The Islamic Post Blog

Spending The Last 10 Days of Ramadan In The Tradition Of The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him by Khalida
October 14, 2008, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Magazine/ Culture, Religion, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008
El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Hashmi, Hassani, wal Hussaini guided the direction of the khalwa with specific instructions conforming with the habits of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him.

El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Hashmi, Hassani, wal Hussaini guided the direction of the khalwa with specific instructions conforming with the habits of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him.

By Nafisah Begum, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Sura Maida, Sura An'aam, and Sura A'raaf.

The Honorable Khalifa Hussain Abu Bakr delivers lectures on Holy Qur’an: Sura Maida, Sura An'aam, and Sura A'raaf.

Students of the International Qur'anic Open University attend the lecture on Holy Qur'an which incorporated commentary.

Student of the International Qur'anic Open University and participant in the 2008 khalwa in Holy Islamville, South Carolina.

Holy Islam Ville, SC –In the beautiful, picturesque country setting that is Holy Islamville –located in historic York, South Carolina– students of His Eminence Sultan Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani gathered from around the U.S. and Canada during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan, some to go into confinement or itikaaf which literally means to apply oneself assiduously to something. In everyday usage, itikaaf is to remain in a mosque with the intention of worship. Khalwa, on the other hand, is also a solitary retreat, but one during which a disciple does extensive spiritual exercises under the direction of a Sufi master.
Those attending khalwa prepared for the rigorous schedule that would be sent by our Murshid, our spiritual guide.
With meticulous care our beloved Murshid carved out a schedule that would afford us the maximum benefit in a short time. This schedule was designed according to the life pattern, or Sunnah of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), who used to engage himself and his family members in intense worship during the last ten days of Ramadan, the bounty of which is immeasurable.
Included in this schedule of intense worship were bayaan, lectures, delivered by the Honorable Khalifah Hussain Abu Bakr on different sections of Holy Qur’an. These suras included, Sura Al Maidah, Sura Al Anaam, Sura Al Araaf.
Each page of these suras were scanned from a very old Holy Quran from South Africa, and each page contained text of the Holy Qur’an, which is in Arabic as well as an English translation and also the scholarly commentary known as tafsir.
Portions of the translation and tafsir given during the khalwa are reproduced below.
Sura Al Maidah opens:
Translation: “O you who believe!, fulfill your promises.”
Tafsir: “Fulfill your promises,” refers to those covenants which the Almighty had taken from previous communities, and as per the previous revealed Books. The meaning of this is to fulfill all those promises you made with your Creator and those of His Messengers who were sent to you. This covenant also extends to a person’s Murshid, wife or husband, and even to one another as the general Muslim body. This covenant relates to lawful promises only, and does not extend to commitments to do wrong.
Translation: “O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Months…”
Tafsir: One learns from sha’aa ir Allah, the symbols of Allah, that anything which has religious connection should be shown great reverence. Almighty Allah says in Holy Qur’an, whosoever respects the signs of Allah then it is from the piety of the qalb (heart). (22:32) The Sacred Kaaba, the shrines of the those who are near the Almighty and called friends of Allah, and the Holy Qur’an are but a few examples of the symbols of Allah. Observe to yourself how, when the blessed feet of Hazrat Hajirah, who is known as Hagar in English, Allah bless her, when her feet touched the hills of Safa and Marwa, they immediately became Symbols of Allah. Says Allah Almighty: “No doubt, Safa and Marwa are among the symbols of Allah.” (S2: V158) These symbols of Allah are a now a part of the Hajj ritual.
The significance of this sign touched all khalwa participants. Our Murshid is a direct descendant of the Beloved of Allah and Mercy to the Worlds, Our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him). Therefore, El Sheikh Gilani is Sha’aa ir Allah (symbol of Allah). How great is the honor due to him from his disciples who understand this phenomenon. May our Murshid live forever!
The tafsir also read that to make friends with the pious servants of Allah is the way of the believers, because holding them dear to is equal to holding Almighty Allah dear. In contrast, hating them is equal to hating Almighty Allah. (tafsir from 5:56)
These are just a few extracts from one of the three suras. The sessions on which were so powerful that tears flowed freely during each bayaan session. Sultan Mubarik Gilani also instructed us to make a special dua complete with sajdah, or prostration, in which the people in khalwa beseeched, on behalf of the entire community of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) with heartfelt pleas of begging for help. “Madad Ya Rasoolallah, Madad Ya Habiballah, Madad Ya Sayidana Muhammad Mustafa ” This special plea was done at the time of breaking the fast when, as Almighty Allah says, there is no veil in between Himself and the fasting person and He answers the prayers of the one who keeps fast.

