O Allah! Confer for ever Your best blessings and ever increasing and never ending favours and Your Purest and Gracious boons on him who is exalted in the realm of the realities of the nature of humans and jinns, and is fully aware of all subtleties of faith, and is the Mount Sinai recieving Divine Illuminations and the place on which descend the mysteries of the All-Beneficent and who is a bridegroom in the Kingdom of the Lord, the centrally placed jewel in the chain of prophets, the first and the foremost in the front line of the army of Messengers, the leader of the caravan of the saints and the truthful, the most graceful of all creation, the bearer of the highest flag of honour, the owner of the keys to the shining gallery, the beholder of the secrets of eternity, the beholder of the pristine glow of Primal Light, the interpreter of the Divine Language, fountain-spring of knowledge, tolerance and wisdom, the manifestation of the existence of the secrets of the whole and its parts, and the person who is the (cause of the) existence of (everything) above and below, the soul in the body of both the worlds (that keeps them alive), the fountain of life of this world and of the world to come, the one who knows the reality of the high rank of servitude of Allah and is created with the highest spiritual stations of morality, the foremost among the friends of Allah and His beloved, highly honoured; our master, our patron, our beloved, Muhammad, son of 'Abdullah, son of 'Abdul Muttalib, Allah's blessings on him, his family and companions, in the number which is in Your Knowledge (O Allah) and as many times as Your Words, whenever You are remembered and he is remembered by those who remember and whenever You are not remembered and he is not remembered by the negligent, and abundant, never ending, complete salutations on him.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Name Of Allah

Let's say the name of Allah all the time.
Let's see what my Lord does.
Let's travel the Way always.
Let's see what my Lord does.

Just when you least expect it,
suddenly the veil is lifted.
The remedy arrives in time.
Let's see what my Lord does.

What did Yunus do?
What did he do?
He found a straight Path,
held the hand of a guide.
Let's see what my Lord does.

-Yunus Emre

Forgive Me

Giving thanks for abundance
is sweeter than the abundance itself:
Should one who is absorbed with the Generous One
be distracted by the gift?
Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence;
abundance is but the husk,
for thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.
Abundance yields heedlessness;
thankfulness brings alertness:
hunt for bounty with the net of gratitude.

Mathnawi III, 2895-2897

Could Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Read?

This lecture is in three parts: Part 1A, Part 1B and Part 2
A lecture delivered by Shaykh M I H Pirzada at the Leeds Makkah Masjid (UK)
on Sunday 17 December 2006.

In Parts 1A and 1B, Shaykh Pirzada addresses the issue concerning the noble Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) not reciting at the first divine revelation and he answers
the criticisms that the Prophet (peace be upon him) could not read.

In Part 2, Shaykh Pirzada highlights the importance of education and the pursuit of scientific
knowledge as seen through the first Qur’anic revelation.

The lecture is translated into English by Bakhtyar H. Pirzada al-Azhari.

11 Principles Of The Naqshbandi Sufi Order

The following eleven principles show the exercise aims of the Tariqat Naqshbandiya. The first eight were formulated by Khwaja Abd-al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani and the last three were added by Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshband.

01-Yad Kard
Remembrance or making mention, both oral and mental, be always repeating the Zikr imparted to you so that you may attain the beatific vision. Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshband said, “The aim in Zikr is that the heart be always aware of Al-Haqq[The Truth, a Beautiful Name of Allah], for its practice banished inattention.”

02-Baz Gasht
Restraint: The person saying the Zikr when engaging in the heart repetition of the blessed phrase [shahada] should intersperse it with such phrases as “my God you are my Goal and your satisfaction is my aim”, to help keep one’s thoughts from straying. Other masters say that it means ‘return’ or ‘repent’ i.e. return to Al-Haqq by way of contrition [inkisar].

03-Nigah Dasht
Watchfulness: Over wandering, passing thoughts when repeating the blessed phrase.

04-Yad Dasht
Recollection: concentration upon the Divine Presence in a condition of Dhawq [zoq], foretaste, intuitive anticipation or perceptiveness not using external aids.

