Thursday, March 31, 2011

For the love of children


Alhamdulillah, we are excited about the prospect of attending the Haul of Habib Noh for the first time this Saturday, 2 April 2011 InshaAllah. Thanks to our dear brother Mas Taj who has become our 'spiritual bridge' of sort, through whom we have begun to connect with the island's much revered saint.

Stories of his karamah aplenty but we are particularly touched to learn that Habib Noh loved children a lot. Most of us love children too, no doubt, but Habib Noh's relationship with them was said to be special. Children were always seen hanging out with him. People found it strange that an old man like him would spend time with kids. Habib Noh and his little 'gang' would swing by some shops and the children would freely take whatever sweets and candies they fancied. The shopkeepers welcomed them gladly as their presence would usually bring plenty of business afterwards. Habib Noh believed that children were ahlul jannah and should be treated special.

Therefore, in honor of Habib Noh and his love for children, Lisan al-Din would like to offer a treat to 200 little angels at the upcoming haul event InshaAllah. May our small sweet gesture be appreciated. Bi-iznillah.

'Cookies at Heart'

Saturday, 2 April 2011 
Habib Noh Maqam Complex/Masjid Haji Muhammad Salleh
37 Palmer Road, Singapore

3.00 pm    Mau'izhah Hasanah, Qasidah & Tausiyah/Lecture
4.16 pm    Asar prayer
5.00 pm    Opening with recitation of Al Quran
5.30 pm    Tausiyah/Lecture
7.13 pm    Maghrib prayer
7.30 pm    Mawlid & Haul Ceremony
8.22 pm    Isya' prayer
9.00 pm    Refreshments

Thanks N & N from 'cookies at heart'
for baking and wrapping those lovely cookies with love!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Habib Noh, may I be welcomed.


O Habib
I am coming as a beggar for barakah
I am coming as one engulfed by ignorance and sins
I am coming in honor of your piety
the one
who was regular in tahajud
one who often secluded with his Lord
one who cared for the poor
one who loved the children
one who was generous in sadaqah

May you welcome this lost soul
May you engrave some words of advice
in her hopeless heart, plant courage
console her restlessness
grant her strength to stick to righteousness
help her escape from evil, unscathed
clear her cluttered mind, make her brave
Oh her wish list is endless

O Habib
I have been sending my salams to you
soon by the grace of Allah
I may be present to bow my head
for the first time
to one who was blessed with karamah
one who was istiqamah in his ibadah
one whom Allah honors
one highly respected by those whom I respect
the habaib and ulama
one visited by the Sufis
all who regarded you as holy

May I be welcomed at your sacred ground
May Allah give the strength to climb to your station
One soul who lived a wondrous life then
and beyond his time
O Sayyid
O Habib
Please...may I be welcomed...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beautiful in His eyes


We all know this one cliche pretty well: 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. Still there are eyes that behold ugliness. One who sees ugliness sees it in his perspective and not His.

We quote this succintly beautiful line of qasida by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani (quoting from 'The Meaning of Man' by Sidi Ali al-Jamal of Fez):

"If you relate every ugly thing to its beauty,
the meanings of beauty in it
will come to you swiftly."

And Sidi Ali's remark in relation to this was that 'the imperfection of the ugly has its beauty completed, so there is no imperfection, and there is no ugly.'
'Allah the blessed, the great is beautiful. Whatever the Beautiful creates, it is only beautiful.'

Allahu Jameelu Yu hibbul Jamal

May Allah grant us ain basirah so that we are able to see through His eyes so that the beauty of what is seen is perceived by the real Seer so there is no ilah (god) but Allah. May we become more steadfast in our ibadah (supererogatory worship/nawafil) so that He would love us, so that when He loves us, He becomes the ear with which we hear, and the eyes with which we see, and the hands with which we grasp, and the foot with which we walk.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Walk like there's no tomorrow

Pic credit: K&D LaFever


O son, the world's latest developments, His latest af'al (actions), ought to be taken seriously because she is getting very old. She was already aging as described by the Prophet s.a.w during his time and that was more than 1400 years ago. Still we have to walk on her, this aged lady until her last day or our last day, whichever comes sooner. May we walk humbly, hopefully.

And as we walk in this troubled times, we can't help but think about our savior Rasulullah s.a.w. Because of him we could look ahead with much hope. What would we do without him?

