The Sufi Tradition in Toronto
The Sufi Tradition
The sufi tradition is a tradition of pure monotheism, taught, exemplified and lived by our beloved Holy Prophet Sayyidina wa Maulana Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam himself; the ahlul bayt (his blessed Household), his sahaba (noble companions) Radhy Allahu 'Anhum Ajma'een and the awliya (sufi saints), Rahmatullahi 'alaihim ajmaeen.
To be in the sufi tradition is to attach oneself to a sufi shaikh (spiritual master). A sufi shaikh is someone who has adopted the sunnah (life-style) of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in its totality. His suhbah (companionship) automatically develops love for Allah, The Glorified and The Exalted, and for Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, and purifies one's heart of evil and vice, as much as has been ordained by Allah. To have ta'alluq (association) with a sufi shaikh is to be on the spiritual path (tariqa), practicing tasawwuf (attempting to live according to sunnah both outwardly and inwardly, that is with sincerity and purity of heart) with the help of the dua (supplications) of our shaikh. If Allah so wills, this leads to spiritual progress and spiritual excellence (ihsan) after which Allah Ta'ala showers us with His 'inayah (special spiritual favours).
Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala has blessed Muslims with such mashayikh (spiritual masters) throughout history in all parts of the world. They have drawn people to themselves through their examplary life-styles and have spontaneously been identified as 'arifeen (knowers of spiritual realities and mysteries). One such spiritual luminary was Sayyidi wa Imami Muhyuddin Shaikh 'AbdulQadir Jilani Rahmatullahi 'alaih. Those associated with him are said to be in the Qadiriyyah tariqa, after him. Sayyidi wa Imami al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad ibn 'Ali BaAlawi Rahmatullahi 'alaih was another great qutb-ul-gauth (pillar of spiritual succour). Those associated with him are said to be in the 'Alawiyyah tariqa. These spiritual luminaries are as many as the stars in the firmament but some shine more distinctly than others, just as the north star does.
Islam is alive as long as the sufi saints breathe. Most of them prefer to be anonymous unless Allah Ta'ala in His Hikmah (Wisdom) wills otherwise. Mungu awa weke: may Allah Ta'ala keep them for ever in His Rahmah (Mercy), Aameen.
For anyone to claim to be a sufi (man of Allah) is really presumptuous. No one ever claims to be a sufi. The shaikh (pir-o-murshid in Urdu) is ever so humble to make any claim of any sort. But the sufi saint (man of Allah) is as evident as the broad daylight. Those who have ta'alluq (association) with a sufi saint are said to be in the sufi tradition. And it is in this sense alone that we talk about the activities of those associated with the sufi tradition in Toronto.
Muslims in other parts of the world will surely be very happy to learn that in a predominantly non-Muslim country such as Canada where neo-liberalism has almost destroyed Christianity, Muslims are exerting themselves to establish the sufi lifestyle of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam and his ashaab-us-Suffa, Radhy Allahu 'Anhum.The first well-known sufi saint to bring baraka (blessings) to Canada was Maulana 'Abdul 'Aleem Siddiqui al-Qadiri Rahmatullahi 'alaih. He performed the opening ceremony of the first mosque to be built in Canada in Edmonton in 1939. He also visited Toronto, the largest metropolis in Canada, where he presented Islam as a gift to a largely non-Muslim gathering. A'la Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Rahmatullahi 'alaih had sent him from India to spread Islam across the world. This he did admirably, converting people to Islam and establishing the sufi tradition in such far-off places as Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, England and Kenya, to name only a few places. He passed away after performing Hajj and was laid to rest in Jannatul Baqi in Madinatul Munawwara.
The first well-known sufi saint to be resident in Toronto, who built the foundations of the sufi tradition here, was Dr. Qadeer Baig Rahmatullahi 'alaih in the Chishtiyyah tariqah. He was a professor at the University of Toronto, established the sufi Study Circle and the Canadian Society of Muslims and campaigned to establish Muslim personal law in Canada and to remove bias against Islam and Muslims from school textbooks. He also raised funds to establish the Jami Mosque in 1967-68, the first masjid in Toronto of which he was the first Imam. He was the first Muslim to bring Canadians into the fold of Islam in any large measure, proving yet again that it is the sufi saints who throughout history have converted people to Islam across the world. He passed away in 1988, a Zindah Shah, may Allah Ta'ala raise his darajat (stature) even further, Aameen. Syed Mumtaz Ali sahib, his khalifa in the Chishtiyyah tariqah, continues his good work, Al Hamdu Lillah.
This is followed by astaghfaar (begging forgiveness of Allah Ta'ala), Kalima Tayyibah (sincerely pure declaration), Tashahhud (Muslim testimony), Asma Allah ul Husna (Beautiful Names of Allah), and salawaat and salaam (invoking Allah's blessings and peace on the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam). The most popular salawaat are As-Salaatu Ibrahimiyyah, Salaat ut Taaj, Salaat Tunjina and As-Salaat ut Taaziyyah.
Dua (supplication) is an important part of the zikr. Many of the dua are from the Azkaar (Supplications) compiled by Imam an-Nawawi, Rahmatullahi 'alaih. These are the azkaar (invocations) that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam himself taught his blessed household and companions, may Allah be pleased with them.
Munaajaat (hymns) are then recited, in praise of Allah Ta'ala and madeeh (eulogy) of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam.
In most zikr groups, we have the recitation of the shajarah (family tree) of the shaikh linking him in lineage to our noble Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. The recital of Tawassul is popular as well. This invokes Allah with the mediation of our beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, all the anbiya (prophets), peace be upon them, the Ahl ul Bayt (the blessed Household of the blessed Prophet), the sahaba (his companions), and all the mashayikh (spiritual masters) in that tariqa.
In most instances, the zikr session ends with Taazeem-e Qiyam, or standing ovation for the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, in which salaams on him composed by Imam as-Sayyid Ja'far ibn Hasan al-Barzanji, Imam 'Ali bin Muhammad al-Habshi, or Allama Ishqee (in Arabic), A'la Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, or al-'Allamah Akbar Warithi (in Urdu), al-'Allamah Suleman Chelebi Effendi (in Turkish), or Shaikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Qadiri (in English), Rahmatullahi 'alaihim ajmaeen are recited.
Food and refreshments are then served. This is called tabarruk in Arabic and nyaz in Urdu, and is prepared by the ladies in most instances, with befitting love, care, commitment and dedication to gain thawab (heavenly reward).
The Qadiriyyah, Chishtiyyah, Jerrahiyyah, 'Alawiyyah and Naqshbandiyyah recite zikr every Thursday or Friday night. The Qadiriyyah also recite zikr on the eleventh of each month of the Muslim calendar, especially the eleventh of Rabi-ul-Akhir, the day Shaikh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani Rahmatullahi 'alaih left his earthly existence. This is called Gyarween Shareef in Urdu (the blessed eleventh night). The ladies organise separate zikr sessions of their own as well.
The 'Alawiyyah carry with them two Muslim flags for major zikr sessions and other important occassions. This revives the sunnah of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam of showing the Muslim flag. One flag represents the 'Alawiyyah and the other the Qadiriyyah. These two flags have the seal of approval of Sayyidi wa Imami Shaikh 'AbdulQadir Jilani and Sayyidi wa Imami al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha Al-Haddad, may Allah make us benefit from them, Aameen. By now, Muslims of Toronto are familiar with zikr sessions organised by the 'Alawiyyah that continue the whole night in Imdadul Islam Masjid and end with Salatul Tasbeeh and Salatul Fajr, Al Hamdu Lillah.Ratib and Wird al-Latif of Sayyidi wa Imami Maulana 'AbdAllah bin 'Alawi al-Haddad, the Ratib of Sayyidina Al-Habib 'Umar Bin 'Abdirrahman al-'Attas, and the Wasila of Sayyidina al-Habib Muhammad Bin Zain Bin Sumait, Rahmatullahi 'alaihim ajma'een. Qasida Burda of Imam al-Buseeri Rahmatullahi 'alaih, is recited every month in congregation. All these bring shafa'a (healing) and maghfira (forgiveness). Among the Qadiriyyah, the Tasbeehaat to cleanse your heart are Laa Ilaha Illallah, (None is worthy of worship except Allah), Illallah, and Allahu, and these are recited in halaqa of zikr (circle of zikr) a hundred times each, while the supplications and salawaat of Shaikh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani Rahmatullahi alaih in The Manaqib are also well-known. The Zikr among the Jerrahiyyah with simultaneous but different recitals by two or more reciters spiritually invigorates the Zakireen. ZikrPaase Anfaas (with abated breath) as well as Dua Jameelah are the hallmarks of the Naqshbandiyyah, while the most memorable dua (invocations) are recited among the Chishtiyyah in the Khatme Khawajagaan.
The kutub (books) of salawaat (invoking blessings of Allah on the noble Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) that have gained the hearts of Muslims in Toronto are:
Sallu 'alan Nabi.
Society for Understanding the Finite and the Infinite (SUFI)
Society for Understanding the Finite and the Infinite (SUFI)
At such maulid celebrations, if you are lucky, you might get to hear madeeh (eulogy) in honour of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alahi wa Sallam composed by Hazrat Hassaan bin Thabit Radhy Allahu 'Anhu and Hazrat Ka'b ibn Zuhair Radhy Allahu 'Anhu, two of the sahabi (companions) of the Holy Prophet; or by luminaries such as Shaikh Sa'adi Shirazi, Allamah 'AbdulRahman Jami, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Imam Buseeri, Maulana 'Abdallah ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad, Imam 'Ali bin Muhammad al-Habshi, and A'la Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Rahmatullahi 'alaihim ajma'een.
Indeed Muslims of Toronto have by now become so much familiar with the
(couplets) of Hazrat Hassaan bin Thabit Radhy Allahu 'Anhu in praise
of the beloved of Allah, Muhammad ur Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa
Sallam, that many of them know at least these couplets of his by heart.
Wa ahsanu minka lam tara qattu 'aini
Since then, whenever he holds celebrations of Maulid un Nabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in Rabi' ul Awwal, he invites all the devotees to catch a glimpse of that blessed hair. On this auspicious occassion, the case containing the hair is carried on his head with befitting love and reverence. And when the case is opened, Haji Saheb removes many veils of cloth, like so many veils in heaven befoe he reveals the actual case containing the hair. All this while, the muhibbeen (beloved disciples) recite salawaat and salaams on our beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. It is a spiritually enriching ceremony performed to perfection!
Remember that the Ahl ul Bayt (the beloved Prophet's blessed household) and the sahaba (his blessed companions) would keep his hair that had been cut as an invaluable treasure to be passed on from generation to generation as priceless inheritance. We learn of this from the following hadith.
Narrated Ibn Sirin: I said to Abida, "I have some hair of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam which I got from Hazrat Anas, Radhy Allahu 'Anhu or from his family". Abida responded, "No doubt, if I had a single hair of that it would have been dearer to me than the whole world and whatever is in it". (Bukhari)Some of this blessed hair has been preserved in Turkey as well. Of this, one hair has been brought to New York. From there, it is brought to the Turkish Mosque in Toronto for public view, at the end of the month of Ramadhan. That night, the mosque is packed to capacity. On such blessed occassions, the recitation of Maulid un Nabi is a must. This is from the kitab (book) composed by Al-'Allamah Suleman Chelebi Effendi Rahmatullahi 'alaih with hymns and eulogies in Turkish. The gathering is so emotionally filled and spiritually charged that you see tears roll down the eyes of the devout as they fulfil their life-long ambition to catch a glimpse of the blessed hair. As each person gets a chance to kiss the case containing the hair, the whole congregation recites this salaat in chorus.
Allahumma Salli 'alaa Sayyidina Muhammad-i-nin-Nabiyyi'l UmmiyyiThe baraka (blessings) of the hair of the Holy Prophet, Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in terms of the nur (spiritual light) it spreads for the Muslims of Canada in general and for those who get to view it in particular are immense, immediate and visible. May Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala give us the love of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam that will sustain us in this world as well as in the Hereafter, Aameen Yaa Rabbal 'Aalameen.
Toronto is indeed a multicultural city where the majority are migrants from all over the world who have made Toronto their home and most of whose children have been born in Canada. You feel part of an international Muslim fraternity, those born in Canada, together with Muslim migrants from Turkey, the Arab countries, Pakistan, Albania, India, Bosnia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Guyana, Mauritius, ..... all worshipping Allah as one ummah (community) in Toronto. The Imams at these masajid wear the traditional jubba (cloak) as well as the amamah (turban). The walls are decked with beautiful frames containing the names that are engraved on the hearts of all Muslims: Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted), Sayyidina Muhammad Mustafa (Allah's blessings and peace be on him), Sayyidina Abubakr Siddiq, Sayyidina Umar Farooq, Sayyidina Uthman Dhun Nurain, Sayyidina Ali al-Murtadha, Sayyidatina Fatima, Sayyidina Imam Hasan and Sayyidina Imam Husain, Radhy Allahu 'Anhum. The mimbar (pulpit) is richly engraved with Muslim calligraphy while over the mihrab (prayer niche for the Imam) is the inscription from the Qur'an:
Fa walli waj-haka shatral Masjidi'l HaramWomen pray in a separate hall, all clad in the dignified traditional hijab. The melodious recitation of the azan sends a quiver through your heart. The salah (ritual prayer) is with full concentration. After the salah, the dua (invocation) is long and fervent. Tasbeeh (rosaries) with 100 beads are distributed to recite Sub'hanallah: Glory be to Allah (33 times), Alhamdulillah: All praise is for Allah (33 times), and Allahu Akbar: Allah is Great (34 times). After every congregational salah, and after every four raka'ah of Taraweh in the month of Ramadhan, there is congregational salawaat (invocation of blessings) on the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. And after the congregational dua, you can obtain audio casettes on the life-histories of the awliyaAllah like Ibrahim ibn Ad'ham and Bishr al-Hafi, may Allah be pleased with them.
Many other masajid and musallas have been established in Toronto in the Ahl us Sunnah wal Jama'ah tradition among which are the Sunnatul Jamat Masjid, the Imdad ul Islam Masjid, the International Muslims Organisation Masjid, the Uthman Gauthi Masjid, Masjid Noorul Haram of the World Islamic Mission, as well as Islamic centres by Minhaj ul Qur'an, Dar ul Qur'an, Muslims of the Americas, and the Jerrahi Sufi Order of Canada, among others.
Salutations of all the Muslims are for the khuddam (voluntary caretakers) of these masajid for keeping them speck clean at all times.
Most of these organisations also run madaris (Muslim religious schools) and some students have already become Hafiz-e-Qur'an, those who know the whole Qur'an by heart, especially from Muslims of the Americas. Some students go to Dar ul 'Ulum overseas like the Hijaz University of the IMO in England to become 'alim. Madrasa tul Hidaya organises Qur'an recitation, Hadith recitation and Qasida recitation programs among students. These days, the students have been trained to organise and conduct Madrasa Day Programs and to recite the whole of the Maulid un Nabi together with the qasaid and the madeeh (eulogies) all by themselves, Alhamdu Lillah!
Muslim women have also been overjoyed with the visits of Dr. Farida Ahmad, an illustrious 'alimah from Pakistan, the daughter of Maulana 'Abdul Aleem Siddiqi. MaashaaAllah!
These 'ulama have drunk deep at the fount of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and when they go to preach to non-Muslims, they warn against shirk (polytheism) and expound on the blessings of Islam and when they address Muslims, they talk of the love of Allah Ta'ala and the love of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. They command great love and respect, as do the sayyid saadaat (descendants of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam), and all elders in general.
