Manners of visiting the resting place of the Prophet ﷺ

By Imām ibn al-Hājj al-Mālikī [d. 737 AH]
Translated by Suraqah al-Tufahi

As for what has been mentioned regarding visiting the grave of the Master of the first and last ﷺ, then all that has been mentioned should be increased by many folds, meaning, in humility, brokenness, and tranquility, because he ﷺ is the one who will intercede and have his intercession accepted, the one whose intercession will not be rejected. The one who intends him (in their journey of visitation) will not be let down, nor will the one who disembarks upon his ﷺ place, nor the one who seeks his ﷺ aid or refuge (wa lā man ista’āna aw istaghātha bihi ), for he ﷺ, is the pole of perfection and the crown jewel of the kingdom. Allāh the Exalted said in His mighty Book:

“He has certainly seen the greater signs from His Lord.’’

Our scholars (may Allāh the Exalted have mercy upon them) have stated: He ﷺ saw his image, for he is the crown jewel of the kingdom. So, whoever makes tawassul through him ﷺ, seeks aid through him (istaghātha bihi), or seeks his needs through him ﷺ, then he will not be refused or disappointed. [1]

Ibn al-Ḥājj further said:

Our scholars (may Allāh the Exalted have mercy upon them) said: The visitor should cause himself to feel as if he is standing in front of him ﷺ just as he would be in his life, for there is no difference between his death and life, meaning, in his witnessing of his Ummah, and his knowing of their situations, intentions, resolves, and inner thoughts. That is (all) clear to him ﷺ without there being any concealment whatsoever. If someone said (in objection to this): These attributes are particular to the Master (Allāh) ﷻ, the response is: All of those who have relocated to the hereafter from among the believers know the situation of the living predominately. That has occurred to no end (found) in accounts that have been (reported) to have occurred. It is possible that their knowledge of that is when the actions of the living are presented to them, and there are other possibilities to it (as well). These matters are hidden from us. The truthful one ﷺ informed about the presentation of deeds to them (the dead) so it must occur. The knowledge of how it occurs is not known and Allāh ﷻ knows best about it, and it is sufficient as a clarification, the statement of the Prophet ﷺ: “The believer sees with the light of Allāh.’’

The light of Allāh ﷻ is not veiled by anything. This is regarding the living among the believers, so what about those among them in the other worldly abode? The Imām, Abū ‘Abdallāh al-Qurṭubī said in his al-Tadhkirah: (It has been narrated that) Ibn al- Mubārak narrated with his chain to al-Minhāl ibn ‘Amr who narrated that he heard Sa’īd ibn al-Musayyib say: ‘There is not a day, except that on it, the actions of the Ummah are presented to the Prophet ﷺ, both in the morning and the evening. So, he knows them by their deeds and appearances, and it is due to that he ﷺ will bear witness against them. Allāh ﷻ said:

“So how will it be when We bring every nation with a witness and bring you as a witness over these’’

It has proceeded, that the deeds are presented to Allāh ﷻ on Thursday and Monday and (the deeds are presented) to the Prophets and fathers and mothers on Friday and there is no contradiction, for it is possible that it is specific to the Prophet ﷺ that the deeds are presented to him ﷺ every day and on Friday with the other Prophets. (end quote from al-Qurṭubī) [2]

Further on, Ibn al-Ḥājj said:

So when he visits him ﷺ, if he is able to (remain standing) and not sit, then this is better. If he was unable, then he can sit with proper decorum, respect, and honor. When the visitor is seeking the fulfillment of his needs and forgiveness of his sins, he might not need to mention that with his tongue. Nay, he may bring that to presence in his heart while he is standing in front of him ﷺ, because he ﷺ, knows his needs and benefits more than him, and is more merciful to him than himself, and more caring towards him than his own relatives. He said ﷺ: “The likeness of me and all of you is like moths that are rushing into the fire while I am standing to prevent you from it.”, or as he ﷺ said. This applies to the Prophet ﷺ at all times- meaning in tawassul through him and seeking the fulfillment of one’s needs by way of his rank with his Lord ﷻ. Whoever is unable to undertake a visit to him ﷺ with his body, then let him intend it at all times with his heart, and let him bring present to his heart that he is there in front of him seeking intercession through him unto the One who bestowed (His) bounty (Allāh) through him, as was said by the Imām, Abū Muḥammad ibn al-Sayyid al-Baṭalayūsī (may Allāh have mercy upon him) in his line (of poetry) that he sent to him:

Unto you I flee from my slips and sins,
and when I meet Allāh you are the one sufficient for me

Visiting your grave that is visited by foot
is my longing and desire if my Lord wills

So if visitation of him is prevented by my body,
then I am not prevented from visiting him with my heart

To you oh Messenger of Allāh I send, from myself,
a salutation of a believer and lover.  [3]

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[1] Al-Madkhal 1/258
[2] Ibid 1/259
[3] Ibid 1/264

Tawassul (Intercession) Through The Prophet ﷺ and The Awliyā (Saints)

By Imām ibn al-Hājj al-Mālikī [d. 737 AH]
Translated by Suraqah al-Tufahi

After quoting the narration of the tawassul of ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb through ‘Abbās (May Allāh be pleased with them), Ibn al-Ḥājj said:

Then he is to perform tawassul through the people of those graves, I mean: through the righteous from among them in fulfilling his needs and forgiving his sins. Then he should supplicate for himself, his parents, his teachers, his relatives, and the inhabitants of those graves, and the dead from among the Muslims and their living and their offspring until the Day of Judgment and those who are not present from his brothers. He should turn to Allāh the Exalted in supplicating at their place (of burial) and frequently make tawassul through them unto Allāh the Exalted, because He, the Glorified and Exalted chose them, honored them, and ennobled them. So, just as He caused them to be a source of benefit in this world, so it will be in the hereafter, nay, even more. So, whoever has a need to be fulfilled, then let him go to them and make tawassul through them, for they are the intermediaries between Allāh the Exalted and His creation.

It has been established in the Sacred Law, and Allāh the Exalted knows what He has vouchsafed to them of (Divine) care. That is abundant and well known. The people have not ceased, among the scholars and elders, from elder to elder, both East and West, deriving blessings by way of visitation of their graves, and they find the blessings of that both in the sensory, and spiritual (ḥissan wa ma’nan). The Shaykh, the Imām, Abū ‘Abdallāh Ibn Nu’mān (may Allāh have mercy upon him) mentioned in his book titled: safīnat al-najā’ li ahl al-iltijā’ , regarding the miracles of the Shaykh, Abūl Najā’. Speaking about this, he said:

“It has been realised by those who possess insight and consideration, that visiting the graves of the righteous is beloved for the sake of obtaining blessings along with reflection. The blessings of the righteous flow after their death, just as it did during their life. Supplicating at the graves of the righteous and seeking intercession through them has been acted upon by our verifying scholars from the Imāms of the religion.”

{al-Madkhal; 1/255}

The Obligation to Follow One of the Four Schools of Thought

By Shaykh Murābit al-Hājj al-Mālikī
Translated by: Hamza Yusuf

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Amongst the most important replies that I have given, is my reply concerning the one who has deviated to the point where he censures the importance of studying the branches [furu’] of jurisprudence, and we seek refuge in Allah from the deviation of such a wandering deviant. Would that he simply had claimed independent reasoning (ijtihad) for himself only, and Allah is his reckoner, but abandoned the call of Muslims to leave that which is incumbent upon them. In our reply to such a one, we make mention what the scholars of the methodological bases of Islamic jurisprudence (usuli’un) and the Imams of jurisprudence themselves have said about such a matter. As for my labelling him a deviant, it is only because he has desired to impose upon common people the precious rank of absolute independent reasoning [ijtihad], about which Muhammad an-Nabigha  said,

And ijtihad in the land of the Moroccans,
The western phoenix has taken to flight with it.

I say in reply, that the following of qualified scholarship (taqlid) is an obligation on anyone other than an absolute mujtahid. I shall make mention of all his prerequisites if Allah wills. [Sidi Abdullah Ould Hajj Ibrahim] has said in his Maraqi as-Sa’ud:

“[taqlid] is necessary for other than the one who has achieved the rank of absolute ijtihad. Even if he is a limited [mujtahid] who is unable [to perform absolute ijtihad].”

Commenting on this line, [Sidi Abdullah] said in Nashru al-bunud,

“It means that taqlid is an obligation on anyone who is not an absolute mujtahid, even if he has achieved the limited rank of ijtihad muqayyad . . . [until he says], ‘And ask the people of the reminder, if you yourselves do not know.’”

By using the line of Muhammad an-Nabigha above, I am in no way claiming that all ijtihad has been severed in every land; how [could I say such a thing] when [Sidi Abdullah] says in Maraqi as-sa’ud:

“The earth will never be void of a mujtahid scholar until its very foundations shake.”

He also said,

“[Regarding] the necessity of binding to a specific madhhab, the [scholars] have mentioned its obligation upon anyone falling short [of the conditions of ijtihad].”

