August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
July 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
The Prophet SAW said, “The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.” It was said, “And what are they Oh Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, when he invites you, respond to his invitation, when he seeks your advice, advise him, when he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him, when he becomes ills, visit him, and when he dies follow him (i.e. his funeral).” [Narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, reported by Muslim]
The First Right: “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace.”
The greeting of peace is a great inducement of love and it will lead us to an increase in faith/belief. And only a Believer will enter Jannah (Paradise).
The Prophet SAW said, “By the one in Whose Hand is my soul, you all will not enter into the Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I not direct you to something that if you do it, you will love each other? Spread the greeting of peace amongst yourselves.”
Just imagine that when every Muslim meets another Muslim, he would cheerfully greet with a message of peace. And this is extended to every walks of life, resulting in everyone wishing the best for each other. Surely, that would be a wonderful world to live in, yes? And of course, the one who initiates the greetings is the best.
The Second Right: “When he invites you, respond to his invitation.”
A Muslim is obliged to accept an invitation as it is truly an honor to be invited. Only a valid excuse of greater things may be of exemption from accepting the invitation. And once it is accepted, it is mandatory to fulfil the invitation by attending it. This is a fine way Islam teaching us of forging solidarity.
The Third Right: “And when he seeks your advice, advise him.”
Often enough, a person being asked is revered as having more knowledge. Honor that reverence by properly dispensing advise as if you are the solicitor. If its is worthy of a good cause, advise him to go ahead and do it. If it might bring any harm, advise him against it. Treat the advise with respect, sincerity, compassion and confidentiality. For verily whoever deceives the Muslims, then he is not of them, and indeed he has left off the obligation of being sincere and advising.
The Fourth Right: “And when he sneezes and praises Allah, then pray for mercy upon him.”
The act of sneezing is a blessing and a favor from Allah SWT, in the expelling of congested air that is blocked in certain parts of the body of the human being. Thus, making it easy for this air to have a passage out where it can exit, and thus providing relief.
As such, the Prophet SAW warranted that Allah SWT be praised for this favor, and for his (Muslim) brother to say to him,“May Allah have mercy upon you.” He also commanded the person who sneezed to answer his (Muslim) brother by saying to him, “May Allah guide you and set right your affairs.”
Therefore, whoever does not praise Allah, does not deserve for others to pray for mercy upon him. For he is the one who has caused himself to lose the two blessings: the blessing of praising Allah, and the blessing of his brother’s supplication for him that is a result of the praising.
The Fifth Right: “And when he becomes ill, visit him.”
Visiting the sick is from the best of the righteous deeds. And whoever visits his Muslim brother, he remains engulfed in the mercy (of Allah), and when he sits with him the mercy (of Allah) covers him. And whoever visits the sick Muslim at the beginning of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until evening comes, and whoever visits him at the end of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until morning comes.
There are certain ‘adab (protocols) when visiting the sick i.e. supplicate for him to be cured, giving him glad tidings of well-being and recovery). Most important is to advise him of repentance and turning to Allah for help to be cured. make the visit short and sweet, long enough to be welcome.
The Sixth Right: “And if he dies, follow him (his funeral).”
For verily whoever follows the funeral until the deceased’s body is prayed over, then he will receive a Qeeraat of reward. And if he follows the funeral procession until the body is buried, then he will receive two Qeeraats of reward. And following the funeral procession contains (fulfillment of) a right for Allah, a right for the deceased, and a right for the living relatives of the deceased.(Translator’s note: A Qeeraat is an amount equivalent to the size of the Mountain of Uhud in Madinah.)
June 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
Once when Rabi`a, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked, “Where have you come from?” She said, “From that World.” They then asked her, “Where are you going?” She replied, “To that World.” They asked, “What are you doing in this world?” She said, “I am sorrowing.” They asked, “In what way?” She said, “I am eating the bread of this world and doing the work of that World.”
Then someone said, “One so persuasive in speech is worthy to keep a guest-house.” She replied, “I myself am keeping a rest-house. Whatever is within I do not allow to go out, and whatever is without I do not allow to come in. If anyone comes in or goes out, he does not concern me, for I am contemplating my own heart, not mere clay.”
Rabi`a’s companions spoke about how she was always weeping and when she was asked, “Why do you weep like this?” she said, “I fear that I may be cut off from Him to Whom I am accustomed, and that at the hour of death a voice may say that I am not worthy.”
She, may Allah hallow her secret, told of how when she was making the Pilgrimage, and upon reaching the standing on `Arafat she heard a voice saying to her, “O you who call upon Me, what request have you to make to Me? If it is Myself that you desire, then I will show you one flash of My Glory, but in that you will be absorbed and melt away.” She said then, “O Lord of Glory, Rabi`a has no means of reaching to that degree, but I desire one particle of Poverty.” The voice said, “O Rabi`a, Poverty is the drought and famine of Our Wrath which We have placed in the way of men. When but a hair’s breadth remains between them and Union with Us, everything is changed and Union becomes separation. As for you, you still have seventy veils of existence, and until you have come forth from beneath these veils you will not benefit even to speak of that Poverty.”
It is said that someone once said to her, “I have committed many sins; if I turn in repentance (tawba) toward Allah, will He turn in His Mercy toward me?” She said, “No, but if He will turn toward you, you will turn toward Him.” For Rabi`a, repentance was a Gift from Allah. As she said, “Seeking forgiveness with the tongue is the sin of lying. If I seek repentance of myself, I shall have need of repentance again.” Or as she also said, “Our asking for forgiveness of Allah itself needs forgiveness.”
She, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “O God, my whole occupation And all my desire in this world, Of all worldly things, Is to remember You. And in the Hereafter It is to meet You. This is on my side, as I have stated. Now You do whatever You will.” In her nightly prayers she loved to commune with her Beloved God, saying, “O God, the night has passed and the day has dawned. How I long to know if You have accepted my prayers or if You have rejected them. Therefore console me, for it is Yours to console this state of mine. You have given me life and cared for me, and Yours is the Glory. If You want to drive me from Your Door yet would I not forsake it for the love that I bear in my heart towards You.”
As for the rest of the story of her life in this world, it is said: About seven years before she died, she traveled to Jerusalem with a woman companion and attendant, and she bought a small house with some land surrounding it on top of the holy Mountain of Olives (at-Tur). There she lived, and from there she used to walk down, every day, to Al-Aqsa Mosque where she prayed and gave Teachings to the people, both men and women, who came to listen to her. Although she was a woman, nobody could prevent her from doing this because it was Allah who moved her in this way to be the means of manifesting Himself to the people who sought Him through her. Then after praying and teaching in the Mosque she would walk back up the mountain to her house. This she did every day until she died in the year 185 A.H. / 801 C.E.
After she died her followers built a tomb for her which still exists near the Christian Church of the Ascension on top of the Mountain of Olives. It is visited by those who remember her and thank Allah for the blessing which He granted through her life-the example of a holy soul filled with Him
End of Roses of Islam: Rabi’a Al-Adawiyah [consists of 7 parts]
June 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
It was told of Rabi`a that she was seen one day carrying a brand of fire in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other, and that she was running very fast. When they asked her what she was doing and where she was going, she said, “I am going to light a fire in the Garden and pour water onto it so that both these veils may disappear from the seekers, and that their purpose may be sure, and that the slaves of Allah may see Him, without any object of hope or motive of fear. What if the Hope for the Garden and the Fear of the Fire did not exist? Not one would worship his Lord, nor obey Him. But He is worthy of worship without any immediate motive or need.”
And she said: “ I love You with two loves: A Selfish love and a Love that You are worthy of. As for the selfish love, it is that I think of You, To the exclusion of everything else. And as for the Love that You are worthy of, Ah! That I no longer see any creature, but I see only You! There is no praise for me in either of these loves, But the praise in both is for You.” It was said that Rabi`a was the first person to teach about the necessity for truthfulness and sincerity in the lover’s bondsman-ship to the Beloved Who is Allah. She was one of those referred to as the spies of the heart for she often spoke out clearly against all who claimed to be lovers of Allah, but whose hearts were not always pure in intention and devotion.
This was the case of those who could not unquestioningly surrender to the Will of the Beloved in everything. She said to them, “You rebel against Allah, yet you appear to love Him. I swear by my faith that this is most strange. For if your love were truthful you would have obeyed Him, since the lover obeys the one whom he loves.” So that whenever someone said to her, “Alas, for my sorrow (my sins),” she replied, “Do not lie, but say rather, ‘Alas for my lack of sorrow,’ for if you were truly sorrowful, life would have no delight for you.”
One of her companions, Sufyan al-Thawri, asked her, “What is the best thing for the servant to do who desires proximity to his Lord?” She said, “That the servant should possess nothing in this world for the Next, save Him.” Rabi`a, may Allah preserve her secret, never had any doubts about her Beloved being present or absent, because she was not concerned only to have His good pleasure and bounties. She lived for a Love which does not seek for any answer, reward or reciprocity.
