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Bahadur Ali

Was Ibn 'Arabi a Shi'a in disguise?

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(salam)

Dear all,

a friend told me that the great Sufi thinker Ibn 'Arabi was in fact a Shi'a who had done taqia. Is this accurate? Apparently Ayatollah Khomeini had written a fatwa that he was Shi'a. Please help me here.

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(bismillah)

I don't quite understand why many brothers online ask this question; does it really make a difference if was or wasn't?

If Sayed Al-Khomeini saw something in Ibn Al-Arabi or his writing that indicates that he (Ibn Al-Arabi) was a Shia, he did not mention what it was.

(salam)

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I am just asking because someone told me that and I have a lot of respect for the irfani writings of agha Khomeini. I mean what a great gnostic he was! His reading of Plato and Ibn Arabi is so deep. Other early Shia scholars have detected Shiism in Ibn Arabi's writings and I wlawys suspected that there were those elements in his philosophy. The role of the qutb is so important that it's impossible to avoid mentioning it. anyway if anyone knows about the fatwa please do let me know.

thank you

love

Bahadur Singh

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Depends on what one defines by Sufism!

The great Shi'a irfani scholars such as Molla Sadra and Haydar Amoli have clearly defined what real irfan is. There can be no real irfan outside of the allegiance to Ahlul Bayt because the it is the Imam who is the qutb whereas Sunni Sufis regard their own Sheikh or pir as qutb. THese scholars hence warn spiritual Shias against two big dangers:1. emphasis on fiqh only, hence on zahir only (case of legalists who hate irfan)

2. the Sufis and batinis who have no allegiance to Ahlul Bayt and law.

A spiritual Shia should avoid those two extremes.

Now regarding Ibn Arabi does anyone have a copy of agha Khomeini's (ra) fatwa on Ibn Arabi being a Shia in disguise?

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(salam)

The Prophet Muhammad (saaw) told Aba Thirr al Ghaffari®:

"Oh Aba Thirr, there will nearing the end of time a group, who wear wool in their summers and winters, thinking that they have a higher status than others, these people are cursed by Allah and the Angels of the earth and heavens."

Imam Ali al Reda said: "Whoever hears of sufism in his presence and does not reject them in his heart and tongue, he is not from us, and he who rejects them, is likened to fighting the non believers and hypocrites at the time of the Prophet (saaw)."

Imam Ali al Reda stated: "A person wont call himself a sufi, except to cheat, or to be blasphemous, or out of stupidity, and a person who calls himself a sufi in faith, there is no wrong doing on his part, if he is sick of his title, and does not preach their blasphemous ideas."

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(bismillah)

Salam

Before I answer your question, a few things need to be clarified. Islam in general and Shia in particular are split in 2 groups regarding the inner side of Islam - 'Irfan. One group (put aside sects, this controversy exists within all schools almost) is for it, walk it and reach Allah(SWT), while another group does not recognize it and find another path to the proximity of Allah(SWT). Many ways lead to Him, not just one.

Also it must be realized that both groups have Verses and Ahadith supporting their stance, depending upon from what angle you see the entire issue.

Also as we know, what cannot be doubted whatsoever, is that that group of 'Urefa within Shia Islam, such as Imam Khumayni(A), Shahed Mutaheri(A), Allamah Tabatabai(A), Imam Khamenei(HA), Ayatollah Behjat(HA) etc etc (the list is looong), hold great respect for ibn 'Arabi(A). Imam Khumayni(A) calls him the Perfect Man in one of his writings, and Shahed Mutaheri(A) writes the following in a brief biography about him:

Muhyi al-Din ibn al-'Arabi: 

One of the descendants of Hatim al-Ta'i, Muhyi al-Din ibn al-'Arabi was originally from Spain. Most of his iife, however, seems to have been spent in Makkah and Syria. He was a pupil of the sixth-century mystic Shaykh Abu Madyan al-Maghribi al-'Andalusi. Through one intermediary link, the chain of his order goes back to the Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani mentioned above.

Muhyi al-Din, also known by the name Ibn al-'Arabi, is certainly the greatest mystic of Islam. No one else has been able to reach his level, neither before nor after him. Thus he is known by the sobriquet 'al-Shaykh al-'Akbar' (the Greatest Shaykh).

Islamic mysticism, from the time of its first appearance, has made progress one century after another. Each century, as indicated above, produced great mystics who have developed 'irfan, always adding to its heritage. This advancement had always been gradual. But in the 7th/13th century with the appearance of Ibn al-'Arabi 'irfan made a sudden leap and reached the summit of its perfection. 

Ibn al-'Arabi took 'irfan to a stage it had never reached before.

The foundations for the second branch of 'irfan, that is theoretical 'irfan and its attendant philosophy, were laid by Ibn al-'Arabi. In general, the mystics who came after him ate the crumbs from his table. 

Besides bringing 'irfan into a new phase, Ibn al-'Arabi was one of the wonders of time. He was an amazing person, and this has led to wildly divergent views about him. Some consider him al-Wali al-Kamil (the Perfect Saint) and the Qutb al-'Aqtab (the Pole of Poles). Others degrade him so much as to regard him a heretic, calling him Mumit al-Din (the Killer of the Faith) or Mahi al-Din (the Effacer of the Faith). Sadr al-Muta'allihin (Mulla Sadra), the great philosopher and Islamic genius, had the greatest respect for him, considering him far greater than Ibn Sina or al-Farabi. 

Ibn al-'Arabi authored over two hundred books. Many of his works, or perhaps all of those whose manuscripts are extant (numbering about thirty), have been published. Of his most important books, one is his al-Futahat al-Makkiyyah, a colossal work that is a veritable encyclopedia of 'irfan. Another is his Fusus al-hikam which, although brief, is the most precise and most profound text of 'irfan. Numerous commentaries have been written on it, yet perhaps there have been no more than two or three persons in any age who have been able to understand it. 

Ibn al-'Arabi passed away in 638/1240 in the city of Damascus, where his grave is still well known even today.

(Ayatollah Mutaheri(A), Light Within Me)

Now to your question. With all those 'Urefa I have spoken to, which also are Shia 'Ulema of high caliber who have studied for decades in Hawsa, all agree that ibn 'Arabi(A) was a Shia under taqiyya who strove to spread the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt(A), hidden under his words and false rolemodels. This because his aim, just as Ahl al-Bayt's(A), is to take man closer to Allah(SWT), which is what Islam is all about.

Naturally the opponents of 'Irfan chose to oppose this, most of whom not even having read of one of works of the Shaykh al-Akbar(A), but rest assured the people of 'Irfan within Shia knows better who are the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt(A) and who is not, why?

Because as the Qur'an says, those who reflect, read and ponder - they are the ones who know!

Salam

me

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(bismillah)

Salam

The Prophet Muhammad (saaw) told Aba Thirr al Ghaffari®:

"Oh Aba Thirr, there will nearing the end of time a group, who wear wool in their summers and winters, thinking that they have a higher status than others, these people are cursed by Allah and the Angels of the earth and heavens."

Imam Ali al Reda said: "Whoever hears of sufism in his presence and does not reject them in his heart and tongue, he is not from us, and he who rejects them, is likened to fighting the non believers and hypocrites at the time of the Prophet (saaw)."

Imam Ali al Reda stated: "A person wont call himself a sufi, except to cheat, or to be blasphemous, or out of stupidity, and a person who calls himself a sufi in faith, there is no wrong doing on his part, if he is sick of his title, and does not preach their blasphemous ideas."

These kind of ahadith have been explained many times past, but when man in his ignorance refuses to listen, whom should you explain to? Have you seen the one who has chosen his desires as his lord? God has knowingly caused him to go astray, sealed his ears and heart and veiled his vision. Who besides God can guide him? Will they, then, not take heed? (45:23).

Just because a few corrupted drew upon selfs the curse of Allah(SWT) and His chosen ones, doesn't not mean that they all are the same. The Sufis mentioned in those traditions and the "real" Sufi are not the same. Just as when Imam Ali(A), Zaynab(A), Imam Husayn(A) etc etc curses the people of Iraq or Kufa, it does not necessarily mean that each one and single through all times living in those places are cursed, no! What kind of wicked way of thinking is that!

There are tons of Qur'anic Verses and Prophetic Traditions which are filled with 'Irfan, here are just a few:

Qur'an

- 'Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth' (xxiv:35);

- 'He is the first and the last and the outward and the inward' (lvii:3);

- 'there is no god but He; everything is perishing except His Face' (xxviii:88);

- 'Have breathed into him (man) of My spirit' (xv:29);

- 'Verily, We have created man and We know what his soul suggests to him, for We are nigher unto him than the neck-artery' (1:15);

- 'wheresoever ye turn, there is the Face of Allah' (ii:114);

- 'he to whom Allah giveth no light hath no light at all' (xxiv:40).

Hadith

- "The heart of the person of faith is between two of God's Fingers." This canonical hadith is depicted as the response to Aisha's asking the Prophet(S) whether he was ever afraid. This beautifully succinct image concretely pulls together dozens of the Qur'anic verses we have just mentioned, powerfully representing the constant ups-and-downs of our inner experience, the contrasting roles of the different divine Names of Majesty and Beauty (Jalâl and Jamâl) expressed and realized through that experience, the "ever-renewed theophanies" of those Names, and the reality of God's ultimate control of that panoply of ever-changing inner states.

- "My earth and My heaven do not encompass Me, but the heart of My servant who has faith does encompass Me..." (Often this was summarized by Sufis in the briefer formula "The heart of the person of faith is the Throne of the All-Merciful": Qalb al-mu'min 'arsh al-Rahmân.)

- "Hearts rust like iron, and their polishing is through remembrance of God (dhikr Allâh) and recitation of the Qur'an."

- "Were it not for the excess of your talking and the turmoil in your hearts, you would see what I see and hear what I hear!"

- "O Transformer of hearts (yâ muqallib al-qulûB), keep my heart firm in Your Religion."

- "My eyes are sleeping, but my heart is awake."

- "(True spiritual) Knowledge is a light that God projects into the heart of the Knower."

- "Seek the guidance (istaftî: 'ask for the fatwâ') of your heart, even if it guides you toward al-maftûn (what enthralls or charms you)."

The list is endless, way to long for the strenght of the writer's pen.

Ibn arabi was a full blown sunni, had he been a shia the wahabis who are the biggest enemies of sufism wouldve used this as their strongest argument in countering sufism.

Oh come on habibi, the Wahabia are so inflicted with taking everything literarily that they have gone so far giving Allah(SWT) a physical body!!

Clearly they have not made anything out of the saying, "It is God who has revealed the Book to you in which some verses are clear statements (which accept no interpretation) and these are the fundamental ideas of the Book, while other verses may have several possibilities. Those whose hearts are perverse, follow the unclear statements in pursuit of their own mischievous goals by interpreting them in a way that will suit their own purpose. No one knows its true interpretations except God and those who have a firm grounding in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All its verses are from our Lord." No one can grasp this fact except the people of reason. (3:7)

If Sayed Al-Khomeini saw something in Ibn Al-Arabi or his writing that indicates that he (Ibn Al-Arabi) was a Shia, he did not mention what it was.

The Sayed does not need to give a detailed tafseer on how he came to the conclusion, but lets the readers/followers trust his comprehensive knowledge and accept it. I mean that is what Mardjaiya is all about. One does not give reasons why one gives such or such Fatawi nor is one obliged to. In case one wonders (As yours), one can freely ask such an 'Alem (there are lots of them in Islamic Iran/Qom) and he can explain, but otherwise the time, space and energy in the literature are reserved for more useful things. You know this habibi!

Ehsan, Could you please post names of scholars who you know for sure believe ibn arabi to have been a shia in disguise? It would be of great help!!!

Habibi, I tell you, 99% of all the Shia 'Ulema who also are 'Urefa, see him as a Shia under Taqiyya, this is seen both in their works and in their personal opinions.

Among others I personally heard it from a great 'Alem who has studied over 30 years in Hawsa (I do not wish to mention his name due to obvious reasons).

Also if he really where a Sunni, you think our Shia 'Urefa would take so much from the core and fundemantals of 'Irfan, which makes the essence of Tawheed, from his teachings, works and words?

No way!

