Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Day 15 Ramadhan - Step 18

Day 15 Ramadhan - Step 17  Sufi Ramadhan Secrets and Gems by ~Sajad Ali~

Today marks Half way point of Ramadan 15th Fast and is also the Passing of Sayyida Nafisa At-Tahira (Ra) known as "The Rare Lady Of Purity” Sayyidah Nafisa, or Lady Nafisa, was the great-great grand-daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When she was first born in Mecca, her father Sayyid Hassan al-Anwar. (Sayyida Nafisa at-Tahira bint al-Hasan al-Anwar bin Zaid al-Ablaj bin al-Imam al-Hasan bin Imam Ali) She lived in the time of Imam Shafi` who would always request her when he was ill duas as they were answered immediately. Many of the great saints would come visit her. Women would just touch her as great blessings would flow her. (see post comments for me) More than 150 miracles were recorded by historians as appearing from Sayyida Nafisa. She completed the Holy Qur`an while sitting in her grave six thousand times (6000), and she granted the rewards of that recitation to all deceased Muslims.”. Al-faitha for this great lady of Allah’s soul also its known to ask her for intercession in duas for even now her Miracles are still heard.

Sayyida Nafisa had many titles by which she was known among the people, derived from her many different miracles (karamat).

She is known as
Nafisat al-`ilmi wal-ma`rifat, (the Rare Lady of Knowledge and Gnosis) because of what she achieved and accumulated from knowledge of the Family of the Holy Prophet

She is called
Nafisat al-Tahira, the Rare Lady of Purity, and
Nafisat al-`Abida, the Rare Worshipful Lady, and
Nafisat al-Darayn, the “Rare one among ladies in this life and the next”, and
Sahibat al-Karamat, “the Lady of Miracles”, and
Sayyidat Ahl al-Fatwa, “the Leading Lady in deriving rulings and verdicts”, and
Umm al-Awaajiz, “the Mother of Elderly Women”, and
Nafisat al-Masriyyin, “the Rare Lady of the Egyptians”, because of the Egyptian people’s intense love for her and her love for them, and her being their recourse for their every problem – collectively and individually.

Sayyida Nafisa used to pray the five prayers regularly behind her father in Masjid an-Nabawi (s) from the age of six. Her father used to take her by the hand and enter inside the room of the grave of the Holy Prophet
, which is the house of Sayyida `Ayesha (RA). He would address the Prophet directly saying: “Ya Rasullullah!, O Beloved Prophet of Allah! I am pleased with my daughter Nafisa!” He continued these visits repeatedly until one day the Prophet appeared to him in a dream saying to him, “Ya Hasan, I am pleased with your daughter Nafisa, because you are pleased with her, and Allah is pleased with her because I am pleased with her.

It was only after many years that Allah  answered that prayer making it possible for Sayyida Nafisa to visit the grave of al-Khalil, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) (in Palestine).

When she finally arrived, she sat there in front of his grave weeping and reciting, “And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols:” [14: 35]

As Sayyida Nafisa sat in front of the grave of Ibrahim al-Khalil (as), reciting the Qur`an, she felt an intense presence, almost tangible, and saw the image of Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) in front of her. Of that moment she said, “My heart began to beat harder and my eyes to blink.”

She called upon him saying “O my grandfather! – Ya Jiddee!” in the present tense. “I came to you in body and spirit…. as my soul has come to you before many times, I now come to you in body as well. I seek your good pleasure with me and I seek your guidance and instruction in order that I may worship Allah until my dying breath.”

At that moment she heard a voice emerging from the image of Sayyidina Ibrahim which was before her saying, “Good tidings my granddaughter! You are chosen to be one of the sanctified, worshipful maidservants of your Lord. My advice to you is to recite Surat al-Muzammil, wherein Allah says, “O thou folded in garments! Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night,…” [73:1]until its end and seek to meditate on what you recite.

“By reciting this chapter you will be guided to the forms of worship and devotion that contain no hardship, as Allah said, ‘Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear.’ O my granddaughter! The intensity of your worship has made your body weak – try to keep everything in balance.”

From Her Miracles - More than 150 miracles were recorded by historians as appearing from Sayyida Nafisa

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani wrote about them.
The story is related that when Sayyida Nafisa arrived in Egypt and settled in her home, there was a non-Muslim family living beside her, whose daughter was paralyzed from the waist down. One day the girl’s mother brought her to Sayyida Nafisa to watch while she went shopping. She left her daughter in one corner of Sayyida Nafisa’s house.

Sayyida Nafisa began making ablution and water from her ablution flowed towards the girl. As the water touched the body of the girl, she experienced something strange. She began to take the water from Sayyida Nafisa’s ablution and rub it on her paralyzed feet and legs. Suddenly by Allah’s Mercy, the paralysis disappeared completely and she was able to stand.

Meanwhile Sayyida Nafisa was busy in prayer. The girl stood up and seeing her mother just returning from the market, ran to meet her to tell her what had happened. Her mother cried with joy declaring, “That woman is truly holy and her religion is the truth.” She came in, hugged Sayyida Nafisa, thanked her for healing her daughter and asked her to pray that she be guided from darkness to light. Sayyida Nafisa then taught her to recite the shahada.

When the father of the girl returned home that evening, whose name was Ayyub Abu Surraya, and saw his daughter cured, he was overjoyed. He asked his wife about what happened and she told him the whole story. He raised his head heavenwards saying, “O Allah! You guide whom You like and I now know that Islam is the true religion, completing what we believe in.” He went to the home of Sayyida Nafisa. Speaking to her from behind a veil he said, “I believe in your religion, and I accept it. I testify that there is none to worship except Allah and that your grandfather Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah.” That miracle was the cause for the entire tribe of Sayyida Nafisa’s neighbors to enter Islam.

One of Sayyida Nafisa’s miracles relates to a Muslim man married to a Christian woman. They had a son. When he grew up he began to travel. While traveling in a country far from home he was captured and held prisoner. After hearing of his capture, his mother used to frequent the church, praying that her son be released and returned to them. Years passed but he was not released. One day she told her husband, “I heard that there is a saintly woman Nafisa bint al-Hasan al-Anwar whose prayers are always answered. Since you are Muslim go and ask her to pray for the return of our son.” He went and asked Sayyida Nafisa for her du`a.

Late that night they heard a knock at the door. Waking and wondering who it could be they went and opened the door. To their astonishment they found their son standing there. They asked him, “How did you come here?” He said, “Tonight I was sitting there in prison, in chains. Suddenly I felt a spiritual presence, and I heard a voice saying, ‘Free him! Nafisa bint al-Hasan interceded for him.’ Suddenly I found myself standing here at the door of our house.” That day his mother went to visit Sayyida Nafisa, thanking her for saving her son, then accepting Islam at her hand.

The Nile fails to flood
In the year 201 H. (816 CE) the Nile failed to flood, as is its normal annual custom. People went to Sayyida Nafisa asking her to pray that Allah cause the Nile to flood, for without the usual flood no crops would grow. Sayyida Nafisa gave them her faceveil telling them, “throw that in the Nile and by Allah’s grace it will flood.”They took her burqa and threw it in the Nile. Immediately the river began to rise and overflow its banks.

[One should note here this is a miracle extremely similar to the incident of the shirt of Sayiddina Yusuf (as), which when cast on the face of his father Ya`qub (as), was the cause for his sight to be restored by Allah’s Will. Again, such incidents clarify the true meaning of tawassul and shafa`a (intercession) by means of objects related to pure, pious individuals.]

Stolen wool
Al-Imam al-Munawi mentions a story of Sayyida Nafisa, related to him from al-Azhari in his book al-Kawakib as-sayyaara:

There was an old lady who had four daughters. This woman used to spin wool into yarn, then take the yarn and sell it. With half the earnings she would buy more wool spending the rest on their food and drink for the week.

One day the old lady set out for the market, with the spun wool wrapped in a red package. Without warning an eagle dove out of the sky, grabbed the package in its claws and flew off.

The old lady, overcome with fear and worry, fainted. When she awoke she began crying. People around her, hearing her story told her about Sayyida Nafisa. She went to Sayyida Nafisa and related this strange incident.

Sayyida Nafisa said, “O Allah! Exalted in Power and Owner of this creation: put right what the affairs of Your servant this lady fulana. She is Your servant and her children are Your servants and You are powerful over all things.” She told the old lady to return to her home and wait.

