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Ḥilyah al-Sharīfa of Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ

Al-Hilyah Al-Sharifah consists of short descriptions of the Prophet’s external and internal qualities, drawn from early Arabic sources. The Hadith is attributed to the Prophet’s cousin and son in law Sayyidina ‘Ali (may Allah ennoble his face).
Tirmidhi, in the late ninth century, quotes a hadith in which the Prophet promises: “For him who sees my hilya after my death it is as if he had seen me myself, and he who sees it, longing for me, for him God will make Hellfire prohibited, and he will not be resurrected naked at Doomsday.” The hilya (literally, “ornament”) consists of short descriptions of the Prophet’s external and internal qualities, drawn from early Arabic sources. It is told that the Abbasid caliph Harun ar-Rashid bought such a description from a wandering dervish, rewarding him lavishly; the following night he was honored by a vision of the Prophet, who promised him eternal blessings.

According to other popular traditions, the Prophet himself advised his “four friends,” the first four caliphs, before his death to remember his shama’il-nama, that is, the description of his looks and qualities. One who stitches the hilya in his shroud will be accompanied on his last way by a thousand angels who will recite the funeral prayer for him and ask forgiveness on his behalf until Doomsday.

Out of the simple, sonorous Arabic descriptions of Muhammad’s qualities more artistic forms developed. It seems that veneration of the hilya was especially widespread in Ottoman Turkey. There the calligraphers developed a peculiar style of writing it during the sixteenth century, which was perfected by Hafiz Osman, the master calligrapher of the late seventeenth century. These hilya, often imitated, are round, and beneath the circular frame that contains the description of the Prophet, the line “Mercy for the worlds” is written in large letters.

Even today, the hilya is usually printed according to the model set by Hafiz Osman and his disciples, and is kept in homes, to convey blessings upon the inhabitants. To execute a hilya in fine calligraphy was considered a work of great merit: one Turkish woman, widowed and childless, said she regarded the nine she had completed during her lifetime as a substitute for nine children, hoping that they would intercede for her at Doomsday.

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Prophet Muhammad’s Sandal (Na’al Al-Nabiy)

Prophet Muhammad’s Sandal (Na’al Al-Nabiy) poster, available in 4 colours and 3 sizes, a perfect addition to your home. The Prophet’s sandal is an amulet full of bliss, peace and serenity. At time of stress and grief one should place it on their heart and eyes for its luminous effects.

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Notes from Imam Ahmad al-Maqarri al-Tilimsani’s voluminous book on the Radiant Sandal of the Prophet, May Allah shower peace & blessings on Him

In Arabic the Prophet’s sandal is known as ‘Na’l al-Nabiiy’. The Prophet’s sandal is an amulet full of bliss, peace and serenity. At time of stress and grief one should place it on their heart and eyes for its luminous effects.

It is a cure for the ill, pathway to relief for those in anguish, healing for the pregnant woman at time of birth, strong against the evil eye, and a symbol of security and protection for ships at sea, property from loss, house from burning, caravans from hostile attacks. People would use the Sandal image for the aforementioned reasons and also for a means of achieving immense blessings in the stations of this world and the hereafter.

From those who drew an image of the blessed Sandal, approved its miraculous blessings and served it from the Hadith Masters were Ibn Asakir & his student Badr Fariqi, Hafiz Zayn al-Din Iraqi & his son, Imam Sakhawi and Imam Suyuti from the east. It is well known that the following scholars of Morocco were foremost in drawing the image (Ar. Mithal/Naqsh) since they did not have the real thing, Ibn Marzuwq, Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi, Hafiz Abu al-Rabee’, Hafiz Abu Abdullah bin al-Ibar, Ibn Rashedd al-Fahri, Ibn Jabir Aashi, Ibn al-Bara al-Tuwsi, Abu Is’haq al-Undlusi. Ibn Asakir took it from the Moroccan Ibn al-Haaj and all hadith scholars thereafter took it from him.

The tribe of Ibn al-Hadeed preserved the Sandals and then they were kept in Jami’ah Ashrafiyyah, Damascus. Moroccan travellers such as Ibn al-Rasheed came to Damascus and drew images to take back for the people. May Allah enlighten their graves with His light and reward them for their efforts.

Verily I serve the image of the Sandal of Mustafa
So that I may live in both worlds under its protection
Imam Yusuf al-Nabhani

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On Removing the Cares of the Heart – Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jilānī

The Shaykh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him contentment) said:
Step out of your own self and keep your distance from it. Practice detachment from your possessiveness, and surrender everything to Allah. Become His doorman at the door of your heart, obeying His command by admitting those He instructs you to admit, and respecting His prohibition by shutting out those He instructs you to turn away, so that you do not let passion back into your heart once it has been evicted. Passion is expelled from the heart by resistance to it and refusal to follow its urges, whatever the circumstances, while compliance and acquiescence allow it to gain entry. So do not exert any will apart from His will, for anything else is your own desire, and that is the Vale of Folly, where death and destruction await you, and falling from His sight and becoming secluded from Him. Always keep His commandments, always respect His prohibitions, and always submit to what He has decreed. Do not associate Him with any part of His creation. Your will, your passions and your carnal appetites all belong to His creation, so refrain from indulging any of them lest you become a polytheist. Allah (Exalted is He) has said:

Whoever hopes to meet his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer in the worship due unto his Lord. (18:110)

Polytheism [shirk] is not merely the worship of idols. It is also polytheism to yield to your own passionate desire, and to equate with your Lord anything whatsoever besides Him, be it of this world and its contents or of the Hereafter and what is contained therein. What is besides Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) is other than He, so when you rely on anything other than Him you are associating something else with Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). Therefore be wary and do not relax your guard, be fearful and do not develop a sense of security, and keep your wits about you so that you do not become careless and complacent.

