Thursday, November 15, 2007

Naseeha

Hassaan bin Atiyya said, Allah said:


"My servant is not delivered from Me (i.e. from My punishment) except by doing that which I enjoined upon him; and he does not stop drawing nearer to Me with supererogatory acts until I love him, and he does not draw nearer to Me with anything better than naseeha. So if he does that I become his heart with which he understands, his tongue with which he speaks, and his sight with which he sees- I answer him if he supplicates Me, I give him if he asks Me, and I forgive him if he asks My forgiveness."



The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said,

"Allah Most High said: Of all the ways that I am worshiped, the one I love the most is sincere naseeha."




Both hadiths narrated by Abdullah ibn Mubarak.


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Naseeha is advice, or good counsel. It is to give people recommendations and help, out of sincere interest in helping them. It is to remind them of what is right and what is wrong, and to not be ashamed to do that.

Allah's Messenger Muhammad, pbuh, said, "The Deen is naseeha, The Deen is naseeha, The Deen is naseeha".

Monday, November 12, 2007

There's Something About Fez

The place of Fez in the Islamic World is well known- it is the center of the Divine Sciences, "the cradle of knowledges and fount of gnoses", intellectual capital of Morocco, whose very soil produced great awliya, according to one Medieval historian. But here is a description of Fez from a famous Jewish scholar around the 10th century, when Fez was mostly inhabited by Jews,



"...the great ancient city of Fez, the seat of the Law, the threshing-floor of wisdom, the winepress of the testimony, which drives away sleep to study the Law of the Lord, which breathes divine learning even in its sleep..."



May Allah grant us a visit to drink from its fountains, from the great scholars of the Qarawiyyin Mosque, may Allah preserve it until the end of times.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Radical Loser

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,451379,00.html

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"The Muslim stops eating before he is full"

لأن أترك من عشائي لقمة أحب إلي من إحياء ليلة


"La2an atruk min 3asha2y luqma a7abbu ilayya min I7yaa2i layla"




"To keep from eating one morsel from my dinner is more beloved to me than to stay up a whole night in worship."


- Sahl Ibn Abdallah al-Tustari



Taken from: Abul Najib al-Suhrawardi's "Aadaab al-Mureedeen"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On the Malaamatiyya

Faqr is not the same as Tasawwuf, its end is its beginning, and likewise asceticism is not the same as faqr; and for [the Sufis] faqr is not just poverty and destitution, but the praiseworthy faqr is trust in Allah Most High and contentment with His apportionment.

And the Sufi is not the Malamati, for the Malamati is he who does not show good and does not hide evil*, and the Sufi is he who is not occupied with creation and does not pay attention to their acceptance or rejection [of him].


- Abul Najib al-Suhrawardi, Aadaab al-Mureedeen.




* i.e. The malamati is afraid of being accepted by people and therefore becoming egotistical so he does not show any of his good acts to people, and does not hide his evil from them. The Sufi on the other hand does not put people's view of him into consideration or base his actions around them.


See also Hakim al-Tirmidhi's criticism of the Malamati method here.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

جلال الدين رومي - التعصب

هذا العالم أيها الفتى مثل الشجرة
ونحن عليها مثل الثمرات نصف الناضجة
فغير الناضجة منها يشتد تعلقها بالغصن
لأنها غير طيبة ولا تليق بالقصور
وأما حين تنضج وتصير طلبة الشفاه الحلوة
فأن استمساكها بالأغصان يهن على الأثر
فشدة الاستمساك والتعصب سذاجة
ما دمت جنينا فشأنك احتسام الدم


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لأن الجنين في بطن أمه يطعم الدم وهو في هذه المرحلة
يشبه فيها الثمرة غير الناضجة المستمسكة بالغصن
وهي التي صور بها الشاعر حال المتعصب
هذا التعصب الذي يدفع صاحبه إلى قسوة تتغذي
وتعيش على الدماء

Monday, February 26, 2007

Words that Pierce the Heart

There is something about words coming from a man who acts according to what he is saying. They come from the heart and so pierce other hearts. It is like they are accompanied by something... whether it is something different in the tone of their voice, or some kind of light that accompanies the words, or whatever it is.. There is definitly something there that makes them "work". This is true wether or not the listeners know if the speaker does in fact act according to his words or not.


"If you want to advise someone, or command him or forbid him, start with yourself first and then with your family, for Umar (r.a.), if he wanted to command or forbid something, would not do it until he began with his own family. Then be soft with whomever you exhort and do not repel him with censure, for a scholar once entered the presence of Harun al-Rashid and said to him: "I came to give you an exhortation so bear with me because I want to be harsh on you", so he said: "Do not, for God sent someone who is better than you to he who is worse than I, and said: "Speak gently to him, that haply he may be mindful or fear." (Qur'an 20:44), and so al-Rashid was more knowledegable than him. And if you were gentle in your speech you would be following the example of the Qur'an and the Sunna, and it is not your responsibility if your command or prohibition do not work, for exhortation is like the wind, in that it brings together the two opposites, for it both extinguishes and flares up. God, exhalted be He, said: "Whenever a Sura is sent down to thee, some of them say, 'Which of you has this increased in faith?' As for the believers, them it has increased in faith, and they are joyful. But as for those in whose heart is sickness, them it has increased in impurity added to their impurity, and they have died while they were unbelievers" (Qur'an 9:124-125).

- Ahmad ibn Idris, Al-Iqd al-Nafees, Dar Jawaami' al-Kalim, pg 61-62.




There was once a slave who went to his owner's friend and said to him, "ask your friend to set me free." So the man began saving money for a period of one year until he was able to purchase a slave and set him free. After this he went to his friend and said to him, "why don't you set your slave free?", and he did. So the slave asked him why he did not say that earlier and he replied, "If I had said that before having done it myself, my words would not have made any influence on him".

- Abd al-Aziz al-Dabbagh (paraphrased)



One day, a child's parents brought him to [Abdul Qadir Jilani]. The Child was addicted to candy, and try as they might, they had not been able to cure him of this habit. They had even sought the help of doctors, but to no avail.

Now the Sage happened to have a sweet tooth himself. He told the parents: "Go now, and bring him back a week later."
When the week had passed, the parents brought the child back. The Sage simply told him, "My son, don't eat sweets from now on." The parents were mystified as to why such a simple command had not been issued the week before, but they said nothing.

After some time had passed, the parents came back to thank the Sage. They were both surprised and elated. The child had stopped eating sweets of his own accord. "O Sage, how did you accomplish this?" they asked. "And why didn't you give him the same order when we first brought him to you?"

The Sheikh smiled. "Before I could ask your child to renounce sweets," he said, "I had to do so myself. It was because I dropped my own habit that he was able to abandon his."

- Bayman, Henry. The Black Pearl. Pg 140.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

al-Madani and Ibn Idris

Muhammad Zafir al-Madani wrote:

"My honored guide and father, Shaikh Muhammad Hasan Zafir al-Madani, left Medina about AH 1222 (AD 1807) and went as far as Morocco in search of a way by which he might attain to God, and he took guidance from many Shaikhs ... Then God brought him together with his Master, the Standard- Bearer of the Shadhili tariqah in his day, Sidi Mawlay Al- Arabi ibn Alimad ad-Darqawi. His meeting with him was on Safar 23rd, A.H. 1224, in the Darqawi Zawiyah at Bu-Barih in Bani Zarwal, two days' journey from Fez. He took the path from him, and his heart was opened under his guidance, and if it be asked who was my father's Shaikh, it was Mawlay Al-Arabi ad-Darqawi.

"For about nine years he was his companion. ...Then Mawlay Al-'Arabi said to him one day, in great earnestness: 'Go to thy home, Madani. Thou hast no longer any need of me'; and on another occasion he indicated that he had reached the end of all perfection, and said to him: 'Thou hast attained unto that which is attained to by the perfect among men,' and he told him to go to his native town, the House of the Perfumed Shrine, and when he bade farewell to him, he wept and said: 'I have made thee the instrument of my credit with God and a link between me and His Prophet'.

"He went to Medina, and stayed there with his family for three years, and every year he joined the Pilgrims on Mt Arafat and then returned to Medina where he visited continually the Shrine of the Prophet, spending his time turned towards God, steeped in contemplation, in utter detachment. ...And he said: 'During that time I met with the perfect Shaikh, the Gnostic, Sidi Ahmad ibn Idris. I found him on a most exalted footing as regards following the Wont of the Prophet, and I so marveled at his state that I took initiation from him for the blessing of it.'

"During his stay in Medina he was asked for spiritual guidance by some who were seeking a Master but he made no response to them out of pious courtesy to his Shaikh until he heard a voice from the Pure Shrine which said to him: 'Be a remembrancer, for verity remembrancing profiteth the believers'. He said: 'I quivered and shook at the sweetness of that utterance, and I understood it to be an authorization from the Apostle of the All-Bountiful King'. So he obeyed God's command and transmitted initiation to various persons in the city of the Prophet ...and returned to his Master Mawlay Al-'Arabi ad-Darqawi ...and remained in his presence for some months. Then Mawlay Al-'Arabi died, and my father set out once more for Medina ... and when he reached Tripoli the eyes of some of its people were opened to the excellence of his virtues and the fullness of his spiritual realization, so they took initiation from him. Then the number of his disciples increased and the brotherhood became famous and men associated it with him, and on this account it was named Al-Tariqat al-Madaniyyah and it is a branch of the Shadhili Tariqah. "


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- Martin Lings, A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaikh Ahmad al-Alawi: His Spiritual Heritage and Legacy. Chapter: Seen from Within. Taken from http://www.tasawuf.ws/en/biography/