Endless praises are due to Allah the Almighty Who has bestowed upon us the blessing of faith and opened for us the many paths upon which we may meet with Him through acts of worship!

Endless peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, the excellent exemplar of humanity, the light of our existence, our intercessor in the Hereafter, and our master!

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Prayers and Supplication

One day the Messenger of Allah  ﷺ  said: “If a Muslim asks for something from Allah, Allah Most High will definitely grant his wish or He will remove evil from him in proportion to what He would have given him, as long as he does not ask for anything sinful or does not cut his relations with his relatives”

One of his Companions said: “In that case we desire many things from Allah”.

The Messenger of Allah  ﷺ  responded as such: “Allah’s grace is greater than the things you ask from Him” (Tirmidhi, Deavat, 115/3573; Ahmad, II, 18).

Almighty Allah does not reject sincere prayers. However He does not accept certain demands made that do not comply with Absolute Destiny, even though they may be asked for in complete sincerity. However, the slave should never give up and should continue to pray. This is because in those cases the response to the prayer has been deferred to the afterlife. Almighty Allah has said: “Your Lord says, “Call on Me and I will answer you” ( Mu’min, 23:60)

The Prophet Muhammad  ﷺ  said: “The prayer of the slave will be answered as long as he does not ask for something that will lead to sin or to his relations with his relatives being severed and if he is not impatient about the result”

He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! What does it mean for him to be impatient (about the result)?”

The Messenger of Allah  ﷺ  said: “The slave says: “I keep praying but my Lord does not answer my prayer”. He gives up when his prayer is not answered immediately and he stops praying. (This is how he becomes impatient). (Muslim, Zikir, 92).

Likewise the prophet Zaccharia (Alaihi Salaam) prayed ““My Lord, do not leave me on my own…. (Anbiya, 21:89)

In saying so he asked for a son with the purpose of strengthening the religion, yet his prayer was only answered 40 years later in the form of the prophet Yahya (Alaihi Salaam).

One time the Messenger of Allah  ﷺ  saw a man in ritual prayer, who did not send blessings on the Prophet before he started supplicating. Upon this he said:

“This man was impatient (in a hurry)”. Then he called that man to him and said as a caution to his entire community: “Whenever one of you prays, let him first praise Allah Most High and then send blessings upon me. Then let him ask for whatever he so wishes” (Tirmidhi, Deavat, 64/3477).

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His Mercy is our only constant

“Allah Guides to His Light Whom He Wills.”

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir Raheem.

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Allah’s (Most High) Rahma is infinite. In less than the blink of an eye, His Rahma (mercy) renews itself and further penetrates existence.

Take a moment.

Look at your hands – touch them. What do you feel? Smooth skin, bones, joints, and veins. Look how Allah (Most High) constructed your hands. The small veins of your hands lay on the service, while larger veins lay deeper. His Rahma is reflected in this, as if it were that your larger veins lay on the surface, you would be in grave danger of injury.

Take another moment.

Think about your sight. Allah (Most High) has limited your sight, but this limitation is His Rahma. If you were to see all that there was to see, you would not be able to even drink spring water from a store bought bottle, as all the microscopic elements of water would be transparent to you, moving around in the bottle.

Take yet another moment.

Think about your hearing. Allah (Most High), from His Rahma, has limited your hearing as well. Every process in your body makes as sound, but yet we are unable to hear the closest sounds to us! If our hearing was not limited, we would constantly imbued with sounds from within our own body.

We must think and reflect on His endless Rahma. His Rahma is our only constant, and the only constant that increases consistently; the more we think and reflect, the more we will begin to realize His all-encompassing Rahma.

May Allah (Most High) raise your maqam, and May He envelope you always in His Rahma.

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

 

The Door to Islam: “al kalimat at tawhid and al kalimat ash shahadah”

Al-Kalimat at-Tawhid:

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“La ilaha, illallah, Muhammadun rasulullah”
Translation: “ ere is no god besides God (Allah), and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is his Messenger.”

