Category Archives: Connecting to the Prophet

Welcoming Rabi al-Awwal by Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger

hb-umar-6

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafīz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) teaches us how to welcome the month Rabi al-Awwal by. Extracts from a talk in the mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa, 3rd Rabi` al-Awwal 1333/ 26th January 2012.

The new moon of Rabi al-Awwal has appeared, the month in which Allah brought forth His best and most perfect slave, His Chosen One, His Beloved, the Most Noble of the First and the Last in the sight of the Lord of the Worlds. His uncle al-`Abbas addressed him at the end of his life, on their return from Tabuk, his last expedition, with the following verse:

ُوأَنْتَ لَمَّا وُلِدْتَ أشْرَقَتْ الأَرْضُ وضَاءَتْ بِنُورِكَ الأُفُق
ُفَنَحْنُ في ذلك الضِّياءِ وفي النُّورِ وسُبْلِ الرَّشَادِ نَخْتَرِق

When you were born the earth and the horizons were illuminated by your light

We remain bathed in that glow and it continues to light the path as we travel it

Every mawlid composed later is merely echoing what the Companions said to the Chosen One. They were the first people to celebrate the mawlid.

Our Master `Isa will descend to the earth and you will see how he will be ennobled by following Muhammad. Any of you that are with him at that time will see how he mentions the Master of Creation. His heart and the hearts of those present will be filled with veneration when they mention his name. He knows our Master Muhammad better than us, for a Prophet knows a Prophet. No member of this nation knows him in the way that the Spirit of Allah knows him.

The Master of the Followers, Uways al-Qarani, said to the greatest of the Companions, our Masters `Umar and `Ali, who knew the Beloved better than anyone: “All that you knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

They said: “True, all that we knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

Direct your hearts to attain His pleasure and a portion of His gifts. In every day and night there are gifts, and in every month, and in this month in particular. You attain these gifts according to your connection to the one who taught us, the unique one. Take a portion of his vast, noble, priceless teachings, with sincere desire, to attain the reality of:

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers.[1]

Strive in this noble month to please the Chosen One, seeking to please Allah. Please him with your intentions, your ambitions, your words and deeds. Allah is pleased with those that praise his Prophet, those that venerate His Prophet, those that support His Prophet. He is pleased with that which pleases the Prophet.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

You have spent so much of your time and thoughts seeking to please yourself, your family, your relatives and your friends. This may have caused you to travel from one country to another. Have you sought the pleasure of the Beloved? How much do you think about this? How much do you worry about this? How far have you travelled seeking his pleasure? How much hardship have you borne? How much have you sacrificed? There is nothing on the earth or in this life whose pleasure is more worthy of seeking than Muhammad.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

According to your faith you strive to please Allah’s Beloved. Seek his pleasure! When the Companions saw that he was pleased, when his face shone with happiness, they said: “It was more beloved to us than red camels.” Nothing was harder for them to bear than seeing him angry, seeing the vein between his blessed eyes swell up.

Look for the true meaning of seeking his pleasure in this month. You will not find it on the satellite channels. Seek it from its source, connect to the light of his message. This will show you how to seek his pleasure, in which is the pleasure of the Most High. If you have in your heart an attribute which does not please him, then strive to rid your heart of it. He is not pleased with arrogance, so do not be content to show arrogance, even to inanimate objects, let alone animals or humans, for the Lord of all things dislikes you doing this.

Seek it by giving life to the sunnah in your house in Rabi al-Awwal! If your family are heedless of Allah between Maghrib and `Isha, joking or watching TV then bring to life the sunnah of venerating this time. Teach them at home at this time. If they are young, teach them the Arabic letters so that they are connected to the Qur’an. If they are older, go over with them the parts of the Qur’an that they have memorised.

If the sunnah of seeking forgiveness before Fajr is absent, bring it to life in Rabi al-Awwal. Let there be at least one person seeking forgiveness before Fajr in the house, one person saying to the Oft-Forgiving “forgive me!” at the time which Allah loves for people to seek His forgiveness, at the time when delegations came to the door of the Bestower.

