Etiquette of Sleep and Wakefulness

Hb Umar C Town 19 1

 

If someone neglects the etiquette of being awake, their wakefulness becomes sleep. If someone abides by the etiquette of sleep, however, their sleep becomes wakefulness.

Much harm is caused to Muslims by their hearts being asleep. Being distracted by other than Him is, in reality, sleep. If we realised the truth, we would wake up.

Sleeper, wake up! Muslims are in a deep sleep. That is why disbelievers being given power over Muslims can be likened to the animals of the jungle playing around a sleeping lion.

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

Source: Tawjih al-Nabih, Page 292

 

Adhkar for Masjid al-Aqsa

Close-up-detail-of-the-Dome-of-the-Rock

 

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) recommends reciting the following adkhar every day with the intention of bringing relief and protecting Masjid al-Aqsa from being violated.

Recite 450 times:

حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيل

Hasbunallahu wa ni`ama’l-wakil

“Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best protector.” (3:173)

Recite 100 times:

 

وَأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

Wa ufawwidu amri ila-Allah, inna-Allaha basirun bil-‘ibaad

“I surrender my affair to Allah: Allah is well aware of His servants.” (40:44)

Recite 70 times:

 

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Rabbana’ghfirlanaa dhunubanaa wa israafana fi amrinaa wa thabbit aqdamanaa wa’nsurnaa `ala’l-qawmi’l-kafirin

‘Our Lord, forgive us our sins and our transgressions, make our feet firm and assist us against those who reject faith.’ (3:147)

Recite 10 times:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ الَّذي أَسْرَيْتَ بِهِ مِنْ المَسْجِدِ الحَرامِ إلى المَسْجِدِ الأَقْصى، وأَعْرَجْتَ بِهِ إِلى السَّمَاوَاتِ العُلا، وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ خَيْرِ المَلا، وعلى مَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسانٍ وأَيْقِظْ قُلُوبَ المُسْلِمينَ، ورُدَّ كَيْدَ أَعْدَائِكَ مِنْ اليَهُودِ المُعْتَدِينَ على بَيْتِ المَقْدِس، وكُلِّ مَنْ والاهُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الشَّرِّ في الأَرْضِ وادْفَعْ شَرَّهُمْ وضُرَّهُمْ عَنَّا وعَنْ أَهْلِ لا إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله، وأَلْهِمْنا رُشْدَنا في كُلِّ حَرَكَةٍ وسُكُونٍ يا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِين

Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘ala sayyidinaa Muhammad alladhi asrayta bihi min al-masjid’il-harami il’al-masjidil aqsa, wa a’rajta bihi ilassamaawatil ‘ula, wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi khayri’l-mala, wa ‘ala man tabi’ahum bi ihsaan, wa ayqidh quluba’l-muslimin, wa rudda kayda a’daika minal yahudil mu’tadina ‘ala bayti’l-maqdis, wa kulli man waalaahum min ahli sharri fil ardh, wadfa’ sharrahum wa durrahum ‘anna wa ‘an ahli laa ilaaha ill’Allah, wa alhimnaa rushdanaa fi kulli harakatin wa sukun, ya Arhamarraahimin!

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the one who You caused to travel by night from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa and then raised to the highest heavens and upon his Family and Companions, the best of people and upon those who follow them with excellence. May Allah awaken the hearts of the Muslims and foil the plots of the aggressors, Your enemies who are violating Bayt al-Maqdis and all those who support them among the people of evil on the earth. May He protect us and all the people of la ilaha ill’Allah from their harm and evil and may He inspire us to do what is right in every moment, O Most Merciful!

Defence Against Tribulation

 

Hb Umar 10

 

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) teaches us that our connection to Allah and His Beloved  ﷺ  are a defence against tribulation. He also helps us to understand some of the divisions among the Companions and the concepts of tawassul and service. Summarised from his speech in Dar al-Mustafa at the closing ceremony of the 22nd Dowra, 17th Dhu’l-Qa`dah 1437 / 19th August 2016.

All credit belongs to the Prophet ﷺ, our guide and teacher. The good works of anyone who reached any rank will be recorded in the Prophet’s book – from the Siddiqun and the greatest of them: Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman and `Ali – to the first of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, to the Ahl al-Bayt, the scholars and callers to Allah. Every mosque and institute of knowledge that Allah accepted will be recorded in his book.

The Valley of Hadramawt was blessed by the Companions, the Followers and the scholars that came after them and was then crowned by the arrival of Imam al-Muhajir. From his progeny came forth many shining stars, people of truthfulness and sincerity. This is our source of pride. Neither outward appearances nor empty ceremonies are a source of pride. This path is a path of removing all ceremonies and formalities. The people of this path paid no attention to outward appearances. They paid no attention to things that have no value in Allah’s sight and which are of no benefit in the next life.

