Sultan Bayazid II and his brother Jem Sultan

The events that took place between Sultan Bayazid II and his brother Jem Sultan openly reflect the courage of faith of our forefathers and the beauty and virtue that Islam bestowed upon them:

Becoming a sultan in the year 1481, Bayazid II (who was even known as Bayazid the Saint due to his piety) spent the first 14 years of his sultanate dealing with the problems that arose as a result of his brother Jem Sultan’s claims to the Ottoman throne. This situation hindered Bayazid II from active participation in the Christian world. Jem Sultan proposed the following to Bayazid II:

“Let us divide our country into two. You rule over half and I will rule over the other half”

Bayazid II replied, rejecting his offer:

“My brother, this country is the property of the people. If we divide it, the government will lose power. We will become a series of weak principalities. This will have grave consequences. I would divide my body but the land of my people cannot be divided”.

A short time after that Jem Sultan was invited to Rhodes by the Knights of Rhodes. He was impressed by their polite words and heedlessly accepted their invitation. However the Knights broke the promises they had made and sold him to the Papacy like a slave. The Papacy were planning to use the prince in the next crusade against the Ottomans. However, realizing that he was not going to be successful in this, Pope Innocent suggested that Jem Sultan become Christian. This offer greatly offended Jem Sultan. Deeply saddened he said to the Pope:

“Even if you give me the whole world, and not just the Ottoman Sultanate, I would never change my religion”.

The supplication that Jem Sultan made to Almighty Allah when he realized that the Crusaders wanted to use him against Islam is sufficient to show the aspiration of his efforts for his religion:

“O my Sustainer! If it is the case that the unbelievers wish to use me as a tool to bring harm to the Muslim world, then do not let this slave of yours live any longer. Take my soul to your honorable abode as soon as possible…”

His prayers must have been answered for at the age of 36 he passed away in Naples. In his last days, his last testament he made to those near him was as follows:

“Make sure to announce the news of my death all over the land. Do this for certain so that the games that the unbelievers wish to play with the Muslims, using me as a tool, can be over. After that, go to my brother Sultan Bayazid. Request that, however difficult it may be, he transports my body back to our country.

I do not wish to be buried in the land of the unbelievers. Whatever has happened until now has happened. Make sure that he does not refuse this request of mine. Ask him to pay all of my debts. I do not want to go the Divine Presence in debt. Let him forgive
my family, my children and those who served me. Let him make them content according to their states”.

His brother Bayazid II carried out his final testament.

These are the qualities that Islam bestows upon the human being. The reciprocal relationship between these two brothers displays their devotion to their faith and their love of their country. It is also a demonstration of sacrifice for the sake of the peace of
their people, and an example of tolerance, the accounting of the conscience that results after realizing one’s mistake, refraining from violating another’s rights, forgiveness and compassion amongst many other virtues.

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Why Are All the Companions the Most Virtuous After the Prophets?

Q. I often hear that, despite the very broad definition of a companion of the prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) , the lowest ranking person who falls under the definition of companion surpasses anyone until the day of judgement in piety vitrue and righteousness in the sight of Allah. Could you please shed some light on the this matter?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

There are a large number of proofs establishing that the companions radiyaLlahu anhum are the most virtuous of Allah’s creation after the Prophets and Messengers. Before presenting these proofs however, it’s important to understand that the companions were not infallible. They were guiding stars and the best of Allah’s creation, but were not free from error. I mention this so that an objector may not quote an error of a companion and thus attempt to strip them of their virtue.

Another important clarification is that not all companions were equal. Those who embraced Islam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah were not equal to those who accepted prior to that. Similarly, those who immigrated from Makkah to Madinah were considered more virtuous than others. Thereafter, those who fought at the battle of Badr were more virtuous, then those who attended the bay’ah al-Ridwan, then the ten companions who were given the glad tidings of Jannah, then sayyidina Ali ibn Talib and sayyidina Uthman, then sayyidina Umar and finally sayyidina Abu Bakr al-Siddiq may Allah be well pleased with them all.

Here follows some verses of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam establishing their precedence over others.

