Imam Ali’s Supplication for the Holy Month of Sha’ban

June 25, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Thursday, June 21, 2012, begins the month of Sha’ban. Here then is the supplication, or prayer, the famous Munajat-e-Shabanyeh, narrated by the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali:

“In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful”

“Oh God! Send salutation upon Muhammad and His Holy Progeny and since, I beseech You (please) grant my prayer; whenever I cry,- please listen to my cry; whenever I supplicate You please pay attention towards my condition; Because, I have taken refuge in You, am standing before Thy Threshold in a state of grief, entangled with hardships shedding tears, while still remaining hopeful of Your mercy and compassion- Thou are Knowledgeable about my heart; is aware of my needs, knows thoroughly about myself; and there is nothing hidden from You as far as my affairs of this world and next worlds are concerned.”

“And whatever I bring upon my tongue to speak about my needs as well as regarding my being hopeful in Thee for my eternal salvation-Thou know every thing about it- Oh my Master! Thou will governs all the hidden and apparent affairs of my life till its very last breath; whatever profit or loss reaches to me, it is from Thee and not from other than Thee- Oh God! If Thou deprive me than who else is there to provide my sustenance ? If Thou make me abject then who else is there to support me? Oh God!! I take refuge in Thee from Thy wrath and the severity of punishment- Oh God! If I don’t deserve to receive Your blessing –Thou possesses the decency of bestowing forgiveness upon me with Thy infinite mercy and compassion.”

“Oh God! As though I am standing before Thy sacred threshold; my good faith and trust in Thee has already spread the shadow of mercy upon my head – whatever was befitting from Thy magnanimity and benevolence, Thou have done with me accordingly, forgiveness and blessing has surrounded my entire existence- Oh God! If Thou pardon me who else is more befitting than Thee ?”

“And In case my death is near and my deeds did not earn Thy nearness, Then I will present my admittance of sins as a means to receive Thy forgiveness. O God! I do admit that I have oppressed my self: then woe be upon the self: if you do not bestow forgiveness upon him. Oh God ! Thy beneficence and mercy surrounded me throughout my living; therefore, do not deprive me from Thy grace in my dying. Oh God! how can I be disappointed from receiving Thy Favors, after death, because during my entire life I have not seen any thing from Thee except compassion ?”

“Oh God! Be my guardian and supervisor over my affairs the way it is befitting of Thee (not what I deserve) pay attention with Thy benevolence and merci towards me -a sinner who has been overtaken completely by his ignorance. Oh God! Indeed thou have covered all my sins in this world; I need their cover-up in the Hereafter much more than the covering of this world, because, Thou were kind and did not expose them to anyone of your descent servants; therefore, on the Day of Judgment do not insult and expose me in front of all the humanity.”

“Oh God! Thy mercy and compassion have increased my hopes, because Thy forgiveness is for better than my deeds. Oh God! On the Day when Thou will issue the final verdict for Thy servants, make me happy with Thou countenance. Oh God! I beseech Thou for forgiveness like some one who really is in need of acceptance of his repentance, therefore, accept my excuse, oh Beneficent! Who is besought by the sinners for atonement. Oh my Master! Do not turn down my request; do not deprive me from remaining hopeful of Your forgiveness,” through the grace of Thy magnanimity do not cut off any hope and desire.

“Oh God! If thou had the intention of seeing me despised, would never blessed me with Thy guidance; if Thou had intended seeing me contemptible, would not have blessed me with health and happiness. Oh God! I can never believe it that Thou will turn down my request for which I have spent an entire life beseeching Thee for its grant. Oh God! Thou are the only one worthy of praise and adoration -the eternal and continuous praise always increasing and never ending, only if it could receive Thy pleasure and acceptance.

“Oh God! If Thou will remonstrate me for my offenses I will seek refuge in Thy forgiveness,” if Thou will take me to task against my sins, I will take Thee to task for Thy forgiveness, if Thou will send me to Hell will inform its inmates that I loved Thee. Oh God! If my deeds are insignificant, but as compared to them my hope and desire in Thy magnanimity and benevolence is too much. Oh God! How can I return deprived and disappointed from Thy magnanimous kingdom, while remaining quite hopeful about Thy compassion and mercy, that thou will be kind to me, and would include me among the rescued ones.

“Oh God! I have spend my entire life in ignorance, negligence, and forgetfulness from Thee, wasted my youth drunken into passions being ignorant of Thee. Oh God! I did not awake, because of being too proud to receive Thy forgiveness, and in this manner I followed the path of Your wrath and rage. Oh God! I am your humble servant and son of your servant who is now standing before Thee, pleading for Thy mercy and compassion as a means of my salvation.

“Oh God! I am your servant who has came to Thy threshold as ashamed and apologetic, I seek forgiveness and pardon for all my sins and transgressions, which were committed by me due to my lack of modesty from Thy presence, because bestowing forgiveness is the characteristic of Thy magnanimity. Oh God! I do not have the power of relinquishing sins except that Thou awaken me with love and kindness. Or, if thou desire that I should become the way Thou want me to be,’ must be thankful to Thee for spreading Thy compassion and cleansing and purifying my heart from the filthiness of negligence.

“Oh God! With Thy Magnanimity treat me like some one to whom Thou invited -he accepted, and Thou asked him for obedience –he obeyed. Oh near one who is never away from Thy lovers, Oh Beneficent and Merciful who never acts miserly towards those who are hopeful of Thy favors. Oh God! Bless with a heart eager and anxious of Thy nearness, a tongue which should keep itself engaged in sending the words of truth up-ward towards Thee, and an insight which should bring me closer to Thee.

“Oh God! Whoever is known by Thee cannot remain unknown; whoever takes refuge in Thee can never be despised, whoever received Thy attention would never become servant of anyone else, whoever followed Thy path become enlightened, whoever sought Thy shelter become secured. And I have taken refuge in Thee, therefore, Oh God! Don’t disappoint me from Thy blessings and do not deprive me from receiving Thy grace and favors.”

“Oh God! Consider me among Thy favorite saints and bestow upon me the rank of some one who strives to receive Thy love as much as possible. Oh God! Reveal upon me the sweetness and pleasure of engaging into Thy remembrance continuously, bless me with the courage to seek pleasure, victory, and dependence in Thy Sacred Names and Exalted Essence. Oh God! I swear You by Thy Own Exalted Essence and the right which Thou possess over the creation to include me among the obedient ones and bestow upon me a descent position of Your pleasure and consent, because I am totally incompetent and neither can defend my self while encountering an evil nor can increase any profit for myself Oh God! I am a helpless servant and repentant sinner full of defects and faults, therefore, do not include me among those who earned your displeasure and because of their negligence become deprived of Thy forgiveness.

“Oh God! bestow upon me perfect attention towards Thee; open the esoteric eyes of my hearts so that they could witness Thy glory and piercing through the veils of celestial lights may connect them with the Absolute Source of Majesty; let our souls achieve the union with Thy Exalted Holy Essence. Oh God! consider me as some one to whom Thou called he accepted Thy invitation, when Thou paid attention toward him -became infatuated due to Thy glory and splendor and Thou confided in him secretly -he accepted it explicitly.

“Oh God! Don’t impose hopelessness and sorrow upon my good expectations towards Thee, do not cut off my hopes from your generosity. Oh God! If my offenses have made me low and abjected before Thee, pardon me for the sake of my reliance and good faith in Thy forgiveness. Oh God ! If my sins have made me distant apart from Thy mercy and compassion, my belief reminds me about Thy magnanimity. Oh God! If ignorance and negligence have caused me to remain unprepared for Thy countenance, Thy bounties and blessings make me aware. Oh God! If Thy wrath and punishment will send me to Hell’s fire, Thy generosity and reward have invited me towards the eternal Paradise.

“Oh God! Therefore, whatever I need I beseech Thee; cry and shed tears with hope, desire and anxiety before Thy Holy Threshold; I request Thee to send salutations upon Muhammad and His Holy Progeny; include me among the ones who are busy in Thy remembrance continuously; never break their commitments with Thee; don’t forget thanking Thee even for an instant; and don’t treat Thy commands lightly.”

