The Pathway to the Garden

Based on the Riwayas'

as practiced by

Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar

Compiled by Hijrah Productions South Africa


Buildil1!} our Heritage


Researched & Compiled by: Sayidi Nusrah Cassiem

Published by:

Hijrah Productions P.O. Box 52341 Wieda Park



South Africa

Tel: +(2712) 666 8952 Mobile: + (2783) 483 2098

Our sincere gratitude to Al Ijaaz of the Cape who recited the Riwayas in the tone known to many Capetonians and capturing the spirit of what is in the hearts of many who appreciate the work of the founders of the Cape Muslim Community. We cannot forget the work of the late Dr Agmad Davids who achieved great successes in restoring and popularizing the Cape Malay history.

"May Allah bless his soul and honour him to be in the company of those great Sheikhs he once spoke so fondly of." Ameen

Cover Design by:

Rashied Rahbeeni

Printed by:

Allie's Printing Services P.O. Box 62




South Africa

Tel: +(2721) 931-2142

Fax: +(2721) 932-1224

Mobile: +(2782) 890 7802 email:

First Edition October 2004


The vision of Hijrah Productions is to recognise and celebrate the significant contributions that Muslims of the Cape have made and continue to make in South Africa.

We have embarked on a journey to record and compile a series of works on the history of our Forefathers and present it in a format that readers and listeners will find informative and trans formative.

The focus of this edition is on the life of Sheikh Yusuf and the influence and impact be had on the communities he served in his lifetime. It will give readers insight into the life of Sheikh Yusuf with particular focus on the written Riwayas' relating to the birth of the Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.). This unique form of transmission developed as a classical form of Arabic recitation and has become a part of the Cape Malay culture. The recitation of the Rawayats used by our fore-fathers formed part of their educational methods and strategies to popularise the life and history of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). We hope that this work will continue to contribute towards that tradition.

Hijrah production invites everyone along on this journey of selfdiscovery and awareness.


1. Introduction

2. The life of Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar

3. Declaration - itrackl]

4. Intra to the Riwayas'


Salutations and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (saw) - [track 2]

The Prophet's ancestors and the Quraish - [track 3] The announcement of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) - {track 41

The birth of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) - [track 5]



5. Foundations of Islam (Commentary on Riwayas')

1. II. III.

Allah in His essence and attributes The light of Muhammad (saw) The complete pathway to Allah






25 30



38 42 45


"all Lord, let not our hearts deviate - after You have guided us, and grant us Your Mercy.

Indeed, You are the Bestotuer" Ameen

The Cape Malay Community is rich in its Islamic tradition and culture and has played a major role in shaping the history and diversity of Cape Town. Over the last three hundred years it has grown into a community that is colourful, vibrant and spiritually driven. An important part of the traditions that have been passed down through the years is the continued reading of the Ra tibul Hadaad, Arwaag and' the Riwayas'. Children grew up with these readings in their houses and it has formed a fundamental part of the home Madrassah culture. It has also created an atmosphere of togetherness and belonging for the Cape Malay community

We learn through these practices of the Sheikhs that it was ill fact an attempt to lay the foundation of an Islamic community cloaked in modesty and having a clear unshakeable understanding of Divine Unity (Tauheed). This was the objective behind their uncompromising struggle against oppression and discrimination. Their awakened hearts were driven by their obedience and love for Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). They understood the imler meaning of Shariah, Tariqah and Haqiqah and transformation by the remembrance (thikr) of Allah. The



various disciplines of thikr offered by the Sheikhs offered a great deal of worldly insights and inner strengths.

A great deal of these sheikhs' history lay in the archives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Yemen, Turkey and Sri Lanka and are being translated by scholars in their 'respective languages. Personalities like the late Achmat David's (May Allah bless him with Paradise-Ameen) attempted to restore many of the untold stories of the Cape Malay history from articles, legal court documents and narrations from oral transmission of families related to the Sheikhs, We hope that our efforts will only be an ongoing surge to tell the truth of the past and that it can be appreciated and shared by our South African community.

The new political climate of South Africa calls towards understanding the nature and meaning of cultural heritage. This has drawn our interest to understand the efforts of our Fore-fathers and hence the culture we have adopted.

We know that they have experienced in much the same way the sufferings and persecutions of the oppressors in their countries of birth. These awakened souls, Aulia, were vigorous opponents of colonialism and were subjected to its injustices and thus reached the shores of Africa as political prisoners and slaves. Their legacies held a powerful message of Truth and the moral universal lesson to serve humanity.

This attempt to add insight into the riwayas' as practiced by Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar will tell us the depth of their understanding of Divine Unity and their approach to educating and passing on the message of Islam to others. This matter of Tauheed is undoubtedly present in every learning area of Islamic study and cannot be ignored, because it creates the foundation of every Muslim's life.

Their efforts to develop strategies to part the knowledge of the Qur' an to the people of the Cape and later jhe establishment of the ~irst Muslim community in South Africa needs to be retold in a manner that it can be used at every level of study. This is not an attempt to call people to the worship of saints or continue certain practices that have created much conflict. Its purpose is to understand the impact that their actions had on the community at large.





History of

Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar 1626-1699

The story of Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar is probably one of the most important narratives in the history of the Muslims in South Africa. The Sheikh, though not the first Muslim in the Cape, is regarded as the founding father of the South African Muslim community. He was brought to the Cape as a political exile and arrived on the 2nd April 1694. Despite the Statutes of India, which largely curtailed the freedom of Islamic worship, and his settlement outside of the main centre of the Cape, Sheikh Yusuf still managed to exert an influence on the local Muslim community.

Sheikh Yusuf was not just a theologian; he was a statesman, soldier, teacher, writer and Sufi Sheikh. Sheikh Yusuf was totally committed to Islam and spent his entire life in pursuance of Islamic justice. He was also a vigorous opponent of colonialism.

Sheikh Yusuf, also known as Abadin Tadia Tjoessoep, was born in Goa in 1626 during the rule of Sultan 'Ala al-Din, the second Islamic ruler of Macassar, an Islamic theocratic state which was established in 1603. His father Abdullah was related to Sultan Ala al-Din: while his mother, Amienah was the daughter Dapak Omara, who was a member of the family of the Kings of Goa. Sheikh Yusuf was thus a nobleman of high rank. In 1644, at the age of 18 years, Sheikh Yusuf, went on the


pilgrimage to Mecca. It was during this pilgrimage that he decided to study Islam. He stayed in Mecca for a long time, gaining proficiency in the Arabic language and all aspects of Islamic Theology.

The Sheikh was a diligent student and soon he acquired the respect of his Shafi'ite teacher. His teacher was so impressed with him that he offered Sheikh Yusuf his daughter in marriage. The girl was at first reluctant, as he was not an Arab, but later conceded to her fathers' wi.shes. Only one child, a daughter was born from this marriage. Prior to his return to Macassar, Sheikh Yusuf married a second wife at [iddah. From her name, Deania Kara Sitaba, it would appear that she was a Massarian. They accompanied him to South East Asia. By this time the Sheikh had acquired a great reputation as a very pious and learned


Sheikh Yusuf did not immediately return to his home in Goa, Macassar. He visited the Bantam, a sultanate in western Java, and was established as teacher at the Court of Sultan Ageng. Here he married the daughter; some say the sister, of Sultan Ageng.

At this court Sheikh Yusuf made a great impression on the students with his zealous execution of his religious duties and mystical teachings. He was by then already a follower of the Khalwathia order of the Naqsbandiyah Tariqa. Sheikh Yusuf spent many years teaching the Sultan Ageng and his household the various branches of Islamic



learning and through this activity played an important role in the spread of Islam in Java.

It was while he was living in the Bantam that he met Tuan Abdoel Bossier, the blind wali from Rappanin in the Celebes (Sulawesi). A close friendship developed between these two men. They lived together in the Bantam for a considerable period of time, with Tuan Bassier greatly influencing the spiritual development of Sheikh Yusuf, The Sheikh was eventually requested by the King of Goa to return home and serve his people, but instead he sent Tuan Bassier,

Sheikh Yusuf's decision to stay in the Bantam was not taken without consideration. When Ageng became the Sultan of the Bantam, he immediately encouraged the pursuance of Islamic education. The result was that the Bantam soon became an important centre for Islamic Learning, attracting people from outside the Bantam. This vibrant Islamic atmosphere created in the Bantam was thus very attractive to

Sheikh Yusuf.

As Islam prospered in the Malaysian Archipelago, the resistance to the Dutch imperialistic designs became stronger. This resistance is clearly evident in the history of the Bantam during this period. It was under Sultan Aaena's rule that the Dutch trading monopoly was first broken in

() ()

the Malaysian Archipelago. This monopoly started with the

establishment of the Dutch East India Company's headquarters at Batavia in 1619. Hereafter the Dutch systematically set about


eliminating the Portuguese, and by the middle of the seventeenth century dominated the Archipelago, turning hostile to those who opposed them.

Sultan Ageng had two sons and also a daughter who was married to Sheikh Yusuf. In I674 the older son, Abdoel Kahaar went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and on return adopted the name Pangerang (or prince) Hadji. The younger one, Poerbaiji, was married to the daughter of the Prime Minister of the Bantam. He was encouraged by Sheikh Yusuf to use every means to gain his father's favour.

Only the Bantam remained steadfast against the Dutch, and under Sultan Ageng the country's trade started to flourish. They were soon in a position to compete with the Dutch. This started to break the Dutch trading monopoly in the region, as the English, Danes and some Chinese colonies joined the Bantamese in their trading operations.

Abdoel Kahaar or Pangerang Hadji was not interested in gaining his father's favour. On his return from Mecca he brought with him many ideas of which his father did not approve. Not only did he urge the local people to adopt the Arabian form of dress, but also brought with him an Imam from Mosha to instruct him in the teachings of the Qur' an. Later he imported another Imam from Trinate. These actions were mainly aimed to break Sheikh Yusuf's influence.

In an attempt to maintain the Dutch domination of trade in the Archipelago, the Dutch tried to change its attitude towards the Bantam. This was to no avail. In 1656 Sultan Ageng became openly hostile towards the Dutch. The Dutch then blockaded the Bantam trade routes. This forced Sultan Ageng to conclude a peace treaty with them in 1659. Thereafter the Bantam trade improved again placing them in a position to compete effectively with the Dutch at Batavia. The revival of the Bantam trade encouraged the British, French and Danes to establish factories in the Bantam. Throughout his reign, Sultan Ageng remained an enemy of the Dutch.

"When this did not succeed, he started a rumour that Sheikh Yusuf had an affair with Sultan Ageng's wife, Crean Tiema of Macassar. The Queen and the Sheikh were imprisoned, without being charged. The Sheikh was later released. Sultan Ageng though an excellent statesman had very little skill in handling his domestic problems and Pangerang Hadji was quite aware of this.

He never openly broke the peace, but wherever he could, he supported the enemies of the Dutch. Sultan Ageng was aware of the dangers of the Dutch trade monopoly for the sovereignty of the Bantam. He was, therefore, at all times aware of the need to break the power of Batavia as a trading base. The English and the Danes supported him in this.

Fearing the influence his younger brother might have on his father, he manipulated the domestic problems for his own personal end. In 1680 a revolution, probably engineered by the Dutch, took place in the palace.


Sultan Ageng was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Sultan Hadii. The Dutch now had a controlling hand over the Preanger (West Java) territories.

