The Etiquette (Adab) of Reciting the Quran

October 24, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“These are the secrets of the angelic servants of those who recite the Quran. It behooves the reciter of the Quran to uphold the highest standards of good etiquette when he wishes to begin his recitation. Let him be in a state of complete ritual purity and bring to presence the attendance of the angels. Let him remind himself of the angels’ sanctity and place his spiritual focus on contemplation of and reverential awe for the Quran. Whilst he is reciting, let him not cast a furtive glance toward anyone or anything that is lesser in stature than the Speech of Allah, such as interrupting his recitation with created speech, even if it is the obligatory reply to greetings of peace (salam). It is unlawful for him to reply to greetings of peace whilst he is engaged in recitation of the Quran, because in doing so he drops himself from the highest of the high to the lowest of the low. This is what results when someone interrupts the divine speech by replying to the greetings of peace. As for interrupting the divine speech with worldly speech, it is loss upon loss—manifold loss!

When someone is reciting the Quran, he shouldn’t even glance to see who comes in to see him, no matter what occasions it. It is problematic enough that one should turn and look at someone entering even if he doesn’t stop the recitation of the Quran. Should a person remember a worldly matter after starting his recitation, he mustn’t get up and attend to it, for if he does that he will be included among those who preferred the ignoble and base over the Presence of his Master, and as a result he will be cast from Allah’s divine pleasure and denied the Quran’s blessings.

When someone stops his recitation of the Quran to attend to someone or something, he should consider the secrets of the angelic soldiers who seek forgiveness for him as he recites, and then he should weigh their prayers for forgiveness against whatever he attends to—can or can’t he distinguish light from darkness?

Many students who sell their goods in the market fall into these errors. Whilst in the market, they are busy reciting the Quran, but their focus is really on the people walking by. They say to themselves, “Is this person going to come and buy something from me or not?” or “Is this person going to come over to me or not?” until finally, when someone approaches to purchase a small quantity of this-or-that, they stop their recitation and immediately begin tending to the transaction until it is complete, after which they go back to their recitation without the slightest concern. Quite often they will go back to their recitation without seeking refuge [in Allah from Satan], as if they never stopped reciting. The show no care or concern. Many of them, because of the intensity with which they prefer commerce over recitation, when re-starting their recitation, don’t even remember where they stopped at, and start reading from a different location without invoking the prayer for seeking refuge from Satan.

Because of this lassitude with the Quran, many students are barred from its secrets; the lights of the angels do not connect with their recitation (as we detailed earlier). These secrets are for none but those with complete etiquette and presence. So long as a person is mired in heedlessness of this reality, no matter how hard he tries he will not attain unto the lights of the angels. As much as he may aspire to their lights, their secret will be cut off to him.

When one wants to recite the Quran, he must enter a sanctified state just as he does when offering the ritual prayer. Let him attend to any business or pre-occupations before starting his recitation; then let him ensure he is in a complete state of ritual purity; then, with presence of heart and reverential awe, let him focus on the sanctity of divine speech, even if all he is to recite is a single verse, or two verses, or a hizb. As these are conditions of quality and not quantity—being, as they are, conditions of good etiquette—they are applicable whether one recites a single verse or recites longer portions of the Quran. Even if one only recites a single verse while upholding the aforementioned sanctities, he will attain immense blessings through it.

If something happens, or occurs, or arises, that requires one to stop his recitation, let him stop it in a manner that reflects good etiquette. The very best that the imams have inaugurated in this regard—Allah be pleased with them!—is the practice of saying “Allah Almighty spoke the truth” (Sadaqallahul-‘Azim) and reciting the verse Verily Allah and His angels send prayers upon the Prophet; O you who believe, send prayers and abundant salutations upon him! (Quran 33:56), followed by sending prayers upon the Prophet s and sealing it with invocations of divine pleasure for the noble Companions, the Successors, and the entire Umma of our master Muhammad s, followed by asking Allah Most High that He not make that his final recitation, and that his spirit not leave his body except that he is reciting the Quran—meaning that he first brings it to presence and recites of it what is easy for him before uttering the two testimonies of faith [There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah], so that his testification is upon the foundation of the Quran’s light, sealing his life with the testimony of faith until Allah raises his spirit…”

Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi  (Cipher of the Spirit, translated by Abdul Aziz Suraqah)

Ya Haqq!

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The Trust of Mankind

October 10, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“In our revelation, the world is portrayed as something surpassingly beautiful. To take our due place within it, we are to act with a beauty that has to be commensurate. Considering the beauty of the stars and the seas, that is not a very easy commandment for us poor beings of mud to obey. But man, despite having been proved a tyrant and a fool, has taken this trust upon himself. He is to be custodian of the same natural world of which he is fully a part. Hence our Perfect Man thus balances within his soul the perfect balance that we see in nature.”

– Sheikh AbdulHakim Murad (may Allah grant him long life)

Ya Haqq!


Love is Life

September 4, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the universal and eternal source.”
Leo Tolstoy

Ya Haqq!

What Love Demands – Eid al-Adha Mubarak :)

August 30, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Eid Mubarak!

May Allah bless you all this Eid, dear Brothers and Sisters, 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)

This is the time of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which celebrates the faith of Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice even his son Ishmael as God had commanded. Now,what are we willing to sacrifice in order that our prayers may be accepted?

That is the question I ask myself every year. Jesus (pbuh) kissed the leper, the whore, and the thief, out of love and forgiveness and healing. Because of the great expansiveness of his heart, miracles were possible. What have we done, what can we still do, to be worthy of the love and forgiveness and healing we ask of God? The answer that comes to my heart is always the same:

Do what love demands.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

According to a hadith, the Prophet (SAW) once said, “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure. One who returns love for hatred.”

Alhamdulillah! Indeed, Love is the greatest miracle of God. There have been Spiritual Masters of the past who would not let an aspirant be initiated until they had gone to everyone whom they had wronged in their life, and begged forgiveness, making amends in any way that was required. And until they had gone to everyone that had wronged them in their lives, and granted them forgiveness without asking, and with a whole heart. Only then could such a one be initiated on the mystic path.

And so we come to the great task of our lives, brought into focus on this day of Eid al-Adha: To sacrifice our fear and hatred, our envy and greed and all the other works of the fearful and self-absorbed nafs, in the certain knowledge that anyone who forgives a debt will be repaid tenfold by God, and anyone who forgives a wrong will be forgiven by God a hundredfold, and anyone who returns love for hatred will make of this life a paradise. That is what love demands.

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
– Rumi

Ya Haqq!

 

NOTE: This essay from 2008 will be edited and reposted every year :)


FREE EBOOKS for a Month Starting July 1st on Smashwords :)

July 2, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Smashwords is kicking off the July Summer Ebook promotion, and as a Smashwords author, I am participating by giving all my six Ebooks away FREE for the month :)

The Ebooks are free at Smashwords only, not at retailers served by Smashwords. Use the code SW100 at checkout for your FREE Ebook!

And here they are!

Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

El Maestro de los Jinn (Spanish Translation) 

Lessons in Love: Spiritual Exercises for Modern Lif

Love Songs to God: 30 Poems of Love and Longing 

Puerto Diablo: A Tale of Good and Evil

Master of the Jinn: Aaqa-e-jinnat آقائے جنات (Urdu)   

 


A Special Ramadan Prayer from Yemen

June 14, 2017

wadiSalaam and Greetings of Peace:

Ramadan Mubarak!

