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

 

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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”

Shams Tabriz (rahimahullah)’s 40 Rules of Love.

Rule 1

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.

Rule 2

The path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God.

Rule 3

You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.

Rule 4

Intellect and love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advices, ‘Beware too much ecstasy’, whereas love says, ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!’ Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.

Rule 5

Most of problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstanding. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language, as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

Rule 6

Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is the best to find a person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

Rule 7

Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

Rule 8

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to look at the end of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

Rule 9

East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.

Rule 10

The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.

Rule 11

The quest for love changes user. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without.

Rule 12

There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the light of God pass through them.

Rule 13

Try not to resist the changes, which come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

Rule 14

God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.

Rule 15

It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human being with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.

Rule 16

Real faith is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure water, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.

Rule 17

The whole universe is contained within a single human being-you. Everything that you see around, including the things that you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore, do not look for Sheitan outside yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you set to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness.

Rule 18

If you want to change the ways others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.

Rule 19

Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That is the hardest part and that is what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow.

Rule 20

We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is an amount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.

Rule 21

When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearance. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees the inner realm.

Rule 22

Life is a temporary loan and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild and moderate.

Rule 23

The human being has a unique place among God’s creation. “I breathed into him of My Spirit,” God says. Each and every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it fells upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it.

Rule 24

Hell is in the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy or fight someone we tumble straight into the fires of hell.

Rule 25

Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Qur’an on a different level of tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batin – the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.

Rule 26

The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.

Rule 27

Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of 40 days, because you will be different inside.

Rule 28

The past is an interpretation. The future is on illusion. The world does not more through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.

Rule 29

Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to live everything to the fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all pervading and it is composed on 40 different levels. Your destiny is the level where you play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.

Rule 30

The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a sing bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?

Rule 31

If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss or fright, one way or another, we are all faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgmental and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before…

Rule 32

Nothing should stand between you and God. No imams, priests, rabbits or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters and not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.

Rule 33

While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.

Rule 34

Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission a power that comes within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.

Rule 35

In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insane-I Kamil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.

Rule 36

This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. For not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside God’s knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does, He does it beautifully.

Rule 37

God is a meticulous dock maker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.

Rule 38

It is never too late to ask yourself, “Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?” Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one-way to be born into a new life: to die before death.

Rule 39

While the part change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every descent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes. For every Sufi who dies, another is born somewhere.

Rule 40

A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.

Reference: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Asma ul Husna – 99 Divine Attributes of Allah…

Asma ul Husna (the 99 Divine Attributes or Names of Allah) with English translation.

