All praise is to Allah ta’ala who has allowed us to publish the second edition of Nisbah magazine. This is the magazine of the students of Nur ul Ilm Academy, who aim to revive the nisbah (connection) with our tradition, the scholars (ulama) and the spiritual guides (masha’ikh).
We have been given two blessings, the intellect and the heart. Intellect is used to reflect on the signs of Allah ta’ala, and the heart is used to remember Him. Reflection is called ‘fikr’ and remembrance is called ‘dhikr’. We all must spend our life in fikr and dhikr as Allah ta’ala says:
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
The people of the insight are those) who remember Allah I standing, sitting and laying down on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (3:191)
Fikr instills awe of Allah ta’ala and dhikr inspires His love in the heart. These are the two states that a believer must be in; Awe and Love; Fear and Hope.
The problem starts when we use our intellect too much or love without using the intellect. We use our intellect too much when we try to come up with rulings of Shari’ah (Islamic law) without understanding the sciences of the religion, and use our heart too much when we express our love without following those rulings. Using too much intellect brings arrogance, and love without bounds of shariah creates innovations.
Arrogance invites wrath of Allah ta’ala, and every innovation is misguidance. In Surah al-Fatihah, the opening chapter, this is what Allah ta’ala has taught us to ask Him; ‘Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have shown your favors, not of those who have earned your wrath, and also not of those who have gone astray’.
To come to the middle way, to become the people who follow the ones who have been shown favors from Allah ta’ala, we need to trust our ulama and follow the rulings that they have understood from their predecessors, going back to one of the four Imams of fiqh, who have formalized it based on Qur’an and Sunnah. It’s not our job to reinvent the wheel of creation of rulings. Allah ta’ala says in the Quran:
فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. (16:43)
We develop the love of Allah ta’ala by sitting in the company of the mashaikh, the people of Shari’ah and Sunnah, as per Allah’s ta’ala order in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
O you who believe, fear Allah, and be with the truthful. (9:119)
This is our religion. We must learn to submit. Religion is all about submission. Submission to Allah ta’ala, submission to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and submission to our teachers of intellect and the teachers of the heart.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
O you who believe, obey Allah, and obey the messenger, and those of authority amongst you. (4:59)
People of authority in our worldly matters are the rulers, as far as they don’t enforce things against the order of Allah ta’ala, and the people of authority in our religious affairs are the u’lema and the masha’ikh.
Learning this submission takes an effort, and this effort is taught by the masha’ikh. So we must choose a shaykh/spiritual guide/mentor in our lives, a person of Shari’ah and Sunnah, and submit to him with complete trust, so that we can learn from him the submission to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Allah ta’ala to fulfill the order of our Lord:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً
‘O you who believe, Enter into Submission completely’ (2:208)
And success comes from Allah ta’ala alone.
Servant of Nur ul Ilm Academy