Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Shaykh Salek - Tafsir of Surah Al-Hujurat (The Chambers) Part 3 of 5

Shaykh Salek - Tafsir of Surah Al-Hujurat (The Chambers) Part 2 of 5

Shaykh Salek - Tafsir of Surah Al-Hujurat (The Chambers) Part 1 of 5

Habib Abu Bakr al Attas

-HABIB ABU BAKR ‘AL ATTAS’ IBN ABDULLAH AL HABSHI NOBLE DESENDANT OF RASULLULAH صلى الله عليه وآله وسل He is Al Habib Abu Bakr “Alattas bin Abdullah bin Alwi bin Zain bin Abdullah bin Zain bin Alwi bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Alwi bin Abu Bakar Al Habshi. He was born in the town of Hottah, Hadramaut in the year of Zulkaedah 1327 H (1909 M). Al Habib was generally and widely known as Habib Attas and the pseudonym was given by Al Imam Al Habib Abdullah bin Alwi Al Habshi. It was a strange phenomenon and the mystery began to unfold itself later in his life. Al Habib Attas was a great scholar and pursued an exemplary way of life following the footstep of Rasullulah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم .He was living under the harsh repression of the then communist rule in Hadramaut. The regime would kill scholars who spread the message of Allah, an example in which, the Mufti, Al Habib Mohammad bin Salim bin Hafiz Bensheikh Abu Bakar was kidnapped after his khutbah sermon at the Masjid Jame’ Terim. That was the last time anyone seeing him alive. Al Habib Attas was included in the ‘hit’ list. Alhamdullilah, he was informed of the treacherous plan and was advised to leave within 24 hours. He managed to rally round his family to escape to Jeddah via the airport at Aden. The land route journey had many military barriers to search for Al Habib Al Attas. Fortunately, his passport was endorsed under his real name Abu Bakar Al Habshi and the family was allowed to pass through and it’s only when the plane had crossed the international zone that they realised that Al Habib had given them the slip. سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَاَلْحَمْدُللهِ وَلآ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُولآحَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ اِلاَّ بِاللهِ Al Habib was raised and nurtured by his own virtuous father Al Habib Abdullah. When his father passed away in the year 1342 hijrah, his dedicated upbringing was taken care of by his elder brother Al Habib Hussin. Even at an early age, Al Habib had already memorised and able to comprehend a large portion of the Holy Quran. He attended incessantly the cluster of learning circles and with deep erudition on religious books; he was able to extract the encompassing esoteric meanings. Speech that came out from his mouth was enlightenment like the illumination of light emanating from jewellery. His brother passed away in the year 1369 hijrah, after which he became reclusive, devoted totally to worshipping of Allah in an atmosphere of total serene tranquillity and also to recapitulate the beneficial books on the way of the righteous predecessors (salafussalihin). However, this state of affairs did not last as he was overtaken by the need to migrate to Mekah in order to escape from the tyranny imposed by the Communist regime. Al Habib’s was constantly occupied and his time was apportioned primarily for worshiping and devout supplication, remembrance, righteous deeds and in providing counselling and guidance.to others. Without fail, every night he would start his vigil prayer and other act of supplications at two o’clock (in another narration at one o’clock), took a bath and started his ibadah and zikir until sunrise after which he would have a light breakfast and sleep. At ten o’clock in the morning, he would then start to pray the dhuha prayer. It had been narrated that he would read ten chapters juzu’ of the Al Quran during the dhuha prayer. He would then continue his supplication until the afternoon zohor prayer time followed by praying the four rakaat qabliah. He would read surah Yasin in each of these rakaat. After praying the four rakaat ba’diah, he would have his lunch and took a rest. At four o’clock in the afternoon and after praying the four rakaat qabliah asar, he would seek Allah’s forgiveness seventy times; he would then pray the asar prayer followed by further supplications. He would then guide the transcendent study circle of majlis ta’alim until maghrib time when he would lead the prayer with his murids, followed by the sunnah prayer of muakad and awabin. He would only read the ratib Al Haddad after completing the isha’ prayer and its ba’diah,. At ten o’clock he would have his dinner and would sleep, waking up at two am to start his routine ibadah till sunrise. In his guiding of the study circle of the majlis ta’alim, the approach was different. Unlike most majalis where the reading of the book kitab was done on a cursory level passing from one reader to another, Al Habib would ask the reciter to continuously repeat the text until its message was fully understood and enter the heart as if Rasullulah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم was conversing personally with him. The living tradition of Hadramut has always been the practise of seeking knowledge and ijazah from Mashaeikh[1]. The following are his mashaeikhs Al Habib Hussin bin Abdullah Al Habshi Al Habib Alwi bin Abdullah Al Habshi Al Habib Abdullah bin Idrus Al Idrus Al Habib Abdullah bin Umar Alshatrie Al Habib Abdul Bari bin Sheikh Al Idrus Al Habib Ahmad bin Abdul Rahman Al Saggaf Al Habib Ahmad bin Mohsin Al Hedhar Al Habib Ali bin Abdul Rahman Al Habshi Al Habib Muhammad bin Ali Al Habshi Al Habib Muhammad bin Salim Asree Al Habib Muhammad bin Hadi Al Saggaf Al Habib Alwi bin Abdullah Benshahab Al Habib Omar bin Ahmad Bensmeth Al Habib Hassan bin Muhammad Bilfagih Sheikh Mahfuz bin Osman Sheikh Salim Said Bakayir Al Habib wonderful personality embodied the essence of virtue as elucidated in the Ba’Alawi manuscript entitled “Al-Ilmu Nabras fi Tanbih ‘ala Manhaj Al Akyas inscribed by Habib Abdullah bin Alwee bin Hassan Al Attas describing it as-: “someone who followed meticulously the life and practises of his noble predecessors in knowledge and endeavour, having pure heart free, from any negative attributes, reverently devoted and wholeheartedly live up to righteous deed, keeping in company with those with good character and keeping away from those with decadent disposition, dislike prominence and fame, avoiding festivity, self blaming on personal inadequacies, imbued with eminent nobleness, piety, renunciation, gentle, leaving those with animosity aside and fully engrossed on matters pertaining to the hereafter. Al Habib also had also written six treaties including “Al Tazkir Al Mustaffa” In remembering Al Habib Attas, it suffices tc conclude on the credence of the citation of Al Habib Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad As Saggaf who regarded him as someone who was endowed with the secrets of the company of salaful arifin and distinguished him as “Saidi Al-arif billah” Al Habib Abu Bakar Attas passed away on 28 Rejab 1416 H (21 December 1995 M) His life had been in complete service to Allah in all its total manifestation. He was buried at Ma'la, at Mekah Al Mukarammah. اللهم انشرنفحات الرضوان عليه وإمدنا بالأسرار التي أودعتهالديه . اللهم صل وسلم على جده النبي الأمين سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين الفاتحة إلى حضرة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وإلى روح سيدنا الحبيب ابي بكرالعطاس بن عبدالله بن علوي الحبشي وأصوله وفروعه وتلامذته والمنتسبين إليه أجمعين، أن الله يعلي درجاتهم في الجنة ويكثر من مثوباتهم ويضاعف حسناتهم ويحفظنا بجاههم وينفعنابهم ويعيد علينا من بركاتهم وأسرارهم وأنوارهم وعلومهم ونفحاتهم في الدين والدنيا والآخرة - الفاتحة -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] A pious scholar who follows and practices the way of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. For more detailed definition of Mashaeikh, refer to ‘Key to the Garden’ by Habib Ahmad Mashhur Al-Haddad, Quillium Press Ltd, England

