// Remembering Allah with the Heart
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se7en
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« on: Dec 02, 2008 12:56 PM »


as salaamu alaykum,

This is a talk a sister gave here a few weeks ago, may Allah reward her and accept her efforts.  I think this is a good time to post this because we are in the ten blessed days of Dhul Hijjah, about which the Prophet saw said,

“There are no days in which acts are more beloved to Allah than in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah : La ilaha illAllah ), takbir (Allah is the greatest : Allahu akbar ) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allah : alhumdulillah) a lot [on these days].” [Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shakir stated it is saheeh]

(see more on the blessed days of Dhul Hijjah here: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/blog/contributions/the-best-days-of-the-world-sr-zahra/#more-2721)





Remembering Allah with the Heart
From a talk given Friday Nov. 21st 2008

Bismillahir Rahman ar Raheem, walhamdulillahir Rabbil 'alameen
waSalatu wa salaam 'ala sayyidina Muhammad wa 'ala aalihee wa sahbeehee 'ajmaeen.
Rabbi ishrahlee sadree wa yassirlee amree wahlul uqdatan min lisaani yafqahu qawlee.


All of us are familiar with the term dhikr - the noun of the Arabic verb dhakaraa / yadhkuru which means mention and remembrance of Allah (swt).  Often when we think of dhikr specific words and phrases come to mind such as SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, and so on.  However we need to open up our understanding of dhikr to be more inclusive and broad - dhikr has many manifestations and includes many other types of words and actions.  Gatherings of learning are a type of dhikr.  Acts of obedience are a form of dhikr.  Duaa and even salah ‘ala an-nabiy (prayers on the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa salam) are kinds of dhikr as well.  The Quran is called Al-dhikr, ie The dhikr and reading and reflecting on its verses are yet another way of remembering Allah.
 
Generally speaking, the order of preference in terms of the dhikr of the tongue is first recitation of the Quran, followed by dhikr in the more traditional sense of the word (using specific words and phrases such as Alhamdulillah, etc) and then performance of duaa.  (Salah is the most meritorious action because it combines all of these in one deed.)  However there may be circumstances in which this order changes.  An example would be in ruku'.  When bowing for prayer, a specific formula of dhikr is required (‘subhana Rabbil ‘adheem’) and Quran is actually prohibited.  Similarly, in certain emotional or spiritual states one form of dhikr may take precedence over another.  For example, one may be in a state in which one strongly feels the need to call upon Allah in duaa, or it may happen that one is overwhelmed with the desire to praise Allah because of some blessing that they have been granted.  In such circumstances, the order of preference would change in accordance to the state of the person's mind and heart.

The shari' [legal] definition of dhikr is “any act of the heart or the limbs, the intent behind which is to worship and draw nearer to Allah (swt).”1

I would like for us to focus today on dhikr as an action of the qalb [heart].  Because dhikr means more than words on the tongue or even certain actions that a person does with their body. If the heart is not present then these external actions and words lose their real value.  The proof of this is in a verse in the Quran in which Allah (swt) describes the munafiqeen [hypocrites]:

"...When they stand up for salah they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, and little do they hold Allah in remembrance."2

Allah describes them as people who perform the salah with their bodies and say words of dhikr with their tongues – people who, externally, seem to be fully involved in dhikr.  Yet they are called people who remember Allah only “a little”.  Why is that?  Because their hearts are missing.   Their minds, their inner selves are busy somewhere else and are not thinking about Allah.

Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) says in his book Kitab al-Adhkar that the most excellent form of dhikr is the type which is both felt with the heart and said with the tongue.  The second best type is with the heart alone, while the third and last type is that with the tongue alone, without any presence of heart.  So the best type is a combination of both the external limbs and the inner self.  And interestingly he put dhikr of the heart alone above dhikr of the tongue – indicating the significance of that inner consciousness and awareness.

When we perform dhikr we should try our best to make it an action of the heart and not just an action of our limbs (though that too is important.)  It is something we should be striving to attain though it may be difficult to reach.  It requires mujahada - inner struggle, and tazkiya - purification of your self and my self.  But when we do reach a state of remembering Allah with our hearts, truly feeling it and tasting it, with our inner selves involved in what we are saying, it brings us such pleasure and happiness.  It brings to the heart serenity and peace as Allah tells us in the Quran:  "For without doubt in the remembrance (dhikr) of Allah do hearts find satisfaction, peace, contentment."3

We know that everything around us is in a state of dhikr.  The animals, the trees, the oceans, the wind, the molecules, the planets, the universe -- everything was created in a state of 'ubudiyyah [submission and worship] of Allah and is in remembrance of Him.  When we are in dhikr we are putting ourselves in a state of harmony and unity with creation which is in this ‘ubudiyyah.  While if we are not in His remembrance we are causing discord to this harmony.

