Archive for March, 2010
Islam is an amazing religion with an astonishing social system that sets examples of superb equality among people of different culture, color and nationality. Verily there is no superiority for any of this aspect in Islam except for piety. There are plenty of examples in Islamic history for this socialism like Bilal Al Muadhin Raliya Allahu Anhu.
Think of somebody destined to be in slavery but freed and become one of the leaders of the Ummah. Our talk is about Yaqoot al Arsh Raliya Allahu Anhu who was an Ethiopian slave and later become student of Abul Abbas Al Mursi Raliya Allahu Anhu.
It was a wonderful twist of fate as the ship carrying Yaqoot al Arshi from Ethiopia to Alexandria was on the verge of being sunk. The merchant in the ship pledged Allah to grant a slave to Shaykh Abul Abbas Al Mursi Raliya Allahu Anhu if survived. But when reached at shore of Alexandria the salve with the merchant was injured. So he sold him and brought another salve to present to the Shyakh. But the Shyakh refused to accept this slave and asked the merchant to bring the salve he had sold. That slave was actually Shyakh Yaqoot al Arshi and Allah moved him to the presence of great Shaykh Abul Abbas Al Mursi Raliya Allahu Anhu.
Yaqoot al Arshi Raliya Allahu Anhu served his Shaykh for a long time and learned Tasawwuf from him and later became his Khalifa (vicegerent). The Shaykh married his daughter to Yaqoot al Arshi. He was Muadhin of Shaykh’s Mosque and it is heard that he will not do Adhan unless he hear Adhan from the Great ‘Arsh. His heart was always connected to the ‘Arsh and so is he named.
He used hear complaints from birds. Once a dove came to complain and told him to travel to Cairo. He went to Amru bin Aas Mosque and summoned the Muadhin there. He quizzed the Muadhin whether he slaughtered mate of this dove at Minaret of the Mosque. He replied ‘You are right’ and repented for the act and assured not to repeat it.
He had many students like Ibn Ataillah al Iskandari, Ibn al Sebagh (Author of Durrah Al Asrar), Shihabudhin al Mublaq, Shamsudhin al Laban, Fathullah al Ajmi. Great Moroccan explorer IBN BATOOTAH had met him in 725H. Shykh Yaqoot al Arshi Raliya Allahu Anhu passed away in 732H and his Maqam is in Alexandria near his Shaykh Abul Abbas Al Mursi Raliya Allahu Anhu.
Allah has many chosen and close men those He has sent to teach about Him and His commands. Those are the 124000 Anbiya (Prophets) Alihimu Ssalam starting with Father of mankind Adam Alihi Ssalam and ending with Allah’s beloved Muhammad Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam. These holy men spread light from Allah in the universe and invited people into righteous path.
Apart from Anbiya there is another group of people who with utmost piety, obedience and sincere worship earned special position and respect from Allah. Those are the Ouliya Raliya Allahu Anhum who did a lot of hard work in the path of Allah and achieved great privileges as explained in following Hadeeth reported by Imam Al Bukhari.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَالَ : ((مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ آذَنْتُهُ بِالْحَرْبِ وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ عَنْ شَيْءٍ أَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي عَنْ نَفْسِ الْمُؤْمِنِ يَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ وَأَنَا أَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ)) . ( رواه البخاري )
Unlike Anbiya, number of Ouliya is not limited. Ouliya are instrumental in spreading Allah’s religion in past and present through their exemplary lifestyle and Karamah (miracles shown by Ouliya).
Our discussion is about one of the prominent Wali (Holy man) Abul Abbas Al Mursi Raliya Allahu Anhu hailing from Mursia in Andalusia, Islamic Spain. His full name is Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Umar ibn Alī al-Khazraji al-Balansi whose noble lineage is traced back to the great Sahabi Sa’ad ibn Ubada al-Ansari Raliya Allahu Anhu. He was born in year 616H (1219 AD).
There are many wonders noted about Abul Abbas Al Mursi Raliya Allahu Anhu. In 640H (1242AD) he and his brother Abdullah_Jalaludhin and their parents set sail to perform Hajj pilgrimage. When they were nearing Tunisia a violent storm hit their sail ship and was wrecked. All passengers were drowned except Abul Abbas al Mursi and his brother. They then settled in Tunisia for a brief period.
