Friday, 13 August 2010

A Student of a True Scholar

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sha’rani (q.s.) was an ‘arif.  He met many of the ‘arifin and ‘ulama of his time.  His shaykh was Shaykh ‘Ali al-Khawwas (q.s.), student of Sayyid Ibrahim al-Mathbuli (q.s.).  He once asked his shaykh how is it that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would give different answers to some questions posed to him by the swahabah even though the questions were similar.

Shaykh ‘Ali al-Khawwas (q.s.) answered that the mind cannot comprehend the reality of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in tajalliyyat, spiritual experience.  His spirit is always in mi’raj, ascension.  If every person in the world asked him the same question, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would answer each person according to his maqam.  That is why on the Day of Judgement, nobody will be able attain his maqam.  Just like the Qur’an, the ahadits also has an ocean of meaning whose depths have yet to be reached.

Both Sayyid Ibrahim al-Mathbuli (q.s.) and Shaykh ‘Ali al-Khawwas (q.s.) were ummiyyin, illiterate.  But that does not, in any way, mean they were not ‘alim.  It is said that once, a shaykh came to Sayyid Ibrahim (q.s.) and said to him, “Allah has Unveiled to me everything about the universe, the ‘Arsh and the Kursi.”

Sayyid Ibrahim (q.s.) said to him, “My son, I passed that maqam when I was still a young man and I did not look back on it.  We are not Created for this.  We are Created to be a slave of Allah Almighty and serve Him.  If you say, ‘Subhanallah, wa al-Hamdulilhah wa Laa illaha illa Allah wa Allahu Akbar,’ once, it is better for you than this whole Unveiling.”

He used to also say,  “My murid is the one that can work out the ijtihad of all the scholars from Surah al-Fatihah, and then from any verse from the Qur’an.”

Sayyid Ibrahim (q.s.) used to see Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in his dream.  His mother used to say to him, “A scholar is not a true scholar until he sees the Prophet (s.a.w.) in a waking state.”


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