Awliya Allah - Sidi Abd al Qadir al Jilani. Lesson on rememberance of GOD
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Sidi 'Abd al-Qadir al Jilani tells how Prophet Muhammad (*) taught 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (**) concerning the remembrance [dhikr] of GOD (Exalted is He).

by Sidi  Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Tadifi al-Hanbali ~ Excerpt from Qala’id al-Jawahir [Necklaces of gems]

"''Ali ibn Abi Talib (**) once asked the Prophet (*): "Which of the methods [Way/Path] is nearest to GOD, easiest for His servants, and most meritorious in His sight?" The Prophet (*) replied: "O 'Ali, you must make it your constant practice to remember GOD (Exalted is He) in private moments and places." 'Ali (**) then went on to say: "Can such be the merit of remembrance [dhikr], when all the people are remembering all the time [since they frequently exclaim 'Allah!']?" "This is no light matter, O 'Ali," said the Prophet (*), "for the Final Hour will not arise, so long as there is still someone, somewhere on the face of the earth, who is saying: 'Allah, Allah!'"

"'This prompted 'Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) to ask: "How should I practice remembrance?" So the Prophet (*) told him: "Listen to what I say three times, then you say it three times, while I do the listening." Then he said (*): "La ilaha illa 'llah [There is no GOD but Allah]"-three times, closing his eyes and raising his voice-while 'Ali listened. Then 'Ali (**) said: "La ilaha illa 'llah [There is no GOD but Allah]"-three times, closing his eyes and raising his voice-while the Prophet (*) listened in turn.

"'This is therefore the basic lesson concerning the remembrance of Allah (Exalted is He), namely: the statement expressing the affirmation of Divine Oneness [kalimat at-Tawhid]. We beg Allah (Exalted is He) to enable us to perform it.'"

"The master, Sidi 'Abd al-Qadir al Jilani (***) once said: 'If a person has not learned the noble remembrance [dhikr], which consists of the affirmation of Divine Oneness [tawhid], from a Sidi who is a qualified instructor [teaching guide], connected by spiritual lineage to the Prophet Muhammad (*), that person is unlikely to invoke it when the need for it arises, at the time when death is about to strike.' This explains why the Sidi 'Abd al-Qadir al Jilani would often recite the poetic verse:

“How sweet is the flavor of that repetition and reaffirmation! May it not desert me when this world bids me farewell! “

“If a man attempts to develop himself by using his own will, he is building a structure on something other than its true foundation.

If a someone is not reared by the men [of the spiritual path], and is not given to drink that milk of theirs, which flows from the udder of sanctity-

That person is a foundling, lacking the bonds of family relationship, and he will never outdistance any but the sons of his own kind.

If a man does not take to wearing a garment of pure devotion, at the hand of a teacher who knows his own self full well-

The follies and wiles of the lower selves will see him as a target, and even that which is screened from him will easily detect him by sense.

He will never experience ecstasy at the hand of an exemplary guide, nor will the favours of grace protect him, since he does not wear that gown.

No mystery will be revealed to him from the secret recess of his being, nor will the cups be displayed to him in the intimate state of communion.

He will not improve in form and moral character and competence, nor will his estate bear fruit through the ripening of his plantation.

That, by my life, is someone deprived of good fortune, a failure, someone who seeks a path, but only to head in the opposite direction.

May the principles of our people make this but a rare occurrence, and if someone comes with false intent, let him go with his own kind! “


(*) = prayers and blessings of GOD be upon him

(**) = may GOD be well pleased with him and ennoble his face.

(***) = may GOD be well pleased with him.

The Article published
here is by the kind permission of
Al-Baz Publishing, Inc.



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