Tuesday, August 31, 2010

21st Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. I have just landed on the 'Land of the Hornbill' - Sarawak.

Sarawak is special to me for many reasons. One is because my late father had served in this state for a decade long so I grew up hearing plenty of stories about its people and places. The length of his service may be immaterial but as a daughter I am proud that he had played a major role in helping some 200 people embraced Islam though he was not a religious scholar. Alhamdulillah, may Allah forgive him and gather his soul with the righteous. Ameen.

Today, I am here to contribute a little something InshaAllah. You know the saying, that deeds don't matter as much as our intentions. Wa niyyaatana niyyatal mukhlisin. May Allah make our intentions pure as those who are sincere. May Allah forgive us for all that we hide or reveal.

Pic credit: OTH

Monday, August 30, 2010

20th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, it was a beautiful morning. We drove up to the highlands of Sabah - the land beneath the wind - to the foot of Mount Kinabalu which is about 13,000 feet above sea level. Subhanallah, I missed her!  The last time I saw her was 7 years ago. Below is a picture from where I was standing (or rather working).

O son, this is one habit I picked up from one of my gurus; when you see a majestic creation of Allah say: 'O Allah, You did not create all this in vain. Glory be to You. Keep us safe from the Fire.' It is from a verse in the Qur'an:
Rabbana ma kholaqta haza batila
Subhanaka faqina aza bannar

As we drove up towards her, we were in fact going into the sunshine. It was glorious!

The other good habit you should pick up is to say a verse from Surah Yassin every time you bask in the sun:
Was shamsu tajri limus taqarrin laha
za lika taqdirul azizil alim
"And the sun is quickly proceeding towards its destination.
That is the designing of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing."

Subhanallah, I was overwhelmed by those two Qur'anic verses today; seeing Mount Kinabalu undress herself in the morning sun. She's gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

19th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, I have just landed on "The land beneath the wind" - Sabah.  It was a blissful flight into the sunset, I will tell you why.

Travelling regardless by air, road or sea is always wonderful because you get plenty of time to reflect. Remember tafakur (contemplation) carries more weight than worship. Like many of you, I love to fly. Firstly, because it gives you a sense of freedom - free like a bird. Secondly, it makes me feel closer to the Lord of Power and it makes me feel grateful. Reason being, one of my gurus taught me, whenever you get on the plane be sure to recognize the experience as though Allah is carrying you in His 'palm'. He is Al-Qadir who is capable to transport us from one place to another. It is He who carries us. See beyond the aircraft said my guru.

I think my guru is right (as always). I remember one verse from the Qur'an which I am fond of. Everytime I see the birds fly I would remember the verse: 'Do they not see the birds above them, spreading their wings and folding them in? None upholds them except the Most Gracious (Allah). Verily He is the All-Seer of everything.' (Qur'an 67:19) Likewise, the aeroplane. Nothing upholds them in the sky save Allah. Subhanallah!
Thirdly, my flight was blissful because I sat next to one pious young lady. She is special. I will tell you why. But she is like many people I met who often asked me if I was a Malaysian, as though I was a foreigner. By Allah, I am proud to be Malaysian. Alhamdulillah. It's such a joy to be living in a good Muslim country. The flight's captain was a Muslim - Captain Faizal. Ten minutes before Iftar, he made an announcement to alert everyone and that meals were being served. All was good, main course, fruit cakes and Ferrero Rocher! Did you know that the code for Malaysian Airlines is MH and the tagline is Malaysian Hospitality. I am one proud Malaysian.

Now coming back to that pious young lady. I was attracted to her eye-catching pink pocket Qur'an. She had so many colorful stickers on so many pages so I asked her what it was all about. She said she has been studying the Qur'an in that manner for two years now. She would stick little transparent stickers on the ayah or translation that she likes, usually the ones that motivate her. So when she is not reading the Qur'an cover to cover she would flip it and read those she had marked. I was impressed and told her that I would get one Qur'an like hers - pink pocket Qur'an with dozens of stickers. I thought it's an effective way to study the Qur'an as you carry it with you most of the time. Apparently, she is studying to be a teacher at one Teacher's Institute in KL. Grateful, I gave her a bar of chocolate for having taught me how to study the Qur'an. She's already a good teacher, I could tell and she is half my age! Surprised and thankful, she gave me a cute little Al-Matsurat compiled by Hassan al-Banna. Allahu Allah! How sweet! And guess what, her name is Nur Aini - the light of  my eye! MashaAllah tabarakallah!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

18th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri - Majlis Haul Saidatina Khatijah Al-Kubra & Sayyid Muhammad Al-Maliki at KL Ba'alawi


On behalf of the ever so gracious hosts of Ba'alawi KL, Sister Ina & Brother Ben Alawi, I wish to announce a special event - majlis haul of Saidatina Khatijah Al-Kubra and Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Al-Maliki Al-Hassani on:

Saturday, 28th August 2010
(18 Ramadhan 1431 Hijri)
From Asar to Teraweeh
Please visit www.baalawi-kl.com for more details.

