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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Patience of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) was a person with great patience.  After the Battle of Karbala, he was marched to Damascus in chains and in the time of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, he was arrested and chained.  He was then forced to walk from Madinah to Syria in chains.  With all this, he never complained or said one word about his condition in the Court of Allah (s.w.t.).  He instead remained patient and made shukr with every step.  It is written in Khazinat al-Aswfiyya’, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin’s (q.s.) most loyal student, Imam Zuhri (q.s.) could not bear to see the Imam in this condition, so he went to ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, and had the great imam released.  He then took him back to Madinah.
Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) had a very soft heart and always thought of the sacrifice that was given by his father, Husayn (r.a) and all the martyrs on the plains of Karbala.  Once, he was walking in the blessed streets of Madinah Munawwarah, when he saw a person pl…

The Eleven Naqshbandi Principles

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is a brief explanation of the Eleven Naqshbandi Principles.  These must be known and practiced by the muridun of the Naqshbandi Haqqani.  There were originally eight principles formulated by Khwaja ‘Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q.s.).  The last three were later added by Shah Baha’ ad-Din an-Naqshband (q.s.).  The Eleven Naqshbandi principles, known in their original Persian as Kalimat-i Qudsiya, the Sacred Words, are a system of guidelines used as spiritual exercises.
The use and deep meaning of these Eleven Principles, is in truth, unlimited.  As the murid matures and develops spiritually, he will perceive more and more aspects of each of the Principles.  They are secrets because they open little by little, developing the individual who uses them constantly, as guides to self-knowledge and to knowing more and more of the Totality that gives Life to Creation.  They are secrets because they are known and used only in schools based on th…

The Structure of Faith

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following was adapted from Peak of Eloquence, Nahj al-Balagha, the sermons and letters of ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) and translated by Ustadz Askari Jafri.
When ‘Ali (k.w.) was asked about faith in religion, he replied that the structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad.
Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death).  So whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for …

Origin of the Term 'Sufism'

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Sufism is generally accepted to be the mystical dimension of Islam.  Imam al-Hujwiri (q.s.), in the eleventh century, presented several views of the origin of the term, ‘Sufi.’  Some scholars say Sufism is derived from the term 'Ahl asw-Swuffah', or the People of the Bench, which refers to the platform on which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the believers used to sit while worshipping Allah (s.w.t.).
Others say that they were named Sufis because of their habit of wearing swuf, wool.  The habit of wearing wool next to the skin dates back to the first master of Sufis.  While this theory of the derivation of the word does have a foundation in the practices of Sufism, the words of Hadhrat Mir Ghotbeddin Mohammad Angha (q.s.) clarify this point: "While every Sufi wears swuf, not every person who wears swuf is a Sufi."  Others have concluded that Sufis were named so because of the swafa, or purity, of their hearts and the cleanli…

The Generous Slave Boy

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Once, ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far ibn Abu Thalib (r.a.) went past an orchard where an Abyssinian slave-boy was working.  Someone brought the slave-boy his daily food, three loafs of bread.  At the same time, a stray dog came into the garden and stood next to him.  The boy threw a loaf of bread to the dog.  The dog ate the bread but did not go away.  The boy threw another loaf.  The dog ate that too but still did not leave.  The boy gave the dog a third loaf, thus letting the dog eat the whole of his daily food allotment.
‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far (r.a.), who had been watching this, said to the boy, “How much bread do you get as your daily ration of food?”
“I get three loaves every day,” the boy replied.
‘Abdullah ibn Ja'far (r.a.) asked, “Then, why did you feed the dog all three loaves of bread instead of eating some yourself?”
The boy said, “As you may be aware, there are no dogs living round here.  This poor creature must have travelled a long distance to re…