The old lady went home crying with worry for the sake of her young children. Night found her still crying. Suddenly a commotion was heard outside. It was a group of people seeking Sayyida Nafisa. They told her, “Something very strange just happened to us. We came to you because we have been ordered to do so.”

She said, “What happened?”
They related, “We were on a ship traveling at sea. As we began approaching land one of the planks suddenly sprung loose and the boat began to flood. Some of us did not know how to swim and we were in deep water still five hours from shore. The boat began to fill up and sink. All of a sudden an eagle appeared holding a red package in its claws. It threw that package, which was full of spun wool, into that crack filling it. The water stopped flooding and we managed to reach shore safely. We heard a voice saying, ‘Go to Sayyida Nafisa.’

The boat crew presented Sayyida Nafisa a gift of 500 dinars. Sayyida Nafisa began to cry, “O Allah you are so merciful to Your servants.” She asked the old lady, “How much did you usually get for your wool each week?” The lady replied, “I used to get 20 dinars.” Sayyida Nafisa gave her the 500 dinars and she went home overjoyed. She told her neighbors what happened and they came in droves to see Sayyida Nafisa. Many ended up giving themselves over to her service, helping her cook food for the poor, distribute alms and aid the sick and lame.
 Miracles after her death
1234 The miracles after Sayyida Nafisa’s death are too numerous to mention. Once thieves entered her mosque in 683 H. and stole sixteen silver lamps. As the thieves tried to escape they discovered there was no longer a door. They were trapped inside until morning, when the caretaker arrived, opened the door and found the thieves with the lamps.

Recently in 1940, fifty years ago, a similar occurrence took place. A person, well-known in the area, entered the Mosque of Sayyida Nafisa and hid himself. When everyone had left that person stole a beautiful Kashmiri shawl, a gift from the King of Kashmir to Sayyida Zainab. When he tried to escape he could not find the door. He was kept prisoner until morning, when the people found him and took him to the police.

It is related in history that Abul `Izz al-Yamani said, “I was very well-known in my community, rich in my family, owning many farms. I was proud of myself and arrogant. Then I came down with a sickness that caused me to lose my sight and I fell into great difficulties. I spent most of my wealth seeking a cure, but alas doctors were unable to help me. They told me I would be blind for the rest of my life. Finally I sought out Sayyida Nafisa’s help. While waiting to see her I fell asleep. I saw a dream in which Sayyida Nafisa visited me and put something in my eyes. When I awoke my sight had been fully restored.”

The Story of Affan bin Sulayman
Historians relate the story of an Egyptian named Affan bin Sulayman al-Masri. He bought a house and one day discovered a treasure buried under it. He began to spend his newfound wealth on the poor and the unfortunate.

One day he bought 1000 camel-loads of wheat from Prince Ahmad bin Keeghalgh. After some time the prices soared due to scarcity of wheat, shooting up to thrice its normal value. Prince Ahmad called Affan to his palace. The prince told him, “Either return the 1000 camel-loads or pay me for the wheat at today’s price.” Affan bin Sulayman refused, leaving angry. He went and distributed all the wheat to the poor and needy, leaving only a small portion for himself and his family.

Prince Ahmad went to the governor of Egypt Taqeen bin Abdullah al-Harbi, an arrogant and ruthless ruler. He ordered that all of Affan bin Sulayman’s wealth and holdings be impounded. Affan bin Sulayman decided to leave Egypt, running from the oppression of the governor Taqeen. He told his story to a descendant of the Prophet
, Ash-Sharif `Ali bin Abdullah a very pious man. He took him to the grave of Sayyida Nafisa and both of them sat facing the grave reciting verses of Qur`an, asking Allah to send the rewards of the recitation to Sayyida Nafisa and asking Allah in her presence and for her sake and the sake of her grandfather the Prophet to solve the problem of Affan bin Sulayman. Suddenly they both fell asleep. They both saw Sayyida Nafisa in the dream telling him, “Go together with Affan bin Sulayman to the governor of Egypt Taqeen. I solved his problem.”

