Posted by: seekerofthesacred | April 19, 2011

The Perpetual War (with ourselves) — Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa

Alhamdulillah. We always praise Allah swt, that’s the nature of those who Allah swt desires to bring into His proximity – the Hammadoon. There will be a great multitude who will rise under this standard, by which they will walk into paradise.

And there’s probably no greater gift Allah swt can give us than the gift of praise on our tongues, and praise in our hearts, and praise upon our limbs –  i.e. become people of praise, and people who take to praise, ala kulli haal – as the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, said. And these people of praise are always able to discern others who have likewise taken to the way of praise; that’s the nature of the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa aalihi sallam, himself, who was Muhammad (most praiseworthy), and Ahmad (most praised, and most praising), and Hamid (praiseworthy),  salallahu alayhi wa sallam. A being who was crafted in praise, for the sake of praise, and could identify the One who is praised, jalla jalaluhu. And the more we approach the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wa sallam, the more we become people of his attributes salallahu alayhi wa sallam. He came to complete attributes, and thereby in accordance, how we are in relation to the attributes of prophecy, the attributes of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, that by definition renders us closer to him, and whoever is closer to him, is closer to Allah swt

In Tirmidhi, Sayedina Umar (radiya Allahu anh) says: “take yourself into account before Allah swt takes you to account.” Yani, we heard one of our dear brothers make mention, not too far from here, we have an appointment and we have a place, no doubt whatsoever, we will make that appointment. And the beauty of that appointment unlike us as Muslims, that we’re so “dutiful” in doing everything off-time, but there’ll be one appointment where we will be on-time. That will be the appointment with Malak al-Mawt (the angel of death).

The angel of death is a real being, ma sha Allah, tabarakAllah. And the most difficult thing for the angel of death is to take the souls of great people. In a tradition of Imam Tirmidhi, he informs us that an angel named Ismaeel who is rendered in the mid-skies and has never ever seen the heavens, hears the angel of death crying – and why was he crying? Because of the death of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam. Great souls. When great souls are taken it is very painful; painful for the earth; painful for the skies – sky doesn’t cry for certain types of people, but it cries for higher beings; the winds cry – whistle and cry for certain beings, when they’re cast six feet into the Barzakh. These are people that creation shudders for; as the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam informs us, on the death of the great being, Saad ibn Muadh, the Arsh (Divine Throne) shudders, and likewise the entire cosmos shudders when such people die. And if that’s Saad ibn Muadh – Sayyedul Ansaar (the Master of the Helpers), then what about Sayyed as Saad – the Master of Saad? salallahu alayhi wa sallam.

Our purpose is in that we are a people who have been placed inside a grand sphere of blessings, in that we are people in the community of the greatest one ever, ever to have graced the cosmos. We should have zero doubt about that. And doubt about that is doubt about the very basis and edifice of your faith. That we have been blessed to be in the very ranks of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam. And the issue of our life, and how our life should be played out, is how proximate we are to the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, in those ranks. And there are those who are in the first rank; and in the greater metaphor it’s not who is in the first rank of prayer, but rather who is in the first rank with the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam. And if we understood what was in that rank, we would get to it even if we had to crawl.

But that is painful decisions that all of us have to make inside of our lives. Because the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, came with a Furqaan, he came with a Criterion, he came with a Law. And his law, and his criterion is very clear. And what it takes for somebody to ascend the ranks of proximity unto the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, is likewise very clear. And ultimately it relates to sacrificing those desires that we have, the shahwa Allah gave us, and to replace it with the shahwa of Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallam. That’s Deen. What is deen? – “none of you truly believe, until your desire is in accordance with what I have brought.” In short, our nafs must be like the nafs of Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa sallam. But therein is the story, and therein is the struggle.

It’s a great narrative; a sort of war of attrition between good and evil. The good that the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam came with, and the evil that resides within us. And if we were to understand that metaphor, the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, declared war upon us. “I have come with slaughter, I have come with war” – salallahu alayhi wa sallam. Yani, what does it mean to be an enemy of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam? See the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, was no enemy to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, he was no enemy to Umar ibn al-Khattab – people whose nafs had been rendered congruent with the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam – he was not at war with Uthmaan, or with Ali. But in one regard, he is at war with each and every single one of us. Because we prefer other than him, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, and the thing that we prefer will ultimately be cast into the bellies of beasts beneath the earth.

We ask Allah swt to allow us to become people who realise the purpose of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam – Nabi ar-Rahmah (he is the prophet of mercy), but likewise he is the prophet of War, Nabi al-Malaahim. Rahmah, as if it’s one, but malaahim as if it’s multiple, i.e. wars upon wars upon wars, that the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam consistently fights. And when we personalise our relationship with the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, we don’t see ourselves standing next to – right or left – of him, and we don’t see ourselves standing behind him salallahu alayhi wa sallam, but we see ourselves sometimes directly opposing what the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam came with. And that’s a mushkila.

And we’ve got to look at our lives.  And we’ve got to look at our houses, and look at the house of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam – and how did he live? We’ve got to look at our worship of Allah swt, and look at how he worshipped, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, and compare our worship. We have to gaze at our hearts, and gaze at the great attributes that enveloped the great Muhammadan heart, salallahu alayhi wa sallam. And we find that our hearts are somewhat distant from the reality that the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam came with.

As transcribed by a talibat l-‘ilm, may Allah reward her for her efforts.

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