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I had always wanted to visit Konya, just so I could visit the blessed tomb of Mevlana Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, one of the greatest mystical poets of all times. I had been to Istanbul a couple of times before, but for one reason or another, I never got the chance to visit Konya; however this time, I was determined to make that extra journey and go spend a day in Konya. So, on the 28th December 2009, I got a flight from Istanbul to Konya. I had no knowledge of what Konya was like, nor did I bother to read up about the city, and to be very honest, I didn’t really care because my prime aim and purpose of the trip was just to visit the blessed tomb of Mevlana.

I arrived at Konya airport at 8am, and my tour guide was waiting outside for me. We headed straight to Mevlana’s Mausoleum first. Whilst driving up to the Mausoleum, I sensed a completely different atmosphere; the roads were empty and quiet, hardly could see people out and about, there were not that many mosques in sight, everything seemed a bit dull to me, it was totally different to Istanbul!

The weather that day was cold and cloudy, which didn’t exactly uplift my mood, but then my gaze fell upon the beautiful green done…..

“Come, Come, Whoever you Are

Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.

It doesn’t matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times

Come, yet again, come, come.”


The courtyard of the Mausoleum, which leads to the resting place of Mevlana…..

This is the main entrance of the Mausoleum, inside here are the tombs of Rumi’s family and descendants. The headstones for the male graves have either a green or white turban; the green represents the fact that the person is from the family of Prophet Muhammad salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam, and the white represents that the person is just a descendant of Mevlana. The female graves obviously have no turbans on them, so you could easily identify them. At the corner, right beneath the green dome, is the tomb of Mevlana Rumi. Unfortunately, they do not allow you to take pictures inside the Mausoleum, especially of the tombs, therefore I do not have any to share, but at that point, taking pictures was the last thing on my mind anyway because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed…..

I stood there in awe, unable to hold back my tears, and still couldn’t believe I was standing at the grave of this great person who has moved, transformed, cured and healed many hearts and minds through his poetry, and guiding people to Divine Love. I first came across Mevlana Rumi about 5 years ago, when I didn’t really have any interest in poetry, or even Sufism at that point in my life! But something about Mevlana’s words had an impact on me, and I started reading more of his poems and quotes. I’ve often found great solace, and many answers to my problems/issues in his poetry and advice, therefore for me to visit his blessed grave was something very special and personal. I stood there giving salams on behalf of all those who had asked me to, and then made du’a. I cannot fully describe the feeling I got whilst standing there, one really has to visit and experience it themselves in order to understand.

Beyond Rumi’s tomb, there was another room which was used for the Sema (whirling dance) ceremony once upon a time, but is now used to exhibit old manuscripts (Rumi’s own poetry collection like Mesnavi, Divan etc), various types of Qu’rans, some were small as the palm of a normal person’s hand! They were extraordinary to see, especially since they had been handwritten! Also, to view were instruments such as the Ney, clothes, tasbihs etc. There was also a display with a small box which had the blessed hair of the beloved Prophet Muhammad salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam.

‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”






“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”



“Sometimes, in order to help, He makes us miserable; but heartache for His sake brings happiness. Laughter will come after tears. Whoever foresees this is a servant blessed by God. Wherever water flows, life flourishes: wherever tears fall, Divine mercy is shown.”

My tour guide then took me around Konya. Here are some pictures I took:

Alaeddin Camii (Mosque)

 

The Alaeddin Mosque is the largest and oldest mosque in Konya, in fact, it was the first mosque made in Konya.

 

We then went to the top of the highest building in Konya (sorry folks, forgot the name!), just to get a birds-eye view of Konya:


Next on the sightseeing list was Shems Tebrizi Cami (Mosque)


All that sightseeing, made us a little hungry so we stopped at a restaurant to eat “Etliekmek”, the traditional dish of Konya. It’s basically a very long piece of bread with meat.

