Al-Hamdulillah, after many many long hours and work I’m happy to announce that The Muhammadan Litanies is now headed to the printers and will be available in early April, in sha’ Allah.
Al-Salam ‘alaykum, Al-Hamdulillah The Muhammadan Litanies is in the editing and typesetting stages and I’ll be heading to the recording studio to get all of the salawat recited. Please keep this project in your prayers.
Foreword by Shaykh Mohammed Aslam
Every time this Umma was on the verge of being overcome by the darkness of despondency and hopelessness and the tides of despair, anguish, and pain seemed to transgress over the barriers of aspiration and relief, Allah inspired mankind with a heavenly gift of praising and sending salutations upon His chosen and most Beloved Messenger, Sayyiduna Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). The majesty of this favor brought life to dead souls, healed fragmented hearts, rehabilitated wounded bodies and caused this Umma to yet again be honored with the delights of triumph, the ecstasy of proximity and the splendor of veneration amongst the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth. The Muhammad Litanies is a majestic treasure chest which has been beautified and adorned with the praise of the pearl of creation. Each line within it causes the heart to melt and transform into a manifestation of heavenly green devotion entwined with delicate threads of golden adoration, and each chapter within it is illuminated with the oceans of radiant love and the endless shores of awe inspiring reverence. No lover reads this magnificent book except that he or she is inflamed within the fire of love, passion, and yearning and then enraptured within the delightful breeze of the Muhammadan vision. May Allah forever allow Sidi Abdul Aziz Suraqah to be a beacon of prophetic light who translates the broken hearts of man into a language which can only be comprehended by those in the Divine Presence, and may he forever continue to be mesmerized within the exaltation of our Master Muhammad —Mohammed Aslam b. al Hajj Abdul Qayum b. al Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf The City of Knowledge Academy, Birmingham, UK
This is an excerpt from my latest work, The Muhammadan Litanies, to be published
in the Fall in the Spring of 2016 in sha’ Allah. Speaking on how one may strengthen his connection to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), Shaykh ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili (Allah sanctify his secret) said:
To strengthen your connection to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), you should constantly bring to presence and visualize the Prophet’s form (as I have just described it) in your mind and make a conscious effort to uphold proper manners with it as it is brought to presence—with reverence, magnification, and awe. If you chose not to bring that splendid and sublime form to presence and you have seen him before in a dream, then visualize the form you saw in your dream. If you have not seen him in your dream and you are unable to visualize him in the form that has been described, then invoke prayers upon him and as you are there remembering him act as if you are there directly before him during his [physical] life—observing the proprieties of reverence, magnification, awe, and shyness—for he certainly sees and hears you each time you remember him. That is because he is described with the qualities of Allah Most High, and Allah is the Companion of the one who remembers Him. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), therefore, has an ample share of this quality, too, because the description of the knower (‘Arif) is the description of the One he knows (Ma’rufuhu), and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the most knowledgeable of all people regarding Allah Most High. If you are unable to be before the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as described here yet you have visited his noble grave in the past and seen his noble Garden (Rawda) and lofty and sublime Dome, then visualize his noble grave and resplendent presence [Medina] in your mind each time you remember him, or each time you send prayers upon him, and act as if you are standing before his noble grave—with reverence and magnification—until you witness the Prophet’s spiritual essence manifest before you. If you have neither visited his noble grave nor seen the place of his presence [the Mosque] or his Garden, then send constant prayers upon him and bring to mind that he (Allah bless him and give him peace) hears you; observe proper manners when doing so and concentrate all of your spiritual energies into it so your prayers reach him while your heart is present before him. Indeed, concentrating one’s spiritual energies leaves an indelible effect! Have shame lest you remember him or send prayers upon him (Allah bless him and give him peace) while you are preoccupied with other than him, for then your prayer will be a body without a soul. Every act of piety that a servant does will assume a living form provided it is done with presence of heart. But if it is done in a state of obliviousness, or when the mind is distracted by something else, then it will assume a dead and lifeless form.
(Shaykh ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili, Qaba qawsayn)
As promised, here’s an excerpt from The Muhammadan Litanies. Allah willing the book will be printed and available
in the Fall in the Spring of 2016.
PRAYER SIXTY-THREE The Prayer of Relief (al-Salat al-Tafrijiyya)
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ صَلاَةً كَامِلَةً وَسَلِّمْ سَلاَماً تَامًّا عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ تَنْحَلُّ بِهِ الْعُقَدُ وَتَنْفَرِجُ بِهِ الْكُرَبُ وَتُقْضَى بِهِ الْحَوَائِجُ وَتُنَالُ بِهِ الرَّغَائِبُ وَحُسْنُ الْخَوَاتِمِ وَيُسْتَسْقَى الْغَمَامُ بِوَجْهِهِ الْكَرِيمِ وَعَلى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ فِي كُلِّ لَمْحَةٍ وَنَفَسٍ بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ مَعْلُومٍ لَكَ
Allahumma salli salatan kamilatan, wa sallim salaman tamma, ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad, tanhallu bihil-‘uqad, wa tanfariju bihil-kurab, wa tuqda bihil-hawa’ij, wa tanalu bihir-ragha’ib wa husnul-khawatim, wa yustasqal ghamamu bi wajhi-hil-karim, wa ‘ala aalhi wa sahbihi fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin, bi ‘adadi kulli ma’lumin laka.
