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To be content with a thing doesn’t mean you are personally happy with it. But it means that I am content with God, my Lord, who has ordained this for me. We can be content in happiness, and content in sadness. All the things that transpire in our lives are from God, He willed for it to be. Contentment is a type of submission, that I have no complaints against Him and I can do the best in the situation I am in, and I will seek to find the wisdom that God has in this. ~ Dr. Umar Faruq Abd’Allah (via my friend Zaynab Laher)

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• 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,

Sidra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…..

~ Dr Umar Abd-Allah, Rihla 2011- Orientation session (Paraphrased)

More gems to follow inshaAllah ta’Ala……

(Photos courtesy- Ghalia Elsolh. Please do not re-use or save the photo without permission)

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.

In 2006, Dr Umar visited the UK and delivered a superb lecture on the “Famous Women in Islam” in Birmingham. I was just going through my notesbook today and found some of the notes I made during the lecture, and thought I’d share them here so others can benefit from, and be inspired inshaAllah ta’Ala. (Photo credit: Mas’ud Ahmed Khan)

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah- Famous Women in Islam- 25th November 2006

* Many greater women were Sufis and they trained men.

* Status of women has changed.

*Many of the stereotypes heard in the west and Muslim world (women’s job is to clean, cook etc) developed in the early modern world.

* The working class women in Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco; who have 1-2 jobs as well as looking after the household needs and children whilst their husbands are in different countries working, are true heroines!

* The prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam didn’t hurt women. Women were essential to his life. This started with Khadija RadiAllahu Anhu, she gave the prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam Strength to overcome the initial period of revelation.

* Aisha RadiAllahu Anhu was the defender of Islam.

*Islam began in the hands of a women, i.e Sayyida Khadija was the first women to take Shahada.

*The prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam gave special timings for teaching women. Even when he SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam was ill, near death and didn’t have much strength, Bilal RadiAllahu Anhu held him up so he could counsel women.

* The prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam accepted womens influence (his aunts and wives). For example; Umm Salamah advised the Prophet SallaAllahu Alayhi Wasalam to go out and shave his head and slaughter sheep so the companions would follow his example. (*look up story in seerah)

* One maxim of Islamic Law is everything is permissible until proven impermissible and it’s not an easy task to *prove* something.

*Men and women completely equal in Islamic law until proven they are not.

* The army never went out to battle without women. Women were always equal in number.

*Women tend to be more religiously devoted.

* Throughout history, we have come to know about men who had fabricated hadiths, but not one single women fabricated a hadith and there have been thousands of women muhaddiths!

Exceptional women in Islam:

Zubaida Bint Jafir

*Wealthiest and powerful women in her time.

*Generous; gave to the poor, Christians, poets etc

* Her palace sounded like a beehive. She had thousands of maid servants who had hifz the Quran. They would complete the Quran at least 10 times a day.

* Eloquent master of Arabic language, known for her intelligence.

* The people of her time said that she was the women who brought earth to life.

*If you want to affect people and change them, tell stories! Stories affect people greatly, just like when we read stories in the Quran.

* 19/20 century is a very difficult time for us. Tipu Sultan was the last magnificent ruler, everything declined and changed after that.

*Also, never feel disempowered when you are unable to do things or don’t have the means to acquire

May Allah bless and preserve Dr. Umar, Amin!

Please be aware that these are my notes, they are not comprehensive at all but I pray what I do share is of some benefit to the readers. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings! You are welcome to share these notes but *please* do not just copy and paste anything without referencing where you got them from as I do not want my notes to be taken out of context or misinterpreted.

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