05-Hosh Dar Dam
Awareness while breathing: the technique of breath control. Khawaja Bahauddin Naqshband said, “The external basis of this tariqa is the breath.” One must not exhale or inhale in forgetfulness.

06-Safar Dar Watan
Journeying in one’s homeland: This is an interior journey, the movement from blameworthy to praiseworthy qualities. Others refer to it as the vision or revelation of the hidden side of shahada.

07-Nazar Bar Qadam
Watching one’s steps: Let the salik [pilgrim] ever be watchful during his journey whatever the type of country through which he is passing that he does not let his gaze be distracted from the goal of his journey.

08-Khalwat Dar Anjuman
Soltitude in a crowd: The journey of the salik though outwardly is in the world, inwardly it is with God. Leaders of the Tariqa have said, “In this tariqa association is in the crowd [assembly] and disassociation in the khalwa”. A common weekly practice was to perform Zikr in the assembly.

Temporal pause: Keeping account of how one is spending his time, whether rightly and if so give thanks or wrongly and if so asking for forgiveness, according to the ranking of the deeds, for “verily the good deeds of the righteous are the equities of those who are near [to God]”.

Numerical pause: Checking that the ‘heart Zikr’ [said in the heart, silently] has been repeated the requisite number of times, taking into account one’s wandering. Bahauddin Naqshband considered numerical awareness the first stage of esoteric knowledge.

Heart pause: Forming a mental picture of one’s heart with the name of Allah. Engraved thereon, to emphasize that the heart has no consciousness or goal other than Allah. This is the meaning of “Naqshband”.

Chechen Zikr

The Honorable & Exalted Status Of Rasool Allah (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him)

The Excellence of His Glorious Names
Hazrat Jabir bin Mut’am radhi-allahu-anhu relates that I heard the Holy Prophet say, ‘I have many names. One of them is Muhammad and another is Ahmad. I am known as Haasshir, for (on the Day of Judgment) the entire human race will be gathered together under my banner. I am also called Aqib and Aqib is the one after whom there is no other prophet.
(Bukhari and Muslim)

The First to Be Granted Prophethood
Hazrat Abu Huraira radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Sahaba asked, ‘O Holy Prophet! When were you granted prophethood?’ The Holy Prophet replied, ‘I was granted prophethood before the creation of Adam.’

Hazrat Jabir radhi-allahu-anhu once asked, ‘O Holy Prophet! What was the very first thing that Allah created?’ The Holy Prophet replied, ‘Jabir, the very first thing that Allah created before anything else was the noor (light) of your prophet from His (divine) noor.’
(Mawahib-e-Ladunniyah related by Hazrat Abdurrazzaq)

The Imam of All Prophets
Hazrat Ubay bin Kaab radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet said, ‘On the day of Judgment, I will be the Imam (leader) of all the prophets and the one who will speak on their behalf with Allah. It will be because of me that other prophets will be given permission to intercede. I do not boast about this.’

The Last Prophet
Hazrat Abu Huraira radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet said, ‘My position amongst the rest of the prophets can be compared to a palace which has been beautifully built but the space of one brick has been left empty. People looked around the palace and marveled at its splendor and immaculate construction except for that empty space of one brick. I filled that empty space and hence completed the construction of that palace. In the same way, the advent of prophets was completed by my advent into this world.’ In another hadeeth, it is related that the Holy Prophet said, ‘I am like the brick that was missing in the “Palace of Prophet hood” and I am the last prophet.’
(Bukhari and Muslim)

His Unique Characteristics
Hazrat Aisha radhi-allahu-anha relates that the Holy Porphet forbade his Ummah from fasting continuously (without breaking the fast each day at sunset) by his mercy and kindness. The Sahaba said to him, ‘You fast in this way (but forbid us from doing so)’. The Holy Prophet replied, ‘I am not like you. My Lord provides me with food and drink.’

A Mercy and Blessing for All Creations
Hazrat Abu Huraira radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet was once asked to curse the disbelievers (who were persecuting and torturing the Muslims severely) but the Holy Prophet replied, ‘I have not been sent to curse; I was sent as a mercy and blessing.

