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FADILA‚ÄčTOU SHEIKH AL-ISLAM

ELH. IBRAHIM ABDULLAH NIASS (RA)

AL-FAYDATOU  TIJANIA - BOROM JAMANO

RUHUL ADAB - SPIRIT OF GOOD MORALS

By

Fadilatou Sheikh Al Islam Elh. Ibrahim Abdullah Niass(RA)

  * * *

Translation and Commentary

By

Imamul Akbar Sheikh Al Hassan Seydi Ali Cisse (RA)

The subject of this discussion, Sheikh Al Islam Elh. Ibrahim Niass, was a knowledgeable and talentedindividual and the possessor of many gifts from Allah, the Almighty. But, if we were limited todescribing the Sheikh in one word, we would definitely say that the Sheikh was a Muslim throughouthis life, in every time, place, and situation. Most assuredly, he was a Muslim doing his best to followin the footsteps of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. He mentioned in one of hispoems,"If I am asked what is your Madhhab, and who is your beloved, I will definitely answer that theProphet (SAW) is."Early in his life, Sh. Ibrahim joined the Tariqa Tijaniyya which is a tariqa based purely on the Qur`anand Hadith. And if we are herein to describe the Tariqa in one word, again we will say that it is simplyto rule oneself according to the teaching of Qur`an and the teaching of the Prophet (SAWS). TheTariqa Tijaniyya was founded by Shaykh Ahmad Al-Tijani, may Allah be pleased with him, who livedfrom 1737 to 1815.The Tariqa was passed on to Sh. Al-Tijani directly from the Prophet (SAW). It should be noted thatto see the Prophet after his death is not impossible. Up to this day, virtuous Muslims are still seeing him and meeting him. In a hadith reported in Bukhari, the Prophet (SAWS) said,"Whoever sees me in a dream has seen me in reality because Shaytan cannot take my form."And in another report he said,"Whoever sees me in a dream will see me". Therefore, we should know that to see the Prophet (SAW) today is not impossible, that ALLAH provided this gift for His beloved and righteous servants.

Since Sheikh Ahamd Tijani (RA) passed, many of the Ulama of the Tariqa have come and performed their duty inpropagating Islam and expanding the Tariqa, such as Sheikh Umaru Futi Tall (RA), Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hafiz Al-Tijani (RA), a Mauritanian Sheikh who brought the Tariqa to West Africa for the first time, Sheikh El-Hajj Abdullah Niass (RA), the father of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass (RA), and Sheikh El-Hajj Malik Sy (RA). People who were contemporaries of these great leaders respected them as eminent Ulama and whoever met them or readtheir writings also considered them to be highly knowledgeable. In time, the responsibility of leadership passed to the hand of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass who was to play aneven greater role in spreading Islam and the Tariqa in t(1) Asking ALLAH for forgiveness. (It is really unconscionable for a Muslim to stop his brother in Islam from sayinghat area of the world. Indeed, he has achieved accomplishments in this field that have no parallel in the history of West Africa. To this day, contemporaries bear witness to his achievements, whether they were with him or against him. The Tariqa Tijania was a major motivating force in the life of Sheikh Ibrahim. As was mentioned earlier, it is based on Qur`an and Hadith, and the well-known hadith which appears translated below best capsules the intent, substance, and developmental thrust of the Tariqa Tijania: On the authority of `Umar (may ALLAH be pleased with him), who said: "One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of ALLAH (may the blessings and peace of ALLAH be upon him) there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet (SAW). Resting his knees against his and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, hesaid: 'O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.' The Messenger of ALLAH (SAW) said: 'Islam is to testify that there is no god but ALLAH and Muhammad is the Messenger of ALLAH, to perform the Prayers, to pay the Zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make the Pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so'. He said: 'You have spoken rightly.' He said: 'Tell me about Iman.' He said: 'It is to believe in ALLAH, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in Divine Destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.' He said: 'You have spoken rightly.' Hesaid: 'Tell me about Ihsan.' He said: 'It is to worship ALLAH as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you.' He said: 'Then tell me about the Hour.' He said: 'The one 'Then tell me about its signs.' He said: 'That the slave girl will give birth to her mistress and you will see the bare footed, naked, destitute herdsmen competing in constructing lofty buildings.' Then he took himself off and I stayed for a time. Then he said: 'O `Umar, do you know who the questioner was?' I said: 'ALLAH and His Messenger know best.' He said: 'It was Jibreel (AS), who came to teach you your religion.'" It was related by Muslim. It should be obvious from this Hadith that a human being has greater needs than an animal. In the same way he needs food for his body, he also needs to feed his spirit; and the best food for the spirit isthe Remembrance of ALLAH. Zikr provides the direct link between the servant and ALLAH. Surely there iswise counsel in the saying: "The Remembrance of ALLAH is the means to acquire Sainthood, to be oneof the Awliyya."The Tariqa Tijaniyya is based on three principles:(1) Asking ALLAH for forgiveness. (It is really unconscionable for a Muslim to stop his brother in Islam from saying Astaghfirullah. None of us are infallible. The same way we do something right today, we may do it wrong tomorrow. Consequently, the Prophet (SAW) has directed us by saying, "Your sickness is your sin and the remedy of your sickness is to say Astaghfirullah." In addition, there are many verses inthe Qur`an ordering us and advising the community to say Astaghfirullah. Just to mention one, in Surah Hadid (57), v. 21, we are told,"Be ye foremost (in seeking) forgiveness from your Lord..."And, then, there is the example of our most excellent guide, the Prophet (SAW). In spite of the infallibility of his station, and that ALLAH has stated clearly in Sura Fath (48), v. 2, that He has forgivenall his sins, the previous and the latest, the Prophet (SAW) used to ask ALLAH forgiveness and repentance on every day more than one hundred times. If that is the case with him, what should be the case with those of us who live in this corrupt time when disbelief and sinfulness pervade the world.) (2.) The second principle is to say La ilaha illa-llah. (In the Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said, "The best word I have ever said together with the previous Prophets is the word La ilaha illa-llah." And, again, in the Qur`an Surah Baqara (2), v. 152, "Then do you remember Me; I will remember you."And in Surah Imran (3), v. 191, "Men who celebrate the praises of ALLAH, standing, sitting, lying down on their sides..."And, again, in Surah Jumu`ah (62), v. 10, "...and celebrate the Praises of ALLAH often (and without stint): that ye may prosper. "Surely, when ALLAH, with His unlimited wealth says often, this wording is not to be taken lightly. When ALLAH, the Possessor and Dispenser of all wealth, suggests that something be done often, we must remember that the perspective of the wealthy is not like the perspective of the poor. And Almighty ALLAH, He has everything. You cannot even say ALLAH is the richest because everything is under His control.) (3) And the third point is Salatal `ala Nabi, the offering of prayers upon the Prophet (SAW). ALLAH ordered the community, the believers, to offer prayers upon the Prophet after He has himself done this together with His Angels, (Surah Ahzab (33), v. 56). More over, the Prophet (SAW) said in the Hadith,"Whoever offers one prayer upon me, ALLAH will offer ten upon him." In another report, "Who ever offers one prayer on me, ALLAH will offer ten on him; if he makes it ten, ALLAH will make it one hundred for him; if he makes it one hundred, ALLAH will make it one thousand for him; if he makes it a thousand, he will enter Paradise shoulder-to-shoulder together with me."So these are the principles and some of the bases of support for the Zikr of the Tariqa Tijaniyya. It issolely derived from Qur`an and Hadith. In the final analysis, we are Muslims looking for the Truth, and wherever we see the Truth, we shall follow. Bismi-llahir Rahmanir Raheem"Ye have indeed In the Apostle of ALLAH an excellent pattern (of conduct). For any one whose hope is in ALLAH and the Final Day, And who engages much In the praise of ALLAH." (Q. 33: 21)1. Says Ibrahim the son of Al-Hajj Abdullahi, our glowing moon. Al-Hajj Abdullahi s the father of the author. He was a great and celebrated scholar of his time. Eminent scholars have written a lot of biography about him. The following is a comprehensiveaccount of what was written by the great historian Muhammad Abdullah Al-Alawi Al-Tashitee in his biography of "Al-Hajj Abdullahi the son of Muhammad and father of Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse". He related that: "Al-Hajj Abdullahi from his youth has an excellent pattern of life not common amongyouth. As a boy he had very good manners that encompassed humility, patience, quietness and intelligence. He is reported to have committed to memory at first sight his entire portion of the Qur`an written on the slate for him, and later on, anything that he read he committed to memory at first sight. Al-Hajj Abdullahi was said to have always clinged to his father so as not to miss any lessons,particularly the commentary of the Qur`an. On the orders of his father, he later traveled to neighboringcountries to study, even after some of his teachers humbled themselves to become his students,quoting that Imam Malik used to be accepted by his teachers as superior in knowledge."In the year 1309 Hijra, Al-Hajj Abdullahi performed the pilgrimage to Mecca and returned through Egypt and the renowned University of Azhar. He was so highly regarded that on his return, he was too much of a force to be left for granted. He continuously devoted his timeto revive the traditions of the Noble Prophet (SAW) and fight against innovations both in his hometown Tabai, and his country Senegal. This led the colonial masters to make life difficult for him. They insisted that he restrict his preaching and surrender his children for western education. To this Al-HajjAbdullahi vehemently objected, describing it as an evil plot against Islam. He therefore migrated toGambia with his family where he remained for ten years. Within this period, tens of thousands ofstudents migrated to him. In the tenth year of his hijra, he traveled to Fez in Morocco to visit the tombof Sheikh Ahmad Tijani, the renowned and celebrated leader of all Saints of ALLAH. During thisjourney, he received recognition from the great Sufis of Fez. From them he obtained certifications andrare collections of Islamic books, including the original copy of the Jawharat-ul-Ma`ani that was in thecustody of Sheikh Ahmad Tijani for at least sixteen years and later on with his descendants. On hisreturn he passed through his country, where he was so well received that the colonial governmentrequested him to settle in Kaolack. He agreed to this request but with conditions that he shall beallowed to preach and teach the Qur`an, build mosques, and carryout his farming activities. Thecolonial masters agreed to these conditions, which led to his staying in Kaolack. The first thing he didin Kaolack was to build a mosque, then a living house. This mosque was the first mosque in the wholeof Kaolack. There are today over fifty mosques.Al-Hajj Abdullahi remained in Kaolack. There he received students and scholars from all over theworld seeking knowledge of the Qur`an, Islamic knowledge, and]the Sufi way of life. He spent days and nights continuously (except the times of salat) teaching,preaching, and writing.He taught the commentaries of the Qur`an over a hundred times and wrote commentaries on theQur`an, Hadith, and innumerable texts of prominent Islamic books. Al-Hajj Abdullahi left this worldin the year 1340 A.H., equivalent to the year 1920. On this several poets have written, among whom is Muhammad Abdullahi Al-Alawi who wrote thus: :(i) Seeking forgiveness fromThis means the call to the path of the Prophet (SAWS) by Shaykh Ahmad Tijani (RA). This callenjoins the Muslims to hearken to the path of the Prophet (SAWS) by holding strongly to threearticles, without which the Islamic practices can never be properly established. These three articlesare:(i) Seeking forgiveness from (of) Allah from our sins (Astaghfiru-llah)(ii) Offering prayers (salat) upon our beloved Prophet (SAWS)[^Page 5^](iii) Remembering Allah (SWT) - ZIKR, - LA ILAHA ILLA-LLAH. - There is no deity besides ALLAH.The practice of these three articles have been emphasized in the Qur`an and Hadith as explainedbelow:(i) ISTIGHFAR: Seeking forgiveness of Allah. In the Qur`an 110:3, Allah commands: "And seek for His forgiveness for He is always forgiving"Concerning the above command, the Mother of the Faithful Ayesha (RA) said, the Prophet (SAWS)never offered prayer after this verse was revealed except, he says: "My Lord, I glorify and praise you,Oh Allah forgive me." Allah also said in the Qur`an 3:135 "And those who, when they commit shameful acts and wrong their souls, and then rememberAllah quickly seek forgiveness from their sins - And who can forgive sins except Allah? Andafter this they don't obstinately persist in the act knowingly."Allah (SWT) gave glad tidings to the Prophet (SAWS) in the Qur`an 48:1-2 when He said:"Verily We have granted you (Oh Prophet) a manifest victory, that Allah may forgive your pastand future sins..."The above statement of Allah is enough to put the Prophet (SAWS) in no need of forgiveness. TheProphet (SAWS) has declared: "I seek forgiveness from Allah seventy times a day" and in anothernarration one hundred times.The Prophet (SAWS) has also said: "Your sickness is your sin and its remedy is to always seek forforgiveness."