‘Ilm – Knowledge

Bismillahir Rahmanir  Raheem, Allahumasolli ‘ala Sayidina Muhammadin wa aalihi wasohbihi wasalim…


Beneficial Knowledge

Beneficial knowledge here refers to that knowledge which brings good both to our life in this world and the hereafter.

Beneficial knowledge as stated by Imam Ghazali radiaAllahuanhu is knowledge which:

  1. increases our fear of Allah ta’ala.
  2. increases our introspection of our faults, makes us inspect ourselves for any bad character traits, insincerity etc.
  3. increases our knowledge on matters pertaining to ‘ibadah i.e. divine service
  4. decreases our desire for the world
  5. increases our focus/desire for the hereafter – increases certainty
  6. enlighten us on different spiritual ailments (e.g. show, envy etc.) until we are able to avoid them
  7. enlighten us on the subtle satanic deceptions

These are the most important types of knowledge that must be sought for anyone who desires salvation. He/She must then practice the knowledge with utmost sincerity and spread the knowledge. It is said by Prohpet Isa alaihisalaam that anyone who learns, practices and then teaches will be a called a “V.I.P”/big shot/great figure in the kingdom of heaven. Wallahu ‘alam.


There is a saying that goes, “Seek knowledge in your youth and then retreat (khalwa/uzlah) later.” Our youth is the perfect time for seeking knowledge especially when our sight, hearing and other faculties are at its peak. It is said, “One faqih (i.e. a person who is deeply versed in the religious knowledge) is better that a thousand ‘abid. (a person who spents most of his time in ‘ibadah). The virtuos predecessors have said, “To learn a verse of the Qur’an is more beloved to me than to pray a hundred raka’ahs.

It is related by Shaykh Ibn ‘Arabi radaiAllahuanhu that once there was an ‘abid who spends most of his time praying, fasting etc. One day he bought a donkey and he tied it at his house. People were curious as to what he used the donkey for as he doesn’t seem to have a need for it, as he spend his time mostly in ‘ibadah. He answered them as such, “Oh this donkey, I use it to guard my private part from sinning.” The people of the village were taken aback by this, reprimanded him, telling him to repent. This story illustrates an extreme case of how ignorance can nullify our good acts. May Allah increase us in beneficial knowledge, Amin.


O Friend, know that the more esteemed the object that is sought, the more difficult/cumbersome and trouble it takes to find it. Such is knowledge.

It is related that Imam Asy-Syafi’i grew up as an orphan under the care of his mother. They were very poor and as a boy he spent his time with scholars, writing whatever he gain from them on pieces of bones as he could not afford paper.

It is also related that, Sayid Muhammad bin Alwi would revise his studies at night till most of the night and it is said that his turban caught fire about thirteen times from the lamp during his nightly studying vigils. Sidi Muhammad Sa’id Al-Linggi was so absorbed in his studies from night till dawn that his eyes was said to have bled. He continued to become one of the greatest scholars in SouthEast Asia mastering over 70 sciences.

There are many other stories about the vigour of past ‘ulamas, but what we have stated above would suffice, inshaAllah. “…and Fear/be wary of Allah and Allah will teach you” [2:282]

May Allah plant in us love for beneficial ‘ilm and the people of ‘ilm who practices what they preach. Amin

1.- Excerpt from Bidayah al-Hidayah, 2. & 3. Excerpt from Tariqah Alawiyah (malay)

The Proper Adab in Observing Friday

Bismillahi Walhamdulillahi wasolatu wasalamu ‘ala Rasulillah…

Praise be to Allah, Who has granted Friday to us as a day dedicated to His Worship, a day dedicated for us to focus and reflect on the Hereafter, the Great Gathering. A day that will wash away the sins of past days, a day wherein contains a moment when our prayer is not rejected (mustajab), a day that if observed with proper adabs/sunnahs with sincerity (i.e. to get closer to Allah and eliminate the lower self) will be a light for the other days. It will provide madad ie. assistance from Allah himself. This is in the form of increase in knowledge, faith, certainty etc.

May Allah assist us in practicing at least one of these adabs. Amin

Adab Jumu’ah  – Excerpt from Bidayah Al-Hidayah by Hujjatul Islam Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem,

  1. Preparations for Friday begins on Thursday after the Asr Prayers with doing istighfar and tasbeehs. If you intend to fast on Friday, make sure you accompany it with a fast on either Thurs. or Sat. The chapters from the Qur’an recommended to be read on Thursday night(Thursday night is actually Jumu’ah night in Islam, Night comes before day in Islamic/Arabic culture, darkness of non-existence before light of existence) include: Ya-Siin, Ad-Dukhan, Al-Kahfi (provides protection from the Fitnah of Ad-Dajjal), Al-Jumu’ah, Al-Munafiqun, As Sajadah and Al Mulk.

    O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!
  2. Take a full bath on the Friday morning, it is related that this is wajib for adults from the follwing hadith: “Ghuslul-jumu’ati waajibun ‘alaa kulli muhtalim” -related by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Sa’id.
  3. Dress in white preferably as it is the most pleasant and beloved to Allah. Avoid the black colour. Put on some fragrance, strong scents (e.g. ‘oud/gaharu etc.) recommended for men. Cleanse your body thoroughly by shaving, trimming using the toothstick etc.
  4. Leave for the mosque early (for fajr prayers) calmly avoiding haste. Rasulullah pbuh. said, “Whoever comes for the Friday prayers in the first hour is as if he sacrifices a fat camel. Whoever arrives at the second hour is as if he sacrifices a heifer….Whoever arrives at the fifth hour is as if he sacrifice an egg. After which when the imam steps out for the sermon, the scrolls are closed, pens are lifted and the angels proceed to the mimbar/podium to listen to the sermon.” It is also said that the degree of proximity of a person to Allah in the hereafter depends on how early they are to arrive for the prayers.
  5. Seek the first row.
  6. When there is already a large congregation, do not step over the necks of others to get to the front unless the front rows are left empty. The people who have left the front rows empty have lost the benefit of he first row.
  7. Do not cross in front of someone who is praying, do not sit before performing 4 cycles prayer. Do not abandon the tahiyatul masjid prayer even when the imam is giving the sermon.
  8. Silence, attention and vigilance during the Khutbah/Sermon.
  9. Reciting Al-Fatihah 7x, Al-Ikhlas (Qul huwa Allahu Ahad…) 7x, Al-Falaq 7x and An-Nas 7x after the Friday prayer. This will preserve oneself between two Fridays as related by the pious men of the past.
  10. One can pray either 2, 4 or 6 cycles of optional/nawafil prayers after the friday prayers.

Wallahu ‘alam.

Bidayah Al-Hidayah – Imam Al-Ghazali

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Alhamdulillahi Wasolatu Wasalamu ‘ala Rasulillah waalihi wa man waalah…


The Benefits of the Book Bidayah Al-Hidayah

Habib ‘Ali bin Muhammad Al-Habsyi said, “It is an important book that gathers both the inward and outward knowledge, and a beginning that delivers one to the peak. It has brought those who practice its contents to meet Rasulullah solallahu alaihi wasalam in a wakeful state. Many ‘ulama of the past made resolutions to practice its contents. Habib ‘AbdurRahman bin Musthofa al-‘Aydarus, Habib Syaikh bin Muhammad al-Jufri and Habib AbuBakar bin Husain BilFaqih whom lived in Medina resolved to practiced the Bidayah’s contents. They fulfilled it and met Rasulullah s.a.w. while awake.

Al-Imam Al-Quthb Abdullah bin Alwi Al-Haddad said, “If you do not practice what is within the Bidayah, then say to yourself, ‘There is no doubt that my inability to do the minor devotions/amal/sunnahs means that I’m unable to do more and/or major sunnahs/devotions/amal.'”


I hope that by sharing this excerpt from the book al Bidayah al Hidayah, the knowledge will sink deeper in me and it will be easier for me to practice them insha’Allah.

The proper way (Adab) of treating/interacting with Parents:

  1. Listen to their speech. Giving them full attention by not facing anywhere but them, maintaining eye contact.
  2. Standing up when they stand up as a gesture of respect.
  3. Obeying their orders except when they order one to acts of sin.
    Avoid walking in front of them i.e. overtaking.
    Raising one’s voice higher than theirs.
    Answering to their call.
    Strive to make them pleased.
    Being humble to them. ‘Lower your wings’ to them.
    Not to feel/think as if you have done them any benefit/deed no matter what you do and trying your utmost to assist them.
    Do not give them the look of disapproval/anger.
    Do not frown at them.
    Do not leave or go anywhere without their permission.

