The Sublime Treasures: Answers to Sufi questions-Imam Haddad
[1887752080 Mostafa Al Badawi, PB, 196pp, 0b6, Fons Vitae]

The Sublime Treasures: Answers to Sufi questions-Imam Haddad

The Sublime Treasures: Answers to Sufi questions
Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad
Translated by Mostafa Al Badawi
Paperback 196 Pages; ISBN: 1887752080;
Published By Fons Vitae

Fons Vitae  Imam al-Haddad Spiritual Masters series

A Book on the order (tariqa) of the Ba'Alawi sayids. As the newest part of the Imam Al-Haddad Spiritual Masters Series- The Sublime Treasures is an important work in the field of Islamic spirituality.

This volume contains Imam Al-Haddad's answers to letters he received posing questions on easily confusing and subtle Sufi matters, presented in Imam Haddad's inimitable style of succinct clarity. Included are questions pertaining exclusively to Sufism, such as those concerning the Pole of Time and the Circle of Saints, the Afrad- who are the solitary saints said by some to be outside the jurisdiction of the Pole and in direct contact with al-Khidr, the definition of the siddiq, that of the majdhub, the states of extinction and subsistence, various technical points concerning the relationship between the master and the novice, Sufi courtesy with God and His saints, the worlds of Mulk, Malakut, Jabarut, and Lahut, which are the degrees of universal existence, and how to deal with obscure passages in the works of such esoteric writers as Ibn Arabi. There are also questions of a more general tenor, such as those concerning the degrees of the Garden and its gates, the merits of recitation of the Qur'an over awrad, the respective merits and courtesies of poverty and wealth, and of fame and obscurity, the offering of the rewards of certain acts of worship to the spirits of the dead, sins committed in Ramadan when devils are shackled, and the causes of the civil wars that Ali ibn Abi-Talib was forced to wage.

It will be noticed how the Imam curtly sweeps aside anything that has no direct bearing on the traveler's path. Questions devoid of practical value are pitilessly dismissed in a summary manner and the reader is firmly reoriented to what is of immediate benefit to him. Sufi masters have always been most reluctant to discourse openly about Divine secrets, knowing that such discourse causes much confusion and frequently leads novices into believing or pretending they have reached that which they have not. The Imam, however, allowed himself more freedom in letters addressed to his scholarly disciples- extracts of which constitute this volume- than in books.

The Sublime Treasures - Table of Contents:

