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“All things are in God’s hands. To God, no miracle is impossible. God can do anything, God will do anything, for anyone who believes and trusts in Him. The believer is the one who knows that behind all things there is Someone who knows exactly everything he is, thinks, and does, and who sees him completely even though He cannot be seen. The unbeliever is the one who thinks this is all rubbish, a fairytale told to fools by fools. The day will come when God will shake and admonish him; then he will be sad and moan, “I spoke evil and wandered in darkness. Everything was Him, and I denied Him”

Passage from the book: Light upon Light. Inspirations from Rumi by Andrew Harvey

Sunflower. Taken on the Iphone. No filters. Instagram: sidra_mushtaq

Sunflower. Taken on the Iphone. No filters. Instagram: sidra_mushtaq

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It’s that time of year again where Pilgrims from all around the world are setting off for the journey of a lifetime: the Hajj. All year round, the heart has this desire of wanting to visit and return back to the Holy Lands; but for some reason, during the Hajj season, that yearning becomes much stronger to visit and in particular to be around the Ka’aba. Well, that most certainly is the case for me as this is a feeling I have noticed within myself over the past few years. If there is one thing we can feel selfish about wanting in abundance is being able to visit the Holy Lands frequently! Then again, that’s just my personal opinion.  Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad sums up this feeling of nostalgia beautifully which I have been reflecting on and wanted to share:

 

“The yearning for the Ka‘ba which sincere Muslims feel whenever they think of it is therefore not, in fact, a yearning for the building. In itself it is no less part of the created order than anything else in creation. The yearning is, instead, a fragment, a breath of the nostalgia for our point of origin, for that glorious time out of time when we were in our Maker’s presence” 

..when we were in our Maker’s presence…

..when we were in our Maker’s presence…

I just get goosebumps reading that part…. the mind cannot comprehend what it must have been like, yet the soul knows what it felt like being in the presence of our Maker in that world…..

May we be invited again and again to the Holy Lands!

(Read the full article here)

 

kaaba

 

In Ramadan, I had the opportunity of attending a couple of classes with our teacher Imam Muhammad Abdul Latif Finch’  in London, Alhumdulilah.  Below are some points I was able to write down and thought I would share them here for others to benefit from inshaAllah ta’Ala.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, mercy to the worlds. 

  • We get disappointed only because it’s job (being disappointed) is to show us who Allah is.
  • Some people will be used for good, some for bad, but we all are used for whatever Allah wants.
  • What is it that Allah wants? He wants to be known!
  • You cannot praise what you do not know so how can you praise Allah if you do not know Him? Allah is the most Praiseworthy and we can only praise Him if we know Him.
  • Everything in creation has limitations except Allah who is Unlimited. We only come to understand the limits by knowing the Unlimited.
  • Every limitation is a door to Allah.
  • What gives us endurance? It’s seeing Allah in all things.
  • We believe everything is from Allah. dsc022185
  • Since we never know the full story (or see the full picture), we fall short of whatever happens to us, that is why we cannot make sense of things.
  • The difficulty we face squeezes sincerity out of us.
  • Believe in Him now, and experience Him later.
  • When we ask Allah, we don’t ask Him like He is God! When we make Du’a, we don’t ask Him like He is God. We get frustrated and tired or limit what we are asking for. Ask Him because He is Allah. Allah is Allah!
  • Mercy is Allah’s definitive nature.
  • Allah changes us step by step (i.e when we grow up). If Allah can change our body, imagine how He can change our souls?
  • We don’t fully understand the relationship between the Creator and creation; therefore we judge the situation with our limited understanding.
  • We don’t understand things because we can never comprehend Allah.
  • A flaw is an imperfection. Imperfection is in need of perfection. Allah is Perfect so Flawless.
  • We don’t exist to be perfect.
  • If you want to know your status, look at the state of mercy in your heart.
  • When we make Du’a, it’s to get everything out of our system. Talk to Allah, He is your friend, He is there to support you.
  • When we do sujood, we are putting our ideas, our limited understanding and ideas on the ground and submitting to Allah. He knows!

 Please be aware that these are my notes where I have paraphrased the Imam thus they are not verbatim statements.  Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings. I pray these notes are of some benefit to the readers, insha-Allah ta’Ala.

Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu

Subhana Rabbika Rabbi l’izzati amma yasifun, wa salamun ala l’mursalin, wal-humdulillahi Rabbi l’alamin.

….Allah is the name without attributes, so He reveals Himself through His attributes but His essence is unknown. We can’t know Allah that’s why Rahman is such an important attribute because it is the single most important attribute of Allah. What He is letting us know is that the essential nature of God is Merciful, it’s not Majestic. He is Majestic and Beautiful, but the quality that He wants to reveal to man is first and foremost Mercy. If you embrace that Mercy, then that is what you get, if you reject that Mercy, He reveals himself with Majesty… (Taken from the clip by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf below.)

