On Being Considered to be From Ahl al-Bayt

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

If someone’s mother is from Ahl al-Bayt is he or she considered to be from Ahl al-Bayt?

No, they are not legally considered to be from Ahl al-Bayt. Thus it is not forbidden for them to receive zakat and they do not receive a portion from the spoils of battle (khums). However, they are regarded to be among the relatives of the Ahl al-Bayt and among those that the Prophet ﷺ referred to be as being related to him through marriage.

The general principle is that although a person’s ties to his mother’s parents and relatives must be honoured, his lineage goes through his father and he is regarded to be a member of his father’s family or tribe. There are two exceptions to this. One is Sayyiduna `Isa, who had no father and is thus known by his mother – `Isa bin Maryam. In the Qur’an, Allah mentions Sayyiduna `Isa as being among the progeny of Sayyiduna Ibrahim, despite the fact that Sayyiduna `Isa is only descended from Sayyiduna Ibrahim through his mother, Sayyidatuna Maryam.

The other exception is the descendants of Sayyidatuna Fatimah, all of whom are considered to be the direct descendants of the Prophet ﷺ even though they are descended from him through their mother and not their father. This is why the Prophet ﷺ referred to Sayyiduna al-Hasan as his son. This is one of the Prophet’s unique attributes (khasa’is).

What are the Best Prayers Upon the Prophet ﷺ to Recite?

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

What are the best prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ to recite?

Every prayer contains goodness and blessings. Any prayer which is recited with love, yearning and veneration is of great benefit regardless of the form.

Priority should be given to the salawat that have been narrated in the Sunnah (such as al-Salat al-Ibrahimiyyah), then the salawat that have been narrated by the early generations or salawat that your Shaykh recommends.

Does Someone Have to be in a Blessed Place to Receive Spiritual Assistance?

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

Does someone have to be in a blessed place to receive spiritual assistance?

If someone has the choice and the ability then they should visit blessed places to seek spiritual assistance. However, we should be certain that Allah’s gaze is upon the whole earth and no place is beyond His knowledge. Wherever someone is (even if he is not on the earth) he will receive spiritual assistance through his shuyukh and chain of connection to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ according to his truthfulness (sidq).

Gaining Acceptance through the Prayers of the Pious | Wisdoms of Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

Words of wisdom from Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

In al-Salat al-Ibrahimiyyah we say: “O Allah, bestow prayers upon our Master Muhammad just as You bestowed prayers upon our Master Ibrahim.”

In the dua of qunut we say: “O Allah, guide us among those You have guided.”

In the Qur’an, Sayyiduna Sulayman says: “Admit me, through Your mercy, to the ranks of Your pious slaves.” (27:19)

What these prayers have in common (and other similar prayers) is that they are based upon a prayer that has previously been answered. The person hopes that by making these prayers he will be accepted by Allah just as those who made them previously were accepted. He hopes that Allah will bestow His generosity upon him just as He bestowed it upon those who came before.

He follows in the footsteps of those who reached Allah and he hopes to be considered one of those people, among whom are the Prophets, the martyrs, the siddiqun and Allah’s pious slaves. Making these prayers assist him in attaining sincerity, for those people’s prayers were only accepted due to their sincerity and truthfulness. Not only does he follow them but his aspirations are raised and he finds comfort in doing so.

The Rajab Istighfar

It has been narrated: “Seek much forgiveness from Allah in Rajab because in every hour (of the month) Allah frees people from the Fire.”[1]

The following is a compilation of istighfar, known as Istighfar Rajab, compiled by Habib Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad. It is traditionally recited every night in the month of Rajab.

Click here to download

Click here to listen to Habib Umar bin Hafiz reciting the Rajab Istighfar

[1] Narrated by al-Daylami

Criteria for Benefiting from Other Shuyukh

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

There is a shaykh in our area. Can we benefit from him?

He must be someone of truthfulness (sidq) and taqwa. A sign of his truthfulness is that he praises the pious scholars of the Ummah and does not attack any of them. His taqwa can be gauged by looking at his dealings with women and with electronic devices.

Key to the Inner Secrets – Lesson Three

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

 

Abandoning Love of the Dunya

Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) says:

“My brother, you must abandon the dunya inwardly and outwardly.”

To abandon the dunya outwardly is to avoid that which is dubious and disliked and to spend what wealth you have in the best way

To abandon it inwardly is for your heart not to incline towards it, love it or venerate it. You are not happy if you gain something worldly and you are not sad if you lose something worldly. Your heart should be focused upon Allah and that which draws you closer to Him and pleases Him.

It has been narrated that “Love of the dunya is the head of every bad deed.”  All types of bad deeds are the result of the heart being attached to the dunya. The one who abandons it for Allah’s sake has cut off the head of wrongdoing and when you cut the head off something, it dies.

