Monday, January 31, 2011

Where is your religion


When the uproar in Cairo began
did you stop looking for religion there?
Why did you not defend
the lofty words you profess
truth, justice, ummah...
oh you know better

Have you suddenly found your religion elsewhere?
Or is it still hidden
in the voluminous books you master?
Do we read religion
or do we live religion
let us ponder

Perhaps your deen
is not parallel to the Egyptians' on the street
he who lives and fights for his beliefs
is not the same as the man
who only reads his faith and preach

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The gift of time


O son, you might notice that I have been lagging in my posting. I now realize the value of spare time when I wasn't as busy before as I am now. Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal.

I am presently in my hometown Penang - a UNESCO's  World Heritage City. It's a lovely island - a must visit. As I get busy promoting my trade, I realize I am aging as I get tired easily. It's been very hectic but Alhamdulillah signs are abound that Allah may grant success in this effort I am putting in InshaAllah.

It's been wonderful to be surrounded by so many pleasant people during this trip, to reconnect with old friends and meet new acquaintances. 

I gotta run now but before I go I thought I share with you a pretty scarf a childhood friend gave me today. She had bought it in Makkah. Alhamdulillah for all His wonderful gifts! And most importantly the gift of time.

Hope to present you with a more valuable entry soon InshaAllah. Please remember me in your du'a. Jazakumullahhu khairan kathira for letting me be myself and speak my heart openly. And for tolerating a light posting such as this one.

Beautiful scarf from Makkatul Mukarramah

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blessings of friendship


O son, do your best to keep your friendships for the longest time. We thank Allah for the blessings of friendship, for people who make our hearts warm, people whom we would like to reunite with in the Hereafter InshaAllah.

Hajjah Saira and I have been friends since we were 7 years old. We went to the same primary and secondary schools. Alhamdulillah. It is Allah who unites hearts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rule your self


O son, as I was preparing my self for a long journey in search of providence, I flipped my books and saw these words of advice by Shaykh Abd Al-Mahmud al-Hayfan in Al-Wasiyya (The Bequest). One sentence was particularly striking as my takeaway - "So take heed of Allah, my sons, in all your doings, and Allah will take care of you in your end."

Under the chapter on 'The most honorable and highest of rule', the shaykh said:
"Then, my sons, be slaves (humble) in prosperity, masters (dignified) in poverty. By that you will reach perfection. You will then be truly of the friends of Allah because He who made you self-sufficient, made you masters of yourselves. The most honorable and highest of rule is the one over the self. The happy in reality is the one whom Allah gave success to rule his self, for there is in the rule over the self and its mastery the power to compel one's organs to agree to hear and to obey the commands of the Truth  (Allah) in man's likes and dislikes. This state is on the level of the Prophet's infallibility. In the grades of the friends of Allah, it is protection. So take heed of Allah, my sons, in all your doings, and Allah will take care of you in your end."

O son, I remind myself that we live with the end in mind, that we shall go back to where we came from. And we want to go back with a good ending - husnul khatimah. Bi-iznillah. We pray with the barakah of all the shuyukh whom we have been quoting, we will benefit from their teachings, we'll take heed and arrive at a good end. InshaAllah.

Translator credit: Uthman Sayyid Ahmad Ismail al-Bili
Credit: Garnet Publishing

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seek God in the heart of others


O son, we learned that His signs are in the horizons and in ourselves. We also learned that we can seek Him in the heart of others just as we visit the sick to seek His pleasures InshaAllah.

We read the sayings of a sufi named Abu Sai'd who said:
"If you wish to draw near to God, you must speak well of all, whether present or absent. If you seek to be a light to guide others, then, like the sun, you must show the same face to all. To bring joy to a single heart is better than to build many shrines for worship, and to enslave one soul by kindness is worth more than the setting free of a thousand slaves."

So, let's all strive to bring joy to as many hearts as possible. Of course, the best heart to which we should bring the most joy is our mothers'. May with the mercies of our mothers, Allah will be merciful towards us.

Reference: Essential Sufism - Edited by J. Fadiman & R. Frager
Credit: Harper San Francisco

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Take from the hand of the Lord


I have just started doing small business with the aim to take as much as possible from the world to fulfill my needs since we have got plenty of needs. It is a pre-requisite that we sort out our financial standing before we could be present at Arafah and ultimately at the gathering in Yaumul Mahshar because one's debts could be a major hindrance. I am also taking up the business because it is something that pleases my mother InshaAllah.

As I gear up efforts on the new project, I have missed my commitment to blog on time, on a daily basis, I have slacked in this department. I mentioned before that I regard blogging as a job and my wages for this particular job are from Allah. So in total, I have got three jobs now. La quwwata illah billah.

Just a short while ago, I saw a paragraph in 'The Sublime Revelation' which requires me to re-align the objectives of my new venture. InshaAllah. It's something we should all consider doing. His Richness is limitless.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said:
"The people (of the Lord) are in the business of spending freely and making life easier for their fellow-creatures. As professional robbers and givers, they plunder the grace and mercy of Allah s.w.t and give it to the poor and the needy who are in straitened circumstances. They settle the debts of debtors who are unable to pay what they owe. They are the kings, but not the kings of this world, because the latter rob and do not give. The (Lord's) people make the most of what is available, and wait for what is lacking. They take from the hand of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), not from the hands of creatures, and what they acquire with their hearts is their own. They spend for the sake of Allah, not to satisfy desire and selfish interest, and not to gain praise and acclaim."
- From the 34th discourse of Al-Fath ar-Rabbani

Translator credit: Allahyarham Muhtar Holland
Credit: Al Baz Publishing

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Be happy when you are sad


Do not be despondent when you are sad. We admit that the previous sentence is a tautology but we mean it. You should be happy when you are visited by sadness because there is much good in it. Wallahi in hindsight, we cherished those moments of despair, of sorrow, all the tears, everything. Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal.

From Jila' al- Khatir (Purification of the Mind) we quote Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (May Allah be well pleased with him). May the shaykh be not displeased with us if we have misquoted him. And for some reason which we know not, we keep on quoting him. 

