Category Archives: Sunnah

Observing the Sunnah with Decorum

Sheikh Muhammad al-Hamad
In his commentary on the classical Islamic legal treatise al-Mumti`, Sheikh Muhammad b. Salih al-`Uthaymin, wrote: “It is wrong for a Muslim to carry out any Sunnah act that results in causing harm to others.”

This is an astute observation from one of our most eminent contemporary scholars, and it has far-reaching implications.
It is certainly commendable to put our Prophet’s Sunnah into practice as much as we can. We should most certainly strive to exemplify our Prophet’s noble character. It is the quality of a true believer to want to emulate Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and it is a way for us to earn Allah’s rewards. The more we succeed in exemplifying the Prophet’s example, the better we will be.

However, there are things to consider when seeking to put a particular Sunnah into practice. Chief among these is to ensure that we follow the general spirit of the Sunnah in the application of any particular practice, and that we never let our practice of the Sunnah become a justification for harming others.

Let’s start with a simple example: the tooth stick (siwāk). Brushing the teeth with a tooth stick is one of the Prophet’s practices, and it is something he encouraged. It is therefore a practice Muslims engage in seeking Allah’s blessings. However, this does not mean that it is good when we see some Muslims engage in this practice without any consideration for others in the mosque by making noises and spitting, and even bumping their fellow worshippers with their arms.

The same can be said for kissing the black stone during the Hajj and other acts of devotion where crowding is a problem. In such cases, a Muslim must consider the meaning of worship and the spirit in which acts of devotion are supposed to be carried out. A Muslim should also consider the rights that other people have to good, brotherly and sisterly treatment.

We should be eager to carry out a particular Sunnah practice in our worship, but we should be equally eager to respect the rights of our fellow worshippers. We are supposed to love for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves and we should hate to treat others in a way that we would dislike being treated. Therefore, though a Sunnah act might encouraged in and of itself, it is better to refrain from it when putting it into practice will cause people discomfort or harm.

Another simple example is that of lining up the ranks before congregational prayer. Some people take this too far by stretching and pushing, causing discomfort for their fellow worshippers. They justify their actions by saying they want to line up their ankles and shoulders. They might even frown at their immediate neighbors during prayer.

There is no doubt that straightening the ranks is part of the perfection of our prayers, but not at the cost of irritating people and distracting them from their prayers. The straightening of the ranks should be carried out as much as possible within the bounds of kindness, gentleness, decorum, and good taste. We are not supposed to overturn the primary purpose of congregational prayer – which is to bring the people’s hearts together in worship – by pursuing a finer point.

This applies to the imams who lead the prayer as well as to the people in the ranks. It is good for the imam to pay attention to the straightness of the ranks, but the circumstances of the worshippers must also be taken into consideration, especially the elderly, the infirm, and newcomers to the mosque.

The imam should give priority to strengthening the ties of goodwill between them and cultivating the love of the Sunnah in their hearts. He should do this by showing them kindness and by being easygoing with them. He should instruct them gently and correct them without being harsh. This will make them want to follow his example.

Likewise, when we follow the Sunnah of greeting each other with salām, the greeting of peace, we need to consider our manner of greeting. It is not enough to simply utter the word itself, when one’s expression is dark, one’s is frowning, and one’s tone is harsh. Such a “greeting” has no welcome in it. A smiling face and a pleasant tone should accompany the greeting of peace.

What we say about initiating the greeting is equally valid for the reply. It is not correct to reply to a greeting offered in affection with a tone of indifference or irritation. A greeting offered in a good manner should be responded to in a manner that is equal or better.

These considerations of decorum, good taste, and good manners apply to all the countless aspects of a Muslim’s good conduct, like giving advice, calling to righteousness, being hospitable to one’s guests, and honoring our parents.

From: Islamtoday.net

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Cantona’s Goal

With the unerring skill of the consummate football-artist that he is, Eric Cantona scored a remarkable goal with his call for people to bring down a corrupt establishment by striking at its central pillar – the bank – and by calling people to simply withdraw their funds. Now, the banking system has not come tumbling down, but nevertheless Cantona has struck a target no less significant than that of the child who, pointing to the emperor’s new clothes, remarked that the emperor was naked. He has shown clearly that we are not the helpless tyrannised citizens of a dystopian New World Order, but that we are, in fact, the ones sustaining that order and thus the only ones who can bring it down and build something entirely new.

Our other heroic figure at this juncture is ex-Wall Street broker Max Keiser with his equally uncomplicated suggestion about what to do with the cash once withdrawn: buy silver. Brilliant though it is, one need not subscribe to his particular motive for doing so, i.e. to sink J.P. Morgan, whose perpetual ‘shorting’ of silver on the world market keeps its price depressed, which they do in order to maintain the comparative attractiveness of the dollar and other paper instruments. Rather, with the simplicity of Hans Christian Anderson’s child, one has merely to wake up to the difference between a piece of paper on which is printed the promise of payment, and something tangible and of real value such as silver. Mr Keiser is himself completely aware of that reality and has been articulating it for some time, for which we are very grateful to him.

