20 Jun 2005

3 THINGS MADE BELOVED TO ME

'Three things have been made beloved to me in this world of yours: women, perfume and prayer. As for prayers, it is my essence, الصلاة قرة عينى. Or in other translation, 'I found solace in prayer.' Nasa'i, XXXVI:1

Out of all the sayings of the prophet, I didn’t choose except this one. It speaks tons about the Prophet. On the initial look, one can’t help but notice the order of the things that was made dear to the prophet. Women? Perfume? Prayers? Doesn’t it make sense to at least have prayers come first since it signifies the connection with the Divine. Well, some people just happen to go deeper than outside image to the symbolism everything around us holds. And this is what the Bezels explained.*

The core philosophy behind this hadith lies in the thought that everything in this universe revolves around the One. Everything is at its very essence a reflection of His Beauty and Face.

'...and I blew into him of My spirit.' The relation of man to the Divine is a relation of a part to its whole. For it is through God's Breath the entity of the human being become manifested. In this context, the story of the creation of women is explained. Splitted off from man, woman was separated and manifested in feminine form. Again a relation of a part to its whole. A relation that creats a mutual longing. The yearing of the whole for its part in search for completion. Yearning of the part to connect with the whole. It is through woman that man comes to know himself as a whole, a step that comes before man's knowledge of his lord. 'Who knows himself, knows his Lord.' Thus, the love of the prophet for women, is not out of sexual lust, but a love that draws him closer to his Lord.

Perfume, or Tiib, is mentioned in the Coran in the context of 'conjugal union' when God says, ' ...just as good (sweet-smelling) women are for good men and good men for goood women.....' [24:26] Thus, 'God speaks of them as sweet smelling, since speaking implies breath, which is the essence of Human, and again another reminder of the Divine Breath, the essence. The perfume (tiib) is placed after woman as an indication of the deeper connection with the woman is done on the Breath level, and through recognizing the essence of God.

Prayer is an an intimate discourse between God and His servant that couldn't be performed perfectly before experiencing the two previous stages. A complete spritual state that was preceeded with the servant knowing himself and ability to taste the divine Breath and Essence. During these previous states, the propeht was in the state of rememberance of his lord, and thus this is the actual meeting.

The word, qurra 3ayne comes from the word istiqrar, fixation, so as that the lover eyes might be fixed on the beloved to the exclusion of all things. It also comes form qurra from aqarr, testimony, believe, and attest. It is the attesting of ones essence to the Divine and its contemplation of ones essence to 'be' in servanthood with the Divine. It is as if the whole body, is totally present infront of the One. Present with their seeing, smelling, hearing and recognizing nothing but the Divine. A Lovers meeting that needs some preparation.


*The core idea behind bezels is an attempt to seeing the Reality behind every picture we see. The Reality lies in its connexion to the One, who is Wajib al-Wujud for anything else to exist. Bezels is 'Fusus al-Hikam' by Ibn Arabi.
*For a different interpretation, check Doshar comment at Kayla's

28 Comments:

Blogger Alina said...

Women,perfume and prayer...Wow, I really never saw that comming...What can I say? If before I was interested in reading about Islam, now I'm really interested. The quote also reminds me of old thoughts according to which true love only brings you closer to God...

6/17/2005 03:45:00 pm  
Blogger Mohamed said...

"It is through woman that man comes to know himself as a whole" -- I think that's very true actually.

I never read "good" as sweet-smelling. Interesting.

This could explain why some claim that smelling the perfume of a woman is one of the levels of zena :)

6/20/2005 09:40:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

ree7 khabeeth, ree7 tayeb.

6/20/2005 09:49:00 pm  
Blogger doshar said...

i never thought of the aya in souret le nour as referring to "tayyebat" as sweet smelling, i thought it meant that they are good in general. i checked with tafseer (interpretation) books (safwat al tafaseer), since it was related to the incident of Ifk.the word Tayyeb also means kind and good. this is an interesting explanation of yours though, can you please tell me your tafseer (interpretation) source so as to read it?

6/21/2005 11:07:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

It is not a tafsir book, Doshar. It is in the thoughts and writing of a sufi, and their deep connection to 'breath' and 'breathing' that they relate most of their interepretation. For sufi tafsirs, you can check al-Alusy, tafseer rou7 al-ma3anee.

There are various interpretation, Doshar, and you dont just have to stick to one. Browse around, and you will be surprised how well developed islamic thoughts and philiosophy is deep.

My feeling is interpreting Tayib to mean 'Kind, good' is too vague for the Coranic language. Good in what ya3nee???!! anyways, who am I to say.