He said:
"Sadness is a cloud that showers on the heart, various kinds of wisdom and secrets. Why do you not endure with patience, sadness and heartbreaking when Allah has said in one of His utterances: 'I am with those whose hearts are broken on account of Me.' Whenever the hearts are broken because of remoteness, the setter of nearness comes and sets them. Whenever they become estranged from the creatures, intimacy with Allah comes to them. Whenever they become alienated from the creatures, they seek the intimacy of the nearness of Allah. The longer their sorrow in this world lasts the longer will their happiness be in the hereafter."

Translator credit: Prof Shetha al-Dargazelli & Dr Louay Fatoohi

Monday, January 24, 2011

Togetherness - ma'iyyah


You may recall that we learned a du'a from Habib Yusuf Bakhour al-Hassani:
Allah Hu shahidi
Allah Hu naziri
Allah Hu ma'ie

Allah is my witness
Allah is watching me
Allah is with me

Take note of the last line of the du'a. The keyword is ma'ie pointing to the state of ma'iyyah or togetherness.

Several days ago, we came across the writings of Ghawth al-Azam on ma'iyyah. He explained how the sense of togetherness could come about in a seeker. It starts off with the Light of Allah shining upon His chosen servant. His Light, and nothing else, would remove the darkness that has been covering the servant. Indeed, we are all in the state of darkness, unless and until He touches us with His Light. So do not think that you are fine, that all is well, so you go about your daily lives, eating, sleeping, walking like you are already in a good state. That's what I thought. That was me before. I was heedless, clueless and couldn't care less. No, we will not know that we are in the dark until we see some kind of light. Allah teaches us by means of the opposites.

When we get lucky to be given the Light, our thought process would naturally change as 'the eyes of our inward intellect' become amazed at the uncovering and at seeing what's being uncovered/revealed. So that we would suddenly become conscious and aware of something that we've been oblivious about. 

Ghawth al-Azam said, that, coupled with 'ardent love' ('ishq) would motivate one to seek further. When the seeker gets closer to his objective or purpose of seeking, he would become pleased. Just like when we are motivated by love to get close to someone we are attracted to, we will be delighted when we eventually get nearer to him/her. We will then feel, Oh Allah is so kind to let me get to him/her. We will then acknowledge, Oh He is indeed with us, He knows what we want and He helps us get what we want.

According to Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, the moment we discover the togetherness, we will lose ourselves, we will become extinct to our individual/personal existence (fana). We will realize that Oh it's not about me, it's not "I", but we. Only then it could be said that we have achieved tawhid - the affirmation of oneness.

The seeker would get amazed and overwhelmed by the greatness of the power which could bring him to such a state, that he would be fervently asking for forgiveness for being heedless and ignorant before. You will not know that you did not know something until you come to know it so you say: sorry I didn't know.

This we discovered in Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani's Fifth Letter in his Khamsatta 'Ashara Maktuban (The Fifteen Letters) which we hereby quote, with permission from the publisher/translator InshaAllah.

My dear friend!

When the suns of our spiritual experiences [ma'arif] rise from their points of ascension in the skies of our innermost beings, the earths of our hearts will be illumined by the light of:
And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord. (39:69)
wa ashraqati 'l-ardu bi-nuri Rabbi-ha.

--and the coverings of the darkness of ignorance will be removed from the eyes of our minds, with the ointment of:
But now We have removed from you your covering. (50:22)
fa-kashafna 'an-ka ghita'a-ka.

The eyes of our inward intellects will then be dazzled by the radiant emanations of the lights of holiness [al-quds]. Our processes of thought will wonder in amazement, at the disclosure of the marvelous secrets of the realm of the spiritual kingdom [al-malakut].

Excited by the thrill of ardent love [al-'ishq], the seeker will go a-wandering in the deserts of the quest. Then, in the sites of nearness, the raptures of yearning [ghalabat ash-shawq] will become familiar to him, and the herald of:
Allah is truly Bountiful toward mankind. (10:60)
inna 'llaha la-Dhu Fadlin 'ala 'n-nasi.

--will proclaim:
And He is with you wherever you may be. (57:4)
wa Huwa ma'a-kum aina-ma kuntum.

Once he has discovered the secret of 'togetherness' [al-ma'iyya], the seeker will lose his personal existence, in compliance with the dictate of:
And do not set together with Allah another god. (51:51)
wa la taj'alu ma'a 'llahi ilahan akhar.

As soon as he has plunged into the sea of the personal extinction [fana'] of:
No part of the matter is your concern. (3:128)
laisa la-ka mina 'l-amri shai'un.

--so that he may obtain the jewel of the affirmation of Oneness [tawhid], the waves of solicitude [ghaira] will fling him into the ocean of sublimity ['azama]. Each time he makes for the shore, in the plight of bewilderment, he must say:
My Lord, I have wronged myself, so forgive me! (28:16)
Rabbi inni zalamtu nafsi fa-'ghfir li.

--for then he will be picked up by the rescue vessels of the kind favors of:
And We have carried them on land and sea. (17:70)
wa hamalna-hum fi 'l-barri wa 'l-bahri.

--and they will set him down on the beach of the the tender kindness of:
We visit with Our mercy whom We will. (12:56)
nusibu bi-rahmati-na man nasha'u.

They will hand him the keys to the treasure houses of the mysteries of:
And Allah is always encompassing all things. (4:126)
wa kana 'llahu bi-kulli shai'in Muhita.

--and they will point out to him the indications of:
And that unto your Lord is the final destination. (53:42)
wa anna ila Rabbi-ka 'l-muntaha.

He will thereby come to know the meaning of:
And He revealed to His servant that which He revealed. (53:10)
fa-awha ila 'abdi-hi ma awha.

--and he will understand the implication of:
Indeed, he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. (53:18)
la-qad ra'a min ayati Rabbi-hi 'l-kubra.

Credit: Al Baz Publishing

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On being needy


O son, we have been busy and will get busier since we now work three jobs, simply because we have got plenty of needs. It's good when Allah makes us needy because that shows that He wants to give. He is indeed Rich and Generous!

Most importantly, we are preparing ourselves to be independent. We are inspired by one Sufi who works only for one day in a week for an income that could sustain him for a week, so he is free to do his extra worship and go into seclusion on other days.