“Oh God! Enlighten my existence with the illumination of thou Sacred Essence whose cheerfulness and joy is far superior than any other pleasure, so that I become absorbed in Thee completely, getting cut off from others, fearing Thee and paying attention towards Thy commands. Oh Thou possessor of splendor and majesty and salutations of God and lots of greetings be upon Muhammad and his Holy Progeny”

Ya Haqq!

Note:  For more information on the blessed month of Sha’ban, click here.


The Blessed Month of Sha’ban 2012

June 20, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

(The month of Sha’ban begins this year on June 21st)

The Sha‘bān Letter

- compiled and translated by Sidi Amjad Tarsin

All praises are due to Allah the Exalted who has blessed us to be on the doorstep of Ramadan. Many of the pious predecessors used to spend months preparing for the efforts they were going to exert in the holy month of Ramadān. These are excerpts from the book, “Kanz An-Najāḥ wa As-Surūr” (The Treasuries of Success and Happiness) regarding the greatness of Sha‘bān and some of the recommended things to do during this month.

Repentance & Fasting:

It is highly recommended to repent frequently (tawbah) and increase in acts of worship, especially fasting. Whosoever prepares themselves with acts of worship and repentance in Sha‘bān will reap the benefits of those acts in Ramadān.

Usama ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, “I have never seen you offer fast in a month as you do in Sha‘bān.” The Prophet said, “It is a month people disregard that is between Rajab and Ramadān. In that month deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds, so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.” [Nasa'i].

Salutations Upon the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Sha‘bān is the month of the Prophet peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, for he said, “Sha‘bān is my month.”

It was in this month that the famous verse regarding sending blessing and peace on the Prophet was revealed:
{ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَـتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً}
{ Allah and His Angels send their blessings upon the Prophet, O you who believe send blessings upon him and salutations of peace} (33:56)

Therefore, it is highly encouraged to increase in sending one’s salutations upon the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him. Scholars have said, “Rajab is the month of repentance, Sha‘bān is the month of sending salutations upon the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, and Ramadān is the month of the Qur’an.”

The 15th Night of Sha‘bān:

On the relation of ‘Atā’ ibn Yasār, may Allah be well pleased with him, who said, “On the 15th night of Sha‘bān the Angel of Death, peace be upon him, copies down the names of all those who will die from that Sha‘bān to the next Sha‘bān…and there is no night after Laylat Al-Qadr better than the 15th night of Sha‘bān.”

Other hadiths also describe the 15th night as being the night in which Allah decrees everyone’s provisions, even after-worldly provisions (Paradise, Hell), therefore it is important to bring that night to life through Prayer, reading Qur’an, and repentance.

Related by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be well pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, said, “There are five nights on which du‘ā’ is not turned back: Friday eve, on the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha‘bān, Laylat Al-Qadr, and on the eve of the two ‘Eids.”

It is also recommended to say the du‘ā’:

اللّهُمَ إنَّكَ عفوٌ كريمٌ تُحِبَّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَني، اللّهُمَّ إنّي أسْألُكَ العَفْوَ والعَافية والمُعَافَاةَ الدَّائِمة في الدِّين والدُّنيا والأخِرَة

Allahumma innaka ‘Afūwun Karīmun tuḥib ul ‘afwa fa‘afu ‘annī, Allahumma innī as’aluka al-‘afū, wa al-‘āfīyah wa al-mu‘āfāt ad-da’imah fī ad-dīni wa ad-dunyā wa al-ākhirah.

O Allah, You are Pardoning and Generous and You love to pardon, so pardon me. O Allah, I ask You for pardoning, good health [in body], and to be [spiritually] health always in my religion, and in this life, and in the hereafter.

It is also highly recommended to read Surah Yā-Sīn 3 times that night, each time with a specific intention:

1. The first time with the intention of Allah increasing the length of your life in worship and good deeds.

2. The second time with the intention of Allah protecting you from tribulations.

3. Lastly, with the intention of Allah not making you reliant on other people.

Clarification: “Giving life to the night” is said to be staying up most of the night in worship, although other scholars have said just one hour. Others have said just be determined to pray ‘Ishā in congregation and Fajr in congregation and that will fulfill “giving life to the night.”

