Friday, 29 June 2012

Prophet Hadith predicted tv/internet?

The Prophet Muhammed (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) predicted the internet/television phenomena?
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said (by meaning): "The end of time will not come until someone will tell a lie and it will immediately reach the horizons of the Earth" 

Mentioned by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf source:

Obviously you need technology to do such things, and such technology was not available before (except through a miracle). Note that it talks about reaching the "horizons of the Earth" and "immediately". This is done by the Internet and television, hence the "world wide web" (www). The satellite covers the whole world. Imagine how can anyone predict such a thing 1500 years ago, especially in a desert Arab society?

Allahu A'lem

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Madinah at End of Times

The Prophet said: "The Day of Deliverance! What is the Day of Deliverance?" They said, "O Messenger of Allah, what is the Day of Deliverance?" He said: "The Dajjal will come and look at Madina and will say to his companions, 'Do you see this white palace? This is the Mosque of Ahmad" (Ahmad and Hakim)
Just look at how the Masjid Nabawi (of the Prophet) looks like now and how true was the Prophet Muhammed (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in the hadith about the Mosque looking like a white palace:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Prophet on Planes hadith

Imagine if you were 1500 years ago, in desert, with very little technology and science. Would you then be able to describe planes with much detail? Would you even be able to make predictions that humans would make flying machines? You would probably would say "no", since there was no automotive technology or engines, or any transport like it. People for 1 million years were using horses, boats and other animals to travel. Then how is it possible that an unlettered man (couldn't read or write) was able to stand in a desert and describe future technology in great detail. For 1 million years, the form of transportation was limited to horses, other animals and boats. Through divine inspirations the Prophet SAW was able to describe planes in detail (and its not like the stuff you'd think when seeing a bird by saying "oh my flying machine would have feathered wings, and a birdy nose, for air resistance). 

Hadiths (sayings) of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) were very accurate in predicting many things in the future, including planes (Sheikh Hamza Yusuf mentioned that one hadith spoke about the Dajjal riding a "donkey made of iron". This though iron wasn't used for vehicles at the time). 

The Prophet said:

"The Dajjāl uses a special kind of donkey possessing two enormous ears, each of which is at least 30 arms-lengths, moving in the skies, with the clouds so near he can reach them with his hand and it travels faster than the sun going to its sunset." (Mentioned in Kanz ul-`Ummal and `Uqd ad-Durrar, Imam al-Maqdisi.)

Another hadith mentioned that the Dajjāl’s donkey moves with a very high speed over land, oceans and skies. Its color is very white l
ike the moon. Between one step and another is like the walking of a day and a night. (in Fayd al Qadir, al Manawi) 

These are clear descriptions of an airplane where the ears are the wings and the color described, aqmar, means pearly like the moon – the color of many aircraft today.

The part about eating rocks, maybe a reference to modern day exploration & extraction of oil (oil can come from rocks too and other energy resources. The part about fire emerging, can refer to jet planes, especially fighter jets that emit fire (jet engines burn fuel) and smoke from the opening at the back (see below).

Allah swt knows what size the planes in the future will be. Perhaps with the running out of oil, they may even use other "rocks" as fuel, maybe uranium. Technology changes over time

So these are all, some of the proofs of the truth of Islam, all praise be to Allah swt!

1)  source is Hakim,

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Shaytan will assault them

‎"The shaytan said "Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left; nor wilt Thou find, in most of them, gratitude" (7:17). Commenting on this, Sheikh Abul Abbas al Mursi said "He (shaytan) did not say that he would assault believers from above or below them; after all, above them is belief in Tawhid, and below them is surrender to Allah , and shaytan can neither approach Tawhid, nor his surrender to Allah"" (From "Subtle blessings" by Ibn Ata Illah)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sayyidina Ibrahim and the bird

It is said (don't know source or authenticity) there once was a little bird who lived in the time of Prophet Ibrahim AS. When Prophet Ibrahim AS was put in the fire by the villagers, a little bird saw what happened and decided to put out the fire to help Prophet Ibrahim AS. The bird scooped up water from the river but it was not enough because the bird's beak was small. Larger birds in the vicinity watched and laughed at the little bird and they said " Why are you carrying the water? "
The little bird said " To put out the fire around Prophet Ibrahim AS "
The larger birds continue laughing. "How could you put out that fire with such a small amount of water? It is pointless"

Do you know what the little bird replied?

"I am sure Allah will not asked me whether I manage to put out the fire or not.But Allah will ask what have I done to stop the fire"

