Nur Az Zamaan: Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye (RA)

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  1. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    The Shehu refuted another faction which had become prevalent in these lands that had made false claims and pretended to have unveiling of hidden knowledge, even though they had not even withdrawn themselves out of the grip of Satan and their own curropt passions. Many of these false claimants knew nothing of what was incumbent upon them from the individual obligations, furud al-`ayaan. Out of their ignorance they happened upon some of the books of the science of spiritual purification, tasawwuf. they then shriveled their huge nafs into the attire of dignity and asceticism as a means of conjuring the rubble of the world's life. Out of jealousy they would fight those who resembled them from among the true and false sufis. Some of them knew nothing of the path of tasawwuf but only pretended to in order to prevail upon this world and to pilfer its vanities. For how many are there who pretend that they have attained good while there is no good in them, only insanity, dementia, satanic worshipping, or bewilderment? However, the desolate, deceived and ignorant, fall prey to them.

    This is the time about which we were warned. In the words of Ka'b and in the words of Ibn Mas'ud:
    "When this persists and no one speaks to rebuke. When no one will cry for the dead nor be happy about a newborn. In this age the truth has been rejected all together, while injustice and immorailty in these times are not rejected."

    Rather, it is an age where mankind wished not to remain because it has become like the saying of the Prophet :sas: , " There is no time coming except that the time after it will be more evil than it."

    The fourth division concerned destroying satanic innnovation and refuting abominable customs. The fifth division concerned disseminating the sciences of the Shari'ah, defining the problematic issues in them, bringing advantage by clarifying obscure issues, and precisely specifying the peculiar issues in the areas of the scienes. The division is the main topic that the Shehu used to discuss with the people. The majority of his beneficial books and brilliant publications concerned this division. In his lectures, he persisted in culminating the problematic issues from the religion from the minds of the students, to the delight of those who desired this. He rectified those problematic issues and created a clear description of the uncertainties and extremities which pervaded this age. Al-Abasani said, "Our shaykh, Abu Abdullahi, use to say in his lectures, 'If in the lectures of learning one does not get a clear picture of uncertainties of knowledge, then there is no benefit in sitting in his lectures.' He also said in verse:

    ' If in the lectures of a person one does not receive even a small point
    Of stipulating a clear picture of the problematic issues in religion
    Then avoid his circle and look to your own soul and make stenuous effort
    Never neglect it for in neglecting the
    development of the soul is the ugliest of traits.'"
  2. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran


    The third division concerned discrediting the delusions of the mere amateurs in knowledge, at-tulaba, whose ignorance had deluded them. The Shehu found in these lands many factions. Among them was the faction about whom al-Hassan al-Yusi spoke. They were a faction who studied the ideas from the instigation of some Imams regarding the speculative arguments in the science of tawhid. They rebuked people of being ignorant of this and they also castigated people for having affiliation, taqlid, with the scholars in that. They went around questioning people about their beliefs, 'aqeeda. They held them responsible for giving the correct answers and then endeavored to explain the correct answers. Sometimes the people being questioned stumbled in their inability to express what was in their hearts. Sometimes their tongues were befuddled from the perplexity of the expressions of tawhid. Sometimes they were ignorant of some of what is objectionable in the realm of beliefs, al-'aqeeda. In any case, these amateurs in knowledge often regarded those they questioned as infringing the boudaries of tawhid. And when they were not blaming them, the amateurs were spreading the idea that the common people were ignorant and disbelievers. They then spread the idea that curroption had occurred in the beliefs of the people, `aqaa'id an-naas. They set out to teach the doctrine of beliefs to the common people, utilizing the language and technical terminology established and created by their faction, based upon the perimeters established in the books of the theologians, al-mutakallimun. They also spread the idea among the people that whoever is not preoccupied with the science of tawhid, in accordance witht he manner in which they teach it, is a disbeliever. They also spread the idea that one should not eat the sacrificed meats of the common Muslim nor should they marry them, out of fear that they will be among those who do not know the science of tawhid. They do not stop there; rather, after having brought shame upon the common Muslims Allah afflicted them with trying to bring shame upon the elite among the scholars of the Muslims, as well. Their false condemnations include the jurists of their times and the people of knowledge and religion. Those whom they condemned were among the rightly guided scholars. However, they accused them of being in error, Dalaal, even though they may not have claimed that the common people are in error. The tribulations of this faction ignited and started a fire, which caused the smoke of their ignorance to accumulate until it had almost engulfed the entire region of the bilad 's-sudan .
    Then, the Shehu set out against them and Allah extinguished the fires of their tribulation by means of him. By means of the illumination of the Shehu, Allah exposed the darkness of their smoke. The Shehu showes the falsity of their school of thought and uprooted the tree of their errors from the earth until their ideology became obscured. He produced many treaties refuting them, which amounted to more than fifty works. There occurred many conflicts between him and the faction where it was witnessed that he successfully refuted them in the best manner. He was able to unveil the path fo truth and reality. And all praises are due to Allah for that.
    Likewise, he refuted another faction from among the amateurs in knowledge who happened upon certain books of jurisprudence, the comprehensibility of which they had not been guided to. As a result of their ignorance, they set about passing legal decisions, fatawa, based upon isolated and less acceptable opinions of the scholars. Some of them came upon books whose authors were bizarre and unusual. They would then pass legal decisions based upon what they read in these books. Some of them would take legal rulings from the books of the most loasthsome nature.
  3. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    Sultan Muhammad Bello said, " Realize that I often saw that whenever he desired to come out to teach the people, he would stop in a corner of his home for a short time, say some words and then come out to the people. I once asked about that and he said, 'I take the time to renew my intention and make a pledge to Allah that I would be sincere in the reason that I have come out to them. I then ask Allah to make those present understand whatever I speak about.' It is for this reason that I, too, make sure to renew my intention in my lectures and always call to mind this pledge he took with Allah."

