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The Father of Tasawwuf 'Amir al Momineen' Hadrat Ali (3)

 
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MessagePosté le: Sam 1 Oct - 14:00 (2011)    Sujet du message: The Father of Tasawwuf 'Amir al Momineen' Hadrat Ali (3) Répondre en citant

The Father of Tasawwuf
'Amir al Momineen' Hadrat Ali
Karam Allahu wajahu



Shrine of Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu :
Najaf Ashraf, Iraq





FATHER OF TASAWWUF
BELOVED PROPHET & TASAWWUF
GNOSIS OF GOD
PRAYERS TO GOD
COMMUNION WITH GOD

DOCTRINE OF PREFERENCE
FASTING
ZAKAT
PILGRIMAGE
JIHAD
REPENTANCE
DETACHMENT
PATIENCE




The above has been excerpted from the book "Hadrat Ali, r. a." by Prof. Masud-ul-Hasan. We gratefully acknowledge and thank Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., for permission to reproduce these excerpts.



LOVE OF THE AHL AL-BAYT by 'Raees al Muhaqiqeen' Shaykh al Islam w'al Muslimeen



  HADRAT ALI  | AHL AL-BAYT  |  THE FOUR CALIPHS

MUHARRAM  |  LOVE OF THE AHL AL-BAYT  |  HISTORY OF KARBALA




Father



Father of Tasawwuf



'Amir al-Momineen' (Leader of the Faithful); Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, is acclaimed as the father of Sufism [tasawwuf]. Most Sufi orders claim their descent from Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu.


According to 'Data Ganj Baksh';
UTHMAN 'ALI AL-HUJWIRI [d.469H] Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, the rank of Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu is very high in the lineage of Sufis. According to
JUNAYD AL-BAGHDADI [d.298H] Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu is the Shaykh as regards to the principles and practices of tasawwuf.







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Messenger



The Beloved Prophet & Tasawwuf :


The roots of tasawwuf lie embedded in Islam itself. There are numerous passages in the Qur'an al-karim which are of a mystical character. The Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta''ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam himself displayed mystical inclinations and he very often retired to the cave known as Hirah for the purpose of devotions, meditation and contemplation. The The Beloved of Allah Salla Allahu ta''ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam was the recipient of two types of revelations, one embodied the Qur'an al-karim, and the other illuminated his heart. The former was meant for all, the latter for those selected few whose hearts could be illuminated with the Divine Light. The knowledge of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta''ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam was thus both book knowledge (Ilm-i-Safina) and heart knowledge (Ilm-e-Sina).




Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu received his heart knowledge from the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta''ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam. It is related that after the Ascension, the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta''ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam awarded a mantle to Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu which led to the illumination of his heart.









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Gnosis
Gnosis of God :


According to Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu the base of religion is the gnosis of God. He held:



"The height of gnosis is His confirmation. The height of confirmation is tawhid. The height of tawhid is the acknowledgement of the supremacy of God in all matters. He is beyond all attributes. No particular attribute can give an idea of His exact nature. He is not bound by anything; all things are bound by Him. He is Infinite, limitless, boundless, beyond time, beyond space, beyond imagination. Time does not affect Him. He existed when there was nothing. He will exist forever. His existence is not subject to the law of birth or death. He is manifest in everything, yet He is distinct from everything. He is not the cause of anything, yet everything is because of Him. He is unique and He has no partner. He is the Creator. He creates as well as destroys. All things are subject to His command. He orders something to be and it is."


Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu enjoined the severance of the heart from all things save God. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was asked what was the purest thing that could be acquired, and he said,



"It is that which belongs to a heart made rich by God."



When Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was asked about gnosis, he said,



"I know God by God, and I know that which is not by God by the light of God."



When asked whether he had seen God, he said that verily he had seen God for he could not worship Him unless he knew Him.






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Prayers

Prayers to God



When Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu used to pray, his hair would stand on end. He would tremble and say,



"The hour has come to fulfill a trust which the heavens and the earth were unable to bear."



Abu Darda
Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu an eminent Companion of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam said,



"None in this world has excelled Ali in prayer."



