What state should I be in when bestowing prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ ?

While doing so you should witness the exalted nature of the Prophet ﷺ and long to be with him in the next life. Be conscious that in reality it is not you who is bestowing prayers upon him but Allah and also that the Prophet does not need your prayers but rather you need the benefits that it contains.

Habib Ahmad, as described by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad describes Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad:

Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad was widely acknowledged as among the leading scholars and spiritual masters of the twentieth century. He was born in a town in Hadramawt, in southern Arabia. At an early age he committed the Quran to memory and spent most of his time in the relentless pursuit of the various branches of religious knowledge. He dedicated his life to teaching and spreading the word of Islam. He died in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1995.

Shaykh al-Haddad, religious counsellor to ministers and paupers alike, was a rare living embodiment of traditional styles of da’wa. He was a founder member of the Muslim World League, but never accepted money for his services to Islam. Running a small business in East Africa, he lived to obey Allah’s injunction to bring Islam to all people.

One week he would almost be eaten by crocodiles during a mission to the Pygmies of Western Uganda; the next he would be using his fluent Swahili to defeat the Ahmadiyya cult in a vast public debate in Kampala. Not a second of his life was wasted: his annual Hajj, his regular teaching of Shafi’i fiqh at the houses of friends in Jeddah, his support for new madrasas, his Mawlids in Mombasa mosques which caused the conversion of so many: every moment was filled with the remembrance of Allah, and the quest for still greater learning. Even in advanced old age, weighed down by illness and deeply distressed by the war in Bosnia, he insisted that his house remain open seven days a week, every day of the year, for those who wished to sit with him, and absorb some of his learning and the subtle blessings of his company. And when his guests left each evening, he would rest only briefly, before beginning his long nightly vigil of Qur’anic recitation and tahajjud. Having travelled with him, I know that he rarely rested for more than two hours a night.

Shaykh al-Haddad was distressed by even slight variations from the Sunna. His house and household, his wives and great grandsons, all lived in the radiance which only the full Sunna can bestow. Part of this, for him was his dislike of any criticism of other Muslims, whatever their tendency, or however grievous their faults. Anyone voicing such criticism would be discouraged in his gatherings from continuing to speak. The reputation of all Muslims, as one of his favourite hadiths affirms is sacred and inviolable. It is estimated he administered between 20-30,000 shahadas.

source: http://thefinalbrick.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/introducing-habib-ahmad-mashhur-al.html

The Soul’s Estrangement

Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf shares an intimate conversation at a blessed time in a blessed place with his own soul.

My Generous Lord honored me to be at the Ennobled Kaaba during the last part of the night on a Friday. Heralds of longing began to stir in my heart for the reality of what Allah has created us for. I penned some of that in the following words, which I ask Allah the Exalted to make a means to direct the reader with truth and sincerity to Him the Exalted.

I ask you, dear reader, to read it in a calm and serene place.

Original Arabic text:

Protection from Disease

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) was asked if there is any dhikr that could be recited for protection from disease. He advised doing the following:

  1. Giving charity
  2. Seeking Allah’s forgiveness abundantly (istighfar)
  3. Bestowing abundant prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ
  4. Reciting the following verses of protection in the morning and evening:

وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

فَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَافِظًا ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

وَحِفْظًا مِّن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ مَّارِدٍ

وَحَفِظْنَاهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ رَّجِيمٍ

وَحِفْظًا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

إِنْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ لَمَّا عَلَيْهَا حَافِظٌ

بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ * فِي لَوْحٍ مَّحْفُوظٍ

وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَيُرْسِلُ عَلَيْكُمْ حَفَظَةً

فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ بِحَفِيظٍ

إِنَّ رَبِّي عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَفِيظٌ

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّه

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

وَكُنَّا لَهُمْ حَافِظِينَ

وَرَبُّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَفِيظٌ

اللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِوَكِيلٍ

وَعِندَنَا كِتَابٌ حَفِيظٌ

لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍ

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ

We ask Allah for protection, pardon, wellbeing, safety and continuous ability to do what He loves and is pleasing to Him.

Lack of Time When Visiting the Prophet ﷺ

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

When I visit the Prophet ﷺ I do not have enough time to greet him and make dua because the officials quickly move you on. What should I do in this situation?

