I’m Looking for a Man…

Part of a ‘spoken word’ poem, written by Poetic Pilgrimage, enjoy…

Hi, excuse me, Assalamu alaikum, I wonder if any of you in here can help me?

My name is Sakina Abdul Noor. I’m a pilgrim and

I’ve travelled here from Abyssinian lands with a caravan

And I’m looking for a man

I’ve walked over

Mountains and valleys passed rivers and streams

I’ve walked barefooted through pagan lands

On the back of camels I rode through desert sands

To catch a glimpse of this illuminous man

They say Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth and this man is His lamp

Shining the light of mercy throughout the land

I heard once water flowed forth from his hands

So tell me please where can I find this man

I wanna pledge my allegience with my right hand and

Live my life according to Allah’s command

I’m not sure if you understand

I’m looking for the Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

Have you seen him?

I travelled lightly

Butterflies, eagles and angels were my companions on this here journey

I had only the moon’s light to guide me

I saw signs manifesting at night as stars were shimmering

Listening to winds whispering

Rising to pray whenever I heard the birds singing

See I’m a pilgrim

And I decided to make this journey one night when I was sleeping

See I was dreaming

And a man appeared, his body was a pure light and he was gleaming

He had a beard and he was dressed in green and he wore a turban

He asked me if I’d heard of him

Each of his words was a gem and then

He told me to come follow him

Forget material belongings

I didn’t know before how much my soul was longing

He said come to the blessed city of Medina and ask for him

So now I’m asking

Where can I find the Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

Everybody I asked on my journey had heard of him

When I mentioned his name every bird started chirping, I saw

Children’s eyes widen and grown men start crying

Each tear representing the love they have had inside for him

So that’s why I’m trying to find him

I heard throughout the land

Him and his companions can be heard reciting words of light and magnificent imagery

Fitting into the highest literary category

I heard even his enemies were astounded by their sheer beauty

And took their oaths of Shahada, forgetting about war booty

What’s even more amazing to me

Is that these words, as nourishing as an ocean breeze, words that light up the narrow Arabian streets,

Descended from Allah directly

I’m told they have a healing affect

Making many men introspect and fall on their knees begging for mercy

Apparently, they are as nourishing as summer rain

Every time Allah had a revelation an angel came, Jibraeel is his name

You must know this man who I’m trying to meet

He walks with this man called Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq

So named because he never questioned a word the Prophet speaks

Imagine he, feasts upon the light of Islam daily, how

Nourishingly sweet

Can’t you see? This is a great man I have to greet

I heard this blessed Prophet ascended up through the seven heavens

And was welcomed by all the Prophets from Isa to Adam

Alayhis salaam,

My mind can’t fathom the sights he beheld, Imagine

Seeing thousands upon thousands of angels, wings flattened

Prostrating to Allah without even a hand’s width between them

Picture seeing a

tree with multi-coloured sparkling lights

Reflecting the Nour of Allah that’s never ending, my hearts ascending but it seems like my quest is never ending

Seriously, have you seen him?

His name is Muhammad, sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

I met this woman who had the opportunity to meet him

He placed his hand upon her withered goat, said Bismillah, then milk started overflowing

Feeding her first, then his companions

So if I give you her description of him, maybe you’ll know him

She said

His face was luminous like a full moon, his expression was serene

When he is quiet there is a strange dignity about him

When he speaks his words are like sprinkled pearls

His friends obey his every wish and listen to his every word

SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

I even heard that if he touched a child a perfume could be smelt on them for days

A tree even wept when he went away

I heard a young boy cried when his sparrow died so the Prophet stayed all day and played with this young boy till his grief martyred away

Listen, all I want from you today is to show me the right way

So I can find a mosque to pray

To catch a glimpse of this man, you must know, his name is Muhammad

sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

From Allah we come and to Him we must return

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, thank you for listening

But it seems like I just missed him

Last night the beloved Prophet of Allah returned to Allah’s kingdom

That means on this earth I’ll never get the chance to meet him

Allah knows best, seems like I wasn’t meant to greet him

I travelled seven and a half years to get here

But I will endeavour to learn from his teachings

They say that if I look into the eyes of his Ummah I should be able to see him

So I’m seeking

People whose faces ignite whenever they speak of him

Do you know where I can find those blessed people who look after travelling pilgrims?