Majlis haul is an event commemorating the passing of venerable personalities. We beseech the barakah of Ummul Mukminin and As-Sayyid Al-Maliki so that we will live to be better mukmin, that Allah will fulfill our hajat, ease our burdens and the burdens of our unfortunate friends who are faced with calamities no matter where they are; that Allah will grant us the honor of witnessing Laylatul Qadar, and that we will be counted as one who loves the righteous and will be gathered with all whom we love in the Hereafter.
Ameen Allahumma ameen.

p/s Regret to inform that I will not be able to cover this event as I will be travelling to Sabah and Sarawak InshaAllah. But surely, our hearts and souls will be present and we hope our sisters and brothers who are attending the majlis will remember us in their du'a. InshaAllah.

Friday, August 27, 2010

17th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Jumaah Mubarrak! May this day bring us plenty of opportunity to multiply our ibadah. May we be granted makrifah and rahmah.

While many of us strive to multiply our ibadah in this holy month of Ramadhan we should be wary to not fall into error thinking that it is 'our ibadah', it is our effort. Anything good we do is a blessing, a gift from Allah, not because we are powerful, pious, strong, saintly or intelligent. Yet our duty is to just do. Do but renounce our actions. Otherwise, we might fall into shirik and end up idolizing ourselves, our capabilities. Shirik is the opposite of unity because we are claiming duality instead of the oneness of His being - tawhid.

Tawhid is what makes us different from the non-Muslims. Tawhid is not by default nor it is a by-product, that it will be there so long as we perform our religious obligations. Tawhid is a constant consciousness that we are not and He is. It is the foundation of Islam which is greatly emphasized. Ponder over what Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani has to say below. That tawhid is the foundation upon which we build all sorts of good structure, 'super-structure' of amal salih, righteous deeds.  So build your deeds on Him not on yourself. I think if we were to get it right, we would be building one, single, giant house of Allah instead of many individual temples of worship. Wallahu'alam.

"You must practise surrender (taslim) and delegation (tafwid) and the renunciation of your own power and strength, your stubbornness and your idolatrous worship (shirk) of creatures and your own self. You must become accustomed to servitude ('ubudiyya) which means carrying out the (divine) commandments, observing the prohibitions and bearing misfortunes with patience. The foundation on which this rests is the affirmation of Unity (tawhid) and the superstructure consists of righteous deeds (a'mal saliha). You need to lay a firm foundation for anything you build."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

16th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said:
"When your gratitude to Allah becomes a reality, He will inspire (alhama) the hearts and tongues of His creatures with gratitude and affection for you. At this stage, Satan and his cohorts will have no access to you."

Yes. Satan and his cohorts be gone, Ramadhan and beyond!

p/s O son, I am travelling today Thursday 26th August until 31st August InshaAllah. Please remember me in your du'a. I leave you with a few postings in advance as I would be preoccupied with my day time job. InshaAllah.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

15th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


I think it's good to be argumentative when it comes to defending your religion. But surely we cannot be argumentative with the Lord. Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said: "You must not argue with the Lord about how He works in you." That is tauhidul af'al. It's about believing in the oneness of His actions. It's entirely His prerogative. 

"The lover (muhibb) of Allah is a guest in His presence, and the guest does not pick and choose his food, his drink, his clothing and all his circumstances ahead of the people of the household. Instead he is always accommodating, patient and easily pleased."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

14th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Imagine how things were when you were 6
Imagine something made you stop laughing
Imagine 6 million children
cold, wet and hungry
under Pakistan gloomy skies

Imagine the time when you first started fasting
Spent the day rolling in bed
told mom what you wished to eat
Daddy came home with candies and lollies

Imagine 6 million children fasting
from dawn to sunset to dusk to sunrise
for days on end
Do you not hear their cries?
Do you not care?
When you scoop your rice
have a feast at iftar
Remember Begum, Zia and Khan
Say a prayer, shed a tear

Allah humma anta laha walau azomat
fa farijha anna bi fadhli

"O Allah, lift the heavy burdens from us
by the virtues of Bismilahirahmanirahim"
For the sake of your beloved Mustafa
Ya Latif, Ya Rahim, Ya Aman
restore Pakistan!

Monday, August 23, 2010

13th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Astaghfirullah al-Azim, Astaghfirullah al-Azim, Astaghfirullah al-Azim. Let me remind everyone that all the postings, advice, warnings and lessons are not from me to you. They are addressed first and foremost to myself and my sons InshaAllah. I pray that none of them has made me appear as though I am holier than thou. I seek refuge in Allah from fitnah. Just to clarify, I do not have a son of my own but my guru said, anyone who benefits from our good counsel is verily our son. 

Someone was asking about seclusion and this is what I remembered as a reminder for all. That one Naqshbandi grand-shaykh taught us the importance to practise seclusion in the crowd. To keep the heart connected to Allah when we are out in public. Seclusion is more inward than outward though the latter is equally significant to discipline the inner.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani defined seclusion as such: "Your seclusion (khalwa) is not genuine because seclusion means being detached as far as your heart is concerned from all things. Your inner (bathin) becomes so detached that it is stripped naked, left with neither this world nor the hereafter and with nothing whatsoever apart from the Lord of Truth. This is the highroad of our predecessors, the Prophets (anbiya), the Messengers (mursalun), the saints (awliya) and the righteous (salihun)."

So we are supposed to seclude the heart from everything save Allah [and Rasul]. We all know it's easier said than done. I remember Baba Aziz keeps harping on this salient point, that the heart has a steep price tag to it, so beware what you keep there. Shaykh Yusuf Bakhour Hassani too said: "You thought millions of dollars are worth a lot but the truth is your heart's worth is far greater than any amount of money because that is where Allah resides. Therefore, you should reserve it for Him."

