Wednesday, August 31, 2005

...True Friends...

"One who tells you the truth is your friend.
One who does not, is not a friend of yours."

Good Character

The 'ulema have always emphasized the importance of having good character, yet this seems to be something many of us today lack. We'd all do well to emulate the best of characters - that of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Good (Book) Read: Sufism and Good Character

SP: Little Fiqh of Anger & Acquiring Good Character

SP: Overlooking the faults of others for the sake of Allah and acquiring good character

SP: Why is there so much concern with manners (adab) in Islam

Also, the relevant section of Riyadh us-Saliheen.

The True Nature of Thankfulness - Haqiqat al-Shukr

Concerning Thankfulness (Shukr) - From the SunniPath Q/A Archives
Answered by Sayyidi Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani

A *beautiful* answer. To read it in its entirety, please click on the link.

As for thankfulness [shukr], the basic guidance on the subject is contained in the words of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) :

If you are thankful, I will surely give you more; but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is terrible indeed. (14:7)


Moreover, thankfulness [shukr] can be subdivided into several categories, namely:

1. Thankfulness expressed by the tongue [shukr bi'l-lisan]. This constitutes the acknowledgment of the benefaction [ni'ma] with an attitude of humble acceptance [istikana].

2. Thankfulness expressed by the body and the limbs [shukr bi'l-badan wa 'l - arkan]. This is the characteristic indication of loyalty and readiness to serve [al-wafa' wa 'l-khidma].

3. Thankfulness expressed by the inner feeling [shukr bi'l-qalb]. This requires a careful balance between the visible display of appreciation and the constant preservation of a sense of reverence.

It has also been said that thankfulness of the eyes [shukr al-'ainain] means that you overlook any fault you notice in your companion, while thankfulness of the ears [shukr al-udhunain] means that you ignore any fault you hear him accused of possessing.

In the simplest terms, thankfulness [shukr] means that you do not disobey Allah (Exalted is He) by misusing His gracious favors.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

SunniPath Academy: Fall Semester -- New Courses!

SunniPath Online Academy Announces its Fall 2005 Semester!

Register now - limited space.
Same great courses, plus many, many excellent new courses.

For more information check out the Course Catalogue

The best thing about SunniPath Academy is that it's convenient to fit into our busy everyday lives. The lessons are recorded so you don't have to worry about adjusting your schedule around class lecture times. There are Live Tutorials with Audio/Video/Text capability (that are also recorded if you can't make it). Forums for students to interact, ask questions, make comments. Tech help is a button away, though rarely needed! And of course, contemporary scholars who understand the world we live in and have training in the Islamic sciences from years of studying at the feet of great scholars.

May Allah bless SunniPath in all that it sets out to do and more. Amin.

This World We Call Home...

Yesterday I posted the following quote from a talk by Shaykh Nuh Keller:

"Nobody ever made friends with the dunya, except that she betrayed him. Nobody ever threw his arms around her neck, except that she killed him."

Today I came across another post from a new blog called Knowledge & Wisdom:

The Deceitful World

The deceitful character of the world comes out in the following ways. In the first place, it pretends that it will always remain with you, while, as a matter of fact, it is slipping away from you, moment by moment, and bidding you farewell, like a shadow which seems stationary, but is actually always moving. Again, the world presents itself under the guise of a radiant but immoral sorceress, pretends to be in love with you, fondles you, and then goes off to your enemies, leaving you to die of chagrin and despair. Jesus (upon whom be peace!) saw the world revealed in the form of an ugly old hag. He asked her how many husbands she had possessed; she replied that they were countless. He asked whether they had died or been divorced; she said that she had slain them all. "I marvel", he said, "at the fools who see, what you have done to others, and still desire you."

This sorceress decks herself out in gorgeous and jewelled apparel and veils her face. Then she goes forth to seduce men, too many of whom follow her to their own destruction. The Prophet has said that in the Judgment Day the world will appear in the form of a hideous witch with green eyes and projecting teeth. Men, beholding her, will say, "Mercy on us! who is this?" The angels will answer, "This is the world for whose sake you quarrelled and fought and embittered one another's lives." Then she will be cast into hell, whence she will cry out, "O Lord! where are those, my former lovers?" God will then command that they be cast after her.
- Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, The Alchemy of Happiness

This reminded me of Shaykh Nuh's wonderful, short and well-written article entitled "The Woman: A Parable" that I highly recommend people read.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Lover Who Slept (Thoughts & Readings Archives)

O, Attar! Where would we be without our beloved Persian Sufi poets!

