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Prophetic Guidance in Times of Tribulations – Muwasala

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In light of recent political events in Yemen and other countries, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) clarifies the Prophetic perspective on how to deal with tribulations.

Habib Umar delivered the lecture in Dar al-Mustafa on 9th Jumada al-Akhirah 1436 / 29th March 2015 and it was attended by students of forty two nationalities. In it Habib Umar gave general guidelines as well as specific advice for those currently studying in Tarim. What follows is a summary of the main points.

[Introduction]

We must clarify to every individual, young and old, the methodology which we must follow and the foundations upon which it is built. We need to realise the true meaning of coming together in this blessed place under the banner of the Prophetic Call. 

This dictates that we realise our duty and responsibility and how we deal with events that take place on the earth.

[The Reality of Recent Tribulations]

Among those events are the attacks that several nations have launched against certain groups in Yemen. The majority of those involved in this conflict have power and worldly aims as their main motives and this is what has driven them to take up arms. The people who are involved in these struggles have no desire to make the Word of Allah transcendent. 

They have no desire to establish the Sunnah of Muhammad. They are not motivated by mercy and compassion for the weak and for orphans. Their Lord knows best what their intentions are. None of those who threw themselves into these struggles in various places attained any good out of it. I believe that they would all say that had they seen what has now happened they would have acted differently. But most people have not looked carefully at the teachings of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him). Had they done so, they would have taken a different path from the beginning.

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) informed us of the tribulations that would befall his Ummah at the end of time. The events we are now witnessing are like a link in a chain most of which has passed and only a little of which remains. These tribulations will take their course in the places and ways that have been decreed for them. They will not increase or decrease except in the case where Allah permits certain actions or supplications to have an effect. 

In reality the affair has been sealed – “the pens have been lifted and the ink has dried.”

He informed us that the most severe tribulations would come to pave the way for the victory that Allah will give him once again and for the raising of His banners. Relief will come from Allah and the triumph of truth and guidance in a way that people would not be able to imagine.

Those who will be harmed most by these tribulations will be those who deliberately get involved and throw themselves into the conflict and will thus have the greatest responsibility. They will be asked why they got involved, for whom, in what way and whether they have proof from Allah for what they are doing. As for those who suffer harm despite not deliberately getting involved they are potentially martyrs in Allah’s sight and will not have lost anything.

These days will pass and we await the days in which Allah pours His generosity upon us and upon the Muslims. This region (Hadramawt) will remain, with Allah’s permission, in a state of wellbeing, but we ask Allah to show His gentleness to our brethren in Sana`a, Aden, and all areas of Yemen and all areas of the world.

[Prophetic Guidance]

The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), the one entrusted with guiding mankind, told us how to deal with tribulations when they arise. He said that:

“The one who exposes himself to them will be caught up in them.”

He said that in these times the one lying on his side is better than the one sitting; the one sitting is better than the one standing; the one standing is better than the one walking and the one walking is better than the one running. 

Did he convey the message or not? 

He definitely conveyed the message (Peace and blessings be upon him). One of the Companions asked the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) which side he should take if the Muslims were divided into different groups. He said to him:

“Distance yourself from all these groups.”

[The People of Truthfulness]

In times of tribulation, Allah singles out truthful people who honour their covenant with Allah. They are not shaken by the events that take place. They are guided by the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and their hearts are filled with trust in Allah, reliance upon Him, hope in Him and fear of Him. 

Allah describes them as follows:

Those that convey Allah’s messages and fear Him and fear none other than Allah. Allah suffices as a Reckoner [1]

Those to whom men said: “The enemy have gathered against you, so fear them!” But this only increased their faith, and they said: “Allah is sufficient for us! He is the best Guardian!” So they returned with grace and bounty from Allah and no harm touched them. They attained the good pleasure of Allah and Allah possesses immense bounty [2]

Those who possess these attributes regardless of the time in which they live attain high stations and live in a state of safety and tranquillity. 

Allah says:

When the believers saw the Confederates they said: “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us. Allah and His Messenger have spoken the truth.” It only increased them in faith and submission (to Allah). Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Some of them have died and some are waiting. They have never changed their determination in the least. Allah may then reward the truthful for their truthfulness and punish the hypocrites if He wills or relent toward them [3]

[Our Methodology]

We follow the path which the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) laid out for us and the way of the people of truthfulness. This has been the correct way throughout our history. It is not something which we have invented. 

This was the way of the Prophetic Household, the Companions, the Followers and all those that came after them. It was the way of Zayn al-`Abidin `Ali bin al-Husayn, Hasan al-Basri, Sa`id bin al-Musayyib, Sa`id bin Jubayr, al-Harith al-Muhasibi, Abu Talib al-Makki, Imam al-Ghazali, al-Junayd bin Muhammad and Imam `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani. It was the way of al-Muhajir, Ahmad bin `Isa and all his forefathers. It was the way of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad bin `Ali Ba `Alawi and it was the way of my father and my teachers. 

From them I took the path and from them I received the understanding of the Book and the Sunnah, the understanding of our duty in life, the purpose for which Allah created us and how we prepare to return to Him, our connection to Muhammad and our duty in dealing with every event that occurs.

The way of the people of truthfulness was to avoid tribulations. They fulfilled their obligations in doing that which is clearly good and avoided anything in which the Devil had a hand. This is the path they took and we follow in their footsteps by Allah’s permission.