And the plan this year is to take as much as we need from the world, fulfill our commitments, purify our earnings, go for Hajj and we'll see what happens post-Hajj InshaAllah.

We are inspired by Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a who gave away 200 dinar for the purpose of building the magnificent Masjid An-Nabawi. Let's all accumulate as much gold dinar as possible bi-iznillah so we could afford to give away that much (or maybe more), for the love of Rasulullah s.a.w.

We are of the view that it's a worthy challenge to take up. InshaAllah.

We would like to pray as did Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a.:
"O Allah, grant me all the riches of the world and then enable me to renounce it."

We pray: Allahumma aghnina bi hala lika an haramika.
O Allah enrich us with all that is halal and not haram.

We call upon Allah Al-Ghani, Al-Mughni, Ar-Razak, Al-Kareem.
We are happy that we have a Lord, whom we could ask for help, on whom we could rely upon.
Allah Hu Haq.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hidden idolatory


Perhaps we should while away the weekend by doing some spiritual spring cleaning - uncover our hidden idols and throw them out.

Jalaluddin Rumi said:
"The Viceroy said. "In olden times the infidels used to bow down and worship idols. In this age of ours we do the same thing. What do we mean by considering ourselves Muslims when we bow and scrape to the Mongols and when we have so many other 'idols' within ourselves, idols of greed, passion, rancor, and envy? Inasmuch as we are obedient to all of these, we do both externally and internally the same as the infidels and yet consider ourselves Muslims!"

And despite this, we wear an arrogant attitude, we feel we are holier than others, we look at other people and make all sorts of judgments: Oh, he is a kaffir; Oh, he is a convert; Oh, he does not look pious enough; Oh, her scarf is not proper and so on and so forth.

O son, our business is not external. Our business is an internal affair, that is to look inwardly and get rid of all our hidden idols - pride, selfishness, obsession, laziness, self-righteousness, anger, name it. May Allah help us purify ourselves. We know He loves all who put effort in purifying themselves.


Friday, January 21, 2011

A test of sincerity


O son, do you think you could pass this simple test from Imam Al-Haddad on sincerity?

One day one man came to see Imam Al-Haddad seeking his permission to build a masjid, which is a noble thing to do, no doubt. Imam Al-Haddad counseled the man.

"If your intention in building it is purely for the sake of God, then we shall not prevent you from building it, but if it is not, then do not build it!"

"My intention is pure," the man replied. The Imam continued, "Consider then, if you were to build it, expend much effort and spend much money, and then when it is completed, it is not attributed to you but to someone else, so that it is said: 'This is that man's mosque,' and it becomes known as such and you are never mentioned in connection with it, would you find your ego submitting to this?" 

The man reflected briefly then said, "I do not see see my ego submitting to this."
[Meaning he is not going to be happy about it, if people did not acknowledge his effort]

Imam al-Haddad then commanded. "Leave it then, for your intention is not sincere."

Quoted from:
Sufi Sage of Arabia - Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad
Publisher credit: Fons Vitae

p/s O son, we came across this story while browsing the book tonight and it reminded us of someone. She has been working with an organization for more than a decade and despite her dedication and commitment, none of her superiors bothered to recognize and reward her contribution. At times, she would feel a little sad, but she just kept doing her tasks and accepting her lot. Compare that with someone who receives instant attention and recognition for the wrong reasons, and compare that with someone who tries to claim credit for other people's works. Every now and then, we have got to pause and ask ourselves what is our goal and who is it that we are trying to please? May Allah keep our intentions pure for His sake and His sake alone. May He keep us on the Straight Path. Verily Allah is with those who are patient.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The scents of the chieftain of the saints


Alhamdulillah, we are inspired to keep quoting the sayings of Ghawth Al-Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani when we received the blessings from Brother Ruslan Moore, the founder of Al-Baz Publishing, the one responsible to get Brother Muhtar Holland into translating plenty of Al-Jilani's works. Brother Ruslan said: "It was always my wish that these translations would spread and spread and spread and find their homes with those who would benefit from them."

But we must admit that as much as we are drawn to reading Al-Jilani's words, starting from Jila' al Khawatir/The Removal of Cares and Al Fath Ar Rabbani/The Sublime Revelation, we keep feeling terrified by the Shaykh's stern words. We are extremely afraid of any traces of hypocrisy in us while we deal with such lofty spiritual subjects.

On a personal level, we were first introduced to the venerable name Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani when we were in our early teens. So we learned about extraordinary beings who are alive among us though they have passed away long ago. And our hearts got acquainted with things that are unseen but felt in the heart. Wallahu a'lam.

May, by the barakah of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, we will gain much benefit from his warnings, advice, teachings and inspirations. Bi-iznillah.
p/s Sis Nafisah - thanks, your feedback has encouraged us to craft this entry.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Allah is in charge of your guidance." - Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani


That's what Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said at the end of one of his discourses in Futh al-Ghaib on the subject of 'Drawing Near to Allah' - Allah is in charge of your guidance.

We remembered about 8 years ago, we had a chat over coffee with a girlfriend, struggling to explain to her about our overwhelming experience that had brought us to revert to Islam and hence hijab. It was difficult for us to explain something which was unseen. In fact, it is still impossible to explain something of that nature because one has to experience it to know. Today, she told us she finally understood what we had tried to express then. She understood it when she experienced the moments of hidayah several months ago. Alhamdulillah! Indeed, Allah is in charge of our guidance.

In his discourse in Futh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen) Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani advised us not to hurry our progress on matters of spirituality. We should not make an attempt to maneuver our path aggressively. Instead, we should be patient in embracing our present state until the time comes, until He invites.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said:
"When you are in a particular condition, do not seek to exchange it for another, whether higher or lower. If you are at the gate of the King's palace, therefore, do not seek admittance to the palace itself until you are obliged to enter, under compulsion and not of your own accord. By compulsion I mean a stern, insistently repeated command. Do not content yourself with mere permission to enter, since this may be just a trick and deception on the King's part. You should rather wait patiently until you are compelled to go in so that your entry into the palace will be through sheer coercion and gracious favor from the King. Then, since the action is the King's own, He will not chastise you for it. If any punishment is meted out to you, it will only be due to your wrong motivation, greed, impatience, uncouthness, and discontentment with the situation in which you have been placed. When you do gain an entree to the palace, you must, therefore, bow your head in silence, keep your eyes modestly downcast and mind your manners as you perform the tasks and services assigned to you, without seeking promotion to the highest summit. Consider the words of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He): 'Strain not your eyes toward that which We have given for some pairs among them to enjoy–the flower of this world's life, that We may thereby put them to the test. Your Lord's provision is better and more lasting.' - Quran 20:131.

This is an admonition by which He instructs His chosen Prophet s.a.w regarding attention to one's present state and contentment with gifts received. To paraphrase His words, "Your Lord's provision is better and more lasting," He is saying: "What I have given you in the way of good news, prophethood, knowledge, satisfaction, patience, the guardianship of religion and a firm support therein-all this is more fitting and appropriate than anything I have given [to others]."

Thus all good lies in due attention to one's existing condition, in being content with it and ceasing to hanker after alternatives, for it can only be that something is yours by lot or is destined for another unless it belongs to nobody and Allah has created it only as a trial. If it is destined for you, it will come to you, like it or not. Any display of unseemly conduct and greed in its pursuit would, therefore, be improper on your part, with nothing in knowledge or reason to commend it. If it is destined for somebody else, spare yourself the futile effort of chasing something which you cannot get and which will never come your way. If it is only a trial, not destined to belong to anyone at all, how could an intelligent person find it worth his while to pursue such a thing and seek to acquire it for himself? Thus it is proven that all good and safety lie in properly attending to one's present state.

When you are promoted to the upstairs room, and then to the roof, you must observe all the proprieties of quiet and polite behavior we have already mentioned. In fact, you should redouble your efforts in that regard because you are now closer to the King and nearer to danger. So do not wish for a change of state whether by promotion or demotion and desire neither permanence and continuity nor alteration in your existing condition. You should have no self-willed option whatsoever since that would amount to ingratitude for present blessings, and ingratitude brings disgrace upon him who is guilty thereof, in this world and the hereafter.

Let your conduct always be as we have told you until you are promoted to a position which will become a permanent station for you, from which you will not be removed. You will then recognize it as a gift, self-explanatory and self-evident, so cling to it and do not let go. Ordinary saints [awliya'] have changeable states, while permanent stations belong to the Abdal. Allah is in charge of your guidance!"

La hawla wa quwwata illah billahil 'aliyil 'azeem
We can only thank Allah for all His generous blessings in the past, present, and future.
Shukran lillah.
Credit: Al Baz Publishing
Purchase Al-Baz books from

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What kind of man are you?


O son, O son, O son, it breaks my heart to hear how poorly the best of people to the Prophet - woman - are being treated by man these days. We have heard about so many cases of men being increasingly dependent on their wives because they fail to provide for their women and their families. Some men have failed completely, others partially. Some, despite failing to be a good provider, dare wish to marry more than one, on the pretext of sunnah. They can't even tell the difference between what is obligatory and what is supererogatory. And from my own experience there are 'religious' men, some carry the title of 'shaykh', who manipulate religion for the benefit of their own nafs.

Rather than easing the burden of woman, they dump even the smallest of responsibilities on the woman's shoulder. Instead of doing things to soothe the hearts of woman, they hurt their women, emotionally, psychologically, financially and even physically.

Some of them are not in a position to teach their wives, yet deny her rights to leave home to seek knowledge. Some think, only man should go out to majlis 'ilm or majlis zikr so they leave their wives at home. They are also the ones who make their wives leave home to work for the family, like telling them: You go out and do what I want you to do then come home and continue doing what I want you to do, because your sacred duty is to serve me and you'll get plenty of rewards for it!

We pray Allah will lift the burden of all women who are being ill-treated by their men. Pray Allah will make the men's brain and heart grow bigger so they would come out from such a sorry state.

Oh Allah, thank You, my father was a great man!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Habib Ali on the story of Yusuf & Zulaikha


Continuing his tafsir of Surah Yusuf, Habib Ali bin Zainal Abidin expounded the story of Zulaikha & Prophet Yusuf as narrated in verses 30 to 35 of the surah.

The episode of Zulaikha, wife of Al-Aziz the Governor of Egypt, falling for Yusuf became a sensational talk among Zulaikha's circle of friends - elite women of her class. How did they find out when initially only four people knew about the embarrassing incident? The four were: Zulaikha, Yusuf, Zulaikha's husband and As-Shahid, the man who witnessed Yusuf's torn shirt.

The women gossiped among themselves - how could an honorable woman, a governor's wife go after her own servant? How could she be willing to give up her chastity to such a man? How could her heart be so engulfed by love and lose her senses in that manner?

Habib Ali said, love can make one blind and there are various degrees of love. The highest being al hubbul qatil, a type of love that could make someone kill for the sake of his love. However, this should only be applied positively in loving Allah and Rasul. One who is granted the honor of iman will have ultimate love towards Allah and Rasulullah, that there are no other beings he loves more than he loves Allah and the Prophet. Several companions of the Prophet are known to have such intense love. Upon the demise of Rasulullah, one of them said, 'O Allah, take my eyesight from me for I bear not seeing anything else except Nabi.' and another sahabi even asked Allah to take away his life. Indeed, he who is privileged to taste the sweetness of iman will always live a peaceful life though he may be less privileged outwardly.

Rabiatul Adawiyah is known to have addressed Allah so lovingly. She said: 'If only our bonding remains sweet; if You would always grant Your mercy; if our relationship remains strong, it should not matter that the rest of the people break their ties with me. All that is here on earth will eventually return to the earth. I do not care about anything for as long as You, whose Essence is my goal, as long as You are with me.'

Imam al-Haddad in his famous sha'ir notably recorded his affection for the solehin and salafi in the verse Salamun salamun kamiskil khitam -  "Nothing is sadder than being distant from you." Many of us are also familiar with the amazing love story of Majnun Layla. Love is sacred when one puts it at its rightful place.

Coming back to the story of Zulaikha, her love for Yusuf had made her become oblivious about her noble status. During those days it was considered a humiliation for someone at her position to walk or sit with their servants, let alone surrender one's dignity to them! Zulaikha was obviously overwhelmed by her attractions towards Yusuf that she couldn't hold the secrets to herself. She was the one who leaked the story to the women.