When we are remembering Him we are remembering our Creator and the Source of all good and beauty.  To give an example, if one sees a beautiful painting, or reads an amazing poem or book, one's heart may yearn and long to meet the artist and maker of that thing.  We know by the beauty of the object we see that the creator must be even more beautiful, and we feel awe and love for him/her.  (And Allah is much higher and more exalted than these analogies.)  It is a natural expression of the heart when we experience and see the creation around us; the night sky, a beautiful sunset, when we watch waves crash against the rocks, birds soar through the air, a child smile at his mother….  our hearts naturally feels that love, awe, and yearning and want to remember and think about Allah.

Similarly the heart longs to be in remembrance of the One that is beloved to it, that has shown it so much goodness.  Isn't it Allah who created us, guided us to be Muslims, kept us on the straight path when we see left and right so many people getting lost; granted us sight and hearing and the ability to articulate our thoughts and feelings; companionship and family; and opened the doors to be close to Him and know Him.  Our hearts, when they are clear and pure, truly love Him and feel attached to Him and want to think about and remember Him.

The sagacious scholar Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) says in a beautiful description of these feelings, "Truly in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of Allah.  And in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.  And in it there is an emptiness that cannot be filled except with love for Him and by turning to Him and always remembering Him.  And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness."4

We know that lack of dhikr kills our hearts while its presence brings our hearts life.  Our beloved Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) said: “The parable of those that are in dhikr and those that are not is like the parable of the living and the dead.”5

We also know that dhikr protects us from Shaytan and from a state of ghaflah – heedlessness and distraction, a time when Shaytan creeps in and causes doubt and problems in our spiritual state.  A hadith states, “Allah ordered you to be in dhikr of Him.  The likeness of one in dhikr is that of a man who flees from an enemy until he reaches a fortress of safety.  He runs into it and protects himself.  So it is with the ‘abd [servant] of Allah – there is no other means to protect himself from Shaytan except through dhikr of Allah." 6

Finally, Allah says, "Fadhkuruunee udhkurkum".7 “Be in dhikr of Me, I will be in dhikr of you…”  Allah remembers you and mentions you to those close to Him when you are in His remembrance.  There is a special closeness in relationship granted to those who are in His dhikr, and He grants them His succor and support.

Now, the question is:  If dhikr truly does do all of these things, and brings such happiness, peace and contentment to a person… why does it seem like it's not doing that for us?  Why aren't we 'feeling' it?


Pt. 2

Here are some reasons why we may not be feeling our dhikr:

-- Consistency: Are we trying to be in dhikr enough?  Do we set aside time to be in dhikr of Allah the way we set aside time for studying or working out, etc?  Dhikr can be likened to a prescription of medicine:  If we only take the medicine occasionally when we should be taking it on a regular basis, or the dosage is too little, then it’s not going to have its desired effect.

-- The Right Types of Dhikr:  We do not worship Allah with ignorance and we should try our best to use the adhkaar [pl. or dhikr] that have been taught to us by our Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam), especially those mentioned for specific times and places.  Wouldn’t he (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) know best, the one who was chosen by Allah and guided by Him in all his affairs, what is the most beautiful way of praising Him and remembering Him?  We should ask Allah: “Allahumma ‘ainnee ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa hussni ‘ibaadatik”. 8  ‘O Allah, help us to remember You, to be thankful to You and to worship You in the best and most beautiful of ways.’

Additionally, dhikr should be done with both the body and the tongue.  We are a balanced deen - of soul and body, spirit and flesh, and not one without the other.  If we think to ourselves, “I’m not feeling this dhikr anyway, so why should I even bother with the external act?”, or “Let me feel it first inside, then I will do it on the outside,” -- know that these are tricks of Shaytan and our own lower selves. 

We are focusing on substance in this talk, but we need the form as well.  Performing dhikr with the tongue is important and it is the first step to reaching higher levels of remembrance.

