Tuesday, July 29, 2008


OmegaZero said...
I dont know if this is the place to ask this but i need to know...if a person wants revenge for the things done to him, it is still wrong to carry it out?

AsSalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu OmegaZero,

Insha'Allah, I pray you are well. I'm simply a blogger and wayfarer, but I can share something of what I have read:

Sayyidina Ali (may Allah honor his face) was fighting a kafir in one of the battles. During the battle Sayyidna Ali knocked him down and raised his sword to kill him. As soon as the kafir knew that he was going to be killed he spat in Sayyidna Ali's face, so immediately Sayyidna Ali left him and went on his way. He was later asked, "Why did you leave him when Allah clearly gave you power over him?!" Sayyidna Ali replied, "I was fighting him for the sake of Allah, and when he spat in my face I feared that if I killed him it would have been out of personal revenge and spite." Therefore, the understanding of jihad is to establish the means for the guidance and salvation of the kuffar, not merely to just fight them. Fighting them happens in a few cases, and the goal behind it is to save others from the oppression of the ones who are preventing the guidance from spreading. We do not fight out of revenge and spite. The Muslim doesn't fight because the kafir is my (personal) enemy, because the kafir is conspiring against me, because the kafir has killed and slaughtered other Muslims. The Muslim fights the kafir because he has prevented and has become a barrier for the guidance to reach others. Again, the Muslim doesn"t fight out of revenge and only because the enemy has killed other Muslims. Think about what is being said deeply!
-Habib Ali on Jihad in the Way of Allah (applies to revenge in general)

The example from Sayyiduna 'Ali (May Allah ennoble his countenance) is often cited to illustrate to us the seriousness with which the early Muslims and gnostics treated the impulse for revenge -- and how they took great care to avoid ever acting on that impulse. In this is a great lesson for us to avoid acting out revenge or taking the law into our own hands. Revenge can really harden the heart and this is the opposite of our purpose in life.

A good book to read is: Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart, translation and commentary by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. The accompanying tape set is also excellent.

Shaykh Hamza`s Content of Character is also excellent, as is Sufism and Good Character, translated by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ultimately, the best way to rid oneself of such states of the heart is to take a spiritual path in which one`s Shaykh systematically helps ones purify the heart.

Also see this video by Shaykh Hamza on ethics.

And Allah Alone gives success.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Shaik Baby is Here!

Alf Mabruk to Sidi Shaik and his wife on the arrival of their little bundle of joy, Shaikhah Ulfah.

May Allah bless little Shaikhah and make her from amongst the salihin and awliya. And may Allah bless her, her parents, and loved ones with all that is khayr in this life and the next. Ameen.


Masha'Allah, should be of much benefit insha'Allah. Do go if you can.

On Ghadab (Anger)

"Anger is like a ball of fire,
but if you swallow it,
it's sweeter than honey."

- Sayyiduna 'Ali (May Allah ennoble his countenance)

How to Be a Budget Organic

How to Be a Budget Organic

With all the news about rising food costs, you may be wondering if the organic milk you've been putting in your cart is worth the extra cash. It is. Organic food is more expensive, but when it comes to the staples of your diet, organics are a worthwhile investment, with payoffs that might surprise you. The benefits influence your health today — and long-term. Here, why certain foods are worth the splurge, plus tips to save you money while keeping your diet nutritionally and ecologically sound.

[Read the rest...]

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Power of the Divine Name

"If We had sent down this Koran upon a mountain,
thou wouldst have seen it humbled, split asunder
out of fear of God.
And those similitudes--We strike them for men;
haply they will reflect."

Yesterday after an intense dhikr, a visiting Shaykh quoted this verse and said that this is what Allah says about the Qur'an descending upon a mountain. What then, when the Divine Name comes upon the lips of the mu'min?

Subhan'Allah. A fear often overcomes me when I reflect on the amount of mubarak people Allah has put in my life... shuyukh, awliya, real believers and salihin... and the knowledge of what I am despite all these beautiful people. Allah, forgive me that which others know not of me, and make me better than what they think me to be.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Raison d’être - Hajj Rafi`

Another beautiful piece by our brother.

