Wednesday, December 9, 2009

EID in Mauritania (Pictures)

BismiLLAH
Was Salaatu Was Salaamu 'alayh wa 'ala Aalih.
Eid celebration in the Mauritanian capital for me is worth experiencing but I never knew it is more beautiful for it to be celebrated in the village. AlhamduliLLAH, I had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of the desert way of celebrating eid this time around.


Young boys in their new dira'ah walking to the praying ground for Eid .
The villagers and students watching the Eid Ram being slaughtered.

Beautiful little girl celebrating Eid. Masha ALLAH, she looks cute. She was wondering what we were doing with unknown things in front of her.
Masha ALLAH, after this moment it was yum yummy. I joined in tearing apart the front limb together with my friends. This Ram was the Shaykh's slaughter.
People waiting for solah to start with students of knowledge in front.
The crowd following the Shaykh to the praying ground. He is just like a king in this small village.
My friends getting ready to celebrate. We were in front of the Shaykh's house.
Very rare picture of the Shaykh (Muhammad Faal aka Baa) of the Mahdhara of Nabbaghiyyah coming out of his house leading the awaiting crowd to the praying ground.
'Siddiq' he said. Let us get ready properly for the picture then he pulled his son closer. What a wonderful man he is! Sidi AbduLLAH Hurma wuld Tamma is his name.

These are few pictures taken by me in this small village: Nabbaghiyyah here in Mauritania where many students of knowledge are studying very hard.

WalhamduliLLAHI Rabbil 'aalamin.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Muslims' Use of Anti-Muslim/Islaam Labels.

BismiLLAH
Allahumma salli wa sallim 'alayh.

Since the war on "terrorism" as they call it started years ago, some many words have been used to describe Muslims and different Islaamic groups. Some tend to sound appropriate but others are nothing to write about. Several years ago, people like Nelson Mandela was called a Terrorist but today he is now looked upon as an elder spokesman in his country and a world hero and human killers like Bush, Sharon and their allies are seen as Patriots, peacemakers, defenders of their countries and all the good titles.

Since I am not a fan of using all the so-called labelslike fundamentalist, Islamism, Militants, etc to address Muslims and groups, I have been on a very critical watch on how these words are inappropriately used. I was caught by surprise when the somali presidential election was held and the winner turned up to be Shaykh Sharif Ahmad who according to the west was considered as an Islamist, an extremist to the core. To make it clear before any depiction, I am not a supporter or fan of the president by all forms of ramification as I know " absolutely nothing" about him.

In the BBC report, it was said that the Moderate Islamist won the election. The area of focus now is the use of these two words " Moderate Islamist". To these people, they define the word Islamist as an extremist by all standards. Then bringing these two words together is like saying a man is standing but sitting or something is black but at the same time white or like a Shaykh once asked" is it possible for a woman who had a sexual relation with her husband to still remain a virgin?". As I learnt in my Logic (Mantiq) lessons with Shaykh Hasan Heeto, this kind of concept is impossible so there is a big conflict between them.

My question is, is there moderacy in extremism? Can these two go together as used? Because if one is not on one end, then he is on the other. I have tried to get a reasonable answer explaining this new label used by the BBC always to address this president but I still can't find an answer.

I just thought I may get contributions after reading another news from the BBC website and find this same worrying label and decided to put together these few lines.

And ALLAH alone knows best and upon HIM is our reliance and source of GUIDANCE.

Wa sallaa ALLAHU 'ala al Habeeb wa aalihi wa man qaama bi da'awatihi ilaa yaum ad deen.




Thursday, November 12, 2009

LEAVING SHAAM FOR MAURITANIA

BismiLLAH
Wa salla ALLAHU ala Habeebihi wa aalihi wa sallam I felt pains in me looking at the faces of my friend, thinking of leaving them for Mauritania. Shaam has been my home since I left my country home and Mauritania is another place I really consider my home. Last year, I left Shaam straight for Mauritania, spending some months with my teachers and visiting venerable scholars before returning straight to Shaam. For me, it was like pain leaving behind some beautiful and wonderful people for another sweet family.

Before my previous departure from Shaam to Mauritania, I contacted Shaykh Gibril Haddaad who in his email replied that; there must be a great Aalim taking you away from the company of Shaykhunaa Muhammad al Yaqubi but all the best, study hard and take much ilm from the Shuyukh with much emphasis on the arabic language.

No doubt, leaving the gatherings of Shaykhunaa for an eye blink is what I don't like to do. I really enjoy the Shaykh's company and love to be with him always which is impossible. He treats me like a son and student, with good words he uses to describe me even if I am not deserving of them.

AlhamduliLLAH, my first departure from Shaam to Mauritania was wonderful. I had the opportunity to study real texts with top scholars well bred in these beautiful sciences and made them my friends, fathers and teachers. I was given extra -treatment by the Shaykh of the school and was given special preference over other foreign students. This is not because I am deserving of the nice treaments or I am better than the other students but because ALLAH has blessed me to meet the right people who understand my mistakes and how they will be corrected.

I also had the privilege to meet amazing people one-on-one like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Habib Ali, Shaykh bin Bayyah, Sidi Fuad Nahdi, etc. The later who always gave my friends and I tough time with beautiful jokes. Sidi Fuad has always been someone I appreciate because of my immense love and respect for his uncle Prof. Ali Mazrui. Mazrui who is indeed an eloquent speaker, an author, a political scientist, an orator of the highest calibre and a great thinker did really nail a positive impact in my life.

I had the time to joke with Shaykh Hamza over I email I sent to him that took three days to complete a year before he responded. We took pictures and I apologized over the way I approached him. My full love for him as ALLAH has used him to be a source of guidance for me and many others in following the footsteps of HIS most beloved (SAW).

My friend Abdul MalikFransi, Ibrahim Britaani, sidi Fuad, Sidi Yusuf Casewit amreeki and myself had nice time in Shaykh bin Bayyah's house having been hosted by Shaykhna the son of Bin Bayyah. Amazing carmel meat we ate until I had no space to fill in. My friend Abdul Malik will say, ya Akhi, grab the bones.

I also visited Shaykh Murabit alHajj and had the opportunity to read to the Shuyukh there and asked Murabit for his duas. I would sit with him and massage his legs and sometimes rub his beards. He would look at me and turn his face. Always on his back asking if it was time to pray.

