In their counsels:
From: Abu'l Hassan Abdul-Malik
April 24 at 6:48am [Facebook]
"In their counsels, the masters of the spiritual path (may Allah be pleased with them) have warned seekers from mixing
together too many divine invocations and from scattering their thoughts through delving excessively into the various statements
of the Sufis. No one who treads that path will ever succeed. Instead, one must take for himself a single invocation, a single
orientation, and a single foundation on which he focuses and relies."
[Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi (from Zubdat al-Mahbub al-Mamkhuda min Labani `Ilm al-Ghuyub (The Cream of the Beloved from
the Milk of Unseen Knowledge), quoting from the words of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tijani]
[Editors note: The following story about Prophet Samuel, King Saul, Prophet David (pbu them) comes from a book that we
found named: "The Bible, The Koran, And The Talmud; or Biblical Legends of The Mussulmans", it was compiled from
Arabic sources and compared with Jewish traditions. It was printed in London in 1846.]
Prophet Samuel, King Saul, And Prophet David
(May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them.)
The Israelites lived under Joshua, (who was, however, not a prophet, but merely a virtuous prince and valiant chief)
conformably to the laws revealed by Moses; the Lord therefore enabled them to expel the giants from the land of Canaan, and
at their cry, "Allah is great," the loftiest walls of fortified cities fell in.
But after Joshua's death they relapsed into all those iniquities on account of which [the same as] the Egyptians
had been so severely punished; wherefore, Allah, in order to chastise and to reclaim his people, sent the giant Djalut (Goliath)
against them, who defeated them in numerous engagements, and even took from them the Tabut (the sacred Ark of the Covenant),
so that the protection of Allah entirely departed from them.
One day, when the heads of the people were assembled to consult in what manner the mighty Goliath might be resisted;
there came a man to them of the family of Aaron. His name was Ishmawil Ibn Bal (Samuel), and said, "The God of your fathers
sent me to you to proclaim speedy help, if you will turn to him, but utter destruction if you continue in your wicked courses."
"What shall we do," inquired one of the elders "to obtain the favor of Allah?"
Samuel replied: "You shall worship Allah alone, and offer no sacrifices unto idols; nor eat that which has died
of itself, nor swine's flesh, nor blood, nor any thing that has not been slaughtered in the name of Allah. Assist each other
in doing good, honor your parents, treat your wives with kindness, support the widow, the orphan, and the poor. Believe in
the prophets that have gone before me, especially in Abraham, for whom Allah turned the burning pile into a garden of delight;
in Ismael, whose neck he rendered invulnerable, and for whom he caused a fountain to spring up in the stony desert; and in
Moses, who opened with his rod twelve dry paths through the sea."
"Believe, in like manner, in the prophets that shall come after me; above all, in Isa Ibn Mariam, the spirit
of Allah (Christ), and in Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah."
Christ And Muhammad
"Who is Isa?" inquired one of the heads of Israel.
"He is the prophet," replied Samuel, whom the Scriptures point out as the Word of Allah. His mother shall
conceive him as a virgin by the will of the Lord and the breath of the angel Gabriel [the holy ghost or spirit]. Even in the
womb he shall praise the omnipotence of Allah, and testify to the purity of his mother: but at a later period he shall heal
the sick and leprous, raise the dead, and create living birds out of clay. His godless contemporaries will afflict and attempt
to crucify him; but Allah shall blind them, so that another shall be crucified in his stead; while he, like the prophet Enoch,
is taken up into Heaven without tasting, death."
"And Muhammad, who is he?" continued the same Israelite; "his name sounds so strange that I do not
remember ever having heard it in Israel."
"Muhammad," Samuel replied, "does not belong to our people, but is a descendant of Ismael, and the
last and greatest prophet, to whom even Moses and Christ shall bow down in the Day of the Resurrection."
"His name, which signifies the 'Much-praised-One,' indicates of itself the many excellencies for which he is
blessed by all creatures both in Heaven and on earth."
"But the wonders which he shall perform are so numerous, that a whole human life-time would not suffice to narrate
them. I shall content myself, therefore, with communicating to you but a part of what he shall see in one single night."
[* The following narrative, that Samuel gives, describes the Night-Journey of Muhammad. He revealed it to his followers
in the 12th year of his mission; and though the Arabs were given to the marvelous, yet this staggered even their credulity,
and would have proved his utter ruin but for the resolute interposition of Abu Bakr. -E. T.]
"In a frightfully tempestuous night, when the rooster refrains from crowing, and the hound-dog from baying,
he shall be roused from his sleep by Gabriel, who frequently appears to him in human form; but who on this occasion comes
as Allah created him, with his seven hundred radiant wings, between each of which is a space which the fleetest steed can
scarcely traverse in five hundred years."
"He shall lead him forth to a spot where Borak, the miraculous horse, the same which Abraham used to mount on
his pilgrimages from Syria to Mecca, stands ready to receive him."
"This horse also has two wings like an eagle, feet like a dromedary (camel); a body of diamonds, which shines
like the sun, and a head like the most beautiful Virgin."
