We continue with some very brief extracts from the commentary of Imam al-Habshi on the al-Wasiyyah by Imam al-Haddad. The detailed commentary of Imam al-Habshi contains many gems, thus it is a difficult task deciding what to translate and what to leave. However we hope the material presented will give a glimpse of the benefits contained within the lines of this poem and its accompanying commentary. Thanks are extended to Sidi Amin Buxton for his translation of the poem.
Al-Wasiyyah of Imam al-Haddad, Lines 1-3
1. My advice to you, o distinguished and respectful one,
If you wish to attain high stations
2. And if you wish to surpass others and reach the highest levels
With ease and attain your goal and desire..
3. Then have taqwa of Allah whose mercy is hoped for,
The One, the Unique, the Reliever of difficulties
Allamah Ahmad bin Zayn bin Alawi al-Habshi said:
Advising with taqwa is the matter which is most deserving of being mentioned first, as it is the advice of Allah, the Lord of the worlds to the early and later people. Likewise it is the means to all of the good in the world and on the day of judgement. It is the firm steadfast foundation of the believers and the great precious treasure of the truthful ones.
Manners (Adab) is of great importance to the Sufis, Allah (Most High) said, “O those who believe protect yourselves and your families from the hellfire” [al-Tahrim:6]. Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with both of them said, “Meaning teach them good manners and educate them”. In the hadith it is mentioned, “No father has gifted his son with a gift better than good manners”. [al-Tirmidhi 1952; al-Hakim 4/292].
One of them said: He who does not have good manners (adab) has no sacred law (shariah), nor faith (iman) nor tawhid.
Know that all of the religion is good manners, for every action there are good manners, for every spiritual state (hal) there are good manners, for every rank (maqam) there are good manners, for every moment there are good manners, such as the manners of wudu, prayer, fasting, zakat, Hajj, knowledge, recitation, dhikr, the manners of working and unemployment and the manners of wealth and poverty.
Taqwa: Our Shaykh the author said, “Taqwa refers to obedience to the commandments of Allah (Most High), avoiding his prohibitions both outwardly and inwardly along with a cognisance of the greatness of Allah (Most High) with awe, humility and fear. [Nasaih al-Diniyyah p.30]
Taqwa is the core principle of the people of the spiritual path upon which they have built their matter, and it is as one of them said, “Four: Establishing the obligatory acts, avoiding the unlawful, following the sunnah and adhering to good manners”.
Another of the Sufis said, “The core principles are three, First: That he makes the sacred law (shariah) the ruler upon his intellect and desires. Second: Viewing the self in utmost lowliness and despicability, such that he does not see that it deserves anything. These two are knowledge based principles. The Third is: Action based, which is action and struggling…”.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Have taqwa of Allah where ever you are, follow a bad action with a good action which will wipe it out. And deal with people with good manners.” [al-Tirmidhi 1987]