Wednesday 18 March 2015

6000+ Great Signs to reach Allah Ta’ala

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

The word Aayah is commonly translated as “verse” but it means “sign”. There are more than 6000 Aayaat in the Qur’aan Sharief. These Aayaat are signs from Allah Ta’ala - which offer us direction to the Zaat (Being) of Allah Ta’ala. …The Qur’aan Sharief leads us to the beautiful destination of Allah Ta’ala’s Ma’rifat, ‘Ishq and Pleasure.

As an example: We are currently in Azaadville. If we want to travel to Johannesburg, which is towards the east of Azaadville, we will have to follow the respective signboards to reach Johannesburg. If a person wants to reach any other city, he will have to follow the appropriate signboards to reach that city. …Similarly, with every Aayah of the Qur’aan Sharief, one gets direction to Allah Ta’ala.

Alhamdulillah, with Allah Ta’ala’s Fadhl and great Ihsaan, when we commenced learning the Qur’aan Sharief, we read it by looking inside (Naazirah), thereafter we memorised some Surahs, then we went on to become Huffaaz of the Qur’aan Sharief. Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala then opened another special door to more of His Bounties and Blessings - by guiding us to the Darul Uloom and we commenced the ‘Aalim course. There, we went further in learning the Qur’aan Sharief, studying the translation and the Tafaasier (commentaries). Alhamdulillah, after qualifying, many then begin to teach the Qur’aan Sharief to others. 

…Very sadly, despite being blessed with all of these great bounties, and having this link to the Qur’aan Sharief, many of us have not found Allah Ta’ala; have not recognised Allah Ta’ala.

To illustrate: A person undertakes a journey. In spite of many signboards that are placed strategically, offering directions, he gets lost. He even has a GPS to show him the correct route but he still finds himself lost. He then asks someone for directions and the person gives directions, pointing out land marks on the route, and informing him where to turn right or left, etc. The person even draws a sketch with details and landmarks, and keeps in contact with the person, via the cell phone, to ensure that the person is on the right course. If the person still does not reach his destination after all these directions, what would we say of such a person?

…Of course, this is not like the case of the person who was lost in KwaZulu Natal and stopped to ask someone for directions. The person said: “Turn right at the second traffic light, left at the stop street, then continue ahead and get lost!”

Like a comprehensive map, the Qur’aan Sharief outlines and details the route to Allah Ta’ala; to Najaat (salvation) and to Jannah. From Allah Ta’ala’s side, He has given us 6000+ signs so that we do not get lost. In many places in the Qur’aan Sharief, Allah Ta’ala uses the plural, “Aayaat”. 

Together with this beautiful guidance, we, ourselves, and every part of our bodies are signs to recognise Allah Ta’ala.

وَفِى الْأَرْضِ اٰيٰتٌ لِّلْمُوْقِنِيْنَوَفِىْٓ أَنْفُسِكُمْ ط أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُوْنَ
“On the earth are signs for those of assured Faith, as also in your own selves: 
Will you not then see?”
[Surah Az-Zariyat 51 : 20/21]

The morning the evening, the mountains, the seas, everything around us, our waking up and our sleeping are all magnificent signs of Allah Ta’ala!

Allah Ta’ala does not give meaningless directions – Na’uzu Billah[1]. Allah Ta’ala gives us clear and detailed directions and repeatedly reminds us so that we may stay on course, that we don’t mistakenly take any wrong turns – and that we reach Him in the easiest, safest and quickest way. If we still have not found Allah Ta’ala, we still have not recognised Allah Ta’ala, then there is definitely some failing from our side.

We should reflect over what effort we have made in giving up sins? Sins are like concrete walls which separate us from Allah Ta'ala. They block our path to Allah Ta'ala. They block our access to the Qurb (closeness) and Ma'rifat (recognition) of Allah Ta'ala. ...If we want to reach Allah Ta’ala, we will have to undertake some Mujahada[2] against the nafs and we will have to give up our sins.

We should also reflect over our intentions when reading the Qur’aan Sharief or teaching the Qur’aan Sharief. The Qur’aan Sharief is Hidayah – so we should be seeking its guidance. It is Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala – so we should be seeking this Ma’rifat. It is Qurb (proximity) – so we should be seeking this Qurb. It is Noor – so we should be seeking this Noor. It is Rahmah – so we should be seeking this Rahmah. It is Shifa (cure) from all physical and spiritual ailments – so we should be seeking this Shifa.

Hadhrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said: "O son of Aadam, how will your heart be softened by the recitation of Qur'aan Sharief if all you read for, is to reach the end of the Surah?"

Similarly, how will we take the guidance of the Qur’aan Sharief, acquire the Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala and follow the wonderful directions that the Qur’aan Sharief offers, if, from our side, there is no sincere intention or aspiration and we do not practise upon it?

With these great bounties of Hidayat and Ma’rifat, a person also becomes Mukhlis (sincere). He realises that Allah Ta’ala alone can reward and that Allah Ta’ala is the One who is the best of those who appreciate. When there is this good understanding, the person will naturally carry out his actions solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. 

When there is Ma’rifat, then the person also recognises and understands his own insignificance. Takabbur (pride), Ujub (conceit / vanity) and Riyaa (ostentation) will, Insha-Allah, depart from the heart.

In the physical journeys of this world, even with a map, people sometimes request a guide – someone who knows the territory very well and who will facilitate ease with his experience and his knowledge of the landscape, its dangers, etc. and who can be a means of protecting us from mistakes or disasters.

Whilst we have the Qur’aan Sharief with its beautiful signs from Allah Ta’ala so that we may traverse and travel this journey towards Allah Ta’ala and reach Allah Ta’ala, this journey also becomes easy when we have a guide.

Allah Ta'ala gave us Rasulullah (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) to explain His great signs and to practically demonstrate to us how to follow these great signs. After him, were his Noble Companions (Radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and thereafter their Companions - until we have our present day 'Ulama-e-Haq and our Mashaa'ikh - who teach us, remind us and point out to us the Signs of Allah Ta'ala that we remain on Siratul Mustaqeem and reach our destination. 

In the Ahadith, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) encouraged seeking a companion before undertaking a journey ... so that we may have someone who offers us help and support.

In this journey to Allah Ta'ala, traversing spiritual realms, we should also seek a companion. The Sheikh-e-Kaamil proves to be a wonderful companion and assistant. He is experienced in traveling the spiritual terrain towards Allah Ta’ala and will be a means of protection, reassurance and success for the travellers to Allah Ta'ala.

This great bounty of reaching the destination of the Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala is easily obtained through the company of the Auliya Allah[3]. It is in their noble company that we will enjoy the treasures of the Qur’aan Sharief and truly appreciate the wonderful, beautiful and great signs of Allah Ta’ala. We will also experience how each Aayah delivers us closer and closer to Allah Ta’ala!

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the full blessings of the Qur’aan Sharief and the Taufeeq of practising on it entirely.

[1] Na’uzu Billah: We seek protection in Allah
[2] Mujahada : striving / struggle
[3] Auliya Allah : Friends of Allah (Ta’ala)

Thursday 12 March 2015

Bay’at | Need for Sincerity and Humility

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Alhamdulillah, there are many who associate with the Mashaa’ikh and many become Bay`at at the hands of some Sheikh. However, very sadly, the relationship is confined to association and not Islaah. Or the person wants credibility, so he establishes ties with some Sheikh. 

Many make no effort to correspond with the Sheikh for the purpose of Islaah nor do they visit the Sheikh and spend time with him to improve their spiritual condition; whereas in the company of the Sheikh, the Mureed’s Muhabbat and Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala, as well as his Islaah, will progress by leaps and bounds, if he is sincere – Insha-Allah.

…How will there be improvement and progress, when the Mureed – even if he is an Aalim – is not fulfilling his part? Or he is not sincere in keeping the company of the Sheikh?

Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said that when a Mureed delays in Mukatabaat (correspondence) with his Sheikh and he neglects his Ta’alluq (contact) with his Sheikh, then his Munasabat (compatibility / affinity) decreases and he loses out the blessings of his Bay’at. And Hadhrat Moulana (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) also said that where a Mureed informs his Sheikh of his spiritual weaknesses and conditions and he maintains his Ta’alluq, then there will be progress and success.

…There are those who become Bay`at and they are granted Ijaazat and Khilafat, and some have many Mureeds – even running in the hundreds or thousands, but they too become comfortable with their spiritual condition, or they feel that now that Ijaazat and Khilafat have been given, they are independent; whereas in the company of the Sheikh, the Khalifa will also draw the teaching, training and expertise of the Sheikh.

The fact that many Mureeds do not see any need to maintain that connection, that there is no Islaahi contact, no humility in seeking guidance and advice - shows great weakness. Years pass – and if they do visit, it is to save face or to have their presence acknowledged. If they do make contact, it is because of some problem that they find themselves in and cannot come out of. Where is the Ikhlaas?

Others will only discuss their beautiful dreams, or discuss the Ibaadaat and Khidmaat that they are occupied with. They highlight their “kamaal” – their achievements – their Tahajjud, Tilawat, Zikrullah, the Kaifiyyaat (spiritual conditions) they experience, etc. But there is no mention whatsoever of any spiritual sickness or any fears or concerns they have, traveling this path of Sulook.

It is a common and a very appropriate saying: Whoever does not reveal his condition to his physician is not intelligent.”

If a person goes to a doctor and says to the doctor: “My pressure is good, my sugar is normal; everything is fine. I am in excellent health!” – The doctor will ask: “Why did you come to me?”

Why do we go to the doctor? …To tell him our ailments. To tell him what is wrong with us, so that he may prescribe something for us and we may get cured.

In a similar vein, the Sheikh is a spiritual doctor and the Mureed is a patient – who may be suffering from the deadly ailments of pride, vanity, show, jealousy, love of Dunya, and so forth.

Others are ‘shy’ to disclose their Roohani or spiritual diseases to the Sheikh. Our Hadhrat (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) had said in respect to Mureeds: “Many are not shy. They are frightened - because if they say they are caught up in some sin – like casting lustful gazes or they are jealous of others or they are temperamental or they mistreat their wives – they won’t get Khilafat. Yet, if they acknowledge their weaknesses, seek a remedy and sincerely follow through with whatever is prescribed, they are the ones who will be considered for Khilafat.”

There are those who keep company with the Sheikh to give a show of their piety and humbleness. Sometimes, even in that humbleness, there is Riyaa and Takabbur. ...Sometimes, even in the person’s crying and Dua, there is the involvement of nafs! Sometimes, in the Khidmat of the creation, in serving the people, there is the nafs. The person displays his humility to people, but his nafs has a share, wanting to be seen as humble and pious. ...This is a sickness.

At times, the person does not realise or recognise his spiritual illnesses, and therefore does not ask for its treatment. He does not recognise the Ujub (vanity), Kibr (pride), Riyaa (ostentation), Hubbe Jah (love for fame) and other major sins in him. He sees himself as pious and righteous, yet he is the one most in need of “ICU” treatment!

Who will identify and diagnose? …The Sheikh who is Kaamil. He is blessed with Baseerat (insight) and he is guided by Allah Ta’ala.

How many great Ulama, Fuqaha, Muhadditheen and Mufassireen, despite their great, great learning and achievements, still found a distance between their ‘Ilm and ‘Aml, or found some deficiency in regards to their Love of Allah Ta’ala, until they connected themselves with a Sheikh-e-Kaamil; until they humbled themselves?

Hajee Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) was not an ‘Aalim; yet Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh), on taking Bay’at to Hajee Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi 'alayh), said: “We knew the names of the mithais (sweetmeats), but it was only in the company of our Sheikh, that we tasted the sweetness of the mithais.”

…Meaning, they had the knowledge of Dien and they were highly qualified in the sciences of Dien, but it was only in the company of a Wali of Allah Ta’ala, that the reality of Dien and the spirit of Dien and the Sweetness of Dien, were experienced.

It is related that when the son of Sheikh ‘Abdul Qader Jeelani (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) qualified in the various branches of Dien, after many years of travel, he returned home. The father requested the son to address the congregation, which he did, presenting an impressive talk on Qur`aan and Sunnah. The audience listened but there was no influence on their hearts. Sheikh ‘Abdul Qader Jeelani (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) then addressed the same congregation and said: ‘I made the intention to fast today and set aside some milk for Suhoor. A cat came into my home and drank the milk. So the fast was kept without Suhoor.”

The entire audience began to tear on just that statement. Amazed at the response, the son asked his father as to why such a simple incident would move the audience to tears whereas his own discussion on Qur`aan and Sunnah did not stir their hearts.

The father replied: My dear son, you have travelled and traversed the lands of the physical world, in your quest for knowledge. You have not as yet traversed the spiritual world, in your quest for Allah Ta’ala. This is the outcome of traversing the inner path to Allah Ta’ala. You have acquired the external dimension of Ilm, but you are yet to acquire its reality!”  

Some students and ‘Ulama sit before the Mashaa`ikh, and they sit with their own knowledge in front of them – and then they pass their opinions, viewpoints and even their critique, not considering that they may not have that degree of Ma`rifat that the Mashaa’ikh have, nor the experience and the skill and the depth in understanding which Allah Ta’ala blesses the Mashaa’ikh with. Many entertain pride and vanity of their knowledge and of their opinions – whereas, we should ask ourselves: From where did we learn and acquire this knowledge? ...Was it not taught to us? Was there not a time when this knowledge was totally unknown to us?

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) was a great Muhaddith and ‘Aalim. When he would see Hadhrat Bishr Haafi (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh), he would respectfully stand up, to greet him.

His students asked: ‘Why is there so much of respect for Bishr Haafi? He is not even an ‘Aalim.’

Imam Ahmad replied: “I am an ‘Aalim of the Kitaab. He is an ‘Aalim of Allah Ta’ala.”

There is a reality that needs to be sought. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) mentioned that the hearts of the close friends of Allah Ta’ala are mines of Taqwa.

Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Radiyallahu’anhu) related that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:  “Everything has a mine. The mine of Taqwa is the hearts of the Aarifeen (those who have the recognition of Allah Ta’ala).[1]

Our Sheikh (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had beautifully explained that just as we obtain gold from a gold mine, silver from a silver mine, and diamonds from a diamond mine, so the treasure of Taqwa and the treasure of Allah Ta’ala’s Muhabbat and Ma’rifat is drawn from the companionship of His close friends, the Auliya Allah.

Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alayh) mentioned as an example: “If a donkey falls and dies in a salt mine, it too will become salt in due time. …If the Mureed annihilates his opinion in the presence of his Sheikh and he leaves aside his rank, his status and his knowledge, and sincerely spends some time with the Sheikh, Insha-Allah, such a Mureed will make great progress and become the friend of Allah Ta'ala.

However, the nafs is a huge barrier. By nature, the nafs does not like to lower itself. …So the Mureed will have to strive against his nafs to enjoy the fruits of this journey to Allah Ta'ala.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allah, Allah elevates him.”

In this path, there is a demand for humility. One needs to humble himself in this process of Islaah and Tazkiyah – and if it is done seeking Allah Ta’ala, then it is for Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala then elevates.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding, the humility, the sincerity and the Taufeeq of making our Islaah under the guidance of a Sheikh-e-Kaamil.

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

[1] Tabarani

Friday 6 March 2015

Salaat 'alan Nabi (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam)

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

 “Confer Salaah (Durood) upon me excessively each Friday; the one who confers the most Salaah will be closest to me.” 

“Confer Salaah (Durood) increasingly upon me, during the day of Jumu`ah and during the eve of Jumu`ah. Whosoever does so, I will be his witness or I will intercede for him on the Day of Qiyaamah.” 

“The one who confers 1000 Durood upon me in one day, he will not die until he is given the glad-tidings of Jannah.”
(Kanzul Ummaal)

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Salaah | Surrender to Allah Ta'ala

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

Salaah has to become a Salaah in reality.

When we present ourselves for Salaah, we should do so with utmost humility. We should submit ourselves – heart, mind, body and soul, to Allah Ta’ala. Let us keep before us that Salaah is entering the Court of the King of Kings, and let us keep before us our reality: That we are the slaves and servants of Allah Ta’ala.

When we bow our heads in Ruku’ and prostrate our heads in Sujood, then we must also bow and prostrate our hearts to Allah Ta’ala and surrender fully to Him.

When our heads are in Sujood, then we should also surrender our brains and intellect to Allah Ta’ala. ...We sometimes have our own plans and ideas – which are not in compliance with Dien and Shari'ah. We should relinquish them for the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala. Submit to the Commandments and Decisions and Plans of Allah Ta’ala, which are full of Wisdom, Mercy and Kindness for His Slaves.

Salaah, performed with true ‘Abdiyyat (Servitude), invites the success of this world and the success of the Hereafter. Fortunate and intelligent is the person who establishes Salaah in his or her life. 

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of true Abdiyyat and establishing our five daily Salaah.