Raison d’être

I have more reason to have faith
Than I have faith in reason: faith
Is known by reason yet I have
Less faith in reason than in faith.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lessons in Love, by Way of Economics - NYT

Lessons in Love, by Way of Economics - NYT

Below are select quotes from the article with my sharh (commentary).

"The amount of love you get from an investment in love is correlated, if only roughly, to the amount of yourself you invest in the relationship. If you invest caring, patience and unselfishness, you get those things back."

Indeed -- the amount of ihsan you put into your relationships (in marriage and in general), you get back. And from an Islamic point of view, not only do people generally reciprocate ihsan, but the reward with Allah is even greater.

"Stay with high-quality human beings. And once you find that you are in a junk relationship, sell immediately. Junk situations can look appealing and seductive, but junk is junk."

Yes. Spiritually high-quality. This applies not only to one's spouse, but also friends and teachers. Here junk relationships are those with no other-worldly aspirations or shariah-sanctioned purpose. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) warned us that if we spend time with a people, we eventually become one of them, "A Man follows the religion of his close friend". So be careful who you befriend.

"Research pays off. The most appealing and seductive (that word again) exterior can hide the most danger and chance of loss. For most of us, diversification in love, at least beyond a very small number, is impossible, so it’s necessary to do a lot of research on the choice you make. It is a rare man or woman who can resist the outward and the surface. But exteriors can hide far too much."

True enough. Brothers and sisters looking to get married: do your research and have others research for you as well...the outward can be deceiving. Find out about the person's friends, actions, interests, and character. The outward bespeaks something of the inward. And do istikhara.

"The returns on your investment should at least equal the cost of the investment. If you are getting less back than you put in over a considerable period of time, back off."

This is a very nafsi approach. Ihsan always pays off. The "returns" one will see in the next life will suffice one even if nothing was "gained" in this life. This again is true for all of one's relationships. Give everyone their due and then some, but don't always expect yours. Allah says in Surah Rahman, "Is the reward for ihsan other than ihsan?".

"You need expectations that match reality before you can make some progress."

Indeed. Many relationship problems are caused by the fairytale Hollywood/Bollywood ideas that are planted in the minds of people. Marriages require love and effort. Don't expect that your spouse will never have a bad day at work or that life will be a never-ending, wild romance. Nor should it be -- the beauty of love is its ability to endure at all times. Find a believer in the true sense of the word, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Wondrous is the affair of the believer: if an affliction visits him, he is patient, and if good visits him, he is thankful" -- thus all that comes to the believer is good.

"When you have a winner, stick with your winner."

Again, true for marriage, friendships, and teachers. Sh. Hamza Yusuf once said, "if you have one good, sincere friend make shukr to Allah. If you have two like this, make the sajdah of shukr because it is rare!".

"They say that falling in love is wonderful, and that the best is falling in love with what you have."

Probably the best thing he says in the entire article. In a word, this is shukr and acceptance of what Allah has destined for one.

Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli haal. All praise is to Allah, in every condition.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monthly Burda & Dala'il Reading

Next Gathering: SUNDAY JUlY 20th 10am at Risalah Foundation
Please bring your copy of both texts

Address Link

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Self - Spiritual Tendencies

Your cure is within you,
but you do not know,
Your illness is from you,
but you do not see.
You are the “Clarifying Book”
Through whose letters becomes manifest the hidden.
You suppose that you’re a small body
But the greatest world unfolds within you.
You would not need what is outside yourself
If you would reflect on ’self’, but you do not reflect.

Sayyidinā Alī Ibn Abī Tālib (karrama Allāhu wajhahu)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Spiritual Tendencies Has Returned

The older blog of our brother Shaik (shaikr.com), Spiritual Tendencies, has returned, alhamdulillah. Welcome back, Sidi.

The Strong Man

The strong man is the one who is happy when this world leaves his hands, departs from him and flees from him, and he is happy when people blame him and accuse him. He is content with it because of his knowledge of God. Shaykh Ibn ‘Atā’Illah, may God be pleased with him, said in his Hikām, “If you are pained because people do not turn to you or direct blame towards you, then go back to the knowledge of God in you. If you are not content with His knowledge. then your affliction by your lack of contentment with His knowledge is worse than your affliction by their abuse. Abuse is channelled through them so that you will not rely on them. He wants to rouse you and move you away from everything so that nothing distracts you from Him.”

- Shaykh Muhammad al-’Arabī ad-DarqāwīRasā’il Mawlāy al-’Arabī ad-Darqāwī

Friday, July 11, 2008

Man with searching mind had a knack for inspiring others

Man with searching mind had a knack for inspiring others

I remember first meeting Omer at my nikah -- he was a very quiet, reserved brother. The next day as Salik and I sat looking through our gifts we came across a card with $300 in it, but no name. We began making a list to see who was at the wedding, but had not given a card and I remember Salik saying "wait a minute, Omer!". We checked and couldn't find anything with his name on it, so Salik was sure it was him. When Salik called to ask him, he started laughing and finally admitted to it upon Salik's insistance to know. This is how kareem a man he was. May both he and Allah forgive our shortcomings towards such a pure person. Ameen.

At the janazah today, his body did not reflect the means of its death. Masha'Allah, his skin was still radiant.

May Allah have mercy on him, forgive his shortcomings, and multiply his many good deeds. May Allah grant him a high station in Jannah with our beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give peace). Ameen.

And may Allah make this difficult time easier for his wife, parents, siblings, and loved ones. Ameen.

Fatiha/Ya Sin.

Article about Omer:

Omer had a restless mind.

He devoured books. He challenged the norm.

He pushed himself and those around him to test the waters outside of their comfort zone, say friends.

So it came as little surprise to those close to him that Omer's last moments were spent enveloped in a book, gleaning wisdom from the written word.

He died Tuesday while seeking shelter from a rainstorm under a large tree in Toronto's Christie Pits Park. Lightning struck the tree and travelled down the trunk to his body, Toronto Police said. He was declared dead in hospital.

The 28-year-old Waterloo man leaves behind a wife, two younger siblings and his parents.

Omer recently moved to Toronto from his family's home in Waterloo to cut down on the commute to his job at a construction company, where he worked as a civil engineer.

His responsibilities with the company had grown quickly -- he was handling major projects usually given more to senior engineers, said longtime friend Firas Mansour.

Spirituality mattered a lot to Omer, who absorbed religious literature and became a mentor for other youth, he said. But his interests were broader, stretching from outdoor pursuits and world travel to the study of philosophy and economics.

"He was 10 years ahead of his time," Mansour said.

Abdul Mannan Syed, imam at the Waterloo mosque which Omer attended, remembers a man who would give him lifts around town, dispensing advice on how to speak to Muslim youth.

Many within the local community simply can't believe he's gone, especially through such a strange accident, said the imam.

"Everyone is in a state of shock. They can't understand how this happened," Syed said.
Omer lived in Waterloo Region for much of his life, moving to the Canada from Kuwait with his mother, brother and sister in his youth.

Many considered him a "brother" and a "soulmate," his sister Maryam said in a statement.
"His memory will never leave us," she said.

Omar Nafees met him while both were undergraduates at the University of Waterloo.
There, they were work-out buddies, challenging each other in the gym to reach new milestones. Omer became a "spring board" for his friend, a motivating reminder to keep striving for improvement.

Omer also had a knack for pushing people just outside the familiar and gravitated toward ideas that were outside the mainstream.

"It was like having the feeling that, 'I'm going to come out a better person because of this encounter,' " Nafees said. "That was one of the things I felt with Omer. It's very tough to find people like that."

Prayers will be held today at the Waterloo Mosque on Erb Street, after the jummah prayer. A burial will follow at Parkview Cemetery at 2:15 p.m.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

From Allah we came and to Him we are Returning.

AsSalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,

From Allah we came and to Him we are Returning.

During last night's thunderstorm, a good friend of Salik's was hit by a bolt and passed away. He was found in sujud with a book beside him -- when I saw the news that sounded so much like Salik that it really struck me hard...and even moreso when we found out we knew him. Please make du'a for him, his family, and newlywed wife.

Fatiha and/or Ya Sin.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Alberta & British Columbia

AsSalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

I was wondering if anyone lives in or has visited Alberta or BC (the southern half of both provinces). Salik and I will be travelling there, insha'Allah, and would love any advice/tips on what to see and do there...the "must do" list.

We're driving between Calgary and Vancouver (and in and around each of those cities).

Please post or email.

Barak Allahu fi kum.


Alhamdulillah for Desserts

Salik's childhood friend Chutney came over the other night for dinner after a year in Jeddah. Our dessert, courtesy of yours truly:

Mango milkshake made with Pakistani Sindhi mangoes, whole milk, vanilla ice cream, and ice.

Chocolate chip waffles with vanilla ice cream, blackberries, strawberries, and chocolate syrup.

Yummy :)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

God's Favour

God’s favour comes unexpectedly,
but only to an alert heart.

Put not your hope in people,
for you will be wounded.
Put your hope in God
that you may be delivered.

- Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

(from the blog of Sidi Shaik Abdul Khafid to whom I'm indebted for much technical support)

I Close My Eyes and I'm in Madinah

I close my eyes and I'm off to Madinah, the blessed city of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Although it was more than six months ago that we were there, when I close my eyes, it all returns and by Allah's Mercy, the late night visits to the Rawdah are forever etched in my being.

Eating dinner with the group, going upstairs, making wudu and meeting the sisters in the lobby.

I can still feel our excitement and hear our laughter as we walked quickly down the dark, tranquil brick road, passed the closed shops... hoping, praying for a chance to meet with our beloved Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace).
The air that is ever so light and so sweetly scented.

Getting to the courtyard gates, bending quickly to remove our shoes and placing them in our bags.

Walking swiftly across the marble floor of the courtyard, reciting the du'as of entering the masjid in unison and sending salat and salam on the Rasul (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Getting to the doors wanting to get passed the guards as quickly as possible, and then rushing to the wooden gate from where sisters are allowed visitation.

Seeing it open the happiness that would bubble out from within, with a burst of energy to run as gently as possible before entry was closed to the rawdah.

Heart pounding, tears flowing at the very site of the green dome, knowing whom we were about to meet again.

Tears of love, of longing, of gratitude. The realization of one's unworthiness of this most mubarak place, and the Mercy of Allah upon one.

Oh the things that happen in the rawdah. The connection one feels to the Rasul (Allah bless him and give him peace) and of his welcoming one to his home, and the warmth of being enveloped in his mercy. Oh the things that happen in the rawdah.

I open my eyes and they are as moist as if I had just been there today. Is it any wonder that the love one feels for those who were with one on hajj is unlike any other? Their very being, their smiling face, it all takes one back to the most mubarak time of one's life.

May Allah Ta'Ala bless us with the company of His Beloved, the Chosen One (Allah bless him and give him peace) in this world and the hereafter. Ameen.

May Allah bless our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and all those who seek to follow him, in this life and the next. Ameen ya Rabb, Ameen.

Check Your Fatiha Online at Dar Al-Hamd

Wondering how your fatiha recital is? Fill in this form online and have someone check it for you via Skype.

Dar Al-Hamd

Online Counselling with Dr. Ibrahim Kreps

Dr. Ibrahim Kreps has launched Online Counselling via his site Hakim Publishing.

For those who may not know, Dr. Kreps is a Canadian psychiatrist currently on leave to Jordan (we actually happen to run into him in the souk in Damascus last summer).

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I Seek Refuge...

I seek refuge in Allah from knowledge that brings no wisdom, from a heart that lacks kindness, from desires that bring discontent, and from supplications that go unanswered.
- Rasool Allah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam), as reported by Abu Hurairah, Al-Hadis, 3:790.

Unfolding a Rose: A Lesson

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

An email that was floating around back in 2002.



Trust In Allah; He never gives up on those that do!

A young, new ustadh (teacher) was walking with an older, more seasoned>ustadh (teacher) in the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what Allah had for him to do, he was asking the older ustadh for some advice. The older ustadh walked up to a rosebush and handed the young ustadh a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young ustadh looked in disbelief at the older ustadh and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of Allah for his life and ministry. But because of his great respect for the older ustadh, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact... It wasn't long before he realized how impossible this was to do. Noticing the younger ustadh's inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older ustadh began to recite the following poem...

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of Allah's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
Allah opens this flower so sweetly,
Then in my hands they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of Allah's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Allah for leading
each moment of my day.
I will look to Allah for His guidance
each step of the way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only Allah knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.