Monthly Archives: December 2014

Welcoming the Month of the Greatest Beloved ﷺ

 

In the following video, Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) talks about the state we should be in and the ways to prepare ourselves and our loved ones in welcoming the month of the Noble Birth of the Beloved ﷺ. English subtitles are available by clicking on the CC button.

“Receive the month of his birthﷺ with actions that will draw your Lord’s felicity and assistance such that you enter into the circles of those whom He loves and are gathered under his bannerﷺ […] Receive this month well with truthful turning to Allah and with increase in faith, love, and certainty. Let mention of the Prophet, his birth, his life, his news fill your homes. Raise your voices in invocations of blessings upon him. Illuminate your hearts and your homes by them…”

 

Weekly Salawat: Ya Muhyi

We continue our journey through Sayyidi Habib `Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names. In this collection, Habib 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 مُحْيِي صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ مُحْيِيِ الهُدَى فِي القُلُوبِ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً وأَحْيِ بِهِ قَلْبِي و أَحْيِنِي بِهِ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً و أَحْيِ فِينا و بِنَا سُنَّتَه

 

Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Muḥyī ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad an-Nabī muḥyi’l-hudā fi’l-qulūbi wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim taslīman wa aḥyī bihi qalbī wa aḥyinī bihi ḥayātan ṭayyibatan wa aḥyī fīnā wa binā sunnatah

O Allah, O Giver of Life, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the Prophet who revives guidance in people’s hearts and upon his Family and Companions, and by him give life to my heart, bless me with a good life, allow us to live by his Sunnah and to be a means of reviving it.

 

Sharif Muhammad Sa`id al-Bid

﷽ 

“Many philosophers and intellectuals have discussed, debated and written on the topic of utopia. Is it real? Where is it found? Yes, it is real and we experience it every time we are in a gathering of prayers upon the Beloved ﷺ.”

~ Sharif Muhammad Sa`id al-Bid

On the 23rd of Safar we commemorate the life of the great caller to Allah in East Africa, Sharif Muhammad Sa`id al-Bid, who passed away on that day two years ago.

Sharif Muhammad’s Father

Sharif Sa`id al-Bid

Sharif Muhammad’s father, Sharif Sa`id, was born in Malindi, Kenya in 1330 (1912). There was a close bond between his father, Sharif `Abdullah and Habib Salih bin `Alawi Jamal al-Layl, one of East Africa’s greatest scholars and callers to Allah. Habib Salih duly married his daughter, Hababah Nur, to Sharif `Abdullah, and she gave birth to Sharif Sa`id.

Sharif Sa`id’s father passed away when he was fourteen years old,  and he then went to study on the island of Lamu under his uncle, Habib Ahmad bin Salih Jamal al-Layl. When he completed his studies at the age of nineteen, he opened a madrasah and began teaching. He spent the rest of his life spreading knowledge and calling people to Allah. He worked alongside Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad in Uganda. Whole villages accepted Islam at his hands in the Arua region, near the border with Congo. When he came to a village he would open a shop. When a customer came to buy something from him, he would give him more than he had paid for or give him free food stuffs. If someone bought tea, for example, he would give him free sugar, saying: “You will need this for your tea.” When asked why he was doing this, he would explain that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught people to be generous. When he had won the people’s love and trust, they would allow him to teach their children. Very quickly all the people of the village would embrace Islam. Then he would move on to another village.

He died in a road accident on 28th Muharram 1383 (1963) on his return from performing hajj and was buried in Mambrui, Kenya.

Sharif Muhammad

Sharif Muhammad al-Bid

Sharif Muhammad was born in Lamu, Kenya, in 1361 (1942). He was born into the al-Bid clan, a branch of the Ba `Alawi tribe, which traces its lineage back to Imam Ahmad al-Shahid, the son of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam.

He memorised the Qur’an and began to study the Islamic sciences, first at Madrasah al-Najah and then at the famous Ma`had al-Riyad, established by Habib Salih Jamal al-Layl. His main teachers were his father and Sayyid Muhammad bin `Adnan al-Ahdal, as well as his maternal uncles `Ali, `Alawi and `Abd al-Rahman, the sons of Ahmad al-Badawi Jamal al-Layl and the Qadi Muhmmad bin Shaykh al-Wa’ili.

He also learnt from some of the greatest scholars in East Africa at the time, at their forefront Habib Umar bin Ahmad bin Sumayt and Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad. On his many trips abroad he took knowledge from great scholars such as Habib `Abd al-Qadir bin Ahmad al-Saqqaf, Habib Muhammd bin Salim bin Hafiz, Habib `Umar bin `Alawi al-Kaf, Shaykh Bikri Rajab al-Halabi and Sayyid `Alawi bin `Abbas al-Maliki.

He began teaching in Madrasah al-Najah at the tender age of fourteen and continued to do so for the next seven years. Then, at the age of twenty one, he moved to Mambrui to become the principal of Madrasah al-Nur. He remained in this post for twenty five years. He then built his own institute in Mambrui, Madrasah al-Ghanna, after consulting Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad. The two institutes helped to foster a whole generation of scholars who spread knowledge throughout East Africa and beyond.