Together they left and visited the governor, who to their surprise hosted them in grand style. The governor said, “Sayyida Nafisa appeared to me in a dream saying, ‘Be generous and host As-Sayyid Ali very well and return all Affan’s money to him; he asked for our intercession.’”

Taqeen, raising his hands said, “O Allah forgive me for what I did.” Turning to Affan b. Sulayman he said, “I am releasing all your money.” The governor Taqeen ordered Affan’s money returned to him and ordered that his own treasuries be opened and spent on the poor. He used to say, “All Egyptians are afraid of me, but I am afraid of Affan bin Sulyman and his du`a at the grave of Sayyida Nafisa.” With that du`a, the governor of Egypt corrected his wrong and unjust ways and lived as a righteous governor for the rest of his life. He wrote in his will that he should be buried in Bayt al-Maqdis,Jerusalem. When he died, that took place according to his orders.

**How to get Maddat-support/assistance from Sayyida Nafisa even today***
Under that is written “Anyone experiencing difficulties in his life should visit the grave of Sayyida Nafisa, recite suratal-Fatiha (Qur`an, 1), surat al-`Ala (87), surat al-Ikhlas(112) and al-muwadhitayn (113, 114), gift that recitation to her and make du`a for Allah to solve that problem.”

The method of greeting Sayyida Nafisa us also described,
“In a low voice say, ‘Peace be upon you, as-salaamu `alayki, O Sayyidina Nafisa, daughter of Hasan al-Anwar, son of as-Sayyid Zayd al-Ablaj, son of As-Sayyid Hasan, son of Sayyida Ali, and of Sayyida Fatima, daughter of the Prophet

[Excerpted from From the Light of Ahl al-Bayt: My Spiritual Experiences Unveiled] by Imam Metawalli ash-Sha`rawi
Imam Metawalli Ash-Sha`rawi has elucidated the true meaning of intercession (shafa`a) in the understanding of the scholars and saints (awliya) of Islam, showing that it is a method chosen by the early spiritual pioneers of Islam (as-salaf as-salih) as the most excellent means of approach to Allah and His good pleasure – the path to perfection and purification.

From  Quran about interceding;
So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, "O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?" She said, "It is from Allah . Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account."

At that, Zechariah called upon his Lord, saying, "My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication."
Zachariah asked for an offspring seeing that Mary was getting sustenance from Allah. Was Mary a prophet ? No. 

She was a pious lady like Sayyida Nafisa. Why did Zachariah make his dua at that place? He knew it was a special place where Allah's blessing was falling. So wherever a wali or  the tomb of a Waliyah is, you will find Allah's blessings there and such  a place is where dua is accepted. Do you ask the wali? No. You ask Allah, like Zacheriah. Any other act done may lead to kufr depending on one's intention, we Always ask Allah at the places blessings are descending.

*Taking Blessings from the Holy ones*
One of the notable merchants of Cairo, Jamaluddin Abdullah al-Jassas, hosted her in his home for many months. From every distant corner of Egypt people used to come to visit her and to take blessings from (tabarukki biha) her. Sayyida Nafisa felt that her presence might become too great a burden on her hosts, so she moved to a place of her own, in the District of Khalaf, in the Mosque of Shajarat al-Durr, in Khalifa Street, now known as the al-Hasaniyya District. The house to which she moved was owned by an Egyptian woman named Ummu Hani, renowned for her piety. This move did not bring any surcease to the flood of Egyptians coming from every far distant area, often in huge groups, to visit her and receive herbaraka, especially women who came simply to touch her and request her du`a.

*Touching a Pious Person for Baraka*
Al-Tabarani, and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (5:67-68) with a sound chain as stated by al-Haythami narrated through Handhalah Ibn Hudhaym that the latter went with his grandfather, Hudhaym, to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Hudhaym said to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him):
“I have sons and grandsons, some of whom are pubescent and others still children.”

Motioning to the young child next to him, he said: “This is the youngest.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) brought this young child whose name was Handhalah next to him, wiped on his head, and told him,“barakallahu fik,” which means: “May Allah bless you.”

After that, people started to bring Handhalah a person with a swollen face or a sheep with a swollen udder. Handhalah would place his hand on that part of his head the Prophet
wiped, then touch the swollen part and say ‘Bismillah’, and the swelling would be cured. 

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