The Difference Between Worship and Respect

October 14, 2009 § 4 Comments

BismillaharRahmanirRahim

Selam alaykum. I wanted to post a very special sohbet from our Grand Shaykh, Maulana Nazim.

(Mawlana Shaykh standing)

O our Lord! Forgive us and we are saying also a`udhu billahi min ash Shaytani ‘r rajeem, running away from bad sounds, from Satan and its tricks and traps. Keep ourselves. I am ashaming to ask this from Your Heavenly Presence. I may ask from master of this world. O our master, Qutb az-Zaman, who looking after everything on this Earth, on this planet, to be much more honored by the intercession of the Seal of Prophets (s).

(Mawlana sits)

And I am saying Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem. Biggest honor that whole prophets were asking for them, Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem forever. Allah Almighty just granted that much more honor name for Ummati Muhammad (s). And we are saying so easily Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem. Endless honor, endless lightening coming from Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem.

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Remembering Çanakkale (Dardanelles)

March 19, 2009 § 4 Comments

Canakkale

Today we should remember those Muslims who fought hard to save and protect the Ottoman Sultan in March 1915. Just a few months before my very own grandfather was born, thousands of miles away there was a battle on famous straight separating Europe and Asia in an area known as Çanakkale.

We are going to spend this time remembering them. Asking that Allah Almighty accept their noble efforts to defend the Khalifa of Islam and reward them accordingly.

I have an account of our grandshaykh Maulana Shaykh Nazim mentioning the time of fighting in Çanakkale saying,

“Our grandshaykh once related to me an incident from the First World War, when he was in the Dardanelles fighting for the Ottoman Khalifa. An Armenian sergant who was employed in the service of the Ottoman Empire, addressed a fellow sergeant, a Muslim saying: “Are you Muslim?” “Of course I am,” he answered. “Is it enough to declare that you are Muslim? I can also say that. Now, is there any difference between you and me?” The Muslim sergeant said, “I believe in the unity of God, in His prophets, His books, His angels, the Judgement Day and the rule of destiny.” The Armenian sergeant replied: “I may state my belief in all that you have stated. Now, what is the difference between us?”

Our grandshaykh used to comment about the difficulties between Armenian people and Muslims, saying what a shame it was and what a tragic turn of events, caused by the actions of evil men. Chrisitians were living with Muslims side by side, and they knew Islam as we know it, only that they were keeping their faith through Christianity.

Then our grandshaykh came and said to the Armenian sergeant: “Oh my friend, are you sincerely seeking an answer to your question? If so, then I may explain the difference between lip service and reality. When a person states his belief in God, His prophets, His revelations, His angels, the Judgement Day and destiny with real sincerity of heart, nothing will block the penetration of his vision to the heart of all things. If he looks down at earth he will not be prevented from seeing what lies beneath it. If he looks up at the heavens, the distance should not hinder him from seeing the seven heavens. He who sees with the light of faith should, when he turns to the East, see all the way to the Far East, and likewise in any direction. When he turns toward Mecca in his prayers he should see the house of God before his very eyes. Then the Armenian sergeant said: “Yes, that is the faith I am seeking,” and he kissed Grandshaykh’s hands, and completed his faith by adding sincere intention to his verbal affirmation of faith. If a person is granted real faith – neither distance nor darkness nor huge mountains can block his view – his light penetrates.”

Shaykh Abdul Kerim al-Kibrisi Sohbet – March 2009

March 15, 2009 § 4 Comments

Shaykh Abdul Kerim al-Kibrisi Sohbet gives sohbet at the Osmanli Naksi-i’bendi Dergah for General Zikr on the Holy Month of Rabi’Awwal 1430 (March 2009). (Sydney Center , NY)

“Shaykh Effendi is saying people are learning about Islam through the internet in Firawnic rooms. They discuss fatwas but they don’t know the basics of the religion. Muslims have left the way of the Prophets. Those that say that Allah is enough for them or the Quran is enough for them have cut the Shahadat. The nightmare of Shaitan is to see a man with a turban and beard, with Prophet’s (صلي الله عليه و سلم) sunnat. This nightmare is the same of most of todays Islamic leaders. We must follow those who are following the Prophet’s (صلي الله عليه و سلم) lifestyle.” -Yursil

Belief in God’s Prophets?

