Saturday, October 22, 2016

Without prejudice | Abu Yazid Bistami


The above is a partial quote from the 'King of the Gnostic' of Iran - Bayazid Bistami or Abu Yazid Bistami. How can it not be true? I don't know about you, but the more I reflect and internalize the statement the more goosebumps I get. LOL (nervous laugh that is!)

We came to this world while not being fully conscious of the Creator despite the fact that we had already made the covenant of Alastubirabbikum [Am I not your Lord?] way back. As we grow up, we gradually recognize His attributes and slowly learn to remember Him. Oftentimes we struggle to remember Him even though [the sweet fact is] He remembers us all along. He remembers us without prejudice. But we cannot say for certain that there wasn't a time when we doubted Him a little when our prayers didn't seem to get a response, as quickly as we wanted, in the way that we had hoped.

Anyhow, this is the full often quoted statement attributed to the well known Sufi Abu Yazid Bistami:

I made four mistakes in my preliminary steps in this way. 
I thought that I remember Him and I know Him 
and I love Him and I seek Him.
But when I reached Him, 
I saw that His remembrance of me 
preceded my remembrance of Him 
and His knowledge about me 
preceded my knowledge of Him 
and His love towards me 
was more ancient than my love towards Him 
and He sought me in order that I would begin to seek Him.

To think that His remembrance of you/me preceded your/my remembrance of Him, gives us believers abundant hope. That He remembers and will not forsake us - His creations. That His mercy prevails over His wrath. I think this alone should suffice for a believer, to know that "His remembrance of me preceded my remembrance of Him." Now, does anything else matter?   

I am reminded of this profound sayings of Bayazid when I saw a posting by Shaykh Allie Khalfe of Cape Town, about Abu Yazid and the dog. Let's re-publish it here so we remind ourselves of how terrible our internal prejudice is; how much pride we have; how easily we glorify ourselves and how we confidently discount people who, in our opinion, have strayed and fallen behind, people who are not in our "exclusive club".    

"One day, when the great saint and gnostic Abu Yazid Al-Bistami was walking through a street, suddenly a dog appeared, approaching him slowly. Being cautious and not wanting his clothes to be in contact with the dog, Abu Yazid pulled up his clothes. Unexpectedly, the dog was communicating to Abu Yazid with a voice like human. "If my fur is dry and accidentally comes into contact with your clothes, there is no need for you to have your clothes cleansed. However, if my skin happens to be wet, all you need to do is have your clothes cleansed the way God prescribed. But then the prejudice attitude inside you will not be washed away even if you use all the water obtained from seven rivers. The internal or spiritual sins are difficult to clean."
Abu Yazid said: "Dear dog, you are very intelligent. Please come and stay with me for a while."
"No we can't stay together as I'm being despised by humans while you are glorified in this world. Furthermore, I do not store any food for the next day while you store your needs for the whole year," replied the dog.
Hearing the words of wisdom from the dog, Abu Yazid whispered to himself: "If even a dog refuses to accompany me, am I eligible to be close to God and attend His functions? All the Praises be for God who has shown all the flaws in me and guiding human beings through the minor things."

MashaAllah, this is Abu Yazid speaking!

That's why, it saddens me and I'm sure it saddens you too, to hear about some of the khadam/assistants/volunteers of the shuyukh who act arrogantly towards the "general public" as if they are the "khawasul khawas" the elitist, just because they are close to the scholars, that they have got exclusive rights/access to them. 

"If Allah loves a servant, He will grant three attributes that are the proofs of His love:
generosity like the generosity of the ocean;
favor like the favor of the Sun in its giving light;
and modesty like the modesty of the Earth." 
- Abu Yazid Bistami


Friday, October 21, 2016

Be among those who are supported with a mighty support


Bi-iznillah God Willing, this time next week, our much loved Habib Umar bin Hafiz will be in Kuala Lumpur at Muadz bin Jabbal Mosque. 

Imagine 44 years ago, when he was nine years old, he saw his father for the last time when the latter placed his shawl at a mosque before the Friday prayers and handed him the keys to their house. It was for the last time, because his father, Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz was abducted by the communists who had control over Hadramawt at that time.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz began teaching at the age of 15 and continued to receive lessons as well. After the passing of his guru Habib Muhammad bin Alawi, he decided to migrate to the Hijaz but ended up in al-Bayda where he visited and studied with Habib Muhammad al-Haddar who was his late father's close friend. He was probably in his late teens then. 

Imagine the kind of life he chose to live, independent and with great resolve to pursue Islamic teachings, alone, separated from his mother and older brothers who were in Tarim. His other siblings were in Hijaz. He undertook hijrah all by himself, bringing with him 300 shillings, all by himself - physically - maybe, but you might imagine young Habib Umar being quietly fired up by the fighting spirits and legacy of his father whom he lost when he was only nine.

This 53 year old venerable preacher and caller of the Truth will be coming to Malaysia next week inShaAllah. Those who have attended his majalis before, it's little wonder to us that the heart blooms with delight just knowing that he is visiting, again.

Illustrated by: Ameen Jauhari
(As commissioned by Lisan al-Din, 

but we may have to do it again because it seems Habib Umar has shunned his glasses lately. 
He might have undergone a LASIK procedure?) 

In case you have yet to memorize this salawat which Habib Umar bin Hafiz had taught in conjunction with the arrival of Rabiul Awal last year.

Allahumma ya ni'mal mawla wa ya ni'mal nasir
salli wa salim 'adada 'ilmika
ala Sayyidina Muhammad
man ja altahu lana hirzan harizan
wa ala alihi wa sahbihi
wan surna bihi wal muslimina
bi asrari wa yan surakallahu nasran aziza 

O Allah, O Best of Protectors and Best of Supporters
bestow prayers and peace to the amount of Your knowledge
upon our Master Muhammad
the one You made for us an impregnable fortress
and upon his family and companions
and by him, support us and all Muslims
through the secrets of
"That Allah may support you with a mighty support."

اللَّهُمَّ يا نعْمَ المَوْلى ويا نعْمَ النَّصِير 

صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ عَدَدَ عِلْمِكَ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ 

مَنْ جَعَلْتَهُ لَنا حِرْزاً حَرِيزاً،

 و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ وانْصُرْنا بِهِ والمُسْلِمينَ

 بِأَسْرَارِ — ويَنْصُرَكَ اللهُ نَصْراً عَزِي


Click the link below to read about Habib Umar and his brother's [Habib Masshur] steadfastness on their mission to study and spread knowledge of Islam, as related by Habib Ali Al Jifri on the blessed day of Muharram, three years ago.

Wish you a wonderful Friday loaded with blessings!
Wish you a pleasant and productive weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

TGIT | You know Yuna?


Thank God it's Thursday. TGIT.

Because it's October, I don't need to wait til Friday to chill. TGIF does not apply. That's because, praise be to Allah, work-wise, my team and I have delivered some great results already, so we can sort of rest on our laurels and unwind til the year ends. YaHuu!

Maghrib in KL - 12 October 2016
It's sheer delight to be able to see the KL Tower light show every night. The show last night was extra sensational thus I captured a video. But can't promise if it would get uploaded ever LOL.

Ahh...the things we all do to unwind.

I picked up the Elle Malaysia magazine because Yuna was on the cover. In case you didn't notice, she's an A-lister by birth. She's born as Yunalis. YunA-List. She's inherently A-List kind of person.

