Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Ala Ya Allah Bi Nadhra – Imam Haddad’s Poem at His Wife’s Death

Shaykh Muhammad Ba-Dhib explains Imam Haddad’s famous poem “Ala ya Allah bi Nadhra (ألا يالله بنظرة),” which he composed upon the passing of his wife.

Not only was Imam Haddad a great scholar and Knower of Allah, but he was also a skilled poet and literary author. One of the characteristics of his poetry is a great sense of grief and sadness, and this poem, “Ala ya Allah bi Nadhra,” was composed after his wife’s passing.

He begins by saying,

“O my friend, do not be overburdened with worries.

And submit to God’s decrees so that you can become praiseworthy and rewarded.

And be content with what the Master has decreed, and don’t have any displeasure with the decree of Allah, Lord of the Lofty Throne.”

Although the Imam was experiencing intense pain and grief, he was advising himself and others to not complain or worry too much, so that they can be rewarded and honoured by Allah for having patience.

“And be patient and grateful,

You will become victorious and rewarded (by Allah)

And be from the people of Inward Secrets.

The people of Allah have an illuminated heart that is purified from all dirt, pure, and a purification for others.”

Here he is saying that when one is patient with Allah’s decree, Allah gives one a purified heart. Most people become very distressed or complain when they are tested, but the true believers are patient, having love of Allah and hope for reward from Him.

“And this lowly world, it’s problems are many in every moment, and life within it does not have a value,

And one does not seek this dunya unless their sight is completely blinded. If they had an intellect, they would have been more reflective.

Reflect over the fading of this world.

And on the great difficulties that occur.

And on the low worth of its value.

So blessed, truly blessed, is to the who is careful of it, and who divorced the world and focus themselves towards obedience of their Lord.”

No matter how rich or poor we are, we all need the same things; a little bit of food, something to drink, and clothing and shelter. Whether those are expensive or cheap, our needs are the same, and so is the end result; a grave and a shroud.

We could spend our lives working, but in the end, it will all come to nothing. Therefore, the best person is the one who recognizes this, and uses the world only for his needs, nothing more.

“Oh my eye! Let the tears flow regarding that beloved that used to be with us, 

Who then went on their journey, and my heart and mind after them have become overtaken

But Allah is my Sufficiency,

And the entire affair belongs to Allah,

And no one remains except Allah.”

Here, the Imam is reflecting on the passing of his beloved after years of spending time together and taking care of each other. He consoles himself by reminding himself that he should rely on Allah, and that everything besides Allah will come to an end.

“Upon Bashar have come the clouds of Allah’s mercy, and Allah has given them glad tidings and has blessed them. 

Within it are our Masters, teachers, our family and our loved ones; those who are beloved to my heart are there. 

And those who have taken residence in the deepest depths of my heart.  And in this plain of the graveyard, its dust is more beautiful than musk. 

Because it is the resting place of the best of the Sayyids,

Exemplars for all people,

Loving them is felicity,

Fortunate is the one who visits them with sincerity. By the blessing of visiting them, what they seek from Allah will come.”

Bashar is the name of the graveyard that his wife was buried in. Imam Haddad recalls this fact that gives him comfort; that his wife is surrounded by righteous men and woman who are teachers, family members, and loved ones who are descendants of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. He advises everyone to follow the sunna of visiting graves.

Source: Seekers Guidance: https://seekersguidance.org/articles/video/ala-ya-allah-bi-nadhra-imam-haddads-poem-at-his-wifes-death/

YouTube Video : Seeking Sacred Truth :  Sep 17, 2022 Imam al-Haddad composed this poem after the passing of his wife. I have arranged this video because I was unable to find a YouTube video of this beautiful nasheed with an accompanying english translation.Excellent Arabic Text with English Subtitles

https://youtu.be/cZHXcn2cEbU

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Spirituality of the Beloved Prophet ﷺ : It is a soothing balm in our Turbulent Times - Dr. Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari, February, 2016



In order to understand clearly an intellectual concept or a philosophical idea, the preferred method is to observe a living example. This article provides you with an example of a living, walking and speaking role model of spirituality: the Beloved Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Mustafa ﷺ. We will get glimpses of his commitment to God, and a heart full of Allah’s love. No wonder the Glorious Quran proudly declares, “You have an excellent role model in the Messenger of Allah, particularly for anyone who longs for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Him abundantly” (Al-Ahzab: 21).