My other great experience was sitting with Shaykh Muhammad Hasan al Khadim, the commentator of the translated book by Shaykh Hamza, Purification of the hearts. He is one of a kind, a master of the sciences who never gets tired teaching. After spending all this wonderful time in Mauritania, I thought it was high time I returned to Syria to meet my once left family and also to benefit from the gatherings of Shaykhunaa al Ya'qubi. Shaykh was already informed of my coming and was expecting to see this sinful slave. I couldn't imagine myself leaving these men here to Syria but it had to happen that way.

My return to Syria was welcomed by giving bribe at the airport and someone stealing my laptop the same day of my arrival with all the datas and information I brought from Mauritania leaving me. Was it a bad omen? ALLAH knows best. Shaykhunaa who received me well gave assurance that all was well. I had the opportunity to spend another year again in Syria, getting an advanced diploma from an arabic institute even if it wasn't necessary, read small books and also meeting more people. My major experience was my surgery I had shortly after Eid and my love and thanks to all those who shared with me in my times of pains, need, etc.

It was also a honour for me to receive my teacher from Mauritania Shaykh Muhammad Faal who I made to have a meeting with Shaykhunaa al Ya'qubi. Shaykhunaa having heard of the strength of my Mauritanian teacher in the science of hadith was happy to receive him. My friends visited him and took nasihas from him. My lovely friend sidi Waathiq was able to read the 40 hadith of Imaam Nawawi to him and his book was signed by the Shaykh.

After my stay here, I thought it was high time I made a choice of either staying in Syria or leaving for Mauritania. Thanks to Sidi Irfaan, my brother that has no equal who suggested this to me. AlhamduliLLAH, Shaykhunaa welcomed my intention and gave me permission to leave and also extend my salaams to my family especially my brother Abdul Qaadir who kept sending him text messages should incase I go visiting them three years after my leaving home.

On 8th November came the day I had to leave Syria for Mauritania. With no direct flight to Mauritania meaning a transit in Tunisia. Many of my friends in my house, four hours to my departure my bags are yet to be ready, so silly I was but my excuse was 50% acceptable. So many offered me lunch, dinner, etc but I had to accept some and disappoint others. Those who also disappointed me the day before my departure but what can a miskeen like me say.

Due to the small spaces in the car, only three of my friends had to follow me to the airport. Without asking, sidi Waathiq is ever there to see me through. We left for the airport as I was the last person to board the plane. Shaykhunaa al Ya'qubi was also behind me coming since he was traveling to Turkey for some lectures. It took me minutes before I went through the unecessary procedures and quarelling with the TunisAir officials who wouldn't succumb to a reasonable bargain over my extra luggage. Collecting from me over $500 was what they demanded and I was being good and nice enough to offer $300 but the old man who called himself a Shaykh refused. I had to be a man here even if I was still worried that I might lose the flight.

I begged this old man to assist me in lifting my bags up to the scale because I am not supposed to carry something heavy due to my surgery that I am still recuperating from but the oldman bluntly told me NO. Ajeeb! Then came the young lady weighing my bag with her shouting and complains that I couldnt understand. She accused me of not being able to speak arabic but on the contrary.

Well I managed to finish up with these people and move straight to the immigration desk. Do I have to tell lies that I came to syria for Tourism instead of studies. Well, I wont worry myself this time around because I am leaving. I happened to give him sweet words and there I go to join the rest in the plane.

I met another woman going to the same village in Mauritania where I will be staying and I was already informed by the Shaykh's son in-law to take care of her during our flight. I think she knew her ways better than me when we arrived the Tunisian airport. Been on my seat, I decided to speak to my friends and send text messages before taking off. Ofcourse, I called sidi Waathiq first who passed the phone to Shaykhunaa and I spoke to him asking for duas then he passed it to sidi Muhammad Omari who will always be joking with me. And to GOD be the glory, I said bye to Syria.

Arriving Tunisia airport was me and feverish feeling due to a bath a had in Syria before leaving. Now more signs were manifesting and I started feeling weak. My bag, big al Jilaani's tafsir and insect killer with me bearing a weird name "MUDAMMIR" meaning Destroyer. A young lady was scanning us to see those carriers of any sort of illness and I felt I may be asked to stand aside for HIN1 because of my strange feelings. Tunisia's government disallowed hajj this year because of this virus so I got worried as this lady was using a kind of machine. Not bad, I scaled through.

Immigration in Tunisia always known for notorious act and this will be my second time they will be stepping on my feet. The lady greeted me in french, I responded then changed to english and I reciprocated and later whispered to the man behind in the colloquial arabic form which I picked little. Accusing me of not wanting to speak or answer her question, from there I hit the nail on the head. I was asked to stay aside for further investigation. I wasn't worried as I was not entering Tunisia and besides, I have my Mauritanian visa with me. Anyway, we later became pals and chatted our areas of disagreement.

I remained at the airport for almost a day before departing for Mauritania. It was a nice flight as I was listening to a beautiful recitation from the Qur'aan from one of the Shuyukh of Zaytunah Mosque. We arrived Mauritania after an hour flight delay and it was, hmm, in the old and undescribable airport that looks like a slum dog pitch. Immigration was straight forward and time to get my bags but unfortunately, my bags didn't arrive.I had to register my yet to arrive bags at the lost and found office then get out of the airport. My Sudani friend studying in his master's degree at the Shinqiti university was there waiting for me. What a nice brother he is! I met him during my days in the village. He immediately took me to a restaurant to eat and from there, I left to change some money before rushing to a hotel. It was alomost mid-night but it looked like morning to me. I was feeling like being home again.
Straight to the hotel, I met the young receptionist who is a friend and he showed me straight to my bed. I prayed and had a good sleep with wonderful, sweet mosquito bites. In the morning, I looked at the mosquitoes in my net, singing their irritating music in their pregnant state, moving around with my sucked blood.

I took to the city to use the internet and pray in the saudi masjid. How nice it feels like to be back! Looking the streets, you see men and women urinating openly by the sides of cars, walls, etc, dirty streets, and in the mosques, hearing the Mauritanian style of loud Shouting of TAKBIR at the opening of Solah(not Maalilki style to shout too loud). From all of these, I said to myself, welcome back to Mauritania.