Please be aware that these are my notes. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings. I pray these notes are of some benefit to the readers, insha-Allah ta’Ala.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, mercy to the worlds.

  • We often find a disparity between the heart and the tongue. The tongues might be praising the Prophet , but the hearts are suspended and in a state of heedlessness.
  • In a tradition narrated by Imam Tabrani, the Prophet  described one of the most difficult situations/circumstances that the human beings will find themselves in during the next world is when we begin to be commanded by the angels to traverse over the hellfire, the Sirrat (bridge over hellfire). Depending upon how we listened to the Prophet , and the swiftness of our move towards his obedience, is what ultimately determines how swiftly we shall traverse over the siratt. The Prophet spoke about the bridge being the distance of 3000 years!  When we hear a tradition like this, don’t we feel some sort of immediacy to change our life for the better?
  • Salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ  is what will help us get to the other end of the Sirrat, and rescue us to safety.
  • There is nothing better in imitating the Rasul  other than to invoke much blessings upon him. The Prophet said that whomsoever invokes 1 prayer upon me, Allah invokes 10 upon him; whomsoever invokes 10 prayers upon me, Allah will invoke 100 upon him; whomsoever invokes 100 prayers upon me, Allah will invoke 1000 upon him; and whomsoever invokes 1000 prayers upon me, he will rub shoulders with me at the gates of paradise! This is the reality of the gift Allah has given us when we invoke prayers upon the Prophet .
  • This Rabi’a (month) is a sad one for many people as it’s the first one without the great Shaykh Ramadan al-Bouti. 
  • Shaykh Al-Sayyid Muhammad al- Alawi al- Maliki was one of the greatest saints of our times.  Shaykh Ibrahim narrated the experience of what it was like meeting the great Sayyid Muhammad al- Alawi al- Maliki. He described it as if you were in the presence of a king of the duniya and aakhira! He also said that Hababba Noor (Habib Umar’s wife) said she never cried for anyone, other than her own father, the way she cried when the great Sayyid passed onto the next world. The people of Allah knew what it meant for the Sayyid to pass onto the next world. There is a vacuum of void when these great beings leave for the barzakh. 
  • Shaykh Al-Sayyid Muhammad al- Alawi al- Maliki was asked by someone: when you do not have a Shaykh who can guide you to Allah, how do you find a Shaykh? The great Shaykh advised that if someone takes to the Salawat upon the Prophet tﷺ then this is his or her Shaykh. The Salawat will guide him to his Shaykh who will guide him to Allah and will grant him salvation on the day of judgement.

Next up- The Virtues Tour 1435/2014 – Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya (Luton). Watch this space….

Visit my lovely friend Zara’s blog to read her excellent notes from The Virtues Tour 1435/2014. 

Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu

Subhana Rabbika Rabbi l’izzati amma yasifun, wa salamun ala l’mursalin, wal-humdulillahi Rabbi l’alamin.

One of my favourite lectures by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad is called ‘Reliance on Allah’. A few years ago, I posted an excerpt from this lecture here.

Within this lecture, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad narrates two of his favourite poems. One is by Imam al-Haddad, and the other one is called Ya Nafsu by Shaykh Ali bin Husayn al-Habshi (which is also one of my absolute favourites!). I’m not sure what the name of the poem by Imam al-Haddad is (Shaykh does not mention it in the lecture, if anyone knows, then please do let me know!), but it’s absolutely beautiful so I wanted to share it here:

O my friend, O my friend,

Don’t panic, don’t be aggrieved,

And submit, just submit to Allah’s decrees so that you could be praiseworthy and rewarded.

Have Rida, be accepting,

Be pleased with what the Lord has arranged and distributed and decreed,

And do not be angry at Allah’s decree because He is the Lord of the Great Throne.

If you are angry with the way Allah has arranged things, then you don’t have this great state of Rida.

You can listen to the Shaykh recite the poem in the video clip below (forward to 00:50 mins). On second thoughts, I highly recommend listening to the full lecture,  you won’t regret it, I assure you! (Full lecture is the second video below). 

Once, all the people in a certain village decided to pray for rain. On the day of the prayer, all the people gathered but only one boy came with an umbrella – that’s faith.

 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!

 


Daily reflections, reminders and stories about our beloved Prophet Muhammad sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam throughout the blessed month of Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433 on Healing Hearts.

Contributions by: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Imam Tahir Anwar, Ibrahim Long, Idris Kamal, Aftab. A. Malik, Aaron Sellars, Mona Haydar, Umm NoorBilal Petersen,  Hosai Mojaddidi, Mas’ud Ahmed Khan, Mazen Atassi, Adil Hussain, Asma Gill, Naosheen Pervez, Zakia Khan, Ata’ul Khabir, Naadiyah Ali, Zahraa Kazee, Sarah Soliman, Yousaf Seyal, Zeshan Zafar, Farhat Khan, Jamilah Bashir, Mohammad Ghilan, Asme Fahmi, Tun Wildan, Taslim Rashid, Hatice Baltaci Colakoglu, Nayyar Ddin

May we all benefit from this special series, and may it be a source and means of increasing our understanding, love and connection to the beloved Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam.

A big thank you to all the contributors! May Allah the Most Generous reward you all in abundance. (Please keep all the contributors and their families in your blessed prayers.) 

Gems from Rihla 2011- Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (Part 2)

  • Imam al-Ghazali is a giant; he is a mountain. And the more you learn about him, the bigger the mountain becomes.
  • The Iyha was Imam al-Ghazali’s magnum opus. He wrote it with the intention of giving the Ummah the book that besides the Qur’an will be enough for the educated Muslims. Some argue that the Ihya is all you need as your guide back to Allah.
  • The Ihya has immense impact. First thing tells us that the Ihya is in 4 parts. In each section/part Imam al-Ghazali put 10 books. There are 40 books in the Ihya. 40 is a special number.
  • The Qur’an is central to Imam al-Ghazali’s teaching.
  • If God can make a house holy, you don’t think He can make a heart holy? If He can sanctify stones, He can sanctify a human heart.
  • If you’re knocking at the door, the knocking is itself the opening of the door; if you are journeying, your start is your beginning, don’t worry if you don’t get there. Stop wasting time. Death is waiting for you. This was the key message of Imam al-Ghazali
  • Only thing that reduces anxiety is by certainty (Yaqeen), and knowing that everything that happens is only because of Allah, and you’re in good hands.
  •  Wudu is ibadah. It’s independent worship. You can do wudu just as a form of worship. If you are not doing any practices to prepare for prayer, you will probably not feel anything in prayer. Sidi Ahmed Zarruq said “The degree of your presence in prayer is dependent on your wudu”
  • Wudu comes from Wada’a which means to make bright. The wudu is how the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam recognises his Ummah on the day of judgement, i.e by the light of their limbs.
  • Don’t let shaitaan take the light away from your prayer.
  • You have to have time between you and your Lord.
  • The greatness of the creation of the mosquito is no less than the greatness of the creation of the elephant. Everything that happens is a cause for marvel.
  • The whole world is a metaphor; we are all travellers in this world.
  • The world can reject you, but Allah will never reject us. His door is always open.
  • Allah created a world of expansion and contraction. The heart contracts and expands. Natural state of human is that he is in-between contraction and expansion.
  • Allah creates death and life to try us to see which of us is best in virtue and action.
  • If you are in blessing, you have to be very grateful.
  • The easiest thing in this world is not very beneficial. The hardest thing is very beneficial. The struggle is what makes us stronger and gets us closer to Allah.
  • In the lifting up of our feet, even the act of walking is indicative of our fitra desire to yearn for a return to al-Jannah.


  • The Van Allen belt is formed by Earth’s rotation and serves as a protection barrier from radiation. This is the secret behind the power and protection of making tawba and our turning to towards Allah.
  • The recording Angel on the left doesn’t record our sins until the end of the day. So hasten to make tawba.
  • Our aspirations should always be in the celestial. That’s why almost all of the early scholars of Islam were astronomers.
  • Every civilization in power has been obsessed with astronomy and law. Astronomy equals law of the heavens; Law equals law of the land. 
  • If the stars ever go out in the night sky, how will men come to know God?
  • Just as the sun rises bit by bit, it’s the sunnah of God for openings from Him to also come bit by bit. So, be patient

Allah created the stars:

1. As a way to ornament the sky with the lamps- stars so we would marvel at them.

2. To strike down the shaitan.

3. Signs that we are guided by.

4 Levels of patience:

1. Patience with ibada (worship).

2. Patience with avoiding sins.

3. Patience with tribulations and we show this by being content with the decree of Allah.

4. Patience with blessings, we show this by thanking Allah for all the blessings He has given us.

  • When things get really bad, know that things will get better. The Sahaba (companions) of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam used to say that when they were in trepidation, they knew bad/hard things will be coming their way, and when bad things happened, they knew that good things will be coming their way.
  • If someone commits to the practice of surrendering and sabr (patience), over time the tribulations become easy and they no longer feel the tribulation. You are in paradise whilst in duniya then!
  • ‘We will test you until we see who is patient’- to see what you are made out of. The struggle and patience go together. The best attitude to have is patience.
  • Patience takes time and effort. Over time you can acquire this natural state.

Don’t attach to dunya because:

1. It’ not permanent

2. It is the tests you will go through due to it

  • ‘With hardship comes ease’ The ease will overwhelm the hardship!
  • In tribulations, things come slowly. The night is peeled away. Just as the night is peeled away slowly, tribulations move away slowly.
  • The opening is there, but will only come when the time is right!
  • The clouds of goodness contain rain; when the time comes, it will pour. Allah sends down rain to dead lands; He does it at the appropriate time. When the appropriate time for openings come, it will come. He does things in His time, not our time. This is part of being content with the Qadr and what happen has been apportioned for you.
  • A person is not a Sufi until the angel does not record a sin for 20 years!!
  • A person on a path will change 40 times in a day where as those who do not have a path stay in the same state for 40 years!
  • Your spiritual life is not curvier linear; it should be constantly moving up!
  • A life is made up of building blocks and how you move through the knowledge block.
  • Every believer is a wali.
  • Shariah = outward path to Allah, Tariqah= inward path to Allah and only joining the both together will give you Haqiqa- reality.
  • Seeing the Creator in all of creation and seeing the Provider in all provision is Tawheed in a nutshell.
  • When doors of guidance open for you, hasten up. Don’t try to get to the end before the beginning.
  • ‘Practice makes perfect…’ no it doesn’t, it makes permanent. If you practice wrong, it doesn’t make perfect. You need a Teacher.
  • Don’t follow books; follow the people who know the books.
  • Often times people are deficient in one area, but are made up for it in another area. Historically, Muslims recognised this.
  • One of the great mysteries of the Qur’an is that no matter how often you read it, you always find something new in it.
  • So many verses in the Qur’an relate to being patient. Being patient with people in Iman/faith. Some are naturally born more tolerant, but you can change that.
  • Patience is a sign of sincerity and its from Taqwa you show patience.
  • Even the Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalm was commanded to be patient!
  • Allah loves the patient; part of the reason the tribulation comes is to draw the quality of patience out of them- He loves this quality. Allah is with the patient one.
  • When tribulations hit you, patience (sabr) is actually when you are accepting something. This also relates to having a good opinion of Allah. When you have a good opinion of Allah, the tribulation you know happen for a reason, although it might not seem so at the time.
  • The one who submits their entire being. This means that the future is not a concern for them, and the past is not a worry for them. They are living in the present. There are people of good and those who do good; they are not in fear and nor do they grieve.
  • Children are very much in the moment, they do not worry or care about their past or future. The Arifs’ (Gnostic) heart is like the child. Childrens hearts are in submission. They are in Tawhid.
  • Trusting the past is over, and doing Tawba that its over. If you truly made tawba, you don’t remember your sin as it obliterates the past. Tawba is like editing a video. You go and edit the parts of the video you do not like so on the day of Judgement, you can see the film without any blunders. Just say Astagfirullah, the angels will cut the bad thing!
  • Hold onto Allah! He is your Lord, He is the One who takes care of your affairs.
  • Some people focus on reliance on Allah, others only focus on means; but a balance of both is all that will save the ship of humanity.
  • If you make all of your concerns of the akhira (afterlife), Allah will take care of everything for you.
  • The benefits of your Lord are many; all the benefits of your Lord are for your nourishment. It has a beautiful fragrance- seek it out.
  • The blessings of Allah are countless.
  • Sometimes there is a fail that comes that brings you to life; there are great waves/ocean that come to you. Creation is all in the hands of Allah; some are being elevated, some being debased; some are being difficult or tested in blessing.
  • Media is one of the tribulations of our life, they make things worse!
  • Single most difficult limb is the tongue. Its one of the great wonders of Allah. You have to discipline the tongue. The tongue is a great tribulation.
  • The world is not cursed. The world is also the cosmos. When we talk about the blameworthy aspects, we mean the duniya. This mountain (Uludag) is not cursed, it’s an incredible testimony of Allah. 
  • You should worship Allah because He is worthy of worship!
  • Allah is Wahid- al-Qahr. Everything in the heaven and earth are acknowledging this at some level. He is calling us to reflect on this. The events that happen in our lives are purposeful; there is always a reason behind it.
  • The best sleep is immediately after Isha and the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam said not to engage in too much entertainment at night.
  • Nawafil night prayers protect the body from diseases and wrong actions. But you won’t be able to get up if you sin a lot.
  • Contentment with the decree of Allah is appropriate- this should be your reliance. The Contentment with Allah’s decree is a very high Maqam. Rabia al-Adawiya was asked how do you know if someone is content with Allah’s decree. She replied by saying ‘ When you feel the same joy in periods of tribulation as you do during periods of blessing’

~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – Jewels and Pearls of the Qur’an lesson, Rihla 2011, Bursa, Turkey (Paraphrased)

More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……

(Photos courtesy- Rihla Student Please keep them in your prayers. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission. )

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