However, having followed this trail in which first we withdraw our money from the banks, and then we buy silver with it, we come to the question: what do we do with the silver? Having made our approach so far by such an elegantly simple route, it would be very disappointing at this point if the answer turned out to be an elaborate economic theory padded out with statistics and arcane monetarist jargon. In fact, the answer is as simple as the preceding two steps: we must spend the silver. That requires us to recognise that at last we have real money in our hands and while such money is a store of value and thus can be buried in the earth or hidden in the attic, it is also a medium of exchange; so we need to restore silver’s use as an everyday medium of exchange.

To be perfectly frank, as one of the people who has been saying this for more than two decades, I did not honestly expect to hear the same signal coming back to me from such illustrious voices, nor to sit in the virtual company of thousands of others who cheer their words and are cheered by them. Therefore, I have come to fully expect the unexpected, which in this case is that, freed of the sinister pseudo-science of economics, people will begin to engage in actual trade, in ways that bear resemblance to that which people have always done before we were deceived into thinking that numbers on paper were tangible realities and that we could trust the state or bankers not to take off into the stratosphere of infinite digits.

In terms of the history known to people whose memory goes no further back than Richard Nixon unpegging the dollar from gold or the Bretton Woods agreement, we are sailing into uncharted waters. As for the rest of the planet who can remember somewhat further back – as in Goethe’s memorable phrase “he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth” – then our irresistible onward movement will bring us into waters that are surprisingly transparent.

We are going to rediscover things that were self-evident for most people on the earth throughout history: the nature of a just exchange, where to go to buy and sell, and how cities and towns are built to accommodate these transactions. Some of this will be like remembering something after an amnesia. On the inside it will feel strangely puzzling, but outwardly we have no choice but to reveal the obvious; just like the child and the emperor’s clothes.

The significance of Cantona’s simple initiative extends far beyond the economic realm. It is a profoundly important return to tangible realities rather than ephemeral hypotheticalities. We simply cannot afford to leave ourselves in the hands of economists, politicians and bankers, implementing arcane monetary policies and transactions which they themselves barely understand while, under cover of an impenetrable fog of smoke and mirrors, our wealth is filched from us for generations to come.

Abdassamad Clarke

 

From: NCN – Paving the way

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The Noblest Supplication for Asking Forgiveness

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

Mon, 03/01/2010

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught his Companions the best supplication for beseeching Allah’s forgiveness. He taught them to say the following prayer every morning and evening:

“O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no God besides You. You created me, and I am your servant, and I honor Your covenant and Your promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from the evil that I do. I come to You by Your grace, and I come to You with my sins. So forgive me, for no one forgives sins but You.” [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (6307)]

This is most certainly the supplication of a believer, but of a believer who admits to stumbling into error; who says: “I honor Your covenant and Your promise as much as I can” and who appeals to the Lord with the words: “I seek refuge with You from the evil that I do. I come to You by Your grace, and I come to You with my sins.”

When we offer this supplication, we profess that our sins are all the more wrong in light of Allah’s blessings and grace that He showers upon us, but alas we have sinned and appeal to Allah in His infinite grace to forgive us.

This supplication is rich in meaning. There are so many ways in which it remedies the ills of the hearts of those who utter it.

Consider the words: “You created me, and I am your servant, and I honor Your covenant and Your promise as much as I can.” How honestly can we say these words? Even more, by uttering these worlds, we are reaffirming that our commitment to fulfill our covenant with our Lord to the best of our abilities. It is also a reminder to us of the covenant that we have with our Creator, which is mention in the following verse of the Qur’an:

“And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their own souls: Am I not your Lord? They said: ‘Yes! we bear witness.’ Lest you should say on the day of resurrection: ‘Surely we were heedless of this.’” [Sūrah al-A`rāf: 172]

We should appeal to Allah with this supplication for forgiveness whenever we commit a sin. We should also offer it every morning and evening, for if we do so, it will bring us a greater assurance that Allah in His grace will forgive us our mistakes and transgressions. It will also ensure that we cultivate our hearts to be penitent and humble.

From: Islamtoday.com

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The Prophetic and The Mystic Types of Consciousness

” Clearly, Shah Wali Allah’s sojourn in the Hijaz made a tremendous impact upon his thinking helping him to crystallize and synthesize his intellectual, social, and political concepts into a well-defined ideology and a programme of action. Not only was Shah Wali Allah himself aware of the great transformation that had taken place in his thinking, but his close associates also seem to have noticed it. His son, Shah Abd al-Azziz, for instance, heard about it from his father’s close associates. Fuyud al-Haramayn, which is a sort of spiritual autobiography, written in the peculiar mystic language of anecdotes and visions, bespeaks of this transformation. A comparative study of this work and al-Ghazali’s al Munqidh min al-Dalal makes a fascinating reading. Shah Wali Allah emerged from his spiritual experience to head  a sacred mission, while al-Ghazali contented himself primarily with his personal satisfaction. Shah Wali Allah’s role tended to be prophetic, while al-Ghazali’s tended to be largely mystic and saintly(49).”

