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"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Hadra and the Sacred Law by Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller






A person coming to the Middle East to learn something about the tariqa is likely, at some point in his visit, to see the brethren in the hadra or “public dhikr” as it has been traditionally practiced by generations of Shadhilis in North Africa under such sheikhs as al-‘Arabi al-Darqawi, Muhammad al-Buzidi, and Ahmad al-‘Alawi before being brought to Damascus from Algeria by Muhammad ibn Yallis and Muhammad al-Hashimi at the beginning of this century.

Upon entering the mosque, one will see circles of men making dhikr (women participants are screened from view upstairs) standing and holding hands, now slightly bowing in unison, now moving up and down with their knees in unison, the rows rising and falling, breathing in unison, while certain of them alternate at pacing around their midst, conducting the tempo of the group’s motion and breathing with their arms and step. Singers near the sheikh, in solo or chorus, deliver mystical odes to the rhythm of the group; high, spiritual poetry from masters like Ibn al-Farid, Sheikh Ahmad al-‘Alawi, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Himsi, and our own sheikh.

Though a very stirring experience, it is meticulously timed and controlled, and as with all group dhikrs, the main adab or “proper behaviour” is harmony. No one should stand out in any way, but rather all subordinate their movement, breathing, and dhikr to that of the group. The purpose is to forget one’s individuality in the collective sea of spirits making dhikr in unison. Individual motives, thoughts, and preoccupations are momentarily put aside by means of the Sacred Dance, of moving together as one, sublimating and transcending the limitary and personal through the timelessness of rhythm, conjoined with the melody of voices singing spiritual meanings.

It is an experience that joins those travelling towards Allah spiritually, socially, and emotionally. Few forget it, and visitors from the West to whom it is unfamiliar sometimes wonder if it is a bid‘a or “reprehensible innovation,” as it was not done in the time of the earliest Muslims, or whether it is unlawful (haram) or offensive (makruh); and why they see the ulama and righteous attending it in Damascus, Jerusalem, Aden, Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis, Fez, and wherever there are people of the path.

I was one of those who asked our sheikh about the relation of the hadra to the shari‘a or “Sacred Law” which is the guiding light of our tariqa. As Muslims, our submission to the law is total, and there are no thoughts or opinions after legally answering the question “Does the hadra agree with orthodox Islam?”

Because it comprises a number of various elements, such as gathering together for the remembrance of Allah (dhikr), singing, and dancing, we should reflect for a moment on some general considerations about the Islamic shari‘a before discussing each of these separately.

First, the Islamic shari‘a furnishes a comprehensive criterion for all possible human actions, whether done before or never done before.

It classifies actions into five categories:
  1. the obligatory (wajib), whose performance is rewarded by Allah in the next life and whose nonperformance is punished;
  2. the recommended (mandub), whose perfor­mance is rewarded but whose nonperformance is not pun­ished;
  3. the permissible (mubah), whose performance is not rewarded and whose nonperformance is not punished;
  4. the offensive (makruh), whose nonperformance is rewarded but whose performance is not punished; and
  5. the unlawful (haram), whose nonperformance is rewarded and whose performance is punished.
Now, Allah in His wisdom has made the vast majority of human actions permissible. He says in surat al-Baqara, “It is He who has created everything on earth for you” (Koran 2:29), which establishes the shari‘a principle that all things are mubah or permissible for us until Allah indicates to us that they are otherwise. Because of this, the fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not do this or that particular practice does not prove that it is offensive or unlawful, but only that it is not obligatory.

This is the reason that when shari‘a scholars speak of bid‘a, they do not merely mean an “innovation” or something that was never done before, which is the lexical sense of the word, but rather a “blameworthy innovation” or something new that no legal evidence in Sacred Law attests to the validity of, which is the shari‘a sense of the word.

The latter is the bid‘a of misguidance mentioned in the hadith “The worst of matters are those that are new, and every innovation (bid‘a) is misguidance” (Sahih Muslim. 5 vols. Cairo 1376/1956. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1403/1983, 2.592: 867), which, although general in wording, scholars say refers specifically to new matters that entail something offensive or unlawful.

Imam Shafi‘i explains:

New matters are of two kinds: something newly begun that contravenes the Koran, sunna, the position of early Muslims, or consensus of scholars (ijma‘): this innovation is misguidance.

And something newly inaugurated of the good in which there is no contravention of any of these, and is therefore something which although new (muhdatha), is not blameworthy.

For when ‘Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) saw the [tarawih] prayer being performed [in a group by Muslims at the mosque] in Ramadan, he said, “What a good innovation (bid‘a) this is,” meaning something newly begun that had not been done before.

And although in fact it had, this does not negate the legal considerations just advanced [n: i.e. that it furnishes an example of something that ‘Umar, who was a scholar of the Sahaba, praised as a “good innovation” despite his belief that it had not been done before, because it did not contravene the broad principles of the Koran or sunna] (Dhahabi: Siyar a‘lam al-nubala’. 23 vols. Beirut: Mu’assassa al-Risala, 1401/1981, 10.70).

As for the practice of Muslims gathering together for group dhikr or the “invocation of Allah,” there is much evidence of its praiseworthiness in the sunna—aside from the many Koranic verses and the hadiths establishing the general merit of dhikr in every state—such as the hadith related by Bukhari:

Truly, Allah has angels going about the ways, looking for people of dhikr, and when they find a group of men invoking Allah, they call to one another, “Come to what you have been looking for!” and they circle around them with their wings up to the sky of this world.

Then their Lord asks them, though He knows better than they, “What do My servants say?” And they reply, “They say, Subhan Allah (“I glorify Allah’s absolute perfection”), Allahu Akbar (“Allah is ever greatest”), and al-Hamdu li Llah (“All praise be to Allah”), and they extoll Your glory.”

He says, “Have they seen Me?” And they answer, “No, by Allah, they have not seen You.” And He says, “How would it be, had they seen Me?” And they say, “If they had seen You, they would have worshipped You even more, glorified You more, and said Subhan Allah the more.”

He asks them, “What do they ask of Me?” And one answers, “They ask You paradise.” He says, “Have they seen it?” And they say, “No, by Allah, My Lord, they have not seen it.” And He says, “How would it be, had they seen it?” And they say, “If they had seen it, they would have been more avid for it, sought it more, and been more desirous of it.”

Then He asks them, “From what do they seek refuge?” And they answer, “From hell.” He says, “Have they seen it?” And they say, “No, by Allah, they have not seen it.” And He says, “How would it be, had they seen it?” And they say, “If they had seen it, they would have fled from it even more, and been more fearful of it.”

He says, “I charge all of you to bear witness that I have forgiven them.”

Then one of the angels says, “So-and-so is among them, though he is not one of them but only came for something he needed.” And Allah says, “They are companions through whom no one who keeps their company shall meet perdition” (Sahih al-Bukhari. 9 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint (9 vols. in 3). Beirut: Dar al-Jil, n.d., 8.107–8: 6408).

The last line of the hadith shows the highest approval for gatherings of dhikr in the religion of Allah. Some other accounts transmit the condemnation of Ibn Mas‘ud (Allah be well please with him) for gathering together to say Subhan Allah (perhaps out of fear of ostentation), but even if we were to grant their authenticity, the above hadith of Bukhari, containing the explicit approval of such gatherings by Allah and His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) suffices us from needing the permission of Ibn Mas‘ud or any other human being.

Further, the explicit mention of the various forms of dhikr in the hadith suffice in reply to certain contemporary “re-formers” of Islam, who attempt to reduce “sessions of dhikr” to educational gatherings alone by quoting the words of ‘Ata' (ibn Abi Rabah, Mufti of Mecca, d. 114/732), who reportedly said, "Sessions of dhikr are the sessions of [teaching people] the lawful and unlawful, how you buy, sell, pray, fast, wed, divorce, make the pilgrimage, and the like". (Nawawi: al-Majmu‘: Sharh al-Muhadhdhab. 20 vols. Cairo n.d. Reprint. Medina: al-Maktaba al-Salafiyya, n.d., 1.21).

Perhaps ‘Ata' intended to inform people that teaching and learning shari‘a are also a form of dhikr, but in any case it is clear from the Prophet’s explicit words (Allah bless him and give him peace) in the above hadith that “sessions of dhikr” cannot be limited to teaching and learning Sacred Law alone, but primarily mean gatherings of Muslims to invoke Allah in dhikr.

