Monday, 29 February 2016

3 Points about the Naqshbandi Thariqa'

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Here are three points about the Naqshbandi thariqa’.  It does not make the thariqa’ better or worse than any other since I do not subscribe to any sort of exceptionalism in thuruq.  But it does make it unique and gives it its own flavour.

The bay’ah in Naqshbandi is given to the Prophet (s.a.w.) through Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (r.a.).  This is unique amongst the 40 thuruq.  In all the other thariqa’, the silsilah of the bay’ah is through ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.).  The sirr that was passed through ‘Ali (k.w.) entered the Golden Chain through Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.), the fifth murshid of the Naqshbandi.

The first shaykh of Ghawts al-A’azham, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.), was Shaykh Abu Ya’qub Yusuf al-Hamdani (q.s.) who was the quthb of his time.  When Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) was a teenager, he visited Shaykh al-Hamdani (q.s.) at Baghdad along with Shaykh ibn Saqqa’ (r.a.).  This is recorded by Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) in his al-Fatawa al-Haditsiyyah.  It is also recorded that the first time he met the Naqshbandi shaykh was in the company of Imam ‘Utsman ibn ‘Ali al-Hujwiri (q.s.).

Imam ‘Utsman ibn ‘Ali al-Hujwiri (q.s.) also recorded in his Kahshf al-Mahjub that Shaykh al-Hamdani (q.s.) was the one who made the du’a that the feet of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) would be on the necks of all awliya’, signifying his spiritual rank.

It is also significant to note that the shaykh of al-Hujjatullah, Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (r.a.) was the Naqshbandi shaykh, Shaykh Abu ‘Ali al-Farmadi (q.s.).  This is mentioned in the preface for Ihya’ ‘Ulum ad-Din.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Value of Dunya

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from a swuhbah by Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 24th March 2010.

Allah (s.w.t.) Sends knowledge and guidance to His servants so that they do not remain heedless.  All of dunya that we have earned, will only be for this short life.  It does not follow us into the hereafter.  They belong to us for a moment here before being transferred to others.  But Shaythan is always whispering to man to seek more of dunya without boredom and to leave the hereafter.

Look at those who trade on the stock market.  They sit all day and night, staring at the figures on the stock exchange board.  They are so full of concentration to ensure that the stocks they are trading in, makes profits; they never want to make losses.  Even the loss of a dollar makes them upset.  They only want to profit.  Allah (s.w.t.) Gives them what they strive for although what they seek is of no real value.  If only we were as committed to make 'profits' for the hereafter, to be focused on doing good and denying evil; ensuring that every action of ours brought rewards and striving that no actions of ours brought punishments, losses.  If only we sought the eternal benefits of the hereafter with such gusto and passion, we would be so Blessed.  We would have acquired eternal goodness in our Lord's Presence.  We would be Bestowed gifts that would never be taken away from us.  So many, today, are heedless.  We must not live like the heedless, ones whose minds are occupied only with this worldly life, and who take the hereafter as a plaything.  Look for the real treasure, the real jewels.

Our egos, in collaboration with Shaythan, are asking for more and more of dunya.  The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), the beacon of guidance for this ummah said, “The value of this dunya to Allah, is less than a wing of a mosquito.”  A mosquito has four wings.  In other words, dunya has no value in the Sight of Allah (s.w.t.).  If dunya did indeed have any value attached to it, Allah (s.w.t.) would not have Given an unbeliever; not even one cup of water to drink.  But Allah (s.w.t.) Gives them all of dunya because it is worthless; dunya is just a plaything, a playground for the unbelievers.  The Divine Message is the same: we should not be cheated by dunya; it is worthless.

We were Created to be His servants.  We have been Bestowed so much honour by Allah (s.w.t.).  The honour Bestowed on one human being exceeds the value of this entire dunya and its contents, so why are humans throwing away that honour, and seeking something of no value, despite having been given the mind to think with and to understand?  We must not follow Shaythan.  He encourages us to abandon the hereafter, to abandon our honour and to cover ourselves with the filth of this dunya.  Shaythan’s mission is to cheat us into giving value to this dunya, to do evil things to acquire it.  That is abandoning our angelic attributes, and dressing ourselves in satanic characteristics and animal-like behavior.  It is to waste our lives in search of evil, cruelty and oppression.

