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.”