Shah Waliullah: The Benefits of Congregational Prayer

“To save the people from fatal effects that their own customs and rituals can bring them, there is nothing more useful than to make one of the religious services so common a custom and so public a ritual that it may be performed open before everybody by any person; whether he be learned or illiterate. Townfolk and countrymen should both be equally anxious to observe it. It should become a subject of rivalry and pride among all of them, and it should be so universally practised that it becomes a part and parcel of their social setup, so much so that life without it maybe worthless for them. If this is achieved, it will help in establishing the worship and obedience of Allah and will form a very useful substitute for those rituals and customs which could cause them serious harm. Since ritual Prayer is the only religious observance that surpasses all others in importance and universality, attested by both reason and scripture, it becomes therefore absolutely necessary to get it established universally by propagating it and by arranging special congregations. Continue reading →

Ibn Ataillah’s Aphorisms on Sincerity with explanatory notes by Shaykh Abdullah Gangohi

Works are like lifeless forms and the presence of sincerity endows them with spirit.

Works, like ritual prayers, fasting and hajj without sincerity are like lifeless forms. They are like pictures of animate beings and the presence of sincerity therein endows them with life. Sincerity means to perform works solely for the pleasure of Allah. The presence of sincerity renders the work fruitful in the hereafter, and its absence renders it fruitless. Continue reading →

Ibn Ataillah’s Hikam with explanatory notes by Shaykh Abdullah Gangohi

How can the heart be illumined whilst images are reflected in its mirror? How can it travel to Allah, whilst it is still shackled with the fetters of desire? How can it hope to enter Allah’s presence whilst it has not purified itself of forgetfulness? How can it hope to understand subtle secrets whilst it has not refrained from offensive acts?  

Continue reading →

Shah Waliullah: The Objective, Benefit and Pre-requisites of the Pledge

Perhaps you might say tell me about the Pledge (bay’ah)

(1) Is it obligatory or Sunnah? (2) What is the wisdom behind its legislation in Sacred Law? (3) What are the pre-requisites of the shaykh? (4) What are the conditions of one who takes the pledge? (5) How does one fulfil the pledge, and how does one violate it? (6) Is it permissible to repeat the pledge with one scholar or multiple scholars? (7) What are the transmitted words of the pledge?

So I say: Continue reading →

Shah Waliullah: Training the Traveller of the Spiritual Path

 

The training of travellers has successive stages. Firstly, he must correct his beliefs. Thus when an individual is desirous of the divine path, first command him to correct his beliefs, according to the creed of the pious forebears.

Continue reading →

Self Mastery in Ramadan

Self mastery is gained by:

 1)      Fasting

2)      Prayer

 Allah Most High says:

 “O believers fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those aforetime that you may gain taqwa…When my servants ask you concerning Me I am indeed close to them; I respond to the supplication of the supplicant when he calls on Me. They should listen to Me and believe in Me that they may tread the righteous path.” (2: 183-186)

Continue reading →