Do not attribute any state or station to yourself, and have no pretensions to such things. If you are granted a special state, or elevated to some station, do not become identified with that in any way at all, for Allah is every day about some business, effecting change and transformation. He may intervene between a man and his heart, thereby separating you from what you had professed to be your own, and making you different from what you had imagined to be your fixed and permanent condition. You will then be embarrassed in the presence of those to whom you made such claims, so you had better keep these things to yourself and not convey them to others. If something does prove stable and lasting, acknowledge it as a gift, pray for the grace to be thankful, and keep it out of sight. But even if it turns out otherwise, it will still bring progress in knowledge and understanding, enlightenment, alertness and discipline. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said:

Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We replace with one better or as good. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? (2:106)

So do not underestimate the extent of Allah’s power, have no misgivings about His planning and His management, and never doubt His promise. Take as your model the fine example set by Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). He experienced the abrogation of verses and chapters revealed to him, adopted in practice, recited in the niches [of the mosques], and written down in books; as they were withdrawn and changed and replaced by others, the blessed Prophet was moved to accept the new revelations. This applies to the external dispensation of the law. As for the inner aspect, the knowledge and spiritual state experienced in his own relationship with Allah, he used to say: “My heart gets coated with rust, so I beg Allah’s forgiveness seventy times each day” (“a hundred times,” according to another report).

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be moved from one state of being to another, and made to traverse the stations of divine proximity and the spheres of the unseen. The robes of light conferred upon him were changed as he progressed, so that each new stage would make the previous one seem dark, marred by shortcomings and inadequate observance of the guidelines. Thus he was trained to practice praying for forgiveness, because that is the best state for a servant, and constant repentance, because this involves acknowledgment of sin and shortcoming–properties of human nature inherited from Adam (peace be upon him), the father of mankind.

When the purity of Adam’s spiritual state was stained by forgetfulness of the promise and covenant, he wished to dwell forever in the abode of peace, in the vicinity of the All-Merciful and Beneficent Friend, visited by the noble angels with greeting and salutation, but his self-will had come to be associated with the will of the Truth. That will of his was therefore broken, that state disappeared, that intimacy became remote, that station was degraded, those lights were dimmed, and that purity was spoiled. Then this chosen one of the All-Merciful recovered his awareness and was reminded. After being instructed in the acknowledgment of sin and forgetfulness, and trained in confession, he said:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You do not forgive us, and have mercy on us, we shall surely be among the lost!” (7:23).

Then came to him the light of guidance, the knowledge and inner understanding of repentance and its hidden benefits, but for which something formerly mysterious would not have become manifest. That old will was replaced by a different one, and the original state by another. He received the supreme consecration, and repose in this world and then in the hereafter, for this world became a home for him and his offspring, and the hereafter their refuge and eternal resting place. In Allah’s Messenger and favorite friend, therefore, as in his father Adam, the Chosen of Allah, ancestor of all dear and loving friends, you have an example to follow in confessing faults and praying for forgiveness under all circumstances.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jilānī, Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of The Unseen)

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On Ramaḍān – Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād

Strive to make your acts of goodness and benevolence as abundant as you can in Ramaḍān, for it is a blessed time when wages are multiplied, reward is abundant, and good works are made easy. As for the multiplication of wages, it has been transmitted that a supererogatory devotion in Ramaḍān attracts a rewards equal to that of an obligatory one [of the same kind] at other time, while an obligatory devotion equals seventy such devotions performed at other times. Why should one miss such profit and be too lazy to seize the opportunity of such a transaction, one that can never lose?

As for good works being made easy, it is because the soul that incites to evil is imprisoned by hunger and thirst, and the devils that discourage people from good works and place obstacles before them are shackled, unable to spread corruption. Therefore, nothing stands between one and good works, no barriers exist, save for those who are overcome by their wretchedness and misfortune—may God protect us! For such people Ramaḍān is similar to any other time. They are ever forgetful of God. Some may even become more forgetful and distracted in Ramaḍān.

Just as believer should intensify his good works in this month and show diligence, so should he be extremely careful to avoid transgressions and maintain himself at a distant from them, for sins committed during the blessed times are much worse and deserving of much more severe punishment, as a counterpart for the multiplication of rewards for good works at those times.

It has been transmitted that the Prophet—may God’s blessings and peace be upon him—used to intensify his efforts in Ramaḍān, then intensify them even more in the last ten days and nights. I say: This is because of the superior merit of the last ten days and nights, and his instructions—may God’s blessings and peace be upon him—to seek Laylat’ul-Qadr in them. Scholars have stated further that it is more likely to be one of the odd nights.

In brief, the sagacious believer should be ready for Laylat’ul-Qadr every Ramaḍān night. He must remain watchful and constantly engaged in good works. The important thing is that when it does come it finds him absorbed in his good works, remembering God the Exalted, neither distracted, heedless, nor absorbed in frivolity. It is unimportant whether he actually witnesses Laylat’ul-Qadr or not, for the works of he who is absorbed in devotions during it will be equivalent to the works of a thousand months, whether he is aware or not which specific night it is. We say: He should watch for it and be prepared every night of the month, because much disagreement exists between scholars as to which night it is. Some have gone so far as to say that it is hidden and can be any night in the month; also that it shifts and is not the same night every year. I am inclined to accept this last opinion. I believe it can occur in other than the last ten nights, but more frequently does in them. This is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

In this noble month one should increase one’s charities, assistance and comfort to the poor, and inquire after the widows and the orphans. It has been transmitted that the Prophet—may God’s blessings and peace be upon him—was always more openhanded with donations than a whirlwind, but was more so than ever in Ramaḍān (Sahih Bukhari: 6021 & Sahih Muslim: 4268).

