani) are concerned, in the presence of the Lord of Truth they are like the Companions of the Cave (ashab al-kahfi). In the case of the latter, it was Gabriel who turned them this way and that, while in the case of these others, it is the hand of power and mercy and grace that turns them. The hand of love turns their hearts and conveys them from state (hal) to state. They leave their interest in this world to seekers of this world and their interest in the hereafter to seekers of the hereafter, while their Lord belongs to them. They are not stingy with anything. If worldly things are sought from them, and they happen to have them, they give them freely. If they are asked for the reward of the hereafter, they give it freely. They give worldly goods to the poor among them, and give the reward of the hereafter to those who fall short in seeking it. They leave the created (Muhdith) for themselves. They leave the shell, because everything apart from the Lord of Truth is a shell, while the quest for Him and nearness to Him is the kernel.

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2nd Ramadhan1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


O young man! Attend to your own needs, be useful to yourself and then to others. Do not be like the candle that burns itself out while providing light for others. Do not embark on something on account of you, your passions (hawa) and your lower self (nafs). When the Lord of Truth wants you for some purpose, He will equip you for it. If He wishes you to be useful to His creatures, He will send you back to them, and He will give you firmness and courtesy for dealing with them, as well as strength to endure the trouble they cause. He will make room in your heart for creatures. He will open your breast wide and fill it with the elements of wisdom (hikam). He will take care of your inner and gladden your innermost being (sirr). So now it will be He, not you. Surely you have heard His Words. "O David, We have appointed you as viceroy in the earth." (Al-Quran 38:26) He did not say, "you have appointed yourself." Thus the people of the Lord have no will of their own and no personal preference. But are simply at the disposal of the commandment of the Lord of Truth, His action (fi'l), His management and His will. O you who have deviated from the straight path, do not offer any pretext, for you have no evidence to show. The highway is right in front of you. What is lawful (halal) is quite plain and what is unlawful (haram) is quite clear. How impudent you are toward Allah! How little is your fear of Him, and how great your disdain for His sight! The Prophet is reported as having said: "Fear Allah as if you saw Him, for even if you do not see Him, He surely sees you!"

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ahlan wa Sahlan Shaykh Adnan Kabbani

18th August 2009 - what a blessed Tuesday morning to be able to perform Subuh prayers with the honorable Shaykh Adnan Kabbani who is now visiting Kuala Lumpur. It was my first time seeing one whose aura emits so much humility befitting the soft soothing tone of his voice. What amazed me and humbled this coarse spirit of mine was that while he left the majlis he shook hands with each one standing in line to greet him. And he was the first to say Assalamualaikum to each one of us! I mean to each one! MashaAllah ya Shaykh, such great lesson you taught this sinner. I did not deserve to touch those holy hand of yours. May with your barakah I will be able to steer clear from acts of munkar. May Allah bless your holy soul and sanctify your secrets O dear beloved Shaykh.

1st Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


O son, Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, bi-iznillah, with permission from Him, I intend to post a Ramadhan series featuring extracts of the tausiyah (lectures) given by al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani during Ramadhan 545 A.H. May with his shafaat, we are able to purify our fast especially the bathin aspect of it and thereby attain pure tawhid.
O my people! Escape to Allah! Flee to Him from creatures and this world, and from everything whatsoever that is apart from Him. Go home to Him with your hearts. Surely you have heard His words: "Do not all things come home to Allah?" (Al-Quran 42:53)

O young man! Do not regard creatures in terms of survival (baqa) but view them rather in terms of annihilation (fana). Do not consider them in terms of injury and benefit, but see them rather in terms of incapacity and degradation. Affirm the Oneness of the Lord of Truth, have total trust in Him and do not talk irrationally about things He has already finished off. He has already finished off this world and everything that is visible within it. He has already finished off the creation and all the permutations therein. The heart of the believer is empty of all this, especially when he is detached from material concerns (asbab), for he is then confirmed in his spiritual state (hal). If material concerns and dependants do come to him, he will receive support in dealing with them, and be given the strength to endure the hardships they bring. Thus his heart remains free under all circumstances from everything apart from his Lord, always in the beyond (ghaiba). He never asks Him to effect change or transformation, because he knows that what He has decided is unchangeable, that the allotment has been settled and will not be increased or decreased. He therefore seeks neither increase nor reduction. He seeks neither to postpone his alloted share nor to have it come to him more quickly, because he realizes that it has a specific time appointed for it. Thus he and his peers are the sensible people, while the crazy ones are those who try to obtain increase or reduction, acceleration or postponement. If someone is content with Allah, he will comply with His wishes in all that concerns himself and others. Then He will love him, acquaint (arrafa) him with Himself, and escort him for the rest of his life along the highway of His will. He will help him to succeed, then He will draw him near and say to him: "I am your Lord" - while he is bewildered and at his wit's end, as He said to Moses: "I am your Lord." (Al-Quran 20:12)