He says in Nashru al-bunud,

“It means that it is incumbent for whoever falls short of achieving the rank of absolute ijtihad to follow a particular madhhab.”

Again, in Maraqi as-Sa’ud, Sidi Abdullah says,

“The consensus today is on the four, and all have prohibited following [any] others.”

He says in Nashru al-bunud,

“This means that the consensus of the scholars today is on the four schools of thought, and I mean by the schools of Malik, Abu Hanifa, Shafi’i and Ahmad. Indeed, all of the scholars have prohibited following any other school of an independent and absolute mujtahid since the eighth century when the school of Dawud adh-Dhahiri died out and until the 12th Century and all subsequent ones.”

In the chapter concerning inferential reasoning, from Maraqi as-sa’ud, [Sidi Abdullah] says,

“As for the one who is not a mujtahid, then basing his actions on primary textual evidence [Qur’an and hadith] is not permissible.”

He says in Nashru al-bunud,

“It means that it is prohibited for other than a mujtahid to base his actions upon a direct text from either the Book or the Sunna even if its transmission was sound because of the sheer likelihood of there being other considerations such as abrogation, limitations, specificity to certain situations, and other such matters that none but the mujtahid fully comprehends with precision. Thus, nothing can save him from Allah the Exalted excepted following a mujtahid. Imām al-Qarāfī1 says,

‘And beware of doing what some students do when they reason directly from the hadith, and yet they don’t know their soundness, let alone what has been mentioned [by the Imams] concerning the subtleties involved in them; by doing this, they went astray and led others astray. And whoever interprets a verse or hadith in a manner that deviates from its intended meaning without proof [dalil] is a kafir.’”

As for the conditions of the absolute and independent ijtihad, they are mentioned in the Maraqi as-sa’ud in the following line and what follows:

“And that [word ‘faqīh2]  is synonymous with the [word] ‘mujtahid’ coupled with those things which bear upon [him] the burden of responsibility,

Such as his being of extreme intelligence by nature, and there is some debate about one who is known to reject juristic analogy [qiyas]

He knows the [juristic] responsibilities through intellectual proofs unless a clear transmitted proof indicates otherwise.

[Sidi Abdullah] says [in his commentary] Nashru al-bunud,

“This means that among the conditions of ijtihad is that [the mujtahid] knows that he must adhere to the intellectual proof which is the foundational condition [al-bara’atu al-asliyya3]  until a transmitted proof from a sacred law indicates otherwise.”

He then goes on to mention the other conditions of a mujtahid:

[The sciences of] grammar, prosody, philology, combined with those of usul and rhetoric he must master.

According to the people of precision, [he must know] where the judgements can be found without the condition of having memorized the actual texts.

[All of the above must be known] according to a middle ranked mastery at least. He must also know those matters upon which there is consensus.

[Moreover, he must know] things such as the condition of single hadiths and what carries the authority of great numbers of transmissions; also [knowledge of] what is sound and what is weak is necessary.

Furthermore, what has been abrogated and what abrogates, as well as the conditions under which a verse was revealed or a hadith was transmitted is a condition that must be met.

The states of the narrators and the companions [must also be known]. Therefore, you may follow anyone who fulfils these conditions mentioned above according to the soundest opinion.

So, consider all of the above-mentioned, and may Allah have mercy upon you, and [may you] see for yourself whether your companion is characterized by such qualities and fulfils these conditions—and I highly doubt it. More likely, he is just pointing people to himself in his demands that the people of this age take their judgements directly from the Book and Sunna. If, on the other hand, he does not possess the necessary conditions, then further discussion is useless.

In Muhammad ‘Illish’s, Fath al-‘Ali al-Malik, there are many strong rebukes for those who wish to force people to abandon the study of the judicial branches and take directly from the Book and the Sunna. The actual text of the question put to him is as follows:

“What do you say about someone who was following one of the four Imams, may Allah the Exalted be pleased with them, and then left claiming that he could derive his judgements directly form the Qur’an and the soundly transmitted hadiths, thus leaving the books of jurisprudence and inclining towards the view of Ahmad bin Idris? Moreover, he says to the one who clings to the speech of the Imams and their followers, “I say to you ‘Allah and His Messenger say’, and you reply ‘Malik said’ and ‘Ibn al-Qasim said’ or ‘Khalil said.’”

To this, Imam ‘Illish replies:

“My answer to this all this is as follows: Praise be to Allah, and Prayer and Safety be upon our Master Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah. It is not permissible for a common person to abandon following the four Imams and take directly from the textual sources of the Qur’an and the hadiths for the simple reason that this entails a great many conditions that have been clarified in the books of usul. Moreover, these conditions are rarely met by the great scholars, especially in these last days in which Islam has become a stranger just as it began a stranger.”