Allah

1 Ar-Rahman
The Exceedingly Compassionate; the Exceedingly Beneficent; the Exceedingly Gracious

2 Ar-Rahīm
The Exceedingly Merciful

3 Al-Malik
[Qur’an 59:23, 20:114, 23:116]
The King

4 Al-Quddūs
[Qur’an 59:23, 62:1]
The Holy, The Pure, The Perfect

5 As-Salam
[Qur’an 59:23]
The Peace, The Source of Peace and Safety, The Savior

6 Al-Mu’min
[Qur’an 59:23]
The Guarantor, The Affirming

7 Al-Muhaymin
[Qur’an 59:23]
The Guardian

8 Al-’Azīz
[Qur’an 3:6, 4:158, 9:40, 48:7, 59:23]
The Almighty, The Invulnerable, The Honorable

9 Al-Jabbar
[Qur’an 59:23]
The Irresistible, The Compeller, The Lofty

10 Al-Mutakabbir
[Qur’an 59:23]
The Majestic, The Supreme

11 Al-Khaliq
[Qur’an 6:102, 13:16, 39:62, 40:62, 59:24]
The Creator

12 Al-Bari’
[Qur’an 59:24]
The Evolver, The Fashioner, The Designer

13 Al-Musawwir
[Qur’an 59:24]
The Fashioner of Forms

14 Al-Ghaffar
[Qur’an 20:82, 38:66, 39:5, 40:42, 71:10]
The Repeatedly Forgiving

15 Al-Qahhar
[Qur’an 12:39, 13:16, 14:48, 38:65, 39:4, 40:16]
The Subduer

16 Al-Wahhab
[Qur’an 3:8, 38:9, 38:35]
The Bestower

17 Ar-Razzaq
[Qur’an 51:58]
The Provider

18 Al-Fattah
[Qur’an 34:26]
The Opener, The Victory Giver

19 Al-’Alīm
[Qur’an 2:158, 3:92, 4:35, 24:41, 33:40]
The All Knowing, The Omniscient

20 Al-Qabid
[Qur’an 2:245]
The Restrainer, The Straightener

21 Al-Basit
[Qur’an 2:245]
The Extender / Expander

22 Al-Khafid
[Qur’an 56:3]
The Abaser

23 Ar-Rafi’
[Qur’an 58:11, 6:83]
The Exalter

24 Al-Mu’izz
[Qur’an 3:26]
The Giver of Honour

25 Al-Mudhill
[Qur’an 3:26]
The Giver of Dishonour

26 As-Samī’
[Qur’an 2:127, 2:256, 8:17, 49:1]
The All Hearing

27 Al-Basīr
[Qur’an 4:58, 17:1, 42:11, 42:27]
The All Seeing

28 Al-Hakam
[Qur’an 22:69]
The Judge, The Arbitrator

29 Al-’Adl
[Qur’an 6:115]
The Utterly Just

30 Al-Latīf
[Qur’an 6:103, 22:63, 31:16, 33:34]
The Gentle, The Subtly Kind

31 Al-Khabīr
[Qur’an 6:18, 17:30, 49:13, 59:18]
The All Aware

32 Al-Halīm
[Qur’an 2:235, 17:44, 22:59, 35:41]
The Forbearing, The Indulgent

33 Al-’Azīm
[Qur’an 2:255, 42:4, 56:96]
The Magnificent

34 Al-Ghafūr
[Qur’an 2:173, 8:69, 16:110, 41:32]
The Much-Forgiving

35 Ash-Shakūr
[Qur’an 35:30, 35:34, 42:23, 64:17]
The Grateful

36 Al-’Alī
[Qur’an 4:34, 31:30, 42:4, 42:51]
The Sublime

37 Al-Kabīr
[Qur’an 13:9, 22:62, 31:30]
The Great

38 Al-Hafīz
[Qur’an 11:57, 34:21, 42:6]
The Preserver

39 Al-Muqīt
[Qur’an 4:85]
The Nourisher

40 Al-Hasīb
[Qur’an 4:6, 4:86, 33:39]
The Bringer of Judgment

41 Al-Jalīl
[Qur’an 55:27, 39:14, 7:143]
The Majestic

42 Al-Karīm
[Qur’an 27:40, 82:6]
The Bountiful, The Generous

43 Ar-Raqīb
[Qur’an 4:1, 5:117]
The Watchful

44 Al-Mujīb
[Qur’an 11:61]
The Responsive, The Answerer

45 Al-Wasi’
[Qur’an 2:268, 3:73, 5:54]
The Vast, The All-Embracing, The Omnipresent, The Boundless

46 Al-Hakīm
[Qur’an 31:27, 46:2, 57:1, 66:2]
The Wise

47 Al-Wadūd
[Qur’an 11:90, 85:14]
The Loving

48 Al-Majīd
[Qur’an 11:73]
All-Glorious, The Majestic

49 Al-Ba’ith
[Qur’an 22:7]
The Resurrecter

50 Ash-Shahīd
[Qur’an 4:166, 22:17, 41:53, 48:28]
The Witness

51 Al-Haqq
[Qur’an 6:62, 22:6, 23:116, 24:25]
The Truth, The Reality

52 Al-Wakīl
[Qur’an 3:173, 4:171, 28:28, 73:9]
The Trustee, The Dependable, The Advocate

53 Al-Qawwī
[Qur’an 22:40, 22:74, 42:19, 57:25]
The Strong

54 Al-Matīn
[Qur’an 51:58]
The Firm, The Steadfast

55 Al-Walī
[Qur’an 4:45, 7:196, 42:28, 45:19]
The Friend, Patron and Helper

56 Al-Hamīd
[Qur’an 14:8, 31:12, 31:26, 41:42]
The All Praiseworthy

57 Al-Muhsī
[Qur’an 72:28, 78:29, 82:10-12]
The Accounter, The Numberer of All

58 Al-Mubdi’
[Qur’an 10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13]
The Originator, The Producer, The Initiator

