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),

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Qasida Salammiyya - Salawat & Salaam || سَلاَمٌ عَلَي قَبْرٍ يُزَارُ مِنَ الْبُعْدِ (English Subs) - Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al-Habib RA - Karima Foundation - October 19, 2020

This poem is written by the famous spiritual sage, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al-Habib of the Darqawi spiritual path. Like Nahnu Fi Rawda, it carries his deep love for the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his attachment to the Rawda, his blessed resting place.
This poem is in the form of a prayer, where Shaykh Ibn al-Habib sends peace on the Prophet Muhammad, naming everything that he loves about him.
He begins by sending peace in the grave of the Prophet, and the Rawda. He describes his heartfelt connection to the Rawda, and the many virtues that his Beloved has been adorned with, such as being called to Allah’s presence in the night of the Ascension, and having a lizard testify to the truth of his prophethood.
His Beloved is also the one to whom Allah has granted such splendid beauty, and special virtue and majesty. He mentioned the great news to being able to visit the Rawda, and asks people who are going to convey his greetings. Unfortunately, he says that he is not able to visit himself, but the image of the Rawda stays in his mind, the most beautiful image he has ever seen.
Qasida: Arabic/Transliteration/ English translation
سَلَامٌ عَلَى
Greetings of Peace Upon
لَا اِلَهَ اِلَّا الله لَا اِلَهَ اِلَّا الله
لَا اِلَهَ اِلَّا الله مُحَمَّد رَسُولُ الله
lā āilaha āillā Allah lā āilaha āillā Allah
lā āilaha āillā Allah muḥammad rasulu Allah
There is no God except Allah, There is no God except Allah
There is no God except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
سَلَامٌ عَلَى قَبْرٍ يُزَارُ مِنَ البُعْدِ
سَلَامٌ عَلَى الرَوْضَة وَفِيهَا مُحَمَّدِ
salāmun ʿalā qabrin yuzāru minal buʿdi
salāmun ʿalār rawḍah wa fīhā muḥammadi
Greetings of peace upon a grave that is visited from far
greetings of peace upon al-Rawdah and in it is Muhammad
سَلَامٌ عَلَى مَنْ زَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ رَبَّهُ
فَبَلَّغَهُ المَرْغُوبَ فِي كُلِّ مَقْصَدِ
salāmun ʿalā man zāra fīl layli rabbahu
faballaghahual marghuba fī kulli maqṣadi
Greetings of peace upon the one who visited his Lord in the night,
so He gave him what is desired in every aspiration
سَلَامٌ عَلَى مَنْ قَالَ لِلْضَّبِّ مَنْ أَنَا
فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ أَنْتَ مُحَمَّدِ
salāmun ʿalā man qāla lilḍḍabbi man anā
faqāla rasulu Allahi anta muḥammadi
Greetings of peace upon the one who said to the lizard, “Who am I?”
So he replied, “The Messenger of God, you are Muhammad”
سَلَامٌ عَلَى المَدْفُونِ فِي أَرْضِ طَيْبَةَ
وَمَنْ خَصَّهُ الرَّحْمَنُ بِالفَضْلِ وَالْمَجْدِ
salāmun ʿalāl madfuni fī arḍi ṭaybata
wa man khaṣṣahur raḥmanu bil faḍli wal majdi
Greetings of peace upon the one buried in the land of Taybah
and tone who was distinguished by the Merciful with graciousness and nobility
نَبِيٌّ حَبَاهُ اللهُ بِالْحُسْنِ وَالبَهَا
فَطُوبَى لِعَبْدٍ زَارَ قَبْرَ مُحَمَّدِ
nabiyyun ḥabāhu Allahu bil ḥusni wal bahā
faṭubā liʿabdin zāra qabra muḥammadi
A Prophet that was favored by God with goodness and beauty
So glad tidings for a servant who has visited the grave of Muhammad
أيَا رَاكِبَا نَحْوَ المَدِينَةِ قَاصِداً
فَبَلِّغْ سَلَامِي لِلْحَبِيبِ مُحَمَّدِ
ayā rākibā naḥwal madīnati qāṣidāan
faballigh salāmī lilḥabībi muḥammadi
O you riding towards al-Madina intending,
convey me Salam to the beloved Muhammad
فِي رَوْضَتِهِ الحُسْنَى مُنَايَ وَبُغْيَتِي
وَفِيهَا شِفَا قَلْبِي وَرُوحِي وَرَاحَتِي
fī rawḍatihil ḥusnā munāya wa bughyatī
wa fīhā shifā qalbī wa ruḥī wa rāḥatī
In his beautiful Rawdah is my hope and desire
and in it is the cure for heart and spirit, and my comfort
فَإِنْ بَعُدَتْ عَنِّي وَعَزَّ مَزَارُهَا
فَتِمْثَالُهَا لَدَيَّ أَحْسَنُ صُورَةِ
fa in baʿudat ʿanniī wa ʿazza mazāruhā
fatimthāluhā ladayya aḥsanu ṣurati
If it became distant and difficult for me to visit,
then the image that I hold within me is the best of pictures
أُنَزِّهُ طَرْفَ الْعَيْنِ فِي حُسْنِ رَوْضِهَا
فَيَسْلُو بِهَا لُبِّي وَسِرِّي وَمُهْجَتِي
unazzihu ṭarfal ʿayni fī ḥusni rawḍihā
fayaslu bihā lubbiī wa sirriī wa muhjatī
I delight my eyes in its beautiful Rawdah, so my heart, innermost soul,
and core become free from all worries and grief
فَهَا أنَا يَاقُطْبَ العَوَالِمِ كُلِّهَا
أُقَبِّلُهَا شَوْقاً لِـإِشْفَاءِ عِلَّتِي
fahā anā yāquṭbal ʿawālimi kullihā
uqabbiluhā shawqāan liishfā'i ʿillatī
So here I am O head of all creation
kissing it in yearning to heal my illness
وَصَلِّ عَلَى قُطْبِ الوُجُودِ مُحَمَّدٍ
صَلَاةً بِهَا تَمْحُو عَنَّا كُلَّ زَلَّةِ
wa ṣalli ʿalā quṭbil wujudi muḥammadin
ṣalātan bihā tamḥu ʿannaā kulla zallati
And send your mercy upon the head of creation, Muhammad
A mercy that will wipe from us every slip

YouTube Video:

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Cloak of the Saint: Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore - Sufi Illuminations Journal 2008


