Bissmillah Al Rahman Al Raheem

17 09 2008

Welcome to Tariqah Al Kaamilah’s Weblog.


Rajab is the Month of Allah

22 06 2009

Allah Design4

If support accompanies someone, then that person is always successful. All of the present company have that support. If not, you would never be found in such an association. Why come? You might just as well go on as other people, happy with their material lives and their pleasures. But that Light which is in your heart draws you here. Without support, it will avail all of us nothing to wear certain colors, or turbans, or dervish cloaks, day and night. The important thing is support from God. Were it not to accompany us, we would never accomplish anything.

Ahead of us begins a very important month in the Islamic calendar, the holy month of Rajab al-Haram. It stands alone out of the four months which God has declared sacred Rajab, Dhul-Qida, Dhul-Hijja, and Muharram. It also opens the series of three holy months culminating in Ramadan: Rajab, Shaban, and Ramadan. During these three months everyone must prepare and keep himself, as much as possible, away from low trais, bad manners and sins.

The Prophet (s) said, ‘Rajab is the month of God, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of my Community.’ God gave us twelve months in the year, eleven of which are ours and one of which belongs to God. What rewards God will give his servants in His month, no one knows, not even the Prophet (s). The work of prophets and angels stops in the month of Rajab. They are not allowed to know what rewards God is going to give His community. It is in the hands of the Lord, Almighty God. In the following month, Shaban, no one is permitted to know what rewards the Prophet (s) will give his Community except the Prophet (s) and God. What is accumulated of the rewards in Rajab and Shaban will be written for you and become known to everyone in Ramadan. That is why it is the month of the Community. These three months are therefore very important months in the understanding of the Sufi orders.

In the month of Rajab, the Prophet (s) went through the Night Journey and Ascension. During this month one must keep oneself away from all kinds of bad manners and behavior. One of the most important days of the year is the first day of the ‘month of God.’ All seclusions commence at the beginning of the month of Rajab. The most important seclusion that Sufi masters have performed in their lives always fell in that month. It is a holy month. If you do something more (for God) in that month, you are going to be rewarded with a reward known to no one except God. In that month, God’s Oceans of Mercy, Love and Rewards are going to be opened for His Community and His servants.

All saints wait to see what rewards God is going to grant human beings at this time of year. All saints on this planet, from East to West, from North to South, expect to see something happen in this world during these three special months. Everyone of us must therefore behave themselves in these coming three months especially.

Look at the mercy that God sends in the month of Rajab. If you did something wrong, do not turn away, as if to run away from God. Turn to your Lord. He will forgive you. It is very important because no one knows what God is going to give to His servants not even the two angels appointed to write a person’s deeds, who ride on the shoulders of every human being. Everything in that month comes through God and no one knows what God will put into his or her scale for the least good manner or act of worship done for Him.

In the time of the Prophet (s) there lived a notorious highway robber. He used to frequent the streets after midnight. If he found someone walking alone at night in the street, he caught him, robbed him, sometimes beat him or killed him, and then returned home. No one was able to catch that highwayman. The Prophet (s) used to curse that highwayman in his time, saying, ‘That is an evil person. I will never pray for him and I will not bury him in the graveyard of the Muslims.’

After many years, the highwayman passed away. Because the Prophet (s) used to curse him, the children dragged his body through the streets of Madinah and threw him into a dry well. As soon as they had thrown him into the well, God spoke to the Prophet (s) and said, ‘O my beloved Prophet, today one of my saints has passed away. You must go and wash him, clean him, cover him, pray for him and bury him.’ The Prophet (s) was astonished because all his life he had cursed that person. Now that he had passed away, God told him that he was a saint. How could he be a saint? But no one can interfere with God’s knowledge, not even the Prophet (s). If God wants to make a thief a saint, no one can ask, ‘Why?’ We must accept. That is why according to Sufi teachings and the teachings of the Naqshbandi Order, you have to look at everyone as being better than you. You do not know if God is going to raise that person’s level higher than your level who knows? No one can know. Therefore no one can interfere. Do not look down at people as if you were superior to them. You do not know whether that person, in God’s eyes, is a saint or not. Who knows? Always regard people as being at a higher level than yourself. Show them respect and be humble towards them. Do not show ego and pride.

God’s Mercy is so great that you are forbidden to look at what people are doing on the outside. You must not call them crazy or criticize their bad manners. Leave them alone. They have a Lord to judge them. Look at yourself. Make yourself behave well. Do not interfere with anyone else. It is not your job to correct anyone else. Your job is only to correct yourself. Correct yourself and leave everyone else to their Lord. This is the true understanding and teaching of Sufism leave everyone to their Lord and change yourself. If you teach your ego not to interfere with anyone, then you are going to find yourself living in happiness, because when you look at people, you will only see servants of the same Lord as yours and, therefore, God will sometimes forgive them what they are doing. Do not say, ‘You are committing wrong by drinking, womanizing, doing this and doing that. Leave everyone to his or her Lord. Teach people in general. Do not focus in on someone and be specific.

God told the Prophet (s), ‘O Messenger of God, take him and purify him.’ The Prophet (s) immediately called Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (s) and said, ‘O Abu Bakr, we have to go and bury the highwayman who died.’ Abu Bakr (s) said, ‘O Messenger of God, you said that you did not want to bury that person in a Muslim grave for he is not Muslim!’ The Prophet (s) said, ‘No! Let alone ordinary Muslims. God informed me today that that person was a saint!’

What did that thief do in his life to become a saint? He killed, robbed and stole all his life. The Prophet (s) went into the well, took that person’s body out with his own hands and with his Companions, carried him to his house. He cleaned him, washed him, wrapped him in a shroud, prayed for him, then took him from the his mosque to the Baqi cemetery, a distance of fifteen minutes’ walk. It took the Prophet (s) more than two hours to move from the mosque to the cemetery. All the Companions were astonished at the way the Prophet (s) was walking. He had performed ablution for the dead with his own hands on that man, washed him and prayed for him. Now that he was taking him to his grave, he was walking on tiptoes. ‘O Messenger of God,’ they asked him, ‘Why are you walking on tiptoes?’ He said, ‘God ordered all saints from East to West, all angels from the seven heavens and all spiritual beings to be present and follow the bier of that saint. There are so many of them filling the way that I cannot find a place to put my feet. Never in my life was I so surprised as I am today.’