-- It may be that we are not feeling our dhikr because our hearts are clouded by dhunuub (sins).  Darkened by committing so many sins they have become numb, feeling little or nothing when one of us reads the Quran, makes duaa, or thinks about Allah.  It may even be that our hearts are addicted to sinning, even when the sin doesn’t bring us that initial happiness we felt when it was first started.  Ibn al-Qayyim says in a line of poetry9, describing the wretched state of a sinner and his attachment to his sins:

I drank a cup to taste its pleasure
 then drank another to heal its pain.

We persist in sinning even when it doesn’t bring us any pleasure, just because we don’t know how to live without it anymore.  SubhanAllah, this is a very sad state of the heart that we may find ourselves in and the solution to it is two fold:  We have to realize that the jawaarih [limbs] are inroads to the heart.  What we do on the outside affects the state of our heart and its receptivity to dhikr.  We have to stop those actions that are hurting and killing our hearts.  Along with that, we have to try to cure and revive our hearts with remembrance of Allah.  Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) said:  “For every thing there is a cleansing agent, and the cleansing agent of the heart is dhikr of Allah Most High.” 10

Another reason we may not have quality dhikr is because our hearts are clouded by so many distractions, doubts, images, ideas, memories, etc… everything other than Allah (swt) that we spend our time, energy and focus on.  People who want to be able to focus on Allah practice two things:

1. Al-Khalwah - spending time alone, away from people and distractions to be with Allah.
2.  As-Samt – Quietness and refraining from speaking. 

There are so many harms and negatives that are produced by the tongue: backbiting, lying, complaining, insulting others, talk that has no benefit… and one of its biggest harms is that it prevents us from being in a state of His remembrance.  Similarly, being around people, talking about their problems and personal issues, their opinions and what happened to them that day, etc… all of these things drown out a person’s focus on Allah.  So when we do try to take a few minutes to perform dhikr, instead of thinking about Allah a million other thoughts comes to mind:  "I liked what she was wearing today… I wonder what that email really meant?  I have to call so and so back”… flashbacks from a movie, lyrics from a song, etc.  It’s almost a type of internal ‘chatter’ just like the chatter of the tongue.  This is why Khalwah and Samt are important tools to reaching a deeper state of dhikr.  It is a means of quieting down both external as well as internal chatter to help us reach a level of consciousness and attention on Allah.

It's important to note that these are only a means of achieving an even higher state of dhikr, which is to be around distractions and still be in remembrance and focus on Allah.  Such was the state of our beloved Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam), and what a sage intended in his quote, “A sufi is neither an ecstatic devotee lost in contemplation of tawheed, nor a saintly recluse shunning all commerce with mankind. The true sufi goes in and out among the people, eats and sleeps with them, buys and sells in the market, marries and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets Allah for a single moment.” 11

Until we reach that point, we must take time away for the sake of our hearts, to nourish them with the companionship of Allah Most High, away from people, and to ennoble them with Munajaah, communicating with our Lord through duaa and the many other means of dhikr we have described.  Only then will our hearts be enlivened and awakened, and taste the sweetness of His remembrance.
   
I ask Allah make us among those who remember Him often with a heart-felt remembrance, who are thankful to Him, and who worship him in the best and most beautiful of ways. May Allah make this gathering one in which He is remembered so that it is surrounded by the angels, enveloped in His rahma [loving kindness and mercy], one upon which sakeena descends, and that due to our remembrance of Him Allah mentions us and does dhikr of us of to those close to Him. Ameen.

___________________
1  Much of the information in this article has been taken from a booklet entitled “On Dhikr” by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui (hafidhahullah)
2 Surat an-Nisaa ayah 142
3 Surat ar-Raad, ayah 132
4  Taken from http://www.jannah.org/shazia/wordplay.html
5  Sahih al-Bukhari
6  Sunan At-Tirmidhi
7  Surat al-Baqara, ayah 152
8  Sunan Abi Dawud
9  From his book Jawaab al-Kaafi
10  Ibn al-Qayyim mentions this hadith in his book Al-Waabil as-Sayyib min al-Kalimi at-Tayyib and attributes it to Bayhaqi.
11  Reported to have been said by Abu Said





se7en
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 02, 2008 01:11 PM »

salaam, hmm formatting and citations didn't come out.  Check it out as an attachment, insha'Allah it should be a lot easier to read.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 03, 2008 05:04 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


Jazakhallah khair for putting this up Sr se7en.


In this modern day world of ours, it's interesting how people seem to think that its impossible to remember Allah with such fervour and devotion as in the past.


Maybe we need a revival in our own generation showing how Muslims can interact with the world but still have their heart attached to Allah.



Quote
...goes in and out among the people, eats and sleeps with them, buys and sells in the market, marries and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets Allah for a single moment.”

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 03, 2008 05:15 AM »

JazakiAllahu Khayraa for the dhikra of Dhikr -


While reading - isotopes of reminders came to heart, mind:


"Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) says in his book Kitab al-Adhkar that the most excellent form of dhikr is the type which is both felt with the heart and said with the tongue.  The second best type is with the heart alone, while the third and last type is that with the tongue alone, without any presence of heart.  So the best type is a combination of both the external limbs and the inner self... "

He might raise you up from invocation with heedlessness
      to invocation with wakeful attention,
and from invocation with wakeful attention
      to invocation with presence,
and from invocation with presence
      to invocation with withdrawal from all that is other than the Invoked.
That is not difficult for Allah.
- al-Hikam al-'Ata'iyya (Ibn Ata Allah Askandar)

From chapter five:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/aBewley/hikam2.html
Commentary:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/aBewley/hikamcom5.html


"Here are some reasons why we may not be feeling our dhikr:"

Hadith paraphrased to mean:
"The Companions asked Rasulullah (saw) 'why do they not stay to be in dhikr after Salaah?'.  Rasulullah (saw) replied:  'Shaytan comes and reminds them of things to do (or of that which they could not previously remember) ... "


"-- It may be that we are not feeling our dhikr because our hearts are clouded by dhunuub (sins). "

A student once shared with his/her teacher:  'Ya Sayyidi:  'ibaadah has overcome me (I feel tired).'  The master replied:  'No, your dhunuub have overcome you'

Another once shared:  'Ya Sayyidi:  '*I* do alot of 'ibaadah, yet I don't feel the sweetness of 'ibaadah'.  The master replied:  'Stop worshiping your worship (and start worshiping Him, azza wa jall).'


"... Such was the state of our beloved Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam), and what a sage intended in his quote, “A sufi is neither an ecstatic devotee lost in contemplation of tawheed, nor a saintly recluse shunning all commerce with mankind. The true sufi goes in and out among the people, eats and sleeps with them, buys and sells in the market, marries and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets Allah for a single moment.”

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq is known to have said:
"I have never seen anything except that I saw Allah before it"

Others have taught:
"Everything seen is seen only with Allah after it"

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« Reply #4 on: Dec 03, 2008 08:43 AM »

salaam,

wa iyyakum bro khalid... that is very true, I think we are living in a world of extremes sometimes, and Rasulullah saw was such a beautiful example of striking that beautiful balance between being a man of God and intense spiritual devotion, and a man of the people.

Quote
He might raise you up from invocation with heedlessness
      to invocation with wakeful attention,
and from invocation with wakeful attention
      to invocation with presence,
and from invocation with presence
      to invocation with withdrawal from all that is other than the Invoked.
That is not difficult for Allah.
- al-Hikam al-'Ata'iyya (Ibn Ata Allah Askandar)

that quote is awesome. 

 mashallahsis
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 04, 2008 04:48 AM »

on Dhikr

"As for the travellers among the angels, their station is known, since they are constantly travelling around seeking the sessions of dhikr.

So when they find the people of dhikr, who are the people of the Quran, those who are truly recalling the Quran, they do not give precedence to anyone from the sessions of dhikr of those who are recalling something other than the Quran.

But if they do not find people recalling the Quran and they do find people recalling Allah swt, not just reciting, then they come to sit with them and they call out to each other 'come quickly to what you all desire!', because that remembrance of Allah swt is their sustenance. Through it they flourish and in it they have their life."

- Ibn Arabi

http://seeker94.blogspot.com/2007/05/dhikr.html
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 28, 2009 08:11 AM »

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (ra)

From The Garden of the Lovers and the Excursion of Those who Yearn


As for the desire for Allah (raghbah), wanting Him (lit. His Countenance) and yearning for the meeting with Him, then it is the capital of the slave, the foundation of his affair, the basis of his life of goodness, the source of his (true) happiness, success and bliss, and it is the coolness of his eye. For this reason he was created and for it he has been commanded. The messengers have been sent and the books have been revealed also for this purpose. There is no rectification or bliss for the heart unless its desire is solely for Allah, alone, Mighty and Majestic is He. Hence, He alone should be his desire, what he seeks out and his goal.