The Lover Who Slept (Thoughts & Readings Archives)

A lover, tired out by the tears he wept,
Lay in exhaustion on the earth and slept;
When his beloved came and saw him there,
Sunk fast in sleep, at peace, without a care,
She took a pen and in an instant wrote,
Then fastened to his sleeve, a little note.
When he awoke and read her words his pain
(Increased a thousandfold) returned again -
"If you sell silver in the town," he read,
"The market's opened, rouse your sleepy head;
If faith is your concern, pray through the night -
Prostrate yourself until the dawning light;
But if you are a lover, blush with shame;
Sleep is unworthy of the lover's name!
He watches with the wind throughout the day;
He sees the moon rise up and fade away -
But you do neither, though you weep and sigh;
Your love for me looks like an empty lie.
A man who sleeps before death's sleep I call
A lover of himself, and that is all!
You've no idea of love, and may your sleep
Be like your ignorance - prolonged and deep!"

-Shaykh Fariduddin 'Attar

Shaykh Nuh: Making Friends with the Dunya...and a Resume of the Tariq

At a very apt moment in my life, I remember putting on a CD from one Shaykh Nuh's suhbas and the following words were forever etched in my heart:

Allah says, "Say, Look at that which is in the heavens and the earth". Shaykh AbdurRahman al-Shaghouri often said that this meant more than just looking left and right, but that created things outwardly are all fraud and deceit that promise a great deal.

"Nobody ever made friends with the dunya, except that she betrayed him. Nobody ever threw his arms around her neck, except that she killed him."

So Allah means to look at things with the eyesight and the insight.

He began that talk with a resume of everything single thing in the tariq from beginning to end, opening with this comprehensive hikam of Ibn Ata'Illah:

"Whoever knows Allah sees Him in everything.
And he who is annihilated in Allah is oblivious to everything.
And he who loves Allah does not prefer to Him anything."

Five Before Five (Al-Fathhu)

I stumbled across a few new blogs... Al-Fathhu is one of them...

Five Before Five

From Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi Al-Haddad’s “The Lives of Man” translated by Mostafa Al-Badawi...

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings upon him) said ” seize the opportunity to make use of five things before five other things catch up with you:

1. Your youth before you grow old
2. Your health before you fall sick
3. Your leisure before you are occupied
4. Your wealth before you grow poor
5. And your life before you die.

And he said(Upon him be blessings and peace) “The feet of a servant will not move away from where he stands on the day of rising until he is asked about five things: his life, and how expended it, his youth, and in what he exhausted it, his wealth, and where he obtained it, and on what he spent it, etc”

Counsel (Spiritual Tendencies)

From the creator of Sufistic: Thoughts & Readings, another blog: Spiritual Tendencies


Accept none other for thy love but God.

All things apart from Him are pure illusion.

Here is my counsel, if thou canst counsel take.

The rememberers are ever absent in their Beloved,

For none have life save those who are near to Him.

Between such and the Truth there is no veil.

What are the Blessings of Paradise to them?

Passion God's slaves hath melted; they have drunk,

And still drink, His eternal-treasured Wine,

The draught whereof hath robbed them of themselves.

Would thou couldst take one sip out of their cup!

'Twould help to bridge the gap twixt thee and me.

A good slave he who saith: 'I am at Thy service,'

Hearing God's Call which I address to him.

If God thou seekest, then companion me:

For thee, be very sure, there is no way else.

Shaykh Ahmed al-'Alawi

Owais Qadri - Kaaliya Zulfa Wala (

Owais Qadri - Kaaliya Zulfa Wala (

Another *beautiful* Punjabi naat sung with passion and love by Muhammad Owais Raza Qadri.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

How to pray well—Hatim al-Asamm explains... (SunniPath)

How to pray well—Hatim al-Asamm explains...