Sultan Ageng was forced to retire to his country estate at Tiriauasa, and after consolidating himself with forces that rallied to his assistance, he again besieged Sultan Hadji at the fortress at Soeroeang. Sultan Hadji could not withstand this onslaught and appealed to the Dutch for assistance. The Dutch were most willing to assist because it provided them with the opportunity to crush the Bantam power once and for all. Sultan Ageng was attacked by the Dutch in his fortress at Tirtayasa. After a siege of many months Sultan Ageng managed to escape into the mountains with some of his followers. Immediately after the escape in 1683 the castle at Tirtayasa was blown up on his instructions.

Sultan Ageng fled into the mountains accompanied by his son Poerbaija and the Sultan's younger brother Kiedoel, family members, some officers and soldiers. Sheikh Yusuf who was the Imam of the household participated in all the battles and was part of the group that fled with Sultan Ageng. Sheikh Yusuf was by then 60 years old, but very healthy and strong. From the beginning of 1683 to December of that year they lived the lives of fugitives, A price of a thousand rix-dollars was placed on the heads of Sultan Ageng, Poerbaiji and Sheikh Yusuf. It was felt by the Dutch that unless they were captured, the war would never end. They were to be captured dead or alive and any women cap hued,


except those of Javanese birth, were to be given as booty to their captors.

When they set out tc the mountains, they were a party of 5000 of whom 1300 were soldiers. They hardly had any food. A few weeks after the escape it was reported that they were living on the fruit of the Lacquer trees, of which there were many in the area. A number of them were also found dead from starvation. They preferred to die rather than fall into the hands of the Dutch. It was not long before Sultan Ageng was captured. Sheikh Yusuf and Poerbaiji managed to escape, with a large band of followers, deeper into the mountains. Many of these soldiers drowned as they tried to cross a river for safety from the Dutch. Others just died of starvation.

In April news was received that Sheikh Yusuf's forces were greatly reduced and that there was dissension in the ranks. The Dutch decided to attack Sheikh Yusuf. But this was not an easy task. Sheikh Yusuf and his followers were greatly assisted by the people living in this region. They fully realized what the Dutch victory would mean, and thus provided Sheikh Yusuf and his army everything they needed. This frustrated the Dutch under the command of Captian Ruisch.

The reports that Captian Ruisch received indicated that Sheikh Yusuf was greatly respected by the local people. He was by then already regarded as a saint. In September the Dutch were still striving to get Sheikh Yusuf into a tight comer, but he managed to elude them,


burning down the huts on his way, so that the Dutch enemy would be exposed to the severity of the approaching rainy season.

Towards the end of September Sheikh Yusuf's forces was confronted in a major battle with the forces of Dutch commander Lieut, Maurits van Happel. The battle was a fierce one. Fifteen of the Sheikh's men were killed. Sheikh Yusuf was wounded but managed to escape. His wife, and the wife and family of Kiedoel were captured. The Sheikh also lost many muskets, goods and the rare jewels which they carried with them. The Dutch lost 18 men, but appeared to have been grateful for this success.

Sheikh Yusuf's forces managed to escape to Cheribon, hoping to embark from there to Macassar. A month later they were unfortunately overtaken by Lieut. Eijgel and 200 of his family and forces were captured. Sheikh Yusuf with a handful of men again managed to escape. This time he was severely wounded. Those who managed to escape now broke up into small bands to make best their escape.

Poerbaija was separated from the Sheikh. He was approached by an escaped. band of slaves and convicts, used by the Dutch against the Bantamese .. They were now willing to fight on his side. He refused. He was by now tired of resistance and realized that his cause was hopeless. In December 1683 he surrendered to the Dutch.

Sheikh Yusuf, with the assistance of some princes of the Pre anger territories, was able to evade capture for some time longer. His guides



were captured and put to death. Sheikh Yusuf and a few of his followers, now consisting of 24 men and 4 women, found refuge in a little village. Here they lived in poverty, fearful that the locals would betray them.

To persuade Sheikh Yusuf to surrender, Lieut van Happel took the Sheikh's daughter to the village where he was suspected of hiding. She' was instructed to make contact with and beg him to surrender on a promise of pardon. When she eventually located her father, she told him of the sufferings the women and children had to endure under the Dutch. This greatly disturbed Sheikh Yusuf and he handed over his Kris(armour) to Captain Ruiisch, the Dutch commander, as a symbol of his surrender. Those who surrendered with him were 12 Imams and

four women.

·While Sheikh Yusuf was valiantly resisting the Dutch, Sultan Ageng was captured by his son, Sultan Hadji, who treated him with severe cruelty. The Dutch, however, rescued him from his son and imprisoned him at the Castle at Batavia. Here he was treated well, allowed to participate in official function and afforded a position of royal rank. Sultan Ageng died in 1692.

On their surrender, Sheikh Yusuf and the twelve Imams who were with him were transported to Batavia. They reached Batavia in the middle of March where they were incarcerated in the Castle.


Here the rest of his followers were restored to him. Thereafter they were treated with leniency and great consideration. But Sheikh Yusuf loved his freedom. Thus despite the leniency, he was suspected of endeavouring to escape. By this time the Sheikh was greatly revered in

. . . , .

considered safer to transport him to an outpost at· the Cape of Good Hope.

the Archipelago. The situation in Macassar was also far from stable-It was felt that should the Sheikh escape, he would immediately be able to start a revolt.

It was while he was incarcerated at Colombo in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that Sheikh Yusuf started to put his religious thoughts to paper. Sulaiman Dangor identified 15 Arabic religious tracts written By the Sheikh which are currently preserved in the Archives in Leiden, The Sheikh did not only write in Arabic. He wrote in Malayu, Buganese and Macassar.