[^Page 6^]Allah has said in the Qur`an 8:33 "And it is not for Allah to punish them as long as you are within them Nor will Allah punishthem as long as they continuously seek forgiveness."The above verse shows that the Muslim community has assurance of safety from the wrath of Allah intwo ways. One is if the Prophet (SAWS) is in their midst and the second is if they continuously seekforgiveness. If we then look carefully, only the second option is open to the Muslim community in thepresent circumstance. In a Divine Hadith that is pure, Allah says:"All of you commit sins always, but I forgive all sins,"Since none are infallible but Allah (SWT) and His Apostle (SAWS), the first act enjoined by ShaykhAhmad Tijani as he calls to the path of the Prophet (SAWS) is that the Muslim should return to Allahby realizing his wrong doings and saying the forgiveness formula "Astaghfiru-llah." This is the firstthing enjoined by the Tijaniyya tariqa on his disciples.ii) SALAT-`ALA-NABIYY: This is the second article of the tariqa and it means, to offer prayers on the beloved Prophet (SAWS). Anyone who exercises his thinking faculty very well knows that theProphet (SAWS) does not need our prayers, not even in the least. For Allah, Glorious is His Name, hascompleted His blessings and favors upon him and made him a Mercy to the universe. Allah says in theQur`an 93:5"And soon shall you be given by your Lord (favors of such magnitude) that you will be pleased"[^Page 7^]and in Qur`an 48:2 Allah says:"And He shall complete His favors on you and guide you on the straight path".And Allah said in Qur`an 5:4 "Today have I perfected for you, your religion and completed my favor upon you and pleased tohave Islam as your chosen religion."Besides these, the Prophet (SAWS) himself said: "I am the distributor while Allah is the One thatGives".Contemplating on the above verse, we find that not only has the Prophet (SAWS) acquired all favorsfrom Allah, but any other favor that is due to any other creation passes through him for distribution.What can then the creation ask, for he who distributes? If so.. Why then do we offer prayers on theProphet (SAWS)? We do this only to multiply our expectations from Allah. It is just like a pauper whovisits the king with a gift of a small piece of bread so as to attract the sympathy and love of the king,thereby multiplying his expectations. The king's gift in return is always far better than the pauper'sworthless gift. The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Anyone who makes one salat (prayer) on me, Allah (SWT)makes ten for him. When he makes ten for me, Allah (SWT) makes a hundred for him. When hemakes a hundred for me, Allah (SWT) makes a thousand for him and if he makes a thousand for me,he shall be shoulder to shoulder with me at the gate of the paradise."In another narration: "It will be written for him - safety from hypocrisy, safety from hell-fire, andsafety from punishment."Who knows the value of one salat of Allah, not to mention ten or a hundred or even one thousand!! To attempt to value this is to value the work of Allah and[^Page 8^]its reward as compared to that of His servant. Indeed glory be to Allah Who differs from His creatures in every respect, essence, nature or work. Here therefore lies the secret and cornerstone ofmaking salat (prayer) on the Prophet (SAWS). One salat of Allah is more than enough to turn the hellfireinto a frozen ice.SALAT ON THE PROPHET (SAWS)? What a beautiful profession, that Allah (SWT) and His angelspartake alongside the faithful servants male and female. Allah says in the Qur`an 33:56 "Verily Allah and His angels are sending blessings on the Prophet, Oh you believers, send salatson him and salutations with all respect."The second article of the Tariqa Tijaniyya is therefore a work in which Allah (SWT) and His angelsare participating, and for a poor servant of Allah this makes it a finished affair.(iii) ZIKR: LA ILAHA ILLA-LLAH; The third article with which Shaykh Ahmad Tijani uses in calling people to the path of Allah is Zikr. This means remembering Allah and His absolute existenceday and night by saying: "La ilaha illa-llah." Allah says in the Qur`an 2:152 "Remember Me, I will remember you, Be grateful to me and don't deny (faith)".Zikr is the only form of worship that is neither limited by amount, place or time. For example, fastingis forbidden on Eid days. Prayers are forbidden during sunrise and sunset and during menstrualperiods. Recitations of Qur`an are not normally permitted in salats during bowing and prostrations.Likewise, Zakat and Hajj are limited to an amount and time of the year respectively. As for Zikr, Allahsays in the Qur`an 62:10 [^Page 9^]"...And remember Allah a lot so that you shall be prosperous".In the above, Allah (SWT) ordained us to make a lot of Zikr. What a lot is in the eyes of the poor iscertainly little for the rich. What then do we understand when Allah the Greatest and Self-Sufficientsays a lot. Thus, the minimum we can do to at least come close to "A Lot" in the sight of Allah (SWT)is to remember Him day and night, all day long and throughout our entire life. That is why Allah theMost High describes people of intellect in the Qur`an 3:191 as: "...Those who constantly remember Allah (ZIKR) in all their standing, sitting and lyingpositions..."The Best of All of the Faithful, and Mankind has exemplified this act, as was reported by his belovedwife in a hadith: "Such was the Prophet (SAWS) who used to remember Allah (Zikr) at all his entiretime."The Prophet (SAWS) has declared in a good hadith reported by Anas (RA) "For me to remember Allah by making Zikr with a group of people after the early morning prayer (Fajr) until the sunrise ismore lovable to me than the whole world and its content. And for me to remember Allah by makingZikr with a group of people after the latenoon prayer (Asr) until sunset is more lovable to me than thewhole world and what it contains."Allah has also warned that we should not be among those that forget Allah, as in the Qur`an 59:19, "And do not be like those who forget Allah and He made them forget their own souls. Those areindeed the transgressors."Thus only the hypocrite and transgressor forgets Allah, and in this case Allah also forgets them.Because of their forgetfulness, it is doom after doom for them, day-in and[^Page 10^]day-out in this world. In the Hereafter, their rightful place shall be hell. May Allah (SWT) save usfrom this (Ameen).But if you remember Allah, Allah remembers you. Which means He will help you, assist you, and giveyou victory in both your spiritual and mundane affairs.There are many ways of remembering Allah, but the best way is what Shaykh Ahmad Tijani hasenjoined in calling Muslims to the path of the Prophet (SAWS). The Prophet (SAWS) himself hassaid: "The best that has been said by myself and the previous Prophets before me, is 'La ilaha illa-llah'there is no deity besides Allah".In a Holy Hadith, Allah (SWT) told the Prophet (SAWS) "La ilaha illa-llah is my fortress (protection), whoever enters my fortress is saved from my punishment".It is therefore abhorrent and disgusting for any Muslim to advise a fellow Muslim not to say La ilahailla-llah. Thus the tariqa that advises Muslims to practice this is simply putting them on the path of theProphet (SAWS) and towards obedience of Allah (SWT).The Tariqa Tijaniyya is an ocean of jewels and a treasure spot of satisfaction that puts Muslims on thepath of the Prophet (SAWS). First by cleansing them of their faulty deeds using ISTIGHFAR, then byacquiring for them love with the Creator by the salat on the Prophet (SAWS), and finally enteringthem into paradise by the Zikr of La ilaha illa-llah. The Prophet (SAWS) has said in a hadith of IbnHanbal: "The word La ilaha illa-llah does not leave any sin, nor is any work better than it."In a healthy hadith reported by Al-Baraz from Abu Sa`eed: "Whoever says La ilaha illa-llah sincerelyhas entered Paradise." Note that in the above hadith 'entering' is in the past tense, meaning that theperson is already in[^Page 11^]Paradise. What more of (for) a disciple of Tariqa Tijaniyya that says this for at least three hundredtimes a day?The above three articles are what make up the litanies (Wird (*1), or essential zikr) of Tijaniyya. But enemies of Islam have claimed that the Tariqa Tijaniyya mentions names of their leaders in theirlitanies or make Salatil Fatihi (*2) on other persons other than the Prophet (SAWS). These are calculated-lies and evil-plan against Islam and its revivers. For there is no Sufi order in which namesof the Shaykhs are used in litanies. Shaykh Ahmad Tijani (RA) in particular is a very pious Islamicreviver and grandson of the Prophet (SAWS) who called Muslims to the path of the Prophet (SAWS)by enjoining them on the aforementioned articles of the tariqa. This effort of Shaykh is to save theIslamic community from the gloom of evil plundering, a product of forgetfulness. Those who hearkento this call, otherwise his students, became known and called Tijaniyya like other Sufi orders. TheQadiriyya for example is after Imam Abdul Qadir Jilani and the Shaziliyya after Imam Hassan Shazili,all of whom are grandsons of the Prophet (SAWS).The tariqas are neither sects nor madhhabs. If the above articles are the basis for calling the TariqaTijaniyya a sect, then a sect of what? One should ask. If it is a sect of seeking forgiveness from Allah,making prayers (salat) upon the Prophet (SAWS) and proclaiming the kalima La ilaha illa-llah, thenone wonders what sect the critics are of and it becomes puzzling what Islam is other than these.Shaykh Ahmad Tijani himself was once asked, will false statements be attributed to you after you? Hereplied, "yes" and to this reply he was asked, what is the way out? He then remarked thus: "If you hearanything attributed to me,[^Page 12^]then weigh it with the scale of Shari`at. If it conforms to the Shari`at accept it, otherwise reject it."Unfortunately, people making judgment about the Tijaniyya these days neither have a scale to weighnor have the knowledge of weighing. They therefore make conclusions based on their whims andcaprices rather than the Qur`an and the Shari`at. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur`an 28:50 "Who is more lost than the one that follows wishful (heart) desires without any guidance fromAllah (SWT)."In a similar respect, the excellent student of Shaykh Ahmad Tijani, in person of the author, ShaykhIbrahim Abdullahi Niasse of Kaolack re-echoes this call and advises his followers to uphold theShari`at and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS). The doing of all that has been enjoined by the tariqais ordered by Allah (SWT). Thus the tariqa is based on the Qur`an and the Sunnah. The people of theTARIQA are true followers of the Qur`an and the Sunnah.[^Page 13^]5. Continuously say theWird (Litanies) obligatoryto this tariqa, Bythis benefits are achievedwithout doubt.6. You will not profit bytaking this tariqa, Exceptyou continuouslyseek righteousness. C.4C.4 Taking TariqaThe question people usually ask is that, if tariqa is based on the Qur`an and the Sunnah, why is therethen the need for initiation?Tariqa or Sufism is the last stage of worship, which is the position of seeking righteousness, orIHSAN. Any important position of dignity is normally assumed by initiation. Presidents of nationsassume their seats with initiation of swearing to pacts that they must uphold. The Prophet (SAWS)became prophet by initiation and he only started to call to Islam after being duly permitted by Allah(SWT). Qur`an 33:45,46 says: "Oh Prophet, we have sent you as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings, a Warner and one whoinvites to Allah by His permission and (We have sent you) as a lamp of spreading light."Those who accept the call of the Prophet (SAWS) become Muslims by initiation. They have topronounce the Kalimatu Shahadah (The witness word) by saying: "Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-llah, waash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu," meaning, I bear[^Page 14^]witness that there is no deity (or none worthy of worship) besides Allah and I bear witness thatMuhammad (SAWS) is His servant and messenger. This initiation is normally done at the hand of aMuslim. Since Islam is in stages, then the process of moving from one stage to another must be byinitiation.Other notable actions of the Prophet (SAWS) like Hijra (migration from Mecca) were by permissionfrom Allah (SWT). The decision to defend the Muslim community by waging of war was only afterAllah had given permission, as in the Qur`an 8:65 "Oh Prophet, stir up the faithful to fight."Sufism is a spiritual clinic with doctors who have knowledge of attending to ailments of the soul. For asick patient who requires cure and doses of medicine from the clinic, there is the need for him to makedeclaration of his sickness and acceptance of patienthood.In taking Tariqa, one should be aware that Tariqa is a commitment and the beginning of an endless journey. Shaykh Ibrahim here advises that for one to profit in this journey, he should at all times seek RIGHTEOUSNESS. A man once came to Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse and said: "Oh Shaykh, from today Iam going to do whatever I like." The Shaykh asked him, "Based on what?" He replied: "Based on thefact that on the Day of Judgment, I know you will not enter the Paradise and leave me behind." To thisShaykh asked him: "Who told you that I am going to Paradise?" The man said: "I know it myself, foryou are learned, teach people with your knowledge, help the sick and feed the poor. Above all these,you are using your entire life and effort to see to the upliftment of the religion of Allah. There istherefore no doubt that Paradise is yours."[^Page 15^]Shaykh said: "Get away from here for you are Shaytan"!!!Islam is not a religion of lazy people, but a faith professed by the heart that must be exemplified by thelimbs. The more a believer practices Islam, the more he fears Allah (SWT) and the more he becomes abetter person that is honored and respected in the society.One day in London, two Senegalese Muslims were interviewed by a Jewish person for employment.He started by asking them of their religion. The second one declared that he was a practicing Muslimwho says his prayers promptly. The employer remarked: "It is you that prays that I shall offeremployment to, for one who does not pray can never respect any accord between me and him, if hecan disrespect the accord between him and his Creator."[^Page 16^]7. Fulfilling allprescribed conditions,Exemplifying its ethicalcode. C.58. Exalting all its people,particularly the specialones: to them beobedient.C.5 Conditions of Taking Tariqa TijaniyyaThe first and most important of the conditions is that one must commit himself to it until death. Allah says in the Qur`an 15:99 "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the hour of certainty."The Prophet (SAWS) says in a Hadith: "And indeed, a little that is continuous is better than a lot thatis intermittent." In another hadith the Prophet (SAWS) said: "The best of worship is the constant oneeven if it is little."The second of the conditions is that one must not combine this tariqa with another. There are about three hundred and thirteen (313) tariqas in Islam, each of which is linked through the Companions ofthe Battle of Badr to the Prophet (SAWS). While any of these tariqas will guide one to the Prophet's(SAWS) path, the principles of all of them are combined in the Tariqa of Tijaniyya, in the same waythat all principles of the past religions (of the Book) are combined in Islam. Allah is One. The finaland overall Prophethood is one, and the guiding Shaykh of the last tariqa must certainly be one.[^Page 17^]The third of the conditions is that a person who has taken the Tariqa (i.e. Tijaniyya) should not pay homage (seek spiritual guidance) to any other Wali (Saint) that is not a Tijaniyya for the purpose ofany spiritual gain. He must however, respect all the Waliys (Saints) of Allah. The reason for this is thatTijaniyya, being the fountain-head of all the tariqas, is their summation and therefore nothing is in anyother tariqa that is not found within the Tijaniyya. Why then will one go out to beg for what he has inexcess in his house?The fourth of the conditions is that one must at all times establish the five daily prayers in congregation, except for excusable reasons. It has been related from the Prophet (SAWS) that prayersoffered in congregation are twenty seven times better than those said singularly. In another narration,twenty five times better. Ibn Abbas (RA) also narrated from the Prophet (SAWS) that: "There are noprayers for the neighbors of the mosque, except they offer the prayers in the mosque." When theProphet (SAWS) was asked who is considered neighbors of the mosque, he replied "forty neighborsaway from the mosque."The fifth and the final condition is that a disciple must respect his parents to the utmost possible. Allah always brings together the command to worship with dutifulness to parents. Allah says in theQur`an 2:83"...Don't worship other than Allah, and with parents be nice"Qur`an 4:36 "And worship Allah without joining Him with anything.And with parents be nice...."Qur`an 31:14 "And We enjoined man concerning his parents, he was carried by his mother(during pregnancy) in toil upon toil and weaned him in two years.That he should be thankful to Me and your parents, to Me is the final return."