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(49) See Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1962), 124 : ‘ “Muhammad of Arabia ascended the highest Heaven and returned. I swear by God that if I had reached that point, I should never have returned”.  These are the words of a great Muslim saint, Abdul Quddus of Gangoh. In the whole range of sufi literature it will be probably difficult to find words which, in a single sentence, disclose such an acute perception of the psychological difference between the prophetic and the mystic types of consciousness. The mystic does not wish to return from the return of ‘unitary experience’; and, even when he does return, as he must, his return does not mean much for mankind at large. The prophet’s return is creative. He returns to insert himself into the sweep of time, with a view to control the forces of history, and thereby to create a fresh world of ideals. For the mystic the repose of the ‘unitary experience’ is something final; for the prophet, it is the awakening, within him, of world-shaking psychological forces, calculated to completely transform the human world. The desire to see his religious experience transformed into a living world-force is supreme in the Prophet.’

[Islamic Renaissance in South Asia 1707-1867: The Role of Shah Wali Allah and His Successors, Mahmood Ahmad Ghazi, Adam Publishers, p86-87]

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Words of Remembrance for Morning and Evening

Anas (RA) said that he heard the Prophet (SAW) say: “That I sit with people remembering Almighty Allah from the morning (Fajr) prayer until sunrise is more beloved to me than freeing four slaves from among the Children of Isma’il. That I sit with people remembering Allah from the afternoon (‘Asr) prayer until the sun sets is more beloved to me than freeing four slaves from among the Children of Isma’il.” This was reported by Abu Dawud (no. 3667). Al-Albani graded it good in SahihAbu Dawud 2/698.

أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ “اللهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْعِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ”.

75. ‘A ‘oothu billaahi minash-Shaytaanir-rajeem. Allaahu laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyoom, laa ta’khuthuhu sinatun wa laa nawm, lahu maa fis-samaawaati wa maa fil-‘ardh, man thai-lathee yashfa’u ‘indahu ‘illaa bi’ithnih, ya’lamu maa bayna ‘aydeehim wa maa khalfahum, wa laa yuheetoona bishay’im-min ‘ilmihi ‘illaa bimaa shaa’a, wasi’a kursiyyuhus samaawaati wal’ardh, wa laa ya’ooduhu hifdhuhumaa, wa Huwal- ‘Aliyyul- ‘Adheem.

I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast. – Allah! There is none worthy of worship but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

Reference: Whoever says this when he rises in the morning will be protected from jinns until he retires in the evening, and whoever says it when retiring in the evening will be protected from them until he rises in the morning. It was reported by Al-Hakim 1 / 562, Al-Albani graded it as authentic in Sahihut-Targhib wat-Tarhib 1/273, and traces it to An-Nasa’i and At-Tabarani. He says that At-Tabarani’s chain of transmission is reliable (Jayyid).

بَسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ “قُلْ هُوَ اللهُ أَحَدٌ ۞ اللهُ الصَّمَدُ ۞ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ ۞ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ”

76. Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem. Qul Huwallaahu ‘Ahad. Allaahus-Samad. Lam yalid wa lam yoolad. Wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ‘ahad.

With the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Say: He is Allah (the) One. The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He begets not nor was He begotten, and there is none equal to Him.

بَسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ “قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ ۞ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ ۞ وَمِنْ شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ ۞وَمِنْ شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ ۞ وَمِنْ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ”.

Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem. Qul ‘a’oothu birabbil-falaq. Min sharri ma khalaq. Wa min sharri ghaasiqin ‘ithaa waqab. Wa min sharrin-naffaathaati fil-‘uqad. Wa min sharri haasidin ‘ithaa hasad.

With the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Say: I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak, from the evil of what He has created, and from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness, and from the evil of those who practice witchcraft when they blow in the knots, and from the evil of the envier when he envies.

بَسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ “قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ ۞ مَلِكِ النَّاسِ ۞ إِلَهِ النَّاسِ ۞ مِنْ شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ ۞ الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ ۞ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ”.

Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem. Qul ‘a’oothu birabbin-naas. Malikin-naas. ‘Ilaahin-naas. Min sharril-waswaasil-khannaas. Allathee yuwaswisu fee sudoorin-naas. Minal-jinnati wannaas.

With the Name of Allah , the Most Gracious , the Most Merciful. Say: I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind, the King of mankind , the God of mankind , from the evil of the whisperer who withdraws, who whispers in the breasts of mankind, of jinns and men.

(Recite these three times each in Arabic).

Reference: Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4. – Al-Falaq 113:1-5. – An-Nas 114:1-6 – Whoever recites these three times in the morning and in the evening, they will suffice him (as a protection) against everything. The Hadith was reported by Abu Dawud 4/322, and At-Tirmithi 5/567. See Al-Albani’s Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/182.

“أَصْبَحْنَا وَأَصْبَحَ الْمُلْكُ للهِ وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحَدْهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، ربِّ أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ مَا فِي هَذَا الْيَومِ وَخَيْرَ مَا بَعْدَهُ، وَأَعُوذبِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا فِي هَذَا الْيَومِ وَشَرِّ مَا بَعْدَهُ، رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْكَسَلِ، وَسُوءِ الكِبَرِ، رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ فِي النَّارِ وَعَذَابٍ فِي الْقَبْرِ”.

77. ‘Asbahnaa wa ‘asbahal-mulku lillaahi walhamdu lillaahi, laa ‘ilaaha ‘illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa Huwa ‘alaa kutti shay’in Qadeer. Rabbi ‘as’aluka khayra maa fee haathal-yawmi wa khayra maa ba’dahu wa ‘a’oothu bika min sharri maa fee haathal-yawmi wa sharri maa ba’dahu, Rabbi ‘a’oothu bika minal-kasali, wa soo’il-kibari, Rabbi ‘a’oothu bika min ‘athaabin fin-naari wa ‘athaabin fil-qabri.

We have entered a new day 1 and with it all dominion is Allah’s. Praise is to Allah. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, Who has no partner. To Allah belongs the dominion, and to Him is the praise and He is Able to do all things. My Lord, I ask You for the goodness of this day and of the days that come after it, and I seek refuge in You from the evil of this day and of the days that come after it. 2 My Lord, I seek refuge in You from laziness and helpless old age. My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of Hell-fire , and from the punishment of the grave. 3

Reference:
1 When you say this in the evening you should say ‘Amsaynaa wa’amsal-mulku lillaah: “We have ended another day and with it all dominion is Allah’s.
2When you say this in the evening you should say: Rabbi ‘as’aluka khayra maa fee haathihil-laylati, wa khayra maa ba’dahaa, wa ‘a’oothu bika min sharri maa fee haathihil-laylati wa sharri maa ba’dahaa: “I ask You for the good things of this night and of the nights that come after it and I seek refuge in You from the evil of this night and of the nights that come after it.”
3Muslim 4/2088.

“اللَّهُمَّ بِكَ أَصْبَحْنَا، وَبِكَ أَمْسَيْنَا، وَبِكَ نَحْيَا، وَبِكَ نَمُوتُ وَإِلَيْكَ النُّشُورُ”.

78. Allaahumma bika ‘asbahnaa, wa bika ‘amsaynaa, wa bika nahyaa, wa bika namootu wa ‘ilaykan-nushoor.

O Allah , by You we enter the morning and by You we enter the evening, 1 by You we live and and by You we die, and to You is the Final Return.2

Reference:
1 When you say this in the evening you should say: Allaahumma bika ‘amsaynaa wa bika ‘asbahnaa, wa bika nahyaa, wa bika namoot, wa ‘ilaykal-maseer : “O Allah, You bring us the end of the day as You bring us its beginning, You bring us life and you bring us death, and to You is our fate.” 2Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/142.’

“اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ، وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتَ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتَ، أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ، وَأَبُوءُ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِر لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ”.

79. Allaahumma ‘Anta Rabbee laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa ‘Anta, khalaqtanee wa ‘anaa ‘abduka, wa ‘anaa ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mas-tata’tu, ‘a’oothu bika min sharri maa sana’tu, ‘aboo’u laka bini’matika ‘alayya, wa ‘aboo’u bithanbee faghfir lee fa’innahu laa yaghfiruththunooba ‘illaa ‘Anta.

O Allah, You are my Lord, there is none worthy of worship but You. You created me and I am your slave. I keep Your covenant, and my pledge to You so far as I am able. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I admit to Your blessings upon me, and I admit to my misdeeds. Forgive me, for there is none who may forgive sins but You.

Reference:
Whoever recites this with conviction in the evening and dies during that night shall enter Paradise, and whoever recites it with conviction in the morning and dies during that day shall enter Paradise, Al-Bukhari 7/150. Other reports are in An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmithi.

“اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَصْبَحْتُ أُشْهِدُكَ وَأُشْهِدُ حَمَلَةَ عَرْشِكَ، وَمَلَائِكَتَكَ وَجَمِيعَ خَلْقِكَ، أَنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُكَ وَرَسُولُكَ”.

80. Allaahumma ‘innee ‘asbahtu ‘ush-hiduka wa ‘ush-hidu hamalata ‘arshika, wa malaa’ikataka wajamee’a khalqika, ‘annaka ‘Antallaahu laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa ‘Anta wahdaka laa shareeka laka, wa ‘anna Muhammadan ‘abduka wa Rasooluka.

O Allah , I have entered a new morning 1 and call upon You and upon the bearers of Your Throne , upon Your angels and all creation to bear witness that surely You are Allah , there is none worthy of worship but You alone , You have no partners, and that Muhammad is Your slave and Your Messenger . (Recite four times in Arabic.) 2

Reference:
1 When you say this in the evening you should say, Allaahumma ‘innee ‘amsaytu. . . .: “O Allah, I have ended another day…”
2 “Allah will spare whoever says this four times in the morning or evening from the fire of Hell, ” Abu Dawud 4/317. It was also reported by Al-Bukhari in Al-‘Adab Al-Mufrad, An-Nasa’i in ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah and Ibn As-Sunni. Nasa’i’s and Abu Dawud’s chains of transmission are good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 23.

“اللَّهُمَّ مَا أَصْبَحَ بِي مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ أَوْ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ فَمِنْكَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ، فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ”.

81. Allaahumma maa ‘asbaha bee min ni’matin ‘aw bi’ahadin min khalqika faminka wahdaka laa shareeka laka, falakal-hamdu wa lakash-shukru.

O Allah , whatever blessing has been received by me or anyone of Your creation 1 is from You alone , You have no partner . All praise is for you and thanks is to You. 2

Reference:
1 When you say this in the evening, you should say: Allaahumma maa ‘amsaa bee…: “O Allah, as I… enter this evening…”
2 Whoever recites this in the morning, has completed his obligation to thank Allah for that day; and whoever says it in the evening, has completed his obligation for that night. Abu Dawud 4/318, An-Nasa’i ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah (no. 7), Ibn As-Sunni (no. 41), Ibn Hibban (no. 2361). Its chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 24.

“اللَّهُمَّ عَافِنِي فِي بَدََنِي، اللَّهُمَّ عَافِنِي فِي سَمْعِي، اللَّهُمَّ عَافِنِي فِي بَصَرِي، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْقَبْرِ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ”.

82. Allaahumma ‘aafinee fee badanee, Allaahumma ‘aafinee fee sam’ee, Allaahumma ‘aafinee fee basaree, laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa ‘Anta. Allaahumma ‘innee ‘a’oothu bika minal-kufri, walfaqri, wa ‘a’oothu bika min ‘athaabil-qabri, laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa ‘Anta.

O Allah, make me healthy in my body. O Allah, preserve for me my hearing. O Allah, preserve for me my sight. There is none worthy of worship but You . O Allah , I seek refuge in You from disbelief and poverty and I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave . There is none worthy of worship but You. (Recite three times in Arabic.)

Reference:
Abu Dawud 4/324, Ahmad 5/42, An-Nasa’i, ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah (no. 22), Ibn As-Sunni (no. 69), Al-Bukhari Al-‘Adab Al-Mufrad. Its chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 26.

“حَسْبِيَ اللهُ لَآ إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ”.

83. Hasbiyallaahu laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa Huwa ‘alayhi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul-‘Arshil-‘Adheem .

Allah is sufficient for me . There is none worthy of worship but Him . I have placed my trust in Him, He is Lord of the Majestic Throne . (Recite seven times in Arabic .)

Reference:
Allah will grant whoever recites this seven times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next, Ibn As-Sunni (no. 71), Abu Dawud 4/321. Both reports are attributed directly to the Prophet j§ (Marfu1). The chain of transmission is sound (Sahih). Ibn As-Sunni.

“اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَوَأَهْللِي، وَمَالِي، اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي، وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي، اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ، وَمِنْ خَلْفِي، وَعَنْ يَمِينِي، وَعَنْ شِمَالِي، وَمِنْ فَوْقِي، وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي”.

84. Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’alukal-‘afwa wal’aafiyata fid-dunyaa wal’aakhirati, Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’alukal-‘afwa wal’aafiyata fee deenee wa dunyaaya wa ‘ahlee, wa maalee , Allaahum-mastur ‘awraatee, wa ‘aamin raw’aatee, Allaahum-mahfadhnee min bayni yadayya, wa min khalfee, wa ‘an yameenee, wa ‘an shimaalee, wa min fawqee, wa ‘a’oothu bi’adhamatika ‘an ‘ughtaala min tahtee.

O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and Your protection in this world and the next. O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and Your protection in my religion, in my worldly affairs, in my family and in my wealth. O Allah, conceal my secrets and preserve me from anguish . O Allah , guard me from what is in front of me and behind me , from my left , and from my right , and from above me . I seek refuge in Your Greatness from being struck down from beneath me.

Reference:
Sahih Ibn Majah 2/332 and Abu Dawud.

“اللَّهُمَّ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَاطِرَ السَّماوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ، رَبَّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَمَلِيكَهُ، أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي، وَمِنْ شَرِّ الشَّيْطَانِ وَشِرْكِهِ، وَأَنْ أَقْتَرِفَ عَلَى نَفْسِي سُوءاً، أَوْ أَجُرَّهُ إِلَى مُسْلِمٍ”.

85. Allaahumma ‘Aalimal-ghaybi wash-shahaadati faatiras-samaawaati wal’ardhi, Rabba kulli shay ‘in wa maleekahu, ‘ash-hadu ‘an laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa ‘Anta, ‘a’oothu bika min sham nafsee, wa min sharrish-shaytaani wa shirkihi, wa ‘an ‘aqtarifa ‘alaa nafsee soo’an, ‘aw ‘ajurrahu ‘ilaa Muslimin.

O Allah, Knower of the unseen and the evident , Maker of the heavens and the earth , Lord of everything and its Possessor , I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but You . I seek refuge in You from the evil of my soul and from the evil of Satan and his helpers . (I seek refuge in You) from bringing evil upon my soul and from harming any Muslim.

Reference:
Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/142 and AbuDawud.

“بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ”.

86. Bismillaahil-lathee laa yadhurru ma’as-mihi shay’un fil-‘ardhi wa laa fis-samaa’i wa Huwas-Samee ‘ul- ‘Aleem .

In the Name of Allah, Who with His Name nothing can cause harm in the earth nor in the heavens, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Recite three times in Arabic).

Reference:
“Whoever recites it three times in the morning will not be afflicted by any calamity before evening, and whoever recites it three times in the evening will not be overtaken by any calamity before morning.” Abu Dawud 4/323, At-Tirmithi 5/465, Ibn Majah 2/332, Ahmad. Ibn Majah’s chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 39.

“رَضِيتُ باللهِ رَبَّاً، وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِيناً، وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ صَلَى اللهُ عَلِيهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَبِيَّاً”.

87. Radheetu billaahi Rabban, wa bil-‘Islaami deenan, wa bi-Muhammadin (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallama) Nabiyyan.

I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as my religion and with Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as my Prophet. (Recite three times in Arabic .)

Reference:
“Allah has promised that anyone who says this three times every morning or evening will be pleased on the Day of Resurrection.” Ahmad 4/ 337, An-Nasa’i, ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah p. 4, Ibn As-Sunni (no. 68), At-Tirmithi 5/465. Its chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 39.

“يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ وَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ”.

88. Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyoomu birahmatika ‘astagheethu ‘aslih lee sha’nee kullahu wa laa takilnee ‘ilaa nafsee tarfata ‘aynin.

O Ever Living One, O Eternal One, by Your mercy I call on You to set right all my affairs. Do not place me in charge of my soul even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment).

Reference:
Its chain of transmission is sound (Sahih), Al-Hakim 1/545, see Albani, Sahihut-Targhib wat-Tarhib, 1/273.

“أَصْبَحْنَا وَأَصْبَحَ الْمُلْكُ لهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ هَذَا الْيَوْمِ: فَتْحَهُ، وَنَصْرَهُ وَنُورَهُ، وَبَرَكَتَهُ، وَهُدَاهُ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا فِيهِ وَشَرِّ مَا بَعْدَهُ”.

89. ‘Asbahnaa wa ‘asbahal-mulku lillaahi Rabbil-‘aalameen, Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka khayra haathal-yawmi: Fathahu wa nasrahu wa noorahu, wa barakatahu, wa hudaahu, wa’a’oothu bika min sharri maafeehi wa sharri maa ba’dahu.

We have entered a new day and with it all the dominion which belongs to Allah, Lord of all that exists. O Allah, I ask You for the goodness of this day,2 its victory, its help, its light, its blessings, and its guidance. I seek refuge in You from the evil that is in it and from the evil that follows it.

Reference:

1 For evening recitation, say here: Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka khayra haathihil-laylati: “My Lord, I ask You for the good things of this night.”
2 Abu Dawud 4/322. Its transmission chain is good (Hasan). See also Ibn Al-Qayyim, Zadul- Ma’ad 2/273.

“أَصْبَحْنَا عَلَى فِطْرَةِ الْإِسْلَامِ وَعَلَى كَلِمَةِ الْإِخْلَاصِ، وَعَلَى دِينِ نَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَى اللهُ عَلِيهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَعَلَى مِلَّةِ أَبِينَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ، حَنِيفَاً مُسْلِماً وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ”.

90. ‘Asbahnaa ‘alaa fitratil-‘Islaami wa ‘alaa kalimatil-‘ikhlaasi, wa ‘alaa deeni Nabiyyinaa Muhammadin (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallama), wa ‘alaa millati ‘abeenaa ‘Ibraaheema, haneefan Musliman wa maa kaana minal-mushrikeen.

We have entered a new day 1 upon the natural religion of Islam, the word of sincere devotion, the religion of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and the faith of our father Ibrahim. He was upright (in worshipping Allah), and a Muslim. He was not of those who worship others besides Allah. 2

Reference:
1 When you say this in the evening, you should say: ‘Amsaynaa ‘alaa fitratil-‘Islaam…: “We end this day…”
2 Ahmad 3/406-7, 5/123, An-Nasa’i, ‘Amalul- Yawm wal-Laylah (no. 34), At-Tirmithi 4/209.

“سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ”.

91. Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdihi.

Glory is to Allah and praise is to Him. (Recite one hundred times in Arabic ).

Reference:
“Whoever recites this one hundred times in the morning and in the evening will not be surpassed on the Day of Resurrection by anyone having done better than this except for someone who had recited it more. ” Al-Bukhari 4/2071.

“لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”.

92,93. Laa ‘ilaaha ‘illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer.

None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise and He is Able to do all things . (Recite ten times 1 in Arabic or one time to ward off laziness.)2

Reference:
1Allah will write ten Hasanaat (rewards) for whoever recites this ten times in the morning, and forgive him ten misdeeds and give him the reward of freeing ten slaves and protect him from Satan. Whoever recites this ten times in the evening will get this same reward. An-Nasa’i, ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah (no. 24). Its chain of transmission is sound (Sahih). Albani 1/272. Abu Hurayrah «he narrated that the Prophet j§ said: “Allah will write one hundred Hasanat for whoever says There is no God but Allah alone, He has no partner. To Allah is possession of everything, and to Him all praise is. He is Capable of all things’ ten times in the morning, and forgive him one hundred misdeeds. He will have the reward of freeing a slave and will be protected from Satan throughout the day unto dusk. Whoever says it in the evening will have the same reward.” Ahmad 8/704, 16/293. Its chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 44.
2 Whoever recites this in the morning, will have the reward of freeing a slave from the Children of Isma’il. Ten Hasanaat (rewards) will be written for him, and he will be forgiven ten misdeeds, raised up ten degrees, and be protected from Satan until evening. Whoever says it in the evening will have the same reward until morning. Abu Dawud 4/319, 3/957, Ahmad 4/ 60, Ibn Majah 2/331, Ibn Al-Qayyim Zadul-Ma’ad 2/388. Its chain of transmission is sound (Sahih). Al-Albani 1/270.

“سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ: عَدَدَ خَلْقِهِ، وَرِضَا نَفْسِهِ، وَزِنَةَ عَرْشِهِ وَمِدَادَ كَلِمَاتِهِ”.

94. Laa ‘ilaaha ‘illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer.

None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise and He is Able to do all things . (Recite 100 times in Arabic upon rising in the morning).

Reference:
Muslim 4/2090.

“اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْماً نَافِعاً، وَرِزقاً طَيِّباً، وَعَمَلاً مُتَقَبَّلاً”.

95. Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdihi: ‘Adada khalqihi, wa ridhaa nafsihi, wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midaada kalimaatihi.

Glory is to Allah and praise is to Him, by the multitude of His creation, by His Pleasure, by the weight of His Throne, and by the extent of His Words. (Recite three times in Arabic upon rising in the morning .)

Reference:

Ibn As-Sunni, no. 54, Ibn Majah no. 925. Its chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Al-Qayyim 2/375.

“أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ”.

96. Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka ‘ilman naafi’an, wa rizqan tayyiban, wa ‘amalan mutaqabbalan.

O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is of benefit , a good provision , and deeds that will be accepted . (Recite in Arabic upon rising in the morning.)

Reference:
Al-Bukhari, cf. Al-Asqalani, Fathul-Bari 11/101, Muslim 4/2075.

“أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ”.

97. ‘Astaghfirullaaha wa ‘atoobu ‘ilayhi.

I seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him. (Recite one hundred times in Arabic during the day .)

Reference:
Whoever recites this three times in the evening will be protected from insect stings, Ahmad 2/ 290, An-Nasa’i, ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah no. 590, At-Tirmithi 3/187, Ibn As-Sunni no. 68. According to Al-Albani, Ibn Majah’s (2/266) chain of transmission is sound (Sahih), and following Ibn Baz 45, At-Tirmithi’s report is good (Hasan).

“اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلَّمْ عَلَى نَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّدٍ”.

98. ‘A’oothu bikalimaatil-laahit-taammaati min sharri maa khalaqa.

I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what He has created. (Recite three times in Arabic in the evening .)

Reference:
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “Whoever recites blessings upon me ten times in the morning and ten times in the evening will obtain my intercession on the Day of Resurrection.” at-Tabari reported this Hadith together with two chains of transmission. One of them is reliable (jayyid). See Haithami’s Majma` Az-Zawa’id 10/120 and Al-Albani’s Sahih At-Targhib wat-Tarhib 1/273.

From: IslamAwareness.net (edited for mistakes in references)

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BOOK REVIEW: ISLAM – Its Basic Practices and Beliefs by Abdalhaqq Bewley

BOOK REVIEW

ISLAM – Its Basic Practices and Beliefs

by Abdalhaqq Bewley (2008, Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd, pp. 288. Paperback. ISBN 978-1-84200-088-5)

The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that an hour’s reflection is better than a lifetime of worship. This latest book of Hajj Abdalhaqq Bewley is the fruit of a lifetime’s reflection and a catalyst for a lifetime’s reflection. It is also very practical. It deals with actions and the meanings of these actions and the results of these actions, in this world and in the next. It is a reliable source of knowledge for those who rely on Allah, or who wish that they could rely on Allah. Above all, this book is illuminated by a knowledge which has been transmitted from living heart to living heart. Accordingly it is vast but not encyclopaedic. Since words tether meanings, it is also grounded in the understanding of well known reliable written sources of recorded knowledge which have been studied in depth. Accordingly it is the work of a scholar, but not of an academic. The Qur’an tells us that the people of knowledge are those who fear Allah (Qur’an: 35.28) ~ not those who accumulate information.

Since the author, together with his wife Hajja Aisha Bewley, has been deeply involved in the translations from Arabic into English of the Noble Qur’an, Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik and Ash-Shifa of Qadi ’Iyad, as well as many other key Islamic texts, and since it is clear from the quotations he provides that he is well and widely read, it must have been difficult for him at times when writing this book to decide what to include and what to exclude ~ and yet this book is full of abundance and bereft of deficiency. Indeed whenever I thought that an important point had been omitted, I usually found it later on in the book. The author has so much knowledge to impart that it is presented in due measure so that it can be absorbed and retained.

The only limited criticism that I have is that the author does not say much about the intercession of the Prophet Muhammad on the Last Day, may Allah bless him and grant him peace ~ which will continue until not one person who said the shahada remains in the Fire, no matter how great the wrong action which took them there ~ but this is probably because the author is more concerned with emphasising the importance of our being scrupulous about intention and action in the first place, since it is each one of us who takes our self either to the Garden or to the Fire ~ and it is infinitely preferable to go straight to the Garden rather than via the Fire.

Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi once said, “Allah is so Merciful that I am almost tempted to say that you do not need to do the prayer ~ but you must do it!” In contrast, Hajj Abdalhaqq Bewley once said, “Probably more people obey Allah out of fear of the Fire than out of longing for the Garden. In contrast, Jesus, peace be on him, said that those who obey Allah purely out of love for Him are truly the nearest to God.”

However much you know, you only know a little. However much you know, you will certainly find knowledge in this book of which you were not aware before you opened it. This is especially because this book is primarily concerned with meaning. Accordingly it is an invaluable resource not only for the newcomer to Islam, but also for those who have been following the way of Islam as best they can for most or part of their lives and yet who know in their heart of hearts that they have not fully understood the significance of what they have been doing. As T.S. Eliot put it, “We had the experience but missed the meaning.”

As T. S. Eliot also wrote, “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” This book contains all three of these elements of learning about Life.

What is especially significant about this book is that it does not simply describe the basic practices and beliefs of Islam in abstract, but rather in the context of today’s existential realities ~ as well as of Existence itself. The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked Allah to be able to see things as they are ~ and this is what this book is about.

In so doing, it articulates and evaluates the main modern thought constructs, philosophical concepts and ideological dogmas which many people on the face of the planet blindly accept as scientific gospel truth without ever having really reflected on or been capable of assessing them. In this aspect of the book there are echoes of the author’s earlier works, especially The Natural Form of Man, The Key to the Future and Zakat – Raising a Fallen Pillar. He reminds us that our greatest enemy is an ignorant self, but that it can be transformed by the grace of Allah to become a self at peace, pleased and well pleasing. Islam is the science of waking up.

In setting out the basic practices and beliefs of Islam by reference to both outward action and inward meaning, the author affirms clearly and eloquently the purpose of Islam and the reason for our existence ~ which is worship of the Divine Source of existence. He does this in such a way that the reader must inevitably arrive at a deeper understanding of both the Creator and the creation in both the Seen and Unseen worlds. As Shaykh Moulay Al-Arabi ad-Darqawi once wrote, Allah is only truly worshipped by means of knowledge: the deeper your knowledge, the more profound and illuminated your worship.

By holding firmly to this basic truth, the author avoids making the mistakes into which some religious groups (not only amongst the Muslims but more notably amongst their predecessors) inevitably fall: he does not tend towards worship of the Message ~ even though he has the great respect which is its due; nor does he tend towards worship of the Messenger ~ even though he is dearly beloved; the author simply reminds us that we have been created to worship the One Who sent the Messenger with the Message in order to guide us on the straight path.

In dealing with the nature of existence and of the One Who created it and all that it contains, the author inevitably deals with those aspects of the human situation with which people often grapple unsatisfactorily and with uncertainty, such as the nature of the Decree of Allah and how this contrasts with modern notions of free will and the freedom of choice, “when Allah created both you and what you do.” (Qur’an 37.96) As the author himself once observed, “Although I have to make choices, when I look back, I see that I could not have acted any differently!”

Perhaps one of the most reassuring aspects of the book is that while showing an understanding of such deviations as the khawarij/mutazili dialectic ~ which in its most recent form has manifested as the pseudo-salafi/modernist-reformer dialectic, the text is refreshingly free of such ‘too rigid/too floppy’ distortions of the original message. Hajj Abdalhaqq Bewley simply tells it how it is ~ and in so doing he confirms the role of traditional tasawwuf (sufism), which is to guard and establish the shari’a of Islam in order to arrive, by following the tariqa of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, at knowledge of the haqiqa, in both this world and the next.

Hajj Abdalhaqq Bewley reminds us of the words of Imam Malik ibn Anas, may Allah be pleased with him: “Whoever has the shari’a without the haqiqa is astray. Whoever claims knowledge of the haqiqa without following the shari’a is a heretic. Whoever has both shari’a and haqiqa has realised.” He reminds us of the words of Imam Shafi’, may Allah be pleased with him: “Even if a man comes to you flying through the air, if he does not do the prayer ~ leave him!”

He reminds us of the words of Shaykh ibn Ajiba who states in his commentary on the poem of Ibn al-Banna of Saragossa, “The basis of sufism is in five things: Fear of Allah in secret and in the open. To follow the Sunnah in speech and deed. To turn away from creation whether it is coming towards you or leaving you. To be pleased with either a little or a lot. To return to Allah in ease and difficulty.”

If you read this book ~ and I recommend that you do ~ you will most probably react, to coin the author’s phrase, either like a moth or like a cockroach: you will either be attracted or repelled by its light ~ for real knowledge is light and this book is full of knowledge of the Real, “the Light of the heavens and the earth” (Qur’an 24.35). And if you are enlightened and inspired by this book, then it will act as a key to approaching the more detailed texts and seminal works to which the author refers.

Indeed if you do not already have a teacher, you may well start looking for one, for just as the Companions learnt from the Prophet, so the Followers learnt from the Companions ~ may the blessings and peace of Allah be for ever on him and on his family and on his companions and on his followers ~ and this is how every generation of Muslims has learnt from their predecessors, up until the present day. If it were not for the means, the end would escape us.

As Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi once said, “I can give you the key and show you the door ~ but you have to put the key in the lock, and turn the key, and open the door and pass through!” This is what this book will help you do.

If you are sufficiently awake to recognise that Islam is not what those who reject it or do not understand it say it is ~ and if you would genuinely like to understand what the way of Islam is and what its fruits and rewards are ~ then this book was written for you. If you sometimes feel like a golden fish confined in a transparent bowl, then perhaps this book will help provide you with the nourishment and sustenance that you need to enable you to make your way towards and discover the ocean in which in reality you are already swimming. As Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi recently remarked, “At last, a book about Islam that you can give to people!”

Hajj Ahmad Thomson April 2009/Rabi’al-Akhir 1430

From: Abdassamad Clarke

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Shaykh Abu Yusuf: Compassion Dispite Disagreement

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