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Friday, December 23, 2016

The reality of the path for the Murid




Once you take bayah/allegiance with a Sheikh the first thing you will come across is the murids. Now the murids can be the worst and the best thing about your tariqah. Most murids are good in the presence of the sheikh but are the opposite in his absence. So you have to put up with a lot of rubbish, I am not joking.


The murids are like family to you and like any family there are those you like more than others. But you have to know that you have all taken the same oath by Allah (the Exalted) to follow this Sheikh. So you have bear this in mind.


Even though there should not be any troubles with murids, there is. Many of them might not like you, if you are in a position that they desire. They will annoy and harm you with their dirty looks. Many claim to be ‘turer’ murids than you. They also misrepresent the words and statements of the Sheikh. They sing a tune that they claim the sheikh sings but you know he does not. You may also come across cultural differences. They may all be from a certain background or understanding that you are not. People often make the mistake that all paths are the same when they are not and same sheikhs from the same path are different!


So what should you do when you face these difficulties? The spiritual path is like venturing through a jungle and no jungle is free from apes and pigs. The murids are also your mirror to your sheikh. If you treat them badly then your sheikh can turn away from one. At the same time being cordial with someone who has treated you badly is difficult. So your best plan is to remain calm and try your best in difficult situations.


Try your best to avoid conflicts, arguments and debates. And avoid those who try to drag you to them. This is part of your training as a Murid.


You may also come across other scholars who dislike your Sheikh and disagree with him. So they might try to undermine him. This happens to many of those scholars who see things they deem incorrect. 


Your most important focus in the path is adherence to your spiritual masters words. Everything other is secondary and unimportant. So maintain contact with them in dhikr circles and try your best to maintain focus on your goal which is to reach Allah (the Exalted).


Know you need to know your basics in terms of knowledge and without them you are lost. Also know that you may find many still stuck in their ‘old’ ways this is an obstacle that many are unable to overcome. 


In some ways being a murid is being part of a large family. They are your brothers and sisters and they are annoying  just like your real siblings! Yes, at times its dysfunctional and sometimes its good to be part of a family. 


This might not be your experience in the path, you might have a positive experience which we hope that you all do but the reality in this time is very different. Often the best part of the path is the sheikh and the worst parts of the path are the murids. 
 

Maintain focus on your litanies and work on that which has been assigned to you and do not allow yourself to be taken by the waves of passion. Many murids of many shaykhs are the worst advert for him. This is known throughout all the paths that you know. 


You have a lot to deal with, that you may not had to deal with, when you looked from the outside. So make your choice for your sheikh by basing it what the murids are doing. If they are wasting their time then there is a problem but if they are trying to do something good then take it as a good sign. But the best sign is that they are involved in spreading sacred knowledge. And the worst sign is that they are attacking scholars. This is a sure sign that they are misguided. Find a fellow murid who shares your views and stick to them. It will help you if you find someone who has been in the path longer than you. But as the sufi saying goes: the path is not about time, it is about those who are truthful. Those who have spent longer time with the Sheikh are not as blessed as those who are truthful. 

The most important point is not to involve yourself into matters that are of no concern to you. Meaning that which does not effect your life directly. Meddling in matters that do not concern one causes one to become immersed in falsehood. This is a waste of time for the murid and how many of you are wasting their time?! You already have been told what to do, so there is no doubt. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why do I write on Sheikhy Notes?


Back in 2007 I complied ideas and experiences on the subject of learning Arabic. At the time I was still putting notes on the blog. I did not see any need to put this article/post up. So I left it and did not go back to it for a few months. Eventually in 2008 I put it out and this lead to more written work. Eight years and one hundred and fifty articles later I am still writing. Some have caused more controversy in the tea cups of the misinformed.


I am used to being slandered and insulted by some of the misinformed of the general public. This year being no exception. It's very sad that the internet makes loins out of mice. Hiding behind their keyboards and phones insulting and attacking teachers who are trying to help. All my intention has ever been is to help people for the sake of Allah. I am not interested in position and nor do I covert one. If anything, I am persona non grata to most people. I am ignored in my area and beyond that, it does not bother me at all.

Question what I say all day long but I do draw the line against people who insult and slander me. When all I was doing is trying to clarify matters. Despite this, many people are influenced by the blog to better their lives and this what we want. I will never meet the people who have had confusing matters cleared up for them. This blog is built on giving you a window to sacred knowledge.

The work that I write is often observation. Most of the time it's a reaction to things that occur to me or things that I see happen. My aim is to clarify things and as a teacher that's part of my job.

So the people who are slandering me do so because they are unable to say anything to my face. Read the ayah on the top left side and you will see why I have every right to give advice. Whether you like it or not, plenty of people do. 