After they buried him, the Prophet (s) did not speak with anyone but quickly returned to his house trembling and shivering. He sat with Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (s) asking himself what that saint had done, a robber all his life, to merit such a high degree of respect from God. Abu Bakr (s) said, ‘O Messenger of God, I feel ashamed to ask about what I saw today. It was so astonishing.’ The Prophet (s) answered, ‘O Abu Bakr (s), I am even more surprised than you. I am waiting for Gabriel (s) to come and inform me of what has happened.’

When Gabriel (s) came, the Prophet (s) said, ‘O Gabriel what is the matter?’ He answered, ‘O Prophet, do not ask me. I am also astonished! Yet do not be astonished. God can do what no one can do. He is telling you to ask that man’s daughter what he did in his life.’

The Prophet (s) immediately went in person with Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (s) to the house of that burglar. Nowadays, ministers and secretaries of state, no, even a manager in a company treats everyone else as if they were beggars at his door. They show neither respect nor humility. The Prophet (s), disregarding his power and status as a perfect human being, as the beloved of God, humbly went to that saint’s house to ask his child what her father had done in his life. He said, ‘O my daughter, please tell me how your father lived.’ She told him, ‘O Messenger of God, I am very ashamed before you. What am I going to tell you? He was a killer, a thief. I never saw him do anything good. He robbed and stole day and night, except for one month during the year. When that month came, he would say, ‘This is the month of God,’ because he heard you say, ‘Rajab is the month of God, Shaban is the month of the Prophet and Ramadan is the month of the Community.’ So he said, ‘I do not care for the month of the Prophet (s) or the month of the Community, only for the month of my Lord. Therefore, I am going to sit in my room and close it and perform seclusion during this month.’

The Prophet (s) asked her, ‘What kind of seclusion did he do?’ She told him, ‘O Messenger of God, one day he was out in the street looking for someone to rob. He found an old man of seventy or eighty years of age. He beat him until he was unconscious and robbed him. He found a small piece of folded paper in his pocket. He opened it and found a prayer inside. He liked that prayer very much. Every year when the month of Rajab–the month of God–came around, my father used to sit and read that prayer day and night, weeping and reading, except when he wanted to eat or perform ablution. After the month was over he would get up and say, ‘The month of God is finished. Now for my pleasure,’ and go back to robbing and stealing for eleven more months.’

The supplication used by that man is a very important supplication which all are advised to recite three times a day during the month of Rajab. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said that this supplication purifies you from all your sins and leaves you as pure as a newborn child. It is a very famous supplication in Sufi orders. When the Prophet (s) asked the daughter to bring him the paper, he kissed it and rubbed this paper over his body. I advise all of you not to forget about that supplication, but practice it during this coming month. Keep reciting it and God will give you as He Wills, according to your intention.

The Supplication-Arabic

The Supplication-English

God told the Prophet (s), ‘O my beloved Prophet, that person came and repented to me in the most precious month of the year. For that reason, because he sacrificed at least one month of the year for Me, I have forgiven him all his mistakes and I have changed all his sins into laudable deeds. As he had many sins, now he has many rewards. He became a great saint.’ Because of one prayer, God made him a saint, a person who never worshipped the Lord as he should have, by coming to such associations as this to listen. You have a merciful God, a loving God. What do you think He will give you in return? Do you think that He is going to leave you in difficulties?

For every step that you took to come to such a meeting, God will take away from you one sin and give you ten rewards. Whoever came two hours’ driving, let them compute how many steps they made. Do not miss such associations because you cannot get such rewards when you worship. Your five prayers are an obligation upon you but such associations are not an obligation. They are voluntary. Therefore if you attend, you are going to be rewarded with a very weighty reward. That is why these associations are very important. They will show you the shortest way to reach the Divine Presence. They will show you the shortest way to reach your reality.

With very little practice, by reciting something which saints recited, you can progress very quickly. Do not come to the Divine Presence riding a donkey. Come to the Divine Presence on a rocket. You will arrive much faster. Your ego is a donkey. Do not follow your ego. Leave it for it will never take you anywhere except in slow motion. The spirit will move with very quick motion. Why? Because the spirit is something related to God. That Light is coming from our Lord. Look at the speed of light: 300,000 kilometers per second. Do you think that your spirit runs slower or faster than the speed of light? Of course it is faster.

You use your mind extremely fast. What about your heart? Now they are trying to reach everywhere quickly on earth using planes. What about the airplane of your heart? Do not underestimate what God has created in you and in every human being. No one can understand how the spirit works.

Why does one pass away the instant someone shoots a bullet through them? Who takes that secret away? Why does someone pass away when they are fatally ill? The spirit is always training to run away and break free from the cage of the body. When it finds a way, it will run away and go back to its origin. When you free your spirit yourself through your power over your own ego, at that time you gain control of the power of the spirit and it cannot run away. At that time you can acheive incredible powers through your spirit.

It was not long ago when you could find saints everywhere using such powers that no one today can replicate. There was a saint who could use his belt to make a phone call to people living very far way. He would do so in the presence of hundreds of people sitting around him. How could one send a message to so-and-so who lived three or four hours away by car? That saint would simply lift the end of his belt, put it to his ear, and say, ‘Hello? Mr. So-and-so, please come over. We are waiting for you!’ After three or four hours, that person would knock at the door and enter and tell everyone that he had received a call from the shaykh telling him to come over.

