Now how do you guard your family? Ibn Abbas said you teach them and you give them adab. That adab of the shariah is taqwa. That is the adab, that is the comportment of the sacred law to have taqwa.
So one of the definitions of taqwa is to guard oneself against those awesome matters that should put fear in your heart and also to roll up your sleeves in the work of what Allah has given us, the wazaif. It is an interesting word because wazaifa now in modern Arabic means employment so wazaif is an employee but in classical Arabic in the technical vocabulary of the ulema the wazaif were those things that one did in order to draw near to Allah so again if you look at people in this world why are they in the wazaif in their employment? In order to raise their standard of living. Why are the people of Allah in their wadaif? In order to raise their station with the living. That is the difference.
So taqwa is the foundation of the path to God and some of them said it is four matters: to fulfil the obligations, doing what Allah commanded and avoiding what He prohibited you inwardly and outwardly, to follow the sunnah and adab because this is an important aspect the adab, I will give you an example. I was in a situation where somebody did something which was a gross breach of adab and I mentioned that. It had to do with the culture and adaat. For instance in Arab culture you do not walk upto a woman and propose to her I mean you just do not do that. Now is there anything in shariah saying that you cannot do that? Does it say in shariah that it is haraam to propose to a woman so where then does adab come in? It comes with how you do the proposal and that is part of the shariah. This is something a lot of especially modern muslims, I mean that is a whole word in itself “modern muslim” because modern muslims have a whole other understanding of Islam to the point that many of the early muslims would pull out their hair if they saw the behaviour or worse and I will tell you a true story. I know a Moroccan man who was on a bus with…I mean Sharh Bariyah like the Arabs said the worse calamities are the things that make you laugh. This man was on a bus and the bus had all of these people from the desert, village people, very pure people and I mean I lived with them I know. They drove into Agadir for the first time and they saw all of these tourists that were basically naked. He said they all start screaming and literally they could not believe it. They just went into a total state and he said it was one of the most powerful things I mean because he had got used to it but it was the first time they have ever seen it and they just went into this state. They thought it was some end of time, it was all something that happened that was terrible and they all started screaming and for the first time he told me he realised how enormous it was so adab is something we have completely lost I mean we really have forgotten about adab.
Now there is obviously adab can go to another extreme which is where you get into protocol and that is a whole other problem because it goes to the other extreme where the cultures becomes so inundated with the particularities of adab that you no longer have freedom. You breach adab in the tradition that is why I always stipulate with some of the ulema that I am just a primitive American so you have to allow some leeway because in the traditional Muslim world if you spend time with the ulema there is a real expectation of certain comportment which is now only in places like Yemen and some places in Morocco, some places in Syria and Sudan and places. It has been lost in a lot of places, I mean people do not have that understanding any more. I mean if you read the early stories about the…I mean I finished this edit of Imam Al Dariee biography who wrote Dua Nasiri. I am going to tell you this, a true story because I wrote it in the thing. We recorded Dua Nasiri in Fez and we finished at about 1 in the morning and nobody knew I was in Fez apart from these people and somebody had given me 100 dollars to give to somebody in Fez. We went out, had dinner and it was about 3.30 in the morning and we have to go to Tangiers and as we were driving up the hill I said to this man Muhammad bin Nees I said I have an amanah, a trust for so and so and I am not going to be able to see him because we just had to leave so quick. I said can you give it to him? He said bismillah I will give it to him. Just as I said that he said SubhanAllah I think we just passed him. It was 3.30 in the morning. He said go back so we drove back and he was standing in front of a white van without any windows. He did not know I was in Fez and he said when he saw me, he said SubhanAllah we just finished a khatam of the Quran and I made dua that I would see you tonight. Now we have just finished the Dua Nasiri, he opened the door of the van, there was about 20 of his people in there because they did khatam. He went like this bismillah and went down and they all broke into Dua Nasiri and they recited it from beginning to end. True story believe it or not, I don’t care.