Abu Nu`aym relates in Hilyat al-Awliya [8.74], with his chain of transmission to Rabah ibn al-Harawi:

Isam ibn Yusuf passed by Hatim al-Asamm—one of the great early masters of the spiritual path—while he was speaking to a gathering. Isam said, “O Hatim! Do you pray well?” Hatim replied, “Yes.”

Isam asked him, “How do you pray?”

Hatim responded,

I fulfill the Divine Command;

I walk with reverent awe;

I enter the prayer with intention;

I give the opening takbir with magnification of Allah;

I recite the Qur’an in a distinct and measured recitation, with reflection;

I bow with reverence;

I prostrate with humility;

I sit for the tashahhud completely;

I give salams according to the proper way and sunna.

Then I consign the prayer to Allah (Mighty and Majestic) with sincerity. And I return to myself in fear, fearing that the prayer will not be accepted of me. I hold fast to this way with resolve, until death.”

Isam said, “You can teach, for you indeed pray well.”

And Allah alone gives success.

Translated by Faraz Rabbani

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sacred Astronomy - Zaytuna

The Zaytuna Institute Web Site has a new section called Sacred Astronomy.

"According to Imam al-Kattani, in his original work of scholarship Taratib al-idariyyah, the Prophet appointed a timekeeper in Medina to maintain sacred time for the community. Scholars understood from this that sacred timekeeping was an obligation binding upon some among the community (fard kifayah) in order to maintain correct prayer times as well as to determine days and months according the lunar calendar..."

I took a course on Science in the Islamic World -- fascinating, fascinating stuff.

Four Years to Knowing Everything...About Nothing

When I started university one thing amazed me. Everyone thought that they were experts. Their opinion was very important -- indeed, it was correct -- fact, if you will. In blog-hopping the past few weeks, the same phenomena struck me once again.

What is it about modern education that has stripped us of our humility? We attend university for three or four years and deem ourselves experts fit to speak on any aspect of whatever we studied. So one who has studied Islam whilst not a Muslim, believes they can speak about Islam without restraint. Yet, never once questioning the source of their studies. How objective were they? What was the stance of those with whom they studied?

Universities pride themselves in their 'objectivity', and yet, there's nothing objective about them. To understand something, should one not go to the root of it?

The scholars of old studied for decades, had every text in their field memorized my heart, and yet spoke with such humility before God and their audience. This is largely absent today. I miss that.

The more you learn, the more you should realize how much you don't know. Not the reverse.

And Allah knows best.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rumi: Open Your Hidden Eyes

Open your hidden eyes and come, return to the
root of the root of your own self!

So how long will you suffer at the hands of
Nonexistent things? Come! Return to the root of the root of
your own self!

Mawlana Rumi, translated by William Chittick

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Love of the Beloved (Sufistic)

The Love of the Beloved

The love of the Beloved
must be unconditionally returned.

If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretence.
You love the enemies of your Beloved

and still seek love in return.

You fight the beloved of your Beloved.

Is this Love or the following of Shaytaan?

True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.

We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.

They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.

- Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah,

Of the Virtue of Continence (Sufistic)

Of the Virtue of Continence

From pleasures and amusements he refrained,
His appetite for love and liquor reined,
Devoted not his energies to wine,
To hunt gazelles made not his only line.
For it was time the heart arose from sleep,
Not evermore its shrouding veil to keep;
The fearful day that shall all secrets prove
Diverted him from his accustomed love.

Be strong, my soul ! Thy labours do not spend
Pursuing passion to its bitter end.

Make haste to thy salvation ; purpose still
To win deliverance from passion's ill.

Perchance, triumphant in my holiest aim,
I shall escape the torment and the flame.

O trifler, Fate is grimly purposing
Thy ruin: dread'st thou not misfortune's sting?
It should suffice thee, for all counsel taught,
To look upon the wonders Time has wrought.

Leave that abode whose splendour soon must fade,
That task which ever with the toiler played,
That jousting-yard where never knight struck blow
But that his sword rebounded to his woe;

What man knows Allah as He should be known
Withdraws, and lives unto Himself alone.

Not one is watered piety with pure,
The temporal realm with that which doth endure;
Not like the sinner and the godly wise,
The word of truth and circumstantial lies.