“Love of dunya and love of Allah cannot be united in a person’s heart just like fire and water cannot be united in one vessel.”

We must spend our lives nourishing our love for Allah until Allah and His Messenger ﷺ are more beloved to us than anything else. This is achieved by protecting our hearts from anything which contradicts that love. Firstly we reject disbelief and disobedience and then disliked and dubious things. Then we do not seek that which is in excess of our needs and we do not envy those who possess worldly things. If our hearts are free from these things then they are ready to receive the love of Allah.

When people complained about how expensive certain things were, the pious would say to them: “Make them cheap.”

“How?” they said.

“By not buying them.”

You find people complain about the cost of things but then buy more than they would normally buy and thus increase the price. If no one were to buy them, their price would go down.

Allah said to the dunya: “If someone serves Us, then serve him but if someone serves you, then use him.”

Shaykh Abu Bakr was in complete service of Allah, and as a result both the dunya and the akhirah served him.

Allah blessed him with such plentiful provision that every day he would bake up to a thousand loaves of bread to feed his guests and visitors. He had far more guests than any ruler in Hadramawt at the time. In spite of this, he instructed the women who were baking not to make the loaves too large since he was an ordinary man and not a king.

A poor dishevelled woman once came to the Shaykh’s house with a handful of grain. She wanted to give it to him in person but the Shaykh’s servant refused, telling her that the Shaykh was resting and he would not disturb him for the sake of this tiny amount of food. This upset the the woman but the Shaykh, however, appeared and welcomed her, graciously accepted her offering and gave her gifts in exchange. He said: “You have taken so many steps to come here for Allah’s sake and you have given us so many grains, all of which you will be rewarded for.” She left overjoyed.

He then chastised his servant, saying: “Had we not shown gratitude for small things, great things would not have been given to us. You looked at the amount of food and not at her intention and the effort she had made. Beware of hearting people’s feelings and belittling any blessing.”

This was the way of the Prophet ﷺ , who would venerate every blessing, however small it was. He once found a piece of food on the floor. He picked it up and said to Sayyidah Aishah: “Take care of these blessings for once they leave, seldom do they return.”

Shaykh Abu Bakr tells us that there are three types of seeker. Every person falls into one of these categories:

  1. The seeker of the dunya. He is never satisfied – even if he was given a valley of gold he would wish to have another valley. He has no portion in the next life.
  1. The seeker of the next life. He will be safe from the Fire
  1. The seeker of Allah. Such a person is very rare – even in the time of Shaykh Abu Bakr more than four hundred years ago!

 

Click here to listen to the recording with translation.

The Prophetic Balance: Showing Compassion While Being Firm

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

“We need the Prophetic balance. We need to show our children mercy, compassion and affection. Many people are deficient in this regard. At the same time we need to be firm and follow our guide, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. No-one can be compared to him in the mercy and affection he showed to children generally and to al-Hasan and al-Husayn specifically. He was very gentle to al-Hasan but when he began eating a date which had been given in zakat, the Prophet forcibly removed it from his mouth. He did not say: “He is only a young child and it is only one date.” Rather he showed compassion while at the same time being firm.”

 

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Do Your Sins Cut You Off From Allah?

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

Do your sins cut you off from Allah?

Your sins cut you off from Allah when you are content to commit them and refuse to leave them. If, however, you feel remorse and have a sincere resolve to leave them they do not cut you off.

Blessed Forms of Istighfar

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The following formulas have been mentioned by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) and contain great benefit:

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِما يَعْلَمُهُ الله أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ كَما يُحِبُّهُ الله

Astaghfirullah lima ya`lamuhu Allah, Astaghfirullah kama yuhibbuhu-llah

I seek the forgiveness of Allah for everything that He knows; I seek Allah’s forgiveness in the way that He loves.

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ ذا الجَلالِ و الإِكْرَام مِنْ جَميعِ الذُّنوبِ و الآثام

Astaghfirullah dha’l-Jalali w’al-Ikram min jami` adhunubi wa’l-atham.

I seek the forgiveness of Allah, the Possessor of Majesty and Honour, for all my sins and wrongdoings.

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الَّذِي لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنَ الرَّحِيمَ الْحَيَّ الْقَيُّومَ الَّذِي لا يَمُوتُ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْه رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي

Astaghfirullah alladhi la ilaha illa huwa arrahman arrahim al-Hayya al-Qayyum alladhi la yamutu wa atubu ilayhi rabbi-ghfir li

I seek the forgiveness of Allah, there is no deity but Him; the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, the Living, the Sustainer, the One Who never dies and I repent to Him. O Lord, forgive me.