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said:
"When your heart is truly sound, you will always be in a state of absence and sleep in relation to creatures but of wakefulness with the Creator, for it will not be distracted from its privacy even when you are in a public situation. Thus you will never lose the intimations (mawarid) of the Lord of Truth and His wise advice (hikam) will reach you through the innermost being (sirr)."

May by the barakah of all the mashaikh whose names we mention frequently, Allah makes us attain this state, that we keep Him close in our hearts always and thereby remain guided with hikmah. Ameen Allahumma ameen.

p/s Sister R, thanks, for your question has inspired this sharing. A lesson I needed so that I should not get offended if people spoke ill of me, hurt me etc. Shaykh an-Ninowy said, if you take offense when people mistreat you, that shows that your heart is with people and that's wrong. Your heart should always be with Allah to the point that you do not care what other people have to say about you. Wallahu a'lam.
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah. Love you too!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

12th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


This game of hide and seek, the interchangeable state of being 'distant' and 'near' to the Lord - union and separation - drives a mortal perplexed. In perplexity lies surrender, and surrender gives rise to Lordly invitation. La hawla wala quwata illah billahil aliyil azim.

About 24 hours ago, I was in a qabdhu state, felt distant and low. And then came the barakah of Almarhum Habib Ali bin Jaafar al-Idrus bi-iznillah. One abdullah left a message about majlis tahlil for Habib Ali at one masjid tonight. On hearing his name, I dropped everything - lethargy, busyness, murky-mind - and eagerly present myself at the masjid. Alhamdulillah washukrulillah here I am feeling rejuvenated! So, who said the awliya are dead? They sure have influence on the living beings who tend to 'die' every now and again.

One thoughtful sister quoted her guru as saying "in keeping us far, He is keeping us close to Him." - an apt reminder. This reminded me of one petition composed by Shaykh Ibn Arabi: "O my God, if union is the essence of separateness and closeness the very soul of distance..., what then is the destination and where the starting point of the path?"

Indeed, we are perplexed by the distance of the journey to the Lord of Power. We feel that we are far away from Him hence seek closeness to Him. We aim for 'arrival'. But the question remains, how far is He? Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, on 10 Ramadhan 545 Hijri, gave some clues: take a few steps and you will arrive. "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."

May Allah makes us recognize Him in all states
and glorify Him under all circumstances. Ameen.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

11th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


O son, my tongue is tied, I am deprived of inspiration and vigor so I need time to be alone and silent for a while.

Today, 886 years ago, Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said:
"You must ensure that your speech is for the sake of Allah, otherwise let silence be dearer to you. Let your life be lived in obedience to Allah, otherwise death is preferable for you. O Allah let us live in obedience to you and resurrect us together with the people devoted to obeying You. Amin"

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Friday, August 20, 2010

10th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


May this day be peaceful, merciful and beautiful for you, respected visitors. Thank you for sharing this space with me. Surely, it's never about me but it's about us, that we keep reinforcing one another. We come from vast geographical locations yet we are in close proximity in faith.

As I said, I enjoy watching the live traffic feed, it gives a mixed feeling each time. Seeing Pakistan makes me sad thinking of their calamities. Seeing Argentina, reminds me of a brother who shed tears for his love for the Palestinians. Seeing Singapore, makes me feel supported. Seeing India, makes me miss my Naqshbandi friends there. Seeing Halifax or Canterbury UK makes me wonder oh could that be that sweet sister who has taught me how to love a fellow sister in Islam though we've never met. Seeing Kuala Lumpur, several names of good friends come to mind and caring people who correct my mistakes. Seeing Alor Star makes me humble that one university professor routinely reads my amateurish posts and that he doesn't mind my poor english. Oh, the list goes on. Alhamdulillah. I hope we would all be neighbors in heavens! Bi-iznillah.

I was watching the teraweeh broadcast from Masjidil Haram tonight. Of all the holy words the imam had uttered, I could only pick up this verse: Wallahu sami'un aleem. 'Allah is One who hears all things.'

Certainly, He hears the sound of the floods in Pakistan. He hears the cries of the Palestinians children. He hears the cries of so many women whose hearts may have been broken by their abusive men or disobedient children. He hears the nervousness of sinners who desperately try to purify themselves. He hears the growling stomachs of His poor servants all the time but many of His ungrateful servants only hear them in Ramadhan.
Wallahu sami'un aleem.
And 'Is not Allah sufficient for His slave?' (Qur'an: Az-Zumar 36)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

9th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


"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." - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

O son, the road to the Lord of Truth is clearly marked - repent, do the obligatory, drop what is prohibited, stop sinning inwardly and outwardly, and serve people. That's what we need to do to arrive at the destination and earn His Love. I think most people already know the prerequisites and yet we fumble. Because, there are plenty of potholes on the road - unbelievers, hypocrites, devils and evil spirits.

Al-Jilani said, as posted on 8 Ramadhan the previous year, if we made it to the destination after much struggle in the journey towards Him, He will love us and make His creatures love us too. But upon arrival we would still see those bad bunch who try to distract us from the straight path. "They will not go along with Allah in loving us."

"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." So, know your enemy!