Spirituality is expressed variously; firstly through practising moral virtues of kindness, humility, gentleness, generosity and forgiveness. Secondly, through restraining oneself from vices; anger, greed, jealousy and arrogance. Thirdly to restrain oneself; fasting, night vigil, restricting speech, limiting contact with people, Divine remembrance, deep reflections, eating halal and avoiding forbidden things. He practised these seven remedies.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) possessed perfect intellect; he was adept and skilled at reasoning, full of knowledge given to him by the All-knowing Lord, with a clear understanding of the world around him and mental powers of the most intelligent person in his society. When he (peace be upon him) spoke there was an effect, the tone of his voice, the warmth of his speech and the fluency of his words penetrated deep into the souls of the listeners. When he (peace be upon him) spoke to them about paradise he brought to them a vision of paradise with its gorgeous gardens, graced with flowing streams and when he discussed the divine light they could literally see it beaming down from heaven on them.

Freedom from worldly things
The blessed Messenger (peace be upon him) practised self-discipline and abstention from pleasures, for pleasing his Lord and enhancing his spirituality. He (peace be upon him) adopted a lifestyle of poverty, a matter of choice not a necessity since there was plenty of wealth from various sources. He led a life of simplicity by sleeping on straw mats, which often left noticeable marks on his blessed body and clothes. This would upset his disciples; once someone offered him a soft mat to sleep on, his response was “what have I to do with this world? My place in this world is like that of a traveller who is walking through the desert on a hot day, he takes a nap under a tree and then leaves it behind him” (Abu Y’ala).

According to one narration Allah Almighty offered him gold that would fill a valley, he (peace be upon him) replied, “Lord! I would prefer to be hungry one day and eat the next day, the day I eat, I will praise you and give thanks to you, when I remain hungry I will seek your help and call upon you” (Tirmizi). Such was his (peace be upon him) sense of reliance on the Lord that he wanted to remain aloof from worldly things, he was happy with the small amount of worldly sustenance.

One day his daughter Fathima (may Allah be pleased with her) brought him a freshly baked loaf of bread, it smelt delicious and she proudly said to him. “O father, I baked this myself and I brought to you because I did not feel at ease eating it without sharing it with you.” The blessed Messenger (peace be upon him) replied “I haven’t eaten anything for three days, so this will be the first morsel” (Al Bayhaqi).

The messenger (peace be upon him) ate little because he knew the dangers of filling the stomach, when you are full, he would say, “the Devil runs within your veins, therefore make his path difficult by remaining hungry”, he (peace be upon him) also said “the son of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach”. Many spiritual Masters regard gluttony, overeating as a dangerous habit that ruins physical health as well as spiritual health.

Shaykh Al Shabrawi in his book book ‘The degrees of the soul’ said, “Jihad is an obligation, and the essence of it is to forsake all habits… In particular; overeating, sleeping, talking, mixing with people. Moderation is required in each of these things… The effective thing in this part is to eat only when hungry and then to less than satiety. The Prophet, may God’s blessing be upon him omitted supper when he had eaten lunch, omitted lunch when he had eaten supper.”

The blessed Messenger (peace be upon him) was sent as a guide, he communicated the divine message eloquently and effectively to his people. He (peace be upon him) said “silence is wisdom, but the silent are few, the one who keeps silent will be safe.” The reasons being that you can easily fall into speaking ill of others, in fact we commit more sins with the tongue than with any other limb, discussing other people, being insulting to others, using obscene language or cursing, even arguing with people, revealing secrets of others, mocking and jeering others, even lying, backbiting, slandering, and being pretentious. The messenger (peace be upon him) said that “when I was shown hell, I saw people were tearing their faces with their nails, I asked Jibrael who are these people? He replied those who backbite and slander people”.

