Lover of Saints

This blog is dedicated to Mawlana Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jayli, may Allah increase his lights and raise his stations. May we all drink from the oceans of the true lovers, the saints, the perfected beings and faithful servents of our Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad, may infinite peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and all his companions and followers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Zawiya in Jeddah and Medina


Saturday, January 13, 2007

When the sweet glance of my true love caught my eyes,

Like alchemy, it transformed my copper-like soul.

I searched for Him with a thousand hands,

He stretched out His arms and clutched my feet.

-Mawlana Rumi-

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 10

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

89. Far be it from our Lord to repay with credit the servant who deals with Him in cash.

90. Suffice it as a repayment to you for obedience that He has judged you worthy of obedience.

91. It suffices as a reward for the doers of good that He has inspired obedience to Him in their hearts and brought upon them the existence of intimacy between Him and them [mu’anasa].

92. Whoever worships Him for something he hopes for from Him, or in order to stave off the arrival of chastisement [al-‘uquba], has not concerned himself with the real nature of His Attributes [bi-haqqi awsafihi].

93. When He gives, He shows you His kindness [birr]; when He deprives, He shows you His power [qahr]. And in all that, He is making Himself known to you and coming to you with His gentleness.

94. Deprivation [al-man‘] hurts you only because of the lack of your understanding of Allah in it.

95. Sometimes He opens the door of obedience for you but not the door of acceptance; or sometimes He condemns you to wrong-action, and it turns out to be a cause of arriving at Him.

96. A disobedience that bequeathes humiliation and extreme need is better than an obedience that bequeathes self-infatuation and pride.

97. There are two blessings [ni‘matan] from which no being can be separated and that are inevitable for every creature: the blessing of existence [al-ijad], and the blessing of sustenance [imdad].

98. He bestowed His blessings upon you, first, through giving you being [bi’l-ijad], and, second, through uninterrupted sustenance [imdad].

99. Your indigence [faqa] belongs to you essentially, for accidents do not abolish essential indigence: the trials that arrive in this world are but reminders to you of what you ignore of indigence.

100. The best of your moments is the one wherein you witness the existence of your indigence and, through it, arrive at the existence of your lowliness [dhilla].

101. When He alienates you from His creatures, then know that He wants to open for you the door of intimacy with Him.

102. When he loosens your tongue with a request, then know that He wants to give you something.

103. The imperative need [al-idtirar] of the Gnostic never vanishes, nor is his repose [qarar] in anyone but Allah.

104. He illumined exterior phenomena [az-zawahir] with the lights of His created things [athar]; and He illumined the secrets [as-sara’ir] with the uncreated lights of His attributes [bi-anwar awsafihi]. For that reason, the lights of exterior phenomena set, whereas the lights of hearts [al-qulub] and of the secrets [as-sara’ir] do not set. That is why it is said, “Verily, the sun of the day sets at night, but the Sun of hearts [shams al-qulub] never sets!”

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 9

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

75. The best that you can seek from Him is that which He seeks from you.

76. One of the signs of delusion is sadness over the loss of obedience coupled with the absence of resolve to bring it back to life.

77. The Gnostic [al-‘arif] is not one who, when he makes a symbolic allusion, finds Allah nearer to himself than his allusion [ishara]. Rather, the Gnostic is he who has no symbolic allusion due to his self-extinction in His existence [li-fana’ihi fi wujudhihi] and self-absorption in contemplating Him.

78. Hope [ar-raja] goes hand in hand with deeds, otherwise it is a wish [umniyya].

79. That which the Gnostics seek from Allah is sincerity in servanthood [al-‘ubudiyya] and performance of the claims of Lordship [ar-rububiyya].

80. He expanded you so as not to keep you in contraction [al-qabd], and contracted you so as not to keep you in expansion [al-bast], and He took you out of both so that you not belong to anything apart from Him.

81. It is more dreadful for Gnostics to be expanded than to be contracted, for only a few can stay within the limits of proper conduct [hudud al-adab] in expansion [fi’l-bast].

82. Through the existence of joy the soul gets its share in expansion, but there is no share for the soul in contraction.

83. Sometimes He gives while depriving you, and sometimes He deprives you in giving.

84. When He opens up your understanding of deprivation [al-man‘], the deprivation becomes the same as the gift [al-ata’].

85. Outwardly, creatures [al-akwan] are an illusion [ghirra], but, inwardly, they are an admonition [‘ibra]. Thus, the self looks at the illusory exterior [zahiri ghirratiha] while the heart looks at the admonitory interior [batini ‘ibratiha].

86. If you want a glory [‘izz] that does not vanish, then do not glory in a glory that vanishes.

87. The real journey [at-tayy al-haqiqi] is when the world’s dimension [masafat ad-dunya] is rolled away from you so that you see the Hereafter closer to you than yourself.

88. A gift from man is deprivation [al-hirman], and deprivation [al-man‘] from Allah is beneficence [al-ihsan].

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 8

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

69. It is rare that divine inspirations [al-waridat al-ilahiyya] come except suddenly, and this, in order that they are protected from servant’s claiming them by virtue of the existence of receptivity [bi-wujud al-isti‘dad] on their part.

70. Infer the existence of ignorance in anyone whom you see answering all that he is asked or giving expression to all that he witnesses or mentioning all that he knows.

71. He made the Hereafter [ad-dar al-akhira] an abode to reward his believing servants only because this world cannot contain what He wishes to bestow upon them and because He deemed their worth too high to reward them in a world without permanence.

72. Whoever finds the fruit of his deeds [thamarat ‘amalihi] coming quickly [‘ajil] has proof of the existence of acceptance [al-qabul].

73. If you want to know your standing with Him, look at where He has made you abide now.

74. When He gives you obedience [at-ta‘a], making you unaware of it because of Him, then know that He has showered you liberally with His graces both inwardly and outwardly.

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 7

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

60. Were it not for the seeds of ambitious desire [tama‘], the branches of disgrace [aghsan dhull] would not be lofty.

61. Nothings leads you like suspicion [al-wahm].

62. In your despairing, you are a free man [hurr]; but in your coveting, you are a slave [‘abd].

63. Whoever does not draw near to Allah as a result of the caresses of love [mulatafat al-ihsan] is shackled to Him with the chains of misfortune [salasil al-imtihan].

64. Whoever is not thankful for graces [an-ni‘am] runs the risk of losing them, and whoever is thankful fetters them with their own cords.

65. Be fearful lest the existence of His generosity towards you and the permanence of your bad behavior towards Him not lead you step by step to ruin. “We shall lead them to ruin step by step from whence they know not.”

66. It is ignorance on the part of the novice [murid] to act improperly, and then, his punishment being delayed, to say, “If this had been improper conduct, He would have cut off help [imdad] and imposed exile [bi‘ad].” Help [al-madad] could be cut off from him without his being aware of it, if only by blocking its increase [al-mazid]. And it could be that you are made to abide at a distance [al-bu‘d] without your knowing it, if only by His leaving you to do as you like.

67. If you see a servant whom Allah has made to abide in the recitation of litanies [al-awrad] and prolonged His help therein, do not disdain what his Lord has given him on the score that you do not detect the signs of Gnostics [siyamu’l-‘arifin] on him nor the splendor of Allah’s lovers [bahjat al-muhibbin]. For had there not been an inspiration [warid], there would have been no litany [wird].

68. Allah makes some people abide in the service of Him [li-khidmatihi], and He singles out others to love Him [bi-mahabbatihi]. “All do we aid—these as well as those—out of the bounty of thy Lord, and the bounty of thy Lord is not limited.”

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 6

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

48. A sign of the heart’s death is the absence of sadness over the acts of obedience that you have neglected and the abandonment of regret over the mistakes that you have made.

49. Let no wrong-action [dhanb] reach such proportions in your eyes that it cuts you off from having a good opinion of Allah, for, indeed, whoever knows his Lord considers his wrong-action as paltry next to His generosity.

50. There is no minor sin [saghira] when His justice confronts you; and there is no major sin [kabira] when His grace confronts you.

51. No deed is more fruitful for the heart than the one you are not aware of and which is deemed paltry by you.

52. He only made an inspiration [warid] come upon you so that you would go [warid] to Him.

53. He made an inspiration come upon you so as to get you out of the grip of otherness [min yadi’l-aghyar] and free you from bondage to created things [min riqqi’l-athar].

54. He made an inspiration come upon you so as to take you out of the prison of your existence to the unlimited space of your contemplation [ila fad’i shuhudika].

55. Lights [al-anwar] are the riding-mounts [mataya] of hearts and of their secrets [al-asrar].

56. Light is the army of the heart, just as darkness is the army of the self. So when Allah wishes to come to the help of His servant, He furnishes him with armies of Lights [junud al-anwar] and cuts off from him the reinforcements of darkness and otherness [mada az-zulm wa’l-aghyar].

57. Insight [al-kashf] belongs to the Light [an-nur], discernment [al-hukm] to inner sight [al-basira], and both progression [al-iqbal] and retrogression [al-idbar] belong to the heart [al-qalb].

58. Let not obedience make you joyous because it comes from you, but, rather, be joyous over it because it comes from Allah to you. “Say: In the grace of Allah and His mercy, in that they should rejoice. It is better than that which they hoard.”

59. He prevents those who are voyaging to Him from witnessing their deeds and those who are united with Him from contemplating their states. He does that for the voyagers because they have not realized sincerity [as-sidq] towards Allah in those works; and He does that for those united with Him because he makes them absent from contemplating those states by contemplating Him [bi-shuhudihi].

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 5

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

43. Do not keep company with anyone whose state does not inspire you and whose speech does not lead you to Allah.

44. You might be in a bad state; then, your associating with one who is in a worse state makes you see virtue [al-ihsan] in yourself.

45. No deed arising from a renouncing heart is small, and no deed arising from an avaricious heart is fruitful.

46. Good works are the results of good states. Good states arise from the stations wherein those having spiritual realization [at-tahaqquq] abide [maqamat al-inzal].

47. Do not abandon the invocation [adh-dhikr] because you do not feel the Presence of Allah therein. For your forgetfulness of the invocation of Him is worse than your forgetfulness in the invocation of Him. Perhaps He will take you from an invocation with forgetfulness [ghafla] to one with vigilance [yaqaza], and from one with vigilance to one with the Presence of Allah [hudur], and from one with the Presence of Allah to one wherein everything but the Invoked [al-Madhkur] is absent. “And that is not difficult for Allah.”

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 4

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

38. Let not the intention of your aspiration shift to what is other than He, for one’s hopes cannot outstrip the Generous [al-Karim].

39. Appeal to no one but Him to relieve you of a pressing need that He Himself has brought upon you. For how can someone else remove what He has imposed? And how can he who is unable to free himself of a pressing need free anyone else of one?

40. If you have not improved your thinking of Him because of His nature, improve it because of His treatment of you. For has He accustomed you to anything but what is good? And has He conferred upon you anything but His favors?

41. How astonishing is he who flees from what is inescapable and searches for what is evanescent! “For surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breasts.”

42. Travel not from creature to creature, otherwise you will be like a donkey at the mill: roundabout he turns, his goal the same as his departure. Rather, go from creatures [al-akwan] to the Creator [al-Mukawwin]: “And that the final end is unto thy Lord.” Consider the Prophet’s words (Allah bless him and grant him peace!): “Therefore, he whose flight is for Allah and His Messenger, then his flight is for Allah and His Messenger; and he whose flight is for wordly gain or marriage with a woman, then his flight is for that which he flees to.” So understand his words (upon him peace!) and ponder this matter, if you can. And peace on you!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 3

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

32. Your being on the lookout for the vices [al-‘uyub] hidden within you is better than your being on the lookout for the invisible realities [al-ghayub] veiled from you.

33. The Real [al-Haqq] is not veiled from you. Rather, it is you who are veiled from seeing It, for, were anything to veil It, than that which veils It would cover It. But if there were a covering to It, than that would be a limitation of Its Being: every limitation of anything has power over it. “And He is the Omnipotent, above His servants.”

34. Amongst the attributes of your human nature, draw away from every one that is incompatible with your servanthood, so that you may be responsive to the call of Allah and near His Presence.

35. The source of every disobedience, indifference, and passion is self-satisfaction. The source of every obedience, vigilance, and virtue is dissatisfaction with one’s self. It is better for you to keep company with an ignorant man dissatisfied with himself than to keep company with a learned man satisfied with himself. For what knowledge is there in a self-satisfied scholar? And what ignorance is there in an unlearned man dissatisfied with himself?

36. The ray of light of inner sight [shu‘a’u’l-basira] makes you witness His nearness to you. The eye of inner sight [‘ayn al-basira] makes you witness your nonbeing [‘adam] as due to His Being. The Truth of inner sight [Haqq al-basira] makes you witness His Being, not your nonbeing nor your being.

37. “Allah was, and there was nothing with Him, and He is now as He was.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah / Chapter 2

And he said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

17. The one who wants there to appear in the moment other than what Allah has willed in it has not abandoned ignorance at all.

18. Your postponement of deeds till the time when you are free is one of the frivolities of the self [ru‘unat an-nafs].

19. Do not request Him to get you out of a state to make use of you in a different one, for, were He to desire so, He could make use of you as you are, without taking you out!

20. Hardly does the intention of the initiate [himmat salik] want to stop at what has been revealed to him, than the voices of Reality [hawatif al-Haqiqa] call out to him: “That which you are looking for is still ahead of you!” And hardly do the exterior aspects of created beings display their charms, than their inner realities call out to him: “We are only a trial, so disbelieve not!”

21. Your requesting Him is suspecting Him. Your seeking Him is due to your absence from Him. Your seeking someone else is because of you immodesty towards Him. Your requesting someone else is on account of your distance [bu‘d] from Him.

22. Not a breath [nafas] do you expire but a decree of Destiny has made it go forth.

23. Do not look forward to being free of otherness [al-aghyar], for that is indeed what cuts you off from vigilant attention [al-muraqaba] to him in that very state He has assigned to you.

24. So long as you are in this world, be not surprised at the existence of sorrow. For, truly, it manifests nothing but what is in keeping with its character or its inevitable nature.

25. A goal which you seek by your Lord is not held back and a goal which you seek by yourself is not easy.

26. Amongst the signs of success at the end is the turning to Allah at the beginning.

27. Whoever has a noble beginning has a noble end.

28. Whatever is deposited in the invisible world of the secrets [ghayb as-sara’ir] is manifested in the visible world of phenomena [shahadat az-zawahir].

29. What a difference between one who proceeds from Allah in his argumentation and one who proceeds inferentially to Him! He who has Him as his starting-point knows the Real [al-Haqq] as It is, and proves any matter by reference to the being of its Origin. But inferential argumentation comes from the absence of union with Him. Otherwise, when was it that He became absent that one has to proceed inferentially to Him? Or when was it that He became distant that created things [al-athar] themselves will unite us to Him?

30. Those who are united with Him: “Let him who has abundance spend out of his abundance.” Those who are voyaging towards Him: “And whoever has his means of subsistence straightened to him . . . “

31. Those who are voyaging to Him are guided by the lights of their orientation [tawajjuh], whereas those who are united to Him have the lights of face-to-face confrontation [muwajaha]. The former belong to their lights, whereas the lights belong to the latter, for they belong to Allah and not to anything apart from Him. “Say: Allah! And then leave them plunging in their games.”

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’illah - Chapter 1

He said (may Allah be pleased with him!):

1. One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs.

2. Your desire for isolation [tajrid], even though Allah has put you in the world to gain a living [fi’l-asbab], is a hidden passion. And your desire to gain a living in the world, even though Allah has put you in isolation, is a come down from supreme aspiration [al-himma al-‘aliyya].

3. Antecedent intentions [sawabiq al-himam] cannot pierce the walls of predestined Decrees [aswar al-aqdar].

4. Rest yourself from self-direction [tadbir], for what Someone Else [ghayruka] has carried out on your behalf, do not you yourself undertake to do it.

5. Your striving for what has already been guaranteed to you, and your remissness in what is demanded of you, are signs of the blurring of your inner sight [basira].

6. If, in spite of intense supplication, there is a delay in the time of the Gift [al-‘ata], let that not be the cause for your despairing. For He has guaranteed you a response in what He chooses for you, not in what you choose for yourself, and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.

7. If what was promised does not occur, even though the time for its occurrence had been fixed, then that must not make you doubt the promise. Otherwise, your intellect will be obscured and the light of your secret [sarira] extinguished.

8. If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known, pay no heed if your deeds do not measure up to this. For, in truth, He has not opened it for you but out of a desire to make Himself known to you. Do you not know that He is the one who presented the knowledge of Himself [ta’arruf] to you, whereas you are the one who presented Him with deeds? What a difference between what He brings to you and what you present to Him!

9. Actions differ because the inspirations of the states of being differ.

10. Actions are lifeless forms [suwar qa’ima], but the presence of an inner reality of sincerity [sirr al-ikhlas] within them is what endows them with life-giving Spirit.

11. Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity, for whatever sprouts forth, without having first been buried, flowers imperfectly.

12. Nothing benefits the heart more than a spiritual retreat wherein it enters the domain of reflection [maydan fikra].

13. How can the heart be illumined while the forms of creatures are reflected in its mirror? Or how can it journey to Allah while shackled by its passions? Or how can it desire to enter the Presence of Allah [hadratu’llah] while it has not yet purified itself of the stain of its forgetfulness? Or how can it understand the subtle points of secrets [daqa’iq al-asrar] while it has not yet repented of its offenses?

14. The Cosmos [al-kawn] is all darkness. It is illumined only by the manifestation of the Real [zuhur al-Haqq] in it. He who sees the Cosmos and does not contemplate Him in it or by it or before it or after it is in need of light and is veiled from the sun of gnosis by the clouds of created things [al-athar].

15. That which shows you the existence of His Omnipotence is that He veiled you from Himself by what has no existence alongside of Him.

16. How can it be conceived that somethings veils Him, since He is the one who manifests everything [azhara kulla shay’]?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the one who is manifest through everything [zahara bi-kulli shay’]?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the one who is manifest in everything [zahara fi kulli shay’]?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the Manifest to everything [az-Zahir li-kulli shay’]?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He was the Manifest [az-Zahir] before the existence of anything [qabla wujud kulli shay’]?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is more manifest than anything [azhar min kulli shay’]?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the One [al-Wahid] alongside of whom there is nothing?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is nearer to you than anything else?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since, were it not for Him, the existence of everything would not have been manifest?
It is a marvel how existence [al-wujud] has been manifested in nonexistence [al-‘adam] and how the contingent [al-hadith] has been established alongside of Him who possesses the attribute of timelessness [wasf al-qidam]!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jalla Jalaluh

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

He raised the Heavens, flattened the Earth, and fixed it by the mountains

He caused to descend raindrops to grow green plants more beautiful than green silk brocade.

He began with Adam created from clay, who lived in this Dunya, and from whom all mankind spread.

He sent His Messengers with His true word, without compulsion

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

He sealed the Messengers with His perfection, by the Chosen One, for whom no one can be likened

Only His Shari‘ah remains until the Day of the Earthquake and Gathering.

O my tongue, you must speak about the Khulafah beginning with al-Siddiq, the genuinely loyal;

Al-Farruq, decisive in the message; ‘Uthman, whose tongue recited the seven readings; and

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

‘Ali, the tenacious warrior, with the greatest status, destroying buildings and armies of kufr

His sharp lance reflecting the greatness of his position, by him the Din became great.

And about his noble ten companions who received the good tidings, along with whom we also get the good news

We receive the Truth, which we must spread, from us its scent filling the air like ??

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

With Malik we thank Allah, with Shafi’i, we are raised up

With Ibn Hanbal we get closer to Allah, and with Abu Hanifa we taste the drink.

O my tongue, turn to the faultless chain

From Allah, Mighty and Majestic, to Jibril, through whom came Allah’s revelation.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

He passed it to Allah’s Chosen One, through him to ‘Ali, the Lion of Allah

To al-Husain, the enraptured with Allah, to Zayn al-‘Abidin, the one with the high status.

