On Spreading Good Traits

Hb Umar Indonesia

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

The things which you wish for Allah to make a reality in the world – make them a reality among yourselves. According to your perseverance and the degree to which you do this, you have a guarantee that Allah will make them a reality in the world.

We wish that there be harmony in the world – make it a reality among yourselves.

We wish that there be purity in the world – make it a reality among yourselves.

We wish that people prefer Allah over everything else – make it a reality among yourselves.

We wish that there be co-operation in the world – make it a reality among yourselves.

We wish that there be humility in the world – make it a reality among yourselves.

We wish that the Ummah venerates the religion – spread this trait among yourselves.

We want the Ummah to love prayer, remembrance of Allah and the Qur’an – make this a reality among yourselves.

If you make anything a reality among yourselves, Allah will make it a reality in a far greater way in the world, in the Ummah of His Prophet. This is not by us or by our efforts but His pre-ordained mercy dictates this. For that reason He says (to the Messenger of Allah):

You are only responsible for yourself, but encourage the believers.1

This is all you need to do – the rest is not your responsibility – transcendent is the All-Powerful! The attributes that we wish to spread in the Ummah must be extremely firm among you. If they are, Allah will quickly and easily spread them. Take account of your steps and how you move forward – do so with firmness and tranquillity, with ambition and with resolve.

It is Allah’s concern that will be the cause of rectification.

— 

1 Al-Nisa’, 4:84

 

 

On The Root Cause of Tribulations

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

Allah says:

Let those who disobey his order beware lest tribulation befall them or a painful punishment be inflicted upon them.1

I swear by Allah that every tribulation that befalls any part of the Ummah in any place and at any time or any punishment that is inflicted is the result of disobedience to the Beloved ﷺ. Likewise the only cause of receiving the mercy of Allah and experiencing bliss in this life is following him, loving him and sacrificing everything in support of him.

 

1   Al-Nur, 24:63

 

On the Foundational Problems of the Ummah

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What are the foundational problems of the Ummah?

Ignorance, heedlessness and turning away from Allah are the foundational problems. The solutions are knowledge, remembrance and turning to Allah.

On Accusations Levelled against People of Tasawwuf

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

The people of tasawwuf have gained a reputation for being far removed from reality. It seems that they are not concerned about the state of the Muslims. People are being killed in a number of places, but we do not see the people of tasawwuf involved in the fighting, whereas we see a good number of other Islamic movements participating. What do you say about this?

It is the duty of all sincere and truthful Muslims at all times to keep away from places where dubious things and dissension are taking place. As for the issue of fighting, we say: show us fighting that is taking place today between believing Muslims—whose only objective is for the Word of Allah to be transcendent[1]—and between disbelieving people who are preventing them from establishing the Sacred Law of Allah the Exalted. Where can they be found? If you find it then you will see who will race to it and who will be in the front ranks. It is not for anyone whose head is filled with worldly motives to claim that he is making jihad for the sake of Allah.

Has the struggle for political power turned into jihad in your view? As the hadith states: “When two Muslims clash with their swords, then both the killer and the one killed are in the Fire.”

The best thing for a Muslim is not to be present when this takes place. In fact, it is praiseworthy for him not to be present! The killer and the one killed will end up in the Fire and you are asking: “Why are you not participating?” The answer is, because I do not like the Fire. If you like the Fire, then by all means participate.

We hear the Prophet ﷺ saying to us: “There will be times of dissension during which the one who is sitting is better than the one who is standing; the one who is standing is better than the one who is walking, and the one who is walking is better than the one who is running.”[2] Now people are saying that the one running is better than the one walking; the one walking is better than the one standing, and the one standing is better than the one sitting. We say to them that they have got things the wrong way round. The statement of the Prophet is correct and your statement and understanding are wrong.

Do you want the best people to be in the worst category? The pious people and the people of tasawwuf always know what is the best and most appropriate stance. In whatever situation they are in, you will find them taking that stance.

Today people are fighting each other on the basis of different ideologies and false judgments which have no basis in the Sacred Law. They are fighting each other with egotistical motives for worldly gains. So if you like the Fire, go and fight on either side. Leave those who do not like the Fire and fear it. They look for the best place in which to sit just as the Prophet guided them to do so.

As for the issue of reputation, it is not the way of the people who are truthful with Allah, nor for the people of tasawwuf, to seek fame or reputation. It never crosses their minds what their reputation is among people. They seek status in the sight of Allah. They do not care what people say. Someone who wishes to be known and loves fame is not truthful with Allah. Ignore what people say and think and seek, along with the pious people, status with the Lord of people. Allah is enough for us and He is the best One in whom we place our trust.

————–

[1] This is the definition the Prophet gave of true jihad in the hadith narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

[2] Meaning that the less actively involved a person is, the better.

 

 

 

On Causes of Current Weakness and Abasement of the Ummah

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What are the causes of the weakness and abasement of the Ummah in the present time?

The roots of any kind of weakness and abasement in reality lie in the following: people’s contempt for the affair of Allāh; their showing disobedience to Him; their being content to leave what He has made obligatory or to do what He has forbidden; their being content to have a weak connection to this religion such that the minimum amount of effort is sufficient for them. An example of this is performing the prayer without even knowing its pre-conditions and its integral parts or ignoring the directions of the Sacred Law in one’s business transactions. Other root causes are the weakness of people’s connection with Allāh, their concern with their own issues which leads some to be intolerant of others, their differing amongst themselves and their division into groups and sects. These are the causes of our present state of weakness. In summary, the root cause of weakness is people showing greater veneration for ephemeral things than they deserve which causes them to ignore the affair of the Almighty. When people give anything priority over the affair of Allāh, Allāh will abase them. This is the general state of the Ummah but there is no doubt that good remains and the means of repairing the damage remain. The solution is for people to sincerely return to Allāh and to venerate the injunctions of Allāh and His Messenger (may Allāh bless him and grant him peace) at all levels. People must strive to purify their hearts and must truly show mercy to others because the “All-Merciful shows mercy to those who show mercy to others.”1 By showing mercy to those around them Muslims will be shown mercy by Allāh and they will never be weak or defeated. They will have the support and might of Allāh and they will be raised by Him.

1An authenticated hadith narrated by Imam Aḥmad

 

On the Position of Scholars on the Arab Spring

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What is the position of the scholars on recent events in Arab states? How should we respond to these events? Is it not true that: “He who does not concern himself with the affairs of the Muslims is not one of them?”

Concern for the affairs of the Muslims was a duty before these events, it remains so during them and continues to be so after. Whoever does not expend efforts in praying to Allāh and pleading with Him (to rectify the affairs of the Muslims) in the day and the night has fallen short in this duty. The one who is capable of offering assistance to relatives or friends or anyone else in the country which he lives and fails to do so is lacking in his concern for the for the affairs of the Muslims.

The scholars offer guidance to all – to those who demand their rights and likewise to those from whom such rights are being demanded. They direct people to that which the Messenger of Allāh (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him and his family) directed Sayyidunā `Umar. He said to him1: “Request that he asks in the best way, and request that I give him what is due to him in the best way.” They emphasize to all the sanctity of people’s blood, property and honour, as the Messenger of Allāh clearly emphasized this. They stress that no-one, whether they are the rulers or the ones being ruled, has the right to harm anyone else. No-one has the right to permit the spilling of another’s blood, the damage or wrongful taking of his property or for his honour to be violated under any circumstances.

The Muslims should know the true station of the scholars in Islām. It is not for the rulers or the ruled to use the scholars on a whim when they feel the need to do so. The scholars are bearers of a sacred trust, bearers of the legacy of Prophethood. What they say must be respected in all situations. It is not for the rulers to constantly go against the guidance of the scholars and then to use them when they need them. Nor is it for those being ruled to live in heedlessness of them, ignorant of their station and then when they need them to ask: “Where are the scholars?” The scholars are not an item that can be chosen at a whim by either party.

There is no doubt that this a time of tribulations and that there are more tribulations to come. We have been informed about them by the Prophet. We have been warned against taking sides and contributing to these conflicts. We have taken a covenant to clarify to all what their duty is. People may then accept this advice, in which case they are then set to receive the mercy of Allāh, or they may reject it. Allāh will in the end call everyone to account.

