This topic was delivered by Habib Umar bin Hafiz and translated by Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya in New York on 1st April 2011.
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.
I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He.
Praise is for Allah, the praise of someone humbling himself before Allah’s magnificence. Acknowledging the blessings and grace of Allah. And, admitting to his lord his slips and sins and mistakes with certainty that there is nothing sweeter than having an aspiration to Allah turning to Allah and receiving His repentance and grace. We bear witness there is no God except Allah alone without partner. No one ascends to higher stations in reality except those who lower themselves in front of the majesty of Allah and the person that testifies or witnesses Allah’s sublimity and perfection. We bear witness that our Master and our Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Allah’s Messenger. He is Allah’s servant and messenger and the seal of all His Prophet and His message. The spirits experience ecstasy when the beginning of his (of the Prophet) beauty is manifest because of the great gifts that Allah gave to him. May Allah send mercy, blessings peace and ennoble His slave. O Allah to your slave, Muhammad and Mustafa and to his folk and companions and may these blessings be upon those who believe in him, follow him, love him and follow his path. May these blessings be upon us as well with them and among them by your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful!
To proceed, surely we are in a moment of receiving a forth pouring of Allah’s beneficence of His grace and directing ourselves with our hearts to the Master (Exalted is He in His sublimity). We seek the elucidation and clarification in this gathering of meanings of the guidance of Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa salam). That Messenger whom Allah commanded to address us with Allah’s saying, translation of which is:
“Say if you do all love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive for you your sin and Allah is very forgiving, merciful.”
And the highest felicity/joy for any creature is that its Master loves him/her, exalted is He in His sublimity.
The Lord informed us of the result of following His Beloved and that is that Allah will love that one who follows him. And the one who follows the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa salam) longing for the love of Allah in his heart meanings through which he tastes the secrets of worship are stirred so he pierces the outward form of these worship of to the inward reality of these worship. And he ascends through that to higher levels and degrees and vast meanings. And a Muslim who suffices himself/herself with just the outward manifestations of worship has prevented himself/herself from great meanings of the reality of this worship.
And, Imam Muslim narrated from the foremost of the felicitous so Allah have mercy upon him. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) said, “Surely Allah does not look to your bodies or forms but rather to your hearts.”
Hopefully Allah will look in our hearts in this gathering of ours at that those things which He loves from us and those things with which He is pleased.
O Believer! Be present/attentive with your heart. O Believing men and women be attentive in your heart it is the place to which your Lord looks. And in an instant in which you are present of heart you will find a forth pouring of Allah’s gifts and favours which you will not find in any another times. And presence of heart is spirit of all acts of worship.
The Messenger of Allah looked at a man who was playing with his beard in prayer and said, “If this man’s heart had Khushoo (submissiveness and tranquillity) his limbs would have.
And the Messenger of Allah watched a man standing in prayer while he (salallahu alayhi wa salam) sat with his companions and the man did not pray properly. So when the man finished his prayer the Prophet said to him, “Go pray because you haven’t prayed.” So he prayed again. After that the Prophet said, “Go pray because you haven’t prayed.” And then the third time he said it again and the man said, “Teach me. O Messenger of Allah.” So he taught them man how to stand, recite, bow and how to have repose or stillness therein and raise up and have stillness therein and prostrate and have stillness therein and so forth.
Our Master Ali bin Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “Be more concerned with the acceptance of deeds than you are with the deeds themselves because no deed is small with acceptance.”
Our Master Sayyidina Umar al Khattab (May Allah be well pleased with Him) might recite a verse of Qur’an while praying and repeat it and repeat it until he would faint from the recitation of this verse and he would be carried home and people would visit him as a sick person for days from the effect of reciting this verse of Qur’an.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him) would be overcome by crying when he would recite Qur’an. And also his heart was overcome with a connection/attachment to Allah’s Messenger and a yearning for him. He, Abu Bakr was the one who knew from the secrets of guidance of Allah’s Messenger. Following him closely that through which he ascended to the station of the caliphate after him (salallahu alayhi wa salam).
