Friday, September 30, 2005


Walter Raleigh (d. 1618), the explorer and courtier, said in Walsinghame,

"But true love is a durable fire,
In the mind ever burning,
Never sick, never old, never dead,
From itself never turning."

And the best of love is the love of Allah, and all love that is a means or
part of this true love.

"And those who believe are overflowing in their love of Allah."

(Qur'an, 2.165)

And Allah alone gives success.

[Taken from the SunniPath Q/A Archives]

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fear (Spiritual Tendencies)


Listen O servant! Listen well, and clear!
For vain are your hopes if you lack fear.

Know that obedience lies in reproach.
Fear Me! And make haste your approach!

O servant! You think less of Me when you say,
you love Me, each and every day.

You lie! You sleep, yet you dare speak!
You love yourself! It's fame you seek!

You fool the rest and say such and such.
Be quiet! You have not travelled much!

Practice not, yet to them, you preach!
O fool! You only have your self to teach!

Understand Ibn 'Arabi, so you claim!
Your own self, you know not! What shame!

Your acts of worship, you depend on so,
Depend on Me only! Stop this show!

You say, 'I want only You!' What greed!
Want not to want, servant of Mine! Take heed!

True servants want nothing! Humbled, abased.
Them from themselves, completely erased!

Know your place! Realize My Might!
Only when grounded, you will take flight!

Be in need! And cling to fear!
Only then, you'll see that hope is near!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rude Awakenings

"Life is a series of rude awakenings.
If they're not rude, we tend not to awaken."

Shaykh Nuh quoted this in a talk once. Beautiful. How often is it the case that the greatest wali of Allah was once lost in ignorance and some particularly disgusting act brought about within him repulsion so strong that he turned to Allah broken-hearted, renounced his ways, gave up that which displeases Allah, and turned to Him penetant and obedient.

And Allah is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Silence is Wisdom

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

Silence is wisdom, though few are silent.
(Bayhaqi, with a weak chain; he deemed it to be the words of Luqman the Wise)

When Mu‘adh asked Rasool Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) “will we be held accountable even for the words we utter here and there?”, Rasool Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied, “Oh Mu’adh may your mother mourn you! (i.e. something bad is coming, if you don’t understand this…you’re dead!) – What else, but the harvest of the tongue causes most people to be dragged on their faces into the Fire of Hell!”, and Allah tells us, “every word uttered is recorded by the angels”. Yet what is the ni‘mah we use most? – It is the tongue, and one ‘aalim said that if we used our other senses as much as we use our tongue, they would collapse with fatigue! However, in this natural order that Allah has created, He has indicated things to some of the believers who have some hikmah (wisdom) left, such that one ‘aalim said, Allah created the tongue and He created two gates before you get to the tongue (teeth and lips), remember Allah does not create in vain, every creation has wisdoms in it. Abu Dardah (RadiyAllahu ‘Anhu) is related to have said “do justice to your ears, for you were given two ears and one tongue in order that you listen/hear more than you speak”. A wise man once said, “my tongue is like a scorpion, if I let it go, it will begin by biting me”. Every word we utter is most likely a poisonous bite that we’ll have to reckon with on the Day of Judgment. Yet the desire to speak is so intense because the nafs inside is at a lower state. One great ‘aalim was asked by a serious student of great akhlaaq “when shall I speak?”, he answered, “when you have the urge to speak, keep quiet and when you have the urge to keep quiet, you may speak”. Rasool Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with his exalted state of khuluq used to have prolonged intervals of silence, and when he spoke, he spoke gems, diamonds, and pearls. He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “whosoever has imaan (faith) in Allah and the Day of Judgment let him speak a word of khayr or remain silent” – what is khayr is that which helps us in our journey to Allah and the purpose for which we were created, it is not relative to our nafs nor to relativist morals, anything that does not help us fulfill the purpose for which we were created, is logically not beneficial. The tongue, my dear brothers and sisters is the most used key by Shaytaan to enter the qalb and occupy it – backbiting, sewing the seeds of hatred, ridiculing, making fun of people, lying, conspiring with words, and these days we actually have ‘talk’ shows where people get paid tonnes of money to lie and ridicule others and it’s called civilized entertainment. By Allah! - We will be asked for every word we utter! And those whom Allah exalted in knowledge and practice of that knowledge, kept their tongues jailed. Thus said one of them (Rahimahullah), “there is nothing worthier of long sentences of jail than the tongue”, but remember, the nafs in that lower state feeds the desire to speak and to speak that which is not beneficial to the ultimate purpose for which we were created.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Supplication is Worship