May Allah bless us and the entire Ummah throughout this month, and bless us even more in Ramadan. Amin.

Ya Haqq!


Tower of Babel

June 18, 2012

Sufis are bricklayers
Their bodies the bricks,
Earth, water, straw
In the proper mixture

Sufis are builders
Their edifice
The Tower of Babel
Rising ever higher

So that humanity
Speaks with one tongue
Once more, the language
Of love, infinite and eternal

- © Irving Karchmar 2012


Laylat al-Miraj – The Night Journey!

June 15, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Glory to Allah! Exalted is He who did take His Servant by night from the Sacred Mosque ( al-Masjid al-Haram) to the farthest Mosque ( al-Masjid al- Aqsa), whose precincts We did bless, that We might show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.     - Qur’an 17:1

For indeed he saw him at a second descent,
Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass:
Near it is the
Garden of Abode.
Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)
(His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong!
For truly did he see of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!

- Qur’an, 53: 13-18

Alhamdulillah! This Saturday evening, June 16th, or the 17th in some parts of the world, is Laylat al-Miraj – The Night Journey.

The story of the Night Journey focuses on how the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) heart was purified by the archangel Gabriel, who filled him with knowledge and faith in preparation to enter the seven levels of heaven. The exact date of the Journey is not clear, but is celebrated as though it took place before the Hijra and after Muhammad’s visit to the people of Ta’if. It is considered by some to have happened just over a year before the Hijra, on the 27th of Rajab. The Al-Aqsa Mosque and surrounding area, with the Dome of the Rock marking the place from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven, is the third-holiest place on earth for Muslims.

May Allah bless us all this Laylat al-Miraj, with the bounty of increased prayer, faith, and wisdom to discern His signs, on the horizons and in ourselves. Amin!

 

Ya Haqq!


On the Road that Leads to the Beloved

June 13, 2012

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between, and unto Him is the journeying.  – The Holy Qur’an 5:18

On the road that leads to the Beloved
Every stone is made of gold.
Every step we take brings knowledge to us.
Even what appears to be a mistake, or an error,
Can bring us closer to purity and truth.
Every good intention, thought and action
Guides the soul toward the Goal.
Every true word that is heard,
Every understanding received,
Every challenge met,
Every station, by God’s Grace, attained
Leads the traveler
Through the labyrinth
Of steps and tests
Surely, to the One
Who has left, at every turn in the Road,
Signs of His Existence,
Clear signs showing the Way
That lead to Him.

Not only do our successes show us the way,
But even more deeply, our apparent failures
Those moments in our journey
When we are most deeply humbled
And realize our limitations,
Realizing that every step we take
Is not due to our own power and will,
But occurs by the Grace of God.
The journey that leads to the Beloved
Is guided by His Love.

- The first part of a lovely and poetic introduction to the spiritual autobiography, Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils, by Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye

Ya Haqq!


Poetry Recital: Love Poem – Gladly Then Did the World Arise

June 8, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

My second reading of poetry on YouTube, a recital of a Love Poem – Gladly Then Did the World Arise.  The poem is also posted below the video.

Love Poem

Gladly then did the world arise
By that one mighty word of power… Love!
From any other word quite apart
It rejoices in the willing heart
And binds the planets to their skies
And shines in You the brighter to my eyes

Night, come bring the dippers and Orion’s belt
To gird the firmament and bind us to His boundless will
That my heart, which has never felt such sentiment
May feel it then the deeper still

Give it not to chance then, nor say instead ’twas fate
That we have met in time who might have met too late
In the understanding of two hearts that may for earlier years amend
As our time flows like a river, unfelt til journeys end

– Irving Karchmar, 1986

Ya Haqq!


“And the final end is to your Lord.”

June 5, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

How utterly amazing is someone
who flees from something he cannot escape
to seek something that will not last!

Do not travel from phenomenal being to phenomenal being.
You will be like the donkey going around at the mill.
It travels to what it set out from.

Travel from phenomenal beings
to the Maker of Being.

“And the final end is to your Lord.”

- Ibn Ata’ Illah

Ya Haqq!

Note:  To read the entire poem in Ibn Ata’Illah’s Hikam, click HERE.


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