April 27, 2008 § 6 Comments

The word Islam comes from the tri-literal root, S-L-M, root in the Arabic language. When trying to understand this concept, think of building blocks, and the tri-literal root is the foundation; the ground work of the word construct. This particular tri-literal root, S-L-M, literally means, among other things: purity, peace, submission and obedience.

The religion of Islam means, the way of submission to God and obedience to His commands. And as a result there is a theme among Muslims which was taught to us by the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (may Peace and Blessings be upon him). That theme is, servanthood. A Muslim is one who has willingly accepted the title of servant and the responsibility of a servant is obedience to his master. In this case the master is the Lord of the Heavens and Earth, the Master of the Day of Judgement. His most secret name, though His names are innumerable, is Allah The Most Compassionate Most Merciful.

The first man, Adam (may Peace be upon him) was also the first Messenger of God. The Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessing be upon him) taught mankind that Adam (may Peace be upon him), the first man, knew the Oneness of the Lord of the Heavens and Earth. And as mankind began to proliferate there became obedient ones and disobedient ones among them. These circumstances created a need among mankind, the need for Allah Almighty’s Mercy, and so He made Adam (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) a messenger to mankind.

This need continued overtime and thus messengers were sent to mankind as a means; a link between Allah Almighty and intelligent beings of His creation. These messengers, Prophets were sent in order to remind mankind of their identity as servants and their responsibility of obedience. 

The sending of messengers is not incumbent upon Allah Almighty, on the contrary it is His Wisdom (hikma) that demands it and in it are wise and beneficial things for all of His Creation. Allah Almighty has sent messengers from among mankind – to mankind – with announcements of good tidings of the Garden of Paradise and rewards for those servants of Belief and obedience.

The Messengers of God warned the disobedient servants, the people of Unbelief, against the Fire and punishments. For these are among the things of which Reason has no way of obtaining knowledge. Man’s Reason may have the capacity to find God but fails to recognize His attributes and how to worship and without Prophetic guidance man exists in a state perplexed. Shaykh Muhyiddin ibn al-‘Arabi (ks) wrote of this saying,

“If anyone says that he knows that God is his Creator and is not confused, this is proof that he is ignorant. Only God knows God, so take heed! The One who attends to you is not like one who is ignorant. Incapacity to perceive is mystical knowledge. The principle in it is like that for the one who is intelligent. He is God, and you cannot number His praises. He is Incomparable, so do not make a likeness for Him.”

Therefore, it is only of the Grace and Mercy of Allah Almighty that He sent messengers to mankind. They show the right path and true ethics for righteous living. They are the mediators between the Creator and His creatures, the Master and His servants. 

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Hazreti ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (ra) and The Expedition

April 17, 2008 § 1 Comment

Hazreti 'Amr ibn al-'As Mosque in Egypt

During the month of Rabi al-Awwal, the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) received word that Bedouins of the Bali and Quda’a tribes were gathering and stealing the herds that belonged to the people of Medina in the Wadi al-Qura (area between Medina and Syria). The tribesmen were attempting to push back the growing population of Muslims. And in Rabi al-Thani 8 A.H., the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) designated Hazreti ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (ra), known to be a clever strategist; whose mother was of the tribe of Bali, to command an army of 300 men to defend the Muslims and their property, this would be later known as the ‘Expedition of the Well’ (Zhat-i Salasil).

Hazreti ‘Amr (ra) traveled and finally approached enemy lines. Observing them, he realized that they were more numerous than expected and he sent Hazreti Rafi’ (ra) back to Medina to inform the Holy Prophet (ra) of the situation and to request reinforcements. The Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) sent Hazreti Abu ‘Ubayda leading a group of 200 men, among the 200 men were the Holy Prophet’s closest companions, Hazreti Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ra) and Hazreti ‘Umar al-Faruq (ra). When the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) sent the group off he said to them,

“I am sending you out as support troops in order to fend off the enemy attack and to punish these brigands, under the one condition that you do not break the unity of you ranks, and do not fall into dissension.”

