Posts

Imam Hasan and the Effect of Hajj – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

* Courtesy of Muwasala

Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge. Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said: “When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was not in him before.”

So he went to perform hajj and implemented all the sunnahs, exerted great caution and effort until the hajj had its effect upon him. Then he returned to Hadramawt and became a paragon of renunciation of worldly things (zuhd).

They told him that part of his house was falling and it needed to be repaired (houses in Hadramawt are built from mud bricks and require regular repair) but he replied that he did not need that part of the house and life was short.

He focused on teaching and preparing for the next life until one half of the house caved in. He said: “The other half of the house is sufficient.”  He carried on in this way until only one room of the house was left standing. When people criticised him, he replied with a verse of poetry:

They say your house is so small it could have been woven by a spider!

I say to them I will not live long in it and it is plenty big enough for someone who is sure to die

This is the exact opposite of what hajj does to some people. They go to hajj and they have some humility but they return with more desire and concern for worldly things. This would be a sign that their hajj has not been accepted and we seek Allah’s refuge from that.

The whole purpose of hajj is to draw us closer to Allah, the King, the Living and that we see things as they truly are.


 

The Gifts of Hajj – Habib Umar

The Meaning of Hajj

Sayyidi al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) reminds us that the linguistic meaning of Hajj is seeking or intending. Thus the people of Allah are constantly performing Hajj because they are constantly seeking Allah. Just as their whole year is Ramadan, likewise their whole year is Hajj. Just as those performing Hajj respond to the call of Allah by saying “labbayk” they are swift to respond to the call of Allah. They take themselves to account and leave that which is disliked and dubious in all their states and actions. They reject the desires of their lower selves and they are the furthest of people from that which is prohibited. They constantly receive new blessings from their Lord so they constantly renew their ihram. Day and night they make tawaf around the House of their Lord, the One to Whom they turn themselves with absolute sincerity until nothing remains in them which is directed to other than Allah.

The bounty of Allah is available at all times of the day and night. This is why Allah swears by the morning light (duha) and by the night that He has not forsaken His Beloved (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), nor is He displeased with him.

If the Hajj has not been made possible for you, join with those making Hajj and share in their reward: by spending your wealth for the sake of Allah on your relatives, on the needy, by turning to Allah with your whole being. Make numerous your footsteps to good places, especially at the time of Fajr, and you will receive glad tidings from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Give glad tidings of complete light on the Day of Judgement to those who walk constantly to the mosque in the darkness.” Those whose light is complete will no doubt be in his company (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) on the day on which Allah does not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe along with him. Their light stretches out in front of them and upon their right sides.

Ask to be present with them, and thank Allah for allowing our spirits to be with them. So many hearts in the far East or the far West receive the gifts of `Arafat and Mina because of their truthfulness with Allah.

 

Actions That Carry the Reward of Hajj

Nothing of course can equal actually performing the Hajj and worshipping Allah in those blessed places. However, since Allah knows that many people long to make Hajj every year but are unable to do so out of His generosity He made the reward for certain actions similar to the reward of a supererogatory Hajj.

1. Remembering Allah from Fajr until Ishraq. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever who prays Subh (Fajr) in congregation and then sits in the place where he prayed remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rakats has the reward of a complete Hajj and `Umrah.” He repeated “complete” three times.

2. Attending a gathering of knowledge. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the reward of a complete Hajj.”

3. Going to the mosque for the congregational prayer. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever performs ablution in his house and then goes out to perform the obligatory prayer in the mosque has a reward similar to the reward of a Hajj pilgrim. Whoever goes out to perform the mid-morning prayer (Duha) has a reward similar to the reward of the one performing `Umrah.”

4. Performing the Friday Prayer. Sa`id bin al-Musayyib said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory Hajj.”

5. Performing the Eid Prayer. One of the Companions said: “Going out to pray Eid al-Fitr is equal to performing `Umrah and going out to pray Eid al-Adha is equal to performing Hajj.”

6. Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister. Hasan al-Basri said: “Going to fulfil the need of your brother is better for you than performing Hajj after Hajj.”

7. Being good to your parents. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) commanded one of the Companions to be good to his mother. If you do so, he said: “You are a Hajj pilgrim, a person performing `Umrah and someone striving for the sake of Allah (mujahid).”

8. Performing obligatory actions. The slave can only draw near to Allah by performing supererogatory actions after first having performed that which is obligatory. This includes purifying one’s heart from forbidden attributes and guarding one’s tongue and limbs from committing forbidden actions. All of this is much harder on the lower self than many supererogatory acts of worship.