In spite of all this, beyond these severe troubles we know that Allāh will bring relief and salvation to the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him and his family). We ask Allāh that the end result is good and that He rectifies the affairs of the Muslims wherever they are.

 

1Concerning the man who rudely demanded that the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) repay a debt the time for whose payment had not yet come.

 

 

The Situation in Syria and How We can Help

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

What is happening to our relatives and people in Syria? What can we do to help?

We must be certain that Allāh causes these things to happen for a purpose. We should remember that the oppression that these people are suffering only increases them in elevation in Allāh’s sight and it is a cause for their sins to be forgiven and expiated. We should remember our own transgressions and the fact that we are a cause of these things happening in our time. These events should also give us hope that the future will be better, since it is the pattern in Allāh’s creation1 that ease and goodness follow hardship.

Imam al-Haddad said:

If adversity continues for a long time

It is a good sign that the good which is awaited will last for a long time

There is no doubt that Shām2 and Yemen will be safe havens at the time of discord in the world, for the Truthful One’s prophecy will no doubt be realised. However this may be after those places suffer some tribulations for a period of time. We must pray for them abundantly and assist those suffering in whatever way we can.

1Literally, Allah’s sunnah.

2“Greater Syria” or the Levant. It includes present day Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon.

 

Rectification of the Ummah

Sh Bouti

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) discusses the problems the Ummah is currently facing and offers solutions to those problems. A summary of a Friday khutbah delivered by in Masjid al-Rawdah, Tarim, on 10th Jumad al-Ula 1434 / 22nd March 2013. These words come in the wake of the shocking murder of Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Bouti (may Allah have mercy upon him) in Syria the previous night.

 

O believers in Allah, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, the one entrusted with guiding us and rectifying us, taught us how to respond to calamities and hardship. He taught us that the founding principle is returning to Allah and calling upon the One Who has control over all affairs. We need to realise our slavehood to Him and to realise our complete subjection to His power and authority.

In spite of this, many hearts have deviated and instead of turning to Allah, the One Who says to anything: “Be” and it is, they seek to rectify the Ummah through means which were not legislated by the Seal of Prophets ﷺ. At the same time; they persist in disobeying Allah in their homes, on the streets and in their dealings with each other. They disobey Him with their tongues, their eyes, their ears, their hearts, their stomachs, their private parts, their hands and their feet. They disobey Him by day and by night, in secret and openly. For that reason their suffering continues and they are unable to rectify themselves or anyone else. They try to repair a crack but this leads to numerous other cracks; they try to solve one problem but this leads to numerous other problems. This will always be Allah’s way.

Who will teach the Ummah the necessity of returning to Allah and changing ourselves so that He changes us? Who will teach the Ummah the necessity of improving our transaction with Him – by venerating His religion and establishing His Sacred Law in ourselves and our families? We must surrender our affairs to the Best of Creation, who was sent to rectify our worldly affairs and help us to prepare for our return to Allāh.

Had it not been for the existence of a few people who humble themselves to Allah, cry to Him and plead with Him, things would be far worse. How many people are crying in the night, pleading with Allah to remove the tribulations that have befallen the Ummah of Muhammad? How many people have sought means to rectify the Ummah while forgetting that Allah is the One who created those means? Is it not incredible that people who belong to a religion that teaches them excellence and perfection even in the way they slaughter their animals are unable to treat each other well? Has the time not come for us to realise the greatness of this religion?

This is a religion which teaches us not to wrong each other; it teaches us justice, piety and awareness of Allāh. Look what the Messenger said to the Noble Companions: “`Ikrimah the son of Abu Jahl is about to approach wishing to accept Islam, so do not insult his father, for insulting the dead harms those who are alive.”

People have reached the state that the Prophet warned them against: “Do not return to being disbelievers after I have gone such that you kill each other.” If they differ in opinion with someone they regard it as permissible to spill his blood—not to speak of taking his possessions and defaming him. Every group claims to provide security and safety but this claim has no meaning if places of worship are not places of safety.