If no-one in the house prays in congregation then teach your wife, your sister, your daughter to only pray in congregation. Bring life to these sunnahs. Remove anything that displeases your Lord from your house, anything that displeases your Prophet, audio or visual. Let the house be filled in Rabi with the remembrance of the Beloved, with the mention of his attributes, his life, his birth. You will be enlightened and so will your family.

Allah bless the people of good who are striving in the East and West, the people who are remembering and reciting the mawlid, for they are the keys to removing tribulation. People raising their voices with the remembrance of Allah and His Messenger in their houses, in the mosques and in the streets are a cause for hardships to be relieved. So many Muslim groups have lost the way. They do not know how to rectify themselves or those around them. They do not seek it from the door that Allah has opened:

Allah will not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves.[2]

Let us change what is in ourselves. Let us make our children feel that Rabi al-Awwal has entered, and that it is connected to the Beloved. Make them feel that their lives are founded upon loving him, venerating him and following him. This is the foundation of the whole religion. May Allah grant you strong ambition and high intentions! May the end of the month not come before some of the rays of the Beloved’s light bring some relief to the suffering of the Muslims.

O Lord, bless us in this month. Bless us in our remembrance of You and Your Messenger. Make us among those who are mentioned in Your presence, and among those who are mentioned in his presence. Bless our hearts with noble intentions that raise us to the ranks of those beloved to You, so that on the Day of Judgement we are with those that you mentioned:

The Day on which Allah will not humiliate the Prophet and those who believe with him.

Make us with him, and our families, our children, our friends, our neighbours, our students.

Their light will run before them and by their right hands, while they say: “O Lord, perfect our light for us, and forgive us, for You have power over all things.”[3]

If anyone has anything in their heart that prevents them from seeking Your pleasure and Your Messenger’s pleasure then remove it so that they prefer You and Your Messenger over everyone else.  So that when we sleep tonight nothing is more beloved to us than You and Your Messenger. Increase us in love tomorrow and in the coming days until we meet You, O Most Generous!

—————–

[1] Al-Tawbah, 9:62

[2] Al-Ra`d, 13:11

[3] Al-Tahrim,  66:8

Reflecting Upon Muhammad ﷺ

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) calls us to reflect upon the greatest of Allah’s signs

 

Allah says: Do they not reflect? Their companion is no madman. He is but a clear warner.[1] 

Allah invites us to reflect on the greatest of His signs: Muhammad ﷺ.

Imam al-Busayri says in the Burdah:

He is the greatest sign for those who seek to reflect

And the greatest blessing for those who seek to gain

Reflecting upon Muhammad will lead to knowledge of Allah.

Anyone who looks at his life cannot say that he is mad. Is his immense character, his humility, his truthfulness or his trustworthiness evidence of madness?

Have the statements of any person been recorded more than his? To this day whenever a discovery is made we find that the concept has already been mentioned either in Allah’s revelation or in the statements of Muhammad.

He establishes a principle and centuries pass and that same principle continues to spread while other ideologies come and go. We still find in his words the solution to our problems. Do we find this in anyone else’s words?

Who can be compared to him?

 

——————————

[1] Al-A`raf, 7:184

On Dealing With False Claims About the Parents of the Prophet ﷺ

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

How should we deal with those who claim that the blessed parents of the Prophet are destined for the Fire ﷺ?

The first thing to mention is that we should avoid pointless debate with these types of people. They should be ignored unless it is hoped that they will return to the truth, in which case the correct position should be clarified to them. It is enough to say that the evidence of the Qur’an is given precedence over solitary hadith reports (ahad). The Qur’an clearly says that: We do not punish until We send a messenger.[1] If this is not sufficient proof for such people then there is no hope that they will be guided so they should be left.

We should remind people that verbally abusing a person’s parents hurts their children. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Do not verbally abuse the dead so that you harm those who are alive.”[2] These people should ask themselves: who is the son of the people they are abusing? We should also remember the Prophet’s etiquette when `Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl came to accept Islam. The Prophet told his Companions not to mention anything unpleasant about his father, in spite of the fact that Abu Jahl was the Fir`awn of this nation, a disbeliever destined for the Fire.

—————

[1] Al-Isra’, 17:15. At the very least, the parents of the Prophet would be considered to be Ahl al-Fatrah, meaning people living in a time and among a people to whom no messenger had been sent.

[2] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and al-Tabarani

The Most Generous of All People ﷺ

Hb Rawha Ramadan

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) discusses the manifestations of the Prophet’s generosity, commenting on the hadith of Ibn Abbas. Extracts from Rawhah lessons in Ramadan 1437 / June 2016. 

Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was the most generous of people and he was at his most generous in Ramadan when he would meet Jibril and he would review the Qur’an with him. Truly the Messenger of Allah when Jibril would meet him was more generous than a continuously blowing wind.”[1]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is the closest of people to Allah the Most Generous and is thus the most generous of Allah’s creation. In fact a manifestation of his generosity is that he is the cause of everything coming into existence.

In his lifetime he was the most generous of people. He never said no to anyone that asked him for anything. He once gave a man a valley full of sheep. The man returned to his people saying: “Accept Islam, for Muhammad gives like someone who does not fear poverty!”[2] He fulfilled people’s needs whether they were material or spiritual. He fed the hungry, taught the ignorant and guided those who were astray.

His generosity is continuous after he left this life. He told us that our actions are displayed to him. If he finds something good, he praises Allah, and no-one is able to praise Allah in the same way as him. If he finds something bad, he seeks forgiveness for us and we are all in need of his seeking forgiveness for us.[3]

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The miserly person is the one who does not bestow prayers upon me when I am mentioned in his presence.”[4] Such a person is miserly because he has failed to recognise the Prophet’s immense generosity.

His generosity will be manifested in the most complete way on the Day of Judgement when even the Prophets will be silent. Only he will intercede on behalf of the whole of creation. If this was the only manifestation of his generosity it would be sufficient for no one else has a portion of it.

If someone strives to be generous they will be connected to the most generous of people ﷺ . Such a person shows generosity to himself first by removing blameworthy traits and attaining praiseworthy traits. He then shows generosity to those closest to him by fulfilling their needs and guiding them. He does what he can to assist those in need and prays for them in abundance. But in doing so he does not believe himself to be showing generosity independently of Allah. Rather he sees himself as being in absolute need of Allah. This is why the Prophet ﷺ  said: “I am merely someone who distributes and Allah is the One Who Gives.”[5]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Shall I not inform you of the most generous of the generous? Allah is the Most Generous of the generous, I am the most generous of the children of Adam, and the most generous of people after me is a man who taught people and spread his knowledge – he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement as a nation (Ummah) on his own – as well as a man who generously gave his life for the sake of Allah.”[6] [At this point Habib Umar mentioned his father, Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, who not only spent his life teaching people but then generously gave his life for the sake of Allah. When he was told that his life was in danger, he said that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had gone out seeking martyrdom and he could not turn it down if it came to his front door].

————————————————————-

[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[2] Narrated by Muslim

[3] Narrated by al-Daylami

[4] Narrated by Ahmad

[5] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[6] Narrated by al-Bayhaqi and Abu Ya`la

On Serving the Ahl al-Bayt

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

How can we serve the Ahl al-Bayt in these times?

We must love them from the sake of Allah, which is something Allah has made incumbent on us in the Qur’an. We should support and honour them and those connected to them. We should follow their way and emulate them.

Post Tarawih Qasaid

The tradition after the Tarawih prayer in Tarim is to recite poetry in praise of the Prophet ﷺ . Through praising him and bestowing prayers upon him it is hoped that people’s worship is accepted, and he is at his most generous in Ramadan, as the hadith tells us. Other poems that welcome Ramadan, talk about its merits and bid farewell to it are also read throughout the month along with a selection of duas. Many of these can be found in Habib Muhammad al-Haddar’s book al-Nafahat al-Ramadaniyyah. Coffee is served to rejuvenate those present.

Every night, a section is read from three collections of poetry. Each section corresponds to a letter of the Arabic Alphabet and the verses from that section end in that letter. The collections can be downloaded here:

Al-Fazaziyyah

Al-Qawafi

Al-Witriyyah

How Many of My Prayers Should I Make for You?

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

Sayyiduna Ubayy bin Ka`b said to the Prophet ﷺ: “I bestow prayers upon you and do so in abundance. How many of my prayers should I make for you?” What is the meaning of this statement?

