Lack of Time When Visiting the Prophet ﷺ

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

When I visit the Prophet ﷺ I do not have enough time to greet him and make dua because the officials quickly move you on. What should I do in this situation?

Lovers of the Prophet ﷺ should not be affected by those who prevent people from standing at length at the blessed grave. They should just give their greetings in the time they have at that place and then they can go anywhere in the Haram or outside and address the Prophet and recite as much as they wish and the Prophet is closer to them (after Allah) than anyone in existence. Continue reading

Selected Salawat: Seeking to be at One With the Messenger ﷺ

Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and allow us to benefit from him) teaches us to use this prayer to seek the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and to ask that our actions and intentions be so connected to the Prophet that they are at one with him. Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz placed this prayer in his Hadrah Badriyyah.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ ، صَلاةً تُرْضِيكَ وتُرْضِيهِ ، وتَنْطَوِي بِها أَعْمَالي ونِيَّاتي وحَرَكَاتي وسَكَناتي فِيه

Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammad salatan turdika wa turdihi wa tantawi biha a`mali wa niyyaati wa harakaati wa sakanaati fih

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, prayers which allow us to attain Your pleasure and his and cause my actions, intentions, movements and stillness to be enveloped in him.

Allow Your Emotions to Be Elevated

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) calls us to allow our emotions to be elevated in order for us to taste the sweetness of faith and to be with Allah’s Beloved ﷺ

The Prophets, their Families and Companions and the angels are all party to intense feelings and emotions – emotions which are extremely lofty, noble, pure, divine, majestic and precious. These emotions constitute their connection to the Knower of all that is concealed, their love for Him and their seeking and receiving love from Him. They include complete submission to Him and love for His sake in order to receive His love. All the angels experience these emotions from the greatest of them down to the least of them, as do the Prophets and Messengers and their Families and Companions and followers and their leader and imam, Muhammad ﷺ. Continue reading

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

The Legacy of Habib Muhammad bin Hafiz

Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reflects on the legacy of his father, Habib Muhammad.

On a Friday, on the 29th of Dhu’l-Hijjah in 1392 (1973) I went out with my father to the Friday prayer. I came back from the prayer with only his scarf. He had disappeared.

But in reality who disappeared? Those who abducted him or him?

Do you not see him? Do you not see what he left behind? Do you not see his dawah?

His blessed body disappeared and he attained the honour of martyrdom in the path of his Lord.

But what remains is his legacy, his memory, his dawah, his concern, his words, what he built and what he gave.

He is a member of this ummah whose blood is connected to the blood spilt by Hamzah, the Lion of Allah and His Messenger. Hamzah did not disappear. Hamzah reached the pinnacle of honour and nobility. He is the ‘Master of all the Martyrs’ in Allah’s sight (may Allah be pleased with him). After him came the martyrdom of al-Husayn which we remember in Muharram.

The Scholar Who Worked as a Waiter

One of our teachers was Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al-Attas, a scholar and a true worshipper. He was known as ‘al-Zabidi’ because he spent some years studying with the scholars of Zabid (once a great centre of knowledge in Yemen). During his time there he chose to work as a waiter in a restaurant, not because he needed the money, but in order to refine his lower self (nafs): running round taking people’s orders, bring this, do this..

We visited him in his home in Huraydah at the end of his life with a group of scholars: among them Habib Mashhur bin Hafiz, Habib Umar bin Alawi al-Kaf, Habib Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Shihab and Habib Salim al-Shatiri. 

He said: “Last night someone saw the Prophet ﷺ in this very room.”

May Allah have mercy upon him – a scholar who knew the importance of refining the nafs.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) during his commentary on Ihya Ulum al-Din, Dar al-Mustafa, 28th Dhu’l-Qa’dah 1440.