Nothing is graver in Allah’s sight than bloodshed. It has been narrated: “Had all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth conspired to wrongly spill the blood of a Muslim, Allah would throw them all in the Fire.” The Messenger of Allah said: “The believer remains within the parameters of the religion as long as he does not unlawfully shed someone’s blood.” He spoke severely to Usamah bin Zayd, who was beloved to him: “Did you kill the one who fought you after he said: la ilaha ill’Allah? Woe to you! What will you do with la ilaha ill’Allah on the Day of Judgement?” This is the methodology of Muhammad, the one who forbade Muslims from killing the enemy when they are retreating from the battlefield, the one who forbade Muslims from killing women and children. He refused to kill the hypocrites as long as they outwardly professed Islam; he refused to kill non-Muslims as long as they outwardly honoured the treaty that he had made with them. Who is our example if it is not our Master Ahmad?

He informed us that there would be much bloodshed at the end of time. He informed us that the Ummah would divide into factions and he said to one of his Companions: “Distance yourself from all those factions, even if it means that you hold on to a tree trunk until death comes to you.”

One of the Companions said: “O Messenger of Allah, A disbeliever cut off my hand and then took refuge behind a tree and said la ilaha ill’Allah. Should I kill him?”

Do not kill him, for if you do so you will be in the same state he was in before he said it, and he will be in the same state you were in before you killed him.” He said : “Whoever kills a non-Muslim who has a treaty with the Muslims or is a subject of the Islamic state will not smell the scent of Paradise.”

In spite of all this we find people entering one of the houses of Allah and blowing up scholars and pious people, the young and the old, hoping to enter Paradise. Who gave you that fatwa (legal opinion)? The Messenger of Allah clarified the issue. Where did you get your understanding from? He also said: “If death comes to someone while he is seeking knowledge to revive Islam then there is only one degree between him and the Prophets in Paradise.” Do not justify something which Allah has not justified. If a man was wrongly killed in the East and a man in the West was content with this, then he is an accomplice of the one who killed him. “Whoever assists in the killing of a Muslim even with half a word will meet Allah and it will be written on his forehead: ‘I have despaired of Allah’s mercy.’”

O believers, we have to truly return to Muhammad so that Allah removes our tribulations. We must reproach ourselves, for this is what Allāh loves: Allah will not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves.

The Prophet informed us that if someone recites the following verse seven times in the morning and seven times in the evening, Allāh will remove his worries whether they are connected with this world or the next:

حَسْبِيَ اللهُ لا إلهَ إلاَّ هو عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ العَرْشِ العَظِيمِ

Allah is sufficient for me; there is no god but He. On Him I rely; He is the Lord of the Awesome Throne.

May Allah inspire the Muslims to recite it and inspire them to seek relief from their sufferings through following him.

The Messenger of Allah also said: “No slave ever says [the following words] when he is afflicted with worry or grief except that Allah removes his worry and replaces his sorrow with joy:

 

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ، نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ،

أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُّلِ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ، سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ، أَوْ أَنْزَلَتَهُ فِي كِتَابكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحْداً مِنْ خَلْقِكَ،

أَوْ اسْتَأثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ،

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ القُرُآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي، وَنُورَ بَصَرِي، وَجَلاَءَ حُزْنِي، وَذِهَابَ هَمِّي

O Allah, I am Your slave, the son of Your male and female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your order will be implemented, and Your decree concerning me will be just. I ask You by every name You possess, of the names which You have called Yourself, or revealed in Your Book, or taught to any of Your creation or kept to Yourself in the unseen realm, to make the Qur’an as a garden for my heart (to wander in), and to make it the light of my vision, and the cause for the removal of my sorrow and my worry.”

May Allah relieve the suffering of every Muslim.

Our Lord, forgive us and those who have preceded us in faith and do not allow any rancour towards those who believe to enter our hearts. Our Lord, truly You are Most Kind, Most Merciful.

 

On Scholars Taking Political Stances

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

Many of the scholars of whom we have a high opinion of have taken political stances in these times of discord. How should we deal with this?

If they have taken political stances we should firmly believe that they have taken these stances on the basis of understanding given to them by Allah. We accept their stances but do not follow them in them and do not publicise those stances. We should follow them in other things.