By Mohamed Isa bin Hajamaidin
Allāh, Most Exalted is He says in the Qur’ān, ‘We have not created the Jinns and Mankind except to worship Me.’ [51:56]. In the tafsīr of Ibn al-Abbās, he elaborates the meaning of ‘li ya’budūn’[to worship Me] to ‘li ya’rifūnī’
[to know Me] and this is the fundamental of our Deen.
Thus the notion of knowing Allāh is established as a basis to the worship of Allah, Most High. This knowing can about in two ways, one is through textual proofs and this is called Tauheed and the other when obtained through spiritual training and remembrance is called Ma’rifah.
In Tauheed, one is taken through sets of mental argument until one is convinced through proofs that Allāh is the Creator. In Ma’rifah however, one is taken through sets of spiritual training and journeys until one arrives at the destination of the Real, where one comes to know that Allāh is the First, The Last, The Manifest and The Hidden. [57:3]
These knowledge were the seat of all Prophets that were sent and Seal of them all, our Master Muhammad [upon him be peace and blessings] is the most knowledgeable of Allāh as reported by Imam al-Bukhārī and Imam Muslim in their Sahih.
Before we head further into the matter, one might be asking, where is the science of spirituality [‘ilm al-tasawwuf] in all of this and how does coming to know Allāh solve social crisis?
Know that the science of Sufism is the foremost of the [religious] sciences and both the goal and heart of the Shari’ah. And how could it be otherwise when it is the exposition of the station of Ihsān, the station of direct perception and vision – Shaykh Ahmad ibn ‘Ajība.
There is a Prophetic Du’a that reads, “O Allah, allow us to see the truth as truth, and grant us the strength to follow and abide by it; and allow us to see falsehood as falsehood and grant us the strength to remain away from it.” One would surely know that there is no truth except Allāh – That is because Allāh is the Truth, and because whatever else they invoke besides Him is Flasehood; and indeed He is the Most Exalted and Great. [31:30]
Thus the issue of social crisis or even our own crisis is contingent upon our knowledge and perception of God. For if we do not see God in what is apparent then we have yet to know Him as al-Zahir [The Manifest One] and this is the root of our crisis in and out.
Since the transfer [intiqāl] of our Master Muhammad from his earthly existence to the Divine Realm, there has been sent men who have inherited the Prophetic knowledge who are here are guides to the generality of mankind towards their Lord.
According to one traditional report, when the Prophet Muhammad passed on, the earth wept and said, “My God and Master! I am left here with no prophet to walk on my surface until the Day of Resurrection.” Allāh then informed the earth, “I shall set upon your surface members of this Muhammadan community whose hearts are attached to the hearts of the prophets, and I shall not deprive you of them until the Day of Resurrection.” – A Hadith found in the Kāshif al-Ilbās ‘an Fayda al-Khatm Abī al-‘Abbās of Shaykh al-Islām Ibrahim bin Abdullāhi Niāsse [d.1975].
These members of the Muhammadan community are but the Scholars [Ulamā’]. Indeed those that fear Allāh from among His servants are the ‘Ulamā’. [29:43]. Linguistically, Ulamā’ is translated as learned ones but the learned one are but those who have transverse the stations of Ihsān where direct witnessing of the real occurs in all aspects of being, outward and inward. Thus al-Qur’ān states about of group of people who have found tranquility and are not troubled, Indeed upon the Friends of Allāh [Awliyā’], there is no fear upon them nor do they grieve. [10:62]
The key to this state of being is but though the persistent remembrance as Allāh sates, “Those who believe and their heart are tranquil by the remembrance of Allāh, for without a doubt in the remembrance of Allāh do hearts find tranquility and satisfaction. [13:28]
Thus such men of Allāh have reached a state of equilibrium with the states of their hearts and the surrounding and they know for a fact that Allah is the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden. Shaykh Abdul Qādir al-Gaylani was reported to teaching a class when a man came to him and whispered into his ear, “Sir, our ships carrying all our goods has sunk and we have lost everything.” Shaykh Abdul Qādri looked down for a moment and then he looked up and said, “al-hamdulillāh!” The man was puzzled but he kept quiet. Moments later, the same man came rushing and likewise whispered into the ear of the Shaykh and said, “Sir, Good news, the ship that sunk wasn’t our.” Again Shaykh looked down and then looked up and said “al-hamdulillāh!”
The man, being curious asked, ‘Sir, what is the meaning of your gesture at both occasions when news was received?’ Shaykh Abdul Qādir said, “When you first came to me with a bad news, I looked at my heart to see if she was troubled and worried by the news, but it was not and thus I raised my head to praise God who have kept it in a state of tranquility and again when you came to me informing me that the ship wasn’t ours, I looked to see if my heart was overjoyed but it wasn’t, rather it was not move and in a state of tranquility [remembering Allāh] and thus I looked up and praise Allah.”
Such are men learning and those among them who excelled in the science of Sufism for they have combined both Shari’ah and Tasawuuf to attain Truth as quoted by Imam Mālik. These are the men to be sought for they are the true inheritors of the prophets and their hearts being attached to the noble inwards sates of the Prophet.
According to Ibn ‘Abbās, “Allah Messenger was asked about the Awliyā, and he said: ‘They are those that, when they are seen, Allah is remembered!’ –
Reported by an Nasā’ī. al-Haythamī said: “Reported and confirmed by al-Bazzar.
Thus seek such people who stir up one’s love for God and His Messenger upon sight. For indeed they are known by certain signs. In the Latā’if al-Minan of Imam al-Sha’ranī he states that the guides and saints are those from whom you do not hear but from whom you receive. He is not someone whose expression confronts you; but is one whose signals become secreted into you. He not the one who summons you to the door; but he removes the veil between himself and you. He is not one whose words challenge you, but whose spiritual states uplifts you.
He is also one who releases you from the prison of your vain desires and brings you into the presence of the Lord. He never ceases to polish the mirror of your heart, until he lights of your Lord become manifest therein. He will encourage you toward Allāh so that you will set off towards Him, and he will be with you until you arrive in His Presence. He will not cease to be by your side until he has cast you to Allāh and thrust you into the light of the divine Presence. Then he will say to you, “Here you are and here is your Lord.”
Thus we conclude that social crisis can be solved through attaining the knowledge of Allāh for then would one see Truth as it is. This knowledge is known as the science of Sufism and it is both the aim and goal of the Shari’ah. This knowledge is possessed by the inheritors of the prophetic knowledge and they are known as the Saints of Allah who are recognized by characteristics mentioned above.
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