Lovers of the Prophet ﷺ should not be affected by those who prevent people from standing at length at the blessed grave. They should just give their greetings in the time they have at that place and then they can go anywhere in the Haram or outside and address the Prophet and recite as much as they wish and the Prophet is closer to them (after Allah) than anyone in existence. Our teacher Habib `Attas al-Habashi would sit at a distance, away from the commotion in a place where the Prophet received revelation, a place where there is now a door called Bab al-Baqi`. He would say that true proximity is not physical but rather it is the proximity of the soul. Many of the pious would sit in the ‘Haswah’, the open courtyard[1] behind the old limits of the Mosque. They would face the blessed resting place of the Prophet ﷺ and receive great spiritual gifts. 


[1] Which now has ‘umbrellas’ that open and close

Etiquettes in the Bedroom

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What are the etiquettes of a husband and wife in the bedroom?

The Prophet ﷺ taught us the correct etiquette for every situation and believers strive to abide by these etiquettes.

Before intercourse they should both recite the Prophetic dua:

بِاسْمِ اللَّهِ اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبْ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا

Bismillah. Allahumma jannibna’shaytan wa jannib ashaytan ma razaqtana

“In the name of Allah. O Allah, distance us from Satan and distance Satan from what You grant us”

Although the Shariah tells us that between husband and wife there is no part of the body which the other party is forbidden from seeing, they should avoid looking at the other’s private parts. Sayyidah Aishah said: “I never saw the Prophet’s private parts and he did not see mine”. They should both be covered by a sheet. They should speak pleasantly to each other. When the man feels that he is reaching climax he should recite in his heart and not with his tongue:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَاءِ بَشَرًا فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَبًا وَصِهْرًا ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيرًا

It is He who creates human beings from fluid, then makes them kin by blood and marriage: your Lord is all powerful! (al-Furqan, 25:54)

One partner must never disclose any secrets about the other (especially with regard to the bedroom) to anyone. The Prophet ﷺ described this as a form of betrayal or disloyalty.

One of the most important inner etiquettes is that they both have in their hearts and minds only that which is pure and lawful. They should also have good intentions and be in a state of tranquillity and remembrance of Allah with their hearts. Imam al-Sha’rani: “My spiritual state when I am with my wife is the same as the state in which I enter the prayer”. This is the state of someone who has absolute presence with Allah. If that is the state of the Siddiqun (the people of absolute truthfulness) what does that tell us about the state of the Prophets and what does that tell us about the state of the Master of the Prophets ﷺ , the one who had the greatest knowledge of Allah and the most awareness and reverential fear of Him?

Selected Salawat: Seeking to be at One With the Messenger ﷺ

Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and allow us to benefit from him) teaches us to use this prayer to seek the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and to ask that our actions and intentions be so connected to the Prophet that they are at one with him. Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz placed this prayer in his Hadrah Badriyyah.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ ، صَلاةً تُرْضِيكَ وتُرْضِيهِ ، وتَنْطَوِي بِها أَعْمَالي ونِيَّاتي وحَرَكَاتي وسَكَناتي فِيه

Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammad salatan turdika wa turdihi wa tantawi biha a`mali wa niyyaati wa harakaati wa sakanaati fih

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, prayers which allow us to attain Your pleasure and his and cause my actions, intentions, movements and stillness to be enveloped in him.

Allow Your Emotions to Be Elevated

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) calls us to allow our emotions to be elevated in order for us to taste the sweetness of faith and to be with Allah’s Beloved ﷺ

The Prophets, their Families and Companions and the angels are all party to intense feelings and emotions – emotions which are extremely lofty, noble, pure, divine, majestic and precious. These emotions constitute their connection to the Knower of all that is concealed, their love for Him and their seeking and receiving love from Him. They include complete submission to Him and love for His sake in order to receive His love. All the angels experience these emotions from the greatest of them down to the least of them, as do the Prophets and Messengers and their Families and Companions and followers and their leader and imam, Muhammad ﷺ.

But whatever love they have for each other for Allah’s sake cannot be compared to the love contained in the heart of the Beloved, the Chosen One. There is only one reason for this: that he is the one who knows Allah better than all of them. Since he knows Allah best, his love for Allah is more intense than all those who love for Allah’s sake. This is why Allah says: the Prophet is more caring towards the believers than they are to their own selves (al-Ahzab, 33:6).

