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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Seeker of Salvation by Zainol Abideen














Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.


The Seeker of Salvation

by Zainol Abideen

The realization of one's internal quest to know more about the Oceans of Knowledge in Islam starts first as a murmur in one's heart that one needs to go seek such knowledge from the Masters and Syaikhs of the Higher Realms of 'Ilm.

In my case, I started to delve deeper into the Realm of Sufism when I first came to learn about it from my friend Haji Mohd Yassin, a mureed of Syaikh Nazim Adil Al Haqqani Al Qubrusi An Naqshabandi. This episode of my life took place back home in Penang.

Syaikh Nazim is the 40th Warith of the Order of the Naqsyabandi Tariqah going back all the way to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam.

I took my Bai'ah @ Oath of Allegiance from Syaikh Nazim's Khalifah and younger brother, Shaikh Adnan Adil al Haqqani al Qubrusi an Naqsyabandi in the Naqsyabandi Zawiyya in Bukit Jambul, Penang. I wrote about this here.

The Fatwa Council of Malaysia have issued a decree against the Order of the Tariqah Naqsyabandi headed by Syaikh Nazim originally from Lebanon but now residing in Lefke, Cyprus.

Yes, the 'authorities' of Malaysia have deemed the Tariqah led by Syaikh Nazim to be not to their liking.

The thing is that they @ the 'religious authorities' themselves are deaf, dumb and blind to many fitnah and maksiat that takes place right before their very eyes and knowledge ; yet they fail to do nothing to eradicate such vices!

It's easy to issue decrees and judge others to be deviants in this and that but when there is no proactive actions from their parts those scholars just end up being talkers and not do'ers.

They just sit in their air conditioned offices from 9 to 5 and then retire to their plush bungalows provided by the government which they try their best not to annoy or inconvenience with their decrees.

Is it any mystery that this country is going way down as far as social and moral issues are concerned when we have such kind masquerading as the 'ulamaks' of this nation?

So to me as a Muslim, I leave my fate to Allah the Most High, who knows me best rather than I pay any attention to such 'decrees' by these latter day 'scholarly' beings who adorn themselves with all kinds of certificates and self recognized attainments of 'Islamic Jurisprudence'.

The Holy Messenger, Muhammad ibni Abdullah, the Unlettered Prophet never laid claim to be nothing more than Allah's Messenger ; never studied at any school, college or university.

He never admitted to being the best there is amongst the entire humankind yet we all know that if not for him, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala would not have created this world and all the Universe and all the hidden realms of existence that we humanbeings have yet to discover save for what Allah reveals to us.

Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, the Beloved of Allah Azza Wa Jalla, remains to be the Greatest Messenger of Allah and to this day, there is none worthy for us to follow and emulate save for the Holy Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, Khatamun Nabiyyil Ummi, al Mustafa, Habibullah, Muhammad Al Amin.

As regards to the matter of the Tariqah deemed to be deviant from the agreed upon Principles of Islamic Practices, I think it is more a matter of individual interpretations of what's lawful and what's considered to be bida'ah.

I admit that I have myself frowned upon some over adulations by some mureeds upon the person of the Syaikh's and Mursheed's of the Tariqah which might be the cause of the reasons why the religious authorities deem the Tariqah to be deviant.

It is the fanatical attitude of some mureeds who overdo some actions that give birth to fitnah upon the Tariqah as a whole.

A case in particular that I observed is the act of certain mureeds who stitched a piece of soft leather into a form of an triangular amulet containing a folded piece of paper upon which was printed a diagram of verses of the Qur'an and dhikr. Some even placed a photo of the Syaikh together with that 'rajah'. Na'uzu billahil aliyyil azhim. God Forbid!

This is one of the many acts which brings disrepute to the blessed Paths of Religious Knowledge through the Tariqahs and Sufi Orders.

To do that act of placing one's hopes of protection from harm by relying on an image of the Syaikh and a piece of paper is a clear act of Syirik against Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala thus qualifying one to be deemed as a deviant from Islam!

I have tried explaining to that mureed his mistake by doing that act but it was of no use. He refused to listen to reason and was adamant that he was right. To him his path to salvation rests upon how much he venerates the Syaikh and goes overboard in his devotion to a being whom he should follow in the devotion to Almighty God but sadly, the mureed adulates the Syaikh instead of the Rabb.

One major cause of such misadventure in observing the path of devotion to Allah is the Sufi practice of 'Rabitah As Shaikh' @ focusing on the person of the Syaikh to be the intermediary of the Almighty.

This act opens up the doorway to committing Kuffur towards Allah by associating to Him an intermediary.

Allah does not need an intermediary for us as Insan to beseech Him or Seek His Mercy and Forgiveness.

This act of some Tariqah's requiring the Sufi mureed to take his Syaikh as an intermediate in the mureed's journey towards attaining Peace and Salvation with His Lord is another reason why the Tariqah's get into trouble with the religious authorities.

Islam is what the Prophet of God shared with us through the Revelations of the Al Qur'an Al Kareem and through his authentic Hadeeths, related to us word for word by his Sahabah's @ Companions and verified through the passage of Time by the scholars of Islam, the Ulamak.

The Seeker of Salvation through the years comes into the Realm of Sufism by many Orders of Tariqah's.

There are many different Orders that each claims to be authentic and goes back to the Order received from the Holy Prophet himself through either members of his blessed family or through the Sahabah's.

So, I find myself questioning as to why this over adulation of the Shaikh has been done by his overzealous Khalifah's?

None on this Earth can supersede Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam in terms of being nobler than him, the greatest of all beings created by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala!

Narrated Anas Radhiallahu Anhu ( May the Blessings of Allah be upon him) :

The Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam said :
" On the Day of Resurrection, the Believers will assemble and say, ' Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.'

So they will go to Adam (Alaihis Salam) and say,' You are the Father of all people, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the Angels to prostrate themselves to you, and taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with your Lord, so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.'

Adam Alaihis Salam will say,' I am not fit for this (i.e. intercession for you). Then Adam Alaihis Salam will remember his sin and feel ashamed thereof. He will say,' Go to Nuh Alaihis Salam (No'ah) for he was the first Messenger Allah sent to the inhabitants of the Earth.'

They will go to him and Nuh AS (No'ah) will say,' I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will remember his appeal to his Lord to do something of which he had no knowledge, then he will feel ashamed thereof and will say,' Go to Khalil-ur-Rahman' [i.e. Ibrahim AS (Abraham)].

They will go to him and he will say,' I am not fit for this undertaking.' Go to Musa AS (Moses), the slave to whom Allah SWT spoke (directly) and gave him the Taurat (Torah).'

So they will go to him and he will say,' I am not fit for this undertaking', and he will mention (his) killing a person who was not a killer, and so he will feel ashamed thereof before his Lord, and he will say,' Go to 'Isa AS (Jesus), Allah's slave, His Messenger and Allah's Word and a spirit created by Him **(Kun Fa Ya Kun).

When they go to him, 'Isa AS (Jesus) will say,' I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, the slave of Allah SWT, whose past and future sins were forgiven by Allah SWT.'

So they will come to me and I will proceed till I ask my Lord's Permission and I will be given permission.

When I see my Lord, I will fall down in prostration and He will let me remain in that state as long as He wishes and then I will be addressed.

''(Muhammad!) 'Raise your head. Ask, and your request will be granted; say, and your saying will be listened to; intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.'

I will raise my head and praise Allah with a saying (i.e. invocation) He will teach me , and then I will intercede.

He will fix a limit for me (to intercede) whom I will admit into Paradise. Then I will come back again to Allah, and when I see my Lord, the same thing will happen to me.

And then I will intercede and Allah will fix a limit for me (to intercede) whom I will admit into Paradise, then I will come back for the third time; and then I will come back for the fourth time, and will say,' None remains in Hell but those whom the Qur'an has imprisoned(in Hell) and who have been destined to an eternal stay in Hell."

(The compiler) Abu Abdullah said :' But those whom the Qur'an has imprisoned in Hell' refers to the Statement of Allah Azza Wa Jall ; " To abide therein....V : 16: 29 ) "
Sahih Al Bukhari Vol.6 Hadith No.3

So states the authentic Hadith that none save the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam will be given the authority by Allah SWT to intercede on behalf of the Ummah who are Believers when the Day of Reckoning comes to be.

I mean no disrespect to the Syaikhs of the Tariqahs but to attribute to them the authority to intercede on our behalf is crossing the station reserved for the Holy Messenger above all other Messengers and Prophets of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.

As such, the Sufi mureed needs to know the limits of respect and authority of the Syaikh's and not go overboard with their adulations which must be in accordance with the levels of their stature before Allah SWT and Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and Sahabatu Rasulillahi Ajma'in.

Sufism is good for the soul and the purification of the nafs but it doesn't mean one simply rushes into things and gobbles up each and every thing that the Tariqah's leaders dishes out to us.

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala has given us the Faculty of Reasoning and to figure things out. So, make full use of it while you still can. You need to go about it a step at a time.

Think it over, check it up . Research the Qur'an. Delve through the Hadiths. Search through the Internet. Confirm with your religious teachers. Recheck their replies with the Qur'an and Hadiths. Insya Allah, you will come to an understanding of it.

At the end of the day, we will all have to answer for our own deeds. Those who do good shall taste their rightful rewards and those who play people out here on Earth will receive their just dues in the Hereafter, no matter who they are or what they label themselves.

Awliya's or Anbiya's including. Remember that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala knows us best!

Will share more later when I get to it. Insya Allah.

Wabillahi Taufeek Wal Hidayah, Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Ta'ala Wabarakatuh.