Hearing the answer, all the larger birds are silented.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Question: When should one be vague to avoid disputes (when one disagrees with the other person, but doesn’t say something negative in response) versus not supporting or even correcting incorrect Islamic beliefs. How does one know to choose one over the other?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health states.
This returns to the issue of enjoining the good and forbidding evil, which is a communal obligation (fard kifaya) and an essential duty in Islam. Based on the criteria outlined below, if the conditions of enjoining the good and forbidding evil are met, one must do so. Otherwise, one can be vague so as to avoid disputation of no benefit.
The Obligation and Importance
Allah Most High states, “And let there be amongst you a group inviting to virtue, commanding the good and forbidding evil—those indeed are the successful ones” (3:104).
And our Master Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you must certainly command the good and forbid evil, or else a punishment from Him would soon be sent upon you, after which you would call upon Him yet your supplication (dua) would not be answered.” [Tirmidhi]
Other narrations state that the punishment for abandoning this obligation is sweeping and general, afflicting both the righteous and the corrupt. Ibn Allan comments that the punishment can manifest as “the tyranny of leaders, the dominion of enemies, and other forms of tribulation.” [Dalil al-Falihin Sharh Riyad al-Salihin]
Ya Latif - how unfortunately accurate for our times! And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) swore by Allah when conveying this, and said that supplication itself is unanswered until the community returns to enjoining the good.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also described that when the people of knowledge in previous communities stopped condemning the evils of their societies and kept on socializing with evildoers despite the wrongs, Allah turned the hearts of the community against one another and cursed them upon the tongue of their prophets (peace and blessings be upon them). [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]
And to get annoyed when corrected is itself a major sin. Our Master Ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Verily among the greatest of sins in the sight of Allah is for a person to be told, ‘Fear Allah,’ to which he responds, ‘Mind your own business!’” [Sunan Nasa'i]
Conditions of Incumbency
While it is a communal obligation, commanding the good and forbidding evil is incumbentonly if the following conditions are met:
(1) Sound knowledge and understanding of the issue one is exhorting to. Scholars mention that anyone who takes up this obligation must know the different schools of thought on the issue at hand, such that his enjoining and forbidding only takes place with evils that are evil by scholarly consensus. This relates to clear matters that are generally known by the Muslims.
With respect to matters on which there is scholarly disagreement, although they cannot be forbidden per se, one can still offer counsel and advice (nasiha), which is often needed as certain positions are not appropriate or applicable in all circumstances.
(2) Gentleness and wisdom in one’s enjoining or forbidding. The sunna is to exhort in a manner that is general and discreet, so as to protect the feelings of the other party as much as possible. My teacher, for example, told me that if I am ever in a situation where someone else falls into backbiting, I should simply say, “Allah has prohibited us from backbiting.”
If, however, one crosses the limits or is excessive in their condemnation, the good they perform is less than their own evil.
(3) Clemency and steadfastness in the face of any difficulty one may encounter.
(4) That one feels reasonably sure that the other party will take heed and listen.That is, a condition of incumbency is that benefit is likely or expected. This condition (reasonable surety of benefit) is the opinion of Imam Bajuri, Imam Qarafi, Imam Haskafi, Allama Ibn Abidin and others.
Otherwise if one does not think they will listen, enjoining the good is recommended if there is a chance of benefit yet one is unsure. If benefit is unlikely, enjoining the good is permissible yet possibly disliked. And if one is certain that there would be no benefit, enjoining the good could be impermissible, as it might entail frivolous and useless speech and might worsen the situation (see condition 5 below).
The upshot is that one must consider the likely benefit of one’s exhortation, and if benefit is unlikely, then silence might prove more beneficial. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say the good or remain silent.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
If one does not enjoin the good or forbid evil, then one must try to change the subject so as to end the unlawful talk; if this is not possible, one must get up and leave.
(5) That one’s advice not lead to greater harm or worsen the situation, such as leading to more sin, more unlawful talk, or the other party’s outright disdain for the religion. In such cases it would be better — or at times obligatory — to remain silent, so as to choose the less harmful of two matters. Of course, one must still hate the wrong in one’s heart.
(6) Sound intention, which is to desire nothing except that the word of Allah Most High reign supreme. This is essential and often neglected, as many people exhort others in religious matters for the sake of their own egos or out of animosity towards the other party.
One’s motivation to correct others should also be out of sincere love and care for one’s brethren. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that the basis of the entire religion is sincere and genuine concern for others (al-Din al-nasiha), and he also said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
In fact, in his renowned hadith collection Riyad al-Salihin, Imam Nawawi placed the chapter on “Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil” immediately after the chapter on “Sincere and Genuine Concern”.
As Imam Nahlawi states, “To conclude, there is a major catastrophe that one must be careful to avoid, namely: for the person of knowledge, when enjoining something, to perceive his own dignity due to his knowledge, and the other’s lowliness due to their ignorance. If this is one’s motivation, then this evil is itself much more vile than the evil he is forbidding. Truly, no one is safe from the plotting of Satan except one to whom Allah shows his own faults, and whose insight Allah opens by the light of true guidance.”
[Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha; Khadimi, Nabulsi/Birgivi, Shuruh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya; Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh Jawharat al-Tawhid; Ibn Abidin/Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar ala Durr al-Mukhtar]
And Allah knows best.
Faraz A. Khan

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Isra and Mi'raj Sheikh Said Nursi

Following is an excerpt from The Rays by Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (1878-1960), from The Risale-e-Nur collection:

The blessed phrases of the tashahhud were in fact a conversation between God Almighty and His Messenger on the night of the Messenger's Ascension (al-Mi'raj). What, then, is the reason for their inclusion in the canonical Prayer?

 THE ANSWER: The five daily Prayers are a sort of "ascension" for every believer who performs them. Therefore, the words to be uttered in the tashahhudmust be those spoken during the supreme Ascension of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Reciting them allows us to bring into mind this sacred conversation between God and His Messenger. Through this remembrance or recollection, the meanings of those blessed words gain universality and, as such, are no longer restricted to the intellectual or spiritual level of a believer. Their sacred, comprehensive meanings may thus be conceived, and through this conception their value and light are enhanced and expanded.

For example, in order to greet Almighty God on that blessed night, the noblest Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, said: at-Tahiyyatu li'llah. This means: "O my Lord! All the glorifications made by the living beings, and all the gifts they present to their Maker, through their lives are Yours alone. By visualizing them and though my belief, I too offer them to You."

With the word at-tahiyyat, God's noblest Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was referring to all the worship that living creatures perform through their lives; he then offered this to God. Similarly, by the word al-mubarakat, which is the summation of at-tahiyyat, he meant the blessedness, abundance and worship of the creatures, and in particular those of seeds, grains, and eggs, which are the means of blessings and abundance and which cause one to exclaim: "How great are God's blessings!" And through the word as-salawat he visualized all the particular forms of worship performed by beings endowed with spirit and who are the summation of living beings, and offered them to the Divine Court with that comprehensive meaning. Finally, through the word at-tayyibat, he meant the luminous, elevated worship of perfected human beings and the angels closest in proximity to God, who are the summaries of the beings endowed with spirit; he offered this to the One he worshipped.

On that night, God Almighty said: "Peace be upon you, O (most illustrious) Prophet!" This was an indirect command and an indication that in the future, hundreds of millions of people would say at least ten times a day: "Peace be upon you, O (most illustrious) Prophet!" This Divine greeting gave these words of salutation an extensive light and a most elevated meaning.

The noblest Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, responded to this greeting by saying: "Peace be upon us and upon all righteous servants of God!" This meant that the Messenger was hopefully and imploringly asking his Creator that in the future his vast Community and its righteous members would be favored with Islam in a way to represent Divine peace and blessings, and that those in his Community would greet one another with the words: "Peace be upon you!" "And upon you be peace!," which is a universal mark of Islam among the believers.

The Archangel Gabriel, upon him be peace, who was party to the conversation, at God's command said on that night: "I bear witness that there is no deity but God and I bear witness that Muhammad is God's Messenger." This gave the glad tidings that all of the Community of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, would testify in the same way until the Last Day.

Through recalling this sacred conversation during the seated sections of every canonical Prayer, the meanings of its words become filled with light and gain comprehensiveness.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

What to do in the End of Times?

Noting the previous post Hadith about Makkah and how it indicates that the end of times are closer (although we don't know when, it seems to be very close, Allah knows best), the question arises, "what should we do if we are found in that time?"


 Isolation versus Community
Regarding the first hadith, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani mentions that it would seem to refer to the end of time, and that it indicates the merit of isolation in times of tribulation.
However, he also states that, in general, the preference of isolation versus remaining within the community is situation specific: there are some scenarios when isolation is preferred, such as in difficult times so as to protect one’s religious practice; and there are other situations when remaining within the community is better, so as to fulfill communal obligations and rights. [Fath al-Bari]
However, we do not know if this tribulation is specifically at the time of Dajjal’s emergence or beforehand.
Adhering to the Way of the Majority
Regarding the second hadith, Ibn Hajar mentions the general ruling that if there are many factions among the Muslims, then as per this hadith, one should avoid the disputation and stick to the majority, as well as adhere to the Noble Sunna. Some defined the “majority” as the Sahaba, and others defined them as the religious scholars in every age, since neither of these two groups will agree on misguidance. [Fath al-Bari]
Badr al-Din al-Ayni also mentions that the “majority” could either be the Sahaba or the community of scholars in any time period. He adds that the basis of interpreting the majority as the community of scholars is that they are the ones whom Allah has made a proof (hujja) against the evil among creation, and to them do the general laity turn when there is tribulation in their religious practice, such as heretical sects, reprehensible innovations, and the like.
With respect to the first “time of evil” mentioned in the hadith, some commentators said it refers to the time of fitna when our Master Uthman (Allah be well pleased with him) was killed. The subsequent “time of good” then would be the caliphate of our Master Ali (Allah ennoble his face), and the “tainted” aspect of that time would refer to the Khawarij and similar groups that caused tribulation. [Umdat al-Qari]
What is the Way of the Mainstream?
Another key hadith, also found in Sahih Bukhari, helps us understand the way of the mainstream.
Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “There will remain a group from my nation manifest [on truth and upholding the Sacred Law], until the matter of Allah comes [the Day of Judgment], while they are manifest.”
And in the next narration in Bukhari, there is the additional phrase “Anyone who betrays or opposes them will not harm them.”
Traditionally, this manifest group was understood to be the righteous scholars of The People of the Sunna and Majority (Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a), the methodology of which is to adhere to one of the four schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali), as well as one of the two schools of theology (Ash’ari and Maturidi).
Yet along with such legal and theological diversity comes an appreciation and respect of valid difference of opinion, which is key in avoiding internal discord. Sunni orthodoxy is predicated upon unity and respect, not necessarily uniformity; this is essential to the strength of its methodology.
For detailed explanations of Sunni Orthodoxy, please see the following articles by Shaykh Nuh Keller and Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad:
Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) highlighted the importance of remaining with the group in several hadiths:
He said, “Stick to the group, and beware of being separate. For indeed, Satan is with the one who is alone, yet further from two together. Whoever wishes to live in the best part of Paradise, at its center, then let him stick to the group.” [Tirmidhi]
He is also reported to have said, “The group is a mercy, while separation is torment.” [Musnad Shihab]
Allah Most High has placed a very special mercy in the hearts of believers united for Allah. He Most High states, “The believers are but brethren,” (49:10) and our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) explained the brotherhood of believers when he said, “The example of believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is like a single body: if one limb complains of pain, the rest of the body’s limbs call one another [to react], with fever and insomnia.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
What to do if Dajjal Comes?
Linguistically, “dajjal” means “imposter” (kadhdhab), or literally “one who covers over,” since he covers the truth with falsehood, to the extent that he claims divinity. He is also called that because he covers the earth with so many of his followers.
He is also called “maseeh,” which has the meaning of “anointed,” since half his face is “anointed,” such that he has no eye on that side. The Dajjal is the one who brings the greatest tribulation of this life. [Misbah Munir; Tahdhib al-Asma'; Lisan al-Arab]
There are many descriptions of him in the hadith literature, such as, “Verily, your Lord is not one-eyed. Verily, the Masih Dajjal is one-eyed: his right eye is like a floating grape,” and “Between his two eyes is written: Kafir.” [Sahih Bukhari]
The sunna is to seek refuge from the tribulation of Dajjal. The dua of the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace)—which he recited at the end of the prayer and which he taught the Companions the way he would teach them a surah of the Qur’an—was:
“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Jahannam; I seek refuge with You from the torment of the grave; I seek refuge with You from the False Messiah (dajjal); and I seek refuge with You from the tribulations of life and death.” [Sahih Muslim]
اللّهُمَّ إِنَّي أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّم وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْر وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيْحِ الدَّجَّال وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَات
The sunna is also to recite Surah Kahf, specifically the first ten verses. Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever memorizes ten verses from the beginning of Surah Kahf will be safe from Dajjal,” and in another narration, “So whoever among you encounters him [Dajjal], let him recite the opening verses of Surah Kahf.” [Sahih Muslim]
Lastly, if the Dajjal does come during one’s life, then one should do what one should always do: turn wholeheartedly to Allah, and continue to serve Allah’s religion. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that if a person is planting a seed and the Day of Judgment suddenly begins, he should continue planting the seed. [Musnad Ahmed]
Whether it is the end of the world or not, there is much work to be done, so as to serve this ummah and gain the pleasure of Allah Most High.
And Allah knows best.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Hadith Prophecy about Makkah- Signs of Day of Judgement

"Until recently the people were not able to understand the real meaning of this Hadith, but now the meaning has become quite clear to them. It is narrated by Sayyidina Abdullah bin Umar that: 
"When the belly of Makkah will be cleft open and through it will be dug out river-like passage (i.e. tunnels) and the buildings of the Holy City of Makkah will rise higher than its mountains when you observe these signs, then understand that the time of trial is near at hand" (Kitab al-Fitan (1:43 no. 59) and Fath al-Bari (Kitab al-Hajj)).

Mufti Taqi Usmani then explains:

"This Hadith has continued on records of the last fourteen centuries. The commentators of the Hadith felt baffled, while explaining this Hadith as they could not understand how belly of' the Holy City of Makkah could be cleft asunder nor could they understand the meaning of digging out river like passages. It was really very difficult to imagine the sense of all these predictions. But by seeing today's Makkah one feels that the Holy Prophet s.a.w. made these predictions, as if he e was actually seeing with his own eyes today's Makkahtul-Mukarramah. Previously the commentators (Muhaddithin) interpreted this Hadith by saying that in their times Makkah was a dry and mountainous city, but in some future age Allah may cause rivers and canals to flow in that city. However today one feels by seeing these (underground) tunnels how the belly of Makkah has been cleft asunder.