As we walk in this troubled times, we can't help but reflect on the great imam and ulama of the past - Imam Al-Ghazali, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani to name but two. Though they have left us hundreds of years ago, they are still able to quench our thirsty souls. What would we do without them?

As we walk in this troubled times, we can't help but anticipate the birth of our future imam. Oh, how we long for his presence. Oh, how much we need him!

In the meantime, we'll have to rely upon someone like him. We'll have to keep walking with a heart reveberating with istighfar for our past misdeeds; walk with a lonely heart that cries salutations to His Beloved so He would take pity and shower much mercy, because we might not walk again tomorrow.

Astaghfirullah al-Azeem

Allahumma salli wa saleem
ala Sayyidina Muhammad
wa 'ala 'ali Sayyidina Muhammad

Sunday, March 20, 2011

'None can praise the Prophet enough, save Allah.' - Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fadhil Al-Jilani

Shaykh Dr Muhammad seated (on the left) facing the audience


Alhamdulillah, Allah has answered our prayers tonight. Alhamdulillah He has let us sit in majlis mawlid and majlis ilm again. This time with one special guest of honor from Turkey, As-Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fadhil Al-Jilani Al-Hassani Al-Hussaini. Also present were honorable personalities like Habib Ali Zainal Abidin, Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al-Maliki, and Shaykh Abdul Aziz Shafie.

After a beautiful mawlid recitation and nasyid by the Ba'alawi jemaah, Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fadhil gave a meaningful tausiyah on Habibullah Muhammad Al-Mustofa admitting that none can praise the Prophet enough, save Allah. He spoke in Arabic while Habib Ali Zainal Abidin acted as interpreter. 

Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fadhil began his tausiyah by saying salam to the mashaikh present and the audience. He said: "In conjunction with Mawlidur Rasul, we speak of the greatness of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. but I am not able to say much about his great personality. Allah Himself praises the Prophet so how can a man praise him any better?

Allah has praised and mentioned His Beloved Prophet Muhammad in all the kitab granted to the anbiya. When Allah made Nabi Adam a.s. leave the heavens, he descended on a mountain in Sri Lanka. That was when he realized his mistakes in falling for the tricks of shaytan. He was regretful and thus prostrated (sujud) to Allah for a long time. The moment he lifted his head from his long sujud he saw the kalimah La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasulullah. Amazed, he asked the Lord whose name it was, written right next to His. Allah said: "Nabi Muhammad is a man of your kin and he is My Beloved." Each prophet has his own time but Prophet Muhammad is one who stays relevant all the time. Upon hearing the reply from Allah, Nabi Adam then said: "I shall tawassul on Nabi Muhammad so that You would pardon  my sins and accept my tawba!" 

May Allah accept our repentance on account of the honors of Prophet Muhammad, said Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fadhil.

Now we shall talk about Nabi Nuh. When Allah commanded Prophet Nuh to construct an ark (a large boat) in Kufah (a place in the desert), Nuh went about building the boat anyway despite having to face public ridicule and humiliation. Upon completing the divine task given to him, Nuh had inscribed on the front part of the boat (the bow) several names i.e. Allah,  Nabi Muhammad, Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Hassan, and Hussain. When his people saw those names, they asked Nuh (they addressed him as 'Nah' according to their language). So Prophet Nuh explained to them about the names saying, "It's Allah; Muhammad the Prophet; the Ansars who helped him; Hassan and Hussain are his grandsons."

Take note that the names Hassan and Hussain written at the end of the list of names actually symbolized the role of a boat's captain who usually sits at the back of the boat (the stern). In other words, the descendants of the Prophet s.a.w from Hassan and Hussain would serve as guides for the religion. It is a sign that they are the ones entrusted to propagate Islam. As such, it was sunnah of Prophet Nuh to have their names written on his boat.

The third prophet to whom Allah had talked about Prophet Muhammad was Nabi Musa. In Kitab Tawrat for Musa, Allah mentioned the birth place of Prophet Muhammad. It was, as stated in the kitab, a place called Bakhura (referring to Makkah). The Prophet's name as recorded in Kitab Tawrat was Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Abdul Mutalib; that he is born in Bakhura and would later emigrate to a place where there is plenty of date palm trees and the water there being delightfully delicious (referring to Madinah). In addition to describing the Prophet's attributes, the Tawrah also described the attributes of the sahabah, Abu Bakar, Umar, Usman and Ali. 