Finally there is no action more beloved to Allah on the Day of Eid than making a sacrifice. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told his beloved daughter Sayyida Fatima al-Zahra that she would be forgiven for her previous wrongdoings with the first drop of blood to be shed from the sacrificed animal. She asked if this reward was specifically for the household of the Prophet and he replied: “For us and for all the Muslims.”

How Does a Seeker of Knowledge Attain Openings? – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

* Courtesy of Muwasala.org

Habib Umar bin Hafiz advises seekers how to attain openings in their studies.

Seekers must abide by the etiquettes of seeking knowledge. They must spend time reviewing what they have studied with fellow students and write down important points which they learn.

They should call upon Allah by His names the Opener, the All-Knowing 100 times a day:

يا فَتَّاحُ يا عَلِيمُ

Ya Fattāḥ ya `Alīm

They should also repeat Ayat al-Kursi followed by this prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ :

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ عَلى سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلي آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ في كُلِّ لَمْحَةٍ وَ نَفَسٍ بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ  مَعْلومٍ لَكَ

Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala ali sayyidina Muhammad fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin bi `adadi kulli ma`lumin lak

O Allah, bestow prayers and peace on our master Muhammad and his Family in every instant and every breath equal to the amount of everything known to You

Ten Ways to Prepare for Ramadan From Now

With Ramadan just around the corner, many of us are looking for ways to make sure that this will be the year we change, writes Nour Merza. With this in mind, here are ten ways to prepare yourself for Ramadan.

1. Make the right intention

Beginning right now, make an intention that this Ramadan will be a time of great spiritual effort and sincerity. To help turn that intention into reality, make checklists of both daily goals for Ramadan (read a section of Quran or a beneficial lecture every day, etc.) and goals for the overall month (visit a home for the elderly, invite two non-Muslim friends for a chance to experience iftar, etc.).

See What Is the Intention” in The Complete Guide to Fasting

2. Prepare your body

Make sure you are up to par physically by adjusting the amount and quality of your food intake. Start by eliminating snacks and have smaller meals in the weeks leading up to Ramadan. Also reduce your caffeine intake so that the lack of your morning coffee or afternoon tea doesn’t debilitate you in the first few days of the holy month. Of course, if you’re fasting during the month of Sha’baan, you’re halfway there.

See: Ramadan Detox for a Healthy Ramadan – Dr. Rehan Zaidi of MysticMedicine

3. Review all medical situations before Ramadan

Make sure to get your medical business in order before Ramadan arrives. If you suffer from a particular illness, check with a doctor, preferably one who understands the importance of fasting, on whether fasting is a reasonable option for you. If you are taking medication, ask your doctor if you can take your doses during non-fasting hours instead of during the day. Also, check if there are options to take your medication via injection instead of orally, as in the Hanafi school injections do not break your fast.

See: When Does an Illness Allow One To Break The Fast?

4. Observe voluntary fasts

Voluntary (nafl) fasts are a great way to help prepare the mind, body and soul for Ramadan. If you can do it, follow the Prophetic sunna and fast the month of Shaaban, which comes just before Ramadan. If that proves too difficult, try to implement some of these other sunnas: fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, or fasting on the ‘white days’ of each Islamic month: the 13th, 14th and 15th.

See: Should I Fast on the White Days or Mondays and Thursdays?, and Merits of Sha’ban Muwasala

5. Increase Quran recitation

Many people aim to do a complete reading of the Quran at least once during Ramadan. If you don’t have a habit of reading the Quran daily, take this as an opportunity to incorporate that habit into your life. This will enable you to read longer sections of the book during Ramadan. Even if doing a complete reading of the Quran during Ramadan is too difficult, making a habit of reading one page or even a few verses a day will bring many blessings during the holy month and afterwards, as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The most beloved of actions to Allah are the most consistent ones, even if in little amount.”

See: Our Relationship with the Quran – Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

6. Perform extra prayers

prepare for Ramadan

Credits: Ccarlstead

If you have no missed obligatory prayers to make up, start to pray voluntary sunna prayers to prepare yourself for the extra prayers that take place in Ramadan. If you do have missed obligatory prayers, use the time you would give to the sunna prayers to make some of them up. Don’t feel that you are missing out on the opportunity to do voluntary sunnas, because God says in the famous Hadith Jibreel, “My servant draws near to Me by nothing more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory on him.”

See: Informative to Transformative: How to Upgrade Your Prayer, and Praying the Confirmed Sunnas with Make-Ups: I Feel Overwhelmed.

