Imam 'Abdallah al-Haddad is widely believed to have been the spiritual "renewer " of the twelfth Islamic century. A direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. Imam Haddad: The Book of Assistance [Imam Abdallah Ibn-Alawi Al-Haddad] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The aptly-named Book of Assistance is today in widespread use among Sufi teachers in Arabia, Indonesia and East Africa. Presented here in the readable.

The Book Of Assistance Imam Al Haddad

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from: The Book of Assistance, Imam 'Abdallah Ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad (Allah have mercy upon him). Translated by: Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi. LanguageEnglish. Sufism. Identifierthe-book-of-assistance-imam-al-haddad. Identifier-arkark://t0xq0kc2b. OcrABBYY FineReader Full text of "The Book of Assistance by Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad" Imam f Abdallah al-Haddad was the renewer, or Mujaddid, of the twelfth Islamic.

Such a condition results in one becoming absent [from creation], engrossed [in the Cre- ator], and extinct to anything that is not Him.

It also leads to other states special to the people of God. The foundation of all this is perseverance in outward devotions and taking care to perform them well and with an effort to be attentive with God.

Beware of leaving a wird for fear of not being able to persevere in it; for this is foolishness. You should not do, in each period of time, whatever happens to suit your energy and free time; on the contrary, you should have a minimum that you perform, which you can add to whenever you feel ener- getic, but never fall below when you feel lazy.

Know that hastening to acts of goodness, being careful with acts of worship and persevering in obedience, constitute the way of the Prophets and Saints, both at the beginning and end of their affair, for they are the creatures with the most knowl- edge of God, and it is therefore not surprising that they are the most worshipful, obedient, and fearful of Him Mighty and Majestic is He!

The attentiveness of a servant is equal to his love for his Lord. Love is consequent upon knowledge: If you become too busy amassing worldly things and following passions to have awrad and keep to acts of worship, strive to give your Lord an hour at the end of the day when you occupy yourself with glorifying Him, asking forgiveness, and other kinds of devotions.

The Book of Assistance

It has been related that God the Exalted has said: Give Me an hour at the beginning of your day and an hour at its end, and I will take charge for you, of all that is in between. Take refuge in them, for they are the upright religion of God, and His straight path. Those who adhere to them find safety, profit, guidance and protection, while those who deviate from them go astray, grieve, lose, and are broken.

Let them govern you and control what you do, and consult them in your every affair, in obedi- ence to the counsel of God and that of His Messenger; O you who believe!

Obey God and obey the Messenger, and those in authority among you! If you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you believe in God and the Last Day.

That is better and of fairer consequence. And always be cautious and follow the better alternative. Never innovate in religion, nor folio wthe ways of the non-believers, or else you will lose both this world and the hereafter, which thing is the manifest loss. The first is a 'good innovation', which is that which the well-guided leaders have opined m conformity with the Book and sunna, intending to c hoose that which is more beneficial, more useful, and finer, as t or example Abu Bakr's collection of the whole Qur'an into one volume, 'Umar's institution of military pensions and of the Tardwth prayers, 'Uthman's arrangement of the Qur'an and institution of a first call to prayer on Friday, and 'All's rules for fighting heretical rebels.

May God bestow His good pleasure upon the four Caliphs! The second kind of innovation is one that is 'blameworthy only from the point of view of renunciation and contentment, ' such as the excessive use of licit clothes, foodstuffs, and houses.

The third kind is the 'absolutely blameworthy innovation', which contradicts the provisions of the Book and sunna, or the consensus of the nation. Innovators have fallen into this very frequently with regards the principles [usul], but infrequently with regard to the branches [furu.

The one who does not adhere exceed- ingly to the Book and sunna, and does not do his utmost to emulate the Messenger, and then pretends that he has a certain degree before God the Exalted, should not be paid attention to, nor attended, even if he be able to fly in the air and walk on water, and have distances folded up and the laws of nature broken for him.

This happens frequently to demons, magi- cians, soothsayers, talisman makers, astrologers, and others who are similarly in error. These can only be considered charismata [kardmdt] and confirmation, and not enticements and delusion, when rectitude [istiqdma] is present in the one in whom they appear.

Such deceivers can only deceive the rabble and the base people who worship God while harbouring doubts.

As for those endowed with reason and intelligence, they know full well that believers differ in their nearness to God according to the differences between them in following 37 The Book of Assistance the Messenger, and the more complete the emulation, the more perfect the nearness to God, and the greater the gnosis of Him. Abu Yazld al-Bistami once went to visit a man who was said to be a saint.

He sat down waiting for him in a mosque, until the man came out and spat on the wall of the mosque, at which Abu Yazld went away without speaking to him. He said: Should you ever find difficulty doing so, go to one of those to whom God commanded you have recourse in His saying Exalted is He: So ask the people of remembrance if you do not know, [XVI: The presence of one such on the face of the earth has become so rare that some great men have even said that they no longer exist.

The truth is that they do exist, but because of the unawareness of the elite 33 and the turning away of the commonalty, God has hidden them under the cloak of His possessiveness and surrounded them with veils of obscurity.

However, those who seek them with sincerity and zeal will not, by God's Will, fail to find one of them. Sincerity is a sword that is never used against anything without cutting it. The earth is never without those who uphold the matter for God.

Those are the faction of God; indeed, the faction of God are those who will succeed. They are those who firmly adhere to the way of the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, and of his Companions.