Our Prophet ﷺ said: “A sign that a person has perfected his Islam is that he leaves that which does not concern him.” This is the path a person should take in this life, knowing that which concerns him in his religion and worldly life in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. That person then frees himself from the domination of disbelief which has numerous manifestations on the face of the earth. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned that tribulations will be presented to people’s hearts and this is exactly what we see today –in the name of movements or revolution or progress or other things.

When we study the lives of the Companions and the divisions that took place we only accept the narrations which are in accordance with how Allah describes them in the Qur’an. We do not allow anyone to tamper with our history. People tamper with our recent history and much of what is said is false. What the Prophet ﷺ informed us of is sufficient. He saw people having their faces torn with hooks made of fire. He asked who they were and he was told: “A man from your Ummah who lies and his lie then reaches the horizons.” Look at the precision of the Prophet’s description!

Sayyiduna `Ali said after the Battle of the Camel: “I hope that I and Zubayr and Talhah are among those who Allah described: We will remove from their hearts all rancour  – they will be brothers facing one another on couches.”[1] Sayyiduna `Ali made sure that Sayyidatuna `Aishah received the best treatment. He would pass by her tent to check up on her and he would address her as his mother. When she decided to return to al-Madinah he personally bid farewell to her. He arranged for his female relatives to accompany her and he walked not a few paces, but two miles, to see her off.

This is consistent with how Allah describes the Companions in the Qur’an: They are merciful to one another.[2]  This is appropriate for those who were taught by Muhammad. We do not accept other versions presented to us to divide us.

If we receive Allah’s light it cannot be extinguished regardless of the tribulations that come. The greatest tribulation will be the Dajjal, but the people of truthfulness, sincerity and humility and the people who love Muhammad will be safe from it. When Sayyiduna `Isa descends he will inform them of their stations in Paradise. The problem is that we have exposed ourselves to tribulations and we are deluded by what is presented to us.

If you want to be safe, enter the fortress of Muhammad. He brought us the fortress of la ilaha ill’Allah. Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “La ilaha ill’Allah is My fortress. Whoever enters My fortress will be safe from My punishment.” According to the strength of our connection to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, we will be safe from the greatest tribulation, not to mention the tribulations that come before and after it.

It is as Sayyiduna al-`Abbas said: “Tribulations only descend due to sins and they are only lifted by tawbah.” He said this when Sayyiduna `Umar put him forward to seek rain for the people at a time of drought. `Umar said: “O Allah, we used to use Your Prophet as an intermediary and now we are using the uncle of Your Prophet as an intermediary, so bless us with rain!” The whole region was then blessed with rain and Sayyiduna al-`Abbas became known as ‘the one who brought rain to the Haramayn.’ No-one said that this was an innovation or shirk. They knew that al-`Abbas was merely a means for the rain to come.

May Allah bless those who attended this Dowra, especially in the current conditions. Why did they come? Many people suffer hardships and long journeys for the sake of a qualification or a job but what was it that brought these people here? What do they want? “The one whose hijrah was for Allah and His Messenger..” Did they come to enjoy the parks or play games?

We also cannot forget the people involved in service, which is an arena of jihad. They will gain a greater reward than many people involved in jihad in our times and in previous times. Sayyiduna Abu Darda’ said: “If someone thinks that going out to seek knowledge is not jihad then his intellect is deficient.” These people served without expecting any worldly reward. Do you think that this will come to nothing? Allah says: We do not allow the reward of those who perfect their actions to go to waste.[3] Success is in truthfulness with Allah and working together to please Him.

May Allah bless the institutes of knowledge in Yemen and Sham and bring back their strength and vibrancy. May He bless al-Azhar al-Sharif and all the places and people of knowledge in the East and West. May He revive true knowledge among them. May He unite the Ummah and protect it from all harm.

—————————-

[1]  Al-Hijr, 15:47

[2] Al-Fath, 48:29

[3] Al-Kahf, 18:30

On Involvement in Protests

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

Should those involved in dawah take part in protests which condemn things like police brutality or the oppression of the Palestinian people?

Oppression must be condemned whatever form it takes as long as this does not lead to greater oppression or some other kind of evil. Ordinary people are free to get involved in such protests if they wish, but the role of those involved in dawah is to clarify the Islamic position on such matters. They should not be directly involved in protests because this may have political and social implications and may lead them to neglect aspects of their dawah.

Prophetic Guidance in Times of Tribulation

In light of recent political events in Yemen and other countries, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) clarifies the Prophetic perspective on how to deal with tribulations.

Habib Umar delivered the lecture in Dar al-Mustafa on 9th Jumada al-Akhirah 1436 / 29th March 2015 and it was attended by students of forty two nationalities. In it Habib Umar gave general guidelines as well as specific advice for those currently studying in Tarim. What follows is a summary of the main points.

