Yursil: ‘Being Spiritually Ambitious’

April 30, 2008 § Leave a comment

Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss one popular Muslim blogger’s most recent post prior to its publishing. And at the time, when he shared the idea for the post, I thought it would be one of the most important blog topics of Rabi al-Thani 1429. And after reading the post, I realized just how significant an issue it was.  

In the post, Yursil of the Mind, Body, Soul blog discusses the phenomena of ‘Spiritual Ambition’. He touches on a subject that few people want to accept, let alone discuss, and that subject is spiritual rank. The ‘spiritually elite’ is clearly identified as a reality in the Qur’an al-kerim and the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be Pleased with them) but is this a reality today?

Please pardon my rhetoric and absurdity, but this is exactly what some are implying by ignoring or rejecting varying degrees of spiritual excellence among mankind. But for one moment, lets imagine spiritual rank is a phenomenon unchallenged, how then is it measured and defined? Yursil makes his case in the segment below:

clipped from www.yursil.com
For modern day people of faith, this may be a perplexing idea. Ambition?      

Spirituality? Ambition inherently involves ranks and gain. And modern day spirituality has been the great ‘equalizer’, everyone has become the same. For Muslim literalists, this is even more true. They refuse to accept spiritual training in a manner which inherently depends on recognizing the spiritual superiority of ones teacher. For them, the questions become asinine repetitions of “How do you know that teacher is not going to hell fire? No one knows!”

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Malcolm X: The Future Belongs to Those Who…

January 13, 2008 § 9 Comments

A world famous American Muslim named Malcolm X once said,

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it.”

This statement, which is often misquoted, is a practical wisdom that points to a very profound and fundamental element of religion, our existence. In one way or another we are all concerned with our future and its outcome. Even the atheist, the person who believes that there is no afterlife, is at the very least concerned about death, which is at some point in the unknown future. And whether that future be fifty years or fifty seconds away it is, at some level, a concern to all of mankind. But the reason Malcolm X’s statement is so profound is because it draws a simple but reasonable answer to the many possibilities that may occur in our future. In other words it points us in the right direction by suggesting that those who prepare for the future are the ones who hold the key to their own future. And I am not taking this quote in the context of Malcolm X’s time on the Earth or with respect to his political and ideological association. No, I am taking it purely at face value and applying merely as I see it in the context of my life today.

Preparing for future is an interesting proposition. But how can we prepare for the future if we do not even know why we are here, here on the face of Earth? Modern Western Science is not telling us why. Perhaps science discusses various ideas of how we came to be, but it often avoids the “why”. But in the Islamic Sciences this question has been answered. Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an,

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.” (51:56, Tran. Pickthal)

This means that our reason for being here, on this Earth, is only to worship our Creator. Thinking on this a bit puts a number of things in perspective for the Believer. The first being, the purpose of life itself. Today’s people have lost this understanding. We all have lost this understanding, Muslims, Christians, Jews. Today, it doesn’t even matter what religion you are. It doesn’t matter what color or what part of the world you came from. People from newborns to those that are ready for their graves, North; South; East and West are carrying emptiness in their heart. Life has become sour and everything that they do has become a pain. A reason to complain. And no one is satisfied with anything. This is true for men and women; children, adults and the elderly. We do not realize that trying to fill our heart’s emptiness with things of this world will never satisfy us. Perhaps, we can satisfy our stomach’s with things of this world; we can satisfy our physical bodies with things of this world but our heart, it is a place that the world cannot satisfy.

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Back From the Holy Day Break

December 24, 2007 § 2 Comments

‘Eid Mubarakum! Well I am back, I took a small break from blogging to prepare for the ‘Eid al-Adha, which recently passed. First, I would like to say congratulations to all of the Hajis for completing their pilgrimage. It is quite an accomplishment, may Allah Almighty reward you for your efforts. And may He make things easy for those who are sincerely making intention to make pilgrimage next year, inshaAllah. Yursil has posted pictures of the Osmanli Naks-i’bendi ‘Eid celebration, you will also be able to see pictures of our celebration and qurban here (warning there are images showing blood).

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Believers Look With the Light of God

November 2, 2007 § Leave a comment

On Friday 26 Safar, 1428 (March 16,2007) our sheykh, Sheykh Abdul-Kerim, Deputy to Grand Sheykh Maulana Nazim al-Hakkani the world leader for the most distinguished Osmanli Naks-i’bendi way, gave khutbe where he discusses how believers look with the nur of Allah explaining that,

“Holy Prophet (sws) is saying, “Be careful from the vision of a believer because he looks with the Nur of ALLAH. You cannot fool him.” When a believer looks with the Nur of ALLAH, he must know what is valuable. That’s the sign which is showing that you cannot fool him now. Sheytan cannot fool him, Dunya cannot fool him and the treasures and the pleasures of this world cannot fool that one. If a man is saying this and still running after Dunya and leaving the duties that ALLAH (subhana wa ta’ala) put as obligations on him, he already got fooled. He can say as much as he wants and he can read this (Qur’an-e Kerim) as much as he wants. It’s because if he is a real believer, then he must know what is valuable. Of course, we need to go to work and we need to earn. But the priority is ALLAH, His orders and His Prophet (sws).”(source)

This should be in the minds of all those who approach the minbar/pulpit taking on the duty of imam. It doesn’t matter if these duties are being performed regularly in masajid, occasionally with friends and co-workers or at your place of business in the community prayer room. We must remember that the imam is Sayyidina Maulana Muhammad’s (alayhi salatu wa salam) position, a very heavy thing to carry. We must keep this in mind and what it means to approach the minbar or leading the prayers, the Holy Prophet’s position, we should think on it.

Shaykh Abdul-Kerim and Clyde Bellecourt in Washington D.C.

October 24, 2007 § Leave a comment

People of many traditions come to share in a Prayer Vigil at Washington DC. Shaykh Abdul Kerim leads the Osmanli Naksibendi Tariqat and others in remembering the Creator. Clyde Bellecourt, famous Native American activist, joins the prayer circle and participates. His Ojibwe name is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun which means “Thunder Before the Storm”.

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What’s Wrong With the Sunni Unity Pledge

September 25, 2007 § 1 Comment

Yursil Kidwai of Osmanli Naksibendi-Hakkani Sufi Order discusses the failings of the “Sunni Unity Pledge” proposed by Shaykh Bin Bayyah, Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir and Yasir Qadhi.

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How Do Muslims Pray?

July 9, 2006 § 14 Comments

Let me tell you a little secret… I have been waiting nearly six months to make a post like this. I wanted to wait until readership for Wa Salaam was at a level where it could actually be of benefit. So where do we start?

Well lets start with the basics. In Islam there are 5 fundamental principles that are the foundation of our belief, so much that they are termed “Pillars”. Some of you non-Muslims may have heard of the term “5 Pillars of Islam”, which basically means that the essence of Islam is in the performance and maintenance of these rites.

The second of these 5 Pillars is observing the obligatory prayer or as-Salaah, which there is no English equivalent but for our purposes we will say “Reverence and Worship”. Salaat is different from a prayer or supplication, in Arabic this kind of prayer is called a dua’a. But the Salaat is something very specific, the act of Salaat is obligatory upon every Muslim after puberty and is a means to commune with the Almighty without the dependence of intercessors or lesser gods…

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