Journey to Acquire the Manuscripts of Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi

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By Allah’s grace, a “hidden soldier” reached out a while back and wanted to help us acquire the remaining manuscripts from the collection of Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi (Allah have mercy upon him). Here is his account. May Allah bless him, reward him, and give him spiritual openings and union with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Amin. Abdul Aziz Suraqah

 

This week I had the honor to participate to the venture of collecting all of the manuscripts of Shaykh Muhammad b. al-Qasim al-Qandusi kept in the libraries of Morocco. Sidi Abdul Aziz Suraqah and I thought it would be of general benefit to share some impressions of my travel. I kindly ask the reader to forgive my choice to preserve my anonymity.

My first encounter with al-Qandusi’s doctrine took place short after the publication of the Arabic edition of The Drink of the People of Purity (found here), published by Shaykh ‘Abdullah Hammadi al-Idrisi (Allah reward him with goodness). The book was brought to our Zawiya and read by our Shaykh. I keenly remember when he reached the famous passage where the Shaykh stated that Allah’s Greatest Name is the name of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace):

 “…for the name of the Beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the essence of Allah’s Beautiful Names that are well-pleasing to Him.” (Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi, The Drink of the People of Purity)

After reading this passage, our Shaykh was unable to read further and simply closed his eyes. I then started looking more into the issue of the Prophet’s name (Allah bless him and give him peace), discovering the extent to which Muslim scholars devoted attention to this topic, underling its spiritual value and benefit. The names of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) mentioned in the Dala’il al-Khayrat along with the Divine Names come to mind. When I first heard the recitation of these two lists at the resting place of Mawlay Idris at Zerhoun, sung by the Shurafa’ who are the guardians of the Dala’il al-Khayrat in Fez and in Zerhoun, I was at least “shocked” by the power of their recitation. But that is another story.

I have followed Sidi Abdul Aziz’s Facebook pages for some time. When he started researching and obtaining the first copies of unreleased works of the Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi, I had a deep desire to help him in his task. Researching Arabic manuscripts is one of my professional duties skill sets. I had some friends and colleagues in Rabat, Morocco who work in the different libraries where Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi’s works are stored. I then offered him my help.

I offered three istikhara prayers before deciding to leave. The first night I fell asleep while sending prayers upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). I dreamed that a voice was calling me to come from his grave. The dream filled me with awe, but my feeling was positive. After the other two istikharas I enjoyed peaceful nights. I then asked my Shaykh for permission to travel, and he strongly encouraged me to engage in this research and visit Fez, where we have spiritual and human connections.

Allah made everything easy. From the very first day I benefited from the gracious help and kindness of a researcher attached to the Royal Library. He was an extremely knowledgeable man and a devoted helper of seekers. We had an appointment at the National Library in Rabat, where he introduced me to two colleagues working on catalogues of manuscripts kept in the Library. They helped us to identify each text we were looking for, its exact location in the majmu’at, (codex). They told me that we had to wait to discover if those manuscripts were already scanned or not. I had a meeting with them in their office the following afternoon.

The first day continued in the second library, the Khizana Malikiyya, the Royal Library of Rabat, which is located in the Makhzan, the Royal Palace itself. It was a high honor to be introduced in such a noble place. The collection of manuscripts held by the King of Morocco, Muhammad VI (Allah preserve him) can be dated back to the very foundation of the Kingdom by Mawlay Idris I. It contains many extremely rare manuscripts and unique copies of inestimable texts in all fields of knowledge. I was fortunate to view and admire the original Mushaf al-Qandusi, the fabulous copy of the Quran written by our master Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi. In the Khizana I was able to obtain some books of Shaykh al-Qandusi on Sufism. Some are very valuable copies of his “Drink,” others are hitherto unknown texts that he penned. I must admit that contemplating his handwriting was a pure spiritual experience. The master was well aware of this, since he states at the end of his copy of the Quran that every single line of his style was inspired directly by the Prophet Allah bless him and give him peace).

