Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rumi

The story about the dog

Rumi was once walking on a narrow path and a dog came into his way, the surrounding area was muddy.

Rumi told the dog to step aside, the dog told him to step aside.


Then Rumi said, "You are a dog it doesn't matter if you get dirty."


The dog replied, "No, by stepping aside your clothes will get dirty and clothes can be washed, however if you force me to step aside, you might feel in your heart that you are better than a dog. Your heart hence will not be washable with water."


Rumi stepped aside and let the dog pass.




This was one of the events that opened the spiritual way to Rumi. Taken from Wisdom of the seekers.
http://www.tasawwuf.org/writings/wisdom_seeker/index.htm

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sheikh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

The Hidden treasure of Imam Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy)
Session two











The final session will be posted tomorrow and the first post was posted yesterday!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sheikh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

The Hidden treasure of Imam Ghazali (may Allah show him mercy)
Session one













Part two posted tomorrow and part three posted the day after next.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Habib Umar ibn Hafiz

Dowra 2007 Part four

Awarif Al-Marif



There are various meanings to the word slave (Abd)

Woe to slave of gold, silver coins, carpet and shirt

We can be slaves to the pious and knowledgeable, servitude to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala is something else

Someone would say I am your slave to honour someone, this was a common usage in the Arabic language

Yusuf Al-Nabani said, “I am slave to the master of the prophets, I am a slave to the slave of his slave.”

If you think it means one thing then you will be confused

Leave confusion and be among the people of precision

When Yusuf (upon him peace) told the man to mention him to your lord – Idukur a’nd Rabuk – to the one who was released

Yusuf (upon him peace) used the word in a particular context

You also say Rab al-ushra – this is someone who look after the family

The word Rab – lord has 16 different means

Understand things in their context

Then you’ll be outside of the problem

This does not mean that they worship other than Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala

Someone brought one of these misunderstanding to a scholar, he said, “This is a bedioun understanding, don’t you have another understanding.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

How to understand tribulations


I am writing this primarily to remind my wretched self and the broken hearted.

 Tribulations are not something easy to go through, they can be really difficult, unexpected and have a long duration. We must know that tribulation cannot be seen through the eyes of the people of the world. They see tribulation as punishment full stop, it's unwanted, it interrupts their plans and gets in the way. Some accept it as part of life and others just reject it totally and cannot cope with it.


 Tribulations can shake someones faith to the core and really make them question their faith, if they are unable to find any answers in it. Sometimes we do not know where to look; so that we can find answers. So as Muslims what is our first port of call? It has to be the majestic Quran, we must look at that first and see what we have there then look further a field.


 "We have sent already unto peoples that were before you, and We visited them with tribulation and adversity, in order that they might grow humble." The cattle 6:42


The Muslims are not the first nation be send tribulations but they are the last. Tribulations are not something new it's something old.



Linguistics

The English word Tribulation goes back to Latin word tribulare which means to press or oppress. The Arabic word Fatana comes from a word to purify gold, to take out the impurities, which can only be done in a fire.

"And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings." The Family of Imran 3:141

Many of us feel oppressed when tribulations befall us. One of the synonyms, in English, for tribulation is evil; so this brings an idea of something bad or some evil is touching a person. In Christianity there is an interesting belief of the great tribulation, something akin to the grief of the people towards the end of time and the Antichrist/Dajjal. We have no problem of evil in Islam; we know that whatever happens is good. If I break my pen, something that I possess, you cannot say anything to me about it. It is my pen and I own it, so I can do what I like to it. Nor do I need a reason to do so. Likewise the whole world belongs to God; so how can he be unjust in anything he does? How can he be unjust to anything he owns? When he owns everything! It can never happen can it? Good, so we agree that now there is no problem, problem solved guys!

I was talking to a non Muslim about my absence due to illness, he said that it was no good, without thinking I agreed. Then I realised that for a Believer in God everything is all good and my error became clear.



Does Allah give us tribulation more than we can bear?

"No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear." The Heffer 2:233.



"Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope." The Heffer 2:286


"Allah wishes to lighten (burden) for you." The Women 4:28


 "We burden not any person, but that which he can bear." The Cattle 6:152


These verses are clear and do not need to be explained. We can bear the burden, we can bear the tribulation; it may not be easy for us but we can do it.



Love what's bad for us?

Sometimes something that you love contains harm. You can desire something and it can be withheld from you or something that you wished for does not happen. Then this becomes like a burden upon you, dragging you down. Beware, satan at this point, because he can beautify the worst thing in your eyes. Like wine/alcohol we know it is prohibited but some of us still consume it because we love it, this is an example of something we love but has harm in it. Likewise, we can hate tribulations even though it is something good for us. This is also due to the heart being so sick that it loves the prohibited.

 "If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good." The Women 4:19



Hearts re-connect to Allah the exalted

This sounds strange but hear me out, tribulations draw a person closer to Allah by means of opening a dormant channel between that person and Allah. 


This happens quite frequently, we are sent a tribulation and then and only then do we remember Allah because we realise that we have no one else to turn to. 

The only problem is when the tribulation ends and we return to our old ways. 

We cannot remember Allah in adversity alone, don't we realise the blessings that are showered upon us, in every moment!



Ponder the following

 "Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving." The Dominion 67:2

 "Those unto whom men said: Lo! the people have gathered against you, therefore fear them. (The threat of danger) but increased the faith of them and they cried: Allah is Sufficient for us! Most Excellent is He in Whom we trust!" The Family of Imran 3:173

I remember Sheikh Hamza Yusuf commentating on this verse, the subject of this verse had been told that people would oppose you if you believed and when this occured they took it as proof that their belief was strong. Which leads me onto another point; as much as your faith is strong, you will be tested in accordance to it.

The more faith you have the more you are tested and likewise the less faith you have the least you are tested with. The people who have tribulation all the time are those of strong faith and those who are weak are rarely tested. In any case what our reaction to events that transpire that are against us?

Al-Tirmidhi (2398) narrated that Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, I asked, "O Messenger of Allah, which of the people are the most sorely tested?" He said: "The Prophets, then those similar, then those similar. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of faith. If his faith is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his faith is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his faith. Calamity will keep befalling a person until he walks on the Earth with no sin on him."


If you look into the lives of the Prophets (upon them peace) they were sorely tested, Adam (upon him peace) lived during the time when one of his children murdered the other, Nuh's (upon him peace) son disbelieved at the time of the flood, Ayyub's (upon him peace) sickness, Musa's (upon him peace) people adopting polytheism at Mount Sinai, Ibrahim's (upon him peace) sacrifice of his son, Isa's (upon him peace) nation transgressing the limits and turning into polythiests. Then look at the life story of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), his father died before he was born, his mother died when he was six and his grandfather died when he was eight years old. Think about this, you are eight years old without brother or sister and your parents are dead.

So, now the question is; did Allah love the Prophets? The answer from any responsible person is a resounding yes! Yes, of course, so tribulations are sent to those with great faith, to those who can bear it and those who are strong.

So listen dear friend if you are in a tribulation then be patient and know relief is coming. Do not feel angry or upset, be calm and remain steadfast. Please do not lose hope and direct yourself to Allah (the Exalted).


 As we all know tribulations can be one of two;

1. Expiation - for previous wrongs

2. To raise the persons rank closer to Allah Ta'ala


All these states are good because the Muslim is losing his sins which is the least that a person gets from tribulations. If we are patient as well then there is a reward for that as well! So He wants to remove your sins and reward you for it!

There is a wonderful saying that the Moroccans have which is when something of material value breaks or is lost they say that something bad was going to happen to that person and instead that thing broke or was lost.

Also, I do not claim to be an expert because there have been many times that I have lost my temper during tribulations. I hope that Allah (Mighty and M
ajestic) allows us all to get "double" points from our tribulations!



Please see this link it is a clip of Sheikh Hamza yusuf talking about the four states of man
http://sheikhynotes.blogspot.com/2007/04/sheikh-hamza-yusuf_29.html

40 hadith on tribulation
http://straighttranslations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/40-prophetic-narrations-of-tribulation.html

The 17 benefits of tribulations.
http://sheikhynotes.blogspot.com/2008/03/sheikh-hamza-yusuf_16.html

For our German readership here is a link to a partial German translation.
http://www.islamische-zeitung.de/?id=12096

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A tour of Fez

I know the voice over is in German but its a good introduction into the old city of Fez. Parts one and two