The following hadith is cited in Sufism and Good Character:

It is reported by Nu'man ibn Bashir that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him abundant peace) said,

"Supplication is worship."
(Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i and Ibn Maja; Tirmidhi deemed it rigorously authenticated [sahih])

I was reflecting on the meaning of these blessed words this afternoon. Supplication is worship. Du'a is 'ibadah. How so? To make du'a as we should make it, is to recognize that Allah Subhanahu Ta'Ala is the only One who can grant us ease, blessings, and khayr, and it is He Alone who can lift hardships and tribulations. Yet we take things for granted. We place our hopes and beliefs in creation rather than in the Creator. With each breath we take, we assume another will follow. The companions of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) would put on one sandal and make du'a that Allah give them the ability and permission to put on the other sandal. This is what tawqa does when it is firmly entrenched in the heart. Yet we live our lives and do not believe that death can indeed take us at any time. In the words of Shaykh Nuh Keller,

"People between the ages of 20-40 are immortal in the opinion of their own nafs".

I know of a young man who was on his high school football team and after a game, collapsed while walking off the field, and died on the spot. An aneurism had erupted and without a moment's notice, Allah had taken him back. Countless young people die in accidents they never thought would happen. Yet people, especically young people, do not believe that they can die at any moment.

The scholars mention that when doing or saying anything we should ask ourselves if we would be content to die that way. I often hear people, even Muslims, swearing, slandering, just being crass, and I cringe at the thought of anyone dying with those being their last words and deeds. On the contrary, imagine dying in prayer, fasting, in dhikr of Allah, having started you last deed "in the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate" or saying "there is no god, but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger".

Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui once commented upon the hadith "supplication is worship" and spoke of how we as an ummah have generally forgotten what it means to truly supplicate. We raise our hands and spin off du'as from memory without reflecting on what we asking for, or even worse we ask for things, for help, but have no real conviction that Allah will answer in the way that is best for us. The friend and knower of Allah, Ibn Ata'illah wrote in his Hikam,

"If you make intense supplication
and the timing of the answer is delayed,
do not despair of it.
His reply to you is guaranteed;
but in the way He chooses,
not the way you choose,
and at the moment He desires,
not the moment you desire."

So ask. Ask Allah. As the hadith says,

"If you ask, ask Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah."
(Tirmidhi, Ahmad)

And with Allah Alone is success.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ontario Shariah Tribunals (SAFspace & Haroon Siddiqui)

If you're wondering about the Shariah tribunal's case in Ontario, Safiyyah of SAFspace has posted a pretty good synopsis of what's happened so far.

And of course, Haroon Siddiqui is sharp as always: Sharia issue trumps media and McGuinty

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Katrina Updated

There's an interesting addendum to the Katrina post that is well worth reading. I've put it in as a comment on the original post.

Imam Zaid Shakir: Hurricane Season Has Already Begun

Imam Zaid Shakir: Hurricane Season Has Already Begun

Imam Zaid -- solid again.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Blog Dedicated to the Best of Creation, May Allah bless him and give him abundant peace

Another beautiful blog (I really have to update my links section some time soon!).

Al-Mustafa - The Prophet

Check it out.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Hijab Verse

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari's reply to a question about Shaykh Nuh Keller's explanation of the Ayah of hijab.

Student Testimonials about SunniPath Academy

Student Testimonials about SunniPath Academy, with a support and advice from Imam Zaid Shakir.

If you have doubts about online learning -- listen to these...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hunger, Ramadan, and Sha'ban

A timely
reminder from Spiritual Tendencies as we approach Ramadan... Insha'Allah we'll learn lessons from that blessed hunger that carry with us through the year.


He who is hungry arrives and he who is satiated is cut off. He who remembers [God] is moved to meditate, while he who forgets is himself forgotten. This is because hunger comprises ten qualities: the purification of the lower soul from lusts and doubts; remembrance; meditation; the shedding of blameworthy attributes and the acquisition of those that are praiseworthy; the emulation of spiritual masters who have gone before, as well as the Companions of the Prophet and those who succeeded them among the first generation of the pious; preoccupation with suppressing the lower soul; and preventing the lower soul from following its lusts.

...Hunger is the vehicle of the worshippers, the way of the pious, the method of the gnostics, the key of those who are guided, and the goal of those who have arrived at the highest [level] of 'Illiyyin.

— Shaykh Abu Madyan

Also: Alexandalus posted a link to a talk by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar on "Preparing for Ramadan - The Month of Sha'ban"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


We as a global community have seen many a trial this past year. From tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, forest fires, other natural disasters, attacks in London and other places, record plane crashes this summer, and numerous brutal wars and disputes. Deaths by the hundreds of thousands. We should really reflect both personally and collectively on how we live our lives. The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk upon the earth gently. A post on Omowale's blog prompted the following comment which I had been thinking of posting, but his post forced me to get it out, rather than put it off.



Indeed looking at the images of Katrina's destruction were surreal. As you said, the images seemed as though they were of a third world nation - not the USA.

The heartbreaking stories really hit home. Another thought that was persistently occuring to me was that this was destruction at the hands of mother nature - no person to blame, no regime, no terrorists. And yet, there was such hurt and anger amongst the victims of Katrina for what they had lost. And the media was so compassionate.

Mothers caught amidst childbirth; cancer patients, diabetics without medication; the elderly, babies - everyone, in every stage and trial of life - all victims. The amazing thing was that it was all caught on camera for the world to see and shed tears for what others had lost and suffered.

What saddened me was that what isn't caught on camera - especially not at that scale - are the victims of the USA. Mothers, babies, the sick, the elderly - all victims. Weddings postponed. Houses, cars - destroyed. All with one difference. Those people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and elsewhere all *do* have someone to blame, they *know* who dropped the bomb on them, who shot them, who raped them, who pillaged their homes. So imagine their anger. And yet we ignore it everyday. It doesn't get news footage, doesn't make headlines, except at people wondering "why do they hate America: land of the free?".

If those in the Gulf Coast who have had their lives toppled, their jobs destroyed, loved ones lost, *knew* who had done this to them. If it were a human force, a regime, would *they* not hate that regime? Would *they* not be full of anger towards it?

Just some food for thought.

May Allah give ease to the hearts of those in the Gulf Coast who have suffered at the hands of nature and been given a huge test indeed. May they turn to Him, be steadfast and rebuild their lives quickly. And may He bring justice to those wronged by the USA and by all oppressive and destructive regimes. May He bring guidance and peace to all of humanity and give them a taste of what Jannah is like in this world. May our hearts all unite, full of compassion for *all* our brothers and sisters in humanity. May the killing stop: by guns, bombs, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes - may it stop so we can live in peace and harmony, loving one another. Amin.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Praying Amongst Those in Constant Prayer

Out on a trip I was reminded of something once again. There's nothing like praying out in the wilderness amongst trees and plants that are in constant worship of Allah Most High, while breathing in the fresh air with which their every breath blesses you, and prostrating onto the soil. We should all do it more often - you really realize the purpose for which you were created and feel an enormous love for Allah overflow from within.

The Qur'an: A Reflection of Our Own Fancies? (Some Wisdom)

To all who love and reverence the Book,
And earnestly strive to find in it,
Not a reflection of their own fancies,
But a clue to Unity, Discipline,
And the Call to higher matters of the spirit,
I dedicate this humble effort at Interpretation,
The fruit of my Life, Thought, and Study.

[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali (Servant of Islam) Dedication upon translation of the Quran into English in 1934 ] -- From Some:Wisdom.

These words are full of much, much wisdom. We have for some time observed that many of those who are in the field of the academic study of Islam are there not out of love and zeal for the din, not because they feel a call to defend our faith in this most influential sphere, but for exactly what Abdullah Yusuf Ali is speaking against. Many, especially those who profess Islam as their religion, are striving to find in the Qur'an a "reflection of their own fancies", not Unity, Discipline, and a Call to higher matters of the spirit.

It is vital that we always check our intents and purposes. What many fail to understand in the "objective" study of Islam in the university is that it is in fact not objective at all. It is the state of our own nufus that is reflected by the conclusions we reach in reading a text. Thus, the text often says more about us the readers, than the intent of the author.

Let us be from among those who
earnestly strive to find a clue to Unity, Discipline, And the Call to higher matters of the spirit. Amin.