         Translator's Introduction   xii

     1.   The thoughts that occur to one who has reached God the Exalted.     2

     2.   The sins of the gnostics.   5

     3.   Ranks of the men of God.    7

     4.   Mixing with sinful persons. 11

     5.   Being slow to acts of goodness, while fondof goodness and good people.  12

     6.   To conceal or reveal one’s activities.    14

     7.   Which of the Qur’an, tasbı, or tahlıl is better for a wird? 15

     8.   To prolong each ritual prayer or shorten it to increase the number of prayers? 15

     9.   On thoughts that occur at night. 16

     10.  The farthest people from God the Exalted are those who refer to Him most frequently.    20

     11.  The soul’s address to the heart. 20

     12.  Should the shaykh be loved for himself, his qualities, or the comfort that he provides?   21

     13.  The prayer of the Prophet (may God’s blessings and peace be upon him) for Ibn ‘Abb�s.    21

     14.  Those who are too occupied with the remembrance of God to petition Him. 22

     15.  A shaykh should know the principles of religion and their applications. 23

     16.  The circles of the saints.  24

     17.  Denying the karamat of the saints.    24

     18.  The angels’ interrogation of people in their graves.    25

     19.  On the gardens of Paradise and the fire.  25

     20.  On preferring others to oneself. 27

     21.  The times for the morning and evening invocations.  29

     22.  Rubbing one’s body after recitation.  29

     23.  The meaning of ‘traveling’ to God the Exalted. 29

     24.  Discretion as regards spiritual states and stations.    30

     25.  Standing before God.    30

     26.  The disciple’s blameworthy desire for karamat. 31

     27.  Are the angels superior to the Prophets?  31

     28.  Non-Arabic words in invocations and prayers.   32

     29.  “God does what He wills, whether of possible or impossible things.” 33

     30.  Sitting with those before whom one is shy. 34

     31.  Does ostentation cancel a deed’s reward?  35

     32.  Acting for the sake of other-worldly rewards.  35

     33.  Remembrance: silent or aloud?    37

     34.  A valley in hell for hypocrite scholars.  38

     35.  On experiences of remembrance.   39

     36.  Invocations of the tongue then of the heart.   39

     37.  A state of absence–that occurs to the invokers.     40

     38.  Sicknesses of the heart of no known cause. 40

     39.  Good works bearing fruits in this world.  41

     40.  Comparison between two persons in their expectation of death.     41

     41.  The beginning of the quest (ir�da).   42

     42.  Heat that invokers experience inwardly.   42

     43.  The benefits consequent upon saying l� il�ha illa’ll�h. 43

     44.  On isolation (‘uzla).   44

     45.  “A man is with whom he loves.”   45

     46.  Conditions in which God establishes His servants.   46

     47.  States of the soul during remembrance.    47

     48.  ‘Spontaneity.’     48

     49.  Relative merits of poverty and wealth.    49

     50.  Prolongation of lifespans.  51

     51.  “The soul falls back on its habits when hardships come...”   52

     52.  Acting according to the noble stations.   53

     53.  Fearing ostentation.    54

     54.  ‘Knowledge’, ‘eye’ and ‘truth of certainty.’   54

     55.  Reflecting on the stations. 55

     56.  “Listening, then understanding, then arriving, then tasting.”     55

     57.  The shaykh refining the disciple.     56

     58.  The meaning of “erasure.”   57

     59.  More on “A man is with whom he loves.”    59

     60.  On falling back.   60

     61.  The rules of isolation and retreat.   61

     62.  Experiences and unveilings of the gnostics.    63

     63.  On the disciple’s closeness to the master. 63

     64.  Verses by Shaykh Abü ‘Alı Al-Rüdhb�rı.    65

     65.  Thoughts that alarm.    67

     66.  Remaining seated in one’s place after the dawn prayer.  68

     67.  The difference between powerlessness and weakness.  69

     68.  Comparison between two shaykhs.  70

     69.  “Who is the disciple? Who is the Sufi andwhat is Sufism? And what does a man do to become a Sufi?” 71

     70.  Sulük, mun�zal�t, and i߆il�m.   72

     71.  Invoking blessings on the Messenger of God after adh�n. 72

     72.  On backbiting.     77

     73. Do the believers among jinn share in gnosis and the vision of God?     78

     74.  Can a man with no progeny pray for his dhurriyya?   78

     75.  On people sprouting before the resurrection.   79

     76.  How a man can enter the Garden from all eight gates.    80

     77.  ˘adiths concerning the resurrection of arrogant people in the form of small specks of dust.    80

     78.  Ghaz�lı’s saying “Not everyone has a heart.”   81

     79.  The Prophet answers Muslims who salute him.    82

     80.  Forms of the people of the Garden and those of the Fire. 82

     81.  To have more than one shaykh.    83

     82.  On audition.  84

     83.  The first step on the path of God.    84

     84.  Should the disciple commit himself entirely to the master?   84

     85.  Differences between the visible and invisible realms.   84

     86.  On following an example.    85

     87.  Attachment to created beings.    87

     88.  Loving the virtuous.    88

     89.  Reacting to praise and criticism.     89

     90.  “He who knows himself knows his Lord.”    90

     91.  “Audition” for those who have crossed the states and stations.     92

     92.  The acts of created beings. 92

     93.  About those Muslims who fought ‘Alı.  93

     94.  Gatherings held in mosques where love poetry is sung.   96

     95.  On forgetting and being forgotten.    98

     96.  The ram that the people of al-Ghıl call Mus�yir.    100

     97.  On courtesy.  101

     98.  One’s intention when one salutes the virtuous. 102

     99.  Specific questions concerning the Sunna.  102

     100. About invocations before sleep   102

     101. Whether the musabba‘�t could be requited later if missed.    103

     102. Attending gatherings where music is played.    103

     103. Feeling more inclination for the sciences of the outward than for those of the inward.    103

     104. A specific question on adab. 104

     105. On reciting the wird while walking.   104

     106. The regular recitation of the litanies of Shaykh Abul ˘asan al-Sh�dhilı. 104

     107. On certain verses of poetry. 105

     108. On the eternity of hell.    107

     109. Those who were never reached by the summons [to Islam] but who nevertheless behaved in certain

matters according to the religious Law.   109

     110. On increasing in rank through one’s master.    110

     111. Teaching children and others.    111

     112-118. The definition of sincerity, the sincere, total truthfulness and the ßiddıq.    112-118

