Insights into Purification: Removing Impurities (Part One)

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

Allah says: Truly Allah loves those who constantly repent and those who constantly seek to purify themselves. [1]

Allah said to the most pure of people ﷺ: Cleanse your garments. [2]

Allah says: Only the purified ones may touch it. [3] Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-`Attas said that this principle applies to all things. Whoever wishes to obtain knowledge or certitude or proximity to Allah, say to him: Only the purified ones may touch it. Only when a person has purified himself is he ready to receive divine gifts. Likewise only when he has removed outward impurity is he ready to enter into Allah’s presence by performing the prayer.

Linguistically impurity or filth (najasah) is everything which someone of a sound disposition would regard to be foul.

Its definition according to the Sacred Law is every foul thing which prevents the prayer from being valid (as long as there is no dispensation regarding it). It includes urine, excrement, blood, pus, vomit, liquid intoxicants, dogs, pigs and unslaughtered dead animals.

It is impermissible to allow your clothing or your body to be soiled with najasah. Likewise Allah is not content for anyone to be soiled with arrogance, envy or pride. He dislikes every foul attribute, word and intention.

Allah created impure things and gave us the means to cleanse ourselves. He decreed that impurities come forth from our bodies. We thus come to know our weakness and slave-hood to Allah. We come to know our deficiencies and Allah’s perfection. For every sickness He gave us a remedy. Likewise He gave us the means to purify ourselves from the sicknesses of the heart.

Removing impurities was something extremely difficult for the Jews. According to their law, if they wished to remove impurities from their clothing they had to cut off the affected area, but through the Beloved ﷺ things were made easy for us. He came to remove people’s burdens and hardships.

Allah says: Those who follow the Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet whom they find described in their Torah and Gospel – he enjoins on them good and forbids them from evil, he makes lawful for them all good things and prohibits them from what is foul and he relieves them of their burden and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him, honour him, support him and follow the light that was sent down with him – they are successful. [4]

When you remove impurities, pray, fast, raise your children and honour your parents do so in a state of awareness that you believe in him, honour him, support him and follow the light that was sent down with him. Then you will be among the successful. If you have this awareness in every act of worship you will receive a portion of the light that was sent down with him. This light is above all the Qur’an, but the Prophet ﷺ himself and everything related to him is light – his words, his deeds, his states and his teachings. Allah says: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book [5]. Your portion of this light is according to the degree to which you believe in him, honour him and support him.

[1] Al-Baqarah, 2:222

[2] Al-Muddathir, 74:4

[3] Al-Waqi`ah, 56:79

[4] Al-A`raf, 7:157

[5] Al-Ma’idah, 5:15

 

VIDEO: Free Your Mind and Follow the Messenger ﷺ

“Only those who follow the Messenger of Allah ﷺ are truly alive and truly free. Everyone else is dead, even if they compete with each other over lethal weapons. They claim to be concerned for human rights, yet they compete over things that kill and destroy humans. Muhammad is the manifestation of human freedom.”

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz talking in Dar al-Mustafa at the closing ceremony of the Dowra, August 2015.

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgP75rYSLfE[/embedyt]

Weekly Salawat: Ya Mutafaddil (the Bestower of Bounty)

At Eid we recognise Allah’s bounty upon us and ask for an increase in it through remembering His Beloved ﷺ. Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) teaches us to ask Allah for an increase in blessings, for gratitude and for those blessings to be preserved.

 

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا مُتَفَضِّلُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ المُتَفَضِّل و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و آتِني مِن لَّدُنْكَ فَضْلاً عَظِيماً و خُذْ بِيَدِي إِلَيْكَ أَخْذَ أَهْلِ الفَضْلِ عَلَيْكَ فَضْلاً و إِحْسَاناً

O Allah, O Bestower of bounty, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muhammad, the Prophet, the bestower of bounty and upon his Family and Companions. Bless me with immense bounty directly from You. Out of your bounty and kindness, Bring me to You as You bring to You those who have merit in Your sight.