Allah describes him as being extremely perturbed by the hardships you suffer, as being absolutely concerned for your welfare: a Messenger has come to you; grievous to him is your suffering; immensely concerned is he for you.. (al-Tawbah, 9:128) What is this verse telling us? It is saying look at your feelings towards My Beloved. Do you love anyone more than him? No one can be compared to him regarding the care and concern he has for this Ummah in this life and even after he passed from this life: “My life is best for you and my death is best for you.” How? In his life he showed people the path when things happened to them. After his death he said: “Your actions are displayed to me. I praise Allah for any good I find, and if I find other than that, I seek Allah’s forgiveness for you.” He did not say “if I find evil”. Out of his compassion he chose not to attribute evil to us. Instead he said: “If I find other than that..”

You are being invited to allow your feelings and emotions to be elevated. Iblis and his forces are competing in this. They want to control our emotions so that we venerate things and people who should not be venerated; so that we love people who are not beloved to Allah and so that we commemorate things which have no value in the sight of Allah and His Messenger.

The Prophet told us that with our emotions we will taste the sweetness of faith. We will taste that sweetness when Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to us than everything else.. Everything else, including Paradise. Had Paradise been more beloved to them, then Thawban would not have cried and neither would some of the other Companions. Paradise with its everlasting bliss was not more beloved to them than seeing the Prophet! They were unable to bear the thought of not seeing him!

Allah knew their sincerity and gave them the good tidings of being with the one they loved: Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be with those who Allah has blessed: the Prophets, the Siddiqun, martyrs and the pious – and what blessed company that is! This is purely from the bounty of Allah (al-Nisa, 4:69).

If you read this verse, you notice He did not mention Paradise or any of its pleasures. All He mentions is being with.. This is the highest pleasure of Paradise. These are the loftiest emotions that can be experienced.

The Best of Creation clarified things when he said: “None of you believe until I am more beloved to that person than his children, his parents and all people.” We ask Allah to bear witness to our joy at your Prophet and all that he taught. Allow us to live our lives with these noble feelings and emotions so that we meet You in the best of states.  

Dealing With Thoughts of Disbelief

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Thoughts of disbelief sometimes come into my mind. Does this take me out of the fold of Islam?

No this does not take you out of the fold of Islam. We are only taken to account for the thoughts which we are content with and agree with. We will not be taken to account for the thoughts which you dislike and ignore. This is a manifestation of Allah’s bounty. The Prophet said ﷺ : “Allah has overlooked for my sake my nation’s mistakes, forgetfulness and thoughts as long as they do not talk about it or act upon it.”

One way of driving these thoughts away is to repeat Allah’s name lengthening the ‘a’ (Allaaaah) and raising the head upwards towards the sky.

There is nothing better than imploring Allah for His assistance and remembering Him constantly. Anyone who feels that they are unable to purify themselves should turn to Allah and say (as Imam al-Haddad says):

يا رَبِّ قَدْ غَلَبَتْنِي    وَبالأَمَـانِي سَبَـتْنِي
وَفِي الْحُظُوْظِ كَبَتْنِي   وَقَيَّــدَتْنِي بَالاكْبَــالْ

قَـدْ اسْـتَعَنْتُكَ رَبِي    عَلَى مُــدَاوَاة قَلْبِيْ
وَحَـلِّ عُقْـدَة كَرْبِـي    فَانْظُرْ إِلَى الْغَـمِّ يَنْجَـالْ

My Lord, my lower self has overpowered me

And deluded me with false hopes,

It subdues me with worldly pleasures,

and shackles me in chains.

I seek Your support, my Lord,

in curing my heart.

Release me from distress and look

(kindly) on my sorrow and dispel it.

How Do We Avoid Backbiting?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we avoid backbiting (ghibah)?

We do this by bringing to mind the ugliness and danger of backbiting. We should also reflect on the punishment for it in the next life. In the Quran, Allah likens the person who backbites to someone who eats the flesh of his dead brother. We should see backbiting as a lightning bolt which destroys our good deeds. We should accustom ourselves to only mentioning a person’s good deeds and qualities if there is a benefit in doing so.

If we are tempted to backbite someone due to a perceived fault, we should do two things instead: pray for them and give them sincere advice either directly or indirectly.

Instead of allowing yourself to backbite, you must hold your tongue and use it to remember Allah. Instead of talking about worldly things, use wisdom in choosing a topic of conversation which is beneficial, such as stories of the Prophet, the Companions, the pious or the next life. In this way you will be acting upon the hadith: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say what it is good or remain silent.”