And they planned and Allah planned, and Allah is the best of planners. (3:54)
The following questions were posted in the comment section the other day and I thought I would address them here.
Are you living in Madinah at this time? If so, how and what made you decide to live there?
Yes, Alhumdulillah I am living in Madinah.
I see that the "how" can be interpreted in two ways, so Insha’Allah, I will try to cover both to the best of my ability.
If you mean the "how" as in the "seen" means of residing here, then one needs to follow certain visa criteria as stipulated by the Kingdom. Usually one gains an entry visa due to work related contracts, or as an investor, or on a short term business visit. The Hajj and Umrah visas are supposedly strictly for those purposes, even though published statistics report over-stayers in the hundreds of thousands each year. So seeking employment in the Kingdom is basically what is required to get an "iqama", or permit to work, and hence reside. Then there is the famous Arab "wasta" or connections, but that is another story altogether! The Kingdom is host to almost 7 million "guest workers", spread all over the country. If Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah is the specific place hoped (*) to be, then this somewhat narrows the field, and the "odds".
Alhumdulillah, with Yaqeen, our reliance on Allah Ta’ala, we know that the above explanation is merely the outer manifestation of the hidden wonders and greatness of the Master Planner of all things. SubhanAllah!
Which leads to the other "how", the "ghaib." The unseen workings of Allah Ta’ala are more difficult to answer. We, as His weak slaves only see the outer manifestation. I mean, "how" do we come to know the workings of Allah Ta’ala? Each and every thing is possible and easy for Him. He made the fire cool and the knife blunt for Ibrahim Alaihis Sallam, and the sea part for Musa alaihis Sallam, the dead given life by Isa alaihis Sallam, the moon split, animals talk, food multiply for our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wassalam, to mention only a minutiae of His Qudrat. He can command a ferocious flood, a mighty earthquake, bolts of lightning, cars crashing, fires raging, and on and on, in nanoseconds, taking lives back to Him how and when and where He Wills. He Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala releases four hundred and ten cubic inches of air from our lungs in one minute, whilst at the same time commands the earth to revolve around its axis for a distance of nine hundred and fifty miles in this same minute. On and on we could elaborate. This humble speck cannot say "how" he moved me from A to B, apart from the obvious explanation confined to the "seen" of this Dunya.
He Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala knows the weight of mountains, the volume of the seas, the number of droplets of rain that has fallen, is falling, and will fall. And where each drop will go; to the mouth of which animal, which drop nourishes which plant, which drop goes to the bee to make honey. A rain droplet can fall from the sky from 12,000 metres at a third of the speed of a bullet…it could crush us, but instead it is commanded to softy land. And yet the same water flowing down a huge waterfall crushes rocks. He knows the number of things on which night will fall and the number of things daylight will fall, and what is at the deepest depths of the oceans and what is concealed inside a mountain! And what is happening above on a mountain; a black night, a black ant moving on a black rock, with the invisible line that the ant is walking is known to Him. One ant may lay 30,000 eggs. Allah is the Creator of each and every one of these tiny eggs. He knows which one will become a soldier ant, a worker, a drone, a queen, which one will be destroyed. He Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, has created every single snowflake of a different design, along with a different fingerprint for every human since the beginning of time till the end of time. SubhanAllah!!! We could not say SubhanAllah enough times even if we were capable of repeating it non stop for hundreds of lives over!
The Majesty of Allah Ta’ala cannot be imagined by humans. He is the First and the Last, the apparent and the concealed, He has no beginning and no end, was forever and will be forever. Space and time is only for humans, Allah Ta’ala is not confined to space and time, He is beyond the sensory that we tend to attach to, and limit ourselves within.
If all the trees were pens from 4 billion years ago until the end of the time and all the waters ink multiplied over and over, then still we could never praise His Greatness enough, let alone comprehend His Grandeur. I have heard scholars say that we use 6% of our brain, the remaining 94 % is sleeping. In Jannah, Insha’Allah, the full capacity of the brain will be active and that is why we will be able to experience the true Greatness of our Lord and sensations that would explode us into smithereens if experienced in our human form now.
So what am I trying to say? When we look at the big picture, and how easy it is for Allah Ta’ala to order His Creation, from the smallest and most intricate, invisible to our naked eye, to the largest galactic systems, also invisible to us, then to move a mere speck from one place on this dot we live is so easy for Him. SubhanAllah!
The "what" part of the question is maybe simpler to answer, but harder to bring into the heart, and making it a reality.
The lover always wants to be near the Beloved.
This was, and is, the only reason for the "what made you decide to live there?"
The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wassalam said: "None of you will believe until I am more beloved to him than his children, his father and all people." Insha’Allah, take the time to read this entire chapter on the necessity of loving the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wassalam, bringing, filling and cementing a true love for him in your heart. Ameen.