[^Page 18^]Anyone who accepts these conditions is accepted and initiated into the Tijaniyyahood!!9. When you start toperform this wird, Alwaysdiscipline yourself asmuch as possible. C.610. Be of good mannersopenly and secretly, Withit does one climb untohigh positions. C.7C.6 Discipline During WirdOne reciting the wird is sitting with Allah (SWT) and should therefore be as disciplined as possible. Ina Holy Hadith, Allah (SWT) said:"I am the sitting companion of one who is mentioning Me (i.e. remembering Me)."Sitting in the court of any minister or president today deserves a lot of discipline from the subject,what more of sitting with Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (SAWS) including the angels and piousservants!C.7 Good Manners (Piety)For a disciple to reach great heights, he must maintain good manners at all times by fearing Allah(SWT) both openly and secretly. Shaykh Ibrahim has said in another place that all the big Saints of thepast achieved their[^Page 19^]positions by two acts. Thes (two) are; by fear of Allah (SWT), and by being always in the watch-outthat Allah (SWT) is observing all of their acts. He further describes piety, or fear of Allah (Taqwa) ascarrying out all of the duties Allah (SWT) has enjoined and distancing oneself from all that has beenforbidden by Allah (SWT), whether in public or alone. Zikr therefore desires to implant in the muridor disciple the remembrance and hence fear of Allah (SWT) at all times and in all situations. Allah(SWT) has shown in the magnificent Qur`an that all needs can be acquired through fear of Allah(SWT).If you are seeking knowledge, Allah says: Qur`an 2:282 "And fear Allah and you shall be taught by Allah and Allah knows everything."If you seek prosperity in this world and in the hereafter, Allah says in the Qur`an 2:189 "And fear Allah that ye may prosper."If you seek to attain virtue, Allah says: Qur`an 2:189 "It is virtue if ye fear (Allah)"If you want to be among the Saints (Waliys) of Allah, Allah says in the Qur`an 10:62 "Oh yes, indeed on the Friends (Waliys) of Allah, there shall be no fear nor will theygrieve. They are those who believe and have always feared Allah"If you love to be with Allah at all times, Allah says, Qur`an 16:128 "Surely Allah is with those who restrain themselves (for fear of Him)and those who do good."If however, you have erred and desire forgiveness and then reward, Allah says: Qur`an 65:5 "Whoever fears Allah, He will wipe from him his evil doings and magnify for him in rewards."[^Page 20^]If one is seeking a way out of distress, Allah says: Qur`an 65:2 "And whosoever fears Allah, He makes for him a way out (of distress)."If ones affairs become difficult and one seeks for an easy path,Allah says: Qur`an 65:4 "And whoever fears Allah, He creates easiness for him in his affairs."Finally, in addition to all above, the one that fears Allah is always provided with sustenance andwealth from even places unimaginable. Allah says: Qur`an 65:3 "Whoever fears Allah, He provides for him an opening (from his distress). And He provides himwith sustenance and wealth from sources he never imagined."The above is why the excellent Shaykh's advice, at the time of reciting the litanies (wird) of the tariqa,is to be (self) disciplined and in constant fear of Allah at all times. However, these two things are verydifficult to acquire, and that is why in the next verses he goes ahead to explain how these can beacquired.[^Page 21^]11. And picture in yourmind, the Shaykh thatbrought you up, likewisehis Shaykh without doubt.12. Always maintainconcentration andcalmness, likewiseseclusion helps in drawingnear (to Allah). C.813. Seek for a knowledgeableand experiencedteacher C.9 with soundadvice, Complete inknowledge of Divine Lord(and of course) arighteous leader. C.10C.8 The MindThis is the classroom where the disciple learns discipline and fear of Allah. The teacher in thisclassroom should be your Shaykh. Shaykh Ibrahim therefore advises that one should alwaysconcentrate and focus his attention on the teacher during the Zikr. To do this he must free his mindfrom every other thing other than Allah, and make it quiet, tranquil, and calm. This will enable him toreap the benefit of the lesson-Zikr. Allah says in the Qur`an 18:24 "And remember your Lord whenever you have forgotten (everything except Allah)"[^Page 22^]C.9 Seeking for a ShaykhFrom the above, it is imperative that a murid seeks a Shaykh (teacher) whom he will concentrate hisattention on, to attain the benefits of zikr. If so, what kind of teacher? Shaykh Ibrahim now advises onthe kind of teacher to be sought and the behavior that should transpire between this student and hisacquired teacher.C.10 Righteous Leader or ShaykhThe murid or disciple in reality seeks the countenance of Allah. This countenance of Allah has a gatewhich is the Prophet (SAWS), the countenance of the Prophet (SAWS) also has a gate which is theShaykh. Allah says in the Qur`an 3:31 "If you really love (to have the countenance of) Allah, follow me and Allah shall love you"and in the Qur`an 31:15 "And follow the path of one that has turned towards Me."Thus if you love Allah and wish for His countenance you must start your journey by seeking acomplete Shaykh. A complete Shaykh is one whom on one hand knows and observes the law(Shari`at) and on the other hand knows and observes the reality (Haqiqat). The Shari`at and theHaqiqat represent the two sides of the coin. In the words of Imam Malik:"He who practices Sufism without understanding and observing the Fiqh (sacred) corrupts his faith,while he who understands and observes the Fiqh without practicing Sufism corrupts himself. But hewho combines the two has indeed proven to be true."[^Page 23^]Great men of history who have made landmarks both in knowledge and JIHAD were Sufis. Most ofthe books we read today were all written by people of the tariqa. Examples of great authors are: ImamGhazzali, Yusuf Al Nabhani, Imam Nawawi, Jalal al-Deen Suyuti, Imam Abu Hanifa among others.Among great Jihadist of Islam are: Shaykh Uthman bin Fodio of the tariqa Qadiriyya who led theNorthern Nigeria Jihad from 1804-1808, Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jaza-iri of Algeria who foughtagainst the French colonialist from 1832-1847, Shaykh Alhaji Umar Tal Al-Futi of the tariqa Tijaniyyawho fought against paganism, colonialism and innovations in the Islamic Jihad in the West Africancountries of Senegal, Guinea and up to Mali from 1852-1864. Other notable names include SayyidMuhammad Abdullahi of tariqa Salihiyya who fought the British and Italians in Somalia from 1899-1920 and Shaykh Ma`al Aynayn al-Qalqami, who fought against the French in Northern Mauritaniaand Southern Morocco from 1905-1909.All these were known to be righteous Sufi Shaykhs who fought to establish the sacred law (Shari`at)with the power of their complete attachment to Allah, attained through the reality (Haqiqat). The socalledjurists of today that criticize Sufism need to go back to pages of history and study themproperly. Shari`at and Haqiqat form the two wings of the bird that flies the disciple to high stations.When Prophet of Allah Musa (AS) desired the knowledge of the 'Higher Truth', Allah (SWT)appointed for him a teacher, Khidr (RA) to guide him. Allah relates as in the Qur`an 18:65,66 "So they found one of our servants on whom We have bestowed 'mercy from Us' and taught him'knowledge from Our presence.' Moses said to him, 'May I follow you on the understanding thatyou teach me something out of what you have been taught of guidance (to higher truth)'?"[^Page 24^]14. Submit yourselfcompletely to him anddon't experiment (on yourefforts), Be like a deadperson before its washerand you shall beinformed. C.11C.11 Complete SubmissionComplete Submission is very important in Islam. Allah says in the Qur`an 2:208 "Oh you believers, enter into Islam completely (i.e. whole-heartedly)."In another place Allah says, Qur`an (4:59) "Obey Allah and obey the Prophet and the leaders among you."Obedience must therefore be 100%, not 50/50 or 70/30 as done by many today.A Mauritanian student once sold all his cattle and belongings and gave the money to his Shaykh forAllah's sake. People accused him of stupidity and foolishness. But he replied: "Now I have nothing ofwealth or cattle, but I am in a better position than you. This is because I now have none and nothing torely on other than Allah, thereby making my trust in Allah complete. As for you people, when youhave problems especially concerning finance, the first thing you think about is your cattle, and bankreserves."[^Page 25^]In submitting yourself to a Shaykh, sincerity is of utmost importance. Thus some people have askedconcerning a situation where one finds himself in the hands of a false Shaykh who is camouflaged anda mischief doer. The answer is that as long as the disciple is sincere in his followership, Allah shallguide him as He promised in the Qur`an 29:69 "And those that strive in Us (sincerely), We shall surely guide to Our paths."There was a story of a man called Abdul Al who sought for a particular Shaykh to attain guidance.Unfortunately for him, he was directed to a false Shaykh who happened to be a namesake of theintended Shaykh. On arrival he met the false Shaykh with alcohols and women. Despite this the mansubmitted himself to the false Shaykh altogether, then the Shaykh consequently ordered him to hisfarm to serve him there. This he obeyed and diligently carried out for years. When the Qutub of thattime died and it came to choosing a successor, Allah chose this man serving the false Shaykh becauseof his sincerity in seeking the countenance of Allah.[^Page 26^]15. Don't oppose himeven if it seems wrong(his opinion), be always afollower.16. For the teachersmistake could be moreupright and proper, Thanstudents opinion amongpeople of intellect. C.1217. Do not turn to otherthan him in the universe,And be with him as ifthere is no universe. C.13C.12 Personal OpinionExercising Personal Opinion or Ijtihad in Islam on issues not obtainable directly from the Qur`an andthe Hadith is permissible but with conditions of proper knowledge and sincerity. For this reason,Ijtihad is left specifically to scholars. The Prophet (SAWS) has promised that: "for a correct Ijtihadmade (fulfilling those conditions) two rewards are given, while for an incorrect Ijtihad made (fulfillingthese conditions) there is a reward." But when an ignorant person makes an Ijtihad, he is given a sin,whether correct or incorrect. This is why the Sufis say: "Whoever emulates a scholar meets Allahsafely."Besides knowledge, the Shaykh is pious and hardworking, thereby enjoining guidance from Allah. TheShaykh is also experienced and thereby able to properly judge affairs before making pronouncementabout an issue.[^Page 27^]As a result, what might seem a wrong decision in our perception might indeed be very correct. That iswhy the safest thing for a disciple is following at all times.C.13 Universe and its ContentThe disciple should consider the universe and its content as dead, and concentrate only on the directionof his Shaykh. Indeed he should offer the prayer of four takbeer normally offered to the dead on thewhole of the universe, except his Shaykh. Otherwise there is the tendency for him to continuouslygaze here and there and before he realizes, his Shaykh is gone and he will then be lost.[^Page 28^]18. For there is nothingfor the student other thanthis Saint (ShaykhAhmad Tijani), C.14Alongside with theProphet (SAWS) andsurely his Lord, the MostHigh.19. As long as there isother than him in a heartit will not attain, Theknowledge of the Master(Allah), This I say with allcertainty.C.14 Shaykh Ahmad al-TijaniShaykh Ahmad Al-Tijani is the Seal and the Head of all Waliys (Saints), and therefore the closest doorto the Prophet (SAWS). The disciple who takes the tariqa is guided by his local Shaykh from oneposition to another like a traveler that passes from one tollgate to another. If the murid is steadfast, hepasses these gates until he meets this excellent and magnificent Shaykh (Shaykh Ahmad Tijani) whothen takes him through a final journey to the Prophet (SAWS). When he gets to the Prophet (SAWS),he has gotten to Allah, and his Shaykh will then say to him, "Here you are and this is your Lord." Hethen is opened to the reality of things. Indeed Allah is Great, there is none save ALLAH.For, complete submission of oneself to the Shaykh implies also submitting to him your importantaffairs[^Page 29^]whether it is happiness, fear or grief. Just as Allah punishes a community for the wrong done by a fewof them, so does He pour His Mercy on a community for the sake of the righteous servants, for whomhe promised neither fear nor grief. That is why in Jawharat ul Ma`ani, Shaykh advises the student ordisciple thus: "And run to him (your Shaykh) in important affairs for indeed you shall meet withsuccess at that immediate time."[^Page 30^]20. Be at all times withthe Shaykh to profit, Beat all times tenderly inlove to prosper.21. In proportion to yourlove for him you receive,His spiritual providence,the people (Sufis) havesaid this repeatedly.22. Spend out of yournew and old possessionsin seeking, His satisfaction,and be prompt tohis signals, then you willget it right. C.15C.15 Generosity with owned PossessionsAllah the Most Magnificent and Magnanimous, blesses His servants in different capacities to test eachand everyone with what he has been blessed. Even though you love these possessions (that) Allahblesses you with, it is important that you are generous with them for the sake of Allah. Allah says inthe Qur`an 3:92 "Never shall you attain righteousness until you give (generously) out of what you love (ofpossessions). What you do give of anything, Allah is fully aware."In any community, Allah will bless some with riches to test their modesty, humility and generosity,while others He makes poor to test their patience, restraint and persevering. So does Allah make someknowledgeable, strong, young,[^Page 31^]healthy, and beautiful while some others may be ignorant, weak, old, sick and ugly. He creates all totest them. But the Shaykh as a leader is a head to all of them and hence the Balancing Pendulum thateveryone runs to, to receive blessings or be relieved of their distress. This is why a disciple shouldgive freely out of his possessions of either money, strength, or health, to the Shaykh who redistributesthese to the poor, weak and sick. Allah commands the Prophet (SAWS) in the Qur`an thus: 9:103 "Take from their wealth charity with which you purify and sanctify them. And furthermorepray on their behalf, for indeed your prayer is a source of peace for them, and Allah is hearingand knowing."[^Page 32^]23. And satisfy yourShaykh even if he makesyou weep, Because it is togoodness, he guides you.C.1624. Be covetous of yourtime with such greed, Bewarned you shall beafflicted with test ofdecline. C.1725. When you see manifestationof opulence, Donot exceed limits, be contentwith the manifestationof dispossession. C.18C.16 Shedding TearsPainful steps that will cause distress and sometimes tears, are sometimes necessary in the purificationof souls. A doctor that tears open the stomach of his patient during an operation wishes him recovery.A goldsmith that puts gold into the fire wishes to purify it. So, even though harshness and wickednessis manifested, intelligence knows that, it is desirable to obtain a good result.C.17 Time Planning and UsageShaykh now goes ahead to warn that one's time must be well planned and properly used. He advisesthat just as one should not be full of himself when in the advantageous[^Page 33^]position of life and religion, he should also not be frustrated when at a disadvantageous stage of lifeand religious duties. On the proper planning of time, the Prophet (SAWS) has said in meaning; "I havedivided my time into three equal parts; one part for worship, one for my family affairs, and the lastpart I have further divided into two, one for social engagements and one for rest."The above puts the four general activities of the Prophet (SAWS), proportioned in a ratio of 8:8:4:4. The author himself has been reported to never sleep for more than two hours a day since the age ofthirty, except once when under anesthesia, he slept for three hours. On good use of time, the Prophet(SAWS) has said in a Hadith; "Indeed this world has set to return, and for sure the next world has setto come, and for each of them is a community. Be among the children of the hereafter and do notbelong to the children of this world. For today is work without accounting while tomorrow is foraccounting without work".Therefore it is important to plan one's time so as to get at the right place at the right time and for theright period, with the right people. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is only a hope, the reality is nowand must be used well. The Arabs have a proverb that says: "Time is like a sword. If you don't cut withit, it cuts you". Therefore one who desires to leave evil or do good should do it now for tomorrow maybe too late, and had I known is the losers formula. The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Never will the good berotten, nor the sin forgotten. Nor will the One that pays goodness and punishes evil ever die. Dotherefore what you wish. As you lend, so shall you get paid."[^Page 34^]C.18 Test of TimeThe author warns that one must be steadfast with Allah at all times, no matter the state of a servant.Part of Allah's test is to make His servant undergo different situations. Allah says in the Qur`an 2:155 - 157"We shall indeed test you with situations of fear, hunger and reduction in wealth, lives andfruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones. Those who when afflicted say 'We are for Allahand to Him shall we return'. On those descend blessings of their Lord and Mercy, and they arethe guided".Generally there are four situations in which a person could find himself:The first is where he finds himself surrounded with favors of Allah like goodness of health, living, and wealth. In this case, he should praise Allah by saying "Al Hamdu li-llah" (Praise be to Allah).The second is when he is surrounded with afflictions, like difficulties of death, sickness, poverty, etc. In this case, he should return back to Allah by saying: "To Allah do we belong and to Him shall wereturn".The third situation is when he finds himself in full devotion to Allah and in total worship. In this case, he should thank and praise Allah like those surrounded with favors.The fourth situation is when he finds himself committing evil and wronging his soul. In this situation, he should return back to Allah by seeking His forgiveness.While the first and third situations are Allah's manifestation of beauty, the second and fourth situationsare His manifestations of splendor. Therefore a Muslim should not boast or despair in whatever of thesituations, but rather he should be pleased and content with Allah at all times.[Page 35]26. For all of these(manifestations) areaffairs of Allah's unfoldings,Glorious is He tobe blamed for what HeDestines. C.1927. Do not be anguishedwhen you are afflictedwith mischiefs of Hiscreations, for that youwere created. (i.e. to meetsuch realities of life).28. Mischief is made toflow from them so thatyou don't rely, On them -but on Allah should yousolely rely.29. When tested withdifficulties and afflictions,Persevere patiently, forthereafter shall comerelief and happiness.30. For after every nightcomes the day, And afterevery hardship comes theease.[^Page 36^]31. Rather, after everyhardship comes doubleease, As related fromAhmad (SAWS) theLegendary Adnan.32. If you know that, thenyou shall always besatisfied, (With) Allah'sdecision which at all timesmust prevail.33. Whenever you seek arequest that is lacking,The dangers of it Heknows and you don't.34. He deters what isdangerous (from you) outof His tenderness,therefore don't, Accuseour Lord otherwise youshall be abandoned.35. Were man to knowWho the Merciful (Allah)is, He would have beenfacing afflictions, asmiling man.[^Page 37^]C.19 Satisfaction with PredestinationWhile Shaykh advises on accepting tests of time with contentment, he went on further to explain theneed to be satisfied and actually be pleased with predestination. For Allah, out of His Mercy, refuses arequest where it is harmful to the individual concerned. Whatever happens has already beenpredestined. The Prophet (SAWS) said in a sound Hadith: "What touches you couldn't have missedyou, and what missed you couldn't have touched you. Then pen has been lifted and the ink has dried".Allah's decision is best in all circumstances, Allah said in the Qur`an 21:23 "He (Allah) is not questionable about His actions, but they (the creatures) will be questioned."Not only has Allah set up a measure for everything, but He has knowledge of everything past, presentor future. Allah says in the Qur`an 65:3 "Indeed for everything has Allah set a limit"and in the Qur`an 65:12 "For sure, Allah encompasses everything in knowledge".And also in Qur`an 2:216 "Allah knows while you do not know".If one also studies the loved ones or Prophets of Allah, they are the most afflicted with sufferings andenmity, and most often from their tribes and relatives. Out of wisdom, Allah allows this to happen tothem so that the Prophets could concentrate their love for Allah alone. It also serves as a lesson forothers. The Shaykh also reminded that Allah has promised that every difficulty is followed by plentyof easiness. Allah says in the Qur`an 94:5-6 "For sure, with every difficulty is relief, and indeed with every difficulty is relief".[^Page 38^]In the above verse, while the word difficulty (Al-Usr) was made definitive and repeated, the wordrelief (Yusr) was made indefinite and repeated. The meaning of this in Arabic is that the difficultyrepeated is definite and once, while the ease or relief promised is indefinite and twice.Finally, it should be known that Allah has made a promise of answering our prayers, but we shall onlysee the answer to what He has decreed for us at the time He has decreed. It will not occur at the timewe choose. If we ask for what Allah has not decreed for us, He will answer but delay it until the day ofjudgment or exchange it for another favor that He sees is better for us. The Prophet (SAWS) said:"Were people to realize what options they will receive in the hereafter, they would wish that theanswers to their request be delayed until the hereafter".[^Page 39^]36. Don't seek exaltationfrom the creation without,Being exalted by theCreator, no, never.37. Don't be glad withfavors you are bestowedwith, Be glad with theBestower (Allah) ifyou reason.38. For every favor willvanish except theBestower, For that is theEverlasting all time.39. Don't despise anyMuslim and don'tmention, people's faults,for the faults from youare likely to be seen.40. Maybe were the onein two tatters of dustygarments, To invoke bythe Master (Allah), he willbe honored as has beenreported (Hadith).41. Don't harm a Muslimeven if it appears that, hepersistently harms, beforgiving.[^Page 40^]42. For indeed, all thesecreations are Allah'sservants, Do not harm, ohmy brothers the servantsof Allah. C.2043. For you will not bepleased with him who illtreatsyour servant, Evenif he does wrong, feartherefore your Lord.44. Persist in sadness andthe taught of death, Don'tforget also the questioningof the dead (in the grave).C.20 Consideration and ModerationA Muslim who accepts the advice's of Shaykh mentioned from the beginning, and works with them islikely to feel happy and exalted, and therefore look down on others or even discredit them, or peoplethat do not look as pious as he thinks himself. The Shaykh therefore warns about the dangers normallysurrounding a person who tries to be pious. A striving Muslim should try not to demand respect andexaltations. He should not look down at non-striving or weak Muslims, nor should he ever be enjoyedor pleased with favors bestowed on him, for the One that gives is better than what He gave. Allah saysin the Qur`an 16:96 "That you wish shall perish, but what is with Allah is everlasting".[^Page 41^]Allah might have favored you with wealth of piety, knowledge, or good state of mind. Let not thesemake you speak ill or look down on your fellow Muslims who are not as fortunate. The Prophet(SAWS) said: "A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, he shall not despise, look down or oppress him.Piety is here (The Prophet pointed to his chest). Any Muslim being against any Muslim is forbidden,in terms of blood, reputation and wealth. It is enough of evil for a Muslim to despise his Muslimbrother".There are situations when an ordinary looking man may be a great and pious person, or even a Saint ofAllah (Wali). Just as Allah has hidden His greatest name among other names of Allah, and the Nightof Power among nights of Ramadan, so are the Saints of Allah sometimes hidden in the crowd ofordinary Muslims. The Prophet (SAWS) said: "(It) May be (that) were the one in tattered dress toinvoke Allah, he will have his invocations blessed".Another great danger that faces a striving Muslim, is when he has been wronged or when he seesothers committing wrong. There are three options with which to treat one who has wronged you. Theleast of options is that of the Shari`at. In this option, you can seek retribution by retaliating in the samemanner that you were offended. A better option is that of Faith. This is done by having faith in Allah'spredestination and therefore forgiving the wrong done. The best option is that of Goodness (Ihsan). Inthis option, you not only have faith in Allah's decision but you are pleased, because you know thatAllah always does good. So you forgive the wrong that was done, and also extend goodness to the onethat has done the wrong so as to[^Page 42^]remove any enmity. A typical example of this is when the Prophet (SAWS) conquered Mecca. TheProphet (SAWS) not only forgave his persecutors but extended to them a hand of friendship. It isreported that Allah said to Prophet Musa (AS):"Don't fear any authority if you are not wrong, as long as My Authority is there. And MyAuthority is there and Mine forever. Don't fear poverty as long as My Treasuries are full, andMine are full forever. Don't mention people's faults as long as faults are being seen with you.And human beings are hardly blameless. Don't stop fighting Shaytan (Satan) as long as Satan isfighting you, and Satan is fighting you forever. Don't feel safe until you see yourself insideParadise, and even if you see yourself inside Paradise, remember that your father Adam (AS)was already inside it and I removed him from it".Finally the author advises the importance of self-humiliation, no matter what has been achieved. Thisis because, things left undone and errors committed are so many. One should therefore rememberdeath at all times and be sorrowful. And remember most of all the questioners of the grave. TheProphet (SAWS) said: "If you are aware as I am, you will smile little and weep a lot". In anothernarration he (SAWS) said: "The grave is either of the two: a paradise out of the Paradise, or anextension of hell".This is because after being buried in the grave and before the departures of the mourners, thequestioning angels of the grave (Munkar and Nakir) will ask the buried concerning his Lord, Prophet,Religion, and Book. A Muslim will definitely answer satisfactorily and his grave[^Page 43^]will then be turned into an extension of Paradise. For a disbeliever, he will reply wrongly and hisgrave will be changed to an extension of hell. (This is the beginning of the journey to the hereafter.)Since it is difficult to escape being a victim of self-exaltation, ill-treating Muslims, and bad behaviorbefore Allah, the author in the next sections enjoined Muslims to seek knowledge.[^Page 44^]45. It is inevitable to firstand foremost seekknowledge And you muststudy the laws of Allah(Shari`at) properly. C.2146. I swear by my lifethat knowledge is theleader of actions, As wastransmitted from Ta-Ha(SAWS), the best of allmessengers.47. Obtain knowledge offour subjects, C.22 oh youtraveler, The first of it isthe knowledge Of theLord Possessor. C.2348. And secondly is toknow all that is involved,In the worship of Allah, for that, you will becertain. C.24C.21 Knowledge as a basic requirementSeeking knowledge is a must for a Muslim as knowledge necessarily proceeds every other thing. TheProphet (SAWS) said in a sound Hadith: "Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, maleand female".Allah (SWT) had said in Holy Hadith: [^Page 45^]"Know Me before worshiping Me, for if you don't know Me then how do you worship Me".In the books of Fiqh, it is agreed that starting any act of worship without the Knowledge of the laws ofAllah (SWT) concerning that action is forbidden. Allah says in the Qur`an 29:43 "And by this parable do We show man examples, but none understands it except theknowledgeable".Allah also said in the Qur`an 3:190 "Indeed, in the creation of the firmament and the earth, and the differences of night and day aresigns for the people of understanding".Just as seeking Knowledge is obligatory in Islam, ignorance and remaining in its state is forbidden.Allah asks in the Qur`an 3:66 "Why do you argue concerning what you have no knowledge about".He further emphasizes the position of seeking knowledge in Islam, as the basis and the beginning ofall work. The first admonition of Allah in His great revelation to the Prophet (SAWS) was thecommand: "Read" , Qur`an 96:1. The author of the book therefore enjoins here that knowledge should be sought. He has further broken down all knowledge of importance into four types, asexplained below.C.22 Kinds of KnowledgeShaykh has advised that for a Muslim to be complete, four subject areas must be studied:(i) Ma`arifa (i.e. The Knowledge of Allah)[^Page 46^](ii) Shari`at (i.e. The Knowledge of the laws concerning worship of Allah)iii) Haal (i.e. The Knowledge of the different conditions of the state of the heart,soul and spirit)iv) Humility (i.e. The Knowledge of Characters that lead to making a man humble) Each of the above must be studied thoroughly and practiced properly. A brief explanation on each ofthese subjects is presented below.C.23 Ma`arifaThe most important knowledge to seek should concern what is most important. Therefore, the firstknowledge to seek for should be that concerning Allah Himself. This knowledge is known as Ma`arifaand is indicated in the first revelation of Allah to His most loved Prophet, Qur`an 96: 1-2 "Read! In the name of your Lord Who creates,created man out of congealed blood....."The above is part of the first verses to the Great Prophet of history and time, after a series ofmeditations about the CREATOR in cave Hira. The occasion introduced him to a new state andmarked the beginning of an era in human history.If one contemplates the above verse, it will be seen that the command:"In the name of your Lord" -means to acquire knowledge concerning Allah, and what He creates, particularly man, in whom allother creatures are coded. A backward integration will therefore imply that by studying Allah'screation, and especially the most wonderful of them which is man, one would gradually acquire theknowledge[^Page 47^]of their Creator - ALLAH. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur`an 2:164 "Definitely; In the creation of the heavens-the alternation of night and day,-the ships that sail through the sea withthings that profit mankind,-in what Allah has sent down from theheavens (skies) of rain and with it brings tolife of the earth after--its death, and spreadson earth by this process every type ofanimal,-and the free movement of the wind and thecloud subjected between the skies and earth,Indeed in all the above, are signs for people that reason."Signs point to destination and therefore careful study and evaluation of Allah's signs (creations) willlead one to Allah (Creator).This knowledge is sometimes referred to as TAUHID if it is studied by obtaining physical proofsthrough arguments and reasoning. But when obtained by spiritual proof through remembrance of Allah(ZIKR) and self-annihilation, it is referred to as MA`ARIFA (i.e. the science of Reality in nonexistence).In Tauhid, the student is taken through sets of mental argument until he is convincedthrough proofs that Allah is the Creator of all creations. In Ma`arifa, the student is taken through setsof spiritual training and journey until he arrives at the destination of the REAL, where he realizes thatALLAH is the REAL, the FIRST, and the LAST, the MANIFEST, the HIDDEN.[^Page 48^]C.24 Shari`atThe second knowledge that should be acquired is that concerning the laws of worship established byAllah (SWT) and His Prophet (SAWS). This knowledge (Shari`at) spells out what is enjoined andforbidden in worship. It further lays down ways of carrying out acts of worship.The importance of this knowledge is that it is used to service and maintain the Am`arifa (Reality,Beauty and Magnificence) of Allah already acquired. It is a means of revisiting Allah (SWT) throughprimary worships like prayers, fasting, alms giving and pilgrimage, and secondary worships likemarriage, divorce, commerce and economics, etc. The knowledge of all the above is called "Thejurisprudence" or "SHARI`AT".[^Page 49^]49. And thirdly is tolearn the different statesof soul, From itstreachery, deceptions andplots. C.2550. For the soul has itsfault, and Heart its fault,And the spirit its Fault, inthese there is no doubt.C.25 HaalAfter acquiring the knowledge of Allah and His laid down laws, the next important knowledge is thatof man, for whom the laid down laws are meant. Man is a complex structure and the most influentialorgan in this complex structure is the heart. The Prophet (SAWS) has said in a sound Hadith: ".....Inthe body is an organ, if this organ is healthy, the whole body becomes healthy. If it is unhealthy, thewhole body becomes diseased. Alas, this is the heart". Allah (SWT) said in a narration that implies:"The whole seven heaven(s) and earth(s) cannot contain Me, but the heart of a faithful servant isenough to contain Me".In the Qur`an 33:4 Allah says"And Allah has not put for any man two hearts in his body".A healthy heart is therefore a reflection of piety and good manners while a diseased heart is alsodisposed to evils and the way of Shaytan.The Spirit is that essence that gives life to the heart and the whole body. The spirit enables the body tofunction,[^Page 50^]such as its capability to see, hear, talk, work, eat, etc. Allah says in the Qur`an 17:85 "They are asking you concerning the Spirit, say, the Spirit is part of the affairs of Allah".When the heart is removed from the body, the body becomes useless. So also, when the spirit isremoved from the body, it becomes lifeless.Therefore to know man, the study of the different states of heart or soul or spirit is very important. Thedifferent conditions or states of heart or soul are referred to as Haal.The soul can exist at six different states, and if properly trained can move from the lowest state to the best state.The first state is that in which the heart is inclined to doing evil. The heart or soul in this state is referred to as "Nafsu Ammaratu bi Su-i" (A soul perpetuating in evil). Allah has said in the Qur`an 12:53"Indeed the soul is certainly prone to evil, except the one on which my Lord bestows HisMercy".The second state of the soul, which is a degree higher than the first, is the state that sees evil as a blameworthy act and constantly blames itself. It seeks for forgiveness after committing evil. The soulin this state is referred to as "Nafsul Lawwama" (The Blaming soul). Allah says in the Qur`an 75:1- 2"Will I not swear by the resurrection day, will I not swear by the Blaming soul..."The third state is the soul that can differentiate between good and evil due to inspiration it receives from Allah. The heart or soul in this state is referred to as "Nafsul Mulhima" (An Inspired soul). Allah (SWT) says in the Qur`an 91:7-8 [^Page 51^]"By the soul and its proportioning, And its being inspired as to what makes it evil and whatmakes it pious".From the above state, a further training toward abandoning evil actions will graduate it to the fourth state. This is a state in which the soul becomes content. It is referred to as "Nafsul Mutma'inna"(The Contented soul). Allah says in the Qur`an 13:28 "And those who content their heart with the remembrance of Allah. Indeed by remembrance ofAllah do hearts achieve contentment".The state of the soul that remains contented, by remembrance of Allah, attains a higher degree of beingpleased with Allah. If he also maintains being dedicated with being pleased with Allah, the soul attainsthe highest degree where Allah is pleased with it. These fifth and sixth states are mentioned in theQur`an 89:27-30"O (thou) soul, In (complete) rest and satisfaction! "Come back thou to thy Lord, - well pleased(thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him! "Enter thou, then, among My Devotees! "Yea, enter thouMy Heaven![^Page 52^]51. And the seeking ofknowledge of goodconduct on you disciple(is the fourth) For indeed,it is the door for everydisciple. C.2652. Be God fearing, aman of humility, You willnot by humbleness be inabasement.53. Ilm (knowledge),Gina (wealth), Khisbun(fertility), are words thatcame (in pronunciation),With low pitched vowelsestablished in them.54. Jahlu (ignorance),Faqru (poverty), Jadbu(infertility) are words thatcome, With high pitchedvowels established inthem.55. These are signs if youreason clearly, recognizewhat you have beeninspired with.[^Page 53^]56. Not on mountains doflood settle, Nor on treesin disregarding (theirheights).C.26 Good ConductThe author now goes ahead using signs and wisdom to support the praiseworthy actions he has calledfor. He shows that all that is desired and respected like knowledge, riches, and fertility, attain thisdegree of height because of their humility. For example, the Arabic words for knowledge (ilm), wealth(gina), and fertility (khisbu) are pronounced with the lower vowels. By the lowering of these words inpronunciation, they attain a height of importance. This is the reverse for ignorance (jahlu), poverty(faqru), and infertility (jadbu) that raise their ego in pronunciation and become debased in reality.Another example is the rainwater, which by law prefers to settle in a lowly place rather than a place ofheight, but water is highly respected and well sought for. All these are examples of wisdom withwhich Allah teaches that by humility one can attain greatness. This is why when Prophet Yunus (AS)was in the multiple darkness of night, sea, and whale, he called on Allah saying Qur`an 21:87 "There is no deity but you. Glory be on you, for indeed I have been among the oppressors".In reply to this humble submission Allah said concerning him; Qur`an 68:50 "And he was selected by his Lord and made among the righteous".Examples of dangers of pride can be seen in the behavior of Pharaoh, the people of Mecca, and Satan.[^Page 54^]As for Pharaoh, he was proud and refused to submit to Allah. When he finally submitted in the face ofimminent calamity, he refused to do so directly. He said, as reported by Allah; Qur`an 10:90): "I believe that there is no deity but the one believed upon by the children of Israel and I amamong the Muslims".Allah rejected this kind of submission and replied thus; Qur`an 10:91 "Until now? And you have indeed been in evil and among the transgressors".As for the Meccans, immediately those who accepted Islam quickly raised themselves to the positionsof the Faithful. But Allah rejected this claim as He said in the Qur`an 49:14 "The Desert Arabs said, we faithfully believe. Say to them (Oh Prophet); you have not believedfaithfully, but rather say: we have submitted (to the force of Islam), for faith has not enteredyour hearts".Another example of false pride is that of Satan. When Allah commanded him to prostrate before Adam(AS), Satan said as reported in the Qur`an 7:12 "I am better than him, you created me from fire while you created him from clay".Consequently, Satan lost all his positions.An excellent example of behavior has been left by the Prophet (SAWS). The Prophet (SAWS) wasonce given the choice of being a prophet and a king, or a prophet and a servant. The Prophet (SAWS)chose to be the latter. He was also given the choice of having the two biggest mountains of Meccaconverted into gold for him, so he could spend. But he chose to remain as Allah had chosen him, i.e. tobe sometimes rich and sometimes poor. Because of the[^Page 55^]humility displayed by the Prophet (SAWS) before his Creator, Allah (SWT) granted him the highestposition in the hereafter, known as "The Praiseworthy Position". The Prophet (SAWS) has also warned about the danger of assuming false pride because of lineage. Headvised both his daughter Fatima (RA) and aunt Safiya (RA) to do good work as much as others,because their lineage will be of no use to them on the Day of Judgment without good work. It's onlyAllah that can exalt one. The Prophet (SAWS) has said, that when a servant of Allah excels in goodwork, he attains the Love of Allah up to the stage when Allah shall call Angel Gabriel to announce toall creatures in the seven heavens and earth, that "Allah loves this servant so you all love him".Self-satisfaction therefore, not only results in pride, but also reduction in output. A servant of Allahshould continue to do and excel in good works, and always see himself as poor in work. He shouldalso continue to seek all his needs from Allah, from the smallest things like salt, to big positions suchas the Qutub. It's easy for Allah to grant any and all of the requests. Whatever Allah desires to do isbetween the letter Kaf and Nun. He only says Be! And it Is. (Kun! Fiya Kun); no more and no less. Ofcourse, one must never seek for impossible things like being God or Prophet.[^Page 56^]57. Never be satisfiedabout yourself, nor hopeor Fear other than Allah,besides Him neglect.58. Never be arrogant ohmy brother or bejealous, C.27 Nor do eyeservice,but to your Lordheed. C.2859. And arrogance ariseseither because ofknowledge, or lineage, Orcompanionship, or gettinginvolved in acts ofdevotions, and wealth.60. A disobedience thatbrings about humiliationis better, While an act ofdevotion that Results inarrogance is worst.C.27 Jealousy or EnvyWhen a Muslim finds himself striving and hardworking, he is very fortunate and therefore may makeothers jealous. The Prophet (SAWS) said in a reported Hadith that all possessors of fortune causejealousy. Allah (SWT), in the next to last chapter of Qur`an, has commanded the Prophet (SAWS) toseek refuge with the Lord of the dawn as day breaks, from the evils of His creations, evils of the nightas[^Page 57^]it covers everything, evils of the witches as they spit mischief on tied knots, and the evils of the jealouswhen he is being jealous.Since envy or jealousy is such a great evil, and could take up a whole chapter devoted to teaching aman how to seek refuge from evil, the Shaykh therefore advises that one should be selfless, work hard, and not be envious. This is because an envious one fights Allah (SWT). For it is Allah (SWT) whogives fortune to His servants as He Wills, and the jealous one whom is unhappy about the fortune ofhis colleague is actually unhappy with the Giver, Allah (SWT).The Meccans rejected the Prophet (SAWS) out of envy, not because they didn't believe that therevelation was from Allah. They wondered how a poor orphan could attain Prophethood in the midstof chieftains and possessors of wealth, might, and power. They, therefore, preferred to cling to whatwas inherited from their forefathers, rather than to reason and objectivity. But Allah (SWT) is theMost Wise and His decisions unquestionable.History has a story of a learned scholar who was appointed by the king to always open his courts,other important meetings, gatherings, and celebrations with speeches. This scholar always would sayin his speech, "O king, do good to whom-ever is good to you, but for anyone who wrongs you, leavehim, for evil will take revenge on him". The position of the scholar soon became a subject of envy toother scholars, including his close friends. This envy led one of his colleagues to lie against him to theking saying: "This man you made so close to you is saying bad things about you all over the place."When the king asked of the bad things said, this colleague replied: "He says your mouth is smelling."The king then requested this envious colleague to advise him on how to confirm this statement.[^Page 58^]He replied: "Just send for him tomorrow and make him come close to you." The king then asked thejealous colleague to call for him the appointed learned scholar the following day. The following day,the jealous colleague invited his friend for lunch prepared with garlic, onions, and the like. While theywere eating, he informed the scholar that he had just remembered that the king wanted to see himurgently. He advised him to leave at once. He left immediately to answer the king's call. On arrival, hewent close to greet the king but covered his mouth because of the smelling spices he ate, and this ledthe king to confirm the allegation. The king then ordered for a pen and paper, wrote a decree, andasked the scholar to deliver it to one of the governors. At the king's gate, the scholar met this enviousfriend already waiting for him to find out what had happened. He told his friend that the king onlygave him a document that he wrote himself to be delivered to a governor. Since it is not customary forthe king himself to write a note, except in respect of gifts, the friend requested the scholar to allow himto deliver the note, assuming that it was meant for a gift. The scholar obliged and gave him the paper.On getting to the governor, the envious friend presented the paper to the governor, who broke the seal,read it, and told the envious friend to get ready for his death because the king has ordered that his headbe brought. The envious friend complained to the governor that he was not the real bearer of the letter,but the governor told him that the order reads: "Let whosoever brings this paper be killed." He wastherefore killed and the head sent to the king. When the king saw the head that was brought, he sentfor the appointed scholar out of surprise, to ask what had transpired between him and the man killed.The scholar narrated that they are friends and that there is no quarrel[^Page 59^]between them. The king then narrated what the deceased had earlier said and asked why the scholarhad said bad things about him. The scholar denied that he could have said such things. The king theninquired of the scholar's reason for covering his mouth the last time he had invited him. And thescholar replied that this was a result of the state of his mouth just after eating lunch (with garlic,onions, and the like) prepared for him by his late friend, before telling him to report to the kingurgently. Since he feared to speak to the king with a mouthful odor, he covered it. The king then askedhim about the order he had given him. He replied, that he had met his late friend by the gate who tookit from him to deliver. The king then said, the truth of the advice you used to give me that: "Be good towhoever is good to you. But for anyone who wrongs you, leave him. For evil will take revenge onhim." has been proven in your case.C.28 Sincerity of WorshipIn trying to excel in hard work, one should try to be equally sincere and avoid showing off, becausethe quality of every work is said to depend on the sincerity involved. In a Hadith, the Prophet (SAWS)said: "The first to be judged on the Day of Judgment is the martyr. He will be brought forward andAllah will mention to him His favors which he will acknowledge."Thereafter Allah will say: "What have you done with them?"The martyr will reply: "I fought for Your sake until I attained martyrdom." Allah (SWT) will reply: "You lie. You fought in order to be called a hero. You have been called so (which is yourreward)."