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Archive for the ‘Precious Extracts’ Category

Of the accepted and established principles amongst the people of knowledge (ahl al-‘ilm) is that a particular moment in time is made remarkable or auspicious by the events associated with it. The event, in other words, forms the source of the values and the estimation ascribed to that moment.

The magnitude of the event determines the magnitude of the occasion; likewise, the ascribed blessings of the event determines the ascribed blessings of the occasion.

Moreover, the stronger the identity, and the greater the impressions made by the events on people, the stronger and greater will they identify with the time during which the events occurred.

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A number of my students have asked me about the position of our beloved teacher, the late Sayyid Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki regarding the question of madhahib (Legal Schools of Thought) and ijtihad (the creative exercise of reason). It is important to remember that while he endorsed the distinction between those qualified to engage in ijtihad and those who are bound to follow the opinion of one or another mujtahid (one qualified to perform ijtihad) that his distinction was certainly not one of an absolute nature. He was far more wary of sectarianism than any degree of taqlid (imitation). He was acutely aware of the fact that both the mujtahid, particularly those who are mujtahidin within any particular school of thought, and the muqallid (the one bound to the learned opinion of a mujtahid), may well find themselves entrapped in the snare of rigidity and bigotry. In short, the relationship between the individual and any learned opinion or school of thought is defined and determined more by the attitudes inculcated in those individuals than any degree of adherence to a madhab or taqlid of an opinion could ever be.

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Precious Extracts is a collection of excerpts, translated by Shaykh Seraj from the works of his revered and beloved Shaykh al-Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki (ra), as well as reminiscences of their time together, containing gems of wisdom, for the discerning heart and mind.

It would be impossible to recollect, in its entirety, the  biography of Sayyid Muhammad in a few paragraphs. The immensity of his life and its far-reaching impact are like the ripples which form when a stone is dropped on still water, ever-expanding and perpetually resonating.

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O Allah, I ask You through the abundant grace of Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim...
and I ask You through the majesty and the praise of Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim...
and I ask You through the reverence of Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim...
and I ask You through the sanctity of Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim. 
And through the power and the sovereignty and the greatness of Bismallahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim, 
and through the exaltedness and the strength and the potence of Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim – 
I ask You in the name of all these to raise me in Your estimation through the secret of Bismallahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim.

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JUST BEFORE dawn on Friday the 15th of Ramadan of this year the Muslim community lost one of its most eminent scholars and men of Allah. Sayyid Muhammad ‘Alawi alMaliki came from a long line of eminent scholars, Idrisi sharifs connected to the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, through Imam alHasan, may Allah be pleased with him. His ancestors came from Morocco many centuries ago and settled in Mecca. The custom in Mecca has always been to use the title Sayyid for the scholarly among the descendants of Imam Hasan and Imam Hussein, reserving the title of sharp “for the rulers of Mecca, until the modern day Saudi era, for the martial, warrior scion amongst the ahi al-bayt. Thus it was that the newcomers retained the surname of Maliki, that of their illustrious ancestor Muhammad al-Maliki, whose North African origin made him a follower of Imam Malik in matters of jurisprudence, and the title Sayyid for being scholars, not warriors.

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The Prophets of Allah did not leave behind wealth or possessions, but they left behind knowledge. Just like the person who dies leaves heirs, i.e. sons, daughters, wives, etc. As for the Prophets, their heirs are the Ahl al-`Ilm – the People of Knowledge. And their shares are in accordance with their following of the teachings of the Prophets. As is the case with the heirs of a deceased person – those who stand in closer relation to such person inherit a greater share.

Similar is the case with the `Ulama: those who follow more stringently and love the Prophet more dearly will earn a greater share of the inheritance. In other hadiths it is clarified that this inheritance does not refer to possessions but rather to knowledge – the Quran, the Sunnah and akhlaq (nobility of character). It includes everything that is part of the Shariah.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), known as the “hafidh of the Sahabah” (the one – amongst all the Companions – who memorized the most hadiths), narrated that he once visited the market-place where he found people engaged in the usual trading. He then told them, “You are here trading while people are distributing the inheritance of the Prophet (peace be upon him ).

“Where is this happening,” they asked excitedly as they were eager to acquire a relic of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for themselves. “In the masjid,” Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) replied. So all of them rushed to the masjid but found none of the Prophet’s (s) possessions there. They asked him, “Why do you say the inheritance is being distributed when none is to be found ?”

“What did you find there?” Abu Hurayrah (r) asked.” We found people in circles studying the Quran and Hadith.” “That is the inheritance,” he replied.

Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki
Radio Interview, South Africa

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