Acquire Knowledge!

March 4, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

To acquire knowledge is binding upon all Muslims, whether male or female.

He who travels in the search of knowledge, to him God shows the way of Paradise.

Acquire knowledge, because he who acquires it in the way of the Lord performs an act of piety; who speaks of it praises the Lord; who seeks it, adores God, who dispenses instruction in it, bestows alms; and who imparts it to its fitting objects performs an act of devotion to God.

Knowledge enables its possessor to distinguish what is forbidden from what is not; lights the way to Heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our companion in solitude, our companion when bereft of friends; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is our ornament in the company of friends; it serves as an armor against our enemies. With knowledge the creatures of Allah rises to the heights of goodness and to noble position, associates with the sovereigns in this world and attains the perfection of happiness in the next.

- Sayings (hadiths) of the Prophet (pbuh)

Note:  See also this older post, Benefits of Acquiring Knowledge.

Ya Haqq!


The Prophet (pbuh) Speaks to Satan!

December 3, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This is related by Anas ibn Malik [May Allah bless him]:

“One day, in the house of Abu Ayyub, we were sitting together in the company of our Master, the blessed Messenger of Allah ( pbuh). Suddenly, we heard a very ugly voice calling from outside. “O Messenger of Allah, have I your permission to enter?” Our Master (pbuh) asked us: “Do you recognize that voice? When we replied: “Allah and His Messenger know best,” our Master (pbuh) said: “That is the voice of Satan.”

“Umar got up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, by your leave, let me go and smash the deceiver’s skull. Let me deliver the people from his mischief.” But our Master (pbuh) told him: “It is not within your power to do so, Umar, for he has been given respite till the Resurrection. Nobody can touch him.”

“We all fell silent, waiting to see what might happen. Our Master (pbuh) said: “There is always an underlying reason for things. Otherwise he would not have come here.” He then gave permission for the devil to enter his presence. In he came, his face very ugly, blind in one eye and with a few hairs on his chin. He explained that he had come at Allah’s command saying: “Had I not come, the Exalted Lord would have tormented me as long as I was on earth. You are to question me, and I am to answer your queries.”

“Our Master (pbuh) then asked Satan: “Who are your enemies?” To this he replied: “My enemies are fifteen groups of people. First of all, my chief foes are you and all the Prophets.”

“What you say is true,” said the blessed Messenger (pbuh): “Neither I nor any of the Prophets have any love for you. You are both my greatest enemy and that of all the Prophets.” Satan then proceeded to enumerate his other foes:

“My second enemies are scholars who put their learning into practice. They not only study and teach, but also act on what they learn.”

“My third enemies are the righteous, who recite the Holy Quran and model their character on what they read.”

“My fourth enemies are those who give the Call to Prayer for Allah’s sake.”

“My fifth enemies are the poor who are satisfied with their lot.”

“My sixth enemies are the compassionate.”

“My seventh enemies are the generous.”

“My eighth enemies are those who perform the early morning prayer on time.”

“My ninth enemies are those who advise the people and call them to Allah, those who reform the people.”

“My tenth enemies are those who abstain from unlawful food and avoid fornication and adultery.”

“My eleventh enemies are those who are always in a state of ritual purity, ready for worship.”

“My twelfth enemies are the modest.”

“My thirteenth enemies are those who place all their trust in Allah.”

“My fourteenth enemies are those who give pleasure to the poor and needy.”

“My fifteenth enemies are those called pious and devout, who are always busy in the service of their Exalted Lord.”

Our Master (pbuh) asked: “Have you any friends among my Community” What are the characteristics of your friends?” To this Satan replied: “O Messenger, ten classes of people are my friends:

First, tyrannical rulers and princes who oppress the people. Second, the arrogant. Third, scholars who are the lackeys of tyrants, who cannot tell them the truth, but hide it and confirm their falsehoods. Fourth, dishonest tradesmen who cannot be trusted in business. Fifth, those who take strong drink. Sixth, confidence tricksters and black marketeers. Seventh, backbiters and slanderous gossips. Eighth, usurers, those who take interest. Ninth, liars and blasphemers. Tenth, informers, intriguers who stir up enmity and cause friends to quarrel and fall out with one another.”

Here we have listed all the friends and foes of Satan. Those who worship are his foes, while those who do not worship are his friends. Is it possible to conceive of a spiritual teacher, a saint, who not only fails to worship Allah personally, but even prevents others from doing so? Anyone who keeps people from their five daily prayers, who make them break their fast, is indeed an intimate friend-not of Allah, but of Satan. He is an enemy of the Exalted Lord. We shall see the true condition of such people on the coming Day of Resurrection. They will have a hard time explaining themselves to their deluded and misguided disciples who will say to them, as they are cast into the fire:

“We were only following you, so can you give us some relief from Allah’s punishment?” (14:21)

They will reply: “Had Allah guided us, we would have guided you.” (14:21)

“It makes no difference now, whether we panic or patiently endure.” (14:21)

“For us there is no refuge.” (14:21)

The false teachers will try to blame it all on Satan. But when they start to shower their curses on him, Satan will emerge from the fire upon a throne, addressing them with these words:

Satan will say: “Allah made you a promise true. I also made you promises, but I have left you in the lurch. I had no power over you. I only called you and you answered me. Therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I did not believe in the divine partnership you once ascribed to me.” For the evildoers there is indeed a painful punishment. (14:22)

- excerpt adapted from Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master, by Sheikh Muzaffar Ozak al-Jerrahi.

Ya Haqq!


Eid Mubarak!!!

September 19, 2009

Salaam And Greetings of Peace:

May Allah bless you all this Eid with generosity of hand, sincerity of speech, kindness in action, and love and joy in remembrance of Him, who is the Source of all Generosity, Sincerity, Kindness, Joy and Love.

Ameen!

“O Lord! Let not our hearts deviate now after You have guided us, but grant us mercy from Your own Presence; for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.” (Quran: 3:9)

Ya Haqq!


Hazrat Ali’s Sermon on Eid ul-Fitr

September 15, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Ramadan will be over in a few days, and so it is fitting to repost this from last year.

On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Hazrat Ali (A.S.) delivered a sermon in which he said:

“O people! Verily this day of yours is the day when the righteous are awarded and the wretched are losers. It is a day which is similar to the one on which you shall be standing (before your Lord). Therefore, when you come out of your homes to go to places of your prayer, remind yourselves about the day when you (your souls) shall come out of your bodies to go to your Lord. When you stand on places of your prayer, remind yourselves of your standing in the presence of your Lord (on the day of Judgment). And when you return to your homes (after prayer), remind yourselves about your returning to your homes in Paradise. O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted (during Ramadan), is an Angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadan (saying): O SERVANTS OF ALLAH! REJOICE THE GLAD TIDING THAT ALL YOUR PREVIOUS SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN…”

- From the Nahjul-Balaghah.

Eid-ul-Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event nor is it related to the changes of seasons or cycles of agriculture. It is not a festival related in any way to worldly affairs. Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when Muslims thank God for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe the fast and obey His commandments during the holy month of Ramadan.

Alhamdulillah! May Allah bless us all, and grant that we use this Eid as a lens to focus the sun of good works, which have shone so brightly during Ramadan, to light the way through this coming year until the next Ramadan. Amin.

Eid Mubarak!

Ya Haqq!


Prayer of Forgiveness by Hasan al-Basri

April 22, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

O Allah, I seek your forgiveness for every sin for which I presented my repentance before You; and regarding which I stood before You swearing an oath in Your name and called Your friends from among Your servants to be my witnesses – that I would never return to disobeying You.

But when Satan with his cunning tempted me to return to it; and Your forsaking me [due to Your anger over my impiety] caused me to [despairingly] waver toward it; and my lower self invited me to disobey You once more; I hid myself in shame from Your servants, but openly and daringly committed sins before You, though I knew full well that no covering nor any closed door could conceal me from You and no veil could hide me from Your sight.

I still defied You by disobediently doing what You had prohibited to me; but [despite my iniquity], You did not remove Your covering from me, but rather treated me equal to Your pious servants, as though I had always been an obedient servant and swift to fulfill Your every command and fearful of Your warnings.

I remained obscure in front of Your servants, and none besides You knew my secret. You did not single me out from Your servants with a mark of disgrace, but instead showered upon me blessings like theirs; and with this You distinguished me over them as though I were, in Your sight, of a status like theirs. All this was owing only of Your forbearance and abundant blessings – generous grace from You to me. For You then, O my Lord, belongs all praise.

I ask from You, O Allah, just as You have covered my evil deeds in this world, that You do not humiliate me with them on the Day of Judgment. Forgive my sins, O Most Merciful of the merciful!”

- One of the most eloquent of the seventy prayers in the book Prayers for Forgiveness by Hasan al-Basri

Ya Haqq!


Psalm 19 – A Song of David

March 5, 2009

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Ya Haqq!

Note:  This is my favorite Psalm for its simple beauty and universal truths.


A Cup Overflowing

January 26, 2009

Love is a cup overflowing
Yet without bottom

How is this possible?
Where does all this joy come from?

Does love have no beginning,
No middle, no end?

Praise God! It must be so!
The cause and course of life

A treasure lent to spirit
His light formed in earthen clay

The true meaning of
Every verse of every Holy Book

And the hidden name of God
On King Solomon’s ring,

That the Jinn, created by the
Fire of that Love, could not disobey

Bless us then with Love, O Lord!
As Thy Name is praised

Make of it our garment
Clothe us in Thy ways

That with each breath may flow
The prayer of all our days

And bless the ink and pen
That writes these words

The eyes that read them
And the heart that knows

- Irving Karchmar, © January 2009


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