“O Allah, send a perfect prayer and complete greeting of peace upon our master Muhammad—the one by whom difficulties are alleviated, distresses are relieved, needs are fulfilled, and aspirations and good endings are attained, and by whose noble face rain-laden clouds are sought—and upon his Family and Companions, with every glance and every breath, by the number of everything that is known to You.”
This prayer, called the Prayer of Relief (al-Salat al-Tafrijiyya), was mentioned by the Shaykh and gnostic Muhammad Haqqi Effendi al-Nazili in Khazinat al-asrar. Whoever regularly reads this prayer forty-one times or one hundred times or more each day, Allah will relieve his distress and anxiety, alleviate his worries and problems, facilitate his needs, enlighten his innermost being, exalt his rank, improve his condition, expand his provision, open for him the doors of goodness and excellences with increase, grant him influence, make him safe from the vicissitudes of time and the evil afflictions of hunger and extreme poverty, and place love for him in the hearts of other people—and there is nothing he asks of Allah except that Allah will give it to him. These benefits, however, are not obtained unless one condition is met, namely that the prayer be read regularly. This prayer is one of Allah’s treasures, and its invocation is a key to Allah’s treasure-stores. Allah grants an opening to those of His servants who read this prayer regularly, and by it He causes them to arrive at what He wills for them. Elsewhere in Khazinat al-asrar, Shaykh Muhammad Haqqi Effendi al-Nazili said:
And among the tried and tested prayers is the Prayer of Relief (al-Salat al-Tafrijiyya) from al-Qurtubi. Those in the Maghreb call it the Fiery Prayer (al-Salat al-Nariyya), and that is because when they wish to obtain something that is sought after or avert something undesirable, they come together in a single gathering and read this prayer 4,444 times and quickly obtain what they were seeking. The people of mystical secrets call it the Key to the Encompassing Treasure for Obtaining the Servants’ Wants (Miftah al-Kanz al-Muhit li Nayl Murad al-‘Abid), and it is: “O Allah, send a perfect prayer and complete greeting of peace upon our master Muhammad—the one by whom difficulties are alleviated, distresses are relieved, needs are fulfilled, and aspirations and good endings are attained, and by whose noble face rain-laden clouds are sought—and upon his Family and Companions, with every glance and every breath, by the number of everything that is known to You.” I received a license for this prayer in this wording from Shaykh Muhammad al-Sanusi atop Mt. Qubays [in Mecca], after which I received a license for it from Shaykh al-Maghribi followed by Shaykh Sayyid Zayn b. Makki, may Allah be pleased with them all. … Shaykh Muhammad al-Sanusi said, “Whosoever reads it regularly eleven times each day, then it is as if it [the prayer] sends down provision from the heavens and causes it to sprout from the earth.” Imam al-Dinawuri said, “Whosoever reads this prayer eleven times after the end of each [obligatory] prayer and adopts it as his regular litany will never have his provision cut off, and he will attain lofty degrees and a sanctuary of wealth. Whosoever reads it forty-one times regularly after the Dawn Prayer each day will also obtain his wants. Whosoever reads it one hundred times regularly will attain what he seeks after and more than he desired. Whosoever reads it regularly each day 313 times—the number of the Emissaries, upon whom be peace—for the unveiling of secrets, then he will behold everything that he wanted to see. Whosoever reads it regularly one thousand times daily will receive what cannot be described by those gifted at description—what no eye has ever seen, what no ear has ever heard, and what has never occurred to the heart of man.”
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.
The following is brief excerpt of a joint project between Ibriz Media and Muhammadan Press—to be announced soon, Allah willing. Shaykh ‘Ulwan ‘Ali b. ‘Atiyya al-Hamawi al-Shadhili said in his book Misbah al-diraya wa miftah al-hidaya (The Lamp of Understanding and the Key of Guidance): The means of receiving a good end at the time of death (husn al-khatima) include: uprightness (istiqama), persistence in invocation, constancy in replying to the muezzin’s call to prayer, asking that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) be granted the Wasila, and constancy in supplicating “O Allah, honor this Muhammadan nation with Your beautiful oft-returning favors in both abodes, out of honor for those You have made members of his nation” (this is one of the most hope-inspiring means listed here). Other means include persistence in uttering the Master Plea for Forgiveness (Sayyid al-Istighfar), which is reported in the rigorously authenticated hadith, and it is:
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ
“O Allah, You are my Lord—there is no god but You. You created me, and I am Your servant, and I uphold Your covenant and am faithful to Your promise as much as I am able. I seek refuge in Your from the evil I have done, and I acknowledge before You the blessings You have bestowed me, and I acknowledge my sins, so forgive me, for none can forgive sins except You.”