Day and night in worship
The worship of the Prophet (peace be upon him) consisted of the regular five daily prayers, tahajjud (the night vigil), recitation of the glorious Quran, zikr and fasting. Sometimes day after day, the unique form of fasting, where he would not eat at sunset and continue into the next day and the next day. This will go on for several days without a break. However, his favourite practice was to fast every Monday and Thursday of the week, giving a reason for these two days he told, “these are the days when deeds are presented, so I love to make it so that when my deeds are presented. I am in the state of fasting” (Tirmizi).

Long prayers in the morning
After the morning prayer, he (peace be upon him) would sit cross-legged on the prayer mat busy doing Zikr (remembering God) with his beautiful names, Asma ul husna, until sunrise. He (peace be upon him) would then offer four or six units of prayer called Ishraq. He (peace be upon him) praised the value of excellence of this prayer by saying “when you offer this prayer regularly your sins will be forgiven even if they are as much as the foam on the surface of the sea.” Later on at mid-morning, he (peace be upon him) would pray the mid-morning prayer called Duha. He (peace be upon him) had a remarkable thirst to pray that he would ask his disciple Bilal fondly “stand up Bilal and give me peace of mind with the prayer” adding “I am most delighted when I pray (Ahmed). After Maghrib, (Sunset prayer) he (peace be upon him) would offer six units of the special prayer of Awwabeen. Such was his love for the prayer. This means that the Prophet (peace be upon him) formally prayed nine times a day, the five daily prayers, plus four voluntary prayers. The total time would be more than two hours. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would often pray profusely by raising his hands up to his shoulders and palms facing the sky.

Lifelong learning and teaching
Since the Prophet (peace be upon him) was divinely educated “It is Al-Rahman who taught the beloved Messenger the Majestic Quran. He created human beings and taught them the art of communication” (Al-Rahman: 1-4). For him (peace be upon him) it was a matter of lifelong teaching rather than lifelong learning, which is something we all should be engaged in for our constant improvement, for mental and spiritual development.

He (peace be upon him) was particularly keen to teach the glorious Quran, once he (peace be upon him) had received the revelation and after memorising it himself, he would summon one of the scribes to come and write it down and thus preserve it for posterity. He (peace be upon him) would encourage other disciples to memorise the new passages. In this way many of the disciples memorised the entire Quran. He (peace be upon him) was passionately devoted to children learning the Quran, to promote this activity he (peace be upon him) would say, “the best amongst you is the one who learns and teaches Quran” (Bukhari).

When delegations from the Arab tribes came to Medina in order to embrace Islam he (peace be upon him) would dispatch a learned disciple with them, so he could teach them the adhan, the prayer and Quran. He (peace be upon him) also encouraged parents to teach children, he (peace be upon him) promised them most exquisite spiritual rewards in the hereafter. For example, he said “every father who teaches his child the Quran in this world, will be crowned in paradise on the day of resurrection with the crown by which the people of paradise will know him as the one who taught Quran to his children.” The reading of the glorious Quran is a learning activity that effectively enhances spirituality, a powerful means of spiritual progress. Ibn Abbas said the beloved messenger (peace be upon him) said, “a person without Quran in his heart is like a wrecked house” (Tirmizi).

Whole life balance
The distinguishing characteristic of a spiritual person is a balanced lifestyle, the right amount of work and family time, a correct ratio of time spent in earning livelihood and social activities. The blessed Messenger (peace be upon him) was in a perfect equilibrium. As we read these accounts of his time at home and with family we see that perfect balance between his role as a prophet of God, spiritual guide, a leader and a teacher. The prophet (peace be upon him) took great care of his family by spending time with them and doing all kinds of domestic chores such as: patching up his clothes, mending shoes, washing clothes, or any other housework that needed to be done, milking the goats, fetched water for ablution and the like. Effectively he (peace be upon him) was at the service of his family, helping them with their tasks, listening to their jokes and laughing with them. Any wonder why he (peace be upon him) would say, “the best of you are the best to their families and I am the best to my family” (Tirmizi).

On one occasion he (peace be upon him) challenged his wife Aisha to race with him, she won the race, some months later he (peace be upon him) again challenged her to a race, this time he (peace be upon him) beat her and said, it is because you have grown fat and plump so you lost the race and he began to laugh saying “this was payback for last time.”

