For the Elect and the Elite [i.e. awliya-allah], their worldly pleasure is in worship and following the Prophetic way. They lead distinguished lives that are characterised by their preoccupation with:
- Allah, eminent is His Glory
- the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace
- the Hereafter
This does not mean that they lead dreary or stoical lives without recourse to happiness in this world. They find immense joy in fulfilling the mandatory and indulging heavily in the supererogatory. Their insatiable quest is unveiling the veiled.
A consequence of this way of life is that Allah inspires in their hearts exceptional masterpieces in the form of entreaties, benedictions, litanies and other compositions. The literary worth and spiritual value of some of these are beyond words.
The “Glad Tidings of Good Things and the Arrival of Delights” [basha’iru-l khairat wa bulughu-l masarrat] is a chefs-d’oeuvre in this tradition. Composed by Sayyidina-sh Shaikh ‘Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, this is a unique necklace of salutations made of selected priceless pearls from the noble Qur’an.
As it befits propriety, it is only appropriate that the master’s words describe the worth of this jewel. It is related that Sayyidina-sh Shaikh said the following about this composition:
Accept these invocations of blessings [salawat] from me, for I received them by way of inspiration [ilham] from Allah (Exalted is He). I then presented them to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), whom I intended to ask about their special merit. He (Allah bless him and give him peace) answered me before I asked him, and he said to me:
They have a special merit that is something too tremendous to be calculated. They raise those who adopt them to the highest degrees, and cause them to reach the farthest goals. If someone seeks to achieve some purpose by them, he will not be turned away disappointed. His idea will not be frustrated, and his supplication will not be rejected. If someone recites them, even one time only, or carries them with him, Allah will grant forgiveness to him and to those who are with him in his company.
When his final moment is at hand, four of the angels of mercy will be present beside him. The first will keep Satan away from him. The second will inspire him to utter the testification of faith [kalimatu-sh shahada]. The third will quench his thirst with a cup from the River of Abundance [al-kawthar]. The fourth will hold in his hand a vessel of gold, filled with the fruits of the Garden of Paradise, giving him the glad tidings of a dwelling in the Garden, and saying to him: ‘Be of good cheer, O servant of Allah!’ So he will look at Him and see Him with his eye, before his spirit departs.
He will enter his grave with a feeling of security, happy and cheerful, and he will experience no loneliness and no confinement therein. Forty doorways of mercy will be opened for him, and the like thereof of light. When he is raised up on the Day of Resurrection, an angel will bring him good news from his right, and an angel will reassure him from his left. He will be dressed in two fine garments, and a thoroughbred steed will be guided to him for him to ride. He will suffer no distress and no remorse, and he will be subjected to an easy reckoning. When he passes across the Bridge of Hell, the Fire will say to Him: ‘Make a quick escape, O emancipated slave of Allah! I am forbidden to touch you!’
He will enter the Garden of Paradise in the company of the righteous forbearers, and in the Garden he will be given forty domes of white silver. Each dome will contain a palace of gold, and in each palace there will be one hundred pavilions made of light. In each pavilion there will be a raised couch made of silk brocade, and upon each raised couch there will be a maiden, one of the houris with those lovely eyes. Her body will emanate the most fragrant perfume, as if it were the full moon of the night of his consummation. Then he will be given that which no eye has ever seen, of which no ear has ever heard, and which has never occurred to the heart of a human being.
According to the traditional report [khabar], on the night when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was transported to his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), the following exchange transpired:
The Almighty One (Glorious and Exalted is He) said: “To whom does the earth belong, O Muhammad?” He replied: “To You, O my Lord,” so He said to him: “To whom do the heavens belong, O Muhammad?” Again he replied: “To You, O my Lord,” so He said to him: “To whom do the veils belong, O Muhammad?” Again he replied: “To you, O my Lord,” so He said to him: “To whom does the Pedestal [kursi] belong, O Muhammad?” Again he replied: “To You, O my Lord,” so He said to him, “To whom do you belong, O Muhammad?” At this point, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) bowed down in prostration, and the sense of modesty prevented him from saying anything. The Almighty One (Glorious and Exalted is He) then said: “You belong to him who invokes blessings upon you, and who does so with profound respect and reverence.”
Sayyidina-sh Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani then went on to say:
This invocation of blessing is the one that befits this Prophetic tradition [hadith]. It is the opening of seventy doors of mercy, and it manifests marvels from the path of the Garden of Paradise. It is better than someone who emancipates a thousand souls, and immolates a thousand sacrificial beasts, and donates a thousand dinars to charitable causes, and fasts for a thousand months. It contains a hidden secret, and it is the means by which provisions are easy to obtain, characters are refined, needs are satisfied degrees are exalted, sins are erased, faults are pardoned, and the lowly are dignified.
Sayyidina-sh Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani also said:
This invocation of blessing is given to no one but the perfect righteous man, for it is perfect in its qualities, endowed with gracious favour. If some problem troubles its owner, every invocation of it will be a means of access for him in the presence of the noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and every Qur’anic verse in it will be an intercession in the presence of the Almighty Patron. It is the invocation of blessing of those who perform the ritual prayer, the Qur’anic recitation of those who practice remembrance, the admonition of those who heed advise, and the means of access of those who seek access. It is the invocation of blessing of the glorious Qur’an, and I have called it: “Glad Tidings of Good Things”.
Success is from Allah.
Adapted from: Al-Qadiri, Isma’il M. Emanations of Lordly Grace (Al-Fuyudat Ar-Rabbaniyya). Trans. Muhtar Holland. Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, 2000.
And Allah is the Guide.