A Woman’s Wealth and Duty in Her Home and Community

Whenever I hear of the wealthy and rich giving in charity, I rejoice.

[ Sayyidatina Khadijah al-Kubra r.a. ]

Whenever I hear of the poor giving in charity, I weep more in joy.

[ Sayyidatina ‘Aisha as-Siddiqa r.a. ]

When Sayyidatina Khadijah r.a. inherited her wealth, she gave it up for the way of Islam for Rasulullah ﷺ in his first 25 years of his life. She showed us how women can be independent and self sufficient yet supportive. While Sayyidatina ‘Aisha r.a. on the other hand, after having raised in tarbiyah by the prophet himself since she married the prophet and lived with him since she was young, inherited his ﷺ knowledge and spread it to the ummah. Both men and women sat in her company, to learn from her, after their beloved prophet ﷺ passed on.

Rasulullah ﷺ said “The scholars are the successors of the prophets. Verily the prophets do not pass on gold and silver coins, but rather they impart knowledge”

The Prophet ﷺ also said, “Indeed, the prophets do not leave money as an inheritance. Rather, they leave knowledge. Whoever seizes it has taken a bountiful share indeed.”

So it’s beautiful how there’s hikmah in why Sayyidatina ‘Aisha didn’t bear descendants from the Prophet ﷺ although Sayyidatina Khadijah has children with him ﷺ .

This is also a wisdom and encouragement that for those who are not from the descendants of the ahlul-bayt can still be his ﷺ successor, and that is to revive and teach his ﷺ sunnah.

The messenger of Allah ﷺ said,” Verily, I have only been sent to perfect righteous character.”

So if you treat your spouses and children with adab, you are too teaching them about love. That’s killing two birds with one stone. Practicing it yourself and imparting the state of the prophet ﷺ to the community, and every community starts from home.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family.”

That we see too when a woman becomes a man in the path of God, she is a man and one cannot any more call her a woman.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).”

May Allah ﷻ make our homes and our hearts as a zawiyah.

[Photo of SAYYIDA FATIMATOU ZAHRA NIASSE (RA), KNOWN AS YAFATOU, daughter of Shaykh-al-Islam Ibrahim Niasse (RA), the wife of the Complete Khalifah Saydi Ali Cisse, and the Mother of Imam-al-Faydah Shaykh Hassan Cisse (RA), Shaykh al-Tijani Cisse (RA) and Shaykh Muhammadou Mahy Cisse (RA)]

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Love of True Passion

“The noblest sort, of Love is that which exists between persons who love each other in God either because of an identical zeal for the righteous work upon which they are engaged, or as the result of a harmony in beliefs and principles, or by virtue of a common possession of some noble knowledge. Next to this is the love, which springs from kinship; then the love of familiarity and the sharing of identical aims; the love of comradeship and acquaintance; the love, which is rooted in a benevolent regard for one’s fellow; the love that results from coveting the loved one’s worldly elevation; the love that is based upon a shared secret which both must conceal; love for the sake of getting enjoyment and satisfying desire; and passionate love, that has no other cause but that union of souls to which we have referred above.

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All these varieties of Love come to an end when their causes disappear and increase or diminish with them; they are intensified according to the degree of their proximity, and grow languid as their causes draw further and further away. The only exception is the Love of true passion, which has the mastery of the soul: this is the love, which passes not away save with death.

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… All this proves that true Love is a spiritual approbation, a fusion of souls.

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[A]s for what causes Love in most cases to choose a beautiful form to light upon, it is evident that the soul itself being beautiful, it is affected by all beautiful things, and has a yearning for perfect symmetrical images whenever it sees any such image, it fixes itself upon it; then, if it discerns behind that image something of its own kind, it becomes united and true love is established… Indeed, physical forms have a wonderful faculty of drawing together the scattered parts of men’s souls.”

– Imam ibn Hazm al Zahiri al Andalusi rahimahuLlah, Tawq al Hamama

Shared by a Shadilli Darqawi brother, revered by many, understood by few, all sufis at heart. Subhanallah.

[photo of Shaykh Muhammadou Mahy Cisse at my home, the one who taught me about true love and elimination of falsehood in hearts]

Fanaa and a Sacred Reunion

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Fear, an obstacle to the Truth, preventing one from experiencing love for all living things. It is fear that prevents us from embracing man as the manifestation of God that he is. Rather than seeing a man as a potential threat, we should rejoice in our common source – God.

Hafiz’s poem ‘Your Mother and My Mother’ shows how fear prevents us from reaching to a state of Love. He shows a man by saying;

Fear is the cheapest room in the house

I would like to see you living

In better conditions,

For your mother and my mother

Were friends

In the second part, as a teacher, he then leads the man to God;

I know the Innkeeper

In this part of the universe.

Get some rest tonight,

Come to my verse again tomorrow.

We’ll go and speak to the Friend together.

Hafiz then asks the man to rely on God;

I should not make any promises right now,

But I know if you

Pray

Somewhere in this world

Something good will happen.

And rejoice in loving all that He have created;

God wants to see

More love and playfulness in our eyes

For that is your greatest witness to Him

And finally, he make known to the man the essence of the Beloved and the harmony it brings;

Your soul and my soul

Once sat together in the Beloved’s womb

Playing footsie.

Your heart and my heart

Are very, very old

Friends.

In another of his poem he says,

How

Did the rose

Ever open its heart

And give to this world

All its

Beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light

Against its Being,

Otherwise,

We all remain

Too

Frightened.

Having spoken the same language, I am in awe of how profound and spiritual his poems are. Only when the ego has dissolved, can one reunite with what it is afraid of, with the presence of Love. Like how the physical body needs water, our souls recognizes its place of growth. It recognizes true companions, the one who draws us naked, flawed, frightened. Yet gives us good counsel, speaks to us with the gentle truth and directs us to Allah. One we call soul mates. Otherwise, one without the reality of the Beloved, would not have a sacred reunion.

“What unites us is bigger than what divides us. And if you claim that you love your shaykh but you don’t love his murid, that love is not complete.”

– Shaykh Mahy Cisse

As the saying goes, although as pathetic our states are, still “You will be with those whom you love”

Go. Keep going. Keep presenting. Until again the world is in your hands and not in your heart.

Path of Shukrulillah

When people ask how are you? They meant to ask about your soul. The question is really, how is the state of your soul right now?

A lot of people asked me, and I can’t help but to reply “down”.

Because what’s more worrying than the state of our souls.

“Pray for me”, greatly appreciate a dua instead.

7 different mistakes, doesn’t seem to be a good thing especially in this holy month of Ramadan.

And I can’t tell if I placed my standards high for a weak soul like mine.

But in all due, even having passing through this 7 doings, it’s important to be in a state of gratitude for every each of it.

Alhamdulillah.

Not because of the bad. But because the bad makes you see that the good comes from Him.

Let the awareness of our faults be a veil from our stations but not a veil from Allah and the need of Him.

This is the path of shukrulillah. Path of gratitude.

Were we mere blank slates?

In a tale of human progress and a defence of progress, people learn from their parents and their parents’ parents, and who, after trials and tribulations, wind up committed to each other. Unrecognizing that our life is a story of fellowship. Because when you look deeper into the unconscious, the separations between individuals begin to get a little fuzzy. It becomes ever more obvious that the swirls that make up our own minds are shared swirls. We become who we are in conjunction with other people becoming who they are.

We have inherited an image of ourselves as Homo sapiens, as thinking individuals separated from the other animals because of our superior power of reason. This is mankind as Rodin’s thinker – chin on fist, cogitating alone and deeply. In fact we are separated from the other animals because we have phenomenal social skills that enable us to teach, learn, sympathize, emote, and build cultures, institutions, and the complex mental scaffolding of civilizations. Who are we? We are like millions of sensations, emotions, and signals interpenetrate every second. We are communications centres, and through some process we are not close to understanding, we have the ability to partially govern this traffic – to shift attention from one thing to another, to choose and commit. We become fully ourselves only through the ever-enriching interplay of our networks. We seek, more than anything else, to establish deeper and more complete connections.

In psychotherapy, it is believed that the original trauma of disconnect often stems from parenting. This produces the wound, and our reaction to the wound. From how we encode the information, to how it creates chaos. What defence mechanism we use to cope and how our outdated defence mechanism leads to breakdown or occasionally breakthrough. Whether we choose to shift our life to a new healthier paradigm that allows healing and expresses unity, this system above is intended to help psychotherapists connect the dots and understand the blueprint. When we do this, we can adopt a more logical and linear approach to it all. A logical and linear approach helps us move from the amygdala (the emotional center) to our frontal lobe (where we can problem solve, make peace or accept and let go of past events).

Thomas Kuhn states that “awareness is prerequisite to all acceptable changes of theory.” Kuhn believes that it all begins in the mind of the person. The mind is central to your health. Disturbed mind gives rise to a disturbed body, and when the body is disturbed, it disturbs the mind further. However, a man’s innermost reality and center of consciousness, the mind, is governed by the heart. The Prophet ﷺ said “Indeed there is in the body a piece of flash which if it is sound then the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.” Imam An-Nawawi used this hadith as a proof that the seat of the mind is the heart (al-aql fi al-qalb) and not the head.

The sound and truthful heart is that which is secure from every carnal desires, it is secure from any doubt and uncertainty. It is secure in preferring what pleases Him in every circumstances and distancing itself from everything that would displease Him in every possible way. It is secure from seeking the ruling of other than His Messenger ﷺ . This is the reality of ubudiyyah (servitude), which can be directed to Allah, alone. And this is the deen al-fitrah that creates a love for deen al-Islam. Allah swt has given every child Qalb-e-saleem (a sound heart) and that “None of you will come to Allah in a state of happiness unless if it is in a state of salim (whole and healthy).” Now this enlightens both the mentally ill and the spiritually diseased that the search for a healthy heart is able to help them.

Kuhn further states that what we perceive, whether normal or metanormal, conscious or unconscious, are subject to the limitations and distortions produced by our inherited and socially conditional nature. However, we are not restricted by this for we can change. For example in some cases, our dreams, being misinterpreted as a spiritual message, may actually come from our subconscious desires (nafs). Or bad dreams which alludes to our subconscious fears. What we nurture in our minds determines the results. Therefore our minds, if filled with the zeal for the Prophet ﷺ or our Lord, are able to manifest expansion and revelations in our dreams or even in our awaken states.

Pulling it from an Islamic spiritual perspective, how this identifies with our relationship with Allah ﷻ , the Ultimate One who created us. Our disconnection with our Creator and our religious ancestor salallahu alaihi wasallam leads to all sorts of trauma.

“The great tribulations that we see in our age is because we have distanced ourselves from the life of the Prophet Muhammad

-Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf

We are, being the descendants of Prophet Adam alaihi salam and the ummah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ , enjoys this benefit, His intercession. And this definitely doesn’t only limit to Arabs.

In 1981, Andrew Meltzoff ushered in a new era of infant psychology when he stuck his tongue out at a forty-two minute old infant. The baby stuck her tongue out back at him. It was as if the baby, who had never seen a tongue out back in her life, intuited that the strange collection of shapes in front of her was a face, that the little thing in the middle of it was a tongue, that there was a creature behind the face, that the tongue was something other than herself, and that she herself had a corresponding little flap that she too could move around.

The experiment has been replicated with babies at different ages, and since then researchers have gone off in search of other infant abilities. They’ve found them. People once believed that babies were blank slates. But the more investigators look, the more impressed they have become with how much babies know at birth, and how much they learn in the first few months after.

The truth is, starting even before we are born, we inherit a great river of knowledge, a great flow of patterns coming from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from deep in the evolutionary past, we call genetics. The information revealed thousands of years ago, we call religion. The information passed along from hundreds of years ago, we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago, we call family, and the information offered years, months, days, or hours ago, we call education and advice.

Relevant to how all of our souls, in its purest forms are connected to the message of Islam from our Creator through His messenger Prophet Muhammad ﷺ , his beliefs (hadiths) and actions (sunnahs). Also, as his ummah, our inheritance of his salallahu alaihi wasallam’s characteristics, and finally our tarbiyah on our path towards Him.

But it is all information, and it all flows from the dead through us and to the unborn. The brain is adapted to the river of knowledge and its many currents and tributaries, and it exists as a creature of that river the way a trout exists in a stream. Our thoughts are profoundly moulded by this long historic flow, and none of us exists, self made, in isolation from it. So even a newborn possesses this rich legacy, and is built to absorb more, and to contribute back to this long current.

How an infant is born in a state of fitrah (purity), with the knowledge of God, and the purpose of worshipping Him. But as we grow and we start communicating with the world, it instils in us memories, habits, which later becomes our nafs. Similarly, to an innocent child that helplessly attaches him or herself to the nurturing ways provided by his or her own parents, a seeker seeks to form a rabita (connection, attachment) with his own shaykh or murrabi, diminishing its own personality (nafs) and unifying it with what God or the Prophet ﷺ wants through surrendering. While the world, in its corruption, contributes to the nafs, the seeker seeks purification.