He (peace be upon him) felt very comfortable doing jobs that other leaders might consider beneath their status, he (peace be upon him) was humble but also teaching his followers an important lesson in humility. This is the virtue where one forsakes the glory of one’s social status and pride and to assume a lower position than one’s equals. Perhaps more accurately humility is when a person sees himself as having no special value, a distinctive worth or distinction above others and does not consider himself to be above others. The following story is a beautiful example of his (peace be upon him) humility. On one of his expeditions whilst they were camping the prophet (peace be upon him) instructed companions to roast a sheep that had slaughtered and assigned each person a task, one man to skin it, another to prepare it for cooking and he himself said, “I will go and fetch the firewood.” The disciples said. “O Messenger of Allah! Let us take care of everything.” He (peace be upon him) replied “I know that you will do it well, but I hate to be different from the rest of you and Allah dislikes a person who sees himself better than his friends.”

Conclusion
The purpose of spiritual life is to gain a deeper understanding of Allah, connectedness, closeness, and contentment that leads to peace of mind. It is the process of renovation of the heart when a person begins to live with Allah. The various spiritual disciplines and exercises, the still life, lifelong learning and whole life of the messenger (peace be upon him) as described above is a model for us to imitate.

(Taken from my book ‘Seven steps to spiritual intelligence‘ published by Kube)

Source:https://www.musharrafhussain.com/the-spirituality-of-the-beloved-prophet/

Love of the Prophet ﷺ is the heart of Islam : Dr.Musharraf Hussain, Director Karimia Insititute



The Persian poet Saadi Shirazi felt shy and inadequate to praise the Prophet ﷺ, “Thousand times were I to wash my mouth with rose water, still disrespectful it would be to say your beautiful name.” The Punjabi Saint Pir Meher Ali Shah also faced a similar dilemma when he said; “How handsome, perfect and pretty you are, who is Meher Ali to praise you, where have these insolent eyes fallen on?”

The Majestic Quran describes Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ beautiful, caring and charming character in glowing words; “A noble Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. He’s grieved by your hardships and cares about your wellbeing, for the believers he is compassionate and kind” (Tawba: 128). He loves us, the Muslims, in turn, love him. Love is an intense feeling of affection and admiration, here it is for the most magnificent man who ever lived. Human history has produced many great leaders who left their marks on all walks of life: philosophers, scholars, pious saints, conquerors, poets, musicians, inventors and doctors. They changed the course of human history for the better.

The life of the Prophet ﷺ is unique, its outstanding features, which set him apart from the rest, William Draper in his book titled ‘History of intellectual development of Europe’ said: “four years after the death of Justinian AD 569, was born in Makkah the man who of all men exercised the greatest influence on the human race Muhammad”. Similarly, Lamartine in ‘Histoire de la Turquie’ said, “philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, conqueror of ideas, the restorer of rational dogmas of cult without images, the founder of 20 terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad as regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured. We may well ask is there any man greater than him?”

The Quran described him, “You have an excellent role model in the Messenger of Allah, particularly for anyone who longs for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Him abundantly” (Al Ahzab: 21). So, he is the role model. We recognise the need for role models, children imitate their parents, students copy their teachers and those who yearn for perfection, he ﷺ is the role model for all.

Expressing love for the Prophet ﷺ

Love is an intense feeling of deep affection and fondness for someone. This transitive verb requires an object, So, you love someone, you delight in them, you admire them and cherish them. Muslim poets have expressed their love for the Prophet ﷺ in many ways. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a passionate lover of the Prophet ﷺ, he said: “The passionate gaze sees him as the first and the last, he is the Quran, the Furqan, Yaseen and Taha”.

For a Muslim, the Prophet ﷺ is the centre of life. So, if you imagine Islam as a body then Muhammad ﷺ is the spirit inside it, if you imagine Islam as a tree then Muhammad ﷺ is its leaves and the fruit, if you imagine Islam as a flower then Muhammad ﷺ is the fragrance; he ﷺ is the pink colour of the rose. In brief, whatever image of Islam you imagine then Muhammad ﷺ is the lifeblood of it. Loving the Prophet ﷺ is the heart of a believer’s life.