There are so many things saints can do because their ego is under their control. When your spirit controls the ego, you can do everything. When the ego controls your spirit, you can do nothing. You have to always be a garbage container for human beings. Do not be afraid to carry their burdens. Carry and move. If you carry, God will give you more power. If you do not carry their burdens, you are never going to have that Light in your heart. You have to be a carrier of burdens.

There was one saint, a grandshaykh of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain named Bayazid al-Bistami, who said to his Lord, ‘O my Lord! Make my body as large as Your hell and put me alone inside it. Let everyone else stay outside. I sacrifice myself for the benefit of Your innocent people. They are innocent because they have their egos weighing them down. If they did not have their egoes, they would have been like angels.’ Everyone of us has an ego. It is that ego that controls us and makes us behave badly.

All of you must be examples in society. This will be the cause for people to come to our associations, simply by observing you and appreciating your good manners and exemplary behavior. When they see you acting badly, how will they want to attend these associations? They will never come.

How does one acquire good manners? By leaving bad temper and anger. Do not show anger, whether in your house or outside your house. Do not pay attention if your wife shouts at you. Let her shout. What can happen? Finally she will get tired and stop. The same goes for men! You are going to bark and bark but she will pay no attention. Finally you will get fed up and be quiet. But satan never causes one to be angry without the other being angry too. Fighting follows. Therefore when one shouts, the other must not listen. This technique must be applied outside among the community as well. Try to control your anger.

One day I was with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim in Madinah. At that time, Mawlana Shaykh used to take many pilgrims from Cyprus with him on the pilgrimage. He took them to a merchant to buy some prayer beads. After all the pilgrims had bought beads, Mawlana Shaykh asked for a set of beads for himself. The merchant showed him some beads. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said to him, ‘What do you think, can you give me a discount.’ The merchant reacted with the worst kind of invective. There is not a single curse that he did not use against Mawlana. Mawlana did not even open his mouth. He his anger completely. Afterwards, when we moved out to the street, we saw someone coming to the Shaykh with a set of beads in his hands, identical to the ones he had asked to purchase. He gave them to the Shaykh with the words, ‘This is a gift from me,’ and no one knew who he was nor where he came from. He disappeared as fast as he had appeared.

When you keep your anger down, and God will reward you. Do not try to take your rights by force. God said in the Quran, ‘Whoever forgives and makes peace will receive his reward from his Lord’ [42:40]. That is better than taking your reward by force through the courts, for instance.

Prepare yourself in the month of Rajab not to miss any prayers. If you happen to miss prayers during the day, try to perform them at night when you come home before sleeping. Try to recite ‘Allah’ 1500 times a day in your heart. If you prefer to recite it by tongue, do so. Also recite 100 times a day, ‘Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ala ali Muhammadin wa sallim’ (O God, send blessings and peace upon Muhammad and upon the Family of Muhammad). God willing, this will give you power during this month and will prepare you for the month of Shaban which has other duties which we will describe in time, God willing.

Do not think that this world will last much longer or that we have many years ahead of us. We beleive the Last Days of this world may be very close at hand.

We ask success from God through the Opening Chapter of the Quran, al-Fatihah .


The Mawlid: A Time to Celebrate

26 02 2009


The Mawlid: A Time to Celebrate


Dr. Muhammad Abduh Yamani

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Every year, when the month of Rabi al-Awwal comes around once again, bringing in its train the night of the twelfth, it seems to us as if the whole world is perfumed by the memory of the birth of the Final Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. Countless millions of Muslims in every corner of the earth fix their thoughts on his birth, by re-reading his biography and learning from his unique values and qualities. For he was the Unlettered Prophet, in whose human essence were combined and perfected every noble and generous trait of character: the best of all role-models, of whom Allah Himself has said: “Truly, yours is a tremendous character.”

Without the slightest doubt, the best way of commemorating this most noble of all birthdays is in reciting the story of his life, to adults and to children, in order to accustom them to the love of Allah’s great Messenger.

My own mother, may Allah show her soul mercy, used to put us in the habit of sitting down and reading the sira books. Even though she herself could neither read nor write, she knew much of the sira by heart, and would constantly encourage her family and neighbours to become intimately familiar with the beautiful life-story of the Prophet.

No-one could deny that gathering to listen to the career of the Master of the Messengers is one of the most desirable of all activities. It can yield a whole range of blessings and benefits, as long as it takes place in a proper Islamic atmosphere without any reprehensible innovations or distortions. Needless to say, the life of the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, can and should be commemorated at any time of the year. Nonetheless, when he is remembered in Rabi al-Awwal, people’s attachment to him grows even stronger, for the simple reason that it was in this month that he was born. At this special time, when the impulse to gather for this purpose is at its strongest, one feels an overwhelming sense of connection between our time and his, as the present reminds us of the past, and helps us to bring to mind and relate to events which took place many centuries ago.

The love of the Prophet, and the joy which his birth and career have brought to us, bring every imaginable kind of good thing to a true Muslim. Even an unbeliever can benefit from his birth. The idolator Abu Lahab, one of the greatest enemies of Islam, was pleased when one Monday he heard the news that Muhammad had been born: and he freed his slave-girl Thuwaiba who had brought him the news. We are told that because of this deed his punishment in the grave is reduced every Monday. This hadith, which is narrated by Imam Bukhari, inspired Imam Shams al-Din al-Dimashqi to write:

    If an unbeliever, condemned by the Quran to eternal pain,
    Can be relieved every Monday through his joy at Ahmad,
    Then what must a true servant of God hope to gain,
    When with the truth of Tawhid he felt joy at Ahmad?

The Prophet himself, may Allah bless him, used to commemorate his birthday, thanking his Lord for His great kindness to him. He would express this commemoration by fasting, as we are told in a hadith narrated by Imam Muslim. The methods by which his birthday may be celebrated vary widely, but the objective is the same: whether in fasting, giving food to the poor, gathering for the remembrance (dhikr) of Allah or calling down blessings upon His Messenger, and listening to the story of his virtues and mighty achievements.

