On the first morning of the Dowra (1st Sha`ban 1432/2nd July 2011) the students assembled in Musalla Ahl al-Kisa’ in Dar al-Mustafa before Fajr to read the adhkar. Habib `Umar bin Hafiz then led the Fajr prayer and the students came to shake his hand and each other’s hands while reading the adhkar.
He then spoke. He mentioned the actions that had just been performed – coming together to remember Allah before Fajr, hoping to be among those that Allah mentions: those that call upon their Lord in hope and fear and those who seek forgiveness in the last portion of the night; praying Fajr in congregation; reading the adhkar after that. He said that we perform these actions firstly for our own benefit, attempting to give to Allah what is due to Him, attempting to purify our hearts and illuminate them, attempting to make firm in our hearts praiseworthy qualities. We do so in a state of humility, pleading with Allah that he blesses us with sincerity. Beyond that, however, we should be aware that we are representatives of our families, our friends, the people of the cities from which we have come and of our Muslim brothers wherever they are in the World. This is according to the extent of our intention and our relationship with Allah. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught us that if one Muslim gives refuge to a non-Muslim, it is as if every Muslim has given him refuge. Thus the action of one Muslim is inextricably linked to the actions of all Muslims. So if one Muslim makes du`a or turns himself to Allah this has an effect on every Muslim.
It has been narrated in a hadith qudsi that Allah says: “I consider sending My punishment down upon a town but when I see the inhabitants of My houses (mosques), those that love each other for My sake and those that seek My forgiveness in the last portion of the night I direct My punishment away from them.” It has also been narrated that if someone weeps out of fear of Allah, Allah will show mercy to his people through him. Thus through the fear and humility of a few individuals Allah shows mercy to the whole Ummah.
We have just shaken each others’ hands after Fajr. In doing so you can see yourself as an individual shaking the hand of another individual, a member of the Ummah of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). In doing this one hundred portions of mercy will be divided between you and your sins will be forgiven before you let go of each other’s hands along with other benefits. However, if you are aware of being a representative of the whole Ummah, that handshake will have an effect on the whole Ummah. The Ummah is in dire need of those that ask Allah to show it mercy and this handshake will cause mercy to descend and remove the rancour that the Muslims hold in their hearts for each other. It will be as if in this one handshake every member of the Ummah shakes the hand of every other member.
In the lessons that you will be taking we look first of all to ourselves. This knowledge which you will receive should firstly benefit you. This knowledge is pure light and it is expressed in the form of fearful awareness of Allah. In fact any knowledge which can be called beneficial according to the criteria of the Qur’an and the Sunnah must be accompanied by fearful awareness of Allah: the only ones who truly fear Allah from amongst His slaves are the possessors of knowledge. Beyond that if you should realise that you are receiving this knowledge and acting upon it to benefit your family and community and country and the whole Ummah.
In all that we do we are following in the footsteps of our guide the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). We are planting seeds and laying bricks which will contribute to the strengthening the ties of love and brotherhood in the Ummah. We hope to attain the reality of the following verse:
The Believers, men and women, are protecting friends, one of another: they enjoin what is good, and forbid what is evil: they establish the prayer, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.
May Allah give us a great portion of His mercy. May He bless us in our days and nights and give us the ability to truly seek Him. Help us to abase ourselves to Him so that He sends upon us the rain clouds of His bounty.