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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Yahya An-Ninowi

The Awliya of Allah – Part 1

Jakallah khair Arshad Mahmood

Arabic: Alaa Inna Awliyaa Allahi La Hawfun Alaihim Wa’laa Hum Yahzanoon. Aladeena Amanoo Wa kanoo Yataqoon…… [Surah Yunus, Verses 62- 63]

Translation: Truly, the Awliya of Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala) do not fear nor are they sad. Are those who believe and fear Allah. 62-63

For them is good tidings in the world and the afterlife 64.

The shaykh asks “who are the Awliya of Allah and how does one become one?”

The Quran does not give you a situation, without giving you the key to solving the situation….

So who are they? Those who believe and they have Taqwa.

If you look at society, it is divided into groups, e.g criminals, educated etc…

You see the people with good morals and character, they are also together, in the Masjids, people of knowledge, not only with their bodies but their souls too.

The Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] said, “The souls of human beings are like soldiers, those souls if they like each other are around each other”. Those that do not like each other, are far away from each other.

Luqman [Alaihis Salam] tells his son “You need to find the Awliya of Allah and love them, because maybe Allah looks in the heart of one of them, and sees your name there and forgives you because of them”.

The Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] once comes out to a Halaqa of the Sahaba [Radiallahu Anhum], and asks what are you doing?

They said “We do not sit, except to make Dhikr to Allah, and say Alhamdulilah, Allahu Akbar, Lailaha illalah…”

He [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] said “Only for Allah and nothing else made you sit?” They said, “Our beloved nothing made us sit but that.”

He said, “I have not asked you out of suspicion or anything, but Jibreel came to me and told me that Allah [Subhanahu Wa’taala] is proud of you.

The angels are honourable slaves of Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, they report what they see.

Another narration says, angels report to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, and say, there was a person amongst those who remembered you in a gathering, he just popped by, didn’t come for intention to remember you, and Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala says to them “because of them, I forgive him/her too”.

So look for these kinds of gatherings and people, so that Allah may forgive you for their Suhba [Companionship].

The Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] also mentions about finding good companionship, who is a good companion?

If you are with a good person, then you are like who sells perfume, if you don’t get anything else from them, at least you will smell good, but if you are with bad company then they will make you like them.

So be with those who have love for Allah [Subhanahu Wa’ta’ala], his Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] and his companions and his family.

A Bedouin once came to the Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] and asked about the day of judgement, and he [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] looked at him and asked “What have you prepared for it?”. He was overtaken by the question and said “I have not prepared much for it, except I thing, I love Allah and his Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam]. So he told him, “You are with who you love”.

Awliya is the plural for Wali and Wali comes from Wilaya. Wilaya means “Qurb” which means “closeness”. The opposite is “Aduw” which is enemy, and Aduw means “running away”. So the Aduw is far and Wali is close to Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ala].

It also means, the one who supports and loves or is faithful and loyal..

But the word Wali could mean many things….

As the Quran talks about “protectors of Zalimeen…” and some peoples Wali’s are the Shayateen. Hence you see people with rotten personalities.

Al Quran says, “The Mumineen are the Awliyas of one another…”

What does this Wilaya mean?

The Quran then goes on to say, “They encourage one another to promote good and forbid evil, they perform their salah, and pay their zakah, and obey Allah and his Messenger ….

So people are even a level above, and the Angels are their Awliya, they are loved by the angels…

The Quran says “Those who say, Allah is our lord, and then walk on a straight path”. The angels descend on them, and say “don’t be fearful, don’t be sad, just wait for the Jannah that you were promised. We are your Walis in the duniya and the akhira ….”

Those who are faithful, the angels tell them “this is not from us, but from the Ghafoor Ar-Rahim”.

In the battle of Badr, the Angels were the Awliya of the army of the prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam].

The greatest of the Awliya are the Prophets [Alaihimus Salam] and then “The Sahaba [Radiallahu Anhum Ajma’een] and then the Ahlul Bayt [Radiallahu Anhum Ajma’een] …..

The Mufasireen [Imam Qurtubi/Razi and others] mention regarding some verses in Surah Al Ma’idah the ayahs translate to, “Your wali is Allah and his Prophet and those who believe, those who are praying and give Zakah while they are making rukhu”.

They explain that a man came to the Masjid of the prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] and asked for charity and nobody gave it to him, as all those present were very very poor.

After exhausting his efforts, he makes a dua loudly “Oh Allah, be my witness, that I asked people in the Masjid of your Prophet and nobody gave me anything”.

In these moments, Abu Dhar [Radiallahu Anhu] says “Ali [Radiallahu Anhu] was praying, and when he heard this dua from this man, he took his ring off and threw it to this man as Sadaqa” and then these verses were revealed.

Imam Suytui [Radiallahu Anhu] has a different opinion as to who the Awliya of Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ala] are;

He says, “The Awliya of Allah are those, if you see them, Allah is mentioned, and if they are absent, they are missed and if they come Allah will be mentioned”.

There are 2 kinds of Dhikr;

a) Dhikr of the Khaaliq [Creator].
b) Dhikr of the Khalq [Creation].

The Dhikr of Allah [Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala] is the cure of all diseases.

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala did not mention anything of much, but Dhikr.. In the Quran he often talks about perform Salah, Hajj, Zakah, but when he talks about Dhikr, he says “do it in abundance [Shaykh gives many references from the Quran]”.

So what kinds of Wilaya are we talking about?

There is 2 kinds;

a) Wilaya A’ama [general, as referred to in the Quran]

b) Wilaya Khaasa [those who are close to Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ala]]

The scholars mention that the “Wali Khasa” is the one whose heart is busy with the Nur of the knowledge of Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ala], so that when he talks, he talks the words of Allah, when he listens, he listens to the Ayahs of Allah, when he walks, he walks with the service of the Deen of Allah, when he talks, he talks about the greatness of Allah, when he thinks, he thinks about the glory of Allah, when he does, he does it for Allah, when he takes, he takes for Allah, when he spends, he spends for Allah…….

He is for Allah, by Allah, with Allah, to Allah…….

The scholars mention, he is disconnected from the creation and connected to the creator.

Then these Awliya have to go through these steps of not seeing their deeds and actions.

Often people go to the Masjid to pray, and their prayer becomes big to them, they feel “Alhamdulilah, I pray, I fast….”. Even if they don’t tell people, they tell themselves and feel proud within themselves. They take for granted that the reward is added to their balance.

The Awliya of Allah have gone beyond this, Al Quran mentions that when these Awliya do deeds, their heart is worried as to whether their deeds will be accepted or not.

Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz mentions “On the day of judgement, if one caller stands and says that everyone is going to Heaven, except one, I would think that person is me.”

You see these people in their dua, salah, siyaam and have the utmost sincerity as to whether their deeds will be accepted or thrown on their faces. They worry when they reach day of judgement, will their book of deeds have anything it in or will it be empty.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani [Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhu] mentions 4 steps in the remembrance of Allah swt.

1. There are those who are absent from the Dhikr, their mind is on those things that will perish them.

2. There are those who are absent in Dhikr, they pray , do dhikr, but their mind is elsewhere, worrying about their business etc. Some plan their day in their prayer…..Their Istighfar also needs an Istighfar, the point is not quantity but quality.

[The shaykh never mentioned the other two]

Belief and Taqwa are 2 conditions necessary for becoming a Wali of Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ala].

What is Taqwa?

Scholars mentioned 4 things;

1. Being fearful from Allah.

2. You work with the Quran. In order words, someone who is ignorant, can not have Taqwa as they don’t have a relationship with the Quran, and that is important.

3. That you are pleased with what Allah [Subhanahu Wa tala] gave you.

4. Preparation for the day of departure.

If these are present, you may become amongst the Awliya, but it requires dedication and commitment, as you need to be detached from the duniya and attached to the akhira.

A Sahabi [Radiallahu Anhu] came to the prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam] and said “when I am worshipping Allah as though I am seeing him, I see the people of Jannah visiting one another, and the people of Jahanam blaming each other”. So the Prophet [Sallalalahu Alaihi Wa Alihi Wassalam]. Said, “Now that you know, now stick to it”.

Fear usually happens, for something that may happen in the future, and sadness happens for something that happened in the past or present. So when Allah [Subhanu Wa ta’ ala] says “there is no fear on them, nor will they be sad”. It means that Allah’s [Subhanu Wa ta’ ala] love, protection and mercy is with them”.

Amongst the worst fear of the Awliya is “sinning” and amongst the Miracles of the Awliya is that “Allah protects them from sinning”.

Imam Raazi [Mufasir] mentions in his Tafsir that “Ibrahim Al Hawas went out to the desert with one of his students and they were mentioning Allah and all of a sudden, some vicious animals came close and his student ran to the tree, while his teacher just stayed reciting the Quran, and the animals just sat in front of him listening for hours and hours , and his teacher didn’t even see them.
The next day we are walking and “a mosquito is flying” and the shaykh is scared of it.

So his student asks him “Subhanallah Shaykh, what is this? Yesterday you had animals that eat people, and you were not scared and today a little mosquito scares you?”

The shaykh replied, “yesterday I was in the Dhikr of Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ ala] and my power was given to me by Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ ala], and now I am on my own.

Ibn Katheer mentions on the liberation of Africa, “There was a valley of death, so anyone who crossed it, would be killed by animals, as it is filled with snakes etc”.
The liberator of the Muslim army went and stood at the edge of the valley, and said, “Oh inhabitants of the valley, tomorrow I plan to cross with my soldiers, if you stand in front, I will wipe you all away”. The narrators say, “All the snakes were seen moving out of the way”.

The Ayah continues, they are given good news of this life…

Everyone wants happiness, some have plenty of wealth, but still not happy, why?

Allah [Subhanahu Wa ta’ ala] says “who does not do my Dhikr, will have a life filled with hardships”.

Imam Junaid [Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhu] said “We have a kind of happiness, that if the kings knew we had, they would fight us for it with their swords”.

A poet says “The true happiness in life is being closeness to the Fuqara [those needy to Allah only, not necessarily poor], they are the actual Sultans, and Ameers and Kings, and therefore, be around them, and have Adaab when you talk to them, and leave your Nafs behind, and watch your heart, and notice that he pleasure of Allah will be revealed to those who are with them”.

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