Allah has commanded us Muslims to rejoice at the things by which His grace and mercy comes to us. In the Holy Quran we read: ‘Say, by Allah’s grace and mercy; and let them be made joyful by this!’ (Yunus, 58.) And we have never received any mercy greater than the Prophet himself: ‘We sent you only as a mercy to the worlds.’ (Anbiya, 107.)

The Blessed Prophet was keenly aware of the connection of the flow of time with the great religious events of the past. Whenever the time of year recalled such an event, he would seize the opportunity to commemorate it, and call to mind its significance.

There are many examples of this. For instance, when he first arrived at Madina, he found the Jews fasting on the Day of Ashoura. When he enquired about this practice, he was told, ‘They fast on this day because Allah rescued their prophet on this day, and drowned their enemy, so that they fast it in gratitude to Allah for this blessing.’ And the Prophet remarked: ‘We have even more right to Moses than have they!’, and ordered that the Muslims should fast on that day as well.

For all these reasons, every year during the month of the Mawlid I devote my time to the great books of the Sira, spending some time enjoying their shade and cool breezes. I recall to my mind the episodes and events of his unique career from the time when the light of Muhammad first shone upon the world: the Arbitration at the Ka’ba, the Beginning of Revelation, the trials and sufferings endured while calling men to Allah, the Hijra, the great and heroic battles against paganism and misguidance, the creation of the Islamic State, the Farewell Pilgrimage, and finally, the moment when revelation to earth came to its conclusive end with the demise of the Blessed Prophet and his passing-on to the Highest Companion in Heaven.

During this month, I spend as much time as I can in this blessed company. This is despite the fact that these astonishing and moving events remain in my thoughts and reflections during the entire year, forming a constant guide, reference and inspiration, as I remember the actions and deeds of him whose every action and deed had the purpose of educating the human race.

Yesterday, my wife came to me while I was engrossed in my reading. She looked at the book before me, and saw that it was about the Mawlid, open at the page where the greatest of all sira writers Ibn Ishaq says: ‘Allah’s Messenger, may He bless and keep him, was born on Monday, during the twelfth night of Rabi al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant.’

She asked me this interesting question: ‘Why was he born during that month, rather than during Ramadan, the month when the Quran was revealed, or in one of the Sacred Months, which Allah rendered sacred on the day He created the heavens and the earth? Or even in Sha’ban, the month which contains the blessed Night of Mid-Sha’ban?’

She stopped, and looked at me for an answer. I looked again at the book, and searched for a clue, but without success. So I asked her to give me a little time to allow me to read and do some thinking.

I fell silent and began asking myself: Why did the Almighty Creator decree that this noble Prophet should come into the world on Monday the twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal? Why this date in particular? There must be some exquisite wisdom in this choice: but where and what?

I pulled out the great works of Sira, and turned their pages. I read the words of the scholars and historians of Islam, trying to unearth the secret of this divine decision. After hours of reading and contemplation, the books gave me four subtle indications which together point to the answer.

Firstly, in a hadith we read that Allah created the tree on Monday. This can be taken to mean that the creation of sustenance, fruits and all the good things of the earth upon which the children of Adam depend for their life, and which give them medicines to heal them, and whose very sight brings them rest and joy: all this was decreed to come into existence on this day.

The Prophet, upon him be peace, also came into the world on this day, as a cause of rapture and joy. He is associated with it in other ways also: according to Ibn Abbas, ‘Allah’s Messenger was born on a Monday, became a Prophet on a Monday, and raised up the Black Stone on a Monday.’

Secondly, we should recall that the Arabic name of the month of his birth signifies the season of spring: the time of rebirth and renewal. Shaykh Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Siqilli writes: ‘Every human being is associated in some way with his name and circumstances in time. When we look at the season of spring, we see that it is the time when the Blessed Lord splits open the earth to reveal His bounty within, without which His servants could not subsist. Seeds split open and produce countless kinds of plant, which make all who see them rejoice. Though silent, they mutely proclaim the news of the imminent and delightful ripening of their fruit. Now, the Birthday of the Prophet, may Allah bless him, resembles this closely. His birth in the month of this name gives good tidings of the greatest forms of sustenance and protection for the believers. It proclaims Allah’s mercy, the greatest of which is His granting guidance, through His messenger, to the Straight Path.’

Thirdly, Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf al-Salihi writes: ‘Can you not see that the season of spring is both the most beautiful and moderate of seasons, free of both bitter cold or stifling heat, or exaggerated length in its days or nights? It is the time of year when people feel most refreshed and whole, so that they can enjoy the pleasure of prayer at night, and of fasting during the day. All of this symbolises and resembles the moderation and healthfulness of the Sunna and the Law which the Prophet brought.’

Fourthly, it would seem to be the case that the Wise God sometimes wishes to ennoble times through events, not events through times. A time otherwise left vacant can thereby be filled with a special quality from which people can derive benefit.

Obviously, if the Blessed Prophet had been born in Ramadan, or one of the Sacred Months, or in the holy month of Sha’ban, some people might think that it was he himself who was being ennobled by these times because of their great merit. But it was Allah’s wise decree that he be born in Rabi al-Awwal in order to ennoble that month, and to display Allah’s care and good providence for His Prophet. As an Arab poet has written:

    Allah gave good news of you to the heavens, and they were adorned,
    The soil of the earth turned to musk when it heard of you.
    A day whose dawn is part of history,
    And whose evening is made luminous by Muhammad!

To sum up what I have been trying to say: celebrations of the Mawlid are nothing other than a revival of the memory of the Chosen One. When this is done in the context of an Islamically-learned circle of knowledge and remembrance, in which the manners of our Islamic religion are observed, it is something which the great scholars approve of strongly. It provides a superb opportunity to link us to the Sira, to his miracles and beautiful character, and to the magnification of the Prophet whom Allah has commanded us to follow and emulate in all things.

