On Raising Our Aspirations

Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

We all need immense aspiration (himmah). Do not believe for a moment that Allah’s treasure troves have decreased in any way or that His gifts have stopped coming. To believe that constitutes a rejection of Allah’s blessings.

 The treasure troves of Your generosity never end

 In spite of the abundance of Your gifts to the seekers

Allah continues to choose and select people, so your aspirations must be vast in seeking Him. You must seek to attain high stations, but not by yourself or through your actions, since you can only ascend through Him. Strive to honour your covenant with Him. Act as far as you are able and know that you and I are slaves. It is unacceptable for us to hold back from giving everything we have and doing all that we are able to do. If you give everything, Allah will raise you. It is only He Who can raise you. You should desire what He possesses and know that His generosity is constantly pouring down upon you, so you must knock on this door. No one reached Allah without placing their hopes in Him.

All blessings and gifts are obtained through hope, so focus on that

You must focus on Allah with immense aspiration. Do not lose hope or despair. You live in a time in which renewal (tajdid) must take place.[1] Ask Allah that he makes you among the ranks of those who bring about renewal. This is not a difficult thing for Allah to grant you, but do not negate this with your actions or intentions. I counsel you to increase your desire for Him and His gifts, for He loves those that desire Him. Have no desire for people, for this leads to abasement. Rather increase your hope in Him and your desire for Him. There is nothing to stop Allah recording you among those destined for the highest type of companionship.

[1] The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah sends forth at the beginning of every hundred years someone who renews for this Ummah its religion.” Narrated by Abu Daud. The scholars say that it can be a group of people who bring about renewal.

On Improving Relations with Relatives

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

How can we improve our relations with our relatives?

You can do this by sincerely wanting the best for them and using wisdom and gentleness in your dealings with them.

Repeat the following verses:

هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ

لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً مَّا أَلَّفَتْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

It is He Who has strengthened you with His aid and with the believers; He has united their hearts. Had you spent all that is on the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Truly He is Mighty and Wise. (Al-Anfal, 8:62-3)

You can also repeat the last two verses of Surat al-Tawbah (9:128-9). Repeating these two verses for 41 days with the intention of bringing their hearts together is a means of rectification.

The following Prophetic supplication can also be recited to bring harmony and remove hatred:

اللَّهُمَّ اقْسِمْ لَنَا مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ مَا تَحُولُ بِهِ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ مَعَاصِيكَ

وَمِنْ طَاعَتِكَ مَا تُبَلِّغُنَا بِهِ جَنَّتَكَ

وَمِنَ الْيَقِينِ مَا تُهَوِّنُ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا مَصَائِبَ الدُّنْيَا

‘O Allah, apportion to us fear of You which prevents us from disobeying You; enable us to perform acts of obedience which cause us to reach Your Garden of Paradise and bless us with certainty which softens for us the calamities of this worldly life.’

 

 

 

Reacting to Anti-Muslim Hostility

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

Acts of terror often result in a backlash against Muslims living in the West. How should they react in these situations?

This is a test for Muslims. If they wish to pass the test, they must respond in the best way. Muslims need to clarify the truth and absolve themselves from acts which contravene the Sacred Law. They should be patient in the face of hostility. As Allah says: When the ignorant address them, say: “Peace.”[1] If Muslims continue to clarify the truth with their words and their deeds, the reality of Islam will become manifest and those who hate Islam and those who are biased against it will not have any ground to stand on. It will become clear that a religion cannot be held responsible for the actions of a few individuals, unless the religion itself condones those actions.

This hostility is nothing strange – it is both human nature and a manifestation of the Devil working with his allies. We should look at the conduct of the Prophet ﷺ and the Companions during the days of hardship in Makkah. They showed patience, steadfastness, excellence in their dealings and avoided provoking their antagonisers and thus displayed the true teachings of Islam. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would respond to bad treatment with good treatment and would pardon and forgive those who wronged him.

[1] Al-Furqan, 25:63

Actions on the Night of the Isra’ and Mi`raj

 

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

 

What should we do on the night of the Isra’ and Mi`raj?

Nothing specific is prescribed on that night. However, if you hold a gathering, you should talk about the Prophet ﷺ and the Mi`raj and pray for the Ummah in abundance. Fasting on the following day (27th Rajab) is also good. Rewards for doing so are mentioned in some narrations. Although these narrations are weak, fasting is generally recommended in the sacred months, of which Rajab is one.

On How to Benefit from the Dowra

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

We are planning to attend the Dowra in Tarim this year. How can we prepare to attain the biggest of openings?

Attend the Dowra with truthfulness, sincerity, humility and veneration. Broaden your perspective on everything you experience, have a present heart, maintain a good opinion and be keen to benefit. May Allah grant us all success.

 

With what intentions should we come to Tarim?

You should intend following and emulating the Prophet ﷺ, being a cause of joy to him, seeking Allah’s greatest pleasure and being in the company of His Beloved in the Abode of Ennoblement. You should broaden your intentions and perspectives as much as possible and intend rectifying your hearts and rectifying the Ummah.

 

The Ruling on Working in a Bank

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

 

What is the ruling on working in a bank which deals with interest?

If the bank conducts other financial dealings in which there is no interest then it is dubious to work there. If it only deals with interest then it is forbidden to work there. Working in such an institution constitutes recording and assisting transactions in which there is interest.[1]

 

 

[1] The Prophet ﷺ cursed the two parties involved in usurious transactions, as well as the one who records those transactions, and the two people who witness them. (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Daud and al-Tirmidhi)

On Delaying Hajj

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

 

What is the ruling on spending money on other things if someone has enough money to perform Hajj?

It is permissible to spend money on anything that is permissible. However, if someone has the financial means to perform Hajj in a given year but does not do so, then this person is negligent, even though many of the scholars say that if someone anticipates being able to perform Hajj in future years the obligation is not immediate. There is no harm in spending money on those in dire need or spending it on travelling to seek obligatory knowledge (instead of spending it on performing Hajj).