Friday, February 06, 2009
Tiptoeing through the labyrinth of Aqeedah and Iman by Zainol Abideen.
Assalamualaikum dear brothers and sisters.
To those of us who are very much interested to redeem ourselves and repent for all the sins that we have committed in the past and not guaranteed not to mess it up again right now and in the near future, this article seeks to draw your attention to the various trials, tests and help you to understand as to how best to tiptoe through the labyrinths of Aqeedah and Iman in our temporal lives here on Earth?
I am not promising you anything except to share with you what I personally have experienced in my life and to advise you against trusting anyone save for Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and our Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam with all our heart.
I also call upon each true Muslim and Muslimah to have absolute faith in Allah Ar Rahman and His Rahmatulil Alamin, Muhammad al Mustafa, Khataman Nabiyyi Sayyidul Mursalin.
Dear brothers and sisters.
In the video above, As Syeikh Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips shares with us as to what is going on in the Tariqah An Naqsyabandiah of which I was once a mureed @ follower and I agree with him that what he says has some points in it.
You see, my getting involved with the Tariqat An Naqsyabandi came to be when I was seeking in depth knowledge of Al Islam and was very keen to learn about all that there is to my faith?
Apart from the Principles of Islam and the Principles of Iman @ Belief, as a Muslim we are enjoined to be in the company of those who are seeking the Mercy and Guidance of Allah Azza Wa Jalla.
Naturally, for someone as poor as me, my best place to go study such `Ilm would be my local masjid.
For it is there at the masjids that our learned `Alims @ Scholars would teach us as to the various categories of our faith.
Amongst the subjects taught would normally be the Compulsory Practices of Islam which is known as Fardhu `Ain.
These comprise of learning the meaning of the rules and principles of the compulsory ibadah @ acts of prayers in Islam, the compulsory prayers and the obligatory ones, the rules and regulations pertaining to Islam and Iman @ Faith.
It also comprises learning about matters concerning the performing of the `wudhuk @ ablution and solat @ daily prayers.
Studying Fardhu `Ain is learning about matters that qualify and nullify certain acts of worship; how to call out the Azan and say the Iqamah; learning about the matters concerning the various stages of Cleanliness and Filth @ Najis, Purification procedures such as how to perform the Istinjak, how to carry out Tayyamum, different categories of water, lesser and grave Hadath @ state of uncleanliness, matters pertaining to woman, etc?
We then would be taught the various other 'Obligatory Practices of Islam which is known as Fardhu Kifayyah. These are acts which more or less concern our involvement with the general society and also pertaining to our religious obligations towards our fellow Muslims and those who are the Disbelievers but still our neighbours.
Social obligations such as attending engagements, weddings, funerals, etc. Fardhu Kifayyah is more like the rules and regulations of living in a society where we are obligated to look out for one another as responsible members of a civil society.
Muslims are obliged to protect and care for one another as well as to safeguard our neighbours who although they might be Non Muslims are also to be protected by us as part of our social obligations as decreed by our faith of Islam.
So apart from learning about the various forms and degrees of knowledge about Islam from my teachers who are Islamic scholars @ Alims and Ulamaks who do so for the sake of Allah the Most Merciful for free at the masjids, I also ventured forth to learning about Islamic Spirituality @ the Realm of Sufism by following my friend Haji Yassin to the Zawwiyya of Syaikh Nazim Adil Al Haqqani Al Qubrusi An Naqsyabandi.
The Zawwiyya that I went to is located at the posh neighborhood of Bukit Jambul, back in my home State of Penang.
The Zawwiyya that I attended is also the home of a daughter of the 5th Governor of Penang, Tun Datuk Dr.Haji Awang bin Hassan.
So you can just imagine what luxurious type of dwelling it is? As a common villager, I felt overwhelmed to be able to step in and join so many religious looking folks who were all so welcoming and ambivalent to us, strangers to one another but united in faith and treated as true brothers and sisters of the Tariqah.
It was an honor for me to be in the company of such distinguished Muslims and I cherished being with them every Thursday night where we would perform our jamaah solats together, perform Zikr and then learn from the attending Syaikhs as to matters concerning the spiritual realms of our beloved faith.
Even then I noticed certain aspects of behaviours amongst the various mureeds of the Tariqah who seemed to me to be a bit too overzealous in their hero worshipping and adulating of the Syaikhs of the Tariqah.
I do respect and honor my Syaikhs but to me there is a clear line between honoring a religious scholar and going overboard in devoting oneself to another makhluk @ creation of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.
I really love my Syaikhs and anyone who is there teaching about Al Islam and leading the believers towards glorifying Almighty Allah but I stay clear of any unnecessary over adulation of any other being no matter who they are or claim to be?
Even Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam forbade us from glorifying him to such an extent like what that the Christians have deitified Sayyidina Isa al Masih Alaihis Salam @ Jesus Christ, Son of Maryam to be as the 'Son of God', Na`uzubillah!
I mean, if Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam himself, the Greatest of Allah's Messengers forbade us from honoring him too much to avoid the grave major sin of Shirk @ ascribing partners to the almighty, then I don't see the reason for some of these overzealous Sufi mureeds to go overboard with honoring their respective Syaikhs of any Tariqahs.
The learned Syaikh Dr.Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips clearly speaks of the sorry state of affairs concerning the world of Sufism today which borders on its followers bordering on Shirik and Bida`ah al Lawwammah @ the Accursed Innovations!
This is not a simple matter to be ignored.
It concerns the matter of one's Aqeedah @ Islamic Creed.
