Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ajarridi Kharijiyyah & the Conundrum of Free Will

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The problem as to whether human beings were free to determine their own destiny or whether their being was determined by the Creator was also one of the central disputes in a rift within the Khwarij movement.  For the first time, the Ajarridi Kharijiyyah split into two sub-groups, the Maimuniyyah and the Shu’aybiyyah.  The reason for this division originated in an argument between Maimun and Shu’ayb, the leaders of the groups.  Shu’ayb had some money belonging to Maimun, and when Maimun demanded repayment, Shu’ayb said to him, “I shall give it to you, if Allah Wills.”

Maimun replied, “Allah has Willed that you should give it to me now.”

And Shu’ayb said, “If Allah has Willed it, I could not have done otherwise than give it to you.”

Maimun continued by saying, “Verily, Allah has Willed what He Commanded; what He did not Command, He did not Will; and what He did not Will, He did not Command.”

They wrote about their dispute to their leader ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Ajarrad, who was in prison.  ‘Abd al-Karim responded with, “What Allah Willed came about, and what He did not will did not come about; and we do not fix evil upon Him.”

Maimun and Shu’ayb both believed that their leader had approved their view and they, therefore, separated, forming two different groups.  The followers of Maimun, the Maimuniyyah, were known for their belief in free will and claimed that although Allah (s.w.t.) is Omnipotent, no evil should be attributed to Him.  Therefore, the Shu’aybiyyah, followers of Shu’ayb, became the forerunners of the adherents to fatalism in Islamic theology.  The theological doctrine of the Mu’tazilah, however, is crystallised in five major theses, such as the Unity of Allah (s.w.t.), or the relationship between the Divine Attributes and the essence of God; al-qadar or human free will; the createdness of the Qur’an; the intermediate position of the grave sinner; and commanding the right and forbidding the wrong.


Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller's Advice on Low Thoughts

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller said, “If a low thought enters one’s mind, send swalawat on the Prophet (s.a.w.) to banish it.”


Shaykh ibn ‘Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) on the Irreplaceable & the Priceless

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ibn ‘Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) said, “The part of your life that has gone by is irreplaceable, but that which has arrived is priceless.”


Shaykh Hafizh ash-Shirazi (q.s.) on the Hopes of a Thousand Years

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Hafizh ash-Shirazi (q.s.) said, “If your patience is like that of Noah in the sadness of the storm, affliction will leave you and the hopes of a thousand years will be fulfilled.”


We are Responsible for Our Pain

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

All that we do has consequence.  When we consider, we realise that we are the architects of our pain and our suffering, whether individually or collectively.  Just as each individual drop does not consider itself responsible for the flood, each individual act contributes to it.


Augustine of Hippo's Concept of Free Will

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The problem of free will was discussed by Augustine of Hippo in “The City of God” before the rise of Islam, and it is possible that the ideas of this Christian thinker later influenced Islamic theology, particularly groups such as the Mu’tazilah.  Augustine’s idea was developed in response to Cicero, who rejected God’s Foreknowledge of the future, meaning there would be no prediction of events, and human actions would be free.  Cicero’s argument is quite simple to understand, as it asserts that if predestination prevails, then there can be no free will.

Against Cicero, Augustine argued that God, as the Creator of all beings, has Bestowed power in them to will, but that all wills, including wicked wills, are human products because wickedness cannot be ascribed to God; that it is not then the case that since God Foreknows what will happen to an individual there is therefore nothing in the power of our wills; and that: “Prayers, also, are of avail to procure those things which He Foreknew that He would Grant to those who offered them; and with justice have rewards been appointed for good deeds, and punishments for sins.  For a man does not, therefore, sin because God Foreknew that he would sin.  Nay, it cannot be doubted but that it is the man himself who sins when he does sin, because He, whose Foreknowledge is infallible, Foreknew not that fate, or fortune, or something else would sin, but that the man himself would sin, who, if he wills not, sins not.  But if he shall not will to sin, even this did God foreknow.”


Imam Malik (r.a.) on the Vastness of Our Scholarship

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Malik ibn Anas (r.a.) said, in Bahr al-Muhith, “The limits and vastness of the earth are many and plentiful, and it is not possible for anyone to gather all of the sayings of the scholars, and one who even tries to claim this; then his lie is not hidden to anybody.”


The Brothers of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) recorded, in his Musnad, “Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, ‘I wish that I could meet my brothers.’

The companions asked, ‘Are we not your brothers?’

He replied, ‘You are my companions, but my brothers are those who will believe in me without having seen me.'”


Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri on the Value of Human Blood

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri said, “To deem the value of human blood insignificant is worse than shedding it.”


Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) on Honouring the Prophet (s..a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) wrote, in his Majma’ Fatawi ibn Taymiyyah, “To celebrate and to honour the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and to take it as an honoured season, as some of the people are doing, is good and in it, there is a Great Reward, because of their good intentions in honouring the Prophet (s.a.w.).”


al-‘Abbas (r.a.) Praising the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

al-‘Abbas (r.a.) wrote, of the Prophet (s.a.w.):

“When you were born, the earth was shining,
And the firmament barely contained your light,
And we can pierce through,
Thanks to that radiance and light and path of guidance.”


Tafsir Originated in the Era of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Tafsir originated in the era of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  If the companions were puzzled by a certain verse, they would ask the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he would clarify to them anything that they did not understand or anything that was obscure.  ibn Mas’ud (r.a.) said, “When the verse:


“It is those who believe and mix not their beliefs with wrong ...” (Surah al-An’am:82)

was Revealed, the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) were distressed by it and said, ‘Who of us does not wrong himself!’

So, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘It is not what you think, but it is only as Luqman said to his son:


… “O my son!  Join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.” (Surah Luqman:13)”

The companions were keen on learning the Qur’an from the Prophet (s.a.w.) and were keen on its interpretation and its memorisation.  Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman as-Sulami (r.a.) stated that those who would recite the Qur’an, like Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.), Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (r.a.) and others, would tell them that if they had been taught ten verses by the Prophet (s.a.w.), they would not exceed that amount until they had learnt what they contained in terms of knowledge and practice.  They said, “So we learned the Qur’an, knowledge, and practice at once and for this reason they used to spend some time in memorising one particular surah.”


Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) on the Ocean of the Qur’an

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, “The Qur’an is an ocean and that it is from Qur’an that the sciences of the ancients and the contemporaries branch off, just as rivers and brooks branch off from the shores of an ocean.”


Some Noted Mu’tazilah Thinkers on the Issue of Free Will

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The theological issues discussed by the Mu’tazilah, such as free will and predestination, the relationship between the Divine Attributes and the Essence of Allah (s.w.t.), were also debated by some Muslim thinkers during the Umayyad period prior to the rise of the Mu’tazilah.  These thinkers can be divided into two groups.  The first group included al-Ja’ad ibn Dirham, al-Mughirah ibn Sa’id al-‘Ajali, and Jahan ibn Swafwan, who rejected the Reality and Eternity of the Divine Attributes and also believed in the createdness of the Qur’an.  al-Ja’ad ibn Dirham was from Damascus.  He was arrested and sent to Iraq by Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad caliph.  He was beheaded by the Iraqi ruler, Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al-Kisri, who was the uncle of Hisham in 742 CE.  al-Mughirah ibn Sa’id al-‘Ajali was killed by the ruler of Iraq, Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al-Kisri, in 737 CE.  Jahan ibn Swafwan was killed in 745 CE.

The second group included ‘Umar al-Maqsus, who was accused by the Umayyads of corrupting the mind of young Mu’awiyah ibn Yazid, his pupil, and executed in 699; Ma’bad al-Jahani, who was crucified by Hajaj ibn Yusuf ats-Tsaqafi in Iraq; and Ghaylan al-Dimashqi, who was crucified on the gate of Damascus on the orders Hisham ibn Abdul Malik.  These thinkers believed in al-Qadariyyah and rejected the doctrine of al-Jabariyyah, predestination, in Islam.  The term “al-Qadariyyah” is used in the converse sense by Muslim thinkers when describing a doctrine of free will or al-ikhtiyar.  “al-Qadar” stands for something quite the opposite of free will in the literal sense.  But at the same time, the term is associated with a cluster of Muslim thinkers advocating a doctrine whose philosophical trend is distinct from the literal meaning of the term.


Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) on Recogising the Bestower

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) said, “Do not become subservient to the gifts in such a manner that you forget the Bestower of the gifts.”


Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) on Gnostics with Wings

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said, “The difference between birds with wings and gnostics with the wings of passionate love, is that birds with their wings fly in a certain direction, which is always changing, and gnostics with wings of love long only to fly away from all directions.”


Shaykh ibn ‘Atha'illah (q.s.) on Witnessing

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ibn ‘Atha'illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) said, “When He Gives, He Makes you witness His Benevolence and when He Denies you, He Makes you witness His Supremacy.  And in both situations, He is Making Himself Discernible to you and Approaching you with His Gentleness.”


Imam al-Haddad (q.s.) on Being Strangers in the World

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (q.s.) said, “Be in the world as though a stranger or a wayfarer, and consider yourself one of the inhabitants of the graves.”


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Against Following Blindly

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

When our practices and our beliefs are no longer based knowledge and understanding, but on custom and blind taqlid, Islam has ceased to be a religion and is reverted to mere superstition.  It is not enough to merely follow and to believe; we have to know why.  It is this mere following without understanding that has constrained something very vast.


Beginning of the Mu'tazilah

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Mu’tazilah school emerged as the result of the ethical and political turmoil of its own time and then ventured into the realm of speculative theology.  After the assassination of ‘Utsman ibn ’Affan (r.a.) in 656 CE, Muslims divided into various political groups which mutually fought each other.  This political division continued during the period of the Umayyads and the Abbasids.

Muslims debated whether it was Allah’s (s.w.t.) Will, or human beings responsible for this bloodshed.  If people were responsible for such corruption, what would their punishment be - as Muslims or apostates?  The traditionalist relied on the literal interpretation of the Qur’an, the Khwarij maintained that the committer of a grave sin was not a believer, and another group, the Murjiyyah, claimed that the case should be left to Allah (s.w.t.) to Decide.

It is reported that one day, in the second century of Hijrah, in the city of Basra, a person came to the mosque of Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.) and requested his views on this issue.  Shaykh al-Baswri (q.s.) began to think about a proper answer, but before he could give his opinion, either Waswil ibn ’Atha or ’Amr ibn ’Ubayad, both students of the shaykh, broke out with the answer, saying, “The committer of the grave sin is neither a believer nor a non-believer, but is in the state between the states of belief and unbelief.”

Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.) did not like the presumption of his student and asked him to leave.  Waswil ibn ’Atha and ’Amr ibn ’Ubayad left the circle of Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.) and began to teach their own views on different theological problems; they were called “Mu’tazilah”.  The student who withdrew from Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri’s (q.s.) school is often assumed to be ’Amr ibn ‘Ubayd rather than Waswil ibn ’Atha, but some sources say that ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd was a student of Imam Qatadah (r. a.), Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri’s (q.s.) successor.

And thus, we can see that an entire school of deviant teachings began with a lack of adab.  And just as Waswil ibn ’Atha and ’Amr ibn ’Ubayad did not have adab before their teachers, their followers did not adab before Allah (s.w.t.) and His Rasul (s.a.w.).


How Nouman Ali Khan Really Deals with New Converts

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

A sister I know, just before her conversion, did not exactly have it easy trying to find out about Islam.  She said, “It was just after I left ‘Turn to Islam’ forum, which was a Wahhabi forum, where I was accused me of being paid by the Zionists for simply asking questions about things I did not understand.  I joined the chat forum run by Yusuf Estes.  They would have weekly question and answer video chats with various ‘scholars’.  Great, I thought.  I would be able to learn from the boys in the know.

At the time, I did not feel comfortable referring to myself as a Muslim.  I just felt that I did not want to take on a moniker that I might be able to live up to.  It felt like cultural appropriation to me, a big no-no in the native world.”  She is Native American.

“Anyways, Nouman Ali Khan was the featured speaker and to ask questions, you sent an email to the site.  I addressed him appropriately, notified him that I had been studying for over a year and I was supportive of Islam.  I then posed my question.  While other sisters asked questions and he was kind and patient, with me, he was terse and abrupt.  When I asked a follow-up question, he told me that he had already answered that question and then said that if I took that shahadah, then all would be made clear, like giving the shahadah suddenly makes you intelligent!  What an ass!”


The Shuyukh are Heirs to the Prophets

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The religious scholars are the heirs of the prophets, so the quest for nearness to them is absolutely essential, since they have said, “If someone is affected with a condition that he cannot cure, they will coax him out of it.”

Imam al-Qushayri (r.a.) wrote, in his ar-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah, “It is necessary for the seeker to be educated by a shaykh, for if he has no teacher, he will never succeed.”

Shaykh Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q.s.) said, “If someone does not have a teacher, his teacher is Satan.”

According to Sidi Mukhtar al-Kunti (r.a.), “As for the reality of the litanies, they are contracts and covenants, which Allah has Imposed upon His servants by means of the shuyukh.  If someone reveres the shuyukh, complies with the contracts and fulfills the covenants, he will, therefore, be entitled to the benefit of the two abodes,” meaning this world and the Hereafter.  He continued, “On the other hand, if someone belittles the shuyukh and neglects the contracts and the covenants, that will be a cause of his going astray and sinking the ship of his religion.”


Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) on Doubting the Swahabah

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) said, “If you see anyone speaking ill of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), doubt his Islam.”


Silsilah of the Tahlil

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Yusuf al-Kuzani al-‘Ajami (q.s.) reported in his Risalah that ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) once implored the Prophet (s.a.w.), saying, “O Messenger of Allah, guide me to the nearest of the paths toward Allah (s.w.t.), the easiest of them for His servants, and the best of them in the sight of Allah (s.w.t.).”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “O ‘Ali, you must make a constant practice of remembering Allah (s.w.t.) in the places of private retreat.”

‘Ali (k.w.) then asked, “Does this excellent merit of the remembrance depend on its being practiced by all people?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “O ‘Ali, the Final Hour will not arrive, so long as someone on the face of the earth is saying, ‘Laa ilaha illa Allah.’”

‘Ali (k.w.) then asked, “So how should I perform the remembrance, O Messenger of Allah?”

To this, he replied, “You must close your eyes and hear it from me three times, then you must say it three times, while I listen.”  The Prophet (s.a.w.) then said, “Laa ilaha illa Allah,” “There is no god but Allah,” three times, closing his eyes and raising his voice, while ‘Ali (k.w.) listened.

Then ‘Ali (k.w.) said, “Laa ilaha illa Allah,” three times, closing his eyes and raising his voice just as the Prophet (s.a.w.) did, while the Prophet (s.a.w.) was listening.”

These two ahadits have been cited in the ar-Rimah of Shaykh ‘Umar Futi Thal (q.s.).  He stated that ‘Ali (k.w.) taught this to Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.), who then taught it to Habib al-‘Ajami (q.s.), who then taught it to Shaykh Dawud at-Ta’i (q.s.), who then taught it to Shaykh Ma’ruf al-Karkhi (q.s.), who then taught it to Shaykh as-Sari as-Saqathi (q.s.), who then taught it to Imam al-Junayd al-Baghdadi (q.s.).  They have been transmitted since then to the masters of spiritual training, and the process will continue until Allah (s.w.t.) Wills.  They are the source of the method of teaching the awrad and the adzkar.


Shaykh Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyadh (q.s.) on Love & Hate for Allah (s.w.t.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyadh (q.s.) said, “Indeed, I love those whom Allah Loves.  They are those from whom the companions of Muhammad (s.a.w.) are safe.  I hate those whom Allah Hates.  They are the people of the deviant sects and innovation.”


Congregational Dzikr is a Sunnah

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Regarding the source of the method of teaching the remembrances, adzkar, and the litanies, awrad; it has been reported by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) in his Musnad, with an excellent chain of transmission, and by Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) and others, that Shaykh Ya’la ibn Shaddad (r.a.) said, “My father, Shaddad ibn Aws told me, in the presence of ‘Ubadah ibn asw-Swamit, who said he was telling the truth, ‘We were together with the Prophet (s.a.w.), and he asked, ‘Is there a stranger amongst you?’ meaning one of the People of the Scripture.

We said, ‘No, O Messenger of Allah,’ so he ordered the door to be locked.

Then he said, ‘Raise your hands and say, ‘There is no god but Allah!’  So, we held our hands up for a while, then he said, ‘Praise be to Allah!  O Allah, You have Sent me with this declaration.  You have Entrusted me with it, and You have Promised me the Garden of Paradise on account of it, and You will not fail to keep the Promise!’  Then he said, ‘Be of good cheer, for Allah has Granted you Forgiveness!’’”


Abu Darda’ (r.a.) on the Anticipation of Fasting

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Abu Darda’ (r.a.) said, “Fast the hot days in anticipation of the Day of Resurrection, and pray in the dark night in anticipation of the dark grave.”


Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) on Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah's Rule

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

A group of scholars in Baghdad asked Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) about Yazid.  He responded, “What do you say about a man who ruled for three years; in the first he murdered al-Husayn, in the second he sacked Madina for three days, and in the third he assaulted the Ka’bah with catapults until it was destroyed?”

They said, “Verily, we curse him!”

Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) said, “So curse him!”


Proof of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah’s Kufr

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Proof for Yazid’s hatred and vile behaviour can be seen in his summoning ibn Ziyad to Damascus after Karbala and bestowing upon him illustrious gifts and large sums of money, elevating his status, granting him access to his women and making him his intimate boon-companion.  One night, after becoming drunk, Yazid ordered his slave-girl to sing but before she began, he recited the verses:

“Pour me a drink that will satisfy my innermost soul!
And fill a large cup like it for ibn Ziyad.
Verily, he is my most intimate companion and I trust him absolutely!
For he realised my deepest goal and struggle!
He killed the Kharijite, the treacherous rebel al-Husayn,
And terrified my enemies and those who envy!”

Imam ibn ‘Aqil (r.a.) said, “Among the many things that reinforce the fact that he was a disbeliever and an apostate, and not merely someone who should be condemned and cursed, are his poetic verses in which he makes his irreligion quite plain.”

There are many other such poems that can be found in his collection of poetry, and as a result, this community should feel nothing but shame for having endured his governance over them.


Khwaja Mu’in ad-Din Jisty (q.s.) & the Importance of Prayer

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Khwaja Mu’in ad-Din Jisty (q.s.) emphasised the importance of prayer and said that it is a great necessity for the development of the soul.  He did not restrict prayer in its implications, expressions, and meaning, giving a broad connotation to the word.  According to him, prayer consists of selfless service, sympathy, and empathy.  Thus, helping the weak, the aggrieved, the needy, to feed the hungry, and to have the captive freed all constitute prayers.

He said that to see six things constitutes prayer for the gnostic: to see one’s parents in the morning and greet them with salaam; to see one’s own children with love and affection; to see the Holy Qur’an; to see the face of the learned with respect; to see the gates of Ka’bah; and to look towards the face of one’s own murshid and to devote oneself to his service.  According to him, fear, respect, and modesty are the three things that go to make one enlightened.  The perfection of the gnostic depends upon the loss of the self.  A gnostic is said to be perfect only when all barriers separating him and the Friend are dismantled.  Either he lives or the Friend.


Imam az-Zarruq’s (q.s.) Commentary on Imam Malik's (r.a.) Quote on Taswawwuf & Fiqh

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In Iqazh al-Himam, Imam ibn ‘Ajibah (r.a.) quoted Imam az-Zarruq’s (q.s.) commentary on the sayings of Imam Malik (r.a.), “He who practices taswawwuf without acquiring knowledge of fiqh, is a zindiq.  He who acquires knowledge of fiqh but does not practice taswawwuf, is a fasiq.  He who combines the two, has achiever the Truth.”

Imam az-Zarruq’s (q.s.) commentary on this saying is that the atheism of the first is due to the fact that he professes the doctrine of jabr, which entails the negation of wisdom and the rules of law.  The immoral depravity of the second is due to the fact that his conduct is devoid of the genuine dedication that prevents disobedience to Allah (s.w.t.), and of the sincere devotion that is stipulated for all actions.  The correctness of the third is due to his fulfillment in reality of his essential adherence to the Truth.