If you look with a sound understanding into those passages relating to the sciences of faith in the Book, the sunna, and the sayings of the virtuous predecessors, whether they be Com- panions or Followers, you will know for certain that the truth is with the party called the Ash'ari, named after shaykh Abu'l-Hasan al-Ash'ari, may God have mercy on him, who systematized the foundations of the creed of the people of the truth, and recorded its earliest version, these being the beliefs which the Companions and the best among the Followers agreed upon.

These constitute the doctrine of the people of truth in every time and place, and of all the Sufis, as Abu'l- Qasim al-Qushayrl, may God have mercy on him, indicated at the beginning of his Treatise. It is, may God be praised, our doctrine, and that of our Husayni brothers known as the family of Abu'Alawi, and of our predecessors from the time of the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, down to the present day.

And God blessed' his descendants, a great many of whom became renowned for their knowledge, worship, sainthood, and gno- sis. Through the baraka of this trustworthy imam who fled from sedition to protect his religion, they remained safe from the innovations and the following of misguiding passions into which certain other factions of the Prophetic House fell.

May God reward him on our behalf with the best reward He has ever granted a father on behalf of his children; may He raise his degree along with his noble forefathers in the Highest Heaven ['Illtyun] and give us to join them in goodness and safety, having neither changed our religion nor fallen into tempta- tion.

He is the Most Merciful. The Maturidis are the same as the Ash'aris in the above regard. Each believer must protect his faith by learning the creed ot one of the imams who are incontestably worthy of respect, and well-grounded in knowledge. And I can see none clearer, more comprehensive and free from suspect and misleading things than that of the imam al-Ghazali, may God be pleased with him.

Do not delve too deeply into theology [kalam] and do not discuss it much with the aim of truly acquiring knowledge [ma'rifa], for it cannot be obtained through that science. If you want to acquire truly this knowledge you must travel its path, which is to adhere to taqwa outwardly and inwardly, meditate on verses and hadiths, reflect on the Realm of the heaven and the earth with the aim of drawing a lesson, refine the soul's attributes, reduce its densities through discipline, polish the mirror of the heart by continuous remembrance [dhikr] and reflection [fikr] and by shunning everything that might distract you from devoting yourself entirely to this affair.

This is the way to attain, and if you tread it you will, by God's Will, find what you are seeking. Sufis have struggled against their souls, 41 The Book of Assistance disciplined them and weaned them of their habits and familiar things, because they knew that on this depends the fullness of gnosis, and on the fullness of gnosis depends the realization of the station of servitude [ubudiyya] which is the aim of the gnostics and the hope of those who realise, may God be pleased with them all.

For if you do this purely for the sake of God you will attain to the utmost proximity to Him, the gift of love shall be bestowed upon you, and then all your movements and times of stillness will become for and by Him. This is the bestowal of sainthood or even vice-regency [khilafa]. Should he ask Me, I shall surely grant him his request; should he ask Me for protection I shall surely protect him.

Never do I hesitate 38 in anything as I hesitate in taking the soul of my believing servant; he dislikes death, and I dislike to displease him, but it is a thing inevitable". This fortunate servant only reaches that great rank, where every- thing he likes is liked by God, and everything he dislikes is disliked by Him by virtue of his conforming to what He has 43 The Book of Assistance made obligatory upon him, and his performing supereroga- tory devotions in abundance in his wish to draw nearer to Him.

So make haste! Make haste, if you are determined to reach the degrees of perfection and wish to attain to the ranks of men. Know that God has put much good into supererogatory devotions, through His grace and mercy, for many imperfec- tions occur in obligatory worship.

However, imperfection in an obligatory act can only be redeemed by an act of super- erogation of the same kind: Obligations are the basis and acts of supererogation are dependent upon them. The one who performs the obligations, avoids the prohib- ited things, and does not add anything to this is better than him who performs acts of supererogation but neglects some obli- gations.

Beware therefore, of neglecting any obligations while occupied with acts of supererogation, for you would thereby sin, and by abandoning your obligations your acts of super- erogation will become unacceptable to God. An example of this is the man who occupies himself with acquiring a kind of knowledge which is, for him, supererogatory, and neglects acquiring the kind which is, for him, obligatory, either out- wardly or inwardly. Another is the man who is able to but neglects working for a livelihood and busies himself with supererogatory devotions, leaving his children to beg from others.

You can use these two examples to assess by analogy other similar situations. Know that you will never attain to the performing of obli- gations, the avoiding of the prohibited things, and the per- formance of the supererogatory acts that He has laid down for you to draw nearer to Him, save through knowledge.

Seek it then!

Therefore, you must have knowledge and cannot dispense with it; for on the practice of it your happiness in this world and the hereafter depends. Know that those who wor- ship but have no knowledge end up receiving more harm from their worship than benefit. How many a worshipper has tired himself out in worshipping while persistently committing a sin which he believed to be an act of obedience or [at any rate] not a sin! The gnostic shaykh Ibn f Arab! A man questioned him about why he kept the animal and he replied: When he was informed about this he was frightened and wept profusely.

The knowledge obligatory upon every Muslim is to know the mandatory status of those things which God has made obligatory upon him, and the forbidden status of those which God has prohibited him. As for knowing the way to perform each obligation, this becomes obligatory only at the time of wanting to perform it.

When will my book be dispatched from your warehouse?

The one who reaches puberty or enters Islam in the month of Muharram, for instance, must immedi- ately learn the meaning of the two Affirmations, and utter them; and then learn about the duty of performing the five prayers and their necessary components and rules. He must then learn about the obligations of fasting, the zakat, the pilgrimage [hajj], and so forth, and about the prohibition of adultery, wine-drinking, the wrongful appropriation of other people's wealth, and the other things forbidden by the Law.

