Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A beautiful interview with Sh. Ramadan Al-Bouti, part 2: Modern Tareeqas and Innovation

[Assalaam alaykum,

I have not been able to add subtitles to the video but I have managed to provide the translation below. Please use the comment function if you have any questions. [Part 1, along with a biography of the Sheikh, can be found below (May 13, 2010)]]

Sh. Bouti: This is what prevents me from letting people kiss my hand.

Interviewer: Sheikh, your father, may Allah have mercy on him, Shaikh Mulla Ramadan Al-Bouti said to you in, I read it in in your book Hadha Waalidi [This is my father]: 'Know, my dear son, that all the Tareeqas, none of them are free of bida’, except for the Naqshabandiyya, as they are the least of them in terms of bida’.' What does he mean by that?

Sh. Bouti: (You know) What he’s really saying is that the Naqshabandi Tareeqa , which is the one that Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani saw, and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani was a Hanbali in madhab, stern in clinging and adhering to the Book and the Sunnah. This sternness was inherited from him. Is that clear? And this is why you find that the Naqshabandi Tareeqa , in its adhkar, constantly relies on the way (tareeqa) that distances itself from bida’. You know…

Interviewer: Indeed…

Sh. Bouti: For example, there is the Shadhili Tareeqa nowadays, which affirms group dhikr, and standing up…

Interviewer: Indeed…

Sh. Bouti: and so forth, while at the same time the Naqshabandi Tareeqa says: ‘No. We should be sitting in dhikr just as it was in the time of Al-Mustapha, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.'

Interviewer: With a lowered voice…

Sh. Bouti: I.e. adh-dhikr al-khafi [concealed dhikr], it relies on adh-dhikr

Interviewer: al-khafi

Sh. Bouti: al-khafi. Indeed, it is not connected to bida’, and they inherited this from their Sheikh, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, yes, and Sheikh Muhammad Awaisi Al-Qarani, who is known as Shah Naqshaband, and they were contemporary to one another. Both of them were , you know, sternly opposed to bida’. For this reason, the Naqshabandi Tareeqa was the least of Tareeqas in terms of bida’, even though there is bida’ in it today. Today, there is bida' in it, but if you were to compare between the bida’ that is in the Naqshabandi Tareeqa and that which is in other Tareeqas, you will find, as you said absolutely, quoting my father, that it is the least of them. An example of the bida’ that is present in the Naqshabandi Tareeqa and which has appeared recently is Ar-Rabita

Interviewer: Ar-Rabita Ash-Shareefa…

Sh. Bouti: Ar-Rabita, originally, is a bond between two beloveds, the murid and the sheikh. When the murshid is a true murshid, adhering to the Book of Allah and The Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, preserving his soul (nafs) from the dunyā and its delusions completely, as we have said, of course, this person is a murshid. It is not possible for the murshid to rectify the murid unless love for the murshid has firmly established itself in the heart of the murid. This is the Rabita that was mentioned by Imam Ar-Rabbani, the author of Al-Maktubaat and other books. However, afterwards came along those who said: 'No. Ar-Rabita should be embodied in something else. If the murid is sitting and remembering Allah he should start his dhikr by imagining the sheikh, meaning that he says ‘Allah’ and ‘La ilaha illa Allah’' and so forth and an image of the sheikh is in his mind…

Interviewer: In his mind… to strengthen the bond between him and his sheikh

Sh. Bouti: Aha, this is bida’

Interviewer: But Doctor, but, maybe one of the reasons for Ar-Rabita, as they say themselves, is that someone, when they do dhikr of Allah, must rid themselves of all material things besides Allah, and the one material thing that is possible for him to use to distance himself is the sheikh, and the sheikh is a means of getting to Allah, in one way or another, and it’s only for a few seconds, not more…

Sh. Bouti: Yes, you are describing reality, let me ask you: is this matter affirmed and accepted by the Shari’ah or is it bida’?

Interviwer: “And don’t associate anyone with your worship of Allah.” [paraphrasing Al-Kahf 18:110]

Sh. Bouti: Fine, I am telling you what was said by one of the great men of this Tareeqa, Imam Ar-Rabbani, the author of Al-Maktubaat, he says, in the chapter on dhikr, the etiquettes of dhikr: ‘When you sit to do dhikr of Allah, Mighty and Majestic, you should not be thinking of anyone, not even the Messenger of Allah.'

Interviewer: Not even the Messenger of Allah?

Sh. Bouti: Not even the Messenger of Allah, rather Allah’s attributes (sifaat), His attributes, not His Essence, should be all that occupies your mind, yes, the attributes of Mercy, the attributes of Forgiveness, the attributes of Patience, the attributes of Vengeance, yes, and Power and so forth. This is the speech of whom? The speech of Imam ar-Rabbani in his book Al-Maktubaat, and Al-Maktubaat is known, isn’t it? The Imams of this Tareeqa laid down this speech , and those who came after went against them and added things, so, who said, o brother, that the murid can’t enter Allah’s vastness without going via the murshid? If there is someone…

Interviewer: No one has said that. Ya Sheikh, they don’t say that blatantly. They say that the Ar-Rabita Ash-Sharifa is maybe, they want to, you know, makes the murid purer, he imagines the sheikh, then he clears his mind of the sheikh’s image. Then he does dhikr of Allah, Mighty and Majestic.

Sh. Bouti: If he wants, for example, to be purer, outside of remembering Allah, and he imagines the sheikh then there’s no objection. As we said, the murid should love his sheikh, and of course one of the consequences of love is to imagine the beloved. This is something natural. However, I sit in order to do dhikr of Allah, and I start saying 'la ilaha illa Allah', or 'Allah Allah', the ism mufrad. In this state, when doing dhikr, it is not appropriate to connect the dhikr of Allah to his sheikh. So, this is the point that I am raising regarding the matter.

Interviewer: Thank you very much for this, Ustadh, Doctor, our Ustadh and our Murabbi, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Bouti, thank you very much.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuhayli on the Hadra

Question: Is the dhikr called hadra permissible with the words ‘ah’ or ‘aah’?

Answer: Indeed dividing up the Lafdh al-Jalaala [i.e. ‘Allah’] and distorting it or changing it is forbidden in the Shari’ah (muharram shar’an), because it consists of altering, changing and distortion (ilhad) with regards to Allah’s Most Beautiful Names. It is not considered an expression of correct worship, or legislated dhikr, because of His, the Exalted, statement: “To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them and abandon those who distort (yulhidun) His names. They will be repaid for what they were doing.” [Al-A’raaf 7:180] True dhikr is rather done by mentioning Allah’s Most Beautiful Names and His Exalted Attributes, Mighty and Majestic is He, having humility (khushu’) when articulating them and adhering to etiquette and perseverance when mentioning them. This is because He, The Exalted, has said: “The believers are those who hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose faith is increased when His ayaat are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord.” [Al-Anfaal 8:2] He, The Glorified, has also said: “…those who believe and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah. Only in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace.” [Ar-Ra’d 13:28]

[Translated from Fataawa Mu’asira by Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuhayli p.307, Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 2003]

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Al-Albani on women wearing gold: The difference between a real faqih and mufti and someone who is self-taught.

Question: Right now I am in the process of getting married, all praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds. However, a few days ago one of my friends came to me and told me that there was this good book by Sheikh Nasir u-Din Al-Albani called Adaab Az-Zifaaf (Wedding Etiquettes). Obviously, I went to the market and I bought it from one of the Islamic bookshops and then I went home and read all of it from start to finish. However, I was surprised by the subject of gold being declared haraam (forbidden) for women and the ahadith given to indicate this. My question is: what is your opinion of this Sheikh (Muhammad Nasir u-Din Al-Albani), what is your opinion of this book of his (Adaab Az-Zifaaf) and what is the correct ruling regarding gold being haraam for women. Please benefit me, may Allah have mercy on you, before I get married, and if you have any pieces of advice for me before I get married or afterwards regarding that which pleases Allah and His Messenger, then may Allah reward you with goodness. All Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds.

Answer: Indeed the deviation of some who occupy themselves with knowledge or those who learn by themselves without a teacher is of no value in terms of knowledge or the Shari’ah and their opinions are dismissed and rejected.

Declaring gold to be haraam for women is both an intellectual and Islamic deviation, as The Noble Qur’an has made it clear in the aya: “that which is raised with jewellery and unclear in dispute.” [43:18] that a woman adorning herself with jewellery is part of her nature and disposition.

It has also been established in the Prophetic Sunnah that the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Gold and silk are halaal (permissible) for women and haraam for men.’ [Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.14, pp. 499-500, hadith #19407, Dar ul-Hadith, Cairo edition] Saying that it is haraam is to go against the ijma’ (consensus of the scholars).

I have not read the book Adaab Az-Zifaaf and if it has opinions like this in it, it shouldn’t be bothered with.

[Translated from Fataawa Mu’aasira by Sheikh Wahba Zuhayli, pages 203-204, Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 2003]

Friday, 1 October 2010

Seeking Forgiveness

Assalaam alaykum,

As we are all sinners we are in constant need of repentance, and Allah is At-Tawab, the Oft-Returning Who constantly turns to us to accept our repentance. Insha'Allah these duas will help you and all of us to purify ourselves and draw closer to our Lord, amin! And with Allah alone is every success!

أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ذنب أذنبته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل فرض تركته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل إنسان ظلمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل صالح جفوته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ظالم صاحبته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل بر أجلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ناصح أهنته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل محمود سئمته!

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل زور نطقت به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل حق اضعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل باطل إتبعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل وقت أهدرته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ضمير قتلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل سر أفشيته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل أمين خدعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل وعد أخلفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل عهد خنته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل امرئ خذلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل صواب كتمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل خطأ تفوهت به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل عرض هتكته

· أستغفر الله من كل ستر فضحته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل لغو سمعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل حرام نظرت إليه

· أستغفر الله من كل كلام لهوت به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل إثم فعلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل نصح خالفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل علم نسيته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل شك أطعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ظن لازمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ضلال عرفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل دين أهملته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ذنب

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ما وعدتك به ثم عدت فيه من نفسي ولم أوفي به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل عمل أردت به وجهك فخالطني به غيرك

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل نعمة أنعمت علي بها فاستعنت بها على معصيتك

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ذنب أذنبته في ضياء النهار أو سواد الليل في ملأ أو خلا أو سر أو علانية

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل مال إكتسبته بغير الحق

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل علم سئلت عنه فكتمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل قول لم أعمل به وخالفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل فرض خالفته ومن كل بدعة إتبعتها

· أستغفر الله الذي لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم وأتوب إليه