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The Naqshbandi Sufi Way

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Naqshbandi Sufi WayThis collector's limited edition is the first history of the Naqshbandi Saints of the Golden Chain. After an introduction where the author, a living shaykh, presents the principles and means of transmission of the Naqshbandi order, he relates views of the scholars of external knowledge, including that of Ibn Taymiyah, in support of the precedence of the scholars of internal knowledge. After explaining the search of a seeker of the Truth for the true inheritor of the secret of the Prophet, he recalls the life of the Prophet and of the 39 saints in the Golden Chain who are followers of the Prophet tracing their lineage back to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq as well as to Ali ibn Abi Talib through Jafar Sadiq, may God be pleased with them all, one of the spiritual poles. The author speaks of the seclusions and visions of the saints. The work ends with the Guidebook of these saints of the Golden Chain and their remembrance of God liturgy.

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Democracy According to Traditional Islamic Sources

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The Qur’ān says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِيالأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet and obey those in authority among you.”[1]

The primary sources of Islamic law are therefore the words and commands of Allah as laid out in the Qur’ān, the sayings and traditions of the Prophet (s) (aħādīth), and the rulings of political and religious leaders.

The Holy Qur’ān is the highest standard by which man can order his life. As such, it is a model only the Prophet of Allah could uphold to its fullest. Yet, it is still not possible for the average Muslim to follow the Prophet’s example directly. Muslims therefore rely on the authority of their leaders to guide them in upholding the principles of law laid out in the Qur’ān and the traditions. The Prophet (s) himself stated, “Whoever is chosen by the people after me will be the caliph, and you must listen to and obey him.”[2] Those in authority include the rulers of the nation, its religious scholars and its judges.

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Angels Unveiled

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Angels UnveiledAngels take any form they wish in the physical world. As crystal water takes the form of the cup in which it is poured, angels can take the form of any creation which they visit. They do not retain their full original form of light when they are sent to human beings: "Say: If there were in the earth angels walking secure, We had sent down for them from heaven an angel [without change] as messenger" (17:95). Angels can come as birds, as human beings, or as a form of light like a rainbow adorning the sky. They have a mind and a heart, but no will and no desire other than to serve and obey God. They are never too proud to obey Him.

Angels worship day and night without fatigue. They do not need to sleep, as their eyes never tire. They know no heedlessness. Their attention never wavers. Their food is glorification of God, their drink is to sanctify and to magnify Him. Their intimacy is in calling their Lord through hymning and singing His praise. Their enjoyment is to serve Him. They are devoid of any and all physiological restraints. They suffer no mood-changes.

Angels inhabit Paradise and the seven heavens. They worship more than human beings because they came before them and they have greater and more powerful faculties than they. They are more pious than human beings because they are innocent and unable to fall into mistakes or wrongdoings. They never ask forgiveness for themselves but always for human beings. This shows us how much they care for us and to what extent God created them to look after us. God made them our guardians because a guardian is more perfect than the one he guards.

Angels are more knowledgeable than human beings. The teacher, again, is better than the student. Their knowledge is of two kinds: intellectual and traditional. "Intellectual" means here: "of the essence of reality" or "of the heart." "Traditional" means: "revealed and translated down from above." Foreword by: Dr. Sachiko Murata

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Viewpoint: Door of Ijtihad is Open

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Open Door

One of the criticisms leveled against Islam is that it is a religion frozen in time, one that has not embraced new paradigms of the modern world. In reality, Islam has always been a living, vibrant faith that adapts to new and changing circumstances.

Though some scholars have attempted to freeze the interpretation of Islam, most accept the view that Islamic Divine Law, or Sharia, is subject to ongoing re-evaluation according to the principles of juristic reasoning, known as ijtihād. The purpose of this ongoing process of ijtihād is to adapt Sharia to changing societal circumstances. Thus, most Islamic scholars say that “the door of ijtihād" remains open.

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