He adopted Tareeqah (Spiritual Path) of Great Wali Abu Hasan Al Shaduli Raliya Allahu Anhu and became next Khalifa (vicegerent) of this Tareeqah. The Shaykh himself explains of the incident as follows
“When I arrived in Tunisia, I had come from Mursia in Andalusia, I was a young man at the time. I heard about Shaykh Abu’l Hasan al-Shādhilī and a man invited me to visit him. I said I would request Allah for guidance [in this matter]. That night I slept and saw myself in a dream ascending a mountain top. When I reached the peak, I saw a man in a green cloak; he was sat with a man on his right and a man on his left side. He looked at me and said, ‘You have found the vicegerent of the time.’ I woke up and it was time for the dawn prayer when the same man who had invited me to visit the Shaykh came again. So I went with him and entered into [the shaykh’s presence and noticed the same bench that I saw on the mountain peak. I was astonished. Shaykh Abu’l Hasan As-Shādhilī said, ‘You have found the vicegerent of the age. What is your name?’ So I informed him of my name and lineage. He said, ‘Ten years ago I raised you up to myself.’ From that day onwards he accompanied Shaykh Abu’l Hasan al-Shādhilī and traveled with him to Egypt.”
Shaykh Abul Abbas continued to strive with Shaykh al-Shadhili in terms of his spiritual nurturing and proceeded upon the path. He did not leave him for a moment until al-Shadhili passed away. He spent forty three years in Alexandria spreading knowledge, purifying souls, nurturing students and setting examples of piousness and devotion. Imam al-Busiri, Ibn Ataillah Al-Sakandari, Yaqut al-Arshi, Ibn al-Laban, Izz al-Dīn ibn Abd al-Salam and Ibn Abu Shama are prominent among those who received knowledge from him.
He departed from this world in 686H (1287 AD). His Maqam is inside a beautiful Mosque in Alexandria near Mediterranean Sea shore.
One of the greatest Muejizah shown by Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam was splitting of Moon into two portions. When this was shown to disbelievers in Makkah they refused to believe and proclaimed it as a magic! But believer’s faith got strengthened upon seeing this miracle. In Soorah Al Qamar verses 1, 2, 3 Allah explains on the Moon splitting miracle and how the disbelievers reacted upon watching it.
قال تعالى في سورة القمر الآيات 1,2,3
اقْتَرَبَتْ السَّاعَةُ وَانْشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ
وَإِنْ يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُسْتَمِرّ
وَكَذَّبُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَكُلُّ أَمْرٍ مُسْتَقِرٌّ
1 – The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.
2 – But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, This is (but) transient magic.
3 – They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts but every matter has its appointed time.
Interestingly, a king ruled south Indian coastal area called “Malabar” (Now in State of Kerala) Cheraman Perumal happened to watch this incident. Later through Arab traders he knew of new Prophet in Makkah and his righteous religion. He decided to set sail to Makkah to meet Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam. He became first Muslim from India and this Sahabi changed his name as Tajudhin Al Hindi Raliya Allahu Anhu. He passed away in Salalah, the Oman port city en route his return to India. According to history sources this incident was in Hijra 5.
حدثنا علي بن حمشاد العدل حدثنا العباس بن الفضل الأسفاطي و محمد بن غالب قالا : حدثنا عمرو بن حكام حدثنا شعبة أخبرني علي بن زيد قال : سمعت أبا المتوكل يحدث عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال : أهدى ملك الهند إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم جرة فيها زنجبيل فأطعم أصحابه قطعة قطعة و أطعمني منها قطعة
Hakim( Rahmatullahi Alaihi) reports in his Mustadrak a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Saeed Al Khudriy Raliya Allahu Anhu “Indian king presented Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam a container with ginger in it. Rasoolullah then fed His companions pieces of ginger and I also was fed a piece from it”.
Qabr of Tajudhin Al Hindi Raliya Allahu Anhu
His Qabr lies in Salalah in an area full of greenery. We were amazed to see the place which resembled an Arabian Sea costal village in India with coconut trees, banana plantation, papaya trees, pepper creepers and many more. It is commonly claimed that this is because of Dua made by Tajudhin Al Hindi Raliya Allahu Anhu to Allah to make this land as his own home place. It could be because of Karamah of this great Sahabi resting in this land (الله اعلم).
Greenery in Salalah
There are two more Qabr in close vicinity marked as wife Tajudhin Al Hindi Raliya Allahu Anhu and Abdu Rahiman Al Samiry Raliya Allahu Anhuma. It is heard that he is a descendant of King Cheraman Perumal who visited the deceased king’s tomb and later settled, died and buried there (الله اعلم).
