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Archive for January, 2010

Saving a Tyrant

January 29th, 2010 No comments

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Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi was a harsh and a ruthless tyrant. His famous debate with the great scholar and Mujahid Saeed Ibn Jubayr epitomises his rule as an unforgiving viceroy of Iraq who killed innocent and pious people. It is said that when he was on his deathbed, his prisons were filled with 50,000 men and 30,000 women –  of which 16,00 were stripped naked. Men and women were mixed together in the jail-houses and there was no shelter from the scorching summer’s heat or the heavy rains of winter.

Whether these reports are sound or not, he was known as a violent ruler and many scholars condemned his actions. Although he made some developments in agriculture and others, people made dua to God constantly for his demise.

I thought I’d share a funny, yet very telling story of the hatred many people had for Hajjaj:

One day, as Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi was bathing in the Persian Gulf he began to drown, but he was saved by a Muslim. When the man carried him (Hajjaj) to the shore, Hajjaj said to him: “Ask for anything you desire, and your request will be granted”.

Unfortunately the man did not know who he had just saved! So he asked: “And who are you to grant me anything I request?”

Hajjaj replied in a boastful voice: “I am Hajjaj al-Thaqafi”

The man realising who he had just pulled out of the water asked regrettably: “I ask you by Allah – my only request is that you do not inform anyone that I saved you!”

source

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Sautun Noor – As sub hu bada min tal’ati hii

January 28th, 2010 4 comments
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This is a Nasheed from the album ‘Sautun Noor’ (Voices of light) produced by the Students of Madresah Noor for the Blind (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa). They have a website: www.mnblind.org

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The Shepherd

January 27th, 2010 No comments

shepard

Once upon a time, there lived in Basra an old man whose only occupation was caring for and loving his only son who was a handsome young man. The old man invested all his money on his son’s education. The young man went away for a few years and acquired an education at a well known university under the great scholars of that age.

The day had arrived for the son to return from his studies and the old man waited at the door for his son. When the son came and met his father, the old man looked into his eyes and felt great disappointment. “What have you learnt my son?” he asked, “I have learnt everything there was to be learnt, father”, he said. “But have you learnt what cannot be taught?” asked the father. “Go, my son and learn what cannot be taught”, said the old man.

The young man went back to his master and asked him to teach him what cannot be taught.
“Go away to the mountains with these four hundred sheep and come back when they are one thousand”, said the master.

The young man went to the mountains and became a shepherd. There for the first time he encountered a silence. He had no one to talk to. The sheep did not understand his language. In his desperation, he would talk to them but they would look back at him as if to say he was stupid. Slowly but surely he began to forget all his worldly knowledge, his ego, his pride and he became quiet like the sheep and great wisdom and humility came to him.

At the end of two years when the number of sheep had grown to one thousand, he returned to his master and fell on his feet. “Now you have learnt what cannot be taught,” said the master.

NB. It is interesting to note that the Nabis of Allah Taala (Alayhimus salaam) at some time in their lives, generally before Nubuwwat, tended to sheep, and other such animals.

source

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The Atheist Teacher

January 25th, 2010 No comments

classroom

A young woman teacher with obvious liberal tendencies explains to her class of small children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they’re atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks. There is, however, one exception. A beautiful girl named Zainab has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different. “Because I’m not an atheist.”

Then, asks the teacher, “What are you?” “I’m a Muslim.” The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Zainab why she is a Muslim. “Well, I was brought up knowing and loving God. My mom is a Muslim, and my dad is a Muslim, so I am a Muslim.”
The teacher is now angry. “That’s no reason,” she says loudly, “what if your mom was a moron,and your dad was a moron, – what would you be then?” She paused, and smiled. “Then,” says Zainab, “I’d be an atheist.”

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The way

January 23rd, 2010 No comments

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One sunny spring afternoon Nasrudin was sitting peacefully by the imposing North gate of Samarkand watching the colourful string of caravans following each other and followed in turn by the curious glances of the populace.

A stranger, an obviously rich merchant from Persia about to leave town, felt attracted by Hodja’s honest-looking turban and stopped his convoy to inquire about the dangers of travel.

“Salutations to you venerable Mullah,” he said. “I am going to Herat. Is the road secure? Will I get there safely?”

“You will not reach your destination,” answered Hodja in a confidential low voice.

“So there are robbers on the road?” worried the merchant lowering his own voice.

“No, there aren’t. They are too afraid of Emir Timur.”

“Is the road difficult? I have good camels and my horses are strong!” continued the traveller.

“The road is good, but you will never get there.”

By now the merchant was deeply disturbed:

“Is there a lack or water and food on the path? I took many provisions in my luggage.”

“That will not suffice.”

“Other hardships to expect? I have money to replace whatever is needed.”

“No use. You better change your plan.”

The traveller grew irritated: “But I must go to Herat and I am a determined man. And who are you to be so certain that I will not arrive?”

“Look, my good man,” replied Nasrudin, “let me make it plain for you: the better the camels and horses, the more provisions, money and resolve, the less you will get to Herat. Herat is South and you are heading North.”

source

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Advice to Husbands

January 22nd, 2010 2 comments

by Sheikh Abdallah Adhami

By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend. She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you; when you have a secret, she will keep it; when you need advice, she will give you the best advice. She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be her; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body, she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind, and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world.
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Qasida Imam AlHaddad – Ilzambaab B’rabbaak

January 20th, 2010 4 comments

Al-Habib Abdullah bin Alawi AlHaddad’s qasidah sung by Syed Hassan Al-Seri from Jeddah.
This is another old recording from over 25 years ago.

The arabic text is included.

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The story of Shaykh Abdullah Al-Andalusi

January 13th, 2010 No comments

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This is a story filled with lessons and warning, anyone who is in a high position of academic activity or in Tasawwuf or in any other service of Deen will derive benefit and guidance from it. They will learn that it is of utmost importance for one to avoid thinking of others as being inferior to him. They should always remember the advice of Shaykh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi (rah), the spiritual guide of Shaykh Saadi (rah): “Never become self-conceited and never look down upon anyone else.”

This story takes place at a time when piety, trust and righteousness was quite prominent in the lives of the people. In every town there were numerous Ulema and pious men, especially in Baghdad, which at the time was the seat of the Islamic State. It was a gathering place for the jurists, scholars of hadith, and the saints. In this city among all these pious people, was one Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi (rah), who had thirty khanqahs (spiritual retreats) in Baghdad. In addition he was a well-known scholar and muhaddith and it said that the number of his disciples was 12,000. He knew 30,000 hadith by heart, and could recite the Quran in all the various “Qiraats”.

On a certain occasion he was going on a journey and was accompanied with a large crowd of attendants among whom were the well-known Junayd Baghdadi (rah) and Shibli (rah). Hadrat Shibli (rah) continues the story: “Our caravan was travelling along quite nicely, safely and comfortably until we passed by an area where Christians were residing. It was already time for Salaah, but because of the unavailability of water, we had not performed it yet. When we reached the Christian village, a search was made for water. We went about the village and discovered the town had many temples, sun-worshipping altars, synagogues and churches. Some of them worshipped the sun, some were worshipping the fire, and some were directing their pleas at the cross. We passed all this and reached the outskirts of the town, where we found a well and a few girls drawing water for people to drink.”

Shaykh Abu Abdullah’s (rah) eyes fell upon one of the girls who stood out from the rest through her exquisite beauty. She was dressed in beautiful clothes and adorned in jewelry. The Shaykh (rah) asked the other girls who she was. They replied: ” This is the daughter of our chief”. The Shaykh (rah) replied: “Then why did her father degrade her to such an extent that she has to sit by the well and give people water to drink?”

The girls replied: “He does not want her to sit around and be proud and boastful of her father’s possessions”. Hadrat Shibli (rah) says: “The Shaykh (rah) sat down with his head bent forward and remained silent like that for three days. At the time of Salaah he would perform his Salaah.” On the third day becoming despondent with his situation, I decided to speak to him. I said: “O Shaykh, your mureeds (disciples) are very worried and perplexed at this continued silence of yours. Please speak to us. What is the problem?”

The Shaykh (rah) replied: “My beloved friends! For how long can I keep my condition hidden from you? My heart has become filled with love for the girl we saw the day before yesterday. So much has this love filled me that it is in control of all my limbs. It is not possible for me under any circumstance to leave from here.” Hadrat Shibli (rah) replied: “Our leader! You are the spiritual guide of all Iraq. You are known for your piety, knowledge and virtues. Your disciples number over 12,000. I beg you through the Holy Quran not to disgrace us.” The Shaykh (rah) replied: “My beloved friends, your lot and my lot has already been sealed by fate. The cloak of sainthood has been removed from me and the signs of guidance have been taken away from me. What has been predestined has come to pass, now I am nothing.” Saying this the Shaykh (rah) started weeping bitterly.

When the people heard of our return, they turned up in large numbers at the outskirts of the city to come and meet the Shaykh (rah) . They saw that he was not with us and asked about it. We told them the entire story. They was a lot of sorrow and crying. Many fell down in prayer begging Allah to guide the Shaykh (rah) to the right path and return him to his former position. In the meantime all the khanqahs were closed down. We were still talking about the Shaykh’s (rah) tragedy one year later when we decided to visit that town again and find out how he was. A group of us set forth and after enquiring were told that he was in the woods looking after pigs. We said: “Allah protect us! What has happened? The villagers told us that he had proposed marriage to the daughter of the village chief. The girls father had accepted the proposal on the condition that he would look after the pigs.”

“With tears streaming down our eyes, we went to the woods where he was rearing pigs. We saw him with a string of sacred beads around his neck. He stood leaning on a staff as he watched the pigs, standing in the same way in which he stood when he used to deliver the Khutbah for us. This was like rubbing salt into our open wounds.”

When he saw us coming towards him he bent his head in shame. We came nearer and said “Assalamu Alaykum.” He replied: “Walaykumus salaam”. Then Hadrat Shibli (rah) asked: “Shaykh (rah) inspite of your knowledge and virtue what is this that has happened to you?” The Shaykh (rah) replied: “My brothers! I am now no longer driven by my own choice and will. Whatever Allah has desired for me, He has done with me. After having brought me so near to His door, He has now thrown me very far away from Him. Who is there that can overturn the decree of Allah? O my brothers, fear Allah’s power and wrath. Never become proud and arrogant regarding your knowledge and virtues. Then turning towards the heavens he said: “O my Lord, I never expected that You will make me so disgraced and despised and send me away from Your door.” Then he began crying bitterly and appealing to Allah.

Seeing the Shaykh (rah) in such hopelessness, they left for Baghdad. However on the way they saw the Shaykh (rah) in front of them coming out of a river, where he had just performed a bath. In a loud voice he said: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) is the Messenger of Allah”

The Shaykh (rah) asked us for pure clothing to wear. He then started performing Salaah after which he was asked the reason why he was put through such an intense trial? The Shaykh (rah) replied: “When we arrived in the village and saw the temples, synagogues and churches and we saw fire-worshippers busy worshipping things other than Allah, a pride overtook my heart. I thought that these people were so foolish to worship lifeless things. At that time I heard a voice inside me saying: “This Iman that you have, in not part of your virtue or good qualities. All this is merely Our favors upon you. Do not consider your faith to be of your own choosing, that you can now look down upon these people with despising eyes. And if you so wish, We will test you now.” At that moment I felt has if a dove had left my heart and flew away. That was in fact my Imaan.”

Hadrat Shibli (rah) relates: “Thereafter our caravan arrived in Baghdad with great joy all around. All of his mureeds were extremely happy that the Shaykh (rah) had reverted to Islam. He resumed his activities in Tasawwuf, Tafseer and Hadith. The Khanqahs were reopened and in a short while, his mureeds numbered over 40,000.”

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Habib Umar – A Common Word 2008

January 7th, 2010 1 comment
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Habib Umar speaking in an event organized by The Radical Middleway in 2008 titled “Do we need a common word?” (click here to view entire event).

A Common Word is an initiative to build bridges with other faiths endorsed by many scholars from the east and west. Below is an excerpt from their official website.

On October 13th 2006, one month to the day after Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address of September 13th 2006, 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding. In their Open Letter to the Pope (see english.pdf), for the first time in recent history, Muslim scholars from every branch of Islam spoke with one voice about the true teachings of Islam.
Exactly one year after that letter, on October 13th 2007 Muslims expanded their message. In A Common Word Between Us and You, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet r to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. Like the Open Letter, the signatories to this message come from every denomination and school of thought in Islam. Every major Islamic country or region in the world is represented in this message, which is addressed to the leaders of all the world’s churches, and indeed to all Christians everywhere.

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