Introduction

We must clarify to every individual, young and old, the methodology which we must follow and the foundations upon which it is built. We need to realise the true meaning of coming together in this blessed place under the banner of the Prophetic Call. This dictates that we realise our duty and responsibility and how we deal with events that take place on the earth.

The Reality of Recent Tribulations

Among those events are the attacks that several nations have launched against certain groups in Yemen. The majority of those involved in this conflict have power and worldly aims as their main motives and this is what has driven them to take up arms. The people who are involved in these struggles have no desire to make the Word of Allah transcendent. They have no desire to establish the Sunnah of Muhammad. They are not motivated by mercy and compassion for the weak and for orphans. Their Lord knows best what their intentions are. None of those who threw themselves into these struggles in various places attained any good out of it. I believe that they would all say that had they seen what has now happened they would have acted differently. But most people have not looked carefully at the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ. Had they done so, they would have taken a different path from the beginning.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ informed us of the tribulations that would befall his Ummah at the end of time. The events we are now witnessing are like a link in a chain most of which has passed and only a little of which remains. These tribulations will take their course in the places and ways that have been decreed for them. They will not increase or decrease except in the case where Allah permits certain actions or supplications to have an effect. In reality the affair has been sealed – “the pens have been lifted and the ink has dried.”

He informed us that the most severe tribulations would come to pave the way for the victory that Allah will give him once again and for the raising of His banners. Relief will come from Allah and the triumph of truth and guidance in a way that people would not be able to imagine.

Those who will be harmed most by these tribulations will be those who deliberately get involved and throw themselves into the conflict and will thus have the greatest responsibility. They will be asked why they got involved, for whom, in what way and whether they have proof from Allah for what they are doing. As for those who suffer harm despite not deliberately getting involved they are potentially martyrs in Allah’s sight and will not have lost anything.

These days will pass and we await the days in which Allah pours His generosity upon us and upon the Muslims. This region (Hadramawt) will remain, with Allah’s permission, in a state of wellbeing, but we ask Allah to show His gentleness to our brethren in Sana`a, Aden, and all areas of Yemen and all areas of the world.

 

 Prophetic Guidance

The Prophet ﷺ, the one entrusted with guiding mankind, told us how to deal with tribulations when they arise. He said that:

“The one who exposes himself to them will be caught up in them.”

He said that in these times the one lying on his side is better than the one sitting; the one sitting is better than the one standing; the one standing is better than the one walking and the one walking is better than the one running. Did he convey the message or not? He definitely conveyed the message ﷺ. One of the Companions asked the Prophet ﷺ which side he should take if the Muslims were divided into different groups. He said to him:

“Distance yourself from all these groups.”

 

The People of Truthfulness

In times of tribulation, Allah singles out truthful people who honour their covenant with Allah. They are not shaken by the events that take place. They are guided by the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and their hearts are filled with trust in Allah, reliance upon Him, hope in Him and fear of Him. Allah describes them as follows:

Those that convey Allah’s messages and fear Him and fear none other than Allah. Allah suffices as a Reckoner [1]

Those to whom men said: “The enemy have gathered against you, so fear them!” But this only increased their faith, and they said: “Allah is sufficient for us! He is the best Guardian!” So they returned with grace and bounty from Allah and no harm touched them. They attained the good pleasure of Allah and Allah possesses immense bounty [2]

Those who possess these attributes regardless of the time in which they live attain high stations and live in a state of safety and tranquillity. Allah says:

When the believers saw the Confederates they said: “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us. Allah and His Messenger have spoken the truth.” It only increased them in faith and submission (to Allah). Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Some of them have died and some are waiting. They have never changed their determination in the least. Allah may then reward the truthful for their truthfulness and punish the hypocrites if He wills or relent toward them [3]

 

Our Methodology

We follow the path which the Prophet ﷺlaid out for us and the way of the people of truthfulness. This has been the correct way throughout our history. It is not something which we have invented. This was the way of the Prophetic Household, the Companions, the Followers and all those that came after them. It was the way of Zayn al-`Abidin `Ali bin al-Husayn, Hasan al-Basri, Sa`id bin al-Musayyib, Sa`id bin Jubayr, al-Harith al-Muhasibi, Abu Talib al-Makki, Imam al-Ghazali, al-Junayd bin Muhammad and Imam `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani. It was the way of al-Muhajir, Ahmad bin `Isa and all his forefathers. It was the way of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad bin `Ali Ba `Alawi and it was the way of my father and my teachers. From them I took the path and from them I received the understanding of the Book and the Sunnah, the understanding of our duty in life, the purpose for which Allah created us and how we prepare to return to Him, our connection to Muhammad and our duty in dealing with every event that occurs.

The way of the people of truthfulness was to avoid tribulations. They fulfilled their obligations in doing that which is clearly good and avoided anything in which the Devil had a hand. This is the path they took and we follow in their footsteps by Allah’s permission.