The 'ulama and mashaayikh are hosted by various Muslim fraternities, organisations and mosques. They deliver a khutbah (talk), establish a halaqa (circle) of zikr and maulid, and mobilise the mureedeen and muhibbeen to greater juhd (exertion). They expound on sound 'aqida (creed), shari'a (sacred Muslim law), tariqa (spiritual path), and ma'rifa (gnosis), that is, all the spiritual realities of Islam, and many of them draw huge crowds, especially among University students who eagerly await them to hear about the Ihya' of Imam al-Ghazali Rahmatullahi 'alaih or the Qasida tul Burda of Imam al-Buseeri Rahmatullahi 'alaih. From whichever part of the world they come, their language is the same, the language of Tasawwuf, the language of the inner spiritual dimension of Islam. Muslims of Toronto feel they are an international fraternity of muhibbeen of the Holy Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, spiritually linked to him through the baraka (blessings) of their shaikh.
This feeling of international brotherhood has been strengthened with increasing access to the internet which links sufi tariqas across the world in the world wide web. Zikr groups that have developed web-sites are:
Among the resident senior 'ulama, imams and mashayikh are (in alphabetical order according to country of origin): Imam Hafiz 'AbdulHaleem 'Aleem (from Afghanistan), Imam Haji Shameer Khan and Imam Muhammad Yusuf (from Guyana), Syed Mumtaz Ali saheb (from India), Shaikh Yousef Bakhour and Imam Yusuf Chebli (from Labanon), Imam 'Abdulshakur Dulloo (from Mauritius), Maulana Qazi Bashiruddin Farooqui (from Pakistan), Shaikh Umar al-Qadiri (from Somalia), Shaikh Ahmad Talal (from Syria), and Imam Muzaffar Kosar (from Turkey).
Recently, the Muslims of Toronto suffered a great loss when Shaikh Hamid Jabir, Imam of Tariq Masjid passed away after performing Hajj and was laid to rest in Jannatul Baqi in Madinatul Munawwah. He was Hafiz Qur'an and a shaikh with the 'Alawi background who used to recite Waseelatush Shafi and Tabaraka Dhul 'Ulaa after Taraweh prayers in the month of Ramadhan. May Allah Ta'ala raise his daraja (rank) in Jannah, Aameen.
The Sufi Study Circle does da'wa work in the University of Toronto in a different setting. At these study sessions in a quiet study room in a campus building that houses the International Students Centre of the University, the beauty of the teachings of Islam is shown through readings from classics of Muslim spirituality, followed by a question and answer session, and dua. If Allah so wills, the hearts of the non-Muslims who attend are opened to the nur (spiritual light) of Islam.
The Canadian Society of Muslims continues its struggle with the Government of Canada for the right of Muslims to be judged according to shari'ah (sacred Muslim law). In this respect, Canada lags behind other countries such as India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, to name a few, which have separate courts for Muslims, with Kadhis (Muslim judges) who administer Muslim personal law. However, after years of effort, now there is a glimmer of hope. The Government of Ontario has begun to implement mandatory mediation across the province. To take advantage of this facility, an entirely new Islamic service has been launched in Canada called the "Muslim Marriage, Mediation And Arbitration Service".
The Canadian Society of Muslims, the Sufi Study Circle of the University of Toronto, and the Society For The Study of the Finite and the Infinite (SUFI) have more recently introduced live qawwali in Toronto which is a first for the whole of North America. This preserves the tradition of Maulana Mu'inuddin Chishti Rahmatullahi 'alaih who introduced qawwali in India to bring Indians into the fold of Islam. It is done with adab (respect and proper etiquette) under the supervision of the shaikh who explains that the main aim of the qawwali is to develop a yearning to be a good Muslim. The qawwal do not receive remuneration, no funds are raised, no fame is sought, only the love of Allah.
Then we have a one-hour sehri program on Radio Pakistan in Toronto, which wakes up Muslims for Tahajjud and sehri at around 4:30 a.m. every day in the month of Ramadhan. Muslims hear the azan on radio, recitation of Qur'an, khutbah (sermon), and qaseedas and qawwalis, which rejuvenate them to greater 'ibadah (worship) in the month of Ramadhan. Since then, many similar programs have come up.
Not to be forgotten are the pioneering efforts of Nur-e-Islam Canada, the first to organise Muslim burial in a proper manner and have a separate burial place for Muslims in Toronto. This is another example which shows that the Ahl us-Sunnah lead and others follow.
Another thing worthy of note is that those in the sufi tradition are truly united on the sunnah of sighting the moon: they start Ramadhan when the new moon is sighted and celebrate 'Eid on sighting the new moon. Al-Fateha!
All Muslim organisations are also active in raising funds for the rehabilitation of refugees in Canada and for the oppressed Muslims in Bosnia, Kashmir, India, Palestine and other places. Among various other charitable projects is help for the homeless. May Allah Ta'ala protect all the Muslims and may He put the nur (light) of Islam into the hearts of non-Muslims, Aameen Ya Rabbal 'Aalameen.
Among the more ancient classics are:
Among some of the more recent classics are:
Of the classics just mentioned, the most widely read among both Muslims and non-Muslims in the U.S is the Mathnawi (Rhyming Couplets) of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, while the fastest selling book among the Muslims of U.K is Miftahul Jannah (The Key to Paradise) of Sayyidunal Imam al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al- Haddad, Naf'an Allahu Bih.
The University of Toronto library houses most of these and many more in almost one whole floor of stacks and stacks of books on Islam. When you reference these, you are convinced once and for all that since the time of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, the sufi tradition in the Ahl us Sunnah wal Jama'ah has been the dominant tradition among Muslims. Various minor sects have come up as in all religions but they have been short-lived. The nur (spiritual light) generated by the love of the noble Prophet Muhammad-e-'Arabi Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam automaticallay hands the torch of Islam to the sufis and their disciples to carry, and to spread Islam in all the corners of the globe.
As a result of the general availability of classics of Muslim spirituality, a spiritually-laden vocabulary is gaining ascendancy. Words and phrases like adab (spiritual courtesy and etiquette), mureed (spiritual seeker), muhibb (loving disciple), Huququllah (rights of Allah Ta'ala on us), huququl 'ibaad (the rights of servants of Allah on us), tazkiyatun nafs (purification of the ego/self), tasfiyatul qalb (cleansing of the heart), ikhlas (sincerity), ihsan (spiritual excellence), ilham (inspiration), fee Hubirrasul (for the love of the Holy Prophet), fana Fillah (annihilation of one's ego for the sake of Allah), 'ainil haqeeqa (the eye of the heart that sees spiritual realities), tazkiratul awliya (narrations about sufi saints), 'arifeen (knowers by direct illumination), siddiqeen (true saints), tawakkul (total reliance on Allah), Ridhallah (for the Pleasure of Allah), and husnul khatimah (felicitous end) are beginning to be understood and appreciated.
Naf'anAllahu bihim, Aameen.
Al Hamdu Lillah, the sufi tradition in Toronto is in full flourish. The dua of Maulana 'Abdul 'Aleem Siddiqi Rahmatullahi 'alaih and the juhd (spiritual exertion) of Dr. Qadeer Baig Rahmatullahi 'alaih are bearing fruit. May Allah Ta'ala lead us all to strive more in His Path, may all the shayaateen be defeated and may only the love of Allah Ta'ala, of his Beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, of the Ahlul Bayt (his blessed Household), of the Sahaba (his companions) and of the awliya Allah (Friends of Allah) remain, Aameen, Yaa Rabbal Aalameen.
Note: This article was first published in:
Newsletter, Canadian Society of Muslims, Toronto, 1995.
Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Syed Mumtaz Ali saheb for many helpful comments.