Salam

me

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Also if he really where a Sunni, you think our Shia 'Urefa would take so much from the core and fundemantals of 'Irfan, which makes the essence of Tawheed, from his teachings, works and words?

No way!

I think you just hit on the heart of the matter. Ibn Arabi was a great man with a large amount of gnostic knowledge. This knowledge was so vast and deep that the only way shia scholars could explain it coming from a "sunni" was by declaring that Ibn Arabi was really a shia practicing taqqiya.

By declaring that he was really a shia they can then take what the want from his writings and stick to the claim that a belief in the infalliability of ahle'bayt is neccesary for high levels of iman and ihsan. Unfortunetly there is nothing in Ibn Arabi's writings that point to him being anything but a a sunni from I believe the hanbali madhab no less.

Ibn Arabi has several books outlining sunni fiqh as well as his more irfani/gnostic writings. he was known for both his knowledge and teaching of fiqh as well as tassawuf. None of his contemporaries or later historians claimed he was a shia. This claim only comes from shia scholars. As one brother pointed out, if Ibn Arabi had even a hint of shiism in him, than this would be focused on by the salafis who hate him.

in peace,

q

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Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Salaams to the Believers,

Ibn Arabi has several books outlining sunni fiqh as well as his more irfani/gnostic writings. he was known for both his knowledge and teaching of fiqh as well as tassawuf. None of his contemporaries or later historians claimed he was a shia. This claim only comes from shia scholars. As one brother pointed out, if Ibn Arabi had even a hint of shiism in him, than this would be focused on by the salafis who hate him.

From what I've seen, neither the Sunnah nor the Shi'a wish to claim him as their own. The only ones who want to have anything to do with him are Sufi's and Irfani's. The idea that Sunni's don't reject him as being "shia" is incorrect, as I've personally heard many Sunni's say such things. Here is one such instance:

I have never been an admirer of sufis and sufism. To me they played little or no positive role in Islamic world's social, political advancement. If these guys were so smart and so intelligent, surly they must have had some insight into the road the Moslem countries were taking which as we know now very well, lead to a total collapse of Islamic world and made us the most backward and miserable nations on this planet. What use is there for a mixture of old philosophy and self induced hallucination, and to top it off, a touch of Shiism. Chitic and others such as Chodkeiwicz try to tell us that Ibne Arabi was a "Sunni" Moslem who even was hostile towards Shia people. They rely on a few passages from him here and there to convince us. But for many great moslem scholars who are intimately familiar with Islamic history, the Shia promotion of men like Ibne Arabi is more than self evident. Those western scholar who think Ibne Arabi was " anti-Shia" because of a couple of rhetoric here and there, are apparently unfamiliar with middle east's culture and way of life. In middle east, things are never so simple. Chitic and Chodkeiwicz may know "Arabic" but don't speak nor understand middle east's " language". Ibne Arabi claims to have seen" Al-Mahdi", a distinctly Shia belief in that they believe in him as a hidden Imam, then he talks about the "12" being the poles and many other such non-sense which great shia implication. I must say I find Ibne Arabi very clever. But in my opinion, if it smells, taste, and feels like a Shia, then it is a Shia. It is apparent that the author thinks highly of this man, and as a Sunni Moslem, obviously he wants to make him a 100% Sunni Moslem, but if you truly accept many of Arabi's doctrines then you are definitly not a Sunni moslem, which pretty much means you are not a Moslem.

--A Reader (taken from an Amazon.com book review)

Wasalaam,

Jondab Ali

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salaams to the believers!

Anyway:

From what I've seen, neither the Sunnah nor the Shi'a wish to claim him as their own.

Are you really trying to make your point by quoting a book review from amazon.com?

Please give me a reference from a traditional sunni scholar (I said traditional sunni, not wahhabi) stating anything but the fact that Ibn Arabi was a sunni and very well accepted among sunni. Currently there are political forces in the Islamic world (most notably among the wahhabi) that are attempting to paint a very ugly picture of Ibn Arabi. Traditionally there was a lot of healthy debate about many of his ideas, however he was considered Muslim by the vast majority of scholars and Sunni by all of them.

Here is an article you can reference:

http://www.sunnipath.com/Resources/Questions/QA00004122.aspx

in peace,

q

Edited by qutb

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Salaam,

Also if he really where a Sunni, you think our Shia 'Urefa would take so much from the core and fundemantals of 'Irfan, which makes the essence of Tawheed, from his teachings, works and words?

No way!

statements made by Ibn Arabi :

"I saw the Prophet.. while he was among his nation and companions and the messengers and the angles.. and I saw the Seddeeq [Abu Bakr ] by his precious right hand side, and the Farook [Omar sitting by his holy left hand side, and The One With The Two lights -Thul-Noorein -[Othmaan was wrapped with his robe of shyness, and the Seal [Jesus] in front of him and the Prophet saw me sitting behind the Seal for we had something in common and that was the rulership (!!!)"

May Allah curse the enemies of Ahlulbait as well those who love the enemies of Ahlulbayt

[Mods note : WARNING do not curse sunni leaders]

Edited by Abdulhujjah

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May Allah curse the enemies of Ahlulbait as well those who love the enemies of Ahlulbayt

This seems to be the core belief of many people on here. Cursing people as an article of belief.

May Allah (swt) bless those who have love in their hearts and have mercy on those who worship hate. I don't wish the curse of Allah (swt) on any man.

q

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Dear Ehsan

may Allah bless you a million times for your very detailed answers. Jondab Ali's Sunni quote is very useful indeed. Most Sunnis and Wahabis I know simply reject Ibn Arabi. I know for a fact that there are still hidden Shia communities in North Africa who still hide from Sunni persecution. Ibn Arabi being a person of high profile just had to add a bit of Sunni sauce to his writings in order not to get killed.

From the days when in my tender youth I used to read Ibn Arabi I always had the feeling that he was in some way or another linked to Shi'ism.

I will research the "Echo of Islam" issues on Ibn Arabi and Shi'ism. Does anyone have an idea of the year?

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Dear Bahadur Singh,

Your question is very important. The philosophy of the great Shia gnostic Mulla Sadra was the culmination of the Ihsani intellectual tradition (Irfan or Sufism) that arose from both Shi'i and Sunni sources that had their roots in the Qur'an, Sunnah, and teachings of the family of the Prophet (as).