With regards to Sayyidina Umar, the Tawrah referred to him as An Nasr or the helper who would help free Baitul Maqdis from the Christians and that he would enter Ursharin (Al-Quds) riding a horse and leave Ursharin riding a mule/donkey.

In Kitab Injil, Allah narrated the stories of His Beloved Prophet Muhammad to Prophet Isa. I have seen the Injil written in Suryani language when I visited Paris and Italy. It was shown to me by a priest and it's written therein the Prophet's name as Ahmad who is born in Makkah and his grave would be in Yathrib (Madinah) - a place blessed with plenty of dates and water. It was also stated in the kitab how people would continuously visit his grave right until the Day of Qiyamah.

The Prophet's stories abound in the Qur'an too. Praises for Nabi Muhammad are mentioned in many surah, for example wama arsalna ka illah rahmatan lil alamin. "We have not sent you (Muhammad) except as a mercy to the universe." Evidence aplenty in the Qur'an how Allah sing praises and uplift his ranking.

It has become our practice to make salawat in the month of Rabi'ul Awal 1000 times a day as a gift for Rasulullah s.a.w. The salawat is as stated in the Qur'an: Allahumma salli wa salim ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa ala ali Sayyidina Muhammad.

We would also recite 1000 times of salawat on Fridays of the other months. On other days in all other months we make it a point to recite 100 times salawat as a present for him.

This (the practices) may be traced in the Qur'an but we shall not elaborate it here. We should be grateful that we are his ummat. We are accustomed to organizing an annual mawlid event. If Allah Himself praises Muhammad, now what about us? Allah even orders the angels to make salawat for him. In fact, every day should be an eid as we glorify the one Allah loves and praises."
Wallahu a'lam.

Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fadhil informed the audience of his new book, a collection of 16 mawlid recitations attributed to notable ulama such as Al-Jilani, Al-Ghazali and ulama from Hussain family.

At the end of the majlis, Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al Maliki gave ijazah for Kitab Bekal Akhirat/'Provisions for the Hereafter'. The kitab comprises of several wirid and tariqa practices including talqin zikir of Tariqa Idrisiah which he had obtained from his guru Almarhum Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi Al-Maliki. Upon concluding his classes, Al Maliki would customarily grant ijazah on zikir - La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasullulah fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin 'ada dama wasi'a hu 'ilmullah. Likewise, Shaykh Fahmi following in the footsteps of his guru, granted the ijazah to all present at the majlis last night.

The mawlid was held in conjunction with a nikah ceremony for Hajjah Azmah's son. May Allah bless her kind family who has been instrumental in organizing majlis 'ilm involving honorable scholars and habaib from around the world. Alhamdulillah wa shukru lillah.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Show mercy


Alhamdulillah, we thank Allah for His mercy and blessings that He had let us sit before those whom He love - the ulama
We reminisce the night when we sat before Shaykh Abdul Huda Muhammad Al-Yaqqoubi and heard our first hadith. It was in December 2009.  It was the first hadith for Shaykh Al-Yaqqoubi too, who said: "This is the first hadith I heard from my teacher." 

“The Merciful, Blessed and Most High,
is merciful to those who show mercy;
Show mercy to those on earth,
and the One in Heaven will show Mercy to you.”

We have walked so far, learned as much as we could, shared a little and digressed quite a bit, so it's best that we revisit the first hadith we heard. And contemplate that maybe we are not being merciful enough to those on earth?! That He is not giving us the blessing of majlis 'ilm.

O Lord, show mercy on us, we missed the guide who taught us our first hadith. We long to be in majlis ilm again soon. Bi-iznillah.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Al-Jilani the one and only


962 years ago
a gem of Jilan was born
Ghawth al-Azam
the supreme helper
a gift for Baghdad and beyond

Al Hassani al Hussaini
Son of Musa and Fatima
Abdul Qadir the name given
servant of the All-Powerful
Muhyiddin reviver of religion

Mureed of Al-Dabbas and Al-Mukharrimi
head of Madrasa Bab al-Ajz
for almost half a century
spent 25 years wandering in the desert
planting the tree of tariqa al-Qadiri

On him we tawassul
May Allah let us benefit from such venerable soul


Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Glorify Him with your heart." - Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Gaylani


"O people, we say subhanallahal azeem, subhana rabbiyal a'la, but our hearts do not say so." - said Shaykh Afeefuddin at a majlis in conjunction with the haul of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani last night.

