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I love the above anecdote as it illustrates an immense level of confidence, certainty and trust in Allah. The fact the boy walked out to the prayer gathering with an umbrella clearly shows that he had the utmost certainty and trust that after making du’a, Allah will send rain to the village! He went prepared for the rain with an umbrella!
Just like the boy had his umbrella ready to receive what was being prayed for, we should also be prepared to receive the gifts and blessings we are asking for from Allah after making du’a. Be confident and have that complete certainty that Allah will answer our du’a. Allah most High Himself states, “I am in the opinion of My servant.” [Bukhari]; therefore if we believe Allah will answer our du’a, He will!
The great Gnostic, Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari wrote in his Hikam:
“When Allah inspires your tongue to ask, know that He wants to give”
Allah is the One who places a need in our hearts and wants us to seek that need out by asking Him. He loves it when we ask Him; our asking is His giving. Petition with Allah; place your need in front of Him and have complete certainty and trust that He will answer.
Sayyidina Umar ibn Al-Khattab -radiaAllahu anh- said, “I do not worry about an answer to my supplication, rather I worry about making supplication! I know that if I am inspired [by Allah] to supplicate, then the answer will come with it.”
Keep the faith and keep making du’a fervently!
• When the souls of believers come together to a gathering like this (i.e Rihla), it is the feast of the spirits. Your spirit is fed, your spirit is nourished, just by being with everyone here. There is no smaller or greater; all believers are the same and all believer are saints, all believers are awliya, and all awliyas’ have degrees. One of the greatest things about being together is that you open yourself to that transformation, that is the reason why adab is so important.
• Adab is not a formality. Be yourself. Be and say what you feel, but the secret of adab is that in your heart you have a high opinion of God, and a high opinion of your brothers and sisters- Husn ad-Dhann. Having a good opinion of God is the highest forms of worship. Having adab is very important; having a good opinion of everyone around you. By elevating the status in your eyes of everyone around you, only then you will feel benefit.
• We are in much more need of adab then knowledge.
• The Hikam is packed with knowledge and wisdom.
• Ibn Ata’Allah wrote the book as a guide to Seekers in the path.
• The ego is more powerful than 70 satans!
• Allah makes everything perfect, where it’s meant to be.
• The greatest sin is to get the knowledge and not have that take you to the garden (paradise)!
• The awliya live in the present moment.
• Get your beginning right; you cannot walk this path alone- you have to have friends and a guide.
• If you do not know who the people of good company are, you have not been paying attention! Allah placed them in your life- keep good companionship/friendship.
• Have a state that uplifts people.
• Your words reflect your spiritual state.
• Make people happy, elevate them.
• The person who knows God, God becomes their reality.
• When you sit to gain knowledge, you intend to teach knowledge to others; you will transmit what you learn- that should always be part of your intention when seeking knowledge.
• You see yourself as a servant and you serve your duties to Allah.
• Never forget your mistakes, because they keep you humble. Always remind yourself of them, but hide them away with diamonds.
• Our own nafs is constantly saying to us what Pharoah said: “I am your lord most high.” Don’t allow your nafs to be your lord!
• Witness your actions as a gift from Allah, and don’t attach yourself to them. We don’t acquire actions; Allah gives them to us.
• A tree is in perpetual sajda to Allah because of the network of it’s roots resembles a nervous system- a head which is in the ground. That is it’s sajda, and it never breaks; and if it breaks that sajdah it dies.
• In marriage you must look with eyes of mercy and integrity as all your spouse’s defects/weaknesses will be revealed to you.
• ‘God’ is one of the most beautiful words in the English language as it means “He who is called upon in prayer”.
• The disbeliever is bewildered by creation but the believer is bewildered by the Creator.
• Be full of hope and Rijah!
• When you are in a spiritual sate, you have lazaa- deliciousness!
• You must know Allah in all your states and conditions.
• Lack of adab may cause you to lose something.
• You need to be broken so you are not proud and not full of yourself.
• In the end you must praise him for the year of plenty and the year of little. He is Rabb! We praise Him with a praise that is worthy of His Majesty.
• When He takes away, He shows His Majesty!
• Disobedience that leaves with you obedience is better than the pride that leaves you with arrogance.
• Whenever you lose hope, it shows you are spiritually immature.
• Every child is a saint.
