Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi

Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi (d. 675 AH in Tanta, Egypt). 
He is one of the four awliya known as The Four Qutbs: Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani and Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifa'i from Iraq and Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi and shaykh Ibrahim al-Dusuqi from Egypt.

Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi is known as Abu al-Fityaan (father of the men of futuwwa or spiritual chivalry),  al-Qutb al-Mulaththam (the veiled spiritual pole), because he covered his face, and Shaykh al-Arab (The Shaykh of the Arabs). The shaykh was born in Morocco, and then moved with his family as a child to Mecca where he became Mecca's greatest knight and horseman. He was commanded to move to Tanta in Egypt, and his spiritual upbringing was at the hands of the Messenger of God (salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam). He is the most famous wali in Egypt, and his mawlid celebration usually attracts about two million people. Countless Egyptians have the first name of "Sayyid" or "al-Sayyid," named after him, and this name was not known in Egypt as a first name before him.

His most famous miracle is when he, sitting in his room, took out Muslim captives from the prisons of the Crusaders hundreds of miles away. Shaykh Salih al-Ja'fari wrote about that,

قد جاء آصف بالعجاب لقومه * إقرأ كتاب الله أين الناكر
والسيد البدوي جاء بأعجب * وله من الله المليك مفاخر

Asif brought the most amazing thing for his people,
read the Book of Allah, how can anyone deny it?
And al-Sayyid al-Badawi brought that which is even more amazing,
and Allah has honoured him with countless glories

Perhaps his greatest miracle is when he visited the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) in Madina. Standing there he addressed his grandfather saying,

إن قيل زرتم بما رجعتم * يا أكرم الخـــلق ما نقول
If they say to me, you went and visited, what did you come back with in benefit? O most generous of all creation, what do we say in return?

He heard the blessed voice of the Messenger of God coming out of the chamber, replying,

قولوا رجعـنا بكـل خير * و أجتمع الفرع و الأصول

Say: We have come back with every goodness,
and the branch has met and connected with its origin

Among his great lovers were the Mujaddid (the scholar who renewed the faith) of the 7th Century, Ibn Daqiq al-'Id, and the great Mamluk Sultan Baybars, the defeater of the Mongol hords.

Among his titles is also the Shaykh of the Awliya. This can be gained from the following vision related by shaykh Salih,

One night shaykh Salih saw a meeting of the souls of the awliya under the dome of imam al-Husayn- they were deciding whether or not shaykh Salih should be moved to Medina as he always wished. Shaykh al-Badawi said in a loud authoritative voice: “I AM THE SHAYKH OF THE AWLIYA! I say that shaykh Salih stays here with us in Egypt. But he will go every year on Hajj and to visit his grandfather, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam!”

When Shaykh Salih al-Ja'fari graduated from the Azhar, his allowance as a student had ended. He hadn't saved any money because he would give all his money away to fellow students in need. One night he sat at the rooftop of the dorms, crying, unable to sleep from the pains of starvation. He was wondering whether to go back to his home in Sudan or to stay in Egypt. He had no job yet. As he sat there, crying, and praying to God for an answer, shaykh al-Badawi appeared to him. He sat next to him, put his hand on his shoulder, and wiped away the tears from his face. He said to shaykh Salih, "What saddens you, and what are you thinking about?"

Shaykh Salih replied, "It is as you see."

Shaykh al-Badawi said, "Do not be sad. Allah will expand the matter of sustenance for you, but do not forget your brothers."

Then the shaykh left.

This left the young shaykh Salih wondering, "Will I have any brothers (i.e. murids)?"

Soon, the shaykh found a job at the Azhar mosque, and began to live inside it, and people began flocking to him, and he would give them lessons and recite his poetry with them. The people increased and increased, and it became a regular gathering, and then people began taking shaykh Salih as their spiritual guide, with the authorisation of shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris.

"This was all by the blessing of of sayyidi Ahmad al-Badawi's supplication for me" says shaykh Salih.

"I said, 'O God, you have millions of awliya, why was it sayyidi al-Badawi who asked about me in particular and came to comfort me? Because he asked for me, I will visit him twice a year, once before Hajj and once after Hajj.'

I used to have special meetings with him, but these are secrets and I cannot speak of them. One day I visited him and met him in his blessed garden of Paradise (i.e. his maqam). He answered my question and said,

'O shaykh Salih, we are family in both lineage and origin, and I am most happy about you! You have a rank with Allah that no one knows but Him!'

I say this, speaking about Allah's favours upon me, not to boast."

May Allah ta'ala be pleased with Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi and all the awliya of Allah and reward them and benefit us by our love of them and by their knowledge and wise counsel and teachings.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

O Kaafirs, Kill the Faajirs!