He emphasized the need to realize our position as Abdullah, as a servant of Allah. This would come about if we truly glorify Him in our hearts as professed by the tongue.

"The anbiya had always preferred their position as abdullah though they were honored with two positions namely prophethood and sainthood. To them, the latter was greater as it was a relationship with Allah. Now when we say in our rukuk and sujud, subhanallahal azeem, subhana robbiyal a'la, how much do we humble ourselves to Allah? We humble ourselves for the sake of friendship and visit our friends, but how do we show humility towards Allah?"

Shaykh Hassan al-Basri used to accompany 60 sahabah and all of them were afraid of hypocrisy (nifaq). They were ahlul Badar, ahlul Uhud, ahlul hadith, they were among the honorable companions yet were concerned about the state of their iman. Sayyidina Umar r.a. would run after Hudhaifah bin Yaman, the keeper of hypocrites' names, curious and fearful if he was on the list. But surely he wasn't.

Shaykh Afeefuddin said: Allah is watching your heart, Allah wants your heart, so have tawaduk.  The inheritors of the Prophet, the ulama are man or rajul who are true to their covenant with Allah. The term rajul includes women too. By all means, become a real abdullah. Say what is in your heart and follow the Qur'an.

The Shaykh reminded the audience at KL Ba'alawi on the importance of knowledge.
"Two things are of great value, knowledge and makrifatullah. And makrifatullah is the best of knowledge. Fakrur Razi a sahabi of tafsir - Tafsir Ar Razi, was one whose physical and spirit merged in him. He was known for taqwa. Allah said He would teach anyone who has taqwa. Fakrur Razi was also known for his excellent akhlak. He displayed the attributes of the Prophet s.a.w., he was merciful and kind."

Speaking on As-Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani, Shaykh Afeefuddin, the 18th descendant of Al-Gaylani said, Ghawth al-Azam was extraordinary the fact that his father was a Hassani and his mother was from Hussain. He was Shaykhul Islam. Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani was a yatim, after his father had passed away, he lived with his mother and was looked after by his grandfather. He entered Baghdad at the age of 18 when Hujjatul Islam Imam Al-Ghazali had just left the 'Center of Knowledge'. While it's easy to teach, it's not as easy to be teaching the aleem. Baghdad was a city with a high concentration of scholars and Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani was Shaykhul mashaikh or the 'shaykh of the shaykh'. Al-Gaylani was reported to have taught up to 13 subjects in a day. The ulama were very impressed with him. They said, "It's not surprising for us that he could reply queries and gave fatwa but we're surprised at how fast he could give a reply."

Shaykh Afeefuddin then narrated the often-quoted story about Al-Gaylani's truthfulness when he was robbed. The robbers eventually became his mureed. He was ahlul qulub, whose words of advice originated from the heart and found their places in the heart. According to Imam Nawawi, Al-Gaylani's majlis drew a very large crowd of up to about 70,000 people. 

Al-Gaylani was one who displayed three traits par excellence - akhlak, tasawwuf and suluk. Many people are mistaken on the meaning of suluk thinking that it is only confined to the number of days people would spend in solitude. Suluk is actually the path (sirat) that takes one to Allah in a proper way. Al-Gaylani was one blessed with mukashafatul qulub. When he was on the brink of sakaratul maut, his son Abdul Jaffar asked: "O father do you feel any pain?" To which he replied, "All of me is in pain except my heart because I'm going to meet Allah whom I love."

Below are some of the beautiful du'a of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani quoted by Shaykh Afeefuddin:
"O Lord, enter the house of our heart without the slightest hesitation because there is nothing in it whatsoever apart from the pain of separation from you."
 "People who missed the opportunity are many, but there is no one whom the opportunity missed."
"The best means of taking revenge on man is not to resemble that man."
"Are you not fond of life, if you are not, you must not waste your time because life is a garment of time."

O people, ask to be humble, and do not raise your hands except to Allah, ask Him to grant protection from syaitan both seen and unseen. May Allah bless our deeds with ikhlas.

Concluding his tausiyah, Shaykh Afeefuddin reminded the jemaah to be istiqamah in performing solat sunat tawbah before going to bed so that should Allah wants to punish a place, He might withdraw in consideration of ahlul tahajjud and ahlul masajid. And when there is a heavy rain or strong wind, it was sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w to kneel down asking Allah for forgiveness because it might be a wind of punishment. 

