A Great Purpose

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين و الصلاة و السلام على الحبيب محمد المصطفى و على آله و صحبه و سلم

All praises belong to Allah alone, from whom we ask for guidance and protection, upon whom we depend, and to whom we will return by His grace, mercy, and will. Praise be to Him who has placed us in this world and has not created anything with idle purpose. Gratitude is owed to Him who has elevated human kind and made subservient all of His creations for our benefit. Transcendent is He whose rights over us are obvious and certain and whose mercy is encompassing and generous.

In recent days, He - most glorified and exalted is He - blessed this humble community with an honoured guest. Many sipped at the fountain of his knowledge, character, and his efforts to call people to strive towards states of greater insight and purpose. As I reflect on the last few days, I'm still very much at a loss for words as my heart still tries to absorb the whole experience. It is a sign, and signs by their nature point to something other than themselves. Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, in his talks that punctuated the lessons given to us by Al Habib Umar bin Muhammad bin Hafiz, - الله يحفظه - repeatedly mentioned that a return to prophetic guidance and Quranic teachings are not only possible but necessary. The only thing that holds us back from achieving anything of this sort is ourselves. And really, it requires a great deal of reflection on our current circumstances and what we want out of our lives, and it requires sincerity in making changes to reach our lofty potential.

It is not befitting for humans, those of sound intellect, to doubt their Lord's majesty, transcendence, and supreme power over all things. And we must recognize that in His infinite wisdom and generosity, He keeps opening doors for us, one after another, to improve ourselves and to cleanse ourselves of the stains, hardships, and angst that we adorn ourselves with as we label it reality. "Reality" is that we have a limited time to live in ways that call to good and that recognizes our position in this world. Interestingly, lessons in these last few days, as I saw them, cradle messages quite like those that distinguished revelations in the Makkan period. That is to say that they seemed to invite us to establish a firm belief in the Oneness of Allah, to recognize His Lordship, and to see His prophet - may peace and blessings be upon him - as one whom He has honoured and by whose example we can learn to rectify our states both outwardly and inwardly.

Taking a step back, we must ask ourselves: Why do we love our teachers? Why are our hearts moved by their presence, prayers, and words? Why do we feel as though opportunities are lost when we cannot attend gatherings with them? Why do we shadow them and wait anxiously for their counsel? Because they, unlike us, have grasped wisdom, revelation, knowledge, and understanding with a passionate ferocity and made it their life's concern to live in the service of that which is pleasing in the sight of Allah. They are the ones who when they read "..and these are the successful..." in the Quran, they heed the advice and persevere with Quranic counsel. They are the ones who do not belittle prophethood and its role in their lives. They are the ones who turn away from cheap prices that are offered for their soulful identities, and instead they live saying "labayka Allahumma labayk." This is where we all need to be. But at the beginning of all this rests one thing - knowledge.

Perhaps we look at our beloved shuyukh and teachers as some sort of GPS units that will lead us to the state of raised human conditions. Perhaps excitement for their company comes from the anticipation that they will lead us to our destination. In some ways, they will. But they're not "quick fixes" for us, and we must prepare ourselves to work, to learn, to struggle with ourselves rejecting all that is perceived as norms when they go against prophetic teachings. We need to be active in our movement towards greatness, but awakening an almost dead heart is not easy, and it is only by Allah's generosity and grace that we will find ourselves with the means to do so.

I like to look at the past few days as part of the means, and I pray that the good that has been gathered can be utilized and eventually increases with Allah's blessings. It is a great and severe error and a great and severe mockery of good to neglect striving to lead better spiritual lives.

As I say this, I know there will be many slips ahead, but Allah is generous, and we must maintain a good opinion of Him and depend on Him for guidance. And we must know that He will facilitate that which is best for us, and He will take care of us.

ربنا تقبل منا انك أنت السميع العليم و تب علينا انك أنت التواب الرحيم
يا ربنا اهدنا الصراط المستقيم يا أرحم الراحمين يا أرحم الراحمين يا أرحم الراحمين...آمين


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

لا حول و لا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم

When there is a conflict between active engagement and serene submission, we will find that our manifestations of both efforts are amiss. If I perceive something as good and pursue it full heartedly only to find myself in tangles of frustration, then I must know that at some point I am failing to submit. Submission is not to be idle but to recognize where power and governance of all affairs lie.

Certainly, these matters are far from every brain cell that we are able to juice and every resource that we are able to grasp. Sometimes the point of correction is simply in one's motivations. When an intention is soured, an act will be impacted. So indications of unresolve or imbalance sometimes point back to the beginning of the act as they invite us to correct our intentions and to follow through with the act so that it serves as a reason for worthy gains instead of the opposite.

A Step

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

May it bubble and frizzle and do the wonderful things it is meant to do. May it sparkle and shine. May it settle and incline to the ways of its nature. May it awaken to the reality of its existence. May it flourish and reach unimaginable depths. May it breathe easily. May it taste peace. May it know life. Ameen.

This world is a mad house in many respects. It baffles any claims I have to my own sanity. It lies repeatedly. It defies logic relentlessly. I have been inclined to write about its absurdities but never seem to find the right words, those that get to the heart of what is really going on. Behind these veils, there are signs that need to be uncovered, polished, and savoured. But often times it feels like a task almost unachievable. Little progress is made beneath the veils of darkness.

But you know what? Sometimes, sometimes, there are flickers of light. No, not hope in this respect, but a hand to hold while on treacherous grounds, one that makes stability a useful word. We cannot have stability nor strength nor progress in anything that itself is finite. As always, truth must be beyond the tangible. Love must be beyond the visible. But such moments are rare, almost non-existent.

I want to hope for them. I want to carry them. I want to share them. There is chaos masking a world that begs to return to its state of peace. For those who care to see it, its success is existent, and it is possible. We must see beyond ourselves, beyond that which might make us worthwhile even in our lowly estimations. All we are for ourselves now, in this preliminary stage of existence, is a rebellious inner being, a rebellious nafs. But her end will come soon, and the part that we would like to wholeheartedly embrace is waiting patiently for our gentle touch. If all goes well in part one, we can then reasonably hope for a sweet reunion bereft of the stubborn, hardly satiated, and rarely disciplined part of our worldly selves.

But do we have the patience for such a logical, clearly outlined step?

It is only a step as it is very brief and can hardly be considered a journey. But perhaps we don't consider steps, by themselves and in their independence, as significant. Do tell, how many steps does it take to land in a puddle? A mere step should you be close enough. Know that both expectant realities - that which we fear and that which we hope for - lay securely at our sides. When our single step ends at the call of our deaths, we will know the consequences of our choice. Choose well, think carefully, and lift you foot with utmost care. May it be favoured with His mercy and grace and be amongst those that are showered with His ridha... ameen.
"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]