Written May 27, 2009

The Qur’an tells us that when sayyidna Musa, alaa nabiyyina wa alayhi afdal assalatu wassalam, met with sayyidna al-Khadir alayhi assalam, al-Khadir said to him: “You will not be able to bear with me patiently. How could you be patient in matters beyond your knowledge?”
So Musa alayhi assalam, promises to be patient and not to question the actions of his teacher, but cannot stop himself from doing so when he sees what the man that Allah had sent him to learn from does. First he makes a hole in a ship that they were on, and removes two of its wooden planks, and then when they are back on the land, he sees a young boy playing with other boys, and decapitates him.
The Prophet Musa is shocked and appalled at these apparently evil acts, but is later told the wisdom behind them. The ship belonged to poor people who needed it for their living. But there was a King who was in quick need of ships and was seizing every good ship and adding them to his fleet. When he would find a hole in that ship, he would decide that it would not be of any help for the urgent matter. The poor people will keep the ship, which they can fix later on.
As for the young boy, his parents were pious, and the child would have grown up to be very evil, oppressing them with rebellion and disbelief. So Allah Most Wise had him killed, and gave the parents instead a better offspring: He gave them a daughter that was very merciful to them, and that married a Prophet. Her child was also a Prophet and Allah guided through him one of the nations of mankind.
(Some of the details are from the Qur’anic commentaries).

So al-Khadir was , so-to-speak, the “hand of God” in doing things that on the outside appear absolutely evil or outrageous, but in reality will lead to a good outcome that is hidden from our eyes.
It is interesting that we find some rare accounts of the Mongol invasions of the Muslim world, scattered in different books of history, literature, and Sufi hagiographies, that understand that event in the same light, and even place al-Khadir there, with the same role that he played in the Qur’an.
Ibn Karbala’i, who wrote in the 16th century a compendium of hagiographies of the Sufis buried in Tabriz, has an entry on a  13th-century Sufi known as Baba Hamid, who came from a little village near Tabriz that came to be named after him.
Ibn Karbala’i says that it is widely reported that “at the time when Genghis Khan came out upon the land of Iran”, some of the awliya of that era saw al-Khadir, “who was running ahead of that band of obstinate apostates and was helping them; he was saying, “Kill, O infidel people, these evildoers!” (uqtuloo ya qawm al-kafara, haadhihi al-fajara).”
Baba Hamid, he says, was one of those who recognized al-Khadir, so he said to him: “Even you?!”
So al-Khadir replied: “Even He!”
This account is interesting because more than a century earlier, the Indian Sufi Sayyid Ashraf Jahangir Simnani wrote two letters in which he said that the wealth and luxury of the Khwarezmian dynasty made the people there forget about worship and to do wicked things. But he said, the awliya who remained devoted to Allah and His worship, began to hear voices from the unseen world, coming from all sides, saying:
“O infidels, kill the evildoers!” (Ya ayyuhal kafara, uqtulul fajara!)
These voices, he said, began to arise in those regions in the year 591 AH/1195 C.E.
Likewise in the 15th century, Dawlatshah Samarqandi, in his anthology of poetry and poets Tadhkirat al-Shu’ara, wrote of a dialogue between the Khwarizm Shah and his son Jalal al-Din that is said to have been recounted by one of Khwarizmshah’s poets. He says that the son asked his father why, being a great King who ruled Iran unchallenged for 20 years, and famous for his bravery and power, he was now fleeing from a band of infidels (the Mongols) and allowing the Muslims to fall into their hands.
The father said: “My son, you do not hear what I hear.”
The son insisted on an explanation, so the father said:
“Every time I arrange my ranks for battle, I hear a group of the men of the unseen world (rijaal al-ghayb) saying: “O infidels, kill the evildoers!” (ayyuhal kafaratu’uqtulul fajarata); fear and terror and dread overcome me. Forgive me, my son.”
(Khwarizmshah then fled to an island on the Caspian Sea, where he died.)
Dawlatshah continues:
“And it is related by those to whom hidden realities are unveiled (ashaab al-kashf) and by the saints of the faith that they saw the people of God (rijaal Allah) and al-Khadir in front of the army of Genghis Khan, guiding that army. The discernment of the intelligent is struck dumb by this phenomenon, and the wisdom of the wise is rendered weak by this fact; but ‘God does what He wishes and commands what He wills’ “.
The oldest story of them all, only 50 years after the Mongol destruction of Baghdad, comes from one of the discourses of the famous Indian Sufi Nizam ud-Din Awliya. In the year 708 AH/ 1308 CE, he talked about the famous Qalandari Sufi Qutb al-Din Haydar.
He says:
“When the emergence of Genghis Khan was underway, the infidels turned toward Hindustan; and during that time, [Qutb ad-Din Haydar] one day turned to his companions and said, “Flee from the Mongols, for they will prove to be overpowering.” They asked how this would be. He said: “They are bringing a dervish along with them, and they are under the protection of that dervish. In my inmost being (sirr), I wrestled with that dervish; he threw me to the ground. Now the reality is that they will be victorious; you must flee!” After that he himself went into a cave and disappeared; and in the end it happened as he had said.”
What’s interesting is that most of these accounts (and there are a few more scattered about), are unconnected to each other, and there is no evidence that their transmitters had knowledge of each others’ works. Whether or not they are true, Allah only knows. But when we see great catastrophes that we don’t understand in life, we must remember that Allah does what He wills, and that there is always a hidden reason that we don’t understand.
As  Muhammad Iqbal said in his poem Jawab-e-Shikwa:
It is evident from the story of the Mongol invasions
that the Kaaba found new protectors in the people of the temples.
* DeWeese, Devin, “Stuck in the Throat of Chingiz Khan: Envisioning the Mongol Conquests in Some Sufi Accounts from the 14th to 17th Centuries”. History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East: Studies in Honor of John E. Woods, ed. Judith Pfeiffer and Sholeh A. Quinn in collaboration with Ernest Tucker (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006), pp. 23-60.
* Muhammad Uthman al-Mirghani (al-Khatm): Taaj al-Tafaaseer li-Kalaam al-Malik al-Kabeer.
(See also Hulago Khan’s letter to the Mamluks where he claims to be sent by God against those who have incurred His anger: )
والحمد لله رب العالمين على نعمه كلها
اللهم صلّ وسلم وبارك على سيدنا ومولانا محمد خير البرية
وعلى آله في كل لمحة ونفس عدد ما وسعه علم الله