The Greatest Amongst Prophets
Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas radhi-allahu-anhu relates that some Sahaba were sitting together when the Holy Prophet approached them and listened to them talking amongst themselves. One Sahabi said, ‘Allah appointed Prophet Ibraheem as his Khaleel (very close and dear friend).’ Another said, ‘Allah spoke (directly) to Prophet Moosa.’ A third Sahabi said, ‘Prophet Eesa is ‘Kalimatullah’ (Allah’s word) and ‘Ruhullah’ (Allah’s spirit).’ A fourth Sahabi said, ‘Prophet Adam is ‘Safiullah’ (Allah’s chosen one).’
The Holy Prophet went upto them and said, ‘I heard your conversation. You are surprised that Ibraheem is ‘Khaleelullah’ yet he is worthy of that rank and that Mossa is ‘Najeeulla’ (‘Kaleemullah’), he is worthy of that rank and that Eesa is ‘Ruhullah’ and ‘Kalimatullah’, he is worthy of those ranks and that Adam is ‘Safiullah’, he too is worthy of those ranks and that Adam is ‘Safiullah’, he too is worthy of that rank. Listen carefully! I am ‘Habeebullah’ (Allah’s beloved) but I do not say this to boast.
On the Day of Judgment, ‘Liva-ul-Hamd’ (Holy Prophet’s special flag) will be in my hand alone. Adam and entire human race will be beneath it. I do not boast about this. I will be the first one to intercede with Allah on behalf of sinners on the Day of Judgment and I will be the first one whose shaffa’ah (intercession) will be accepted. I do not boast about this. I will be the first one to turn the key of Paradise. The poor amongst the Muslims will be with me at that time. Allah will open the door of paradise for my sake and will allow me to enter it. I do not boast about this. In Allah’s view, I am the most honorable amongst all those who have passed and all those who are to come. I do not boast about this.’

His Life after His Physical Departure from This World
Hazrat Abud Darda radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet said, ‘Recite a lot of salat and salam (durood) upon me on Friday because this is witnessed by angels who are present upon this day (for this purpose). The salat and salam of everyone who recites it is presented before me until they stop reciting salat and salam.’ Hazrat Abu Darda says, I asked, ‘(OHoly Prophet!) Will the salat and salaam be presented before you even after your death?’ The Holy Prophet replied, ‘(Yes, because) Allah has forbidden the earth from decomposing the bodies of prophets. Hence, Allah’s prophets are alive and they are given ‘rizq’ (nourishment in their graves).’
(Ibn Majah)

Life and Death
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri radhi-allahu-anhu narrates that one day, the Holy Prophet sat upon the minbar in the mosque and said, ‘Indeed, Allah has given a servant of His a choice between taking as much as he wishes from the treasures and pleasures of this world or accepting the rewards and the blessings that his Lord has kept for him. That person chose the rewards and blessings that Allah has kept for him.’ On hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq radhi-allahu-anhu wept and said, ‘O Holy Prophet! We would sacrifice our parents for you! (i.e. you are more dear to us than even our parents).”
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri radhi-allahu-anhu says, ‘We were very surprised by this statement of Hazrat Abu Bakr’s. People started to say, ‘Look at this old man. The Holy Prophet was talking about a person who was given a choice between the pleasures of this world and the rewards of the Hereafter and that person chose the rewards of the Hereafter and Hazrat Abu Bakr says, “O Holy Prophet! We would sacrifice our parents for you!”’ In fact, that person (who was given this choice) was the Holy Prophet himself and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq radhi-allahu-anhu was the most learned amongst us (and hence, only he realized this).’
(Bukhari and Muslim)

The Owner of the Treasures of the Universe
Hazrat Abu Huraira radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holp Prophet said, ‘I have been sent with the gift of ‘jawaami-ul-kalim’ (speech which is concise in words but vast in meaning). I have been helped by the fact that fear of me has been put into the hearts of disbelievers. I was asleep once and I saw that the keys of all the treasures of the earth were presented to me and placed in my hand.’
(Bukhari and Muslim)

