The Believers, men and women, are protecting friends, one of another: they enjoin what is good, and forbid what is evil: they establish the prayer, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise. (al-Quran: Surah al-Tawba, 71)

The following is a summary of a Meeting Held in the House of Habib Umar bin Hafiz on the night of 17th Dhu’l-Q’aida 1429 (16 November 2008), as part of the Prophetic Environment initiative.

Habib Umar (may Allah preserve him) said that the reason for the gathering was our belief in Allah and this is what had brought us together in this place.

There are different levels of readiness amongst us to raise in ranks in proximity to Allah, understanding of Him and doing that which pleases Him.

What is needed is co-operation and providing the means to raise our aspirations and strengthen our determination to reach the summit.

This is clarified in the above-mentioned verses. Allah mentions the ties of allegiance between the believing men and women. These ties may be general, like the ties between the generality of the believers and specific, as in the tie between the shaykh and his pupil.

They enjoin what is good according to their rank, each level enjoining something higher than the level of those below them. This can be seen in the transmission of Prophetic etiquettes from generation to generation. Likewise there is a general forbidding of what is evil and a specific forbidding of what is reprehensible according to their station.

Their establishment of the prayer and payment of the zakat is also according to their rank and their prayer, and zakat takes on new meanings according to the rank of the person. A higher meaning of the concept of zakat is expressed in the hadith: ‘By Allah he does not believe, by Allah he does not believe, by Allah he does not believe – the one who sleeps on a full stomach while his neighbour goes hungry.’ When the Companion and his family preferred the guest of the Messenger of Allah y over themselves they embodied a yet higher meaning and were thus worthy of praise directly from Allah: they prefer others over themselves, even if they were in poverty. And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls; they are the ones that achieve prosperity. (Sura al-Hashr, verse 9)

The only thing preventing us from sincerely embodying these attributes is the covetousness of our souls. This prevents us from giving sincere advice, from attaining sincere love and brotherhood and from drawing closer to Allah through our excellent treatment of others. We are thus prevented from attaining gifts and high ranks.

They obey Allah and His Messenger y according to their rank. This is their state whatever situation they find themselves in, whatever circumstances threaten to cast fear or doubt into their hearts.

The fruit of all this is that Allah will show them His mercy. The general mass of the believers will be shown the mercy of Allah in the form of salvation from the Fire. The elite, those who reached a wakeful state and understanding of Allah’s address will be shown a special form of mercy and raised to the highest of ranks in paradise, as Allah singles out for His mercy who He wishes.

The purpose of this gathering is that we attain the attributes mentioned in this verse. If we were content to merely attain the general meanings of these attributes there would be no need for us to be connected to Dar al-Mustafa, as these general meanings may be attained in any place. However, our purpose is to draw close to the higher meanings and to the states of the elite who embody them, perhaps that by imitating them we will be accepted by Allah and raised to their ranks.

I say to our brothers who have come with their families intending to connect to Dar al-Mustafa, that it is incumbent upon them to form an environment based upon absolute following of al-Mustafa y; an environment that is not affected by any outside influences because of its complete submission to the leadership of al-Mustafa y. As the hadith tells us: ‘None of you believe until his desire follows that with which I have come.’

We cannot be content to attend gathering after gathering without sincerely seeking, through establishing this environment, to be amongst the elite levels of those mentioned in the verse. If this community is established its members will be amongst that section of the Umma mentioned in the hadith who remain firm on the truth, unaffected by those who go against them, until the time of Allah’s decree.

The highest and most noble of aims and desires that a person can have are to bring joy to the heart of al-Mustafa y and to seek the pleasure of the All-Merciful. The affair of those truly seeking this is greater than anyone who opposes them, because the pleasure of Allah is greater even than paradise, let alone anything less than that.

We need to reflect upon how to establish this environment. We need to look at our own state and the states of our families: how our time is spent, our character, our and their level of knowledge inwardly and outwardly, their dress, their progress, their intentions and their aims. Allah describes those People of the Book when faith entered their hearts how their desires were directed. Firstly their eyes filled with tears (failing to weep, especially when one is alone, is a sign of a lack of knowledge of reality). Their desire was then immediately that Allah enter them amongst the people of righteousness. (See Sura al-Ma’ida verse 83)

We need to bring into existence between ourselves the spirit of brotherhood, co-operation, giving each other sincere advice and caring for each others’ needs. Our community must have no connection with that which is prevalent in the world of the actions of those who are cut off from Allah. There is much good in our community but also many shortcomings. Many families continue to come to this town not for anything worldly. What has brought them here? How are they received by the families residing here? Our brothers who have just arrived from Palestine with their families tell us of a community based on shura (council) such that its members consult each other even before embarking on the smallest of things like a man buying a new piece of clothing for his wife. We find today that the false concept of freedom and independence has been spread by the forces of materialism. It is in reality jahililyya and has affected many of the people of the deen and weakened the ties of love and brotherhood, the ties with the mashayikh and the concept of shura.

In summary we need to actualise amongst us the meaning of iman (faith) and istiqama (firmness and uprightness) mentioned by Allah (Sura Fussilat, verse 30) in order to work together to be an example to this blessed Umma. The one who has not entered the community and environment of al-Mustafa y has not attained a true connection to Dar al-Mustafa.