It is not necessary for him to learn precisely how to fast or perform the Hajj until Ramadan or Hajj time arrives, nor how to calculate the zakat until he has enough money for the zakat to become due and its time arrives.

And God knows best. The main duties and prohibitions are well known among Muslims; the important thing, however, is to know the vari- ous rules, which can only be acquired from a scholar who fears 45 The Book of Assistance God and upholds the truth. The commonalty are sometimes right and sometimes mistaken, so beware of doing what they do and leaving what they leave by emulation, for emulation can be sound only if it be of a scholar who practices that which he knows, and such people are today a rarity.

Therefore, if you see a scholar these days and observe him doing or leaving something, and you do not know whether this is right or wrong, do not be content with just having seen what he does or refrains from doing; ask him about the legal reasons and the religious rules behind it.

A Muslim does not need a long time to acquire the knowl- edge that is obligatory for him, nor is much hardship in- volved. An intelligent student will find it sufficient to sit with a proficient scholar for an hour or two. A bedouin once came to the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, while he was preaching from his pulpit, and asked him to teach him some of that which God had taught him.

He de- scended from his pulpit, taught him, then returned to it and completed his sermon. On the whole, those who want security and gain must not initiate any act or continue in something already initiated until they know God's ruling in its regard: Everything will fall into one of those four groups.

Believers can be divided into the commonalty and the elect. The former may fall into the neglect of duties and the commit- ting of forbidden things; they are not keen on supererogatory devotions and they use the merely licit [category of] things to excess. The best among them are those who hasten to repent and ask for forgiveness. And God is the One Who grants success. The true nature of these and the way to rid oneself of vile traits and acquire noble ones were -re- corded by the imam al-Ghazali in the second half of the Ihya'.

Know this and make use of it! As for outward cleanliness, this depends on avoiding trans- gressions, and keeping to obedience. The one who adorns his outward with perseverance in good works, and his inward with taking on praiseworthy attributes, has completed his cleanliness.

Otherwise, he would only have a share of it pro- portionate to his remoteness from reprehensible traits and acts, and nearness to good ones. Among the divisions of outward cleanliness are those things indicated in the Law such as removing excessive [hair and nails for instance] and dirt, and purification from acts which necessitate the ritual ablution and impurities. Amongst these are the removal of pubic hair, depilation or shaving of the 47 The Book of Assistance armpits, clipping the moustache and the paring of the finger- nails.

It is recommended to start with the right index finger carry on to the right little finger, then to the left little finger through to the left thumb and end with the right thumb.

As for he feet one begins with the right little toe and ends with he left little toe, in the same order as washing the toes during the ritual ablution [wudu']. It is reprehensible to delay all these things for more than forty days. Other such things are the removal with water of the dirt which accumulates in wrinkles he mucus in the eyes, the dirt in the nostrils, and the use of a toothpick to remove the remains of food from between the teeth.

You must clean your mouth with the siwdk, and it is better if this be of arak wood; it is strongly recommended before initiating any act of worship. You must also clean your clothes with water whenever they become dirty, in moder- ation and without imitating those who live in luxury Other sunnas related to cleanliness are the oiling and comb- ing of the beard, cleaning all the hair, using kohl three times in each eye for he used kohl, may peace be upon him, in this manner every night , using perfume abundantly, for it masks unpleasant odours, whether human or other; this is firmly recommended for the Friday prayer and other gatherings of ut Zl y.

It is good for men to use perfume which has a strong scent but no colour and for women to do the opposite. Beware of all impure substances: If you become mpure [junub due to sexual intercourse perform'the greater ablution [ghusl] immediately, for the junub is forbidden from' he Presence of God, which is why he is forbidden to stay in the mosque or recite the Qur'an.

Beware of eating or sleeping while junub, for you would thus expose yourself to many problems; if it is not possible for you to take an immediate ghusl then the least you can do is to wash your private parts and perform the wudu.

You should renew your ritual ablution [wudu] before each obligatory prayer and strive always to remain in a state of ritual purity. Renew your wudii' whenever you break it, for wudu is the weapon of the believer, and when the weapon is in evidence, the enemy dares not approach. A man once came to Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan al-Shadhili and asked him to teach him alchemy. The Shaykh promised to teach him, but only after he had stayed with him for a year and on condition that each time he broke his wudu he renewed it and prayed two rak'as.

At the end of the year the man went to draw water from a well, and the bucket came up full of gold and silver; he poured it back into the well for he had no desire for them whatsoever. Then he went to the Shaykh and told him. The Shaykh replied: Pray two rak'as each time you make wudu. If you cannot remain continuously ritually pure try always to be so when sitting in the mosque, reciting the Qur'an, acquiring knowl- edge, and sitting for dhikr, as well as during all other devotions.

When you make wudu or ghusl beware of confining your- self to what is obligatory. You should take care to perform all the relevant sunnas and proprieties, in the manner that has been handed down to you regarding his ghusl and wudu , may peace be upon him.

You should perform ghusl every now and then with the intention of maintaining cleanliness, even if you are not junub. A ghusl on Friday is recommended in the sunna for those who attend the Friday prayer, and you should perform this, which should suffice for cleanliness, but under some circumstances and for some people.

When you finish your wudu' or ghusl say; 'Ash-hadu an la 49 The Book of Assistance ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shartka lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muh- ammadan 'abduhu wa msuluh" [I testify that there is no divinity but God alone, He has no partners, and I testify that Muh- ammad is His servant and Messenger.