O Allah if we have done good, bless us with barakah, if not, forgive us.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm sorry Sakura


I'm sorry Sakura...
He's made us drop our jaws
Yet again, He's silenced us all

6 August 1945
Some foolish men had slapped your Hiroshima
and we saw how you stood up again
strong as Mount Fuji
beneath those graceful Sakura

11 March 2011
You're swept asunder
pity you
who have touched our lives in many ways
One who is polite as ever

He shook you up
so the rest of us would wake up from years of slumber
while the cherry blossoms wither with tears

We are deeply sorry
May God have mercy on you and me
We are subjected to His Will
Between His two fingers
we know our fate not any better

He makes, He breaks
He is the Creator
to whom we shall return
sooner or later

Friday, March 11, 2011

Haul Ghawth Al Azam at Ba'alawi KL - 12 March 2011


Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,
I earnestly pray that Allah will grant us hidayah and tawfik to attend the Haul of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani at KL Ba'alawi tonight InshaAllah.

The majlis haul will be led by the most deserving amongst us, his 18th direct descendant the revered Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Gaylani.

Date: Saturday 12 March 2011
Time: Maghrib onwards
- Recitation of Manaqib Al Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Gaylani
- Mawlid Di'Baie
- Tawsiyah
- Du'a recitals

No 9, Jalan UP 2A
Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati
53100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 4108 5888
Mobile: +6012 203 5887 (Brother Ben)

To friends of Lisan Al-Din (you know who you are),
I hope you have missed me as much as I missed you. Regret that I have been slacking in my sharing this week as I have been busy putting efforts earning my tickets to Makkah (for my dear mother too) InshaAllah. While I was occupied with work and getting sucked in the dunya's spiral and at times feeling bad about it, it soothed my heart that someone I met by accident or rather by the grace of Allah had invited me to visit his house in Makkah this hajj season, MashaAllah.

Haji Hasan bin Ali has been in KL for 2 years and 6 months, that's what he told me exactly, accompanying his son who's studying here. Picture this, a 70 year old smart looking Arab wearing kain pelekat (traditional cotton sarong for man) standing at the new Arabian Fried Chicken store in our condo, ordering his meal in half Malay half Arabic, imagine the look on my face when he told me he's from Makkah. MashaAllah. Every little incident is a a gift, so we thank Allah for His kind 'gestures'.
May Allah make it easy for all wishing to go for hajj. May Allah make us recognize His af'al and mention His blessings. Ameen.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Grand Mawlid and Haul of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani - 9 April 2011


May Allah invite us to this grand annual event organized by the honorable descendant of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani, Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Gaylani.

Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Gaylani
is the 18th direct descendant
of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani
and 33rd direct descendant
of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w

Majlis Mawlidur Rasul
& Haul of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Gaylani 
9 April 2011 (Saturday)
5 pm - 9 pm
Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

Sollu alan Nabi!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Madad Al-Haddad


Imagine if he's here in our times, if there's someone like him, a guide, a learned, a gnostic, a loving father figure, there will be fewer restless souls InshaAllah. We would not have ended at the wrong places ever so often. We would not have fallen so many times, the walk might not have been as lonely or treacherous. It would have been very clear where to head and on whose door to knock. Allahu Allah. But you left us more than 300 years ago.

Madad Al-Haddad! If you were here, we ask for your spiritual secret of blessings and assistance, madad. We can only imagine what it would have been like to pay you a visit, to submit ourselves to you  because we know we would be in the best of hands.

Oh how we envy those who had sat before you, knowing that:
'The madad of the imam carried his disciples on their ascend despite the weakness in their souls. He protected them from their own imperfections, humored them, and maintained his solicitude for them despite their sometimes straying off the path, which led to a setback corresponding in magnitude to their devotion. "Some of our companions may suffer a halt, " he said, "but they mostly end up returning to the straight path." And he also said, "Those whom we come to know, we abandon neither to shame nor to the flame." He strove to correct even relatively minor dismeanors...'

Look at us now Oh Imam Al-Haddad. We have got the ugliest of misdemeanors. We are in such a sorry state. We are so needy of a true guiding light. We are not exactly sure where we are and we need help. Madad Al-Haddad! We know you are with us, what is 300 years of separation, we don't care. We are calling on you, here and now, help us while we wait for Al-Mahdi none other. At least we know we could look back and there you are. And we could look ahead and there he will be - one who will not abandon us, not to shame, not to the flame. Bi-iznillah.