                                The Cloak of the Saint

                              Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore


                                The cloak of the saint was filled with roses  

                                  The cloak of the saint rose above the city

                         The cloak of the saint was thrown over the back of chair

                                     It slowly filled with a human form

                                     It was filled with the sound of wind

                                       It floated down the mountainside

                                           Sheep it passed turned golden

                       Rocks glowed in its light as it flowed across their surfaces

                                 It sat at the table of the poor and broke bread

                               It spoke to a lone man on a rooftop or mountaintop

                                     A lone woman standing by a stream or sink

                                         A child singing to himself in the bath

                       A child playing by herself in a corner filled with bric-a-brac

                                  Or at sea in a lifeboat where a single sailor lies dying

       Or a young scholar weeping for joy in a lamplit mosque in the snow  

                                         Or over silent morning where the birds are

                                                    Just now waking up in the trees


                                The saint’s cloak is not made of threads interwoven

                                        But of silences between words and then

            Words like pearls lifted and suspended in the air between silences

                                       The saint’s cloak covers windows and doors

                         Our entrances and exits and all the indecisive or decisive

                                                      Moments in between

       Along rolling green hillsides just as the sun first hits them at dawn  

                                 And as the sun pulls its light into darkness at dusk

                            The cloak unfurls and is not light of sun nor dark of night

         And maybe it’s closer to starlight in its distant and elegant splendor

                                  Though it’s as near as the web of skin between

                                              Forefinger and thumb or the

                                  Raw inner flesh of our eyelids in a biting wind

                                  Or in a corridor of mirrors when an eyelash is

                                                          Caught in them

                                  Or alone on a beach where the cloak rises and

                                        Falls with the lull of waves and the

                           Sound of a bell buoy ringing invisibly in the mist

                                   If it were spread out against the sky its

                                       Words could be read more easily

                          Its parchment its scroll-like unrolling across the entire

                       Length and breadth of our lives in its impeccable grammar

                                Its perfect punctuation its start of sentence and

                                                               Single point final

                          The saint’s cloak drifting neither upward nor downward

                                                  But drifting all the same

                                         From one end of us to the other

                                     Through whose fabric towers of ice arise

                                 The living tremor of an uncommon surrender

                                       7/27-28/2004 ( from Cooked Oranges )


 Source: Sufi Illuminations: A Journal Devoted to the Study of Islam & Sufism, Vol.4, No.1 Spring 2008, Published by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE)

The Whisper of God : Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, American Muslim Poet - Sufi Illuminations Journal 2008

                            The Whisper of God

                      Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

                There are many depths to silence   And it may be the deepest is most audible
                                             ---- note scribbled 11/20/2005

             The whisper of God becomes fainter as our             
                                                       Ears become more acute

                                     Until we can hear it in the slightest thing
                                     Each hoop of which or wheel of which
                                                           Sings out a Name     

                                     One of the Ninety Nine or all of them at once
                                   As this world dissolves like a watercolor on glass  
                                      Into its constituent puddles of special color
                                           Or the silent ocean of its single sound

                                      The happy donkey rubbing its back in the grass
                                    Rolling in it like a barrel with legs in air while his nearby    
                                        Two companion horses nobly stand and nibble

                                       Each slight sound now amplified as everything
                                     Else becomes amplified and horrors switch places
                                       Back and forth with blisses as the wooden
                                     Horses go round and round inexorably forward

                                       If we stop to listen the ten thousand things
                                      Call out God’s Names above the general din

                                         And within the gears and pulleys of the  
                                           Din itself all those Names at once
                                          Compounding their elegant sound

                                         When we lean in and listen closer at the
                                       Grate of this world’s prison we may hear both
                                      The breathing and whispered monologue of its
                                                   Main intimate: ourselves’ self
                                              Standing in a steam of darkness with
                                                   Only its face in the light

                                    The Holy Names in full splendor speaking for us
                                         Until even our bones respond with their
                                             High-pitched marrow flutes

                                    “Come out” they say in His inimitable Voice

                                            As the silent sound descends
                                   The spaces between bars become sudden song

                                      Differentiate the miniscule inflections in a 
                                   Mouse voice in the “aye aye sir” obedience of an ant     
                                           In the radio waves from a distant planet

                                      The sound that speaks to us from God’s Throne
                                          To each differentiated individual of us
                                          Toiling on the wheel or listening in the
                                                   Tall grass between trees

                                                     Until the sun goes down 
                                                     Whistling in happy tune

                                 Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, American Muslim Poet   
                                      4/10/2006 ( from Coattails of the Saint )

  Source: Sufi Illuminations: A Journal Devoted to the Study of Islam & Sufism, Vol.4, No.1 Spring 2008, Published by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE)


Monday, December 25, 2023

O Protector! Rumi, Book VI: Translated by Abdul Hayy Darr. Sufi Illuminations Journal, 2008


                                                    O Protector!

                                              Rumi, Mathnawi, Book VI

                                         Translated by Abdul Hayy Darr

                       So who is a true protector? Whoever frees you;

                       Whoever lifts slavery’s shackle from your ankle. 


                        Since prophecy’s the true guide to freedom,

                        The faithful find liberation through prophets.

                              So be joyful, O company of faithful! 

                                  Be free as the cypress and lily.

                          Yet with each breath, give thanks to Water, 

                          Wordlessly as a rose garden of mirthful hues.  


                        The cypress and green meadow speak wordlessly, 

                      Thanking Water, thanking the measure of budding spring.   

                         Decked out in elegant robes and trailing their skirts,

                        They’re drunk and dancing, scattering amber in delight.

                        Each of them’s made pregnant by the Shah of spring,                          

                           With fruits of pearl in their bodies’ jewel-caskets.

                          Husbandless Marys are pregnant with Messiah,

                          Free of vain boasting, eloquent in their silence:

                           “Our moon shines wordlessly, joyfully!

                          Tongues find their words from our Beauty!”


                            Jesus-words flow from Mary’s Beauty.

                            Adam’s speech is a ray from that Breath.

                            Trusty friend, see abundance in the thanking

                            That nurtures fresh greenery inside the greenery!

                             Don’t crawl so easily into your self’s gunnysack. 

                             Don’t be heedless of those who’ve ransomed you.

Translator: Robert Abdul Hayy Darr is an American Muslim who has translated and published works of Afghan and Persian literature into English, such as the poetry of Raz Mohammed Zaray and Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, and the book The Garden of Mystery -the Gulshan-i raz of Mahmud Shabistari

Source: Sufi Illuminations: A Journal Devoted to the Study of Islam & Sufism, Vol.4, No.1 Spring 2008, 

Published by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE)


Sunday, December 24, 2023

GNOMIC SENTENCES : Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore , American Muslim Poet- Sufi Illuminations Journal Vol.4, No 2, 2008


Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

The sweetness of the bitter pill
the ascent of the small step

The total silence of too much speaking
the eyeful that becomes blind

The touch that becomes a full embrace
the downfall that becomes its own rise

See the sun in a mirror before
shielding your eyes from its rays

See the heart’s mirror down in your depths
turning dragons into doves

The laughter that is crueler than a scythe
the scimitar more soothing than comforting words

In some extremes have become the norm
for some the norm drives them to extremes

Kiss the stone in the corner of the house
and pass it by

The center never leaves its pivotal location
the edges never cease to be peripheral

A drop of honey on a sheet of glass
is an amber metropolis

An ant is a cosmos on six legs
holding a leaf

Hold to true notions and look death
straight in the face

Though the hair on the back of your hands
stand up and your throat parch

The gallows looks like a distant threat
for everyone else

Some eloquent words have escaped the lips
of those about to be hanged

Down has never been up
though it leads to the wheel

Each turn of the wheel by day or night
climbs the difficult mountain

Far is near for those who’ve just
returned from a journey

Lean close to the voyager who’s
passed through the Pleiades

The sighs of these journeyers are worth
more than the sacred texts

Look and see if you’re too much there
to partake of their nothingness

The ocean hides her inhabitants
with ferocious modesty

On earth the ocean is the air we breathe
and God is the whale surveying us with serene eyes

Let go of holding on
and holding on will let go of you

The flight to another planet
brings us back to earth with a jolt

A bolt of light is enough
to see a moment of space

God’s Light is enough to fill each breath
with His Face

9/16/2004 (from Cooked Oranges)

Sourcs:  Sufi Illuminations: A Journal Devoted to the Study of Islam & Sufism-Vol.4 No.1 Spring 2008, Published by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE)

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad:Umm al-Mu’mineen Aisha (ra) - Paradigms of Leadership -Cambridge Muslim College - Dec.24, 2023

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad covers the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, Umm al-Mu’mineen Aisha (ra), in this 25th instalment of his popular Paradigms of Leadership Lecture Series.

YouTube Video: --- Muslim history brims with detailed accounts of incredible leaders. Some are better known than others but they all demonstrated a range of beautiful leadership qualities that we can learn from today. In this ongoing Lecture Series, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad chooses exemplary figures in Islamic history of every generation, geography and gender, drawing out particular lessons for us: both in the way they carried themselves through society and in the principles they employed in handling the urgent challenges of their day.

Source: Cambridge Muslim College :

Friday, December 22, 2023

Fana' fi al- Rasul : The Utmost Degree of Devotion to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - Marcia Hermansen Ph.D.- Sufi Illuminations Journal Vol.4 No.1 Spring 2008