The other sentence which the Holy Prophet spoke out in this Hadith is that the buildings of the Holy City of Makkah will rise higher than its mountains. A few years ago none could imagine that buildings would be built in Makkah which would rise higher than its mountains, as the city was surrounded by mountains on all sides. But go to Makkah and see for yourself how (high-rise) buildings higher than mountains have been built there.

It appears from this Hadith, as if fourteen centuries ago the Holy Prophet s.a.w. had seen these changes and conditions with his own eyes. All these things had been shown to him clearly through revelations and light of Prophetic knowledge which Allah had granted him The Holy Prophet s.a.w. has clearly mentioned one by one what trials and tribulations the Muslims will have to face in the times to come. He has also mentioned simultaneously what the Muslims should do at such a time.

(Source: Adapted from Discourses On Islamic Way Of Life, Justice Mufti Taqi Usmani, Vol 7, page 233-235)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Fatiha contains whole Qur'an

Ever heard that the Fatihah contains the entire Qur'an? Ever wondered how? There are many explanations; here's one I liked! as-Suyuti quotes al-Fakhr ar-Razi as saying:

"The purpose of the Qur'an can be explained in terms of four matters: [1] matters of Divinity; [2] The Afterlife; [3] Prophethood; and [4] Demonstrating destinty and decree. [In the Fatihah, Allah says]: "All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds". This pertains to Divinity. His saying: "Owner of the Last Day" pertains both to negating coercion [and hence, establishes human free-will] as well as proving that everything is under the decree of Allah. His saying: "Guide us to the straight path" until the end of the Fatihah pertains to demonstrating the divine decree of Allah, as well as matters of prophethood. Thus, [Surat al-Fatihah] encompasses all four points, which in turn indicate the primary purpose of the sending of the Qur'an." (Thanks to Suleiman AlMuslim)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Being remembered in history

'Peace and salutation to Ibrahim! Thus indeed do we reward those who do right' (Surah Saffat v109-110)

Have you thought how tyrants and celebrities make tall structures or do big projects, or attempt to put pictures of themselves in every shop and house so that they can be remembered. Yet they're either forgotten, or remembered in a bad way, and insulted be future generations. What is Fir'awn remembered for? For building pyramids through the degradation of humans. What is Marilyn Monroe remembered for? For her depravity and having committed suicide.

Yet look at the righteous like Sayyidina Ibrahim (as), he was rewarded in many ways, including being mentioned by the SPEECH of Allah in the Quran, which is recited by billion Muslims, recited by many righteous Muslims, till end of times. His story of how he stood up for Islam, in the face of all odds and the people, is remembered in the best of books (the Qur'an). What a reward right?

Also, in a hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reports that Allah said, “Whoever makes remembrance of Me to himself, I make remembrance of him to My Self. And whoever makes remembrance of Me in a gathering, I make remembrance of him in a gathering better than his gathering [ie. of angels].” [Musnad Ahmad]

So we should do things that will be remembered by Allah swt and by the righteous and angels, for generations to come, in a way pleasing Him.


Friday, 8 June 2012

The Poor and the Pot

Sheikh Muhyi ad-Din Ibn Arabi (RA) said: "We were once invited by some of the poor to a meal in Ziqaq al-Qanadil in Cairo, where a number of shaykhs gathered. There was so much food that the vessels in which it was served could hardly hold it all. Among these was a new glass pot which had been acquired for use as a urinal but which had not yet been put to use. The host was dipping the food out of it, and as the group ate, it said, "Now that Allah has honoured me by allowing such noble souls to eat from me, never will I allow myself to be a place of offense," whereupon it broke in two. 
"Did you hear what the pot said?" I asked them.
"Yes, we did," they repied.
"What did you hear?" I asked.
In reply, they repeated the words above.
"It [also] said something else," I told them.
"What is that?" they queried.
I replied, "It said, 'So it is with your hearts: Now that Allah has honoured them with faith, never again allow them to be the site of the impurity of disobedience and love of the world. Allah has given you and us understanding from Him and the ability to receive His disclosures thanks to His grace and bounty." (From "Subtle blessings" book by Ibn Ata Allah)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Christian Visit to Prophet

Here are the factual details about the Delegation of Najraan where the Christians visited the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in his Mosque and he debated them and invited them to Islam from Christian Delegation to Najraan (it has the hadith etc references).

A summary of narrations about the Najrān delegation as found in books of ĥadīth, biographies and
1. A delegation of 60 Christians, 14 nobles among them came to Madīnah.

2. According to one narration, it was the time of Ásr prayer when they arrived.

3. They came to the Prophet’s Mosque, and it was time for their prayer as well; so they began to pray facing east. I could not find a narration which says that they asked for permission.

4. The Prophet did not stop them.

5. In some narrations, the companions wanted to stop them, but RasūlAllāh said: ‘Leave them’.

6. They came to RasūlAllāh and saluted him after this and he turned away from them and did not speak to them. This was because, the Najrān Christians were wearing religious and ostentatious clothing, gold rings and silk mantles.

7. Sayyidunā Úthmān told the Christians that RasūlAllāh dislikes their attire.37

8. The Najrān Christians went away and came back wearing clothes of monks.

9. There was a discussion and a debate. RasūlAllāh invited them to Islām.

10. In the course of the debate, RasūlAllāh rejected their claim of being believers and
termed them kāfir.

11. When the Christians asked whether RasūlAllāh expected them to worship him, like they worship Sayyidunā Isā, RasūlAllāh rejected it and refuted it saying that he would not ask anyone to worship anyone else other than Allāh táālā. This clearly refutes the claim that RasūlAllāh ‘permitted them.’

12. When they did not accept Islām, RasūlAllāh challenged them for an imprecation or mubāhalah.

13. Eighty verses of the Qur’ān [Sūrah Aāl Ímrān] were revealed refuting Christian beliefs.

14. The famous event in which RasūlAllāh took his blessed daughter and grandsons for the imprecation occurred at this time.

15. The people of Najrān declined imprecation and made a pact with RasūlAllāh .

16. The terms of the treaty included an annual tribute to Muslims; and in return Muslims would let them
be upon their religion.