Credit: Fons Vitae 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shahadah on Perak Gold Dinar


Alhamdulillah washukrulillah. Mabruk to the state government of Perak for the historic launch of the state's Gold Dinar & Silver Dirham on 28 February 2011.

We also wish to personally congratulate our friend Prof Dr Ahamed Kameel for being an instrumental figure behind this achievement. This is a fact acknowledged by the head of the state government, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry. We are blessed to know a brave and dedicated dinarist like Prof Kameel. We have seen how hard he has been striving to promote gold dinar and we have every reason to believe that he is strongly driven by the hadith of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w that:
"A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing (left) that will be of use (or benefit) save a Dinar and a Dirham." - From Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal

We pray Allah will make us firm believers and followers of Rasulullah s.a.w and take heed of his prophecies. We pray for heavenly support for the triumph of Islam. Bi-iznillah.

Victory is with Allah!

The classical design minted by Caliph Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan
is replicated on the reverse of the newly launched Perak Gold Dinar,
1,357 lunar years since the
well educated and celebrated Caliph Abd al-Malik (646-705 CE)
decided to engrave the shahadah on Islamic dinar
replacing the Roman and Persian inscriptions.

The crest of the state of Perak
on obverse of the Perak Silver Dirham & Gold Dinar.
The state government has written history not just for itself
but also the Muslim world.

Prof Dr Ahamed Kameel, Maher Zain
and Perak Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry
at the launching of Perak Gold Dinar & Silver Dirham
on 28 February 2011.
Maher Zain was one of the first five persons
to have in their possession the Perak Gold Dinar.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Al-Jilani on sincerity and deeds


Alhamdulillah, we keep turning to Ghawth al-Azam who said in Malfuzat "If you wish for success [falah] you must stick close to me. When you see a person running away from me, you must know that he is a hypocrite."

Alhamdulillah, we learned from the honorable Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani this morning an analogy that explains the relationship between one's sincerity (ikhlas) and deeds (amal). We have always thought of these two as being con-current like one should be sincere while performing deeds. Then we read this profound explanation from Malfuzat:
"Sincerity [ikhlas] is the believer's plot of land, while his deeds [a'mal] are its surrounding walls. The walls are subject to alteration and change, but not so the ground. Only upon dutiful devotion [taqwa] can a building be firmly based."

Indeed, we remembered one of our guides saying about amal not being firm in quality, that it may not always be good, let alone perfect, while the niyyah (intention) may be better due to one's sincerity in making the intention in the first place. As what Al-Jilani had said above, the ground of sincerity is not subject to change as much as the building blocks of one's actions. He also said that the structures of our actions should be built on the foundations of taqwa  (dutiful devotion) towards Allah. I think as long as we keep devoting our efforts, we keep being dedicated and we keep moving forward to deliver what is required of us (with fear and hope for Allah), we will eventually build a strong fortress surrounding the courtyard of sincerity, bi-iznillah.

If we may also relate to one quote by Conrad Hilton which we quote from Jack Canfield: "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don't quit."

There is a story of one man who was in the audience of Al-Jilani to whom the shaykh had scolded. Al Jilani said: "You say you would travel for a thousand years just to hear one word from me? But why, when the distance between me and you is only a few steps? You are lazy. You are a little ignoramus, a silly little fool. You think you have something to give. How many like you in this world has fattened and then devoured! It made them plump with fame and fortune, then ate them up. If we had seen any good in it, you would not have beaten us to it. Do not all things come home to Allah? (Quran 42:53). As for what we are involved in, it all comes from Allah (Exalted is He).'

When the Shaikh had stepped down from the lectern, one of his pupils [talamidha] said to him: "You were quite extreme in your admonition, and you spoke to him very harshly!" But the Shaikh replied: "If my words have had any effect upon him, he will surely come back for more."

(The man did in fact attend the meeting [majlis] regularly from then on. He would also visit the Shaikh at other times, outside the formal session, and always behaved with the utmost humility and modesty in his presence. May Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him.)

O Allah [grant us] patience and pardon! O Allah, help us!"

Pic: Courtyard at Masjid Umayyad, Damascus

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Remembering Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi


We recalled the first time we learned about Lisan al-Din being one of the two publications founded by Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi (1869 - 1934) and how deeply attracted we were to its name that we immediately decided to revive the name virtually despite knowing that we could never do justice to the honor and authority of its original publisher. Furthermore, we had initiated this even though we do not belong with the Ad-Darqawiya Alawiya tariqa (wallahu a'lam). We apologize to Shaykh al-Alawi's mureed and muqaddim if we have in any way shown lack of adab. We simply love and respect all mashaikh past and present no matter which tariqa they belong to.
Alhamdulillah, we are approaching our second anniversary InshaAllah. We seek the barakah of Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi as we strive to be istiqamah in our learning, our practices and sharing, especially in times like these when we are weak and in need of support.

In order to remind ourselves of our original intention, vision and mission, we would like to borrow some of these great photos from - a sacred space dedicated to the spiritual teaching, the path and the legacy of Sidi Shaykh Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-Alawi.

The mausoleum/Dharih of Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi

Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi mosque next to his zawiya in Mostaghanem

Outside view of the zawiya at Mostaghanem

Mihrab of zawiya
We sincerely pray Allah will one day invite us to Mostaghanem, Algeria to visit these holy sites so we could pay our respect at the mausoleum and to establish a good relationship with the residents of the zawiya, InshaAllah. In the mean time, we humbly ask for their du'a.

Lastly, we pray so that Allah make our hearts incline towards those who love Him and His Beloved Prophet s.a.w; and those He loves of the awliya and solehin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beyond the face value


O son, if we truly understood and accepted that everything is from God we would be equally satisfied and grateful if we had 1 dinar or 100 dinar. What makes a difference is the blessings in them.

We learned from Mawlana Jalaludin Rumi who said in his Fihi ma fihi (In it is what is in it):
"It is said that for one who knows, a danaq and a dinar or a lion and a cat are the same. If God gives His blessings one danaq will do what a thousand dinars can do and even more. If He withdraws His blessing from those thousand dinars, they will not be able to do what one danaq can...For those who realize that everything is from God, everything is the same."

So we should be grateful whether we have little or plenty if we could see with the eyes of the heart the 'hands' of the Giver who could actually grant more beyond the face value. Do not see what is given but see the Giver in whose hands lie endless richness. So that even he who has none has Allah and is not Allah sufficient as our trustee?

Sufficient is Allah as my wakil.
Sufficient is Allah as my trustee. 
"Allah is sufficient for me. None has the right to be worshipped but He, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne." (Quran 9:129)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If I was blind


There I was sitting comfortably at Tony Roma's, enjoying the beautiful lights of KLCC, the ears soothed by the water features next to our table, thinking mashaAllah how sumptuous the food. The fried mushroom reminded me of those I had at 'Red Lobster' California 20 years ago. They tasted as good mashaAllah, how could He let me have a surreal repeated experience. How generous! The beef ribs were beyond delicious. Oh, the rosemary chicken, oh even the brocolli and the pasta, mashaAllah it was like a merriment of taste buds.

But then came two ladies. One of them looked like she was in her mid-20s, pretty and well dressed.  They seemed unfazed by the surroundings as they stepped into the al fresco dining area. Clinging tightly onto her arm was a woman who looked mature enough to be her mother. This lady was blind. They stopped at the table in front of ours trying to sell a pocket of tissue but sadly none of the three gentlemen responded.

The two ladies then hurriedly moved away and walked towards our table...

After they had left, I was left with mixed feelings which ironically 'tasted' better than anything I had just eaten. I tasted gratitude, sadness, guilt, humility all in one taste of  nearness to Allah. Subhanallah.

If I was blind, if I were in their shoes, oh my legs would have felt very tired walking from one table to another, hopping from one restaurant to another, crossing the busy street, I would have felt a little sleepy and most probably hungry. Yet those two ladies didn't appear tired or hopeless.

After they had left, I was left with one question. What if I was blind? If I had been blind, I would not have gone to universities, I would not be able to blog, I would not be in a position to do things that could make my parents proud. If I was blind...Allahu Allah...

If the blind lady could be me for one day, what would she be doing? She would definitely do and achieve more than I. She would surely be more grateful than I, one simple meal would be enough for her. She would be more generous than I, she would offer more to the blind than what I had given her.

Astaghfirullah...May Allah forgive me. May Allah forgive us all. May Allah make us use our senses and limbs in the way that would please Him more.

Pic credit: