Sunday, September 30, 2012

God - The dots connector


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. It's a beautiful Sunday. Even if it didn't seem to be beautiful to you today, someday when you look back, it's all going to look beautiful. Those who are mature would see and recognize a bad day as a good day as it should be. 

A friend whom I respect, a young lady doctor, text-ed me earlier this week quoting Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi: "Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala provides. He doesn't deprive. He provides and He withholds. His withholding, in reality, is providing you with something else, you just have to be patient and see what it is. In many ways, His withholding is a greater provision for you."

Earlier this morning I watched a video of Steve Jobs giving an inspiring and touching commencement address at Stanford Uni in 2005. Just six years before his passing. In case you didn't know who he was, he's the man who could turn a fruit into some great inedible technology products. You know they say you are a leader if your actions could inspire people to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.

Steve Jobs related three stories of his life: 'Connecting the Dots', 'Loss and Love' and 'Death'. He talked about how he had dropped out of college; how branching out to do things that others would not have done like learning calligraphy turned out to be beneficial for him and his future business; how being fired by the company he founded made him start even greater corporations; how for 33 years of his life he would look into the mirror every morning and asked 'if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today';  how a life-threatening illness made him realize and conclude that "death is the single best invention of life" because it's a life-changing agent which could help us make big choices in life. Yes, he said that even though many of you out there might regard his products as one of the best inventions in life. Ironic but I have always appreciated the spiritual side of this remarkable man.

So events in our lives are like dots which may not seem logical today, something which might be a laughingstock to others, something that could be deemed less desirable by the majority including you yourself, but in truth, there is wisdom in each and every event. Steve Jobs said "we have to have faith that the dots will connect down the road. We cannot connect the dots looking forward, we can only connect them looking backward." When we have the trust and belief that the dots will eventually connect and connect well, we'll have the confidence to follow our hearts. 

Indeed, Allah is our creator and the creator of our actions (Qur'an: As Saffat 96). He is the Mastermind. He creates the dots and He is the dots connector. Only when we have full trust in Him can we be calm and be guided by what's inspired in the hearts. Otherwise, we would be restless, unsure how to act, inclined to lament and despair at His "withholding".  

Best wishes to all. Let's embrace this polka dot life.
Pic credit:
Credit: Vala Afshar. His tweet made me watch the video.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A sinner's future


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. It's Friday. 
T.A.I.F - Thank Allah It's Friday! Jum'ah mubarrak people! 

I have been reading some exciting tweets and articles on management like 'The Simple Power of One a Day' which reminded me of my commitment of intent when I started this space - to try to write a blog post a day. I noticed some tweets by professional organizations actually resonate with Islamic teachings. Today Harvard Business Review tweeted: "If you find yourself rushing to judgment, pause." 

And some plain truths just make me smile like an article on 'The Messy Business of Management' which gives a refreshing perspective on the "intelligent" mess that we have to deal with at the workplace or elsewhere, in life. To me, it's about being adaptable. ["Adaptability is a sign of intelligence" tweeted Vala Afshar.] Yes, to me it's about being adaptable in trying to deconstruct a mess, which as defined by Russel L. Ackoff is "a system of constantly changing, highly interconnected problems, none of which is independent of the other problems that constitute the entire mess." Russel also said, "Managers don't solve simple, isolated problems, they manage messes." I say a big thank you to him for saying that, for acknowledging that there is plenty of mess in organizations. But it's all good. We all learn and grow from it.

Anyways, it's Friday and I thought of scribbling something related to work. But then again, everything is work if you think about it. Life is work. And we have to keep working at it. Oh, another funny tweet I read and quoted before: if you complain too much about your day, try going without one! 

As we close the week, let's reflect on our wins and losses too. But let's not dwell too much on losses or sins committed this week. Regret yes, but move on because shaytan wants us to be sad and despair and not have hopes that Allah is ever forgiving. So let's not make him win. Oprah quoted Warren Buffet in her tweet today: "Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future." So there.

Wish you all a blissful Friday and a happy weekend. By the way, I turned 42 last Tuesday, so I really wanna chill this weekend. Alhamdulillah, He has made me live this far, that He has created me - nikmat ijad - we must be grateful for that. Nothing to hide about my age. Thanks to my lovely friends for your kind wishes. 


p/s Happy birthday to you too Sister Rahimah! You are so sweet! You know I am just shy and humbled that there are many readers of Lisan al-Din who are very respectable, polite and kind. You all have my utmost respect! I am a nobody. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad at Haul Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad 2012


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. 

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Dean of Cambridge Muslim College UK was among the guest of honors at the recent Haul Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad held at Masjid Al-Falah, Malaysia. The shaykh was also in KL to launch his new books.

Dr. Yusri Ahmad acted as the interpreter. I thought he did a good job whereas I did a poor job in my note taking.

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said and this is far from verbatim:
Allah divides creation into times and space. We should avoid being like a sheep, looking down most of the time eating grass. We should be looking up to the heavens. Allah shows us the pathways e.g. daily prayers, fasting in Ramadhan, Hajj and remembrance in the heart and mind. He/she whom Allah has destined for doom will end up living like animals. He/she who is meant to be happy, Allah guides.

History of mankind is not a history about kings, economists, leaders etc. But it is a history of hearts and the lights that shine therefrom. Anything that is not linked to the heart, has got no value. The shaykh quoted a verse from the Quran about the day when nothing shall be of use to us save qalbun salim. And that Allah does not look at our form nor property but our heart. The value of a man lies in his heart. 

We need to refer to the great people, they who have left a scented trail. Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad died a long time ago [301 years ago to be exact] but he has left us with a fragrant scent. Spiritually, he remains with us. By remembering him, grace shall descend. 

This world is just a passing place for people like him. The natural home is akhirah. Imam Al-Haddad had lived for akhirah. He did not expect much from dunya. He belonged with people who lived with a brightly lit heart. They were always looking up towards akhirah and never looking down like animals. We live for the purpose of going back to our homeland - akhirah. Everyone will come to taste death.

In remembering Imam Al-Haddad, we should realize the true value of dunya. In one of his qasida, he enjoined people to akhirah and to get ready to leave this world. There is one hole which is waiting for us - death.  

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad ended his lecture by making du'a beseeching for Allah's love and to make us love all those who love Allah. That He would illuminate our hearts. That we will go back to Allah with certainty about His blessings and go back with a luminous heart. 
Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions.

An event by

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Habib Soleh Al-Jufri at Haul Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad 2012


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillahFirst and foremost we must offer our thanks to the Chairman of HAK (Amanah Hawi Al-Khairat), Habib Abdul Rahman bin Ali Al-Haddad and his team for having organized the 301-st Haul of Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad. Three venues were chosen for the haul this year: Masjid Baitul Aman, Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz and Masjid Al-Falah.

We're grateful to have made it at Masjid Al-Falah on Sunday evening. Among the guest speakers who gave tausiyah were Habib Najmuddin bin Othman, Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al-Fatani, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad of Cambridge U.K. and Habib Soleh Al-Jufri of Indonesia.

Habib Soleh Al-Jufri said:
One great bounty that we ought to be grateful for after iman and Islam is that we are connected/associated with the awliya, solehin and prominent salaf,  that our lives are guided by virtue of our association with those whom Allah loves. That's a sign of Allah answering our prayer, the prayer we recite so many times in a day in our solat - ihdina siratal mustaqim.

Whose path do we ask to follow? "The path of those You bestow favor upon." It's the path of the anbiya, the siddiqin, the syuhada and solehin. Sitting here in a majlis like this: haul, mawlid, listening to stories of great saints, reciting Simtud Duror - is a sign that that prayer of ours - ihdina siratal mustaqim, has been granted.

In celebrating this haul, we must know the sirah (history) of the person we are remembering and honoring. Only then we would be ready to follow them. And you must really love the person or you would not have come to events like this, events that they too loved and attended during their lifetime.

You should be grateful, really, but coming here is not good enough. You must make an effort to heed their advice, and take it with you, put it to practice no matter where you are - at home, in the office, on the road everywhere.

As we pray to Allah to make us follow the path of those He bestow favor upon, we must steer clear from the path of those who incurred His wrath and went astray. Don't dress like they do. Avoid following them zahir and batin. Stick to this rule, stay connected to the righteous people until your life ends and you will earn husnul khatimah. InshaAllah.

As you become istiqamah in attending majlis such as this and in your love for the solehin, then you will want to emulate their qualities. Their practices which you are accustomed to [e.g. the wirid, Ratib etc.] would engulf you and influence you so that  you would also display commendable attributes (sifat immaniyat) such as patience, taqwa, ehsan, yaqin, muraqabah and so on. Allah loves good qualities as narrated in various verses of the Qur'an, He loves those who are patient, who are God-fearing, who do good, who have certitude etc.

Once you are adorned with sifat imaniyat, you must drop all negative attributes. It is not possible for something good to co-exist with something bad. Then you may start having the consciousness of being watched by Allah that you feel haya' (shy) towards Allah. For example, a smoker would feel shy if someone he respects sees him smoking. There are certain people whom he'd hide his smoking habits because he is just shy towards them. This feeling of shyness is the first step of muraqabah. But it's unlikely that you'll attain muraqabah if you don't truly repent (taubat nasuha). You must repent from major sins like drinking alcohol, taking drugs etc. and minor sins like looking at women (or men if you are a woman), watching TV programmes that might excite your shahwat etc. You must truthfully regret your bad actions and make a strong intention to leave all those negative things. Once you have made a true taubat nasuha you will notice that reading the Quran becomes easy, making zikir, fasting, giving sadaqah, attending majlis 'ilm all these will become easy for you. Then muraqabah becomes something that is natural for you. 

There are two types of muraqabah: watching your actions and muraqabah of the heart. The latter means that you must guard your heart from pride, takabbur, envy, having bad opinions of others and from thinking of anything save Allah. 

May Allah give us tawfik, the strength to emulate the good qualities which the honorable people have. May Allah grant us husnul khatimah and gather us with the righteous and with Rasulullah s.a.w.
Wallahu a'lam May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions.
Will be posting Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad's tausiyah later InshaAllah.
Pic credit: kuliahustazul.blogspot

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jailani at Haul Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad 2012


The 18th descendant of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jailani, Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jailani gave the main tausiyah at Haul Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad in Shah Alam, Malaysia, last Saturday. 

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we feel blessed to be present at the special annual event organized by HAK (Amanah Hawi Al-Khairat). We feel blessed to be living in Malaysia where events such as this are being hosted regularly. And of course we feel blessed too that Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jailani has made Malaysia his home. He spoke at Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz about muraqabah being the theme for this year's haul for Imam Al-Haddad. Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid acted as the eloquent interpreter, as always. 

Below is a brief note of the tausiyah:
Alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah for uniting our hearts to assemble at this place to honor Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad, one who's remembered as having exemplary akhlak.

Allah says: even if you give away all your wealth to congregate people, you can't do that for it is Allah who is capable to unite their hearts. This is indeed a blessed gathering for we are here to make zikr of Allah and to recollect the qualities of Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad. May by his blessings, and by our presence at this event, Allah will grant us redha and qabul.

Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad was one whose inner eye was awakened, one who was blessed with miracles, one who was granted much understanding and was beneficial to others. He was granted basirah to know himself and thus know Allah for he who knows himself, knows Allah. He was gifted with being in a state of muraqabah towards Allah. 

Muraqabah comes from Allah's Name Ar-Raqib - meaning the Watcher/Watchful. It is a distinct quality for those who are near to Allah. Our muraqabah is not comparable to his muraqabah. When we commit a transgression, we feel scared that Allah is watching. But for the elitist like Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad, their muraqabah is in their servitude to Allah. They are conscious that Allah is watching if their worship is of good quality, if their akhlak lives up to His expectations. They are, at all times watching their actions, their heart, eyes, ears - always in muraqabah

Imam Al-Ghazali commented on a hadith about Allah not looking at a person's outer (zahir) but at his heart. It is weird that we take the trouble to dress up nicely and perfume ourselves when we go out because people would be watching us. And yet we forgot about our heart which is being continuously watched by Allah. We don't seem to bother to beautify our hearts, to make it smell good. 

Remember when we are sitting all by ourselves, even when we are quiet, Allah could hear the voices in our heart. Allah knows what the intentions of our eyes are and what is in the heart. He knows why we look at something, the reason behind it. He knows when our speech is not the same as what is in the heart. Nothing is hidden from Allah for He is nearer to us than our jugular vein.

Saidina Umar r.a. was known for checking on his community at night. People would go to sleep early so that they would not bump into him. Once during his night walkabout he overheard a milk seller asking her daughter to dilute the milk so that they could make more sales. The daughter refused. The mother then coerced her saying, "Umar doesn't know." Her daughter replied: "O mother, though Umar may not know, the God of Umar is always looking at what we do."

Saidina Umar was pleased and impressed by the woman's daughter that he asked his son 'Asim to marry her. So marry her he did and one renowned figure descended from this lady who understood muraqabah -  one named Saidina Umar Abdul Aziz.

Shaykh Afeefuddin asked the audience to look for muraqaba qualities in themselves "As a parent, where is your muraqabah towards your children? You are responsible for them. Allah is watching if you are fulfilling your duties of looking after your children." 

Shaykh Afeefuddin ended his tausiyah with a lengthy and heartfelt du'a. He prayed so that Allah would include us among those who have muraqabah and muhasabah, knowing that Allah is watching us. That Allah would grant us taubat nasuha. That we belong with the people to whom Allah will say: "O my servant, I have hidden your sins when you were in dunya. I will do the same here."   

Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions.
Pic credit: Darul Jailani/Darul Murtadza 

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ustaz Hassan Saiful Rijal at Haul Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad 2012


Ustaz Hassan Saiful Rijal of Singapore is a murid of Habib Umar bin Hafiz at Darul Mustafa in Yemen. He was one of the guest speakers at Haul Imam Al-Haddad held at Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz in Shah Alam last night.

Masjid Sultan Abdul Aziz was yet again lit with beautiful lights and nur of the honorable habaib and shuyukh who attended this grand annual event. HAK (Amanah Hawi Al-Khairat) the event organizer announced that the 302nd haul next year will also be held at the same masjid on 14 September 2013 (10 Dhul Qa'dah 1434H) InshaAllah.

Ustaz Hassan began his tausiyah by proclaiming Alhamdulillah and phrases of gratitude that Allah has gathered us at another heavenly garden. We cannot be sure if we could enter the heavens when we are called back to Allah, but here we are, by the grace of Allah and the blessings of one man by the name of Imam Al-Haddad, one chosen by Allah and honored with esteemed commendations - a Shaykh of Islam, Qutub Dakwah wal Irshad. May, by remembering Imam Al-Haddad, Allah will grant us mercy.

Quoting one of the sayings of ulama he said: one who thinks of or remembers the solehin, those near to Allah, who are tawajjuh (directed) to Allah, who practice muraqabah towards Allah, those whose hearts are never heedless, he/she will receive a great bounty from Allah. May Allah shower His blessings on all of you present here. May He fulfill our wish and honor us at Mahsyar.

As we remember Imam Al-Haddad, we must get to know him better, his books, his teachings and follow in his footsteps. One of the imam's unique characters is muraqabah. He was conscious of being watched. That his every move and word was being monitored by Allah. We should also have this muraqabah quality.

Ustaz Hassan narrated the event where Jibril came to see Prophet Muhammad s.a.w in the form of a good looking man. And sitting very close to the Prophet, Jibril asked, "what is ehsan?" The Prophet s.a.w answered: "It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him and if you don't, then know that He is seeing you."

Now, the question is "can we see Allah?" said Ustaz Hassan. We can't see Him or imagine Him. Though we can recognize His attributes like Ar-Razaq who provides food, Al-Mujib, who answer our pleas, At-Tawwab who accepts our repentance and so on. We do not have the capacity to see Allah. But surely He sees us. No one could monitor us 24 hours a day. But we cannot escape from being watched by Him round the clock. So what is the proof that Allah is watching us? Look at the fans. It is working because there is electricity. Now feel your heartbeat. Who is it that is powering it, making it alive? Who is the one who makes your heartbeats? It is Allah. Your heart works even when you are sleeping, crying and even when you are forgetful of Him. He is watching us, so be careful with your every movement. We'll be asked, "O you, fulan bin fulan, I have given you feet, hands, a tongue...What did you use it for?" What would your answer be?

Imam Al-Haddad was one who is extra careful about his actions. His kitab is full of advice. Other authors may have/do the same but Imam Al-Haddad's one unique characteristic was that he's able to impress upon your heart, knock your heart. He was able to summarize a complex kitab like Ihya Ulumuddin in poetry form. O people, do not stop here at this majlis, read Imam Al-Haddad's books, attend majlis ilm with a guru whose lineage is connected to the Imam.

Ending his tausiyah, Ustaz Hassan said, "Look at those honorable shuyukh who are present with us here. May by their lights, Allah will grant nur to our inner eyes, and guide us and answer our prayers..."
Wallahu a'lam.
May I be forgiven for any errors. May we benefit from the event and have the strength to practise what we heard.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ustaz Azhar bin Hashim at Haul Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad 2012


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. We're grateful to have attended the Haul of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al Haddad (1634 - 1720 CE) at Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz in Shah Alam, Malaysia, tonight. 

Yes, it's been 301 years since Imam Al-Haddad left us and yet his presence and influence are still visible.

The event organized by HAK (Amanah Hawi Al-Khairat) was graced by the luminaries of the Islamic world. Among the honorable guests present were: Imam of Masjid Sultan Salahuddin, Ustaz Firdaus, Shaykh Abdul Karim Al-Fatani, Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jailani, Ustaz Hafiz bin Selamat from the Al-Jenderami Foundation,  Habib Isa bin Sumait, Ustaz Hasan Saiful Rijal, Habib Ali Al-Jufri and Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid of Darul Murtadza Malaysia.

Ustaz Azhar bin Hashim of Majlis Ta'alim Rahmatan Lil Alamin, Malaysia was the first to give a tausiyah. He said:

We are gathered here together with prominent ulama and habaib to mark the Haul of Imam Al-Haddad, one imam whose life had been filled with plenty of mujahadah towards the ultimate goal of reaching Allah.

As human beings, we will eventually face Allah where our actions will be judged, whether we like it or not. Our raison d'etre (the reason for existence) is illa liyakbudun that is to worship Allah. We do not live for the purpose of seeking provision because it is secured by Allah. We live for the sole purpose of being a servant of Allah.

Imam Al-Haddad in his kitab often stressed the importance of mujahadah, battling the nafs with a goal to reach Allah. The Imam also said that the first step towards Allah is tawba, to repent from our misdeeds, to purify ourselves from sins, only then can we begin to worship Allah. It is of no meaning if one makes an attempt to worship Allah without first purifying oneself from sins. For how can you meet Allah when you are not in a pure state?

Imam Al-Haddad taught us about four hurdles we'll have to overcome in our journey towards Allah: dunya, people, shayatin and our own nafs. And nafs being the hardest to handle. Imam Al-Ghazali in his Minhajul Abidin too mentioned the nafs being the most difficult obstacle.

We may rise above the tests of dunya, people and even shaytan. The Prophet s.a.w was known to have defeated shaytan and made it profess the syahadah. But it's not possible to defeat nafs completely because it is not entirely bad since it has its own benefits too.

When we speak of qulub, the heart, there are two elements namely nafs (desires) and akal (intelligence). These two never agree as they are always battling each other for as long as we live. Sometimes nafs wins the day and sometimes intelligence has the upper hand. Who wins depends on the food that is being fed. If you feed your nafs more, it might thus win the battle. If you feed your intelligence more, then it might be the victorious one.

Imam Al-Haddad in one of his kitab spoke about the types of food for akal and nafs. Akal strives on zikrullah, useful knowledge, fear of Allah, redha and so on and so forth. Nafs on the other hand, feeds on the love of dunya, whispers of the shayatin, a plea from your base desires, not seeking useful knowledge, not attending majlis zikr, etc.

Imam Al-Haddad in his publication Al Adab Suluk bil Murid defined a student, not as one who studies, but is one who walks the path to Allah, one who has basirah (eye of the heart) on Allah, one whose nafs is directed towards Allah.

Ulama Sufi occupy their time checking (muraqabah) on the level of their nafs. Always keeping an eye on which of the 6 levels of nafs they belong to. Whether it's nafs amarah - one that is inclined to bad deeds; nafs  lawamah - one which inclines toward transgressing but with a little degree of conscience; nafs mulhimah - one that is inclined to repent (tawba) and thus have a chance to progress; nafs mutmainnah - one which is constant on the good side and is destined for success in reaching Allah; nafs radhiah - one who is contented with Allah's choice on his destiny; nafs mardhiah - one whom Allah is pleased with; nafs kamaliah - a nafs which is perfect and arrives at its destination - Allah.

Concluding his tausiyah, Ustaz Azhar bin Hashim prayed so that by the blessings of the event and Imam Al-Haddad, may Allah grant us victory over the battle with our nafs, that we could attain nafs mutmainnah, radhiah, mardiah and kamaliah. 

Wallahu a'lam.
May I be forgiven for any errors in capturing and relaying what I heard at the majlis. Will be posting tausiyah by Shaykh Affeefuddin and Ustaz Hassan Saif Rijal afterward. InshaAllah.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Social rules


Feel like talking to myself tonight. Just feel like thinking aloud. Not justifying myself, but just talking. This may be a public platform but it's also my private space and I keep my sanity by assuming no one is reading. So write (dance) like no one is watching.

I've also been trying to protect myself from aggressive/impolite Anonymous and also Anonymous who tends to inflate the ego (though unintentionally). Seek refuge in Allah from both.

Like some people out there, I used to prefer solitude to socializing. Maybe I still do and to a certain extent, I am anti-social.  But if people redefined social as Sincere - Open - Collaborative - Interested - Authentic - Likeable, I should think about being social again. The first four qualities are perfectly all right, they are mahmudah qualities, but likable? How? We've been taught to be neutral whether people like us or not. And not sure about doing things purposely to make people like us. It is not about conformity to people, it's about conformity to the rules of the Creator and His best creation - conform to the best of our abilities. But if people happen to like us because of our mahmudah qualities, for our good manners, and to borrow the words of Habib Umar, "a source of security" for others, then that's well and good. Alhamdulillah.

If 'social' had not been redefined in such a positive manner, I would not want to be as sociable as I had been when I was young and attractive. Because being sociable might mean being vulnerable to peer pressure or negative influences from bad company. And that spells regrets! But then again, if regrets take you to Him, take you to the realm of truth and a better understanding of yourself and your Creator, then that's a gift. Indeed Allah works in wondrous ways. Alhamdulillah.

With due respect to social media fans (whom I know have benefited a great deal from such a medium), I am just one of those who are not super excited about updating my status. On most days, my status is either an obedient servant, a ghaflah, or a sinner and that's not for the world to know.

So that's my answer to many of you who have been asking about my FB 'who' is slowly becoming an ex-bf.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Haul Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad 21 - 23 September 2012


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we have come to the time of the year for us to commemorate the passing of the honorable Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad (1634 - 1720 CE). May Allah make it easy for us to attend these events and all such events which honor Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, his families and his successors.

Friday - 21 September 2012 at Masjid Baitul Aman, KL
Saturday - 22 September 2012 at Masjid Sultan Salahuddin, Shah Alam
Sunday - 23 September 2012 at Masjid Al Falah, Subang Jaya, KL

Guest Speakers:
Habib Abu Bakar Al-Adni bin Ali Al-Masyhur from Yemen
Habib Abdullah bin Abdul Qadir Al-Khered from Saudi Arabia
Habib Saleh bin Muhammad Al-Jufri from Indonesia

The theme for this year is Al-Muraqabah.

Reflecting on the theme, we remind ourselves to keep an eye on our lower self. Until and unless we watch over our passions (hawa) and our "self" which often crave for gratification, we may not attain musyahadah  (witnessing) of the Reality. He who is alive to himself is dead to his God. That is why it is said the difference between those who are in the state of remembrance (zikrullah) and those who are heedless, is like one who is alive while the latter is dead.

We quote from 'The Sufi Sage of Arabia', Imam Al-Haddad saying: "Even the one who wishes for a crowd at his funeral is an ostentatious seeker of posthumous fame." Such is the nature of our "self", thinking about "I and my reputation", even after death. We are thinking always of the ways to elevate ourselves. But Imam Al-Haddad said and may we benefit from his counsel and barakah, he said:
"Cast yourselves down to the ground.
If your state with God is satisfactory,
this will elevate you even more."

So we say, keep an eye (muraqabah) on the "I".
La mawjud illAllah.
Wallahu a'lam.

Event organizer

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Majlis taa'lim at KL Ba'alawi on 16 September 2012


All are welcome to attend a lecture on Kitab Hikam by
Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al Maliki

on Sunday, 16 September 2012
at Baa'lawi KL
No. 9, Jalan UP 2A
Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati

Maghrib onwards.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

KL welcomes Kate


We are delighted to welcome the lovely royal couple, HRH Prince William and his gorgeous wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge to Kuala Lumpur. 

We certainly admire Kate's inner strength. She should be commended for being able to offer such beautiful smiles and greet so many well-wishers despite having to face a personal crisis. Can you imagine how she must have been feeling? She was about to leave for a tour of a masjid in KL when she was informed about that unjustifiable intrusion on her privacy. No one human being, regardless of her/his faith, deserves to have her/his honor harmed. In Islam, one of the maqasid shariah (the objectives of Islamic law) is for the protection of one's dignity.

Hmm...suddenly I find the supposedly romantic French so ungentlemanlike. Only a desperate pervert would intrude to capitalize on someone's body. To earn money and gain benefits from manipulating someone's wife or anybody for that matter, is utterly disgusting.

It is our hope that our esteemed guests would leave Malaysia with a renewed strength and lead a peaceful and happy life together forever. 

Pic credit: James Whalling Corbis

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Preserving a Prophet's innocence


If indeed, by Allah, we truly know our Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam we should profusely profess the salutations to him and his noble family. Our heart connection to him should be sturdy enough that no amount of negative provocation in relation to him, could make us sway from his ways, from sunnah. He was the most kind to his adversaries - the one sunnah which we keep failing to emulate.

Today, some 1400 years after his passing, we are still not able to truly portray the kind of beauty which he had portrayed. We are not doing enough to make others understand why we have a special regard for him.  Instead of acting more so that people could appreciate and respect our faith, we are reacting in a way that make people further misunderstand or misperceive our religion. We do not have the maturity to handle situations in the way that he would expect - not all of us but many of us. Our love or obsession for the most beautiful of creations, does not warrant us to forego the adab (manners) which the Prophet himself had propagated, let alone kill innocent life. 

In times of trouble, of restlessness and of spiritual drought, let's pray so that salawatun Nabi could bring us the much-needed coolness, sanity, and wisdom to our hearts and minds. That it would help put things into perspective, that it would eventually make us comprehend and realize the reality of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and function in the way that would be pleasing to him and Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

"O Allah, send blessings upon the Muhammadian essence, which is both subtle and unique, the sun of the sky of secrets, the made visible of the luminescence, the majestic center around which all revolves, the beautiful axis of the firmament. O Allah, by his secret with You, quieten my fears, decrease my faults, remove my afflictions and miserliness. Exist for me and take me to You from me. Grant me annihilation from me. Do not make me lead astray by my nafs, nor make me veiled by my senses. Reveal to me all of the hidden secrets. Ya Hayy, Ya Qayyum."

Sallu 'alan Nabi!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stop being a part-time judge


We heard Shaykh Ninowy quoting Almarhum Shaykh Sayyid Alawi Al Abbas: "Those who know less, judge more. Those who know more, judge less."

During my younger days, I had met quite a few 'religious' men who judged me harshly and openly. None of them succeeded in attracting me to Islam. Then I met Baba Aziz and he spoke words of wisdom gently, disregarding my state at that time. Instantaneously I responded to his non-judgmental approach positively. Alhamdulillah.

Not too long ago I had the privilege to speak with a renowned shaykh and he in his wisdom too spoke gently and said "I don't judge. It's Allah who judge." Last night I listened to Habib Umar speaking to an audience in Australia. Someone asked him what his views were about a certain shakyh who's said to have committed fornication prior to becoming a shaykh, whether he should refrain from being a guide. Habib Umar said matter of factly that no one should label the shaykh or anyone with a sin that he/she might have committed e.g. adultery, unless you see it yourself and could produce four eyewitnesses. Even if you could do that, you/the witness should not be broadcasting a person's misdeed. The shaykh should just continue being a guide because according to Habib Umar there have been quite a few cases where people changed for the better and became knowledgeable persons from whom we could all learn.

Can you see the difference? There are people who become unnecessarily attached to another person's past wrong-doing and are overly concerned about making a judgment on people's actions. And there are truly knowledgeable people who think well of others. Habib Umar said to the person asking him for his legal opinion on the matter: "Only Allah can judge His creatures."

Habib Umar also mentioned the fact that most sahabah avoided giving fatwa (ruling). Instead of being quick to judge others, they would rush to perform the night prayers and other supererogatory worship. There were so few of them who's known to have given fatwa, that we could count them on one hand.

But at the present time, we know a little something and then eagerly put on our judge hat to catch others. We all have become a part-time judge at one point or another. We have our own business to care for and work as an unpaid part-time judge too. There are a bunch of people in Malaysia for example who are keen to judge another Muslim as kafir/kuffar. That if you do a certain thing you will end up in hell. They would speak as though they are the custodian of the heavens and the Islamic rulings. There are people who even dare call others monkey, donkey, pig etc.

I am reminded of a zen story which many of us must have heard before.
Two Buddhist Monks were on a journey, one was a senior monk, the other a junior monk. During their journey they approached a raging river and on the river bank stood a young lady. She was clearly concerned about how she would get to the other side of the river without drowning.
The junior monk walked straight past her without giving it a thought and he crossed the river. The senior monk picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He placed her down, they parted ways with woman and on they went with the journey.
As the journey went on, the senior monk could see some concern on the junior monk's mind, he asked what was wrong. The junior monk replied, "how could you carry her like that? You know we can't touch women, it's against our way of life". The senior monk answered, "I left the woman at the rivers edge a long way back, why are you still carrying her?" 

May Allah give us the strength to mind our own abaya or beard or whatever. May Allah keep us on the straight path. Ameen.

Related post:
Pic credit:

Friday, September 7, 2012

We love those whom we love


After having had to deal with a couple of unwelcome anonymous self-appointed judge of me and my personal space, I welcomed a liberating northbound trip with the one I love, to meet many more whom I love. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah

But my small brain is still puzzled as to why some strangers bother giving us their precious attention. Why oh why bother scrutinize me and my space? 

But my heart completely understand why we love those whom we love. It's a no-brainer thing. But it's a no-brainer thing which could make us do wonderful things, make us walk an extra mile, make us want to give more than what we have, make us hopeful...and so much more.

Today, we're blessed to have visited a soul whom we will always love, Almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman. A couple of weeks ago my mum informed me with tears in her eyes "I have just recited the entire Qur'an for Shaykh Raja!"

MashaAllah...we simply love all whom we love and we need not say anything more.

The tomb of Almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman
at Masjid Ubudiah, Kuala Kangsar
Al Fatihah

Monday, September 3, 2012

On being righteous


We have said this before and we'll say it again, we are all 'work in progress'. As we move on in life, we are faced with a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. There are, needless to say, many things or situations that are beyond our control. We can only do so much. Things happen.

The Prophet s.a.w had done his ultimate best to preach and guide people to good, yet he couldn't avoid having people throwing stones at him and doing all sorts of things to humiliate him. We cannot control how other people would act or react toward us, but we can surely control our reactions toward their actions. And we draw strength from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. We rely on shafaat of Rasulullah s.a.w. We hope for barakah of awliyaAllah and the du'a of the habaib and solehin. We are nothing on our own. We cannot depend on our amal to protect us for our amal is insignificant. We can only offer a sincere and truthful heart in wanting to be good and to keep praying for a good outcome. We are no saint. There will be people who will keep on trying to derail us from the right path.

Someone said to me angrily: "Get on with your life, be a righteous blogger!" Heh heh...I think I don't need to be told about getting on with my life. I don't need to be told about being righteous. Now, who doesn't want to be righteous? We thank Allah for giving us the consciousness of wanting to be righteous, for inspiring us to be good and do good, as much as we could.

