Key to the Inner Secrets – Lesson One

A Summary of Lesson One of Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz’s commentary on “Miftah al-Sara’ir” (“Key to the Inner Secrets”) by his ancestor, Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim. The book contains essential advice for every seeker.

 

Allah’s Attributes of Forgiving and Concealing

Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) mentions Allah’s name, “al-Ghaffar” (the Oft-Forgiving) so that we know that our sins cannot veil us from Him however great or numerous they are.

The Devil benefits from an act of disobedience by making the person who commits it fall into a greater act of disobedience which is to despair of Allah’s mercy. Or he makes him believe that his sin is greater than Allah’s mercy. Sins are the attribute of the slave and forgiveness is the attribute of Allah. How can the attribute of the slave be greater than the attribute of Allah?

The sign of someone who is truthful in seeking forgiveness from their Lord is that they forgive whatever wrongs Allah’s slaves do them. It is only fitting that Allah then forgives them. The one who constantly seeks to take his rights from people will have the hardest reckoning on the Day of Judgement.

The Shaykh also mentions Allah’s name, al-Sattar (the One Who conceals people’s faults) . If someone wishes for Allah to conceal his faults, let him conceal the faults of Allah’s slaves. The Prophet ﷺ said: “If someone conceals a believer’s faults, Allah will conceal his faults in this life and the next.

 

Lifting the Veil

The Shaykh says: “The One Who lifted the veil that lay between Him and His protected friends such that they witnessed Him in everything by means of the eye of the inner sight.”

When Allah lifts the veil between Him and His slave, the slave tastes a sweetness which is indescribable. He then attains direct knowledge of Allah which is the true manifestation of human nobility. The bliss which he then experiences in Paradise and in gazing upon Allah’s noble countenance is according to the degree of his knowledge of Allah. Your bliss in Paradise is according to your knowledge of the Creator of Paradise.

The knowers of Allah say that the greatest punishment is being veiled from Allah. One of them said: “Punish me in whatever way you wish but do not punish me with the abasement of being veiled from You.”

The knowers of Allah witness Him in everything and nothing veils them from Him. The creation for them is like a mirror in which they witness the beauty, greatness and perfection of the Creator. For them the creation is like a sheet of glass through which they witness Allah. For the disbelievers and heedless, however, it is like a wall which prevents them from seeing what is behind it, namely Allah.

The Shaykh swears an oath later in the book that he did not see anything in creation without witnessing Allah before it, with it or after it. He made this statement at the age of seventeen. So what was his state at the age of eighteen or nineteen and in every year of his life thereafter? He lived more than seventy years and the pious increase in closeness to Allah in every breath.

 

Karamat

Allah honours His pious slaves by breaking for them some of the norms in creation (karamat), which serves to increase the certitude of their followers. The lower self naturally tends towards idleness, heedlessness, arrogance and boredom. When the pious went against these tendencies and broke their bad habits, Allah broke the norms in creation for them.

 

Tasbih

Every created thing is by nature in a state of tasbih (proclaiming Allah’s transcendence) so when the believer makes abundant tasbih his heart is in harmony with the creation. Making abundant tasbih assists the wayfarer on the path to Allah.

 

Paradise and the Fire

For every good deed the believer performs his place will be in Paradise will be expanded. Bestowing prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ causes the believer’s place in Paradise to expanded the most, as has been narrated . The more he bestows prayers upon the Prophet, the more his place will be expanded.

Likewise, if someone commits a bad deed and if it is not forgiven, their place in the Fire will be expanded and their punishment will be increased.

It has been narrated that if someone asks Allah for Paradise three times, Paradise will say: “O Allah, make him one of my people.” And if someone seeks refuge in Allah from the Fire three times, the Fire will say: “O Allah, protect him from me.”

There is a valley in the Fire which is reserved for those who show off in their recitation and of the Qur’an and the prayer. Even the Fire seeks refuge from the terror of this valley because it is a manifestation of Allah’s wrath.

Some hadith state that the stations of Paradise are as numerous as the verses of the Qur’an. It will be said to the person who memorised the Qur’an and acted according: “Recite and ascend as you used to recite in this life and your station will be according to the last verse that you recite.” That person will recite verse after verse and ascend (and there is 500 years’ distance between each station) until he reaches the highest station in the highest level of Firdaws.

Firdaws is the highest level of Paradise and the Throne is its ceiling. But there is a higher level – al-Wasilah – which is reserved for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . He said: “Ask Allah to give me al-Wasilah (after the adhan) for it is a station reserved for one slave, and I hope to be that slave.”

 

 

Click here to listen to the recording with translation

 

Will the Student be with his Shaykh in Paradise?

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

Will the Student be with his Shaykh in Paradise?

The members of a family who lived in faith and obedience to Allah in this life will be reunited in Paradise. Allah says: “those who believe and are followed in faith by their descendants – We cause their descendants to join them.” [1]

Likewise, if the shaykh and the student both honour the covenant which is between them, they will be united in Paradise. According to the truthfulness of their love and their attachment, the one who is in a lower station will be raised to the station of the one who is higher.

Brotherhood for Allah’s sake is greater than blood brotherhood. The relationship between the shaykh and the student is like the relationship between father and child, but it is greater since through that relationship the student receives knowledge and light. The first relationship is spiritual, whereas the second is merely physical.

[1] Al-Tur, 52:21

 

DOWNLOAD: Mentioning the Best of Creation

Commentary by Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf on a poem by Habib `Umar bin Hafiz entitled: “Mentioning the Best of Creation”

The commentary is taken from lessons delivered by Habib Kazim and translated by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa at The Spring Lodge Retreat, UK April 2015.

Download here

May Allah benefit us by the words of our teachers and may we be among those who constantly mention the Best of Creation ﷺ and are mentioned by him.

 

 

Dhikr to Remove Fear and Anxiety

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

What can be read to remove fear and anxiety?

Firstly we need to strengthen our trust in Allah. We can also use the following three remedies:

  1. Recite Ayat al-Kursi, Surat al-Inshirah and Surat Quraysh (and if possible Surat al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq and al-Nas) after every prayer, before sleeping and every time you enter and leave the house.
  1. Recite the following verse 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening

ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن بَعْدِ الْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُّعَاسًا يَغْشَى طَآئِفَةً مِّنكُمْ وَطَآئِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ظَنَّ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَقُولُونَ هَل لَّنَا مِنَ الأَمْرِ مِن شَيْءٍ قُلْ إِنَّ الأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّهِ يُخْفُونَ فِي أَنفُسِهِم مَّا لاَ يُبْدُونَ لَكَ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَّا قُتِلْنَا هَا هُنَا قُل لَّوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَى مَضَاجِعِهِمْ وَلِيَبْتَلِيَ اللَّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

(Al `Imran, 3:154)

  1. Recite 100 times a day:

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لي صَدْرِي و يَسِّرْ لي أَمْرِي

Rabbi’shrah li sadri wa yassir li amri

“My Lord, bring tranquillity to my heart and give me ease in my affair.” (Ta Ha 20:25-26)

On Receiving Good Tidings in a Dream

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

If someone receives good tidings from one of the pious or in a dream how should they react?

They should show gratitude to Allah, increase in humility and increase in desire to good works. They should constantly reflect upon the state of the best of the Companions who were given the greatest of good tidings of Paradise and other things from the Prophet ﷺ, the most truthful of all people. However, they were not deluded by these things but rather lived out their lives in a state of fear of Allah, humility and uprightness.

 

Helping New Muslims Struggling with Drug Addiction

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

How do we help people who accept Islam but struggle with drug addiction?

We should be overjoyed by the fact that they have accepted Islam. Those who have strong determination will very quickly deal with these addictions, although they are a minority. We should use different means to deal with these addictions such as natural remedies, moving them from bad environments to good environments and developing their love and veneration for Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and the afterlife.

On Becoming Aware of Diseases of the Heart and Dealing With Them

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

Whenever I think I have dealt with one of the diseases in my heart I find I have other diseases. What should I do?

This is a sign that the remedies you are using are working. Continue to seek to purify yourself of these diseases. The more you search and put the spotlight on these diseases the more you will be aware of them and the better you will be able to deal with them. The fact that you have been made aware of these diseases is a sign that Allah wants good for you and wants to rid you of them. You should continue seeking remedies for these diseases and never despair and abandon good actions.

Prayer on the Prophet ﷺ for Rabi al-Awwal

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends reading this prayer 10,000 times if possible in the month of Rabi al-Awwal

 

اَللَّهُمَّ يَا رَبَّ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ، وَأَذْهِبْ حُزْنَ قَلْبِيْ فِيْ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، وَأَجْرِ يَا رَبِّ لُطْفَكَ الْخَفِيَّ فِيْ أُمُوْرِنَا وَأُمُوْرِ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ

 

Allahumma ya Rabba Sayyidina Muhammad wa ali Sayyidina Muhammad, salli wa sallim ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala ali Sayyidina Muhammad, wa adhhib huzna qalbi fi’ddunya wa’l-akhirah, wa ajri ya Rabbi lutfaka’l-khafiyya fi umurina wa umuri’l-muslimin.

 

O Allah, Lord of our Master Muhammad and the Family of our Master Muhammad bestow prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad and the Family of our Master Muhammad and remove sadness from my heart in this world and the Hereafter. O Lord, let Your hidden gentleness permeate our affairs, and the affairs of the Muslims.

Believe in Him, Venerate Him and Support Him ﷺ

Hb Umar 10

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) looks at the attributes of those who succeed. Extracts from a talk by  in the weekly mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa, Tarim, 22nd Safar 1437 / 3rd December 2015.

 

Look at how Allah describes those who succeed and their relationship with His Messenger ﷺ:

Those that believe in him, venerate him, support him and follow the light that was sent down with him – they are those who succeed.[1]

O Allah, You have blessed our hearts with belief in him, so make this belief firm and increase it.

When Allah loves one of His slaves, He places in His heart veneration for Him and the people and things which are worthy of veneration. He saves him from venerating anything which is worthless and unworthy of veneration. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is, amongst all people, the most worthy of veneration. This veneration will be the most precious currency you possess on the Day of Judgement and it will be a cause of salvation on that day.

Once someone believes and venerates him, they will naturally support him. This is why the Companions said to the Prophet ﷺ: “Take what you wish from our wealth and leave what you wish, and that which you take is more beloved to us than that which you leave. Make peace with whoever you wish and wage war with whoever you wish. We will follow your command whatever it may be.” May Allah be pleased with them all. Due to their love and veneration, Allah loved them and honoured them. This is why the Prophet said ﷺ : “The sign of a believer is his love for the Ansar and the sign of a hypocrite is his hatred of the Ansar,” and “Ali, only a believer will love you and only a hypocrite will hate you.”

The light that was sent down with him – some scholars say this refers to the Qur’an, some say it refers to the Sunnah and others say different things. None of the commentators are able to comprehend even a small portion of this light – only his Creator can do this. If you believe in him, venerate him and support him then you will receive this light.

O Allah, increase our belief in him, our veneration for him, our support for him and our following of the light that was sent down with him in every day and every night until we meet You in the best of states.

 

 

[1] Al-`Araf, 7:157

Ten Benefits of Salawat

Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqāf

By Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him)

Whoever bestows abundant prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ will be guaranteed ten things:

1. They will receive what they ask for

2. They will die upon la ilaha illa Allah

3. They will see the Prophet ﷺ

4. They will have felicity in this life

5. Their children will be blessed

6. Their provision will be made easy

7. They will be protected from suffering in this life

8. They will be close to the Prophet ﷺ

9. They will receive the greatest type of care from Allah

10. Allah and the Prophet ﷺ will be pleased with them

May Allah Most High make us of those who send abundant salawat upon His Beloved ﷺ