Salat Al-Tajiyyah

“The Salutation of the Crowning Adornment” [salatu-t tajiyyah] is a benediction that has found universal fame. It was written by Habib Abu Bakr b. Salim, Allah illuminate his resting abode, who is laid to rest in Aynat, Hadramawt. He is known by the epithet, “honour of creation” [fakhru-l wujud]. His saintliness and piety is widely acknowledged.

This salutation is an overflowing spring of blessings and is certainly one of the favourite benedictions of all lovers of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. Many saints [awliya] and pious [salihin] have embraced Salatu-t Taj as part of their daily litany and attained much Enabling Grace [tawfiq] as a result.

The benefits of this prayer are so vast that they cannot be completely encompassed. Its recitation brings the reader purity of heart, clarity of intellect and vision of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. Regular recitation increases sustenance, protects from the evils of magic and jinn, and removes calamities.

The many references to the blessed night journey and ascension to the Heavens [al-isra wa-l mi’raj] of the Holy Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, makes this benediction a favourite to be recited on the night of 27th Rajab, wherein that momentous event is widely believed to have happened.

Success is from Allah!


Arabic text & English translation

The Salutation of the Crowning Adornment

By the honour of creation, our master & guide,
Habib Abu Bakr ibn Salim

In the name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate

O Allah, bestow blessings upon our master and patron, Muhammad; the owner of the crown, the ascent, the Burāq, and the standard. [He is] the thwarter of affliction, disease, drought, illness, and pain. His name is written on high, served, and engraved in the Tablet and the Pen. [He is] the leader of all – Arabs and non-Arabs.

His body is sanctified, fragrant, pure, and illumined in the house and the sanctuary. [He is] the sun of brightness, the full moon in darkness, the foremost one in the highest fields, the light of guidance, the cave of refuge for mortals, the lamp that dispels the night. [He is] the best-natured one, the intercessor of nations. [He is] the owner of munificence and generosity.

And Allah is his Protector, Gabriel is his servant, the Burāq is his mount, the Ascent is his voyage, the Lote-Tree of the Furthermost Boundary is his station. And two Bow-Lengths or nearer is his desire; his desire is his goal; and he has reached his goal.

[He is] master of the Messengers, seal of the Prophets, intercessor for sinners, bosom friend of strangers, mercy to the worlds, respite of those who burn with love, goal of those who yearn, sun of Gnostics, guiding lamp of seekers, illumination of those in close proximity, beloved of the poor, strangers and destitute.

[He is] master of humans and jinn, Prophet of the two sanctuaries, leader of the two Qiblas, our means [to salvation] in the two abodes, owner of “two Bow-Lengths or nearer”, beloved of the Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests, grandfather of al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusain, our patron and the patron of humans and jinn.

[He is] Abu l-Qāsim MUḤAMMAD, son of ‘Abdullah, a radiant light from the Life-Giving Luminosity of Allah. O you who yearn for the radiance of his beauty! Send blessings and utmost greetings of peace upon him, his family and companions.

And Allah is the Guide!


Qasidah Al-Burdah – On His Heavenly Ascension

Imam Al-Busiri’s qasidatu-l burdah is an ode in praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that has found universal fame. To commemorate the al-isra’ wa-l mi’raj season, we present here the English translation of the poem’s seventh section which is dedicated to the journey to a place where no creation has stepped foot.

The Mandle Ode – On His Heavenly Ascension

(Allah bless him and give him peace)

Imam Muhammad b. Sa’id Al-Busiri Al-Sanhaji

You the best of those to whose court seekers of bounties resort;
running the (mounted) on the backs of fast camels.

And O you who is the greatest sign for he who takes a lesson!
And O you who is the greatest bounty for a person who avails himself of it!

You travelled by night from one sacred place to another
as the full moon travels trough intense darkness.

And you continued ascending until you attained a position
at the distance of two cubits length, as has never been attained nor sought.

And you were preferred, due to your position, by all the Prophets
and Messengers, just as a servant gives preference to his master.

You passed the seven heavens with them
in a procession in which you were the standard bearer.

Until you left no goal to attain for anyone to strive for
in closeness, nor any rank to ascend for anyone to advance to.

You made inferior every position by (your) advance, when
you were invited to His Majestic and Unique audience.

So that you may be successful in reaching the most concealed
from all eyes, and secrets well concealed.

So you acquired every (status) worthy of pride unrivalled,
and you surpassed every position which none other passed.

And extremely excellent are the ranks that were granted to you.
And uncomprehensible are those bounties which were conferred upon you.

Glad tiding be to us, O people of Islam! We have,
by the Grace of Allah, a pillar which is indestructible.

When Allah called the one who invited us to His worship,
because of the noblest of messengers, we are the noblest of nations.

And Allah is the Guide!


Last Wednesday of Safar

إِنَّ وَلِيِّيَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى الصَّالِحِينَ

“Indeed, my protector is Allah, who has sent down the Book; and He is an ally to the righteous.” (7:196)

From amongst the traditional practices of the Ahlu-s Sunnah wa-l Jama’a is observing the last Wednesday of Safar with voluntary acts of worship. This is done at the behest of some later righteous [salihin] and Gnostics [‘arifin] who have stated that Allah sends down the trials and tribulations that will occur throughout the year on the last Wednesday of the month of Safar.

Amongst those who have written or spoken on this matter are:

  • Muhammad Ghawth Gwaliyari
  • Ahmad b. Ali al-Buni
  • Fariduddin Masud Ganjshakar
  • Ahmad b. Umar al-Dairabi
  • Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Tijani
  • Abd al-Hamid b. Muhammad ‘Ali Quds

From their experiential knowledge and insight, they have also said that those trials and tribulations are spread out accordingly and apportioned to specific people. It is for this reason that many scholars [‘ulama] and sages [masha’ikh] deem it beneficial to engage in supererogatory acts of devotion on the day seeking Allah’s Mercy and Gentleness to avoid being apportioned any trial or tribulation.

Shaikhuna Thaika Shuaib, in keeping with the teachings of our Masha’ikh, recommends performing the following 3 devotional acts on the last Wednesday of Safar:

1. Surah Yasin

It is advised to recite the Surah known as the heart of the Qur’an (i.e. Surah Yasin) on the night (i.e. Tuesday evening) or day of the last Wednesday of Safar. On reaching verse 58, repeat it 313 times:

{سلامٌ قولاً من ربٍّ رحيم}
salâmun qawla-m mi-r Rabbi-r Rahîm
“‘Peace!’ – a word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful!”

After completing the recitation, make this supplication:

اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلٰى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَاةً تُنْجِـيْنَا بِهَا مِنْ جَمِيْعِ الأَهْوَالِ وَالْآفَاتِ، وَتَقْضِي لَنَا بِهَا جَمِيْعِ الْحَاجَات، وَتُطَهِّرُنَا بِهَا مِنْ جَمِيْعِ السَّيِّئَات، وَتَرْفَعُنَا بِهَا أَعْلَى الدَّرَجَات، وَتُبَلِّغُنَا بِهَا أَقْصَى الْغَايَات، مِنْ جَمِيْعِ الْخَيْرَات، فِي الْحَيَاةِ وَبَعْدَ الْمَمَات. (اَللّٰهُمَّ) اصْرِفْ عَنَّا شَرَّ مَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ، وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ، إِنَّكَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْر، وَصَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالَى عَلٰى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ،

(Allâhuma) salli ‘alâ Sayyidinâ Muhammadin salâtan tunjînâ bihâ min jamî’ al-ahwâli wa al-âfât, wa taqdî lanâ bihâ jamî’ al-hâjât, wa tutahirrunâ bihâ min jamî’ al-sayyi’ât, wa tarfa’unâ bihâ a’la ad-darajât, wa tuballighunâ bihâ aqsa al-ghâyât, min jamî’ al-khayrât, fi al-hayâti wa ba’ad al mamât.

(Allâhuma) isrif ‘annâ sharra mâ yanzilu min al-samâ, wa ma yakhruju min al-ard, innaka ‘alâ kulli shayy’in qadîr, wa salla Allâhu ta’alâ ‘alâ Sayyidinâ Muhammadin wa ‘alâ âlihi wa sahbihi wa sallim.

“(O Allah) send mercy upon our Master Muhammad, a [prayer of] mercy with which You save us from all threats and calamities, and by it [the prayer for mercy] You fulfil all our needs, and You purify us from the entirety of our sins, and You raise us by it to the highest levels, and You allow us to reach our greatest aspirations, in this life and after death.

(O Allah) avert from us the evil that descends from the heavens, and from [the evil] the comes from the earth – indeed, You are in power over all things. And may Allah send His Mercy upon our Master Muhammad, his Family, and Companions.”

(translation by Ustaz Amjid Tarsin)

وذكر بعض الصالحين أنّ آخر أربعاء في صفر يوم نَحْس مستمر(1) فيستحب أن يقرأ فيه سورة يس، فإذا وصل إلى قوله تعالى: (سلامٌ قولاً من رب رحيم) يكررها (ثلاثمائة وثلاث عشرة مرة)، ثم يدعو فيقول: (اللهم) صلّ على سيدنا محمد صلاة تنجينا بها من جميع الأهوال والآفات، وتقضي لنا بها جميع الحاجات، وتطهّرنا بها من جميع السيئات وترفعنا بها أعلى الدرجات، وتبلغنا بها أقصى الغايات جميع الخيرات في الحياة وبعد الممات. ثم يقول: (اللهم) اصرف عنّا شرَّ ما ينْزل من السماء، وما يخرج من الأرض، إنك على كل شيء قديرٌ، وصلى الله تعالى على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم. ثم يدعو بالمهمّ دنيا وأخرى ويسأل الله تعالى العافية والسلامة. (1) فيه ما سيأتي في الرسالة فانظره. اهـ منه.

2. Salat al-Istikhara ma’a al-Hifz

After sunrise on the last Wednesday of Safar, it is meritorious to pray 4-cycles [raka’at] of prayer with the intention [niyyat] of seeking goodness [istikhara] and protection [hifz]. In each cycle, after Surah al-Fatiha, recite the following:

  • Surah al-Kawthar (Chapter 108) – 17 times,
  • Surah al-Ikhlas (Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad – Chapter 112) – 5 times,
  • Surah al-Falaq (Chapter 113) – once, and
  • Surah al-Naas (Chapter 114) – once.

Note: recite all 4 Surahs in all 4 Rakats.

After completing the prayer, make this supplication:

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْمِ، وَصَلَّى اللّهُ تَعَالَى عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ، (اللّهُمَّ) يَا شَدِيْدَ الْقُوَّى، وَيَا شَدِيْدَ الْمِحَالِ، يَا عَزِيْزُ ذَلَّتْ لِعِزَّتِكَ جَمِيْعِ خَلْقِكَ، اِكْفِنِيْ مِنْ جَمِيْعِ خَلْقِكَ، يَا مُحْسِنُ يَا مُجَمِّلُ، يَا مُتَفَضِّلُ، يَا مُنْعِمُ، يَا مُكْرِمُ، يَا مَنْ لَآ اِلَهَ اِلَّا اَنْتَ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ، اَللَّهُمَّ بِسِرِّ الْحَسَنِ وَاَخِيْهِ، وَجَدِّهِ وَاَبِيْهِ، اِكْفِنِيْ شَرَّ هَذَا الْيَوْمِ وَمَا يُنْزِلُ فِيْهِ، يَا كَافِيْ {فَسَيَكْفِيْكَهُمُ اللّهُ وَهُوَالسَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ}، وَحَسْبُنَا اللّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ، وَلَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ اِلَّا بِاللّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ، وَصَلَّى اللّهُ تَعَالَى عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ

bismillâhi ar-Rahmân ar-Rahîm, wa salla Allâhu ta’âlâ ‘alâ Sayyidinâ Muhammadin wa ‘alâ âlihi wa sahbihi wa sallim. {Allâhuma} yâ Shadîd al-Quwwa, wa yâ Shadîd al-Mihâl, ya ‘Azîzu dhallat li ‘izzatika jamî’ khalqik; ikfinî min jamî’i khalqik, yâ Muhsin, yâ Mujammil, yâ Mutafaddil, yâ Mun’im, yâ Mukrim, yâ man lâ ilâha illâ Anta, bi rahmatika yâ Arham ar-Râhimîn.

{Allâhuma} bi sirri al-Hasan wa Akhîh, wa Jaddihi wa Abîh, ikfinî sharra hâdha al-yaum wa ma yunzilu fîh, yâ Kâfi. {Fasa yakfîkahumu Allâhu wa Huwa As-Samî’u Al-‘Alîm}. Wa Hasbunal Allâhu wa ni’am al wakeel, wa lâ hawla wa lâ quwwata illâ billâhi al-‘Alî, al-‘Adhîm, wa salla Allâhu ta’âlâ ‘alâ Sayyidnâ Muhammadin wa ‘alâ âlihi wa sahbihi wa sallim.

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. May the peace and mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his Family and Companions. (O Allah) the One of Intense Power, the One of Intense Perspicacity. O Glorious One, Your entire creation is humbled before your Might – protect me from your entire creation, O Charitable One, O Beautifier, O Gracious One, O Giver of Blessing, O Generous One – there is no god except You, we ask your Mercy, of Most Merciful.

(O Allah) by the secret [blessing you have given] Al-Hasan, his brother [Husayn], his grandfather [may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him!], his father [Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him] – protect us from the evil of this day and from what descends on this day, O Sufficient Protector! {Allah will suffice you against them, He is the All-Seeing, All-Knowing}. Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs, and there is no might or power except Allah’s, the Exalted, the Mighty. And may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad, his Family, and Companions.”

(translation by Ustaz Amjid Tarsin)

ذكر بعض العارفين من أهل الكشف والتمكين أنه ينزل في كل سنة ثلاثمائة ألف بليَّة وعشرون ألفًا من البليات، وكل ذلك في يوم الأربعاء الأخير من صفر؛ فيكون ذلك اليوم أصعب أيام السنة؛ فمن صلّى في ذلك اليوم أربع ركعات، يقرأ في كل ركعة منها بعد الفاتحة سورة (إنا أعطيناك الكوثر) سبع عشرة مرة والإخلاص خمس مرات، والمعوّذتين مرة مرة، ويدعو بعد السلام بهذا الدعاء حفظه الله تعالى بكرمه من جميع البلايا التي تنزل في ذلك اليوم، ولم تحم حوله بلية من تلك البلايا إلى تمام السنة والدعاء المعظم هو: (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. وصلى الله تعالى على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم، (اللهم) يا شديدَ القوَى، ويا شديدَ المحال، يا عزيزُ ذلّت لعزَّتك جميعُ خلقك، اكفني من جميع خلقك، يا محسنُ يا مجمل، يا متفضل، يا منعمُ يا مكرِمُ، يا من لا إله إلا أنت برحمتك يا أرحم الراحمين، (اللهم) بسرّ الحسن وأخيه، وجدِّه وأبيه، اكفني شرّ هذا اليوم وما ينزل فيه يا كافي، فسيكفيكهم الله وهو السميع العليم، وحسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل، ولا حولَ ولا قوّة إلا بالله العليّ العظيم، وصلى الله تعالى على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم). انتهى.

3. Ayat al-Munjiyat wa al-Hifz

It is recommended that the following 7 verses of the Qur’an (a) be written on a china plate or leaf with edible ink, (b) then dissolved in water, and (c) the resulting consecrated water drunk. If this is not feasible, then one should at least recite the verses into a bottle or cup of water and drink it. This is a tried and tested armour of protection against the descending trials and tribulations of the day.

Important note: some people pour the holy water with the dissolved verses over their heads or shower with it. This should NOT be practised as the holy water will fall on one’s feet and to the ground.

The 7 verses of the Qur’an are:

  • سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِّن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ
    “‘Peace,’ a word from the Lord of Mercy.” (36:58)
  • سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ
    “Peace be upon Noah among all the nations!” (37:79)
  • سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
    “Peace be upon Abraham!” (37:109)
  • سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ
    “Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!” (37:120)
  • سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِلْ يَاسِينَ
    “Peace be to Elijah!” (37:130)
  • سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ
    “Peace be upon you. You have been good. Come in: you are here to stay.” (39:73)
  • سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ
    “Peace it is until the rising of the dawn.” (97:05)

After drinking the water, make this supplication:

اَللّٰهُمَّ اعْصِمْنَا مِنْ جَهْدِ الْبَلَآءِ، وَدَرْكِ الشَّقَآءِ، وَسُوْءِ الْقَضَآءِ، وَشَمَاتَةِ الْاَعْدَآءِ، وَمَلْجُوْمِ الْوَبَآءِ، وَمَوْتِ فُجَاءَةٍ، وَمِنْ زَوَالِ الْبَرَكَةِ وَالنِّعْمَةِ وَالْبَرَصِ وَالْجُذَامِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبَرْصَامِ وَالْحُمّٰى وَالشَّقِيْقَةِ، وَمِنْ جَمِيْعِ الْاَمْرَاضِ وَالْاَسْقَامِ، بِفَضْلِكَ وَجُوْدِكَ يَا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَالْاِكْرَامِ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ، وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلٰى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰى اٰلِهِ وَاَصْحَابِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ، اٰمِيْنَ،

“O Allah, protect us from the pangs of tribulations, from being overtaken by misfortune, from an evil destiny, from the gloating of enemies, and from all illness and diseases. By Your favour and grace, O Possessor of Majesty and Bounty. By Your mercy, O Quintessence of Mercy. Blessings and peace be upon our liege Muhammad, his family and companions. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. Amin!”

ومن المجربات لدفع البلايا والحفظ منه كتبُ هذه الآيات ومحوُها، وشرب مائها، قال في نعت البدايات: ويروى أن من صلى الأربع الركعات المتقدمة، ودعا بالدعاء المتقدم أيضا وهو: (اللهم) يا شديد القوَى…إلخ. وكتب بعد ذلك هذه الآيات وغسلها بالماء، وشرب منه أمِنَ مما ينزل من البلاء في ذلك النهار إلى تمام العام. والآيات هي هذه: (سلام قولاً من رب رحيم. سلامٌ على نوح في العالمين. سلام على إبراهيم. سلام على موسى وهارون. سلام على إلياسين. سلام عليكم طبتم فادخلوها خالدين. من كل أمر سلام هي حتى مطلع الفجر). قلت: وهذه الرواية هي التي كان يفعلها شيخنا رضي الله تعالى عنه وهي أحسن؛ لعموم النفع بها للصبيان والنسوان والعبيد، ونحو ذلك ممن لا يقدر على فعل شيء مما تقدم.


As has been made clear in the opening paragraphs, observing the last Wednesday of Safar with voluntary acts of worship has been handed down to us from later scholars of the Sunni tradition. There is no obligation to follow them. Therefore, those who observe the day should not be rebuked and those who disregard the day are not to be censured.

Success is from Allah alone and He is the Guide!


Al-Haqiqah Al-Muhammadiyyah

In the introduction to his sublime work, “Kitâb Sirru-l Asrâr wa Mazharu-l Anwâr” (The Book of the Secret of Secrets and the Manifestation of Lights), our master and guide, the Lordly Cardinal Pole [qutbu-r rabbâni], Muhyi-d Din ‘Abdu-l Qâdir al-Jilani (may Allah sanctify his secret), writes the following about the beginning of creation [ibtidâ’u-l khalq]:

You should know – may Allah enable you to achieve what is clear and pleasing to Him! – that Allah (Exalted is He) first created the spirit of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) from the Light of His Beauty. As Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has told us:

“I created the spirit of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) from the Light of My Countenance.” [Hadith Qudsi]

As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said:

“The first thing that Allah created was my spirit [ruh]. The first thing that Allah created was my light [nur]. The first thing that Allah created was the Pen [qalam]. The first thing that Allah created was the intellect [‘aql].”

This means that they are all one thing, that being the Muhammadan Reality [al-Haqiqatu-l Muhammadiyyah], but it is called a “light [nur]” because it is pure and unclouded by the darkness of Majesty. As Allah (Blessed and Exalted is He) has said:

“There has now come to you from Allah a Light, and a Clear Book.” [Al-Qur’an 5:15]

It is also called an “intellect [‘aql]”, because it comprehends universal truths [kulliyyat]. It is also called a “pen [qalam]”, because it is an instrument for the transmission of knowledge, just as the pen is an instrument in the realm of letters (of the alphabet).