One should increase one’s recitations and studying of the Qur’an, secluding oneself in mosques (I’tikaf), especially during the last ten days, which is the time when the Prophet—may God’s blessings and peace be upon him—used to seclude himself.

Imām ‘Abdallāh al-Haddād; extracted from Counsels of Religion (translated by Moṣṭafā al-Badawī from the kitāb Al-Naṣā’ih al-Dīniyya wa’l-Waṣāyā’l-Īmāniyya)

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On Fasting – Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād

Increase your good works, especially in Ramadan, for the reward of a supererogatory act performed during it equals that of an obligatory act performed at any other time. Ramadan is also a time when good works are rendered easy and one has much more energy for them than during any other month. This is because the soul, lazy when it: comes to good works, is then imprisoned by hunger and thirst, the devils who hinder it are shackled, the gates of the Fire are shut, the gates of the Garden are open, and the herald calls every night at God’s command: ‘O you who wish for goodness, hasten! And O you who wish for evil, halt!’

You should work only for the hereafter in this noble month, and embark on something worldly only when absolutely necessary. Arrange your life before Ramadan in a manner which will render you free for worship when it arrives. Be intent on devotions and approach God more surely, especially during the last ten days. If you are able not to leave the mosque, except when strictly necessary, during those last ten days then do so. Be careful to perform the Tarawih prayers during every Ramadan night.

In some places it is nowadays the custom to make them so short that sometimes some of the obligatory elements of the prayer are omitted, let alone the sunnas. It is well known that our predecessors read the whole Qur’an during this prayer, reciting a part each night so as to complete it on one of the last nights of the month. If you are able to follow suit then this is a great gain; if you are not, then the least that you can do is to observe the obligatory elements of the prayer and its proprieties.

Watch carefully for the Night of Destiny [Laylat’ul-Qadr], which is better than a thousand months. It is the blessed night in which all affairs are wisely decided. The one to whom it is unveiled sees the blazing lights, the open doors of heaven, and the angels ascending and descending, and may witness the whole of creation prostrating before God, its Creator.

Most scholars are of the opinion that it is in the last ten nights of Ramadan, and is more likely to fall in the odd numbered ones. A certain gnostic witnessed it on the night of the seventeenth, and this was also the opinion of al-Hasan al-Basri. Some scholars have said that it is the first night of Ramadan, and a number of great scholars have said that it is not fixed but shifts its position each Ramadan. They have said that the secret wisdom underlying this is that the believer should devote himself completely to God during every night of this month in the hope of coinciding with that night which has been kept obscure from him. And God knows best.

Hasten to break your fast as soon as you are certain that the sun has set. Delay suhur long as you do not fear the break of dawn. Feed those who fast at the time when they break it, even if with some dates or a draught of water, for the one who feeds another at the time of breaking the fast receives as much reward as he without this diminishing the other’s reward in any way.

Strive never to break your fast nor to feed anyone else at such a time except with lawful food. Do not eat much, take whatever lawful food is present ‘ and do not prefer that which is tasty, for the purpose of fasting is to subdue one’s lustful appetite, and eating a large quantity of delicious food will on the contrary arouse and strengthen it.

Fast on the days on which the Law encourages you to fast, such as the day of Arafat for those who are not participating n the pilgrimage, the ninth and tenth [‘Ashura] of Muharram, and the six days of Shawwal, starting with the second day of the Feast, for this is the more effective discipline for the soul. Fast three days in each month, for these equal a perpetual fast. It is better if these are the White Days, for the Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him, never omitted to fast them whether he was at home or traveling. Fast often, especially in times of special merit such as the Inviolable Months, and noble days such as Mondays and Thursdays.

Know that fasting is the pillar of discipline and the basis of striving. It has been said that fasting constitutes half of fortitude. The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, said: ‘God the Exalted has said: “All good deeds of the son of Adam are multiplied ten to seven hundredfold, except fasting, for it is Mine, and I shall reward a man for it, for he has left his appetite, his food and drink for My sake!”‘ ‘The one who fasts has two joys, one when breaking his fast, the other when meeting his Lord.’ And; ‘The odour of the fasting man’s mouth is more fragrant to God than that of musk.’

God says the truth and He guides to the way. [XXXIII:4]

Book of Assistance by Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād

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On The Benefits of The Month of Ramadan – Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jilānī

O young man, the word Ramadan consists of five letters, ra‘, meem, dhad, alif, noon. The ra‘ is derived from rahma (mercy), the meem from mujazat (recompense), mahabba (love) & minna (favour), the dhad from dhaman lilthawab (assurance of reward), the alif from ulfa (affinity) and qurb (nearness) & the noon from nur (light) and nawal [the receiving (of grace)]

If you give this month its due and act properly during it, these things will come to you from the True One (‘Azza wa Jall). They will come to you in this world as strengthening and enlightening for your hearts, and as favour and receiving of grace, outwardly and inwardly. In the hereafter there will come to you what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard & has never occurred to any human heart.

