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Tuesday, May 11, 2004  

On Following the Book and the Sunna You must hold fast to the Book and the sunna. Take refuge in them, for they are the upright religion of God, and His straight path. Those who adhere to them find safety, profit, guidance and protection, while those who deviate from them go astray, grieve, lose, and are broken. Let them govern you and control what you do, and consult them in your every affair, in obedience to the counsel of God and that of His Messenger; O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger, and those in authority among you! If you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you believe in God and the Last Day. That is better and of fairer consequence. (IV:59) Refer it to God and the Messenger means, ‘refer it to the Book and sunna.’ The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, has said: ‘I bid you take care of that with which, if you hold to it firmly, you will never err: the Book of God and my sunna.’ If it pleases you to be well-guided along the white road in which there is neither crookedness nor curvature, then measure all your intentions, traits, acts, and words against the Book and sunna, then retain whatever conforms to them and abandon whatever does not. And always be cautious and follow the better alternative. Never innovate in religion, nor follow the ways of the non-believers, or else you will lose both this world and the hereafter, which thing is the manifest loss. Beware of novel things and invented opinions, for he has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: ‘Every addition is an innovation, and every innovations is an error.’ And: ‘Anyone who adds to this affair of ours what does not belong to it is to be rejected.’ There are three kinds of innovations. The first is a ‘good innovation’, which is that which the well-guided leaders have opined in conformity with the Book and sunna, intending to choose that which is more beneficial, more useful, and finer, as for example Abu Bakr’s collection of the while Qur’an into one volume, ‘Umar’s institution of military pensions and of the Tarawih prayers, ‘Uthman’s arrangement of the Qur’an and institution of a first call to prayer of Friday, and ‘Ali’s rules for fighting heretical rebels. May God bestow His good pleasure upon the four Caliphs! The second kind of innovation is one that is ‘blameworthy only from the point of view of renunciation and contentment,’ such as the excessive use of licit clothes, foodstuffs, and houses. The third kind is the ‘absolute blameworthy innovation’, which contradicts the provisions of the Book and sunna, or the consensus of the nation. Innovators have fallen into this very frequently with regards the principles [usul], but infrequently with regard to the branches [furu’]. The one who does not adhere exceedingly to the Book and sunna, and does not do his utmost to emulate the Messenger, and then pretends that he has a certain degree before God the Exalted, should not be paid attention to, nor attended, even if he be able to fly in the air and walk on water, and have distances folded up and the laws of nature broken before him. This happens frequently to demons, magicians, soothsayers, talisman makers, astrologers, and others who are similarly in error. These can only be considered charismata [karamat] and confirmation, and not enticements and delusion, when rectitude [istiqama] is present in the one in whom they appear. Such deceivers can only deceive the rabble and the base people who worship God while harboring doubts. As for those endowed with reason and intelligence, they know full well that believers differ in their nearness to God according to the differences between them in following the Messenger, and the more complete the emulation, the more perfect the nearness to God, and the greater the gnosis of Him. Abu Yazid al-Bistami once went to visit a man who was said to be a saint. He sat down waiting for him in a mosque, at which Abu Yazid went away without speaking to him. He said: ‘How can one be entrusted with God’s secrets who is not careful to maintain the courtesies of the Law?’ Al-Junayd, may God have mercy on him, has said: ‘All roads are blocked except to him who follows in the footsteps of the Messenger, may blessings and peace be upon him.’ And Sahl ibn ‘Abd-Allah [al-Tustari], may God have mercy on him, has said: ‘There is no helper but God, no guide but the Messenger of God, no provision but taqwa, and no work but to have fortitude in these things.’ Know that not everyone is capable of independently evaluating all his affairs, outward and inward, against the Book and sunna, for only erudite scholars can do this. Should you ever find difficulty doing so, go to one of those whom God commanded you have recourse in His saying (Exalted is He): So ask the people of remembrance if you do not know. (XVI:43) The people of remembrance are those who have knowledge of God and His religion, practice what they know for His sake, have no desire for the world, are not distracted by commerce from His remembrance, summon to Him clear-sightedly, and to whom His secrets are unveiled. The presence of one such on the face of the earth has become so rare that some great men have said that they no longer exist. The truth is that they do exist, but because of the unawareness of the elite and the turning away of the commonalty, God has hidden them under the cloak of His possessiveness and surrounded them with veils of obscurity. However, those who seek them with sincerity and zeal will not, by God’s Will, fail to find one of them. Sincerity is a sword that is never used against anything without cutting it. The earth is never without those who uphold the matter for God. And the Prophet has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: ‘A group in my nation will always exist, victoriously defending the truth, unharmed by those who oppose them, until the command of God arrives.’ These are the stars of the earth, the carriers of the Trust, the deputies of the Chosen One, and the heirs of the Prophets; God is well-pleased with them, and they are well-pleased with Him. Those are the faction of God; indeed, the faction of God are those who will succeed. (LVIII:22) - Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Book of Assistance (Risalat u’l Mu’awana)



posted by Abubak'r | 5/11/2004 03:20:00 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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