When a doctor examines a patient, he is able to diagnose his disease, and the various ways to cure it.  The saints are spiritual doctors.  They see that almost all people today are diseased; they are in search of dunya, committing evil, and dressed in the worst of morals and characteristics.  Today, people will kill to attain their desires.  They have become obedient followers to Shaythan.  There is little hope of Salvation for such people.  It is difficult to spread Islam because of two reasons.  Firstly, many institutions of learning are today strictly secular.  They forbid any sort of religious teaching under the guise of preserving harmony, and preventing discord.  But without Scripture, how are people supposed to acquire real education, teaching them their purpose?  Secondly, many believers, especially scholars, who have the means to propagate the teachings, are not doing so.  This, despite it being a Commandment of Allah (s.w.t.) in the Holy Qur’an.  It is our duty to spread these teachings.  We never know.  The one who receives it may be filled with regret and realisation, repent and turn his life around, and in doing so, acquire a high station in the hereafter.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Who Sits on the 'Arsh on Judgement Day?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from a swuhbah by Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 08th February 2010.

Nothing from this world is of any help to us but so many of us depend completely on our worldly gifts to support ourselves.  The majority of mankind is chasing this worldly life, seeking materialism to protect themselves.  But Protection from evil is only from the Divine, for this world is full of evil, full of devils who have set countless traps for every person.  For every human being on earth, there is at least seven shayathin dedicated to him.  In these Last Days, the shayathin are striving ceaselessly, setting traps for our eyes, our ears, our minds, our tongues, our feet, our stomachs, our hearts - these are dangerous traps; only Allah (s.w.t.) can Extend to us His Divine Protection.  Nothing from dunya can protect us from them.

How many of us are aware that we will be Gathered before our Lord one day?  We have not grasped the magnitude of that event – to be Gathered with our book of deeds, to face Questioning, to have our deeds Weighed on the Scales of Truth, to face claims from all whom we have wronged in this worldly life, and to cross the hair-thin Swirath, while Hellfire burns below us.  It is a momentous event, the defining point of our eternal lives, a day in which we will stand in the plains of Masyar, naked, sweating in the blistering heat of the overhead sun, trembling in fear and regret, as will be, even the prophets, on that Day.  Does that sound like a gathering to be taken lightly?

It has been Written in Scripture, that the Throne will be Brought to the plains of Masyar on that Day.  Why?  Certainly, it is not for Allah (s.w.t.) to sit on while presiding over Judgement, for Allah (s.w.t.) is not constrained by space or time.  He does not move, and nothing in Creation can contain Him.  For Allah (s.w.t.) to ‘move’, He would have to ‘move’ into a space, yet space is a Creation of His, and His Creation is unable to support Him.  But Creation is bound by time; it has a beginning and an end, and it must exist within a place, a plane or a station, maqam.  This universe, with its seven heavens and seven levels of earth, will be like a tiny ring when placed before the Kursi, and the Kursi is like a mere candle when placed on the ‘Arsh.

So who will sit on the ‘Arsh at Masyar?  The Bible mentions the one who will sit on the Throne.  The Christians believe that Jesus (a.s.) will sit on that Throne, but they have stripped him of his dignity by suggesting he was crucified in humiliation.  The Jews believe that Moses (a.s.) will ascend the Throne on that Day, but that is also not to be.

When Moses came to the place Appointed by Us and his Lord Addressed him, He said, “O my Lord!  Show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon Thee.”  Allah Said, “By no means canst thou see Me (direct); but look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me.”  When his Lord Manifested Himself to the mount, He Made it as dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon.  When he recovered his senses, he said, “Glory be to Thee!  To Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (Surah al-A’araf:143)

When Moses (a.s.) told Allah (s.w.t.), that he wanted to see Him, in reality, Allah (s.w.t.) Showed him His real khalifah of Creation, that Nur.  That was not the Nur of Allah (s.w.t.) since if that were so, all Creation would have been Annihilated.  That was one ray of the tajalli of the Nur of Muhammad (s.a.w.) through a tiny opening; the mountain was crushed to dust and Moses (a.s.) was knocked unconscious.

On the Day of Judgement, Allah (s.w.t.) will not be ‘moving’ to the Throne to ‘sit’ on it, for such are attributes of the Creation, not the Creator.  So He Sends His representative, Muhammad (s.a.w.).  The proof of this lies in the Qur’an, where Allah (s.w.t.) Says to Rasulullah (s.a.w.):

… soon will thy Lord Raise thee to a station of praise and glory! (Surah al-Isra’:79)

The maqam mahmuda Mentioned in this ayat above is not in this dunya.  It is a station in akhirah, the highest station for Creation that Iblis coveted so dearly.  Iblis had performed thousands of years of worship, yearning to be that Chosen one.  Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) will ascend the ‘Arsh on Judgement Day, as Allah’s (s.w.t.) Chosen khalifah.

This swuhbah is to teach us the exalted maqam of praise and glory that Allah (s.w.t.) will Bestow on His Beloved (s.a.w.) on Judgement Day.  We should follow the Sunnah of Allah (s.w.t.) and accord Rasulullah (s.a.w.) the highest respect and love, as his ummah.  We show our love, by following his sunnah, remembering him in Mawlid and qaswa’id, and by constant swalawat upon him, especially in the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, the month Allah (s.w.t.) Sent us His Beloved (s.a.w.).

Monday, 8 February 2016

Explaining Some Ahadits on Intercession

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following are some ahadits and their explanation about intercession, tawaswswul.  This also addresses some of the verses usually cited to deny it.

Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) wrote in Tahdzib at-Tahdzib, that Imam Hakim (r.a.) said that he heard Imam Abu ‘Ali an-Nishaburi (r.a.) say, “I was in extreme depression, then I saw Prophet (s.a.w.) in my dream.  He said, ‘Go to grave of Yahya ibn Yahya, recite istighfar and ask for help through his intercession.  Your problem will be solved.’  I did that and my problem was solved in the morning.”  Here, Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) showed that visiting the tombs of the awliya’ and seeking their intercession is a meritorious and approved act.

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote in his Majmu’, in the section describing the hajj, in the chapter “Visiting the Grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.)”: “The one visiting should stand by facing the face of Prophet (s.a.w.) and make him a means and seek his wasilah as shafa’at towards the Lord.”

Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) wrote that Imam Abu Ishaq al-Qarshi (r.a.) narrated that there was a man with them in Madina.  Whenever he used to see any bad deed which he was not capable of stopping with his hand, he used to go to the grave of Prophet (s.a.w.) and say, “O the inhabitants of qabr and our helpers please look towards our state.”

Imam ibn Hibban (r.a.) related in Kitab ats-Tsiqat, his own account of going to Imam ar-Ridha’s (r.a.) grave, performing tawaswswul through him and stated that “Whenever I was afflicted with a problem during my stay in Tus, I would visit the grave of ‘Ali ibn Musa and ask Allah (s.w.t.) to Relieve me of that problem and it would be Answered and the problem Alleviated.  And this is something I did, and found to work, many times.”

Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) recorded in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “When you lose your means of transport in a jungle, you should call, ‘O creatures of Allah!  Help me, recover my transport!  O creatures of Allah!  Help me, recover my transport!’  There are many of Allah’s creatures on this earth.  They will help you recover it.”  This is also recorded by Imam Abu Ya‘la (r.a.) in his Musnad, Imam ibn as-Sunni (r.a.) in ‘Amal al-Yawm wa al-Laylah, Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) in Majma‘ az-Zawa’id and Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) in al-Mathalib al-‘Aliyah.

Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated, “I heard the Prophet (s.a.w.) say, ‘By the One in Whose Hand is Abu al-Qasim's soul, ‘Isa ibn Maryam shall descend as a just and wise ruler.  He shall destroy the cross, slay the swine, eradicate discord and grudges, and money shall be offered to him but he will not accept it.  Then he shall stand at my grave and say, ‘Ya Muhammad!’ and I will answer him.’”

Imam Abu Ya’la (r.a.) related it with a swahih chain in his Musnad.  Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) said in Majma’ az-Zawa'id in the chapter entitled, ‘’Isa ibn Maryam's Descent’, “Its sub-narrators are the men of swahih ahadits.”

Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) wrote, “Regarding what those who forbid tawaswswul to Allah through the prophets and the saint cite to support their position, such as Allah’s Sayings:

… “We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah …” (Surah az-Zumar:3)

So call not on any other god with Allah, or thou wilt be among those under the Penalty. (Surah ash-Shu’ara:213)

Say: “Call on those ― besides Him ― whom ye fancy: they have neither the power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them.”  Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of. (Surah al-Isra’:56-57)

These verses are irrelevant; they support exactly the reverse of what the objectors to tawaswswul claim, since the verses are related to another issue.  Surah az-Zumar:3 explicitly states that they worship them for that purpose, whereas the one who makes tawaswswul through one of the pious, for example, never worships him, but knows that he has a privilege, maziyyah, before Allah (s.w.t.) for being a carrier of knowledge; and that is why he uses him as a means.  Similarly, irrelevant to the issue is Surah ash-Shu’ara:213.  This verse forbids calling upon another together with Allah (s.w.t.).  However, the one who makes tawaswswul through a saint, for example, never calls upon other than Allah (s.w.t.).  He only seeks a means to Him through the excellent works that one of His servants achieved, just as the three men in the cave who were blocked by the rock used their good works as a means to have their petition answered.  Similarly, irrelevant to the issue is Surah al-Isra’:56-57, for it refers to people who call upon those who cannot fulfill their request, at the same time not calling upon Allah (s.w.t.) Who can; whereas one who makes tawaswswul through the pious, never calls upon other than Allah (s.w.t.).

Objectors to tawaswswul are, in fact, bringing forth dala’il that are irrelevant to the issue at hand.  Even more irrelevant is their citing of the following verse:

(It will be) the Day when no soul shall have power (to do) aught for another: for the Command, that Day, will be (wholly) with Allah. (Surah al-Infithar:19)

This verse says that Allah (s.w.t.) Alone decides everything on the Day of Judgment, and that none other will have any say at that time.  However, the one who performs tawaswswul through one of the prophets, or one of the pious, never believes that the one through whom he makes tawaswswul is in partnership with Allah (s.w.t.) on the Day of Judgment.  As Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, we do not confuse the means and the Giver.

The deniers of tawaswswul also cite the following:

Not for thee, (but for Allah) is the decision: whether He turn in Mercy to them or Punish them; for they are indeed wrong-doers. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:128)

Say: "I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah Willeth.  If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith." (Surah al-A'araf:188)

These two verses State Explicitly that even the Prophet (s.a.w.) has no say in Allah’s (s.w.t.) Decision and that he has no power to benefit or harm himself in the least, let alone someone else; there is nothing in them that denies tawaswswul through the Prophet (s.a.w.) or of the pious.  Allah (s.w.t.) Bestowed upon His Prophet (s.a.w.) the Exalted Station, maqam al-mahmud, which is the station of the Great Intercession, Shafa’ah al-‘Uzhmah, and He has Commanded Creation to seek intercession through the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) maqam.

Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, in Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, that whenever anyone is in some difficulty, he should ask the pious souls that have passed away.  He said that there is no doubt that any person visiting their tombs gets spiritual help plus benefit from them.  And many times, when their wasilah is presented in the Court of Allah (s.w.t.), the difficulties are Removed.

Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), in Shu’ayb al-Iman, recorded that ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) said “I heard my father say, ‘I performed hajj five times; thrice on foot and twice riding,’ or he said, ‘thrice riding and twice on foot.’  ‘Once when I was on foot, I lost my way; I started to exclaim, ‘O Allah’s servants, show me the way.’  I kept on repeating this until I came back on track.’”

In al-Furqan bayna Awliya’ ar-Rahman wa Awliya’ ash-Shaythan, Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) wrote about the incident when ‘Umar (r.a.), helped the Muslim army in Iraq.  When ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) sent out an army, he appointed Sariyah ibn Zunaym (r.a.) as their commander.  While ‘Umar (r.a.) was delivering the khuthbah in Madina, he started shouting, “O Sariyah, the mountain!” thrice.

A month later, a messenger from the army came and ‘Umar (r.a.) questioned him concerning the campaign.  He said, “O Commander of the Faithful!  We met with the enemy and they had almost defeated us.  Then a voice warned us, ‘O Sariyah, the mountain!’  So we put our backs against the mountain and Allah vanquished them.”  This story is well known and there are versions with greater detail.

It is recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, as narrated by Anas (r.a.), “Whenever drought threatened them, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab, used to ask ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muththalib to invoke Allah for rain.  He used to say, ‘O Allah!  We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would Bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain.  O Allah!  Bless us with rain.’  And so it would rain.”

Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.), in Fath al-Bari, wrote, “The episode involving ‘Abbas makes it clear that to seek intercession from the virtuous, the pious and members of the Prophet’s family is a desirable act.  In addition, this event proves the high status of ‘Abbas as well as reveals ‘Umar’s respect for him and the acknowledgement of his status.”

Imam Muhammad al-Mardawi (r.a.), as recorded in Kitab al-Inswaf, commenting on the theological position of Imam Ahmad (r.a.) and the Hanbali madzhab, said, “The correct position of the madzhab is that it is permissible in one’s du’a to use as one’s means of a pious person, and it is said that it is desirable.  Imam Ahmad said to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi, ‘Let him use the Prophet (s.a.w.) as a means in his supplication to Allah (s.w.t.).’” This is also cited in Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) Majmu’ al-Fatawa.

Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) wrote in his Siyar al-A’alam an-Nubala’, that once, there was a drought in Samarqand.  People tried their best; some performed swalat al-istisqa’ but still it did not rain.  A renowned saint, known as Swalih (q.s.), went to the qadhi and suggested they go to the maqam of Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) in Khartank and ask for his intercession.  The qadhi agreed, and much of the town, including its important personages, went to the maqam.  He qadhi lead the du’a, and people started to cry near the grave and started to make him a wasilah.  Allah (s.w.t.) immediately Granted their du’a and the rains came.  The people stayed in Khartank for about seven days; none of them wanted to return to Samarqand although the distance between Samarqand and Khartank was only 3 miles.

Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), wrote in his Diwan, “The family of the Prophet, they are my means in this life and the next.  Through them, I hope to be Given my records in my right hand on the Day of Judgement.”

Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.), wrote in his al-Wafa bi Ahwal li al-Muswthafa’, that Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Minqari (r.a.) said, “I was with ath-Thabarani and Abu ash-Shaykh in the Prophet’s Mosque, in some difficulty.  We became very hungry.  That day and the next, we did not eat.  When it was time for ‘isha’, I went to the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) grave and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we are hungry, we are hungry.’  Then I left.

Abu ash-Shaykh said to me, ‘Sit.  Either there will be food for us, or death.’  I slept and Abu ash-Shaykh slept.  ath-Thabarani stayed awake, researching something.  Then an ‘Alawi [a descendant of ‘Ali (k.w.)] came knocking at the door with two boys, each one carrying a palm-leaf basket filled with food.  We sat up and ate.  We thought that the children would take back the remainder but they left everything behind.  When we finished, the ‘Alawi said, ‘O people, did you complain to the Prophet?  I saw him in my sleep and he ordered me to bring something to you.’”

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) wrote in his Qa’idah al Jalila fi at-Tawaswswul wa al-Wasilah, that Imam ibn Abi Dunya (r.a.) recorded in his book Mujabi ad-Du‘a’ that a person came over to see Shaykh ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Sa‘id ibn Abjar (r.a.), in pain.  Shaykh ‘Abd al-Malik (r.a.) pressed his belly and told him that he was suffering from an incurable disease.  The man asked him, “What is it?”  Shaykh ‘Abd al-Malik (r.a.) replied that it was a kind of ulcer that grows inside the belly and ultimately kills the man.  It is said that the patient turned round and then he said, “Allah!  Allah!  Allah is my Lord.  I regard no one as His rival or partner.  O Allah!  I beseech You and submit myself to You through the mediation of Your Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the merciful prophet.  O Muhammad!  Through your means I submit myself to your and my Lord that He should have Mercy on me in my state.”

It is said that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Malik (r.a.) pressed his belly again and said, “You are cured; you are no longer suffering from any illness.”

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), after recording the incident in his book, commented, “I say that this and other forms of supplication have been taken from our pious predecessors.”