As Allah, the Exalted, has said, “So when you have finished (your occupation), devote yourself for Allah’s worship. And to your Lord turn your desires and intentions” (Qur’an 94:7-8).

And He, the Exalted, has also said, “Would that they were contented with what Allah and His Messenger gave them and had said, ‘Allah is sufficient for us. Allah will give us of His Bounty, and so will His Messenger. We implore Allah’ ” (Qur’an 9:59).

Those who desire are of three types:

    * Those who desire Allah,

    * Those who desire what Allah has

    * And those who desire other than Allah.


So the lover is the one who desires Allah. The one who is concerned with works is the one who desires what Allah has. And the one who is satisfied with this life, in neglect to the Hereafter, is the one who desires other than Him. The person whose desire is for Allah alone, Allah will suffice him from every concern, take on all of his affairs, deflect from him what he is not capable himself to deflect, protect him like the protection of a father to his child, and preserve him from all afflictions. And whoever prefers Allah to all others, Allah will prefer him to others. And whoever is for Allah, Allah will be for him where he is not even there for his own self. Whoever knows Allah, nothing will be more beloved to him than Him and no desire will remain in this type of person for anything other than Him, except that which will bring him closer to Him or assist him in his wayfaring to Him.

From among the signs of experiential knowledge (ma’rifah) of Allah is veneration and awe (haybah). As the slave’s experiential knowledge of his Lord increases, so too does his veneration and awe increase. As Allah, the Exalted, has said, “It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah” (Qur’ân 35:28), meaning, those who are knowledgeable concerning Him. And the Prophet (S) said, “I am the most knowledgeable of you concerning Allah and I am the most intense in awe and reverence of Him” (Bukhârî and Muslim).

So whoever knows Allah (has ma’rifah) his livelihood will be pure, his life will be sweet, everything will revere him and all fear of created things will leave him. He will find intimacy with Allah and will have an aversion for (common) people. Knowledge of Allah (ma’rifah) will bequeath to him shyness in front of Allah, veneration and reverence of Him, vigilance (concerning His vision), love, trust in Him, turning to Him, pleasure in Him and submission to His ordinances.

It was said to Junayd, may Allah have mercy upon him, “There are a group of people here that claim that they can attain righteousness by leaving all movement.” He responded, “Such ones have spoken of the removal of all action, and this is something very immense. The one who fornicates and steals is in a better state than the one who says that (as far as I am concerned). For verily, those who have experiential knowledge of Allah (the 'ârifûn) have taken their actions from Allah and they have returned to Allah in them. If I were to live one thousand years I would not decrease in performing righteous works.” He also said, “One who knows Allah does not really know Allah until he becomes like the earth; the feet of the righteous and the unrighteous tread upon him. And (until he becomes) like the rain that waters what it likes and what it doesn’t like.”

Yahyâ ibn Mu’âdh (ra) said, “The one who knows Allah leaves this world (at the time of death) and he has not had his fill of two things: crying over his self and yearning for his Lord.”

Others have said, “One who knows Allah will not really know Allah until if he is given a dominion like the kingdom of Solomon it would not distract him from Allah for even the blink of an eye.”

It has also been said, “The one who knows Allah has found intimacy with Allah and has an aversion for other than Him. He has realized his poverty in front of Allah, so Allah has enriched him from His creation. And he has humbled himself in front of Allah, so He has ennobled him amongst His creation.”

Abû Salymân Ad-Dârânî (ra) said, “While (resting) in bed, the one who has experiential knowledge of Allah has openings that do not even come to the one who is standing in prayer!”

Dhun-Nûn Al-Misrî (ra) said, “For everything there is a punishment. And the punishment of the one who knows Allah (the ‘ârif) is being cut off from the remembrance of Allah.”

In summary, the life of the heart is with Allah and there is no life for it without that, ever. So

    * when the heart is in agreement with the tongue in its dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and the heart is in agreement with what the Beloved wants from it;
    * when he (the servant) belittles the many works and statements that he has made and regards even Allah’s subtle generosity and kindness as great;
    * when he embraces obedience and leaves off disobedience, and has left all of it for the sake of his Beloved, so that nothing of it remains;
    * when his heart has become full with reverence, awe, preference and pleasure in Him and his patience in yearning for Him has reached its last straw;
    * when he cannot find repose except in His remembrance, desire for Him and yearning for the meeting with Him;
    * when he cannot find (true) intimacy except in His dhikr, while maintaining His ordinances and preferring Him to others…

...Then this, this is the true lover (muhibb).

Junayd (ra) said, “I heard Al-Hârith Al-Muhâsibî (ra) say:
“Love (mahabbah) is your inclination to something with all of your being. Then, your preference to that thing over your own self, your soul and your possessions and wealth. Then, your being in accordance with that thing inwardly and outwardly, privately and publicly. Then, realizing your shortcomings with regards to your love of it.”

It was said, “Love (mahabbah) is a fire that burns in the heart. It burns everything other than what the beloved wants from the lover.”

It was also said, “Nay, it is exerting all efforts in pleasing the beloved. And that could never be so until one no longer sees the ‘love’ anymore, but only witnesses the beloved.”

It is mentioned in some of the Hadith Qudsi,

“My servant, I am, by your right, a lover of you. So, be you, by my right upon you, a lover of Me.”

‘Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak (ra) said, “Whomsoever is given something of love and is not given its equivalent of awe and veneration (khashyah), then he is deceived.”

Yahyâ ibn Mu’âdh (ra) said, “A muster seed’s amount of love is more beloved to me than seventy years of worship without love!”

Abu Bakr Al-Kattânî (ra) said, “An issue concerning love (mahabbah) came up in Makkah during the days of the Pilgrimage. The Shuyookh spoke on the matter. Junayd (ra) was present and he was the youngest amongst them. So they said to him, ‘Give us what you have O Iraqi!’ He lowered his head in humility and his eyes shed tears, and he spoke: ‘(How great is) a slave who has left himself, connected to the dhikr of his Lord, upholding His rights, witnessing Him with his heart. The lights of His Essence have burned his heart and his drink is pure from the cup of His pure love. If such a one speaks, it is by Allah. If he utters, it is from Allah. If he moves, it is by the command of Allah. If he remains silent, he is with Allah. So he is by Allah, for Allah and with Allah.’ So the Shuyookh cried and said, 'There is nothing that can be added to this. May Allah rectify you, O Tâj Al-‘ârifîn (crown of those who know Allah)!' ”

It was said that Allah revealed to Dawûd, peace be upon him, “O Dawûd, I have made it prohibited (harâm) for the hearts to contain the love of Me and the love of others at the same time.”

Those who know Allah (the ‘ârifûn) have all agreed that love is not acceptable without compliance (with the Sacred Law), so much so that some of them said, “The reality of love is being in accordance with what beloved wants, concerning what pleases him and what makes him angry.” The People (of the Science of Purification; Al-Qawm) have also agreed that love is not acceptable without Tawhîd (belief in the Oneness of Allah).

It was related that there was a man who claimed that he was overwhelmed by the love of a certain person. So one day this certain person said to him (the lover), “How can this be, when my brother over here is much more attractive and more perfect in beauty?!” The man looked over to him and then the person pushed him and said, “Someone who claims that he loves us and then looks at other than us?!”

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« Reply #7 on: Oct 05, 2011 07:03 PM »

Miftah al-Falah

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Miftahul Falah
The Key to Success

by Imam Taj ad-Din Abul Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Karim ibn ‘Ata’illah al-Judhami al-Maliki al-Iskandari (d. 709/1309)

Dhikr is a fire which does not stay or spread – so if it enters a house saying, “Me and nothing other than me,” which is one of the meanings of “la ilaha illa’llah’ (There is no god but Allah), and there is firewood in the house, it burns it up and it becomes fire. If there is darkness in the house, it becomes light. If there is light in the house, it becomes ‘light upon light’.

Dhikr expels from the body impure substances produced by excess in eating or from the consumption of unlawful food. As for food which is lawful, it does not touch it. So the harmful components are burned up and the good components remain.

Dhikr is heard by every part as if it were blowing on a trumpet. When dhikr first occurs in the head, the sound of trumpets and cymbals is experienced there. Dhikr is a sultan – when it descends in a place, it descends with its trumpets and cymbals because dhikr is opposed to all that is other than the Truth. When it descends in a place, it occupies itself with negating what is contrary to the Truth, as we find in the union of water and fire. After these sounds, different sounds are heard: like the ripple of water, the sound of the wind, the sound of fire when it is kindled, the sounds of galloping of horses, and the sound of leaves of the trees rustling in the wind.

This is because man is a combination of every noble and low substance: dust, water, fire, air and earth, and heaven and earth and what is between them: these sounds issue from every source and element of these substances. Whoever has heard these sounds in dhikr praises Allah and glorifies Him with his entire tongue. This is the result of the dhikr with the tongue with the force of complete absorption. Perhaps the worshipper will reach the state where, if he falls silent from dhikr, the heart will stir in his breast, like the movement of the child in the womb, seeking dhikr.

Some say that he heart is like ‘Isa, the son of Mary, peace be upon him, and dhikr is its milk. When it grows and becomes strong, longing for the Truth audibly springs from it and pangs of yearning craving for dhikr and the One invoked. The dhikr of the heart is like the sound of the bee, neither a confused high noise nor a very low hidden sound. When the One invoked takes possession of the heart and the dhikr is obliterated and vanishes, and the invoker does not pay attention to the dhikr nor to the heart. If during this, he notices the dhikr or the heart, that is a distracting veil.

This is state is annihilation (fana’) – and it is that man is annihilated in respect to his self (nafs), and he feels nothing in his limbs nor things outside of him or things inside of him. If, during that, it occurs to him that he is totally annihilated in respect to himself, that then is a blemish and turbidity. Perfection is that he be annihilated to himself and to annihilation, and the annihilation of annihilation is the goal of annihilation. Annihilation is the earliest of the Path (Tariq) since it is travelling towards Allah Almighty, and then guidance follows. By guidance I mean the guidance of Allah as the Prophet Ibrahim said, “I am going to my Lord, and He will guide me.” (37:99)

This absorption is seldom stable and rarely continues. If the invoker continues, it becomes a fixed habit and a permanent state by which he may ascend to the celestial world. Then the purest real Being emerges and he is imprinted with nature of the invisible world (malakut) and the holiness of Divinity (lahut) is manifested to him. The first thing manifested to him from that world are the essences of the angels and the spirits of the Prophets and saints in beautiful forms through which some of the realities overflow onto him. That is the beginning. This continues until his degree is higher than forms and he encounters the Truth in everything with clarity.

This is the fruit of the core of dhikr. Its beginning is only the dhikr of the tongue; and then the dhikr of the heart is stimulated. Then the dhikr becomes natural; and then the One invoked takes possession and the invoker is obliterated. This is the inner secret of the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace: “Whoever wish to abide in the Garden of Paradise should invoke Allah much” and the secret of his words “Hidden dhikr is seventy times preferable to dhikr which is heard by listeners.”

The sign of dhikr moving to the inner conscience (sirr) is the absence of the invoker from dhikr and the One invoked, and the dhikr of the inner conscience is frantic thirst and drowning in it.

Among its signs is that when you ceasing doing dhikr, it does not leave you, and the ascendancy of dhikr in you stirs you from absence to presence.

Among its signs is that dhikr presses against your heads and limbs so that they seem as if they were bound with shackles and chains.

Among its signs is that its fires do not abate and its light does not depart. Rather you always see its lights rising and descending while the fires around you are pure, aflame and brightly burning. When dhikr reaches the inner conscience when the invoker falls silent from dhikr, it is as if needles had been thrust through his tongue or as if his entire face were a tongue invoking, light pouring from it.

Subtle point: Know that every dhikr which you heart feels is heart by listeners, if their awareness match your awareness. There is a secret in it: when your dhikr vanishes from your awareness since you have departed to the One invoked, your dhikr vanishes altogether from the awareness of listeners.

Subtle point: The dhikr of the letters is without the presence of the dhikr of the tongue. The dhikr of the presence in the heart is the dhikr of the heart; and the dhikr of absence from presence with the One Invoked is the dhikr of the inner conscience (sirr), and it is hidden dhikr.
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 05, 2011 08:46 PM »

Jazakallah for this post Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 05, 2011 10:04 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro

What a coincidence!

I am actually re reading the translation of Miftah al Falah at the moment.

Definitely one of those books you have to keep going back to because it is impossible to capture all the learning points in one go (if ever!!)


Here's a nice quote from the Ibn Ata Allah's teacher, Shaykh Abu Abbas al Mursi:


There are four states of the servant, not five:

Blessings, trials, obedience and disobedience.

If you are blessed, then what God requires of you is thankfulness. If you are tried, then what God requires of you is patience. If you are obedient, then what God requires of you is the witnessing of His blessings upon you. If you are disobedient, then what God requires of you is asking forgiveness.



If you have facebook, at least you now know you only need four types of status updates Wink

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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