Other means include praying the Dawn Prayer (Subh) and Late Noon prayer (‘Asr) in congregation, along with many other types of goodness and praiseworthy statements and actions. As for the means of receiving an evil end at the time of death (su’ al-khatima)—Allah’s refuge is sought!—they include: love for the lower world, possessing arrogance, conceitedness, envy, and heedlessness, holding corrupt beliefs (‘aqida fasida), stubbornly and persistently committing a forbidden act, looking at pre-pubescent boys [with unlawful desire] and looking at women, contravening the Sunna that has come from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and other types of evil and blameworthy statements and actions.
The following is brief excerpt of a joint project between Ibriz Media and Muhammadan Press—to be announced soon, Allah willing.
May Allah send prayers upon you, O Light!
An Ode by Shaykh Ahmad b. Mustafa al-‘Alawi (may Allah sanctify his secret) May Allah send prayers upon you, O Light— O Light of every dwelling! O best of those in all dwellings! O Messenger of Allah, you are— You are the Light in physical form! You came as light upon light, With it the Quran was revealed. As a lamp, a light, and oil As a shining light you came finely proportioned. The cosmos will not exist until It manifests through you, adorned. You said in the narrations that The cosmos has taken after your likeness. From the Holy Presence you came, And in it you have not ceased to be. You were before the cosmos—you were! And the everlasting is like the pre-eternal. You were absolute, and then you became Adorned by delimitations. There is naught within existence Except the Light—I say, indeed! It appeared suddenly from the Unseen From the loftiest heights it descended. O Messenger of Allah, you have attained An abundance of abundance and virtues. O Messenger of Allah, you have remained— And I have remained compliant to you. So al-‘Alawi hopes that He reaches, with your pleasure, the desired end.
Sunni Publications, Rotterdam. First Edition, 2015 Paperback, 240 pages, 290 grams. ISBN 9789079294206
Indeed, Allah and His Angels send prayers upon the Prophet. O you who believe! Send prayers and abundant salutations upon him. [Sura al-Ahzab 33:56]
Sending Prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ is an extraordinary work of scholarship infused with Prophetic love that expounds upon the command of Allah ﷻ and His Prophet ﷺ to send abundant prayers and salutations upon the Master of the Messengers ﷺ and details their deeper meanings, great virtues, numerous benefits and different rulings.
Steeped in spiritual insight and profound love and devotion, Imam ʿAbdallah Sirajuddin unravels the secrets of this noble act and elegantly explains its high status by drawing extensively from the Qurʾan and Hadith traditions and the understandings of the scholars of the past.
Live happily with never-ending union With the one you love, with the veils of distance raised Witness the utter beauty of the one for whose sake The hearts of the lovers split asunder from its light Be of good cheer for attaining what you hoped for Upon the brow of the Elect Prophet has the sun of the forenoon shined!
Imam ʿAbdallah Sirajuddin al-Husayni was an exegete of the Qur’an, scholar of Hadith, master of the spiritual path, expert of the Sacred Law, lover of the Prophet ﷺ and Light of Aleppo about whom it was said:
“He is the Pole of Prophetic love a in our times.” —Shaykh ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Shaghuri
“This man is walking towards him [the Prophet ﷺ], even if it would be on his eyelashes.” —Shaykh ʿAlawi al-Maliki al-Hasani
“It is obligatory upon every eye to see him.” —Habib ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf
“You [Shaykh ʿAbdallah] are surrounded by the vision of our Master the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.” —Shaykh Ahmad Harun al-Dimashqi
Last spring my teacher and sanad, Sidi Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Haddad, gave a small talk on the etiquettes of the Hadra. What follows is a paraphrasing of his talk based on the notes I had written when translating for him. Download it here.
The Knowers of Allah mention that the Muhammadan Reality (al-Haqiqa al-Muhammadiyya) has MANY names, each one reflecting a certain aspect of Reality or frame of reference. Among these names:
The First Determination
The Supreme Pen
The Command of Allah
The First Intellect
The Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary
The Demarcation Line
The Perfect Man
The Mother of the Book
The Inscribed Book
The Hallowed Soul
The Supreme Soul
The Second Theophany
The Reality of all Realities
The Universal Soul
The Manifest Imam
The Mirror of the Real
The First Substance
The First Teacher
The Breath of the Merciful
The First Effusion
The White Pearl
The Mirror of the Two Presences
The Gathering Isthmus
The Intermediary of Effusion and Succor
The Presence of Gatheredness
The Gathering Point of the Two Seas
The Mirror of the Cosmos
The Center of the Circle
The Permeating Existence
The Light of Lights
The First Shade
The Life that permeates all of existence
The Presence of the Names and Attributes
The Truth by which all things were created
To be continued…