16003307_642390395932884_8907590932115380205_n(page from the Mushaf written by Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi, in 12 volumes)

Later in the evening I was fortunate to meet a man in Fez, a lover of the Awliya’, a simple man whose material poverty was inversely proportional to the richness of his love of Allah and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). This man, despite the fact that his wife was at hospital and about to give birth to twins—I discovered this afterwards!—stayed with me for the duration of my time in Fez. He has been granted a powerful spiritual connection with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), whom he sees in the state of wakefulness and sleep. Please pray for him. We could say that this man is one of those Majdhubs, half fool-in-God, whose mental capacity is totally absorbed in their thirst for Allah and His Messenger. He was a guide from another time, coming from the past, the kind of spiritual man you can find in the classical Sufi accounts. Fes is a city that still offers us such encounters.

The next day, al-Hamdulillah, we discovered that all of the manuscript of Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi’s books were digitalized and everything was at our disposal. We just had to wait until Monday the CD with all the scans.

I then traveled during the weekend to Fez, with the intention of visiting Shaykh al-Qandusi’s tomb. I met the person I had been recommended, but the first day he decided to bring me visit “living Awliya’” before visiting the cemetery of Bab al-Futtuh, where a great number of spiritual masters rest, such as Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dabbagh, Sidi al-Darras, Sidi al-Jinawi, Shaykh Ibn ‘Abbad al-Rundi, etc. We visited two elderly men whose lights I could not describe. They lived in state of extreme poverty, in one of the poorest quarters of the city. We benefited by their du’a and meditated deeply about their condition, and how we, in the prison of the western comfort, are far away from their spiritual state.

The next day we tried to find the grave of Shaykh al-Qandusi. Unfortunately my guide didn’t succeed. But the visit to Bab al-Futtuh is always a spiritual experience. My guide knew every poor faqir asking for some help in the cemetery, and despite the fact that we didn’t find the grave of Shaykh al-Qandusi, seeing the guide “in action” was a great experience in itself. I discovered that despite his material poorness, he spends all his money restructuring and building tombs for those who cannot afford even a simple gravestone. His connection with the Hereafter was impressive. Bab al-Futtuh is a strange place. I was told that the Wahhabis operate at the cemetery by trying to level gravestones from tombs—ostensibly because such things are gateways to polytheism, according to their criminal understanding of the issue at least—but in reality they do this in order to sell anonymous plots to unsuspecting people. Bab al-Futtuh is a sort of battlefield where two forces are struggling: those who are defending the memory and the presence of the Awliya’, and those who are erasing their presence by making forget their resting place and their name. Please pray for protection.

We walked then from Bab al-Futtuh to al-Rasif where we were staying, through the quarter of al-Andalus. We made a short visit to Shaykh ‘Ali Jamal, the master of Sidi Mawlay al-‘Arabi al-Darqawi. My guide asked me to buy four live chickens for the two Shaykhs we met the day before. I cannot forget the image of my half-majdhub guide carrying the four live chickens on his shoulders in the crowded and popular streets of al-Andalus. Time had no power over us.

My visit to Fez was also the occasion of meeting a great Shaykh of the Zawiya of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Fasi. His name is Shaykh Idris al-Fihri al-Fasi. A man struggling to restoring the Holy Quarter of al-‘Uyun, which is undergoing a difficult period since all of the original families from Fes left the old city for better living conditions and the houses are occupied by poor people from the countryside. This Shaykh spends all his energies—may Allah sustain him!—protecting the spiritual heritage of the old city of Fez.

qandusi cd(CD with 700+ pages of scans from Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi’s books)

Back to Rabat, I was able to obtain the CDs from the two libraries. I don’t know exactly how many pages we obtained. I estimate that they contain around 1000 doubles pages (over 2000 pages), to which we should add the al-Bawariq al-Ahmadiyya (which alone is nearly 500 pages), this means the CDs hold thousands of pages of the secrets and teachings of Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi. It will take some time to organize all of this material: to open every file and sort through and classify all the titles. I noticed different works on sending prayers upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), poems about Mawlay Idris and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, a treatise on the divine names, some texts on the science of the letters, and maybe some letters he addressed to his disciples.