Maybe instead of criticizing me people should help. But no one has time to help anyone but they have all the time in the world to slander. Then you wonder why we are in such a mess! Even if I am wrong that does not give anyone the right to slander and spread lies about me. So what if I am right?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Do not nullify your good actions!





The more I see and experience, from the actions people, the same thing is reaffirmed. The same conclusion is reached, repeatedly. The same pattern is repeated with people after people. What is it? What are you complaining about now? I am talking about people nullifying all their good actions or most of their good actions.


The first part of the action is the intention and that is not just invalid but blameworthy, at times. Please click here for previous discussion about intention. People do things in desire for reward, which is fine to begin with, but later someone should be totally disconnected from their good actions.






Main reasons for nullification of one's works


1. Charity followed by harm

2. Work done for other than Allah or to show off

3. Lack of knowledge

4. Lack of faith

5. Satan lost an eternity of works by refusing to prostrate to Adam (upon him peace).





Charity followed by harm


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ

Quran: Baqarah 2:264.


"Dear believers, do not nullify ones charity by reminding (people of your favour) and harm."


Ones charity can be nullified by two main things mentioned here. One: By reminding the other of the favour, you did to them. This is a sign that the action was not accepted. You have the reward as long as you do not mention what you did for someone. Two: hurt that is followed on from the reminder. Alternatively, simply harming the other person by something you did to them. Many people have spent money and will never get any reward afterward, because of the harm that followed.


Notice the word batala in the Arabic that means nullified or void. In the fiqh of trade, you have two types of invalid sale: baya batil and baya fasid. The difference being that baya fasid had some part of the trade was valid but afterward the trade was nullified. Like the agreement to sell fruit whose amount was unknown. The offer and acceptance was valid but the amount of stock was unknown, therefore invalid. In a baya batil the trade was not valid in the first place. Like the trade of pork or alcohol in Muslim country. Trade of this type was invalid in the first place. Therefore, the action here was invalidated and it could be argued that it was invalid in the first place because of the state of heart. This was yet to manifest.




Work done for other than Allah or to show off


عَنْ مَحْمُودِ بْنِ لَبِيدٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: "إِنَّ أَخْوَفَ مَا أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ الشِّرْكُ الْأَصْغَرُ" قَالُوا: وَمَا الشِّرْكُ الْأَصْغَرُ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ؟ قَالَ: "الرِّيَاءُ، أخرجه أحمد

Mahmud ibn Labid reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "I do not fear anything upon you like minor polytheism." They asked, "What is minor polytheism? O Messenger of Allah!" He replied, "Ostentation." (Ahmed)

Ostentation is when one shows off ones action. Making everyone think you are more brilliant than you are. However, this nullifies ones action, so beware of it!




Sidi Wali Raslan Al-Dimishqi said in Risala Al-Tawhid, "As for the common folk, their works are suspect, and as for the elite, their works are good deeds, and as for the elite of the elite, their works are degrees of spiritual progress." (Trans Muhtar Holland).  His whole Risala is about nullifying the self until it obeys Allah purely. In addition, until one does this have they truly reached obedience in their actions. This is minor polytheism because they have something other than Allah in their works. Important note, minor polytheism does not cause disbelief. Only actual polytheism causes disbelief, which associating other partners with Allah. 




Lack of knowledge


﴿ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَشَاقُّوا الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْهُدَى لَنْ يَضُرُّوا اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيُحْبِطُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ ﴾

(سورة محمد


"Those who disbelieve, block the path of Allah and renounce the Messenger, after guidance has been made clear to them, will not harm Allah the slightest and their actions will be invalidated."


The lack of knowledge of one's action can mean that no reward is attained from it. If someone does not know how to make wudu, ghusul, all the parts of the prayer then they risk its invalidity.


My favourite target, the masjid committees, almost certainly have no good actions. Why, because they block the path of Allah (the Exalted) by being inactive. They are inactive and block knowledge being taught in their masjids or what I call them old boys club. They are masjids only in name and old boys clubs who even stop women from entering them! 


It is incumbent for every Muslim to know the basics of their religion. Which is my favourite gripe but I wonder how many have you learnt this? 


Imam Abu Hassan Al-Shadhali (may Allah show him mercy) said, "He who dies without studying this knowledge deeply, dies persisting on major sins." 


How many people are persistent on major sins without realising it. One must know their beliefs correctly. This is very important because people have misunderstandings about Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). Learn ones theological beliefs until there are no doubts. At least go to a scholar of theology (of Islam) and ask questions. 
 
As well as studying matters of the heart which have little importance attached to them.


In the Taj Al-Aroos/The Crown of the bride by Ibn Ata'llah As-Sakandari (may Allah show him mercy) he states about the presence of heart in the prayer; "The likeness of one who prays, without presence of heart, is like someone sending a King, a gift of one hundred empty boxes; thus deserving his punishment. Whoever prays with presence of heart is like someone giving the king a precious sapphire; worth a thousand gold coins. The king will always remember him because of it."


Learning about the presence of heart in the prayer is lost in this time because it was the first pillar to be lost and the last pillar is the prayer itself. The pillars of Islam were destroyed one by one until nothing is left. It started internally and then returned nullifying the outward.


Please click here for importance of knowledge post.





Lack of faith



﴿ وَمَنْ يَرْتَدِدْ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآَخِرَةِ ﴾

(سورة البقرة)


"Whoever of you leaves his religion and dies a disbeliever, is from those who have nullified all their works in the world and afterlife." (Baqarah 2:217)


The cause of receiving reward in the afterlife is faith. If there is no faith, there is no reward.



يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ

’Muhammad 47:33


"O believers, obey Allah, obey the Messenger and do not nullify your works."

Again, here nullification of one's action comes when one does not obey Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). Because he chooses another path and not the path that was shown to him.




﴿ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ اتَّبَعُوا مَا أَسْخَطَ اللَّهَ وَكَرِهُوا رِضْوَانَهُ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالَهُمْ﴾

(سورة محمد


"This is because they followed what Allah detested and dislikes, therefore nullifying their works."


Choosing another method other than what was shown to them.This could also be true to those sects who have mislead people into obeying their group ethos and ignore religious matters! This is more common than you think and it effects most groups.





Satan


It was said that he prostrated on every piece of the earth and attained a high rank that he spoke to angels. Yet, this was all for naught when he refused to obey Allah (the Exalted). Allah commanded satan to prostrate to Adam (upon him peace) but satan refused. Claiming to be better and thus he was cast out of heaven. For this act of disobedience was all of satans works nullified. 






The exceptions


وروي البيهقي عن عبد الرحمن بن خباب رضي الله تعالي عنه قال : خطب رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم  فحث الناس علي جيش العسرة فقال عثمان على مائة بعير بأحلاسها وأقتابها ، ثم نزل مرقاة أخري من المنبر , فحث الناس فقال عثمان على مائة بعير أخري  بأحلاسها وأقتابها ، ثم نزل مرقاة أخري , فحث الناس فقال عثمان على مائة بعير أخري  بأحلاسها وأقتابها ، قال فرأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول بيده هكذا , يحركها كالمتعجب وقال :

ما على عثمان ما عمل بعد هذا اليوم


Al-Bayhaqi narrates that Abdurrahman Ibn Khubab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) delivered a sermon exhorting people to prepare the army of Al-Usarah. Uthman said, ‘I shall give one hundred mules with their saddles and stirrups.’ Then he came down from the pulpit a step and exhorted the people and Uthman said, ‘I shall give one hundred other mules with their saddles and stirrups.’ The he came down the pulpit a step and exhorted the people and Uthman said, ‘I shall give one hundred other mules with their saddles and stirrups.’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) indicated astonishment with his hand and said, ‘There is no action (that will harm) Uthman after today.’” (At-Tirmidhi 5/625. There is another hadith which uses the word Daar which means harm, so the hadith means no harm shall come to Uthman after today.)


Of course, there are other companions who were seen in paradise, as well as the ten promised paradise. Yet, this promise did not make them stop their good actions, they continued until they passed. So how should we be without such promise? We should try harder and strive to do as much good actions as possible.




They do not belong to you


Our actions are created by Allah (the Exalted) when we determine to do them but the responsibility is ours, based on our choices. Ponder the Quran passage, "Allah created you and what you do." (37:96) So the connection to your good work is your intention. When you intend in a determined fashion and go ahead, does Allah create the action. So why are your proud about good works that do not belong to you? All you did is decide, Allah created them! So why are you proud of actions that you did not create? Nor can you attribute them to yourself! Yet, Allah gives us recompense for actions that we did not create. The best things for anyone to do are maintain and build good actions to weight down the scales in his favour, on the day of judgement.


Know, that the only thing that remains with you in the grave is your good actions. After your family have buried you and they have all gone. Only your good actions remain with you to face the two angels of the grave.

  
Denying divine Decree

Sheikh Abu Hassan Al-Shadhali (may his secret be sanctified) said, “One attribute nullifies actions and most of the people are unaware of it: the anger of the servant about the decree of Allah (the Exalted). The Exalted has said, ‘That is because they disliked what Allah descended so their actions were nullified.’” (Quran: Muhammad 9 and Hikam Al-Shadhali 58).

