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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Snake Catcher & the Snakes

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) related a story of a snake catcher who once went to the mountains.  Due to the winter cold and heavy snow, many very big snakes lay motionless, as if they were dead.  The snake-catcher picked up one of these seemingly lifeless snakes and took it to Baghdad, with the purpose of using it for a show.  Showing it off, he made big claims as to how he had deftly captured the snake, captivating the attention of his audience.
However, when the sun began to shine and its warmth cloaked the snake, the coldness in its body disappeared.  The signs of life were soon apparent and when the snake began to move, the snake-catcher and all those around, fled.  Mawlana ar-Rumi (q.s.) then explained that our nafs is like that snake. With tadzkiyyah and mushaqqat, our nafs becomes frozen.  It appears to be dead.  But give it a little heat from the fire of sin and it will bite again.  A little exposure to some past sins and the nafs swi…

Three Pious Companions

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Sayyid Muhammad Madani al-Jilani (q.s.) related the following incident regarding three righteous men who also happened to be very close friends.
One particular day, three pious men were out taking a stroll when all of a sudden their attention was distracted by a small bird flying towards their way being closely chased by a ferocious large bird of prey.  One of the men immediately jumped up and managed to save the tiny bird from the claws of the predator.  Soon afterwards the pious man who had saved the tiny bird’s life passed away.  The remaining two men observed their departed friend in a dream and asked him how he was judged by Allah (s.w.t.).  He replied, “'Everything was absolutely fine except I got Questioned and Admonished for the time I saved the bird from the claws of the bird of prey.  Allah (s.w.t.) Asked me, when He had Given rizq for the wild bird, why did I deny it.”  Hence they spent much time beseeching Allah (s.w.t.) to Pardon.
Qu…

The Beginning of Da'wah

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In Hayat asw-Swahabah, Umm Haram bint Milhan (r.a.), a swahabiyyah was married to ‘Ubadah ibn asw-Swamit al-Answari (r.a.).  Along with her husband, she undertook several trips to foreign countries.  Now her maqam is in Cyprus, and is called the maqam of the pious woman.  The grave of Khalid ibn al-Walid (r.a.), who was born in Makkah, is in Homs.  The maqam of Sa’s ibn Abi Waqqasw (r.a.) is in Canton, China.  He is the maternal uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  That is a long way from home.
The same is the case with the majority of the swahabah of Rasulullah (s.a.w.).  At the time of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) passing, his companions numbered more than one hundred thousand.  However, it is worth noting that if we go to Makkah and Madina, we will find only a small number of graves there.  The reason for this is that these companions left Arabia and spread to various countries far and beyond its borders.  The majority of them breathed their last in various…

A Single Old Sock

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
A wise and saintly rich man, sensing his approaching death, called his son to his side and gave him these instructions: “My son, I shall be leaving you very shortly.  On the day when I die, and they have washed my body and come to wrap it in the shroud, I want you to put one of my socks on my foot.  This is my final request of you.”
Soon after this, the old man did indeed die, leaving behind his goods and property, his children and his dependents.  Family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours attended his janazah.  The body had been washed and was almost completely wrapped in the shroud, when the son remembered his father’s wish.  Finding one of his old socks, he handed it to the washer of the dead, saying, “In accordance with my father’s last request, please put this sock on his foot.”
“That is quite impossible,” said the man.  “Such a thing is utterly impermissible in Islam.  I cannot act against the shari’ah.”
Despite this valid objection, the son…

A Gift after Hardships

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) dispatched an expedition of three hundred men towardsthe seashore, under the command of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (r.a.) in 8 AH.  He gave them a bag full of dates for their rations.  They had been hardly out for fifteen days when they ran short of rations.  In order to provide the contingent with food, Qays ibn Sa’d (r.a.) began buying three camels daily from his own men, to feed the expedition, with a promise to pay on return to Madina.  The ‘amir, seeing that the slaughter of camels would deprive the party of their only means of transport, prohibited him to do so.  He collected the dates that had been left with each person and stored them in a bag.  He would issue one date to each man as his daily ration.
When Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al-Answari (r.a.) later on narrated this story to the people, one of his audience inquired, “How did you manage to live upon one date only for the whole day?”
He replied, “We longed even for…

A Sinner for 40 Years

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
It was narrated that in the days that Musa (a.s.) wandered with Bani Isra’il in the desert, an intense drought befell them.  Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rains to come.  Then, to the astonishment of Musa (a.s.) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.
It was Revealed to Musa (a.s.) that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Isra’il who had disobeyed Allah (s.w.t.) for more than forty years of his life.  “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (s.w.t.) Told Musa (a.s.).  “Only then shall I Shower you all with rain.”
Musa (a.s.) then called out to the tribes, “There is a person amongst us, who has disobeyed Allah for forty years.  Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.”
That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else…