Still here waiting for my bags to arrive, I feel so anxious to leave for the village to meet my teachers who are already expecting me. I walk the whole streets, stay in the masjid and my hotel, go use the internet and get tired all in the name of waiting for my bags. I hope I don't miss anything from the bags if ALLAH brings them to me. I say alhamduliLLAH as I expect my friend tonight coming from france for the village as he joins me in the hotel.

As solaatu was Salaamu daa'imaini mutalaazimaini ilaa yaum ad deen. Wa alhamduliLLAHI Rabbil 'aalamin.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It Happened Again In SYRIA (SHAAM)

A picture of the Shaykh few months ago.

BimiLLAH
Allahumma Salli 'ala Sayyidinaa Muhammad wa aalihi wa sallam.
Indeed it has happened again in Syria just after the recent one that happened. Syria cries, the Ulamaa shed tears, the students are sad and the heaven is glad to welcome one of its occupants.

I once posted on the passing away of Shaykh Abul Hasan al Kurdi (RA) who was one of the greatest Syrian Reciters and at the end of my post I asked, who will be next...

It didn't take too long for my question to be answered as we witnessed reality today. Today, is another day that we should print on our hearts because it is a day that we should start reflecting AGAIN on the hadith of the best of mankind ('alayhis salaatu was salaam) when he said "Truly, Allah does not remove Sacred Knowedge by taking it out of servants, but rather by taking back the souls of Islamic scholars [in death], until, when He has not left a single scholar, the people take the ignorant as leaders, who are asked for and who give Islamic legal opinion without knowledge, misguided and misguiding" (Fath al-Bari, 1.194, hadith 100).

As the angel of death visited one of the houses of knowledge today, he took the soul of our teacher, Allaamah, Shaykh ad dunya, Al Faqih Adeeb al Kallaas. His janaazah was read at the Ommayah masjid where so many shuyukh and people all over Syria and outside came to join in.

Shaykh Muhammad Saamir An Nass spoke about this great Shaykh who was his teacher and praised him in the highest form reminding people how he felt when he last visited him after the Shaykh stopped teaching due to his illness. So beautiful put when he said, " he stopped giving external classes but didn't stop giving lessons on the knowledge of the internal science by sitting with him"
One of the speakers said, " Shaykh Adeeb al Kallaas was the Haashiyah of Ibn 'Aabideeen, he was someone to return to on issues of aqeedah, Nahw, Sarf, and any science we can think of"

Shaykh Kurayyim Raajih was also amongst those who spoke after the janaazah and some of those who were present were Shaykh Abdul Lateef Farfur, Shaykh Muhammad al Ya'qubi, Shaykh Sa'eed Burhani.

Shaykh Adeeb Al Kallaas was a close friend of Shaykh Abdur Razzaq al Halabi as they bought sought knowledge together.

may ALLAH grant him one of the best abodes in HIS paradise and join him with HIS belove Prophet (SAW).

Please read Surah al Faatihah for our late Shaykh and Ikhlas and for those who can do more, may ALLAH reward you in both worlds with the best of blessings.

Was salaamu alaykum.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Special Iftaar moment with Shaykhuna Muhammad al Ya'qubi

Shaykhunaa and the brothers giving little lesson during Iftaar
Sidi Waathiq at the extreme left end and sidi Zaahir with the moroccan gown

The first gathering with Shaykhunaa where many attended.


Shaykh Ahmad Khateeb in front of Shaykhuna discussing.



Shaykhunaa by my right hand side.
BismiLLAH.
Wa salla ALLAHU 'ala sayyidinaa Muhammad wa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

Many will agree with that spending the whole of Ramadhan without his/her family is something not hoped for because of its boringness. For me, it has almost become a part of me and an accepted state. For the last three Ramadhan, I have not had the opportunity of spending the wonderful nights, eating delicious iftaari with my family and sitting in my local masjid to observe the taraweeh solah which makes me feel nostalgic. This is because, I left my country to seek the knowledge that will make me understand more about the importance and position of Ramadhan in the lives of Muslims. AlhamduliLLAH, so far so good, it has given me different taste of culture during this month of spirituality from the desert of Mauritania down to the blessed city of Shaam.

After all said, it will be nice to mention that in Ramadhan, there are still some rarities that I cannot regret experiencing being away from my family and will wish for if I were to be with them. Among these rarities is spending a beautiful moment with the people of ALLAH, those who are recognized in the celestial realm, those whose presence only but reminds us of the Mightiness of ALLAH and the statues of HIS beloved Prophet (SAW).

As I start by sharing this beautiful experience that cannot really be put in words except by real experience, I wish and still hope that this same opportunity will come again.
I was duly informed by the Khaadim (sidi Hishaam) of our teacher that our Shaykh, the examplar of the Prophetic sunnah, the grand son of the best of mankind, As Sayyid Muhammad al Ya'qubi will be having Iftaar with the brothers in one of the old restaurants situated in the old Damascus city, I couldn't but wait anxiously to spend that moment with him. The day came and passed and how happy was I!

But it didn't end there when the second invitation reached me again that the Shaykh will be having another Iftaar gathering with the brothers in the same restaurant and this was the climax of it all. I will leave the first meeting untouched but write little about the second meeting that still rings a bell of memory in my head.

After taking a taxi that alighted me in the old city via the old hamidiyyah market, people were already getting into the restaurant while I saw Shaykh Ahmad Khateed a student of Shaykhuna who signaled to me to enter the restaurant. We entered and climbed up where the Shaykh was already seated. We went forward to give him salaams immediately we saw his ever illuminating face. As I went to give him salaams and kissed him, he called my name and asked me to sit on the chair beside him. I was shocked and left in confusion. Just like others heard the Shaykh saying that to me, I know they wished they had such request from the Shaykh.
Not knowing what to do, I tried to walked behind him to sit somewhere else while people were giving the Shaykh salaams but the Shaykh still motioned to me to sit on the sit beside him. He even went to the extent of pulling the chair out in his ever humble way. I wasn't worried or ungrateful to be offered the privilege to sit beside the Shaykh but was caught by surprise and shock as different thoughts came running on my mind.
If I sit by the Shaykh while the iftaar goes on, it means I have to eat like a true student of knowledge; with adab, little, no noise, no excessive movement and must not speak except when necessary. On the other hand, all my thoughts may not be correct so I decided to walk forward to sit on the seat already pulled out by Shaykhuna.