When he was not teaching his students in Mambrui, Sharif Muhammad was on the road, travelling often for weeks at a time to the most remote corners of East Africa. He would spend almost the whole of Ramadan going from town to town calling people to Allah and he would pray the `Id prayer wherever he was at that time. He would travel throughout Rabi al-Awwal and Rabi al-Thani to attend Mawlid gatherings, of which he established more than one hundred in various regions. He was responsible for overseeing one hundred religious schools and he built around sixty mosques and religious schools in the region. Countless numbers of people accepted Islam at his hands.  He dedicated his life to calling people to Allah, without depending on any individual or organization. There is no place in East Africa that he did not reach, and he went as far afield as Congo and Sudan.

He was loved by all wherever he went and was immensely humble in spite of his vast knowledge. In the way he dressed he did not stand out from those around him, preferring to wear the East African kufiyah (cap) as opposed to the turban worn by the scholars. He lived in a region often affected by political instability and Muslim communities faced many hardships, but he always remained firm upon the path of truth. He would say: “Worry about whether you are on the path of truth or the path of falsehood rather than being concerned about whether people love you or hate you.” He authored several works in various sciences and wrote poetry in both Arabic and Swahili.

Some of his known sayings are:

“According to my count, Allah has praised the Prophet ﷺ in the Qur’an explicitly in 435 verses. However, in reality every single verse of the Qur’an contains praise of him.”

“Many philosophers and intellectuals have discussed, debated and written on the topic of utopia. Is it real? Where is it found? Yes, it is real and we experience it every time we are in a gathering of prayers upon the Beloved, ﷺ.”

“When there is no will, there is no shortage of excuses. When there is a will, there is no shortage of ways.”

“Three types of people will never be wealthy no matter how much money they have: those who practise magic, traffic police who love taking bribes and those who make money in the name of religion such as those who claim they are taking care of orphans or building mosques but they take the money for themselves.”

Sharif Muhammad passed away on 23rd Safar 1434 (5th January 2013) and was buried alongside his father in Mambrui.

May Allah have mercy upon him and his father and allow us to walk in their footsteps.

Habib Umar and Sharif Muhammad

On Using Interest Payments

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

What should I do with interest payments that have accumulated in my bank account?

You should give the money to the poor and needy or some public project such as repairing roads, providing medication for the sick or feeding the poor. You cannot use it yourself or consider it your property. When you give it, it cannot be considered charity but you will have the reward of preserving it and using it in a way that pleases Allah.

On Preventing Nightmares

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

What can we read to stop our children having nightmares?

You should teach them to read Ayat al-Kursi before they sleep if they are able to read it. If not, it should be read over them. If they are old enough, they should also read Ayat al-Kursi and Surat al-Inshirah after every prayer.

 

Weekly Salawat: Ya Mu`id

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 مُعيدُِ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ شَفِيعِي فِي الَمعَادِ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً وأَعِدْ عَلَيْنا  بِهِ عَوَائِدَ الخَيْرِظاهِراً و باطِناً

Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Mu`īdu ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad an-Nabī shafī`ī fi’l-ma`ād wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim taslīman wa a`id `alaynā bihi `awā’ida’l-khayri  ẓāhiran wa bāṭinā

O Allah, O Returner, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the Prophet who is my intercessor in the hereafter when I return to You and upon his Family and Companions, and by him give us all good outwardly and inwardly.

 

New Publication: The Spheres of Islam, Iman, Ihsan, and `Irfan

fbi book_cover only image_web

 

“The Spheres of Islam, Iman, Ihsan, and `Irfan,” by Habib `Abd al-Rahman Balfaqih

Habib `Abd al-Rahman Balfaqih was described by his teacher, Imam al-Haddad, as “the greatest scholar on the earth.” In this unique work, he describes the Islamic faith as a series of endlessly expanding concentric spheres. In doing so, he clarifies what the seeker must do to strengthen his faith and attain the highest of spiritual stations.

“Entry into Islam by pronouncing the two testifications of faith is like the central point of the Sphere of Islam and Iman. It is also the central point of the spheres which come after it: the Sphere of `Ilm (Knowledge) and Bayan (Clarification), the Sphere of Ihsan (Excellence), and the Sphere of ‘Irfan (Gnosis), and so on, endlessly.”

Although succinct in its composition, this book contains meaning which is limitless. It has been said that no work like this has ever been authored.

“One of the most beneficial, comprehensive and lofty books which clarify the path to Allah and explain the realms of connection to Him and drawing close to Him.”

– Habib `Umar bin Hafiz

The book is available, along with recordings of Habib Umar’s commentary on the text at  daralturath.co.za.

 

On Conveying the Message to Non Muslims

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

I live with non-Muslims, some of whom are interested in Islam. What can I do to convey the message of Islam to them?

You should tell them that through uttering the testification of faith mankind is raised by freeing himself from created things. You should tell them about the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: his mercy and compassion, his awesome character and his benefit and service to mankind. The meanings of the testification of faith will thus become ingrained in their minds. Showing them good character, having good dealings with them and giving them gifts will assist in this.

 

On Seeing the Prophet ﷺ in the Form of Your Shaykh

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

Is it possible to see the Prophet in the form of your shaykh?

The Prophet ﷺcan be seen in the form of anyone who is connected to him and anyone who has any portion of his legacy. His appearance will depend upon the state of the person who sees him.