After months of battling illness and exhaustion, al-Hajj Dedebaba Reshat Bardhi, head of the Worldwide Bektashi Community, parted from this life shortly after 2:00pm on the 2nd of April, 2011.
Dede Reshat was born on the 4th of March 1935 in village of Lusën, in the region of the northern town of Kukës. In 1944, as the destruction of war raged around him, Dede Reshat moved to Tirana with his family. It was there that he received both his secular as well as Islamic religion education.
The original name of ‘Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’ was Syed Muhammad Usman Shah Marwandi who was born in 1177 CE in Marwand, Iran. His father, Syed Ibrahim Kabiruddin, was a righteous and devout dervish, and his mother was a princess. His family migrated from Iraq and settled down in Meshed, from where they again migrated to Marwand. During the Medieval era, Meshed and other cities of that region were prominent centers of knowledge, culture and civilization.
Lailat-ul-Bara’at or Shab e Barat (as it is known in the Indian Sub-continent) is the night of the full moon of the Islamic month of Sha’ban. Some scholars equate this night with Lailat Mubaraka (night of blessing) which is mentioned in the Qur’an. This is considered a very auspicious night for prayer and asking of forgiveness from Allah (swt). In English it can also be translated as night of emancipation, night of forgiveness or night of freedom or night of deliverance. It is also a preparation for the fasting and prayers during the holy month of Ramadhan. It is the special night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to God (tauba), remembering past sins and sincerely settling the mind that one will never commit sins in the future.
Hazrat Khwaja Fakhruddin (R.A.) – Sarwar Sharif : was the eldest son of Khwaja Sahib (Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti) (R.A.) who earned his livelihood by farming in Mandal town. He was a great saint and a scholar as well . After twenty years of Khwaja Sahib. (R.A.) death he died in Sarwar town, some 40 miles away from Ajmer. His Mazar is located near a pond in the town. His Urs is celebrated on the 3rd-5th of Shaban every year with great fervour. He was blessed with five sons. One of his sons, Hazrat Khwaja Hussamuddin was a perfect Sufi. Khwaja Hussamuddin’s grave is at Sanbar Sharif.
With the coming of Shaban we are reminded that our beloved guest, Ramadan, will soon be here. We prepare our innermost self for the arrival and pray that Allah (swt) will bring us once again to that sacred meeting.
“Sweep out the chambers of your heart, make it ready to be the dwelling place of the beloved.” – Shabistari
‘A’ishah (ra) said: “The Messenger (saw) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim).
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Stations of the Wayfarers has always been one of the pillars of Sufi studies for Arabic-speaking scholars and students. For generations, seekers and novices have depended on it to build up their knowledge. The fact that no English translation of this basic treatise exists is regrettable, although excerpts of it have been provided, notably in Professor Ravan Farhadi's work on Abdullah Al-Ansari published in the Curzon Sufi Series in 1996. The present complete translation is therefore aimed at filling that gap. English-speaking scholars and students will find in it an authoritative, detailed and inspiring description of the spiritual stages leading to annihilation and union with the Supreme Being. The depth of its concepts is astounding, yet Al-Ansari is invariably rational and devoted to Orthodox Islam, as represented by Hanafi School. The book has a structure that is unique, both in form and content. The Shaikh dictated it as a manual under a format designed to facilitate memorizing by students. It follows a mnemonic system, each chapter being divided into three levels, indication the degrees of the spiritual experience, as well as the "hierarch" of the candidates for the experience. A verse of the Qur an introduces each chapter. It is noteworthy that Al-Ansari was already blind when he dictated the treatise in 1082 A.D. (475 H.) The Stations consists of the following Parts or Sections: 1. The Beginnings, comprising chapters on Awakening, Repentance, Reckoning, Turning to God, Reflection, Meditation, Taking Shelter, Escape, Retreat or Inurement and Audition. 2. The Gates, comprising chapters on Grief, Fear, Solicitude, Reverence, Capitulation or Humility, Renunciation, Piety, Consecration or Devotion, Hope and Aspiration. Behavior, comprising chapters on Caring, Observation, Reverence, Honesty, Betterment, Rectitude, Reliance, Delegation, Trust and Submission. Distributed in USA by Rumi Bookstore