I sat on this chair like the most innocent student of knowledge on earth which is quite the opposite of me. While so many things busied my thoughts, the Shaykh then turned to me and said to me that he got my message. From then, he mentioned to me all I need to do and discussed with me the subject of the message I sent. How happy I was and started feeling a bit comfortable but the Nur in him was so strong that my small sinful body couldn't absorb it.
People came giving salaams, Shaykh responding and introducing me to some and mentioning me to some. Masha ALLAH, the first time I felt so special even if I am not.

The Athaan was read and Iftaar started, the Shaykh serve my glass with drinks, pushed the tray of dates to my front and we began the adventure of the most pleasant Iftaar ever spent. When I looked at the positions of other brothers, I saw my ever wonderful friends sidi Waathiq and Waseem at my opposite ends. The former was about to start filing his stomach after the whole day fast without food when the Shaykh motioned to him that we will continue after solah. Sidi Waathiq missed the last Iftaar before this because he was in UK having so much of his Mum's Biryanis, semosas and curries. Sidi Waseem and I had the last Iftaar organized by the Shaykh together where I had my best bites. He asked me to eat well since I won't have this at in my house because I have no wife. His word was so correct and I did fill in all the possible spaces available in my stomach.

After the maghrib solah led by the Shaykh in a small space made available in the restaurant for solah, we returned back to the tables where food was served. Take as much food as you like no one cares but I was still worried that sidi Waseem's last advice will not work this time around since I was sitting by the Shaykh.

On the contrary, the Shaykh was continuously serving my plate with different foods and I was eating without fears. It got to the brim when I tried to be a true student, I stopped having more food. Shaykhuna looked at me and called me by name asking me to have more, the little grin on my face showed that I was getting too satisfied but before I knew, Shaykhuna took out a big thigh of a chicken and placed it on my plate asking me to eat. Very nice when he said, " when I was at your age, I ate more than you but due to travels, I eat less and we now practice the life of zuhd". The two Shuyukh and those who heard what the Shaykh said smiled.

It didn't end there when the Shaykh started sharing some beautiful jokes that happened beautiful some of the grammarians and poets. That aided in digesting our foods and gave us opportunity to learn more.

Wonderful moment it was and came to an end when we all had to leave for the Eshaa and taraweeh solah. Shaykh Ahmad Khateed a student of Shaykhuna is an Imaam of a masjid neighboring the restaurant where Iftaar was held. Those who left for their favourite places for taraweeh left while others who wanted to enjoy the complete presence with the Shaykh remained. We entered the masjid prayed the eshaa and taraweeh and Shaykhuna ended it with a beautiful three rak'ah solah and duas.

When I was about leaving for my destination, the Shaykh called out at me again, hand on my back and discussed with me the subject of my message sent to him. He never leaves the students of knowledge wondering on how their problems could be solved but join in taking care of their affairs and well being.

What a day! Obviously a nice tahajjud and dream will sum it up. Will there be more of this before the ending of the blessed month? I hope and pray for one.

You reading, why not come to Shaam next year during ramadhan to experience this beautiful moment with Shaykhuna. Don't mind how much it will cost you for a flight even if the credit crunch has affected those it affected. It is worth a trip.

Your duas for this ill slave. I love you all.
Wa salaamULLAHI alaynaa ajma'een.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ramadan Wishes with Love

BismiLLAH
wa salla ALLAHU 'ala Habeebihi al Mustafa wa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma'een.

Ramadhan is here again. How are you spending your time in this blessed month?
My dear friend said to me: hey shaykh, if you are not with your Qur'aan reading then your bead should be with you by remembering ALLAH.

I am here in the beautiful city of Shaam wishing my dear brothers and sisters all the best in this month of mercy, the month the Qur'aan was revealed, the month that you can get so many hasanaat just because of something good you have done and you see as small.

Make your Qur'aan your husband and wife, let your beads be your children, share smiles with people, give charity, help the oppressed and remember the ummah in your duas.

Do not frequent your masjid only in the first days of ramadhan but continue in this act till the end as there are more barakaats at the end of this month.

Wishing you all the best in this month, remember this sinful slave in your duas and my beloved Aunty who passed away two days before Ramadhan.

Wa salaamu ALLAHI alaykum.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The HEART of SYRIA bleeds again.

BismiLLAH.
Allahumma salli wa sallim 'ala sayyidinaa wa maulaanaa Muhammad.

Bukhari relates the sahih, rigorously authenticated hadith that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
"Truly, Allah does not remove Sacred Knowedge by taking it out of servants, but rather by taking back the souls of Islamic scholars [in death], until, when He has not left a single scholar, the people take the ignorant as leaders, who are asked for and who give Islamic legal opinion without knowledge, misguided and misguiding" (Fath al-Bari, 1.194, hadith 100). This hadith also proves one of the signs of the end time.

In the last three years, Syria which is known to be a center of Islamic learning because of the presence of top scholars is now seeing the hikmah behind this beautiful narration. The likes of Shuyukh: Habanakah, Shaykh 'Abideen, Ahmad Habbal, Shukri, Mustafa Turkmani, AbdurRahman Shaghuri, Saalih al Hamawi and many more have passed away just within this short period of time.

Just last night, it was announced of the passing away of the great scholar of Qur'aan both in recitation and exegesis, Fiqh and other sciences Ash Shaykh Muhyiddeen al Kurdi aka Abu Hasan. He was one of the seven top scholars of qiraat and tajweed. His janaazah was held today at the Umawi masjid after asr solah where thousands of people were there to say farewell to him as he left for the next abode. He was buried in the blessed cemetary of bab al Sagheer.

His student Shaykh Na'eem 'Araksusi, the Khateeb of Jaami'a al Eeman while speaking about him after the funeral said " he never heard the Shaykh talking about dunya except that he wished to be amongst those who will recite the Qur'aan in the heavens as it was recited beautifully in the dunya....al hadith.

The Khaadim (sidi Hishaam) of Shaykhuna Muhammad al Ya'qubi while addressing us in his shop after the funeral said, " When Shaykh Shaghuri described the late Shaykh, he said he loved and said nothing but Kamaal".