I seek refuge in Allah from my enemies - people who mock me for wanting to blog on a daily basis and people who try to coerce me to commit sins. It's hard being a blogger because you get exposed to all sorts of people. But I love doing it for His sake and for the sake of my fellow friends and some wonderful new acquaintance. The part of this blog that I like most is the colorful flags of visiting countries and reading their locations. They are beautiful! 
p/s Mas Taj - Thanks for the moral support!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


O brothers and sisters,
As you while away the time waiting for iftar, kindly recite this wirid for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan whose lives and Ramadhan have been adversely affected by the massive floods. 

O Allah, may You lift the heavy burdens from us, by the virtues of Bismillahi-rahmanir-rahim.

Allah humma anta laha
walau 'azomat
fafar rij ha 'anna
bi fadhli

- A du'a taught by Shaykh Abdul Aziz. If it's meant for yourself replace 'anna with 'anni

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

7th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


O son, I am not sure if I will live long enough to be around to coach and guide you in person. You might forget most of all that has been said. But there are only two pieces of advice I hope you would take on board. Just two.

Firstly, you must realize the importance of knowledge.
Secondly, choose your friends carefully!
I have been studying the words of the honorable Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani and found two pieces of advice from him that's relevant to the message that I want to get across to you.  

He said: "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. You must learn, practise and teach for this will give you all good things combined."

You will meet all kinds of people. There are people who like to bring other people down with negative words. Let it be. At the end of the day, your knowledge is yours, your education is yours and your experiences are all yours. Just continue learning, practising and sharing.

My second advice is very important. Choose your friends well.
Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said: "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."

As far as the devil is concerned, we can only seek refuge in Allah. A'uzubillahi minas shaytanir rajeem. That's our weapon.  Your passion (hawa) is something you can tame by way of fasting. Your tabi'i or your habits is something you must watch over. Be prepared to break a bad habit and not let habits overpower you. And the most important thing is to avoid bad companies. Choose your friends carefully. Be selective. It's not our business to be friendly to everyone and anyone.

Wallahi, if I could turn back time, I would live my youth period differently by choosing my friends well. So don't repeat my mistakes. You, you make an effort to befriend those who have good akhlak. Pray Rabbi habli hukman, wa al hiqni bis solehin. O Lord grant me wisdom and enjoin me with the righteous.

I shall pray for the same for you. O Allah, grant our children useful knowledge and keep them in good company always. Ameen Ya Allah Ya Raheem.

Monday, August 16, 2010

6th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


"Listen with your heart!" That's what Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said in Ramadhan 886 years ago. Why? Because:  "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."

And there's another saying of him which I absolutely agree - "You must give your attention and interest to anyone who loves you for your sake, and avoid anyone who loves you for his own."

Allah loves us for our own sake. He wants us to do good because He knows it's for our own good. He takes no profit for the good deeds we do. But people generally love one another out of convenience and to satisfy their ego. When it is no longer convenient, their interest wanes so they shift their attention elsewhere. Little do they realize that all that is pleasing to the flesh is fleeting. When their ego is satiated, they get bored and look for other sources of pleasure to feed their ego. So the cycle continues. That's what happens when we do not have a correct aim in life. The goal as what we have been taught is: Ilahi anta maqsudi wa redhaka matlubi. O Lord You are my goal and Your mercy is what I aim for.

Be a man though you are a woman. A true man is one who is areef, who knows the true purpose of  his existence, his raison d'etre. He knows himself and knows his Lord.

May Allah grant us ma'rifah and protect us from people who love us for their own sake.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

5th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


Allahu Allah. I was touched to have received a beautiful note from one brother in faith, from Africa. Viva Africa! May Allah bless all the children on your continent! Your message has inspired me to share one du'a I learned from one Indonesian murid of Abuya Shaykh as-Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki rahimallahu ta'ala. Something for you to teach your children. I am not sure if I had shared this on Lisan al-Din before. It is one du'a I treasure and practice InshaAllah. According to the murid, the du'a is attributed to Prophet Adam a.s. and Abuya had given him the ijazah to spread the du'a to anyone and everyone bi-iznillah. Abuya said: "With this du'a, you need not tire yourself running after the world. The world will come to you!"

Allah humma anta taqlamu sirri
wa 'ala niyyati
faq bal maqzirati
wa taqlamu hajati
fa aqtini suqli
wa taqlamu ma fi nafsi
faq firli zanbi
wa as aluka imaanan yubasshiru qalbi
wa yaqinan sadiqan
hatta aqlama annahu la yusibani
illa ma katab tahu alaiya
wa ridhom bimaa qasamta li

"O Allah, you know my secrets
and that which is manifest in me
so accept my apologies.
You know my wishes,
so grant my petition.
You know what is within me,
so forgive my sins.
I ask you for a faith that will revive my heart
and a firm conviction
so I realize that nothing will befall me
save what You have prescribed for me.
And a feeling of satisfaction with what You have allotted to me."

As-Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki wrote in his book Abwab al-Faraj: "From al-Tabrani in Ausat; it was narrated from A'isyah r.a. that Rasulullah s.a.w said: 'When Allah made Adam descend on earth, Adam stood and walked towards the Ka'bah to perform two rakaat of prayers. Allah then inspired this du'a and addressed Adam: 'O Adam, I acknowledge your repentance and pardon all your sins. Anyone who recites this du'a shall be forgiven. I shall make his work perfect, and chase Shaytan away from him; I shall grant profit to all his business endeavors and dunya would come to him [offering itself] disgraced, though he may not desire for it."

