Weekly Ṣalawāt: Al-Rāfi`

We continue our journey through Sayyidī Ḥabīb `Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names. In this collection, Ḥabīb `Umar calls upon Allah by His beautiful names one by one and then asks Him to bestow prayers upon His Beloved by those names. Finally, he asks Allah for a portion of those attributes which belong to Allah and which He has bestowed upon His Messenger ﷺ. He thus teaches us about the attributes of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and teaches us how to seek a portion of those attributes.  

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا رافِعُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ الرَّافِع و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و ارْفَعْنِي بِهِ إلى مَرَاتِبِ قُرْبِكَ رِفْعَاً

Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Rāfi`u ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad an-Nabī al-Rāfi` wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim taslīman w’arfa`nī ilā marātibi qurbika rifa`ā

O Allāh, O He Who raises, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the Prophet who raises others, and upon his Family and Companions, and by him raise me to the highest stations of closeness to You.

On Consulting the Shaykh Regarding Dawah Efforts

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

 

We would like to consult you on every affair relating to our dawah efforts. However, we do not wish to take too much of your time. What principle should we follow in consultation?

You should consult us in affairs which are unclear. For example, if it is not possible to determine whether a certain act will have good or bad consequences. There is no need to consult us regarding affairs which are clear. However, you should still seek the blessing of consulting those who are close to you and those who are easy to consult as much as possible.

[Note: this does not prevent someone from sending in a report on their dawah efforts for Habib Umar or the Dawah Department in Dar al-Mustafa to look at and give advice]

 

Salat and Istighfar of Habib Ahmad bin Muhsin al-Haddar

Advice from Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him).
If someone combines between bestowing prayers upon the Prophet  (salawat) and seeking forgiveness (istighfar) they will be guaranteed safety. Allah says:
Allah will not punish them while you are with them, nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness. (8:33)
He will not punish this nation as He punished the previous nations as long as the Prophet  is with us. He is still with us with his spirit and with his Sacred Law and he is with us if we bestow prayers upon him. If you bestow prayers upon him you are united with him and if you give him greetings of salam he returns those greetings. So if he is with us we will be safe from Allah’s punishment and if we seek forgiveness from Allah we will also be safe. So we should combine between salawat and istighfar. There is no quicker means of getting closer to Allah in this time than doing these two things. This is a prayer upon the Prophet along with istighfar which I took from my shaykh, Habib Ahmad bin Muhsin al-Haddar. He said that this prayer takes the place of a spiritual guide (if you do not have one):

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ و على آلِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيمَ و أَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ

Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad an-nabi’l-ummi wa `ala alihi wa sallim tasliman wa astaghfirullaha al-`Azima wa atubu ilayh

 O Allah, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the Unlettered Prophet and upon his Family and I seek the forgiveness of Allah the Almighty and I repent to Him.
Habib-Ahmad-Muhsin-al-Haddar
 Habib Ahmad bin Muhsin al-Haddar

 

On Following Adhkar Through Live Broadcast

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

 

I follow the adhkar that are broadcast live from Dar al-Mustafa. However there is a time difference. Is it acceptable for me to read those adkhar at that time even though I am in a different time zone?

This is acceptable. There is some latitude because the time of the adhkar of the morning begins at midnight and ends at the time for zuhr prayer. The time of the adhkar of the evening begins at the time of the zuhr prayer and ends at midnight. It is also possible to change the wording of the adhkar. For example, in Dar al-Mustafa they may be saying: “I ask for the good of this night,” so you could say: “I ask for the good of this day.”

The most important thing is focus and presence of heart when you read the adkhar. If you find this focus when following the broadcast then carry on. If not then it is better to do it alone.

On the Dhikr ‘Hu’

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

 

What is the basis of the dhikr ‘Hu’?

Dhikr or remembrance means for the One being remembered to be present in the heart of the one remembering Him. ‘Hu’, meaning ‘Him,’ is a pronoun which refers to Allah the Creator. If your heart is present with the One being remembered while you are repeating the word ‘Hu’, then you have attained the purpose of the dhikr.