Shaykh Kurayyim Raajih while speaking said "When the Shaykh was alive, he was like a stranger amongst many people but his funeral was indeed marked by even a commoner. It is as if we celebrate his departure from this sinful world with so many attending his funeral"....Indeed this is the state of the ummah.

While we cry over this create loss, are we ready to miss another great scholar in few days or months? It is high time we started reflecting on some of these clear signs.

May ALLAH makes us be among the righteous ones and preserve our ulamaa so that we can all benefit from them.

Was sallaLLAHU 'ala Habeebi al Mustafaa wa aali baitihi wa ashaabihi ajma'een.

Pictures of the Janaazah will be posted soon insha ALLAH

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shaykh Akhtar: The grandson of Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan

BismiLLAH.
Being a lover of what people call the BARELWI school or I say been a lover of the scholarship of our great Imaam and Shaykh: Ahmad Raza Khan, I have taken time to study and read some of his works in addition to having wonderful friends from this school. I once in a while joke with my too good and dearest friend that he has BARELWISED me.

In past discussions, I have had the privilege to be told about his grand son Shaykh Akhtar who is indeed a living Wali of our time, an 'Aalim of the Islamic sciences and a Shaykh of another brother. I even went ahead to collect his address in India if there is need to visit him in future.

AlhamduliLLAH, I didn't need to travel the distance to see this man who is himself like what I have read about his grand father Shaykh Ahmad Raza. While I was in my friend's house, I got a call from one of the Pakistani brothers whose father is a Mufti informing me of the arrival of the Shaykh to Damascus (2nd May, 2009). Not wasting much time, I informed my dear friend Waathiq, got home, got my Shawaal Khaamis on (arabic: Sirwaal and Qamees) given to me by my house mate just to blend with the crew visiting the Shaykh. Even if I can't speak URDU, I can say teeke or apka marzi.

No need to mention how the whole trip went. in summary, it was indeed a moment of RUHANIYYAH for me. Meeting a living WALI, his face illuminating, full of Nur, sharing with us some words of naseeha and making duas for us. I couldn't help but hold the Shaykh's hand several times. When my friend introduced me to him in URDU mentionining my name and saying he loves RIZVIS, he said MASHA ALLAH. Do not ask me how I understood what he told him.

AlhamduliLLAH, we ended up praying solah al 'ishaa with the Shaykh who led the prayer. Masha ALLAH, what a good recitation!

As his Muqaddam said to me when we entered the house where the Shaykh received us, " you didn't travel to India but the Shaykh has come to visit you". Ya Salaam.

Wa alhamduliLLAHI RABB al 'aalamin.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The passing away of a great woman: MARYAM

BismiLLAH.

Innaa liLLAHI wa inna ilayhi raaji'uun.
Recently, I posted an email sent to me by a friend informing me of the ill-state of the wife of Murabit al Hajj.

Just few minutes ago, I got an email below from an American brother who we studied together in mauritania. Below is the email:

Assalaamu alaykum.
Please keep the wife of Murabital Hajj In your duas and ask Allah to open All doors for Her to Jannah. I was told she passed away yesterday by Mustafa bn Ahmed Faal.

SUBHANALLAH, the last time I saw her, she was indeed in good health pouring fresh milk into bowls for students of knowledge. Now she is gone. Indeed, the village has missed someone very great and supportive.

If we do a khatm for her, it won't be a bad idea.
Was salaam.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Speaking to an Atheist.

BismiLLAH.
Salla ALLAHU 'ala Sayyid al khalq.

This is not really an important topic but I felt there is need sometimes to share with people some beautiful experiences and encounters of life. It is said, "life is an adventure full of journeys and in these journeys, you come across so many things."

Speaking to an Atheist as the subject says above is an encounter I had some days back in school. For years, I have read books written by atheists, seen them on TV interviews, hear people speak about their experiences with them but my first time to see one in true life and have some words with him was indeed to me a great surprise, ALLAHU akbar.

I won't go into details on how I got to know he is an atheist or where I met him, what we discussed, etc but just to let us know and reflect on this ni'mah that ALLAH has blessed us with without struggle, efforts or choice which is Islaam. This person is someone I love to be with when I go to his class to take lessons if my teacher is not in school and I sometimes sit with him.

In my study days in Mauritania, some thing interesting happened. An encounter that leaves me laughing whenever I remember it. Speaking to the small boys in the village was sometimes a thing I love because you improve your language and get to learn some new things. It was from that movement one of them spoke about seeing a non-Muslim.

In a conversation, one of them said, " I saw a non-Muslim today with astonishment and big surprise on his face". When he was asked where, how and when, he couldn't reply straight ahead as he was left surprised and amazed. His response was, so many of them. Again he repeated, I saw them, sooooooo many.

The question went to him again, where did you see them and how? He said, they were very plenty, 20 of them. On the TV. Do not laugh at this as you read because you don't know how they feel. For me at that moment it was stupid thing to say because have many non-Muslims as friend and we have eaten in either my house or theirs but as reflecting and reading about this, I tried to understand how this little boy's feeling was and put myself in his shoes.

The question is, is it a ni'mah from ALLAH for one not to have around him non-Muslims that create fitna, etc or seeing them and make you reflect on ALLAH's blessing for making you a Muslim but still without you understanding or ponding on this beautiful gift and treasure that ALLAH has blessed you with?

Think and ask those who know about this you will indeed learn some thing new.

I leave you with this food for thought, " all we get is not by our power and might but by ALLAH's rahma upon us"

Was salaam

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Muraabit al Hajj's wife

BismiLLAH.
An email just reached me informing me that the wife of the living Wali Murabut al Hajj is ill. She is a woman of taqwa and love. The last time I was at Murabit al Hajj's small village, I was overwhelmed by her ways. As old as she is, weak skin but strong heart, she would stay close to the tent of her old husband in the evening pouring fresh milk into bowls of different sizes milked from their cows for students.

Below is the email that I got.