Arabs were renowned for trade trips through land between Yemen and Sham (Syria) even in very early times. They also voyaged to India to export spices like pepper, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Salalah was one of the busiest ports in Arabian Peninsula while Kozhikkode was in Indian sub continent. Salalah is 2450 km far from Kozhikode. So even before Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam there were trade relations between India and Arabia.
As per history sources 12 Sahabas left to visit “Malabar” and spread light of Islam over there along with the king Tajudhin. Prominent among them was Malik bin Deenar Raliya Allahu Anhu. The king gave a letter to Malik bin Deenar to pass to his men in India to receive the delegation with utmost respect and provide them any facility they request.
Malik bin Deenar Raliya Allahu Anhu and his team reached in Kodungallur and was given land to construct the first Mosque in India. This Mosque named “Cheraman Malik Masjid” is still available in Kodungallur. Malik bin Deenar Raliya Allahu Anhu then visited many other places and constructed more Mosques. He departed from this world from India as his Qabr lies in Kasargod. So these two legends are resting at opposite side of Arabian Sea. Interestingly in the opposite sides were they were born. Allah knows best!
رضي الله عنهم أجمعين و رحمنا معهم
The ancient wall in Cairo was built as per vision of great leader and king Sultan Salahudheen Ayyoobi. This unique wall called “Magra El-Oyom” was constructed approximately 800 years ago.
Main purpose of the wall was to direct water from the Nile to the Salah Eddin Castle. It is a brilliant example of ancient Islamic engineering as it mechanically pumps water from the Nile via giant water wheels and carries the water over the channels inside the wall to the castle. Few sections of the wall are hollow which act as pipe build of stones to carry water. Anyhow the main course of water flow is trench cut channeled grove along the top of the wall. It is remarkable to note the architect’s design to channel water upwards from Nile to the Castle situated on Muqattam hill.
Dr. Gaballah Ali Gabballah, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt gives a brief history about the wall:
“The wall was built by Sultan Salah Eddin El-Ayuby. The purpose of this wall is to direct water coming from the Nile onwards up the hill where his Castle was built. The wall was built in 1193 AD. Nile water would pass through channels built on vaults in the Fom El-Khalig area till it reaches water wheels where it is then directed to its storage in deep castle wells. After numerous decades, these water wheels became non-functional and were neglected. Later, Sultan Mohamed Ben Kalawon repaired the wheels in two stages. The first stage was in 1310 AD. Six water wheels were built near El-Habash Lake. These water wheels would lift the Nile water to channels and from the channels to wells; wells which can still be seen to this day. The second stage of the Sultan’s restoration effort was in 1340 AD. A massive well was dug in El-Habash Lake, which is known today by the name of Establ Antar. Later on, Mohammed Ali Pasha converted this well into a artillery depot. The wall structure lies south of the Salah Eddin Castle. It starts from Sayed Aisha Square where there is the ancient Al-Karafa City Gate. Then the wall extends more south till it meets the Fom El-Khalig water channel. Then the wall reaches to the El-Safah City Gate then to the Zwayala City Gate. The wall then extends up to the Ain El-Sera hills down to El-Foustat antiquities area. Then the wall ends at the El- Kantara City Gate on the Nile. The entire length of the wall covers an area of 2.2 kilometers.”
Thanks to Egyptian rulers who kept the wall intact and had done required maintenance works over 800 years. Egypt is a country with full of great archeological wonders and antique monuments. Many dynasties ruled Egypt not only preserved existing structures but also added more. With modern commercial developments and industries in the surroundings of the wall, it is endangered to be crumbled down soon. Thanks to Egyptian government, as they have identified this risk and acted promptly to restore and rebuild the wall.
The ancient Magra El-Oyom Wall is a lesser known unique antiquity in Egypt which most tourists are not aware of. This 2.2 km ancient engineering system to elevate water and carry to higher places is considered a remarkable example of the ingenuity of ancient Islamic culture.
Al-Habib Muhammad as-Saqqaf speaks on how to react positively upon hearing mobile ring tone from other praying people in Mosque. It is really a bad thing to keep the mobile on during prayers and especially in Mosque. It is a sin to disturb others while praying. But if incase one forget to switch off the mobile and the unfortunately it rang during prayer, how one should react? Hear this speech…
For more speeches from Al-Habib Muhammad as-Saqqaf, visit this site.
Gatherings of Hadith Explanation of the Forty Nawawi ahadith, with connected chain of narrators.
By his Eminence Dr. Ali Jum’aa, Grand Mufti of Egypt
Episode 1: Introduction
Arabic talks with English subtitles – 20 episodes uploaded on youtube.