17. Two of their chiefs – Sayyid and Áāqib became Muslims thereafter.

18. Praying towards east in Madīnah is not facing opposite side of Qiblah,38 because Makkah is to the
south of Madīnah.

RasūlAllāh did not invite Christians to pray “according to their own tradition.” Rather, he repudiated their beliefs and commanded them to forsake polytheism. When they refused, he challenged them for an imprecation. Some reasons for the Prophet not stopping the Christians in their prayer are obvious:

• They were travellers and had just arrived.
• The Prophet wished to educate them and invite them to Islām. It was because of his
immense wisdom that he did not wish to antagonise them before they had heard his
• The Prophet invited them to Islām thereafter and advised them to abandon their
heretical beliefs.

The Prophet did not hesitate to tell them the plain truth about their beliefs or that they were non-Muslims, as is evident from what happened afterward. It also shows that it was impermissible for disbelievers to pray in our mosque even in that age, because the companions tried to stop them. RasūlAllāh did not stop them, out of discreetness and consideration for those who are unaware – until they were made aware.

There are other such examples in ĥadīth, where the Prophet did not stop a deplorable action immediately, but explained the ruling afterward. For example, a bedouin began urinating in the masjid and the Prophet did not stop him. This ĥadīth is found in many books including Bukhārī, Muslim, Musnad Imām Aĥmed, Sunan Ibn Mājah, Sunan al-Kubrā of Nasāyī, Musnad Abū Yaálā, Sunan al-Kubrā of Bayhaqī and others.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Fear and Hope- Habib Umar

"Allah is most worthy of your fear and hope. So, if you find yourself fearing anything in existence, [know] that Allah is more deserving of your fear; if you find yourself placing your hope in anything in existence, [know] that Allah is more deserving of your hope."

(Habib Umar)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Badr Din Hassani- A Mujdaddid/Reviver of Islam

One of his students related,“He would often ask us upon completion of his prayers, ‘Do you hear the reply of the Messenger of God (PBUH) during the tashahhud (recited during the sitting of the ritual prayer) when you say, al-salāmu ʿalayka ayyuha al-nabiyyu wa raḥmatullah wa barakātuhu?’ I used to ask, ‘And is there anybody who hears such a thing?’ He would respond, ‘There are people for whom if they lost their presence of heart with the Messenger of God (Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) for one moment, they would perish.’” 

Few people have had an impact on 20th Century Muslim society as Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī. In the Levant in particular, he was unparalleled in his stature among the people of sacred knowledge and came to be considered a reviver of Islam (mujaddid) during his era. He was a man sought by poor peasants and powerful leaders alike, and to each he gave their rightful due with humility and justice. His gatherings used to be flooded with students seeking to carry on the tradition of sacred learning as well as those simple souls who desired nothing more than acquiring the blessing of being in his noble presence. It is reported that when he would pass by, people would peer out of their windows to catch a glimpse of him. Despite his esteemed rank in the eyes of people, Shaykh Badr al-Dīn remained humble and dedicated to the service of the Muslim community until the final days of his life. 

His Early Life

Muḥammad Badr al-Dīn b. Yūsuf al-Marākishī al-Sibtī al-Baybānī al-Dimashqī al-Ḥasanī was born to parents of righteousness and piety. His father was Yūsuf b. Badr al-Dīn who was originally from Morroco, Mālikī in fiqh and Qādirī in tarīqa. The father of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn traveled far and wide in pursuit of sacred knowledge from the luminaries of the Muslim world of his time. He went to Egypt where he obtained a degree from al-Azhar University and studied with scholars such as ʿAbd Allāh al-Sharqāwī, Amīr al-Ṣaghīr and Shihāb al-Ṣāwī. He then traveled to the Arabian Peninsula where he took hadiths from the Madīnan hadith transmitter Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn al-Baʿlawī and the Meccan hadith transmitter ʿUmar al-ʿAṭṭār al-Makkī. Afterwards, he traveled to Damascus where he took hadiths from its renowned scholars, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Kuzbarī and Shams Muḥammad b. ʿĀbidīn al-Ḥanafī al-Dimashqī. He also traveled to Baghdād where he took the Qādirī ṭarīqa from Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Qādirī. Yūsuf b. Badr al-Dīn is described as having been abundant in his recitation of the Qurʿān and constant in his sending of blessings upon the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). His good character was an emulation of that of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) whose noble traits he had imbibed into his own nature. He was said to have feared neither elder nor leader in upholding the truth. Among his prominent students were Aḥmad b. ʿAbd al-Ghanī b. ʿĀbidīn and his son the mufti of Damascus Abū al-Khayr ʿ Ābidīn, ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Bīṭār, and Muṣṭafa al-Khālidī. Yūsuf b. Badr al-Dīn settled in Damascus where he taught and married ʿĀʾisha bt. Ibrāhīm al-Kuzbarī.

ʿĀʾisha bt. Ibrāhīm al-Kuzbarī came from an old Damascene family known for its strong devotion to religious knowledge and piety. Many members of this family had been prominent hadith transmitters and the Kuzbarī family is accredited with having maintained the tradition of hadith transmission under the roof of their own household for 137 years, at a time when hadith transmission had become extinct in all but a few places of the world. They were also descendents of the Prophet Muḥammad through Ḥasan b. ʿAlī, thus making Shaykh Badr al-Dīn’s link to the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Uponn Him) to be one inherited by both paternal and maternal sides of his family. 

ʿĀʾisha bt. Ibrāhīm is described as an upright and God-conscious woman who avoided unclear matters out of fear of falling into what was sinful. She only had two children: Badr al-Dīn and his younger brother Aḥmad Bahāʾ al-Dīn who would grow up to be a prominent Shaykh of the Naqishbandī order in Damascus. ʿĀʾisha bt. Ibrāhīm’s devotion to God and her acute courtesy (adab) towards Him was exemplified in the manner in which she raised her children. It is narrated that when her son Badr al-Dīn was born, she used to not nurse him except in a state of ritual ablution and during Ramaḍān she did not nurse him during the daylight hours. When his father died at a young age, she remained attentive to rearing her sons with the best Islamic upbringing and it was she who ensured that Shaykh Badr al-Dīn received the best spiritual and religious education at the feet of the foremost men of God of her time. 

Upon the death of his father, when Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was only 12 years of age, he secluded himself in the grand library that he had inherited and began to study its books with great interest. His mother (or his maternal uncle according to some sources) soon placed his religious instruction under the care of the notable Shaykh Abū al-Khayr al-Khaṭīb. The young Badr al-Dīn soon memorized thousands of lines of poetry (mutūn) composed on the various branches of the Islamic Sciences such as, the Alfiyya of Ibn Mālik in Arabic grammar, the Shāṭibiyya in the variant Qur’anic recitations, and the Alfiyya of al-ʿIrāqī in hadith methodology. His astonishing ability to commit to memory vast amounts of knowledge, coupled with his humility and piety piqued the interest of his teachers. He was granted a general ijāza (diploma or permission) to teach by his teachers when he was only 18 years of age.