To al-Kathim, our teacher Musa, our Sadiq, the one who is foremost of the chiefs,

To al-Baqr, possessing vast lessons, to our (Hasan) al-Basri, who passed the glasses around.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

To al-Karkhi and al-Junayd, the distinguished among people spending the night in dhikr

O Lord, O Ever-Living O Self-Subsisting, by all of them, I wish to have the complete drink of the People,

O our Ajami, O our Shibli, O Tamim, look at us

O Tartus, purify us with light, Abu al-Hasan al-Qurashi, our ‘Ali.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

With al-Makhzum we always get barakah, al-Jayli, your lights are shining

O al-Khalifah, we want to know your secrets, Muhammad, all generosity is your business.

O Ahmad, O Muhammad, rescue the one whose footsteps falter

Ala al-Din, the Dhakr, the unique, Kamal al-Din, making sujud during the night.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

Jalal al-Din, with my master, Asghar, Akbar, Akmal, I am proud of the status

Their Ahmad, the most famous among them, like a high mountain, Muhammad Athhar.

Jamal al-Din, the sa’im and dhakir, he spent the night without sleep

How often he directed the confused murid, who saw something wonderful and amazing in the malakut.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

Buhari, whose light blinded the world, with slaughtering he took the road to faultlessness

With Allah’s aid he is protected, he gives both letters Kaf and Nun.

Habib Allah, with ‘Abdullah, to Abu Idris, who was given Allah’s secret

From whom Shaykh Daf’ Allah, Abu Shilla, whose secrets spread in serious situations, got his lessons.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

Ibn al-‘Ajuz who inherited his maqam gave al-Nayyal, the king of Kunuz

Allah’s secrets, so he tasted the sweetness of almonds, Mukashafi has now achieved his desire

He is fortunate to get maqam of Awad al-Jeed to the status of Wad Rayya, the unique

He certainly held the matter (al-maqam); everyone in his position is wise.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

O Allah, uncountable blessings upon al-Mukhtar and his companions, who are my masters

With these blessings al-Mukashafi always gets help and Islam spreads in every country.

Magnify His Greatness, He has no partner and He has no likeness

Laylat al-Qadr: the Night of Power

Sídí Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifá‘í in Tafsir of Juz' ‘Amma

[The Qur'ánic Súrah al-Qadr] was revealed in Makkah and consists of five verses. The reason behind its revelation was that when Allah commanded prostration and drawing near to Him [in the previous Súrah, al-‘Alaq], He then mentioned the moment in time which is most conducive to the greatest nearness and proximity to Him, so He said:

'innáá 'añzalnáhu fí laylati-l-qadr
"Indeed, We revealed it (sent it down) in the Night of Destiny" [Q97:1]

He extolled the rank of the Qur'án in that He confirmed its descent from Him and reinforced the attribution to Him by employing the use of the plural particle of dignity "We", which shows His complete attentive care to it and for it; and it did not even mention the name of the Messenger himself (salla-lláhu ‘alayhi wa-sallim). This apparently is for plainly announcing the Messenger's fundamental role, as if he is already present in the minds of the listeners.

Then He magnifed the moment in which it was sent down in revelation, when He said:

wa máá 'adráka má laylatu-l-qadr
"And what will make you conceive what the Night of Decree is?" [Q97:2]

Phrasing the statement in this way is for the purpose of explaining that its reality is beyond the circle of understanding of the creation. None can truly know the full import of its immense reality except the One who is completely knowledgeable of the unseen... just as He says:

laylatu-l-qadri khayrum-min alfi shahr
"The Night of Power is better than one thousand months." [Q97:3]

It is a summarized explication of its prestigious rank. And in the above two occasions where that Night is mentioned, there is no doubt of the supreme exaltation of its nature and affair. And the intended meaning of "revelation" (inzal) could be two meanings:

1) Its complete descent from the Preserved Tablet [Q85:22] to the lowest heaven, as the Prophet said that Allah caused the whole to descend at once from the Preserved Tablet to the lowest heaven on the Night of Qadr, and then for the next 23 years it descended from the lowest heaven piece by piece;

or 2) It could mean the beginning of its revelation, which is the more apparent meaning.