‘Aqeedah linguistically: The word aqeedah is taken from al-‘aqd which is the connection of something.
‘Aqeedah is that which mankind practices as a religion. It is said, “He has a good ‘aqeedah” meaning that his beliefs are free from doubt. Solid understanding of the true Islamic teachings.
‘Aqeedah is also a state of belief that is attached to the true acceptance in one's heart of believing in nothing but Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala as one's Lord and Creator and a firm conviction in one's heart that Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam is one's Prophet and to believe in all the Prophet's enjoinments and to stay away from what he forbade?
‘Aqeedah according to the Sharee’ah:
It is the belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the last day, and belief in the qadr, good and bad. And these are called the Articles of Faith.
The Sharee’ah is divided into two categories: beliefs and actions.
As for the beliefs: They are those matters that are not related to a manner of action such as belief in the Lordship of Allah and the obligation to worship Him and belief in the remainder of the articles of faith mentioned (these do not have an action of the body parts related to it). This (these beliefs) is known as the foundation.
And as for actions: They are those matters that have a specific manner in which they should be performed such as prayer, zakat, fasting, and the rest of the legislated practices. This (these actions) is called branches because they are built upon beliefs, be they correct or incorrect.
So the correct ‘aqeedah is the groundwork that the religion is built upon and actions are accompanied with it as Allahu Ta’ala says,“So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”
And He says: “And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad - sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.”
These verses and all those with similar meaning, and they are many, indicate that actions are not accepted except that they are pure of shirk. Thus we see the importance of the Messengers – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all – in cleansing creed firstly.
So the first thing that they called their people to was to the worship of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala alone and leaving off worship of all others besides Him as Allah says:“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah)”
For every messenger, the first thing they told their people was:“O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Ilaah (God) but Him. (Laa ilaaha ill-Allah: none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).”
It was said by Nuh, Hud, Saalih, Shu’ayb, and the rest of the prophets to their people.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stayed in Makkah after being sent for thirteen years calling the people to Tawheed and correcting the creed because it is the foundation in which religion is built upon.
Many of the callers and reformers in every time have emulated the Prophets and Messengers.
They begin their call with Tawheed and rectification of the creed and after that they gave attention to the other areas of the religion.
So for those of us who want to be true followers of Muhammad Sallalahu alaihi Wassallam it is important that we learn to differentiate as to whom we should follow and as to whom to take as our leaders in faith?
Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam warned us times and time again to be wary of those who seek to lead us astray through his numerous hadiths but the sad reality is that many of us who are hungry for such fundamental knowledge and basic Aqeedah of Islam do at times end up in the company of deviationists and innovators of the faith.
Instead of just blaming them per se, we ought to extricate ourselves and salvage the remainder of our Iman and get back on track by going back to the basics.
Back to the roots of our Iman and Aqeedah in believing no one else but Allah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem and get back to practicing Islam as per what the Blessed Messenger Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam left us?
Hold on tight to the 'Rope of Allah' @ the Holy Al Qur`an Al Kareem and the Sunnah of Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.
Insya Allah, we won't get bogged down in the pitfalls of those who followed their nafs and drowned themselves in the whirlpools of Bida'ah al Lawwammah!
Na`uzubillahimin zalik! May Allah Forbid!
What we can do is to make Solat Taubah @ Prayer of Repentance.
We need to cleanse ourselves of any acts that might lead us to commit Shirik and Bi`da'ah @ Innovation.
There are those who misunderstand that by Bida`ah it means anything that wasn't used or practiced by our Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam?
The Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam didn't forbid us from using these modern amenities. No sirree!
He the Blessed Messenger of God forbade us in introducing anything new in the acts of worship. He forbade us from over glorifying any makhluk of Allah including even himself.
The Blessed Messenger of Allah warned us against dividing ourselves into this group and that for when disunited we will be overpowered and overwhelmed by our enemies!
He warned us a thousand four hundred over years ago about the sorry state of affiars that we find ourselves bogged in today!
Go study the hadiths of our Prophet and read about all his prophesies which have come true today.
The Blessed Messenger forewarned us about the way Muslims today are so many but weak just like the forth of the ocean waves which are numerous but have no strength to push away anything?
Just like the sorry state of affairs of the Muslims in Palestine, in Iraq, In Afghanistan, in Chechnya, in Kashmir, in Southern Thailand, in certain parts of China, Bosnia & Herzegovina, etc.
These overzealous mureeds of the Sufi world and the Syaikhs who allow such over adulation of themselves go unchecked and corrected are as guilty as their own ignorant mureeds.
I leave it to you to study in depth and to discover for yourselves as to what I am disclosing here for it is not in my heart to `chew upon the flesh of my brothers in faith' but the sad reality of such misguidance is right there for those who know exactly what I am saying here who understand my frustrations concerning these acts which go contrary to what the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala enjoin and command us?
Syaikh Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips has spoken righteously about the wrongdoings in the Tariqah.
Such good natured warnings ought to be accepted as a Nasihah and the wrongdoers repent and get back on the true path of Islam.
Personally, I say that there is a lot of goodness to be gained by those of us who have a strong sense of knowing as to how best to stay away from any acts that aren't outlined by the Sunnah of the Blessed Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam by engaging in Dhikr and the encouraged acts of Ibadah in Islam but to stay away from committing anything that isn't expressed in the major teachings of our faith.
When in doubt, go seek the advice of your established Imam and Ulamak who are known to be on the right path of the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and that of Almighty Allah Rabbul Alamin.
May Allah bless and protect us from such acts of Syirik and Bida`ah!
Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.
Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.