[^Page 60^]He will then order that he be taken to hell-fire where he shall be flung therein headlong. Then a manshall also be brought forward who learned knowledge, taught it to others, and read the Qur`an. Allahwill remind him of these favors bestowed on him to which he will acknowledge. Allah will then ask him:"What have you done with them?"and he will reply: "I sought knowledge, taught it, and read the Qur`an only to please you." Allah (SWT) will say:"You lie. You learned so as to be called a scholar, and you read the Qur`an so as to be called areciter, and you have been called these names."He will then be sentenced and dragged headlong to hell-fire.Then a man shall also be brought forward who has been blessed with bounties and wealth. Allah willrecall His favors on him to which he will acknowledge. Allah (SWT) will then ask him: "What did you do with them?"He will answer: "I have left no cause you love to see made, except I spent on such a cause for yoursake." Allah (SWT) will say: "You lie. You spent to be called generous and you have been called so."He will then be dragged headlong to hell-fire.It is therefore important to avoid actions for the purpose of eye-service, show-off, or pride. Any act ofpiety that results in showing off and pride is evil rather than good. While sinful acts that will result inhumility before Allah (SWT) are good and better. Allah says in the Qur`an 28:83 "That Home of the Hereafter We shall give to those who intend not high-handedness or mischiefon earth: And the End is (best) for the righteous."[^Page 61^]In a Divine Hadith, the Prophet (SAWS) related that Allah said:"Greatness is My wrapper, and Majesty is My garment. Whoever desires any of the two of Me, Ithrow him in the hell-fire."On the Day of Judgment, only those actions, works, and relationships that are based on sincerity andpiety will remain. Every other work and relationship will perish. Allah says in the Qur`an 23:101 "When the trumpet is blown, there shall be no more relationship between them that day. Norwill one ask after another."Also in the Qur`an 80:33-37 "When comes the deafening utter cry, this is the day when man shall flee from his own brother,mother, father, wife, and children. Each one of them will on that day have so many worries forhimself (to make him indifferent to others)."The only beneficiaries on the Day of Judgment are those who have carried out sincere work and go totheir Creator with a peaceful heart. A peaceful heart is the heart of "La ilaha illa-llah".However, whenever a servant of Allah realizes himself (as) devoutly attached to Allah, he assumes theposition of Abraham (AS) and should pray as Abraham (AS) did when building the first house ofAllah on Earth (Kaaba). He prayed thus: Qur`an 2:127 "O Allah. Accept from us (this house). For you are indeed the Hearing and the Knowing."Finally, since self-humiliation is the step of showing remorse, it is also the first step to forgiveness, thefirst step to good from bad, and therefore the first step to God, Allah. This is why the Shaykh said that:"Evil actions that give rise to self-humiliation are better, while acts of piety that give rise tohaughtiness and pride are worse".[^Page 62^]61. You will never be freefrom blemish, Exceptwith a Shaykh of divineknowledge that isconstantly consulted. C.2962. Adhere strongly tothe protection ofShaykh's (of divineknowledge), If you wantto attain a lofty andexalted height.63. The most excellentShaykh of all time in anyrespect, Is our leader Al-Tijani, the possessor ofgreat virtues.64. The intermediary andfoundation of everyscholar of divine knowledge,he is to them theflowing fountain and thesun.65. And the best path (ofSufi order) by consensus,is again his path withoutany dispute.[^Page 63^]66. And, it is impossibleto combine its practicewith any other (path ofSufi order), he is ruined(the one who combined it)alongside with thespeaker of such (combination)on the Day ofJudgment.67. He has lied andfabricated against theLord Majestic, I say (withemphasis), that this Wird(of Tijaniyya) is great.C.29 Attaining PurityThe author explains in the above verses that one can never attain purity from blemishes except by thehelp of a learned scholar. One should not only visit the scholar regularly, but also hold tight to him ifhe desires lofty and glorious positions. The Shaykh will help the student through all the spiritual stagesof worshiping until he worships as if he sees Allah.The author then re-iterated that the best of scholars is the leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi Order ShaykhAhmad Tijani. This is because, not only is he the Seal and the greatest of the Saints, but that it is alsothrough him that the other scholars and Saints receive their spiritual blessings.Any Shaykh or scholar who accepts to spiritually train a servant of Allah will by necessity initiate himinto one of the 313 existing Sufi orders. The author explains that[^Page64^]the best of these orders is the one that is headed by the last of the Sufi orders to be established by theProphet (SAWS). The excellence of this order is not challengeable, and it is impossible to combine theorder with any other. The law of Allah respects that only one commander can exist. Therefore atraveler cannot travel in two cars, nor can a wife have two husbands. Any disciple or student who joinsthis Tijaniyya order with any other can never profit in any respect. This Tijaniyya Tariqa or order ismore than sufficient for anyone who desires his Lord and wants to be certain.Obedience to the Shaykh is very important, because the covenant with Shaykh is a covenant withAllah. Because of this the Sufis have a saying: "When we prostrate once, we never raise our head fromit." This implies that after submission to Allah and His commands, one never disobeys, as thissubmission is 100% and complete. Allah says in the Qur`an 2:208 "Enter into Islam completely."Allah says with regards to obedience, Qur`an 33:36 "It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and HisApostle, to have any option about their decision:..."In a sound Hadith, the Prophet (SAWS) said: "None of you have a complete belief until his heart anddesires follow that which I have brought." In another sound Hadith, the Prophet (SAWS) said: "I amleaving behind with you two things, as long as you follow them you shall never be led astray. They arethe Qur`an and the Sunnah."What the Shaykh does is guide the disciples using these two things according to an understanding thattranscends that of an ordinary Muslim. Allah says in the Qur`an 3:7 "And those deep in knowledge say 'we have faith in it, everything is from our Lord'."[^Page 65^]68. Adhere to the litaniesof this tariqa, Then, Iswear by my life, ontoReality have you beenled. C.3069. (Among these litaniesare:) Hizbul Tadara`i,Salatul Fatih, alsoAllahumma Alaika Fatih.70. And such other(litanies) possessed by thegreat men, The People ofthis Tariqa, when you gettheir permissions.71. However, it is withgreat efforts that theirsecrets are obtained, Notby laxity or by playing onthe intelligence of men.72. But rather byadhering to what theygive firmly, And byfollowing their instructionsalways.[^Page 66^]73. Don't prefercolleagues conversations,To sitting with him (yourShaykh), oh the annihilatedone.74. If so, don't bedesirous of obtainingsecrets, For secrets arenot obtainable in public.75. But if you rather stickto him (your Shaykh)always, You could succeedfrom him inobtaining your requirement.76. You could also gainfrom him by infection,and this, Has beenconfirmed by the men (ofknowledge), so watch out.C.30 Litanies of TariqaA Shaykh who accepts to train and purify a Muslim directs him to recite the litanies of the tariqa.These litanies or formulae are well known to the leaders (muqaddams) that are responsible forinitiating sincere servants of Allah to the tariqa. The litanies are normally of two major types, thegeneral type and the special type (*). The general type is recited daily with concentration and presence of mind, until[^Page 67^]the required destination is reached. After this, some of the special litanies are obtained from "People ofthe Tariqa" and recited in addition to the general litanies. "People of Tariqa" are the known concreteachievers (male or female), who have been blessed with special knowledge and secrets of Allah. Some of the special prayers or litanies according to the author are:1. Hizbul Tadara`i (3) - Which expresses the various short comings of a servant before Allah and witnesses that none can forgive him but Him and therefore asks and hopes for His Forgiveness byrunning towards Him.2. Salatul Fatih - This is a salat on the Prophet (SAWS) with special intentions that recognizes that only Allah can make salat and only the one in the purest of state can ask Allah to help him to do theduty. The salat is therefore made with all its outward and inward meaning and levels known to Allah.3. Allahumma `Alaika Fatih (4) - This is the formula that teaches the student to recognize and express before Allah that all of the support he receives in whatever form, is in reality from Him, Allah.And to finally recognize that all actions up to the most minute resting action of a cell is from Allah,and that no action taking place is outside of His plan and predestination.Other such special litanies, the author explains, can be obtained from "People of Tariqa". However, hewarns that the achievers or "People of Tariqa" got to their positions by hard work, not by deception ortricking people, rather, by holding firm to what they obtain from Shaykh and obeying instructionsgiven.[^Page 68^]The author now explains that these special litanies (*) are secret documents. When they are recited sincerely they will lead to other glad tidings. Both the litanies and glad tidings are secrets that shouldnot be discussed in ordinary conversation or in public. Secret is something between two, and the onlytwo here is the student and his Shaykh, not any best friend who is likely to tell another best friend andso on. Therefore, ask your Shaykh secretly and he shall guide you according to your understandingand level. Allah said: Qur`an 16:125 "Call to the path of your Lord with wisdom and good examples."and also in Qur`an 87:9 "Admonish, if the admonishment will be of benefit".[^Page 69^]77. Whosoever does notattain the knowledge ofthe Merciful (Allah), hislife has been in ruin forall time spent. C.3178. I created thesecreations (Allah said) toworship Me, "To worshipMe" meaning "To knowMe".79. Don't lessen youreffort in acquiring theknowledge (of Allah),Then you shall beastonished by thecloseness of The MostMerciful.80. He is manifest inevery thing, upon everything, and by every thing,before it and yet after it,forever.C.31 Real Knowledge and WorshipIn a Holy Hadith, Allah said:"I was an unknown treasury and wished to be known. I created creations and by Me, I wasknown."[^Page 70^]Allah said in the Qur`an 51:56 "I have not created the demons and mankind except to be worshiping Me."While from the above Holy Hadith the purpose of creation is to know Allah, the purpose of creatingthe demons and mankind is for worshiping Allah. These imply that worshiping Allah means knowingAllah.Since man is the most wonderful creation of Allah, we can rightly say that he is the summation ofAllah's creation. Therefore anyone who knows himself knows his Lord, and thus has worshiped Allahand shall be worshiping Allah as long as he remains in that state, and as long as he lives. Allah says inthe Qur`an 41:53 "We shall show Our signs in the horizons and in themselves, until it becomes clear to them thatHe is the Reality."In a Holy Hadith, Allah says:"Know Me before worshiping Me, if you don't know Me how can you worship Me."One should therefore try at all times to seek to know Allah, for Allah has said in the Qur`an 57:3 "He (Allah) is The First, The Last, The Manifest, The Hidden."The author now explains that Allah is manifest in everything and is before everything and aftereverything, continuously and forever. The people of the knowledge of jurisprudence argue with theSufis over the closeness of Allah. The former claims that Allah is with His creations in knowledge,while His Essence remains somewhere. But the Sufis maintain that Allah is with us in every respect,whether in Essence or Knowledge. The proof of the Sufis is[^Page 71^]the Qur`an. Allah says in the description of death in the Qur`an 56:83-85 "When it (the soul) reaches the throat (during death). You shall by this time be looking (at thedying). We are however closer to him (the dying) than you, but you cannot see."From the above verse, we deduce that Allah is with us in His Essence, as only Essence can be seen ornot seen, contrary to knowledge which is not visible. Allah also said in the Qur`an such as 7:54 where Allah says:"Your Guardian Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and is firmlyEstablished on the Throne (of Authority)."Here Allah mentions two things, knowledge and presence (by essence). The jurist usually claim thatAllah is physically established on the throne, and justify this claim by referring to verses of theQur`an such as 7:54 where Allah says:"Your Guardian Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and is firmlyEstablished on the Throne (of Authority)."Other similar verses include Qur`an 10:3, 12:100, 13:2, 20:5, 32:4, and 57:4. However, all of these refer to the Throne of Authority and NOT ESSENCE OF ALLAH. To further disapprove theirargument, Allah said in Qur`an 69:17 "And the angels will be on its sides And eight will, that day, carry the throne of the Lord abovethem."Certainly these angels couldn't (be) carrying the Essence of Allah, Glory be to Him, over their heads!In conclusion, the author says that since the purpose of creating human beings is for them to knowAllah, then all periods of life spent on worshiping Allah without knowing Him can be described as awaste.