The following is a du’a that is constantly read in Tarim, a town in the Wadi Hadhramawt, Yemen, throughout the blessed month of Ramadan. This beneficial du’a has been translated and made available through Sidi Amin Buxton (Allah preserve and increase him):

Sayyiduna Salman narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) spoke to the Companions on the last day of Sha`ban. He informed them that they were about to enter a great and blessed month, a month in which there is a night better than a thousand nights. He mentioned some of the merits of the month of Ramadan. Then he said: “Do four things in abundance: two things with which you please your Lord, and two things which you cannot do without. As for the two things with which you please your Lord: your testification that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and your seeking His forgiveness. As for the two things which you cannot do without: your asking Allah for Paradise and seeking refuge in Him from the Fire.”1.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught al-Sayyida `A’isha to say on Laylat al-Qadr:

“O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us.”2.

On the basis of these two hadiths the scholars and people of Tarim repeat the following du`a throughout the month of Ramadan:

أشْهَدُ أن لا إلهَ إلا الله نَسْتَغْفِرُ الله نسأَلُكَ الجنَّةَ ونَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ النَّار (3)

Ashadu alla ilaha illallah, nastaghfirullah, nas’aluk’l-jannata wa na`audhu bika min an-nar

“I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and we seek the forgiveness of Allah. We ask You for Paradise and take refuge in You from the Fire.” (3 times)

اللهمَّ انَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحبُّ العفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنَّا (3) يا كريم

Allahumma innaka `afuwun tuhibbu-l’`afwa f`afwa `anna

“O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us” (3 times). On the third time say “O Most Generous” (Ya Karim).

1 Narrated by Ibn Khuzayma

2 Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi with a sahih chain of transmission.

NOTE: Wadi Hadhramawt (pictured above) is a 220-mile wadi (seasonal river valley) which has a collection of 31 small sultanates with Aden in the middle. Hadhramawt is the biggest wadi in the Arabian Peninsula and runs for 99 miles through a stony desert. This area has been settled since at least the 3rd century AD and brilliant green fields ran alongside the wadi.

Ya Haqq!


30 Daily Ramadan Prayers 2017/1438

May 23, 2017

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

Ramadan in the year 2017/1438 begins Saturday, May 27th, so here once again are the 30 Daily Ramadan Prayers (duas), which are posted each year.  InshAllah, they will enlighten the mind and ennoble the heart, making the fast easier in this blessed month.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 1

ALLAH, on this day make my fasts the fasts of those who fast (sincerely), and my standing up in prayer of those who stand up in prayer (obediently), awaken me in it from the sleep of the heedless, and forgive me my sins , O God of the worlds, and forgive me, O one who forgives the sinners.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 2

ALLAH, on this day, take me closer towards Your pleasure, keep me away from Your anger and punishment, grant me the opportunity to recite Your verses (of the Qur’an), by Your mercy, O the most Merciful.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 3

ALLAH, on this day, grant me wisdom and awareness, keep me away from foolishness and pretension, grant me a share in every blessing You send down, by You generosity, O the most Generous.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 4

ALLAH, on this day, strengthen me in carrying out Your commands, let me taste the sweetness of Your remembrance, grant me, through Your graciousness, that I give thanks to You. Protect me, with Your protection and cover, O the most discerning of those who see.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 5

ALLAH, on this day, place me among those who seek forgiveness. Place me among Your righteous and obedient servants, and place me among Your close friends, by Your kindness, O the most Merciful.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 6

ALLAH, on this day, do not let me abase myself by incurring Your disobedience, and do not strike me with the whip of Your punishment, keep me away from the causes of Your anger, by and Your power, O the ultimate wish of those who desire.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 7

ALLAH, on this day, help me with its fasts and prayers, and keep me away from mistakes and sins of the day, grant me that I remember You continuously through the day, by Your assistance, O the Guide of those who stray.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 8

ALLAH, on this day, let me have mercy on the orphans, and feed [the hungry], and spread peace, and keep company with the noble-minded, O the shelter of the hopeful.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 9

ALLAH, on this day, grant me a share from Your mercy which is wide, guide me towards Your shining proofs, lead me to Your all encompassing pleasure, by Your love, O the hope of the desirous.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 10

