Monday 12 May 2014

Understanding without reason

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

When Allah gives us a message in the Holy Qur’an the common practice of a lot of people is to put a meaning to it; what they think is right, and confine it to that alone.  What we need to understand is that the Qur’anic meanings of each verse are so comprehensive that it is actually impossible for us to completely understand them.  The translation alone is not the complete message because each word has so many dimensions of meanings associated with it. 

For example Allah says in the Qur’an; 
‘Take note that amongst you is the Messenger of Allah’.  (49:7)
Some people interpret this to mean that the Sunnah or the way of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pboh) will always be with us; therefore we can get guidance from it.  However don’t you think that if Allah meant the Sunnah of His beloved (pboh) He would have specified that ‘his sunnah is with us’?

Instead He says that the Messenger is with us.  What then does it mean?  This is something that is difficult to understand through scientific reasoning and logic.  From a spiritual point of view the Prophet (pboh) has a special connection with the believers in a way we cannot logically comprehend; even though he left this physical dimension.

Take for example standing in front of his blessed tomb; he is reported to have said “no one sends salaams on me except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his salam”.

So if you were to physically stand in front of the room that contains his blessed body and engage in sending peace and blessings on him Allah causes his soul to reunite with his physical body so that he can respond to your greeting.  And if you look at live footage of Madinah you will see that night and day visitors to his Holy Masjid are continuously standing in front of his tomb sending salaams on him.  Is it then that his soul is continuously in his body?  Because we know that the bodies of all the Messengers never decay as he is reported to have said “the earth has been prohibited by Allah to eat the bodies of the Prophets”.

What about those who are not directly in front his blessed tomb.  He is reported to have said that “Allah has appointed an angel to my grave; whosoever sends darood upon me, until the Day of Judgment his darood is presented to me along with his name and his father's name”.

This process of him replying to our salutations is something which we really cannot conceive through rational thinking.  Only Allah knows.  What we need to do is try to establish a lasting connection with him and in so doing we will want to attach ourselves to him through sheer love.  Either through the following of his sunnah or through gaining more and more knowledge of him; in whatever way you choose you will not want to break your attachment from him. 

To take it a step further, the human personality contains things that we know are existing yet we cannot see them.  Such an important dimension of the human personality is with us; i.e. the soul but we know little of it?  Have you seen the soul and what do we know about it?  Allah says concerning the soul ‘We have not given you much knowledge of it’.

So if we have such an important dimension of our personality and know so little of it; how then can we really comprehend the true personality of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) and all his capabilities and capacities?  So when Allah says he is amongst you know that the Prophet (pboh) is with you.  How?  Only Allah knows but one thing we understand is that Allah has given us all a special dimension in our personalities through which we can understand things which cannot be experienced through reason and logic. 

It is only through the non-physical element of the human personality that one can gain religious experiences.  And that is what Islamic spirituality is all about; when you concentrate and meditate using the internal sense.  Through this effort you will in fact be activating that capacity in you that enables you to have knowledge of the unseen.  If you can activate the qalb you will get experiences that would make this world and all it contains seem so very insignificant.

Perhaps this is why Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said “fear the vision of the true believer, for he sees with the light of Allah”.

Why did he not mention all believers?  This should equip your mind as to the reality of Islamic Spirituality.

Let us all make a conscious effort to work at activating and culturing the non-physical element of our personalities.  May Allah make it easy for us and keep us rightly devoted to this struggle.  May He bless us all, guide us and take care of all our affairs in this world and the next.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

Thursday 1 May 2014

Sight through the heart

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Today we will look at a message that Allah has given us in the Qur’an and it is taken from Surah An`am;
There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord.  So whoever will see does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], "I am not a guardian over you”.  (6:104)
Metaphorically it is as if the rain is falling and you put a container to collect its water; you will derive benefit.  If not you will lose out.  This is basically what Allah is trying to teach us.  One of the meanings of enlightenment is to get knowledge or to be guided.  And Allah is the Giver of knowledge and guidance.  Therefore if you utilize the blessings He has been gracious to bestow upon you you will benefit.  If you don’t utilise it properly you will definitely lose out in the long run.  What we have to do is strike a healthy balance by paying ample attention to our worldly responsibilities and spiritual cultivation.
If we cultivate our personalities we will benefit; just as the torchlight benefits in the times of darkness.  We have a choice and this is what makes humans special.  We can choose consciously to enlighten ourselves or choose consciously to remain in the dark.  Our choice won’t do good or harm to Allah; it is for our own benefit.
Allah says: for indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.  22:46
Allah is telling us that we can decorate our bodies as much as we want; if we don’t decorate the heart we would have wasted our blessings.  For example, Pharaoh had unimaginable wealth and look at how history remembers him.  And that is the message of life; how do you manage your time to benefit yourself.  Are we only taken up with the material?
Allah says about Himself that ‘no vision can grasp Him’.
If you have to weld metal you have to wear a special apparatus.  So too, in order to experience the Greatness of Allah you have to prepare yourself.  If I want to look at my Lord, it is like looking at the sun with the naked eye multiplied many times over.
And this is something we should strive to achieve.  The mission of life is to prepare yourself to see your Lord.  Why and How?  When the Prophet Muhammad (pboh) went up into the heavens on the night of the Mir’aj he was blessed with a very special vision.  And this was the climax of realisation.  About it Allah says ‘and He revealed to His Servant what he revealed and his heart did not lie [about] what it saw’.
It is said that those who will enter paradise; after they would have gotten everything, then they will have vision of Allah, which is described as the greatest of all blessings.  And remarkably there are those who are able to achieve this right here in this life.
It may sound fanciful, but take for example our Book of Deeds; is it existing or not?  Every moment we are adding to it, so therefore it is existing; so why can’t we read it?  It is possible to see it and read it.  But how? 
Do you think you can give a vagrant the Qur’an to read?  Most likely not, because he is not clean and prepared, etc.  The same rule applies with all of us.  We need to cultivate our personalities to achieve “religious experiences”.  That is why Prophet (pboh) told his Companions “I have returned from the small Jihad (Jihad Asghar) to the big Jihad (Jihad Akbar)”.  The Sahabas enquired “what is the big Jihad?”  Prophet (pboh) said “the Jihad al nafs (jihad against the inner desires)”.
We need to prepare our bodies to accommodate the soul and not taint it with dark spots.  And this is one of the reasons why we do zikir; to open our eyes through the light of the heart.  And when this is achieved you will really experience the beauty of the Lord. 
Sadly, people project Allah as a strict Being waiting to punish us for our mistakes.  But Allah is so beautiful, loving kind and tender; that if you can understand that you will never want to leave Him.  You will want to stay with Him all the time because He is so Merciful and Generous.
Dear friends, let us make it a resolution to culture our personalities to experience the Beauty and Greatness of our Lord.  Begin by culturing the light of your soul and through that light you continue to grow.  Brighten your spiritual sight so that you will benefit in this world and the next.
Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed