Rabithah: Bonds of Love

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 02nd September 2010.

When we do our khatm, we speak of rabithah ash-sharif, the most honoured connection.  What is rabithah?  Rabithah is a relationship forged between those with a common destination, like a tasbih.  Before we were united in this group, we were all individual beads, each doing our own thing.  When we were Gathered into one majlis, we are actually being formed into a tasbih; individual beads joined by a strong string.  This is rabithah, a bond that joins individuals together.  We are all different individual beads.  And if these beads are scattered on the floor, they are of no use to anybody.  But once they are joined together into a single chain, it is of benefit; it forms a rosary that can be used for remembrance and worship.

And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (Stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's Favour on you; for ye were enemies and He Joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He Saved you from it.  Thus doth Allah Make His Signs Clear to you: that ye may be Guided. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:103)

Rabithah is the rope that joins hearts together like the string inside a tasbih.  That rope is the Divine Love that Allah (s.w.t.) Put into the hearts of seekers.  Our Prophet (s.a.w.) said the believers are like one body, and if one part of the body is hurt, the whole body will feel it.  Similarly, in this tasbih, if two beads do not get along with each other, there will be a break in the string.  What happens to the entire tasbih?  It falls apart and everybody will not be part of this blessed majlis any longer.  Those who create fitnah are people who seek to break the bonds that bind the believers together.  Allah Almighty's Wrath Descends upon such people because they are breaking something very special,.

All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah― of the Prophets (who teach) the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): ah!  How a beautiful fellowship! (Surah an-Nisa’:69)

This bond that try to build is difficult to achieve.  It only be done if we practise what we are taught - to overlook each faults, to see good in people, to have merciful amongst ourselves and to hold others in high esteem by according them their due respect.  This is difficult to do because we have done the opposite for decades now and it will take years of practice to perfect it.  It is important for us to strive for unity because once we are divided, then we are not part of a rabithah any longer.  We no longer feel the connection in our dzikrullah.

Every single action done to honour another, no matter how small, is Rewarded.  Even a smile is Rewarded. When we look at a fellow believer with love in our heart, that is already an 'amal.  It is better than to someone who prays all day but looks at others with disdain.  What is the point of doing so much sunnah if we have little respect for our fellows?  It is far better to be one who only performs the obligatory but has a clean heart  and is.  That is why we are in thariqa’.  We train to restrain our egos, cool our anger, tame our tongues and silence our hearts.  It is so easy to lose our temper, to throw false accusations and hurt others. Such actions require no training and no struggle at all.  It is sobering that many who claim to be in thariqa’ today exhibit vile characteristics.  They have not tamed their base desires.  Thariqa’ is a migration from poor akhlaq to perfection.  It is not a club or a political group.  It is not enough to merely attend and to make a show.  It is necessary to struggle against our egos, to realise our shortcomings and to progress spiritually.  If we cannot love and respect one another, bonds will break, people will fight and there will be repercussions.  That is why we must do our utmost to show genuine respect and sincere love to each other and not just pay lip service to this advice.

When we say to show love, respect and kindness, it extends to all aspects of our interaction, even how we look at each other.  From al-Muwaththa' of Imam Malik (r.a.), it was related that there was a companion of Rasulullah (s.a.w.), Sahl ibn Hunayf (r.a.), who had flawless, white skin.  It was said to be even more beautiful than a lady's skin. . One day, he went to the river to bathe at al-Kharrar.  He took off his jubbah and there was another man standing nearby, ‘Amir ibn Rabia’ (r.a.).  ‘Amir (r.a.) said to Sahl (r.a.), “I have never seen anything like what I have seen today, not even the skin of a virgin.” 

Sahl (r.a.) immediately fell ill and his condition grew worse.  Somebody informed the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) that Sahl (r.a.) was ill.  Rasulullah (s.a.w.) came to him, and Sahl (r.a.) told him what had happened.  Rasulullah (s.a.w.) said, “Why does one of you kill his brother?  Why did you not say, ‘May Allah Bless you?’  The evil eye is true.  Do wudhu against its effects.”  ‘Amir (r.a.) did wudhu and poured the water from that wudhu over Sahl (r.a.) and Sahl (r.a.) was cured.

One companion looked at another, admiring his gift and there was a tiny bit of jealousy in his heart.  That was enough to cause Sahl (r.a.) his health.  Just to look at another with hasad is enough to cause misfortune.  What more when we backbite and slander him?  Or if we cause fitnah?  It is like stabbing him with a knife.  Just a single look tainted with a little jealousy and Sahl (r.a.) fainted.  Ad that is the power of a look.  If we understand how much is conveyed in a single look, we realise why just looking at our parents with love is Rewarded by Allah (s.w.t.) with the Reward of one hajj.  Just one look with love is already a great 'amal.  What more if we went beyond that?  That is why, it is so important to preserve this bond forged here.  We must always interact with love in even the smallest deeds, such as a single look with love or a sincere smile.  In all this, there is a Reward from Allah (s.w.t.).

Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!  And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it. (Surah az-Zalzalah:7-8)

If the look of a believer is so powerful, what about the Prophet (s.a.w.)?  That is why we du’a for that.  It is said during swalah al-khayr, Allah (s.w.t.) Looks at His servant seventy times.  If Allah (s.w.t.) Looks once, all our needs in dunya and akhirah are Addressed.  We seek that Look of Love from Allah (s.w.t.) and His Rasul (s.a.w.) so we must have that look towards others.  What more if we smile with love or we touch them with love?  What more if we shake their hands with love and send salaam?  There is so much Blessings in that.  Everything we do must be with love.  That is why when we recite swalawat, we touch our hearts with love for the Prophet (s.a.w.).


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