The Holy Messenger of God (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) was warning the men of what was to come, “division and disunity among the ranks”. When the reinforcements led by Hazreti Abu ‘Ubayda (ra) arrived, Hazreti Abu ‘Ubayda wanted to be Imam and lead the prayers for the men. However, Hazret ‘Amr (ra) responded strongly saying,

“No! The command of this force is mine, you have command only of an auxiliary troop; therefore, it is for me to be the Imam!”

That is when Hazreti Abu Bakr, Hazreti ‘Umar and Hazreti Abu ‘Ubayda remembered the warning of the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him). They went to Hazreti ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (ra) and agreed, keeping the ranks as the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) had ordered. The next day they launched their attack on the enemy and returned to Medina victorious.

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The Holy Nights

March 15, 2008 § 12 Comments

If I were to ask you what are the five Holy Nights, what would come to your mind? Perhaps nothing or perhaps something. The fact of the matter is that the Holy Days and Nights are not discussed very often among religious people in America. But for Muslims in America there are evenings that should matter in our lives, they should not be ordinary nights that pass in an ordinary way. There are five Holy Nights that I am going to mention here and if these nights mean something in the Heavens, then they should mean something to Believers on Earth:

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What Do Muslims Believe?

March 12, 2008 § 13 Comments

I have noticed an increase in readership from either people considering Islam or non-Muslims who are curious and would like to know more about Muslims. There are also those from WordPress.com who are wondering why-in-heck is a guy wearing a bright green turban; talking about tea and geishas on the front page of WordPress.com?

This blog is merely a journal and I’m using it to record my experiences as a Muslim. So what does that mean, “experiences as a Muslim”? Well, it means that I am writing about my life, thoughts, concerns and interests as they play out holding certain beliefs, Islamic beliefs. So the next logical questions for all those curious people should be,

“Well… what do Muslims believe?”

The answer to this is simple. So I’ll explain it as if we were talking and see how that works: When people convert to Islam they do so under the pretense of their own convictions and of their own mind. This is accomplished by understanding the basics of Islam at the very least.

When someone is ready to begin ordering their life to the commands of Allah Almighty and measuring their lifestyle within the framework of His Last and Final Messenger, Sayyidina Mevlana Muhammad’s tradition or Sunnah (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) 1, 2, they do so by declaring and pronouncing aloud the kalima tawhid or the kalima shahada. This is sufficient to enter Islam, whether one does it in front of witnesses or on one’s own because the general belief (al-iman al-ijmali) is embodied in the kalima tawhid and the kalima shahada. (temporary links)

However, the detailed belief (al-iman al-tafsili) should be learned, studied and understood thereafter. The Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) articulated the detailed belief in a statement most commonly known as ‘Amantu‘.

Transliteration:

Amantu billah wa malaikatihi wa kutubihi wa rsulihi wal yamil akhiri wa bil qadari khayrihi wa sharrihi min allahi te’ala wa ba’thu ba’dal mawti. Ashhadu an-la ilaha illallah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluh.

Translation:

I believe in God, in His angels, in His books, in His Prophets, in the Day of Judgment, and that everything good or bad is decided by God the Almighty, and in the life-after-death (the resurrection). I bear witness that their is no deity but Allah (the God) and Muhammad is His servant and His apostle.

From the Holy Prophet’s statement (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) the Articles of Faith are derived identifying,

  • Belief in God
  • Belief in God’s Angels
  • Belief in God’s Books
  • Belief in God’s Prophets
  • Belief in Life after Death
  • Belief in Fate (qadarAllah); the good and the bad are decided by God alone.

To doubt any one of these articles is disbelief. Disbelief in anyone of these articles eventually leads to unbelief (kufr). And where there is unbelief, no faith, there is no Islam. This is because belief, faith (iman), is the ideological base of Islam.

Note:
A post on kalima tawhid and kalima shahada will be coming soon inshaAllah.

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