And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you are those who spent before the fath [treaty of Hudaybiyah or conquest of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted. [57:10]

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajireen and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful. [9:117]

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward. [48:29]

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The Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said,

“Do not swear my companions, for should any of you spend the weight of mount Uhud in gold, it will not equal their spending of a mudd (750 grams) or half thereof.” [Agreed upon]

“The best of generations is mine, then those who follow, then those who follow.”

“Whoever loves them (my companions), loves them because of his love for me; whoever dislikes them, dislikes them because of his dislike of me; whoever harms them (with his words or action), has harmed me, whoever harms me, harms (angers) Allah, and whoever harms Allah, it is near that Allah strikes him.”[al-Tirmidhi]

Statements from our pious predecessors:

Abu Zur’ah al-Razi said, “Whoever criticizes any of the companions is a zindiq (enemy of Islam). This is so, because the Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam and the Quran are true. The Quran and his Sunnah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam was only conveyed to us via these companions. They (the enemies of Islam) only criticize the companions as they wish to find fault in the Quran and Sunnah.”

AbduLlah ibn Mubarak said when asked who is more righteous between the pious caliph, ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz and Mu‘awiyah radiyaLlahu anhu, “The dust that settled in the nose of the horse of Mu‘awiyah with the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam, is better than several ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz. In another narration he said, “is better than all the good deeds of ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz.

This was his words regarding Mu‘awiyah radiyaLlahu anhu and he was from the companions that entered Islam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah.

THE SUBJECT MATTER OF SUFISM

The variety of definitions and explanations that have been provided of Sufism indicate the breadth of its subject matter. It might therefore be said that the subject matter of Sufism is as vast and deep as an ocean; for it covers everything related to the human soul and spirit. Essentially, it sees to the spiritual states passed by the wayfaring disciple during his spiritual journey, in the beings with whom he meantime gets in touch with, in the experiences he encounters and in the ways he finds, knows, and serves his Lord; though this would only be brief number of the otherwise great breadth of topics the subject matter of Sufism includes. Still, at the risk of being succinct, we may nonetheless proceed to expand on the primary subject matter of the Sufi path.

Above all, the Sufi path engages in the spiritual states and stations a disciple passes by in the process of perfecting his unripe spirit to ripeness, by means of purifying his heart and soul. In other words, Sufism deals with the exact ways of purifying the heart and soul and obtaining inner and outer enlightenment, to enable the actions of the Sufi to accord with Divine pleasure and thereby grant him eternal happiness. The gist of this consists in embodying an exceptional moral conduct and tapping in to the knowledge of spiritual realities. At its core, Sufism thus seeks to ensure one tastes the zest of ihsan, of internalizing faith, and enjoying its indescribable pleasure.

To put it in another way, the Sufi path is about the principles and ways to understand the Divine wisdoms, secrets and intentions concealed in names and attributes of Allah, glory unto Him, as well as their abounding manifestations throughout the universe. In this context, Sufism talks about notions related to the unseen, the spirit, the heart and the soul; as well as spiritual experiences like insight (kashf), inspiration (ilham), spiritual witnessing (mushahada), ecstasy (wajd), and love (‘ishq), and no less, the spiritual states attained as a result of undergoing these experiences.

In short, Sufism is concerned with imparting the spiritual ability to behold and witness of the names and attributes of the Lord and to acquire Divine knowledge (marifatullah), offering man a real insight into the uni- verse, the Quran, as well as himself, by taking him through a journey at the end of which awaits spiritual maturity.

  • Excerpt from the book, “SUFISM: A PATH TOWARDS THE INTERNALIZATION OF FAITH (IHSÂN)”

The Exemplar beyond Compare: Prophet Muhammad Mustafa ﷺ

The fascinating system that is the universe, owes its existence to the Light of Muhammad ﷺ. Flows of Divine Power perceivable throughout the universe and numerous patterns of beauty to be seen in full view are simply reminders, glimpses of that Light. As alluded to in the below excerpt from a hadith, the only reason the heartfelt repentance of Adam (عليه السلام) was accepted was because the dust from which he was created had a grain of the dust of the Prophet ﷺ:

“‘Lord…I ask Your forgiveness for the sake of Muhammad!’ pleaded Adam (عليه السلام) after realizing his error for committing the blunder that led to his expulsion from Paradise.