If it would be pleasing to you to become one of the True Saints [siddiqun], then do not habituate yourself to any kind of behaviour until you study it and ascertain whether the Mess- enger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, any of his Companions, or any of the leaders thus behaved. If you find that they did not, while able to, then refrain, even if it be something licit, for they refrained from it only because of their knowledge that to do so was better.

If you find that they did it, find out how they did it, and then follow suit. A certain scholar who refrained from eating watermelons explained his behaviour by saying that he had been informed that the Pro- phet, may blessings and peace be upon him, had eaten them, but not how he had done so, and this was why he abstained from them. We have mentioned previously to this chapter, and will again mention later on, God willing, some of the good manners to be observed during devotional activities.

In this chapter we will mention some of the good manners to be observed during everyday activities. Know that the one who observes the Prophetic good manners in his everyday activi- ties is preserved by God from trespassing into the base attri- butes and behaviour that are outside them, and obtains the religious and worldly benefits that God has set, through His wisdom, within them. When the Sufis deprecate certain everyday activities their purpose is the manner in which these are done under the influence of cravings and passions, to excess, and with neglect of the good manners established by the Law.

Know that you should begin everything you do with the Name of God; if you forget the Name at the beginning, say when you remember: When you put on your clothes intend to cover the parts that God has ordered you to cover. Put on the right sleeve of shirts and similar garments first, and take it off last. Do not allow the cloth you wrap around the lower half of your body or your shirt to go further down than the middle of your shin; if you will not do this then no lower than the ankle.

Women are allowed to let their dresses down to the ground on all sides but not to let them trail more than two-thirds of a forearm's length. Shorten the sleeves of your shirt to the wrist or the finger- tips, and if you make it go beyond then do not be excessive. Acquire only such clothes as you neecf to wear; do not seek to acquire the most luxurious or the coarsest of clothes, but adhere to moderation.

When it becomes necessary to do so say before proceeding: When you put on your clothes say: It is sunna to wear a turban and not to make one's sleeves too wide or the turban too large. You must utter only words of goodness. Everything that it is forbidden to say is forbidden to listen to. When you speak do so clearly and methodically, listen to what is being said to you, and interrupt no-one except when what is being said is abhorrent to God: Be- ware of speaking in a disorganized manner.

If someone says something to you that you already know do not make him aware that you know it, for this results in your companion feeling estranged.

If someone relates a story or anything else to you inaccurately do not say to him: Beware of delving into that which does not concern you or of swearing by God too frequently. Do not swear by Him, Transcendent and Exalted is He, except truthfully and when necessary.

Beware of all kinds of lying, for this is incompatible with faith. Beware of backbiting and slander, and of excessive levity. Avoid all other kinds of ugly talk, refrain from poor just as you refrain from blameworthy speech.

Think about what you say before you say it; if it be good [go ahead], if not keep silent. Do not walk with conceit or vanity, whereby you would drop in God's estimation. Do not get annoyed if someone walks before you and do not enjoy it when people are on your heels and walk behind you, for such are the attributes of the arrogant.

Do not turn around excess- ively as you walk and do not turn around just out of curiosity. The Prophet used to walk powerfully, may blessings and peace be upon him, as if going downhill, and when called, used just to stop but not turn around.

When you sit, take care to keep your private parts covered, face the Qibla, have reverence and gravity, and refrain from fidgeting, restlessness, and repeatedly getting up. Beware of excessively scratching, stretching yourself, belching, and yawning in people's faces. If yawning overpowers you put your left hand before your mouth. Beware of laughing too often, which kills the heart, and if you can convert your laughter into a smile, then do so. Do not rise from your seat before saying: When you want to sleep lie down on your right side, facing the Qibla, repent of all your sins and intend to rise at night for worship.

O God, protect me from Your chastisement on the day when You gather Your servants] three times. There are other invocations to be recited before sleep, which you should not neglect. Sleep only in a state of ritual purity, and go to sleep remembering God. Do not get vised to comfortable beds, for they lead to too much sleep and neglect of night vigils; you would then feel great sorrow and regret when you see that which God has prepared for those who rise [at night].

The Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him, has said: Do not sleep more than eight, for it should suffice, were you to live sixty years, to have wasted twenty, being one third.

If you lie down to rest but not to sleep there is no harm in lying on your left side. A midday nap helps you to rise at night, and you should therefore take one. Beware of sleeping either after the morning prayer, for this stops pro- vision [from reaching you], or after the afternoon prayer, for this results in insanity, or yet before the night prayer, for this c onduces to insomnia. If you see in a dream something that pleases you, thank God, interpret it in an appropriate and goodly way, and thus it will be fulfilled.

When you see some- thing that disturbs you, ask God for His protection from evil, spit three times to your left, turn over to your other side, and speak about it to no-one, for it will not harm you.

When someone relates a dream to you do not interpret it until either he asks you to or you ask him for his permission. When you either eat or drink always begin with bismilldh [in the Name of God], and conclude with alhamdu IWlah [praised he God]. Eat and drink using your right hand. When food is 55 The Book of Assistance offered to you, say: Wash your hands before and after eating, eat small morsels, chew thoroughly, and do not extend your hand to more food before you have swallowed what is already in your mouth.

Eat from near the sides of the bowl and not from the middle, for the middle is where the baraka descends. If you drop a morsel of food, clean and then eat it, and do not leave it for the Devil. Lick your fingers and clean the bowl after you have finished. Use your index, middle finger, and thumb'in eating; you can use the remaining fingers whenever you need to, for instance when eating rice.