    Whenever the Shehu would arrive at the lectures, he would greet the people with a comprehensive greeting that would be heard by everyone present. Then, when he sat upon his stool, he would salute them three times with a smile, happy demeanor, and excellent character. The people would then become silent. He would never become annoyed, or show revulsion or disdain towards those in his lectures, even though he was harried by many of the common people who possessed the most evil traits. They were the kind of people who when asked to be silent, would continue speaking, and if they were prevented from asking questions, would not cease asking. Then the Shehu would raise his cvoice, not directing his words to any particular person. He was not hesitant to speak to any of the people present in his lectures, although many of the prominent shaykhs and envious scholars were present. Rather, the Shehu would speak to the entire assembly with words that were of benefit to everyone, without exception. Sometimes people would ask questions while he was in the middle of speaking. He would then stop teaching in order to answer their questions. The Shehu was steadfast in the religion and did not fear the criticism of the criticizer concerning Allah. He would judge with justice and equity, even if it would be against his nearest of kin. He never was overcome with the angry rage of ignorance. Rather, he never swerved from the Truth in guiding people. This is a small glimpse of his noble virtues and brilliant character.

    Realize that the essence of what the Shehu taught the people can be divided into five divisions. The first division concerned what the Shari'ah has obligated, which are the foundations, al-usuul, and the branches of the outward and inward, al-faruu ad-dhaahir wa al-baatin. The second division concerned urging people to adhere to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah :sas:
  4. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran


    In spite of this, Shehu Uthman made allowance for their detestable character and was tolerant towards their evils. He turned away from their ignorance and was silent against the harmful words they hurled at him. He stood firm with what he was reinforced from giving sound advice, guidance, and inviting people to the door of Allah. This shaykh encountered from the scholars of these times evil and antipathy which only Allah could know or enumerate. Allah :aj: assisted him and aided him with a cadre from among the rightly guided scholars. They accepted him and assisted him.
    Realize that the Shehu was nurtured ethically and religiously and possessed majestic pleasing states that were unparalleled. Leadership ended with him, and camels were driven to him from the east and the west. He was the standard of the scholars and upholder of the banner of religion. He revived the Sunnah and brought about the demise of heretical innovation. He dispensed sciences and removed obscurities. Intellects were dazzled by his knowledge and he joined together the divine realities, haqiqa, and the Shari'a. He made commentary upon the Qur'an brilliantly in the presence of the notables of the scholars and the righteous. He was learned in the recitation of the Qur'an and acquainted with its many sciences and laws. He knew the sciences of the aborgated verses and the aborgating verses, and was an imam in the science of Prophetic traditions. His jurisprudence was astounding, along with his knowledge of the science of men of narration, `ilm'r-rijaal. He was unparalleled in sciences of the foundation of religion, usul'd-deen. He defended the Sunnah and warded off anonymities. He stood firm with the Truth and possessed sound perceptiveness, being attentive to teaching those sciences that were perplexing. He was an imam in the transmitted intellectual sciences.

    The Shehu was diligent in his worship and was ascetic in this world. He initiated learning and disseminated knowledge, filling the regions of the west with gnosis and disciples. The people of his time ended their ignorance through his teachings. He carried the banner of scholarship and was the axis of council and legal decisions of his time. He was illustrious with the elite as well as the common people. He was the mujaddid (reviver) at the head of his century of ours who combined within his noble character eloquent oration and fluent poetry. He was a person of superior and excellent character. His companionship with others was superb and his rapport with them was unselfish. His spiritual realization was intense based upon the nobility and dignity of his character. By means of his protected friendship with Allah and the station of qutbaniyya, he was unsurpassed by the people of his times. He demonstrated much modesty with people and was unlimited in his compassion and sympathy for others. He was completely humble, seeing himself less significant than grass. He stopped with the limits of the Shari'ah and authored unlimited scholarly publications. He encountered so much love and respect from people that he was more beloved to the hearts of people than their own selves. He always faced the throng with a joyous face, exquisite character, and a happy demeanor. He showed forbearance and mercy towards the believers; as a result, the acceptance of people was established for him. There was unanimous agreement among men and jinn concerning the magnificence of his station. In short, descriptions fall short of his true merit. He was the shaykh of the all the scholars of his time, or rather, he was the spiritual pole of the imams in all times. These descriptions of the Shehu are not in need of enumerating. Does the light of he sun need any proof?

    The Shehu was the pole of the time in spiritual states and teachings. He gave victory to the religion by his teachings and elucidations. He revived the Sunnah by means of his actions. He was constant in his guidance and supervision of mankind. He was the proof of Allah to the world, and took a firm grasp of the Book and the Sunnah. He was the master of his time, the imam of his age, and one of the remarkable wonders of his period. He possessed the two lights of knowledge and action. He possessed manifest miracles, splendid spiritual stations, luminous secrets, brilliant insight, exceptional spiritual states, dazzling spiritual ranks, reverent perceptiveness, illuminated indications, spiritual diffusions, and unseen secrets.

    The Shehu possessed the highest ascent in the realm of intuitive knowledge, al-ma`arif, and the most brilliant methodology in the realm of spiritual realities, al-haqa'iq. He attained the highest degree in the realm of nobility and a firm footing in the final stages of spiritual growth. He was skilled in the sciences of arrival to Allah and was proficient in the dispersal of penetrating wisdom. He disclosed the realities of the divine signs in the most extraordinary manner and opened a multitude of meanings in the realm of direct witnessing of Allah :aj: . He was the unique one of his time, whom Allah had manifested into existence and presented as a mercy to creation. Allah established for him complete acceptance with the elite as well as the common people. Allah :aj: declared him to the world and fixed him firmly in the sovereignty of sainthood, wilaayaat. Allah :aj: broke natural laws for him and made him speak with the tongue of the unseen. Allah :aj: manifested by his hands amazing wonders and brilliant miracles.
  5. Wadood

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    Thus, Allah :aj: reinforced him with overflowing light and drew him to His presence. By the praises of Allah, he developed into one of the protected friends of Allah and sipped from the cup of His nearness. Allah dressed him in the attire of gnosis and divine love. The Lord of Truth then invested him with the crown of His divine assistance and guidance. He made him suitable to invite people to Him and fit to be a guide to the common people as well as the elite.
    He, the Shehu, informed us of the time when he obtained the divine attraction by means of the barakah of the prayer upon the Prophet, or as-salah 'ala an-nabiyy :sas: . He was constant in sending blessings upon the Prophet :sas: , without boredom, laziness, or laxity. As a result, Allah assisted him with the overflowing of illumination, or fayd al-anwar, by means of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jayli :ra: and his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah :sas: . He then witnessed the astounding things o the unseen kingdoms, 'ajaib al-malakut, and realized the mysteries of the kingdom of power, or gharaa'ib al-jabarut. He witnessed the phenomena of the Divine Attributes, Names, and Essence. he became acquainted with the Guarded Tablet, or al-lawh al-mahfudh, and united its remarkable secrets. The Lord of Truth allowed him to drink from the sweetness of inviting people to Him, and crowned him with the crown of direction and guidance to Him. Then, a voice from the divine presence called out: "O mankind answer the call of the inviter to Allah!" It then recited the verse: "Turned aside from it is he who is turned aside." The Lord of Truth then returned him to the place of the consciousness in order that the station of guiding others and inviting them could be given to him. Sometimes the lights of majesty, or anwar al-jalal, would overcome him and seize him. Sometimes the lights of beauty, or anwar al-jamal, would release him and set him at ease. He then began to establish what the Lord of Truth created him for. Allah made him deserving of inviting people to Him and of being a guide to Him. The Shehu thus began calling people to Allah and guiding them to Him.

    He was then severely afflicted by those people whose characters were loathsome with denial and ridicule. However, he continued to speak to the people according to their intellects and showed kindness towards them. He encountered from their repulsive characters that which I am unable to describe. This continued until Allah granted him the permanence of success. Then, a group among the believers began to listen to him attentively and he instructed them in the Truth and clarified for them the spiritual path of Truth.

    The Shehu found among the people of these lands all types of shocking disbelief, corruption, disobedience, and repulsive conditions that had spread and permeated the lands of bilad 's-sudan. It came to the point where there was hardly anyone who could be found whose iman was sound and whose worship was correct. The majority of the people were ignorant of the tawhid (Divine Unity) and of how to properly perform the ablution, prayer, alms, fasting or the remainder of the acts of worship. Among them were those who were pure disbelievers who worshipped stones and the jinn and who openly committed acts of disbelief. They did not pray, fast, nor gice alms. They denounced Allah and said things about Allah that were not deserving of His exalted rank. These included the majority of the common people of the land of the Blacks, like the Magandawaa, the insolent Fulani, and the Tuaregs.
    Among them were those who pronounced tawhid with their tongues, prayed, fasted and gave alms without completing the prerequisites of these acts. Rather, they performed only the outer forms and gestures of Islam while mixing these acts with open acts of disbelief that they had inherited from their fathers and their grandfathers. Some of them invented these acts themselves; the majority of the rulers of these lands, their civil servants, medicine men and scholars were from this group.

    Among them were those who pronounced with their tongues tawhid, prayed, fasted and gave the alms without completing the prerequisites of these acts of worship and were firmly established in blameworthy customs and satanic innovations.

    Among them were those who were firmly fixed in ignorant disobedience, accustomed to it, as though there were no prohibition concerning it. This group was numerous and included many of the common people of the Fulani and some of the Muslims of the land of the Blacks. In fact, many of them were originally disbelievers while some of them inter-mixed belief with disbelief.

    Among them were those who properly believed and were correctly aware of tawhid, performed the ablution, prayer, and alms in accordance with what is proper. However, this group was the minority. Thus, the Shehu began to invite them to Allah, giving good advice to the worshippers concerning the religion of Allah, demolishing these blameworthy customs, destroying satanic innovations, and reviving the Sunnah Muhammad :sas: . He taught them the individual obligations, directed them to Allah, guided them to His obedience and removed from them the darkness of ignorance and the probelmatic issues of the religion. He was able to transform these previously mentioned groups that were in their conditions, and make them among the successful, who rushed to his call, and the blessed guided ones, who were devoted to him. Then, the common people began to enter into the religion in large groups and newcomers in large groups began to follow him. He cleared for them the spiritual path, at-tariq, and illuminated it for them. Consequently, when he surpassed the people of his time in regards to inviting them to Allah, the people became divided into two groups: a group who believed in him, and a group who were critical and denied him. As for those who denied him, they spread evil rumours about him and attributed his actions to mere passions, showing off, and the like.