     119. ˘aqıqa and sharı‘a.    121

     120. On the saying of a shaykh “I have given you authorization for sciences that neither

Messenger, Prophet nor near angel know about…” 122

     121. Questions on certainty and other matters. 123

     122. On different lengths of awrad.   126

     123. Donating the reward for one’s actions to the dead.  127

     124. On the saying “May God increase our reward for the affliction of prolonged distraction.” 128

     125. The faith of the follower.  130

     126. Which is better, knowledge or love?   131

     127. When one’s parents urge upon one the pursuit of worldly means.     132

     128. What if a walı does something that damages his integrity?    133

     129. On the conditions for investiture.    135

     130. Can a man who fears ostentation teach religious sciences?    136

     131. The bodies of the people of the Garden and their speech. 137

     132. The children of Muslims and of idolators. 138

     133. A verse from Ibn al-F�ri∂.  139

     134. People who are wronged and avenge themselves and others who do not. 140

     135. On extinction.     142

     136. The levels of the garden.   144

     137. On a statement by Ibn al-‘Arabı. 145

     138. “Abandon all the world and you will find all the world.” 146

     139. Works to be done by day and works to be done by night.  147

     140. The community at the Resurrection.    147

     141. On reciting Sürat Al-Ikhl�s. 148

     142. On divestment.     148

     143. Should the gnostic reprove the act of a created being?  149

     144. The perfection of gnosis.   150

     145. When dreaming of the saints stops.    151

     146. The science of signs.   152

     147. Seeking beneficial sciences. 153

     148. The sign of an unanswered prayer.     153

     149. The ‘resting pause.’    154

     150. Dedicating one’s reward for a monetary charity to the dead.  155

     151. On the term “light” as used by the Sufis. 156

     152. “The seventy and the eight” of Abul-˘asan al-Sh�dhilı. 157

     153. Reciting the litanies of Shaykh Abul-˘asan al-Sh�dhilı. 158

     154. On circles of dhikr and other matters.    158

     155. On a saying of the Prophet. 160

     156. Each verse of the Qur’�n has an outward, an inward, a limit and a rising place. 160

     157. The maghrib prayer during Ramad�n.    161

     158. The prayer for rain.    162

     159. On committing sins during Ramad�n.    163

     160. On the Garden.     163

     161. On the ˛adith “Were I and the Son of Mary to be judged for what these two have committed…”  164

     162. On the ˛adith “The one who stands up [in prayer] with ten verses will not be recorded

among the distracted…” 165

     163. On certain virtuous servantsof God.   166

         Glossary 168

         Notes    187


About Imam Haddad

 Imam Abdallah Ibn-Alawi Al-Haddad lived in Tarim in the Hadramant Valley between Yemen and Oman, and is widely held to have been the 'renewer' of twelfth  Islamic century. He was a noted authority on the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence, and a writer on devotional matters, both in poetry.
His sanctity and direct experience of God are clearly reflected in his writings, which include several books, a collection of Sufi letters, and a volume of mystical poetry.
He spent most of his life in Kenya and Saudi Arabia where he taught Islamic jurisprudence and classical Sufism according to the order (tariqa) of the Ba'Alawi sayids and he died in 1132 A.H. having spent his life bringing people to their Lord through his oral and written teaching, and his exemplary life. He was buried in a simple grave in the cemetary at Tarim.


The translator  Mostafa Al Badawi
 Mostafa Al Badawi  one of the world's premier translators of Islamic spiritual texts. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist and member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He studied under many shaykhs, foremost among whom is the late Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad. His other translations include: Book of Assistance, The Lives of Man, Two Treatises, The Prophetic Invocations, and Degrees of the Soul. He is also the author of Man and the Universe: An Islamic Perspective, recently published. He resides in Madinah


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The learned men of the first community and those who followed in their footsteps - the people of virtue, the narrators of the Ahadith, the jurists and analysts- they must only be spoken about in the best way and anyone who says anything bad about them is not on the right path

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