Only by knowing his virtues and good qualities can we have perfect faith in him.
Only by listening to his life-story will we acquire a true and deep love for him.
As Allah Himself has stated: ‘We tell you the stories of the Messengers, in order to make firm your heart.’
O Allah, make firm our hearts in Islam! Make our faith true and deep, and bestow upon us real love for Your Prophet!

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Husaini al-Dasuki

13 10 2008

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Husaini al-Dasuki, may Allah be pleased with him, was ibn Abi l-Majd bin Quraysh bin Muhammad bin al-Najjar bin ‘Abd al-Khaliq bin al-Qasim bin al-Ja‘far bin ‘Abd al-Khaliq bin Abi l-Qasim al-Zaki bin ‘Ali bin Muhammad al-Jawwad bin ‘Ali al-Ridha bin Musa al-Kathim bin Ja‘far al-Sadiq bin Muhammad al-Baqir bin ‘Ali al-Zahir (Zain al-‘Abidin) bin Sayyiduna l-Husain bin al-Imam ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them.

His Birth

He was born in 633 H. and wore the noble patched robe from Shaykh Najm al-Din Mahmud al-Isfahani. He graduated with Shaykh Nur al-Din ‘Abd al-Samad al-Nathari and with Shaykh Abu l-Hasan al-Shadhili, may Allah be pleased with them.

His Position in the Spiritual World

He is one of the four principle qutbs. He was among the illustrious shaykhs of Egypt who excelled and became well known by the permission of Allah to the existence. The people of his time openly recognized his having a great wilaya and his being a great qutb; eventually he became the head of a tariqah. He studied the fiqh of Imam al-Shafi‘i and then followed in the footsteps of the Sufis. He had the status of the shaykhs and carried the white flag. His du‘as were accepted and he openly manifested many miracles. He was well versed in the rules of wilaya and their application, and there are many quotations attributed to him regarding the tariqah.

His Death

He died, may Allah be pleased with him, in 676 H. at the age of 43 and was buried in the city of Dasuk. Today his grave is still visited.

Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi

10 10 2008

Our Liege-Lord Sayyidi, the Greatest Qutb, the Lion, the Qutb of the people of his time, the Savior of Captives. Our Lord Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi al-Husayni bin ‘Ali bin Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr bin Isma‘il bin ‘Umar bin ‘Ali bin ‘Uthman bin Husayn bin Muhammad bin Musa bin Yahya bin ‘Isa bin ‘Ali bin Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin ‘Ali al-Ridha bin Musa al-Kathim bin Ja‘far al-Sadiq bin Muhammad al-Bakr bin Zayn al-‘Abideen bin (al-Shaheed) Sayyiduna Husayn bin Fatima al-Zahra, the Mistress of all women of the world, daughter of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah be pleased with her, and with all of them.

His Birth

In 596 H, he was born in the city of Fez. At seven years of age he moved to Makkah after he had a dream in which he heard his father saying, “O Ali, move from this country to Makkah. You will have a great future there.”

His Life

He studied the Qur’an with the readers of the time. He possessed a courageous heart, and was called al-Badawi because of his stuttering. When the divine gifts came to him, drowning him in complete absorption in Allah, his life completely changed. He shunned the company of people; held to silence, and communicating only through gestures. (one line left out).

His state continued to grow until he became as he is known. In his sleep he saw three times someone saying, “Stand and go to place of the rising sun. If you reach there, then go to the place of the setting sun. Then travel to Tanta, for surely this is your place, O young man!” This was in Shawwal, 633 H.

He went to Iraq where he was welcomed by its Shaykhs, both living and dead. He took on the blessed Sufi Kharqa through the permission of Shaykh Bari who received it from Na‘im al-Baghdadi who in turn received it from Shaykh Ahmad al-Rafa‘i, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

His Tariqa

He took bay‘ah from Shaykh Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Naysaburi, from whom there are a chain of seven shaykhs who received bay‘a from al-Imam Dawud al-Ta’iy who received it from Habib Allah al-‘Ajami who received from the Master of the Tabi‘een, al-Hasan al-Basri, who received it from Sayyiduna ‘Ali, may Allah illumine his face, who received it from al-Mustafa, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

His State

He was a big Qutb, he could cause his murids to grow in ma’rifa by just looking at them. If he gave one of his murids a special look he would raise him to the Maqam of al-Shuhud. He used to fast continually for forty days, then break his fast. In most of his states he would stare upward to the sky with eyes of burning coal, shouting continuously.

His Attributes

He was called the one with the two veils, for he always wore two veils. He was tall with thick legs, full arms, and a big face. His complection was between white and brown.

His Noble Sayings

Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

The fuqarā are like olives, among them are the big and small, and he who has no oil; and I am his oil. Meaning, whoever is truthful (şādiq) in his poverty, pure as the oil, living according to the Book and the Sunnah, then I am his help in all matters, providing for his needs in this world and the next—not by my power and strength but by the barakah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

O Abd al-‘Al, beware of love of this world, for it corrupts the righteous deed as vinegar corrupts honey. Know, ‘Abd al-‘Al, that Allah said: “Surely Allah is with those who possess taqwa and those who do good” (16:128).

‘Abd al-‘Al, be concerned with the orphan, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, honor the stranger and the guest, perhaps then you will be among those whom Allah accepts.

‘Abd al-‘Al, you must do dhikr abundantly, and beware of being among those who are heedless of Allah the High. Know that every raka‘ah at night is better than a thousand in the day.

The best of you in character is he who has the most belief in Allah the High. Evil character corrupts good deeds like vinegar corrupts honey.

