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Showing posts from May, 2014

Jude Malecdan's Conversion

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is the conversion story of our brother, Jude Malecdan.  He is from the Philippines and recently converted when he wrote this.
“My name is Jude Malecdan, from the Philippines.  I come from a Catholic family, from the  Igorot tribe from Cordillera in the Luzon highlands.  Aside from being Catholics, our tribe also follow pagan rituals which are part of our culture.  These rituals are inherited from previous generations.  For example, after a church wedding, we perform ritual slaughter of pigs or cows to be given as offering to our anito, our tribal spirits.  We call this halad.  I was never actually baptised.  But I had been searching for a religion that I could have faith in.  I was looking for something to believe in.
Anito is a collective name for the pre-Hispanic belief system in the Philippines.  It is also used to refer to spirits, including the household deities, ancestors, various nature-spirits, nymphs and diwatas, which are a fo…

Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) on Imam Ja'far asw-Swadiq (q.s.)

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) attained great blessings from his teacher, Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.).  It is narrated that once he asked Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) concerning who would be considered an intelligent person.  Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) replied, “He who can differentiate between good and evil is an intelligent man.”
Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.) said, “Even animals have the ability to differentiate that.  It can differentiate between those who love them, beat them or instill fear in them.”
Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) then asked, “O my shaykh!  Would you please explain to me who is truly intelligent?”
Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.) replied, “An intelligent person, is one who can differentiate between two good things and two evils, so that he may choose the better of two good things and that he may be able to repel the worse of two evils.”

Imam Malik (r.a.) & Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) on Hypothetical Situations

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is taken from Imam Malik (r.a.) Meets Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.).
Before Imam Malik (r.a.) and Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) encountered each other, Imam Malik (r.a.) used to say, “Beware of the people of opinion.”  Imam Abu Hanifah’s (r.a.) madzhab was called the “school of opinion.”  Before their meeting, there was a lot of talk and exchange of letters but they only met during the rituals of the hajj.
When they finally met, they chose to address three issues which were viewed differently by each party.  The first jurisprudential issue was about how to address hypothetical questions; things that had not taken place yet.  In Imam Malik’s (r.a.) madzhab, one should not imagine situations and ask about things that have not happened as this distracts people from already existing issues and could lead to controversy.  Imam Malik (r.a.) brought his evidence from various ayat and ahadits.  He stated the ayah where Allah (s.w.t.) Mentions regarding the…

Sources for the Tijaniyyah Dzikr

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from Sources for the Dzikr of the Tijaniyyah.  This is from the introduction by Shaykh Hasan Sisi (q.s.) of Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas’ (q.s.) “Revival of the Sunnah”.
It is recorded in Swahih Muslim that ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) said, “One day we were sitting in the company of Rasulullah (s.a.w.), when there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothing; his hair was extraordinarily black.  There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him.”
He sat before Rasulullah (s.a.w.), his knees supported against the Prophet’s (s.a.w.), his palms placed on his thighs, and said, “O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.”
Rasulullah (s.a.w.) said, “Islam is to testily that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and that you establish swalah, pay zakat, observe the fast of Ramadhan, and perform hajj to the House if you have the means to do so.”
The stranger said, “You have told the truth.’”

The Difference between Respect & Worship

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from the teachings of Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) from Liberating the Soul.
Worshipping Allah (s.w.t.) is one thing and respecting people is something else.  But in our time, many ignorant people never make a distinction between worship and respect.  When those people see someone respecting another, they say, “You are worshipping him.”
How is it that they do not understand the difference what is respect and what is worship?  Even regarding kissing hands of a shaykh, they say, “Shirk!” but they are the ones who are mushrikin, polytheists.  Whoever accuses a mu’min, a believer, of shirk, polytheism, he is a mushrik.  So many Shaythani people, and they claim that they are Muslims, are trying to destroy everything that Islam brings of respect to people.  They want us to be like communists, with no respect among themselves.  Islam just brought respect and honour to people from Allah (s.w.t.):