ALLAH, on this day, make me, among those who rely on You, from those who You consider successful, and place me among those who are near to you, by Your favor, O goal of the seekers.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 11

ALLAH, on this day, make me love goodness, and dislike corruption and disobedience, bar me from anger and the fire, by Your help, O the helper of those who seek help

Ramadan Dua: DAY 12

ALLAH, on this day, beautify me with covering and chastity, cover me with the clothes of contentment and chastity, let me adhere to justice and fairness, and keep me safe from all that I fear, by Your protection, O the protector of the frightened.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 13

ALLAH, on this day, purify me from un-cleanliness and dirt, make me patient over events that are decreed, grant me the ability to be pious, and keep company with the good, by Your help, O the beloved of the destitute.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 14

ALLAH, on this day, do not condemn me for slips, make me decrease mistakes and errors, do not make me a target for afflictions and troubles, by Your honor, O the honor of the Muslims.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 15

O Allah, on this day, grant me the obedience of the humble, expand my chest through the repentance of the humble, by Your security, O the shelter of the fearful.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 16

ALLAH, on this day, grant me compatibility with the good, keep me away from patching up with the evil, lead me in it, by Your mercy, to the permanent abode, by Your Godship, O the God of the worlds.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 17

ALLAH, on this day, guide me towards righteous actions, fulfill my needs and hopes, O One who does not need explanations nor questions, O One who knows what is in the chests of the (people of the) world. Bless Muhammad and his family, the Pure.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 18

ALLAH, on this day, make me love goodness, and dislike corruption and disobedience, bar me from anger and the fire [of Hell], by Your help, O the helper of those who seek help.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 19

ALLAH, on this day, multiply for me its blessings, and ease my path towards its bounties, do not deprive me of the acceptance of its good deeds, O the Guide towards the clear truth.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 20

ALLAH, on this day, open for me the doors of the heavens, and lock the doors of Hell from me, help me to recite the Qur’an, O the One who sends down tranquility into the hearts of believers.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 21

ALLAH, on this day, show me the way to win Your pleasure, do not let Shaytan have a means over me, make Paradise an abode and a resting place for me, O the One who fulfills the requests of the needy.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 22

ALLAH, on this day, open for me the doors of Your Grace, send down on me its blessings, help me towards the causes of Your mercy, and give me a place in the comforts of Paradise, O the one who answers the call of the distressed.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 23

ALLAH, on this day, wash away my sins, purify me from all flaws, examine my heart with (for) the piety of the hearts, O One who overlooks the shortcomings of the sinners.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 24

ALLAH, on this day, I ask You for what pleases You, and I seek refuge in You from what displeases You, I ask You to grant me the opportunity to obey You and not disobey You, O One who is generous with those who ask

Ramadan Dua: DAY 25

ALLAH, on this day, make me among those who love Your friends, and hate Your enemies, following the way of Your last Prophet, O the Guardian of the hearts of the Prophets.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 26

ALLAH, on this day, make my efforts worthy of appreciation, and my sins forgiven, my deeds accepted, my flaws concealed, O the best of those who hear.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 27

ALLAH, on this day, bestow on me the blessings of Laylatul Qadr, change my affairs from (being) difficult to (being) easy, accept my apologies, and decrease for me [my] sins and burdens, O the Compassionate with His righteous servants.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 28

ALLAH, on this day, grant me a share in its nawafil (recommended prayers), honor me by attending to my problems, make closer the means to approach You, from all the means, O One who is not preoccupied by the requests of the beseechers.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 29

O ALLAH, on this day, cover me with Your mercy, grant me in it success and protection, purify my heart from the darkness of false accusations, O the Merciful to His believing servants.

Ramadan Dua: DAY 30

O ALLAH, on this day, make my fasts worthy of appreciation and acceptance, according to what pleases You, and pleases the Messenger, the branches being strengthened by the roots, for the sake of our leader, Muhammad, and his purified family. Praise be to ALLAH, the Lord of the worlds.

Ya Haqq!