Selected Salawat: Prayers Which Bring Life to My Soul

Hb Ali Qubbah

 

This prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ was composed by Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

 

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ ، صَلاةً تَحْيَا بِها رُوحِي و تَنْشَطُ بِها جَوارِحي و يَقْوَى بِها قَلْبِي و يَسْرِي سِرُّها في أَوْلادِي و أَهْلِي و أَصْحَابي و أَكونُ بِها سَعِيداً مَسْعوداً

Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammad salatan tahya biha ruhi wa tanshatu biha jawarihi wa yaqwa biha qalbi wa yasri sirruha fi awladi wa ahli wa ashabi wa akunu biha sa`idan mas’uda

 

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, prayers which bring life to my soul, energy to my body and strength to my heart. May the secret of these prayers reach my children, my family and my companions and by them may I attain absolute felicity.

Understanding Commands and Prohibitions

Hb Ali Qubbah

Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) discusses the meanings and implications of commands and prohibitions.

The commands which are found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah can be divided into that which is obligatory (wajib) and that which is recommended (mustahabb). That which is obligatory must be performed. Not performing it entails a punishment, while performing it entails a great reward and leads to the pleasure of the Lord. Performing acts which are recommended is a path which leads to the pleasure of the Lord and entering into the sphere of those who have drawn close to Allah, act with complete sincerity and love Him. Those who are wholeheartedly seeking Allah do not differentiate between actions which are obligatory and those which are recommended because all their efforts are expended doing that which draws them close to Allah and gains His pleasure.

Every act of obedience draws the servant to his Lord if he gives it its due, performs it as it should be performed, performs it is with a pious intention and desires only the pleasure of Allah in doing it. The purity of the servant’s actions and intentions is according to the purity of his heart.

Prohibitions can also be divided into two categories. The first is that which is forbidden (haram). Doing this entails a punishment and leads to the displeasure of the Lord. The second is that which is disliked (makruh). Leaving it entails a reward. Avoiding that which is prohibited is a huge obstacle which requires great strength and effort because what is at stake is being cut off from Allah. The more a person performs actions that are forbidden the further he is distanced from Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was asked: “If someone has illicit sexual relations is he a believer while he is doing so?”

“No,” he replied.

“If someone steals is he a believer while he is doing so?”

“No.”

This hadith implies that committing acts of disobedience causes the slave to be cut off from Allah. Thus the believer should be extremely careful to avoid that which may lead to his destruction, and extremely steadfast in this battle. If Allah knows that he is sincere, He will assist him with His own strength, and defend him from the scheming of his enemy and his troops. The slave must flee to his Lord in every situation.

A Metaphor for Guidance

soil

 

Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) gives a metaphor for guidance.

“Felicity, guidance and all good attributes are like seeds planted in the heart of the believer. Those that call people to Allah and remind them of Allah and their reminders are like rain. People’s hearts are like the soil. Reminders are directed to the hearts like rain falls upon the soil. If Allah has decreed that it is time for someone to return to Him, the heart will react and submit and follow guidance, just like when rain falls upon fertile soil in which seeds have been planted it yields a good harvest.

Conversely, if the call is directed to hearts which possess no good qualities, it will be like rain falling upon rocky ground. If the call is directed to hearts filled with blameworthy qualities which are destined for wretchedness, they will respond by stubbornly rejecting the call and mocking the callers. This is like rain falling on earth filled with thorn trees. The more the rain falls, the more these trees grow and the more harmful they are. The only way to deal with them is to uproot them and burn them.”

Obedience of the Heart

Seiyun

 

Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) teaches us to seek for our hearts to be in the highest of states. Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends reciting this awesome supplication regularly:

اللَّهُمَّ أَوْصِلْنِي إِلى حَالةٍ لا يَعْمَلُ فِيها قَلْبِي مخُالَفَةً ، ولا يَهَمُّ بِها

ولا تُقَارِفُ فيها جَوارِحِي مَعْصِيةً

وبَلِّغْني إلى مَقامٍ لا يَفْتُرُ فِيهِ قَلْبِي عَنْ طَاعَةٍ لَكَ ، مَرْضِيِّةً لَدَيْكَ ، مَقْبولَةً عِنْدَكَ

ولا تَنْفَكُّ جَوارِحي فِيهِ عَنْ عَمَلٍ صَالِحٍ خَالِصٍ لِوَجْهِكَ ، مَقْبولٍ لَدَيْكَ يا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمين

‘O Allah, raise me to a state in which my heart does not commit any acts of disobedience, or even thinks of doing so, and to a state in which my body parts do not commit any acts of disobedience. Raise me to a station in which my heart remains constantly in acts of obedience to You, which are pleasing to You and accepted by You; enable my body to continue to perform pious actions sincerely for your sake which are accepted by You, O Most Merciful.’