O mankind!  We Crea…

Spiritual Courtesies of a Murid with His Shaykh

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from Foundations of the Spiritual Path by Imam Ahmad az-Zarruq (q.s.).
The spiritual courtesies of a murid with his shaykh and fellow wayfarers are five: Following the directions of the murshid, even if it is contrary to one’s own preference; avoiding what the murshid forbids, even if it would appear to be highly adverse to the student; maintaining utmost reverence for them in their presence and absence, during their lives and after their passing; giving them their due according to one’s ability without stint; and relinquishing one’s own understanding, knowledge, and leadership to that of the teacher, unless these are already in accordance with one’s teacher.
Should the seeker not find a murshid or find one who is lacking in any of these five conditions, he should depend on him only in those conditions the shaykh fulfills.  As for areas he is wanting in, he should treat him like a brother regarding them.  Thus ends the five…

The Meeting of Prophets during the Mi'raj in the First Three Heavens

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted “From the Gardens of Tafsir” by Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.).
Why did the Prophet (s.a.w.) see the prophets he saw and why did he see the ones he saw on those various levels of Paradise?  Whatever an ‘arif of Allah (s.w.t.) sees externally is a reflection of his spiritual state.  And the other prophets the Prophet (s.a.w.) on the Isra’ wa al-Mi’raj was a reflection of his inner state.
On the first level of Paradise, he saw our father, Adam (a.s.).  Adam’s (a.s.) home and all he knew was Paradise.  He lived in Paradise which was his home until his enemy, Shaythan, drove him to leave his home to then dwell in a new and strange place which was the world, dunya.  The same it was with the Prophet (s.a.w.) who was from Makkah.  And Makkah was his home until his enemies drove him to leave Makkah and go to a strange place he was not familiar with and made to dwell therein which was Yathrib, now known now as Madinah al-Munawarah.  This…

Three Kinds of Actions for the Servant

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is taken from the Purification of the Soul, compiled from the works of Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (r.a.), Imam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (r.a.) and Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (r.a.).
There are three kinds of actions that the servant has:  First, the acts of obedience which Allah (s.w.t.) has Commanded His servants to do since He has Made them the means for rescuing them from the Fire and their entering the Garden.  These must be done, while at the same time, still relying on Allah (s.w.t.) when doing them and seeking this outcome, for there is no strength and no power except from Him.  Whatever He Wishes to be has already happened, and whatever He Wishes not to be will never happen.  Whoever does not fulfill one of the duties which have been imposed on him by Allah (s.w.t.) deserves to be Punished in this life and in the next life in accordance with the shari’ah and as Decreed by Allah (s.w.t.).
Shaykh Yusuf ibn Asbat (r.a.) said, “Do wh…

A Good Opinion of God

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
One of the most difficult things for many people is to have husn azh-zhan, good thoughts, of Allah (s.w.t.).  He who has a good thought of Allah (s.w.t.), it is like a du’a, a supplication of the highest magnitude.  According to a hadits, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that, on the Last Day, when the last two souls are brought before Allah (s.w.t.), they are both Condemned to Hell.  As the angels escort them to their final fiery abode, one of them wistfully looks back.  Thereupon, Allah (s.w.t.) Commands the angels to Bring him back and Asks the man why he turned back.  The man replies, “I was expecting better from You.”
Allah (s.w.t.) Responds, Commanding the angels, “Take him to My Garden.”
It is our expectation of Allah (s.w.t.) that determines where we are.  This husn azh-zhan is a foundation of our faith, a guard against despair and a shield against kufr.  It is our hope in Allah’s (s.w.t.) Good Qualities that allows to turn to Him, even when our sin…

The Book of Revelation: Paradoxical Symbolism

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Revelation contains a lot of symbolism.  It is an allegorical work that requires much thought, knowledge of scripture and history and a spiritual state to understand.  It is the most difficult book in the entire Bible to decipher.  The early Church fathers debated greatly as to its status, whether canonical or apocryphal, such was its controversial nature.
Paradoxical symbolism refers to a seemingly contradictory representation of an object, or a person.  It is a reversal of expectations or nature.  These symbols often involve two statements where the first refers to something of a particular known nature related to or combined with another object of an opposite nature.  This is a literary device meant to highlight an important prophetic point.  It is not unique to Revelation.  It was a common device in prophetic language of the Near East and was not limited to the Revealed Religions.  It is not used in the Qur’an.  Thus here, we are trying to under…