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Thursday, May 06, 2004  

The Fifth Response a)Reciting Sura al-Waqi'a ('The Event') As for your question about regular recitation of Sura al-Waqi'a, know that the following acount has been narrated in this regard: 'To read it each night is to be free from want,' that is, to be independent of other creatures (this kind of 'dependence' meant here being that which shames a man, both in his worldy affairs and his manly virtue). When ibn Mas'ud, may God be pleased with him was told on his deathbed that he had left his children in poverty, he replied: 'I gave them each a treasure: Sura al-Waqi'a'. The special attributes of certrain suras and verses of the Qur'an, and those of the invocations and prayers of the Prophet are not unknown: the books of hadith are full of them. Imam al-Ghazali wrote an entire book on the subject, entitling it: Unalloyed Gold: The Properties of the Majestic Book. The regular recitation of al-Waqi'a and other suras of the same type, in order to bring benefit to oneself and ward off worldly harm, does not compromise one's intentions or actions. Nonetheless, the motive should not be entirely lacking in religious purpose: since for a servant deliberately to guard himself against depending on others is the best of intentions. For an intelligent believer will not intend, in wanting independance from others and safety for himself and his family, those things are associated with physical comfort and pleasure; instead his intention will be to free himself from whatever may damage him religiously, of the things which can be seen in many people who suffer from such afflictions. This is why the great men of God are always keenly occupied with asking Him to safeguard the wellbeing ['afiya] of both their souls and their bodies, being fearful of the manner in which their souls, weak and wavering by nature, respond when faced with things that repellant to them. The Messenger, may blessings and peace be upon him, repeatedly sought protection against proverty and sickness. He said: 'Poverty is not far from being disbelief [kufr]', because people afflicted with it are liable to feel discontented with God's decree, or angered against Divine providence, or at least assailed by some form of anxiety. Sufyan al-Thawri, may God show him His mercy, once said: 'I do not fear hardhips because of the pain they cause me, but I fear that were I to be afflicted with hardship, I might fall prey to disbelief.' Perfection for the servant lies in his being content with his Lord's choices on his behalf, in sufficing himself with His knowledge, and in being more concerned with His choosing and disposing than with his own. A certain gnostic once said: In the regular recitation of Sura al-Waqi'a there lies a secret which increases one's certainty, engenders peace in the heart, and adds this to a serenity, whether one possesses [one's provision] or not. This because God opens and closes it with a mention of the Appointed Time, and the ways in which people shall differ on that day. Anyone who reflects on this will be too preoccupied with it to attend to any worldly matter that may occur to him. Here, too, God makes mention of the origin of man's creation, how He makes his beginning a drop of seed expelled (75:37), and how the crops and the water upon which their subsistence originate. He enjoins them to reflect on this, and makes them all aware that they did not possess the power to create, grow and protect their crops, or bring down the rain; and this inculcates the most profound awareness of the Divine power and the pre-existent will and knowledge of God. When this awareness is coupled with the knowledge that God has guaranteed His servant's provision and sustenance, the heart is pacified, and the one that attends to the worship of the Lord. And God knows best. (b) A caution A man may persevere in reciting certain suras, invocations or prayers, for which promises of immediate benefits have been made, and yet see no results. He should not doubt the soundness of these truthful promises, but should rather blame himself, and attribute to himself a deficiency in certainty and concentration. For a man who recites or invokes is not termed a [real] 'reciter' or 'invoker' according to the religious law unless all the conditions are fulfilled, and the fact that is that most people people fall short of doing this. The essential thing which will make these practices effective and fruitful is to nurture a certainty in the heart that the matter as it has been said, and to neither have doubts about it nor the desire to put it to trial. One should be truly concentrated, uniting one's outward and inward [faculties] in engaging the matter, with one's heart sincerely thinking well of God, and be utterly and attentively oriented towards Him. Rarely do these things come together in a man who is intent on reaching some objective by means of verses and invocations - whatever this objective may be - without this quest becoming his to control and manage at will. So let a servant whose determination falls short and whose earnestness and zeal are deficient blame only himself. And God is never unjust to the servants. (3:182) - Imam 'Abdallah ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad, Gifts for the Seeker (It’haaf is-Saail bi Ajwibatil Masaail)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 5/06/2004 11:47:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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