Striving to Attain True Slave-Hood

Seiyun

Advice from Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

I counsel you by Allah to do your utmost to consistently perform extra acts of worship, especially the sunnah prayers before and after the compulsory prayers. Beware of leaving them. Give life to your night by rising to pray in it and give life to your day by fasting during it. Perform extra acts of worship in abundance for it is the means of attaining Allah’s love: “My slave continues to draw close to Me with extra acts of worship until I love him.”

This love leads to the slave attaining the greatest form of representation of Allah [on the earth] such that his attributes merge into the attributes of Allah, as the end of the hadith testifies: “When I love him, I become the hearing with which he hears, the sight with which he sees..” So drink from this pure spring and don this ample cloak. Strive to remove the faults of your lower self which prevent you from being accepted.

Travel to your Lord in a state of lameness, humility and brokenness. Do not witness your own actions, but say with your tongue and your heart: “What am I and what are my actions?” The one who understands the verse: He is but a slave upon whom We have bestowed Our blessings[1] will be safe from the false claims of his lower self. Had it not been for Allah’s immense generosity, no-one would have witnessed or attained anything. A person’s actions are merely an expression of their slave-hood. Allah’s gifts [are not bestowed in proportion to a person’s actions but] are purely from His bounty and generosity.  Witness your shortcomings, however high your state is. Be a slave to Allah and not your desires. Recite litanies in abundance: a portion of the Qur’an, the litanies of the earlier scholars and the litanies of the heart. You gifts you receive are according to the litanies that you recite.

[1] Al-Zukhruf, 43:59

Intentions for Travelling

Advice on travelling from Habib `Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

Habib `Ali says that travelling is in reality leaving behind one’s base nature to attain lofty stations in the proximity of Allah.

He then calls us to act upon the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ:

سَافِروا تَصِحُّوا سَافِروا تُرْزَقُوا

“Travel in the land, and you will be blessed with good health; travel in the land and you will be provided for.”[1]

Firstly, he says, we should intend by travelling obeying the command of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to travel. We should then intend seeking provision – not merely material provision, but also spiritual provision – knowledge, guidance and light – which distinguishes man from animals. We should seek good health for our bodies, but more importantly we should seek to be healed from attachment to this world and other diseases of the heart.

We should also intend visiting the pious in the place to which we are travelling and seeking their blessings (barakah), for in every town there is a group of the people of truth, who protect that town; we should intend calling people to Allah (da`wah) and benefiting people with what knowledge we possess and teaching the ignorant and seeking in all of this the pleasure of Allah.

Beware of being cut off from Allah by being distracted by the adornment of the lands to which you are travelling and by seeking base pleasures as the peoples of those lands do. Be like someone who is merely passing by.

If you are deciding whether or not to do something, such as travelling, then bring the Chosen One ﷺ to your heart, consult him and then go with whatever your heart settles upon. If you find any of the pious then consult them too.

 

 Prayer for Travelling

Habib `Ali recommended repeating this prayer often, especially when one is travelling:

 

اللهُمَّ إنِّي في قَبْضَتِكَ حَيْثُما كُنْتُ فَلاحِظْني بِعَيْنِ عِنَايَتِكَ حَيْثُما كُنْتُ

“O Allah, I am in Your complete control wherever I am, so bless me with Your complete care wherever I am.”

 

 

[1] Narrated by al-Suyuti

Showing Kindness to the Ahl al-Bayt

Ḥb.`Alī bin Muḥammad al-Ḥabashi
Advice from Habib `Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

Allah!  I counsel you by Allah to show kindness to the people of the household (Ahl al-Bayt) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. In doing this, you will attain great success, high ranks and the utmost felicity. To show kindness to them is to show kindness to their grandfather, and words cannot describe the merit of showing kindness to him ﷺ. So be someone that loves them, shows kindness to them and follows their guidance. Love them wholeheartedly and give them precedence over your own loved ones. If you see them do something which might cause you to have a bad opinion of them, then look for a good interpretation of that thing. Beware of verbally abusing them for doing so is like drinking deadly poison. To show enmity to them is to show enmity to the Messenger and to show enmity to the Messenger is to show enmity to Allah.

