Posts

Showing posts from June, 2012

The Secret is Restraint

Image
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
When we meet someone, what they say and do speaks much of their inner reality.  It is not so much to judge anyone, but rather it is a tool of reflection to understand the self; that it is insidious, that it is devious and that it is resilient.  A man once came to Rabi’ah al-‘Adawiyyah (q.s.) and spoke at length of how much he hated dunya and loved Allah (s.w.t.).  Rabi’ah al-‘Adawiyyah (q.s.) remarked that for someone who hated dunya, he spoke a lot about it, like a jilted lover.
And in the course of seeking the Divine, we will meet many people along the Path, each and every one of them with varying sicknesses of the heart.  However, most of them do not recognise it.  Rather, they seek to guide and teach and cure us.  We must not look down on them and judge them for that in itself is a sickness.  Rather, we must recognise the symptoms of these diseases and search for them within ourselves.  I once asked my shaykh, Shaykh Zakaria Bagharib (q.s.) why …

The Legacy of Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.)

Image
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Hanafi school is one of the four schools of jurisprudence, a madzhab of fiqh.  The Hanafi madzhab is named after Imam Abu Hanifah Nu‘man ibn Tsabit (r.a.) who lived from 767 CE / 80 AH to 699 CE / 148 AH.  He was a tabi‘i, of the generation after the swahabah. His legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Shaykh Yaqub ibn Ibrahim al-Answari, better known as Qadhi Abu Yusuf (r.a.) and Imam Muhammad ash-Shaybani (r.a.).  This is the most prominent among all Sunni Schools and it has the most adherents in the Muslim world.
Among the four established Sunni madzhab, the Hanafi madzhab is one of the oldest and by far, the largest in parts of the world.  It has a reputation for putting greater emphasis on the role of reason, ‘ijtihad and being more liberal than the other three main schools.  The Hanafi madzhab has much influence amongst the four major Sunni schools.  This is largely to its being adopted as the official ma…

Naqshbandi Haqqani Adab for Laylat al-Bara'ah

Image
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The night of mid-Sha’ban is known as Laylat al-Bara’ah or Laylat an-Niswfu Sha’banLaylat al-Bara’ah is “The Night of Freedom from the Fire.”  This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th of Sha’ban.  It is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine Mercy.  It is the night where the records are written.  It is the night of assignment and the night of deliverance, and the observance involves a nightlong vigil with prayers.  It is this night where the deeds are Reckoned, sins Forgiven and sustenance Assigned.  It is also the night where the rolls of the dead are Revealed and those whose souls are to be taken is known to the Angel of Death.
Although the majority of commentators of the Qur’an consider the Blessed Night on the verses of Surah al-Qadr to refer to Laylat al-Qadr, The Night of Decree, in the month of Ramadhan, it is acknowledged that it may also refer to Laylat al-Bara’ah.  Consequently, the s…

Merits of Sha'ban

Image
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Sha’ban is one of the meritorious months for which we find particular instructions in the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  It is reported in a hadits that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) used to fast most of the month in Sha’ban.  These fasts are supererogatory, nafl, and well deserving of reward, for Sha’ban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadhan.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) mentioned in a hadits, “Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha`ban is my month and Ramadhan is the month of my ummah.”
Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was asked, “Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadhan?”
He replied, “Fasts of Sha’ban in honour of Ramadhan.”
Usamah ibn Zayd (r.a.) reported that he asked Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), “Ya Rasulullah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’ban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month.”
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) replied, “That is a month between Raj…

What is the Hijab?

Image
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The original article appeared in “Tudung: Beyond Face Value,” printed on 18th July, 2002 by Bridges Books.  The article has been rewritten.
The root word for “hijab” literally means ‘to cover.’  It originally referred to the curtains in the apartments that separated the women from men who were not her relatives.  Over time, it developed linguistically to refer to the clothing of the women.  The hijab may have been an ubiquitous feature of Muslim women but it is not unique to them.  The various types of head coverings have a long history in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  It is not at all surprising that the iconography of the Virgin Mary, Maryam (a.s.), all show her with her headscarf.
Until the 1960s, it was obligatory for women going to church to cover the head.  It still is in many conservative churches around the world.  The same applies for the Orthodox Jewish women going to the synagogue.  Today, the nuns and much of the laity of the more tradi…