Sunday, 29 October 2017

Khwaja Mu’in ad-Din Jisty (q.s.) on Realisation of God

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Khwaja Mu’in ad-Din Jisty (q.s.) said, “Realisation of God comes to him who keeps vigilance and forgets recollection of self.”


Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.): Do Not become a Candle

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) said, “Do not become the candle that gives light to others but itself remains in darkness.”


Shaykh ‘Abd al-Karim al-Qadiri (q.s.) on Sufism

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Karim al-Qadiri (q.s.) said, “Sufism in Islam has nothing to do with the spiritual exercises of Hinduism, nor with arts of magic and tricks of deceivers, nor with discipline invented and developed by heretical innovators.  The Sufism of Islam is the cultivation of the characteristics of the al-Musthafa (s.a.w.), and the illumination obtained from the lights of his noble breast and his gentle heart bestowed upon him by Allah (s.w.t.) through the expansion of his breast.  All of his followers and his community are among those specially Favoured with that expansion and illumination.  Outsiders have no justification for meddling in the significance of Sufism in Islam, for the religion Belongs to Allah (s.w.t.).  The truth is with Him and He is the Fairest of judges.”


Dr. Alan Godlas on “Divine Law” versus “Divinely-Inspired Law”

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Nidal Malik Hasan, born 08th September 1970, was a US Army Medical Corps psychiatrist.  He is convicted of fatally shooting 13 people and injuring more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on the 05th November 2009.  Nidal is currently incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas awaiting execution while his case is reviewed by appellate courts.  He was a Wahhabi who even wrote to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, and requested to be made a citizen of the so-called Islamic State.

Dr. Alan Godlas wrote, on the 02nd August 2013, about the Nidal Hasan incident, highlighting the incongruency in the spiritual understanding of shari’ah.  He wrote that the difference between referring to shari’ah, consisting of laws and regulations, as “Divine Law”, rather than “Divinely-Inspired Law”, is that the former understanding should be considered shirk, a symptom of arrogance, and a recipe for fitnah and slaughter that produces criminals like Nidal Hasan; while the latter concept, the “Divinely-Inspired Law”, forces us to be mature, not to conceal the humanly-constructed edifice of shari’ah, to come out from behind the curtain of ego-maniacal or Satanic Oz, to stop masquerading as the Infinite Reality, and to come down humbly to do our best to be servants of God and members in the human community, striving together to understand one another and act beautifully in this world.

On the one hand, ignorant criminals like Nidal Hasan justify their crimes on the grounds that they are simply acting in accordance with the Divine Law expressed in Qur’an and in some cases established by the words and examples of the Prophet (s.a.w.) or other noble predecessors of such early generation, since the Qur’an Demands we follow the Prophet (s.a.w.) and such leaders, a’immah.  But Nidal Hasan and his fellow criminals hold a sinister and unexpressed assumption that we must understand and expose.

Here are the words of the criminal: “I, Nidal Malik Hasan, am compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support / defend (any - sic) man-made constitution (like the Constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam.”

Nidal also stated that “There is an inherent and irreconcilable conflict,” meaning between American democracy and shari’ah, “because in an American democracy, ‘we the people’ govern according to what ‘we the people’ think is right or wrong; even if it specifically goes against what All-Mighty God Commands”.  This is from documents Nidal sent to Fox News.

It is imperative for Muslims not just to condemn his actions but to express clearly why he is dead wrong in statements about “commandments that are mandated in Islam”, and, “what All-Mighty God Commands."  In brief, he and those criminals whose authority he follows, mistakenly assume that they themselves are not interjecting anything human, and hence, fallible, into their understanding of Islamic commandments and what God Commands.

The appallingly destructive ignorance of such an assumption is so disgusting that it is hard even to fathom it; but because it is so widespread and because it has been and is currently threatening millions of people's lives, if not the entire planet, we must all work to understand it clearly and do all we can to change it.  To me such work is the work of progressive Islam.

As much as I like standing for the concept of “progressive Islam”, however, it may be time to stop ceding the word “Islam” to those whose actions have made “Islam” synonymous with regressive and destructive evil.  Rather than needing to qualify our “Islam” as progressive, as if to imply that Islam is not inherently progressive, we may want to assert rigorously that we are simply Muslims practicing Islam; and that in contrast to our approaches, those who regard their shari’ah as Divine Law should be referred to as advocates of “regressive Islam” -regressing back into the closet-prison of the ego, hiding behind unwieldy medieval armour, the medieval lie that our decrees are God’s.

Those of us who see shari’ah as "Divinely-Inspired law”, which must nevertheless be constructed by humans, can stand proudly, but not-arrogantly, out of the ego’s closet-prison, admitting that we are just fallible human beings choosing to construct and live a Muslim lifestyle.  Of course, the fig-leaf that is “Divinely-Inspired law”, constructed by our attempts at wisdom, leaves us more vulnerable, not offering us the kind of protection offered by the armour of arrogant illusions.

Nevertheless, out here, we can stand without shame, unburdened by the weight of ego’s destructiveness, and free now to serve whoever is in need, however they need assistance.  The protection that we lose when we shed our armour is more than balanced out by what we gain by regaining our dignity as humble servants.  So, whether we call ourselves simply Muslims or progressive Muslims, what is clear is that we must no longer cower before those who are regressing into the criminal mindset produced by hiding behind the lie that “my law is Divine”.


Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abi al-Khayr (q.s.) on the Means to Closeness with the Beloved

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abi al-Khayr (q.s.) said, “If you are seeking closeness to the Beloved, love everyone.  Whether in their presence or absence, see only their good.  If you want to be as clear and refreshing as the breath of the morning breeze, like the sun, have nothing but warmth and light for everyone.”


Imam az-Zarruq (q.s.) on Examining Our Soul & Obligations

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Ahmad az-Zarruq (q.s.) said, “Examine your soul constantly in matters that you are obliged to do, or are needed to be done.  Anything you are in no need of doing, leave it, even if it is something that is recommended.  That means not involving yourself in anything other than absolutely necessary things, and real discernible needs.”


Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) on Our Potential for Knowledge

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, “Knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual.”


Imam az-Zarruq (q.s.): Tawbah is a Key

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Ahmad az-Zarruq (q.s.) said, “Tawbah is a key.  And taqwa is vast.  And istiqamah is the source of rectification.  Furthermore, a servant is never free of either blunders, or shortcomings, or lassitude.  Therefore, never be neglectful of tawbah, and never turn away from the act of returning to Allah (s.w.t. ), and never neglect acts that bring you closer to Allah (s.w.t.).  Indeed, every time one of these three occurs, repent and return.”


Imam ibn Hanbal's (r.a.) Tawaswswul through the Hair of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Abu Nu’aym al-Asbahani (r.a.) recorded, in Hilyat al-Awliya’, “‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrated, ‘On many occasions, I saw my father placing the Blessed hair of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) on his mouth and kissing it.  He would also place it on both his eyes.  I also saw him passing that Blessed hair in water and then drinking that water to obtain shifa’.  He also had a bowl which was used by Rasulullah (s.a.w.).  He would wash it with water and drink that water.”


Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin's (q.s.) Lament

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.), when he was harassed by the Ummayad tyrants, said, “O Winds!  If someday you pass by the sacred land, then pass my salaam before the Rawdhah al-Aqdas, where the most exalted Prophet rests.  The sadness of separation from Madina feels like a sword stuck deep into my liver.  How fortunate are the people of that city in which is the Exalted and Beloved Prophet. O Rahmatu lil ‘Alamin!  Assist Zayn al-‘Abidin, who is standing alone and in difficulty amongst the tyrants.”


Imam ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (q.s.) on Guarding the Windows of the Heart

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (q.s.) said, “Know that hearing and eyesight are two open doors, whatever enters through them reaches the heart.  How many a thing does a man see or hear, which he should not have, but that once they have entered the heart, it proves difficult to remove them?”


‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.): Not Every Person is Enlightened

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) said, “Not every man with a heart is understanding, nor every man with an ear a listener, nor every man with eyes able to see.”


Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad on Group Identity

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said, “We, Muslims, do a pretty good job of turning ourselves into a badge of identity, a stick with which to beat other Muslims, ways of feeling good about ourselves - all kinds of things that we use the sunnah for.  But to use it as a human form that represents liberation from the modern prison is generally not the way that we consider it, unfortunately.  Often, it is just another huzhuzh an-nafs, what the ego desires.”


Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad: The Sunnah is Not Found in Self-Righteousness

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said, “Beware of others or beware of yourself when the energy that moves you in life is actually the ego’s energy, but has found a religious form of expression – that is the most dangerous thing of all.  Self-righteousness that can lead to you eventually blowing yourself up in public – that is the kind of ultimate triumph of the ego: Using the forms of piety in order to magnify the turbulences within.

The sunnah is not to be used as a megaphone for our own internal traumas.  The sunnah is a way of moving away from our own rubbish and to mould ourselves outwardly in the form of somebody who is serene - who despite all of the threats, is always smiling, never had any difficulty sleeping, never had ego issues, always at ease.”


Hajj Malcolm X (r.a.) on Blind Patriotism

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Hajj Malcolm X (r.a.) said, “You are not to be so blind with patriotism that you cannot face reality.  Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”


Habib ‘Umar ibn al-Hafizh on Spiritual Light in the Heart

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Habib ‘Umar ibn al-Hafizh said, “When light engages the heart, it causes an illumination of the path, a purification of the consciousness, an enlightenment of the intellect and an establishment of the foundations of dzikr and shukr and of beautiful worship.”


Dalai Lama: Those on Different Roads are Not Lost

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Dalai Lama said, “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they are not on your road does not mean they have gotten lost.”


Imam ibn Abi Dunya (r.a.) on 'Ali's (k.w.) Description of Dunya

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ibn Abi Dunya (r.a.) recorded, in Dham ad-Dunya, “It is reported that some people asked Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) to describe this dunya.

‘Do you want a long description or a brief one?’

They replied, ‘A brief one.’

He said, ‘Its halal leads to Accounts being Taken from you, and its haram leads to the Fire.’”


Advise to Hadhrat ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (r.a.) on Falling into Hypocrisy

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Hadhrat ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (r.a.) was advised, “O ‘Umar, beware of being the ally of Allah in open, while being His enemy in secret.  If one’s nature in open and secret do not equate then he is a hypocrite, and the hypocrites occupy the lowest level in Hellfire.”


Hassan ibn ‘Ali (r.a.) on the Best Wealth & Worst Poverty

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Hassan ibn ‘Ali (r.a.) said, “The best wealth is contentment and the worst poverty is humiliation.”


Imam ibn al-Mubarak (r.a.) on the Abandonment of Sins

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (r.a.) said, “I have seen sins kill the hearts and humiliation is inherited by their continuity.  The abandonment of sins gives life to the hearts and the prevention of your soul is better for it.”


Shaykh Muhammad al-Ninowy's Definition of 'Ilm

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Ninowy said, “‘Ilm is not memorisation of lines from a book or storing mass information in memory.  A computer can hold masses and masses of information.  Rather, knowledge is internalisation of the sacred texts.  Knowledge is presence of soul and state; information that is not internalised and practiced is just information, not real ‘ilm, and has no benefit.  The whole purpose is to be transformed.”


Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad: The World is Allah’s (s.w.t.) Gift

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said, “Know that the world is Allah’s Gift, and that He needs nothing in return, and that your worship and gratitude are part of His Gift to you.  And if you realise how much He Gives, and how little you deserve or do, you will never stop praising Him.  He is the Infinitely Lovable, the Overlooker of Faults; the Gifter of All Beauty, so we are surrounded by a banquet!

The only rule is: have good table manners, and do not spoil your enjoyment by overindulgence!  Muslims are here to party, giving praise and thanks, and we remember that the swahabah had the most beautiful smiles.”


Mawlana ar-Rumi's (q.s.) Garden of the World

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said, “The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson on Our Destiny

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”


Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) on Satisfaction with Divine Decree

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, “You must convince your heart that whatever Allah has Decreed is most appropriate and most beneficial for You.”


‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) on Commitment to the Truth

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) said, “Stick to the truth, even if the truth kills you.”


Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) on Fellowship

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) said, “Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord.”


‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) on Running from Death

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) said, “When you are running away from the world and death is approaching, there is no question of delay in the encounter.”


Husayn ibn ‘Ali (r.a.) on the Helplessness of Man

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Husayn ibn ‘Ali (r.a.) said, “How helpless and powerless is man!  He is unable to have what he desires and is incapable to keep away from what he dislikes.”


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad: Correct Religion Shows on the Face

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said, “The believer’s greatest argument is his face.  True religion lights up the face; false religion fills it with insecurity, rage and suspicion.  This is perceptible not only to insiders, but to anyone who maintains some connection with unsullied primordial human nature in his heart.

The early conversions to Islam often took place among populations that had no access to the language of the Muslims who now lived among them; but they were no less profound in consequence.  Religion is ultimately a matter of personal transformation, and no amount of missionary work will persuade people - with the occasional exception of the disturbed and the desperate - unless our own transformation is complete enough to be able to transform others.”


Hajj Malcolm X (r.a.) on the Qur’an

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Hajj Malcolm X (r.a.) said, referring to the Qur’an, “People do not realise how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.  Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again.”


Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.) on Bad Characteristics

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.) said, “Dishonest and untruthful people never find favour while jealous people never find contentment.  Rude and vulgar people never find acceptance and brotherhood in leadership or amongst citizens.”


Shaykh Ma’ruf al-Karkhi (q.s.) on Forsaking the World

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Ma’ruf al-Karkhi (q.s.) said, “When you forsake this world, leave behind everything for if you have in your heart even an atom of what belongs to the world, then even in prostration you should not be able to forget it.”


Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) on the Delusion of Immortality

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) said, “A man’s position in life is such that though he is mortal, he is reborn with pleasure in the winds of afflictions.  It is that very same life whose consequence is not death.  It is that very same comfort which has no extreme anguish.”


ibn Mas’ud (r.a.) on 3 Wrong Reasons for Learning

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

ibn Mas’ud (r.a.) said, “Do not learn knowledge for three: to amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned. and to make people’s faces turn towards you.  Seek what is with Allah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.”


Mawlana ar-Rumi (q.s.) on Being on Fire

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said, “Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames.”


Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.): Each Breath is a Priceless Jewel

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) said, “Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and, once gone, can never be retrieved.  Do not be like the deceived fools who are joyous because each day their wealth increases while their life shortens.  What good is an increase in wealth when life grows ever shorter?  Therefore, be joyous only for an increase in knowledge or in good works, for they are your two companions who will accompany you in your grave when your family, wealth, children and friends stay behind.”


Mawlana ar-Rumi (q.s.): All Darkness is Followed by Sunshine

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said, in his Matsnawi:

“Hardship may dishearten at first,
But every hardship passes away.
All despair is followed by hope;
All darkness is followed by sunshine.”