Then Allah, glory unto Him, asked:

How do you know Muhammad when I have not yet created him?’

‘When You created me,’ said Adam (عليه السلام) ‘and breathed into me from Your Spirit, I looked up and saw the words La ilaha ill’Allah Muhammadun Rasulullah inscribed above the pillars of the Throne. I knew there and then that You would only mention the most beloved of all creation next to Your Name.’

Thereupon Allah, glory unto Him, declared:

‘You have spoken the truth, Adam! Surely, he is the most beloved for Me of all creation! So implore me for his sake; and since you have, I hereby forgive you. Had Muhammad not been, you would not have been created!’(1)

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Submitting the name of Muhammad ﷺ as a means, a wasilah in his repentance, Adam (عليه السلام) was able to receive Divine Amnesty. The Muhammedan Light then proceeded forth, becoming temporarily embodied in Ibrahim (عليه السلام), whereby the fire of Nimrod was tamed to coolness and pleasance; and as a pearl enclosed in the wrapping that was of Ismail (عليه السلام), it induced the sending of a ram as sacrifice from the Heavens.

As can be seen, even prophets made the most of Divine Mercy through his name. There were even those like Musa (عليه السلام) who yearned to become simply a number among his ummah, just to reap the blessings of his adherence, as illustrated in a hadith narrated by Qatadah ibn Numan (May Allah be pleased with him):

“Musa (عليه السلام) once prayed:

‘My Lord…On the Tablets (2) You have given me, I see there is mentioned a virtuous nation brought forth from among man- kind, enjoining good and forbidding evil. Let them, oh Lord, be my nation!’

‘They are Ahmad’s nation!’ replied Allah, glory unto Him.

‘Lord…I see made mention in the Tablets a nation last to appear on Earth yet poised to enter Paradise first. Let them be mine!’ then pleaded Musa (عليه السلام).

‘They are Ahmad’s’, the Almighty responded once more.

‘The Tablets mention a nation who recite their Scriptures by heart, from memory, whereas those before needed their written Scriptures in front of them to read and would not remember a letter of it once their Scriptures had vanished. You have without a doubt given this nation, my Lord, a power to memorize and protect, of a kind You have not given any nation before. So let them be mine!’

‘They are Ahmad’s’, declared the Almighty once again.

‘My Lord,’ continued Musa (عليه السلام). ‘Mentioned there is a nation, who believe both what has been revealed to them and before them, who persevere against all kinds of deviance and the one-eyed impostor Dajjal. Please, let them be mine!’

‘But they are Ahmad’s’, stated Allah, glory unto Him.

‘The Tablets refer to a nation, my Lord, who are given a reward just for intending to do a good deed, even if they do not carry through with it, and if they do, are rewarded ten to seven hundred times in return. I beg to You to make them mine!’

‘They are Ahmad’s nation’, Allah declared.

Thereupon Musa (عليه السلام) put the Tablets he had been holding aside, and pleaded:

‘Then my Lord, make me member of Ahmad’s nation!’” (3)

Thus each ring of the chain of prophets, each a flame of guidance in their own right, were auspicious harbingers of the coming of Muhammad Mustafa (عليه السلام), sent as mercy to the entire realm of being.

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And At long last, in the year 571, on the Monday morning of the 12th of Rabiulawwal, the anxiously anticipated Light arrived at the world of manifestation to honor the entire extent of space and time, from the bountiful marriage of Abdullah and Aminah (May Allah be pleased with them).

Had the Blessed Prophet ﷺ, the epitome of all virtues, not made his honorable arrival to the world, mankind would have been left struggling in the throes of oppression and brutality until the end of time, leaving the weak captive at the hands of the strong. The pendulum would have swung in the favor of evil, at the expense of balance. Earth would have been a haven for oppressors and tyrants, a sentiment elegantly reverberated in the poem:

Messenger, had you not have come,
Roses would not have bloomed,
Nightingales would not have sung,
To Adam, the names would have forever remained unknown And left without meaning, Being would have been left to mourn…

Mawlana Rumi قدسسره, that great voice of Truth, propounds the degree of gratitude we ought to feel for the Noble Prophet ﷺ, who for a life time endured the most unthinkable of hard- ships to shatter the idols and overthrow oppression:

“You, who today enjoys being a Muslim; know that had it not been for the supreme effort of our one and only Ahmad ﷺ, and his resolve in smashing the idols, you too would have been an idolater like your forefathers.”

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References:

(1) Hakim, al-Mustadrak ala’s-Sahîhayn, Beirut 1990, II, 672/4228.

(2) Pages of the Torah.

(3) Tabarî, Jâmiu’l-bayân an tawîli âyi’l-Qur’ân, Beirut 1995, IX, 87-88; Ibn Kathîr, Tafsîru’l-Qur’âni’l-Azîm, I-IV, Beirut 1988, II, 259, (in the commentary of A‘râf, 154).

-An Excerpt from the book “The Exemplar beyond Compare”

 

1000 Dinars

Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu) relates the following hadith which is very telling:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ told us of the beautiful state of a person from the sons of Israel. That person had asked for a loan of a thousand dinars from another person. The one who was asked for the loan said:

“Bring me your witnesses and I will give you the money in
front of them”.

The one who was asking for the loan replied:

“Allah is enough of a witness”. The lender then said:

“In that case bring me a guarantor”. The borrower said:

“Allah is enough of a guarantor”. The lender then said:

“You have spoken the truth” and gave him the money for a particular term.

The man then went on a sea trip and met his needs. Then, in order to return and pay the man back in the term that they had agreed upon, he searched for a boat to take him back, but he could not find one. In desperation, he found a wooden plank and carved out its centre. Into the hole he placed the thousand dinars together with a note addressed to the lender. Then he re-covered the hole and went to the seashore:

“O Allah! You know that I borrowed a thousand dinars from so and so. When he asked me for a witness I told him that “Allah was enough for a witness”. And he was content with You as a witness. And when he asked me for a guarantor, I told him: “Allah is enough as a guarantor”. And he was content with You as his guarantor. Now I have struggled to find a boat, but have not been able to find one. So I am entrusting this to You”. Then he threw the plank of wood into the sea. The wooden plank floated upon the sea and then disappeared from view.

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The man then parted from there and continued to search for a boat.

Meanwhile the lender was awaiting a boat to bring back his money. There was no boat but he found the wooden plank which contained his money. He took it to use it in his house. When he sawed it apart he came across the letter and the money.

A little while later, the borrower of the money found a boat and returned to his hometown. Thinking of the possibility that the man did not find the plank with the money, he went to the man, taking a thousand dinars with him.

“I searched continuously for a boat to bring back your money. However I could not find one before the boat that brought me back now”. The lender of the money said to him”

“Did you not send me anything”.

“I told you that I searched for a boat but could not find one”.

The lender said:
“Allah Most High paid me back that money in your place and brought it to me in a plank of wood as reward for your sincerity. Consequently the thousand dinars that you have brought now is yours. Now you can return in peace having been reunited with your thousand dinars”. (Bukhari, Kefalet I, Buyu 10).

When Allah is a guarantor of an affair, the seemingly impossible can take place easily. What befalls the servant is to trust in him sincerely and in truth…

Rely upon Allah
Submit and find peace

-An excerpt from “Civilizations of virtue 2”.

Jami is “Ishq” and Ishq is “Jami”

Following is a great couplet from the poetry of Maulana Jami (Alaihi Rahma) , a great lover of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.

YaRasulallah

O Messenger of God! If only like the dog of the Companions of the Cave,
I could be in Paradise among your Companions.
Is it right that their dog is in Paradise while I am in Hell?
He was the dog of those Companions; I am the dog of yours!

The above couplet reminds of another great verse which goes something like;

Oh Holy Prophet, would that your dog was called Jami,
You would call for your dog and I would come running.

Subhan Allah! Such poetry is an inspiration for the seekers of the truth as well as shows us a way of true love.