(Quoted and translated from a Malay version of  Abwab al-Faraj published by another murid of Abuya, Shaykh Muhammad Fuad bin Kamaludin al-Maliki. Credit: Brother Azrul)

Brother R: Please give me some time to go back to my hometown and scan the original du'a with ijazah so I could pass it to you InshaAllah. In the meantime please consult your imam. When I read that he is also a murid of Abuya, I got goosebumps! Please kindly ask the imam to make du'a for me. Please tell him that I am weak in many areas. Thank you and may your children grow up to be soleh and solehah. Ameen.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

4th Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


O son, I have reread the tausiyah of Ghawth al-Azam so you don't have to and here are the takeaways:

  • Trials and tribulations serve as barometers for saints. They are judged by the degree of their patience. "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."

  • Be not seeker of the world nor seeker of the hereafter. Seek the kernel instead. Search for Him and get near Him. "They [the saints] 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 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."
O son, here's hoping that you are healthy and not forgetful of those who cannot afford to have gourmet food for iftar.

Friday, August 13, 2010

3rd Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


O son, this is the gist of what we have learned from Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani's Ramadhan tausiyah posted on 2nd Ramadhan last year:

  • "If someone claims to love Allah, then seeks from Him something other than Himself, he is lying about his love for Him.

  • You must practise vigilant awareness of Allah and oblige your lower self (nafs) to observe the rights (huquq) of the Lord of Truth and His creatures.

  • If you wish for all that is good in this world and the hereafter, you must be keenly aware of the fact that Allah knows all about you.

  • You must oblige your lower self to work.

  • You must oblige it to carry out the commandments of Allah and forbid it to commit sins against Him.

  • When someone fears Allah, all things are afraid of him and when someone does not fear Him, He makes that person afraid of everything.

  • When someone serves Allah, He makes everything serve him, because He does not allow one atom of the work of any servant of His, to go to waste."

O son, I wish to stress on the first point: "If someone claims to love Allah, then seeks from Him something other than Himself, he is lying about his love for Him." Our gurus said: Be careful not to seek the heaven, for it is creation. Seek the Creator of heavens. Seek Him. Heavens are like candies for kids. With little children you have to tell them to do good if they want to get rewarded or else they won't do anything. Be like adults, wise adults who need no candies, who understands the difference between Creator, creations and creatures.
May Allah increase us in knowledge and gnosis. Ameen.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2nd Ramadhan 1431 Hijri


O son, I thought for this year's Ramadhan it would be a good idea to revisit and study Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani's Ramadhan tausiyah which I had quoted and posted last year.

I just did that and picked up this point:
"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)

I think that's the feeling we should be having when we go to the masjid, that we are escaping to Allah, that we are going home to Him with our hearts, that we are fleeing from creatures and this world.

I was in a sombre mood while on the way to the mosque last night. Mainly because I was alone without my loyal companion - my mother. She needed to rest at home. And the feeling was different because for the past few years we had been going for teraweeh at our favorite mosque in our hometown. I missed 'our' masjid and our masjid friends back home. Everything felt so strange last night. I knew I was going to cry at anytime, thinking of all that.

But the imam's voice was as beautiful as 'our' imam's, I consoled myself. His recitation was mesmerizing and piercing to the heart that I felt a deep sense of shame that I didn't understand Arabic, that I couldn't understand most of the words he was saying. So I whispered in my heart, begging Allah to grant knowledge, so that I would someday be able to comprehend what I was hearing. Desperately pleading Him, I said: Subhanakala 'ilma lana illa ma 'allam tana innaka antal 'alimul hakim. While I was inwardly distracted by my ignorance and deficiency, suddenly the imam came to the same ayat, Subhanallah! He said the same thing: Subhanakala 'ilma lana illa ma 'allam tana innaka antal 'alimul hakim! It was from Al-Baqarah, I knew it! Oh..tears rolled down my cheeks like waterfall!

'Glory be to You! We know not except what You have taught us. Surely You are the Knower, Wise'.
Let's repeat that:
'Glory be to You! We know not except what You have taught us. Surely You are the Knower, Wise'.
'Glory be to You! We know not except what You have taught us. Surely You are the Knower, Wise'.
Sadaqallah al-Azim.
Allah says the truth!

Read: Lisan al-Din quote of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani 1st Ramadhan 1430H

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1st Ramadhan 1431 Hijri - Ramadhan Mubarrak! Ramadhan Karim!


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we have come to the holy month again. Subhanallah! It's sahur time here as I write this and per chance it is teraweeh time for some of you. May we race to multiply our ibadah and remember each other with much love and prayers. We are all the same except for our taqwa. So let us strive together and leave the rest to Allah. We are all going back to the same destination. May we reunite in the Hereafter as one mukmin who loves another mukmin for the sake of Allah. May we remind one another to follow the truth and remind one another with patience.

إِنَّ ٱلإِنسَانَ لَفِى خُسْرٍ

إِلاَّ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِٱلْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِٱلصَّبْرِ
By Time!
Verily man is in a state of loss,
except those who believe, and perform righteous deeds,
and enjoin one another to follow the truth,
and enjoin one another to patience.
(Qur'an Al-Asr 1-3)
Sadaqallah al-Azim.
Allah says the truth.

Qur'an translation credit: Royal Al al-Bayt Institute

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

He is Generous!


