Archive for April, 2010

Ya Sin #14 (ayat 75 – 80)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Today we continue our look into Sura Ya Sin and also a look into the benefits of khikr Allah (swt)

From the Muwatta, related by Abu Hurayra:

Said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If someone does ghusl on the day of jumua and then goes in the first part of the time, it is as if he had offered up a camel. If he goes in the second part of the time, it is as if he had offered up a cow. If he goes in the third part of the time, it is as if he had offered up a horned ram. If he goes in the fourth part of the time, it is as if he had offered up a hen. If he goes in the fifth part of the time, it is as if he had offered up an egg. And when the imam comes out, the angels settle down listening to the dhikr (remembrance of Allah).”

036.075 لا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُمْ جُنْدٌ مُحْضَرُونَ

La yastatee’aoona nasrahum wahum lahum jundun muhdaroona

They have not the power to help them: but they will be brought up before Our Judgment-seat as a troop to be condemned.

People are apt to forget or turn away from the true God, the source of all the good that people enjoy. And to go after imaginary powers in the shape of Gods, heroes, men or abstract things like science or Nature or Philosophy, or superstitious things like magic or good fortune or ill fortune or embodiments of his own selfish desires. He thinks that they might help him in this life or in the hearafter. But they cannot help him, on the contrary all things that are false will be brought up and condemned before Allah (SWT)’s judgement seat, and the worshippers of the falsehoods will also be treated as a troop favoring the falsehoods and therefore worthy of condemnation. The falsehoods, therefore, instead of helping them, will contribute to their condemnation.

036.076 فَلا يَحْزُنْكَ قَوْلُهُمْ إِنَّا نَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

Fala yahzunka qawluhum inna na’alamu ma yusirroona wama yu’alinoona

However, be not grieved by the sayings of those (who deny the truth). Verily We know what they hide as well as what they disclose.

If people reject Allah (SWT) we should not grieve over it, we should do our duty and leave the rest to Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) knows all the open and secret motives of them and of us and ultimately it is his will that prevails. Appearances to the contrary, we must have Iman in Allah (SWT).

036.077 أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الإنْسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُبِينٌ

وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلا وَنَسِيَ

خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ036.078

Awa lam yara al-insanu anna khalaqnahu min nutfatin fa-itha huwa khaseemun mubeenun

Wadaraba lana mathalan wanasiya khalqahu qala man yuhyee al’ai{th}ama wahiya rameemun

Doth not man see that it is We Who created him from sperm? yet behold! he stands forth as an open adversary!

And he makes comparisons for Us, and forgets his own origin and Creation: He says, “Who can give life to dry bones and decomposed ones at that?”

People try to compare Allah (SWT) to His creatures, who have such limitation and are really no comparison, for Allah (SWT) has not comparison, it is like saying “What part of La illaha illa allah” don’t you understand? And people try to draw parallels such as in the end of the verse where we wonder who (besides Allah (SWT)) can give life back to dry bones? But to understand how mistaken we are, we realize that this is only a comparison, think of the really difficult thing to imagine, the creation of something out of nothing, literally nothing. This is the power of Allah (SWT) and there is no comparison, any doubt of this is falsehood.

036.079 قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنْشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ

Qul yuhyeeha allathee anshaaha awwala marratin wahuwa bikulli khalqin ‘aaleemun

Say, “He will give them life Who created them for the first time! for He is Well-versed in every kind of creation!-

In every kind of creation, it is beyond our imagination to dream of that! Every second Allah (SWT) is in charge, and the more we as a human race, learn about that which Allah (SWT) deems us worthy of learning, the more we realize this. How can we really imagine the time before creation, when there was nothingness and Allah (SWT) created all that we see around us?

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّجَرِ الأخْضَرِ

نَارًا فَإِذَا أَنْتُمْ مِنْهُ تُوقِدُونَ036.080

Allathee ja’aala lakum mina alshshajari al-akhdari naran fa-itha antum minhu tooqidoona

“The same Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! ye kindle therewith your own fires!

Our own fires, when I was young I used to think about the sun and how it was the source of light and energy in this world, how the plants used it to make food and how the herbivorous animals ate the plants and on and on….but I didn’t think to myself what is the source of that fire in the sun! Allah (SWT) is the source of that fire, and that same fire is hidden in the green wood of the tree, and in the oil under the ground. Ultimately that fire comes from the nothing that Allah (SWT) used to form creation.

But look at this another way, in some of these previous ayah, Allah (SWT) has reminded us of our eyes and of our ability so see and make decisions. We remember that insight is also what he is talking about. Just so, we can also talk about this ayah referring to the light of insight. All vision needs light to work, and when we use our insight we are using the light that Allah (SWT) has veiled from our physical eyes and opened to our inner eyes, it is his light of inner truth. Just as when we rub the sticks of the green tree together to release the fire that is hidden within the tree’s wood, we can release the fire, or the light, of inner vision within ourselves.

Rasul Allah (SWT) has said that for every surface there is a polish and the polish for the heart is dhikr allah. When we polish our hearts with dhikr we become the mirror of the light of Allah (SWT). And with that light we have insight and we are rightly guided.

From the Muwatta

Abu’d-Darda had said, “Shall I not tell you the best of your deeds, and those that give you the highest rank, and those that are the purest with your King, and are better for you than giving gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks?” They said, “Of course.” He said, “Remembrance (dhikr) of Allah ta ala.”

Part 2

“Rasul Allah (SWT), peace be upon him, said, ‘When you pass by a garden of Paradise, avail yourselves of it.’ The Companions asked, ‘What are the gardens of Paradise, O Messenger of Allah? ‘ The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied, ‘The assemblies or circles of dhikr. There are some angels of Allah who go about looking for such assemblies of dhikr, and when they find them they surround them’.”

Allah (SWT) says:

إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى لِمَنْ كَانَ

لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ050.037

Inna fee thalika lathikra liman kana lahu qalbun aw alqa alssam’aa wahuwa shaheedun

“Indeed in this there is a remembrance for those who have a living heart, listen attentively and are awake to taking heed.” (Quran: Qaaf:37)

Therefore, if you desire to benefit from Quran, gather your heart when reciting it, focus your attention to it and focus as if you are the one being directly addressed by it. For indeed it is an address from Allah via the path of Rasul Allah (SWT).

This is because gaining complete benefit from Quran is dependent upon the object providing the benefit, the place by which it is to be received, the conditions related to attaining the benefit and the absence of anything that may hinder the benefit from occurring. Hence the verse contains an explanation of all of these points, with the shortest and clearest of words, and those that best prove the point.

Thus the saying of Allah: (Indeed in this there is a remembrance) has an inference to what has preceded the verse from the beginning of Soorah Qaaf up to this verse and this is what is causing the benefit.

Whilst the saying of Allah (who have a living heart) then this refers to the place that receives the benefit and this is the heart that has life and comprehends what Allah has sent, as Allah the Most High says:

“Indeed this is only a clear reminder and a plain Quran so as to warn those who have a living heart.” (Yaaseen: 69-70)

And His saying (listen attentively) i.e. who turns his attention to it and listens mindfully to what is being said. This is the condition that is placed so that one can be benefited by it. And His saying (are awake to taking heed) i.e. that the heart is attentive to it.

Ibn Qutaibah said: “Listen to the book of Allah whilst your heart and mind are attentive, not neglectful nor distant.”

This is an inference to the matter that prevents one from attaining benefit. That is when the heart is distant and unmindful such that it does not understand what is being said, nor comprehend it.

Therefore, if the cause of the benefit – Quran, is found and the place of receiving it – and that is the heart has life – and the condition is fulfilled – and that is listening attentively – and the barriers that would prevent benefit from being attained are avoided – and that is the heart being pre-occupied with something else and it being unmindful of what is said – then one attains the benefit, of being benefited by Quran. (al-Fawaa’id by Ibn-ul-Qayyim)

And we also remember that it was said by Aiyesha (as) that when the Rasul Allah (SAW) was asleep that his eyes may have been asleep but his heart was awake.

و الله علم

Wa allahu alim



Senior Pakistani Sheikh Issues Fatwa Against Terrorism | Global Terrorism

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Sheikh Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadiri

Senior Pakistani Sheikh Issues Fatwa Against Terrorism | Global Terrorism.

In the past I have posted and supported the Fatwa issued by Sheikh Muhammad Tahir ul Qadiri. This post is part of that support.

Recently I also read an article about a suicide bombing in Pakistan in which 7 people were killed and the Taliban took the responsibility. They were actually proud of this. Additionally I read about protests in Pakistan over killing of civilians as a result of Pakistani Air Force strikes against Taliban and Al Qaeda strongholds. Yet I waited 24 hours after the recent Taliban bombings and no similar protests were reported.

This is backwards. The Taliban and Al Qaeda kill innocent people ON PURPOSE and gets little or no protest. They even brag about it. But when ACCIDENTAL casualties happen as a result of the country trying to rid itself of the vermin Taliban there are no voices denouncing them. I understand that this may be because the protests that do happen against armed forces may be inspired by Taliban or Al Qaeda operatives. But this kind of nonsense has got to stop.

The Sheikh’s fatwa is a good start but it has to be brought into the discussion every time there is a suicide bombing and killing of innocents. The fatwa is very complete and should put fear into the heart of any Muslim who is contemplating such horrific acts. The media has got to grab onto this more firmly and use it the way it is supposed to be used.

I would like to see, each time a bombing is reported, the news say something like this – “Despite numerous clerical opposition and fatwas indicating the illegality of suicide bombing and killing of innocents, the Taliban once again endangered the immortal souls of a misguided young man (or woman) when they launched a bombing in………” You pick the place.

Sheikh Qadiri’s fatwa is good. It is complete. It should be used as any legal injunction is used. We need to mention it in every article about bombings and in every forum about stopping these Taliban and Al Qaeda dogs.

Smitha Khorana: The Sufi Dargah: A Sacred Space in India For All Faiths (PHOTOS)

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Nizamuddin at night (photo by Smitha Khorana)

Smitha Khorana: The Sufi Dargah: A Sacred Space in India For All Faiths (PHOTOS).

This is a lovely piece about the sufi dargahs in India and Pakistan originally from the Huffington Post. If you follow my posts on Facebook about Sufi Urs and Event Dates, then you will see pictures of many of the dargahs there. She does go into some of the history of Sufism in the subcontinent and talks some about Nizamuddin and Amir Khusro. There is a discussion at the end of the post which gets a little rough at times, but people do mis-understand or have their own agendas so it is hard to avoid that kind of thing these days.

The article was originally posted in the Huffington Post and has some very nice pictures in addition to the one I have posted here.

The Asian Age – Sadia Dehlvi – Islam is the soul of Sufism

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Sadia Dehlvi (courtesy Hindustani Times)

Islam is the soul of Sufism.

The post that the link goes to was originally posted as an Op-Ed piece in “The Asian Age”. It is by Sadia Dehlvi. She touches on some very true points and makes a wonderful case for recitation of Sema Mehfil. We post the dates of Mehfil ceremonies here in Common Sense. The one point which I differ with her is in understanding the ever increasing numbers of people who connect themselves with the Sufis and leave off the Islam or any religion for that matter.

The inconsistency lies in the incorrect, in my opinion, assumption that this is something new. Reading biographies and stories of Sufis from all times seems to indicate that there were always those that participated in the periphery but did not adhere to the central core of Islamic practices. This did not seem to bother the Sheikhs of the time nor have a detrimental effect on the sanctity of the orders or the khankhas. It is true that most did not initiate those who were not Muslim, but many had very close disciples who were Hindus or Sikhs, some of whom did eventually convert.

Dehlvi is right on that there is a level of purification needed to truly understand and benefit from Sema, but it is also true that Rasul Allah (saw) said that there is even  benefit to one who comes upon a dhikr circle only to borrow a cup of sugar.

Is there danger in this? I do not think so, except that some are apt to take the ecstasy and leave the rest. But if my own and many other people’s stories are any indication, soon enough we learn that there is more and go seek it.

All in all though, I would have to say that Ms. Dehlvi has made a very good point and one that deserves our thought and thanks.

One might also say that Sufism is the soul of Islam.

Sweep Out the Chambers of Your Heart

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Salat

Sweep Out the Chambers of Your Heart.

“Go sweep out the chambers of your heart. Make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved.” Mahmud Shbistari, 14th century Sufi Poet.

This is a three day Purification and Prayer event – led by Imam Salim and Tara Chishti. We will be learning to clear our body, heart and soul and make them ready for the presence of the divine. Practices of purification from the Sufi and Islamic traditions – dances of Universal Peace – dhikr (zikr) – and deep prayer. This is an experiential workshop where the participants will engage in group and individual practices. All practices will be taught, there is no experience needed. The Islamic prayers and the prayers of the Sufi Order International will be offered. Participation in prayers is optional.

Dates: Friday evening, June 25 to Sunday afternoon, June 27
Tuition: Sliding scale $70.00 to $100.00 for the whole weekend, you decide what you can pay.
Room and board: At the regular Abode of the Message rates, you can contact the Abode Programs office for the current rates.
Registration and more information: 518-794-SUFI (518-794-7834) extension 114.