"On this miraculous steed, on whose forehead is engraved 'There is no Lord but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger,'
he is carried first to Medina, then to Sinai, to Bethlehem, and to Jerusalem, that he may pray on Holy ground. From thence
he ascends by a golden ladder, whose steps are of ruby, of emerald, and hyacinth, into the Seventh Heaven, where he is initiated
in all the mysteries of creation, and the government of the universe."
"He beholds the pious amidst all their felicities in Paradise, and sinners in their varied agonies in Hell.
Many of them are roaming there like ravenous beasts through barren fields; they are those who in this life enjoyed the bounties
of Allah, and gave nothing thereof to the poor."
"Others run to and fro, carrying fresh meat in one hand, and spoiled meat in the other; but as often as they
would put the fresh meat into their mouths, their hands are struck with fiery rods until they eat of the spoiled meat instead.
This is the punishment of those who broke their marriage vow, and found pleasure in guilty indulgences."
"The bodies of others are terribly swollen, and are still increasing in bulk; they are such as have grown rich
by usury, and whose avarice was insatiable."
"The tongues and lips of others are seized and pinched with iron pinchers, as the punishment of their calumnious
and rebellious speeches, by which they caused so much evil in the earth."
"Midway between Paradise and Hell is seated Adam, the father of the human race, who smiles with joy as often
as the gates of Paradise are thrown open, and the triumphant cries of the blessed are borne forth; but weeps when the gates
of hell are unclosed, and the sighs of the damned penetrate to his ear."
"In that night Muhammad beholds, besides Gabriel, other angels, many of whom have seventy thousand heads, each
head with seventy thousand faces, each face with seventy thousand mouths, and each mouth with seventy thousand tongues, each
of which praises Allah in seventy thousand languages. He sees, too, the Angel of Reconciliation, who is half fire and half
ice: the angel who watches with scowling frown and flaming eyes, the treasuries of fire: the Angel of' Death, holding in his
hand a huge tablet, inscribed with names, of which he effaces (erases) hundreds every instant: the Angel who keeps the floods,
and measures out with an immense balance (scales) the waters appointed unto every river and every fountain; and him, finally,
who supports the throne of Allah on his shoulders, and is holding a trumpet in his mouth, whose blast shall one day wake the
sleepers from the grave."
"He is at last conducted through many oceans of light, into the vicinity of the Holy Throne itself, which is
so vast, that the rest of the universe appears by its side like the scales of a coat of armor in the boundless desert."
"That which shall be revealed to him there," continued Samuel, "is as yet concealed from me; but this
I know: He shall gaze on the Glory of Allah at the distance of a bow-shot; shall then descend to earth by the ladder, and
return on Borak to Mecca as rapidly as he came."
"To accomplish this vast journey, including his stay in Medina, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and in Heaven, he requires
so little time, that a water-vase, which he overturns in rising from his couch, will not have emptied its contents by his
The assembled Israelites listened attentively to Samuel, and when he had finished, they exclaimed with one voice,
"We believe in Allah, and in his prophets, that were and are to come; only pray that He may deliver us from the tyranny
Samuel prayed and fasted till at length Allah sent an angel, who commanded him to go out of the city, and to proclaim
the first man who should meet him king over Israel, since in his reign the Israelites should regain their independence from
Samuel did as he was commanded, and met Talut [Saul], the son of Bishr, the son of Ahnun, the son of Benjamin, who
was a husbandman of lofty stature, but not otherwise remarkable, though Allah had put much wisdom into his heart.
He was wandering about in search of a heifer that had broken away from her plough and run at large. Samuel assisted
him in her recovery, and then took Saul home with him, anointed him with oil, and presented him to the heads of Israel as
their king and divinely commissioned deliverer.
But they refused to accept as their king a common peasant, who hitherto had not distinguished himself in any way;
and they demanded a miracle.
"Allah," replied Samuel, "will, in token of his ratifying this kingly election, restore to you the
Ark of the Covenant."
From that day the Philistines (Palestinians) were visited with the most painful and disgusting leprosy, whose origin
no physician could discover, and which no physician could cure. But as the plague fell most heavily on that city where the
Ark of the Covenant, which had been carried in triumph from one place to another, happened to be, no one would retain it any
longer, and it was at last left standing in a wagon in the open field.
Allah then commanded two invisible angels to carry it back into the midst of the camp of Israel, who thereupon no
longer hesitated to do fealty unto Saul as their king.
As soon as he was elected, Saul mustered the host of Israel, and marched against the Philistines at the head of seventy
During their march through the wilderness, they were one day in want of water, so that a universal murmuring arose
against Samuel and Saul. Samuel, who was following after the Ark of the Covenant, prayed to the Lord, and there sprung from
out the rocky ground a fountain of water, which was as fresh as snow, as sweet as honey, and as white as milk. But when the
soldiers came rushing towards it, Samuel cried, "You have grievously sinned against your king and against your God by
reason of discontent and rebellion. Drink but little of this water, that by abstinence you may atone for your sin!"