The Distributor of Allah’s Bounties
Hazrat Jabir Radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet said, ‘Keep your names the same as my name but do not keep anyone’s ‘kuniyyah’ (title) the same as my ‘kuniyyah’ because only I have been appointed as ‘Qasim’ (distributor). I distribute Allah’s favors and gifts amongst you.’
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Foretelling of Events
Hazrat Huzaifa radhi-allahu-anhu relates, ‘One day the Holy Prophet stood before us (Sahaba) and told us about every single event that was going to occur until the day of judgment. He who remembered these facts remembered them and he who forgot them forgot them. These friends of mine (Sahaba) know this. Whenever any of these events occur (about which the Holy Prophet had informed us) which I had forgotten, then on seeing it taking place, I immediately rmemember it in the same way as a person recognizes some one immediately, whom he has not seen for a long time, upon seeing him again.’
(Bukhari and Muslim)

His Knowledge of the Unseen
Hazrat Umar radhi-allahu-anhu relates, ‘The Holy Prophet stood before us (Sahaba) one day and told us about everything that had happened from the beginning of creation and everything that was going to occur right up to the time when the inhabitants of Paradise and inhabitants of Hell would occupy their respective places in these two abodes. He who remembered these facts remembered them and he who forgot them forgot them.’

His Challenge to People to Ask Him Anything
Hazrat Anas bin Malik radhi-allahu-anhu relates that one day after midday, the Holy Prophet came from his house and led us in the Zuhr prayer, the Holy Prophet stood on the minbar. He spoke about the Day of Judgment and said that many great events would take place before it. Then Holy Prophet said, “If anyone wishes to ask me about anything then do so. I swear by Allah! Whilst I am standing here, I shall answer every question you ask me!”
Hazrat Anas radhi-allahu-anhu says that on hearing this everyone started crying (Through fear). The Holy Prophet was repeatedly saying, “Ask me!” Hazrat Anas says that a man stood up and said, “O Holy Prophet! Where will my abode be (in the Hereafter)?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Hell”. Then Hazrat Abdullah bin Huzafah radhi-allahu-anhu stood up and said, “O Holy Prophet! Who is my father?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Your father is Huzafah.”
Hazrat Anas says that the Holy Prophet again repeatedly said, “Ask me! Ask me(anything you want to)!” Seeing what was happening, Hazrat Umar radhi-allahu-anhu rose and sat very respectfully (as we do during ‘tashahhud’ in salah) in front of the Holy Prophet and said, “We are satisfied and contented that Allah is our Lord, that Islam is our ‘Deen’ (religion and way of life) and that Muhammad (sallallahu-alaihi-wasalam) is our prophet.” On hearing Hazrat Umar’s words, the Holy Prophet fell silent. Then he said, “I swera by Him (Allah) in whose control is my life! Just now during the (Zuhr) prayer, I was shown Paradise and Hell in front of this wall. I have never before witnessed good and evil as I have today.”

Praying for Rain in Madeenah Munawara
Hazrat Anas Radhi-allahu-anhu relates that once in the Holy Prophet’s time, the people were afflicted by severe drought and famine. Whilst the Holy Prophet was delivering the Friday sermon seated upon the minbar, a villager stood up and said, ‘O Holy Prophet! Our animals are perishing and our children are starving as a result of this famine. Please pray to Allah for us.’
The Holy Prophet raised hid hands for prayer. Hazrat Anas says that at that time we could not see a even a speck of cloud in the sky but I swear by Allah! The Holy Prophet had not yet even lowered his hands after his ‘dua’ (prayer) when grey clouds as large as mountains began to appear in the sky and it rained heavily. When the Holy Prophet descended from the minbar, I could see raindrops dripping from his beard. It continued to rain that day, the next day, the day after and every day until the following Friday. (When the Holy Prophet sat upon the minbar to deliver the Friday sermon the following week) the same villager or someone else stood up and said, ‘O Holy Prophet! Because of the abundance of rain, buildings are collapsing and animals are drowning (in the floods). Pray to Allah for us.’ The Holy Prophet raised his hands for ‘dua’ and prayed, ‘O Allah! Make it rain around us but not upon us.’ The Holy Prophet was pointing to the clouds and directing them with his hand. Whichever direction the Holy Prophet pointed in, the clouds broke away from there until the entire sky over Madeenah was absolutely clear (of clouds) and it now rained around Madeenah. Whenever anyone came to Madeenah from another city, they spoke of the abundance of rain.
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Hazrat Abu Huraira’s Mother Accepts Islam
Hazrat Abu Huraira radhi-allahu-anhu says, ‘My mother was a disbeliever. I used to keep inviting her to accept Islam. Once, when I asked her to become a Muslim, she said very disrespectful words about the Holy Prophet. This saddened me greatly. Crying, I went to the Holy Prophet and said, ‘O Holy Prophet! Pray to Allah that He may guide my mother to accept Islam!’ The Holy Prophet prayed, “O Allah! Guide Abu Huraira’s mother (to accept Islam).’ Hazrat Abu Huraira says that hearing the Holy Prophet’s prayer, I returned home joyfully. When I arrived home I saw that the door was closed. Having heard my footsteps, my mother said, ‘Abu Huraira! Wait outside!’ I heard water splashing onto the ground. My mother had a bath and dressed. Opening the door hurriedly she said, ‘Abu Huraira! I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad ( sallallahu-alaihi-wasalam) is His (noble) servant and true prophet.’ On hearing this, crying for joy, I immediately went to the Holy Prophet and gave him the good news of my mother’s acceptance of Islam. The Holy Prophet praised Allah and blessed me with his prayers.

His Knowledge of Events Occurring in Barzakh
Hazrat Inve Abbas radhi-allhu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet once passed by two graves. He said that the people in these two graves were being punished and that this was not due to any big sins. In fact, it was due to very small sins. One of them did not bother preventing drops of urine getting onto his body and clothes. The other used to spread malicious stories about people. The Holy Prophet then took a fresh branch of a tree, split into two pieces and stuck a piece of branch into each of the two graves. The Sahaba asked him, ‘O Holy Prophet! Why have you done this?’ The Holy Prophet replied, ‘Whilst these branches remain fresh, the punishment in these graves will be reduced.’

Splitting the Moon
Hazrat Anas radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the people of Makkah asked the Holy Prophet to show them a ‘mu’jiza’ (a miracle – as proof of his prophethood). In response, the Holy Prophet split the moon into two parts until they could see Mount Hira between the two halves.
(Bukhari and Muslim)

The Flowing of Water from His Hands
Hazrat Jabir radhi-allahu-anhu relates that people were extremely thirsty on the day of the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyyah. The Holy Prophet had a water vessel in front of him from which he was performing ‘wudhu’. Everyone went to him and said, ‘We have not got any water at all to perform ‘wudhu’ or to drink. The only water we have (amongst us altogether) is that which is in your water-vessel.’ Hearing this, the Holy Prophet placed his blessed hand into that vessel and (miraculously) water began to gush forth from between his fingers like springs of water. Hazrat Jabir says that we all drank our fill and performed ‘wudhu’ from that water. Hazrat Jabir was asked how many people were present (that day) and he replied, ‘Even if we had numbered one hundred thousand that water would have been sufficient for us but there were only fifteen hundred of us that day.
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Benefits of Reciting Salat and Salam
Hazrat Anas radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet said, ‘Whoever recites salat and salam (durood) upon me once, Allah grants that person ten blessings, forgives ten of his sins and elevates his status by ten dgrees.’

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar radhi-allahu-anhu says, “Whoever recites salat and salam upon the Holy Prophet once, Allah and His Angels send their blessings upon that person seventy times.”

Reporting Events in Syria Whilst in Madeenah
Hazrat Anas radhi-allahu-anhu relates that the Holy Prophet informed us of ‘shahadah’ (martyrdom) of Hazrat Zaid, Hazrat Jafar and Hazrat Ibn-u-Ravaha radhi-allahu-anhum before this news reached us (in Madeenah) from the battlefield (in Syria). The Holy Prophet said, “Zaid held the banner of Islam first and was martyred fighting to the end. The Jafar held the banner and was also martyred fighting to the end. Then Ibn-u-Ravaha held it and he too was martyred.” Whilst the Holy Prophet was relating this, tears were streaming down his noble face. (The Holy Prophet continued) “then ‘Saif-um-min-Suyufillah’ (a sword from amongst Allah’s swords) Khalid bin Waleed held the banner of Islam and Allah granted Muslims victory over their enemy.”

The Necessity of Loving Rasool Allah (Peace Be Upon Him)

Allah says, ‘(O Holy Prophet!) Say (to the believers) if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your clan, the wealth that you have earned, the business in which you fear loss and your chosen houses are more dear to you than Allah and His prophet and jihad (fighting or struggling) in His cause then wait until Allah brings forth His command (punishment.’
(Holy Quran, Surah 9, At-Tauba, Verse 24)

Qadhi Iyadh rahmatullah-alaih writes that this verse is sufficient proof and indication of the necessity of loving the Holy Prophet and the fact that this is an immensely important obligation.

The Holy Prophet said, ’None amongst you can be a true believer until his love for me is greater than the love he holds for his parents, his children and everyone else.’
(Bukhari and Muslim related by Hazrat Anas)

Hazrat Anas radhi-allahhu-anhu also relates that the Holy Prophet said, ‘A person who possesses the following three qualities has acquired the true meaning of eeman(faith):

1. His love for Allah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad sallallahu-alaihi-wasallam is greater than his love for anyone else.
2. His friendship with anyone is solely for Allah’s pleasure.
3. Having accepted Islam, he abhors ‘kufr’(disbelief) as much as he would loathe burning in fire.’
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Hazrat Umar radhi-allahu-anhu said to the Holy Prophet, ‘I love you more than everything than myself.’ The Holy Prophet said, ‘None amongst you can be atrue believer until I am dearer to him than even himself.’
Hazrat Umar said, ‘I swear by Him (Allah) who revealed the Book (Holy Quran) to you! You are indeed dearer to me than even myself.’
The Holy Prophet replied, ‘Umar, now your eeman (faith) is complete.’

The ahadeeth below have been selected from ‘Ash-Shifa’ , Part Two, Chapter Two, Section 2; ‘The Reward for Loving the Prophet’:

A man came to the Holy Prophet and asked, ‘When will the day of Judgment come?’ The Holy Prophet replied, ‘What have you prepared for it?’ The man said, ‘I have not prepared for it with a lot of salah, fasting or sadqah (charitable donations) but I do love Allah and His Prophet. ‘The Holy Prophet said to him , ‘Anta ma’a man ahbabta (On the day of judgment) you will be with the one you love.’
(Bukhari related by Hazrat Anas)

Hazrat Safwan bin Qudamah radhi-allahu-anhu relates, ‘I did hijra (emigrated) to the Holy Prophet and went to him and said, “O Holy Prophet! Give me your hand so I may swear the oath of allegiance to you,” The Holy Prophet gave me his hand. I said to him, “O Holy Prophet! I do indeed love you, “The Holy Prophet replied, “Al-mar’u ma’a man ahabba- A person is (and always will be) with the one he loves.”’
(Tirmizi and Nissaee)

A man came to the Holy Prophet and said, ‘O Holy Prophet! You are indeed dearer to me than my family and my wealth, I remember you and I cannot wait until I can come and look at you. I think of my death and yours and know that when you enter paradise you will be at a high ranking place with the prophets and so, even if I am granted entrance to paradise I will not be able to see you (because of your high status).
In response to this, Allah revealed the verse: “And he who obeys Allah and the Prophet, he will be with those whom Allah has favored-the prophets, the siddiqeen (truthful people), the shuhada (martyrs) and the saliheen (pious people). And what good companions they are.” (Holy Quran, Surah 4: An-Nisa, Verse69). The Holy Prophet called the man and recited this verse to him.