16780429_1300328776714387_550060810_n(leaving Rabat, with CDs in transit and soon on their way to the editor and translator)

We need your du’a for finalizing the work. It’s only the beginning.

16754132_1299570690123529_832505388_n(One of the loyal dogs of Rabat)

   

Lighting the Alchemical Fire―Announcement

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“Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.”

Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings

 

“There is a secret key to nurturing your health. This key is an essential secret transmission that any person aiming to take good care of himself must understand and observe. The secret is in the single word decrease. Decrease means to reduce all of your ten thousand affairs and avoid increasing them. Be frugal in everything or, in other words, decrease your desires”

— Kaibara Ekiken, Yojokun: Lessons on Nurturing Life

 

In this world of constant exposure to artificial and manipulated imagery, media broadcasts, the glare of computer screens, excessive sensory stimulation, trauma, death, destruction, appetite, we are more and more disconnected from inner sources of nourishment and inner inspiration. The ego’s gratification must be quick or a thing is judged worthless; the flighty ‘intellect’ must grasp profound concepts in 140 characters or they are considered ‘outmoded’ and not relevant to the times we’re in; the reward must be instant or judged of no value.

Our daily social contacts and associations can support and inspire or drain and destroy. Every day we make a choice to nourish ourselves or deprive ourselves of nourishment.

In light of the above, and more, I’ve decided, as of the end of this week, to severely curtail my presence on social media (Facebook to be exact). The time has come to ‘put in the work,’ to light the alchemical fires and withdraw to complete the translation and publishing of Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi’s Ta’sis, unencumbered by the din and miasma of social media. I’ll still be around intermittently to respond to messages when able and to update the different pages I manage. For more ‘meaty’ updates, please subscribe to Ibriz Media. The email updates will eventually be my main means of announcements.

May Allah reward all of you for your continued support, prayers, and good intentions.

―Abdul Aziz Suraqah

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Subscribe Here

‘They’—An Ode to the Prophetic Household and the Companions

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THEY

Let go the ego
Let fly the “I”
Champions and heroes
Soar high in the sky

They frighten fear
Encourage courage
Far and near
Home to homage

Mastered mysteries
Never eroded
Spanning centuries
Deeply devoted

Longed for long
To become Being
They sang the song
Of Sight-seeing

Gave famine to fame
And fire to flesh
All are the same
While they remain fresh

Lit and light
Like air, but fair
When might is right
With prayer, they care

Mountains of quality
Wells of wealth
Fountains of Poverty
They fell in health

Spoke of “The Speech”
And heard “The Word”
They taught to teach
And followed forward

Displeased with the measure
Of common commodity
They treasure the pleasure
Of that bountiful beauty

And That scale of symmetry
That proportion and increase
The Architect’s artistry
Upon him be peace

 

(by my dear friend and mentor, Shaykh Mohamed Mahmoud)

The Virtues of Seclusion in Times of Confusion—Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi

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Al-Salam ‘alaykum everyone. May divine mercy and light be with you.

Last year, Allah blessed me to complete the translation of a very important work by the Ottoman polymath Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (d. 1143 AH) entitled Takmil al-Nu’ut fi luzum al-buyut. The literal translation of the title is The Perfection of Good Qualities Through Remaining in One’s Home, but in English I’ve rendered it as

The Virtues of Seclusion in Times of Confusion

In this work, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi discusses the importance of avoiding strife (fitna), steering clear of conflict with others, and details the worldly and Afterworldly virtues of minding one’s business, keeping aloof from “drama,” maintaining a low profile, and focusing on what’s truly important—care for one’s self and family, and salvation and leaving this world with one’s faith intact.

Allah willing, The Virtues of Seclusion will be available some time before spring 2017. May Allah reward everyone who made this important work possible, specifically YS, Dr. Shadee Elmasry, and Ustadh Ahmad Ali Al-Adani.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents

 

Preface

Foreword by Dr. Shadee Elmasry

Biography of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi

Introduction

Chapter 1: On Self-Imposed Isolation and Avoidance of People During times of Confusion and Strife

Chapter 2: The Legal Dispensation Allowing One to Avoid the “Imams of Strife” in the Mosques

Chapter 3: How the Early Muslims (Salaf) Behaved During Periods of Corruption

Chapter 4: Early Imams Who Withdrew from Society

Conclusion

Appendices

Appendix I: Selected Narrations from Ibn Abi al-Dunya’s Kitab al-‘Uzla wa al-Infirad (The Book of Withdraw and Seclusion)

Appendix II: Selected Narrations from Ibn Abi al-Dunya’s Kitab al-Tawadu’ wa al-Khumul (The Book of Humility and Obscurity)

 

Here are a few quotes from Chapter One:

Sahl b. Sa’d al-Sa’idi (Allah be pleased with him) reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) say, ‘The most amazing person in my eyes is a believer in Allah and His Messenger who establishes the prayer, pays the Zakat, puts his wealth to good use, safeguards his religion, and remains aloof from other people.” This was narrated by Ibn Abi al-Dunya in al-‘Uzla.

     Thawban (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Glad tidings to the person who safeguards his tongue, finds his house spacious enough, and weeps over his sins.” This was narrated by al-Tabarani in [al-Mu’jam] al-awsat and [al-Mu’jam] al-saghir. Its chain is sound.

      Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A time shall soon come upon the people when an individual will not find any safety for his faith—except for one who takes his faith from one mountain top to another, and from one rock to another. When that time comes, livelihood will not be gained except from what earns Allah’s wrath, and a man will suffer ruin at the hands of his wife and child; if he does not have a wife or a child then he will suffer ruin at the hands of his parents; and if he does not have any parents then he will suffer ruin at the hands of his relatives or neighbors.” The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah, how will that be?” He replied, “They will deride him for his limited means of livelihood and as a result he will expose himself to those things that cause his self-destruction.” This was narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-zuhd.

     The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “O Allah, I ask You that neither I nor my Companions reach an age where the people do not follow the knowledgeable, and where they do not feel shame in front of a judicious and forbearing person—whose hearts will be hearts of barbarians, and whose tongues will speak Arabic!”* This was narrated by Ahmad on the authority of Sahl b. Sa’d, and by al-Hakim on the authority of Abu Hurayra.

*Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ra’uf al-Munawi comments in Fayd al-Qadir, “[…] That is to say, do not let us live to an age where the people do not submit and follow the knowledgeable person in what he conveys as the Sacred Law, and where they do not feel shame before a judicious and forbearing person, meaning one who is intelligent and circumspect in all matters. Whose hearts, meaning the hearts of the people in that age, will be hearts of barbarians, meaning their hearts will be far from good character, filled with ostentation and hypocrisy, and whose tongues will speak Arabic, meaning they will speak Arabic affectedly and with overdone articulation, putting on airs and being fickle in their ways…” (Fayd al-Qadir, 2:148 §1543)

Recordings of the Prayers in The Muhammadan Litanies

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In the introduction to The Muhammadan Litanies (now available for pre-order) I mentioned that audio recordings of the prayers will be produced and made available, either as a bundle or on iTunes (haven’t decided yet). Here is an unedited sample of Prayer 15 of the Litanies, a prayer transmitted by Shaykh Hasan al-‘Adawi and related by al-Saja’i. These are still works in progress. (No, that’s not my voice 🙂 )

 

Sample of The Muhammadan Litanies

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It’s finally here! Ibriz Media’s inaugural publication The Muhammadan Litanies will be available for pre-order from Mecca Book this Friday, Allah willing. The Muhammadan Litanies is essentially a practical implementation of The Drink of the People of Purity (which is essential reading for anyone who wants to connect with the deeper aspects of invoking blessings upon the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace). As it says in the description on the back cover, The Muhammadan Litanies

is a unique collection of seventy prayers upon the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) for daily and weekly use, 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. Each prayer is followed by a description of its source and its 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), the purposes or intentions for which it can be read, and its metaphysical meanings.

I’d like to offer my deep gratitude to all the beautiful souls that contributed in one way or another to this work—may Allah accept from you and reward you without measure and bring you in proximity to Him and His Beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace)!

To prepare, I gathered all of the available print editions of Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabahani’s Afdal al-salawat, and together with some friends and teachers we read all of the prayers out loud to catch all of the discrepancies between the different editions (the oldest edition turned out to have the fewest typographical errors, only three).

After verifying the vowel placement and wordings of the prayers, I began the translation, in what must have taken 2000+ hour of work. Writing the explanatory footnotes sometimes involved several days of digging up old, hard to find commentaries, some of which are only in manuscript form. (One week was spent preparing footnotes for the prayers of Shaykh Ahmad b. Idris.)

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Once the English translation was completed it was time to get all of the prayers typed out in Arabic with full vowel marks. That required hundreds of hours of reading, re-reading, marking corrections, marking areas where letters were missing vowels, and going over dozens of versions until the Arabic section was finally ready.

The Arabic and English of The Muhammadan Litanies were then sent off to the very capable typesetter Imran Rahim, of Etherea Design. We went back and forth refining the text and making more corrections and fixes to the Arabic and English. Finally, after ten or twelve versions, it was completed.

Al-Hamdulillah this project has been filled with blessings and openings from day one. I honestly didn’t want it to end. Allah willing, The Muhammadan Litanies will live up to its name and be a source of spiritual drink, cleansing and soothing souls with praise and exaltation of the Master of Humankind and Jinn, Sayyiduna Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

I’ve prepared a few sample pages of the work here.

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Be a Fountain

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“Do not mistake acquirement of mere knowledge for power. Like food, these things must be digested and assimilated to become life or force. Learning is not wisdom; knowledge is not necessarily vital energy. The student who has to cram through school or a college course, who has made himself merely a receptacle for the teacher’s thoughts and ideas, is not educated; he has not gained much.  He is a reservoir, not a fountain. One retains, the other gives forth.  Unless his knowledge is converted into wisdom, into faculty, it will become stagnant like still water.”

 J.E. Dinger, Leaves of Gold

About a year ago I wrote down this mission statement for Ibriz Media. It feels odd and artificial to use a plural and say “We at XYZ…,” when the reality is that Ibriz Media is simply one person, myself. So Ibriz Media’s Mission Statement is more like a personal mission statement, at least as it applies to the craft that Allah has placed me in for the past decade.

 

Ibriz Media’s Mission Statement

 

The Mission of Ibriz Media is to:

  1. Spread Muhammadan Beauty to as many people as possible through
  • Translating seminal works about every facet of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace)
  • Producing original works in English that address the spiritual and social needs of the Prophet’s Ummaboth the Umma of invitation (non-Muslims) and the Umma of acceptance (Muslims)
  • Organizing educational courses and retreats focused on strengthening connection to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and becoming a realized human through his broad Path
  1. Be a means of healing—as a manifestation of Muhammadan Concern—for the spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological traumas and pains of the modern world, by building awareness of the Prophetic way of balance and equilibrium in all aspects of life: health, wealth, and knowledge of self
  2. Be a resource for
  • Spiritual and educational media concerning the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace)
  • Addressing misconceptions regarding the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) and correcting false beliefs that seek to diminish his lofty rank and status as the Perfect Man and Quintessential Realized Human Being
  1. Work with any organization that seeks to realize the above-mentioned objectives
  2. Establish Muhammadan Gatherings—circles of communion and remembrance where people can come together and rejoice in and celebrate the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

 

I kindly ask for your prayers and thank you for your support over all these years.

Abdul Aziz Suraqah

 

Having a Good Opinion of Allah

 

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Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah Most High says, ‘I am as My servant thinks of Me, and I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me within himself I mention him within Myself, and if he mentions Me in a gathering I mention him in a gathering better than his. If he draws near to me by a hand span I draw near to him a cubit; if he draws near to Me a cubit I draw near to him a fathom; and if he comes to me walking I come to him running.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) also related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah Most High says, ‘My servant is as he thinks of Me, and I am with him when he calls upon Me. If he mentions Me within himself I mention him within Myself, and if he mentions Me in a gathering I mention him in a gathering better and finer than his.’” (Narrated by Ibn Hibban.)

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah Most High says, ‘I am as My servant thinks of Me, and I am with him when he calls upon Me.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah Most High says, ‘I am with My servant when he invokes Me and moves his lips with My remembrance.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, Ahmad, and Ibn Majah.)

Wathila b. al-Asqa’ (Allah be pleased with him) reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) say, ‘Allah—Blessed and Exalted is He—says, “I am as My servant thinks of Me, so let him think of Me what he wills.”’” (Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and al-Darimi.)

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah says, ‘I am as My servant thinks of Me. If he thinks good of me then so it shall be, and if he thinks ill of me then so it shall be.’” (Narrated by Ahmad.)

Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) say three days before his passing, ‘Let none of you die except in a state of thinking well of Allah.’” (Narrated by Muslim and Ahmad.)

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah will order two servants to enter Hell, and when one of them stands at the precipice of the fire he will turn and say, ‘By Allah, I had a good opinion of You!’ whereupon Allah will say, ‘Bring him back, for I am as My servant thinks of Me!’ Then Allah will forgive him.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi.)

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Having an excellent opinion [of Allah] is from excellence in worship.” (Narrated by Ahmad, and Abu Dawud.)

Mu’adh b. Jabal (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I you like I will inform you all of the first thing Allah will say to the believers and the first thing they will say to Him on the Day of Resurrection.” We said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Allah will say to the believers, ‘Have you loved meeting Me?’ They will reply, ‘Yes, Lord!’ He will then say, ‘Why?’ They will reply, ‘We hoped in Your pardon and forgiveness.’ He will then say, ‘My forgiveness has been made incumbent for you.’” (Narrated by Ahmad.)

‘Abd al-Rahman b. Samura (Allah be pleased with him) related in a lengthy narration, saying, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) came out and said, ‘Last night I saw something astonishing. I saw a man from my nation standing upon the Traverse (Sirat) and trembling like a palm leaf [in the wind], when suddenly his good opinion of Allah came and calmed his trembling and he continued on and crossed over.’” (Narrated by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi in Nawadir al-usul.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundations of Certitude: Now Available

Back in 2010 when teaching Islamic theology to a group of high school students, I wrote a poem covering the basics of theology, prophetology, and transmitted beliefs, all without jargon or theological terms. It was named Foundations of Certitude. As I taught the poem to the students I wrote out a commentary. Today I’m happy to announce that the poem is being made available at Ibriz Media. This summer should see the release of the commentary along with lesson plans for each section, in sha’ Allah.

From the Blurb:

Foundations of Certitude is a concise yet thorough rhyming poem on Islamic beliefs. This work was born out of a need to give young students a short text on creed (‘aqida) covering theology (what we believe regarding the Divine), prophetology (what we believe regarding the noble Prophets and Messengers), and transmitted beliefs regarding the Divine Scriptures, the Angels, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree. The chief advantage of this work is that it covers essential Islamic beliefs along with their rational proofs in clear English without complicated jargon or theological terms. It will prove useful for teachers who would like a summary of Islamic creed for their students, or any adult or teenager who wishes to learn individually the obligatory knowledge (fard ‘ayn) pertaining to Islamic creed. The detailed commentary to this poem is slated for release in the summer, Allah willing.

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Get it here.