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The Scholar Who Worked as a Waiter – Habib Umar

* Courtesy of Muwasala

One of our teachers was Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al-Attas, a scholar and a true worshipper. He was known as ‘al-Zabidi’ because he spent some years studying with the scholars of Zabid (once a great centre of knowledge in Yemen). During his time there he chose to work as a waiter in a restaurant, not because he needed the money, but in order to refine his lower self (nafs): running round taking people’s orders, bring this, do this..

We visited him in his home in Huraydah at the end of his life with a group of scholars: among them Habib Mashhur bin Hafiz, Habib Umar bin Alawi al-Kaf, Habib Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Shihab and Habib Salim al-Shatiri.

He said:

“Last night someone saw the Prophet ﷺ in this very room.”

May Allah have mercy upon him – a scholar who knew the importance of refining the nafs.

– Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) during his commentary on the Ihya Ulum al-Din, Dar al-Mustafa, 28th Dhu’l-Qa’dah 1440.


 

Exploring Tawhid: Islam as a Universal Civilization

Shaykh Seraj Hendricks reflects on the profound meanings and realities of the concept of tawhid, beginning with the words: La ilaha illa Allah.

The defining statement of Islam “La ilaha illa Allah” (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah), captures the inherent civilization of oneness and unicity upon which Islam is built. This unicity is accompanied with a sense of the sacred ontology of spirituality; that is, the very nature of our reality and our being – when viewed through the lens of tawhid – is that our essence is sacred. It mirrors tawhid. One of our shortcomings is that we have externalized spirituality and abandoned its internalization. There is therefore a dire need to re-inject Islam with this awareness of inner spirituality – a need that demands the re-exploration of the very notion of tawhid.

Allah says:

The one who has indeed succeeded is the one who purifies himself, remembers his Lord and prays. But you prefer the worldly life, while the Hereafter is better and more enduring. Indeed, this is in the former scriptures, the scriptures of Abraham and Moses. (Sura al-A‘la 87:14-19)

The Qur’an promotes purification and tazkiya (cleansing) of the self through dhikr (spiritual remembrance) and du’a (invocation), and states categorically that the Akhira (the afterlife) is better for us than the Dunya (material existence). Yet we as human beings have come to prefer and prioritize the Dunya – some to the point of abandoning the Akhira altogether. The Qur’an then reinforces the universality of this message by stating that it is one that has been confirmed in the earlier scriptures.

However, the “self-image” of the Qur’an is highly pragmatic in that it deals with realities, emotions, people and communities. It recognizes the palpable context of the Dunya – whilst the message is clear that the Akhira is better, it does not condemn the Dunya. On the contrary, it views our earthly existence as a “Dar al-Balah” – as an abode of trials in which we will be tested.

Furthermore, Allah declares:

He who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deeds: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving. (Sura al Mulk 67:2)

The sequence of this verse (ayat) places “death” before “life”, reminding us firstly that death is both a creation of Allah and a transition to the next life, and not merely a lifeless condition of absolute nothingness. But in its pragmatism, the Qur’an also reminds us of our earthly responsibilities:

Do not forget your portion in the Dunya. (Sura al-Qasas 28:77)

And thus we recognize the profoundness of one of our most oft-repeated supplications:

Our Lord, grant us the best of this Dunya [world] and the best of the Akhira [the hereafter]. (Sura al-Baqara 2:201)

It is in this reflective state of the believers, who ask and seek for the best of both “worlds”, that we find ourselves as an “ummatan wasatan”, a balanced community … a community dynamically located in this world but with a supremacy of focus on the world to come. In this regard, all of us, as men and as women, have two roles to play: that of Ubudiyyah (being the bondsmen of Allah) and that of Khilafa (being representatives/vicegerents of Allah) in this world.

Wasatiyyah thus becomes a balancing act between these two functions, because if we prioritize our Khilafa and forget that we are the servants of Allah, we may become tyrannical. On the other hand, if we immerse ourselves only in Ubudiyyah, then we forget our social responsibilities towards our communities; or even collapse into form of servility unbecoming of our dignity as human beings. To embody these two roles and become communities of equilibrium and justice, we must locate ourselves within a spirituo-moral locus of Islam as a “Way of Being” before our conception of it as “a Way of Life” – which is a somewhat externalised way of viewing and practising the Deen (Religion as a “way of being” and “becoming” in consonance with the Divine Principle of tawhid). As a ‘Way of Being’, it presents us with the potential to change and to transform internally. This perspective finds a powerful resonance within the Qur’an where it states:

Allah will not change the external conditions of a people until they change that which is within themselves. (Sura al-Ra‘ad 13:11)

We often focus excessively on changing the conditions outside of ourselves – and those of others. Immersed in our dunyawi (worldly) delusions, we have externalized and exteriorized change and transformation to our detriment. This attitude constitutes the “heart” of self-righteousness. And so it is that we fail to realize that it is only when we change that which resides within ourselves – within the very core of our hearts and minds and souls – that Allah will change our external conditions and allow us to be the vessels of that social change.

Further emphasizing the importance of our internal realities, Allah says:

Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. (Sura al-Fussilat 41:53)

We will only be able to read these ayaat ­- these symbols and signs of Allah – through the process of tazkiyatu n–nafs (purification of the Self). Attempting to recognize and understand the signs and symbols of Allah is what forms the foundation of interacting with the Divine – it is what links us with spirituality. Herein lays our “identity” as Muslims. Ours is an internal, spiritually focussed and centred identity. “Identity” in Islamic Spirituality encompasses an ontology of being. It is an existential condition. To fully realise this demands a number of things: that we interrogate ourselves both spiritually and ethically; that we reflect upon and modify our conduct and comportment where necessary; and that we ask ourselves to what degree we are prepared to undergo the requisite transformation. From this point of departure, we may trace the trajectory of our Islamic “identity” along the oft-mentioned triad of the Nafs: from the Nafs al–Ammarah Bi s-Su’ (the Inciting Self) through the Nafs al-Lawwama (the Reproachful Self) to the Nafs al-Mutma’inna (Tranquil self/self at rest). It is only after we have cultivated the ability to objectively criticize ourselves (the Lawwama of the Self) that we are able to attain that serenity and inner peace – that Itmi’nan. Without this tranquillity there can be no peace between ourselves and Allah, ourselves and creation, or that sublime condition of inner peace.

It is therefore necessary that we ask ourselves important questions about the state of our Islamic education – referenced in Arabic as Tarbiyyah (to nurture, enrich, refine and cultivate). It is imperative, too, that we identify the points of reference for such a process. How – in more specific terms – and in a holistic manner, we are able to connect the idea of tawhid with Islam as a universal Din. Allah says,

The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His Will). (Sura Aal Imran 3:19)

How do we translate this into our educational models. What are the principles that underlie our educational processes?

There are three important aspects to consider:

The individual – how, for example, are individuals and individuality constituted?
Society – how do we understand the histories, the values and the norms of societies?
The content of reality – namely, its relation to both the material and spiritual contexts?

Moreover, and on the one hand, the tensions that may arise between “individuality” and “individualism” (particularly as they are often-times embraced in the contemporary world as ruthless and necessary forms of competitiveness – the corporate world providing just one of the spaces for some of its worst manifestations), and our notions of “collectivity” on the other, need to be urgently addressed. These tensions are fraught with the potential to lead to unrest and wars.

With a view to more fully grasping these complexities we need to understand that the aims and purposes (maqasid) of education are both intrinsically and intimately linked to our ultimate convictions.

We, as Muslims, need to ask ourselves and critically examine what our ultimate convictions are about human nature and society. What Quranic or Sunnic template do we need to foreground in order to express and actualize those ultimate convictions? Again it needs to be re-emphasized that as Muslims we are governed by spirituo-ethical values. These values form the foundation of the concept of adab (right and fair conduct – or virtuosity) and is far more important than ilm (knowledge), without diminishing the exalted station of knowledge in Islam in any way. As the Arabic proverb goes, “al–adab fawq al-ilm”, (adab is above knowledge), because without good conduct and virtuosity, knowledge reduces to mere information. One can be a tyrant and yet be the most learned and informed of people.

We come to realize that Islam is thus based on unity of knowledge and servitude to Allah through service to the creation, as well as the centrality of revelation, because we view the cosmos itself as reflective and symbolic of higher realities.

Islam and tawhid as our aqidah (belief and theological system), are thus synthetic in nature. It is an approach that builds towards a dynamic and regenerative concept of unity (as opposed to being merely deconstructive or reductionist). It continuously strives to inform us of the interconnectedness and wholeness of all things, of the intimacy and meaningfulness of the created order, so that we can transform both ourselves and the world within which we live. This we cannot do without the characteristics of justice, fairness and equality (for example, between males and females). In addition, if we cannot do justice to ourselves how can we do justice to others? If we cannot forgive, how can we expect to be forgiven; if we show no mercy, how can we expect mercy to be shown to us; if we cannot love, how can we expect to be loved? Even more so, the blameworthy attribute “malicious envy” (hasad), for example, is not condemned so much for the pain it causes others, but for its horrific potential to bring spiritual ruin and destruction upon the soul guilty of such envy. Allah cares for all His creation! Said the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him:

Malicious envy (hasad) destroys the goodness (hasanaat) in us in as much as fire devours wood. (Abu Dawud: Hadith 2653).

There ought to be, therefore, several natural consequences for societies who embrace and build themselves on tawhid:

1. Tawhid forces us to embrace and look to the essence of being human rather than the happenstances of our creation in which we played no part. It relegates race, ethnicity, nationality, gender and language – those things for which we are not responsible and have not come by way of acquisition. If we really internalize tawhid, it marginalizes secondary qualities and forces us to recognize the essentials of our existence and obliterate the contingencies.

2. Tawhid engenders love and mutual respect; it urges us to respect all human beings, to argue in the best of ways, and to invite to the way of Allah in the most excellent manner and with wisdom. The Quran is emphatic about this.

3. Tawhid demands from us that we both verify and establish truth. Whenever we view tawhid as an Ultimate Truth, everyday truthfulness becomes symbolic of this higher truth.) This matter of faithfulness to the truth plagues us as an ummah (community of believers). Allah says,

O you who believe! if an evil-doer comes to you with information, then first verify it, lest you harm a people in ignorance. (Sura al-Hujarat 49:6)

This is a Divine imperative, and so if we embrace tawhid we will not be easy victims of falsehood and malicious speculation; and herein lies the safeguards and protection for societies and communities that have the potential to be both wholesome and fructifying.

4. Maintaining purity and clemency in our societies – without clemency we can never establish truth and justice. Only when we internalize kindness, compassion and generosity, will we naturally strive to free ourselves from fitnah, scandals, divisiveness and arrogance. Also included here is the elimination of poverty, as poverty militates against the stability and unicity of our societies, so we should strive to empower the incapacitated and disadvantaged.

5. Respecting the freedom and the dignity of all human beings, including both personal and intellectual freedoms.

6. Implementing consultation (shura), co-operation and mutual assistance.

7. Striving for justice that is vitally alive in valuing both the rights of Allah and the rights of people and the rights owing to ourselves.

Without understanding the inherent diversity that goes along with tawhid, our aqidah becomes another form of totalitarianism and tyranny. Even those people who call themselves “muwahidun” (proponents of the Oneness of Allah) have failed to embrace the importance of diversity.

Allah says,

O humakind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may come to know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah are those of you with taqwa. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. (Sura al-Hujarat 49:13)

We need to realize that in this context Allah speaks to “humankind” and not just “believers”. That which are ultimately important are not the properties with which we are born and in which we have had no hand, but what we acquire (as mentioned earlier). The best of us and most honored of us therefore – and according to the Quran – are those who have taqwa. Taqwa is that form of higher consciousness of Allah that enables us to become both “personifications” of the highest values enunciated by the Qur’an and representatives of the most endearing qualities of Prophethood.

The most worthy qualities are those which we can acquire, not those which are the accidents of our creation (like the colors of our skins, languages, gender or nationalities). Taqwa is eminently attainable and open to all, from the poorest to the richest – it a kind of spiritual democracy, which, when we align ourselves with tawhid – we may discover and realise within ourselves that spiritual station of becoming muttaqin.

However, we cannot achieve this if we cannot embrace and live with diversity. Taqwa is available to those who are able to both live with and be enriched by diversity. Only in this way can we become the vehicles of tawhid, and hopefully align ourselves with the Will of Allah, the Most High. Unrealized (including crass modes of literalism) and superficial understandings avail nought, no matter how stringently we enact the externals of our ‘ibadah. If we cannot embrace diversity, we cannot fulfil our roles as khulafa and be true practitioners of tawhid. Says Allah, the Most High,

Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky? With it We then bring forth produce of various colors. And among the mountains are tracts white and red, of various hues, and (others) raven-black. And so amongst people, and crawling creatures and cattle, are they of various colors. Those truly fear Allah among His servants who have knowledge, for Allah is exalted in Might, oft forgiving. (Sura al-Fajr 35:27-8)

And yet again,

And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours. Indeed herein are signs for those who have knowledge. (Sura al-Rum 30:22)

Islam is the last of the Revealed Faiths. If we cannot see beyond the walls of our ghettoized cultures; if we cannot see beyond our dress codes (which in essence form a part of the beauty within a ubiquitous diversity). If we cannot see beyond our stubborn social codes (particularly the gendered ones). If we cannot see beyond the many fossilized features of our increasingly regressive religious mindscapes, then we call a lie upon our claim to have embraced the liberating beauty of Islamic universality. We would have called a lie upon our much-professed tawhid that constitutes that axis of Divine unicity around which the many-hued and kaleidoscopic beauty of Allah’s Creation rotates. And we would have called a lie upon ourselves in the face of the verse in the Quran,

And we shall reveal to them our Signs along the horizons and within their own souls until it becomes manifest to them that He is the Truth. (Sura al-Fussilat 41:53)

From the distant edges of our visual perceptions to the very core of our souls, we are called upon to bear witness to the wondrous nature of tawhid encapsulated within the equally wondrous nature of multiplicity. Islam is a universal civilization of Oneness within a universe of diversity. To those who reject or scorn this we say, as the Quran does:

To you your Way and Religion and to me mine. (Sura al-Kafirun 109: 6)

What more need be said?

Shaykh Seraj Hendricks

September 2014.


Day 18: Break Your Ego–30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 18: Break Your Ego

Allah is the All-Powerful, All-Near. We know this and believe this. However, we know that there is a veil between us and Him. That veil is our nafs, our ego and lower self. One of the scholars said, “One nafs is worse than seventy devils.” This is more apparent in Ramadan, where we know that the devils are chained, but we are still having problems.

This Ramadan, try to do something to overcome your ego. It could be forcing yourself to seek advice from someone you don’t like, or offering extra prayers. After all, the path of struggle is the path of love.


Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.

How Can I Resist Temptations and Sins?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How can I resist temptations and sins?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for writing to us. May Allah grant you success in striving against your desires and seeking the obedience and pleasure of God.

We should know that temptations and sins are part and parcel of this worldly life. Sins appear attractive for a reason. Man has been created weak and so he inclines towards temptations and is prone to fall into it. How we deal with and overcome the tests of life is the very the battlefield of our soul, the alchemical process of struggling and striving to rise above and beyond our base selves and transform into pure and Godly beings. Like any battle, we need tools and training.

The Greater Jihad

It is reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad’ [al Bayhaqi]. The hadith is weak, but the meaning is sound, for if one has not struggled within, then they cannot hope to conquer external struggles.

Allah loves those who when they sin they turn to him in sincere repentance

Other than the Prophets, none of us are infallible. Allah has created us prone to mistakes and sins on purpose, and through this, Allah’s vast forgiveness is manifested. This is why the blessed Prophet ﷺ said, ‘By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin Allah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek the forgiveness of Allah and He would forgive them.’ [Muslim]

Therefore, as long as we strive and turn to God in sincere repentance when we fall, we must equally take heart that the Divine Pardon is ever at hand. Whenever you fall into sin, return again and again to Allah.

However, sincere repentance also means taking the means to avoid sins in the first place and striving to avoid them.

Avoiding Temptations

The following are practical tools and suggestions for understanding and dealing with temptations:

al Ta’awudh – Seeking refuge in Allah: Recognise that temptations are tests which Allah sends to one. Our leaning towards them are either from our own base inclinations or the whisperings of satan, or both. The solution then is to seek their absolute opposite, which is absolute purity and goodness, namely, seeking refuge in God from the devil. Allah has said, ‘And if you are tempted by Satan, then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed, He [alone] is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’ [41:36]

Du’a: Never stop making du’a for yourself. Anas bin Malik narrated that Prophet ﷺ used to supplicate,

يا مُقلِّبَ القُلُوْبِ ثَبِّت قَلْبِي عَلَى دِيْنِكَ

‘O Turner of the hearts, keep my heart firm upon your religion’ [al Tirmidhi]

Muraqaba – Self Vigilance: One should make a practice each day of noting down the following 3 things together a) sins committed, b) what situations led to the act, c) possible solutions. Each night, before retiring to bed, one should review what was written, pray two cycles of tawba and resolve to avoid those situations and try the solutions the next day. This self-vigilance and taking stock of one’s self was advised by Sayyidna Umar, when he said, ‘Take yourselves into account before you are taken to account. Weight yourselves before you are weighed.’ [Ahmad]. If you find that you are able to avoid sins, then give thanks and praise to Allah. Even if you fail, keep going. ‘Fake it ‘til you make it’ as they say.

Think positive: Think positive about yourself and about Allah. If you think you can do something, then you can, as long as you rely on Allah.

Tahajjud: Try to wake up before Fajr, pray two cycles or more, and make supplication to Allah to keep you away from sins. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, Allah the Exalted stretches out his hand by night for those who repent until the coming of the day.’ [Sahih Muslim]. Tahajjud also help one avoid sins during the day.

Obedience: Ensure you are at least fullfing all the obligatory commands of Allah, particularly your prayers. Strive to do what sunnas you can do during the day. Follow the command of Allah by ‘lowering your gaze’ from that which is forbidden to see or hear, whether in real life or online.

Remembering Allah: The Prophet told us to ‘Keep Your Tongue Moist with Remembrance of Allah.’ [Arba’in al Nawawi]. Have a daily litany of dhikr, Quran, as well as saying the sunna du’as throughout daily affairs. Do not deem these insignificant. ‘Indeed, when Satan whispers to those mindful [of Allah], they remember [their Lord] then they start to see [things] clearly.’ [7:201]. Send abundant salutations and blessing on the Prophet ﷺ throughout the day.

Seek the Halal: Ensure your income and food are all lawful.

Organise your time: Make a timetable for every day of the week, accounting for how you spend every hour of the day. Ensure to include time of worship, time for work or study, time for self-reflection, time for sleep, time for recreation and socialising. Stick to the timetable as much as possible, tweaking it as you go along. The timetable will work as an anchor for the day, so you always know where you should be and what you should be doing. If you fall short each day, then don’t worry, just keep going. Make an intention for the sake of Allah in upon commencement of each act of the day, even for eating, sleeping, exercise, family time etc. This way they become worship.

Avoiding that which doesn’t benefit you: Keep away from anything that is of no benefit to you. Included in this is internet usage other than what you may genuinely need the net for.

Fasting and Marriage: If temptations are of a sexual nature, then the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, and whoever cannot, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.’ [al Bukhari]. Also, revise your eating habits, check that there are no foods that increase desire after eating them. Eat light, for the stomach has a huge effect on the rest of our faculties and desires. Eating less but enough to get on with our daily affairs is the goal, but this requires gradual training.

Knowing Allah and the Prophet: We can begin to know God and the Prophet ﷺ by learning. I would highly recommend learning the sciences of fiqh, aqida, and seerah. These will provide you with the framework to understand your objectives.

Company: Do not spend long hours in your own company (especially in front of screens), nor time with bad company. Seek the company of righteous people that you get on with. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, the parable of a good friend and a bad friend is that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk will give you some perfume, you will buy some, or you will notice a good smell. As for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell.’ [Sahih al Bukhari]. ‘Company’ can also be extended to the websites and literature one reads in private.

Remembering Death: The Salaf would constantly remember death as a means to act in obedience to God, for the Prophet advised, ‘Remember often the destroyer of pleasures.’ [Ibn Maja]. Take time out at the end of the day or when waking up for Tahajjud to contemplate on the brevity of life, what await us in the grave, the standing in front of God on the Day of Judgement, and the heat and torture of the Fire.

Do not despair: Despite the need to instil fear of Allah in our hearts in order to avoid sins, even greater than this is avoiding sins out of the love of Allah. Therefore, do everything you can to fall in love with your Lord, by performing your obligatory duties, performing sunnas, doing good deeds, thinking well of Allah, His Prophets, the Muslims and all people, and thank Him for all your blessings.

May Allah make you and us among the righteous and those whom God loves.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

True Hunger vs. The Greed of Our Stomachs, by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explains the meaning of true hunger where your body is truly calling for food rather than being driven by your desires.

Resources for seekers

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Unseen Realm: Shaykh Yahya Rhodus on the Nafs

We are all well familiar with the many aspects of our physical being. But what about our inner spiritual selves, the nafs? Shaykh Yahya Rhodus delves into the inner dimensions of the human; the part that is intangible yet the most important in deciding the nature of our eternity.

We are grateful to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre for this recording.

Want to know more? Register for Shaykh Yahya’s SeekersHub course, The Marvels of the Heart, which covers the many aspects of the inner dimensions, such as the heart, the spirit, the soul, and the intellect. This course is offered completely free as part of SeekersHub’s commitment to Knowledge Without Barriers.

Resources for Seekers

Perform An Act To Break Your Ego (30 Deeds, 30 Days), by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Perform An Act To Break Your Ego, by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Photo credit: Matthew G

Day 19 in a Nutshell – Fighting The Hellish Fires Within Us, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

Fighting The Hellish Fires Within Us - Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
If you missed the livestream of the extraordinary short talks by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe for automatic updates. If you could take a moment to rate the podcast and leave a review, we’d really appreciate it! In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – the best of the day’s events in a nutshell, with Abdul-Rehman Malik and his guest, Bilal Muhammad.

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

Day 13 In A Nutshell – Weed The Garden of Your Ego, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

If you missed the livestream of the two extraordinary short talks Shaykh Walead Mosaad gave, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe for automatic updates. If you could take a moment to rate the podcast and leave a review, we’d really appreciate it! In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – the best of the day’s events in a nutshell.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

POEM: Seven Nufus Were On The Loose, by Novid Shaid

Seven nufus were on the loose
One day from Ramadan
They met in Sousse for some couscous
Before the maghrib azaan.
The first, a rioter, the sin-inciter,
The crazy imp, Ammara.
The second ilk, ridden with guilt,
Reproachful soul, Lowwaama.
The third, on fire, with love inspired
The stirring one, Mulhama.
The fourth, serene, like mountain streams,
The earnest, Mutmainna.
The fifth, contented, with perfume scented,
The honourable, Raadiyya.
The sixth, found-pleasing, the love unceasing,
The gracious one, Mardiyya.
The seventh, perfect, from the elect,
The wondrous, Kamila.
As they met and sat then began their chat,
Awaiting their great couscous,
Ammara cursed like the devil’s nurse
His face twisted with disgust:
“This Ramadan; it does me harm,
I really can’t be bothered!
One whole month, down in the dumps,
Pleasures are banned; O brother!”
“I’ll try my best to pass this test,”
Lamented poor Lowwaama,
“I find it hard to stay on guard
I wish I was a llama!”
“I can not wait to taste a date
At the end of each day’s fasting
A blessed time will here arrive,”
Mulhama said, forecasting.
“Enjoy the food, enjoy the mood,”
Exulted Mutmainna,
“Be pleased with fasting, grace everlasting
Purifying the sinner.”
“I am contented with this unprecedented
Occurrence of Divine favour
Each year unique, with special mystique
I love Ramadan,” Said Raadiyya.
“I am most pleased with His decrees,”
Celebrated Mardiyya,
“We are so blessed, with Ramadan our guest
It’s sustenance from our Sharia.”
“Come join me brothers! Let’s rediscover
Our origins in Ramadan,
We’re nothing but meanings, which is He conceiving,”
Said Kamila, so captivating and so calm.
“Don’t give me drama!” argued Ammara
“I ain’t missing out this month, mate!
X-Men will be on, the Euros are on
And a girl has asked me out on a date!
You keep up your fasting, I’ll keep flabbergasting
the ladies with my exhilaration
I ain’t got the time for things so sublime
Ramadan is a scourge on my reputation!”
Lowwama got haughty: “you are such a naughty!
Haven’t you got any shame?
I don’t find it easy; I find fasting queasy
But I’ll still have a go all the same.”
A smile had arrived upon the other five
Who sat eating their couscous so gently
“Ammara, we’ll guide you, Lowwama we’ll help you
Ramadan will fill you with plenty.
If you listen to us; follow without a fuss
Allah will make you His familiar
In just a brief moment, His works are so potent,
Ammara can become Kamila.
We are seven nufus, we’re all on the loose
And our gathering here was intentional
The prince and the pauper, the sinner and scholar
Ramadan equalises our potential.
We are seven positions, in the Quran we are mentioned,
The seven degrees of the soul
Allah bless Al Shabrawi, wise as the Kalahari,
The author, the crown of the poles.”

Novid Shaid

This poem was influenced by the following work, Degrees of the Soul by Shaykh Abdul Khaliq Al Shabrawi, translated by Dr Mostafa Al Badawi. 
Nufus. Plural Noun, egos/selves/souls