For though we were secure from chastisement
Nor feared the wrath of God may not relent,
Did we not dread that hell, prepared for each
Who perpetrates the crime of lying speech,
Yet would it be our duty to obey
His will, and send lust's embassy away,
Sincerely to renounce this life below,
Condemning all who yet delay to go.

For we have witnessed how Time serves her own
Like flaming sparks among the brushwood blown;

Some wearying their hearts to serve the Lord
And find repose in what they most abhorred,
Some labouring to gather this world's bloom
And be diverted from their quest by doom.

And some have reached the hope they fondly nursed
To fall into the pit they dreaded worst,
And some have diligently sought their goal
And only gained destruction of the soul.

Anon some mighty monarch thou wilt see
Flung down from triumph into misery,
As springing wheat is trampled into dust
When from its stalk the swelling ears upthrust.

How many struggle to their souls' despite
In chase of luck that presses more its flight
Surely a lesson wonderful is there
To school the wise to wisdom yet more fair!

Still more, with Hell the ultimate abode
Of all who leave the straight and narrow road,
When Allah, on the day of reckoning,
Their shameful secrets to the light shall bring.

What then of him, whom Allah has pursued
With mercy, and augmenting grace renewed,
But in his folly turns the gifts conferred
To purposes forbidden by God's Word?

Deserves he not the most, of all men born,
God's chastisement on resurrection's morn?

Then thank the Lord, Whose gracious potency
Is nigh to us as our heart's artery,
Who feedeth all the peoples known to Time,
Be Barbary or Arabia their clime
Praise be to God, Whose bounty is so great,
Who overmasters all the tricks of Fate,
And to our service earth and heaven turns,
All vapours of the air, each star that burns.

Give ear, and leave the sinner to his sin
For none shall bear but what he gathers in.

- Abû Muhammad ‘Ali ibn Hazm, Tawq al-Hamâmah (Ring of the Dove)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

O My Eye... (Some Wisdom)

Watch your eye, should it ever reveal to you the faults of others, say to it: "O my eye, other people have eyes too." [Ahmad al Zarruq]

Suhba Pearls from DeenPort

DeenPorters in the UK have a beautiful thread going called "Suhba Pearls". It contains some of the beautiful words of Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller. I'm going to paste them here. Jazakum Allahu Khayran and Barak Allahu fi kum to those who have been posting on the thread.

'love is not an easy matter...' (Shaykh Abd ar-Rahman Shagouri)

"The only escape from Allah, is to Allah"- Shaykh Nuh, in response to a question that ended with: " theres no escape from Allah?"

'man sumut najaa' Hadith of our Beloved (saw). With the rough meaning of, 'he who keeps quiet is saved'. In relation to the topic of keeping ones speech in check.

...that darknesses and tribulations upon the heart were from the wisdom of Allah and were to teach us to appreciate the blessings we have...he used the example that love after having being rejected is more sweeter than recieving love without any the lights that come to us after the darknesses of tribulation are sweeter than just receiving blessings without having suffered for them...

...that the key to the universe is la ilaha ilAllah...that all actions are but the action of Allah...true tawheed...

...that dhikr is the reason for existence...that we should take a moment to ready ourselves for the Divine Presence before beginning our dhikr...

...that the Divine Presence is a we have to show gratitude for it...

...that dhikr without the heart connecting to Allah is not dhikr at all...

...that dhikr is the greatest joy any of us can achieve...

...that dhikr burns off the shaitaan...

...that iman, complete tawakkul and genuineness in one's slavehood defeats shaitaan..

...that proper manners - adab - is the key to everything...

...that it is Allah that sends down tribulation and only He that can remove them...tawheed again...

...that there is nothing in existence except the actions of Allah...and that experiencing this is jannah for the arifeen...

...that the goal of the path is Allah, not spiritual stations, miracles, etc...

...that the rules of the shariah are for our benefit, not Allah's...

...that in everything we do, we should ask: 'what's in it for Allah?'...and if it's nothing, then we should junk it...

"the sign of bad character is someone who argues a lot"

dhikr is the light that burns the shaitan. He said the dhikr that is made on the tongue is said in the mind. From here it descends into the heart...until ones whole being....becomes a window

As much as you long for Allah He longs for you.