Ibn Arabi (ra) was central in the articulation and defense of the Ihsani tradition (that was alive in the time of our Prophet (sal)) along with others such as Ghazzali (ra) and Suhrawardi (ra).

The best articles on this subject can be found in Seyyed Hossein Nasr's "Sufi Essays". Read "Seventh-century Sufism and the School of Ibn Arabi" and "Shi'ism and Sufism: their Relationship in Essence and in History". Dr. Nasr was a student of one of the great gnostics of the 20th Century Allamah Tabatabi (ra).

Those that deny Irfan or Sufism and great scholars such as Mulla Sadra or Ibn Arabi do not understand them and their relationship to the Qur'an, the Prophet (sal) and the teachings of the Imams. In fact, they deny the essential intellectual tradition in Islam and usually fill this void with western "intellectual" ideologies such as Marxism, Darwinism, positivism, or other secular theories that dillute Islam.

Many of the so-called revolutionaries in the Islamic world even adopt western millitary strategies which deny the sacred law. If they had an understanding of Islam as it has been practiced for 1400 years they would study sacred law, theology, and Sufism or Irfan and not blindly imitate everything western in the guise of Islam.

In Peace,

Abu Abdallah

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Salaam alaikum,

I thought Sufism is the heart of Islam....at least that's what they say on al-islam.org....

Salaam alaikum,

Majeda

(bismillah)

Al-Islam.org is way out of line in some things, I once complained to them because they had an article about Muharram written by salafis, and how we shouldn't mourn they didnt change it, as for the sufi thing, they claim that Sayed al-Khoei qas was a sufi and that is plain and simple ridiculous.

Wassalaam

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(bismillah)

What seeker wrote without the cursing is found here

Bottom line is, if you believe Sayed Khomeini qas was infallible (like some people are led to believe) then you will think anyone he praised was good and anyone he rejected was bad.

But if you are like me and think freely without prejudice, the truth becomes crystal clear.

Ibn Arabi was a sufi and a sunni, as I said earlier, had he been the slightest of an inch shii, the wahabis would be using this as an argument against the sufis, seeing they are the biggest enemies of sufism.

NB:- cursing of Ibn arabi will not be tolerated, as he is considered a leader by some sunnis and shiis.

Wassalaam

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(bismillah)

Exactly which Shia Ulama say he was in Taqiyya? Please quote rather than list names.

Wasalaam

(bismillah)

Ahsant. Ive never read anything for the late Sayyid Khomeini qas or others claiming that he was shii, rather they seem to accept that he was a sunni, but like his works, just like Ibn Sina who was an Ismaaeili, no alim says otherwise.

Wassalaam

Edited by Abdulhujjah

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Wa Salaam,

When discussing the scholars of the past, nothing is as simple as black and white. The delineation between schools of thought were present among people during the time of Ibn Arabi and others but it was also much easier for people to study under different shaykhs and thus become influenced by different schools. I don't think it is proper for anyone to try and pidgeonhole Ibn Arabi as Sunni or Shia. When a person has reached such a level as Ibn Arabi, they transcend descriptions and belong to everyone. His thinking had more impact on Shi'a philosophical evolution than any Shi'a thinker. There is no debate there. As the brother said, Mulla Sadra only expounded upon what Ibn Arabi put forward. Although he did critique some of Ibn Arabi's views (nothing new there as all great thinkers will have some critiques of previous thinkers, in a positive sense).

Nasir Al Din Tusi is claimed by Ithna Ashari, Ismaili, and Shafi'i schools. I have read Shafi'i literature where they have claimed him as one of their great scholars. Not surprising, he taught Shafi'i fiqh as he was considered a mujtahid of their school as well as ours. I've read Ismaili literature where he is claimed by them. Of course, he is considered a great mind of the school of Ahlul Bayt (A.S.). This is in keeping with the model set by the Aimmah (A.S.). The best sort of discourse is when you know the views of the opposing side. Many scholars had this sort of varied learning experience. Shaykh Mufid studied under Sunni and Shi'a scholars. It was just very evident that he was Shi'a.

Again, nothing is as simple as black and white. I've always viewed Imam Malik as a man of Shi'a tendencies albeit Zaydi tendencies but he did die knowing the right of Amirul Momineen (A.S.). He is considered Sunni because that's what people have labelled him as but Malik issued a fatwa in support of the right of Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.). Again, nothing is as simple as black and white. It wouldn't surprise me if Ibn Arabi was Shi'a. I've listened to a Maliki scholar discuss the 12 Imams at length and better than many Shi'a and he acknowledged them. Nothing is as simple as black and white. Only Allah knows what resides in the hearts of men. We speak of Ibn Arabi and others from a strictly academic perspective but we don't live and breathe his words, his writings. In other words, if there are 'urufa who say that he was Shi'a in taqiyyah, I can see that since they live the words of Ibn Arabi whose words were a reflection of his understanding of the Prophetic message. And if he was in taqiyyah, he wouldn't tell anyone and if anyone knew his secret and they really admired him then they probably wouldn't expose his secret for fear that it would take away from his real worth...............his writings.

Note: I read once where His Eminence, the late Allamah Tabatabai, said he thought he knew everything there was to know about Ibn Arabi until he some shaykh. He said as the shaykh began to elucidate on Ibn Arabi, it was as if the walls and the room he was in began to breathe. He could feel the Divine Presence. That's powerful. To just call Ibn Arabi a Sunni or whatever, takes away from his importance. The man was a living ayat of Allah. You just can't front on it.

Wa Salaam,

Djibril

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(bismillah)

To just call Ibn Arabi a Sunni or whatever, takes away from his importance. The man was a living ayat of Allah. You just can't front on it.

We are all living signs of Allah ;)

To some people he was a visionary, to others a deviate, this doesnt change his beliefs, but we are discussing something else, you are trotting around the topic at hand.

Wassalaam

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(bismillah)
To just call Ibn Arabi a Sunni or whatever, takes away from his importance. The man was a living ayat of Allah. You just can't front on it.

We are all living signs of Allah ;)

To some people he was a visionary, to others a deviate, this doesnt change his beliefs, but we are discussing something else, you are trotting around the topic at hand.

Wassalaam

Wa Salaam,

Not trotting around the topic. The discussion is whether he was Shi'a in disguise. Yes, we are all signs of Allah but some more than others. I'm a sign of Allah but I have not affected no one the way Shaykh al Akhbar has affected people. The seekers of the path recognize each other by their characteristics. No one can disprove that Ibn Arabi wasn't practising taqiyyah. Imam Kazim (A.S.) told Ali ibn Yaqtin, once, to make wudhu in the manner of the Ahlul Sunnah. Did that make Imam Sadiq (A.S.) a Sunni. No. He was practising taqiyyah because he wanted to save the man's life. The story is in Kitab Irshad. There are some, however, and some Hanafis, in particular, who say this Imam and the others were the living embodiments of Ahlul Sunnah. They see these aforementioned referenced in books of hadith and see the apparent but they don't recognize the hidden or true message. In other words, what may seem apparent may not be the case. People have tried to say that Ibn Arabi was of Hanbali fiqh but his spiritual writings were surely the antithesis of Hanbali ideology. There is a reason why the ulama of the school of hearts call him the Shaykh al Akhbar. I just think that no one should discount the possibility of his Shi'ism. Allah alone knows what resides within the hearts.

Wa Salaam,

Djibril

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(bismillah)

Bro Djibrl,

Can you please prove to me using statements from Khomeini qas and others that Ibn Arabi was a Shii doing Taqiyyah. Because as far as I am concerned is Sayed Khomeini qas didnt deny that Ibn Arabi was a sunni, unless of course you can show me otherwise which I will willingly accept :)

Thank you

Wassalaam

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(bismillah)

Bro Djibrl,

Can you please prove to me using statements from Khomeini qas and others that Ibn Arabi was a Shii doing Taqiyyah. Because as far as I am concerned is Sayed Khomeini qas didnt deny that Ibn Arabi was a sunni, unless of course you can show me otherwise which I will willingly accept :)

Thank you

Wassalaam

Wa Salaam,

Akhi, I never said that Ibn Arabi was Shi'a. Check my posts but what I am saying is that the possibility exists and it is this possibility that can't be denied. However, I will speak with the shaykhs that I turn to for guidance for more insight. I think what we all have to keep in mind, is that in those days the politics of the day were outright in some cases and downplayed in others. You had situations where Shi'a and Sunni studied under one another but would condemn one another. So we can't assign stereotypes of labels across the board. Shahid I and II were considered mujtahids by all 4 schools of thought and their views were valued by the communities of Ahlul Sunnah in Damascus and Ba'albakk, respectively (They even taught numerous scholars among the Ahlul Sunnah). They did this under the guise of taqiyyah. They taught and gave judgements according to the views of Ahlul Sunnah using taqiyyah. That's why we can't say that Ibn Arabi couldn't have practised taqiyyah. There is even question whether Ibn Sina was really Ismaili and not Ithna Ashari. According to Qadi Nurullah Shustari, he was Ithna Ashari. The lines are not as simple as we may try to make them or have been told. There are many more examples. As I said, Allah knows best what is in the hearts.

Wa Salaam,

Djibril

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(salam)

I think Bro. Djibril brought up some important points. There are a couple different ways to address them. First, it's important to remember that in sunni Islam when you reach the level of mujtihad you no loner are bound by a particular school of thought. Abdul Qadr Jilani and Ibn Arabi were supposedly in the hanbali madhab (I'm sure about Jilani). Traditionally there is no tension between being a part of the hanbali madhab in fiqh and praticing tassawuf. However, at the level of mujtihad both of them followed their own understandings of the texts.

I have no doubt that Ibn Arabi had a strong love for ahle-bayt because this is an essential part of sunni Islam. Whether or not he trancends both sunni and shia in his thought is also something worth thinking about. There is a story of Imam Jafar that I remember. He was brought before the one of the Umayyid Caliph's (Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik maybe) because of the "sedition" of certain shia elements at the time. He was asked if he supported those people and he said "I am not with them and I am not with you either." In essence it seems he was pointing to a third way which is not bound by either sunni or shia. I would agree that Ibn Arabi might have been at the same place (although I feel Imam Jafar was at a higher spiritual station).

As for the idea of Ibn Arabi praticing taqiyya, one question we can ask is who was he practicing taqiyya from? I remember the words of Al-Hallaj when he said in a state of mystical drunkenness "I am the Truth." It would seem that al-Hallaj may have been better met if he had practiced taqiyya at this particular moment. Imam Malik, Imam Jafar, Ibn Arabi and other great Momin may have been practicing taqiyya in ways we are not even aware of. Taqiyya from both sunni and shia elements would be necessary in a highly politicized environment in which the slightest deviation is considered blasphemous.

Just a couple thoughts and Allah (swt) knows best the truth of the matter.

in peace,

q

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Bahadur Singh/all,

salaam,

Here is an article by Sheikh Fadlallah Haeri (Shia Sufi I believe...). Perhaps this is what you mean by the 'hidden Shiasm'. He refers to both Ahl-ul-Bait (as) as well as Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, but to the later it seems mainly for cosmetic purposes of unity with Sunnis...

http://www.nuradeen.com/CurrentIssues/Curr...InPalestine.htm

The Current Situation in Palestine

by

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

This speech was delivered at the beginning of 2002

Bismillah-hir-Rahman-nir-Rahim

"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: 'We believe,' and will not be tested."

Surah 29; verse 2

Allah declares the absolute truth regarding the purpose of this existence, of creation: its journey, its beginning and its end. Allah reminds us that if you and I declare that we have faith and trust in the One and Only Creator, Sustainer of it all, we will be shown the extent of our sincerity. Fitnah in Arabic is to reduce the situation to its foundation. That is the original meaning of fitnah. The verb is fatn- to go to the essence of the matter. One of the main uses of the word fitnah in Arabic was when their coins, the gold and silver, which were the means of exchange, had been tampered with so they used to say: "The Dinar is muftoon- 'this is a gold coin that has been tested' and it is 100% gold."