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Metaphors in the Qur'an and the Story of the Pen

Written April 9, 2010

After salaat al-Jumu’ah, I went to the house of the imam of the mosque, which is attached to the mosque, for the usual tea and coffee. Among the people sitting with us today was the Grand Mufti of Iraq, shaykh Raafi’ Taha at-Tayf al-’Aani.
I didn’t know who he was until he left, as he was a most humble man, but I was really impressed by his ‘ilm, from the two times he spoke. He mostly kept quiet and let other people do the talking.
After he left the people in the room began praising him. They said that he was a great great scholar. They quoted him as saying: “I have many degrees, like the PhD, but they’re not important. The only thing that matters to me is the ijaza from my shaykh.”
He also has a great diwan of written poetry (You can see on his official website a most beautiful poem on the mawlid of Rasool Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa Alihi wa sallam here: It shows a true mastery of the Arabic language and of the art of poetry, and seems to me to be of equal greatness to some of the works of the medieval poets.
He also has a book on the Fiqh of the Seera, and they quoted him as saying, “The Fiqh as-Seera of shaykh Al-Buti is not a fiqh al-seera.. It’s just a Seera. A true fiqh as-seera would have comments and legal rulings based on every single line of the seera.” And apparently, his Fiqh as-Seera is 3 volumes long. When someone asked if it can be found in bookshops, someone else replied that he never has time to publish any of his books. He writes, but has no time to publish.
It was also mentioned that his situation is quite difficult, in regards to returning to Iraq, as there are groups trying to assassinate him. May Allah protect him and bless him and make the entire world benefit from him. As in the past, when Iraq produced a great scholar, the entire world would look toward them. And this man is a great Iraqi scholar.
Someone said to me: “He has been the grand mufti of Iraq since the time of Saddam. And when I asked how that is possible, and why he wasn’t removed by the new government after Saddam, I was told that the Mufti of Iraq is elected by the other great scholars of the nation, not by the government, and they wanted him to remain, because of their trust in him.”
Here are two things that he said today, for the benefit of the reader:
1) Someone mentioned a funny story that happened to Ibn Baz. The Mufti told us that it happened in 1978, and that the man in the story was a simple man from Falluja, in Iraq, who sold sweets. After closing shop every day, he would go and sit at the hands of a shaykh, a wali of Allah, by the name of Abdul Aziz (if I remember correctly).
This man went to Hajj or Umra, and sat in a circle around Ibn Baz. Ibn Baz was repeating the position of Ibn Taymiyyah that there is no use of majaz (metaphor) in the Qur’an [and this was quite a silly proposition that Ibn Taymiyyah was forced to make, in order to say that there is no ta'wil in the Qur'an and that everything must be understood literally. Sultan al-Ulamaa Izz ad-Din ibn Abdessalam, on the other hand, compiled a giant two-volume book about all the uses of metaphor in the Qur'an].
Anyway, the simple Iraqi man said to him: There is no majaz in the Qur’an?
Ibn Baz said: No!
So the man said to him: Then listen, oh shaykh, for I have a bushra for you! You are one of the people of the Fire! For Allah Most High said: “He who is blind in this world will be even more blind and more astray in the Aakhira.”
So the blind shaykh retracted his position and shouted: There is majaz in the Qur’an!
2) The other discussion was about some salafi students at a Jordanian university who told the teacher, also based on the proposition that there is no majaz, that the “descent” of the Qur’an is a literal, gradual, physical descent through the air, not a metaphorical expression as the great commentators on the Qur’an said. And they said, “If Allah descends, then why can’t the Qur’an?”
So their teacher said to them: Then how do you explain the Hadith Qudsi where Allah ta’alasays: “And if (My servant) comes to Me walking, I will go to him running.”
Does Allah ta’ala physically and literally run to them?
They said:  we cannot deny the word “harwala” (running), or say that it is a metaphor, but we don’t understand how this running happens, as we cannot imagine it!
At this point the Mufti added his observation. He said:
“How could they accept the first part, ‘If he comes to me walking’ in its metaphorical sense, and not as a literal walking toward Allah, and then deny it in the next part, about Allah’s running?”
I thought that was a brilliant answer. May Allah guide us all to correcting our beliefs about Him,subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Just for fun, I will add another story that someone else mentioned today, because it is quite funny.
He said that a Saudi man came into the Masjid Nabawi, in front of the Noble Chamber of the Prophet, salla Allah alayhi wa Alihi wa sallam, and shouted at the people:
“Why are you making requests to the Prophet? Do you think he can help you? Watch this!” Then he took out a pen, and put it on the floor, and began saying: “Ya Muhammad! Give me the pen! Ya Muhammad! I need the pen, can you give it to me?!” Then he said to the people: “See!! Muhammad didn’t give me the pen. That means he can neither harm or benefit anyone!”
At this point a Sudanese man said to him: “Give me the pen”, and put it on the floor, and said:
“Ya Allah! Give me the pen! Ya Allah, please hand me the pen! SubhanAllah, I guess Allah can’t harm or benefit anyone either!”
I end with this aya, for the baraka:
“If only they would be content with what Allah and His Messenger have given them, and say: ‘Allah is enough for us- He will give us some of His bounty and so will His Messenger- to Allah we turn in hope.’” (9:59)
والحمد لله رب العالمين على نعمه كلها
اللهم صل وسلم وبارك على سيدنا ومولانا محمد خير البرية
وعلى آله في كل لمحة ونفس عدد ما وسعه علم الله

