Category Archives: The Path

What is the difference between Allah loving the believers and being with them?

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

Allah is with all of His creation in a general sense but He is with certain categories of His servants – such as the people of taqwa and sabr – in a special sense and this is manifested in Him giving them His direct aid and support. This being with Allah in a special sense is one part or one aspect of His love for His servants, which is more expansive and comprehensive than His being with them.

 

Imam al-Haddad on Steadfastness

In this short poem, Imam al-Haddad counsels us to be people of sabr (steadfastness or patience). He extols the virtues of steadfastness, gives glad tidings to those who possess this trait and points to its connection to other lofty spiritual stations. He reminds us of the nature of tribulations and their connection to the divine decree. Finally, he calls upon us to emulate the steadfastness of the pious who have gone before and their master, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is explaining the poem line by line at the beginning of his daily Rawha sessions as part of this year’s Dowra

Download the poem with translation here

 

Photo credit: thanks to Zach Reiner for sharing their work on Unsplash.

The Soul’s Estrangement

Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf shares an intimate conversation at a blessed time in a blessed place with his own soul.

My Generous Lord honored me to be at the Ennobled Kaaba during the last part of the night on a Friday. Heralds of longing began to stir in my heart for the reality of what Allah has created us for. I penned some of that in the following words, which I ask Allah the Exalted to make a means to direct the reader with truth and sincerity to Him the Exalted.

I ask you, dear reader, to read it in a calm and serene place.

Original Arabic text:

Dealing With Thoughts of Disbelief

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

Thoughts of disbelief sometimes come into my mind. Does this take me out of the fold of Islam?

No this does not take you out of the fold of Islam. We are only taken to account for the thoughts which we are content with and agree with. We will not be taken to account for the thoughts which you dislike and ignore. This is a manifestation of Allah’s bounty. The Prophet said ﷺ : “Allah has overlooked for my sake my nation’s mistakes, forgetfulness and thoughts as long as they do not talk about it or act upon it.”

One way of driving these thoughts away is to repeat Allah’s name lengthening the ‘a’ (Allaaaah) and raising the head upwards towards the sky.

There is nothing better than imploring Allah for His assistance and remembering Him constantly. Anyone who feels that they are unable to purify themselves should turn to Allah and say (as Imam al-Haddad says):

يا رَبِّ قَدْ غَلَبَتْنِي    وَبالأَمَـانِي سَبَـتْنِي
وَفِي الْحُظُوْظِ كَبَتْنِي   وَقَيَّــدَتْنِي بَالاكْبَــالْ

قَـدْ اسْـتَعَنْتُكَ رَبِي    عَلَى مُــدَاوَاة قَلْبِيْ
وَحَـلِّ عُقْـدَة كَرْبِـي    فَانْظُرْ إِلَى الْغَـمِّ يَنْجَـالْ

My Lord, my lower self has overpowered me

And deluded me with false hopes,

It subdues me with worldly pleasures,

and shackles me in chains.

I seek Your support, my Lord,

in curing my heart.

Release me from distress and look

(kindly) on my sorrow and dispel it.

How Do We Avoid Backbiting?

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

How do we avoid backbiting (ghibah)?

We do this by bringing to mind the ugliness and danger of backbiting. We should also reflect on the punishment for it in the next life. In the Quran, Allah likens the person who backbites to someone who eats the flesh of his dead brother. We should see backbiting as a lightning bolt which destroys our good deeds. We should accustom ourselves to only mentioning a person’s good deeds and qualities if there is a benefit in doing so.

If we are tempted to backbite someone due to a perceived fault, we should do two things instead: pray for them and give them sincere advice either directly or indirectly.

Instead of allowing yourself to backbite, you must hold your tongue and use it to remember Allah. Instead of talking about worldly things, use wisdom in choosing a topic of conversation which is beneficial, such as stories of the Prophet, the Companions, the pious or the next life. In this way you will be acting upon the hadith: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say what it is good or remain silent.”

Dhikr of the Seven Souls

This is the ‘Dhikr of the seven souls’. Each dhikr corresponds to one of the seven souls as follows:

La ilaha ill’Allah 70,000 times which allows you to overcome al-nafs al-ammārah

Allah Allah 60,000 times which allows you to attain al-nafs al-lawwāmah

Hu Hu 50,000 times which allows you to attain al-nafs al-mulhmah

Yā Ḥaqq 40,000 times which allows you to attain al-nafs al-muṭma’inah

Yā Ḥayy 30,000 times which allows you to attain al-nafs al-rāḍiah

Yā Qayyūm 20,000 times which allows you to attain al-nafs al-marḍiyyah

Yā Qahhār 10,000 times which allows you to attain al-nafs al-kāmilah

Imam Hasan, son of Imam al-Haddad, and the Effect of Hajj

Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge. Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said: “When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was not in him before.”

So he went to perform hajj and implemented all the sunnahs, exerted great caution and effort until the hajj had its effect upon him. Then he returned to Hadramawt and became a paragon of renunciation of worldly things (zuhd).

They told him that part of his house was falling and it needed to be repaired (houses in Hadramawt are built from mud bricks and require regular repair) but he replied that he did not need that part of the house and life was short.

He focused on teaching and preparing for the next life until one half of the house caved in. He said: “The other half of the house is sufficient.”  He carried on in this way until only one room of the house was left standing. When people criticised him, he replied with a verse of poetry:

يقولون بيتك بيت صغير كأن نسجته لك العنكبوت

فقلت المقام قليل به وهذا كثير على من يموت

They say your house is so small it could have been woven by a spider!

I say to them I will not live long in it and it is plenty big enough for someone who is sure to die

This is the exact opposite of what hajj does to some people. They go to hajj and they have some humility but they return with more desire and concern for worldly things. This would be a sign that their hajj has not been accepted and we seek Allah’s refuge from that.

The whole purpose of hajj is to draw us closer to Allah, the King, the Living and that we see things as they truly are.

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