Allah wants us to realise the extent of truth of what we are saying. Allah causes existence to become a mirror reflecting our state or condition. If you and I are not unified in our human oneness, how can we have access to the nur of the eternal One? It is not possible. We first have to become unified before we can talk about tawheed, which is the foundation of existence and the purpose of all prophetic lights and the messages that have come to mankind. It is about the One Source.. If you and I are not focused upon the original light, how can we ever have access to the magnificence of the manifestations of the One? If you are dispersed, then an aspect of you is on this side and another on the other side. So Allah says in this Ayah: "Don't ever think you are left to go astray." You will be tested by what you do and experience, by your friends, by your family, by events, so that you and I know the extent of our iman and faith in Allah. Do we know that He is in charge now? Do we know that Allah is the doer of it all and we have now to read (iqra) what is the meaning of events and act appropriately. If not, we remain confused. So, we have the basic parameters of this magnificent path. If we are confused, if we are distressed, if we are at a loss, it is not because of the fault of Islam, or of the prophetic teachings. It is probably because we have not read it properly or applied it- and often both.

The subject of today’s talk is the atrocities and catastrophic situation that Muslims experience and suffer from due to the injustices that are being perpetrated in Palestine. Now I can give you a quick and superficial condemnation of events, which everybody will feel good about because here is injustice and we can rise against it. We can talk about unifying the Muslim ummah. We can talk about the 1.5 billion people that can rise or the possibility even if 1% of them raise their voice sincerely. It will be a far greater force and power than the small number of Zionists and so on. Or, I can tell you, no, look at what Allah's message is! What is Allah's message to all his creation? Allah says: "I have not created jinn and humans except to worship me."

Allah's message is to all of creation and not only to the Muslims or to the unjust and arrogant ones. It is to all of mankind of all races and colour. What you are doing is disturbing the purpose and the peace in this dunya. We can simply sit here and argue and curse the Zionists and feel a bit better, or even criticise some of the Muslims who have not protested or the Arabs or whatever, but it is not going to do us much good. We must read the full truth of the situation.

It behooves us as intelligent human beings to read the situation properly, to take the facts of the matter, to know what is going on, and then we will find alternatives as to what we can do. Then, we can take action.

Let us look at the situation now in Palestine. Since 1946-1947 and the creation in 1948 of Israel, every year for the Muslim ummah, so to speak, and the poor Palestinians, is worse than the year before. Sometimes the situation appears a bit better but look at the sum total of it. When Arafat was calling for justice, he got nowhere. But when he wanted to be a President and hero of a country, they gave him the rubbish heap in Gaza, a national anthem and directives to police his destitute people. The economy was based on donations, handouts and earnings from slave labour and casinos.

We must look into the major issue from every angle. What is Allah's intention? Allah's intention is for us to worship him properly. How can you worship if you do not have the basics of health, shelter, food, security and peace? How can you get to know the ways of Allah? How can you discover your deen? How can you live the Qur`an if you are continuously oppressed and disturbed? It is Allah's way, Allah's design and Allah's purpose. We have to reflect as Muslims who are supposed to be reflecting the perfect way. As you all know, soon after the departure of the fourth of the great Khulafas after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him, his family and his righteous Companions), by the time we enter into the thirtieth, fortieth year after Hijrah, we find divergences amongst Muslims. These differences ended up in a situation about 500 years ago when the territory of Muslims was dominating in the world. The loss of Andalusia cut off that ongoing continuous relationship between the East and the West. The Ottoman rulers allowed the loss of Granada to be able to conquer Constantinople. We Muslims and the rest of the world began to put barriers on trade and became arrogant in that the goods and products which were in our lands, mostly in the subcontinent Mesopotamia, Iran and Turkey and in other parts of the Far East and North Africa. Eventually Europeans found a way around it with the discoveries of the Americas and the routes to the rest of the world. The short-lived monopoly on trade ended.

Look at the situation 200 years ago! The Europeans, Jews and Christians from the rest of the world had enclaves in every great Muslim city and even in some of the smaller cities in the Middle East as well as North Africa, Cairo, Istanbul, Tehran and elsewhere. All of these cities had strong enclaves of Christians and Jews. Where was the Muslim enclave in Paris or London? There was not even a single halaal hotel until late in the twentieth century.

It is only possible to give you a few glimpses of how, over the last few hundred years that we have been going continuously backward in terms of social, cultural, economical and spiritual development. By that time, the Westerners had separated secularism from religion and made it desirable to accumulate wealth. We inadvertently also separated, in a way, our hearts from our heads. Islam is the path of tawheed (unity). We must connect reason, rationality and the divine light. We must deal with the outside world with our 'aql, with reasoning, with diagnostics, with mushara, with council and then act with our heart in the way of Allah.

You find all of the Muslim people and countries for the last 200 years falling under the kufr way of thinking, the kufr system of education, health, monetary systems, in our economic conditions, in our business, in our trade, in our clothes, in our houses and in overall style and ways of living. We have been mimicking the kufr ways and then suddenly we are desperate and call for jihad, whilst Arabs still build their casinos, disneylands and stock markets.

If you look back a few decades ago, young and sincere Muslims from the Middle East were asking the rulers why they were living of kufr money (borrowed or unearned) and were not deriving their authority and power from their people? The oil companies were inadvertently puppets of despotic rulers all over the place. Artificial calls for jihad were often designed to get rid of ongoing and unsatisfied young Muslims in Palestine and elsewhere so that Arab rulers could carry on squandering the ill-gotten wealth.

You must look at the situation clearly before judging and blaming. We will get nowhere if we do not look at the whole situation from its beginning to its end. Then we can come up with correct ideas and directions. If we do not do anything now we will be in every way accountable. We cannot just sit and talk and blame the past on others. We know there are injustices. We know there are immense abuses; there are untold situations all over the world, especially where Muslims suffer major injustices.

Look at what is happening in Kashmir. Look at Afghanistan. Look at Iraq. Look at North Africa. Look at Sudan. Wherever you look there is trouble. And yet, we are still talking in terms of independence so that there is another flag, another basket case economy and disagreements between parties mimicking Western democracies. We are taught by our glorious Prophet that there is no way other than dependence on Allah, trust in Allah and following in His ways and help the mu`minoon, and do not take others as your friends.