A Thousand Camels of Grain

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following story is related by Shaykh Habibullah Mukhtar (r.a.) in his book, in the chapter of Generosity.
In the time when ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) was caliph, there was a severe famine.  The people of Madina were suffering due to a shortage of food.  A caravan made up of a thousand camels loaded with a large stock of food grain belonging to ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.) arrived from Sham.  Several merchants offered to buy all of it.  He asked them what profit they would pay.  “Five per cent,” they said.  He answered that he could get higher profit than that.  They began to argue with him, saying that they did not know of any merchant who would offer him more than their quote.
He said to them, “I know of one who repays a profit of more than seven hundred to a dirham.”  He then recited the following verse of the Noble Qur’an:

The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each…

Imam Sumbul Yusuf Sinan (q.s.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Once upon a time, Mehmet Jamalattin Efendi (r.a.) requested from his students to bring him some flowers.  All of his students came to the presence of their teacher with various beautiful flowers.  However there was one student, Yusuf Sinan (r.a.), who came with a wilted hyacinth in his hand.  When his teacher asked him about the wisdom behind his attitude, his answer was, “Whichever flower I tried to pick, I heard that they were occupied by the dzikr and tasbih of Allah.  My heart could not accept cutting off their tasbih.  I looked around and saw that this poor hyacinth had come off its stem, so I brought this flower to you.”  Because of this incident, his teacher named him, “Sumbul” which means, “hyacinth”.
This little boy was Imam Sumbul Yusuf Sinan Efendi (q.s.), who passed away in 1529 CE in Istanbul.  He was the murshid and founder of the Sumbuliyyah Sufi order.  Imam Sumbul Yusuf Sinan Efendi (q.s.) said, “The heart of the one who forgets the…

Raphael the Archangel (a.s.) & His "Lie"

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Only three angels are mentioned by name in the Canonical Scriptures.  They are Michael (a.s.), Gabriel (a.s.) and Raphael (a.s.).  Raphael (a.s.) is mentioned explicitly only in the Book of Tobit.  In contrast, Michael (a.s.) is referenced in the Book of Daniel, the Epistle of Jude and the Book of Revelations while Gabriel (a.s.) is in the Book of Daniel and the Gospel according to Luke.  He is often venerated and patronised as St. Raphael the Archangel.
“Raphael,” in Hebrew means, “God Heals.”  He is recognised as archangel in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, he performs all manner of healing.  St. Raphael is presented in the Scriptures as a healing angel.  Among Catholics, he is considered the patron saint of medical workers, matchmakers, and travelers.  Raphael (a.s.) is sometimes shown as standing atop a large fish or holding a caught fish at the end of a line.  This is a reference to Book of Tobit, where he to…

The Martyrdom of Khubayb ibn 'Adiy (r.a.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Khubayb ibn ‘Adiy (r.a.) was taken captive and escorted in a procession of thousands which was led by men like Abu Sufyan ibn Harb (r.a.) and Swafwan ibn ‘Umayyah (r.a.), and which included Sa’id ibn ‘Amir (r.a.).  The women and children pushed him to the place set for his death.  Khubayb’s (r.a.) death was to be in revenge for Quraysh losses in the Battle of Badr.  When the assembled throng arrived at the appointed place with him, the prisoner, Khubayb (r.a.) said in a firm but quiet voice amid the shouting of women and children, “If you would, leave me to pray two rak’ah before my death.”
This, the Quraysh allowed.  Khubayb (r.a.) faced the Ka’bah and prayed two rak’ah.  Then, Khubayb (r.a.) faced the Quraysh leaders.  “By Allah, if you thought that I asked to pray out of fear of death, I would think the prayer not worth the trouble,” he said.
He was tied to a wooden cross.  Then the Quraysh set about dismembering Khubayb's (r.a.) body while he…

Short Biography of Khwaja Mu'in ad-Din Hasan Jisty (q.s.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Khwaja Mu’in ad-Din Jisty (q.s.) was born in Sistan, East Persia, also known as Sijistan, around 533 AH, 1138/39 CE, to a well-respected family.  He was a saint of the Indian subcontinent.  He introduced and established the Jisty order in South Asia and significantly contributed to the spreading of Islam there.
He was blessed with direct lineage to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) through his father, Khwaja Ghayas ad-Din Hasan (r.a.), who was a direct descendant of Husayn ibn ‘Ali (r.a.).  His family lineage is as follows: Khwaja Mu’in ad-Din Jisty (q.s.), son of Khwaja Ghayas ad-Din Hasan (r.a.), son of Sayyid Ahmad Hasan (r.a.), son of Sayyid Hasan Ahmad (r.a.), son of Sayyid Najm ad-Din Thahir (r.a.), son of Khwaja ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Husayn (r.a.), son of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (q.s.), son of Imam Hasan al-‘Askari (q.s.), son of Imam Musa ibn ‘Ali (q.s.), son of Imam ‘Ali an-Naqi (q.s.), son of Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (q.s.), son of Imam Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha …