Thariqah ‘Alawiyah – On Knowledge by al-‘Allamah al-Habib Zain bin Sumaith

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
اللّهمّ صلّ على سيدّنا و حبيْبنا وشفيْعنا رسوْل الله محمّد ابْن عبْد الله و آله و صحْبه و سلّم

Excerpts from the Book al-Manhaj as-Saawiy, Syarh Usuul Thariiqah as-Saadah Al Ba’Alawi

Know that the seeking and teaching of knowledge is the highest and foremost act of worship/divine service, a means to get closer to Allah ta’ala based on numerous proofs beyond enumeration.

Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge – [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
(3:18)

Allah ta’ala begins the verse with His Self Exalted is He, followed by His Angels and then the people of knowledge. This is sufficient as an exaltation and veneration for the people of knowledge.

Our Master al-Imam al-Habib ‘Abdullah al-Haddad r.a. said, “Ignorance is the root of every evil and source of every danger.”

Hadiths on the Importance of Knowledge and Possesors of Knowledge

Muawiyah said, ‘I heard the Messeger of Allah s.aw. said, “Whoever Allah desires good (for him/her) He shall grant him/her understanding in religious matters.” (al-Bukhari, 71 & Muslim, 1037)’ The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said, “Nothing is of more utmost importance for ‘ibadah save understanding of religion.” (al-Baihaqi, Syu’ab al-Iman 1583)

The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. also said, “One Faqih (a person whom is granted understanding of religion) is more feared by Satan than a thousand ‘abid (a person who merely engages is divine worship).” (at-Tirmidhi 2681)

Sayings of the Salaf on the importance of Knowledge and its superiority over excess divine worship

al-Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Thalib said, “Knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge protects you, while you have to protect your wealth. Knowledge increases when you share, while wealth decreases with sharing. Knowledge empowers while wealth is that which is overpowered. Knowledge grants the knower obedience in his life and a good reputation after his demise. Love for knowledge is a religious injunction. While wealth loses its good/benefit when it is no longer in one’s possession. The possessors of wealth are dead while still living, while the possessors of knowledge live on forever. Physically their have perished but they continue living in the heart.”

He k.w. also said, “Sufficient is knowledge as an honour. One who does not possess it loves claim towards it. Feels pleased to be associated to it (i.e. to be considered as a knowledgeable person). Sufficient is ignorance as an abasement as the ignorant one wants to be free from it and is angered when he/she is associated to it (considered ignorant).”

From Abu Dharr and Abu Hurairah r.a. both of whom said, “One chapter of knowledge that we learn is more beloved to us than a hundred cycle of optional prayers, and one chapter of knowledge that we teach, be it those that we practice or do not is more beloved to us than a hundred cycle of optional prayers.”


Importance of Writing down Knowledge

The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said, “When the son of Adam dies, his good deeds are no longer accounted save three, charity, beneficial knowledge and a pious son that supplicates for him/her.”

The scholars intrepret that the charity here as wakaf, while beneficial knowledge as writings, transmitted teachings and fatwas issued. Al-Imam An-Nawawi r.a. said, “A teacher should direct his attention towards writing down (knowledge) if he possess that capability. Through writing, one gains a deeper grasp of the realities of knowledge and its details. The knowledge will be more entrenched in the person as the act (of writing) pushes him to do research, careful analysis, study, discuss etc.”

On the Importance of Adab (etiquette) over Knowledge

Ibn al-Mubarak said, ‘We are in need of a little Adab more than a lot of knowledge”. Imam asy-Syafi’i said, ‘Imam Malik said to me, ‘O Muhammad, make your knowledge good and adab fine'”

‘Abdurrahman bin al-Qasim said, “I served Imam Malik for 20 years, 2 of which I took knowledge from him while the remaining 18 years I learnt adab. How I wish that I spent all the years learning adab only.”

It is related that Abu Yazid al-Bustomi r.a. went out to find a man who was well known for his piety. Abu Yazid waited for him outside the mosque and soon saw the man exit the mosque and spat at the outer-wall of the mosque. Abu Yazid immediately left without meeting the man. He said, “A person who is not careful of the adab of the Law, will not be entrusted to the secrets of Allah.”

Supplications and litanies that is of benefit to the seeker of Knowledge

In the book al-‘athiyyah al-Haniyyah, al-Imam ‘Ali bin Hassan al-Attas said, “Make as a remembrance of Allah – from the Asma ul Husna a means to aid you in memorizing knowledge, to understand meanings, and speak unique matters concerning them – two of these names, al-Mubdi-u (the Initiator of Creation), al-Khaaliq ( the Creator). Recite them at least 100 times with no maximum limit. The way to recite is to say, ‘ya mubdi-u ya khaaliq.’

He (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Recite before sleeping (not the translation of course),

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason.” (2:164)

as it contains numerous benefits, among which include, aiding a person to memorise the Quran, and not to forget whatever that has been memorised. Therefore recite it anytime before sleep be it in the day or at night.”

Things that aid learning and those that hinders it

It is said that there are several things that causes forgetfulness among which include, doing cupping behind then neck ( the dent/space between the skull and neckbone), excessive consumption of fine coriander, eating sour apple, depression, looking upon still water and discharging urine in it, looking at something/one that is crucified, reading too many tombstone inscriptions…eating from something bitten by mice. These are known through personal experiences.

Imam ‘Ali k.w. said, “There are three that increases memory and decreases phlegm/mucus: using the miswak, fasting and Quran recitation.”

Scholars mentioned that consuming 21 red raisins daily helps to strengthen memory and cure many ailments.

“…and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge!” (20:114)


اَللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنَا بِمَا عَلَّمْتَنَا وَعَلِّمْنَا مَا يَنْفَعُنَا وَ زِدْنَا عِلْماً

“O Allah, grant us benefit from that which You taught us, teach us that which benefits us, and inrease us in knowledge” a supplication of our beloved Prophet s.a.w. (at-Tirmidhi 3599) copy and paste onto Word doc and enlarge to see the arabic text.

And Allah knows Best!

To be continued Insha Allah 🙂

Innovation?

بسْم الله الرّحْمن الرّحيم، اللّهمّ صلِّ على سيّدنا محمّدٍ وآله

 وصحْبه وسلِّم

1.

This is an excerpt from the Book of Assistance by the Quthbul Da’wah wal Irsyad, Ghauts al-‘Ibaad wal Bilaad, al-Imam al-‘Allamah al-Habib ‘Abdullah bin ‘Alwi bin Muhammad al-Haddad رضي الله عنه (Chapter 10 page 37, Fons Vitae 2003) :

There are three kinds of innovations/bid’ah. The first is ‘good innovation’, which is that which the well-guided leaders have opined in conformity with the Book (Qur’an) and sunna, intending to choose that which is more beneficial, more useful and finer as for example Abu Bakr’s collection of the whole Qur’an into one volume, ‘Umar’s institution of military pensions and of the Tarawih prayers, ‘Uthman’s arrangement of the Qur’an and institution of the first call to prayer on Friday, and ‘Ali’s rules for fighting herectical rebels. May Allah bestow His good pleasure upon the four Caliphs!

The second kind of innovation is one that is ‘blameworthy only from the point of view of renunciation/zuhd and contentment/qanaa’, such as the excessive use of licit clothes, foodstuff and houses.

The third kind is the ‘absolutely blameworthy innovation’, which contradicts the provisions of the Book and sunna, or the consensus of the nation. Innovators have fallen into this very frequently with regards the principles/usul, but infrequently the branches/furu’.

End of Quote.

2.

The Meaning Of bid`a  (Innovation)
by Sh. G. F. Haddad
(a short excerpt from this link http://www.livingislam.org/n/mb_e.html)

Two of the best works to date on the precise definition of bid`a are ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi’s Tuhfa al-Akhyar – with its commentary by his student Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda – and Sayyid ‘Abd Allah Mahfuz al-Haddad’s al-Sunna wa al-bid`a in which the latter adduces more than three hundred and fifty narrations of the Prophet pbuh and the Companions — Allah be well-pleased with them — in refutation of the “Salafi” author Muhammad al-Shuqayri and his book entitled al-Sunna wa al-Mubtada’at. In the latter book al-Shuqayri displays blind fanaticism and attacks the scholars of the Community as innovators on the misconceived basis of the hadith of the Prophet  pbuh.:

Every new matter (kullu muhdathatin) is an innovation (bid`a), every innovation is misguidance (dalâla), and every misguidance is in the Fire.”   Narrated from Jabir by al-Nasa’i with a fair chain and from Ibn Mas’ud by Ibn Majah with a weak chain.

The hadith is sound in Muslim’s narration from Jabir with the wording: “Every new matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance” without mention of the Fire. Ibn Taymiyya stated in his epistle Minhaj al-Usul in Majmu’ al-Fatawa (19:191) that the phrase “every misguidance is in the Fire” is not a sound (saheeh) narration from the Prophet pbuh.

Al-Shuqayri misconstrued the above hadith in disregard of the Prophet’s pbuh hadith concerning the variances of scholars:

If the judge (al-hâkim) rules by exerting his mind and hits the mark, he has two rewards; if he rules by exerting his mind and misses the mark, he has but one reward.   -Narrated from both ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and Abu Hurayra by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad. 3In Al-Haddad, al-Sunna wa al-bid`a (p. 5-6).

Sayyid ‘Ali and Sayyid ‘Abd Allah go on to cite several verses of the Qur’an as proofs for the lexical understanding of words denoting universal inclusivity such as kull (“every”), each of which allowing for exceptions to the rule of all-inclusiveness, which indicates, among other lexical facts, that kull in Arabic may mean “most” or “very many” and not necessarily “all without exception”:* { We opened unto them the gates of all (kull) things } (6:44) except the gates of divine mercy.

* { Destroying all (kull) things by commandment of its Lord } (46:25) except the dwellings, and also the mountains, the heavens, and the earth;

* { And she has been given (abundance) of all (kull) things } (27:23) except Sulayman’s (a.s.) throne;

* { And that man has only that for which he makes effort } (53:39) although there are proofs that reach the level of mass transmission in meaning (tawâtur ma’nâwî) whereby the Muslim can benefit from the deeds of others among his brethren and the supplication of the angels, in evidence of which Ibn Taymiyya gathered over twenty proofs which were quoted by al-Jamal in his supercommentary on Tafsir al-Jalalayn for this verse.

* { Those unto whom men (al-nâs) said: Lo! the people (al-nâs) have gathered against you. } (3:173), in which case both mentions of al-nas patently refer to a limited number and not to the totality of human beings.

WAllahu ‘alam…

The Life in this World

بسْم الله الرّحْمن الرّحيم، اللّهمّ صلِّ على سيّدنا محمّدٍ وآله

 وصحْبه وسلِّم

They used to enjoy eating, sleeping and having intercourse just like you. They hardly thought of their impending deaths just like you... Imam Hasan al-Basri ra. said, "Death exposes the lowliness/reality of life in this World, leaving no joy in the hearts of men with intellect"

“And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope.” al-Kahfi:45-46     (Remember to recite al-Kahfi on Friday(today) for protection against the fitnah of Dajjal)

Allah ta’ala inspired to Moses upon whom be peace, “O Moses, if I love a servant, I will keep the World away from him, this is how I treat my lovers, O Moses! If you see wealth drawing near, say, “This is a punishment, hastened, for our sins.” If you see poverty approaching, say, “Welcome to the signpost(poverty) of the pious.”

Allah Most Exalted is He said, “The most lightest of punishment that I inflict upon a man of knowledge who becomes attached to the World is I remove the sweetness he experience in intimate conversation with Me.”

Allah ta’ala inspired to ‘Isa/Jesus upon whom be peace, “O ‘Isa, relate to the Children on Israel to remember these two phrases : “Tell them to be content with little wealth for the benefit of their religion, like how the lover of the world/wealth are content with little of religion for the benefit of their worldly life.”

  Imam Hasan al-Basri said, “May Allah bless the one who wears old clothes, eats dry bread, whose bed is the ground, who weeps over his sins and is in continuous Divine worship.”

Indeed this is the way of The Prophet Jesus and The Prophet Muhammad they are the foremost of ascetics. May we not claim to be their followers if we have greed for the world and wealth in our hearts!

Abu Hazim al-Madani said, “Whatever has passed from this world(your life ) was just a dream while whatever is left (in the future) are also just dreams(that are not certain). When his wife told him, “Indeed winter is coming, we should prepare storing food, clothes and firewood,” he replied, “All of that is not certain, but what is certain for us is death, the Resurrection after that, standing, facing Allah ta’ala after which is either heaven or hell.”

Malik ibn Dinar said, “If the heart is overpowered by attachment to the world, all advice you give to it will be in vain.” 

In a hadith, ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir r.a. said, the Messenger of Allah said, “I am not afraid that you will associate anything with Allah in worship after (my demise, but I apprehend that you will vie with one another for the life of the world.”

The world is bound for destruction, (the signs of which is everywhere) and the most destroyed is the heart of those who indulge in it. The Hereafter is full of indulgences and the heart of those who seeks it glows with life.

May our remembrance be the remembrance of Death and the Hereafter. May our hearts long for the eternal abode of peace in the company of the martyrs, men of Truth, men of piety and Prophets of Allah. May the destructions, the disasters, accidents, corruption, the racism, the hatred, the oppression, the injustice, the greed, the suffering of the life in this world make us long for the Hereafter and work towards it for it is eternal. May we be in the morning as if we are going to die in the afternoon and be in the afternoon as if we are going to die in the evening and be in the evening as if we won’t live to see the sun rise, for death is certain and no one knows when it’ll come. 

The Messenger of Allah upon whom be the blessings of Allah forever said:

  • “Love of the world(the wealth, the fineries etc.) is a sin that cannot be forgiven.”
  • “Whoever loves the Life after death will sacrifice his Life in this world, and whoever loves his Life in this worldwill sacrifice his Life after death, therefore prioritise the eternal (the life after death) from the impending destruction (life in this world).

May Allah make us among those whose hearts are disgusted by the attractions/allurement/adornments of this world!  Imam asy-Syafi’i ra. said, “If the Life in this world were to be sold in the market, I would not purchase it even at the meagre price of a piece of bread as I see ugliness/repulsiveness in it.” Fudhail ibn Iyadh r.a. said, “The world is as repulsive to me as a carcass is repulsive to you such that you avoid getting your clothes soiled by it.” Subhan Allah!

His Intellect, Eloquence and Abilities

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Allahumasolli ‘ala Sayidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala Aalihi Wasohbihie wa Sallim fi kulli Waqtin Wahin…

Wahb ibn Munabbih said, “I have read seventy one books, and in all of them I found that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him had the most superior intellect and best opinion.” It is related from Mujahid that the Prophet pbuh, when he stood for prayer he could see all those behind him as if they were in front of him. (The Pole of Guidance Imam Al-Haddad radiayallahuanhu, a descendant of the Prophet pbuh was also given this ability by Allah. Thus the Saints inherit certain abilities of Prophets.)

Baqi ibn Mukhallad related that ‘Aisha said, “The Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace, could see as well in the dark as he saw in the light. Besides these, he also had incredible strength, he was related to have threw down Abu Rukana one of the strongest people of his time three times, and called him to Islam. Abu Hurayra said, “I did not see anyone who walked as swiftly as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It was as if the earth rolled up for him. We would exhaust ourselves and yet he was not tired at all.”

His laugh was only a smile and he smiled the most. When he turned to face someone he turned his whole being/body to face that person. When he walked it was as if he was going down a slope.

His speech comprises unequalled eloquence and incomparable fluency. This is shown by such expressions as:

  • “A man who knows his own worth is not destroyed.”
  • “A man is with the one he loves.”
  • “The best of affairs is the middle way”
  • “Answer the one you love gently lest one day he becomes one who hates you.”
  • “Happy is the one who accepts someone else’s warning”

When Umm Ma’bad descibed him pbuh, she said, “Sweet in speech, distinct, without using too few or too many words. It was as if his speech consisted of threaded pearls. He had a loud voice which was very melodious, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.”

His noble lineage

The Messenger of Allah said, “Allah brought me down to earth in the loins of Adam a.s., placed me in the loins of Nuh a.s. and then cast me into the loins of Ibrahim a.s..  Allah continued to move me from noble loins and pure wombs until he brought me out of my parents. None of them were ever joined together in fornication.”

Ibn ‘Abbas said that the spirit of the Prophet was a light in the hands of Allah two thousand years before He created Adam. That light glorified Allah and the angels glorified by his glorification. When Allah created Adam, He cast that light into his loins.

To be continued if Allah wills…