The Red Sulphur – Veils Cont’d

A’uzubillahi minashaitonir Rojeem, Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Allahuma Solli wa Salleem ‘ala Sayidina Muhammmadin wa aalihi wa sohbihi

…One of the ‘arifin or gnostics who was sincere (to his Lord) organized his time such that he would go jihad in the Way of Allah (fighting infidels) a year and on another year he would rest and seek knowledge, do dhikrullah and other ‘ibadah. However, in one year, contrary to the previous years, he found it easy to go out for jihad so he suspected and became wary of the wickedness/guile of his nafs or lower self. He said(to lower self), “Maybe you want to be famous and to have repute, so I shall take you to a place where no one know your name.” Similarly, he foud this easy to dothe he said again, “I’ll expose you to death and danger!.” Still he found his lower self obeying him, he found it easy.

In his confused state he lamented, “O my Lord (Rabbi)! I don’t know what the motive of my lower self is, in its eagerness to go out (for jihad) this year, whether it is for something other than You!” Later he dreamt in which his lower self was shown to him, it took a form and said to him, “You in your work/act (of ‘ibadah, seeking knowledge, dhikr, mujahadah) expose me to death several times in a day so it was easy for me to go out this year (for jihad) so I might be killed once and for all.” When this reality was made clear to him, he decided to remain in these acts (of seeking knowledge, doing dhikr and other mujahadah) which kills the lower self several times in a day and delay the jihad for next year.

Prior to its purification, the ego is the seat of blameworthy traits. All this traits (showing off, envy, egoism, pride, delusions) are connected to the ammarah. The most opaque of them is pride or ‘ujub which is extremely subtle and is concealed from the elect of those of inner vision. In a hadith Rasulullah s.a.w. said that, “Riya’ among my community is more subtle than the creeping of an ant, however, ‘ujub(vainglory) is even more subtle.” This is the feeling that creeps into a person making them feel that they are more favoured or have more virtue, forgetting all at once the reality of his origin and outcome and that all virtue and favour is that of Allah.

Thus if vain-glory coincides with love of the world which is the source of every sin and the meaning of ‘dunya‘ (world) is everything that distracts one from Allah ta’ala or prevents one from doing that which brings one closer to Allah s.w.t. or causes one to fall into sin. If vain-glory (ujub) coincides love of the world and the lower self becomes attached to them, then the chains of these veils between the servant and Allah ta’ala have become firmly established.

A man from Bani Isra’il engaged himself in many acts of devotions till he was known as ‘The ‘abid‘ or the worshipper/devout of Bani Isra’il. While another engaged himself in every sin and was known as the ‘corrupt’ of Bani Isra’il. So the story goes that they met along the road and the heart of the corrupt man felt humbled and low upon seeing the devout man and he said to himself, “i’m the corrupt man of Bani Isra’il and here is the devout of Bani Isra’il, I’m gonna draw closer to him perchance Allah s.w.t. might show mercy on me by just being near to him,”

As he did this, ujub or vain-glory creeped unsuspectedly into the heart of the devout man. He said, “What’s wrong with you?! You’re the corrupt one of Bani Isra’il and me, I’m the devout, get away from me.” At this Allah ta’ala revealed upon the heart of the Prophet of the time to tell these two individuals that the sinner has been forgiven and that the devout has his deeds nullified or erased completely…

Another of the darkest veils is Envy or hasad which is dislike/upset to see others gain blessing from Allah s.w.t. Similarly backbiting is a big sin that is often deem insignificant (or taken lightly by people who have little taqwa) One cannot gain awareness of these diseases of the heart, these veils without keeping company of the shaykhs. Thus the prohibition of keeping company of the corrupt and non-mahram.

The Red Sulphur شرح كتاب الكبريت الأحمر

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Allahummasolli wa sallim ‘ala Sayidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala alihi wa sohbih…

The following is a rough transcript of the Commentary of the Book the Red Sulphur of Imam ‘Abdullah al-‘Aydarus by Habib ‘Umar Bin Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz.

Allah created all existent things, physical, spiritual and intermediary and from the most wondrous of things that Allah created was minds or intellects. These are Lordly, subtle realities which Allah s.w.t crowned the possessors with. Intellects/Minds/Hearts/Souls are the seats of comprehension, the place where Divine address is directed, the seat of punishment or reward. (I recall here the hadith which states that the heart that truly contemplates the Qur’an will not be punished -ad-Darimi). The station of the religion is in accordance of the heart’s opening to the truth.

The heart is the device by which spiritual allusions or ‘ishara are understood and by which people move from the outward to the inward from the form to the meaning.

The elect among men are the scholars or ‘ulama and the elect from the ‘ulama are the arifun -billah/the gnostics/the knowers of Allah ta’ala. The elect among the gnostics are the “ulul-albab” or those who are firmly grounded to understand the ‘ishara ruhaniyah or the spiritual allusions (many of which are found in the Qur’an). We can understand many verses and sayings and ponder upon them until we reach their realities. However, (they are just soldiers who assist us in reaching the Supreme Reality) the Greatest Reality that we can perceive is Allah s.w.t. the Creator (ma’rifah). He Created in the realms of forms great proofs and signs of His Magnificence and Greatness.

He Created forms/figures and all existent things. Those physical, spiritual, intermediary, those which can move on their own accord such as animals but without the spirit with the aptitude to know Allah s.w.t. The most noble of stations that Allah created that of Angels and they are entirely spiritual. He created thereafter those in the lowest of stations the animals/beasts and He made mankind in the middle of these stations combining spirit and body.

Man has the aptitude to become attached to Allah s.w.t. and comprehend His Magnificence and the Realities of Tasbih, Tahmid, Tahlil and Ta’zhim and also finding pleasure in these meanings.
Similarly, man can fall to the various types of corruption, vices, evil and vile things. According to his uprightness he can ascend to the height ofthe angels.

Al-Imam ‘Abdullah sent salawat upon the spirit of existent things i.e. the those created forms and spirits. The spirit of existence which is Rasulullah s.a.w.. This can be understood in various ways, first of which, Rasulullah s.a.w. was the cause for which Allah created them, next, through him Allah’s Mercy is brought forth to manifestation and finally “everything being made subservient to man” in general (Quranic verse) can be said to Rasulullah s.a.w. in specific terms.

to be continued….

i seek Allah’s forgiveness for any mistakes in the transcript, to watch the video of the series, pls visit Habib ‘Umar’s website : , this is from the fourth lesson.

Lata’if al-Minan – The Subtle Blessings

بسْم الله الرّحْمن الرّحيم، اللّهمّ صلِّ على سيّدنا محمّدٍ وآله

 وصحْبه وسلِّم


The Subtle Blessings in the Saintly Lives of Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi & His Master Abu al-Hasan

Shaykh Abu al-Abbas said, “When I was a young boy, there was a shadow play being put on beside our house, so I went to see it. When I went the next morning to see the teacher at the Qur’anic school, who was a friend of Allah, a Saint, he uttered the following lines of poetry when he saw me:

You who behold shadow images in wonderment,

You yourself are the shadow if only you could perceive it!

He also said, may Allah be pleased with him, “One night I had a vision in which I was in the ceelstial realm, when there appeared to me a dark-skinned man of short stature with a large beard. He said to me, ‘Say: O Allah, forgive Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) people. O Allah, have mercy upon Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) people. O Allah, cast Your veil of protection over Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) people. O Allah, restore Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) people. This is the prayer of al-Khidr a.s.. Whoever utters it everyday will be counted among the substitutes (al-abdaal, a category of Saints).

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I once saw (Abu Bakr) As-Siddiq in a dream, and he asked me, ‘Do you recognize the sign that one’s heart has been freed from love of the world?’  ‘No, I don’t,’ I replied. ‘The sign that one’s heart has been free from love of the world is that when one acquires worldly possessions, one dispose of them freely, and when one loses them, one experiences a sense of relief.’ ” 

“The weak person is the one with neither faith nor consciousness of Allah” -Shaykh Abu al-Abbas. The Shaykh was afflicted with a number of illnesses which, if even some of them were placed on the mountains, would cause them to melt away. He had kidney stones, suffered pain from his kidney when the weather was cold, and had twelve hemorrhoids which caused him particular discomfort when he was sitting with others. However, he would not interrrupt a session or moan as he sat. Hence those who were with him would not even be aware that there was anything wron with him.

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan said, “The performance of fewer good works while witnessing to Allah’s grace is better than the performance of more good works while witnessing to one’s own negligence or failure.”