[^Page 72^]81. If you crave for theincrease of faith, C.32Immediately repentsincerely, and follow itwith the way ofexcellency. C.3382. Don't hate a Muslimor get angry, Excepttowards the breaker ofthe refined law (Shari`at).C.32 Maintenance and Increasing FaithAfter knowing Allah, the student has achieved and has been most blessed. What remains is for him tomaintain this position. It is like a seed that was sown and by Allah's Will germinated.For this to have a perfect growth, it must be constantly watered, maintained and protected frominsects, bad pollination etc. In the next stanza of 24 verses, Shaykh goes ahead with advice on how tocontinuously maintain the state of faith, so as to have a good growth. He also spelled out how toprotect this growth from infection. He first listed 15 ways of increasing one's faith, then 22 differentways of wiping away any acquired defects, harm, and injury to the soul.C.33 RepentanceAfter realizing the Splendor and Everlasting and Majestic Beauty of the Creator, the next step is torepent on[^Page 73^]short comings and past ignorance. Allah advised the Prophet (SAWS) in the Qur`an 110:1-3 "Whenever the help and successful opening of Allah comes,... then celebrate the praise of yourLord and pray for His forgiveness..."Thus the first step is repentance followed by good work, with a will never to return to evil, as Allahsaid in the Qur`an 3:135, "Those, when after committing sin and wronging their souls, remember Allah and seekforgiveness of their sins. Who can forgive sin if not Allah, and they do not persist in these (bad)actions knowingly. Those (are the ones) that have the reward of forgiveness from Allah andparadises that have flowing beneath them rivers. Therein shall they dwell and what a fortune isthe reward of doers of (good) work."However it is unacceptable to indulge in evil while seeking Allah's forgiveness, as mentioned in theQur`an 4:137"For sure, those who believe, then later disbelieve, and after believe, then disbelieved, andsubsequently increased in disbelief, it is not for Allah to forgive them nor guide them to thepath."The one who has known Allah, therefore, is the one who fears Him most. Not only is he afraid tocommit any sin, but he is also eager to treat all creations of Allah nicely. Because, any time he sees thecreation of Allah, he sees Allah. The Prophet (SAWS) said in a sound Hadith: "None of you is acomplete believer until he loves for his fellow brother what he loves for himself." Allah said in theQur`an 49:10[^Page 74^]"Indeed the believers are a brotherhood. Therefore put things right between your brothers andfear Allah so that you may be blessed with Mercy."And in the Qur`an 21:92 Allah said:"Definitely, this your community is a single one and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me."We can deduce that since to worship Allah is to know Allah, and to worship Allah is to fear Allah,then it implies that; to Fear Allah is to know Allah.In conclusion, the sign that one is worshiping Allah correctly is that he knows Allah. And the sign thatone has known Allah is that he fears Allah. For one who worships and knows Allah, is seeing Allahand at the same time is aware that Allah is watching him continuously. He is therefore fearful of Allahand is good to His creations. This is the state of goodness, IHSAN, which Angel Gabriel has describedas:"To worship Allah as if you see Allah, and if you are not able to see Him, then worship Him andbe aware that He is continuously seeing you."Allah says in the Qur`an 57:4 "He (Allah) is with you wherever you are."To know and fear Allah also means to be happy with all His actions. Because one knows that Allah isconstantly showing him Mercy. Allah says in the Qur`an 4:29 "Do not kill yourselves for indeed Allah has always been Merciful with you."The Prophet (SAWS) has said that Allah is much more Merciful to us than our Mother is to us duringthe sucking period. Allah said in the Qur`an 16:78 "He (Allah) is the One that brought you out from the womb of your Mothers when you knewnothing and He gave you hearing, seeing, and heart feelings that you may be thankful."[^Page75^]Allah, Who cared for us in our state of helplessness, then blessed us with hearing, seeing, and feelings,loves us more than any one else. We should therefore be satisfied with Him in all conditions, and hopefor His Mercy.83. Adhere to night vigiland hungry stomach,Eating of what is purelylawful has equally beenenumerated (as away ofincreasing faith). C.34C.34 Night VigilThe author advises that the Knower of Allah should as a part of showing thanks to Allah, always keepNight Vigil. During which time he prays, and seeks for Allah's forgiveness, and blessings.Allah has favored the Prophet (SAWS) and forgiven him all his past and future sins. Yet, Hecommanded the Prophet to keep Night Vigil. Allah said in the Qur`an 17:79 "And out of the night, pray with it as a supererogatory for you, so that you might be blessed byyour Lord with the position of praise."Allah also addressed the Prophet (SAWS) in the Qur`an 73:1-3 "Oh covered one, stand the night except a little, half of it or reduce from it a little, or increase onit, and recite the Qur`an in (beautiful) recitation."It has been reported by the wife of the Prophet (SAWS) Ayesha (RA), that the Prophet (SAWS) usedto stand the[^Page 76^]night praying until his legs got swollen, and when she asked him what he wants because Allah hasforgiven him his past and future sins, the Prophet (SAWS) used to reply: "will I not be a gratefulservant".Night Vigil is very important and encouraged by the Prophet (SAWS). One day Hafsah (RA), the wifeof the Prophet (SAWS) related the dream of her brother Abdullah, the son of `Umar (RA) to theProphet (SAWS). The Prophet (SAWS) commented: "What a fortunate youth is Abdullah except thathe doesn't keep the Night Vigil". Companions were discussing the level of piety of Abdullah the son of`Umar, and the Prophet (SAWS) said: "Abdullah never missed the Night Vigil since that day". It hasbeen reported that the Prophet (SAWS) used to say 11 or 13 rakaat at night and that he recited verylong surahs in each of the rakaat.[^Page 77^]84. And give sincerity tofellow brothers ormaintain silence keepingcompany of, People ofexcellent morals amongclose relatives. C.3585. And a man is in thereligion of his close friend,If righteous, he too will berighteous even if unintelligent.86. Remember the scales(of weighing actions) andthe distribution of thebook (of works), Andwhat is in hell fire ofperpetual grief.87. And what is in theparadise of beautifulvirgins, Along with niceservants and beautifuldwellings. C.36C.35 Friendship and CompanionshipThe type of friend a person moves with is a strong factor that influences his habits. Friendship is like acontagious disease that is contracted by being close. If the friend is good you become good, and if badyou tend to be bad. Allah says in the Qur`an 9:119 [^Page 78^]"Oh you the believers, fear Allah and be among the truthful (servants)."The Prophet (SAWS) said in a reported Hadith: " A person is with whom he loves."Even if a close relative is not of good behavior, it is advisable to distance oneself and only follow theones with faith and good behavior. Allah says in the Qur`an 52:21 "And those who believe and whose families follow them in faith - to them shall We join theirfamilies: Nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works:"The Prophet (SAWS) said: "I am the father of every God fearing person."Therefore, the best friend and parent to be followed by a believer should be the Prophet (SAWS) andthose close to the Prophet (SAWS).Allah also warned against sitting in the midst of bad groups, and to abandon a group immediately if itbecomes a bad group. Allah said in the Qur`an 6:68 "And do not sit after realizing with the group of evil doers."C.36 The HereafterThe Shaykh now stresses the need for a believer who knows Allah, to always remember the Hereafterwith respect to the different events, bitterness, and happiness that's obtained there.One of the important events of that Day is the weighing of everyone's doings on a universal scale.Allah says in the Qur`an 21:47 "And We shall place a just scale on the day of judgment. No soul shall be wronged in whateverform. And even if (a deed) is like the weight of a seed of mustard We shall bring it forth (forweighing), it is enough that We are the One Reckoning."[^Page 79^]Allah also says in the Qur`an 99:7,8 "Whoever has done the equivalent of the weight of an atom of good work shall see it. Andwhoever has done the equivalent of the weight of an atom of evil work shall see it."In a Hadith, the Prophet (SAWS) has said that any single good work done is recorded as ten gooddeeds, while an evil work is recorded as one evil deed. Therefore he is the real loser, the person whoserecorded singles are heavier than the recorded tens.Another event of the Day of Judgment is the distribution of individual personal record books whereeveryone's actions are recorded. Allah says in the Qur`an 17:13-14 "And for every person have We fastened his omen to his neck. And We shall bring out for himon the Day of Judgment a book (of his records of doing) that he shall meet spread out for him.Read your book, for you alone shall be enough to reckon against yourself."Therefore on the Day of Judgment, everyone shall be his own television or radio station, showing allhis past actions, and bearing witness against himself (may Allah cover our secrets and protect us onthis Day).After weighing the works and reading the records of everyone's actions, the fortunate ones shall beblessed with Paradise while the unfortunate ones shall be thrown to hell, which is described by theProphet (SAWS) as being seventy times hotter than the hottest fire on earth, and fueled in theHereafter with stones and people.[^Page 80^]Therefore, the degree of heat in the hell fire is unimaginable. But the rejecters of faith should try theheat of an oven prepared only in minutes on their bodies so as to appreciate the bitterness and pains ofthe abode of hell.The Paradise, with its beautiful gardens, fountains, servants, garments, and food, shall be the abode ofthe faithful, whose good works outweighed the evil ones. There, in the gardens, shall they recline onraised thrones, with running rivers of honey, milk, sweet clear water, and wine. Neither will there bethe sun's heat nor the moon's cold. Fresh and succulent but full bunches of all the different fruits willhang within their reach. They shall have continuously passing amongst them all sorts of food, roastedbirds, and drinks in vessels and goblets made of clear crystal, pearls, silver, and gold. A special winemixed with Zanjabil shall be served. A special fountain shall be placed in their gardens called Salsabil.Around them will serve youths of full and perpetual freshness, handsome as pearls. The faithful willbe wearing green garments of fine silk and soft brocade and adorned with bracelets of gems, andtrinkets of a type that has never been seen before. There, in the gardens, they shall be joined tocompanions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes, -"like unto pearls well-guarded".Were one to look, one would see a realm of magnificent bliss. They shall be addressed by Allah:"For sure, this is your reward and your striving and endeavors are recognized and accepted."The Shaykh asks us to always think of this beautiful promise of Allah, which for sure shall come, sothat we don't lack in good work. We should also think of the punishment for evil doers so that wedistance ourselves from evil.[^Page 81^]88. And persist (onworships) of the sinwiping, The strongest (ofsuch worship) is the salatof this pivot leader(Qutub). C.37C.37 Salatul Fatih - The strongest wiper of sinsThe Shaykh mentions the different acts of worship that are effective in wiping acquired sins. Headvises that the faithful believers should persist in wiping their sins, and that the strongest of thesewipers is the recitation of "Salatul Fatihi"; a particular formula of invoking blessings on the NobleProphet (SAWS).The critics of Sufism, and particularly the critics of the Tijaniyya Order, have heavily criticized thisparticular formula because of the claim that the formula is divinely inspired, and not based on a mentalconstruction like most other formulas. To understand the position of inspiration in Islam, we start bylooking at the statement of Allah in the Qur`an 42:51 "It is not for man (in his position) to be spoken to by Allah except by inspiration, or from behinda veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal with His permission what He wishes. For Heindeed is the Most High, Most Wise."The popularly accepted English translation of the Holy Qur`an makes a comment on the above ayat incommentary No. 4598 thus: "God is Most High, Most Wise. Man, inspite of his high destiny, is oftenthe lowest of the low. Yet God, out of His infinite Mercy and Grace, has[^Page 82^]bestowed His Revelation on man. How does it come about? Three ways are mentioned:(1) Wahyun - Inspiration; (2) from behind a veil, and (3) by the sending of a Messenger."Wahyun: Inspiration is interpreted as being of two kinds; (1) a suggestion thrown by Allah into the heart or mind of man, by which he understands the substance of the message, whether it is a commandor prohibition, or an explanation of a great truth; and (2) Verbal or literal inspiration by which theactual words of God are conveyed in human language. ORTHODOX OPINION admits the existenceof both kinds, although the latter ("recited", Matlu) is held to be of a superior degree, only vouchsafedto the Greater Prophets. While the former ("other than recited", ghair matlu) may be given not only toGreater Prophets, BUT ALSO TO OTHER MEN OF SPIRITUAL INSIGHT WHO HAVE NOTATTAINED THE DEGREE OF PROPHETHOOD. If we accept the theory of verbal inspiration, itwould also cover the messages brought by the angel Gabriel (AS).The translator Yusuf Ali clarified further in commentaries 4599 and 4600 thus: "4599 - Behind a veil:not of course, a material veil (or screen or purdah), but the mystic veil of light (or 70,000 veils oflight).4600 - Messenger: Rasool, the angel Gabriel (AS), through whom the revelations were given to theHoly Prophet (SAWS). These spiritual visions, conveying the message of Revelation, are the basis ofthe Qur`an."From the above commentary of the Qur`an by an internationally accepted translation, we concludethat:(1) Wahyun - inspiration, other than recited (ghairi matlu), can be received by men of spiritual insight who have not attained prophethood. Allah says in the Qur`an 2:282 [^Page 83^]"Fear Allah and Allah shall teach you."Also in the Qur`an 96:5 "He (Allah) teaches man, that, which he never knew."We can also conclude that: (2) God fearing pious servants are blessed with this type of spiritual inspiration. The above conclusions are supported in various places in the Qur`an, as people like themother (RA) of Moses (AS) who was not a prophet, received an inspiration directly from Allah as insuratul Ta-Ha, Qur`an 20:38 "Behold! We sent to thy mother by inspiration, the message: 'throw (the child) into the chest,and throw (the chest) into the river, the river will cast him up on the bank and he will be takenupon by one who is an enemy to me and an enemy to him..."Another example of an inspiration, being in the form of a suggestion thrown into a pious Heart byAllah (SWT), was shown in the case of the encounter by Hadrat Khidhr (RA) and Prophet Moses (AS)when Hadrat Khidr (RA) concluded his action by saying, as in the Qur`an 18:82 "...I did it not of my own accord. Such is the interpretation of (those things) over which thouwast unable to hold (with) patience".Here the statement simply implies that (he) too was inspired, to carry out such action. The story ofJesus' (AS) mother (RA) was another glaring example. Qur`an 19:16,17 says "Relate in the Book (the story) of Mary (RA) when she withdrew from her family to a place inthe East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our angel. Andhe appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (God)Most Gracious; (come not near) if thou dost fear God." He said: "Nay, I am only a messengerfrom thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son".[^Page 84^]Such was also the case of the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS) whom the Prophet (SAWS) toldthat their guest or stranger, was no other than angel Gabriel (AS) who came to teach them theirreligion, as contained in a Hadith related by `Umar ibn Khattab (RA) the second Caliph. Furthermorein the Qur`an 30:23 Allah says:"And out of His (Allah's) signs is your sleeping during the night and day".One of the important happenings in sleeping, during the day or night, is a dream. The Prophet (SAWS)used to ask his companions if they saw a dream in their sleep. The most authoritative and mostauthentic of narrations of the Hadith of the Prophet (SAWS) is the Sahih Bukhari. His collection has asection of 48 chapters in volume 9, devoted to the interpretation of dreams as reported from the mostknowledgeable Prophet (SAWS). Chapter 3 starts with a heading "Dreams are from Allah". He thennarrated the Hadith of Abu Qatada which narrates from the Prophet (SAWS) that: "A true good dreamis from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan". Chapter 4 of the same section has a heading "Arighteous good dream that comes true is one of the forty-six parts of Prophethood". Here a Hadithfrom Abu Huraira (RA) says: "For sure the Messenger of Allah says; the dream of a faithful believer isa part of the forty-six parts of prophethood".