Sunday, 18 May 2014

Transmission

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from Signs on the Horizons by Shaykh Michael Sugich.

“When we entered, Sayyid ‘Aththas was already sitting with a seeker from Indonesia who was asking him to transmit the talqin to him.  Talqin is the direct oral transmission of the shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith – ‘I witness that there is no god but God and I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God,’ ‘ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasulullah – from person to person tracing all the way back to the tongue of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  It is very rare to find anyone with this unbroken chain of transmission.  The Indonesian was pleading with Sayyid ‘Aththas to receive talqin.

At first, Sayyid ‘Aththas was reluctant.  He said he did not feel ready to transmit the talqin.  The Indonesian persisted, swearing that he had travelled all the way from Indonesia specifically to receive talqin from Sayyid ‘Aththas.  Finally, Sayyid ‘Aththas relented.  When this happened, Sayyid ‘Umar gripped my leg and whispered urgently, ‘You must repeat exactly what he says!  This is very important.’  Sayyid ‘Aththas transmitted talqin to our small group, intoning the first part of the shahadah slowly and we repeated the formula.  He then intoned the second part and we followed.

That was it.  I had never seen Sayyid ‘Umar as intensely engaged in anything as with this ritual.  When we left the house of Sayyid ‘Aththas, I asked Sayyid ‘Umar why talqin was so important.  He said, ‘It makes the shahadah easy on the tongue at the moment of death.’”


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