La ilaha ( ere is no god(s)): I swear that I will not accept those gods that people made themselves and that I will purify my heart from them for Allah. I am preparing my heart, puri ed from other gods, only for Allah and his religion. This must be done because an impure heart cannot hold pure belief in Allah, just as a sound building cannot be built upon a rotten foundation.

Illa Allah: A er rejecting false gods, I accept only Allah as my Lord.

Muhammadun Rasulullah: This means “ is worship of my Lord is not done according to bid‘ah (later innovations in the religion). It is done according to the way that the Quran shows, that the Messenger taught, and in the way that the Messenger has shown us.”

Kalimat ash-Shahadah:

“Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluhu.”

Translation: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is his servant and Messenger.

Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah: This means “I think, understand, accept in my heart, and say with my tongue that there is no god (i.e. power, possessor of absolute power, legislator and subduer of the universe and all the people in it) but Allah. If someone says, ‘I exist in spite of Allah,’ this means: I reject Allah and do not know Him.’”

Tawakkul and Submission

Tawakkul means to rely upon another, to appoint a trustee and to put one’s trust in that trustee.

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One of the beautiful names of Allah is ‘Al-Wakeel’. This name has the meanings of ‘the one who takes care of matters which have been referred to Him, (in a most suitable way), and the One who takes care of affairs in the best way, the One who is relied upon, and the One who controls and who rules over everything’.

It is a must that the sole Source to be relied upon in all matters is the immortal, everlasting Absolute One of Power. It would be meaningless to trust somebody who is in fact the opposite.

􏰀Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:

‘Put your trust in the Living who does not die and glorify Him with praise’ (Al-Furqan, 25:58)

Allah Most High desires that we, His servants, rely upon Him only. He says in the Qur’an:

‘So let the believers put their trust in Allah’. (Ibrahim, 14:11) ‘Whoever puts his trust in Allah – He will be enough for him’ (al-Talaq, 65:3)

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The Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings) has said:

“If you were able to rely on Allah properly, you would be pro- vided for just like birds who leave their nests hungry and return full” (Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 33/2344; Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 14).

When it comes to submission, this has the meaning of acquiescence and acceptance of whatever events befall one without objection and thus arriving at peace. Submission is an act of the heart, and it is to be free of any doubts that arise in matters that have come from Allah. It is to be free of carnal desires that are contrary to divine commands, desires that are not compatible with sincerity, and the curse of resisting divine decree and Islamic law. It is stated in a verse from the Qur’an:

‘No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them, and then find no resistance within themselves to what you decide and submit themselves completely.’ (An-Nisa, 4:65)

The word ‘teslimiyet’ or submission has the same root as the word ‘islam’. This is why to truly live Islam and to be a true servant of Allah is only possible through submission. This is because Allah (exalted and glorified be He) is not pleased when His servant yields to any other than Him.

Submission is an act of obedience based on love. It was through the blessings of this obedience and submission that nothing – not his life, his property or his son- could hinder the Prophet Ibrahîm (Abraham) (upon whom be peace) from the path of his exalted Lord. Thus his act of worship, of which the pilgrimage is the best symbol for his reliance and submission to his Lord, will continue until the end of time. The tongue of Ibrahîm was an interpreter of what was in his heart and he would constantly pray:

‘I am a Muslim who has submitted to the Lord of all the worlds.’ (Al-Baqara, 2:131)

The aim of tasawwuf, which takes love as its foundation and which is the essence of Islam, is the establishment of feelings of submission and contentedness with Allah by allowing the servant to live under divine guidance and move closer to Allah with every breath. The effects and deceits of the soul that arise from the thousand and one worries, anxieties and pains that are rife in this fleeting world, will only begin to abate as a result of contentment and submission to Allah. How beautifully Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi puts it:

Rely upon Allah
Submit and find peace
Be content with all His affairs
And let us see what Allah has in store; For whatever it is, it will be for the best


Scenes of Virtue

Once a Bedouin came to the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings) and asked him:

“O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie my camel and then trust in Allah or should I trust in Allah without tying my camel?”