One Believer is a Mirror to Another

Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) derived four different meanings from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):

المُؤْمِنُ مِرَآةُ المُؤْمِنِ

“One believer is a mirror to another.”[1]

One meaning, he said, is that the believer sees good qualities in his brother so he attempts to emulate them, or he sees bad qualities in his brother so he knows that he possesses similar qualities and attempts to eradicate them.

A second meaning is that the believer sees a fault in his brother so he tells him to remove it. He is thus like a mirror to his brother.

A third meaning is that the believer appears to his brother according to his brother’s inward state. If his heart is pure then he sees his brothers as being pure of heart like himself, and he holds a good opinion of them. If, however, his heart is sick he sees his brothers as being like him and he holds a bad opinion of them. The believer thus projects what is in his heart onto his brothers. Thus if someone sees the Prophet ﷺ in a beautiful form in a dream then this shows that the person is in a good state. If, however he does not see the Prophet ﷺ in a beautiful form then this shows that the person has some kind of deficiency.

A further meaning is that if a believer’s faith is complete, Allah manifests Himself to his heart. One of Allah’s names is ‘al-Mu’min’, meaning ‘the Faithful.’ Thus the meaning of the hadith would be: ‘the believer, or more specifically the heart of the believer is the place, or the mirror, to which Allah ‘the Faithful’ manifests himself.

 

[1] Narrated by Abu Daud

Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers

This is a translation of a treatise by Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) entitled ‘Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers.’ Although small in size, the treatise contains a comprehensive summary of the message which the Prophet ﷺ conveyed. Many people have tried and will try to summarise the teachings of Islam, but few have been able or will be able to do so in a way as complete and comprehensive as this great Imam, who combined inward and outward knowledge. May Allah allow us to be included in the prayer of Habib `Abdullah that ‘those who use it as a reminder or disseminate it will be people who commanded the good and forbade evil, and that they be beloved to the Best of Creation.’

 

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Benefits of Keeping the Company of the Pious

Masilah

 

Advice from Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

 The most beneficial means of rectifying your heart, attaining forgiveness for your sins, protecting yourself from calamities and attaining everything that you wish is keeping the company of the friends of Allah, the scholars who act on their knowledge. If you see them, they remind you of Allah. Their state lifts you and causes you to seek Allah and their speech guides you to Him. Witnessing their noble attributes encourages you to attain similar attributes. Keeping their company and looking at them is an act of worship and loving them is a cause of attaining felicity. The one who is able to keep their company should regard this as the greatest blessing. He should take advantage of it by doing so with love, veneration and a good opinion of them and complete etiquette inwardly and outwardly. He should seek to benefit from their knowledge, seek blessings from them and emulate them, for “every person is with the one that they love” and “every person follows the religion of his close companion.”

Guides of men – good tidings to the one has seen them

And kept their company even once in his life

Look at the dog of the ‘People of the Cave.’ Through keeping the company of the friends of Allah it was mentioned with them in the Qur’an, and it will enter Paradise with them.

Habib Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habashi said: “Understanding is a light which shines in the heart which is only given to those who keep the company of the pious or read their books.”

The most important thing is to have etiquette with them, for it has been said: “The one who is truly deprived is not the one who is deprived of keeping the companyof the pious, but the one who keeps their company but does not show them the correct etiquette.”

Habib `Umar bin Saqqaf al-Saqqaf (Habib `Abdullah’s shaykh) said: “The most beneficial thing for the wayfarer is to remember the lives and states of the pious, especially those who lived recently because they sought Allah at a time when people had turned away from Him and Allah gave them insight at a time when most people were blind.”

If you are unable to physically keep their company then read their books, their poetry and their biographies – for “mercy descends when the pious are mentioned.” The meaning of this, as Imam al-Ghazali says, is that mentioning them brings forth the desire to emulate them and to make up for one’s shortcomings which in turn leads to entering Paradise and meeting Allah which is the true meaning of mercy. Just as “mercy descends when the pious are mentioned,” the opposite is also true: the curse of Allah descends when corrupt people are mentioned. This is because mentioning them often causes the heart to make light of acts of disobedience. This is demonstrated in the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ : “A bad companion is like a blacksmith: if he does not burn you with his sparks you will leave with a bad odour.” Just as a person’s clothing carries a bad odour without him noticing, the heart begins to make light of acts of disobedience without the person noticing.