Source: The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadhan Kareem 1430 Hijrah

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we have come to greet the much awaited month.
Wishing all Lisan al-Din Muslim visitors Ramadhan Kareem.
May this Ramadhan be better than the previous ones for all of us.
May we begin the days with barakah from sahoor.
May Allah helps us preserve our fasting and accepts our deeds.
May Allah makes us steadfast in performing solat taraweh.
May Allah makes us steadfast in reciting the Qur'an.
May we be invited to witness Laylatul Qadar.
May we reap from the beginning of Ramadhan, mercy.
May we reap from the middle of Ramadhan, forgiveness
May we reap from the end of Ramadhan, freedom from hellfire.
May we be given the opportunity to meet Syawal and celebrate real victories!
Ameen Allahumma ameen.

Farewell Shaaban 1430 Hijrah (Words of al-Ghawth al-'Azam)


O son, alas Shaaban is leaving us. Woe unto me, I have not fully optimized this blessed month though I know not if I might see it again next year.

Shakyh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani during the last days of Shaaban some 885 years ago spilled these pearls of wisdom...

"Ask of Him in accordance with His power (qudra). Ask of Him with regard to Power, not with regard to Wisdom (hikma). Ask of Him in terms of His knowledge ('ilm) not in terms of your knowledge. Ask of Him with your hearts and your innermost beings (asrar) not with the babbling of the tongue. Ask of Him beyond the scope of your knowledge and your power. Stand in His presence in a state of bankruptcy (iflas) in relation to all things. Do not try to outmaneuver Him. Do not try to outdo Him. Do not try to outwit Him. Do not make fools of yourselves by rejecting His management (tadbir) in favor of your own management. Anyone who does not put his knowledge into practice is an ignorant fool, even if he has memorized it perfectly and knows it inside out. The acquisition of knowledge without practice will throw you back on creatures, while putting your knowledge into practice will restore you to the Lord of Truth. It will make you abstain from this world and let you perceive with your inner (bathin). It will shift your focus away from the improvement of the outer (zahir) and inspire you (yulhimuka) with the improvement of the inner, and at this stage the Lord of Truth will befriend you, because you will now be worthy of Him. As Allah s.w.t has said: "And He befriends the righteous." (Quran 7:196). He befriends them outwardly and inwardly (zawahirahum wabawatinahum). He trains them outwardly with the hand of His wisdom, and inwardly with the hand of His knowledge ('ilm) so they fear none but Him and pin their hopes on none but Him. They take only from Him and give only in His cause. They become estranged from all others, enjoy His intimate companionship and feel at home with Him."

"There is nothing to be said until your affirmation of Divine Unity (tawhid) stands erect and steady in the presence of the Lord of Truth, until you hatch from the egg of your existence (wujud), sit in the lap of grace, come under the wing of His intimate friendship (uns), peck the love of sincerity (ikhlas) and drink the water of direct experience (mushahada). Then you will remain in this state until you become a rooster (dik). At this point you will become a guardian for the hens, loving them with selfless devotion, and a muezzin (mu'adzin) who arouses people from sleep by night and by day, alerting them to the obedient service of their Lord."