In September, 1684 it was decided to remove Sheikh Yusuf and his followers, under good guard, from the Castle at Batavia to the Castle at Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This would make it more difficult for him to escape. The Sheikh was paid an allowance of 24 rix-dollars per month while detained at the Castle of Colombo. His removal from the Archipelago did not diminish Sheikh Yusuf's memory. He continued to exert an influence in the Archipelago.

In 1694 at the age of 68 Sheikh Yusuf was sent to the Cape in the Voetboeg, arriving here on the 2nd April 1694. He was accompanied by forty-nine followers. This company included his two wives, Care Contoe and Care Pane, two servant girls, Momina and Naima, 12 children, 12 Imams and several friends. When this company arrived here, they were royally received by the Governor, Simon van der Stel. The governor himself was a native of Macassar from his mother's side.

The King of Goa, to whom Sheikh Yusuf was related, was particularly interested to have him released. In 1690 a delegation, representing the King of Goa, Macassar was sent to Batavia to plea for his release. This delegation argued that young and old desired to see Sheikh Yusuf. He was regarded by them as a very holy personage and that for religious purposes; his guidance was needed in Goa. The Sheikh was not to be part of any of their political structures. This request of the King of Goa was refused. Fearing pressure from Macassar for his release would continue, and that attempts might be made to rescue him, it was

Like the earlier Orang Cayen, Sheikh Yusuf too was considered a dangerous man who needed to be isolated from the local slave population at the Cape. He and his company were housed on the farm, Zandoieii, the property of the Reverend Kalden, near the mouth of the Eerste River. They were given a monthly allowance of 12 rix-dollars and were to be moderately maintained by the Cape authorities.



The first settlement of Muslims in South Africa was a vibrant one. Despite its isolation, and contrary to the wishes of the Calvinist authority, Sheikh Yusuf settlement at Zandvleit became a sanctuary for fugitive slaves and Khoi-Khoi. It was from here that Sheikh Yusuf spread the message of Islam and the Our'an was vigorously taught.

Many of the religious practices of the Cape Muslim community could be traced back to this first settlement of Muslims. It was from here that the Arwaagh, a formulation of thikrs, recited on the departed soul, became part of the Cape tradition. To Sheikh Yusuf could also be attributed such practices as the celebration of Maulid-dan-Nabi, with its characteristic recitation of the Ruwayats and celebration of Mi'raj with the recitation of the Qiesatul Mi'raaj as its central theme.

He died on the 23rd May 1699 and was buried on the Hill overlooking Macassar at Faure.

Upon his death the King of Goa requested that Sheiks family and friends be returned to the Bantam. At last, in 1704, a letter was received from Batavia and his followers were allowed to return to the Bantam. They left on two barges, the Liefde and the Spiegel arriving in Batavia towards the end of 1704.

The teachings of Sheikh Yusuf established a sound Muslim community at the Southern tip of Africa. The recitation of the ruwayas does not only lean towards the understanding and commemoration of the birth



of the Prophet, but a feeling of community together in the rememberance of Allah. His insightful approach and understanding of Dien has continued to this day and is still the medium of madrassah in many Muslim homes.





"Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels. 0 you who believe, ask (Allah to confer) blessing and peace upon him"



Introduction to the Riwayas'

From the beginning of man and prophethood there has always been singers of Allah's praise, exalting and dwelling upon His names and attributes as a reminder of His ever-presence and majesty.

Various teachers have written Diwans or Riwayas' for differe~t purposes, some to deepen the seeker's awareness of Allah, some to strengthen their discipline on the path of enlightenment. The recitation of the Riwayas' offers the seeker knowledge of insight on specific learning areas and hence the capacity for transformation

Transformation in the circle of remembrance iDhikr) is brought about by sound intentions, sincerity and the power inherent in gathering together. It offers the seeker a great deal of worldly insight and of inner strength, which is being constantly aware of He [Allah] who always remembers.

May Allah grant us the knowledge of how to remember Him in every moment and live in an atmosphere of worship, adoration and glorification of He [Allah] the all-Knowing, the Compassionate and the all-Merciful.


The First Narration

Salutations and Blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)

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The Garden and its pleasure is a blessing for the one who recites

salutation and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad.

I extend my praise and salutations on the light described herein, [Muhammad] whose shining light has passed on to the foreheads and faces of generation to generation.

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In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Generous

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I appeal to Allah to bestow these special favours upon the

Prophet's unblemished family [Ahl ul Bait]

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First, I begin this narration in the name of Allah 'Himself'

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And upon the Companions ISahabil and their followers [Tabi'een]

and upon those who were loyal to them,

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And request that there be placed upon him [Muhammad] who

deserves the most praise, generous blessings and salutations.

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I appeal to Allah to guide those who seek the path of Truth and


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Then, praise to the seeker who is going to take pleasure in the taste of this ocean of knowledge.

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And protection from going astray and pursuing the courses of

degradation, and the example of those who have already defected.

I mount this vehicle of knowledge and make known my gratitude.

I present the events of the birth of the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) Like a beautifully striped cloth, voyaging into the history of his forbears.



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I piece together this story; as I would string a necklace, to a willing

audience, keen to attend to its revelation.

"The Second Narration

The prophet's ancestors and the Quraish

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And herein I request Allah's help and power, for surely there is

no greater power other than that of Allah Ta'ala.

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May Allah the Exalted shower His Salutations and blessings

upon the Prophet Muhammad.

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Oh Allah, shower fragrant oil on the grave of the prophet

Muhammad (s.a.w.), the fragrance of which shall pass your blessings and protection.

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I continue in this narration by stating: "He is our honoured

Prophet, the son of Abdullah, the son of Abdul Muttalib whose name was Shybatul Hamdi, because he was born with a grey hair.

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He was the son of Hashim and his name was I Amr', the son of

Abdu Manaaf, his name was Muhirah because he is descended from high rank.