• The big gifts Allah gives you are when you are down, and you feel undeserving of it, but it makes you realise that its not from you, it’s from Allah.
• God will save you by His power; you put your trust in Him, not in your deeds!
• Don’t ever think little of yourself; your relationship with Allah is special. He created us perfect, and gave us special attributes.
• The hypocrite never speaks from the heart!
• Allah is the King; He rules all things. Everything is in His control. We are veiled from Him. Allah is not in space or time.
• A moment of thought is worth more than 70 years of worship.
• Watch what you listen to and watch what you see.
~ Dr Umar Abd-Allah, Rihla 2011- Hikam of Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari class (Paraphrased). Photo courtesy: Ghalia Elsolh- please do not re-use without permission first.
I hope the Gems I have been sharing for the last few months, from the 2011 Rihla, were beneficial and you enjoyed reading them. All good things come to an end, alas. But at the same time, “Endings are also beginnings” (I read this in a book and think it’s true!). When one journey ends, another begins. Ultimately, we are all on a journey back to our Lord, and are using whatever means we can, and are provided with, to reach our final destination- which is Allah! Insha’Allah, may we all continue to be blessed to attend such programmes/events which aid us in our big journey back to our Lord. Please keep me in your lofty prayers.
Yours in faith,
“We suffer the pains of labour to survive in this world and to find our place in the next world. The deeper our need in this world, the higher our potential is in the next world.”
~ Book of Illumination by Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari
“When He gives, He shows you His Kindness; when He deprives, He shows you His power. And in all that, He is making Himself known to you and coming to you with His gentleness.”
Ibn ‘Ata’Allah al-Iskandari
“Nothing you seek relying on your Lord will ever be difficult and nothing you seek relying on yourself will ever be easy”
Imam Ibn Ata’Allah a-Iskandari
Title : You Are With Those Whom You Love
Date/Location: July 2007 – Talk delivered in Rochdale, Jamia Chistia
Speaker: Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Yahya Al Ninowy
NoteTaker: Anonymous (email@example.com)
The shaykh talked about the very famous Ayah in the quran:
“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline: or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His punishment: and Allah does not guide the fasiqeen.” [Surah At-Tauba Verse 24]
If we are to summarise this religion of Islam, then we can say that it is a religion of love.
Allah (subhanahu wa’tala) encourages us through the Quran to love our parents and informs us not to even say ‘uff’ to them [Surah Al Israa].
The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) informs us about love of the family, where he says “The best amongst you is he who is best to his family and I am best to my family”. He (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) also teaches us about loving our daughters, when he says “Fatima is part of me”, showing his deep love and affection for her. He also expresses his love for Imam Hassan and Husayn (Radiallahu Anhum) ,when they are on his shoulders and he is kissing them and a man comes and says , “Do you love them? I have 10 sons, I don’t kiss any of them.” The Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) replied “What can I do if Allah has taken away mercy from your heart?”.
He also teaches us love for our neighbours, where he says “Gibreel keeps coming to me and keeps saying neighbours, neighbours, as though he is inheriting from the neighbours”.
Allah (subhanahu wa’tala) orders us Ihsaan (be good) towards our society by saying in the Quran… “Allah orders you to be just and to do Ihsaan …” We should be positive contributors to society, because our beloved (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) came as a mercy to the entire worlds, therefore we should be an extension of his mercy to the entire creation of Allah.
The more you learn about his beautiful qualities (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), the more hostage you become to his love and his beautiful qualities…
Furthermore, the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) also taught us about love of his companions. Loving the family of Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) is also talked about in the Quran where Allah says “Tell them , I am not asking of you any reward in return, expect that you are kind to my offspring”. This is the wasiyah of the beloved, so don’t neglect it. There are Hadith that also emphasize this.
The Quran also teaches us to love the mothers of the believers… One should love their mother. The Quran also teaches of love of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta Alaa) and his Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) . This is all contrary to the saying of those who say that Islam is a religion of violence and hatred, but in reality, it’s a religion of love and forgiveness.
Note that the verse which is the theme of the talk says “That if you do not love Allah and his Prophet more than your family, your parents etc…” you shall await the punishment of Allah. This is actually waajib and fard upon you. Allah finishes the ayah by saying “Allah does not love the Fasiqeen”. Fisq from a Fiqh point of view is a “major sin” not a minor sin…
We need to ask ourselves the question “What number on the list of your priorities is the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)?” If he is not number one , then make him number one!
If you have hardships in life, in your marriage, in your work, in your rizk, then take a look at where the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) is in your list of priorities..
Allah says in the Quran “whoever avoids my Dhikr , then we will fill their life with difficulties… and in the akhira they will be assembled blind…” The person shall ask “I had my vision in the duniya? “. Allah will say, “Our ayahs came to you , you forgot them, so today you shall be forgotten”.
Dhikr is amongst the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) as Allah says in the Quran “Zikran Rasoolan”…
Allah also puts his own name with the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), in the same verse that we are talking about, therefore, Allah is glorifying the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam). If you put the love of the Prophet second, that’s not good enough, because in a race, the one that comes number two, is the first looser followed by many others.
There is usually a sign for everything, similarly, there is a sign for his love. One of the signs for his love is “Shauk (yearning) ” which we will focus on today….
When you hear his name (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), your heart moves, you think about him, you dream about him, he is in your heart, your mind, your thoughts all the time….
A poet says “If you are far away in distances to me, you are in my heart, present and with me. Your image is in my head, your dhikr is always on my tongue, your dhikr is in my heart, where will you go?” We need to check our hearts to see if we have the yearning for the beloved (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam).
The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said “By the one who has the Nafs of Muhammad, there will be a time when one of you will not see me, then one of you will wish that you will give your whole family and everything you own , just to see me” [Sahih Muslim]
Lets look at some examples of Shauk, so that we can see the love of the Companions (Radiallahu Anhum) towards the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam).
In one of the battle, a woman was waiting, a man came to her and told her “Your husband was next to me in the battle, and he was martyred”… She asks about the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) instead and asked “How is he?”
Another man came and said to her “I was next to your son and husband, both are marytred”… She asked “How is Rasoolullah? “
Another man walked by and told her that her brother is also martyred. She just marched on and looked for the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), and when she saw him eventually, she said “Every calamity happening to other than you is insignificant”.
When Bilal (Radiallahu Anhu) was on his death bed and his family was next to him crying saying “how sad will we be when you are gone”. Bilal (Radiallahu Anhu) said “I have been waiting for this day for a long time, tomorrow I will be with Muhammad and his companions”.
A man from the Shawk of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) every night before he went to bed, he repeated all the names of the Sahaba and then said the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam). He then said “Those are my origin, oh Allah my heart falls for them, do not make me leave without seeing them .”
Abdullah Bin Zain (Radiallahu Anhu) was told that the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) passed away and he then made Sujood to Allah and said, “The last thing i saw was your Prophet, take my vision away, so i don’t see anyone other than him”… and Allah accepted his dua…
If there is no Shawk, then the heart does not move when you hear the name of the beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam, then it’s time for resuscitation of the heart, otherwise it’s a sign of Fisq..
Why should we love him ?
1) You should love him because he loves you as Allah mentions in the Quran.
2) He guided us to the path of success, without him we would be perished. He did not leave a good single thing, but showed us how to do it and he did not leave a single bad thing, but showed us how to avoid it.
3) The Prophet recited the verses that Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) recited and he cried “Oh my lord, my ummah , my ummah”… Allah sent Gibreel to ask him why he was crying after sending his Salams… Allah informed Gibreel “Go and tell Muhammad, that we will give you until you are pleased (Surah Ad-Duhaa) ” . Ask and you will be granted, interceed and you will be granted…
4) Love him because he would have loved to be with you, he would have loved to meet you… He said “I loved to meet my brothers who believed in me, yet who did not see me”… Allah says in the Quran that he is caring about you more than you care about yourself. He use to say , “If any of the believers who die, and they owed people, tell them to come to me and I will pay them back on their behalf”.
5) Loving him in the world has a special effect on the believers. There is a Hadith where a companion asks him about how much time he should spend on making Salah and Salam on him, he said, “Then you will be sufficed from all your hardships in the duniya”.
6) He will benefit you on the day of judgement, his love will help you in the Akhira. As he said “those of you who have the closes seats to me on the day of judgement, will be the one who sends the most Salah and Salam on me”.
Anas (Radiallahu Anhu) said “Allah is my witness that I love Abu Bakr, Umar, the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)
All the companions present said we have never been so happy about a Hadith, if you do your Faraid and you love the Prophet, you will be with him. We should check our heart and see who we love.
7) A Bedouin came and asked the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) when the day of judgement is, he replied “What have you prepared for it?”. This is an important point and should give us the realisation that we should not waste our time on secondary non important issues and focus on preparing for the Akhira. Our priority list is confused, we are giving other things high priority, we indulge in secondary issues, indulging for the sake of argument. Your Qiyamah is when you die… The Bedouin replied, “Nothing, except I love Allah and his Prophet”. The Prophet then replied “You will be with those whom you love” and I pray that Allah assembles me with them..”
Ibn Ata’Allah said “The heart is either filled with Haqq or Batil, not both, the love of Quran and love of Shaytaan can not be in the same heart.”
The Quran will come as a witness for some, the Masjid will come as a witness for some on the day of judgement. It is natural to feel comfortable at your own house, regardless of where you are, the Awliya of Allah feel most comfortable in the house of Allah, the Masjid..
The lecture should enable us to understand the high status of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), so that we can remember him day and night, so that his image is in front of us all the time, so his Dhikr is on your tongues and in your hearts all the time…..
N.B If you have any questions regarding these notes, please contact the note taker on the e-mail address provided above. All credit and du’as should go to the note taker- I’ve just posted them on this blog in order for people to benefit from them.
“If you do not know the blessings you have when you have them, then Allah will teach you about them by taking them away from you”
~ Ibn Ata’Allah al- Iskandari
Storms occur unexpectedly; some last for a few minutes, some last a few hours and some last a few days. Regardless of the duration of each storm, we know that they pass and come to an end eventually. Storms are like the trials and tribulations of this life. Each situation passes and moves onto the next. We may face a certain trial or a series of trials suddenly, abruptly and simultaneously. Often we cannot predict how long we will be under that specific trial for, but knowing that just like storms eventually come to an end, the trial(s) we face also come to an end eventually.
“If you want to be a true follower of Abraham, then do as he did: I do not love that which wanes and vanishes [6:76]. Every circumstance wanes and vanishes. It is ephemeral and will pass away. One poet has said:
Coming from nothing
Going to nothing
It’s called circumstance
Because it circles.
Everything that appears
By necessity disappears.
Look at the shadow as you stand
To what end does it come?
No matter how long it is,
It inevitably grows less and less
As I said, whatever circumstance you find yourself in, whether you enjoy it or despise it, will without a doubt pass away.” ~ Excerpt from The Book of Illumination by Ibn Ata’Allah al-Iskandari
Dealing with one trial is extremely testing and demands incredible sabr (patience), but having a serious of trials one after the other makes one realise Allah’s Lordship over them and that no matter what they do, they have no control over their affairs. Allah is the One who can and will ease things when He wants, not when we have had enough and can’t cope. We must never forget the beautiful words of our Lord ta’ala when He says in the Qu’ran al-Karim:
“On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear” (2:286).
When placed under those circumstances, we have no choice but to submit ourselves to the Lord of the worlds and endure everything, regardless of the excruciating pain we may feel, whether emotionally or physically. Submission is not as easy as it sounds and the heart is in constant turmoil with preconceived thoughts of what the outcome may be, or the length we have to be in that state for. But regardless of how we may feel, we are powerless to do anything about the situation and just have to wait until the Lord most High pulls us out of the situation, because only He has the Power to do that. We all get tested but in different ways; whatever the case, we must know that Allah ta’ala will never leave us and is fully aware of our situation. People may turn their backs, but Allah ta’ala will never leave us. Allah ta’ala knows our state, situation and what we carry in the hearts and only He can bring the ease and fulfil our needs when He wills. As the great Gnostic Ibn Ata’Allah said eloquently in his Book of Illumination:
“Knowing that Allah knows our condition gives us patience with Allah’s decision.”
“Knowing that divine goodness’ subtleties hidden in every difficult gives us patience in high degrees to endure all divine decrees.”
May Allah alleviate the sufferings of all those Muslim brothers and sisters who are going through trials and tribulations, and may each trial be a means of seeking His forgiveness and salvation on the day of judgement. Allahumma amin!
Photo credit: David HR http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdr400d/1517884823/
“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.