"O ignorant one, put down the catalogue (daftar) and come, sit over here in front of me. Knowledge is obtained from the mouths of the men (of the Lord), not from the archives (dafatir). It is obtained from the spiritual state (hal), not from the teaching (maqal). It is obtained from those who are extinct (fanun) to themselves and to creatures, surviving (baqun) in the Lord of Truth. The central point is your becoming extinct (fana) to you and to them, then your existence (wujud) in Him. You must die to everything other than Him, then come alive through Him for His sake. Keep company with the servants of the Lord of Truth, who never leave His door. Their job is to carry out His commandments, observe His prohibitions and comply with His decree (qadar). They move about in harmony with His will (irada) for them and His action (fi'l) on them. They have no quarrel with Him where they are concerned, and none where others are concerned. They do not oppose Him in anything, be it little or much, be it high or low."

"O Allah, make us alive in You

and make us dead

to everything other than You!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sufyan al-Thawry on dervishes and the wealthy


Dervishes (fuqara) have accepted five things and the wealthy (another) five things. The things which the dervishes accepted are:
1. peace of mind,
2. generosity of heart,
3. obedience to God,
4. easy accounting on the Day of Judgment and
5. exalted positions in the Next World.

The things that wealthy people accepted are:
1. restless minds,
2. busy hearts in worldly affairs,
3. worldliness (worship of dunya),
4. difficult accountings on the Day of Judgment and
5 the lowest rankings in the Next World.

Then again, we know the Sufis are those to whom dunya reach out to them yet they only take what they need. So it is little wonder that Saidina Abu Bakar as-Siddiq made this du'a:
"O Lord, grant me the riches of the world and then enable me to renounce them."
And this du'a taught by Shaykh Abul Hassan as-Shadhilly:
Nas alukal faqra mimma siwaka
wal ghinna bika hatta
la nash hada illa iyaka
"O Lord make us poor apart from You
and rich with You
until we see nothing but You."
O son, how not to have peace of mind when all that one witness is He (Hu)?
Allahu Allahu Allahu Haq!
Reference: Al-Munabbihat (The Counsel)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Traveling Home

O son, I must apologize again for not offering you anything yesterday. The problem with me is I want to give you my all and to delight your soul although I know I do not have much to offer apart from my love. And the fact remains that we are all subjected to Hukum Waqt (the rules of Time). So know that even on the days when you do not hear from me here in this space, my heart is constantly speaking to you. Believe in your heart that we are never separated by time and circumstances, just as attributes are never separated from the essence.

I traveled home yesterday. Traveling home (jalan pulang) is one act we do in perpetuity whether we realise it or not, no matter which direction we take we are always moving nearer to our Center, to where we come from. This journey reminded me of fellow seekers who would roam about the country meeting the 'aleem and areef only to ask them one simple question, "Tunjukkan kami jalan pulang?" (Show us the way Home).

As our breath diminish, with each step we move one step closer to Him and may that one step be not heedless. May each step be one that proves our servanthood. Yesterday, I had traveled with an intense feeling of khauf (fear) and raja' (hope) given the state of my vehicle. But it's not the vehicle that transports us from one place to our destinations but we travel with His qudrah, His attribute Al-Qadir carrying us in His Palm. What do we know O son? "No person knows what he will earn tomorrow and no person knows in what land he will die." (Al-Qur'an: al-Lukman, 34)
As I offer you my apology if you had missed me yesterday or on any days to come, know that I pray for steadfastness in love so I could give it to you from my heart always and forever...
Let's now say this du'a as practised by Ibrahim Adham:
"O Allah, make us satisfied with Your Decree.
Grant us patience with Your affliction
and enable us to thank You for Your blessings.
We ask You to give us the fullness of blessings,
the permanence of well being,
and steadfastness in LOVE."
Ameen Allahumma ameen.
p/s's wonderful to be back here in Penang!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cooling off salawat


O son, when you find yourself being temperamental for no apparent reason, know that you have not been doing enough salawat to cool your body down. This one is especially good for a heated body. May I remind you that whatever little thing I post for you here is not to show you that I know it all. More often than not, it reflects what I have just learned or what I need at the moment.

Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad
Allahumma salli 'alaihi wasallim
May Allah bless Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam for his fatherly counsel and all the useful du'as and wirids taught in a pocket book loaded with great compilations - "Bekal Akhirat".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Clouds

"See you not that Allah drives the clouds gently
then join them together
then makes them into a heap of layers
and you see the rain comes forth
from within them."
- The Qur'an, An-Nur, 43

O son, be sure to observe the universe and your own self and contemplate on His words.
"We will show them Our Signs in the Universe and in their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur'an) is the truth." (Al Fusilat: 53)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hukum Waqt


O son, I wished to post something for you yesterday (friday) but yet again I was 'forced' by hukum waqt (the rules of time). Afterall, He is Time.

Hadith Qudsi 4:
Sons of Adam inveigh against [the vicissitudes of] Time, and I am Time, in My hand is the night and the day.

There is one munajat (petition) attributed to Ibn Atha'illah which I so love:
O Lord, enrich me
with your tadbir (management)
away from my own tadbir;
And with Your efforts,
absent from my own efforts;
And may You make me stand
at places where I will always be in need of You.

Ameen Allahumma ameen...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Reflecting on one's current state


O son, so typical of a self-blaming soul nafs lawammah - one's conscience and concern with moral rectitude - I am yet again lamenting on my lower nafs. I will not be surprised if my words have not inspired you so much. How can one who is in a bad state give good counsel to another? How can warid (divine inspirations) comes without proper wirid (regular invocations). Ah...but we are told not to give up invoking Him regardless of our states. I sure find this aphorism from the venerated Ibn Atha'illah soothing to my bruised soul. May you find comfort therefrom too. Nothing is difficult for Allah and all we hope for is His Mercy.

If someone's state does not lift you up
and his words do not lead you to Allah
- then do not keep his company!
It may be well that you are in a bad state -
but to keep company with someone worse than you
would allow you to see good in yourself.

No action from a heart without attachment is insignificant
No action from a heart full of desires is great
Good actions are the results of good states
Good states come from grasping the reality
of the stations where you alight.

Do not give up invocation of Allah
because you are not present with Allah in it.
It is worse to forget to invoke Him
than to be inattentive while invoking Him.
He might raise you up from invocation with heedlessness
to invocation with wakeful attention
and from invocation with full attention
to invocation with presence
and from invocation with presence
to invocation with withdrawal from all that is other than the Invoked.
That is not difficult for Allah.

- Ibn Atha'illah as-Sakandari
Al-Hikam text credit: AriefBillah

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ibn Arabi Wednesday Evening Prayer


O my Master, peace be upon You, You are my support. For You it is the same whether I address You inwardly or outwardly, for You hear my call and answer my prayer. You have banished my darkness with Your Light. You have brought my lifeless body to life with Your Spirit. You are my Lord: my hearing, my seeing, my heart are in Your Hand. You have taken possession of all of me. You have conferred eminence upon my lowliness; You have elevated my rank; You have raised high my remembrance.

O my Sovereign Possessor, I call out to You and entreat You, secretly confiding as a broken servant, who knows that You are listening and who firmly believes that You will respond, one who stands at Your door, constrained in utter need, finding no one to put trust in, other than You.

I ask of You, my God, by that Name with which You pour forth good things, bring down blessings and confer increase upon those who are grateful, and with which You bring forth from the darkness, and with which You dismiss people of association and baseness: may You spread over me the garments of Your Lights, striking enemies blind and rendering them powerless. Grant me my portion from You, as a radiance that discloses to me every hidden matter, unveils to me every high mystery and burns up every enticing satan.

O Light of light! O Unveiler of all that is veiled! Unto You are all matters returned. Through You is all evil repelled. O Lord, O Merciful One, O Forgiving One!

Allahumma salli ala Saidina Muhammad wa ala ali Saidina Muhammad.

- Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi

# Partial extracts of his Wednesday evening prayer from The Seven Days of the Heart. Publisher credit: Anqa Publishing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Believe in the Qur'an


O son, I simply could not put down Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani's al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation). You may have noticed that I've been quoting him a great deal lately. But you and I know it's worth it. There are 62 discourses altogether and these should provide sufficient antidotes for our spiritual illnesses. I intend to study and post them here on Lisan al-Din right through Ramadhan InshaAllah.