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He was the son of Qusai and his name was Mujami (he was called

Qusai because he was from far-away Qada'ah till Allah beckoned him to the Sacred Haram over which he kept vigil)



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He was the son of Kilaab and his name was Hakim, the son of Murrah, the son of Ka'ab, the son of Luwai, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fihr, and his name was Quraish and his followers formed the tribe 'Quraish',

And he was the son of Mudar, the son of Nizaar, the son of Ma' ad the son of 'Adnan. This generation can be compared to a necklace of which each one forms a bead or part of the white and by doing so, the Sunnah is placed in order of sequence,

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The one who preceded him was Kinaanivun. Most of the learned

people accepted this position and wen~ satisfied with it.

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And he was elevated to the Khalil of Allah prophet Ibrahim (a.s.).

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He in turn was the son of Maalik, the son of An-Nadr, the son of Kinaana, the son of Khuzaima, the son of Mudrika, the son of Yas, and he was the first who had sent camels to the Haram as a form of sacrifice.

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With out a doubt, Adnaan was the one by whom the learned and

the descendants of the prophet, up to the sacrifice of prophet Ismael, came into contact with Adnaan's origin.

Therefore this generation is held in high esteem and comparable to a necklace made up of stars and pearls, which shine in the heavens.

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And the Prophet Muhammad's (s.a.w.) thikr and Iabbyk was

heard far and wide even though it was not uttered but rested in silence in his backbone.

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And how should this not be compared to the Prophet? He is the

centre of the necklace and he was chosen from a generation, who because of his purity should be placed on the highest pedestaL



~~\ ~-QJ:i~l\~. ~T ~\)Y.J\~:P.J~:ill

The planets solely fanned the stars, which formed the necklace.

It can therefore be regarded as a necklace of supreme elegance,

A',\".,,~ - O~··· a ~ u." - -', ·i"1 ~- ,. ~~ 'l\'~;;" ~ J. (..)04 1.#- • J&: (>-l~ J+! n- ~

Oh Allah, shower fragrant oil On the grave of the prophet

Muhammad (s.a.w.), the fragrance of which shall pass your blessings and protection.

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And honoured and esteemed is this necklace, formed of the

abovementioned generation whom Allah has purified from the impurities of the Ignorance.

~ \J~ J ~\ ~Jy. ~ ~:UJ ~\iJ\ (Hy\ \.3j~~T

Zynodien of Irati related in his book Mouriedihiel Haniyyie this

tradition of the forebears of the prophet Muhammad (s.a. w.).

j~~l ~~q ~)'=. re:'; oj fJi CG:J\ I};j /Q~-'~ ~(p 4.1)11~" ~! J 41~! J ?jj Uo ~<x ljy...,

"Allah safeguarded the honour of Muhammad and his

forefathers from impurity. Thus his forefathers from Adam to his parents were never plagued by scandal,

~~.~ll' - ,. 0 I-I. . <~~l\ "I ••. '1--

~ ~Jr J:.J""""" r$ IJ:J'!""" .JY i...SY-" 0 y-"

His forebears were all captains and the light of the prophet was embodied in the lines upon their foreheads.

u c- I ~ 4.jJ1 - w1b:J1"' d· .' - ." .-- - - -

~ -. - .. .J -. - ~ ~~ ~ r$ Q .J.l!_)~ .J

And that light shone as dearly as the full moon on the forehead

of Abdul Muttalib and his son, Abdullah".



The Third Narration

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,~ __ .Jy - - .c....>""'.J .J,.J ~I.#-Y.J

This glad tiding was announced throughout the

heavens and the earth that Aminah was carrying within her body the last of the prophets.

The announcement of the birth of the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)

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May Allah the Exalted shower His blessings and felicity upon the Prophet Muhammad.

~~ ", ..... / '.' f ~ ~It L:..:. -

"' ~ ,. ~. U"'. .J

Everyone who heard this great news longed for the winds of glad

tidings to bring further news of the coming of the prophet.

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~_ " • (_),:'! '"'&:'. .J-"" . (,}<'=I.J - ~- .J

The earth, which was dry and barren for many years through

drought suddenly, awakened and became fertile once more.

l;',: • .J'.. , c:..:...:..~- 1-. ~~I -1 ~~\ _.( -.:'.~:_ -, 1 ._\ II' .,. " I -I' I ,0, .

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o,__ .J~.J~

When Allah the Exalted wanted to reveal the essence of

Muhammad in the form of a body and soul, bearing the qualities and the nature of Allah,

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. r.? . -,.- .. r...;-l.J.J . ~.J

The fruit ripened and for those who 'Wished to pluck from the

trees, it was brought nearer for them

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He transferred the prophet from the back of his father to a place of safety in the womb of his mother Aminah,

~- .; 'I _,,"II t.:...::..iJ ~" .!1 ~\j 'It ~ ~ '.

" ~. J""' .U""" J C --- ,_ ~? ". ~ - -. .J

Whlle Aminah was pregnant with the prophet all the animals

belonging to the tribe of Quraish spoke in fluent Arabic.

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- u_,..,.. u .. ,,~ .... ...?-' ~.J

Allah the Exalted, who is forever near His slaves, and who always

listens to the humble prayers of His slaves, honoured Aminah by granting her the special task of bringing into the world the most

honourable and best loved of all the prophets.

~\::';';l1 J ~:?'Jl\ ~. ;'~~1 J ty.81 c;.::;,.. J

The thrones of certain kings and their idols fell on their faces.



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.• ~ '"!!-:' J J -. J J I,jJ .y po J Y-". J

The wild animals of the East and West as well as the creatures of

The Fourth Narration

the sea ...

The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)

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.' U" Jj....J'"""' U;" \- _,.... , j

And they were in their element over the good news.