I’ve come so far and I’m not leaving

In fact I’m staying, right here in Medina to learn the ways of Rasulullah and learn the secrets of Allah

I wanna spend starlit nights praying

I wanna walk the ground he walked and pray in mosques that he taught

From this day, I vow to live my life this way

Writing down all I learn and any obstacles I face I’ll pray

And try to learn the Prophet Muhammad’s way

sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

so that I can pass them down to future pilgrims down generations and generations and generations….

Sidi Yahya Rhodus Introduces Habib Umar

What is the Shariah?

What is the Shariah?

 A Path to God, a Path to Good

by Faraz Rabbani

“For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had God willed, He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He has given you. So vie one with another in good works. Unto God you will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein you differ.” [Qur’an]

For Muslims, life did not begin at birth, but a long time before that. Before even the creation of the first man. It began when God created the souls of everyone who would ever exist and asked them, “Am I not your Lord?” They all replied, “Yea.”

God decreed for each soul a time on earth so that He might try them. Then, after the completion of their appointed terms, He would judge them and send them to their eternal destinations: either one of endless bliss, or one of everlasting grief.

This life, then, is a journey that presents to its wayfarers many paths. Only one of these paths is clear and straight. This path is the Shariah.

Divine guidance

In Arabic, Shariah means the clear, well-trodden path to water. Islamically, it is used to refer to the matters of religion that God has legislated for His servants. The linguistic meaning of Shariah reverberates in its technical usage: just as water is vital to human life so the clarity and uprightness of Shariah is the means of life for souls and minds.

Throughout history, God has sent messengers to people all over the world, to guide them to the straight path that would lead them to happiness in this world and the one to follow. All messengers taught the same message about belief (the Qur’an teaches that all messengers called people to the worship of the One God), but the specific prescriptions of the divine laws regulating people’s lives varied according to the needs of his people and time.

The Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace) was the final messenger and his Shariah represents the ultimate manifestation of the divine mercy.

“Today I have perfected your way of life (din) for you, and completed My favour upon you, and have chosen Islam as your way of life.” (Qur’an, 5:3) The Prophet himself was told that, “We have only sent you are a mercy for all creation.” (Qur’an, 21:179)

Blue wall with window.jpg

Legal rulings

The Shariah regulates all human actions and puts them into five categories: obligatory, recommended, permitted, disliked or forbidden.

Obligatory actions must be performed and when performed with good intentions are rewarded. The opposite is forbidden action. Recommended action is that which should be done and the opposite is disliked action. Permitted action is that which is neither encouraged nor discouraged. Most human actions fall in this last category.

The ultimate worth of actions is based on intention and sincerity, as mentioned by the Prophet, who said, “Actions are by intentions, and one shall only get that which one intended.”

Life under the Shariah

The Shariah covers all aspects of human life. Classical Shariah manuals are often divided into four parts: laws relating to personal acts of worship, laws relating to commercial dealings, laws relating to marriage and divorce, and penal laws.

Legal philosophy

God sent prophets and books to humanity to show them the way to happiness in this life, and success in the hereafter. This is encapsulated in the believer’s prayer, stated in the Qur’an, “Our Lord, give us good in this life and good in the next, and save us from the punishment of the Fire.” (2:201)

The legal philosophers of Islam, such as Ghazali, Shatibi, and Shah Wali Allah explain that the aim of Shariah is to promote human welfare. This is evident in the Qur’an, and teachings of the Prophet.

The scholars explain that the welfare of humans is based on the fulfillment of necessities, needs, and comforts.

Necessities

Necessities are matters that worldly and religious life depend upon. Their omission leads to unbearable hardship in this life, or punishment in the next. There are five necessities: preservation of religion, life, intellect, lineage, and wealth. These ensure individual and social welfare in this life and the hereafter.

The Shariah protects these necessities in two ways: firstly by ensuring their establishment and then by preserving them.

To ensure the establishment of religion, God Most High has made belief and worship obligatory. To ensure its preservation, the rulings relating to the obligation of learning and conveying the religion were legislated.

To ensure the preservation of human life, God Most high legislated for marriage, healthy eating and living, and forbid the taking of life and laid down punishments for doing so.
God has permitted that sound intellect and knowledge be promoted, and forbidden that which corrupts or weakens it, such as alcohol and drugs. He has also imposed preventative punishments in order that people stay away from them, because a sound intellect is the basis of the moral responsibility that humans were given.