For the benefit of our foreign readers, Yuna is a Malaysian hijabi singer-songwriter who moved to the States five years ago. Her big talent and perseverance have enabled her to climb the music industry and song charts in the USA. She achieved that while managing hundreds if not thousands of criticisms from her own people - Malaysians. People hurled all kinds of names at her for her signature turban and for one incident involving Usher - partner for her latest hit song Crush. I am not keen to review the episode in detail or mention the ugly names they threw at her. Having read the article in the Elle Malaysia magazine, I thought she spoke up really well, she stood up for herself really really well this soon to be 30 year old lady who  has a degree in Legal Studies. She said: "I don't have time to think about the petty things that people say about me or try and tell me what to do." Yes girl!

Those who thought she's "rubbish" this that, they could be insecure, envious and/or emotionally broke. Yuna probably has more than a million dollars in her bank account. In a Finance mag interview, she was asked what she would do if she had a million, her reply was short and smart - she said she would make another million! I think, ironically, those negative people had picked on her because she's brilliant, brave and never apologetic about being who she is. And the same positive traits have brought her to places which many can only dream about. Yuna said in the Elle interview: "I came from being this very insecure girl to this other person. And now that I'm older, I really don't just give a shit anymore."

Yes girl! That's it! Let those self-righteous and envious critics shout until the cows come home. They probably think they're forever faultless and that they have secured a ticket to heaven. LOL. [BTW, to think that one has no sins, is in fact a sin.]  

You know Yuna? She's inspiring methinks.
"It's 2016, and it has to change. Because we can't live in this environment forever. Having people criticize us and telling us what to do when they have nothing to do with our lives." - Yunalis 

Smart girls, lean in!
"I feel a little rush, I think I've got a little crush on you.
I hope it's not too much..."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10 Muharram 1438 Hijri | Ashura Day is a day of generosity


Good morning folks.

I just wanted to be an early-bird today, enjoy sahur-time and be quick in sending you warm greetings on this special occasion - Ashura day. If you watched the video I posted yesterday, you might recall Habib Umar bin Hafiz speaking about the merits of observing Ashura Day and some of the recommended actions for the day.

Yes we are told to be generous to our family on this day - it's a day of generosity, says Habib Umar. But what is a mortal's generosity as compared to the Lord's generosity of offering to pardon a year of our sins and reward a day of fasting with an entire year of fasting; that He would gaze upon those who care to recite a thousand Al-Ikhlas and thereby reflect upon His attributes.

The Lord is offering us plenty of great bonus in return of one small deed. The Lord is willing to forgive all our sins with one repentance, whereas the mortals would exaggerate one misdeed of ours and forget the rest. And they do that while forgetting they too are being assessed by the Creator. So this is a day to glorify the Lord, for His assessments and rewards are all that matters.    

Praise be to Allah that we have come to this special day. May Allah grant us a long healthy life so we live to see many more Ashura days -  a day of victory as He did make victorious Prophet Musa, Yunus and Nuh (a.s). And Saidina Hussain too, because dying and meeting one's Lord for an elect servant of Allah, is indeed a victory as said Habib Umar: "Death for a penitent doer of good is a gift."

Allahu a'lam.

Pic credit:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Welcoming Ashura Day 1438 Hijri



May Allah shower His unique bounties upon us on this special day.

May we benefit from the lessons and du'a from the venerable Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

Wasalamualaikum warahmatullah.

Video Credit:

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Prepping for the future | Write a will, I will


When I wrote a posting on my Lasik surgery experience and the benefits of correcting one's vision through LASIK, I neither expected it to receive a huge number of hits nor create a big impact to anyone, but it did. Alhamdulillah. But this posting which I am about to write, I hope it would receive your attention and that you would consider acting upon it.

I have just met a consultant from a Bank Trustee, the person who will be writing my will, yes InShaAllah. Write a will, I will and I think you should too. I am of the view that one should not only write a will but also appoint an executor, if one cares about his/her loved ones.  

Because as a person, I feel writing a will is a sign of gratitude that Allah has given one some assets. That Allah has given you some understanding and realisation to not want to trouble your loved ones when you pass on.

As a dutiful daughter/sister, I feel the importance of having a "custody card" to hand to my family especially before travelling, especially before performing hajj. Why, so that they know I have written a will and appointed a professional executor at the bank I have been so loyal to. So that they will be able to retrieve my will and learn about my intentions and instructions. I learned this today: because I don't have a husband or a son, my mother and my siblings would be entitled to my assets. Write a will, I will because I feel responsible and thankful for Allah's bounties on me and because my late father raised me to be an educated person who is firm about articulating her thoughts.

It is wonderful that we are allowed to reserve one third of our assets for a non-beneficiary which ideally should be a worthy beneficiary such as the orphans. There is no need to give all to the rightful beneficiary because two-thirds is enough. And chances are the one-third for the worthy non-beneficiary could yield a handsome compound interest for you in akhira.

As a dutiful daughter, I don't want my mother to be un-informed or ill-informed about her rights towards me because I love her. Now, you should think about your loved ones too, should you return to the Lord sooner than them. Make it easier for them. Do not leave them puzzled. Do not burden them with the complexities of managing your assets and belongings. I think that's the least we could do if indeed we truly care about the people we care about.

The Budimas Charitable Foundation
supports many orphanage homes nationwide.
This one is in Penang.
- a worthy beneficiary for 1/3 of what you own! 

If any of you my close friends would like me to share more details about hibbah amanah and wasiat which I've learned from the trustee bank, do buzz me. Be smart. Be considerate, manage your belongings while you still can.

Look forward to making another hajj prep - engaging a personal Arabic/Quran tutor. 
: D InShaAllah

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Reading pictures


Wish I could impart some cheer to you, put a smile on your face, the least I could do to show how much you are appreciated.
[You know who you are. Sorry I still can't make my greetings unconditional for all, including haters cos I'm neither righteous nor self-righteous LOL]

Lucky that two buddies have been sharing some lovely photos from breathtaking Kiwi-Land and our most beloved city -  the burial site of Allah's most beloved - Madinah Al-Munawarah.

Sometimes, words lift us up. Sometimes, a picture like this makes us smile for it conveys unspoken sweetness so loud!


Sometimes, a hug makes us feel safe and cared for. Sometimes a picture like this makes our soul calm, revives any lost hope, that the person underneath that green dome deeply cares about us. That it's very easy to connect with him and connecting with him once, could bring glad tidings tenfold in return.

Lessons on Islam have never been so easily accessible as it is now but it's also true that many people who claim to be workers of the deen are asking for all kinds of aid in the name of the religion. Seeing the green dome makes me want to pour out all my burning questions and bewilderment about my faith.

One "religious person" blocked me on WA just because I did not promptly respond to his call for support for his "religious project". But I'm only a woman who has my own priorities and I decide to whom I shall respond. We all have the right to remain silent and/or decline, don't we? And wonder why do they only get in touch when they think my contributions could be useful for them? People like these make me want to have a husband so that they won't bother me directly LOL. Dare I make such a complain underneath that green dome! Still, I thank God for making me mature enough to not be bothered by some "interesting" characters be they Shaykh or no Shaykh. 

Thank You God for increasing me in knowledge a bit more, regarding salutations to the Prophet. It's something that we all need, in two departments at least: rizq and akhlak. Shuyukh, sinners, strugglers, everyone needs it.

Allahumma salli ala Saidina Muhammad
solatan tuwas si ú biha álainal arzak
wa tuhas sinu biha lanal akhlak
wa ála alihi wasohbihi wasalim

"O Lord by the blessings of Your Prophet
expand our provision and beautify our characters."

May Allah grant us the strength to recite this Salawat Tausiúl Arzaaq and may Allah enable us to benefit from it. Ameen.

May Allah decorate our path with that which is pleasing
to the eyes, mind and heart

May Allah make us reflect on this life and that which is waiting for us in the end. And that in life, it's OK to not please everybody! LOL.