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Muhammad al-Khidr ibn Sayyidi `Abdullah isbn Maayaabaa (or Maayaabee) al-Jakkani ash-Shanqiti

1290-1354 AH He is Muhammad al-Khidr ibn Sayyidi `Abdullah ibn Maayaabaa (or Maayaabee) al-Jakkani ash-Shanqiti, born in the land of Shanqit (today’s Mauritania) in the year 1290 AH in a rural area of his country about 40 or more kilometres from the capital city, both of his parents were righteous, his father being a shaikh and marja` and his mother being an upright woman. Shaikh Muhammad al-Khidr’s first teacher after his mother was his father, Shaikh `Abdullah Maayaabaa, a righteous man and marja` in his own time. Many wonders were attributed to him and he was loosely associated with the tariqah of the Qadiriyyah; but as is the case with many of the Mauritanians, he did not associate and formalise himself with a tariqah. As a youth, Shaikh Muhammad al-Khidr memorised in the Qur’an in his young in the way of Nafi`, from both Warsh and Qalun. In fiqh and creed, he completed ar-Risalah by Imam Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani. Although excelling and striving in his studies with his father and other shaikhs in various tribes, the Imam suffered a setback when his father, Sayyidi `Abdullah, died before his completion of the Qur’an; but with his righteousness and steadfastness and the encouragement of others, Muhammad al-Khidr moved on with the business of learning. Even while studying, teachers noticed the brilliance of the Imam and the Abus-Siba` married him into their tribe. Upon return to his native people, he found that the shaikhs had grown older and that his ten brothers had now grown into manhood and were scholars in their own right. These brothers include: Sayyidi Ahmad ash-Shanqiti Muhammad al-Karrami ash-Shanqiti Muhammad Sayyidi `Aal Muhammad Nur ud-Din Muhammad as-Salik Muhammad Faal Sayyidi Muhammad Muhammad Taqi ud-Din Muhammad al-`Aqib Muhammad Habibullah The Imam had two other brothers that had excelled before these ten and they were: Muhammad Fadil Muhammad Mahmud Before his death, the Imam, the Sage, Muhammad al-Khidr ash-Shanqiti wrote more than 11 books in various subjects and gave numerous rulings on topics ranging from creed, fiqh, contemporary fatawa all the way to the particulars of the Arabic language and reviving thorough study of its’ sciences by enthusiasts. After the break of Sham, a number of fabricated states were created: Syria, Jordan Lebanon, Palestine and Israel. The Imam settled in Jordan and was declared the Chief Qadi of Jordan, in fact the first Chief Qadi since the nation’s founding. Although a position he did not accept, he was recognised as marja` due to the statements about him in Mauritania but also another meeting where this was declared again by visiting scholars from Syria. Shaikh Muhammad al-Khidr ash-Shanqiti, one of the great maraji`, died in the year 1354 AH in Al-Madinah and was buried in Jannat ul-Baqi`. May Allah bless him and his brothers who taught on after him as well as his family and nobles among them.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Merits of Shaban

Merits of Sha`ban The scholars say that the linguistic root of the word Sha`ban is a branch, because the month of Sha`ban “branches off” and leads on to many good things. It acts as a bridge between the two blessed months of Rajab and Ramadan. In spite of this, it is often neglected. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) alerted us to this fact when he was asked why he was fasting so much in Sha`ban. He replied: “It is a month that people neglect, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which actions are raised to the Lord of the Worlds and I love for my actions to be raised while I am fasting.”[1] What is meant by actions being raised? The scholars say it is a symbolic displaying of our actions to Allah. Of course Allah is All-Seeing, All-Knowing and does not need for our actions to be displayed to him as He is constantly aware of them. However if the slave is not aware of Allah’s constant vigilance then he should at least strive to do good actions at times when his actions are displayed to Allah. If he is able to gain Allah’s pleasure at these times then he hopes that Allah will overlook his wrongdoings and shortcomings at other times. There is a daily display after Fajr and `Asr, and a weekly display on Monday and Thursday, and a yearly display  which takes place in the month of Sha`ban. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was keen to do good works at all these times and was keen for his Ummah to do the same. One of the greatest works we can do in Sha`ban is fasting, and this is what the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) loved to be doing when his actions were raised, on Monday and Thursday and also during Sha`ban. Sayyida `A’isha said of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “I did not see him fasting in any month more than Sha`ban.”[2] She also said: “The month which he loved to fast the most was Sha`ban.”[3] Both hadith of course refer to voluntary fasting outside of Ramadan. Some hadith suggest that he would fast the whole of Sha`ban, although there is perhaps more evidence to suggest that he would fast most of the month and leave a few days. In another hadith he said (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), in response once again to a question about his fasting in Sha`ban: “In this month those who are destined to die are recorded for the Angel of Death. I love for my name to be recorded when I am fasting.”[4] One of the wisdoms behind the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)  fasting abundantly in Sha`ban is mentioned by  Sayyida `A’isha, who said that in Sha`ban he would make up any voluntary fasts that he had missed during the course of the year.[5] At this time she would fast with him to make up any of the fasts that she had missed in Ramadan.[6] From this we learn the importance of making up supererogatory actions which we are accustomed to performing and also the necessity of making up any days of Ramadan which we have missed before Ramadan comes round again. The scholars also mention that fasting in Sha`ban before Ramadan resembles praying the supererogatory prayers before the obligatory prayer, while fasting in Shawwal after Ramadan resembles praying the supererogatory prayers after the obligatory prayer. Performing supererogatory actions makes up for any deficiencies in the obligatory actions that we have performed. In spite of all this the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also said: “When the first half of Sha`ban is finished do not fast.”[7]The scholars of the Shafi`i school understood that this hadith prohibits voluntary fasting in the second half of Sha’ban, except in certain circumstances.[8] The other schools, however, say that there is no prohibition on fasting in the second half of the month but say that it is disliked to fast a day or two before Ramadan. We have mentioned much detail on fasting and this is due to the sheer number of narrations on the subject. Even if we can just fast the “White Days”[9] or any three days this would have a great effect. Other than fasting, it is recommended to send abundant blessings and peace upon the Beloved of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It was in this month that Allah revealed: ( إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَـتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ   تَسْلِيماً ) Allah and His angels send their blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe send blessings and peace upon him in abundance![10] Perhaps this is why the Prophet called Sha`ban “my month,” when he said in the hadith: “Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha`bān is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.”[11]Sending blessings upon him is one of the greatest means of strengthening our connection to him in this life and also the next, as he informed us (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “The closest people to me on the Day of Rising will be those who send the most blessings upon me.”[12] It was also the habit of some of the early Muslims to recite the Qur’an in abundance during Sha`ban. This along with fasting gives us the best preparation for Ramadan, as it takes time for the self (nafs) to become accustomed to doing these things in abundance. If we are already accustomed to doing them before Ramadan it will enable us to do more when the month begins. Perhaps this is why Imam Abu Bakr al-Warraq said: “in Rajab you sow the seeds, in Sha`ban you irrigate them and in Ramadan you reap the harvest.” Two momentous events occurred in Sha`ban. The scholars of Sira say that it was the month in which the moon was split in half for the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It was also the month in which the Qibla (direction of prayer) was changed from Bayt al-Maqdis in Jerusalem to the Ka`ba in Mecca. While these events have now passed there is one momentous event which comes around every year, and that is the Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban, one of the greatest nights of the year. We intend to deal with it in detail closer to the time. We end by asking, as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked: اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا في رَجَبٍ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنا رَمَضَانَ “O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha`bān and enable us to reach Ramadan!”[13] [1] Narrated by Ahmad and al-Nasa’i [2] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim [3] Narrated by al-Nasa’i [4] Narrated by al-Haythami [5] Such as fasting Monday and Thursday and three days in every month, which he may have been unable to perform due to expeditions and illness [6] Narrated by al-Tabarani [7] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban [8] Such as if someone begins fasting in the first half of the month and continues his fast into the second half or if someone regularly fasted on a Monday throughout the year. In these situations it is permissible to fast in the second half of the month. A make up fast (qada’) is of course permissible, as this discussion only revolves around voluntary fasting. [9] The “White Days” are the days which follow nights in which the moon is full, namely the 13th, 14th and 15th days of each lunar month. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) encouraged his Companions to fast three days in every month and to fast these days specifically. The 15th day is regarded as being in the first half of the month and thus there is no prohibition in the Shafi`i school on fasting it in Sha`ban. [10] Al-Ahzab 33.56 [11] Narrated by al-Suyuti [12] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban [13] Narrated by Ahmad - The above note is compiled by Ustadh Amin Buxton (Allah reward and preserve him and his teachers)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What are the virtues of the month of Rajab? By Shaykh Ilyas Patel

It has been mentioned by Abu Nu’aim in Hilya from Anas Ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) he said, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to make the following dua, when the month of Rajab came in: “Allahuma Barik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa ballighna Ramadhan” It has been mentioned by Abul Fath ibn Abil-Fawaris in his Amali (dictations and transmissions) and Allama Suyuti has also mentioned in his Jami Saghir from Hasan Basri that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Rajab is the month of Allah. Shaban is my month. Ramadhan is the month of my ummah (followers)”. From the above hadith, it shows that it is preferable to make dua, to remain in the coming and following months, in order to perform good actions in them, because a true believer increases in his age with goodness. The best of people is the one who lives long and performs good actions. The pious predecessors used to prefer dying after performing good actions, like the fast of Ramadhan or returning from Haj. And it was said by them, “whoever dies in this way, is forgiven.” There is no doubt that the month of Rajab is the key to the opening of the months of goodness and blessing. Abu Bakr Warraq (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “Rajab is a month of cultivation, Shaban is month of irrigating the fields, and the month of Ramadhan is a month of reaping and harvesting.” The summary is, that the month of Rajab is a sacred month and the first, virtuous and noble of them all. So it is appropriate to celebrate it ENTIRELY and to give attention to it by performing good acts, and refraining oneself from sins and offensive things, because it is the month of Allah. It has been mentioned that Allah said, “Fasting is for me and I will recompense one for it.” Fasting in the month of Rajab prevents one from sins, let alone refraining one from killing and having enmity towards the enemy (which this month was made sacred for), like it was practiced by the people in the ignorant (jahili) period. (Imam Abdul Gani al-Nablusi, Fadhail al-Shuhur wal-Ayyam (Virtues of Months and Days) pg 27, 32)

Sidi Mohammed b. Sulayman al-Jazouli al-Hassani (d. 869/1454)

Imam al-Jazouli's present-day reputation is based primarily on a work that was written more than two hundred years after his death: Mumti'u‘ al-asma'a fi dhikr al-Jazouli wa at-Tabba'a wa ma lahuma mina al atba‘ (The Delight of the Hearing in the Recollection of al-Jazouli, at-Tabba'a, and Their Followers), by the Shadhili master Sidi Mohammed al-Mahdi al-Fasi (d. 1109/1694). Although the date of Imam al-Jazouli's birth is not known, enough information exists to provide a rough outline of his origins and background. His nisba (attributional name) tells us the he came from the Simlala tribe, one of the most important Sanhaja Berber groups in Jazula. The turbulent political environment of Simlala in the fifteenth century forced the Shaykh to leave his homeland because its culture of violence made serious scholarship impossible. As it turned out, the young sharif had to travel all the way to Fez to get an education, since the insufficient intellectual resources of Marrakech, the usual destination for students from central and southern-Saharan Morocco, made study in that city impossible as well. While in Fez, al-Jazouli lived at Madrasat al-Halfawiyyin (the present Madrasat as-Saffarin), the oldest of the Marinid madaris, whose rooms were reserved for students from the Sus. While there, he studied the Mukhtasar of Ibn al-Hajib, the standard introductory work on usul al-fiqh. He also studied Al-Mudawwana al-kubra, Sahnoun's ("Abdessalam ibn Said Tanukhi Qayrawani," d. 240/854) ninth-century compendium of Maliki law. Although al-Jazouli must eventually have attended lessons at the Qarawiyin and Andalus mosques where many of the greatest 'ulama' of Morocco gave their lectures, he lodged and studied, like most students not native to the city, in a madrasa. In his case he attended the Saffarin madrasa which still stands across from the Qarawiyyine, separated from the great mosque by a narrow street named Bu Twil. Of all the madrasas of Fez, the Saffarin was the madrasa most closely associated with the Qarawiyin, so much so that a door to the latrines in the Saffarin is directly across from one of the doors of the Qarawiyin (Bab al-Saffarin), thus enabling students to perform their ablutions in the madrasa before crossing right over to pray in the mosque.  The Saffarin has 117 rooms with 23 on the ground floor and the remainder in the upper two stories. The largest of the Marinid madrasas in Fez, it tended, with some variation, to follow the standard pattern for Maghribi madrasas in its layout. Thus, it was built around a courtyard with a central pool and fountain. On one side there is an open hall or oratory with a high ceiling for prayer and instruction while the opposite side has an entrance vestibule. Some of the chambers for students are located on the other two sides of the ground floor, hidden from view by ornate lattice-work mashrabiya screens placed between the arcades of the courtyard. Some of the larger madrasas had a second floor for both additional student chambers and additional oratories. The Saffarin was unusual in that it had not only two, but three floors with an oratory and prayer hall on the first floor.  That al-Jazouli should go to this particular madrasa is to be expected. Like all of the madrasas of Fez, it was expressly intended to house students from outside of the city, and in the 15th century, students from Jazoula and other areas of southern Morocco tended to go to the Saffarin. After he was admitted to the Saffarin, he would have been given a room by the overseer (nazir) of the madrasa who made his assignments based upon the needs and seniority of the students. Older students received rooms closer to the center, copyists received more well lighted rooms, and so forth. All students in the madrasa were bachelors, since women were not allowed to enter, and as soon as a student married, he was obliged to find other lodging. Once Ali obtained a room, it would have been neither comfortable nor spacious since the madrasas of Fez were designed to accommodate as many students as possible in the cramped space at hand. Consequently, there were not even any beds that might take up valuable living space. Instead most students slept on mats on the floor covered by a blanket or on projecting shelves below the ceiling that could serve as bunk beds. During the day the blankets and mats could be stowed away and the space used for other purposes. Some of the cells - probably intended for only one student - measured a mere 1.5x2 meters. Most rooms had a small table. Next to the door of each room there was a narrow slot into which the daily ration of fiat bread could be deposited once a day. The bread was provided by the original pious endowment (waqf) for the madrasa which stipulated, in the case of the Saffarin, that one hundred loaves be distributed every day, or about one loaf per person. In addition to this daily ration, the students probably cooked over charcoal braziers in their rooms, preparing a vegetable stew or whatever else they could manage to scrape together. None of the madrasas of Fez has a kitchen. Finally, a student could possibly have supplemented his meagre rations at times by receiving food from a local merchant or other resident of Fez who fed students as an act of charity. Al-Jazouli's room in this madrasa  is till known, and can be shown to the visitor by the madrasa's caretaker. A widely repeated account of al-Jazouli's student days conveys an image of extreme introspection. During his sojourn at Madrasat al-Halfawiyyin he would spend long periods alone in his room, leaving it only to attend class. While in his room, he would lock the door and allow no one to enter. Because of this antisocial behaviour word began to spread that al-Jazouli was concealing money. When news of these suspicions reached his father at Jazula , the latter hurried to Fez to see what was happening. Upon arriving at the madrasa, Sidi Abderrahman al-Jazouli demanded to enter his son's room. When he opened the door, he saw the word "death" (al-mawt) written over and over again on the walls. Understanding that his sons was in a deep state of spiritual contraction (qabd), he remarked to the madrasa's caretaker, "Do you see where this one is and where we are?" Tracing Imam al-Jazouli's career after the completion of his studies is problematised by spares and conflicting information. Most sources claim that he composed Dalail al-Khayrat (popular with the name of 'ad-Dalil' in Moroccan Arabic), his books of prayers on behalf of the Prophet Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing upon him), in Fez, replying on manuscripts that were available in the library of the Al Qarawiyyine University. His biographers disagree, however, about the exact stage of his life in which this occurred. It is unlikely that al-Jazouli could have written his world-famous collection of devotions as a marginally educated faqih. Instead, this more probably occurred only after he gained a reputation for piety and erudition. Assuming this hypothesis to be correct, and given the dates of other, better known-periods of the Shaykh's life, it is most likely that al-Jazouli wrote Dalail al-Khayrat sometimes after his participation in the defence of Tangier in 841/1437. This latter conclusion is supported by a tradition recorded by the Jazulite Sufi Sidi Ahmed ibn Abil Qacem as-Suma'i (d. 1013-1604-5), who claims that al-Jazouli was told to return to Fez by a female saliha whom he encountered in Tangier. Sidi Mohammed al-Jazouli spent the years between 843/1428 and 850/1435 between Fez and Ribat Tit al-Firt while been a disciple of the venerated master Sidi Abu Abdellah Mohammed as-Saghir (d. 850/1435), master of Tariqa Sanhajiya Amghariya. al-Jazouli may have met his Shaykh and spiritual guide while a student in Fez, for the latter—whose tomb is still found in Fez—was making unstopped journeys between the cities of Morocco. This peripatetic (sai'h) Sufi, who recruited also warriors for the anti-Portuguese jihad, initiated Sidi al-Jazouli into a rural variant of Shadhiliya order which he took from Sidi Abu Uthman Said al-Hintati al-Hartanani, who succeeded his master Sidi Abderrahman ibn Ilyas Ragragi, as head of Ribat Shakir after his death. Although most sources agree with Mira't al-Mahasin (The Mirror of exemplary qualities), a hagiographical monograph written two generations after prior to Mumti'u al-asma'a by al-Fasi's great uncle Sidi Mohammed ibn Yusuf al-Fasi (d. 1052/1637) who was master of the Shadhiliya in Fez, that al-Jazouli was initiated into the Amghari-Shadhiliya only after he had completed Dalail al-Khayrat, the spiritual maturity of this latter work, as well as the well known doctrinal orientation of Ribat Tit al-Firt and Ribat Shakir, cast doubt upon this assertion. The Sufis from these ribats practiced spiritual methods that stressed, like al-Jazouli's, the veneration of Prophet Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him). Further evidence of a "Mohammedian" perspective at Ribat Tit and Shakir can be found in reports that in the later Marinid period the leading families of these institutions recognised the doctrinal supremacy of the Majiriya Sufi order at Ribat Asafi. The Shaykhs of the Majiriya, who maintained links with the Qadiriya Sufi tradition in the Mashriq, required aspiring disciples to pass extended periods of time at the Prophet's mosques in Medina. al-Jazouli himself held Ribat Asafi in such high esteem that he built his own zawiya on its ruins and appropriated Sidi Abu Mohammed Salih Majiri's (d. 631/1216) rules of Sufi practice for his Sufi order. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

The description of`Uthman ibn `Affan (taken from an article by Amin ibn `Abdullah Ash-Shaqawy

The compilers of biographies described him as being of medium-hight, not tall not short, of bright face, white color impregnated with redness, with thick beard, of wide shoulders, and the best smiley person.

He was known for generosity and spending in the way of Allah, and we previously mentioned some of that.

As for his worship, he frequently fasted and stayed up at night for worship. Ibn `Umar commented on the saying of Allah: "Is one who is obedient to Allâh, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)?" [Surat Az-Zumar: 9]. saying: That is the description of `Uthman.

Of his great sayings which indicate his devoutness and piety that he used to say: I have not committed adultery nor theft neither in Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) nor in Islam.

He (may Allah be pleased with him) was killed in 35 AH when the people besieged his house in the famous sedition when he was eighty years old.

He sacrificed himself and was martyred unjustly where he could have asked the help of the Companions of the Prophet to defend him, but he did not desire that a drop of blood is being spelled because of him.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed him that he shall be killed unjustly and that was a Prophetic sign. At-Tirmidhy reported in his Sunan from the Hadith of Ibn `Umar who said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned a sedition and said: "(pointing at `Uthman) this will be killed therein unjustly."

Description of Umar ibn al Khattab (ra)

Umar was blessed with a strong physique. He could undergo great rigours. He could travel on foot for miles. He was an athlete and a wrestler. He participated in the wrestling matches on the occasion of the annual fair at Ukaz, and he won in most of such matches. From the accounts that have come down to us it appears that Umar had attained perfection in the art of wrestling.

Some first hand descriptions of the physical appearance of Umar have come down to us. Ibn Sad and al-Hakim have recorded a description of Umar as Abu Miriam Zir, a native of Kufa described him. Zir said:

"I went forth with the people of Madina on a festival day, and I saw Umar walking barefoot. He was advanced in years, bald, of a tawny colour-a left handed man, tall, and towering above the people."

Ibn Umar described the physical appearance of Umar as follows:

"He was a man of fair complexion, a ruddy tint prevailing, tall, bald and grey."

Ubayd bin Umayr described Umar as follows:

" Umar used to overtop the people in height."

Salima bin al-Akwa'a said about him:

" Umar was ambidexter; he could use both his hands equally well."

Ibn Asakir records on tile authority of Abu Raja al-U'taridi that:

"Umar was a man tall, stout, very bald, very ruddy with scanty hair on the cheeks, his moustaches large, and the ends thereof reddish."

Umar was a skillful rider. He could successfully manage even the wildest of horses he would literally jump on the back of the horse, and sit with such ease and steadiness that he appeared to be a part and parcel of the horse he rode.

He was very intelligent and shrewd. He was a good public speaker. He was gifted with an uncommon degree ot tact and judgment, and on several occasions he successfully undertook ambassadorial missions on behalf of the Quraish.

By all accounts he was self-respecting, broad-minded and sincere. He was a man of strong convictions, a good friend, and a bad enemy. Like the rugged hills around him, he was harsh and stern, violent in temper, but very good of heart. He was always prepared to stand up against the oppressor and espouse the cause of the weak.

Description of Abu Bakr as Sadeeq

Imam Tabari (ra) in his book "History of the Prophets and Kings" relates from Aisha(ra) "He was a man with fair skin, thin, emaciated, with a sparse beard, a slightly hunched frame, sunken eyes and protruding forehead, and the bases of his fingers were hairless."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa
Shaykh Ibrahim was born and raised in Liverpool, England.
He was blessed with the opportunity to study several classical disciplines at the hands of some of the holders of the tradition such as Murabit al-Haj
, al-Habib Umar b. Hafiz
and Shaikh Hassan al-Hindi. Initially studying for three years in Syria
and Mauritania
, Ustadh Ibrahim was then blessed with the opportunity to spend over six years in the illuminated city of Tarim, Hadramaut
where he studied under the qualified hands of teachers such as Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf
,Habib Ali al-Jifri
and Shaykh Umar Husain al-Khatib

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa was one of the founders of several Islamic initiatives including the Ibn Abbas Institute, Starlatch Press, Badr Language Institute and the Greensville Trust. Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa currently resides in Liverpool, England with his wife and two children.

Wird al Latif composed by Imam Abdallah al-Haddad

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


by Sh. G. F. Haddad

shorter version, 25 Muharram 1421 - 29 April 2000

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Al-Hamdu Lillah was-Salat was-Salam `ala Rasulillah Wa Alihi wa Sahbihi wa Man Walah.

As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh:

This is an account of my stay of thirty days over `Eid al-Adha 1421 in Zawiyat Sidi Ibrahim Basir, Bani `Iyat, Morocco with my wife and children, written at the request of a dear friend and in hope of informing our brethren about some aspects of the beauty of this Religion and of the blessed Community of Islam.

The plane trip from Damascus to Dar al-Bayda' (Casablanca) via Malta took us about ten hours including the waiting before and after flights, capped by three more hours by car on flatland highways to reach the Zawiya which lies south of Dar al-Bayda', towards the center of Morocco near the town of Bani Mellal in the district (Iqlim) of Azilal.

The last leg of the journey was on a dirt road parallel to the Middle Atlas Mountain. From a distance we finally saw the Zawiya, looking like a fort built at the foot of the mountain. We arrived there shortly after Maghrib.

As we came out of the car the first thing I heard was the collective recitation of the Qur'an by the student-huffaz in Maghribi style - solemn, energetic, no tajwid, intensely moving, carried over from the masjid by loudspeakers. A small group of people surrounded us and as I turned my head I saw the Shaykh of the Zawiya coming down the narrow, paved alley leading to the mosque between chalk-white walls, Sidi Mustafa Basir, ~60, smiling, with his metal cane to support his ailing right leg, surrounded by the Fuqara' (murids) of the Shadhili-Darqawi Tariqa which he directs in the Southern region of Morocco, all singing the welcoming hymn that I was to hear again many times:

Salamun `alaykum ya man ja'ana billah!
Taqbalu man ja'akum, zarakum lillah!
Ya Marhaban bikum ya man ja'ana lillah!
Mawlana yukafikum wal-maqsudu huwa ALLAH!
Salutations to you who came to us by Allah!
Accept those who came to you visiting you for Allah!
Welcome to you who came to us for Allah!
Our protecting Lord recompense you! Our goal is Allah!

I kissed the Shaykh's hand, conveying Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim's Salaam with emotion at the same time as the Shaykh himself kissed my hand and embraced me! MARHABAN! LA BA'S? MARHABAN! (Welcome! Are you well? Welcome!) Two large bowls materialized in front of me - dates and milk. As I took three dates and drank some milk, the night sky filled with tartil of Qur'an and Salam of the hosts, the thought came to me: "You have entered the world of the early Muslims."

After praying I joined the Shaykh in the main hall of the Zawiya, where the Fuqara' who had filled the large room from wall to wall offered me their warm smiles and welcoming hugs. As I sat at the right hand of the Shaykh green tea with mint began to flow and did not stop for thirty days. The Shaykh said: This is a triple `Eid for us, then recited poetry:

The coming of the beloved, the day of Jum`a, and the `Eid
These are for us, by the grace of Allah, three `Eids.
Seventy or a hundred voices began to recite the poetry of the Andalusian Awliya' - Ibn al-Farid, Abu Madyan al-Ghawth, Sidi Muhyi al-Din ibn `Arabi - in praise of the Master of Creation - Sayyidina Muhammad - in unison with a refrain that became the emblem of our stay in the land of Maghreb:

Allah, Allah! bi-Fadlika kun li!
Allah, Allah! Treat me with Your great Favor!
I took in the blessings of these first moments with grateful admiration and wonder at the beauty of this Religion and its treasures, the bonding of hearts with love and brotherhood, the simple, vast hospitality of sincerity, the pure spiritual spring of Tariqa.

We prayed `Isha on the straw mats of the large white-walled mosque, then returned to the hall where, after the banquet served in our honor, we began a Dhikr of praise and thanks to Allah for the Blessing of Islam and the Honor of Iman. We stood up or rather the Dhikr stood us, with the strong chant of ALLAH! / HAYY! ALLAH! / HAYY!, shoulder to shoulder, hands clasped, while the reciter hymned text after text teaching the ineffability of Tawhid.

The following days were not much different yet every day brought new manifestations of hospitality and generosity. No day passed except Sidi Mustafa slaughtered a sheep or goat for us and for other visitors who came to the Zawiya. Together with the traditional steamed couscous we drank yoghurt from the Zawiya's two cows, so pure that tiny clots of butter floated in it. Our daily whole-wheat and oat breads were also baked at the Zawiya. Water came to the Zawiya from a spring that flowed from the heart of the neighboring mountain. Al-Shukru Lillah!

I took part in most of the routine of the students of Qur'an and the Fuqara' of the Zawiya, notably the recitation of the twice-daily Hizb of Qur'an, once after Salat al-Fajr, once after Salat al-Maghrib - making a total of one Juz' a day - followed respectively by one portion of al-Busiri's Hamziyya and one portion of his Burda - all by memory except for this slave! In addition, another Khatma or complete recitation of the Qur'an was performed individually - one Juz' each - every Jum`a of the month, bringing to five the minimum number of khatmas recited at the Zawiya every month.

The Hamziyya (poem with the hamza in its rhyme scheme) is a longer and more difficult poem than the Burda and like it of awesome beauty. It begins with the following lines addressing the Prophet Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him and his Family:

kayfa tarqâ ruqyaka al-anbiyâ'u
yâ samâ'a mâ t.âwalathâ samâ'u

How can the Prophets rise up to your level
O heaven whom no heaven can reach!

The Hamziyya is a repository of learning comprising necessary teachings of the basic Islamic creed, the Sira, the Prophetic Attributes... Full knowledge of the rights of al-Mustafa is known only to Allah (swt) but its pursuit is among the treasures of this Religion and grants one the highest levels of belief and success here and hereafter.

Among its valuable commentaries is Shaykh Sulayman al-Jamal's al-Futuhat al-Ahmadiyya bil-Minah al-Muhammadiyya published with al-Sawi's commentary in the margins at al-Matba`a al-Maymuniyya in Cairo (1306/1889). Another commentary is that of Imam al-Haytami, recently reprinted in three volumes by Dar al-Sanabil.

The morning Hizb was followed - for the Fuqara' and non-students such as myself - by a collective loud dhikr lasting until sunrise, formed of the following repetitions: HasbunAllahu wa Ni`ma al-Wakil - La Ilaha illAllah - Allah - Allahumma Salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa `ala Alihi wa Sallim. Meanwhile, the students went off to their memorization sessions.

The evening Hizb was followed by the Wird al-Latif or "devotion named al-Latif," a truly moving collective loud supplication that is read after the gathering first silently recites "Ya Latif" a certain number of times. The text of Wird al-Latif is by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, like Imam al-Suyuti one of the later Shafi`i fuqaha' who belonged to the Shadhili Tariqa. The wird begins with the words:

Ala Ya Latifun Ya Latifun laka al-Lutfu
Fa Anta al-Latifu, minka yashmaluna al-Lutfu

Truly O Most Kind, O Most Kind, to You belongs all kindness! For You are the Most Kind, from You kindness encloses us!

It contains the remarkable phrase:

Wa ha nahnu dakhalna bi-wasfi al-Lutf

Lo! We have now entered the quality of Divine Kindness.

Those sittings during the morning and evening wirds were my most vivid sights of the divine command of unlimited spiritual benefits given to the Prophet - sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam - and the elite of the Friends of Allah: { Restrain yourself along with those who cry unto their Lord morning and evening, seeking His countenance; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp of the life of the world } ... (18:28).

There were many families present at the Zawiya at the time of our visit and ample accommodation for all, as well as safe playing space for small and older children. There used to be a woman teacher of Qur'an in the past, but no longer, due to a lack of demand. The Shaykh indicated that this teaching could be provided again at any time if there was demand for it.

The diligence of the students of Qur'an and their zuhd or simple living struck me. We would go to bed around eleven at night hearing their voices rehearsing in the mosque, and wake up before Fajr still hearing their exercises. Most or all of them came from rural backgrounds and I even met an old ummi (illiterate) herdsman who learnt the entire Qur'an at a late age and became a hafiz by the grace of Allah.

Adhan in the Maliki madhhab has only a double initial Takbir instead of four Allahu Akbar as in the other three Sunni schools. Style-wise, the adhan in Maghreb is toneless by law. It seems our melodious "Eastern" (Mashriqi) style of adhan is considered an effeminate innovation here! The mu'adhdhin of the Zawiya precedes and follows the adhan of Fajr with tahlil (La ilaha illallah) and Salat on the Prophet - sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam. I never heard him say any other words to anyone during my entire stay.

The Shaykh, the mu'adhdhin, the serving hands of the Zawiya and most of the Fuqara' I met all wear their thick dhikr-beads (tasbih) around the neck. This is a particular Shadhili adab of humbleness in the pursuit of permanent remembrance of the Creator by His bondmen and a most excellent innovation (bid`a hasana) described at length in the book of Sidi Fath Allah al-Bunani titled Tuhfat Ahl al-Futuhat wa al-Adhwaq fi Ittikhadh al-Sibha wa Ja`liha fi al-A`naq ("The Gem of the People of Spiritual Openings and Tastes in Using the Dhikr-Beads and Placing Them around the Necks").

The Shaykh allowed me to spend a lot of time with him, which gave me the opportunity of observing his selfless method as murshid of the neighboring tribespeople and his tireless energy. Visitors came in large numbers and we also went out on several three to five-hour car trips to nearby homes or branch zawiyas to see pilgrims back from Hajj, or on condoleances, or for `Eid.

Every Saturday morning, the Shaykh went to Souk al-Sabt, the second largest open-air market and country fair in Morocco. The first time I went I expected to see the Shaykh buy and sell like everybody else. I was partly wrong. A small square tent was set up at the edge of the fair, front side wide open, sheepskins were spread, and the Shaykh sat down on the ground (I never saw him sit on a chair more than two minutes). Tea and fried dough-cakes were brought and the Shaykh began to give away sadaqat and alms to the poor, taking in the sadaqat of those who wanted to give. Visitors and good humor poured in - neighboring merchants, mosque imams, journeying musicians, majadhib ("fools of God"), friends of the Zawiya... At one time the tent was full of Qur'an memorizers, all former students of the Shaykh coming to give him Salaam. So the Shaykh was buying and selling, but not like everybody else! Someone asked: Is there any other tent like this one in the market? The Shaykh's sons replied no, not in all the market. The questioner said: "By Allah, this tent is all the market!"

Thus I was able to discover, without travelling far outside the immediate vicinity of the Zawiya - though quite vast in terms of distances - this rural Moroccan population and its frank simplicity, nobility and hospitality. I must have met hundreds of people and heard "marhaban fi baytak wa baladak" (welcome to your home and your country) countless times.

The traditional travel dress of Maghribi land and livestock farmers that came to visit the Shaykh at the Zawiya or on the weekly market day somehow reminded me of the head-dresses and flowing robes of late Medieval and Renaissance European burghers as depicted in the art of that period.

I went on a five-day trip further South together with the Shaykh's son to Tanalt above Agadir, to visit a blessed Canadian friend - Shaykh Ramzi - who was studying Maliki fiqh there, at the school of the Friend of Allah Sidi al-Habib, whose Maqam or tomb we visited as soon as we arrived, after two painstaking days. 1,200 meters high, valleys, majestic Anti-Atlas mountains touching the clouds and surrounding us as far as the eye could see. I took panoramic pictures of these sights which reminded me of my native Lebanon.

Tanalt, Agadir, Inzeguen, Tadila are Amazigh towns - Amazigh, the original name for those the Arabs called Berbers. The Amazigh people possess oral and written languages and literatures that are entirely independent of Arabic although they are originally Arabs - a little known fact - hailing from a Southern Yemeni tribe that still exists in our time. The Amazigh boast countless Awliya' and prestigious Maliki jurists in all the Souss (Southern Maghreb) as well as the Saharian regions bordering Mauritania. The teaching in many of their schools is conducted in Amazigh.

The family of my host - Basir - also comes from the Sahara but is of Hijazi Arabic origin and descends from the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him and his Family - through his grandson al-Hasan ibn `Ali ibn Abi Talib, as do all the Idrisites of Morocco. The Shaykh traced for me the origin of the name "Basir" - which means well-sighted - to a saintly ancestor who was blind and endowed with the gift of spiritual unveiling (kashf). This Basir could reveal visitors' names, origins, ailments and states on the spot and without having met them previously. I was told that, beginning with him, every second child born to the same mother in his line was born blind but many of them received the same gift of true clairvoyance.

The father of my host, Sidi Ibrahim, died when Sidi Mustafa was five. The latter took the Tariqa from his older brother Sidi al-Habib (different from the Sidi al-Habib of Tanalt), who died in 1985. The Shaykh's son `Abd al-Mughith Basir collected the history of the Basir Shuyukh in a volume under print titled al-Nazr al-Yasir fi Manaqib Al al-Basir which I had the priviledge of seeing.

The Shaykh told me that his father Sidi Ibrahim used to travel the mountains and desert plains of Southern Morocco with a caravan of about a hundred. When they camped they set up five large tents: one for the Shaykh's female relatives, one for the Qur'an memorizers, one for the visitors, one for the Shaykh, and one for the kitchen ustensils. The Shaykh travelled thus teaching Tawhid and Salat in the wild for years, later building the Zawiya. During that time he lost a son and a daughter as well as many followers, to the hostility of warlords, country magicians and others of those opposed to Submission to God such as the French occupants.

During my stay I attended Jumu`a in Dar al-Bayda' one time. I arrived late together with the Imam - the brother of Sidi Mustafa - and entered the Masjid about ten minutes before the Imam came out. Going in seemed like entering the ocean of Qur'an, as the Masjid was filled with hundreds of voices reciting in unison in the familiar, literally monotone Maghribi style. The only other time I felt with such force the crushing majesty and beauty of the Divine Speech was when I heard the Qur'an recited for the very first time, - on tape -, before my conversion to Islam ten years ago.

As I sat down in that mosque I noticed that most people around me were reciting from memory. Without doubt the Maghrib is the Arabic country with the highest per capita rate of huffaz of Qur'an. Further - regarding their completion and mastery - I had long heard of the testimonies of the Shuyukh al-Qurra' even here in Damascus - Shaykh `Abd al-Razzaq al-Halabi in the Umawi Mosque and Shaykh Muhammad Sukkar in Sidi Muhyi al-Din Mosque - that the Moroccans were superior to all other memorizers. Note that the only Qur'anic reading taught in the Maghreb is that of Imam Warsh, from Nafi`. Al-Hamdu liLlah that He made this country devote itself to preserving this precious reading and thus fulfill, on behalf of the entire Umma, the obligation not to lose one of the several Canonical Readings revealed to the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him.

While in Maghreb I discovered the argan-tree, a thorny tree that can grow small like an olive-tree or large like the oak. It produces in abundance a small fruit that looks like red olives which are collected by releasing goats on the trees. The goats eat the pulp and leave the pits which are then collected and crushed, yielding a delicious light-brown oil full of benefits and more expensive than olive oil. Both oils are obligatory staples of every Moroccan dining-table, especially at breakfast.

Sidi Mustafa Basir is a strict Maliki, down-to-earth Faqih and Hafiz whose every other word is from the Qur'an or the hadith. Most of all he is an accomplished man of practice in the tradition of the Awliya who are beacons of light for their communities and countries, distributing blessings at all times with deeds and states rather than speech. For that reason someone said that there are no mystics in Islam - only realists! Even their discourse is mostly action, as witnessed by some of the sayings I remember hearing from the Shaykh - may Allah keep him in his good care as well as our Shaykh, Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani and all the Friends of Allah:

* "When Allah desires to bring someone from one place of His earth to another, He does not let him move there until all the conditions of living and his sustenance are prepared and ready, then He takes him from here to there."

* "Nothing is easier for Allah than to bring out His slave from one state to another: from point A to point B even if it is at the end of the earth, or from health to sickness - just like that - or from life to death - just like that."

* "When the people who follow the path of light meet they recognize one another and experience familiarity, while those who follow darkness are in constant opposition and alienation from everything. Light never presents opposition with itself, only increase in intensity of love, beauty, and truth as in the verse { Light upon Light } (24:35). While darkness is an unchanging block over which more darkness stacks up, as in the verse { Layer upon layer of darkness } (24:40).

* "Light spreads everywhere but darkness is static. Light, if allowed, pierces into darkness as far as the eye can see whereas darkness, as thick as it can be, can never pierce into light. If darkness had the power to spread, it would be a big problem!"

* "A young woman saint - waliyya - reached a level in the Diwan of Rasulullah - Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam - only through patience with a physical ailment hidden even to her mother and from which she suffered without a single complaint."

* "Each can only speak of what he knows. As for what is not known to him he should not fall into denial but defer to those who know."

I was fortunate to read with the Shaykh Imam al-Qushayri's introduction on doctrine (`aqida) in the beginning of his Risala. I have published his remarks and explanations in my post on al-Qushayri's `Aqida.

Among the du`as I heard the Shaykh say the most when I was with him: "Rabbi yughallib al-baraka `ala al-haraka." "May my Lord make blessing greater than activity."

I am thankful for having met Sidi Mustafa Basir the great-grandson of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - who called the People of the Qur'an "the People of Allah" (Ahlullah), and it is therefore right and correct that their teacher be called the Master of the People of Allah (Shaykh Ahlillah) - may Allah bless him, thank him and support him!

To You belongs all praise O my Lord for Your healing, kindness, and generous gifts embodied in the hospitality of Your Friends and the Bearers of Your Book in the lands of the West concerning which Your Prophet said - Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam: "The people of the West (ahl al-gharb) shall not cease to be victorious, standing for truth, until the Hour rises." Narrated from Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas by Muslim in his Sahih. May Allah not make this our last encounter with the World of the Qur'an!

Wa Sallallahu `ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa `ala Alihi wa Sahbihi wa Sallam.
Wal Hamdu lillahi Rabb il-`alamin.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

The Critical Importance of Al-Ghazali in our times

Hamza Yusuf - "The Critical Importance of Al-Ghazali in Our Times" (Fons Vitae Press) from Fons Vitae Press on Vimeo.