Abu Ayyub al-Answari (q.s.) was one of the great companions.  He took part in the battle of Constantinople.  Near the enemy border, he fell ill.  As the illness grew worse, he dictated his will as follows: “When I die, take my dead body with you.  When you line up against the enemy, bury me in your feet.”  The Muslims buried him at the foot of the fort.  People soon came to know the blessings emanating from the grave.  Whatever they prayed for at the grave was immediately Granted.

This is recorded in Imam ibn ‘Abd al-Barr’s (r.a.) al-Istiyy’ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Aswhab, where he wrote, “And Abu Ayyub’s grave lies near the ramparts of the fort and everybody knows it.”  He further wrote, “When people pray for rain there, it starts raining.”

Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) described his own experience at the maqam of Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.): “I derive blessing from the Imam Abu Hanifah and I visit his grave every day.  When I face a problem, I offer two rak’ah of prayer and visit his grave and I pray to Allah to Solve my problem.  And I have not even left the place that my problem is solved.”

Khathib al-Baghdadi (r.a.) related the incident with a sound chain of transmission in his Tarikh al-Baghdadi.  Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) recorded this in al-Khayrat al-Hisan fi Manaqib al-Imam al-A‘azham Abu Hanifah, Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawtsari (r.a.) in Maqalat, and Imam ibn ‘Abidin ash-Shami (r.a.) in Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala Durr al-Mukhtar.

In the incident involving Imam Malik (r.a.), once, the Umayyad caliph, Abu Ja‘far Manswur visited Madina and he asked Imam Malik (r.a.), “While supplicating, should I turn my face to the qiblah, or should I turn my face to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.),” since they were in opposite directions.

Imam Malik (r.a.) replied, “Why do you turn your face from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), when he is the source of mediation for you and for your ancestor Adam (a.s.) on the Day of Judgement?  Rather you should turn towards the Prophet (s.a.w.) and seek his intercession so that he intercedes for you before Allah on the Day of Judgement.  Allah has Declared:

We Sent not a Messenger but to be obeyed, in accordance with the Will of Allah.  If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s Forgiveness and the Messenger had asked Forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Surah an-Nisa’:64)”

Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.) narrated this in his ash-Shifa’ with a sound chain of transmission.  It has also been related by Imam as-Subki (r.a.) in Shifa’ as-Siqam fi Ziyarat Khayr al-Anam, Imam as-Samhudi (r.a.) in Khulaswat al-Wafa’, Imam al-Qasthalani (r.a.) in al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Imam ibn Jama‘ah (r.a.) in Hidayat as-Salik and Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) in al-Jawhar al-Munazhzham.

In his manaqib of awliya’, Swifat as-Swafwah, he wrote about Shaykh Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Harabi (q.s.): “And his grave is open to everyone.  People receive Blessing from it.”  He has also described Adam’s (a.s.) intermediation through the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in the first chapter of his al-Wafa bi Ahwal al-Muswthafa.

Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) in his books al-Iswabah fi Tamyiz asw-Swahabah, and Fath al-Bari, narrated the incident of the man who visited the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) grave for rain through his mediation.

Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.) related the tradition of Adam’s (a.s.) intermediation in ad-Durr al-Mantsur, and al-Khaswa’isw al-Kubra.  Additionally, he narrated it in ar-Riyadh al-Aniqah fi Sharh Asma’ Khayr al-Khaliqah, where he expounded on its soundness by endorsing the opinion of Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.).

Imam al-Qasthalani (r.a.), in al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, in referencing the intercession of the different categories of awliya’, said, “When ordinary people fall into trouble, first of all, the akhyar supplicate for them, then turn by turn the nobility, abdal, the abrar and the nuqaba.  If their supplication is granted, well and good.  Otherwise, the saint of the highest rank, ghawts, supplicates for them, and before he winds it up, his prayer is Granted.”

Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) recorded, in his Fatawa al-Haditsiyyah, the experience of Shaykh Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurayshi (q.s.) that Allah’s (s.w.t.) friends help people after death just as they helped them in life, and the value of their benefit is not in the least reduced.  Shaykh Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurayshi (q.s.) said, “A severe drought had enveloped Egypt in its grip and the people’s distress caused by hunger and thirst remained unrelieved in spite of their prayers and supplications.  So I journeyed towards Syria, when I reached near the tomb of Allah’s Friend [Ibrahim (a.s.)].  He met me on the way and I said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah!  I have come as a guest.  You should show your hospitality in the form of a supplication for the natives of Egypt.’  He prayed for them, so Allah Drove their famine away from them.”

This face-to-face meeting with Ibrahim (a.s.) is affirmed.  Imam Yafi‘i (r.a.) said, “The statement made by Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurayshi that he had a face-to-face meeting with the Friend is based on truth.  Only an ignorant person can deny it who is unaware of the mode of living and status of the saints because these people observe the earth and the heavens and see the prophets in their living condition.”

Additionally, Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) also penned al-Jawhar al-Munazhzham on intermediation.  In it, he said intermediation through the Prophet (s.a.w.) is hasan.  Aside from these, there are thousands more of our pious predecessors who have affirmed the truth of wasilah from ahadits.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

One Wish Unfulfilled

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“For th sake of one wish yet unfulfilled,
He thought but little of everything else that Heaven had Granted him.
That is how human beings are made.
If prayers remain unanswered,
Do we ever reflect that it may be for our good?
We feel sure that we know our needs,
Yet the future is Veiled from our eyes.
The thread of our fate ends outside the visible world,
And what today we mistake for a padlock keeping us out,
We may tomorrow find to be a key that lets us in.”

Shaykh Nizhami Khanjawi (q.s.)

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Wahhabi Belief that Allah (s.w.t.) is Literally Sitting, Julus, on the Throne

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Wahhabi sect believes that Allah (s.w.t.) being Established, istawa’, on the Throne is literal, and that He is sitting, julus.

A Revelation from Him Who Created the Earth and the Heavens on high.  (Allah) Most Gracious is Firmly Established on the Throne (of Authority). (Surah ThaHa:4-5)

ibn al-‘Utsaymin in his Majmu’ al-Fatawa, “With respect to the sitting, ibn al-Qayyim reported in as-Sawa’iq, 1303/4, from Kharijah ibn Mus’ab with respect to the Saying of Allah the Exalted, ‘The Most Gracious is Firmly Established on the Throne (of Authority)’, how can the ascension be anything other than sitting?  And the mention of sitting has been reported in the hadits from Imam Ahmad from ibn ‘Abbas, in a marfu’ fashion.  And Allah Knows best.”

(Allah) Most Gracious is Firmly Established on the Throne (of Authority). (Surah ThaHa:5)

Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) is talking about a non-existent narration in Musnad Ahmad, a fabricated hadits, through Kharijah who is actually matruk, discarded.  The Wahhabis also refer to Kitab as-Sunnah, a forgery attributed to Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.).  It is full of anthropomorphism.  One section, concerning the question, “Is istiwa’ other than by julus?”, is answered, “He saw Him on a chair of gold carried by four angels: one in the form of a man, another in the form of a lion, another in that of a bull, and another in that of an eagle, in a green garden, outside of which there was a golden dais.”

And finally, in his tafsir, an-Nahr al-Madd, Shaykh Abu Hayyan al-‘Andalusi (r.a.) reported about Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), “In his handwriting, a book of Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, who was contemporary with us, which he called Kitab al-‘Arsh, I read, ‘Allah sits on al-Kursi and has left a space for the Messenger of Allah to sit with Him.’”

Imam ibn ‘Asakir (r.a.), in Tabyin Kadzib al-Muftari, wrote, “The Mushabbihah and Hashwiyyah said, ‘Descent is the descent of His dzat through movement and displacement, and istiwa’ is His sitting on the Throne and indwelling on top of it.’  al-Ash’ari took the middle road and said, ‘Descent is one of His Attributes and Istiwa’ is one of His Attributes and an Action He did pertaining to the Throne, called ‘istiwa’’.”

Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), in al-Asma’ wa asw-Swifat, wrote, “al-Qadim is thus Elevated over His Throne, but neither sitting on nor standing on nor in contact with, nor separate from the Throne - meaning separate in His Essence in the sense of physical separation or distance.  For ‘contact’ and its opposite, ‘separation’; ‘standing’ and its opposite, ‘sitting’; are all the characteristics of bodies, whereas, “He is Allah the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.’ Therefore, what is allowed for bodies is impermissible for Him.”  And this is the Sunni position.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Say: He is Allah the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him. (Surah al-Ikhlasw:1-4)