Thursday, December 31, 2009

Everything except God is empty


Prophet Muhammad s.a.w once said:
The most apt verse ever spoken by a poet is the saying of Labid:
'Everything except God is empty.'

Imam Al-Ghazali explained this in Kitab al-tawhid wal-tawakkul as follows:
That is, everything which does not subsists in itself, but has its subsistence from another, from the point of view of itself, is nothing.
For its truth and its reality comes from another and not from itself, so it is not true essentially (la haqq bihaqiqa) outside 'the Living and Subsisting' (Qur'an 2:255, 3:2) to whom 'there is no likeness' (Qur'an 42:11)\ for He subsists essentially (bidhatihi) while everything that is other than He, subsists by His power. So He is the truly Real One (al-Haqq) and all that is other than He, is nothing.

As Sahl al-Tustari said:
"O poor man! He was and you were not,
and He will be and you will not be.
While you are today, you say: 'I, I';
be now as though you had not been,
for He is today as He was."

Faith in Divine Unity and Trust in Divine Providence
(Kitab al-tawhid wal-tawakkul)
Translated by David Burrell
Read Publisher's note about this book.

My wish for you and for myself, for year 2010:
"Be now, as though you had not been."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Be patient and be thankful - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani


The truthful person offers thanks for the blessings he receives, endures with patience the punishments, carries out the commandments and keeps away from the prohibitions. Thus, the hearts are developed. Offering thanks for receiving blessings increases them and enduring with patience the punishments removes and mitigates them.

Endures with patience the death of children and other family members, the loss of property, the loss of good reputation, the failure of worldly goals and the harm caused by creatures, and then you will receive a great deal of good.

When you thank for being in easy circumstances and be patient when having hard times, the wing of your faith will become fully fledged and strengthen, and your heart and innermost being will fly to the door of your Lord.

How can you lay claim to faith when you have no patience? Have you not heard the saying of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, "Patience is to faith as the head is to the body." If you do not have patience, then your faith is without a head and hence its body is worthless. If you know the One who sends the affliction, you would bear His affliction. If you know this world, you would not fall into disobedience by seeking it.

O Allah! Guide everyone who has gone astray!
Forgive everyone who is disobedient
Give patience to everyone who is afflicted.
Guide to thankfulness everyone who is free of afflictions.

- Ghawth al-Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
in Jila' al-Khatir (Purification of the Mind)
translated by Prof. Shetha al-Dargazelli and Dr. Louay Fatoohi

O son, today I shall proclaim the bounties of my Lord. After being drowned in a prolonged qabdhu state (career-wise), He has kindly placed me in basthu. Praise be to Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim. What I've learned over the past three years is that when He does not seem to be giving, He in fact, gives. And it's not about what I want, because "Allah does what He wills" (Ibrahim: 27) "And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you. And it may be that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows and you know not." (Al Baqarah: 216) Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. My love and thanks to my family and true friends for being with me through thick and thin. May Allah reward your kindness with the best bounties He has ever given to His chosen servants.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who is the real teacher?


O son, I will reiterate that each posting is done with Bismillah. Therefore, understand why I say I am not bothered by people who thought that "people should not reveal their spiritual activities and that people should not divulge 'classified' wirids practised by a certain wali."

Know that no one learns from books' authors. No one learns from bloggers. Teachers or anyone for that matter, may pour out a good amount of knowledge to you but know that whatever knowledge you eventually have in your breast is what He gathers in your breast. Who is the real teacher? The answer is: Hu is the real Teacher.

Our duty is simply to fear Him so He might teach us. He says in Al-Baqarah: 282
"And fear Allah and Allah will teach you."

My murshid always insist that he knows nothing, so who am I to claim that I know something? This blog is not to show you that I know something. I am learning with you bi-iznillah.

Know that Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi insisted that it was not he who wrote Futuhat al-Makkiyah but it was the divine Pen. Habib Yusuf  Bakhour al-Hassani during a recent sohba reminded us not to ever think that we are the doer of anything that we do. So who am I to claim my I-ness?

O son, may we belong with those who truthfully believe in As-Saffat 96: That it is He who creates us and all that we do. Wallah hu qolakhokum wama taqmalun. May we belong with those who not only understand but also witness what it means by wahdatul af'al. May we belong with those who are granted gnosis so that we truly understand what tawhid is.

O son, I am not one who is apologetic about my faith. I will keep sharing for as long as He wants it from me, InshaAllah. By God and His beloved Messenger, I will keep spreading whatever useful knowledge I come across even if they throw stones at me and break my teeth. But if He wills that I stop, I would, because whatever God wills to happen, happens.

Ultimately, a true believer is one who understands and lives the meaning of La hawla wala quwata illah billah hil 'aliyil azim. There is no power and no strength save with Allah, the High, the Great.

AllahHu AllahHu AllahHu Haq!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ashura Tausiyah by Habib Zain bin Yahya


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, the jemaah at KL Ba'Alawi was blessed to be in the presence of Habib Zain bin Yahya of Yemen during the recent Ashura celebration. He spoke in Arabic with a very soft and soothing tone. Thanks to Ustaz Syed Ibrahim bin Yahya for acting as interpreter.

Habib Zain said:
Praise be to Allah for gathering us at this special place. A house in which majlis 'ilm is held receives attention from the inhabitants of the heavens the way the inhabitants of the earth gaze at shining stars in the night skies. And a majlis where people praise Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is indeed superior.
Al-Busiri wrote in Qasidah al-Burdah:
Daq  mad da'at hun nasaara fi nabiyyihim
Wahkum bima shikta mad hann fiihi wah takimi
Let the Nasrani praise their prophet as they do
You praise him (Prophet Muhammad) in whatever manner you wish

God said:
"Wama romaita iz romaita wala kinallah ha roma..." (Al-Anfal:17)
"And you threw not (O Muhammad) when you threw but it was Allah who threw..." This verse shows how much Allah wanted to elevate Prophet Muhammad's rank. Again in the bay'ah verse:
"Those who place allegiance (bay'ah) with you, they in fact place allegiance with Allah." (Al-Fath:10) 
This religion came as a strange thing and it will return to a strange state, lucky are those who are with this strange group. (Referring to Muslims minority group who hold fast to Islam).

Celebrating Ashura and Hijrah is considered as sunnah kauniyah. That is observing a natural phenomenon of the universe. Every day is never the same. By nature each thing has its own uniqueness. For instance Ashura. It originated from an event of bygone years when the Jews observed fasting on the day.

There is a verse in the Qur'an asking us to remember 'the days of Allah'. There are indeed special times or days that teach us lessons regarding acts of devotions. The episode of Siti Hajar walking back and forth between Safa and Marwah gave rise to sa'e as a rite required in pilgrimage. Prophet Muhammad's habit in fasting on Mondays (his birthday) tell us of the needs to celebrate a meaningful event. The lesson we learn from these examples is that we are encouraged to look for times/days which are deemed to be special - the times/days chosen by Allah for us to multiply our ibadah.

So we know that Prophet Muhammad used to fast for two days during Ashura and on this special occasion we are also encouraged to treat our families, give to charity, help the poor and show kind gestures to orphans.

Other than rejoicing in Prophet Musa's victory over Firaun, we also mourn over the death of Sayyidina Hussain - a tragedy foretold by Prophet Muhammad. Hussain bin Ali was his beloved grandson, one for whose sake Nabi would extend his prostration for fear that Hussain might fall off his neck. Unfortunately, the Shi'ah has gone overboard in glorifying Hussain.

Having understood the significance of Ashura, we must know how to balance between its joy and sorrow.
Habib Zain ended his tausiyah by singing a qasidah composed by Shaykh Amir Kurtubi. And the audience was left mesmerized, emotionally and spiritually.
p/s O son, we've been taught to recite Hasbunallah wanikmal wakil nikmal mawla wanikman nasir 1000 times on Ashura. So you do the same.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reflecting on Muharram and Ashura


9 Muharram 1431 Hijri
KL Ba'Alawi hosted yet another blissful majlis tonight. This time the jemaah was blessed to be in the presence of Habib Zain bin Yahya of Yemen.

Ahmad ya Habibi Habibi salam alaik
Ya aunal qoribi Ahmad ya Habibi

After a melodious rendering of qasidah by a Syrian brother, Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam al-Maliki said a few words of welcome to Habib Zain and started the majlis with tausiyah on the virtues of celebrating Ashura by fasting on the day itself and the day of Tashu'a. "Muslims fast one day before or after 10th of Muharram (day of Tashu'a) in order to khaliful Yahud, meaning to differentiate ourselves from the Jews. An oft-quoted hadith on this occasion mentions Allah's promise to expiate the sins of the preceding year of one who fast. When Prophet Muhammad s.a.w migrated to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on Ashura day. He asked them why, to which they said, "Allah saved our great prophet, Nabi Musa from Firaun on this day."
"Ana al haqq bi Musa," the Prophet replied.
Indeed, in all respects, Rasulullah was more deserving to honor Musa.

Apart from this incident, Muharram is certainly a special month as it marked Prophet Muhammad's migration to Madinah. "Much has been said about this historical event but I wish to speak on one chosen individual who accompanied Rasulullah during the hijrah."

Shaykh Fahmi highlighted seven reasons why Sayyidina Abu Bakar was special. "Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a. was the first minal rijal (male adult) to embrace Islam. The ummat collectively agreed that he was the best man after the anbiya (the prophets). He was always concerned about the Prophet who at one point made a declaration that no one was more dutiful to him than Sayyidina Abu Bakar was. When Prophet first mentioned the possibility of migrating, he was foremost in understanding what was to happen. In preparing for the anticipated event, he had bought two camels and fed them with the best animal feed available. He must have thought about the importance of having a strong reliable transport for the long, arduous and dangerous journey to Madinah. That's how thoughtful Sayyidina Abu Bakar was. His sohba (friendship) with Rasulullah s.a.w was significant enough to warrant a mention in the Qur'an. "Iz yaqulu li sohibihi la tahzan innallah..." His high spirit of companionship ensured the Prophet's safety. He would sometimes walk behind Rasulullah and sometimes in front, fearing for his safety. The enemies had offered 100 camels as reward for the Prophet's life. When they arrived at the cave where they were to hide, Sayyidina Abu Bakar asked the Prophet to wait outside while he sweeped away scorpions and what not."

"His iman (faith) and amal (good deeds) excelled every person's iman and amal collectively. Upon arrival in Madinah, the Prophet's camel stopped on a tract of land belonging to Sahl and Suhail. When the Prophet expressed his intention to purchase the property costing 200 dinar, Sayyidina Abu Bakar came up with the required amount instantly. This moved the Prophet to tears! So know that the spot where Masjid Nabawi is now, including the Raudhah area was a wakaf (donations) from Sayyidina Abu Bakar as-Siddiq."

"During the Tabuk Battle, Nabi had again asked for some funding. Sayyidina Umar thought that could be his opportunity to surpass Abu Bakar's generosity because he had greater earnings than him then. So Umar gave half of his wealth which equalled the amount of Abu Bakar's entire wealth. But this time the Prophet did not ask how much each contributed instead he asked how much money they were left with. Umar said, 'I still have one half'' while Abu Bakar said, 'I have nothing left but Allah and His Rasul.'

"The moral of the story," said Shaykh Fahmi was that "Sayyidina Abu Bakar taught us to always be loyal and committed to Islam."
To be continued with Habib Zain's tausiyah in the next posting InshaAllah.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Invitation to Ashura Weekend Celebrations


All are welcomed to join IFTAR and ASHURA celebrations at these two heavenly gardens:

KL Ba'Alawi
DATE: 9th Muharram 1431H/ Saturday 26 December 2009
TIME: Maghrib/Iftar
No 9, Jalan UP2A
Taman Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
Kuala Lumpur
(Behind National Zoo)
Contact:: Ben +6019 669 3887

DATE:  10th Muharram 1431H/ Sunday 27 December 2009
TIME: Maghrib/Iftar
Al-Jenderami Complex
Tel: +603 87680200
Click here for directions.
Guest of honor: Habib Hassan al-Attas of Ba'Alawi Mosque Singapore

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah.