7. Give charity

Use the weeks leading up to Ramadan to increase your acts of charity, be that in the form of giving money to needy people or worthy causes. These could be anything from sponsoring a Syrian refugee family, to  supporting scholars and students of sacred knowledge through SeekersHub’s #SpreadLight campaign. Giving charity is a way to purify your wealth, and you can enter the month of Ramadan in a greater state of purity. It also opens doors for great good in your life, for the Prophet (pbuh) has told us, “Allah says, ‘Spend, O son of Adam, you will also be spent on.’”

See: How Much Should I Give in Charity?

8. Engage in service (khidma)

Spend some time before Ramadan to find a local charity or community service opportunity to work with, whether it be in an Islamic environment or in the wider community. If you begin well before Ramadan starts, you will adjust to the environment before you begin fasting, so that you can explain to co-workers  why you can’t join them for a coffee break or a meal.

See: The Roots of Fruitful Service and Seven Counsels for Successful Service and Activism – Advice from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

9. Focus on your character

Imam al-Ghazali discusses the inner dimensions of the fast in his Revival of the Religious Sciences , which you can observe before Ramadan arrives. He mentioned that one must learn to fast with all the limbs, from all that harms the heart. You can, for example, avoid certain television shows to keep the eyes from seeing nudity, leave particular conversations to keep the ears from hearing foul language, and control the ego to keep the tongue from argument or backbiting. The inner fast is among the most important aspects of fasting Ramadan and is often more difficult than the physical fast from food, water and sexual relations, so the earlier you begin to practice this, the better.

See: The Inner Dimensions of Fasting – Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

10. Organize your life to minimize waste, overconsumption and the ills that come with this

One of the major concerns about how Muslims practice Ramadan today is the high level of overconsumption and waste that takes place during the holy month – a reality which is completely antithetical to the Prophetic tradition. Imam Zaid Shakir and others have spoken about ‘greening’ Ramadan as practiced today in the Muslim community, while Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad has suggested that Muslims use Ramadan to support ethical, fairtrade companies.

prepare for Ramadan

Credits: Mathew Paul Argall

Imam Zaid’s mosque in Oakland, California offers a great model for doing this. With a little bit of extra organization and commitment, communal iftars are served on borrowed crockery and silverware (from friends, neighbors or a local Muslim restaurant) instead of their disposable variation. Washable handclothes are used instead of paper towels. The amount of trash saved by these actions – especially over the course of the month – is enormous, and embodies the Prophetic example of being, as the Quran describes, “a mercy to all the worlds.” See: Global Warming and Wasterfulness

Written by Nour Merza. Cover photo by Oliver Hegenbarth.

Reflections on Isra’ (Night Journey) and Mi’raj (Ascension) – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

This article is sourced from Muwasala: Click here for the original post

Every created thing longed to have its portion of Allah’s Beloved (Peace be upon him). It was not until he (Peace be upon him) made his Mi’raj that the heavens got their portion of him.
— Al-Habib- Abdul Qadir Al Saggaf

Importance of Isra’ and Mi’raj

We are approaching the night on which the Islamic world traditionally celebrates the Isrā’ (Night Journey) and Mi`rāj (Ascension) of our Prophet, the Chosen One ﷺ. The Isrā’ and Mi`rāj was a great sign and an immense miracle which Allah gave to the Master of the people of the heavens and the earth, to demonstrate his superiority over mankind, jinn-kind, angels and the whole of creation. There are great lessons in the events that took place and a means of increasing in belief and certitude.
The scholars say that the best night in relation to the Ummah as a whole was the night on which the Prophet was born, whereas the best night in relation to the Prophet himself was the night of the Isrā’ and Mi`rāj.

Trials and Tribulations

Prior to this night the Prophet had displayed great patience in the face of hardship and it is one of Allah’s wisdoms that He bestows His gifts accompanied with hardships.
Allah says: They encountered suffering and adversity and were shaken such that the Messenger and those of faith who were with him said: “When will Allah’s assistance come?” Truly Allah’s assistance is always near.[1]
At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah said that the worst treatment that he received from the disbelievers was his violent rejection at the hands of the people of al-Ṭā’if. Most of the scholars of the Sīrah say that that the Isrā’ and Mi`rāj took place shortly after this, a year prior to the Hijrah on the 27th night of the month of Rajab.[2]

Preparation & Journey

The Prophet ﷺ saw some of the events of the Isrā’ and Mi`rāj in his dreams as a preparation for them before the events actually occurred. Some people claim that all the events of the Isrā’ and Mi`rāj took place in a dream state but this is not the case: the Prophet experienced them with his body and soul. Had the Isrā’ been merely something the Prophet experienced in his dream, the disbelievers of Quraysh would not have had difficulty accepting it. They would not have asked: “How can you have travelled to Jerusalem last night and be with us in Makkah this morning?”
Allāh says: Transcendent is the One Who caused His slave to travel by night from al-Masjid al-Ḥarām to al-Masjid al-Aqṣā.[3] Allāh tends to express His transcendence before mentioning a great affair which is beyond what people are accustomed to.
When Allāh wished to speak to Sayyidunā Mūsā, He told him to wait thirty days and then a further ten days: We appointed for Mūsā thirty nights and we completed (the period) with ten more.[4]
Allāh, however, did not tell His Beloved to wait. Rather His order came suddenly, without any warning. The Prophet’s chest was split open and his heart was washed and filled with knowledge and forbearance. The Burāq was then brought to him. Allāh could have caused him to travel without the Burāq, but it was a means of honouring and ennobling him. Jibrīl said to the Burāq after some initial obstinacy: “Are you not ashamed, O Burāq? By Allāh, no one more noble in the sight of Allāh has ever ridden you!”
The Prophet stopped in a number of places on the Isrā’ to emphasise the importance of visiting the places in which Allah bestowed His bounties upon His pious slaves. He was ordered to seek to draw close to Allah by praying near the tree where Allah spoke to Mūsā, by praying at Mount Ṭūr, where Allah gave revelation to Mūsā, and at Bayt Laḥm, where Īsā was born.
The whole earth was made a place of prayer and prostration for the Prophet so what was the significance of him praying in those places if it was not seeking blessings (tabarruk) and spiritual assistance from them? It is also narrated in Saḥīḥ Muslim that he visited the grave of Mūsā and witnessed him praying in his grave. He said to his Companions: “If I was there I would have showed you his grave.” He was thus teaching his Ummah the importance of knowing the location of the graves of the Prophets and thus the importance of visiting them.
While on his journey, someone called him on his right side but he did not respond. Jibrīl informed him that this was the caller of the Jews, and had he responded, his Ummah would have followed the way of the Jews. Then someone called him on his left side and once again he did not respond. Jibrīl informed him that this was the caller of the Christians, and had he responded, his Ummah would have followed the way of the Christians. Thus, in spite of all the efforts of the Christians to convert people to Christianity, the Ummah remains in Allāh’s care and protection due to the steadfastness of the Prophet ﷺ.
He was called a third time, and once again he did not respond. Jibrīl informed him that it was the dunyā or the material world calling him, and had he responded, his Ummah would have chosen this life over the next. The dunyā then appeared to him in the form of an old woman. Jibrīl informed him that all that remained of the life of this world before the Day of Judgement is like the time this old woman had left to live. We witness all the wars and struggles that take place and in reality this life is like an old woman on the verge of death and ahead of us is the next life! May Allāh give us the best of endings! Due to the Prophet’s refusal to respond to the callings of the dunyā, there remain to this day people who know its worthlessness.

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺled the Prophets in prayer in al-Masjid al-Aqṣā. Jibrīl informed him that the soul of every prophet sent by Allāh from the time of Ādam to the time of Īsā was brought to pray behind him so that they would come to know the station of their master, Muḥammad. He was the imām who led all the prophets and angels in prayer. Why do we not make him our imām?
SONY DSC

The Ascent to Heaven

The Prophet then ascended from heaven to heaven. The angels in the heavens had been informed that he would come and it was their opportunity to be honoured by meeting him just as his Companions had that honour on the earth. The people of the earth threw stones at him and insulted him but the people of the heavens gave him the warmest of welcomes. In the Prophet’s meeting with his father Ādam and the other Prophets in the various heavens there is a lesson. In spite of the Prophet’s superiority over them, he was still ordered to greet them. There was no-one less in need of anyone else than him but he met them and displayed great etiquette and manifested his slave-hood to his Lord.
Among the things he witnessed was people who turned down freshly cooked meat and chose to eat putrid rotting meat. He was told that this was like those who leave that which is lawful and choose that which is unlawful. He saw people’s heads being smashed with rocks. As soon as their heads were smashed they would be restored and then smashed again and so on. He was told these were the people who were too lazy to pray the obligatory prayer.
He ascended to al-Bayt al-Ma`mūr, which resembles the Ka`bah above the seventh heaven. It lies directly above the Ka`bah, and every day 70,000 angels enter it. The Prophet entered it and prayed in it, along with the spirits of some of the elect of Allah. Then he came to al-Sidrat al-Muntahā, a tree whose size and beauty is indescribable. Were one of its leaves to fall it would cover the heavens and the earth. This is the end point of the knowledge of creation.
It was here that Jibrīl stopped. He said that if he went any further, he would burn but he told the Prophet to continue his journey alone.

The Divine Meeting

He duly ascended to the Throne of Allah and fell into prostration. Mūsā had been ordered to remove his sandals when Allah spoke to him, but the Beloved was not ordered to do so. Allah then ordered him to raise his head and he addressed Allah: “Greetings, blessings and the best of prayers to Allah.”
Allah responded: “Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.”
At this point, when Allah was manifesting Himself to him, the Prophet wished to remember the pious members of his Ummah and the previous nations. He said: “Peace be upon us and upon Allah’s pious slaves.”
The angels of the heavens then cried out: “We testify that there is no deity other than Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.”
When Allāh spoke to him, He said: “I have taken you as My beloved and I have expanded your heart and raised high the esteem in which you are held so that whenever I am mentioned you are mentioned with Me. I made your nation the best of nations and I made them the last and the first on the Day of Judgement. I made you the first prophet to be created and the last to be sent.” Allāh thus spoke gently to His Beloved and reminded him of His blessings upon him. He said things to Him which only He knows.

The Blessed Gift

AllahHe made fifty prayers compulsory on his nation. This was eventually reduced to five with the reward of fifty. Are those who are unable to perform the five not ashamed of their Lord? What would they have done if it was fifty prayers that they had to perform? Allāh made five prayers compulsory upon His slaves, in which there is the opportunity to converse with Allāh and draw close to Him. “The closest the slave is to his Lord is when he is in prostration.”
The Prophet was blessed with the vision of his Lord, a blessing which no-one else will receive until they enter Paradise. The vision cannot be understood in a conventional way since Allah is transcendent and cannot be limited to a place or direction. Some Muslims deny that the vision of Allah is possible and we agree with them that the vision of Allah in a conventional sense is impossible. However, we understand the vision of Allah to be something far greater than that, a pure manifestation of Allah’s light, which is indescribable.
Sayyidunā Mūsā was keen to receive some of the light that was on the face of the Prophet ﷺ who himself had just seen his Lord. Mūsā had asked to see Allah while on the earth but his request was not granted. He thus took as much light as he could from the Prophet’s face. The Prophet ﷺ informed us that there will come a time when the Muslims will seek victory through people who had seen him, and later through people who have seen people who have seen him.[5] This shows us that secrets are transmitted through the vision of people’s faces.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺremained firm while witnessing all the things that he witnessed: His vision did not stray, nor did it go wrong[6]; His heart did not lie about what it saw, for truly did he see, of the signs of his Lord, the greatest.[7]
All of this took place in a few instants. So little time had elapsed that the place where he had been sleeping was still warm. All of these are amazing examples of divine power. We are so accustomed to the pattern of cause and effect and the laws of creation that we tend to forget the presence of divine power in everything. In reality the things which we regard to be normal are miraculous – our sitting and standing, our eating and drinking.
Allah says: Do you see the water which you drink? Did you bring it down from the clouds or did We?[8]
May Allah bestow prayers upon the one who made this awesome journey and may He resurrect us with him. Make us among those who are truthful in their following of him. Do not deprive us of the vision of him in this life, the Barzakh and the next life. Allow us to see the face of the one who You allowed to see Your countenance so that we are ready to see Your countenance in the abode of Your pleasure.

[1] Al-Baqarah, 2:214
[2] In the Islamic calendar the night precedes the day, so what is meant is the night before the 27th day
[3] Al-Isrā’ 17:1
[4] Al-A`rāf, 7:142
[5] Narrated by al-Bukhāri
[6] Al-Najm, 53:17-18
[7] Al-Najm, 53:11
[8] Al-Wāqi`ah, 56:68

Acquisition of the Clear Light: Part 4

This is the fourth part of a series of translations of Habib Umar’s work, Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin, an abridgment of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din.Qabs al-Nur al-Mubin

This chapter describes the levels of faith and how to achieve certainty.

Purification of the Heart

The objective of all pious acts and deeds of the limbs is purification, cleansing and clearing of the heart. Allah Most High says: “Success is for he who purifies it.” (Sura al-Shams 91:9). 

The meaning of its purification is “the obtaining of the lights of faith”. Allah Most High says: “As for the one whom Allah wants to guide, he expands his breast towards Islam.” (Sura al-An’aam 6:125). He the Most High says: “Is the one whom Allah has expanded his breast towards Islam, he is upon the Light from his Lord.”( Sura al-Zumar 39:22)

This clearance and faith is of three levels:  

  1. Faith of the laymen, which is implementation through mere imitation.
  2. Faith of the theologians, which is blended with logical reasoning.
  3. Faith of the gnostics, which is clarity through the light of certainty.

An example of this:

Your belief that Zayd is in the house is of 3 levels:

First stage: To be informed about this by a person who you have proved his honesty and not known dishonesty from him, nor have you ever doubted his word. Therefore your heart is tranquil towards him and finds serenity in his information. This is what is referred to as mere imitation, which is the faith of the laymen.

Second stage: To be inside the house and hear Zayd’s words and voice from behind a wall, so it will be a means of proof to you of his presence in the house. As a result, your faith and belief will be stronger than only merely being informed.

Third stage: To enter the house thereafter, and see and witness him with your very own eyes. This is the real understanding and the certain witnessing, similar to the understanding of those drawn near and the truthful servants, because their belief is based on witnessing.

So equip and prepare yourself by purification of the heart, continuous remembrance and blockage of the devil’s entries towards the heart.

He (the Prophet) Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “The unique have advanced.” It was said: “Who are the unique O Messenger of Allah?” He, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Those men and women who remember Allah abundantly.”(Tirmidhi) Another narration says: “Those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allah. Those who consistently remember Him.” (Tabarani)

Allah Most High says: “… and those that strive in Our path, We will surely guide them to our path.” (Sura ‘Ankabuut 29:69).

Every wisdom which manifests from the heart after consistent worship, without any seeking of knowledge, arrives by way of inspiration. Allah Most High says: “…and the one who fears Allah, He will create for him a way out.” (Surah al-Talaaq 65:2), meaning from problems and doubt. “…and grants him provision through unperceived means.” (Surah al-Talaaq 65:3). It means that He teaches him Knowledge without studies or though experience and He Most High says: “O you who believe, if you fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion…” (Sura al-Anfaal 8:29). It is said that: It is a light which distinguishes between truth and falsehood, therefore it removes him from doubt.

He, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to frequently supplicate for light by saying: “O Allah illuminate me light, increase me in illumination, illuminate my heart, illuminate my grave, illuminate my hearing, illuminate my sight,” until he says: “a likewise, my hair, my skin, my flesh, my blood and my bones.” This has been mentioned in al-Sahihayn of the Hadith of Ibn Abbas, May Allah be pleased with them both. (Bukhari and Muslim)

  Ali, may Allah be Pleased with him and ennoble his face, said: “We don’t have any secrets which the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, confided in us, except that Allah bestows understanding to a servant of his book. (Bukhari, Nasa’i)  This is not through studying.”

It has been said regarding the exegesis of Allah Most High saying: “He Provides wisdom to whoever He decrees.” (Sura al-Baqarah 2:269), it refers to an understanding in the book of Allah. (Tirmidhi)

He , Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Fear the foresight of a believer, for verily he sees by Light from Allah.” (Tirmidhi) al-Hasan narrated from the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, that he said: “Knowledge is of two types: Knowledge which is located in the heart which is beneficial knowledge and knowledge which is located on the tongue which is a proof against his creation.(Tirmidhi, al-Hakim)

al-Bukhari narrated it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah and Muslim from the hadith of ‘Aisha that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “There were recipients of Divine inspiration among the nations before you. If it happens that there is such an individual among my nation, it must be ‘Umar.”       


This is part four of a translation of al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz’s abridgment of Ihya Ulum al-Din by Imam al-Ghazali entitled Acquisition of the Clear Light, not only provides the reader with a concise understanding of the Ihya but also serves as clear guideline to the main themes and focal points within the actual book.

Translator: Abdullah Salih, converted to Islam in 2003 and thereafter, embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge in the Valleys of Hadramouth in the beautiful city of Tarim. He was fortunate enough to sit in the company of Habib Umar, where he studied under him various sciences such as, but not limited to, some of the original works of Ihya as well that of the abridgment. He now resides in Namibia with his family and is engaged in Dawah activities locally as well as internationally.


 

What Is the Etiquette to Follow for a Woman Towards a Male Teacher? (Habib Umar)

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

What are the shariah boundaries regarding the interaction between a female student and her male teacher?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

The shariah boundaries are those that were present in the interaction between the greatest teacher (Peace be Upon Him) and the women folk of his ummah who used to ask him, discourse with him, seek clarification from him and benefit from him. They are the ones who used to attend his preachings, sessions and sermons while sitting behind the men. The following are the boundaries that were upheld by the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and were followed thereafter by the rightly guided caliphs:

-She is not to show any of her physical beauties to him

-She is not be with him alone by themselves because the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said: “Let none of you be with a woman alone even if he was teaching her Quran and even if she were Mary the daughter of Imran”.

-She is not to divulge any of her secrets to him unless it is related to something obligatory or prohibited (in the shariah) that he is teaching her.

-She is to avoid softening her voice when talking to him.

-She is to fear Allah in her speech and dealings with him as it is the case for him (he is to fear Allah in dealing with her) for he (the teacher) is a “foreign” man i.e. not among her unmarriageable kin and so he is to be treated as such. For example whatever she must conceal of her body from a “foreign” man she must also conceal from him.

It is then to be known that the teacher has a high and lofty rank; he is indeed like a father when it comes to giving advice, training and counseling about important matters but not when it comes to permissibility of seeing his female students’ physical traits that are only permissible to their unmarriageable kin nor when it comes to being alone with them. In other words his fatherhood is a spiritual and metaphorical one that entails mutual religious benefit (in knowledge and spirituality).

And so he should wish for each of his female students to be at a high rank of understanding and spirituality just as he wishes this for his own daughter.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

Translated by Abdullah Alrajhy

I Cannot Stop Looking at Unlawful Sights, What Can I Do? (Habib Umar)

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

I cannot stop looking at unlawful sights, what am I supposed to do?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

The reality is that every accountable person (a Muslim adult with a sound mind) can and is able to avoid looking at unlawful sights but it is his nafs that overpowers him and if he were to seek Allah’s help to overpower it (his nafs) he would indeed triumph against it. In fact if it were impossible to do (in other words beyond the human’s ability) Allah would not have commanded us with it in the first place. It is not impossible, however the person must condition and prepare himself to be able to overpower it i.e. his nafs regarding this situation through the following steps:

1- Keeping company of righteous and God fearing people

2- Keeping up with beneficial religion shows (TV/Radio)

3- Identifying the places/periods which allow the entry of evil thoughts and evil sights so that he can avoid the places and fill the periods with beneficial alternatives

4- Abundance of remembrance of Allah and remembering one’s final destination (grave, day of judgement, meeting Allah, etc.). Refer to Surah 7 verse 201.

5- Continuously working hard to remove this desire from the nafs by nurturing the emotions of longing for closeness to Allah, longing for happiness in the dunya through drowning in the special gnosis and love of Allah and longing for eternal happiness in the afterlife in the abode like which no has seen and no one has heard and no one has even imaged.

6- Desiring to have burning longing for the most Merciful and keeping the company of his Beloved (The Prophet peace be upon him) who is the best of all creation.

7- Abundance of remembering Allah especially through the direct words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) narrated to us in the books of hadith and adhkar, abundance of invoking Allah’s name (Allah) and sending salutations upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) and abundantly asking Allah for forgiveness.

8- Let the point of your gaze be pondering upon creation, reflecting upon Allah’s signs in creation, loving and longing for the holy Ka’ba, the holy Rawda, the room where the Prophet’s body lies and dearly hoping to see the face of the Chosen one and his companions and the righteous saints.

And know that whenever the one seeking Allah’s help proves to be truthful and sincere, Allah’s concern will be extended to him through making the difficult easy, removing the veils from him, alleviating darkness and shining the lights in his heart.

Allah alone gives success.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

Translated by Abdullah Alrajhy

Habib Ali al Jifri and the Man Who Killed His Teacher

Habib Ali al Jifri tells the story of the day he met the man who killed his teacher and unfolds it into a lesson on showing mercy to those who wrong us.

I was in Aden.

Someone who was one of the leaders of the regime which killed scholars in this blessed valley [of Hadramawt] was present in a gathering I was in. Fate had it that I should meet him.

This man was one of the key suspects in the abduction of my master, the Imam and Martyr, Habib Muhammad ibn Salim ibn Hafiz. On merely seeing him and being told who he was, I felt extremely uncomfortable. This is human nature.

It was difficult for me to talk to him even for the sake of dawah. I confess this is a mistake and a shortcoming. Regardless of how much I love my teachers, calling to Allah is a duty which dictates we speak to everyone whoever they are.

All of a sudden, he came up to me and said: “I want to repent. How do I go about this?”
I tried to contain myself so I could answer his questions. Tried to smile so I would not turn him away from the truth.

After I returned from the gathering, I still felt uncomfortable. So I phoned my master, Habib Umar, and told him about this person. He asked: “What does he want?”

I said: “He approached me saying he wants to repent to Allah. I knew you would tell me to call him to Allah, but I had great difficulty speaking to him and I disapproved of my state.”

He said: “Ali, fulfill Allah’s right upon you in guiding him to Allah. Bring forth mercy and concern for him from your heart. As for you disliking being in his company or looking at him, turn it into hatred for his actions and not for him as a person.”

“The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, accepted Wahshi’s Islam even though he had killed his uncle Hamza but he found it difficult to look at him. So he said: ‘Let him not show his face to us.’”

These words are priceless.

These words are priceless, because the one who said them is talking about a man who did the greatest evil to him: he caused him to lose his father and caused the family to be split up.

Yet look at how he applied the Prophetic principle. He immediately brought to mind the statement of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace: “Let him not show his face to us.”

This is what Habib Abu Bakr al Adani speaks of regarding the concept of trying to find a precedent from the life of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, for every event that occurs.

 


With gratitude to Muwasala.


How to Fall in Love With Allah – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

There is none more deserving of your love than the Most Merciful Who created you and originated you from nothingness, and bestowed blessings upon you. Love comes from knowing, says Habib Umar. So know Allah.

The extent to which one knows the Tremendousness and Might of Allah, and His Beauty and Perfection, and His Excellence and gifts upon one, is the extent to which one knows and loves one’s Lord.

The love of a believer is not complete until they love Allah and His Messenger above all else. Allah Mighty and Majestic is the one who said to His Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, addressing us, “Say: If your fathers, sons, brothers, wives, tribes, the wealth you have amassed, the trade you fear will decline, and the dwellings you love are dearer to you than Allah and HIs Messenger and the struggle in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His punishment. Allah does not guide those who break away.” (Sura al Tawba 9:24)

Here Allah is pointing out the corruption of those who love any of these things more than Allah and His Messenger. Then one must love those beloved to Allah and the most deserving of this love is the greatest of Allah’s creation, His beloved slave, Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace. The reality of this love cannot be expressed nor encompassed.

The States of Love for Allah

A person in love with other than Allah has many expressions and states. It is a great matter. One gets enraptured and taken, and love overtakes all one’s emotions and thoughts. So what then when one loves the Greatest and Most Generous? What then when one loves the Most Exalted and Most beautiful? What then when one loves Allah?

Allah says, in mentioning this reality: “Even so, there are some who choose to worship others beside Allah as rivals to Him, loving them with love. But those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah.” (Sura al Baqara 2:165)

Knowledge Is the Path to True Love

The extent to which one has faith in and knows is the extent of one’s love. For faith is tied to knowing. The extent to which one’s faith increases one’s knowing increases. Knowing Allah is acquired through

    1. Proper reflection and contemplation of the speech of Allah and His Messenger, blessing and peace be upon him.
    2. Sincerely directing oneself to Him and standing at the door of His bounty and grace through what He has ordained of acts of worship.
    3. Reflecting on the tremendousness of His Names and Attributes, and reflecting on His Creation and His fashioning, exalting thereby their Originator and Unique Creator.

If one’s reflection becomes good and its horizons expand, then one’s knowledge of Allah increases. And with an increase in knowledge of Allah there is an increase in love of Allah. When love increases then remembrance increases. And with much remembrance one’s intimacy increases, and that gives one purity of knowing and inner purity.

With much reflection on the tremendousness of the Exalted and Great one’s knowledge increases and is strengthened and becomes more expansive. And with the expansion of one’s knowledge of Allah, one’s love becomes more expansive and stronger until Allah and His messenger become more beloved to one than all else.

This is how you fall in love with Allah.


Our esteemed Scholar Habib Umar bin Hafiz was born and rasied in Tarim, Hadramaut, in the Republic of Yemen, on the 27 May 1963. He memorized the Magnificent Quran and was reared in a pious fashion, in the care of his father, in an environment of knowledge, faith and virtuous character.

Find out more about SeekersHub Global at http://seekershub.org/

Support SeekersHub Global as it reaches over 10,000 students each term through its completely free online courses, through Knowledge Without Barriers. Make a donation, today. Every contribution counts, even if small: http://seekershub.org/donate/