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“Khadija was a great teacher; she has such a maqaam in our religion. She taught the Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam who he was; she was the one who elevated him in his esteem. When he had self doubt she said no. You can see that when the Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam married Aisha he had no fear of strong women. Theres a lot of men who fear strong women, who want them to be wallflowers. Whereas with the Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam, that’s not the type of people he encouraged. His wives were women who talked back, and the reason he wasn’t afraid was because khadija was his first wife. She was a women of the world. She knew the world, and she was completely self confident. That’s a sunnah of our Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam, to elevate women”.
~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
May Allah ta’ala elevate Shaykh Hamza’s rank in both worlds, protect him and allow us to benefit and take heed from his teachings. Amin ya Rabb!
* This quote by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is taken from one of the Tassawuf classes on the 2009 Rihla; although I did not attend it, I would like to thank sister Nushmia Khan for sharing this and allowing me to post it here- Jazaka’llahu khayran!
“Sit with those of this world, and you become a speck in its sea. Sit with those of Allah, and the world becomes a speck in your sea.”
Taken from Shaykh Nuh’s article (May Allah preserve and increase his rank)
I recently came across the following blog, which had an amazing story narrated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf at the RIS 2008 programme in Canada. It’s a beautiful story and as usual, Shaykh Hamza (may Allah continue to elevate his rank) adds inspiration…..
Taken from: Kuhlsnotes
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf told one of the most beautiful stories on love, unrequited love and shifa during the RIS Knowledge Retreat last winter in Toronto, Canada -
Speaking of the generosity of ‘Aisha (Rd.) -
“… she also was very generous – Bareerah was a woman that ‘Aisha (Rd.) purchased and then set free, and the famous story about Bareerah was that she was married to someone named Mugheeth. Now if two slaves were married and then the woman was freed, then she can leave/divorce her husband if she wants to because now she’s free and the husband is not, so there is no parity between them.
So Bareerah wanted to leave Mugheeth, but Mugheeth loved her. He went into total distress, and he literally was walking behind her around Madina begging her to take him back.
Abbas (Rd.) was with the Prophet (saw) one day and they saw Bareerah and the Prophet (saw) said: “Isn’t it strange how much Mugheeth loves Bareerah and how much Bareerah dislikes Mugheeth?”
And the Ulema say when the Prophet (saw) said “Isn’t it strange”, the Arabs use the word “strange” only when the means/cause (sabaab, lit. ‘door’) of/to something is unknown – and that there is no need for something to be called “strange” if the cause is known.
So the Prophet (saw) was calling him to the point the strangeness of love. Love is very strange.
Why do people fall in love?
Why are our hearts are attracted to some people and not other people?
Why love is sometime unrequited (un-returned)?
Because the worst type of love is unrequited love: when you love somebody and they don’t love you – there is nothing worst than that in the world, unrequited love. And obviously the worst type of unrequited love is with God, because we want the Love of God. That’s why Abu’l-Hasan ash-Shadhili (teacher of Ibn ‘Ata’ Illah al-Iskandari ) use to say:
“Oh Allah -
make my wrong actions, the wrong actions of people whom You Love, and
don’t make my good actions, the good actions of people whom You do not Love.”
In other words – I would rather have wrong actions and be someone who You Love, than have good actions and be someone who You don’t Love.
So the Prophet (saw) went to Bareerah, who was the freed slave of ‘Aisha, and he said: “Won’t you reconsider Mugheeth?” And she said: “are you telling me to do this, because if you are telling me to, then I have to do it.” He (saw) replied: “I am only interceding on his behalf”.
And that’s his Shifa – ‘he finds it difficult things you find difficult’. The Prophet (saw) saw Mugheeth suffering and he wanted to help him. That shows you his shafaaqa, even in love he wanted to help this poor man who was suffering from the loss of his love.
So when the Prophet (saw) replied that he was only interceding, Bareerah replied: “I don’t have any need for him”. So there was something arrogant in her answer, as she was free and he was still a slave – there was something there from her nafs.
Now when Mugheeth saw that Bareerah rejected intercession from the one that even God had given intercession, Mugheeth suddenly lost all desire for her – it was just taken out of his heart.
And at that point when he lost all desire for Bareerah, suddenly she fell madly in love with him – like a punishment for rejecting the intercession of the Prophet (saw) – he did not want anything to do with her, yet she was now begging him to take her back now!”
- Shaykh Hamza Yusuf,
RIS Knowledge Retreat 2008, Toronto, Canada
Alhumdulilah we are blessed to be alive to experience another month of purification and healing. Our Lord has given us another opportunity to mend our relationship with Him subhanahu wa ta’ala.
O moon-faced Beloved,
the month of Ramadan has arrived
Cover the table
and open the path of praise.
O fickle busybody.
it’s time to change your ways.
Can you see the one who’s selling the halvah
how long will it be the halvah you desire?
Just a glimpse of the halvah-maker
has made you so sweet even honey says,
“I’ll out myself beneath your feet, like soil;
I’ll worship at your shrine.”
your chick frets within the egg
with all your eating and choking
Break out of your shell that your wings may grow.
Let yourself fly.
The lips of the Master are parched
from calling the Beloved.
The sound of your call resounds
through the horn of your empty belly.
Let nothing be inside of you.
Be empty: give your lips to the lips of the reed.
When like a reed you fill with His breath,
then you’ll taste sweetness.
Sweetness is hidden in the Breath
thats fills the reed.
Be like Mary – By that sweet breath
a child grew within her.
~ Mawlana Rumi
May we all experience a blessed and uplifting month, and may we exit the month in a much better state than we entered the month. Amin ya Rabb!
“Sometimes darknesses come over you in order that He make you aware of the value of His blessings upon you” ~ Ibn’ Ata’Allah al- Iskandari
This quote reminds me of something consoling a friend (who also happens to be a student of Scared Knowledge, masha’Allah) e-mailed me once…………
“Do you remember the transformer, the movie? Ok, transformer the movie, it was made in 1985. When I was young!!! Anyway, there was something called the matrix (not to be confused with the film) which was given by one leader to the next leader; it would help the good guys when they needed it. So the bad guys tried to open it but it would not open, neither would it open for the good guys’ current leader, until it was taken from the bad guys by a goodie who opened it and saved the race of transformers from a menace that would destroy them all.
Lesson here is that when a time comes then an opening comes and it does not come before then. It also came at the time of their darkest hour as promised by one of the good guys’ deceased leader, he said, “The Matrix will light our darkest hour.
Only when things are truly dark, can light appear. Remember that Arabia was one of the darkest places in the world before light was placed there, and spread across the world. Maybe that’s how the Mahdi will come to light our darkest hour before light will spread again”
SubhanAllah, we can try our best and make things happen but everything has its written time and value.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgive us, mend and polish our hearts, and guide us through the darknesses so we reach His Light and be under His shade of mercy and love.
Please remember my friend in your prayers.
Another Rihla…. another blog to benefit and heal from:
“God is with the broken-hearted. When your heart breaks, it’s a good thing – the breaking of the heart is what opens it up to the light of Allah. The dunya is designed to break your heart, to crush it.” ~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Make sure to read the captions underneath the pictures!
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reward all those who attended and facilitated this amazing programme, especially those who have produced and contributed to this blog so those of us who were unable to attend could benefit insha’Allah ta’ala. May we all continue to benefit from our scholars, and may He ta’ala always protect them, and continue to increase their rank. Amin ya Rabb!
“Ease [yusr] & hardship ['usr] are the feathers that give strength to the wings of your faith [iman], so that your heart and your innermost being [sirr] can use them to fly to the door of your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He)”
~Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
“No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” (Narrated by Sayyida Aisha radhiAllahu anha, Sahi Bukhari, Vol: (7) Hadith No: (544))
Life can be tough at times, but the above hadith reminds us that nothing goes un-noticed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, not even a tiny thing such as a prick from a thorn; so what about everything else that the heart endures when afflicted with calamities, hardships, trials/tribulations?
With this in mind, let’s rejoice and seek comfort in knowing that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is aware of what is going on in our hearts. Each difficult moment, day, month, year(s) we experience, lets be assured that He subhanahu wa ta’ala is aware of our state and situation. Life is short, and thus time is important; each breath is a blessing and gives us an opportunity to get closer to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala, which is really want all these situations are about- for us to run to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala. As Mawlana Rumi very eloquently sums it all up for us:
“He has afflicted you from every direction in order to pull you back to the Directionless.”
May our hearts always be attached to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala, and may each difficulty we all face be a means of purification for us. Amin ya Rabb! Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad!
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death”
~ Thomas Paine