Habib Ali cautioned us not to reveal everything to people, especially our flaws (aib). Each one of us has mu'afa which needs to be safeguarded. We have to protect our dignity at all times, except al-muhajirun who have the tendency to commit a sin and divulge to people the next day.

People are naturally curious - istiklak. There is a story about a scholar who got upset that a concert had been scheduled in the district where he lived. His frustration was visible on his face that while lecturing his students asked him: 'Shaykh why do you look so upset?' He said, 'Haven't you heard, there will be a concert here.' His reply got the students curious so after class, they all went to the concert venue to find out for themselves.

Similarly, the women in the case of Zulaikha became curious about what had happened. They said, 'Verily, Zulaikha is in plain error.' When Zulaikha heard the women making such condescending remarks, she quickly devised a plan. She invited them to dine at her house and prepared a special resting place known as muttaka'an where they could recline comfortably while dining. (Habib Ali reminded the audience about the sunnah of eating, that we should sit up straight and not lean against the back of the chair while eating. We should not even have one hand on the chair or table.) 

Zulaikha carefully planned the dinner with an intention to teach the women a lesson. She let each one of them have a knife for cutting fruits etc. When they were enjoying the treat she had specially prepared for them, Zulaikha called Yusuf out to show himself off. As expected the women became awestruck. Zulaikha had purposely plotted the game plan so as to punish the women. She wanted to get revenge on them.

Habib Ali said we must be careful of our intention. We should also learn to forgive and forget. When Prophet Muhammad discovered the body of Sayyidina Hamzah in a terrible state, he became angry and made a pledge to take revenge on 70 people. That was when Allah revealed a verse on qisas that we can only exact vengeance on equal terms, but in any case, it is better to be patient. The Prophet then said, wallahi asbir. By Allah I am patient.

So when the women saw Yusuf, they were captivated by his good looks so much that they had cut their fingers repeatedly as though they didn't feel any pain. The term employed in the Qur'an is qod to'a, meaning more than once. They were ta'jub (overwhelmed) to see Yusuf's angelic appearance that they could bear their pain. There is a more subtle meaning to the tafsir on why they didn't feel any pain. It refers to the ar-ruh upon experiencing death. A faithful man who yearns to meet Allah, who longs to unite with his Beloved will endure the pain of death gladly.

Zulaikha wanted those women to understand why she was deeply attracted to Yusuf. They had only seen Yusuf once. Zulaikha, on the other hand, had to deal with her desires towards Yusuf on a daily basis. Zulaikha eventually admitted that it was she who chase after Yusuf. She also threatened to imprison him if he refused to succumb to her longing. This is what happens when we let our nafs dominate our judgment. Yusuf then prayed for Allah's help. Despite being a prophet, Yusuf did not rely upon his own strength. He sought help from Allah.

According to Imam Ghazali in his kitab Tazkiyatul Nufus, there are six types of nafs: nafs amarah, nafs lawammah, nafs mulhammah, nafs mutmainnah, nafs ar radiah and nafs mardhiah.

Nafs amarah is one who seeks to legalize his wrong actions. One who has nafs lawwamah is regretful of his wrongdoings and blame himself for it. One who has nafs mulhammah is often inspired to do good. One who has nafs mutmainnah feels easy to carry out his duties and does good deeds readily. One who has nafs radhiah is satisfied with Allah's decree so he doesn't complain about anything that is destined for him. Nafs mardhiah is one whom Allah is well pleased with. In the Hereafter, they will be very contented that they will not bother to ask for anything more. They will say, 'O Allah, You have made our face fair, You let us enter the Heavens, You have given us the best of rewards, how can we not be pleased?' Still, Allah offers them something better. He said: "I shall grant you My mercy (redha) that I will never ever be angry towards you." This shows that His redha is above and beyond any nikmat that we could ever imagine.

Habib Ali said in order for us to earn His redha, we must first be redha towards Allah. One thing we could do to win His redha is by reciting this du'a once in the morning and once in the afternoon. We must not only recite it but try to understand the underlying meanings.
Radhina billahi robban
wa bil Islami deenan
wa bi Muhammadin Nabiya

Yusuf said he would rather go to prison than face those women. Notice he referred to more than one woman although it was Zulaikha who had seduced him in the first place. Apparently, Zulaikha's friends, the women whom she had invited to dinner were also eyeing for Yusuf. Yusuf realized that it would be foolish of him to surrender to them all, so he pleaded to Allah for His help. If Allah did not protect him, he would definitely have fallen into temptations. And surely Allah did answer Yusuf's pleas. Indeed, Yusuf belongs with one of the seven groups of people whom Allah guarantees salvation in the Hereafter - man who declines to submit himself to alluring women.

Prophet Yusuf was honored with half of all the beauties of Allah's creations and Prophet Muhammad although he was adorned with the entire beauty that exists, Allah covered him with hibbah so that he was protected from desirous eyes.

Wallahu a'lam.
The majlis was hosted by:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

On being grateful and shameful


Glory be to Allah, He is ever so generous, He keeps inviting us to majlis 'ilm although we are heedless. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we were grateful to be present at Habib Ali's majlis tonight. We were overcome by immense gratitude and shame that tears fall uncontrobally, that He keeps letting us sit before such dignified personalities, descendants of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and notable scholars. Shafaat and barakah of Rasulullah s.a.w and Imam al-Haddad was evident at the majlis that we long for intimate moments at Arafah bi-iznillah. We pray that Allah will let us have the privilege to be with honorable habaib and ulama to lead our prayers at Arafah InshaAllah.

We would like to take this opportunity to seek forgiveness from the venerable scholars whose names we have been mentioning here. We regretfully admit that this space is at times tainted with unfitting words and images which may mar the good reputations of the scholars and the habaib. We seek refuge in Allah for any unintentional mistakes that we have made in recording and conveying their knowledge.
Wallahu a'lam.

Maha suci Allah yang sangat pemurah kurniaNya kepada hambaNya, yang acapkali menjemput ke majlis mulia walaupun di antara majlis-majlis dan jemputan-jemputan itu sering saja diri berselang-seli dengan perkara munkar, dengan kejahilan, dengan kurangnya adab sepertinya ia cuai dengan apa yang dipelajari, seolah-olah ia menjadi tuli kepada apa yang ia pertuturkan sendiri. Sungguh dua perkataan yang menusuk benak hati ialah shukur dan malu.

Shukur yang tidak terhingga pada malam ini berada di majlis Habib Ali Zainal Abidin yang sangat dihormati dan dikagumi. Apalah layaknya hamba itu berada di hadapan cucunda ahlul bayt, keturunan habaib yang mulia, pewaris makhluk terpuji Muhammad s.a.w. Subhanallah, hebatnya barakah, agungnya shafaat Rasulullah juga Imam al-Haddad, ketika bacaan ratib mencurah-curah airmata shukur dan malu bersulam dan berkait. Ya Allah, semoga jika ada jemputan untuk berada di Arafah kelak, dipohon limpah kurnia agar dihadiahkan peluang untuk menadah tangan doa pimpinan habaib, alim-ulama, insan mulia di mataMu. Perkenankan Ya Allah.

Dan di kesempatan ini hambaMu memohon maaf secara terbuka kepada semua manusia pilihanMu yakni para habaib, para alim ulama, guru-guru yang mana hambaMu telah menyebut nama-nama mereka di ruangan ini yang adakalanya tercemar dengan kata-kata serta gambar-gambar yang kurang beradab. Permohonan maaf seikhlas hati jika terdapat khilaf dalam menyebut ilmu yang mereka sampaikan. Semoga diampunkan jika secara tidak disedari martabat mereka jadi tergugat hanya kerana hambaMu menyebut tentang mereka dengan cara yang tidak selayaknya bagi mereka.

Setiap yang baik itu datang daripada Allah dan yang kurang elok itu seharusnya daripada diri saya sendiri walaupun pada hakikatnya, semuanya adalah daripada Allah jua.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Strumming the chords of my heart


O He who strums the chords of my heart,
Forty notes a day;
Singing the lyrics He composed from pre-eternity,
I got nothing more to say;
He who had let me lay sick the other day,
makes me brisk walk this new day;
Gazing His faces changing clues,
I read the ever changing cues;
Taking on the color of the water,
Am a pitcher, oh dear...

Call me a hypocrite I don't care
Blog my faith
Tweet my heart
Say a prayer
I have my Creator
Nothing else matter

Walk His Walk
Makes me talk
Stirred to sing
Strum a guitar
Harmonizing a life
on loan thusfar.

Wishing all of you a relaxing weekend. I am going to explore my musical talent, if any, and see what gets manifested. InshaAllah... 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ya Tawwab, Ya Sattar


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah that He keeps making us realize our mistakes and He keeps inspiring us to turn back to Him, to revert and to repent. Alhamdulillah that He is ever so kind in concealing our mistakes.

We are humbled that this space has gotten the attention of some reverts/converts (those who have just embraced Islam). We would like them to know that we are all the same. Those who are born Muslims are also reverts at the moment of turning back to Allah and of repenting to Allah. Technically speaking we are all a constant revert because we keep making mistakes and He keeps accepting our repentance whenever we seek to repent.

We must be grateful that He conceals our shortcomings. People at times would blurt out other people's mistakes, but Allah covers ours. May Allah holds back our tongue from revealing other people's flaws. May Allah conceal our failings and our deficiencies now and in the Hereafter. We call upon Allah Al Sattar that He may take pity on us. We are already embarrassed and regretful thinking about our mistakes. We cannot bear to think that He might reveal them openly.

Ya Allah, Ya Tawwab, Ya Sattar, have mercy on us all.
Make us revert to You always and cover us up with the best of coverings in Your arms of Love.

Pic credit: Islamic-designs.blogspot

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mind your two blessings


O son, we learned two lessons, that we should be grateful for good health and optimize it to the fullest by not wasting time; that we must do as much as we can while in good health. Regret that illness have overcome us so we missed the chance to attend Habib Umar's majlis at Al-Jenderami yesterday. 

The Prophet s.a.w said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: Health and free time for doing good.”

Many people tend to lose the two blessings - health and free time, save the learned and the godfearing - the pious scholars surely. What about us?

Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah (1917-1997) in his book 'The Value of Time' said:
"One of the primary blessings, or the loftiest and most precious of all primary blessings is that of time...
"Time is the substance of life, the sphere in which man exists, the citadel of his spirit, and his subsistence - him benefiting himself and others."

So let us reflect, ponder and examine how we are using Allah's blessing of time for our own benefit and others.

We are aware of the fact that we will be judged if people come and spend time on this space yet find something unworthy for the precious time that they have spent. And we wish to remind ourselves that we should not be spending too much time online or we will lose the time that should be spent with our tasbeeh.

Wallahu 'alam.
May Allah make us use our time wisely and be grateful for all His blessings before they are taken away.

A precious book on a precious subject by
Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah
Purchase from Awakening Publications
Credit: Sheikonderun and SeekersGuidance

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Habib Umar on Islamic wedding etiquettes


At Masjid Wilayah Kuala Lumpur recently, Habib Umar bin Muhammad bin Hafiz bin Salim spoke on the etiquettes of a wedding for Muslims.

He said:
We are in the month of Safar. It was in this month that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w witnessed the wedding of his daughter Fatimah to Sayyidina Ali. Weddings in the Prophet's family did not cause heedlessness to the attendees. They were usually moderate but filled with lovely fragrances. Wedding preparations were kept simple. The highlight of the events were du'a made by the Prophet seeking plenty of goodness to the newly married couple.

Wedding ceremonies in the present time have become too extravagant. People no longer stick to what is permissible (halal). They become inclined towards the haram. These are people who use their aqal to disobey the light of guidance. The Prophet said: Announce a marriage by playing the drums. There are permissible musical instruments, yet people still opt for the haram. Muslims have the tendency to go overboard in organizing a wedding. They are keen on following the customs of the kaffir where men and women mingle freely and the bride kisses her husband's hand openly in public. When you follow those who do not emulate the Prophet's customs, where is the barakah?