The Night of Eid and Sunnahs of Eid al-Adha

Takbir

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ taught us to fill these blessed days and nights with the remembrance of Allah generally and specifically with the takbir in which we express Allah’s greatness and transcendence.  He said ﷺ: “Beautify your Eid days with the takbir.”[1] It is recommended to make the takbir after every prayer (fard or nafl) from Fajr on the Day of `Arafah (9th Dhu’l-Hijjah) until `Asr on the 13th, the final day of the three Days of Tashriq.

We should also fill the night before Eid with takbir from Maghrib up until the Eid prayer. On the night of Eid only, the takbir is not limited to being read after the prayer, but rather it should be read in abundance in our houses and mosques and in the streets (without causing disturbance). We should read it with our hearts filled with the greatness of Allah so that we are not merely repeating words without experiencing their meaning.

 

Giving Life to the Night of Eid

It is a sunnah to give life to the night before Eid, meaning spending whatever time we are able in worship and remembrance such that the night comes alive. The least we should do is to pray Maghrib, Isha and Fajr in congregation. The mosques of Tarim fill in the the second half of the night with people reading the Qur’an in groups, praying and making takbir together at intervals. At the end of the night everyone comes together for a khatam and dua.

It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There are five nights on which du`a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha).” Sayyiduna `Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, used to spend four nights in worship: the first night of Rajab, the nights before the two Eids, and the 15th night of Sha`ban.

It is mentioned in the hadith that if someone gives life to the nights before the two Eids, Allah will give life to his heart on the day when hearts die.[2] What is primarily meant is safety on the Day of Judgement but even in this life the majority of people’s hearts are dead, starved of the remembrance of Allah and heedless of the return to Him. Remembering Allah on nights such as these, however, when most people are busy with other things, will give life and tranquillity to our hearts.

There are different forms of the takbir. Here is one of them:

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

الله أكبرُ كَبيرا والحمدُ لله كثيرا وسُبْحانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وأَصيلاَ

لا إله إلا الله لا نَعْبُدُ إلا إِيَّاهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الكافِرون

لا إله إلا الله  وَحْدَه صَدَقَ وَعْدَه ونَصَرَ عَبْدَه  وأَعَزَّ جُنْدَه وهَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَه

لا إله إلا الله واللهُ أكبرْ ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd 

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

 Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

Allahu akbar kabira w’al-hamdulillahi kathira wa subhanallahi bukratan wa asila

 La ilaha ill’Allahu la na`budu illa iyyahu mukhlisina lahu’ddina wa law kariha’l-kafirun

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu sadaqa wa`dahu wa nasara `abdahu wa a`zza jundahu wa hazam al-ahzaba wahdah

 La ilaha ill’Allahu w’Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

 “Allah is most great. There is no deity save Him, all praise belongs to Him.

There is no deity save Him and we worship none but Him in complete sincerity even if the disbelievers dislike it.

There is no deity save Him alone. He fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His slave, made mighty His forces and He alone destroyed the Confederates. Allah is most great, there is no deity save Him, all praise belongs to Him.”

 

The scholars say that whenever it is recommended to remember Allah it is also recommended to mention His Messenger ﷺ. Had it not been for him there would be no `Arafat or Eid or takbir. For this reason we should add, in honour of our Messenger, his Companions, wives and progeny:

اللهُمَّ صلِّ على سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى آلِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَصْحابِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَنْصَارِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَزْواجِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى ذُرِّيِّةِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وسلِّمْ تَسْليماً كثيراً

Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ali sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ashabi sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ansari sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala azwaji sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala dhurriyati sayyidina Muhammad

Wa sallim tasliman kathiran

 

 

Sunnahs of Eid al-Adha

The root meaning of the word Eid is to return because it returns again and again, bringing with it Allah’s gifts and blessings. Allah commanded His Messenger ﷺ to show his gratitude to Him for the immense good that he was given (al-Kawthar) through prayer and slaughter: So pray to your Lord and slaughter.[3] The scholars say that this refers to the Eid Prayer and the sacrifice.

We should do what we are able to implement the other sunnahs of the Eid.

Among them are:

 

  • Taking a bath whether or not you are attending the Eid prayer
  • Wearing your best clothes and best perfume –  the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had special garments that he would only wear on Eid.
  • Not eating anything before the Eid prayer but rather eating after returning from the prayer. The first thing the Prophet used to eat was liver from the animal he had sacrificed.
  • Walking to the prayer, taking a longer route on the way there and returning by a different shorter route.
  • Shaking hands with your brethren, congratulating them on the Eid and asking that their actions be accepted by Allah.
  • Being especially generous to your family, displaying your happiness on the occasion and trying to visit your relatives and friends.

 

 


[1] Narrated by al-Tabarani

[2] Narrated by Ibn Majah

[3] Al-Kawthar, 118:2

The Best Day of the Year: the Day of Arafah

Arafah

 

The magnificent ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are almost over and we are approaching their climax, which is the Day of `Arafah (9th Dhu’l-Hijjah). On this day there is an immense outpouring of divine mercy and bounty and it is considered by many scholars to be the best day of the year.

Please find below beneficial pointers and a collection of  adhkar and supplications to be read on this blessed day.

We ask Allah Most High to accept our worship and good deeds performed during these magnificent ten days, and to forgive our sins and shortcomings. We ask Him to grant the pilgrims an accepted and well-rewarded Hajj, and to grant them a safe return.

We would also like to wish everyone a blessed Eid and the best ending to this hijri year.

The Best Day of the Year

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said there is no day in which Allah saves more people from the fire than the Day of `Arafah.[1] It has also been narrated that anyone who has an atom’s weight of faith in their heart will be forgiven by Allah on this day, whether or not they actually stand at `Arafah.[2]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ taught those not on hajj to fast on this day with the promise that this would wipe away the wrongdoings of the previous year and the wrongdoings of the year to come.[3] What is meant by the wrongdoings of the coming year being wiped out? The scholars mention that it is either protection from falling into them in the coming year or that if we fall into them, we will be forgiven. The wrongdoings mentioned are “minor” sins between a person and Allah, not cases where one person has wronged another. This is an immense gift from Allah to the Ummah of His Beloved ﷺ.

We should also turn to Allah to ask for forgiveness and for our needs to be answered, especially in the afternoon of this day. In doing so we imitate the people standing at `Arafah, to whom forgiveness is guaranteed, and we ask Allah to give to us what He is giving to them. As the Prophet ﷺ said: “The one who imitates a people is one of them.”[4]

We should apportion some time to recitation of the Qur’an. It has been narrated that whoever reads Surat al-Ikhlas one thousand times will be given whatever they ask for.[5] We should also bestow prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ, and spend time in other forms of remembrance, particularly tahlil, or proclaiming the oneness of Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best prayer is the prayer of the Day of `Arafah. The best thing which I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَ هَو عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِيرٍ

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamdu wa `ala kulli shayin qadir

[“There is no deity save Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belongs the dominion and all praise and He has power over all things.”[6]]

Another narration contains the following addition to the previous prayer:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ في قَلْبي نُوراً و في سَمْعِي نوراً و في بَصَري نوراً ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْرِحْ لي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لي أَمْرِي

Allahumma’j`al fī qalbi nuran wa fī sam`i nuran wa fī basari nuran. Allahumma’shrah li sadri wa yassir li amri

[“O Allah, place light in my heart, my hearing and my sight. O Allah, My Lord bring tranquillity to my heart and give me ease in my affair.”[7]]