 

The Prophet  replied:

“Tie your camel first, and then trust in Allah”. (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 60/2517)

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According to reports by Ummu Seleme (May Allah be pleased with her), whenever the Messenger of Allah (upon whom be peace and blessings) would leave the house he would always make sure to turn his face to the heavens and say the following prayer:

“In the name of Allah! I put my trust in Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge in You that I should stray or be led astray, that I should slip, or be made to slip, that I should oppress or that I be oppressed, and that I should show ignorance or be subject to others ignorance” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 102-3/5094; Tirmidhi, Deavat 35).


 -An Excerpt from the book, “Civilizations of Virtues-II”

The History of the Kaabah and Its Sacredness

The Kaabah, mentioned twice in the Quran, literally means a cubic object. Notwithstanding its other famous synonyms referred to in the Quran like al-Bayt, Baytullâh, al-Baytu’l-Atîq, al-Baytu’l- Harâm, al-Baytu’l-Muharram, al-Masjidu’l-Harâm, it is often called the Kaabah-i Muazzama, the highly respected Kaabah.

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[The Kaabah was erected upon approximately 1.5 meter-wide columns. Its walls contain a total of 1614 basalt stones of various dimensions brought from around Mecca. On the east corner is the Hajar’ul-Aswad, the Black Stone. It is kept in a silver casing and marks the beginning and ending point of circumambulation. The Kaabah’s east corner is called Rukn’ul-Hajar’ul-Aswad or Rukn’us-Sharqi, its north corner Rukn’ul-Iraqi, its west corner Rukn’us-Shami, while its south corner Rukn’ul-Yamani. The drain channeling the rainwater from the roof of the Kaabah (Mizab’ul-The Kaabah) is known as the Golden Drain. Starting from the Kaabah, the first three meters of the area enclosed by a semicircular wall, standing at a height of 1.32 meters and width of 1.55 meters, that rises opposite the northwest corner of the Sacred House between Rukn’ul-Iraqi and Rukn’us-Shami, is known as Hatim. This section was included in the main building of the Kaabah put up by Ibrahim u. Restricted by a lack of material, however, Quraysh, during their restoration, had no other choice but to leave it outside. The remaining 5.56 meter area known either as Hijrul-the Kaabah, Hijru Ismail or Hatira, is the exact spot where Ibrahim u had made a shade for Hajar and his son Ismail from an arak tree. According to tradition, both Hajar and Ismail –upon whom be peace- are buried in the area of Hijr. It has thus been decreed obligatory to perform circumambulation from the outside of the Hijr. The door of the Kaabah, on the northeast of the House, stands at height of 2,25 meters from the ground. The section of the wall located between the door and the Hajar’ul-Aswad is known as Multazam. The exact height of the Kaabah is 14 meters. The length of Multazam is 12.84 meters, while that of Hatim 11.28 meters. Hatim and Rukn’ul-Yamani is separated by a distance of 11.52 meters. Holding the roof inside the Sacred House are three pillars, lined in the middle, from the south wall to Hatim. A ladder to the roof is found on the right hand side of the entrance, which also has a door of its own, called Bab’ut-Tawbah, the Door of Repentance. The inner walls of the Kaabah and its roof are covered with a green fabric made of silk. (Muhammad Ilyâs Abdulghanî, p. 33-66; Kâmil Mîrâs, Tecrid Tercemesi, VI, 17-20)]

The story of the Kaabah begins with Prophet Adam (Alaihi Salaam), the first human being. Upon descending to the world, he was given the duty of building a place of worship on the grounds where the Kaabah stands today (See Tabarî, Târih, I, 124). This is mentioned in the Quran in the following verse:

“Most surely the first house appointed for men is the one at Bekka, blessed and a guidance for the nations.” (Âl-i İmrân, 96)

In response to a question posed by Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) (*), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ reveals the first building constructed on the face of Earth as the Kaabah, and the second as Masjid’ul-Aqsâ, the holy mosque of Jerusalem (See Bukhari, Anbiyâ, 10). The valley of Mecca was hence chosen as a holy place since the very beginning of human history.