6/21/2005 11:30:00 am  
Blogger Mohamed said...

But "khabeeth" is not vague, is it Haal? and tayeb could mean more than a specific thing, which is a suitable explanation --does not have to be specific at all. It is a general state of overall being tayeb.

I think both interpretations could be valid, and one does not negate the other, and that's the beauty of it.

6/21/2005 11:36:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

I am not saying interpreting Tayib as Kind is wrong. All I am saying it is a little vague for my taste. Could be a general state of being good. Good in Essence. At his deep core. Khabeeth too, is not vague....Khabeeth at essence.

My liking to this interpretation of 'smell' is that it is connected to the 'breath' and more so, it is connected to 'smell', in other words, those who are tayib can be spotted and have a positive effect becuase their ree7 is spreading everywhere.... and thus, (still in my view), making people surrounding them be more aware to spotting and recognizing what is good and what is not.

6/21/2005 11:42:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

I included a link to Doshar's explanation of the hadith.

6/21/2005 11:45:00 am  
Blogger Mohamed said...

I think interpreting tayib as ree7 is fine, but it is too limiting. I've related in one of my old posts about that breath thing (in a non-religious way), but it certainly does't just revolve around that --ree7.

Good/Tayib at core I think it is. But everyone is good at core actually, but there's a dominant state, and I think that's what matters.

6/21/2005 11:52:00 am  
Anonymous rora said...

hi haal

excuse are you saying that the tafseer is called "elausi tafseer ro7 elm3ani" so is this your source or as you said they are from thoughts and writings of a sufi ?

well i dont agree that you can get an interpretation from a book that you say that they are only thoughts of a sufi .
because we as UNscholored people we get the interpreation of ahadith and versus from scholored scientist religin and there are so many ya haal and very well knows that we can get from

we can discuss religoin and this is very healthy for our main common aim to be closer to GOD and try to please him and this should be in our own focus while we are discussing. the hadith of that prophet mohamed PPBUH likes perfumes i think the interpreation and God knows better is that prophet Mohamed and the islam encouranges people to be clean and to have a pleasant smell there are many verses in quran and ahadith that encourages for that , so the hadith shows a symbolism for that , and God knows better .

some of what you said is right but i dont think it has to do with the interpreation of whether the verses or hadith.

i have an english traslated quran and the verses of (tayeboon leltayebat ) is different than yours. idont know whether this source you stated is credible or not , but dont say good y3ni eh or what does it mean , for that you are not convinced, being good or not good , we dont know . God knows better who is good and who is not . maybe we think some people are good and they are actually not because of any trait that we dont really consider and it is really big. so God knows better who is good and who is not. this is quran and God states eltayeboon leltayebat , it is non of our business what does it mean and in what terms. it is not a command so that we go and say what does it mean good ? ok i hope you got me ISA

6/21/2005 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

But I think, the essence of al-tiib, ree7, is the original breath, that is Good. So it is a call to connect to this 'divine breath'.

Include a link to this 'non-religious breath'. Would love to have it actually, ya Si-FromCairo.

6/21/2005 12:03:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

excuse me rora, if you think the interpretation is humiliating the Coranic verse, then you can say object, other than that, I will just ask you to respect other people's thoughts on coranic verses. The prophet didnt do interpretation of the Coran. ALl the interpretations you had out there are by people.

And I was giving the alusi ru7 al-ma3anee as a source for sufi interpretations. but what i wrote in the post is from the thoughts of ibn arabi.

6/21/2005 12:06:00 pm  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Rora, why are you limiting yourself to one interpretation?! Do you think the fine scholars (whom are definetely fine) got it all right, all final, and that's it. Even they didn't say they did. Why do you think khalas, we got it all right, we understand the Quran fully, there is one meaning to God's words and that's it?!

"it is non of our business what does it mean and in what terms." -- Rora, if its not our business, then who's business is it? isn't the Quran monazall lel3alameen?

Haal, I think I'll pass on your request for the link considering the nature of this topic. I'm sure some people would be offended. Wouldn't want to ruin your breath interpretation with the way I connect with the breath.

6/21/2005 12:30:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

'this is quran and God states eltayeboon leltayebat , it is non of our business what does it mean and in what terms'.

Oumal whose business ins'allah. I dont want to be like Al-humar yahmel asfaran....., wallah, even this verse has more symbolisim, and allah sure knows best.