We consider the work which we are involved a form of jihad to which no-one may raise any objection. It consists of working with truthfulness and sincerity towards attaining the three objectives of attaining knowledge, acting upon it and calling people to Allah on an individual level, a family level and a community level in whatever time, place or situation we find ourselves. 

Our leader in this is the soul of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him), his clear Sunnah and the way of his Companions and those who follow them in excellence. We have chosen this form of jihad in the way of Allah. We refuse to get involved in any affair unless it is completely good and completely clear and only if we will be free from being subordinate to any group and safe from the meddling of the Devil. 

If we have any doubt then we return to the advice of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him):

“Leave that which causes you doubt in favour of that that which does not cause you doubt.”

This is our advice to those who will listen. As for those who do not wish to listen we will not declare anyone a disbeliever (kafir), someone who associates partners with Allah (mushrik) or an innovator. We will not struggle against anyone, abuse anyone, or look for support from anyone. We do not fear evil from anyone. Let them busy themselves with the conclusions which their intellects have caused them to arrive at. 

We are concerned with conveying the message of Allah and His Messenger and fulfilling our responsibility in the way that Allah loves. 

Allah says to our Master (Peace and blessings be upon him):

So remind, for you are but a reminder – you are not their controller… for to Us will be their return; then it will be for Us to call them to account [4]your duty is only to convey the message [5].

We have been taught to respond to our Most Generous Lord by saying:

If You punish them, they are Your slaves and if You forgive them You are the Mighty, the Wise [6]

He who follows me is of me; while he who disobeys me.. You are Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [7].

These are the teachings we have inherited from the previous Prophets.

Praise be to Allah for the fact that you have no Muslim blood on your hands. May He also cleanse your hearts and your minds so that you are not taken to account for any blood that has been spilt, or any person whose honour has been violated or for putting fear in the heart of any believer. 

Likewise guard your tongues. You have not physically entered any battle but you may be taken to account for what you say. Someone may say: “So and so deserved to be killed,” and he may then be taken to account for his part in killing him.

Allah knows best what people’s intentions are. We cannot judge people’s intentions. Our role is only to teach people and not to control them.

Our leader did not control anyone so how can we? 

Allah says:

You are not their controller.

The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) taught us to say in the morning and evening:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِي لا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيءٌ في الأَرْضِ ولا فِي السَّمَاءِ وهْوَ السَّميعُ العَلِيمُ
“In the Name of Allah. Nothing in the heavens and earth may harm the one who mentions His name. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

“Nothing in the heavens and earth..” 

Do you know what that means? 

You read this in the morning and evening. 

Are you a believer or a disbeliever? 

Are you sincere or are you a hypocrite?

Allah shows us what our methodology should be in the face of adversity:

If you have steadfastness (sabr) and taqwa their schemes will never harm you.[8]

091223_fatehpur_sikri_jama_masjid_courtyard_muslim_men_praying_travel_photography_MG_7951Say: “Nothing will befall us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Protector. In Allah let the believers place their trust.” Say: “Are you waiting for anything to befall us except one of two glorious things?” [9]

All praise be to Allah – everything that is awaiting us is good for us.

Every Muslim has the ability to give advice, teach others and help those in need so they should do what they can sincerely for Allah’s sake. This is their duty regarding their concern for the affairs of the Muslims. They are thus safe from being part of the problems confronting the Ummah or causing more problems.

[Specific Advice for those Living and Studying in Tarim]

Many of you in this place knew nothing about what was going on until a family member from outside Tarim contacted you after seeing what has been happening on the news or when some of your governments requested that their citizens return home. It is fitting that you have only heard about it from outside Tarim because naturally people outside Tarim are affected by the media, whose mission is to shake and scare people and spread false rumours and in doing so serve the Devil. People have become completely captivated by the media.

May Allah reward those countries that wish to protect their citizens. This is what they believe to be correct and it is natural that they be worried. The whole arena in which they operate is based upon fear and worry and they only have a small portion of faith and tranquillity. If they feel that it is in the interests of their citizens to return home and if they have provided means of transport, may Allah reward them. 

Families are naturally affected by these events and this is excusable. They are not excused, however, from doing their duty.

Thus if someone wishes to leave, we will not prevent them and if someone wishes to stay, we will not prevent them. However, these days of tribulation will pass and meanwhile we will be amongst the safest of people on the face of the earth. We will be in a state of complete tranquillity due to the fact that we receive special protection and care from Allah. Neither our food supply, nor our safety nor our tranquillity will be affected.

Had we known that any harm would come to any one of you in your religion or your worldly affairs, we would order you and request you to leave. This, however, will not happen by Allah’s will. Even if some harm were to befall us and we told people to leave then those who are completely truthful would say:

“I do not prefer myself over you.”

Let each one of you decide how we deal with these events and how he speaks to his relatives at home. He cannot, however, change his path in fulfilling his obligation in this life due to these events. 

We must convince our relatives that our path is correct, but we are not content for a student, a teacher or a worker to remain here if his parents are not content with that. We must give each person the rights that are due to them. 

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) turned away someone who wished to perform jihad with him due to the fact that his parents were not content for him to do so. 

He said to him:

“Your struggle is with them.”

If someone is truthful, Allah will enable him to convince his parents to allow him to stay.

Your concern for the affairs of the Muslims should be expressed in your supplications and pleading with Allah and your presence of heart when you remember Him. Do not waste your time following events in the news. 

You have a role to perform. 

Your focus should be on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and your studies: whether it be fiqh, tafsir, hadith or grammar. Let your hearts be present in your studies for this is your provision for your meeting with Allah. This is what you are involved in now. None of you are in government and are thus responsible for the decisions governments makes.

[Closing Supplications]

O Lord, it is Muslim houses, Muslim airports and Muslim property that are being destroyed! 

It is Muslim honour that is being violated! 

It is Muslim blood that is being spilt! 

It is Muslim women and children that are being frightened! 

What is the cause of this? 

O Allah, save the Muslims and remove the tribulations that have befallen them. 

Your enemy and his followers have divided the Muslims so unite them, O Lord, by Your power and the station of Your Beloved Muhammad.

Let us and our loved ones be with Your Beloved in this life, at death, in the Barzakh, on the Day of Judgement and in the Abode of Honour. 

Allow them to see him, to kiss his hand, to be with him, to be in the same row as him, to follow him and to receive his care and compassion. 

I take refuge in the light of Your countenance that anyone who is connected to us, has attended our gatherings or received knowledge from us be separated from him (Peace and blessings be upon him). 

Let us gaze at his face and let he be the one who gives us to drink from the Pool along with `Ali and may Fatimah be pleased by this. 

The raising of voices in supplication in places of worship causes tribulations to be lifted. 

This gathering is more effective than whole squadrons of fighter planes. 

May Allah save the Muslims whatever school or group they belong to. 

May He guide everyone that says la ilaha ill’Allah.

Go forth with Allah’s protection, with your path illuminated and complete tranquillity. Be truthful with your Lord and work together for His sake. 

May we be among those who are accepted by Him.
All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

 ——

[1] Al-Ahzab, 33.39

[2] Al `Imran, 3:174-4

[3] Al-Ahzab, 33.22-24

[4] Al-Ghashiyah, 88:21-22/25-26

[5] Al-Shura, 42.48

[6] Al-Ma’idah, 5:118

[7] Ibrahim, 14:36

[8] Al `Imran, 3:120

[9] Al-Tawbah, 9:51-52

Relevant resources:

Clarity in Crisis: How Believers Look at Trials and How they Respond, Guided by Prophetic Light – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Trials are a blessing, and blessings are a trial – Faraz Rabbani

A Time to Build: How Believers Respond To Trials and Tests – Faraz Rabbani Eid Khutba at SeekersHub Toronto

The Believer’s Clarity When Tested: The Power of Patience and Prayer in Responding to Tests and Trials – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (10) Anfal 41-75 to Tawba 1-93: Highest Love, Trials and Trust, Mercy and Belief, Qualities of Believers

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (18) Successful Believers, Knowing the Prophet, Allah’s Generosity, and Patience in Trials – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mandela: A Lesson in Patience – Imam Zaid Shakir

Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Habib Umar on Dhikr in Times of Hardship « Interpreter’s Path

The Radiant Intentions of the Pious by Habib Umar bin Hafiz

At gatherings of remembrance; before reading about the Prophet and his life (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the scholars traditionally make a number of intentions, followed by a recitation of Surat al-Fatihah; donating its reward to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the hope that their remembrance and their intentions are accepted.
Here are some of the intentions that Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) makes at these blessed gatherings. The original Arabic is also provided below.
We recite the Fatihah..
with the intention that Allah—by us remembering Him and remembering His Messenger, our Master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) and his birth and awesome attributes—opens the doors to attaining His support and assistance and guidance and to attaining uprightness and the speedy relief of the suffering of the Islamic Ummah..
with the intention that Allah deflects calamities from us and from all of the people of la ilaha ill’Allah in the East and the West..
with the intention that He grants us His guidance in all our movements and our stillness and that He makes us firm upon the truth in what we say, we do and we believe..
with the intention that He enables us to perfect our following of this Prophet, the Chosen One, Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) in our words and deeds and intentions and aims and desires and our movements and our stillness and in every state, inward and outward, and that He allows us to beautify our emulation of him and allows us to walk along his path and drink from the waters he has drunk from..
with the intention that by him (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) He looks upon us, our families, our children, those dear to us and our descendants and upon those who are attached to us..
with the intention that He fills our hearts with the light of faith and certainty and knowledge of Him.. that He makes us among those He has chosen to bring close to Him and among those He has blessed with the realities of sincere and pure slavehood to Him..
with the intention that He protects us from all harm and that He rectifies the inward and the outward, and that He allows us to attain the realities of taqwa..
with the intention that He makes the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) pleased with his Ummah and that He makes us, our families, our children and our friends a joy to his eye..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His remembrance and the remembrance of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His closeness and the closeness of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His love and the love of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His care and the care of this Prophet, the Chosen One..
and that He grants us the greatest portion of His pleasure and the pleasure of this Prophet, the Chosen One..inwardly and outwardly in every state and in every affair in this life, the Barzakh, the next life and that He gathers us together in the highest level of Firdaws while He is pleased with us.
with the intention that He gives us the greatest portion of being with him in the Barzakh and in the shade of the Throne and at the Pool and when he passes over the Bridge, and when he enters Paradise (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace).
with the intention that He rectifies our hearts and our bodies, our inward and our outward and all our affairs, that He deflects all evil from us..
with the intention that He raises the ranks of the pious people of this Ummah and all the pious people and that we receive the blessings of the Prophets and Messengers and their families and those that follow them with excellence and that He gives them the greatest of rewards on our behalf and that He unites us with them in the Abode of Mercy while He is pleased with us, without any prior punishment or reprimand or trial or account..
with the intention of removing the tribulations that have befallen us and all the Muslims inwardly and outwardly..
with the intention that Allah blesses us with the most noble of attributes and unites us with the best of groups and that He rectifies every affair inwardly and outwardly in this life and the next..
with the intention that he gives us the best of endings in goodness, gentleness and wellbeing..
with the intentions that the pious people have made and will make and all pious intentions that the knowledge of our Lord, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, encompasses for us and the whole Ummah..
We donate the reward of the Fatihah to the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him and his Family and Companions peace) – al-Fatihah.
Please include the translator, Ustadh Amin Buxton (Allah preserve him and his teachers, and benefit us by them), in your prayers.

الفاتحة أن الله يفتح لنا بذكره وذكر رسوله النبي سيدنا محمد صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم وذكر مولده الكريم وشمائله العظيمة أبواب التأييد والنصرة والتسديد والاستقامة والفرج العاجل لجميع أمة الإسلام وأن يدفع البلاء عنا وعن أهل لا إله إلا الله في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها، وأن يلهمنا رشدنا في حركاتنا وسكناتنا وأن يثبتنا على الحق فيما نقول وفيما نفعل وفيما نعتقد وأن يرزقنا حسن المتابعة لهذا النبي المصطفى محمد صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم في الأقوال والأفعال والنيات والمقاصد والإرادات والحركات والسكنات في جميع الأحوال والشؤون في الظهور والبطون، وأن يرزقنا سبحانه وتعالى حسن الاقتداء به والسير في دربه والشرب من شربه، وأن ينظر به صلى الله عليه وسلم إلينا وإلى أهلينا وإلى أولادنا وإلى ذوينا وإلى ذرارينا وإلى من يوالينا وأن يملأ قلوبنا بأنوار الإيمان واليقين والمعرفة، وأن يجعلنا سبحانه وتعالى ممن ارتضاهم الله لقربه وشرفهم بحقائق العبودية له المحضة الخالصة، وأن يقينا الأسوى، ويصلح لنا السر والنجوى ويحققنا بحقائق التقوى، وأن يسره صلى الله عليه وسلم في أمته وأن يجعلنا سبحانه وتعالى وأهلينا وأولادنا وأصحابنا قرة عين له ويجعلنا من أسعد الناس بذكره وذكر هذا النبي المصطفى ومن أسعد الناس بقربه وقرب هذا النبي المصطفى ومن أسعد الناس بحبه وحب هذا النبي المصطفى ويجعلنا من أسعد الناس بعنايته وعناية هذا الحبيب المصطفى ويجعلنا من أسعد الناس برضاه ورضا هذا الحبيب المصطفى صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم ظاهراً وباطناً في كل شأن وحال في الدنيا والبرزخ والآخرة وأن يجمعنا به في الفردوس الأعلى وهو راضٍ عنا ويجعل لنا سبحانه الحظ الأوفر من الاجتماع به في البرزخ والاجتماع به في ظل العرش والاجتماع به على الحوض المورود والاجتماع به عند المرور على الصراط والاجتماع به عند دخول الجنة صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم، وأن الله يصلح قلوبنا وقوالبنا وظواهرنا وبواطننا وشؤوننا كلها، وأن يدفع عنا الشرور كلها ويعلي درجات الصالحين من أمته وجميع الصالحين ويعيد علينا عوائد النبيين والمرسلين وآل كل منهم وتابعيهم بإحسان ويجزيهم عنا خير الجزاء ويجمعنا بهم في مستقر الرحمة وهو راضٍ عنا من غير سابقة عذاب ولا عتاب ولا فتنة ولا حساب وبنية كشف البلايا عنا وعن جميع المسلمين في الظواهر والخفايا وأن يهبنا الله أعلى المزايا ويلحقنا بخيار السرايا ويصلح لنا كل الشأن ظاهراً وباطناً في الدارين ويختم لنا بأكمل الحسنى في خير ولطف وعافية وعلى ما نواه الصالحون وعلى ما ينويه الصالحون وعلى ما أحاط به علم ربنا الله الرحمن الرحيم من صالح النيات لنا وللأمة أجمعين وإلى حضرة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم . الفاتحة

Advice in Times of Hardship, after the Chapel Hill shootings and other incidents

habib-umar.pngAnswered by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on Muwasala.org

These are difficult times for Muslims in America. Recently young Muslims have been killed and an Islamic centre has been burnt down. What advice do you have for us?

These are some of the tribulations that occur at the end of time. Following the correct moderate path is what deflects these tribulations.

Muslims should follow the example of those that Allah describes in the Qur’an:

“Many a prophet was killed[1] with a number of devoted men beside them but they never lost heart due to what befell them in Allah’s way. They were not weakened and they did not give in. Allah loves those who are steadfast. All that they said was: ‘Our Lord, forgive us our sins and our transgressions, make our feet firm and assist us against those who reject faith.’ So Allah gave them a reward in this world and the best reward of the Hereafter, and Allah loves the people of excellence.” (3.146 -8)

Just as Allah gave the previous nations the reward of this life and the next, Allah; out of His generosity, will give a similar or even better reward to someone who says the same thing and attains the same state.

Muslims should beware of doing anything that contravenes the Sacred Law or of denying anyone their rights. Their actions should reflect the true teachings of Islam. Allah will give them support in the face of what they are suffering. Those who are involved in calling to Allah should remind people of what we have just mentioned and try to make people’s faith firm. They should aim to prevent things like this happening.

***

[1] Another reading of the Qur’an would translate as: ‘Many of the pious fought with the Prophets..’

The Immediate Effects of True Love – Habib Umar bin Hafiz


The following excerpt is taken from a talk by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) – See more at: Muwasala
habib umarBy Allah we pity those people for whom a night or two pass and they have no longing in their hearts to meet the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. What kind of faith do such people have? What effect has the Book of Allah had on them? Witnessing Allah’s oneness is built upon such expressions of faith.
As soon as the Companions received ‘la ilaha ill’Allah’ from our master, Muhammad bin Abdullah, as soon as they put their hands in his (to pledge allegiance to him), as soon as his light entered their hearts, they were filled with longing for him. The earth under his feet then became more beloved to them than their own houses, children and homelands.
They expressed this openly. One of them said: “By Allah, there was no city more hated to me than your city, but now your city has become the most beloved of cities to me.” When did this take place? Immediately after he said ‘la ilaha ill’Allah.’ As soon as it entered his heart, the earth under the feet of our Master Muhammad become more beloved to him than his own land, his own family and his own children. This is longing and this is love which is the product of enabling grace and the light of faith.

Balancing Seeking Knowledge and Spiritual Litanies – Muwasala

BISMILLAH
Click here for the original link.
A Tunisian scholar asked Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him):

How does one balance between seeking knowledge and spending time in the remembrance of Allah (reading awrad or litanies)?

Habib `Umar answered:

“The key to seeking knowledge is the soundness of one’s intention. If one’s intention is sound and pure, then seeking knowledge is one of the best acts of worship and one of the best forms of remembrance.
If you would like to continue reading your awrad but are considering reducing them to focus on seeking knowledge, not out of laziness, then this is a sign of sincerity. In this case you may reduce the amount you read, but you should not leave your awrad completely.
If, however, you find yourself wanting to leave your awrad out of laziness, then it is a sign that you are not sincere, so you should persist in reading them.

Soon after I left Hadramawt, when I was based in al-Bayda, I visited one of my teachers, Imam Abu Bakr al-`Attas bin `Abdullah al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him). He said to me: “Do not read a lot of awrad since you are busy seeking knowledge and calling people to Allah. The Wird al-Latif of Imam al-Haddad is sufficient. If this is too much, then just read the second half of it from ‘hasbiya Allah..’ onwards.” He was indicating that there should be a balance in one’s affairs.
May Allah take us by the hand and rectify our outward and inward state.”

Relevant Resources:

Is it Possible to Do a ‘Wird’ Without Having Access to a Shaykh?

The Effects of Various Dhikr – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

Consistency in Dhikr, the Advice of Scholars, and Recommended Books

On Parents Showing Righteousness to Children – Muwasala

A special thanks to Muwasala for sharing this beautiful answer by Habib Umar bin Hafiz.
For the original link: Click here
Answered by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him).
We always hear about children showing righteousness to their parents. Is there a righteousness that can be shown by parents to children? Do you have advice for parents in their dealings with their children to stop them from disobeying them?

There is both righteousness shown from parents to children, and from children to parents.

Someone who is righteous will be good to their father, mother, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters, spouse, sons and daughters, and all their relatives. The extent of the goodness will be according to a person’s truthfulness, aspiration and striving to worship Allah.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “May Allah have mercy on a father who helps his child to be good to him.” Parents should be gentle in their dealings with their children.
They should use various means to convince their children to respect them and make it easy for them to do so.

They will thus prevent their children from falling into the calamity of disobeying them.
They must be avid for their sons and daughters to be upright and must not be harsh in seeking their rights from them which may in turn cause them to disobey them and we seek refuge in Allah from that.

Relevant Resources:

Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children – Faraz Rabbani – Vimeo
The Prophet Muhammad and Children – Lastprophet.info
Prepare Yourself for Your Parents Old Age – Advice from Imam Tahir Anwar
Answers:
How Does a Child Deal With Parents Who Fight Each Other?
How Do You Deal With an Overprotective Parent?
How to Deal With Overbearing Parents Who Want Control of My Money
Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents
Rights of Children in Detail
Courses:
The Rights of Parents by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Lesson on the Secrets of Seeking Repentance – Habib Umar – Interpreter’s Path

Originally posted here, with thanks.

What follows are extracts selected from a talk given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the topic of seeking forgiveness from Allah in the month of Rajab and some of the secrets therein. There are some additions for extra clarity. The talk was delivered during the Mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa on Thursday 3rd Rajab 1433/ 24th May 2012.

The Time to Seek Forgiveness

Rajab is a time of forgiveness. It has been narrated in the Prophetic hadith: “Seek much forgiveness from Allah in Rajab because in every hour (of the month) Allah frees people from the Fire.”1 Those who have been freed from the fire hate the deeds of the people of the Fire and the attributes of the people of the Fire, and only find tranquillity performing the deeds of the people of Paradise. If they slip up they immediately return to Allah: Those that when they commit an act of indecency or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and they do not knowingly persist in (the wrong) they have done.2

Look Within

Look in yourself for the signs that you have been freed from the Fire. People who allow themselves to look at things which are forbidden, on their screens or elsewhere, will not find these signs. If you have not refrained from falling into the deeds of the people of the Fire, then you have not yet been freed from the Fire. The people of Paradise, those who are preparing their eyes to look at those who have been drawn near to Allah, obey Allah’s order: Say to the believing men that they must lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That will be purer for them. Allah is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they must lower their gaze and guard their modesty.3There should be nothing in your house in Rajab which displeases Allah. Rajab is one of the sacred months, about which Allah says: Do not wrong yourselves therein.4You should not be in the same state in Rajab as you were before it.

The Rightly Guided

One of the signs that you have been freed from the fire is your hatred of sins and acts of disobedience. Look how Allah describes the first generation, and these are the attributes of every truthful person that comes after them: Allah has made faith beloved to you and has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you disbelief, corruption and disobedience. These are those who are rightly-guided. These people are safe from the Devil, from their lower selves, from their caprice, from attachment to the material world. How did they achieve this? It was a bounty and blessing from Allah.5

Signs

One of the greatest signs that you have been freed from the Fire is that you take pleasure in seeking forgiveness from Allah in the last portion of the night, and at other times of the day. You raise your hands to him saying: “My Lord, forgive me and turn to me, truly You are the Oft-Returning, the Most Merciful!”

Follow the example of the Beloved (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); follow him in seeking forgiveness. Make sure you do so with a heart that is present, then perhaps Allah will open you a door to connect you with the Beloved. If you received even a portion of one of his prayers for forgiveness you would bathe in the light of that prayer for eternity. He sought forgiveness and he knew the One from Whom he was seeking forgiveness. How great is your knowledge of Allah in relation to his? Keep seeking forgiveness after `Isha’ and after Fajr and throughout the days and nights, then perhaps before the end of Rajab Allah will have opened the door to you and your heart will be filled with light.

Seeking Forgiveness

You must take from Rajab the secret of connection to Allah. You must realise the secret of seeking forgiveness. Follow the example of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) for he is the greatest of those that seek forgiveness. Allah ennobled you by extending the light of his prayers for forgiveness to you: So know that there is no god but Allah and seek forgiveness for your sins6 and for the believers male and female.7 Allah is saying to him: “Allow them to enter through your door. When they come via you the door is open to them.” If only when they wronged themselves they came to you and sought Allah’s forgiveness and the Messenger sought forgiveness for them.. Is it not enough that they sought Allah’s forgiveness? This is good but far greater than that is that the Messenger himself sought forgiveness for them. Then they will find Allah, and whoever has found Allah has not missed out on anything. They will not just find Allah, but furthermore He will manifest His beauty and bounty to them: they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.8 Whoever finds Allah Oft-Returning and Most Merciful will live in a state of bliss, constantly experiencing Allah’s mercy until the days of everlasting bliss in the next life.

O Allah, You are the One that said to Your Beloved: When you complete (your immediate task) stand up (to perform another) and to your Lord turn all your attention.

We ask You by the secret of his worship and his seeking You and asking You to make us amongst the elite of this Ummah and amongst those who receive the greatest portion of his intercession and amongst those who are closest to him.


alHabibUmarBinHafiz1 Narrated by al-Daylami
2 Al `Imran, 3:135
3 Al-Nur, 24:30-31
4 Al-Tawbah, 9:36
5 Al-Hujurat, 49:7-8
6 This is a literal translation but should not be understood literally, as the Messenger of Allah is free of any sins.
7 Muhammad, 47:19
8 Al-Nisa’, 4:64
9 Al-Inshirah, 94:7-8

Getting the most out of Rajab – Muwasala

For original post: Click here

The following advice has been given by Sayyidī al-Habīb `Umar bin Hafīz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him). Please benefit and share with your loved ones.

There are a number of ways to get the most out of Rajab. Some of the most important are as follows:

  1. Seeking forgiveness in abundance and making sincere repentance;

  1. Making a sincere resolve to seek to approach Allah through performing acts of obedience and avoiding acts of disobedience;

  1. Assessing your state, rectifying it and striving to follow the Prophet ﷺin all that you do

  1. Improving your performance of the prayer by making sure that you implement the sunnahs pertaining to the prayer and pray with presence of heart. Also strive to pray in congregation in the first row without missing the opening takbīr;

  1. Improving your relationship with the Qur’ān by increasing the amount you read and reflect upon daily and seeking to acting upon it;

  1. Being consistent in reading your adhkār in the morning and evening, after the prayer and in your varying states (such as eating, entering the house and preparing for sleep);

  1. Improving your interaction with your family, friends, relatives, neighbours and with Allah’s slaves in general and the elect of His slaves specifically;

  1. Fasting whatever days you are able to, especially Monday and Thursday and the White Days (13th, 14th and 15th days of the month);

  1. Giving a portion of charity and doing what you can to help those in need and treating them kindly;

  1. Worshipping Allah in these nights, especially in the last portion of the night. Improve your state at this time so as to enter into those who Allah praises in the Qur’ān: Those who spend their wealth (in charity) and seek forgiveness in the last portion of the night.

We ask Allah to give us a great portion of the gifts bestowed in this month and that He makes us among those who attain acceptance and felicity in this life and the next.

O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha`bān, allow us to reach Ramaḍān and assist us in fasting and praying in the night.

———–

Relevant Resources:

The Secrets of Rajab by Habib Umar and Habib Kadhim – Muwasala

Taken from Muwasala: Click here for original blog
When the month of Rajab enters, the Beloved ﷺ would seek its blessings, saying,“O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha`bān and enable us to reach Ramaḍān!” (Aḥmad, al-Baiḥaqi, Ibn Majah) 

[Recommended supplications during the blessed month]

Sayyidī al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Ḥafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends reading the following formulas of istighfār in the blessed month of Rajab.

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِما يَعْلَمُهُ الله أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ كَما يُحِبُّهُ الله

Astaghfirullāh limā ya`lamuhu Allāh, Astaghfirullāh kamā yuḥibbuhu-llāh

I seek the forgiveness of Allah for everything that He knows; I seek Allah’s forgiveness in the way that He loves.

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ ذا الجَلالِ و الإِكْرَام مِنْ جَميعِ الذُّنوبِ و الآثام

Astaghfirullāh dha’l-Jalāli w’al-Ikrām min jamī` adhunūbi wa al-āthām.

I seek the forgiveness of Allah, the Possessor of Majesty and Honour, for all my sins and wrongdoings.

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الَّذِي لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنَ الرَّحِيمَ الْحَيَّ الْقَيُّومَ الَّذِي لا يَمُوتُ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْه رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي

Astaghfirullāh alladhī lā ilāha illā huwa arraḥmān arraḥīm al-Ḥayya al-Qayyum alladhī lā yamūtu wa atūbu ilayhi rabbi-ghfir lī

I seek the forgiveness of Allah, besides Who there is no god; the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, the Living, the Sustainer, the One Who never dies and I repent to Him. O Lord, forgive me.

[What is being read in Tarim?]

In Tarim the following formula is read 70 times in congregation immediately after the `Ishā’ Prayer every night in Rajab. The one reading it raises his hands while doing so:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لي وارْحَمْنِي وَتُبْ عَلَيَّ

Rabbi ‘ghfir lī w’ arḥamnī wa tub `alayya.

O Allāh forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.

It is also good to read what is known in Ḥaḍramawt as Istighfār Rajab, a compilation of istighfār compiled by Ḥabīb Ḥasan, the son of Imām `Abdullāh bin `Alawī al-Ḥaddād:

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.All praise is due to Allāh Lord of the Worlds.

O Allāh bestow prayers and peace upon our Master Muḥammad and upon his Family and Companions.

I seek the forgiveness of Allāh (3 times) for every word, act and thought and every inward and outward action of mine which Allāh dislikes.

I seek the forgiveness of Allāh, besides Who there is no god; the Living, the Sustainer, and I repent to Him.

O Allāh forgive me for what I have done previously, what I will do, what I have done in secret and in private, for my excesses and for that about which You have more knowledge than I. You are the one who puts people ahead and puts people behind and You have power over all things.

I seek the forgiveness of Allāh, the Possessor of Majesty and Honour, for all my sins and wrongdoings. I seek the forgiveness of Allāh for every one of my sins: those committed in private, those committed in public, the small and the large, those committed previously and those committed recently, the first and the last of them, outward and inward sins, and I repent to Him.

O Allāh I seek Your forgiveness for any sin from which I have repented and then committed again.

I seek Your forgiveness for any action which I performed initially for Your noble countenance and then something else which is displeasing to You detracted from my sincerity.

I seek Your forgiveness for anything that I have promised to do for Your sake and then broken my promise to You.

I seek Your forgiveness for anything that my caprice has called me to do by taking dispensations in affairs which are dubious, which are in Your sight forbidden.

I seek Your forgiveness, there is no god but You, O Knower of the Seen and Unseen, for every wrong or act of disobedience that I have committed in broad daylight or in the darkness of the night, in the company of people or whilst alone, in public or in private, in the knowledge that You were gazing upon me as I committed it. I repent to You, O Forbearing One, O Most Generous, O Most Merciful.

I seek Your forgiveness for deriving strength from the blessings You have bestowed upon me and then using that strength to disobey You.

I seek Your forgiveness for sins which only You know about and only You can see, sins which only Your forbearance can encompass and from which only Your pardon can save me.

I seek Your forgiveness for every oath I have made and then broken, for which I will be taken to account.

I seek Your forgivenessthere is no god but You, transcendent are You, truly I am amongst the wrongdoers. So We responded to him and delivered him from distress; thus do We deliver those who have faith. And remember Zakariyyā, when he cried to his Lord: “O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring, for You are the best of bestowers.”

My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy.”

I seek Your forgiveness for every obligation which You have requested that I fulfil in the day or the night which I have subsequently neglected out of heedlessness, absent-mindedness, forgetfulness or ignorance, and for which I will be punished.

I seek Your forgiveness for every sunnah of the Master of the Messengers, the Seal of the Prophets, Your Prophet our Master Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him) which I have left out of heedlessness, absent-mindedness, forgetfulness, ignorance or not caring.

I seek Your forgiveness, there is no god but You, alone without partner, Muhammad is Your slave and messenger. Transcendent are You, O Lord of the Worlds. To You belongs the dominion and all praise. You are sufficient for us, and You are the best disposer of our affairs. He is the best of those who protect and the best of those who assist. There is no strength nor might except in Allāh, the Sublime, the Awesome.

O Allāh, You are the Repairer of every breakage, the Companion of everyone who is alone, the One who brings ease to every difficulty, the One who is not in need of clarification or explanation. You are able to do whatever You will.

Send blessings upon our Master Muḥammad to the number of those who send blessings upon him, and to the number of those who do not. O Allah send blessings upon the spirit of our Master Muḥammad, upon the earth in which our Master Muḥammad is buried, upon the grave in which our Master Muḥammad lies, upon the physical form of our Master Muḥammad and upon the name of our Master Muḥammad.

There has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves, grievous to whom is your burden, concerned (is he) for you; for the believers (he is) full of compassion, merciful. If they turn away then say: Allāh is sufficient for me; there is no god but He. On Him do I rely; He is the Lord of the Awesome Throne.

May peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master Muḥammad and upon his Family and Companions. All praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the Worlds, in every instant forever, the number of His creation, to His satisfaction, the weight of His throne and the amount of ink of His words.

————–
Useful resources

Watch this beautiful lesson on Rajab by Habib Khadhim translated by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa
http://youtu.be/oxy62lB8I4o

True Life, A lesson on Hamza (May God be pleased with him) – Habib Umar bin Hafiz


Habib Umar talks about the meaning of true life. He reflects on the story of Sayyiduna Hamza and how he attained true life through love of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)

Allah says:

He was dead and then We gave him life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men.

This is the sign of the people of truth, those whom we have guided, signs appear on them.
Life and death in this context are spiritual.
They have nothing to do with physical life and death.

“He was dead”

He was a disbeliever and We gave him life through Islam,
He was an innovator and We gave him life through the Sunnah
He was in disobedience and We gave him life through repentance and obedience.
He was heedless and We gave him life through remembrance.

There are different degrees, the soul has the capacity to attain knowledge of Allah. But before it gains knowledge it is in a state similar to death.
Then it gains essential knowledge and ascends, then it increases in knowledge until it possesses great light and becomes firm.

As Allah says:

We gave him life – he attained knowledge, We gave him life – he increased in knowledge,
whereby he can walk amongst men ­– he became firm.

Then he influences, benefits, and teaches others and shows them the way.

The Companions (May God be pleased with them) narrate different reasons for the revelation of this verse, although the meaning is general and applies to anyone.

One narration is that once Abu Jahl severely insulted the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his whole clan, Banu Hashim, while he was sitting with the nobles of Quraysh.
Then Sayyiduna Hamza, who was not Muslim at that point, came into Makkah.
The daughters of ‘Abd Manaf came to him and said to him:

“Will you allow this fool to insult your nephew?
Will you allow him to insult your clan and your womenfolk while you are present?
Do you not have any sense of honor?”

They stirred up his anger until he approached Abu Jahl while he was sitting with his companions.

“O Abu al-Hakam, what did you say about Muhammad?
Muhammad is more noble and greater than you!
You are a fool who worships something that cannot hear or see!
I follow his religion!
Take this!”

He struck him in the face in front of everyone.

“Return this blow if you are able!”

Abu Jahl said to his companions

“Leave him, for I have greatly insulted his nephew”

The Hamza went to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and entered Allah’s religion.

He was dead and then We gave him life

People like Hamza.
The beginning of life is defending Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Love for him is true life.
The Companions and those that came after them only attained life through love of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

He was dead and then We gave him life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men.

After announcing his Islam he spent the night wondering what he had done.
So he went to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) put his hand on his chest and read over him and his doubts were removed.
He then began calling people to Islam.

Once Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab accepted Islam,  the Muslims began praying openly in the Masjid al-Haram.
At one end of the row was Sayyiduna Umar and at the other end was Sayyiduna Hamza (May God be pleased with them).
So if one of the idol worshippers came and saw Umar at one end and Hamza at the other end he would be quiet and leave.

Allah brought them to life and through them He brought Islam to life.

Hamza then made hijrah and met the Prophet (Peace be upon him) when he arrived in al-Madinah. He continued to keep his company, he was with him at Badr and then Uhud where he was martyred (May God be pleased with him) and he attained everlasting life in the proximity of the Living, the Eternal and attained His pleasure.

For Allah’s sake his stomach was cut open, his liver was extracted and his body was mutilated.
When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw him he wept

Another narration states that the verse was revealed concerning Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab and Abu Jahl. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“O Allah, strengthen Islam with one of the two Umars: Umar ibn al-Khattab or Amr ibn Hisham (Abu Jahl).”

The prayer was answered concerning Sayyiduna Umar, so by him Allah strengthened Islam.

He was dead and then We gave him life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men.

 The like of Sayyiduna Hamza and Sayyiduna Umar are torches that guide people to the truth, as the hadith states:

“Allah placed the truth on Umar’s tongue and in his heart.”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, as narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari:

“O son of al-Khattab, I swear by the One in Whose hand is my soul, whenever the devil sees you coming, he takes a different path.”

 Can he whom We gave life and a light whereby he can walk amongst men be like him who is in the depth of darkness?

Can he be like Abu Jahl, who arrogantly denied the truth, even though he knew Muhammad was a Messenger sent by Allah?
His ignorance and arrogance caused him to reject the truth until the day he was killed in Badr.
He flexed his muscles and claimed that they would drink wine and gain eternal status among the Arabs and he was merely sealing his own destruction.

 He is in the depth of darkness, from which he can never come out.

Allah! He will never come out!
From the darkness to the blackness of the Fire!
We seek refuge in Allah!

Can he whom We gave life and a light whereby he can walk amongst men be like him who is in the depth of darkness?

No. The two things, the two groups, the two individuals are not equal.

May Allah bring us to life with the light of Iman and the light of Islam, the light of certainty, the light of knowledge of Him, the light of truthfulness, repentance, fear of Him.
Illuminate out hearts with the light of Quran, Illuminate our graves and give us light on the Day of Resurrection.

On the Day on which Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and by their right hands.

O Allah, place light in our hearts, place light in our graves, place light on our flesh, place light in our blood, place light in our bones, place light in our veins, place light in our nerves, place light in front of us, place light behind us, place light on our right, place light on our left, place light above us, place light beneath us.

Increase our light, give us light, make us light through Your mercy, O Most Merciful.

Give us everlasting life. Make us among the elite whom You have made felicitous. Give us a connection to your Prophet Muhammad which cannot be severed,
O Most Generous, O Most Merciful.