‘Abd al-‘Al, this way of ours is built upon the Book, the Sunnah, şidq, purity, loyalty, bearing injustice against oneself, and fulfilling the promise.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Al said: While serving the Shaykh for forty years I never saw him distracted from the worship of Allah for an instant. One day I asked him about the reality of poverty in the way of the sacred law (al-faqr al-shar‘ī) and he said: According to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) the faqīr (in Allah) has the following 12 signs: (1) he is an ‘arif bi llah (i.e., having direct knowledge of Allah); (2) he is obedient to Allah’s commands; (3) he holds to the Sunnah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace); (4) he is always pure; (5) in every situation he is pleased with Allah; (6) he is certain of what is with Allah; (7) he is despairing of what is in the hands of mankind; (8) he bears [patiently] with hardships; (9) he hastens to fulfill Allah’s command; (10) he shows compassion for mankind; (11) he is humble before people; (12) he knows that Shaytan is his enemy according to what Allah the High says: “Surely, the Shaytan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy” (35:6).

Then Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Al asked him about reflection, tawbah, dhikr, love of Allah (wajd), şabr, zuhd, īmān, and his shaykh and teacher, Ahmad al-Badawi, answered him in such a way that it quenched the fire of rancor, comforted the ill, and demonstrated Allah’s knowledge (of all things). These words, known to the nobles of knowledge and the Sufis, were found scattered about, but the Sayyid revealed their reality, exposing them with purity and clarity. He said the following about the above mentioned technical terms:

Reflection (tafkīr): Reflection upon Allah’s creatures and His creating not upon His essence, for surely thinking cannot encompass Him.

Tawbah: Its reality is regret for wrongs committed, abandonment of disobedience, asking for Allah’s forgiveness with the tongue, resolve not to return to the disobedience, and purity of heart. This is the tawbat al-naşuĥ (sincere tawbah) to which Allah orders us in His Mighty Book: “O you who believe, turn in repentance to Allah a sincere turning” (66:8).

Dhikr: The reality of dhikr is that it is with the heart not by the tongue only. Dhikr with the tongue without the heart is shallow. Remember Allah with a heart that is present and beware of being distracted (ghaflah) from Allah, for surely it causes the heart to become hard.

Wajd: Wajd is when the dhikr of the Real, la ilaha illa hu, increases so that a light is cast into the heart from Allah’s presence, until the skin thrills, and there is longing for the Beloved, la ilaha illa hu. The murīd clings to wajd and attaches himself entirely to Allah. When the wajd increases and he becomes distracted in passionate love so that it becomes excessive, then the murīd reaches the high rank of spiritual elevation.

Patience (şabr): It is pleasure with the hukm (ruling) of Allah and submission to His command. It is when man rejoices in misfortune just as he rejoices in good fortune. Allah says: “And give good news to the patient, who when a misfortune befalls them, say: surely we are Allah’s and to Him we surely return” (2: 155-156).

Zuhd: Zuhd is opposing the nafs by leaving worldly desires; and leaving the seven doors of the permitted in the fear that one may fall into the prohibited.

Īmān: Īmān is the most precious thing; he who has the most belief (īmān) has the most taqwa. When the character (akhlāq) of the murīd is good, his īmān increases; the best of you in character is he who has the most belief in Allah.

When imparting counsel to his khalifah, ‘Abd al-‘Al, Shaykh al-Badawi said: Don’t rejoice over the misfortune of any of Allah’s creatures or utter words that slander or defame. Never harm someone who has harmed you. Show concern for someone who has wronged you. Do good to whoever has done you evil and give to whoever has withheld from you. Do you know who is the true, patient faqīr? I said: Please, continue to give me what is beneficial. Shaykh al-Badawi continued: He is the one who when he gives he doesn’t ask to be thanked. And when the patient man losses his patience because of Allah’s hukm (ruling; i.e., He causes events to occur that break the faqīr’s patience), he acts according to the Book and the Sunnah.

The following words transmitted by Sayyid al-Bakri are the ultimate expression of the secret of Shaykh al-Badawi’s great spiritual nature: He who has no knowledge (‘ilm) will have no worth (qīmah) in this world or the next. He who has no forbearance (ĥilm) will find no benefit in knowledge. He who is without generosity (sakhā’) will have no portion of his wealth. He who has no sympathy and concern (shafaqah) for mankind will find no intercessor to plead his case (shifā‘ah) before Allah. He who has no patience (şabr) will obtain no success and goodness in his affairs. He who has no taqwa (godfearingness) has no station (manzilah) with Allah. And he who is deprived of these six qualities has no place in the Garden (Jinnah).

His Death

He died in Tanta, Egypt, in 675 H, may Allah be pleased with him.

Shayk Ahmad al-Rufa’i

23 09 2008

He is our Liege-Lord the enlivener of the din and shari‘a Abu l-‘Abbas al-Sultan Ahmad al-Rufa‘i the Senior ibn al-Hasan ‘Ali bin Yahya al-Thabit bin al-Hazim bin Ahmad bin ‘Ali bin al-Hasan (Rufa‘i al-Makki) bin al-Mahdi bin Abi l-Qasim Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin al-Husain bin Musa al-Thani bin Ibrahim al-Murtadha bin Imam Musa al-Kathim bin Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq bin Imam Muhammad al-Baqir bin Imam Zain al-‘Abadin (‘Ali al-Sajjad) bin Imam al-Husain bin Imam Sayyiduna ‘Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

His Birth

He was born in Umm Ubayda, a district of Basra, in the house of his grandfather on his mother’s side who was the shaykh of all the shaykhs of his time, Shaykh Abi Sa‘id Yahya al-Bukhari al-Ansari, in the first half of the month of Rajab, on a Thursday, in the year 512 H. He was from the loins of the Shaykh of the Readers of the Qur’an and the Muhadiththeen, Sayyid ‘Ali Abi l-Hasan bin Yahya l-Makki.

While his mother was pregnant with him she used to visit Shaykh Rufa‘i’s future shaykh, Abi Muhammad al-Shanbaki, may Allah be pleased with him. Whenever she entered his presence, he would stand up. When she asked the Shaykh why he stood for her he said, “I stand in honor of the one who is still in your womb. He will be one who is close to Allah.” His mother related that when she gave birth to her son Ahmad she heard him in the cradle glorifying Allah continuously. He refused to breast feed from a wet nurse until she first made wudhu.

