Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh Nafs!

In yesterdays lesson (27 July 2007), Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq didn’t comment on any further hadeeth but elaborated on the important lesson that we can learn from Hadeeth 636 about Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه), for which I posted notes last week. We learn from the hadeeth that we cannot determine our own salvation or anyone else’s salvation. Unfortunately, today people actually believe that their teacher/leader/mentor is guaranteed salvation and therefore will intercede for them and lead them to salvation too. If anyone was guaranteed salvation, then surely someone of the calibre of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) would have been one of those. We learn categorically from the hadeeth that Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told the sister of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) from amongst the Ansaar that she cannot say that ‘Allah has honoured him’ despite his great calibre.

The Shaykh also commented on how traditionally a Shaykh was one who had a perfect balance of internal and external knowledge. Today, we have two extremes – any person who knows a few verses of the Quran is referred to as a Shaykh, and on the other hand there are people who lack external knowledge and practice but are also referred to as a Shaykh. The famous sufi and saint, Imam Junaid al Baghdadi (رحمة الله عليه) would say this tariqah of ours is bound by the Book of Allah and by the Sunnah. On the other hand, the Shaykh mentioned that those that deny tasawuff should note that ibn Taimiyah (رحمة الله عليه), whom those that deny internal knowledge often like to quote, said that ‘the miracles of the awliya of the ummah of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are true’. Thus, there is a need for a balanced approach – we cannot accept every person to be a wali and also if a tariqah doesn’t restrict itself to the shariah we cannot accept it.

Speaking further about tasawuff, Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq mentioned a Shaykh who once wrote addressing his own nafs. He said ‘Oh Nafs! Tell me, if you imagine yourself to have died and your body was brought before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم), how would he treat you?’. SubhanAllah. This is truly something to reflect over and this is related both to Hadeeth 636 about Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) and also to another incident which is recorded in the ahadeeth. On the one hand, we have the example of the body of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) in front of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) – the details of which were mentioned in the previous lesson i.e. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wept profusely and stated how Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) left the dunya in such a state that he did not touch the dunya nor did the dunya touch him. On the other hand, when this Shaykh is addressing his nafs he is referring to the incident where a body was brought before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) but Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) refused to pray the Jinazah salah for that individual. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘You pray janazah over your companion’.

This is truly something for us to think about and reflect upon.
source: Bukhari Dars Blog