A heart that receives light, a heart that longs to be in the gathering with Rasulullah s.a.w, will not care about following wedding customs which are devoid of shariah. Whoever follows a particular group, he/she is with the group. Therefore, think, who is it that you wish to follow!

Only families, ulama and the fakir & masakin (the poor and needy) should be invited. Purify your wedding from all that is forbidden. Make zikrullah at the event. Only then will the Light of Allah shines upon the majlis and the marriage.

May, by the barakah of Habib Umar,
those wishing to wed this year
will be blessed with marriage and wedding
brimmed with barakah and eternal happiness.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Counting on my Healer

Wa iza mariztu fahuwa yashfin


Qur'an As Shu'ara 26:80

"And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me;"
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"and, whenever I am sick, heals me,"
(Arthur J Arberry)
"and when I fall ill, is the One who restores me to health,"
(Muhammad Asad)

"And when I sicken, then He healeth me,"
(Marmaduke Pickthall)

"and when I am sick, it is He Who cures me;"
(Royal AlBayt Institute Translation)

"and when I become sick, He heals me,"
(Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani)
"And when I am ill, it is He who cures me"
(Ibrahim Walk)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Friends in faith


O son, this is one young man I wish you would emulate. Outwardly, he is just like any other youth, but I must say he is above average in terms of politeness, intelligence and inclination towards religion and spirituality. Despite being half my age, he exhibits considerable maturity in his mannerism. And let me ask you, what is the probability of you knowing a young man from a big city who knows how to string a tasbih and it is his favorite pastime? MashaAllah! And not just a simple tasbih, this dear friend whom I got to know through associations on Sufilive and this blog, had taken the trouble to string a 200-beads sandalwood tasbih, carefully arranged according to the Naqshbandi awrad. How's that? MashaAllah tabarakallah! As can be seen in the photo below, it is absolutely exquisite - a gift of a lifetime, both the tasbih and the friendship. InshaAllah. Oh... another precious gift I often get is du'a he makes whenever he visits Habib Nuh maqam. Allah Hu Allah. I feel so blessed to get to know so many wonderful people through this space. Thank you all!

One of our guides said, souls are like an army battalion, we were close and we knew one another in alam ruh, that is why we get excited when we meet again here in this dunya. And hopefully once again in the hereafter InshaAllah.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Habib Umar's Tausiyah at Masjid Wilayah Kuala Lumpur


The beautiful domes at Masjid Wilayah Kuala Lumpur looked more resplendent than ever with the presence of the much respected, much loved Habib Umar bin Muhammad bin Hafiz bin Salim.  

Alhamdulillah wa shukru lillah for the opportunity to be in his presence again. May Allah make his heart inclined to visit Malaysia more frequently InshaAllah.

Alhamdulillah shukran lillah for the presence of Habib Ali bin Zainal Abidin who acted as a brilliant interpreter, as always. MashaAllah.
Habib Umar said:
Praise be to Allah for gathering us all here to receive His bounties. Allah is constantly giving away the secrets of His honors to His servants beginning from the time of our father Nabi Adam a.s. up until the time of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. We shall obtain His most perfect hikmah (wisdom). We shall receive honor from Allah. We are the most honorable of people, the best of people because of our most honorable Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

All creations be they jin or man should know if they think they could receive hidayah (guidance) solely from their intelligence, then it defeats the purpose of Allah sending His prophets and the Qur'an. But the Creator is well aware of the aqal (intelligence) needing guidance to prevent it from falling into error. The eyes need light in order to differentiate between darkness and brightness. Similarly, the aqal requires guidance for it to tread on the right path. Allah grants light to illuminate the aqal guiding it away from darkness. May we belong with those who receive light from Allah.

We found that people who accept the decree of Allah, people from the past and ummah of the present time, when they leave the shari'at (Islamic law) they are compelled to go back and abide by it. There is a stark difference between one who uses his aqal in the right manner and one who denies the true function of aqal [it needing the light of guidance]. Those who receive the light of iman from Allah, those who believe in Allah and Rasul are those who use their aqal according to the iman granted by Allah.

The eyes cannot see without the presence of light for it to recognize the difference in colors, distance, size and so on. That is the analogy of aqal being guided by light and those letting iman to guide their aqal. Those who deny the importance of iman and those who depend purely on the eyes, devoid of light, will not know which direction to take. They are sure to walk into a wall, they will fall. None can walk straight without the aid of light.

There are two types of man. A man who is kaffir uses his aqal to serve himself and his desires. A man of faith uses his intelligence as a tool to garner light of guidance from the Creator so his desires are in check and his heart is cleansed. He will be successful. Allah says in the Qur'an: "He indeed shall be successful who purifies himself." We pray to Allah, we ask Him so that our feet could walk and make efforts to clean our hearts and souls. So that we will remain safe in this world and the Hereafter.

The prophets in the olden days strove hard to purify themselves. They did not go after the comforts of the world or glory which we know are not lasting. The enemies of Allah used their intelligence and energies to satisfy their desires on things which are fleeting. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: "I have been hurt and none of you gets hurt the way I do. I got harrassed and threatened. None of you receive such treatment the way I do." Yet the Prophet s.a.w made du'a each night so that Allah would shower His mercy onto the ummah. We are blessed to have received His bounties. All the blessings we presently enjoy are due to hardwork and sacrifices made by Rasulullah s.a.w. We could sit here peacefully and comfortably, and these are the fruits of his labor.

At one time the Prophet came home from having distributed war booty. He was fasting then and so was his family members. One of his wives remarked, "If you had brought home 2 dirham, we could at least buy food for iftar?" Rasulullah said, "If you had reminded me earlier, I would have taken something for us." By contrast people in our generations fantasize/hope for properties, crops etc. and they don't hesitate throwing away foods when starvation is widespread. O people, think and compare the difference in attitude, cultures  and progress.

Without a doubt, the ummah in the present time need guidance from the Prophet. We must continue to be the torchbearer of Prophetic lights. We must understand that his teachings are orders from Allah so that we could fulfill the responsibilities which Allah has assigned to us. That you must do good to yourself and everyone around you and do it based on  hidayah which Prophet Muhammad had been propagating.

