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Wird without the Permission of a Spiritual Guide

Shaykh Farid Dingle gives advice on making it a habit to remember Allah by taking up a wird and whether permission from a spiritual guide is necessary.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question about the “Al-Wird al-Latif.” This Wird is common and based on the prophetic Sunna. Can I read this Wird (say, two times a day) without the permission of my Shaykh or any other Shaykh? Or can I be harmed if I engage in these litanies without their permission?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

It is permissible and recommended to make a habit of reciting any form of remembrance (dhikr) that has come with a sound or even passably weak chain of transmission, for the general divine command, “Remember Me and I will remember you.” (Sura al Baqara 2:152)

As for any other form of remembrance (dhikr), it is also recommended in principle, even if it is non derived directly from one of the prophetic formulae, and even if it is repeated.

That said, what we have heard from certain scholars is that repeating certain names of Allah repeatedly without any guidance from a spiritual guide (murshid, pir) can be dangerous and should be avoided.

It is worth noting that the litany (wird, wazifa) formulae of the various scholars are like medicine: they are designed to deal with specific problems, and not supposed to be taken without guidance and counsel.

In light of this, we would encourage anyone without a spiritual guide with whom they have contact to just keep themselves to the well-known and established morning and evening remembrances that are found in books of fiqh and hadith.

And Allah knows best.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Could My Wird Be Beneficial Even Without Praying the Obligatory Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Question: Assalamu alaykum

1.If you don’t pray, will Wazifa never work for you?

2. If you read a Wazifa a certain number of times daily, is it ok to read more than you’re required to?

Answer: Wa’alaykumsalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray you are well, by Allah’s grace. What follows is a general answer, without regard to specific details that I do not have.

My understanding is that a ‘wazifa’ in Urdu is similar to the word ‘wird’ in Arabic. If so, a wird is a regular and committed practice of worship or remembrance that is meant to remember Allah and seek His numerous blessings and bounties.

The most important wazifa or wird is therefore the performance of the obligatory prayers, or salah. Allah has made salah obligatory upon us for many reasons: we are in dire need of disconnecting our heart from attachments that cause us to be distant from Him; we need to remember Allah regularly; salah is one of the most powerful means to purify our hearts; and sincere performance of salah brings tranquility and serenity to the heart.

To focus on that which is recommended at the expense of that which is compulsory is unwise, harmful and earns Allah’s displeasure. We must seek Allah in the way He commanded us to seek Him.

While having a regular wazifa or wird of Allah is extremely beneficial for the seeker of Allah’s nearness, the first priority should be to discharge the obligation of salah.

As for the other questions pertaining to the wazifa, they require more detail before they can be answered.

May Allah facilitate for us worship of Him in the way that He loves and accepts.

Wa salaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullah,
[Shaykh] Riad Saloojee

Shaykh Riad Saloojee graduated and taught in an Islamic seminary in Cape Town, South Africa.  He is a lawyer by training and worked in the field of civil rights advocacy. Currently, he teaches and translates.

The complete Wird Latif of Imam al-Haddad, with transliteration

As with all the litanies of Imam al-Haddad, al-Wird al-Latif is made up of nothing but the ‘prayers’ of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the formulae that he instructed his community to recite mornings and evenings. It is therefore strictly in conformity with the sunna, and once it is well-rehearsed and becomes regular practice, one can rest assured that he is following the ‘Prophetic’ instructions as to which adhkar he should use to begin and end his day.

It may be used for protection from various inward and outward perils, for curing certain illnesses, for increasing certain kinds of provision, for haraka, and for the recompense promised for the recitation of each of its letters. Knowing this, Muslims all over the world have always recited both the Qur’an and the Prophetic invocations in their original Arabic, even when unable to understand the language, to make sure that they lose none of the secrets and baraka, much of which are lost in translation.

Brief Biography of Imam al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy on him)

Imam Abdullah al-Haddad was the renewer of the twelfth Islamic century. He was renowned, and deservedly so, for the breadth of his knowledge and his manifest sanctity. The profundity of his influence on Muslims is reflected by the fact that his books are still in print through out the Islamic world.

He was born in Tarim, in the hills of Hadramaut, one of the southerly regions of the Arabian peninsula, and grew up in an environment where the accent was upon piety, frugality, erudition, and an uncompromising thirst for gnosis fma’rifal. His lineage is traced back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) through Imam al-Husayn. His illustrious ancestors, the ‘Alawi sadat, had for centuries produced generation after generation of great scholars, gnostics and summoners to the Straight Path.

Imam al-Haddad died on the eve of the 7th of Dhu’l Qa’da, 1132 A.H., having spent his life bringing people to their Lord through his oral and written teaching, and his exemplary life. For a more thorough biography of this great Imam, see “The Sufi Sage of Arabia” by Dr. Mostafa Badawi.


The following was compiled by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Muslim Chaplin at the University of Toronto and SeekersGuidance  teacher.

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

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

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As-salaamu alaikum,
Is it possible to do a ‘wird’ without having access to a living true shaykh?
I have heard that engaging in a long dhikr can be harmful if I am not connected to a living shaykh to supervise me. How can one of Allah’s names harm me?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
It is possible to have general spiritual routines without a teacher’s specific instruction.
However, it is best to consult a scholar, unless the particular supplication or litany is widely known to be for general reading, or more generally from the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Sheikh Nuh Keller writes in his Sea without Shore, “Particular divine names such as Ya Hayy (“O Ever-living”) Ya Jabbar (“O Overmastering”) and so forth, like the Supreme Name, require permission to recite, except in limited numbers of short duration. This is because each divine name carries a particular power, and the heart and mind of the disciple may not be prepared to handle an overload of this power, just as an electrical appliance is designed to handle only a certain type of current.” [Keller, Sea Without Shore, 171]
Shaykh Gibril Haddad mentions regarding the exalted Divine Names, “the Ghawth, Sayyidi `Abd al-`Aziz al-Dabbagh said as related from him by his student the learned Shaykh `Ali ibn al-Mubarak in al-Ibriz:
“If they took them (those Names) from a shaykh who is a knower (`arif), it will not harm them; but if they took them from a shaykh who is not a knower, it will harm them.”
“I [`Ali ibn al-Mubarak] said: ‘What is the reason?’ He replied, Allah be well-pleased with him: ‘The Most Beautiful Names have lights from the Real (al-Haqq), may He be exalted and glorified! Whenever you want to mention the Name, if, with the Name, there is Its light accompanying It while you mention It, then such [dhikr] will not harm you; but if there is not, with the Name, Its light accompanying it, which is meant to protect the servant from the devil, it [i.e. the dhikr of the Name] will be a cause for the harm of the servant.
“‘When the shaykh is an actual knower of Allah Most High, meaning someone who is always in the Divine presence, and he wants to give his murid one of the Beautiful Names of Allah, he gives him [with it] that light which protects him, after which the murid mentions It and it will not harm him…. otherwise the murid will be destroyed. We ask Allah Most High for safety!'”” [see: Reciting The 99 Names Under A Guide]
In the meantime, you should learn what is obligatory for you to know, and subsequently work on applying it in your life. Making a lot of remembrance whilst committing much of the unlawful (haram) is not going to have effect it has the potential for. Ask Allah for sincerity, success, and right guidance.
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Praying Sunna Prayers Outside of the Prayer Time?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it true that one cannot pray the sunna prayers outside the prayer time? I thought it would be allowed since I we are allowed to pray the sunna of Fajr after sunrise if one is not able to pray it before the fardh.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

The basis is that the sunna prayers cannot be made up after their time. The only exception to that is the Fajr prayer, as this is the only sunna prayer the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) performed outside its time–on condition of making it up with the obligatory Fajr prayer the same day it was missed, before Zuhr time enters. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

However, it is good (hasan) to perform an equivalent number of voluntary (nafl) rakats of prayer for the sunnas missed, to compensate for lost reward and in order not to get used to breaking one’s spiritual routines. This doesn’t count as a “make up” of one’s sunna, but a making up of lost reward. Sayyida A’isha relates that if the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) missed something of his routine (wird) of night worship, he would make it up after sunrise. This was also the counsel of Sayyiduna Umar (Allah be pleased with him) on the matter. [Related by Nasa’i and others]

Thus:

1. If you miss Fajr prayer, you should make it up with its sunna, before Zuhr. This is the exception to making up missed prayers.
2. If you miss other sunna prayers, then you have missed them and they can’t be “made up” (such that one’s action would count as a delayed performance of the sunna).
3. However, if you miss sunna prayers, it is good to perform a like number of voluntary (nafl) rakats, to make up for lost reward and in order to accustom yourself to maintaining your spiritual routines–because the actions most beloved to Allah are those that are most consistent.

And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani