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By Ustaz Syed Hasan Alatas

English translation by Radzi Sapiee

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, Most Merciful.  

Assalamu'alaikum, Peace be upon you.


Once the call of Islam has met success, the wealth of Muslims multiplied with many becaming rich. Umar ibn Khattab visited the Prophet's house only to find him sleeping on a piece of palm-leaf mat  such that his body bears marks from the mat. The house of Rasulullah SAW was very simple, no jewelry, no luxury appliance and such. There was only a pitcher for keeping water hanging on its walls as the Prophet’s preparation for taking abolution.

Umar was so touched by this condition that tears began to stream down his eyes.  Rasulullah SAW then asked Umar: “What makes your shed such a stream of tears O Umar?” Umar said “How can I not be touched o Rasulullah, this is how I found your house, no furniture, no wealth, where else the key to the east and west is in your hands and wealth has become abundant and spilled over.”.

The Prophet SAW answered: “I am the messenger of Allah. I am not one of the Roman Emperors or a Kisra of Persia. They make claims over the world, and I make claims for the hereafter.”

One day the Jibril (the angel Gabriel) came to the Prophet and send regards from Allah Almighty while asking:  “Which do you like o Muhammad, to be a prophet as rich as Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) or to be a prophet suffering and needy like  the Prophet Ayyub (Job)?” He answered: "I would prefer to have a full stomach one day and go hungry the next day.  If I’m full, I’ll be thankful to my God, If I am hungry I will be patient with the test from God.”

There was another day when the Prophet SAW was so exhausted he slept on a piece of palm-leaf mat such than his body bears marks. Ibn Mas'ud, a faithful companion of the Prophet shed tears upon seeing that for a person who has almost all of Arabia in his palms, a person so glorified by God, the Prophet lived such a simple life. Ibn Mas'ud wanted to get a pillow to put under his head. The Prophet looked at Ibn Mas'ud, and said: “I have no desire for that, I am like a traveler in the middle of a vast desert in extreme heat. I found a shady tree. Since I am very exhausted I laid down myself a second for rest with the intention of later continuing my journey towards God” (Introduction on Knowledge of Tariqat by H. Abubakar Aceh).

Such is the Prophet's life as a Sufi and a role model for the practice of Ahlul Bait, a practice which his descendants try to emulate to the best of their abilities. Although they have abundant wealth, their lives remain moderate. They use the riches bestowed by Allah to help the poor, orphans and the needy, not for themselves alone.

If we practice the Tariqat of Ahlu Bait, then we must be able to prove that all we have, knowledge or wealth we have accumulated and the likes are used for the benefit of Islam and humanity as well as for personal and family needs. Remember all the wealth would be left behind when we crossed into hereafter. What would follow is just what we have used in the way of Allah.

Allah said regarding death:

يوم لا ينفع مال ولا بنون إلا من أتى الله بقلب سليم

(الشعراء: 88)

"(It is) the day when property and your children are not useful except those who face God with a clean heart" (Al-Syu'ara `: 88).

Before Rasulullah SAW faced the big missions which would shake the world, he has trained himself in living a spiritual life. Before the Prophet was appointed to be the Messenger of Allah, he likes to exclude himself, alone in the cave of Hira  doing prayers, meditation and remembrance only of Allah. These he did with complete sincerity until all contacts to others besides Allah were cut off. That’s when the first revelation was descended:

اقرأ باسم ربك الذي خلق. خلق الإنسان من علق. اقرأ وربك الأكرم. الذي علم بالقلم. علم الإنسان ما لم يعلم

(العلق :1-5)


" Read in the name of your God who creates. Made man from a blood clot. Read in the name of your noble God who taught the people with Qalam (pen). Taught man that which they know not. "

(Al-Alaq: 1-5)

Rasullah SAW’s personal strength lies in his spiritual life in the way of Allah. His life became a model which was extended by the Ahlul Bait (family of the Prophet, peace be upon him) and their descendants as best as they could.


She was called Saydatun Nisa `i al-Alamin, the best woman in the world. Her father is Muhammad SAW her mother Khatijah al-Kubra. Born in Mecca on Friday of Jumada Tsani (the 6th month of the Muslim Hijriah calender), she passed away on Tuesday 3rd of Jumada Tsani 11 AH. Buried in Baqi, Medina she has two sons (Hassan and Hussein) and two daughters (Zainab and Umm Kultsum).

Siti Fatimah Azzahra is Rasulullah's favorite daughter. She lived a very down to earth life, very much in worship making her submission to Allah a model for all Muslims. Because of her devotion and submission to Allah she is known as "Al-Batul", the person very diligent in worship.