59 Al-Mu’īd
[Qur’an 10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13]
The Restorer, The Reinstater Who Brings Back All

60 Al-Muhyī
[Qur’an 7:158, 15:23, 30:50, 57:2]
The Giver of Life

61 Al-Mumīt
[Qur’an 3:156, 7:158, 15:23, 57:2]
The Destroyer, The Bringer of Death

62 Al-Hayy
[Qur’an 2:255, 3:2, 25:58, 40:65]
The Living

63 Al-Qayyūm
[Qur’an 2:255, 3:2, 20:111]
The Subsisting, The Guardian

64 Al-Wajid
[Qur’an 38:44]
The Perceiver, The Finder, The Unfailing

65 Al-Majid
[Qur’an 85:15, 11:73]
The Illustrious, The Magnificent

66 Al-Wahid
[Qur’an 2:163, 5:73, 9:31, 18:110]
The One, The Unique

67 Al-’Ahad
[Qur’an 112:1]
The Unity, The Indivisible

68 As-Samad
[Qur’an 112:2]
The Eternal, The Absolute, The Self-Sufficient

69 Al-Qadir
[Qur’an 6:65, 36:81, 46:33, 75:40]
The Omnipotent, The All Able

70 Al-Muqtadir
[Qur’an 18:45, 54:42, 54:55]
The Determiner, The Dominant

71 Al-Muqaddim
[Qur’an 16:61, 17:34]
The Expediter, He Who Brings Forward

72 Al-Mu’akhkhir
[Qur’an 71:4]
The Delayer, He Who Puts Far Away

73 Al-’Awwal
[Qur’an 57:3]
The First, The Beginning-less

74 Al-’Akhir
[Qur’an 57:3]
The Last, The Endless

75 Az-Zahir
[Qur’an 57:3]
The Manifest, The Evident, The Outer

76 Al-Batin
[Qur’an 57:3]
The Hidden, The Unmanifest, The Inner

77 Al-Walī
[Qur’an 13:11, 22:7]
The Patron, The Protecting Friend, The Friendly Lord

78 Al-Muta’alī
[Qur’an 13:9]
The Supremely Exalted, The Most High

79 Al-Barr
[Qur’an 52:28]
The Good, The Beneficent

80 At-Tawwab
[Qur’an 2:128, 4:64, 49:12, 110:3]
The Ever Returning, Ever Relenting

81 Al-Muntaqim
[Qur’an 32:22, 43:41, 44:16]
The Avenger

82 Al-’Afū
[Qur’an 4:99, 4:149, 22:60]
The Pardoner, The Effacer, The Forgiver

83 Ar-Ra’ūf
[Qur’an 3:30, 9:117, 57:9, 59:10]
The Kind, The Pitying

84 Malik-ul-Mulk
[Qur’an 3:26]
The Owner of all Sovereignty

85 Dhū-l-Jalali wa-l-’ikram
[Qur’an 55:27, 55:78]
The Lord of Majesty and Generosity

86 Al-Muqsit
[Qur’an 7:29, 3:18]
The Equitable, The Requiter

87 Al-Jami’
[Qur’an 3:9]
The Gatherer, The Unifier

88 Al-Ghanī
[Qur’an 3:97, 39:7, 47:38, 57:24]
The Rich, The Independent

89 Al-Mughnī
[Qur’an 9:28]
The Enricher, The Emancipator

90 Al-Mani’
[Qur’an 67:21]
The Withholder, The Shielder, The Defender

91 Ad-Darr
[Qur’an 6:17]
The Distressor, The Harmer, The Afflictor

92 An-Nafi’
[Qur’an 30:37]
The Propitious, The Benefactor, The Source of Good

93 An-Nūr
[Qur’an 24:35]
The Light

94 Al-Hadī
[Qur’an 22:54]
The Guide, The Way

95 Al-Badī’
[Qur’an 2:117, 6:101]
The Incomparable, The Unattainable

96 Al-Baqī
[Qur’an 55:27]
The Immutable, The Infinite, The Everlasting

97 Al-Warith
[Qur’an 15:23, 57:10]
The Heir, The Inheritor of All

98 Ar-Rashīd
[Qur’an 2:256, 72:10]
The Guide to the Right Path

99 As-Sabūr
[Qur’an 2:153, 3:200, 103:3]
The Timeless, The Patient

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