Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Valuable Lesson In Life From The 'Proof Of Islam' Hazrat Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih)

Having completed his studies, Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) was en route back home. On the way the caravan in which he was travelling was waylaid by robbers. Together with his co-travellers, Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) was dispossessed of all his goods. Amongst his possessions were the carefully written notes of the lectures delivered by his ustads. These notes were also taken by the robbers. Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) sought out the leader of the band of robbers and pleaded with him: "Your men have taken all my possessions except for the clothes I wear. You may keep the extra clothes and other valuables - I do not lament their loss. However, please ask your men to return the papers they have taken."

The leader of the band of robbers was amazed at this unusual request. This young man was not worried about clothes and valuables, but he was asking for some pieces of paper to be returned!

Very curious, he asked: "What papers are these?"

Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) explained: "I am a student returning home after completing my studies. When my teachers used to lecture, I used to make notes. These are those very pages of 'ilm that I am requesting to be returned to me."

The leader of the robbers said, "What you have just said fills me with great sorrow and regret. Young lad! Is your 'ilm on pieces of paper when it should have been in your heart? Papers can get lost. Papers can be destroyed by fire, become parched by the sun, get eaten by moths, become damaged with damp, etc., etc. You are dependent on papers? It fills me with great pity. Your 'ilm should be in your heart! Be that as it may, your papers will be returned."

He summoned one of his men and ordered him, "Give back to this boy his papers." The notes were retrieved and returned to Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih).

Imam Ghazali (Rehmatullahi ’Alaih) was of noble character. He was, moreover, a dedicated student. The words of the gang-leader were like a knife piercing his heart. On reaching home, he lost no time in memorising all his notes!
source: islamic forum/spreading the light of islam

I Don’t Get Tired of You – Rumi

I don’t get tired of you. Don’t grow weary
of being compassionate toward me!
All this thirst equipment
must surely be tired of me,
the waterjar, the water carrier.
I have a thirsty fish in me
that can never find enough
of what it’s thirsty for!
Show me the way to the ocean!
Break these half-measures,
these small containers.
All this fantasy
and grief.
Let my house be drowned in the wave
that rose last night in the courtyard
hidden in the center of my chest.
Joseph fell like the moon into my well.
The harvest I expected was washed away.
But no matter.
A fire has risen above my tombstone hat.
I don’t want learning, or dignity,
or respectability.
I want this music and this dawn
and the warmth of your cheek against mine.
The grief-armies assemble,
but I’m not going with them.
This is how it always is
when I finish a poem.
A great silence comes over me,
and I wonder why I ever thought
to use language.

By: Maulana Rumi
Translation: Coleman Barks

Monday, April 11, 2011

tawakkul (trust and reliance on Allah)

The Marvels of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani

Sayyidi wa Imami, Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu, (1044-1132 A.H) in expounding on tawakkul (trust and reliance on Allah) in his spiritual masterpiece Risalat u’l Muawanah (The Book of Assistance) explains the signs of tawakkul and supports his position with the example of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani,Rady Allahu ‘Anhu whom he calls “sayyidi” (“my master”).
“The one whose reliance is sincere has three marks. The first is that he neither has hopes in nor fears other than God. The sign of this is that he upholds the truth in the presence of those in whose regard people usually have hope or fear, such as princes and rulers. The second is that worrying about his sustenance never enters his heart, because of his confidence in God’s guarantee, so that his heart is as tranquil when in need as when his need is fulfilled, or even more. The third is that his heart does not become disturbed in fearful situations, knowing that that which has missed him could never have struck him, and that which has struck him could never have missed him. An example of this was related of my lord Abdal-Qadir al-Jilani, may God spread his benefit. He was once discoursing on Destiny when a great viper fell on him, so that his audience panicked. The viper coiled itself around the shaykh’s neck, then entered one of his sleeves and came out from the other while he remained firm and unperturbed, and did not interrupt his discourse”. (Risalat u’l MuawanahThe Book of Assistance, translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, p. 121-122).
This incident demonstrates that Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani was matchless in a very special way. It also reminds us about the following verses of the Holy Qur’an on theawliya Allah (friends of Allah):
Surely, on the friends of Allah, there is no fear, nor do they grieve. Those who believed and guarded (against evil). For them are glad tidings in this world’s life and in the Hereafter; there is no changing the words of Allah; that is the Supreme Triumph. (10:62-64)
It has been narrated in the biographies of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani that once he saw a dazzling light which filled the whole sky. Then a human frame appeared in it and told him he was his lord and that he had made everything that was prohibited in Islam lawful for him. Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani recognized him as the devil and told him to get lost. Then the sky turned dark and the human frame fizzled out into smoke. Following this, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani heard someone say to him that he had misled seventy people in this way but that his knowledge and piety had saved him. To this the Shaykh responded that it was through the Grace of Allah that he had been saved! The machinations of shaytan could obviously never make Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani abandon the shari’a (sacred Muslim law).
Professor Shetha al-Dargazelli and Dr. Louay Fatoohi explain in their “Introduction” to  the translation of Jila al-Khatir how Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani came to be called Muhyiddin. Once on a Friday in the year 511 A.H, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani came across a frail old invalid who greeted him and asked him to help him to sit up. When he helped him to sit up, he became well again and his whole condition improved. He told Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani that he was the religion of Islam which had been forgotten but which he had helped to revive. Following this incident, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani went to the congregational mosque where people greeted him as “Muhyid Din” (Reviver of Religion). He had never been called by that name before!
All the biographers of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani marvel at his miracles. Dr. Muhammad Haroon Rahmatullahi ‘alayh of the Raza Academy in England has described the miracles of the Shaykh in detail in "The World Importance of Ghawth al Azam Hadrat Sheikh Muhyiddin Abdul Qadir Jilani". To gain baraka (blessings), let us at this juncture recall one of these miracles which relates to fasting in the month of Ramadan. It is related that as it was cloudy, the new moon had not been sighted and people were confused whether to fast or not to fast. They came to Ummul Khayr and asked if the child had taken milk that day. As he had not, they surmised that they had to fast. His mother relates; "My son 'Abdul Qadir was born in the month of Ramadan. No matter how hard I tried he refused to suckle in the daytime. Throughout his infancy he would never take food during the month of fasting." (Sirr al-Asrar, “Introduction” by Shaykh Tosun al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, p. XIII)
This is how Shaykh Tosun al-Jerrahi al-Halveti explains about the daily life of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu: "He himself had given all of himself to Allah. His nights passed with little or no sleep in secluded prayer and meditation. He spent his days like a true follower of the Prophet in the service of humanity. Three times a week he would deliver public sermons to thousands of people. Every day in the morning and the afternoon he gave lessons in Qur'anic commentary, Prophetic traditions, theology, religious law and sufism. He spent the time after the midday prayer giving advice and consultation to people, whether beggars or kings, who would come from all parts of the world. Before sunset prayers, rain or shine, he took to the streets to distribute bread among the poor. As he spent all his days in fasting he would eat only once a day, after sunset prayer, and never alone. His servants would stand at his door asking passers-by if they were hungry, so that they could share his table." (Sirr al-Asrar, p. XLIV)
Shaykh Hammad al-Dabbas Rahmatullahi ‘alayh had predicted that one day Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani would be commanded to proclaim that his foot is on the neck of everyWaliyallah (friend of Allah). This prediction was fulfilled when Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani declared at one of his majalis (religious sessions) in the presence of more than fortymashaayikh (spiritual masters) of Iraq that his foot was on the neck of every Waliyallah. All the mashaayikh, those that were present as well as those in far off lands and places acknowledged and accepted this fact. Qutb ul Irshad Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad has versified on this spiritual reality in one of his qasaaid (eulogies) in Ad-Durr ul Manzum li Dhawil Uqul wa’l Fuhum (Poetic Pearls For Discerning and Understanding Minds). A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Rahmatullahi ‘alayh has versified on it in his “Salaams”, while Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi has expounded on its spiritual reality in Akhbar u’l Akhyar (Narrations About The Chosen Ones).
But the initiate sometimes wonders why Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani revealed so many spiritual secrets when most other shuyukh (spiritual masters) are reticent. To answer this question, we will need to turn to Sayyidi wa Imami Qutb ul Irshad al-Habib Mawlana ‘Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu. In It-haaf i’s-saail (Gifts for the Seeker), he explains that Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu had received permission to divulge these spiritual secrets - "for the man who receives such permission is under an order which he can but obey - and the secret of the permission granted in such matters is itself one that cannot be divulged." (Gifts for the Seeker, translation by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, p.11).
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Open the Window

There's a street where the Beautiful One
 is known to take a stroll.
When a certain radiance is noticed
through the laticed windows
of that neighborhood,
people whisper, The Beloved
must be near.

Listen:open a window to God
and breathe. Delight yourself
with what comecesss through that opening.
The work of love is to create
a window in the heart,
for the breast is illumined
by the beauty of the Belowed.
Gaze incessantly on that Face!
Listen, this is in your power, my friend!
Find a way to your innermost secret.  
Let no other perception distract you.
You, yourself, possess the elixir,
so rub it into your skin,
and by this alchemy
your inner enemies willbecome friends.
And as you are made beautiful,
the Beautiful One will become your own,
the intimate of your once lonely spirit.
Rumi Mathnawi  IV, 3095-3097
Kabir Helminiski& Ahmed Rezwani