Decree is part of belief and its important to give Allah (the Exalted) the benefit of the doubt. We should know that things always work out for the best. We should not allow ourselves to get to caught up in the moments of emotion, even though its very easy. 

Please see previous post on divine decree click here.


 

Conclusion


Give charity and do as many good works as possible then forget about them. Have the intention that it is just for Allah (the Exalted). 


Do not harm people or remind them of your favour. One Wali gave some money to another Wali and said this is not from but from Allah. The recipient said this belongs to Allah not you.


Most of all do not be attached to ones actions. 

Protection from polytheism is by saying the following the supplication, especially if one thinks that they are brilliant!


اللهم إنا نعوذ بك من أن نشرك شيئاً نعلمه، ونستغفرك لما لا نعلمه

أخرجه الطبراني والإمام أحمد عن أبي علي رجل من بني كاهل

"O Allah, I seek refuge with you, from associating anything to you and I know. I seek Your forgiveness in what I do not know."



Ponder this, a true seeker does not look for reward in action, he seeks Allah (the Exalted). Make a good intention and set off on your good action but then forget about it once its done. Do not remind anyone or harm them afterwards. 


Please see previous post of importance of action click here

Monday, October 10, 2016

The vanities of the time





As I child I found the religious practice of those present in my region bemusing and confusing. This continued until I met those who were enlightened with knowledge. This made me pursue knowledge for over twelve years (and counting). Sadly, I was never inspired by anyone from the indo pak region. Instead, I found most of the people and the speakers empty of the reality of what they were claiming to possess.


Smacking children and giving more than a clip around the ear was how most people grew up. After the children had grown up they looked at their past differently. It cast an unfortunate light upon it because the scars remained. They began to learn that Islam was not about a bearded elder smacking you. Nor was Islam wasting lifetime attacking groups for wrong beliefs yet not learning one's own belief!


There is a crisis in many masjids where people are atheists in our communities and no one even cares. Yet, they will continue to attack others but not learn themselves.


I looked at groups who argued with each with bitter eyes of contempt. I decided that groups who spent their time arguing were a waste of time. It was as if their religion was argumentation. I wanted to learn texts and learn what I was supposed to know. So I studied and kept studying until I became one of the people sought for knowledge. Had I remained on the path of others, I would be learning methods of argument not knowledge.


I look back at that time and realise that most people have wasted their entire lives by hating other groups. Their white hair does not mean they have learnt anything. It often means that they have learnt nothing. 


Maybe, its just me and I should stop comlaining because at least we have something. That is true but if we do not do anything now there will be little left for our children.


The masjids are a big waste of time. The elderly struggled to found masjids but as far as they are concerned, it is their property!? Then I ask is not a masjid for Allah? For this reason, I do not think there is a single masjid in the UK. They missed the point and it is just an old boys club. Many empty buildings have masjid in their name but are far removed from what a masjid should be. When will they ever learn? They will not ever learn and I have accepted that as fact.

The 'speakers' of the indo paks have wasted their lives and have made others waste theirs too. When someone comes to ask a question, it is as if they are mortally wounded and have their very existence questioned. Arrogance and ignorance are the order of the day. As they feast their greedy-guts on anything, they can find. Stealing people's money is what they do best. They are astray and lead others astray. Swearing, cursing, and then making others swear is seen as religiously permissible! How can this be! They are misguided and are misguiding you. A speaker should inspire you to goodness, not the opposite.


I thank Allah with my entire being that I was shown the path. Yet, there are many so far astray that they cannot be saved with speech. They have to make the choice. I cannot do it for you, as much as I want to.


Learn your religion. Work and use your time well by learning rather than fighting on Facebook. Argumentation is not a religion and neither is fighting trying to convince me on a matter. Once you learn your religion, you will see how many people are astray. You might not be able to save others but you can help yourself. Find an enlightened teacher. Not one who spends hours insulting other groups instead of teaching what he should. Do not allow yourself to be indoctrinated. There is a difference between indoctrination and knowledge.


Knowledge has a foundation and indoctrination is mere opinion. He might not be famous at all and that is actually better for you. Learn your religion. Learn everything that you should have learned as a child.


Know that harshness is a sign of misguidance. If you are learning with someone or meet a religious person and all he has is harshness. Then know it is a sign of misguidance. It might be just him or it might be his group.


Am I attacking one group? No, I am attacking whomever this applies to. Learn your religion and correct all your mistakes and live a good life in peace. Leave the silly people who slander and attack each other to their own devices. They are on the way out. Their audiences are dwindling as we speak. People are tired of their pettiness and want something real. Do not waste your life listening to those who have wasted their lives by cheating and now want you to waste yours. Learn your religion until you have no questions left to ask...

Habib Umar ibn Hafiz