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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)

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.)

“You know that nagging void.

Those moments of emptiness or absolute loneliness.

They are not sad.

They are moments when our Creator calls on us.

To come closer.

They are moments we understand that we have none other than HIM to be with us.” 

 

Trees

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). 

Thought for Thursday- 11/10/12

“Allah is with those who are patient. If we had nothing to be patient about, how could we have that special company? Being patient means looking at Allah and allowing Him to do what He will do without your resorting to other than Him, including your own self”

~ Imam Muhammad Abdul Latif

 

Healing Hearts is honoured to introduce you to one of our beloved teachers Imam Muhammad Abdul Latif, who very kindly accepted a request to contribute to this blog. Imam Abdul Latif will be contributing to the “Thought for Thursday”  inshaAllah. May we all find comfort, succour, benefit and healing from his words and reflections. Please keep Imam Abdul Latif, his family, teachers and us all in your prayers.

———————–

Muhammad Abdul Latif Finch is the imam at the Lighthouse Mosque in Oakland , California , and a teacher and program developer for Deen Intensive Foundation. He also works with SeekersGuidance and assists Zaytuna College ‘s annual Summer Arabic Intensive program in Berkeley , California . He is one of five students who comprised the first graduating class of the Zaytuna seminary program. Born in El Paso , Texas , and raised in the south, Abdul Latif embraced Islam in 1995 in Atlanta , Georgia , when he was 20 years old. He subsequently traveled throughout the Muslim world and, in 2002, relocated with his family to the San Francisco Bay Area to take advantage of the resources of knowledge and the community that had formed around Zaytuna Institute. There, he spent his initial year of studies under the tutelage of  Shaykh Salik bin Siddina. In 2004, he was accepted as the first of three initial students into Zaytuna’s pilot seminary program. He studied at Zaytuna with several teachers, including Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Abdur Rahman Taahir, Qari Umar Bellahi, Shaykh Abdullah Ali, and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, until he graduated in 2008 with an ijazah in the basic sciences of Islam. Since graduation, he has had the honor of tutelage under Dr. Umar Farooq Abdullah, Shaikh Mahi Cisse and Shaikh Abdulllah Ibrahim Niasse.

Imam Muhammad Abdul Latif website
Imam Abdul Latif Facebook Page

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!

 

 

 

 

 

• 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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