Lives of Man – al-Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf

بسْم الله الرّحْمن الرّحيم، اللّهمّ صلِّ على سيّدنا محمّدٍ وآله
وصحْبه وسلِّم

The following is a brief summary of the introduction to the lecture that was given by al-Habib at Tradisi Halaqah sometime in October this year. It is based on a book the Lives of Man by the Pole of Guidance Imam ‘Abd Allah al-Haddad may Allah be pleased with him. The rest of the lecture can be followed in the same dropbox account as previous lectures.

The Life of man is different from all other creations as it is elevated or exalted. The life of an animal is different from vegetation even though both are living things.The life of man is not the same likewise as the life of animals, man can speak but animals are not given speech.

Inanimate objects e.g. rocks are also considered to have a degree of life. They are alive in the sense that they manifest the Divine attributes.

The best of God’s creation is man who in some aspects are more exalted than angels. “We have favoured/honoured the sons of Adam…(to the end of the verse)” Therefore mankind in general be they muslims or non-muslims in themselves are more elevated than the other creations.
Man undergo 5 stages of life, the 1st of which is the stage of the soul without its physical form. This soul is created thus it has a beginning. When asked however regarding its beginning, it is something beyond our ability to understand. No one knows how long ago they were created. In a narration the Prophet s.a.w mentioned, “There is nothing with Allah s.w.t. and before Him there was nothing…

Allah is present before all creations, including the sacred tablet, heaven or hell etc. He is beginningless. The heavens and earth and all other creations are created later in comparison to the Arsy i.e. the Throne. Allah is present without being limited by place and time.Time is itself a creation (a mental construct). Time for us in this life is calculated from movements of the heavenly bodies. Time in this life therefore is different from time in the barzakh/intermediary realm/qabr although in both states we experience time.

When we talk about time and place we associate/relate them to created things. All the six directions are based on man’s perception. Directions are not fixed/absolute for all creatures. Directions are relative e.g. a person is sitting down with a wall in front of him and another wall to his right and behind…when the person turns the wall that was initially in front becomes his behind. If we look at an ant walking on the ceiling, the ant’s below is the ceiling which is our top(above us).

So we say that time and place we can only associate to created things not Allah ta’ala, directions are relative, depending on one’s position while time is based on calculations based on observations of positions of heavenly bodies. Time differs from one place to another different places experience different durations of day and night due to their different position from the sun. There are other planets further from the sun having different duration of day and night. There is 270 hrs of night in a certain planet. So when we talk about the 1st stage of man’s life, we have to state firstly that Allah has no beginning and He created everything which has a beginning including the souls of man. Allah’s attributes are present even before He created anything. Scholars differ as to the stages of life of man some say there are 5 some say 6. This shall be explained later.

Allah created in sequences He created the Pen and the Sacred Tablet (Lauh Mahfuz). Scholars differ regarding the presence of the soul before it is blown into the foetus in the 4th month of pregnancy. They differ whether it is created at the point of blowing into the womb or the soul is already present in the invisible realm beforehand. al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Ibn Qayyim differ in this matter…

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Lets Reflect…

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem…

Do they not contemplate within themselves? Allah has not created the heavens and the earth and what is between them except in truth and for a specified term. And indeed, many of the people, in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord, are disbelievers.   – Ar-Rum, verse 8

1.

Reflection is one of the higher forms of ‘ibadah as it is said that an hour of reflection outweighs years upon years of ‘ibadah. Through reflection of the Signs of Allah, the heart expands with lights of certainty and faith. It is unfortunate that mankind are usually to engrossed in their daily activities to have time for reflection. Furthermore, the prescence of ‘tools of distractions’ such as the TV, Internet, Games, not to mention the various gadgets available these days,  keeps the mind busy from being able to slow down, stop and reflect.

The mind of man can be likened to a ‘monkey’ that jumps from one thought to another, one desire to another. Thus, out of His Mercy Allah ta’ala, commanded ‘ibadah like dhikr, prayer and fasting to help silence and subdue the monkey mind and concentrate upon Allah. Praise be to Him for apportioning times in our daily routine for remembrance of Him wherewith our hearts find rest and peace! 

May the following wonders of creations within ourselves(that we are often heedless of) which the verse earlier stated, increase our awe and certainty. Amin!

  • The human eye works by some 40 different parts functioning together. 
  • If water were only slightly more viscous, it would be impossible for blood to be transported through the body’s capillary system.
  • Immune system elements that the baby needs, such as antibodies  or defense cells, are given to the baby ready-made in the mother’s milk. 
  • A single brain can process work equivalent to that of 4.5 million transistors on a modern microprocessor. 
  • The nasal bones are especially structured so that the air inhaled can go to the lungs only after circulating several times in the nose and thus warming up. 
  • A liver cell is specialized enough to perform more than 500 operations at a time.
  • The heart beats approximately 100,000 times a day. –can we beat our own heart? how about the smallest creature with a heart?
  • A normal human body has about 5 billion capillaries whose total length, if stretched out, is about 950 kilometers  

We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?   -Fussilat, verse 53.

Of course, besides our own created form, we are urged to reflect upon the verses of the Qur’an, the briefness of our life in this world, the Ressurection Day, the Hereafter, other creations of Allah. The best method to do reflection as told by our Shaykh is to be in wudhu’ (pure mental and physical state) and while doing dhikrullah

2.

The Difficulty to understand the Hereafter

If there was method by which a baby in the mother’s womb could be told that he has to leave the world in which he was, to go forth into another world which is much more spacious and where there are waterfalls, trees, the ‘pillarless’ sky, animals, peoples, sun, moon, different hues of colours, smells and sounds, the baby will not believe such a description.

And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. – Luqman, verse 27

On emerging from the womb, after several years, he comes to realise the intricacies of this world. However, there are still some aspects of a human life which he does not become aware of till he attains maturity. The next world stands in the same relationship with this material world as does the latter with the mother’s womb. Matters of the world to come is incomprehensible to us in this world. That is so even soon after death. The soul is therefore retained in barzakh where the soul achieves understanding of some things of the other world. The other world holds such pleasures before which pleasures of even the worldly days of adulthood or maturity are nothing. The short duration of the pleasures of adulthood is itself an argument of its lowliness!

Wallahu ‘alam!

 

1. for further facts of the human body to marvel at :- www.evidencesofcreation.com

2. an Excerpt from Tarbiatul ‘Ushaq – The Training of Divine Lovers with minor modifications

Prayer in Congregation

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem…Allahuma solli ‘ala habeebina Rasulillah Muhammad ibni Abdillah…

1.

Excerpt from ‘Prayer of the Highest Saints’ by Habib Hasan Bin Soleh Al-Jufri

The Common man strives against his lower self to purify himself (with wudhu’) and perform the obligatory prayer on time, the act of which promises a huge reward and much benefits (e.g. subduing the nafs). While the elite of the muslims strive to carry out the sunnahs of the prayer. They strive to maintain khusyu’  in prayer.

O Friends, may Allah’s blessings be upon thee! Strive to pray with congregation in the mosques. Ibn Mas’ud said, “…In the time of the Prophet s.a.w, none left the congregational prayer except the hypocrites, al-munafiqun who are known for their hypocrisy. At times, a man will come to the mosque with two men supporting him (being too weak to walk) till they helped him to stand in the rows.”

When Ibnu ‘Abbas, the Prophet’s cousin rodhiyalllahu ‘anhu was asked regarding a man who fasts by day and prays by night but never prays in jama’ah nor the Friday prayers, he answered, “If he dies, he enters hell”

Rasulullah s.a.w. said, “Congregational Prayer is 27 times better than praying by oneself.” (Bukhari & Muslim) “Whoever prays in congregation for 40 days without missing the beginning takbiratol ihram, Allah shall write for him two freedoms, freedom from hypocrisy and HellFire.” (Ibnul Mubarak from Dhamrah bin Habib)

It is also related that on the Day of Ressurection, a group of people will have faces shining like stars. They will be asked by the Angels, “What did you do(to achieve such an honour)?”. They will reply, “We are the ones whom when the Adhan (Call to Prayer) was heard we would hurry to do our wudhu'”.  They will then be told to enter Paradise.

Another group will come and their faces will be shining beautifully like the moon. And these are the ones who had done their  wudhu’  before the Adhan even sounded. They will also be ushered to Paradise. Finally, a group will come whose faces shine like the Sun, gloriously and magnificently. And verily, they are the ones who were already prepared for prayer in the mosques even before the Adhan. They will have the highest positions and most perfect constituitions in Paradise.

Let us then make it a habit to pray in jama’ah as it is the profit of the trader, fruit of the pious, the sweet past-time of the ascetics and men of piety, a sweetness for Divine Lovers, the way of the Knowers of Allah and the scholars who practice their knowledge. Their hearts long for it and they are full of regrets if they were unable to perform it. They are sent condolences for missing the jama’ah as it is as if being separated from their Beloved. However, sadly this issue of jama’ah prayer is something unheard and practiced only by few in this age. The signs/symbols of the religion have disappeared and heedlesness have prevailed.

2.

Habib Umar bin ‘Abd Rahman Al-Attas, when his son passed away, he was visited by relatives who came to give their condolences & grievances. However, Habib Umar with a puzzled expression said, “How petty indeed is calamity/trial to all you people! By Allah if I were to be late for Congregational prayer, none of you would come to send their condolences!” Masha’Allah the death of his son is minor compared to being late for solat jama’ah. And why is that not when Allah can easily grant him another son who might be more pious and filial!

Indeed congregational prayer is heavy for nafs. In a narration , it is said  that walking to the mosque for the Fajr Prayer is as if going  to jihad in the time of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم . Not only that, the lower self does not like to pray on time.