Ibn ‘Uyyana, may Allah be pleased with him, has said,

“The hadiths are a source of error except for the jurists.”

What he means is that people, other than the scholars, might interpret a tradition based on an apparent meaning, and yet [the hadith may] have another interpretation based on some other hadith that clarifies the meaning or some proof that remains hidden [to the common people]. After a long discussion, he remarks,

“That as for their saying, ‘How can you leave clear Qur’anic verses and sound hadiths and follow the Imams in their ijtihads, which have a clear probability of error,’”

His answer to them is as follows:

“Surely the following of our [rightly guided] Imams is not abandoning the Qur’anic verses or the sound hadiths; it is the very essence of adhering to them and taking our judgements from them. This is because the Qur’an has not come down to us except by means of these very Imams [who are more worthy of following] by virtue of being more knowledgeable than us in [the sciences of] the abrogating and abrogated, the absolute and the conditional, the equivocal and the clarifying, the probabilistic and the plain, the circumstances surrounding revelation and their various meanings, as well as their possible interpretations and various linguistic and philological considerations, [not to mention] the various other ancillary sciences [involved in understanding the Qur’an] needed.

“Also, they took all of that from the students of the companions (tabi’in) who received their instruction from the companions themselves, who received their instructions from the Lawgiver himself, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, divinely protected from every mistake, who bore witness that the first three generations of Muslims would be ones of virtue and righteousness. Furthermore, the prophetic traditions have also reached us through their means given that they were also more knowledgeable than us through their means given that they were also more knowledgeable than those who came after them concerning the rigorously authenticated (sahih), the well authenticated (hasan), and the weak (da’if) channels of transmission, as well as the marfu’u4, mursal5, mutawatir6, ahad7, mu’dal8 and gharid9 transmissions.

“Thus, as far as this little band of men is concerned, there is only one of two possibilities: either they are attributing ignorance to Imams whose knowledge is considered by consensus to have reached human perfection as witnessed in several traditions of the truthful Lawgiver, upon him be prayers and peace, or they are actually attributing misguidance and lack of din to Imams who are all from the best of generations by the testimony of the magnificent Messenger himself, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Surely, it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts in our breasts.

As for their saying to the one who imitates Malik, for example, “We say to you ‘Allah says’ or ‘the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, says’ and you reply, ‘Malik says’, or ‘Ibn al-Qasim says’, or ‘Khalil says’, for example,” our response is that the follower who says, “Malik says . . . etc.,” means that, “Malik says based on his deep understanding of the Word of Allah, or of the words of the Messenger, or of those firmly adhering to the actions of the companions, or of the tabi’in who understood clearly the Word of Allah and the word of the Messenger of Allah or took their example from the actions of His Messenger.” And the meaning of [a follower] saying “Ibn al-Qasim said . . .” is that he has [faithfully] transmitted what Malik said based on his understanding of the Word of Allah or of what Ibn al-Qasim himself understood from the word of Allah the Most Exalted. And the meaning of him saying, “Khalil said . . . .”, for example, is that he is transmitting only from those [Imams] aforementioned. As for Malik and Ibn al-Qasim, they are both Imams whose spiritual and judicial authority is agreed upon by unanimous consensus of this Umma; and they are both from the best of generations.

As for the one who leaves their leadership and says, “Allah said and His Messenger said . . . ,” he has relied solely on his own understanding despite the fact that he is incapable of having any precision in the verses and hadiths that he quotes since he is unable even to provide chains of transmission [with any authority], let alone that he lacks knowledge concerning the abrogated, the absolute and the conditional, the ambiguous and the clarifying, the apparent and the textual, the general and the specific, the dimensions of the Arabic and the cause for revelation, the various linguistic considerations, and other various ancillary sciences needed. So, consider for yourself which is preferable: the word of a follower who simply quotes the understanding of Malik, an Imam by consensus—or the word of this ignoramus who said “Allah said and His Messenger said . . . .” But it is not the sight that goes blind, but rather the hearts in our breasts.

Furthermore, know that the origin of this deviation is from the Dhahiriyya10 who appeared in Andalucia [Muslim Spain] and whose power waxed from a period until Allah obliterated all traces of them until this little band of men set about to revive their beliefs. Imam al-Barzuli said, “The first one ever to attack the Mudawwana11 was Sa’id bin al-Haddad .”

If you consider carefully the above-mentioned texts, you will realize that the one who censures you from following [the Imams] is truly a deviant. And I am using the word “deviant” to describe them only because the scholars [before me] have labelled this little band and their view (madhhab) as deviant. Moreover, you should know that those who condemn your adherence to the Imams have been fully refuted by Muhammad al-Khadir bin Mayyaba  with the most piercing of refutations, and he himself called them, in his book, “the people of deviation and heterodoxy.” He called his book, Refuting the people of deviation of heterodoxy who attack the following [taqlid] of the Imams of independent reasoning, and I used to have a copy but no longer do. So, my brother, I seriously warn you from following the madhhab of these people and even from sitting in their company, unless there is an absolute necessity, and certainly from listening to anything they have to say, because the scholars have declared their ideas deviant. Ibn al-Hajj  says in his book, al-Madkhal,

“;Umar ibn al-‘Aziz said, ‘Never give one whose heart is deviant access to your two ears, for surely you never know what may find fixity in you.’”

I ask Allah to make you and me from those who listen to matters and follow the best of them.

Murabtal Haaj, Mauritania
Source: Masud Ahmed Khan’s Blog

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Footnotes

  1. Ahmad ibn Idris Shihabudin as-Sanhaji al-Qarafi al-Maliki was born in Egypt in the seventh Century, and died there in the year 684. He was one of the greatest Maliki scholars who ever lived and is especially known for his work in methodology and law (usul al-fiqh). He was a master of the Arabic language and has remarkable works in grammar. His book adh-Dhakhira is a magisterial 14 volume work recently published in the Emirates, that looks at Maliki fiqh with proofs from usuli sources. He is buried in Qarafi in Egypt near Imam as-Shafi’i. May Allah have mercy on them both.
  2. Sidi Abdullah says in his commentary on this line that the faqih is synonymous with mujtahid in the science of usul. There are different types of faqih. A faqih according to the scholars of usul is anyone who has achieved the rank of ijtihad. According to the scholars of furu’u, a faqih is anyone who has reached the level of knowledge in which he can give valid juristic opinion. This latter definition is important considering endowments that are given to fuqaha. See Nashur al-bunud `ala maraqi as-sa’udkitab al-ijtihad fi al-furu’u (1409 Hijrah. Beirut: Maktabat al-Kutub. p.309)
  3. The foundational condition is that a human being is not asked by Allah to do anything other than those things which have a firm proof through the transmission of the prophets, peace be upon them, and that the human being is only accountable for those things in which there is clear responsibility. All other matters are considered permissible because of the lack of a proof indicating their impermissibility.
  4. The transmission (sanad) goes to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the hadith came from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).
  5. tabi’i related it from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); a companion (sahabah) is missing from the line of the transmission.
  6. The hadith comes from so many sources that it is an absolute proof.
  7. A hadith, that at some point in the line of transmission, has only one narrator.
  8. Two people in a row are missing in the chain of narrators.
  9. The narrator of the hadith is trustworthy, but no one else related the hadith.
  10. The Dhahiriyya followed Daw’ud ad-Dhahiri’s madhhab.
  11. Mudawwana: Imam Malik’s work of fiqh.

Related Articles:
Understanding the Four Madhhabs – Abdal-Hakim Murad
What is a Madhhab and Why is it Necessary to Follow one? – Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Faith & Reason: Emotion is not Enough

By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

“When those bombs exploded in London, I felt my faith itself rocked,” confessed a friend of mine. Many people find their beliefs shaken by the flow of events, in their own lives or in society. Why? It would appear that most people’s religious commitment is based largely upon emotion— rather than knowledge, understanding, or spiritual realisation. The danger with emotions is that they are fickle. The “heart” is termed qalb in Arabic because it is given to taqallub— “turning over completely”. Thus, a heart only emotionally attached to religion can suddenly find itself swept away by worldly concerns, or shaken and left without religious inspiration.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that,

“Whomever Allāh wishes well for, He gives deep understanding (fiqh) in matters of religion.” {Bukhārī 71, Muslim 1037}

This fiqh (deep understanding) is knowledge that is coupled with understanding —‘ilm is to know something; fiqh is to know something deeply, with understanding. Imām Nasafī, the great Hanafī jurist and exegete, explained that this deep understanding has a transformative effect—if true, it invariably results in action, for the one who truly understands acts in accordance with their realisation. This acting—with the hearts and limbs —is likely to be consistent and steadfast, because it results from deep understanding. On the other hand, action based on the impulses of emotion is like student activism—one sees a flurry of activity for a period of time, and then it ends when one “moves on” in life with marriage, a career, and related concerns.

