On the Method of Seclusion (Khalwah)

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

How do I go about secluding myself for the purpose of worship (making khalwah)?

Any time in which you are alone focusing on Allah is a type of khalwah. At that time you should recite the Qur’an or adhkar which have been transmitted. The purpose of khalwah is focusing oneself on Allah, being present with Him and purifying your heart. The most beneficial dhikr for the majority of Muslims and those at the beginning of the path is la ilaha ill’Allah. The utmost benefit in times of seclusion is obtained through the permission and observation of your shaykh and through his giving you adhkar which are appropriate to you.

Differentiating Between Being Proud of One’s Religion and Between Being Arrogant

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

How do we differentiate between being proud of one’s religion and being arrogant?

Being proud of one’s religion is coupled with humility, fear of the return to Him and good action according to the Sacred Law and in veneration of it. At the core of our religion is humility, fear of Allah, being good to people and wisdom. The two greatest signs that point to someone being arrogant are that they look down upon others and do not accept the truth when confronted by it. Arrogant people are certain that they are better than others and do not live in fear of a bad ending.

On General Dhikr

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

What type of dhikr can someone make if they are not affiliated to any tariqah?

The dhikr of Allah is beneficial in whatever form is it made. If it is taken from someone with a sanad (unbroken chain of connection) to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ it has more effect and is more likely to be accepted and this is essentially the meaning of tariqah. Furthermore, if it is taken from someone with a sanad in travelling the spiritual path then it will have a more illuminating effect and be more effective.

On the Difference between Fearing to Meet Allah and Disliking to Meet Him

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

What is the difference between someone who dislikes to meet Allah and someone who is fearful of meeting Him?

There is a big difference. The one who dislikes to meet Allah has no connection to Allah and he attempts to flee from Him. The one who is fearful of meeting Allah may also love Him. He is fearful of not being accepted by Allah or being punished by Him.

On Prayer and Vigilance

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) explains that if the prayer is correctly established, it is a means for seekers to take themselves to account (make muhasabah) and be in a state of vigilance (muraqabah). 

One of the wisdoms of the prayer is that it enables us to be in a state of vigilance and to constantly take ourselves to account. By being in control of your body you prepare your heart to attain this. Your prayer then puts light into your time so that the time between each prayer becomes illuminated. The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this when he said: “One prayer to the next; one Friday prayer to the next and one Ramadan to the next – all of these wipe out the sins a person commits between them, as long as grave sins are avoided.” Continue reading On Prayer and Vigilance

Possessing a Little is Possessing Everything

A reminder from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him). Extracts from a lesson in Ihya Ulum al-Din in Dar al-Mustafa, Dhu’l-Qa`dah 1432 / October 2011

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “If any one of you wakes up with a healthy body; in a state of safety; possessing his day’s provision, it is as if he possesses the whole world and everything in it.”1 Continue reading Possessing a Little is Possessing Everything

The Believer is like a Bee

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reflects upon a beautiful hadith.

Let us reflect upon the following beautiful hadith, narrated by Imam Ahmad on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr.

قال رسول الله ﷺ : و الذي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ إِنَّ مَثَلَ المؤمِنِ كَمَثَلِ النَّحْلَةِ أَكَلَتْ طَيِّبَاً و وَضَعَتْ طَيِّبَاً و وَقَعَتْ فَلَمْ تَكْسِرْ و لَمْ تُفْسِدْ

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the believer is like a bee which eats that which is pure and wholesome and lays that which is pure and wholesome. When it lands on something it does not break or ruin it.” Continue reading The Believer is like a Bee

Turning Ourselves to Allah

Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him). Extracts from a talk during the mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa the night of 28th Sha`ban 1432/ 28th July 2011.

When people turn themselves in full obedience to Allah, saying and realising: I have turned myself to the One who created the heavens and the earth,1 Allah then makes His creation subservient to them. Even the angels of the highest gatherings compete to be with such a person and to pray behind him. This is the reward of those who respond to His call and make their only desire calling to Him and serving Him. Continue reading Turning Ourselves to Allah

Freeing Ourselves from Deception

Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him). Extracts from a talk during the mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa the night of 28th Sha`ban 1432/ 28th July 2011.

You can see in front of you in the material world people expending all their efforts to attain that which amounts to nothing. Had these efforts been expended for the sake of Allah, attempting to purchase His merchandise, the results would be amazing! But the one who is imprisoned in the physical realm remains asleep until the veil is lifted, at which point it is of no benefit. Sayyiduna Ali, who had a direct understanding of these concepts, spoke the truth when he said: “People are asleep, and when they die they wake up.” Continue reading Freeing Ourselves from Deception

True Remembrance of Allah

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) delves into the deeper meanings of remembrance.

All types of closeness are superficial except that which is close to the Lord, the Close. Your closeness to one another is based upon your closeness to Allah. According to your closeness to Allah, you will be close to one another, and all distance and dispute will end – for these are illusions. They are illusions that dominate the superficial world, the physical world. They dominate most people, such that it is correct to say: Most people do not know and most people do not understand. The greatest thing they reach or hope to reach can be called ‘play,’ or it can be called ‘delusion,’ or it can be called ‘conjecture,’ or it can be called ‘a mirage,’ or it can be called ‘ash scattered by the wind on a stormy day.’ This is what Allah has called it in His Book. Continue reading True Remembrance of Allah