Be God's alone


Know (and may God be merciful to you) that the faqir when he exchanges the remembrance of all things for the remembrance (dhikr) of God, purifies his servitude. And whosoever serves God in a pure and unmixed way, is holy.

So remember only God;
be God's alone;
for if you are God's,
God will be yours
and blessed is he who belongs to God
so that God is his.

Let the mention of God's word -
"Remember Me and I will remember you." (Qur'an II:147)
- suffice to prove the excellence of the remembrance (dhikr) of God.
And the word which the Prophet s.a.w spoke on behalf of his Lord (hadith qudsi):
"I am the Companion of him who calls upon Me."
- Shaykh ad-Darqawi

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blessings for the needy


It was Mary's painful need that made the infant Jesus
begin to speak from the cradle.
Whatever grew has grown for the sake of those in need,
so that a seeker might find the thing he sought.
If God most High has created the heavens,
He has created them for the purpose of satisfying needs.
Wherever a pain is, that's where the cure goes;
wherever poverty is, that's where provision goes.
Wherever a difficult question is,
that's where the answer goes;
wherever a ship is, water goes to it.
Don't seek the water; increase your thirst,
so water may gush forth from above and below.
Until the tender-throated babe is born,
how should the milk for it
flow from the mother's breast?
- Jalaluddin Rumi in Mathnawi

Allah blessings be upon Saidatina Maryam 
from whom He had brought forth the blessed Prophet Isa alaihisalam
Allah blessings be upon Siti Hajar
whose needs made He gushed forth Zamzam
O Allah, make us realize our needs for You,
so You will grant us more and more.
You are Al-Ghani and we are as ever, needy.

Rumi's Quote is from 'Jewels of  Remembrance'
Selected and translated by Camille and Kabir Helminksi

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Five definitions on Sufism by Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq


Many explanations have been made about the derivation of the word Sufism. The explanations closest to the truth are five:

First those who say that the term is derived from a piece of wool (sufah). The reason is that the Sufi vis-a-vis God is like a piece of wool tossed on the ground with neither will nor direction.

Second: the term is derived from the lock of hair on the nape of the neck (sufat al-qifa) because of its softness. The Sufi, like the lock of hair, has a soft and flexible nature.

Third: the term is derived from "attribute" (al-sifah). This is to say that the Sufi is characterized (ittasafa) by performing good deeds and turning away from bad qualities.

Fourth: the term is derived from purity (al-safa). Abu al-Fath al-Busti (may God have mercy on him) has confirmed this, going so far as to say: "People have argued and differed about the term 'Sufi'; some think it derived from wool (suf). I do not grant this name save to the noble person who dealt purely with God and was purified until he was called a Sufi."

Fifth: the term is derived from the Bench (al-suffah). For the Sufi has the same characteristics as the People of the Bench*, whom God has endowed with certain characteristics, saying of them: "They call upon their Lord at morning and evening desiring His countenance." (Qur'an 6:52) This is the origin to which every explanation of the word goes back. But God knows best!

- Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq (1442 - 1493 CE)
in Principle 7 of Qawaid al-Tasawuf (The Principles of Sufism)
FROM: Sister Zaineb S. Istrabadi PhD thesis for Indiana University 1987

Tomb of Sidi Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq

* People of the Bench refers to a group of Muhajirun (the generation of Muslims who immigrated with Prophet Muhammad s.a.w from Makkah to Madinah. They were later joined by other Muslims who settled in Madinah but had no dwelling place. They lodged in a corner of the mosque and lived on public charity. They spent their time performing various acts of worship.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

True invocation - Shaykh ad-Darqawi


"It is said that by the invocation of God (dhikrullah) a believer attains such peace of soul that the great terror on Resurrection Day cannot sadden him; how then could he be disturbed by whatever trials and misfortunes may befall him in this world? So be constant in the invocation of your Lord, my brother, as we have advised you, and you will see marvels; may God fill us to overflowing with His grace. Now in our view, invocation does not mean that a man is forever repeating Allah, Allah and praying and fasting and then, as soon as misfortune strikes him, runs to the right and left looking for remedies and in despair because he cannot find one. For men who have come to know the Truth (may God be well pleased with them), invocation demands that he who calls on God should abide by the laws that are strictly prescribed, the most important of which is that he should pay no attention at any time to what does not concern him. Then, if his Lord makes Himself known to him, or let us say reveals Himself under one of His names whether of majesty or beauty, such a man will recognize Him and not fail to know Him. This is true invocation as practiced by those who remember God and not the state of him who is constantly occupied in worshipping God and yet, when his Lord reveals Himself in some form opposed to his wish, he entirely fails to recognize Him."

- Shaykh Mulay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi (1743 - 1823 CE)
FROM: Letters of a Sufi Master translated by Titus Burckhardt

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baba Aziz on being excellent


Shaykh Abdul Aziz in his lecture at KL Ba'Alawi earlier this month, explained the second chapter of Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah on the states of one who witnesses the Haqq.

Qatrul Ghaisiah literally means raindrops of Sufi knowledge. Written by Husin Nasir and Thaibul Mas'udil Banjari, it is a Malay language book that uncovers secrets of the Sufis' knowledge including explanations on tasawwuf and the secrets of mushahadah (witnessing). It discusses the advantages of knowledge and practice, battles of the lower self (nafs), maqam (stations) of the 'ariff (gnostics) and the path undertaken by a seeker (salik) towards the Creator.
Baba Aziz said:
You may become excellent when you are completely obedient to Allah outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly with your seven limbs and inwardly with your heart; that is when the heart is devoid of all ugly attributes and adorned with praiseworthy attributes instead.
Your outer becomes excellent with the 'garments of service' through worships. Your tongue is constantly saying zikr. Your eyes only fall upon things which are halal (permissible). Your ears are used to listen to all that is good. When you speak, your tongue only utters that which is the truth. When you walk, your eyes wander not but only keep its sight to a short distant in front of you. My guru by the name of Abdul Rahman carries an umbrella with him all the time so as to prevent his eyes from committing sins. When he drinks, he makes sure not a drop is wasted. That is excellent akhlaq (chivalry) as a result of excellent worship/servitude.
What is meant by 'garments of service' (khidmat) is to worship Him sincerely without expecting any rewards. The Sufis would not mind reciting any verses of the Qur'an because they are not after any 'wages' from Allah. The abrar on the other hand would choose to recite selected verses that are deemed 'profitable'. The Sufis therefore, perform their ibadah on the basis of service, solely because of Allah, because He orders one to do so. Furthermore, they become excellent with the 'garments of sincerity and certainty' (ikhlas and yaqin). They are on the journey to purify their hearts and never seeking hikmat (returns). As such, they find it easy to carry out their ibadah. To them there is no safer way than to be a true servant of Allah zahir and bathin. Even when they travel, they fulfill the ibadah or duties required of a musafir (traveller). They would perform solat sunat musafir and make du'a prior to travelling.

Once again, for you to be excellent inwardly, be sure that the heart is garbed with the 'garments of sincerity and certainty'. Keep the connection with your Lord with sincerity and certainty like the connection between fruits and the tree and that between a child and the mother. When you have this sort of connection with the Lord, you shall not worry anymore and your heart will become excellent. Never enter into prayers or fasting with pride in your heart. Perform your solat and fast with humility reflecting true servanthood.
The sign of you loving Allah is you being fearful of Him. The sign of you loving Rasulullah s.a.w is you practising the sunnah. Redeem yourself with meaningful ibadah. Those years, your youth, which you have wasted, replace them with worthy deeds. My gurus, Shaykh Muhammad Idris and Shaykh as-Sayyid Muhammad bin 'Alawi al-Maliki taught me to recite:
La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasulullah
fi kulli lamhatin
wanafasin 'ada dama wasi'ahu ilmullah
When you say this you would be testifying the syahadah for as many times as one's sight, one's breath and for as wide as God's knowledge. Recite this four times after the obligatory prayers. May you redeem the wasted years with such zikr.
When you have become excellent, your heart will evolve to be arshillah and baitillah - a place where Allah will shower nur anwar (the Light of lights) and nur ma'rifah (the light of gnosis). You will have arrived to the station where you are just waiting for Allah to pour in your heart divine inspirations in the form of warid and zuk. By this time, you will have abandoned both your desires (nafs) and mind (akal). You will return to alam lahut where you made the pledge with Allah that you come to this world to prove your servanthood towards the Lord.
You will receive nur anwar zat (the light of the Essence) from Allah who will light up your heart as He lights up the earth and the heavens. Nur ma'rifah that now shines in your heart would enable you to see the haqiqat (truth) of each thing. You will be able to discern whether this rizq (bounty) or that person is the one helping you. You will recognize the haqiqat of the bounties that you receive, is in fact Allah. Therefore, you only become grateful to Allah and no one else. Then your nafs will have ascended one notch up to nafs radhiah. You will no longer feel restless. You will be contented because you accept Allah's decree for you, because your heart is in the state of mushahadah (witnessing) that whatever that is given to you is chosen by your Beloved, chosen by Allah. When you are overcomed by challenges, you keep things to yourself, you do not divulge your condition to people and you be patient. When you receive His bounties, you be grateful. This is wahdatul af'al. You witness all as His actions. When Allah wants to raise your maqam, He will keep you afflicted with bala (tests) and grant you more patience. Otherwise He will remove the bala from you.
Nur ma'rifah and nur zat are two blessings from the Lord. They are a form of rizq (sustenance) which complement your body and soul. Those who are at the station of inabah (usually the elderlies, those who are in their 60s, 70s), Allah reduce their worldly sustenance and increase rizq for their soul (ruh). They will be given the joy of ubudiyah (servitude) towards Allah. Allah will open the doors to Him for them to draw close to Him and they will be granted perfect ma'rifah (gnosis).
This is the fruit of having a heart which is dressed with sincerity and certainty. When you have these two attributes in your heart, all other blameworthy attributes would automatically leave you. You will now be granted an unexpected 'bonus' as in the Qur'anic verse "Waman yattaqillaha yaj 'allahu min amrihi yusra. Waman yattaqillaha yukaffir 'anhu saiyi aa tihi wayuqzim lahu ajran." (At-Thalaq 4-5). Allah will make it easy for you to be obedient and whenever you see your previous sins you would immediately repent. You shall be pardoned and rewards upon you shall be multiplied 70 or 700 times more. This is true rizq. But the condition is your heart must be in constant muraqabah, musyahadah and muhasabah towards Allah. Then you will become a righteous person. Unfortunately, your heart is still dirty. You keep your hopes on this person, that person, this thing and that thing.
When you become excellent, from maqam asbab, you will then attain maqam tajrid. In the former maqam, you will only take from the dunya what you need. Take that which is halal and feel satisfied with your lot (qanaah). You form an intention that this is your way of worshipping Allah. As for the latter, you seclude yourself from society. You occupy yourself with zikr, munajat and being intimate with your Beloved until you reach haqqul yaqin. You will come to know Him truthfully through mukashafah (unveiling). This maqam belongs to anbiya (the prophets) and awliya Allah.
In conclusion, keep your outer pure through the gate of khidmat (servitude) and keep your inner (the heart) pure through the gates of ikhlas and yaqin (sincerity and certainty).
Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors in transmission or omissions. May Allah grant us the opportunity to reconvene for Baba Aziz's lecture series next month, InshaAllah. Baba Aziz's monthly lectures are hosted by Ben & Ina of KL Ba'Alawi. May Allah facilitate them in their efforts to organize majlis ilm and majlis zikr.
Note: Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah is published by Jahabersa.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fajr Du'a practised by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w


O son, this du'a is by far the most detailed and comprehensive one I have ever come across.

Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam al-Maliki had, upon instruction and guidance from his guru, Abuya (Almarhum as-Sayyid Muhammad bin 'Alawi al-Maliki), compiled it with other pertinent du'a and wirid in a Malay booklet called Bekal Akhirat (Provisions for the Hereafter). There are nine parts/paragraphs in this Du'a al-Fajr which Prophet Muhammad s.a.w used to recite after Solat Sunnat Fajr. But according to Shaykh Fahmi, it may also be recited after Subuh prayers. I shall attempt to write its transliteration for you here but I can only afford to give its partial meanings. May Allah grant you and I the gift of understanding the Arabic language someday. May I be forgiven for any errors in both the transliteration and translation. May Allah grant us the tawfik (strength) to recite this beneficial du'a regularly. Ameen.

Allahumma inni as aluka rahmatan min 'indika tahdii bihaa qolbii
O Allah I beg from Your mercy that You grant guidance to my heart
wa taj ma'u bihaa shamlii
That You unite all that is disunited about my family
watalummu bihaa shaq sii
That You unite all that is disunited about my affairs
wataruddu bihaa ul fatii
That You return the pleasures of obedience (that you have granted me before)
watus lihhu bihaa diini
That You restore my religion
watak dhi bihaa diini
That You help payoff my debts
watah fazu bihaa gho ibii
That You take care of my belongings which I see not
watar fa'u bihaa shahidii
That You elevate my witnessing
watuzakkii bihaa 'amalii
That You purify my deeds
watubay yidhu bihaa wajhii
That You make my face fair (on the Day of Resurrection)
watul himunii bihaa rushdii
That You inspire me with guidance
wataq simunii bihaa min kulli suk
and that You protect me from all evils
Allahumma inni as aluka iimanan kholisan yubaa shiru kolbi
O Allah I seek genuine iman (belief) filled in my heart
wa as aluka yaqiinan sodiqan hatta aqlama annahu lan yusiibanii illa maa katab tahu 'alaiya
and real certainty in knowing that nothing shall befall me save what You have written about me
war ridho bimaa kosamtahu lii
and that I will be pleased with Your choice for me
Allahumma aq tinii iimaanan sodiqan
O Allah grant me true iman
wa yaqiinan laisa baqdahu kufr
and certitude without disbelief thereafter
warahmatan anaalu bihaa sharofa karaamatika fid dunyaa wal aakhirah
and with Your mercy, may I be dignified in this world and in the hereafter
Allahumma inni as alukas sobra 'indal qodho'i
O Allah, grant me patience in accepting Your decree
wal fauza 'indal liqa'i
and make me triumphant at meeting You
wamanaa zilash shuhada'i
and grant me the honors of the syahid (those who died for Your sake)
wa 'aishal su'adaa'i
and a happy life
wan nasro 'alal 'aqdaa'i
and victory over the enemies
wamuraafaqatal anbiya'
and a ranking close to the anbiya' (prophets)
Allahumma innii unzilu bika haajatii wa in dho u'fa rakyi
O Allah, I leave my wish to You
waqal lat hiilatii
as I am weak in my say
waqosura 'amalii
and weak in my actions
waf takor tu ila rahmatika
I only hope for Your mercy
fa as aluka yaa qaadhiyal umuri wayaa shaa fiyas suduuri
O You who give life and expand the chest
kama tujiiru bainal buhhuuri an tujiiranii min 'azaabis sa'iiri
just as You divide the oceans, keep me distant from the torments of the hell
wamin daqwatis subuuri wamin fitnatil qubuuri
and the laments of those who regret and the tortures of the grave
Allahumma maa khosura 'anhu rakyi
wa dho 'ufa 'anhu 'amalii
walam tab luq hu niyyatii au um niyyatii
min qoirin wa 'ad tahu ahadan min 'ibaadika
au khoirin anta muqtiihi ahadan min kholkika
fa inni ar qabu ilaika fiihi
wa as alukahu yaa rabbal 'alamiin

Allah hummaj 'alnaa haadiina muhtadiin
qoira dhollii na walaa mudhilliin
harban li 'aq daa ika
wasilman li awliyaa ika
nuhhibbu bihubbika man ahhabbaka minan naas
wanu'aa dii bi 'adaa watika man kholafaka min qalkika
Allah humma hazad du'aa'u
wa 'alaikal ijabah
wahaazal jahdu wa 'alaikat tuklaa nu
wa inna lillahi wa inna ilai hira ji'un
wala hawla wala quwata illah billah hil 'aliyil azim
yaa zal hablish shadiidi wal amrir rashiid
as alukal amna yaumal wa'iid
wal jannata yaumal quluudi
ma'al muqarrabiin nash shuhuudi
war ruk ka'is sujuudi
al muqiina laka bil 'uhuud
innaka rahiimu waduud
wa anta taf 'alu ma turiid
Subhanallazii ah so kullasyai in bi 'ilmihi
Subhanallazii ta'at tofa bil 'izzi wa kola bihi
Subhanallazii laisal majda watakar roma bihi
Subhanallazii laa yan baghiit tasbiihu illa lahu
Subhana zil fadhli wan na'ami
Subhana zil kudrati wal karam
Subhana zil jalaali wal ikraam
Allahummaj 'al lii nuuran fii qalbii
wa nuuran fii kabrii
wanuuran fii sam'ii
wanuuran fii basorii
wanuuran fii shaq rii
wanuuran fii basharii
wanuuran fii lahmii
wanuuran fii damii
wanuuran fii 'izomii
wanuuran min baini yadaiya
wanuuran min khalfii
wanuuran 'an yamiinii
wanuuran 'an shimaalii
wanuuran min faukii
wanuuran min tahtii
Allahumma zidnii nuuran
wa 'aq thinii nuuran
waj 'al lii nuuran

For Arabic script: please click below link:

To listen to audio recording of the du'a  from Habib Umar Khulasah please click below link and choose item no. 5 on 'Athkar before Al-Fajer prayer' [but please take note that the audio recital has a slight variation to the one shared above. Allahu a'lam.]