We consider the work which we are involved a form of jihad to which no-one may raise any objection. It consists of working with truthfulness and sincerity towards attaining the three objectives of attaining knowledge, acting upon it and calling people to Allah on an individual level, a family level and a community level in whatever time, place or situation we find ourselves. Our leader in this is the soul of Muhammad ﷺ, his clear Sunnah and the way of his Companions and those who follow them in excellence. We have chosen this form of jihad in the way of Allah. We refuse to get involved in any affair unless it is completely good and completely clear and only if we will be free from being subordinate to any group and safe from the meddling of the Devil. If we have any doubt then we return to the advice of the Prophet ﷺ:

“Leave that which causes you doubt in favour of that that which does not cause you doubt.”

This is our advice to those who will listen. As for those who do not wish to listen we will not declare anyone a disbeliever (kafir), someone who associates partners with Allah (mushrik) or an innovator. We will not struggle against anyone, abuse anyone, or look for support from anyone. We do not fear evil from anyone. Let them busy themselves with the conclusions which their intellects have caused them to arrive at. We are concerned with conveying the message of Allah and His Messenger and fulfilling our responsibility in the way that Allah loves. Allah says to our Master ﷺ:

So remind, for you are but a reminder – you are not their controller… for to Us will be their return; then it will be for Us to call them to account [4]; your duty is only to convey the message [5].

We have been taught to respond to our Most Generous Lord by saying:

If You punish them, they are Your slaves and if You forgive them You are the Mighty, the Wise [6]

He who follows me is of me; while he who disobeys me.. You are Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [7].

These are the teachings we have inherited from the previous Prophets.

Praise be to Allah for the fact that you have no Muslim blood on your hands. May He also cleanse your hearts and your minds so that you are not taken to account for any blood that has been spilt, or any person whose honour has been violated or for putting fear in the heart of any believer. Likewise guard your tongues. You have not physically entered any battle but you may be taken to account for what you say. Someone may say: “So and so deserved to be killed,” and he may then be taken to account for his part in killing him.

Allah knows best what people’s intentions are. We cannot judge people’s intentions. Our role is only to teach people and not to control them. Our leader did not control anyone so how can we? Allah says:

You are not their controller.

The Prophet ﷺtaught us to say in the morning and evening:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِي لا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيءٌ في الأَرْضِ ولا فِي السَّمَاءِ وهْوَ السَّميعُ العَلِيمُ

“In the Name of Allah. Nothing in the heavens and earth may harm the one who mentions His name. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

“Nothing in the heavens and earth..” Do you know what that means? You read this in the morning and evening. Are you a believer or a disbeliever? Are you sincere or are you a hypocrite?

Allah shows us what our methodology should be in the face of adversity:

If you have steadfastness (sabr) and taqwa their schemes will never harm you.[8]

Say: “Nothing will befall us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Protector. In Allah let the believers place their trust.” Say: “Are you waiting for anything to befall us except one of two glorious things?” [9]

All praise be to Allah – everything that is awaiting us is good for us.

Every Muslim has the ability to give advice, teach others and help those in need so they should do what they can sincerely for Allah’s sake. This is their duty regarding their concern for the affairs of the Muslims. They are thus safe from being part of the problems confronting the Ummah or causing more problems.

 

Specific Advice for those Living and Studying in Tarim

Many of you in this place knew nothing about what was going on until a family member from outside Tarim contacted you after seeing what has been happening on the news or when some of your governments requested that their citizens return home. It is fitting that you have only heard about it from outside Tarim because naturally people outside Tarim are affected by the media, whose mission is to shake and scare people and spread false rumours and in doing so serve the Devil. People have become completely captivated by the media.

May Allah reward those countries that wish to protect their citizens. This is what they believe to be correct and it is natural that they be worried. The whole arena in which they operate is based upon fear and worry and they only have a small portion of faith and tranquillity. If they feel that it is in the interests of their citizens to return home and if they have provided means of transport, may Allah reward them. Families are naturally affected by these events and this is excusable. They are not excused, however, from doing their duty.

Thus if someone wishes to leave, we will not prevent them and if someone wishes to stay, we will not prevent them. However, these days of tribulation will pass and meanwhile we will be amongst the safest of people on the face of the earth. We will be in a state of complete tranquillity due to the fact that we receive special protection and care from Allah. Neither our food supply, nor our safety nor our tranquillity will be affected.

Had we known that any harm would come to any one of you in your religion or your worldly affairs, we would order you and request you to leave. This, however, will not happen by Allah’s will. Even if some harm were to befall us and we told people to leave then those who are completely truthful would say:

“I do not prefer myself over you.”

Let each one of you decide how we deal with these events and how he speaks to his relatives at home. He cannot, however, change his path in fulfilling his obligation in this life due to these events. We must convince our relatives that our path is correct, but we are not content for a student, a teacher or a worker to remain here if his parents are not content with that. We must give each person the rights that are due to them. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ turned away someone who wished to perform jihad with him due to the fact that his parents were not content for him to do so. He said to him:

“Your struggle is with them.”

If someone is truthful, Allah will enable him to convince his parents to allow him to stay.

Your concern for the affairs of the Muslims should be expressed in your supplications and pleading with Allah and your presence of heart when you remember Him. Do not waste your time following events in the news. You have a role to perform. Your focus should be on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and your studies: whether it be fiqh, tafsir, hadith or grammar. Let your hearts be present in your studies for this is your provision for your meeting with Allah. This is what you are involved in now. None of you are in government and are thus responsible for the decisions governments makes.

Closing Supplications

O Lord, it is Muslim houses, Muslim airports and Muslim property that are being destroyed! It is Muslim honour that is being violated! It is Muslim blood that is being spilt! It is Muslim women and children that are being frightened! What is the cause of this? O Allah, save the Muslims and remove the tribulations that have befallen them. Your enemy and his followers have divided the Muslims so unite them, O Lord, by Your power and the station of Your Beloved Muhammad.

Let us and our loved ones be with Your Beloved in this life, at death, in the Barzakh, on the Day of Judgement and in the Abode of Honour. Allow them to see him, to kiss his hand, to be with him, to be in the same row as him, to follow him and to receive his care and compassion. I take refuge in the light of Your countenance that anyone who is connected to us, has attended our gatherings or received knowledge from us be separated from him ﷺ . Let us gaze at his face and let he be the one who gives us to drink from the Pool along with `Ali and may Fatimah be pleased by this. The raising of voices in supplication in places of worship causes tribulations to be lifted. This gathering is more effective than whole squadrons of fighter planes. May Allah save the Muslims whatever school or group they belong to. May He guide everyone that says la ilaha ill’Allah.

Go forth with Allah’s protection, with your path illuminated and complete tranquillity. Be truthful with your Lord and work together for His sake. May we be among those who are accepted by Him. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

 ***

[1] Al-Ahzab, 33.39

[2] Al `Imran, 3:174-4

[3] Al-Ahzab, 33.22-24

[4] Al-Ghashiyah, 88:21-22/25-26

[5] Al-Shura, 42.48

[6] Al-Ma’idah, 5:118

[7] Ibrahim, 14:36

[8] Al `Imran, 3:120

[9] Al-Tawbah, 9:51-52

 

When will Relief Come?

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

We witness the suffering of our brethren in Palestine and we feel helpless. When will relief come and what can we do to help?

There is no doubt that the people of Palestine and the Muslims in many other lands are suffering. We should not expect anyone other than Allah to alleviate that suffering, and the correct way to seek relief is to be upright in doing that which pleases Him. We should reflect upon the wisdoms that Allah has in testing His slaves. We should plead with Allah to remove the suffering and improve the states of the Muslims while at the same time being content with whatever He decrees. We should realize that we deserve worse than what we are receiving due to our wrongdoings.

Allah says:

If Allah were to take people to account for their wrongdoings, He would not leave on the earth a single living creature.[1]

We should continually ask Allah for His forgiveness and pardon. We should look at those who had patience alongside their Prophets, look at their suffering and look at how Allah gave them victory.

Allah says:

Many a prophet was killed[2] with a number of devoted men beside them but they never lost heart due to what befell them in Allah’s way. They were not weakened and they did not give in. Allah loves those who are steadfast. All that they said was: ‘Our Lord, forgive us our sins and our transgressions, make our feet firm and assist us against those who reject faith.’  

What they said reflects their state: they recognized their wrongdoings and then sought forgiveness and assistance from Allah. The result was:

So Allah gave them a reward in this world and the best reward of the Hereafter, and Allah loves the people of excellence.[3]

They were so shaken that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him said: “When will the help of Allah come?” Indeed the help of Allah is near.[4]

Until the time came when the Messengers despaired (of their people) and knew that they were treated as liars, Our victory came to them.[5]

The Prophet said ﷺ:

“With patience comes victory, with difficulty comes relief and with hardship comes ease.”

 

 ***

[1] Al-Nahl, 16:61

[2] Another reading of the Qur’an would translate as: ‘Many of the pious fought with the Prophets..’

[3] Al `Imran, 3:146 -8

[4] Al-Baqarah, 2:214

[5] Yusuf, 12:110

On Killing and Oppression Occurring in Blessed Lands

Answered by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him).

How can killing and oppression take place in lands where there are numerous pious people? Do the pious not protect such areas from these tribulations?

Does not the existence of these pious people make it incumbent on the habitants of those lands to realise their sanctity and follow their example? How can we live in lands where these people exist and then forget them and be heedless of them and go against their teachings and methodology? Some of us even insult them. We have neglected the Sacred Law; we have neglected their legacy; we do not read their biographies or attempt to emulate them; we do not love them or have veneration for them. What has happened recently is a result of those things that have happened previously. We have replaced the stories of the pious with the stories of the heedless and those that call us to evil. We have left the pious and their places and headed for the places of heedlessness and disobedience. Then we ask: “How can these things happen in our lands?”

We have to ask: “How did what came before happen?” The punishment we are now receiving is nothing compared to what we deserve. Had it not been for Allah’s kindness things would be much worse.

So let us return to the way of the pious and look at how they constantly returned to Allah. Let us pledge our love for them and allegiance to them for the sake of Allah. By them Allah will then remove these tribulations and calamities.

On Going to Palestine

 

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

 

Would you recommend that we go to Palestine to show political solidarity with the Palestinian people?

What is recommended is to go to Masjid al-Aqsa, as the Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to do, to pray to Allah there and to help the Muslims in need there. The more Muslims that come together in the masjid to pray, the more likely it is that Allah will relieve people’s suffering. There is no need for us to get involved in politics.

Our Condition Today: The Disease and The Remedy

Sayyidi Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) assesses the condition of the Ummah.

We live in a time of struggle. Things happen fast and one event quickly follows another. This leads to an imbalance, impairs people’s judgement and clouds their vision. People are in dire need of some quiet time in which to stop and reflect. They may then attain a moment of truthfulness and Allah will in turn bless him with some insight.

Away from the noise and the disputes, someone who reflects will find that the calamities of the Arab world can be attributed to three diseases:

  • Sectarianism (Sunni versus Shia, Christian versus Muslim)

The roots of this disease lie in what our the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ called: “The disease of nations.” He said: “The disease of previous nations has crept up upon you: envy and hatred. Truly, hatred is a razor: it shaves away not a person’s hair, but their religion.”

The remedy lies in spreading peace and love, as mentioned at the end of the same hadith: “I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul lies, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not inform you of something which enables you to attain this? Spread peace among yourselves.” (Narrated by Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Abu Ya’la)

  • Racism (Arab versus Persian, Kurd versus Turk, white versus black)

The roots of this disease lie in what the Prophet ﷺ called: “The rallying cry of the Age of Ignorance.” A dispute took place between some of the Emigrants (Muhajirun) and the Helpers (Ansar) and each side called for support from their respective group. Another dispute took place between members the Aws and the Khazraj, the two tribes which made up the Helpers and each side called for support from their respective tribe. The Prophet said ﷺ: “Is this the rallying cry of the Age of Ignorance while I am amongst you? Leave this, for it is repulsive!” (Bukhari)

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I once traded insults with a man. I insulted him by mentioning his mother, who was not an Arab. He complained about this to the Messenger of Allah. He said ﷺ: ‘O Abu Dharr, you are someone who still possesses some of the qualities of the Age of Ignorance!’” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Imam Ibn Hajr and Imam al-Nawawi mention that the man who Abu Dharr insulted was the Companion Bilal bin Rabah. His mother’s name was Hamamah and she was Nubian.

The remedy is in making God-consciousness (taqwa) the criterion in judging a person’s merit. The Prophet ﷺ said: “An Arab only has merit over a non-Arab through taqwa.” (Grading: sahih. Found in Ahmad and others)

  • The relentless pursuit of worldly things (wealth, power, dominance over others)

The roots of this lie in what our Master ﷺ called feebleness (wahn). He said: “Allah will surely cast feebleness into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is feebleness?” “Love of worldly things and hatred of death,” he replied. (Grading: sahib. Found in Abu Dawud)

The Prophet ﷺ also said: “This material world is sweet and lush and Allah is placing you in it to see how you act. So beware of the material world.” (Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “I swear by Allah that I do not fear that you will commit polytheism after I have gone. I fear rather that you will compete over it [the material world].” (Bukhari)

The Prophet ﷺ also said: “I swear by Allah that I do not fear poverty for you. I fear rather that the material world will be opened up to you as it was opened up to those before you and that you compete over it as they competed over it and it destroys you as it destroyed them.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ warned us about what these sicknesses will lead to:

1. Tribulations

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Rush to perform good works before tribulations come like part of a dark night. A man will be a believer in the morning and become a disbeliever by the evening or he will be a believer in the evening and will become a disbeliever by the morning. He will sell his religion for some small worldly gain.” (Muslim)

2. Widespread killing

The Prophet ﷺ said: “I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul lies, the world will not end before people experience a time in which the killer will not know why he killed and the person killed will not know why he was killed.” Someone asked: “How will that be?” He said: “There will be killing: both the killer and the person killed will end up in the Fire.” (Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Just before the last hour there will be killing. You will not be killing polytheists but rather you will be killing each other, to the point where a man will kill his neighbour, his brother, his uncle or his cousin.” The companions asked: “Will we still possess our intellects at that time?” He said: “The intellects of the people of that time will be removed. All that will remain will be the dregs of society. Most of them will believe that they are fighting for a cause but in reality have no cause [to fight for].” (Grading: sahih, in Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Abi-Shayba)

3. Conspiring of Others against Muslims

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Other nations will soon summon one another to attack you just as people invite others to share their dish.” Someone asked: “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied: “No, you will be numerous at that time, but you will be like particles of waste that are seen upon a torrent. Allah will remove fear of you from the hearts of your enemy and cast feebleness into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is feebleness, O Messenger of Allah?” “Love of worldly things and hatred of death,” he replied. (Grading: sahih, in Abu Dawud)

Analysis

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed us that the roots of these calamities lie in diseases in the souls of individuals. The severe consequences of these diseases are like branches which spring forth from these roots. May Allah cure the Ummah of these diseases.

Allah Himself alludes to this in the Qur’an in Surat al-Shams. Firstly, He swears by things which have an effect upon our cosmos: the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the heavens and the earth, then He swears by the human soul as if to say that this too is one of the forces that has an influence in our lives. In the response to these oaths ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are made dependent upon how man deals with his own soul. Allah says: Truly he who purifies it, succeeds, and he who corrupts it, fails.

The Quranic remedy and solution to these calamities is purification of the soul. What we need today is the courage to confront this reality. We must not allow our lower selves which command us to commit evil to make light of this reality. We must not let ourselves flee from confronting it under the pretext of being too preoccupied with solving the seemingly greater problems of the ummah.

May Allah implant taqwa in our souls and purify them; He is the best able to purify them and He is the soul’s Guardian and Master, the Possessor of Majesty and Generosity

 

On the Concept of Khilafah and the Reality of Political Power

At a time of political turmoil in the Muslim world, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) expounds on some of the meanings of khilafah and clarifies the reality of political power. Extracts from a Rawhah lesson in Imam Abu Talib al-Makki’s book, Qut al-Qulub in Dar al- Mustafa on 21st Ramadan 1434 / 30th July 2013.

There are two types of khilafah. The first is the outward khilafah which relates to political power, which is not noble and honourable in itself. Anyone may attain political power, whether they be pious or corrupt, whether they be a believer or a disbeliever, whether they be a Prophet or a wretched person.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Had this material world (dunya) weighed even the wing of a gnat in Allah’s estimation, He would not have given a disbeliever a glass of water from it to drink.”1

The second type is the khilafah of prophet-hood, which is a noble and lofty thing. It relates to understanding the speech of Allah, to our connection with Him, to attaining a pure heart and attaining His pleasure. It is the preserve of the Prophets and their followers, the pious people in every time and place. No disbeliever or corrupt person may come close to it, nor someone with arrogance or pride in their heart. It began with two people on the face of the earth: Adam and Hawa’ (Eve) and it continues to this day. If there were only two of us on the earth and we obeyed Allah’s commands in a state of truthfulness and sincerity we would be the khulafa’ of Allah on the earth, without anyone calling us a president or a minister or a leader. This is the khilafah we should seek. Many Muslims have no desire to attain it, although it is the greatest form of khilafah.

Sayyiduna `Ali combined the inward and the outward khilafah, and after him Sayyiduna al-Hasan, until he relinquished power. At this point the inward khilafah, which cannot be affected by evil, became separated from the outward khilafah, which is subject to oppression and misguidance. Those who possess the inward khilafah will intercede for others on the Day of Judgement, whereas those who possessed the outward khilafah will await judgement. If they were just, they will be saved and if they were oppressive, they will be destroyed. Shaykh al-Sha`rawi said that one of the wisdoms behind the existence of oppressive rulers is that they cause people to hate oppression.

If we study history we find that more often than not political power over the centuries has been in the hands of disbelievers and corrupt people. Many of the Messengers were sent to their people while political power was in the hands of disbelievers. Sayyiduna Nuh spent 950 years amongst his people as the khalifah of Allah while political power was in the hands of disbelievers.

The inward khilafah was in the hands of Sayyiduna Musa and the outward khilafah was in the hands of Fir`aun. Musa said to his people: seek Allah’s assistance and be patient, for the earth belongs to Allah, and He bequeaths it to whomever He wishes from among His slaves – whether they be believers of disbelievers. However, the end is only for the people of taqwa.2 So be someone who possesses taqwa and do not concern yourself with the outward khilafah. The tyrants may threaten you and try to kill you, but the people of the inward khilafah seek Allah’s assistance and rely on Him alone.

