Thursday, 8 December 2016

Imam ash-Sha’rani (q.s.) on the Station of Witnessing the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In Lawaqih al-Anwar al-Qudsiyyah fi al-Uhud al-Muhammadiyyah, Imam ash-Sha’rani (q.s.) said, of the Prophet (s.a.w.), “If you make a frequent practice of invoking blessing and peace upon him, perhaps you will attain to the station of witnessing him.  That is the practice of Shaykh Nur ad-Din ash-Shinwani, Shaykh Ahmad az-Zawawi, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Dawud al-Manzalani, and a company of the shuyukh of the era.  Not one of them ever ceases to invoke blessing upon Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.), to make a frequent practise thereof, and to cleanse himself of all sins, so that he may come together with him in a state of wakefulness at any moment he wishes.  If someone does not experience this coming together, he has not yet practised the invocation of blessing upon Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) with the frequency required in order to attain to this station.

Shaykh Ahmad az-Zawawi told me that, when he had failed to achieve the experience of coming together with the Prophet (s.a.w.), he devoted himself with assiduous perseverance to the invocation of blessing upon the Prophet (s.a.w.) for one whole year, invoking blessing upon him fifty thousand times each and every day.  In similar fashion, Shaykh Nur ad-Din ash-Shinwani informed me that he devoted himself with assiduous perseverance to the invocation of blessing upon the Prophet (s.a.w.) for such and such a period of time, invoking blessing upon him thirty thousand times each and every day.

I heard Sidi ‘Ali al-Khawwasw say, ‘A servant does not achieve perfection in the station of mystical knowledge until he experiences communion with Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) in a state of wakefulness and oral conversation.  The following are included among those righteous predecessors who have seen him in a state of wakefulness: Shaykh Abu Madyan al-Maghribi, the Shaykh of the Sufi community; Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahim al-Qinawi; Shaykh Musa az-Zawawi; Shaykh Abu al-Hasan ash-Shadzili; Shaykh Abu ‘Abbas al-Mursi; Shaykh Abu Sa’ud ibn Abi Masha’ir; Sidi Ibrahim al-Mathbuli and Shaykh Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi.’  He also used to say, ‘I have seen the Prophet (s.a.w.) and I have come together with him in a state of wakefulness no fewer than seventy times.’

As for Sidi Ibrahim al-Mathbuli, his communion with his is beyond reckoning, since he would come together with him in all his spiritual states, and he would say, ‘I have no shaykh except Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.).’

Shaykh Abu ‘Abbas al-Mursi used to say, ‘If Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) was Veiled from me for a moment, I would not count myself among the Muslims’”


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