The scholars say there are several possible meanings. The meaning which is closest to the wording of the hadith is ‘how much of the reward of my prayers should I donate to you?’

A second possible meaning is ‘how many of all my duas should I make for you?’

A third meaning is ‘how much of my time should I spend bestowing prayers upon you?’

The first meaning encompasses the other two meanings.

When Ubayy said that he would make all his prayers for the Prophet, the Prophet said to him: “If you do that, your worries will be removed and your sins will be forgiven.”[1]

———————

[1] Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim

On Being Considered to be From Ahl al-Bayt

muwasala-prophetic-house

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

If someone’s mother is from Ahl al-Bayt is he or she considered to be from Ahl al-Bayt?

No, they are not legally considered to be from Ahl al-Bayt. Thus it is not forbidden for them to receive zakat and they do not receive a portion from the spoils of battle (khums). However, they are regarded to be among the relatives of the Ahl al-Bayt and among those that the Prophet ﷺ referred to be as being related to him through marriage.

The general principle is that although a person’s ties to his mother’s parents and relatives must be honoured, his lineage goes through his father and he is regarded to be a member of his father’s family or tribe. There are two exceptions to this. One is Sayyiduna `Isa, who had no father and is thus known by his mother – `Isa bin Maryam. In the Qur’an, Allah mentions Sayyiduna `Isa as being among the progeny of Sayyiduna Ibrahim, despite the fact that Sayyiduna `Isa is only descended from Sayyiduna Ibrahim through his mother, Sayyidatuna Maryam.

The other exception is the descendants of Sayyidatuna Fatimah, all of whom are considered to be the direct descendants of the Prophet ﷺ even though they are descended from him through their mother and not their father. This is why the Prophet ﷺ referred to Sayyiduna al-Hasan as his son. This is one of the Prophet’s unique attributes (khasa’is).

DOWNLOAD: Mentioning the Best of Creation

Commentary by Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf on a poem by Habib `Umar bin Hafiz entitled: “Mentioning the Best of Creation”

The commentary is taken from lessons delivered by Habib Kazim and translated by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa at The Spring Lodge Retreat, UK April 2015.

Download here

May Allah benefit us by the words of our teachers and may we be among those who constantly mention the Best of Creation ﷺ and are mentioned by him.

 

 

Believe in Him, Venerate Him and Support Him ﷺ

 

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) looks at the attributes of those who succeed. Extracts from a talk by  in the weekly mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa, Tarim, 22nd Safar 1437 / 3rd December 2015.

 

Look at how Allah describes those who succeed and their relationship with His Messenger ﷺ:

Those that believe in him, venerate him, support him and follow the light that was sent down with him – they are those who succeed.[1]

O Allah, You have blessed our hearts with belief in him, so make this belief firm and increase it.

When Allah loves one of His slaves, He places in His heart veneration for Him and the people and things which are worthy of veneration. He saves him from venerating anything which is worthless and unworthy of veneration. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is, amongst all people, the most worthy of veneration. This veneration will be the most precious currency you possess on the Day of Judgement and it will be a cause of salvation on that day.

Once someone believes and venerates him, they will naturally support him. This is why the Companions said to the Prophet ﷺ: “Take what you wish from our wealth and leave what you wish, and that which you take is more beloved to us than that which you leave. Make peace with whoever you wish and wage war with whoever you wish. We will follow your command whatever it may be.” May Allah be pleased with them all. Due to their love and veneration, Allah loved them and honoured them. This is why the Prophet said ﷺ : “The sign of a believer is his love for the Ansar and the sign of a hypocrite is his hatred of the Ansar,” and “Ali, only a believer will love you and only a hypocrite will hate you.”

The light that was sent down with him – some scholars say this refers to the Qur’an, some say it refers to the Sunnah and others say different things. None of the commentators are able to comprehend even a small portion of this light – only his Creator can do this. If you believe in him, venerate him and support him then you will receive this light.

O Allah, increase our belief in him, our veneration for him, our support for him and our following of the light that was sent down with him in every day and every night until we meet You in the best of states.

 

 

[1] Al-`Araf, 7:157