Asma bint Umais said: “One day I was at the house of Siti Fatimah. At the time Siti Fatimah was wearing a necklace given by her husband Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, taken after distribution of goods under the ghanimah (spoils of war). Then Rasulullah SAW came to Fatimah’s home. When Rasulullah SAW saw the necklace she wears: “O my daughter, are you proud of to be called by the people as the daughter of Muhammad when you yourself wear jababirah (ornaments worn by rich women)?” Immediately Siti Fatimah took off the necklace for sale. Proceeds from the necklace are used to buy a slave and then the slave was freed. When Rasulullah SAW heard this, he was so happy.”

Siti Fatimah Azzahra’s son  Al Hassan said: "Every Friday night I saw my mother on her mihrab (front of the room for prayers). She continues to bow and prostrate until the morning light shows. I also heard my mother used to pray for all believers men and women, mentioned some of their names and prayed a lot for them. She never prayed or asked anything for herself. So I asked: "Why is it mother that you never pray for yourself just like you pray for others?” My mother only said: “Give priority to you neighbours first, and then only your own family ... ...”6

A famous Sufi Hassan Al-Basri used to say “In this community, there is no woman who diligently worships more than Siti Fatimah Azzahra, she continued to pray until her feet swell.”7


  1. Ali


His simple life

The Commander of the Faithful Ali bin Abi Talib was also called Abu al-Hassan or Abu Thurab. His mother was Fatima bint Asad. Born in Mecca on Friday 13th of Rajab (the 7th month of Hijriah calendar) he died at the age of 63 on Friday night 21st Ramadhan (9th month) of 40 Hijrah. This happened after he was stabbed by Abdurrahman ibn Muljam. Ali was buried at Najaf Al-Sharif.

Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah bless his countenance) grew up under the tutelage of Rasulullah SAW. He is the first youth to believe in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad. When Muhammad was appointed as a Prophet and Messenger on Monday, the next day Imam Ali bin Abi Talib converted to Islam. Imam Ali was then only 10 years old. In turn Siti Khadijah was the first woman in Islam (please refer to the book Imam al Muhtadin Ali bin Abi Talib kw, essays by H. M. Al Hamid Al-Husaini, articles 37-41).

About the world and life

... .... In the letter of Imam Ali sent to Uthman bin al-Ansari Hunaif he reminded Uthman bin Hunaif among others : “By Allah, there is not even a small pinch of gold or silver from your world which I kept. There is no property from it I have accumulated. There is not even a piece of clothe I’ve prepared to replace my worn-out clothes. And there is not an inch of land that I own. And I won’t take for myself more than the food for a thin donkey. Verily this world in my sight is more fragile and of no more consequence than an 'afshah (a plant with bitter fruits).”

... ... ... .. O world, go anywhere you want. I have escaped from your clutches, I have avoided your snare and away from your destruction. Where is now the persons you have lied to with your games? Where are the races of people you have  trick with your ornaments? Indeed they are those wasted in graves as  fillers for burial holes!

By Allah, if you, O the world is a visible human being with heart and feelings,verily I would hand down punishments on you in return for all the servants you have misled with empty dreams. Or the races you have  led down to destruction. Or kings you have driven to ruin and those you sent into centres of calamity and  difficulty without opportunity to return.Verily whoever set his foot on your path would slip. Whoever sails in your ocean will capsize. As for those who run away from your tightening ropes they would surely succeed. And those who are secure from you would not care how small are their homes. To them the world is only a day almost over.

I swear by Allah, except when He requires something else, really I will train my desire with the most heavy training until it could be happy when it succeeded in seeing a piece of bread for food, and feel content with a pinch of salt to accompany the food. And I will make  my eyes  dry out of water just like water fountains whose source have receeded.

Blessed is every soul who has performed duty to his God, and be patient in his suffering. Rejecting his closing eyes at night, such that when drowsiness overtook him, he makes the bare ground as  place to lie down and hand as pillow. (He) Feels at ease in the middle of a group of servants of Allah who are constantly awake at night because of anxiety thinking about the place they will return to. Their bodies are far away from bed, their lips always moving chanting the name of  God, until their sins disappeared because of the continous admission of guilt... ... .. They are the Hisbullah (fighters of Allah), and verily the Hisbullah are people who attain success ...(Surah 58:22). Fear Allah, O ibn Hunaif, make yourself enough with a few pieces of bread so that you would be saved from the envelopes of hell-fire! (Pearls from Nahjul Balagah: Muhammad al-Baqir; articles :95-96)

The life of Imam Ali is the live of a Zuhud (those who lead simple lives) who knows God, not Zuhud because he is forced or Zuhud because he has despaired. Ali reminds us all: “Do not any of you hope for other than pleasure of Allah Almighty and do not fear except in making sin ...”.  He also reminded: “Whoever is good inside, God would make him good outside." "Patience is courage ... ..." “Avoid matters which could lead to sadness with strength of patience and good confidence. "You should always fear God with the sense of piety of an intelligent man, and his heart always busy thinking. Have piety like the piety of people who when they hear the truth they bow down their  heads, when having made a mistake they admitted, when they feel afraid it is because of lack of good deed, and when they have realised an error, they immediately repented.

Imam Ali was the most diligent person in worship. There was a thick skin on his forehead which is blackish showing how much he has prostrated day and night. His  nights are used to perform many  many Sunnah (non-obligatory or superogatory) prayers, drawing himself closer to God with humility and utmost concentration. It is such diligence which made Imam Ali the noble person he is with such gentle disposition and character.8

Ready to sacrifice anything in the way of Allah

Given the rampant threats of enemies, Abu Talib (father of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib) often feared for the security of the Prophet SAW. Thus he always reminded his son  Ali to always accompany the Prophet SAW especially in crisis. Therefore, to avoid abduction or murder that may be suddenly be conducted at night, Abu Talib directed his son Ali to sleep on the bed of Rasulullah. In line with his father’s directive before he died, Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, especially on the night of Hijra volunteered to sleep on Rasulullah's bed.9

There are many words of advice left by 'Ali bin Abi Talib. Among them were:"Whoever improves his inner self, Allah will improve his outside. Whoever did actions for the good of religion, Allah will facilitate his world affairs. Whoever maintains relationship with Allah, Allah will facilitate his dealings with other people. "10



Prophet SAW often said: "Hassan and Hussein are my children ". In the Quran Allah says:

فمن حاجك فيه من بعد ما جاءك من العلم فقل تعالوا ندع أبناءنا و أبناءکم و نساءنا و نساءکم و أنفسنا و أنفسکم ثم نبتهل فنجعل لعنت الله على الکذبين

(آل عمران: 61)

Which means: " Whoever rebutted you concerning the story of Jesus after the coming of knowledge (which gives confidence), say (to him): "Let us summon our children and your children, our wives and your wives, ourselves and yourselves, then let us plead to Allah and we ask that the curse of Allah falls on those who lie.”” (Ali Imran: 61)

Such is the closeness of  Hassan and Hussein to Rasulullah. Since he was born until the age of 7 years, Hassan was loved and nurtured by Rasulullah SAW until he became known as a friendly, intelligent, generous, intrepid, and knowledgeable person who knows about the contents of each revelation.

In term of diligence in worship, he is known as a person who always prostrate and very absorbed in his prayers. When he takes abolution fear began to overtake and in prayers his cheeks are wet with tears and face becoming pale for fear of God.

In his compassion he is known as a person who is never shy to sit with beggars and street bums who asked him about religious problems. Many words of wisdom he left behind, among it, when Sayyidina Hassan bin Ali was asked about the meaning of beneficence  he said “Goodness is in giving before being requested, and this is never followed by reminding of one’s own deeds. Arrogance causes the ruin of religion, and because of it Iblis (Lucifer the devil) was cursed. Greed is the enemy of self, and because of it Adam was thrown out of paradise. Jealousy is the center of badness, as because of it Qabil (Cain) killed Habil (Abel). "11



Symbol of heroism

In the midst of the happiness and harmonious family of Fatimah Az-Zahra was born a baby who will fight for the continuation of Rasulullah's mission. Thus came Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib who was born on Thursday 5th Sha'ban in the year 4 H and died a martyr at the field of Karbala on 10 Muharram 61 H.

Said Al-Imam Al-Akbar Dr.Abdul Syekhul Halim Mahmud Azhar:

"Indeed, the bloodline of Saidina Hussein was almost cut off if not for bounty of Allah. It was this bounty of Allah which maintained him having descendants. Among them there is fragrance of Rasulullah, among them also there are people  who are generous in character, couragous, and with hearts full of faith and spirit who always look up, not made busy by the world and all its ornaments which make one wants to remain in this world and follow their desire. Never indeed never, verily their selves are decorated with examples of high conduct which is permanent along with heroism in its best shape along with truth, wherever they are. Verily their selves are like those who help people fight in the way of goodness, that is the way of Allah. "12

Verily Sayyidina Hussein has stepped into a battle against people of untruth and found his martyrdom. The battle of Karbala has shed so much blood of people who fought alongside him and the rest were captured. 13 Many of his family members died as heroes and heroins in order to uphold truth and fight against tyranny.


"Suppose the world is still considered valuable, isn’t the hereafter far more valuable and honorable? In case our lot has been allocated based on destiny, then leave behind gluttonous feeling for the world. In case the property we amassed would be left behind, why be  stingy on goods which will be left behind? Some people worship Allah  to make profit, thus their worship is that of a merchant. Some people worship Allah for fear Him, then that is the worship of kids. Some worship Allah because of thanks for His favours, and that is the worship of the free. That is the best of worship. "


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