As for dancing, Imam Ahmad relates from Anas (Allah be well pleased with him), with a chain of transmission all of whose narrators are those of Bukhari except Hammad ibn Salama, who is one of the narrators of Muslim, that the Ethiopians danced in front of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace); dancing and saying [in their language], “Muhammad is a righteous servant.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “What are they saying?” And they said, “‘Muhammad is a righteous servant’” (Musnad al-Imam Ahmad. 6 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint. Beirut: Dar Sadir, n.d., 3.152).

Other versions of the hadith clarify that this took place in the mosque in Medina, though in any case, the fact that dancing was done before the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) establishes that it is mubah or “permissible” in the shari‘a, for if it had been otherwise, he would have been obliged to condemn it.

For this reason, Imam Nawawi says: "Dancing is not unlawful, unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate. And it is permissible to speak and to sing poetry, unless it satirizes someone, is obscene, or alludes to a particular woman” (Minhaj al-talibin wa ‘umdat al-muttaqin. Cairo 1338/1920. Reprint. Cairo: Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, n.d., 152).

This is a legal text for the permissibility of both dancing and singing poetry from the Minhaj al-talibin, the central legal work of the entire late Shafi‘i school. Islamic scholars point out that if something which is permissible, such as singing poetry or dancing, is conjoined with something that is recommended, such as dhikr or gatherings to make dhikr, the result of this conjoining will not be offensive (makruh) or unlawful (haram).

Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti was asked for a fatwa or formal legal opinion concerning “a group of Sufis who had gathered for a session of dhikr,” and he replied: "How can one condemn (those) making dhikr while standing, or standing while making dhikr, when Allah Most High says, “. . . those who invoke Allah standing, sitting, and upon their sides” (Koran 3:191).

And ‘A'isha (Allah be well pleased with her) said, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to invoke Allah at all of his times” [Sahih Muslim, 1.282: 373]. And if dancing is added to this standing, it may not be condemned, as it is of the joy of spiritual vision and ecstasy, and the hadith exists [in many sources, such as Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 1.108, with a sound (hasan) chain of transmission] that Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib danced in front of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) when the Prophet told him, “You resemble me in looks and in character,” dancing from the happiness he felt from being thus addressed, and the Prophet did not condemn him for doing so, this being a basis for the legal acceptability of the Sufis dancing from the joys of the ecstasies they experience (al-Hawi li al-fatawi. 2 vols. Cairo 1352/1933–34. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1403/1983, 2.234).

Now, Suyuti was a hadith master (hafiz, someone with over 100,000 hadiths by memory) and a recognized mujtahid Imam who authored hundreds of works in the shari‘a sciences, and his formal opinion, together with the previously cited ruling of Imam Nawawi in the Minhaj al-talibin, constitutes an authoritative legal text (nass) in the Shafi‘i school establishing that circles of dhikr which comprise the singing of spiritual poetry and dancing are neither offensive (makruh) nor unlawful (haram)—unless associated with other unlawful factors such as listening to musical instruments or the mixing of men and women—but rather are permissible.

To summarize, the hadra of our tariqa, consisting of circles of invocation of Allah (dhikr) conjoined with the singing of permissible poetry and dancing, is compatible with the Sacred Law of orthodox Islam; and when the latter elements facilitate presence of heart with Allah (as they do with most people who possess hearts), they deserve a reward from Allah by those who intend them as such. And this is the aim and importance of the hadra in the tariqa.

MCMXCVI © N. Keller

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Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Ta'ala Wabarakatuh!

Brothers and Sisters, Ikhwanul Muslimin na wal Muslimat, Mukminin na wal Mukminat!

Many have contacted me asking about the practice of the Sufi's in conducting the Hadrah, something which was not done in the times of the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.

The example of the hadith given above where the instance of the Sahabi Jaafar ibni Abi Talib danced before the Blessed Messenger Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam in his moment of joy at being in the company of the Noble Prophet of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala is usually used as a basis for allowing such acts of joy in the Remembrance of Allah the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful en masse.

Such gatherings of the Believers who come together to glorify and sing praises to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and His Greatest Messenger is borne out of nothing but love towards Our Creator and His Mercy to all Mankind in the person of Muhammad ibni Abdullah, the Seal of the Prophets, Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.

