Dhikr and Du’a for Ashura

The following are the Arabic text and English translation of traditional invocations [adhkar] and supplications [ad'iyya] for the day of Ashura:

Invocation & Supplication for Ashura

Special Supplication for Ashura

And Allah is the Guide, eminent is His Glory.

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Spiritual Sexuality

Our Grand-Shaikh, Imam al-‘Arus Sayyid Muhammad b. Ahmad Lebbai (may Allah perfume his resting abode), has said the following while discussing the concept of akmalu-sh shuhud (the most perfect perception):

If you want to transform your lawful matrimonial act (sexual intercourse) into the most meritorious spiritual exercise, carefully observe the following points while making union with your lawful wife:

  • You should not be focused on gratifying sexual pleasure alone. Rather, your intent should be aimed at fulfilling your spiritual aspiration, viz., Kulli Juz’i (The divine whole, and the mortal parts).
  • You should not harbour any other thought except the dhikr of the Divine Name “Allah” in your mind. The dhikr of the firm statement “la ilaha illa-Llah” alone has to be in your wife’s mind, perceiving only the Reality.
  • In doing so, your position becomes as if you are the qalam (pen) and she the lawh (tablet), resulting in the production of a copy from the original work called Nur Muhammadiyyah (the Light of Muhammad and its Excellences).

It is only when you follow these instructions that your matrimonial act will amount to following the qualities of the chosen beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace).

This (i.e. spiritual dimension of lawful intercourse) is why the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said:

حبب إلي من دنياكم ثلاث النساء والطيب وقرة عيني في الصلوة

There are three things that delight me in your world:
lawful wives, sweet odours and prayers that
give me pleasure and cool my eyes.

— Shu’ayb, T (1993). Arabic Arwi and Persion in Sarandib and Tamil Nadu. 1st ed. Madras: Imamul ‘Arus Trust. 472.

This is a spiritual method/exercise that should be accompanied by the Prophetic guidelines on bedroom relations in relation to the lawful [halal], prohibited [haram], recommended [mandub], and disliked [makruh]. Special attention should be paid to privacy, cleanliness, and the relevant supplications to be uttered at the appropriate moments. These are compiled in the document below:

Invocations & Supplications

Success and guidance is from Allah!

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Preserving One’s Chastity

Preserving one’s chastity is an important pre-requisite to attaining benefit from one’s spiritual works. It is imperative to safeguard oneself from transgressing the remit defined by the sacred law [sharī’a] with regards to the opposite gender.

Fornication [zina] does not constitute transgressions by sexual organs alone. It includes infractions by one’s:

  • Sight (i.e. looking at the prohibited),
  • Hearing (i.e. listening to obscenities),
  • Speech (i.e. speaking indecently),
  • Limbs (i.e. reaching and walking toward the foul and filthy), and
  • Heart, Mind and Soul (i.e. harbouring and cultivating  illicit desires).

In an encompassing Prophetic tradition, Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu anhu narrates from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam:

“Allah has written the very portion of zina which a person will indulge in. There will be no escape from it. The zina of the eye is the (lustful) look; the zina of the ears is the listening (to voluptuous songs or talk); the zina of the tongue is (the licentious) speech; the zina of the hand is the (lustful) grip; the zina of the feet is the walking (to the place where one intends to commit zina); the heart yearns and desires and the private parts approve or disapprove them.” — Muslim and Bukhari (slightly shorter version)

Challenges of the Modern Age

In this age of connectivity and “web 2.0″, safeguarding our sensory glands, physical limbs, and spiritual organs from the harmful and forbidden is a great challenge. We are living in a time where:

  1. Access to pornography has become unbridled
  2. Modesty or haya as a character trait and virtue is being re-defined
  3. Traditional barriers to interaction between non-mahram are being re-aligned

All of these pose immense challenges to not just unmarried individuals but also married couples, families and communities. It is amazing to note that both the Qur’an and the Ahadith make reference to the above and provide guidance:

  1. Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and be modest. That is purer for them.” — Al-Qur’an 24:30
  2. Modesty [haya] and trustworthiness will be the first to go from this world. So, keep asking Allah for them.” — Sunan Al-Baihaqi
  3. No man is alone with a woman but Satan is the third one present.” — Musnad Ahmad, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, and Mustadrak al-Hakim

Spiritual Exercises

For those who are struggling with the above challenges and aspire to protect their chastity in an immaculate manner, Shaikhuna Thaika Shuaib suggests the following spiritual practices using Surah Yusuf and Surah Muzzammil:

1. Surah Yusuf

Phase 1

  • Read and reflect upon the story of Prophet Yusuf alaihi-s salam in the Noble Qur’an. Specifically, one should recite verses 30 to 35 and 50 to 57 from Surah Yusuf ten times daily  for a continuous period of 40 days.
  • Then, one should read verse 53 three times with full comprehension of the meaning, and beseech Allah to protect one’s chastity.
  • By the end of the 40 days, it is likely that the verses would have been committed to memory. If they are not, they should be memorised before proceeding.

Phase 2

Then, one should begin performing daily 2 cycles of supererogatory [nawafil] prayer, ideally between the recommended [sunna] and obligatory [fard] prayers of the ritual morning prayer [salatu-l fajr].

This prayer falls under the sphere of the Prayer for Fulfilment of Need [salatu-l hajat] and be performed in the following manner:

  • In the first cycle [rak'a], surah al-Fatiha should be followed by verses 30 to 35 of Surah Yusuf.
  • In the second cycle [rak'a], surah al-Fatiha should be followed by verses 50 to 57 of Surah Yusuf .
  • On completion of the prayer, one should recite verse 53 three times with full understanding, and implore Him:

    O my Lord, the test that Sayyiduna Yusuf alaihi-s salam faced was an immense one. Just as you bestowed Your Mercy on Your Friend and Prophet Sayyiduna Yusuf alaihi-s salam, who preserved his chastity in that moment of trial, protect this weak slave of yours from such calamitous moments and enable this poor slave of yours with the ability to safeguard his chastity.

    O my Lord, invoke your choicest salutations, shower unstinted peace and rain manifold blessings upon our liege-lord Muhammad, his pure family, his noble companions and all who traverse his path seeking You.

Success and guidance is from Allah. And He is the enabling Guide.

2. Surah Muzzammil

Some of the pious and righteous have said that amongst the benefits of this special surah is that it is a panacea for ghafla or “heedlessness”. Many a time, the compromise to one’s chastity is due to heedlessness at a given moment or in a given situation.

To combat this, it is recommended to recite Surah Muzzammil daily with the intention of protection against the terrible malady of heedlessness.

Allah’s Promise

Allah, exalted is His Fame, has promised that the one who preserves his chastity accrues immeasurable good.  He, most High, has also warned of the tribulations the one who slips in this regard will face. Allah says in Surah Maryam:

“Yet they were succeeded by generations [of people] who lost all [thought of] prayer and followed [but] their own lusts; and these will, in time, meet with utter disillusion. Except, however, shall be those who repent and attain to faith and do righteous deeds: for it is they who will enter paradise and will not be wronged in any way: [theirs will be the] gardens of perpetual bliss which the Most Gracious has promised unto His servants, in a realm which is beyond the reach of human perception: [and,] verily, His promise is ever sure of fulfilment! No empty talk will they hear there – nothing but [tidings of] inner soundness and peace; and there will they have their sustenance by day and by night: this is the paradise which We grant as heritage unto such of Our servants who are conscious of Us [who guard against evil].” — Al-Qur’an 19:59-63

He, eminent is His Glory, further admonishes in Surah al-Qaṣaṣ:

“But if they hearken not to you, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follow his own lusts, devoid of guidance from Allah? for Allah guides not people given to wrong-doing.” — Al-Qur’an 28:50

May Allah, most High, bestow enabling grace [tawfīq] to protect our chastity and attain the numerous associated benefits—both here and in the Hereafter.

And Allah and His Messenger know best.

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Du’a li-Yawm Al-Jumu’a

This supplication is attributed to the Sultan of the ascetics and Imam of the Sufis, Ibrahim bin Adham al-Balkhi, may Allah be well pleased with him. He is reported to have made this entreaty every Friday, morning and evening. To conclude the prayer, we have appended one of Shaikh Ahmad ibn Idris al-Hasani’s unique salawat, Al-Salat Al-Jami’a or Al-Salat Al-Jibra’iliyya.

Success is from Allah.

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, in Book IX of the Ihya, states:

The Prayer of Ibrahim ibn Adham

(may God be pleased with him)

Ibrahim ibn Bashshar, his servant, related that he used to say this prayer every Friday, morning and evening:

Welcome to the day of abundance, the new morning, the scribe, and the witness! This day is a festive day. Write for us in it what we say in the name of Allah, the Praiseworthy, the Glorious, the Exalted, the Affectionate, and the Doer of what He wishes with His creation. I have entered upon the morning with faith in Allah, with belief in the Meeting with Allah, confessing His Proof, seeking forgiveness of my sin, bowing down before the lordship of Allah, denying divinity to any but Allah, being in need of Allah, trusting in Allah, and turning repentantly to Allah.

I testify to Allah, His Angels, His Prophets, His Messengers, the carriers of His Throne, those whom He created and those whom He is creating―that He is Allah, beside whom there is no god, Who is alone and has no associate, and that Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is His servant and His emissary, and that Heaven is a reality; Hell is a reality; the Pool is a reality; the Intercession is a reality; Munkar and Nakir are a reality; Your promise is a reality; Your threat is a reality; the Meeting with You is a reality; and the Hour is coming and there is no doubt about it, and Allah will resurrect those who are in their graves. With [faith in] this I live, and with it I die, and with it I shall be resurrected, if Allah wills.

O Allah, You are my Lord! There is no god but You. You have created me and I am Your servant, and I will observe my covenant and promise to You as much as I can. I take refuge with You, O Allah, from the evil I did and from the evil of every possessor of evil. O Allah, verily, I wronged myself. Forgive me my sins, for none forgives sins but You. Guide me to the best of human qualities, for none guides to the best of them but You. Dispel from us the worst of human qualities, for verily none dispels their evil but You.

Here I am intent upon Your service and upon aiding Your cause. All good is in Your hand. I belong to You and am returning to You. I ask for Your forgiveness and I repent to You. I believe, O Allah, in the Prophets whom You have sent. And I believe, O Allah, in the Books which You have revealed. May Allah bestow copious blessing and peace upon Muhammad, the divinely taught Prophet, and upon his family―the seal of my speech and the key to it―and upon His Prophets and Emissaries, all of them. Amen, O Lord of all domains!

O Allah, bring us to the Pool of Muhammad, and give us from his cup a drink thirst-quenching, pleasant-tasting, and delicious, after which we shall never thirst again. Assemble us in his group; not as the ashamed, not the violators of the covenants, nor the sceptics, nor the tempted, nor those against whom You are wrathful, nor those who are astray. O Allah make me free from the snares of this world, and aid me to obtain what You like, and are pleased with. Improve all my states of affairs. Strengthen me with the word which is firmly established in this life and the next. Lead me not astray, even if I commit a wrong.

Glory be to You! Glory be to You! O Exalted, O Magnificent, O Originator, O Compassionate, O Almighty, O Compeller! Glory be to Him whom the Heavens glorify with their wings! Glory be to Him whom the seas glorify with their billows! Glory be to Him whom the mountains glorify with their echoes!

Glory be to Him whom the fish glorify with their tongues! Glory be to Him whom the stars glorify in the sky with the constellations! Glory be to Him whom the trees glorify with their roots and fruits! Glory be to Him whom the seven heavens and the seven earths and those who are in and on them glorify! Glory be to Him Whom each of His creatures glorify.

May You bless Yourself and exalt Yourself! Glory be to You! Glory be to You! O Living, O Self-subsistent, O Omniscient, O Affectionate! Glory be to You! There is no god but You, who are alone and have no associate. You give life and death, and You are living and never die. In Your Hand is all-goodness, and You are supremely powerful over all things.

—Al-Ghazali, Nakamura, K (1973).Chapter Three: Transmitted Prayers whose Authors and Circumstances [of Composition] are Known and whose Use in the Mornings and Evenings and immediately after Each Ritual Prayer is Desirable. In: Invocations & Supplications Kitab al-adhkar wa’l-da’awat · Book IX of The Revival of The Religious Sciences Ihya’ ulum al-din. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society. p81-85.

The All-Encompassing Salutation
(or the Gabrielic Salutation)

From the Sheikh and Syed, Ahmed ibn Idris
al-Fasi al-Hasani

O Allah, bestow salutations, peace, and blessings upon our patron Muhammad
and his family, and all the Prophets and Messengers, and upon Gabriel,
Michael, Raphael, the Angel of Death, and the bearers of the Throne,
and upon all the Angels, and upon the intimate friends and the
righteous,  and upon all Your believing slaves in every
glance and in every breath, as many times as all
the things contained in Your Knowledge.

Amen!

—Ibn Idris, A. (2013). The All-Encompassing Prayer. Available: http://beneficialilm.com/2013/03/31/the-all-encompassing-prayer/. Last accessed 1st Aug 2013.

And Allah is the Guide.

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Days of Allah – Muharram Al-Haram

Day Name Resting Abode
1 New Hijri Year
‘’ ‘Urs * Abu-l Ḥasan ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Qurashi al-Hankari – Bio Baghdad, IQ
‘’ ‘Urs Abu Hafs ‘Umar al-Suhrawardi – BioWiki Baghdad, IQ
2 ‘Urs * Abu Mahfuz Ma’ruf b. Firuz al-Karkhi
Bio 1 | Bio 2Tomb
Baghdad, IQ
3 ‘Urs Hasan Raza Khan
Kalam
Bareilly, IN
4 ‘Urs Abu Sa’id Hasan b. Yasar al-Basri
Bio
Basra, IQ
5 ‘Urs Abu ‘Ali Fudayl b. ‘Iyad
Bio
Makkatu-l Mukarramah
‘’ ‘Urs Ganj-e-Shakar Baba Faridu-d Din Mas’ud
Bio 1 | Bio 2
Pakpattan, PK
6 ‘Urs Shah ‘Abdu-Llah Husaini Qadiri Shattari
Bio
Ahmedabad, IN
‘’ ‘Urs Prophet Zakariyya
Bio | Wiki
Palestine, PL
‘’ ‘Urs Prophet Yahya
Bio | Wiki
Palestine, PL
7 ‘Urs Battle of Khaybar
Wiki | Britannica
‘’ ‘Urs Khwaja Afaq Dehlvi
Bio (Eng) | Bio (Urdu)
Ahmedabad, IN
‘’ ‘Urs Sayyid Mawla Al-Dawila Al-Alawi (Syed Alavi Thangal)
His ShrineWiki
Mambaram, KL, IN
8 ‘Urs Abu-l Fath Hashmat Ali Khan Qadiri
Bio
Pilibhit Sharif, IN
9 ‘Urs Habib ‘Ali b. Muhammad al-Attas
Obituary
Huraida, YE
10 Yawmu-l ‘Ashura – Day of Ashura
Recommended to Fast on 9th and 10th | DhikrDu’a
‘’ ‘Urs * Imam Abu Abdi-Llah Husain b. ‘Ali al-Sibt ash-Shahid – Tragedy of Karbala | Ahlu-l Bayt Cairo, EG/
Karbala, IQ
‘’ ‘Urs Abu-l Hasan Ali al-Kharaqani
Wiki
Kharaqan, IR
‘’ ‘Urs Ummu-l Khair Fatimah
Bio | Mother of Muhyiddin Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
Jilan, IQ
‘’ ‘Urs Sayyid Shah Barkatullah Marehrwi
Bio
Marehra, IN
14 ‘Urs Mustafa Raza Khan
BioWiki
Bareilly, IN
18 ‘Urs * Imam Abu-l Hasan ‘Ali b. Husain Zainu-l ‘Abidin al-Asghari – Short Bio Madinatu-l Munawwarah
20 ‘Urs Companion Bilal al-Habashi
Bio
Damascus, SY
21 ‘Urs Khwaja Zindapir Sahib
Bio | Pictures
Ghamkol, Kohat, PK
26 ‘Urs Sayyid Muhammad Taju-d Din Baba
Bio
Nagpur, IN
‘’ ‘Urs Sayyid Sāhib Husaynī al-Qadiri
Bio
Tekmal, IN
‘’ ‘Urs Sir ‘Abdullah Archibald Hamilton [18 Mar 1939]
Bio
Brookwood, GB
27 ‘Urs Sayyid Ashraf Jahangir Simnani
Bio | Wiki
Kichaucha, IN
28 ‘Urs Haider ‘Ali Thani Shah Wajihu-d Din Husaini Qadiri Shattari – Bio Ahmedabad, IN
‘’ ‘Urs Shah Waliyu-Llah Dehlavi
Bio
Delhi, IN

* Masters of the ‘Arusiyyah branch of the Qadiriyyah way of Islamic Spirituality

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Muharram Essentials

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