Bekal Akhirat Publisher:
Pustaka Darussalam, Kompleks Peruda, Jalan Sultan Badlishah, 
Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Tel: +604 7335724 Fax: +604 7346788
 Price: RM 6.00

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rise above the level of animals - Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani


"Oh youth, you must learn.
Oh youth, you must learn the truth.
Oh youth, you must use what you have learnt.
Oh youth, what you learnt must show you the way.
Oh youth, a man who does not learn is an animal!
It is through learning about himself and his surroundings that the degree of a man’s humanity increases and he rises above the level of animals!"
- Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani in 'Sultanate'
Mabruk to our beloved murshid, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani on the launching of:
Sultanate - Official Journal of the Naqshibandi Order
on 1st Muharram 1431 Hijri
May Allah grant him a long healthy life for he is a mercy to his followers and all seekers of the Truth.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Salawat practised by Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
It's the second day of the new Hijri year 1431. Kulla amin wa antum bi khair! Please accept this new year gift from me - a salawat practised by the venerable Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus. I am merely extending this gift I got from Shaykh Abdul Aziz who had given it to the jemaah at KL Ba'Alawi recently.

Allahumma salli 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad
kullama zakaraz zakirun
wa salli 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad
wa 'ala ali Sayyidina Muhammad
kullama ghafala 'an zikrihil ghafilun
(100 times)

Bless Ya Allah, our master Muhammad
whenever those who remember him do so
and bless our master Muhammad
and the family of our master Muhammad
whenever those who neglect to remember him do so!

Friday, December 18, 2009

"The first hadith I heard from my teacher" - Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya'qubi


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah! Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah!

Tonight (16th December 2009/28th Zul Hijjah 1430) I heard the first hadith from my teacher! He is Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ismail al-Ya'qubi al-Hassani who gave ijazah to everyone present at the majlis at Ba'Alawi KL. "This is my gift to you. It is a special hadith known as hadith of rahmah or hadith of waliya. There are 34 people between me and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. It is one which many on the chain (sanad) had learned it for the first time; one which they would say: It's the first hadith I heard from my teacher."

And the same goes for me. Alhamdulillah! However, I will only post the hadith the next time InshaAllah. I am overjoyed to have met Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya'qubi, so pardon me.
The first time I saw Habib Yusuf al-Bakhour al-Hassani, I fell for him. The first time I saw Habib Kazim as-Saqqaf, I fell for him. The first time I saw Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, I fell for him. And tonight, the first time I saw Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya'qubi al-Hassani, I fell for him. Subhanallah, such nur and love they emit!

At the outset of his tausiyah (lecture), Shaykh Muhammad said: "I am happy to be here. I am happy to meet seekers of knowledge, people who are on the journey to Allah, people of Allah. I've been meeting many people since I got here (KL/Malaysia) but I was not entirely happy. Some of the things people do for the sake of Allah, Alhamdulillah but there are people who do things for fame, propaganda, and some people have an agenda. May Allah forgive us all. May Allah accept it as ibadah. But I am happy that my trip ends here with you. Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi said in his Futuhat al-Makkiyah where he quoted Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami: "Whenever you meet a man who loves the awliya and believes in the miracles of awliya, ask him to make du'a for you.' So I am asking you to make du'a for me as I'm going back to Damascus tonight. Please make du'a for me, my family and children. InshaAllah. It is also said that if you love the ahlil bayt, you are verily one of them. Please help us by following the sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w, that's all we ask of you."
Shaykh Muhammad also said that he felt the presence of the spirits of awliya. He named several of them and then went on with the tausiyah. "Oh brother, our journey is not about this world. We are not here to stay forever. This is a foreign piece of land. We are foreigners here. We are captives. Our original home is al-Jannah!"

"A Sufi poet says: 'Your homeland is not here, it is where wine is halal, no intoxication in it, your Beloved one is talking to you there.' The best pleasure is on Fridays when they see Allah when they are in the presence of Allah. Such are real homes. This whole universe is but a servant."

"Our souls are created from light. They are transparent. Ruh and angels have no density. Food, drinks, and marriage belongs to the earth. If you have more of these, you will be more attached to the earth and more detached from the heavens. Our souls feed on zikr, Qur'an recitation, reflection, contemplation and witnessing Allah. These are pleasures for the soul. But many people are veiled from knowing that we are made of two things. The soul is in our hearts. Death is the only separation between the body and the soul. The soul would still be able to hear, travel and learn until the day of Qiyamah."

"So we need to work on the other side. The people of Allah, they tell us what to do in order to strengthen our soul. The awliya eat very little. They don't feel hungry."

"There is a hadith about Dajjal (anti-Christ). He is half blind and kaf-fa-ro (kafir) will be written on his forehead. The believers would recognize that. During the end of time, there will be a mountain of bread but no one would be allowed to eat unless he/she submits to Dajjal. So Saydatina Aishah r.a. she is an intelligent woman, she asked the Prophet, "what would the believers eat then?" To which the Prophet said, 'Their food is tasbih (Subhanallah)."

"Nowadays, people like to go on a diet. If you asked me, I'd say the best diet is zikr Allah. But it would be better if you do your zikr under the guidance of a murshid. You will not feel hungry and it will burn all your fat."