As-salamu alaykum,
Maryam is very ill at the school. She went to Nouakchott but then returned to taganit and the doctors didnt have hope for trying to treat her. Whoever is able from amongst us alumni/vistors to call it would be really good. We all know that she is an integral part of the school and losing her is going to change a lot of things. Make dua for ease for her and her family and the students. Below is the Thuraya phone number and some sites for calling cards. A phone call is the least we can do to show our concern. If you cant, sending a text through the Thuraya website is free (http://services.thuraya.com/sms.html) . Just plug in the following number. If you can, type the text msg in Arabic as there isnt anyone there who speaks english. If you dont have arabic keyboard, heres a site where you can type with it (http://www.tero.co.uk/magictyper/arabic.php). You can just cut and paste the message. Now, with all this, nobody has an excuse not to contact the Tulba during this time of hardship for them. Also, pass this message on to any other alumni that you notice arent in the email list. 88-216-333-05-270. (from the USA, you have to add 011)$32 phone card that will give you 27.5 minuteshttp://store.sattransusa.com/thu-cfh.html$70 phone card that gives you 55 minuteshttp://www.humanedgetech.com/shop/product.php?productid=130&cat=8&page=1

ALLAH be with us all as we show concern to those who show great concern to students of knowledge and care so much for the ummah's affair.
Was salaam

Friday, March 27, 2009

Maulid with Shaykh Muh'd al Ya'qubi in Damascus Part 2


BismiLLAH
Wa salla ALLAHU 'ala sayyidina Muhammad wa aalihi wa sallam.
I don't know if it's right for me to say part two of the recent maulid gathering that our beloved venerable teacher, As sayyid Muhammad al Ya'qubi honoured or I say this is the continuation of the end of the beginning. Anyway that doesn't really matter as the focus is about the Maulids in Damascus.

I was about writing on the Maulid in the masjid where Shaykhuna delivers his khutbah but the one I left some minutes back has forced me to skip it till another posting insha ALLAH. Amazing as it is always. This time around, I won't say Shaykhuna was fantastic and amazing as usual but BEYOND AMAZING. Shaykhuna was doing what he knows how to do best.

Although I reached the masjid of Shaykh al Akbar Ibn Arabi where the Maulid was held because I went to visit my ever wonderful friend sidi Waathiq who is not feeling too well. I had to spend some time with him and also force him to keep me company as we attend the maulid together. Reaching the masjid shortly after Maghrib was the speech of Shaykhuna occupying all corners of the masjid and the busy market with the mixture of rainful.

I don't know if the masjid was vibrating due to the wonderful speech of Shaykhuna or due to the loudness of the speakers. Indeed the former was the reason behind the vibration. The Shaykh himself was vibrating and was more than the way I used to know him. The speech carried me up and I couldn't return. Even my rock-like heart this time around tried to melt a bit to the wonderful admonition coming from the Shaykh's mouth.

The lessons: People in our time now mention the few last ayahs of surah al Kahf to justify or prove that the Prophet(SAW) is just but a man like every other man, SubhanALLAH. In the Shaykh's words he said that the implication of this word is like equating him to the non Muslims because they are also like every other persons.
But looking from several ahaadith reported in the major books the Prophet(SAW) mentioning how he could see what is behind him like he sees what is in front, how he could hear sounds from the heavens but none amongst the companions could, how his saliva was shifaa when he spat on the eyes of Imaam Ali (RA) and it healed his problem with his eyes, how his sweat was more than a scent and perfume that was used by Umm Salamah(RAH) to mix in the perfumes of the younger ones, and so many more.

Is it this the same being that you they claim is the same like every other being? Indeed this question needs no answer. If we say in the sense of human specie, na'am he was because he was born by woman from the meeting of a man, he ate, married, etc.
I just can't mention everything in order not to make you all feel that you have missed. My day is indeed so wonderful and I hope to go have a very good night rest.
Naseehah from this slave, be with the righteous ones.
Was salaam

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recent Maulid with Shaykh Muh'd al Ya'qubi in Damascus.


Towards the ending of the maulid in Jaami'a al Taubah At the peak of the Maulid. Shaykhuna al Ya'qubi, Shaykh Husaam ud Deen




BismiLLAH.
Wa salaatu wa salaam ‘ala khairi a’alaam wa aalihi wa saHbihi wa sallam.

SubhanALLAH, it only happens once in every year just like Ramadhan, few take the opportunity to benefit from it, some let it go pass them then they realise what they have missed. Indeed, it is almost leaving us again and none knows if he/she will see it again.

The month of Rabi’ul awwal is the month the Prophet(SAW) was born and also the month his ruh was taken for the next abode. This month, marks a great significance in our lives. A Shaykh asked: if the Prophet(SAW) wasn’t born, what would the world be like? How? The answer is indeed very clear as there is no need to start explaining.

AlhamduliLLAH in Damascus, the month of Rabi’ul awwal is felt by all. In the market places, mosques, schools, etc. The twelfth day which marks the birth of the best of creations is well celebrated. You see the lights shining everywhere, the mosques are full vibrating to the sound of anasheed, sweets shared around and lectures about his birth and significance in our lives are given.

I was again privileged to spend some of these beautiful moments with the venerable scholar, Allaamah As Sayyid Muhammad al Ya’qubi. While I was reading some pages on grammar from my Alfiyyah ibn Maalik leaning on my pillow as learnt from the Shama’il Muhammadiyyah taught by Shaykhuna, a called reached me informing me that Shaykhuna will be attending a Maulid in Jaami’a al Ihsaan alongside other Shuyukh where he will also give a talk. The mosque is a place I had never been to but know that Shaykh Maahir Hindi is a Khatib over there. Shaykh Maahir is a good friend of Shaykhuna.

Without any delay, I accepted to go there with my ever wonderful friend Waathiq before maghrib. We took off and arrived the venue after maghrib. We missed our way and were forced to keep asking and searching till we arrived. We stayed till after ‘eshaa when the masjid became full. Shuyukh and people coming in with anaasheed making the masjid to vibrate from all corners.

Shortly was the arrival of Shaykuna who hurriedly prayed his two rak’ah salaam to the masjid close to the entrance of the mosque and took to his seat. He was immediately called forward to give a short talk. As usual, he did what he knows how to do best. His question, is the Prophet(SAW) the same like every other human just like contemporary Shuyukh say now?
After his talk, was the speech of Shaykh Husaam al Deen Farfur who also spilled the air with wonderful words of hikmah from his beautiful life (SAW). We stayed for almost two hours when it started raining. SubhanALLAH, I never knew that was the beginning of the day.