When they discussed with Abu Bakr the possibility of changing the leader of a certain army from Usama to another companion due to the young age of Usama and also due to the intensity and difficulty of the circumstances after the death of the Messenger of Allah.
Abu Bakr’s response was, “Me. How would I untie a banner that Allah’s Messenger has tied?” (Meaning as a leader of the commander of that army) He said when I heard Allah’s Messenger say, “Send out the army of Usama” that’s going to be the first thing that I am going to do is send out the army of Usama.
He, Abu Bakr being the caliphate at the time sought permission from Usama to remain behind that particular army and take care the affairs of the caliphate and sought permission for Umar Al-Khattab to remain behind as well.
He, Abu Bakr went out to bid Sayyidina Usama farewell and Sayyidina Usama was riding and Sayyidina Abu Bakr was walking so Sayyidina Usama said: “Either I’ll get down or you ride. O successor of Allah’s Messenger. He replied,” What is wrong with me getting my feet dusty in the path of Allah? When I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Fire will not touch the feet that have got dusty in His path.”
When he would meet Usama in the days of his caliphate, he would say, “Welcome to my Ameer, Welcome to my commander.” He would reply, “You’re the commander, you’re the caliph.” And he said, “No but Allah’s Messenger died and you were a commander over me in an army that Allah’s Messenger himself had established.”
His wife, Sayiddah Asma bint Umays mentioned two nights during the nights of his caliphate that he entered and put his head between his two legs and began to cry and say, “How much I long for Allah’s Messenger,” and cried and cried. Then she said until I pitied him so I went over to him and comforted him and said, “O Successor, O Caliph of Allah’s Messenger. You kept his company and you were in his procession and he was pleased with you and after you die you’ll meet him.”After that she would continue to comfort him until he was comforted. He would mention Allah’s Messenger when delivering the sermon when standing on the mimbar and would be overcome by crying until everyone in the Masjid cried along with him.
If you remember O believer when day in which the palm trunk cried you would be certain that you have a responsibility towards this Prophet. This was an amazing day of the signs of Allah. Due to the longing and intensity of the longing of its crying it almost split. And there were only a few cubits between the Messenger of Allah and this palm trunk. However it could not bear the separation from that noble being, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) and his place in his hand he had against it. The Prophet came down from his pulpit up to the palm trunk and began to speak to this palm trunk. All of the companions put his face against his knees crying. They heard the sound of this palm trunk gradually subside. They compared it to a child gradually stopping crying when its mother comforted it. RasulAllah said, “If I hadn’t done this to it, it would have continued to cry until the Day of Resurrection. I asked it choose between being returned to a palm tree in this world or a palm tree in paradise. It chose to be a palm tree in paradise.”
Hassan al-Basri when he would mention this tradition he would say, “A palm trunk cried and longed for Allah’s Messenger isn’t it becoming of us that we cry for him?”
If your heart truly longed and yearned and cried like this palm trunk, Allah’s Messenger would not forget you. Just as he descended from his pulpit to this palm trunk, his noble spirit in his highest stations would descend to you wherever you may be even if you be in New York. However, what is of concern is having a true attachment. Having the reality of longing. The heart longing and yearning. This is your distinction O Believers! This is your election O People of this Deen! Our goal is to be in his company. And the extent of this generosity and honour is that we be with him and enter with him into Paradise. Someone who does not have great longing for him in this world it is feared for him that they will not see him (salallahu alayhi wa salam) on the Day of Resurrection. And woe to the one who does not see him on the Day of Rising.
“O Allah make these eyes see Him on that day!” (x3) “O Living! O Eternal! O Allah!”
Prepare your eyes for this. Don’t look at this created universe except with an eye of reflection. And do not stretch your gaze which Ar-Rahman has forbidden you. Prepare it to see the face of Allah’s Beloved. Prepare it to see the faces of the Prophets and the true Saints. Indeed being with this noble Prophet that desire for being with him was what caused the fire of yearning of the noble Prophetic companions to be extinguished.
So a group of reflected and thought whether they would see him in the hereafter or not because if they enter paradise their level would be lower than his (salallahu alayhi wa salam). And paradise would not suffice them or distract them from the burning of longing for being with him and seeing that face. Some of the companions due to this type of thinking were not able to drink, sleep or eat. He remained in this condition for three days. This was Sayyidina Thawban until Allah’s Messenger said to him, “Why do I see your complexion has yellowed and you’re emaciated?” He replied, “I might be with my wife and children and not remember you and I can’t contain myself and I have to go look at your face and I fear I won’t see you in the hereafter so this came between me and my food, drink and sleep. O Messenger of Allah!”
So then this verse was revealed concerning him and the likes of him. The translation of the meaning which is, “If someone obeys Allah and His Messenger then those are with the ones Allah has favoured of the Prophets, true saints, the martyrs and the pious and that is excellent company. That is Allah’s beneficence and Allah is sufficient as a knower.”
So we ask you to give us this beneficence, O You of beneficence!
Allah did not mention in this verse anything about the bliss of paradise except ma’iya (withness) of that group. These two letters, meem and ayn, which spell with is what caused the fire of the longing of the companions to be cool. They comprehended the secret of this withness until the Qur’an was revealed that legislated for them the meaning of being with the Prophet in salah. So the companions during a battle prayed Dhuhr with the Prophet. The polytheists said, “If we were to attack them when they were praying we would be able to defeat them.” Then some of the polytheists said a prayer is coming that is more beloved them than themselves, their families, their children and their wealth meaning Asr. Then revelation came teaching the Fear Prayer and Allah ordered the Prophet the companions into two groups. They prayed one rakah with him then prayed the other on their own. Then they became guards and the second group would come and pray with the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) the second rakah. So Allah revealed the translation of the meaning which is, “If you are with him and you establish the prayer then let a group of them stand and pray with you so when they have prostrated then they complete their prayers then they stand behind you and another group who has not yet prayed with you comes and they pray with you. So when they have prostrated then they complete their prayers and they stand behind you and another group who has not yet prayed with you comes and they pray with you. “So then he divided his prayer between this group and that group so that each group would have a portion of praying with Allah’s Messenger.
So Allah indicated the station of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) in verses. He mentioned first Ibrahim and Ibrahim’s prayer. He said, “Do not disgrace me on the day in which they are resurrected on the day in which neither wealth nor children are of benefit except for the one who comes to Allah with a healthy heart.” Then Allah mentioned the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) on the Day of Resurrection. He said, “On the day in which Allah does not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe are with him, their light flows to their right and before them.” They say, “O Our Lord! Perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed you have power over all things. Through this light we will perceive secrets from Prophetic Guidance that through which we will remain upright on that which Allah loves from us. So then from prayer we will merely not have the image of prayer but have the reality of prayer. Similarly from zakah, we won’t have the appearance of zakah but the reality. Similarly from other deeds. Also the reality of congregation and reality of cooperation for Allah’s sake.
O Allah aid us in remembering you, thanking you and worshipping you well.
Through this we know the attributes of those who have a withness with the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam). Allah (Exalted be He) says, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Those who are with him are firm towards the disbelievers, merciful amongst themselves. You see them bowing and prostrate, seeking beneficence from Allah and His good pleasure. Their signs are in their faces from the effects of prostration.”
O Allah make us from them and resurrect us in their group.
Reflect upon the meanings of this verse. ‘Firm towards the disbelievers’, the interpretation of the meaning of this saying is the Prophet’s Guidance. This does not mean cheating nor treachery nor ill will nor anything like that. So ‘firm towards the disbelievers’ means that they don’t allow themselves to be stripped of their values or for their character to be changed. They don’t open any opportunity for their values and character to be changed or for their faith to be changed and they hold fast to this and preserve this in their following of Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa salam). They don’t accept from any of them transgression or oppression. This is a meaning of being firm towards the disbelievers. The Chosen Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) clarified this. Along with this those with the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa salam) hoped for the disbelievers that Allah will guide them and will show them the truth.
Whenever the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) would send out his companions on a military campaign. He would say, “Invite them to Allah for I swear by God it is more beloved to me their Islam than you are victorious over them and that you bring me their wealth and spoils of war.”
Sayyidina Abu Huraira narrated that: Someone came to Allah’s Messenger and said, “Dows (Tribe of Abu Huraira) have mistreated the Muslims and fought them so pray against them, O Messenger of Allah.” So Abu Huraira said that Allah’s Messenger raised his hands and I said, “Woe to my people they will perish.” So I heard him say, “O Allah guide Dows and bring them as Muslims.”
3 days didn’t pass until the delegation came to Allah’s Messenger. It was from his character that he was never asked to pray against a group of people except that instead he would pray for them. This was the one who applied the reality of the meaning of being firm towards the disbelievers. He was the one who spoke to the ones that transgressed and those who had oppressed on the day of the Conquest of Makkah. He said, “Go and you’re all free.”
He in this explanation of the understanding of this verse, he wa s someone who fulfilled his agreements. Also, the interpretation of this meaning is that none of the disbelievers could make you change your character. Don’t let any Muslim believe that if a disbeliever were to come to them that they could take advantage of them and sell to them alcohol for instance or narcotics. This is not something that they could do. This is not permissible but rather being firm towards the disbelievers’ means not allowing them to compromise our character. It doesn’t mean to verbally and it doesn’t mean to curse but rather to adhere to the character that the creator would have from us.
Those who kept the company of Allah’s Messenger also those who were his neighbours they continued to see in him the meanings of beauty and the character of the Sacred Law. Many disbelievers when a Muslim was their neighbour was going to move to another place. The Non-Muslim neighbour would regret that this person was going to move and would hope this person was going to remain as their neighbour.
And then Allah said in this verse, “They are merciful amongst themselves.” This is a description of love and brotherhood for the sake of Allah in whom they’ve believed. For this reason the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) warned us of grudge and hatred between brothers and those two that have a grudge between themselves they are not forgiven. They have to wait for forgiveness that comes to all the believers on Monday and Thursday.
He (salallahu alayhi wa salam) said, “No two people love each for Allah’s sake except that the one who loves his brother more is beloved to Allah.”
Their manifestation in this state is their being bowing and prostrate. So when someone would see the faces of the companions their heart would be filled with the feeling that those were people of guidance and truth. So nothing would stop them from obeying these people who had this sign in their face except the obedience of one’s own arrogance and caprice. Their bowing and prostrating were purely for Allah’s sake, not for any other motive. So Allah went on to say, “Seeking from Allah beneficence and good pleasure.”
May Allah give us sincerity for His Noble Countenance.
Allah described them with these qualities in the Torah which was given to Our Master Musa and the Gospel that was reveal to Our Master Isa.
These ones who had the description that has been mentioned in the verses, they were the ones that would anger the disbelievers and those disbelievers that Allah ordered us to anger are those who want to spread disbelief and spread evil and prevent people from following the path of Allah such that those people would be disbelievers like them.
Since we’ve recited these attributes, these qualities, we turn to the One who described them as having these qualities, described those who were with Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa salam) as having these qualities that He generously grant us these qualities.
We ask Allah to make us of those people who are with Muhammad and have the attributes of those who are with Muhammad and through this we represent Muhammad and the Ummah manifesting the beautiful face of Islam and being inviters to Allah.
Allahumma Ameen! Allahumma Ameen! Allahumma Ameen!
Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me. Please correct me when you spot any mistakes.