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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The importance of adab for the seeker of the divine

Adab can be translated several ways: deportment, manners and etiquette are some of the possible translations.

The word to begin بدأ  is the word adab backwards. So if you begin with adab you will reach your aim. But if you have no adab then you have not begun the path. How you start your journey will have a bearing on your final destination. Ibn Ata Allah Al-Askandari (may Allah show him mercy) said, “He who is illumined at the beginning; is illumined at the end.” That is why beginnings are so important.

Consider the English saying, ‘Start as you mean to go on.’ Someone who proceeds correctly will succeed correctly. 

Elsewhere Ibn Ata Allah Al-Askandari (may Allah show him mercy) described Adab as, “Correct behavior means that you are occupied with commendable things.” Use your time as a means to benefit your afterlife. Someone asked him what he meant. He said, “This means you observe correct behavior with Allah both inwardly and outwardly. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will have correct behavior, even if your speech is not of an Arab.”

Yahya Ibn Muadh (may Allah show him mercy) said, “One who is well versed in correct behavior toward Allah (the Exalted) will become one of those who he loves.” 

Adab means to put something in its proper place and the opposite is oppression. There is adab in everything we do and the manner in which it is carried out. If an action is carried out without adab of the Sheikh then we need to accuse ourselves of failure. Essentially Adab is understanding of the manner of the implementation of the Sunnah and that can only be taken from a Sheikh.

The taking of the oath/Bayah from a spiritual master of our Sheikh is adherence to the spiritual way of Imam Abu Hassan Al-Shadhali (may Allah show him mercy). It is not mere lip service. It is a serious commitment to follow this way and forsake what we knew before.

We try to emulate him because he is our exemplar in his role of spiritual inheritor of the Prophetic legacy, “The scholars are inheritors of the Prophets.” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) is described as Aswatu Hassan/The greatest example in the Quran but for who? For he who want to meet his Lord. 

Bad adab can be in the manner in which the seeker reacts towards his Sheikh, his brethren and worse of all Allah (the Exalted). This can be manifest when the seeker dislikes or even questions the decree of Allah (the Exalted). Allah has been looking after you all your life, so why do you question him now when things do go to your plan? Everything is going according to His plan so relax!

Dhu Al-Noon Al-Misri (may Allah show him mercy) said, “If the beginner, on the Sufi path, turns away from correct behavior; he is sent back to where hence he came.”

We need to vigilant not to commit sins and get sent back to square one. If we do then we repent and renew our commitment to obedience.

We miss basics when we cheat, lie and steal. All of which belie the one we claim to follow (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).

Adab can be defined as excellent conduct and the only place you can find that is the Sunnah. Have the best adab with your Sheikh, your brothers and sisters on this path, your family, your colleagues, and the people you meet and in dhikr gatherings. One of the adabs that is missing is in dhikr gatherings. When people are easily distracted by text messages and phones.

If you face someone and turn away then it is bad adab. When you are in dhikr gatherings you do not turn away but focus on the meaning of the words that you are saying. Adab with the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) is following in his footsteps in all matters. This is all easy to say but hard to do.

Sheikh Muhammad said in his directions for seekers, “Do not be distracted by others on board.” This could be people on the same path or other people who harm you.
The hadith that would solve ninety percent of our problems if it was adhered to is, “From the perfection of one Islam is to leave that which does not concern you.” Avoid debates, arguements and focus on seeking knowledge.  Know what to do if you make a mistake in the prayer.

Imam As-Shafi (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked how he attained such good character. He said that he took his critics seriously. 

Many of us think we are good but we have to honest with ourselves and look deeply – ask yourself painful questions.

“Be in the world as you are a stranger or a wayfarer.”  (Bukhari) This is the hadith that a seeker needs to adhere to. He knows that he is a passing by this world, stopping for a while and moving on. 

We are all travelling this path and we are all journeying. The seeker on the spiritual path begins right so he can end right.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sheikh Yahya Rhodus

The Virtues of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Habib Kadhim Al-Saqqaf

Towards Unity and brotherhood

Habib Kadhim Al-Saqqaf


Your Next Step

Yesterday, Sheikh (may Allah preserve him) spoke about adab/etiquette and the importance of being vigilant against the slightest slip ups, in all things. As it these were one of the ways that satan used to attack the believer.

He continued to speak about how his murids should be in public: dressed well, pressed clothes, clean, if in a group not shouting, like and angel walking on the earth. Then he said something that has made me ponder over since he said it. He said that a sufi should only be concerned with the place his next step is going to be.

I found a great amount of meaning in these few words. He told us that we should not be concerned about what does not concern us; instead we should be concerned with what concerns us; which is where the next place the foot will be. This reminded me of the hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “From the perfection of one’s Islam; is to leave that which does not concern him.” At-Tirmidhi

Most of the things we pass by on the streets and in our lives, do not concern us and they do not affect us. So why are we adding our commentary to it? We are talking about what is around us but neglecting the most important thing, where our next step will be. We could be stepping into some filth or we could fall over or walk into something.

Someone I know told me that he was leaving the train station today and he was looking at someone who was meeting his wife at the train station. He thought to himself when his time would come (to have a family) then he noticed that there was filth on the floor and narrowly avoided it. Then he remembered what Sheikh said then he laughed and went on his way. He was concerned about big issues that may or may not happen to him but he was neglecting what his immediate concern was. The place in which his next foot step would be.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sheikh Ibrahim Osi Efa

The Virtues of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him)

In honour of Shaykh Al-Arabi Al-Darqawi (may Allah be pleased with him)

by arfan shah

In search of a master

Sixty times did he complete the mushaf

In search of a guide

In the jungle of the soul

Finally he came to the man mountain

The camel of gnosis

Refused and then accepted

He journeyed swiftly

Where many failed

Taking the wird

Taking the means

Taking the path

Two parts of the Hassani tree

Converged and renewed

Then gave birth to another light

Sent to guide his people
Enlightening the tribe Bani zarwal

40,000 guides made at hands

To spread the path across the maghrib

Explaining sincerity to the insincere

They came without shoe to visit

Letters like leaders

Urging you on

To maintain the path to Allah

He showed others the way

The light of the poles

He took the intoxicating drink of gnosis

Then the cup was passed on

Until it reached Ismail, Alawi and Hashim

Whose children intoxicated the world

Sincerity the secret of the men of Allah

Men of Allah (the Exalted)

Men of the Prophet (may Allah bestow and blessings upon him)

Came to guide the world

All you have to do is take their hand

Follow their lead into paradise

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Disputations

Twenty five

1.       Relief is forthcoming.

2.       If you don’t have the guts to say something to my face then you are a coward.

3.       No one says what they mean.

4.       Expect lies to come from peoples mouths.

5 .       The Mahdi will come in our darkest hour - therefore there must be widespread corruption. This is one of his signs...

6.       Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him) said, 'He who knows himself is not fooled by the peoples praise of him.'

7.       We are the largest ummah so we should have the largest amount of martyrs, right?

8.       My silence is a fitna for our friendship.

9.       Don't be comfortable in the world because you are going to leave it soon...

10.   Part of our belief in the day of judgement is that the oppressed will be avenged on that day. So do be aggrieved when you do not see it now. Man's ability for justice is limited and the justice of Allah is absolute.

11.   “Surely, those who persecuted the believing men and the believing women, then did not repent, for them there is the torment of Hell, and for them there is the torment of burning.”
Sura Baruj 85:10

12.   When something does not work out have the guts to admit your failure and step back.

13.   Emotions know no bounds.

14.   Keep moving on.

15.   You have no choice.

16.   What makes you weep when it was not meant for you?

17.   I am contemplating the end of everything.

18.   Your intention means more at the beginning than the end.

19.   Your nafs needs to be shined by good works and dhikr until its a joy to behold.

20.   Just because you are not sinful does not mean that you do not have to repent.

Habib Khadhim As-Saqqaf

A Prophetic Estate