Even more dangerous than loss of religious commitment is the losing of one’s very faith. Imām al-Laqqānī says in Jawhara at-Tawhīd:

اذ كل من قلد في التوحيد   ✻    ايمانه لم يخل من ترديد

[Whoever believes through mere following / Their faith is not safe from creeping doubts.]

In the turbulent world we live in, many things can happen that challenge one’s beliefs. Faith based on emotional attachment to the way of one’s parents or community is easily eroded by creeping doubts. Often, these doubts grow because one is unable to respond to the intellectual and spiritual challenges one faces as an individual and citizen in a global community where Muslims live under questioning eyes.

A similar thing often happens to Muslims in academia. It is no doubt important for Muslims to get involved in academia, and to be active participants in the intellectual debates of our age—whether related to Islam, or more general.

However, when Muslims enter academia unequipped—but with the best of intentions and the noblest of goals—they put their religious commitment and very soundness of faith on the line. The challenges are not simple; and simple emotional attachment and religious goodwill isn’t enough.

What happens time and again is that such Muslims either succumb to prevalent academic currents that run counter to basic Islamic understanding, or become disillusioned and fail to make a meaningful contribution.

Imām Taqī al-Dīn al-Subkī mentioned that there are three conditions for engaging in the study of scholastic theology:

(a) Sound knowledge of the religious sciences, to know what is right;
(b) Sharp intellect, to be able to reason soundly and engage others’ arguments;
(c) A strong religious practice, so that the intellectual challenges one faces do not spiritually drain and weaken one.

These three conditions are critical for Muslims living in the modern world, if they wish to base their religious commitment on solid ground.

The question arises: how is this done, realistically? Here, we have to turn to our tradition. The transmission of our religion and its preservation has been through studying with scholars, and keeping their company.

This is the means of gaining knowledge with understanding—knowledge itself may be gained haphazardly through books, but understanding can’t. The Prophet ﷺ said,

“Knowledge is only through learning (ta‘allum).”
{Haytamī, Majma ‘al- zawā’id I.340, from Bazzār, with a trustworthy chain of narrators}

Learning (ta‘allum) entails studying under a teacher (mu‘allim). This gives one understanding, a living example of the knowledge one gains, and also a guide to turn to when confused. After all, “Asking is the cure for confusion,” as the Prophet ﷺ told us {Abū Dawūd 336, Ibn Mājah 572, with a sound chain}.

This means of learning also ensures that one’s understanding is well-rounded, and balanced—without the extremism of emotional calls to merely outward activism, for learning is a calming process that imbues one with the capacity for restraint and reflection. Living examples of piety and faith stir one towards spiritual transformation. And, ultimately, it is only the spiritual transformation that results from fiqh—deep understanding that results in consistent action—that sustains religious commitment.

Seekers Guidance

Serving Others

This was delivered by Habīb Muhammad ‘Abdur Rahmān as-Saqqāf in Bradford on 1st December 2012.

In the Name of Allāh, Most Merciful and Compassionate
All praise to Allāh, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He.

All praise be to Allāh for the prayers that will cause His gifts to shower upon us and by which the hearts can be prepared for His gaze so that they can turn towards His Exaltedness. We thank Him for His immense gifts that have come to us in succession because of His Beloved Mustafa. Blessings and peace be upon him and his family and those who follow them in excellence.

Allāh brought us together from morning to day until the evening. We reminded each other of things pertaining to our relationship to Allāh. We learnt certain rulings from the laws of Allāh, Glory be to Him. And the truth Glory be to Him during all of this was watching what was going on in your hearts. You have to know that there is an immense wisdom as to why these gatherings are organised. These wisdoms are also coupled with the intentions of people who are truthful to Allāh and these intentions benefit people in this world and the next. There are networks and connections that are due to that, that whoever connects to them will be connected back to the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ. In this gathering there are lifelines that are hanging above you. Whoever grabs on and holds onto them will be lifted by them to the higher worlds. So they are tied to a link, the lowest from it which is down here and the highest is with the Prophet of Allah ﷺ. Whoever connects to that link is like a bead on a string of prayer beads. If you move one bead, all the beads begin to revolve together. If you shake the highest bead, the bead at the bottom of the bead will also move. So all the movements that are going on here are connected by the links of the chain of movement all the way back to the Messenger of Allāh. And in the higher worlds and angelic worlds and spiritual worlds there are movements going on because of our movements. There are angels that hover over your heads here and there are rows and rows of angels all the way to the first heaven. You can’t see them because your intellects can’t cope with that. But they are here, they are present. These circles revolve from above you all the way to the heavens like a column of light, an immense column of light. All because you’re gathered for the sake of Allāh, Glory be to Him. And what we want to come out of this is that we leave these gatherings and we are among the hosts of Allāh.