Shaykh left together with Shaykh Husaam al Deen in a different car leaving his car to us. Masha ALLAH, we got ourselves in and headed straight to Jaami’a a Taubah. Jaami’a al Taubah is a mosque where great Ulamaa taught and passed away; Ulamaa of the heart, jurisprudence, Hadith, sunnah, etc. You can smell the fragrance of great awliya that taught there before their demise in the masjid. Shuyukh were already on their seats. When I look straight finding myself a place to sit, I saw the bright illuminating face of Shaykhuna sitting and counting his Sibhah. How did he first us to the masjid, I wonder. The story of ahl ul Khutwah came to my mind. These were people who took few steps from a far distance to another distance. Believe it or not, our mutawaatir reports prove it.

While anasheed and Shuyukh where speaking, the masjid was still occupied by the fragrance of our late awliya. Great men of ALLAH were sitting at the front of the masjid. Shaykh Husaam al Deen gave a short talk after apologising for his late coming, he indeed starting to cry slowly. Oh my sinful soul, I couldn’t reflect deep on his beautiful words and admonition only then did I realise how strong my heart is like a rock.

Masha ALLAH, Shaykh Husaam al Deen for those who know him properly is a great Munshid. He knows very much how and when a particular kind of nasheed should be sung. Indeed he started giving us some beautiful mix from his collection. Very beautiful it was while Shaykhuna was rubbing him on his back. All went well through the night and the khatm dua was said by Shaykhuna. You could see how his hands were shaking. After the duas, people leaving to take barakah from the Shuyukh. I waited while Shaykhuna left the masjid then my friend and I followed. It was still raining showing that the day was indeed a blessed one.

We left straight for the Shaykh’s car waiting for others to come join us. Surprisingly I saw the Shaykh alighting from another car to join us. He took over the steering and so we zoomed off in the dark old market surrounding of old Damascus where Jaami’a al Taubah is located. The car felt the presence of the Shaykh when he started a different lesson on what tasawwuf is all about and wahdat al Wujuud. Describing in his word he said, it is taste, feeling and action. I remember asking a Shaykh to explain to me what it means, he said that it is a stage one reaches that cannot be described. It is like asking a blind man to explain to you how colour yellow is.

Shaykhuna after the short car lesson, asked me where will I be alighting. Masha ALLAH, how many of us have gotten such an opportunity to be driven by people of high maqaam and blessings. Indeed, this is not the only time that I have been blessed with the opportunity to be with Shaykhuna in his car, home or during a travel outside of Damascus. Our prayer always is that, ALLAH joins us with those HE Loves in the life and the next.
Verily, a day well spent should be a day written and recorded in our hearts. I can’t think of any other than share this beautiful experience of mind that cannot be expressed by writing. Celebrating the birth of ALLAH’s messenger is a blessing that we should always hope to acquire.

We pray for many more of such beautiful and eventful moments like the one I shared with you.
Walking back home after leaving my friend Waathiq, I realised that the maulid took us till past 1:00am. As I went to kiss Shaykhuna’s hand, Shaykhuna saying good night to us in a tone I imitate in my room: Ok sidi Abu Bakr, I hope you’re ok, everything fine, your studies ok.

This is just the end of the beginning as two maulids are still ahead: one in Shaykhuna’s masjid where he delivers Fridaykhutbah and the second in Shaykh al Akbar ibn Arabi’s masjid.
Was salaamULLAHi ‘ala khairi khalqi wa ‘alaykum bis salaam.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ijaazah musalsal during the Shama'il Muhammadiyyah reading in Homs

BismiLLAH.
Wa salla ALLAHU 'ala khayri Khalq, wa aalihi wa ashaabihi ajma'een.

Recently, I posted a short writeup and pictures on the interesting experience I had when I traveled to Homs to attend the reading of the Shamaa'il Muhammadiyyah by Maulana Shaykhuna Muhammad al Ya'qubi. I got a comment from an anonymous brother resquesting me to upload any available video from the gathering.

I have decided to upload the reading of the silsilah of hadith al Awwaliyyah that was giving to Shaykhuna Al Ya'qubi by the then Shaykh of Homs, the Faqih, Qaari and Shaykh of Tasawwuf: Allaamah Shaykh Abdul 'Aziz 'Uyuun al Suud. The late Shaykh was a friend of the father of Shaykhuna, Allaamah Sayyid, al Qutb, Shaykh Ibrahim al Ya'qubi (RA). He authorized Shaykh Muhammad on the famous hadith al Awwaliyyah and also on Qira'ah. Shaykhuna decided to read and authorize the attendees with that chain of narration in respect and love for the late Shaykh since he was in his home land.

Filming and pictures were not allowed but I stubbornly recorded and took some pictures just to keep memories. I couldn't film a long video since the camera was on my thigh and I was almost opposite the Shaykh. Insha ALLAH, more will be included.

Do not forget, return to the ways of the salaf is indeed our guidance and where is that? Ofcourse going "back to the root".


Was salaam.



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shama'il Muhammadiyyah Reading by Shaykh Muh'd al Ya'qubi












BismiLLAH.
Wa salla ALLAHu 'ala Sayyid al Mursalin.
Sitting with Allaamah Sayyid Shaykh Muhammad al Ya'qubi is everything a student of knowledge should desire, dream and experience. Teaching the sunnah by someone who is himself an example of the Sunnah:The actions, demonstrations, words, looks, etc.
AlhamduliLLAH, I was given Ijaazah on the Shama'il Muhammadiyyah by this noble and erudite Shaykh and it happened that I got the second opportunity to get this ijaazah again in a different location. First was from the blessed city of Shaam and the other happened to be in HOMS (HimS).
Recently, I was called on phone by a student of the Shaykh informing me that Shaykhuna will be leaving for Homs to read the Shama'il Muhammadiyyah after solah al 'Eshaa. Without any delay, I spoke to my wonderful friend and brother sidi Waathiq who immediately confirmed his interest to attend the reading.