[^Page 85^]In the book of Imam Nawawi, an acknowledged narrator of Hadith, he narrated under a similar chapterin Hadith no. 839 on the authority of Abu Huraira (RA) that, "I heard the Prophet (SAWS) saying that:'Nothing is remaining of my Prophethood except Al-Mubashirah.' The companions asked, what is Al-Mubashirah? He replied, 'Good dreams of righteous people'".The above Hadith was also reported by Bukhari in Chapter 5 of the sections on dreams. Bukhari andMuslim also reported in the books of narration on the authority of Abu Huraira that: "Whoever seesme (the Prophet, SAWS) in a dream, will soon see me when awake, and Satan cannot imitate myform". "When the time draws near, the dream of a Muslim can hardly be faked. The more truthful indream is the more truthful in discussion. The dream of a Muslim is a part of forty-six parts ofProphethood. And dreams are of three types: There is the righteous dream, which is a glad tiding fromAllah. There is also the bad dream, from the Satan. And finally, there is a dream that is a conversationwith oneself. If, therefore, any of you sees what he hates, he should stand and pray and do not discussit with people."The above quotation is that of Muslim. In another narration, the Prophet (SAWS) advises the one thatsees a bad dream to seek refuge from Allah, to spit to his left hand side, and to avoid mentioning it,and that the dream shall not affect or harm him. But, for a good dream, he should only mention it tohis loved ones.Salatul Fatih is a special invocation of blessings on the Prophet (SAWS), which came about by the righteous dream of a pious servant of Allah called Muhammad Bakr, who is a grandson of the closestand most pious companion of the Prophet (SAWS), Abu Bakr (RA).[^Page 86^]This servant of Allah spent years in the Holy Shrine of Mecca (Kaaba) fully absorbed in worship, afterwhich during a sleep, he saw this salat in a sheet of light. He shared this dream with his loved ones(us). This salat represents Allah's description of the Prophet (SAWS) as contained in various parts ofthe Qur`an. The text of the Salatil Fatih is shown below with proofs that it does not contradict theQur`an, but rather follows it.Salatil Fatih: "Oh Allah, bless our leader Muhammad the opener of the closed"The Qur'an: "We have not sent you, except as a mercy to the universe" 21:107Salatil Fatih: "The seal of what has passed"The Qur'an: "Muhammad was not the father of any of you men, but a messenger of Allah andseal of the (past) Prophets..." 33:40Salatil Fatih: "The helper of truth with truth"The Qur'an: "But the Messenger and those who have faith together with him, strive with theirwealth and life" (in the path of Allah) 9:88Salatil Fatih: "The guide to your perfection"The Qur'an: "And for sure, you guide to the path that is perfectly straight" 42:52Salatil Fatih: "And also unto his household, (The blessing should be) of equivalent magnitude to his status, and his status is tremendously great."The Qur'an: "Indeed the blessings of Allah on you are tremendously great." 68:4[^Page 87^]From the above, it is clear that the dream of Muhammad Bakr is a good dream that does not contradictthe Qur`an but rather follows it. The Shaykh of this Tariqa, the pious and great scholar of his timeShaykh Ahmad Tijani, also saw the Prophet (SAWS) in a dream and got good news (concerning) thereward of reciting the litanies of this Tariqa. The Salatil Fatih is incomprehensibly much greater whencompared to the recitation of other formulae.89. Of it is theMusaba`at, morning andevening, imitation of theAdhan (call to prayer)also, These will be ofassistance. C.3890. Various kinds ofAzkar (worships) havebeen related in the schoolthought (of Tijani), Oursalat on the exaltedlyDignified (Prophet,SAWS).91. The glorificationprayers and glorificationitself, Likewise Qur`ancontemplation,92. And two prostrationsmade in fear (of Allah)and taking of steps, To[^Page 88^]the mosques (all these)expiate sins.93. Likewise, the perfectionof ablution and theguiding of, A blind personas well as Fulfillingpeoples needs (all theseare among expiation ofsins).94. And the reflectivecounting of sea waves andripples plus, Shaking offellow Muslims should betaken advantage of (inseeking forgiveness).95. Filling up ofRamadan by a person(with worship) andfasting of it, keeping nightvigils in it erases his sins.96. Performance of Hajj,Umra and charity insecret, Made from lawfulwealth is indeed a wonderfulcharity.97. Teaching of children(Qur`an and Hadith),praying in straight rows[^Page 89^](congregational prayers),All these are mentioned inthe Book (Qur`an).98. And the following aredefects that harden theheart, The love ofleadership is the worst ofthese defects.99. Jesting, backbiting,bad sitting companions,Indecency, slandering,and evil soul (are defectsthat harden the heart).100. Likewise passionatedesires of mind should notbe followed, and inworldly things, showabstinence without alwaysfollowing.101. Be like a housecarpet and withdrawfrom everyone, Don'tenjoy vain talks nordisputes (of people).102. Take your eyes offpeople's faults, And asmuch as possible paythem no attention.[^Page 90^]103. Give charity out ofyour wealth for Allah'ssake, Visit Muslim tombswithout cease.104. Don't ever swearexcept you limit (yourswearing) To the will (ofAllah) whenever you doswear.C.38 Other forms of worship that Wipe SinsOther forms of worship that are effective in wiping sins include reciting the Musaba`at (seven-foldprayer) morning and evening. This Musaba`at (5) consist of ten different prayers and suras recited seven times each, in the mornings and evenings. Answering the call to prayer by repeating after theAdhan (6) (caller). The glorification prayer (7) reported from the Prophet (SAWS) and other forms of glorification also help in wiping sins. It has been reported in the book Jaami`u written by thecompanion of Shaykh Ahmad Tijani that, the glorification prayer is enough to wipe all the sins fromthe age of puberty to death. In the Ihya of Imam Ghazzali, he wrote that this prayer is not restricted toa period or seasons, and that it is loved that no week should pass without it, or once a month. Thedetail of the glorification prayer has been related from Ikrimat on the authority of Ibn Abbas (RA) thatthe Prophet (SAWS) said to Abbas the son of Abdul Muttalib: "Will I not favor you, will I not presentyou with something that if you do it, Allah shall forgive you your sins, the initial and final ones, theold and new ones, the mistaken and deliberate ones, the[^Page 91^]secretly and openly committed ones. Pray four rakaats, reciting in each rakaat, the fatihah and any chapter of the Qur`an. When you finish recitation in the first rakaat and are still standing, say:"Subhana-llah, wal Hamdu li-llah, wa La ilaaha illa-llah,wa-llahu Akbar, 15 times.Then bow and repeat the formula while bowing, 10 times.Then rise from bowing and repeat it while standing, 10 times.Then prostrate and repeat while prostrating, 10 times.Then rise from prostration and repeat while sitting, 10 times.Then prostrate and repeat while prostrating, 10 times.Then rise from the prostration and repeat saying it 10 times,bringing it to a total of 75 times in a single rakaat."Do this in all the four rakaats. If you are able to pray this every day then do so, if not then in everyweek, if not then every month, If not then once a year".The Shaykh went further to list the other forms of worship (8) and actions that should consume the time of the faithful believer. He also stressed the need to avoid looking for leadership, or (listening to)people's jokes. One should neither follow one's hearts desires, nor pay attention to other people'sfaults. One should stay in one's house like a carpet and only go out when it is very necessary. TheProphet (SAWS) has said: "Blessed is the one, that his faults have kept him busy from the faults ofothers".He concludes by advising that charity should be spent constantly, no matter how little, for the sake ofAllah's Countenance. Everyone has been blessed with something by Allah, whether it is power,knowledge, wealth, beauty, family and household etc. One should spend out of this as charity and asthanksgiving. It is related that a man[^Page 92^]was promised Paradise because of the water he gave to a thirsty dog out of kindness, while a womanwas destined to hell as a result of her refusal to feed a cat or release it so that it could feed itself. TheShaykh also gives warning on the need to avoid reckless swearing, that is so common today. When aMuslim swears, he should join it with the will of Allah (i.e. Insha-llah), because failure to fulfill anoath attracts the punishment of feeding a needy person for 10 days, or freeing a slave, or fasting forthree days.[^Page 93^]105. Here comes to anend the brotherly advice,In condensed form justlike people of thesedays. C.39106. In the year fortytwo,After thirteenhundred (years of Hijra).107. I name this poem as"Spirit of Good Morals,"Because of what itcontains of wisdom andmanners.108. Seeking excuse ofthe people of intellect,And just a song of sayingsof an active youth.109. And for a child oftwenty-one years, arereasons acceptable andbeautifully justified.110. Benefit with thispoem all the Believers, Ohour Lord, because of themagnificence of the bestof the Messengers.[^Page 94^]111. And make it to bepurely for the sake ofyour Noble self, Oh Lord,oh the Kind, Beneficent,the Most Merciful.112. Don't be deceivedand not memorize thePoem, Because I am small(in age) and from the non-Arab (African) country.113. Allah favors withwhom He wants, AndAllah is possessor of greatvirtues, and Willer (ofwhat He wants).114. Indeed it has beensaid in this respect, theillustrious, Servant of TaHa and of Maliki (schoolof thought), Ahmad (theson of Bamba of Senegal).115. A black skinned willnever acquire (because ofhis color), Youthfulstupidity and badunderstanding.[^Page 95^]116. Oh Lord, Oh Lord,by the magnificence of Al-Haadee (SAWS), Protectus from every evil of myenemy.117. Bestow on us withthe divine knowledge,And everything desirous,because of the best of thelineage of the legendaryAdnan (SAWS).118. And cover our faultswith your covering, that isthe beautiful (of coverings),And overcome ourenemies with your power,that is the Most Splendorous(of powers).119. And praise are forAllah who has supportedand made easy mycompilation. He is indeeda Wonderful Patron.120. Then Blessing andpeaceful salutations beupon the Prophet(SAWS), the chosen, thebest of creations.[^Page 96^]121. On him (is thisblessing) and hishousehold, dutiful companions,As long as everypatient one succeeds inattaining the knowledge(of Allah).***C.39 ConclusionIn the above 17 verses, the Shaykh concluded the poem bringing it to a total of 121 verses. The authorexplains that he has made this poem a short one in conformation to the nature of people of today. Fortoday, people claim to be very busy, but in reality, they are only busy for the secondary purpose ofmeeting their worldly needs. They, thereby, forget totally the primary duty of worship. The authorstarted and finished this poem in the year 1342 A.H., equivalent to the year 1920.The author then, out of obedience, sought the indulgence and pardon of the learned scholars, who thendeclared that the apology of the twenty-one year old writer should be accepted in good faith.The author further prays to Allah to make this poem useful and beneficial to all the believers, notbecause of his efforts, but because of the importance of the best of Messengers. He also prayed thatAllah through His Magnificent Glory, Mercy, and Kindness, accept this work as a sincere effort inseeking the countenance of Allah.The Shaykh finally warns that, there is both the tendency for people to neglect the statement of ayoung person, and for the white colored person to neglect the statement of the[^Page 97^]black colored. Allah chooses and favors whom He wants with whatever He wants. Allah says in theQur`an 30:22"And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in yourlanguages and your colors; Verily in that are signs for those who know."Knowledge is not granted by Allah on the basis of race, color, or age. Allah blesses with knowledgewhoever strives for it to the extent that He wishes. The Qur`an is the Mother of all Books, andtherefore the mother of all types of knowledge. The Prophet (SAWS) says:"Whoever strives Acquires".It was related that a Senegalese youth from the city of Kaolack called Hassan, got admission into theAin Shams University, in Egypt. During his first lecture, the teacher of Arabic Grammar brought outan unvoweled Arabic text and demanded that the members of the class take turns reading it. When theturn for reading to the class came to Hassan, who happened to be the only non-Arab in the class, theArabic text was passed over him. Hassan then asked to read. The members of the class, most of whomhad been rebuked by the teacher for not reading the text correctly, jokingly obliged. After he finishedreading, the teacher commanded all of the students to stand up and praise this youth. The lecturer saidthat although Hassan is a stranger and a non-Arab, his recitation was better than all the others. One ofthe members of the class complained, and said that Hassan's good reading does not mean that heunderstood what he read. The teacher then demanded that the complainant himself read. Immediatelyafter he started reading, the teacher stopped him, saying: "What you have read so far, was so wronglypronounced that neither you or us could have understood it properly." The lecturer then[^Page 98^]said, have I not told you that "correct recitation is the beginning of correct understanding".The above not only shows that a hardworking youth can achieve great status, but it also shows thatcolor is not really a barrier to great status, providing that the individual is sincerely striving.The author quoted a statement of Sheikh Ahmad Bamba Al-Maaliki, in support of his statement.Sheikh Ahmad Bamba said that: "The black skinned will never contract youthful stupidity and evilunderstanding (simply because of his color)."The author completes the book of poem by asking, and imploring Allah to protect us from every evil.And because of our Prophet (SAWS), to bless us with a complete knowledge of Allah, and all otherdesirables. He also implored Allah to mercifully cover our wrong doings with His beautiful covering,and to vanquish our enemies with His power to vanquish. The author also with humility, submits thesuccess of this work to Allah, Who blessed and made easy the compilation of the work. We alsofollow him in praying the same way, asking Allah to bless this little effort of ours, as He (Allah)blessed the original text.Oh Allah, bless our leader Muhammad,the opener of what was closed,the seal of what has passed,the helper of truth with truth,and the guide to your most straight, perfect path.Let this blessing include his household, and be for them of a magnitude that matches themagnitude of the Prophet (SAWS).For his magnitude is (indeed) a great one. Ameen.[^Page 99^]Other Books Related To: Sheikh Ibrahim Niass, Sheikh Hassan Cisse, and Tariqa Tijania,That have been Translated into English.- "Mine of Wisdom", by Sheikh Ibrahim Niass, translated by Sheikh `Aliyyu Cisse.- "The Stars of The Good Road"(Noujoum El Houda), by Sheikh Ibrahim Niass.- "Sheikh Ibrahim Niass: Revivalist of the Sunnah", by Sheikh Hassan Cisse.- Sheikh Al Islam: Elh. Ibrahim Niass, Published by The A.A.I.I.- Sheikh Ahmad Al Tijani: Published by The A.A.I.I.- Durratul Taj - Al Fath Al Rabbani: by Sheikh Hassan Cisse.- Sheikh Hassan Cisse: Four Speeches, Published by The A.A.I.I.- The Four Times in ones life: by Sheikh Hassan Cisse.- Rules on Women in Islam: by Sheikh Muhammad Mahi Cisse.[^Page 100^]