So Allah does those things. I call that on the shore of unseen oceans you see because if you look out at the ocean, why do people look at the ocean? It is much more interesting usually what is to their back right the land because you can see all these plants and trees and flowers but why do they look at the ocean? Part of it is what is that awe in us when we look at the ocean. Part of it is what is under. It is all that stuff that is hidden from us. If you wait long enough you will suddenly see this fish jump. Did you see that? That is what people do. Did you see that? Why are they so amazed? It is really interesting why they are amazed. Did you see that? Look over there. That is what Allah shows you when you believe in the unseen with these fish “did you see that?”. If you spend enough time doing it you do not do that anymore. You just say subhanAllah. I am not making that up, that is the reality of life. Once you open yourself up to belief, it just keeps confirming itself to you. That is how you increase in imaan by just increasing in imaan because Allah gives you more to believe in. Have taqwa in Allah will keep teaching you more to have taqwa about. It is a real gift from Allah to all of us and that is why we should see it as a gift and then some said it is protecting the matter which is your deen and avoiding sin. Guarding oneself against those calamities that befall us and cause us to trip and stumble.
Then he says our Shaykh meaning Abdullah bin Haddad said that is what is beautiful about our tradition in Yemen it is the same tradition as it is in Morocco as it is in Indonesia as it is in Mauritania as it is in Turkey as it is in Bosnia, that is the same teaching and it is all from the same source which is the Quran and then our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and in reality it is all from Allah from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) because the Quran is from him and then in reality it is all from Allah because the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is from Allah and then in reality it is all from whoever teaches us because that it is the way it works so behind everything in reality is Allah but Allah has made means and so acknowledge the means is part of what Allah demands “if you are not grateful to people you are not grateful to Allah” so the greatest gratitude we should have is to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) because in being grateful to him we are grateful to Allah and that is what Allah says “if you are not grateful to people you have not been grateful to Allah” so the only important matter that must always be at the forefront is that you recognise your gratitude to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) or to your teachers, or to your mother and father in reality gratitude to Allah, there is no shirk because you are not veiled by the means. People of this world, people of dunya are veiled by the means. They think the means are reality behind the doctor is Allah, behind the job is Allah, behind the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), behind everything is Allah. Therefore in being grateful to everything we are grateful to Allah including being grateful to people who harm us because in reality they are doing us a big favour in drawing us near to Allah and so it gets to the point where you begin to feel gratitude towards everything and that is the highest maqam.
What does shaytan say and you won’t find most of them in gratitude. That is what he wants to take you away from. Allah says how few of My servants are grateful so really it is gratitude. That is the root and taqwa is in essence gratitude. I mean do not be immersed by all this fear. Allah is worthy of taqwa in other words He is worthy of it because if it is all about the fear then you end up becoming somebody who is doing things motivated out of a very low force in this world which is fear. Fear is a low force. Fear is how these rule everybody. Do this otherwise this is going to happen. Get your insurance. Somebody sent me an ad and it was for insurance, life insurance. It said who is going to take care of your wife and children if you die? I said Allah, that is my answer. They are asking me and then they said who is going to take care of your house payments and this and that if you die. I said Allah, all the answers I had were Allah ad then I realised I did not need the life insurance. So why does that work with these people? It works because they do not have the right answer. When they say who is going to take care of your wife and children when you die? What did Abu Bakr say when he gave all of his wealth to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)? He said I left them Allah and his Messenger and that is why he is who he is. That is his insurance policy and aman the word in Arabic for insurance is the same root as imaan, they are from the same root istimaan. Yastaminu means to insure yourself but it also means to seek amaan and imaan is to make yourself safe. How? Not with Blue Cross or any cross. So it goes on. This is a great subject alhamdulillah.
The Nasiri Dua
O You to Whose mercy one flees! You in Whom the one in need and
distress seeks refuge! O Master, You Whose pardon is near! O You Who
help all who call on Him! We seek Your help, O You who help the weak!
You are enough for us, O Lord! There is nothing more majestic than
Your immense power and nothing mightier than the might of Your force.
Kings are humbled to the might of Your domain and You lower or
elevate whomever You wish.
The entire affair returns to You, and the release or conclusion of
all matters is in Your hand.
We have presented our affair before You, and we complain to You of
our weakness. Have mercy on us, O You Who know our weakness and
continue to be merciful. Look at what we have experienced from
people! Our state among them is as You see. Our troops are few and
our wealth is little. Our power has declined among groups. They have
weakened our solidarity and strength and diminished our numbers and
our preparation. O You Whose kingdom cannot be pillaged, give us
shelter by Your rank which is never overcome!
O Succour of the poor, we trust in You! O Cave of the weak, we rely
on You! You are the One on Whom We call to remove our adversities,
and You are the One we hope will dispel our sorrows. You have such
concern for us that we cannot hope for protection which comes through
any other door. We rush to the door of Your bounty and You honour the
one You enrich by Your gift.
You are the One Who guides when we are misguided.
You are the One who pardons when we slip. You have full knowledge of
all You have created and encompassing compassion, mercy and
forbearance. There is no one in existence more lowly than we are nor
poorer and more in need of what You have than us.
O you of vast kindness! O You Whose good encompasses all mankind, and
no other is called on! O Saviour of the drowning! O Compassionate! O
rescuer of the lost! O Gracious Bestower! Words are lacking, O
Hearing, O Answerer!
The cure is difficult, O Swift! O Near! To you, our Lord, we have
stretched out our hands and from You, our Lord, we hope for kindness.
Be kind to us in what You decree and let us be pleased with what
pleases You. O Allah, change the state of hardship for ease and help
us with the wind of victory.
Give us victory over the aggressors and contain the evil among those
who asked for it. Overpower our enemy, O Mighty, with a force which
disorders them and crushes them. Overturn what they desire and make
their efforts fail, defeat their armies and unsettle their resolve. O
Allah, hasten Your revenge among them
They cannot stand before Your power. O Lord, O Lord, Our protection
is by Your love, and by the might of Your help. Be for us and do not
be against us. Do not leave us to ourselves for a single instant. We
have no power of defence nor have we any device to bring about our
benefit. We do not aim for other than Your noble door, we do not hope
for other than Your encompassing bounty. Minds only hope for Your
blessing by the simple fact that you say 'Be" and it is. O Lord, O
Lord, arrival is by You to what You have and seeking the means is by
You! O Lord, You are our high pillar of support! O Lord, You are our
impregnable fortress. O Lord, O Lord, give us security when we travel
and when we remain. O Lord, preserve our crops and herds, and
preserve our trade and make our numbers more!
Make our land a land of the deen and repose for the needy and the
poor. Give us force among the lands as well as respect,
impregnability and a polity. Appoint it its might from the protected
secret, and grant it protection by the beautiful veiling.
By sad, qaf and nun, place a thousand veils in front of it. By the
rank of the light of Your noble Face and the rank of the secret of
Your immense kingdom, And the rank of 'la ilaha illa'llah' and the
rank of the Best of Creation, O our Lord, And the rank of that by
which the Prophets prayed to You and the rank of that by which the
Awliya' pray to you, And the rank of the power of the Qutb and the
Awtad and the rank of the Jaras and Afrad, And the rank of the Akhyar
and the rank of Nujaba' and the rank of the Abdal and the rank of the
And the rank of every one worshipping and doing dhikr and the rank of
everyone praising and giving thanks, And the rank of everyone whose
worth You elevated both those who are concealed and those whose
renown has spread, And the ranks of the firm ayats of the Book and
the rank of the Greatest Supreme Name, O Lord, O Lord, make us stand
as fuqara' before You, weak and lowly.
We call to You with the supplication of the one who calls on a noble
Lord who does not turn aside those who call. Accept our supplication
with Your pure grace, with the acceptance of someone who sets aside
the fair reckoning.
Bestow on us the favour of the Generous, and show us the kindness of
O Merciful, extend Your mercy over us and spread Your blessing over
us, O Generous. Choose for us in all our words and select for us in
all our actions. O Lord, make it our habit to cling and devote
ourselves to the resplendent Sunna.
Confine our manifold desires to You and grant us full and complete
gnosis. Combine both knowledge and action for us, and direct our
hopes to the Abiding Abode. O Lord, make us follow the road of the
fortunate and make our seal the Seal of the martyrs, O Lord!
Make our sons virtuous and righteous, scholars with action and people
of good counsel. O Allah, remedy the situation of the people and, O
Allah, make the reunification easy. O Lord, grant Your clear victory
to the one who takes charge and empowers the Deen, And help him, O
You Who are forbearing, and help his party and fill his heart with
what will make him pleasing to you. O Lord, help our Muhammadan deen,
and make it end mighty as it began.
Preserve it, O Lord, through the preservation of the scholars, and
raise the minaret of its light to heaven. Pardon, grant well-being,
make up for our deficiency and forgive our sins and the sins of every
Muslim, O our Lord.
O Lord, bless the Chosen one with your perfect prayer of blessing.
Your prayer is that which grants success in his business as befits
his lofty worth. Then bless his noble family and glorious Companions
and those who have followed them.
Praise belongs to Allah by whose praise those with an aim completely
fulfil that aim.