Most of you are out of touch with Ramadan. Respect for a command comes in proportion to the respect shown to the commander. As for anyone out of touch with Allah (‘Azza wa Jall), His Messenger, His Prophets & the righteous among servants (Peace & Blessings Upon Them), then how can he be in touch with this month?

Most of you have seen their fathers, mothers and neighbours fast, so they joined them in fasting as a matter of habit not worship. They think that fasting is merely abstaining from food and drink, so they do not fulfil its conditions & requirements.

O People give up habitual practice and keep to worship. Fast for the sake of Allah (‘Azza wa Jall). Do not get bored of fasting and worshipping in this month. Do righteous deeds, during it, and make sure that you act with sincerity. Make a regular practice of the prayers of taraweeh. Illuminate the mosques, for this will be a light for you on the Day of Resurrection.

If you obey and respect Allah (‘Azza wa Jall) in this month, it will be an intercessor on your behalf in the presence of your Lord (‘Azza wa Jall) on the Day of Resurrection. It will beg Him to grant you a share of His favour, His Generosity, His Blessings, His Grace, His Graciousness, His Subtle Kindness and His Safekeeping.

Woe unto you! What Benefit would you derive from fasting if you break it on unlawful food and sleep during these noble nights having committed acts of disobedience? You fast out of dissimulation and hypocrisy as long as you are among creatures, and once you are on you own you break your fast! Then you come out & say: “I am keeping the fast”, while throughout the day you are involved in verbal abuse, levelling defamatory accusations, swearing false oaths & taking people’s money by way of defrauding, trickery and exaction. This sort of behaviour makes you no good at all and does not count as a fast.

The Prophet (Salla Allah ta’ala ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“There are so many people who fast yet get nothing out of their fasting other than hunger and thirst and there are so many people who spend the night in worshipful acts yet earn nothing out of their worship other than fatigue and vigil”

There are among you those who are Muslims outwardly but like idol-worshippers inwardly. Woe unto you! Renew your Islam, your repentance, your apology & your sincerity in order that your Master (‘Azza wa Jall) will accept you and pardon your past sins. O You, who are fasting, thank your Lord (‘Azza wa Jall) for preparing you for fasting and enabling you to keep it! When one of you fasts, let his ears, his sights, his hands, his legs, his limbs and organs and his heart all fast.

When you fast, give up lying, giving false witness, backbiting, defaming people and embezzling their properties. In principle, you fast in order to purify yourselves of your sins and keep away from them, so what benefit could you derive from your fasting if you commit, these sins yet again?

Have you not heard the Prophet (Salla Allah ta’ala ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“Fasting is a suit of armour [junna]”,

for it protects and covers the person who wears it. This is why the shield is called mijanna, as it protects its owner and prevents the arrows from striking him, and the person who is out of his mind is called majnun, as his mind has been covered up. The fast is a suite of armour for anyone who fasts with pious restraint, fear of Allah and sincerity, for in this cause it will prevent the tribulations of this world and the hereafter from striking him.

O you, who are fasting, comfort the poor and the needy with a share of your food at the time of breaking fast for it increases your reward and it is a sign of acceptance of your fast.

At the time of breaking your fast, all this will disappear and nothing will remain other than that which you do in preparation for yourselves in the hereafter. Therefore, do such preparations as long as you are able to prepare.

On the Day of Resurrection, you will be gathered hungry, thirsty, naked, afraid, ashamed and terrified. The person who feeds the poor and the needy in this world will be fed on that Day. The person who provides clothing for the poor and the needy in this world will be supplied with clothes on that Day. The person who is afraid and feels ashamed before the True One (‘Azza wa Jall) in this world will be made to feel safe on that Day. As for the person who is merciful to others in this world, Allah (‘Azza wa Jall) will be merciful to him on that Day.

In this month, there is a night that is the greatest night of the year, which is Laylat al-Qadr. This night has signs that the righteous can recognize. Among the servants of Allah (‘Azza wa Jall) there are those who have the veil removed from their eyes so they see the lights of divinity that is held in the hands of the angels, the light of their faces, the light of the doors of heaven and the light of the countenance of the True One (‘Azza wa Jall) because on that Night He manifests Himself to the people of the earth.

O People do not make obtaining your food your concern because it is a low concern. You have been put to test through eating and drinking, but you have been saved the trouble of securing sustenance, so do not have any concern about it. Glory be to the Self – Sustained One who never eats, drinks or sleeps. Your greedy keenness has increased, while your pious restraint and faith have decreased. Woe unto you! This world lasts only one hour, so spend it in obedience.

source: Jila’ al-Khatir

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Merits of the Month of Ramadan – Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād

Regarding the merits of the month of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, had said: “Ramadan to Ramadan, and Friday to Friday, and prayer to prayer; (these) are expiations of sins between the two of them if the major sins are abandoned.”

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said regarding the month of Ramadan: “It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is admittance to Paradise.”He said further: “The beginning (of Ramadan) is mercy; the middle, forgiveness; the end, deliverance from the Fire.”

When the first night of the month of Ramadan has arrived, Allah takes notice on the Muslims. If He takes notice of a particular servant of His, it means that He will never cause him to suffer torment. And following that, He pardons them on the last night of the month of Ramadan.

Gabriel peace be upon him said to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:
“Whoever meets the month of Ramadan while he is not forgiven by Allah Most High, verily he would be distanced from Allah’s mercy. Say Ameen! And the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: Ameen!.”