After the Deluge of Nuh (Alaihi Salaam), the Kaabah remained for a long time under sand. It was rebuilt by Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) many years after he left his son and wife in the land. Revisiting his family in Mecca years after, and seeing that his son was now a young man, Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) told him:

 “Our Lord commands us to build a house for him…and you will help me!”

The young Ismail (Alaihi Salaam) carried stones while Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) erected the walls of the Kaabah. The piece of marble carrying the footprints of Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) was used as a stepping stone to help him reach the higher places of the wall (**). The Holy Quran narrates the event in the following words:

“And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! accept from us; surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing” (al-Baqara, 127) (For the details of the incident, see Bukhari, Anbiya, 9).

The Kaabah is the House of the Almighty only symbolically; that is to say, God does not live in it. Muslims pray to Allah (swt), by circumambulating it seven times, starting from the Black Stone placed by Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) near one of the corners of the Kaabah. The Black Stone descended from Paradise, and as reported by the Blessed Prophet ﷺ, it was whiter than milk and snow at the time of its descent, darkened in time by the sins of human beings. (Tirmidhî, Hajj, 49/877; Ahmad, I, 307).(***)

It has also been reported that fires before and after Islam had a part to do with the darkening of the Stone. But there are accounts that the side of the Stone facing the wall of the Kaabah still remained very white.

Mujahid narrates that when Abdullah ibn Zubayr (May Allah be pleased with him) demolished the walls of the Kaabah in order to renovate it, he saw that the inner side of the Black Stone was white.

Present during the reinstatement of the Stone in the 339th year of Hegira after having been taken away by the heretic Qarmatîs was Muhammad ibn Nâfî el-Huzâî, who later gave the following testimony:

“I was there to inspect the Black Stone when it was removed from its case and I saw that only one side, the visible side of the Stone was black, while the other three sides were white.”

In the 1039th year of Hegira, the Kaabah was ruined by a strong flood that swept across Mecca. During the rebuilding, Imâm Ibn Allân al-Makkî inspected the Black Stone, commenting that “the parts of the Black Stone installed facing the walls of the Kaabah are as white as the marble where Ibrahim u prayed (Maqâmu Ibrâhim)”(See Said Bektash, p. 36-38; Dr. Muhammad Ilyâs Abdulghanî, p. 43.)

The Quran narrates that once the building of the Kaabah was completed, Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) and his son Ismail (Alaihi Salaam) prayed to Allah (swt), in the following manner:

“Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to Your (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Your (will); and show us our place for the celebration of rites; and turn unto us in Mercy; for You art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Our Lord! Send among them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Your Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (al-Baqara, 128-129)

Upon the completion of the Kaabah, the Almighty commanded Ibrahim to invite people for pilgrimage:

“And proclaim among men the Pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, from every remote path.”(al-Hajj, 27)

Heeding to this Divine commandment, Ibrahim u climbed the nearby Abu Qubays Mountain, and called out to all four directions with an audible voice, informing people of their obligation to visit the Kaabah.(See Kâmil Mîrâs, Tecrid Tercemesi, VI, 20-21; Said Bektash, p. 111.)

After this declaration the Archangel Jibril (Alaihi Salaam) came and showed Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) the borders of the Holy Mosque and the distances of Safâ and Marwâ, telling him to erect stones to mark these borders. The Archangel afterward taught him all the rituals and procedures of the pilgrimage. Thereafter, people from far away lands began visiting the Kaabah for pilgrimage, making Mecca the center for the religion of the Almighty, granting the town an important place in the hearts of people.

Worshipping in the House of Allah (swt), continued the way Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) had taught up until the spread of idolatry. When idol worshipping became widespread in Mecca, the idolaters filled inside and around the Kaabah with idols. But even then the Kaabah was not renamed after a certain idol, continuing to be called Baytullah, the House of Allah (swt).

When Mecca was taken and opened to Islam by the Noble Prophet ﷺ all the idols were demolished, and under the inspection of the Prophet ﷺ, the Kaabah, from both the inside and outside, was cleansed with Zamzam water. This initiated a custom of washing the Kaabah with Zamzam and rosewater every year, perfuming it with musk and amber, and renewing its cover.

Any service made to the Kaabah and its visitors was thus held in great esteem. First fulfilled by Ismail (Alaihi Salaam), these noble duties passed on to his sons, then to the Jurhumites and finally to the tribe of Quraysh. Simultaneous to the establishment of the Meccan city- state we see the founding of the following duties:

1. Sidânah or Hijâbah: The duty of covering the Kaabah and safeguarding its keys.(****)

2. Siqâyah: Providing the pilgrims with water and beverages, and the maintenance of the Zamzam well.

3. Ridânah: Feeding and hosting poor pilgrims.

Becoming entrusted with these duties was considered a great honor and privilege among Arabs. In the time of the Noble Prophet ﷺ these duties were shared among the leading families of the Mecca. Omar (may Allah be pleased with him), the second Caliph, allocated allowances for these purposes, which during the time of Muawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) became more organized. The Ottomans similarly considered the upkeeping of the Kaabah as being of great significance, providing sizeable allowances for tending to the Sacred House.

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Masjid al-Haram is believed to have looked like this during the time of the Prophet. صلى الله عليه و سلم

(*) Abu Dharr’s (may Allah be pleased with him) real name is Jundab ibn Junada. He was known as Ghifari in reference to the tribe of Ghifar from where he originally sprung. As the fifth Muslim, he was a man of piety, contentedness and abstinence, which lead the Blessed Prophet ﷺ to call him the Masih’ul-Islam, i.e. the Isa (Alaihi Salaam) of Islam. Constantly by the side of the Noble Prophet ﷺ, he would look to reap the greatest benefit from his presence, asking what he knew not to the Prophet ﷺ for clarification; accumulating so deep a knowledge in the end that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) is known to have called him ‘the repertoire of knowledge’. The total amount of his hadith narrations is 281. Breathing his last in Rabaza near Mecca in the 31st year of Hegira, his funeral last was conducted by a small group who laid him to rest.

(**) Said Bektash, Fadlu’l-Hajari’l-Aswad wa Maqâmi Ibrâhîm (upon him peace), p. 108; Muhammad Ilyâs Abdulghanî, p. 71-73. According to one source, Ibrâhîm –u later stood up on the marble, the Maqamu Ibrahim and invited people to hajj. (Said Bektash, p. 111) In reference to the Maqamu Ibrahim, Allah Y, says: “And when We made the House a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Ibrahim stood (to pray).” (al- Baqara, 125)

(***) Scholars have commented that if sins can have so great an effect on even a stone so as to leave it black, who knows the intensity of the tarnish they can leave on the heart. Abstaining from sins with utmost effort is therefore a must.

(****) Ismail u is recognized as the first person to drape the Kaabah. (Abdurrazzaq, V, 154) Throughout Islamic history, the preparation of the cover of the Kaabah would be seen to by the Caliph, a sultan or the incumbent governor of Mecca. After the passage of the Caliphate to the Ottomans in 1517, the cover of the Sacred House continued to be woven in Egypt for a little while longer. During the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, Istanbul became the center for weaving its inner cover, added to which was the outer cover, come the time of Sultan Ahmed III. The last cover woven in Ottoman hands to be sent was in 1916, with the rebellion of Sharif Hussain preventing further attempts. Prepared for a period of time once again in Egypt thereafter, the cover is today is made in a factory in Mecca set up specifically for that purpose.

-Excerpt from the book, “THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD MUSTAFA THE ELECT ﷺ”

A LIFE OF TAQWÂ

The essence and meaning of life is found in taqwâ and living a life of taqwâ essentially means being a true friend of Allah, attaining Paradise and possessing a heart that can understand the deepest depths of Divine blessings. Thus, the truth of taqwâ is that one attains a soul that has been purified of all evil and one turns to their Creator with true faith; this is the only way one can reach Allah.

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What is Taqwâ?

The companions of Allah (may Allah be pleased with them) have described taqwâ in many different ways. The lexical meaning of taqwâ means the avoidance, protection or safeguarding from every kind of evil. That is, taqwâ means the protection of Allah.

The term taqwâ means being under the protection of Allah by seeking refuge in Him, avoiding what has been forbidden and abiding by what has been commanded; it means fearing the punishment and the torment of the Glorious One and taking refuge in the shadow of His compassion. Therefore, destroying egoistical desires and developing spiritual aptitude is essential. In other words, taqwâ is returning to the glory of the orders of the Qur’ân and Sunnah, and is the means of eternal bliss in the family, in business and in social life- in short, bliss in every aspect of our lives.

Taqwâ is the act of disciplining the soul with the mystery of “He will prosper who purifies himself” (‘lâ, 87: 14) It is when we have done this that our hearts will attain contentment in faith, worship, and deeds which Allah approves of.

Taqwâ is the believer’s spiritual union with Allah; it is his manifestation of attributes such as compassion, kindness, forgiveness, mildness and perfection of the heart, as well as the seeking of Allah’s acceptance for every deed, every situation and every breath.

Taqwâ is the sincere repentance of the person who is continuously seeking forgiveness with both tongue and heart.

Taqwâ is the heart being full of affection and the fear of Allah’s Divine punishment.

Taqwâ is the preservation of the heart from evil thoughts.

Taqwâ means to adhere to the imperative of Allah and His Prophet ﷺ with great love and affection, observing the whole of creation with the compassion and kindness of the Creator, and, being repulsed by anything that is contrary to this, distancing oneself from any situation or action that could damage the soul.

Taqwâ is a heart that has been assiduously purified; and for those who are successful in such purification, their heart becomes a treasure with the best temperament.

Taqwa Consists Of Three Stages:

1. Avoiding the forbidden.

2. Aiding by commands. This is a condition to be followed by all believers and is the basic level of taqwâ.

3. Having the feeling of being in the presence of Allah at all times. This is the highest level, the true test of knowledge and taqwâ.

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In the Qur’ân Allah revealed that He is “Nearer to [man] than his jugular vein(Qâf, 50; 16) and with us as at all times: “He is with you wheresoever ye may be(Hadîd, 57: 4) This unity means that one is adorned with Allah’s attributes and is aware of His presence at all times. The soul that is adorned with the garment of taqwâ will begin to receive inspiration that direct towards the truth and warn against falsehood and evil; they will realise the real value and meaning of worldly objects. The Qur’ân is a Divine work of art that helps man to resolve every problem he may face. Through the Qur’ân and the Sunnah we can gain peace and contentment.

When a person approaches the pinnacle of taqwâ, their perception of the Qur’ân and apprehension of the universe deepens and they become familiar with the wisdom and mystery of the universe. With the singing of the nightingales, the quivering of the rose buds and the steady flow of the streams which bestow the sound of peace, we can gain appreciation of the adornments and blessings of the universe. We begin to understand the spirit of Yûnus Emre when he spoke with the yellow flower, about the interpretation of his own mysteries.

True taqwâ is the sign of having reached Allah. Ibn Atâ’illâh al-Iskandarî stated that a believer who has a sound heart says upon attaining taqwâ: “O Allah, what have those who have reached You lost; and what have those who have lost You found?

– An Excerpt from “IKHLAS AND TAQWA”