Look at the life of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, the master of the people of khilafah, and the imam of all people. For forty years before receiving revelation he was not in a position of leadership or power. He was, however, presiding over the inward khilafah and was known as al-Amin, ‘the Trustworthy One.’ People trusted him and consulted him in their affairs. After receiving revelation he spent thirteen years in Makkah, during which time power was in the hands of people like Abu Jahl. Outwardly he was under their rule but inwardly he was the greatest khalifah of Allah on the earth. In al-Madinah he was confronted by hostility from the Jews, the Hypocrites and the polytheists. It was only after eight years that he finally entered Makkah at the age of sixty-one. He only ruled over Makkah for two years before his death. This did not, however, detract from his khilafah. He is the greatest khalifah and every other khalifah from the time of Adam to `Isa will be under his banner.

How can people venerate political power when this is the example of the Master of the Prophets ﷺ? Leave the rulers to their corruption and their oppression. We do not condone their oppression or follow them in committing evil. We advise them if they are ready to accept sincere advice. Meanwhile we are in a position of khilafah, the pure khilafah mentioned by Allah: Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely grant them inheritance of power (khilafah) on the earth as He granted it to those before them; that He will make their religion firm, the religion which He has chosen for them; and He will replace their fear with security. They worship Me and do not associate partners with Me.3 We are allowed to make the call to prayer, to pray, to openly teach these lessons which are broadcast to the East and the West. We do not deserve any of this. It is only through the blessings of Muhammad and his steadfastness. Makkah was only opened to him in the final years of his life, but he opened up the whole world ﷺ. We used to teach and study in a state of fear but Allah promises: He will replace their fear with security.4 The years passed and the regime changed and now we find ourselves in a state of ease and safety.

They offer you political power and status but we have found something pure and lofty so why do they want us to enter into something filthy? When Imam al-Husayn, the son of Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim was offered political power he said: “Had it had been fitting to give authority to animals we would not be content for it to be given to our horses.” This is the perspective of the pious people on political power.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “You will greedily seek positions of leadership and it will be a cause of regret on the Day of Judgement.”5

We fear that anyone who seeks power and then attains it will be left to it (without Allah’s assistance) and then be destroyed. So if you have a position of responsibility have taqwa of Allah and rule by the Sacred Law of Allah and fear Allah in the way you treat people. If you heed this advice we hope you will be saved. If not, you have chosen your own fate. Sayyiduna `Umar would say: “I wish to leave power with the bare minimum – with nothing for me or against me.” He was not proud of his position. He also said: “It is enough that one descendant of al-Khattab be asked about his position. Do not make `Abdullah bin `Umar the Khalifah after me.” This was his understanding of the outer khilafah and the responsibility it entails.

The hadith inform us that the inward and outward khilafah will not be combined until the end of time. Prior to this there will be a period in which people heart’s and states with Allah are rectified which prepares the way for the coming of al-Mahdi. The foundation of his rule will be pure hearts. Without the presence of these hearts he will not be able to achieve anything. Someone once asked Sayyiduna `Ali why problems had arisen during his rule, whereas there had been stability during the time of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna `Umar. He replied that it was because Abu Bakr and `Umar ruled over people like me, whereas I am ruling over people like you.”

It is possible for any individual to reach the highest of ranks whatever situation they are in and whatever government they are under. Why miss out on these opportunities? We say we want to rule, we want power. Let your Lord rule. The hadith states: “If you seek it you will be left to it, but if you are sought to rule, you will be assisted in it.”6 Even when the people attempt to put al-Mahdi in power, he will refuse until they force him to do so. Even though he is worthy of assuming power, he does not desire it and does not attempt to gain people’s votes. Rather he is sought out and placed in power and then he receives Allah’s assistance.

Merely speaking about this issue has taken a long time, which tells you how much harm is done by entering into these struggles. So much time is lost and so much blood is spilt. So do not get involved with struggles which lead to harm and bloodshed.

May Allah unite the Muslims and remove these tribulations. May He not allow their enemies to take advantage of them by giving them weapons and then watching them kill each other. May Allah awaken the hearts of this Ummah. Let them not place their trust in anyone in the East or West. Let their trust be in You. If this is the case then everything in the East and the West will be made subservient to them.

Allah has decreed that power be in the hands of disbelievers and corrupt people. This is the way of Allah in the past and you will find no change in the way of Allah.7 We, however, have the opportunity to establish the rule of Allah and the Law of Allah in our homes, in our dealings with our families and friends and our neighbours. We shall shortly meet Allah and we shall return to Him. Nothing on the face of the earth will benefit us other than that which we have performed truly for Allah.

1 Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim

2 Al-A`raf, 7:128

3 Al-Nur, 24:55

4 Here Habīb Umar is referring to the years of socialist rule in South Yemen, during which time the regime attempted to eradicate Islam from society. Scholars were persecuted and religious institutions were forcibly closed.

5 Narrated by al-Bukhari

6 Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

7 Al-Fath, 48:23