When you eat with others partake of what is immediately before you, except when eating fruit. Do not keep looking at the other people who are eating; make appro- priate conversation, and do not speak with food in your mouth.

If you find it necessary to spit or blow your nose, turn your head away from them or go somewhere else where you can do it. Whenever you eat at someone's house, praise them and pray for their felicity. When you have finished eating say: Al-hamdu liYllaM lladhx at'amam hadhal-ta' dma wa-razaqamhiminghayrihawlin minnlwa laquwwa. O God, You have fed me on goodness, therefore use me in goodness. Praised be God, Who fed me with neither ability nor power on my part.

Do not be obliged to use sauce with every kind of food 44 and never criticize food however bad it is. Do not make good and pleasurable food your prime concern otherwise you will be one of those about whom the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, said: Their concern lies only in the different kinds of food and clothing, and they speak pretentiously ' 'All may God ennoble his face, has said: The one who eats suspect and prohibited things becomes the opposite of all this.

Beware of eating excessively and frequently eating to satiety, for even if it be from halal foods it will still be the beginning of many evils. It results in hardening of the heart, loss of perspicacity, confused thinking, laziness in worship, and other things. The way to be moderate is to stop eating while still desiring to eat, and not to start eating until you really want food.

The sign that yours is a real desire is that you desire any kind of food. When you drink water sip it, and do not pour it down. Stop to breathe three times while drinking; do not breathe into the cup, neither drink where it is cracked, nor standing up, nor from the mouth of a waterskin.

If you find no container drink from your hand. After you have finished say: Who made it sweet and limpid through His mercy, and not salty and bitter through our sins. When you feel near to your orgasm recite within yourself, without moving your tongue: It is extremely reprehensible for those who are not 57 The Book of Assistance married to think about women in a manner which increases their desire for them.

Anyone thus afflicted, and unable to control it with acts of worship, must get married. If he is unable to, let him fast, for this diminishes desire. When you go to the lavatory for either of the excretory functions, wear your sandals, put something on your head, put your left foot forward as you enter and your right foot as you exit.

Say before entering: Al-hamdu UVl- Idhi 'lladht adh-haba "anni 'l-adhd wadjanx. Praised be God Who removed harm from me and made me healthy. Do not take in with you anything on which His Name is written, out of reverence for Him.

Do not act frivolously, and speak only when necessary. Raise your clothes only to the extent of protecting them from getting soiled, keep well away from anybody's sight, and let neither your sound nor smell be noticed. Neither face the Qibla nor turn your back to it. This may be difficult in some buildings, when it is allowed because of the hardship [that would result].

Do not urinate in stagnant water, even if there be a large quantity of it, except when this is unavoidable, nor on solid ground, nor against the wind. This is for protection against getting soiled with urine, which leads to most of the grave's torment. So clean yourself from it thoroughly but without reaching the stage of obsessiveness. This is helped by coughing and emptying the penis by gently massaging its under surface.

Clean your anal region with stones 46 then water, if only one of them is to be used then water is better. Begin with the frontal region when using water and the anal region when using stones. Say afterward: Guard my sexual organs against depravity and purify my heart from hypocrisy! When you sneeze, lower your voice, cover your mouth, and say: Shut the waterskin's mouth, cover all vessels, and shut the house's door, especially before going to sleep or going out.

Do not go to sleep until you have put out or covered all flames in the house such as lamps, and so forth. If you find a vessel uncovered in the morning or a waterskin open do not drink water from them but only use it in things for which defiled water can be used, regardless of it being clean, for its use is dangerous.

Shaykh ibn f Arab! This is why the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, advised people to close their waterskins and cover their vessels. If you find nothing to cover a vessel with put a twig on it and say the Name of God, and place your trust in Him, for indeed God loves those who trust Him. The mosque is the house of all those who have taqwd" And: He only shall attend God's mosques who believes in God and the Last Day.

You must, when sitting in a mosque, have good manners and respect, and refrain from unnecessary, not to mention prohibited talk. If you feel like talking about something worldly go out of the mosque. Occupy yourself in it exclusively with worship, for it was built only for the worship of God. He has said, Exalted is He: In houses which God has allowed to be raised, and that His Name shall be remembered therein and He be glorified morning and evening by men whom neither merchandise nor sale distract from remembering God, estab- lishing the prayer and giving the zakdt: That God may reward them with the best of what they did and increase reward for them of His bounty: If for any reason you are unable to pray, say four times: Wudhu biPlldhi minal-shaytdni 'rajuni wa junudih.

Hayya 'ala'lfalah' [hasten to success] when you should say: You should perform your ablutions and come to the mosque by the time of the Call [adhan] for the obligatory prayers.

When you do not you should at least begin to get ready for the prayer immediately upon hearing the Call. The Prophet, may bless- ings and peace be upon him, has said: Beware of missing any of them out of compla- cency, and if ever you do miss any with an excuse, then perform them as soon as possible. Have reverence and an attentive heart when you pray.

Perfect your standing, intone the Qur an and meditate on it, perfect your bowing, prostra- tion, and all the other essential acts. Be careful also to observe those sunnas and good manners which are indicated in the Law, and avoid anything that may either impair the prayer or just prevent it from being perfect.

If you conform to this your prayer will emerge white and glowing, and it will say: The repudiated aim is to distract him from concentrating on God and approaching Him, for if a person misses these he will also miss God's approach to him, and may even come out of his prayer burdened [with sins]. This is why the scholars, may God have mercy on them, recommend that the one about to enter his prayer recite Qui audhu bi-rabbin-nds [sura CXIV], as a protection against Satan. You must not confine yourself to the same suras at the same times, except when indicated in the Law, as, for instance, sural Al-Sajda [The Prostration] and Al-Insan [Man] 47 on Fri- day mornings.

If you lead the congregational prayer you should make it brief as is recommended in the liadtth of Mu'adh, may God be pleased with him, who once led a prayer and prolonged it so much that a man went to the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, and complained. The Prophet said to him: And God guides whom He will to a straight path. Beware of staying back when it is possible to advance, for he has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: Assist in making the rows even and straight.

If you are the imam then this becomes doubly incumbent upon you. This is an important thing in the Law but most people are unaware of it. The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, was very concerned with this matter, and used to do it himself and say: If, when you arrive, you find that they have already finished praying, or if you are keeping to your house in order to safeguard your religion, you must find someone to pray with so that you may obtain the reward for the collective prayer and escape the threats made in the texts against those who abandon it.

This is how severely those who neglect the obliga- tory collective prayers are regarded. As for the Friday prayers, the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, said: If you then find the energy and the desire to go, then your excuse is unsound.

Feel shame before God that worldly affairs are dearer to you than what He, Exalted is He, has in store for you. Know that an honest excuse will only prevent you trom being called to account, while the reward can only be obtained by actually performing the deed. However, the reward can be accorded to some who find it totally impossible to attend, as for instance someone with continuous diarrhoea, or who is forcibly prevented from going.

It can also be given to some 65 The Book of Assistance who, although not finding it altogether impossible to go would, by attending, cause undue hardship to another Muslim. An example of this is the one caring for a very sick person. People with such excuses, provided they feel sad and aggrieved at losing the prayer, will receive the reward.

A perfect believer never abandons any act that would take him nearer to God, even though he may have a million excuses. He would only do so if he knew that not acting was more pleasing to God, and this is very rare. Thus the perfect ones among the people of God, in doing what takes them nearer to Him, endure that which firmly set mountains would be unable to carry. As for those whose faith and certainty are weak, and whose knowledge of God is inadequate, they are, when faced with having to miss an obligatory act, concerned only with avoiding reproach.

For each of them will be degrees from what they do, that He may pay them for their deeds, and they will not he wronged. When any of them refuses to do so you should ad- monish and put fear into him. If he rebels and persists in refusing you may reprimand and physically chastise him; if he is then not rebuked and continues to refuse then turn away and cease to have anything to do with him.

For the one who abandons the prayer is a devil, remote from God's mercy, exposed to His wrath and curses, and all Muslims are prohib- ited from befriending him and are obliged to oppose him. This must be so, for the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, has said: The bond that is between us and them is [broken by] abandoning the prayer; thus whoever abandons it has committed idolatry. The one who does not pray has no religion.

The prayer is to religion what the head is to the body. Occupy yourself with pure goodness and resolute movement toward God. Be early to the Friday prayer; get there before the sun reaches its zenith, sit near the pulpit and listen carefully to the sermon; beware of distracting yourself with invocation or reflection, not to mention trivial talk or aimless thought.

Feel that all the admonition and counselling that you hear is ad- dressed to you personally. Before you move your legs [after the end of the prayer] or talk recite the Fatiha, surat Al-Ikhlas, Qui a'udhu bi-rabbi'l-falaq and Qui a'udhu bi-rabbin-nas, seven times each, and say when you leave the prayer, Subhdn Allahi wa-bi-hamdih one hundred times, for there are hadtths which indicate the merit of this act.

And success is by God. If you do this it will attract baraka, the good things in your possession will multiply, and your wealth will become well guarded against all hazards. You must separate zakdt [from your wealth] and then dis- tribute it.

Do not be like certain worldly people who do not keep it separately and who give it away piecemeal to deserving people as they come along until the amount to be spent is all paid. If you want to eat from certain specific trees, then you should calculate only that which will be due from them.

Those are they who download error at the price of guidance, so their commerce does not prosper, neither are they guided. Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, fought them and called them apostates [murtaddun].

You must give zakdt al-fitr [at the end of Ramadan] if you are required to, for yourself and on behalf of all those for whom you provide. Be liberal with charity, especially to needy relatives and people of virtue. Charity is better and brings more reward when given in this way. Give of that which you like best and which is dear to you so that you may attain to virtue. You will not attain to virtue until you spend of that which you love. Keep your charity secret, for secret charity extinguishes the Lord's wrath, is seventy times better than public charity, and is safe from the ostentation that ruins deeds.

Never neglect to give something away every day, even if a small amount, and do this early, for hardships do not cross [the protective barrier of] charity.

Never disappoint a beggar who stands at your door; give him even as little as a date or less, for he is a gift from God to you. If you find nothing to give then send him away graciously with kind words and a promise. When you give a needy person something, smile at him and be aware that it is you who are indebted to him, for he accepts a little from you for which you receive a reward worth more than the whole world.

It has been said that a single morsel of food may bring a reward from God greater than Mount Uhud. Do not let the fear of poverty prevent you from giving charity, for it is the abandonment of charity which brings on poverty. Charity on the contrary attracts wealth. If the pur- suer of the world gave much charity it would return to him multiplied. Know that charity has immediate and long term benefits: Later on it will extinguish sins as water 69 The Book of Assistance extinguishes fire, shade the head of its giver on the Day of Rising, protect him from punishment, and many other things.

Only those who repent remember. Ramadan is also a time when good works are rendered easy and one has much more energy for them than during any other month. This is because the soul, lazy when it comes to good works, is then imprisoned by hunger and thirst, the devils who hinder it are shackled, the gates of the Fire are shut, the gates of the Garden are open, and the herald calls every night at God's command: And O you who wish for evil, halt!

Arrange your life before Ramadan in a manner which will render you free for worship when it arrives. Be intent on devotions and approach God more surely, especially during the last ten days.

If you are able not to leave the mosque, except when strictly necessary, during those last ten days then do so. Be careful to perform the Tarawih prayers during every Ramadan night. In some places it is nowadays the custom to make them so short that sometimes some of the obligatory elements of the prayer are omitted, let alone the sunnas.

It is well known that our predecessors read the whole Qur'an during this prayer, reciting a part each night so as to complete it on one of the last nights of the month. If you are able to follow suit then this is a great gam; if you are not, then the least that you can do is to observe the obligatory elements of the prayer and its proprieties. Most scholars are of the opinion that it is in the last ten nights of Ramadan, and is more likely to fall in the odd- numbered ones.

A certain gnostic witnessed it on the night of the seventeenth, and this was also the opinion of al-Hasan al-Basri. Some scholars have said that it is the first night of Ramadan, and a number of great scholars have said that it is not fixed but shifts its position each Ramadan.

They have said that the secret wisdom underlying this is that the believer should devote himself completely to God during every night of this month in the hope of coinciding with that night w T hich has been kept obscure from him.

Hasten to break your fast as soon as you are certain that the sun has set. Delay suhur 54 so long as you do not fear the break of dawn. Feed those who fast at the time when they break it, even if w T ith some dates or a draught of water, for the one who feeds another at the time of breaking the fast receives as much reward as he without this diminishing the other's reward in any way.

Strive never to break your fast nor to feed anyone else at such a time except with lawful food. Do not eat much, take whatever lawful food is present, and do not prefer that which is tasty, for the purpose of fasting is to subdue one's lustful appetite, and eating a large quantity of delicious food will on the contrary arouse and strengthen it. Fast on the days on which the Law encourages you to fast, such as the day of 'Arafat for those who are not participating in the pilgrimage, the ninth and tenth [ f Ashura' 55 ] of Muh- arram, and the six days of Shawwal, starting with the second day of the Feast, for this is the more effective discipline for the soul.

Fast three days in each month, for these equal a perpetual fast. Fast often, especially in times of special merit such as the Inviolable Months, 58 and noble days such as Mondays and Thursdays. It has been said that fasting constitutes half of forti- tude The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, said: Beware of postponing them while able for you may lose the ability or die while this duty is still incumbent and you will then be deemed neglectful.

The Prophet has said, may bless- ings and peace be upon him: The one who is not hindered by an obvious necessity, a disabling sickness, or a tyrannical ruler, and who dies without having performed the Hajj, let him die a Jew if he so chooses, or a Christian if he so chooses.

It has been handed down that God the Exalted has said: You must also learn how to locate the Qibla, the concessions allowed during a journey and the associated proprieties, and the invocations to be said during it. Do not intend both Hajj and commerce at the same time. You should only take such worldly goods as you intend to spend on the road. He is alive in his grave as are all the other Prophets.

The Book of Assistance: Imam Abdallah Ibn-Alawi Al-Haddad Risalatu’l Mu’awanah

It is churlish to go to the House of God for Hajj and then neglect to visit God's Beloved for no over- whelming reason. Know that if you had come [walking] on your head from the farthest land of Islam to visit him, may blessings and peace be upon him, you would not even have begun to render thanks for the guidance that God gave you through him. When you wish to do something of consequence such as travelling or marrying, consult one of your brothers in whose knowledge and awareness you are confident.

If the advice he gives you conforms to what you have in mind then pray two supererogatory rak'as with the intention of making the right choice [Istikhara] and say afterwards the well-known prayer. The one who does istikhara never fails, and the one who consults [others] never regrets it.

If you swear to do something, and then find it better not to do it, or vice versa, then do whatever is best and expiate for your oath. Beware of swearing or testifying on the basis of conjecture, even if you are almost certain, let alone when it is illusory or dubious. If your oath ever leads you to take another Muslim's money [wrongly], your duty is to return what you have taken and expiate for your oath. This consists in either feeding ten in- digent people with a measure of food for each, or clothing them, or setting free a slave.

If you can do none of these things then fast three days. Never swear falsely, for this destroys homes and plunges the one who does it in the fire of Hell. Beware greatly of false testimony, for it is one of the great- est sins, and the Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him, has associated it with idolatry. We ask God for safety before advent of regret. The one who guards himself against suspect things has protected his religion and his honour, and the one who falls into suspect things will fall into the prohibited.

In any case, the works of those who subsist on illicit [resources] are rejected, for God is Good and accepts only that which is good. The explanation of this is that acts can only be performed by using the body, and the body can only move by the energy obtained from food. If that food is vile the energy it produces and the movements which result will also be vile. Abd-Allah ibn f Umar, 61 may God be pleased with them both, has said: The prayers of a man who downloads a garment for ten dirhams one of which is illicit will not be accepted by God as long as he is wearing any 77 The Book of Assistance part of it.

And if this is the situation with garments worn on the outside of the body, what about nutrition which runs through the veins and joints and infiltrates the whole body?

Know that prohibited things are of two categories. These can never become permissible except in dire necessity when they are the only things available and one's survival depends on using them. Secondly, that which is licit in itself such as wood and clean water, but which is owned by someone else, thus remaining illicit until acquired by lawful means such as downloading, or receiving as a gift or an inheritance, and so forth.

Doubtful or suspect things are of many degrees. In the case of some you may be [almost] convinced of their being prohib- ited but still entertain the possibility of their being licit; these things should be considered prohibited. Other things you may be convinced are licit, but a suspicion exists that they may be prohibited; these should be avoided out of scrupulousness.

Other things are between these two degrees, for instance things which have an equal chance of being licit or illicit. A servant [of God] does not become a true man of taqwd until he abstains from things which are undoubtedly licit for fear of that which may follow and be doubtful or illicit.

Where are we now to find such scrupulousness as will keep us from suspect and illicit things?

Ability and strength are only by God. Know that a religious man is not likely to do anything which is itself illicit such as eating forbidden animals or wrongfully appropriating other people's money by coercion, injustice, theft, or pillage, for these usually proceed from hard oppressive men and rebellious demons.

Firstly, they do not investigate thoroughly where this is appropriate. To expound this further, we would say that in your dealings with people you should see them as falling into three categories. The first comprises those whom you know to be good and virtuous: The second is those whom you know nothing about, whether good or bad.

When you wish to deal with them or accept their gifts then scrupulousness obliges you to inquire about them, but gently. Should you feel that this may hurt them then silence is better. The third comprises those whom you know to be wrongdoers: It is better not to deal with such people at all; but if you must, then investigate and inquire beforehand, for this is a part of scrupu- lousness, until you know that their licit possessions are free from ambiguity, and then still be careful.

If any object reaches you that you know, or suspect from its appearances, to be illicit or suspect, then do not hesitate to refuse it, even if given to you by the most virtuous of men. Secondly, they do not safeguard themselves against invalid transactions.

This safeguarding is effected by avoiding all invalid and discouraged kinds of transactions, and by neither selling nor downloading except by valid contract. There is, how- ever, no harm in contractless transactions involving insignifi- cant things. Avoid cheating, lying, and making oaths concerning any merchandise.

Do not hide a defect in your merchandise which 79 The Book of Assistance if seen by the downloader would prevent him from paying the same price. Beware greatly of usury, for it is one of the major sins. Fear God and renounce what remains [due to you] from usury, if you are [truly] believers.

And if you do not then be warned of war [against you [from God and His Messenger. The summation of [the law for] usury is that it renders illicit the trading of money for its kind, for instance silver for silver, and food for its kind, for instance wheat for wheat, except when the amounts ex- changed are exactly equal. If the kinds differ, for example gold for silver, or dates for wheat, differences in value are allowed and payment should be immediate. There is no usury in trading an animal for an animal, or a garment or food for money.

Beware of ihtikar, which is to download food which is much needed, and then hoard it until the price goes up. Thirdly, they are engrossed in the world's cravings and indulge abundantly in its pleasures. Scrupulousness under such circumstances becomes difficult and the lawful is narrowed down.

Lawful things do not bear extravagance. The Proof of Islam, may God spread his benefit, has said: For sin is that which causes inward sus- picion and hesitation even should you be given a legal opinion by those entitled to give them, as the Prophet stated, may blessings and peace be upon him.

Do not think that scrupulousness involves only food and clothes; rather it involves everything. However, if you are in possession of lawful and more purely lawful, or lawful and suspect things, then use the most lawful that you have in matters of food. In Ramadan A. H C. He also married in this same year. At night, his servant would lead him to various mosques in Tarim where it is reported he would pray up to Rakat per night.

He was also known as the blacksmith of hearts Haddad al-Quloob. A possible meaning for this would be that they would take a rusted or corroded piece of metal and transform it into a shiny well-formed piece of metal. Muslim expansion had virtually come to a halt. Furthermore, his region of Hadramawt witnessed a simply ruinous period during his life.

The Hadramis regained their freedom in CE; the Imam was eighty-one years of age. Imam al-Haddad was survived by six sons. His first son was Zainal Abidin, the second son was Hasan who died in Tarim in AH, the third one was Salim, the fourth one was Muhammad, where his descendants are in Tarim, the fifth one was Alwi died in Mecca in AH and his descendants live in Tarim, and the last one was Husin who died in Tarim Tahun, in AH while his descendants live in Gujarat.

Before he reached the age of 15, his father advised to memorize a book called al-Irshad, an extremely abridged work in Shafii fiqh , but later requested that he would prefer to study the book Bidayat al-Hidayah Beginning of Guidance instead of concentrating on jurisprudence.

Imagm Abdul-Rahman al-Attas is known to be the teacher that allowed him to develop some of his spiritual opening as a student. As a very young man when Imam al-Haddad would recite Sura Yaseen, he would start crying and be overcome with crying. It is believed that his spiritual opening was through Sura Yaseen. He studied Bidayat al-hidayah under the guidance of a scholar, al-Faqih ba-Jubayr.

Works and teachings[ edit ] Earning his livelihood from the plantations he owned, his life was devoted to teaching and writing. Imam al-Haddad began to teach shortly after he entered khalwa seclusion.Had this been the only hadith exhorting to night vigils it would have sufficed, so how must it be when both the Book and the sunna are full of encouragements and exhortations to it?

Think about what you say before you say it; if it be good [go ahead], if not keep silent. Do not take in with you anything on which His Name is written, out of reverence for Him. Badawi, this manual of devotions, prayers and practical ethics will be invaluable to all who love the Prophet and the Sufi way. There is in the night a time that no Muslim servant [of God] encounters and in which he asks God for some good of the world or of the hereafter but that He grants it him.

Do not keep looking at the other people who are eating; make appro- priate conversation, and do not speak with food in your mouth.