The Night of Power: Laylatul Qadr

Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Power, was observed with full night vigil in prayer and worship in the Holy Khanqah, Qadria, Gilaniyya: Sufi Lodge 1 in SC.

Residents of Holy Islamville host an honorable guest, the caretaker of the Shrine of Hazrat Sultan Bahu, second from left (wearing spectacles) during the last 10 days of the month of Ramadan.

Khalwa participants break their fast.

The Beloved of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the (odd nights, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th) out of the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim].On Lailatul Qadr, the decree to befall all, great and small, is handed down from the heavens, and night vigil should be observed.
Sultan Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani advised not to neglect the final odd nights of Ramadan, and to pay close attention to the 29th, although, it had become the norm to formally recite special prayers on the 27th night.
El Sheikh also narrated a tradition in which “there was one man from among the Bani Israel who wanted to do jihad for about 1000 months. This would equal about 83 years and four months. His name was Shim’oon. Some know him as Samson. Shim’oon would fast and do jihad –in the technical sense, this means war of defense, not agression. He would fight during the day and reserve his nights for worship. Shim’oon was a very strong, honorable, and pious man who destroyed the pillars of the emperor of his day.
In ancient times, people used to live for hundreds of years, The Holy Messenger Nuh, or Noah, peace be upon him, lived for 950 years. There were those before him who lived for 2000 years. When the Noble Companions of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) heard of this, they asked, “How can we do as many virtuous deeds as these people when they lived for sometimes thousands of years, whereas we have such short life spans of only 100 years or less?” At this, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) became sad. Hence, Allah the Most High, gave to him and his community a gift of this special night which is alone worth a thousand months of worship for those who observe it vigil.
Translation: “Indeed We revealed it (the Qur’an) in the Night of Power. And do you know what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is more rewarding than a thousand months (of worship). The Angels and Jibraeel [the Angel Gabriel] descend in that night with regards to all matters. It is blessed until the rise of dawn. (97:1-5)
Tafsir: The nephew of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), and greatest inheritor of the knowledge and understaning of Holy Quran, Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: Allah’s Messenger, said: “Lailatul-Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold. The sun arises on its morning being feeble and red.” [at-Tayaalisee, Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Bazzaar with a Hasan Isnad]
Our Beloved Murshid continued his narration by giving a description of how the morning of Lailatul-Qadr would appear. “The sun,” he said, “Would look like the moon in that it will have the softness of noor that is cast when moon is full, not like the sun the way we see it everyday.”
Blessed and fortunate are we that El Sheikh Gilani instructed us to pay close attention to the 29th. Those observing khalwa and itikaaf went wholeheartedly into constant worship, completing another full night in the hopes of being of those with whom the angels would shake hands in congratulations at finding him/her engaged in worship on Lailatul Qadr.
Eid Mubarik!
With the sighting of the slim moon that marks the beginning of the Islamic month, this current month being Shawaal we, the followers of Our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him) welcomed the start of Shawaal, Eid day, with mixed emotions. The joy of completing another Ramadan and acquiring the blessing thereof mixed with the sadness that comes when one realizes that this beautiful month has passed and one may or may not see another one.
The Honorable Khalifa Muhammad Husain dropped pearls of wisdom on the faithful servants of Allah after the morning prayers, reminding all of the great blessings sent down on us during the month of Ramadan, and reaffirming the commitment of all present to Almighty Allah, His Beloved Last Messenger (peace be upon him), and the successor to the Beloved of Allah, El Sheikh Sultan Mubarik Ali Gilani, Hashmi.


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