Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reality of being a Syed

Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani wrote in one of his books the true meaning of being a descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In short, his statement was that you are not his descendant until you have become his spiritual descendant.

In my early youth this lesson was taught to me by my grandfather: one needs to become a 'syed', it isn't something given at birth.

A few days ago I ran into this piece by Shaykh Ahmed Al-Alawi about the meanings behind the benedictions upon the Prophet peace be upon him.

In it he writes Imam Nabulusi's verse:
"Oh what glory in the tie which bonded Salman to (him)
     By the utterance of TaHa, the messenger of Allah, the noblest Prophet!
"Salman is among us, indeed part of our household,
     Even though he is Persian and not an Arab."

An Inspiration ...

On Sacrifice

A thought came to my mind when thinking of sacrifice and fulfilling my rights and obligations in life. The life of Owais Al Qarni r.a. came to mind. Owais Al Qarni lived during the Prophet's (peace be upon him) time, but never saw him in person.

He made just one trip or maybe two to meet the Prophet (peace be upon him), but unfortunately for him the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not in Madinah at that time. Owais Al Qarni then spent the rest of his life in Yemen, in the wild, in anonymity. He did not return to Madina because he took care of his old mother. It was because of his mother's needs that he was never able to visit Madinah again. He took care of her until she passed away. Thus, making a tremendous sacrifice of not seeing the most beloved person to him, even more beloved to him than his mother!

Imagine what went through his heart - the Prophet (peace be upon him) was so close to him, probably just a few weeks journey - at most a month or two. Yet, he could not go see him. But, by serving his mother, and his separation from the beloved, he reached the status of a Companion!

His sacrifice must have been extremely difficult for he was madly in love with the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is said that upon hearing of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) injuries at Uhud, Owais Al Qarni broke his own teeth out of - his love.

It wasn't until Umar r.a. and Ali r.a. visited him, after the Prophet's (peace be upon him) physical passing away from this world that the Muslims got to know who this "mad man" was.The same mad man about whom the local inhabitants said to Ali and Umar r.a.: "he laughs when others weep, and weeps when others laugh".  Imam Ali and Umar r.a. visited him on the instructions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and to deliver to him the shawl the Prophet (peace be upon him) was wearing in his last days.

I have also heard from my grandfather that Umar r.a. at one point even offered Owais Al Qarni a regular stipend from the nation's treasury, which Owais Al Qarni r.a. declined and instead pulled out a piece of bread and said that it was enough for his needs.

I am thankful to God for inspiring this specific lesson of sacrifice from Owais Al Qarni's life r.a. And I am forever indebted to my grandfather, my spiritual mentor,  for introducing me to Owais Al Qarni's life, for teaching me what came first in life, for setting my priorities straight. 

- Khaadim 

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Most Merciful

I am the dejected one
at the mercy of the Most Merciful.
I am a sinner weak

at the mercy of the Most Merciful.

I am the afflicted one

at the mercy of the Most Merciful.
I am the one lost,
at the mercy of the Most Merciful.

I am but a speck
at the mercy of the Most Merciful,

I am naught and 
He is the Most Merciful.

- Khaadim

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Chisti Way

"Never seek any help, charity, or favors
from anybody except God.
Never go the court of kings,
but never refuse to bless and help the needy and the poor,
the widow, and the orphan, if they come to your door."
- Message of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz for his disciples 

This message has been followed perhaps by all Chisti teachers. Therefore, no leader or individual holding a position of power has ever been able to visit Nizam ud din Awliya in Delhi, India. This was told to me by one of the many caretakers of his tomb. 

Another example of a wali is that he did not let a ruler of a certain province visit him to pay his respects. His response to him was something along the lines: We, Sufis, have two doors. One from which you shall enter, the second from which we shall leave

The Deputy of the Prophet in Hind (Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti)

His last address:

Love all and hate none.

Mere talk of peace will avail you naught.
Mere talk of God and religion will not take you far.
Bring out all the latent powers of your being
and reveal the full magnificence of your immortal self.

Be overflowing with peace and joy,

and scatter them wherever you are
and wherever you go.

Be a blazing fire of truth,

be a beauteous blossom of love
and be a soothing balm of peace.

With your spiritual light,

dispel the darkness of ignorance;
dissolve the clouds of discord and war
and spread goodwill, peace, and harmony among the people.

Never seek any help, charity, or favors

from anybody except God.
Never go the court of kings,
but never refuse to bless and help the needy and the poor,
the widow, and the orphan, if they come to your door.

This is your mission, to serve the people.....

Carry it out dutifully and courageously, so that I, as your Pir-o-Murshid,

may not be ashamed of any shortcomings on your part
before the Almighty God and our holy predecessors
in the Silsila on the Day of Judgment.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Victor Hugo's Poem on the Prophet (peace be upon him)

"Comme s’il pressentait que son heure était proche,
Grave, il ne faisait plus à personne un reproche ;
Il marchait en rendant aux passants leur salut ;
On le voyait vieillir chaque jour, quoiqu’il eût
À peine vingt poils blancs à sa barbe encor noire ;
Il s’arrêtait parfois pour voir les chameaux boire,
Se souvenant du temps qu’il était chamelier."’An_neuf_de_l’Hégire

Separately, Abdul Hakim Murad (from The Mantle Adorned) provides a selection from Victor Hugo's poem in English:

"The silenced crowd
Moved backward as he passed along his way,
The people's gaze was soft as the dove's eye,
Resting upon that man, august."

Qasida Burda Shareef

"Lions in their abode stand humbled
and dazed by him whose victory
comes through God's Messenger"

Lines 135 stitched upon the banner of 19th century leader Abdel Kadir Al Jazairi.

- From The Mantle Adorned by Abdul Hakim Murad