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Monday, June 14, 2004  

The Reminder & Inward Struggle A believer’s reflections may lead him into some of the deep mysteries of Tawhid, its unseen secrets, and its hidden realities. He may observe how the ulema differ in the interpretation if the verses and Hadiths relating to the Attributes of God, and he may then halt before them baffled and bewildered, unable to remove the veils and solve theses enigmas. At this point, as a number of gnostics have said, he should retreat, and seek refuge in his Lord, and consider Him alone to be possessed of knowledge of these things, as was the way of our righteous predecessors. He must reflect on how he had needed his Lord’s creative ability to make and fashion his human form, and that he must therefore need His grace and illumination to guide his essential nature. He must not ground his faith in the conclusions of human thinking, but must rather flee from his confusion to God and His Messenger, and entreat his Lord to bestow His assistance [madad] upon him, which will do away with his need for any other until such time as he witnesses only Him. He must say, “O Lord, I seek refuge I You, lest my faith in You and what You have revealed be the product of thinking that is tarnished by the attributes of the ego, or a mind that is mixed with the muddiness of human fallibility. Let it rather be from of Your Prophet, the Chosen One, and his blessings [barakat].” Thus will you find peace and cool tranquility. This is the way which the rightly-guided man will follow in his time of need, whenever his thoughts are in turmoil and conflict. This is a reminder, so whoever wishes will take a path to his Lord, [76:29] which means the path to His gnosis, good-pleasure, and proximity to Him in His Garden. Such a path consists, intellectually, of strengthening one’s faith ad certainty through dhikr and reflection, and materially by zealously seeking useful knowledge through the senses, performing good actions—which are the Shari’a—and maintaining sincerity and courtesy, and keeping the company of the people of gnosis—which is the tariqa—so that one may reach the serenity of certitude, which is haqiqa: the summit of the wayfarers’ desires. God the Exalted has said: We shall surely guide to Our paths those who strive for Our sake. [29:69] In this noble verse the Generous Lord promises to guide those who strive sincerely for His sake, to the paths which leas to His pleasure and proximity. This guidance is the result of striving, and of correctly following the Sunna. It is the unveiling [mukashafa] of the clear Truth, and the appearance of things from the Unseen [ghayb]. Before this stage is attained, there are two forms of guidance: through information, as in His saying, As for Thamud, We gave them guidance, but they preferred to be blind than to be guided, [41:17] and through providential assistance [tawfiq], as in His saying, God guides to His Light whom He Will. [24:35] My master, Imam al-Haddad has said: Struggle, and you will see, Seize the vow of the Guider: The guidance laid down for free In the Sura of the Spider. Inward struggle [mujahada] is an interaction between a man and his ego, which he drives toward that which is of immediate or ultimate benefit, and results in success and happiness, during which time it resists him and drives him toward its whims, in accordance with its nature. It is also the interaction between him and his other enemies, the strongest of whom is Satan the Stoned. He has to guard himself against the latter, fight the kafirs, support Islam, rebut the people of falsehood, suppress tyrants, enjoin what is good, and forbid what is evil. A man’s ego (the nafs which commands evil) is contained between his flanks and is the fiercest of his enemies. A saying has been handed down to the effect that “Your worst enemy is your ego which lies between your flanks.” Because of this, the jihad against the ego is the “Greater Jihad”, whereas jihad against armed enemies is the “Lesser Jihad”. There is a Hadith which runs, “We have returned from the Lesser to the Greater Jihad.” Four things are used to assist in taming the ego, so that it submits and becomes easily led; these have been set in a single verse by my master al-Haddad: To discipline the ego, always isolate yourself, Keep silent, sleepless, hungry; you’ll then control yourself. Someone who eats just enough for his sustenance, sleeps just enough to gain rest, speaks only when appropriate, mixes with people only rarely—for fear of falling into some blameworthy form of conduct—is worthy to hold the reins of his nafs, so that he may lead it along the path of the noble ones, which is the Way of Shari’a, Tariqa, and Haqiqa, as is indicated by the noble Qur’anic verse cited above. -Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad, Key to the Garden



posted by Abubak'r | 6/14/2004 05:01:00 PM |
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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