The early Muslims displayed this deep affection and intense love of the Prophet ﷺ openly, here is a description of their passion for the Prophet ﷺ. Urwa bin Masood Saqafi was the ambassador of the Quraysh at the treaty of Hudaibiya, on his return to Makkah, he said to them “I witnessed some amazing scenes when Muhammad washed, his disciples did not let a drop of water fall on the ground they collected it in their hands, whatever he said they eagerly obeyed. I have visited the courts of Roman and Persian emperors, but nowhere have I seen such scenes of loyalty and commitment to a leader”. Even the enemies knew that to turn the Muslims away from Islam, they must weaken this link with the Prophet ﷺ. Allama Iqbal the great poet of Islam reveals this conspiracy, he says “this starved man who does not fear a bit, take away from him the spirit of Muhammad, give him Western ideals then Islam will be expelled from the Muslims.”

Allama Iqbal attributed his love and understanding of Islam to this prophetic love. He said: “the dazzling Western world did not impress me at all, my eyes were filled with the dust of Madinah”. He believed that the love of the Prophet ﷺ was a powerful shield against the influence of capitalism, communism and materialism. The love of the Messenger ﷺ gives the energy that drives the believers on the straight path, it shields them from the evil influences of society, the deceptions of the ego, and snares of Satan.

A disciple’s love of the Messenger ﷺ

Aisha the mother of believers reported that one day Sauban, a disciple came to the Messenger ﷺ, he looked sad, the Messenger ﷺ asked him why he was sad? He replied “I love you more than myself and my family. Whenever I miss you, I visit you, but now my anxiety is increasing, in the hereafter, you will be in a lofty place near Allah, but I don’t know where I will be, this really worries me. The thought of being separated from you makes me unhappy”. The Prophet ﷺ was so touched and moved on hearing this but said nothing, then a verse was revealed, where Allah says: “Anyone who obeys Allah and the Messenger shall be with those Allah favoured: the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. What a wonderful fellowship” (An Nisa: 69).

Love of the Prophet ﷺ is a basic ingredient of Islam, the Prophet ﷺ himself declared: “None of you can be a believer until I am more dearer to you than your parents, children and the rest of humanity” (Bukhari). The love of the Prophet ﷺ must be more intense, deeper and stronger than love for anything else. Anas reported a man came to the Messenger ﷺ and asked “when is the last day coming? The Messenger ﷺ asked him, what have you prepared for it? He said I haven’t prepared much for it, but I do love God and his Messenger. He ﷺ replied, well if that’s the case then remember, a person will be with the one who he loves”. Allama Iqbal rephrased this poetically when he said: “the essence of Quran, the spirit of faith and the secrets of religion all lie in the love of the one who is the Kindness to all the people.” Another poet eloquently makes this point when he said: “love of Muhammad is the first requirement of religion, if this is lacking then everything is incomplete.” We are fortunate to have a guide like Muhammad ﷺ.

Source:https://www.musharrafhussain.com/love-of-the-prophet-is-the-heart-of-islam/

Dr.Musharraf Hussain's Biography :https://www.musharrafhussain.com/about/

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Uniting for the Prophet: Preserving Faith in Times of Doubt: Seekers Guidance -11/7/2021

Uniting for the Prophet

A Special Rabi’ al-Awwal Series Finale Brought to You By SeekersGuidance in Collaboration with Al-Maqasid, Simply Islam Academy, Greensville Trust, The Ribat Institute and Dar-Al Rahma.
In Honour and Loving Memory of the Late Dr. Fuad Nahdi and Ustadh Usama Canon.

We find ourselves in the midst of a great deal of division and isolation after almost two years of a global pandemic.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to safeguard and cultivate our faith.
More than ever now is the time to turn to our faith and the teachings of our teacher, the Beloved of Allah (peace be upon him) to find the strength to navigate these difficult and confusing times.

Join us with renowned scholars, educators and devotional artists from around the world in Uniting for the Prophet: Preserving Faith in Times of Doubt.

17 Video Lectures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twArUmzr7ps&list=PL4mTEQpP9b5GwONgbRA2lMqNVdSV7FlIN

Source:https://seekersguidance.org/rabi-al-awwal/

Monday, August 8, 2022