adaab at-tariq - a poem by abu madyan al ghawth

Discussion in 'Tasawwuf / Adab / Akhlaq' started by Ahmet Tayfur, Apr 15, 2017.

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  1. Ahmet Tayfur

    Ahmet Tayfur New Member


    Can you kindly provide a translation of the poem.

    JazakAllaahu Khayran
  2. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  3. Juwayni

    Juwayni Veteran

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    Sidi Abu Hasan, did you complete the rest of this commentary?

    جزاك الله خير
  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    Explanation is almost entirely a translation of Imam Ibn Atayillah's explanation 'Unwan at-Tawfiq'; except in a few places.

    wa in badā minka áybun fa-átadhir wa aqim
    wajha’átidhārika ámmā fīka minka jarā

    if you’ve made a mistake, then regret and arise
    to make amends for that which you did; and apologise.

    wa qul úbaydukumu awlā bi şafĥikumū
    fa sāmiĥū wa khudhū bi’r rifqi yā fuqarā

    and say: ‘your slaves are more deserving of your forgiveness,
    o ascetics! pardon and cease not your lenity and kindness’.

    hum bi’t tafađđuli awlā wa huwa shīmatuhum
    fa lā takhaf darakan minhum wa lā đararā

    they are gracious and that is a mark of their character
    fear not of reprisals or injury; no harm will you suffer.

    wa bi’t tafattī ála’l ikhwāni jud abadā
    ĥissan wa má-nan wa ghuđđa’t ţarfa in átharā

    be chivalrous and magnanimous to brothers, evermore -
    tangibly, perceptually; and if they stumble, look away, ignore.

    That is, let your disposition be one of humbleness, modesty and meekness; and one of being apologetic and seeking pardon, penitent. Regardless of whether you have committed a sin or not, you ought to seek repentance [istighfār]. And if a flaw or a fault becomes apparent, or you have committed a mistake, then accept it and admit it. And seek forgiveness for it because,
    at-tāyibu mina’dh dhanbi kaman lā dhanba lah[1]
    One who repents from his sin is like the one who has never committed sin.
    The issue is not about committing sins –everybody except Prophets and angels are vulnerable to sin – the important matter is that you should not persist in committing sins as it has been reported:
    anīn al-mudhnibīn índa Allāhi khayrun min zajal al-musabbiĥīn[2] [3]
    the whimpers and silent wails of sinners are better near Allāh than the loud chants of [many] who glorify him.
    that is, when such tasbih is accompanied by self-satisfaction and pride. It is therefore, that I [Ibn Áţāyillāh] have said in Al-Ĥikam [Aphorisms]:
    This sin that you have committed was ordained; and this could be a means for you to reach Him. For many a sin that causes one to be humble and meek is better than such good deeds that cause one to be proud and arrogant.
    And then, along with admitting your mistake and being repentant, now arise and apologize for that which you have done. This is humility; this is meekness and modesty. And then say: ‘Your slaves deserve your kindness and forgiveness’ because there is no other door for a slave to go – how beautiful has someone said:
    alqaytu fī bābikum ínāni
    wa lam ubāli bimā ánānī [4]
    fa zāla qabđī wa zāda basţī
    wa’nqalaba’l khawfu bi’l amānī

    I’ve flung myself and in a rein at your door
    I do not care, of what doth now upon me pour
    My grip is lost – so my hands outstretch
    Fear transformed to assurance in a haven secure.

    Therefore, O ascetics! [faqīr, fuqarā] Forgive us. And continue with your mercy, your lenience and treat us with kindness; because, I am a slave and deserving of your clemency and generosity. And I hope nothing but that for my path is that of nothing but humility; and therefore, peace.

    And then he said [Abū Madyan al-Ghawth] rađiyAllāhu ánhu: Verily, these folk [the ascetics, the fuqarā] are more worthy of such traits and magnanimity is in the very core of their character and therefore they do not hesitate in pardoning others or being gracious in their dealings with their companions [or others for that matter]. And why not! After all, they seek to emulate their Lord, as it has been said: ‘They adopt a character that follows the attributes of [generosity and forgiveness] Allāh’ / takhallaqū bi akhlāqillāh.[6]

    O wayfarer; traveler in this path [sālik] do not fear retribution or harm from these ascetics [fuqarā] because these are a different folk; a people in whose company none remains wretched or miserable [lā yashqā jalīsuhum]; and when you know of this, then be generous and gracious with these brothers and look away from their faults and flaws. You shall then inherit their lofty qualities, as the shaykh [Abū Madyan] rađiyAllāhu ánhu has said:
    wa bi’t tafattī ála’l ikhwāni jud abadā
    ĥissan wa má-nan wa ghuđđa’t ţarfa in átharā
    be chivalrous and magnanimous to brothers, evermore -
    tangibly, perceptually; and if they stumble, look away, ignore.
    That is, be generous and towards your brothers [in this path] and always be magnanimous and charitable towards them. As for being charitable ‘tangibly’, that is by being generous with your wealth and things you possess; and being charitable by ‘perception’, it is by expending your aspirations and state.[7] Do not be parsimonious with them in anything that is possible for you to give them [whether forgiveness or teaching or help]. Because magnanimity is the core value of this path and whosoever adopts it shall clear away all obstruction and do away with all handicap.

    Shaykh Ábd al-Qādir [al-Jīlānī] rađiyAllāhu ánhu said:
    My brothers! I did not reach the [high] states of closeness to Allāh by plenty of worship in the night, nor extensive fasting, nor spending inordinate amount of time in learning [religious knowledge] – but rather, I reached Allāh by charity, generosity, magnanimity, humility and a faultless, guileless heart [salamatu's sadr].
    This speech of the noble shaykh - may Allāh táālā be well pleased with him – proves that generosity/magnanimity is the foundation and humility aids the traveler in reaping the harvest; because when these two qualities are accomplished, this leads to a peaceful and guileless heart; which in turn removes all obstacles in the path and that is the meaning of the reported ĥadīth:
    Verily, in paradise are homes whose insides can be seen from the outside and the outside from inside; Allāh táālā has prepared these for them who are soft in their speech, and those who feed, those who fast plentiful and worship when everybody else is asleep. [li man alāna al-kalām wa aţám at-ţáām, wa tābiý as-şiyām wa şallā bi’l layli wa’n nāsu niyām] [8]
    Then ponder on this ĥadīth, my brother! Because RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam started with ‘being soft in speech’ which is an indication to be humble; and then ‘to feed’ which is a metaphor for being kind and generous; and then he spoke of prayer and fasting as indicated by Shaykh Ábd al-Qadir rađiyAllāhu ánhu as mentioned above.

    Dear brother! Rise to fulfil these characterstics and hasten towards achieving a beautiful and noble character; Ignore the failings and flaws of other brothers if you happen to witness them; and do not speak of them, except of their goodness as the Shaykh rađiyAllāhu ánhu has said in his Ĥikam al-Futūĥiyyah:
    It is the perfection of one’s faith and tawĥīd, when one recognizes the goodness in others readily and is oblivious of the flaws and evil.
    As it has been said:
    idhā mā ra-ayta Allāha fi’l kulli fāýila(n)
    ra-ayta jamīý al-kāyināti milāĥa(n)

    When you recognize that the real power behind everything is Allāh,
    Then you shall see that the entire universe is beautiful.

    1. from the marfūú ĥadīth of Ibn Masúūd, Ibn Mājah 4250; At-Ţabarānī, 10281; all the narrators in this chain are trustworthy except that one of them, Abū Úbaydah did not hear his father and hence cannot narrate from him.

    2. zajal (from Tāj al-Árūs) means a high and loud voice; like they say: the angels glorify the Lord in a loud voice (tasbīĥ).

    3. Bayhaqi in his Shuáb al-Īmān 7251 in these words: Allāh táālā commanded Dāwūd álayhi’s salām: ‘the low wails of sinners are more beloved to me than the loud cries of sīddīqs’. Munāwī mentioned this in Fayđ al-Qadīr 5:331 without attributing it to anybody.

    4. ánān means clouds, downpour; ínān means rein. same spelling, different pronunciation.

    5. this line is a classic and is best relished in its original; but i will attempt an explanation:
    qabđ means to hold in a fist, to grip; and figuratively that which is in one’s power;
    basţ means to stretch and physically when one loosens his grip, or opens his fist, they stretch their palm; figuratively to outstretch means to be free, independent; to have a free hand, unbridled. In other words: ‘when I let go of that which was in my grip (and became your slave) I have now a free hand and power over much more than what was in my hand.’ A beautiful urdu couplet comes to mind:
    jab tak bikey na they koyi puuch’ta na tha
    tum ne kharīd kar hameN unmol kardiya

    as long as we were not sold, nobody cared for us;
    you bought us; and this has made us invaluable.

    6. Sharīf Al-Jurjāni in his At-Tárīfāt [#1099], attributed the saying to RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam.

    7. ammā fi’l ĥiss: fa bi badhli’l amwāl;
    wa ammā fi’l mánā: fa bi şarfi himmati’l aĥwāl

    8. Ábdullāh ibn Aĥmed (ibn Ĥanbal) in his addition to his father’s musnad [Zawāyid al-Musnad, 1:156]; Tirmidhi 1985; Abū 1985; Abū Yáalā 438 reporting the Ĥadīth of Sayyidunā Álī ibn Abū Ţālib rađiyAllāhu ánhu and Tirmidhi said: ‘This is a lone-narrator report [gharīb]’.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
    Ibn.ali and N-Sunni like this.
  5. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  6. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  7. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    Bismillāhi’r Raĥmāni’r Raĥīm

    1. mā ladh’dhatu’l áyshi illā şuĥbatu’l fuqarā
    2. humu’s salāţīnu wa’s sādātu wa’l umarā

    3. fa’ş-ĥabhum wa ta-addab fī majālisihim
    4. wa khalli ĥažžaka mahmā qaddamūka warā

    5. wa’staghnimi’l waqta wa’ĥđur dāyiman má-ahum
    6. wa’álam bi anna’r riđā yakhtaşşu man ĥađarā

    7. wa lāzimi’ş şamta illā in su-ilta fa qul
    8. lā ílma índī wa kun bi’l jahli mustatirā

    9. wa lā tara’l áyba illā fīka mútaqidā
    10. áyban badā bayyinan lākinnahu’statarā

    11. wa ĥutta ra’asaka wa’staghfir bilā sababi
    12. wa qif álā qadami’l inşāfi mútadhirā

    13. wa in badā minka áybun fa-átadhir wa aqim
    14. wajha’átidhārika ámmā fīka minka jarā

    15. wa qul úbaydukumu awlā bi şafĥikumū
    16. fa sāmiĥū wa khudhū bi’r rifqi yā fuqarā

    17. hum bi’t tafađđuli awlā wa huwa shīmatuhum
    18. fa lā takhaf darakan minhum wa lā đararā

    19. wa bi’t tafattī ála’l ikhwāni jud abadā
    20. ĥissan wa má-nan wa ghuđđa’t ţarfa in átharā

    21. wa rāqibi’sh shaykha fī aĥwālihi fa-ásā
    22. yarā álayka mini’stiĥsānihi atharā

    23. wa qaddimi’l jidda wa’nĥađ índa khidmatihī
    24. ásāhu yarđā wa ĥādhir an takun đajirā

    25. fa fī riđāhu riđa’l bārīy wa ţā-ātihi
    26. yarđā álayka fa kun min tarkihā ĥadhirā

    27. wa-álam bi anna ţarīqa’l qawmi dārisatun
    28. wa ĥālu man yaddaýīhā al-yawma kayfa tarā

    29. matā arāhum wa annā lī bi ru-yatihim
    30. aw tasma-ú al-udhnu minnī ánhumu khabarā

    31. man lī wa annā li mithlī an yuzāĥimahum
    32. álā mawaridi lam ulfi bihā kadarā

    33. uĥibbuhum wa udārīhim wa ūthiruhum
    34. bi muhjatī wa khuşūşan minhumū nafarā

    35. qawmun kirāmu’s sajāyā ĥaythumā jalasū
    36. yabqa’l makānu álā āthārihim áţirā

    37. yahdi’t taşawwufu min akhlāqihim ţuruqā
    38. ĥusnu’t ta-allufi minhum rāqanī nažarā

    39. hum ahlu wuddī wa aĥbābiya’l ladhīna humū
    40. mimman yajurru dhuyula’l ízzi muftakhirā

    41. lā zāla shamlī bihim fi’llāhi mujtamiáā
    42. wa dhanbunā fīhi maghfūran wa mughtafirā

    43. thumma’s şalātu ála’l mukhtāri sayyidinā
    44. muĥammadin khayri man awfā wa man nadharā

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    Last edited: May 15, 2008

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