The heart, when has been renewed, now has turn alike a child, pure and innocent. The soul in its awareness of the need for social interactions, seeks the knowledge of adab (etiquette) in preventing harm to its character. However, through the struggles, it presents the lack of surrender of the salik (seeker). The mind still clings onto logic and reasoning and it doesn’t understand what the spirit is capable of understanding. This entails the emptying. The unlearning of what you have learned, in order to reach a state of equanimity and eventually, humanity.

“Allahumma Muqallibal quloob thabbit qalbee ‘alaa deenik” (Oh turner of hearts, keep my heart firm upon your religion)

Sayyidatina ‘Aisha (radiallahu anha) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to recite this dua a lot. So she asked, “Oh Messenger of Allah, you make this dua a lot, are you afraid?” He said: “Yes. Who would keep me safe, Oh ‘Aisha, while the hearts of the servants are between two fingers from the fingers of The Most Merciful?”

Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas said that he heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ saying,

“All the hearts of the offspring of Adam are between two fingers of Ar-Rahman’s Fingers, as one heart. He turns it (in any direction) as He wills. Then Allah’s Messenger said, “O Allah! The Turner of hearts, turn our hearts towards Your obedience.”

Now let’s look at the bigger picture, what is our purpose in life?

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Now act accordingly.

via Daily Prompt: Descend

The art of Jihad – Internal War

“Every criminal, miser, abuser, scoffer, embezzler, and hateful person does what he or she does because of a diseased heart. If hearts were sound, these actions would no longer be a reality. So if we want to change our world, we do not begin by rectifying the outward. Instead, we must change the condition of our inward. Everything we see happening outside of us is in reality coming from the unseen world within. It is from the unseen world that the phenomenal world emerges, and it is from the unseen realm of our hearts that all actions spring.

The well-known civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. said that in order for people to condemn injustice, they must go through four stages. The first stage is that people must ascertain that indeed injustices are being perpetrated. In his case, it was injustices against African Americans in the United States. The second stage is to negotiate, that is, approach the oppressor and demand justice. If the oppressor refuses, King said that the third stage is self-purification, which starts with the question: “Are we ourselves wrongdoers? Are we ourselves oppressors?” The fourth stage, then, is to take action after true self-examination, after removing one’s own wrongs before demanding justice from others.”

– Signs, Symptoms, and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart, translation and commentary of Imam Mawlud’s Matharat al-Qulub by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

One painful reality that we can see now is Trump being elected as a leader by its own people.

Even our homes will be a more peaceful and harmonious place if each one of us plays a part in subduing our own egos (nafs).

Our journey is one that is inward. It is neither about the place nor the people, it is one’s state.

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Love Yourself

Sometimes a relationship ends, and just as much as you go around asking people for their opinions, every one points their fingers at you saying that it was your fault. So the frustration to explain yourself debilitates the whole process. You face rejections instead of understanding. You blame yourself for the outcome. And then when you get back, and that if you do, you get so afraid of saying “I want this.”, “I need this.”, because the mind fears to lose the same person the next time.

Just like a child, a child is weak, it attaches to its caretaker, no matter if the caretaker has the ability to provide a healthy nurturance or not. The child at its innocent stage, still attaches itself to its caretaker. The caretaker could have expressed anger at the child’s needs. Conversely, the caretaker could have withheld attention or nurturance when the child is angry, causing the child to repressed its own needs. To the child, losing the attention and affection of the one providing it is a scary thing. Thus he/she learns to repress his/her needs in order to keep the attention and affection of the one providing it.

But what creates the whole dynamic is that in the future, the cycle repeats. Because you weren’t confident in voicing your needs and what works best for you, it leads to indecisiveness which slowly causes withdrawal. If you stay, you allow less than what you want, and then you wonder its worth. No, you wonder Your worth. And if you withdraw, you wonder if you don’t deserve to be treated like you belong and you wonder if you don’t deserve love.

Some days you’re In and other days you’re out. Just like your emotions, sometimes it’s up and sometimes it’s down. It’s instable, because it hasn’t learn to understand itself and its needs. It settles for less yet the heart hesitates. It settles for how people treat you rather than how you want people to treat you.

There’s no shame in being vulnerable. There’s no shame in asking if you do not know. There’s no shame in wanting what you need. And there’s no shame, in standing solo.

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I had a very good conversation with my sister last night and she gave me a good advice,

“Not everyone is nice enough to give you closure. Sometimes you just have to learn how to love yourself.”

I need a patient person. I need someone like I am, in times of difficulties and figuring it out, patient and flexible.

Build self confidence in order to speak authentically. Love yourself first in order to know true intimacy.