 The following paper will consider the theme of the utmost degree of love and devotion to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  among the mystics is characterized as “annihilation in the Prophetﷺ " (fana’ fi- al-Rasul).[1] In Sufi thought the two terms, fana’ and baqa’ are used as pairs in order to illuminate their respective qualities. “Fana’” in English is sometimes translated as “annihilation” and when indicating the role of a spiritual seeker, this may allude to the idea of the loss of self-identification or ego consciousness in the awareness of something far greater and encompassing. Abu Sa’id Kharraz ( d. 899),[2] one of the earliest Sufis to speak about fana’, is quoted by al-Hujwiri in the Kashf al-Mahjub as saying, Annihilation (fana’) of a person is the person’s extinction from perceiving his own servitude (‘ubudiyyat), and subsistence is the person’s subsistence in witnessing Divinity (ilahiyyat), i. e., it is an imperfection to be conscious in one’s actions that one is a servant, and one attains to real servitude (bandagi) when one no longer regards the actions as his own, but is annihilated so as not to see them, and becomes subsistent through beholding the grace of Almighty God. Hence, all one’s actions are referred to God, not to one’s self, and whereas a person’s actions that are connected to himself are imperfect, those that are attached to him by God are perfect. Once the God’s servant is annihilated from his own attachments, he subsists through the beauty (jamal) of Divinity.[3] al-Hujwiri’s Kashf al-Mahjub further relates fana to safa—“being pure from all existing things”. al-Hujwiri quotes Ibrahim ibn Shayban, an early Sufi, who says, “the knowledge of annihilation and subsistence (fana’ and baqa) turns on sincerity (ikhlas) and unity (wahidiyya) and true servitude; all else is error and heresy”.[4] al-Kalabadhi (d. 995) also spoke of fana and baqa. For example, he describes how there are two kinds of people in the station of fana’; some who should not be followed as models since they are absent from their own attributes, although they are preserved in their duties to God, and others who are leaders to be followed since they have the qualities of subsistence (baqa’) and manage their affairs though the divine qualities, not through their own attributes.[5] We later see the polarity of fana’ and baqa’ expressed in the teaching of the Naqshbandi Sufi Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1625), author of the well-known collection of letters, Maktubat [6] In Sirhindi’s formulation, baqa was associated with the station of the Prophet ﷺ  returns to the world and humanity to work for social and spiritual upliftment after having passed through the state of annihilation or self-effacement (fana’) in the realization of the divine.[7] Recently scholars of Islam in the West have been debating the origin and emphasis of the doctrine of devotion to the Prophet in Sufi thought. Some have identified it as symptomatic of a modern reformist attitude moving away from the idea of mystical union in the divine through accentuating the personality of the Prophet ﷺ , the study of his sayings, the hadith.[8] In response, others [9] have tried to show that the idea of the Prophet ﷺ , the Perfect Man and a particular object of devotion is an early and persistent theme in Sufism which can be traced to certain doctrines of Ibn ‘Arabi which were given a practical as well as a philosophical articulation in the works of ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili (ca. 1408). I might further add that even in the case of later Sufis this emphasis on the veneration of the Prophet ﷺ  not diminish the emphasis on trying to draw nearer to Allah, it is rather a means to this end. When it comes to the issue of the source for these concepts, it must be emphasized that the Sufis of the past drew on the Qur’an and the hadith for their understanding of the Prophetﷺ , augmented and interpreted of course by their own spiritual experience. For example, an early work such as the Kitab al-Tawasin of Mansur al-Hallaj (922) may be seen in part as a commentary on Chapter 53 of the Qur’an (al-Najm) which elaborates the spiritual role of the Prophet ﷺ  in its symbols. The Quranic verses most often cited in the context of discussing the concept of “fana’ fi al-Rasul” are: “Surely you possess a noble nature” (khuluq ‘azim). (68:4) According to Ibn ‘Arabi’s interpretation the Qur’an’s commendation to the Prophet ﷺ that he has a noble nature (khuluq ‘azim) is a reference to the perfection of Muhammad’s ﷺ  of his own original nature, created upon the divine form.[10] This process of coming to manifest the Divine Attributes is known as “takhalluq”. Yet another Qur’anic verse related to devotion to the Prophet ﷺ , “If you love Allah then follow me, so Allah will love you.” (3:31) “In tuhibbuna Allah, f-attabi’uni yuhbibkum Allah” This verse certainly represents devotion to the Prophet ﷺ  the connection between this love and following the the injunctions of the Islamic law (shari’a). In addition to these Qur’anic verses whose outer meanings clearly point to the spiritual effects of utmost love and devotion to the Prophet ﷺ,  there are many esoteric allusions in the Qur’an as well as many citations in the hadith referring to this spiritual role. Some of these will be mentioned during the course of this paper. Sufis have often commented on the meaning of hadith such as “Whoever sees me has seen his Lord”,[11] which discuss the results of love for the Prophet ﷺ  developing the connection to him. Iqbal uses this hadith as part of the following verse:[12] bi-chashm-i man nagah avardeh-i tust furugh-i la ilah avardehi tust ducharam kon bi subh-i „man ra’an’i” shabam-ra tab-i mah avardehi tust! It is you (O Holy Prophet ﷺ ) who has brought me insight It is you, who has brought “there is no God but Allah”’s light , Enlighten me with the dawn of, “Whoever has seen me” It is you who has brought the illumination of the moon to my night. Having made these introductory points, in the following part of this paper I would like to discuss some theoretical and practical dimensions of the doctrine of fana’ fi al-Rasul or the utmost degree of love and devotion for the Prophetﷺ . I will first discuss some of the Sufi expressions of the concept of fana fi-al-Rasul. What does fana’ mean? In Arabic it conveys the idea of “passing away” or “annihilation”. For example in Sura al-Rahman the Qur’an says “everything upon earth is perishing and the face of God remains” (55:27). We have shown that early Sufis used the concept of fana’, but the specific connection of fana’ with devotion to the Prophet was only gradually elaborated in their writings. Thus it can be asserted that in early Sufism, the precise expression “fana’ fir-rasul” was not used, although allusions implying such a concept can be traced, especially in post-Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240) writings. An important step in this process was the articulation of the Prophet’s ﷺ  station using the expression “al-insan al-kamil”, indicating the idea of the perfect or complete human exemplar.[13] By the time of al-Jili this had become a concept capable of extensive philosophical and doctrinal articulation of the Prophet’sﷺ role in an exemplary and ontological sense. A further aspect of this doctrine is the high rank of Muhammad ﷺ , the Prophets and the Perfect men is demonstrated, according to Ibn ‘Arabi, by the hadith in which Muhammad ﷺ  that he was given the all-comprehensive words (jawami’ al-kalim). These words, according to Ibn ‘Arabi, represent the names of Allah and indicate the all-inclusiveness of the message brought by Muhammad ﷺ and why he will be the master of humanity of the Day of Resurrection. This indicates that the religion brought by Muhammad ﷺ comprises all other revealed religions and that he is the most perfect of perfect men. In addition it is interpreted by “the Greatest Shaykh”, Ibn ‘Arabi, as referring to Sufi practices of devotion to the Prophet ﷺ . Another element of doctrine connected with the fana’ fir-Rasul concept is the relationship between the divine plane (lahut) and the human plane (nasut) as mediated by the Prophet ﷺ . Thus, while humanity forms a barzakh—boundary or point of mediation—between the spiritual and the material worlds, in the sense that Adam is composed of both the earthly matter and the divine spirit (ruh),[14] the Perfect Human being, i. e., the Prophet ﷺ , constitutes the Supreme Barzakh (al-barzakh al-a’la).[15] In Sufi tafsir and terminology this relation of the barzakh is coded in the Qur’anic references to the “maraja al-bahrayni yaltaqian, baynahuma barzakhun la yabghian.” (al-Rahman 55:19-20). “He has given freedom to the two great bodies of water so that they might meet, yet between them is a barrier which they may not transgress.”[16] The two seas here are said to represent the higher and lower realms, or the divine and human level.  Another allusion to the role the Prophet ﷺ  as a bridge or station on the way to the realization of God is the expression (qab qausayn )--" the distance of two bow spans", mentioned in al-Najm. (Q. 53:9), " He descended and drew nearuntil He was two bow spans away or nearer". The Sufi, Abd al-Rahman al-Jili, has written a treatise on this topic entitled, Qab-iQausayn wa Multaqa al-Namusayn (" A distance of two bow spans and the meeting of two realms ).