We learn all these traditions, we have learnt hadith, we have more and more huffaz of the Qur`an, but less and less living the Qur`an. This is the situation of presumption that we know which leads to hypocrisy. We are the receptacle of the past; we have received the outcome of centuries of neglect and fossilised attitudes. Now we are shocked and waking up by Allah's rahmah through these catastrophic situations.  You see the Israeli cabinet meeting in a simple, modest place, a small room, and look at the Arab rulers in ostentatious luxuries. Which of these two styles is more Islamic than the other?

Human beings are not stupid. You cannot simply say Islam and not live it. We can honestly say that most of us are not following our deen. That is the truth. For the last two, three weeks in Hebron, people have been under 24-hour curfew. For the last 3 days- and I am talking to you as of now- people in Hebron, who were interviewed this morning, say that for 3 days they have only been allowed to go out for 2 hours. There are about 40000 Muslims in Hebron. It's no longer a case of imprisonment. It is total uncalled for brutality. Then we have these fat so-called Muslim leaders flying in their luxury jets to useless meetings with grand pronouncement and no helpful actions. They may allocate some emergency funds to buy peace but their hearts are dead and their end will also be miserable.

Allah says in the holy Qur`an that he buys from the mu'min their selves. It is not enough just to give something that you have in your pocket. Are you giving yourself? Are you giving your time, your energy and your heart? Are you connected? The reason we are in such a miserable state is because we are not connected to Allah's ways and His light of heavens and earth.

Look at the ahlul dunya on the other hand! Equally they are Allah's creation. The Israelis now are living under immense fear. They fear a young man with a stone in his hand. Look at the fear they are living under! Allah's rahmah is everywhere. Allah's rahmah is upon us who are suffering from these tragedies for Allah's rahmah is upon everyone in every situation. Where is it that Allah's mercy is not, so that we wake up to the fact that we all are sons of Adam, and we have to live in this world with utmost taqwa, implying living and enjoining good and justice. It does not mean that we simply sit in the mosque and allow the injustice to take place outside, but are we ready for a true awakening in every step? 

What I read of the situation now is that this globalization of so-called democracy has swept beyond the ability of any Muslim community to come up with the alternative way of governance. Where in the world is there a place that the Muslims are living in a way that you as a mu'min, as a believer, can go and function? We suspect each other. We have all of these different madhaahib. We only see differences. Where is the love and where is the meeting point with the Noor of Allah? Every small country - you take the Comoros for example - you see two impoverished islands killing each other. You go to Bangladesh, Tanzania and Nigeria and you will find a similar situation. Wherever you look, in every town, city, you will find this faction and that faction and yet, we have the audacity of talking about ummah! It makes somebody feel a bit better for a minute, and that's it. It is not a remedy. The remedy is to read the inherited sick situation we are all in and then come up with alternative ways whereby we can act, but in a way that will be sustained. We need sustainable resistance, sustainable way of life with humbleness, and not defiance with haughtiness.

I was a youngster when Israel declared independence. In Iraq, they thought it was possible for the Iraqi army alone to crush it, let alone all the other Arabs and the Muslims. What happened? We defied with ignorance, without knowledge, competence or evaluation and without being under the banner of Islam. We were under the banner of nationalism, false pride and other isms. Then look at the last half of the last century? We had despotic leaders, we had rulers in the Muslim world that had either come from the army or from nationalistic backgrounds, professing Islam symbolically, going for a Jummah, but where was their taqwa and love of truth? Where were their hearts? They were not Abdullah's. They inherited the outer dress of their deen without earning it and they were not the representative of Rasul Allah. Allah expects His vicegerent to rule in this world not hypocritical Muslims. The qualified ruler is like the Prophet and not Muawiah.

The reason Islam and the Muslims will continue to suffer is because we do not have Prophetic 'Muhammadi' leadership. We express love for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), we love his sahabah and his ahlul-bayt and yet we are far from appropriate leadership. How did Omar live? That humble powerful man slept in a small corner of a mosque with a brick under his head, while the rest of the world was awaiting Islamic growth and rulership. And Imam 'Ali - his way, his demeanor, clothes, his sword and his divinely inspired heroism and yet his legendary gentleness and clemency. Then there were other enlightened Muslims representing the ultimate justice on this earth. They were the true khulafah of Allah. The West separated secularism from religion because the Judeo-Christian path had become obscure and adopted by Constantine in order to enhance and strengthen his empire. Malaysian rulers did a very similar thing 500 years ago. The Sultans brought in Islam to strengthen their rule and make everybody bow more. So, many of our sultans, kings and despots used religion to increase their worldly power, rule and wealth.

We have examples in Andalusia where the Sufis and the others who were bringing people to Islam were attacked by the sultans because they reduced the jeziah by bringing in people to the deen. They showed the sultans not living according to the ways of the Prophet and this was an embarrassment. That is why you will find that in so many Muslim homes they prefer to have non-Muslim servants, so that they can carry on their non-Islamic way in their home rather than be witnessed by a Muslim servant. In Kuwait many servants were Christians imported from Goa so that they can serve alcohol to their Masters. Wherever you look there is sadness and suspicion instead of the mu`min' s heart to overflow with joy. Allah will show us and put the mirror of creation in our face so that we see the truth and stop calling ourselves this and that madhhab, whilst not being worthy of even the glance of the Prophetic light, let alone all the knowledges that we have in our great tradition.

So, it is no use for us to simply accuse this group or madhhab and come up with useless, instant and simplistic remedies for complex sicknesses. Look at what happened in the past two hundred years and how the Muslims in Turkey, Egypt, Iran and elsewhere mortgaged their countries and people to European banks. You will find the banks of the world took control of the Muslim world totally. In Turkey, it was over by 1810 when the Sultan had begun to modernize. We have to be modernized all the time, but once we have taken and adopted a kufr system, we are already under its hegemony. By 1850 most of the training in the Uthmania army was by officers from the West, several of them from Austria, France and Britain, because we didn't know, develop and educate our people as the West was doing.

By the time the Suez Canal was built, Egypt was completely under the weight of the debt to the banks. Soon after that, Britain decided to rule the country directly. All the so-called Muslim countries ended under direct control through the banks. In each of these countries, the bankers instituted systems of retrieving the money. In the case of Turkey, which had a substantial loan, they had instituted a committee of bankers (two of whom were Jews) that were living in Istanbul, to make sure that through customs, excise, and other means these loans were repaid, with incredible amount of usury and interest. That is why Turkey was called the 'Sick Man of Europe', because the sick is not dead, but his blood can still be sucked. Until such a time that the sickness was so great that Allah sent this virus called Kamal Ataturk and finished it off. Allah sends Shaytaan in order for us to wake up to Rahman. Look at Allah's ways: "which of the signs of Allah will you deny?" Wherever you look if you don't see the rahmah within it, then you have missed the point, His constantly recurring point. Do not brush aside the difficulty and the challenge. Allah is challenging us all the time. Do we think that we will be left without being tested and afflicted so that we know exactly where our Jihad is? Jihad is from an Arabic word, which means 'exert energy'. You and I have to expand energy as long as we are alive. The Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) has taught us that we are continuously accountable to this light and our higher self. Are we truthful? Are we honest? Are we aware? Are we in dhikr of the One? Are we aware we are doing such and such for Allah's sake, by Allah's rahmah? Are you ready to leave this world? The inner Jihad and the outer Jihad both connect at all times. But there is a hierarchy. If I am sick in my body, then I am in stress and my mind is not clear. Thus, I am not qualified to lead others during my serious disturbance. It is for that reason an ignorant person should not embark upon an action, because that action will mislead people more than benefit them. That is why so many false Jihads have been declared and have failed. The danger of involving other people is serious when politics and religion are confused. Jihad has to continue forever - any minute we may leave this world, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "You will die according to the condition you are in, and you will be resurrected in that condition also." What condition are you in? You will be in the grave according to your inner mirror. If the condition and consciousness you were in were the highest possible, then you are on your way to the best destiny ready to meet your Prophet. Outer fighting Jihad has to be qualified by the enlightened ‘ulama. There are many conditions for it including the presence of a just and prophetic ruler or king. You cannot have a king sitting in some cozy palace ordering his paid 'ulama to go and call for a Jihad; the leader must be in the front. In the Western world, the separation between government and religion resulted in considerable growth and development in their social, political and economic life. As for the 'reformed church', it is being constantly 'deformed' and fighting for survival. At one church in England where they were selling beer, the bishop was asked how he could justify alcohol in a place of worship. He replied that alcohol is part of the Christian culture. If we are not careful, we will end up having Islamic banks as part of our Muslim culture, and many other Shaytanic activities as part of our culture.

So, to get back to the point, we must read and understand the present situation as the culmination of decades of us living in spiritual lethargy, ignorance and superstition under despotic leaders and ignorant 'ulama. We are now reaping the result of deviation from original Islam. You cannot simply attack the kuffar or Christians whilst they lead globally in most human endeavours. They are the inventors of the money, modern arms, the information technology and all modern ways of life. Yet, Iraq's government defies the world powers poised for suicide. We have over a million children in Iraq who are mentally retarded. A million and a half of the best people of Iraq and Iran killed in the senseless war, which was encouraged by Western powers. The truth is that no Muslim country or people have any real independence politically or economically. I was brought up in Iraq at the time of the Second World War, which did not touch the town I was in, because we hardly needed imported goods or products. Within twenty years, the country's income from oil doubled .The number of poor people increased and self-­sufficiency vanished.

Look at the situation now in any of the Muslim countries. If you cut off the medicines or the clothes, or whatever for a month or two, you will have serious destitute. So, this globalization of the kufr system, and the power of their finance is everywhere. How do we get out of its stranglehold? My reading is that this so-called pseudo democracy, which is un-Islamic, needs to be changed and imposed in a real way. At the moment, our rulers pretend to be just and democratic but they are only able to mimic the West and appease the world powers. The Muslims know that they have to live according to the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and other great, enlightened beings. We know that we are not living anywhere near what is expected. So, we end up having this paradox: We love the West and the Western ways, nostalgic about our Islam, which stops at the gate of the mosque. Where is the tawheed in this? Deen implies a way of living - a debt upon you. It is a complete code of life. And that is why Islam is the only true path. And that is why we find so many of the so-called religions destitute and incomplete. One hour every week, of gathering in a temple, is not good enough. Why don't you breathe, also, once a day? It is about your functioning, your cells, your mind, your heart and your ruh; to be in worship and awe all the time is to be truly in Islam and thus be safe from afflictions of self or society.

We have to be guided by the divine spark within us, which is the ruh. Otherwise, life will be difficult and miserable. You eat, sleep, etc. and at the end of it, you are under six feet of dust at best. What is it all about? We have an agenda as Muslims. We have a path, which, if lived, everybody will be transformed by it and others will want it. But if we are not living it, then that potential joy and knowledge is not achieved. Materially, outwardly, we can see that Muslims have become inferior, because of our negligence. We had at one time all the sciences and advanced way of life. But often, when the Muslim scientist or scholar died, with him died his creativity and knowledge. When the great physician and philosopher Ibn Sina died, there were a few hakims after him, and few decades after that, there was nothing left. And his qanoon, which is translated as "canons, rules, of Ibn Sina" was taken by the Western medical practitioners and it remained their main manual until recent history.

Why have we not grown in culture and civilisation? It was because our rulers in most cases were not fit to rule in the prophetic sense. They used Islam to oppress Muslims and appointed clergies to confirm their despotic and often inhumane ways. Thus no ongoing institutions for education, health or civil service came about. Our schools remained basic

shariah and Qur`an recitation static and unpopular primitive attempts. No history, geography, health, mathematics or any other sciences were taught.

We must realize that we have all deviated from the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family). It is Allah's rahmah that we still have the Qur`an intact and that we still have the knowledge and the love of the Prophet in our hearts. These are great foundations to build upon the future of illumined and universal Muslim lives. Everybody wants durable happiness and spiritual reference. But often happiness becomes a disaster ­ for five minutes of pleasure. We must take responsibility for our actions. Expect good destiny and live joyfully Allah's perfect ways and decrees. To live in taqwa with the goal of knowledge of Allah, following the footsteps of Rasoolallah is the road to safety and success.

As salaam alaykum

What do you guys think?

ws

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