We walk on this rugged path and sometimes kick a stone and get bruised or even fall. But we shall always get up again with the strength from Allah, for our heart is connected to Allah and we say lahawla wala quwwata illah billah. May He give us the strength to say Allah and leave them to their play.

- righteous blogger wannabe

Oh, if you can't do good to people, don't do them bad.
Let's revisit this posting on Habib Umar's advice to us:
"Be the source of security for everyone"

Please note that this Blog will no longer accept comments from any ANONYMOUS anymore. Sorry. If you have a face and a voice and want your voice or "legal opinions" on matters of shariat, tariqat and haqiqat to be heard, then come forward, introduce yourself properly. There is a Malay saying, don't throw a stone and then hide your hand. To those of you who seemed to be extremely sensitive about the photos/contents which appear on this space, know that I am not answerable to you. Thank you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Honoring Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq (1442 - 1493) - A Sufi Gem of the 15th Century


Those who desecrated Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq's tomb on 26th August 2012 should know that he wouldn't have possibly cared. 

At 40, he wrote to his guide Al Hadrami saying:
"You have known sir, that I am in Misrata
because of what came into my heart that I must obey.
We are unable to do anything
but turn wherever the wind of our destiny turns
and accept whatever emanates from it
with the help of God.
Since each destiny has been recorded in a book
we do not care where we are,
as long as we are numbered among the beloved ones."

In all likelihood, the Shaykh is at a better place, in a better abode despite the foolish attempt made by those who wished to dishonor him and his maqam

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq (1442 - 1493), his full name was Shaykh Shihabbudin Abu Al-Abbas ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa Al-Barnusi Al-Fasi. A gem of the 15th century, he was widely known as Zarruq, a nickname given by his grandfather, from the word 'Azraq' meaning blue, for he must have had a pair of blue eyes, a common trait of the Berbers. His parents died when he was an infant. He was brought up by his mother's mother Umm Al Banin, a saintly lady from whom he learned plenty about unity and the fundamentals of Sufism until he was 10.  

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq, although must have also been influenced by the Qadiri Tariqa, was believed to be an associate of the Shadhilli Tariqa. He became a seeker of knowledge and a writer at the age of 16. Al-Zaytuni, a "blind serpent" was another of his Sufi Shaykh. He performed the pilgrimage to Mecca at the age of 27. His other significant guide was Al-Hadrami who was also known as Al Makki, a notable Shadhilli guide. In total, he was said to have studied with 48 guides, a good mixture of jurists and Sufis.

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq married his first wife Fatimah while he was in Fez, Morocco. She bore him two sons. At 40, he settled in Misrata, Libya where he married a second wife who bore him another two sons and one daughter. He had named all his four sons Ahmad. He died at 54 while in retreat and didn't leave behind many possessions at death except for a cape, a jubbah, a dress, a rosary and 14 volumes of various subjects.

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq was regarded by many as "unifiers" for having unified shariah, haqiqah and tariqah in his teachings and in practice. His zawiyah in Misrata had only been constructed 20 years after his passing. His students had wanted to build a zawiyah during his time, but he refused their offer.

He had written a huge amount of publication that Al Kuhin reckoned it to be half a page a day for each day of his life. Of the 94 works written by Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq, one was on alchemy, two on medicine, two on theology, two Quranic commentaries, three on letters and number symbolism, four on biographies and travel narratives, five correspondence, six prophetic traditions, 10 on invocation and commentaries, 10 poems, 10 on jurisprudence, and 39 on Sufism. Some of the major titles on Sufism were: commentaries on Al Hikam, commentaries on Hizb al Bar, commentaries on Dalail Khayrat by Al Jazuli, commentaries on Sahih Al Bukhari and his most prominent publication was the Qawaid al Tasawuf  (Principles/Foundation of Sufism).

As a believer of the unseen and a lover of awliyaAllah, we pray so that Allah will make us benefit from Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq's teachings and that He will gather us with him and all other awliyaAllah in the presence of Rasulullah s.a.w. Ameen.

"We do not care where we are,
as long as we are numbered among the beloved ones."
- Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq


Read a brief abstract of Qawaid Al Tasawuf here: 
Other postings related to Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq:

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq's short biography above was extracted from a Ph.D. thesis written by
Sister Zaineb S. Istrabadi, Indiana University 1988.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mawlid & Eid celebration at Ba'alawi Kuala Lumpur - 2 September 2012


All are invited to a Mawlid & Eid Get-Together
in the presence of
Shaykh Abdul Aziz (Baba Aziz)
Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam Al-Maliki &
Habib Ali bin Zainal Abidin

Sunday, 2 September 2012
Maghrib onwards

Ba'alawi KL
No. 9, Jalan UP 2A
Prima Ukay
Saujana Melawati