"Anyone who understands the reality of the hellfire would not want a single non-Muslim to enter it."

be people that are part of the solution not part of the problem.

how many a young man died before the old man who he was waiting to die first?

...only once a heart is broken into pieces....can something be made of it

Dhikr without feeling the presence of Allah is not dhikr.


they say (the mutasawifeen) "the sign of the one who has not sat with the shuyukh is the one who is loose with his tongue".

The Universe was created for were not created for the universe...[you] were created for Him

Everything is meaningless, unless they signify some thing beyond themselves.
Everything is perishing, except that which is done for Allah, and Allah alone. Things are illusionary, actions are real.

Sufism is Fakr - poverty to Allah, it is complete relinquishment, complete submission, turning to Allah utterly.

Tears are a liquification of emotions from the heart, the piece of flesh that you want to fix so that the rest of you is fixed.

The key to presence with Allah is watching the breath, making sure each breath is for Allah.

A bogus sufi said "A true sufi is one who can pluck bars of gold from thin air". Shaykh Abdul Wakil heard this and said "No, a true sufi is who when a bar of gold is pick pocketed from him the state of his heart doesn't change".

whoever has been given the tawfeeq to make zhikr, then this is a proclamation that he is from the awliya.

Regarding spiritual rank, he said (along the lines of)....

Prescribing ranks to oneself is 'ghafla'

Allah put you there, He keeps you there. If you put yourself there, you will surely fall...

Let spiritual rank seek you, do not seek it. Seek Allah, and all will be found....

Whoever finds Allahswt, Allah frees him from caring about what people say, from thinking about prestige, from drawing closer to the dunya and the people of the dunya, and the need for grudges....

If an action were done with the intention of demonstrating the sunnah of the Prophet (saaws) or the tawhid of Allah, that action stays with Allah swt for ever....

You don't love anything except you are its slave, and He doesn't like that you are a slave of anything else...

May Allah 'Azza wa Jall preserve Shaykh Nuh and continue to benefit through him. Amin.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tim Hortons - Are Canadians Addicted En Masse?

This post is a little off of my blog theme (but not entirely off because addictions to have an impact on your suluk and on your haal)...

I think Canadians have a problem.

I believe we're all (or most of us, at least) addicted to Tim Hortons.

Everyday, thousands upon thousands of Canadians line up inside Tim Hortons stores or form long car-chains in their drive-thrus.

All of our spare change goes to Tim Hortons...amounting to a lot of money every month. Think about it: one small IceCap and a donut will cost you about $3, multiply that by 30 days in a month and you get $90/month, multiply that by 12 months in a year and you get $1080/year going out of your pocket or change box to Tim Hortons.

Why does no other donut shop compare? What do they put in their stuff that gets people going there day in and day out like blind sheep?

Is it an addiction? Is it a social addiction?

Our Bodies House Our Hearts

Our bodies house our hearts and our souls, and it is by these that we know God, and thus they are our most prized possessions. The Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace) said, “there is a part of the body that, if sound, the entire body is sound” and he pointed to the heart. God says in a sacred Muslim tradition, “the heavens and the earth do not contain Me, but the heart of the believer does contain Me”. What we do with our physical being inevitably impacts our heart and soul, our very core. Thus, what we listen to, what we look at, what we do with our limbs all infringe upon our heart. If these are good, pure things, they act as a polish on the mirror that is the heart, if they are evil impurities, they act as a rust on that mirror and blur our vision of what is Real and Sublime. Indeed, as the famous Muslim mystical poet Rumi says:

The mirror does not reflect. How is this so?
Do you know why the mirror does not reflect anything?
Because the rust has not been cleansed from its face.

Advises from a Master (Sufistic)

Sufistic Update (I love it when they update!)

Advises from a Master

I strongly advise you always to follow the Muhammadan sunna and to remember your Lord whenever your state is constricted and whenever it is expanded. You should also bless your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. This is because if you are as we have told you, you will truly be Allah's slaves. Whoever is truly Allah's slave is not the slave of his passion. He is a wali of Allah.

