Not long ago, it came up in conversation: “Saying that we have the ‘Qur’an and sunnah’ is very vague. It is a cliché with no real-ity.”
The quest of every soul who has been guided to the path of Islam, whether real-ized or not, is real-izing.
“What the Creator has intended for us is to strive for enlightenment and readiness for the Hereafter”.
~Shaykh Fadhlalla’s commentary on Ibn ‘Ata’illah’s Al-Hikam
At the Prophet’s time there were no branches of Islamic knowledge such as the science of hadith, fiqh, tajwid or tasawwuf as there exists today. What existed were real-ities or the actual practice of such sciences.
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, the honorable Islamic scholar and Sufi saint has remarked:
“Sufism used to be a real-ity without a name, but over time the real-ity of Sufism has gone and what remains is but a name.”
As Allah revealed His words through the angel Jibra’il to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) throughout his life, he acted upon every new revelation, every instruction, every command, until he, himself, transformed into a living, breathing, walking manifestation of those real-ities.
The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) real-ized the teachings of Islam through every word he spoke, every action he performed, every state he possessed. He heard and he obeyed. He received knowledge and acted upon it. He absorbed the essence of every teaching until he became a real-ization of the Qur’an. It was a process, unfolding. The Divine Message conveyed by Allah to His creation became a real-ity through the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
As Allah’s chosen messenger – the first to receive Islamic teachings and the first to become a Muslim (one who performs Islam) – Muhammad (s.a.w.) became the fait accompli, the precedent set before humanity, the example of real-ized human perfection. His was the journey extraordinaire of every individual to the real-ization of his full potential.
Allah commanded The Messenger (s.a.w.):
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Say (O Muhammad, to the people): If you love Allah, then follow me. Allah will love you…” (Ali Imran, 3:31)
The Messenger’s role towards people was but to convey the message sent: to give good news and to warn.
Love for Allah is reflected in following His commands, favoring His obedience and seeking His pleasure. Allah’s love for the real-izers is in His reward, His forgiveness, and His mercy upon them.
When we know that true real-ization is from none other than Allah, that any good we see in ourselves is from Him and that our love is only for Him, then we become motivated to obey Him and begin to love whatever brings us closer to Him. So love for Allah can be explained as the desire to obey and is reflected in following the Messenger (s.a.w.).
As Allah has promised in verse 31 of the chapter Ali Imran in His book (Al-Qur’an 3:31), when we follow the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), then He will love us.
When Allah Loves a Slave~Sayings of Sayyidina ‘Ali
(may Allah be content with him)
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا أَلْهَمَهُ الصِّدْقَ
When Allah loves a slave, He inspires him with honesty.
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا أَلْهَمَهُ الْعِلْمَ
When Allah loves a slave, He inspires him with knowledge (‘ilm).
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا أَلْهَمَهُ حُسْنُ الْعِبَادَةُ
When Allah loves a slave, He inspires him to perfect his worship (‘ibadah).
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا أَلْهَمَهُ رُشْدَهُ، وَ وَفِّقْهُ لِطَاعَتِهِ
When Allah loves a slave, He inspires him with real-ization and synchrony of action (taufiq) in obedience to Him.
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا بَغَّضَ إِلَيْهِ الْمَالَ، وَ قَصَّرَ مِنْهُ الآمَالَ
When Allah loves a slave, He causes him to hate wealth and diminishes his vain hopes.
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا حَبَّبَ إِلَيْهِ الأَمَانَةَ
When Allah loves a slave, He endears him to reliability (amanah).
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا رَزَقَهُ قَلْبًا سَلِيْمًا، وَ خُلُقًا قَوِيْمًا
When Allah loves a slave, He bestows upon him a sound heart and virtuous behavior.
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا زَيَّنَهُ بِالسَّكِيْنَةِ وَ الْحِلْمِ
When Allah loves a slave, He adorns him with tranquility and forbearance.
ـ إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا وَعَظَهُ بِالْعِبَرِ
When Allah loves a slave, He admonishes him with lessons (taking meaning from events).
By donning the garment of Allah’s love both inwardly and outwardly, by following the noble example of His chosen messenger and by His inexhaustible grace and mercy, we may become fully real-ized:
- inspired with honesty
- inspired with knowledge (‘ilm)
- inspired to perfect our worship (‘ibadah)
- inspired with realization and synchrony of action (taufiq) in obedience to Him
- caused to hate wealth and diminish our vain hopes
- endeared to reliability (amanah)
- bestowed a sound heart and virtuous behavior
- adorned with tranquility and forbearance
- admonished with lessons
True real-ization of a person is, then, real-izing the Qur’an and sunnah.
Because real-izing is real-izing.
“Do not be content with words. Arise and embark on deeds without delay. You will reach the Station of Perfection – there is no god except Allah!”
~Shaykh Muhammad Fayturi Al-Hamudah