6/21/2005 12:31:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

guys,
calm down.. I agree there are different interpretations, but i think as moslems we should follow al-Ijma3...in other words, the opinions that are more similar leading to the same, so to speak interpretaions and meanings.
Most of the scholars agree that in the hadeeth, women were referred to int he sense of glorifying "the women" in genereal, since at the time of the Jaheleya and even amongst the Romans and non arabs, women were not given rights as men were, and were treated cheaply, degrades, and were insignificant in society. Some interpretations also mentioned women and childten due to their fragility in the societies. Also the wa2d (burial of infant girls after birth since they were considered shamful for some reason), therefore the Prophet mentioned them to give them high rank and Respect.

Perfume (al- tib) in the sense of good smell of the body since they lived in a desert envirnment which ofcourse lead to lots of sweating and thereby bad oudor. So the prophet was emphasising on it for cleanliness of the body since a moslem is like a wagha (representative) of Moslems and Islam, there fore he must not only take care of his overall cleanliness and body oudor, but of his appearance as best as he could..Being a moslem does not mean to neglect appearance and cleanliness.. Also for the prayeers in Jama3a, so that he would not make others feel disgusted.

Al salatu Korat 3ayni.. the most important of all was the connection between Man and Allah.. That it is essential for so many reasons, most important of all because it is the back bone of religion after the shahada.. AND also because it is the time when el 3abd is so close to the Ra7man... etc...

WE just need to stick more to the opinions that are more common and that are in agreement the essence of the messages that were given in the hadeeth in order to serve the purpose ALLah and his prophet were aiming for to be applied amongst moslems.

6/21/2005 05:13:00 pm  
Blogger Alina said...

"at the time of the Jaheleya and even amongst the Romans and non arabs, women were not given rights as men were, and were treated cheaply, degrades, and were insignificant in society" - Yeah, have to contradict you here! The Roman Matronae actually had a pretty good status! At least in the most glorious times of their society. This came as totally opposed to ancient Greek culture in which women were quite insignificant. The Matronae were a model of moral and devotion to their family (a story of a very moral woman saying her children are her jewels is quite famous - as famous as "Cave Canem", but less famous than "Carpe Diem" and Caesar's "Veni, Vidi, Vici"). I'm not saying their life was perfect and that didn’t apply mostly to rich women, but it was a lot better than other women's living in different cultures. (PS. I used the Latin term “matrona, matronae” because I really don’t know how to translate it)

6/21/2005 05:25:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Excuse me, what is this 'guys calm down' for. Just say your comment without acting like a teacher welnaby ya khty.

I dont even think that Romans smell bad at that time, it could have been only an Arab thing. No offense intended. The Arabs were known for their backwardness at that time.

As for Ijma' thing, well, I dont agree there should be ijma', consensus on interpreting hadith too. What you explained is a very specific explanation that only applies to arab nation back then, women and perfume. Now hardly would you find mistreatment of women and someone smell bad--this makes the hadith useless these days.

6/21/2005 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

the interpretaion i mentioned is not a "personal" one.. It is the one in books of hadeeth and from scholars.

"Perfume (al- tib) in the sense of good smell of the body since they lived in a desert envirnment which ofcourse lead to lots of sweating and thereby bad oudor"

I didn't mention any thing indicating that romans smelled bad.
Besides even if i do, any human does in fact sweat..

The Arabs were known for their backwardness at that time.
In what sense? can u please clarify.

As for Ijma' thing, well, I dont agree there should be ijma', consensus on interpreting hadith too.

I was saying it in the sense of What Moslems are usually encouraged to do, maybe i missed phrased it when i wrote "I think".. If you choose other wise.. it is your choice.. no one can force you to agree on anything.

What you explained is a very specific explanation that only applies to arab nation back then, women and perfume.
Prophet Muhammed was sent for all mankind, not just the Arabs.. You can relate to the Quraan on this.

Now hardly would you find mistreatment of women
Really? R U Sure?

and someone smell bad
R u sure of that too?
Come on, please be realistic. How many cases do we hear about of women being beaten up.. The last public instance i can mention now, was what happened with the women of the Kefaya movement here in Cairo.

--this makes the hadith useless these days.
No comment!!!

6/21/2005 10:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always love it when there are deeper layers of interpreting Coran, Hadith, words,... almost anything. It gives things more depth and connection. I simply don't rush searching what the 'ijma3' would say, not because I don't believe in ijam', but because it is always inspiring to brainstorm, and in this case, heartstorm, in almost anything, and if I may add, especially when it comes to Divine words. Endless meanings. Endless inspirations. Endless midad to write what Allah means by his words.

6/22/2005 02:11:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

I always love it when there are deeper layers of interpreting Coran, Hadith, words,... almost anything. It gives things more depth and connection.