~ ~.)~ ~ ~ ~ ~ f,lU

May Allah the Exalted shower His blessings and felicity upon the

Prophet Muhanunad

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l_:"""" J ". y - __ ..JJ ~ - ... J - -..J .. I...J':""' - ~ J

~L3 ~~. ~ J ~ ~ 0S I?~

The announcement of his birth was about to happen and the

prophecies of the creatures (finn) were destroyed while kings were filled with fear. All educated wise men announced the birth of the prophet, but were unable to describe the beauty of the prophet.

~.3YJI J\:JS~l J~.)C 01~ ~J'o:' ;_y, f.3 CJ j

When the prophet's mother was carrying her yet unborn babe for

the two months, according to famous narrators

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J.. ~~ .~ . .u\y..L jl:G..I~ 0£S j ~\ ~ ~ >!. ~_)_,:..... ~ - .. ~ Y

~ - - '" -- • . ~ G.:JI ;JJJ1..l:J1

- .. J. .-

The Prophet Muhammad's father Abdullah died in Madina, He

went t~ live with his two uncles from his mother's side, who were the children of ' Adiey of the Najar tribe.

~ :·'1 ". " - .» •• 'W\ ~ ~ ~ ~I r .1 : ".~~ l..W\ . ~l ~f -

t: ~J:"' ~ J ~ - ~ -- _ _ ~ U:!::'" r ~ ~, J

~~ \'o·,L;\JYj r~ ~"j:'~..;;:,:, l~l ~~to:" j

His mother dreamt that someone (Angel Jibreel) came to her who

said: "Truly, you became pregnant with the highest, greatest, and most honoured of creation; name him Muhammad when you give birth to him. Truly, he will be thanked until the end of his days.

'I-·t"·. - r » »:» -.' I~ ~ \'. ".~ !~6-~-

I> ~ J ~ uY .. . ~_ --*'"" ~ J

He suffered illness for the month in which he lived there, but

they helped him during his illness and plague and stood by him.

~.YJ. ~I ~:""J ~\YI.)C ~ l>of.3 CJ j

So the nine months of his mother's pregnancy came to an end.

Oh Allah, shower fragrant oil on the grave of the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the fragrance of which shall pass your blessings and protection.





~I~ ~ ~b .!~ -. 'G",,1t ~'I - " .. u U·../"O l..I .J

The time when the drought would end had approached to

quench his thirst.

~:illl b' .o.t:.:_ '1 -,' ,;', ., -0 •• 6 - I .ll0 - .uJ '" I ' r , - -.... .~ IY'.~ ~ ~.Y" .J ~ fLY' -~ 4,..., ~

The night approached in which his mother gave birth to him,

Two women of the [annah, Asia and Mariam were present at the holy place that night.

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- y • J~ r-" .J _ .' ~ 4.J Y ~'-=!0..1 UlI .l::.. .J

The mother felt the pangs of childbirth, and so it was that the

prophet was born. Allah placed His blessings and protection on the prophet, which gave off a light, which shone with brilliance and his face,

~ I~ ~ :u:J ~ o· J.'..,,' ". _.' .:ill.., ~)'!'" ~~',l' c- I -, -

...r-. _,-- ~~ .' . .1..;:, ~ .J

And it was like the sun, which shines upon the earth, or like a

luminous face on a clear night.

~~..l·'I~ •. ~o" "~"13; ~\.ll.'.-"I:u:J

- _) .J r fi: _).J..}'-" Ll;! ., l..Il.S. _._""" •

So it was revealed, this night of his birth, what the true religion

would be.

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~. . r-. '"" .J~ (jA ~.J 4..l,l.~.J,l u.u f'>.!

On this day, there was joy and celebration, which Amina, the

daughter of Wahab could boast of, that no other woman before her had received.


~1.·:o;J1 s » •• ~!~. t:....., .r··~L , ....• ~ ~I'

.J ~.Y". . , ~, 'T" y. .J

She returned to her people with greater joy than Sayidina Mariam

(the virgin mother of prophet Issa a.s.),

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. .J .J ~ u . .J J"-"-' C'" ~ _ u ,_,..,

A birth destined by Allah, would most certainly ensure a terrible

illness or hideous death for the unbelievers,

~UdJI ~ J .... 91;, ,,~ll ~~ ~. 01 ~I~I l.S~ ~Iy J

The angels celebrated the good news that the chosen Messenger

was actually born, and there was true joy.

~ , ";;,.:;r I" j ~I Uj ·"'·.1\o..l.l" .t~ ~ -Giji -. - ° ,.' 1.lS' 1"-

, ".J.J.J •• .J .J J.J • . - ,J= ... .J-A.,r. - f' ,., ~ _ .J ~

So it happened, and the Imams who retold certain stories, came to

certain conclusions that is was good to rise when the noble birth of the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was announced.

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.Y" J _ . .Y" ~ F j '.. ~ i.. U ~ r5.~

Blessed are those who wishes are to praise the name of the

prophet, and who make it their sole aim and purpose.

Oh Allah, shower fragrant oil on the grave of the prophet Muhammad (s.a . .w.), the fragrance of which shall pass your blessings and protection,


Foundation of Islam

The Hikam of Ibn 'Ata' Allah

This brief commentary highlights the purpose, meaning and focus of the recited Riwayas'. It is an experience of learning and understanding the nature of the birth of the prophet (s.a.w.) and the celebration of living Islam, the Muhammadi way.

When He endoum you with obedience [to Him} and contentment [with Him, from Him}, know that He has bestowed upon you His Graces both outwardly and inwardly.

The Riwayas' taught by the early Muslim teachers in the Cape placed great emphasis on oral transmission. This approach is not only found and practiced in the Cape, but also popular throughout the world especially at the schools of the various disciplines of Tariqah. TIle Riwayas' recited was also a strategy used to transmit the light and model of the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), It identifies and recognizes some of the known innermeanings behind the events that unfolded before and at the da wn of his birth.

The Transfonnative nature of this particular discipline will lead to the awakening (If the heart with spontaneous remembrance of Allah and being present in every moment. This is just an attempt to rekindle the spirit of learning and reflecting upon the recited Riwayas' and not simply taking it on as a weekly ritual





Allah says about Himself: "Allah - There is no God but Him, the Ever-Living, the Selj-Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belong whatever is in the heavens and in the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the m.ost High, the Most Great". [Surah Baqarah: 255J

'This life is Alla11'S Madrassah within which man is constantly enrolled, in order to grow and learn. If man reflects on the purpose of life, he will find unending lessons'

'The Sheikh begins by saying: "I b~gin in the name of Allah Himself ... "

Commentary: 'Allah in His essence and attributes'

Allah the Exalted says in Surah al - Ikhlas: Say, "He is Allah, Absolute Oneness, Allah, the Everlasting Sustainer of all. He has not given birth and was not born, and no one is comparable to

All creation strives towards Allah the Exalted and His attributesthe All-Merciful, All-Generous, All-Powerful, Ever-living. Beautiful One, the Perfect Light of Lights. Allah says: "And to Allall belong the most beautiful names, so invoke Him. by them and leave those who desecrate His names. They will be repaid jar what they


Allah is the ultimate Divine Light, which is ever present, expressing Absolute Essence from which all attributes, names and manifestations emanate. Allah's Dominion encompasses whatever is known and unknown and cannot be covered or limited by creational thoughts, concepts, indications or attempts:

[Surah aI-A'raJ: 180]

d If o .

Allah's essence and original Light radiate and overflow into all realms of creation. Anything that exists, appears, or lives, has within it an aspect of this energy, and thus it is in Allah's kingdom. We as the Adamic tribe have within our innate nature (fit rah) a yearning and love for all the primal streams and shafts of lights, which have the beautiful and desirable qualities of Allah.



These Attributes are referred to in the Qur'an as the Most Beautiful or Glorious Names of Allah. Most of these Attributes are universally acknowledged as virtues or high qualities. Allah says about the nature of creation: "The dye is Allah's. And who is better at dyeing than Allah? Him do we serve". [Suran Baqarah: 138J

Allah's eternal presence and manifestation through His Glorious Attributes have been there from before creation and will continue

till after the end of all creation. Our responsibility is to yield and submit to His signs through our needs, shortcomings and other dependencies. He has created us such that we submit, read the signs, and follow with faith and confidence in His'Grace.

All of Allah's names, signs, and qualities are signposts along His path (TariqahJ and we are led by Him unto Him (Haqiqah 'The absolute Truth').

The glass will take on the colour of the liquid, which fills it, and the lake will reflect the colour of the sky. If one adores something, then one takes on its shad~. This process begins with outward imitation (Life transaction), but later the- inward condition too (subtler realities of the heart) will reflect the attributes of the Source (Allah).

The human task is to relate and connect to the appropriate quality or names of Allah' and be engulfed and absorbed by its glorious quality to realize-its immediate present reality. Each and every quality meets all of the other Attributes of Allah. This great mystery can never be resolved. It will dissolve and yield its truth, when we ourselves submit and die into its truth.

The messenger of Allah has said in a prophetic tradition: "You must not die without a good opinion of Allah, for truly a good opinion of Allah is the price of entering the Garden".



~J'il J ?'JtJ4 ~~j:.J\ ,)~I ~ Ff J ;).:ai .s

The Sheikh continues with: "Salutations upon the prophet Muhammad ... rr

Commentary: 'The Light of Muhammad (s.a.w.)'

Islam is the prophetic path, which enables the seeker to realize the truth, submit to it, and thus live a noble life. It leads towards the realization of the ever-present Creator and Lord of the universe.

Thousands of prophets and messengers had emerged from amongst numerous societies and cultures throughout the ages. The focus of all of these messages was the same, i.e, there is one Creator and Sustainer of all the known and the unknown, and He (Allah) has created in order to be known and worshipped. Prophethood reflects the Divine Truth and all other realities and the knowledge of the Creator, His attributes and His will.

All prophets and messengers were endowed with miracles and other inexplicable qualities and knowledge appropriate to their time and mission. The Prophet Mohammed's miracle was the vast unveiling of the Qur'an. Also, because of his constant tuning and synchronicity with Allah's divine will. Whatever he said or did would have a miraculous light about it.



In truth every instant in life contains miracle upon miracle, but we are mostly veiled from that because of excessive attention to the senses and physicality. There are millions of miraculous interactions just in our human physiology, whilst we are oblivious to it.

The way of Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the perfection of the prophetic way that began with the rise of consciousness in the Adamic Self. The revealed Qur' an talks about all the prophets and messengers as having brought to their communities the one and only message of abandonment into Allah, living a virtues life in this physical existence before moving on to another phase of life. [After Death].

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the culminating pinnacle of all the prophets and Messengers. He embodies the completion of the collective prophetic consciousness that has come to mankind during the years of the final evolution and awakening of the higher consciousness within the human being. His message confirms all that went before and points out where distortion, misunderstanding and aberration have occurred. Thus his message supersedes all those previous to it in a way that leaves no space for any doubt or misunderstanding, except for those who actively seek it and wish to create confusion for themselves and others.


The Muhammadl model of existence is based on the truth that human life is born of a fusion between the spirit (Ruh), which is from beyond time and space (for it is from the Divine Command), resulting in the individual soul. This event comes about in order to complete the journey of the soul from its Creator via creation back to the Creator. It is part of the process of the final awakening to the one and only Reality in existence.

The Prophetic model shows us that this awakening occurs when the heart [Qalbl is purified and emptied of all idols like the Ka'bah, for it is the ultimate sanctuary.

If there are false gods in it then there is no room for Allah. Only through purity of heart is that spontaneous awareness and intuition heightened and with that the human being becomes the interfacing locus between the seen and the unseen.

