Muslim Views . June 2017
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Sayyid Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah sanctify his secret, indicated it most beautifully when he said that the word Ramadaan consists of five symbolic letters: ra, mim, dal, alif and nun. The ra stands for ‘ridaa’ (satisfaction) of Allah upon the servant. If the servant wishes to know if Allah is satisfied with him then he should ask himself if he is content with Allah’s Will. The mim stands for the mahbaa or love of Allah, and love demands that we leave off or abstain from certain things so as to make room for it. The dal stands for the damaan (guarantee) of Allah in
that He, Most Gracious, promises us paradise for abstaining during this month. The alif stands for ulfah (intimacy) since we are in a way imitating the One who is not in need of food and drink (Al-Samad) and we become the samadiyyah of Allah, those who imitate their Lord to the best of their ability, thereby experiencing an intimacy with their Creator that is seldom experienced in any other month. The nun stands for the nur (light) of Allah, which in this month penetrates the hearts of the believers to such a degree that words cannot do justice to the feeling one experiences during this month; it is an infusion of light that expands the breast, to say the
least. The greatness of Ramadaan and Eid-ul-Fitr lies in the opportunity they offer us in developing taqwa by planting the seeds needed during Ramadaan, and thereafter striving to nurture them so as to maintain a heightened sense of awareness of the spiritual, starting on the day of al-Fitr. Taqwa is a virtue that allows us to truly participate in the great cosmic celebration in honour of the revelation of the Quran as guidance (hudaa) to all people. It is a virtue furthermore, that allows us to magnify Allah, Most High, as He ought to be magnified, namely, with complete awareness of our earthly duties and spiritual vocation; and, there-
fore, to be of those who are truly thankful to Allah. It is a virtue too, which is ultimately celebrated in the Quran itself for Allah says: ‘The best of you are those who have learnt taqwa.’ (49:13) Shaikh Allie Khalfe spent a decade learning various traditional texts from Shaikh Seraj and Shaikh Ahmad Hendricks, the current shaikhs of the Azawia Institute, in Walmer Estate, Cape Town. He is the first of their students to have received a full ijaza or licence to transmit various branches of knowledge, including Fiqh, Theology and Tasawwuf from them. He spent two years at the grand Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo,
sitting at the feet of some of the foremost scholars alive today, including Shaikh Sa’id Mamduh, Shaikh Ali Jumua, Shaikh Fat-hi Abd al-Rahman al-Hijazi, Shaikh Hasan Al-Shafi’i and Shaikh Hisham Kamil, all of whom he read traditional texts to and received from them licence to teach those texts. He holds a unique chain of transmission in Arabic grammar which goes all the way up to the author of the classic Al-Ajurumiyyah, Ibn Ajurrum. He is the founder of the Islamic Text Institute, in Surrey Estate, where he lectures every day of the week and at the same time lectures Theology at Ipsa. He is currently reading towards his Masters in Theology at Unisa.