The reason behind it being, in the month of Ramadan it is very much easier to obtain forgiveness as compared to other months. Henceforth, there is no one who is unable to obtain forgiveness in it, unless he has disobeyed Allah Most High in abundance, and his disobedience are very major, thus is the reason he is distanced and chased away from the door of Allah.We ask for refuge and safety from the wrath of Allah Most High and His torment and every disaster from Him.

There is a tradition that mentions that, the gates of the Garden of Paradise are flung open on every month of Ramadan, the gates of the Fire of Hell are shut and locked, and the devils [shayatin] are shackled, tied up tight and thrown into the ocean, so that they will not be able to distract Muslims and interfere with their fasts and night vigils. On every night, there would be a voice that calls: Whoever wants goodness, come! Whoever wants evil, be gone!

Another tradition related: Whoever comes near to Allah Most High with an obligatory prayer in the month of Ramadan, it is equivalent to seventy prayers on other months. Whoever comes near to Allah Most High with a supererogatory prayer (in the month of Ramadan), it is equivalent to an obligatory prayer on other months.

It is thus clear that a supererogatory prayer in the month of Ramadan is equivalent in rank with that of obligatory prayers in other months in terms of its rewards. On top of that, the obligatory prayers have its rewards seventy-fold as compared to that of those performed in other months beside Ramadan.

The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever fasts (in) Ramadan and stand (awake) in the nights (of Ramadan) with complete faith and sincerity, verily he is forgiven of all his past sins.”

An-Nashaaih Ad-Diniyah Wal-Washaaya Al-Imaaniyah by Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād

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The Night of the Heavenly Ascension (Mi’raj) – Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak

Saddened by the despicable treatment he had received during the day, our Master prayed before lying down to sleep. His blessed heart ached and his eyes were moist with tears. He had barely dropped off to sleep, when the Lord of Majesty said:

“O Gabriel, do you know what night this is? Tonight, convey my command and good tidings to all My worlds! Tonight I shall take My beloved to My station. My Heavens, My Lotus Tree, My Prosperous House, My Throne, My Footstool and My Paradise will be adorned with the dust of My beloved’s feet. Tell Israfil to leave his trumpet tonight; I have commanded him to wait at My beloved’s service. Let Michael postpone the distribution of provisions. Let ‘Azra’il leave the gathering of souls for tonight.

To them and to you I have granted the honor of serving My beloved. For tonight, let Malik put out the fire of Hell. Let the wardens of Hell not stir from their places. Let My Paradise be decked out afresh. Tell Ridwan that the houries, pages and attendants must make ready. Let them wear new heavenly clothes and put on their finery. They must get ready to receive My beloved. Tonight I have invited My beloved Muhammad. Let them clothe the sun in the empyrean. Let the sky be more splendidly arrayed than on an ordinary night.

Let the stars shine brighter than usual. Let the souls of the Prophets prepare to greet Muhammad! O Gabriel, go to Paradise and fetch for My beloved a splendid robe, a crown, a belt and the heavenly steed called Buraq. Let him don the robe, set the crown upon his head and gird himself with the belt. Let him mount Buraq; let him ride to see My Throne, My Footstool and My Paradise! Give My salutations to that Messenger! He is now lying in the home of Umm Hani’, sad and dismayed by the cruelty of those unbelievers.

“Let him come! Let him behold My Throne, My Pedestal and My Paradise. Those unbelievers have been saying: ‘You are poor, while we are rich. Might and power belongs to us. You have no friends except beggars and slaves.’ O Gabriel, who is really poor, who is rich, who is mighty, who is humble, who is temporary, who is enduring? Tonight, I shall bestow on him My grace and favor as I have not done, and shall never do, for any other Messenger and Prophet. I shall show him the favors I have prepared for his Community. O Gabriel, he is very precious to Me. He is a mercy to eighteen thousand, to eighteen million worlds. Had I not created him, I would not have created this universe. His eulogist am I.

For him I created My all. For Myself I created him. I am witness to his Prophethood. He is Mine and I am his. O Gabriel, treat him politely; let your kindness tonight be greater than on any other night. You spent twenty thousand years performing a prayer of two cycles for Me. No servant of Mine ever did Me such worship. As your reward for that worship, I have granted you the favor of serving My beloved tonight.”That venerable Gabriel went to Paradise, where he saw that the heavenly steeds were pasturing in herds. They were all happy and content, except for one Buraq, which was pale and wan. It stood weeping in a corner, its face streaked with tears and bearing the mark of love.

The venerable Gabriel approached the poor beast, wondering at its condition. “What is the matter with you? Why don’t you eat or drink? Why so pale and wan? This is paradise, the abode of happiness; there is no weeping, no sadness here.” Buraq found the words to say: “I am stricken with the pain of love. My love is my constant companion. I have not seen him, but I have heard his name. That name is my remedy. If I see his beauty, my face will brighten with joy.

I have been in this state for thousands of years. I heard a voice crying: ‘O Muhammad!’ From that moment, I have been in love with the owner of that name. You see me here in Paradise, the abode of happiness. But this is only my outer form; in reality, I am in the fire of separation. Love is my bounty, tears my joy. These are the faithful witnesses to my love. My paleness and wanness are my delight, my streaming tears the token of my love. Surely this pain of mine will lead me to its remedy. One day it will unite me with my loved one. My pain has become my remedy.”