Watch out! Again--watch out! Be careful not to let anything distract you from your Lord since there is nothing in reality except Allah. "Allah was and nothing was with Him. His is now as He was." Know that when a man has need of something, that is because of his ignorance and lack of knowledge, Had it not been for his ignorance, he would not need anything except Allah. The Immense Qur'an and the Prophetic hadith both testify to this. Listen to the answer of the wali of Allah-ta'ala, Sayyidi Sahl at-Tustary, may Allah be pleased with him! to one of his murids when he said to him, "Master--food!" He told him, "Allah." The murid was silent awhile and then said, "We must have food." He told him, "We must have Allah." I said, by Allah, in reality, we and others have no need except Allah. If we are His, He is ours as in the past with others--He was theirs and they were His.

I also advise you always to keep together and remind each other in your Path throughout your entire lifetime as those before you have done. Watch out! Again--watch out! Be careful not to hasten opening as some of you and others seek to hasten it. By doing that, you will miss the excellence of the Path and its blessing, secret, baraka, and bliss because whoever wants to pluck something before it is permitted to him, is deprived of it as a result. It is absolutely necessary that you keep together and respect each other. You should honour each other and show esteem for each other. Fulfill the contract of Allah when you make a contract. Love each other and show affection to each other as the Prophet said, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Be on your guard against being foolish and insolent, against treachery, dishonesty, or leaving the Path. Allah gives success.

Know that concern for a thing is great. We and you have no concern except for Allah's favour to us. The rajul is the one who does not lack strength, is not lazy and does not slacken off. He fights his self. He gives it a little of the things which it hates and are heavy for it until it is annihilated. "Annihilation is obliteration, disappearance, leaving yourself, extinction" as the wali of Allah ta'ala, Sayyidi Abu'l Mawahib at-Tunisi, may Allah be pleased with him, said in his Qawanin.


-The Darqawi Way; The Letters of Shaykh Mawlay al-'Arabi ad-Darqawi

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Rumi on the Book of the Sufis

The book of the Sufi is not black lines and words,
It is none other than the whitened heart which is like snow.

Mawlana Rumi

Saturday, August 13, 2005

SunniPath Q/A Service Re-vamped!

SunniPath Q/A Service re-vamped. Better search capabilities. Check it out...and remember those that have worked to bring this service to you (the scholars, q/a team, tech team, and others) in your du'as.

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds” - Shakespeare, Sonnet CXVI

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds” - Shakespeare, Sonnet CXVI

LET me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,5
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;10
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Seeking One's Provision...

People often worry over finding employment. I hear it a lot, especially on university campuses with new graduates apprehensive about paying back student loans, finding a job after studying for years, or wanting to get married... The following hikam is worth thinking over...

Your striving for what is absolutely guaranteed to you and your laxness in what is required of you are evidence that your inner eye is dull. - Hikam of Sidi Ibn Ata'illah.

I've heard many great scholars - Shaykh Hamza Yusuf amongst them - recommend Surat al-Waqi'a because of the hadith
"Whoever reads surat al-Waqi`a every night shall never suffer poverty" is recommended as indicated by Imam al-Nawawi's inclusion of it in his Adhkar and his other books such as the Tibyan and the Tahdhib, and by Imam al-Mundhiri's inclusion of it in al-Targhib wal-Tarhib.

No, I'm not saying we shouldn't actively seek employment. We should take the means, have peace of heart, and leave it up to the One who provides.

(Image says "al-Razzaq" - "The Sustainer" and was done by Ustadha Aisha Holland, may Allah preserve her. **Please do not re-use the image without permission and proper credit**. On another note, I'm elated at the fact that I figured out how to use images all by myself.)

The Nature of the Spirit (Sufistic)

The Nature of the Spirit

If asked to define the Spirit, we would say that it is a Divine secret which gives life to matter, or the will of Allah Almighty that we live. When Allah removes this will, life in its worldly form comes to an end. Death is not the end of the journey of life, it is the end of one stage during the journey and the beginning of a new one which has its own laws and life-form which Allah knows.