Sayyiduna `Ali narrates that the supplication that the Prophet made most on the Day of `Arafah was:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الحَمْدُ كَالَّذي نَقُولُ وخَيْراً مِمَّا نَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صَلاتِي ونُسُكِي ومَحْيَايَ ومَمَاتِي وإِلَيْكَ مَآبِي ولَكَ رَبِّ تُرَاثِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذابِ القَبْرِ ووَسْوَسَةِ الصَّدْرِ وشَتَاتِ الأَمْرِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِن شَرِّ ما تَهُبُّ بِهِ الرِّيحُ

Allahumma laka’l-hamdu kalladhi naqulu wa kharyan mimma naqulu. Allahumma laka salati wa nusukī wa mahyaya mamati wa ilayka ma`abi wa laka rabbi turathi. Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min `adhabi’l-qabri wa waswasati’l-sadri wa shatat al-amr. Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min sharri ma tahubbu bihi’rrih.

[“O Allah, to You belongs all praise, as we praise You and better than that. O Allah, my prayer, worship, life and death are for You, and to You is my return. Everything I possess, my Lord, returns to You. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, the whispering of the devil and from my affairs being in disarray. O Allah I seek refuge in You from the evil which the wind carries”[8]]

If it is possible to gather with a group of people at this time then the reward is greater and the chance of acceptance is higher. This was the way of Sayyiduna `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas and other companions and it is a tradition in Tarim, where hundreds gather in an open square after `Asr to remember Allah and make dua’ until Maghrib.

 


[1] Narrated by Muslim, al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah

[2] Narrated by Abu Daud

[3] Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud and al-Nasa’i

[4] Narrated by Abu Daud and Ahmad

[5] Narrated by al-Hindi in Kanz al-`Ummal

[6] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi

[7] Narrated by al-Bayhaqi

[8] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi

 

Focusing on Allah’s Remembrance

Advice from Habib Husayn al-Saqqaf (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

When you remember Allah, you should focus on two things:

 

  1. Realising the greatness of Allah and His remembrance. Allah says:

ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَر

Truly Allah’s remembrance is greater [1]

When you say “Allahu Akbar” you must realise in your heart that Allah is greater than everything else that you hold in high esteem. Then everything in creation will dwindle into insignificance and only Allah will remain in your heart. Realise that Allah is greater than yourself and all the things that your heart is attached to. Realise that Allah is the greatest, for if your heart is overcome with veneration for Him, that feeling will settle in your inner being and your heart will be in a state of submissiveness to Him. This will then lead to another type of remembrance which is:

 

  1. Remembering Allah with more fervour, as indicated in the verse (referring to those performing hajj):

 

فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آَبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا

Remember Allah as you used to remember your forefathers, but with more fervour[2]

 

Imagine how you remember your family when you are apart from them or how you remember someone who was very dear to you who has passed away. How do you remember someone you yearn for? You need to remember Allah with a greater yearning. Remembering Allah with fervour does not mean articulating the words with fervour. Rather it means remembering Him with intense love. Allah says:

 

 وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ

Those who believe are more fervent in their love for Allah [3]

 

You must remember Allah with intense passion, yearning and fervour. Say the Divine Name “Allah” with every atom of your body and with all your emotions. This is what is intended.

Every time you remember Allah, He remembers you – as expressed in a Hadith Qudsi: “I am as My servant believes Me to be, and I am present with him when he remembers Me”. Experience being “with Him.” Taste the sweetness of your Lord’s words when He says “I am with him.” Imagine how you would feel, you weak, needy and negligent slave, if He says to you, “I am with you”? Allah is your constant Companion – so reflect upon this.

 

[1] al-Ankabut, 29:45

[2] al-Baqarah, 2:200

[3] al-Baqarah, 2:165

 

Weekly Salawat: Salat of Dhu'l-Hijjah

In these days we want true prayer, true fasting, true recitation of the Qur’an and a true connection to the blessed Prophet ﷺ so that we can be close to him on the Day of Gathering, so that we can be with the best of people who come to drink from his pure Pool. O Allah, allow us to drink from his Pool, O Loving One, O Most Generous, O Most Merciful!

~ Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him)

Sayyidi Habib Umar and many of the pious read the following prayer during these blessed days. They ask for their prayers to be multiplied by the number of people performing hajj and by the actions they are performing:


اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ مَا اتَّصَلتِ العُيُونُ بِالنَّظَر وَتَزْخَرَفَتِ الأَرَضُونَ بِالْمَطَر، وَحَجَّ حَاجٌّ واعْتَمَر وَلَـبَّى وَحَلَقَ وَنَحَرَ وَطَافَ بَالبِيْتِ العَتِيقِ وَقَبَّلَ الْحَجَر وَعَلَى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ

Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad ma’ttasalati’l-`uyunu bi-nnazar wa tazakhrafat al-araduna bi’l-matar wa hajj hajjun w’a`tamar wa labba wa halaqa wa nahar wa tafa bi’l-bayti’l-`atiqi wa qabbala’l-hajar wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

O Allah, bestow prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions as much as the eyes see, as much as the earth becomes verdant after rainfall and equal to the number of people making Hajj and `Umrah, saying “labbayk,” shaving their heads, making tawaf around the Ancient House and kissing the Stone.

 

Insights into Purification: On Loss of Intellect and Sleep

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

If someone loses their intellect their wudu is nullified.

The word for intellect (`aql) has the meaning of preventing. A person’s intellect prevents him from committing a reprehensible act.

It has been narrated that if someone commits a sin, part of his intellect departs and never returns. The meaning of this is that committing a sin dims the light of a person’s faith and intellect. If he repents and performs a good deed it will wipe out the effect of the sin but it will not make up for the loss of intellect. Had he not committed the sin in the first place the light of his faith and intellect would have increased.

The scholars also agree that sleeping nullifies your wudu, although they differ on the details.

Allah made sleep a manifestation of mankind’s weakness. No one can say that he can do without sleep, except those who have undertaken spiritual struggle (mujahadah) in the correct way. Someone on the spiritual path strives to reduce four things: his sleep, food, speech and contact with people.

This is the advice of Imam al-Haddad:

وكن في طعام والمنام وخلطة  ** ونطق على حدِّ اقتصارٍ  وقلةِ

Since sleep is a manifestation of our weakness and deficiency, Allah decreed that there is no sleep in Paradise. When we are in a state of joy In this life we are unable to sleep. That joy passes, but the joy of Paradise never passes so no one in Paradise ever sleeps. The people of the Fire do not sleep either, but this is due to the punishment they are receiving. May Allah protect us from the Fire.

One of the unique attributes of the Prophet ﷺ was that his wudu was not nullified when he fell asleep, even if he fell asleep lying down. He said about this: “My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.”

The Sacred Law teaches us the etiquettes of going to sleep. It has been said that if someone observes the etiquettes of going to sleep, he will be in a wakeful state even when he is asleep. Likewise if someone fails to observe the etiquettes of going to sleep, he will be asleep even when he is awake. This is because his heart is asleep.

On the Seeker Breaking his Covenant with his Shaykh

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

What things would constitute the seeker breaking the covenant with his shaykh?

These things would constitute breaking the covenant:

Being content to contravene the Sacred Law

Showing enmity or having hatred for any of the pious slaves of Allah

Having contempt for the Sacred Law or the Spiritual Path (Tariqah)

Having contempt for any of the affairs of Allah, His Messenger ﷺ or the next life

Having bad thoughts about the Shaykh which the seeker then believes to be true

 

If the seeker breaks his covenant with his shaykh is it possible to rectify the situation?

The seeker has no option but to return to Allah. He may rectify the situation by making tawbah as long as he is not in the throes of death and as long as the sun has not risen from the West. Cleary someone who breaks the covenant and then makes amends is not the same as someone who has not broken it in the first place.