Monday, January 28, 2013

Ratib Jalaliyyah

Ratib Jalaliyyah is one of the most important compositions of Imamul 'Arus and one of themost eloquent Arabic works ever written.
This composition beautifully sings the Praise of Allah, melodiously chants the Greatness of His Beloved Last Prophet (Sal) and rhythmically recites the rigorous penance of the great Spiritual Masters, the Shaykhs, and their unending fame.
As far as we are aware, there are only six types of recitals that a muslim can perform.

1. Dhikr - the remembrance of Allah.
The Quran says "Wala dikhrullahi akbar", "The remembrance of Allah is the greatest"(29:45).
Allah is greater than everything and if we need all the benefits, we have to immerseourselves in Dhikr.
And in another place in the Quran, Allah says "Fadhkuruni Adhkurukum" - "Remember me, I will remember you".
The precondition for Allah's blessing, to give us peace and happiness, is that we have to remember him first. Only then will he remember us.

2. Recitation of the Holy Quran
The words of revelation and the words of Almighty Allah is the second kind of recital.
Mohammed Ibnu Hanabul (rali), one of the four imams of the Sunni school of thought, was supposed to have had dreams of Allah several times. In these dreams he asks Allah how to approach him, and Allah had said that he can be approached through his own words i.e. the Quran.
More the recital of the Quran, the more will it make a man closer to Allah.

3. Salawat on the Holy Prophet (sal)
As we have seen, about Dhikr, Allah says that you remember me first, then I will remember you.
But as far as Salawat is concerned Allah does not put any pre-conditions.
Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran (33:56)
Allah and His Angels;
Send blessings on the Prophet
O ye who believe !
Send ye blessings on him
And salute him With all respect
Contrary to the earlier mentioned ayat, here Allah (swt) says that he and his Angels are saying salawat on the Prophet(sal.), so believers you too do the same.
On this basis the Saints interpret that Salawat is better than dhikr, as we will be doing what Allah and his angels are doing.
There are also Hadiths which go to prove that Salawat is better then dikhr.
Omar-b-Kaab (rali) reported that he asked the Prophet (sal.)
"Ya Rasulullah (sal), I say excessive salawats on you. After all my compulsory prayers, how much should I devote on salawats.
The Prophet (sal) answered "As you wish". 

He asked "One fourth", the Prophet (sal) said " As you wish but if you increase, it is better for you".
He said "Half"? The Prophet (sal) said "As you wish but if you increase, it is better for you".
He said "Two third"? The Prophet (sal) said "As you wish but if you increase, it is better for you".
Finally Omar-b-Kaab said: "I will spend all my excessive time reciting salawats".
The Prophet (sal) said "In that case, you will be freed from cares and your sins will be forgiven".
From this hadith it also seems that salawat is stronger than dhikr.
Also salawat contains the word Allah.
"Allahu Salli Ala Sayyidhina Mohammadin........"
" Sallallahu ala Sayyidina Mohammadin......"
So salawat also contains dikhr inside it.

4. Praise of the Holy Prophet (sal)
In a number places in the Holy Quran, Allah (swt), praises the Holy Prophet (sal) and instructs us to Praise the Holy Prophet, than to give respect.
In 7:157, Allah (swt) says
...So it is those who believe
In him, honour him,
Help him, and follow the light
Which is sent down with him,
It is they who will prosper.
This clearly states that those who praise the Holy Prophet (sal) are those who will be successful. What is a better way to Honour somebody than to Praise him aloud.
Reciting Salawat is not Praise. Salawat is nothing but asking Allah to bless the Prophet (sal). It is only a prayer for the Holy Prophet (sal).
Praise can only be in the form of poetic or prose recitals explaining and speaking about thenoble qualities. These recitals are called Mawlids.
So this fourth category of recitals that a Muslim can perform is the Praise of the Holy Prophet (sal) in the form of Mawlid, a term which denotes any composition in the nature of panegyricon the Holy Prophet (sal).

5. Praise of the Saints
There have been people, Saints, of impeccable and infallible character. They had soakedthemselves in all the above four types of recitals.
They were always immersed in Dhikr, reciting the Quran, reciting Salawat and were praisingthe Holy Prophet (sal). So we praise these people too.
There are examples of this in the Quran. The Quran speaks about the qualities of many Saints like Khidr (alai), Dul KarnainMariam (alai), Lukmaan (alai) etc. All these people are not Prophets.
Ibrahim (alai), Moosa (alai), Yakub (alai), Yahya (alai), Zakariyya (alai) and most of the 25 Prophets whose names are mentioned in the Quran are being praised by Allah (swt).
Even Awliyas are being praised in the Quran.
We too follow the traditions of the Quran.

6. Dua (Prayers) for Ourselves
Allah (swt) goes to such an extent as to even teach us how to ask dua from him.
The Quran has so many instances of such duas. So it is important that we ask duas for ourselves. This is the last of the six recitals.

The beauty of the Ratib Jalaliyyah is that it contains all the above six types of recitals.
Ratib Jalaliyyah contains Dhikr, it contains ayats of the Holy Quran, most of it's part isSalawat, it contains the praise of the Holy Prophet (sal), it also contains the praise of Saints, actually the Spiritual Masters of the Arusiyattul Qadiriyyah Tariqah, and finally it hasDua, invocation for ourselves.
So Ratib Jalaliyyah is held in high esteem as it fulfils all the aspects of religious recitation.
There are two explanations regarding the title of this work. Some say that it has reference toJalaliyyat (Glory) - an Attribute of Allah. Others hold the view that it has been given the name in commemoration of the great Qutb, Bukhariyyul Jalaliyyi of Androth Island, in the Indian Ocean.
In a most melodious manner, this Ratib explains the secrets of the basis of spiritual life as well as the steps necessary to attain the same. In short, it is resplendent with Dhikrullah, Salawat and the Praise of the unfailing Shaykhs.
In the preface to this Ratib it is declared that lifeless recitation without concentration may increase only the incompetence of the person concerned, that he will never get enlightenedand that it is better such a dhikr is not performed.
According to 'Arifin, the benefit for a perfect and pious recital of this Ratib is 30 fold. That is, if one spends two hours in it, he will be given the benefit of having spent 60 hours.
Besides, this wonderful Ratib has the possibility of giving one, the experience of Nearness to the Holy Prophet (sal) and enlightenment of heart. This is true in accordance with the opinion of some Arwi scholars also who have had personal experiences of ecstasy in having recited this Ratib.

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