I don't know about the individual efforts of ineterpretation of the Quraan and Hadeeth, since one must be efficiently into religion to be able to do that. But i think if one does choose to do that, at least there should be a form of relating to what the religious scholars have to say about it.. The whole idea is the misconceptions one may fall into on an individual level with ALLAH that is.. One should be cautiouse about these things.

I simply don't rush searching what the 'ijma3' would say, not because I don't believe in ijam', but because it is always inspiring to brainstorm, and in this case, heartstorm, in almost anything, and if I may add, especially when it comes to Divine words.

Divine words are not as simple as many of us think they are..The rules even for reading the arabic of the Quraan rely on Ousoul al Tajweed which have a different line of rules than the normal Arabic Grammer. I think that the brainstorm and heartstorming u mentioned are something good, but as long as they do not change the main meanings into things we tend to want or have personal appeals towards. THey must rely on strong original basics of well known teachings.

Endless meanings. Endless inspirations. Endless midad to write what Allah means by his words.
I think that too needs plenty of knowlege, just to be on the safe side of not drifting away from the essences of the Quraanic meanings and the hadeeth. Otherwise, Allah would not have gave us a direct command to follow the Prohet since most if not all of his sayings and sunnahs also relied on teachings from ALLAH via The arc angel Gabriel.

6/22/2005 11:47:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Haal, i didn't mean harm by my word calm down.. All i meant is to establish for once a dialogue free of anger or a feeling of opposition towards one another (all of us). All i meant is to have an easy going and calm discussion here, without any one upsetting the other or feel any sort of rivalry, even if the opinions are not in agreement. That is all..

I am not here to create apathies or to bother anyone.

6/22/2005 11:58:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Haal,
The interpretaion in the last two paragraphs is unexplainably MARVELOUSE!!!! Can't find enough words to express it's beauty

It really was beautiful to an extent it touches and warms the heart and soul of the reader, and encourages one to try to apply it as best as possible.

YOU cannot come near to imagining it's beautiful impact. On second thoughts, I am sure you felt it too. :-)

6/23/2005 01:29:00 am  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Openning one's mind and heart is a good thing afterall Dalulla, isn't it?

6/23/2005 08:46:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

'YOU cannot come near to imagining it's beautiful impact. On second thoughts, I am sure you felt it too. :-)'

Are you talking to me??

6/23/2005 08:50:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Mohamed,
yes ofcourse they are.. I will not take what u said in the sense that u r trying to say that i didn't want to before, because if u thought so, then i am sorry to disappoint u, but u r wrong.

The issue and the matter is, It is always better to take things one at a time.. If the contents (especially the religiouse ones) written are agreeable, then so be it, but if there is an opposing opinion, then we must be open to discussions, not fights.

6/23/2005 11:07:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

yes i was. Was there anything wrong i said?

YOU cannot come near to imagining it's beautiful impact. On second thoughts, I am sure you felt it too. :-)

Haal it shows from the very begining of the comment that i was commenting in good will.

So please do not take things from the negative sense where i am concerned at least.

I do not write things in double meanings, trust me when i want to say something i say it straight forward..

I just meant that it was wonderful and that i am sure u felt it and gave your readers a good opportunity to share the good feeling with you.
I hope i cleared that out.

6/23/2005 11:52:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

D.,
If I wrote it, then I must have understood, felt and know what I am talking about. I am not particularly fond of blabbering words that I hear from someone, or read somewhere. So enough with your assumptions and specualtion about who I am/ I am not.

As far as rivalry issues, anger..etc, I don't have any of that in mind. The only thing that irritates me is when you get personal with me, try to appoint yourself as my personal preacher; tell me what to feel, how or what (like this last YOU comment).

So, if you can write your comment, whatever it is, without preaching me or reading too much into my personality and beliefs, then you are most welcomed. The only reason I leave your comments, is that I some people seem to appreciate them. If you insist on preaching, you have your blog, preach there and again you are more than welcomed to have links to your posts on my blog.

I can't be more diplomatic than that.

Hope this clears things out.

6/23/2005 01:27:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

I'm sorry..maybe i was wrong trying to express my "personal" appreciation towards something u did, that made "me" feel happy, and maybe many other readers.

The normal i know of is people feel happy when they bring joy to others.

I don't understand how and why that would bother you? I explained what the "YOU" comment was about.. Was it because it was capitalized, so maybe you took it in an offensive way? I dunno, but it was not meant to be offensive.

Can u please tell me in what sense am i preaching? I simply wrote an interpretation i know of and went back to review it with two scholars, then put it down and wrote an opinion.. so can u please clarify what you meant?

6/23/2005 02:55:00 pm  

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