The Muhammadan spirit is thus the quintessence of all entities, the first of all beings, and the origin of them all. As he has said (blessing and peace be upon him):

“I am from Allah and the believers are from me.”

— Al-Jilani, A. The Book of the Secret of Secrets  (Kitab Sirr Al-Asrar). Trans. Muhtar Holland. Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, 2000.

Further Reading [External Links]

Haqiqat Al-Muhammadiyya


Jihad – A Sacred Struggle

The term Jihad, etymologically derived from the word “mujahada“, is primarily used in contemporary discourse to describe martial resistance. This is an unfortunate post-modern phenomenon, for Jihad as “holy war” – while being a valid part of the Islamic tradition in the face of persecution, oppression and foreign aggression – is but one aspect of this panoptic term.

Even then, the use of the term in martial struggle has been usurped unceremoniously by those who have gone beyond the acceptable remit of Prophetic example [sunnah] and the parameters of the Islamic legal code [shar’i]. We disassociate ourselves from such methodologically-challenged-extremists who are far from the teachings of the Islamic faith and code of conduct.

The people of spiritual excellence [ihsan] have always been at the forefront to set things right in moments of difficulty. In this regard, we turn to the Sultan of the Saints,  Sayyidina-sh Shaikh Muhyiddin Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him and perfume his resting abode), for direction and clarity in these times of dismay and confusion. We let the master’s blessed words speak for themselves:

The Qur’anic guidance on this matter is contained in the following revelation:

And as for those who strive in Our cause [jâhadû fî-nâ], surely We shall guide them in Our ways. [29:69]

The Prophet of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace), on returning from the military expedition of Tabuk, said:

We have come home from the lesser holy war [al-jihad al-asghar] to fight the greater holy war [al-jihad al-akbar].

What he (Allah bless him and give him peace) meant by “the greater holy war” was the struggle with

  • the accursed Satan,
  • the lower self, and
  • passionate desire

[mujahadatu-sh shaitan wa-n nafs wa-l hawa]. He referred to it in such a manner because of its constant duration, the extent of the exertion it demands, the danger it entails, and the fear that it might turn out badly at the very end. We seek refuge in Allah from such a calamitous end!

The struggle with the accursed Satan is an inner struggle [mujahada batina] for it is waged by

  • the heart,
  • the core of one’s being, and
  • faith

[bi-l qalb wa-l janan wa-l iman]. Therefore, when you struggle with him, your succour and support is the Universally Merciful [ar-rahman], your mainstay is the Mightiest King and Fairest Judge [al-malik ad-dayyan], and your hope is the beatific vision of the Countenance of the Majestic Benefactor [al-jalil al-mannan].

The “lesser holy war” is the outer battle [jihad az-zahir] with the sword and the spear, in which your support is provided by the worldly ruler and the armed forces, and in which your hope is to enter the Gardens of Paradise. If you are killed in the struggle, your reward will be life everlasting in the abode of perpetuity, Allah willing!

But if you are slain in the course of waging war on the accursed Satan and while you are committed to opposing his vile schemes, due to the expiration of your appointed term and because your decreed moment to die has arrived, your reward will be the beatific vision of the Countenance of the Lord of All the Worlds at the Meeting.

If you are killed by the enemy in battle, you will be a martyr. But if you are slain by the accursed Devil through following him obediently and carrying out his orders, you will be a pariah [tarid], banished from the intimate proximity of the All-Compelling King [al-malik al-jabbar]. May Allah save us from such a wretched state of being!

The war on the battlefield has a fixed term and there comes a point when it is over. But the struggle against the accursed Devil and the lower self [jihadu-sh shaitan wa-n nafs] is one that has no final end and no point of termination. As Allah (eminent is His Glory) has declared:

And serve your Lord, till Certainty comes to you. [15:99]

That is to say, the “greater holy war” is waged till death arrives and the meeting (with Him) materialises, for worshipful service [ibadat] is performed by opposing the accursed Satan and passionate desires. Failing which, Allah (eminent is His Glory) has ordained:

Then they shall be pitched into it (the Fires of Hell) – they and the perverse, and the hosts of Iblis, all together. [26:94-95]

And Allah is the Guide.

Compiled from the works of Sayyidina-sh Shaikh Muhyiddin ‘Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him and perfume his resting abode).