While praying, so great was the intensity of his emotions that he would fall into a swoon. It is related that on one occasion, Abu Darda
Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu found Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu lying rigid on the prayer mat, and touching his cold body thought that Sayyadina Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu had breathed his last. When he broke this news to Hadrat Fatima Radi Allahu ta'ala anha, she said that Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu often became unconscious while praying. Abu Darda Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu wept profusely, and then sprinkled some water on Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu's face and he regained consciousness. Seeing tears in the eyes of Abu Darda Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu said:



"Why are you crying? You shed tears when you see me in this state. Imagine what will happen to me when the Angels dragged me into the presence of God, and I am forced to render an account of my deeds. They will blind me with fetters of iron, and present me before God, and those of my friends who will happen to be witnesses will be powerless to help me. They will lament my unhappy plight, but none save God will be able to help me on that day."









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Communion with God


Very often, Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu would sob all night in his prayers to God, and God would reward him with a glimpse of Inner Vision. According to Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, the highest purpose of knowledge is the awakening of latent spiritual faculties whereby one is enabled to discover his true and inner self. It is to this inner self that God reveals Himself when the self disappears in the vision of the "All Absorbing Reality." Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu often observed that man could have the joy and wonder of communion with God if one abandoned pride, disciplined the flash, overcame lust and submitted to the Will of God. He exhorted people in his various sermons to not indulge in gross licentiousness which had characterized Arab society in the "Days of Ignorance." But should instead live in piety and simplicity as enjoined by Islam. Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu said,



"Man is a wave in the boundless Sea of God. As long as man's vision is clouded by ignorance and sensuality he will consider himself to be a separate entity, different from God. But when the veil between him and God is lifted, he will then know what he really is. The wave will then merge with the ocean."



Sayyadina Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu held that enlightenment is needed so that one can first get to know himself. Only then would he get to know God. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu held that to this end religious exercises must be practised. The Sufism for which Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu stood, derived its strength from the Shari'ah. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu preached that any form of knowledge which failed to show the Infinite Reality in man was useless, because it could not fill that vacuum in which the aching soul in every individual was so pathetically conscious. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu wanted men to be virtuous as virtues purify the soul, and it is only the purified soul that can be the recipient of spiritual enlightenment. This is the doctrine of Inner Light which was the enunciated by Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu as the core of Sufi thought. Accordingly, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu is acknowledged as the "father of Sufism" and the prince of saints.







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Doctrine of preference


Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu also enunciated the doctrine of preference. He stood for and preferred the claims of others to his own claims. He gave an outstanding demonstration of this doctrine when he slept on the bed of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam on the night of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam's migration from Makkah, when the infidels were seeking to slay him. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu risked his life for the sake of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam, because of the preference that Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu gave to the life of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam as compared with his own life.


After the death of the
Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu considered that he was the most deserving person to be elected as the Caliph. Yet, when his claims were overlooked and other persons were elected as Caliphs, he offered them an allegiance in pursuance of the doctrine of preference. It was this spirit of preference that motivated Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu to plunge in the thick of battle to meet the challenge of the enemy regardless of his own personal safety. It is related that after the Ascension, when the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam gave Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu a mantle, he asked him how he would use the mantle. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu said that he would use it to cover the faults of others. The true Sufi way lies in covering the faults of others.








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Fasting


According to Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, fasting was not a mere formality or a ritual; it was an exercise for the purification of the soul. Because of his constant fasting, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu earned the epithets of "Qa'im-ul-Lait" (praying most of the night without sleep); and "Sa'im-ul-Nahar" (fasting mostly during the day). Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu held that hunger sharpens the intelligence and improves both the mind and health. Hunger involves some affliction for the body, but it illumines the heart, purifies the soul, and leads the spirit to the presence of God. One who cultivates his spiritual nature by means of hunger in order to devote himself entirely to God and detach himself from worldly ties, is at a much higher level than the person who cultivates his body by means of gluttony and lust.


Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu acted on the advice of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam,



"Fast so that perchance your hearts may seek God in this world."



And indeed, because of his fasting and other spiritual exercises, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu did see God in this world. The Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam had enjoined,



"When you fast, let your ear, your eye, your tongue, your hand, and your every limb fast."



Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu followed this advice to the letter as well in spirit. Through the discipline of fasting, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was able to subordinate the physical senses to spiritual requirements in such a way that they could respond only to what was pure and became dead to what was impure. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu thus led a purified life.









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Zakat



Sayyadina Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu held:



"Of the most meritorious acts of a believer, and one of the most acceptable things to God is Zakat. It behoves everyone to give charity, because from amongst the acts of worship, this is the most pleasing to God."




In his sermons, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu exhorted the people in the following terms:


"O ye people, send a part of your wealth to God so that it may stand you in good stead in the next world. Do not leave your entire wealth here so that it will become a source of annoyance to you in the next world."




In the annals of Arabs, Hatim Tai enjoys fame for his munificence and generosity. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu outclassed Hatim in the matter of generosity.





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Pilgrimage



Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was born inside the Ka'bah. He had, therefore a strong emotional attachment for the Ka'bah. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu observed that the Ka'bah Shareef was located in a territory known for its stony wastes and wilderness and where no water was available. God had ordained the Muslims to bear the hardships involved in a journey through such an inhospitable land cheerfully so that those very privations might ultimately become a source of salvation. The pilgrimage is symbolic of the fact that whatever hardship one bears in the trials of life and endeavours to fulfill the will of God, he acquires goodness and righteousness by them. The darkest thing in the world is the beloved's house without the beloved. What is really important for a lover is the beloved and not the house of the beloved. According to Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu the spirit of pilgrimage did not lie in a bare visit to the Ka'bah, it lay in developing the inner vision whereby one could see God, the Lord of the Ka'bah.






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Jihad
Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu held that jihad is the gateway to Paradise. He said:



"God has opened this gate for His friends. It is the mantle of piety. It is the shield of faith. He who avoids it, God subjects him to disgrace."



Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu held that jihad did not lie in merely taking up arms in the cause of God, it means incessant struggle against falsehood it all spheres of life. Jihad is the main pillar on which Islam rests.





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Repentance



The first stage in the path of tasawwuf is repentance. Repentance is described as the awakening of the soul from the slumber of heedlessness so that the sinner becomes aware of his evil ways and feels contrition for past disobedience. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu repeatedly prayed for God's forgiveness. His typical prayer was:




"O God, forgive me my sins of which you are more aware than me. And if I commit these sins again, even then forgive me and whatever promises I have made with myself to follow Your commands that have not been fulfilled. I seek Your forbearance. If I have sought Your proximity with my tongue, but my heart has not kept pace with my tongue, then overlook my lapse. O God, forgive me for my futile talk, vain desires and lapses of tongue."







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Detachment



Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu admonished that while living in the world, one should not renounce the world, still he should not have an undue attachment for it because detachment from the world (Zuhd) is a means of attaining God. It is related that someone begged Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu to give him a precept. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu said:



"Do not let your wives and children be a cause of concern for you, for if they be the friends of God, He will look after His friends, and if they are the enemies of God, why should you take care of God's enemies?"







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Patience





In the mystic way, the traveller will meet many trials and tribulations. God subjects His lovers to severe testing, and only he will pass such tests who is patient. Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was the personification of patience, and for this he acquired the epithet of "Job, the Second." In the battle of Uhud, Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu received as many as 61 wounds on his person so that his whole body looked like one massive wound to which the nurses were unable to dress. Although Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was in mortal agony, he said: "May God Grant me the patience to bear this suffering. Is it not a favour of God that He gave me the courage to stand and fight, and not to leave the field?"



About the patience of Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, Dr. Ata Mohyuddin writes as follows in his Ali, the Superman:




"Ali used to say that at no time in his life had he ever known peace and tranquillity. From the time of infancy when he was taken into the home of the Beloved Prophet, Ali felt the ferment of turbulence and turmoil. The Beloved Prophet was constantly persecuted by the Meccan pagans. And from adolescence onwards, Ali was constantly fighting in jihad, and after the death of the Beloved Prophet, he was embroiled against his wish, in the political intrigues of others. Even when elected Caliph, the implacable enemies of Islam arose and rebelled against him, yet he bore all these afflictions with patience, thanking God that he had acquitted himself well in the tests and trials to which the Almighty had thought fit to subject him."





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