Benefits of Acquiring Knowledge

February 14, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Acquire knowledge because doing so is good. Seeking it is worship. Reviewing it is glorifying Allah. Researching it is jihad. Teaching it to the ignorant is charity.

- Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (ra)

Ya Haqq!


Rumi’s Nuptial Night – Dec. 17, 1273

December 14, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

On December 17th, 1273 AD, Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi died at Konya. The 17th of December is thus called Sheb-i Arus, meaning ‘Bride’s Night” or ‘Nuptial Night’ or ‘Wedding Night,’ because of the union of Mevlana with God. As Rumi’s epitaph states:

‘When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.’

Rumi was a universally loved genius, one of the greatest servants of humanity, founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, his poetry and doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness and charity, and awareness through love. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has reached men of all sects and creeds.

Love and imagination are magicians

Who create an image of the Beloved in your mind

With which you share your secret intimate moments.

This apparition is made of nothing at all,

But from its mouth comes the question,

“Am I not your Loved One?”

And from you the soft reply, “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

~ Rumi ~

Inna lillahi wa-inna ilayi raji’un.
(We belong to God and to God are we returning)

Ya Haqq!


March 20th, Birthday of the Prophet (pbuh), New Year, Spring

March 19, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“You have indeed in the Messenger of God a beautiful pattern of conduct for anyone whose hope is God and the Final Day.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21).

Alhamdulillah! The moon is full, a reminder that this is Rabi a-Awwal, by the Lunar calendar the month of the blessed birthday (Milad Un-Nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his family).

According to Sunni scholars, the Prophet’s birthday is observed on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, which falls on March 20, 2008, and 17th Rabi al-Awwal (march 25th this year) according to Shia scholars.

March 20th is also the first day of Spring, and celebrated as Nawrooz, the New Year in Iran and other countries. What a blessing that the birth of the Prophet (pbuh) should fall on the first day of Spring and the New Year, surely a sign of rebirth and love as we contemplate his noble attributes and teachings.

There is a difference of opinion about whether the Milad Un-Nabi should be a time of celebration. There is evidence that the Prophet (pbuh), his Companions, and the early followers after them did not celebrate or otherwise observe his birthday. On the contrary, he was careful to warn his people not to imitate other faiths, whose followers elevated their prophets and added to the religion what was not in the original teachings.

Those who disagree see it as a time to read the Qur’an, fast, pray, and remember the life, teachings, and example of the Prophet (pbuh).

When praising the Prophet (pbuh), we are also warned not to exaggerate in his praise. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not overpraise me as Christians overpraised Jesus, son of Mary. Say [when referring to me], ‘Servant of Allah and His messenger.'”

Servant of Allah and His messenger!

Surely that is a title that needs no embellishment. And so, what will you do to celebrate the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday? Will you be fasting and praying? Having a celebration and giving gifts to family and friends? Giving to charity, visiting the sick, going to the mosque, helping a neighbor?

“Remember Me and I will remember you!” (Qur’an, 2:152)

May Allah bless you all, gentle readers, and guide you on the straight path of love, compassion, mercy, generosity and kindness.

Ameen.

Ya Haqq!


Rumi’s ‘Nuptial Night’ – December 17th

December 16, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

On December 17th, 1273 AD, Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi died at Konya. A universal genius, one of the greatest servants of humanity, founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, his poetry and doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness and charity, and awareness through love. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has reached men of all sects and creeds.

The 17th of December is called Sheb-i Arus, meaning ‘Nuptial Night’ or ‘Wedding Night’. The night of his death is called thus because of the union of Mevlana with God. As Rumi’s epitaph states:

‘When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.’

Since this year is the 800th Anniversary of his birth, it is also fitting that we celebrate his death and his ultimate union with the Beloved.

Ya Haqq!


Invoking God in Word and Deed

December 2, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Path to Happiness:

There is neither strength nor power save in God Almighty. It is God we implore – and whose answer we await – to watch over you in this world and the next, to shower you with His graces, outwardly and inwardly, and to make you among those who, when blessed, give thanks; when tried, persevere; and when sinful, seek forgiveness. For these three conditions are tokens of the servant’s happiness [sa'adat al-abd], and the signs of his success in this world and the next. No servant is without them, but is always shifting from one to the other.

The first condition is the blessings which come to the servant from God (Most High), one after another. What secures them is gratitude [shukr], based on three supports: inward recognition of the blessing; outward mention and thanks for it; and its use in a way that pleases the One to whom it truly belongs and who truly bestows it. Acting thus, the servant shows his gratitude for the blessing-however brief.

The second is the trials from God (Most High) which test the Servant, whose duty therein is patience [sabr] and forbearance: to restrain himself from anger with what is decreed; to restrain his tongue from complaint; to restrain his limbs from offenses, such as striking one’s face in grief, rending one’s clothes, tearing one’s hair and like acts. Patience, then, rests on these three supports, and if the servant maintains them as he should, affliction will become benefaction, trial will change to bounty and what he disliked will become what he loves. For God (Exalted and Sublime) does not try the servant in order to destroy him. Rather, He tries him to put his patience and devotion (al-ubudiyay) to the test. For the servant owes devotion to God in affliction as in ease. He must have as much devotion in what he hates as in what he loves. And while most people offer devotion in what they love, it is important to do so in the things they hate. It is by this that servants’ ranks are distinguished and their stations determined.

Ablution with cold water in searing heat is devotion. Sexual relations with one’s beautiful and beloved spouse is devotion. Spending money for her, for one’s children and for oneself is devotion. It is devotion no less than ablution with cold water in the bitter cold; giving up vice to which one’s soul is driven without fear of people; and giving charity in hardship. But there is a great difference between the [two kinds] of devotion.

He who is God’s servant in both states, maintaining his duty in both comfort and adversity, is the one to whom His words refer, ‘Is not God sufficient for His servant?’ With complete devotion comes complete sufficiency, and with less comes what is less. Let him who discerns some good give praise to God, but let whoever finds something other than this blame no one but himself.

- Excerpt from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ‘s The Invocation of God.

- Originally posted in a longer version on (and with thanks to) the Mad Sufi blog.

Ya Haqq!


Bayazid on the Hajj

November 1, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that one year the Sufi Master Bayazid set out on the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. A few days later he came back. When asked about his sudden return, he gave the following account.

“I was three days walking in the desert when an old man encountered me on the road,” Bayazid recalled.
“‘Where are you going?’ he demanded.
“‘On the pilgrimage,’ I replied.
“‘How much money did you bring for your journey?’
“‘Two hundred dirhams.’
“‘Come, give them to me,’ the man said. ‘I am
a poor man with a family. Circle round me seven times. That
is your pilgrimage.’
“And so I did, and returned home.”

Ya Haqq!

Note: From Attar’s Memorial of the Saints.  Also read the post Bayazid and the Dog for another example of the great blessing of giving in charity.


Eid Mubarak – Feed the Hungry

October 13, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This letter came recently from our Sister Aaminah, of the Writeous SisterSpeaks blog. Please read it and then do what love demands.

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahiim
Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
Eid Mubarak to my dear brothers and sisters in deen!

At this time of celebration, I wanted to share a simple way that we can continue to remember one of the purposes of Ramadan throughout the year, and inshaAllah continue to provide sadaqah to those in need. Many of you may already be familiar with this site, but I hope this serves as a reminder if you know of it already and as a source of knowledge if you were not aware of it, inshaAllah.

At The Hunger Site, you can click on a link, and through the sponsorship of advertisers to the site, food is donated to organizations that distribute it to those in need. THIS COSTS YOU NOTHING! It takes less than 2 seconds, so it costs you no time. It does not require you to write a check or give your credit card number; it costs you no money.

There are other worthy sites linked on The Hunger Site that provide other beneficial services, including raising money for breast cancer research and providing books to children. If you want to spend your money towards these causes, you can make purchases from the sites’ stores, or support the advertisers who are actually paying for your clicks.

This is one very simple way that we can extend our charity all year, and continue to feed those in need, inshaAllah. May Allah continue to bless you and your family.

Aaminah

“And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good”. – (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 195)

Ya Haqq!


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