A passionate desire to be near our Noble Rasulullah SallAlahu alahi wassalam was seeded in my heart when I was, by Allah Ta’ala’s incredible Generosity and unconditional LOVE, plucked from the rubbish heap of Dunya, and my heart pierced with His Hidayah, SubhanAllah!!! That piercing was the catalyst for working on destroying all that was NOT HIM, and replacing it with HIM, with the second part of the Shahadah to believe in Muhammad SallAllahu alaihi wassalam as His Messenger, which is not only to love our Beloved Nabi SallAllahu alaihi wassalam but to FOLLOW, to live his Sunnah.
If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you, and forgive your sins. (3:31)
And if Allah Ta’ala loves us, then Insha’Allah there is more "hope" that He will answer prayers.
To reside in this most Mubarak City, Enlightened by the light of the Prophet SallAlahu alahi wassalam and his illustrious Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum, became the object of my focus. But how, given the "seen" restrictions and barriers? Hundreds of letters and applications were made over the period of a few years, but Allah Ta’ala had not so easily written an "entry" ticket. He obviously wanted to test my intentions, [Zaid ibn Thabit narrates: I heard Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wassalam saying: He whose objective is the world, Allah scatters his affairs (he faces worries and anxieties in every aspect) and places the fear of poverty before his eyes: and he receives only that which has been preordained for him. And he whose intention is the Hereafter, Allah makes all his affairs easy, and enriches his heart and the world comes to him humiliated. (Ibn Majah)] and obviously loved to see my fervent Du’a and tears of yearning.
Many friends and family expressed that we were chasing an impossible dream, which at times I too doubted, putting the notion into the "too hard box". But the determination and perseverance became stronger as I heard of so many amazing stories of how different people were brought here under such amazing circumstances. I realized that it was my own limitations that kept the door shut….recalling the Hadith to the effect that Allah Ta’ala is as we expect Him to be! So I kept in my heart that He can do anything! And then through a script that one would think had been written for the movies, a series of the most unlikely events saw doors open, SubhanAllah! Another tale another time… maybe.
Part of being presented with the key to anything is sacrifice. When we sacrifice for something then love will creep into the heart without knowing. The highest sacrifice is the sacrifice of emotions and attachments to things and others, as the Hadith says, loving Rasulullah Sallahu alaihi wassalam over all else.
We have been gifted the magnificent legacy of how to bring this reality into our hearts, and thus our lives by the following three things.
Surah, detailed references as to how our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wassalam looked, so we can copy him. The Seerah, describing everything about his life, for us as a role model, and Sarirah, the inner qualities or characteristics revealing goals for the heart to aim for. Insha’Allah we need to be clear in what our aims are, Dunya or Akhirah.
Living here is vastly different from visiting, and comes with added responsibilities and at times hardships. This can be overwhelming if the understanding, according to many narrations of Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wassalam, were not comprehended. One states to the effect that those who face the hardships of living in Madinah will be given intercession! With these reminders, when one misses family or various aspects of familiarity of ones country of birth, or whatever, the burden is eased. Many do not remain for various reasons.
When He Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala LOVES us, He shouts that to the Angels, instructing them to tell everyone to LOVE us. SubhanAllah! And the best way to earn that LOVE is by following the Sunnah of His most Beloved Habib SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Insha’Allah, we struggle, strive and sacrifice in our efforts in accruing Amal that are favoured by Allah Ta’ala, as taught to us by His chosen Habib SallAllahu alaihi wassalam, and through His Mercy and Grace be recipients of His most precious LOVE. Ameen.
"Between Allah Ta’ala and His seeker there is only one step, and that is the step out of one’s self and into the Truth."
Credit, once again to Yusuf for his delicate artwork, May Allah Ta’ala bless him and his family, bringing them to the Dome of Felicity; to Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wassalam, Ameen.
Note: *Hope. In retrospect, my understanding of hope has changed.…. Shaykh ‘Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani RahmatuLlahi alaihi explained hope: "As far as the saints [awliya] are concerned, hope means having a good opinion of Allah Ta’ala. It is nothing to do with any desire for benefit, nor for the remaoval of harm, because those who are worthy of sainthood know full well that He has taken care of all their needs. That knowledge makes them realize the value of personal extinction. To have a good opinion [of Allah] is therefore more meritorious than hope. Hope cannot exist without fear, because if someone hopes to achieve something, he is bound to fear that it may escape him. To have a good opinion of Allah Ta’ala means recognizing Him in the beauty of His attributes, then basing your expectation of Him on what is relevant to Him, not on what relates to His servant. That expectation must be based on the knowledge that His attributes include Beneficent, Generous, Compassionate, Gracious and Kind.
To have a good opinion of Allah Ta’ala means attaching your aspirations to previous experience of Divine providences and direction your heart, without exciting unduly optimistic feelings.
The craving of the common folk has many valid causes, which entitle it to be dignified by the term ‘hope’ but when most of those causes cease to provide its motivation, the term ‘greed’ is more appropriate to it than the term ‘hope.’
Hope without fear is a sense of security, while fear without hope is despair. As the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wassalam once said: ‘If the fear of the true believer could be weighed, and his hope, the two would not be equal in weight.’ "
Insha’Allah this answers your question Qushayri, and please forgive "the ramble"!
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Ameen.