Prophet and King David
But Samuel's words met with no regard. Only three hundred and thirteen men [a special number] , - as many as fought
in the first engagement of the Mussulmans against the Infidels, - mastered their appetite, barely refreshing themselves, while
all the rest of the army yielded to the temptation, and drank in full draughts from the fountain.
When Talut beheld this, he disbanded the whole army, and, relying on the aid of Allah, marched against the enemy
with the small number of his men who had conquered their desire.
Among this little band were six sons of a virtuous man whose name was Isa [Jesse]. Dawud [David], his seventh son,
had remained at home to nurse his aged father.
But when for a long time no engagement took place between Israel and the Philistines, since no one had accepted the
challenge to single combat with Goliath, by which a general battle was to be preceded, Isa sent also his seventh son into
the camp, partly to carry fresh provisions to his brothers, and partly to bring him tidings of their welfare.
On his [David's] way he heard a voice from a pebble which lay in the midst of the road, calling to him, "Lift
me up, for I am one of the stones with which the prophet Abraham drove Satan away when he would have shaken his resolve to
sacrifice his son in obedience to his Heavenly vision."
David placed the stone, which was inscribed with holy names, in the bag, which he wore in his upper garment, for
he was simply dressed like a traveler, and not as a soldier.
When he had proceeded a little further, he again heard a voice from another pebble crying: "Take me with thee,
for I am the stone which the angel Gabriel struck out from the ground with his foot, when he caused a fountain [the well Zamzam]
to gush forth in the wilderness for Ismael's sake."
David took this stone also, and laying it beside the first, went on his way. But soon he heard the following words
proceeding from a third stone: "Lift me up; for I am the stone with which Jacob fought against the angels which his brother
Esau had sent out against him."
David took this stone likewise, and continued his journey without interruption until he came to his brothers in the
camp of Israel. On his arrival there, he heard how a herald proclaimed, "Whoever puts the giant Goliath to death shall
become Saul's son-in-law, and succeed hereafter to his throne."
David sought to persuade his brothers to venture the combat with Goliath, not to become the king's son-in-law and
successor, but to wipe off the reproach that rested on their people.
But since courage and confidence failed them, he went to Saul, and offered to accept the giant's challenge. The king
had but little hopes indeed that a tender youth, such as David then was, would defeat a warrior like Goliath; yet he permitted
the combat to take place, for he believed that even if he should fall, his reproachful example would excite some others to
imitate his heroic conduct.
On the following morning, when Goliath, as usual, challenged with proud speech the warriors of Israel, David, in
his traveling apparel, and with his bag containing the three stones, stepped down into the arena. Goliath laughed aloud on
seeing his youthful antagonist, and said to him, "Rather run thee home to play with lads of thine own years. How wilt
thou fight with me, seeing that thou art even unarmed?"
David replied, "Thou art as a dog unto me, whom one may best drive away with a stone;" and before Goliath
was yet able to draw his sword from its scabbard, he took the three stones from his bag, pierced the giant with one of them,
so that he instantly fell lifeless on the ground, and drove with the second the right wing of the Philistines into flight,
and their left wing with the third.
But Saul was jealous of David, whom all Israel extolled as their greatest hero, and refused to give him his daughter,
until he brought the heads of a hundred giants as the marriage gift. But the greater David's achievements were, the more rancorous
grew the envy of Saul, so that he even sought treacherously to slay him. David defeated all his plans; but he never revenged
himself, and Saul's hatred grew greater by reason of this very magnanimity.
One day he visited his daughter in David's absence, and threatened to put her to death, unless she gave him a promise,
and confirmed it by the most sacred oaths, that she would deliver her husband unto him during the night.
When the latter returned home, his wife met him in alarm, and related what had happened between her and her father.
David said to her, "Be faithful to thy oath, and open the door of my chamber to thy father as soon as I shall be asleep.
Allah will protect me even in my sleep, and give me the means of rendering Saul's sword harmless, even as Abraham's weapon
was impotent against Ismael, who yielded his neck to the slaughter.
He then went into his forge, and prepared a coat of mail, which covered the whole upper part of his body from his
neck downwards. This coat was as fine as a hair, and, clinging to him like silk, resisted every kind of weapon; for David
had been endowed, as a special favor from Allah, with the power of melting iron without fire, and of fashioning it like wax
for every conceivable purpose, with no instrument but his hand.
To him we are indebted for the ringed coat of mail, for up to his time armor consisted of simple iron plates.
David was rapt in the most peaceful slumber, when Saul, guided by his daughter, entered his chamber; and it was not
until his father-in-law haggled the impenetrable mail with his sword as with a saw, bearing on it with all his strength, that
David awoke, tore the sword from his hand, and broke it in pieces, as if it had been a morsel of bread.
But after this occurrence, he thought it no longer advisable to tarry with Saul, and therefore retired to the mountains,
with a few of his friends and adherents. Saul made use of this pretext to have him suspected of the people, and at last, accusing
him of treason, marched against him at the head of one thousand soldiers. But David was so endeared to the inhabitants of
the mountain, and knew its hiding places so well, that it was impossible for Saul to take him. [Insha-llah, to be continued]