Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Realistion of Allah's Presence

During the 'Alim course there were numerous occasions when my teacher, Maulana Imran Sahib, would take time out to advice us and guide us in an attempt to make us better people.

On one occasion, I can recall him stating the importance of realising that Allah is Omnipresent. He stated that when one establishes this realisation then he would automatically stop or decrease sinning and would also be extra cautious in pleasing Allah.

However, many people tend to forget or overlook the fact that Allah is aware of all that we do and then after forgetting this we also overlook the fact that His wrath is severe and the favours He has done upon as uncountable.

Therefore, my respected teacher, Maulana Imran Sahib, gave us a short supplication to make every night before sleeping. A supplication that should be recited at least three times before sleeping and during the day.

With the recitation of this supplication, Insha Allah, we will be constantly reminded of Allah's quality of Omnipresence as well as supplicating to Him to remain in our thoughts at all times.

Following is the supplication:

اَللهُ حَاضِرِيْ - اَللهُ نَاظِرِيْ - اَللهُ مَعِيْ

"Allah is present with me - Allah is watching me - Allah is with me"

May Allah Ta'ala always be on our minds throughout the day so that we can aim to please Him alone. Aameen.

Maulana Imran ibn Adam Sahib

Maulana Imran Sahib is my teacher in many subjects. He has taught me subjects which relate to the Alim course as well as subjects which relate to wordly affairs as well as general Islamic knowledge that was relevant in the outside world. His wisdom and knowledge gave me a firm understanding of practical knowledge as opposed to theoretical knowledge obtained from books.

He is the son of my Shaykh, Hadhrat Maulana Adam Sahib and has many of the qualities of his respected father. His dedication and enthusiasm was the means of the commencement of the Alim course. He dedicated his entire time to teaching in the initial years of Alim course and was the only teacher at the time. Therefore, he has taught me the majority of the first year and second year syllabus of the Alim course. He has also taught me Tarjumatul Qur'an, Riyadhus Saliheen and Sunan Nasaai.

He overlooks and the smooth running and administration of the Darul Uloom as well as the Maktab and plays an active part in many other projects. His talks are held in the Masjid on a weekly basis from which some are quoted and referred to on the 'my respected teacher' blog.

After my Shaykh, who enrolled me into Madrassah after leaving, I am most indebted to my respected teacher, Maulana Imran Sahib. From the moment I enrolled in Alim class he has supported me and advised me throughout the course. His merciful and loving nature was the reason that I was able to complete the course and his attention and moral support prevented me from leaving many a times.

From the moment I enrolled in the course till date, he has been my guide in all aspects of life and my library of knowledge. His piety and humbleness only elevate him in my eyes and he sees everyone as an equal.

His company has taught me many lessons and his friendly nature has drawn me closer to him day by day. He is my teacher who has stood by me and aided me all that I have chosen to do. His care and love opened doors for me that I could have never achieved and through his blessings and supervision I was given opportunities to lead prayers as well as give talks and lectures in places I could not imagine.

In brief, all I am today is due to his dedication, watchfulness, concern and wonderful nature.

May Allah bless him and grant him Jannatul Firdaus. May he increase him in knowledge and all aspects. I pray to Allah that he keeps me under the guidance of my respected teacher for eternity and that his shadow and blessings remain over me for eternal. Aameen.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Religion is Easy

On many occasions, my Ustadh, Maulana Anwar Sahib, would relate an incident that occurred whilst he was in the company of Hadhrat Yusuf Motala Sahib, in Umrah.

Maulana Anwar Sahib, by narrating this incident, would educate us in many ways and teach us many lessons from this one single episode. I have never forgotten this incident and it remains clear and fresh in my mind as the day it was told to us.

He stated: On one occasion, when we were near the Ka’bah, Hadhrat Yusuf Sahib saw a man taking support on the Mataaf (area near the Ka’bah) whilst doing Tawaf. On seeing this Hadhrat explained to him that this was against the Sunnah and that one should not lean on the Mataaf, especially if he is able.

On hearing this that man replied, “الدين يسر” (religion is simple), to which Hadhrat immediately replied, “اليسر ما ثبت عن اليني صلي الله عليه و سلم” (easiness is in that which has been established from the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم).

On hearing this reply the man felt ashamed and straight away removed his hand from the Mataaf.

From this incident, my Ustadh, taught us that although religion is simple, easy and compromising as well as lenient, we cannot start doing our own actions and say that religion allows it because easiness lies in what we are doing. Instead, we are taught that whatever the Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has taught is easy and simple to act upon and carry out as he was the Prophet of Mercy.