[17] Note that al-Jili's more famous work , al-Insan al-Kamil fi Ma'rifat al-Awakhir wa al-Awail, [18] is considered an important development in the concept of fana fi al-Rasul since in it he elaborates the concept of the " Perfect Human Being" indicated more briefly in Ibn Arabi. It was also al-Jili who explained how the most highly developed Sufis could begin to merge aspects of their individual consciousness with the consciousness of the Prophet   . [19]   Further elaboration of the concept of fana’ fir-Rasul may be found Muhammad Lahiji's (d.1516) commentary on the Gulshan-i Raz of Mahmud Shabistari (d.1320). According to Annmarie Schimmel ,  "This poem (Ghulshan-i Raz) is the handiest introduction to the thought of post-Ibn Arabi Sufism; it deals with the Perfect Man, the stages of development, and mystical terminology, among other things.[20] The selection quoted below is cited from the chapter,"The Station of Muhammad ﷺ is the Pinnacle of Perfection of the Realized Ones (wasilan)".[21] Since the furthest limit of the perfection of the perfect ones and those who have achieved union ends at the station of the praised one, Muhammad ﷺ -- he (Shabistari) said, " Follow the footsteps of Muhammad ﷺ in the Mi'raj (the Night Journey) in which the Prophetﷺ  ascended to meet with Allah)'. First comes the perfection of existent things and the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ , due to the ascension (mi'raj) of baqa after fana, and sobriety after intoxication.Then comes the (stage of) traveling in  God (sair billah) which is the station of his (the Prophet's ﷺ  constancy and the transcending of otherness and duality as indicated in the hadith--" whosoever see me sees (the truth) God".[22] This is the station of confirmation ( tahaqquq) in true existence without non-existence, knowledge without ignorance, power without weakness and will without compulsion, and this is the level of " so that through Me he hears and through Me he he sees and through Me he speaks".[23] We can thus observe how the Sufi, Lahiji, in his commentary explaining Shabistari's poem is using concepts drawn from the Qur'an and hadith. For example, he cites both the hadith, " Whoever sees me (man ra'ani), [24] the hadith of supererogatory practices (nawafil) [25] which states that a worshipper approaches God through extra acts of worship and devotion until God become the source of all his actions. Each hadith can be related to how the stage of fana' fi al-Rasul leads to the further station of annihilation in the Divine consciousness ( fana' fillah ).          Continuing with Lahiji's text: Since the Muhammadan station which is the oneness of union (ahadiyyat al- jam') is an expression of the union of the end point with the beginning he (Shabistari) says:   " One the end point reaches the beginning--There you find no place for either angel or messenger," [26]
This then, also refers to transition from annihilation in the Messenger  (fina'fi al-Rasul) to annihilation in the divine (fan' fillah) through mentioning a hadith describing the station attained at the height of the Mi'raj. A further relevant selection drawn from the commentary on the Gulshan-i Raz is the chapter entitled," The Spiritual Path of the Saint (Wali) in Attaining the Rank of Mahbubiyyat (Belovedness) and Wilayat (Friendship/Saintship)" Lahiji writes: Since without perfect love which is a connection between God and the creation, reaching the station of perfection cannot be attained, Shabistari says that:" You must go from the level of " in kuntum tuhibbuni" (if you love me) to the place of seclusion of " yuhbibkum Allah" (God will love you)." This is a reference to the Quranic verse 3:31), " Say if you love Allah, then follow me (the Prophet) and God will love you." This citation evokes the Sufi terminology of the "muhibb" and the "mahbub". A Sufi once explained to me the relationship of the muhibb and the mahbub on the spiritual path. The muhib is the one who is aspiring to fulfill love and who is making efforts towards perfection and love Allah and his Prophet  -- but the muhibb,like lovers of this world , must be vigilant and aware of his faults, he will be held to account for his smallest imperfections and errors. The muhibb on other hand is that enviable state of what we might call in today's language being " the recipient of unconditional love", the muhibb basks in the delight and ecstasy of knowing and receiving this divine love, seemingly without any effort.[27] In Sufism progress is conceived of as occurring from "fana' fi al- Shaykh" to "fana' fi al-Rasul" and then to "fina fillah". The secret of this is that often it takes the attention of the spiritual teacher, the Shaykh or Pir, to awaken the aspirant to these other levels. The love of the Shaykh allows the Sufi to experience the quality of belovedness ( mahbubiyyat), so that she or he can develop this relation to the Prophet  . In turn, the overwhelming effect of becoming conscious of the spiritual reality of the Messenger  transforms the love of individual to a cosmic love which prepares for the experience of the constant love of Allah which sustains all beings. Returning to the commentary on the Gulshan-i Raz, Lahiji further observes,  "Thus due to loving me ( Muhammad ) characteristic of belovedness (muhbubiyyat) will become present in you and just as I am the beloved of God, you will also become the beloved of God because of this connection to me, and God will love you and through the decree of, "When I love him I become his hearing and his sight", you will reach the rank of " perfected one" and union, at the station of wilayat of the Prophet  which is " Essential Unity" (tauhid-i dhati);--that of " la yasa'uni fihi malak muqarrab wa la nabi mursal", ( there is no place for any near angel or any Prophetic messenger ) [28] and you will become a location of the manifestation of the Muhammadan perfections, may the peace and blessings ofAllah be upon him." 
Poem: Out of love he became the beloved of God ------------Whatever he desired became the will of God    Love became the manifestation of harmony -------- --------------------  Without love the world is imperfect    Due to love fire becomes light --------------------------------- --------Due to love the demon became a hour      Due to love thorns became roses --------------------------------- ----      Due to love vinegar became honey      Once the sun of love begins to shine -- --------Mastery becomes servitude and servitude becomes mastery
Along this same theme, a further line from Shabistari, " From 'if you love me' you will achieve it" Lahiji comments on this line, saying: " That is, lover (muhibb) of God and the supreme lover ( ashiq-i mutlaq) since he knows that the means of achieving the desired end which is attaining union with the Beloved, depends on obeying the Prophet  and on following his speech, actions, and deeds, according to one's ability , will give priority to making attempts and efforts to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet  on the path of Shari'a and Tariqa. Every mirror in which the belovedness of the Holy Prophet  shines through the saint (wali) finds a way to the place of solitude of "Allah will love you" which is the rank of " Mahbubiyyat". Then the "muhibb" and the "mahbub" become single entity and all duality and otherness is eliminated." Once love becomes perfected, the friend of Allah (wali), due to his following the Prophet  , certainly attains the rank of " belovedness" (mahbubiyyat) of Allah which is, "Follow me, and Allah will love you". [30] We see the doctrine of fana' fi al-Rasul fully articulated in the later 18th century work, 'Ilm al-Kitab, [31] of the Naqshbandi Sufi and Urdu poet, Khwaja Mir Dard (d.1785) who writes,  " Since the Prophet is an intermediary (wasta) between humans and God the exalted, fana fi-l-llah is impossible without fana' fi-l-rasul. Thus the spiritual guide (murshid) is an intermediary and means of connection (wasila) between the Umma and the Prophet  . Without fana fi al-Shaykh, fana fi al-Rasul is illusory and imaginary." [32] In every Sufi tariqa, according to the masters of the spiritual path, there have been  determined to be three types of fana, firstly fana fi-l-shaykhs. , second fana fi-r-rasul, and thirdly, fana fi-llah. Proximity (qurb) to Allah will not be acieved by the spiritual aspirant (salik) without these fanas.  They say that the salik progresses from the degree of fana fi-s-shaykh and by means of of the Pir then arrives at the level of fana fi al-Rasul," [33]                        
   Practical Aspects: Now we consider what have the Sufis have said about the ways to achieve fana' fi al-Rasul. According to Sufi theory, the utmost level of love and devotion for the Prophet ﷺ is achieved through following both the shari'a and tariqa. In Jili's treatise, Qab-i qausayn this may be expressed by the idea that the connection to the Holy Prophet ﷺ ( al-ta'alluq bi-Muhammad   ) is of two types: formal and spiritual, (suri wa ma'navi)[34]. In the Islamic intellectual and spiritual disciplines such as calligraphy and traditional writings, one praises the Prophetﷺ and may even recite the fadha'il, all various ways in which Muhammad ﷺ is the most superior being in all creation, spiritually, morally and physically. al-Jili suggests that this practice enables one to picture the physical form of the Prophetﷺ as a preliminary to the experiencing a vision of the Prophet [35] ﷺ . Al-Jili cites the hadith which mentions that a person does not have a faith until he loves Muhammad ﷺ  more than himself, his property and his children. [36] If you do not yet have this love, al-Jili says, you must recognize that your faith id deficient, so constantly ask God's forgiveness ( astaghfir'Allah ), repent for your sins and remember the Prophet ﷺ , demonstrating proper respect for him, doing what he commanded and avoiding what he forbad (i.e; by following the Shari'a and Sunna), so that you can reach this (love) and be gathered with him on the Day of Judgement. For he has said, "A man will be with one he has loved". [37]                                                           On the theme of praising and remembering the Prophet ﷺ Urdu poet has said;                                        Bandigi ka husn barhkar hadd see bee hadd ho gaya--hamd kartee kartee Ahmad see Muhammad ho gaya   " The beauty of servitude kept increasing until it transcended all limitation , By continuously praising Allah, the one who praised so much ( Ahmad) himself became worthy of praise (Muhammad )"  [38].  The act of praising or sending blessings ( salawat or darud sharif) on the Prophet ﷺ is based on the   Qur'anic Verse (Q. 33:56) which states: " Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet ﷺ .O you who believe send peace and blessings upon him." " Inna' Allah wa mala'ikatahu yusalluna 'ala al-Nabi.Ya ayyuha alladhina amnu sallu 'alaihi wa sallimu tasliman". Following the pattern of many classical Islamic texts, al-Jili divides the ways of cultivating the connection with the Prophetﷺ into two main types, each of which has two sub-categories.[39] The first type of cultivation in the level of formal practices, the first category of these consisting of complete obedience to what was ordered in the Qur'an and Shari'a, in one's words, actions, and beliefs. The second sub-category of "formal" connection involves following the Prophetﷺ with intense love until you experience your love for him in your entire being. al-Jili exclaims, " For I find my love for him, by Allah, in my heart, soul, body, hair, and skin--just as I feel cool water running through my whole being after performing intense exertions in great heat." [40] al-Jili notes that love for the Prophetﷺ is incumbent on everyone as God has said, " The Prophetﷺ is more deserving of the believers," (Q. 33:6) and he ﷺ said , " Until I am dearer to him than himself, his property and his children". [41] The second type of connection is the spiritual (ma'nawi ) connection, the first category of which may be attained by keeping the Prophet's ﷺ image constantly in mind. al-Jili suggests among ways to to cultivate this spiritual attachment to the Prophetﷺ is the contemplation of his virtues with awe and respect. If this is too difficult or abstract, then calling to mind his image if you have seen him in a dream; if not , constantly sending blessings on him. During your dhikr imagine yourself with him in this life. If you haven't done this but have visited imagine his tomb, you may recall its image in your mind with such respect and awe that it is as if you experience his spiritual reality manifesting to you.[42]. Al-Jili further counsels: "Know that the reality of Muhammad ﷺ has an appearance at every plane of existence ( 'alam ) corresponding to the condition of that plane so his appearance in the physical world is not like his appearance in the world of spirits because the bodily world is restricted to an extent which does not permit what can be encompassed by the spirit world. Neither is his manifestation in the world of spirits like his appearance in the world of ideas, because the world of ideas is subtler than the world of spirits and more expansive.  Therefore, his appearance on the earth is not like his appearance in the heavens and his appearance in the heavens is not like his appearance at the right side of the Throne and his appearance at the right side of the Throne is not like his appearance before Allah, praised and exalted, above the Throne where there is no place or quality. The higher the station, more perfect and complete is his manifestation that at the lower station. Every manifestation has a majesty and awe in proportion to the position until it concludes at a place where no one among the prophets or angels may be seen and this is the meaning of his ﷺ statement,    " I have time with Allah which no one can share except my Lord" or another version , " I have a time with Allah which has no room for any near angel nor any messenger who has been sent".[43] So raise your zeal, my brother, so as to see him at highest manifestations at their greatest spiritual ranks, for he is he ﷺ .  I counsel you, O my brother, to constantly keep him before you in image and idea, and if you are diligent and keep him in mind always, in a short time as your soul develops closeness with him, he will appear to you externally and you can speak with him and address him, and he will love you and he will speak with you and address you and you will have attained the rank of being " one of the Companions", may Allah be pleased with them and you will become permanently attached to them, God willing," [44]  The second category of establishing spiritual attachment or connection to the Prophetﷺ is by  recognizing that he is the isthmus ( barzakh ) between the two sides of existence -- the eternal and the created. [45] This is associated with the image of two-bow spans mentioned in the Qur'anic verse, " He drew near and suspended, and was two bow-spans away or closer" (Q. 53:9). [46] The image here, according to Sufi commentary, is that of a circle ( the circle of existence) composed of two bows--the line dividing the circle into two halves is the string of each bow.[47] The early Sufi work, Kitab al-Tawasin of al-hallaj, had already discussed this symbol in esoteric terms. The distance between them was 'two bow spans'. He hit the mark of 'where' (ayn) with the arrow of 'between' (bayn). He stated there were two bow spans to specify the exact place, and 'or' because of un-delineated nature of the Essence, 'a little closer' is the Essence of the Essence". [48] The bow string represents the balance between the things of this world and the spiritual realm--again, this could be an image of the balance between the rules of Shari'a, the external or Zahir --and the Tariqa--the inner and spiritual dimension behind these practices and indeed all activities. This idea the intermediary state ( barzakh ) is also seen in the Sufi concept of the 'alam al-khalq  ( the world of created existence ) and the 'alam al-'amr ( the world of the divine command ). The Prophet ﷺ who transmits this 'amr is the bridge between the worlds. Similarly, in the Chishti spiritual path the station of the Prophetﷺ is associated with the realm of Jabarut, the World of Divine Dominion, between the realm of Lahut (divine) and Nasut (human). This is above the Malakut or angelic plane and esoterically we can see the interpretation of being commanded by the Shari'a as in the story, the Primordial Covenant ( mithaq) and the creation of Adam. One interpretation is that human beings are linked to the divine through divine command and obeying the Shari'a at a station even above the plane of angels. The Prophet ﷺ  had brought this blessing to humanity through transmitting the divine command ( 'amr ). Another esoteric reference to fana' fi al-Rasul is the idea of sharh al-sadr ( the opening of heart ) referred to, for example , in Qur'an. (94:1).[49]  At one level sharh al-sadr is the experience of the opening of the heart and human consciousness to the divine love. In this, the Prophet's ﷺ experience is said to open the way. The verses of Qur'an , Chapter 94, promise that after difficulty will come ease. [51] From the experience of the longing lover who must watch every movement on his way to the beloved and who feels the pain of separation at every instant; one draws nearer to God until he or she can experience becoming the beloved of Allah  ( mahbub) who in turn can attain the station of wilayat ( sainthood ) in order to radiate this experience to other seekers, and the world at large. The highest level of "sharh al-sadr" is related to the spiritual organ or receptor (latifa) known in Sufism as the mystery (sirr).[52]. 
Conclusion: I hope I have demonstrated continuity in Sufi thought of the concept of devotion to the Prophet ﷺ as a means to arriving at the highest levels of spiritual perfection. The particular formulation of    "fana' fi al-Rasul" may have been refined and further elaborated over time, but a consistent theme is the necessity to discover, in so far as one can, the aspects of divine love and mercy reflected through the presence of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and through following his guidance at both the levels of the outer law ( Shari'a) and the inner love which attracts to the path of spiritual perfection. As Maulana Rum has said in his Mathnavi, " hich kas ra ta nagardad u fana ---------------------------- nist rah dar bargah-i kibriya                                       chist mi'raj-falak in nisti -----------------------------------'ashiqanra madhab-o-din nisti" [53]   'A person who has not experienced annihilation of self (fana') has no access to the assembly of grandeur --Oh what is the ascent to the highest sphere, it is this non-existence -- The religion of the passionate lovers is this very non-existence.    *** Notes not included

Source: Fana' fi al- Rasul : The Utmost Degree of Devotion to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - Marcia Hermansen Ph.D.- Sufi Illuminations: A Journal Devoted to the Study of Islam & Sufism-Vol.4 No.1 Spring 2008, Published by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE)

Utmost State of Devotion for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ : Fana Fi al-Rasul. Dr.Marcia K.Hermansen, Professor of Theology, Director World Islamic Studies ,Loyola University, delivered at International Mawlid un Nabi Conference,1996,UIC,Chicago.Sponsored by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Qasidah Al Burdah Complete: Arabic, Transliteration, English Subtitles with Duff : Mesut Kurtis -Awakening Music -9/25/23

Qasidah Al Burdah (The Poem of the Mantle), known as The Burdah, is a poem in praise of The Prophet ﷺ. It was composed by Al Busairi in the 7th century Hijri and is one of the most widely recited and memorised poems in the world. The actual title of the poem is The Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation (الكواكب الدرية في مدح خير البرية). It is most widely known by the refrain, often sung between verses: مَولَاىَ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ دَائِمًا أَبَدًا ِعَلَى حَبِيبِكَ خَيرِ الْخَلْقِ كُلِّهِم Structure The Burdah consists of ten chapters. Al Busairi starts by expressing his own love for The Prophet ﷺ and then mentions his regret for past errors. The middle chapters celebrate the life of The Prophet ﷺ - his birth, his miracles, the Qur'an, his night journey and martial struggles. The final chapters of the Burdah are Al Busairi's plea for The Prophet's ﷺ intercession and Allah's mercy.
The Burdah's Story Al Busairi was affected by a debilitating sickness. He decided to write the Burdah as a means of seeking Allah's forgiveness and The Prophet's ﷺ intercession. After composing Burdah he saw a dream, where The Prophet ﷺ covered the Al Busairi with his ﷺ mantle (Burdah). He was completely cured from his illness when he woke up.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal and the Love of the Prophetﷺ : Marcia Hermansen, PH.D. Sufi Illuminations Journal 1996

When the organizers of the 1995 international Milad an-Nabi ﷺ celebration, Naqshbandiya Foundation suggested this topic to me I gladly accepted, not because I feel that I am an expert on Muhammad Iqbal's poetry and thought, but because I wanted to learn something new in the course of preparing this presentation and I can say that researching this small piece has given me much enjoyment as well as spiritual food for thought. It is in that spirit that I want to offer these brief remarks, to share with you some of things I learned from Allama Iqbal's idea concerning love for the Holy Prophet ﷺ and their relation to broader theme of this gathering, " the spiritual aspects of Islam." For those who may not be familiar withMuhammad Iqbal رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ , he sometime known as the intellectual father of Pakistan because his early call for Muslim homeland in the Indian Sub-continent. Allama Iqbal رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ is considered to have been one of the greatest poets in two Islamic languages, Persian and Urdu. He was born in Sialkot in 1877 and died in Lahore in 1938. He spent sometime studying in Germany where he received his Ph.D. for a thesis on the spiritual metaphysics of Persia, and in England , where he was called to the bar. He later returned to Lahore where he preferred intellectual and literary activities to the practice of law. In his poetry and other writings Allama Iqbal رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ strongly influenced by Sufi thought. He was an initiate of the Qadri Sufi lineage and was influenced by Sufi philosophers whom he studied, Shihabuddin Suhrawardi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ (d.1191) and Ibn al-Arabi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ (d. 1240) as well as the great Persian Sufi poets such as Fakhruddin Iraqi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ and Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ (d. 1273). In fact it is well known that in his later writings he moved from a more philosophical or metaphysical interest in tasawwuf, to a call for Islamic activism based on spiritual principles such as love and spiritual poverty ( faqr ). We find the sources for this activism in his understanding of the meaning of the life of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . We find this same sort of understanding of the Prophet ﷺ as an example of one who transforms the world through devoted service in the teachings of great Naqshbandi Sufi, Mujaddid-i Alf Thani, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ (d.1624) and other great Sufis of the past. Since this Milad celebration has been organized by Naqshbandiya Foundation, let me turn for a moment to the subject of Allama Iqbal's relationship to the Naqshbandis and in particular to the person of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ . Allama Iqbal رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ made several visits to shrine of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ at Sirhind Sharif and mentions him in a number of his poems. His trips to Sirhind are recorded in his letters which mention the spiritual benefits he received there. During his stay in England, he gave a public lecture on Mujaddid-i Alf Thani رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ. Unfortunately the text of this lecture has not been located among the papers. He also composed one section of his famous poem, Asrar-i Khudi ( Secrets of the Self ), under the pseudonym " Mir Najat Naqshbandi". The following poem recounts one of his visits to the shrine of Mujaddid رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ and a spiritual conversation which he had with him. " Poem from Bal-i Jibril ( Gabriel's Wing ) "                       [*"I presented myself at the tomb of Shaykh Mujaddid *That ground which is the rising place of lights under the spheres *The planets are ashamed before the dust of that place * Which shrouds the master of secrets*The one who didn't bow his head before Jahangir* The one from whose energetic spirit comes enthusiasm for true freedom*  He is watching over the honor of the Muslims in India * God sent him at the right time to raise consciousness *  I requested that he bestow on me the gift of spiritual poverty * My eyes see while I am not yet awake *This response came that the transmission of faqr has ended *The people of insight are distressed over the land of Punjab*". ]                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Some have found Allama Iqbal رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ to be critical of Sufism in his poetry and in fact this poem ends with a denunciation of the contemporary system of piri-muridi or feudal master-discipleship in the Subcontinent which allowed material exploitation and misleading of masses. For this reason Allama Iqbal sometime uses the sufi or pir as negative symbol in his poetry in the same way that the mulla is traditionally a negative symbol for a dry, hypocritical form of religious practice. However , in addition to the passive or negative form of Sufism which he criticizes, Allama Iqbal evokes the Sufis as leaders in an educational and reformist movement in Islam, for example , in his poem, " Ay Saqi (" O Cupbearer"), which also refers to Shaykh Mujaddid رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ " Ay Saqi ( " O Cupbearer" )
["*O Saqi, once more bring the same wine and cup,* So that I can once more achieve my station, O Saqi, *The taverns of Hindustan have been closed for three hundred years, *Now is the right time for your blessed influence to spread everywhere, O Saqi!"]
The verse about the lapsing of three hundred years was explained by Allama Iqbal himself to be a reference to the activities of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ , who died in 1624, and his disciples as positive role model for the contemporary Muslims. Allama Iqbal رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ was also close to the Chishti Sufi lineage and carried out a long spiritual correspondence with Khwaja Hasan Nizami رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ , the sajjadanishin of the shrine of Nizamuddin Awliya in Delhi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ .In his work written in English, " The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam", he quotes the Indian Chishti, ' Abdulquddus Gangohi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ ( d.1537), who said , "Muhammad of Arabia ﷺ reached the highest heaven and returned, I swear by God that if I had reached that point I should never have returned." Here we see Allama Iqbal's inclination to the Naqshbandi position of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ , who emphasized the Prophet's ﷺ station of baqa in returning to the world with the insights he had gained at the highest levels of realization, in order to work for the material and spiritual upliftment of his community. We see this idea echoed in Allama Iqbal's poetry: [*"Although the Holy Prophet ﷺ , saw the divine essence without a veil *Still the words" May God increase me in knowledge" issued from his lips". *] Allama Iqbal sought for a spiritual teaching in Sufism which was both profound and relevant to the problems facing the modern Muslims. He lamented the decline of Muslim energy and political power in his poems " Shakwa" and " jawab-i shakwa" as well as his famous poem, " Mosque of Cordoba". Allama Iqbal's thought has been studied by great Eastern and Western scholars including Nicholson, Arberry, and Annemarie Schimmel. In preparing my presentation I made use of the original poems and writings of Allama Iqbal but also benefited from two Urdu works, Iqbal awr muhabbat-i rasul ﷺ by Muhammad Tahir Faruqi and Hadrat Mujaddid-i Alf Sani awr Daktar Muhammad Iqbal by Muhammad Masud Ahmad.
Iqbal and Love for Prophet ﷺ : Schimmel notes that there are two currents in Allama Iqbal's thoughts on the Prophet ﷺ , the mystical veneration of the Prophet ﷺ , and the investigation into his life to show Muslims that they should live in harmony with his sunna and way of life. While Allama Iqbal remained devoted and preoccupied with the Prophet ﷺ as a guide throughout his life, in his last days he especially longed to perform the pilgrimage and have the honor of visiting the tomb of the Holy Prophetﷺ in Madina. He wrote in one of his final letters, " What other place is there for sinners like me but the threshold of the Prophet ﷺ ". Unfortunately he was unable to fulfill this dream but his final collection of poems, composed during this period is known as Armaghan-i Hijaz or The Rare Gifts of the Hijaz, one section of this work is called " In the presence of the Prophet ﷺ". The person of Holy Prophet ﷺ and devotion to him as a guide and role model for Muslims figures prominently in Allama Iqbal's poetry. Here are some well-known examples: From " Jawwab-i shakwa" ( The Answer to the Complaint" )                    [*" Reason is your shield, love is your sword * O my darvish, the khilafat is your mandate to rule *Your takbir destroys the claim of all others besides Allah *You are a Muslim and destiny is under your management *Be faithful to Muhammad ﷺ then We too belong to you,*  Not only this world--but the Tablet and Pen will belong to you"* ]  Allama Iqbal links the teachings of the Holy Prophetﷺ about original sense of spiritual poverty (faqr), to the teachings of the Sufis. In his Mathnawi, " What is to be done, O people of the East, " Allama Iqbal presents Islam in terms of faqr and darwishi and again refers to the life of the Mujaddid رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ the sense that for three centuries the umma has been wretched and helpless. This state of spiritual poverty ( faqr ) was something which he himself sought and held in high esteem as evident from his advice to his son Javid in the Darb-i Kalim: [*"The threshold of the men of God *Is more dear than the king's court. *If you have spiritual zeal, then seek out that state of spiritual poverty ( faqr ) *The faqr whose origin is in the Hijaz * Through this spiritual poverty one finds in humans *The aspect of God's divine independence. *"]                                                                                  Allama Iqbal emphasizes that following the example the Prophet ﷺ includes practicing the shari'a and following the sunna. [*"Now God has perfected for us the Divine Law *And has completed with our Prophetﷺ , prophethood* Now the service of the cupbearer was transferred to us *He gave us the last cup he possessed"*] This is also evident in following couplet: [*"The knowledge of God is nothing other than shari'a *The basis of the sunna is nothing other than love.*]  The Prophet ﷺ as the Perfect Man and the Best Example : The creative force of the life of the Prophet ﷺ as an example to the Muslims of today is alluded to in these verses :[* "The man of faith renews himself, *He looks at himself only in the Light of God,* He measures himself by the standard set by Mustafa ﷺ,* In order to create a new world."*] In the " answer" portion of his poem " Complaint and Answer," Allama Iqbal exhorts Muslims with following verses: [*"Raise high all that is low with strength of love, *Illuminate the word with Muhammad's name ﷺ,* Maulana Rum spoke so well when he said,* An ocean can be contained in one drop of him,* Don't break your connection to the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ,* And depend too much on your own skills,* Instead follow the Best Example ﷺ,* O Bud on the branch of Mustafaﷺ, * Blossom as a flower through the spring breeze of Mustafa ﷺ, " *] The light of Muhammad ﷺ is an idea related to the role of the Prophet ﷺ as the Perfect Man. Allama Iqbal refers to this light as follows: [*" One is either shining with the light of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, * or still searching for him.*] Problems of Contemporary Umma: In his time Allama Iqbal faced many of the same problems which Muslims are facing today. In some poems he commented on this in terms of love the Prophet ﷺ as a means of uniting Muslims and in helping them overcome a sense of inferiority which leads them to downplay their identity. Some Muslim groups in recent times have sought to de-emphasize the aspect of devotion to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Allama Iqbal, perceiving the error of this tendency, cautions: [*"Make yourself reach Mustafa ﷺ din is only him,* If you don't know him ,then everything will be like Abu Lahab". *]The insight that it was the negative influence of the modern age which had led some Muslim writers and their supporters to try to remove from Muslim practice the benefits of devotion to the Prophet ﷺ and the great spiritual teachers and saints of the past led Allama Iqbal to remark: [*"The age we live has alienated us from ourselves,* And estranged us from the beauty of the Holy Prophet ﷺ,"*] Prophet ﷺ and Unity of Muslims:  Allama Iqbal saw the person of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and the love of him as being a major factor capable of uniting Muslims. He wrote in a personal letter, "In order to bind together the Islamic nations of India the most holy personality of the honored Prophetﷺ can constitute our greatness and most efficient power". The theme of the unifying effect of devotion to the Prophet ﷺ is evident in this poem in Rumuz-i Khudi:[*" In this world our foundation from prophecy drives, *The law of our religion from prophecy derives, *Because of prophecy hundreds of thousands of us have become one, * Each part cannot be separated from the other, * From prophecy we draw one voice, one breath, one aim".*] Conclusion: The love of the Prophet ﷺ and the need to follow him as the best example is a constant theme in Allama Iqbal's Poetry. Among the many verses which he composed along this line are the following famous verses: [*"There is a beloved hidden within your heart, * If you have the capacity to see him, come and let me show you,* His lovers are the best, the happiest, the most beautiful, the most beloved, * The heart became powerful because him,* Dust became higher than the stars because of him,* The dust of Nejd came to life because of him,* It went into ecstasy and reached the heavens,* The Muslim's heart is the home of Muhammad ﷺ,* All of our glory is due to the name of Muhammad ﷺ. "] Let me conclude with Allama Iqbal's assertion that the Holy Prophet ﷺ is the goal and ultimate point of our striving, The " Mercy to the Worlds" reference is to the Qur'anic verse (21:107) which formed the theme of the first Milad Conference held in Chicago in 1994. [*"Creation, destiny, and guidance was the beginning,* The " Mercy to the Worlds" is the final goal". *         *** Notes not included ***                 Source: Risala-yi Anwar as-Sufiyya Sufi Illuminations , A journal dedicated to Islam and Tasawwuf Special Milad an-Nabi ﷺ Edition , Proceedings of Second Annual International Milad an-Nabi ﷺ Conference, Chicago, 1995, Vol 1: August, 1996, Part 1. Edited by Arthur Buehler Ph.D. Published by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE)

YouTube Video: NFIE Mawlid 1994 " Allama Muhammad Iqbal (r.a) and Love of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ" A Lecture by Dr. Marcia Hermansen, Director, Islamic World Studies Program, Loyola University, Chicago