"Things like this you cannot see with your eyes but they work. Like when you change your clothes. What is the veil between you and the eyes of jinn? You say a'uzubillahiminash shaitanirrajim and it will form like a physical veil for you. The jinn won't be able to see you. In fact, every time you say a zikr Allah, He creates an angel out of your words who will guard them until the end of time. These words will be around you for barakah. Know that righteous believers are better than common angels and the Prophet is certainly better than the top angels such as Jibril."

"So if you are fearful of anything recite surah al-Quraish 3 times. Allah will grant you security. Repeat the part where it says wa a mana hum min qauf to get salam (security) from Allah. And if you are hungry, repeat falyaqbudu robbaha zal baitil lazi ato amahum min juu'in and rub your stomach.
"Oh brother, Allah does not need your worship. There is a hadith qudsi on this. But He says 'Wama kholaktal jinna wal insa illa liyak budun' that we are created to worship Him. Nevertheless, a more accurate translation for liyak budun is actually 'to know Me'. We are created for makrifah, for knowing Him. He wants to honor us with His knowledge. Whereas ibadah is the means to know Allah. This term is considered majaz mursal, like a metaphor, it's using the instrument to reach the goal and it adds beauty to the text."

"Let me ask you, do we have to pray fajr tomorrow? The answer is no because fajr is not here yet. It will become obligatory when fajr is tomorrow. You see Allah does not enforce prayer upon us until the time comes and yet Allah guarantees our rizq for the rest of our life. Still, we are so concerned about our provision, about something which is guaranteed for us and we neglect what is required of us. Your rizq is in the heavens but you must not wait for it. You must go out to seek it and seeking your rizq is not a burden, it's a joy."

"The position of a Sufi, the high ranking awliya like Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani for example, they only go or do something when they are directed by Allah. They don't make their own decision. Awliya have no choice of their own because they choose what Allah chooses for them so they are like feathers in the air, moving about with the wind."

"You thank Allah when Allah decreed something that is according to your wish. You wanted something so you prayed for it and when Allah fulfills your wish, you thank Him. But the awliya they thank Allah that Allah makes them do what He wants."

"Allah gives us furqan which is light so we know which direction to go. Furqan is like a distinguishing light telling us which is right, which is wrong. When you make istikharah, go towards the direction where you feel your chest is open. Shaykh al-Akbar Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi says 'observe the first thought' that comes to your mind. But be sure your mind is neutral and not inclined to any particular choice. The first thought is from Ar Rahman."

"Imam al-Kisa'i, a lughah expert, a man of distinction, was asked when he was on deathbed. 'What was your ibadah?' - as in what was his main favorite ibadah in addition to the fard and standard nawafil that a righteous man would do. He said 'I make myself a guard of my heart. Every time anything other than Allah comes into my heart, I knock it out.' Your heart is a fortress which you must guard."

"The awliya loves the Prophet very much. In their hearts is only Allah and Rasulullah. Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a. wanted to kill his son because the boy (Abdul Rahman) was a disobedient son; he was fighting against the Muslims at some point. After a battle where the father and the son had fought against each other, Abdul Rahman said to his father 'O father I had a clear shot of you during the battle but I didn't kill you (because you are my father).' Upon hearing that Sayyidina Abu Bakar said, 'O son if I had a clear shot of you, I would have killed you for the sake of Rasulullah for I love him more than I love you!"

"So that is the kind of love the awliya have in their hearts. They, the awliya also observe their breath making sure it is one of taat or worship. With every breath, there is a new bounty from Allah. Bounties are not only when you graduate, get married or get a child but bounties abound with each breath."

"I was blessed to have been brought up by my father who was a wali. My uncles, my grandfathers, my grandfather's uncles, most of them are awliya. When I was a child we lived during a time when there was no electricity so we used plenty of candles. As a boy, I was often asked to put out the candles. What do you do when you want to extinguish the fire? I blew them like the sound "uurhh...uurrh..." but my father forbade me from doing that because it sounded like the word which Allah forbids. Allah forbids us from saying "uurh" to our parents. When our parents ask us to do something we don't want to do, we tend to make that sound, we do it but we do it grumpily. So 'what should I do then?', I asked my father. He said 'you should blow out each candle saying Ya Latifff...' and therewith your breath will have extinguished the fire while you do zikr."
"O brothers and sisters,
with your permission,
I am leaving for the airport now.
I am going back to Damascus
but I leave my heart with you!"
See what I mean? How not to fall for Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya'qubi? Allahu Allah, may Allah keep him safe during his journey home. May Allah shower him and his loved ones with His endless grandest bounties. Al-Ya'qubi -- one soul of Damascus whose spirit is a beautiful fragrant musk!
p/s May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions. May Allah bless the generous and wonderful host - Ben & Ina of KL Ba'Alawi for making it all possible. Jazakallahukhair! Picture credit goes to Brother Shamsul.

The first hadith I heard from my teacher:
“The Merciful - Blessed and Most High - is merciful to those who show mercy, show mercy to those on earth, and the One in Heaven will show Mercy to you.”

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rumi's wedding night (Sheb-el-arus)


Today, 17th December, 736 years ago, a beautiful soul named Jalaluddin Rumi had passed on to the realm he had been longing for - a realm which only a distinct lover like him knew well. It is a date which many Turkish would remember, it is called sheb-el-arus or "The Wedding Night". It was the night when Rumi's soul joyfully united with his Beloved.
Rumi said:
When on the day of my death,
they will carry my coffin,
Don't think that my heart has remained in this world.
Don't cry over me, don't say: "Tragedy, tragedy!"
You would be falling into the trap of the demon,
that would be a tragedy.
When seeing my corpse, don't exclaim: "Gone, gone!"
The union and the meeting will be mine then.
When you entrust me to the tomb, don't say: "Adieu, adieu!"
For the tomb hides the union in Paradise from us.
You saw the decline; I find the elevation.
For the moon, for the sun, is their setting harmful?
To you it looks like a sunset; in fact, it is a dawn.
Does the tomb look like a prison to you?
It is
the liberation of the soul.
(Mystic Odes, 911 quoted from Eva de Mitray-Meyerovitch book 'Rumi and Sufism')
O Rumi, may you be happy where you are.
May we join you soon
so we may all be merry for eternity!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Conquer these mountains." - Shaykh Abdul Aziz


Shaykh Abdul Aziz during his monthly lecture series at KL Ba'Alawi last weekend expounded on the seven mountains (aqabah) that a salik must conquer. This teaching on aqabah is from Imam al-Ghazali's Minhajul Abidin.

The first mountain is Aqabah al-ilm (knowledge).
"One must put effort and be willing to go through difficulties in seeking beneficial knowledge," said Baba Aziz. But having knowledge alone is not good enough if one does not continually repent from one's sins. Everyone is constantly committing sins. If you think you have got no sins, that in fact is a sin because it shows that you have pride." So the second mountain you must overcome is Aqabah al-tawbah (repentance). Therefore, keep reciting istighfar. Of the many versions of istighfar, Baba Aziz practise one which is practised by the venerated Habib Ali bin Ja'afar al-Idrus.

Astaghfirullahal azim
Allazi la ila ha illa huwal hayyul qayyum wa atu bu ilaih
min kulli zanbin 'azim
zahiran wa batinan
sirran wa jahran
tawbatan nasuha
(to be recited 10 times in the morning and evening)

The third mountain that a salik must go through is Aqabah al-awa'iq (attachments of the heart). "Without realizing it, we've got many things in our hearts that are hindering us from spending time for ibadah. It could be your grandchildren, you occupy yourself attending to them; you are also busy attending functions and busy making dresses to wear at functions etc. So you ended up spending your spare time on unimportant things."

The fourth mountain is Aqabah al-'awarid (obstacles) in the form of makhluk (people), shayatin (satan), nafs (lustful desires) and rizq (provision). What we should do according to Baba Aziz is "uzlah from people (minimize socializing), mufrad (breakaway) from shayatin and balance work with tawakkal." Everyone has some sort of hindrance in life. A wife may be a hinder to her husband while some woman may have problems with their husbands. Others may be affected by the works of jinn and some may be negatively influenced by 'friends' who are actually munafiq and fasik. There are also people who are obsessed with earning more than what they need so they are forever pre-occupied with their businesses.

"In life we are always faced with all sorts of challenges. Every situation has a solution but the sufis do not attempt to answer or solve problems by themselves. They wait for answers from Allah. Only He has the answer to life's questions. Sometimes the answer is delayed but that is only for your own good because Allah wants to raise your level (maqam)."

The fifth mountain is Aqabah al-bawa'ith. By definition, this is a positive 'mountain' as it refers to factors that drive you to perform acts of obedience but, should you feel lazy said Baba Aziz, "fight the feeling with taqwa or fear of His punishments."

The sixth mountain is Aqabah al-qawadih. This aqabah is tricky as it may eat up all your efforts. So avoid having sifat mazmumah such as takabbur, ria', ujub and sum'ah. "Never tell people about your acts of devotions as this would nullify your good deeds. And do not aim for fame or high positions. "I myself was once misled by a hidden desire for fame," Baba Aziz admitted, "the test at this aqabah is very subtle. If not for a frank advice from a guru, I could have failed here."
"When you have succeded at attempting these six aqabahs, you will come to the seventh and final stage which is Aqabah al-hamd wal shukr. Hamdi is ibadah of the zahir and shukr is ibadah of the batin. When you successfully attain this aqabah, your outward, your eyes, tongue, hands and legs will all be occupied with worship for Allah and your inner i.e. your heart will also be in submission to Him."
May I be forgiven for my notes were choppy and incomplete.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Basmalah Wirid for practice - by Shaykh Abdul Aziz


O son, this is a wirid taught by the venerable Shaykh Abdul Aziz. May Allah grant us the tawfik (strength) to put it into practice.
Recite it 786 times daily bi-iznillah.

Allah humma anta laha
walau 'azomat
fafar rij ha 'anni
bi fadhli
O Allah
no matter how grave
the musibah (test) is
lift it from me
with the benefits of

Note: For a group of people replace 'anni with 'anna

Monday, December 14, 2009

"All is He." - Habib Yusuf al-Bakhour al-Hassani


The scent of Shaykh al-Habib Yusuf Muhyiddin al-Bakhour al-Hassani lingers. Just saying his name, gives me much joy! And as always, it was breathtaking to see and hear him speak with eloquence and brilliance.
Last night at KL Ba'Alawi, he revealed the crux of tawhid (unity). "All is He," said he.
"We must leave 'ana' (I), our 'self', our I-ness. Leave the feeling that we are the doer, the feeling that 'I am doing something'. If you could mujahadah (strive) to leave this ananiyah, you will achieve pure happiness. We repeatedly declare in our solat 'iyakanaqbudu'. We say 'only You'. That is in fact negating our 'self', negating ana. So choose which one, Him or you. He or I?"
"The reality is that everything originates from Him," said Habib Yusuf.
Imam Abu Hanifa was an abid par excellence. He used to perform Subuh prayers with the wuduk from Isha and yet he admitted: "No matter how true my makrifah of You O Lord, still I am not capable of worshipping You as You ought to be worshipped."
"The condition for a gnostic is that he should feel his acts of devotions inadequate."
"Each one of His attributes is with us. We are a reflection of His iradah. But for adab sake, we say our bad attributes are from ourselves.
The fact remains: kullu min indallah - everything comes from Him!"
O son, need I say more?
May Allah bless Habib Yusuf with more nur than he is already.
And may we continue to benefit from the perfumed spirits of Prophet Muhammad's descendants. Allah blessings be upon His Beloved.
Click here for the first part of my notes on Habib Yusuf's lecture at KL Ba'alawi dated 12 Dec 2009.
KL Ba'Alawi is located at No. 9, Jalan UP2A, Taman Prima Ukay, Saujana Melawati, Kemensah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 0196693887