On Uniting the Rich and Poor

 

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

 

How can we unite the Muslims in the US, particularly the rich and poor?

We should encourage Muslims to show mercy and compassion to each other and we should encourage the wealthy to donate some of their wealth to the poor. We should bring them together in gatherings of knowledge and remembrance. We should arrange visits between different communities. The wealthy should visit the poor with humility and the poor should visit the rich not desiring their wealth. They should visit each other for the sake of Allah, to please the Prophet ﷺ and to strengthen the ties of brotherhood.

On Having a Wird of Reciting Surat al-Fatihah

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

 

Should I have a wird of reciting Surat al-Fatihah?

Surat al-Fatihah is one of the best awrad for the seeker. It is good if it can be read 40 or 41 times a day. Doing so is a means of removing affliction and fulfilling one’s needs. Even better is reading it 100 times a day. It can be either be read at one time standing facing the qiblah, or it can be apportioned over the five prayers as follows: 21 times after Fajr, 22 times after Zuhr, 23 times after Asr, 24 times after Maghrib, and 10 times Isha. If you are unable to complete the appointed number at the specific time you can make it up after the next prayer. Imam al-Ghazali and many of knowers of Allah mention this method. Imam al-Haddad composed a dua to be read after this recitation.[1]

[1] See Wasilat al-`Ibad

 

Weekly Ṣalawāt: Al-Bāsiṭ

We continue our journey through Sayyidī Ḥabīb `Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names. In this collection, Ḥabīb `Umar calls upon Allah by His beautiful names one by one and then asks Him to bestow prayers upon His Beloved by those names. Finally, he asks Allah for a portion of those attributes which belong to Allah and which He has bestowed upon His Messenger ﷺ. He thus teaches us about the attributes of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and teaches us how to seek a portion of those attributes. 

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا بَاسِطُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ بَاسِطِ المَعْرُوفِ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و ابْسُطْ لِي بِهِ بِسَاطَ كَرَمِكَ فَضْلاً و إِحْسَاناً

Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Bāsiṭu ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad an-nabī bāsiṭi’l-ma`rūfi wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim taslīman w’absuṭ lī bihi bisāṭa karamika faḍlan wa iḥsānā

O Allāh, O He Who expands and extends, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the Prophet, the one who extends goodness to all and upon his Family and Companions, and by him extend to me Your generosity out of Your bounty and kindness.

On Preventing Excessive Use of the Internet and Mobile Devices

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

How can we prevent excessive use of the Internet and mobile devices?

This can be done by focusing the heart on remembrance and reflection. You should remember Allah until His remembrance dominates your heart. You should reflect upon the life of the Prophet ﷺ. This engenders a longing to be in his company and a longing to meet him. You should also avoid keeping the company of those who spend a lot of time using the internet.

Our use of mobile devices must be governed by taqwa, knowledge and intelligence. We must use them in the best way, be in complete control of them and avoid any evil that their use may entail. Making light of a small part of evil leads to a great amount of evil. By using them correctly we are supporting the cause of Allah. One of the first manifestations of victory is in our use of these devices. This is related to our victory in our use of our limbs which points to a victory in our battle with our lower selves. Anyone who is in control of their body and lower self will receive assistance from Allah. Allah says: If you assist Allah, He will assist you and make your feet firm.[1] He also says: Allah will truly assist whoever assists Him.[2] Allah then mentions the signs of those who assist Him: they are those who establish the prayer, pay zakat, enjoin good and forbid evil.

 

[1] Muhammad, 47:7

[2] Al-Hajj, 22:40

On Raising Children and Mobile Devices

 

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

 

How do we raise our children in an open society in which they have access to mobile devices?

Firstly we should plant veneration and vigilance of Allah in their hearts through talking to them, spending time with them and taking them to attend gatherings of knowledge and remembrance. We should also tell them about the people of the past who had fear of Allah and show them videos and talks by scholars that will increase their fear of Allah.

We should put some restriction upon their use of these devices and upon their interaction with society so that they learn to take that which is of benefit and leave that which is not.