“O God, if I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, And if I worship You in hope of Paradise, Exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, Grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”
It was related how one day one of her followers said in her presence, “Oh Allah, may You be satisfied with us!” Whereupon Rabi`a said, “Are you not ashamed before Him to ask Him to be satisfied with you, when you are not satisfied with Him?” By this she meant that first we must be truly satisfied with Allah, Most High, before we can ask Him to be satisfied with us. Then this was followed by the question to her, “When then is the servant satisfied with Allah Most High?” She replied, “When his pleasure in misfortune is equal to his pleasure in prosperity.”
Someone asked Rabi`a, “What is Love?” She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Love has come from Eternity and passes into eternity, and none has been found in seventy thousand worlds who drinks one drop of it until at last he is absorbed in Allah, and from that comes His words: “He loves them, and they love Him.” (5:59).
Once when she was sick a number of people went to visit her. They asked her, “How are you?” She replied, “By Allah! I know of no reason for my illness except that Paradise was displayed to me and I yearned after it in my heart; and I thank that my Lord was jealous for me and so He reproached me; and only He can make me happy again.” She said: “O God, whatsoever You have apportioned to me of worldly things, Give that to Your enemies, And what You have apportioned to me in the Hereafter, Give that to Your Friends, For You suffice me.”
When Rabi`a was urged to speak, her words perfectly manifested her love, her belief and her faith, for she was so totally immersed in her Lord that she became a shining Light which attracted many people to her presence to drink from the same Spring from which she drank. She said, “If I will a thing and my Lord does not will it, I shall be guilty of unbelief.” So that her faith came from her total surrender to her Beloved God, as she said, “I have fled from the world and all that is in it. My prayer is for Union with You; that is the goal of my desire.” Then, since she always attributed her illnesses and misfortunes to the Will of her Beloved God, how could she oppose Him in trying to rid herself of them? Once she was heard to say, “If You had not set me apart by affliction, I would not have increased Your lovers.”
June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
List of anecdotes from the great Rabi’a Al-Adawiyah:
- One day, she was seen running through the streets of Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When asked what she was doing, she said,”I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah.”
- At one occasion she was asked if she hated Satan. Rabi’a replied: “My love to Allah has so possessed me that no place remains for loving or hating any save Him.”
- When Rabi’a would not come to attend the sermons of Hasan Basri, he would deliver no discourse that day. People in the audience asked him why he did that. He replied: “The syrup that is held by the vessels meant for the elephants cannot be contained in the vessels meant for the ants.”
- When Hasan al-Basri proposed to Rabi’a al-Adawiyah, she replied “The tie of marriage applies to those who have being,” she replied. “Here being has disappeared, for I have become naughted to self and exist only through Him. I belong wholly to Him. I live in the shadow of His control. You must ask my hand of Him, not of me.”
- Once Rabi’a was on her way to Makkah, and when half-way there she saw the Kaaba coming to meet her. She said, “It is the Lord of the house whom I need, what have I to do with the house? I need to meet with Him Who said, ‘Who approaches Me by a span’s length I will approach him by the length of a cubit.’ The Kaaba which I see has no power over me; what joy does the beauty of the Kaaba bring to me?”
- At the same time the great Ibrahim bin Adham arrived at the Kaaba, but he did not see it. He had spent fourteen years making his way to the Kaaba, because in every place of prayer he performed two rakaats.Ibrahim bin Adham said, “Alas! What has happened? It maybe that some injury has overtaken my eyes.” An unseen voice said to him, “No harm has befallen your eyes, but the Kaaba has gone to meet a woman, who is approaching this place.” Ibrahim Adham responded, “O indeed, who is this?” He ran and saw Rabi’a arriving, and that the Kaaba was back in its own place. When Ibrahim saw that, he said, “O Rabi’a, what is this disturbance and trouble and burden which you have brought into the world?”
- She replied, “I have not brought disturbance into the world. It is you who have disturbed the world, because you delayed fourteen years in arriving at the Kaaba.” He said, “Yes I have spent fourteen years in crossing the desert (because I was
- engaged) in prayer.” Rabi’a said, “You traversed it in ritual prayer (Salat) but with personal supplication.” Then, having performed the pilgrimage, she returned to Basra and occupied herself with works of devotion.