It was called the Night of Qadr because it is the night wherein affairs are decided and matters are decreed (taqdir), and in which all that is decreed during that particular year is manifested and enacted, in accordance with His saying, "In it every wise command is differentiated and enacted." [Q44:4]. So Qadr can both refer to this enactment of the decrees, and can also mean its nobility and rank above other nights. It is commonly said that it falls on the night of the 27th of Ramadan.

And know that the Prophet saw that the life-spans of his followers would be shorter compared to the past nations, and he was afraid they would not reach the same amount of deeds performed by past nations because they had longer lives, so Allah honored him with this night which is better than 1000 months [83 years and four months]. Then He further unveiled some of its honor by saying:

tanazzalu-l-maláá'ikatu wa-r-rúhu fíhá
"The angels and the Spirit descend in it in hosts..." [Q97:4a]

The 'Spirit' can refer to the archangel Jibríl (‘alayhi-s-salám), or another angelic creature that cannot be seen by the angels. And the meaning of 'descending' is their descending to the earth and greeting the people and saying "Amín" after their supplications.

bi-'idhni rabbihim
" the permission of their Lord..." [Q97:4b]

They descend by the command of Allah, as a mercy to the believing and humble slaves of Allah, who invoke His Great Name and seek His forgiveness.

miñ kulli 'amr
"...with all decrees (alt: on every errand)." [Q97:4c]

Their descent is for the purpose of every decree which Allah decreed for that particular year; for Allah informs the angels of all that is to occur during that year. Since this is their most important task, He said that this is the reason for their descent; although this does not conflict with their other tasks of greeing the believers and bringing blessings to them and supplicating for them.

salámun hiya
"Peace it is!..." [Q97:5a]

Because "it is" (hiya) is the 27th word of the Súrah, many commentators have stated that it falls on the 27th night of the month of Ramadan. Then Allah mentioned its limit in time when He continued:

hattá matla‘i-l-fajr
"...until the rising of the dawn." [Q97:5b]

And know, my beloved, that for the people of hearts among the gnostic knowers, all moments are "nights of power," and all places for them are ‘Arafah (the mount of Hajj), and all days for them are Fridays. Because the reason for exalting a certain time or place above others is because of the blessings that lie in them, such as opportunities for drawing closer, unveilings, openings, etc. And for the gnostic knowers, all moments are such, as one poet said:

Were it not for [my] witnessing Your effulgent beauty in my essence,
Then I would not be content for any hour of my life.
The 'Night of Power' has no special distinctions and honor,
If it is not with You that I fill up my moments.
Indeed, if the lover is established in his love,
And love does not depend on specific moments,
Then all nights become 'Nights of Power' if [the Beloved] appears,
Just like all days become Fridays when the meeting occurs.

And we say: And the praise belongs to Allah, that all of our moments are 'nights of power' if our hearts are fully facing Allah, and if we do not stand up except by Allah, or act except by Allah, or not see any but Allah; sincere in one's devotion to Him, leaning away from all falsehood towards the truth, bowing to, standing for, prostrating to, and invoking Him in all states, all places, and all moments.

And know that the reward for acts of worshipful devotion in this blessed night in this blessed month is nothing less than unveiling of the veil, opening of the door, and witnessing of the Holy Essence, which cannot be measured or compared to anything!

I ask Him, Most High, that He keep us constantly in His protection,
and grant us His satisfaction,
for He hears and responds.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Mawlana Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jayli

Al Jayli

May Blessings and Peace without measure forever descend upon the Seal of the Prophets his family, companions and descendants without measure.

Al Jayli is a secret whose meaning is encrypted.-An ongoing light of benefit for all in existence.

Please pardon the wretched state of the author of these inadequate lines of poetry. For he is himself trapped in a web of his lower desires, helpless, destitute and needy.

The one who saves souls and exults in poverty is the one I cannot live without. He rescued me from a life of false fears when I was weak and ravaged by doubt.

Al Jayli is the Prince of the Miskin, the best of the slaves both known and unknown.

Al Jayli eats of the fruit from the boughs of the Mubarak Shajarat Al-Kawn!