Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tok Pulau Manis (1650-1736)

(Translated from “Syarah Kitab Hikam Ibn ‘Athoillah Tok Pulau Manis, proofread and commented by Haji Engku ‘Ali bin Engku Endut”)

His real name is Shaykh ‘Abdul Malik bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Qahhar bin Sharif Muhammad al-Baghdadi. He is also known as Tok Sheh Pulau Manis, Tokku Pulau Manis, Tuan Pulau Manis, and Sharif ‘Abdul Malik.

Among the earliest family of da’wah to setle in Terengganu, his father lived in Kampung Pauh, Hulu Terengganu. His great-grandfather Sharif Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah had been of noble lineage from Baghdad, Iraq. He later moved to Makkah, then Acheh in North Sumatra, then to the Malay Peninsula, where he settled near Batu Belah, Kuala Berang, Hulu Terengganu.

Tok Pulau Manis was born in Kampung Pauh in 1650 AD (1060 AH). After an early education by his own father, he set out to Acheh and studied under the great Shaykh ‘Abdul Rauf Singkel. After a brief stint in Java, he continued his pursuit of knowledge in Makkah al-Mukarramah, the center for knowledge and worship. Arriving in 1681, he spent 10-12 years at the feet of various ulama including Shaykh Ibrahim bin Hassan bin Shihabuddin ash-Shafi’I al-Kurdi al-Kurani (successor of Shaykh Ahmad al-Qushashi).

His peers in Makkah include Haji Muhammad Soleh bin ‘Umar Semarani, Dato’ Syed Abdullah, Faqih ‘Abdul Qadir Palembang, Faqih ‘Abdul Rahman Fatoni, Faqih ‘Abdul Samad Kedah, Haji Ibrahim, and Haji Muhammad Siantan.

Deeply interested in tasawwuf, he studied the works of imams Ibn ‘Athoillah, al-Ghazali, Ibnul ‘Arabi, Abu Tholib al-Makki, al-Qushairi, Abu Nasr as-Siraj at-Thusi, Ibn ‘Abbad, Ahmad Zarruq and others. He chose the path of Shaziliyyah as his tariqah. He busied himself in the study of usuluddin in the creed of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, in Shafi’I fiqh, tafsir, hadith, history, and various disciplines of Arabic language.

Apparently a cream of the crops among his peers, Tok Pulau Manis was requested to translate the famous Ibn ‘Athoillah’s Hikam to Malay. The fame of his Hikam translation reached the Malay Peninsula even before his return to native land in 1690. He started teaching Hikam in his own village, later in Kampung Batu Hampar, then moved downstream to his new residence in Kampung Pulau Manis.

Renowned as a wali of Allah, many students from all over the Peninsula came to study under him in Pulau Manis. The students built small huts for residence, hence the pondok (hut) system. After his passing, his pondok system was administered by his descendants, and saw relocation and expansion to Beladau, Sungai Rengas, Kampung Midin, and Kampung Aur Cina.

Tok Pulau Manis was famous among the masses as well as the nobles. Besides the public, Sultan Zainal ‘Abidin I and many of the palace chieftains also counted as his students. He was the official Shaykhul ‘Ulama and Mufti.

He left behind 3 religious works besides the sharah of Hikam:

  1. Kitab Kifayah on usuluddin and fiqh.
  2. Risalah Naqal on the number of congregants valid to make a Friday solah.
  3. Risalah Kaifiyyah an-Niyyah on fiqh and tasawwuf.

An islamic school has been named in his honor. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Shayk ‘Abdul Malik is located in the capital city Kuala Terengganu.

Wallahu a'lam

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lessons Update at Pondok Batu 10

On 24th May 2009 we started reading Hikam Tok Pulau Manis under Ustaz Zakaria Awang. Keeping up the tabs with lessons at Madrasah Diniah Ahmadiah Batu 10 Cheras, here is the list of texts read so far (start counting since mid-2006):

Mengenal Diri dan Wali Allah (khatam) by Mustafa Muhammad al-Jiasi
Munyatul Musolli (khatam) by Shaykh Wan Daud al-Fathoni
Muafiq dan Masbuq(khatam) by Hassan Ahmad
Risalah Tauhid by ‘Abdul Ghani Yahya and ‘Umar Yusuf
Sembahyang Musafir Jama’ dan Qasar by Jinal Sakiban al-Johori
Tajul ‘Arus by Ibn ‘Athoillah – translated by Uthman al-Funtiani
Wishahul Afrah wa Isbahul Falah by Muhammad bin Ismail Daud al-Fathoni
Sharah dan Terjemah Hikam Ibn ‘Athoillah by Tok Pulau Manis

All are welcome to attend, and we pray that Allah make us benefit from the shaykhs, amin.

Here are some comments made by Ustaz Zakaria on Hikam, Ibn 'Athoillah (also spelled Ata'illah), and Tok Pulau Manis:

There are many commentaries on the original Hikam, each explained as per the author's understanding. Some that available in the Malaysian market:
- by Salim Bahreisy, Singapore.
- by Kiyai Muhibbudin al-Wali, Indonesia
- by Sa'id Hawa, originally in Arabic
- by Soleh Karimi, Sungai Merab
- and one by Tok Pulau Manis, a wali who has attained Allah in terms of 'ilmi and dzauqi.

The older generation liked to tell tales about their shaykhs, and they were proud of them. If the connection between shaykh/student is broken, then the barakah is broken, hence no benefit in the knowledge. This holds true to silsilah in tariqah as well. In certain gathering such as the Haul, people read manaqib - stories about past 'ulama - and Allah's mercy descends upon the participants.

'Ilm Haqiqah is not something you could acquire by going to schools or madrasah, it is a gift from Allah. Ibn 'Athoillah (rh) mastered both: Ilm Haqiqah and Shari'ah. We should start set our intention (qasad) to get a share of barakah from this great shaykh. In his earlier life though, he had misgivings about the sufis. Abu 'Abbas al-Mursi (rh) was the shaykh that made Ibn 'Athoillah's interest in tasawwuf to blossom.

Unfortunately, we have had no real master in Shazili tariqah here in Malaysia, and that is the reason the following is small compared to other tariqas.

The techniques used in tariqah zikir sessions are all proven and inherited from the past masters. Some physical movements are made to pull 'warid'. The murshid (shaykh) of tariqah - such as Haji Daud Bukit Abal (rh) - acts as a source of warid. Nabi (saw) himself had been a source of warid to his companions.

Wallahu a'lam

Friday, June 19, 2009

Al-Uluhiyyah (RT 11/1/09)

Risalah Tauhid 11th January 2009

Al-Uluhiyyah refers to qualities of God, where He is self-sufficient and all creatures depend on Him. The expression “La ilaha illallah” also refers this quality.

In respect to al-Uluhiyyah, the twenty sifaat divide into two categories:

إِسْتِغْنَاءُ عَنْ كُلِّ مَا سِوَاهُ

1. He is in no need of others (istighnaa’); and

إِفْتِقَارٌ إِلَيْهِ كُلِّ مَا سِوَاهُ

2. Everything else is in need of Him (iftiqar-ilaih).

11 sifaat are of 1st category (istighnaa’), namely Wujud, Qidam, Baqa, Mukhalafatuhu lil Hawadith, Qiyamuhu Binafsih, Sama’, Basor, Kalam, Kaunuhu Saami’an, Kaunuh Baasiron, and Kaunuhu Mutakalliman. They define self-sufficiency of God.

Said Ustaz Zakaria:
  • When saying “La ilaha illallah” continuously, make sure you pronounce it right: “La ilaha illallahu La ilaha illallahu …”
  • Sufis look for “madad” when reciting “La ilaha illallah”.
  • Some lame excuses people give when we invite them to learn the 20 sifaat (Tauhid):
    They would say: This subject not high-level enough. We should tell them: Go climb a durian tree!
    They would say: This subject not hot enough. We should tell them: Turn off the fan!
    They would say: This subject not fiery enough. We should tell them: Then go fight with the brothers in Gaza!
  • 11 + 9 = 20 sifaat of Allah. (20 in Malay slang: sekodi)

Wallahu a'lam

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