Monday, June 17, 2013


حسن بن علي العجيمي (1049هـ -1113هـ)

هو حسن بن علي بن يحيى أبو البقاء وأبو الأسرار العجيمي الحنفي المكّي. الإمام الشهير بشيخ الشيوخ، محدّث الحجاز، المسند وأحد الشيوخ الثلاثة الذين ينتهي اليهم غالب أسانيد من بعدهم من العلماء في الحجاز واليمن ومصر والشام وغيرها من البلدان؛ وثانيهم الشيخ عبد الله بن سالم البصري؛ وثالثهم الشيخ أحمد النخلي المكّي. ولد بمكة المكرمة، ومات والده قبل تمام السنة من عمره فقامت بتربيته والدته، وحفظ القرآن الكريم في التاسعة من عمره. وطلب العلم وقرأ القرآن الكريم بقراءة نافع رواية قالون على المقرئ الشيخ محمد بن علي البخاري، وأخذ عن الشيخ مهنا ابن عوض الحضرمي، وأخذ الفقه عن الشيخ إبراهيم بيري المكّي والشيخ أحمد المخزنجي؛ وأخذ الحديث والتفسير وأصول الفقه والفرائض وعلم التوحيد والنحو والمعاني والبيان والعروض والصرف والمنطق والجدل وعلم الحساب والسير وغيرها عن الشيخ عيسى الثعالبي المغربي ثم المكي، فقد لازمه نحواً من خمس عشرة سنة، وقرأ عليه كتباً كثيرة في فنون عديدة مع التكرار في بعضها.
وكان لا يخلي أوقاته من قراءة الحديث وسماعه، واعتنى به فاستجاز له من شيوخ مصر فأجازه الشيخ علي الشبراملسي وغيره، وكان يذهب به للسماع على شيوخ الرواية. وقرأ في المناسخات على جماعة، منهم الشيخ مبارك بن سليمان اليمني، وأخذ علم الحكمة عن الملا إبراهيم الكوراني المدني، وأخذ علم الهندسة والهيئة عن السيد محمد شفيع الهند. وأخذ علم الميقات عن السيد محمد الشلي با علوي والملا إبراهيم الكوراني المذكور والشيخ محمد بن سليمان الروداني والشيخ أحمد الدمياطي البناء.
وأخذ أيضاً مفرادات العلم المذكورة عن كثير من شيوخ عصره الأماثل. وأجيز بالتدريس فتصدر له في منزله أولاً فأخذ عنه جماعة في النحو والعروض والأصلين والمنطق والحساب. ثم تصدر للتدريس بالمسجد الحرام في الموضع الذي فيه شيخه عيسى الثعالبي عند باب الوداع وباب أم هاني، وأخذ عنه جماعة أيضاً في النحو والمعاني والبيان والبديع والحديث ومصطلحه والسير والفقه.
توفي رحمه الله بالطائف.
له: خبايا الزوايا (ترجم فيه مشايخه)؛ إهداء اللطائف من أخبار الطائف؛ حاشية على الأشباه والنظائر؛ حاشية على الدر، ثبت في مجلدين؛ إسبال الستر الجميل على ترجمة العبد الذليل؛ الفلك المشحون (جمع فيه فوائد جمّة)؛ النفح المسكي في عمرة المكّي؛ السيف المسلول في جهاد أعداء الرسول (ص)؛ إثارة ذوي النجدة لتنبيه بندر جدة؛ الورقات الوفيّة؛ تدارك الفوت بجوابات سؤال ورد من حضرموت؛ إيقاظ الطرف النعوس؛ بلوغ المأمول من معرفة المكلف وطرق الوصول؛ رسالة متعلقة بالنياحة على الميت؛ إقالة العثرة في بيان حديث العترة؛ ثلاث رسائل في علم الفلك؛ تليين العطف لمن يدخل في الصف؛ فريد الجواهر (في الرمل)؛ بغية المسترفد في القول بصحة إيمان المقلّد؛ تحقيق النصرة للقول بإيمان أهل الفترة؛ رفع الإشتباه على عبارة وقعت في الأشباه؛ الأجوبة المرضية على الأسئلة اليمنية؛ بلوغ المآرب في صبر الناصح على المتاعب؛ رسالة في الكلام على قوله تعالى (يمحو الله ما يشاء) ومناقشة على رسالة الوحدة؛ قرة عيون ذوي الرتبة بتدقيق مسائل الصلاة في الكعبة؛ مظهر الروح بسر الروح؛ رسالة في علم الفرائض؛ رسالة فيي المناسخات؛ رسالة الزايرجة؛ رسالة تتعلق بقوله تعالى: (إن الله سميع بصير)؛ جواب سؤال في حكم البغاة؛ رسالة في التوبة وما يتعلق بها؛ تحصيل القصد والمراد من أحاديث الترغيب في أيسر الأعمال والأوراد؛ إتحاف الخل الوفي بمعرفة مكان غسل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد وفاته (غاسله)؛ إتصال الرحمات الإلهية في المسلسلات النبوية؛ النثر المعطاء في أسانيد جملة من الأحزاب والأذكار؛ كشف اللثام بما اشتبه على العوام؛ منحة الباري في إصلاح زلّة القاري. وقد جمع أسانيده تلميذه تاج الدين أحمد الدهان، بعنوان: كفاية المستطلع ونهاية المتطلع.
(انظر: مرداد أبو الخير، عبد الله. مختصر نشر النور والزهر، ص 167؛ الكتاني، عبدالحي. فهرس الفهارس، جـ8، ص 810، جـ 1، ص 504؛ الزركلي، خير الدين. الأعلام، جـ2، ص 223؛ البغدادي، إسماعيل. هدية العارفين، جـ1، ص 294؛ كحالة، عمر رضا. معجم المؤلفين، جـ 4، ص 264؛ المنهل، جـ 7، ص 401، 445؛ غازي، عبد الله بن محمد. نظم الدرر، ص 80؛ الجبرتي، عبد الرحمن. عجائب الآثار، جـ 1، ص 177؛ الهيلة، محمد الحبيب. التاريخ والمؤرخون بمكة، ص 370).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Significance of Physical Visits

Imam Abu Bakr al-Adani b. Imam Abdullah al-Aydarus, may Allah Taala be pleased with them both, said: “You must visit the awliya’ and come to know them. If your intention is correct and your belief is firm, then the spiritual and physical realms are linked just like the spirit and the body are linked. No blessings come from the spiritual realm except by means of movement in the physical realm. The evidence for this is in Allah saying to Maryam: shake towards yourself the trunk of the palm tree; and saying to Musa: strike the sea with your staff. Allah thus made the shaking and the movement of the staff in the physical realm a cause for the receiving of blessings from the spiritual realm.”

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Visit to Nabi Shu'ayb

Written May 1, 2010

Last Saturday I went with four friends to the Zawiya of Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili in Kharabsheh (shaykh Nuh’s zawiya), hoping to attend a lesson of tafseer by shaykh Ali Hani. However the class was cancelled. As we were walking away, I saw a car with a shaykh inside, and I recognized him from the dhikr of shaykh Abd al-Karim Urabi in Sahab. There were two other men standing outside the car, and something about them told me that they were going to meet Habib Umar, who was in Amman at the time. “What if Habib Umar is about to come out of that door right there?” I thought. After all, he had spent the night before in the city of Irbid with shaykh Abd al-Karim Urabi, I had heard, and the next day, Sunday, he would be giving a lesson from the Sunni Path offices, which, I believe, are in Kharabsheh. And here was a man from shaykh Urabi’s circle, in Kharabsheh, dressed like he was going to meet Habib Umar!
I went to the car, opened the door, gave him my salams, and said to him: I recognized you from the dhikr of shaykh Abd al-Karim Urabi.
- Shaykh Abd al-Karim is my uncle, he replied!
- Do you know anything about Habib Umar’s whereabouts today?
- We’re going to him right now! He will be giving a lesson at the maqam of Nabi Shu’ayb! You can follow us there.
- SubhanAllah! That’s great. I know the way, we’ll see you there.
And so we set off!
When we got there, we found some shaykh Nuh murids, and assorted visitors. A Turkish man told us that his group had just prayed the Jumu’ah prayer the day before in Masjid al-Aqsa, and the Jumu’ah before that in Mecca, and the Jumu’ah before that in Madina. MashaAllah. There were also some Druze visitors from Palestine.
Then a large bus full of Yemeni and Saudi students in Jordan arrived. They were doing a tour of the maqams of Jordan, and had planned to be there to attend Habib Umar’s talk. Someone from the group seems to have come from Riyadh, and some people were asking if he was Habib Umar’s son. He made a beautiful du’a for us at the maqam.
Habib Umar never showed up. Someone apologized to us that there was some kind of “da’wa emergency.” I asked the imam of the Nabi Shu’ayb mosque, and he told me that he had heard that a certain prince from the Hashemite royal family, a lover of the Ahl Allah, had insisted to have him over at his place, which means that it was more of an “emergency da’wa”.
But alhamdulillah we got to listen to three amazing duroos by some great Jordanian scholars. The first one to speak was Shaykh Abdul Jaleel, about whom I have written earlier. He dazzled our minds with very deep spiritual discourse on the tajalliyat of Allah Most High on His servants, and gave us truly illuminating tafseer of certain Qur’anic ayas. The end purpose of the talk was to inspire us to forget the dunya and to raise our aspirations to be elevated spiritually. If only I had recorded it I would have translated it here on this blog. The way the shaykh talked, and the way he sat back on the floor after his talk… mashaAllah. He has a very powerful presence, and is no ordinary person.
The second speaker was the Mufti of Salt, and the Valley of Shu’ayb  is in fact on the outskirts of the city of Salt. His talk was about visiting the awliya and the Prophets, alayhim assalam. His lesson was also of utmost beauty. And he concluded it by saying to us: “To be in the presence of the awliya of Allah, His true servants, is to be in Paradise. Reflect upon His saying Most High:
“Oh soul at peace: return to your Lord well pleased and well pleasing. Enter you among My servants. Enter My Paradise!”
Also there was the Mufti’s shaykh and predecessor, an old man called Muhammad Amin al-Kilani, a descendant of Rasool Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa Alihi wa sallam, through Shaykhul Islam Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (aka al-Kilani). This old man radiated so much nur, and so much humility, that I instantly held him in the highest regard and came to believe in his wilaya. I cannot express the love that one feels when looking at his face, and at the humility in his eyes. I heard that he leads a dhikr circle in the city of Salt, and I plan to attend it one day, bi-idhn Allah. He did not give any talks, and had to leave early.
The final talk was about being like the Prophets. The shaykh who spoke told us that if we want to be like the Prophets, we must have a constant concern and care for our families and friends and loved ones. If we do not fear for them, and for their state in the afterlife, then we have no inheritance from the Prophets, alayhim assalam.
After all the lessons we finally went on the ziyara of the maqam. There shaykh Abdul Jaleel spoke again, about the wonders of this place, and about the benefit of visiting the Prophets of Allah Most High, alayhim assalam.
He said: there are those who say: the Prophets cannot harm or benefit anyone. Of course, all benefits and harms come from Allah, but He has put benefit and harm in other things. Look at the Sun. Allah has made all life on this Earth dependent on it. It gives life to us. And it can also be harmful. Look at water. Allah has made life from water, and therefore it benefits us. But it can also cause destruction and flooding, so it can harm.
And likewise, Allah Most High made the Prophets a cause of benefit for those who are near them. Look at Rasool Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa Sallam. The Qur’an calls him a “Siraj Muneer.” “Siraj” in the Qur’an means a “Sun”. The Qur’an calls the Sun a “Siraj.”And so just as the Sun gives life to every living thing on this Earth- it is the source of the life of the bodies, likewise our Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa Alihi wa sallam, is the Sun that gives life to the souls.
And when we visit the Prophets of Allah, in their gaze upon us is great benefit.
The Muslims used to say to the Prophet Muhammad: “Raa’ina ya Rasool Allah”, which means: “Look after us, oh Rasool Allah. Turn toward us and give us your attention. Listen to us.” It was a call of affection and love.
But this same word had an insulting meaning in the language of the Jews of Madina, so when they heard the Muslims say it, they would go to the Prophet and say it as well, and laugh, because they were insulting the Prophet while outwardly saying something normal.
But then the Qur’an was revealed, forbidding anyone from addressing the Prophet with this word, and telling them to say instead: Undhurna” (Q 2: 104). Meaning: look at us.
Thus in the Qur’an is an address to the believers to say to the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam: Look at us, oh Rasool Allah! And in this is an ishara to the benefit of the spiritual gaze of Rasool Allah upon the believers.
Shaykh Abdul Jaleel, may Allah be pleased with him and bless him, also told us many stories about the blessings of that place, but I will speak of them in another post, inshaAllah ta’ala.
In the end, though Habib Umar never showed up, my friends and I ended up experiencing a truly blessed day in the company of great mashayekh and awliya and ulamaa, and the company and presence of the Prophet of Allah Shu’ayb, alayhi assalam, and all the blessed Yemeni and Saudi students, most of them Ba Alawi’s or simply lovers of Habib Umar.

Undhurna Ya Rasool Allah!
والحمد لله رب العالمين على نعمه كلها
اللهم صل وسلم وبارك على سيدنا ومولانا محمد خير البرية
وعلى آله في كل لمحة ونفس عدد ما وسعه علم الله

Night of Mid-Sha'ban

قال الشافعي : وبلغنا أنه كان يقال : إن الدعاء يستجاب في خمس ليال : في ليلة الجمعة ، وليلة الأضحى ، وليلة الفطر ، وأول ليلة من رجب ، وليلة النصف من شعبان .

 - Imam al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra, section on worship on the nights of the two Eids.

  قال عبد الرزاق : وأخبرني من سمع البيلماني يحدث عن أبيه ، عن ابن عمر قال : " خمس ليال لا ترد فيهن الدعاء : ليلة الجمعة ، وأول ليلة من رجب ، وليلة النصف من شعبان ، وليلتي العيدين " .

- Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf, Kitab al-Siyam

The following information is taken from the book Al-Ghunya of Imam Abdul Qadir al-Jilani:

* The importance of Shaban:

- In a sahih hadith sayyida Aisha (r.a.) reported that beside Ramadan, the Prophet fasted voluntarily in Shaban more than he did in any other month. Umm Salama (r.a.) reported the same thing in another hadith.
- In another hadith, she says that the Prophet preffered fasting in Shaban more than in any other month, and when she asked him why, he said because in this month, the Angel of Death has the names of all who will die during the remainder of the year written down for him, and he (pbuh) would like that if his name is written down, that he is fasting when that happens.
- The companions of the Prophet, when they saw that Shaban began, would immerse themselves in the Quran, take out the Zakat so that the weak and the poor will have the strength to fast Ramadan, and the rulers would have all the prisoners called unto them so that if one is deserving a Hadd punishment it is given to him, or else he is freed. And the merchants went and paid off all debts and took what is theirs. Until they see that Ramadan has begun after which they purify themselves with a major ablution and devote all their time to worship.

* The Month of the Prophet
- Allah (swt) chose from everything four, and from the four one… And from the months he chose Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan and Muharram, and chose from among them Shaban, and made it the month of the Prophet (pbuh), and as the Prophet (pbuh) is the best of Prophets, so is his month the best of months.
- It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said, “Shaban is my month, Rajab is the month of God, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah. Shaban is the eraser [of sins], and Ramadan is the purifier.”
- It is a month in which good things are opened, blessings descend, wrongful acts are abandoned, sins are erased, and the salawat on the Prophet are increased.
- It is the month of tasliya on the Prophet pbuh (doing lots of salawaat on the Prophet).
-Everyone must prepare himself in this month for Ramadan bu purifying himself from sins, repenting from what was done in the past, turn to God, and make tawassul to God with the Prophet (pbuh) whose month this is.
Start this today and do not postpone it for it is said that the days are three: Yesterday, which is gone, Today, which is work, and Tomorrow which is hope: you don’t know if you will reach it or not. So from yesterday there are lessons, from today there are spoils to take (good deeds), and in Tomorrow is risk. And so are the months three: Rajab (the previous month) is gone, Ramadan awaits and we don’t know if we will live to reach it, and Shaban is a connection between the two, so get as much good deeds as possible in this month.


Haa Meem. By the Book that makes things clear. We sent it down during a Blessed Night (Quran 44:1-3)

Ibn Abbas (r.a.) said, Haa Meem means that Allah has decreed all that will be until the Day of Resurrection. By the Book that makes things clear that is the Quran We sent it down the Quran during a blessed night it is the night of the middle of Shaban, and it is the “Laylatul Baraa’a”. And so said most Quranic commentators, except Ikrimah who said it refers to the Laylatul Qadr.
The Quran called this a blessed night because in it is the descent of Mercy, Blessings, Goodness, and Forgiveness to the people of Earth.

According to hadiths about this night:
- God forgives on this night every Muslim, except the mushrik, the one who is bent on hatred for others, the one who has severed familial relations, and the woman who is prostituting [on that night].
- On this night, sayyida Aisha felt the Prophet leaving her bed, she got up to look for him and found him prostrated on the ground, and he kept praying until the morning. Then he said, “Do you know what is in this night? In it is written down all who will be born this year, and all who will die, and in it their sustenance is brought down, and their works and doings raised up.”
- On another such night, the Prophet said, “Do you know which night this is? It is the night of the middle of Shaban- in it are the works of the servants raised up, and in it God frees from the fire as many people as the number of hairs on the cattle of the tribe of Kalb”. Then the Prophet (pbuh) asked Aisha if he may spend the whole night in prayer, and he stood up and started the first rak’a with the Fatiha and a short sura then prostrated in sujood for half the night, then got up for the second rak’a, read as much as he did in the first, and prostrated again in sujood until Fajr.
- God forgives sins on that night for as many people as the number of hairs on the cattle of the Kalb tribe.
- This is one of the four nights in which God pours down goodness on people a great pouring. In this night people’s sustenance and fates are written down, and those who will go to Hajj are written down.
Regarding the verse,Therein every wise affair is made distinct (44:4 - coming after the three verses mentioned above), Ikrima the servant of Ibn Abbas said: It is the night of mid-Shaban-[in it] Allah decides the affairs of the year, moves the names of those who will die this year from from the records of the living to the records of the dead, and writes down those who will go to Hajj, and no one will be added or removed.”

* The Meaning of Baraa’a
The word can be translated into any of the following in English: absolvement, exoneration, aquittal, release, releaf, discharge.
It was said, “it was called the night of Baraa’a because it has two baraa’as, the wretched will be given baraa’a from the all-Merciful, and the awliya will be given baraa’a from being abandoned or let down.”

Concluding Hadith

Abu Huraira (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Gabriel, peace be upon him, came to me on the night of mid-Shaban and said to me: ”Ya RasulAllah, raise your head heavenwards!” I asked him: “What night is this?” and he replied: “This is night when Allah, Glorified is He, opens three hundred of the gates of mercy, forgiving all who do not make anything His partner. The only exceptions are those who practice sorcery or divination, are addicted to wine, or persist in usury and illict sex; these He does not forgive untill they repent.”
At a quarter of the night, Gabriel, peace be upon him, came down and said: Ya RasulAllah, raise your head!” So i looked up,to behold the gates of Paradise wide open. At the first gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who bow in worship this night!” At the second gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who prostrate themselves in worship this night!” At the third gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who offer supplication this night!” At the fourth gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who make remembrance this night!” At the fifth gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who weep this night from the fear of Allah!” At the sixth gate an angel was calling:”Good news for those who submit this night!” At the seventh gate an angel was calling: “Will anyone ask,that his request may be granted?” At the eight gate an angel was calling: ”Will anyone seek forgiveness, that he may be forgiven?”
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “O Gabriel, how long will these gates remain open?” He replied: From the beginning of the night until the break of dawn.” Then he said: “Ya RasulAllah, tonight Allah has as many slaves emancipated from the fire of hell as the number of hairs on the flocks and herds of the Kalb tribe.”


Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Real is One

Sheikh `Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi explains what is meant by Wahdat al-Wujud in his Diwan al-Haqa'iq
The Oneness of Being that we maintain is none other than
the Oneness of the Truth (al-Haqq), so understand what we say, 
The Oneness of Allah, the sole Unity, which the pre-eminent 
luminaries have witnessed, 

And there is no difference with us, O ignoramus, whether we say 
"Being (wujud)" or "The Truth (al-Haqq)", 

Don't imagine that the Being (wujud) that we mention is
creation according to us. 
Truly, Being is unseen by eyes,
In respect to what the beholder sees; 
Eyes perceive nothing of it besides "what is besides",
Namely, contingent things, a collection of shadows; 

A shadow but shows that there is something standing, 
That controls it, beyond any doubt; 

So beware of thinking that what you perceive 
Is that Being: be one of those who know; 

For all of what you perceive is but what "is there (al-mawjud)",
Not this True Being, He of Glorious Signs; 

Of a certainty, Being is completely debarred from you,
In its majesty, elevation, and exaltedness; 

For all you see is contingent and perishable, 
and you too, are bound to perish. 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


لقد قالوا:
ما وصل من وصل إلا بالحُرمة، وما انقطع من انقطع إلا بترك الحُرمة