Marriage was legislated for the preservation of lineage, and sex outside marriage was forbidden. Punitive laws were put in placed in order to ensure the preservation of lineage and the continuation of human life.

God has made it obligatory to support oneself and those one is responsible for, and placed laws to regulate the commerce and transactions between people, in order to ensure fair dealing, economic justice, and to prevent oppression and dispute.

Needs and comforts

Needs and comforts are things people seek in order to ensure a good life, and avoid hardship, even though they are not essential. The spirit of the Sharia with regards to needs and comforts is summed up in the Qur’an, “He has not placed any hardship for you in religion,” (22:87) And, “God does not seek to place a burden on you, but that He purify you and perfect His grace upon you, that you may give thanks.” (5:6)

Therefore, everything that ensures human happiness, within the spirit of Divine Guidance, is permitted in the Shariah.

Sources of the Shariah

The primary sources of the Shariah are the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Qur’an

The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet gradually, over 23 years. The essence of its message is to establish the oneness of God and the spiritual and moral need of man for God. This need is fulfilled through worship and submission, and has ultimate consequences in the Hereafter.

The Qur’an is the word of God. Because of its inimitable style and eloquence, and, above all, the guidance and legal provisions it came with, it ensures the worldly and next-worldly welfare of humanity.

God Most High said, “Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is best, and gives glad tidings to the believers who do good that theirs will be a great reward.” (Qur’an, 17:9) And, “There has come unto you light from God and a clear Book, whereby God guides those who seek His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guides them unto a straight path.” (Qur’an, 5:15)

The Prophetic example (Sunna)

The Prophet’s role was expounded in the Qur’an, “We have revealed the Remembrance [Qur’an] to you that you may explain to people that which was revealed for them.” (16:44)

This explanation was through the Prophet’s words, actions, and example. Following the guidance and the example of the Prophet was made obligatory, “O you who believe, obey God and obey the Messenger,” (4: 59) and, “Verily, in the Messenger of God you have a beautiful example for those who seek God and the Last Day, and remember God much.” The Prophet himself instructed, “I have left two things with you which if you hold on to, you shall not be misguided: the Book of God and my example.” [Reported by Hakim and Malik]

Derived sources

There are two agreed-upon derived sources of Shariah: scholarly consensus (ijma’) and legal analogy (qiyas).

Scholarly consensus (Ijma`)

The basis for scholarly consensus being a source of law is the Qur’anic command to resolve matters by consultation, as God stated, “Those who answer the call of their Lord, established prayer, and whose affairs are by consultation.” (42:38) Scholarly consensus is defined as being the agreement of all Muslim scholars at the level of juristic reasoning (ijtihad) in one age on a given legal ruling. Given the condition that all such scholars have to agree to the ruling, its scope is limited to matters that are clear according to the Qur’an and Prophetic example, upon which such consensus must necessarily be based. When established, though, scholarly consensus is decisive proof.

Legal analogy (Qiyas)

Legal analogy is a powerful tool to derive rulings for new matters. For example, drugs have been deemed impermissible, through legal analogy from the prohibition of alcohol that is established in the Qur’an. Such a ruling is based on the common underlying effective cause of intoxication.

Legal analogy and its various tools enables the jurists to understand the underlying reasons and causes for the rulings of the Qur’an and Prophetic example (sunna). This helps when dealing with ever-changing human situations and allows for new rulings to be applied most suitably and consistently.

Beyond ritualism

Indonesian Kids Laughing.jpg

The ultimate aim of those who submit to the Shariah is to express their slavehood to their Creator. But the Shariah does bring benefit in this world too.

This way has been indicated in a Divine statement conveyed by the Prophet.

My servant approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My servant keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks Me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him.

If the legal dimension of the Shariah gives Islam its form, the spiritual dimension is its substance. The spiritual life of Islam, and its goal, was outlined in the Divine statement (mentioned above).

The Prophet explained spiritual excellence as being, “To worship God as though you see Him, and if you see Him not, [know that] He nevertheless sees you.

The spiritual life of Islam is a means to a realization of faith and a perfection of practice. It is to seek the water that the Shariah is the clear path to, water that gives life to minds and souls longing for meaning.

It is this spiritual life, at its various levels, that attracts Muslims to their religion, its way of life, and to the rulings of the Shariah.

And those who believe are overflowing in their love of God.  (Qur’an 2:165)

Source:  BBC Religion and Ethics.

Tawassul – Shaykh Muhammad Yaqoubi

Qad Kafani ‘Ilmu Rabbi

My Lords knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
For my dua and my agonizing supplication
is a witness to my poverty.
For this secret I make supplication
in times of ease and times of difficulty
I am a slave whose pride
is in his poverty and obligation
O my Lord and my King
You know my state
And what has settled in my heart
of agonies and preoccupations
Save me with a gentleness
from You, O Lord of Lords
Oh save me, Most Generous
before I run out of patience

My Lords knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
O One who is swift in sending aid
I ask for aid that will arrive to me swiftly
It will defeat all difficulty
and it will bring all that I hope for
O Near One Who answers
and All-Knowing and All-Hearing
I have attained realization through my incapacity,
my submission and my brokenness

My Lords knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
I am still standing by the door, so please my Lord
have mercy on my standing
And in the valley of generosity, I am in itikaf (solitary retreat)
So, Allah, make my retreat here permanent
And Im abiding by good opinion (of You)
For it is my friend and ally
And it is the one that sits by me and keeps me company
All day and night

My Lords knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing
There is a need in my soul, O Allah
so please fulfill it, O Best of Fulfillers
And comfort my secret and my heart
from its burning and its shrapnel
In pleasure and in happiness
and as long as You are pleased with me
For joy and expansion is my state
and my motto and my cover
My Lords knowledge has sufficed me
from asking or choosing

Men & Women of God

These are just some short anecdotes (retold in my own words) that struck a chord with me recently.

Imam an-Nawawi had one set of clothes, including one turban. One day, he took his turban off as he was taking wudu (ritual ablution for purification), and placed it near him. A man came and stole it, and started running away. Imam an-Nawawi ran after him shouting, “Say you accept the gift, say you accept the gift!”

Sheikh Abdur Rahman ash-Shagouri had a habit of buying the unappealing apples from the fruit market. When asked why he did this, he replied, who else will buy these? I buy them so he is not disadvantaged by them. 

Rabia al-Adawiyya was praying in her house when a theif entered. He looked around for something of value, but saw nothing at all. She finished her salaat and turned to him, saying, I am sorry that I have nothing to give you. You came to my home in search of something and I am regretful that you will leave emptyhanded. There’s a bit more to this but I’ve forgotten it 😦

Another instance, a man of Basra was out walking with a cloth tied around his head, which is something that was used in order to relieve headaches. Rabia al Adawiyya saw the man and said, shame on you. the one day Allah gives you illness and you advertise it to the world, while all the other days he gave you good health and you were silent.

Intentions for Tahajud – The Night Vigil

I was sent this in an email recently, it is taken from the Book of Intentions by Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al Aydarus.  It is also a reminder to me to get on with transcribing the translation, something I have been very lazy about.

Intentions for Tahajud

That by doing so Allah swt will grant a special sainthood

To act in compliance with the command of Allah swt and His Prophet saw

That rising at night will  lift the affliction from the people on the earth

To partake in the struggle against the nafs

To follow the example of the Prophet saw and the Pious Salaf

That Allah will give me an opening of the Gnostics

To minimize sleep

To pray for the believing men and women

To recite the Holy Quran

To supplicate to Allah, humbly and with fear

That one’s rising at night will coincide with the hour of acceptance (Ameen)

To be an act of worship that is more likely to be sincere

To revive the sunnah

To ask for forgiveness

To gain the Haq thatAllah swt bestows on the Arifin

Ramdan 2010 – Alexandria, Egypt

An amazing video of stillness amid the rush of everyday living.

From Tarim to Granada – There is No Conquerer Except God

A video of Habib Umar’s recent trip to Andalus (Spain).

http://vimeo.com/15685175

Laylatul Qadr – The Night of Power

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, “Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.”

[Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

The Beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told the companions about four persons of the Bani Israel who had worshipped Allah for 80 years. They were the Honoured Ayuub, Zakarriyya , Hizqil and Yusha ibne Nun. The companions were amazed by this, and saddened that their short life spans did not permit such lengthy devotion, so the Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) came to the Prophet    (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and said, “O Beloved of Allah, Allah has sent you something better than that.” Then he recited Sura Qadr. 

“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit(Gabriel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!… This until the rise of Morning!”

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