After receiving this ijāza, he began to teach grammar and morphology at the Umayyad Mosque. Shortly thereafter, he abandoned teaching classes and went into a seclusion that lasted approximately ten years. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn spent this lengthy period engrossed in both study and worship in a cell of the old Ashrafiyya Hadith Compound near the Umayyad Mosque. He directed his attention to mastering the Hadith Sciences until he reached a level of mastery that was unparalleled by any other. He learned by heart the Muwaṭṭa and the six canonical hadith collections (al-kutub al-sitta) along with all of their chains of transmission. He also committed to memory all of the transmitters of hadiths and what was reported by hadith critics in ranking the reliability of their transmission (ʿilm al-rijāl). 

When he began to near the age of 30 , Shaykh Badr al-Dīn came out of his isolation and traveled for a period to Egypt to sit at the feet of its eminent scholars. He met with al-ʿAllāma Shaykh Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī b. Ḥasan al-Saqqa who was Egypt’s most prominent scholar of Islamic Law and was entrusted with delivering the khuṭba for al-Azhar for over 20 years. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn studied with him in al-Azhar until he obtained from him an ijāza in the year 1878. He then took hadith from the great muhaddith of Egypt al-ʿAllāma al-Shaykh Ḥasan al-ʿAdawī al-Ḥamzāwī al-Mālikī. Shaykh Ḥasan al-ʿAdawī was renowned not only for his expertise in hadith and his knowledge of the biographies of the righteous, but also for his lofty character. Among the works he authored are the famous compilation of prayers known as al-Mashāriq al-Anwār, a commentary on Imām Buṣīrī’s Burda (al-Nafaḥāt al-shādhiliyya: sharḥ al-burda), and commentary on Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ’s Shifāʾ (al-Madad al-fayyāḍ ʿalā shifāʾ al-ʿiyāḍ). Shaykh Ḥasan al-ʿAdawī was known for his generosity and concern for students of sacred learning and his continuous efforts to meet their needs and facilitate their affairs. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn learned from him and was granted an ijāza from Shaykh Ḥasan al-ʿAdawī shortly before he passed away in 1886.

His Return to Damascus 

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn returned to Damascus having matured both in heart and intellect. He had become unsurpassed in his understanding of sacred knowledge and all the scholars of Greater Syria took him as their teacher. He soon married the daughter of the gnostic Muḥyiddīn al-ʿĀnī and dedicated the remainder of his life to teaching. His students would say of him that he had a photographic memory and when he would relate a hadith he would do so with its exact wording, chain of transmission, and discuss what all the commentators of the hadith said about it. In addition he would add his own commentary that included aspects of grammar, Islamic legal theory, and explanation (tafsīr). It was said that he could spend an hour discussing all of these aspects of a single hadith not only with complete ease but also doing so entirely from the vastness of his own knowledge and without reference to any of his books. He used to conduct approximately twelve different gatherings of learning in one day. He would start teaching after the dawn prayer and continue into the evening. He dedicated time to three types of gatherings. The first type of gathering was that of closed classes for advanced students who sought training in the more sophisticated classical texts of Islam. The second type were large general lessons open to the public. Erudite scholars and uneducated common folk alike would crowd these gatherings and take back whatever wisdom they acquired to their households. Finally, the Shaykh would devote a set period to answer specific questions directed at him by those who sought him out for this reason. 

The subjects he taught were varied and not limited to one particular discipline. Samples of the books he taught are the Qur’anic commentaries of Bayḍāwī and Naysābūrī in tafsīr, the commentaries of al-Amīr and Bājūrī to the Jawharat al-tawḥīd in theology, Sharḥ jamʿ al-jawāmiʿ in legal methodology, the Nukhbat al-Fikr in hadith methodology, Ghazali’s Iḥyāʾ , Ibn ʿAtāʾillāh’s Ḥikam, and the Risāla of al-Qushayri in spirituality, the commentary of Qaḍī ʿIyāḍ’s Shifāʾ by Mulla ʿAlī in the Prophetic characteristics S, the Kāfiya of Ibn Ḥājib in Arabic grammar, and many others. His students used to cite that the clarity of his thought was exceptional in regards to his ability to move from one topic to another and return to his original point after many divergences without losing his train of thought. His mastery of all of the branches of Islamic sciences was also regarded as unique to his exceptional memory.

Far more importantly, he was not only a scholar of book knowledge but he was also a possessor of the experiential knowledge of God. He never lost sight that the most important aspect of teaching was the spiritual one of purifying hearts and refining spirits. He never embarrassed his students or confronted them in harshness. His students attest that he would frequently sense the states of those attending his gatherings and give appropriate words directed at their personal circumstances of which he had no knowledge of beforehand. He held that the best way to correct faults was through gentleness and good example. His students would say his spiritual upbringing of them was conducted by gaze rather than words (bi al-naẓari dūna kalām). 

He also focused on the root causes of sins and diseases of the heart rather than the symptoms of deeper issues. For example, he understood that people often fall into sin due to underlying causes such as weakness or financial desperation and that dealing with such individuals with kindness and compassion was far more effective than censure. It is related that the Shaykh once sent one of his students to a depraved area of Damascus with the assignment of giving money to the leading woman of the whorehouse there and telling her that Shaykh Badr al-Dīn asks that you pray for him. When this student met the woman he was sent to, he gave her 10 gold coins and told her that this was a gift from Shaykh Badr al-Dīn and that he asks that she pray for him. The woman became so deeply moved by this gesture and ashamed that the likeness of herself be asked to pray for the likeness of the great Shaykh Badr al-Dīn that she repented and amended her ways.

His Character

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was a man of light hair, a round face, blue eyes, and light facial hair. His face was luminous and inspired both the awe and admiration of those who saw him. He was acutely intelligent and had a phenomenal memory that was rarely encountered. His students would say of him that he could remember discrete details of events and passages from obscure texts with ease. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn spoke little. His words were mostly limited to teaching, the remembrance of God (dhikr), and sending blessings upon the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). He used to warn his students about the spiritual dangers of excessive speech. He never spoke ill of others and never condoned anyone else to do so in his presence. He had great fear of God and took precaution to avoid issuing legal opinions (fatwas) to those who sought this of him. He would often refer people to others who could accommodate their request. 