O son, my apologies for the delay in posting. Today, I was occupied with a task of distributing hundreds of free netbooks for less privileged students. Believe it or not, the government of this blessed country will be giving away 1 million complimentary netbooks! Alhamdulillah. May I remind myself and all, that whatever good we get is from Him and to see that the hand that gives to us is the Hand of the Generous Giver.

I remember when I first enrolled into college circa 1988, the IT instructor asked if anyone had not used or touched a computer before, I was the only student who raised her hand.

This morning at 6.30 a.m. my laptop ran out of battery while I was trying to post this so I ran down to the hotel lobby asking if I could use a PC in the Business Centre and two gentlemen opened the door gladly! MashaAllah. If you come to Perlis, Malaysia, come stay at Putra Palace Hotel, the food is marvelous and its staff, oh, so generous!

Ramadhan Kareem! Indeed! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Do good to Him


O son, no doubt we all need time to internalize what our gurus advise us to do. Yesterday it dawned upon me that when we do good, we must see ourselves as doing good to Him. Not that He needs it but I realize it makes a difference and it is different than to think that when you do good, you do good to people. This is what I learned from Shaykh Abdul Aziz. 

I know people always say be good to people and help them as much as you could. But ahlillah (people of the Lord) is saying treat it as though the recipient of your good deeds is He. Think about it.

Moreover, for ahlillah, it is no longer about collecting good points/rewards for wanting to go to heaven. They look beyond all that but to the Creator Himself. So, do good to Allah.

I think it makes a lot of sense. If you consciously do a favor to a person, you would somehow expect him/her to at least not dissappoint you although you may not actually anticipate a return from him/her. When you make yourself aware that you are doing good to Allah, you rise above the mortals and your sincerity becomes purer InshaAllah. That is so because you know He will never forget to account for it; that He knows, sees and hears everything and He is the keeper of all bounties. Your 'wages' is from Him. He is the ultimate 'paymaster' and 'employer'. So work for Allah.

Alhamdulillah, I treat this blog as a 'job' for Allah. It has become very enjoyable each day, especially with the support from the wonderful visitors who are always generous in offering words of encouragement. Thank you all!

This reminds me of one verse from the Qur'an that says: 'If you help Allah, He will help you.' (Surah Muhammad:7) Obviously He doesn't need our help in real terms. All He wants is good for His servants. He wants to help us and He is saying one of the means for that is to help Him for 'Allah helps those who help Him.' (Surah Hajj:40)

Therefore, if you want Him to help you, you must start thinking that whatever good deeds you do is as though you are trying to help Him and Him alone, not Mansur, Nora or whoever else. 

Subhanallahi amma yushrikun.
Glory be to Allah. High is He above the partners they attribute to Him. (Surah Al-Hashir:23) 


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Prayers for the oppressed


Bismillah...bismillah...I am humbled and honored at the same time, to see a visitor from Palestine. Welcome! Know that your brothers and sisters in faith, from this land where I stand are always thinking of you. You epitomize a level of Islam that we can only imagine. The degree of your submission to the taqdir that is alloted to you makes the rest of us look like infidels garbed with ingratitude. By virtue of your circumstances, you are so near to the Lord of Power while the rest of us can only theorize on 'nearness', and preach the philosophies of religion. You O Palestinians, you live and breathe the essence of the deen

We always think that you need our prayers but in truth we are in need of your prayers. The prayers of the oppressed are granted. Your prayers are maqbul. There is no hijab between you and the Lord. By contrast the rest of us struggle to purify ourselves so He would care to glance upon us. Outwardly we may seem to be enjoying His favors, but we believe, inwardly you are the ones whom He favors. Already He has honored your ranks by presenting you with tests at such a magnitude. We see that and we are humbled, albeit minute compared to the humility that you exhibit.

O brothers and sisters of Palestine, remember us as we remember you. Though we may be far, we are not apart as far as love is concerned. We love you for the sake of Allah.

We know that the little efforts we put in to ease your burden can do so much, and not as much as the power of love that we reserve for you in the chambers of our hearts.

May Allah continue to bless you with a high maqam, for you deserve to be up there where you rightfully belong. May we emulate your Islam in the manner that would make us stand as tall as you, though we may be standing behind you.

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi ta'ala wabarakatuh.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Memorize & sing


O son, I need to travel again bi-iznillah. I leave you with this zikr attributed to Habib Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad rahimallahu ta'ala. I intend to memorize it during my journey InshaAllah. The zikr is best recited in the middle of the night. But please take note that I have only reproduced half of it here to ease memorization. InshaAllah.

Ya Tawwab tub alaina
Ya Tawwab tub alaina
war hamna wan zur ilaina
war hamna wan zur ilaina

khuz yamina khuz yamina
'an sabiliz zolimina
wat taqillah ha ta'ala
'an maqolil mulhidina

huwa robbul awwalina
huwa robbul akhirina
huwa robbi huwa hasbi
huwa khairul raziqina

huwa ghaffaarul khotoya
huwa khairul rahimina
rabbi adqilna jami'aa
fil 'ibadis soliheena

Ya Tawwab tub alaina
Ya Tawwab tub alaina
war hamna wan zur ilaina
war hamna wan zur ilaina

Friday, August 6, 2010

How deep is your love?


O son, when I am happy I sing my favorite love song. It's called 'How deep is your love?'

Tonight I am delighted to be able to attend our weekly zikr gathering. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. I have been missing it for like six weeks! A friend thought I went to London to see the Queen!

It was a special night for many reasons. Shaykh Bahauddin al-Haqqani, the son of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was present. Our dearest Shaykh Raja was there, after two weeks of absence. Shaykh Baba Aziz was there too. Nice to see Baba in Naqshbandi taj for a change. And it was our last gathering before Ramadhan.

The best part of our loud zikr to me is always the part when we recite His Names, especially when we call out Allah...Allah. Amidst the unending and deafening  noise of this mad dunya, when we call out Allah...Allah loudly together, in sync, it's like telling God, 'Look Allah, there is a small group of people who remember you, calling out to you, asking for your attention and wanting your response. Aren't you going to shower us with your mercy? Aren't you going to take pity on us? Subhanallah!'

It soothes the heart that despite the hectic life we live, we all care to pause for a while in order to honor Him. And it soothes many hearts that a prince no matter how busy he is and how important his worldly commitments are, he takes the time to come be with us and lead the weekly zikir. He is HRH Shaykh Raja Ashman.

Shaykh Bahauddin al-Haqqani said: "Shaykh Raja is indeed a very special man. He has been following Mawlana Shaykh Nazim for about 25 years now. Despite being a prince, he is very humble. In his heart he is always the same man Mawlana knows him to be so that everytime Shaykh Raja visits Mawlana, Mawlana would say, 'Oh you are the same man.' Mawlana has a special regard towards Malaysia and the Naqshbandi jemaah in this country because of him. In fact, Malaysia is blessed by his presence."

Tonight, I told him, 'Shaykh, I missed you!' and he gave me a sweet charming smile which made me so happy that I sang a love song all the way home.

"I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You're the light in my deepest darkest hour
You're my savior when I fall...."

Shaykh, I said I missed you but now I will say the other three words - I love you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Al-Qur'anul Karim


O son, I was excited to receive this Qur'an with flipping pages. I wish to keep the link on the blog so we could come back to it as many times as possible. InshaAllah.


A little great gift for the upcoming Ramadhan InshaAllah.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book on Faith & Oneness of Allah


Alhamdulillah, I am very pleased to announce the release of a new book on iman and tawhid.

"Iman (faith) is the determining factor of one's honor. In Islam, the greater faith you have, the honorable you are. One is considered to have iman when he believes in his heart  that all the rulings come from Allah; profess it with the tongue; and put them into practice. All three must be there. If you lacked in any one aspect, your faith is considered as incomplete.

Faith is the foundation of a believer's personality. It is like the roots of a tree. It is where one draws out the strength. It is the source of all the resources that we need in life. It stengthens your soul. Iman serves as a guiding light to take you out from darkness and disbelief. Having faith means having everything. Losing faith means losing it all."

Author: Ustaz Shamsul Mohd Nor
Title: Huraian Iman dan Ilmu Tauhid
Language: Malay
Pages: 461/Paperback
Price: RM35
Available at: Pustaka Mukmin, Jalan T.A.R, Kuala Lumpur (8th August onwards)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Can't hurry love


O son, ponder over this lesson I picked up from Ustaz Shamsul's tawsiyah today. He said:

"You can't hurry love. You think you can simply love Allah, that you can love Him instantaneously just like that, no you can't. You must first be obedient to Him. One who is disobedient does not fear Him. One who is not fearful of Allah cannot claim to have loved Him. So beware of people who profess to love Him yet does not obey Him."

May Allah makes us fearful of Him. He said in the Qur'an: "And fear Allah, and Allah will teach you." May He teaches us the right way to love Him and preserve us in His love. Ameen Ya Hannan Ya Manan.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My guru is mine


O son, today's entry is gonna be pretty laid-back. I've had a rough day at work. When the going gets tough I go beserk, I sang my school song! Everything seemed so dark until the phone rang. It was my beloved Ustaz Shamsul. He called to inform me that his new book is out and that he's having mawlid at his place tonight. Allahu Allah I could not say no, could I?

It goes without saying that the mawlid lifted my pains. But the best part was when I learned that I was one of the earliest persons he had called when his new books arrived. BIG GRIN! My guru is mine!

But we know that one of the traits of Rasulullah s.a.w was that he was able to make each one of his companions felt like he's the most special one. I think gurus are like that too. And you will know if I was on the phone with my ustaz or my late father if all I said was yes, yes, right, yes! This is another trait we learned from the Prophet s.a.w - sami'na wa atoq na - we listen and we obey. Hmm...as much as possible. InshaAllah. I think you would agree with me that it's so much easier to love them than do all the things they ask you to do.

May Allah make us benefit from our guides and follow in their footsteps.

 Pic credit: Haqqani Fellowship

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Honoring Saidatina Khatijah al-Kubra


Al-Jenderami Foundation hosted a grand majlis honoring Saidatina Khatijah al-Kubra at their complex in Dengkil, Selangor yesterday. The annual majlis was graced by habaib and 'alim ulama from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Yemen. Habib Ali Zainal Abidin, Habib Tohir bin Muhammad al-Haddar and Habib Hassan Muhammad Salim al-Attas gave tausiyah on ummul mukminin Saidatina Khatijah binti Khuwailid.  

Habib Hassan al-Attas (pic) said:
Why do we commemorate the passing of Saidatina Khatijah? She is honorable not just because she is Prophet Muhammad's wife. The Prophet had many wives but the one he loved and adored most was her. He would mention her name in front of his other wives. He would reminisce abour her and say her name often after her demise. His love for her was not one that came out of choice from him or her but it was planted in his heart by Allah Himself. The Prophet s.a.w said: 'Allah has made mahabbah (love) grow in my heart for Khatijah.'

We are gathered here today to remember and honor the woman who was loved most by Rasulullah, the Beloved of Allah. Muhammad is the beloved of Allah and Khatijah is the beloved of Muhammad. May by this gesture of honoring the one Prophet loves, Rasulullah will be pleased with us.

Know that if you die out of love and adoration for a man or a woman, you are destined to go to heaven. It is He, Allah who cause love and attraction between a man and a woman. It is a sacred gift. Sometimes a man loves a woman a lot and only from a distant as he cannot afford to marry her yet for whatever reasons. He adores and fantasizes about her. He drowns himself in loving her. So long as he does not engage in courting her unlawfully, so long as he does not commit ma'siat or zina with her, should he die while loving her dearly like that, he would go to heaven! The same applies to woman.

There is a story of such fatal love affair attributed to Yazid bin Abdul Malik. He once bought a slave named Hababah for 1000 dinar. When Hababah died, Yazid mourned over her and refused to bury her until days later after much persuasion. Not long after burying Hababah, Yazid digged her grave to look at his beloved's face. Her body had begun to deform but Yazid said, 'Oh how beautiful her face is!' He then locked himself up in a room for 17 days and passed away.

Why did the Prophet love Khatijah so much? She was the first person to believe him and embrace Islam. She believed him when others were skeptical. She helped him with her wealth. She gave him zuriat. In fact all of his offsprings came only from her through Fatimah binti Rasulullah. The Prophet had 9 wives but none gave him children save Khatijah.

A lover would do anything for his/her beloved. Khatijah gave her all to Muhammad. She trusted him wholeheartedly. When the first surah from the Qur'an was revealed, she believed him. A man who has more than one wife may be fair in his dealings with his wives but he can never be fair in matters of love and feelings. It was evident that the Prophet favored Khatijah the most. She was the queen of his heart.

Why would a 25 year old man like Muhammad marry a 40 year old woman, a single mother with three children? We must remember that Muhammad was orphaned when he was 6 years old. His ailing mother Aminah died while hugging her little boy, in the presence of his foster mother Ummu Aiman who later took him to Makkah. Although he was always taken care by Allah, the Prophet had been missing motherly love. When he married a mature woman like Khatijah, he got to experience the kind of love he lacked. But of course Khatijah gave him more than motherly love. She was a superb wife, a trusted friend, a wonderful lover, a good advisor, everything!

The Prophet lived a meagre life with his poor uncle Abu Talib. When he married Khatijah, she surrendered all her wealth and businesses to him. She let him take over her already thriving enterprises and he made them to grow more profitable. Khatijah loved him even more for having done that. The Prophet was very generous so he gave away most of their wealth for the sake of Islam. Both husband and wife preferred others over their own needs and satisfactions. When she died, he had to borrow money to buy her burial cloth.

All five of the six children that she bore him, Kasim, Abdullah, Zainab, Ruqayah and Umi Kalsum died. It was fated that Fatimah was the only child who survived and honored with giving Rasulullah his noble descendants (waris). There is a wisdom in that. The Arabs at that time hated women and daughters. Rasulullah on the contrary showed them that he had a favorite daughter and he married so many women.

Not too long ago there was one amazing incident about a man who became heavily influenced by Saidatina Khatijah. His name was Habib Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Muhdhori.  One fateful day, Habib Ahmad attended the Friday prayers at Masjidil Haram. The imam was said to have given a long khutbah (Friday sermon). Habib got upset because the imam was not following sunnah of Rasulullah to keep kuthbah shorter than prayers. As soon as the congregational prayer ended, he went up to the imam to reprimand him for going against the sunnah. He slapped the imam's face! The authority at Masjidil Haram quickly ran after him. Habib Ahmad fled onto the streets of Makkah. He then escaped to the Ma'ala graveyard. At that time the grave of Saidatina Khatijah had a dome over it. He went into hiding in her holy maqam. The police and everybody else saw him there so they cordoned off the area and went inside to catch him. But he was not there!

It was said that Habib Ahmad came out of Saidatina Khatijah's maqam 3 days later. He was overcome with a great hal (state). He would say 'Saidatina Khatijah said this', 'Saidatina Khatijah said that'. One of the things Saidatina Khatijah told him was that when the time comes for Habib Ahmad to pray in one long saf with his children and grand children that would mean that death is near. One day Habib Ahmad noticed that came to be true. He died a few days later. 

One of the noteworthy things Habib Ahmad had done after his extraordinary experience hiding in Saidatina Khatijah's maqam was to compose a qasidah. The qasidah has become popular to this day. It has 28 stanza. It is known as: Ya Allah Hu biha, Ya Allah Hu biha, Ya Allah Hu bi husnil khatimah OR the qasidah of Habib Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Muhdhori, may Allah be pleased with him.

O son, with shafaat Rasulullah, I seek the barakah from Saidatina Khatijah RadiaAllahu anha that for this little sharing I make about her, I pray I would become a good woman whom she would always be proud of. Ameen Ya Allah Ya Raheem.