In my years of becoming a mureed of Syaikh Nazim Adil Al Haqqani Al Qubrusi An Naqsyabandi, I had my moments of doubts as to whether these acts of participating in the Hadrah had its basis in Al Islam?

Being a mureed to the world of the Sufi's, I had to check and recheck as to what is allowed and what is considered to be a bida'ah?

I am still learning about all these but certain acts that make me feel not so keen to be involved in them, make me get back to researching and studying about them by poring through my Tafsir's of the Glorious Quran and seek the answers in the volumes of the authentic Hadiths of Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam in my possession and by asking my mentors @ Murshids about them?

I hold firm to what is allowed in Islam and I try my level best to check in depth and in detail about such matters that are vague and not really addressed by the ulamaks of the world.

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From Questions about the Hadra we learn the following :

Question:

"I would like to ask you questions on the commonly practised tradition of Hadrah as performed by some of the tariqa's within the branch of sufism. I have also observed that in some tariqa the hadra is performed with certain bodily movement whereas in some it is done whilst in the sitting position.

Is the practice of hadrah in accordance with the sunna?

When did this practise start and who started?

What is the purpose ofthis practise and what are the benefits?

Is this practise widespread through the muslim ummah?

Is this practise approved by well known scholars, if so who are they?

What is the wisdom of performing the hadrah with bodily movement (jumping etc)"


--
The correct person to ask about this would be someone versed in a Sufi Tariqa which practices the Hadra.

However, since the questions are simple and their answers are for the most part accessible to every traditional Muslim, I will attempt to address them from a Hadra-culture perspective, although my replies may be tinged with elements that are, strictly speaking, extraneous, for which I apologize in advance to those who are more knowledgeable.

Is the practice of hadrah in accordance with the sunna?

Yes, the practice of Hadrah is in accordance with the Sunna according to the authorities who wrote about it through the centuries and they produced proofs which, to any observer of good will, should be sufficient to show that the Hadrah is lawful.

Even the hypersunnistic detractors of the Hadrah are forced to agree that any (physical) movement or (verbal) ejaculation which stems from an (involuntary) emotional state of elation toward Allah Most High is excused even if it contravenes the Law, such as certain utterances made famous, among others, by our liege-lord Abu Yazid al-Bistami, may Allah sanctify his secret.

Ibn Taymiyya wrote about this in lenient terms and adduced the hadith: "The Pen of the Law is lifted from the sleeper and the person who is not in a normal mental state" (Majmu` al-Fatawa, volume on Tasawwuf).

When did this practise start and who started it?

This is essentially a poorly-phrased or poorly-conceived question, since it is designed to mislead at the root, the reason being that, in light of the first question, the issue is not "when" this practice started and "who" started it - which is of secondary, historical interest - but whether its principle is rooted in the Qur'an and the Sunna or not?

Allah Most High said of His sincere remembers: { Then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance of Allah } (39:23).

Our liege-lord `Ali, Allah be well-pleased with him, said:

"I visited the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him, with Ja`far (ibn Abi Talib) and Zayd (ibn Haritha).

The Prophet, Allah bless and greet him, said to Zayd: "You are my freedman" (anta mawlay), whereupon Zayd began to hop on one leg around the Prophet (hajala).

The Prophet, Allah bless and greet him, then said to Ja`far: "You resemble me in my creation and my manners" (ashbahta khalqi wa- khuluqi), whereupon Ja`far began to hop behind Zayd.

The Prophet, Allah bless and greet him, then said to me: "You are part of me and I am part of you" (anta minni wa-ana mink) whereupon I began to hop behind Ja`far."

He also said of the Companions as a whole:

"When Allah Most High was mentioned they swayed the way trees sway on a windy day, then their eyes poured out tears until - by Allah! - they soaked their clothes. By Allah! Folks today are asleep and heedless." AbĂ» Nu`aym, Hilya (1985 1:76, 10:388).

The simile of swaying trees is reminiscent of the Prophetic hadith "The one who mentions or remembers Allah among those who forget Him is like a green tree in the midst of dry ones."

So then, both from the perspective of the Sunna and that of historical chronology, it is a practice of the Believers extolled by the Qur'an, practiced by three of the first and foremost of Ahl al- Bayt, observed by the Door of the City of Knowledge as characteristic of the Prophetic Companions, Allah be well-pleased with them.

What is the purpose of this practise and what are the benefits?

To cast out heedlessness and signal the difference between the living (ahl al-akhira) and the dead (ahl al-dunya); to unburden the heart from worldly cares and enliven it with the Dhikr of Allah Most High with the use of the body in the same perspective as Imam al-Hasan al- Basri when he excused himself for using a sibha by saying: "I love to remember Allah Most High with my heart, my tongue, and my hand," even if the most superior dhikr of all is the first (by heart).

Abu Hurayra said that while on the road to Mecca the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, passed on top of a mountain called Jumdan, at which time he said:

"Move on, for here is Jumdan which has overtaken the single-minded." They said: "What are the single-minded (mufarridûn)? He said: "The men and women who remember Allah much" (33:35). Muslim related it in his Sahih, beginning of the book of Dhikr.

The version in Tirmidhi has: "It was said: And what are the single- minded? He replied: Those who dote on the remembrance of Allah and are ridiculed because of it, whose burden the dhikr removes from them, so that they come to Allah fluttering!"

Imam al-Nawawi said in his Sharh Sahih Muslim that another narration of the same hadith has: "They are those who shake or are moved at the mention or remembrance of Allah (hum al-ladhina ihtazzu fi dhikrillah)," that is, al-Nawawi comments, "They have become fervently devoted and attached to His remembrance."

Al-Mundhiri said in al-Targhib wa al-tarhib: "The single-minded and those who dote on the dhikr and are ridiculed for it: these are the ones set afire with the remembrance of Allah."

In another explanation of mufarridun cited by Ibn Qayyim in Madarij al-Salikin, the meaning is "those that tremble from reciting dhikrullah, entranced with it perpetually, not caring what people say or do about them."

Is this practice widespread through the muslim ummah?

Most Sufi Tariqas use the Hadra or something similar, and most of the Muslim Ummah follows the teachings of Tasawwuf, so yes, one would have to say that this practice is widespread through the Muslim Umma.

Is this practice approved by well known scholars, if so who are they?

All those who wrote on poetry-audition or sama` addressed the movement of the body during such audition.

Such discussions are found in Kitab al-Luma` by Abu Nasr al-Sarraj, Ibn Khafif's `Aqida (section on Tasawwuf), the Ihya `Ulum al-Din, and Imam al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala', in his chapter on Sultan al-`Ulama' Ibn `Abd al- Salam mentioned that the latter "attended the sama` and danced in states of ecstasy" (kana yahduru al-sama` wa-yarqusu wa-yatawajad).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami mentions that some scholars have seen in the hadith of "hajal" (cited above) evidence for the permissibility of dancing (al-raqs) upon hearing a recital (sama`) that lifts the spirit. There is a lot more evidence mentioned by the Ulama.

What is the wisdom of performing the hadrah with bodily movement (jumping etc)?

The same wisdom as the words of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, to the Abyssinians who displayed themselves through certain choreographed movements in the Prophetic Mosque in Madina during `Eid: "Jump, O Banu Arfada!" while our Mother `A'isha was watching with his permission. Muslim narrated it in his Sahih, book of Salat al-`Idayn from `A'isha, Allah be well-pleased with her.

Sayyid Muhammad ibn `Alawi al-Maliki said in his book on the celebration of the Mawlid titled Hawl al-Ihtifal bi-Dhikri al-Mawlid al-Nabawi al-Sharif ("Regarding the Celebration of the Prophet's Birthday"):

"There is no doubt that such singing, dancing, reciting of poetry, and banging the drum was for joy at being with the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, nor did he condemn or frown upon such displays in any way whatsoever.

These are common displays of happiness and lawful merriment. Similarly, to stand up at the mention of the birth of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, is an ordinary act that shows love and gladness symbolizing the joy of creation."

Imam Habib Mashhur al-Haddad said in Key to the Garden (p. 116), commenting on the verse already cited, {Then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance of Allah} (39:23):

"The 'softening of the heart' consists in the sensitivity and timidity that occur as a result of nearness and tajalli [manifestation of one or more divine attributes]. Sufficient is it to have Allah as one's intimate companion!

"As for the 'softening of the skin' this is the ecstasy and swaying from side to side which result from intimacy and manifestation, or from fear and awe.

No blame is attached to someone who has reached this rank if he sways and chants, for in the painful throes of love and passion he finds something which arouses the highest yearning....

"The exhortation provided by fear and awe brings forth tears and forces one to tremble and be humble. These are the states of the righteous believers (abrar) when they hear the Speech and dhikr of Allah the Exalted. {Their skins shiver} (39:23), and then soften with their hearts and incline to dhikr of Him, as they are covered in serenity and dignity, so that they are neither frivolous, pretentious, noisy, or ostentatious. Allah the Exalted has not described them as people whose sense of reason has departed, who faint, dance, or jump about."

This is in short a basic documentation of the proofs of the Hadra. May Allah Most High cause us to leave and die on the path of active followership and living Dhikr of Him, not as naggers of innovation, laziness, and heedlessness.

Gibril.

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So to conclude, dear Ikhwanul Muslimin, I say that it is up to the Mukminin and Mukminat to embellish their self's and enamour their souls with the remembrance of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala according to their own individual levels of Islamic understanding and live their life's in the company of the dedicated Believers and Seekers of Allah Azza Wa Jalla's Bountiful Mercy and Maghfirah!

From the Kitab of Hadiths, Bulugh al Maram, compiled by Al Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, The Comprehensive Book, Page 537, Chapter 6 - Remembrance of Allah and Supplications, Hadith # 1334, narrated Abu Huraira Radhiallahu Anhu :

Allah's Messenger Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam said:
" People will not sit in an assembly in which they remember Allah without the angels surrounding them, mercy covering them and Allah mentioning them among those who are with Him." [Reported by Muslim].

Meaning of the hadith :
Those who gather in remembrance, praise and worship of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala (such as the Sufi's) are blessed by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala by having His Malaikats @ Angels surrounding and covering them with their wings and invoking Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala to bless and forgive them of their sins. To shower them with Allah's Baraqah and fill them with His Mercy.

They are mentioned by Allah to His Servants (Malaikats@ Angels) who are in His Glorious Presence, up there in the Arash above Jannahtul Firdaus.

Those who are involved with the Dhikr @ Remembrance of Allah are the blessed ones, fortunate to be able to dedicate their lives towards the Worship and Glorification of Ar Rahman throughout their lives.

For them, their reward is attaining the state of Nafsul Mutmainnah!


It's easy for those who have yet to reach that state of awareness about the truth of this faith of Al Islam to dismiss off the ones who are devoted towards the Worship and Remembrance of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala as those steeped in backwardness or non progressive amongst mankind.

Yet for all the advancements that mankind has come to achieve in terms of science and technology, we still remain as temporal mortal beings who are subject to the Will and Might of Almighty Allah!

Mankind can only do what Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala allows them within the limited confines of this earthly life and at the end of the day, we will still cease to exist one of these days as attested by the coming into being and passing away of the generations and generations of Al Insan before us and after us today.

For we as humanbeings are nothing but Servants of Allah who depend on Him for all that we need here in this short temporary existence which we come to know as life?

One thing I know is that mankind will forever be consisted of those who constantly differ and argue over anything and everything that they have yet to understand or comprehend according to their limited abilities as being the creation of Almighty Allah.

Even those who are today celebrated and hailed as being the masters and experts of whatever field of study will still not have learned all that there is to the Oceans of Knowledge that the Almighty has revealed for there will still be universes of 'Ilm that only Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala Himself knows of?

For the Sufi mureeds, all I can advise them to do is to study and know which acts and practices are allowed according to the Sunnah and which are wasteful and harmful innovative acts brought about by the forbidden over adulation and hero worshipping of the Mursyids and Sheikhs of whatever Tariqah one ascribes to which amounts to acts of shirk and kufr towards Ar Rahman.

Respecting the Syeikhs and Murshids is an acceptable thing to do for they are our teachers but please exercise your judgment and commonsense in not overdoing things such as kissing the feet of your masters for that is a haram thing which will lead both you and your Sheikhs to the burning pits of the Narr Al Jahannam!

May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless and guide us to His Mercy and Forgiveness!

Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen!

Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.

Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
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