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was a man of intense humility. In fact, his extreme humility was one of his most distinguishing characteristics. He hated for anybody to stand for him and would refuse to ever lead the congregational prayer, instead he would have one his students lead and he would follow. He would say, “Humility is to see one’s self as inferior to all others.” If one came to him complaining about their bad character he would often say, “Thank God that you are not of the likes of me.” Shaykh Badr al-Dīn used to often say that the fastest path to God is that of humility. He frequented the company of the poor and needy. He would visit schools and prisons. He would not deter from asking questions to the teachers, speaking with students, as well as advising and consoling prisoners all the meanwhile asking each of them to pray for him before departing their company. He was generous to his guests and would spend large amounts in charity that he kept secret from all others but a few who assisted him. In accordance with the Prophetic advice, “The best of you are those who are best to their families and I am best to my family,” Shaykh Badr al-Dīn showed concern for the needs of his family and treated them with gentleness and goodness. 

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was attentive to practicing the sunna of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) in all of his actions, words, and worship. When asked he would reply that the path to God is following His laws (sharīʿa) and practicing the noble sunna. He was firm in his trust in God. It has been related that once he was traveling on a train heading for Medina. It was forced to stop for maintenance purposes in the midst of a desert that had no source of water or settlement in sight. When some of the people had gotten off the train to pray in congregation, the train began to set for movement. All of the congregants abandoned the prayer and rushed onto the train except for Shaykh Badr al-Dīn. Once the train had started the conductor was notified that the Shaykh had not aboarded, the train returned back to its original position to find Shaykh Badr al-Dīn in the final sitting of the prayer. The train waited for him to complete his prayer and thereupon he boarded. He had not feared being abandoned in the desert. He was vigilant about the cleanliness of his clothes, food, and his home and taught his family the same. He was a man who always maintained a cheerful face and smiled continuously. 

His Worship

Men and women of sacred wisdom have continually recognized that the key to curing hearts is not found through the possession of knowledge alone, but also with its accompaniment with a large quantity of worship. We see a model of this understanding in the person of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn, who complemented his instruction with a persistent schedule of extensive worship. He used to sleep for a short period in the early evening, often upright and leaning upon something so as to not be overcome by excessive slumber. He would then get up for tahajjud and pray until the dawn had neared, upon which he would walk to the Umayyad Mosque. It is stated in the Qur’an, “And part of the night, rise in superogatory [devotion] for you, that your Lord may grant you a praiseworty station (Qur’an, 17:79).” As generations of men and women of God both past and present, Shaykh Badr al-Dīn regarded the hours spent in worship at night to be an obligation and prerequisite for all who possess lofty aspirations. 

Once in the mosque, he would take a place in the first row of worshippers and pray the prayer of greeting to the mosque. He would then wait for the congregation and pray the dawn prayer with them, after which Shaykh Badr al-Dīn would retire to an area of seclusion and do his litanies (awrād) until the sun rose. He would then pray the ḍuḥā prayer. His students said of him that he had never missed this prayer, not even when he was on pilgrimage. Upon the completion of the ḍuḥā prayer, he would begin his schedule of classes that would continue until shortly before noon at which he would renew ablutions and have a lengthy period of superogatory prayers and litanies (awrād) until the congregation for the noon prayer would gather. Out of humility, he would always refuse to lead the prayer. This would be the likeness of the Shaykh’s schedule for the rest of his day. He would constantly have remembrances (adhkār) from the sunna of the Prophet that he would read after each prayer. He used to fast extensively and break the fast only periodically in order to avoid being of those who kept the discouraged continuous daily fast (ṣiyām al-dahr). He used to go into seclusion for three months of every year; Rajab, Shaʿbān, and Ramaḍān. His entire day was spent in worship, service, and the remembrance of God without intermission. He went on pilgrimage twice, once in 1901 and another in 1914. 

His Intellectual Legacy 

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī composed about forty works. Most of these were compiled during the initial period of his life, which he spent in study and worship. The majority of them still remain in manuscript form and await editing. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn’s intellectual legacy, which he imparted upon his students by teaching what he composed, played an essential role in the continuation and dissemination of the Islamic intellectual heritage at a time of decline in Muslim scholarship. Among the many works of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī are; Ḥāshiya ʿalā tafsīr al-jalālayn (Qur’anic commentary), al-Durar al-bahiyya fī sharḥ al-manẓūma al-bayqūniyya (hadith sciences), Sharḥ qasīdat al-gharāmiyya fī al-muṣṭalaḥ al-ḥadīth (hadith sciences), Rawḍ al-maʿānī li-sharḥ ʿaqīdat al-ʿallāma al-Shaybānī (theology), al-Yāqūt al-wafiyya: ḥāshiya ʿalā sharḥ al-raḥbiyya (Muslim inheritance law), Ghāyat al-marām ʿalā sharḥ al-qaṭr li-Ibn Hishām (Arabic grammar), and al-Anwār al-jaliyya fī ḥawāshī sharḥ burdat madīh sayyid al-bariyya (commentary on the poem of the Burda praising the Prophet S). Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī was sought out not only by students in his surrounding area of the Levant, but he had seekers of knowledge who came from parts of the world such as Yemen, Mecca, Medina, Istanbul, and Central Asia to take from him the classical texts which he had mastered. When he went on the pilgrimage, it is related that he was received with great enthusiasm by the scholars, pilgrims, and inhabitants of Mecca and Medina. He conducted many gatherings and granted many ijāzas during this period to Muslims from diverse parts of the world. It is noted in historical biographies that there was a particularly significant number of scholars from India at this time who took hadiths from Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī and continued their transmission in their homeland. 

His Role during Ottoman Rule and French Colonization

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was highly regarded by the rulers and officials of the late Ottoman Empire who would often seek his approval for their policies in Greater Syria or ask for his blessings. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn would never seek out the heads of government but they would often call upon him themselves. During the period of turmoil in Greater Syria due to the harsh policies of the Ittihad ve Terakki government, Shaykh Badr al-Dīn opposed the ideas of a revolt that had become a popular topic of debate in some circles. Rather, he confronted the political elite with words of counsel and appropriate criticism. 