We have already seen, in the example of sleep, how man can move from one dimension to another in a single instant. When one lies on his bed and puts his head on his pillow, the instant he falls asleep he moves from a dimension where one set of laws apply to another dimension with different laws. When he wakes up again, he moves in that instant back from the law of sleep to the law of wakefulness, each completely different from the other.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, explained to us that the life of this world is only a short period within the greater journey of life as a whole. In order to give us a precise picture of how short the time of our life in this world is in relation to the greater journey of life, he likened it to a traveller spending some time in the shade of a tree and then travelling on. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

"What have I to do with this world? There is no comparison between me and this world, except to a rider who stops for shade under a tree and then goes on leaving it behind."

Man knows nothing about the Spirit. The Jews asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about the Spirit and how it gives life to the body. They believed that the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, would tell them things from himself which they could use to attack the veracity of his Message, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. So Allah Almighty revealed:

"They will ask you about the Spirit. Say: 'The Spirit is my Lord's concern. You have only been given a little knowledge.'" (17:85)

This means that the Spirit is one of the secrets of Allah Almighty which will remain hidden from us until the Day of Rising. But Allah made the Spirit, which is invisible to us, a guide to faith and a force which directs us to the power of Allah Almighty. It teaches us how to proceed on the Path of Faith while having complete certainty of the existence of Allah, Who caused existence to exist and created the universe and human life. Even though the Spirit is in the body of man, the person whose body it is in does not know anything about it and does not know how it came into his body or how it will leave. Nor does he know where in his body it is located.

Is it consciousness, which sends signals to the entire body so that life penetrates every part? Is it located in the heart, which beats when a human being is still a foetus in his mother's womb and continues to beat without any volition on our part until life comes to an end? Is it in the hand which strikes? Or in the foot which walks? Or in the eye which sees? Or in the ear which hears? Or the tongue which speaks? Where is the Spirit located?

- Shaykh Muhammad Mitwalli al-Sha'rawi, The End of the World

Oriscent - Oud Oils and Oriental Perfumes

Oriscent - Oud Oils and Oriental Perfumes

Oriscent... your source to the nameless scents of the ancients – the otherworldly scents of the mystics.

Beautiful, beautiful scents!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Pictures from the Rihla to Madinah

If you visit the Rihla Blog and check out the Links section....they've got links to TONNES of pictures from the rihla...

Oh, Madinah...Sweet Madinah...(reminds of the song on Seeker's Digest! Except Madinah really is sweet...the song is another story...)

I say the Rihla people should really repeat this rihla destination...and do another rihla to Makkah/Madina in Summer 2006!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Harvest of Tongues...and Its Many Dangers

As of late, in simply observing people, and in a late night discussion with a dear friend of mine about the harms of backbiting, talebearing, and disclosing secrets, the harvest of tongues and the harms of speaking have been very much on my heart and mind. We should guard are tongues from talking about others in any way they would not like, regardless of what our intention in doing so is. Much hurt and harm can otherwise occur, to our own souls, others, and to relationships.

An excerpt from a talk by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui published in The Muslim Voice a few years back seems fitting and worth re-reading:

"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? It 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."

Ghiba (Backbiting and slander) is a major sin and is a very common ailment in our society. It means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait…

Allah clearly mentions in the Qur’an:

‘Woe to whoever disparages others behind their back or to their face

(Koran 104:1)

Some useful reads:

What does it mean, "Leave that which does not concern you?" If I am interested in something, doesn't it "concern me?"

Slander, backbiting, holding one’s tongue and leaving that which does not concern one...

Lying to Keep a Promise

Fulfilling the Rights of Others

I am Unable to Guard My Tongue from Backbiting. What Shall I Do?


Talib al-Habib: Songs of Innocence

Songs of Innocence

The superb debut album from

Talib al-Habib

nur al-habib productions presents

Eight original English language nasheeds

about love of Allah, His Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wassalam), one’s teacher,

one’s family and all of mankind.

“Inspired. A symphony”

“Definitely the Nasheed Album of the year”

- Aashiq al-Rasul

“I feel I have known [these songs] all my life”

- Dawud Wharnsby Ali

“transports you to another spiritual level”

“the meaning of the lyrics stay with you long after the music ends.”

The Munshid is also an author, masha'Allah.

I'm told you can contact Nur al-Habib Productions if you want to order the cd; it will cost roughly $25 CAD including shipping/handling. I know it's kind of expensive but they don't have any distributors in N. America. Regardless, it will be money well spent insha'Allah.