    " Denial attacks good and seeks to belittle its face. Out of envy and malice it makes good seem deformed."
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    Guidance Magazine

    Anwar al Talaqi

    Volume 1 Issue 3, Summer 2003

    By Amir Muhammad Shareef

    All praises are due to Allah, by whose remembrance hearts are made tranquil, who has made the mentioning of His awliyya a means through which hardship are removed, by which His mercy descends and through whcih sins are made to depart. Blessings and peace be upon the best of His creation, Muhammad :sas:, upon his pure family and his companion, upon the elite of the Muhajirun and Ansar, and upon those who follow them in ihsan from among the righteous, right-acting 'ulama, and the believers until the Day of Judgement.

    It was our Imam as-Shafi'` who said to us:

    "I love the righteous, even though I am not one of them, so that I can attain intercession by means of them. And I dislike the actions of the disobedient, although we are equivalent with them in actions."

    The Wazir (minister) Abdal-Qadir ibn Gidadu said in his Anisal-Mufeed: "Divine strength and mercy descends with the mentioning of the awliyya ... Verily the awliyya of Allah :aj: are the doorways to His mercy. For whoever raps on their doors with sound belief and pure acceptance will have them flung open for him and he will enter and attain success in all that he desires." It is with this in mind that we should endeavor to acquaint ourselves with some of the virtues of our Amir al-Mu'mineen and mujaddid (commander of the faithful and reviver), Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye' :ra: , and cause us to inherit his stations. What we can say about him is brief, but contains the good of this world and the next. He, the Shehu, was born in the town of Maratha, Niger on Sunday, the last day of Safar, 1168(December 15, 1754). He was a descendent of the Prophet :sas: through his maternal grandmother. Like the Prophet :sas:, he had his first great spiritual opening at the age of 40 and some months,. Like the Pophet :sas:, he made the hijra (migration) at the age of 52. Like the Prophet :sas: , he was given the oath of allegiance and jihad. Like the Prophet :sas: , he was given victory and established Islamic sovereignty. And finally, like the Prophet :sas: , he was blessed to pass away from this world's life at the good age of 63. Infact, the entire life of Sheikh Uthman Dan Fuduye', may Allah be merciful to him, was a testimony to the annihilation of his self and a sign of his complete embodiment of the characteristics of the Messenger of Allah :sas: . This is all we can say about him.

    However, our Sultan, Muhammad Bello Ibn Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye', had this to say about his illustrious father:

    " He was the ' Shaykh of Islam', the learned among the scholars, the regal erudite, perpetual deliverer, the scholar of the world, the realizer of the highest stations, Abu Muhammad Uthman ibn Muhammad ibn Uthman. He was famous as Dan Fuduye'. He is my father, may Allah elongate his life and make his ending good. The protected friends of Allah, al-awliyya, told of his coming before his appearance. It was related from sound narration on the authority of Umm Hani al-Fulani, the righteous saintly woman, when she said: " There will appear in this region of the land of the Blacks a wali (saint) from among the protected friends of Allah. He will renew the deen, revive the sunnah and establish the religion. The fortunate people will follow him and his remembrance will be spread throughout the horizons. The common people and the elite will ovey his commands. Those connected to him will be known as al-Jama'ah. Among their signs is that they will not herd cattle, as is the custom of the Fulani. Whoever encounters that time should follow him." In short, many of the protected friends of Allah recognized him and informed us of his affair, before his appearance and at the time of his appearance as well.

    Realize that this shaykh was reared from the time he was young to invite people to Allah. The Shehu said : " As far as the matter of protected friendship with Allah is concerned, the most that I know about myself is that Allah :aj: had established me in a spiritual presence which manifested from a divine state, from the time I was a young boy up until the time I reached the age of thirty-one years. I was seized by an instantaneous spiritual attration that emerged from the lights of the Messenger of Allah :sas: , due to the barakah of sending blessings upon him. I was drawn up until I was in the very presence of the Messenger of Allah :sas: , which caused me to begin to weep. I then desired to recite the poem by Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harithi :ra: , where he eulogized the Messenger of Allah :sas: after his death. Then the Messenger of Allah :sas: ordered me to recite it in his presence, so I began to recite it... When I had recited the poem and reached the point where I said: ' And he guided us and now we do not fear misguidance among us, while the Messenger is our guide on the Path"; the Messenger of Allah then said, 'Stop here.' So I stopped. He then gave me the good news by his words to me:' I am your guide on the Path of this religion, for you will not go astray.' This good news was better to me than the entire world and what it contained."

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