Bismillah (Al-Hamdulillah, I’m really excited to finally announce the details of a personal project that has been near and dear to my heart for over a year now. The project that I have been blessed to translate and annotate, entitled The Muhammadan Litanies, can be seen as a companion book and practical deployment of the central message of Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi’s The Drink of the People of Purity. May Allah reward Sidi Abdul Khafid Mastan of Muhammadan Press, who is the artistic mind and heart behind the cover and typesetting of this book. This book is currently in the final stages before typesetting, and I’m aiming to have it printed and available by Fall, Allah willing. Below is a picture of the cover and an excerpt from the preface. The Muhammadan Litanies has the Arabic original alongside the English translation, as well as a downloadable recording of all of the prayers.)
الَّلهـُمّ يـَا مَنْ جَعلْتَ الصلاة على النّبِيِّ من القُرُباتِ، أتَقرَّبُ إليكَ بِكُلِّ صلاةٍ صُلِّيَتْ عليه من أوَّلِ الّنَشْأةِ إلى ما لا نِهايَةَ لِلْكمـالاتِ
“O Allah, O You who made prayers upon the Prophet among the means of drawing near! I draw near to You through every prayer sent upon him from the beginning of creation to boundless perfections!” —Shaykh Ahmad b. Mustafa al-‘Alawi
“I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a dream and I said to him, ‘Pardon me, O Messenger of Allah, for my love of Allah has busied me from loving you!’ He said, ‘O short-sighted one! Is love for Allah anything else besides love for me?’” —Abu Sa’id al-Kharraz (Related by Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri in al-Risala al-Qushayriyya)
THE BLESSING OF HEARING is given precedence over the blessing of sight. Throughout the Quran Allah mentions the gift of hearing before that of sight: “And We created for you hearing, sight, and hearts that you may be thankful” (16:78); “He created for you hearing and eyes.” (23:78) One of the reasons for this, as many spiritual masters have noted, is that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) described his Umma as an unlettered nation, in that the primary vehicle of instruction and growth is auditory—knowledge and wisdom are first gained through hearing and listening, as Allah described the believers, “We hear and we obey.” (2:285). The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) alluded to the importance of sound—in the form of invocation (dhikr)—as a means of survival, sustenance, and protection from the turmoil and strife of the latter days. After the Prophet described the extreme famine that will occur shortly before the appearance of the Anti-Christ (Dajjal), some of his Companions asked, “What will the people live on at that time?” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, “Utterances of La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu akbar, subhanAllah, and al-hamdulillah—that will take the place of food for them.” (Ibn Majah, Sunan) We understand from this that an essential means to spiritually nourish and protect ourselves in the latter days is to adopt a daily and nightly litany consisting of recitation of the Quran, Prophetic supplications, and prayers upon the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), uttered with love, yearning, awe, and presence of heart. The Muhammadan Litanies is a collection of seventy invocations of prayer upon the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), starting with prayers taught by the Prophet himself, followed by prayers transmitted by his Household (Ahl al-Bayt) and Companions, and prayers from the early generations (Salaf) and the famous—and not so famous—saints and knowers of Allah and His Beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace). Each prayer is followed by a description of its source and merits, and—for the prayers of the gnostics—a description of the saint from whom it was taken, where the author received it or read it, and a discussion on its unique properties (khawwas) and the purposes or intentions for which it can be read. The Muhammadan Litanies is meant to be read as a daily or weekly litany, though each prayer can also be read as a standalone prayer either in unlimited number or for specific numbers. The spiritual power of these prayers upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is palpable to anyone reads them just once, so how much more purifying, uplifting, and spiritually edifying they will be for the one who takes them as a regular litany through each day of the week, or adopts a few as a part of his or her daily invocations and remembrance! The majority of this work comes from Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabahani’s famed Afdal al-salawat ‘ala Sayyid al-Sadat (The Most Superior Prayers upon the Master of Masters), though I have also made use of al-Nabahani’s larger work Sa’dat al-darayn fi al-salat ‘ala Sayyid al-Kawnayn (Felicity in the Two Abodes through Prayers upon the Master of the Two Realms), as well as his Jami’ al-salawat (Compendium of Prayers). The prayers contained in this collection are lessons in proper belief, ‘aqida, and so it is necessary to learn, absorb, and realize the deep spiritual meanings and realities conveyed within them. To that end, alongside the translation of the prayers are explanatory footnotes to expound upon the their spiritual alchemy, their metaphysics, and the Muhammadan Realities contained within them. Contemplate these prayers, witness their secrets and lights unfold in your life, let them carry you and transform you into a receptacle of Muhammadan Love and yearning, Muhammadan character and concern, Muhammadan purity.