O my people! Believe in this Qur'an, put it into practice, and be sincere in your actions. Do not pretend and do not be hypocritical in your conduct. Do not seek praise from people, or look to them to reward you for your deeds. Only a few individuals among the people believe in this Qur'an and put it into practice for the sake of Allah s.w.t. This is why the sincere are so few and the hypocrites are so many. How lazy you are in obeying Allah, and how energetic you are in obeying His enemy and your own enemy, Satan the accursed! The people (of the Lord) wish never to be free of obligations imposed by the Lord of Truth since they know that in patience with His obligations (takalif). His judgments (aqdiya) and His decrees (aqdar) there lies much good for this world and the hereafter. They harmonize with Him in His operations (tasarif) and transformations (taqalib), sometimes in patience and sometimes in gratitude, sometimes in nearness and sometimes in remoteness, sometimes in weary labor and sometimes in repose, sometimes in affluence and sometimes in poverty, sometimes in health and sometimes in sickness. Their entire aspiration is to keep their hearts safe with the Lord of Truth. This is the most important thing of all to them. They wish for their own salvation (salama) and the salvation of all creatures (al-khalq) with the Creator (al-Khaliq). They never cease begging the Lord of Truth for the benefit of all creatures.

O young man! Be correct (sahih) then you will be eloquent (fasih). Be correct in law (hukm) then you will be eloquent in learning ('ilm). Be correct in secret, then you will be eloquent in public. The whole of well-being (salama) lies in obedience to the Lord of Truth, that is to say, in carrying out everything He has commanded, avoiding everything He has forbidden and bearing with patience everything He has decreed. When someone responds to the wishes of Allah, He will respond to that person's prayer and when someone obeys Him, He will make all His creatures obedient to that person.

O my people! Take instruction from me, for I am giving you sound advice. I am quite impartial toward myself and toward you. Whatever I have to deal with, my attitude is impartial. I am happy to observe the action (fi'il) of Allah in me and in you. Do not suspect my motives, because I wish for you what I wish for myself. As the Prophet s.a.w has said: "The believer does not perfect his faith until he wishes for his Muslim brother what he wishes for himself."

- Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

Monday, August 10, 2009

Abu Said on Miraculous Powers and the Mill

Abu Said Abul Khayr, one of the prominent Sufi masters during the 10th and 11th centuries once remarked when he was told that a certain person could walk on water saying 'That is simple, a frog and a mosquito can also walk on water.' Then he was told that another man could fly. He replied,'That too is simple, a fly and a raven can also fly.' Finally, he was told about someone who could go from one city to another in the wink of an eye. He replied, 'Satan can go from east to west in one breath. These abilities have no value whatsoever. A true human being is one who can mix and socialize with people but does not forget to remember God even for a moment.'

Abu Said was traveling with his companions when they came across a mill. He stopped his horse and listened to the sound of the mill. Then he asked."Do any of you know what the mill is saying?" They all shook their heads. He said, "It is saying, 'Sufism is what I have. I receive the coarse and give it back fine. I travel around myself and in myself so that I dispel what I do not need."

FROM: Tales from the Land of the Sufis by Mojdeh Bayat and Mohamad Ali Jamnia
Publisher credit: Shambhala 2001

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Finding Him in Silence


Oh how cluttered the mind
restless she is though that's not her nature
how could Spirits roam
when you are not surrendered
O Lover
Be silent for the Beloved's sake
He is without letters nor voice
He is as He was
yet you refuse
avoid being in His Presence
you lament being lost in the ocean
but a fish would never drown in the sea
so swim O love
swim with Him
Be silent and know
He is God,
Noneother than Him!

"In the silence of our longing
We are together as one
But as soon as we start talking
We separate back into two
So be silent
There is honor in silence
For you and me"
- Rumi

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Only take your rations


"The believer (mukmin) takes his rations, while the unbeliever (kafir) takes his pleasure. The believer takes his rations because he is on a journey. He is content to use any tiny fraction of what he owns, while investing the greater part in the hereafter. Apart from giving himself a traveler's allowance, based on what he can carry, he keeps all his property in the hereafter. His heart and his aspirations (himma) are all there. His heart is concentrated there, indifferent to this world. He forwards all the merit of his acts of worship to the hereafter, not to this world and those who belong to it. If he has some tasty food, he donates it to the poor, knowing that in the hereafter he will have something better to eat. The goal of the aspiration (himma) of the experienced (arif) and learned (alim) believer is the door of his nearness to the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), and that his heart should get there in this world, before the hereafter. Nearness to the Lord of Truth is the goal of the steps taken by the heart and the secret journey of the innermost being." - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

Editor's Note:
My apologies to Lisan al-Din regular visitors for I have slackened in being timely in posting entries. I have been in the past few days distracted by my lower nafs. Woe unto me! La hawla wala quwata illah billahil 'aliyil 'azim. Ilahi kam 'asika wa anta tas turuni. O Lord I have transgressed and yet you hide my flaws.
Yours sincerely,
Ezza Ismail

Friday, August 7, 2009



O son, be done with reputation. In this path we are in, we do not care if people say good or bad to us. Our hearts are not with them. We leave the temporal, preferring the eternal instead. True love is with the eternal.

Love and reputation, brother,
are not in harmony:
don't stand at the door of reputation,
if you are a lover.
- Rumi

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nisfu Shaaban (Laylatul Bara'ah)


O son, alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, what a blessed night this Nisfu Shaaban, for Allah al-Jami' to gather His servants at majlis zikr.

Habib Dr. Ahmad al-Kaf led the majlis held at Ba'alawi KL. I have never heard anyone recited such intensely moving du'a before. The depth and breadth of his recitations evoking emotions of tawbah and hope among the jemaah was to me, comparable to Imam Sudais' du'a on the night of 27th Ramadhan at Masjidil Haram. MashaAllah! Tearful servants of Allah wished for nothing but His Mercy. According to Habib, all eyes will cry (kullu 'ainin baqiyah) on the Day of Resurrection save those whose eyes had shed tears for Allah while in the dunya.

O son, make haste in capturing the hidden blessings reserved on the night of Nisfu Shaaban. May you be among those who win His mercy. Ameen.

Madho Rajabu ya sohi 'anka
Rajab with its blessings has left you O friend

Shahidan 'ala haqqi lahu lam tuwaffah
and it has witnessed the truth that you had not performed

waha qod madho min shahri Shaabana nisfuhu
And now half of Shaaban is gone

wa anta 'ala ma la aquhu biwasfihi
while you are in a state which I cannot fathom

fabadir bifiqlil khoiri qablan qidhoihi
hasten to do good deeds before you lose it

wahazir hujumal mauti fihi bisorfihi
beware of the coming of death as it (Nisfu Shaaban) leaves us

fakum min fitan qod baata fin nisfi aamilan
how many people who spend the night wishing

waqod nusikhat fihin sohifatan hatfihi
whereas the note of death has been erased therefrom

waqum lailatin nisfil sharifi musolliyan
wake up on this night of mid-shaaban and pray

fa ashraf hazas shahra lailati nisfihi
witness this month by observing the night of its mid-month

wasum yaumahu lillahi warju suwabahu
Fast during the day for Allah's sake and hope for His rewards

litadhfara yaumal 'ardhi fihi bilutfihi
may you, with His Latif, be successful on the day of the presentation.

A note of appreciation to Ben & Ina for hosting such a holy majlis. May Allah make it easy for them to achieve their aspirations in making the Ba'alawi KL center, a place that is makmur with nur. Ameen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Prophet on Paradise and Hell


The lust of pleasures of this world is the paradise of the unfaithful. It is the true Fire whose exterior resembles the garden - but beneath the surface is torture.
Our Master (peace and blessings of God upon him) warned his Companions, saying, "Paradise is beyond gates that appear displeasing and undesirable while the gates of Hell are attractive and delicious. They will only reveal what is behind them at the end of the world, when Antichrist comes."
He also described Hell thus: "There are two valleys there. In one there is a river of fire and in the other is a river of water. Whoever in repentance, accepting his punishment, seeks the valley of fire, will find himself in the cool valley of water. Whoever, unrepentant, seeks the valley of water to save himself from punishment, will fall upon the fire."

FROM: Ibn 'Arabi Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom (At-Tadbirat al-ilahiyyah fi islah al-mamlakat al-insaniyyah) Interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti.
Publisher credit: Fons Vitae

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Be the first to say 'Thank You'


O son, I know you already know this. It is common adab but let's polish our adab.

I wish to remind you that you must be the first to say 'thank you' everytime you purchase something, especially food. Don't wait for the seller to say 'thank you'. Never expect him/her to be the first to say thank you just because you are paying for the goods/service.

You should rightfully thank him/her for the efforts and time spent to prepare the food or whatever service that you are getting. Do not place value on your dollar notes. Your heart must be able to see who the real giver is. Be sure to see who is the 'real provider' of your food when you transact. When your heart becomes sensitive you will see the He who is behind he/she you are dealing with. Then you will quickly without hesitation or delay, say thank you not only with your tongue but with your inner most heart. If you do that you can be sure that you don't belong with those whom the Prophet had referred to when he said: "Those who are not thankful to the people, they are not grateful to Allah."

But you O son, you must not only be thankful to people and be grateful to Allah, you must witness who is the source of benefits and acknowledge immediately by being the first to say 'thank you'.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The One and only


"The experienced believer
(al mukmin al 'arif)
seeks nothing of this world
and nothing of the hereafter from Allah.
All he seeks from his Master is His Master
(innama yatlubu min Mawlahu Mawlahu)
- Abu Yazid Bistami

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ibn Arabi Sunday Eve Prayer


I ask of You, O my God, an eloquent tongue and truthful speech; appropriate understanding and an innermost centre of taste; a truly receptive heart and a discerning mind; radiant thought and insatibale yearning; a persistent knocking (at Your door) and a burning desire. Grant me a hand of (total) empowerment and a strength that brooks no resistance; a soul at peace and supple limbs for obeying You. Purify me that I may come to You, and grant that I may be brought before You.

O my God, gift me with a heart by which I may be devoted to You in utter poverty, led by yearning and driven by desire, whose provision is fear (of You) and whose companion is restlessness, whose aim is (Your) closeness and acceptance! In Your Nearness lies the consummation of those who aim, and the fulfilment of the desire of those who search.

O my God, bestow upon me the presence of tranquility and dignity. Keep me from self-aggrandisement and haughtiness. Let me stand in the station of being accepted as Your delegate, and may my words meet with positive response.

O my Lord, bring me close to You with the closeness of those who truly know (You). Purify me from the attachments of the natural constitution. Eliminate the blood-clot of blameworthiness from my heart, that I may be one of the completely purified ones.

May God blessings be upon our master Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions. And Praise be to God, Lord of the universes.
Partial Sunday Eve Prayer of Ibn Arabi from Ibn Arabi The Seven Days of the Heart. Translated by Pablo Beneito and Stephen Hirtenstein

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Salawat Ibn Mashish (Revisited)


Ahh...the first time
those words fell on my ears
Salawat Ibn Mashish;
those are no ordinary alphabets
but pearls falling
from the Highest Tablet.
I ran around feverish
looking for another sip.
A thirsty fella quenched not;
drunk enchanted
by a dervish.
Ahh...the first time
my eyes lay on your tomb
Ibn Mashish;
how divinely distinguished
sheltered by a holy tree
O much revered Wali.
Ahh...for the umpteenth time
let me repeat after you dear;
what can a beloved do
but mimic her lover.

Allahumma salli ‘ala man minhu-n-shaqqati-l-asrar
O Allah shower Your blessings upon him from whom burst open the secrets,

from whom stream forth the lights,

wa fihi-rtaqati-l-haqa’iq
and in whom rise up the realities,

wa tanazalat ‘ulum Adama fa-a‘jaza-l-khala’iq
and upon whom descended the sciences of Adam, by which all creatures are made powerless,

wa lahu tada’alati-l-fuhum
and blessings upon him before whom all understanding is diminished.

fa-lam yudrik-hu minna sabiqun wa la lahiqa
None of us totally comprehend him, whether in the past or the future

fa-riyadu-l-malakuti bi-zahri jamalihi muniqa
The gardens of the spiritual kingdom blossom ornately with the resplendence of his beauty,

wa hiyadu-l-jabaruti bi-faydi anwarihi mutadafiqah
and the reservoirs of the World of Dominion overflow with the outpouring of his light.

wa la shay’a illa wa huwa bihi manuta
There is nothing that is not connected to him,

idh lawla-l-wasitatu la-dhhaba kama qila mawsut
because if there were no intercessor, everything to be interceded for would vanish, as it is said.

salatan taliqu bika minka ilayhi kama huwa ahluhu
So bless him with a prayer that is worthy of You, from You, as befits his stature.

Allahumma innahu sirruka-l-jami‘u-d-dallu bika ‘alayk
O Allah indeed he is Your all-encompassing secret that leads through You to You

wa hijabuka-l-a‘azamu-l-qa’imu laka bayna yadayk
and he is Your Supreme Veil raised before You, between Your Hands.

Allahumma alhiqni bi-nasabihi wa haqqiqni bi-hasabihi
O Allah include me among his descendants and confirm me through his account

wa ‘arifni iyyahu ma‘rifatan aslamu biha min mawaridi-l-jahl
and let me know him with a deep knowledge that keeps me safe from the wells of ignorance,

wa akra‘u biha min mawaridi-l-fadl
so that I might drink to fullness from the wells of excellence

wa-hmilni ‘ala sabilihi ila Hadratik
Carry me on his path to Your Presence

hamlan mahfufam bi-nusratik
encompassed by Your Victory,

wa aqadhif bi ‘ala-l-batil fa-admaghuhu
and strike through me at the false so that I may destroy it.

wa zujja bi fi bihari-l-Ahadiyya
Plunge me into the seas of Oneness,

wa-nshulni min ahwali-tawhid
pull me out of the morass of metaphorical Unity,
wa-ghriqni fi ‘ayni bahri-l-Wahda
and drown me in the Essence of the Ocean of Unity

hatta la ara wa la asma‘a wa la ajida wa la uhissa illa biha
until I neither see, nor hear, nor find, nor sense, except through It.

wa-j‘ali Allahumma-l-hijaba-l-a‘zama hayata ruhi
O Allah make the Supreme Veil the life of my spirit

wa ruhahu sirra haqiqati
and his soul the secret of my reality

wa haqiqatahu jami‘a ‘awalimi
and his reality the conflux of my worlds

through the realization of the First Truth.

Ya Awwal Ya Akhir Ya Zahir Ya Batin
O First! O Last! O Manifest! O Most Hidden!

Isma‘ nida’iy bima sami‘ta bihi nida’a abdika Zakariyya
Hear my call as You heard the call of your servant Zachary

wa-nsurni bika laka
and grant me victory through You, for You

wa ayyidni bika Laka
and support me through You, for You

wa ajma’ bayni wa Baynak
and join me to You

wa hul bayni wa bayna ghayrik
and come between myself and anything other than You

Allaaah! Allaaah! Allaaah!Inna-l-ladhi farada ‘alayka-l-qur’ana
Indeed He, Who ordained the Qur’an for you,

la-radduka ’ila ma‘ad [Holy Qur’an 28.85]
will return you to the station of your Ultimate Destiny.

Rabbana ‘atina min ladunka Rahmatan
O Lord grant us from Your Presence Mercy

wa haiy’ lana min ‘amrina Rashada [Holy Qur’an 18.10]
and endow us, whatever our outward condition, with sure Guidance!

Inna-Llaha wa malai’katahu yusalluna ‘ala-n-nabi
Indeed Allah and His angels shower blessings upon the Prophet.

ya ayyuha-lladhina ’amanu
O you who believe,

sallu ‘alayhi wa sallimu taslima [Holy Qur’an 33.65]
shower blessings on him and greet him abundantly.

Salawatu-Llahi wa sallamuhu wa tahiyyatuhu wa Rahmatuhu
May the Sublime Blessings of Allah, His Peace, Greetings, Mercy,

wa barakatuhu ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin
and Grace, be upon our Master Muhammad,

‘abdika wa nabiyyika wa rasulika an-Nabiyyi-l-Ummi
Your Servant, Prophet and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet

wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi
and also upon his family and companions.

wa sallim ‘adada-sh-shaf‘i wa-l-watri
Upon him be Peace multiplied by all even and odd numbers,

wa ‘adada kalimati Rabbina-t-tammati-l-mubarakat
and multiplied also by the inconceivable number of the perfect and blessed words of our Lord.

Photo credit: Abdul Fattah (Muh Jusuf Ahmed Yahya) of Haqqani Fellowship. Tomb of Ibn Mashish located between Tangier and Fez, Morocco. Salawat credit: