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Showing posts from June, 2010

A King & an Old Woman

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
One day, a king and his entourage went to hunt deer in the mountains of Khurasan, the Land of the Sun, in the northeastern part of Persia.  After a week in the mountains, they had found no deer.  On their way back to the palace, they made a wrong turn and soon they were crossing the open plain of Turkman country.  As far the eye could see, the plain rolled until it met the distant horizon.  They walked and walked, hoping to find a village or a shepherd, so that they could find their way back to the palace.  The sun baked the plain in daytime, and at night, the plain froze from the cold.  Soon, the troop depleted their food and water.
On the tenth day of their journey, they saw mountains raising high over the plain all around them.  But, when they walked towards the rising sun, the mountains faded away into the horizon, in a mirage.  Exhausted, hungry, and thirsty, they began to see more mirages.  When they gazed toward the sunset, the mountains appe…

An Old Man & a King

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
One day, King Khosrow and his entourage went to hunt deer on the plains far in the central regions of Persia.  The king was astonished when his entourage came upon an old man in his nineties, barely standing up, who was planting fig trees.
“Don’t you know it takes thirty years for fig trees to grow?” asked the king.  “It is time for you to give thanks for your blessing of a long life and get ready for the other world.”
The old man replied, “Our fathers planted fig trees and we ate figs from them.  I am planting trees for those who will come after me and, by my good deed; I am getting ready for the other world.”

The Sincere Love

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In a village on the southern side of the Alborz Mountain, by the Caspian Sea, lived an old woman with her beautiful daughter.  Her name was Moon.  She had blue eyes that shined like two unblemished turquoise gems; her long eyelashes curved upward.  Her eyebrows hung like quarter moons when she opened her eyes.  She had silky white skin like the color of snow and breathtakingly long black hair that hung over her slender shoulders.
Every one loved Moon and Moon loved life.  She woke up at dawn, made tea for her mother, and prayed on the terrace, facing the Alborz Mountain, which were pointing in the direction of Mecca.  Moon had a beautiful melodic voice and she loved to sing.  After her morning prayer, she sat on the terrace, facing the rising sun, as it slowly peeked out from behind the mountain, spreading its rays over the valley below, and then, second by second, slowly spread a shaft of light over the sea.  She loved to gaze at the unfolding of a…

Shaykh Tayfur Bayazid al-Bistami (q.s.) & the Cure

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is from the Tadzkirat al-Awliya' of Farid ad-Din ‘Ahthtar (q.s.).  There was a certain ascetic who was thought to be one of the great saints of Bistam.  He had his own followers and admirers, and at the same time he was never absent from the circle of Shaykh Tayfur Bayazid al-Bistami or Shaykh Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q.s.) as he is also known.  He listened to all his discourses and sat with his companions.  Shaykh Bayazid al-Bistami (q.s.) is Sulthan al-‘Arifin.
One day he remarked to Shaykh Bayazid (q.s.), "Master, for thirty years I have been keeping a constant fast.  By night too, I pray, so that I never sleep at all.  Yet I discover no trace of this knowledge of which you speak.  For all that, I believe in this knowledge, and I love this preaching."
"If for three hundred years," said Shaykh Bayazid (q.s.), "you fast by day and pray by night, you will never realise one atom of this discourse."
&q…

The Fortress of Allah (s.w.t.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In his Tarikh Nisabur, the Imam al-Hakim, author of the Mustadrak, recorded that when Imam ‘Ali ar-Ridha’ (q.s.), son of Imam Musa al-Kazhim (q.s.) entered Nisabur, he was riding inside a veiled enclosure upon a grey mule.  When he entered the city's main marketplace, the two huffazh of ahadits, Imam Abu Zur’a ar-Razi (r.a.) and Imam ibn Aslam at-Tusi (r.a.), along with an uncountable number of students, stopped him and said, “O noble master, we ask you by the right of your noble and pure ancestors, to please expose your blessed face for us and narrate to us a hadits that you relate through your forefathers.”
Imam ‘Ali ar-Ridha’ (q.s.) stopped his servant and ordered the veil to be removed, and everyone gazed upon his noble face.  He had two long braids which fell on his shoulders, and the populace was looking upon him, some screaming, others crying, others kissing the feet of his mule or rubbing their faces on the dirt in front of him, and thei…

The Saviours of Mankind: Imam Mahdi (a.s.) & Jesus Christ (a.s.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from various swuhbat from Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.).  It is his explanation of the coming of the Mahdi (a.s.) and Jesus Christ (a.s.).  According to Shaykh Nazim (q.s.), the Mahdi (a.s.) is already here.  Jesus Christ or ‘Isa (a.s.) will come back as the Messiah, al-Masih, to kill the Anti-Christ, who is also known as Dajjal al-Masih, the False Messiah.  Some of this is allegorical.  Much of this was said many years ago, from the 1990s.
Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.) is a descendant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) through his daughter Fathimah az-Zahrah (r.a.) and her sons, Hasan (r.a.) and Husayn (r.a.), in the 40th generation.  So he is Sayyid al-Hasani and al-Husayni.  His parents live near Jeddah.  He was born between 1930 and 1940 in the Wadi Fatima, a green valley on the way from Jeddah to Madina.  When he was growing up, he had such lights, such a nur about his face.  The people started to notice hi…

A Sufi's Wish

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In the year 1215 CE, Shaykh Farid ad-Din ‘Ahthtar (q.s.), a Sufi master, wrote a story about his beloved teacher, Shaykh ‘Umar Khayyam (q.s.), a poet, a mathematician, and an astronomer, who made tents for his livelihood.  The story goes as follows.
“I went to visit my teacher, ‘Umar Khayyam, in the city of Nishapur.  It was a mild, windy spring day when I entered the city.  The bazaar hummed like a beehive with merchants, and customers who were hurriedly coming and going.  There were all kinds of merchants: goldsmiths, pot makers, tailors, butchers, and others.
Suddenly, the melodic sound of minarets calling worshipers to pray vibrated in the bazaar.  All I could hear were the words, ‘God is great, God is great.’  Then instantly, everything stopped.  Silence fell on the bazaar and hung in the air.  Everyone left for the mosque, and I followed them.  In line after line, the worshipers stood in prayer.  Being tired from my long journey, I rested in th…

When Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) was Seen to Change Size

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from Qala’id al-Jawahir by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadhifi (q.s.) and translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland.

It was Shaykh Baqa’ iba Batu (q.s.) who said, “On one occasion, while I was present at the session held by our master, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.), he was speaking from the first stair of the lectern.  He suddenly interrupted his speech, became absent minded for a moment, an stepped down on the floor.  Then he mounted the lectern, and sat on the second stair.  I noticed that the first stair had widened, until it stretched as far as the eye could see.  It was carpeted with green silk brocade, and seated upon it were Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.), Abu Bakr (r.a.), ‘Umar (r.a.), ‘Utsman (r.a.) and ‘Ali (k.w.).  The Lord of Truth (s.w.t.) Manifested Himself upon the heart of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (r.a.), so he leaned over, until he was on the verge of falling down.  Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) held him steady, to keep him…

Longing for the Beloved

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the city of Yazd, located in the center of Persia, by the great desert of Lut, lived a silk merchant, who was also a hunter with an unbounded thirst for adventure.
On one of his trips to India, he went to a forest to capture canaries, blue jays, and all kinds of parrots.  One hot summer, when it had not rained for three months, bird hunters set traps all over the forest, and under the traps, they put small pots of water.
There were two parrots that sat high on a branch and watched the entourage of hunters passing below.  The parrots listened to the hunters and repeated their words.  Because they loudly repeated the hunters’ words from high up in the branches, all of the other birds flew away.  The silk merchant noticed the pair of parrots and set an elaborate net, with water and nuts under it, and he hid in the bushes.  Both parrots flew towards the trap.  The female parrot was very cautions, hopping slowly along the trap, inspecting its surround…

The Donkey in the Well

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is a Sufi story from the oral traditions.  There are several versions of the story floating around but its origin is Central Asia.  Qom is in modern Iran.
By the city of Kashan, a hundred miles east of the holy city of Qom, lived a poor peasant named Ahmad.  Ahmad’s village was at the edge of a desert, facing barren mountains to the north.  High on the mountains, snow fell heavily from December until March.  As the snow melted, a river flowed into the valley below until May, and then dried up for the rest of the year.  Peasants dug wells at the foot of the mountains, connected them together with underground tunnels, and brought water to the valley below.
Ahmad, like every other peasant, had a share of this water for the melons in his plot.  Every day, he woke up before sunrise, prayed to God, counted his blessings, and then went to work in the fields, under the blazing sun.  He worked gladly, as sweat dripped from his face.  He collecte…

Rawatib Swalah in the Shafi'i Madzhab

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is taken from The Reliance of the Traveler & Tools of the Worshipper, the chapter on rawathib swalah with regards the sunnah swalah before and after the fardh swalah with regards the Shafi’i madzhab.  I have summarised it below for easy reference.
It is sunnah to diligently perform the non-obligatory prayers that are offered before and after the prescribed ones.  The optimal number of these is as follows:
a.         Two raka’at before the swubh; b.         Four raka’at before and after zhuhr; c.         Four raka’at before the ‘awsr; d.         Two raka’at after maghrib; and e.         Two raka’at after ‘isha.
The confirmed sunnah swalah, the mu’akkadah, meaning those which the Prophet (s.a.w.) did not omit whether traveling or at home, consist of ten raka’at.  They are as follows:
a.         Two raka’at before swubh; b.         Two raka’at before and after zhuhr; c.         Two raka’at after maghrib; and d.         Two raka’at after ‘isha.
I…