We carry this faith of Allāh and we make a firm resolve to carry out our covenant with Allāh. The purpose of these gatherings isn’t that we just say that we were in itikaf (retreat) and went back home but rather it is that you take it upon yourself to carry this trust. And this trust is transferred from breast to breast. You see these phones and these other technological gadgets in your hand; do you see how you can transfer images and information from one gadget to another?  It’s because all these devices are connected to the internet and because they’re all connected in this immense way they can transfer information from one to the other. Do you think these devices are greater than the spirits of Allāh’s righteous servants? The hearts of the righteous people, their hearts are connected to the network of Allāh’s people and it’s connected to the highest angelic circle but some devices are not connected. Some devices are switched off so they need to be put back on and some just need to seek a password key. To do this, let your hearts gather together with us. Don’t think the one speaking in front of you is just another human being there in front you but rather connect to an immense great lineage and an immense bloodline that connects you all the way back to the Prophet of Allāh ﷺ. This is deputisation on behalf of the master of those who call to Allāh. Were it not for his concern, were it not for his solicitude towards you, I would not be here with you. Were it not for the fire in his heart, we would never have believed. We didn’t leave our families, loved ones and companions except that we wanted his light to reach you and to pass onto you the lifelines of connecting to him so the ones that can become felicitous through you can become felicitous. So those of you, who can become qualified, become qualified to carry this trust. I see hearts among the men and the women who have began to become prepared and there are lights flickering in them and I see lights racing to reach them. They will not leave this itikaf (retreat) except their hearts have connected to this lineage and I wish it was all of us, that none of us leave here except for that they are qualified to be deputies of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ.

You have heard the words of Shaykh Haroon, we are not concerned about numbers and so and so and so and so. Our concern is for the whole community. That man who is standing there now in the bar holding his glass of beverage. We are concerned about him and we wish for him that the light of guidance reaches his heart and if our spirits were held ransom we would have given them. And also the women who are taking on jobs that are not befitting a woman and the man who is sitting their plotting for the downfall of the Muslim and who fights our faith likewise we wish for them to be guided.

We are working hard to ensure His felicity.  If the cost of His felicity was for us to give our spirit, for us to sacrifice our souls, it would be nothing because to see that happen would bring joy to the Master of Creation because that brings joy to the heart of our Beloved and the joy of my beloved, Muhammad ﷺ, for me is worth this world and the next. And I would love that at that moment that the Prophet in his barzakh is shown that so and so was guided because of me. That he become joyous because of it and his joy cannot be valued in my eye and is priceless. With his joy I forget the palaces of paradise and the ladies of Paradise and I forget the rivers of honey, water and milk. And in his joy I forget the palaces of the highest place in Paradise because his love is beloved to me than any other. It is more beloved to me than this lower world to the higher world because he is the beloved of my Lord. Do you know what it means to be the beloved of the Lord? Allāh did not love anyone like He loved him nor did He bring anyone as close to His presence as He brought him. You will see wonders on the Day of Judgement when he prostrates Himself before Allāh. Allāh will say to him, “My Beloved, Muhammad raise your head. Do not prolong your prostration. Ask what you wish of me. Let those you wish enter the garden. Intercede for whom you wish. Show compassion for those you want to show compassion to. Your door is open, nothing is barred for you.” At that point, you lose your minds. At that point creation will be left in madness. Creation will see things that were not in their minds and in their ability to conceive. They’ll see great compassion. They’ll see an expansive heart which spills out with gifts. He doesn’t forget anyone from his community.  He’ll remember the ones that were rebellious. He’ll remember those that fornicate. He’ll remember the murderers. He’ll remember those who were far away. And he’ll remember even those who had an atom’s weight of faith in their hearts. He’ll continue to prostrate to Allāh, one prostration after the other. And the angels will be left bewildered. And the Prophets will be bewildered. What is this heart? What is this compassion? What is this rank before the Divine Presence? And all of this and what is hidden is even greater. And what’s between him and Allāh, no-one else knows. And what people will see of his station in Paradise is nothing compared to what his Lord gives him as election. He is the Beloved of the Great Lord.

So imagine the felicity of the one who is close to him. Look at the joy of the one who enters the garden shoulder-to-shoulder with him. Look at the joy of the delegations that go to his basin to drink from his blessed hands. If all of creation were to gather together and to tell you the joy and light in the heart of the one who drinks from his hand, they would not be able to describe it because it is the palm of Muhammad ﷺ. A palm about which Allāh said, “Those who swear their oath of allegiance to you, swear their oath of allegiance to Allāh. The hand of Allāh is over their hand. Whoever puts his hand in your hand then My hand is over his hand, O Muhammad.” A palm which the garden will not be open except with this palm.

Imam Suyuti said that the Prophet said, “I will go to the garden and I will knock the rings that are the door-knockers of Paradise. They will say who? And I will say Muhammad.”
This name has a resonance that is immense. This name causes the angels of Allāh to go into ecstasy. They are joyous on the Prophet’s day. They will say we will command the door to open before you. Before your hand touches the door of Paradise it is not going to be worth turning. Before you walk into it, it’ll be barred from all of creation. When they open it and he walks in the garden will expand and the leaves of its trees will begin to clap. The sights will be more splendid and its bright-eyed maidens will become more beautiful and the mansions of Paradise, their doors will begin to open and its scent will become more intense. What of joy for Muhammad!

How will you be with him when you go there? This is an immense joy. This is an immense gift. This night we will save for that night. Are you prepared to be with Muhammad ﷺ in his company? Are you ardent about being near to him? If you’re honest in that, it’ll show in you from now. Turn yourself earnestly and follow him. Don’t let anyone come before him in works. Don’t put anything in this world before his sunnah. We want to make his faith to come to life in our hearts.

We want his character to come back to life in his community. How many Non-Muslims are stopped from entering Islam because of the bad character of Muslims? How many people if they were to see noble character they would come to Islam? We want to be sound doors through which creation can come through to Allāh’s presence. Take your souls and lay them out on the floor and discipline them. Lower yourself in front of all of Allāh’s creatures. Smile to them. Speak to them about Allāh. Be callers to Allāh.

I don’t want to see you again except that many people have been guided at your hands. I want to come again and I want to see this place full of people who have been guided at your hands. Make intense resolutions, firm resolve in your hearts right now. Make intentions right now that you’re going to be of service to the faith of Muhammad ﷺ. This is a blessed hour and maybe it won’t be repeated again because the winds of Lordly Grace are coming to us right now. Every heart that is prepared right now will feel a wind come and take it. This is an opportunity to cleanse your hearts. Be prepared. Turn your gaze towards Allāh. He’s now looking at your hearts. Now ask that He chooses you and we turn to Him, imploring to Him to take you by the hand. And our hope in Allāh is that none of you will walk out of this place except as callers. That each of you will become ranks and the hosts of Allāh. Let’s be honest. Men. Women. This is a door that’s open for you this night and you remember what I’ve said to you. A door that has been opened and I hope that Allāh lets you all go through it so in this night we can become felicitous. I see eyes that are going to become anointed with seeing the Prophet and they are being prepared by being cleansed. Be prepared by being purified so they can behold the face of Muhammad ﷺ. How felicitous are those eyes? May Allāh ennoble us and you with seeing him and let our hope and place in this gathering be to him a pleasure. Let us be sincere in serving his Sacred Law and faith. Emulate him in his call, earnestly and sincerely.

O Allāh allow us to realise! O Allāh allow us to realise! O Allāh allow us to realise! You say that You are at your slave’s opinion of You let Him think of You what he wishes. My opinion is that each one of these people will have their names inscribed in the book of Your servants and we do not know of You my Lord that you would turn back on the hope of the one who hopes in You or You turn away the prayer of the one who calls You. We ask You Allāh to let rays of light come out of this gathering tonight to this whole country so that thousands of your servants can be guided by that light so that they can come out of the circle of denial to the circle of faith and from the circle of immorality to the circle of righteousness.

O Lord let that be realised!  O Lord ennoble us like that! O Lord gather me to them in the abode of ennoblement! O Lord let me see their faces in the seat of earnestness! O Lord gather me to them at the basin of your beloved, Muhammad! O Lord let us remember this gathering when we sit on the couches of paradise! O Most Generous of the Generous! O Most Compassionate of the Compassionate! I ask Allāh to bless those who are the facilitators of this gathering and whoever served this gathering and everyone presented in it. I ask You to give them blessing and total acceptance. And our brothers from Sa-adah, let them be felicitous and everyone doing good work in this country let them be felicitous, O my Lord! And everyone doing good work around the globe let them be felicitous, O Lord! O Most Noble of the Noble! O Most Merciful of the Merciful!

May Allāh make us felicitous in serving the faith of Muhammad, endless peace and blessings be upon him.
Allāhumma Āmīn

Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me. Please correct me when you spot any mistakes.

Taken from: http://zaranargis.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/serving-others-habib-muhammad-as-saqqaf/