We got set to meet the rest of the brothers (old and young) at the masjid where the shaykh gives his friday sermon and teaches the book of Imam al Bayhaqi (Shu'b al eeman). We prayed Asr and waited for the cars to be set before our departure for the two hours thirty minutes drive. My friend and I stayed in Shaykhuna's car even if he didn't leave with us.
Hizb ul Bahr was read when the journey started, poetry was on air in the car while I was taking pictures. We arrrived Homs not long trying to locate the Khalid ibn Waleed's masjid (the same place where the noble Sahabah is buried). We got off the car while those waiting to receive us as the Shaykh's guest from Damascus were waiting. It didn't take us time to perform wudu and solah when we saw the shaykh surrounded by people leaving out of the masjid. I took some pictures, gave salaams to Khalid ibn Waleed and ibn AbduLLAH ibn Umar al Khattab (Radhi ALLAHU anhum), went round the masjid taking pictures. Masha ALLAH, that was my second time to visit the two maqaams.

We got out of the masjid without delays as dinner was waiting for us or we were waiting for dinner. Anyway, we took the lift and up we go to a well scented house where you could only see people immersed by the love of the Prophet (Salla ALLAHU alayhi was salaam). Their faces were full of anwaar illuminating in the room all sitting round the plates of delicious meals. I couldn't but start helping myself after the two voices asking me to sit.

While we were eating, some people were sitting around Shaykhuna benefitting from his ocean of ilm as he kept talking. I left my food with my glass of tea taking pictures of the beautiful gathering. I was indeed shown love been the only neutral person in the group (colour and race). The love increased after mentioning my name to one of those serving the meal when he shouted my name to the brothers.

Shortly after, the Shaykh and other brothers left in groups heading to the masjid where the reading of the Shama'il was taken place. We followed the convoy in the Shaykh's car full of his barakah. Arriving the masjid, solah started. People were making out for suitable places to sit before the reading could start. Masha ALLAH, my friend and I were called forward to sit opposite the Shaykh where special seats where made available for us. Walking from the last end of the masjid to the front was heart taking as all eyes where looking at us. I couldn't help myself but kept blinking my eyes a thousand times in a second and missing my steps with my bag hanging on my shoulder fallen of. Only if they knew who this sinful bro is, they would have thrown him out of the masjid. Duas were read, the solah and salaam followed with beautiful nasheeds to purify the night then Shaykhuna headed for his seat where his books were already set to be read. He started by reading the chain of the ijaazah again for the sake of those that missed the first day then telling them the importance of sanads, preservation of ilm, acting, etc. Reading started and the commentary giving people joy, excitement and succour in their hearts.
Shaykh would stress that peace and blessings should always be shouted when we hear the name of the best of mankind mentioned during the reading. After a very loud and one voice chanting, he said the pillars of the masjid felt the solawaat and so it continued. During the breaks, we had some tea, nasheeds and admonitions. The Shaykh was at his peak enjoying the reading and the students couldn't but submit themselves to increase their loves for the best of mankind. We read through the thursday night till friday morning when the khatm was held.

Not spending too much time, we gave salaams to those wanting to know who we are and where we came from. I couldn't imagine myself leaving those loving sights especially little brothers who have never seen such a sinful person from my race in reality. They came shaking hands and asking my name. My regret is, I didn't take pictures of them with me standing by their sides.

We took off that night leaving for Damascus with the Shaykh and others in front of us in another car while we were in his car. He would stop on the way and ask us if we were okay and feeling comfortable. We drove for about 70 minutes when the Shaykh asked us to park aside to have some food in a nearby restaurant. We sat around the table about 16 of us been served some Shaami delicacies while chatting went on. We continued our trip till arrived Damascus. I alighted from the car about 4:20 am making my way home. In indeed, Homs and the Shama'il Muhammadiyyah reading was an experience. I can't but leave the memory till this moment ringing in my head. I pray for such a gathering again in the nearest future.

May ALLAH guide us and give us the opportunity to benefit from the people of this noble path. My nasiha, all return to our root, " al ILM".
Wa alhamduliLLAHI Rabbi al 'aalamin.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

LONG SILENCE

BismiLLAH.
Peace and blessings upon the best of mankind and those who follow his blessed path.
SubhanALLAH, ever since I left mauritania to Damascus few months back, I have been trying to post messages of some of my beautiful adventures in the beautiful desert land; meeting with Shaykh Murabit al Haaj, sitting under the tutelage of the great gnostic, Shaykh Muhammad Hassan al Khadim the Commentator of the Purification of the heart, spending time meeting some other wonderful people and most wonderful my time spent sitting with the venerable scholars of Nabbaghiyyah.

I took so many pictures, recorded so many lessons that I had in fiqh, Nahwu, etc and thought it would be nice to share it with dear brothers and sisters who have had no opportunity but only dream to visit this beautiful land where ilm is still preserved in its best form. Unfortunately, the same day I arrived Damascus, the brother who picked me from the airport parked by a masjid for us to preform the jumu'ah solah. After our solah, we came down to the car only to find out that the car was burgled and all that I had of mauritania was history. My laptop was taken and our phone was supported to the laptop.

My dream of wanting to post all of the Mauritania memories left me that day. Was I sad or happy? At that moment, I wasn't. I won't say what happened later. Apart from that, since I came back, I have not had the opportunity to open this blog since the authority here has put a hold to opening of blog links and Youtube. AlhamduliLLAH after following my dear friend Waathiq to this cafe I hardly come, I found out that I can read and post on this blog without stress.

This luck only came to me because of this blessing of this month. Indeed as we know, this is the month that the light of ALLAH shone upon us and still remains a shining light in our hearts. It is this month that the best of mankind was born, the true path of guidance was given to us with ease, etc.

Indeed, this is a month that we should all engage in sending solah and salaam on him, read the Qur'an, give charity even a smile could be one, fast, read the burdahs.

Insha ALLAH, I will in my subsequent posts mention to you my meeting with the great WALI of ALLAH: Murabit al Haaj, the meeting of my venerable teach Shaykh Muhammad Faal with Sayyid Shaykh Muhammad al Ya'qubi when he came to Damascus for a visit to some sites and also get some books for his wonderful big desert library.

Remind me in your duas and I pray that ALLAH gives us victory over those who plan evil against the UMMAH.

Like I will say, we need to return back to the root " Seek ilm". Ignorance and arrogance are not excuses on the day of Qiyaamah.

Was salaamu alaykum.


Shahr al mubarak.