1. Excerpt from Thariqah Alawiyah by Habib Zain Bin Sumaith

The True Faqir from Zalal al-Fuqara’

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem wa La Hawla waLa Quwwata Illa Billahil ‘Aliyil Adheem…

The following are excerpts from a treatise by the Wali Allah Abu ‘Abd Ar-Rahman As-Sulami Al-Naysaburi may Allah be pleased with him.

Know that utter need (faqir) is one of the traits of servanthood where there is neither arrogance nor pride, but rather humble submission and compliance. “Allah coined a similitude: [two men, on the one hand] a [mere] chattel slave, who is capable of nothing and a [free] man upon whom we have bestowed goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Ourselves, so that he can spend thereof [at will, both] secretly and openly. Can these two be deemed equal? [16:75]

Therefore one who imagines that he is capable of something, and claims for himself a spiritual state, station, or degree, is devoid of the traits of servitude – faqir i.e. utter need (for Allah).

Ruwaym, when asked about faqir replied, “It is that you find excuses for your brother’s mistakes, while behaving with them in a manner that requires no excuses  [from them].”

Muhammad ibn Abi al-Ward said: “Part of…faqir is abstaining from blaming and condemning those who are afflicted by seeking [gain in] the world, having compassion and sympathy for them , as well as praying that Alllah give them rest from their fatigue.”

“The Faqir has neither deceit nor malice in his heart towards anyone, the sincerity of his actions is not sullied by people’s awareness of him, people’s praises do not effect him, and he does not slacken [in his ‘ibadah] when he is by himself.”

“…they know how incapable they are of fulfilling what is demanded of them [on the spiritual path] and thus are free from pride.”

“The origin of every temptation is in forgetting Allah; for one who forgets Him, He causes to forget his own ego-self. As Allah ta’ala mentioned: “Be not as those who have forgotten Allah, and whom He therefore causes to forget themselves.”[59:19] When the ego-self is forgotten and not kept in close watch, it runs wild and this is the source of every bad and reprehensible actions/moves/thoughts/speech.

Therefore if we forget Him recall this verse, ‘And call your Rabb i.e. Lord to mind when you forget, and say. “I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road.”” [18:24]

Wadhkur Rabbaka idha naseeta wa Qul ‘Asaa Ai-yahdiyani Rabbi liAqraba min hadha Rashada. [18:24]

Wallahu ‘alam…Wasolatu wassalaamu ‘ala Sayidina Muhammadin Wa ‘Ala Aalihi WaSohbihi.

Cure for Laziness in ‘Ibadah cont’d

Bismillahi Walhamdulillahi Wal khairu Wash Sharru biMashi-atillah…

Imam Al-Haddad radiaAllahu anhu said : –

The one who remedies himself until he removes all these causes (ignorance, weak faith, long hopes and eating syubhah food) by doing their opposites in the manner that we have mentioned, will become…never tire of his acts of obedience nor ever get bored from any good thing. He would neither be attracted to nor find comfort in passionate desires and ephemereal pleasures . However, one should not expect this in his initial stages for it is only achieved after much struggle; such is the pattern that Allah has created “And you will find no changing in Allah’s wont” (wa lan tajida lisunnatillahi tabdiila) [33:62].

A man should first of all avoid all transgressions, wean himself from passionate desires and strive against the heaviness and the difficulties of presevering in obedience ta’at, until he proves the sincerity of his approach to Allah ta’ala, Transcendent and Exalted is He and his desire to reform his heart and improve his condition. Allah will then look upon him and cover him with His invisible solicitude/care. He will then find such delight and pleasure as cannot be exceeded in acts of obedience and goodness and such extreme bitterness and aversion for passionate desires that for these to simply cross his mind would become unimaginable.

That is Allah favor which He bestows upon whom He will. He has said, Blessed and Exalted is He : “Those who strive in Us, We shall guide them on Our paths” [39:69]

Wallahu a’lam…

-Excerpt from “The Sublime Treasures, Answers to Sufi Questions” by Imam Al-Haddad translated by Mostafa al-Badawi.

Available at Wardah Books