“Good news, O Buraq!” cried Gabriel. “Tonight I shall lead you to your beloved. Your steadfast patience in love has brought you to the one you love. That most holy being is not your beloved alone; all creatures have been created for love of him. The Lord of All Worlds is his lover also, as are the Footstool, the Tablet, the Pen and Paradise. His lovers are without number. Just as your love for him has now brought you to him, so will their love unite them with him one day; this condition of yours is certain proof of this.

“They say the lover is with the loved one. Come on, Buraq, let’s be on our way to your beloved Muhammad…” In one moment of time, they had reached the city of Mecca and arrived at the Ka’ba. All the other noble angels came too, and Mecca and the sky above it were filled with the angel hosts.

This was a most important night. On this night, Allah would show His beloved wonders peculiar to His Essence of Divinity, admitting him to the mystery of the Two Bow-lengths, a station inaccessible to any other creature. The Chosen Messenger would be allowed to witness marvels hidden from the sight of creatures and of angels, even those angels near the Throne. On this night, he would be brought to the “Palace Beyond Space.”

There, each pain would find a thousand kinds of remedy. The sins of God’s servants would be forgiven, for love of His beloved, and the entire Community of Muhammad would be delivered from the Fire and granted Paradise; the mystery of the Two Bow-lengths would be revealed and the Unity of the Divine Essence made known.

From the manifestation of the Attributes, the manifestations of the Essence would be revealed. Lover and beloved would be united. He would be shown the stations of all Messengers; he would lead the souls of the Prophets in worship; he would pass beyond the Station of Gabriel. All the sinners of the Community of Muhammad would be delivered from the Fire and given to the Messenger. He would learn the secret of “and your Lord will surely give to you.” (93:5) The Almighty would address ninety thousand words to His beloved. Mysteries would be revealed, such as no tongue could tell and no pen could write.

According to Ibn ‘Abbas our Master said: “I had just worshipped and gone to bed. Realizing that Gabriel had come, I sat up in my bed. I saw Gabriel standing there saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah, greetings to you from Allah.’ He invites you tonight. I have come to fetch you. This night, the All-Glorious One will do you great honor; no one before you ever attained such exalted grace and favor, not will such blessedness be conferred on anyone after you. No one ever saw or heard of such grace and favor as will be yours tonight. Let us go now, for your moment has arrived. Tonight, you are the guest of the King. No predecessor ever deserved such bounty, nor will any successor be able to achieve such exaltation.”

The venerable Moses conversed on Mount Sinai with the Lord whose Existence is Necessary. “My Lord”, he begged, “Show me Your Beautiful Countenance. Let me see. Let me behold Your Beauty!” But he was told: “Moses, you cannot see Me; you are incapable of seeing Me! But look at the mountain. I shall manifest to it. If the mountain can bear My manifestation, you will be able to do so too.” But the mountain could not bear My manifestation and it dissolved into pieces. The venerable Moses fell in a faint. When he had recovered consciousness, he said: “My Lord, I declare You exempt from all attributes of deficiency; I qualify You with the attributes of perfection. To You I repent. Without seeing You, I am one of the first to have faith in You.” Moses, the Converser, wished to see. But he had been unable to see. Now, God Almighty desired to show Himself to His beloved.

How this might be, we cannot know; the manner of it is known only to Allah. The six directions do not apply to Him; He is unquantifiable and His modality is unknown to us. Existing beyond direction, location and time, He would show Himself to His beloved. Yet this He would promise not to His beloved alone, but also to us sinners, the members of his community. Some highly honored faces will behold the Beauty and Perfection of the Lord at the Resurrection. We shall be granted this favor. To see Him, however, the eye must be prepared. As for those who do not see truth and reality in the world below, the Qur’an tells us that they will not see the Lord of the Worlds; those who turn their backs in the Qur’an and on His beloved will be resurrected blind. That sight belongs to the eye that weeps for God’s sake, to those who observe reality and truth.

The Messenger gave his Companions the good tidings: “You will see your Lord from the Garden of Paradise, just as you behold the full moon on the fifteenth of the month!” In other words, the divine manifestation will be apparent to each believer according to his capacity.

As we have said already, the manner of this is beyond our knowledge; it is known only to Allah. God is exempt from spatial location. He will show Himself to the believers, and the believers will see Him. As Allah wills… May Allah bestow His grace upon us all. Amen, For the sake of the Chief of the Messengers.

-Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi, Irshad (Wisdom of a Sufi Master)

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On the Month of Rajab

This is an excerpt from the book Kanz Al-Najah wa As-Suroor (“The Treasures of Success and Happiness”), a book highlighting the special qualities of each month. As the blessed and holy month of Rajab approaches, hopefully this information will be of use in allowing us all to appreciate it and benefit from it:

So, my dear friend, put forth a great effort in the month of Rajab, may Allah have mercy on you. It is the season of great profits, so take advantage of your time! Whoever is spiritually sick due to their sins – know that the medicine has come.

Know that Rajab is a virtuous month in which worship is gloriously rewarded – especially fasting and seeking repentance (istighfar).

Also, making du’a during the eve of the first of Rajab is highly recommended. The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “There are five nights in which du’a (supplication) is not rejected: the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha’aban, the eve of Friday, on the eve of Eid Al-Fitr, and on the eve of Eid Al-Adha.” [Al-Suyuti in his Al-Jami’].

On the 27th night of Rajab, the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, was taken on the Isra wa Mi’raj (The Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens). This was a great and glorious night, as is known to most Muslims, in which the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, met his Lord and was given the commandment to perform the 5 daily prayers.