We should learn the manner in which Rasulullah educated his family members especially his most loved daughter Fatimah Az-Zahra. Fatimah was brought up to be a good woman who worked at home, who was very patient in doing her role, who was a devout servant of Allah and generous in giving away her properties. We should emulate the good behaviors practised in the Prophet's household. Saidina Ali would bring home wheat for Fatimah to cook and she cooked food for the family by herself. It was customary for Fatimah to share homemade bread with her father. She once delivered a piece of bread to Rasulullah saying, "I cannot eat unless I let you have it first." Nabi took the bread from her and said, "O Fatimah, this bread is my first meal. I've been fasting for three days." Fatimah binti Muhammad learned such good examples set by her father. The prophet had on one day had to ask someone to send her daughter some bread because she had not been eating for three days.

Indeed, we could learn a lot from the Prophet's family members who benefited from excellent tarbiyah from Nabi. When A'ishah had her hands on 100 dinar, she gave it all away to the poor and widows in her neighborhood. She and her companion were fasting then. When the latter asked if A'ishah had reserved a couple of dirham for their iftar, her reply was exactly the words of her husband. She said, "If you had reminded me earlier, I would have kept some for us."

The Prophet's families were trustworthy in handling wealth. They were dependable and they managed properties in the fairest of manners. Their possessions did not make them arrogant. Their wealth had neither caused harm to them nor other people. They had always given preference to others over their own interests or needs. Wealth was spent appropriately and fairly. They learned from the Prophet who behaved the same way in managing his properties. Not once was he dictated by his possessions.

His praiseworthy akhlaq became examples for his companions too. The Prophet foretold that Surakah would one day lead the governments of Kisra and Kaisar. When the event took place, Surakah became a leader with integrity who contributed a great deal to the people. His leadership brought much benefits to the people. In contrast, the leaders prior to him were zalim. Women were treated unfairly. But Surakah changed things for the better. He elevated the dignity and status of women at Kisra and Kaisar. He restored their human rights and let them live respectfully.

We understand the universal values of the Prophet's teachings. He brings light from Allah. He brings glad tidings for all. His noble ways are completely opposite from leaders who are governed by their aqal alone. And they term it globalization. Whereas the universal approach of the Prophet's mission is evident in the Qur'an: "We have not sent you O Muhammad except as a messenger to all humanity, giving them glad tidings..."

Allah wants him to uphold universal equality. Allah says in the Qur'an: "You shall govern in accordance to the laws of Allah and befriend not the wicked." The universality of Prophet Muhammad's role towards the society may be traced to a verse in the Qur'an: "O Muhammad. We have sent you as a witness, and a bringer of good news and a warner...." And the universality of his role to save mankind is evident in another verse of the Qur'an: "Glory be to Allah who has sent down the Qur'an as a warner to all..."

The Qur'an describes an unjust system as exemplified by Firaun, a system that is utterly oppressive. Firaun threatened  to imprison anyone who did not regard him as god.  His rule was characterized by excessive power, revenge and brutality. He also threatened to murder man and children, leaving behind helpless women. Firaun forced his people to accept and acknowledge his ruthless system. As recorded in the Qur'an, he made rulings based on what he deeemed right.

There is a lot of talk these days about globalization. Which of the two systems we mentioned do they employ? If it is one which is impartial and compassionate, with it is Sayyidina Muhammad. If the system is incorrect, then they are like people on a boat that is waiting to sink.  O people, come back to the right path. Allah warns people who are egoistic who disregard Allah's religion: "When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true against them: then We destroy them completely."

Allah creates this world as a tool for us to serve Him and not for us to manipulate it. One who lives on this earth yet know not about its Creator, do you think he has intelligence? Is he knowledgeable, he who does not know his own Creator? They who solely depend on their intelligence, who is ignorant of the purpose of them being created, they will in the Hereafter belong with those who lament: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we should not (now) be among the Companions of the Blazing Fire." They who do not use their intelligence to get to know their Lord!

Those who have iman, they walk on this earth with the light of Allah. They walk justly, they help their families and protect themselves from commiting sins. Allah commands us to be fair and to do good towards our family. One who has got iman is not the same as one who lacks iman. The former treads on minhaj and guidance from Allah. Therefore, ask for light from Allah, ask Him for more hidayah.

[Concluding his tausiyah Habib Umar made a very meaningful and lengthy du'a.]
May Allah grant plenty of blessings to this masjid, its imam, mu'azzin and those who come here often. May Allah grant them plenty of goodness. I have husnul zan towards Allah that He does not gather us here except that He would grant us light, forgiveness and mercy. Be thankful for the One who gathers us at this place. Ask from Allah that He brings us together in a pure state and that He keeps giving us tawfik. It is best to ask from Allah, your Lord, Robbukum, call upon Him. On Him alone we place our trust. Those who ask from other than Allah, will be kept far from His door. Be grateful that Allah has brought you close to His door and inspired you to ask from Him. That He grant you honor. Praise Him for the strength that He has given you. Ask from Him with your entire body. Ask of Him with your whole heart. Feel His majestic presence in your heart. By Allah, if not for His hidayah, we will not be able to ask from Him. So we ask from the True God, to the One who is Ever Living, to the One who creates the Heavens we humble ourselves, we ask truthfully, O Allah keep us with You. May He keep us with Him and make us reach Him. O Allah take us near You, keep us near Your prophet. Don't make us stray far from those who are with Prophet Muhammad. Grant honor to our eyes so we could see him. Let us drink from his holy hand so we shall not be thirsty ever again. O Allah invite us to the Heavens with Prophet Muhammad, make us enter the Heavens without fitnah, without hisab. On the day when some faces will be made dark, make our face fair. Ya Allah...Ya Allah...Ya Allah...

I seek refuge in Allah from any errors in my translation of Habib Ali's interpretations of Habib Umar's speech. Kindly point out any mistakes you may notice. The du'a is not verbatim and is incomplete because anyone who has attended Habib Umar's majlis would know his style of rendering deeply emotional and profound du'a, making it impossible for the interpreter (even one as good as Habib Ali) to interpret, let alone one like me to jot down. The part where Habib Umar spoke on the etiquettes of an Islamic wedding will be posted separately. InshaAllah.
Wallahu a'alam.