"0 Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a Warner, And one who invites to Allah, by His penn iss ion, and an illuminating lamp, And give good tidings to the believers that

they will have from Allah great bounty." [Surah al-Ahzab: 4S-4J


" _ '." o_ •• " "J.lI-'15 jllj,J'.-·'IUJ

~1.A ~..;I.J ?~ .J.JJ'-" U:! ,U I..j _ _ ,."..... ..

The Sheikh says in the Fourth Riwaya: "So it was revealed, this night of his birth (Muhammad), what the true religion would be"

Commentary: 'The complete pathway to Allah'

The true purpose of life is to adore, glorify and worship Allah. Yet how can we be consistent in our commitment, love and submission to Allah, unless we experience the Divine presence at

all time?

When we look around we see people in search of peace and happiness and trying to find in others assurance that their future holds good fortunes and prosperity. Some believe that they are bound to a destination of punishment drifting life into a gloom of nothingness. This idea makes many feel trapped 'here' on earth in debt and despair and consequently clinging on desperately to their prizes and possessions. They are distant from the fountain of divine knowledge, prayer and the idea of contentment and


Human beings are conditioned to be healthy and well, seek and enjoy good food, comfort and ease, seek a clear and healthy mind and know what is needed and not be kept in ignorance.


To have good relationships, give and receive love, be secure emotionally and materially, be content with the moment and be balanced between the opposites of action and rest.

The Qur' an makes a decisive call to mankind to tum to Him and His beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and be favoured with divine knowledge that would guide every thought and behaviour at every station of existence to success and prosperity. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) has said that the life 'here' on earth is a tilting ground for the life to come and jaladin Rumi a great sufi poet has said that the individual1ife is the seed which is buried 'here' to blossom forth in the new world with a new climate and environment.

Who can then be so foolish or blind to the undeniable indication in nature- in the alteration of day and night, in the sciences of life and death and in the intimacy of the marvelous phenomena within the environment and in the makeup of man that all these signs bring us an awakening to the idea and realization of One Absolute Omnipotent Existence?

Allah says in a sacred prophetic tradition [Hadith Qudsi}, 'I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known, therefore I created so that I might be known'.


Allah is more than what can be thought of or imagined, but once He touches our conscience, we feel the Quranic assurance: "And when My servants ask you, [0 Muhammad], concerning Meindeed I am near." [Surah Baqarah: 186]

Realization and acceptance in the Majesty and Sovereignty of Allah lays the foundation and basis of true morality. Once the mapping of the Self [na/s], heart [QalbI and soul (ruh) is read, then a self-imposed discipline will come about.' This desire is the ultimate root of moral and ethical character. Faith [Iman] in Allah makes all of mankind equal and embraced with divine knowledge rewarded with leadership, rank, insight, and wisdom and is joined with a greater responsibility towards Allah and creation.

This means that one understands Islam through the divine knowledge of Allah and is amplified through the example of the prophets and those of authority.

The meaning Islam

Islam is the art of submission to the Divine Power [Allah], which is in control of all existence. Islam is the acknowledgment of selfsubmission and surrender, after which comes the learning of how to interact with the world of change and uncertainty. The Din of Islam envelops a total pattern of transaction with oneself, Creation and the Creator.


To follow, submit and comply with the truth is the only appropriate way to act in His [Allah's] presence and within His creation.

The meaning of Shar'iah

Shar'iah is the divinely revealed system of laws consisting of basic tenets and their various branches of knowledge. Shariah and reasoning need each other like the soul needs the body. It encompasses the pathways of the heart and the internal state of the believer in order that the remedy for the self (nats) is completed and that both the sensory and subtler veils may be removed.

Allah sent the Qur'an to Prophet Muhanunad (s.a.w.) that consists of the knowledge of everything created with its hidden mysteries and wisdoms. The knowledge of Allah is the gateway to attaining higher consciousness of Him.

Allah says: "Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of the night and day, and ships, which sail through the sea with that which, is useful to mankind, and the rain which, Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive there with after it's death, and living creature of all kinds, of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed signs for people of understanding." [Surah Baqarah 164]



Allah is the reason of everything that we experience in this world and what we have learnt of the unseen. He therefore holds the knowledge to the treasures of all the worlds. It is therefore only true to say that we are dependent on Allah and should at all times express our gratitude. Allah says: "Say: Praise be to Allah!" But most of them know not." [Surah Luqman verse 26]

He also says: "0 people! Worship your guardian Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous, who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy, and sent down rain from the heavens, and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance, then eei not up rivals with Allah, when you know the truth." [Surah Baqarah: 22]

The entire living and non-living world constituting this universe should be seen as a manifestation of Allah's attributes and therefore He cannot be ignored. The purpose of creation is to be exposed to the Divine Essence [Allah], which is indescribable yet ever-present beyond reason and intellect.

The prophetic revelations describe mankind's life on earth as a process of growth and increase ill. knowledge and awareness, in order to prepare him/her for the next phase of experience, which is the state following the death of the senses.


"0 you who believe! Answer [the call ofl Allah and His Apostle when He calls you to that, which brings you life; and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you, shall be

gathered, [Surah al-Anjal: 24]




Success and therefore fulfillment, of all life's experiences is to be guided by reason and inspired by faith and subtler knowledge. Despite experiencing the undesirable, if we have faith and have exercised reason fully, then faith will enable us to see the benefit of whatever situation we are in, even that of ill health or a

reversal in fortune.

The Merciful has sent the flower of His creation [Muhammad] as a bringer of good news and a Warner, a guide with inner sight. If you wish to obtain the gift of happiness, then make him the guide of your every thought and move.'

Plant the Seed of Truth

"Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot Seek the path that demands your whole being Leave that which is not, but appears to be Seek that which is, but is not apparent" Rumi


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