His Life

He was brought up in the best possible conditions. When he was a little boy he preferred to sit with the old men of learning and not with his peers. He would listen to recitation of the Qur’an and the lessons of the shaykhs. He sat with the ‘arifin and followed their advise and would not leave them. They recognized that he was a great wali and would praise him a lot.

He read the Qur’an with Shaykh ‘Ali bin al-Qari l-Wasiti, may Allah be pleased with him.

His Tariqa

He wore the noble patched robe given to him by his cousin from his father’s side, Sayyid ‘Uthman, who took it from Sayyid ‘Ali al-Makki, who himself took it from Sayyid Yahya al-Rufa‘i who took it from Sayyid Thabit Hazim who took it from Sayyid ‘Ali al-Hazim who took it from Sayyid Abi al-Fadha’il who took it from Sayyid Hasan Rufa‘a who took it from Sayyid Abu l-Qasim bin al-Baghdadi al-Husaini who took it from Sayyid al-Hasan al-Qasim who took it from Sayyid Abd al-Rahman al-Muhaddith who took it from Sayyid Ahmad al-Salih al-Akbar who took it from Sayyid Musa l-Thani who took it from Sayyid Ibrahim al-Murtadha who took it from Sayyid Musa al-Kathim who took it from his father Ja‘far al-Sadiq who took it from his father Muhammad al-Baqir who took it from his father Zain al-Abidin who took it from his father Imam al-Husain who took it from his father Imam ‘Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, who took it from al-Mustafa, Sayyiduna Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

He was well known to be a great qutb that lead the Rufa‘i Tariqah by following in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah. He took the Qur’an as his imam and the Sunnah as his method for his behavior and actions in this life. He was very humble and broken to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. He was modest and poor for the sake of Allah. Allah gave him great openings, showing him the secrets of revelation. From his school numerous awliya and scholars graduated.

His Death

He died on Thursday the 12th of Jumad al-Ula, 580 H. in Umm Ubayda, may Allah be pleased with him.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab related that the Messenger of Allah said: “Among the servants of Allah are individuals who, though they are neither prophets nor martyrs, are envied by the prophets and martyrs for their rank with Allah on the Last Day.” A man asked ‘Umar, “Who are they and what are their deeds that we may love them?” He said, “People who love each other by the ruh of Allah without being related by blood and without sharing wealth between them, by Allah, their faces have light, and they are on minbars of light without fear when others are afraid and without sadness when others are sad.” Then he read from the Qur’an: “Surely for the Awliya of Allah there is no fear upon them nor are they sad.


Laylat al-Qadr: the Night of Power

21 09 2008

Sídí Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifá‘í in Tafsir of Juz’ ‘Amma

[The Qur’ánic Súrah al-Qadr] was revealed in Makkah and consists of five verses. The reason behind its revelation was that when Allah commanded prostration and drawing near to Him [in the previous Súrah, al-‘Alaq], He then mentioned the moment in time which is most conducive to the greatest nearness and proximity to Him, so He said:

‘innáá ‘añzalnáhu fí laylati-l-qadr
“Indeed, We revealed it (sent it down) in the Night of Destiny” [Q97:1]

He extolled the rank of the Qur’án in that He confirmed its descent from Him and reinforced the attribution to Him by employing the use of the plural particle of dignity “We”, which shows His complete attentive care to it and for it; and it did not even mention the name of the Messenger himself (salla-lláhu ‘alayhi wa-sallim). This apparently is for plainly announcing the Messenger’s fundamental role, as if he is already present in the minds of the listeners.

Then He magnifed the moment in which it was sent down in revelation, when He said:

wa máá ‘adráka má laylatu-l-qadr
“And what will make you conceive what the Night of Decree is?” [Q97:2]

Phrasing the statement in this way is for the purpose of explaining that its reality is beyond the circle of understanding of the creation. None can truly know the full import of its immense reality except the One who is completely knowledgeable of the unseen… just as He says:

laylatu-l-qadri khayrum-min alfi shahr
“The Night of Power is better than one thousand months.” [Q97:3]

It is a summarized explication of its prestigious rank. And in the above two occasions where that Night is mentioned, there is no doubt of the supreme exaltation of its nature and affair. And the intended meaning of “revelation” (inzal) could be two meanings:

1) Its complete descent from the Preserved Tablet [Q85:22] to the lowest heaven, as the Prophet said that Allah caused the whole to descend at once from the Preserved Tablet to the lowest heaven on the Night of Qadr, and then for the next 23 years it descended from the lowest heaven piece by piece;

or 2) It could mean the beginning of its revelation, which is the more apparent meaning.

It was called the Night of Qadr because it is the night wherein affairs are decided and matters are decreed (taqdir), and in which all that is decreed during that particular year is manifested and enacted, in accordance with His saying, “In it every wise command is differentiated and enacted.” [Q44:4]. So Qadr can both refer to this enactment of the decrees, and can also mean its nobility and rank above other nights. It is commonly said that it falls on the night of the 27th of Ramadan.

And know that the Prophet saw that the life-spans of his followers would be shorter compared to the past nations, and he was afraid they would not reach the same amount of deeds performed by past nations because they had longer lives, so Allah honored him with this night which is better than 1000 months [83 years and four months]. Then He further unveiled some of its honor by saying:

tanazzalu-l-maláá’ikatu wa-r-rúhu fíhá
“The angels and the Spirit descend in it in hosts…” [Q97:4a]

The ‘Spirit‘ can refer to the archangel Jibríl (‘alayhi-s-salám), or another angelic creature that cannot be seen by the angels. And the meaning of ‘descending’ is their descending to the earth and greeting the people and saying “Amín” after their supplications.

bi-‘idhni rabbihim
“…by the permission of their Lord…” [Q97:4b]

They descend by the command of Allah, as a mercy to the believing and humble slaves of Allah, who invoke His Great Name and seek His forgiveness.

miñ kulli ‘amr
“…with all decrees (alt: on every errand).” [Q97:4c]

Their descent is for the purpose of every decree which Allah decreed for that particular year; for Allah informs the angels of all that is to occur during that year. Since this is their most important task, He said that this is the reason for their descent; although this does not conflict with their other tasks of greeing the believers and bringing blessings to them and supplicating for them.

salámun hiya
“Peace it is!…” [Q97:5a]

Because “it is” (hiya) is the 27th word of the Súrah, many commentators have stated that it falls on the 27th night of the month of Ramadan. Then Allah mentioned its limit in time when He continued:

hattá matla‘i-l-fajr
“…until the rising of the dawn.” [Q97:5b]

And know, my beloved, that for the people of hearts among the gnostic knowers, all moments are “nights of power,” and all places for them are ‘Arafah (the mount of Hajj), and all days for them are Fridays. Because the reason for exalting a certain time or place above others is because of the blessings that lie in them, such as opportunities for drawing closer, unveilings, openings, etc. And for the gnostic knowers, all moments are such, as one poet said:

Were it not for [my] witnessing Your effulgent beauty in my essence,
Then I would not be content for any hour of my life.
The ‘Night of Power’ has no special distinctions and honor,
If it is not with You that I fill up my moments.
Indeed, if the lover is established in his love,
And love does not depend on specific moments,
Then all nights become ‘Nights of Power’ if [the Beloved] appears,
Just like all days become Fridays when the meeting occurs.

And we say: And the praise belongs to Allah, that all of our moments are ‘nights of power’ if our hearts are fully facing Allah, and if we do not stand up except by Allah, or act except by Allah, or not see any but Allah; sincere in one’s devotion to Him, leaning away from all falsehood towards the truth, bowing to, standing for, prostrating to, and invoking Him in all states, all places, and all moments.

And know that the reward for acts of worshipful devotion in this blessed night in this blessed month is nothing less than unveiling of the veil, opening of the door, and witnessing of the Holy Essence, which cannot be measured or compared to anything!

I ask Him, Most High, that He keep us constantly in His protection,
and grant us His satisfaction,
for He hears and responds.


Shayk ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani

19 09 2008

He was Muhyi al-Din Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Abu Salih Musa bin Abu ‘Abdillah bin Yahya al-Zahid bin Muhammad bin Da’ud bin Musa bin ‘Abd Allah bin Musa al-Jawn bin ‘Abd Allah al-Mahd bin al-Hasan al-Muthanna bin Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

His Birth

Born in the city of Jilan in 470 H., he was one of the many men of Jilan known for their spirituality and renunciation of the world. He followed the sunnah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama‘ and was endowed with manifest miracles. His mother, Umm al-Khayr, Fatimah bint al-Shaykh ‘Abd Allah al-Sawma‘i al-Husayni al-Zahid, was endowed with great goodness and piety. She said that during Ramadan, when her son ‘Abd al-Qadir was still breast feeding, he won’t suckle during the day. Amazingly, she was 60 years old when she conceived him.

His Life

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani came to Baghdad in the year 488 H. when he was 18. As he entered Baghdad, Khidr appeared before him with instructions to wait for seven years before entering. Obediently, the Shaykh settled outside Baghdad at the bank of the River Tigris. One night, after the passing of seven years, he heard a voice telling him, “O ‘Abd al-Qadir, you can enter Baghdad.” When he entered, it was a cool and wet night, indicating the goodness being bestowed upon the land by his coming.

He obtained Islamic sciences from the teachers of his time. After completing his studies of the Qur’an, he reached great knowledge of the deen of Islam. He studied with the following teachers: Abu al-Wafa’ ‘Ali ibn al-‘Uqayl al-Hanbali, Abu al-Khattab Mahfuz al-Kaluthani al-Hanbali, Abu al-Hasan Muhammad bin al-Qadi Abu Ya‘la Muhammad bin Ibn al-Husayn bin Muhammad al-Farra’ al-Hanbali, al-Qadi Abu Sa‘id, and Abu Sa‘id al-Mubarak bin ‘Ali al-Mukharrimi al-Hanbali. He also studied literature with Abu Zakariyya Yahya bin ‘Ali al-Tabrizi.

He took to wearing the blessed tattered woolen cloak which he received from al-Qadi Abu Sa’id al-Mubarak al-Makharrimi, who had a well-kept little schoolhouse at Bab al-Azaj in Baghdad. This building was placed at the disposal of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir. While he was teaching, great miracles appeared from him. Soon his teaching met with wide acceptance and the school became overcrowded with those who came to attend his majlis. Beside teaching he also gave fatwas. People from far and wide came to him with pledges of support. He was given several titles, among them: Holder of the Two Proofs and the Two Mandates; Imam of the Two Parties and the Two Paths; and Master of the Two Lamps and Two Routes. A great number of ulama, awliya, imams, and righteous men gained knowledge from him.

He was the shaykh who completely renounced the world; he possessed many miracles and spiritual stations; he was a shaykh of both scholars and the common man. He was the imam, the qutb, and the shaykh of all the shayukh of his time.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him, had a student called ‘Umar al-Halawi who left Baghdad for a number of years. When he returned, the Shaykh asked him where he had been. He said that he had wandered through Sham, Egypt, the Maghrib, and other non-Arabi countries where he had met 360 shaykhs of the awliya, all of whom had said that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir was their shaykh and their perfect example to follow inorder to reach Allah, the Exalted.

His Attributes

Whenever he made du’a Allah accepted it. If he was angry, Allah would take revenge immediately. If he liked something, Allah would make it available to him. When he became old and feeble, he could perform a lot of nawafil. He was always making dhikr, showing outward humility, patience with his condition (in old age), and observing the times for prayer. He was thin, average in height, wide-chested, long bearded, with a light brown complexion, connected eyebrows, and a strong full voice. He possessed great charisma and great knowledge. He listened more than he talked, but when he talked people would listen and accept what he said.

His Death

He died in 561 H when he was 91 years old and was buried in Baghdad.