Intentions for Visiting Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub al-Ansari

Abu Ayyub

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

What intentions should we make when visiting Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub al-Ansari in Istanbul?

Firstly we should intend making the Prophet ﷺ happy. We should ask that just as the Prophet physically resided in the house of Abu Ayyub that the light and guidance of the Prophet reside in our hearts and then our hearts resemble that house. We should congratulate Abu Ayyub on the gifts bestowed upon him by Allah: that the Prophet stayed in his house, that he was given the ability to follow the Prophet and sacrifice everything in the path of Allah. We should thank Allah along with him for this.

 

Ziyara Abu Ayyub

Spending to Please the Prophet ﷺ

 

Hb Umar Tarim

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

I have a small amount of money which I wish to spend in charity. How can I spend it in a way which is most pleasing to the Prophet ﷺ ?

Firstly, if there is someone locally who is in dire need then giving the money to him or her will please the Prophet the most. Then if there is a general need which is extremely pressing, such as building a mosque or digging a well, then priority should be given to this.

If there are a number of different causes and the need is equal, then priority should be given to supporting the spreading of knowledge and calling people to Allah.

If there are a number of different people whose need is equal then priority should be given to those who are more pious and closer to the Prophet .

 

 

On Wearing a Turban (`Imamah)

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

What are the conditions and etiquettes of wearing a turban (`imamah)?

There are two conditions.

Firstly the material which the turban is made from must be permissible to wear and not silk for example. Secondly it must be worn with a good intention such as following the Prophet and the person wearing it must not be doing so to show off.

There are a number of etiquettes.

It should only be worn after the age of puberty out of veneration for this sunnah. Some people put a turban on their children with a good intention but this should not be done. Some scholars even regard the turban as a garment of adornment which should only be worn after getting married.

It should be worn while attending the Friday Prayer and at other important gatherings.

It should not be excessively large or small. The longest turban which the Prophet is recorded to have worn is 7 or 10 or 13 cubits but it is only fitting for scholars and pious elders to wear a turban this length. An appropriate length for students of sacred knowledge and those who wish to follow the sunnah is 5 cubits.[1]

When tying the turban, a tail or two tails (`adhbah) should be left at the back in accordance with the Sunnah.

[1] A cubit (dhira`) is the length of the forearm from the middle finger tip to the bottom of the elbow

When Rabi al-Awwal Comes..

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Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) tells us how to receive the month of Rabi al-Awwal.

When Rabi al-Awwal comes open your heart to receive the divine outpouring and to attain closeness to Allah and His Beloved. Do not place anything above him. We have not been permitted to love anyone or anything, however great, as much as him. May Allah not deprive any of us of the goodness that You have because of the evil which we have.

This is the month of ennoblement – the month in which the Beloved ﷺ emerged into the world – the blessing was completed, the earth was illuminated. Make us amongst those who receive this month in the best way.

Seek spiritual gifts through purifying your heart. Establish gatherings in every room in your house in which Allah is remembered, in which the Mawlid and Sirah are read. Do you not long for this light, for this purity, for this beauty? Are you content to turn away from it? Why exchange jewels for filth? Who tricked us into removing the speech of Allah and the Messenger and the righteous and remembrance of Allah from our houses? He informed us that the house in which the Qur’an is recited appears to those in the heavens just as the stars appear to those on the earth. This is the speech of a tongue to whose truthfulness Allah Himself testified: He does not speak from caprice; it is no less than revelation sent down to him.[1] Allah said of him: If you obey him you will find guidance.[2] If you want guidance in all its meanings in this life and the next then follow My Beloved, My Chosen One.

The greatest fear is being turned away to a different direction on the day when his followers will be under his banner. On that day it will be clear to all that the Sovereign is One, the judge is One. Those who had been deluded in this life will be asked: “To whom belongs the Dominion today?”[3] If you do not know Muhammad now, on that day everyone will know him. Everyone will lower their heads to him because he is the one that Allah has chosen.

Give us sincere intentions, purify our hearts and increase our certainty. Save the people of la ilaha illallah.

Turn to Him – present your state to Him:

No created thing has any portion of this affair neither here,

Nor there, so rely on the statement of the Truthful

He is the Lord, none other, and all

Are slaves under His governance without exception.

 

So ask your Lord for enabling grace, forgiveness and His pleasure

And to be with the people of guidance, on the path

People that travelled to the All-Compassionate with high ambition

With truthfulness, sincerity, unobstructed

They obtained that which is beyond all other requests

By Allah what a noble and perfect life! [4]

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[1] Al-Najm, 53:3-4

[2] Al-Nur, 24:54

[3] Ghafir, 40:16

[4] Imam al-Haddad

Prayer Upon the Prophet ﷺ for Rabi al-Awwal 1438

 

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Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends reciting the following prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ  10,000 times in Rabi al-Awwal:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ وبَارِكْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ الفَاتِحِ لِما أُغْلِقَ الخَاتِمِ لِما سَبَقَ نَاصِرِ الحَقِّ بِالحَقِّ و الهادِي إلى صِراطِكَ المُسْتَقِيمِ صلى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ و مِقْدَارِهِ العَظِيم

Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik `ala sayyidina Muhammad al-fatih lima ughliq al-khatim lima sabaq nasiri’l-haqqi bi’l-haqq wa’l-hadi ila siratika’l-mustaqim sall’Allahu `alayhi wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi haqqa qadrihi wa miqdarihi’l-`azim

O Allah, bestow Your prayers, peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad, the one who opens that which is closed, the seal of those that came before, the defender of truth with truth and the guide to Your straight path (and upon his Family and Companions), in accordance with the greatness of his rank.

This prayer is known as Salat al-Fatih, which is narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna `Ali bin Abi Talib. It was then taken on by Shaykh Abu Hasan al-Bakri and later Shaykh Ahmad al-Tijani, who both taught it to their students.

Habib Umar said that those calling to Allah have received many openings after repeating this prayer.

Click here to download an audio recording of Habib Umar reciting the prayer.

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

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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!

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[1] Al-Tawbah, 9:62

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

[3] Al-Tahrim,  66:8

Talking about Imam al-Husayn on Ashura

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

What should we mention when we talk about Sayyiduna al-Husayn at the time of Ashura?

We should talk about his upbringing and his character – his mercy, compassion and generosity. We should refer to the biographies of respected scholars from Ahl al-Sunnah. As for his martyrdom we can mention the fact that he requested one of three things from his killers: that he be allowed to return to al-Madinah or that he be allowed to go to fight jihad on the frontiers or that he be allowed to meet with Yazid ibn Muawiya. However, they rejected his request. He tried to save the lives of his relatives by telling them to leave but they insisted on staying with him.

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?

 

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[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.

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[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

On Following the Sunnah and Avoiding Ostentation

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

I want to follow the Sunnah but I feel pride and ostentation in my heart when I do so. What should I do?

You should try to remove those blameworthy qualities while continuing to follow the Sunnah. The Devil may try to make you leave the Sunnah by making you fear falling into pride and ostentation. If he succeeds in doing that, he may then succeed in making you leave the prayer.

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See these classes delivered by Habib Ali al-Jifri on ostentation and how to deal with it