Another point which my Ustadh pointed out was the love of such saints for the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم. Their love reached to such an extent that they were unable to see a person go against the Sunnah and they would not remain silent upon it. If this was the case, then we can imagine how punctual and dedicated they must be on their Sunan. Furthermore, if their dedication to the Sunan is as mentioned, then what would be the possibility of them committing a sin due to negligence?

May Allah increase our love for our Beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم and make this love reflect in our actions. May he give us the inclination to adopt all the Sunan and refrain from the Haram.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Advices on Seeking Knowledge

Whilst I was looking through some of my notes, I came across the notes for my first lesson with Maulana Anwar Narma Sahib for the lesson of Jalaalayn.

He gave us a few advices regarding knowledge and its importance which I would like to share:

1. If you give and dedicate yourself completely to knowledge only then will knowledge give you a little of itself.

2. Knowledge is a great blessing and gift of Allah which is given to only those whom Allah chooses.

3. Knowledge angers Shaytaan and makes his work of deceiving us more difficult.

4. It is such a blessing that all the living creatures on the earth, in the sky or in the sea make supplication for its seeker.Even the angels spread their wings for the seeker of knowledge.

5. Hadhrat Paalanpuri رحمه الله states that students of knowledge resemble the angels as they are constantly in their group; and the effects of being in such a group become apparent.

6. When a person seeks knowledge a fragrance emits from him which draws the angels closer to him; and when a person sins a smell is emitted which distances the angels.

7. Furthermore, he mentioned some advices for students seeking knowledge:

اخلاص نية - Sincere Intention.

It is essential for a student of knowledge to make the correct intention and to ask himself why he is seeking this knowledge; the reason should be none other than to gain the closeness of Allah.

ادب و احترام - Respect and Manners.

The student should of knowledge should feel happiness and joy in seeking knowledge as well as experience a connection and dedication. At the same time optimum respect and manners should be exercised; one should always remain in the state of purity (Wudhu) at all times.

It should be remembered با عدب با نصيب بے عدب بے نصيب - A person with respect will be successful and a person without respect will be unsuccessful. Hadhrat Abdul Qadir Jilani once came running out from the toilet due to finding a spot of ink on his finger. Imam Shafi'ee رحمه الله would turn the pages of his book so slowly so that his teacher would not be discomforted with the noise.

ترك گناه - Refraining from sins.

A student should always refrain from sinning. Imam Shafi'ee once complained to his teacher regarding his bad memory. In return his teacher advised him to refrain from sinning as sins are a darkness and cannot coincide with the Nur (divine light) of knowledge. It is also narrated that sinning results to a dark spot of dirt being placed on the heart, the result if which is that knowledge cannot be absorbed.

شكر - Being Thankful.

One should always be thankful for being chosen for the knowledge of Islam and being a student. Thankfulness increases the mercy and blessings of Allah whilst carelessness and ungratefulness could result to this blessing being taken away.

عمل - Actions.

It is essential that the student acts upon the knowledge he has acquired; for knowledge which not acted upon is in reality a source of Allah's anger and disappointment. Acting on knowledge also ensures the student will remember this knowledge.

زيل اور طلب - Craving and Desire for Knowledge.

A student should have a craving and desire for knowledge and should question regarding those things which he does not understand. There should be a zeal which makes the student search deeper into the knowledge acquired.

May Allah give us all the inclination and zeal to seek knowledge in the correct and advised manner. Aameen.

Maulana Anwar Narma Sahib

My teacher for Qur'an Tafseer was Maulana Anwar Narma Sahib. He taught be Jalaalayn and also Sunan Ibn Majah in my final years of the 'Alim course.

There is not much that can be written in his biography as he is a down to earth and humble person and a hidden pearl. His knowledge is vast and his piety even greater. A scholar that is easily approachable and very warm and welcoming.

He also teaches at another Darul Uloom and has, over the years, given me insight to many current issues as well as advices that have helped me after graduating from the 'Alim course.

His episodes and incidents have always inspired us as well as taught us lessons in life and in Islam. He is a scholar who is contact and in the company of the great Ulamaa and saints of today.

His lessons have always been inspiring and his teaching methods have left me with knowledge that is not only available in my books but instilled within our hearts.

May Allah elevate his rank and grant him peace and tranquillity in both the worlds. May his guidance and shadow be a part of my life forever. Aameen.