Rajab is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran (the four months are : Rajab, Dhul Qi’da, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram):

 إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ

{The number of months is twelve according to God, in the decree of God, on the day God created the heavens and the earth; and four of them are sacred} (9:36)

Rajab is Allah’s month in which He pours His Mercy upon the penitent and He accepts the actions that people have done for His sake. The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “Rajab is the month of Allah, and Sha’aban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.” (Imam Al-Suyuti in Al-Jami).

Scholars say: Rajab is the month of repentance (istighfar), and Sha’aban is the month of sending peace and mercy (salawat/durood shareef) upon the Prophet, and Ramadan is the month of Qur’an.

One highly recommended act to do is say 70 times after the Fajr and ‘Isha prayers every morning and night of Rajab:

“اللهم اغفر لي وارحمني وتب عليَّ”

Transliteration: “Allahumma ighfir li wa Arhamni wa tub ‘alayya.”

Translation: Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.

Sayyidna ‘Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, used to allocate extra amounts of time for worship on four nights – the first night of Rajab, the nights before the two Eids, and the 15th night of Sha’aban.

It is also highly recommended to say the following Prophetic prayer (known as Sayyid Al-Istighfar or the Master of Repentance) 3 times every morning and every evening in Rajab:

اللهم أنت ربي، لا اله الا أنت خلقتني وأنا عبدك، وأنا على عهدك ووعدك ما استطعت، أعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت، أبوء لك بنعمتك عليَّ وأبوء يذنبي فاغفر لي فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب الا أنت

Transliteration: Allahuma anta rabbi la ilaha illa ant, khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduk, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’adika ma astata’at, ‘authu bika min shar ma san’at, abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘allaya wa abu’u bi dhanbi, faghfir li fa’innahu la yaghfir al-dhunub ila anta.

Translation: O Allah, you are my Lord, and there is no god but you. You created me and I am your servant, and I am upon the convenant to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in you from the evil I have brought upon myself. I admit all the blessings you have given me and I admit my sins, so forgive me, for no one can forgive sins save You.

And success is from Allah
والحمد لله رب العالمين

source:http://www.alhaddad.org/blog/?p=1191

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Commentry on the Chess of the Gnostics – Shaykh Muḥammad al-Hāshimī

Attributed to the Greatest Master Muhyi al din Ibn `Arabi, may Allah Sanctify his inmost Secret.

Practices which expiate prior and later wrong actions as it says in the Book of the Healing of the Sickness and Pains by Muhammad ibn Ja’far al-Kittani al-Hasani. I will only mention the practices themselves and not the evidence behind them. Whoever wants to learn the evidence for them should read that book.

The Practices which Expiate Wrong Actions
1. The first practice is to do wudu’ thoroughly, reaching all its defined places and washing each limb fully.

2. When someone hears the adhan and hears the shahada in it, he should say, “I am pleased with Allah as a Lord, Islam as a deen, and our master Muhammad as a Prophet and Messenger.”

3. Having the “Amen” of the person praying behind the Imam after he finishes the Fatiha coincide with that of the angels in word and time, as stated in the Sahih collection.

4. After the final salam in Jumu’a, reciting the Fatiha, Surat al-Ikhlas and the last two suras of refuge seven times each before moving from his place and speaking.

5. Praying the Duha prayer with faith and expectation of the reward promised for it, or out of the desire to pray it with sincerity in it, without any showing-off or wanting to heard or seen, or to store up a reward with Allah.

6. The Glorification prayer which is well-known.

7. The funeral prayer.

8. Fasting Ramadan with faith and expectation of the reward.

9. Praying at night in Ramadan and performing other acts worship and devotion during it with faith and expectation of the reward.

10. Staying up to pray in the last ten nights of Ramadan.

11. Staying up the Night of Power.

12. Fasting the Day of ‘Arafa.

13. Going into ihram for the hajj or ‘umra from the Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.

14. Going on hajj to Makka for the sake of Allah Almighty and to obey His command.

15. Performing the practices of hajj and ‘umra in full while other Muslims are safe from his limbs and tongue.

16. The prayer of the two rak’ats at the station of Ibrahim after the tawaf.

17. Standing at ‘Arafa and the Mash’ar al-Haram in the hajj.

18. Looking at the Ka’ba with faith and expectation of the reward.

19. Reciting the end of Surat al-Hashr.

20. Teaching one’s child the Qur’an.

21. Saying “Subhanallah wa’l-hamdu lillah wa Allahu akbar” (Glory be to Allah. Praise belongs to Allah and Allah is greater) 1000 times.

22. Saying the words, “Glory be to the One Who possesses the Kingdom and the Domain. Glory be to the One who possesses Might and the Jabarut. Glory to the Living who does not die, All-Perfect, All-Pure, the Lord of the angels and the Ruh,” (Subhana dhi’l-Mulki wa’l-Malakut. Subhana dhi’l-’izzati wa’l-Jabarut. Subhana’l-Hayy allahi la yamut, Subbuh, Quddus, Rabbi’l-mala’ikati wa’r-Ruh). If anyone says once a day or once a month or once a year or once in a lifetime, Allah will forgive him his past and future wrong actions.

23. Saying “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” with sincerity.

24. Counting forty waves in the sea while saying “Allahu akbar“.

25. Manning the frontiers of the Muslims.

26. Hurrying to fulfil a need of a Muslim whether it is fulfilled or not.

27. Removing thorns from the road.

28. Illness while in exile.

29. Shaking hands with Muslims who love one another for Allah with the prayer on the Prophet.

30-31. When eating food or putting on a new garment saying, “Praise belongs to Allah who fed me this food,” or “Praise be to Allah who clothed me in this garment and provided for me without and strength or power on my part.”

32. Guiding a blind person for forty steps.

33. A man reaching the age of ninety while a Muslim.

34. Saying the supplication of al-Khidr with sincerity and humility: It is: “O Allah, I ask Your forgiveness for every sin and I turn to You from it. Then I return to you and I ask Your forgiveness for all that my self promised You and did not fulfil, and I ask Your forgiveness for every action I intended to do for Your sake and then others became mixed in it for me.

I ask Your forgiveness for every blessing You gave to me which I then used to help disobey You. I ask Your forgiveness, O Knower of the Unseen and Visible worlds, from every sin I have committed by the light of day or in the darkness of the night, in a group or alone, secretly and openly, O Forbearing.”

In addition these practices, there are some reported to ransom someone from the Fire:
1. Saying “La ilaha illa’llah” 70,000 times.

2. Saying “Subhanallah wa bi-hamdihi” 1000 times after Subh.

3. Reciting Surat al-Ikhlas with the basmala every time or once at the beginning 100 times, or 1000 times, or 100,000 times.

4. Saying “La ilaha illa’llah wa Allahu akbar “4 times.

5. Saying “O Allah, I testify to you and to the Bearers of Your Throne, Your angels, and all Your creation that there is no god but You alone with no partner, and that Muhammad is Your slave and Messenger” 4 times.

6. Reciting the Fatiha with the basmala.

7. Reciting 100 or 1000 prayers on the Prophet using any of the expressions related from him.

8. Reciting the basmala 12,000 times

9. Saying “al-hamdu lillah” 1000 times after the Subh prayer.

10. Saying “Ya Latif” 16,641 times.

Scholars disagree about what is meant by what is mentioned in the Book and Sunna about the expiation and forgiveness of wrong actions through certain righteous deeds
It is said that what is meant by “wrong actions” are both major wrong actions and minor ones, according to the literal meaning of the ayat and many of the hadiths which state that major wrong actions can be expiated through certain righteous actions and that the bounty of Allah is vast – except for those things which are connected to the rights of people like unlawful usurpation of property, slander, backbiting and the like.

Those are only removed by restoration and the victim putting the perpetrator in the lawful if possible. There is nothing with more heinous consequences. However, if Allah so wishes and is pleased with His slave, he may discharge his rights and avert the consequences from him, and make him enter the Garden by His bounty.

Then he will not be asked about what he did Allah says, “Allah does not forgive partners being attributed to Him but He forgives whoever He wills for anything apart from that.” (4:48)

It is said that what is meant are minor sins in particular based on the other position that the major wrong actions are neither forgiven nor expiated by righteous actions except by repentance or bounty from Allah. Repentance is encouraged in ayats and hadiths. If a good action could expiate all evil deeds, there would be no need for repentance and and the stress on avoiding major wrong actions in some hadiths.

Then there must be no disagreement in what is reported by a sound text which makes something particular or is general. One must follow the text and act according to it in its proper place.

According to the statement that the statement is general, if there is something which expiates, then it expiates all wrong actions. Then if there is another action which expiates and it does not coincide with it, then good actions are written for him and he is raised up some degrees. It is the same when it is said that it is particular when the action does not coincide with any of it.

If it coincides with one or more major wrong actions and not with a minor wrong action, then we hope that major wrong actions will be lightened for him the small amount as they are lightened for minor wrong actions. See the commentary on Muslim by an-Nawawi and the Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar.

All of this refers to actions which are accepted by Allah based on what al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih collection where the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said “Do not be deluded and commit a lot of bad actions based on the assumption that prayer will expiate them, The prayer which expiates sins is the one which Allah accepts. How will the slave of Allah know that?”

source:http://occidentalexile.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/commentry-on-the-chess-of-the-gnostics-shaykh-muhammad-al-hashimi/
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Sciences: The Priorities – Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād

If you wish to know which sciences and acts are the most important and beneficial for you, imagine that you are to die the next day and return to God to stand before Him and be asked to account for your knowledge, behavior, and all your affairs and states, subsequently to be taken to either the Garden or the Fire. What you see there as most important and useful to you is precisely what you must now give priority and attachment to; whereas what you find useless, unimportant, frivolous, or simply of no great necessity is what you must neither pursue nor occupy yourself with in this life. Meditate on this matter and reflect well; it is of tremendous benefit to those who have discernment and are concerned about their appointed time, their return to God, their salvation, and their success in the Hereafter, which is better and more enduring (87:17). Success is in the Hand of God, to whom belong all graces, for He bestows them on whomever He wills; and God’s graces are immense!

-Imām ‘Abdullāh al-Ḥaddād, Knowledge and Wisdom (Fusus al-‘ilmiyah wa-al-usul al-hikamiyah)

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Keeping the Company of the Pious – Ḥabīb `Abd al-Qādir al-Saqqāf

“Keeping the Company of the Pious” was filmed on a visit he made to his ancestor, Imam Muhammad bin `Ali “Sahib Mirbat”, the grandfather of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam and the ancestor of all the great Ba `Alawi scholars. He discusses the importance of attending the gatherings of the pious and attaching one’s heart to them. May Allah benefit us by this great Imam and strengthen our attachment to him. (Uploaded by SuleimanalMuslim on Youtube)