I was reluctant to try this because it didn’t look too appetizing, plus I’m not a huge fan of meat, especially not mince meat! However, I wanted to experience the complete culture and tradition of Konya, therefore felt I had to try it. I was actually surprised at how good it tasted, it’s quite similar to Lahmacun (Turkish equivalent of pizza), but slightly better in my opinion.

We then visited Mevlana Cultural Centre, where the Sema (whirling dance) takes place every Saturday evening:


 

In the winter, the Sema takes place in this hall which is inside the actual Mevlana Cultural Centre……..

And in the summer, the Sema takes place outside……

As the day went on, the grey clouds disappeared, the sun came out, and the sky looked brighter than it had when I first arrived in Konya. We then visited a few more mosques, and here are some of the photographs I took:

We then went to the outskirts of Konya, and here are a couple of pictures of some of the ruins we saw as we drove past…….

By 3pm, I had pretty much seen most of Konya, well most of the touristy places for sure. My flight back to Istanbul wasn’t until 8pm, and there was nothing else I really wanted to do or see, so I asked my tour guide to take me back to Mevlana Rumi’s Mausoleum because that is where I really wanted to be. The security man at the Mausoleum said that I could sit near the grave until the Mausoleum closed at 5pm. I had 1 hour 45 mins approx, so I found a corner where I sat and read Mevlana’s poems, and just contemplated. The Ney was being played in the background, I felt really relaxed and peaceful. Then the Magrib adhan was called out by the muezzin, it was so clear and beautiful that I wanted the muezzin to continue doing the adhan over and over again. By this time the Mausoleum was empty, I was the only one there. The security man came and said he’ll let me have a few more minutes just to say goodbye to Mevlana, so I tried to make the most of my last moments there….

Still had a couple of hours left before my flight, so I went around some gift shops- the usual stuff tourists do!

Prayer beads anyone?!

Handmade rugs

Before I left the UK, I remember a friend telling me that Konya is very industrial, ugly, and the only amazing thing to see is Mevlana’s zawiyya. I didn’t take much notice of his words at the time, but having seen Konya myself, I can somewhat agree with my friend. I wouldn’t go to the extreme of calling Konya ‘ugly’, but I felt that it didn’t steal my heart like Istanbul has, apart from the beautiful Mausoleum of Mevlana which has secured a special place in my heart.

I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to visit Konya, simply just to visit Mevlana Rumi’s tomb, you won’t regret it! Feel free to contact me if you need any tips.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

“Patience is the key to joy.”

 

Please be aware that these are my notes; I was unable to write down everything, but what I have, I pray it’s 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!

May Allah reward all those who were involved in organising and facilitating this blessed course, and may Allah elevate the rank of Shaykh Yahya, bless his family are teachers. Amin!

“The Wonders of the Heart” by Imam al- Ghazali

Taught by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus (USA/Yemen) on 19th December 2009, Woodlands Road Mosque, Birmingham (UK)

Shaykh Yahya began by introducing the Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (Revival of Religious Sciences). He said that it’s the most important text Imam al-Ghazali wrote. The Ihya is divided into 4 parts, each part consisting of 10 chapters thus 40 parts in total. Shaykh Yahya briefly spoke about how 40 is a special number for various reasons. For example, each Prophet received prophecy at the age of 40; if you do something for 40 days, it becomes a habit and so on. That is one of the reasons why the Ihya is divided into 40 parts.

  • If Allah is remembered, shaytan is withdrawn from that gathering- prophetic hadith.
  • Shaytan can only have power as much as you give him power.
  • People have lost the ability to see things holistically like the scholars did.
  • Every single verse in the Qur’an has 60,000 ways to understand it!
  • Any knowledge that doesn’t lead you to the presence of Allah has no benefit in it.
  • Allah is Infinite, anything you put over infinity is zero!
  • Who knows what is hidden in the hearts? Who knows what the human beings conceal in their hearts? Allah sees everything in your heart!
  • The “Wonders of the Heart”- its something internal without our hearts. If you deny there is such a thing as a ‘heart’, how will you experience these wonders? Experience these jewels?
  • Anyone can build outwardly- but what about building the inner?
  • The outward heart is a vascular system, spreading the blood around the body etc- that’s the outward ‘wonders’ of the heart. The inward wonders of the heart is the spiritual heart, which has more ‘wonders’ but you might not even know what is there! For example, when you clean the house, you might clean it well, but may not see the dust. Then you might do a ‘deep clean’ of the house and see things you do not normally see, like the dust. This is the case of the heart, you need a deep cleansing of it. We have regular cleansing of it like in Ramadan when we fast, pray tarawih etc. The ‘deep cleansing’ is like hajj- when you come back, you are all purified and ready to meet your Lord.
  • The Prophet sallaAllahi ‘alayhi wasalam said that religion started strange and will end strange. If you are considered as ‘strange’, then that is a good sign. Nowadays, if you have a beard, don’t drink alcohol etc, you are considered as ‘strange’. The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam said glad tidings to the strangers- you are entering the ‘bisharah’ (glad tidings)
  • The honour and excellence of man (humankind) which he surpasses all other creatures is to know Allah- ability to have Marifah. This knowledge is man’s duty.
  • Every human being wants glory, perfection, beauty etc. Despite how you look outwardly, it doesn’t really matter, it all depends on your ability to know your Lord. Your knowledge of Allah is storing up your provision in the next world.
  • The way that you prepare yourself to have this knowledge is through your heart. It is the heart that knows Allah, the heart that works, strives for Allah, and it’s the heart that has secrets unveiled to it.
  • We get distinguished from the rest of creation because of the heart.
  • Its at the level of the heart that received unveiling, and feels the intimacy with Allah.
  • It is the heart that is accepted in the presence of Allah.
  • There are people in this world who can be walking outwardly in this world, but their hearts are connected to the celestial realm. It is important that you are mentioned in the higher realm.
  • There is a hadith which goes along the lines that if Allah comes to love a servant, He calls Gibreel alayhi salam to love them. When you are beloved to Allah, Allah announces it to Gibreel alayhi salam, who then announces it to the rest of the angels and then the creation becomes inclined to you.
  • If you are sincere, you will always be tested by Allah.
  • It is the heart that is veiled from Allah.
  • Every container pours out what is in it. If your heart is good, it will only pour out khair- goodness.
  • If the human being comes to know the heart, he comes to know who he is, and then he comes to know his Lord. If they are ignorant about themselves, then they are ignorant about their Lord. If you are ignorant of yourself, how can you know anything else? Allah says in the Qur’an how those who have forgotten Allah, He has caused them to forget themselves. These are the people who will not be able to do anything good.
  • The human being must know their place in the hierarchy of existence. If we don’t know where we are, how will we get to where we want?
  • The intellect is never enough; knowledge, information is not enough itself. You need belief in Allah and the love for RasulAllah sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam
  • If you forget Allah, He will make you forget yourself. If you forget yourself, how can you know anything?
  • The knowledge of the heart, its true nature, its qualities is the foundation of the deen. If you want to be firm, you need to know this!
  • To speak about the ‘Wonders of the Heart’ is from the unseen, most peoples’ hearts can’t comprehend this. There is a whole realm with the heart which we do not perceive.

Qalb- Heart
2 meanings:
1. The pine shaped organ located in the left; it’s a flesh of a particular sort. This is the physical heart. It’s a piece of flesh which is from the seen world and doesn’t have much worth.
2. The spiritual heart, it’s a latifa, subtlety. The spiritual heart can be killed, can die, just like the physical heart. The spiritual heart is from the unseen, but has a connection to the physical heart. Majority of people are bewildered in perceiving its connection.

Ruh- Spirit
This also has 2 meanings:
1. The subtle body- connection to the physical heart.
2. The subtle thing which knows and perceives.
As long as the spirit in your body is there, you are alive

Nafs- Soul
It’s essentially who you are.

Aql- Intellect
2 types:
1. Lower intellect, which is the brain
2. Higher intellect, which is located in the heart

In summary:
Heart- Place which we know Allah
Soul- Who we are
Spirit- The tool in which we love Allah
Aql- That what we know

All actions come from the heart, and all actions come from thought:

Thought- Heart- Action

1. The first thing that comes to the heart is a thought.
2. The second thing that comes to the heart is the natural inclination towards that particular thing.
3. The third thing is the judgement of the heart- if you should do it or not
4. The fourth is having firm resolution and actually having the intention of doing it.

In the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stages, you are not taken into account for it, its only when you get to the 4th stage, you are taken into account for. For example, a thought of stealing something comes to your heart, it then moves onto the next stage which is the inclination of the heart about stealing, then it moves onto the 3rd stage where you judge whether to steal or not, then the last stage is when you actually intend to steal, or don’t intend to steal. And its only at the 4th stage, when you have made that intention to do it, you are held accountable. You can’t control the thoughts that come to your heart. Sometimes they come even if you do not want them to. No matter how many thoughts that come to your heart, you are not accountable as long as you do not intend to do it. With the stealing example, you will only be held accountable if you actually reach the 4th stage and intend on stealing. You can have all the thoughts and inclinations, but its only when you actually intend on stealing, you are held accountable for it.

  • If you want strong ‘Yakeen’ (Certainty), then give charity, give your wealth.
  • The people who were around the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasalam were saturated, wrapped in his light. The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam is your door to Allah.
  • People have forgotten Rahma. Where is the Rahma in your heart? The Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam had Rahma in his heart for everyone, even when he made du’a against people, it was out of Rahma for them.
  • Different people get tested in different ways- Allah is Just, He will only try you with what you can bear.
  • Allow people to better themselves- we should want people to change, better themselves and get out of these lower stages.
  • You get certainty if you open your heart to it- polish it, and you will get certainty, Yakeen!
  • The heart has a homeland, you are either travelling to your destination or away from it.
  • The heart is the place of knowledge.
  • Every known thing has a reality.
  • We have to remove obstacles from our heart to obtain what we set to obtain.

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.

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

 ~ Kahlil Gibran

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 (itb075@hotmail.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.  

Cambridge Khutbas- Love for Allah’s Decree

A great sermon by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad which is well worth the listen (as are all his lectures mashaAllah!)

“In this sermon, Sheikh Abdal Hakim discusses the difference between having patience (sabr) during the struggles of life, and taking pleasure or having contentment (rida’) in them. By Allah’s Mercy, accepting what He decrees with patience for us is a route to salvation, but it is a higher degree for us to embrace and love that decree. By another inspiring aspect of Allah’s guidance, the latter is initially harder but actually makes the path toward Him easier. Instead of religion just being a set of duties or things we have to put up with, it becomes an on-going source of wonder and contentment. May Allah grant us the state of being contented with His Decree.”

Cambridge Khutbas- Love for Allah’s Decree

May Allah increase and bless Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, and may we continue to benefit from his teachings. Amin.

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!”

SubhanAllah.

– Shaykh Hamza Yusuf,
RIS Knowledge Retreat 2008, Toronto, Canada

I received a text message from a special friend a couple of weeks ago. Within the text message, my friend mentioned to me that if you have love for the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam in your heart, then calamities are purification for you and not punishment. This poignant reminder really moved me so I asked my friend to elaborate on this. She wrote the following out for me, and with her permission, I am posting it here for everyone to benefit from insha’Allah ta’ala:

……….
 
Whenever time caused me any distress and I took refuge in him.
I received shelter from him, which was not misused.
I did not ask for the wealth of the two worlds from his hand.
But I received a great gift from the best hand that was ever kissed.
 
Al-Burdah
 
There are certain verses from the burdah that keep coming back to me and this is one of them. It seems to come forth in times of calamities and brings peace and tranquillity to the heart. For he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam is the key to our happiness. He is there for us and he feels our pain. When we remember him it removes our sadness and replaces it with peace. He is the key to Allah and he is the centre of our lives.
 
Recently I sat in a dars about the 20 benefits of salawat. It was a most blessed gathering and there was not one single eye that didn’t stream with tears.
 
One of the most poignant things that was said that day for me was that Allah will never punish a heart that contains the love of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam within it. If you suffer calamities or difficulties then know it is purification for you and not punishment. For Allah will never punish you if you have love for his Beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam.
 
Loving him is better than going for jihad or setting a slave free, and making salawat has more effect than when water is put on a fire.
 
The other main point taken was that one of the benefits of making salawat is that your name will be mentioned to the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. A special angel on the grave of the shareef will give the names of all of creation. There is no one person who gives salaam without this angel telling the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. He will know you and your father (I think this is something great to think about especially for reverts) as the angel will mention so and so, son or daughter of so and so gives salaams.
 
It is enough to know that Allah and His beloved know your name. If he mentions your name or remembers you then surely you will go steps towards Allah.
 
So we undergo distress, sadness, loss and calamities but our shelter is him. To know him, remember him and love him. For some of us reading this, may at one time in our life not even known his name but it is true to say ‘we received a great gift from the best hand that was ever kissed’ when we entered into Islam.
…………

Whilst on the topic of loving the Beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, I would also like to share something which Dr. Asim Yusuf (aka Talib al-Habib)  narrated to us at the al-Ghazali retreat in Spain last week. Dr. Asim mentioned how when the time came to leave his Shaykh (may Allah elevate his rank) in South Africa, he was feeling really anxious. He said to his Shaykh that he doesn’t know what he will do without him now that he will be going back to the UK, and how they will be so far apart. His Shaykh advised to carry the Beloved sallaAllahu a’alayhi wasalam in your heart wherever you go, and you’ll never be alone. Subhan’Allah! This was a very strong and moving reminder for all of us sat in that gathering. It reminded us of how at times when we feel alone or are going through trials/tribulations, we should only have to look inside our hearts and find RasulAllah sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam to guide and comfort us; for he sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam is our key to the Lord, and it’s only the Lord who can move us from one state to another. 

May the Beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam never leave our hearts. May we seek comfort with him in this life and the akhirah; may he be our companion in hardship and ease and may we sincerely humble ourselves in thanks to Allah. Allahumma Amin ya Rabb!

Please may I request you recite al-Fatiha and make du’a for my friend who took time out to share and write the above, and also for Dr. Asim.
 

Something which I found in my inbox today…..

Love & Time
 

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left, except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
“Richness, can you take me with you?”
Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!”
“I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,”
Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.”
“Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed to the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who Helped me?”
“It was Time,”
Knowledge answered.
Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?”
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.”

(Source:unknown)

I was going through some very old e-mails and came across a very touching poem which a beautiful friend had forwarded to me a few years back. I believe the original poem was written by Mary Stevenson; this poem has been edited and the beloved Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam has been added to it.

“One night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking in the Blessed City of Madinah with my Beloved Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. Across the beautiful sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Beloved Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam. When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of my life when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat. My heart was grieved by this immensely. I turned to my Beloved Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam and, with tears in my eyes, humbly asked, “Ya Rasoolullah, sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam you promised me that if I followed you, you would walk with me always, and never leave my side. But I have noticed that during the most trying times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me.” My Beloved Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam held me close and whispered with his sweet, fragrant breath, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

May Allah grant us the honour and blessing of meeting RasulAllah sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam in our dreams and in a waken state, and may we be granted his sallaAlahu’alayhi wasalam’s intercession on the day of judgement. Amin ya Rabb!

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