After the disintegration of the final Muslim caliphate and the beginning of the French occupation of Syria, Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasānī was a key figure in the resistance against colonization. He traveled to cities throughout Syria to promote the resistance and issued a legal opinion (fatwa) that joining the opposition was an obligation (wājib) upon all men who had the physical capacity to do so. The affection that the people had for Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was an important factor in his ability to persuade them to join the ranks of the fighters against the French. While too old to fight himself, he energized the revolt against the French colonizers through the focused attention (tawajjuh) he gave to its leading fighters, electrifying their hearts with the power to resist the muscle of heartless technological supremacy. It is reported that two of the most important leaders against the French, Muḥammad al-Aḥmar and Ḥasan al-Kharrāṭ, used to meet with the Shaykh regularly before the dawn prayer and gain spiritual strength, courage, and counsel through his company. 

His Impact

The impact of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī upon the Muslim world is acutely felt through the students he left behind. The students he trained played pivotal roles in establishing the most important institutions of Islamic learning in Greater Syria that continue to attract students from all corners of the world today. Some of his students were, Shaykh Ḥasan Ḥabannaka who established a college of Islamic Sciences in the Mīdān area of Damascus from which many imams and religious teachers graduated. Among the most famous students of Shaykh Ḥasan Ḥabannaka are Shaykh Saʿīd Ramaḍān al-Būṭī and Shaykh Musṭafa al-Bughā. Another student of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Rifāʿī who established the mosque of Zayd b. Thābit in the Bāb al-Sarīja section of Damascus. In this mosque, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Rifāʿī trained many of Syria’s leading reciters of the Qur’an (qurrāʾ) including its most eminent scholar and reciter known as the shaykh al-qurrāʾ (or the leading reciter of all of the Qur’an reciters of Greater Syria), the late Shaykh Abū al-Ḥasan Muḥyi al-Dīn al-Kurdī from whom thousands of men and women have received ijāzas in Qur’anic recitation. 

Shaykh Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ al-Farfūr is yet another student of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn who established the Fatiḥ al-Islāmī institute that hosts some of the most important scholars of Syria and attracts a large number of students from foreign countries. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-ʿĀbidīn was another student who established the Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī Foundation for Sacred Sciences offering both high school and college training to a similarly diverse range of students. 

Shaykh Badr al-Dīn had only one brother, Shaykh Aḥmad Bahāʾ al-Dīn, who took the Naqishbandī ṭarīqa and focused on his duties as on one of its leading figures in Damascus. He was deeply devoted to his older brother and assisted Shaykh Badr al-Dīn in many of his personal affairs. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn also had two sons and six daughters. Two of his daughters in particular, became distinguished for their great piety and experiential knowledge of God. The older of the two was the late Hājja Bahiyya. She was a woman of sharp intellect and she never married. She devoted herself to worship early on in her life. Hājja Bahiyya lived a life of intense abstinence from worldly comforts. Her food and clothes were simple and she would spend the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) until the time of sunrise in superogatory worship. She also had many litanies (awrād) that she would recite regularly. She gave particular attention to reciting the verse of the throne (ayat al-kursī) a thousand times each day as well as doing the litanies of the Latifiyya (repetition of “Yā Laṭīf”) and the Basmala (repetion of “bismillāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm) regularly. Hājja Bahiyya also had many sūras from the Qur’an she would recite daily and she paid special attention to the recitation of the chapters of Yāsīn and Anʿām. She would also read the Burda every Monday of the week and would often read the Dalāʾil al-khayrāt of Imam al-Jāzūlī.She became a specialist of the sciences of the heart and was sought after by some of the most prominent Shaykhs to reveal their innermost flaws. She used to give much in charity. Ḥājja Bahiyya was known as being sincere and candid in her interactions with people.She was also abundantly kind and would forgive anyone who wronged her. She used to say, “I cannot harm one who has harmed me.” Hājja Bahiyya’s states were often not comprehended by those around her but her father used to understand her and show great compassion towards her. When her father died, she moved to a room attached to his tomb by the mosque compound. She spent the remainder of her life there absorbed in worship until she passed away in 1967 and was buried beside her father. Her sister Sarah was said to also have been a woman of intense piety and gnosis, though not as austere as Hājja Bahiyya. Their impact upon the women who came in contact with them was significant and extended beyond their own lifetimes. 

Lessons from His Life

1) In the life of Shaykh Badr al-Dīn, we see a model of unwavering steadfastness in the face of immense challenges. He witnessed not only the fall of Muslim rule after around 1300 years of supremacy, but the defeat of much of the Muslim world and its occupation by European colonialists for the first time since Islam’s inception. In addition, missionary activity had become widespread in the Muslim world and a fascination with European lifestyles was the emergent trend of his day. The strength with which the Shaykh confronted this period of turmoil is a source of inspiration to later generations.

2) He secluded himself for a period in the beginning of his life, devoting this time to worship and study. Ibn ʿAṭāʾillāh says, “Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity, for whatever sprouts forth, without having first been buried, flowers imperfectly.” This wisdom has commonly been interpreted as emphasizing the dangers of the assumption of leadership roles without the adequate spiritual training that must precede. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn spent an extended period of time in preparation for his important future work.

3) In Shaykh Badr al-Dīn, we find a scholar who not only mastered all of the exoteric sciences of Islam, but also balanced this with the understanding of the esoteric sciences of the heart. He was a luminary of both heart and intellect. He understood that knowledge, which does not accompany the purification of the heart and an increase in one’s proximity to God is of no value.

4) Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was a scholar who practiced what he preached. He maintained a life of discipline and strict adherence to God’s laws without allowing himself dispensations or slackening in his practice of Islam.

5) He was a scholar who did not live in isolation from the common citizens. Shaykh Badr al-Dīn was acutely in tune with the unique circumstances of his contemporary society. He was esteemed by both the educated strata who admired him for his understanding of worldly affairs and sharp intellect as well as the simple folk who loved him for his piety and lofty character. He gave legal opinions that neither compromised divine injunctions nor burdened the Muslims with rulings that contradicted the necessities of the conditions in which they lived. 

6) He was vigilant about guarding over his heart and making sure that all of his actions were done sincerely for the sake of God and without ulterior motives. He never set out to do good works except that he would expend great effort to conceal it out of fear of desiring recognition or veneration.

7) He avoided worldly comforts and chose a life of simplicity (zuhd) at a time when those around him were distracted with the accumulation of wealth. He took only what he needed from the world and devoted the greater part of his life to the superior ambition of imparting the teachings of Islam to future generations. Indeed, all of Greater Syria has thrived for over one hundred years on the intellectual and spiritual legacy of its great Shaykh and the prominent students he trained.

Taken from: